Troon North Golf Club

I am sure many of you feel the same way that I do living in the Northern states right around the middle of January. After dealing with months on end of snow, cold temps and limited daylight, my husband decided I was in need of some Vitamin D.

After checking out the calendar, he discovered I had zero commitments in two weeks. This never happens. My hubby called my partner in crime – aka my sister – and coincidentally she was available too. Before you knew it, we had a trip booked to Scottsdale staying at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and booked two full days of sun, golf and great food. Ok, and maybe a drink or two! We were both excited to pull out the golf skirts and golf bags. We even managed to pack some sunscreen in our excitement.

Bright and early we were out at Troon North Golf Club ready for our a.m. tee time. After doing a bit of damage in the pro shop, we had a quick bite to eat in the Dynamite Grille. I had heard many great things about the breakfast burrito and it was literally dynamite. We were partnered with a couple of great guys and enjoyed a challenging round of golf.

My sister and I wound our day up with a dining adventure at Proof Restaurant at the Four Seasons. They have crazy good craft drinks featuring bourbon. I never would have thought I would like bourbon, but I have found myself loving a really good Old-Fashioned.

Being the golf junkies that we are, we were up bright and early to squeeze in a round of golf before our flight. You guessed it. We took the late afternoon flight to get the most out of our trip. Quintero Golf Club is a bit outside of Scottsdale but worth the drive. What a treasure in the desert!

The course was beautiful and well maintained. We were joking that it was almost too good with the way the greens were rolling. Fast and firm

Since we were the first tee time of the day we played at a quick pace and were off the course in under 4 hours. Perfect timing to get back to the airport and through security in plenty of time.

I leave you with this question – Was this a gift a win/win for both my husband and I? He had the house to himself for two days and I was able to feed my FOOD|GOLF|TRAVEL addiction.

Hubbies out there! You may need to try it!

Ballyneal Golf Club

Ballyneal Golf Club is located in Holyoke, Colorado and proved to be a great stop on my most recent #FoodTravelGolf quest. When my travel schedule allows, I enjoy getting the travel destination ahead of my team to do a bit of exploring. I was excited when I was able to arrange getting to Denver ahead of the schedule and do just that. While I have been to Denver several times, most of the visits were spent in a conference setting with limited free time. I am sure a lot of you can relate.

For years, I have used Open Table to research and book my dining options. After searching for locations near the hotel air port I was staying at, I came across The Table Top. They are new to Open Table and do not have any reviews. Red flag usually – right? But, something about their menu drew me to their location. The minute I walked through the door I knew I was in the right place for me this Sunday evening. I love open and bright dining spaces and Table Top fit the bill. You can see in the kitchen and it even had a fireplace. I pulled up to the bar and made quick friends with the knowledgeable bartender and even had a chance to meet Executive Chef, Brady Marcotte.

If you have seen any of my social media posts then you know I like food. I mean I really like food and love to taste as many things as I can when trying a new place. But, it’s hard to do when dining alone. I was thrilled to see the selection of small plates and appetizer items. Don’t let the food pics fool you – each dish tasted even better than it looks!

My team arrived bright and early the next morning and we began our drive from Denver to Holyoke. The speed limit was actually – 75! Wow, that makes a difference when you drive for a few hours. After a few hours driving across Colorado and a few winding dirt roads, we arrived in the Colorado golf Mecca! Someone must have told them we were coming because my first greeting came from “Bunker” the course kitty. Bunker seemed to be a foreboding term that day for me. More to come on that later.

After getting settled in, we set out to the business at hand – playing a round at Ballyneal. This course is simply amazing – rolling links style play and fierce winds. I could have done without the winds, but after about 12 holes I got the hang of it! I was told the greens were rolling at about an 11 – all I knew is my ball didn’t want to roll in the hole.Tee.toTable.-ballyneal-course

I had a great time playing with the visionary behind the course and hearing his story of the family land and development of this exceptional course. Hole after hole, wind gust after wind gust, I enjoyed each shot, each bunker hit. Did I tell you I ended up hitting an average of a bunker per hole? The wind was challenging for ball control that day, but I became REALLY good at my bunker play. My playing partner even coined the term for the bunkers – “You’ve been Alfredo’ed.” I do like to leave my mark where I go.

As I stated, I really figured out the wind late in the round, but it didn’t put a damper on my spirits or enjoyment of the course. I even had time to take a #CaddieSelfie and soaked in his extensive knowledge of the course as well.

Have I mentioned how convenient it is to stay in the lodge or cottage at golf courses that include those types of offerings? As a frequent traveller and golfer too, nothing can compare to just walking or taking a golf cart to your room versus loading into the car and driving to your hotel. As hungry and “thirsty” as I was from playing all day, I got ready in a record 21 minutes. Bring on the Moscow Mules and Filet – I earned it with the 7 mile walk from earlier that day.

Before leaving town the next day, my team and I were able to get a quick chat with local legendary chef and restaurant owner Frank Bonanno, Bonanno Concepts and a veteran of Guys Grocery Games. Wow, what a talent! After our meeting, we had a great lunch at his luncheon hot spot, Bones, you guessed it – small plates and apps – Shishito Peppers with Cojita cheese, Crispy Brussel Sprouts and Seaweed Salad.

My last stop was the airport and I was able to find a quick fix of Oktoberfest style beer and a kale salad. My flight was even on time! Before I knew it I was back to my home airport and driving home with great memories and a full belly! Wow, I packed a bunch into less than 48 hours!

Until next time.

Don’t forget to explore #FOOD #TRAVEL AND #GOLF.

From the TEE box to the TABLE,

Cheers.

 

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

Ingredients

  1. 1 – 5 lb or 10 lb Pork or Beef Shoulder

  2. Basic Rub

  3. Favorite BBQ Sauce

  4. Buns

    For Coleslaw

    1. 1 head cabbage – napa preferred

    2. 1 red onion

    3. 1 cup mayonnaise

    4. 2 tablespoons grain mustard

    5. 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

    6. 1 teaspoon celery salt

    7. 1 teaspoon coarse salt

    8. 1 teaspoon black pepper

    9. 6 ounces bleu cheese

    Instructions

    1. To Prepare and Cook Pork/Beef Shoulder:

    2. Trim any excess fat from shoulder and rub thoroughly with spice to coat completely. Set rubbed meat on wire rack and place inside of sheet pan or roaster and allow to set overnight in refrigerator.

    3. Allow meat to come to room temperature before cooking. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Cover and place meat into oven allow to cook until falling apart – 4 to 6 hours.

    4. Pull pan from oven and allow meat to cool. When cooled to the touch, use forks to tear meat into shreds. Remove any extra pieces of fat. At this point, you may refrigerate if you are not using immediately.

    5. Place shreds of meat into crock pot and stir in BBQ sauce to coat thoroughly. You may also pour some of the reserved juices in as well to keep the meat moist. Cook on low for at least an hour in the crock pot. 

    6. To Prepare Coleslaw: Use slicing blade on food processor – chop cabbage and red onion and pour into large mixing bowl. In separate bowl mix remaining ingredients until thoroughly blended. Pour mixture onto cabbage and onions and stir until thoroughly coated.


Sliders, Oh wonderful sliders.  They seem to be everywhere these days.  Not only are they everywhere, but they are becoming quite creative.  I decided to make Pulled Pork Sliders Topped with Bleu Cheese Coleslaw to put a twist on a family favorite.

When entertaining a crowd, I love to do a pulled pork or pulled beef sandwich.  I have never seen 10 pounds of food go so quickly as when I serve up this family favorite.  I decided to pull this recipe out this week for a few reasons.  First, I thought summer food might help with a “weather dance” to get the temperatures up here in Michigan.  Don’t worry I didn’t put in too much cayenne to raise our indoor temps.  Another thought was to make a bulk amount and see what I could make out of the leftovers.

To make the perfect pulled pork takes a few days and little elbow grease, but it’s well worth the work!  Remember this next time you invite your friends/family over — you can make it all ahead and plate up a creative, gourmet sandwich!

Some of my helpful hints when making this recipe:

  • Rub your beef/pork shoulder well and let it set over night.  This will allow the spices to marinade into the meat.

  • You can slow cook the first step of cooking in either an electric roaster or the oven — Remember though – low and slow.  Rushing the process will bring you a tough and stringy result.

  • If you want a spicier result, don’t be afraid to increase the cayenne.  I tried a Cocoa Cayenne which gave it a kick and a sweetness at the same time.  I am sure you have seen cocoa or coffee rubbed steaks and roasts.

  • Make the rub in bulk and store in a sealed container in your cupboard.  You can use it again on steaks, chicken, ribs, any meat that you choose.  Note:  Pour the amount you think you need into a separate bowl.  You never want to put your hands onto the meat then back into the bulk container.  That’s a major NO, NO!

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup plus 2 T. sugar

  2. 1/4 cup water

  3. 1 stick ( 1/4 lb.) unsalted butter

  4. 1/2 cup heavy cream

  5. 2 lemons

  6. 6-7 assorted baking apples, sweet and tart (about 2-1/2 lbs.)

  7. 2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters

  8. 1/3 cup raw sugar

  9. 1/4 t. each ground cinnamon and allspice

  10. Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

  11. one grind black pepper

  12. 1/4 t. kosher salt

  13. 2 T. unbleached all purpose flour

  14. 1/4 t. sea salt

  15. egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 t. water and a pinch of salt)

Instructions

  1. MAKE THE CARAMEL:

    Whisk together 1 cup of the sugar and the water in a medium saucepan, and cook over medium low heat until the sugar is just dissolved. Add the butter and bring to a slow boil. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture turns a deep golden brown, almost copper. Remove from the heat and immediately, but slowly add the heavy cream – be careful, the mixture will bubble rapidly and steam. Whisk the final mixture together well and set aside to cool while you prepare the apple filling.

  2. MAKE THE APPLE FILLING:

    juice the lemons into a non-reactive bowl. Core, peel. and thinly slice the apples with a sharp knife or mandoline. Dredge the apple slices in the lemon juice and sprinkle with 2 T. of sugar. Set aside to soften slightly and release some of their juices, 20-30 minutes.

    In a small bowl, sprinkle the Angostura bitters over the raw sugar. Add the spices and flour, and mix well. Drain the apples and add to the sugar spice mix.

  3. BAKING THE PIE:

    Tightly layer the apples in the prepared pie shell so there are minimal gaps, mounding the apples slightly higher in the center. Pour 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce evenly over the apples ( you can use 3/4 cup for a sweeter pie). Sprinkle with 1/4 t. of the sea salt. Assemble the top crust using the design of your choice.

  4. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to set the pastry. Meanwhile position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack and preheat the oven to 400F.

  5. Brush the pastry with the egg wash to coat, and sprinkle with the desired amount of demerara sugar. Place the pie on the rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the temp to 375F, move the pie to the center oven rack and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 30-35 minutes longer.

  6. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack for 2-3 hours.

Potato Hash, Based Eggs & Chicken Sausage

Ingredients

  1. 4 large yukon potatoes, chopped 1″ pieces

  2. 1 large yellow onion chopped, 1″ pieces

  3. 8 eggs

  4. 2 teaspoons mixed herbs, such as thyme and oregano (adjust to taste)

  5. 2 tablespoons butter

  6. 1 tablespoon olive oil

  7. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, but great for that little kick of heat)

  8. 4 pre-cooked chicken sausage, sliced in half

  9. Salt

  10. Pepper

Instructions

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter with olive oil over medium heat into large non-stick skillet.

  2. Arrange potatoes into one layer of non-stick skillet.

  3. Cover and cook until bottom of potatoes is crispy brown then flip and add onion. Add herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Potatoes should be cooked until crispy on the outside and soft in the middle and the onions have softened and started to caramelize.

  5. Push hash mixture to one side of pan and add sliced sausage and cover. Cook until one side of sausage is crispy brown.

  6. In a separate large skillet, melt the remaining butter and add eggs careful to not break the yolk. Drizzle water along the edge of the eggs all around the pan – this is the key to a perfectly basted egg.

  7. Cover and allow to cook approximately 2 minutes. I like the yolk runny. The consistency is between a poached egg and an egg over easy.

  8. To serve: layer your individual plates by adding first the hash mixture then two slices of chicken sausage cross wise and slide two eggs on top of each plate.

My Latest Adventure

Each year all areas of the golf industry gather to attend the PGA Merchandise Show. Believe me when I say all areas. I witnessed everything from new clothing lines to equipment to even a “revolutionary” exercise machine that shakes you into shape.
After spending a quick day at the PGA Show last year, I couldn’t wait to head back this year. This year I was ready for it. This was my time to enjoy the things I love – FOOD, TRAVEL and GOLF.
Demo Days is the first day of the PGA Show and it’s an opportunity to get out on the driving range and test out the great new equipment and training aids in a fun setting. My day started with a quick interview on SiriusXM PGA Radio on oPINionated Show with Chris DiMarco. Being on the show with Chris, is always a good time, especially since he shares a passion for food and good drinks.


After the interview, I literally bumped into the guys from Ben Hogan Golf while staring at their plates full of delicious BBQ. They graciously allowed me to take a pic of their food plate and even offered me a bite! Now that’s hospitality. It smelled and looked amazing! Demo Days had food dialed in that day by having a tent set up with BBQ and the fixings.

While on the show, I revealed my mission for the PGA Show this year – to explore and find my BEST OF favorites. As you can imagine, after three days of talking and walking and then talking and walking some more, I was worn out!

The PGA Show was an amazing way to start out 2015 for Tee to Table catching up with old friends and making new contacts. It’s always exciting being around people who share not only passion for the game of golf, but the experience around the game as well.

Join me as I journey through the new year focusing on everything FROM THE TEE BOX TO THE TABLE.

Tee to Table’s Best of Show 2015 List

BEST Glove – RMS Golf Glove – It has CBT (Clean Ball Technology) built right into the glove. Pretty convenient way to wash your ball!

BEST Training Aide – Golf Slot Machine – My friends at Golf Slot Machine have worked hard to come up with a simple tool which helps you “drop it into the slot” just like the Pros. I even had a chance to try it out at the show.

BEST Outer Wear – Galvin Green – Living in Michigan you have to be prepared to play golf in nearly all conditions. Galvin Green has a great layering system to allows you to stay warm without feeling bulky.

BEST Travel Tip – ShipSticks – I had a great time meeting the team at ShipSticks. What a fun group they must be to work with. I was able to test out their system and had my clubs shipped home for me. Door to door delivery of your clubs whether you are to or from you golfing destination!

BEST Fitness Aide – ActivMotion Bar – I have been working with the ActivMotion Bar for a few months. It has a weighted system designed to help you stay stable throughout your golf swing. I played golf while at the PGA show and it was great to see it’s actually helping me! I was able to transfer my weight, stay with the swing and stay STABLE the entire time.

Tomato and Caramelized Onion Tart

Ingredients

  1. 1 package puff pastry, defrosted

  2. 2 large yellow onions cut thinly

  3. Fresh herbs – basil, thyme, rosemary

  4. 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

  5. 1/2 cup goat cheese, I prefer herbed goat cheese for more flavor

  6. 1 large tomato or 2 smaller roma tomatoes

  7. Olive Oil

  8. Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Unfold a sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface and roll lightly to an 11 x 11 square. Using a 6-inch wide object, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and skillet. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

  4. Using a sharp knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.

  5. Place 1/4 of the onion mixture of each circle, again staying within the score edge. Crumble a good amount of goat cheese on top of the onions. Place slices of tomato around the tart. Sprinkle more Parmesan cheese over the top and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle thin strips of basil around the tart. Grind fresh pepper over top and sprinkle liberally with salt.

  6. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.

Buffalo Chicken Crescent Rolls

Ingredients

4 oz cream cheese (half of 8-oz package), softened
1/4 cup hot sauce or red pepper sauce
2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken (1/2-inch pieces)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 oz)
2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix cream cheese and hot sauce until smooth. Mix in chicken and shredded cheese just until combined.
2. Unroll both cans of dough; separate into 8 rectangles. On ungreased large cookie sheet, arrange rectangles in ring so short sides of rectangles form a 5-inch circle in center. (Dough will overlap; half of each rectangle will hang over edges of cookie sheet. Dough ring should look like a sun.)
3. Spoon cream cheese mixture on the half of each rectangle closest to center of ring. Top with blue cheese crumbles.
4. Bring each dough rectangle hanging over side of pan up over filling, tucking dough under bottom layer of dough to secure it. Repeat around ring until entire filling is enclosed (some filling might show a little).
5. Gently separate dough perforations on top until filling peeks through. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until dough is golden brown and thoroughly baked. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into serving slices.

Helpful Hints:
- Add a bit of fresh to your appetizer; serve with celery and carrot sticks and a side of blue cheese dressing.
- You can use leftover cut-up cooked chicken, or pick up a deli rotisserie chicken at the supermarket. Remove chicken from bones, and cut into bite-size pieces.


Description

One of my favorite finger foods is spicy hot wings, but sometimes you have to mix it up a bit. This recipe from www.pillsbury.com was a tasty twist on a fan favorite.

Working with the “sun” shape can be a bit tricky but the good news is you can separate the dough and start again. Good luck and I hope you have as much fun with this one as I did!