Thursday, October 2, 2014

El Diablo Hot & Spicy Mustards Giveaway + Product Review #sponsor #ad



Did you enter the #10DaysofTailgate giveaway and not win the El Diablo Hot & Spicy Mustard*? You have another chance...


I was introduced to El Diablo Hot & Spicy Mustard through an event earlier in the year. Then, they graciously agreed to sponsor an event I was coordinating last month. And, now, they have offered one of my readers the chance to try out their mustards that bite back with a 6-pack. And because I love them so much, I am offering another reader a 3-pack myself. Two chances to win...

I have had the opportunity to use their mustards in many, many recipes. Needless to say: I'm a fan!

*Full Disclosure: I received 6 complimentary bottles from El Diablo Hot & Spicy Mustard for participating in #10DaysofTailgate last month and 6 bottles for participating in #burgermonth earlier in the year. All comments are 100 % accurate and 100% my own.

About El Diablo...
We are a little mustard mad in my house. And by that I mean that my 10-year-old has his own bottle of mustard that he will not share with anyone else; he even made a Spicy Carrot Cake - with mustard -  for Easter this year.

We like mustards with a nice flavor profile. Good depth, rocking flavor, but with a smoothness.


I have tried all of their flavors: Mango, Heat Meets Sweet; Roasted Chipotle, A Kick of the Southwest; Steakhouse, Hearty Flavor to Treat Your Tastebuds; Texas Chili, Don't Mess with Texas!; Jalapeno, Popping with Pepper Flavor; and Habanero, A Flavor Inferno for Daring Types.

I even took them on a camping trip and everyone got to do a little taste testing with some grilled sausages.

  
Mango, Heat Meets Sweet
While I don't think I would necessarily have been able to pick out the fruit as mango (I might have guessed peach), the modicum of sweetness and fruit countered the spiciness and was my family's overall favorite. 

Roasted Chipotle, A Kick of the Southwest
This was our second favorite flavor. It still had a tinge of sweetness but with added smoky sensuality. I'm thinking that this was the favorite with our friends on the camping trip. We were already enveloped in campfire smoke, this just added to it!

Steakhouse, Hearty Flavor to Treat Your Tastebuds
I have to say that this one was the most mysterious to me. Its ingredient list reveals that it includes tomato paste. Yep, it's like a mustard tinged with ketchup. While it works well, it doesn't work with everything.

Texas Chili, Don't Mess with Texas!
This one also has tomato paste. Think about your favorite chili recipe - with a little heat and a little smoke. This is that in a mustard bottle. 

Jalapeno, Popping with Pepper Flavor
This one, in my mind, is closest to a traditional yellow mustard...just kicked up, say, ten notches. It is the brightest of the six and more tart than the others. It's straightforward, basic, but with a bite.

Habanero, A Flavor Inferno for Daring Types
This one is my favorite. The mango was my family's overall favorite, but I loved this sweet, pungent, and truly spicy mustard. Winner, winner.

Overall...
These are mustards you have to try, especially if you like mustard and you don't mind a little heat. Enter my giveaway below, or you can purchase on El Diablo’s official online store. $5.99 for 2-pack + shipping.

Check out my recipes using El Diablo...



The Giveaway

Terms & Conditions
Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment with What is your favorite dish that uses mustard? Many more ways to enter in the Rafflecopter widget [below].

This giveaway is open to residents of the United States only, age 18 and older. This BONUS #10DaysofTailgate 2014 giveaway runs from Thursday, October 2, 2014 12:00am PT through Monday, October 6, 2014 at 11:59pm PT. Winners will be randomly chosen and announced on October 7, 2014. Winners will also be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond to the email. If a winner does not respond in that time a new winner will be chosen. For more information, see the full terms and conditions in the Rafflecopter widget.

Disclaimer: El Diablo Mustard has provided the prizes free of charge. Participating bloggers received product for their #10DaysofTailgate posts. All opinions stated are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

#FoodieExtravaganza : Hopped Up Pretzel Bites with Beer-Gouda Dip




Welcome to the Foodie Extravaganza
v. October 2014 = a Pretzel Par-tay

We are a group of bloggers who love to blog about food!  Each month we will decide on an all-famous National Monthly Food Holiday in which we will base our recipes around. This month the ingredient is pretzels with an optional ingredient of caramel.  Yes, October is National Pretzel Month along with a whole array of other delightful things!! Get excited!! We hope you all enjoy our delicious pretzel treats this month and come back to see what we bring for you next month.  If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza.  We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

Here's what the whole gang made...


Hopped Up Pretzel Bites with Beer-Gouda Dip

I've seen a gob of recipes of pretzels made with beer. But I decided, for this #FoodieExtravaganza party, to make mine with real Cascade hops from my friends Shelby and Dave. I used beer in the sauce...and drank it alongside my pretzel bites.



Ingredients
Pretzel Bites
  • 1-1/2 C warm water
  • 1 T active dry yeast
  • 2 T organic granulated sugar
  • 2 Cascade hops blossoms, broken up into petals
  • 4 C all-purpose flour + more for kneading
  • 1/2 C dark rye flour
  • 1/2 C baking soda
  • water
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • fleur de sel for sprinkling


Beer-Gouda Dip
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 C beer (I used Rogue Farms' Chipotle Ale)
  • 1 C whole millk
  • 1 C shredded truffle gouda cheese
  • 1 C shredded asiago


Procedure
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve sugar in the warm water and float the Cascade hops in the water. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Let the yeast bloom till frothy, approximately 10 minutes. Some clusters of yeast will remain. 


Slowly add 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 C dark rye flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough is thick. Add 1 more cup flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it's still sticky, add up to 1/2 cup more. Press the dough with your finger. If it bounces back, it's ready to knead.


Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes and re-shape into a ball. 

Divide the ball into quarters, then divide each quarter into halves. Roll the dough into a long, even rope. Cut the ropes into bite-sized pieces.

Fill a large souppot with 8 to 9 C of water. Once it comes to a boil, add in the baking soda carefully. It will bubble up, so be careful. Drop the pretzel bites into the water. They will float quickly.


Remove the pretzel bites, drain, and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the pretzels with beaten egg and sprinkle with fleur de sel.


Bake for 15 to 17 minutes at 450 degrees F - until the pretzels are a deep chestnut brown color. Transfer the pretzels to a wire rack to cool. Serve with beer-gouda dip.

Beer-Gouda Dip

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the flour and cook to make a roux. Continuing cooking till it turns a nice, golden color. Slowly whisk in the beer and continue to cook, whisking frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes. Next, pour in the milk and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir in the cheese and allow to cook until the sauce has thickened and the consistency you like. Serve hot...with the rest of your beer. Cheers!


So happy that I found this event. I'm looking forward to participating again in the future.

15 Pretzel Recipes via Foodie Extravaganza.jpg

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

#10DaysofTailgate Winners!



The event is over! The winners have been picked and notified. Phew. 


Thank you, again, to our
#10DaysofTailgate Sponsors
in alphabetical order with links to their homepages



And...the winners of the giveaway are...

#10DaysofTailgate - Thanks Again!




I will be doing a few wrap-up posts over the next couple of days. But as the end of our rafflecopter approaches, I just wanted to take another moment to thank our sponsors and the bloggers.

Our #10DaysofTailgate Sponsors
in alphabetical order with links to their homepages


Our #10DaysofTailgate Bloggers

#10DaysofTailgate: Grilled Clash of the Seasons Panzanella




On this final day of #10DaysofTailgate, I decided to do a double-post to squeeze in just one more recipe with a thank you for another sponsor Mr. Bar-B-Q*. I was trying to create a good recipe to highlight their stainless steel mesh grill skillet...and I finally did it. Eureka!

Dear readers, enter the giveaway (below) to see if you can win a grill skillet, a grill cover with the collegiate team logo of your choosing, and a propane tank refill.

Panzanella is a Tuscan salad that I normally make during the summertime, showcasing sweet tomatoes from friends' gardens and our High Ground Organics CSA. I had seen 'grilled panzanella' on a menu somewhere and decided to create my own version with some late summer tomatoes and early autumn oyster mushrooms. Hence the 'clash of the seasons.' Summer produce collides with Autumn. The grill skillet allowed me to toast the bread cubes over a grill and add some amazing smoky flavor without mangling my bread cubes on skewers or losing them between the grill slats.


Ingredients 
  • 5 C cubed bread (I used a sourdough loaf)
  • 5 shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 3 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground salt
  • 2 C oyster mushrooms
  • 1/2 C asparagus, chopped into 1/2" pieces
  • white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 C wild arugula leaves
  • 2 C tomatoes, cubed
Procedure
Preheat your grill.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the bread cubes, shallots, and parsley with salt and olive oil. In another mixing bowl, toss the oyster mushrooms and asparagus with salt and olive oil.

In your grill pan or skillet, grill the bread till it's nicely toasted. Remove the bread to a mixing bowl.


Spoon the mushrooms and asparagus into the skillet and grill till slightly softened. Spoon that mixture into the same bowl as the bread. Add in the tomatoes and arugula. toss to coat with a drizzle of olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.


Here's what the rest of the team brought to the table...

Starters
Mains
Homemade Honey Mustard Chipotle Chicken Bites by Love and Confections
Beer Cheese Brat Chowder by Cheese Curd In Paradise
Ducky Joes by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Ducky 13 Bean Soup by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
13 Bean Chili by Miss Laura’s Kitchen
Za’atar Spiced Cashews by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Chicken & Potato Stir Fry on the Grill by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
El Diablo Spicy Wood Smoked Pork Butt by CafeTerraBlog
Grilled Lemongrass Lamb by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Sides
Grilled Clash of the Seasons Panzanella by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Sweets
Boston Lager Cupcakes by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Thanks, again, Mr. Bar-B-Q*- just one of the #10DaysofTailgate sponsors - for items used in this recipe.



*Full Disclosure: I received 1 complimentary stainless steel mesh grilling skillet for participating in #10DaysofTailgate. Feel free to use whatever grill basket or skillet  you have on-hand. All comments are 100 % accurate and 100% my own.

#10Daysof Tailgate: Grilled Lemongrass Lamb




As this marathon tailgating event - #10DaysofTailgate - draws to a close, I decided to celebrate by handing off some lamb chops to my Grill Master and kicking up my feet with a cold beer in my hand! Works for me! And Jake was excited that he finally got to use his new ThermoPop from ThermoWorks.*


Ingredients makes 2
  • 2 lamb chops
  • 1 t lemongrass, recommended Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices
  • 1 T garlic, recommended Gourmet Garden
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • sesame oil for drizzling
  • 1 T fresh parsley

Procedure
Let meat come to room temperature. In the meantime, rub each lamb chop with 1/4 t lemongrass on each side and 1/4 T garlic on each side. Sprinkle with freshly ground salt, freshly ground pepper, and fresh parsley. Drizzle with sesame oil. Let meat stand while you heat the grill - at least 10 to 15 minutes.

Grill till desired doneness. For lamb, that meant (for medium well) 165°F; USDA recommends 170 °F. Thanks to the Thermopop...it was easy to do!


Speaking of the ThermoPop...
Let's be real: ThermoWorks sent me the ThermoPop for participating in this event, but it's not mine. As soon as I opened it, it was out of the box and secured in Jake's grill tools drawer. No joke. I had to dig it out, shove it back in the package to take a photo, and then put it back in his drawer.

Thank you, ThermoWorks, my husband loves your ThermoPop. And thanks, too, for sponsoring this event. I have a full product review scheduled in October along with another - bonus! - giveaway. Dear readers, enter the giveaway (below) to see if you can win a ThermoPop of your own!

Here's what the other team brought to the table...

Starters
Mains
Homemade Honey Mustard Chipotle Chicken Bites by Love and Confections
Beer Cheese Brat Chowder by Cheese Curd In Paradise
Ducky Joes by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Ducky 13 Bean Soup by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
13 Bean Chili by Miss Laura’s Kitchen
Za’atar Spiced Cashews by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Chicken & Potato Stir Fry on the Grill by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
El Diablo Spicy Wood Smoked Pork Butt by CafeTerraBlog
Grilled Lemongrass Lamb by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Sides
Grilled Clash of the Seasons Panzanella by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Sweets
Boston Lager Cupcakes by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Thanks, again, ThermoWorks and Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices*- just two of the #10DaysofTailgate sponsors - for ingredients used in this recipe.


*Full Disclosure: I received 1 complimentary ThermoPop from ThermoWorks and 1 cooler full of herbs by Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices for participating in #10DaysofTailgate. Feel free to use whatever thermometer and fresh herbs you have on-hand. All comments are 100 % accurate and 100% my own.

Monday, September 29, 2014

#10DaysofTailgate: Smoky Karma Stovetop Beans




Thanks to a trio of sponsor deliciousness, I am bringing these Smoky Karma Stovetop Beans to our #10DaysofTailgate party. You can heap these onto to hot dogs or spoon them over nachos. We just ate them straight from a bowl. Thanks to event sponsors: Bob's Red MillIntensity Academy, and Not Ketchup* for the great ingredients to make this dish extra special.



Ingredients

  • 1 lb 13 oz dried beans (I used Bob's Red Mill 13- Bean Soup Mix)
  • water
  • 4 oz pancetta
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 C vegetable broth
  • 4 C beef broth
  • 1/4 C Not Ketchup's Smoky Date
  • 1/4 C raw agave nectar
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T Carrot Karma Hot Sauce by Intensity Academy
  • freshly ground salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste


Procedure
Place your dried beans in a pot and cover with, at least, 2" of water. Let soak overnight. Drain the beans and rinse them.

Slice your pancetta as thinly as you can.



In a large souppot, saute your onions and pancetta slices until the onions are translucent and the pancetta is cooked but not crisped.


Add the beans to the pot. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for 60-90 minutes, until beans are just tender. Add boiling water to beans if they begin to dry out during cooking.

Stir in the Not Ketchup, agave, vinegar, and Carrot Karma sauce. Simmer for another 30-40 minutes until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.



Here's what the rest of the crew brought to the table...

Starters
BBQ Sausage & Cheese Plate by The Spiffy Cookie           
Vegified Hot “Wings”  by Curious Cuisiniere            
Fried Polenta Cakes with Grilled Tomato and Mozzarella Salad by Love and Confections               
Smoky Karma Stovetop Beans by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Dips
Chile con Queso by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Mains 
Kicking Karma Veggie Fajita Pizza by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures     
Not Ketchup Cherry Chipotle Steak Tacos by Making Miracles               
BBQ Chickpea Sliders with Apple Slaw by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy         
Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili by The Pajama Chef                      
Beef Kabobs by A Day in the Life on the Farm      


Thanks, again, Bob's Red MillIntensity Academy, and Not Ketchup*- just three of the #10DaysofTailgate sponsors - for ingredients used in this recipe.

 

*Full Disclosure: I received 1 bag of 13 Bean Soup Mix from Bob's Red Mill, 1 complimentary bottle of Carrot Karma Hot Sauce by Intensity Academy, and 1 complimentary bottle of Smoky Date Not Ketchup Dipping Sauce for participating in #10DaysofTailgate. Feel free to use whatever beans, hot sauce, and ketchup you have on-hand. All comments are 100 % accurate and 100% my own.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Monterey Beer Garden 2014 Tasting Notes




Having won the #peterbsbrewsandbitescontest with my Legend of Laguna IPA-braised Carnitas over Polenta Cakes, I received 2 tickets to the 2014 Monterey Beer Garden, a night at Portola Hotel & Spa, and a growlette from Peter B's Brewpub. And thanks to a tag-team effort by my parents and the Novaks, we were kid-free for the beer garden portion of the day. Ulla offered to keep the boys all night, but I knew that I would not be forgiven for staying at a hotel without them...when it's not a birthday or anniversary celebration. But we thoroughly enjoyed our kid-free date to drink beer!

We've been to a couple of other beer festivals and I have to say that this was the nicest one we've attended. The two main reasons: (1) it features truly local (at least Bay Area-local) breweries and (2) the crowd is comprised of actual beer enthusiasts. While people can drink as much beer as they desire within those four hours, I think attendees were there to really enjoy the beers and not just for the buzz! I was pleasantly surprised on both counts.

Now for some tasting notes (clockwise from the top left)...



Urmahlullu by Discretion Brewing, Soquel
This beer actually got Jake's vote for 'best of show.' The urmahlullu is a mythological hybrid of lion and man. I asked. Urmahlullu, like its namesake, is also a hybrid - of ale and lager. Unfiltered and with only 3.6% abv, it's an easy drinking brew with a hint of coriander and some toasted malt. One oddity: after a hoppy beer, urmahlullu almost has a peanut-y taste. It was intriguing to say the least.

Session Saison by Drake's Brewing, San Leandro
I've been enamored with saisons since I did my beer crawl with the Beer Geeks. (Click to read Roadside Diaries: Beer People.) This one was, as expected, crisp, spicy, and refreshing.

Black Rock Porter by Triple Rock Brewery, Berkeley
This is one of their standard ales and one I've tried many times before. It's a robust ale that light on the hops and heavy on the coffee notes. 

Grapefruit IPA by Alvarado Street Brewery, Monterey
Brewer and owner J.C. was pouring. And he said that this was a collaboration with Peter B's Brewpub. Nice! Two local favorites. While I am normally not a huge IPA fan - I am going to devote an entire post to that! - this was beautifully balanced. It seemed light on the hops and heavy on the grapefruit. A tasty brew. I wasn't too surprised. The only other IPA I've ever liked was also a Peter B's creation.


We tried some fruity brews. First up: Framboos by Uncommon Brewers, Santa Cruz. This is a crisp blonde ale brewed with fresh raspberries. It was incredibly aromatic and super delicious.


This was an unusual trifecta from Boulder Creek Brewing, including their Ginger Beer and their Mango Sour. While I liked the ginger beer, I wished it had more ginger. It was a little too understated. Also, while the freshly squeezed lime was a nice touch, it made me feel that I wasn't tasting the beer itself.

But beer that we actually finished - and went back for more - was the Mango Sour. This was the strangest taste sensation I've ever experienced in a beer. At first sip, like a sour should, it made your mouth pucker. As it leaves your mouth, you get a distinct, unbelievable flavor of - wait for it! - expensive charcuterie. Think fennel seeds and a slightly oily mouthfeel. Yes, it was completely weird, but oddly appealing.


Hermitage Brewing Company, out of San Jose, brought their Fruit Crate Pumpkin Ale. It was not what I anticipated at all. When I drink pumpkin ale, I expect - and really want - those distinctive spices: clove, cinnamon, and more. This shockingly had none of that. While it was brewed with a gob of pumpkin, it was not what I want when I pick up a pumpkin ale.

Last I want to shine the spotlight on Firestone Walker Brewing Company's Opal. Saving the best for last, so to speak.


Their Opal is a saison-style that is a beer for a wine drinker. It reminded me of a thoroughly enjoyable Pinot Grigio with some pepper, some citrus, and some peach. Spicy, zesty, and sweet. It was tart and refreshing and - while it was a tough field - it got my vote for 'best of show.' 


Did you try any good beers this weekend?