I heard a ruckus today, asked my spawn what she was doing, “mystical monkey powers.” That seemed like a fair enough answer to warrant no further inquiries. That’s just the way you pull together a cheese tray. Do what ya’ want by your own rules. Snacks are only constrained by what you have in your cupboards. You live it your way. The internets are filled with the proper method to do a cheese tray. It’s all complicated and very high class. I like things that are simple and make sense (exception: women). To those who will mock my cheese tray making abilities as pedestrian I say this. It’s a mystical monkey power, doll. My methods refute discussion. My cheese tray is awesome. Look, kids, I’m all for putting out some chips and some salsa for a party. BUT, you’re a grown-up now. You don’t have to think or even act like a grown-up. Sometimes though, you have to pretend to be grown up. These things include: Tire Changing Drywall repair Spider elimination Non-compliant shoe shopping List Making …And the power over party trays. I’m not going to lie to you. Remove any of my delicate few manliness point you wish. Yet, I love cheese trays. I make them for lunch. I make them to watch football. I break them out for holidays and parties. If your masculinity is entwined in cooking, or the color pink, you’ve got larger issues. Go buy: 1 soft cheese 1 semi-soft or semi-hard cheese 1 hard cheese 1 or 2 meats 2 spreads Some crackers (not the saltines, or heck, the saltines) Don’t over think this. Soft cheese is anything you can spread when it’s room temperature. Soft Cream cheese and those orange cheeseballs count. Camembert and feta do too. I prefer brie. Semi-soft or semi-hard has a huge range. These as the cheeses you would slice and are capable of living in your sandwich: cheddar, swiss, muenster, colby. My favorite is gruyere. A hard cheese is dry and crumbly. Heck, just go with a block of parmesan or asiago. There’s a long list, I’m just not up for it. Slice these into cracker sized cuts. For your meats, I usually do some sliced summer sausage. Pepperoni works or even deli slices cut into bite sized pieces. For the spreads, I’m talking a spicy mustard, hummus or a sweet jam. For the base, I like Ritz crackers, but it’s your pantry. Put it all on a big plate. For example 1 block of brie, cheddar, asiago, sliced salami, german mustard, apricot preserves, bagel chips. For Christmas pie’s sake, stay away from those huge industrial grocery store pre-packaged trays. Those are for co-workers, not for you or your friends. There are more kinds of cheese than just white and yellow. Don’t be afraid to try a new varieties whilst shopping. If you loathe your purchase, it’s four bucks lost and mystical wisdom gained. I swear, this all made sense when I wrote it. Anyway, a simple cheese tray for a simple man... #cheesetray #fancy #theloathiest #meh
Well gentle readers, here we are again. If you are not opposed, I’ll start with the easy way once again. To make this simple feast, boil some water. Add pasta and cook for 7 minutes. Drain noodles. Open jar of your favorite sauce. Put it in a bowl. Nuke for two minutes. Pour sauce over noodles. Add miscellaneous white cheese. Season with tears and broken dreams. All red sauces taste the same after three glasses of wine anyway. Or… I have a better solution. Though seriously, pasta all does taste the same after the first bottle. Yet, on to the ingredients: - ½ pound of ground sweet Italian sausage (it comes in pound form, save the other half for meatloaf) - Two spoonfuls of crushed garlic (my measuring spoons won’t fit in the jar), or two fresh chopped cloves. - A large can of crushed tomatoes, not the Costco can, but the big can (heh heh, big can). Had to google-machine it; use the 28 oz can. - One Tablespoon Sugar - A large pinch of Oregano - A large pinch of Basil - A bay leaf - A smaller pinch of red pepper flakes - A chunk o’ parmesan the size of your cell phone. Grate half. Leave the other half in hunk form. - Some splashes of decent red wine - Salt and Pepper to taste - ½ pound of pasta Brown your sausage in a large pan, pot, whatever, over medium heat. When the pink is almost gone, add the spoonfulls of garlic. I know I said spoonfulls. Yes, you can you the fresh stuff. Dang it. Earlier I mocked you for use of sauce out of a jar. Now, I immediately go to jarred garlic. Apparently, my hypocrisy knows no bounds. I'm not opposed to real garlic. I just didn't have any left. I'm a terrible garlic tender. You could use onions too. I was once told by a very large Italian lady that you should never use onions and garlic together in a dish. She had a wooden spoon. So, I am programmed to listen. You can ignore that advice at your peril. Cook the sausage and garlic two more minutes. Leave out the grated cheese, but add the hunk of cheese and everything else. Maintain a slow simmer and just relax. Let the flavors meld together and the hunk of cheese ooze into every pore of your sauce. Let it get nice and red and thick and bubble its way into awesome perfection. It’s yoga for your soul, albeit manly yoga. Simmer for at least 20 minutes. If you are so bold, double the recipe and keep an eye your liquids and your heat. If it gets too thick, add some stock or more wine. Be sure you don’t burn it. Let it slowly cook for hours. The sauce will be as patient as you are. Whenever you like, start the water on super high. Salt the water. It should taste like the sea. I read that somewhere. Personally, I think the sea tastes like a sweaty Abe Vigoda. Again, do what you will. We’ve howdy’d but we ain’t shook yet. As an aside, I am not the world’s greatest food photographer. In my picture, I do prominently display my boxed garlic bread, not boxed wine and a fork I probably bought at a yard sale. I get it. Look at that great fork… I put a wooden spoon over the top of the pot to try and control the chaos of boil-overs. Add your pasta to the rapidly boiling water. At the same time, put your garlic bread from a box in the oven. The pasta and garlic bread should finish about the same time – 7 minutes or so. The pasta is done when it tastes done. It should have a little tiny crispy middle. That’s al dente. I can never get it right. Throw it against the wall. It really doesn’t tell you anything but it’s oddly satisfying. Drain and plate your noodles. Remove bay leaf from sauce and spoon the sauce over your pasta. Top with that freshly shredded parmesan. Serve with garlic bread and a salad. I do my salad with a touch of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, croutons and some of that grated parmesan. Incidentally, you do have a bottle of wine minus a few splashes. True story. #spaghetti #meatsauce #sploosh #theloathiest #meh
Jennifer Lawrence, I know you are busy. But, if you ever just wanted to raise a puppy together, I’m amendable. We could take it for walks and love it and squeeze it. I will magnanimously extend the offer to Christina Hendricks, Stevie Nicks or Jason Statham. Yes, I said Jason Statham. We’re raising puppies, not swapping spit. Tell me that wouldn’t be an awesomely manly dog. “I’m going to take Mustard for a walk. We’ll probably stop along the way to rid the tri-county area of (insert bad guy du jour). I’ll have him back in an hour.” I’m just saying. Speaking of Stathamly awesomeness (the chef asserted in an awkward transition), we’re making a version of Amish Chicken and Noodles. They are incredibly plain. I mean like raise a barn, plow the fields and ride a swarm of bees before you even got out of bed kinda’ plain. Ingredients: · ½ of a cut up chicken. Feel free to cut up a whole chicken yourself. But don’t. · Three stalks of celery cut up in large chunks · One large yellow onion, quartered · Three cans of chicken broth · Salt and Pepper · Mashed potatoes · 16 ounces of Amish Noodles or Spaetzle Noodles Put the chicken, celery, onions, chicken broth and some salt and pepper in a crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours. Take out the chicken, onions and celery. Pull the chicken off the bones. Put the chicken back in the crockpot. Don’t add the bones, skin, celery or onions back. I must repeat. Just add the chicken back. It should have fallen nicely off the bones. Crock up to high heat. Add your noodles, cover and cook for another 30 minutes. I eat the celery chunks. It’s my dirty little secret. I trust you not to go telling everyone. While we are sharing, I streak every New Years. Mostly it’s in the shower that morning. I am devilishly tepid. As an aside, I’ve been ordered to mention that this is NOT soup. So, there’s that. I put a scoop of cooked microwaveable mashed potatoes (the kind that comes in a refrigerated tub) in the bottom of a bowl and pile on the chicken and noodles. That’s it. Seriously. I trust you enough not to mess this up. Manly Amish Plain.
Hello folks. Welcome to my review of Red Dead Redemption II. It’s made by Rockstar Games – the studio that brought you “Grand Theft Auto” and “Rockstar Games Present Table Tennis.” My daughter got first crack at the game. It’s a reward for good grades. House rules state that if she gets good grades, I leave her alone. I don’t check homework. I don’t nag her about school. Oh, I’ll ask. “How was your day.” You know the answer already. Fine. Well, she got amazing grades. I offered up anything she wanted as a reward. Red Dead Redemption was her hearts desire. Really? Seriously? It’s a horse thing I guess. Red Dead Redemption II is totally in my wheelhouse. I like RPGs. I like westerns. I liked the original Red Dead Redemption. So, volume 2 has been on my list since it came out. I mean really, this is a gift for me. I’m buying her a gift for me. This is the best reward ever. I’m only going to talk about the first two hours – two amazing hours. There my daughter sat in the living room. She laughed and she smiled. We just hung out. My teenager just hung out with me – at home. We were just two gamers exploring a new world. There was a time when I was everything to her. Daddy play with me! Daddy watch me! We spent hours doing puzzles, having tea parties and riding around on video game ponies. Do you remember that time with your kids? I was warmth, love, protection, a sense of self-worth. I was Maslow. And now, well… “Bruh, I just shot that bear and I was about to take it back to the camp and then I was murdered by that guy behind the tree. Did you see that?!?” “Yes, I saw it. Next time, keep your gun drawn.” She is a sweet, beautiful, wild, little vicious brute, 90 pounds of love and destructive force. I just, I, well, look, I could write a graphic account of the how Red Dead Redemption II plays. I could start with a description of the first few hours, the flow, any glitches – that sort of thing. I can’t. I haven’t played Red Dead Redemption II yet. I spent almost no time looking at the game. It was on, I paid no mind. Instead, I watched her. I watched my little girl – now a teenager. She teeters on the edge of adulthood. I wonder when I lost my little girl. When did she get so big? When did she leave ponies behind? How did I not notice? Maybe I didn’t want to. I know she struggles so much to find herself. I have so many answers she doesn’t want to hear yet. Today, questions were asked of me, like I was the expert. My answers as the gospel. “Open your inventory. You have a shotgun and a six-shooter.” “Thanks Dad.” I’m a gamer. I cut my teeth on Pong. I moved from Pitfall to Bard’s Tale to Tecmo Bowl to Tetris to Diablo to Everquest to Dragon Age to ESO. There were a hundred games in between. Those were my favorites though. She’s a stone cold gamer. She once cracked my Play store and bought $500 worth of online ponies. She’s a clever girl. After an initial mystery, I explained to the google rep over the sound of sobbing that the charges did indeed belong to me. She went from Ponies to Pokemon to this. I never saw it coming. I don’t want her to grow up. I want to be the one that she comes to for skinned knees and brownies. I want to be the finder of her butterflies and the teller of her story. Those days are gone. She’s been replaced. Hell, but there she sat – beautiful and mostly grown. There she was 2 feet away, asking me how to aim. I know it’s weird. For a moment, I regained my little girl in the midst of robbing a train. She was only there for a moment. As soon as I saw her, she grew up. It happened right before my eyes. The best games take you to unexpected places. She’s not my little girl any more, and she’s wonderful. So, Red Dead Redemption II, you are now my favorite game of all-time. Five stars.
I have a sullen teenager. At least, I think I have a sullen teenager. I know she is still living in my house. I notice that the Mac and Cheese disappears from the cupboard. She goes for the microwaveable kind. I think she may be a liberal. Next, she’ll be questioning religion, reading “The Bell Jar” and wearing long pants. I’m going to leave a copy of “Guns and Ammo” and a copy of “The New Republic” outside her door – see which one she reads. I can guess. “Dear Judge, I caught my Daughter with a Bernie Sanders flyer. I’d like to have her committed to a liberal aversion camp in Iowa.” She’ll spend all day reading Trump tweets and quietly watching Pat Robertson videos. The least she can do is eat my mac and cheese. Right? Not to overshare, she once pooped on my head at Disney. We were in line for “It’s a Small World.” Never mind the minor details. Imagine It’s a Small World. Now imagine it with poo in your ear. “Why didn’t you just get out of line,” you may ask. Well, you should have suggested that then. Now it’s just a bitter memory and a testimony of my love. I’m thinking of using this story for her wedding toast. It’s going to be a small wedding, I’m cheap. That will save her some embarrassment. Currently, I’m realizing this story is the worst possible tie-in to a food recipe. Please, ignore everything you’ve just read. Instead, pretend I told you how through the power of cheese and forgiveness, I once saved a family of frogs from a storm drain. That would be a much better start to all of this. (pause blog to watch Judge Judy) “Let me explain something to you, Fresh Mouth: I'm the only one who makes jokes.” (unpause blog) Ingredients for two servings 4 slices of bacon Small yellow or white onion, small diced 1 cups elbow macaroni 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon flour 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1 cup milk 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese First, chop, prep, and put the ingredients in little bowls. I have tiny little bowls that I like to put things like my prepped ingredients in. Recently I was told those bowls are for the cat. I didn’t know the cat could cook (Dad jokes). Put a medium pot of water on. Salt it like the ocean. While that’s getting all boily, fry your bacon up to your preferred level of crispness. Do I need to tell you how to make bacon? Can I do that in another post? I’m feeling particularly lazy today. Fine! Normally, I start the bacon in a cold cast iron skillet. I put the heat on medium and flip it obsessively until it’s crisp but not burnt. Place cooked bacon on a paper towel. Chop/crumble bacon when cool enough. Your water should be boiling now. Add the pasta and cook till it’s al dente. Really, I can never get mine perfectly al dente. I’m a cook, not a chef. So, cook your pasta about 10 minutes. I suggest you do what the box of pasta says. Far be it from me to argue with Mr/Mrs Butoni. While pasta is cooking, add the butter to your medium hot bacon pan (sans bacon). Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook that for only 30 seconds. It’s easy to burn garlic so be careful. Undercooked garlic is better than burnt garlic. Add the flour on top of all that. Cook for another minute. You’re totally building a roux for your sauce. Add the milk, bring to a gentle boil and cook for about a minute. You’re thickening the sauce up. The pasta is getting close. Drain it when it’s done. Turn the heat to lowish. Using small handfuls, stir in the cheese. Make sure every little handful is incorporated before you add the next handful. Stir constantly. Add pasta to sauce once the cheese is all in. Take off heat, stir in bacon. I like a little hot sauce on mine. Eat dear child, eat. Or don’t eat. I guess you’ll eat when you’re hungry. Since people usually don’t read this far, when I’m sad, I listen to Selena Gomez. I also mix my breakfast cereals. I once pooped on the front porch and blamed it on the cat. (I feel it necessary to add, “when I was a child” to that last one). #macandcheese #theloathiest #meh #hotsauce #dog #dinner
This is not a political blog. It’s a cooking blog – mostly. Still… Apparently, younger spawn found my blog on the internets. I just received the following email: To quote, “Calling me unfunny really hurt my feelings man, I’m shocked and offended. Hurts bruh.” I started to call my Mom by her first name in High School. Now, I’m “bruh.” I have to call my Barb and immediately apologize for my insolence. Kids have so little control over their lives. I suppose a little rebellion in life is a good thing. It gives them a modicum of control in their otherwise parentally structured life. I’ll take “bruh” over her sneaking shots of rum and then filling the bottle with water sort of thing. Not that any of us did that. Though, I suppose that’s not rebellion, that’s probably the beginning of a long life of problems. Kids, don’t try that at home. I asked the spawn what rebellion meant to her. “It’s generally going against something you don’t like, normally violently.” I suppose that’s a pretty good explanation. In the case of the rum, it was violently ill. “What are you doing father? Are you calling me unfunny again.” I’ve hit a sore spot with her. I’m locking up the booze tomorrow. I never really had any big acts of rebellion. It’s not that I like to be told what to do. It’s just that life has never been that intolerable that I need to act overtly against the status quo. The risk has never out weighed the reward. Oh, I’ve been a jerk, or made bad decisions despite of authority (see above), but I’ve never acted out enough to garner any major attention. But I want to. I don’t mean Luke Skywalker or Nathan Hale level rebellion. I cannot compare nor have the level of oppression against me to begin to fully comprehend the Civil Rights movement. Dr. King taught us to take a punch and turn the other cheek. Non-violence is not a passive act. It takes an incredibly strong person to turn the other cheek once wounded. Invite the hoses and then sit in their wash. That’s a level of bad-ass against oppression I have not had to suffer. Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” And Lincoln, “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.” One great man starting a revolution, one great man quelling one. Both different sides of the equation coming to the same conclusion. Revolution is if not a good thing, at least it’s an ok thing. Before we go further, let’s dial this down quickly. I’m not talking about our government. Though, change is obviously needed. I’m not even picking a side (Trump is bad). I’m just saying, it’s ok to question things. It’s almost imperative to act against the system. It’s OK to rebel against your parents. It’s OK to rebel against your boss. It’s OK to rebel against your partner. It’s OK to feel cheated by the world and rebel, my friend. Our government, our freedoms, or planet is in grave danger (is there any other kind?). Question everything. If it doesn’t feel right – there’s a chance it’s not. The world does not need blind followers. It needs free thinkers. It needs artists and people of action. It needs people who have the ability to look outside in and say, “Man, you really suck.” Just do fucking you. But do you in the best way that does the most good on this planet. I’m trying to desperately to put together my jumbled thoughts here. I am trying to tell you to do something I’ve always been terrified to do. Stand-up. Stand-out. There are people doing horrible things to this planet, the weak, the poor, the minority. Don’t let them get away with it. Rebel. Do not follow the status quo or the authority simply because you are told do so. Rebel on the side of good though. Revolution for revolutions sake is bullshit chaos. “Let’s go get sushi and not pay.” Not rebellion, just being a jerk. My Grandfather pulled into Pearl Harbor with the remaining fleet on December 8th, 1941. He never talked about it until I joined the Navy. Then I suppose I joined the club. Then he was able to talk about it. I don’t know if was to warn me what I was in for, or just because finally I might be able to understand. I hear that happens with war torn soldiers and sailors and airmen. Anyway, I said it was all smoke and fire and oil and bodies - ships turned upside down still on fire with crews desperate to save the living trapped inside. My Grandfather went to war and it cost him his innocence and his leg. My Uncles followed his footsteps in Vietnam. That’s a jungle hell I cannot imagine. I followed off to my own war. Thankfully, it only cost me my youth. My family earned their Purple Hearts. We have earned our right to speak out against what we see is wrong. A million American patriots lie under our soil and that of the land on which they fought and died on. From the American Revolution on, we fought against tyrants and oppression. We fought to secure liberty not just here but around the world. The size of your flag does not make you a patriot. It’s the conviction in the Constitution and the defense against those who oppose it. The second amendment folks, I’m not talking about you. I don’t want your guns. I want there to be sanity in the laws protecting us from those who abuse them. I just want responsible gun ownership. Don’t use the 2nd Amendment as an excuse as our children are being killed. I faced an active shooter event, 12 dead. I’m allowed to loathe you for hiding behind a rich gun lobby and an Amendment never conceived in the horrific manner which you yield it. And now we face our own king on his tyrannical throne. Now we stand on the cusp of our own decision. Will we allow this man to destroy the values we have fought and bled for? There is a vocal minority that says we should. The Senate says we should. The business in his pocket says we should. No, we will not, says I. Rebel with your votes and your letters. Write your members of the Senate and House. Write your local government. Do not allow hate and oppression to permeate this great land. Write letters to your local media – support them with your dollars and your subscriptions. Vote. Be heard. Stand up. Please. Take a punch and dare another. Boycott products, businesses any Fox News that supports this madness. Republicans, please call this what it is – the trampling of our beliefs for big business and party politics. If we don’t, our kids will either have to or live under a government that is called America but is something far worse, oppressive and sinister. The alternative is a nation ruled solely by those with money, corrupted power, the biggest guns along with a ruined planet. I promise.
Sometimes you gotta just wreck you eggs. Sometimes, you gotta take a gentle touch to them. Without further ado, you know how much I loathe ado’s, here we go. 1991. I had just gotten out of Navy bootcamp. I was close to a titan on earth – invincible, manly. I threw mountains at mortals. I ate hydras for breakfast, each head as they grew back until I was sated. King of the world. And just so wrong. I talked to a lot girls. Sailors had a reputation with the ladies. I certainly didn’t know that was something that I needed grow into. Well, there I was in Chatham, IL. I don’t remember the girls name. I do remember that I didn’t really speak to her ever. I’m not sure how the word came around that I had, but it was out. And I was in trouble for it. Think of the best teenage angst fight cliché you can think of. I lived it. I woke up one fine Illinois morning to find an anonymous note on my 19 year old sailor 1966 Mustang (more chrome than the Sun knew what to do with, more V8 horsepower than I should have been allowed to control). The note, “Meet me at the rock pile at Noon.” Elegantly simple, implied violence, an unknown sailorly adventure. Women, fights, booze, tattoos. There was a time when that was all ok for a sailor. Seriously, it was even Ms. Manners approved. (see NYT article, June 15, 1953 (totally made up)). The rock pile was near the railroad tracks not far from my house. We all knew where it was. It was a place of teenage drinking and secret kisses. That day, it was meant for pummeling. High noon – Gary Cooper I was not and will never be. I show up, sinewy from 1000 boot camp grinder push-ups and forced marches. I was 140 pounds of hubris. There was Sean Lyles with some teenage dream blonde girl. It possible that I had talked to her. She made no impression upon me. Sean had once been a friend though. Puzzled was I. Didn’t’ matter, a fight was a fight. There was no need for small talk. The girl grinned. “Let’s go,” said Sean. He threw a queasy easy first punch – gentlemanly, I’ll give him that. It was to let me know the fight had begun – like touching gloves. Immediately after, it was a flurry of kicks and bruised limbs as we threw each other around the stones. It was a quick, violent, S.E. Hinton kinda fight. ''A fair fight isn't rough,'' Two-Bit said. ''Blades are rough. So are chains and heaters and pool sticks and rumbles. Skin fighting isn't rough. It blows off steam better than anything.'' I knee to my face, ended the brawl. Down I went, broken, whupped. Away went Sean, his prize the girl I never knew that I wanted. He left, girl in arm, bruised and victorious. I stayed a few minutes, bloodied and unknowing about why and how I just got my butt beaten so soundly. What’s my point? Sometimes, even I don’t recall. Oh… Mostly eggs are something I have around for a quick and easy meal. It’s always at the ready for a batch of pancakes or a quick toad in the hole. (self-referential author: https://www.theloathiest.com/post/valentine-s-day-toad-in-the-hole) For breakfast burritos, I completely pummel my scrambled eggs. I cook them on medium high heat, looking for big curds that will stand up to a burrito and the tots contained within. I don’t want them soggy. I want my eggs solid, large curds, hammered eggs to compliment to the salsa and sour cream. But mostly, I like my scrambled eggs low and slow – like making love to a gentle soul. Soft and warm I like to cook my scrambled eggs mostly with tender, soft care. Everyone has their favorite way, it mostly comes down to the application of heat. This was a long way to go to get to the recipe. Ingredients: you know, eggs, water, butter, salt, pepper, toast. On a medium low pan, I melt a tablespoon of butter. In the meantime, I place my eggs in my rocket blender with a tablespoon of water for each egg. I pulse until mixed. If you don’t have a rocket blender, just whisk until they are all mixed up, no whites. No milk. Nothing fancy. I pour the eggs into the pan and scrape the bottom and sides of the pan constantly. Break up any large curds. Usually this takes about ten minutes. I do have the worlds slowest toaster. So, I start my eggs and toast at the same time. Convenient I suppose. When the eggs are almost done, with a beautiful custardy consistency, I salt to taste. You have to taste. It’s a must. Start with a little salt and adjust accordingly. Still almost done, I add another pat of butter and let that melt in. Take out toast from the world’s slowest toaster. Pour over eggs. Top with fresh ground pepper. Real chefs add fresh herbs on top. I don’t keep fresh herbs around. If you do, you’re a better cook than I am. (If you don’t, odds are, you’re a better cook than I am.) These aren’t rock pile eggs. They are gentle Sunday morning love. Enjoy. Sean and the mystery girl, I’m not sure if I should thank you. Just so you know, the realization of my mortality probably helped me going to war. This wasn’t the last fight over a girl in my life. It was the worst and most unnecessary. Don't look for life lessons in fights at the rock pile. In eggs, I don't know, maybe. I learned more about how to be a man from cooking than I ever did from bar fights. Thank you world? My ego recovered long ago. I suppose the lesson stayed with me. Heck, my eggs thank you at the least. “Dear Sean, thank you,” signed my eggs. #chatham #scrambledeggs #toast #rockpiles #loveandwar #theoutsiders
Middle aged is briskly upon me. Now it is an absolute fact. Without a doubt, I am old. Upon whence did this thought finally hit me? Was it when my barber spend more time trimming my ears than my hair? No. Was it when my devil, toilet clogging spawn turned 20? Nope. Was it even when I found that my back hair was turning a magnificent silver, a color normally reserved Senatorial candidates? Not even. It was when I sat down, hungry, and thought, “hmmm, what I’d really like today is some cabbage soup.” The beginning of the end is obviously upon me. A vast search of the internet reveals this recipe as either “inside-out” or “deconstructed” cabbage soup. I’d like to think it as “I made this instead of getting a convertible” cabbage soup. Hence, it not only will satisfy your hunger, but it is the surefire cure for your mid-life crisis. I made this bowl of awesomeness and then spent the rest of the evening looking for risqué pictures of the Golden Girls. All praise the internets. · A few splashes of olive oil · 1 to 2 pounds of ground turkey or beef · 1 large onion, chopped · 1 clove garlic, minced or some of that from a jar which I love shamelessly · 1 small cabbage, chopped · 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes · 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce · ½ cup water (or broth) · 1/2 teaspoon black pepper · 1 teaspoon salt · Your favorite rice to go underneath (if you like) As I’ve mentioned in my thousands (maybe a dozen) of previous posts, cooking is relative. Put in what you like in a recipe. The only two requirements are salt and love. I am so sweet. Let me start out by saying most recipes call for 1 ½ pounds of ground something. Really? Most fancy tubes of ground meat are one pound. So either go with 1 pound, use two pounds. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find 1 ½ pounds of meat. This is the best ratio but not mandatory. Anyway, put a little olive oil in your biggest pot. Brown your ground meat with your chopped up onion on your medium heat. This is one of the few dishes where I say ground turkey is better than ground beef. Judge away if you must. When it’s nice and brown, add your garlic and stir around for about a minute. Then, and this is the tricky part. Add everything else. It looks like you have a huge mound of cabbage in there. I promise you, it will cook down. Bring it up to a boil, cover, reduce to medium low, and simmer for 25 minutes. In the meantime, minute brown rice takes about 12 minutes, go figure, on the stovetop. I’m not going to tell you how to make whatever rice floats your boat. You see only one set of footprints on the beach. That’s me not telling you how to make rice. I nuke mine and sloop it on the bottom of the bowl. Ladle my old man soup on top. Look, this is actually really good. I mean that. Apparently it’s also good for your colon. I worry. Please send wool socks and flannel. Ladle up a bowl. Go sit on the porch and yell at the kids for playing in your yard.
Red Beans and Rice My favorite sailor tale of all time, true story, starts out thus… I found myself in New Orleans in a large back street mansion owned and inhabited by several drag queens. I am quite drunk which was not unusual for me in those days. Next to me, as I recline in a large hot sauce colored sofa, sits a rabbit. The rabbit is wearing eye liner and false lashes. I blink at the bunny. The cross dressing rabbit blinks back. I am comfortable, covered in beads, and certainly in no danger. Miss Chersharie has cold beer and hot red beans and rice. I stay. The story, of course, has a happy ending as most stories involving red beans and rice do. This is a comfort food, a lucky food. It’s built for lumberjacks, tennis moms and cross dressing rabbits alike. Ingredients: · 1 pound of dried red beans. The bag should weigh close to that. · 2 cans of chicken broth (should be close to 4 cups total) · 3 cups water · 1 green pepper seeded and chopped · 3 celery stalks chopped · 3 cloves of garlic chopped (as usual, I use my cheater garlic in a jar) · 1 pound of cooked sausage, the big link kind, cut into medallions. Use Andouille if you’ve got it. If not, just keep is simple. · Three tablespoons of creole seasoning. It’s sold as “creole seasoning” · Hot cooked rice. I use the quick microwave stuff. Put everything except the rice in your crock. Put on when you leave for work. It’s done when you get home. It’s finished in about seven, but it can go longer. Serve over warm rice. Season with hot sauce iffin you want. I’ve also been known to leave out the sausage and cook with a ham hock, shredding the meat at the end. I’ve also been known to leave out the ham hock and sausage. That was during my disastrous “Meatless Monday” experiment/phase. Lesson learned. Hey, sometimes a recipe is supposed to take you places. Let this one do that. New Orleans is a place to explore – far outside of Bourbon Street. It’s old southern charm crammed into the modern fantasy by begrudged debutantes and soused frat boys. Don’t let those drunken fools mislead you. Where Vegas beats you over the head with sin, New Orleans is sophisticated debauchery and mystery. Find those streets. Tool around the Mississippi on a riverboat. Drink a tourist hurricane. Go on a ghost tour. Just be simple, happy, and enjoy a little piece of that city. And in the meantime, if someone happens to give you beads you earned, I’m not here to judge. If you go, don't mention my name.
Well, good afternoon everyone. With mad respects to real chefs, I made these little chicken breasts. Wait, little is an understatement. The chicken breasts I purchased were as large as my head. Seriously, DDD. I imagine the chicken it came from did not go down without a fight. There’s some farmer out there currently curled up in a coop, barn destroyed, crops on fire, huddling and shaking, cursing the day he tamed this massive meat giving beast of a fowl. It was, in fact, the world’s largest chicken breast. Upon it, I stand the conqueror. Tyson chicken. Heh. I think I’m funny anyway. So, it was not without at least a modicum of angst that I tackled this enormous savory beast. Without further ado, onto the easy part. Really, this took absolutely no time to prep. I like when that happens. · Two pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts · Two tablespoons Dijon mustard · ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper · 1 teaspoon paprika · ¾ cup parmesan cheese · ¾ cup bread crumbs. I use panko. · Salt and pepper Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Heave out your enormous chicken. I do believe there is proper procedure when your breasts are large (insert your own joke here) and you may consider wrapping them in plastic wrap, pounding them down a little. I, of course, said nay to that and trudged forward. Mix the Dijon, a pinch of salt, and paprika in a bowl. It’s ok to stick a finger in the mustard sauce. If it doesn’t taste alright in the bowl, it won’t taste right on your chicken. Add any flavor you prefer. Smear your breasts lovingly in the Dijon mixture. Uh..uh…completely coat your chicken in it. Please avoid further euphemisms. Mix the parmesan and break crumbs in another bowl. Add pepper to taste. Roll your chicken firmly in the crumbs and place on a wire rack which is placed on a cookie sheet. We not being the picky type have no issues with the chicken going straight onto an oil sprayed cookie sheet. Hit the top with a quick shot of cooking spray – or not. Here’s the tricky part. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. I like my chicken breasts to get at least 165 degrees. You can use a meat thermometer poked into the largest part of the breast. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, let it go a little long. When you cut into it, we want the juices running clear and no pink. It’s easy to overcook chicken breasts. It’s easy to undercook them. I make no promises. Let your chicken rest for 5 minutes. My gigantic breast took 23 minutes. Don’t judge me. I served mine on the largest plate I could find with some freshly steamed green beans and stuffing from a box. The stuffing has directions on the box. Normally, it takes 7 minutes. As for the green beans, steam over boiling water for ten minutes. You can even just boil them in water. They are your beans, love them as you will. There was a lot of chicken left over. Today, I decided to put the leftover chicken on a piece of bread topped with the leftover stuffing topped with an egg topped with mayo and salt topped with more bread and a wee bit of angst. Suffice it say, it was so evil it immediately cheated on it’s taxes and kicked a puppy. I don’t recommend that.