Cooking With Big Joe

In the world of grills, everything has its own pros and cons. That rings true for the Kamado Joe Big Joe, too. Let’s go over everything that makes Kamado Joe tick.

The Specs

Let’s go over the technical specs before we get into opinions.

  • Weight: 250
  • Dimensions: 50″ wide x 5″ deep4″ high x 31
  • Surface area: 452 square inches (Expandable to 1056 square inches with accessories grates and expansion plates)

The Good

The Kamado Joe Big Joe has quite a bit going for it. First, it’s a ceramic cooker with plenty of room to grill up some big family meals. That’s especially true when you add the grill expansions and the extra grates to it.

However, having ample room to cook isn’t everything. If you’ve ever used a ceramic grill, you know that the lids can be extremely heavy. That’s not a problem with the Big Joe. It has a hinge that makes opening the grill a breeze, and it makes it a lot easier to quickly flip steaks or burgers without struggling with the lid.

The Big Joe also has quite a few accessories available to help you turn it into a multi-purpose cooking instrument. For example, the Joetisserie allows you to make beautiful rotisserie chickens and other meats in the grill.

Finally, I’m impressed by how easy it is to clean the Big Joe. There’s no need to endlessly scoop a bunch of ashes out of the bottom and transport them around. A tray sits conveniently on the bottom of the grill, and you can easily lift the ashes out for a quick cleaning process. If you’ve worked with traditional grills, you’ll appreciate the ash trap.

The Ugly

While the Big Joe is a great grill, I have a couple of complaints that I think you should take into account before investing in it.

First, the rim of the grill has a gasket that keeps it sealed when it’s closed. This helps it retain heat, but the gasket breaks pretty quickly, and while it doesn’t cost much to replace it, those small investments add up over time. You can expect to replace the gasket at least once a year.

Also, the vent on top of the grill is prone to clogging. It’s not a bad vent. It does keep rainwater from pouring into the grill, and it allows for a good amount of airflow. However, it’s a pain to take care of it.

After a few cookouts, the vent tends to get caked in black gum, and it requires a lot of heat to properly clean it out. This is a shame since the grill itself is easy to clean. Constantly having to clean the vent takes away from the convenience that the ash trap provides.

Should You Buy It?

In short, this is a grill for people who cook a lot at one time. If you find yourself hosting a lot of backyard barbecues or dinner parties, then you’ll absolutely love the amount of room this thing has. It also cooks very evenly due to its design.

However, it’s a bit of a space hog. People who don’t have a lot of room should definitely go with a smaller option. It also weighs 250 pounds. So, you might want to pick something else if you can’t lug that much weight to your cooking area.

Final Thoughts

The Kamado Joe Big Joe is a solid grill with an impressive amount of cooking surface. It’s not without its flaws, but it’s definitely good enough to impress grill aficionados, and I recommend it to anyone that has the … Read the rest

How To Make The Best Of Your Fruit In A Mexican Fashion

Especially in the winter months, it’s easy to forget how delicious fruit can be. You might just be eating a banana once in a while, slurping down your orange juice and calling it good. It’s time to get out of your winter blahs and discover the joys of mixed fruit salad.

Okay, it does involve some prep time and a stop at the supermarket. However, the benefits make up for any time you have lost in the buying or chopping and peeling processes. The best news of all is that mixing fruits together in a salad such as a mexican fruit cup enables you to gain from the nutritional synergy that comes from combining fresh, unprocessed ingredients.

Variety is the spice of life – and good nutrition. Doctors know it, and that is why they recommend that you eat a wide array of fruits and veggies each day. A fruit salad made up of deliciously different tastes and textures gives your body that disease-fighting, age-defying punch of antioxidants it needs. Because many fruits are juicy, they will also help you to remain hydrated.

On your next trip to your local farmer’s market or grocery store, take some time to investigate the produce section. Most likely, you have gotten into the habit of selecting only a couple different kinds of fruits, and there may be many types you have never tried. Make today the time when you step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Add it to your mexican fruit cup or eat it whole; the choice is up to you.
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Electric Pressure Cooker: 365 Quick & Easy, One Pot, Pressure Cooker Recipes For Easy Meals

Nothing says nourishing comfort like a big pot of beef stew, especially on a cold winter evening or a brisk spring night. Packed with rich flavors that satisfy your taste buds and fill even the hungriest belly, this rich dish has long been the favorite of families from many different cultures. The best part of all is that it lends itself to left-overs, which seem to taste even better the next day.

Today’s busy lifestyle has made minding a simmering pot of soup or stew challenging, but you don’t need to worry on that score either. Beef stew is not only delicious when cooked slowly for hours in a crockpot but is also fabulous when it comes from a pressure cooker. Making Pressure cooker beef stew can happen in a fraction of the time it normally takes, and the results are delicious.

Modern pressure cookers are easy to use, safe and inexpensive. Their locking feature ensures that they are not opened prematurely, which can result in a dangerous gust of extremely hot steam. They can also be set to start and stop at specific times, enabling you to put the ingredients into the pot before leaving home and return to a cooked meal. Many models can perform several different tasks as well, making them versatile all-in-one kitchen appliances.

Beef stew is a dish that is sure to please the whole family. Serve it with a healthy salad and some crusty bread, and we guarantee that people will be going back for seconds.
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What’s A Good Dish To Take To Potluck When You Are Planning A Family Feast

You have been invited to a potluck and are having difficulty figuring out what to contribute. It’s especially hard because it will be a mixed crowd: foodies, traditionalists and even a few picky kids. What you need are some sure-fire potluck winners that will make everyone happy.


Okay, not everyone is in love with spinach artichoke dip, at least in principle. However, make it with enough cheese and serve it hot from the crock pot, and virtually everyone will at least give it a try. Health nuts will appreciate your effort to contribute veggies; comfort food lovers will revel in the smooth deliciousness of the dip. The most finicky people of all will, at the very least, enjoy the crusty bread.


Wings are one of the easiest and most popular potluck offerings, partly because they can be made in so many different ways. If your crowd is into vinegary spiciness, cook up a batch of Buffalo-style wings. On the other hand, you can appease those with a taste for the East with your very own ginger, garlic and soy sauce-marinated version. There’s just something about chicken wings that says “party”, and you can’t go wrong by bringing a batch. Even if someone beat you to the punch, we’re pretty sure that you won’t have many left to take home at the end of the day.


Broccoli is nutritious and works well in numerous hot and cold preparations. Even the kids will probably enjoy it if you bring it in the form of broccoli salad with bacon and cheese, which goes a long way toward masking the “veggie” taste of the broccoli. If the winter winds are whipping around outside, consider serving your salad heated or even as a topping for baked potato wedges or potato skins.


With just a few minutes, a handful of ingredients and a blender, you can make your own tangy, low-calorie salsa. Serve it on pita or corn chips, with bread or even as a topping for rice or quinoa.


When people are walking around mingling at a busy social occasion, finger foods are the way to go. Satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth with a treat that will remind many guests of their own childhoods. It’s a simple matter to mix up the batter for banana or gingerbread, throw it in a loaf pan and transport it to the social event. It’s so delicious on its own that it doesn’t even need butter. For a little extra pizzazz, augment your plain dough with nuts, raisins or cranberries.


What potluck dinner would be complete without chocolate? Brownies are easy to make and are a universal favorite. To lower the guilt level of some of your more health-conscious friends, cut a few into smaller squares. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, bring along some ice-cream as the perfect accompaniment.

Potlucks give everyone at the party a chance to show off their favorite dish or recipe. They also take much of the burden off the host. Bring one of these easy and delicious items, and we guarantee that you will be the hit of your next bash.
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Delicious Paleo Alternatives For Your Favorite Foods And Deserts

Of all of the various food plans followed by people who are practicing “clean eating”, the Paleo diet is probably the most popular. Adherents of this lifestyle reduce or eliminate most gluten, dairy and legumes from their diet, focusing instead on non-processed fresh meats and vegetables. If you’re interested in getting the digestive irritants out of your system as well but don’t want to give up some of the dishes you love, take heart. There are Paleo alternatives to virtually everything – and they’re delicious!


Maybe Paleo discourages you from eating white or whole wheat pasta, but don’t despair. If you haven’t tried spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini noodles, you don’t know what you’re missing. Either can be used instead of traditional types of pastas in virtually any Italian dish. Amp up the protein content with nut-based pesto, and you’ll never look back.


“I would love to go Paleo,” you have probably said to yourself, “but I couldn’t do without the bread.” Once again, the spiralizer can come to the rescue. Apply it to sweet potatoes to make a nutritious sandwich foundation that’s tastier than most rolls and a lot more nutritious.


This might not have the same distinct flavor of those bags of instant noodles that sustained you through college, but it gives you your ramen fix in a completely Paleo-friendly and nutritious way. Instead of using regular processed noodles, make it with Shiritaki noodles that are combined with onions, carrots, Kombu, nori, scallions, mushrooms, pork and chicken. Sure, you can use a store-bought beef or chicken broth in a pinch. However, make your own bone broth for the truly Paleo touch.


If you can’t imagine life without the occasional milkshake, we have a solution that enables you to remain Paleo while continuing to enjoy your passion for creamy, cold goodness. Instead of dairy, combine bananas, coconut water, lime juice, vanilla extract and your favorite fruit in a blender until it reaches your preferred consistency. It truly is guilt-free – and delicious as well.


The Paleo diet lends itself to shepherd’s pie. You can easily forego gluten, dairy and processed foods when you make paleo shepherd’s pie. Just combine fresh or frozen veggies with ground beef, turkey or lamb and top the casserole with either mashed white or sweet potatoes. This is a particularly delicious dish to have during the cold days of winter when you’re craving rich foods that stick to your ribs.

Eliminating processed foods, dairy and glutens from your diet can give you energy and even help you lose weight. Best of all, you don’t need to sacrifice flavor. Enjoy the foods you love with just a few slight modifications, and you may soon find yourself preferring these versions over their less nutritious alternatives.

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The Role Of Nutrition In Recovery From Alcohol And Drug Addiction

We all know or heard of a person that’s addicted to drugs. For that person it always starts with curiosity or friends. It’s not just a glass of wine or a bottle of beer; it’s not just something you smoke occasionally or it’s not just for one day. They usually convince themselves with little lies at first. They’d already have a serious addiction when they realize they have a problem. After that, they have a decision to make. They can continue being a drug addict and damage their brain cells on a regular basis, they can consult a family member and get help, or they can directly go to a drug treatment center that will help them in many ways.
Almost all type of treatment centers have a similar program. There are 3 main steps towards recovery.
1- detox cleanse your body
2-Rehabilitation (Substance Abuse Therapy)
3-Ongoing-Recovery (After-Care)
Drug addiction means uncontrollable desire to drugs and alcohol. It takes a lot of effort to win the fight against it. The first step you take is detoxing.
• Detoxification is a crucial step in a long journey. Your body gets rid of the toxic substances of alcohol and drugs in your system. Most withdrawal syndromes are not pleasant. How hard this process gets, depend on how frequent or how much you used drugs and alcohol. There should definitely be a doctor supervising you while you’re detoxing.
• After the first step, rehab begins. You learn how to recognize the triggers, the high-risk situations and how avoid them. This step usually has group or individual therapies to identify why you became addicted in the first place. What is the underlying reason? They also start giving you the confidence and information you need to stay sober.
• As you go on with your recovery, you are now closer to the end of your program. You will most likely work with your therapist to create a proper plan for you. This plan may consist of support groups, ongoing therapy and sober-living arrangements.
These are the common steps every drug treatment center use. The duration is determined by you. It’s usually 30 days, but it can be 60 or 90, even longer. It depends on your decision.
Based on a research since the 70s, these are some principles of effective treatment:
• Addiction is a complicated disease that affects brain functions
• Effective treatment focuses on all the patient’s needs, not just his/her addiction problem
• Treatment plans must be reviewed and renewed according to the patient’s needs
• Detoxification is only the first step of recovery
Relapsing is also a part of being a recovering drug addict. That’s one of the reasons why they have behavioral therapies. They present strategies to stop the cravings, teach some ways to avoid using drugs, and prevent relapse. If relapse occurs, they are still there to help you.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for addiction, but you learn to manage and even live without any difficulties throughout your life. Drug treatment centers in OC cure your way of thinking; they help you get back on your feet and go on living.… Read the rest