Friday, February 20, 2009

Recipe Interlude II : Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

This is the leftover vege special since you can pretty much use anything you have in your vege drawer, here's how i made it today

take about a pound or two of chicken, like 2 big cutlets, trim off anything ewwy and cube it up, lightly brown it in a pan then remove into a bowl and clean the pan of the fat. (don't worry about it being cooked all the way cause its going in the oven, just brown it

Cut up small and fry up a pile of veggies
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
a hand full of string beans cut up
1 potato cut small
1 big portobello mushroom
1 carrot
1 celery stick
some left over broccoli
pepper, salt, thyme, bay seasoning, parsley
i fried all these in olive oil, then tossed in half a cup of chicken broth and let them steam up a bit
take off the heat
ok now mix in the chicken, the mushrooms, the precooked broccoli and add a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup in a casserole dish
wait patiently for people to come home for the last step
make some guac to snack on as an appetizer and open a bottle of wine
20-25 minutes before eating do he last step
top the dish with hungry jack biscuits from a popping canister, and bake til golden brown



Recipe Interlude I : Mahi Mahi with Quinoa Tapenade

Mahi Mahi with Quinoa

The Fish:

Lay out four or so pieces of Mahi Mahi in a baking pan
Drizzle olive oil ontop
Open a bottle of white wine, pour one glass on the fish and pour one for yourself
play music
add lemon juice, maybe a quarter of a cup?
Cut up about 15 pitted spanish olives, like 2 hand fulls and toss on top
do the same with 5 cherry tomatoes
Dice up a few sprigs of fresh dill and basil leaves (must be fresh) toss on top
add pepper
Top each fish piece with a lemon slice
Put in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes, or til the fish is done (dont over cook!)

Quinoa Tapenade:
Is made just like rice, so it soaks up the goodness you put instead of water
1 cup quinoa (dry, rinsed)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
a dozen snow peas (pea pods) chopped up to bean sized
a table spoon of olive oil
chopped up roasted peppers (2 big ones)
An 8 oz jar of Artichoke Caper Tapenade (trader joe's sells this as does Braswell's Select)
put all this in a pot, bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes, remove from heat for 5 minutes keep covered then fluff and serve

Serve with Steamed Asparagus aldente, topped with butter and diced fresh dill

(I totally forgot to take a picture- but it was so tasty that i am passing on the recipe but please note - it will look nothing like the above photo lol)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I found these drawings online today and love them, I had never given adequate thought to the anatomy of mickey mouse, gummy bears, balloon animals, and lego men... thank goodness for Jason Freeny of Moist Productions - friggin brilliant.

Vegas Baby Vegas!

I went to vegas for the first time this weekend It was an interesting experience what can i say...

Vegas is pretty cool, its kinda like times square, plus a high end mall, plus Disney world, plus some kindof sculpture museum. People smoke everywhere, and there seems to be two main styles of dress, either overly manicured, like miniskirt straightened hair total hotness on the slutty side, or the exact opposite, some god awful track suit pajama kinda thing that’s I guess popular in the Midwest perhaps? There were far too few people styled in between those two extremes.

i arrived with some stereotypes in my head of what Vegas would be like, it was my first time, so going in cheap was the main image in my head. I thought it’d be all elvis impersonators and chincy crappy places full of yuck, but I was pretty wrong about that. The hotels were beautifull!! Everything was crafted with such skill and such quality materials, every detail was inspiring, mosaics and marble everywhere , reproductions of sculptures from antiquity and new sculptures as well, I was expecting it to look more motel-like but however obnoxious you may find the excessive signage and lighting, the vegas strip is pretty gorgeous and anything but cheap. When you go into the casinos there is that element with all the slot machines, like a huge arcade for adults, all blinging and flashing with loud often lame music, but there were cool clubs you could go in to avoid all that. After a while I found the slot machines pretty hypnotizing, I thought it’d be overwhelming and sometimes it was, but the odds are such that there are as many winners running around as people who are down so its hard not to fall into the hope of being one of the lucky folks who make money while they’re there. It’s a little overwhelming sometimes but taking a walk around outside reminded me of times square sortof, which made me feel at home in a way. I found also that the art all over makes the overall effect tolerable by counter acting the casino bred anxiety.

I showed up expecting amazing buffets, the stuff of legends, everyone raves about food in vegas as never ending piles of amazingness, I found them to be very good but not all that, they were a bit better than penn state commons buffets, but I was not nearly as blown away as everyone claimed I’d be, I’d rather just have one plate of food off a menu than all you can eat, generally speaking, but in the case of piles of lobster etc I thought I ‘d feel differently, but the buffets I saw were kinda regular, and buffet just isn’t my thing.
Since it’s a desert I was expecting it to be hot and dry, but it was chilly and even rained one day. I totally didn’t pack enough warm clothes, so was unprepared. Luckily I have simon’s good luck hoody with me or I would have just frozen.

There’s a rollercoaster! Its ontop of the new york newyork casino. I’ve always thought they should build a rollercoaster in manhattan, whenever there’s a crane up over a bldg I always tell people that’s what they’re making but sadly its always a joke, How cool would it be to actually have a rollercoaster high above in the tops of the skyscrapers of manhattn – brilliant! It was awesome.

They have oxygen for sale. You sit at a bar with the nose tube on you’d get in a hospital, only its in public, at a bar… They kinda filter the water bong style through aromatic waters. So the deep breathing smelled like rosemary lavendar eucalyptis etc. And while you sit there they massage you with several nifty gadgets. They were simultaneously trying to sell me lots of stuff but aside from that it felt awesome. There were a bunch of O bars all over town, I picked the one with a view of opera singing gondoliers taking tourists for rides in the indoor canal at the venetian, pretty awesome. My cousins were surprised we don’t have this in manhattan cause apparently its not that uncommon, I said new yorkers are too street smart to pay for air lol. I don’t know if breathing the oxygen did all the awesome things they were saying it would, I didn’t feel dramatically different, but they also pump it into the casinos, and I think I may have felt the effects there??? I was rather perky for the late hours and beer didn’t effect me as strongly as It normally would, may need to investigate more….

As for the whole gambling thing, I was gonna not gamble at all, but I’m apparently way less stubborn/ disciplined than I thought I was cause that plan didn’t last… it was just too tempting and I figure I’m probably not going back there much in my life so I wanted to try stuff. So first day I tried craps and roulet and slots… lost at each and quit immediately vowing to never play again. So the next day I went to the arcade with my little cousins to actually have fun while loosing my money to the flashy machines, in a significantly less expensive way. I finally played that silly dance game, which is way funner than a slot machine. Later that night I lost more inti the slots and opted to no longer let myself carry cash as I clearly can’t be trusted. I was supposed to leave the next day (yesterday) but I missed the bus (which turns out was canceled due to snow in the mountains) So I stayed another night.
I wandered around town and wound up at the “Paris” casino, I had figured out late the night before that buying drinks in vegas is silly. I was paying cash for beers, but if you sit by the gamblers drinks are free, especially if you appear to be participating. So I figured if I played slowly on a penny slot machine I would actually just be paying for my beers in a way that had the slight potential to win me lots of cash, but if I lost all my pennies it’d be just like getting the beer from the bar. I just had to keep aware of passing waitresses and play slowly on cheap machines… I am pretty good at texas hold em poker, but only the kind where you play against people not just against the cards, cause its all about reading people etc, so I met up with my cousins at treasure island and we headed to MGM and I watched poker for a while before I heard the line "No Guts No Glory" and finally caved and bought in at $40, which soon became 100, then i needed more cash but the atms were offline so I got it from the cashier who finger prints people to prove they really wanted more cash since its clearly a regrettable move. I got up to 140 in the hole, and I was down to some small amount like under 30 in chips, but then just as all seemed lost and I was kicking myself for playing at all, luck showed up. I went all in on a hand, and so did two other people, there was rubbish on the table with a king high, each of the two other people had a pocket pair of Aces, and I had a pocket pair of kings, which made three of a kind so I won. I won about $300 on that hand, it was around 6am, what a great feeling, I was so proud and Relieved. I should have run away at that moment, but instead I quickly widdled that back down to 180 and so the last day i was in vegas I broke even, everything I put into poker, plus everything I put into slots that day, came back to me. But I played for about 12 hours and drank about a dozen free beers. It was such a rush. I get it now. I really really like poker, everyone at the table was funny and friendly in a poker way, and there were a lot of laughs, like when the irish guy passed out in his seat and got escorted out by five security guards, but not before falling on his ass a few times and slurring out some hysterical irishy gibberish.. it was an Awesome time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Driven Green

I have not read this book yet but it is now officially on my must read list, I just watched an interview on Daniel Sperling on Jon Stewart and am impressed that he doesn't believe that corn is a good alternative fuel source, which i agree with, so I'm excited to see what else he has to say about transforming the auto industry to be green.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Art Catalog

Original Artwork by me for you.