New Char-Broil Big Easy Cookbook

It’s here! I just wrapped up the late 2017 Life’s A Tomato free cookbook of recipes for the Char-Broil Big Easy. Now with over 270 pages, it’s bigger than ever!

Here’s just a sample of what you’ll find:

Stubb’s Chicken Rub Chicken
Apple Ale Beer Can Chicken
Bacon BBQ Chicken Bombs
Beer-Can Cabbage
Baby potatoes
Daddy’s BBQ Chicken
Hot Dogs

To download the new Char-Broil Big Easy cookbook, just click Our Free eCookbooks in the menu on the right.

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Review: Ray Lampe’s Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue

Do not let the word ‘beginner’ deter you from reading Ray Lampe’s Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue. Whether you’re just contemplating low-and-slow cooking or you’ve been doing it for 30 years or more, this book is so full of great recipes and approaches that you’ll find yourself going back to it again and again. I do. I’m pretty sure that this book shattered my previous record for how many recipes I bookmarked.

The first chapter of Slow Fire concentrates on rubs and sauces. I made my own variation of Lampe’s Basic Rub #67 and it has now become my go-to rib and pork butt rub. You’ll find yourself doing the same thing. I recommend you make the rubs or sauces as Ray intended, then taste and add whatever you want to make them your own. Or you might find yourself making substitutions for something else you prefer. No matter what, the recipes in the book are fantastic starting points (and they are perfect they way they are too!).

The next chapter is all about ribs. Great ribs done tons of different ways. Including a fantastic Asian-inspired rib. Ribs are my favorite meat to smoke, and I’m always on the lookout for new variations. Slow Fire did not disappoint.

Next up, pork. Glorious pork. Butt, shoulder, chops, tenderloin, you name it. My rule when smoking pork: always make extra because it’s always good. Slow Fire has a great mix of recipes for pork.

Beef is next, including a great recipe for homemade pastrami, which is next on my to-do list. I make a cheater pastrami, which starts with an already brined brisket (corned beef). Slow Fire shows you how to make a real pastrami, beginning with a brisket.

The section on cooking poultry is next. It includes a recipe for Buffalo turkey wings, something I hadn’t even considered and will definitely make soon. You’ll find recipes for every part of a chicken (or turkey or game hen or duck) that you can want.

The book wraps up with recipes for miscellaneous dishes, like kielbasa or lamb, and a number of side dishes too, including some of the staples for a good barbecue, such as slaw or potato salad. All of the recipes are well-written, thought out and bulletproof. And good. Very good.

Ray Lampe’s Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue rates high on my ‘Mater Rater. My only complaints are I wish there were more pictures and maybe a few more recipes included, but what there is there is fantastic.


For more of my reviews of cookbooks available for the Amazon Kindle readers, visit Kindle Thyme.

New Chicken Wing Cookbook

Woo hoo! Just in time for the Super Bowl! I just wrapped up the total re-design of the Life’s A Tomato new free eCookbook of chicken wing recipes. It’s packed with over 50 recipes for the Char-Broil Big Easy, grill, smoker, deep fryer or oven! Here’s just a sampling of what you’ll find:

Gold fever wings
Blackened dry wings
Bourbon Street wings
Crispy chipotle wings
Buffalo wings on the Char-Broil Big Easy

To download the new chicken wing cookbook, just click Our Free eCookbooks in the menu on the right.

New Chicken Wing Cookbook

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New Char-Broil Big Easy Cookbook

Woo hoo! It’s here! I just wrapped up the total re-design of the Life’s A Tomato free cookbook of recipes for the Char-Broil Big Easy. With over 200 pages, it’s our biggest cookbook ever.

Here’s just a sample of what you’ll find:

Downtown roasted chicken
Herb roasted mushrooms
Bang Bang cauliflower
Corn in packets
Nashville hot chicken
Crab legs
Baby back ribs

To download the new Char-Broil Big Easy cookbook, just click Our Free eCookbooks in the menu on the right.

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Haute Dogs – Recipes for Delicious Hot Dogs, Buns and Condiments

I was sooooo excited when I received a copy of Russell van Kraayenburg’s cookbook, Haute Dogs, for review*. I’m all about cooking up hot dogs, from the super-simple dog I can throw on at lunch, to a big, fancy dog that amazes all for dinner. It didn’t take me long to realize that this book has them all. And the photos? Oh my! They are just jump-off-the-page-into-your-mouth fantastic.

Haute Dogs - Recipes for Delicious Hot Dogs, Buns and CondimentsThe book starts with the history of the hot dog, and a really great section on cooking methods and rules-to-hot-dog-by.

Next you’ll find the heart (meat?) of the book: recipes for American Classic, Modern American, South and Central American, and European, African and Asian dogs. I found all the recipes to be detailed, easy-to-follow, and they all use ingredients I can actually find at my local grocery store.

There are also sections on making your own buns and batters, actual dogs, and condiments, sauces, and toppings (my favorite section).

I immediately jumped in and made the New York Style hot dog, and simple dog that packs a lot of great flavor thanks to onions that are sauteed in tomato paste. Add in some spicy mustard and kraut, and you have a great dog you can throw together in no time. Anita proclaimed it “absolutely fantastic”. Score!

Haute Dogs - Recipes for Delicious Hot Dogs, Buns and CondimentsI’m looking forward to making more of the recipes from this book, from the dogs to the relishes, to the homemade ketchup.

* The book was free, my review is free, and the thoughts are all mine.

Susan Spicer’s Cookbook – Crescent City Cooking

Someday soon, we’ll go to New Orleans and eat at Bayona, Susan Spicer’s restaurant. She makes the kinds of foods I love – some traditional southern and some fusion. Until we go, though, we’ll enjoy some of the fantastic recipes found in Susan’s new (and first) cookbook, Crescent City Cooking.

Susan Spicer's Cookbook - Crescent City CookingThis cookbook is really fantastic. I’m not sure I’d call it just a cookbook, either. The pictures are works of art, the text and stories engrossing, and recipes… unbelievable.  The book is divided into several sections, ranging from appetizers to mains to cocktails. You’ll find more traditional southern items like spiced Cajun pecans or spicy shrimp with Tasso cream and green chile grit cakes (I just drooled). And you’ll find dishes that incorporate flavors from around the world, such as slow-scrambled eggs with potatoes, mushrooms and bacon or a sweet potato brioche. Just reading the recipe titles alone will make you hungry.

This cookbook is more than page after page of lists of ingredients and cooking steps. It reads well. You’ll truly enjoy Susan’s insights and comments on each dish. I am quite sure we will end up making every single item in this cookbook, all 170 or so of them.

I highly recommend this cookbook. Unlike some that you come across these days, this book is honest, with fantastic food. It is well worth the price.

Susan Spicer's Cookbook - Crescent City CookingPS: Susan will also inscribe the book, upon request, as she did ours.