My awesome birthday cake

Check out this awesome cake my sister had a friend make for me!  It may not be 100% accurate, but it IS 100% AWESOME!  It also tasted delicious.  Spice cake with cream cheese icing.  Yum.

P.S. And Keith… yes, it tastes like freedom.

2011 Big Bad Burger Contest results

Well, the results are in from the Burger Contest this past weekend…

I am happy to announce that I took FIRST PLACE in the Alternative category with my Crispy Korean Shrimp Burger!  While I didn’t retain my “Grand Champion” title, I put up quite a fight!  I heard that I was second in overall points, and it was a very close second.  Here’s the kicker, though… my booth was the ONLY burger booth to literally have a continuous line of people waiting to try my burger!  Random people were coming up saying they heard I had the best burger and they wanted to try it!  My team and I were so busy, we actually RAN OUT of burger mix with one hour and twenty minutes left in the voting.  I’m pretty sure having to turn people away was what cost me the votes to win, but I guess we’ll never know.  Still, the award for First Place isn’t too shabby – $500 cash!

I want to thank EVERYONE who was able to make it out on Saturday!  I really appreciated you taking the time to come out and support me.  I hope that all of you who tried my burger for the first (or second or third) time really liked it, too!  I also want to thank my employer, Harry, and HMS TECHNOLOGIES, INC. for sponsoring me again this year in the event.

Most of all, though, I want to thank my friends and sous-chefs Kathy and Tony for being totally and completely AWESOME!  Without you guys there helping me the night before and the day of, I couldn’t have pulled this off.  You were the best helpers a guy could ask for, and I tip my hat to you!  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Now… to decide about entering next year…

Burger Contest Art

Hey everyone!  Check out this sign that our graphic design artist here at work made up for me to use for the burger contest!  It’s AWESOME!  Find this sign at the contest and you’ll find the best burger there!  😉  Thanks, Scott, you rock!

I was in the paper yesterday!

Yep, that’s right.  Yours truly was on the front page of the Food section of one of our local news papers (the one that doesn’t SUCK).  The article was about me participating in the Big Bad Burger Contest again this year with my Crispy Korean Shrimp Burger (which is, for the record, phenomenal).

Contestants to take a bite out of Big Bad Burger contest Saturday

So all you friends out there, come on by the Martinsburg Mall this Saturday from 10am till 5pm and put your votes (plural) in for MY burger!  🙂  I promise you’ll love it!

Oreo “Triple Double”

Can you say, “Best. Fried. Oreo. EVER!”?

Oreo debuts “Triple Double”

I knew you could…

How to make a bacon sandwich

Ok, so I was over perusing WeTheArmed last Friday and came across this thread on bacon sandwiches.  Let me tell you, after trying it this way, this is the ONLY way to make a bacon sandwich!

Win.

Big Bad Burger Contest article from last year

Since it seems I never posted the article that was in the Herald last year about me winning the Big Bad Burger Contest, here it is.  Unfortunately, since then then Herald has taken the article down, so there’s no picture with it.  I was able to find the article elsewhere, though.

Posted by Herald Mail, WV on August 04, 2010 at 10:24:45:

West Virginia
Shrimp burger wins Big Bad Burger Contest
Event raises money for Hospice of the Panhandle

August 3, 2010

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The weather wasn’t the only thing cooking at the Big Bad Burger Contest on July 24.

Despite record-breaking heat, nearly 20 contestants concocted burgers of all makes in an attempt to win over the judges and crowd at the second annual Big, Bad Burger Contest.

Among beef, venison and chicken burgers, the Crispy Korean Shrimp Burger reigned supreme. Ryan Horst of HMS Technologies Inc. earned $1,000, a trophy and bragging rights for having the region’s Biggest, Baddest Burger of 2010, according to a news release.

Other winners included PJ Orsini of Orsini’s Appliances (first place, beef); Mike Hornby of Around the Panhandle magazine (second place, beef); Jay Steckman (first place, alternative); and Tad Sargent (second place, alternative).

Event co-coordinator Jason Roach, co-owner and general manager of Sunfire Hearth, Patio and Spa, said the event was a win-win for all involved.

“We had an amazing group of contestants and the crowd was outstanding. Our event sponsors were so generous. All facets worked together to make a great competition,” he said in the news release.

Sponsors included Smallwood and Small Insurance, David L. Peters, Pub Dub V, Potomac Portables and the Jokers band.

Horst heard about the contest from a friend and thought he might have a winning burger, but the cost of shrimp was daunting. When Harry Siegel, president and CEO of HMS Technologies Inc., heard the event would benefit Hospice of the Panhandle, he was more than happy to foot the bill for the entry fee and supplies, Horst said.

According to event co-coordinator Selina Meehleib of MSM Catering, the choice to involve Hospice was easy.

“Every year we look for a charity that can make a serious impact in the quality of life of local residents. Hospice of the Panhandle is a leader in the community for improving the quality of life for residents here in the Panhandle,” Meehleib said.

So, what, exactly, makes a prize-winning Crispy Korean Shrimp Burger? Fresh shrimp, bell peppers, onions, celery, scallions, Gouda cheese and panko bread crumbs for starters. Toss in a honey garlic aioli sauce and sandwich it in a Vienna roll.

According to Horst, “The ingredients mesh well together and that is key: the honey mellows the garlic, the roll has a great, crispy texture, and the Gouda complements the entire burger.”

Horst credited much of the winning recipe to the advice and support of friend Kathy Salas, who assisted him in preparation and during the competition.