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.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Nonni's THINaddictives - Yummy Snacks - Low Calorie with Protein

Nonni's THINaddictives - New Flavor

Readers of my blog may know that I love Nonni's THINaddictives. They are delicious biscotti cookies that are low calorie and include protein. They made a good snack for fall/winter slow barbecue smoking.

The newest flavor is Mango Coconut with almonds. The tropical flavor has a more summer feel but would be good anytime. 

Fresh Single Serve Snack Packs

The single packs are good for travel and camping or just to have on hand if you start craving a whole box of doughnuts. THINaddictives are just sweet enough to take the edge off that sort of day but are under 100 calories for a pack of three. It is, I must confess, hard to stop at three though.

Yum. THINaddictives are Good.

For summer these are great as an appetizer or dessert with grilled pineapple. Just grill up your pineapple and put these coconut/mango treats out which can be eaten or dipped in a beverage (coffee is classic of course) before or after a cook out.

TIP: Check Nonni's on Facebook. They have a contest going June 2015 to win a free box and also store coupons. If you keep an eye out, they have specials like this from time to time. 

THINaddictives did send me a box to check out in exchange for an honest review. I've loved all their flavors, so I was looking forward to trying the summer inspired tropical thins. They did not disappoint. I would recommend all the flavors in the line. None have disappointed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Macho Mayo - Mayonnaise That Hits It Out of the Park

 Now This is Some Mayonnaise That I Can Embrace

Macho Mayo got in touch to see if I'd like to test out their zippy mayonnaise. I must confess I've never been a big mayonnaise fan, but that's because it really does taste quite bland. I use mayo in sandwich salads like ham salad, but generally I skip over it. Some mayo with a kick sounded more in line with my palate, so I decided to give it a try.

The two flavors arrived. The medium is Roasted Green Chili. The hot is Roasted Jalapeno (red label). You can see the jars above.

I decided to charcoal grill some hamburgers to try out the mayonnaise.

  Grilled Burgers Over Charcoal

Once I finished grilling the hamburgers, I broke out the Macho Mayo Green Chili. Sometimes "hot" is over the top, so I opted for medium to start with.

Normally I dress out my grilled hamburgers, but I decided to go with just the Macho Mayo to get the full effect. This is spread style in a jar. I could have put some in a squirt bottle to make a prettier photo, but I think readers should see what things actually do look like (so I don't photoshop my photos either - other than cropping). I also put the mayo on the meat rather than the bun, so you could actually see it.

All I Can Say is "WOW"

Macho Mayo was so yummy that I added more mayo after I took the photo and started eating my burger. I also warmed up a leftover burger for lunch the next day and had another Macho Mayo burger.

I come across lots of really yummy products, but this is one of my favorite new flavors. It's great on sandwiches. It is wonderful as a dip like Ranch for chips or veggies. And, I'm planning to try this out on White Barbecue Chicken (Alabama style).

This is a total thumbs up. Medium has a mild kick and should work for everyone. Hot Macho Mayo is still good for a lot of people. Just use less if you don't want a whole lot of heat. I say: "Try out Macho Mayo. It really is THAT good" (even for someone who was not big on mayonnaise before).

I hope Food Lion adds this product. Crossing my fingers. 

Here some other information about Macho Mayo

  • Gluten Free
  • ½ the calories & fat compared to traditional mayo (good news)
  • No Sugar (my step dad can have this - yay)
  • Perfect as a dip (so true)
  • Great for use in tasty recipes- crab cakes, chicken salad, Mexican Street Corn, dips and more (crab cakes my Granny made are on my list to make)
  • Comes in 2 flavors- Zesty Roasted Green Chili (medium heat level) & Spicy Roasted Jalapeno (hot heat level).   
  • Macho Mayo has a 3rd flavor hitting the shelves by late 2015. (Now that's good news!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tastefully Simple Chipotle Honey Grill Sauce with BBQ Pork Chops

Tastefully Simple Chipotle Honey Grill Sauce
I've been using Tastefully Simple products for quite some time now, so I was looking forward to trying out the new Chipotle Honey barbecue sauce.

The sauce smelled great when I opened the bottle. I picked up the honey smell right off the bat.

I decided to grill pork chops with the Tastefully Simple BBQ sauce. We've been doing pork chops quite a bit lately with some good sales in this area. If you tend to dry your pork chops out, check out my tips for grilling boneless pork chops.

Chipotle Honey Pork Chops Setting up on the Grill
The pork chops grilled quickly. Above you'll see them the last couple of minutes while the barbecue sauce "sets."

I grilled these when my older son was home, since the younger son does not like much heat (but he does love honey). The Chipotle note was there but just a hint. The honey was the stronger flavor. The balance was very nice. This is a barbecue sauce that you could serve to any group. I plan to grill something for my younger son with the Tastefully Simple barbecue sauce, because I'm sure he'll love the honey flavor, and the peppers are not hot enough to put my mild guy off.

* Tastefully Simple did send the product free in exchange for an honest review. Regular readers will know I am one to say what I think.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Smokin-O's BBQ Smoke Rings Add Flavor to Gas Grilling

I joined the Great American Chicken Challenge. My mission was to decide if using Smokin'O's Barbecue Smoke Rings take gas grilled chicken from okay to terrific. 

Here's a close up look at the Smokin'O. It's compressed wood along with flavorings. You just put it on your gas grill on high, and then reduce the heat and grill your chicken as usual. 

I followed the directions. My photos with smoke did not turn out very good with the sun hitting hard from the right. The Smokin'O did put out a good amount of smoke. 

If I'm judging by looks, the Smokin-O sure does smoke up a pretty piece of chicken. These are organic chicken breasts without bones or skin. I added the flavor pack provided by the company and then topped off the chicken with a lime barbecue sauce. That's a mild barbecue sauce, so I could really check the taste of the Smokin'O's.

I loved the idea but was not sure the execution would be there, but it was. We eat a long of boneless, skinless chicken breasts off the grill. I lean to charcoal but sometimes use gas for chicken. The Smokin-O smoke ring did make a big difference. The flavor was like wood smoked chicken, but those extra spices packed more flavor, and it was a natural tasting flavor.

My son happened to be in, and I asked if he noticed a difference. He also thought the chicken was better with the smoke rings. Two for two so thumbs up.

Note: I was invited to be part of this challenge. The company sent the chicken, flavor pack, and Smokin-O's in exchange for an honest review. I was not paid - just provided the testing items.

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.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Henry's Humdingers Raw Honey with Heat - A New Spin on Sweet and Hot

Henry's Humdingers Honey - With Some Kickin' Heat

I was rather befuddled when I was asked to try out Henry's Humdingers honey with heat. My Poppaw was a beekeeper, and I'd only had honey as a sweetener like on homemade biscuits (yum).

As a heat lover and honey lover, I thought these products sounded interesting. I was scheduled for the annual gathering of the Winter Grillers, so I packed a couple of jars to see what the crew thought.

In addition to the two flavors you see above, there's also Dibolical Dad Habanero and Lime and also Naughty Nana Spicy Pepper and Ginger.

 Lon Lathering Up the Sausages 

Lon is the spark plug of Winter Grillin', and he was manning the sausages. The annual meeting is at his hotel and campground Roaring River Resort in Missouri and is a terrific place to stay. You'll feel just like family except pampered.

Syndi Gets Things Spiced Up with Henry's Honey

Syndi is Lon's wife, and she's a sweetheart. She went the extra mile with dipped honey along with the grilled on, and you can see she is still smiling. So, this honey has the spice going but doesn't have you running for the water faucet.

I liked the hot and spicy honey on the sausages and also have enjoyed it on ham and even chicken. It's definitely different and memorable.

My big honey eating son Eli . . . now he wasn't so happy. He likes the sweet, dark mountain honey with the comb. And, he's not a heat fan. That's okay. I keep sweet honey on hand for him.

If you're more adventuresome and like heat, then I'd say Henry's Humdingers honey is a good pick. The balance of sweet and heat is solid and quite unique. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lime and Lemon Squeezers by Imusa - They were a HIT here!

Lime Squeezer and Lemon Squeezer Made by Imusa

Imusa offered me a free gadget for an honest review, and the lime and lemon squeezers jumped right out me. We have been squeezing by hand for barbecue flavoring and for guacamole for grilled nacho chips. This means quite a bit of waste, picking out seeds, and overall a mess.