Saturday, July 29, 2017

Guest Post from FuriousGrill...Featuring Quick and Easy BBQ Chicken Skewers #BBQ #grilling #chicken

While I'm hanging out in Cooperstown this weekend for Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend, Kendrick C. Kotter is guest posting today. Kendrick is a huge food lover and a part-time barbecue blogger who loves sharing his knowledge and passion about grilling and smoking food with everyone. He tries to provide only the most useful tips, tricks, guides and reviews at FuriousGrill.
Summer is the time for picnics and family reunions. It’s a time for spending an afternoon splashing around in the swimming pool with the children, and finally ending the day with a game of ultimate Frisbee in the park with some friends and neighbors. However, no matter what your other Summer time activities, the day is always made better if you include a BBQ on the menu!
This recipe for Quick and Easy BBQ Chicken Skewers is truly quick and very easy to prepare. It will go from preparation to your plate in about an hour -- maybe even less -- so those who’ve been busy working up an appetite won’t have to wait very long until dinner is served.
For my skewers, I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs that have been cut into cubes). Next, I stir in a few simple ingredients and allow the chicken to soak up some of that flavor for about 30 minutes while it's marinating in the refrigerator. The big difference between these skewers and most others is that I add chunks of thick cut bacon to mine. Grilling the skewers at a lower temperature will keep the bacon drippings from flaring up. Believe me, this will take your BBQ chicken to a completely higher level!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Preview: The Weekend Gourmet's New York Road Trip 2017 #WGTravel #NYRoadTrip2017

I'm very excited to share some fun news about The Weekend Gourmet's next travel adventure with you today! My team is set to hit the road later this week for an epic New York Summer road trip! We'll start out with a quick visit to NYC to visit a few of our essential restaurants and attractions. Then, we'll pick up a rental car Friday evening and drive to Cooperstown for the weekend to see Houston Astros legend Jeff Bagwell inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Finally, we'll head to Niagara Falls and Buffalo to see one of the world's most scenic natural wonders...and sample an iconic American dish. This trip has a bit of everything, and we're really excited to experience this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. We don't have much time in NYC, but we're making it count! Being foodies, we HAVE to sample a few of our favorite NYC treats...including Lombardi's Pizza and Doughnut Plant for our artisan doughnut fix.
Lombardi's -- the FIRST pizza restaurant in America!
Doughnut Plant -- truly to-die-for artisan doughnuts!
We're not just eating our way through NYC, least, not entirely! We also plan to catch some late-night live jazz at Jazz at Lincoln Center's intimate Dizzy's Club Coca Cola club, enjoy a nighttime view of always-buzzing Times Square, and check out the amazing and educational Frank Lloyd Wright at 15o exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art! Then? We hop in a car and head 4 hours north to Cooperstown!
The second leg of our New York adventure will take us to Cooperstown in upstate New York for the annual Baseball Hall of Fame Weekend! A visit to Cooperstown to see this amazing baseball museum is a must for all true baseball fans. Michael and I first visited Cooperstown in 2008 and vowed to come back when Houston Astros players Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell were both inducted into the Hall of Fame. Biggio was inducted in 2015, and Bagwell will be inducted next weekend. We are fortunate to witness this event in person!
Michael and I at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY
We'll be in Cooperstown to enjoy all of the Hall of Fame induction weekend events on Saturday and Sunday -- and we'll be sharing them via our social channels so our social media followers can join us along the way! After the weekend's festivities wrap up, the third leg of our road trip will take us to northwest New York...Niagara Falls and Buffalo. 
Photo provided by Niagara Falls USA

Our overnight visit to the area will find The Weekend Gourmet crew enjoying gorgeous scenic views of Niagara Falls and an up-close-and-personal view of the power of Mother Nature via a Maid of the Mist boat tour of the Falls. We also plan to sample two iconic Buffalo culinary specialties while we're in the area: roast beef on 'weck sandwiches and Buffalo wings. Not just any wings, mind you. We're eating Buffalo wings where they were invented in 1964: Buffalo's Anchor Bar. Boom! We'll sample their legendary wings and learn a bit about the history of how the Buffalo wing was created...and how wings became a staple around the world over the past 50+ years. Doesn't this picture from Anchor Bar make your mouth water?!?!?
What a fun -- and tasty -- way to end a truly epic New York road trip! Be sure to follow The Weekend Gourmet on our Facebook, Instagram (WEEKENDGOURMET), and Twitter (@TheWeekendGourm) feeds starting on July 27th for tons of live video, pictures, etc. from every leg of our journey. It's going to be an adventure you won't want to miss!
Disclosure: Portions of The Weekend Gourmet travels are provided to us by restaurants, hotels, attractions, etc. to facilitate inclusion. However, we only share travel recommendations that we have personally tried ourselves and enjoyed.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out for July...Featuring Biggio's Sports Bar Houston #WGDinesOut #HoustonDining

This month's edition of The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out finds us visiting an amazing upscale sports bar in Houston that's named after Astros Baseball legend and Hall of Famer Craig Biggio! Biggio's Sports Bar is located inside Houston's sleek new Marriott Marquis Houston hotel. We're from the Houston area, so we're huge Astros fans. We couldn't wait to give the food and cocktails at Biggio's a try. Earlier this season, we attended an Astros baseball game at Minute Maid Park, then made the short 5-minute walk from the ballpark to Biggio's for a post-game bite. It was the perfect date night for two sports fans like Michael and I. We entered Biggio's and were warmly greeted by a friendly hostess, who showed us to our table. We were very impressed with the spacious sports bar's modern decor -- which featured a huge downstairs bar, 
modern decor -- which features comfy couches and lots of floor to ceiling windows. Biggio's provides plenty of space for sports fans to congregate and enjoy pre- or post-game cocktails and bites. There are tons of HUGE big-screen televisions on the walls that show a variety of sports channels and games. The first thing we noticed as we walked into the restaurant's dining area was the baseball bat-themed decor of the downstairs bar -- very clever! The baseball-centric decor was evident throughout Biggio's Sports Bar. Being long-time Houston Astros fans, we especially enjoyed seeing the Astros and Craig Biggio decor and memorabilia in the restaurant -- including an authentic Biggio #7 jersey in the reception area and a really cool Astros logo lithograph on the wall. 
We hadn't taken a single bite of food, and we were already loving Biggio's Sports Bar! We sat down and looked over the was really hard to pick from the amazing items on the menu!  We started out with a cocktail from Biggio's expansive drink menu: The Galveston Breeze. This breezy island-inspired cocktail includes tequila, coconut, aperol, lime, and pineapple. The flavor reminded me a bit of a combination of a pina colada and a was perfect on a warm early evening. 
Prefer beer? No problem! Biggio's has plenty of beer on tap -- including several local labels. We paired our cocktail with a trio of entrees that we shared: Chicken and Waffles, House Smoked Brisket Street Tacos, and the B G O Sandwich. The Chicken and Waffles were AMAZING...featuring crispy fried chicken tenders, bacon-infused mini waffles, and a fabulous honey-maple sriracha drizzle.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Best Picnic Recipes #SundaySupper...Featuring Italian Layered Portable Picnic Jars #picnic #summer

Summer is in full swing, so it's the perfect time for al fresco dining and relaxing outdoor picnics. This week, the #SundaySupper Tastemakers are sharing our Best Picnic Recipes -- and our event hostess is Christie from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures. Today, I'm sharing a perfect portable picnic entree! My Italian Layered Portable Picnic Jars feature my favorite robust Italian flavors. Simply assemble up to 24 hours before and store in the fridge. Then, pack everything into a cooler or picnic basket and you're ready for a fabulous complete al fresco meal. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Cooking with Wild Caught American Shrimp...Featuring Spicy Cheese-Stuffed Shrimp with Andouille Rice Pilaf #TasteTheDifference #AmericanShrimp #seafood

Growing up near Houston on the Texas Gulf Coast, my love of shrimp started from an early age. What's not to love? It cooks in minutes and it tastes great! We eat shrimp at least once a week during the Summer months, so I’m always looking for flavorful new ways to cook this versatile crustacean. Did you know that much of the shrimp that you’ll find in supermarkets is imported from overseas? I personally only use wild-caught American shrimp in my recipes. That's because the difference in both flavor and texture is simply way better!  Today, I’m teaming with the American Shrimp Company to share an original recipe featuring their jumbo shrimp. American Shrimp Company shrimp are mostly sourced from the Gulf of Mexico and Southern Atlantic Ocean. These shrimp are prized for their delicate flavor profile and firm texture. 

My Spicy Cheese-Stuffed Shrimp with Andouille Rice Pilaf is perfect for Summer al fresco dining and entertaining. This flavorful dish combines many of my favorite flavors into one bite! Extra large wild caught American shrimp are stuffed with a bit of aged cheddar cheese. Then, they're brushed with a spicy, buttery sauce as they grill. The shrimp are served over an easy rice pilaf that’s flavored with spicy andouille sausage, onion, and garlic. This dish comes to the table assembled on a pretty platter -- it has lots of eye appeal. Trust me…this is a recipe you’re going to make over and over this Summer!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Summer Salads with Stonyfield and Taylor Farms...Featuring Chopped Tex-Mex Salad with Spicy Cilantro-Lime Dressing #salad #summereats

Summer is in high gear here in Texas, which means we’re enjoying more salads – either as a healthy side dish or as a refreshing main course. I’m a huge fan of salads – they’re easy to make, chock full of healthy vegetables and/or fruit, and they are so versatile! This month, Stonyfield Clean Plate Club members are partnering with Taylor Farms bagged salads to share delicious Summer salads with creamy homemade salad dressings made with Stonyfield Greek Yogurt. I'm sharing the recipe for my Chopped Tex-Mex Salad with Spicy Cilantro-Lime Dressing. This salad features Taylor Farms' Southwest Chopped Salad kit and a mildly spicy creamy dressing made with Stonyfield Whole Milk Greek Yogurt.  I make the dressing a few hours ahead (up to overnight) and let the flavors combine in the fridge. Then, assembly is a snap when you're ready to eat! 

The Taylor Farms chopped salad kit contained a combination of cabbage for extra crunch, romaine lettuce, green onion, carrots, and cilantro.  This yummy salad features shredded cheese and black beans for protein, chopped tomatoes and green onions for color and flavor, the salad kit’s package of tortilla strips and pepitas for crunch, and a healthy amount of creamy avocado. This salad is assembled on a pretty platter with a bowl of the homemade dressing in the center. This salad is so pretty that it will be a perfect centerpiece for any Summer get-togethers you have planned.