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Looking for West Virginia Foodies

You can help preserve West Virginia’s food heritage! Are you a foodie, chef, cook, local grower or producer? Perhaps you have a culinary or food related business or maybe your Bed and Breakfast in West Virginia serves up the best meal for miles around.

Or, you could just be very proud of a family favorite recipe from your own kitchen, or your grand mother's recipe book, and you want to share it while helping to preserve West Virginia's culinary history. Kent Whitaker and Shelia Simmons would be honored if you submitted a few of your recipes to the West Virginia Hometown Cookbook!


Pabst Blue Ribbon Cookbook

Free Download - The Kent Whitaker Pabst Blue Ribbon cookbooklet
I had the wonderful opportunity to work with one of my favorite brewers. Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Ice Cold PBR & Barbecue! Ya Can't go wrong!

I've enjoyed PBR since I was seventeen... um, eighteen. Remember, the drinking age when I was growing up was eighteen.

Pabst has a wonderful heritage in the United States as not only a classic ale that is seeing a resurgence, but also as a proud backer of American service men and women. During World War Two Pabst Blue Ribbon was one of the brews sent across the globe to thirsty Allied Troops.


Brawts for the Daytona 500

Are you looking for a few foodie ideas for the Daytona 500 weekend? The race is an American classic and considered the "Super Bowl" of racing! So, why would you not have your tailgate and race day foods ready to go? Here are a few race day recipes inspired from my book Checkered Flag Cooking starting off with some easy BRAWTS!. These can help with your race day chow!

Also check out these tasty race day dishes.


Is Your Dinner Choice Sexy?

grantkitchenSo what is Sexy Food?

Are you looking to be a cool as Cary Grant in the kitchen during Valentines Day? Here are a few foodie tips for your average race and sports fan. I've received several emails asking about Valentine's Day Cooking. Specifically people were looking for suggestions on meals to prepare for a loved on the day made for romance. Every year someone will point out to me that the whole holiday is geared towards nothing more than the sales of chocolate, roses and greeting cards. I agree, it probably is... so what? Are you willing to risk blowing off Valentine's Day?

If you are a NASCAR fan, be advised that the ARCA Race at Daytona and the Daytona 500 is coming up! You DO NOT want to mess things up right before you plan on sitting around for hours on end watching Speedweeks! I suggest you start believing in Cupid!


The Mexican Restaurant Diet

Is there such a thing? There can be!

So, you're looking for some recipes from South of the border that are a bit healthier than the dishes served up at your local Mexican restaurant? To be honest, the problem is not really in many of the recipes as many are loaded with vegetables, chicken, seafood and even lean beef. More that not the real culprit for me is portion size and the inability to wave off the hostess walkng towards my table with another basket of free tortilla chips!

I have to admit, I am a sucker for chips and a side of white cheese sauce! Heck, that's half the fun of going to your favorite Mexican restaurant. Why go if you can only eat shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes?

I have some good news for those of us that want to incorporate some South of the border flavor into dine out menu without giving up on all of the spicy foods that we enjoy. Here are some tips and links!


Tip One: - Be sure to check out healthylunches.co for great ideas for some of your favorite dishes. They offer some fantastic tips for healthy menus and even daily tips on how to trim some fat and calories from your daily intake without giving up on your favorite meals. (graphic to the left.)

Tip Two - Portion size mean a "TON" when it comes to eating at your favorite Mexican restaurant. Sure, have a few chips! Enjoy them, but don't eat the entire basket. Think of it this way would you eat two or three bags of tortilla chips before the family meal at the house? Probably not... unless it's a Super Bowl Party.

Here's why. An average basket of chips and salsa at a typical Mexican Restaurant can contain upwards of 1500 calories. According to the USDA a serving of 15-18 chips and salsa can average around 200 calories with over 22 carbs. (plus or minus depending on size) Have a few chips and move on!


Safe Tailgate Grilling Tips

Tailgate Grilling Food Safety Tips

Use these simple guidelines for grilling food safely to prevent harmful bacteria and foodborne illness.

#1 Keep it Cold from the Store to Home to the Tailgate!

  • At the store, pick-up your cold food like meat and poultry last and right before checkout.
  • Separate raw meat and poultry from other food in your shopping cart.
  • To guard against cross-contamination (which can happen when raw meat or poultry juices drip on other food) put packages of raw meat and poultry into plastic bags.
  • Try to drive directly home from the grocery store. Consider taking a cooler with ice for perishables.

Smoke Stack Co Culinary Seasoning Smoke

Culinary Seasoning Smoke.

What a neat idea! - The Smoke Stack Company Culinary Seasoning Smoke combines smoke and seasonings for flavors grillers will love!

The Smoke Stack Company offers a neat solution for how backyard grillers can enhance flavors. The choices are Hickory, Alder, Applewood and Mesquite. Each Smoke Stack container is filled with wood you choose as well as seasonings and vintage oak chips. There is also a reusable chip container. Each package holds enough wood for several sessions.


Cat Johnson: Romancing the Cheesecake

You can't go wrong with cheesecake, Cowboys and Sexy Fried Bologna... what the...

I've run across a yet another great dish in my on-going search for fun recipes with neat stories behind them. Since I'm a writer and author, even on the culinary and history side of the genre line, I recieve a ton of email from fellow writers ranging from updates, tips and promotions to invites to literary groups. One such update that pops up in my email every week or so is from Romance Author Cat Johnson. You can check out her website HERE.

Romance, Bare Chested Cowboys and Food?
I know, my style of writing ranges from Southern to NASCAR and Barbecue with a splash of Big Fish or A Christmas Story stirred in. So, why feature a recipe from a Romance Writer that features bare chested cowboys and such on her site? Well, 'cause I like food... and Cat Johnson has a neat way of relating the themes, characters and story lines in some of her books to favorite recipes. Check out her recipe page HERE which features comments and back stage insight about themes pulled straight from her books. My favorite recipe was actually her Cheesecake Recipe.


Red, White and Blueberry

Sometimes you just have to go with the pros!
blueberrycakeAlly and I were tossing ideas around for our upcoming holiday weekend. We’ve been blueberry crazy the last several weeks but have been limited on our annual handpicking adventures.

Two things happened at about the exact same time that sealed the theme for this article. I was researching some facts on blueberries when I came across the perfect Fourth of July recipe. At just about the exact same time Ally walked into the kitchen and suggested that I call our friend Louis Varnell.


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