Sunday, 27 December 2015

Adventures in Snacking: The Triscuit Maker

One thing our western society has no shortage of is snack foods.

In my last post I shared my version of stuffed bacon jalapeño peppers. I love them. However, sometimes we don't want to go through all the fuss and time it takes of making such a creation; we want the snack now. At times like that we could just reach for a bag of potato chips, or for virtually no extra time, we could take that snack up a notch, and still be back on the couch before the first commercial is over. Trust me on this one.

My point is, why settle for the "same old - same old?"

I shouldn't even have to write this down, for as the old proverb says, "a picture is worth a thousand words." But here is is anyways:

  • A Triscuit cracker (I used the Rosemary & Olive Oil variety)
  • A thick slice of Armstrong Old Cheddar cheese
  • A thick slice of smoked Kolbassa sausage
  • A generous dollop of Sriracha hot chili sauce

The only problem you're likely to have with this is that you will quickly find yourself back in the kitchen making another platter of them. Oh well, still beats the bagged alternatives.

Happy snacking.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Will's Stuffed Bacon Jalapeño Peppers

Looking for a snack food or appetizer a little out of the ordinary? How about an awesome plate of stuffed bacon-wrapped jalapeño peppers and dip?

I don't remember where I got this from, and I know I've adapted the original recipe because, if memory serves me correctly, the original recipe called for a stuffing made of alligator meat, which is somewhat rare in my part of this planet we all share. Anyway, let me show you what I did in my version.

It all begins with the largest jalapeños you can find. Cut them in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds, setting them aside for later use. This time around, I prepared the stuffing by browning some ground turkey meat. Next I threw in a bunch of finely chopped onions. To this concoction I added a generous sprinkling of black pepper, cayenne pepper, and ground garlic powder.

While your oven is preheating at around 375 degrees F, next it's time to heap as much of the meat mixture into the jalapeño boats as will stay in. Now you want to wrap a nice thick slice of your favourite bacon around each stuffed jalapeño in order to hold it all together, using a toothpick to hold the end of the bacon in place throughout the cooking process.

I like a good cast iron pan with raised ribs on the bottom. This allows for the bacon grease to drain away from your stuffed peppers rather than being absorbed by them. I cook them in the oven for 30-40 minutes, turning them a couple times, until the bacon is fully cooked. A few minutes before I'm ready to pull them out of the oven, I like to baste them with a little of my favourite barbecue sauce for that ultimate added touch. In my case it's one of the Bullseye varieties, but ultimately any will do.

The last thing you need is a little bit of dip. For this I begin with all the jalapeño seeds that I had set aside earlier. These are what's going to give your dip a little punch. Add a generous shaking of black and cayenne pepper, stir in some Ranch dressing, and voila; a quick and easy and semi- spicy dip is ready to compliment your stuffed bacon jalapeño peppers.

Do me a favor and drop me a quick comment and let me know what you think of these. I'd especially like to know what other stuffings you might have used. Like I said earlier, the original recipe called for alligator, but the possibilities and variations are endless. You could really experiment and add whatever spices and meat you might like. I've created the same recipe before using canned salmon, and that was really good too. Enjoy!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

2015: My Year in Review

So here we are on the eve of yet another new year. What will the new year hold?  More of the same, or something exciting and new? As I look back on 2015, it was an exciting year and I thought it might be an interesting exercise to recap it.

I went to work, I came home, I went to bed.

I went to work, I came home, I went to bed.

I went to work, I came home, I went to bed.

I rescued a dog.

I went to work, I came home, I walked the dog, I went to bed.

I went to work, I came home, I walked the dog, I went to bed.

I went to work, I came home, I walked the dog, I went to bed.

My son got married.

I went to work, I came home, I walked the dog, I went to bed.

I went to work, I came home, I walked the dog, I went to bed.

I went to work, I came home, I walked the dog, I went to bed.

My daughter got married.

I went to work, I came home, I walked the dog, I went to bed.

I went to work, I came home, I walked the dog, I went to bed.

I went to work, I came home, I walked the dog, I went to bed.

Well, that's about it. 

Photo Credit: Steve James, Flickr Creative Commons

Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Parrot

A woman bought a parrot to keep her company, but returned it the next day. "This bird doesn't talk," she told the owner.

"Does he have a mirror in his cage?" the pet store owner asked. "Parrots love mirrors. They see their reflection and start a conversation." The woman bought a mirror and left.

The next day she returned; the bird still wasn't talking. "How about a ladder? Parrots love ladders. A happy parrot is a talkative parrot," the vendor suggested. The woman bought a ladder and left.

But the next day, she was back. Scrambling for a solution, the now flustered pet store owner asked, "Does your parrot have a swing? No? Well that's the problem. Once he starts swinging, he'll talk up a storm." The woman reluctantly bought a swing and left.

When she walked into the store the next day, her countenance had changed. "The parrot died," she said. The pet store owner was shocked.

"I'm so sorry. Tell me, did he ever say a word?" he asked.

"Yes, right before he died," the woman replied. "In a weak voice, he asked me, 'Don't they sell any food in that pet store?'"

Photo Credit: Flicker Creative Commons
Story Source: Unknown

Sunday, 6 December 2015

of Traffic Control Woes

Like most cities, I'm sure, in the city where I live, we have a main traffic artery that is a nightmare to drive. It is plagued by usually high traffic, and an excessively high amount of traffic lights. To make matters worse, it seems like city planners had never heard of the concept of synchronizing those traffic lights. Being a main north-south route, it would stand to reason that, if one travelled at speed limit, one should be able to cross town on nothing but green lights. At least that's the way I see it. Sometimes one has to wonder what city planners were smoking.

In the same way, I had to laugh when I saw this picture. I have no idea where this intersection is, but really? City planners say you have to yield to oncoming traffic. OK. But then look at the other signs. Can't turn left, can't turn right, and across the intersection, a sign telling you that you can't enter that street either. Hmm, I guess that means that your only option is to back up and find another route. Morons!

Photo Source: Unknown