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Super Easy Margarita On The Rocks

With national ‘Margarita Day’ (or Margarita Week, in my household) happening last week, here’s a simple way to say ‘summer, get here fast!’.

No flash in this one…if you aren’t in the mood to get all fancy with your ‘rita, here’s a simple way to make a delicious Margarita on the rocks! The most crucial parts are using a quality, real sugar cane (look for high fructose corn syrup and AVOID) and a quality orange liquor…no need to go Grand Mariner on this, but don’t get the cheap triple sec either.

Enjoy watching below:

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Cigar Review: Gurkha Grand Reserve

One of us loves flavored or infused cigars, the other thinks most are crap, however one thing we can agree on is the fact that Gurkha’s Cognac Infused Grand Reserve is neither crap nor overly flavored. Watch our review on this elegantly packaged celebratory afternoon smoke!

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Scotch Review: Glenfiddich 14 Year Bourbon Barrel

This interesting find is an excellent purchase at around the $50 price point. For those of us who don’t run to Scotch as our ‘go-to’ spirit due to the mustiness of the peat moss, this one starts smooth with some peat edge and then really opens up and gets sweet with the addition of a few drops of water. Watch out review for more!

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Wine Review: Pujanza Norte 2009

Technically, ‘Rioja’ is both a color (red) and region of Spain. We explain in the video below that this wine, when put up against a Sonoma cabernet sauvignon has a more ‘rust’ like appearance. While this “may” be more typical of a rioja, we stated it as a fact of the wine when in reality, that was more ‘drunk speak’ than truth. In fact, this wine is a blend of  60% Tempranillo and 40% Garnacha, Graciano, and Mazuelo. While aged in oak, the Pujanza Norte didn’t have the oak flavor of the cab. At about $100 a bottle, the Pujanza Norte isn’t an everyday drinking wine, but it is a beautiful celebratory wine with big, soft tannins and a long finish. The site Grapes Of Spain has more, including snooty ratings of this wine!

Watch the video and hear more about this wonderful Spanish find, and thanks for sharing the bottle, Dave!

Looking for an amazing wine for under $15, check out this Sofa King Bueno: Chronic Cellars Wine Review!

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The Best Hot Dog On The Planet?

So, there are hot dogs and then there’s the BAM DOG! No, nothing from Emeril Lagasse here…watch the video review on what Steve and his crew have re-created. I mean, sure the hot dog with added twist of chili and cheese or fresh tomato, bright green relish and celery salt to make a traditional Chicago Dog is great, but a Bam Dog breaks the mold.

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Owner Steve from Bam Dog!

Think home made, sustainable local meat with no filler in their ‘dogs’ (more like sausage instead of that old scrap meat ballpark frank you might praise god about) surrounded by a pleathora of tantalizing toppings and homemade bun. THIS is what Bam Dog! is all about.

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sampling of some popular Bam Dogs!

Watch the video for more!

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Home Chef Home Delivery Review

There are some unique differences between Blue Apron and Home Chef. Here are the biggest ones:

  1. Blue Apron is more interesting, utilizing non-traditional methods, meats, spices and overall ideas. Many meals included a curry paste or Indian inspiration. Home Chef appears to be more ‘American’ in style (think meat and potatoes).
  2. Blue Apron ships in much bigger boxes with larger freezer packs, in fact they are about half the size of Home Chef.
  3. Home Chef meals take between 25 and 45 minutes to prepare, from package to plate while Blue Apron averaged 40 minutes to an hour plus to prepare.
  4. Either the food was just tastier or the portions bigger, but Blue Apron’s meals for two regularly fed three persons and there is rarely anything left over when we make meals from Home Chef.

Check out the reveal and start to finish entree cook by watching the video below!

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Mahi Mahi On A Himalayan Salt Block

We love trying different cooking techniques and here we try out the Himalayan Salt Block. Some questions came to mind before we even began:

  • Will it cook properly?
  • How long will the block hold heat?
  • Will the salt from the salt block permeate the entree?
  • Will food stick to the block?

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There were others, but those were the first to come to mind. We paired this Mahi Mahi with a wonderful white wine from Paso Robles:

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Watch the video below to see our dish and rock review!

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South Texas Style Fajitas!

So, you want to make authentic, spicy south Texas style fajitas but don’t know where to begin? Let me throw down some logic!

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First a few important items to note: 1) Flank is much better, albeit more expensive than skirt. If using flank, it will tenderize fairly quickly (24 hours max). If you over marinade, you’ll be left with somewhat mushy meat. If you are using skirt, that’s cool too, however give it two days. 2) Fiesta brand seasoning is the absolute best. Do not accept imitations! 3) Do not follow the instructions on the seasoning pkg. Not that they aren’t good, but simply because I’ve gone through the many years of trial and error and have found that:

  • When you pre-slice your meat prior to marinade, all sides get spice!
  • Beer makes everything better!

Alright, enough writing- let’s get to watching!

Got a suggestion for an upcoming episode? Feel free to write to us at: 2doods4life@gmail.com

Watch our other cooking tips here~

 

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Cigar Review: San Cristobal Quintessence

Another fine cigar from Ashton and the Don Pepin family, the new Quintessence isn’t for the faint of heart! This medium to strong cigar has a beautiful label and rich flavor throughout. Watch our review for more info before you get one (or more) to put in your humidor!

Check out the rest of our Cigar Reviews here!

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Sofa King Bueno: Chronic Cellars Wine Review!

‘WOW’ is one word to describe this amazing, complex and inexpensive Paso Robles blend of five different varietals that make up the interestingly titled Sofa King Bueno red wine from Chronic Cellars.

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Truth be known, my wife and I (Allison and Jave) visited this winery many years ago based on a tip from our friends, the SLO based Cork Dorks: We instantly became members! We found the winery to be an eclectic mix of tasting room and south-of-the-border bar that brought to mind the Cabo Wabo Cantina. Inside the tasting room we discovered a rock-and-roll soundtrack, pool table, hip fashion and the most bizarrely titled wine labels such as ‘Dead Nuts’, ‘Love Machine’, ‘Robyn Cradles’ and the now out of circulation ‘Mr. Nibbles’.

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The winery was founded by the sons of the folks who own the lauded Peachy Canyon winery, also in Paso. Peachy is known for super-premium wines in the more traditional winery setting, so this was obviously the younger ones chance to do something complimentary to the family pride, however with their fresh new approach and attitude.

We were pleasantly surprised to find a few of the Chronic Cellars wines available at our local Costco here in Reno, Nevada and quickly snapped up a bunch.

Watch our full review:

Watch More Of Our Wine Reviews By Clicking Here!

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Wine Review: Scott Harvey 1869 Zinfandel

Watch our review on the Vineyard 1869 Zin from Scott Harvey. Now, you might say ‘I don’t like Zinfandel’, but perhaps you haven’t tried a deep, dark zin from the oldest vineyard in the country?

Soft, complex and jammy with a fruit forward nose, the 1869 is not only a nice wine proper for aging, but it is also quite the conversation piece!

Check out our review:

If you like wine, check out our Wine Reviews! before your next bottle purchase~

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thanks for visiting Two Doods Reviews! Here’s our holiday message to YOU. Watch below:

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Bucanero Cigar Review

In the world of boutique cigars, it can be a crap shoot. Some can be good, some great and some downright awful. Check out our review of the Bucanero Z box pressed cigar with Bucanero rep (and Sax master) Rick Metz! This is almost a perfect square box pressed cigar, so big points for construction to start:

Thanks to the folks at Hatuey Cigars in Reno for allowing us to film in their amazing Cigar shop.

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So, appearance aside, how did this cigar smoke? Here’s the proof!

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Blue Apron And Naked Wine Review

Sorry, no nudity in this review! That said, check out our ‘One Dood And A Hot Chick’ (my chef) review of the service Blue Apron. We know there are several companies that offer a similar service: pre-boxed meals sent once a week that come with a step-by-step guide so you can cook (and learn new techniques) at home. Blue Apron is the first we’ve tried and so far, the recipes have been very interesting. Many of them tend to lean with an eastern flair (think Curry!) and some are just downright odd, like this bean and broccoli burger! Don’t let the pix fool you as the photos originally taken were blurred and we tossed the recipe because while good, it wasn’t one of our favorites.

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Blue Apron costs us about $60 a week for three meals for two delivered by 10p (mostly) on the requested day. The veggies tend to be organic and sustainably sourced, however the protein portions can often be small, especially when it comes to chicken.

Note that these dishes are amazing, more often than not. However, each meal takes about an hour to prepare and cook, so you have to account for time. Blue Apron isn’t a huge money saver nor time saver, but it will give knowledge to the cooking curious in the family, so we take it as a culinary learning experience.

Enjoy the video and check out our Cooking page for more!

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Arizona Stronghold Wine Review

Alright, maybe you are a fan of the rock band Tool and the oddities of frontman Maynard James Keenan. If you are, you may be aware that he owns a winery in Arizona. Is his juice any good? We got our hands on a bottle of his 2011 Cabernet and our review is below!

Check out our other wine reviews on the Wine Reviews page!

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Vodka Side By Side Blind Tasting

There are several styles of vodka for many different uses. Potato vodka, grain vodka, even molasses vodka have been sipped for centuries with Russia making perhaps the world’s best. Flavored vodka for use in your favorite sweeter drink, ultra-dry vodka for those yummy martini’s, even vodka used for cooking. Looking to make your very own herb extract? Vodka, due to it’s natural somewhat flavorless clean taste makes a great base to do a homemade tincture.

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In the video below, we sample a few Texas vodkas along with one from Iceland called Reyka. How do they compete side-by-side? See for yourself!

Check out more spirit reviews on our Spirits page!

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Drink More For A Healthy Heart

Science (and drunks) have long debated the positive effects of drinking a glass of wine, shot of a good spirit or even a pint of brew, but could it really help you prevent stroke & cardiovascular disease? Well it can, according to a study published in RT.

The study, conducted at Penn State U examined more than 80,000 healthy folks over a period of 6 years. Those who had a few drinks a day actually had lower in HDL (that’s the “good cholesterol” than those who abstained entirely, a good sign for those of us to enjoy a drink to take the edge off the day!

Of course, as we say- ‘everything in moderation’. Binge drinking or getting too ‘dark’ probably isn’t the best thing for your liver (or head)…but a little bit looks to help a lot!

Check out our WINE REVIEW page here for our take on everything from super-premium to everyday budget wines.

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The KFC Scented Candle A Real Thing?

The holidays are always a good time for scented candles, especially when you’ve got a fake Christmas tree or guests coming over for holiday parties and get-togethers. Most often, candle scents are quite pleasant, like vanilla, cinnamon, pine, sandalwood, et al.

Now I love a good fried food on occasion, but the thought of a candle smelling like old grease and chicken doesn’t really sound appealing, does it?

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Today insists that this is a real thing, however you can only get it ‘down under’ in New Zealand. The merchandising geniuses at KFC recently had a contest whereby they asked fans to submit ideas for merchandising trinkets and trash, and it looks like this one (the candle) took the top honors. Other ideas included popcorn chicken lip balm and KFC toilet freshner (hopefully pre KFC, not post KFC indulging). What are your thoughts? Leave comments in the section below.

Check out our COOKING page with tips on everything from cooking the perfect chicken breast to rib-eye here!

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Rib-eye…The Secret To A Great Steak!

We are meat eaters, plain and simple. Ribs, tri-top, fillet, brisket, beef, pork, chicken, fish- we love it all, but especially our red meat. Through trial and error we’ve found that the first secret to a great tasting steak is to start with a dry brine. What is a dry brine, you may ask? Very simply, it’s the process of dry salting your steak several hours before cooking.

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Now, some might think that this will dry your steak out, leaving you with something that more closely resembles beef jerky than a moist, tender hunk of love. But trust me, this critical step does wonders to keeping the flavor going all the way through the cut and each bite when eating. The biggest trick is using spices that have little or no salt in them when you are ready to season.

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The second trick to use, especially when cooking rib-eye is the ‘one-minute-flip’, a technique that while cumbersome, yields the perfectly cooked steak. Yes- it’s a pain in the ass to flip your steak once a minute for 8 to 12 minutes (depending on steak thickness and desire of doneness), but it leaves you with a steak that has that great char/crust line on either side and a nice middle without overcooking one side, leading to dry disaster. Check this result on a windy, cold night:

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Check out the video below for the full demonstration and also look into our ‘Cooking!’ page for more tips and tricks!

Oh, and here’s a link to that Chicken video too!

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La Aroma De Cuba- Monarch Review

I’ve had the pleasure of smoking more than my fair share of cigars over the years, thanks in part to the fact that my girlfriend (now wife) managed The Cigar Bar near the Quarry golf course in San Antonio when we were first dating some 20 years ago, and also due to my affiliation with The Cigar Station, the world’s first internet radio station programmed and designed for the cigar smoker in mind. Life has indeed, been good!

Not to take anything away from other brands (who shall remain nameless here), but I’ve often found that with many brands, some of their stuff I really love and some of their cigars don’t quite fit my smoking preference. This is NOT the case with La Aroma De Cuba. Virtually every one of their cigars has been dynamite! From construction to flavor to consistency through box, this is a brand that I don’t think I’ve ever not enjoyed.

No, I’m not sucking up here-we do this for love, not for money or free product (neither of which we’ve gotten). If you are looking for an affordable, amazing cigar to help you set the bar for the rest, La Aroma De Cuba may be just up your alley!

Check out our Cigar Review page here for additional smoke reviews!