Monthly Archives: November 2011

Nothing in the house to eat?

Time to get creative!!

Someone decided to go play poker last night and since it was raining, I decided to stay in. There was only one little problem… we hadn’t hardly any food in the house! I was encouraged to look around the house for leftovers and come up with something great, “You can blog about it!” he assured me.

Challenge accepted.

The contents of my refrigerator were looking rather bleak, but I managed to rummage up the following:

I found four slices of turkey bacon, a small hunk of leftover brie, half a tomato and half an avocado. Thank goodness we always have bread.

I also had one russet potato, which I sliced thin, drenched in butter and baked at 475 degrees for 20 minutes (stirring halfway through).








It doesn’t look like much, but I had a vision… a vision of a world in which I would create the most delicious sandwich. I don’t know everything about sandwiches, but I know a thing or two about delicious and it begins with butter.


After frying the bacon, I assembled the sandwich with the sliced brie, tomatoes and avocado. Then I filled the skillet with butter and fried that baby up!

After sprinkling the chips with salt and pepper, adding a little side salad, in this end this was my creation. It was a cheesy, crunchy cool mouthful of yum.

Remember to keep a close eye on the potato chips (they burn super easily!) and nights like this are yet another reason to always have salad in the fridge.




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Sunday Brunch

In my house, breakfast reigns supreme. When we have the time, brunch is an event, and during football season, we always make the time. I use this inclusive “we” word loosely as I am only responsible for potatoes and presentation. At dinnertime, I’m typically the queen of the kitchen, but in the AM, my king takes over. He  does breakfast right. Below is a typical Sunday morning feast on 46th street.

Jared breaking eggs for french toast and to scramble. He mixes the egg with milk and cinnamon for the toast. There may be other steps involved. I'm generally asked to leave the kitchen.

Chop potato(es). Mix olive oil in a bowl with salt, pepper and whatever else you like. Coat potatoes in oil. Add sliced onions and chopped garlic and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes (stir halfway through).

He crusts the french toast in nuts, puts the heat on med-high, adds butter and frys those mothers up. BAM!

Lower the heat and grill up your bacon (turkey back in this case) until it's at your preferred level of crispiness.

















Scrambled eggs are pretty self-explanatory and no brunch is complete without berries (or mimosas!)

Just another delicious day in Astoria… What are your favorite brunch items?


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Thanksgiving, Family and Football

I won the family lottery... don't be jealous 🙂

As we head swiftly into this holiday season, I am reminded of the many Thanksgivings spent with family as a child. Hailing from Texas, I could always count on two things. One, the Cowboys would be playing and two, we would be eating our meal at halftime. Never a chore, spending time with my family has always been and still is a joy. Memories of green bean casserole and my grandma’s dill baked oyster crackers bring a smile to my face and a tug on my heart. I am grateful every day for the uncountable beautiful moments I’ve shared with these wonderful people.

This year will be different. I imagine each of this year’s milestone will be different. I remain grateful because, while I won’t be watching the Cowboys game with my family, we are still connected by football. Obsessing over numerous mid-week adjustments to our fantasy teams and talking trash incessantly will make my mother glad to have missed it. I’m sure she will be spending Thanksgiving enjoying seconds and thirds of calorie-free food and wine, looking over us from way over yonder. Don’t worry, Mom, I will be sure to look over at the cranberry sauce and go “bleh,” for you. Cranberry sauce… bleh.

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The Nacho Blog

As a native Texan and a frequenter of neighborhood pubs everywhere, I consider myself a nacho aficionado. If you are a nacho fiend too perhaps you’ve noticed that this delicacy can often be hit or miss. I’ve had nachos that are too dry, nachos that are too wet, nachos with all the goods on top and nothing but sad plain chips underneath, and nachos so loaded up with sour cream that everything below them is soggy. These are nacho sins. I have set out to perfect the nacho recipe with an unbeatable method for ensuring each chip’s deliciousness. I pair it with guacamole (on the side!) because, for me, nachos just aren’t nachos without guacamole 🙂

To refry beans: sauté garlic, onions and jalapeños for 5 mins, then add beans (with juice) and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer adding beer as necessary (don't let them dry out). Should take 1.5 hours or so.

I used Modelo Especial.. but you can’t tell, because I freaked it. 🙂

Once the beans are finished, you can serve them as a side dish, but I really like to hide them underneath the nachos. A fun little surprise for your guests 🙂

Take care to layer the chips, meat (in this case beef), and cheese in however many layers you have food for. (Can easily be made veggie... just leave out the meat!) Then bake at 350 for about 10 minutes (until the cheese is melted).

I urge you not to rush through this step… this is how you ensure each chip will have ample toppings. Take your time!

While its in the oven, chop up your pico veggies. I kept it simple here... just tomatoes, red onion, and jalapeño all chopped finely.

You’ll want to have a second plate on hand to place the oven-hot plate on!

Guac- chop red onion, garlic and jalapeño, add avocado and citrus (in this case lemon, but lime is fine too). Mash it all together. Then add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.

If you make the guac ahead of time, be sure to press plastic wrap into the dip so it doesn’t brown (although if it browns a little, just mix it in, as my mom used to say, “it ain’t gonna kill ya!”)

Mmmm... beany surprise...

Perfectly spicy, delightfully cheesy, with just the right ratio of condiments 🙂 Delish.


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Who says you can’t cook for one?

Since someone had to work late, I was on my own for dinner last night. Sure, I could have just picked up a slice of pizza (that’s what he would have done). But I thought, “No. What an excellent opportunity to treat myself… to a steak.” So that’s what I did. And since I’m not made of money, I took myself down to the store and picked up a piece of tenderloin and a potato (I had cheese, milk, butter and veggies). And this is what I did…

Heat butter (and/or oil) in a pan on Medium heat. Add steak (and season however you like).

Boil potatoes for 20 min (until they fall off a fork when you stab them).

Add milk and butter (and cheese/garlic/whatever) and mash until as smooth and creamy as you like them.

For meat about 1 inch thick, cook 4-6 minutes on each side (depending on how done you like it).

Served here with a hearty salad and a pumpkin beer! But that's up to you 🙂

Was it tasty? You tell me…

It’s was super yummy sauce, made yummier by the fact that in total (including the beer) I spent less than $10. I say again, POP POP.

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Photoshop, POP POP

Islandia del fuego

Dome of the Boston

An American in Paris

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A Fisherman and a Businessman

As I’m reading Justice: What’s the Right Thing to do? by Michael J. Sandel of Harvard University, I am reminded of a story a philosophy professor once shared with me. Maybe you’ve heard it.

The book, which is refreshingly non-persuasive in nature, is currently addressing Immanuel Kant’s notion of freedom as it relates to justice. Kant suggests that we often make choices seemingly of our own free will that are actually dependent upon desires we inherently possess. For example, I do not choose chocolate over strawberry because of my higher reasoning capacity but rather because I am programmed to prefer chocolate over strawberry. Kant places an importance on the motives behind our actions and as a “why, why, why?” type of individual myself, I now share this story…

A fisherman and a businessman meet on the beach. The fisherman is coming in with a net full of fish and beginning to head home when the businessman stops him. He asks the fisherman, “Why are you leaving now? There are many more fish to be caught.” The fisherman looks confused and responds, “Because I have enough fish here for me and my family.” The businessman urges the fisherman to return to the sea for if he did, he would then be able to catch additional fish to sell.

The fisherman asks, “Why should I sell fish?”

The businessman responds, “To earn a profit for you and your family.”

“My family has plenty to eat and a place to live, why should we need to earn more money?” asks the fisherman.

“So that you might be able to buy a bigger boat and hire other fisherman to catch even more fish,” replies the businessman.

“And what would I do with a bigger boat and more fish?” asks the fisherman.

“Why, you could buy a build a business that would bring you and your family to a big city like New York or LA, where you could run your empire,” replies the businessman.

“And how long will that take?” asks the fisherman.

“15-20 years,” replies the businessman.

“And what about after that? What would I do then?” asks the fisherman.

“Anything you wanted. You could live by the beach and spend your evenings resting.” responds the businessman.

The fisherman smiled, picked up his net and gently replied, “Sir, that is what I am going to do now.”

This story describes two kinds of success. Surely there are many more and surer still is the truth that no one is to judge any other’s notion of success. There will always be business people on their way to building empires. And good for them. As for me, I choose the path of the fisherman, as I quietly seek this thing we call happiness.

Vinoth Shankaran says, “The truth is you can succeed in anything, if success is not defined…”

How would you define it?

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