Its always a fun day to talk all day long about why you love BBQ. Makes for a fun way to spend a Saturday.
Plus there was also a contest where teams competed in 3 categories, appetizer, entree and dessert. There were some really excellent entries. Very creative ! My Co-Judge was Dale Smith from Kool FM Radio Dale is a really great cook and loves to grill. We also had other judges through the day as well join us.
Lots of hard work went into setting up the fun competition and Georgian Hot Tubs did an excellent job along with the Traeger Canada Team
The winner of the contest was Don McLaurin ! Congratulations to all those who entered. We were lucky to escape rain almost the entire day!
Well I had one heck of a week! It was so much fun as I crossed Canada with Char-Broil and did media for them and the Char-Broil TRU Infrared Grills.
We started out in the beautiful city of Vancouver British Columbia!
Check out the link for our segment on grilling up some delicious chicken and a grilled caesar salad HERE
Then right to the Country 105 Radio station for The RHODES Show!
Then once again right to the airport for a flight from Calgary to Chicago then on to Memphis. Ugh. Thats where a whole bunch of lightning unfortunately delayed my plane and sadly I ended up arriving a day late into Memphis. (This seriously impeded my visiting with friends plans and cocktail aspirations) Got stuck in Chicago for the night. ]
Now why was I headed to Memphis ?? Well Memphis in May of course one of the BIG contests.
The Char-Broil TRU Tour goes each year!
It is a lof of fun to visit with the Crew plus then we get to BBQ with The Weather Channel throughout the morning and have a lot of grilling fun with host Paul Goodloe
You can follow Paul on his Facebook page
It was a blast of course – who doesn’t love grilling & BBQ.? All of the recipes for the segments can be found here!
After the segments I got some time to visit with friends from all over !
Congratulations to Sweet Swine o MINE!! Memphis in May World Champions for 2013
Its a epic holiday where an overabundance of flowers buffets and cards abound.
Here are some suggestions on what to give your MOM this weekend:
Start with a cocktail….
Seriously this amazing cocktail comes from a kickass MOM – Dee from Cocktail Deeva She rocks the cocktail world, wears fab shoes and knows her stuff inside and out! Make sure you visit her website often. She is guaranteed to make you laugh and love her cocktail concoctions.
2 oz Watermelon Vodka
2 oz lemon juice 1/2 oz simple syrup (equal parts sugar/warm water)
3 slices cucumber
2 mint leaves
Shake vodka, juice, syrup and mint leaves with ice. Serve in a martini glass with ice. Garnish with cucumber floating on the top of cocktail. This cocktail is best made up ahead of time so mint and cucumber flavours can infuse infuse into the cocktail. So make up a pitcher the day before and invite the other Momʼs over to enjoy some if that TIME you asked for…
Make her dinner & clean up the kitchen.
Grilled up some Veggies (I ♥ Asparagus) with Roasted Garlic Chipotle Dipping Sauce:
Roasted Garlic & Chipotle Dipping Sauce
- 1 cup Good quality Mayonnaise
- 1 Bulb of roasted Garlic (approx. 10 cloves)
- 3 Chipotles in adobo sauce
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Place ingredients into a food processor. Pulse till incorporated well. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grilled meats, vegetables or fish.
Serve her some beautiful seafood – planked roasted garlic & tomato scallops
or some great herb crusted prime rib:
Finish the meal with a sinfully good dessert.
Nutella Dessert Pizza
For the Crust:
- 750-g fresh pizza dough
- ¼ cup Cornmeal for dusting
For the Toppings:
- 1 cup Nutella
- 1 cup Mini Marshmallows
- ½ cup Pecan pieces
- ½ cup Strawberry slices
- ½ cup Skor toffee bits
- ½ cup Chocolate chunks or chips
- Whipped Cream & icing sugar for garnish
Bring pizza dough to room temperature as per package instructions. Remove from bag; divide into 2 balls.
On lightly floured surface, pull and shape into 2 pizzas, about 9 inches (23 cm) wide. Crimp edges as you would with pie. Prick dough all over with fork tines. Let rest at room temperature 30 minutes.
Spread Nutella onto each pizza, and then layer each with mini marshmallows, pecans, skor toffee bits, chocolate chunks.
Place pizzas onto cornmeal or flour-dusted pizza paddle. Place on a heated cornmeal dusted pizza stone or oiled grill preheated to medium-high (about 550F/280C); close lid. Grill about 5-10 minutes until chocolate is melted. Remove from grill and cool for 1-2 minutes. Top with strawberries, whipped cream & icing sugar.
After dinner give her a gift certificate for something she LOVES. For me thats the SPA or my favorite BBQ store. Or heck you could even clean the house without being asked. You can’t give your Mom everything but something as simple as a cup of tea, a favorite book and quality quiet time to read it – may be exactly what she is looking for.
So there are so many games on each and every day! For the record…. I am an eternal optimist. I am a Toronto Maple Leafs Fan. For good or for bad its been a long 9 years…..
Lots of parties and that means super snacking and of course great munchies!!
Here are some great links to delicious munchies you can serve at your playoff parties…
Diva Q MOINK balls inspired by Larry Gaian from the BBQ Grail
MMM Shrimp & Sausage Bites - pork & seafood come together for a power packed bite of goodness!
4 Cheese ABT’s – stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon and smoked to yumminess!
Diva Q Jalapeno Dip & Grilled breads – so easy to make it should be illegal.
Chevaps – Because meat on sticks makes people happy!
Pizza Pizza Pizza – Everyone loves a good pizza.
I BBQ all year round. I understand there are people that put away their BBQ’s at the end of summer – (We need to talk people – you can BBQ in winter and fall!) You need to perform ongoing maintenance and grill inspection -remember a clean grill is a happy grill.
Spring is just about sprung and its always a good time to take stock of your grills, sauces and rubs as the warmer months approach..
REMINDER: You should always check with your Manufacturers Owners Manual prior to cleaning, replacing or refinishing anything on your grill. Not all grills are created equal and what works for one many seriously damage another.
Clean all of your BBQ’s exteriors with hot soapy water. You can also use a store brand degreaser. Wipe down with cotton towels (Not the good ones from the bathroom – consult your spouse on this)
Inspect all hoses and lines for cracking and fraying. Replace if necessary and consult your manufacturer’s operation manual and warranty on instructions. Tighten all nuts and bolts to make sure your grill is solid.
There are types of tube cleaning brushes that are designed to help remove debris, spiderwebs and clogged lines. Check if your type of BBQ needs this type of cleaning brush.
Flaking paint is not tasty. If your grill hood is flaking you may need to sand it down and use some high heat touch up paint. Consult your owners manual.
Replace any knobs, dials and thermometers on your grill. Most manufacturer’s have many of these instock and available for order. This will help refresh your grill.
BBQ Tip: Inspect your propane tanks. They have a shelf life make sure yours is current and where necessary replace.
BBQ Tip: Spring Check out your wood chip, chunk & charcoal levels. Stock up so you are always ready to get your grill on !!
BBQ Tip: Some types of grates need to be seasoned often and ongoing (ie Cast iron) Check with your manufacturer owners manual for recommended instructions for seasoning.
BBQ Tip: Spring Check your rubs and sauces out make sure to replenish and replace any that are out of date or stale. Try some new ones!
BBQ TIP: Level your BBQ. This only takes a minute but is really important to make sure your heat is evenly distributed.
BBQ Tip: SPring is the ideal time to remember to check your thermometers for accuracy and calibrate if necessary. Boil a small pot of water and insert the thermometer. The temperature should be 212F or 100C
BBQ Tip: Spring Buy a few large boxes of baking soda and have them handy- great to use for cleaning and snuffing out grease fires.
BBQ Tip: Spring Invest in a small notebook or online recipe database – keep a cooking log of food you make. That way if something is a success you can repeat the results!
BBQ Tip: Spring is a great time to try some new recipes check out Youtube, BBQ forums, and of course recipe sites for new inspiration!
BBQ Tip: Spring is an excellent time to invest in a new grill or BBQ. Get out & buy something new- Pellets, Charcoal & Gas all have different unique features.
BBQ Tip: Spring is a fantastic time to kick it old school with a stick burner. Imagine cool nights, thin wisps of smoke & the smell of wood & meat… awesome !
BBQ Tip: Check out a BBQ Class – you just never know what you can learn! I am biased but ill recommend this .
Above all keep your grill clean, well oiled and full of tasty food!! Enjoy !!
It was a lot of fun to be once again be invited to the Char-Broil all star event. (Seriously does anyone ever turn down an opportunity to be in the sun for a few days>?) This year’s event was held in Atlantic Beach Florida at the beautiful One Ocean Resort. Glorious beach views and top notch amenities was the theme for the weekend. Really – this was pretty lovely to work and learn in this environment.
My fellow all star Char-Broil Bloggers were once again a blast to be around. You really need to check these folks out:
- David Olson – “A Bachelor And his Grill”
David the the author of A Bachelor & His Grill. His food blog is a mix of crazy delicious grub & original recipes, a travel log for his worldly adventuring, littering of semi-appropriate/sarcastic humor, & connection point with some of the most amazing, inspirational, & engaging people he has ever met….
- Curt McAdams – “Live Fire”
Curt McAdams is an award winning competitor in all categories of several Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) sanctioned competition events and a certified barbeque judge (CBJ) in that respected organization. Curt shares his passion for cooking over an open fire in photographs of his food on his web log Livefire. …
- Julie Reinhardt – “She Smoke”
Julie Reinhardt is the author of She Smoke a Backyard Barbeque Book and hands-on partner of Smokin’ Pete’s BBQ in Seattle, a place she lovingly calls “a joint.” The fragrant aroma of smoke lingers in Julies clothes as she races between her duties as restauranteur, wife and mother….
- Scott Thomas – “Grillin’ Fools”
The Grillin Fools are husbands, fathers, sons and good employees during the work week – but evenings and weekends their nearly-a-century of outdoor cooking experience blossoms and they become grilling super-heroes. OK – that may be stretching it a bit but they are busy grilling year-round grilling. …
- Jane Bonacci – “The Heritage Cook”
Jane Evans is the author of The Heritage Cook, a web log celebrating the traditional ingredients and recipes of American family life. Jane hails from the San Franciso Bay area and her attention to the ingredients is influenced by the farms, orchards, ranches and nearby access to seafood providing an unending source of inspiration. …
- Chef Christo – “Chez What?”
Chef Christo Gonzales or simply “Christo” hails from New York and manages a busy schedule as private chef for individuals as well executive chef for two catering companies. A prolific cook and writer he shares his thoughts on food by contributing to more than a dozen web and social media outlets including photos of his creations….
- Catherine Mayhew – “The South In My Mouth”
Catherine Mayhew is the author of The HandyMom’s Guide to Grilling (Cool Springs Press) and the sassy southern lady behind the web log The South In My Mouth. In her own words: “I think about lunch just after breakfast and dinner right after lunch.”…
The time was packed with information sessions on Char-Broil grills and accessories for the 2013 season and future plans as well. We learned a lot about presentations, TRU Infrared technology and photography. Plus how can you resist marketing materials and information when it is held with the cutest paper clips ever.
Char-Broil is also one of the sponsors of the HGTV SMART Home located a short distance from our hotel in Jacksonville Florida.
We got to tour the house and check out the really interesting Technology they use.
Of course we had to check out the grill station! (I need to get that lamp light over the grill it was gorgeous)
After the house tour we travelled to Mayhew Florida to visit a fish market. We had enjoyed some of the terrific Shrimp thats available locally and it was great to see cases of fresh shrimp and trawlers.
There was a deep sea fishing trip booked as well but unfortunately due to high seas it was cancelled. Darnit. I was really looking forward to that. However we all headed to the SPA instead. I know it was a tough call but I made the sacrifice and got a really cute pedicure instead. The ocean views from the One Ocean SPA were gorgeous.
After the relaxation we had a very serious event. It was the 2013 Char-Broil All Star Throwdown Competition. This is an annual event with no monetary prizes but bragging rights. We randomly pull numbers to find your partner and then you get grilling. My partner this year was the lovely Jane Bonacci “The Heritage Cook” She was an excellent partner and we worked very well together.
The black box competition contained: Calamari, Semi Sweet Dark Chocolate, blood oranges, Prawns, Snapper, sun dried tomatoes & Collard greens. We were required to use every mandatory item.
We had old Bay seasoning, salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, olive oil, lemons and hot sauce as pantry items. Plus wood planks if we wanted.
I think we made something spectacular. We had 22 minutes. Thats all the time we had from start to finish to grill, photograph and present to the judges. Our judges were the VP of Char-Broil Marketing Michelle Zeller, a ONE Ocean team representative, and hosted by Marketing Specialist Mary Eitel from MKE Communications.
This was our entry titled Bounty of the Sea:
Our entry included:
- Smoked Calamari stuffed with grilled shrimp, charred collards, finely minced sun dried tomatoes and seasonings
- Louisiana grilled shrimp
- Shrimp stuffed sea shells
- Blood Orange chocolate reduction
- Thyme grilled snapper
Jane made the absolutely amazing Blood orange,chocolate reduction for the plank that paired beautifully with the snapper. Make sure you check out her Chocolate Monday post next week for the recipe.
The competition was intense and all of the teams put out some incredible food. Very glad to report that Jane and I won the competition and the bragging rights for the next year. Trophy widget will be coming soon from the always helpful Michael Williams Char-Broils Multi Media Content Specialist and Community Manager.
After the contest we celebrated with some refreshing cocktails and a wonderful Grouper dinner oceanside. A great time was had by all. Its really great to hear of all the Char-Broil All Star’s successes. These are some seriously talented people that make amazing food!! Make sure to check out their blog Posts on Char-Broil and their own personal websites.
This event is always jam-packed with information, interesting education sessions and lots of laughter with my fellow Char-Broil All Stars. Looking forward to seeing them all sooner than later.
Just a reminder:
As one of the Char-Broil All star bloggers I get to share a really great deal for my readers & followers. Char-Broil has given me a code to post for the year for 25% off. Thats a big chunk of change to save.
This code will give 25% OFF All Grills and Cookers on charbroil.com. Pls note it is not applicable to parts but to grills & accessories only. This code & link below is valid until December 2013. Just use the code when you are checking out and click the link below:
Simple Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon white sugar
- 2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Combine all ingredients in saucepan.
- Simmer until smooth and thickened to desired consistency—approximately 15 minutes.