Big Red Kitchen http://www.bigredkitchen.com a regular gathering of distinguished guests Fri, 03 Jul 2015 14:09:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 generous: you can do it http://www.bigredkitchen.com/2015/07/generous/ http://www.bigredkitchen.com/2015/07/generous/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:00:02 +0000 http://www.bigredkitchen.com/?p=20409 IMG_1918 It was the song “Pomp and Circumstance” at his high school graduation that brought me back to a sudden remembrance of a little baby crawling towards his momma. A flood of emotion, and a pop … read more»

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It was the song “Pomp and Circumstance” at his high school graduation that brought me back to a sudden remembrance of a little baby crawling towards his momma. A flood of emotion, and a pop of sobs that shake the shoulders and shed more tears from ones nose than eyes.  How quickly a memory can escort one away from the present.  I was promptly transported back to the Diaper Derby when he was sixteen months old and such a fantastic crawler, we thought, “sure why not?”  Lined up along with other tiny crawlers and moms on hand and knee lined up opposite to cheer and encourage their little champions, the man yelled “go!”  My baby and I locked eyes and as I crawled backwards toward the finish line, he crawled forward, slapping his tiny palms on the mat and panting as babies do when they are excited and scared all at the same time. As he crawled,  I shouted, “come on baby, come on baby you can do it.”  His eyes never left mine, we were on the same path, the same mission, to finish. My little baby won.

Last summer before his senior year we told him we were moving to Williamsburg. He still had to finish his Eagle Project and was looking forward to being a Senior Patrol Leader for his troop and earning the rank of Eagle. He was looking forward to graduating from the school he had been with since second grade. He had to leave good friends behind.  He had to sacrifice. He had to grow up. This time I stayed on my knees as he rose and walked forward, and I prayed, “come on baby, come on baby you can do it.”

He earned the rank of Eagle by making several 300 mile round trip drives for meetings back north, including multiple emails, and phone calls.  He earned a lead as Billy Lawlor in his new high school’s musical 42nd Street when he questioned, “should I even try out?”  He obtained a job at Busch Gardens as the famous costumed character Elmo bringing cheer to families and little children while special needs children touched his heart.  He was accepted to the Liberty University, his first and only choice. He made multiple new friends while keeping in touch with old ones. Then he went on to graduate with wonderful grades. My young man won.

As I watched him graduate, I whispered through my tears, “go on baby, go on baby you can do it.”
And on bended knee will I remain.

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Pork interview with funny man Donald Faison http://www.bigredkitchen.com/2015/06/pork-interview-funny-man-donald-faison/ http://www.bigredkitchen.com/2015/06/pork-interview-funny-man-donald-faison/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 10:00:37 +0000 http://www.bigredkitchen.com/?p=20398 Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 12.11.20 PM He’s living the dream, living the dream! Well heck, when you start an interview like that you know this guy has something to say. Today it was all about pork since funny man Donald Faisonread more»

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He’s living the dream, living the dream! Well heck, when you start an interview like that you know this guy has something to say. Today it was all about pork since funny man Donald Faison (you know him as Dr. Turk on Scrubs) is representing the National Pork Board telling us how delicious good ole pork can be.  Below is the entire interview but be sure to note…

1. Donald’s favorite pork side dish, it may surprise you.
2. He explains a Grillfie for all your social media photo ops. Don’t forget to add #grillpork so the folks at the NPB can see you are cooking up some good pork recipes.
3.  Check out some rubs, sauces, and other good pork recipes at porkbeinspired.com
4. Donald shares a big secret- the one role he dreams of playing on the big screen. Will it happen for him?
5. Donald reveals his most favorite BBQ sauce.  It is on my shopping list!
6. Can you guess his favorite grill tool?
7. He and I invent a new selfie tool to get rich quick!  Buy stock now.

 

 

Have you ever grill crashed?

 

Happy Grilling!

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active: tastings around town, Williamsburg VA http://www.bigredkitchen.com/2015/06/active-tastings-town-williamsburg-va/ http://www.bigredkitchen.com/2015/06/active-tastings-town-williamsburg-va/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 18:27:15 +0000 http://www.bigredkitchen.com/?p=20379 IMG_1873 Summertime is so much fun here in Williamsburg. The longer I live here the more I realize just how Williamsburg truly is the culinary capital of Virginia.  Running through June 28th is Busch Gardens Food read more»

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Summertime is so much fun here in Williamsburg. The longer I live here the more I realize just how Williamsburg truly is the culinary capital of Virginia.  Running through June 28th is Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival with tastings from various countries around the world.  If you can’t make it this year, be sure to put it on your Summer Food Bucket List for next year.

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We’ve been able to taste recipes from France, above, and at the top of the page a Lettuce Wrap from Asia, as well as many not pictured- we made little piggies of ourselves.  Each sampling is a small-plate sized serving ranging in price from $3-$8. Beer and wine is offered along with Beer or Wine Flights.  Grab a booklet and wander the park from kiosk to kiosk, country to country, for some of the best gumbo, schnitzel, or cannoli.

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We felt Busch did a great job this year by incorporating interesting art pieces, actors portraying each country represented, music, plants, and decor. They also had food artists designing chocolate sculptures, sugar artists, ice sculptures, with most of them recognizable from the Food Network.  We look forward to see what countries they add next year. India, pretty please!

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We really dig our little, well, really not so little Farmer’s Market, held each Saturday in Merchants Square from 8 until noon.  We like to stroll with our fresh coffee and pastries, while picking up meat, fruit, and an abundance of veggies. I keep forgetting to bring my knives to have sharpened!  The music is always fun, and the Chef’s tent always has some fascinating dish shared by a local chef or artisan cheese maker. If you are visiting as a tourist of history or Busch Gardens, be sure to stop by the market for breakfast, music, and of course dog petting- so many pups here at the market.

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A real big deal here in town is our BIG, HUGE,  Whistle Belly Beer & More Festival on August 2nd hosted by the DoG St Pub and the JWC of Williamsburg.  Himself and I will be there that day volunteering and helping the Pub serve up over 80 different beers.  Woo!  The DoG always puts on fantastic events with top beers and delicious food pairings.  This event runs 12:30-5pm in Merchants Square for $50 per person for all you can eat and drink.  I hope you are there that weekend, pop in and say hi to me!

If you would like to know more about Summer Food Bucket List events in your area, take a peek at Eventbrite.  I recently just found out about Eventbrite to find events in my area. Eventbrite is this really cool technology site that allows adventurers like you to find events going on in your local city or town, and they also have a section where you can set up and sell tickets to events. Great for all the savvy event organizers out there or event participants like me!

If you find yourself in the ‘Burg, check out our events. See you there!

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Interview with Graham Elliot: 5 highlights http://www.bigredkitchen.com/2015/06/interview-graham-elliot-5-highlights/ http://www.bigredkitchen.com/2015/06/interview-graham-elliot-5-highlights/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 03:43:35 +0000 http://www.bigredkitchen.com/?p=20351 Graham Elliot by Ross Dettman:AP Images Now this guy is fun! Chatted with Chef Graham Elliot about all kinds of things, such as his new cookbook coming out, his 150 pound weight loss (WOW!), food,  and what matters to him.  While … read more»

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Graham Elliot by Ross Dettman:AP Images Now this guy is fun! Chatted with Chef Graham Elliot about all kinds of things, such as his new cookbook coming out, his 150 pound weight loss (WOW!), food,  and what matters to him.  While we were supposed to really be talking all about Mike’s Hard Lemonade,  I was able to sneak in other questions that I really wanted to know about.

1.  Graham has a cookbook, “Cooking Like a Maser Chef” coming out in October and you must hear which recipe he had to include…

 

 

2. Can you take a gander at which pantry staple needs a redo, a rebirth, an update? Chef Elliot shares…

 

3. Who would have guessed Chef Elliot’s top entertaining tip would be this?  Hint Lollapalooza!

 

4.  Hear how Graham views fueling his body to maintain what matters, his health…


5.  
His Life Motto is not quite a motto, but just as effective, click and see…

 

We did manage to talk more about food and some of the recipes he created for Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Reinvented American Classics.  He did state to me that his new healthy lifestyle does influence the way he cooks but not so much in a “can’t have this or that” kind of way.  His dishes are vibrant, fresh, and exciting.  He likes to take classic recipes and put an exciting twist one them, like his GrahamBurger <== see what he did there?  Mmm!

The GrahamBurger – paired with Mike’s Hard Lemonade
Reinvention of: Hamburger Serves 4

5 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1 pound ground sirloin beef
1/4 pound ground pork
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 red onion, sliced 1/8-inch thick
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 10 ounces
brie cheese, sliced into 4 thin pieces
4 pretzel rolls
1 bunch upland cress, see Note

Put the garlic cloves and the 1 cup of olive oil in a small saucepan and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes or until the garlic is soft. Lift the garlic from the oil, using a slotted spoon. Transfer the garlic to a blender, add the mayonnaise and blend for 2 to 3 minutes until smooth. Spoon into a small container and refrigerate until needed. The mayo can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Mix the sirloin and pork together and season with salt and pepper. Form into 4 patties, each about 1/2-inch thick. Refrigerate until ready to grill. Put the onions in a bowl and add the vinegar and the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the onions marinate for at least 30 minutes but if possible for 8 to 10 hours or overnight. (The longer the better!) Prepare a charcoal or gas grill so that the heat is medium-high. Gently put the onions on the grill and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Turn them carefully so that they don’t slip between the grilling grates.

Put the burgers on the grill alongside the onions and grill for 7 minutes. Turn them over and grill for 7 minutes longer, or until cooked through. Three minutes before the burgers are done, lay the brie on the burgers to give it time to melt.

Spread the mayonnaise on both sides of the buns. Top with a cheeseburger and then garnish with the onions and cress. Serve immediately.

For More of Chef Elliot’s Reinvented Recipes paired with Mike’s Hard Lemonade, go to Tasting Table!

 

And here is our entire chat if you want to hear more about his book, why cooking like a master chef is important,  and recipes for this summer…

Graham Elliot Reinventing American Classics with Mike’s Hard Lemonade

 

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simple: mason jar meal kit giveaway http://www.bigredkitchen.com/2015/02/simple-mason-jar-meal-kit-giveaway/ http://www.bigredkitchen.com/2015/02/simple-mason-jar-meal-kit-giveaway/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 11:00:09 +0000 http://www.bigredkitchen.com/?p=20331 pickerimage-49 It’s one of two things: time or money. I teach people that you can either cook all your own meals and save money, or purchase all your meals and save time. Little do they know … read more»

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It’s one of two things: time or money. I teach people that you can either cook all your own meals and save money, or purchase all your meals and save time. Little do they know there is a perfect middle, a balance of saved time and money. There is no easy about it, you will still have to put in the work, but not as much as you think. But there is a whole lot of simple about it. The Mason Jar Meal was created to simplify cooking each night by having a few ingredients prepped each week so that daily cooking goes so much faster. Think about a jar of roasted sweet potatoes that had been roasted along side other vegetables and jarred separately for later use. What can you do with a jar of roasted sweet potatoes? What would you make?

Jumping in on a giveaway with Fillmore Container, who are sharing my Cuppa Noodle Soups Recipes on their blog, I’ll share with you one of my favorite salads using roasted sweet potatoes.  On this joint giveaway, we show how much simpler life is with a few items prepped, jarred, and ready to go for daily cooking.  See the photo of their fridge filled with jars of food to be mix and matched for any meal of the day! Back in January, Fillmore Container hosted a booth at the PA Farm Show inviting all jar lovers to demonstrate their talents with jars, from small batch canning, fermenting, and mason jar meals, to pressure canning.  I had so much fun showing all the gadgets and ideas I use and have about Mason Jar Meals.

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chickpeas

Peel and dice 2 large sweet potatoes, about 2 pounds. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Roast at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes.  Cool and store in a widemouth quart jar in the refrigerator for up to one week.

When you find a little time in your busy schedule (this is where we ALL insert laughter), prep the salad by whisking together 2 tablespoons EACH of tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil along with 1 tablespoon of water and a pinch of kosher salt.

Pour into the bottom of a widemouth one quart-sized jar.

Top with 1/2 of the sweet potatoes that you roasted.

Then add 1/2 can of drained and rinsed chickpeas.

On the last layer add 1/4 of a red onion, diced. Press down slightly.

Now using one of these cool BNTO inserts. Fill the BNTO with freshly washed and dried cilantro leaves.

Top jar with a plastic lid and Bob’s your uncle, you have a beautiful salad ready to serve any night of the week, or packed for an on the go meal to share with your co-workers.

This salad can be served plain as I show in the photo, or with an additional garnish of pomegranate arils as in Fillmore’s photo, or over a bed of fresh baby spinach, wild rice, pasta, or sautéed kale. Now for the other half of those sweet potatoes, think hash using leftover ham or pork, or tossed in a green salad, in an omelet, in a breakfast bowl, or as an appetizer.

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To help you go forth and make meal time simpler, join in on the giveaway for a chance to win your own Mason Jar Meal Kit!

Mason Jar Meal Kit includes:

3 pint jars
3 quart jars
6 white plastic storage lids
3 BNTO’s

Here is the entry form, so follow the prompts and you’ll be in like Flinn.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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