Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I won't shoot Bambi with a gun...but I will chew him with my teeth!

This is a video blog demonstrating how to cook chicken-fried deer steak.  You could also use beef (chuck steak or thinly cut sirloin) or you could even use chicken breast strips. This is another recipe that doesn't require a lot of ingredients or cooking utensils.  You can probably cook this meal in about thirty minutes.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kindles are Kewl...and so too should you be by getting one!

Somewhere between graduating college and just recently, I forgot my love of reading.  I had been an avid reader since Elementary school, where I was an "AR" rockstar (Accelerated Reader…where students are awarded points for reading books and passing tests on them) But after college, I simply wasn't reading as much anymore.   Why had this happened?  

Before Thanksgiving I received an email from Amazon inviting me to take out my wallet and give them what was rightfully theirs in exchange for a Kindle Fire.  This was not a typical purchase for me but I decided to spring for it…it just looked so flippin cool.  My friends were using e-readers and they seemed to be enjoying them…I enjoy reading…perfect match right?

I'm here to tell you people…that it's true. It's just flippin cooler to read on a Kindle than to read a "real" book. This isn't the first time technology has spiced up an old fashion activity.  But there is more to it than that.  The benefits of the Kindle are many; you can have hundreds of books available to you on a small, compact device, buying books is typically cheaper, most libraries now loan e-books for free, there's a built-in dictionary, you can customize you reading experience by changing font size, brightness, bookmarking "pages" and making notes, and you will never have to live in fear of paper cuts again.    

But wait…there's more! It's super convenient.  Books on demand. You don't even have to interact with anyone to get them! Save personal interaction for Facebook, where it belongs.   

I know that many people want to romanticize having a "real" book in their hands…the touch, the smell, etc.  Well bibliophiles, I think most trees would agree with you. I bet they'd gladly chop themselves down to accommodate your preferences!  Just kidding.  But seriously since other options are available, shouldn't we act in the best interest of the environment when possible?  Read online and with e-readers, communicate via e-mail, don't pour grease down the drain…etc. 

But sadly there are both carbon footprints and significant economic impacts that come with e-reading. Apple has disclosed some information about the carbon footprint associated with producing the I-PAD 2 . You must read many books on a tablet to surpass the negative environmental impact of publishing a brand new book.  This website shows a graphical representation of many facts associated with this topic…graphical means you don't have to read as much!  Pictures…Yay!

And then what about jobs in the logging and publishing industries?  What about book stores and libraries?  If no one buys "real" books anymore, wouldn't many people lose their jobs? I don't have any answers for how we create jobs in the technology driven world of today. So instead... back to how kewl Kindles are!

Most of the newer tablets offer more than just e-reading.  You can browse the web, play games and apps, listen to music, watch videos, etc. Try doing that, old fashioned book!

And with e-reading comes the opportunity for "print" to take on new forms. "consider that the IPAD, Kindle, or other e-book reader can offer new methods of layout and storytelling for books.  You could now integrate websites, video, pictures or other digital content into your story seamlessly.  The nature of reading a book is left to right, top to bottom…but that doesn't necessarily have to be so on an E-reader.  There is an opportunity to completely reinvent layout and the way that people consume the story to heighten the experience or change the meaning."  Visit the blog below for more on that.   

I have read 3-5 books per year for the past three years.  I've had my Kindle for about two months, and have already read 3 books on it.

And you might just get caught reading an old fashion as well!

I've actually read 2 old fashions in these past two months.  5 books total.  It's almost as if I care about expanding my mind!  And let me tell ya, after 10 years of hard drinkin' I probably need to exercise the guy upstairs these days.

The thing about an old fashion… is that well, it can mean a lot more to you than just the story inside it.  It could be a gift, it could have something meaningful scribbled in it, it could be a collectible…there are many things a book could be. So don't expect them to go away anytime soon.

So what have we learned today?  If you buy a Kindle…I promise you will read more. If you read more you will grow smarter, earn the respect of your peers, and finally get your life together. Well maybe. If you are feeling a hole in your life where books used to be, then get a Kindle.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cook Thai Chicken Pasta like a Superstar!

This is a very simple recipe that is easy to cook and tastes pretty damn good.  I was especially surprised by how filling it is.  This was my crack at a cooking video blog...and it was a lot harder than I imagined it would be.  If I were just cooking, I think I could have made this dish in about 15 minutes.  But shooting and cooking simultaneously took about an hour and a half.  Scripting out the video before hand took about a half hour, and then editing took another 2-3 hours.  Needless to say, this was an all night adventure.  I hope you enjoy!

The recipe can be found here :

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A failure's guide to making your own board game! At least my name's not Milton!

Before you begin, I should note: you could try doing this for yourself, but I'd suggest making a game for that special someone in your life.   There are three reasons for this.  1. They are special and they deserve it.  2. It can be tedious as Hell and you will probably give up without the added motivation.  3. You can enjoy the game together by betting household chores and sexual favors.  But more on gambling addiction later.  

Gather up some supplies at a Michaels or Hobby Lobby.  Think middle school art project.  You'll need glue, board material, paper, and any decorative elements that you think you might use. 

You'll also need some sharp tools like scissors and/or an exacto knife.  If you look as lost as I did while shopping for these things, the lady behind the counter will probably give you some life tips about not running down the stairs with scissors in hand...etc.  Thanks old lady at Michaels!

I chose to create a travel version of Deal or No Deal that could be played on a plane, train or automobile. Because I used a  $#*!  load of velcro, I believe this game could also be played on a space shuttle in orbit, if you have the means to travel in such a fashion.  

Design will probably be your toughest hurdle. We designed a simple board in Photoshop. I say WE, but it was really my co-worker Justin.  My advice is to find someone more artistic than you and exploit them for their talents.  You could also draw an outline for the board, or have someone artistic do it and compensate them handsomely with homemade tortillas.  Drawing a board comes with the added bonus of you getting to spend hours coloring it in with your favorite Crayolas!  Colored wax...What a world!

We printed the design, stick glued it to the board, laminated it for safe measure, and then Krazy glued strips of velcro onto the board. 

A note about Krazy glue:  It might end up in using the exacto knife to scrape dried glue from your fingertips.  Thanks for stupid advice and not good advice old lady at Michaels!

I wasn't joking about this getting tedious.  Combat the urges to rip your burgeoning game to shreds by pouring yourself a tall glass of sunshine. 

Next we stole some briefcase graphics from online, put question marks on one set, and the numbers from the board on another set.  You will also need some briefcases with the number Zero on them.

I cut out small squares from the leftover board material and stick glued a question mark briefcase on one side, and a number briefcase on the other. You'll need to trim the number briefcase side so that there is open space on both sides of the paper to Krazy glue velcro directly onto the board.  

The extra briefcases with the number Zero will keep an element of mystery to the game as you play.  When all of the briefcase pieces are complete...randomly attach them to the board. Use a dry erase marker to black out the numbers on the board when their corresponding briefcases are chosen.

I don't watch the show, but I believe the contestant chooses 6 briefcases, the banker offers a deal, if the contestant refuses, they choose another 5 briefcases and so on until it's down to two briefcases. Then one final selection is made, and that is what the contestant ends up with.  In the beginning of the game,the banker should offer a deal that is a little above the average of the remaining numbers on the board.  This will encourage your sheepish contestant to give up and then you can both bask in your infinite negotiation skills!

As the game progresses, the banker should offer deals lower than average of the remaining numbers and then lick the pearls of perspiration off the face of the increasingly desperate contestant.  


Enjoy your travels!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Make homemade tortillas like a 50 year old Hispanic woman. Quesadillas will naturally follow!

Mix 2 cups of flour, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of baking powder in a medium sized mixing bowl. Take a fork or pastry blender and "cut" in a tablespoon of lard.  Sounds gross, tastes awesome.  Find lard in the Hispanic section of your grocery store. It they don't have it, break into a Hispanic family's home and take it...just like we did with Texas. Spray paint "San Jacinto" across the door on your way out.  "Cut" the lard into the flour mixture by smashing it over and over with the fork until it has the consistency of corn meal. Slowly mix in a half cup of warm water until all of the dough is moist.  You can add more water if needed...a tablespoon at a time.  Form into ten or twelve small dough balls.  
Dust flour onto a flat service and a rolling pin (or wine bottle) and start rolling the flour balls out flat starting from the middle.  Make a small rolling movement, rotate, and repeat. If the tortilla is sticking, use more flour for dusting.  Stop and admire that you have made it further than most small children will.   
Dust off the extra flour on the tortilla, then throw it into a pan over medium heat.  When the tortilla starts to bubble on the surface, flip it.  Cook for about a minute and a half on both sides or until you can start to see brown spots forming.  A tortilla without freckles is like a bear without honey.  

Take some leftover steak or chicken from your decadent dinner the night before and slice it any damn way you want too.  Stuff it in the cooked tortilla with cheese and any extras your refined Tex-Mex palette deems as good quesadilla filling.  I used chopped green onions.
Put some butter in the pan followed by your quesadillas.  You can use two tortillas to make round quesadillas but you'll probably figure out that those are hard to flip.  You could also use a Panini maker here if you have more money and are located in a higher social class than me.  
Cook on both sides until the cheese is melted and the filling is warm.  

Grab some Salsa and Guac, pour a beer, forget about how life sucks, and stuff your face with the meal that your own hands somehow managed to mangle together.  It will taste like victory.  

So it Begins

So maybe it hasn't been all failures, but things aren't quite how I'd like them to be either.  I hope this blog will help me keep the promises that I've made to myself and others while I work towards achieving the goals that I have for life.  I'll probably post a lot of foodie stuff and flush out opinions on any number of insignificant topics in our world.  Enjoy.