Monday, January 16, 2006

I want You... To want... ME!

Last week my PC died a catastrophic death. After a week of shaking like a fricken junkie over loss of computing functions, things have returned to normal. All I will say is God Bless Micro Center! Now let us never speak of the last 7 days ever again...

Saturday, Kerrie and I went out and had a day for ourselves. We went shopping with all the various gift cards we have acquired over the last month and got some good stuff. Kerrie got a new floor lamp, I got a stylin' new Mandoline slicer, and We got a new MB and processor.

The point, and here's my point Dude... I've always wanted a Mandoline. Mandoline slicers are an amazing, yet slightly expensive tool. With a Mandoline, you can make all sorts of things like Waffle Fries, Julian Strips, and paper thin slices of whatever you want. Today, being my day off, I decided to make Dried Pear & Apple Slices. Let me tell you, after using my mandoline, I felt good... I have used them several times in various settings and situations, but never for anything I wanted to make. Today was different. Today was allll me baby.

I started by making a simple syrup, then sliced my fruits, and now they are crisping away in the oven. Glorious...

Tonight I'll be making Jumbalya. There's something very comfy about Chicken and Okra that I really like. Served up with some Cuban Bread and a bottle of Scotch, tonight promises to be a phenomenal dining experience.

Dried Pear & Apple Slices
1 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 t Lemon Juice
1 t Rose Water
1 Pear (firm)
1 Apple (firm)

Pre-Heat oven to 200F.
Combine Water and Sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is just dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in Lemon juice and Rose Water.
Slice pear and apple using 1/8 setting on Mandolin Slicer.
Dip slices into syrup and shake of excess then place on sheet pans lined with parchment paper.
Bake in oven for 2 1/2 hours, rotating sheet pans ever half-hour or so.

"Damn it... NEVER trust my instincts..."
- John Cusack, Grosse Point Blank

Monday, January 02, 2006

Im'a set it straight, this Watergate...

2005 has come and gone...

The general consensus is that people are glad to be done with '05, but today and all the days to follow are nothing more than a NEW '05. Like the song sez, Nothing changes on New Years Day...

That said, 2005 was an epic set of Up's & Down's. Lots of good food, lots of interesting adventures, and lot's of new ideas.

First off, I miss everyone. Jeb and Kristen, Kristy and Tom, Troy and Rose... Baxter. But that was unavoidable... We're all were we belong now. I love Cinci, but there is no one for Kerrie and I to eat with. Most of my Co-Workers are ex-convicts and/or generally shady people I don't want anything to do with. The one guy I do actually get along with is working on getting through his culinary training for the third time. That doesn't inspire too much hope in me...

Second, my Mom came real close to being worm food. When she first went in, it looked pretty hopeless and then a month later she's back in her Game. Huh...

Third, I love Cinci. You can still smoke here, you can still buy and eat Foie Gras here, and liquor is dirt cheap. I love this town...

All in all, 2005 was alright for me. A lot of change went into making 2005 what it was, but it was a "good" type of change. I've cooked a lot of amazing food since we got here, and the food-stuff now available to me is equally amazing. I never have to worry about ordering anything, if I want something - I can just go and get it. That means a LOT to me...

For now, the adventure continues without restraint. Last night there was pan roasted chicken with caramelized shallots, and tonight I might make a nice Pasta Bolognese. Next week I'll be making Flat Iron steaks and last week I made a Garlic Herb Roast. I won't stop until there is nothing left to eat, and there will ALWAYS be something to eat...

"When a five-year-old tells you you're fat, it's because it's true..."
- Weight Loss Commercial
"We eat the pig, and together we burn! BURN!!!"
- Wes Allen
"I may be a Giant Ass with a Territorial Ego, or maybe a Territorial Ego with a Giant Ass. Please, stop me..."
- Jay Mohr, Scrubs