Pickle Pick Me Ups and Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs

Last week Jake and I enjoyed spending time at the Iowa State Fair and fell in love with the “pyro dawg”. Last night, Jake and I decided to try and re-create this zesty appetizer, and it was a success!

Pickle Pick Me Ups:

(Homemade pyro dawgs)


  • 1/2 block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon drained Rotel 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 2 twists of cracked pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cholula sauce
  • 6 pickle spears, cut in half (not pictured)
  • deli fresh pastrami meat (not pictured)


Allow cream cheese to get to room temperature so that it is easier to mix. Once softened, combine in a medium bowl with Rotel, diced jalapeno pepper, cayenne pepper, cracked pepper and Cholula sauce. Mix until combined well.

Cut pickle spears in half. Spread cream cheese mixture on pastrami meat.

Roll up halved pickle spear in pastrami.

Pop into mouth and enjoy! Jake and I had tried making these last week and didn’t have as much success with the hotness level as we did tonight. It was perfect and pretty comparable to the ones we ate at the fair. 🙂

Not having anything in mind that can really go with this tasty appetizer, I decided to try out a new recipe that my friend Kelly told me about.  Kelly recently made Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs for her and her boyfriend and said that Jake and I would love it. She was right!

I personally have never cooked with rosemary, and was excited to try a new herb. The recipe calls for fresh rosemary, but I substituted dry and it was still delicious.

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs


Slightly adapted from Allrecipes.com

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing (I used Hidden Valley Ranch, a house staple)
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry rosemary
  • juice from a quarter of a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1 inch cubes


In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, lemon juice, white vinegar, pepper, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Dice chicken breasts into cubes. Place chicken in a bowl. Pour sauce over chicken and stir.

Cover and let chicken marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes. Thread marinated chicken on bamboo skewers.

Place skewers on grill or stove-top grill to cook.

Grill chicken kabobs for 10-12 minutes, rotating every few minutes.

As a little girl my favorite vegetable my father would make is his steamed broccoli in lemon, butter and garlic. I can remember asking him to make this every time he said he was going to make a vegetable. 20 some years later, I still love it.  I don’t typically measure out the amount of broccoli, butter and lemon and just eyeball the amounts.

Lemon garlic steamed broccoli


  • broccoli
  • butter
  • freshlemon juice
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
In a small saucepan, add 2-4 tablespoons of water, broccoli, lemon juice, garlic and butter. Cover with lid and over low-medium heat, let broccoli steam in juices until tender.
Such a super simple vegetable to make and I promise, you will not be disappointed. 
It was fun having Jake in the kitchen with me again tonight, working out what we thought would work best to replicate the spiciness of the Fair’s pyro dawg.
Is there a Fair food that you would like to re-create? Would you try to do it the same,add or take something out? 

2 thoughts on “Pickle Pick Me Ups and Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs

  1. Pingback: Ringing in the New Year |

  2. Pingback: My Three Joys «

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