Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 03: Issue 38

( #SundayLeftovers )

Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! This has been a rough week! Lots of work-related presentations and I have been squeezing in a few routine medical appointments that I have neglected for too long. I have been completely slacking on reading, instead opting to watch the last 10 episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (Hulu you are a devil) late at night. Lets open the fridge and see what is leftover...

[The Back Window]

CREDIT: The Pogues - The Sunny Side of the Street

[Recipe of the Week: Spanish Chicken Salad]
Credit: Simply Recipes


4 skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total)
4 bay leaves
1 quart chicken stock
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup unsalted, toasted almonds, finely chopped
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 8-ounce jar roasted red peppers (or one or two large red peppers, roasted, blackened skin removed, stems and seeds removed)
3 apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Put the bay leaves and the chicken stock in a pot with a lid and bring the stock to a simmer.
2. Add the chicken breasts to the pot. Return the stock to a simmer. Cover the pot. Turn off the heat. Let the chicken steep in the stock for 30 minutes to an hour.
3. While the chicken is cooking, chop the other ingredients—garlic, almonds, onion, parsley, roasted red bell peppers—and add to a large bowl. Sprinkle a little salt over the mixture and add the oil and vinegar. Toss to combine.
4. When the chicken breasts are cooked, remove them from the stock (which you can reuse if you bring it to a boil again) and let them cool. When they are cool enough to handle, shred the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces by hand. Mix the chicken pieces in with the rest of the ingredients and served chilled or at room temperature.

[DIY of the Week: Flower Pot Fridge]

[Video of the Week]


Thanks for reading. I am going to try to knock out a few articles for the week, but I don't really have anything I want to sink my teeth into (and I need to come up with a drinking related article for DME)... feel free to make suggestions! If you need to reach me, you can do so here. As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Twitter | Facebook

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rant: e-Stalking

( #rant, #socialmedia )

Social Media. Sign up and start sputtering your thoughts on a unsuspecting yet overly susceptible public. While the world is connecting and sharing, I am thinking of going the other way. Disconnect. It is not the technology; I am tired of the people that use it, how they use it, and the walls that I am forced to put up because of how people are “using” this information.

I don’t manage friendships via Facebook. I don’t think you should either. I will think poorly of you if you think a Facebook or twitter message is meaningful communication. I will probably stop talking to you. I have done this before and I will do it again, this I am sure. I feel a sense of freedom in my disconnections, virtual and real.

This is not a dysfunction or a problem for me. If you are offended by this, you have the issue.

Early on, when social media was a new concept, I will admit to being drawn in by the allure of talking to old childhood and former high school friends. But I quickly realized that I have nothing to say to them beyond my happiness that they are doing well. No need to feel sentimental; say goodbye with a smile and move on with your life.
Edit: There are a few high school buddies that I chat with, so I guess I am not completely cutting myself off from my past. But I think it is interesting that 2 out of 200+ connections realized the “potential” of social networking.

Keeping tabs on me via my activity and interactions with others, silently seething because I am not posting on your wall or commenting on your pictures is not a healthy situation for you. I am fine. If you feel the need to capture my attention, pick up the phone, swing by for a cup of tea or a beer. Let me level set, if all of these feelings are coming up because of lack of use, abuse, or my being obtuse on social media, I have no incentive or desire to resolve the “problem”. I don’t sit around wondering if somebody purposely did something to piss me off on Facebook and when I do, it is time to check myself into a mental institution.

If you have expectations between us... don’t. If I can’t meet your lofty ideals (that we have never discussed), you should stop talking to me. I would certainly do the same, and I probably will.

If getting together with you is a pain in the ass, I will stop trying. If I feel uncomfortable after I have spent time with you, I will stop doing it. If you expect me to act the same as I was in college, I have no time for you. If you think I am a terrible person because of my political or religious views, why are you trying to get together with me? I don’t want to have a philosophical debate with you; I am not going to change your mind and you certainly won’t change mine. Shake hands and walk away.

I am 32 years old, I am not interested in feeling unsteady and unsure of my connections to people. I stand on bedrock, you are welcome to stand with me. If you want to fuck around, go play in quicksand.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 03: Issue 37

( #SundayLeftovers )

Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! Its been a long week so no pretense today, lets just open the fridge and see what is leftover...

[The Back Window]

CREDIT: The Jayhawks - Falling Star

[Recipe of the Week: Joey's Paella]


2 lbs chicken (strips is a good way to go)
1 lb chorizo
6 oz pancetta diced
1 large Spanish onion diced
4 cloves of garlic minced
.01 oz saffron (basically a dash)
28 oz chicken stock
1/2 cup rice (paella rice, jasmine rice, whatever you like, just know how it cooks).
1 bushel of parsley
1 lemon

1. Get a small pot and warm up the chicken stock.
2. On a plate, sprinkle salt and pepper on the raw chicken. Get a large deep pan or pot (or paella pan), add a splash of olive oil and heat on medium low heat. Add the chicken.
3. Chop up the chorizo into coins and toss it in with the chicken.
4. After a few minutes, add the pancetta and let the fat cook down (4 minutes)
5. Add the onion and garlic
6. In a bowl, add the dry saffron and add a cup of the chicken stock. Let the saffron flavor the stock for a few minutes and then with the meat.
7. Add the rice. Get the parsley and chop the stems finely and add to the pan. Chop the leafy section in larger more generous chunks and add after a few minutes of cooking.
8. This is important, you need to watch the paella and mix it every few minutes to make sure it does not burn. Keep adding chicken stock (slowly) until the dish has the consistency of risotto.
9. When the dish is done, put in a nice large bowl, garnish with a quartered lemon (make sure to squeeze some of the lemon juice on the paella).

[DIY of the Week: Rowing Machine]

This one looks kind of tough, but the people over at instructables have directions on how to make you own rowing machine.

Check it out here: Instructables: DIY Rowing Machine

[Video of the Week]


I am out! If you need to reach me, you can do so here. As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Twitter | Facebook

Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Review: Robopocalypse

( #Robopocalypse, @danielwilsonpdx)

I recently finished reading the book Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson and here are my thoughts about it.

If you can’t figure it out by the title, Robopocalypse is a fictional story about machines and robots gaining a collective sentience and turning against humans. Slightly less horrific than the opening scenes in the Terminator movies, Wilson still manages to paint a gruesome picture. Society becomes dependant on robot assistance and is woefully unprepared for the slaughter even with several warning signs.

Wilson borrows the format from another apocalyptic novel: World War Z by Max Brooks. If you are going to rip off a horror book, might as well rip off one of the best. Like WWZ, the narrative in Robopocalypse is relayed by a “main character” but told in sections through a series of other characters. The main character is a soldier rather than a writer that comes across a device that collected the stories/horrors from whatever camera/robot that happened to be within the area of said tale.

The book is really entertaining, but due to the strong similarity to World War Z, it is hard not to compare the two books. In comparison, Robopocalypse is not as well thought out. One of the more appealing aspects of WWZ was how humanity rebuilds as a result of the disaster. Wilson gives tiny hints of society post Robopocalypse but nothing satisfying. While the “villain” in the book is defeated, you don’t learn about how the main characters reconnect and move on with their lives, which is a let down. As an example, Wilson introduces humans modified by the robots that managed to get free. They are horribly maimed and implanted with electronics. I really wanted to know more about these character’s outcomes (and felt they should have been more prevalent during the final showdown). That being said, Wilson left enough meat on the table for a sequel, so all sins might/could/probably will be forgiven.

Complaints aside, Robopocalypse was a well written, fun summer read and I recommend it (if you are the type of person that reads my blog, you are going to enjoy this book). On a side note, I read that Dan Wilson is an actual robotics engineer, which gives all of the techno-speak a waft of authenticity.

A fan created a clever trailer for the book, check it out:

Next on my reading list is “Too Big to Fail” about the origin of the economic meltdown of the last few years.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 03: Issue 36

( #SundayLeftovers )

Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! If you have been reading the blog this week you probably notices a few book reviews, chalk that up to excess energy leading to late night reading. I have a few more schedule for this upcoming week if you are interested. For this edition of Sunday Leftovers, we check out space and enjoy the Big Star, get a twist on a Twist, and much more. Lets open the fridge and see what is leftover...

[The Back Window]


CREDIT: Big Star - Watch the Sunrise

[Recipe of the Week: Thai Salad]
Credit: Jaime Oliver

I saw this recipe on a Jaime Oliver cooking show, I tweaked it a bit to fit my own tastes. One the show he suggested ground lamb instead of beef and I might give that a try as well. (Serves 4)

10 1/2 oz cellophane noodles or beanthread noodles
7oz ground beef
2 teaspoons five-spice powder
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
2 heaping teaspoons of grated fresh ginger
3 teaspoons sugar
1 bunch of scallions, finely sliced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 fresh red chillies, seeded and finely sliced
1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 handful of fresh mint, chopped
2 handfuls of roasted peanuts (I suggest chopping them up a bit)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Soak the noodles in a bowl of warm water until soft, then drain and put back in the bowl.
2. In a hot wok fry the beef and five-spice powder in the olive oil until brown and crisp, then add the garlic, ginger, peanuts and sugar and stir-fry for another 4 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and stir the wok mixture into the noodles. Add the scallions, lime juice, fish sauce, chillies, and mint to the bowl.
4. Toss well and correct the seasoning. Sprinkle with some extra herb leaves if you like and serve cold.

[DIY of the Week: $10 Kettle-bell]

Tim Ferris over at shows how to put together a really easy Kettlebell weight lift system from pipes. I like this suggestion because you can change up the weight without having to buy new equipment. Check it out: $10 Kettlebell

[Video of the Week]


Thanks for reading this week. As mentioned above, I have a few book reviews coming up so please check back. I also feel pretty massive rant brewing. If you need to reach me, you can do so here. As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Twitter | Facebook

Friday, July 15, 2011

So Funky! Strawberry Letters #23

( #Funky, #Friday )

BoingBoing posted this, but it is so good I had to push this out to my readers. The afros, the wood grain guitars that are not plugged in, the clothes!!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Book Review: Ender’s Saga

( #EndersGame, #OrsonScottCard )

I know I have been doing quite a few book reviews lately, but that is how I have been spending my time... I think reading is better than watching TV. This post reviews four books by Orson Scott Card known as “Ender’s Saga”.

Ender’s Game

The first book in the series is easily the best and most well thought out of the four. Ender's Game is about a boy named Andrew “Ender” Wiggins who is taken from his family by the military because of his intelligence and personality. Earth is at war with an insect-like alien race (the Buggers) that humans have no chance at beating. Because of Ender’s empathy he learns enough about his enemy to ultimately defeat them. The military’s use and abuse of Ender is the heart of the story, because the military sacrifices the child's life/mental health to save the human race. The book ends with Andrew struggling with actions as a boy solider which causes him to leave Earth behind setting up the next book.

Speaker for the Dead

Speaker for the Dead is about Ender’s penance for killing an entire race of sentient creatures. He has an opportunity to restore a portion of the Buggers (one hive), but ends up getting involved with a remote Earth colony (based on Brazilian culture) that also has an alien problem. This is where Card’s story starts to go off the tracks. He introduces another sentient alien race known as the “Piggies”. They are curious creatures that are friendly, but also have killed two colonists. The public is outraged. Ender goes to the planet to learn about the men who have died and gets involved with their families and the Piggies.

Card’s introduction of the Brazilian planet Lusitania is awkward and unnecessary. To assume that humans start to colonize other planets (after Card establishes that the human race unite under one government) yet keep ridiculous cultural and religious practices in place does not blend well with what he set up in the previous book. Since he is not Brazilian, the introduction of their culture comes off as insincere and lame. The new characters are annoying and uninteresting; especially the Novinha character and her family.

Ender becomes more entrenched in the Piggies’ struggles due to a virus that kills the humans but is vital for the alien’s reproductive cycle. The concept of the virus is an interesting paradox that saves this story. The book ends with Ender restoring the Buggers on the planet and negotiating an uneasy truce between the Piggies and the human settlers. But in the process, the Earth government learns how deadly the reproductive virus is and wants to destroy the planet.


In the third book, all of the characters are struggling to avoid getting Lusitania blown up which will effectively wipe out the Bugger (again) and Piggie species. To further complicate matters Ender has a “companion computer” (for lack of a better term) that nobody knows about and is completely sentient. The computer calls herself Jane and is essentially a plot MacGuffin; she can do anything, so any time Card wants something impossible to happen, Jane can just do it.

Card must have read a book about China because he introduces a planet based on Chinese culture that are full of neurotic genetically enhanced people with built-in OCD to keep them under control. Card spends a good portion of the previous book and this book establishing Jane as essentially a god...then a little Chinese girl with OCD figures out a way to kill her in three seconds which makes the term “xenocide” applies to Jane as well since she is the only member of her species.

Ender takes a back seat to plot devices and other characters. He is the cause for things to happen, but other characters drive the plot. Since the characters from the previous book are not only uninteresting but annoying, reading about them is not a gratifying experience. The story ends with the secondary characters figuring out how to go outside of reality and make whatever they want happen. To be clear: Card establishes a plot device where you can just make up whatever the hell you want to solve your problems. They make a cure for the virus so it won’t kill humans but the Piggies can still reproduce. Ender comes out of the “make up whatever you want” world with younger copies of his long dead brother (Peter) and his sister (Val), each representing aspects of his personality that feed the plot for last book.

Children of the Mind

The situation with the planet blowing up still hasn’t been resolved and Ender has two aspects of his personality running around. It is immediately clear that Card plans on putting Jane’s “essence” in Ender’s fake sister’s body. The book drags until the last few chapters to make that obvious plot point happen.

Card essentially admits that he finds Ender boring. He actually says it in the book. Ender becomes so bored with himself and his life that he puts his energy into his sibling alter-egos, which is killing him. He sends his fake brother Peter on a mission to stop the fleet from blowing up the planet, that whole plot thread gets derailed due to Card putting his travel obsessions in the series. The characters go to a Japanese planet and then a Samoan planet. Nothing happens. They don’t stop the fleet with any of this running around and end up using another MacGuffin to stop the doomsday device.

Ender eventually takes control of Peter’s body and leaves his old one behind. In the process he looses his memories (but not his intuition). Card implies this frees Ender from the guilty of committing the original genocide, but that was the entire point of the second book, Ender becoming the speaker of the dead (basically a douche-free priest based on no religion) and reestablishing the Bugger hive. The characters and plot are sort of positioned back to the start of the 2nd book. You are lead to believe that the newly young characters will explore the cosmos.

I learned that the Ender series branches out to many other secondary characters getting their own books. I don’t have any desire to read them. I do not begrudge Card for making a living off of these characters, but I feel like he missed an opportunity for greatness because the first book was so good and the last two were so bad. I highly recommend reading Ender’s Game and maybe Speaker of the Dead, but I would stop there.

UPDATE: I ended up reading the other books. You can read my review of the 2nd series by clicking this link.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Review: Keith Richards Life

( #KeithRichards )

I finished Keith Richard's autobiography a few days ago. Called "Life", Richards starts from his early childhood and makes his way through to modern day (last year). His childhood stories are a high point because he grew up in post WWII England. The sugar rations, old pillboxes, and devastated streets that were a part of "Keef's" early life set background of his gypsy lifestyle that his grandparents encouraged.

Once Richards meets the other Rolling Stones and starts to get into music, the book slows down for a while. In this section Richards establishes his blue collar credo. As he becomes more wealthy, famous, and drugged, "Keef" cannot maintain his blue collar view point no matter how hard he tries. This is where the book falls apart for me. Be a rock star or be a normal dude. He can't make up his mind. One chapter he talks about these old slum mansions with no electricity that he has his kid living in and then another he credits the "purest quality pharmaceuticals" to keeping him alive (versus normal street junk). He tries so hard to establish being just a normal working class musician by telling stories of his love of jamming with Jamaicans, you can almost forget it is happening at his fancy estate on the island.

I am being overly critical of the book. Richards weaves a perfectly entertaining narrative. His personal non-musical stories are actually much better than the Rolling Stones tales. I think the fundamental problem is that "Keef" doesn't want to come off as Mick Jagger. Richards' issues with Mick come from Jagger leaving behind his working man roots and becoming a control freak. If "Keef" demonstrated any enjoyment from fame and money, he would have to admit that some of Mick's behavior was in their best interest, which is not going to happen.

What else can I say? Keith Richards has done the finest drugs, the finest women, traveled the world, and knows some very crazy people. He has set fire to more buildings than a pyromaniac and has lived to tell the tale. How can I not recommend the book?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 03: Issue 35

( #SundayLeftovers )

Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! This week we leverage peaches, marvel at fear, and find ways to have fun at an airport. Lets open the fridge and see what is leftover.

[The Back Window]


CREDIT: The Doves - There Goes Fear Again

[Recipe of the Week: Grilled Pork Tenderloins with Peaches]
Credit: Simply Recipes

1 pork tenderloin
Olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tbsp herbes de Provence (Note: I have no idea what this is, so I would use Italian seasoning or you can get some on Amazon)
1-2 yellow peaches or nectarines, quartered or cut into thick slices

1. Coat the tenderloin with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt.
2. Roll the tenderloin in the herbes de Provence and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3. Prepare your grill for high direct heat on one side, and low heat on another side. A tenderloin is thick on one end and thin on the other. You will want to cook the thinner end on the cooler side of the grill while the thicker end is on the hot part o the grill.
4. Grill the tenderloin until until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the thickest part reads 140°F, about 5 minutes per side. Remove and let rest while you cook the peaches.
5. Paint the peaches with a little olive oil and grill on high direct heat for 1-2 minutes per side, just enough to get some good grill marks.
6. Slice the tenderloin into 1/4-inch pieces and drizzle any juices released from the cutting the meat over them. Serve hot with the peaches.

[DIY of the Week: Bluetooth Garage Door Opener]

I have lived in my house for a few years, but only recently found the garage door remote (left behind by the previous owners). I love the damn thing. I saw this DIY of installing a blue tooth receiver on the door opener so you can use your phone to open the door. Check it out.

Instructables: Bluetooth Garage Door Opener

Check out the inventor's intro video:

[Video of the Week]


Thanks for reading this week. I am going to make some dinner and read a little more (I am currently reading a personal fiance book and the third book in Orson Card's Ender's Saga at the same time). If you need to reach me, you can do so here. As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Twitter | Facebook

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Zombie Saturday: Dead Block Video Game

( #zombies, #xbox360 )

I think this is the last one of the day. Here is a trailer for a downloadable zombie video game on Xbox. Looks comical which is my preferred style of zombie game. If you look at the end, the little fat kid has the same guitar as me (not a super common design)... are the game makers trying to tell me something?

Dead Block on Xbox Live

Zombie Saturday: Walking Dead Season 2 Teaser

( #zombies, #walkingdead )

Check out this teaser for season 2 of The Walking Dead. I read that this was actually fan made which is pretty damn cool.

Zombie Saturday: Zombie 5K

( #zombies, #running)

Run for your Lives! is obstacle course 5K run hosted in Baltimore on October 22nd, 2011. From the website:
Runners will navigate a series of 12 obstacles throughout a 5K course in an attempt to reach the finish line — all while avoiding zombies. At the end of this adventure race, you get to celebrate survival (or zombie transformation) with live entertainment and music, local celebrities, vendors, food, and of course, beer!
This is a damn cool idea. Anybody want to train with me? I am actually thinking about doing this!!!

Zombie Saturday: Infinite Kung-Fu

( #Zombies, #KaganMcLeod )

Image Credit: Kagan McLeod/Top Shelf

Top Shelf comics published 250 pages of Kagan McCloud's Infinite Kung-Fu. Which is basically Karate vs. Zombies.

Check it out: Infinite Kung-Fu

Zombie Saturday: Juan of the Dead

( #Zombies, #Cuba )

Looks like there are a few new zombie movies coming out. This one is a Cuban film and an obvious riff on "Shaun of the Dead"

It looks pretty damn funny...

Friday, July 08, 2011

DME: The Maine Event

( @drinkingmadeasy, #Maine )

Drinking Made Easy posted another one of my articles. This is about local Maine beers. Check it out!

Drinking Made Easy: The Maine Event

Update: It seems that DME's upgrade has broken the links, so here is the full story...

A couple weeks ago I decided to head north to get away from it all. I rented a cabin in Trenton, Maine. The house was on the bay, so I kicked off my shoes, jumped into the hammock and shifted into neutral. Twenty minutes later I was bored and my legs were covered with mosquito bites. I needed a drink.

The Bar Harbor area of Maine is already scarcely populated and I arrived just before tourist season. Walking through the general stores (yes they had general stores), I didn’t see any beverages being promoted as local, so I started asking around. Everyone I asked pointed me to the Atlantic Brewing Company and told me their Bar Harbor Real Ale was excellent. I managed to get my hands on a bottle of their summer ale before visiting the brewery. It was dark, stouty, and pretty damn heavy for a summer beer (it reminded me Sam Adam's winter beer). With temperatures that dip into the 40s (in June) at night and “terminally glacial” water temperatures, I decided this was a summer beer for the people of Bar Harbor. By the end of my week I had decided that it was a damn fine beer to drink at night in front of a fire.

A few days after my first taste of local brews, we happened upon the Atlantic Brewing Company by accident. My friends and I did a long nasty hike in Acadia National Park and got back to the car absolutely starving. We rolled right through the downtown Bar Harbor area and passed most of our dining options. Further down the road with stomachs growling, someone caught a sign for a brewing company and we turned down the gravel road.

The Atlantic Brewing Company is a small operation (unless they have another brewing location) but it is set up well for visitors. They have a BBQ joint and a decent gift shop on the premises in additional to the brewery facility. The staff was extremely friendly and quickly shifted my attention to a frosty pint and a plate of BBQ pork. The Bar Harbor area of Maine is known for an abundance of wild blueberries. They put these blueberries in EVERYTHING, including the beer, so that was my first target. Since the wild blueberries are not overly sweet, they gave the beer a very mellow flavor making it an excellent summer beer (not fruity at all). I then sampled their ginger beer which was also very agreeable (I hate ginger) and not overpowering. I rounded out my session with their standard real ale and their honey ale. I can’t say that I had a bad sip and I was glad my buddy drove because I was feeling a little unsteady on my feet.

The next night I came across a few bottles of Bar Harbor Brewing Company’s True Blue beer. It had a similar flavor and texture to Atlantic Brewing Company’s blueberry beer, but the fruit flavor was a little more pronounced. I managed to get a taste of the Thunderhole Ale as well, which was a heavier brew and similar to the summer ale I had days before. People up north like their beers robust year round.

Since I have been talking about blueberries, I would be doing the readers a disservice if I didn’t tell you were to get a slice of the best blueberry pie I have ever had. There is a little spot in Southwest Harbor called the Quietside Cafe. The owner, Frances, is a sweetheart and knows her way around a kitchen. Order a pie, grab yourself a six-pack of blueberry beer, and have a good evening. Even better, go take a swim in the ocean and you can match the deep blue color of Maine’s favorite fruit.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 03: Issue 34

( #SundayLeftovers )

Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! It has been a relaxing holiday weekend, catching up with friends and family. Right now I am listening to some music and trying to keep that vibe rolling through this post. This week we learn how to make one of my favorite dishes and learn about the northern lights. Lets open the fridge and see what is leftover...

[The Back Window]

CREDIT: The Black Lips - Bad Kids

[Recipe of the Week: Lamb with Green Chili Masala]
Credit: No Recipes


2 pounds of lamb shoulder cut into 1.5″ cubes
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt (halve if using regular salt)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of oil

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon garlic, grated
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
3 onions sliced thin

6-10 jalapenos seeded and cut lengthwise into quarters
1/2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
cilantro for garnish


1. Combine the cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl and sprinkle all of it onto the lamb pieces, tossing around to coat evenly.
2. Heat heavy pot with a lid over medium high heat until it is very hot. Add the oil and brown the meat meat on both sides. Work in small batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. You want to get a nice dark brown crust on the outside of the meat as this contributes to the flavor of the sauce. Transfer the browned meat to a plate and set aside.
3. Add a little more oil if the pan needs it, then add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and fennel seeds to the pot, stirring for about 30 seconds to lightly toast them.
4. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for another minute or so while stirring continuously to prevent burning.
5. Add the onions, then turn down the heat to medium low and cover with a lid for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, and stir vigorously to loosen the bits of flavor from the bottom of the pan.
6. Let most of the accumulated liquid evaporate, then return the lamb to the pot along with any juices. Stir to combine, then cover with a lid and cook over medium low heat for 1 1/2 hours.
7. Add the jalapenos and tamarind concentrate. Since the capsaicin (the compound that makes chili peppers spicy) is in the light color membranes the seeds are attached to, leaving some of the membranes will make your masala more spicy. partially cover to allow steam to escape, then cook until the lamb is very tender and the sauce is very thick (about 1 to 1.5 more hours).

[DIY of the Week: Wine Cork Upcycling]

Daily Danny has some great ideas for re-using your old wine corks. Like making a bathroom slip mat. Check it out over at Daily Danny.

[Video of the Week]


Thanks for reading, I have to prepare some sandwiches for company (I do the opposite of BBQ when it is hot - who wants to stand in front of a BBQ when it is 100 degrees out?). Check back later this week to see if I successfully managed to put together enough words to make an article about the Bar Harbor, Maine drinking scene - it is a tough one! If any locals read this, please feel free to chime in - I could use the help. If you need to reach me, you can do so here. As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Twitter | Facebook