New Things I Made Up
July 16, 2009, 4:52 am
Filed under: Food, Ramble | Tags: , ,

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.

Losing Weight, Gaining Perspective
July 9, 2009, 5:03 am
Filed under: Diet, Food | Tags: , , , , ,
Skinnier is the new first class....

Skinnier is the new first class....

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.

Return of the Diet Diary
January 2, 2008, 7:35 pm
Filed under: Diet, Food | Tags: ,

Well, as New Years Resolutions go, this will be an oldie but goodie.  My family and I have jointly decided that we’re all going to go on a diet.  Therefore, the food diary will return.  Thus allowing even more access to those web crawlers out there to my life.  However, I don’t really care.

Tales of the Fourth Grade Fatty
August 21, 2007, 3:34 am
Filed under: Diet, Food

So, over the summer I had lost some weight and then decided to gain it back once I discovered buffalo wings. I have found a direct correlation between my chubbiness and the number of times that I’ve gone out on dates. While women may be slightly less superficial than us men, they still are to some point superficial. I can’t pretend otherwise, and I need to be doing my part to be the kind o fman that makes women go, hubba hubba.

You’ll notice a new page on my blog. This is where I’ll be tracking everything I eat for at least the next 30 days. While I realize its not fascinating reading material. Feel free to give me encouragement or incentives the best you can. I appreciate it all.

Summer coming to a close
August 17, 2007, 4:01 am
Filed under: Dating, Food, Golf, Life is Wierd, Ramble, Ramblings, Summer


So it’s August, my summer is almost over and I can’t believe how its flown by. Honestly, I’d have to say that this was one of the most fun summer’s I’ve ever had. This summer I’ve:

  • Jimmy Buffett concert with my sisters and Patti (my former boss)
  • fixed my slice
  • gone to Duck Beach
  • stayed single
  • got called as an FHE Ward leader
  • hung with my sisters
  • been to DC more times this summer than I’ve ever been in my life
  • visited Jeff and Melea in Kentucky
  • graduated from college
  • lost weight and gained some
  • discovered buffalo wings
  • made buffalo wings
  • ate a lot of buffalo wings
  • grew a beard
  • drove two people to the airport that won’t be returning
  • drove cross country
  • watched every episode of scrubs at least three times, every episode
  • gained new perspective

This year is far from over, and somehow, I feel like this has been one of the most influential years in my life. Somehow graduating from college ended the planned portion of my life. Now, life is much less about what you need to check off the list, and more about what you put on your list to do.

The last few weeks I’ve been frustrated at work with a lack of responsibilities and being nothing more than a trained ape. However, it took stepping up and asking my boss to review my position to get a new perspective and a new set of responsibilities. I’m excited about my outlook and excited about what’s left to come. It strange to realize how everything in my life now is unformed and undefined. Talking with friends, I see it in their words and in their eyes for the ones that don’t verbalize it.

So, a beard, a new sport, and a scrubs obsession just short of addiction, I’ve reached a new point in my life. Bring it.

Vuffalo Vings by Viddy
July 30, 2007, 7:41 pm
Filed under: Food, Summer

So, this summer I’ve discovered an all new obsession with Buffalo wings.  Kind of weird, because I’ve always refused to try this due to its messiness.  Now that I have a beard and its even harder to keep sauce off of my face, I’ve fallen in love with them.  I feel bad for my Dad because the whole trip back from graduation, when it came down to choose restaurant stops, I’d pick KFC for their buffalo snackers.

So this summer, I’ve eaten more buffalo wings than ever before and have developed an affinity for them.  SO much so that this past 4th of July weekend I tried making several recipes.  They came out well for the most part, but my favorite of the three that I made were the hooters style.  Now, you’ll have to ask other experts if they are anything like the originals, but I was pleased with how they turned out.  I made them again for some friends last night, and they were even better.  Especially, since this time I was able to walk away without any third degree burns or violent thoughts towards kitchen frying pans.

The only two mistakes was one: leaving the burner on where I placed the chicken wings that were done to wait.  And, not making enough.  I figured with 56 chicken wings I’d be safe for eight people, only four of whom actually like chicken wings.  Well, I can attribute it to successful cooking or how long I made everyone wait to eat, but by the time I sat down there were about five wings left.  I’ll post the recipes later, but it was a lot of fun.