Tis The Season to Get F#*@%

Now that our favorite glutinous holiday is finally over, it is time to start thinking about that next one around the corner. With Black Friday marking the “official” beginning of the Christmas season, every one is starting to put up their decorations and wrap up their gifts for the big day. But before that big day happens, we will all participate in our share of holiday parties, whether with family, friends, or coworkers, the best way I found to get in that holiday spirit is with, well… Some holiday spirits! And yes, I’m talking about booze!

A good spicy eggnog or candy cane martini will get your holiday party a rockin’. Nobody enjoys sitting through an embarrassingly boring Christmas party just to get that lame ass secret Santa gift picked up from the dollar tree on the way to the party. So avoid the awkwardness, and loosen the atmosphere up with some good old Holiday Cheers.

Spiked Eggnog – 1 part Rum or Brandy (The cheap is stuff is fine for the nog)

3 parts eggnog. Finish with a sprinkle of nutmeg

 

Black Santa – 3/4 oz. Coffee Liquer

1/4 oz. Peppermint Schnapps

1/2 oz. Vodka. Mix all ingredients over ice and pour into 2 oz. shot glass. Enjoy

 

Candy-Cane-Tini – 1/2 oz. Schnapps

1 oz. Vodka

1 piece (Mini candy cane) Candy

 

Red-nosed Reindeer – 1 oz. Aftershock

1 oz. Rum, spiced (Captain Morgan’s)

1 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier

1 oz. Vodka (Grey Goose)

1 oz. Eggnog

1 piece Cherries/Maraschinos

1 piece Cinnamon Stick

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Leftover Bombness!

Arguably, one of the best things about Thanksgiving, are the leftover turkey sandwiches. Along with the leftover everything else you have. While recreating your Thanksgiving plate and then reheating is always a viable option, I prefer to mix it up and enjoy the flavors in a different way. I take my favor combinations and pile them up into a powerful sandwich to cure any hunger pains you may be feeling.

Step 1. I first compile a nice mix or white and dark meat to give the sandwich some extra flavor. I then drizzle a small amount of gravy over the turkey and heat up in the microwave or oven if you’re feeling ambitious. 

Step 2. I then portion out about 2 large tablespoons of mashed potatoes, and stuffing and heat them up as well.

Step 3. Now my warm ingredients are done, so I grab my bread and begin to assemble the sandwich. I prefer to use sourdough, if possible, because of its stronger texture but in a pinch any bread you have will work.

Step 4. On both pieces of bread I first spread a dollop of mayonnaise. Then I spread the stuffing and mashed potatoes on to separate pieces of bread. Next step is to layer the turkey onto one slice of bread nice and evenly. Lastly, I like to grab a small amount of cranberries (however you have them prepared) and put them on the other piece of bread.

Step 5. Squeeze the two halves together carefully and enjoy your Thanksgiving in a sandwich!

For those of you feeling extra crazy, throw some sweet potatoes and green bean casserole in the sandwich too and make sure you don’t miss a single dish!.

The Science of Food

Most people who enjoy food always talk about how great the tastes, colors, aromas, and textures associated with foods are. But I also enjoy looking at food from a more, “scientific” point of view. I find it fascinating the way food is grown, prepared, and in some context, engineered. Since the earliest times, we have adapted and survived based with the foods given to us. No matter the conditions, human kind has found a way to make the foods we like, work for us.  And thanks to recent developments, we’ve even been able to genetically engineer our foods to better suit our needs. In harshly dry and hot desserts, we can grow a strand of corn that doesn’t require as much water because it has been spliced with cactus genes. This sounds like science fiction but it is real life.

This has actually been going on for some years now and has gained a lot of attention, both good and bad. There are activists on both sides debating the proper place for genetically engineered foods. On one hand there are the people who protest against the use of genetically engineered food because it is unsafe to consume. There is also a side to the argument that claims the food is blasphemy and goes against God’s will to alter the genetics of our food. Riiiiight. The other side believes that by altering our food we can help solve global food problems, and essentially, make this world a better place. May sound like an ad for some left wing philanthropist group, but it is the truth in this matter.

If by engineering our food, we can make it to better serve humanity then I say why not! By doing so we can now feed thousands if not millions of people who would not have been able to feed themselves. I believe that it would be inhumane to not develop the foods that can save lives. I am interested to see what happens with these foods in the future and would like to know your opinions! Comment and tell me how you feel about the subject! Should we really  be creating and manipulating our food to make a better world?

Funfetti All Day

I’m going to start off by saying, Funfetti is by far the best cake you can make out of a box. Fact. I don’t care about any arguments you could make, nothing can compare to the deliciousness of a fresh moist Funfetti cake and some milk. And because I was extremely bored and hungry, I decided to bake a Funfetti cake.

When I went to the store to pick up the cake mix, I noticed that they also had a Funfetti cookie dough mix.. Hmm… After a quick 30 second debate in my head, I chose to go with the cookies instead. I don’t remember exactly why I chose the cookies but something was telling me to go for it so I did. 

Because of the recent cooking adventures of Jimmy Bluntski, my kitchen’s stove and oven have been out of commission. It wasn’t his fault though, we had a major gas leak and it could have happened to anyone. And of course it was him, but, moral of the story, I had to go to a friends house to use their oven to bake the cookies.

Now following the simple steps laid out on the box, I mixed up the batter, a stick of butter, and 1 large egg to make a dough. I then simply balled up little chunks of dough and placed them 2 inches apart evenly across a baking sheet. Preheated the oven to 375 degrees and threw the cookies in for around 8-10 minutes depending on the size of the cookies. Once the cookies have flattened up and baked all the way, pull the cookies out and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. After the cookies have cooled and firmed up a little bit move them to a separate plate to serve. I was able to make about 3 dozen cookies out of 1 box so you will have tons to share. Plus chicks dig guys who can bake.

Do It Right, Get It Tight!

Although it may seem like I have no regard for my personal health, with all the greasy ass foods I usually make, but that is not completely true. I do actually care about getting the proper nutrition, just not all the time. Being healthy means more than just eating right. You need to maintain an active lifestyle, as well as maintain a healthy mind. It may sound cheesy, but getting your mind right is the first thing needed to accomplish anything in life.  For me, eating is not something I do just because I have to, but also because I enjoy it! I enjoy all aspects of food and find pleasure in cooking meals and pigging out. Eating makes me happy and helps maintain a healthy mind. But, I also understand what it means to eat right, and be healthy.

Your body needs over 40 different nutrients to replenish itself after a long day. The best way to get that is by eating a varying and balanced diet of foods. It is important that you get the right proportions of protein, carbs, sodium, and even fats and fatty acids. By eating different things frequently you guarantee that your body gets the varied nutrients needed. It is important to establish strong and healthy eating habits so that you can avoid getting into dependencies on fast food and other unhealthy options. America is the most obese country in the world and it is because masses of people have forgotten or never learned the right way to eat for your body.

By learning to substitute out small items in your diet you can begin to develop strong eating habits that can lead to a healthier you. For instance, exchanging sodas and sugary drinks for water, juice, or tea you can lower the amount of sugar you take in each day. Also, by learning when the time is right to either pig out or to ration out. After a long day working, schooling, and exercising, your body needs to refuel with lots of different vitamins and nutrients.  And it is for that reason that I write this blog, because I find that making a feast can not only bring your body back strong, but also your mind. And having a strong body and mind is the only way to thrive in today’s world.

Snack Attack!

I won’t lie. From time to time I geek out and play video games for hours on end. I’m a gamer. I go to midnight releases for certain games and have power sessions till 5 in the morning. I just did 2 releases within 2 months. I am currently getting down hard on Gears of War 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. All of this background on my gaming habits is leading to this point.  During all of these extreme gamer sessions I need great sources of fuel in  to continue performing at my optimum on the sticks. Now I’m talking about Game Fuel!

I have been asking a few of my gamer buddies about their favorite snacks to grub down on while on the sticks and I have put together what I believe to be a strong list of the best gamer foods out there. Now by no means to I believe I covered everything there is out there in the market, but I do feel that I’ve covered the most essential materials that provide for a strong snack sesh.

I’m first going to outline what fellow gamers have passed along to me:

Marvelous Marvin: Redbull, Peanutbutter Cups, PB&J Sandwiches, Zebra Cakes and Zours Candy.

JimmyBluntski: Macdonald’s McDoubles, Jelly Beans, Starbursts, Trail Mix, H -Ho’s, Mountain Dew Code Red.

HalliJ13: French Fries (From Anywhere), Corndogs, Salt Water Taffy, Instant Mac ‘n Cheese.

KeefeeG: Laffy Taffy (Cherry), Warheads,  Powerade White Cherry, Beef Jerky, Smart Foods Popcorn.

All of these elements bring the major snack food groups. The candy essentials are covered thoroughly with the multiple different levels of candy, hard or soft, sweet or sour, creamy or crunchy we have it all.  Another favorite, and must for some people, are the snack cakes and pastries. Another great thing to have while snacking is substance. You can’t always munch on only sugar and fructose corn syrup, so having a strong protein and carb source is critical. Peanut butter and jerky are excellent sources of protein that give you that real energy your body needs. Another great snack is Trail mix. Trail mix usually contains great blends of nuts, fruits, and candies that provide protein and sugars needed to burn through an allnighter!

Buffet Steez

I can easily say that buffets are the my favorite way to dine out. I love the concept of being able to sample all of the dishes they have to offer. I am just an indecisive person when it comes to food, and it can be heartbreaking at times having to pick between 2 different dishes at your local diner. But, when standing in that buffet line you are comfortable knowing that you have zero  hard decisions ahead of you. You are free to pick and sample from all of the dishes and load your plate as high as you can! Now, I know it is unreasonable to think that all places could use this style of serving food, but I do think a lot of places could greatly benefit from introducing a buffet into their restaurants.

I personally believe that Mexican restaurants stand the most to gain from going buffet. If they laid out a table of different dishes it could make for a great meal for customers, that is also relatively cheap on the restaurants end to make. The options available are so diverse that the restaurant could switch up the menu for every day of the week with ease, while still providing quality meals for all the days throughout the week. In addition, almost all of the dishes made can be modified easily to smaller portions for the perfect buffet plate.

 

Chinese restaurants have been way ahead of the curve when it comes to all you can eat meals. A good Chinese buffet can be one of the most satisfying meals you can have. The plethora of options you have when choosing food a Chinese buffet can be overwhelming and even exciting at times. It offers a great way to introduce and try out new or exotic dishes that most people wouldn’t have tried them out otherwise. Just like a Chinese restaurants menu, a Mexican restaurant’s menu could easily be adapted to make an outstanding buffet that families and friends can enjoy at a reasonable price. 

Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Smokies Omelet!

When cruising through the aisles looking for some good food to cook up, I saw a lil something I have not had in a long time. Lil Smokies! Lil Smokies are also referred to as cocktail wienees and are essentially, tiny hotdog links. But what caught my eye was the fact that these wienee were cheddar stuffed! So I decided to pick up the bag and make them for dinner along with some other finger foods to make a nice little buffet of finger foods. I was going to do all this.. Until I got sidetracked with some other meal opportunities. Now,  almost a week later, I remembered that I still had those little smokies sitting in my fridge! So I ravaged the rest of my fridge and pantry to put together a motley dish of easy items.

After scavenging, I came up on an onion, some bacon, eggs, a few taquitos and of course, my wienees. The only suitable option I could think of at the time was to wrap the lil smokies up in bacon, saute up the onions, then throw it all together in an omelet and mix up with a few taquitos on the side! 

The first thing I did was cut my bacon strips in half, then I began to wrap the smokies up in the bacon. I then set my oven to 400 degrees and sprayed a baking sheet with a light layer of pam. After, I evenly spaced the wrapped up smokies on the pan and placed in the oven. After roughly 10 minutes they will need to be flipped to ensure the bacon is fully cooked. In the mean time while those are cooking,

I had the luxury of finding some minced garlic in the fridge so I started sauteing my onions by throwing a teaspoon of butter and half a teaspoon of minced garlic onto a pan. While that warmed up on a low heat I diced up about half of my onion. When done, turn up the heat to medium and throw the diced onions in with the melted garlic butter. Allow those to saute for about 6-8 minutes depending.

Once my smokies were done baking and the bacon on the outside was fully cooked, I cut them into smaller halves and thirds so that they would be easy to eat in the omelet. Throw the wrapped smokies and onions into your pan and crack 3 eggs into it. Scramble all of it up and allow to sit and cook for a couple of minutes. This lets the egg firm up and bind all of the ingredients together. Once the egg has been browned up on one side flip and allow to brown on the other side. While this was happening, I put my taquitos in the oven at 400 degrees to crisp up for about 7 minutes.

When it’s all said and done, throw some salsa and sour cream on it and enjoy! I saved a few wrapped smokies to enjoy bythemselves on the side!

Quesa-dealios

The tradition of the quesadilla has been passed down for many generations in my family. It was personally handed down to me by my grandmother who learned it from her mother in Mexico. Now I am not claiming them to be the best in the world but they are my personal favorite and have gained the respect from many others who have tried it!

Now, most people believe that the only way to make a quesadilla is with flour tortillas, but not I! My family recipe prefers using corn tortillas, oOoOhh! And although the smaller size of the tortilla means a smaller quesadilla, bigger is not always better! The quesadilla is usually a meal to be enjoyed with others, like a lot of appetizers, but going through folding and cutting up the big quesadillas can be a bit of a hassle when making for a large family. And so because quesadillas were usually made as an appetizer or starter course for the whole family, It was more practical to just make a bunch of mini-quesadillas using corn tortillas and stack em up for everyone to grab as they want! This also makes it easy because people tend to like different things with their quesadillas. 

So for my recipe, all you’ll need are some corn tortillas, butter, and your favorite kind of cheese to use! I prefer using a Mexican blend of shredded cheeses or straight mozzarella cheese!

Steps:

*Hint* My personal secret to making the perfectly crispy quesadilla is to properly apply the butter to both tortillas. In order to do this, I drop a scoop of butter and one tortilla and sandwich it together with the other tortilla. Once they are sandwiched I rub them together in a circular motion to evenly spread the butter between both tortillas.

1. Butter the tortillas and set aside.

2. Using medium heat, warm up a skillet or frying pan to use.

3. Once the skillet is slightly warmed up, throw one tortilla in the pan. Sprinkle your cheese on then Cover with the other tortilla.

4. Once the bottom side comes to a nice light, golden brown flip and allow the other side to do the same.

Simple as that! Garnish with your favorite toppings such as salsa, guacamole, or sour cream! Some extremists will put jalapenos in the cheese as it cooks to spice it up a little bit!

Shaking in my boots

Although they have been around for a little while now, the Bisquick Shake ‘n Pour pancake mix in a bottle has recently become one of my breakfast favorites to whip up with that little extra time I have in the mornings. All you need to do is add water to the line on the bottle, then shake it up and it ready to rock, delicious pancake batter! And because I have love having variety in my meals, it is extremely easy to switch some ingredients and make different pancakes every time.

When I went to the store, I just stumbled upon the Bisquick Shake ‘n Pour on the shelves and realized that there were so many options that I could pick up now, that would still be good in my fridge or pantry for a week after. I love all types of pancakes but my top 3 are Blueberry, Chocolate Chip, and Banana Nut. Sooo, I went to the fruit section and got some blueberries and bananas, then went back to the baking aisle and grabbed a bag or Hershey’s Chocolate Chips, an crushed walnuts and finished in the dairy section with some butter and whipped cream! All of these can be kept in the fridge or pantry for at least a week on the fruit and months on the chips and nuts.

Following the instructions on the bottle, you simply mix up the batter and pour it into a buttered pan and brown up on both sides. It is extremely easy to add any of your favorite additions to the batter as soon as you pour it into the pan. I decided to go big and make some of all three at once which was actually extremely easy because everything was ready to go. Simply throw a handful of your ingredients in the batter as it forms on the pan and you’ve got an IHOP inspired breakfast in under 20 minutes!