Sunday, April 29, 2012

Recipe: Beef Jerky

(#beef, #beefjerky )

A few weeks ago I was in the office and needed a little break, so me and a co-worker went across the street to the drug store. He was working out later and wanted something high protein and didn't like the selection of powders. I just said "try some beef jerky."

He looked at me funny and asked "isn't that bad for you?"

I laughed and said "slim jims are bad, really greasy and high in fat, but normal beef jerky is low calorie, high protein, and low fat. But the drawback is that it is high in sodium".

Long story short, he looked at a packet and confirmed the information I gave him and we got some to take back to the office. When I got home that night, I looked for dehydrators on Amazon. I decided to make my own damn jerky with less salt. I ended up buying the Nesco FD-75PR 700-Watt Food Dehydrator.

I called up Mean Joe and he got me some extremely lean organic grass fed beef:

I marinated the meat for 12 hours with a simple recipe:


2 lbs of extremely lean beef cut into 3/4 inch long strips
6 crushed bulbs of garlic
3/4 cup of teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon of McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning 29 oz

Jerky Directions:
1. Allow the meat to marinate for 12 hours in the refrigerator. Place the meat on paper towels before you start to dehydrate to get off any excess liquids.
2. Follow the directions of your dehydrator - but mine is a round multi-leveled system. I placed the meat in the trays and re-stacked them once they were full...

3. Based on volume, allow the device to dehydrate the meat for 7-14 hours. I took mine out at 7 hours because the meat was starting to look crispy.
4. Place the completed jerky on paper towels again to soak off any grease.
5. Place in mason jars or plastic bags and refrigerate for maximum freshness.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Philadelphia: Chestnut St - 1904

( #Philly )

Image Credit: Shorpy

Check out the Root Beer stand at the bottom right corner... now I want a damn root beer float!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fatherhood: Month One

( #fatherhood #babylombardi )

Note: NSFW! This video has very harsh language, so don't blast it in the office.

My wife and I had a baby last month. This is our first. I set up a little blog for friends and family so I can flood their twitter and facebook feeds with pictures and videos, but I haven't really written about it. So here are my observations on fatherhood for the first 30 days.

Before we get to the baby, let me talk about the birth. Gentlemen, make sure you bring entertainment for you and your lady. You will be sitting in a room for several hours (a dozen for me) with nothing going on. When the pushing starts things certainly do get interesting, but until then, you just sit around not doing a damn thing to help (nobody tells you that). As a point of contrast, my father disappeared for the entire birth process for me and my sister, returning with a bag of sandwiches... for the doctor. I have to admit there was a certain genius in this move having been through the experience myself.

Once the baby is born, from their perspective, dear-old-dad is still useless. My wife is breast-feeding, so when my son looks at me with this "where the hell is my lunch" look, I just have to pass him back to his mother. Yes I change diapers and hold him as much as possible, but he likes to be close to his food source (and I don't blame him). So what is my advice to other fathers for a harmonious house? Step up on cleaning and cooking. If you can't cook, here are some easy recipes. If you can't clean...yes you can. Buy a damn mop and get to work clown.

All things considered, my wife and I are very lucky. Our son sleeps well. Before he was born, I had several dudes gleefully telling me to get used to being tired. While I expect a full scale disaster once he starts teething, right now he only gets up once during the night because my wife figured out a feeding schedule that knocks him out food coma style. So far, being on pager was WAY worse than having a newborn.

When he is awake and not irate about a soiled diaper, I play music for him. He likes it. If he is in a mood, he usually snaps right out of it to listen. I try to play as much variety as possible (stuff that I don't even like). Anything that sounds complicated. He hates being in a swing, but likes to be held up over my head. He also hates being naked... go figure.

A few months ago, one of my best friends asked "you aren't going to be one of those people who post pictures all day on facebook are you?" I responded with a strong "hell no". I have not kept that promise on my personal accounts, but I don't plan on making my kid the subject to daily blogging on this site. While he won't be a daily fixture, I will discuss fatherhood, the changes in my life, and the things I have learned because that is why I have this blog in the first place.

In conclusion... Fatherhood: So far, so good.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Philadelphia, 1908

( #philly, #1908 )

Pennsylvania R.R. ferry terminal, Market Street.

(Credit: Shorpy )

Monday, April 02, 2012

April Fools Day

( @drinkingmadeeasy, #aprilfools )

Yesterday my editor at Drinking Made Easy asked me to publish a fake news report about Drinking Made Easy co-host Steve McKenna. The joke was he quit the show and also drinking. I loved the whole idea (I am a big fan of Google's AFD jokes) and jumped at a chance to lend credibility to the joke.

Then a funny thing happened... DME Host Zane Lamprey re-tweeted my post and the link blew up. This site got 12,000+ hits in less than 6 hours.

So this is probably going to be the most popular post on this blog...ever... and I didn't even write it. I am totally not bitter about this fact, because there was a massive amount of run-off traffic to my other posts that I am really grateful for.

So what is the point of this post? If you found my blog yesterday, sorry for tricking you, but I hope you enjoyed the depths the DME Team went to pull it off. I also hope you continue to read this blog and follow my adventures on Drinking Made Easy.

Thanks again for re-affirming day.

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Sunday, April 01, 2012

DME: McKenna Quits Drinking and the Show

( @zanelamprey, #SteveMcKenna )

UPDATE: If you didn't figure it out, this post was an April Fool's Joke set up by the Drinking Made Easy Editors. For those that didn't realize this was a joke and posted heart-felt messages to Mr. McKenna... sorry?

I just caught wind of a coup. It's nothing that will make the headlines, except for the occasional drinking or beard-celebrating blogs. But Steve McKenna, co-host (stunt-drinker, mascot, drinking buddy) of "Drinking Made Easy" on HDNet, formerly of "Three Sheets" on Spike, will be hanging up his mug. Permanently.

Late Friday afternoon, I had a scheduled phone interview with McKenna, to discuss the upcoming one hour special of "Drinking Made Easy", where Zane, Steve and their monkey mascot , Pleepleus, will be debunking some alcohol myths, and according to McKenna "Getting a little more crazy that usual… And we usually get crazy."

But McKenna, not in the jovial mood that I expected, told me that the season that's being capped off by the one hour special (which airs at 8pm on April 11th on HDNet) will be his last. That seemed odd, since Lamprey recently announced that he'd signed up for a third season of the show which will begin shooting 13 new episodes in May.

McKenna told me that he was informing Zane Lamprey's production company, Inzane Entertainment, and Mark Cuban's television network, HDNet, that he will not be joining them for season three of "Drinking Made Easy" which will air on the networks new designation, AXS (pronounced 'access'), this fall. With the success of the show, we have every reason to believe that they show will go on without him. But, we have no doubt that it will affect the format of the show, and leave some repeat viewers disappointed. McKenna has become a fan favorite and a vital part of the weekly 6-Pack Challenge, where McKenna and Lamprey compete against each other in increasingly impressive activities.

So the question is "Why?". Why, when the network is about to double it's number of households, would Steve McKenna jump ship and be going Three Sheets to the wind no longer? "It's actually a lot of work," McKenna told me on a phone call from his home in Richmond, Virginia, earlier today. "We're traveling for more than half the year. I've sort of been the bar-matt for the show, drinking anything that Zane didn't. I had fun… Too much fun sometimes. It's just time for me to go down a different path."

Has he truly had a higher calling? McKenna explained it to me; "We stopped filming last December. Since then, I've had a chance to reevaluate my life, and my direction. I want to be healthy. Right now I'm training for the NYC marathon. I've been speaking with the admissions department of NYU to finish up my Masters. I'm getting my masters in Theatre. That was the path that I was on before I started joining Zane in his projects."

Is there something more? Is he tired of playing second fiddle to Lamprey? I asked him. "Well that's part of it for sure," McKenna told me. "I got my undergraduate degree in Shakespeare. When Zane and I met, I was the lead in most of the plays. Then, our senior year, he shows up out of no where. I'd never heard of him. And he took the lead in the main stage performances that the school did that year. I got a supporting role. I guess it's been like that ever since..."

McKenna told me that this is something that he's been planning for a while. He was more coherent and articulate than the character that he's been portraying for the last 50 episodes of "Drinking Made Easy". As much as I'd like to be impressed, I was a little disappointed. As a writer, I know how difficult it is to catch a break, a plight that I know we share with actors. So why would he squander such an opportunity that he could easily parlay into more substantial roles? As a fan, however, I am very disappointed. I have no doubt that Lamprey can carry the weight of the show on his own shoulders, as he did with "Three Sheets. But it won't be the same without Steve McKenna.

I called the Inzane Entertainment offices in Los Angeles Friday afternoon to get their take on McKenna's departure. Mel Schilling, the show's producer told us that she was unaware of Steve's recent decision. Lamprey was not available for comment.

Update: There is an active twitter thread happening right now. If you want to comment on this situation, use the twitter button below and use the hash tag #SteveMcKenna