Of Pooches and Human Treats

Happy Wednesday everyone, today and tomorrow can’t seem to pass fast enough for me.  Friday evening I go meet “Abe” a beautiful lab mix that with any luck will be coming home with me!  A man needs a pooch plain and simple!

So this morning I was rummaging around the kitchen trying to figure out what to pack as a good energy snack for breaks at work.  The kitchen is slightly bare til payday Friday in the realm of quick items so I’ve got to get creative.  I noticed I had a bag of cashew pieces and a bag of almond slices in the freezer that I use for brownies and such so here’s what I came up with:

Sweet and Salty Nut Mix

I melted about a tablespoon and a half of unsalted butter, mixed this well with a cup and a half of cashew pieces and a cup of almond slices.  

Added 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of salt, and 2 tablespoons of sugar mixing well as I added these.  

Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet evenly and baked @ 350 for approximately 15 minutes (sorry I just eyed this step).  Removed from oven and set aside to cool.

After it was cool I poured the whole thing loose sugar/salt and all into a ziplock bag and shook vigorously I ended up adding a little more cinnamon at this stage as I was tasting as I went.

And now I have a tasty snack that should give me a good protein/carb/fat profile and a quick energy boost throughout the day!

Now usually I thin slice a can of spam (fyi the bacon flavor or jalapeño flavor spam is awesome) spread the slices on a baking sheet, dust with whatever curry or rub I’m in the mood for and bake at 425 for around 10-12 minutes.  This gives me Spam chips that I can bag up and snack on during my breaks.  Unfortunately I’ve burned through my Spam stockpile over the last few weeks with my long shifts.  Don’t judge till you’ve tried it!! (Most people that claim Spam is disgusting have never actually tried it).  I can’t fight the Hawaiian in me I love the stuff.

Spam on!!!

~J

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Healthy Eating, Healthy Brain 

I find myself unusually calm lately, things don’t seem to bother me so much anymore which is a good thing.  I’m not exactly sure what all has changed but I do know that I have been eating much healthier the past two weeks.
A very dear friend brought me some venison the other month and I have been pulling it from the freezer as of late.  The meat is very lean and takes seasoning with my various curries incredibly well.  I have been cooking up the ground deer pork with various veggie mixes and divvying up the batches into Tupperware for lunches.

I start each morning with homemade hash browns and sometimes two eggs over medium.  Later in the morning I usually do a bowl of pasta with red sauce and I do the same after returning home from work.  I also always have a batch of rice to reheat as a quick snack.  I’ve also been doing a lot of beans, this morning I actually did homemade refried beans from dried pintos I soaked overnight.

And while my kitchen is getting a little bare by my standards this week I have plenty of these healthy items to eat.  I get paid Friday and have taken the time to work up a shopping list of healthy items and not a bunch of quick microwave garbage.

As I’ve been working a lot of hours I plan to treat myself this weekend with a junk food meal of pizza from fat boys pizza but aside from that I’m consciously choosing to continue eating healthy.

My body feels better, I’m starting to actually sleep better, and my thoughts don’t seem to run away as much.  I’ve become more thoughtful and direct with my interactions around others.  

Next steps?  Go back into tech, slay this smoking dragon, and give a pooch a forever home with belly rubs and hikes and luvs.

~J

You Say Potato

I say tasty!!

One of my favorite staples to keep in the kitchen just happens to be fairly cheap and keeps for extended periods of time with little effort.  I love the wonderful potato!!  At around 80 cents a pound for big honkin Russets it makes a perfect staple!!

Quite often I’ll quarter one length wise to fit through my cuisinart (which I absolutely adore) and fry the resulting shreds in olive oil for fresh hash brown taters in less than 15 minutes!!

Tonight I sliced one up, seasoned with pepper, sea salt, and a tap of one of my favorite chile rubs (ghost and habanero blend) did a quick sear fry in olive oil and baked to a crisp.  Home made potato chips!!!  20 minutes for the best chips I’ve ever had!!

Tomorrow I’ll mix some rosemary, sage, and dill in olive oil and brush a tater down to wrap in foil and bake. One of my favorites!! 

So baked, fried, mashed, hashed, french fried, you name it!

Cherish the potato!

~J

Cleaning the Fridge

So this evening I decided to whip up a nice red sauce and do some spaghetti with some sausage and veggies and what not.  Lo and behold I had a few small baggies of veggies that just weren’t fit for consumption.  Not a lot mind you as I love my veggies but I did have to toss a bell pepper a few small celery hearts and about a quarter head of lettuce.

What I didn’t throw out was the few bad garlic cloves (I had a whole garlic that was good for my sauce so it wasn’t a big deal).  I had a couple of cloves that had actually sprouted in my crisper drawer so while waiting for my sauce to cook down a touch I got a whim to try and plant the cloves in a small pot that I had empty out front.  I used some good soil I had from another planter that is now empty (lettuce from earlier in the season) and kicked it up with a bit of bone meal, a very small amount of miracle grow, and this fertilizer I have called “eco scraps”.

This Eco Scraps stuff is interesting, I have been using it on our pepper and tomato plants in front of the apartment all season with pretty great success.  The fertilizer comes in pellets and is fairly easy to use but get this… it’s made up entirely of food waste!  Effectively a couple of guys got this brilliant idea to collect food waste from retailers across the US and process it into compost then pelletizing it kind of a slick idea I think.  Anywhoo it’s available at Lowes and Home Depot if your in the US (not sure about worldwide) its worth a look see!

So here’s to hoping for some fresh garlic, I’ve never grown it before but hey why not the pot was empty and the cloves were sprouting meh worth a shot.

~J

And Finally Some Sleep!

As I sit here waiting impatiently for my two favorite morning things, the paper and my coffee I’m pondering.  It has been a crazy few days what with the stupidity in Charlotesville and just overall tension everywhere I wonder why it is that I still read the paper.  Oh wait, now I remember!!  Nothing compares with holding a paper reading the comics.

Perhaps I’m just in a good mood this morning, I have my coffee and my paper and I actually had a full nights sleep.  I have a 12 hour shift coming and am flat broke with a car load of laundry I need to figure out how to do but life overall really isn’t so bad.  I’ve got snoopy and a few articles that don’t mention trump or white supremacy to keep me occupied and I’ve had a great breakfast scramble because if there is anything a man learns that’s worth something it’s how to cook.

And then there’s the “Dear Amy” section of the paper, yeah used to be someone else lol but this week I suppose it’s Amy.  Amy gets a question about a teen daughter who has started dating and her response just makes me laugh.  “The only hitch is that Cary Grant is dead and George Clooney is too old”.  Just boffo!!  Nobody name drops Cary Grant anymore, yeah he’s on my list of if I could ever meet….

Just a morning of random babblings, I’ll leave the heavy lifting to the other bloggers I follow as they do write some pretty heavy stuffs.  For now it’s coffee and my comics… and maybe I’ll read this bit about Trump though honestly I’m bored with it.

Maybe I’ll start a kickstarter campaign to fix trumps hair….

~J

A Few of My Favorite Things

Yesterday while talking to my neighbor I noticed a real nice surprise in front of my patio, the local newspaper!  My grandfather decided to re-direct his newspaper subscription to my address the day before yesterday and I couldn’t be happier.  I have a strong affinity for the newspaper, and while I’ve gone out of my way to avoid constantly looking at news lately (to avoid more anxiety and depression).

My grandfather used to be a typesetter as a young man in his home island of Maui and as such established great skill at reading upside down.  He used to read the paper upside down and I have fond memories of sitting at the other side of the table in the morning when I stayed the night reading the paper with him (right side up for me).  I absolutely love the paper and every once in a while I’ll hit Barnes and Noble and pick up a paper from another city just for the hell of it (I’d love to get my hands on some European papers someday).  I will often read the paper in spurts throughout the day or not crack it until the evening to wind down, I’m happy to be able to do this once again!

*bang* tasty hash browns!

As I type this I am munching on my wonderful breakfast of homemade hash brown potatoes with 2 eggs scrambled in and a good crumbling of the most amazing cheese!  Trader Joes “Unexpected Cheddar Cheese” it’s an aged cheddar and parmesan blend and absolutely unexpected as the label says for sure.  It doesn’t slice easily and instead crumbles but wow!  On the subject of homemade hash brown potatoes I absolutely LOVE the Cuisinart that my Auntie (who I also absolutely LOVE) gave me.  I simply quarter a potato length wise and pulse it through with the grater attachmchent and toss it in my frying pan and *bang* tasty hash browns!

Popcorn, recently with my goal of quitting smoking I have found comfort in microwave popcorn and have been consuming a bag to a bag and a half daily.  I’ve tried toothpicks but end up chomping down on them too much and I don’t think splinters are too good for ones intestinal tract.  I do the simple butter style and sometimes toss a little bit of black pepper on the kernels for kick.

And so this morning now that I have had my breakfast I will peek outside and see if todays paper has arrived yet!

~J