Posts Tagged Cooking Class






When I was a grilling neophyte I would have never thought about preparing dessert on the grill . . . whodathunkit?!?!  Actually, we are toasting the pound cake on the grill and it’s amazing how much smokey flavor  just a few moments will add to this!  When you add the grilling to this it takes the recipe from great to outstanding!

We have the weekend coming up so let’s not waste time!



Grill time: 2 minutes




Purchased pound cake sliced into 8 pieces

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

¾ cup heavy cream

3 Tablespoons powdered sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 Tablespooon Tequila0 (preferably gold)


Pineapple Salsa

2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into small cubes

1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, small dice

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 Tablespoon light brown sugar

Mint for garnish



To Grill (toast) Pound Cake

Lightly brush each slice of pound cake with butter on both sides. Cook until lightly toasted.

For the Whipped Cream Topping

Place the cream in a chilled mixer bowl and beat until soft peaks form, starting on the slow speed and gradually increasing the speed to high.  When soft peaks form, add the sugar, cinnamon and tequila.  Continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes more. Refrigerate, covered until ready to serve.

For the Salsa

Place all ingredients (except mint garnish) in a nonreactive bowl, but don’t mix until 5 minutes before you are ready to serve.

To serve:

Place a toasted piece of pound cake on plate, spoon on salsa and dollop with whipped cream.  Add mint garnish on top.


Wasn’t that easy.  Now is when the best part always comes . . . tasting . . . oh heck . . . don’t just taste . . . eat and enjoy!!

As always, thank you for reading!



Don’t forget, for info about our full schedule of gourmet grilling and cooking classes, please visit our website.  Also, the guesthouses are filling up for the Fall.  Be sure to book some time for yourself in the gorgeous Flint Hills!


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Grilled Peppered Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

A great recipe and right in line with my motto . . . keep it simple is our Grilled, Bacon Wrapped Shrimp.  We did this at our last grilling class and it was such a hit that we have been preparing for all kinds of large functions and people just love it!  This is easy and doesn’t take long to grill . . . which is a nice feature especially when the temperatures are still hot!

Let’s grill our shrimp!














That’s it!!  It’s done and ready to delight anyone who tastes them!
Thank you for following!


Please visit our website for information about our next gourmet grilling class or a fantastic get-a-way in The Flint Hills of Kansas!

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Just in time for this weekend’s grilling menu!!  Another great dish for grilling is our Asian Scored Flank Steak.  You start with a relatively inexpensive cut of beef and marinate it with a marinade that has a hint of Asian flavors.  When you combine the beef with the seasoning and the smoke from the grill it is a always winner!  We prepared this in our last grilling class . . . IT WAS A HIT!!

Let’s grill some Asian flank steak!



PREP: 30 minutes

INACTIVE PREP TIME: 6 hours or over-night

Grill TIME: 8- 15 MINUTES




2 Medium-Sized lemons

1 cup soy sauce

½ cup distilled white vinegar

½ cup vegetable oil

1 medium sized onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 bay leaves, crumbled

1 tablespoon coriander seed

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 Flank or skirt steak (1.5 to 1 ¾ pounds)



  • Rinse the lemons well. Cut each in half and squeeze the juice with a citrus press. Place the lemon juice in a large non-reactive mixing bowl.  Cut the rind of 1 lemon into ¼ inch dice and add it to the juice.  Add the soy sauce, vinegar, oil, onion garlic bay leaves, coriander seed, and pepper and whisk to mix.  Set aside half of the lemon juice mixture to use as a sauce.
  • Score steak on both sides in a crosshatch pattern, making shallow cuts on the diagonal no deeper than 1/8 inch and about ¼ inch apart.   This will keep the flank steak from curling as it cooks (you don’t have to score sirloin).
  • Spread half of the remaining lemon juice mixture in the bottom of a non-reactive baking dish just large enough to hold the meat.  Place the meat on top and spread the other half of the lemon mixture over it.  Let the steak marinate for at least 6 hours preferably overnight.
  • When ready to cook, drain the meat, scraping off most of the marinade with a rubber spatula.  Preheat the grill to high.
  • Oil the grill. Place the flank steak on the grill and cook approximately 4-6 minutes per side for medium-rare.  If using sirloin steak, medium rare will take a bit longer, about 5-8 minutes.

Finally, we made to my favorite part of the recipe . . . ENJOY!!

Thank you for following and reading.  don’t forget to check our website: to learn more about our next cooking/grilling class and to learn about our guesthouses right in the heart of The Flint Hills of Kansas.  The weather has turned and it is an awesome time to be here!

Thanks again,


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The grilled avocado salad has been one our favorites since the first time we tasted it in a California grilling class.  It is amazing that though you only put it on the grill for a few moments, the grilling process seems to really wake up a new “earthy” flavor in the avocado.  A gas or charcoal grill will work fine but as you know we are partial to charcoal as it just gives more of a smoky flavor to your food.  Let’s get started!

PREP: 25 minutes

GRILL TIME: 1 minute



10 tomatoes, thickly sliced

4 avocados, peeled, haled & pitted

Extra-Virgin olive oil, for drizzling & adding to juice

1 red onion, sliced

Juice from ½ lemon

½ cup pine nuts

Parmiggiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded or cut into thin wafers

Freshly grated black pepper, optional


  • Preheat grill over medium heat. Cover a large tray or serving platter with tomatoes and set aside
  • In another bowl, cover the red onion slices with the lemon juice that has been mixed with a couple Tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Place avocado halves on a platter and drizzle with olive oil.  Place each half, cut side down, on a hot open grill for about 1 minute. Remove and place on top of the tomatoes arranged on tray.
  • Place onions in the empty avocado pit holes.  Drizzle the lemon juice-olive oil mixture over the top.  Sprinkle pine nuts and cheese over all and grate pepper over if desired.

Now, the best part as always . . . ENJOY!
Thank you for following!


We will be having another grilling class (possibly the last for the season) at the Lark Inn in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas on the afternoon of September 9.  For more information about our cooking classes and/or a great get-a-way in the Flint Hills of Kansas visit our web site:

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This is a super simple recipe and makes for a great appetizer.  We served it to 12 at our grilling class and there was plenty.  Ready?  Let’s get started!



PREP:    5 Minutes

GRILL TIME: 15 – 20 Minutes

SERVES – 10+/- (four pieces per person)


6 lbs of Chicken Wings

¼ Cup – Fred’s Rub


  • Wash and cut chicken wings into “Wingettes” and “Drumettes”
  • Pat Chicken dry with paper towels
  • Liberally sprinkle Fred’s Rub over one side of chicken.
  • Place chicken directly over a medium-hot grill, starting Fred’s Rub side down.
  • Cook for 15 to 20 minutes turning to avoid burning.
  • Remove chicken when dark golden brown

Enjoy!  We have not found anyone that didn’t absolutely love “Fred’s Rub” Chicken Wings!

My husband’s father; “Fred” concocted “Fred’s Rub” while living the good life, grilling on his Hasty Bake grill in the mid-fifties in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Fred’s Rub is a special blend of seasoned salt, garlic powder and fresh ground pepper and is available exclusively through The Lark Inn.

Thank you again for reading!


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We had our first grilling class of 2012 at The Lark Inn last Sunday evening and it was a great success!  Since everything . . . I mean everything was grilled, it brought out the male counterparts to the ladies who usually come to our cooking classes!

We learned early on in doing our cooking classes that people anticipate them most of the day before they come.  What happens when you anticipate good food?  That’s right . . . you get hungry!  People showing up for our classes were hungry when they got there.  To not have anything for them to nosh on and to have them prepare food for an hour before they got to eat anything was shear torture. After that first class, we learned to always have appetizers our for our guests when they arrive.

This recipe is really quite simple and you could roast the corn in the oven . . . but if you have a grill . . . why would you want to?!?!  The smoky flavor adds so much more depth to the corn it truly is worth the effort.

Ready?  Let’s make Grill Roasted Corn Salsa!







  • 10 large ears corn, husked
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 vine-ripened tomatoes, about 1 pound total
  • 1 cup diced red onion, 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup julienne fresh basil leaves


Brush the corn liberally with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Grill, turning every few minutes, until light gold all over and cooked, about 12 minutes. Let cool and cut off the kernels. Discard the cobs.

Core the tomatoes and cut a small X on the bottom of each. Brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place on the grill, X side down, away from direct heat. Cover the grill and cook until the tomatoes begin to soften but are not cooked all the way through (or they will melt through the grate!), about 15 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and squeeze out the juice and the seeds through a sieve into a bowl. Reserve the juices and chop the flesh.

Put the onions in the non-reactive medium bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Let marinate until the color changes, about 10 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, onions, basil, and 1/3 cup olive oil to the corn. Toss well. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper, and remaining vinegar. The salsa is best eaten the same day but will keep, covered and refrigerated, a day or so.

Serve with tortilla chips or as a topping for tacos.

Now the best part . . . ENJOY!!

Thank you as always for following me.  It is an honor for me to share!



For more information about cooking classes at The Lark Inn in Cottonwood Falls CLICK HERE

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It’s summer time and with summer comes grilling and smoking outdoors.  In fact, early next month at our Lark Inn in Cottonwood Falls, we will begin our series of grilling classes.   CLICK HERE to learn more.

Many of you may know that when our daughter was married a couple of years back, my husband and I cooked meals for all the guests during the week prior to the wedding as well as a dinner and brunch for about 100 of the wedding guests.  This recipe is for a smoked brisket we did for the rehearsal dinner and it was truly to die for!  After a lot of trial and error we finally found the best blend of spices, flavorings and cooking technique.

Since Grilling and smoking is Pat’s department, I am having him share his recipe with you.

Let’s get started!

Smoked Brisket


Shopping List:

3 Full Briskets (about 15 pounds each)


6 Brisket Flats (about 7 pounds each)

Atkins Rub

French’s Au Jus Gravy Seasoning

Moore’s Marinade

Texas Pete Hot Sauce

Beef Broth

Bacon grease

Mesquite Liquid Smoke

Cotton Eyed Joe’s Barbeque Sauce*


You can go one of two directions with the brisket; if you buy the brisket flats, you will have very little trimming to do.  But, if you buy the full briskets, you will have some fat to be trimmed.  If you are starting with a full brisket, start with it laying flat with the fat side up (isn’t that was some of us do when we lay flat on our backs?!?!)  Press around on the fat and find the hard nuggets of fat.  You will have to trim these off because they will not render down during the cooking process.  Be sure to leave about ¼ inch of fat over the entire brisket.  The fat is needed to help keep the brisket moist during cooking.

Next you will need to trim the fat along the sides between the flat and the point.  There is also a line of fat between the point and flat which also needs to be trimmed.  You will notice that one end of the brisket is thicker than the other.  This thicker end is the point and the other is the flat.  I recommend that you separate the point from the flat.  This way the two will be similar in thickness and consequently, they will cook in the same amount of time.

Because the brisket is such a tough cut of meat, two things need to happen; 1.) it has to cook low and slow . . . at a low temperature and for a long – long time.  2.) it needs some help staying moist and keeping the flavor throughout if you are going to cook it that long.  I used a marinade from the book: “Competition BBQ Secrets” written by Bill Anderson and it worked great.  Here is the recipe:

1 package of French’s Au Jus Gravy Seasoning

1 Cup of Moore’s Marinade

1 Tablespoon of Texas Pete Hot Sauce

2 Cans of Beef Broth

3 Tablespoons of melted bacon grease

1 Tablespoon of mesquite liquid smoke

Follow the directions on the French’s Au Jus package EXCEPT use the beef broth instead of water.  Mix all the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes.

 Tip:  to create the bacon grease, I fried up some bacon ends and pieces which were less expensive than bacon and fattier . . . it is the fat that we are after.  You can also use the cooked bacon for Kris’ Cowboy Beans.

I use Adkins Rub from Texas for my rub.  Liberally apply the rub over all of the surfaces of the brisket taking care to rub it into all the cracks and crevices.

After the rub is applied, inject the warm marinade into the brisket with the fat side up.  You will want to insert the needle as far into the meat as you can with out punching through the other side.  Injections should be make about every 1 – 1-1/2 inches over the entire surface of the brisket.

 Tip:  I use a baking pan with low sides (large enough for the brisket and lay plastic wrap over it extending the wrap past the edges of the pan by 10 or 12 inches each way and lay the brisket on top of the plastic before injecting.

After injecting the brisket, wrap it up in the plastic wrap and but it in the refrigerator overnight.

GOOD MORNING!!  First things first, pour yourself a cup of coffee and go out to your smoker and stare at it until you wake up to figure out what you’re doing outside, staring at your smoker.  Now that you’re awake, start your smoker and set it to a temperature between 225° and 250°.  If this is your first smoked brisket, I recommend that you use equal amounts of oak and hickory for smoking wood.  Mesquite has a wonderful flavor, but it is easy to over smoke with mesquite and cause the meat acquire a bitter taste . . . especially when you are smoking something for this long of a period of time.

Place the brisket on the grate of your smoker, fat side up.  If you have more than one grate in your smoker, place the brisket on the upper one so you can put a disposable foil pan below it to catch the drippings.  Be sure the pan is large enough to hold the brisket.  We will add these dripping to the au jus sauce later.

Smoke the brisket for four hours and toward the end of that time frame you will want to pre heat your oven to 225°.  Remove the brisket from the smoker then place it fat side down in the pan and add enough of the au jus sauce to make it ¼ of an inch deep.  Be sure to simmer the au jus before putting it in the pan.  Now, cover the pan with foil and put it in your oven and cook for another 6 – 7 hours.  I recommend that every hour or so, you pull the foil back and use the au us sauce as your mop sauce to keep the brisket moist.  I use a basting brush or a turkey baster will also work well.

At 225 – 250° it takes brisket .8 – 1.5 hours per pound.  Because of the kind of cut of meat brisket is, you don’t just cook it to a specific temperature and you’re done.  It’s a bit more subjective than that.  190° is a good guideline, but what you are really after is tenderness.  Once your temperature probe slides into the meat easily, then you are on your way.  Try a fork, when the meat is “fork tender” you have arrived at your destination!

Take the meat out of the oven, uncover it and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.  If you push this time and don’t allow the meat to rest, the minute you cut into it all the juices you just took 10 – 15 hours putting in there and preserving will run out of the meat and life as you once knew it will cease to exist!  Well, maybe it won’t be quite that bad but your brisket will lose a lot of it’s moisture and could tend to be pretty dry.  STEP AWAY FROM THE BRISKET!

After the meat has rested, remove it from the pan and place it on a cutting board.  Remove any remaining fat and turn the brisket over and start slicing.  Be sure that you are slicing the meat perpendicular to the grain.  This will result in more tender slices.  Normally, you should slice the brisket ¼ inch thick.  If it is a little tough though, you will want to slice it thinner and if it is falling apart, thicker slices will help it to stay together better.

After the brisket is sliced, strain the au jus and either drag the slices through it or simply pour it over the meat.

I don’t use the barbeque sauce in the cooking . . . especially for large groups.  Some of your guests may like it and others may not.  So I just leave it up to them if and how much they want on their food.

Now the moment you have been waiting for  ENJOY!!

As always, thank you for reading!  Please forward the link to this blog to anyone you think would enjoy it!


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