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
Smoke Makes Everything Taste Better
It is no secret to me why food tastes better when it is cooked out doors. Grilling food gives it that authentic smoky favor that is hard to duplicate inside a kitchen using an ordinary Stainless Steel or Teflon pan. Having a little smoke-flavor to meat is almost never a bad thing. Even sauces, potatoes, rice, pasta and soups can benefit greatly from a little bit of smokiness. However, getting that hint of smoke into the foods is not all that easy. Smoke sauces never taste authentic to me even when they claim to be made naturally, so I rarely ever use them. I have found one way to bring smoke into foods, however, that is not only 100% natural, but tastes good on everything I've tried: Read the rest of this entry
I used to think the only place for a mesh, instant screen door was odd-sized doorways or areas with no doors at all. Since purchasing and installing the QuikScreen Instant Screen Door a couple of weeks ago, I am fully sold on the benefits they provide in place of traditional screen doors. Besides having an odd-sized door where a conventional screen might not fit, the most obvious benefit of the mesh screen is that it lets pets in and out of your house during mild weather when you leave a door open. If you have cats like me, you've probably experienced ugly holes in your screen door from the cats climbing up and hanging on it all the time. That is one good reason to consider an instant mesh screen. Read the rest of this entry
Corn Nuts. People either love 'em or they hate 'em. I know people who say they cannot even stand the smell of corn nuts and loathe to even have someone in their near vicinity crunching on them. Personally, I love them. I enjoy the oil, crunch and salt. Inka Corn is different. Manufactured by Inka Crops S.A. in Lima, Peru, original Inka Corn is a similar snack with an appreciably different texture and size. As with most things I buy on impulse, I spotted a 4-oz bag of Inka Corn at Vitamin Cottage as I was at the cash register. Still feeling hungry after a light lunch, I decided to give them a try. Read the rest of this entry