OK, I just survived my first hurricane. Not realizing that everything would be closed for days after the hurricane, I was ill-prepared. I thought, “If we’re without power, we’ll just dine out.” It never occurred to me that everyplace else would be without power, too. Hey, before this hair turned white, I used to be a blond!

We were without power for a week, but we did have a generator to keep our fridge running and plenty of propane to cook on the grill. I learned a couple of things; use up the stuff in the fridge ASAP, keep a good supply of canned goods on hand, fill up that propane tank and buy lots of aluminum foil. I was able to find a store open and bought some products I wouldn’t normally use, allowing me to make a few fairly decent dishes using my grill instead of the stove. I also learned the joys of foil packet cooking; it makes serving and clean-up a breeze.

Here are a few recipes should we have another visit from one of Irma’s relatives. They all utilize shelf-stable ingredients that don’t require any refrigeration. Of course, any leftovers should be refrigerated, but these taste so good, I bet you won’t have any.


Grilled Quesadillas


4 large tortillas

1 can of nacho cheese sauce

1 can black beans, drained

1 can corn, drained

1 can diced chiles, drained

Cooking spray



Cut a piece of aluminum foil slightly larger than the tortilla.

Coat one side of foil with cooking spray.

Place tortilla in center of coated foil.

Spread a light layer of cheese sauce on the tortilla.

Top with drained beans, corn and chiles.

Fold tortilla in half, enclose foil, sealing edges.

Place on a medium high grill for 3-4 minutes per side.

Open to cool for a minute before serving.


Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole


1 cup pre-cooked rice

1 cup water

2 large cans of cooked chicken

1 can peas, drained

1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed

2 Tbsp olive oil



Soak rice in water to 10-15 minutes until some of the water is absorbed and the grains are tender

Drain excess water from rice, add canned chicken, vegetables and soup, stir until well blended.

Pour mixture into a sprayed casserole dish, or divide into foil packets.

Crush the Ritz crackers in a Ziploc bag.

Mix together crumbs and olive oil.

Sprinkle crumb mixture on top of the chicken mixture.

Place on grill, away from direct heat, for 5-7 minutes (if using a casserole, place on top shelf of away from direct heat and double cooking time) or until casserole begins to bubble.


Amen Ramen


3 packages instant ramen noodles

½ cup smooth peanut butter

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 tbsp. sesame oil

garlic powder

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 c. soy sauce

1/4 c. brown sugar

2 tsp. sriracha



Heat water in pot on grill, pour over ramen noodles (do not use flavor packet) in a large bowl with a cover. Allow to sit at least five minutes, or until tender. Drain off excess water. In a separate bowl, mix peanut butter with remaining ingredients, stirring until smooth. Pour mixture over ramen and toss to coat the noodles thoroughly. Can be eaten at room temperature, or place in foil packets and heat on grill. This is an excellent side dish for grilled meat or chicken.


Iron-Skillet Peach Crisp



1cup all-purpose flour

⅔ cup (packed) light brown sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup butter flavored vegetable shortening, cut into pieces

1 cup granola (optional)


1½ cups pecans

2 tablespoons butter flavored vegetable shortening

3 cans sliced cling peaches, drained

¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon or allspice

1 lemon, juiced

½ teaspoon kosher salt




Whisk flour, brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Rub in shortening with your fingers until clumps form and no dry spots remain. Add granola, if desired.


Seal pecans in foil and place on grill to warm.

Cool pecans and coarsely chop.

Coat the inside of a cast iron skillet with foil.

Smear bottom and sides of a foil-covered skillet with shortening.

Toss pecans, peaches, brown sugar, granulated sugar, lemon juice, spice, and salt in a large bowl to combine.

Transfer peach mixture to skillet.

Add crumble topping, breaking up into large pieces, over filling.

Cook on


shelf of a closed grill set to medium, until topping is golden brown and juices are thick and bubbling around the edges, 20–30 minutes.

Of course, you can’t live through a hurricane without the titular cocktail!




8 oz. white rum

8 oz. dark rum

4 oz. lime juice

4 oz. orange juice

8 oz. passion fruit juice

2 oz. simple syrup

2 oz. Grenadine



Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice.

Shake, and strain into a large glass over ice.

Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

This recipe serves four, but you just lived through a hurricane. Have as many as you like.