So, now that I’ve moved out on my own, I’ve started having some more fun cooking for myself. In honor of all the episodes that I’ve watched lately of Chopped on the food network, I try hard to come up with inventive combinations. So the following are my random recipes. This week the secret ingredient was orange peel. These recipes aren’t exact, so I’m just spitballing here (probably shouldn’t use the word spit so close to a recipe).
Are you Zesty Enough Salsa?
4 Tomatoes (Standard, run of the mill kind. You can use smaller ones, but you need more)
1/2-1 Onion (Some people love onion, some people don’t)
3 Sprigs of Cilantro (Can substitue dried Parsely)
1-3 Jalepenos (If you’re really zesty and manly, you’ll use three)
3/4 Cup Lime Juice (This isn’t real exact, but the lime is a good base for the sauce. Don’t do too much)
1/2 Orange Peel (Used a potato peeler, but if you have a spice/cheese grater, even better)
1 tsp Chile de Arbol Powder (Again, manly enough?)
1 tsp of Pepper
1~tsp of Salt (This is a personal preference)
2 tsp of Garlic Powder (Possibly the reason why I’m not getting married any time soon)
1. Pour the Lime Juice in a large bowl. Add the spices (Salt, Pepper, Garlic, and Chile de Arbol Powder) and whisk them with a fork or (I don’t know) a whisk. As you add each ingredient, give ’em a good roll in the juice spice mixture to make sure everything is evenly coated.
2. Chop up the onion and to the bowl. (You’ll blend it all later, you’re cutting them up to make them mix better when they go into your sauce pan. So don’t worry about cutting them up way to small or too big)
3. Cut the Jalapenos length wise and then cut length wise again. If you don’t want to sweat having to worry about appendicitis, take the knife and gently cut out the seeds and inner stem. (If you want to keep some heat, leave the stem in. If you want more heat and all the risks, leave both). Toss ’em in the bowl.
4. Cilantro, chop it up really fine. Toss it in.
5. Orange peel, if you don’t have a spice grater or a fine cheese grater, a potato peeler actual works. You want mostly peel and not white rind. So, you don’t want to go too deep. If you potato peel it, julienne it on a cutting board (like I know what julienne means, didn’t she go out with Romeo?) Toss it in.
6. Now you’re ready to get cookin’. Toss the whole mix in a big sauce pan and put on High to medium high. You want it to simmer, but not boil. Let it cook until the tomatoes lose their consistency and take on that stewed tomato look. Letting the ingredients simmer longer is a good idea, but you don’t want the liquid to cook off. The orange peel needs to soak into the sauce and release that zesty flavor.
7. Ok, everything’s ready. Pull out your tortilla chips, not for any reason, but it’s just kind of exciting. Now toss it into the blender or food processor. You want it to have a nice texture to it, but you don’t want it to be garden salsa. Traditional mexican salsas like this use a mortar and pistle. So imagine the final consistency they achieve. Once you get it all blended, toss it into a bowl. Grab your cheeps, and take no prisoners.
A-peeling Asian Chicken (2-3 Servings)
3 Chicken Breasts
1/2 Onion ( I love onion)
1 Navel Orange Peel (Don’t Peel it, you’ll use a potato peeler or a knife for that)
1/8 – 1/4 Cup of Mustard (I love it, but it’s your call. Honey Mustard works really well or Spicy Mustard)
1/2 -3/4 Cup of Lime Juice
1-2 tsp of Garlic Powder (Who needs to get married)
1 tsp of Pepper
1 tsp of Salt or to taste
1 tsp of Chile de Arbol Powder
1 tbs of Sriracha (Chinese hot sauce)
3 Cups of Cooked Rice (Have it ready when the chicken finishes up)
1. Chop up your chicken into 3/4 inch cubes raw. Toss it into a bowl and add the lime juice.
2. Add the spices, Sriracha, and mustard to the bowl and toss it a bit so everything gets an even coating.
3. Chop up your onions into a fine dice, and toss ’em into the bowl.
4. Take the Orange, and using a knife or a potato peeler cut it into nice half inch strips. (We’re leaving it big so you can advise your guest or yourself not to eat it. It adds flavor and presenation, but tastes good for half a second until it goes bitter.)
5. Spray a large sauce pan with PAM and turn up the heat, medium to medium high. Toss the chicken mix and the orange peels in right away. Start stirring and flipping with a wooden spoon. Your goal here is to make sure the chicken cooks through, but the orange peels simmer in the sauce from the chicken and lime juice. When the chicken starts to turn a nice white without any pink, you’re there. A good test of whether the chicken is cooked, take your wooden spoon and gently press down. As you press down, the chicken should split. If you’re having to force it hard, it ‘s not done yet or it’s way over done.
6. When the chicken is pretty much finished, turn down the heat to a low simmer and plate the rice. If you’re feeling real fancy, add a couple fresh orange slices or orange peels to the top for presentation’s sake.
7. Divy up the chicken and make sure you add some of the liquid on top of the rice.
8. Eat and enjoy!
Let me know if you try it and how well it worked.
Quick Chippy Apple Turn
1 Light Apple TurnOver Yogurt
1-2 tsp of cinnamon powder
1 Chopped up Apple (Granny, Fuji, Red, Green)
10 FoodShouldTasteGood Multigrain Chips
1. Finely chop the apple and combine it with the yogurt and cinnamon in the bowl.
2. Crush the chips and add to the mix.
3. Take out a spoon and enjoy!
Ok, I need to go to bed.
Filed under: Rambling
So, it’s late on a Sunday night and I’m watching a made-for-tv movie. That’s probably my first mistake right there, but I’m finding some funny truisms.
Beautiful people are safe. If you are a beautiful person, some how, despite all odds, you’ll survive You may be delta force commando, but if you ugly, you dead.
Bus Drivers have a short life span. If you’re a bus driver and the world is coming to an end…call in sick. You’re not gonna save the world from your bus seat, and you’re only purpose is to provide that 3 second camera shot with your face all twisted and eyeballs popping as a whirlwind, comet, or tidal wave comes hurtling at you.
Lame pickup lines work. For whatever reason, perfectly smart and beautiful women will succomb to the dumbest of pickup lines if the end of the world is imminent.
No points for being first. If you’re the first guy to figure out the world is coming to an end, you’re end is coming too. Somehow the guy/gal who figures it out first, always is rushing to tell someone who can do something and gets hit, smacked, crushed, or choked by an angry goldfish before they can pass one their vital information.
New York and DC bite the dust. For those of you that live in New York and DC, you’re likely to get hit by a meteor or a flood. Well, you only get hit if you life in Manhattan or anywhere near the Washington Monument.
Got any more?
Filed under: Diet, Food | Tags: Dating, Diet, Food, Funny, goofiness, Ramblings
Not really a serious post, but I thought I’d share some perspective or nuggets of wisdom that I’ve picked up lately from my experiences losing weight.
I’ve been on weight watchers since February, there are many reasons that brought me to this decision. One of the big ones is the sinking (more squeezing) feeling I experienced at a trade show in San Diego. I was as sick as I’d been in a long, long time and trying to get my company’s booth assembled. I had a fever around 102 and probably should have been home in bed. Miserable was a word that came easily to mind as I tried to assemble the contents of six red and black fiber cases surrounding me. A task that normally took about two hours was taking around four hours. In the depth of my pity party, I went to step around the back of the booth to plug in some of the electrical items. I found myself unable to slip through a relatively generous sized gap around the side of the booth. I quickly realized that my portable party keg I kept around my waist was preventing me from moving forward. That moment of clarity coupled with the epiphany that my immune system probably wasn’t in much better shape hit me pretty hard. So, I made the decision to lose weight and I have. 36 pounds in fact. Only 48 pounds to go!
Things I realized losing weight:
Fat ain’t pretty – Well, at least, from all the positive reinforcement I’ve been getting. “Viddy, have you lost weight?” “Viddy, you look great!” “Did you cut your hair?” That last one threw me a bit, but I have gotten it a couple of times. My guess is that proportional to my food storage compartment, my hair must have looked something like the green leafy stem of a tomato…Small, sparse, and leaving the observer to wonder why they bothered. Seriously, if I am getting so many comments now, you have to wonder what the opposite of the comments I get now I must have been getting in various mental, one-sided dialogues else where. “Viddy, you look like an XXL T-shirt model.” “Wow, Viddy, that fat looks great on you. Well, at least the parts I can see without walking around you.” “Viddy, did you get a haircut?”
Positive Feedback and Dieting aren’t the same thing – Weight watchers is a great program and I love it. I’ve recruited as many people as I can, because like Donkey from Shrek, I’m a believer. It works. However, the only flaw in the process is the negative feedback loop built into the point system. You lose weight, you lose points. Points equal food, and food equals blissful indulgence. The less indulgence, the less fun a diet can be. Other similar negative feedback loops include:
- Dating – The more you date the girl, the more you’re paying for her to eat, drink, and be entertained. It’s like that guy that sleeps on your couch, but doesn’t spend the night. You don’t kick him out because he’s funny and life affirming.(PS. I’ve experienced that last one. Not the dating, but the couch louch.)
- Responsiblity – The more you got, the more you got to lose)
- Losing weight – Ya, this is a double counter. You lose weight, you lose the opportunity of wearing all your favorite clothes. They don’t fit, and are left to be sold at a tent sale. Depending on how big you were, they may be the actual tent.
Gravity Weakens the Skinnier You Are. It’s amazing, since I’ve lost weight I’m able to leap single steps in a single bound. I can run and not feel like I”m going to puke afterward. Stairs, a challenge for chubbier mortals and invitation to use the elevator, is what I call my preferred mode of escalation. 9.8 m/s2 has less of a hold on me now.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Not quite sure what’s going on, but lately I’m feeling like a character on Stephen King’s “The Stand.” Obscure reference, I know, but it’s actually quite fitting. For those of you that don’t remember this little Made-For-TV nugget, with the likes of Rob Lowe, Gary Sinise, and Molly Ringwald, it essentially played out a scenario where the world dies of from a disease released at a US Army base. The bulk of the world dies off save a few that are immune to the disease and are left to assemble their remains from the wreckage of human kind. Lately, the disease appears to be marriage, and I don’t have a fever.
Now if you know anything of my medical history, you would think my name would be on that list of people likely to fall victim to some random disease. Not so, in this case, I find myself singularly immune from this virus that spreads through lip contact, hand holding, and sweet nothings. Seriously, folks, marriage is in the water and everyone seems to be drinking. These last few months I’ve watched as friend after friend fall victim to this name that appears to be no respector of myself or my merry band of singletons. This epidemic was further demonstrated to me as a friend and I looked over some of her pictures on facebook. One of those group shots that only invite a tagging frenzy of friends past, found the bottom of the picture listing the very names of people who have fallen victim to cupid’s arrow. Not a girl to set me up with, because they all be married.
Wouldn’t it be nice if marriage was kind of like the chicken pox. You know, where you haven’t gotten it yet so your mom takes you over to a neighbor kids house to play who does have it. That really should be the new singles program to solve the problem known as single. When your friend gets engaged you need to jump in the car and make tracks to their house. Hang with them a bit, and hopefully something will catch. Just to be sure, I mean you don’t want to take chances with not catching this thing, you should eat off their plate or maybe drink out of their glass. While they might get upset, you can always resolve their concern by reminding them that this is for a good cause.
However, you’re likely to have no such luck. Your engaged crew seems to quarantine themselves in a bubble of love, plans, and puppy dog kisses. Getting alone time with one of these is difficult, and thus the disease remains contained for the most part.
Sounds like a bitter post, but its not. It’s just kind of funny.
Harsh, man. That title is just harsh. Almost sounds kind of angry. It’s not meant to be angry, but more a statement awaiting its partner on the other side of the ellipses. The question really is what to do with advice. I’ve given loads of advice in my life time. I’ve recieved a ton of it. That’s the nice thing about advice, it costs nothing to give it. I’ve gotten advice from hair stylists, but most of it centered on my hair. And truth be told, I’ve ignored most of it. My coach used to give me advice about lifting wegiths, but I really felt like I should leave the heavy lifting to someone else. Some of my professors gave me advice, which I ignored. All these people have been so willing to give advice because from their perspective that’s what they would do or suggest you do. However, for the most part I don’t believe in advice.
For me, I believe in self-discovery. I think the best advice we get is often not in the supplied thinking that is meant to influence or replace our own judgement, but the advice we give ourselves as we ponder and meditate. In the end, you are your best advocate. You know who you are and where you are coming from. In truth, I think we’re all afraid to rely on ourselves though. We trust ourselves the least of all the people we know when we would rather follow the advice of someone who lives outside of our personal judgement set. Someone who doesn’t share every taste and preference that makes up our persona.
My favorite example of this is when a group of guys asks a girl to offer her advice on how to interact with her gender or vice versa. I love that about guys and girls, they look to one individual to be the emissary of their gender and water it down to Girls for Dummies in hopes of finding the right solution. Getting advice from a girl on how to handle or interact with a girl gives you a pretty good idea of what that particular girl wants or needs, but very little about the rest of her gender. The same is true for guys, if one girl were to use a particular guy as the blueprint for understanding all guys, she’s bound to find out there’s more than snails and puppy dog tails that are what boys are made of. When we give advice, it is always from the perspective of our own judgement parameters and has very little to do with the persona of the person to whom the advice is being imparted.
Not to trash all advice, because I have gotten very good advice from people who know me very, very well. These people do have insight into who I am and what I might like. But these are the very same people that know enough not to just tell me what I should do. The best advice I find lies within a Jeopardy! approach to life. The answers come in the form of a question.
See, I truly believe that we are all equipped with the ability to find answers on our own. Socrates thought so, and he was a pretty smart guy. The key is for us to be asked the right questions to expose the parts of ourselves and the understanding we need to make a decision. We usually have a good portion of the answer, we just don’t know what questions to ask. So the statement, what you can do with your advice, follow it if its your advice. At least, that’s what I think you should do…
Filed under: Uncategorized
For you might Cougar fans out there.