Sometimes you need something different on the grill. How about some grilled shrimp tacos? In fact, you can use shrimp, fish, crab, and more for this quick and easy dish.

goodepieToday is a "Goode" day for foodies around the country!

Ok, I know I spelled Good as "Goode" but I had a reason. What better way to get a plug in for my friends at Goode Company Restaurants and their FAMOUS Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie! It's National Pecan Pie Day and homes across the nation will be filled with the mouthwatering savors of delicious pecan pies, both homemade and store-bought.

What's the perfect way to celebrate this holiday?  Order a famous Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie from Goode Company Restaurants.

Once named one of Oprah's "Favorite Things," the Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie is a Goode Company staple.

joedabneyA Chow Line Memory - Chow Line Memories are real stories from service men and women about the "Best Chow" and the "Worst Chow" served up during their service years. These stories are in the own words of the veteran and are an extention of the soon to be released book Bread and Bullets - The Meals of War by Kent Whitaker.

A Scrumptious Dinner
I guess my fondest memory of Army chow was the scrumptious dinner the Army served us on Thanksgiving Day, 1951, in Pusan, Korea. I had  only arrived in Korea a few weeks earlier on  TDY from our Tokyo Hq to serve as a radio script writer for the Korean Radio Network (Psywar). Our quonset hut base and our radio tower was located at the top of the hill overlooking the Pusan harbor.

Big Mo has lost his tennis balls.Can you help him find them?

mocover250Kids can help Moses "Big Mo" find his lost tennis balls and learn to count at the same time. Big Mo's Tennis Ball Hunt is a  combination of live action shots of Moses inserted into a colorful illustrated world. Mo searches in everyday settings around his own house in order to find, and count, his lost tennis balls.
Mo loves tennis balls. He likes to roll them. He likes to bounce them. He likes to catch them. And he loves to chew on them! One day Big Mo lost all of his tennis balls. He looked everywhere.

Can you help Mo find his tennis balls?
This delightful story will entertain and educate! Complete with fun full-color illustrations on every page. Children of all ages will enjoy helping Mo search high and low for his lost tennis balls.
Kent Whitaker (Chattanooga, Tennessee), spokesperson for ALPO® Chop House Originals Ribeye-Flavored dog food, has written a new children's book featuring Moses, Alpo spokesdog.

 Yep, it's time for some quick and easy ribs on the grill using hickory wood chips for added flavor. Hope you enjoy the video!

whyarethemtnssmokylowHow Tall is a Mountain?
When your young son asks questions ranging from "why are black bears black" and "how tall are trees in the Smoky Mountains" and more and you can't answer any of them... then it's time to research and write a book.

While working on a Smoke In the Mountains - the Art of Appalachian Barbecue, Kent Whitaker, winner of the Emeril Live barbecue contest, often drove many research miles with his young son in the back seat of his jeep.  Like many parents he also found that his son asked a staggering amount of "kid" style questions and Kent realized... he didn't know all of the answers!

Charcoal 101 - So, you're about to fire up the grill and you have run out of charcoal. (Gas grill guys, stick with me.) So you're out of charcoal and a run to the store is in order. What are you going to buy? In most cases... charcoal. "Ahhhh," I say. "What type? Are you buying Lump or Briquette?"


How this topic started. First, there was a beverage involved. That's a given. Next, I was talking with a buddy about charcoal when he stopped me after about five seconds and asked; 'Whatâ's lump charcoal?' Wham, there's an article! Thanks to Ronnie at Kick Stand Up magazine in Chattanooga for allowing this important topic to grace the pages of his magazine. Lumps or Briquettes. I know, not really a hot social topic or motorcycle theme. But Ronnie thought it was pretty cool since it is the start of summer.


Charcoal Briquettes are the charcoal that many of us relate to… think Kingsford. These small pre-form briquettes are a combination of charcoal pieces along with fillers and a bonding agent. Some are flavored, some are instant light, some are cheap and some work wonderfully. The good thing, for the most part they burn uniform in a uniform manner. You know what you're getting.

Lump Charcoal is actually charcoal before it's machined up and mixed with other stuff in order to make briquettes. Have you ever been to a campsite and found left over burned wood in the fire pit? You toss on more wood, light it and before you know it that old, black, ugly wood is burning away. That' lump charcoal.

Specifically lump charcoal is made my placing a bunch of wood in a pit, setting it on fire and covering it in order to let the 'junk' burn off in a low oxygen environment leaving the lumped charcoal. The product varies wildly between brands. But so does briquettes. Another difference is that lump charcoal varies in size of pieces. A bag will contain pieces, bits, chunks and more. This could cause a problem with consistency.

My Charcoal Recipe When I use charcoal I use a 3, 2, 1 mix. That's three parts charcoal briquettes, two parts instant light charcoal briquettes and 1 part hickory or mesquite wood if desired. Sometimes I just toss on wood chips for added flavor. I have a buddy that uses orange peels for a bit of flavor. Use a proper container if trying chips or peels on a gas grill.

Look for an expanded version in KSU Magazine. CLICK HERE

It's Derby.... Pie Time!! - The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner! Two things happen in my family when Derby weekend approaches. First, my wife Ally starts her search for the perfect Kentucky Derby Hat. This year the hunt started between New Years day and Easter. Secondly, my mom starts talking about Derby Pie. Actually, with my family a Derby Pie conversation can pop up any time of year.


I was born in Louisville Kentucky so the Derby comes naturally to me. Its pageantry, sports, tradition and Southern Charm combined with NASCAR style tailgating, cold beverages and city wide block parties. Food is a natural ingredient to any Derby Day celebration.

Since Ally has her Derby hat covered I'll move onto updating your Derby Dessert knowledge.

Derby Pie is a registered trademark!
Jessie Oswald, of www.louisville.com has written several great articles about the origins of the Derby Pie, and how the Kern's family perfected the recipe while they owned the Melrose Inn. When they sold the Inn they continued to make the pie for select customers and the business continued to grow. Once perfected Kern's Kitchen and the Kern's family locked up rights to the name with federal trademark protection and the actual recipe is top secret! Here's a tidbit of trivia on how the Kern's family decided on a name. According to Oswald's articles the Kern family members all had different ideas on what the new pie should be named. To settle things everyone agreed to write down a name and place the pieces of paper in a hat.  Guess what? Derby Pie was the winner.

Pecans? Nope  - Walnuts!
Did you know that a "traditionalâ" Derby Pie uses walnuts instead of pecans? Sure, many people substitute nuts when they make their versions. There is nothing wrong with that. If you meet a purest and offer up a slice of Pecan based Derby Pie and they seem to have a problem with it… then take the pie back!

Pies - by the Numbers.
According to Jessie Oswald Kern's Kitchen produces between 120,000-130,000 pies each year and one man, Production Mgr./Baker JB Keahey, bakes them all! That is amazing and shows how secret the recipe is. The dessert is most popular during the weeks surrounding the Kentucky Derby. Here are some more numbers; 1,892 sheets of Derby Pie are produced solely for use by Churchill Downs and 25,000 slices are served on Derby Day alone.

Since the Kern's Kitchen Derby Pie is a secret recipe people like me have been taking guesses at it for a long time. No one can match the taste of the original. However, there are some pretty darned good versions out there. Most often cooks substitute pecans for walnuts and Whiskey for Bourbon, even though this is frowned upon by many people from Kentucky and almost all horses in the state. Below is a recipe that will make a nice Chocolate & Walnut pie that will be a great addition to your Derby party since it would be hard to order one in time now.

For the official bakery and home of the Derby Pie check out www.derbypie.com . You can order a pie and find a distributor near you. This way you can be ready for next years Derby. 

Chocolate & Walnut Pie
1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 ready-made piecrust
Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and butter; mix to combine. Stir in the bourbon, walnuts, chocolate chips, vanilla, and salt. Pour the mixture into the unbaked piecrust. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool before slicing. * Note: If you ever include a similar recipe in a cookbook, you can't legally call it a "Derby Pie" recipe. The name "Derby Pie" is trademarked, and the owners of the name are very aggressive protecting the name "Derby Pie."

Thanks to John Mitzewich, former About.com Guide and  Jessie Oswald, of www.louisville.com
Photo via Flicker 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVU3V6ie2Ns

Yes, you can grill meatballs on the grill. The trick is to not add too many chunky items that make your meatball fall apart. Have fun, add your recipe twist and enjoy!

Are You Ready for Some Football Food?

Heck, I'm always ready for some football. Championship Sunday is almost here and that means die hard football fans are going to need some extra chow around the house in order to watch football. It's a great time to tryout a few dishes before the big Bowl Game that is SUPER comes around. The Super Bowl demands good grub!

Here are two recipes that will make a flavor filled dish with only a few simple ingredients. ENJOY!

The first recipe is from Checkered Flag Cooking, my recipe collection and stories gathered from fans, teams, drivers and drivers moms on various racing circuits. It's pretty easy and is a hoped up version of a big crock pot of meat balls. The second is a rib recipe that should bring great results ran or shine and it's from my collection of recipes that I use with my Timbertech cooking dishes.

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