Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Rock and roll

February 5, 2016
¡Hot plate, señores!

¡Hot plate, señores!

Bad citizen. Instead of watching last night’s debate, I made chicken-quesadilla platters using leftovers from previous cookery — a spicy chipotle chicken filling for tacos and pinto beans— and some freshly made Mexican rice.

I had been thinking in terms of bean burritos and rice, smothered in green chile, but we both had green chile stew for lunch and a second round seemed a bit much, as did the thought of watching the Wicked Witch of Whitewater and Comrade Eeyore braying at each other.

Don’t get me wrong. Barring some hellish catastrophe I expect to pull the lever for Eeyore in the primary and then, if need be, hold my nose and vote for the Witch in the general. But I’m too old a hoor to pretend I’m enjoying it.

As usual, Charles P. Pierce makes the salient point: If a Donk wins, he or she will still face a GOP-controlled House full of hacks, eejits and loons, and as with the Socialist Mooslim Kenyan Usurper-In-Chief, getting them to agree on the time of day will be an uphill push that will make Sisyphus’s little pasatiempo look like shooting marbles. He adds:

“The idea that Hillary Rodham Clinton will bring these people to heel, given the fact that most of them were raised in a conservative political culture that regards her as Maleficent Of The Ozarks, strikes me as just as fanciful as anything Bernie Sanders has said on the subject of student loans or health-care reform.”

Word. If either should become the nation’s Commander-In-Chief, neither Comrade Eeyore nor the Wicked Witch of Whitewater will be able to order the Flying Monkey Caucus to straighten up and fly right.

Tights stretch

January 2, 2016
¡Cuidado, señores y señoritas, hot plate!

¡Cuidado, señores y señoritas, hot plate!

“I’d like to ride more in 2016,” he said. Yes, and the residents of Hell would enjoy a cold beverage.

No cold beverages for me, thanks. We’re still mired in the 20s here, though “they” say we should see 40-something later today.

But you know how “they” lie.

With the temps pegged well below freezing I skipped my plans for a New Year’s Day ride and instead cooked up a mess of beans and rice to go with the leftovers from our tinga poblana orgy. Now I won’t have to cook for three days. Though I do have some leftover chorizo, and some tomatillos and an avocado, so with a couple of spuds I could crank out some tacos de papas con chorizo y salsa de aguacate. …

Um, no. I make another unholy mess in the kitchen and I’m guaranteed not to make it to Valentine’s Day, much less summer.

Meanwhile, back at Thanksgiving. …

November 27, 2015
Chicken cacciatore and a side of stir-fried succotash with edamame.

Chicken cacciatore and a side of stir-fried succotash with edamame.

It was quiet around El Rancho Pendejo yesterday. No friends, no family, just the five of us — Herself, Mister Boo, Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment), Miss Mia Sopaipilla, and Your Humble Narrator.

Ordinarily we do the holidays with my sister and her husband, but with Fort Collins now an eight-hour drive each way, and the road conditions decidedly Novemberish between here and there, we decided to give the road trip a miss and instead treated them to a FaceTime video tour of our new digs.

Thanksgiving Day breakfast: leftover taters smothered in green with eggs over easy, English muffins and a side salad.

Thanksgiving Day breakfast: leftover taters smothered in green with eggs over easy, English muffins and a side salad.

This seemed a particularly bright move after we heard from our pal Hal, who did the big U-turn from Weirdcliffe to Highlands Ranch and back again, narrowly avoiding disaster. Via e-mail, he reported that Bibleburg “was dry on the north end and a fucking skating rink on the south end. A six-car pileup happened right in from of me on I-25 and I was lucky to not be No. 7.”

Good times. Maybe not.

So, yeah. We stayed home, and I whipped up a mess of Emeril’s chicken cacciatore with a side of Martha Rose Shulman’s stir-fried succotash with edamame. Herself was detailed to prepare a green salad and a raspberry cobbler but instead chose to lean on her shovel, sipping a glass of vino, and who can blame her? Not me. Plenty of veggies in that succotash, yo. Plus we had a salad with breakfast (right), which included eggs over easy atop spuds slathered in green chile. And we had ice cream for dessert.

Hope your day went as nicely as ours did.

Wheels, meals and deals

October 27, 2015
The Marin Four Corners Elite. Look for it in the March 2016 issue of Adventure Cyclist.

The Marin Four Corners Elite. Look for it in the March 2016 issue of Adventure Cyclist.

Normalcy is beginning to rear its ugly head again (yeah, I know, I’ve said like this before and we all remember how long that generally lasts).

But for the moment, anyway, I’m back to practicing my trade (making shit up); cooking tasty and nutritious meals (tonight it’s either pasta al cavolfiore from “The Moosewood Cookbook” or pasta with smoked salmon from ‘The Feed Zone Cookbook”); and striving mightily to get some friggin’ exercise (short shakedown cruise on a new review bike yesterday).

Now and then I take a peek at the political news, which mostly makes me want to ring up the queen and beg her royal forgiveness. Does anybody really want to be president? Besides the Hilldebeast, I mean? Florida Man hates governingThe Donald and The Doctor keep trying to out-stupid each other, and it just keeps going downhill from that point, which in a sane country would be the bottom. Not here.

I have a soft spot for Bernie, because he’s at least half a pinko, but he’s asking America for a helluva lot more than a job, and you know what that means. Shiny object! Squirrel! Say, what was the old guy on about again?

Ah, well. The moon is full, the sun is shining, and if the stars seem slightly out of alignment, we’ll just have to live with it. America needs proctology, not astrology. Call it a headhunting expedition.

Wild, wild life

September 29, 2015
That's what I call an ex-dove.

That’s what I call an ex-dove.

Between episodes of “Attack of the Booger Monster” it’s been National Fuckin’ Geographical lately around El Rancho Pendejo.

Yesterday afternoon I was slouched in the office, trying feebly to generate some paying copy with a skull full of Claritin-D 12 Hour, when I heard a bass thump! in the living room and assumed another dipshit dove had augured into the picture window by the cat tower.

It was a marvelous night for a moondance.

It was a marvelous night for a moondance.

Well, close. A falcon had chased a dove into the window and was sitting on the lawn, plucking the dumb sonofabitch like a harp, while the cats watched with professional curiosity. No photo of the raptor at work, alas; I went for a camera but he took off with his dinner before I could make a Kodak moment of it.

Then last evening I took a few snaps of the post-eclipse supermoon, having intercoursed the penguin the night before (check those ISO/f-stop settings, kids). We had a few shooting stars to keep Luna company when it was all red in the face, too. Quite the night.

Today I felt capable of a short bike ride for professional purposes — the reviews don’t slow down just ’cause I do — and afterward I treated myself to a second dose of green chile stew. I’m hoping it succeeds where the Irish penicillin failed. It’s a rare bug indeed that can withstand the one-two punch of chicken noodle soup and green chile stew.

 

Getting Felt up

May 19, 2015
The Felt V100 is one of three bikes awaiting review for Adventure Cyclist. At $849, it's a cheap grocery-getter, even more so than a Honda Fit Sport.

The Felt V100 is one of three bikes awaiting review for Adventure Cyclist. At $849, it’s a cheap grocery-getter, even more so than a Honda Fit Sport.

One nice thing about having all these bloody bicycles lying about the place — besides the obvious, which is that it’s nice to have a bunch of bloody bicycles lying about the place — is that when one is down to a single motor vehicle, one has options.

I used this Felt V100, an Old Man Mountain rack and a pair of Jandd Economy Panniers to fetch about $80 worth of groceries home from the Whole Paycheck yesterday. The ride home took 40 minutes, it being all uphill and into a headwind, so everything was nicely solar-cooked by the time I got back to El Rancho Pendejo. Bonus! Mmm, E. coli in botulism sauce.

And looks like I’d better get used to it. Herself and I popped round to the Honda dealer yesterday and she wouldn’t even test-drive anything. And why should she? She has my Subaru Forester, a low-mileage creampuff previously owned by a little old man who only drove it to the Whole Paycheck.

My colleague Matt Wiebe, the tech editor at Bicycle Retailer, says he knows where I can get a deal on a second-hand Harley. But I think I’ll have the Vespa shipped down from Bibleburg instead.

Meanwhile, thanks to one and all for the auto recommendations. You are all hereby penalized two minutes for your assistance.

• Editor’s note: This is my 1,500th post on this blog. ‘Ray for me. 

St. Nicked

December 26, 2014
Mister Boo enjoys his Christmas chew.

Mister Boo enjoys his Christmas chew.

Christmas has come and gone without incident, mostly.

On Christmas Eve, at the urging of Herself, we streamed “The Interview,” because freedom, and now I consider that freedom owes me about $7 and 112 minutes of my life. Herself only gets about 90 minutes back because she fell asleep before the big denouement.

Come the big day we cooked up a mess o’ U-nited States of America American® vittles, just the way Jeebus likes ’em (roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy,  stir-fried succotash with edamame, and raspberry cobbler). Later we rang up or emailed various friends and relatives, and parceled out tasty tidbits to all the critters.

The Turk rests up after an exhausting day of sleeping.

The Turk rests up after an exhausting day of sleeping.

We engaged in no elaborate gift-giving. The move to Duke City and the ongoing reconstruction project that is The Six Million Dollar Boo did to our Visa card what Seth Rogen did to Kim Jong-un’s head, but our executive decisions and the consequences thereof have failed to draw the compensatory attention of the White House and the media.

Then it was early to bed — but not to sleep, not right away. Just as we drifted off, The Boo somehow tumbled out of the rack and onto the deck. I leapt from the sack to see whether his sole remaining eye was skittering around the carpet somewhere like a ping-pong ball that had escaped the table.

Nope. No harm, no foul. As Herself clicked on her bedside lamp, there sprawled The Boo, with a slight list to port, peering at me through the Cone of Shame like a dimwitted Soviet cosmonaut who’d forgotten to close the visor on his helmet before launch.

I’ll call that a Christmas gift.

Mia decides to vogue a bit as Herself and I have a bite of lunch.

Mia decides to vogue a bit as Herself and I have a bite of lunch.

The Posole Variations

December 20, 2014
The Posole Variations. This one uses chicken thighs, red and yellow bell peppers, tomatillos and other good things. No hot rats were harmed in the making of this stew.

The Posole Variations. This one uses chicken thighs, red and yellow bell peppers, tomatillos and other good things. No hot rats were harmed in the making of this stew.

I make a lot of posole, and over the years have settled on one simple version and one slightly more elaborate (from The Santa Fe School of Cooking Cookbook).

But the other day I was searching the Innertubes for a chicken version I made once and stumbled across an entirely new recipe that looked good.

So I gave it a whirl and whaddaya know? I have a third favorite.

Thus today’s Zappadan 2014 musical selection, “The Gumbo Variations,” from “Hot Rats.”

Got them Suburban Snowsick Blues

May 12, 2014
It was a mother of a Mothers Day at Chez Dog.

It was a mother of a Mothers Day at Chez Dog.

The weather has been, shall we say, unsettled.

One minute a fella’s cycling around and about wearing little more than a bit of team kit marinated in sunscreen, and the next he’s huddled over a furnace grate in a snowmobile suit, Ruger Mini Thirty locked and loaded, ready to repel a terrorist yeti raid on his bacon and beans.

I made my preparations on Saturday, whipping up two steaming tureens of Southwestern fare, the first of a pork-and-potato-laden green chile stew and the second of pinto beans with onion, garlic and chipotle chile. To say the atmosphere has grown heavy indoors since would be an understatement of epic proportions.

The weather wizards were shrieking about inches and feet of white stuff, but this latest resurrection of winter proved to be not so much of a much. What little we got was heavy and wet, to be sure, and at one point I had to venture out with a broom to flog it off the tender branches of the young Canadian red cherry in the back yard.

This morning we have gray skies, temps below freezing, a stiff wind, and flurries, which is to say it’s May in Colorado. It caused me to compose a protest song in the style of Mr. Robert Zimmerman, though it’s tough to be musical without guitar, harmonica or talent. Still, I had a whang at it in an email to a friend and colleague in the mountains.

How much snow have you got there?
They said we’d get it everywhere
But mostly, down here below
the worst was that the wind did blow

It sucked, actually
Real cold
Movin’ t’Arizony

(squee honk blaat hoot snort honk twee)

 

Poultry slam

February 23, 2014
When a cold comes into the house, you've got to give it the bird.

When a cold comes into the house, you’ve got to give it the bird.

There is catarrh in the house, curse its name.

A terrorist assault on the snotlocker has laid Herself low, and with the Horse of Pestilence thus having escaped her boogered-up beezer barn I am belatedly barring the door to my own by preparing a massive tureen of chicken noodle soup.

Oh, she gets a bowl, too. Just in case you were wondering.

The recipe can be found in “Dad’s Own Cookbook,” by Bob Sloan, and it is the foundation of any number of other meals, among them chicken quesadillas, chicken chilaquiles, and chicken eaten with the fingers straight out of the pot before you make anything other than a big-ass pot of simmered chicken.

And when I say “big-ass,” I do not lie. This sucker starts with a 4.5-pound bird, plus four extra drumsticks, and adds four quarts of water, four carrots, two turnips, a large onion, a leek, a dollop of honey, salt, dill, egg noodles, peas and parsley.

As chicken soups go, this is the equivalent of Rolling Thunder, a culinary carpet-bombing, a real poultry slam. I just hope it’s not too late. Some doughty little bug in green pajamas could be out there right now, pushing his Ah Choo Minh bicycle loaded with deadly bacteria through the triple-canopy jungle of my nose hairs.


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