Ya know, it just doesn’t have to be fancy to be good. I’m a big time tater tot addict. I have been since I was a kid and I remain so to this day. Back then all I needed was butter on my tots. Yep, butter. Now, I want a little more flavor, but without going crazy. So I just grab some seasoning mix out of the pantry, do a little sprinkle or two (or three) and it’s time for more grown-up tater tots. Some day I will tackle making my own tater tots from scratch. They’re really not that difficult to make, from what I can tell. Why have I waited so long to try it? Well, I have to say, I’ve been having frozen tots for many, many years, and I sure would hate to mess with tradition. There’s a lot of memories in those bags of potatoes.
I’m a big fan of making beer can chicken on my Char-Broil Big Easy. Weber has a beer-can seasoning that hits the spot with the perfect combination of spices. Nothing could be easier. I will warn you, though, the crispy skin comes out absolutely delicious. The advantage of being the person cooking the chicken is that you get first dibs on it and the rest of the chicken.
The seasoning is so good you can leave out the beer can. The Big Easy cooks up chicken so moist and tender you won’t notice it’s not there, and the Weber seasoning packs such great flavor you’ll be as happy as if you did use the beer. If you do decide to also add a beer can don’t use a strongly-flavored beer or it might drown out the great seasonings. And of course, you’re not required to use beer in a beer-can chicken. Many sodas and even wine work just as well.
I’m nuts about these seasoned nuts from The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg. It all started last Father’s Day when I ordered a small gift pack for my dad. When he wasn’t looking I grabbed a few nuts and immediately realized that I needed my own gift pack. But not a small one. I ordered a whole bunch of them because I knew they’d be great. I wanted to try a lot of the flavors. And I did.
But before we get to the varieties, let me tell ya – these nuts are quality. Big nuts. Cooked perfectly. Packed into tins with lots of spices. No skimping here.
Here are the flavors I got to enjoy:
Salt and Vinegar – A perfect combination of salt and vinegar. Definitely not overpowering, and definitely addicting.
Savory Dill Pickle – Totally beyond my expectations, I loved these dill-y nuts big time. I really like spicy flavors, but the dill flavor on these nuts was perfect, making a believer out of me. Great nuts!
Crab Town – A great spicy kick of Chesapeake Bay seasoning. Salty, delicious. Impossible to stop eating.
Hot Southern Jalapeno – My favorite! Great kick, great flavor. Absolutely addicting nuts. One thing I really like? You can taste the jalapeno pepper flavor. No, not just heat, but the actual great pepper flavor. Great nuts.
New Orleans Creole Style – One of my favorites. Packed with Creole seasoning and bit of a kick. Perfect.
Hot Habanero Chile Pepper – Fantastic heat. The kind that makes you say “oh that’s hot!” but you just can’t stop eating them. I didn’t get a fruity habanero flavor, but I definitely got the kick. Give me more!
Sea Salt and Pepper – Incredible. My favorite nut if I’m entertaining and worried that someone might be offended by the spicier flavors. Salty, with a hint of pepper. Perfect.
Chesapeake Bay Snack Mix – A you-can’t-stop-eating-it mix of jumbo peanuts, roasted sunflower seeds, honey roasted nuts, peanut butter pretzel pieces and other great things all lightly seasoned in Chesapeake Bay spices. Highly addicting, highly crunchy.
Hot Wasabi – Hot. Wasabi. No lie. Very hot and definitely loaded with wasabi flavor. Not for the faint of heart.
I give the nuts from The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg the highest score possible on the ‘Mater Rater.
I anxiously awaited receiving these pit-smoked sunflower seeds from Inhale BBQ. They arrived soon after I ordered them, which is good because I so wanted to try them. I picked a handful of flavors (they have more, and seem to add more often, so don’t hesitate to check out their website for all their flavors!) and started digging in.
The seeds come in quality, thick resealable baggies. No wimpy bags that you’re going to tear or never get closed again. The ingredients are straightforward. Heck, I can pronounce every one of them! The seeds are big. Again, quality. And the seasonings are great. Great snacks for any time of the day. Some are spicy, some are savory, some are sweet, so there’s a flavor (or two or three or more) for everyone. All of the seeds have a great light smoky flavor.
Here are the 7 flavors I tried. In my next order I’m going to add the coffee-flavored and ghost pepper-flavored seeds. Those both sound fantastic too!
Pickled – Lots of great dill flavors on these seeds. Not in-your-face dilly, though. You can still taste the smoke on the seeds.
Black Pepper – Perfectly lightly seasoned with black ground pepper. A delight to eat.
Chile Limon – A nice hint of lime with a little heat. I thought I wouldn’t like these flavors, but turns out this is one of my favorites.
Garlic – Light garlic flavor that isn’t overwhelming, but still there. Very pleasant tasting.
Spicy BBQ – Nice and spicy! Great kick. Perfect.
Original – These are really terrific. Not spicy, just great mellow flavor and you get that great smoked seed taste. I could eat these all day long. You can serve these at a party and know that everyone, no matter what their tastes, is going to enjoy them.
Sweet Heat – Oh yes! Heat tamed with agave. Not horribly spicy, though. Just enough.