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25Sep/120

Low Carb Buffalo Turkey Bites! Oh so nommy

Buffalo Turkey Balls nommy

Recently my girlfriend and I had invited the Pastor of our church and his wife over for dinner and set out on a mission to make a delicious spread of low carb food since it seems to be the happening style in our Church, and for ourselves even!

We decided on a main course of butt-rub asparagus w/ some delicious bacon wrapped chicken on the grill -- but the starter was something new for us.

Meet one of our new favorites: low carb buffalo turkey bites!

This one is super easy and super cheap (and only takes maybe 30 minutes from start to eating)! Check it out, ingredients:

  • Turkey Balls:1 lb (or close) pack of ground turkey
      • Could also use chicken, but I've been opting for the inexpensive "ground turkey" vs the more expensive ground turkey breast (our secret)
    • 2 oz softened cream cheese
    • 2 eggs
    • 2tsp black pepper
    • 2 tbsp chopped celery (pretty much one stalk chopped up pretty fine)
    • 2 tbsp (I use even more!) of your favorite crumbled blue cheese (by crumbled, how about whatevers on sale as its just for added taste and not the center of flavor!)
  • Sauce:
    • 1/2 cup of your favorite low carb buffalo/hot sauce
    • 1/2 stick of butter (preferably unsalted as there is plenty of salt in your sauce)

That's it! Pretty simple, right? You probably have um all but two ingredients!

Here's what you do...

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix all ingredients from the 'turkey ball' section above in a large bowl
    1. Note: use your washed hands... but be forewarned, your hands will get super super cold!
  3. Grab a good sized cookie pan and line with foil, then spray with a good non-stick spray (or you could oil it)
  4. Form balls in approx. 1" size and place on tray
  5. Bake for 13 minutes
    1. When theres a few minutes left, place the 1/2 stick of butter in a microwaveable safe container and zap until melted (30-45 seconds on high) and stir in your 1/2 cup of fav. sauce
  6. Remove cookie tray from oven and then remove the turkey balls still on the aluminum foil and place on counter
  7. Apply new aluminum foil on cookie tray and spray w/ your non-stick spray
  8. One by one, dunk each turkey ball in your sauce/butter mix and place on cookie tray
  9. Bake for another 12 minutes!
  10. Remove, plate, enjoy!
    1. Walden Farms has a pretty good zero carb/calorie/fat blue cheese dressing -- mix in some blue cheese crumbles and you'll be set!
6Aug/120

Asian Says-ME Broccoli Trees Pleaseeeeeeeee

Asian Broccoli Trees NOM NOM NOM

Enjoy broccoli? Enjoy Asian type food? Enjoy sesame oil (can you distinguish it on your pallet?!). This, you will love ... I hope!

What you'll need:

  • Broccoli -- up to you, more is almost always better in regards to EVERYTHING
  • Sesame seeds (this is more for fun and looks, but not required like having broccoli is)
  • Sesame oil (this one IS required and so so so so important and awesome)
  • Soy sauce (again, required)
  • Your favorite seasonings (I like Sriracha hot sauce (not pictured), garlic and onion powder, salt/pepper, red pepper flakes

Next you will want to fill your pot with some water and add your broccoli (mine is frozen and this guide is written as such -- if yours is not, you probably want to leave out until water is almost boiling, add and check it after a few minutes. Just dont overcook it... no one likes soggy broccoli).

 

 

 

The moment your broccoli starts making tiny broccoli brubbles it's done -- this is NOT the same as boiling so don't over do it! Drain your broccoli QUICKKKKK!! 

 

 

Now... See? Nice and green ... and all excess water goneeeeeee! FOREVER!

 

 

 

 

Next up... Put in pan (this is so easy right?!?!?!)!!! Now, top with all your favorite spices, hot sauces, etc and add a healthy amount of soy sauce and sesame oil. Don't be too shy on this but don't go overboard... You can always add more, but I'm not really sure how to rinse the oils off the broccoli to start over... That could be a good update for the future though, maybe?

 

 

 

Now toss! Just be careful you dont fling everything all over... Give it a taste and if its delicious, great! You're pretty much done! If not, keep on adding spices and sauces! Again, we're going for an Asian flare, not a bland my-mom-can't-cook taste (no offense mom, but seriously you're steamed broccoli was pretty awful ... especially compared to this!) Now, plate it!

And of course, my favorite part? NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM!

 

6Aug/120

Dat spicy cajun skrimp, mhmmmmm.

Skrimp rescue!!

I really enjoy seafood... Actually, let me try again... I really enjoy food (thats my inner-fatty). However, in an effort of achieving an under control INNER fatty and a toned down OUTER fatty, I've begun revamping my diet and cutting out a lot of (as many as possible) carbs -- basically, I try to only get them from unprocessed foods (mostly vegetables, some nuts, proteins) and an some fiber (see: low carb wraps from Publix are rockin). Fortunately while I don't follow Atkins (come on... eat a dozen eggs and a pack of bacon for dinner sure is delicious, fun, satisfying, delicious -- it can't be all that great), I do follow it slightly. Also, seriously... if you eat so much proteins and no fiber, how are you going to ever ... well... you know...

Less I digress... One of the easiest and most delicious things I make pretty often (every time the veined shell on skrimp at the store go on sale!!!!) is a simple "low country boil for one".

What you'll need:

  • Skrimp -- approx. a pound, but its up to you and your pot
  • Water -- I don't know how much... I guesstimate almost EVERYTHING I cook
  • Apple cider vinegar -- again, no clue how much. Lets call it a cup and keep on rockin!
  • Old Bay Seasoning -- I DO have a measurement for this one -- its called a TON!! -- again, preference but don't be shy -- in the picture I also have my favorite go-to seasoning Butt Rub. I've never tried it, but I bet its fanny-tastic!

 

Fill your pot up with water, dump in your apple cider vinegar and at least HALF of your Old Bay stock (seriously, you should try it.. I did, and it was glorious)

Now, bring it to a boil... This seems like forever... Try not to fall asleep, by the way..

Seriously, how long is this going to take...

Um, is that guy sleeping?

HAHA! I LOVE VIDEOS OF LAUGHING BABIES!@($*()@#*%(#@%

 

What you'll see in this next picture is it starting to "break" -- a term used in brewing beer, where the ingredients start to separate and boiling will soon begin. Put your skrimp in now, but obviously be careful because your water will be hot and you'll burn yourself (proceed accordingly, if you're into that kind of stuff)

 


 As soon as your skrimp begin to float, you're almost done. Grab a slotted spoon or even a spatula (it's all I have -- fail). Once they are all floating start to pull out and let drain and put in a bowl. In my case, this is for tomorrow for lunch so I put in a tupperware. Separate out some juice in another so they can cool separate or else you'll over cook your skrimp (fail).

 

 

Eat right away if you want, but let the juices cool slightly (put in some ice and more Old Bay!) and then add the skrimp back in when its just warm -- yank a skrimp out, don't be afraid to suck the juices off of it and from inside the shell -- its the best part (like the head from a crawfish!)

Enjoy it... its low carb... high in protein, but make sure you get some veggies in ya so that you can... well, you know... We're all adults here so I'm going for it .. so you can poop!

-Chris

13Sep/102

Spicy Green Beans – Tuffy style!

On our first night in Portland we decided we wanted to nosh on some Thai food and found a spot walking distance to our hotel (of course, first we had to have a foiled attempt at finding pizza).

The spot we found is called Typhoon, and it seems to be a relatively medium sized chain in Oregon; site found here.

We ended up ordering some Penang Curry, fried rice, and Green Curry, and rather than ordering an appetizer I put in an order of spicy string beans, and they were awesomeeeeeeee. I knew I had to try my own version.

So I did! Sad news though -- I cooked them up late at night and just wanted to finish so I could shower and go to bed -- thus, no pictures. Nevertheless, heres the recipe:

Recipe: Spicy Green Beans

Follow these here steps:

  • 4 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 4 tbsp Veggie oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (or light, your picks)
  • 1.5lbs Green beans
  • 1 medium shallot minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • Crushed red pepper flake (to taste)
  • Toasted sesame seeds (to desire)
  • Sriracha hot sauce (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Start out by getting all your ingredients together
  2. Begin bringing a large pot of water to a boil
  3. Clean your green beans and mince your garlic and shallot
  4. Add green beans to boil and let boil for 3 minutes and prepare an ice bath
  5. Immediately remove and add to an ice bath, once cool stain to remove water
  6. Turn the stove to medium and in a large skillet or wok, add sesame seeds and toast them
  7. Add the veggie and sesame oil to the pan, and then add the shallot and garlic
  8. Once aromatic and softened, add in green beans, oyster sauce and soy sauce
  9. Toss everything around for 5 minutes or until heated and cooked through
  10. Add pepper and chili sauce to taste -- the flavor should be sweet mixed with heat, or just sweet -- not too salty
  11. Now om nom nom nom on them!

Cooking time (duration): 30

Diet type: Vegetarian

Meal type: supper

Culinary tradition: Thai

My rating: 4 stars:  ★★★★☆ 1 review(s)

12Sep/100

Stepping Stone Cafe: I’m a man. I love cake. I love mancakes!

Food Spread

It's only obvious enough that while in Portland, you must do as the Portlanonianins or whatever they call themselves?

Since I don't know anyone there, I use Yelp, TripAdvisor and FOOD TV! to help guide adventures. Well, I guess my sister planned the trip, but whatever. Same thing applies.

I was honestly a little adverse to trying Stepping Stone since I read so many 'mediocre' food reviews, and complaints upon the wait staff.

Well, they were pretty much all wrong -- at least, completely so compared to my experience.

We got to the cafe, wrote our name on the list, and proceeded to wait. Once our name was called, we were sat in a back room and our very friendly waiter showed up with some water and silverware.

After a few minutes of perusing the menu, we ordered and bombarded the waiter with an attack of questions, all of which he was happy to answer.

We decided upon the Smother B.A., the eggs benedict, the cinnamon bun french toast, and one bluberry mancake.

We had to go with at least one mancake -- my justification is this. I'm a man. I love being a man. I love cake. Therefor, based on all the math courses I've taken: love of being a man + love of cake = love of mancake!

The food all came out in a reasonable amount of time and all was very good.

The staff was really good at refilling my water glass, which since you don't know me, I need to let you know I put camels to shame and drain my glass the moment its refilled.

I'd definitely suggest checking out Stepping Stone Cafe!

Oh, and if you complain that its small and cramped, you suck. Its a small cafe that is popular -- thats a good thing, not a bad. Go to McDonalds if its an issue, ya space greedy tourist!
Stepping Stone Cafe on Urbanspoon

12Sep/100

Voodoo Donuts – the magical sugar potion!

Voodoo Donuts

On our third morning in Portland before we started our waterfall bike tour, we woke up early to get in line at Voodoo Donuts.

Fortunately, we got there when we did. As soon as we got there, the line continued to grow in an ever faster rate, and soon went from our 45 minute wait to at least an hour and a half, and then moreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Once we got inside, we were highly saddened to learn the ever popular maple bar was gone (maple donut w/ crispy bacon on top ... mmmmmm). The girl behind the counter isnt super pleasant to deal with, but who cares? I just want donuts, not a relationship!

We made our best effort and ordered a Texas Challenge (giant glazed), Cock-n-Balls (Bavarian cream topped with chocolate), Old Dirty Bastard (raised yeast w/ chocolate icing covered in crushed oreos and peanut butter), two giant apple fritters, and some normal raised yeasts donuts.

The apple fritters were pretty good -- really large but could have used much more apple nugs in em.

The Texas Challenge was indeed a challenge. We never finished it, though its good -- honestly, how can you mess up a glazed donut (even tho its stupidly big)

The Old Dirty Bastard was yum yum good. Oreo? Peanut butter? Yes please!

The Cock-n-Balls was also a large donut. Tastes basically like an eclair ... with the icing in uh ... well, the cock ... and, the, um, the balls. Obvious, eh?

Its definitely a good donut -- people whine and complain on reviews that "they're too sweet". Well, no shit, genius. It's a damn DONUT! Since when do you go to a joint that has reviews saying "oooo these donuts are so bland ... mmmmmm yum" or "ya so this donut I got this morning tasted like licking a salt lick. You should DEFINITELY CHECK IT OUT!@$()@$*"

No. Its a DONUT! Its dough, SUGAR, and more variations of SUGAR.

Voodoo Doughnut on Urbanspoon

29Aug/100

Here cukie cukie cukieeeeeeeee!

Baby cukie!

Mid-July I got a random package delivered and left in the leasing office. I had to slave to get it to my apartment and upon opening found it was an Earthbox Compost growing aparatus.

Within a few days I went out and picked up baby cucumber plants and two okra plants, assembled the box, planted the pups and sat back to watch what happens.

In the meantime, its rained and its been sunny. I've lost my tomato plants (actually, I said to hell with them and trashed em) and my broccoli still refuse to flower and give me some f'ing broccoli! My garlic chives are doing well, though. Havent used any :\

Well, I've decided its time to show just what exactly my dad did to my lofts patio. Honestly, I have several reasons to thank him for this hidden gem of a box.

It has:

  1. Given me a means to grow more veggies
  2. Given me something to watch progress and do, as I say, 'just cuz it gives me something to do'
  3. Most importantly: provided me shelter to go sit on my patio and smoke a cigar and drink a beer without the gay dude standing across the court yard staring at me while he smokes cigarettes backtoback while playing with his Chihuahua.

Here is a picture of the plants when I planted them (found in blog post "Sometimes I like to think I'm like Bob Villa, found here):

Just a couple happy baby plants!

Now, here are a few pictures of the plant now... A little over 6 weeks old:

Now, I just need to find a delicious recipe to use for pickling when they get to the appropriate size!

5Aug/100

That’s some tasty s’ghetti squash

Oh. my. god!

Earlier this week a buddy of mine at work (Ray) brought in some spaghetti squash him and his wife made for dinner -- I was shocked that the squash didnt taste like absolute crap poop -- not a big fan of squash.

I decided I wanted to try making some, so he sent me the recipe and heres my rendition. Give it a whirl, its good.

Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Veggie Disco Dance

Nutritional facts (estimated): ~190 calories, 12g fat, 22g cholesterol

Here's your tasty parts you'll need:

  • 1 s'ghetti squash
  • 1 onion minced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • Some chopped up shroomies
  • Some black olives cut in half
  • Your fav crumbled cheese (I went with bluecheese cuz it puts hair on my chest)
  • Some fresh basil if ya got it, dried otherwise
  • Chopped up bell peppers (your choice)
  • Some of your fav tasty powder (seasonings, duh) -- I used Tony Chacheres original creole
  • Some sausage or ground beef
  • Some veggie oil (for the veggiesssssss)

Heres how to twirk those tasty parts:

  • Cut s'ghetti squash down the middle length wise

  • Grease bakin pan, put cut sides down after cleaning and bake for ~30mins at 350 degrees (until you can stick a knife in without too much resistance
  • Meanwhile, get on with choppin your veggies up starting with onion
  • Cook chopped onion in oil over medium until its soft
  • While onion cooks, chop up all your veggies you decided to incorporate into your tasty medly

  • Toss all veggies in but tomato, basil, and cheese
  • Once all veggies have softened, add in tomatos and season to taste and set aside

  • Soon your s'ghetti squash will finish, so take out of oven when done
  • Let cool, once its cool enough to handle, scrape insides out into a bowl or container (get it all! clean'er out!)

  • Once gutted all s'ghetti, toss into veggies and mix well
    • This is the point I for some reason forgot to take more pictures :\
  • Add in your cheese, olives, pre-cooked meat, and basil

  • Check seasonin again, and dig in!
Of course, I had to grab the biggest "crumble" of blue cheese and show you how excited I was to eat it .... mmmm

  • At this point, since I not only forgot to take pictures of final product, I also forgot to cook the turkey sausage I bought and incorporate in. My remedy? I cooked it after, duh. I'll serve on side and slice up and just mix in... but still, heres pics, cuz you love pics. I know you do. Hell, I dont care if you dont, I LOVE PICS, and this is my blog.

Update: I took a picture with my iPhone at work during lunch of the finished meal -- here ya go!



Cooking time (duration): 1 hour

Diet type: Vegetarian

Diet (other): Low calorie

Number of servings (yield): 6

Meal type: dinner

My rating:  ★★★★☆

Filed under: FOOD! No Comments
1Aug/101

“Ooooo, Yeah! Burger” – Macho Man

Burger goodddddddddd

It's been a while since I've written any sort of reviews on food, so its a little relieving that the first from my hiatus is a pretty positive one -- and for that, I can thank the tastegasm I was given by Yeah! Burger off Howell Mill.

Yeah! Burger opened up two blocks from my loft several months ago, and I have only now made my way there to try it out.

This evening I spent a bit of time being foiled at every attempt of grabbing a bite to eat (tried 3 different places and was turned away from all). Finally, with no where else I had to look (interested, anyways) I pulled up to Yeah! Burger and parked my ride in the 15 minute TOGO parking, and figured perfect -- no one wants to be that guy that eats at a place alone.

I headed right for the TOGO and Drinks counter and grabbed a menu and dove in head first instantly giving my order -- which was a bison burger, on white roll (out of wheat), with lettuce, tomato, jalapenos, grilled vidalia onions, pepper jack cheese, and their bacon jam sauce.

My creation was mostly me, partly aide. My original order called for nitrate-free bacon and a mayo sauce, but she recommended I void the bacon and sub the sauce for their bacon jam -- some kind of reduced vinegar molasses bacon concoction -- I dont know, I heard bacon and I was all in -- oh, and I got an order of their buttermilk Vidalia onion rings based on recommendations from other reviews on Urbanspoon.

I then sat down after payin ($13.35 + $2.00 for tip) and waited. This was where I had my only issue with the place -- it was a bit of a cluster. I pulled in around 8:45 and they close at 9, and people were stil there ordering food at the normal counter. Everyone seemed burnt out and ready to go, and the food line (which had a fryer, a person that portioned fries/rings, a line boss, two people on grill and a topper guy) all worked together in what seemed the opposite of unison. I did notice the food runners check every individual order and have everything fixed, to their best effort, before taking the food out -- this is probably a huge save for them.

Anyway, I got my food and hit the door to head home and gobble up my food while enjoying the first evening of the 2010 Shark Week!

All in all, I was happy with the food! The onion rings were the thin cut, but I prefer the big hefty variety. The burger was tasty, messy, and tasty! I ate every last bit, and plan on returning and trying another burger with different combination (mainly the sauce).

Final verdict: Very pleased with my meal -- and it was cheaper for what you would get at Flip (have I mentioned that place is a damn rip?)

Yeah! Burger on Urbanspoon

23Jul/100

I like to think I’m kinda like Bob Villa

I used to love watching home improvement shows, specifically Bob Villas, when I was around 15 years old. I like to think that one day, maybe, all of that knowledge on how to set hardwood floors and restore joists will be of use for me.

I also like to think that I put some of my skill learned from him into identifying a problem and solving it.

The problem I have, is that I planted cucumbers in my Earth Box my dad sent me a week ago. They are doing well and had started to climb up my railing on my patio... Thats not bad, per say, but its not good either. The issue with this, is if and when I go to harvest the cucumbers, I cannot pull the box away from the railing to get better access since the railing is fixed.

My solution? Design a 'fence' and let them climb that.

I designed up a sketch at the office using PVC and chicken wire, and put it into production today. Aside from having a few (like, 5) extra parts and not enough PVC (missing a foot for a stability leg on center post), it went together really well!

Here are some pictures... its hard to tell the cucumbers up fornt from the okra in the back since they are both short... Eventually, hopefully, the difference will be made obvious.

Filed under: FOOD!, Personal No Comments
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