I decided to take 3 of my favorite food groups – Whisky, Bacon and Chocolate and combine them into one over the top crazy decadent dessert.
These are not your everyday truffles.
- 20 oz best quality semi sweet chocolate chopped finely
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 oz Forty Creek Whisky
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup semi sweet/dark or milk chocolate chocolate melted
- 8-12 slices pig candy finely chopped
Place the 20 oz of chocolate in a large glass bowl. Heat heavy whipping cream to a simmer. Pour cream over chocolate and add vanilla and whiskey. Let sit for a couple of minutes. Using a rubber spatula stir until the chocolate, whiskey, vanilla and cream are mixed well. Place in fridge for minimum of 4 hours or even better overnight to set up. Using a melon baller or small ice cream scoop portion out the truffles. Place on baking sheets covered with parchment. Place in fridge for 1 hour to harden. Dip truffles into melted chocolate (I use a couple of fondue forks for this) and top with finely chopped pig candy. Place on parchment paper to set and chill or freeze until serving. You can also substitute the whiskey for rum or other extracts to change the flavor profile.
Makes approximately 40/50 truffles
This is a very rich and decadent sauce for grilled steaks, and all hearty roasts. Turns an everyday dinner into something spectacular.
- 2 cups assorted Sliced Mushrooms
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 tablespoon Coarsely ground fresh black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Dried Rosemary (or if using fresh 2 tablespoons finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
* add 1/4 -1/2 cups beefstock or wine if you prefer a thinner sauce.
In a large skillet melt butter and olive oil over medium high heat, when the butter is bubbling (approx 2 minutes) add garlic and cook for one 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook until softened and golden. Add rosemary, cream, salt and pepper simmer for 5 -6 minutes until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Top with additional fresh rosemary serve immediately.
Tis the Season for giving. An organization run by people in the BBQ community has now given out more than 500,000 meals. When you are thinking about your Donations whether they are Corporate or Personal please consider Operation BBQ Relief. Operation BBQ Relief is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation founded in May 2011 in response to a need for relief efforts. Also for this weekend only up Big Poppas Smokers will match contributions up to $5000.00 US – make sure you mark donations King of the Smoker.
Each year we hold the annual Dimovski Christmas party. It is a tradition that we love. I love getting together with our friends for some festive cheer and fun.
I like to give people a tray of cookies or something festive as a parting gift after each party. This year I made a few batches of BBQ rubs and filled up mason jars. Attached a tag with some rustic jute twine and done. You could also attach an easy recipe that you love using the rubs. Easy gift to give !!
Here are some of my everyday use BBQ rub recipes:
Here is my go to – all purpose Pork & Chicken Rub – the yield is 2 cups and is ideal for doubling up.
Well tis the season for some giving – the items below I have all personally tried & used . I do not recommend items that I have not thoroughly tried out or used. These are my own personal choices – some have made the list before and some are brand new.
Making a repeat appearance – one of my favorite gifts to receive and to give:
Back Lit ! Thermapen
In typical Thermapen-fashion, our UK engineers have designed a button-less intelligent backlight system. When the Thermapen is on, a new display sensor continuously monitors ambient light levels. As it gets darker, the backlight comes on automatically so you can read the digits in any light condition. With this power-saving strategy, battery life is only reduced to a minimum of 100 hours even when the backlight is in continuous use. If only used in the light, the miniature CR2032 cells still last 1500 hours! Your actual battery life will be somewhere in between depending on the amount of night cooking you do. And, there’s no button to push. You don’t even need to think about it.
Designed for commercial use, ChefAlarm delivers features not found in “houseware” cooking alarms. Continuous Min/Max display tells you how hot (or cold) your food got when you weren’t looking. A “High Alarm” sounds when your food reaches your setting, and a first-of-its-kind “Low Alarm” is perfect for making yogurt and other cold dishes.
Seriously this stuff is incredibly addictive. So many flavor choices. I love glazing with these jellies on meats, brie (seriously to die for), and heck my husband loves pairing the jelly with toast too! The possibilities are endless and the owner Craig is a super nice guy to deal with. Also make sure to try out their rib candy & also Craigs new BBQ sauce.
I don’t think you can ever go wrong with giving cast iron. Its a gift that can last a lifetime. This year I bought myself the Sportsman’s Grill. and a new dutch oven. Great quality. The company has been around since 1896. Seriously thats a long freaking time.
One of my all time favorite BBQ books. Now in its second edition – Championship BBQ Secrets for Real Smoked Food by the late Karen Putnam (Flower of the flames) & Judith Fertig. Some of my favorite recipes have come from this book. I cannot recommend it enough. The recipes were tried and true before publication. Really great food.
I have owned a few pizza stones over the last few years. The Big Green Egg pizza stone has stood the test of time and usage. This is a great gift paired with a bag of 00 Flour and some homemade pizza sauce
This is not one of those everyday hot sauces. This is in a whole other category. Chef Rossy Earle is from Panama. I have been lucky enough to eat at her house and experience just a tiny bit of her cooking skills. This is an incredible condiment. Absolutely full of flavor and beyond delicious. This hot sauce can be used as a marinade or topping for grilled anything from meats to veggies and everything in between.
Available in select stores & locations in Ontario.
Ok this is a big BIG gift but I got one this year and I love it. Load it up with meat and it makes BBQ magic. I really enjoy using it- so simple and flavorful.
I have been using this sauce for years and it always tastes great. Great for use on so many items. Order a case. Trust me on this. Their disposable cutting boards are also something high on mylist of competition favorites. Truly awesome people.
I use this product regularly in my briskets and big beef roasts. It is like an insurance policy to make great meat. A little goes a long way. Check out their selections of rubs and sauces too!
No shock that these are on the list again. I take them to every competition, use them at home and recommend them to all my friends.
- The Original Raised Rail Design™ is a new engineered cooking system that sits atop any existing grill. GrillGrates sear and sizzle foods better than traditional grills, which have more open exposure to direct flame and juices are only fuel for flare-ups. GrillGrates virtually eliminate charring but accentuate searing.
Earlier this year I was experimenting with rubs and bought a couple of these 10 oz shakers. They clean up nicely and the different lids really help control how much rub and spice comes out. My only lament is that I didn’t buy more. These would be great to give with an assortment of basic spices – garlic powder onion etc and some simple recipe cards for rubs.
Perfect for anyone who wants to take their food up to the next level of flavor. Char-Broil came out with these smoker boxes and they are super convenient to use. Also they have a great selection of accessories on their website. Also check out the BIG Easy Roaster for your Turkey this year. I was shocked how great our turkey came out!
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 31 2013. Just use the code when you are checking out. **** Please note this code cannot be combined with any other online code**** – See more at: http://divaq.ca/tag/diva-q-bbq-code#sthash.4gmMcc3I.dpuf
My teammate Patrick bought this Zinger Grill. I picked it up for him at a contest in the US. I admit I was skeptical – I have to tell you I was/am thoroughly impressed. It is a grill & fire pit with an adjustable grate that raises and lowers. It also compacts down simply. I also haven’t given it back. Good Luck Patrick, You may want to order another one. LOL
I like using planks for grilling. I like them even more when they really give a lot of flavor to the meats I am grilling. I find these cross grain planks are just really effective. They also look snazzy serving up great smoked food to your guests.
I don’t use really fancy injectors. Never have. Also many of the large stainless steel ones are just too big for my hands. I always buy Tony Chachere’s Injectable Marinades- I like the flavors and I keep the injector. Its like a 2 in one present.
Beer & BBQ go naturally well together. It would be a great idea to purchase an assortment of craft brews locally and then give them this book. A great pairing. Ted Reader has written so many terrific grilling books. Check this one out – one of my favs!
365 days of BBQ tips & Recipes! Seriously- everybody should have this!
KCBS BBQ Judging & Competition Classes
There are lots of judging classes listed for 2014 – Check the KCBS Bullsheet and online
Also check out classes given by Competition Pros a great gift for anyone to step up their game.
Gift Cards for BBQ Stores:
If you have a griller that seems to own everything then a gift card might be the right option> I love these stores for BBQ Accessories & Equipment.
In Ontario/Canada I shop at:
BBQS.com -Ontario Gas BBQ located in Vaughan Ontario
Amazing selection - Guinness World Record holder for largest store.
BBQing.com – Capital Appliance & BBQ located in Ottawa Ontario -
These guys are some of the nicest people you could ever deal with. Highly recommend this store – terrific service and selection!
In the US
TheBBQSuperstore.com - Great selection they will ship anywhere!! These guys know competitions and everyday grilling too!
Whiskey Bent BBQ Supply Store located in Lakeland Florida coming online Black Friday 2013 – Competition & Everyday grilling needs ? They have you covered!
I am huge fan of the entire Dizzy Pig Spic Line of rubs!..
This would make an awesome gift for anyone on your grill & BBQ loving gift giving list … Even better getting 25% off with this code: use DIVA25 at the Check out to get 25% off of their Gift Box 4
Packaged in a colorful, eye-catching and sturdy box are our 4 top-selling rubs, Dizzy Dust, Cow Lick, Raging River and Tsunami Spin…along with 7 samples of all of our other flavors, a Dizzy Pig lapel pin and sticker.
Here is an even sweeter deal.
Dizzy Pig is giving away one gift box of their 4 top selling rubs to a Diva Q Fan!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN
All you have to do is leave a message under this post on the Diva Q Facebook Fan page under this contest announcement – tell us what is on your Christmas wish list from Santa this year. The contest is open to both Continental US & Canada residents. 1 winner will be randomly selected from all the entries. LIMIT ONE (1) ENTRY PER Household. Subsequent entries will be disqualified. Contest is void where prohibited by law. Contest begins November 17/2013 and closes December 1st at 7pm est. Diva Q accepts no responsibility for comments lost or unpublished. Winner will be notified via Facebook message and published on the website.
Home from the Jack Daniels 2013 World Championship Invitational Barbecue.
The Diva Q BBQ team was lucky to be drawn for the I know Jack…About Grilling contest. This is a separate contest held on the Friday morning of the Jack Daniels competition weekend. Entrants are selected by random draw – 4 teams from the US and 1 team from the International Teams. Diva Q was drawn for the International Teams.
Each team is allowed to bring two members maximum. You are also allowed to bring 1 spice, 1 bbq sauce and 1 optional ingredient. It is a black box contest where you do not know what you will be grilling at all. There is a very strict time limit of 1 hour to complete an entree, a side and an appetizer.
I took my teammate Jessie with me to compete. It was a cold morning for sure and we were all bundled up.
Photo Credit: John Thompson – Eatapedia
The teams that were drawn for the competition:
Can you smell my pits
The Boys from Tornado alley
Southern Krunk BBQ Society
Blazin’ Buttz BBQ
The teams are sequestered away to the side of the Jack Daniels pavilion. Then each team has a staggered start 10 minutes between each entrance. This provides the judges enough time to give the meal its full attention and no one gets cold food.
The Black box items for this year were:
- Mahi Mahi
- Green Beans
- Soy Sauce
- arborio rice
- white rice
- chicken stock
& my favorite ingredient …. Jack Daniels Honey
We brought a middle of the road BBQ rub, my Diva Q competition sauce , plus pineapple. I like pineapple with savory & sweet dishes so I thought it would be an interesting choice. I also thought that a fruit would make our entry stand apart.
The equipment we were provided was 1 gas grill with side burner and a primo charcoal grill. Both were lit prior to us starting.
I have no pictures of our entry. Time flew by……
Our appetizer was relegated to bacon wrapped shrimp. Each team had to make the same appetizer following a recipe provided. We were required to use JD Honey & my competition sauce. Our bacon was in small pieces (no full slices) when we opened the package so we made the best of it wrapping away. WE then used grill grates to cook the shrimp.
While this was ongoing I toasted off the arborio rice in a pan on the gas grill to bring out the nuttiness. Jessie heated up the chicken stock and in went the green beans to soften them up quickly. The green beans were then grilled on the Grill Grates to finish and give them grill marks.
The chicken stock was added to the arborio rice and we stirred that rice (each of us took turns) until all of the liquid was absorbed we repeated this multiples of times then borrowed water from the teams next to us to continue cooking the rice. That rice was stirred for almost 50 minutes. It was creamy deliciousness. Additionally anytime we cooked bacon slices we saved the fat and added it to the risotto. We finished the risotto off with butter and a bit of bbq rub. At the last minute I chopped up green beans & grilled bacon finely and added to the mix.
Photo Credit: Randy Dunn - Thats The Way BBQ Go!
The competition is really intense. Everything is happening all at once and at one point I forgot to burp the Primo grill and singed off some eyelashes & eyebrows with the flashback. Burning hair is never an attractive smell. … yikes!!
Moving on to our pineapple – Jessie had beautifully cut up the pineapple and I grilled it off on the grill grates. It looked amazing. For a topping for the Mahi Mahi I made a sort of pineapple salsa with a little JD Honey, slices of green beans and a bit of rub. We also left some of the grilled slices of pineapple whole for a presentation under the bacon wrapped BBQ shrimp.
Our Mahi Mahi was grilled at the last few minutes. I really did not want to dry it out. It was seasoned simple with BBQ rub, honey & a tiny bit of soy sauce (at least I think that is what Jessie seasoned it with LOL) . I placed the fish meat side down on the grill grates for 3-4 minutes at about the 10- o’clock mark then turned it to the 1- o’clock mark for an additional 3-4 minutes. Once we had great grill marks I turned it over and finished cooking it skin side down. Seconds before I pulled it from the grill I doused it all with Jack Daniels Honey and set it ablaze to give it a final finish.
Plating came fast and before you know it Jessie & I had all the plates lined up. Jessie plated the bacon wrapped Shrimp with additional JD BBQ Shrimp on the appetizer plates. Then the entree- Big spoons of our creamy risotto and then very carefully sliced pieces of our grilled Mahi Mahi. I then stood there at the table looking at the plates thinking that I was missing something …. and as the clock got down to 5 seconds I remembered the pineapple salsa….
It made it on to every plate rather haphazardly but it made it… My teammate Patrick watching from the gallery said that it looked like I was throwing dice when I was putting the salsa on the plate.
It was all done then and wow was our adrenalin running high. 1 hour passed by like it was seconds.
We then had to talk about our dish to the Expert Judges:
I can’t remember what I said other than I called it Jacked Up Mahi Mahi. The rest is a blur.
Check out this video from our friends at BBQTV! They captured lots of great moments from the Jack 2013 & some portions of the grilling contest at the beginning.
We had to wait till Saturday for the results. We WON!!
To help celebrate our grilling win our friends at Grill Grate are giving away a set of their grates. We are big fans of these and have used them in many grilling contests.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN
All you have to do is leave a comment on the Diva Q Facebook Fan page under this contest announcement about why you love BBQ. The contest is open to both Continental US & Canada residents. 1 winner will be randomly selected from all the entries. LIMIT ONE (1) ENTRY PER Household. Subsequent entries will be disqualified. Contest is void where prohibited by law. Contest begins October 30 and closes November 6 at 7pm est. Diva Q accepts no responsibility for comments lost or unpublished. Winner will be notified via Facebook message.
UPDATE: Congratulations to Mark Burgmeier from OHIO who won the Grill grate contest!!