Friday, February 27, 2015

Follow Your Heart Cheese is Very Good - Healthy and Vegan


Healthy Follow Your Heart Cheese

Follow Your Heart non-dairy, vegan cheese is really good. I'm real picky on cheese, so I wasn't sure what I'd think of this new product line that should be in a grocery store near you soon.

The first low fat and dairy free cheese I had was in high school (yes-that was long ago). I made a grilled cheese sandwich. It would not stick together. The fake cheese was hot, but I could lift it up all in one slice. It did not hold the bread together. The taste was even worse than the freaky factor of getting hot but not melting.

Follow Your Heart asked if I'd like to check out their cheese with a sample. I was hesitant, but it had been ages since I'd had non dairy cheese. I decided I'd give it a try and let readers know if it really is tasty of not.


Grilled Cheeseburgers with Follow Your Heart Cheese

You can see that Follow Your Heart did actually melt around the burgers. The back burger shows this best. The front one did melt down and around the burger.

I did not mention that I used a different cheese and one that was healthy and vegan. I did not want to taint the reactions.

When I took a bite of my burger, I was pleasantly surprised. The non-dairy cheese did melt and have the texture of regular cheese, and it had a good flavor. These are basic American slices, so I'm not talking a gourmet cheese flavor but a basic cook-out cheese. Had I not set up the meal and known the cheese was not regular cheese, I really would not have guessed.

If you can't have dairy or if you eat vegan, I would certainly recommend Follow Your Heart Cheese. It way exceeded my expectations. It was not like that awful non-melting cheese I had years ago, and the flavor was spot on. I think very few people would take a bite and know these was not regular American cheese.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Trying to Find the Correct Cover for YOUR Weber BBQ Grill? - Guest David Can Help

Some people collect celebrity autographs, others collect spoons.  I have no idea why we collect things but the reality is that we do.  I collect Weber grills.

My current Weber grill collection includes the following: Weber Smokey Joe Gold, Weber Jumbo Joe, 18.5 Weber Smokey Mountain, 18.5 Weber One Touch Silver, 22.5 Weber Platinum, Weber Genesis 1000 LX, Weber Genesis Silver A and Weber Genesis Gold B.  

Weber Grill Collection

My collection is actually quite small compared to many serious collectors.  I am neither the best collector nor the best griller.  I am just a guy who loves Weber grills.

I am writing about my grills, because my collection made me aware of a problem.  The problem is that finding the right covers for older Weber grills is extremely confusing. 

Finding the correct cover is confusing, because Weber grills last forever but the designs keep getting tweaked every few years.  It is also confusing because Weber recycles the names for their grills!  

For example, my 22.5 inch Weber charcoal grill is a Weber Platinum.  The Platinum has two side tables which gives it a unique shape compared to all other Weber charcoal grills.  The Platinum is a great grill but did not sell very well.  As a result this version of the Platinum was discontinued by Weber around 2011. 



Retired Weber Platinum with Side Tables

Weber is now using the name Platinum for one of their Performer charcoal grills with a single large side table.  Weber also used the name Platinum for a high end version of their Genesis gas grills that were made between 2000 and 2005.

When I decided I needed a new grill cover for my Weber Platinum none of the big box stores had them in stock.  When I searched online I had to sort through all of the Weber covers offered and then sort through the different covers for the different Platinum grills.  Very frustrating!

To help other people find exactly the right grill cover without the frustration I went through, I built the following site, Weber Grill Cover.  The concept is pretty simple and the site layout will get you to exactly the right cover for your Weber in three clicks regardless of when the barbecue grill was made.

It was a lot of fun building the site as it gave me an excuse to research Weber grill history.  I was amazed at all the different versions of the Genesis grill that have been produced.  In the Genesis line alone, there have been 14 different basic designs!  By the way, if you need a Weber Genesis grill cover there are four different sizes and the site helps you figure out which one you need.

I sincerely hope you find the site useful. 
David (owner of Weber Grill Covers web site).
  
I want to give a great big THANK YOU to Cyndi for letting me share the site with the Barbecue Master community! 

Monday, February 09, 2015

Steak House Elite All Beef Hot Dog Franks - Much Better Than Your Average Weiner

Steak House - Now That's a Great Hot Dog

Steak House Elite sent me some of their gourmet hot dogs to try out. They may or may not be in your area, but they are sold online if you can't find them.

These are all beef franks made with American kobe beef. Kobe is a special type of beef which I believe is out of Japan. Some kobe cows were brought over so that there is a small stock of kobe in the United States too.


Steak House Hot Dogs on the Grill

Of course, my Steak House Elite wieners went right on the grill. They are as traditional with hot dogs pre-cooked, so it was just a matter of heating them up and getting some grill marks.


American Kobe All Beef Frank Before Being Dressed

There was little to no shrinkage on the beef hot dogs. As you can see they are the length of the bun. Why all hot dogs aren't, I do not know. Who wants a big hunk of bread and mustard with no meat at the end? Well, that doesn't happen with Steak House Elite franks.

As for the flavor, it was excellent. The outer casing has a very light pop when you bite. Then, it's blissful beef goodness.

Some people say all hot dogs taste the same. I'm thinking they have not tried many. There's a huge difference in the brands, and this is one of the best I've had.

We dressed our up with chili, mustard, and onions after which is kind of a North Carolina tradition. Then, we chowed down on these delicious hot dogs by Steak House Elite.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

RiceSelect Organic Arborio AKA Risotto

RiceSelect Organic Arborio Rice

I decided to try out Organic Arborio rice from RiceSelect™ last night. It's an Italian rice, and you may know it as Risotto especially if you watch Hell's Kitchen.

My idea was to have rice as a side dish. I generally put rice in a pot, set the timer, and run out and grill up boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The timing works out on this.

This was not in the cards, because Risotto needs more attention than regular bagged rice. That's okay though, because I recruited a family griller while I worked the all natural rice.

Starting the RiceSelect

To start off I heated a little olive oil and butter and then cooked down chopped onions and then stirred the rice for a couple of minutes over the heat.

Then I had three cups of chicken broth. The directions called for adding it in thirds and cooking until the broth had soaked in. No time was listed, but this took around 25 minutes with frequent stirring to prevent sticking.

Risotto by RiceSelect Ready to Eat

I finished up the rice but left a tad of extra water to absorb while the chicken finished off.

So . . . what was the verdict?

Yum. The Arborio Italian rice made risotto style was very creamy and full of flavor. The butter, onions, and broth really showcased well in the basic recipe on the container.

If you have more than one person working on your grilled meal, this is an excellent rice product but probably better handled indoors. It's so yummy that it can be a main dish. In fact, I had the leftovers for lunch.

I think Gordon Ramsay would have sent my risotto out to his guests. Then again, this is the first time I've had or made it, so he might have ripped me a new one. It certainly went over well here though. 

If you have wanted to try your hand at risotto, then the directions were easy to understand and follow. It does take more work to make this style rice, but it was worth it. Very tasty.


Friday, February 06, 2015

SAAS hot sauce - Students Score with This Fresh and Zesty Sauce

SAAS - Get Your Heat on with This Zippy Hot Sauce

I love a good hot sauce and also a good story. SAAS has both going for it.

Students got together to come up with ideas to raise money for good causes. One student was a sauce guy, so they decided to run with a hot sauce. I teach college, so you've got me right there.

Of course, there are hot sauces and then there are hot sauces. If the flavor is not there, then it's a thumbs down from me no matter how great the back story.

In this case, the students went with fresh ingredients and spices and really came up with a wonderful flavor.


Grilled Taco or Fajita Filling with SAAS Hot Sauce

Here you can see our dinner last night. I grilled the chicken, green peppers, and onions in a grill wok over medium heat. In 15 to 20 minutes I had a plate full of yuminess flavored with SAAS.

We used large Mexican wraps to make our dinners. So, I guess you could call them grilled fajitas or tacos. Either way, these were really tasty.

One thing I would say is that when SAAS says hot, they do mean hot. The flavor is not over the top but hotter than if you buy grocery brands (where hot is usually a light ding). So, I'd say go light until you find your sweet spot on this hot sauce. 

I've also made SAAS grilled cauliflower which gives you a really healthy option on the grill. Here's how to make grilled cauliflower.

  You'll Never Look at Vegetables the Same Way Again After SAAS

Next up, I'm thinking hot wings, but I still love to do them in oil in cast iron on the stove. Some southern habits are hard to break. If you want the ultimate indoor hot wing recipe, a Navy buddy hooked me up with his hot wings recipe.

*Note: SAAS sent the sauce for free for me to check out with no strings attached. If you read my work on a regular basis, you will know that I will certainly say if I don't like something. This one - yes - I do say thumbs up.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

How to Barbecue Grill Cauliflower

Grilled Cauliflower - Yum

If you want a healthy side dish or snack on the grill, try grilled cauliflower. It's quick and easy to make, and even people who think they don't like cauliflower are surprised to find it really tastes great with some smoke and seasonings.

To barbecue grill cauliflower, just break it into pieces. If you use as grill wok as I do above, you can have smaller pieces. If you're turning the pieces on the grill grates, you may want larger pieces.

There are tons of ways to flavor up your cauliflower on the BBQ grill. 

Above, I'm going with a Mexican theme to go with chicken grilled tacos. I went with SAAS seasoning. I used the hot flavor which I can tell you is very hot on cauliflower, because it gets in all the creases.

More often I drizzle a little olive oil on the cauliflower and sprinkle with a favorite seasoning. This can be anything from Lawry's seasoning salt to specialty grill sprinkles. If you like the flavor, you're likely to enjoy it on cauliflower.

As far as grilling, I preheated the grill to medium. The cauliflower grilled between 15 and 20 minutes for al dente. If you like softer vegetables, then just grill longer. You can test with a fork. You can feel how much give you have in the vegetables. When it feels right to you, it's ready.


Repurpose Company Offers Single Use Earth Friendly Compostable Tableware

Repurpose® Eco-Friendly Plates, Bowls, Cups, and Cutlery 


You can imagine how much disposable dinnerware a barbecue blogger goes through, so I was excited when the company Repurpose let me know about their compostable dinnerware. All of the above plates, bowls, cups, and eating utensils are single use and compost in 90 days. 

The company sent out the sample package above in exchange for an honest review. When you're talking both cold and hot cups and heat-resistant utensils, I wondered how sturdy they'd be. The package came. I checked them out. Very study and well made. 

To put these products to a real test, I had my son check them out. He is graduating in May with an Environmental Science and Education degree. He said the quality was much better than other "green" products similar that he'd seen.

The items can handle both hot items (even in the microwave) and cold items like ice cream which is great for a barbecue dessert. 

Most of your disposable tableware is petroleum based. Repurpose uses plant materials. This is why the items are compostable and also non-toxic with no BPA. 

Yes. These are more expensive than your red Solo cups and plates. But, really, we need to invest a little more now so that we don't wreck our planet for future generations. You get your easy clean up here, high quality, and you don't fill the landfill.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Church BBQ Dinners in North Carolina - Millford Hills Methodist in Salisbury, NC


Milford Hills United Methodist Church BBQ Dinner

One really popular fundraiser dinner in North Carolina is a BBQ dinner. North Carolina is pork barbecue country with various versions in the east (coastal) and piedmont or central. Central is called western NC barbecue, but it's not the mountains. No telling what you'll get if you order barbeque in the mountains here.

Today I had a delicious BBQ plate of western barbecue from Millford Hills Methodist Church in Salisbury, NC (which likely is the original home of western style barbecue though Lexington takes the credit).

Mr. Ralph Ketner who founded the Food Lion stores and still works at Catawba College well in his 90s gets the yearly dinners for the faculty and staff in the Ketner building (yes - he did have it built - thanks). He's just a really nice guy like that.

Here you see a very traditional North Carolina barbecue dinner. There's chopped pork, dip (thin vinegar sauce), red slaw (a tad spicy), a bun, and then versions of pound cake. This piece I think is Cheerwine cake which is the local soft drink sold in my county (Rowan County) and slated to be in all 50 states soon (the drink - not the cake).

Other areas may have slight differences. When I lived in Raleigh, the church had small boiled potatoes as the side. Brunswick stew is another common side dish but in the coastal area usually.

I think this was Millford Hills Methodist Churches 51st year of their annual BBQ dinners. They are always on a Friday at the end of January. If you live close by or are passing through Salisbury, NC, I can tell that you get a generous and very tasty traditional North Carolina barbecue meal at the church.