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Instant Pot BBQ Ribs If you’ve ever made BBQ ribs before, you know it can be a long process if you want fall off the bone, melt in your mouth, meat.  Thanks to Instant Pot, you can shave 4-5 hours off this process now!  Using the pressure cooking component of the Instant Pot, you can pressure cook your ribs for 30 minutes and get the same effect you would have if you had slow cooked your ribs in the oven for 4 hours.  I seasoned my ribs with a dry rub, and refrigerated
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Upside Down Pear Cake

3 November, 2015, 0 comments, on

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Twas a chilly fall eve and I needed a dairy/soy free dessert pronto.  I turned to my trusty Bon Appetit magazine and came across this lovely recipe! As I was in a frantic hurry (my sister and brother in-law were due to arrive in 1 hour!), I cut some corners and was pleased to find out that this recipe is sturdy, no fuss, and perfect for dessert in a flash.  I will note that this recipe did call for 2 Tbsp of butter, which I omitted completely from the recipe, which seemed to work just fine.

The recipe in it’s entirety can be found here http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/spiced-pear-upside-down-cake ...

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Hummingbird Cake - A Tribute To The South

30 April, 2015, 0 comments, on

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On a recent trip with the Trigger Agency team to North Carolina, I ordered a slice of Hummingbird cake, and boy was I in for a treat!  I know, the name is quite strange, but this dessert is incredible.  I was interested in the history, and some quick research led me to Wikipedia: “The cake has been a tradition in Southern cuisine since the mid 20th century.  The first known publication of the recipe, as written by L.H. Wiggin, was in the February 1978 issue of Southern Living. The cake won the Favorite Cake Award later that same year at the Kentucky State Fair.” It is also Southern Living magazine’s most requested recipe in the magazine’s history.

I decided to attempt this creation myself.  I followed this recipe from Southern Living.  It was surprisingly quick and painless!  Be sure your bananas are ripe enough as this will contribute to the sweetness of the cake.  I started by combining all the dry ingredients....

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The Texas Brisket Odyssey

2 March, 2015, 0 comments, on

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Being a good North Carolina boy, I have very acute attraction to pigs. I’ve eaten BBQ sandwiches since before I can remember my multiplication tables.  Every church fundraiser or every July 4th pool club party was a sure bet that we’d get wonderful pulled pork sandwiches. These were topped with no real sauce per se and cole slaw then wrapped in wax paper. Since I was also husky (according to Sears) I’d be able to pack back about as many as they would send my way….thus began my great cuchon love affair with succulent fatty meat, seasoned to perfection. 

The big debate in NC is Western Versus Eastern style BBQ. Eastern NC BBQ is just plain pig with salt and pepper and the occasional butter.  There is no rub, no sauce, nothing but the great flavor of the hog itself.  The meat is cooked without any type of rub or sauce and once on the plate, then you can add sauce.  Eastern NC sauce is vinegar-based, supplanted with peppers and usually has a great kick/heat  to it.  Once you add this to great pork meat, the marriage is obvious bliss.   Western NC BBQ is very similar but the end result is a little tamer, little sweeter and less vinegary.   Most of the cooking is done the same, but the sauce has a more tomato-based feel to it.  What was strong with vinegar is now calmed by the tomato paste or sometimes ketchup that is combined to create a “lite” version of Memphis-style sauce.   Whereas Eastern NC sauce is almost mysterious – ‘what is that flavor?  I can’t put my finger on it’   -- in Western NC, pitmasters will actually add the sauce into the pulled pork when they are chopping and pulling, mixing in before they serve it. 

The debate makes me tired, simply because so many people talk about it and have their opinions.  I’ll just say that I have never met BBQ that I didn’t really like, except bull’s testicles, and both NC styles have their pros and cons. ….but what else is out there?  Last January, at our Beer Bourbon and BBQ show in NYC  I got into a conversation with one of our guests about BBQ and he couldn’t stop talking about Texas BBQ.  His stance is obvious that Texas BBQ is superior in every way to any other BBQ in the world.  Mind you, he was from Pennsylvania and had never been Texas, but from what he had tasted at the New York BBQ restaurants he’d frequented, he was sure that Texas is the purest form of BBQ in these United States. Who am I to argue? But I needed to find out for myself.  

Cue the ZZ Top music………

Click "read more" below to see where our amazing Texas Brisket Odyssey took us.

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Skillet Scalloped Potatoes

5 December, 2014, 0 comments, on

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Parties and potlucks getting the best of your wallet and creativity?  Time to whip out the ole S.S.P!

It’s official; the holidays are upon us!  Yes, it’s that glorious time of year to enjoy friends and family, and of course good food.  I am sure you are wondering at this point what on earth S.S.P stands for, and what it has to do with the holidays?  S.S.P (Skillet Scalloped Potatoes) is a classic side dish that is a hit Thanksgiving through New Year’s and anytime you want some delicious comfort food.  Relatively easy to prepare and actually quite economical to purchase ingredients for, you will find this a great recipe to arm yourself with for this seasons dinner parties and potlucks.  I will say from the outset, that a mandoline slicer is a must have when preparing this recipe.  I purchased mine from Marshall’s Homegoods for a whopping $12.99, and am already in love with it, well worth every penny.  In my opinion the other essential for this recipe is a cast iron skillet, but if you don’t have one and wish not to make the investment, you could substitute a baking dish.  Here are the basic ingredients you will need.

cheese, milk, dairy

potoato, onion

I did not use a recipe, but will walk you through the steps ... click "read more" to view the full recipe!

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Post Halloween Candy blues bringing you down?

20 November, 2014, 0 comments, on

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We’ve got the solution –
Peanut Butter Fudge Cake!

Come on let’s be honest, we’ve all suffered from candy withdrawal after the Halloween!  The best cure for this is a little time spent in the kitchen for some pre-Thanksgiving baking.  If you were looking for a healthy alternative to deal with your candy withdrawal, this is not the blog post for you.  Turn back now, or you’ll end up indulging your taste buds.

I came across this delightful recipe for Peanut Butter Fudge cake from a fellow foodie and trusted source when it comes to food.  Visit http://www.kusinamaster.net/2014/10/peanut-butter-fudge-cake.html for the full recipe. I am recipe tweaker by nature and will note two things (if using this particular recipe) that you may want to change. First, the recipe did not call for any salt, this was a bit of a red flag to me, so I added ½ tsp to the dry mixture.  Second, it instructs you to mix 2 beaten eggs into the dry mixture (contains 2 cups flour and 2 cups sugar) which alarmed me because the idea of mixing 2 eggs with that much flour concerned me as far as the process of homogenization goes.  I chose to temper my eggs on the stove whilst the oven was pre-heating and add after the butter chocolate mixture had been incorporated into the dry mix.

I began by mixing the dry ingredients whilst the eggs were tempering and the oven was heating.

(To read the full post click "read more" below)

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