Tag Archives: food

10 Food-Ball Thunks About The Super Bowl

ImageTwo weeks ago in the Mile High City, Peyton Manning “Omaha-ed” the Denver Broncos to a victory over the Walking Talking Touchdown Tossing Ken Doll (who is now paddleboarding in Costa Rica with Barbie) & the New England Patriots in the American Food-Ball Conference Championship Game. While up in the louder than an airplane taking off home of “The 12th Man”, Richard Sherman deflected away Colin Kaepernick’s final pass in the Seahawks’ end zone and sparked a controversy when his mouth began to celebrate before his head could catch up with it in National Food-Ball Conference Championship Game. What that all means is that it’s “Mann vs Mouth” (with credit to the New York Post) in Super Bowl XLVIII – The Denver Broncos vs The Seattle Seahawks.

 

As a longtime Denver Broncos fan, I remember when the Seattle Seahawks played in the AFC West. I was never a fan of Jim Zorn, Steve Largent, Dave Krieg, Curt Warner or least of all Brian Bosworth. (Does he still have Bo Jackson’s footprint on his chest ?) I didn’t hate the the Seahawks like I did the Raiders, Chiefs & Chargers, they just annoyed me. I have to admit I was glad when they were moved to the NFC in the most recent expansion realignment. My disdain for the franchise had remained dormant until now. Now the Seahawks are my mortal enemy again and they are all that is standing in the way of a Denver Broncos Super Bowl victory on Sunday. So with a tip of the chef’s toque to the Monday Morning Quarterback himself, Peter King @SI_PeterKing on Twitter, let’s get to 10 Food-Ball Thunks About The Super Bowl.

 

1. Every year I try to come up with dishes to represent the two teams playing in the Super Bowl. In the earlier rounds of the playoffs I pick more whimsical recipes in part to spark controversy & to play on stereotypes. Come Super Bowl however, I pick recipes that I am actually going to make & eat so I try to come up with something good. When I first moved to Denver in 1982 the closest I came to Mexican food was driving past Taco Bell. The guys in my office used to take me to The Riv off of Colorado Boulevard once a week just to see me sweat. So for the Denver Broncos I am thinking of taking a Phyllo Cup and filling it with first a scoop of a Spicy Denver Omelet, then topping that with a scoop of Buffalo Burger, some Mexican 3 Cheese Mix and then tossing the whole tray under the broiler. Maybe top it with a scoop of guacamole at the end.

2. When people stereotypically think of Seattle, they think of throwing & catching salmon, starbucks & coffee, McDreamy & McSteamy and the color Black but Seattle and the state of Washington are so much more. The food scene is over the top and don’t forget about the incredible apple & cheery crops growing out in the eastern part of the state. With all that in mind and far too much time on a train in the morning to think, I have decided to roast chunks of salmon on a wire rack and to marinate & glaze them in a Cherry & Wine sauce using a chardonnay (white with fish) from a local Washington vineyard like Chateau St. Michelle. In a tribute to the “Legion of Boom”, I will have to kick it up just a notch at the end….but not too much.

3. Other Super Bowl menu items will include standards like Chicken Wings, Ribs, Deviled Eggs with Cheddar & Bacon, some sort of dip and of course, Alligator Chili. I did have someone review my Coconut Conch Chowder recipe the other day and while I don’t have any conch this year in the freezer, I did just get 10lbs of frozen crawfish tails sent to me from Louisiana. Of course I will be making a few items from the RITZ Recipe Collection and there will be other items too that I will reveal on Game Day as I make them.

4. You heard it here first. The Polar Vortex is moving out and the weather will not be a factor in this game. The only thing the two teams may have to worry about are the swirling winds in Giants Stadium but both quarterbacks played here this year (both beat the Giants handily) so that shouldn’t be much of a factor. Both kickers have guns for legs so I am not worried about them either.

5. The Seahawks & Broncos have actually already played this season. They met back in the very first week of preseason when the guys the Seahawks were going to cut beat the guys the Broncos were going to cut by a score of 40-10. It meant nothing then and it means nothing now.

6. No one cared about the Super Bowl commercials until 1984 when Apple made a commercial that never mentioned their product but is still talked about today. Now you can see teasers for commercials on every social media outlet known to mankind before the game. Can’t say that I am looking forward to any one commercial in particular but I am sure there will be more than few that will make me say, “$4 million for that ?”

7. When I first moved to Denver, John Elway still belonged to the Baltimore Colts and was playing baseball in the minor leagues for the Yankees and George Steinbrenner. I wasn’t an Elway fan at all. He went to Stanford & my Mom went to Cal. (Go Bears !) Now I believe in “Elwayism”. When I die, I believe that John Elway himself will throw my soul into heaven.

8. Yes, I will be wearing my John Elway apron when I am cook on Sunday.

9. I can’t wear my jersey on Game Day. Bad Luck. I can only wear team colors. This year the lucky shirt & shorts have been a blue & orange tee shirt from Maui and orange running shorts. I have only worn them during games and have yet to wash them. Superstition – it’s only crazy if it doesn’t work.

10. I flew last week for the first time this year. The only thing that has changed is that more people who have no clue what they are doing have been granted TSA Pre-Check status. This hasn’t made the process of flying any easier, faster or safer for frequent fliers like me. I also learned last week that if a “deadheading” pilot has to sit in a middle seat, he gets paid 50% of his hourly wage as compensation. I offered to change seats with the disgruntled pilot in the middle seat for half of his 50% but he said no. Guess sitting in the middle isn’t so bad after all. Speaking of middle seats, based on their commercial, Expedia can get you the middle seat in the last row of coach and you have to pay for your bag to be checked. Is this really an ad for orbitz or Travelocity.

11. (because I can’t count) Back in 1990 I flew on Alaska Airlines from Oakland to Seattle. My plane was called Seahawk One and I sat in a seat that was reserved for the Linebackers Coach. The flight was on time but it may have been the most miserable flight of my life.

12. (why not an even dozen) If it hadn’t been for a recent basement remodel and three bathrooms needing to be redone, I might have tried to get tickets for the Super Bowl. To be honest, I would rather my first Super Bowl be somewhere warm like New Orleans or San Diego. I have been to Giants Stadium and it doesn’t excite me. Neither does an average ticket price of $3,600 and rising with the temperature.

13. (a Baker’s Dozen is even better & 13 is our family’s lucky number) My prediction for the game – It’s the best offense against the best defense and in most cases, the best defense usually wins. However, the Seahawks haven’t faced a team with as many offensive weapons as the Broncos have. The Broncos not only have Peyton Manning calling the plays/audibles at the line of scrimmage but they also have four receivers who all scored 10 or more touchdowns and they also have two running backs who can ground & pound as well as catch the ball. The Legion of Boom is going to have their hands full trying to cover everyone. When the Seahawks have the ball, quarterback Russell Wilson has Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch to hand off to and a nice collection of receivers to throw to. The Broncos have to contain Wilson when he drops back to pass because he can scramble. The Broncos weakness has been their defensive secondary so if Wilson can evade the pass rush and find his receivers downfield, it could be long game for my Broncos. However I see it coming down to late in the game and Steven Hauschka kicks a long field goal to take a 26-24 lead but hold on, here comes Peyton Manning and with less than 2 minutes to go he finds Julius Thomas in the end zone for a 31-26 lead. The final Hail Mary pass from the Seahawks will get knocked down in the end zone and the Broncos will win their third Super Bowl.

So give me your menu & prediction if you want and next time we can all talk about how right I was.

Go Broncos !

(Sorry Seattle)

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The National Food-Ball League Playoffs – Divisional Round

Last week in the Wild Card Round of the National Food-Ball League Playoffs (where yes, they actually compete to win) the Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers & San Francisco 49ers all came away victorious. That meant that I was perfect with my picks on Saturday and perfectly awful with my picks on Sunday. They say you can’t win them all and that is probably why the Las Vegas Casinos throw a ticker tape parade whenever I come to town but that is neither here nor there and irrelevant to this story. It also means that we are a week closer to determining who is going to wind up playing outside in Giants Stadium on that first Sunday in February.

Now if the Souper Bowl had been played this week, the Polar Vortex that gripped the nation would have been quite a factor in the game. I can tell you from personally pounding the streets of Manhattan that it was cold and the wind was fierce. In fact, with conditions like the ones we had this week, soup was on the menu at lunch just about every day, which led me to consider various types of soup when I started previewing the matchups this week in the National Food-Ball League Divisional Playoffs. So without further ado, let’s break out the ladle & bowls and start dishing on the games. (Boy did that ever sound cheesy) 

Saturday January 11

 New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks

 Who Dat think they going to beat The 12th Man ? This is a re-match of a midseason blowout where the Seahawks dismantled the Saints like a fishmonger dismantles a salmon down at The Pike Place Market. Last week however, the Saints broke a franchise long losing streak of road playoff games by winning in Philadelphia so the Saints are on a high. The Seahawks have looked somewhat human over the last few weeks but the week off and the controversy over Marshawn Lynch not speaking enough to the media are really all the fuel that Russell Wilson and the rest of the Seahawks will need. While I do love me some Gumbo of just about every shape, flavor & size I do feel that the Salmon Chowder that the 12th Man will be bringing in from the tailgating parking lots is going to seeing the next round of the playoffs.

 Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots

 The chic pick by so-called Football experts is the Colts. Everyone fell in love with their wild second half comeback last week against the hated (by me) Kansas City Chiefs but now they have to come to Foxboro to face the Walking Talking Touchdown Tossing Ken Doll Quarterback & his Hoodie wearing coach. The quarterback of the Colts may be named Luck but in New England his luck is going to run out. The ball won’t bounce off the turf & directly into his hands like it did last week on the game winning touchdown. In Foxboro, the Gods of Football tilt the field in one direction and one direction only. (I still don’t know how Baltimore won last year) So you can pair that Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich from Indiana that I heard so much about in the comments last week with just about any soup out there and it isn’t going to beat the good old fashioned creamy thick New England Clam Chowder that Giselle will be serving up after the game.

 Sunday January 12

San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers

At the beginning of the season no one could have seen this game coming. The Carolina Panthers were not a team on anyone’s radar other than a North Carolina State Trooper’s. The 49ers were the defending NFC Champions and were expected to waltz easily to the Championship Game. Funny thing happened, they actually played the season and during the season, the Panthers even beat the Niners in San Francisco in a smashmouth game 10-9. This time the game is going to be played in Charlotte in front of some seriously playoff starved fans who can somewhat remember what a Souper Bowl tastes like. The Niners however, unlike the Panthers, are road weary & battle tested after their trip to the Frozen Tundra at the foot of Mount Lombardi. I fully expect Colin Kapernick to be serving up a big bowl of Cioppino (and I won’t slice off a part of my finger eating it) to counteract the Hatteras Style Chowder that I just googled as the top regional soup in North Carolina for Cam Newton & the Panthers. The Sourdough on the side may have been the tipping point.

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos

The Chargers were the team I least wanted the Broncos to face in the playoffs in that they are hungry, have nothing to lose and they know the Broncos all too well. Quarterback Philip Rivers is full of so much swagger & bravado at the moment that he thinks that a Bolo tie is high fashion (too some yes, to me, no – it’s a source of ridicule). He also has an overachieving undersized running back in Danny Woodhead who is playing larger than life and like I said last week, rookie WR Keenan Allen is just plain deadly as he slices through the secondary. Don’t count Peyton Manning and his aerial offense out though just because the Chargers dealt him his worst game of the season in Week 15. All four of his double digit touchdown grabbing receivers & running back Knowshon Moreno are ready to go & ready for revenge so they only pre-game tears we will be seeing are those the chargers fans getting ready for their beating. As for the soups, well last week that lousy tilapia fish taco somehow beat out a bowl of Cincinnati Style Chili but this week that lousy tilapia fish taco is going in a blender and being served alongside an Elk Chili that stands as proud as the Rocky Mountains that spread across Denver’s skyline. (I thought about using Colorado Buffalo but the Buffaloes up in Boulder were HORRIBLE this year on the gridiron so we really don’t want to cross contaminate)

So there you have it. This week’s picks are The Seahawks & their Salmon Chowder, The Patriots & their Creamy Clam Chowder, The Niners & their Cioppino with a sourdough side and The Broncos & their Bugling Elk Chili. What do you think ?

Come back next week when we review where I was right & where I was wrong in this week’s game while giving you insights & recipes for the Conference Championships.

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The National Food-Ball League Playoffs – Wild Card Round

Over the past 17 weeks The National Football League has played a total of 512 games on Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays. Some teams won more often than others and when the three yards and a cloud of dust finally settled last Sunday night, there were 12 teams left standing to compete in the National Football League Playoffs. Those 12 teams all have one goal in mind, they all want to make it to New York in the first weekend of February for Super Bowl XLVIII and I am here to tell you each week who is going to win & why. But this is a food website and not a sports website so that means that we need to put a foodie spin on pigskin prognostications so without further ado, let’s get right to the 2014 National Food-Ball League Playoffs.

 

THE AMERICAN FOOD-BALL CONFERENCE WILD CARD ROUND

 

The Denver Broncos, led by Peyton Manning, his record breaking golden arm & a squadron of receivers more lethal than the Red Baron, and the New England Patriots, led by their Walking Talking Touchdown Tossing Ken Doll, both have the week off this week due to their superior play during the regular season. This leaves Seeds #3-6 to do battle.

 

(Notice of Full Disclosure – I am a Denver Broncos fanatic and HATE all the other teams in the AFC West)

 

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS at CINCINNATI BENGALS

 

To me, the San Diego Chargers are nothing more than a bad tasting fish taco. In fact, a bad tasting Tilapia fish taco is more like it. (If you read my predictions & follow up blog a few seasons ago you would know how I feel Tilapia and it’s not good). They did finish the season on a roll winning their final 4 games and they did get lucky when the refs blew the call in overtime in the final week and they snuck in with some help from some big time chokers. Looking right at the Ravens & the Dolphins with that comment but we will leave that for next September. Quarterback Philip Rivers does have a new toy to play with in rookie WR Keenan Allen but I do think that this week, their luck runs out. The Cincinnati Bengals have been a quiet surprise in the AFC North all season. Quarterback Andy Dalton has had the finest season since Carson Palmer knew how to play and AJ Green is a legitimate threat to score every time they touch the ball. Of course when I think of Cincinnati in a culinary way, I can only think of Cincinnati Chili. I have to admit I have never had Cincinnati Chili not have any idea what makes it different than any other regional chili, I just remember that there was a Cincinnati-style Chili Restaurant in Denver back in the late 80’s that I drove by over a hundred times but never stopped in to try it. If I still lived in Denver, this would be the week for me to stop in since I am definitely taking The Bengals & the Chili over the chargers & their nasty tasting tilapia taco.

 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

 

There is only one team in professional football that I hate more than the Kansas City Chiefs and they haven’t made the playoffs in years so we don’t even need to mention their name due to how terrible they are. Oakland Raiders. That being said, the Chiefs were the darlings of the first half of the season as they ran off 9 straight wins over a schedule of teams no tougher than a bowl of overcooked limp noodles. New quarterback Alex Smith utilized the spectacular feet of Jamaal Charles & the hands of Dwayne Bowe to rack up points on offense while the defense beat people up. The second half of the schedule did show some weaknesses. They remind me a bit of the BBQ that Kansas City is famous for. Looks good and starts strong but really is a a bit overrated. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, they are playing the Colts and a quarterback named Luck who seems to be able to pull off game winning drives like his name has nothing to do with it. The Colts have been inconsistent but have played well on the bigger stage. Familiarity within the league can sometimes cause a 2nd year player to suffer a Sophomore Jinx but that wasn’t the case with Andrew Luck as a lot of teams still couldn’t quite figure him out. The same can be said about me with the food of Indiana. In years past I have had people suggest Milk Pie and a Wild Rice dishes but to be honest, my only real experience with the food of Indiana goes back to 1981 when I spent the night in South Bend and ate dinner at a Godfather’s Pizza across the street from the Best Western. A year later Godfather’s Pizza went public and I bought some stock because I thought the pizza was good. The stock went through the roof a year later in a takeover bidding war and I wound up with enough money to buy a Subaru Station Wagon and that is a good enough reason for me to pick the Colts over the chiefs despite the fact I am sucker for good barbecue.

 

THE NATIONAL FOOD-BALL CONFERENCE WILD CARD ROUND

 

The Seattle Seahawks led by a smothering defense, a too small quarterback and bruising running back who almost set off an earthquake himself a few years back absolutely ran away with the NFC this season. The other 5 teams are going to really have to step up their games to take away the Seahawks expected February jaunt to New York. One team that could step up that challenge has done so all year in a very surprising fashion. I don’t think anyone is going to sleep on the Carolina Panthers now like they did during the season. Next week will be a big tell as to how serious a threat this team really is to the Seahawks.

 

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

 

There is nothing about Cajun food that I don’t like and on the surface, there is nothing about the New Orleans Saints on the surface that you can’t not like either. Drew Brees is a master at tossing the ball to his catch happy receivers & running backs. The defense, such a sore spot last year, has come back with a vengeance under Rob (get a haircut already, you look ridiculous) Ryan. Unfortunately for the Saints, there won’t be any home cooking on their menu as they have to go on the road to Philadelphia and the Saints have been less than good away from home. Kind of like a day old Po’ Boy. The fried fish is cold & greasy, the fixin’s are limp and the bread is soggy. The ingredients are all there, they just don’t come together. Can’t put that kind of sandwich up against a Philly Cheesesteak and expect to come away victorious. Under first year coach Chip Kelly and reserve no name quarterback Nick Foles, the Eagles have ridden the Shady McCoy hard & fast all the way the top of the NFC Least, one of the two divisions nobody wanted to win. They play an exciting brand of football and they play better away from home. This could be a case where the fans in Philly get to boo like Santa is wearing a Cowboys jersey. A hot Po’Boy beats a Philly Cheesesteak in my book (mainly because I am a New Yorker at heart and hate everything about Philadelphia) so I am hoping that the Saints can keep this one warm enough to get the job done.

 

SAN FRANCISCO 49ers at GREEN BAY PACKERS

 

The Niners have owned the Packers of late but when you are playing playoff football on the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field at the base of Mount Lombardi, home of the Football Gods, nothing is safe bet. San Francisco went to the Super Bowl last year on the arm & legs of Colin Kapernick and they will need him to respond under the bright icy lights in order to keep them on the road north to Seattle. The Niners do remind me a bit of a tray of wine & cheese – everyone’s fallback for cocktails with nothing really memorable about them. The Green Bay Packers won the other division, the NFC North, that no else seemed to want to win this season. It wasn’t until their injured photobombing discount doublecheck quarterback came back that the Packers snuck a receiver behind the should have been suspecting Bears secondary for a last minute expected victory. Much like I expected the Packers to win that game, I expect their fans to tout their brats & beer cheese soup. Give me the choice between wine & cheese and brats & cheese and I am going to take the Wisco food every time. I haven’t had a drink in 25 years.

 

So in conclusion, the picks are as follows:

 

Bengals over Chargers (Chili over tilapia fish tacos)

Colts over Chiefs (Pizza memories over my love of BBQ)

Saints over Eagles (Po’Boys beat cheesesteaks)

*Upset Special* Packers over Niners (Brats & Cheese over Wine & Cheese)

 

Now tell me what you think – football or food-ball.

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How Do You Like Your Eggs ?

How do you like your eggs ?

 That’s a question that gets asked at countless diners & restaurants across our country on a daily basis. I travel a lot for work so I get asked that question a lot. My answer is almost always the same too. I bet that’s the case for a lot of people but I would also bet that the results aren’t always the same either. It was a bad result the other day when I was in a chain restaurant that prides itself not only on their food but also on their kitschy country store that you must navigate with children on the way in & on the way out that got me thinking a little bit more about eggs. About how we order them and about how we eventually eat them.

 I love eggs. You can fry them, scramble them, poach them, hard boil them and soft boil them. You can just use the yolks or you can just use the whites. They can be whipped into stiff white peaks or they can be chopped into a salad or made into  a sandwich . They even come in their own custom made fragile containers and if you are so inclined, you can even juggle them.

 (Just make sure you still have enough for breakfast if you break them all and that your wife isn’t around when you start flinging food around your kitchen.)

 My favorite way to have my eggs is fried – Over Easy with hash browns & a side of wheat toast. I love it when you poke the yolk with your fork and the yolk slowly oozes out onto the plate so you can use your hash browns and/or toast to sop it all up. While I do understand Over Medium (still dark yellow but no real ooze) and I can somewhat understand Over Hard (looks like a fried egg but acts like a hard boiled), I can’t understand the undercooked eggs I was served  the other day. These eggs were lily white when they came out of the kitchen. They had no color to them at all. It looked like the chef had tried to cook them as fast as he could so he wouldn’t have to clean his pan. When I poked into the yolk it was like puncturing a water balloon and the yolk shot everywhere onto the plate at once. There was so much liquid that my hot sauce got lost and my dry biscuits (instead of toast) could barely contain it all.  I wasn’t in a mood to complain and the waitress seemed nice so I ate what I could and left but it bothered me for the rest of the day. So how hard is it to cook an egg ? Let’s try and figure this one out, shall we ?

 Fried Eggs – Personally I melt some butter/margarine in the pan or spray with a non-stick cooking spray and then let the pan heat up to almost Medium High. When the butter starts to bubble a little I break the two eggs into the pan and hope that the whites will start to cook before they spread too far. I like to try and make sure the eggs are loose in the pan and not sticking to the edges. I’m not brave enough to try and flip two eggs at one time in the air but once I see a bubble in the yolk or see the yolk turning a deeper yellow, I slide my spatula in for the flip. I then slide the eggs back & forth in the pan a few times and before I slide them out of the pan and onto the waiting plate. I used to put hot sauce on my eggs while they were cooking sunny side up but once I started using Ghost Pepper Sauce I had to stop. My wife & kids claimed that the Ghost Pepper stayed in the pan no matter how many times you washed it so everything was becoming too spicy. Now as you can see in the photo below, I drown my eggs in hot sauce AFTER they hit the plate.

 Scrambled Eggs – I have been making scrambled eggs for as long as I can remember. I used to pull the kitchen chair over to be able to see over the counter when I was younger. I loved scrambling the eggs first with an eggbeater when I was younger and now with a fork. It’s always been a splash of milk (whole, 2%, 1% – doesn’t matter – just no SKIM) and eggs whipped & mixed by hand. Pour it into a pan with melted butter and stir them so they don’t stick but not so they turn mushy. Once I moved out on my own, I started adding cheese to my eggs and now I can’t make them any other way. I prefer chunks or shavings of cheddar but I’ll use whatever cheese I can find. I do find that American is a little too creamy and that mozzarella & swiss tend to get stringy but you can work with all of them.

 Hard Boiled Eggs – They aren’t just for Easter and they aren’t just for pickling – which leads to all those very nasty scenes in movies where people try to eat too many of them. (Cool Hand Luke – my stomach hurts thinking of that). When I hard boil an egg it’s either for a salad or for deviled eggs. When I make Deviled Eggs, the yolks always get mixed with mayo, mustard, cheddar cheese, bacon bits, salt, pepper & a dusting of smoked paprika over the top for color & presentation. It’s hard to screw up hard boiled eggs other than forgetting you had them on and all the water boiled away. (No comment)

 Soft Boiled Eggs – Why ? Seriously. Why ? It’s nothing more than an over easy egg still in the shell. My Grandfather like soft boiled eggs and he tipped his toast points in them with every bite. I always thought it was ridiculous myself. I am sure that someone out there will give me a reason to re-think my position on this cooking method but as of right now, fuhgeddaboutit.

 Poached Eggs – I have NEVER been able to make these work for me. I keep thinking I can make a fantastic Eggs Benedict but I am kidding myself because I can never get the poached eggs to work for me and that is why when I make Eggs Benedict, they are ALWAYS Fried Eggs Benedict.

 Egg White Frittata – Technically not one of the classic egg preparations but it is one I do make for my wife on occasion. I sauté a mix of diced vegetables with butter and some sun dried tomato paste. I spread the veggies evenly and pour in the egg whites to cover. Then I drop in chunks of mozzarella sticks with the spices and cover while the egg whites cook. When the egg whites look done (start to solidify & bubble) and the cheese has begun to melt, I cover the pan with a plate and flip the whole thing in one motion. I haven’t dropped one (yet) and they look fantastic when served.

 So how do you like YOUR eggs ? I’m always open to new ideas & suggestions.

 And make sure to come back next time when we discuss something of what seems like relevant importance but is more likely to be trivial and not anything like we expected.

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Back from Orlando with some thunks on Survivor, Football & a whole lot of what not…

So I spent 4 days last week in Orlando inside a convention center at an industry conference that was only slightly less painful than being boiled in oil & eaten alive by starving cannibals. At least I flew first class there & back.

My hotel was under construction when I got there so that meant no free appetizers, breakfast or snacks on the executive level. I would have been better off at a DewDrop Inn or a Motel Sixty Nine. I am getting so spoiled.

Anybody watch any football yesterday ? I am wearing my Memphis Musician tie today because I have some friends up in the beantown area who are singing the blues today. Guess that walking talking touchdown tossing Ken doll couldn’t beat the extra from Next of Kin and the rest of his motley crew in the seriously ugly brown & mustard uniforms. I did dig on some of the players twisting their vertical striped socks so they looked like barber poles. I liked the scoreboard at the end of the game better. If the sun were actually out today, it would be orange with blue streaks.

Finally watched Survivor this weekend and stop the presses, the idiots at FOA FOA finally won a challenge. Natalie, the blow up Barbie doll, who had yet to say more than one coherent sentence in the past episodes actually stepped up, talked & delivered. Russell may think he has that tribe under his thumb but I have a feeling that Jaison may be the start of an undercurrent of rebellion. Without his redneck minion from the other side of Hell, the outlaw hillbilly, Russell may find the going a bit trickier even for the holder of an immunity idol.

Over at Club GALU, Sister Detroit was actually making herself out to be even more of an outcast and even more disposable for the yoga crew than Shambo & her magnificent mulletness. I think the only thing that actually saved Shambo this week, beside the fact that she is a graduate of the Dr. Doolittle Correspondence Course in Conversational Chicken, was the fact that Club Monica & her itsy bitsy purple polka dot bikini was so pathetic in the challenge that her yoga crew had to save her from being targeted by Captain Dreadlock for elimination. And props go to Eric for finding the other immunity idol by using her royal mulletness’s hidden clues against her.

And don’t think we haven’t seen the last of that vagabond chicken either. I am willing to bet that it shows up in a few weeks when Russell sacrifices a goat or something….

(but seriously, nobody cares what I think – you should all just click now on the link to your left for the Bitchy Survivor Blog by ColetteLala – she slays & flays)

It has been my experience that most double standards are a one way street & I am heading the wrong direction.

I missed Top Chef this week but finally got it recorded last night so nobody tell me who was told to pack their knives. Of course that assumes that anyone is actually reading my blogs and we know that no one is because kharma is a bitch that way.

Protesters in the street outside my building ? Really ? Why ? Did they actually find out that I was back at work today? I may have to send someone down to find out. It is Columbus Day but that shouldn’t have anything to do with it. I think.

The Yankees beat the Twins and the Angels swept the Sawx. This is the best case scenario for us yankee haters in that the Angels have had their number this year with the exception of the final series in California. And by the way, they are still the CALIFORNIA Angels to me, none of this Anaheim Angels crap.

I love cooking in the crackpot on lazy Sundays. Threw in some pork shoulder with red & green peppers, carrots, butternut squash, sweet & white potatoes, apples, apple cider, some bbq sauce and some woostershistershiresauce. Dang tasty over some yellow rice. Guaranteed the wife & kids won’t leave an leftovers for me.

Dancing with the Wannabe & Never Were Stars is on tonight and I have read that the ratings are off dramatically. It is either because they have a mix of real nobody cares celebs or that Julianne Hough left the show. My $$$ is on the latter.

I had to scrape frost off my windshield this morning, guess that means that those final 10 habaneros I picked on Saturday were the final 10 habaneros I am going to get to pick this year. My garden was pretty much a disaster but I am just going to blame George W. Bush for it all anyway. It seems to be in vogue again.

I know I am few days late on this one but you can check my twitter feed if you want from Friday for verification but I did say that the Nobel Peace Prize did seem to me like it was a consolation prize or one of those pathetic little league participant trophies for losing out on the Olympics. I still can’t believe that the Power of 3 that was Barack, Michelle & Oprah couldn’t bring the games home to Chicago.

The weather is cooling and the boots are chilling but I do not have a boot fetish…

I really love watching Amanda from CHOPPED struggle on the Next Iron Chef – every time someone criticizes her she looks like she is constipated….

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving !!! (think they know they are celebrating 6 weeks early ?

This past Saturday was my fake ID birthday from high school. It says I turned 48.

And a week from today my sobriety will finally be old enough to legally drink.

I had 25 voicemail messages on my phone when I came in this morning. I really wish I had a delete ALL button.

A reporter from Channel 5 asked me if I thought the tickets at yankee stadium were overpriced. I told her you couldn’t pay me enough to go to a game. I don’t think I will be on the 10pm news.

It’s 3pm and there isn’t a realistic chance in hell of me actually doing anything productive in the next 2 hours. I already cleared out all the emails from last week and reassigned any real work I might have had. Now I am trying to figure out what to watch/listen to on Hulu before it is time to leave.

And on that thought, it is perhaps best to say that’s the view from Behind the Shades…..until I am bored again and you are looking to kill some more brain cells…..swampy abides

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Monday Missives On What I Had Forgotten Over The Weekend

Maybe it’s just me but it would seem to me that FaceSpace, Twitless and the others of their ilk seem to be devolving into Anti-Social Networks.

I think it wouldn’t be a bad thing to have Neil Patrick Harris as your personal emcee for your everyday life.

As I walked the recycling to the curb around sundown I noticed hundreds of dragonflies darting & swooping in the front yard. When I turned back to face the sun, I saw the clouds of gnats swirling in the air. The dragonflies were diving through them like sharks through a ball of baitfish.

I did battle with the overgrown thorn bushes encroaching on my new forsythias and based on the scratches on my arms & legs, it was a pyrrhic victory at best.

Today is The International Day of Peace. I am already going to have a hard time observing it and I haven’t even gotten off the train yet.

And I swear I am going to punch the next person who hip thrusts the ID scanner when my hand is there.

I am wearing my compass tie today because there are more than a few people out there who need some direction.

I consider myself a TV watcher but I when they got to the movie & mini-series section of the Emmys last night, I was completely lost.

Speaking of LOST, Ben wins an Emmy. Or did he ? We won’t know for sure until we see the outcome of Juliet whacking Jughead with a rock.

The judges on “Chopped” really, really bug me with their self importance & smugness. Come on already, you just asked people to create a dish with crap that was scrounged from the back of a forgotten cupboard or that you can’t find in Whole Foods without a sherpa. Get over yourselves already.

When you see a cop badly out breath in Au Bon Pain and all they have done is walk in from their car parked illegally at the curb, you can’t feel safe. Can you ?

Russell on the new season of Survivor is a psychopath. Mark Burnett is probably already scheduling another Survivor All Stars so he can bring him back again. I still say I could win but I also still say that mortgages don’t pay themselves.

CBS Monday is almost a slam dunk except for the 10pm hour – I am hooked on Castle mainly because I am a wannabe mystery writer who is still struggling to complete his first novel. I also got turned off last year by Callie & Delko but I can forgive & forget once Delko is dead. I do hope we get more Eva LaRue this year. Either way, one of those 2 shows gets watched online tomorrow here at work….during my lunch hour of course…..

Speaking of watching TV online – thanks to really bad summer tv and limited channels in some of the flophouse I stay in while traveling, I have discovered Kitchen Confidential on HULU. It was a 2005 sitcom set in a fictitious NYC restaurant based on Anthony Bourdain and starring Bradley Cooper. It never saw more than 4 episodes get aired but all 13 that were filmed are available online. I bet Bradley Cooper is hoping that people don’t find it even though it isn’t exactly half bad. Of course it isn’t exactly half good but it beats watching repeats of “The Colony” on Discovery.

And since we are talking about cooking, I made some of my killer easy applesauce last night to go with the fresh bread machine 9 grain bread and the Ham Shank with a pineapple honey mustard glaze that I had going. Too bad I had to take the middle swamprat to a church dinner for overcooked egg noodles and bland chicken noodle soup. We were really there to nourish our soul and not our bodies. I spent most of my time dodging the lightning bolts. The new pastor said he looked forward to getting to know our family but I know he really meant that he looked forward to getting to know my signature in the lower right corner of those green rectangular pieces of paper I keep on my desk.

No sooner do I make fun of Florida State than they go out and kill the # 7 ranked team. Of course having BYU & Utah both lose will help make Boise State’s road to a BCS Wildcard Berth that much smoother. I hope.

Speaking of Broncos, my Denver Donkeys are 2-0 and headed for Oakland. I won’t get my hopes or expectations up but I am suddenly feeling pretty good about that 16-0 prediction.

And isn’t always nice to see the Patricheats lose ? J-E-T-S jetsjetsjets fans are living large today.

Nice to see Brandon Dubinsky is finally signed. Now drop the puck, we have trains to catch.

I definitely write more when I sitting at my desk than I do when writing on my blackberry on the train. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing but since I have virtually no readers and fewer comments, I think the point is moot.

Now I remember why I never wear these shoes. They squeak when I walk.

And I knew the FREE special edition of the NY POST, that journalistic bastion of truth, justice and all the news that is unfit to print was a fake because the kid who handed it to me knew how to speak English.

And that’s the view for today from Behind The Shades….swampy abides

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