Summer Grilling Tips from Chef Stephen Kalil & a Giveaway


Ahhhhh summer time.

The aroma of burgers and hotdogs on the grill.

Sprinklers running, kids laughing, jugs of iced tea on the patio.   We LOVE summer because it’s not only a time to let loose and relax, but it’s also the time for entertaining.


And that is where Executive Chef Stephen Kalil (the man responsible for all the yummy flavors of  Frito Lay) comes in… us some great Summer Entertaining ideas and Tips on  everything from cooking, grilling, stress-free party preparation, and recipes.


I was sent a box of Lay’s chips to try out.  We are huge chip lovers here in my house, anything from Ruffles, to Sun Chips and Tostitos.  YUM!

About Chef Kalil:
Stephen Kalil is the Executive Research Chef at Frito-Lay’s Culinary Innovation Center. Stephen oversees a team of chefs and food scientists who apply culinary arts, science and technology together in a discipline known as “culinology” to translate hot trends in food into snacks and approaches them as a culinary experience. Chef Stephen is both a Certified Executive Chef (CEC) with the American Culinary Federation and a Certified Research Chef (CRC) with the Research Chefs Association, where he currently serves as president of the association.

He has been featured on the Food Network’s Unwrapped, is regularly featured in industry publications such as Culinology, Flavor and the Menu andPrepared Foods magazines. Although he ultimately found his creative outlet in the kitchen, Stephen also earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Berklee College of Music in Boston, and continues to play the piano and compose music at home, in Dallas, Texas.


I sent in some questions to Chef Kalil and he answered them in a video.  Here’s the questions I asked:

What is his comfort meal?
How does he come up with the different flavors, does it just come to him or does he get inspiration from anywhere?
Has he ever come up with a flavor that he didn’t like and would never try again?
What does he consider to be his best creations?
What kind of seasonings does he use?
Best advice for someone who feels intimidated in the kitchen?


and here is Chef Kalil with Tara Anderson answering the questions.  How neat is that huh?

Now even though Memorial Day is over, summer season is not, and if you’re planning on throwing a barbecue this weekend, you could surely use some of these great tips.

Or how about trying one of the recipes that the Chefs shared in the video:

Ruffles® Potato Chip Stuffed Gorgonzola Bacon Slider Burgers


  • 2 lbs 80/20 ground chuck
  • ½ lb gorgonzola cheese
  • 16 potato rolls
  • 16 slides thick bacon, cooked
  • 2 red onions, sliced ¼” think
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bag Ruffles® Loaded Bacon & Cheddar Potato Skins flavored potato chips


  1. Divide the ground beef into 32 one ounce balls.
  2. Flatten the meat balls between two pieces of plastic wrap into 2 1/2 to 3 inch thin rounds.
  3. Divide the gorgonzola into the center of half of the burger rounds, then place another round on top and press down evenly to form the slider burgers.
  4. Toss the sliced red onions with the vinegar, oil and a little salt and pepper and place on a hot grill for about 3 or 4 minutes, then turn over and cook 3 or 4 minutes more. Remove from the grill and set aside.
  5. Season each slider patty with salt and pepper and place on the grill for about 5 minutes, then flip over and grill 3 or 4 minutes more.
  6. Split and toast the potato rolls and spread with your favorite burger condiments, place one patty on the bottom bun, then top with bacon and a few Ruffles® chips and cap with the top bun and serve.


So how would one of you like to win some chips????

All you have to do is leave me a comment, make sure to include your email address and also let me know which are your favorite Lay’s chips and flavor.

Open to US residents only.

I’ll draw a winner on Friday, 1st of June 2012.  Good Luck!


I was sent a box of Frito Lay products in order to write this review. All opinions are my own.

Chicken, Potatoes and Bacon Au Gratin

You could throw bacon on anything for me and I would be thrilled.  Well maybe except dessert, I’m sorry but I’ve seen some dessert recipes out there wrapped in bacon and I just can’t bring myself to try.

It’s not my thing.  LOL

Anyone, aside from bacon, I’m a huge potato fan, and I love cheese and cream and ooooohhhhhhh *drool*

When I saw this recipe over at Get Off Your Butt and Bake, I KNEW that I had to make it.  No if’s, ands or buts about it.

And I’m glad I did, cause YUM!

Chicken, Bacon and
Chicken, Potatoes and Bacon Au Gratin
4 to 5 strips of crispy bacon
4 to 6 boneless boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 stick (cube) of margarine to brown the chicken in
1 cup of flour (for dredging the flour in)
About 5 – med to lg. potatoes
*enough to fill a 9×13 glass baking dih
 1 pint whipping cream- 2 cups
Salt and Pepper
 2 tsp. Parsley flakes
 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
 Place bacon slices on a foil lined baking sheet.Chicken, Bacon and

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place bacon in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until bacon is crisp and brown.  Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate and pat away any remaining grease.  Set bacon aside for later.

While the bacon is cooking, brown the chicken breasts.  In a large skillet or electric fry pan, melt 1 stick of margarine.  (I use margarine, because butter burns too quickly)
Place 1 cup of flour into a baggie and season it with salt and pepper.  About 1/2 tsp of each will do.Shake each piece of chicken in the seasoned flour until it’s well coated.  Place chicken pieces in skillet and brown until golden on each side.

Place browned chicken in a 9×13 ” glass baking pan.
Cut your potatoes into thin french fry strips, and lay the fries around the chicken (Arctic circle type of thin!)
Pour all of the cream over the top of the fries and the chicken. Salt and pepper a bit more.
Crumble bacon over the top.
Sprinkle at least 2 cups grated Cheddar Cheese over the top. Sprinkle Parsley flakes on top of the cheese.
Chicken, Bacon and

Spray the underside of the foil with pam or pan release, and cover the chicken and potatoes. Poke a fork through the top of the foil, 2 or 3 times to allow a little steam to escape. This way, your cream doesn’t boil over into your oven!

Cook at 400 degrees for about 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender.
Chicken, Bacon and

Place your oven rack in the middle of the oven to begin with.

For crispy potatoes:  During the last 15 or 20 minutes of baking lower your rack one more step. This makes the bottom of your potatoes, brown and crispy.

On this day:

In 2006:  Palmiers
In 2007:
In 2008:
In 2009:
In 2010:  Cast Iron Beer Chicken
In 2011:  Pizza Sauce