Summer grilling is better with koozies

Wed, Apr 2, 2014

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The summer grilling season is fast approaching and it’s time to get your gear together. Be sure to have plenty of ice cold beverages to go with whatever you are cooking up on the grill. Don’t forget the koozies however. Not only do they keep your drink cool, they are easier and more comfortable to hold. They make bottle sized koozies now too.

One idea is to consider is creating your own custom printed koozies from ExpressImprint with your family name, company logo, or what have you. Prices and minimum quantities have really come down, and the process is pretty easy. You’ll be the hit of the neighborhood.

Getting Your Children Into The Kitchen

Fri, Aug 16, 2013

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When you teach your children how to cook, they will develop a skill that will follow them throughout life. Everyone remembers the kitchen disasters that some people have when they go out on their own. There are the stories of undercooked chicken, scorched pasta and weeks spent eating the same meal. When you give your children the right cooking skills, they will be the ones teaching their friends how to cook.

The first step is to get your children interested in spending time in the kitchen. Many parents start by teaching their children how to cook, but this isn’t always the first step that you have to take. One of my favorite ideas is to get kids to make food containers.

Firstly, go out and pick up some plastic bottles, or get them online. Depending on the age of your child, you might prefer to buy glass jars instead. Next, buy some labels that fit around the bottle or jar. Now, you have a plain canvas that’s ready for your child to decorate.

As your child decorates containers, they will learn about different ingredients. They will need to design a label for a container that holds olive oil, and they’ll learn about olive oil in the process. The same for every other ingredient like jams, herbs and spices. I think it’s nice to tell your child a bit about how the ingredients are grown and made, but that’s up to you.

The trick is to get them passionate about the ingredients. Children are fascinated by the idea of mixing things and the results it creates. Get them interested in the ingredients, and you’ll get them interested in cooking with much less effort.

A lot of parents worry about introducing healthy eating habits by only getting them to make healthy food, but this isn’t the right way to go. Some think that if you teach children how to make vegetable salads they’ll spend the rest of their days eating well. The truth is, the most difficult part is actually getting your kids to cook in the first place. Once your kid starts cooking, it’s very easy to encourage them toward trying healthier recipes in the future.

I like to start off by getting the child to follow recipes that contain one or more of the ingredients from the prior task. If they learned all about jam, give them a recipe that contains jam. If they learned all about broccoli, give them a recipe that contains broccoli.

The BBC suggests a great little recipe for kids to make sunshine burgers. They look delicious, and they taste just as great as they look. Usually it’s best to start with a little bit of baking, but afterwards this is a great recipe to move onto. It’s a nice simple recipe and the burgers will be ready in around 20 minutes. Not only will children have so much fun, they tend to be fascinated with the way mince turns into a burger during the cooking process. You’ll get lots of questions and puzzled looks – which is a great sign that your children are learning.

Southern Living and Troy Black are “All Fired Up”

Sat, Jun 1, 2013

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Southern Living and Troy Black are “All Fired Up”

Southern Living has teamed up with award-winning pitmaster Troy Black to produce a new guide to Southern BBQ.

The new book is designed to be the essential guide to Southern barbecue for beginners and experienced barbecue lovers alike. Troy takes you on a journey through the South, covering every region of barbecue from Texas brisket to Alabama smoked chicken, and everything in between, sharing his own recipes and techniques for winning barbecue.

In the South, barbecue is king. Barbecue grills are ubiquitous fixtures in backyards across the region, and every Southerner looks forward to the “firing-up” season. This book is a follow up to the best-selling Big Book of BBQ and is filled with expert techniques and know-how enables every cook to start grilling like an award-winning pit master in his own backyard.

As a professional pit master, Troy Black has traveled the country competing in- and often willing– professional barbecue contests and teaching the art and techniques of low and slow smoking. With full-color “how to grill” photos, this book shares Troy’s secrets that are guaranteed to elevate basic backyard fare to gourmet grill status. Whether you prefer charcoal grilling or gas grilling, this book has it all.

In addition to techniques, Troy also shares his top-secret, all time best, tried-and-true recipes that have won him countless awards nationwide. These include his favorite sauces and rubs that give his recipes uniquely scrumptious flavors not to be found in any barbecue joint– anywhere!

Special features throughout the book make it an indispensable grilling guide: Take it from Troy is a mini-forum for tips and insightful reflections gleaned from his years as a professional pit master; for busy weeknights when time is of the essence, cooks will appreciate Troy’s Take a Shortcut suggestions; for make-ahead ideas, On ‘Cue ensures a barbecue meal that’s perfectly planned from start to finish.

Things to Make Your BBQ More Enjoyable

Sun, Dec 2, 2012

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Things to Make Your BBQ More Enjoyable

It’s a known fact: if you want to be the king of your neighborhood, host a barbecue. People will flock to your backyard and enjoy every second of it, that is if you host it right. Barbecues are the staple of every summer, and there’s nothing quite like biting into a delicious burger on the 4th of July (or just about any other day of the year). You probably already have some pretty cool tricks up your sleeve when it comes to throwing an awesome barbecue. To take your barbecue to the next level, check out these suggestions. 

Buy a Heater

If you want to keep your barbecue party going all night long, you need to have a way to keep people warm when night comes around. Investing in a couple of gas patio heaters from Advanced Systems Heaters will make sure that all your guests are warm and enjoying their time at your barbecue. Make sure they’re strategically placed around your yard so people don’t have to huddle together to stay warm and can spread out a little bit. There are some heaters that sit right on top of tables, so choosing one of those in addition to the larger standup heaters could be a good idea. There are a lot of different gas patio heater models out there, so find one that fits with the design of your backyard and enjoy warmer nights at all of your barbecues!

Theme Your BBQ 

This might seem like a weird suggestion at first, but your guests are guaranteed to love it. Rather than just a traditional afternoon summer barbecue, opt for something more…interesting. Maybe you want to host a super hero barbecue, or a safari barbecue. Try and make every aspect of your barbecue party follow the theme, including the dinners. Opt for some different kinds of sides as opposed to traditional barbecue grub like potato salad or macaroni salad. Or throw some crazy kicks into those traditional recipes to go along with your theme. Your guests will enjoy themselves and it will make for some interesting conversation. 

Opt to Try Some New Meats

Sure hamburgers and hotdogs are the staple of any good barbecue, but if you really want to take it to the next level you should offer your guests something more. Think outside the box. Go for some delicious briskets or some sizzling hot links that will have all of your guest’s satisfied. Whatever you decide to grill, make sure you start marinating early. The earlier is better, and if you can start marinating 24 hours early then you should because it will make your meat that much better. Make sure you have some vegetarian options in case anyone doesn’t eat meat, too! 

Have Fun Games

Try and add some games to your barbecue. Standing around, talking, and drinking beers is great, but adding in some games will keep people entertained. Beanbag toss is a traditional one, but don’t limit it to that. Be sure to keep a football out there too in case the crew wants to spontaneously play a game! 

The Salt Lick Cookbook

Thu, Sep 27, 2012

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The Salt Lick Cookbook

The world famous Texas BBQ legend “The Salt Lick” is publishing a cookbook just in time for Christmas, in late November. They are already accepting pre-orders.

Fans of the legendary barbecue restaurant The Salt Lick (which has national notoriety, thanks to food shipments and national TV and print coverage) will be able to experience its classic recipes at home and learn about the history of the celebrated Texas institution in the upcoming publication of The Salt Lick Cookbook: A Story of Land, Family, and Love by owner and pit master Scott Roberts and Jessica Dupuy.

BBQ lovers likely know of The Salt Lick, as its been featured on The Food Network, The Travel Channel, and The Today Show, as well as in the New York Times, Everyday With Rachael Ray, USA Today and Food & Wine, among others. In addition, owner and author Scott Roberts was a featured judge on Bravo Network’s recent series Top Chef: Texas.

The book is more than a collection of barbecue fare made famous by the restaurant as it contains an array of closely guarded family recipes that until now have never been shared. It is a story of over four generations of the Roberts clan, their love of each other, and the food that brought them together over the years. For The Salt Lick Cookbook, Roberts painstakingly chose the best family recipes and the stories behind them to share with the world, from his grandmother Roxieâ??s biscuits to his mother Hisakoâ??s catfish and hush puppies. These Roberts family’??s recipes are steeped in tradition and have provided the foundation for the barbecue restaurant, located in Driftwood, which has evolved into a great Texas landmark that attracts visitors from across the globe

American Family’s BBQ Recipes Will Keep Your Grill Hot All Season

Sat, Jul 7, 2012

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I’m no Master of the Pit, but I know my way around a barbecue grill. In addition to the usual burgers and dogs, I can grill a mean porterhouse, rub a rack of ribs, or even beer-can a chicken with the best of them. I learned how to grill from my grandfather, who improvised a lot and never actually prepared any dish the same twice. Any time I’d ask him to write down a recipe or just provide specifics, he’d just take a drag on his Pall Mall and tell me, “We’re grilling steaks, not baking cookies.”

So, is it really cheating to use a recipe for barbecuing? My friends are divided on the issue. Some maintain that cooking by rote or recipe is totally acceptable, while others insist it’s akin to painting by numbers and calling it art. Since I never acquired my grandfather’s talent for spontaneity, I tend to favor the recipe approach. For me, it’s all about repeatable process. My wife Anne loves my beer can chicken, but she knows it’s going to taste the same as it did last time, and the time before.

A couple of weeks ago, Anne downloaded a free ebook of BBQ Recipes from the American Family website. For someone like me, who can’t cook without a crib sheet, this book is a godsend! It’s got over 40 recipes, ranging from the basic (grilled steak, grilled vegetables) to the complicated (Caribbean grilled scallop salad, grilled quail with white polenta). There are awesome (and easy) recipes for grilled stuffed peppers and grilled corn on the cob, and even a recipe for grilled BLT pizza.

The recipes, even the more complex ones, are presented on a single page each, with serving size, ingredients, and instructions for preparation. Each entry also includes nutritional information, for those of you who may be grilling to eat healthy.

Thanks to this book, I’m well on my way to adding a few more grilled dishes to my repertoire. I used the grilled sausages recipe to fire up some brats for the in-laws last weekend, and Anne has asked me to grill another batch of stuffed peppers for her Keno game next week. She’s also taken an interest in grilling, and says she’s tempted to take a stab at the Grilled Peaches Jezebel (peaches with honey, horseradish, and Dijon mustard, in case you’re wondering).
If you’re interested, the BBQ Recipes book can be downloaded at
http://www.americanfamily.com/lp/SciOpsBBQ/download.html. American Family—a part of Synapse Group, Inc.—is one of those websites where they pay you to play games, collect recipes, clip coupons, and take quizzes. Unless you’re already a member, you’ll have to sign up before you can download the book, but it’s totally free!