Dirty Meatballs

Wow, its been awhile but I’m so happy to be back in action. Its amazing all that has gone down from the time I left you! I received a little nudge from a friend to get back at it (Thanks Kristin!) No matter what the world throws at us….there is always time and space for BBQ! Even though I have been busy mommin’, being a nurse and avoiding murder hornets ;), my dad has been doing his blogging job and capturing photos of his creations! Great work dad!

So today, the recipe I’m giving to you is courtesy of ‘Dirty’ aka Dave. He has been a friend of my dad’s and have bonded well over Green Mountain Grills. So we thank him today for allowing us to share his recipe with all of you!

Finished mixed product

Start off with two pounds of ground beef and 1 pound of ground pork. Add 1 egg, 1/2 cup of Panko bread crumbs and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Season meat with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix all of the meat together well and make even sized meatballs. Dirty uses 1/3 measuring cup to assure that all meatballs are the same size for even cooking. Your finished mixed product should be similar to the picture above.

Finished product and ready to grill
Meatballs with GMG meat probe.

Once you have all meatballs ready to go (hopefully you have warmed up your GMG to 205 degrees). Smoke the meatballs for one and a half to two hours until you achieve an internal temp of 150 degrees. Remove from the grill and place your meatballs in your favorite sauce. Dirty recommends pizza or marinara sauce! Place meatballs with your favorite sauce into a pan and return to the grill at 275 degrees. You can also top with mozzarella cheese. Serve warm to friends and family all while social distancing drinking 😉

It is so great to be back and I can’t wait to see what version of dirty meatballs you create! Recipe is below!

Our Favorite Late Summer Blooming Plants

Summer is quickly winding down but that doesn’t mean your gorgeous backyard has to! There are so many neat plants that will give you wonderful color through the end of summer and into fall. Today, we are going to bring our top favorite plants, within our yard, for late summer blooming!

Cone Flowers

Our cone flowers have absolutely exploded over the years and offer so many different colors in our landscaping. An excellent group of plants with native genes. These long season blooming plants come in colors of Red, Yellow, Orange, Purple, White and all shades in between. Most cone flowers will reseed to add to your bounty. An excellent butterfly plant and the remaining seed heads in the fall are great for birds!


Turtlehead is a top notch native plant that is excellent for a wide range of sites. We have it in a location that once was full shade but after a tree was removed, it now sits in full sun. This plant continues to thrive and is also very tolerant of wetter locations. Add it next to a downspout and watch it explode with life. Blooms often start in late August and continue on through September.

I have always been in love with Hibiscus plants, whether they are tropical or not! The bonus to this plant is that these gorgeous flowers come back every single year. They are oversize, vibrant and stunning! The deep purple color is perfect for welcoming fall! Be patient with these plants in the spring, they are slow to wake up. We have two in our landscape. One came up June 10 and the other did not come up until June 20. They love warm summer days and enjoy some good moisture.

Most people would not think of a Lilac for late summer blooming, but that is what makes Bloomerang so great. It will bloom in the spring with other lilacs. Then it re-blooms from the end of July to September in our yard. It is amazing to have the hint of lilac in the air in August. I also really like the structure of this plant. If you cut it back after the initial bloom in the spring, it will give you slightly arching branches on the late summer bloom. I feel it gives it a similar look to butterfly bushes but is much hardier for us.

I know we have said this before in our previous post but Hydrangeas are one of my absolute favorites. The gorgeous white color is now slowing changing over to shades of pinks and reds. We now have 13 different varieties in our landscape, ranging in size from 2’x2′ to 8’x6′

They make for the perfect summer blooming plant and help transition into fall. I can’t wait to cut more of these gorgeous stems and add them to my home and winter spruce tip pots.

Baby Joe and Little Joe Joe Pyeweed are wonderful native plants. Our’s reach heights of 5-6′ tall and wide. They are a pollinator favorite. We often see several species of butterflies and bees working these gorgeous plants over in the late summer. With its large habit and sturdy stems it creates an informal barrier between yard space.

We can’t wait for our transition into fall and we hope that you can bring some of these wonderful plants into your yard. Just because school is back in session, doesn’t mean your backyard nights have to end! We would love to hear from you with questions or comments about your backyard living space!

Why every backyard needs a Pellet Grill!

Oh No…I forgot about dinner!

As busy working parents, this has not been the first or the last time I will ever say that! You feel me….burnt pizza, burnt grilled cheese or in Bob’s case…the grill is on fire.

Thankfully, with the ease of our Green Mountain pellet grill, that’s no longer a worry. Pellet grills allow you to have the “set it and forget it” mentality. Pellets create moisture to prevent your food from becoming dried out. So if you run late or are busy playing ball, you don’t have to worry about ruining your dinner.

mmmm, baby back ribs

Do you like a little smokey taste to your food?

If so, you’re in luck! The nice thing about pellet grills is that you can do quick meals for those busy ball nights or “low and slow” for that added smokey flavor. Now, Im not one who LOVES a lot of smoke taste (although there are some who do) but it adds just enough flavor to satisfy my taste buds.

Make sure to look for that nice smoke ring when you cut into your meat and witness all that your days patience has accomplished! It’s also a great way to create Jerky! Everyone loves a good batch of beef jerky or deer jerky or goose jerky…ok ill stop!

Excuse me, but is it hot in here?

New Green Mountain Daniel Boone Prime Grill with Stainless Steel Hood

Heating up my house is the LAST thing that I want to do on a warm summer night. Between kids coming in and out of the house (over and over and over again), sunlight beaming in and just being plain hot, the last thing I want to do is add to it by warming up my oven. Anyone who knows me knows I like to be cold!

Even though my kids are great eaters and love to have meat off the grill…they are kids. They want cheesy, noodle filled creations. BONUS, pellet grills can create that too!

Pellet grills use indirect heat and fans to create a convection type oven. I create my casseroles as normal, turn the grill up to the oven temp (350 degrees or 375 degrees), then bake as normal! Same gooey greatness, added smoke taste and without the added heat to your home!

Sorry, but the maid is out for the day…

That darn maid of mine…she never seems to come around near enough 😉 (that’s because she doesn’t exist). No worries, pellet grills, specifically green mountain grills are super easy to maintain. No excessive clean up that you may experience with charcoal grills. Use a simple grate cleaner and occasionally vacuum out the fire pot and you’re set! Simple, right?

I wish to keep my eyebrows, thank you…

Noah (11) holding a handful of pellets

Number one reason that I NEVER used to grill on our gas grill…I was afraid it was going to explode. The thought of all that gas flowing through there and then adding fire was enough to make me not even go near it. I could never remember, lid open or was it lid closed? So, we would have to wait until 6:30 at night before we could begin supper when Bob got home.

Now, Im a grilling fool! Pellet grills are so easy to start that my kids can do it (they do get hot over time, so be careful!). Pellet grills use hardwood, kill dried wood that never touches the floor and is held together with their natural lignin (no glues). Cooking over hardwood gives you great taste, versatility and consistency. Yes, charcoal does taste great but can be difficult to maintain your heat in order to achieve your desired BBQ meat!

So the next time you are in the market for a new grill, give pellet grills a thought! Not only will you not regret the decision, you are also helping support a small business owner with Green Mountain…like my dad 😉

We would love to hear from you! Comment below with your pellet grill tips, recipes or topics you would love to hear about! Also, share us with your friends so we can continue to grow!

Hello, We’re New Here!

Hello and welcome to our Blog! I want to explain what we are doing here. I’ll go first…My name is Katie and I’m generally a very creative person. I love to redecorate, repurpose, scrapbook and create memories. I have a busy schedule with 4 growing kids and working full-time as a nurse. I wanted to have another creative outlet. So, I’m working with two of the most important men in my life to give you Backyard Blooms & BBQ.

Now, it’s my husband’s turn. Bob is PART of the brains behind this blog. He doesn’t get ALL the credit thought ;). We live in small town Iowa and he is one of the local plant guys. He LOVES plants…I mean LOVES them. He is 260 pounds and 6’2″ but he turns to mush over roses. He is a wealth of knowledge about everything plants and I wanted to share all of that with you.

Last but certainly not least, is my dad Klair. Dad has been a grill master all of my life. Even in the dead of Iowa winter…we be grilling! Over the last couple of years, he has become an authorized Green Mountain grill dealer and BBQ judge. Traveling around occasionally to eat delicious BBQ and give his rating. Not only is he a wonderful cook on the grill, he knows all the ins and outs of them. He’s also a great mechanic as well.

Together we are here to help give you the best backyard living and dining experience by sharing our passions with all of you. We hope you enjoy our blog as we grow!

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