Tag: Holidays

Cousin Eddie

Top 10 Things to do Over the Holidays!

We asked and you answered! During our Yeti Hopper Giveaway in the month of December we asked you about your favorite things to do over the holidays. We were moved by your responses and we wanted to share them with the world! So, if you are wondering what to do this holiday season, whether you are looking to use some time or start some traditions of your own please consider these Top 10 Things to Do:

  1. Watch classic movies with family and friends. Some of my favorite holiday movies include Christmas Vacation, The Santa Claus, A Christmas Story, and who can forget everyone’s favorite Christmas classic Die Hard (It’s a Christmas movie!)Drink Egg Nog
  2. Catch-up with friends and family over drinks. Some of the most popular holiday drinks are the ones you can only drink this time of year like Egg Nog, Hot Cocoa, and for those looking to survive the office Christmas party there is the effective cinnamon spicy Fireball.
  3. Shop at Local Stores! This is one of my favorites. All of my Christmas shopping this year has been completed at local stores and the only thing that exceeds my expectation of the products and deals is the level of customer service you get at local stores and restaurants. Shop Local, shop often!
  4. Drive around and look at Christmas lights! You can cruise in the various neighborhoods, the downtown squares, or if you want to take a more tactical approach you can follow some handles on Instagram to get an idea of where the best lighting spectacles are in your town. In any case, it is cheap and beautiful to watch the lights!
  5. Give presents to Family and Friends. The saying is correct, “It is much better to Give than to Receive”. I am not why it works like that, but there is a certain amount of joy i feel when giving someone a gift, whether it is something I have made, something I have purchased or even if it is just a Christmas card with warming sentiment.
  6. Eat good food with Family and Friends! This is my favorite thing to do any time of the year, but especially during the holiday season. I especially like cooking on my Kamado Joe Classic II and trying new recipes, sweet or savory. If you use the best tools to cook your food, you will get the best results and nothing beats a Kamado Joe Grill!
  7. Enjoy the Time Off! Relax, Watch football bowl games, catch-up with friends and family or just catch some ZZzz on the couch. In any case whether you have a few hours off work, or a few days, take the time to do what you want and enjoy life!
  8. Christmas LightsSleep-in or Wake-up late! This is something most people with children strive to do almost every weekend, but while you are around grandparents, aunts and uncles, let them spend time with your kids. It is the giving time of year after all.
  9. Watch a movie at the Theater! This is one of my personal favorites because it is the one time of the year when everything slows down just long enough for me to escape into the world of George Lucas or Steven Spielberg and soak in all the theater has to offer. Just remember to be friendly and kind to the people at the theater, they are spending time away from their family and friends to make sure you are having a happy holiday at the theater!
  10. Go “Back to the Future” , crack open those old photo albums and look at photos from prior years and prior Christmases. You will laugh, you will cry, you will wonder why you ever wore those pajamas, shirts and hats!

Regardless of what you do this holiday season, the people at Second Elm hope you have a wonderful holiday full of all of the things you look forward to. There is enough joy for everyone and you have brought joy to us this year! Merry Christmas!

cheesecake

How to Make a Cheesecake from Scratch, and bake it on the grill!

Not everything you cook on the grill needs to be savory, it can also be sweet! One of the sweet things I have always loved to make has been cheesecake, mainly because it is easy to make and it tastes great! Because the two most valuable pieces of real estate during the holidays are refrigerator space and oven space, I decided I would try something different and bake my family cheesecake on the Kamado Joe Classic II charcoal grill. It is a little bit of a spoiler alert, but the experience was awesome, better than baking it in the oven in the house!

I made a video of the experience to show you how easy it is to make! I certainly hope you enjoy my family cheesecake recipe! So much fun and it smells soooo good!

Ingredients:

-1 box of graham crackers
-1 stick of butter
-1 1/4 cups of sugar
-3 blocks of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
-3 large eggs
-1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
-8oz of sour cream

You will want to use a heat deflector for this recipe!

Pre-heat the grill to 325 degrees and start putting together your cheesecake by making the crust. To make the crust you will need to melt 1 stick of butter and combine it with the graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup of sugar. Make sure to stir the butter and sugar into every bit of the graham cracker crumbs to ensure structural integrity of your crust! Once the crust is mixed, place it in a spring-form pan and using a fork or a spoon, spread the crust along the sides and bottom of the spring-form pan. I would highly recommend using a spray oil on the spring-form pan prior to placing the crust into it because it will ensure the crust sticks to the side of the pan. Once the crust is prepared and covering the pan, place it on the grill for 10 minutes to bake.

While the crust is baking you can go ahead and make your cheesecake batter. This is easy and fun! combine the 3 blocks of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, the 3 large eggs, 1 cup of sugar, and the tablespoon of vanilla extract into the mixer and mix it until it reaches a batter consistency. Then fold in the 8oz of sour cream using a spatula. The sour cream will give the cheesecake body.

Pull the crust off the grill, pour your cheesecake batter into the crust, then place the cheesecake onto the grill at 325 degrees for 60 minutes. This is going to have the best smell, just be prepared to fend off the nosy neighbors who are poking their heads over the fence to see what you are cooking! After 60 minutes on the grill, your cheesecake should be done baking. Pull it off the grill and let it cool on the stove for about 30 minutes before placing it into the refrigerator. You want to let the cheesecake settle in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours prior to eating so it can settle.

Once the cheesecake has settled it is ready to eat. If you want to add toppings this is the time to do it! Go as sweet or fruity as you want, just remember once you starting eating this cheesecake it is going to be hard to stop! Check out our food page for more great recipes!

Turkey

Smoking a Turkey is easy, try it during this season of Thanksgiving


Smoking a Turkey is fun, easy, and the results taste awesome!

Turkey is pretty lean meat so to prevent it from drying out, and to ensure it has awesome flavor, I use a brining solution. Brining is a solution of water and salt, and the process of brining is where you soak a turkey, or any kind of meat, in a brining solution to develop flavor and ensure moisture in the meat you are cooking. The brining process, which i recommend doing for at least 24 hours, will ensure your meat is seasoned and moist from the inside out.

The tricky part about brining a turkey is finding enough space in your refrigerator to place the turkey and brining solution. Since refrigerator space around the holidays comes at a premium, even if you have an auxillary refrigerator in your garage, the solution I have found is to leverage a 5 gallon drink cooler, the ones used to hold Gatorade or Water, to conduct your brining process. The insulation of the cooler will ensure the integrity of your solution and meat are in-tact and that the meat doesn’t fall into the “temperature danger zone”. Your relatives, spouse, and/or significant other will thank you for bringing awesome food without cluttering up the refrigerator!

If this is the first time you are smoking a turkey and you are worried about drying out your meat, you can think of the brining process as your own personal insurance policy to ensure your meat tastes good, seasoned well, and moist through and through!

Second Elm Brining Solution:

  • Kosher Salt
  • Bay Leaves
  • Cumin
  • Thyme
  • Sugar
  • Lemons
  • Water

After soaking in the brining solution for 24 hours the turkey is nearly ready to begin cooking. Pull the turkey out of the brining solution, rinse it off and place it onto a rack or stand to prep it for the grill.

Pre-heat the grill to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, and place some wood chunks around the perimeter of the charcoal bed to add smoke to the turkey while it is cooking. I cook all of my meat on the Kamado Joe Classic II because it maintains heat, it is easy to clean and having the right tool makes any job easier! Just make sure when you are using heat deflector plates when smoking a turkey. The deflector plates will ensure your meat is cooked perfectly while indirectly applying the heat to the meat.

The turkey should be ready to go on the grill, if you want to brush it with some olive oil for additional flavor please feel free, but I would not recommend stuffing your turkey. Once the turkey is on the grill you will want to stick an oven safe meat thermometer into the turkey so you can monitor the internal temperature of the meat, I personally use a radio frequency thermometer that allows me to monitor the temperature of the meat without even opening the grill! You are going to need to smoke the turkey on the grill at a constant temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-12 hours, so turn on the football game, grab a drink and prepare yourself for the best tasting turkey you have ever had!

When you pull the turkey off the grill make sure it has an internal temperature of 185 degrees Fahrenheit, and start cutting it for your family and friends you will quickly receive the self-proclaimed title of Grill Master! You don’t need to tell anyone that it was one of the easiest things you have ever cooked, it’s our secret!

If you are looking for more great recipes to cook on the grill, take a look at this one for Chili!

Yeti Coolers

Shop Local and Get the Best Christmas Gifts of the Season in Downtown Rogers

For as long as I can remember I have been able to recall the traffic, mobs of people, coupons and newspaper ads symbolizing the beginning of the holiday shopping season. These elements still exist in some circles but the environment is changing, in some cases faster than retailers can adapt. I guess the real question to ask yourself this holiday season is “What are you looking for this year, a great shopping experience or the hustle and bustle synonymous with the retail experience that can be found at your local Walmart?”

Don’t get me wrong, Walmart is a huge company and it has the potential to be a great company, but consumers are looking for convenience, personality, service, and price. As much as the 21st Century consumer is accustomed to doing things on their own they are also interested in a satisfying shopping experience at an affordable price. There are tremendous innovations that are occurring to deliver product to the home, systematically stock inventory using robots, and if you have been into your local Walmart recently you may have noticed the number of registers dedicated to self-checkout and scan-and-go have increased where the number of manned registers has significantly decreased. Consider this when you are shopping this holiday season, then consider the service, personality, and quality of the products that can be purchased at the boutiques in historic downtown Rogers, or downtown Bentonville.

Kamado Joe

Local Shops offer an experience that cannot be matched by Walmart, Amazon, and most other national chains. Shops like The Dotted Pig, The Honeycomb Kitchen Shop, Second Elm, and The Urban Tub are among the best boutiques in downtown Rogers that offer fantastic shopping experience, and great products, plus they are within walking distance of the best restaurants in Northwest Arkansas such as Parkside Public “A Burger Company”, The Rail “A Pizza Company”, Levi’s Gastrolounge, Brick Street Brews, and the Ozark Beer Company.

 

There are so many great options it is difficult to name them all! Go into one of these stores or one of these restaurants and I guarantee you will find the high-quality products you are looking for, at a price you can afford and your transaction will be processed by a real person!

At Second Elm we have the latest products and fashion from Yeti Coolers, Fayettechill Apparel, Kavu, ENO, Maui Jim and for the backyard chefs we have Kamado Joe grills and accessories. During the holiday season we will be grilling and smoking some meat and sporting the best outdoor apparel. We have the perfect gift items with the Fayettechill Jackson Vest, and the new Yeti “Brick Red” Ramblers and the Yeti Load-out Bucket! It is all in your backyard in Downtown Rogers!

Today there are so many options to choose from when deciding how and where to spend your time and money shopping for the people who are important in your life. Consider shopping local and look forward to a great experience for this holiday season!