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Unknown Kitchen

I just wanted to show off part of my Kitchen Wall to the Hinson fans in my circle of friends.
Last night I tried using the Live Journal app on my Pixel XL to share some pics. It didn't give me any edit options at the time, so now I am catching up with my lap top. (Last night I couldn't edit with the lap top either so I still have things to figure out.)

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Lizzy Bordyn meets Leatherface

Semi extreme close up of one of my walls of fame. My friends are my most prized collectables.

Wall of Hoodoo

One of my Walls of Fame. This one is over my turntables...Scratch that! When did we start calling them turntables? They are my Record Players! haha.
Shout out to Lyzzy Bordyn fans everywhere!

Mental Floss

I got nothin much to say today so I thought I should just not say it here. Maybe the next time that I do actually have something to say, I will remember how easy it was to not say it here. I'm just so used to not saying anything that when I do want to say something, even though I have nothing to say, it's like squeezing an empty toothpaste tube. You always get a little bit on your brush no matter how empty you thought it was when you started. That said, it's  time for me to rinse and spit. laterz.

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Testing, testicle. One, two, free.

If this post posts, then i will have succeeded using the new app on my new phone.
It seems nowa days that unless I can do something from my phone, I dont do it at all. Computers are so last year that I dont even turn mine on unless it is to pay a bill.
Next stop, spell checker!

Hard Hearted Alice

After pulling the Dracula wallet out of his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lunch box, the man in the Planet of the Apes t-shirt slid his plastic into the pump and began filling his Equinox with petrol. Using the available squeegie he cleaned his SUP POP license plates and let slip a grateful smile as he seen that it only cost him $12.00 to get to work and back this week. There were times not long ago when it cost 40 to 50. Different vehicles and higher prices, but still reason enough to crank some Alice on the way home for the weekend. He never needs a reason.
Some days are good. All days are Alice.

Mr. Nelson, Going Up?

Dearly Beloved
We R gathered here Today
2 get thu This Thing called Life

Electric Word Life
it means Forever and that's a Mighty Long Time
but I'm Here 2 Tell U
There's Something Else
the After World

...and if The Elevator tries to bring U down
Go Crazy
Punch a Higher Floor.

R EYE P

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Cold Oats

Ok, so this morning I'm watching this documentary on the San Diego punk scene that was taking place during my occupation of 1988-89. Today also happens to be a work day, so I am simultaneously getting ready for work. Not wanting to miss anything familiar, I keep one eye on the television. This is somewhat easy for me because unlike my cat, I have two eyes.
Making oatmeal for breakfast, I put the water in the pan and stand by until it comes to a boil so I can add the oats. Now I have two eyes on the telly with an occasional glance at the cooker to see if it's boiling yet. This goes on for about 10 minutes longer than necessary before I realize that I didn't turn the stove on.

How punk is that?

Dandroid App Test

A man of words and not of deeds, is like a garden full of weeds.

No Joke

I'm Back.

Details are over on Mondo Dandy, but Look for more stories on the ol' joural very soon. I just feel like talking someplace where I know no one is listening and clicking LIKE because it's what you do.
Ugg. I know I've said this before so, at least it's April Fools Day and I can blame it on that if I don't follow through again.

Meanwhile, over on Mondo Dandy...

And Come It Did

In reviewing last weekends entry on my journal it can be said that nothing went quite the way I had planned. The beautiful morning snow turned into the first storm of the century of the year.
At noon my power went off.

My ribs had only been in the oven for one hour and I needed at least another
one to three hours to slow cook them. Oh well. For the next few hours I figured the power would be back on at any minute. But it was not to be. Not until 4:30 the next afternoon. Eventually I ended up storing my partially cooked ribs and a bunch of raw chicken in an ice chest packed with snow.

I think we got about 2 feet of snow that day and it came down fast and hard.
My country road wasn't plowed til after dark and several cars were temporarily stranded here and there and in the middle. I entertained myself by trying with little success to push some of the stranded travelers that were spinning tires on almost level ground. Even 4X4 trucks were fishtailing trying to get through. It was pretty entertaining for me in that I was safe on foot and never far from my own driveway. I did help one guy get his car into my driveway so he could come back for it after the storm. (When he returned the next day, he brought me a case of beer for my troubles.) Eventually with help of better equipped travelers, every one made it out. At least from my stretch of the road.

I was, and am usually, prepared for such emergency situations although this time I was not expecting it in the least. (Hey, I was just sitting outside enjoying a warm gentle rain the night before.)
I don't have wood heat, but I do have a little generator that I can wheel out the front door to power my electric space heaters to keep the house comfortable. I also used the generator to hook up to the internet every once in a while. On day 2 I hooked it up to the fridge for awhile to save my freezer stuff. But, not wanting to waste gas, I used it sparingly.

I have plenty of candles, extra carboys with drinking water, a Coleman gas lantern and camp-stove. I also have a handy little crank radio/flashlight so I can listen to MPR.  Also, being that it never got really colder than about 35 or 40 outside, I still had a rain barrel full of water to keep the toilet operational. Normally when there is a chance of an outage, I fill a couple 5 gallon buckets in the shower for just in case.
PB020022
PB020017

All in all, it was a nice little adventure. I called it a dress rehearsal. This was similar to the 2 day outage we got last Christmas without the below zero temps. I think that with this early season scare everybody will be getting their emergency kits together.

What really sucked was that it threw off my routines. I didn't get my laundry or cooking done so I didn't have leftovers for my lunch at work. So I just felt tired and out of synch all week.
What really didn't suck was that the next day a neighbor, who was passing by on his tractor, took the time to scoop up the the mounds of snow at the end of my driveway that had been pushed up by the snow plows.

The Land of Come What May

messy business this here snow is. of all days to wake up with no milk. most days I can let that go but the weekend coffee needs to be special. it was a nice little adventure. since it was the first snow of the year I was happy to brave the half mile and back to the store at the outskirt of my forest. not being too cold the snow was wet and clingy. clumpy, even. yet beautiful.

safe back in the cozy warmth of the cabin I enjoy that Sunday morning coffee to the gentle side of John Coltrane.

if Cayo were here she would feel my excitement as I hold the door open allowing her to put her eager face and feet into the wet morning air while debating if curiosity were reason enough to brave the full force of it's white swirly invitation.

a slow cooking rack of bbq ribs will be the oder of the day.
life. good.
Cayo Forever!

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Comma Toes

I may have forgotten how to write and post on here and I'm not going to browse whatever random and rare stories or excuses I'v posted over the last few years because they are probably just like this one saying that I will stick my toes in the water and start blogging again and then I don't but with the hole left in my home activities since the passing of the love of my life and not to mention all of the time I'm saving by not using puncuation I may have to start writing again because I am still here and if you are reading this then so are you but we'll see.
100_7094
Cayo Forever!

Slow Cooked vs Half Baked

As more and more of our daily routines are being assimilated by technology, new habits are forming. We now slide our fingers across new fangled gadgets that keep our information, communication, and our heads in the clouds. Most people from away never have to leave their comfort zone to shop, communicate, or find entertainment. I believe that this instant gratification is less savory than that which takes some time to simmer.
Fortunately, here in Waldo County, we find comfort in simple things like farmers markets, festivals, theaters, and video stores. Yes, video stores!
That which was once a corporate mass market has become a niche, a novelty, and a way of life for us ruralites. The video store has become the farmers market of entertainment. Where you can mingle with real people while you select the movies suited to your tastes. The motion picture is still very much alive. But, how you decide to enjoy it can also reflect the way you choose to live. 
Personally, I like to take it slow. How about you?

Bon Apatite'!

My, What Big Teeth You Have!

It's a beautiful day in my neighborwood. Ya see, I got all woods and no hoods. Like the cottage in the wood from red riding hood. I don't know where I'm going with that so I will just cut to the chase....I woke up to a lovely downpour and that's my kind of day. I have an oven chock full of slow cookin ribs (Yeah I know, I had that last weekend but they was on sale so I got me a double  size mess o' ribs cookin this week!)
I have some nice music projects to work on. I am learning myself how to do some sound editing on Audacity. I just got a cool little unit that allows me to finally (after a couple decades) transfer some irreplaceable cassette tapes into mp3 format.
The first little transfer was a live song from Lyzzy Bordyn recorded at Christmas party back in 81. The quality is questionable but the test was a success. Once I learn how to clean up the noise and other cool things, I'm sure I will be able to make it better and preserve it for the uncaring generations to come. Most importantly is that I will finally be able to share some of my archival rarities with friends that share the same memories.
Today's project is a MicroTones tape full of original songs. A couple old TC friends will be wicked stoked to get this in their ears again! I was fortunate enough to be friends with the bass player for awhile and he gave me this cassette back in the 80's. I have already made the transfer to mp3 last night. I now have to figure out how to separate the songs into individual tracks and maybe reduce some noise (and if I can't, it still sounds awesome enough as it is) so I am a happy camper either way!
Other cassettes that I can't wait to transfer are my old Weekend Underground radio shows from WNMC, Other TC bands like Zulu Groove and Kenny Olsen that only released their albums on Cassette. I have a small collections of local bands from other locales as well. Then there are the old Lyzzy Bordyn tapes from band practices and parties. Nothing there that is going interest most people but by getting it digitized, all the same, you never know what could suddenly sound good in a fresh context like in a weird video or something. I really am excited about this! I have been keeping this collection in order knowing that some day I would find a way to preserve them and exploit them and that day has come!
Thank you. I'm Jim Dandy and I bite.

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Cowabunga!

I had kind of a funny start to the day, I was enjoying a classic beach party movie with my coffee and decided to take advantage of the cool of the morning and get me some taters parboiled to be used later. Simultaneously, I was shopping on Amazon to flush out my beach party movie collection with a couple more classics that I suddenly decided that  I just can't live without. I put some taters in water and put em on the stove. After marinating them for about a half hour I realized that the stove was not on, so I turned it on high. Then after hearing the water boil from the next room I came in to give em a poke to check their progress. The wrong water was boiling. The back burner was on under my tea pot. So I turned that off and finally got the correct burner burning! Yeesh.  Now I know that is all pretty dumb, and I never turn on the wrong burner. I always use the same front burner. But I do take the precaution of keeping a tea kettle full of water on that back burner just in case, so, yay me! I blame the internet connectivity. If I was not connected to the internet, I wouldn't have been so distracted. So now, the TV is off and the radio is on. I am still at the computer and I overcooked my taters. But I can work with that. This weeks home fries will just have to be mash browns.
Thank you. I'm Jim Dandy and you're not.

Squeaky Wheel

Well, here it is Sunday morning on Labor Day weekend. It's sunny and warm. I have my oven full of ribs that will be slow cooking for 4 or 5 hours and a mess o' chicken to grill outside later. I made it this far without bitching, but...
It Was Supposed To Be Raining!
Why else would I start the oven up early and get the temperatures rising in my cabin if I hadn't planned around a nasty rainy weekend forecast. Now I'm going to have to be outside and leave all the major chores I had saved for the weekend.
Now I will have to mow my lawn and sweat all day!
My entryway is piled up with cases of record albums and boxes of comics and books from my storage space that need to be skillfully integrated into my tiny
home. A chore best done on an indoor kind of day.
On the outdoor kind of days, I reserve the cool that I collected over night through the open windows. Instead, I have spent that already and am heating it from inside and out.
I even brought home the final season of Stargate Universe that I was going to tackle on this would be dreary weekend. Oh Well.
I mean it's still possible that the clouds could roll in and it could cool off but really, what's the point of even having forecasts?
So, good news for all you outdoors peoples that haven't already changed your picnic plans. Yay. It's a wonderful sunny day. Good for you.
Meanwhile, my friend Mark's internet radio broadcast is about to begin so I have to get this whole listening rig set up outside under the umbrella with Cayo, instead of choring to the oldies inside as I had planned. yeah, who's the Grumpy Cat, now? haha.
(Not Cayo. She's happy to get outside after being a prisoner of love all week while I am at work.)
All Righty, then. As I always say, if Cayo's happy, I am happy.

Happy Labor Day.
Really!
(HEY!!! I SEE CLOUDS!!!)

Love Hate Love

Wow, the internet.
I've been without it for quite a while. I don't mean completely with out it. I have it at my work place, but only while standing at the counter between customers and I'll be damned if ever I could watch an entire 3 minute video without pausing a dozen times in the first minute to the point of frustration that I usually say "frack that" and give up.
Then there is the internet that I have been borrowing from the neighbors wireless (with their blessing) that would occasionally be good enough to check out a thing or two in a place or 2 but God forbid I want to click on a link and wait and wait and wait and give up. Lately it has gotten to the point where I could barely connect at all.
So, I got me some genuine internet. no bells or whistles fancy stuff with tv channels or a land line telephony thingy...just internet. DSL. I fancied myself up a bit as well by also buying a wireless router. So now, and this is a first, I am not limited to where the computer is part of  a desk that is anchored by a cable to the wall. I am free to use my laptop anywhere in or out of the house!
I know this is no big whoop to most people. It's easy to take for granted unless you don't have it. That's why I'm flogging these thoughts now while I am excited about it. I like spontainiatious  blogging.
Example, if I knew I had to type this out then put it on a flash drive and take it to work and find the time to get it on this page I would be bored with it before I started it.  And that is how most of my ideas have fallen off my thought train these last few years.

Of course, this also means that I will be always looking at the computer even when I'm trying to watch a movie, or laying in bed til 3 a.m. catching up on videos and pop culture crap (like last night) but, I will take the bad with the good. Even now, I am listening to a nice jazz station on my Pandora via my spare laptop connected to the house stereo while I type this under the umbrella outside next to my cat. (It's a pleasant breezy summer morning that may have otherwise been wrought with internet connectivity issue frustrations.)
Then, let I not go without saying it, there is the real reason I need good internet at home, listening to my friend Mark on Catamount Community Radio!
That happens 10-12 Sunday morning (right coast time).

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So simple, so tasty,  and after years of soggy too sweet cole slaw, this is the method I wish I always knew. I say method because the ingredients were always there, I just used them wrong. The original recipe goes like this...

1 2-pound head of green cabbage
quartered, cored, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices (about 14 cups)

1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 cup grated peeled carrots
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup mayonnaise

You may play with that to suit your own tastes, as I have used other variations. My most recent favorite used White Vinegar, Sugar, and a few pinches of dry dill for the marinade. The onions I never tried but I have topped it with chives. All that stuff is up to the artist. The real trick is this...

Mix the vinegar and sugar. Add it to the shredded cabbage and toss well. Then just cover (or not) let stand for 30 minutes. Toss again and let stand for another 30 minutes.

Then you drain it well and cover it up and stick it in the fridge. Let it chill, dude.
The beauty thing is that you can do this the day (the original recipe says 8 hours) before you need it and it stays fresh and crispy.
When you are ready for it just add the quarter cup mayo, and carrots or whatever. Sometimes I don't even add the carrots, but may grate some on top as a garnish.
For just myself, I add the mayo to just the portion that I am using. Like a spoon full for a small salad bowl of slaw. Then the rest stays crispy till the next meal and I find myself saying, "Damn! Did I just make that?"

The white vinegar variation seemed more tangy and may be good with some fennel seed too. I just happened upon the dill before I found my fennel. (and also just happened to be out of apple cider vinegar, and glad I was.)
And as all great recipes add as a disclaimer...
Season with salt and pepper to taste. (I don't)

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Holy Guacamole! Has it really been that long since my last post on this thing. Well I better fix that right now!
This is actually a recipe I was gonna share with my friend Mondo Marco,  so I will use it to fill some space on this page and maybe make the world a little better place in the process.
So simple, so tasty,  and after years of soggy too sweet cole slaw, this is the method I wish I always knew. I say method because the ingredients were always there, I just used them wrong. The original recipe goes like this...

1 2-pound head of green cabbage
quartered, cored, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices (about 14 cups)

1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 cup grated peeled carrots
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup mayonnaise

You may play with that to suit your own tastes, as I have used other variations. My most recent favorite used White Vinegar, Sugar, and a few pinches of dry dill for the marinade. The onions I never tried but I have topped it with chives. All that stuff is up to the artist. The real trick is this...

Mix the vinegar and sugar. Add it to the shredded cabbage and toss well. Then just cover (or not) let stand for 30 minutes. Toss again and let stand for another 30 minutes.
Then you drain it well and cover it up and stick it in the fridge. Let it chill, dude.
The beauty thing is that you can do this the day (the original recipe says 8 hours) before you need it and it stays fresh and crispy.
When you are ready for it just add the quarter cup mayo, and carrots or whatever. Sometimes I don't even add the carrots, but may grate some on top as a garnish.
For just myself, I add the mayo to just the portion that I am using. Like a spoon full for a small salad bowl of slaw. Then the rest stays crispy till the next meal and I find myself saying, "Damn! Did I just make that?"

The white vinegar variation seemed more tangy and may be good with some fennel seed too. I just happened upon the dill before I found my fennel. (and also just happened to be out of apple cider vinegar, and glad I was.)
And as all great recipes add as a disclaimer...
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Personally, I just grind a little black pepper on my portion because I'm a pepper freak.

As for that tangy sweet juice that you drain from the cabbage. I always save it in a jar in the fridge, thinking it will come to good use. Try adding cucumber and onion slices to it and turn it into a quick jar of refrigerator pickles.

Mmmm, mmm! Now THAT'S Good Eats!

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How I Invented Apple Pancakes

It all started while reading an interview with director Larry Cohen in RE/SEARCH #10 Incredibly Strange Films(Second Printing May 1986). Larry was the director of many cult films including "It's Alive", "Q", and "God Told Me To".
The interviewer mentioned that they were only interupted by the directors daughter who supplied them with apple pancakes, which of course weren't invented yet because, as a result of the afor mentioned interview, they would be invented by me some 26 years later. (Hense the title of this article.)

So I said to myself, which is my prefered method of talking to me, that apples in pancakes is something I have never tried. That's not too amazing being that I'm not much of a pancake fan to begin with. The amazing thing is that the apple in the pancakes just make so much sense!

As I said I'm not a pancake fan but I do like to be ready for any culinary needs that might impress an unexpected guest (or hangover) so I keep a box of Krusty's Instant Pancake & Waffle mix in the cupboard. Just add water.

Well today, not having a guest but the latter, I decided to try my new invention. I tossed some batter together in a bowl and added a cored, peeled, and diced Granny Smith Apple of the Beatles variety.

Dang if it weren't awesome!

I was out of maple syrple so I only topped it with a bit of butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon. It was like fresh apple pie! And I'm talkin' about one big ass pancake the size of a 10 disc stack of 45's on a platter! The apple had just enough time to cook to a soft warm crunch. One bite and I screamed, "Happy Apples!"

Next time, and there will be a next time, I may toss the cinnamon with the apples before I mix it in the batter for a more insidious approach with the spice. I'm also wondering if it might be good with a bit of grated cheddar because, as my great grandma used to say, "Apple Pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze."

And that's how I invented Apple Pancakes.

Bon Appletite'

Got the Life

Cayo eagerly explores my fingertips as they create a make-shift bowl in the landscape that is her blanket.
I chuckle to myself at her youthful anticipation, which is about all she can muster in these, her declining years.
She wastes no time devouring the crunchy treat.


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While in line at the bank drive-thru this morning, a girl got out of the car behind me and approached my window saying... "Are you him?"
When she got close enough to see me she said, "Oh, I thought you were someone else," and started running back to her car.
I stuck my head out my window and yelled, "I AM SOMEONE ELSE!"

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Evolution?


"Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!"
Col. George Taylor --1968


"Take your hand from me, you unctuous platitudinizing eunuch!"
Doc Martin --2004

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O








my Only birds
sO far are crOw
they peck the snOw
for food belOw
[my Ode to O]
it's spring, you knOw
sO sadly thOugh
my snOw won't gO



The View From My Back Door Taken April 2 2011

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FakeBook Status of the Day

People tend to have two reasons for doing a thing; one that sounds good and a real one.

zig zag [stunt poem]

I was thinking to myself [my favorite way]
that 'til a friend stopped by [to pass the time]
I could toss a few [drink some beer]
to help time fly [and make some rhyme]

I don't know if this is a style of poetry but it kind of works in a mix and match way.
I've found at least 6 different ways to read it.
Any improvements on this puzzle are welcomed.

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Deviant (Redux)

Tangerine Beef
Fried Rice
Carnitas w/ Pico de Gallo
I don't really have time to write anything now, and I didn't prepare anything to have ready to post but above are the links to the recipes that I recreated this last weekend. I will try to update this soon with all of the deviations I made to make these awesome dishes my own.

Ya see, I just got a DVD collection of
Guy's Big Bite and am enjoying some inspired cooking. Details to come.
Suffice to say, It were some kick ass food!  Stay Tuned! (This photo from Guy's  Page, Not Mine.)

 

The following are the above mentioned Deviations from the recipes at the top of the page.

Day One: Carnal Carnitas with Pico de Dandy
These Carnitas were a new flavor to me. They are like tacos with a twist. A twist of lime!
(Although the pun was not intentional.)

My deviation on this recipe was that while pricing the pork butts I found a boneless pork loin to have a friendlier price tag. And although the Manteka Lard was costlier than I expected, ($2.50 #) I went with it anyway. However, after finishing, I did strain and freeze it for future use. (I'll let you know how that works out.)
The only other deviation on this dish was the radishes. Ever the frugal gourmet, I was shocked at radish prices. It must be because it is dead of winter but most produce is outrageous. The Cilantro was $2.50 for a small bunch, and Radishes were no exception. So I got a nice chunk of Daikon Radish. It was cheap and did the trick.

The Pico de Dandy is basically a fresh salsa so I added a few cloves of pressed garlic to the mix and doubled up on the fresh jalapenos.

The Carnitas as a finished meal were Magnifico!
A warmed corn tortilla with a generous pinch of the pulled pork and topped with a little shredded cabbage (I splurged on a small bag of pre cut slaw mix that will go into the fried rice as well). Then about 3 slices of fresh jalapeno pepper, 3 slices of that daikon radish, a nice little scoop of the Pico de Dandy, and a squeeze of a lime wedge.
I won't say it's not a little messy but what a flavor combo. It's cool and crispy with a spike of jalapeno hotness. The lime balances the hot and cool. And anytime there is fresh cilantro you know I'm on board! I couldn't stop eating them.
The only thing I accompanied these with was some corn chips that I made myself, (Store bought corn tortillas, cut into 6ths and deep fried) and need I say...Beer!

Day Two: Spicy Dangerine Beef with Vegetarian Fried Rice
On day one I had cooked off some brown long grain rice specifically for leftover to be used in the fried rice. I also had planned on using leftover pork from the Carnitas but wonder of wonders...I ate it all. (I told you it was magnifico!)
Besides the pork and the grain of rice my only other deviations on the fried rice were that I didn't have any snap peas or sesame seeds. Oh, and that I completely disregarded the quantities on everything except the sauces.
I made this early in the day and left it covered on the stove until I needed it much later.

Now for the Dangerine Beef I deviated from the cut of meat. What a shocker! I thought the flank or skirt steak would be an inexpensive cut. I've never bought it before knowing that it had to be marinated and used properly. It never really fit into my throw it on the grill plans. Well this stuff was like $6.50 a pound and I'm a cheapskate. So I went with a big ol' Top Round for London Broil that was only $2.25 a pound and marked down as well. I don't mind, and usually prefer, the marked down steak. I think it tastes as good and sometimes better depending on the cooking method.
(While on that subject, I never buy anything but the freshest when it comes to pork, poultry, and fish. Beef is my exception to that rule. But that's me, you do what you are comfortable with!)
Back to the beef. I first located the direction of the grain on the big ass hunk o' meat, and then cut the steak into chunks that would allow me to make the thin slices across the grain.
The marinade went as prescribed in an eyeball it kind of way. I tend to go heavy on my eyeball measurements, and I used mushroom soy sauce. The beef actually stayed in the fridge for several hours and then I pulled it out to room temp about an hour before I actually got around to cooking. I never started cooking the beef until early evening.
I was expecting a beer drinking buddy early in the day so did all my prep work before noon and we munched on bar food all day. (My home made french fries, corn chips, and I prepared another batch of Pico de Dandy for a salsa dip.)
For the sauce on the Dangerine Beef my only deviations were the sherry and the oil. I use peanut oil for stir frying. And I didn't buy any sherry either, but I always have some kind of leftover wine in the cupboard. Alcohol doesn't hang around long at my house so I keep a small jar for wine over the stove just for cooking. I top it off with whatever wine I may be drinking at any given wine weekend. It might be Burgundy, it may be white, and it is probably a mixture (but not a temptation, hehe)

I'll tell ya right now, this were some kick ass shit!
It's the kind of flavor that I might find in a Chinese restaurant and wonder why I couldn't make it at home. But I did.
It was spicy from the ginger, but sweet from the tangerine. It was tender and thick. Served with the rice it was like, "OMG, did I do that?"

It felt good to get out of the meat and potatoes rut. And as Guy might say, When it comes to my cooking, "No bite is to big!"

Bone Appetites!

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The Ambiguous Cow

Thursday 02FEB11 10:30 a.m. Music playing...T.REX
Temperature outside...10 degreez above zero (heat wave)

My ground beef never seen it's shadow so I recon spring is on it's way!

I took today off from work because of the predicted "Storm Of The Century". (It seems like we get one of those every year, don't it?)
My work partner was generous to cover for me, as I live 15 miles out of town (up in the hills) and she lives only a few blocks from the store in town.
I just finished snow blowing my driveway for the first time today so I can map the progress of the storm. Will we really get that 18 inches?

Now, what to do about food. Today's menu actually started two weekends ago when I froze a 5# bag of ground chuck. I had bought two such bags on sale and never got around to portioning it before I had to freeze it. That left me thawing More than I needed for any single project this last weekend. So, I cooked the entire 5 pounds with fresh chopped onions, garlic, salt and fresh ground black pepper. Then I threw it in the big ass crock pot with a can of tomatoes with basil and a bit of oregano.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to go Mexican or Italian so I stopped the seasoning there until I knew what it would turn out to be.
It turned out to be both. I started by snacking on large flour tortillas topped with a romaine leaf, sour cream, a scoop of the ambiguous beef, and some fresh grated cheddar.  That were some kinda yummy. A jar of sliced jalapenos from the fridge added that extra heat I needed to each bite. Instant Mexican!

Along with this I had cooked up some simple Spanish rice.
To make this I sauteed a couple small yellow onions in oil and then added a pinch of cumin, a bit of chili power, a small can of diced Mexican style tomatoes, one cup of long grain brown rice, and 2 cups of water. After bringing to a boil I lowered the temp to low and put a lid on it. Don't stir and don't peek for at least 20 minutes. Once you do  start peeking (because you have to eventually) look for the water to be absorbed into the rice rice but still slightly bubbling. (or slightly past that point.) Then I turn the heat off and let it set even longer. It will finish cooking and won't burn.
Remember, DON'T STIR YOUR RICE WHILE IT"S COOKING. Wait until it is done and you are ready to serve it. And maybe not even then, unless you are transferring it to a serving dish.

That morning I had also soaked a pot of red beans but decided not to cook them until the next morning.

As it happened I felt like Italian the next day so the boiled beans went to the fridge and I cooked off some pasta. I wanted to use penne regatta but was out, so I used elbow noodles instead. I was thinking goulash (or Chop Suey, as they call it in these parts.) This I prepared per portion in a bowl and topped with fresh grated Parmesan. That were some kinda yummy as well!

Now thinking ahead, as I do every now and then, I thought I may as well portion up some to-go dishes for lunches to take to work.
One microwavable container first got a layer of the rice topped with a layer of the beans and then topped with a layer of the beef. Simple healthy Mexican.
The other 2 containers went Italian. I discarded the goulash idea here and thought lazagne style. Using the elbow noodles I layered noodles, beef, Parmesan, Romano, repeat.

Them was some kind of awesome. And since I'm not at work today, some of it is still in the fridge at work waiting to be enjoyed.

Now...back to today. The remainder of the meat in the crock pot started reheating first this this morning after I realized I wasn't going to work.
After blowing the driveway clean I thought it would be a good day for chili. Hey! I still have those red beans. Throwing them into the mix, I added a big can of diced tomatoes and some cumin & chili powder.
Voila! A pot of chili for a blizzardy day in the country.

Bone Appetite!

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A Day In The Life

Sunday 1/23/2011 11:59 a.m. Outdoor temperature 12 below

I just finished making a huge pot of potato chili & cheese soup.
I am also on my 4th beer. I should have a reality cooking show.
If I did, it would go something like this.

First thing this morning while the coffee was brewing I started soaking a pot of red and black beans.
After coffee and a breakfast of home fries, eggs and toast,  I started peeling potatoes.
Last week my neighbor gave me a big bag of potatoes from her garden. Organic and local. They were very dirty and starting to grow eyes but the chore was quick and easy with a paring knife and some cool running  water.

I filled the pot about 3/4 full of large diced potatoes, added some salt and just enough water to cover them. After boiling a bit then simmering a bit more so the taters were sufficiently tender, I removed them from the heat.

Next I pureed them in their own stock. I actually used a masher to break them all up into a soup consistency. And I always leave things chunky, knowing that it will break down more as it cooks or is reheated. To this I added milk and fresh ground black pepper. And this whole mess I poured into my big ass crock pot.

While the potatoes were boiling I had peeled and diced a bunch of onions and fresh garlic.
Then when that the potatoes were out of the way I sauteed the onions and garlic in my wok.
The wok is actually my favorite cooking pan. It's big enough for any size frying project and it's fun to maneuver or flip your food with. I even use it for breakfast.

Mine is a nice non stick version.  Don't think it's just for stir fry!

Next, to the translucently sauteed onions, I added the spices. Oregano, chili powder and cumin. (I didn't have the foresight to have green or jalapeno peppers on hand for this stage of the project. Use em if you got em.)
I let this saute just a couple minutes to marry the flavor before removing from the heat and adding to the potato mixture in the crock pot.
Soup is done. Just add grated cheddar to each portion as you eat it. A dollop of sour cream is a nice addition as well. (This ain't no health food show!)
My original recipe would call for adding the cheese right to the soup at the final stage of preparation but it serves me, the lonely bachelor, better by doing it per portion. It will survive a few reheats better. That, and I just like to grate cheese on my food. It just adds a freshness to leftovers.

Since I had cooked up so much of the onion and garlic mixture, I left some in the pan for my next project.
I returned the wok to the heat and added some ground chuck. This was a spontaneous choice because I knew I was gonna do something with the beef tomorrow and this would save a step. Plus, it's one less time that I have to wash the pan. haha
The beef and onion mixture will go well with the beans that are still soaking.  I'm thinking burritos or chili.

Remember, I am cooking for myself for the whole week. Lunches to take to work and dinners for when I get home at night. My work days consist of coffee and breakfast, then I go to work and it's straight through with no break until get home around 9 p.m.

So what am I gonna eat today now that all the work is done? Probably gonna cook up some burgers and french fries. haha
Somewhere in the middle of the onion cooking session I was also peeling and slicing russets into french fries and have them soaking in the fridge in a tub of water with a bit of vinegar. Those will go in the deep fryer that is set up in my garage. One case of the munchies and I am good to go!

Man can not live on soup alone. I think tomorrow I will make a meatloaf for sandwiches this week. That plan is subject to change. I might feel like Mexican tomorrow. I didn't even know I was making soup today until I started peeling potatoes.
Bone Appetite! Gimme a beer!


Monday...The Follow Up.
That was some kick ass potato soup!
Before it degraded any, I culled off some portions to take to work with me this week. (Then over the course of the day ate about half of the rest of it.)
The cheese burgers and fries went awesome as well.
Nothing like eating out without leaving the house!

I began this morning by returning the heat to the potato soup in crock pot so lunch was underway before I made a waffle and eggs for breakfast. After lunch, the beans and beef mixture turned into a nice chili that I moved to the crock pot after removing the small amount of leftover potato soup. With that chili working on it's own I decided to turn the rest of my raw ground chuck into mini meat loaves. They will be good for quick sandwich fixin this week. I love me a cold meat loaf sandwich! I used a non stick bread pan that makes eight mini loaves.
Now, if I only had my own bread. Hey, waddaya think I wanna spend my entire weekend in the kitchen? haha...well...actually...

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