How to Grill Asparagus The Broke Dad Way

grilling asparagus over charcoal or gas.
How to grill asparagus using The Broke Dad’s technique over a charcoal or gas grill.

I recently shared my technique for grilling the perfect steak and with perfect steak I have always felt a perfect vegetable to go along with it is asparagus and of course a big juicy baked potato.  My baked potato technique is covered here if you would like to try it.   The focus of today’s post is How to Grill Asparagus The Broke Dad Way.

grilling asparagus
Asparagus ready for the grill.

The first thing that is needed is the asparagus. I will always purchase my asparagus from a local farmer with the roadside stand if I am able to or if you are really blessed harvest it from your own garden. If not or it is to early or late in the season then the local grocery store will suffice. Purchase enough for your dinner and some extra, everyone will want seconds or thirds.  I have found that for a family of four two bundles of asparagus are needed.

Things you will need before you start:

  • Asparagus
  • Tin foil
  • Charcoal or Propane depending on your grilling style.
  • A good grilling tong or spatula.
  • A set of Ove Gloves or clean work gloves.
    • Ove Gloves can be found by typing in ove gloves on Google or Amazon and look for this:

      oveglovesfromamazon.jpg
      Ove Gloves from As Seen On TV fame must have tools for the backyard grill. Click on the Ove Gloves to get your own pair from Amazon.com
    • Large platter or cookie sheet.
    • Butter or Olive Oil
    • Salt and Pepper

Step 1 – Wash the asparagus well.

Step 2 – Snap the ends off of the asparagus.

  • The technique I use is to just grab the asparagus about half way up the stalk, softly bend the asparagus from the bottom (white colored end) until it snaps. The asparagus will snap in the right area on its own and you discard the white colored end, the rest is what you will be grilling.

Step 3 – Prepare the tinfoil.

  • Pull a length of tinfoil long enough to give you enough room to lay out all of the asparagus flat (it does not have to be perfect).
  • Don’t make it to long to fit on your grilling surface however. Sometimes I need to have a couple of pieces of tinfoil to get it all to fit.

    tinfoil ready to be seasoned before being grilled
    Asparagus lined up on tinfoil waiting to be seasoned.

Step 4 – Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil or cut up butter.

Step 5 – Sprinkle asparagus with salt and pepper to your preference.

Season asparagus to your preference
Salt and pepper asparagus to your liking.

Step 6 – Prepare your grill.  If you are using charcoal load up your charcoal chimney.

charcoalchimney.jpg
Another must have tool for the back yard grill master is the charcoal chimney. Click on the chimney to purchase your own from Amazon.com.

If you are unsure what a charcoal chimney is it looks like this and is probably the best tool for charcoal grilling that was ever invented.  I wrote a whole post covering the magnificent charcoal chimney. You can find that post by clicking this link.

I find that it takes about 30 minutes to get my coals nice and hot, you should wait until the coals at the top of your chimney look mostly white before you dump the coals onto your grill surface.

Be careful when dumping the coals, this is usually the step where I start dancing around on the deck because hot little ash and coals has found its way to my legs, feet, or arms. I grilling mit is highly recommended.

The amount of coals you use and how you spread them out on your grill is up to you and based on how many cobs of corn you are grilling.  As a guideline if I am grilling two to six cobs I use half a chimney worth of coals and I always grill directly over the coals with the grilling surface about 8 inches above the highest coal in the pile.  Once the coals are dumped out and positioned where you want them close the lid and let it heat up.

If grilling with a gas grill you can skip most of the above and just fire your burners up and close your lid and wait for it to get to a good starting temperature, I recommend at least 350 degrees.

kingsfordhickorysmokingchips.jpg
Hickory chips from the Kingsford charcoal company help add that extra smokey flavor to your backyard grill. Click on the bag of wood chips to purchase your own from Amazon.com.

Step 6.5 (Optional based on personal taste) – I like to toss a handful of damp wood chips on the coals at this point as well if you enjoy a nice smokey flavor to your corn. I will throw another handful on right before I put the corn on.

If grilling with a gas grill wrap a handful of damp wood chips in some tinfoil, poke some holes in it and place it on the grill as soon as you fire it up, give it plenty of time to heat up the wood chips and start them smoking before you put the asparagus on.

Asparagus being grilled
Asparagus on the grill.

Step 7 – Once the grill is heated up to at least 350 degrees and had time for the grill surface to heat up retrieve your tinfoil with the asparagus on it.

Be careful when moving the asparagus on the tin foil if you used olive oil, I have spilled olive oil a few times during the moving process, now I put it all on a cookie sheet for easy transport.

Place the tinfoil and asparagus on the grill and shut the lid.

Let cook for around 3 minutes.

Lift lid and use your tongs or spatula to gently turn the asparagus and shut the lid again.

Let cook for approximately 5 minutes.

Life the lid again and prepare to remove to tinfoil and the asparagus.

grilled asparagus done perfectly
Asparagus ready to be moved to the table for dinner.

Step 8 – Get your platter or cookie sheet ready nearby. Pull the asparagus off the grill using your Ove Gloves or work gloves and move them to the table.

Step 9 – Enjoy the most flavorful asparagus you can imagine.

Step 1 to 9 paraphrased:

  • Buy asparagus
  • Prepare asparagus using snapping method.
  • Prepare tinfoil and place asparagus upon it
  • Drizzle with oil or place butter on asparagus
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Start Grill
  • Grill asparagus 3 minutes
  • Turn asparagus
  • Grill other side for approximately 5 minutes
  • Pull off grill
  • Eat.

Hopefully you will find asparagus done this way as amazing as I do. If you are looking for another main dish to go along with your asparagus try my technique for grilling juicy, crispy chicken by clicking here.

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas you want to share please feel free to contact me and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you,

The Broke Dad

grilling asparagus
How to grill asparagus The Broke Dad Way

North Shore Minnesota – Escape Pod Log 15 – Travel The Broke Dad Way

The North Shore and Grand Marais
Exploring the North Shore of Lake Superior, The Gunflint Trail, and Grand Marais, MN.

Today we venture forth to explore the North Shore of Minnesota. I have loaded up the Escape Pod, fueled up the Jeep, and loaded all of our gear. This will be our second outing since having the baby and I am still not used to all of the extra gear it requires to go camping with a baby or how much more time it takes to load that gear and get on the road. So yes we are running a bit behind schedule.  Don`t get me wrong I use the term schedule loosely as I don’t so much keep a schedule when I am traveling more so just a rough sketch of what it is we want to do in a given day while we travel.

Our starting point is just South of Duluth, MN and heading along the shore of Lake Superior to Grand Marais, MN. We plan on setting up camp in Grand Marais and from there exploring the Gunflint Trail and if time permits Grand Portage, MN.

I am writing this while sitting outside in the sun waiting for a table at the Scenic Cafe just North/North East of Duluth.  We have heard very good things about the  New Scenic Cafe both by word of mouth and also on other blogs I have found while researching this trip. Very excited to finally get to try it out.

Later that day…

Well we were not disappointed.  The good things we heard about the New Scenic Cafe were not false.  We had about a 30 minute or so wait which I hear is a fairly normal occurrence which is a good thing, it means people enjoy eating there.  We were seated at a nice table that overlooked a very pretty garden area. The menu was smallish but filled with all kinds of wonderful selections. My wife and I both had sandwiches but before that I thought we would take our taste buds on an adventure and I ordered escargot. I am so glad we did because it turned out to be some of the best escargot I have ever had. Not that I have the chance to get it to often. Our sandwiches were well done as were our drinks.  We have already made plans to return to the Scenic again for a date night as soon as the baby is old enough to stay with grandma.

Once lunch was done we were on the road again and soon found ourselves in Two Harbors, MN.  We had to make a stop in Two Harbors at the local grocery store to pick up some charcoal for our dinner later that night.  We were in and out and on our way in quick order as we were excited to be back on the road and getting ourselves to Grand Marais and the campground.

I have to say that taking a ride up the North Shore in early October is not a bad way to spend a few hours of your time. The trees were all starting to change colors, there was not too much traffic on the roads, everything was still open and not yet closed for winter so there was a lot of options for stopping to eat, drink, or pick up supplies. I feel like this early October trip up the shore may become a tradition for us.

We arrived in Grand Marais around 3pm and found the campground very quickly. The Grand Marais Campground and Marina was the name of the campground we decided on and we are very glad we did. It is a good-sized campground with several options of camping spots. We picked one of the more expensive spots at $33.00 a night simply because it was closest to the water.  If a person was on a budget or did not care about seeing the water there are spots in the more wooded areas of the campground that run about $20 to $30 a night. I spent some time walking around the campground after we had set up and all of the sites were very nice, clean, not cramped, and easy to get into and out of.

I was excited because I was finally able to set up and use my new Coleman canopy we got for Christmas from my wife’s grandparents.

This was the first time I was able to use it short of a practice run in the backyard so I knew how to put it up and take it down. I have nothing but good things to say about this canopy. I can put it up all by myself in about 5 minutes or less, taking it down again takes marginally longer but I can still do it alone easily.

Campsite in Grand Marais Minnesota
The Broke Dad’s campsite in Grand Marais, MN. with the Escape Pod and our new Coleman canopy.

Another thing I really like about this canopy is my cook tables and our camping chairs fit into it and there is still room to move around.  I was given the pack away kitchen by Coleman for a wedding gift from my parents several years ago and it has made camping so much better. No I don’t get paid to review Coleman products I swear, it just happens I have several Coleman pieces of gear that I use.  The pack away kitchen I use is this one:

It actually takes me longer to set this little table up then it does the canopy but once it is set up it is one of the most useful pieces of gear I have for when we camp. I love to prepare all of our meals outside and this table makes it that much more of a joy.

Here is a photo of my camp kitchen in the middle of an epic breakfast making session.  It really is much more organized than it appears in this photo.

camp kitchen table
The Broke Dad’s camp kitchen in action. Yes, a little messy but functional.

The rest of that evening was spent grilling up chops for dinner and enjoying the campground.

The next morning we were up early and had a breakfast of fried potatoes, bacon, and eggs and then we were off to explore Grand Marais.

Grand Marais for being such a small town really has a lot going on. The first thing that catches your attention about the town is the fact that even though it is way up north Minnesota, literally a stones throw from the Canadian border it feels like a coastal village on the Maine shoreline. It is like one minute you are in Minnesota and the next you are on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, minus the pelicans.

The next thing that impressed me about Grand Marais was the abundance of quaint little shops to visit and get lost in. Everything from antique shops to art galleries, three art galleries for sure that we visited.  There were shops selling fresh made fudge, shops set up to outfit you for a trek into the wilderness, and shops where you could learn how to paint or do pottery plus many more we did not get a chance to see.

Lunch time was spent at the Harbor House Grille. If you find yourself in or near Grand Marais I highly recommend a visit here if for no other reason then to try their maple bacon creme brulee it is beyond amazing. If you have time to sit and have a full meal I was very happy with that as well. I had the smoked trout sandwich and my wife had the smoked salmon burger, both of which were fantastic.  The neat thing about the Harbor House is it is literally a house that has been converted into a restaurant and it is so cozy it makes you feel right at home.  I heard that going for lunch is recommended if you don’t like to wait or are not a fan of crowds as things can get very busy there during dinner hours as it is a popular place to eat in Grand Marais.

Lunch was over and we decided to walk out to the “lighthouse”.   Not really an official lighthouse but a navigational light with no house on the end of a concrete, steel, and rock pier that is called Artists Point. It was well worth the hike out to the light. The wind was blowing just enough that it was creating some decent waves that would crash against the wall and/or rocks creating some very beautiful water effects.

I was able to avoid getting wet except once a rogue wave caught me off guard and my shoe got wet.  This walk is unfortunately not handicap accessible, we had our stroller along and that was a no go.

I would say you should be fairly confident climbing uneven terrain as well if you are planning on taking this walk, there are stairs and uneven rocks to walk over and climb on as you move out towards the light.

I brought my dog with me and she thought it was the best walk we had ever been on. Plenty of places and little shallow pools of water for her to play in. I spent easily an hour or more just hanging out on the point taking photos and videos it was such a beautiful and perfect day.

We decided to head back to the camper after our walk on the point. Grilled up some steaks we bought at the local market and spent the rest of the evening relaxing and reading.

The next morning we woke up to rain. We had half anticipated this due to weather reports but were kind of hoping those reports would be wrong. We had saved a drive up the Gunflint Trail for this day just in case it did rain we figured if it was raining we could still enjoy our day driving and enjoying the scenery from the dry cab of our Jeep.

It was an excellent decision since the rain did not let up until almost noon it gave us time to slowly drive up the Gunflint.   It was raining out but not raining so badly that we could not see the beautiful scenery outside.  By mid-morning we had made our way up a good portion of the Gunflint and had the chance to take some side trips to recon a few campgrounds so we could have an idea which ones we would want to stay at in future trips up the North Shore.

If anyone is planning a vacation that includes the Gunflint Trail I would not worry about which campground is better than another.  I visited at least 5 of them on our trip up and every one of them was just as beautiful as any other.  I don’t think you could go wrong with any of them.  Some of the campgrounds do have some better campsites then others but in my opinion all the spots have something wonderful about them.  Another thing I noticed was that all of the National Park campgrounds up on the Gunflint trail are all very well taken care of and in all the National Park campgrounds I have stayed in over the years I have never seen any with as many restrooms as the ones up there. It felt like for every two camping spots there was a restroom set up. Is that a strange thing to notice? Maybe but I couldn’t help but mention it.

I took The Broke Dog on a hike along Iron Lake starting at the Iron Lake Campground.  Not a soul around but her and I, my wife opted to stay back with the baby as we went exploring.  The dog loved the trail and the freedom to run without restraint.  It was a fun hike and I have plans to return to this campground and camp so we can explore further.  We were there on a Wednesday in the beginning of October and there was nobody else there.  I would say you could find a camping spot pretty much anywhere on the Gunflint this time of the year without any problem at all.

On the way back to Grand Marais from the Gunflint Trail we stopped for lunch at My Sister’s Place.  We chose this particular restaurant because it was featured on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel which is one of my favorite shows and I wanted to have what he had when they filmed Bizarre Foods there.  The Goober Burger which is a hamburger with peanut butter and mayo on it.   I know it sounds like a very odd combination but I was bound and determined to try it and try it I did.  My review of it? It was AMAZING. I was so surprised by how good it was, if I could have eaten two of them I would have.  If you have the chance to stop at My Sister’s Place I would highly recommend trying the Goober Burger.

The final night we spent enjoying the campground, relaxing, and spending time enjoying the beautiful evening.  The wind was coming in strong from the west which was creating some pretty fantastic wave action on the west side beach next to the campground.  i grilled up some Steaks The Broke Dad Way and we watched the sunset into the lake while enjoying dinner.

Sunset on the west beach
Sunset on the west side beach off the Grand Marais Recreation area campground and marina.

The next morning we were up early and on the road south towards Duluth, MN and home.  We made a stop along the way at Gooseberry Falls State Park since it was another fall day we did not want to miss the opportunity to see the falls and the fall colors all at the same time.  We were very glad we decided to stop, it was breathtaking.  The falls were wonderful and the colors were even better.  We hiked along and around the lower and upper falls, there is a nice circle tour hiking path you can take that takes you along one side of the falls, across the river at the bottom of the falls, up the other side and across a bridge near the top of the falls. Was a very fun hike and the views were stunning.

Gooseberry falls on the North Shore of Lake Superior
Middle falls at Gooseberry Falls State Park in Minnesota on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

Overall I would say our trip up the North Shore of Lake Superior and around Northern Minnesota  was the perfect getaway.  It was a wonderful way to spend a long weekend away from the hustle and bustle of work and responsibilities. I am already looking forward to planning our next trip up that way to explore even further.

Thank you for following The Broke Dad Blog and reading the Escape Pod Log. Please feel free to leave comments as I would enjoy hearing from my readers.


 

Composting with Chickens – Keeping It Simple The Broke Dad Way

composting with chickens the broke dad way
How To Compost With Chickens Guide

Do you wish you could  create perfect compost the fast and easy way without breaking your back? The secret is to add some chickens and your wish is granted.

Several years ago I wanted to start raising and keeping chickens for food, eggs, and as pets because I just love watching them. The problem was that like any animal pet or otherwise it can get expensive to care for and feed them. You need a place for them to sleep, a place for them to eat, food, and water.

So I started researching ways to reduce the cost of having chickens and most of the suggestions I found had to do with selling the eggs, selling the meat, or growing your own chicken feed.

One suggestion that really caught my eye though was to use your chickens to create compost. This compost can then be used in your gardens which in turn reduces the cost of keeping a garden or gardens and some people sell the compost for a nice profit. Several yards of compost can sell for $40 to $100 depending on where you live and even more if you are willing to do deliveries.

So how does it work? How do you put your chickens to work to earn their food and shelter?

I will tell you how but first a few things to consider, learn from my mistakes if you may.

First mistake I made when first starting out with composting with chickens was containment or lack thereof.  In order to best utilize your chickens for the purpose of breaking down compost is you need to be able to keep the scraps that you want composted, the chickens, and the compost that has been or is being created in a manageable and contained area.

If you don’t contain the compost in some way it won’t take long and your chickens will have it spread all over your acreage and though great for the yard it is very difficult to retrieve after that happens without a lot of raking and shoveling which equals a lot of back breaking work which is what we are trying to avoid by having chickens do the work in the first place.

So you need a contained and designated spot for this composting project.

chicken composting the easy way.
Have a designated and contained area for your chicken composting project.

Since my chickens free range most days I was able to convert our chicken run into our composting site. I think this could work for anyone if you have a big enough chicken run. Just make sure to think ahead which leads us to the second mistake I made.

The second mistake I made was I failed to create an entrance into my chicken run big enough to get my wheelbarrow into.  You will want to be able to get your wheelbarrow, trailer, or tractor whatever your preferred method of moving the finished compost from the chicken run to where you will be storing it or using it, into the composting area or as close to the composting area as possible.

So I upgraded my chicken run with a big enough door to get the wheelbarrow in and out of.  While you are planning this out keep in mind the height of your composting area if it is a covered area, half of my chicken run is covered by a lean-to which is high enough for me to stand up straight under.wp-1476430044072.jpg

If you build your roof, lean-to, or overhang to low and you can’t stand up straight you will be very upset with yourself when it comes to shoveling time or pitchfork time. It is nice to be able to stand up straight and not hit your head when doing that kind of work.

One other suggestion to consider when planning out where to have your composting operation is to have it connected to your chicken coop.  I have found this to be useful for days when I am going to be away from home for more than a few hours at a time and unable to keep an eye on my flock. This allows me to be able to still let the chickens out into the secured run in relative safety, still do their composting work, and have access to their coop, food, and water.

Once you have established a proper place for your composting operation you can start working on the actual composting itself.

I live in clay country. This has proved to be a huge pain for me in many ways when it comes to doing projects like gardens, building, installing fencing, and any number of other projects. One thing I have found it to be great for however is doing my composting. Especially when it comes to removal time. When I dig out my compost from the chicken run I always know when I have gone deep enough because it is when I hit clay.

If you are lucky enough not to live in a high clay area and don’t have this natural base this is something you may want to consider adding before you start composting. Some base, or marker, or other way of knowing when you have gone deep enough. Now this is not required. If you are on a limited budget then don’t worry about it but having that marker or base has been very helpful for me when removing the compost.

What to compost? I compost as much as I can.  Depending on what blog or website you visit opinions vary on this but I am  not that technical or picky and my compost has always done what it is meant to do..grow stuff that is planted in it.

Some of the things I compost are as follows:

  • Old bedding from the chicken coop. It all comes out of the coop right out into the composting area (another advantage of having your compost operation connected right to your coop).
  • Grass clippings. I don’t do this every time I mow but several times over the mowing season I will collect all the grass clippings and put them in the compost area. I have an acre of yard I mow so that adds up to a very big pile of clippings. I collect it with my lawn sweeper which connects to the back of my rider and works like a dream. If you want to check out the lawn sweeper click this link to go directly to it on Amazon.com.
  • Food Scraps. Pretty much anything that is left over from the house from making and eating meals. Except for a few things which are:
    • Greasy scraps – Don’t break down well.
    • Raw potato scraps – Bad for chickens.
    • Bones – Don’t break down well.
    • Corn cobs – This is a personal preference for me because they don’t seem to break down fast enough and I always have to pick them out of my compost.
    • Coffee grounds and coffee filters.
    • Whole egg shells – Crush them up to little tiny bits. I have read that if chickens relate the egg shells in the compost to the eggs they lay in may lead to them trying to eat their eggs. So I don’t take the chance, I crush them up.
  • I am sure there are more kitchen scraps that should probably not be put into the compost but these are the main ones I avoid and I have never had a sick chicken, duck, or turkey due to diet.
  • Recyclable items that break down easily.  What I compost is:
    • Paper towels
    • Toilet paper and paper towel rolls (in moderation as they break down a bit slower than regular paper).
    • Paper trash. I avoid newspaper though, does not break down well in my experience.
  • Leaves. I also use the lawn sweeper for this.
  • Apples that have fallen off the apple tree.
  • Garden scraps and weeds that have been removed from the garden.
  • Ashes from the fireplace, grill, and fire pit.

My chicken run is rectangle shaped so I pile all the fresh scraps on one end of the run and the chickens go to work pretty much immediately scratching, and pecking, and arguing over who gets what.

Every few weeks I will take my pitchfork into the compost area and turn over what the chickens have been working on and loosen up any areas that have been trampled down.

Packed down compost needs to be turned
Compost packed down after several weeks needs to be turned.

I recommend the Truper fiberglass handled pitchfork which can be found by clicking this link. I have been using this pitchfork for several years and it has worked perfectly for me. I feel it is money well spent for it is lightweight, durability, and requires very little maintenance, basically just a good cleaning after the job is done will keep it in good working order for many years.

Loosing up the trampled down compost allows your chickens to have access to everything that was trapped under the hard packed ground. The girls flock around me when it is time to loosen up the compost too and once I have everything turned over and loosened up they will spend hours scratching around in it.

Loosen the compost with a pitchfork
Turning the compost with a pitchfork once it is packed down helps loosen the soil and allows the chickens to get at what is underneath.

That is about all there is to composting with chickens.  It is a simple, relatively fast way to create amazing compost for your backyard gardens and farm.

Chicken made compost
Compost ready for the garden.


Composting with chickens the easy way.
Composting with chickens The Broke Dad Way.

 

A few words can be worth a fortune in the long run.

3 minutes a day to improve your skills in negotiation, which will help you earn more money.
Learn to improve your self-confidence and your negotiation skills in just 3 minutes a day.

(The following is a guest post for 3minpro.com, which is negotiation training tool endorsed and used by The Broke Dad @  www.TheBrokeDadBlog.com.  This post contains affiliate links. Thank you. The Broke Dad.)

Each and every one of us is a negotiator, whether we do it by profession or not. We negotiate our job offers, our healthcare plans, our insurance, we negotiate when we sell our car or when we purchase that brand new shiny one.

When we analyze where our money goes, learning to negotiate is ultimately a far bigger factor to saving, than let say avoiding the temptation of that Mars bar at the supermarket or refraining from buying a new dress at the mall or the latest uber-cool gadget on uber-cool-gadgets.com.

At 3MinPro.com we identified that most of us negotiate without the slightest idea on how it should be done and so we inadvertently neglect this huge piece of the pie – that which represents where our money goes.

Most of us wouldn’t go straight to a driving exam without taking driving lessons first. Why?  Because if we did so lacking the needed skills we would fail over and over again and our money would go to waste.

On the other hand we negotiate on a daily basis, without any knowledge, while giving up the opportunity to save or make more money.

It just doesn’t add up.

In the days of everything-instant we hardly have time for the most important things in life – our significant others, our children, our jobs, and well, maybe a few minutes for Angry Birds.

How can we expect to have time for less important things like learning new skills especially when the long-term benefits from doing so aren’t always apparent?

3MinPro.com makes learning new skills easy by realizing that most of us don’t have the time or patience to sit through hours of instructional videos or read through various books.

3MinPro.com cuts the long-winded theories and brings you the bottom line in only 3 minutes a day – it’s designed for busy people like you.

The content is based on over 30 years of experience which has aided over 100,000 professionals and is backed by the latest industry research.

3MinPro.com offers excellent negotiation training that consists of 17 capsules (that’s short lessons for you) of about 3 minutes each – It’s so short you can take it on your coffee break.

Learn negotiation skills that will help you earn more money and in turn help you save more money in places you never realized you could save.

Try it today by following this link www.3minpro.com.

Explainer Video

How To Grill Baked Potatoes In 5 Easy Steps – The Broke Dad Way

grilling potatoes guide
How to grill potatoes the easy way. Grilling The Broke Dad Way.

I have shared posts for grilling the perfect steak and grilling the perfect chicken in the past.  With perfect steak or chicken I have always felt a perfect vegetable to go along with it is corn on the cob and of course a BIG PERFECTLY GRILLED BAKED POTATO.  The corn on the cob is covered in another post which you can check out here.  will be covered in a future post. The focus of today’s post is how to grill amazing baked potatoes.

The first thing that is needed are the potatoes. I have never been overly picky about where I get my potatoes unless I am growing my own.  I generally choose mine based on what the price is and if you are hand picking them the most important thing is to try to find some that are about the same relative size so they all cook the same.

Purchase enough for your dinner and a few extra as they are good reheated or even sliced and fried up for breakfast the next morning. Just remember if you only have one grill to work with and you are grilling for a larger number of people potatoes take up a good amount of room on the grill surface.  If you are lucky enough to have more than one grill dedicate one of them just for the potatoes.

Things you will need before you start:

Olive oil makes a great coating for your potatoes before you grill them.
A coating of olive oil helps the seasoning stick and keeps your potato from drying out.
  • Tin foil
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Potatoes
  • Fork
  • Charcoal or Propane depending on your grilling style.
  • A good grilling tong or grabby thing like my kid calls it.
  • A set of Ove Gloves or clean work gloves (these will be used for shucking the corn afterwards).
    • Ove Gloves can be found by typing in ove gloves on Google or Amazon and look for this:

      oveglovesfromamazon.jpg
      Ove Gloves from As Seen On TV fame must have tools for the backyard grill. Click the Ove Gloves to purchase your own pair from Amazon.com
    • Large platter or cookie sheet.

 

Step 1 – Prepare your grill.  If you are using charcoal load up your charcoal chimney.

charcoalchimney.jpg
Another must have tool for the back yard grill master is the charcoal chimney.

If you are unsure what a charcoal chimney is it looks like this and is probably the best tool for charcoal grilling that was ever invented.  I wrote a whole post covering the magnificent charcoal chimney. You can find that post by clicking this link or purchase the charcoal chimney I use from Amazon.com by clicking here (if you purchase this chimney from my link I will receive a small payment from Amazon.com as an affiliate, this however does not affect the price you pay).

I find that it takes about 30 minutes to get my coals nice and hot, you should wait until the coals at the top of your chimney look mostly white before you dump the coals onto your grill surface.

Be careful when dumping the coals, this is usually the step where I start dancing around on the deck because hot little ash and coals has found its way to my legs, feet, or arms. I grilling mit is highly recommended.

The amount of coals you use and how you spread them out on your grill is up to you and based on what you are grilling and for how long.

As a guideline if I am grilling two to six potatoes I use half a chimney  or more worth of coals and I always grill directly over the coals with the grilling surface about 6 inches above the highest coal in the pile.  Once the coals are dumped out and positioned where you want them close the lid and let it heat up.

The Potato before prepared for grilling.
Baked potatoes The Broke Dad Way.

If grilling with a gas grill you can skip most of the above and just fire your burners up and close your lid and wait for it to get to a good starting temperature, I recommend at least 300 degrees.

kingsfordhickorysmokingchips.jpg
Hickory chips from the Kingsford charcoal company help add that extra smokey flavor to your backyard grill. Need some wood chips, click the Kingsford bag to purchase from Amazon.com.

Step 1.5 (Optional based on personal taste) – I like to toss a handful of damp wood chips on the coals at this point as well if you enjoy a nice smokey flavor to your potatoes.  I will throw another handful on right before I put the potatoes on.  Even though we will be wrapping the potatoes in tinfoil the smokey flavor is still able to penetrate the potatoes.

If grilling with a gas grill wrap a handful of damp wood chips in some tinfoil, poke some holes in it and place it on the grill as soon as you fire it up, give it plenty of time to heat up the wood chips and start them smoking before you put the potatoes on.

Step 2 – Prepare the Potatoes

Baked potato being prepared for the grill
Place potato on tin foil and get ready to prepare for grilling.
  • Tin foil – Rip off enough sheets of tin foil to wrap each potato individually. Generally an 8″ x 8″ piece will do.
  • Fork – Punch holes in potatoes with a fork. Generally 3 or 4 punctures on each side is plenty. This step is optional, the potatoes will still cook fine without the holes but I feel the holes just allow the smokey flavor to get into the potato more.
  • Olive Oil – Rub potatoes down with oil, making sure the entire potato is completely covered with oil. This not only helps the potato not dry out while it cooks but it also helps the seasoning stick.
  • Kosher salt and pepper – Cover one side of the potato with salt and pepper, turn over and do the same on the opposite side.
  • More Olive Oil – Add another splash of oil on the foil next to the potato.
  • Wrap – Wrap in tin foil making sure to cover the entire potato and not allow the oil to escape.

Step 3 – Once the grill is heated up to at least 300 degrees and there has been time for the grill surface to heat up go retrieve your potatoes.

Be prepared to move quickly, the quicker you are the less heat you will lose, just don’t forget that second handful of wood chips if you opted for that and get those potatoes on the hot grill and shut the lid.

Grilling potatoes to get a wonderful smokey flavor
Grilling and smoking potatoes.

Let them cook for 30 minutes.  Open the lid and turn them over using the tongs or the Ove Gloves if you have those.  Let them cook for another 30 minutes.

Step 4 – Get your platter or cookie sheet ready nearby.  Pull the potatoes off the grill using your Ove Gloves or work gloves and unwrap them right away if the rest of your food is ready.

Potatoes wrapped in tin foil and cooking on the grill.

If you have a little time before the rest of your food is done leave them wrapped and your potato will stay nice and hot until you are ready to eat.

Once they are off the grill, unwrapped, and on a platter bring them to the table and prepare to add the butter than salt and pepper to taste.

Step 5 – Enjoy the tastiest potato you can imagine. If you want to try it the way I like it top it with cottage cheese.

Step 1 to 5 paraphrased:

  • Buy potatoes
  • Prepare the Grill
  • Prepare the Potatoes
    • Foil
    • Fork
    • Oil
    • Season
    • Oil again
    • Wrap
  • Grill potatoes for 30 minutes
  • Turn potatoes
  • Grill other side for 30 minutes
  • Pull off grill and unwrap
  • Butter and season to taste
  • Eat


Hopefully you will find baked potatoes done this way as amazing as I do.

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas you want to share please feel free to contact me and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you,

The Broke Dad

Grilling potatoes in 5 easy steps
How To Grill Baked Potatoes in 5 Easy Steps

Grilling Chicken That’s Juicy, Smokey, and Crispy – A Simple 10 Step Guide – The Broke Dad Way

Crispy, juicy, and smokey flavored chicken grilled perfectly in 10 simple steps.
Grilling Chicken The Broke Dad Way

I recently shared my technique for grilling corn on the cob and with grilled corn on the cob I have always felt a perfect pairing is juicy crisp smokey grilled chicken and a baked potato. I will be covering how to grill baked potatoes in  a future post.  The focus of today’s post is how to grill chicken that is juicy, falls off the bone, and has a nice crispy skin.

The first thing that is needed is the chicken. I raise my own chickens so finding a nice big chicken is not an issue for me but if you are not so lucky I would suggest purchasing a chicken from a local specialty meat shop or farmer just for the fact that you will get a much tastier and much more juicy end product this way.  This recipe will work with any chicken however.

I piece up my chicken most of the time but this technique will work with a whole chicken as well with a little adjustment to the cooking times.

Purchase enough chicken for your dinner and a few extra, everyone will want seconds or thirds. Just remember if you only have one grill to work with a whole chicken takes up a lot of space on the grill surface.  If you are lucky enough to have more than one grill dedicate one of them just for the chicken.

Things you will need before you start:

  • Chicken
  • Charcoal or Propane depending on your grilling style. If using a gas grill you will have to have one with at least 2 separate burners.
  • A good grilling tong or grabby thing like my kid calls it.
  • A set of Ove Gloves or clean work gloves.
    • Ove Gloves can be found by typing in ove gloves on Google or Amazon and look for this:

      oveglovesfromamazon.jpg
      Ove Gloves from As Seen On TV fame must have tools for the backyard grill. Click on the Ove Gloves to purchase a pair directly from Amazon.com
    • Large platter or cookie sheet.
    • Spices (as listed below)
      spices needed for dry rub on chicken.
      Dry rub spices for grilled chicken.
      • Kosher salt – 1 teaspoon
      • Smoked paprika (or regular if you don’t have smoked) – 1 teaspoon
      • Garlic powder – 2 teaspoons
      • Black pepper – 1 teaspoon
      • Crushed red pepper flakes – 1/2 teaspoon
      • Cajun seasoning – 1 teaspoon
      • Italian seasoning – 1 Tablespoon
      • Brown sugar – 2 Tablespoons

 

 

Step 1 – Thaw the  chicken if frozen. Rinse with fresh water do not dry too much but if saturated pat dry. Want to leave damp enough to hold dry rub to skin.

Step 2 – Prepare dry rub by mixing the above listed spices together in a bowl.

dry rub ready to be applied to both sides of the chicken
Spices mixed together and ready to apply to the chicken.

If doing more than one chicken it may be necessary to add more spices, the amount I have listed is just enough to completely cover one chicken.

Step 3 – Sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces with kosher salt. This is separate from the kosher salt you mix in with the dry rub. Sprinkle just enough to lightly cover each piece of chicken. I like to pat it down with a spoon to help it stick.

Kosher salt is a perfect dry-rub base
Sprinkle both sides of chicken with Kosher salt.

Step 4 – Apply the dry rub to both sides of each piece of chicken (or to the entire chicken including the inside cavity if doing a whole chicken).

Dry-rub for the perfect grilled chicken
Cover the chicken with the dry-rub on both sides.

Step 5 – Place the chicken in the refrigerator for at least an hour but  the longer the better, I have let mine sit overnight if I have the time or foresight to prepare that far ahead of time.

Step 6 – (Optional Step) I have surplus of wood on my property and always have at least one pile of brush somewhere on my land that needs to be burned. Rather then let it go to waste I use it for my grill.

Save money by making your own coals burning scrap wood in a fire pit.
Burn down your own wood to make hot coals for your grill in a backyard fire pit. Mine is pictured here but you can purchase your own from Amazon.com by clicking on the photo.

I start a fire in the fire pit and keep adding brush and wood until it has burned down to coals. I transfer these coals and a few pieces of partially burned sticks to my grill and lay them over the top of my charcoal. I have no proof this makes my food taste better but I always feel like I get a much nicer flavor from my food when I do this. It is a little time-consuming but it has the benefit of using up the extra brush I have collected while doing yard work and it also helps me save money on buying coal.  If you don’t have the luxury of your own unending supply of wood and brush skip this step and go right to step 7.

 

Step 7 – Prepare your grill.  If you are using charcoal load up your charcoal chimney.

charcoalchimney.jpg
Another must have tool for the back yard grill master is the charcoal chimney.

If you are unsure what a charcoal chimney is it looks like this and is probably the best tool for charcoal grilling that was ever invented.  I wrote a whole post covering the magnificent charcoal chimney. You can find that post by clicking this link or purchase the charcoal chimney I use from Amazon.com by clicking here (if you purchase this chimney from my link I will receive a small payment from Amazon.com as an affiliate, this however does not affect the price you pay).

I find that it takes about 30 minutes to get my coals nice and hot, you should wait until the coals at the top of your chimney look mostly white before you dump the coals onto your grill surface.

Be careful when dumping the coals, this is usually the step where I start dancing around on the deck because hot little ash and coals has found its way to my legs, feet, or arms. I grilling mit is highly recommended.

The amount of coals you use will be based on the size of your grill and how many pieces of chicken you are grilling.  As a guideline if I am grilling chicken I will fill my charcoal chimney all the way to the top and then heap it just a bit.

While the coals are heating up I will lay down a layer of cold coals right on the grill itself and when my coals in the chimney are hot I will dump them right on top of the cold coals I have spread out in the grill.  You can also add coals to the top of the hot coals once they are dumped out, just be sure you are wearing your Ove gloves so as not to burn yourself.

Grilling chicken with indirect heat, perfect coal placement.
Lay coals down on either side of your grill with a cool spot in the middle to place a roasting pan with water.

Spread your coals out on each side of the grill leaving a space in the center with no coals on it. This space is where you will place your cast iron pan or roasting pan with water in it. It is important to have this pan with the water as it keeps the inside of your grill moist which in turns helps keep your chicken from drying out.

If grilling with a gas grill you can skip most of the above and just fire your burners up and close your lid and wait for it to get to a good starting temperature, I recommend at least 300 degrees.  If using a two burner gas grill only start-up one burner, the chicken will go on the cooler side of the grill. If using 3 or more burners start-up the burners on either side of the grill leaving a cooler spot right in center of your grill to place the chicken on. Place a roasting pan or even just  tin can of water in the grill to help keep things moist.

Step 7.5 (Optional based on personal taste but highly recommended) – I like to toss a handful of damp wood chips on the coals at this point as well if you enjoy a nice smokey flavor to your chicken. I will throw another handful on right before I put the chicken on.

I am lucky enough to have a neighbor with apple trees so I have a pile of apple wood branches that I will use, I lay the branches right on the coals before I put the cooking grill and chicken on. Just  make sure to soak the branches with water first.

Apple wood or hickory branches create a very flavorful smoke for the grill.
Use apple wood, hickory, or any other flavorful wood to get a nice smokey flavor.

If grilling with a gas grill wrap a handful of damp wood chips in some tinfoil, poke some holes in it and place it on the grill as soon as you fire it up, give it plenty of time to heat up the wood chips and start them smoking before you put the chicken on.

Step 8 – Once the grill is heated up to at least 300 degrees and had time for the grill surface to heat up retrieve your chicken.  Be prepared to move quickly, the quicker you are the less heat you will lose, just don’t forget that second handful of wood chips if you opted for that and get the chicken on the hot grill and shut the lid. Smaller pieces in the center and biggest pieces closer to the coals.

Proper placement of chicken on the grill is important.
Small pieces of chicken in the center and bigger pieces towards the out edges.

Let them cook for 30 minutes.  Open the lid and turn them over using the tongs or the Ove Gloves if you have those.

Let them cook for another 30 minutes.

I have never had a chicken not be done after an hour but for safety reasons it should be checked with a thermometer to make sure it has reached at least 165 degrees.

If doing a whole chicken no need to turn it if using the charcoal method, just let it cook for at least an hour and after that check it with a meat thermometer until the biggest part of the breast is to at least 165 degrees. I would check it every 10 or 15 minutes after the initial hour.

If using a two burner gas grill a whole chicken will need to be turned after 30 minutes to help keep the temperature even and cook properly.

Step 9 – Get your platter or cookie sheet ready nearby. Pull the chicken off the grill using your Ove Gloves, work gloves, or tongs and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving to give the meat time to breath which aids in it retaining its juices.

The perfect grilled chicken
A crispy yet juicy finished product. Make sure to let it sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Step 10 – Enjoy the most flavorful chicken you can imagine.

SEE PAGE 2 FOR A SUMMARY

How To Start A Blog The Broke Dad Way – The Broke Dad Blog Story

How to start a blog. The Broke Dad shares tips and tricks on how to start a blog easily.
How to start a blog The Broke Dad Way.

Several years ago I wanted to start a blog. I love to write and share my experiences. I love to journal, writing has always made me feel better and when I am actively writing I always feel like my mind works better overall. I notice more things, I think about things in more depth, and I just feel more alive.

So I did some research and I found information about different blogging platforms. The one that came up the most often and seemed the most user-friendly was WordPress.com. So I visited WordPress and I signed up for an account. It was not very difficult to get started, basically you just enter some basic information and then start blogging. I learned how to post some pictures, learned how to make minor adjustments to my blog, and how to post it for the world to see. It was perfect, I was happy, and I used that method for several years off and on.

I was a very sporadic blogger. I wanted to mostly document our travels and camping adventures so that we could then share those adventures with our friends and family in an easy to use format.

The problem was is that I found when we were actually on an adventure I never had enough time to sit down and add things to my blog pages and when I did get the time I did not have any cell phone or internet reception so I couldn’t access my blog.  By the time we returned home and got back to our regular working routines I would forget to get back to my blogging.  Not getting back to my blog right away  would lead to me forgetting  a lot of the good details I was hoping to share in my blog.  So nothing substantial ever came from my blog.

A few more years pass and I am happy just writing  about my life the old-fashioned way in my paper journal and with my trusty pen.  I was doing this one day when I have a conversation with my brother about an app he had on his phone called Pinterest, you can read the details of that conversation on my Why I Blog page.

Just so happens I was working on a few home improvement projects and Pinterest was a great place to go for ideas and information for that kind of thing.  So I went and after using it for a bit I discovered it was also a great place to go for information about blogging, writing, and even making money from your blog.

Wait what?  People make money from their blogs?  Okay this was not something I really thought of before so I started researching using Pinterest  and Google as my main sources of information.  There has to be about a billion pins in regards to blogs and bringing in some income with a blog, okay I exaggerate a bit maybe not a billion but a lot.

I was intrigued and the blogging bug had re-bit me. I dusted off my old blog and started to update some things in preparation for getting my blog out there and maybe seeing if anyone would be interested in reading my stuff.

Everything was going great until I found an article that stated if you plan on ever being serious about blogging and bringing in a bit of income with that blog you would be wise to invest early on in a self hosted blog. Self hosted blog? What the heck did that mean?

Well there are a thousand explanations to this and some of them can be very technical and long and informative but if you just want the general idea of what a self hosted blog is then this is it:

A self hosted blog is a blog that you own, you create, and you decide what to do with but you “rent” or “buy” a piece of space on the internet from a hosting company. This hosting company then takes care of all the backroom stuff like servers and IP addresses and things along those lines that make your blog possible to be seen by anyone with a computer, tablet, smart phone and the internet.

So I had to make a decision. Do I continue to blog on one of the free sites like I had been doing for years and limit my ability to have the ownership I so dearly wanted or do I go all in and purchase myself a piece of the internet so I could build something that was truly mine and that I had control over how I would use that piece of the internet to share my story, my interests, and my ideas?

I decided that if I was going to really take blogging seriously I would have to invest in myself.  If I invested in myself I would then have an obligation to take my blog seriously and focus on making it a success. I looked at it as a motivator to make me want to create a blog that was interesting and that people would want to be a part of.

**The following part of this post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small payment if you make a purchase using this link.  I make all affiliate links in green so they are easily identifiable to my readers.  Also any banners are also affiliate links. I explain this in more detail below. I will also be writing a separate blog post talking about affiliate links and the reason for this disclosure which my readers will be able to visit when it is completed.**

HOSTING YOUR BLOG

My first step was to find a hosting company for my blog. I did some research, visited other blogs that specialized in this topic, and read up on the different hosting companies that were available out there.

The one that seemed to stick out of the crowd was Bluehost.com.  If you want to check them out or want to host your own blog and you signup using one of my links on this site not only will you get a special offer price of $3.45 a month which comes with a 30-day money back guarantee (in case you change your mind) but I will also get a small amount of money from Bluehost for referring you to them. This is one of the benefits of owning your own blog over using a free blog is you are allowed to have affiliate links.

Some blogs are loaded with affiliate links and are noticeably trying to push them on the readers, I wanted to try to avoid that. I would love for my readers to decide to visit some of my affiliates via the links I offer but I don’t want you the reader to feel like that is all I am writing this blog for is to talk you into doing so. I feel like that makes a blog not very enjoyable to read.

I want to share my experience and offer my readers the same experiences I have had with creating a blog which have so far all been very positive.   This is my very first go at using an affiliate link in a post so I don’t yet have any idea how well it will do. I guess it will be up to those who read this post and if they decide to use my links to help create their own blogs.

When I was trying to decide on which domain hosting service to use I found a link to Bluehost.com in a blog about creating your own blog I found on Pinterest.com and clicked on the link and was rewarded with a the same special deal that I am now able to offer you with my links. I am sure after I joined the owner of the blog I joined from was rewarded with a payment from Bluehost. I know that I do not regret using the affiliate link as I was able to join Bluehost at a discount and I felt I was getting a quality product in exchange plus helping out a fellow blogger at the same time.  The link like the one that got me started is below.

Now that I have used Bluehost.com as my hosting provider for a while now I know that it is a good service. I have spent a lot of hours working on my blog, creating content, and updating the look and feel of my site. I have also made a few mistakes and had to learn from them as well but all of it has been a learning experience and Bluehost as well as WordPress have made the process enjoyable and dare I say easy.  Some things have been easy other things have been a little bit of a challenge but I promise if I have been able to figure it out anyone can do it.

I think the most difficult part of creating a new blog for me so far was coming up with a name for my blog that both fit my style and which I felt would make sense to those who were visiting my blog. I had several ideas that were epic in my own mind but when I tried to register them lo and behold someone else beat me to the punch.

I would say it took me a good part of a Tuesday to finally find an available name that was fitting and not already taken. Maybe that will not be every persons experience and you will get it on the first try if you are lucky. Just keep in mind from all the posts I have read and the research I have put in I have found a few rules to go by when searching for the perfect name for your blog. Some of those are:

  • Don’t use your real name. I read a story from one blogger that used their real name, created a very successful blog, but now has big regrets about it and worries if they change it now the success they have been enjoying will dissipate.
  • Try to keep it simple. Don’t create a blog/domain name that is to long, confusing, or hard to understand. You want your followers to be able to easily remember your blog/domain name so they can type it in easily, remember it, and hopefully share it with others.
  • Don’t use anything offensive. Unless that is the point of your blog I guess, some people may have some luck with that but I feel like you will be hurting your brand and your blog if the name of it alone instantly alienates people. Plus if it is to offensive it may not be able to be featured on certain sites.
  • Be happy with it. The most important thing is that you are happy with your choice. You are after all the owner and the one paying the bills, you should be able to be proud of your creation.

Have you thought of any good names yet? Want to give them a try to see if they are available? Type your idea below and see if it is available.

NEXT PAGE COVERS BLOG CREATION, CLICK HERE TO GO DIRECTLY TO IT:

Improve Your Day. Improve Your Life With 5 Simple Steps & A Cup of Coffee.

Improve your day and your life with 5 simple steps while you drink a cup of coffee.
Improve your day and your life with 5 simple steps while you drink a cup of coffee.

Have you ever went to bed at night and you are already dreading waking up and facing the next day?

Have you ever woke up in the morning and all you wanted to do is shut that alarm off and magically be somewhere else?

Dreading.png
Dread facing the stress and issues of another day.

 

While I have, I have had many days like that.

I have had many nights like that.

I have dreaded going to work.

Dreaded having to spend another day doing the same thing I did the day before.

Dreaded having to be faced with the same stresses and issues day after day.

Then I decided that was enough.

I did not want to spend my days dreading the next.

I decided it was time to make a change.

So I did.

It was a simple little adjustment to my day, it cost me nothing, and it has improved my outlook on my work, my daily routine, and my life as a whole.

What was that adjustment you might be wondering?

Well it is nothing magical or unattainable and anyone can do it very easily if they just choose to do it.

Wake up just a little bit earlier.
Wake up just a little bit earlier.

The little change I made was simply to go to bed a little bit earlier at night so that I could get up a little bit earlier in the morning.

Why?

So that I could take some time to pour a cup of coffee, in a real coffee cup, not a travel mug, not Styrofoam, or plastic, but a real ceramic coffee cup.

Take that full coffee cup and sit in your favorite chair.

Get comfortable.

Take a few deep breaths.

wp-1471478079757.jpg

Take a few sips of your coffee.

Then just think.

Now that you are comfortable and you have your coffee and you are thinking the hard part is to keep your thoughts positive and productive.

Avoid negative thinking.

Avoid angry thoughts.

Steer away from issues that you know if you think about pull you

right down into that dark part of your mind that just puts you right into a bad mood.

Sometimes avoiding negative thinking is a struggle, it takes a lot of energy to fight those thoughts away.

But here is a positive thought to start you out with:

The more often you do this positive thinking exercise.

The more you make it a part of your daily routine.

The easier it gets.

I have no scientific proof, I am not a psychotherapist nor do I claim to be any kind of an expert.

What I do have is many years of experience dealing with negativity, ugly attitudes, and even a bit of depression.

That experience has taught me that positive thinking is much more powerful then negative thinking once you allow it to be.

Be positive.
Be positive.

Try it for awhile and you will understand why I make that claim.

Plus remember it costs you nothing but it rewards you with many wonderful things.

So now I get to the main point of my post. What do I suggest as things to think about?

I happen to have five things in mind and I am going to share them with you.

Just sign up for my “The Power of Coffee and Positive Thinking” webinar for 3 easy payments of…..JUST KIDDING.  There is no webinar and my ideas will cost you nothing,  Though I do like that title.

Okay I digress.

What are those five things to think about?

1.coffee-386878_1920.jpg

The fact that no matter how bad things get.

How upsetting or how frustrating.

You can always sit and enjoy a good cup of coffee (or tea or the beverage of your choice, coffee just happens to be my favorite).

You really can.

Coffee is cheap and it is wonderful. It warms you, the smell brings back many  great memories, and it is a great thinking drink.

If you make time every morning to sit and have a cup of coffee you will always know you will always have this happy time each and every day.

2.BirdFeeder.jpg

Think about a hobby or activity that makes you happy.

One of mine I like to think about each morning is birds and my bird feeders.

I love birds.

My favorite chair sits right in front of our biggest window in our house and right outside of that window I have built a little haven for our neighborhood birds.

I keep my bird feeders full and my birdbath clean and ready.

Each morning while I drink my cup of coffee I sit and watch the morning birds.

As I watch I just think about what they are doing and how their day is going to be.

It energizes me and raises my spirits.

I highly recommend trying this as well. Birds may not be your thing but you have something you enjoy, just sit and think about that thing whatever it may be.

3.

You have accomplished something.

Think about your accomplishments.

Don’t dwell on the things you wish you would have done or could have done.

Think about the things you have done.

Everyone has accomplishments. No not all of us have won a Pulitzer Prize or the Gold Medal in the Olympics but we have all accomplished something.

You learned to ride a bike at some point.

Maybe you learned to swim.

If you are reading this then you learned to read at some point in your life.

Those are all accomplishments.

You learned how to use a computer or a smart phone right? If you hadn’t you wouldn’t be on my blog right now.

That is an accomplishment.

There are endless amounts of things you have accomplished in your life.

You just need to pick one and think about it and then congratulate yourself for a job well done.

4.

Work towards a goal and you will accomplish it.

Now that you thought about things you have already accomplished take some time to think about something you would like to accomplish.

Have you been working towards a goal?

Do you have a project at work you have been working on?

Maybe you have been wanting to rearrange the furniture in your home or in your work space?

Remember it does not have to be a huge task or accomplishment.

It can be something as simple as remembering to stop by the store after work and buy bread.

Well if you remember to do that after work today then you have accomplished a goal.

Once you have focused your thoughts on an accomplishment you would like to achieve .

Now think about the steps you will need to take to make those thoughts a reality.

Go to work or start your day, after your cup of coffee of course, focusing on doing those steps and accomplishing that accomplishment.

5.

Focus on the little things that make you happy.

By this step your coffee will most likely be almost gone.

You have one more small step to take before you finish it.

This is the toughest part of the exercise put it is also the most rewarding.

Make a choice.

Chose to be positive today.

With everything you do and say today think about it before you do or say it.

Then do or say it with a positive outlook.

Say good morning to your coworkers but do it with a smile.

If you find yourself in a conversation with someone and they are being negative, try to find a way to turn it around and make it a positive interaction.

Focus on those things you enjoy and ignore the things that bring you down.

and remember tomorrow morning is just around the corner and that first cup of coffee will be there waiting for you.

Put some positive in your life.
Put some positive in your life.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, I really do hope it finds its way to someone who can use my advice to help make their life just a little bit better.

Comments are always welcome and encouraged and remember to live life The Broke Dad Way.

One real life dads experiment with blogging, saving money, grilling, cooking, travel and camping The Broke Dad Way.

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