This little blog has brought me so many fun opportunities that would have never come my way without it. I have made countless friends who are either readers or fellow bloggers. It is such a thrill for me when those computer-connections become real-life friendships. Last week I got another of those opportunities in meeting Masterbuilt CEO and cook book author John McLemore.
You might recognize John from his cook book John McLemore’s "Dadgum That’s Good!" or from his ten-year involvement with QVC. He’s usually on with host David Venable discussing Masterbuilt’s line of smokers, grills, and fryers. They are always cooking up some delicious food from the cook books on air. Last week John was in town to promote his new cook book Dadgum That’s Good, Too! and do a little on-air smoking for the Rick & Bubba radio show, and his awesome PR sidekick Alicia arranged for me to do an interview with John.
Alicia didn’t have to sweet talk me at all to do the interview because she knew John and I shared the same philosophy about food, faith, family, and bringing all those together for fun! We met up at a local bakery and had a great chat over lemon squares and Coke Zero. We started by thumbing through the new cook book and discussing the recipes. John is a foodie like me, and we had a ball discussing how to prepare various recipes. John is big on making a recipe your own by using ingredients your family loves. The main idea here is to get the family back together for dinner time.
Y’all, when my copy of a cook book looks like this, you know it’s a good one! There are so many wonderful looking recipes that are really do-able. Nothing fancy here – just good food with real ingredients that are available at almost any grocery store.
Last Saturday, Jonathan fired up his smoker to smoke chickens for dinner, and we took the opportunity to try out The Smokey Pimento Cheese Dip from the “Dadgum, That’s Good, Too!” cook book. Now, I’ve never thought about cooking my dip on the smoker, but the smoke-infused flavor of the cheese was fabulous!
The pimento cheese dip went over so well that we were excited to try the Smoked Shrimp and Grits Sunday after church. The recipe is basically cheese grits, for which I used cream cheese and smoked gouda, and shrimp smoked with onions, peppers, butter, and creole seasoning. I was out of peppers, but y’all – the smokiness of the shrimp was unbelievable. It is definitely one of my favorite new dishes that we’ve tried a long time.
Doesn’t that look scrumptious? The dish was fabulous, and we’ll definitely be making this part of our regular rotation. It was easy enough that we did it on Sunday after we got home from church and we were able to eat on time. Yay for recipes that don’t take a whole afternoon to make.
John and his team were gracious enough to send me an extra copy of Dadgum That’s Good, Too! to give away to my readers. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Leave a comment and tell me your favorite grilled, smoked, or fried recipe. You don’t have to leave the recipe itself, just what it is. (Although if it’s THAT good, feel free to email it to me.)
2. Follow @TheHillHangout on Twitter and leave me a separate comment telling me you’re following. If you already follow us on Twitter, leave a comment telling me so. (Find my twitter link on the right sidebar.)
3. Like our Facebook page. Leave me a separate comment telling me you’ve liked us (even if you already follow us on Facebook). You can find the link to our Facebook page on the right sidebar.
You have a maximum of three entries (one for post comment, one for Twitter, one for Facebook). Please don’t lump all your entries into one comment or it will only count once. Also, I’m going to limit winners to only one prize per calendar year so that more people can win. Finally, I can only ship to the continental US only. Contest ends Friday at noon central, so get your entries in!