Category Archives: Cooking

Ramp It Up!

Been a while since I rapped atcha, but I’m back with AMAZING news.  Because I’m lazy and Spacebee works hard I demanded that we go out for dinner last night instead of me having to cook something.  We hadn’t been to Brasserie V in awhile so we drove up, and were pleasantly surprised that yesterday was the first day of their spring menu. Do you know what that means? RAMPS!

I had two delicious ramp-based items: for an appetizer they had homemade pickles: ramps, cucumbers, and spring onions.  Very light and tasty.  For dinner I had the homemade beef, ramp, and bacon sausage on northern beans and grilled bok choy.  Holy shit the sausage was great; very meaty with great flavor from the bacon and ramps.

So there you go, it’s really spring now if the ramps are out and about.  I’m looking forward to the first Farmer’s Market next weekend so I can grab a couple bunches myself and start my spring tradition of Scrambled Eggs with Ramps.

ROBOCALYPSE

Big congratulations to the Lawfolk on their baby being born- I’m just assuming the baby will be a lawyer too someday, or possibly a sheriff.  Law-related, I suppose.  Anyways, again with the congrats; the baby train continues at full speed.

I made a pretty great experimental meal last night: I took some of the Southwestern Fiesta brats from D & G Meats, stripped the meat out of the casing and fried it up.  I made burritos out of it with my special black bean recipe and cilantro rice.  Oh man I think we’re onto something- the brats are seasoned just right for the job, and you end up with some tasty ground pork filling.

This is a good TED talk about robots.  Fast forward to 14:10 to see something really swanky, but the whole thing is pretty interesting.

Woo!

If You’re Ever In Pittsville…

The Littlest Princess

…definitely stop at Baum’s Mercantile. They proprietors love the ladies, and will show them all manner of giant underpants, Packers Hitler Meme videos, plus whatever is lying around in the basement. You may even get free shoes out of the deal.

For those who couldn’t make it, Pittsville was fun as always. Brian and ktk have a wonderful home that they let us slop around in for the weekend. Cookie & Cookie II cooked a wonderful meal, including the best brussel sprouts I’ve ever ate.

I lost a somewhat non-trivial amount of money at Yahtzee, and goddamn I hate the dice and they hate me.  I truly believe that I have exhausted all dice-based luck for the next 10,000 years.

Ah well- did Cal pass the bar exam?

Tromboneulous

I have nothing to say, more or less. Got switched to a new group at work, and the year (and decade) is coming to a close. Poo poo pachu. This weekend I’ll be at the Wisconsin/Northwestern game down in Illinois, and next week is Whazzgiving.

The soup club is on: I delivered a white chicken chili and chemical burned my hands for, like, the millionth goddamn time.  Here’s what to get me for xmas: plastic gloves and a sign that says “USE THESE WHEN CUTTING CHILI PEPPERS YOU FUCK.”

In video game news, I finished up Borderlands this week (though the first DLC drops on 24th and I’ll be getting that) just in time to grab Assassin’s Creed II.  I’m a couple of hours into AC2 and so far it’s fucking great.  Also, my new gaming compy is coming on Monday and then I’ll be able to start Dragon Age. Woo!

That whole Golden Tee thing is a bummer, but I have faith that we’ll get a replacement eventually; and hopefully when we do we’ll have somewhere to put it.

Eet-sah Peet-sah Pie

Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Awhile ago my good pal Tim (aka, SushiPowered) sent me a recipe for a thin crust pizza.  I’m fairly sure it came from a cookbook from the Cheeseboard Pizza Collective. I really slacked on the, er, implementation of said pizza so last night I was determined to git-r-done.

I had two pizzas in mind that I wanted to try:

  • Buffalo Chicken Pizza: two chicken breasts or a bunch of boneless thighs in a crockpot with Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce for 6-8 hours.  Shred it, put it on the pizza crust, then lay slices of provolone on top and bake.
  • Jack Moneypenny’s Famous Olive Oil & Black Pepper Pizza: Just cover the crust with olive oil, lay provolone slices over it, and crack some fresh black pepper on top of the cheese.  A long time family favorite.

The picture here is of the final product, Buffalo-style version.

My reaction to the new crust: I think I did something wrong somewhere.  It was incredibly tough for me to get the dough into a bakeable form– I tried rolling and I tried stretching but whenever it got anywhere close to thin enough for my tastes it ripped.  I don’t believe it was a recipe thing; I guess I just need to make it a few more times to try and get it right.  It was also suggested that I also get myself a pizza stone if I’m going to make thin crust pizzas.

Once out of the oven, the buffalo chicken pizza was really good!  The crust ended up fairly lumpy but the flavor was great.  The olive oil pizza…. yikes.  I only ate one piece and was not impressed.  I thought about it for awhile and I think I know why it didn’t taste good.  The Moneypenny Family pizza recipe uses a fair amount of sugar, which helps the dough rise bigger as well as provides a subtle sweetness to the crust.  The Cheeseboard crust, on the other hand, is very simple and without sugar or a double rise step which makes sense when you’re shooting for thin crust pizza.  My guess is that without that subtle sweetness, the olive oil & black pepper flavors simply do not work.

I think I need to experiment a little more with this recipe: first to make it truly thin, and then to experiment with different ways of making it.

In Other News

Here’s a cat in a shoe.

Cat in a Shoe
Cat in a Shoe

Goldy Goldersen Tecmo Pics

It’s not that I was ignoring you, Cal.  I’ve just been extremely busy the last two weeks with work and all.  I have your Goldy Goldersen pics safe and sound and they’re uploading to Flickr while I type this.

So yeah, Cal took wwhazz’s beard in an 8-bit dick fight.   It was all very dramatic as it was happening– Cal had beat the shit out of me in Tecmo Bowl minutes before, but since I didn’t have the foggiest idea how to play no one took that as an indicator that he was a Field General, like Fran Tarkenton before him.

Here’s the play-by-play repost from yours truly…

Wwhazz should tell his beard story– the way Cal hustled his beard off ‘im is one for the ages. Cal was all “I don’t think I’m really good at this game.” Wwhazz was all “I’ll bet you anything I can beat you, you turd.” Cal was like “oh me oh my, how about we bet that patchy beard of yours.” Wwhazz was all “hell yeah” then he lost and everyone went “whoa!” Cal was very satisfied with himself, and didn’t even complain (much) when dinner was delayed until 11:30 at night.

Cal’s last play makes the entire game– down by 1, he takes the kickoff and starts around his 30-40 yd line with not much time left on the clock. Wwhazz drops back into prevent defense and Cal throws a bomb up the middle. With 6 seconds left and Cal’s receiver running upfield wwhazz smirks that his beard is safe as his defenders close in. Then, the field general’s hand is revealed: he runs out of bounds at the 30, kicks the field goal as time expires, and wwhazz is shocked into beardlessness.

So here’s all the pictures I have— also, here’s a link to the set of pictures that bellygirl took as well.  We’ll highlight a few delicioso ones below…

Bluegill Schmooblill

I’ve been busy the past week or so as work heats up and the weather turns milder. I hadn’t even seen wwhazz in a while, so last night lawman, he, and I had a bluegill feast to lighten up lawman’s possession limit. We mixed in some ramps/spinach/pasta fry and a nice big salad that changed wwhazz’s outlook on salads. Then we went to Joe’s Casino.

I got a new bike this week, and I’m getting it outfitted soon for some saddlebags and other storage stuff. Being without a car, it would be nice to be able to ride to the market and have a way to get a reasonable amount of groceries home with me. Plus it would be nice to be able to carry food and stuff when we go for trail rides without taking a bulky backpack along. Maybe I’ll post some pictures when I get the thing fully outfitted.

This is amusing.

The Brewers have been on a roller coaster of late. Two straight sweeps on the road, followed by a good 3 -out-of-4 from the then-division leading Cardinals at home, and they were on the verge of taking the series from the Dodgers when Guillermo Mota unloaded a big, stinky blown save on the mound in the top of the ninth. I wonder if he got a swirly in the clubhouse for that performance. Now the Brewers head to Boston in what will certainly be a horrific beatdown (though I do wish otherwise) by the Red Sox. The pitching just Isn’t There, and no matter how much Melvin and Attanasio talk up the rotation and the pen there just isn’t enough pitching on the team for them to go the distance in the fucking division let alone contend IN the playoffs. It would be nice to be a fan of a team where you don’t cringe in every single ninth inning where your team is winning.

The Bakersfield Wastelands

AND lo, unto the hellscape of Bakersfield there was delivered a couple. AND that couple didst live in squalor amongst roaches, big-ass bugs, and team players. THE men and women of the hovel did not yet know their betters were upon them…

And so on and so forth. Hey everyone, it’s nice to be back. I was in Racine on Sunday for a trio of birthdays: my niece, my soon-to-be sister-in-law, and my grandmother. We had a gay old time eating delicious risotto and marinaded beef tenderloin. Then we had a Speed Party: eat cake, pinata crash, open presents in 30 or less minutes. Spacebee and I rode dirty down to Racine, spent about 3 hours there, and then headed back up. Our driving time equaled the time we were there, but it was worth it to see so many family members’ birthdays in one shot!

There’s also crazy news on the Racine front: my parents are moving to… Door County. My father accepted a position as the president and CEO of the visitor’s bureau up yonder, and so by the end of the year they will have (hopefully, in this housing market) sold their house and moved up there. My brosef and seestor are moving out soon or have moved out already, and so they won’t be going with. I know I’m still digesting the news… but I am looking forward to going up there to visit.

Now, as anyone in Madison can attest to, I’ve been going buck fucking crazy on a cookbook I received from my dad recently.

[Backstory] As some of you may know, my dad used to work for Visit Milwaukee, the convention and visitor’s bureau for the area. As the VP of Sales, it was his job to sell the city to various large conventions so they would come and buy up a bunch of hotel rooms and spend tourist money like ‘whoa.’ So they have these conventions where people representing large conventions come and get wined and dined and look at booths by various cities in order to hold their convention there. My dad worked hard to set up a dinner for under a hundred people at the home of Art Smith, Oprah’s personal chef. So a bunch of people went to his house in Chicago and had some great food and (I hear) raved about it to others at the convention the next day. As the guests left, Art Smith signed copies of his newest cookbook for the them, and my dad snagged a copy for me as well. [/Backstory]

Now, I had paged through the cookbook and found a few good recipes, but I hadn’t actually taken a step to cook anything until last week. I went to Whole Foods and bought all the ingredients to make 4 dinners from the book on consecutive nights. Many of them involved brining and long-lead prep work, so I set up a schedule where I would be cooking one night’s dinner while prepping for the next night’s dinner. Long story short: these things went four-for-four. Each one was goddamned tasty (which can be attested to by those on whazzmaster who tried them, I believe).

All this to mention that the fourth night of Back to the Family-inspired dinners happened to fall on Saturday: college football during the day, Badger football at night, free UFC ‘pay-per-view’ (I’ll let wwhazz expound on that one), and Brewers and Cubs baseball. Mississippi Chicken and Rice with homemade cornbread turned out to be the perfect compliment to 6+ hours of various sports. By the way, GMX, the cornbread we made was straight outta Good Ol’ J.R.’s Country Homemade Cookbook you got me. So now I have two signed cookbooks: one from Oprah’s personal chef, and one from the WWE’s lead announcer. The cornbread was made in a cast-iron skillet, which got ultra-high marks from me. Anything made in a cast-iron pan is going to taste twenty to thirty times better.

Finally, Wisconsin sports are looking good, if shaky. Badgers are 2-0. Packers are 1-0. Brewers are back atop the division (for the moment). And wwhazz is winning Peterstiffly’s Whazzmaster NFL Pool. Incredibly.

HOLLLARIT Bakersfield.