Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jalapeno Casanova

This post goes out to a very special exsomeone who told me today that I'm still the best lover she's ever had, and that was before I started a grueling six month training program. While I often credit the educational programs I watched as a middle schooler, and high schooler, and college student, and... adult... I would like to quote the ever-sensual Hilary Rodham Clinton who says "I eat a lot of hot peppers. They keep me healthy. They keep me going. And they remind me of South Texas." Guys, they keep her going all night long. Actually, I don't really know anything about Hilary's love life, but for all the gentleman who want to become Jalapeno Casanovas like me, follow this recipe:




Pineapple Chicken Thai Curry


Grind:

1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Peppercorn
1 Monstrous Pinch Dried Lemongrass

Mini-Food Process:

Ground Spices From Above
2 just about to rot Tomatoes
1 probably was rotting Aztec Pepper
4 Cloves Garlic
0.75 Square Inches Ginger
However many Dried Red Peppers you can take.*
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Fish Sauce
0.5 tbsp Oyster Sauce
0.5 tbsp Sriracha
Rind of Lime

Bring to boil:

14 oz. Coconut Milk
All of the Above

Simmer in the above:

1 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
0.6 lb. Chopped Pineapple
4 Chopped Green Onions
A Goliath-Sized Portion of Cut Basil
Juice of 1 Rind-less Lime

Serve on a bed of rice and enjoy.

*For all the ladies who are reading: I can take a lot.**
**That's what she said.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

More and more I feel old. I'm not. At least not terribly. I'm 26... but I like quiet evenings and I think the world would be a better place if we could respect each other more. I offered to help a guy at the grocery store get some meat off the shelf since he was having trouble balancing his baby and getting the meat. I don't know if I did this because I'm a generally nice guy or because I wanted to make an even starker distinction between me and the d-bags who yelled at me to go while waiting to make a turn at a stop sign after school. Silly me, I actually thought they were trying to alert me of a burned out brake light or something along those lines. Who yells at somebody for trying to be safe? When I realized what was going on a part of me wanted to reverse into their car and then beat them up. I'm not that type of person at all, but these are the thoughts that run though my head. I've been frustrated with my classes recently. I don't know that I hold my students accountable enough, because I blame their failures on my failure to appropriately demonstrate or enunciate my expectations. I'm often frustrated. I stay calm. I don't yell, because that's not who I want to be. Can I yell? Yes. Can I yell loudly and terrifyingly? I think so. I don't like it. Most people teach because they want to help their students. No teacher wants a fight. Respect that.

My apologies if this blog is becoming a diary- I mean manly journal. I made a pretty nice dinner and you can, too, if you follow these steps:



Meat on a Metal Skewer

Some of a decent cut of Beef
Some thick cut Bacon
1 Green Bell Pepper
0.5 Onion
0.33 repeating Pineapple

Cube everything and put it on skewers. Cook on grill (or in my case stove) until Bacon and Beef are safe to eat.

Stuffed Jalapenos

8 Jalapenos halved and seeded
Cream Cheese
Bacon

Fill halved and seeded Jalapenos with Cream Cheese, wrap with Bacon, and cook on grill (or in my case toaster oven) until Bacon is crisp and Peppers are tender.

This is the most manly meal I've made this millennium. I only used the word millennium to further the alliteration. But seriously; it's mighty manly. And now I'm listening to Robbie Williams' Millennium. It was a simpler time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Once and Future Wife

It's not unusual for a week to pass without a post. For this I am sorry, but I have a good excuse this time: my old housemate came to visit. I refer to her as my old housemate, but really she's not much older than me, and wife would be a better description. She doesn't accept it, but we had a common law marriage and I give us 95% odds of one day marrying more officially.

She arrived a week ago Wednesday. Her birthday was the Monday prior. For this, and because it was the first time we'd seen each other in nearly two years, I prepared a lamb roast, asparagus, and creme brulee for dessert.

I've written a short poem to express my feelings for this woman:

Old Housemate

Old Housemate,
Runner who is sexy.
You're all up in my head,
(That's what she said.)

I hope you like Mexi- ...cans.

Your father thinks I'm gay,
But I think I'm just a poorly dressed metrosexual.
My mom thinks you have a funny lifestyle,
I just think you have a funny sense of style.

I rhyme just like Biggie Smalls,
Come on baby get up all over my-
Shut your mouth.
...Wait, that would hurt...

But I'm talking love. Can you dig it?
Yes.



Creme Brulee

1 c. Whipping Cream
1-2 tsp Vanilla (Ideally scraped Vanilla Bean*, but in a hurry use extract)
1/4 c. Vanilla Sugar
2 Egg Yolks

1/4 c. Vanilla Sugar (this is not a misprint. You want two 1/4 cup Vanilla Sugars)

Beat ingredients lazily in a KitchenAid mixer minus the second quarter cup of Vanilla Sugar. Pour into a ramekin and place in a pan of water in a preheated 325 degree oven. Bake 40-50 minutes then chill overnight in fridge. When you pull it out, coat it in remaining sugar (that's what she said) and caramelize it with a sick butane torch that would otherwise be used for welding. Don't buy a sissy kitchen torch. Seriously, be a man and spend $25 at Wal-Mart. Present seductively with sparkly candles, because princesses like sparkles.

*To save money, buy your whole Vanilla Beans at a Homebrew Shop. It's like 12.5% the cost of whole Vanilla Beans anywhere else.

**Full disclosure: this picture was from my first creme brulee that I made about a month ago. I was too in love to take a picture of this, my second creme brulee, but am pretty sure it looked and tasted even better!

***She left yesterday and I miss her.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Crawfish Etouffee

I continued my training by going on a shorter sixteen and a half mile ride this evening. I checked out a park I haven't been to since I was a child. It was nice to find someplace that was more or less new to me. I had no idea how big this park was and never knew that it bordered a nature preserve. It's a nice place to ride. I keep noticing when I go out how few white people there are that take advantage of the parks and weather right now. There's plenty of people out, but in a town that's over 78% white and only 10% Asian and 10% Hispanic, probably 95% of the people I come across as I ride are Asian or Hispanic. Oh well, I'm just glad anyone's out, because I like these parks and the city needs to know people use them.



Crawfish Etouffee

1/4 Stick Butter
1/4 c. Oil

1 Onion Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic Chopped

1 Tomato
1 Aztec Pepper
4 Dried Chilies
1 tbsp. Pepper
1 tbsp. Parsley Flaked

1 tbsp. Flour

12 oz. Crawfish Tails
1 Yellow Bell Pepper Diced

Simmer Onion and Garlic in Melted Butter and Oil. Puree the Tomato, Peppers, and Parsley Flakes and add this to the Onion mixture once Onion looks glassed over, but is not fried. Add the Flour. Add the Crawfish Tails and Bell Pepper and simmer until done. Add Cajun Seasoning as you see fit and add Water to get to the appropriate consistency. Serve over Rice and enjoy.

***You might want to use less Hot Pepper... it's not bad, but some of the flavor is lost to excessive heat. Sweet, sweet, tender heat.***

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Post Ride Ribs and Nurishment

I'm training for the Bike MS: Sam's Club- a two day 153 mile ride to raise money for MS. I've done some fairly serious riding in the past, but that was, well, in the past. I did a 43 mile ride today. It's the longest ride I've done since the second to last day of my cross country bike trip a year and a half ago when I tried to do a 150 mile ride in one day just to get home. I would've done it, too, had it not gotten dark, but I fell a few miles short and ended the day with 135 miles under me. But like I said, that was a while ago. Today's ride made me want to cry. To be fair, that 135 mile ride made me want to cry, too. I was so sore from that ride that it hurt for the next week after I got home every time I tried to bend my legs to get onto the couch or in my car. Today won't be that bad for sure, but it reminds me of those first few days of my bike trip where I struggled each day to hit 40 miles. I was walking up hills, napping on benches, and trying to figure why I was in the middle of Connecticut and New York with just my bike and the random junk I could carry with me. At least this time I know why I'm riding!

The one really nice thing about big rides like these- or one of the nice things- is that it gives you an appetite like nothing you've ever experienced before. I remember going to buffets on my bike trip where I almost felt bad for the restaurants since I ate so much. Today was no exception. More because ribs sounded good when I was at the grocery store yesterday than foresight, I put a rack in the crock pot before I left for Saturday school and my ride. Oh yeah, I raced one of my students after the Saturday school. I won. Handily. Trust me when I say that my bike did most of the work. Still, call me an old man will you! I think I'm a little ADD. I find focusing on one idea a real challenge, but I'll work on it. Maybe I'll delete these last few lines when I edit this (I know, you can't tell that I edit these entries, but I try).



So back to the food. The ribs were in a small amount of water and coated with HEB brand Memphis BBQ Sauce (love this stuff!) and cooked on low for 9 hours. Then I baked them for 15 minutes at 400 to crisp them a tad with a little more BBQ sauce. I boiled a bunch of asparagus and an ear of corn for two minutes. I strongly prefer my veggies to be a little crunchy, so I never boil for more than about 2 minutes. Often it's much less like 30 seconds, or just enough time to brighten their colors and melt a tiny bit of butter. I also made a spinach salad with a tomato, a hard boiled egg, and some blue cheese dressing (store bought). Finally, after chugging what remained of my orange juice and my third or fourth quart of water, I enjoyed a Boulevard Smokestack Series Saison with my meal. It was quite good, but in terms of Saisons I still love Le Merle. Great Divide's Colette is also mighty fine. I don't know why I'm still awake at 2:00 am. My legs are sore, I nearly fell asleep in my car on my way home, and here I am in front of my computer writing this.

Good night.