Thursday, November 25, 2010

All About the Food to Give Thanks- Thanksgiving 2010

Have I ever just said, I love to cook. I get so much satisfaction cooking a meal and having others enjoy it. I give thanks this Thanksgiving Day for all the blessings I have, the friends, family, health, love and Ziggy. I want to thank all the servicemen and women all around the world, who are sacrificing themselves to assure we live in a safe world. I want to thank the TSA folks who despite controversy try to assure that each time we get on a plane, we are safe.

I especially give thanks for my hubby, my mom, my children and my mother in law for just being them and being there with me.

I also want to thank an unlikely group - UCLA for pissing me off so much that I decided to retire nearly two years ago- the best decision of my professional career. That decision has given me more time to indulge in my passion- cooking and BBQ Competition, find time to go to the gym to get to a healthy weight and cardiovascular fitness and be me.

This meal I prepared in thanks.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Menu Planning

It's that wonderful time of the year again when we are trying to plan the menu for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's celebrations.

I have lots of post of what I have done from previous years. To find these post just enter key words in the search area in the upper left of my home page for this blog. Hope you enjoy my ideas and please let me know if you used any of my recipes or ideas by posting a comment.

Monday, November 08, 2010

L.A. Times Holiday Cookie contest

I submitted my recipe for holiday decorated sugar cookies to the L.A. Times. Please vote for me by clicking on the widget below. FYI- You can make 10 votes per day to the holiday contest.

Can you believe? We are into the winter holiday season.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Deny Me FoodTV and Cooking Channel and You Lose A Friend- Bye Bye AT&T

UPDATE- Nov 7th, Some agreement has been made. Food TV and Cooking channel are back on- My question is for how long and who gave in?

Yesterday AT&T Uverse dropped the Food TV, Cooking Channel and HGTV from it's channel selection. As big business wars go, we are not usually privy to the real reasons for thier actions, but one thing is for sure, we as the consumer have a right to get the programming we pay for.

I do not like the way AT&T handled it. I called them early in October when they sent out a notice that the contract for FoodTV, HGTV, Cooking Channel,DIY etc was going to expire Oct 31st. The receptionist at that time read me a statement that this was because AT&T was trying to negotiate a contract which would not result in increased rates for it's customers. Since all communications to their customer service lines are recoreded, I stated that I wanted the managers to know how important these stations are to me. Failure to maintain these channels would result in me going to another cable company.

November 1st, I could still get my programming. I mistakenly assumed that they had a continuing contract. Not to be. Yesterday, November 5th, 2010-AT&T Uverse turned off the switch to these channels. No initial message on screen to alert us consumers as they do with other things they want to communicate to you. Just nothing.

Seeking a why, I went to FoodTV contacts. They promptly sent me a the below statement.

Hello. Thank you for your email to Food Network and please accept our sincere apology for the delay in getting back to you with this response. We are shocked and disappointed that AT&T U-verse has taken our Networks off the air. AT&T U-verse?s decision to drop our channels is particularly surprising considering we reached an agreement in principle with AT&T U-verse on the distribution fees we would receive for our networks well in advance of last month?s contract deadline. Over the last week or so, we were simply trying to complete some final details to the contract. We, like you, want our channels back on AT&T U-verse immediately. It was AT&T?s decision to drop our channels, even though we offered a third extension to keep them on the air while we worked out final details of a new contract. The loss of our networks to AT&T U-verse was something we worked hard to avoid, even offering an extension through year end to work out final details of the agreement while allowing AT&T the rights to continue delivering our channels to you. Instead, AT&T stopped negotiating, took our family-friendly networks off the air and left you without our must-see shows. This was not an issue about money, and Scripps Networks had worked out financial details in principle before the contract with AT&T U-verse expired at the end of October. The remaining issues involved AT&T?s demands to use video content we created specifically for our networks in ways that go beyond our normal business practices. Accepting their demands would have constrained and limited our ability to provide our network's content to our viewers in new and innovative ways. What?s even more frustrating is that we offered AT&T an extension to work out final details while keeping our channels on the air, but AT&T refused and instead pulled our channels off the air. Should AT&T U-verse decide to resume discussions, we remain committed to continue our good faith negotiations and bring back our networks to ATT U-verse customers. You can tell AT&T U-verse you want your favorite network back by calling 1-800-288-2020, or go to our website at to e-mail AT&T and see what your options are for other distributors in your area. Best regards,Food Network Customer Service

The most important detail in this memo is:

This was not an issue about money, and Scripps Networks had worked out financial details in principle before the contract with AT&T U-verse expired at the end of October. The remaining issues involved AT&T's demands to use video content we created specifically for our networks in ways that go beyond our normal business practices.

This to me means that AT&T has another business reason not related to my cable TV programming and cost, but possibly want to use video content on 4 inch screen cellphones, etc for their own greed.

Poor decision AT&T. How many customers do you have to lose before you accept that we are why you are?

FoodTV provided a listing to me of other cable companies which are providing their shows.

Thank You for your support!
You Can do more!

You Can Call
Let your voice be heard. Call 1-877-789-1390 and share your opinion with AT&T/U-verse.

You Can Switch
Here is a list of other TV service providers in your area (Southern California) who carry your favorite network(s).

The Cooking Channel is available on these Providers in your area!

Time Warner Channel #154 and #892
DirecTV Channel #232
Dish Network Channel #113

DIY Network is available on these Providers in your area!

Time Warner Channel #172 and #890
DirecTV Channel #230
Dish Network Channel #111 and #876

Food Network is available on these Providers in your area!

Time Warner Channel #434
Time Warner Channel #53 and #889
DirecTV Channel #231
Dish Network Channel #110 and #9462(HD)

Great American Country is available on these Providers in your area!

Time Warner Channel #122
DirecTV Channel #326
Dish Network Channel #167

HGTV is available on these Providers in your area!

Time Warner Channel #433
Time Warner Channel #74 and #891
DirecTV Channel #229
Dish Network Channel #112 and #9461(HD)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Banh Mi My Way with Fish Cake

We invited some friends over for a lazy Sunday Brunch.  I have been wanting to make Banh Mi for quite a while and decided this would be my treat today.  After looking throughout the internet for recipes and prepping guidelines, I discovered that really it is quite easy.  The most important ingredient is the fresh baked baguette.

I'm quite an intuitive cook and just went with the flow in making these.  All the recipes and reviews describe that the combination of flavors and textures are what separates this Viet Namese street food from your usual hoagie or subway.  A combination of hot, sweet, sour and salty with fresh flavors and crunchy textures make for an outstanding sandwich.

I started prep with a julienne of carrots and daikon radish.  I dissolved sugar in the rice vinegar, added to the carrots and radish and let it set in refrigerator for a few hours.

I made a spicy mayo by adding 1/2 the juice of a large lime and 3 tsp of sriracha to about a 1/3 cup of mayo.  You can always make it hotter by adding more of sriracha.

I sliced English Cumcumber into thin slices, sliced a jalapeno into thin slices and prepped the leaves from fresh cilantro. 

I already had some pickled red onion in the refrigerator (vinegar and salt added to sliced red onion).

I chose not to toast the baguette but instead to leave it soft on the inside.

I made Western style fish cakes using albacore. (albacore lightly cooked to flaky and still moist, diced celery and onion, panko bread crumbs, mayo, mustard, egg, seafood seasoning, worschetshire sauce mixed together, form a patty and fry in a small amount of olive oil til golden)

A slathering of the spicy mayo was layered on the baguette, then the fish cake, other veggies and finally the cilantro leaves.

I served this with a side of spicy slaw with broccoli.  (recipe by Minnie Luong from a Surfas demonstration)

Spicy Cabbage Slaw:

6 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups broccoli flowerettes (may adaption to recipe)
1 cup thinly sliced scallions
½ cup rough chopped cilantro
4 Tbsp Kochujang paste
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbsp minced garlic
salt & pepper to taste

Mix kochujang paste, garlic, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sesame seeds
Toss shredded cabbage, broccoli scallions, cilantro with kochujang mixture
Add salt & pepper to taste and set aside, allowing the flavors to marry.

Lunch was served.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ziggy Blogging


I haven't posted any pictures of my ziggy in quite a while. A recent grooming trip poked me to take a few pictures.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Budweiser Commerical post 911

It aired only once. Though there was a lot of controversy regarding the ad, it undeniably will bring out some strong emotions.

Monday, August 30, 2010

BigMista on BBQ Pitmasters Season 2 Sept 2nd

I was honored to help assist Neil of Bigmista's BBQ during his filming of Season 2 of The Learning Channel's (TLC) BBQ Pitmasters.  This season the show is a competition highlighting four teams weekly competing for the right to compete for some big dollars during the season finale. 

Sept 2nd our spare rib showdown will air at 10 pm pst/9 PM cst.  These times may vary depending on your cable carrier. 

See these teasers for the series. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pulled Pork Tacos Soul Fusion Style

I have so much pulled pork in my freezer.  Today I decided to try to get rid of some of it by utilizing the pulled pork in a couple of taco recipes.  A traditional taco with salsa advocado and cheese and an fusion influenced taco with Asian slaw, pickled red onions and Red Dragon Sauce aka Momofuku style all on a flour tortilla.

Asian Cabbage Slaw
6 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup thinly sliced scallions

½ cup rough chopped cilantro

4 Tbsp Kochujang paste

2 Tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar

1 Tbsp minced garlic

salt & pepper to taste

1. Make the marinade soy sauce, sugar, garlic, scallions, black pepper, sesame oil in a mixing bowl. Whisk until the sugar granules dissolve and set aside.

2. Mix kochujang paste, garlic, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sesame seeds

3. Toss shredded cabbage, scallions, cilantro with kochujang mixture

4. Add salt & pepper to taste and set aside, allowing the flavors to marry.

5. Brush a little bit of olive oil on tortilla and warm in a pan or the oven.

6. Assemble the tacos by adding meat to the tortillas and top off with the spicy Korean/Asian slaw

Pickled Red Onions
1 medium to large red onion sliced into thin rings
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of ground black pepper
Mix allo ingredient and refrigerate for at lest 2 hours.  Will last for at least a couple of weeks or more refrigerated.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Four Q Gets a 5th Place in Chicken at Vista Competition July 31st- 11th Overall

5th Place chicken  (out of 45)
Didn't Get a Picture of Box- Money Muscle Turn In (16th)
18th Place (out of 45)

17th Out of 45

Vista, CA- 07/30/2010 - 08/01/2010


1 Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ

2 Rhythm 'n Que

3 The Rub Company

4 All Sauced Up

5 Big Poppa Smokers

6 Goin Que Que

7 T & J's Backyard BBQ

8 Bird's Pit Crew

9 Smokin' Yankees BBQ

10 Smokin' Steve's

11 Four Q

12 Brazen BBQ

13 Rusty Barrel BBQ

14 Tops BBQ

15 Smoke It All Night

16 Tropical Heat BBQ

17 Smoked to the Bone

18 Left Coast Q

19 Smokey Bones BBQ

20 5J's BBQ

21 Rib Ticklers BBQ

22 Whiskey Ranch BBQ

23 El Fuego Fiasco

24 BBQ by Dan

25 All Hogs Go to Heaven

26 Soaked In Smoke

27 The Smokaholics

28 Meat, Inc.

29 Smitty's Smoke Patrol

30 West's Best BBQ Team

31 When Pigs Fly

32 Smokin' Hogs

33 Rubbed the Right Way

34 Ham-erd Hogs

35 Dirty Harry's BBQ

36 Here's the Rub

37 Carnivorous Habits

38 Cooks 'N Ladders BBQ

39 Revolution Barbecue

40 Big Rick & The BBQ Chick

41 GRILLaTactics

42 T & H Prime Meats and Sa

43 Two Irish Fools

44 Papa Chubby's BBQ

45 Pribs Ribs


1 Meat, Inc.

2 Smokey Bones BBQ

3 Goin Que Que

4 Smokin' Yankees BBQ

5 Four Q

6 El Fuego Fiasco

7 The Smokaholics

8 Rhythm 'n Que

9 Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ

10 Big Poppa Smokers

11 Whiskey Ranch BBQ

12 Rib Ticklers BBQ

13 All Sauced Up

14 Bird's Pit Crew

15 T & J's Backyard BBQ

16 Rusty Barrel BBQ

17 Tops BBQ

18 BBQ by Dan

19 T & H Prime Meats and Sa

20 Tropical Heat BBQ

21 Smoke It All Night

22 Brazen BBQ

23 Smoked to the Bone

24 Smokin' Hogs

25 5J's BBQ

26 All Hogs Go to Heaven

27 When Pigs Fly

28 Here's the Rub

29 Smitty's Smoke Patrol

30 Revolution Barbecue

31 Rubbed the Right Way

32 Soaked In Smoke

33 Dirty Harry's BBQ

34 The Rub Company

35 Smokin' Steve's

36 Ham-erd Hogs

37 West's Best BBQ Team

38 GRILLaTactics

39 Papa Chubby's BBQ

40 Left Coast Q

41 Cooks 'N Ladders BBQ

42 Big Rick & The BBQ Chick

43 Two Irish Fools

44 Carnivorous Habits

45 Pribs Ribs


1 The Rub Company

2 Rhythm 'n Que

3 Bird's Pit Crew

4 Carnivorous Habits

5 Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ

6 Rib Ticklers BBQ

7 BBQ by Dan

8 Tropical Heat BBQ

9 All Sauced Up

10 Tops BBQ

11 Smokin' Hogs

12 Left Coast Q

13 Soaked In Smoke

14 When Pigs Fly

15 Smoke It All Night

16 Big Rick & The BBQ Chick

17 The Smokaholics

18 Four Q

19 GRILLaTactics

20 El Fuego Fiasco

21 Smoked to the Bone

22 Ham-erd Hogs

23 Smokin' Yankees BBQ

24 Rusty Barrel BBQ

25 Smokin' Steve's

26 Revolution Barbecue

27 Two Irish Fools

28 Goin Que Que

29 Cooks 'N Ladders BBQ

30 West's Best BBQ Team

31 T & J's Backyard BBQ

32 Dirty Harry's BBQ

33 Here's the Rub

34 All Hogs Go to Heaven

35 Brazen BBQ

36 5J's BBQ

37 Smokey Bones BBQ

38 Papa Chubby's BBQ

39 Big Poppa Smokers

40 T & H Prime Meats and Sa

41 Rubbed the Right Way

42 Pribs Ribs

43 Smitty's Smoke Patrol

44 Whiskey Ranch BBQ

45 Meat, Inc.


1 Big Poppa Smokers

2 Smokin' Steve's

3 Brazen BBQ

4 Rhythm 'n Que

5 All Hogs Go to Heaven

6 Left Coast Q

7 Rusty Barrel BBQ

8 Smoked to the Bone

9 Smokin' Yankees BBQ

10 All Sauced Up

11 5J's BBQ

12 Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ

13 Tropical Heat BBQ

14 Meat, Inc.

15 Big Rick & The BBQ Chick

16 Four Q

17 T & J's Backyard BBQ

18 West's Best BBQ Team

19 Smitty's Smoke Patrol

20 The Rub Company

21 Bird's Pit Crew

22 Smoke It All Night

23 Tops BBQ

24 Rubbed the Right Way

25 Goin Que Que

26 Whiskey Ranch BBQ

27 Smokey Bones BBQ

28 Soaked In Smoke

29 Two Irish Fools

30 Ham-erd Hogs

31 The Smokaholics

32 BBQ by Dan

33 When Pigs Fly

34 Revolution Barbecue

35 Pribs Ribs

36 Cooks 'N Ladders BBQ

37 Dirty Harry's BBQ

38 El Fuego Fiasco

39 T & H Prime Meats and Sa

40 Rib Ticklers BBQ

41 Here's the Rub

42 GRILLaTactics

43 Carnivorous Habits

44 Smokin' Hogs

45 Papa Chubby's BBQ


1 T & J's Backyard BBQ

2 Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ

3 The Rub Company

4 Goin Que Que

5 Whiskey Ranch BBQ

6 Big Poppa Smokers

7 Smokin' Steve's

8 Brazen BBQ

9 All Sauced Up

10 5J's BBQ

11 Rusty Barrel BBQ

12 Smitty's Smoke Patrol

13 Rhythm 'n Que

14 Tops BBQ

15 Bird's Pit Crew

16 Smoke It All Night

17 Four Q

18 Smokin' Yankees BBQ

19 Rib Ticklers BBQ

20 El Fuego Fiasco

21 Smokin' Hogs

22 Smokey Bones BBQ

23 West's Best BBQ Team

24 Soaked In Smoke

25 Left Coast Q

26 Smoked to the Bone

27 Here's the Rub

28 Rubbed the Right Way

29 Dirty Harry's BBQ

30 Tropical Heat BBQ

31 Cooks 'N Ladders BBQ

32 BBQ by Dan

33 Ham-erd Hogs

34 Carnivorous Habits

35 All Hogs Go to Heaven

36 When Pigs Fly

37 Pribs Ribs

38 The Smokaholics

39 Meat, Inc.

40 GRILLaTactics

41 Revolution Barbecue

42 T & H Prime Meats and Sa

43 Papa Chubby's BBQ

44 Two Irish Fools

45 Big Rick & The BBQ Chick

Friday, July 23, 2010

BBQ Pitmasters Season 2

Season 2 of BBQ Pitmasters premieres August 12th, 2010 on TLC.  See your local programming for the time in your area (10/9C).    The below link is to video sneak previews of the first episode.

BBQ Pitmasters Season 2 Preview

Thursday, July 08, 2010

July 10th, 2010 BBQ 101 Class by Professor Salt

My Four Q BBQ teammate is starting a series of BBQ cooking classes in Irvine, California.

An excerpt from his website on the class follows.

"Have you always wanted to learn how to make slow smoked, authentic Southern barbecue? Perhaps you’re not sure what type of equipment you’ll need, or how to make better use of the smoker you already own. Sure, you can learn by reading books and lots of trial and error. Or you can speed up your learning curve by taking this class, and go home with the delicious barbecue you made yourself!

•Learn from a local expert who’ll show you contest winning techniques.

•This is a hands-on class: you’ll trim meat, season it with dry rub, and cook it while I guide you through the process

•You’ll get your pick of different smokers to demo: Big Green Egg, Weber Smokey Mountain, Weber gas grills, Traeger wood pellet smoker, and an “Ugly Drum Smoker” – a 55 gallon drum smoker you can learn to build yourself.

•When: Saturday July 10,2010 9am to 1pm

•Where: Irvine location to be revealed after payment is received.

Call 949 334 7485 with questions

Cost is $95 per student, which includes lunch, and you get to take home the meat that you’ll cook. The grill shop where classes will be held is offering 10% off of the cost of a smoker, and 20% off of accessories. If you’re in the market for a nice smoker, this discount can offset the cost of tuition."

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bigmista's Barbecue empire -

Bigmista's Barbecue empire -


See article in L.A. Times July 1st, 2010.  The man to go to for great BBQ.  My Four Q BBQ teammate now on his own and doing quite well. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Yellowtail Fish Collar and Belly With a Miso Glaze

My hubby went on a deep sea fishing trip this past week. Of all the fish he caught, the one he most cherished was Yellowtail. From three that he caught he had the deck hands cut them so that he had fish collars with attached bellies.

His preferred method of prep was for me to grill them with a teriyaki or soy sauce based glaze. I came across a recipe for a Miso Glaze which I tweeked a bit.

1/2 cup yellow soy bean paste (Miso)
1/2 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
1 tsp sesame oil
2 minced and crushed garlic cloves
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup mirin

Mix all the ingredients. Reduce over low heat to slightly thicken. Cool the mixture.

Coat fish collar and belly with the glaze. Let marinade for about an hour in the refrigerator.
Prepare BBQ grill with area for indirect and direct heat.

Grill the fish with the skin side down to start over the direct heat source. Be careful to minimize the charring of the skin. Move to the indirect side of grill with skin side up. Place cover on grill. Peak in after about 4-5 minutes. Turn fish over with skin side down again. Brush on more glaze. Put cover back on and grill for about another 3-4 minutes. Check for flakiness of meat. Remove from heat source and enjoy.

I also grilled some shrimp marinaded with the Miso Glaze.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bacon Explosion

Four Q BBQ team member, Professor Salt was featured in an interview by Ed Lin of Deep End Dining.  The making of a bacon explosion was filmed during our recent competition at the OC BBQ Festival for Kristie's Foundation June 11-12th, 2010.  The Four Q BBQ team site is the background.  

This is a must see video.  It will have all you bacon lovers drooling. See below link

Bacon Explosion

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cooking With Chef Dave

Heads up.  One of my friends is going to be teaching a hands on cooking class at a working Organic farm in Irvine at Tanaka Farms.  Recommendations from people who have taken the class include comments like "he makes cooking fun and approachable. From Bistro to BBQ, Gourmet to Gourmand, Chef Dave will inspire you to enjoy food even more and cook your very best".

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

6th Place Brisket (Out of 57 Teams)

Four Q BBQ got a 6th place in brisket out of 57 teams.  Proudly accepting the trophy is Sylvie. Quen for
Kids  2010 OC BBQ Festival.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Quen for Kids BBQ Competition

Four Q BBQ Team will be competing June 12th at the Kristie's Foundation Annual Que'n For Kids BBQ Competition.

This competition is well on it's way to being one of the largest for Southern California with possibly 50 plus teams competing.  Funds for admission and People's Choice BBQ sampling all benefit Kristie's Foundation, a charity for critically ill children and their families with end of life needs.  Show your support and come on out for this event.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

1st Annual Vendy Awards 2010 L.A.- BigMista BBQ Competes

My friend Neil from BigMista BBQ was nominated as one of the top 6 street food vendors in Los Angeles for the 1st annual Los Angeles Vendy Awards. The top 6 were judged by reknowned L.A. food personalities in radio, food blogging and food reviews. Though BigMista did not take home the trophy, placing in the top six is a major accomplishment. Two of us from Four Q (Shuji and Sylvie) had the honor of helping Neil at this event. We made some new friends (shout out to the Grilled Cheese Truck- Michele and Dave) and met some wonderful folks who appreciate great street food.

Bigmista's BBQ
Nina's food- Winner of 2010 Vendy Award Los Angeles
India Jones Food truck
Hot Dog Kings
Grilled Cheese Truck
Tacos El Galuzo

Big Mista Interview

Sunday, May 02, 2010

The Sporting Life

My combined Mothers Day and Anniversary present (June 2010). I told myself I woulld not post this, but I am bursting at the seams wanting to share this with you all.

Trading in the CTS was very hard but after 8 years, she was ready to go.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Results From Wildomar BBQ Competition

It was great competing at the Wildomar- Ultimate BBQ Showdown.  We had fun and enjoyed hanging with our BBQ family.  We did take three walks though only getting a 19th place overall. 

Next event we will be competing at will be June 12th at Que'n for Kids in Orange County, CA.

See below for the results from this past weekend at Wildomar:

Grand Champion:  Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ

Reserve Grand Champion; Notley Que


1st Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ
2nd Notley Que
3rd Otis & The Bird
4th Porketeers
5th Burnt By The Best
6th Rusty Barrel BBQ
7th Big Daddy's Q'n Crew
8th Rhythm 'n Que
9th Rib Tickler BBQ, LLC
10th The Rub Company
11th AzBarbeque
12th 7 kinds of smoke
13th Simply Marvelous BBQ
14th Rolling Bones
15th Punk Rock BBQ
16th Bird's Pit Crew
17th Rancho Rocke BBQ
18th Tropical Heat BBQ
19th Four Q
20th The Q
21st California BBQ Smokers
22nd Get It While Its Hot
23rd Cooks 'N Ladders BBQ
24th All Hogs Go to Heaven
25th When Pigs Fly
26th Smoke It All Night
27th GrillaTactics BBQ
28th Southfork BBQ
29th Meteor Barbecue Wave
30th Soaked in Smoke
31st Get Your Rub On
32nd Emi


1st AzBarbeque
2nd Slap Yo" Daddy BBQ
3rd Rolling Bones
4th Otis & The Bird
5th Rancho Rocke BBQ
6th Notley Que
7th Punk Rock BBQ
8th 7 kinds of smoke
9th Rusty Barrel BBQ
10th Four Q
11th Rib Tickler BBQ, LLC
12th GrillaTactics BBQ
13rd Meteor Barbecue Wave
14th Soaked in Smoke
15th Emi

Pork Ribs

1st Notley Que
2nd Otis & The Bird
3rd Big Daddy's Q'n Crew
4th Porketeers
5th Slap Yo" Daddy BBQ
6th The Rub Company
7th Bird's Pit Crew
8th Burnt By The Best
9th Rib Tickler BBQ, LLC
10th 7 kinds of smoke
11th Cooks 'N Ladders BBQ
12th Smoke It All Night
13rd Southfork BBQ
14th California BBQ Smokers
15th Rancho Rocke BBQ


1st Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ
2nd Notley Que
3rd Otis & The Bird
4th Rusty Barrel BBQ
5th The Q
6th Rhythm 'n Que
7th Porketeers
8th Big Daddy's Q'n Crew
9th Simply Marvelous BBQ
10th Get It While Its Hot
11th All Hogs Go to Heaven
12th AzBarbeque
13rd Bird's Pit Crew
14th 7 kinds of smoke
15th Get Your Rub On


1st Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ
2nd Notley Que
3rd Burnt By The Best
4th Otis & The Bird
5th Tropical Heat BBQ
6th Rhythm 'n Que
7th The Rub Company
8th Rib Tickler BBQ, LLC
9th California BBQ Smokers
10th Simply Marvelous BBQ
11th Four Q
12th When Pigs Fly
13rd Punk Rock BBQ
14th Rusty Barrel BBQ
15th Porketeers


1st Freddy Ray's BBQ
2nd When Pigs Fly
3rd Rooftop BBQ
4th Big Jims
5th Sweet Surrender
6th Game Over Cookers
7th Porketeers
8th Rib Tickler BBQ, LLC
9th Punk Rock BBQ
10th Get Your Rub On
11th Simply Marvelous BBQ
12th Southfork BBQ
13th AzBarbeque
14th GrillaTactics BBQ
15th The Rub Company

Beef Ribs:

1st Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ
2nd The Rub Company
3rd Southfork BBQ
4th Tropical Heat BBQ
5th Soaked in Smoke
6th 7 kinds of smoke
7th AzBarbeque
8th Four Q
9th Rooftop BBQ
10th Cooks 'N Ladders BBQ
11th All Hogs Go to Heaven
12th West's Best BBQ Team
13th Rib Tickler BBQ, LLC
14th Game Over Cookers
15th When Pigs Fly

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ultimate BBQ Showdown- Wildomar, California

Four Q BBQ will be competing in this event this weekend.  With some changes to the team and head cook, we are ready for our first 2010 competition.

This IBCA event will center on the usual 4 meats, chicken, pork ribs, pulled pork and brisket.  Additonally other competiton meats include tri tip and beef ribs.

We are so looking forward to this event.  With 47 teams signed up and many of them selling 'people's choice' samples, this should be the place to be this weekend.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Swimming Pool During Earthquake 4-4-10

I took some video of how the 6.9 updated to a 7.2 earthquake in Baja impacted our swimming pool in Los Angeles. The motion of this quake was like a swaying back and forth for what seemed like 30 seconds to a minute.  The first video is of the initial quake, the second video was taken during an aftershock seconds later.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Two Dinners With Friends

Birthday Celebration and Jamaican Cuisine

Happy birthday V.   Food was great.  Fish escoveitch, plaintains, green bananas, brown rice, greens.

Dinner in San Marcos

B cooked these pork chops to perfection.  Moist tender and full of flavor with a herb marinade.  Smashed potatoes and brussel sprouts as sides.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Posole or is it Pozole?

G found a bag of dried hominy in the pantry and suggested that I make Posole.  Thumbing through my trusty cookbook collection, I found a simple and easy recipe for making this pork and hominy stew.  I had all the ingredients (Go Figure) but one set back was time to soak the dried hominy.  I chose a quick soak method which I do not suggest.  Overall the stew was tasty but suffered because of the texture of the hominy which I did not get softened/soaked enough.despite a long cook time.

I used some frozen smoked pulled pork instead of cubes of pork as suggested by the recipe.  I also used skinless chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken.  Other ingredients included 1 whole diced onion, 4 cloves garlic minced, 1 tsp of cumin and oregano, water, and  dried Mexican chili. 

I made a red chili sauce from onion, garlic, soaked Mexican chilies pureed with a 1/2 cup water then sauteed in olive oil.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sushi Feast Shared with Friends

Sushi Feast

Sushi Feast link

G recently returned from a long range deep sea fishing adventure. We invited some friends over to share some of the goodness of very fresh fish grilled and also some sliced for sushi.

The menu included a green salad, fresh fruit, homemade (by me) spring rolls, grilled tuna, wahoo and red rover sushi.

I got the he recipe for the spring rolls from a Surfas Restaurant Supply demonstration I attended last year. Thanks to Minnie, I was able to make these goodies at home.  I chose to use green cabbage instead of the red.  The red would have made for an even prettier presentation but I worked with what I had.

Minnie’s Red Cabbage
From the demo: Asian Street Food
Recipe Courtesy of Minnie Luong
Shredded red cabbage
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 small red onion, diced
2 tsp canola oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sugar
2 teaspoon fish sauce
3-4 tbsp rice vinegar
salt& pepper to taste
A few squirts of sriracha chili sauce
Heat canola and sesame oil in medium high sauté pan. Sautee red onion until soft. Add ginger sauté until the whole kitchen smells like ginger before adding cabbage. Stir and cook until cabbage is soft. About 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about a minute, then add sugar and salt, fish sauce, let it cook off for a few minutes. Turn on your fan, because it will start getting stinky, but don’t worry it will taste great! Add rice vinegar, cook a few more minutes before adding sriracha for a little heat. Cool off before adding to spring rolls.

Wasabi Butter was simply a cube of softened butter which I added the zest of one lime, about a tablesppon of minced cilantro and about a tablespoon of wasabi paste. I got this recipe from taking ideas from a number of internet recipes and using ingredients that I had in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Honey Cider Carmelized Pork Belly a la Novelli Per Bravo

Bravo finally posted the Slow Braised Honey and Cider Caramelized Pork Belly recipe.  There are some differences from what was described on the season 1, episode 7 aired Chef Academy  (for example- what happened to the cumin and bay leaves, when did the beef  stock cube enter, only one star anise and now fennel seeds?   I was wrong about the apple cider vinegar as it should have been just cider.)  Now I have an excuse to do this improved recipe .

Bravo Link

•Course: Main Course
•Prep Time: 25 Minutes
•Total Time: Under 4 Hours
•Skill Level:  Easy
•Cost:  Moderate
Chef Academy, Season 1, Episode 9
4 Servings

•3.5 lb Organic pork belly, with rind removed but the fat on

•2 large white onions, peeled, halved and sliced

•Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Braising Liquor

•1 qt Good-quality dry cider

•5 oz Clear honey

•1 Beef stock cube

•1 Star anise

•1 teaspoon fennel seeds

•4 Sprigs fresh thyme

•Maldon Sea salt


1. In a frying pan, dry-fry the onions until caramelized.
2. Heat an ovenproof cast-iron pan. Season the pork belly and dry-fry on both sides, fat side first, until golden brown, ensuring that all sides of the meat are sealed. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest for 3-5 minutes. (Most of the fat should have been released during this stage.)
3. Preheat the oven to 350°c.
4. Lay the onions on the pork fat residue in the ovenproof pan and cover with the pork belly.
5. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the braising liquor. Pour over the pork belly and cook in the preheated oven for 2 hours.
6. Occasionally remove from the oven and baste the pork with the reducing sauce, this will help to build up a lustrous glaze when finished.
7. Remove from the oven, lift the meat out of the pan to rest for 10 minutes and set aside. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon.
8. Carefully reduce the remaining liquor to the consistency of a sauce.
9. Serve with olive oil mashed potato

Instead of onions you can use large shallots or fennel

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pork Belly- Honey Cider Vinegar Carmelized a la Novelli

After watching Season 1, episode 7 of Bravo's Chef Academy, I have been obsessed with the Honey Cider Vinegar Carmelized Pork Belly Chef Novelli demonstrated. Of all the meat dishes he presented in this epsiode, it was not used in the challenge nor was the recipe posted on the Bravo site.

With my mouth drooling over the presented entree, I searched all over for that same recipe. Couldn't find it on the internet, so I just used my intuitive skills, a long with the ingredients he used and I came up with what I think is a similar rendition of the recipe.

Ingredients listed on show:
Whole pork belly
Star anise
bay leaf
cider vinegar

Oven was pre heated to 325 degrees. I believe the instructions given on the show stated the pork belly would be cooked in the oven for 1-2 hours. I actually cooked it for 90 minutes with dutch oven top on and then removed the top and cooked for an additional 10 minutes to get my oven back up to temp. I then turned off the oven and let the pork belly finish the carmelizing process. Don't open the oven during this last 30 minutes.

In addition to these ingredients, it appeared that the pork belly on the show had the meat side seasoned with salt and pepper.

I seasoned the belly with the salt, pepper and cumin. I didn't measure the amounts but relied on what looked like enough.

I then browned each side in a cast iron like dutch oven.

I added 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme, 2-3 dry bay leaves (I didn't have fresh), one medium onion cut into big chunks, 4 star anise, about 1/2 cup honey and 1 cup apple cider vinegar.

The dutch oven was placed in the oven and cooked as described above.  I did attempt to crisp the skin some using a blow torch. I abandoned that idea as it didn't add to the presentation.

I really loved the flavor of the carmelized applecider vinegar and honey. The texture of the pork belly was heavenly. I love that gooey fat and the seasonings flavored the meat just right for me. Served on a white corn tortilla, I was in heaven.

Addemdum 1-12-10:
The recipe was prepared on the final Episodes 8 and 9.  There was a problem noted by the chefs which led two of the chefs to get into a heated argument.  Apparently after one hour the pork belly did not have the correct color.  Zoe suggested that all it needed was more time in the oven.  The others disagreed with her.  Later in the show they disclosed that they cooked the pork belly for 5 hours and it was Chef Novelli noted it was possibly over done.  What I noticed is that in episode 7 the pork belly was cooked covered in the enamel on cast iron dut oven.  However, in episode 8-9, it was started uncovered in the oven. 

In this last episode, Chef Novelli stated that it should cook for 4 hours but I thought he said in epsiode 7 that it should cook 1-2 hours.  I did get very good carmelization with my process.  I suggest flexibility when cooking this and allow between 2  and 3 hours.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy New Year

Smoked Brisket New Year Day

Pulled Pork New Year Day

Chicken New Year Day

Southern Greens New Year Day

Christmas Eve Spread in N.C.

Christmas Day Dinner in N.C.
Black Eyed Peas New Year Day

Gumbo New Years Day

See my Flickr site for a few photos taken around the holidays. These include foods from Chrtistmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years day. There was a lot of eating going on for my family and friends.

Winter Holiday Food

I missed a few photo opportunities which included a smoked turkey for Christmas.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

My Big Pig Ring

Christmas present from my hubby. He knows my love for BBQ related stuff, being I am the pulled pork queen. Cubic Zirconium but oh sooo cute.