Thursday, June 30, 2011

Get to Know Me!

My friends Shana ( Michelle ( and Waning Woman ( challenged me to let you know a little more about me... And now, I challenge you! Come with it!

10 Things That Drive You Wild About Me

1. I broke my leg when I was 5. How? By trying to climb to the roof of the house to see where Santa came in. (Yes, Virginia Waddell, your son was a dumbass.)

2. I secretly crave Hermann Sons' (Hondo) Chicken Fried Steak and El Chaparral (Helotes) Pancho Villa cheese enchiladas.

3. Tuck and roll. Bicycle saddles are less comfortable than Western horse saddles.

4. For several years, I referred to take my shirt off at the swimming pool. Now, I still don't like to, but more because I will blind you rather than grossing you out with my grossly obese stomach.

5. I wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up. But then I realized I had a conscience. So I became a salesman (I didn't say it was a GOOD conscience.)

6. I shot my sister in the ass with a BB gun when I was 14. Hey, it was a good shot!!! Hit her in the right cheek, exactly where I was aiming. Funny thing is my parents didn't see the humor. But I did see the belt.

7. I rock a purple hat. Just saying.

8. I love pickles. Hey, I am half Polish.

9. I like expensive hobbies. Cycling, Cameras, Guns. None are cheap.

10. I think I have a boot fetish. I own 10 pairs. I think I own more boots than my girlfriend owns shoes.

Now you know... and Knowledge is Power, my Brother... Knowledge is Power.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bad Girls and Puppy Breath

Sometimes spontaneity is a good thing. On Tuesday, Shana Watson and Kaitlin Nelson decided they needed to get out of Dallas for a little while. What better road trip than to visit the Token Foodie in Austin.

Shana had to take the pups to the groomers, but they were done about 1:30 and hit the road to Austin. After following the erroneous GPS instructions (yes, there is a large field at the end of my street) they pulled in about 5:30. Introductions around (had to introduce Jina and Rocky) and we head off to visit Shady Grove down near Zilker Park. A couple of margaritas, some chips and queso, and good dinners made the good conversation even better.

Of course, during the course of dinner, I revealed that "The Mother Ship" for foodies was around the corner. Yes, we had to go to Whole Foods. It was truly an eclectic checkout... cupcakes, mini cannolis, Hawaiian salt, wine, and a Maui Brewing Co Bikini Blonde.

You can't make your first trip to Austin and not visit the Capital. Of course, the Capital is closed at night, but we could at least visit the north steps. And this time, no Capital Police were to be found.

Travel back to the house, chat a little more, and then the evening has to come to an end because Kaitlin had to work on Wednesday morning. So we say goodnight, and the Bad Girls head back to Dallas (yes, Beth, they made it safely... my brains are safe.)

Wednesday is a big day in our house. It is the day that Jina and I prove that we are clinically insane. Not only do we have a 5 month old French Brittany, but on Wednesday, we brought home our 7 week old Lab... Thanks to Kristi Lankford for her efforts and attention to Mom and Pups for the last 4 months!!! May I present Roaring Star Lady Victory (aka Elvie!)

It is going to take some time for Rocky to adjust, but I think it will be a good thing... a calming influence. Wait, did I just call a 7 week old Lab a calming influence?

Of course, what would a Token Foodie blog be without FOOD? So, here ya go. Super simple dinner. Salad of carrots, radishes, and red turnips dressed with lime and EVOO... and tequila lime shrimp. Simple, taaty.

So, remember, when life challenges you... hang around Bad Girls... eat Good food... and relish in (not) Ugly puppies!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Night at Home with the Reesecups... and a present to myself.

After a week of constant activity, Jina and I got a chance to spend the night in. Of course, being the busy body I am, I couldn't stand for JUST cooking dinner.

So, placed a call (or series of calls) to our good friends Andrew and Jenny Reese and invited them for dinner. A great night of food, wine, and conversation was soon to follow.

Stopped at HEB and picked up a couple of things for dinner and headed home for some prep work. Chopping and dicing, and chiffonade, and saucing followed.

I decided to make a wild mushroom risotto and seared yellowfin tuna.

Got home, chopped the garlic, shallots, crimini and shitake mushrooms. Prepped the chicken stock and vegatable broth with a little fresh basil from the garden. Rubbed the tuna with salt, pepper, and EVOO.

Blender time. Juice of two fresh limes, some local honey, and a jalepeno from my garden (about the only one I could harvest) and a light sauce is ready.

About 15 minutes before Andy and Jenny arrive, start the risotto. Won't take long on the tuna or the wilted radicchio. The risotto, done properly, would take approximately forty minutes.

In the meantime, Andy and Jenny arrived, bearing a nice gift for Jina.

We chatted as the risotto finished, I seared off the tuna, and wilted down the radicchio. Le the tuna rest a few minutes, sliced and plated. Topped with the basil chiffonade and some chopped parsley and oregano (also from my herb garden.)

More great conversation over a few glasses of wine.

After dinner, we settle down for a little Maui picture slide show. Pretty nice to throw the pics up on the 42" TV thanks to the HDMI port on my laptop.

On to the present to myself. Got up Saturday morning, went for a run. No, that's not the present but felt good. A good workout. Came home, picked up Jina, took Rocky over to Central Texas Animal Hospital for his rattlesnake vaccine booster... then shopping time.

Academy, Sam's, Lowe's... checking out gas grills. Can you believe I don't have one here? This will be resolved this weekend. One more stop at Home Depot tomorrow, but have my eye on one at Lowe's.

Now for the fun. Got a little $50 gift card at Best Buy... It was suggested by my friend Dustin that if I was going to take photos of my food, I needed a better camera. Did a little research, decided on a Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera with Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm and 55-200mm VR lenses. Time to learn more about D-SLR... more to come.