Saturday, November 07, 2015

Bertolli Sauce and Smoked Meatballs on the BBQ Grill - Happy 150th Birthday

 Happy 150th Birthday Bertolli

We have a Italian sauce issue at my house. I love homemade, but my boys think the jarred is better. Go figure. This meant that I was a little worried about trying out Bertolli (which I've not had before), but I thought it would be worth a try. They would send out the beautiful box of their 150th birthday gourmet sauces, and I might or might not find a sauce from a jar that I enjoyed serving and eating.

The box came in, and I was impressed with the packaging. Of course, presentation doesn't matter if the taste/flavor is not there. The new celebration sauces did sound yummy. They include:
 Marinara with Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
Balsamic Vinegar with Caramelized Onions
              Asiago Cheese with Artichokes
                            Porcini Mushroom with White Truffle Oil

I decided to go Italian on the Weber Grill with the sauce heated and meatballs smoked. It was hard to select the first sauce to try, but I liked the sound of Porcini Mushroom with White Truffle Oil.

 Bertolli Riserva Porcini Mushroom and White Truffle Oil Sauce

It is possible to do the noodles on the grill. You have to hit a boil and then maintain the heat. It's easier on a gas sideburner though many of those do not put out enough heat. Over charcoal can hit the needed temperatures, but it's hard to keep heat even. A good thick, pot is good for holding the heat.

Since I was not out in the great outdoors, I did my pasta on the stove. It's much easier, so I'd say do that on the stove, unless you are out camping or something.

I did heat the marinara sauce over charcoal to add a little smoke flavor and also grilled meatballs with mushrooms.

 Grilled Meatballs with Bertolli Marinara 

Yum. I was very pleasantly surprised at how good the sauce tasted. The smoke added a nice note, but the basic sauce was excellent. My boys can tell you that I've never said that about any sauce in a jar. I might eat it to humor them, but I don't have to like it. This sauce, I did like as much or more than my own.

I'm glad Bertolli got in touch about their new celebration sauces. I wasn't really sure that I could ever eat sauce from a jar and love it, but that is how I feel about this red sauce. I will be buying Bertolli, and I'm thankful to have found a sauce that I really enjoy.

Friday, October 16, 2015

AC Lens Team Sunglasses Just in Time for Tailgating Season

Eli Sporting Michigan AC Lens Sunglasses

AC Lens asked me about trying out their sunglasses for tailgate season. They have a variety of teams (team names are on the sides of the glass), and there is a sporty version sunglasses you see above and a preppy version sunglasses which you can see below with the Ohio Buckeyes.

The sunglasses come in the $15-$20 range, so I was surprised at how nice they are. They look great in the photos but even better when they come in. 

The clarity on the lenses is excellent. My son commented that things looked better through the glasses than without the glasses. I guess the tinting gives things that extra umph. 

The glasses come with a study carrying case like prescription glasses, and there is a lint free cloth for cleaning the sunglasses.  

I thought the glasses were great and offered great protection, but I wear prescription lenses. That meant that I wanted another opinion looking through the lenses. I'm going to see blurry due to overuse of my eyes I think (all the blogging - haha).

Now I think I've lost my sunglasses. His grandfather lost his nice pair on a trip. Now, where they went, who knows? Anyway, Eli was impressed with the AC sunglasses Michigan, and he looks cooler than I do in them. 

If you want a great pair of football team themed sunglasses for tailgating or just to hang out, I give a thumbs up. Eli gives and even bigger thumbs up, and he's in that college aged crowd (can be hard to please). The company has a great selection, so no matter what kind of sunglasses you are looking for, this would be a good place to check out.

So, you can see this tailgating sunglasses review has a happy ending all 'round.

 New Sunglasses for Me!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Johnsonville Heat and Eat Breakfast Sausage Links on the BBQ Grill

Johnsonville Sausage Links - Heat/Brown and Eat

We use Johnsonville brats around here when we tailgate or want a hearty, yummy dinner on the grill, so I thought Johnsonville sausages sounded like a good bet when they offered me a couple of sample packages to try out the new lines.

The Johnsonville sausage links are like the ones you get at restaurants or at the grocery store and generally brown in the frying pan for breakfast. The links would be great for a camp breakfast right on the grill as I did them or on a flat top or grill wok over the coals or gas flames.

Here I went for Johnsonville sausage link appetizers. I shook the sausages up in a zip lock bag with Dizzy Pig barbecue rub. You could use any favorite barbecue rub. I do love Dizzy Pig. Then, I put the sausages on the grill to brown them and set the rub.  This took literally a couple of minutes. My Weber grill fire was hot and ready.

The smoky flavor from the charcoal and the Dizzy Pig rub gave the Johnsonville links a really nice flavor. My son (who prefers mild flavors) loved these as appetizers with lightly spicy mustard. I enjoyed them too but kept wishing I had some scrambled eggs. I guess I'm old and set in some of my flavor ways. I'll make my eggs too next time.

Whether you want good tasting sausage links (and I've had some that were not so tasty) or want to flavor these up with rub and serve them with mustard, the Johnsonville sausage links grill up beatifically and the actual sausage flavor is very nice. I'd like a spicy option, but I can always spice things up.

Johnsonville also has sausage patties out along with the links. I'll have to give those a try too. We love breakfast around here and especially biscuits and sausage gravy.

Johnsonville Sausage Links Grilled with Barbecue Rub

You may also want to try our Johnsonville beer brats recipe. That is one of the family all-time favorite grilling recipes. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Napa Jack's Barbecue Sauce Grilled Pork Chops (sauce review)

Napa Jack's Barbecue Sauces

You better turn on the lights before you go feeling around in the dark for something stiff to drink, or you might grab a bottle of Napa Jack's. Yes. The bottles look like liquor bottles, but they contain some very yummy barbecue sauce. One sauce even has wine in the recipe though not liquor.

Napa Jack's asked if I'd like sample bottles to see what I thought of these sauces. I like to try out new sauces and do reviews, so I said I give these sauces a try.

Pork Chops on the O Grill with Napa Jack's

This was a late day at the office, so I decided to do some thin chops. Well, I'm not sure if those are even chops. They are pork though.

Seeing as how these were thin, I let them marinate in the Napa Jack's barbecue sauce. The smell was really nice, kind of tangy but sweet.

Napa Jack Pork Chops Hit the Spot

The pork turned out good. The sauce was definitely the star of the show. My favorite was the Chipotle Cabernet. That little hint of wine gave it the edge for me.

These barbecue sauces were advertised as being good as replacements for ketchup which worried me a bit. They are mild enough to use more generally, but they do taste like barbecue sauce. I could see them used for dipping as also mentioned (meat balls would be really good - especially grilled meat balls). I doubt I'd dip French fries, but then I like my fries plain, so I'm not the best one to judge on that.

I would also not that these sauces are all natural and do have that nice fresh flavor. They are also gluten free. My family eats the heck out of some gluten, but I know a lot of people avoid gluten these days. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Wet Rubz - Best Barbecue Grilling Marinade So Far

Wet Rubz Santa Maria Style BBQ Marinade

I must confess my go-to barbecue marinade is Worcestershire and Kraft Italian dressing, because I haven't been able to find really good BBQ marinades. They are loads of rubs and sauces but not many marinades.

When Wet Rubz got in touch, I was thinking of rubs, but this is actually a marinade. It's heavier than a North Carolina vinegar, so it would go on later for larger cuts of meat but is fine right from the start on grilled hamburgers and grilled chicken strips or tenders.

My favorite way (so far) to enjoy Wet Rubz is on chicken. If your chicken is kind of bland, it sure will not be with this marinade. In fact, it's too hot for my mild son when it's small pieces. He might be okay with full sized chicken parts, but I've only done the quicker ones so far. As for me, I like heat and love this marinade. It's got a kick but I'd say zippy mild to medium. I like to give a range and would say you'd want to go easy on this one with a general crowd but pour it on for heat lovers.

Dinner For One with Wet Rubz - Yum City

Above you can see that I pigged out with some small pieces of chicken with Wet Rubz this evening. Grilling for one can be a challenge, but this is quick, easy, and really delicious with the marinade by Wet Rubz.

You are probably wondering what Wet Rubz tastes like. I would say like nothing else but it so happens that my son went to Japan last year in college and fell in love with a Japanese salad dressing. This reminds me of that fabulous dressing for salads but with some heat. The base flavor must be soybeans though tastes richer and fooled me. I had to check to find out.

I also found out that this marinade is all natural. Now, that's a good thing. Chef Andy Martin and wife, Aimee, from California, wanted to build a barbecue marinade from natural ingredients, so that is what you have here. You can taste it too. I really love natural over processed.

I've moved this up to my favorite of the marinades I've tried out to date. It really is THAT yummy. I do add the warning about the heat though. If you are a mild guy/girl, then you would want much more meat to marinade.

*I did receive a bottle of the marinade to try for free. That has no impact on my review. I've been known to say a barbecue sauce tasted like ketchup (so sorry), so I do call it the way I see (though tastes can surely differ).

Friday, August 14, 2015

CLR BBQ Grill Cleaner - Good Stuff

CLR Now Has Grill Cleaner

I've been using CLR inside for a long time. It helps a lot on the hard water we have out here in the country. CLR cuts through the lime and leaves the fixtures nice and shiny.

When CLR got in touch about their new grill cleaner, I was excited. It wasn't around here yet, but I thought it would be a good pick, since the inside CLR was so good.

The company sent me a bottle of the new grill cleaner, and my son even agreed to clean the Weber smoker. It had a good amount of gunky barbecue sauce from smoking ribs.

Eli Using CLR to Clean the Smoker

With CLR Grill Cleaner, the grates were clean in no time. Eli also cleaned down the water pan which wasn't too bad, since it had been covered in aluminum foil. The outside got a quick wipe. The smoker looked almost like new.

Easy Grill Cleaning with New CLR for BBQ Grills

You can see here that the grate is cleaning up nicely. Eli has finished most of the main spokes and is getting the crud out from the center part (which is where the build up is usually the worst).

I would certainly recommend CLR. I liked it so much that I'm already out. I'll have to check Lowe's or Food Lion and see if they carry CLR BBQ grill cleaner. It really does make clean up easier.

Monday, August 03, 2015

How to Make White Barbecue Sauce - Alabama Style BBQ

Starting to Lather on the Alabama White Barbecue Sauce 

In Alabama and other places in the South, white barbecue sauce is popular. It’s a mayonnaise based barbecue sauce and very rich. It’s also sinfully tasty.

White barbecue sauce is a great change of pace for a grilled chicken party. It does look and taste different which is part of why it’s fun. If you’re used to tomato based barbecue sauces, then this may catch you by surprise. It did when I first tried it. White BBQ sauce looked odd, but I was sold after just one bite. It’s now one of my all-time favorite barbeque sauces. And, it’s great as a dip as well.

Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1 TBS lemon juice
• 1/4 cup vinegar
• 1 TBS pepper (fresh ground is fabulous)
• 1 TBS sugar

*Note - You can add a splash of hot sauce or pepper seeds and other ingredients to give the white barbecue sauce more zip.


Simply mix the sauce ingredients together and chill. Very simple!


Don’t use white barbecue sauce as a marinade. It’s too rich and thick. If you slather this on before the meat goes on the grill, the sauce will burn. Cook the chicken about ¾ done on the grill and then begin basting with the white barbecue sauce.

White barbecue sauce is also excellent as a dip with the cooked chicken. Do not use the same white barbecue batch that you used for basting. That can be contaminated. If you want baste and dip, make a double batch and reserve half in a separate container for dipping.