Monday, July 26, 2010

To My Father's Loyal Blog Readers

This is Craig, Richards son. Richard passed away this morning unexpectedly. I know that he really appreciated this community and considered many of you friends so I thought it would be important to let you all know. Since his retirement this blog was very important to him and his life long passion of cooking. I am sorry to have to tell you all this in this fashion. He was loved and will be missed. Thank you all for being his friends and inspiring him to continue cooking right up till the end.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Hope You Liked My Smackdown Entry.....

Because it took 3rd in the State of Michigan BB-Q Cook-off in Vegetables! We didn't get skunked! We finished 28th out out of 48 teams overall, and were very happy with that! 5th in potatoes- 1/2 point out of third! Missed second in veggies by 1/2 point. More photos to follow in next post!
It rained all Friday, making the field a muddy mess where nearly everybody got stuck at least once!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My July Smackdown Entry...

We were practicing Monday for the BB-Q side dishes, and tried a few different things, settling on this dish for our vegetable entry. We battered and deep fried green beans! Simple, incredibly good- with a creamy dip for added flavor! They were crisp, firm, flavorful, and the dip was creamy yet with the addition of hot sauce- it had a nice zip to it! I know there will be more colorful vegetable side dishes, but for flavor- these were very tasty!
I'll let you know how we did after the cook-off!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A BB-Q Primer...

I have six or seven books on BB-Q, but these three are my "go to" books! Paul Kirk is my guru of BB-Q, and have learned the most from his writings...He is informative on procedures, and makes sense in his philosophies.
The three jars in the photo are as follows: On the left, a mustard slather. This is spread on the meat for two main reasons, one mustard has vinegar and tenderizes meat to a degree, and two- it holds the dry rub (next jar) in place as it dissolves onto and into the meat. Mine is made from mustard, beer, molasses, and hot sauce. Beef and pork only, and it will not taste mustardy!
The second jar is dry rub, made of herbs, spices, salt, sugar. It flavors the meat- in a good way!
The third jar is a finishing sauce, put on towards the end of long slow cooking, otherwise known as BB-Q sauce. Glazing it onto ribs, or mixing it with vinegar for pulled pork is common. Glazing on chicken is good, too! I use a separate one for beef brisket...
We tried out a couple of our side dishes, and were quite pleased with the results!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Freelance Pasta Salad!

I never seem to make pasta salad the same way every time.... I tend to use what is available, yet compatible! The one you see in the photo takes on a bit of an Italian theme, with the following ingredients:
Tri-colored spiral pasta
Hard cooked eggs, chopped
Pepperoni slices, quartered
Shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Chopped sweet onion
Chopped tomato
Chopped green olives
Chopped black olives
Creamy Caesar's Dressing, for binder
Mix and chill, then serve on bed of lettuce
The green olives provide enough salt for the whole recipe, pepperoni gives heat but not too much!), and the dressing is somewhat tart and garlicky-really good!
Nice cool bite to eat, when the weather is hot!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mini Meme Time! BB-Q...

I will be in The Taste of Grand Rapids KCBS sanctioned BB-Q cook off in a couple of weeks.. I thought it would be a good question to throw at you! It doesn't matter if you make it yourself, or buy it at a restaurant....
1. What is your favorite BB-Q food?
2. What is your least favorite?
It's hard to have BB-Q that isn't good, but try!
I really like chicken that has been marinated, smoked- usually thighs with skin on, skin crisped and coated with a good finishing sauce towards the end of the cooking time!
I've taken 3rd and 4th place with Beef Brisket in the state, but I don't enjoy it as much as most people seem to..go figure!! I had some at Smokey Bones once, I swore was beef jerky!
Have fun with this, I enjoy your comments on these Mini-Memes!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It's Soup! The Easiest Use Of Left Overs....

I eat soup year round! A few nights back, I had left over chicken and rice...Plenty can be done with these ingredients! I chose to make tomato based soup, utilizing chicken and rice into a hearty soup, even though the temperature outside was a bit high. Tomato sauce, Italian spices, some milk, some cheese, and the base was simmered until blended. Adding already cooked ingredients made this a quick, tasty meal! I floated a tomato slice, with croutons and Parmesan cheese on top of soup....quite tomatoey, it was rich! Some like that, and some don't, but I don't make soup from a recipe- and neither do you!
Have a good week-end, everybody!