Posts Tagged ‘Canadian BBQ Lady’
* Picture courtesy of Sean Moffat Red Valley BBQ
Team Diva Q- Lexi, Ella, Gabe, Vlado, Danielle Dimovski
So the family all 5 of us packed into the truck and cargo trailer with enough equipment and stuff for 3 competitions and we hit the road to Kansas City Missouri. We had the privilege of competing in both the invitational and the open portions of the contests.
We decided due to our little ones to do a large portion of the first leg of the drive at night. We made incredible time and arrived in Kansas about 6 hours ahead of our schedule….
The trip was really uneventful. We even breezed through customs. a first for us for the entire year. We usually allocate at least an hour or so to get through since we always seem to be getting inspected. We never have anything thats contraband but Homeland Security does their job faithfully. We did however get to have a really good donut on the road from a place called Casey’s General Store a chain of convenience stores that carries really darn good donuts. (* I have my BBQ BFF Angie Quaale to thank for my new obsession with donuts she can smell out a good donut from 100 miles away)
We had one issue on the way that caused us considerable pain. Our 6 year old daughter Ella is a Vegetarian with exceptions. Notable she loves bacon and ribs and then all things vegetable. We had picked up a 2 lb bag of green beans.
She decided to eat the entire bag. Lets just say the windows were down for many miles after her indulgence. Ack. Stinky!
One of the best parts of this trip was heading to our good friends Andy and Kim’s house from Smoke on Wheels. Our kids like hanging out with their kids and staying at their house was a whole lotta fun. Additionally Neil Big Mista Strawder and Shelly Hunt from Desperados BBQ were also hanging at their house. Just saying but a few adult beverages may have been consumed prior to this video.
Andy knows where to get everything you would ever need in the Kansas City area and arriving ahead of schedule we got to drop the trailer off early on Wednesday. Driving in was a thrill and sheesh is this place ever big. The you tube videos I had seen of it in the past in no way give you the magnitude of the location. It is awe inspiring. My backing up the trailer skills are poor on a good day so I can’t imagine having to do it in a field of other trailers already crammed in. Andy ended up backing it in anyways.
Oklahoma Joes had great food and a sammie called a Z Man Sandwich. Just abut everything was great but we found the pork a bit dry. We were there after the lunch rush though.
On another evening we attended a Pre Royal Party at Knuckleheads. It was once heck of an adventure to get to this place. Its is literally out in the middle of an industrial park directly next to a set of train tracks and one of the best places I have ever been to listen to some awesome music.
The musical guest for the evening was Tab Benoit. He rocked the house and everyone was up dancing carousing and having a great time. Many pops were consumed and we had a blast with many BBQ Brethren, the Smokin Scotsmen’ , Shelley Hunt from Desperados, the British BBQ team, Karen Walker, my BBQ BFF Angie & Dennis Quaale, and their fab kids Andrew and Kim and a bunch of other people. Here is a video I took the sound bites royally wish my BB had better video capability.
So much excitement and we had not even begun the competition yet. I loved coming in early!!
After Knuckleheads we headed back to Kim and Andy’s house. Andy helped me pick out the ribs from the selection I had that I would use for the next two competitions. I made a decision to use St. Louis spares for both competitions. It had been a while (with the exception of BBQ Pitmasters) since I had used them in competition. Then we all headed to bed and then got up early to head to the site.
Setting up was easy and we had the pleasure to have very nice neighbors on either side of us. #709 three Little Kettles (who provided our kids with an entire play table full of coloring books stickers and more!! they were incredibly kind!) and #705 Pop’s Blazin Smokers (they did gator on the Traeger!!)
I got everything prepped for the Invitational and we went and did some visiting. This was the hardest contest I have ever had to concentrate at. There are so many people you would like to get around to see and visit with and its always a race against the clock to get back in time.
One of our neighbors behind us was Mike & Debbie Davis from Lotta Bull. I tried shigging (at least I admit it) from him but he was too far away. Darn.
Another one of the highlights for me was getting to see my dear friends Roni & Kelly Wertz, Joey McManus, and Chris Jones. We missed Dave Raymond though in our Royal Experience.
So many great people to see……
I took a video walking around a bit.
I even went over to the dark side one night accompanied by a really big strong Texan and a guy from Illinois that can run really fast if needed
Those people on the dark side are certifiably insane. You could not pay me to BBQ on that side. Too many parties people throwing up and a whole lot of debauchery. Not my cup of tea really.
Since we had the kids with us we were really protective of our site space. Noting some previous experiences that friends of mine have also had at the Royal we purchased locks for all of our BBQ’s so they and the meats inside didn’t walk off. We also blocked off the front of our site and our neighbors put up fences so people would stop walking through our site. Once secured it made the experience a whole lot more pleasant.
I had some awesome visitors to our site Jim “Rhino” Reincke was just one of them. He is sooo funny. I don’t think there is enough net space to list just how much I appreciated each of our visitors. They were all terrific to see!!
We headed out to one of the pot lucks we had been invited to. Sadly you just can’t get around to everything you get invited to. It was the annual Wertz Royal Prime Rib dinner. It was awesome. We brought a peach cobbler and there was so much food and all of it was delicious.
The day of the Invitational dawned and we received a really nice present a box of donuts from our friends Sean and Adriane Moffat. God Bless them both for their kindness!! Sean also took pictures throughout the weekend. We really appreciate that as well. MMMM Red velvet donuts. Yummy!!
Everything for the invitational ran really smoothly until the rib category. The ribs were soft and mushy and I was ticked to say the least. I had been checking them so often I was shocked to see them go so soft so fast. We turned them in but I knew they would not do well. At least the box looked good. Overall in the other categories of brisket, pork, and chicken I was really happy with what we turned in. The brisket was especially good. We had 3 different briskets and all of them turned out the best we had made for the year.
Doing all of the side dishes wiped me right out. Beans, vegetable, dessert and potatoes. Its a lot of turnins for one cook to handle. We got them in just barely in some cases. Most notable the vegetable category which we had mixed up with the bean turn in time. We ended up grilling a vegetable sidedish and turning it in all within 8 minutes. Holy cow batman that was a close one for sure. Please note in future I will read the rules a little more carefully on turn in times.
Mike Mills stopped by and he hung out in our trailer while I was prepping our dessert, It was great to see him again. Such a legend of BBQ glad to be able to call him and Amy our friends. Didn’t even have time to get a picture with him LOL.
Much thanks to Sean Moffat for help with blocking when we were delivering our dessert there were so many people I don’t think we could have done it without him!!
Sean got a nice picture with him in front of our sign
We cleaned ourselves up grabbed a cocktail and headed to the awards.
It was a thrill to hear our team name called for a 6th place in brisket. It was AWESOME!!!!
I was so excited I thought I was going to pass out……
At the end of the awards ceremony we were thrilled to see the results of the pork 30th, chicken 26th, and brisket 6th for a 35th place overall.
I was horrified and embarrassed though to see out ribs had come 4th from last 127th UGH. I knew they were overcooked. Damn. That sucked so bad.
Congratulations to Smokers Wild on the GC and Tippy Canoe BBQ Crew for their RGC!!! Also congratulations to Smoky D’s BBQ for getting a perfect 180 in their pork.
Also congratulations to Mike & Beth Woziak from Quau who won the Kingsford Cup and a check for $25,000!!
Another cool thing I got to see was my friend Jenny Windsor from Black Cat BBQ getting a 6th in ribs then to see her brand spanking new Sisters In Smoke Tattoo!! That makes three of us that have them now!! To all the other ladies of Q you need to get one as well!!
Then you get to do it all over again. You are tired, the awards ceremony has been the thrill of the day and you need to keep focused and go back to the trailer and complete another competition. Its not easy. I only slept 1.25 hours that night, I was behind in prep, making parsley boxes and taking care of the meats. Anyone who thinks competitive BBQ is not a sport should try to do 2 competitions back to back.
Our kids also enjoyed the fireworks before heading off to bed. Sadly we had broken our tent pole when setting up so we had their bedroom set up in a 10×10 easy up with their inflatable couch and mattress. I think they had probably 10 blankets on top of their sleeping bags. They were sure comfy!
Even though I was behind I went for a little walk to clear my head and visit with a few folks as well. Figured that it would be a good think to relax just a bit before getting serious again.
Dawn came really early and we were all set.
I had to grill some of our Canadian bacon (sweet cured pork loin rolled in cornmeal) we had brought with us to hand out to our friends.
Plus I was in dire need of caffeine so I whipped up a batch of my legendary competition sludge a compilation of 5 shots instant espresso, and super strongly brewed Starbucks coffee with powdered whitener and sugar. It is guaranteed to get your butt in gear.
So much so that when I was walking about Phil from the Brethren made a comment that I could not stay still for a second. It gets you moving for sure….
Brisket was looking great again.
Chicken was looking great! Ribs were good and they had awesome color and texture!
Pork got turned in and we had a whole lot of rejected meat !
Once again it was time for the awards and we were wiped and excited all at the same time. My friends the Belly Brothers furnished me with a new favorite cocktail courtesy of team Jamaica its a combination of Appleton Estates Rum and Coconut water. Yummy stuff.
I loaded up my pockets with my good luck charms, an acorn from my daughter Ella, a poker chip with the Pellet Envy logo on it, a rubber chicken and a pig flash light. I was also wearing a cancer awareness Angel Ribbon Pin from Flower of the Flames on behalf of Karen Putnam.
Then we were all off to the awards again- this time over 500 teams were in attendance (participating teams 490)
It was again a thrill to hear our name called this time though it was for a 12th place in ribs. I had tears in my eyes accepting this one. I was standing behind Mike Davis and was joking with him -I really think he thought I was going to pass out as well.
I have to admit a few emails during the night and early morning got my confidence back up about ribs after the demoralizing finish in the Invitational. The person who sent them is a good friend and Ill keep their name to myself but you know who you are. Thanks for the kind words of encouragement it meant a lot to me. I took your advice, I went back to an old recipe I haven’t used in 2 years with one minor twist I added a new rub. Here is of the rubs I used..
Usually I would not mention what rub I used but this was really special since it was from a dear friend Chris Jones from Colins Creek Barbecue one of my all time favorite BBQ people on the planet.
We joked prior to the awards on how cool it would be if I got a call in ribs. The rub has not been out that long. It really is terrific. You all need to try it.
The awards ceremony was coming to a close and hearing friends names get calls was incredible. We also got a 6th place call in Potatoes. That cracked me right up..I had no idea what to do for the potato category. Our friends Kim and Andy were heading to a difference potluck from the night before and were making their dish Ho De Ho potatoes. Since they were not entering any of the sidedish categories I asked if I could use their recipe. I entered it thinking it was a good dish that everyone like to eat at potlucks. It worked LOL
When it came time for the overall standings I was busy chatting up with our friends. Then the shock of a lifetime came Diva Q came in 10th overall. Oh my flip. I think I blanked out for a minute. What a cool thing to happen.
The awards continued on and 3rd place went to Pelletheads.com
RGC went to Swine Assassins and the GC went to Lotta Bull for the 4th time!!!
I came away from the Royal with absolutely no prize money at all. I have never been happier….. The trip was expensive for us. It was time consuming exhausting it was a lot of planning and juggling of schedules and at times extremely stressful and fun all at the same time. Seeing our friends and BBQ family plus meeting folks I have only dreamed of meeting plus being with our own family was without a doubt one of the highlights of my BBQ career. I can never thank my friends and family enough for their support their love and unending belief in my obsession that is BBQ. I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I can’t wait for next year.
More Pictures from the event can be found on our facebook Diva Q American Royal Album !
Today’s announcement from TLC BBQ Pitmasters here are the judges for Season #2 premiering August 12 at 10pmEST/9c
Myron Mixon from Jack’s Old South and BBQ Pitmaster from Season #1
Superbowl Champ & BBQ Enthusiast
Celebrity Chef James Beard award winning author of Back to the Table and Kitchen Life
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.
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.
Love seeing so many great audition tapes. I know some of these folks and I wish them all the best!!
Smokin Scotsmen!! FEAR THE KILT!!
Fire Fightin’ Cookin Crew ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap0va0O7r9M
Kentucky Smoke Squad
Team Unknown BBQ- Seriously funny video
Moe from Ponderosa BBQ~
Southern Soul Barbecue Harrison Sapp
A Boy and his BBQ!
Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the Ontario Gas BBQ’s Media Day. Ontario Gas BBQ is one of my all time favorite places in the world. They have so much stuff. So many BBQ’s. I have to show extreme self restraint every time I go. I want to buy everything. They also are the largest BBQ store in the world. Unfortunately the day was cold and wet. Ugh. But the grills never stopped the beer was flowing and the media were all about….
Their BBQ showrooms are incredible. They carry everything you can imagine and more….
So many BBQ’s ……………….
There was a great selection of BBQ Companies there to demo their products and to provide tastings..Traeger’s menu for the day was ABT’s Grilled Asparagus with a curry aioli, and hot & fiery chili dipping sauce, pulled pork sliders, Bacon Bombs (Ill be posting about those next week!!) and of course a little bit of chocolate heaven. All done on Traeger BBQ’s
Celebrity BBQ & grilling chefs Ted Reader (Teds BBQ World) and Rob Rainford (Food Network- License to Grill) were also on hand making some incredible food (pulled pork and foie gras burgers from Teddy!- so decadent)
For some serious comedy please watch this video of us chatting after the show on Teddy’s weight loss secrets – they are truly inspirational.
Heres a link to some of the media coverage from yesterday. It was a really fun day !! Thanks to the folks at Eventrix for organizing the entire event.
There is going to be a Season 2 of BBQ Pitmasters!!!
Confirmed with John Markus today : Our new format features FOUR different pitmasters competing in EACH episode. We are looking to augment our cast from last season and welcome all interested cooks to throw their aprons in the ring!!! Great news for all those guys and gals who want to be on the show. Here is how you can apply! Good luck to all those who send in their DVD’s!
For Season 2 BBQ Pitmaster Auditions: tapes/DVDs, under 5 min! Sell us on you/your team! Lindsay Freed c/o Original Media, 38 E. 29th St. 8th FL. NY, NY 10016. Get Goin’!
Or, send a file of your audition to email@example.com Shoot schedule runs from April 30 – June 26. Send ?’s there as well.
As I am prepping for the 2010 season to begin I have to start with where we really needed to improve from 2009. For the last years season I was really happy with our pork. Everything else needs a lot more work. Especially brisket. I have struggled with brisket. Brisket is my challenge above all challenges. Overall for the year we came in 241 out of 4716 on the Pickled Pig Rankings. I am proud and challenged by those results. Just shy of being in the top 5% overall we came in:
- 173 out of 4716 Pork
- 267 out of 4716 Chicken
- 331 out of 4716 Ribs
- 580 out of 4716 Brisket
For these rankings we had 6 competitions that were included:
We did however compete in additional competitions for the 2009 as well that were not included in those rankings:
Canada Southern BBQ Championships
1st — Pork; 2nd — Ribs; 3rd — Brisket; 3rd —Chicken 1st—Anything But
“Smoke on the Water Barbecue Competition Saskatchewan”
Reserve Grand Champion
1st — Pork; 2nd — Ribs; 4th — Brisket; 4th—Chicken 1st—Anything But
Canadian Pork BBQ Championships
Reserve Grand Champion
2nd—Chicken; 2nd — Pork; 4th — Brisket; 4th — Ribs
Invitational BBQ Cook-off
7th — Pork Shoulder; 6th — Chicken;
National BBQ Festival “Best of the Best”
Open BBQ Cook-off
9th — Ribs
1st — Brisket; 3rd — Ribs
3rd—Chicken; 3rd — Pork; 4th — Ribs; 6th — Brisket
Overall we made improvements to our overall BBQ in my opinion. I am hoping to be able to attend more competitions this year however my schedule may have some interesting diversions this year. I can’t share them yet but I am really excited for 2010 overall. I have a lot of practice and work to do. LOL
Well I recently had the opportunity to try Kosmo’s Q Chicken soak. I thought it would be best to do a simple test to see if the Chicken Soak made a substantial difference vs. regular brining. I consistently have been using a brine for turkey or chicken at home and also in competition.
I used 10 lbs of chicken pieces for each test. 10lbs for each application for a total of 20 pounds chicken pieces.
These two plates were for the Kosmo’s test. It was a mixture of chicken thighs legs and wings some with skin and some without.
The ingredients listed on the package are:
Salt, Brown Sugar, Worcestershire Powder, Dextrose, Hydrolyzed Soy & Corn Protein, Citric acid, Caramel Color, Natural Flavor
The package of chicken soak weighed 8.6 oz. Thats .6 oz. more than the listed weight.
In one bucket I used the Kosmo’s Q Chicken Soak 1/2 lb sample mix cost – $4.95 plus shipping- I mixed it according to the directions on the package (doubled for 10 lbs) – Mix 3/4 cup with 64oz (1/2) gallon of liquid. For this test I used plain old tap water for Kosmo’s and the standard brine.
* this was the color of the Kosmos at 5lbs then I added the remaining chicken and soak mix. It mixes up very easily as the particles are very small.
My Standard Brine
In the second bucket I mixed a standard brine I make for Chicken Brown Sugar, Kosher Salt, Peppercorns and All spice berries – cost $2.25 approx for enough brine for 10lbs chicken.
- Both sets of chicken were left in their mixtures for the recommended 4 hours.
- They were both rinsed thoroughly afterwards with tap water.
- They were both then rubbed with my own personal chicken rub.
**The only difference I noticed on the chicken when they came out of the brine was that the Kosmo’s chicken had some very fine red particles that adhered to the chicken. I could not rinse it off. I also could not get a clear picture of it. They were very tiny.
For this test I used my Traeger Texas Style with hickory pellets. The grill was set at 300F. All of the chicken parts were taken to 165F.
All of the pieces looked great. Nice color on both. They were glazed with my own competition sauce.
After the chicken came off I rested it on a plate uncovered for 10 minutes.
Here are two pieces the one on the right is from Kosmo’s and the one on the left is my own standard brine.
Now for the all important taste/tenderness test picture:
Picture of the chicken with standard brine (juices on the plate very moist and tender):
Picture of Kosmo’s Q Chicken(juices on the plate very moist and tender):
Even after an additional 15 minutes both chicken pieces were still tender and moist.
Kosmo’s Q chicken soak works. So does regular brining.
I could not find any discernible difference between the two other than cost and convenience. There was no taste difference whatsoever. Nothing stood out. They were both tender and moist.
Personally I’ll be sticking with my own brine.