Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Brett Eats A Salad

My definition of a balanced diet.

Big deal right? Everyone eats salads.  Nope. Not this guy.  I ate one last week, though (twice actually) but I doubt anyone that really knows me will believe it.  I am going to tell you about it anyway.

First of all, let me say that I am a (somewhat) healthy eater and my avoidance of salads has nothing to do with any childish avoidance of greens.  I actually love vegetables and am a regular consumer of whatever green side item appears on plate with dinner.  Salads have just never been my thing though.  In my mind lettuce is the most pointless, unsatisfying vegetable ever invented.  It is cold, crunchy and flavorless and the only way to make anything out if it is to cover it with dressings and other stuff to mask its lack of personality.  As a passionate hater of anything with even a hint of vinegar, it has always been easier to avoid the salad plate entirely rather than find some combination of things that would make a salad a worthwhile use of my time.  Call me lazy and unsophisticated but that is just the way I have rolled for most of the last 34 years.

Thanks to Chris, I now sing a different tune. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Big Daddy’s Macaroni & Cheese


After I graduated college I scratched macaroni and cheese off of my menu for quite some time.  This was a meal for children and broke college kids.  I was done being a child and I had a three cent piece of paper to prove I graduated from an accredited university so macaroni and cheese was officially beneath me. 

Eventually I put mac & cheese back on my list but with a few conditions:  It is a great meal for kids and a good choice at Christmas, Thanksgiving and any other random gatherings where the host tells you to bring “some kind of side dish”.  That is about it, right? Nope.

When the kids are away and the grownups are feeling unhealthy and gluttonous, mac & cheese has the potential to become an animal all its own.  Friday night Chris decided to throw down on a grownup version of this dish and kick things up a notch as far as heat was concerned.  Big Daddy’s Hot Sauce helped just a bit…

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chris’s Magical Chicken & Rice Soup

This past Tuesday was just like any other day; I took Ivan to school, went to work, picked him up and came home.  Somewhere on the ride home, however, I started to feel a little less than awesome.  My nose started to run, I could not stop sneezing and my head started to hurt a little.  By the time I woke up Wednesday morning I was officially “sick”.

Sometime after I sent angry text messages to friends that had recently had colds, Chris sent me a message asking me what I would like for dinner.  My appetite and my mood were both pretty lousy so I made the smart-aleck reply that I just wanted to get home and hook myself up to a “whiskey and chicken soup IV”. 

Fortunately for me, Chris did not take the IV part of my comment seriously but she did decide that chicken soup was a good idea and might be a healthy, medicinal dinner selection.  We went to the store straight from work and she got busy in the kitchen as soon as we got home.  I was not up for taking notes on the process so here is the recipe straight from the chef…

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Healthy Shrimp Linguini

Between Thanksgiving and New Years we ate A LOT.  Turkey for Thanksgiving, fresh duck and sausage from Chris’s parents, pounds and pounds of ham and prime rib for Christmas, Mom’s sausage and peppers for New Year’s Eve, Boston Butt, collard greens and black eyed peas for New Year’s Day…. and God only knows what else in between.

Chris knocked out some spectacular meals during this holiday season and the recipes and stories should all have a home here at this blog. Unfortunately, I was too busy eating and drinking to take good notes, snap pictures and get online to tell the stories.  That is no way to run a food blog and I apologize.

In the interest of putting gluttony and laziness behind us, let us start off the New Year with something a little healthier.  Chris decided on New Year’s Day that our diet was in need of more seafood.  I do not know if this was a casual suggestion, a resolution for 2012, or the 11th Commandment but either way, when New Year’s leftovers ran out we headed to the seafood counter at our local Publix to see what was on sale.

Fresh, inexpensive, light and easy were our goals for the trip so this is what Chris put together…

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chicken a la Coworker Roulette (With Risotto!)

Yes, Aunt Candy did take a bite of bread before I could take the pic...
Last week we suffered a plumbing disaster that closed our home for business for almost a week.  I will not share all the dirty details of the dilemma but I will just say that we had no drainage whatsoever which prevented us from showering, using the commode, doing laundry or washing dishes.  Feel free to read the full account here but this story is just about a fantastic meal that came out of the train wreck we were experiencing.

We were unable to wash dishes so cooking was not really an option.  Since we had to eat and bathe, however, we were invited to Chris’s Aunt and Uncle’s house for dinner and a shower Friday night.  Chris offered to cook which was the least we could do for their hospitality.  As dirty and stressed out as we were, one might think she kept things simple.  Chris is not one to make things easy on herself though and she chose to use this opportunity to get experimental in Aunt Candy’s kitchen.

Her brain-fart of an idea was this: ask each of her coworkers to suggest an ingredient.  After compiling her list she would create a meal using each of their suggestions.  It was an idea born out of too many reality cooking channel shows and I was not quite sure why this of all weeks seemed like the time to attempt this.  I know better than to question her big ideas, though, so I just said “prosciutto”.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Better Than The Chili Cook Off Chili: Tuesday, October 25 2011

Texas Chili
Last night Anderson celebrated its Thirteenth Annual Chili Cook Off.  This is a fun event that features a lot of good recipes and quality entertainment provided by Sons of Seuss. However, for the first time in years Chris and I skipped it and took the party to our own kitchen. 

First of all, Tuesdays are school nights.  I feel really old admitting that but yes, 6:30 AM comes really early and we have to make sure everyone gets a good night’s sleep. Plus, for significantly less money than we would have spent on the event, we purchased everything we needed for chili plus a good six-pack of beer to enjoy in the privacy of our own home. Chris already has one Chili Cook Off victory under her belt (in Texas, no less) so I knew the quality would be championship grade.  Even better, I did not have to pay admission or wear a silly wristband.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Mother of All Burgers: Sunday, October 2, 2011

Anybody with two hands and some ground beef can put together a burger. Actually, if you did not have hands I bet you could use your feet but then the burgers would taste pretty gross. Maybe that explains Hardee’s?  I will check out their kitchen and get back to you on that one. In the meantime, let me tell you about burgers that you will actually want to eat.

As I watch the food channels and go out to dinner it appears as if everyone has some new, innovative twist on this old favorite. Different types of meats, wild toppings, and even stuffing the meat with a prize inside are all cool new ways of reinventing the burger. As a dedicated carnivore, I am a huge fan of all of these innovations and would like to share the version that Chris and I have been making for a few years now.