I love fried rice. Stir fried with soy sauce or salt and mixed with some vegetables, the bland starch is transformed into a tasty dish.

So what could be better than eating fried rice on it’s own? How about actually frying it?

These make a really tasty appetizer and I think I might actually like them better than the fried mac and cheese balls I made recently.

BBQ Crawl

This past weekend, FH and I met up with a bunch of San Diego food bloggers to participate in a BBQ crawl.  Our group consisted of Carol of CAB Cooks (who organized the event. Thanks again Carol!), CC from Pink Candles of Ridgemont High, Dennis from A Radiused Corner, Mary (and Jake) from Foodies: A SoCal Food Blog, Marie (and Dan) from Meandering Eats, and Leanne (and Travis) from Three Dog Kitchen.

Since I’ve been regularly conversing with these bloggers but haven’t met most of them, it was great to finally meet so many people at once, and spend a Saturday afternoon doing what we all love to do: eat!

I know nothing about real BBQ, making this crawl a great learning experience for me as well.

Our first stop was Coop’s West Texas BBQ.

2625 Lemon Grove Ave
Lemon Grove, CA 91945
(619) 589-0478
Coop's West Texas BBQ on Urbanspoon

Coop’s is located in Lemon Grove. I have to confess, in all my years living in San Diego, this was my first trip to Lemon Grove. On our way in, we saw the giant lemon, but I forgot to take a picture. You can see a picture on CC’s post.

One criteria for the bbq crawl was that the meat had to be smoked. Coop’s is a small location, but it was easy to spot when we saw this smoker outside. The owner, Coop, was really friendly. He helped put a few tables together so that our whole group could sit down and eat. Despite the fact that we took up most of his dining space and were only sampling a few items, he didn’t seem to mind.

It was decided that we should try the ribs and brisket at each place. We ordered two slabs of ribs and one pound of brisket.

I was surprised to see how much meat was in two slabs of ribs. Everyone had at least one, some seconds and thirds, and we still had leftovers. Included with the ribs were the rib tips.

The bbq here is served without sauce, though there is sauce on the table for your dipping pleasure. I loved that we got to experience the meat as is because it showed how well the meat was cooked. Coop’s advertises that it smokes its meat, and it really showed. The smoked flavor had seeped through all the way down to the bone. Having never really experienced Texas bbq before, I didn’t have much to compare it to, but I knew I was tasting something delicious.

The brisket was very tender, and the cuts were thick, which I enjoyed. Unfortunately, one pound ended up being about one piece per person. I think everyone wished for more.

Recently, I was contacted by a representative from Clearly Fresh Bags, who offered to provide me with a sample of their bags.

The bags are designed to keep fruits and vegetables fresh for a longer period of time, up to 50% longer according to the company.

A few days later, I received one pack, which consists of ten bags. The bags are 12 inches by 14 inches, making them large enough to fit most items.

Each bag contains a breatheway membrane which I’ve also seen used on the large packages of broccoli at Costco.

The first thing I did was put a bunch of very ripe strawberries inside the bag. The strawberries were the last of the season at the Carlsbad strawberry fields. If you’ve ever been there, you know there strawberries are very sweet, but also very ripe and usually have to be eaten within a day or two at the most. I didn’t have a test sample that wasn’t in the bag because I didn’t want any strawberries to rot.