Saturday, October 27, 2012

Heinz 57 Tailgate Giveaway - Win a Great Free Prize (11-4-2012 drawing)

Heinz 57 Tailgate Prize Pack - Enter to Win

Stephanie emailed to see if I'd like to try out some new Heinz 57 products and if I thought my readers would enjoy a contest to win a Heinz tailgate prize.

I grew up with Heinz 57, and the steak sauce always makes me think of my childhood. I didn't realize they'd come out with some new sauces - one with honey and one with Lea & Perkins Worchestershire sauce. Yum. Good combinations to add some variety to a familiar and fun sauce line.

The prize pack includes the three Heinz 57 sauces as well as a tailgate blanket, grill tool set, drink huggie, and a cookbook with outdoor grilling recipes.

How Can You Enter to Win the Heinz Tailgate Giveaway?

I keep my contests very simple. You just enter (with no spam to follow). Then, I have a family member, friend, or neighbor draw a name from the slips I make with the entries.

To enter, just comment here on the blog and tell me why you'd like to win this fun prize pack. You can comment once per day through noon on November 4, 2012. I do have moderation on the blog, so you don't get naughty links (whew - a lot of people like to put those in comments sadly). I do check back often, so if you don't see your post immediately, know that I'll get it cleared quickly.

Some folks like to do extra entries, so if you Facebook the link or Tweet it, then I'll add an extra slip for doing either or two entries for both. Just be sure to leave a message here if you do the extras. I don't want to miss any of your entries.

Remember also to leave some way to get in touch. I don't collect or use your contact data, but I need some way to get in touch if you're the winner. Then, I send just the winning name in with a snail mail address so that the prize can be mailed to you from Heinz.

Good luck! I'll post the winner after noon on 11-4-2012.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Great Flavor with Pure Cane Sugar by Morena - Plus an Apple Pie Recipe

Zulka Pure Cane Sugar by Morena
Sugar is sugar. Right?
Actually - no.
Stephanie offered to send me some Zulka pure cane sugar which is made from freshly harvested sugar cane and is not processed like the sugar I buy around here. She said it is used just as my grocery store sugar and in the same amounts. I was curious and had never seen or used sugar that had not been pressed and processed.
The first thing I noticed was that the pure cane sugar granules were larger than my other bagged sugars. Plus, they had kind of a glow - sort of like rock candy but clearer.  
I do use some sugar in barbecue rubs but usually brown sugar. Plus, we'd just been to an Apple Festival and picked up a big bag of Yellow Delicious apples. So, our first project with the Morena sugar was an apple pie which was a good dish to make while waiting for a shoulder to smoke on the Weber.
My son offered to make the apple pie. He's developed an interest in learning to make food from scratch. He even made his crust from scratch - his first. Then, he used one of my favorite apple pie recipes that dates to when I was his age and learning how to bake.
Here is Caleb's first apple pie made with Morena sugar.
Crumble Top Apple Pie Recipe
First buy a pie crust (the roll out type taste better than the frozen pre-formed ones) or make your favorite pie crust recipe. You only need one crust for this apple pie recipe, since the top is a crumble style.
Do not bake the pie crust as you would for a custard style pie. Likewise, do not put holes in the crust, since the filling bakes along with the crust, and you do not want the gooey part to leak down under the crust.
Apple Pie Filling
  • enough apples to fill the crust slightly heaping as they shrink some when baked (6 to 8 apples usually)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (we used this delicious Morena natural sugar)
  • 1/4 cup water
Cut the apples up in slices and place in unbaked crust. Mix together the water and sugar. Stir. Pour evenly over the apples in the pie shell.
* At this point, you could add a top pie crust or a lattice weave top; however, we like crumble top which is super easy to make.
Apple Pie Crumble Topping
  • 1/2 cup butter (let it sit out a while but not until melty)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (Morena again used here)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Mix together the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Then cut in the butter. It will look crumbly chunky kind of like Bisquick but a little chunkier. Pour this mixture over top of the apple filling in the crust and spread around pretty evenly.
Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes (to help set the crust and prevent it from being mushy) and then reduce heat to 350 degrees F until the top is browned (around 40 minutes).
 What Did We Think of the Morena Sugar in Our Crumble Top Apple Pie?
Wow. That's all I can say about the Morena sugar. It has a more complex flavor than processed sugar. It really pops. I would say it's sweeter than the sugar I generally use, but that may be because our regular table sugar has gone through more processing. I have found that I can use less of the Morena sugar, since it is bursting with sweet flavor.
I hope our local grocery stores will start carrying Morena natural sugar. I wasn't sure that it would taste much different until I tried it. I can't imagine who decided to process the heck out of our sugar, because it's better tasting and looking when they let it stand on its own.   

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

RiverPark Cooleemee Bullhole 10th Annual Catfish Fry 10-20-2012

Fried Catfish Lunch to Raise Funds for the Bull Hole RiverPark

One of my favorite places in the whole world is the Bull Hole. It's now officially RiverPark Cooleemee, North Carolina, but most locals still call it the Bullhole and say that long years ago a bull fell in a hole in the area and drowned. I can't vouch for that old story, but I have over a thirty year history with the natural sandy river beach on the county lines of Rowan and Davie.

RiverPark, Cooleemee (NC) - Bullhole

When I was in high school, students used to go out to Bull Hole on weekends. There's not much to do around here, so it was fun to slip over to the Yadkin River and play in the waterfall, slide on the rocks, and roast hot dogs.

It wasn't actually legal to go to the Bull Hole back then. The land was privately owned but never appeared to be used. It went on the block, and locals pulled together to buy the land and make the Bull Hole an official park for the area.

That's where the catfish fry comes in . . .

The first catfish fry helped secure the land, and the ones now help pay for employees to keep the park open, clean, and safe. This year (2012) is the 10th year.
Details on the Bull Hole Catfish Fry 2012

If you live anywhere close Salisbury, NC, then I'd encourage you to drive out for the fish and to support the beautiful RiverPark. You get on 801 and look for the turn signs near the big Yadkin Bridge on the Rowan County side of the line. The entrance is also on the Rowan side. If you get lost, just ask. People know the park and can get you pointed in the right direction.

You can buy tickets ahead or at the park on the day of the fish fry. The cost is $8, and you get a big plate of fried-on-the-spot fish (which is fabulous), fries, slaw, and hush puppies plus drinks. It's a really good deal for a really great meal.

The hours are 11 to 2, and I shoot for 12 at the latest. I'd hate for them to sell out before I got there.

In addition to the food and fellowship, they always have some local bluegrass bands on hand for entertainment. The music is always good, and bluegrass is just perfect for the natural feel of the park.

Enjoy Local Bluegrass Along with Fried Fish

Also note that they have a silent auction (funds also going to the park). They had a lot of neat prizes donated by local companies. I bid and won on gift certificates to several local restaurants that I'd not tried before. Mom got some pretty fall flowers potted. Another lady had bid too and lost, so Mom just gave her one of the plants. It's a friendly kind of gathering like that.

Oops - Can't Make it Saturday?

If you can't make the fish fry on Saturday, still think about visiting RiverPark Cooleemee at another time. It really is very pretty park. You can walk the trails or bring a grill and have a cook out or play  in the water when it's warm weather. For a bigger event, you can rent the shelter which is really nice with lots of space.