By July 24, 2014 Read More →


Chef View By Dana Johnson

Dana~licious Goes Direct!

Direct Appliance (DA) since 1995! Where have I been?

I was like a kid in a candy store as I marveled at all the culinary discoveries in the cutting edge major appliance store! No chef training required to shop for the latest and the greatest upgrades that would surely bring new life to most any kitchen.

Ron and Colleen Winter are the owners of both DA stores here in Modesto. The gorgeous newly remodeled showroom is on McHenry; while the outlet and service center is on K St. I love the fact that DA has close ties to the community and regularly supports Modesto. DA generously allows Modesto Junior College (MJC) to hold hands on adult culinary classes in their functional showroom kitchens on a weekly basis. Yes, I do occasionally teach a class for MJC at this amazing location as well. Also, every year for the Color the Skies charity event in Ripon, DA donates the use of a range for a free demonstration culinary booth. Jessica Coleman the director and founder of this awesome charity benefitting Children’s Hospital of Madera have enlisted me to be a part of the culinary stage along with several chefs and students from the Institute of Technology (IOT) program here in Modesto. I love how we all can come together and make such a positive difference!

Let’s shop!
Induction cooktops have been around since the 1950’s according to Ron. I love this type of cook top, it’s flat, no actual specific burners, no grates to scrub, extra room for more magnetic pots that are required, best to go see this wonder for yourself! DA has steam ovens that open up an entirely new way of preparing healthier and I imagine moister meals. Yes, they have indoor grills by the top manufacturers like Wolf, Viking, and Thermador with infrared heat. New to me, a speed oven! Yes, as a Mom of 3 kiddos, numerous jobs, and love my social life, speed cooking may just become my new way of life! It’s a combination of a microwave and a conventional oven. Microwave starts the cooking process and the conventional oven does the browning. Why am I thinking roast with all the goodies and licking my lips?!

As my shopping continued I met a sweet elderly lady browsing the showroom. She was excited to tell me that her children had remodeled their kitchens through DA and how impressed she was that she was inspired to update her kitchen. DA has its own contractor license that’s a huge incentive when considering such a large home project. Suddenly my mind is racing with thoughts of a custom cooking island, new counters with a custom backsplash, glass or tile, so many possibilities, including granite that comes factory sealed and a lifetime.

Did you know you could have a built in coffee machine? Check this out; pour in the coffee beans, it grinds it, measures it, and makes a fresh cup of Joe at a time, or latte/cappuccino, what a way to start the day! Perhaps you have imagined a free standing or built in 4 bottle wine dispensers? Ron says it so well, “To present the wine in its most favorable environment.” I was thinking a crystal stemmed glass to my lips was my most favorable environment! Cheers darlings!

Modesto View‘s Signature Question; Beatles or Stones? Ron, “Oh Beatles, I’m a musician, don’t get me wrong I like the Stones, too.” Yes Ron plays in a local band called Remedy out of Oakdale see them at the Sierra View Music Festival August 23rd in Oakdale. Colleen, “Beatles because they made music.” Since I was completely thrilled with my shopping experience I let that slide!

Dana’s Hog Log!
You know how to use a rub and how to marinate so here’s my recipe.

1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. pork sausage
3Ž4 cup cooked crumbled bacon
2 eggs beaten
1Ž4 cup fresh minced cilantro
1Ž4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1Ž2 cup white tequila
1Ž2 cup prepared salsa
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh minced garlic
1Ž4 cup diced bell peppers (optional)
1Ž4 cup diced red onions (optional)
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese (for topping)

Preheat grill to medium-high.
Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl, Save cheese for topping.
On a cutting board, form the pork mixture into a log shape then place in the preheated grill.
Reduce grill temperature to medium-low and close grill cover.
Slow grill for 45 minutes only turning once half way through grill time.
Serve in a trough or on a large platter by surrounding Dana’s Hog Log with Spanish rice and cover with shredded pepper jack cheese!

Dana’s Hog Log original recipe was submitted to the National Pork Board



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