Thursday, June 2, 2011

Grills, great food and gardens - Oh My!

Ahhh... Can you smell that? Yeah it's the grill going again. We love to grill in the summer. Actually all year long, but there's something about grilling in three feet of snow and 20 degree weather that takes some of the joy out of it! Around this place Mr. Bacon is the grill master, perhaps one day I'll venture into grilling more. I mean I could grill if I had to, I prefer to leave that alone for now though! I'm happy to do the prep work and keep the mess outside.

Last night we broke out the charcoal grill. The gas grill makes great food, but the taste is so much better when it's cooked over the charcoal. And it was one of those perfect nights for grilling too, sunny, a light breeze, the kids running around the back yard, one of these waiting to be enjoyed! Your beverage of choice can vary.

So what did we toss on the grill? A summer favorite around the bacon house, tinfoil dinner. I know you have no clue what that is right? Don't worry there are pictures to follow. I have to say I love this meal though, not only do I not hear any complaining from the kids on why they have to eat it, there isn't much mess left over when dinner is done.

Tinfoil dinner:
*I have been told after explaining this meal to some that they also call it hobo dinner*

1.5lbs ground beef or turkey
5-6 med potatoes
4-5 carrots depending on size or about 1 cup chopped
4-5 mushrooms thick cut
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp favorite seasoning- I use Weber smoky mesquite
1 tsp season salt
1 tsp McCormick's Montreal steak seasoning
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce

* All seasonings are optional and feel free to change them to your own taste. Also toss in any other favorite veggies!

First start out with a large chunk of tinfoil. I think mine is about 2 ft long (it was a bit too long) but use your best judgement according to how much you are going to make.

Next wash the potatoes, and dice them with the skins on. Place them in a large bowl and add 2 tbsp olive and 2 tsp of your favorite seasoning. Mix them up a bit to coat everything.

Then chop up some carrots and mushrooms, add them to the bowl and lightly mix.

Now it's time to mix up that burger. I like to season my burger. This is the same mix I put in my hamburgers when I make them too. Place your burger in a bowl. Add the worcestershire, liquid smoke, season salt and steak seasoning to it. You can adjust any of those to your taste or add in your own favorites. Nows the dirty part. You can mix this with a spoon, but it will take you awhile. I like to just dig in and get messy and mix it with my hands. I think it all gets worked into the burger better this way.

Once the burger is all mixed up, it's time to add everything to the tinfoil. First I spread out the veggie mix we made up already down the middle of the tinfoil (length wise). Then I take the burger and start making mini meatballs. These are small, about 1 inch in size if I were guessing at a measurement. Really it's all guess around here! The 1.5 pounds of burger I used made 45 mini meatballs. Place them on top of the veggie mix.

Now it's time to wrap it up! Bring in the two long sides first and roll them down. This can be kinda tricky when there is as much food to wrap up as I have, but I just squish it all in. Then roll up the sides. I like to have a bit extra on the sides to help create handles to lift it on and off the grill with.

Now it's ready for the grill.

Time to sit back and enjoy the sunshine. This needs to cook on a nice hot grill for about 30 minutes or so. I think Mr. Bacon left this one on for 40 minutes since it was rather large. The more food, the longer cook times. If you'd only used 1 pound of meat, you don't need it on as long. Oh the other nice thing about this meal, you can change it up to what ever you like, different spices? No problem! Prefer chicken? Toss it in! I love that about this dinner. You can even make up smaller individual packets for each family member and let the kids pick and choose what they'd like in their packet. That way they can't tell you they don't like it!

While this was cooking and the kids were off playing, I decided to check in on my garden. Last week we planted our garden and I am like a kid waiting for Christmas, always checking to see what's peeking out of the ground now! Here it is when we planted it. It doesn't look like much yet.

We are lucky to have a large enough yard to have a good size garden, we even have a section for just strawberries! Which are loaded this year. I even found this little guy flying around!

And when I peeked in on the garden, I was happy to find these peeking back at me too! My peas and zucchini are starting to grow!

Now how about checking in on that dinner. The 40 minutes are up and it's smelling SO good out here. Really I wish I could do a scratch and sniff picture of the grill. Sniff, sniff... Ahhhh! Well you will just have to make it for yourself and enjoy the yummy grill smell.

Once it's on the table, open it up and you're ready to go. An all in one meal ready to go!

Even Bacon bit gets some after a quick run though the kidco food mill!

The kids enjoyed it so much each of them had thirds! I hope you enjoy it just as much.


  1. I already wrote you a pm on DS , but wanted to let you know again how delicious this was last night . Thank you . Lison

  2. I am new to pre making meals and freezing, I am wondering if this is something you could make u and place in a large freezer bag and pull out later to grill? Have you tried freezing it? Do potatoes and carrots freeze well? How long would you reccomend cooking from frozen?

    1. I'm not sure how well the potatoes would freeze. Meat I know you could freeze in little meat balls if you wanted to make it go faster. Carrots usually do better if they are blanched and frozen frist. I guess if you are looking to save time I would only recomment freezing meal into small meatballs. I wouldn't take much time then to chop some potatoes and carrots. Good luck & Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Replies
    1. Yes you can! We do that in the winter months when it's too cold to drag out the grill. A 350* oven for 30-40 min. It's also nice for a less clean up meal!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. My aunt wrote a cookbook many years ago and has a version of this she calls Hobo Dinners. It is one of our family favorite. :D

  5. Tried this tonight (inside). It was awesome! Very tasty

  6. I'm so excited to try this out for dinner this week! Have you ever tried throwing any other vegetables into the mix?

  7. Very good article interesting and useful

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