Hello and Welcome to Michael’s 2017 Gift Guide

Die Hard is not a Christmas movie.

It’s December 4th, and odds are that you’ve not quite completed your Christmas shopping for the year. Allow me to help.


Have you ever found yourself on a flight in need of a good cocktail? W&P Design has created the Carry On Cocktail Kit for such an occasion. You will be supplied with everything you need to make an old fashioned, a moscow mule, or a champagne cocktail among many others. All the folks in the friendly skies need to do is provide the ice and the booze.


Recently, I upgraded our growler game. The PROKEG 64 oz stainless steel model from Amazon has found its place in our cabinet. For only $22.99, you’ll never need to worry about losing your growler lid again.

Cold beer is essential. I have a Texas Tech freezer beer mug that I hadn’t used all season until the Texas game. Now I’m thinking it needs to be placed in its own freezer possibly enshrined in glass and under lock and key until December 23rd.


Steven Raichlen posted his gift guide recently. Two things that really stuck out to me were the 14″ Cast Iron Pizza Pan and the Cast Iron Griddle. Those purchases can make your grill much more versatile, and they’ll be around long after your last Christmas.

I have an older version of this ThermoPro wireless thermometer that has been fantastic. Temps are programmable, and one of my favorite features is that I can check the temp right at the transmitter. This model has two probes, where mine only has one, and at $45.99 would be a great deal for those long days on the smoker.

We were at a silent auction recently, and I won a tiny little charcoal grill very similar to this one. I took the plunge back in March and went all-in on a Traeger smoker, but I’ve missed the searing that you can get with charcoal. I jumped at the chance to grab this little thing so that I could experiment a bit. I went with the reverse-sear method on some good ribeyes on the smoker then finished them off a few minutes on the hot coals. The results were excellent. I may have to try a burger comparison some day.


Wide Open Country posted 15 Country Merch Items You Didn’t Know You Wanted right before Thanksgiving, and there are some gems here. Need a windshield shade for your car? How about one from Robert Earl Keen? Or maybe you’re in need of some light reading. Trace Adkins has a comic book about Luke McBain, a character shockingly similar looking to Adkins with, what I assume, a heart of gold. The best thing by far has to be George Strait’s “Merry Christmas Strait to You!” sweater (yes, with the exclamation point!). Not sure even Lula could’ve gotten Buddy Jackson in that thing.

Even though no one asked, here are my favorite album purchases of the year:

And now, since we know our Red Raiders are headed to the Birmingham Bowl, I’m using it as an excuse to post this video:

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and I hope you enjoy this wonderful time of year!


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