The hot days of our extended summer in Arvada, Colorado caused me to try Flor De Cana Extra Dry Rum for the first time. I'm normally not much of a rum drinker, but the thought of mint, lime and rum in Mojitos sounds great during the warmer months of summer. A few weeks ago, I skimped at a bar and paid $1.00 less for the Mojito made with the cheaper Cruzan Rum over the pricier Flor De Cana Extra Dry 4 Year. That turned out to be a good decision. Here's a dirty, little secret about expensive alcohol that the bar business doesn't want you to know. Read the rest of this entry
The best triple sec is one that doesn't cost a fortune and won't ruin a good margarita. So, where can you get a great bottle of triple sec that won't cost you an arm and a leg? Triple sec is basically an orange liqueur which is often a popular compliment to margaritas. Unfortunately, many of the cheap brands of triple sec I've tried do more damage to margaritas than good. Gran Marnier and Contreau are costlier liqueurs. I've never cared for the flavor of Gran Marnier in Margaritas. I think it makes them taste soapy which coincidentally is the same problem with cheaper brands of triple sec. Contreau is a great liqueur which compliments almost any mixed drink, but who can afford it? Surely, there must be a good compromise when it comes to finding a better Triple Sec, right? Read the rest of this entry
El Charro Tequila is an extremely affordable Reposado made from 100% agave nectar. I don't know about you, but when I find a 750 ML bottle of 100% Agava tequila for under $15.00, I buy it right off the shelf with no questions asked. The El Charro Reposado was only $13.98 at my local, Westminster Total Beverage Liquor store, which is a fabulous place, by the way, for discovering affordable brands of tequila. There were a couple of other choices I considered before I spotted the El Charro tequila which was labeled, 100% PURO DE AGAVE. One of them happened to be my wife's previous favorite tequila, Epsolon. Epsolon Reposado tequila normally sells for around $20.00, but it was only $17.98 at Westminster Beverage and the shelf was adorned with a very impressive rating of 92 points. I agree with my wife that Epsolon is a decent Tequila for the price, but I'm not sure I agree with the expert rating. Perhaps, it is good marketing and public relations to get these ratings from the so-called tequila snobs. Read the rest of this entry
The 2013 Model 304 Costco KitchenAid Grill is a great looking outdoor appliance, but how well does the cooking and overall performance of this expensive beast measure up to it's attractive appearance? Since we had a larger deck built this April, I figured it was time to splurge on a bigger and better grill to take advantage of the extra room. I looked at the heavy, durable Weber Grills for $600 at Home Depot and Lowes, but was disappointed that they only had 3 + 1 burners. For $700, the Costco Kitchenaid Grill has a total of 5 burners, including the side unit and looks and feels every bit as rugged, durable and sturdy as the Webers. The Kitchenaid is an attractive grill made with heavy-gauged, brushed, stainless steel. Read the rest of this entry
Spicy Salsa-flavored Great Value Rolled Corn Tortilla have unexpectedly become one of my favorite snacks. I realize the front lines of Walmart are chalk full of bargain-priced, junk-food snacks and I am usually hesitant to try any of them. But, for some reason, the image on the bag of rolled, spicy salsa corn chips caught my eye on this particular Sunday and I threw them into our shopping cart as an impulsive, after-thought to our week's worth of groceries. I don't like to make a habit of snacks that are full of seasoning and preservatives, but for some reason, my instincts told me that these might taste pretty darn good. As it turns out, my premonition was spot-on.
A gas grill rotisserie has been on my wish list for a long time - too long as it turns out. The first time I attempted to cook a large pot roast on the gas grill without a rotisserie, it didn't come out so well. Parts of the roast were tough and over-charred while other parts were extremely rare. A whole chicken is extremely difficult to cook on a gas grill. Chickens are very juicy with delicate skin on the outside which is very easy to burn. Black, burnt chicken skin doesn't taste so good. I was able to get better at roasting large meats on the gas grill, by charring them for the first 15 minutes then turning off 1 or two burns and cooking slowing on the high rack with indirect heat. It works okay, but is still not very convenient. I've known for a long time that they make universal grill spits (rotisseries), but for $75.00 to $100.00, I was in no hurry to actually try one. That is, until Walmart came to the rescue. Read the rest of this entry