Posts Tagged ‘Basques Charcoal’

Oh my flip what a night – Diva Q Jack Daniels Fundraiser

Well. Where do I begin. How about with a BIG Thank you.

It was an awesome night for a fundraiser at the Charlotte Room. It was a wonderful venue for this event. Can’t wait to go back. We all had an excellent time. It was amazing to see so many folks come out.  I loved every moment of it. I was truly humbled by the support. Vlad and I cooked for a week before the event to make sure we had enough food for everyone. Right up until 230 am the day of the event I was still in the kitchen and let me tell you it was worth it!!

I first of all have to thank my Jack Team. They have been working really hard towards this fundraiser for a long time. Behind the scenes they plugged our event ran around and got things did more than you can imagine.

Diva Q official Jack Team for 2011

Patrick Weir

Jessie Sweeney

Mike Miller

Jason Rees

Jamie Parisi

Vlado Dimovski

If it wasn’t for all their hard work we could not have put on this fundraiser. Or the support of all our sponsors listed above. I am really grateful for the help. You are only as good as the people that are with you in life and I tell you I am one lucky chick.

I have to say a HUGE thanks to all who came by from near and far. The dynamic duo from Team Eatapedia John Thomson and Paul Firlotte even came all the way from Ottawa to show their support. I adore the entire team. They are good freaking funny people.

John Thomson Paul Firlotte Wilfred Reinke – Photo Credit Wilfred Reinke 

I tried to get around to everyone and I think it was near impossible. I did however get to chat for a bit with my BBQ Brother Ted Reader. It was only fitting that we toasted with a shot of Jack Daniels -

Diva Q & Ted Reader toasting with Jack Daniels

The team set up as much food as humanly possible at the Buffet. Mike Miller from Big Bone BBQ ran the kitchen for the evening. I could not have done it without him and Vlad they never stopped with Patrick and Jessie running everything to floor and raffle tickets too! Jason kept the prime rib cut and Jamie ran the door (and poker) with Jennifer and Jeff G. (My friends who came early helped set up and helped anywhere and everywhere) There was prime rib, chicken, ribs, pulled pork, beans and our legendary mac & cheese which almost caused a riot when it ran out. (*Seriously I promise to make 8 trays of this next time) I love Buster Rhinos BBQ products and a lot of it was used in our BBQ. There were abt’s and pig candy brownies and cakes too! With all of the buffet and everything taken care of I could actually talk with people. This was truly terrific.

Photo Credit Wilfred Reinke 

There was so much laughter it was infectious. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a room full of happy BBQ eating folks. Many thanks  to Scott & Tania from Culinary Adventure Co. for hosting our online ticket sales and all their help with their donations. I know I will be taking some of their classes and food adventures in the near future!

There were lots of prizes and raffles to be had including a very generous donation from Traeger Canada their Traeger JR with a digital temperature control !! thanks so much to all of our donors. There was an incredible assortment of BBQ products and foodie gifts galore!

Photo Credit Wilfred Reinke 

So from now till the Jack I have 2 more contests and I will practice and then when I think I am done practicing I will practice more.


We are all set now to do our very best to represent at the Jack Daniels World Invitational BBQ. We are going up against the best in the world. I can’t wait. Thanks to all of you who came out sent support and helped us get there. You are all freaking awesome.


Grilled Broccoli & Orange Onion salad (with bacon of course)

I love grilled vegetables. I really find that grilling can significantly improve the flavor of many types of vegetables.

I think broccoli is one of the best veggies on the planet. I love it raw, sauteed, and of course grilled.

Did You Know
That broccoli consumption has increased over 940 percent over the last 25 years! It’s a good source of Vitamin A, and vitamin C, potassium, folacin, iron and fiber. Broccoli has as much calcium ounce per ounce as milk and contains a few important phytochemicals: beta-carotene, indoles and isothiocyanates. Phytochemicals prevent carcinogens (cancer causing substances) from forming. They also stop carcinogens from getting to target cells and help boost enzymes that detoxify carcinogens. So next time you sit down to eat and broccoli is on the menu. Remember it really is good for you

Source: Food Reference


Ingredients for this recipe:

  • 1 -2 heads of broccoli
  • 1/2 large sweet onion sliced 1/2 ” thick
  • 2 navel oranges rind removed sliced 1/2″ thick
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 4 slices Willowgrove Hill farms Omega 3 bacon fried & crumbled

For the marinade/vinaigrette:

  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Orange Mustard
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste


Simple salad to make & assemble.

Slice the onions, oranges and broccoli. For the broccoli I like to leave the stems if they are not too woody. If the outside of the stems are really tough use a potato peeler to remove the outer layer.

Fry up the bacon and crumble. Set aside.

Clean your grill thoroughly and oil it.  I used Basques Charcoal to make a two zone fire one side medium high and the other side cool.

Skewer the onion slices and the orange slices. This will make flipping them a lot easier.

Assemble the marinade/vinaigrette ingredients by whisking in a small bowl adding salt & pepper to taste as well as red pepper flakes.  IF you do not have lime vinegar substitute any other flavored vinegar you like.

Grill your fruits and vegetables turning often.  I slather on some of the marinade just after they start charring. Don’t do this too early in the grilling process.

Remove the items from the grill and chop into manageable pieces. Layer broccoli, onion then orange. Add the bacon and blueberries on top. Drizzle with remaining marinade. Serves 4 as a side or 2 for lunch. Enjoy.


2010 Christmas gifts for BBQ and Grillers under $100.00

There are lots of great grills and items on the market for BBQ’ers everywhere here are my picks for gifts under $100.00

Weber Smokey Joe Gold

With it’s ease of transportation its one of the best values for under $100.00

  • Lid lock for carrying, doubles as lid holder
  • Heavy-duty plated steel cooking grate
  • 14.5 inch diameter cooking area
  • Weber cookbook

Firewire Flexible Grilling Skewers

Each skewer is 30″ long from tip to tip. Made of flexible stainless steel and are dishwasher safe.

They are available in Canada at Ontario Gas BBQ two to a package $14.99 CA and many other retailers throughout the US.

They come with a very generous warranty


They can come in any size you want. I use them regularly perfect for indirect grilling!


Works well lights  charcoal fast

Sauce & Rub gift packs!!

I love experimenting with rubs and sauces here are some links to rubs and sauce companies from the past year that I really enjoyed. I have all of these brands in my cupboard at any one time. I know I would love a gift basket of rubs and sauces at any time (Please Santa I have been very good this year :-)

Smoky Mountain Smokers

Butcher BBQ Rubs

Plowboys BBQ

Strodes BBQ

Joey Mac`s Amber Que

Sweet Baby Rays

Collins Creek BBQ Rub

4 Legs Up BBQ

Dinosaur BBQ

Buster Rhinos

Stubbs BBQ


Blues Hog

Cimarron Docs

Smoking Guns BBQ

Dizzy Pig BBQ

Obie Cues BBQ

Lambert`s Sweet Swine O Mine BBQ

3 Eyz BBQ

** Please note these are just a few of the rubs. There are so many on the market that are great that experimenting with some is just a great way to play wit your food!1

BBQ Sample Days

I have to tell you this is a great way to get to try a lot of fun BBQèd items. If you live in Ontario Buster Rhinos BBQ this year is doing multiples of BBQ Sample days. This would make an excellent gift.

Artisan Steak Tasting from The Oliver Ranch Company

This is the gift that just keeps on giving. I love red meat. Ok I love meat period but earlier this year I got the opportunity to sit down to an Artisan Steak Tasting with Carrie Oliver CEO of the Oliver Ranch Company. It is fascinating and quite tasty to try different steaks of this caliber. From their website:

Choose your favorite cut and we’ll send you steaks from 4 different natural or organic ranches, each specializing in a different breed, diet, geography, & aging technique. We’ll also send you our Artisan Beef Institute™ tasting guide and tips for hosting an Artisan Steak Tasting in your home.

Weber Rapid Fire Chimney Starter  Basques All Natural Lump Charcoal »Weber Cubes

These three are among some of the easiest and most durable items I use. I have tried many chimney starters over the past few years and by far the Weber is the most durable and easiest to use. My charcoal of Choice is Basques all Natural Lump charcoal made from Sugar Maple trees. The easiest lighting is made simple by using weber cubes and all of these can be purchased together for less than $100.00

Montana Grills Crosscut Grilling Planks

I like using these planks a lot. I find they give much more flavor to the food you are eating versus a traditionally cut plank. Inexpensive to use they also can be used as serving platters for a rustic themed BBQ dinner.

BBQ Books

BBQ books are some of my favorite things to read and this past year my library certainly expanded as well I went back to some tried and true books that I am still working through.  Plus others I just enjoyed this year about food in general …Here are some of my favs :

BBQ Chips, Pellets, and wood Dusts.

This one is a really big favorite of mine.  Four years ago my Mom for Christmas went to a BBQ store and bought one of every single type of wood chip, wood dust, and BBQ pellets (sample packs) the store had. It was the gift that kept on giving. I loved trying each of the different woods and experimenting with different flavor profiles for smoke. With all of the different brands on the market this is a really fun way to give a gift that can provide a whole lot of fun.  Please note if you are shipping wood products they must adhere to all regulations in regards to the transportation of wood across state lines and provinces/ Countries.  Here are just a few manufacturers of woods and pellets I use and play with:

Traeger Canada


BBQr’s Delight


It takes a small army to get team Diva Q to California

I want to take a moment to publicly thanks some really fine folks who really went out of their way to help us get all our gear to California to tape the episode of BBQ Pitmasters.

Traeger Canada

wood pellet grills we use everywhere! We used the Traegers to make some of the alligator, to bake the corn bread muffins, the alligator tacos, and also to do the ribs.

Basques Charcoal

we love this all natural sugar maple lump ! While they didn’t show it we used Basques Charcoal to grill the alligator and also to make our beans. They were awesome!!


for their yardbird , bovine bold plus their new JERK rub they rock and we love to use them.

Butcher BBQ

for their injections and rubs we love to use them. Trust your butcher. We do.

Smokey Mountain Smokers

for their excellent cutting boards rubs and sauces we love to use them.

and some personal thanks……

Sylvie Curry thank you so much for letting us use your WSM! We appreciate it and getting to have dinner with you was just wonderful so glad we were able to.

Neil ” Big Mista” Strawder (who I do believe has some of the best BBQ in LA! ) for hooking us up with loads of stuff so we didn’t have to take it on the plane. Thank you for making us feel welcome in California. For those of you in California make sure to check out Big Mista’s BBQ !

To my team Angie Quaale and my beloved husband Vlado I could not have had any better a team than ours. I am proud of what we did. You are both the bomb. Heres to yet another BBQ adventure!!!

Coming in second bites royally. We went in to win it however I am still happy with the food we put out.

John Markus, Jon Sechrist, Jordan Mallari, Lindsay Freed, Michael Gretza, Original Media, & TLC thank you for continuing to promote BBQ on TV and for all your help. I appreciate it.

Thanks to all the fine folks who sent us twitter messages, facebook messages and a whole whack of emails during the show. Really cool to have so much support. Thank you thank you thank you!!

Till the next time you see me on tv…………

Remember life is too short for bad BBQ!!

Marinated Veal Skirt Steak Victoria Day Weekend

Skirt Steak is great when marinated. I love the texture. You have two options when cooking skirt steak- Hot and fast or low and slow with a braise.

Here is what I like to do with my skirt steak. Make sure you or your butcher removes the tough outer membrane before grilling.

1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup reduced salt soy sauce
3 spring onions
4 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 lbs veal skirt steak

Mix all marinade ingredients in a bowl or ziploc bag and add skirt steak. Marinate a minimum of 4 hours or even overnight.

Remove from marinade – heat grill to medium high heat using an all natural lump charcoal (I recommend Basques).

Directly grill each steak for 1-2 minutes. Then flip and grill for another 2 minutes. Remove from grill and rest tented in foil for 15 minutes.

Slice across the grain and serve with juices from the foil.

Mothers Day Feast Bison Tri Tip Grilled Corn & Artichokes

Mothers day.. 2010

image via Metblogs

My husband got up this morning and made me some lovely pancakes for breakfast. The children brought me beautiful handmade cards and lovingly made presents from school. I had a nice leisurely morning playing with the kids and writing recipes. I think Mothers Day is such an overrated day. I think everyday should be Mothers & Fathers day. However I will use this day each year to get the house cleaned. I admit it I am shallow like that. Any opportunity to get the house cleaned works for me.

So while the hubby and the kids were cleaning I was playing on the grills. Now in my world a day of playing with the kids and playing with the grills rocks.

My menu for todays meal has been planned since this past Monday. I received an AWESOME present from the food editor of the Toronto Star Jennifer Bain. She also is known as the Saucy lady. I had not seen here for years though we corresponded back and forth. It was fun to grill up some items for her to be featured in a couple of articles in the Toronto Star’s food section. Jennifer brought me a present she knew I would appreciate.

Her husband is a bison rancher in Alberta. I was thrilled to see her digging out packages of meat from her bag. A gorgeous tri-tip and some other cuts to be used at a later date. I knew in an instant what I would be making for Mother’s day. I love tri-tip. Love it. I do not have it often enough. To get a bison tri-tip was really special. I can’t wait to get together again. She is a walking encyclopedia of food knowledge and funny as hell.

For those of you not familiar with Tri-tip Whitetrash BBQ had the following article and image on Santa Maria Tri Tip:

My tri-tip started its journey today in a marinade of dried rosemary, minced garlic, canola oil, and red onions.

While the tri-tip was getting happy I moved on to the side dishes. Artichokes are another one of those items that I do not eat often enough. They are labour intensive but so worth it. I started out with quite a lot of artichokes.

Then I got to trimming them with some scissors to take out the tough sharp outer leaves. I used a large knife to cut off the ends just above the choke.

They are so pretty.

I needed to trim a little faster these were browning up quickly.

Cutting them in half and using a melon baller is the easiest way i have found to clean them out quickly.

I also like eating the stem. I used a paring knife to trim out the harder outer layer.

One of the most important steps is placing the trimmed artichokes in some acidulated water. Thats a fancy schmancy way of saying some water that has some lemon juice in it. So glad I am finally putting those college degrees to use. Basically if you skip this step you will end up with very gray blotchy looking artichokes. It won’t affect the taste but they will look like crap on a plate.

After soaking them in the acidulated water for half an hour I drained them off and placed them in one of my large stock pots filled with fresh water. I boiled them in salted water for approx 1/2 hour till they were just started to tenderize. Now you can skip this step but you better be prepared to stand beside your charcoal grill for a good hour or so while they get tender. Since they are not a rib I am ok with boiling.

While they were getting their happy bath I moved on to the last side dish – corn. I love corn. If given a choice between corn or potatoes corn for me wins out every time. I remember once when I was a kid I got my a$$ seriously reprimanded for eating corn raw right in the field of the farmer that lived near us. Not only did I get the displeasure of my parents bestowed upon me for stealing our neighbours corn I had to go work for the farmer and make up for it. Sheesh I mean really to an 11 year old kid was the farmer really going to miss a couple of ears??? I still think brat (baby brother) ratted me out for that one.

Ok so getting back to the corn. I keep it simple flavorful and fresh. I peel back the husks and I remove the silks and I go right to the grill with it. I don’t season it at all until it comes off. I really find if you use a good charcoal like Basques a lot of the flavor is imparted by the charcoal itself.

When it came off I simply sprinkled chipotle powder, lime zest, salt and pepper on it with a tiny bit of butter. (please note this is the truth the Paula Deen in me didn’t come out today y’all!)At the last minute I always squeeze lime juice on as well.

As the corn was finishing it was time to get the artichokes on the grill to get a bit of char on them. It was quite windy in my backyard today.
**Ahem – note to husband a Q bana may be in my near future. Just saying its something to think about.

Please note this picture should also be proof that I do on occasion wear something other than black. Bright orange neon capris at home are perfectly acceptable grilling clothing.

While all this veggie madness was going on (see Peta I do eat veggies….) on went the tri-tip on the new Traeger 300. I am really loving this grill. Awesome color on everything and great taste too.

Today I employed the reverse sear method. It worked well again. Here is another reference to reverse sear as well.
I held it at 225F for approx 1/2 hour then I finished it at 450F. I took it to medium rare. That way everyone in our house is happy. rested it for 15 minuted lightly tented.

I sliced the tri-tip fairly thinly and served up the corn and the artichokes with a curry aioli (curry powder, good quality mayo, s&p, lemon juice, a wee bit of garlic powder, and a few pinches of turmeric).
Dinner as a family is always great and we try to eat together as much as we can. We are coming up to soccer season in our house this week. That means 3-4 times a week (for the next 12 weeks) we are either at a soccer game or at a soccer practice. I am going to cherish this dinner with family. Let me tell you it was goodness on a plate. #GOAP It was a wonderful meal for mothers day.

For all you Mom’s out there you rock. Happy Mother’s Day to you all.

Fire Wire Flexible Grilling Skewers

Received a package of FireWire flexible grilling skewers to review. They are branded independently and also under the big green egg logo of accessories.

Each skewer is 30″ long from tip to tip. Made of flexible stainless steel and are dishwasher safe.

They are available in Canada at Ontario Gas BBQ two to a package $14.99 CA and many other retailers throughout the US.

They come with a very generous warranty

Fire Wire® is warranted against failure for the lifetime of the product.
If in the unlikely event Fire Wire® were to ever fail to work as designed we
will replace it. To claim your replacement Fire Wire® just send us the defective
unit and we will send you a new one.

Here is their promo video from You tube:

I used them this past weekend to get a LOT of shrimp grilled super fast for a party.

This product lives up to the hype. Super easy to use, really helps make efficient use of limited grill space and overall anything that can go directly in the dishwasher is always good in my books. I highly recommend these for use on all your BBQ’s and grills!

My newest Toy

Well you can never ever have enough BBQ’s I don’t believe that anyone should only have one bbq or grill. There are so many different types and they are all different with great capabilities.
Thanks to the folks at BGE Canada John & Brian who came by tonight with my newest addition the Big Green Egg.
I am sure to have fun playing on it.








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