March 3rd, 2009
|10:49 am - BOOKS - Nothing Like It In The World|
I'm setting up a Wiki at work to hold some of our documentation, and was showing someone the WikiPedia "annotated article" that gives you tips on how to create your own (http://ping.fm/4j7ri). It happens to be about auto-carrying train boxcars, and that led us to a discussion of trains, which made me remember one of my all-time favorite books, Nothing Like It In The World by Stephen Ambrose (http://ping.fm/8mtu6) It describes the building of the transcontinental railroad, and I found it so transfixing that I have read it and also listened to the audio version. Stephen Ambrose rocks. Anybody who likes the Discovery Channel or the History Channel but doesn't read a lot of non-fiction, I highly recommend that book. Talking with my co-workers we realized that one of their favorite books is also written by Ambrose, "Undaunted Courage :
Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American
West" (http://ping.fm/fdvc3). I was sitting on an Amazon order waiting to get past $25 to get free shipping, and just added that book for $7. Can't wait!
I have a whole PILE of unread books I'm really looking forward to. I can't wait!
February 24th, 2009
|09:40 am - super-simple chicken in a dutch oven|
Last night, Lisa totally down for the count and me needing to take a tap while Graham was at karate instead of working out while Graham was at karate, I volunteered to make dinner. It was ripping and I thought I'd share it.
We've really been enjoying broiled chicken lately, where we put a cut-up chicken in a 13x9 pan with some herbs and (usually) citrus and broil it for around 30 to 40 minutes, turning it several times to keep it from burning, and taking it out when the probe thermometer reads 170. This is AWESOME and is fairly quick all things considered, but last night I needed something even faster and that could be left totally unattended (i.e. cooking while Lisa slept and I picked Graham up from the Y). So here's what I did:
We recently acquired a dutch oven. With the oven pre-heating to 450, I sprayed the dutch oven with non-stick spray and put it on the stovetop on high. Then I tossed in four bone-in, with-skin thighs. I sprinkled on a chipotle lemon pepper we all like, and also sprinkled on a couple heavy pinches of kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper.
I used our vidalia onion chopper to chop one whole yellow onion, then I put in the small blade and used it to chop two cloves of garlic. When the chicken was brown on both sides (less than five minutes), I added the onion and garlic to the dutch oven, stirred everything up, put the lid on and put it in the oven.
I left and got back about 20 minutes later. Dinner was done, the chicken reading a should-have-been-too-hot but still somehow not dry 190.
This was AWESOME. It tasted so good and I can't believe it only took 5 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes in the oven. The onions were caramelized, the seasonings were all mixed in everything, we just made some instant rice in the microwave and started eating. The net result was very similar to the broiled chicken but it was faster both in terms of prep and in actual paying-attention cooking time.
I'm looking forward to trying it with boneless/skinless cuts of meat to see if we can cut the fat down a little bit, try cooking a bigger portion to feed a crowd, and experiment with different spices and herbs. But I wanted to share exactly what I did in case anyone else was interested in a super-easy, super-tasty meal.
Oh, and to top it all off, the dutch oven cleaned up SO easily. I swear by the Lodge brand for my cast iron, but Lisa wanted "the pretty one," so this is Lodge cast iron wrapped in a very pretty red ceramic with white ceramic on the inside. Highly recommended, it RULED, and you can get one at Amazon (http://ping.fm/tS2rH) and Wal-Mart carries them too (http://ping.fm/LGtZB)
February 17th, 2009
http://ping.fm/p/c93wz - Photo test to ping.fm
February 16th, 2009
video games did not help. My cold or flu or whatever is worse than ever.
February 14th, 2009
has a cold, and thinks a big load of video games will help cure it.
February 10th, 2009
Attended a Dan Savage lecture at University of Albany. It was all Q&A, and it ruled!
February 9th, 2009
I've switched back to Diet Mountain Dew now that the Pepsi Max Amazon MP3 promotion is over. Coffee remained constant.
February 4th, 2009
celebrated my wedding anniversary with some fine cuban food. Flan ftw!
February 3rd, 2009
going to my first ever school board meeting
February 2nd, 2009
planning on visiting the midwest in mid-Feb, family check your e-mail for details!