Archive | July, 2011

This Is Not a Test. This is Rock and Roll.

13 Jul

Let’s just take a minute and acknowledge that this 112 degree weather is doing something beneficial other than reminding me of some of my favorite movie quotes.

The weather out there today is hot and shitty with continued hot and shitty in the afternoon. Tomorrow a chance of continued crappy with a pissy weather front coming down from the north. Basically, it’s hotter than a snake’s ass in a wagon rut.  – Adrian Cronauer




Obvi: Rice and Beans

12 Jul

Black beans.  Brown rice.  Little black dress.  Only the essentials up in here.

Mondays are made for a) having a beer after the rude awakening that mondays bring, b) shredding your rotisserie chicken, c) turning those black beans you have been storing into a pot of delish herb-infused black beans, d) making some rice to last you the week.  This loving attention to the simplest of foods can and will come back to provide you with the most delicious meals throughout the week.

Pot o’ black beans

Bring pot of beans to boil, then let sit for a few hours.  Then, boil (small boil) for 30 minutes at a time until the bean tastes ready.  I like to add whatever added pop I am feeling at the time – Bay Leaf, garlic, cumin, etc.  Nurse those boiling beans with some TLC as you lust afteR:

– Black bean salad to take to work

– Refried black beans

– Crispy tostada with black beans

– Black bean soup

– Black bean hummus

Pot o’ Rice

Put 1:1 ratio of rice: water in a pot and bring to a boil until rice absorbs all the water.  Add additional boiling water if rice is still hard after it’s absorbed all the water.  And subsequently dream about:

– Fried rice with bok choy (or whatever veggie you have on hand)

– Rice pudding

– Rice mixed with herbs and veggies

– Burritos – you name the ingredient.

– Red beans and rice

down in the treme.

12 Jul

A few reflections after tonight’s dinner:

1) cilantro is the key to jam’s heart.

2) spicy jalapenos and sweet mangoes are perfect compliments.  Like opposites on the color wheel.

3) always have fresh black beans and rice on hand.

4) when you buy (or pick) cilantro, you might as well have limes, avocados, and jalapenos also.

Black Bean and Mango Burritos:

1. Start with an after-work-on-a-Monday drink.  If you are preparing to move, I suggest getting through that liquor you are not going to want to pack and mixing up some bourbon and mint.

2.  You already have rice, beans, and tortillas.  So get chopping.  You’ve been watching that mango ripen for a few days.  It’s time to let that sweetness infuse those beans.

3. Keep chopping.  You just grew some beautiful peppers (bell and jalapeno) in your garden, so throw ’em in.  You have half a red onion left over?  Throw it in.

4. You are brilliant. You even remembered to pick some cilantro when you were watering your poor heat-stroked plants.  Throw it in.  It will make your special someone melt.

5.  Little olive oil.  Little lime.

6. Now for the sides.  What’s left in your fridge?  Some avocado?  Chop! Some presh volunteer or cherry tomatoes from the garden? Chop!

7.  Now, as my mother always told me: Presentation is key.  It can make a good meal look bad.  It can make a normal meal feel special  So use that Mississippi mud pottery you got from Marigold, MS.  Use it all.

8. Now, go get that special someone.  Remind ’em that there is cilantro.

9.  And don’t be offended if you ask, “Want to go eat on the roof?” and that special someone says, “hell no.”  Then remind yourself, “Right.  It was 104 degrees today.”  And be fine eating the beautifully balanced sweet mango and spicy jalapeno burrito in front of Treme.

Down the Treme

Just me and my baby

We’re all going crazy.

Just jammin’ and having fun.

– John Boutte

Obvi: Rotish Chick

11 Jul

One of my favorite things to do when planning the week’s meals is to buy a Rotisserie Chicken and use throughout the week.  Not only does this rotish help me avoid touching raw meat, but it takes out so much of the leg work of so many meals.  Here are some of the quick and easy ways to use shredded or chopped rotish:

– Mix with BBQ sauce and spread over a pizza crust.  Top with mozzarella cheese and red onions.

– Mix with pico (cilantro, tomatoes, onion, and lime juice) or BBQ sauce and roll up in a spring roll (buy a package, dip one in water so it becomes flexible, fill, and roll).

– Throw on top of a salad (mom just passed along a great salad dressing that was olive oil, white wine vinegar, maple syrup, sugar, and an apple).  Mix lettuce, chicken, red onion, pumpkin seeds, avocado, and dressing.

– Make a simple chicken salad by mixing the chicken with mayo, apples or grapes, green onions, and pecans.

– Mix with enchilada or taco sauce for simple tacos or enchiladas.

Voila – tummy full (and proteinated) for a week.

The Commanding B.L.T.

9 Jul

Nothing beats a BLT in the summertime.  It has become my Saturday staple after heading home from either the market or garden with beautiful red tomatoes.

Step 1: Find the prettiest and most in-season tomatoes you can.  (I like using the big ones and saving the cherries for salads, soups, and pastas).  These are courtesy of my garden.

Step 2: Toast some bread (although good ole fashioned sliced bread can be simply fabulous, I like to use a nice loaf of a crusty bread).

Step 3: Boil water for a) the mint tea and b) the tomato peeling.  This is a mother-in-law trick upon which I have come to rely in my avid BLT making.  Put your tomato in boiling water for 20 seconds then run it under cold water to cool it back off.  The skin will be easy to peel off, which will make your BLT infused with great attention to detail.

Step 4: Slice the tomato and layer on the bread.  Douse with salt and pepper.

Step 5: I am always trying to think up creative ways to use all this basil.  So I like to add a layer of the herb to my BLT.  

Step 6: Make some bacon (still can’t decide if it’s the tomatoes or the bacon that make BLTs as good as they are) and layer it on.  And don’t forget to save your bacon grease (see bacon grease container in pic).  This is also a mother-in-law suggestion as it is the secret to her delicious gumbo (amongst many other things).

Step 7: Layer some lettuce on top of the bacon.  I typically use what’s in the garden, but I am officially out, so I used some Sweet Butter from the grocery store.  I suggest trying whatever green you have at the house, as the beauty of BLTs is that they should be simple (it’s the weekend after all) and not require trips to the grocery.

Step 8: This would normally be a good time to put a schmear of mayo on the top layer of bread, but I just don’t really ever have mayo around so I skipped.

Step 9: Steep your tea bags along with some fresh mint.  After a while, add some sugar and pour over ice for the necessary mint tea that should accompany this sandwich.

The crispy bread, sweet tomato, salty bacon – it just can’t be beat.  The only thing better is when someone makes one for you.

Mud Island Water Park

7 Jul

with Patricio, navigating the life sized replica of the Mississippi River watershed.


All Ears on Deck: Mates of State

6 Jul

presh little husband and wife duo that have done everything from tour with Death Cab For Cutie with their two kids to make an appearance on Yo Gabba Gabba.

I always wanted to be the face in front of me.
Debating a life sucked out the energy.
Build up a wall made ut of finer things.
Piled in high so we could barely see it.

– Mates of State



Fourth of July – Joplin, MO

4 Jul