Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Fun, Food and Friends is a great combination to have a spectacular weekend. This equation was held at the “2nd Annual Siskyou Beef Country Cook-off’ in historical Montague California. The ‘Rotary Club’ once again rolled out the ‘Red Carpet’ for everybody involved. Twenty five Professional teams and 5 ‘Backyard teams held battle in a BBQ competition to win the coveted trophy. It was a warm one. The thermometer wanted to break the century mark. In the evening we were treated to some spectacular light shows by the electrically charged skies.
It was Friday evening and the teams were rolling in. Montague has a small town warmth and charm. The ‘Rotary Club’ held a delicious Tri-tip dinner to welcome us all. We were entertained by local musicians. It does not get any better than this. Dinner was done and it was time to cook. The teams cut, chopped and seasoned their competition meats. Proper prepping can determine a champion. Brisket and pork shoulder can take up to 12 hours to cook. The fire will need to be watched and tended too. It would be a long night for some. Ms. Goofy and I hunkered down in our plush, swanky hotel. We would need a good nights rest to judge some of the best BBQ in the nation.
It was judgment day. We were not disappointed. It is always a pleasure and treat to sample and score great BBQ. We want to point out a unique and fun way one team prepared their meat entries. Team Belcampo cooked their meat in dutch ovens and a salt crust oven. A heritage breed pig was seasoned and encrusted in salt. A special rack that had a wood fire on top and bottom provided heat to bake this salt covered pig. The brisket and chicken was cooked in Dutch ovens. Belcampo used some high quality meat from their farms. We got to taste some of this heritage breed pork. Wow! Ms. Goofy used the word ‘porky’. It had a taste that was rich and flavorful. Even though this pork had such a great flavor it did not score highly. Tean Belcampo had some problems with KCBS entry rules. It should be interesting if in the future Heritage meats will be a dominating factor in KCBS contests.
This was another great weekend of Fun, Food and Friends. Congratulations to the team of “IAB 30” for winning Grand Champion. Thanks to John Hammond and the Rotary Club for a great event. We cannot wait for next year’s contest..
Friday, July 26, 2013
We loaded up the 'Racing Honda' and sped to the 'California State Fair". We were on a mission to sample deep fried and bacon treats. We also wanted to see the tribute to Huell Howser. The weather could not of been nicer. This was the perfect climate to indulge in battered and fried foods. Half the fun was the search for the ultimate treat. There was endless choices and we might possibly have been overwhelmed. Bacon wrapped cheese, kabobs, pineapple, chicken, 'pork-abella' hot dogs, cheesecake and chocolate covered were only several items offered. We did settle on a deep fried strawberry 'Pop-Tart" and a corn dog. "Pop-Tart's" was and is one of my favorite food groups. Be careful when eating this doughy treat because the strawberry filling is smokin' hot. .
Corn dogs and 'Pop-Tarts' whetted our appetite for some substantial food. Sacramento has a great Mexican restaurant called Ernesto's. They are famous for their carnitas. This wold be our next food stop. Ernesto's is an institution in the mid-town area. We were lucky to miss the crowds at our mid afternoon meal. I was tempted to try the chileverde but when in Rome. I was not disappointed.. The pork was flavorful. The outer crust of the meat was caramelized with rich meat candy flavor. House made tortillas were the icing on this cake.
This was a fun day at the fair and Ernesto's. We cannot wait for the next food adventure. We are heading to Montague, California for another BBQ competition this weekend. Oh Yeah!
1901 16th St
Sacramento, CA 95814
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Farmers markets are a big part of my life. You many even say I am a farmers market junkie. If we are not judging at bbq contests, if I am not Managing the Friday's 'Richmond Farmers Market', we will probably be at a market somewhere in Northern California. I would like to share the location of a very nice market located under a busy freeway in Sacramento. This market takes place on Sunday mornings. It is probably wise to arrive early because this market draws a crowd. You will understand the draw once you have experienced the variety and prices of this market.
Sacramento can get very hot in the summer. This shaded location is a welcome relief from the heat.Stone fruits are in season. Peaches, nectarines perfume this shopping arena. Fragrant melons will entice you to purchase. We found some great yellow corn. When is the last time you have found yellow corn at the farmers market? We were on a mission searching for a specific vendor: John Bledsoe.
John Bledsoe is a pig farmer from Woodland that has some of the best pork around. We have enjoyed his pork on several occasions. Bacon turned out great from one of his pork bellies. The prices are very reasonable. In fact, one of the market drawing points is the overall prices of all the produce and products offered for sale.. Sacramento does not incur the 'Bay Area Sin Tax'. Fruit and produce is not sold at inflated prices. Your pocket book will be happy after shopping here.
This market is worth a visit. You may be overwhelmed by the variety, freshness and prices. It is true 'California Gold'. The pork chops and yellow corn were divine.
Sacramento Sunday Farmers Market
8th & W St.
Sacramento, Ca. 95816
Monday, July 22, 2013
Placerville California was a sizzling 94 degrees yesterday. The weather was not the only hot stuff going on at the Placerville Fairgrounds. A KCBS four meat bbbq competition, chili cook-off and horse show was held simultaneously to create a festive warm day.Yours truly hunkered down in an air-conditioned room to bravely sample and score some of the best BBQ in the nation. It is a tough job and we are privileged to do it.We would like to share a couple of images with you.
Our friend Chuck Collondrez of "Bowling Over Pigs' was crowned the "Grand Champion" of this bbq competition. Congratulations Chuck! This was another grand weekend of friends, food and fun. We cannot wait til next weekend to do it all over again in Montague, California.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
We are having another fun weekend of BBQ ahead. You can join in on the festivities. This is what 'Smokin for Gold' has to say:
"Live music, Cowboy Poetry, Kiddie Corral, Chili Cook Off, Salsa & Cornbread Competitions, Chuckwagon BBQ and Margaritaville and a whole lot more! It is a full day of fun you won’t want to miss. Lots of fun and extra things to do for the entire family."
4th Annual Smokin for Gold
Cowboys & Cornbread
Sunday, July 21, 2013
100 Placerville Dr (fairgrounds)
Placerville, CA 95667
Thursday, July 18, 2013
During our BBQ judging process there can be a little down time. This is usually the time after the judges meeting and before the first entry turn-in. We have a fun little way to pass the time. We break out an old/new game called 'Pass The Pigs'. It is similar to a dice game but played with plastic oinkers. You roll out the little pigs and score points by the way they land. The first person to one hundred is victorious. The pigs below have a point value of 16. The first pig is a 'Leaning Jowler' (15) and the second is a 'Side' (1). Making pig noises during play is optional.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Are you serious about your BBQ like I am? Is your smoker or grill working overtime this summer? One key ingredient to great tasting barbeque is using the right tools. We all have that special grill to create mouth watering smoky meat treats. We also have certain tools to make the operation of these cooking units work to their fullest potential. Today we are taking a gander at the ‘BBQ Buttula’. The BBQ Buttula is a hand made wide spatula. This is no ordinary spatula. We will put this special tool through the paces with several different cooking trials.
If you are like me, you will have a drawer full of spatulas of different shapes and sizes. It seems when I am cooking a pork shoulder or whole chicken, there is never a spatula large enough or sturdy enough to handle these meats. Most of my spatulas are of poor or questionable quality and considered disposable. In steps the ‘BBQ Buttula’. This is a large spatula. The dimensions are a huge 8 inches long and 6 inches wide. The blade is a sturdy 1/8 inch (12 gauge) made of stainless steel. The handle is made of wood and feels comfortable in your hand
Our first cooking endeavor was a beer can chicken. This BBQ Buttula was the perfect size to scoop this bird off the grill. I felt confident that this tool had a firm and steady base to cradle and lift this hot and steaming chicken off the grill. There is a lot of hot chicken love (fat) in the bottom of the cooker that was safely moved to our cutting surface.
Pork shoulder is one of our all-time favorite cuts of meat to cook on the smoker. How many times have I been nervous about removing this cut of meat with a small and flimsy spatula? I have spent a good time commitment to drop this baby. Not today. The BBQ Buttula picked up this butt with authority. This beautiful roast was transferred from the cooker to our work surface with ease. We even used or BBQ Buttula as a pizza peel. It worked perfectly. I would not recommend doing this with an inferior spatula. Did I ever mention what fun we have testing products.
This tool has some heft. It weighs just under two pounds (30) ounces. It is made right here in America. It is made by Manuel (Mex) a barbecue competitor. He designed this tool because he needed a sturdy tool for moving his competition pork shoulders with confidence and ease. He has accomplished this with the BBQ Buttula. Manuel is also a humanitarian. He is very active in ‘Operation BBQ Relief’. He has donated his time and products to help those that are in need.
The BBQ Buttula is an investment in quality. When you have the BBQ Buttula in your hand you will feel the craftsmanship and pride throughout. This is an American made product. With proper care and use this tool will last a lifetime. We cannot praise this tool enough. If you are a BBQ competitor this is a must have tool. If you are a weekend bbq warrior and you want the best this will fill the bill. We love the BBQ Buttula
. BBQ Buttula
Bonner Springs KS
Sunday, July 14, 2013
"Who Loves Not Women, Wine And Song Remains A Fool His Whole Life Long".... Martin Luther
So the saying goes, and barbeque was included this Saturday at the '3rd Annual Wine Country Big Q Championships' held in Santa Rosa, California. It was a beautiful sunny day to have a barbeque competition. A KCBS four meat competition with two auxiliary categories of lamb ribs and sirloin steak was held. This event held at the Sonoma Academy was so much more than just a smoke and meat fest. It was a fundraiser for "The Children s Museum of Sonoma County" Local vitners showcased award winning wines and their culinary skills.
The public was treated to a barbeque extravaganza. The local wineries cooked Tri-tip and accompanied it with their best wines. Wineries competed to win the "Bold Bean Challenge" by offering tasty side dishes. The competition teams offered samples of brisket, chicken, ribs and pork shoulder. After eating and drinking all of these tasty treats dessert is in order. Here comes my favorite part: There was a 'Bakin for Bacon' dessert contest.
Yvonne Sousa is serving up award winning bbq while Donna Fong is showing off her delicious sea salt dusted chocolate covered thick bacon on a stick. Bacon smores, ice cream, blonde brownies, and so many more bacon studded treats had me in a twitter One of ours, and crowd favorite was 'Bacon Cinnamon Rolls with a Bourbon Maple Glaze' offered by the bbq team "Pork Dynasty". After judging, and all of these treats this Mad Meat Genius was bursting at the seams.
This is a popular event for the public and judges. This couple talking to Kelley (KCBS Official) drove their motorcycles all the way from Arkansas. They also made the journey in two days. Now that is dedication. We all had fun on this festive day. I would like to congratulate the Grand Champion team; "The Pit Crew BBQ'. See you soon!