Category Archives: food

Baltimore Baseball & Barbecue with Boog Powell by Rob Kasper and Boog Powell (2014)

Baltimore Baseball and Barbecue Boog Powell book

Baltimore Baseball & Barbecue with Boog Powell
by Rob Kasper and Boog Powell
American Palate/The History Press, 2014
160 pages

Short by baseball biography standards, the story of Boog Powell is still packed with entertaining stories and anecdotes of the slugger’s time with the Orioles. Baltimore Baseball & Barbecue with Boog Powell briefly visits the subject as a youngster, and only one chapter is devoted to the minors before digging into Powell’s major league career in Baltimore. Seventeen years are covered in a little over fifty pages, including his final tours with Cleveland and Los Angeles.

Then there is the second half of the book, and the second half of Boog’s passion: barbecue. The relationship that Powell still enjoys with Baltimore fans is made possible by his barbecue stand located at Camden Yards. Fans can feast on the food, and most nights can speak to the mastermind behind the menu. In addition to information about Boog’s Barbecue at the park, Kasper and Powell include ten pages worth of recipes in this book.

The final chapter is a collection of interviews with Powell’s former teammates, from Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson to Jim Palmer and Merv Rettenmund. Black and white photos are scattered throughout the book’s 160 pages.

Baltimore fans will love this book, while barbecue connoisseurs will devour the recipes. Baltimore Baseball & Barbecue with Boog Powell is a home run.

Learn more about American Palate/The History Press.

Purchase Baltimore Baseball and Barbecue with Boog Powell by Rob Kasper and Boog Powell.

The Authentic History of Cincinnati Chili by Dann Woellert (2013)

Cincinnati Chili book review Gold Star Skyline Empress Dixie

The Authentic History of Cincinnati Chili
by Dann Woellert
American Palate/History Press, 2013
176 pages

If you travel across the United States, you are well aware that the cuisine changes as you move from state to state. Chicago is known for its pizza, Texas for its barbeque, New Orleans for its gumbo. The city of Cincinnati, Ohio, is well known for its own brand of chili that is so unique it struggles to survive outside the tri-state area. But in Greater Cincinnati, one would be hard-pressed to convince anyone that Cincinnati chili is not one of the most delectable dishes in the world.

Author Dann Woellert takes the reader through the roots and history of the burgeoning chili industry in the Queen City. All the major players are represented, from Dixie to Gold Star to Skyline. Woellert shares a recipe that Spiro Sarakatsannis submitted to Food Network Magazine earlier this year; I have tested the recipe, and while it’s not precisely what you get at the restaurant, it’s a very good imitation. Woellert also examines some of the possible spices used by the various brands, and debunks the myth of chocolate in the blend.

For fans of this classic local dish, The Authentic History of Cincinnati Chili is a fun, though sometimes repetitive, book. If nothing else, the recipe makes the book worth the purchase price.

Learn more about History Press.

Purchase The Authentic History of Cincinnati Chili by Dann Woellert.

Insect Candy from Hotlix

Hotlix candy

Trick or treat is right around the corner, and if you want to be known the really creepy house on the street, or maybe avoid getting repeat customers, then an assortment of insect candy from Hotlix might be just the ticket. I received a nice little package from the company…three suckers (apple with worm, blueberry with cricket, and banana with scorpion), a box of Bacon & Cheese Crick-ettes and a box of Cheddar Cheese Larvets.

Here’s a close-up of a Bacon & Cheese Crick-ette:

Bacon and cheese Crick-ette

I love the idea of gross-out snacks in the shape of insects, but these treats are not just in the shape of insects…they actually are insects! I thought the detail was quite extraordinary for a novelty item, so I researched it a bit more. The company prides itself in taking the gross-out factor to new levels; the website says, “For over 20 years HOTLIX has been making people cringe with delight with their outrageous confections featuring real insects embeded inside the candy!”

So what do they taste like? My youngest son ate one…

Eating a cricket

At first he said, “They taste good!” But he wouldn’t eat a second one, complaining of a bit of an aftertaste. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to bring myself to actually put one of these in my mouth; as much as I love bacon, I just don’t think I can psychologically handle eating a cricket.

Whether you actually eat one or not, Hotlix Insect Candies are great conversation starters and Halloween decorations.

Hotlix also makes unbuggy candy and flavored toothpicks.

Learn more about Hotlix.

Purchase Hotlix snacks or toothpicks.

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ by Josh Lebowitz with Eva Pesantez & Sean Evans (2012)

Brother Jimmys BBQ cookbook review

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ
by Josh Lebowitz with Eva Pesantez & Sean Evans
Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2012
256 pages

Want to emulate the flavor of Brother Jimmy’s BBQ restaurants? No need to go to a copycat recipe website, just pick up a copy of Brother Jimmy’s BBQ cookbook! With over 100 recipes for pork, beef, poultry, as well as the sauces that make them famous, the aspiring chef can conjure up some good southern dishes in his very own kitchen. There are plenty of recipes for the grill and the stove, and there is plenty of variety to keep the family on the edge of their seats waiting for the next meal. Mix-and-match the soups and sides and desserts, and you can have a different feast nearly every night.

The recipes here are easy to follow, and none of the ingredient lists are too overbearing. Even the novice cook can handle the majority of these dishes with ease, as long as he can follow basic step-by-step directions. You can bring the flavor of the south to your house, no matter where you live.

Learn more about Stewart, Tabori & Chang.

Purchase Brother Jimmy’s BBQ by Josh Lebowitz with Eva Pesantez & Sean Evans

Bacon Salt by J & D’s

Bacon Salt from J&D's

Bacon Salt
by J & D’s

“Everything should taste like bacon,” and with Bacon Salt, everything can. J & D’s, obsessed with baconizing everything from popcorn to ranch dressing to lip balm, really hooked me with Bacon Salt. This seasoning works on hamburgers, mashed potatoes, popcorn, scrambled eggs, cheeseburger quiche…basically anything I usually sprinkle with salt, I have used Bacon Salt, and it always enhances the taste with the bacon flavoring.

Original Bacon Salt contains 135mg of sodium per 1/4 teaspoon, has no calories, and is safe for those on vegetarian or kosher diets. There are other Bacon Salt alternatives, from Mesquite to Jalapeno to Hickory to Applewood, each with a slightly different sodium content.

Bacon Salt is a great addition to the spice rack, and adds a different dimension to favorite meals.

Learn more about J & D’s and Bacon Salt.

Purchase Original Bacon Salt by J & D’s.

Bacon Pop by J & D’s

popcorn that tastes like bacon

Bacon Pop
by J & D’s

The theory, “Everything tastes better with bacon,” sounds good, but does it ring true? J & D’s put the theory to the test, and with their Bacon Pop product, they almost hit the mark. Bacon-flavored popcorn is a fantastic idea, but the bacon flavor in Bacon Pop just doesn’t quite pop. It isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but the flavor is just a bit too subtle. It smells great when popped, but the taste leaves you wanting more. Fortunately, J & D’s provides bacon lovers with other options, and we’ll explore one of those soon.

Learn more about J & D’s and Bacon Pop.

Purchase J&D’s BaconPop Microwavable Popcorn.

Candies by Boston America Corp.

Who you gonna call

Various candy items
by Boston America Corp.

I recently received a nice little package of assorted candies fro Boston America Corp. featuring Ghostbusters (“Slimer Sours”), Pac-Man (“Power Pellets”), and Nintendo (“Brick Breaking Jawbreakers,” “Superstar Candies,” and “Zelda Mints”) tins, all pictured above. As the candy goes, it is as good as any other candy out there and each person’s taste will determine what flavor suits them (“Slimer Sours” were my personal favorite). The real draw for these are the collectible tins.

Four of the five containers have removable lids, making them reusable for candy or coins or whatever other small trinkets you might like to keep in them. The Pac-Man tin, however, does not have a lid that pops off; it twists, allowing the “Power Pellet” candy to pop out a small hole in the side.

Boston America Corp. produces licensed candies and beverages for several other properties as well: Simpsons, Smurfs, Playstation, Betty Boop and even Star Trek. The collectible candy tins in particular are fun novelty products that last longer than the short time it takes to gobble up the candy inside.

Learn more about Boston America Corp.

Purchase Boston America Corp. Candies.

The Amazing Spider-Man “Be The Hero” Apron by ICUP Inc.

Spider-Man apron

The Amazing Spider-Man “Be The Hero” Apron
by ICUP Inc.

Do you feel like a hero when you are slaving over a hot stove, or manning the grill? You should, and with ICUP Inc.’s “Be The Hero” aprons, you can show others how heroic you feel as you prepare their food. Available in several different character styles from Marvel and DC, “Be The Hero” aprons are one-size-fits-all adult aprons, 100% polyester, perfect for the kitchen or the backyard.

Whether your favorite comic book hero is Spider-Man, Captain America, or Superman, you will love these “Be The Hero” aprons. And with Father’s Day coming up in just a few weeks (June 17), you have plenty of time to order this fun gift for Dad and show him that he is your hero.

Learn more about ICUP Inc.

Purchase the Amazing Spider-Man “Be The Hero” Apron.

See other “Be The Hero” aprons.

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