turkey chipotle chili

I will be the first to admit it, I thought cooking with the crock pot was for lazy people. In fact, I never even owned one cause I thought it would be an insult to my stove slaving ancestors. But then one Christmas I opened up a box to a rice cooker (that I really wanted) that also doubled as a slow cooker. GASP! I see what you did right there Josh, trying to make me into one of those broads. *shakes fist*

Then something happened: we had a kid. Oh shit. All of a sudden, kitchen time isn’t as readily available and I am finding ways to make tasty food while not being in said kitchen for hours at a time. You chop up some stuff, a dash of seasoning, add your favorite protein and hollah! I know, I know… I shouldn’t call you lazy cause it really isn’t… Ok, you win universe. I admit defeat and the error of my ways, I am a crock pot bitch.

Trying to watch your diet during Winter sucks balls. You want thick, hearty, creamy, starchy… all of those words end up straight on your ass. No joke. So I know I can make some chili and at least a couple of those words will be in it and yet maybe there will be less thick on my ass. I know the husband would never complain about creamy thighs. But before this takes a one way ticket to Erotic City, let’s get to the food yeah? Ok.

Here is what you’re gonna need!


( meatses not shown to spare the non-carnivorous)

Chipotle Chili

1 lb ground turkey (or chicken, or beef – your call. I made turkey)
1 medium white onion
4-5 garlic cloves (freshly pressed)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 14-15 oz can black beans (drained)
2 15 oz cans of tomatoes (diced or whole)
1-2 tbsp of ground chipotle powder (depending on how much kick you want)
1 tsp chili powder *optional for more kick if needed
1/2 tbsp of ground cumin
1 pinch or 2 of all spice
1/4 tsp of paprika (I used smoked spicy paprika – it’s thee shiz)
salt & pepper to taste
splash of beer *optional

garnish options: grated cheddar and jack, sour cream, green onion, cilantro… etc.

1. Chop up your onion, press your garlic and cook on the stove along with the olive oil for a couple minutes.

(Note: I don’t know why these recipes you look up tell you to use onion and garlic powder – that’s BS. Use fresh, it’s better!)

2. Add your meatses of choice, break it up and make sure it’s cooked through.

3. Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor or blender. You want them still a little chunky so don’t get all ninja on them cause if not you’ll end up with soup.

4. Combine ALL OF IT in the slow cooker and let it fly!

I leave mine in at a minimum of 5 hours but you can milk it more. If you see it looking too dry, add a splash of broth or even better, beer. A good porter or IPA will do. None of this Budweiser shit.

I like my chili more con carne than con frijoles. If you want to bulk this up add another can of beans. I cut it back… it’s a self preservation thing you see? Can’t wake up all hot boxed at the hand of the husband. Also, careful with the salt and chili powders. Flavors intensify in the slow cooker so if you want to play those by ear and add as it cooks, totally up to you. This has a kick for sure.

After the slow cooker does its wonderful business, serve with your chili toppings of choice: sour cream, green onion, chopped cilantro, cheddar, cheddar jack, more hot sauce if you want a case of ‘ring of fire’. You know what I mean.

Yes. The best part? If you have leftovers they’re even better the next day.

twas the night before xmas…

“Reza, what do you want for Christmas?”, asked my sister Bee. “Uh, I don’t know… I don’t want to talk about that right now”. Out of the many times Reza was asked what she wanted, the only thing she could mutter was “Mary Poppins”. She has never seen the movie, but loves the music when it comes on Pandora. She’s so low key sometimes and I am grateful of the little person she is becoming.

Josh’s birthday is three days from now. Do you know how hard it is to shop for someone, for two different yet almost consecutive days? And while maintaining a budget? He’s not so hard to shop for but something tells me I don’t have the kind of cash lying around to buy him a 1965, sunburst, Fender Jazzmaster… you know, the same one Robert has. One day he will have it… mark my words.

This is what I had to work with, folks. Last week was nuts with last minute whatnottery, commission completion and the 50+ xmas cards I sent out. I am nuts and a procrastinator, no doubt about that. And just like every year, we always manage to make it work. Somehow.

After some last minute errand running, it was home to chill and stay. I decided to make my cookies from scratch this year. I am not gonna get a package of pre-made cookie dough slathered in “you’re gonna die if you eat me raw” labels. F You. So I snagged this recipe from Joy The Baker and switched it up. Substitute milk for dark, pecans and maldon sea salt flakes. Salt on chocolate chip cookies is a party in my mouff, I dunno about yours.

There’s this interesting moment that I have to share: it’s xmas eve… I have 50’s music on my Bose dock, while baking cookies… I looked outside and it was snowing. It was more like flaky rain and it melted quite rapidly but for a moment we got a taste of “white christmas” and as much as I curse the cold, white, evil, I won’t lie… it was magical.

The cookies came out delicious… note to self, if you want chewy cookies, take them out A LOT sooner. They got far too crunchy but hey, they look AWESOME. Salty flakes = mmmmmmm

We haven’t been huge Santa pushers but Reza has clung on to the idea and hey, who are we to deny the girl of a little childhood right of passage. She may soon catch on to the fact we are behind it all but if you heard the sound of her voice this morning and saw the diamonds in her eyes, you would understand why we play along.

So with a little aid she composed Mr. S a note and Gomez insisted on guarding it.

We got her to bed and promptly went to work our magic… Josh assembled her telescope, I stuffed the stocking. I think Reza is probably the only six year old that got Lush bath bombs and Kidrobot in hers. Shortly after the telescope was left under the tree with a note from Santa and off to bed we went.

Around 7 a.m. this morning she woke us up with the shrieks of joy… “Santa CAME! AND HE GOT ME WHAT I WANTED!! He knows I want to be a scientist!! And HE LEFT ME A NOTE!!!!” – Good lord was she happy. Makes it all worth it even though we face the inevitable heartbreak one day…

So we got up and opened our gifts… exchanges of socks, art supplies, fuzzy items, vinyl toys, legos, stink pretty and devil clad garments. It has been a great day. Josh took off the rest of the week and on that note I part to get to our Lord Of The Rings trilogy tradition underway. My thriftiness scored the entire extended edition set on blu-ray for $50… dude. I just wish Spencer and Tom were here to nerd out with us.

I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday…. best wishes from us, today and always.

*****
full size pix can be viewed here

puff pastry with brie

Here’s a little something I whipped up for Thanksgiving. I decided to hold off on sharing this… can you blame me? After the Sin In A Bowl I posted earlier, I don’t think anyone wanted to look at more food. That’s the beauty of food based holidays though. The day after you’re looking for crazy cleanses, swearing off food, going to the gym in hopes that Aunt Ginny’s marshmallowy yams will unglue from your intestine. Did I really use the word “intestine” in a food post? Fuck yeah I did, it all goes there anyway. Just calling it how it is man.

A week later you’re back to trolling Pinterest for the next great thing to wow with. Look no further!

This is a perfect appetizer for a gathering, delicious and a guaranteed plate cleaner unless the people you hang out with hate cheese and fungi. Heathens.

Puff Pastry of Awesome

Here is what you will need…

1 box puff pastry sheets (I used 2 sheets on this one)
1 triangle of your fav brie of choice
fresh leek
2 handfuls of chanterelle mushrooms (or oyster)
1 granny smith apple or pear
1 egg white for egg wash (optional)
drizzle of white truffle oil
freshly cracked pepper

Got your stuff? Cool… Let’s make this happen.

First off, slice your fruit. I used pear in this case but the apple is just as tasty. Totally your call, either way you won’t jack this up. Play fruit ninja on the mandolin slicer. The slices should be very thin. (Get yourself a mandolin, trust me. You will be amazed how much time you save)

Julienne slice your leek.

Now, about the mushrooms…. 1) I live in Jersey. 2) I was last minute shopping on Thanksgiving week… so you can imagine my finding the right fungi was not available to me. I was not about to rack my brain and risk suicide in the Wegman’s parking lot to find them so I made due with some oyster/shitake mix cause there were not enough oyster. Chanterelles are the #1 choice here but those bitches are expensive! If not, go oyster all the way. Lightly sauté them in a pan, add cracked pepper and set aside.

Let’s put it together…

On a baking sheet you layer the items as goes…
pastry sheet
fruit (pear or apple)
cut up the brie in pieces and spread out over entire sheet, leaving an edge
mushrooms
leek
add cracked pepper
drizzle white truffle oil
brush egg white on all the edges to give a shiny, crusty edge (optional)

Done! You’re ready to pop into the oven. Temperature should be as indicated on your puff pastry package. This is what your baby should look like…

Bake till your puff pastry has risen and has a nice golden tan. This bakes relatively quick and keep in mind it is best served warm and fresh out of the oven. Speaking of fresh out of the oven, get a load of this beauty…

Hell yeah. Cut it up in squares and let your guests go to town. This particular serving went straight to a party and swooped up in light speed which is why I have no better photos.

It is a veritable explosion of delight in your mouth. See what I did there? Oh yeah.

a guest post: holiday hooch

A few years ago, around Christmastime, I walked into one of the local San Diego watering holes, intent on some tap-side deliciousness because Christmas beers are where it’s at, you Philistines, and in that town you have a literal shit ton of badassery to choose from.

There was really no reason to use that phrase, “you Philistines”, but in the spirit of my daughter saying inappropriate and incorrect comments, I’m leaving it there. Like Daughter, Like Father.

Anyway, so we stroll in to this joint (which will remain nameless because they actually sell what you’re about to see and I don’t want to get some lame Cease and Desist order that arises out of one someone googling that shit on the internet.)

Anyway, so we stroll in to this joint and Styles tells me, “Dude. Have you had the Holiday Bourbon?”, and while I’m intrigued, I blew it off ’cause I was on a mission for some St. Bernardus Christmas Ale. He, however, created a monster when he asked me to take a moment, here at the beginning of the evening, and just try a bit. If I don’t like it, I can revert to the classics, but just give it a shot god dammit.

Yeah, I liked it.

I liked it so much, that’s all I drank that night. Literally all night. They had maybe a bottle or so left and I think between the two of us Tom and I polished off most of, if not the rest of that batch. SO SO SO delicious!

Not only was I left with the obvious hangover, but with the burning desire to replicate this greatness on my own. It can’t be that hard, I reason, thinking that if someone else can infuse that shit, why can’t I? But it’s not good enough to create my own concoction. No. One must rip off someone else to justify the total endeavor, thus beginning my hunger and yearning for the recipe for Unnamed Bar’s Holiday Bourbon.

Fast forward to last fall, when The Sheriff came to town for some goodtimes visiting. We got to talking about the Holiday Bourbon, because she not only frequents the establishment which sells the greatness, but she knows the bartenders pretty well. We got to shenaniganizing and determined that if she could get me the recipe, I could probably make this shit with some pretty simple ingredients.

Voila! A conspiracy was born!

True to form, Tania fulfills her end of the bargain and ends up drunk-texting me the recipe – from the bar! – after badgering the shit out of her hookup. Well played, Nefarious Sheriff! Grow a goatee soon so you can be Evil Sheriff!

What you’re about to witness is the contents and production of this text, this holy document, electronically seething with delicious badassery.
______

Ingredients:

1. Bourbon: One 750ml size bottle.

You don’t want to use a Bourbon that’s too expensive because, in reality, you’re corrupting and ruining the original flavor. If it’s a great liquor, don’t jack it up. If it’s a $30 to $40 bottle of Buffalo Trace or Knob Creek or some boutique name of some sort, jack away.

2. Apples. One or Two Large Apples per bottle. (Go with two, just to be safe. I recommend this.)

All ingredients are key, but this one is the lynchpin of the flavor profile. Without the right apples, you’re going to get flavorless gruel. I recommend a VERY sweet apple type, like Honey Crisp or Fuji apples, but I’m sure a nice sweet/tart green apple would be awesome, too, I just haven’t tried it yet. The key is to get an apple that has a very powerful flavor. None of this Red Delicious bullshit, ’cause that’s not going to do you a bit of good.

3. Vanilla Bean Pods. Four full-length pods per bottle.

If you can, buy Organic Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. Someone explain to me why they’re called Bourbon Vanilla. Is that because it’s meant to go in Bourbon? I THINK SO!

4. Cinnamon Sticks: Four long sticks per bottle. (Note: Start with less and then taste test as you go. Some cinnamon can be stronger and too much will ruin your batch… if you feel it needs more later on, add another stick and so forth)

Again, if the cinnamon sticks are stale, your shit is going to taste shitty. So avoid the old ones in your grandma’s pantry and go to Whole Foods to pick up some good ones. It’s worth it. Listen, the cinnamon can ultimately make the taste go metallic and you don’t want that: if you’re going to try to impress your friends with your Evil Scientist ways, making sure it doesn’t taste like Lead and Sadness is a good way to go.


Ah, how pretty! (Ingredient ratio not to quantity.)

The easiest part of the process is putting all the business together. The worst? THE WAIT. Lamesauce.

However! It’s worth it. So here’s what you do:

1. Get yourself a resealable jar from the Container Store. You’ll also need a vessel in which to put your Deliciousness, so I’d recommend a 750 ml glass flask or some other decanter. Not including the fact that you want all of your ingredients submerged in the Bourbon, you’re going to eventually make more of this shit, so I’d recommend working with a larger size jar.

2. Slice the apples VERY THIN and put them in the jar. Better yet, get yourself a mandolin and just slice the damned things over the jar and directly into the container. You want the juices. Don’t forget to core your apples, kiddies! We don’t want seeds and poison in our hooch, now!

3. Using cooking scissors, cut the ends from your Vanilla Bean pods directly into the jar which is now full of thinly sliced apples. Now, cut the pods themselves lengthwise so they’re split down the center. You can either place them directly into the jar or cut them in half – your call. If you have a smaller jar, cut the pods; you need them to stay submerged in the liquid the entire time.

4. Using brute force and manliness, break the cinnamon sticks in half while growling and/or grunting. This will make you feel awesome while handling such a non-manly ingredient. Place the broken halves into the jar. Continue grunting. Pelvic thrusts are also appropriate.

YOUR JAR SHOULD NOW CONTAIN:

Sliced Apples, Dissected Vanilla Bean Pods, and Manly-Like Snapped Cinnamon Sticks.

Now!

4. Pour the jar of pure, unadulterated Bourbon into the jar, over the ingredients already contained therein. The first time you do this, you may become wistful. The second time you do this, you will rejoice, for you know what’s coming. It’s very much like Buttsex in this way.

5. VIGOROUSLY Shake the Concoction Jar THREE TIMES DAILY for TWO WEEKS. None of this swishing around crap – that helps no one. Grab the jar and shake that bitch like the neighbor’s yappy little dog. Protip: Have the jar waiting for your wife when she opens the shower curtain. 😀


Your pre-straining goo, complete with Straining Tools. The smell is going to kick you in the face.

Typical gestation time is TWO WEEKS, but I’d recommend a tasting after 10 days. For me, cinnamon is a strong flavor and I’m not too keen on a super cinnammony flavor, so I ended up pulling half of mine out around that time. But it’s up to you. If you’re digging the flavor profile, leave it in for another four days and…


Get it now?

Strain that shit into a Flask of Outright Majesty!

Ghetto Setup Straining Tools:

1. Mesh Coffee Strainer.

Yeah, make sure you clean this out nicely. Coffee flavor won’t go with this so well.

2. Funnel.

Funnels are just cool. Getting to use one for legitimate purposes is even cooler.

Regardless of what tools you end up using, just make sure you have a very fine strainer: during the infusion process, you’re going to have a bunch of vanilla flecks from the bean pods and shake from the cinnamon sticks and you don’t want that business in your glass at the end of the evening.

The Carnage and the Glory

You have one other option here, which is to press the liquid out of the Apple Slices and into the flasks/bottles. The first batch did not include this procedure but the second time was Ivonne’s idea. The apples absorb a lot of the bourbon and we can’t waste it now, can’t we? With the compression, you get a bit of sediment that forms in the bottom of your flasks. If you don’t mind that, awesome. I think it adds a bit more flavor, so I just shake the bottle before I serve myself.

As for serving suggestions, it all depends on whether you like your shit cold or not. Personally, this flavor is BADASS when it’s cold outside and the Bourbon is room temp, giving you that extra sensation of Innard Warming. Depending on the apples you use, it can be sweet, so an ice cube wouldn’t be terrible. However! I tried this with two Whiskey Stones the other day and LOVED IT. So yeah, experiment with temperature, but feel free to drink it straight – my preferred method – or get your loved ones loaded by spiking their Hot Apple Cider with a splash of this jimmy, ’cause that’ll fuck ’em right up.

So what’s next?

For this particular concoction, I think a small – SMALL – amount of clove would be pretty cool, so I’m going to try that with my next batch. Cloves are rough, ’cause if you overdo it, the entire batch could be ruined. At an approximate total cost of $60 per batch, that would be very lame.

But what else do you think would work? Maybe some orange rinds to give it a true Hot Spiced Cider flavor? We’ll see!

Finally, as you spend this winter sitting cozily in front of the fire, sipping the Nectar of God’s Own Teat, thank Tania. Without her nagging and badgering, we’d never have this fine moment together.

Happy Holidays!

*******
Note from Ivonne….
When he’s not at work or pretending to not watch me while I am getting dressed, Josh can be found over on his blog www.hotchunkysalsa.com, which really needs to get dusted off.
*hint hint*

clover

The morning started off nice dare I say? Yes, it did. I woke up early and ran off to the store to get pancake mix. I made breakfast for the nugget & husband in the form of spiderweb & spider pancakes. Dude. I know people love to rip on Martha Stewart but the idea to put the pancake mix in a squeeze bottle and draw your pancake shapes on the pan? You end up asking yourself the ever loving question we all do when something is awesome, “Why didn’t I think of that!!?”. Well played Martha. Happy kid was happy! I made myself a pentagram and called it breakfast success.

For a while I have been eyeing the Clover Market and the stars finally aligned for us not only to attend but a gorgeous day to boot. 70 degree weather? Low humidity? AMEN. What is Clover? The love child of a well curated flea market + craft bazaar. So we piled in the car, wearing our Sunday’s Best (lots of black clothes) and headed out to Ardmore, PA.

On the way over there Josh got pulled over by a cop for going through a yellow light. The whole thing was so stupid… and then comes the most stupid question cops always ask, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”. “Uh yes ma’am, you saw me hand my passengers a crack pipe and I had my dick out of my pants”. Like anyone would ever throw themselves under the bus over a potential wrongdoing. So Ms. Officer runs back to her car with our papers, does the show, comes back and gives us the “you ran a red light” lecture and let him off with a warning in order to “not inconvenience him to have to come back to PA since we live in NJ”. Bogus call was bogus and she knew it. Josh just smiled, nodded, “yes ma’am-ed” her and we were back on the road. As we pull away we giggle at his obvious placation and he says, “Honey, sometimes you just have to put it in your mouth”.

Back on track.

Ardmore is a really cute area and the market was awesome! Lots of great loot. The antique dealers were my favorites for sure, although some of it was way overinflated. Skeleton keys for $10 a piece? I don’t think so. Now the lady from Little Shop Of Hoarders who had them for $1? YES. And what a great name for a business. Also did you know that typewriters and vintage thermos bottles are the new black? Ya don’t say.

I will let the photos speak for themselves…


We made out with just a couple small things, funny enough, most from the same vendor who obviously knows her spooky business. Josh wanted the raven, Reza wanted the rat and the rest of the little nuggets are mine. Can’t wait to put them in my curio cabinet that is currently in the refinishing process. But that’s another post…

*****
the rest of the photos here

hippie shit: peanut butter & banana smoothie

I have been riding the Breakfast Smoothie Express for about 3 months now and have totally been enjoying it. Redundant at times but tasty nonetheless. Reza is on board as long as I make hers a special way but Josh? Now that takes a little more convincing.

I always offer a smoothie and a lot of the times he turns me down. Sometimes within reason cause carting that business on the train can be a game of russian roulette. One spill or shove and it’s going to work looking like he puked on himself and we cannot have that. He curses my “hippie shit” cause I use alternative products, powders, supplements etc.

This morning he was in the shower and I offered him a peanut butter and banana smoothie. Sopping wet, still caked in shampoo, he looks at me like I am asking him to eat pureed eggs. He hates eggs with an unholy passion.

“How about this… I make it, you taste it and you tell me if you want it or not”. “Ok”.

I find great hilarity in the fact all of our pint glasses have beer logos and I drink my hippie shit in them. Nothing says ‘healthy’ like a blueberry smoothie in a Miller High Life glass. Derailing, I found that glass at an antique store. Josh is a total craft beer snob and I thought it would be funny to get him a glass for a beer that is the alcoholic equivalent of bottled urine. There were two and the other was given to Spencer. Josh and Spencer like to bond over skype with a beer and their matching pint glasses. Yes, total bromace.

Back to the story…

I take the pB & banana smoothie over to him and he takes a sip…

“Does it have hippie shit in it?”
“No”
*sips*
“It’s pretty tasty”
“So if it is pretty tasty why would it matter if it has hippie shit in it?!”

He liked it. I win. A temporary victory because not even 1o minutes later he desecrated the left over meatloaf by slopping it in a quesadilla, with an habanero tortilla no less. Yes, I am shaking my head as well. Damn white boy and his concoctions. Do your husbands do this shit? Mine does.

And on to the recipe…

.Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie.
1 frozen banana – frozen is key!
1 tbsp of your peanut butter of choice. I used organic, creamy, unsweetened
(you really don’t need more sweetener, the banana is enough sugar – trust me)
1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder
unsweetened vanilla almond milk

And don’t ask me about calories. They’re not low I will tell you that much but of you want a milkshake taste without all that kinda sin, this is the way to roll.

You want one now, I know you do.

corndog muffins

As with many things I see on Pinterest, I finally got around to making another pin I saved for corndog muffins. Reza loves her cornbread and since this was simple to make, we got in the kitchen and hooked it up.

Mix your bread whatnot as usual and put in the muffin tin. We cut up the hot dog in little circles and each muffin got 4-5 slices of pushed into them. (see what I did there?) I also got the idea to sprinkle some cheese on the top of a few just to see how they would come out.


(will you look at this kid? freshly baked muffin, iPad and sleepy kitties on the couch. does it get better than that?)

Dude! These are good! And dare I say the ones with the cheese are better. I didn’t serve them with ketchup & mustard though, wasn’t feeling it. The kid loved them. The only thing I would probably do different is maybe up the hot dog slices by 1-2 and maybe put small cubes of cheddar up in that piece. Overall these are a hit! Just make sure you serve warm, they’re better that way.

I used:
Cornbread mix from Trader Joes, Hebrew National hot dogs (the only ones I will ever use), Mexican blend cheese from Trader Joes.

The pin doesn’t track back to the original post for some reason so whoever had this idea, well played! I take no credit for this awesome “why didn’t I think of that” idea.

jumbalaya

I found myself in Philly exchanging some boots and I stopped to get me a latte. Now, I know people love to poo poo on Starbucks and their burnt coffee. I never go there for drip. But this? I have to say, this is a whole lot of awesome. Starbucks, this cup is so well played because its big love infested heart just made me smile, more than the overpriced latte in it. My chai latte could have been made with milk from the tit of the goddess Athena herself and I would still think the cup surpassed its awesomeness. Rad cup is rad. Touché siren coffee establishment.

I finally got me some much needed new boots. I am not much of a shoe person cause wide/flat feet limit me a lot and now that I am sporting a sexy case of tendonitis in the ankle, I can’t wear anything with a heel. FAIL. I do have to say though, having a Dr. Martens store nearby is so damn awesome. What I really wanted was a pair of Triumphs (adorable!) but contrary to what is on their site, those are NOT a true black. It’s more like off black/greyish color. From what I was told, it is possible the true black editions may arrive in the Fall so if you want those, hold out. In the meantime I have me a set of sexy and stompy boots that don’t have a zipper up the side, those are for cheaters.

Chris, our homie from SD and visitor #4, was here last week. We did a lot of showing him around, chillin’ etc. It was nice to have another piece of home around for sure. I love walking around downtown Philly, even if I was in pain. Chris, who loves all things East Coast, left a tad more enamored. (sorry Michelle!)

I finally got the opportunity to see the infamous Liberty Bell. Chris and I went into Philly for one last hurrah before the airport and we walked past where they have it and there was zero line which was kind of unusual so we rocked it. Great piece of history but I will admit it was a tap anticlimactic. The glare in there was not very conducive to cell camera so I will have to go back with the big guns for a better shot. The security was crazy though, I am surprised they didn’t ask for a urine sample.

I am coming up on the 6 month mark of being out here and as much as I could hate on it, dare I say it feels more and more like home every day. Things aren’t as foreign feeling, I can get around with less GPS and the Philly skyline is more and more inviting as the days go by. That’s the cool thing about going somewhere new… every day you discover something new.

I took a couple of self portraits the other day that I liked. I tend to hide when I am going through pockets of insecurity, which as of late has been more frequent than usual. Either way I try to step in front of the lens from time to time, if only to remind myself that it’s just as good to be there as it is to be behind.

Now, this is where I commit a total faux pas. I am of the accord that if you are going to write a blog post it should have attractive visuals, ESPECIALLY when it comes to food. I made the mistake of not taking photos of this with the big gun and well, average photo is average and probably makes this look unappetizing as shit but I am going to share anyway.

This is what I served Josh and Chris for superbowl sunday. A cheese board. Sorry, but if I am getting suckered into making treats, I might as well make it good. No effin chicken wings up in this piece. I will be the first to pull my own chain and say this was a damn good cheese board.

Top row: Boursin, Sottocenere with Truffles, Red Dragon (ale & mustard seed), brie, Humboldt Fog, Chimay à la Bière, prosciutto
center: fig spread and mini pickles from whole paycheck
bottom row: red grapes, salami, green apple and another cut of meat I cannot remember. (cringe hippies, it’s ok)

Serve with mini toasts, warm baguette and crackers. If you are a lover of stinky cheese and mustard, that Red Dragon is some nice stank and will leave your breath like it could kill a small village. I made a warm ham & cheese with it and wow. You should too! Just know some of those nuggets are not cheap.

I was recently contacted by an agency who places advertisements in blogs. I don’t like the idea of ads on my blog but I entertained the idea to see what they would say. Sorry, but $30 or less an ad just isn’t worth it when I am being told what to write in my posts and placing ads for shit I don’t like/use/believe in. Some people would say I am stupid for passing on it but I dunno, I don’t need the money that bad to do something I don’t really care for. All it would do is make me feel dirty and the only things I like dirty are my chai, sex and beats.

adventures in philly…

I decided that today was another “go into the city” day. I love the 10th & Locust station cause the corridors change colors. It’s like a rainbow nightclub, in the subway. And when it’s empty, it’s even cooler.

First stop was much needed lunch at MAOZ. I hanker for the food there, by far one of my favorite finds thus far (THANKS AVERY!!). Tasty felafel come to me. 1/2 a pita is so filling, even more when I stuffed it with roasted cauliflower. YUM. Reza loves their Belgian fries. I get that fries are not lunch but dude, you should see how hard it is get this child to eat certain things.

Toward the end of the outing we hit up Capogiro Gelato. GOOD LORD. They make a SALT FLAVOR. Just plain salt and I paired it with a bourbon butterscotch flavor and holy hell. Evil as hell. Don’t let this photo fool you, the size was small and it was so sinful I couldn’t eat it all. But what I did have? WHOA. I will be going back… when I am PMSing.

I also finally got to set foot in the local Blick Art Materials store and holy jizz. The San Diego store was nice, this one is NICE. I wasn’t there long cause Blick is church to me and I cannot go in there with Reza. I foresee some damage incurred in that store.

Reza doesn’t have school on Tuesday and Thursday. They just opened this awesome new place called Nest and decided a trip was due.

Nest is DOPE. First off, they have classes there from dance, soccer, art for the super littles up to 5-6 year olds. The girl really needs some extra-curricular activities so I put her in a hip-hop dance class, one day a week. Her class is on Saturday… today we just went down there to hit up the indoor play area…

This place is going to come in handy during the winter! Most of the kids that were there were little, too little for Reza to play with but she made friends with a little boy… she is so damn social. Hopefully I will meet some nice people there… there were a couple stuck up bitches though, with Coach and LV diaper bags respectively. Heh.

It was a successful outing. Tasty eats, eye candy central, got TONS of walking on, I still have my wallet. I approve.

reading terminal market

Ok, wallet stealing aside, we did have other adventures in Philly this weekend… it just sucked that it had to be tainted by people and their maliciousness.

One of the things I had intention of seeing was the Reading Terminal Market. Think indoor farmers market, amazing looking food vendors, flowers, chocolate, freshly made everything you can think of – cheeses, jam, pickled something, sauces, breads, baked goods, Dutch Pennsylvania invasion – sweet mother of jesus why do I only have one stomach… all under the same roof.

One of the things that thoroughly impressed me was the large amount of vendors of the Pennsylvania Dutch variety. They were legit, down to the garb and beards. Lots of respect there and I definitely plan on patronizing them regularly. There were these amazing looking pies in one booth that had me salivating. I had already had lunch so I skipped on it but next time I know… I am going to have pie, FOR LUNCH. I cannot wait for when Tania and Carolin come visit so they can partake in some culinary sinning with me.

It was unfortunately packed and full of tourists (me included) which made navigating a little frustrating and difficult from time to time. Also, the lighting was dim and I had regretfully left my speedlight at the room. But overall? WOW. It was a cornucopia of culinary eye porn that was a game of “just the tip”. I want more. I plan on going back to the crime scene despite my apprehension. No one, not even a wallet stealing prick is gonna keep me from such a killer resource. And next time I am going more prepared: speedlight, empty belly and an extra sharp eye… more food porn to come.

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The rest of my photos can be viewed over on the flickr set