March 10, 2017

Wonderbag Review

There are many wonderful things about the Wonderbag. Let me count the ways;

1. Acts like a slow cooker but no electricity is needed
2. Continues to cook food long after you have placed your pot in the bag
3. Super portable
4. So, it's perfect to take to parties, bbqs or tailgates
5. For each bag purchased, a bag is given to a family in Africa

I was gifted one of the bags to try out recently. I really think it's fantastic, hopefully as evidenced by the above. My only wish, is that tailgate season would hurry up and get here so I can try out more recipes.

Of course, in order to give a proper review I had to cook something in it. I was invited to a house party last Friday night and all of us were asked to bring a dish. It was the perfect opportunity to try out the Wonderbag. My first thought was queso! Why? Because queso has to stay warm and be served warm to truly be tasty.

I made the queso on the stove, per the normal directions, then I placed the pot in the Wonderbag, about an hour before we were supposed to be at the party. The bag made it very easy to transport and caused quite the commotion when we walked in with it. Everyone there wanted to know what it was  and how it worked. Not to mention, the queso was so good and stayed the perfect temperature the whole evening.

Here is the recipe I used.

1 pound ground beef (you can also use ground turkey, chorizo, buffalo, whatever meat you prefer)
1 large shallot, diced
1 small jalapeƱo, seeded and diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups of your favorite beer
1 (8-ounce) block of cream cheese, softened
12 ounces of white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
1 cup of black beans

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add meat to the skillet, using a wooden spoon to break apart until it is in crumbles. Cook until the fat is rendered and the meat appears to be cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain.

Keep the heat under the skillet around medium-low and add olive oil, peppers, shallot and garlic with a pinch of salt. Stir well to coat. Let cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat up to medium and add beer. After a few minutes, stir in softened cream cheese and continue stirring until it's melted. At first it will look crumbly and separated, but it will melt! Once it is creamy, add in the white cheddar, stirring again until melted and reducing the heat to low. Stir in the black beans and sausage, then remove from heat and serve immediately. Top with scallions and cilantro if desired.

This is the original recipe that I modified. I like that the recipe didn't call for Velveeta. Cheers!

March 1, 2017

Chanel Sports

Would you pay ten times the normal amount for sports equipment because they had the Chanel label?

Not me!  I do really like the Surfboard though.  

February 2, 2017

Super Bowl LI (51st) 2017

What you need to know:

New England vs. Atlanta 
at NRG Stadium in Houston, 6:30 p.m. ET (Fox)

This is the Patriot's NINTH Super Bowl appearance! 

National anthem - Luke Bryan
Coin toss - President George H. W. Bush &  First Lady Barbara Bush
Halftime show - Lady Gaga

Who are you rooting for?
Where are you watching the game?
What are you eating/drinking?

I am rooting for the Falcons. I typically root for the underdog in these instances. We will be watching the game at home. One eye on the TV and the other eye on the 2.5 year old. 

I am probably going to make some buffalo chicken dip and I am going to attempt to make bacon cheeseburger bombs. Here are my recipes for both. Cheers!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 (10 ounce) cans chicken or a deli rotisserie chicken works well too
2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese
3⁄4 cup hot sauce
1 cup ranch dressing
2 cups mild cheddar cheese

Mix chicken, cream cheese, hot sauce, cheese, and ranch together.  Add a handful of cheddar cheese for the top. Cook on high for about an hour then keep heated on low. You can serve on baguettes or corn chips.

Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs

1 can Refrigerated Biscuits (10 biscuits)
1 pound lean ground beef
½ onion, chopped
3 slices of bacon, chopped
⅓ cup cream cheese
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
5 oz cheddar cheese, chopped into 10 squares
1 egg white

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pan, brown ground beef, bacon and onion until cooked. Drain any grease. Add cream cheese, ketchup, barbecue sauce, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Stir over low heat until cream cheese is melted. Allow to cool. Roll each biscuit out very thin. Place 2 tablespoons beef mixture on each biscuit and add 1 square of cheese. Wrap the biscuit around the beef/cheese and tightly seal the edges. Place biscuits on a parchment lined pan seam side down. Brush with egg white. Put them in the oven and turn down the heat to 350 degrees. Bake 13-16 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm.

January 3, 2017

Tailgate Spices and Rubs in Infinity Jars

I am a big fan of grilling and also using spices and rubs in my tailgate recipes. I am also a big fan of a local spice purveyor here in the Dallas area, Penzeys Spices. I normally do not get the chance to visit their store very often, but when I do, I usually stock up. Their pepper line is one of my favorites. I was introduced to the California pepper seasoning by a friend. I don't particularly like black pepper but these combinations peppers add just the right flavors needed for my meat dishes I prepare.

Luckily, the folks at the Infinity Jars company reached out to me recently and sent me some of their jars to test out. I immediately transferred my 3 peppers from Penzeys into their airtight, glass jars. They help protect and preserve the freshness of whatever you are storing in them.

Since the season is almost over now, I know many of you have packed away your tailgate equipment and that includes your special rubs and spices you use for grilling. I recommend that you look into using the Infinity Jars to help with any loss of flavor while we wait for the next season to begin. (Hopefully that doesn't take too long!)

In other cooking news, I receive a pressure cooker for Christmas and I am ecstatic. Actual tears were wept when I opened the package. I've already made some of the best beef stew in it!

December 20, 2016

All In One Cooler and Grill.....with Wheels

Leading up to the end of the year, I thought I would highlight my favorite tailgate products of 2016. Here is the first one!

This all-in-one cooler and grill from Picnic Time is what every tailgater had designed at one point in the their head or on a bar napkin. It had everything you need to tailgate in one portable, roll-able product. It's a grill. It's a cooler. And it even stores your utensils. It's awesome!