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July 2012

The best bratwurst you'll ever have in your life

By Mike Thayer

The wife and I had a guest over for dinner tonight and we had grilled salmon, rice pilaf, salad, it was very tasty. 

But after enjoying the salmon and with the charcoals still kicking out some heat, I thought about what I could do to take advantage of the remaining fire.   I looked in the fridge and there were six Johnsonville Brats just begging me to get them on the grill.

So winging it, I put them in an iron skillet, with onion powder and one cup of sweet Chardonnay wine (a new offering from Franzia), doing so because I didn't have any beer on hand.  I always like to precook my brats in some kind of broth before putting them over the coals.  If I don't have beer on hand, I usually do some water and slice up some onion and garlic.  But tonight, it was sweet Chardonnay wine and onion powder.  I let those brats just simmer in that for about 20 minutes over the coals and boy was it worth it!  After the simmering bath, I put the brats on the direct fire to give them that kiss of smoky flavor and let me tell you, these are better than beer brats!

I served a tasting over the rice pilaf my wife had made for the salmon, it was fantastic!  I got a nice little smoke ring on the brats from the low and slow charcoal heat remaining from the salmon grill.  The brats were juicy, they picked up the sweet chardonnay flavor, the hint of onion came through.  These things were so good, we had to go for seconds even though we were comfortably full from a very nice, restaurant caliber salmon dinner.  It was a new flavor profile for the brats, no bun needed, no dessert desired!

The true taste testers, my three sons, gave the impromptu brat recipe a best ever thumbs up!

So to sum, that's six brats, one cup of sweet chardonnay wine, some onion powder.  Simmer in an iron skillet on the grill for about 20 minutes, then finish by taking the brats out of the bath and grilling them over direct heat to desired doneness.



Thayer boys score hardware at national Taekwondo tournament

USOPEN_Hanmadang_LOGO_02_7_12_CACCOLORADO SPRINGS, CO. -- The Thayer boys of Kang's Martials Arts of Coralville brought home some gold, silver and bronze from the 2012 U.S. Open Taekwondo Hanmadang, an International taekwondo tournament and festival.

Events were held at the World Arena as well as the Olympic Training Center, July 13-14 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  There were participants from all across the country, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Wisconsin, a number of other states as well as Puerto Rico.  Taekwondo masters from Korea were in attendance to oversee events.

Daniel Thayer, 16, scored a gold medal in the jumping high kick competition and a silver medal in the power knife hand strike competition for board breaking.  Thayer won the jumping high kick in near record breaking fashion, breaking a board with a jump/kick of 95.5 inches.  Thayer is only 1.5 inches away from tying the world record for his division, which goes up to 18 years of age.

John Thayer, 12, won a bronze medal for the Poomse form competition.  Thayer beat out his twin brother, also a first degree black belt, for the first time in this event.  John also won a silver medal in the individual power stepping side kick for board breaking.

Drew Thayer, 12, earned a silver medal in the speed hook kick board breaking competition.  Thayer also won a Taekwondo Spirit award, achieving the highest score for the category over all other competitors in his division. 

Specializing in Taekwondo and Kum Do Martial arts training, Kang’s Academy is located at 2421 James St. in Coralville.  Located directly across from the Coral Ridge Mall and close to IHop, Kang’s is open from 4:45pm into the evening hours Monday through Thursday.  A second school is located in Marion, Iowa.  For more information check out the Kang’s Martial Arts website at or call 319-338-2264.