Thursday, April 26, 2012

Crawfish Boilin

The first crawfish boil of the year has come and gone.  It was first a celebration of life…or birth anyway, as it was Ches and Will's birthday party. Secondly it was a celebration of food and gorging oneself.

( Some crawfish reach for the sky and dream )

They got the crawfish into a kiddie pool and started boiling the potatoes, corn and garlic.  Then slowly and sadistically the crawfish went into the pot.  

I think they cooked 30 to 40 pounds of those mudbugs...there was hot crawfish available all night long.  They also cooked some barbecued chicken, ribs, and homemade mac and cheese.

The penis cake was supposed to give Will an icing money shot…but I think it whiffed.  He was a good sport anyway and grabbed a big piece of penis and choked it down.  

( Birfday Boys )

And that was pretty much it. I hope another boil is in the near future.  That's good eating.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chick-fil-A Knock Off Sandwiches

What makes copycat recipes so damn tempting to try?  If you like a certain food or dish from a restaurant…why not just go there and indulge every now and then?  Maybe it's the challenge.

At any rate here is a knock off Chick-Fil-A sandwich recipe from Food Network via Pinterest.  It's a good chicken sandwich.  It really is. But it's no Chick-Fil-A.  I took the damn pictures though so I'm blogging it anyway.

What sucks most about copycat recipes is that it's not enough for it just to be tasty.  It must be similar to the restaurant version or there will almost certainly be disappointment.  And for this recipe I had to go buy about $10 worth of stuff that I didn't have.  Like malted milk and whole wheat flour.  What in the hell am I going to cook with that crap later?  I've mostly cut bread from my diet and mixing up a gallon of milk from powder sounds gross.

Start with some boneless skinless chicken breasts.  Cut them in half, then pound them thin with a meat tenderizing hammer.  If you don't have a meat tenderizing hammer...chew the raw chicken in your mouth until it is tender and thin.

Mix together the flour, malted milk, paprika, baking soda, mustard, salt and pepper.

Heat some peanut oil in a skillet over medium heat.  

Whisk the egg and milk together.  Season the breasts with a little salt, pepper, and paprika. Dip them chickens in that bowl and then over into your breading mixture.  Then into the pan.   

Let them fry for a few minutes on each side. The chicken should be very thin and therefore difficult to undercook.  When its golden brown on both sides, take it up onto a plate with paper towels. 

You are supposed to soak the pickle spears in the pickle juice and a little of the vinegar...I didn't bother.  Split some buns and butter them up.  Then toast them in another skillet over medium heat.  Take a pickle slice and any other condiments/veggies you want and put them on the bun. Chicken on the bun, sandwich in your mouth, down into your belly.  

Done and done.  It's a tasty chicken sandwich.  Ain't no Chic-Fil-A though.  


Monday, April 16, 2012

Two Snuck into the Dallas Beer Fest

So there was a beer fest over the weekend at Fair Park. This is the story of two dudes who more or less snuck in.

Barrett and I rode down with someone who was working the event.  The plan was to pound brews all day and then take a combination of busses and trains back up to Denton.  Presumably at least moderately intoxicated.  Yup.  But we will get to that later.

Barrett didn't buy a ticket and I forgot to bring mine. Admission was 40 bones for this bad boy.  That's blood money.  Not to mention there was a line of over 100 people two hours before the doors even opened.

( Where are all the chicks bro? )

So Barrett did what any rational person would do.  He walked around the building until he found an open door and went inside.  Then he called me.  And then I did what any rational person would do and followed his lead.

( The pole provided Barrett with adequate cover for his Surprise Admission maneuver )

We were inside and were trying to cut unnoticed into the line after the paper tickets were taken.  Well it turns out that the ticket takers were handing out little blue tickets which in turn would get you a cup and bracelet.

After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, one of Barrett's co workers from Ben E Keith hooked him up with the magic blue ticket.  He got a wristband and cup.  He took off the wristband and gave it to me.  I walked over and told them I broke my cup.  They looked at me like an elementary school teacher looks at her lying ass kids.  But they still gave me a cup. BOOM!

I don't know if that's necessarily a how to guide...but give it a shot at your next event.  The worse that could happen is that you get kicked out and maybe arrested.

( Deep Ellum IPA was stellar )

( Oskar fave.  I've actually been to their brewery in Colorado.  Thank you P Bo! )

( You couldn't get a chimaychanga from this booth...and they didn't think it was funny that I asked )

So then we drank.

And we drank.

And drank some more.

( Have a drank on Swank )

And ran into buddies.

( Happy couple )

And drank some more.

There were around 50 booths that had anywhere from 2-10 varieties to sample.  $2 got you twelve 2 ounce pours.

And then it was time to go.  And no.  We didn't take public transportation back home. Thanks to Big Z for coming and picking me up.  Because when you are looking at the sun set over South Dallas and you are drunk and in need of a ride home...a little bit of panic sets in.  Truth.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fried Potatoes, Onions and Sausage

This is some comfort food from Mom's kitchen.  It's very easy…just takes a little while to peel and chop everything up.  

Peel several medium to large potatoes.  Slice them horizontally into quarter inch thick chips.  Peel a couple of large onions and quarter them into petals.  Slice a link of Eckridge sausage (or whatever brand you prefer) into quarter inch thick chips.  

Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the potatoes and onion…then cover.  It's not a lot of oil, but there will be plenty of fat/grease once you add the sausage later.  Let it cook for about 5 minutes.  Then do a backflip in your kitchen.  Then do another one.  When you've got enough practice in do it to the potatoes and onions.  

I usually make a pan of cornbread to go with…follow the directions on a package of mix and if you are feeling adventurous then add some diced jalepeno and a pinch or two of sugar.  To make cornbread like mama used to, you need a cast iron skillet.  Put a teaspoon or so of veg oil in the pan and heat it in the oven for a few minutes before adding the mix. You want the mix to sizzle as it enters the cast-iron pan.  That's how it's going to come out easy and pretty....just like your mom. 

Let the potatoes and onions cook for another five minutes.  Then add the sausage.  Keep it covered over medium heat for another 5-10 minutes and continue occasionally flipping.  Be gentle when flipping or it will all fall apart and you'll be left crying all alone in your kitchen. 

Uncover and turn the heat up to high for the last few minutes of cooking.  You want the whole dish to start browning.  Start taking the brown parts up onto paper towels. This is a must…the towels are going to absorb a lot of excess grease/oil that you don't want in your belly.  Not good times. 

Slam some canned beans in the microwave and then dump it all on a plate.  Now that's putting some south in your mouth.  Cover in ketchup, eat till your guts are stuffed, lay on the bed and self loathe for thirty minutes.  Mission is complete.  

Saturday, April 7, 2012

An Exercise In Motorcycle Man-ing Up

I recently inherited a motorcycle and decided to pursue biking as my main form of transportation. It's good for the environment (kinda) but more importantly it makes you look like a Badass.  Let the following serve as the ultimate guide on how to Man-Up while getting into riding.

First go to a two day course to get certified.  The course ensures that you can drive around an empty parking lot at breakneck speeds up to 20 mph.

Thats about it.  Not very badass. The guy just keeps going on and on about valuing your life, and practice practice practice.

Yeah you should do that by the way.  

If you've never ridden before...just mixing it up in traffic on your average 30 mph street will probably be nerve wracking in the beginning.  The first time I took my small Honda Rebel 250cc on the highway was pretty much like staring death in the face.  So just take it at your own speed and comfort level.  The minute you find yourself in a situation that you don't think you can handle…you will be crushed into oblivion.  Or maybe just lay the bike down.  But either way…you don't want that to happen. Not very badass.

Then you gotta gear up. 

I was shopping online and realized that a highly reputable dealer was located in Dallas off Royal lane called Moto Liberty. So I drove down one afternoon before my flight left for Lubbock. 

I was so hypnotized, and mesmerized…by what my eyes had seen….that I stayed about thirty minutes too long and missed my flight.  Not very Badass.

( 100 % pure Japanese right there.  Guess what size I am in Japan?  XL )

They had a large selection of jackets, helmets, gloves etc...great service from their staff, and I walked outta there for under $450. I thought I was going to drop around $400 on a good helmet alone. Word to the wise...even if you get a free bike…count on it costing you a nice chunk of change just to get going safely on it.  

Once I started riding around, I could tell that the hog could use a tune up.  A carburetor overhaul and couple of valves later, and I was $500 deep in repairs.  My free bike had now cost me about $1100.  But with gas reaching for $4 a gallon, and the bike getting me 50 plus mpg…I wasn't feeling too bad.  

I drove around town for a few weeks before finally unleashing my beast onto the highway.  The wind beat the hell out of me and sadly the Honda Rebel 250cc just isn't built for speeds over 60 mph.  Even the cars, trucks and 18 wheelers that were doing the speed limit blew past me.   Not very Badass.

I started having visions of a bigger bike dance through my head.  This is apparently very common for new riders.  But most riders that lay down their bikes do it in the first 6 months of riding. Did I want to get a newer, bigger bike only to wreck it a couple of months later?  Now that's Badass.

No not really.  But I tried getting on the highway again last week and the hog failed me.  I broke down halfway to Lewisville. I don't want to spend a few hundred dollars to repair the bike again, and I know that I want a bigger bike anyway…so I decided to shop around a little.

I visited Rising Phoenix near Argyle which is mainly a repair shop but has a few bikes for sale on consignment.   They put me on a couple of Honda Shadows...And Jasmine, it was like a whole new world…it was like I had been riding a lawnmower before. And not a riding lawnmower...a push. 

( Official biking outfit of the Hell's Angels )

( Or maybe just what I wore to work that day.  Man I can take time off to do just about anything during the day)

I wasn't wild about either one of the paint jobs however.  And they couldn't give me what I was looking for on trade-in value for the Rebel.  So I moved on to Cycle Center of Denton.

( Yamaha Vstar )

( Yamaha Vstar plus dude trying to sell me Yamaha Vstar )

( Blacked out Honda Shadow.  Future bike of me.  Badass )

They have a ton of inventory and are also helpful and friendly.  I jumped onto a Yamaha V star 650cc and also another Shadow 750cc.  The Shadow already has some accessories like removable windshield, saddlebags and a backseat rest for a passenger.  This is the bike I have to have.  

So in the end, my free bike is now going to cost me another $3500 as I upgrade to a real beast that can take me to Lewisville or anyone else I need to go.  I just hope I don't kill myself on this thing….Not very Badass.

Credit to my awesome co worker Kevin Mcginnis for taking most of these pictures!