Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
A few days ago we took Patrick for his first swim at the Sumner High School pool. He did great, except for the underwater part. That was not so fun. We started him in the big pool.
That was a bit cold. The poor buddy started to shiver. So we moved on to the 90 degree therapy pool.
That was much more fun. Except for the underwater part, he had a blast splashing and being moved around. And then there was the turtle. One of the lifeguards brought out some rubber toys for the kids to play with. Patrick grabbed on to the turtle and proceeded to chew on it for the last little bit we were there.
I bet your wondering where the hotness comes in to this. Well wonder no more. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present................My lovely wife!!!!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
I know this is two posts in one day, but I'm at the computer. The next recipe is one for Irish Stew. For me it is a wonderful thing to have on a cold day with a Guinness. The amount of beef and potatoes will vary depending on the size of your crock pot. Mine is fairly large so that is what this recipe is made for. I also like a lot of meat in my stew, hence the 3 pounds of beef.
It may seem not important, but browning the meat is crucial to getting a good stew. What browning does is seal the outside of the meat so it doesn't loose all of its juice while cooking. It is the same concept when searing a steak and finishing it in the broiler. All those lovely juices stay inside just waiting for us to enjoy them. It also helps to keep the meat tender and not rock like. Even though stew is cooked with a good deal of liquid, the meat can dry out.
The broth is make by a company called Pacific. They have so many good broth and soup products, most of which are organic. Their roasted red pepper and tomato soup is the only tomato soup I will eat. But I digress. You can find it many different places. My local Fred Meyer carries it in the health food section.
On a final note, I like a whole lot of black pepper in my stew. I don't know exactly how much I put in, but I am turning that grinder for a good long while. As a second final note, the Guinness in the stew is there for taste but also to help tenderize the meat. For those that don't drink, the alcohol cooks out.
Kevin’s Irish Stew
3lbs stew meat
3 carrots, halved lengthwise and diced
3 celery sticks, slit down the middle and diced
1 32oz box Pacific beef broth
1 14.5oz can Guinness
4 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp ground coriander
Fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp Olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a pan at just over medium heat. Brown the meat until all sides are sealed. Place meat and veggies into the crock pot. Add the Guinness and then top of with the broth so that the liquid level. Add the cumin, coriander, and as much salt and black pepper as you like. Give it all a good stir to mix, put the lid on, and cook. There are two different cooking times you can go by. High for 4-5 hours, or low for 8-9 hours.
Well, here I go with another post. To start with, I am officially out of a job. My company restructured my position and it no longer fit my needs. My last day was December 1. On the whole it is a relief to be gone from that place. I wish the theatre nothing but the best, but I am glad to not be working there.
Drama Drama is in full swing, but on hold. The big conversation is going to be had at a different time. Won't that make Christmas fun!!!
As far as recipes go, I have a couple to post here and one I need to figure out the measures for. That is the interesting bit about my cooking. I usually don't measure my ingredients except by sight or feel. Makes it hard to write it down. The first is a seafood pasta sauce. All of the canned seafood I found at Trader Joe's for a reasonable price and comes in the same size as tuna cans. Make sure the salmon package says boneless, otherwise you will get the back bone and some ribs to pick out.
2 cans whole baby clams, drained
2 cans crab meat, drained
1 can boneless, skinless salmon, drained
1lb prawns, deveined and peeled
1 cup whole milk
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
8-10 cloves garlic, crushed
Fresh ground pepper
Fresh grated Parmisan cheese
Pour tomatoes and juice into a sauté pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce the liquid until you have a thick paste, stirring every few minutes. It will take about 10 minutes or so to reduce. In a large sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add clams, sauté for 3 minutes, then add crab, salmon, and prawns. Season with cayenne pepper to taste. Cook until prawns are orange. Add tomatoes from the other pan and the milk. Stir to combine.
The tomatoes should mix with the milk to form the sauce that holds the seafood together. Keep over the heat only long enough for the milk and tomatoes to heat through, 2-3 minutes. If the sauce is not as creamy as you would like it, add more milk until it is.
Spoon over your favorite pasta and top with the cheese, salt, and pepper to taste.
Again let me know how it goes. Take care all.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Well life has taken some interesting turns in the last week or so. My wife mentioned some in her blog so I won't repeat them here. As far as the rest, there will be job stuff and recipes in the next couple of days. I hope everyone had a good T Day. Take care.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Well, the opera is going great. I really like working with the director. He knows what he wants and keeps the rehearsal light hearted. I'm glad he is directing The Pajama Game for TLT in the spring.
The rest of life is moving forward as well. Patrick is such a joy, and my wife is as wonderful as always. I have a couple of recipes brewing in my head and will post them soon. Take care all.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
So I have the best intentions. My good friend calls me and leaves a message. I think, cool I need to call him back when I am not in rehearsal. Then it becomes several days and he calls again. I think, oops I forgot to call him. Must do that when I get home. A couple of days go by. He comments on my blog. I think $@#!, I'm a bad friend. So here I am blogging about it, and going to call him afterwards. Sorry Jay.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Thanks all for reading and commenting! I kind of want to take the blog in the direction of posting recipies when I finish them, as well as talking about what is happening in life. Most of the baby posts will come from Jen's blog, but there will be some here as well. Take care.
Monday, October 8, 2007
2 28oz cans Muir Glen crushed tomatoes with basil
2 14oz cans Muir Glen diced tomatoes
2 cans Muir Glen tomato paste
1 lb hot Italian sausage
1 large red onion, diced
2 cups crimini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
1 head (8-10 cloves) garlic, half diced, half smashed.
Red pepper flakes to taste
2 tbls Dried oregano
You are going to need a large pot for this. Several times while I was experimenting with this I used a sauce pan and had to transfer to something larger. But before that, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Break up Italian sausage and add to the pan. Brown the meat until most of the fat is rendered and a small bit of carbon appears on the meat. Drain and set aside for now. In the large pot, heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil to medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 30-45 seconds, and add the onion and mushrooms. Sauté until the onion is a bit transparent, 5-6 minutes. Don’t worry if it seems a little dry for the mushrooms, they will shed some of their liquid while cooking.
When the onions and mushrooms are done, add the sausage, tomatoes, tomato paste, and oregano. Mix to combine all ingredients, and bring to a simmer. Turn heat down, cover the pot, and simmer for 2 21/2 hours stirring every 30 minutes or so.
Other bits to add
At times I have added several different ingredients to make this basic sauce different. Here are some of them.
-Mild Italian sausage for those who like the flavor without the heat.
-Black and green olives, sliced
-Different mushrooms like Portobello, shitake, and the like.
-Red, green, yellow, orange peppers.
-Zucchini and other squash
This recipe can also be the base for a smooth red sauce. Just omit the sausage, mushrooms and red pepper flakes.
Again, if you make this let me know what you think.
2 lbs meat of your choice
-I used 1lb ground turkey, and 1lb ground hot Italian sausage
2 cans red kidney beans
1 can white kidney beans
2 28oz cans Muir Glen crushed tomatoes with basil
2 14oz cans Muir Glen diced tomatoes
1 can Muir Glen tomato paste
1 large red onion. Chopped
1 head garlic( 8-10 cloves), or to taste. Peeled and smashed
2 chipotles in adobo. Diced.
Red pepper flakes
6 tbls chili powder
2 tbls ground cumin
1 tbls coriander
2 tbls whole fennel seeds
2 tbls paprika
Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan to just above medium. Add red pepper flakes and sauté for 30 seconds. Add meat and brown the meat just until carbon begins to form. While the meat is browning, gather the spices and mix them together. Put tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, garlic, and chipotles into the crock pot. When meat is done add to pot. Add spices and stir to combine. Cover the crock pot and set to high for 2 ½ hours. Drain and rinse the beans and add to the pot. Cook for another 30 minutes.
A family tradition with chili that goes back as far as I can remember is to put a bed of Fritos on a plate and put the chili over them. Then top with grated cheese, green onion, olives and anything else you think would be good.
If you do this recipe, post a comment about how it went.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
I start rehearsals for the opera tomorrow. Thankfully, the director has a day job so almost all of them are in the evening. "Orpheus in the Underworld" is the show we are doing. You should all come see it. The link has the info on it.
Today was all about preparing for this week. Jen and I went to Trader Joe's, Costco, and Fred Meyer to acquire everything we needed food wise. I spent the next few hours cooking up chili, pasta sauce and chicken so we can have meals for this week without a lot of fuss. Yay!! We have a full fridge. My next post will have the recipie for the chili I created myself. It turned out great and has a distinct flavor.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Yard work sucks. Especially when there is a section of yard that was over grown fifty years before your house was built, and the previous owner didn't care enough to even trim it. If you hadn't guessed, I have just come in from hacking through said plot of land. There is an apple tree buried in the mess of ivy and blackberry bushes I somehow need to get the chainsaw wrapped around. Thankfully, it is under as much control as can be expected for that part of the yard. GRRRRRR!!
Two nights ago, I refined my own recipe for seafood pasta. I added mushrooms and tomatoes. Surprisingly, my wife said it could use a little bit of hot pepper. She is not one for spice on the same level as me, and as such I didn't put any in. Oh well, I guess I will have to put some in next time and see how it goes. I will post the recipe when I get it perfected. That's all for now. Take care,
Sunday, September 30, 2007
This is my first foray into blogging. My wife had been doing hers for a while, and I'm finally getting off my lazy Irish butt to do my own.
As the name of the blog implies, I am an Irishman. Well, half Irish any way. My birth mother did not put a father on my birth certificate, so I could be a myriad of other things. I was born in a small town on the southern end of Oregon, but grew up in Portland. Eventually I made my way north to Tacoma, WA were I met my wife and have settled. Amusingly enough, she lived about 10 minuets away from me in Portland and we never knew each other. She is the greatest thing in my life, apart from our wonderful son Patrick.
Well that's all for now. I will have to think of interesting bits to write about.