This is the last day of the 5 day, 5 dessert challenge. We have a very show stopping dessert of Cherries Jubilee. What a spectacular end to our 5 day road trip. Stay tuned for more adventures of our road trip to New Mexico.
Saturday, June 29, 2019
Thursday, June 27, 2019
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
We are on a five day road trip to New Mexico, The challenge is to have 5 different desserts in 5 consecutive days. I guess the only real challenge is not to gain 5 pounds.
Day 1...... Chocolate Fudge cake with caramel flan with dulche de leehe sauce and chocolate shavings.
Sunday, June 23, 2019
Silicon Valley BBQ Championship is a fun day in the sun. Luckily us judges are sequestered in a lovely air conditioned auditorium. Today was another day of fun, sun, and bbq. We would like to share a couple of photos with you.
This event brings in the bbq hungry crowds. There are plenty of vendors that satisfy the bbq needs of this crowd. The temperature was in the mid 80s and this event tent was a popular place to cool down and eat some great bbq.
The mad with the large hat is our friend Ralph Reyes. He was vending today and was very happy with the bbq hungry crowds. He always takes the time to pose for shot. He did not stop too line because their was a huge line to sample his bbq. This was another great day to judge bbq and have some fun in the sun.
Thursday, June 20, 2019
Habanero Wings & Ribs was discovered by a drive by sighting. This establishment opened two weeks ago and it's name and sign caught this Mad Meat Genius curiosity. I just so happen to love; habanero, wings and ribs. How could we go wrong? The location is in a small strip small in San Pablo California. Parking is no problem and we walk into a clean, small place with about a dozen tables and a counter where you place your order.
The menu is simple with three proteins; fried chicken, wings and ribs. You need to pick a sauce for your wings. We try the habanero and the Buffalo sauce. You then have options of various side dishes, Cole slaw, corn bread, mac & cheese and several others. Your order is placed to a very polite and English language challenged clerk. We ordered ribs, wings, Cole slaw, corn bread and mac & cheese. We are served promptly maybe because we are the only ones here.
The wings are fairly decent. They are small but crisp from the fryolator. The habaneor sauced wings are spicy. The sauce is actually a mango/habanero sauce which gives a contrast in hot/sweet flavors. They are too spicy for Ms. Goofy. The buffalo sauce is pedestrian. This was the mini highlight of our meal. It was a downward slope from here.
The mac & cheese could be compared to the "Blue Box' variety that we all grew up on. The Cole Slaw should of been called mayonnaise slaw. It was very gloppy. The corn bread was dense, heavy and unremarkable. We asked about how they cooked the barbeque ribs. We were told they were barbecued in the oven. They actually were 'Country Style Pork Ribs". This is a meaty, fatty cut that was full of grease and covered with a house made tomato sauce that was a stretch to be called barbeque. These ribs were not terrible but I would never order these again. I also need to mention the ribs were not separated and stuck together. This is an instant disqualification in competition.
To misquote General Douglas MacArthur; "I shall not return". There were too many missfires today and giving this place a second chance is not in our future.
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
I am happy to report there is a new place to buy coffee in Richmond California. There are no shortage of coffee establishments in the Bay Area except for maybe downtown Richmond. Red Bay Coffee has opened in the newly remodeled Richmond Food Hall. Richmond has a reputation of being a rough and tumble town with lots of inner city problems. Red Bay Coffee is a step to smash this image and bring gourmet coffee drinks to downtown Richmond. My farmers market is located nearby and I do love a good cup of coffee so I decided to give it a try.
The new Richmond Food Hall is vacant except for the Red Bay Coffee kiosk. It is a great start for a modern, clean and inviting dinning spot in downtown Richmond. Red Bay Coffee serves all sorts of coffee drinks and small bakery goods. I ordered one of the signature drinks called; Charcoal Latte. It is made with activated charcoal and vanilla to create a different looking and quit pleasing tasting latte.The future is bright for this shop and its location. Something unique about this venue is re-purposed shipping containers that will eventually house the food shops. Art work will be displayed from the owner in this modern facility. We hope for success for Red Bay Coffee and Richmond Food Hall.
Sunday, June 16, 2019
Your neighbor has a party and you are not invited. This is sort of the feeling we had with the Martinez King of the County festival held this Fathers day weekend. Martinez is right in our backyard. They are having a two day festival which also has two separate bbq contests. We have judged these contest in the past. Somebody new has taken over the judging administration and has brought in her own set of judges. She has shunned experienced judges and opted for celebrity(?) personalities like the mayor, politicians and hand picked friends. I just hope the bbq competitors understand they might have a little bias in the judging tent. I apologize for this mini rant because this is actually a fun event that brings out a lot of backyard competitors to show off their bbq skills.
We did walk around and see if we recognized any pro-teams. We did find some unique cookers like this hand made rig that was impressive. This gentleman designed and forged all the metal work. The tank was originally an air compressor. Big Bertha was another unique fun looking bbq cooker. The competitors all had a great park setting to cook their entries.
There was fun music, the usual fair vendors and lots of food booths. There were a couple of booths selling bbq. We ran into our friends that run Nana Bears Mini Donuts. They are a personal favorite. Who does not love mini donuts?
We really like the "Joltin Joe", a Chris craft boat that Joe DiMaggio once owned. Joe at one time lived in Martinez. His estate donated the boat and the city totally restored it. There was an older gentleman that enthusiastically told us all the details of this boat. I enjoyed his passion towards this boat which gave this exhibit a personal touch.
We did not judge today but still had a great time. This is a fun local event. It is held in the waterfront park and is a perfect setting for a festival. I need to mention this festival had a group of fanatical anti-meat protesters last year. I had a deep down wish that they would have showed up for my own personal enjoyment. The festival runs today too. Maybe I will get my wish.
Sunday, June 9, 2019
It was a beautiful breezy day at Van Ruiten 8th Annual Cookoff. This is an event that we look forward too. The Van Ruiten Family Winery rolls out the red carpet for all involved. The best part about this event that it benefits a charity called Autism Speaks. We cannot think of a better way to have fun and donate to a cause that can help people. We would like to share a couple of tasty images with you.
Today’s contest was a three meat cook-off. Ribs, tri-tip and a mystery meat (pork belly) were on the judges table today. Twenty four teams were on hand for scrumptious battle. We really enjoy the mystery meat category. This is an opportunity for cooks to show their skills and creativity. Pork Belly was the protein. We saw a lot of interesting entries such as; cubes, tacos, mac & cheese with candied pork belly, skewered, chopped and many more.
There was music by William Sconce and the Dirty Pillow Band. I believe the most popular thing to do was taste the great wines offered by Van Ruiten. After and during your wine experience one could purchase award winning ribs. This was a combination that made everyone happy.
Today was a fundraiser for Autism Speaks. There was a very large raffle were many prizes could be won. All sorts of goodies and local services were offered by purchasing a raffle ticket. Ms. Goofy purchase a large roll of said tickets.
I found my happy spot in the wineries gift shop. They sold frozen apple pies. I told everybody and anybody that would listen that I was going to take one of these pies home. One of the promoters heard my out loud wishing and gifted me with an apple pie. Apple pie dreams do come true. The judges also took home a bottle of wine.
What another wonderful weekend. It does not get any better than this. Friends, food, entertainment, great wines and in my case; apple pie made this event special. Most important, all of our celebrations and competition had an end goal of helping Autism speaks. Thanks to everyone involved and Van Ruiten Family Winer for being the host.