Those of you who know me well, know that I bid (and won) a chef-prepared dinner at the last POMA (Professional Outdoor Media Association) conference. My intent for the dinner was to ‘wow’ my parents and immediate family for their 50th wedding anniversary this past June. (50 years – can you believe it?)

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad

I was only expecting the closest of my family members to make it to my house, but we ended up flying in people and booking a home on the shores of Gull Lake in Brainerd, Minn., just a few hours north Minneapolis. So yeah, the pressure was high.

And this was to be a wild game dinner – the meat supplied by me – but all prepped and cooked by the chef, who dedicated his time and energy for this lovely meal. That was Bill Miller of Bill Miller Outdoors. You might recall his face from North American Hunter TV shows and magazines for many years. Now, he’s a writer (a darn good one) and obviously, chef extraordinaire. I think Bill used around 5-6 dutch ovens from Camp Chef plus two oven stands (as you can see in the picture). Great products!

The meal started with Rabbit-Rattlesnake sausage, which I knew would go over well

Our Chef, Bill Miller, working VERY hard

Our Chef, Bill Miller, working VERY hard. 

since my good chef friend, Scott Leysath, uses it all the time. Well, it almost went over well. One of my nephews owns a super-cute bunny. Needless to say, I felt AWFUL.

The sausage was coated in Bill’s own homemade teriyaki sauce on kabobs with onions and green peppers. (Recipe below)

The spread, but I took this after we started eating it all!

The spread, but I took this after we started eating it all!

Next was roasted pheasant on a bed of wilted greens – I mean, its all 5 star restaurant up in here! Bill roasted the pheasant himself before he left to head up to Brainerd – awesome!

Then the main courses were ready:

Campfire Beans with venison sausage

Camp Chef Potatoes – OMG Yummy!

Sweet Cornbread – a Bill Miller signature dish

Rhubarb cobbler with ice cream for dessert – not that we needed it.


What a night of eating (and drinking) and spending quality time with family. Special thanks to Bill Miller, of Bill Miller Outdoors, POMA, Camp Chef for their amazing products, Scott Leysath (The Sporting Chef) for helping me secure the meat and mom and dad for showing me that love, respect and honor helps a family stick together for 50 years.

Bill Miller’s Teriyaki Sauce (went over the rabbit-rattlesnake sausage kabobs)

2/3 cup mirin wine (I often substitute a dry Reisling plus a tablespoon or two of sugar)

1 cup soy sauce

4 ½ teaspoons rice vinegar (cider vinegar okay, too)

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/3 cup brown sugar

7 cloves of garlic, finely minced

1 tablespoon of fresh ginger finely minced

1 dash of red pepper flakes

black pepper to taste

2 teaspoons of corn starch mixed with 2 teaspoons of water (optional)

(I also add a tablespoon or so of molasses if I have it available) (optional)


  • Bring wine and sugar to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add other ingredients (except corn starch/water) and return to boil. Simmer for at least another five minutes.
  • If you want a thicker sauce for basting, add the cornstarch mixture and continue to simmer and stir until it thickens. If you want a thin sauce for marinade, thin with water to desired consistency and return to boil. Soon as it boils again, marinade is ready.


  1. LLD on August 1, 2014 at 10:07 am

    So excited to read about your fabulous dinner. Bill is amazing, isn’t he? Happy 50th Mr. and Mrs. Michelle’s parents.

  2. Nancy jo adAms on August 1, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    I was sitting at your table when you bid on this and I remember you saying it was for your parent’s 50yh Anniversary. So glad to have read this….happy Anniversary to the folks!

  3. Michelle on August 2, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Thank you Nancy Jo! Who knows what crazy things we’ll do at the next POMA conf! 🙂

  4. RYAN nOLAN on August 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Yum! Great story and Happy belated 50th to your folks, Michelle!