Of the four styles of BBQ this country boasts, Texas BBQ is the most well-known. The famed pit barbeque creates smoked meats so flavorful that side dishes are secondary: one article in The New Yorker stated, "you don't hear a lot of people talking about the piquancy of a restaurant's sauce or the tastiness of its beans; discussions are what a scholar of the culture might call meat-driven."
When you have a product so good that it stands alone -- and is purchased by the pound, even in restaurants -- the urge to change or alter it in any way seems nonexistent. However, when you take into account the popularity of Tex-Mex, a combination of Mexican and southwest U.S. cuisines, the concept of a delicious food mishmash is too good to pass up.
A memorable backyard barbeque isn't complete without the smell of tangy barbeque sauce on the breeze, but A1 Steak Sauce had the genius idea of bringing it into your living room when they announced three new meat-inspired candle scents.
Just in time for Father's day, the sauce company released three limited edition candles on a special site inspired by the food their sauce improves: "Original Meat," "Backyard BBQ," and the elegantly put "Burger."
As I type these words, we're in the middle of the biggest snow of the season here in Northern Illinois - another 6" having fallen overnight. Prior to the proper winter season, the last thing we finished outside was the construction of a massive new deck here at Rock Father HQ... but we finished in November, no time to enjoy it last season. Now, looking ahead to warmer temperatures for 2018, it's window-shopping season, and the folks at Char-Broil have just launched a new collection that's caught my eye - a new outdoor modular kitchen, available at Lowes. Outdoor kitchens have been a growing trend these past few years, but they've also been cost-prohibitive for a lot of families. Now, Char-Broil has brought the concept into reach for a much wider audience. Available now, the Modular Outdoor Kitchen includes the 5-Burner TRU-Infrared™ Gas Grill, the Outdoor Stove Top, Refrigerator, and more. Check out a preview...
When you think of Step2, chances are you immediately think of play kitchens, outdoor play houses, swing sets and that type of stuff. What many don't realize is that they've also made home & garden products for many years (we have a Step2 mailbox), but that's never really been front and center. That might be on the cusp of changing, though, as Step2 has been working on some pretty innovative new products for the lifestyle space, one of which was recently sent to us for review - the StoneFront Patio Collection Cooler & Storage unit. Being so big into outdoor living, I was really excited to see this become a reality, as it was something hinted at when I last visited The Step2 Company's headquarters in Ohio back when I was working with them as a brand ambassador a couple years back. This is something that adds some real flair and function to any outdoor space.
When the UPS man arrives here at Rock Father HQ each day ("Package Man," as the girls call him), I sometimes receive some... shall we say, "interesting" things. Once in awhile, said items are oddly practical, and pretty on-the-mark for my personal tastes (or lack thereof). One of the latest oddities novelties to arrive is THE GRILL SERGEANT Grilling Apron from Big Mouth Inc. Yes, I have a well-documented Camo appreciation, and I also like G.I. JOE quite a bit. Perhaps it's because I feel like "A Real American Hero" of the grill... or maybe I'm sort of amused by the weird looks that the kids next door give me when I'm wearing it, but I dig this thing.
Memorial Day is coming. Father's Day is looming. With outdoor activities about to ramp-up, families will be hitting the yard and the deck for some gardening and grilling, and for those looking for something a little bit... different, here's a selection of five crazy items that you won't find at the local "Big Box" (sorry Walmart & Target), but you will find over at ThinkGeek...