Monthly Archives: September 2012

From the Wisdom of my Teenage Heart

I wrote this poem when I was 15. I called it “My Way.” 

(I had big love for Sinatra… even then)

teenage, poem, crazy, poetry, wisdom

Me as a youth!

I am what I am; I do what I do.

I’m happy being me; I don’t want to be you.

I say what I think and I mean what I say;

I don’t let other people’s judgments get in the way.

I’ve been this way since I don’t know when.

I’m just me and I’m comfortable in my skin.

I have ambitions and dreams for life.

I know life’s hard and that’s alright.

I’ll fall in love as often as I can.

If I get hurt, I’ll just start over again.

I won’t let my pain make me too jaded to see

that, when I’m ready, love will come for me.

I’ll make my dreams come true, there is no doubt.

I’ll do what it takes, but I’ll never sell out.

And when I die, I’m going to be able to say:

I lived my life and I did it my way.

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Sweet Grass Grill

About a month ago, the stars aligned in such rare form as to grant me and my paramour a week day off together. Even more serendipitous was the access we had to a car, something that is almost never the case (and never necessary) for us in Queens. But on this fateful Friday, we were in New Jersey and we wanted to go on an adventure. There was just one hiccup, it was pouring down rain. This only strengthened my resolve to have a great start to a 3-day weekend, so we scrapped our initial plans to drive down to Seaside for an impromptu interpretation of The Jersey Shore, and opted for the creepy Sleepy Hollow, a nearby town that had haunted my childhood.

Turns out Sleepy Hollow, NY is much more sleepy than creepy, but it was pretty and I’m glad we went. The little town next door, called Tarrytown, seemed to boast a more happening downtown scene, so we stopped there, after a roll through Sleepy Hollow, for a bite to eat. After checking out a few menus on the main street, the Sweet Grass Grill really tickled my fancy:

sweet grass grill, draught beer, IPA, tarry town, new york

We chose two different IPAs. Jared’s was better 🙂

We had planned to stick to water originally, but the plethora of craft ale options on tap forced me to shrug and say, “YOLO, I’ll have a brewski.” Unfortunately I cannot recall the names of these IPAs, but I can assure you they were bold and tasty, just like an IPA should be 🙂

Next came the food:

sweet grass grill, draught beer, IPA, tarry town, new york

Jared chose a chicken pesto sandwich, the food of his people.

It takes a lot for my man to overlook a chicken pesto sandwich on a menu. Unless another option is lamb or mushroom-based, he’ll almost always opt for something in a chicken-pesto variety. He said this was one of his favorites, and the fries were perfection.

sweet grass grill, draught beer, IPA, tarry town, new york

And I chose the bacon mac and cheese, the food of my people.

Equally as challenging is for me to overlook a mac and cheese dish, especially one that includes bacon. This particular béchamel sauce was light, yet flavorful and the cherry tom-toms were a cool, fresh burst of yum.

If you find yourself driving around the sweet little villages of Westchester County, check out this little gem, you won’t be disappointed!

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Green Bean Casserole

We were invited to a BBQ in Queens last month, and I was asked to bring a dish but offered very little guidance as to the type of dish. So since no one said I couldn’t, I decided to whip up a batch of green bean casserole, just like we do down home. My version started with onions, garlic and mushrooms in one pot and green beans in the other:

green bean casserole, barbecue, bbq, side dishes, grilling, outdoor recipe, recipe

Saute garlic, onions and mushrooms for 10 minutes.

green bean casserole, barbecue, bbq, side dishes, grilling, outdoor recipe, recipe

Boil green beans in salty water for about 15 minutes.

Once the veggies were all cooked through, I threw them into the skillet and added a can of cream of mushroom soup. I then let all this cook together for another 5-10 minutes on low heat. Turn on that oven to 350!

green bean casserole, barbecue, bbq, side dishes, grilling, outdoor recipe, recipe

I first threw everything down in a lil’ bit o’ butter.

green bean casserole, barbecue, bbq, side dishes, grilling, outdoor recipe, recipe

Then add the soup, bring to a boil, then back down to a simmer.

Then I poured this tasty mixture into one of my uber-classy foil baking dishes, added french fried onions and baked at 350 for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and brown.

green bean casserole, barbecue, bbq, side dishes, grilling, outdoor recipe, recipe

Mmmm…. smells like Thanksgiving, y’all.

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