Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bus ride

Alex had asked if he could ride the bus some time ago. So Saturday we thought why not. We walked to the bus stop and rode the "West A" route to the Gold's Building. It was kind of fun actually. The very nice driver stopped across from the County City Building and let him sit in the drivers seat and open and close the door. The boy was thrilled of course. We walked around downtown for awhile, had a sandwich at Roost, then rode the bus back home. Next time we'll leave early enough to hit the farmer's market.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Barbeque and Rum, Thanks Trader Vic!

After drinking a lot of "Captain's Grog" the last couple weeks, I thought it was time for something new. I did a bit of reading Saturday and thought a Fog Cutter sounded pretty tasty if not mind numbing with all the booze in one!

Here's Trader Vic's version:
2oz light Puerto Rican rum
1/2oz gin
1oz brandy
1oz orange juice
2oz lemon juice
1/2oz orgeat syrup
1/2oz sherry float

I shook it all with cube ice, poured into a tall glass. It was recommened I overpour the orgeat a little since mine is homeade and not as sweet as the commercial stuff. I omitted the sherry since I simply didn't have any. Next time I will.

I drank two versions, one with Minute Maid orange juice and one with fresh squeezed. Fresh lemon juice in both. The commercial orange juice version was sweeter, almost too sweet. I backed off the orgeat a tad for the fresh o.j. version and it is the winner. Creamy, a little tart and you could really taste the spirits and juices working together.

The Rangpur gin was probably way over the top for these drinks. With it's added lime, ginger and bay leaves, but it was what I had on hand. It's a fine gin either way don't get me wrong.

I whipped up a batch of sweet and smokey barbequed chicken and the combination of the food and the drink was excellent. To quote Trader Vic, "Fog Cutter, hell. After two of these, you won’t even see the stuff ". I agree!

Chili Rubbed Salmon

Here's a good one that we really like around here. Chili rubbed salmon with papaya and scallion salsa. Minced garlic rubbed into the flesh of the fish. Then a rub of chili powder, chipotle chili powder, coriander, salt, black pepper and dried oregano. Drizzled with olive oil and grilled. The chili powder mix gives a nice crust on the fish which helps keep moisture in.

Slice up some papaya and green onions and toss them in a bowl, let it rest a little to let the flavors meld together. A side salad and a nice pilaf and we're eating good.

Nectar of the Gods

So you might have noticed I'm on a rum kick lately. I've really taken a shine to Hemingway's favorite spirit. Having suffered through some bad drinks made with horrendous product, I thought I'd read up on the subject and do some delicious taste testing at home.

Most of us know about or have heard of Bacardi Rum's. Did you know they were Cuban originally? I did not. Truthfully, if it wasn't superpremium tequila, I didn't care much about the sugar spirit. But after a sip of a 12 year old rum from Guyanna I was hooked.

Anyways, I read up on how the Bacardi family fled Cuba after Castro's little party in 1959 and how the distillery was nationalized. The rum from Cuba is now called Havana Club and is considered some of the best rum in the world. I did some looking around and managed to score a couple bottles. I'd have to agree, the rum from Cuba is superb. The blanco is a great mixer and the special has a wonderful aroma and flavor that reminds me of brandy.

Don't rat me out!

Mmm candy!

I've always liked Twin Bings and Cherry Mash. While at Walgreens the other day they had a huge bin by the register full of these limited edition Tropical Bings. "Pineapple Flavored" is not a lie. The filling is a sickly sweet mix of confectioners magic. I like the nutty chocolate outer shell of most Bings and this was identical to the regular Twin Bing. It was pretty good, I shared with the better half. I'll bet that eating the whole thing would have made my tummy feel icky.

I'd buy a couple again if I see them. They ain't no Chico Stick that's for sure!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day!

I hope all the Mothers had a great day today. We did lots of yard and garden work this weekend. Saturday night I made Mindy a tasty camarones en salsa de coco (shrimp in coconut sauce).

She requested pulled pork for Mothers Day dinner so I smoked a big shoulder all day today and it was fantastic. We had quite the spread and finished the meal off with some grilled pineapple slices and vanilla ice cream.

Very good weekend all the way around. Thank you's for my Mom and Mom-in-law, you two are great and thanks for putting up with me all these years!

Most of all thanks to you Mindy, you are the best. Couldn't do it without you.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday Night Sate or Satay?

I don't know which spelling is correct, either way it's good eating. Marinade of coconut milk, fish sauce, minced garlic, lime juice. Peanut sauce of coconut milk, fish sauce, minced garlic, ginger and scallion, brown sugar and a splash of lime juice. Russ's had nice whole pineapples on sale so we got two. Cut some of the pineapple into long swizzles for the missus who prefer's a Chi Chi to my Navy Grog.

I found a recipe for Trader Vic's Navy Grog which has Pimento liqueur in it. I ordered a bottle from Reggae Treats along with an overproof rum for future use. The Pimento which is acutally allspice berries is very unique. Never tasted anything like it before. Mindy suggested I try and find some kind of white creme liqueur and make a "pumpkin pie" drink. That might just work!

Trader Vic's Navy Grog was very tasty if a bit overpowered by the allspice (quarter of an ounce is all). But I'm still stuck on a Beachbum Berry's original "Captain Vadrna’s Grog". 2 1/2 ounces Captain Morgan spiced rum, 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice, 3/4 ounce demerara sugar syrup (equal parts demerara sugar and water), 1/2 ounce white grapefruit juice, and a dash of Angostura bitters. I don't like spiced rum so I substitute Appleton Estate V/X.

Have a great week everyone!

This and That Saturday...

Got caught up on some much needed "Honey-Do's" around the house Saturday. Finally had a great weather day to fiddle around the house and garage.
Changed the front brake pads and shocks on the better half's vehicle. It had 91,200 miles on the original parts, and the pads were toast. The shocks were probably okay but since I was in there, why not change them.

Two of our three bird houses in the back yard were falling apart. Mother's Day is coming and so I had "The Boy" help me do some repairing/rebuilding/renewing on them. We built one from scratch using an old one as a template. Put a new roof on the second one. New coats of paint make quite the difference. I was a bit amazed that Alex was afraid of an orbital sander when the snowblower doesn't scare him at all. Weird kid!

While I was tinkering with stuff I decided to smoke a ham we picked up at Russ's Market. It was one of those freebie deals from using their rewards card. The ham turned out wicked good. Gonna be lots of sandwiches, ham and bean soup and a cheesy tater and ham dish. Mmm!

While the ham was cooling we kept picking at it and about spoiled our beef taco dinner! They went well with the Navy grog's I was drinking. Rum, grapefruit juice, lime juice, demerara syrup, dash of bitters. I'm on the lookout for a Martinique rum the next trip to The Still.