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Category Archives: cooking

pay the man

Today I made the dreaded trip to the post office to drop off some fat checks to the federal, state and local governments for my taxes. I sold a number of stocks last year to get cash for my down payment on the house, so my tax bill this year was not pretty. But ultimately it means that I made some nice profits, so I guess I shouldn’t be too mad. I didn’t enjoy the full parking lot and line out the door at the post office, though I’m sure it will only be worse tomorrow. I just hope that next year I’ll be filing early so I can collect my fat refund that I am hoping my house has entitled me to.

I skipped the gym today to go the post office & library, so I came home and cooked dinner #2 from my new Ellie Kreger cookbook, The Food You Crave, a Black Bean Mexican-Style Pizza. It took me a while to get it ready, because I’m still a little slow in the kitchen (thanks to my anal-retentive exact measuring compulsion), though it was far from difficult. I enjoyed it, though was no super impressed, though Kristy on the other hand really liked them. So it looks like this recipe is a keeper as well.

I’d also like to share a new band I found over the weekend, Frightened Rabbit from Glasgow, Scotland. Very good stuff, with a new album that was released today.

crossing line

A few weeks back I was at Borders wandering aimlessly, trying to figure out how to spend a gift card from a couple Christmases ago. Ultimately, I ended up in the cookbook section and stumbled across the new cookbook from the Food Network’s Ellie Kreger, The Food You Crave. She is sort of the “healthy” cook on the Food Network, and since I’m always looking to eat a little better, I checked it out and saw some recipes that seemed easy enough that I could handle, given my slightly-better-than-beginner cooking skillz.

So today, I finally got serious and picked out 3 recipes and wrote down the ingredients on my shopping list and picked them up on my trip to the local Acme in Hudson. Tonight was recipe attempt #1, the Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper Sauce. After getting over my frustration that the jar of red peppers were not completely de-seeded, and the fact that I didn’t know how to operate Kristy’s food processor, things went pretty smoothly and we agreed that the recipe is a keeper.

It was a good way to cap off a lazy Sunday during which I watched the Indians finally pull out a win. Cliff Lee is looking like the #1 starter instead of #5 at this point. If it takes snow for the Indians to win like they did today, I’m totally willing to put up with a few more weeks of crappy weather. Thank goodness Detroit’s awful start is taking off some of the pressure of our poor start.

the commander thinks aloud

Today was one of those extremely stressful days at work where you wish you could go back to the beginning of the day and chose to stay in bed. The lousy snow/rain/sleat mix, a day after 60+ degree temps, didn’t help much either. And the last time I saw the sun in these parts? Can’t remember.

So what does one do to try to erase the memories of a bummer of a day? Well, if you’re me, you dive into one of your new interests, cooking. After attending the Fabulous Food Show this past weekend at the I-X Center, I was feeling ambitious with my cooking, which I’ve slowly been expanding on over the past year. Tonight’s meal was Rigatoni w/ Turkey Sausage & Peppers, a recipe from Food Network star (and Italian beauty) Giada De Laurentiis. I’m not a big red meat guy, so I was lured in by the recipe actually calling for turkey sausage instead of having to sub it in myself. It was also my first time cooking with wine. I’m happy to report that it turned out very well, and will yield lots of extra meals since it’s a pretty big recipe. And my cooking confidence increased another notch. Before you know it, I’ll be on TV challenging the newly crowned Iron Chef, Cleveland native Michael Symon.

I feel like knocking back a few stiff drinks to get my mind off the day’s events, but I’m not much of a drinker, and all I have on hand is some beers. So I’m currently enjoying a Goose Island Christmas Ale. Pretty good though I still prefer the Cleveland favorite, Great Lakes Christmas Ale, which is selling out at grocery stores around the area as usual for this time of year.

P.S. – Tonight’s title is courtesy of the Long Winters song ‘The Commander Thinks Aloud‘ (acoustic, from WOXY circa 2005), one of my favorite bands