Humor for February 3rd

It’s Wednesday night again, time for some more humor! With the super bowl this weekend, I thought I’d offer you a few football related jokes tonight, enjoy!

 

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Why was the football team owner upset that he had to use a pay phone?

Because he knew he wouldn’t get his quarterback.

 

Why did the linebacker put all his change in a small bag?

Because his coach told him to sack the quarterback.

 

When the owner of the football team discovered that his house had been destroyed by accident, the first that was rebuilt were two walls, giving the him a cornerback.

 

When a quarterback who never managed to complete a pass decided to run for office, he had a football made out of dollar bills and promised that he would never pass the buck.

 

What did the chef say when he saw a gigantic dish?

“Now that’s a super bowl”

 

Why did the football owner ask the banker to select new players for the team?

Because the banker knew something about handling drafts.

 

Why do football players always demand feather pillows?

Because they enjoy touching down.

  

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I hope you enjoyed these jokes tonight. Thanks for reading!

February begins… a bit chilly 

February began today, it began normally enough, save for being a bit chilly. El Niño has brought plenty of cold weather this winter, it makes you wonder what the rest of the year will be like.

 

 With the cold weather, it’s a great time to sit back and drink plenty of hot chocolate, just make sure that you have plenty of marshmallows. 

 Hot chocolate chip cookies are something else that you can’t have enough of on these cold February days, consider making them double chocolate by adding some cocoa powder to them, just reduce the flour slightly.

 

 These cold days are perfect to sit back and plan out everything you want to get done this year, it’s also a good time to plan what you might want to grow in your garden, hot peppers and tomatoes need to be selected this month if you’re growing them from seed.

  

 I hope you can enjoy your week and stay warm.

Thanks for reading!

Food Mash-ups: Sauerkraut Stir fry

Welcome to the third installment of my newest series: Food Mash-ups! I hope you’ve enjoyed all of the mash-ups so far.

This will be a continuing series of posts, I just haven’t decided how often I should mash-up two distinct foods into one, I’d enjoy knowing what you think, let me know in the comments if you have an opinion.

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Sauerkraut Stir Fry

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The food culture of Germany and China are thrown together in tonight’s mash-up. From Germany, we have Sauerkraut and German sausage. From China, the stir frying technique! Can such widely different styles of food and cooking successfully be mashed together in to one meal? Read on to find out! First a brief history of both:

 

Stir frying:

Stir frying is a technique of cooking that embraces cooking with a small amount of very hot oil for a brief time. The wok was created first, researchers claim, for drying grain around 200 B.C. Unfortunately there are no concrete records of just when the wok was first used for stir frying.

The secret of stir frying is in the high heat and quick movement of the food being fried. It is commonly agreed that stir frying seals in the flavor and texture of the food being cooked, at least if done correctly.

 

Sauerkraut:

Sauerkraut is basically salted cabbage that is allowed to ferment for a period of time. The salt removes some of the liquid from the cabbage and forms the liquid that brine’s the cabbage as it ferments.

Oddly enough, a bit of research shows that while sauerkraut is German in origin, there was likely a similar type of dish that the Chinese workers who built the Great Wall of China ate, only theirs was fermented with rice wine instead of salt.

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Now that we have a bit of history, let’s get on to the actual cooking:

 

Tonight we’re going to add German sausage to out dish, while not necessary, it does add a bit of texture.

Start with links of German sausage, remove the casing and slice the sausage thinly enough that it cooks quickly, but thick enough so that it holds together, this will depend on the sausage you use, some may be packed looser than others. If your sausage is too loosely packed, you may need to cook it quickly before slicing it.

Next thinly slice two or three onions, along with a few cloves of garlic.

Heat up your wok or frying pan, when it’s hot, add enough oil to coat the onions and garlic. Add the onions and garlic. If you didn’t have to precook your sausage, add that as well. Now is also the time to add a hot pepper, one of those small thin red peppers is perfect, these have a variety of names, from Thai hot to bird pepper and many others. If you don’t have one of these, add a Habanero (which fits as its Latin name is Capsicum Chinese), I prefer slicing it thinly, however most stir fries leave the pepper whole. Consider at least slicing it in two to allow more flavor to mingle into your dish.

Once the onions are well wilted and the sausage (if added) is fully cooked judging by the color, add in a nice amount of oyster sauce and a spoonful or two of a nice mustard. If you precooked your sausage, add it now as well.

Serve on a bed of fried rice with soy sauce and pepper to taste.

 

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There you have it, Stir fried Sauerkraut. I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

 

Humor for January 27th

It’s the last Wednesday night in January, where has the month gone?

 I’ve managed to come up with a few jokes for you, I hope you enjoy them!

 

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What did the yacht captain say when he discovered a pile of flat stones on the deck?
“I’ve always wanted to be a skipper.”
 

Why did the conman always avoid straight streets?

Because he was crooked.
 

What exercise do chefs prefer?

Flapjacks.
 

How do you tell the difference between frozen water and a crazy politician?

One flake is snow and the other is all for show.

 

Why are pancakes a liability for politicians?

Because they are always flip flopping. 

 

How do undecided chefs choose a politician to back?

He flips a pancake.

 

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 I hope these jokes gave you a chuckle and a smile.

 Thanks for reading!

January ending

We come to the last week of January, it’s been a month of odd weather, odd events and never ending politics, in other words, it’s been a normal month.

 With January coming to an end, we can easily see several things that make the coming months easier to get through, namely baseball spring training late next month.

 

 Many people are eager for the super bowl in roughly two weeks, be it for the sport itself or the commercials that will be shown, it’s an event many people live for.

 

 With the heavy snowfall on the east coast, I can only hope that everyone has plenty of hot chocolate to drink… and warm chocolate chip cookies to eat of course.

 

Is there anything better than a cup of hot chocolate, a chocolate chip cookie and a comic book to read on a snowy day without a care in the world?

 

 What comic books are the best for this time of year? While I’d suggest something action packed, some of you reading this might prefer some of the new style comics that have appeared over the past few years, I’m not refers to cartoon comics, those are time tested classics, instead I refer to any of the new comics such as the many that focus on zombies, or are drawn manga style, or any of the numerous other ones that I might not have come across yet. These are diferant from what many think of comics as, but they can still be worth reading if they appeal to you. Read what you enjoy.

 

I know this post is a bit different from normal, but I’m trying a few new things this year. Feel free to let me knock w what you thing.

Thanks for reading!

Food mash-ups: Enchilada Spaghetti

I’ve got another food mash-up, or two meals made into one. I’m still looking for a good title for this series of posts, let me know what you think of this weeks.

Also feel free to comment if you have a suggestion for future posts in this series, I’d enjoy hearing your opinions on this series along with any dishes you’d like to see combined.

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Enchilada Spaghetti

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I’m delving into Mexico and Italy for tonight’s mash-up! From Italy, we have Spaghetti! From Mexico we have Enchiladas! Can these two unique meals be successfully combined into one? Let’s find out! First a bit of history on both meals:

 

Spaghetti:

Spaghetti is a relatively simple meal consisting of pasta (spaghetti noodles) served with a seasoned tomato sauce on top, often if not always with either meatballs or Italian sausage.

The history of spaghetti is a vague one, all that is really known is that the pasta has been made for centuries, the sauce was a much more recent addition, coming some time between 1796 and 1839, it was likely some time between those dates that tomatoes really began being common in Italy.

Normal seasonings found in spaghetti sauce include: Basil, Garlic, Onion, Oregano and Rosemary.

 

Enchiladas:

Enchiladas are a slightly more complex meal. It all starts with a corn tortilla that is dipped into the enchilada sauce, the filling is added, it’s rolled, topped with more sauce and cheese before being heated (normally baked in an oven until warm and the cheese has melted) and served.

Enchilada’s are a food that date back quite a long ways, some sources even suggest that the ancient Mayans ate something very similar to an enchilada.

Enchilada’s have changed over the years, becoming more complex and fancier until they likely only retain the name and basic idea of what the dish once was.

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Now that we know a bit about the history of each dish, let’s look at how they can be combined. To make this dish easier to make, we’re going to make it with meatballs.

 

Meatballs:

Start with your ground meat, most people likely are used to beef or pork, however I suggest buffalo (bison if you prefer) for two reasons, one it’s a lot leaner, two it’s a bit more likely that several hundred years ago an enchilada would have been made with buffalo than beef due to the lack of cattle.

Next add your onions, garlic powder, mix well. Stir in pepper flakes or diced peppers, fresh peppers add more flavor, but if you are in a hurry pepper flakes are fine, just make sure to add enough of them.

All meatballs need a binding agent, such as bread crumbs, in this case I suggest using dried cornbread or tortilla chips that have been crushed. If you have the time, I suggest ripping up a few corn tortillas, allowing them to dry and then crumbling them up finer, leaving a few pieced slightly larger for texture.

Mix in your crumbs along with a healthy amount of enchilada sauce, you want a firm meatball, but not an overly dry one.

Roll out your meatballs, allow them to rest for a few minutes before cooking them, you can fry them in a pan, deep fry them, or broil them, whichever method you are more comfortable with.

 

Sauce:

The sauce is quite easy, at it’s most basic, it’s one part spaghetti sauce to an equal part enchilada sauce. Just use your favorite recipe for each one, if you don’t have a favorite one, take a few minutes to compare a few online, there are plenty to choose from.

Next add extra basil and cilantro for flavor, add in your meatballs and serve over normal spaghetti noodles.

 

Cheese:

This is one part where you could likely argue the best route for hours, I’ve taken a simple approach however: Take equal parts each of grated cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese and Parmesan cheese, combine them and sprinkle on top of your enchilada spaghetti.

 

Garlic bread:

No spaghetti wouldn’t be complete without garlic bread, so I’ve come up with the ideal garlic bread to accompany your enchilada spaghetti:

Using your preferred recipe for corn bread, put the dough in a low pan and bake.

In a small mixing bowl, melt your butter (you can use olive oil if you prefer), add garlic (powdered or freshly chopped, your choice), hot sauce (the hotter the better), and Parmesan cheese, mix well.

As soon as your cornbread is baked, cut it into pieces and spread your butter mixture on top, serve warm.

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There you have it, Enchilada Spaghetti and Cornbread garlic bread.

Thanks for reading and please let me know what you think of this meal.

 

Humor for January 20th

I don’t have many jokes tonight, but I hope you enjoy these four.

   

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What did the politician say when a natural disaster destroyed a detergent factory that was on top of a hill?

 That it was a slippery slope.

   

What did the pretzel maker say when he robbed a bank?

Stick ’em up, I’ve got plenty of rods!

  

Why was everyone surprised that the pretzel maker robbed a bank on a tv show?

That it was a great twist.

  

Why did the crook sell a weaver a sheep?

He wanted to fleece him.

   

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 Thanks for reading, I hope to have a lot more jokes next week.

Sorry for an error with the title at first, autocorrect has a mind of its own tonight.

R.I.P. Noreen Corcoran

The talented, but unfortunately little remembered, actress Noreen Corcoran has died.

 While not well remembered today, she was quite well known in the 1950s and 1960s. Her most remembered role was in’Bachelor Father’.

She also had parts in a few movies in the early 1950s, with ‘Wait ’till the Sun Shines, Nellie’ being the most notable.

 After Bachelor Father ended, she was in episodes of ‘The Big Valley’, ‘Gunsmoke’ and several others. She was also in another few movies before she decided to leave her acting career behind and focus on a career behind the scenes in theatre and dance.
Fair well, Noreen Corcoran, you’ll be missed.

Two into one: Foods that shouldn’t go together

Tonight I’m going to try something a bit different, tonight we’re going to take two main course meals and combine them into something completely new.

Don’t worry though, my ‘How to Ruin any Food’ posts will return starting in February when I’ll have several new foods to ruin.

I hope you enjoy tonight’s post, if you have any ideas for a good title for future posts like this, please let me know in the comments.

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General Tao’s Chicken Fried Steak

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Tonight we’re going to combine to dishes, General Tao’s Chicken and Chicken Fried Steak into one. First a tiny bit of history before each dish:

 

General Tao’s Chicken:

The history behind this dish is very interesting, mostly because the  general it’s named after is died long before the dish was created. It’s also known by several variants of the name: General Tso’s Chicken, General Gau’s chicken, General Cho’s chicken and many others. Another translation of the name means something more like ‘ancestral meeting hall chicken’.

There are also many people who are claimed to have invented the dish, these are too many to list tonight.

This dish is made with chicken that is cut into bite sized chunks and dipped into a cornstarch batter before being deep-fried. It is served with a soy sauce based sauce.

 

Chicken Fried Steak:

This dish is also an interesting one, mostly because of how it could be related to several other dishes from around the world, such as:

  • Wiener Schnitzel (Germany/Austria)
  • Milanesa(Italy)
  • Scotch collops (Scotland)

There may be even more dishes similar, however my brief research only turned these up.

This dish is normally made from a pork or beef steak, which has been tenderized. The methods of tenderizing are varied, from pounding to grinding. After which it is normally dipped in egg,  breaded, and fried. It is also served with gravy.

 

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Now that we know the basics of each dish, let’s look at how we can combine them. The first thing is to realize that it’s going to end up being more like one or them other, there is no getting around this fact, however we’ll do our best to even it out.

Meat mixture:

The first this to do is to get your meats ready. I suggest using an equal part of ground chicken, ground pork and ground beef or buffalo. That way you get the chicken and the steak, plus the ground pork will ease the transition between the two, however you can leave it out if you so desire.

Next season your meats, use chili peppers, hot sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and some soy sauce. Mix well and shape into patties about one inch wide by four inches long, give or take. Once you have your patties made, set aside while you get your flour mixture ready.

While you can make your flour mixture first, it doesn’t hurt for your meat patties to sit for a few minutes, it may actually help them hold their shape.

Flour Mixture:

For this you’ll need some flour, enough to fully coat your meat patties in. Add a bit of salt, some black pepper, garlic powder and a dash of paprika, mix well.

Dipping:

You’ll also need an egg, slightly beaten. I suggest playing a game of poker with your eggs, you’ll win as it’s well know that eggs tend to get beaten.

Dip your meat patties into the egg mixture, fully coating them, then roll each patty in the flour mixture.

Deep fry the patties until done, this should only take a few minutes if your oil is hot enough, test with a meat thermometer.

 

The Sauce:

This is the most interesting part of the dish, blending a sauce and a gravy.

Start with a sauce pan with a few tablespoons of butter, melt the butter until you can whisk in some flour,  stir the flour around until it starts to brown, but add water before it burns.

When you have added water enough to make the proper amount of sauce/gravy, add the following to taste:

  • Minced fresh garlic
  • Freshly chopped chives
  • Soy sauce (at least two tablespoons, depending on the amount of sauce)
  • White wine vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)
  • A pinch of sugar (more or less, depending on your taste.)

You’ll likely notice that your sauce is fairly thin, that’s to be expected, so don’t panic.

Take a small bowl with some water and a tablespoon or two of cornstarch, again depending upon how much sauce you’re making you may need a bit more cornstarch or a bit less. Mix the cornstarch into the water until it’s fully dissolved and add to your boiling sauce, stirring rapidly until it begins to thicken. Turn off heat and serve at once.

I suggest serving either rise or mashed potatoes  with this meal.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading!

 

Friday thoughts for January 15th 

Tonight I have a handful of thoughts to share with you, they might be odd, strange or thoughtful, enjoy.

 

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The political season is in full swing, though that isn’t anything odd, it’s always time for political pandering. After all the votes are counted, it’s time to begin again, you might say politics are a self renewing resource.

 

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 The only thing more confused than politics is the weather, or more accurately the weather forecasters. The more technology they get, the worse they manage to predict the weather. At the current rate, I predict that within a few decades, they will be predicting snow in the middle of summer.

  

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2016 isn’t looking like a good year to be famous, just look at how many celebrities have died so far this month….

 

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Now for something much happier… happy birthday to the great actress, Margaret O’Brien, who turned 84 today.

 One of the great child stars of the 1940s, she has stared in many great movies, such as: Meet Me in St. Louis, Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, The Secret Harden and many more.

 

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 Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post.