27 December 2009
I have the best wife ever!
Love you, Val!
"Where's the Doctor?!?"
"Red Pepper Restaurant?"
23 November 2009
This is not going to be a good week for my waistline. I have to work on Thursday but they are providing a huge free Thanksgiving feast at work for FREE! I will be bringing a pecan pie (my new favorite!) and a lemon meringue pie. Then on Friday we are having our own Thanksgiving at the Fillmore house. At least 3 more pies. Then Saturday is the BYU Utah game. I'm the only guy I know who has DirecTV so lots of people will be coming over. I bought 3 racks of ribs, 3 bags of chips with cheese dip and salsa as well as 4 six packs of IBS Rootbeer. I'm also encouraging everyone to bring some food as well. If I don't gain 5 pounds this week it will be because I've died of a heart attack.
BTW go to The Holy War Blog to weigh in on this week's game!
29 October 2009
Hurray! The 2009 Halloween album is finally complete! Well, almost anyway. Still working on the cd booklet. Hope you enjoy the above cd cover and the pic at the very bottom which is going to be our back with the play list. Haven't added that yet. But the music is done and here for your pleasure. Click to listen or right click to download. Enjoy your very own Halloween 2009 cd (curses! It makes you sign up for an Adrive account. Well it is free. I'll do my best to find another option)! Hats off to Jon for fine song selection and what will certainly be a quality cd booklet!
1. Heads Will Roll - The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
2. Mr Smiley - Mustard Plug
3. Eaten bu the Monster of Love - Sparks
4. Thirteen - Johnny Cash
5. Of Wolf and Man - Metallica
6. Werewolf Vs. Zombie - Oingo Boingo and Nellie McKay Feat Jon Madsen
7. Monster in the Parasol - Queens of the Stoneage
8. Shanty for Arethusa - The Decemberists
9. Burying the Bunny - Shriekback
10. The Twilight Zone - Golden Earing
11. Storm Coming - Gnarls Barkley
12. Satin in a Coffin - Modest Mouse
13. Rocking Horse - The Dead Weather
14. Sickness Taking Over - Pankow
15. Shadows on Your Side - Duran Duran
16. Every Last Breath You Take - The Police Feat NosfeRoytu
17. Les Velos Pour Deux
18. Re: Your Brains - Jonathan Coulton
19. Complainted d'VN Mate - The Avett Brothers
As you can tell we went with the zombie theme. We were afraid that by next year zombies would be so last year.
28 October 2009
I feel just like this kid. In fact, no only did I lose, I only got 1 3rd place vote! What happened? It was delicious! Seriously! I'm not just saying that! It was much better than my winning chili last year. Here are some possibilities:
1: Not sweet enough. My chili last year used a bottle of bbq sauce as stock. The winner this year tasted really really sweet. Baked beans level of sweetness.
2: Mine was too spicy. There were a lot of peppers in this chili. In fact it was difficult to tough it out in the kitchen whil chopping up the peppers. Lots of coughing and eye watering. I thought it was mild enough. You know? Just tingly lips spicy! Never underestimate the wussiness of the female judges!
3: I used no beans. At the last second I decided to keep them out. I didn't want to alter the already winning taste I already had going (I discovered in an earlier chili that one can of black beans has a VERY strong flavor influence). Plus this year I learned that real chili has NO BEANS! I'm serious! I was shocked to learn it myself but check it out here at the ICS (International Chili Society) official website! So my chili was the only real chili there! Sigh. I think I may have lost some serious points because my chili didn't look "chili" enough.
2 more quick possibilities. There was a big table of chili for the judges and a small one off to the side because there were too many chilis. Mine was on the side table. My bowl didn't look like it was well sampled. Maybe poor placement? Maybe, but the 2nd place chili was on my table. Also, mine was the only chili that didn't use ground beef. Instead I used cubes of chuck which, after cooking for 3+ hours just dissolved in your mouth! That should have HELPED, right?
Anyway, if you can offer any words of solace and none of gloatiness or criticism it would be appreciated.
Also, try this recipe and Judge for yourself if it rocks or not. Trust me, it rocks, hard!
Texas Style Chili
Inactive Prep Time:
2 hr 30 min
6 to 8 servings
• 1/4 cup rendered bacon grease or vegetable oil
• 3 pound tri-tip or boneless sirloin or chuck roast, cubed
• 1 large white onion, chopped
• 3 large jalapeno or serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped
• 5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
• 5 New Mexican green or red chiles, roasted, stemmed, seeded and chopped
• 6 tablespoons chili powder
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
• 1 (12-ounce) bottle Lone Star or Shiner Bock beer (I used O'douls, a non-alcoholic brew but there are other substitutes)
• 2 ounces tequila (I omitted this. Didn't feel comfy buying tequila!)
• 3 chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped (hard to find. I used a pailla pepper and chipotle chili powder)
• 4 to 5 cups beef stock
• 1/4 cup to 6 tablespooons masa harina
• Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, garnish (omitted. I hate cilantro)
• Finely chopped white onions, garnish (omitted. Trust me, there is enough onion in this recipe already)
• Sour cream, garnish
I also added pure maple syrup to taste for a sweetener.
*NOTE: When working with chile peppers, always wear rubber gloves and be careful not to touch your eyes or skin. Wash all utensils and cutting surfaces well with hot, soapy water before proceeding.
In a large heavy pot (such as a cast iron Dutch oven), heat the fat or oil over high heat. Add the meat and sear, stirring, until no longer pink. Lower the heat to medium-high. Add the onions, jalapenos, garlic, chiles, and chili powder, and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are wilted and start to color, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the beer and tequila and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan. Add the chipotles and adobo sauce and 4 cups of the stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender, 2 to 3 hours, adding the remaining cup of stock as needed if the chili becomes too dry or thick. When the meat is tender and the chili is ready, add the masa harina 1 teaspoon at a time to thicken to desired consistency, stirring well and cooking after the addition of each before adding more.
Remove from the heat and correct the seasoning, to taste. Skim any fat from the surface.
Ladle into bowls and garnish each with cilantro, chopped onions, and a dollop of sour cream. Serve with hot cornbread.
23 September 2009
It's Chili Cookoff time at the Halawa Ward here in Hawaii! Last year I whined and whined until we held the First Annual Chili Cookoff. Well it was a smashing hit so we are doing it again. Also, I won! Read about it here! So it's time to defend the title. Now as I've been looking around for a good recipe I discovered that real chili (according to Texas rules) has no beans, tomatoes or onions. So I found a recipe and made it and it was kind of glorified sloppy joe topping except not as sweet. It had a good bold flavor but I missed the texture. So I decided to see what my friend Bobby Flay has to say about Chili. I tried his Black Bean Chili. There was a snag when one of his big ingredients was beer. Thank heaven's for O'Douls! Anyway, it was much better than the Texas chili I tried out. I've got about 4 or 5 more recipes I want to try out. Either way, on Oct 23rd it's going to be a delicious night to remember!
29 May 2009
24 May 2009
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18 May 2009
This was my best shot of the day. I am taking the pic from in front of the tee box. You are looking at the green in the distance. On my drive I hit the freaking pin! The ball did not go in but rolled a few feet away. I flubbed the birdie and settled for a par. But I HIT THE PIN!
That night we ate ate the Monterey Fish House with some friends of my Dad's, the Cummings. I got Chipino and Bill got the Swordfish pasta. We expressed that we were going to try each other's dishes so they brought each of us a plate/bowl of each. It was a lot of food and very tasty. Then I made the mistake of ordering the creme brulee. Very bland and the top was actually a wee bit burnt. Harumph!
We then went to Angels and Demons. It was better than The DaVinci Code (just like the books!). I don't know what else I can say.
The next day we got all religious and went to church. Afterward we went to Compagno's for sandwiches. They were enormous. We also asked for a slice of cake and I swear we got a 1/4 of the cake. It was all very tasty and healthy.
Anyway, thanks for coming to visit dad. Can't wait to see you in Hawaii!
11 May 2009
So I got all excited and I sat on the bench waiting for Val to run to the door. Nothing happened. SoI waited for a few minutes and still nothing. So I knocked on the door and Jon answered. He just said "Oh hello," like I'd just come back from the store. I told him to be quiet and I snuck in the kitchen and surprised my wife. Lots of screaming ensued. Anyway, she said she was washing dishes so didn't plan on looking at the picture till she was done. Oh well. It was a good idea.
Anyway, we promptly went to Stone Cold and got some Cookie Mintster all around. The next day we spent hours just hnitting up our favorite spots on the island (but not until after Val participated in a Primary activity. There's dedication for ya!), Matsumotos, Sharks Cove for snrokeling, Ted's Bakery and then we had dinner at Teddy's Bigger Burgers where I enjoyed the Jala burger (a 7 oz burger with jalapeno poppers on top!). So we went home and watched Twilight together (my kid's new favorite movie, go figure). It was a wonderful weekend and hopefully it was a very productive weekend (maybe more on that later). Now I'm back in California and all I have to console myself with is lots of good food.
27 April 2009
So I was the first one patron to arrive for the night. This room is the entire restaurant. Very cozy. What was cool is the Maitre'd knew my name before I said anything. I guess I was the only one that night with a 1 person reservation. Anyway, I thought it was cool. Before long plenty of diners filled the room. Then in walked the Chef.
Cristophe Grosjean is the Executive Chef here. It is always comforting to see the Chef actually there. So I was inspired to get the 8-course Chef's Tasting Menu which means: 1-The Chef had carte blanche to pick my courses as he saw fit and 2-all my courses were not just overseen but cooked personally by Chef Grosjean. That's a serious bonus. Before we get to the food let me say that the service was amazing. I had a server for my water, a server that made sure I never ran out of bread and my main server who wore white gloves. That was kinda neat. Now none of the help was in tux but they all dressed very fine. I think it really enhanced the atmosphere. Also, the help seemed to know a lot of the patrons personally. I don't know who can afford to eat at a place like this on a regular enough basis to ask about the Maitre'd's children but I'd like to be that person. On to the food!
19 April 2009
Let me start out by saying that as the sun faded my poor phone camera was inadequate. Sorry. However, I had plenty of light for my grilled prawns! This was the start of my 4-course (I eventually turned it into 5) meal. The grilling brought out a really nice unexpected flavor. And the presentation was nice. Look! They're friends! Hey! No spooning!
OK so the second course was a grilled duck breast on top of a rutabaga puree. Look at the cute little quail egg on top! The flavor was good, not amazing and one of my slices of duck wasn't as tender as I had hoped but the rest was pretty darn good.
This is the extremely haunted bedroom where Mrs. Winchester died. Probably while being haunted.
This is the extremely haunted front door where President Teddy Roosevelt was told to go away. He probably haunts it.
The next day I was in Socal visiting my family so we had to go to the Saugus Cafe where James Dean had his last meal. I hope his Biscuits and Gravy weren't luke cold like mine. They would have been so yummy warm! Anyway, it didn't warrant a picture.