Recipes, restaurants, and cooking
  • California Cuisine and Cocktails at Breakfast Republic San Diego

    Breakfast Republic seems to be on the list of every foodie I know in San Diego right now. With lines on weekends that might you second guess stopping by, I know plenty of my friends have simply just passed it by but still wondered what it was like to dine there. Luckily, they continue to expand and now have locations in North Park, Liberty Station, Encinitas and recently opened in East Village San Diego. The menu here is exactly what you'd expect from a California brunch place and in particular one that's growing up in San Diego's modern food scene and we were thrilled to be invited to check it out.

  • We Love Kam's Chili Sauce On Our Wings

    Every so often, something new comes along and knocks the order of things a bit off its existing axis. That's sort of how I felt when I first experienced Kam's Chili Sauce. The brand offered to send me a few jars and so I said yes... not really knowing what or why I agreed to test it out but they just got lucky that day I guess. Honestly, it sat on my counter for a while as I tried to think of what I would do with it... they said it goes great on seafood, that it can be used as a sauce for cooking or even as a condiment. Last night though I decided to try it on my wings for a different taste than my normal classic Frank's wing sauce and I was impressed.

  • Cheesey Sausage Cups Recipe

    It's almost gameday and you need something manly that is easy to make, easy to cleanup and easy to eat on the couch. Here's a recipe for Cheesey Sausage Cups that you are sure to love and it features ingredients sourced entirely at Smart & Final.

  • California Pizza Kitchen Las Vegas at The Park: More Than Just Pizza

    My wife tells me that I'm weird since i don't love pizza. Unfortunately because of that, I've generally avoided California Pizza kitchen since I'd always seen it as a pizza joint. Since earlier this year though when I helped them kick off their new location at The Park in Vegas, it's become one of my favorite restaurants.

  • How To Have the Best Experience Possible at a Brazilian Steakhouse

    It should be quite clear by now that I am a huge fan of Brazilian steakhouses or Churrascaria as they are also known. There's something magical about a buffet of meat that comes to you. Since you and your friends can simply sit at the table for most of the meal and not worry about getting up to load your plate with more food, conversation seems to flow more freely and it's certainly a more relaxing form of celebratory eating than other options out there. I've been lucky to be treated so well by the folks at Fogo de Chao and so after my visit to their Vegas location last week I figured it was a good opportunity to share some of my expert knowledge on how to maximize your experience at a Brazilian Steakhouse!

  • Southern Cooking, Vegas Style at Yardbird Las Vegas

    There's something special about southern cooking. It's a craft that has been honed by generations and has a unique sophistication that really isn't based on "price" but rather simply a love for flavors and textures that transcend economic divides. When I lived in North Carolina, food was a celebration and "Sunday Dinner" represented a time when friends, family, and neighbors would gather at my friend's grandmother's house for stories, drinks, and meals that I still remember today. That's the magic Southern Cooking and Yardbird Las Vegas has taken that experience and elevated it to a level that is sophisticated - but still approachable. 

  • Allen Brothers Steaks - Because the Best Gift For Guys is Meat!

    There are a lot of great gift ideas you can get for the men in your life but there's one that is my new favorite. Meat By Mail! Allen Brothers sent us a box of bone-in ribeyes this week and while I was initially skeptical because they arrive frozen, I'm convinced now that this is probably one of the best gifts for guys who love to grill.

  • Innovation Tastes Great with Malt Shop Cookies

    Malt is a special gift from the gods... it make beer better, milkshakes more tasty, and now it's in cookies as well. Malt Shop Cookies is the creation of two guys that decided to try something new by adding malted milk to a chocolate chip cookie. Now their innovation is available for you to give to your friends and family!

  • Libertine Social Merges Near Perfect Cocktails, Food, and Creativity

    Las Vegas has some of the best bars and some of the best restaurants in the world but no matter how much talent and desire to be the best... most are good at one or the other, not both. During a visit last night to Libertine Social inside of Mandalay Bay, I was treated to an experience that frankly I wasn't expecting based on the relatively unassuming entrance.

  • Keepin' It Local On a Food Tour Through North Dakota

    One of my favorite parts about traveling is experiencing new foods. There's an unspoken sense of truth and honesty that comes only by experiencing what a different culture loves to eat and drink. That's true when you travel overseas... but it's also true even while traveling through this country as I did a few weeks ago during a road trip through North Dakota.

  • Bring The Thrill of the Tailgate Home For the Ultimate Football Party

    There's nothing quite like a true football tailgate party. As the smell of grilled meat and chip dip mixes with beer, sweat and other smells that might be wafting through the parking lot, chances are you've wondered if it might be better done at home next time. Typically though, "home gates" end up being too fancy, too much trouble, and mean tons of cleanup - but no more! Here's our party plan to ensure that your next football party is a huge success while bringing the authenticity and character that you love about hanging out in the parking lot before the game.

  • Tips to Help You Eat Healthy While Traveling

    Vacations and even traveling for business may seem like the perfect excuse for overindulging in your favorite snacks. After all, it's easy to order desert or that steak instead of a salad when you've got extra per diem left! However, making the right food choices and maintaining a nutritious diet will boost your energy throughout your trip and generally make you feel better as well as being more productive. Despite what you might think, it IS possible to eat healthy whenever you travel, so here's some of our favorite tips!

  • My Father In-Law Loves Pilot Flying J Coffee!

    There are two things that are essential for a travel stop to have aside from gas at a good price - clean bathrooms and good coffee. I've known Pilot Flying J usually has good bathrooms and gas, but as a non-coffee drinker, I've wondered how their coffee really was. So, when I was driving through Michigan last month with my father-in-law I asked him about their coffee and he said that's where he loves to stop.

  • Grilling The Perfect Brat In Less Than 10 min Is Easy!

    There are only a few things in life that are as delicious as a perfectly cooked brat. I think part of that is the process that goes into preparing the meat - after all, this isn't just some hotdog... it's a brat! Unfortunately, that takes both time and concentration as well as patience. While that's OK when you are tailgating and have hours before the game starts, it isn't always possible when you just want to have a few guys over and watch the game. For me, I'd rather spend time watching football than tending the grill outside looking in on the game through the window.

  • It's Tough, But You Can Eat Healthy While Traveling

    When you’re planning a vacation, make sure you add pounds to the suitcase rather than your waist. Of course, it’s a good idea to travel light in both senses, but if you want to eat natural and organic foods on the road, you may need to pack a few extra items for food preparation. In addition, make sure that you are aware of healthy eating options in the places you plan to go. With some preparation, research and a sense of adventure, you can stay slim and healthy wherever you go.

  • Wales: The Land of Castles, Golf, Trains, Beer, and Welsh Rarebit!

    While the UK in general might not be the manliest place in Europe, Wales would certainly qualify. After all, this is a land of more than 600 castles, steam trains, beer, golf, and a fiercely independent people. In fact, while it is a relatively small part of the overall United Kingdom, this nation is so important as to even give the title Prince of Wales to the heir apparent to the British Monarchy.

  • Exploring Differences Between Italian Cooking and Spanish Cooking

    Two of the most popular ethnic foods in America are Italian and Spanish, but learning how to cook them in an authentic manner often seems impossible. The range of spices and ingredients are very different, but an equal amount of effort is required to refine the skills needed to comfortably impress your next dinner guests. Below are a few of the main differences in Spanish and Italian cooking, as well as how you can develop the skills to bring these types of favorite foods to your table.

  • Hungry For Crab? We've Got a Solution at Red Lobster!

    We talked about Lobsterfest a few months ago, but now it's time for Crabfest at Red Lobster and it's a perfect opportunity to treat someone special to a great dinner! In my case, Heather and I celebrated her birthday a couple days early with a big heaping portion of Bairdi Crab Legs and I had the Crab Lover's Dream featuring King Crab, Snow Crab and a delicious Crab Linguine Alfredo.

  • Breakfast On The Road Just Got Better thanks to PJ Fresh

    Breakfast on the road has never been a great experience for me. Lucky for us though, just as quick-serve restaurants have recently focused a lot of energy on the morning experience, thankfully so has Pilot Flying J. Last week we had the chance to taste test a few of their new PJ Fresh breakfast sandwiches so you could pick the one that matches your palate best.

  • Gluten Free Carne Adovada Recipe

    I'm a fan of big bold flavors and when that combines with travel it's even better. Recently while on a trip to New Mexico I discovered a new recipe that I've now fallen in love with but have never seen outside of the state. It was a deliciously bold combination of red chilis and tender chunks of meat that almost melt in your mouth. So, like any self respecting foodie, the moment I got home I searched for what was in it so that I could make my own version of Carne Adovado!

  • Sample The Flavors Of China and Beyond in Taiwan

    Taiwan's slogan is "The Heart of Asia". There's a reason for that. It's situated pretty much dead center between China, Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines, and it has a little bit of all of that culture. Taiwan is literally The Heart of Asia, and it shows when you visit. If you are a foodie, this is a great place to visit so you can sample the best flavors from the region without worrying about visas, finding a new hotel, or taking extra flights. Coming up in August though is an awesome opportunity to explore the region even more at the 2016 Taiwan Culinary Exhibition.

  • A Brazilian Brunch at Fogo De Chao

    Most of us have at one point or another enjoyed a Brazilian steakhouse. Typically it's an expensive experience reserved for those celebratory dinners for holidays, birthdays, promotions etc. Recently though, Fogo de Chao has launched two new twists on this including their amazing brunch and also a "gaucho lunch". As a man who loves my meat I couldn't pass up the opportunity when they invited me to check out their new Brazilian Brunch!

  • BIG AZ Burgers Says: Size Matters When You Are Hungry!

    Sure, I enjoy fine dining as much as the next guy but sometimes that just isn't an option and you are faced with a decision of "what to eat" and you only have time to either get gas or swing through the drive through. In those cases I've typically resorted to grabbing a chocolate bar or maybe some beef jerky, but that's never really satisfying. What I really need is a nice juicy hamburger that will carry me through till dinner. That's where BIG AZ burgers come in!

  • Gluten Free Bacon, Coconut, Peanut Butter Cookies

    Father's Day is a special day for most guys. It's a time not just to be honored as a dad (or doggie daddy) but ultimately as a responsible man. So I decided to do things a little differently this time and create a recipe that was still incredibly tasty and a little over the top - but that is ultimately gluten free and dairy free so that my wife could enjoy it too. After all, what fun is it creating a recipe if you can't share it with the people in your life that you love most?

  • We Celebrated California Avocado Month with a Dinner en Green

    June is California Avocado Month and so we were invited to help celebrate it with a fantastic dinner at the top of a mountain in a real avocado grove along side the farmer who manages one of the largest avocado ranches in California. A dinner outside under the stars is always special but this was over the top since typically avocados are a sort of mysterious fruit. Sure, we all love them in guacamole but where do they actually come from and what else can you do with them?

  • Pacific Northwest Halibut Recipe from Holland America

    One of the fun things about cruising is the food – not just the quantity, but the specialness of having treats that you generally don’t find at home. Over the years, as American tastes have gotten more sophisticated, cooking shows have become one of the most popular forms of entertainment. While many cruise ships do have a cooking demo a couple times on each voyage, Holland America has taken this to the next level with actual theaters to showcase their chefs as well as periodically invite celebrity chefs to make an appearance as well.

  • Slow Cooker Fish Curry Soup Recipe

    Slow cooker soup recipes are among my favorite since there is minimal cleanup, you can make a big batch and they are easy to re-heat later. In fact, they often taste better on the second or third day since it gives the flavors a chance to come together. While I could make up a fancy story about why or how I created this recipe the simple truth is I got tired of cooking my fish in a pan and needed a way to use up the bag of frozen tilapia I had left in the freezer without wasting it or making too much of a mess.

  • Camping Recipes and Foods We Love to Make On the Grill

    When you think about camping, you probably think about fresh air, campfires, and music but my guess is that you also are thinking about those tasty treats that you only get every so often. That's right, I'm talking about camping recipes and fire-cooked canned foods like Dinty Moore Beef Stew and Hormel Chili. On our recent trip to Joshua Tree National Park, we expanded on our favorites by adding a couple new ones...

  • Tips For Planning An Ultimate Date Night

    Things can sometimes get stale after being in a relationship for a number of years. It's easy to fall into those patterns where you know what your partner likes and so you end up going to the same places and doing the same things. Now think back to when you were just getting started. Back then, you worked hard to impress each other and cherished every moment. That can happen again but it isn't just "going to happen", so here's some tips to help you plan the ultimate date night.

  • Southwestern Chili Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

    It's National Grilled Cheese Day on April 12, so naturally I had to create a fabulous creation to celebrate. There's something absolutely amazing about the a grilled cheese sandwich with the molten cheese ooozing out from two nicely toasted pieces of bread. While there's nothing wrong with stopping there, I like to take things to the next level and that's why I decided to create the Southwestern Chili Grilled Cheese!

  • 30+ Surprising Lobster Facts and Trivia

    Lobsterfest is back at Red Lobster and what better way to celebrate than sharing some lobster facts and trivia to get you into the mood for dinner tonight?

  • Why Does Lobster Mean Fancy And How Did It Get That Way?

    There's something magical about lobster, just the mention if it brings visions of wealth, status, and a lifestyle of luxury. As someone who once lived in a lobster town in Massachusetts, lobster was always an affordable luxury - similar in cost to a great pork chop or a nice steak. Even though the cost was equivalent, the mention of lobster meant we were having a special dinner. Years later and on a different coast, that's pretty much how I feel each time I walk into Red Lobster today too.

  • 10 Awesome Foods We Discovered In San Antonio

    Every place that I visit has a special food item that they are known for and while Texas is synonymous with BBQ I discovered a diverse world of awesome flavors last month as we explored San Antonio. From washing tamales down with an ice cold bottle of Big Red to candied pecan covered bowls of kettle corn, I simply wasn't expecting even half of what we enjoyed!

  • Advantages of Avocado Oil For Grilling and Baking

    I was introduced to avocado oil by Chosen Foods who sent me a sample of their spray and cooking oil. While I am an avocado fiend, I was honestly a Little reluctant to switch from olive oil initially. However, after trying it on a few different recipes I am completely hooked! While there are other advantages, the biggest single one is the higher smoke point, which means that my pans are cleaner and stuff is less likely to turn brown / black in the pan.

  • Do You Dream Of Being the Ultimate Grillmaster?

    If you've ever dreamed of rising beyond your backyard grill or maybe even that kitchen-friendly one you use in the summer then Johnsonville has a fantastic opportunity for you!

  • Start The Year Trying New Ways To Enjoy Your Favorite Foods

    This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BalancedNewYear #CollectiveBias

    It's the start of a new year and in six months you'll probably look back and say "WHAT WAS I THINKING!" We're all notoriously bad about leaving a trail of failed resolutions but here's one that you should at least try. Explore new ways to enjoy your favorite foods by substituting what you expect with perhaps a new way that will give you a more balanced life. That's one of the things I love about STOUFFER'S® FIT KITCHEN™ - while it's quick and easy to whip up and has a balanced meal it does so by introducing new ways to think about food.

  • Cool Jobs: Sous Chef for the Hearty Boys Catering

    Over the past few months, we've had a chance to look at some jobs that people have where you might not have really appreciated all the work they do but it's actually pretty cool. Today, we're looking at Mike Perez, Sous Chef of Hearty Boys Catering in Chicago and what it takes to be the man behind those amazing meals you enjoy at corporate events and celebrations like weddings, retirement parties, and grand openings.

  • A Wine and Cheese Plate Pairing Makes for A Great Romantic Evening

    You may think you've got time since Valentine's Day is still a couple months away but Christmas can be romantic occasion too, as can New Years Eve! One thing that I'm always a fan of us doing a plate with assorted cheeses and other items along with a favorite bottle of wine. The folks over at Whole Foods Market agreed to share some of their knowledge and hooked us up with three amazing cheese and three bottles of wine.

  • George Dickel Whisky Roast Baste

    There's two things that all guys love - whisky and beef. Chef Perry Lang showed Jimmy Kimmel Live! how to make these things even better... by combining them :) 

  • Golden Steer Steakhouse Las Vegas

    Old Vegas may have slipped behind the curtain over the past decade to make way for hipsters and people looking for upscale luxury experiences but below the surface there are still a few Vegas treasures that will transport you back to the golden age of Vegas when being a "celebrity" meant something more than just how many Instagram followers you have. 

  • Curry Roasted Peppers, Peas, and Carrots

    To help celebrate the upcoming release of Daddy's Home featuring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, we decided to whip up a great way to get your veggies without having to worry about hiding them from the kids. We look forward to enjoying them with dinner before going to see the movie when it's released in theaters on Christmas day.

  • There's Still Time for Islands NFL Happy Hour With The Guys

    Wow, I can't believe it's December already! Despite the fact that the air has turned cold, there's still another month of football left and it's probably the most exciting time of the season. That means it's time to gather the guys together and head over to your local bar to watch the game and enjoy a few frosty adult beverages at the same time. One of my favorite places to visit is Islands and they have been very generous at inviting me there multiple times to help share about how great they are.

  • Quick and Easy, One Pan to Clean Fajita Tacos

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    I LOVE fajitas - unfortunately they are typically really time consuming to cook at home because you have to cut pieces of raw chicken, marinate them and then cook them. That's time consuming but also messy and frankly it's just easier and more enjoyable to go to a restaurant so you get the pomp and circumstance of the sizzling skillet and fresh, steaming hot tortillas. While it doesn't quite bring it to your table, the new Foster Farms Sauté Ready chicken makes things SUPER easy to cook up awesome fajitas at home. All you need to do is add onions, peppers, toppings, and tortillas and you have a great family dinner in just about 30 minutes!

  • Understanding the Difference Between BBQ Rub, Marinade and Sauce

    Even though summer is over for most of you guys out there, we've got a few more months of tailgating and homegating left. As men we are expected to be masters of the grill and while an important part of that is understanding how to "cook" the meat... it's equally important to know how to prepare that meat.

    When getting ready to grill, there's really three main ways to go - Rub, Marinade, or Sauce. Do you understand the difference though? This is a subject that deserves to be explored a bit, so let's look at how the preparation affects the way the meat tastes and looks on the other side.

  • Fully Loaded Pulled Pork Totchos

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    Whether tailgating or homegating it's a difficult balance between creating something awesome and spending way too much time in the kitchen preparing and then cleaning up. As a man, creating ultimate recipes is something I revel in because it's an opportunity to take the gloves off and innovate with no boundaries. So today I'm going to introduce you to my latest creation - Smithfield Pulled Pork Totchos and hopefully inspire you to try something new next time you have the guys over to watch football. 

  • Science of Chicken Soup: Yeah It Really Helps With Colds

    Some people swear by holistic medicine and folk remedies and while I am typically skeptical, you have to admit that the knowledge of hundreds (or thousands) of generations must have some basis in fact. That's the case for chicken soup with regards to treating colds anyhow. With temperatures starting to drop and kids as well as the rest of us crammed inside we all need something to help our immune system get a boost. Besides even without any potential health it simply tastes great as a snack, part of the main meal, or even as the meal itself.

  • Wendy's BBQ Pulled Pork is Real Deal Delicious!

    This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Wendy’s for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

    BBQ is a tough thing and that's why it has taken man thousands of years to perfect it. From the earliest caveman who accidentally got the fire too close to the leg of deer he was eating to the pit masters of the American South that turned meat scraps into a delicacy, BBQ is a form of art. Over the years, various quick serve restaurants have attempted to create BBQ dishes that scale well across thousands of locations. They usually fail but Wendy's is committed to doing it RIGHT and I feel pretty good about saying they did a great job with their new BBQ Pulled Port offerings including the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich and BBQ Pulled Pork Cheese Fries.

  • Hangry in Sin City: Where to Eat Well in Las Vegas

    Las Vegas has some of the best food in the entire country and whether or not you are here for a convention, a bachelor party, or simply just to partake in the thrills of "Sin City", you are sure to work up a heck of an appetite. Don't let your hunger ruin the moment though! Fortunately, Las Vegas is filled to bursting with excellent eateries ready to satisfy whatever urges you might have.

  • Super Duper Semi-Homemade Caramel Triple Apple Cake

    It's fall and that means that it's apple season and there is no shortage of amazing recipes to celebrate the harvest. Two of my favorites are Caramel Apples and Pecan Pie, so why not combine the two great flavors into one amazing dessert!

  • Cayman Jack and TJ Dogs - a Perfect Combo for a Hot Summer Day

    As you've probably figured out, I love my margaritas - simply put, the touch of sweetness from agave nectar and the citrus bite of is one of the most refreshing flavors you can find. Unfortunately, you can't always take margaritas with you since traditionally it involves tequila and that means it isn't available in all the same places as your favorite beer. With Cayman Jack though, since it is a "malt beverage" it's available nationwide in select grocery, convenience, and liquor stores in areas where hard alcohol is prohibited.

  • Chevron Wants to Know: Are You the Ultimate Game Day Chef?

    Come on guys, raise your hand if you're the guy who stops at the gas station to pick up some last minute supplies before heading to the party! It's ok, while our wives and girlfriends may bemoan our procrastination, now is the time to celebrate your ingenuity for crafting delicious solutions that everyone will love. Luckily, the Game Day Chef Challenge is back and this is your chance to shine and maybe even win $25,000 in Chevron gift cards! Plus, we're doing a giveaway to help kick things off, so make sure to enter that for your chance at winning $50, $30, or $20 in Chevron gift cards.

  • Crockpot Chipotle Carnitas Tacos Recipe

    Despite the political back and forth, Americans and Mexicans have a lot in common when it comes to what we love to eat. Sure, we might prepare things a little differently by trading one ingredient for another but at our core we share a lot of similar traditions. One of these that I'm exploring today is carnitas - or pulled pork as it would be called in the Southeastern United States.

  • Not Your Basic Turkey, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich!

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    I hate being called "basic" and so does Foster Farms. Unfortunately, to many people "turkey" is just that, bland, dry, and not that exciting. That's probably because they just assume that all turkey is the same. To help illustrate that Foster Farms All Natural Sliced Turkey lunchmeat is something different, they are holding a contest to find the best sandwich makers in the country. It's easy to enter, simply create a wicked delicious sandwich and post it on Instagram tagging @FosterFarms and including #DontCallMeBasic. The winner will get a luxury weekend getaway for two in Napa Valley or $4,000 in cash.

  • Seafood & History at the Bluewater Boathouse Coronado

    Visitors to Coronado Island are typically familiar with the famous Hotel Del - afterall, it's one of the earliest buildings in the area and set the tone for the next 100+ years as a mecca for beachgoers. What I learned this week, was that just across the road is an even older building that was built a year earlier in 1887. Originally serving as the boathouse for the resort, it now houses a fantastic seafood restaurant that is part of the Bluewater Grill group.

  • Westfield UTC - San Diego Uncasked Beer Fest Tickets Giveaway

    Who doesn't love spending a hot August day outside drinking cold San Diego craft beer? Good! I don't see any hands up... To celebrate the second annual "Uncasked" beer festival, we're giving away a pair of tickets.

  • Surprise Your Wife with a Romantic End of Summer Picnic

    We've got a few more weeks of summer left and that means that we need to use these warm sunny days the best that we can. For many of us, that means taking one last family vacation somewhere fun. However, as important as spending time with the family might be, it's also important to spend time with your wife or partner. Especially during the summer, it can be a challenge with all the other distractions. Don't let that deter you though, it's worth it and so is she!

  • Sometimes The Only Way to Try Something New is to Surprise Yourself

    I enjoy fresh produce - honestly I do, but as I have gotten older I have started to fall into a rut. I buy the same peppers, the same cucumbers, the same lettuce and I'm pretty happy. For several years now, I had heard about CSA programs (community supported agriculture) for a while now but never did anything. Essentially how these programs work is that you sign up for a weekly delivery of produce fresh from the fields and it's a bit of a pot luck special with what you'll actually get. I've just never signed up because I assumed it wouldn't be as great as it sounded. On the other hand, I'm a big fan of the monthly "box" sites. They are great for getting surprises and frankly while some of it isn't useful, it is always fun to experience something that is new and different. That's exactly what I found when I tried our Farm Fresh To You

  • A Sweet Place to Visit in Milwaukee: Leon's Frozen Custard

    No visit to Milwaukee is complete without a stop at Leon's Frozen Custard located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin - just outside of Milwaukee! Since 1947 they have been a center of the community and you'll see rich, poor, English-speaking, and non. This is a place that people come to, united by one thing... a search for a great experience. 

  • OMG! 11 Cheese, Jalapeno, Bacon, Hot Dog Mac and Cheese Recipe

    The trouble with going to other people's BBQs is that you can't be "King of the Grill" since it's their domain, but that doesn't mean you can't be king of the table and win bragging rights by having the biggest, baddest dish that everyone will be talking about next week at the office. Sure, anyone can bring "mac and cheese"... for goodness sake, it comes in a box and even college kids can make it. Let's dress this up a bit and make something that everyone will want a piece of.

  • 10 Tips for Snacking on Summer Road Trips

    If you are anything like me, road trips and snacking are synonymous and that can either be a fun experience for everyone involved... or like I found out a couple years ago, not so much! See, normally I'm pretty straight-edge and go for cookies or crackers, and maybe some Twizzlers Twists or other candy that doesn't melt. During a stop in Maytag, Iowa though I was overcome by how cheap Maytag blue cheese was and so I just had to buy some. Let me tell you - after a few hours sitting on the dashboard a few things happened. First - the car smelled really bad. Second - I started to feel sick (eating blue cheese in a hot car during the summer is just dumb). Third - my brand new car earned it's first "love mark" since the cheese melted a bit and the enzymes and grease ate a spot on the dashboard that two years later I still can't get rid of!

  • Celebrating Summer with These Awesome 4th of July Cocktails

    Happy 4th of July guys! If you haven't already stocked up the bar for the weekend, then now is the time to do it and the great folks at Brown Forman have sent over some tips and recipes to make sure that no one goes thirsty!

    These are probably the easiest cocktail recipes you could possibly imagine, so just make sure you have the right supplies and you'll be the Independence Day Hero...

  • STOUFFER'S® Fit Kitchen - Good Food Quick and Easy

    Frozen food has come a long way since I was a kid when "meals for men" were things like fried chicken with mac and cheese. Sure, those were tasty but they better be for all the bad stuff in them. STOUFFER'S® Fit Kitchen offers an alternative that is much more mature, with protein packed meals that are actually pretty satisfying. The other nice thing is that unlike some frozen dinners that are packaged in a tiny box forcing you to eat 2 or 3 of them to feel full, these are a complete dinner that is easy to make and tastes great.

  • Feast Like a King at Excalibur's NEW Buffet

    When you think of a great Vegas buffet, chances are you think about the Bacchanal over at Caesar's Palace or Aria's awesome new buffet we plowed through earlier this year. What I WASN'T expecting was that Excalibur's buffet would be right up there, delivering a feast fit for a king. While the days of costumed knights and ladies is gone and so is the super kitschy medieval feast theme, what's replaced it is a super clean, light and airy dining room with an updated menu and easy navigation.

  • (relatively) Healthy but still Manly Surf & Turf #Pastapalooza Recipe

    How many times have you heard "healthy" and thought, "YUCK!"? Probably most of you thought that at least once, but it doesn't have to be that way. The problem is that most "healthy" recipes are written by people that prefer "health" over big robust tastes, textures, and experience. I'm here to say that it doesn't have to be that way!

    Dreamfields has presented me with a challenge to create an innovative recipe that includes: Beer, Smoked / Grilled Meats, Hot Peppers, Lemon, and a Vegetable of choice + two other ingredients that features their "Healthy Carb Living" pasta. By participating in this challenge, a donation will be made to a food pantry of my choice and the winning recipe creator will be able to donate an even larger amount.

  • Five Ways to Celebrate Father's Day with Grilling on Kenmore Elite

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    Father's Day is coming up and the clock is ticking to get the ultimate gift for the special man in your life. While there are a ton of great gift ideas that will make him look or smell good, amuse him, or satisfy his inner geek, I think the perfect gift is something that will allow him to celebrate Father's Day by being the king he's always wanted to be.

  • Healthy Living in a Fast - not Fat Paced Lifestyle ...

    Like most guys, I lead a busy lifestyle and unfortunately that frequently means meals that aren't the most healthy. After all, it's easy to grab a burrito from the freezer and stick it in the microwave for a few minutes and call it lunch. In the past, I haven't been a fan of frozen meals but I decided to try the new LEAN CUISINE® Marketplace meals. These new offerings come in three categories that are much more upscale and designed for today's lifestyle: "Made With Organic Ingredients", "High Protein", and "Gluten Free". The days of being limited to salsbury steak and enchiladas are gone. Instead I found more appetising offerings including: Vermont White Cheddar Mac & Cheese, Sweet Sriracha Braised Beef, and... ok I lied - you can still have Spicy Beef & Bean Enchiladas!

  • I Completed the World Burger Tour At Hard Rock Cafe!

    Ok, so I had some help but I think this is an AWESOME idea and it was super fun to try out. Essentially, each Hard Rock Cafe is participating in a celebration of different styles of hamburgers that are inspired by different awesome cities around the world. Different locations will have different selections from their list of 16 different burgers. Each of those burgers is inspired by a different city that hosts a Hard Rock Cafe location. 

    Our collection included the Date Burger - Dubai, Java Lava Burger - Seattle, Schnitzel Burger - Cologne, and my favorite the Banh Mi Burger from Ho Chi Minh City.

    Are you ready? 

  • A Sweet Rewarding Treat on a Summer Afternoon ...

    This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Weight Watchers® Ice Cream for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

    Ok guys, I know usually talk of watching what you eat is typically the domain of women, but I am a fan of doing what you can without making sacrifices. I don't like sugar-free soda and I can't stand a lot of "healthy" meal choices because it feels like I am punishing myself with every bite. While that might work well for a few days or weeks, it isn't a sustainable solution to stay healthy.

    For many years, Weight Watchers® has been a great source of inspiration for people looking to make healthy choices and I have a HUGE amount of respect for the organization because they recognize its about more than just "eliminate all the fat!". Instead, they have a focus on living a more healthy life through smart decisions including portion control. That's the same attitude that they have brought to their ice cream bars as well and I was honestly very impressed by what I sampled recently.

  • Five Grilling Tips To Make You King of the Grill This Year

    It's almost summer and that means it's time to break out the grill again and hopefully shine as the dinner time hero you know you are. However, even the best grill masters out there didn't get that way without some practice, common sense, and advice passed down to them from their elders.

    Smart & Final! is one of my favorite places to shop, especially when it comes to entertaining. It's the perfect place to start if you are planning a family BBQ this year but even when planning a nice romantic dinner for that special someone, it's a great place to shop. The thing I love about Smart & Final! is that they they have some great private label brands and since they carry warehouse sized items at great prices. 

  • Let's Get Cooking! New Kettleman Grill from Char-Broil

    This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Char-Broil for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

    It's been a long time since I've used charcoal... a few years ago I abandoned the delicious smoky flavor for the easy to use, quick to clean up and more precise gas grill (which BTW just happened to be a Char-Broil). However, I was thrilled to discover that the engineers at Char-Broil have been working hard to bring some innovative designs to the world of charcoal grills. Their new Kettleman frankly kicks butt and you could even say that #KettlemanKicksAsh. It is absolutely light years beyond what I had experienced in the past with a similar "kettle grill".

    While I'm never going to solve the convenience factor of being able to turn gas on or off, what I found with this Char-Broil Kettleman Grill grill was that it addressed all of my other concerns.

  • An Easy Twist on a Classic Weakness: The "Bachelor Burger"

    Spring is a time of new beginnings, of new relationships and one of the peak wedding seasons. Let's take a step back in time though... before wives and girlfriends, before kids, to a time when all that mattered was a quick and easy dinner with minimal cleanup that tasted awesome and could be made for just one person. When meals consisted of frozen entrees and freezer fries?

    Do you remember those bachelor days now? 

  • Quick and Easy Beef Curry Recipe

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    One of the great things about traveling is trying different foods and seeing how those foods morph and adapt as they are embraced by one culture and then another. I can't think of any dish that has been adapted in so many ways than a simple curry, which likely originated from southern India but is now the national dish of England, with variations found in Thai, West African, Caribbean, and American cuisine today. It is even popular as a type of sausage street food in Germany, known as currywurst. 

    Today though, I am going to share my own interpretation that is super quick and easy to prepare and while it tastes delicious on day one - it's even better the next day, so make a big batch and be prepared for easy to re-heat leftovers!

  • Ultimate Grilled Cheese Recipe: Corned Beef and Havarti on Fresh Baked Bread!

    It's national grilled cheese month and I still have some corned beef brisket left in the fridge since St Patrick's Day and I was looking for something special to make with them that was different than the corned beef and cabbage I've already had a few times. Instead, I decided to make an ULTIMATE grilled corned beef and havarti grilled cheese sandwich. 

  • When I'm Hungry Bars Recipe - Because God Knows I Need it Sometimes!

    I get hungry like everyone sometimes and honestly I'm not myself when that happens. You Probably get the same way but that's when I like to grab a Snickers. Yeah, I know that sounds like a cheesy intro to another sponsored post, but it's the truth. Traveling can be tough with changes in time zones, unfamiliar locations, and lets face it you aren't at home with easy access to your fridge and microwave either for a quick snack. However, one thing I love about Snickers is that it has the perfect balance of sugar sweetness, chocolatey deliciousness, and protein from the peanuts (or almonds). It's really a great snack to stick in my backpack for those moments when you need something to pick you up a bit.

  • Celebrating Ireland's Heritage with Irish Whiskey Bread and Fish Stew Recipe

    March has begun and that means that it is unofficially Irish Heritage month - even if that's mostly celebrated by St Patrick's Day traditions such as green beer and leprechauns as well as more palatable ones such as a corned beef and cabbage dinner.  Variations on the classic corned beef and cabbage recipes have been what I've eaten for St. Patrick's Day for the past 30+ years, so it's time to try something new and explore Irish culture a bit while doing so.

  • Greystone Steakhouse - Delicious Steaks, Sides, and Desserts

    I've finally found it! I knew that San Diego had to have a restaurant that was equally good at ambiance as it is in service, preparation, and presentation. Earlier this month Heather and I were invited to have dinner and check out Greystone Steakhouse - one of the older restaurants here in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter.

    Greystone Steakhouse just recently celebrated 15 years of operation here and after the amazing dinner we enjoyed, I can see why it's been able to survive so long and I am sure they will continue to have great success for many more years to come!

  • Sapporo Chili Recipe

    Who said you can't combine two of the top choices for companions while watching football - Beer and Chili? Not the folks over at Sapporo who sent in this great recipe for us to share with you guys!

  • Tom's OREO Cookie Balls Football Recipe for the Big Game!

    It's time for "The Big Game" and that means more awesome treat ideas to make your football party awesome! 

    No big sporting event is complete without controversy and boy oh boy have we had that over the past week with some guys in New England. Unfortunately, it shows no sign of ending between now and the time you are going to be holding your "super" awesome football party next week. So let's capitalize on it by making a treat that will make your guests laugh, giggle, and maybe even start a spirited discussion or two! With that said, here is our recipe for Tom's "Deflated" OREO cookie Footballs.

  • M&M's® Red Velvet Raspberry Cookie Cake Surprise Recipe

    It's Valentine's season again and every year it seems that it gets longer and more complicated, so I've created a unique recipe that is SUPER easy to create but will make you look like a rockstar when giving it to someone you love! The basic concept is that love should be sweet, fun, surprising, and maybe even a little bit sticky.

    That sounds just like the classic red velvet cake and so when I learned that Walmart had the exclusive on the new Red Velvet M&M's® and they were looking for fun recipes I got pretty excited!

  • Introducing the New Carl's Jr. All-Natural Burger

    The fast food industry is always searching for something new and while many are going in the direction of bigger and more ridiculous, Carl's Jr. is going the other direction with their satisfyingly sized new All-Natural Burger, which is available as a single or double. What sets this aside is that it is the first all-natural, no added hormones, no antibiotics, no steroids, grass-fed, free-range beef patty from a major fast food company. 

    We tried it recently and it tastes great... and now we are giving four of you a chance to win one!

    Read on for more of our Carl's Jr. All-Natural Burger Review...

  • Denver vs Dallas Ultimate Chili Recipe Face Off! #GameTimeGrub

    Sweets are only a part of the equation when it comes to entertaining during football season - the next essential ingredient is some hearty food that inspires your guests inner rivalries and After considering different foods across this country, "chili" was the one that stood out since no matter where you go - Texas, Cincinnati, Denver, Kansas City, Detroit, etc. Each city has it's own different interpretation of chili that they passionately hold to and will defend, just like they do their favorite football team!

    So I was pretty excited when I was selected to prepare two of my favorite chili recipes as part of a homegating recipe with Alexia Fries and Onion Rings.

  • It's Time for a Sugar Rush with SNICKERS and Life-Savers #BigGameTreats

    It's that time of year again - College Football is almost over and the pro's are getting ready for "The Big Game" so those of us who love to throw parties to go along with sporting events like this know that it's time for us to start practicing as well! Are you ready to go shopping with me and put together some recipes featuring SNICKERS®, Life-Savers®, and Skittles®? I think you'll like what we came up with!

  • A Celebration of Great Food at Viva Bar + Kitchen San Diego

    Sometimes in life you discover great new things completely by accident. That's how we found Viva Bar + Kitchen actually... we had gone to have dinner at a different place that sadly we left feeling we needed to go somewhere else to eliminate the "bad feeling" left in our belly. When we walked by Viva, the super friendly hostess on the sidewalk told us it was "taco tuesday" and so we figured, "what the heck" and walked in to check it out.

    That taco and that experience was good enough that before the end of our snack that we had already booked our New Year's Eve dinner here the next day.

  • I May Have Found World's Best Bacon Cheeseburger at Hodad's Ocean Beach San Diego

    Since 1969, when Byron and Virginia Hardin opened their first location in Ocean Beach, Hodad's has been a legendary burger joint in San Diego. With an atmosphere that borders on kitschy tourist trap but somehow manages to stay authentic, this is a must-visit location for anyone visiting the city. However, what makes it even more awesome is that it is more than just a "cool place" to grab a bite, it is serving up some of the most amazing burgers in the whole world. 

    For those of you who have never been to Ocean Beach, it is a beach town located just north of the city and is full of hippies / surfer culture, so it is also great for people watching.

  • Making Spirits Bright with 7UP Cocktails for the Holidays

    This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dr Pepper Snapple Group. All opinions are 100% mine.

    7UP is a great mixer that should be on your holiday shopping list right there next to lights and mistletoe and so I was excited when I was invited to join this campaign to share with you some of my favorite cocktail recipes using it.

  • Top 10 Things To Do with Time Saved by Ordering your Thanksgiving Feast from Buca di Beppo

    This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Buca di Beppo®. All opinions are 100% mine.

    header image

    Thanksgiving is fun, you get to spend time with family, drink and eat a bit too much, watch football, boast about your accomplishments of the past year and then do dishes, struggle with what to do with leftovers, juggle too many dishes and not enough space... Wait? What? That's not fun but it tradition and if you are brave enough to try something new there's a great option this year from the folks over at Buca di Beppo - one of my favorite restaurants. 

  • Guys Night Out Idea - More than "Popcorn and a Movie Night"

    This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

    Poker night or a guys night out at the bar drinking and smoking... those are usually the only two options that I hear but I have an alternative idea that was suggested to us to combine some hot Warner Brothers Movies that are currently available at Walmart on a special promo pallet for only $5 DVD ($7.88 BRD), along with M&M's® and Orville Redenbacher's popcorn. Let's do a Guys "Movie Night Out" and part of the fun is creating the snacks to accompany the movie we selected - The Dark Night.

  • A Taste of Freedom! Hard Rock Cafe San Diego Freedom Burger

    I love big over the top burgers, rock and roll, craft beer, and honoring those who serve to keep our country the best in the entire world! When a place manages to combine all of those into one tasty (if not extremely messy!) package I love to share the news of it with you guys.

  • A Visit to Solare Restaurant in San Diego

    A scene from Top Gun was filmed here, their bartender loves to create artisanal tequila cocktails and to top it off, San Diego Magazine's readers just named their chef, Accursio Lota, as "Best Chef" in San Diego - so who was I to say no when they approached us recently and invited us to stop by for dinner!

    Honestly, I am not typically a fan of Italian because I usually associate it with kitschy bottles chianti, heavy but tasteless spaghetti sauce covered pasta and pictures of the pope or mobsters on the walls. Over the past couple years though I am starting to warm up to it. What I discovered at San Diego's Solare Ristorante was a delightful interpretation of classic Italian but merged with the essence of the Southern California farm-to-table movement.

  • Five Reasons to visit Carmel California for a Guys Weekend

    If you aren't familiar with Carmel California, I bet you are familiar with it's cousins of Pebble Beach and Monterey. Don't worry though, there's a lot to offer in Carmel itself including a great beach, great food, unparalleled driving experiences in Big Sur, sports, and of course it is one of the most dog friendly cities in America. Oh yeah and many celebrities call Carmel home so don't be surprised if you see them walking around town including Brad Pitt and former mayor of Carmel, Clint Eastwood. 

  • Our Favorite Bourbon Recipes

    I love to drink bourbon, the sweet brown spirit that tastes so good in a rocks glass or mixed together with other ingredients to form a delicious old fashioned, a whiskey sour, or a mint julep. But bourbon also works great with cooking and baking too and luckily I am not alone in my love for exploring the application of bourbon with preparing food, so I did a quick roundup of some of my favorite recipes that include bourbon in them!

    Whiskey Marshmallow and Caramel Bacon Bark from Endless Simmer

    The first is my all time favorite recipe featuring bourbon! It is a recipe forWhiskey, Caramel, Marshmallow, and Bacon Bark from Endless Simmer.

    I actually discovered this on Pinterest and have made it several times since then. Unfortunately I am not as clever of a cook as they are but the nice thing about this recipe is that even if you have some extra crystals in the caramel or you make the chocolate too thick or the bourbon infused marshmallows are too runny... don't worry! It always tastes great! 

    bourbon-wings

     

    While deserts are great, Bourbon is a fantastic ingredient to use when creating the ultimate glaze for pretty much any protein you can imagine. In this case, we LOVE this recipe for Maple-bourbon Glazed Chicken Wings from Yummly.

     

    bourbon-chicken

    As we continue our tour of mixing bourbon and proteins you can't miss the iconicBourbon Chicken with this recipe I found on Yummly.  

    bourbon-glazed-salmon

    This recipe for Bourbon Glazed Salmon that I found on Yummly and hammers home the point that bourbon makes a remarkably find ingredient to put on just about any kind of grilled protein! 

    bourbon-banana-bread

    Let's end this roundup with some delicious Bourbon Banana Bread from Smitten Kitchen.

     NOTE: image credits are from the linked-to website below the image. If you are the owner and would like me to remove the image and link, please let me know and we will remove it immediately.

  • A Food Tour of Ensenada Mexico

    header-image-ensenada-logoThis was my first time visiting the west coast of Mexico so I wasn't really sure what to expect - and frankly all you hear these days about the Pacific coast is about how dangerous it is. While that may be true in spots, during a recent tour of Ensenada Mexico I found it a very fun and unusual, with more to do than a frankly was expecting.

    Unlike the Caribbean cruise ports I am used to, Ensenada is a real town with people that lead real lives and aren't just there to look pretty and offer excursions to rich American tourists. However there is some of that too, though it was more like visiting a regular city vs a sanitized "made for tourists" experience.

  • Cocktail Recipe: Laphroaig Scot’s Cider

    laphroaig-scots-ciderIs the fall chill catching up with you? Why not try this recipe that Laphroaig sent us for a Scot’s Cider.

    Ingredients:

    1. 1 part Laphroaig® 10-Year-Old Scotch Whisky
    2. ½ part DeKuyper® Mixologist Series Ginger Liqueur
    3. 3 parts Hot Apple Cider

    Method:

    Build in a pre-heated coffee mug.

    Garnish with a lemon wedge studded with cloves and a dash of fresh ground cinnamon

  • T-Fal ActiFry - Jerk Wings Recipe!

    header-image-wingsThis is a follow-up to our ActiFry review that we did earlier. 

    This time, we are making Jerk Wings - though you can take this base recipe and add anything you want to season your wings!

  • T-Fal ActiFry - Bacon Fries Recipe!

    header-image-potatosHere is a follow-up to the ActiFry review we did recently.  

    Want to know how we made those awesome fries? Here's the recipe...

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