Tag Archives: cooking

Some Movies, Some Drinks, Some Videos

Well, that past week of time just went by and there were no interludes at all by me on this here website.  I pledge to do better, as I really do enjoy posting.  But last week was a little busy and rough, and I hope that there is good news ahead.  If not, I continue trudging forward and looking to make sure that good news does end up coming my way.

So maybe I’ll go in reverse chronological order and post the videos I just made this evening while Larry was making dinner.  I had realized that while I take lots and lots of pictures, there’s rarely much in the way of video of us together.  Or even by ourselves.  Not that I need to be in video (my Jeopardy! appearance attests to that), but hey, it’d be nice for posterity.  So here are some videos:

Apparently my voice is very high still.  One day puberty will come.  This next video is an instructional one as Larry demonstrates how to effectively drop hard pasta into boiling water while also being a very scenic display.

The Grammys were fun this year, and I loved that Adele, Beyonce, and Bruno Mars performed a lot.  I think Beyonce was robbed in either Record or Album of the Year – Adele could have taken one and Beyonce the other, but what can you do.  I liked that Adele recognized that too.  Beyonce’s video for “Hold Up” is still ridiculously awesome, as is the rest of Lemonade.

Last night was a lot of fun.  Larry & I were invited by our friend Amy, who we had met on our 2011 Mediterranean cruise, to meet her in LA with some friends to celebrate her birthday.   We Uber’d there and had a fun time catching up and talking with her friends, who quickly became our friends too, as they were huge fans of the movie Spy too, so yeah, good people.

We also went and saw 2 movies this weekend – on Saturday we saw John Wick: Chapter 2 and today we saw The LEGO Batman Movie.  Happily, both were great!

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Well, if you enjoyed the first John Wick, then by all means, go see this movie as it effectively picks up shortly after that first one ended.  The mayhem awoken by the events in the first movie don’t let up and Keanu Reeves’ John Wick only has more and more hell unleashed upon his world which he handles in gorgeous, stunning scenes.  Plot points that could take up a whole movie on their own get resolved in short, violent order and lead to the next epic takedown.  Happily, no dog gets killed in this one – but that poor little puppy in the first one really is the catalyst that changes John Wick’s life forever nonetheless.  If you haven’t seen the first movie, go and do so.  It’s insanely good.  But alas, if you don’t have the time, just know that John Wick is a retired assassin who gets dragged back into this underworld and effectively declares all-out war on it.  There are allies all around, and one of the best parts is the Continental Hotel and its status as a safe haven, but for how long and for whom is a question this movie wrestles with…  Honestly, this movie just kicks so much ass and needs to be seen to be believed.

Then today, we saw a much lighter movie!

The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

If you saw The LEGO Movie from a few years ago, then you’ll appreciate where this year’s LEGO movie is coming from in terms of humor and creativity.  Will Arnett again voices our caped crusader Batman in this movie, which deals with Batman’s predicament in being unable to form lasting bonds with anyone due to the scars from losing his family.  Enter the endlessly charming Dick Grayson (Robin), the new Commissioner Gordon (Barbara Gordon), and his trustworthy butler, Alfred.  Don’t discount the importance of having a life-long nemesis in the Joker either!  Oh yeah, EVERY single DC character shows up in this, along with a very great number of surprise villains.  The movie is very cute, very funny, and has a lot of references that’ll make you chuckle if you catch on to them.   It’s a movie worth seeing, that’s for sure – although be warned it’s over 100 minutes, so don’t be like me and drink a medium soda and think you can hold it since the end must be coming soon.  The end is not coming right then – the movie has a surprisingly long Act 3.

Movies Seen in 2017:

Fantastic / Rave-worthy:

Very Good:

  • The LEGO Batman Movie

Okay / Wait to See at Home:

Settled In, It Seems

We’ve finally made it – all the big boxes are unpacked and disposed of.  It’s a thrilling sensation to be done and to be kind of almost all moved in at our new and smaller apartment.  All the work of getting shelving installed has been so satisfying too, as items are finding their real home and our home becomes livable too for us, as that is actually a thing we’ve been making ourselves deal with.  It’s interesting how much you choose to deal with when it’s something you can’t ignore, like boxes all stacked in your dining room area or piles of clothes and linens in your bedroom or an office overrun with crap…you make it all work regardless and get used to it.  But when you get things organized and reclaim that space, it is like, woah, that’s nice.

Yesterday was a productive day too, but I think I felt a little emotional about it as well.  There was the realization I had that Phase 1 of Moving is done and now it’s time to get settled in and make the place ours, and then start actually enjoying the apartment and amenities.  But then it was also realizing that we’re not done yet – just that the boxes are gone.  I actually just got my TV mount for the wall today, we have more shelving coming in for the wine glasses and bar area, and then there will be picture hangings and such.  It’s fun and great to have all this happen, but soooo exhausting.

In random tangents, both Larry & I are so glad to have some of our favorite Spring TV back:  Mad Men and Game of Thrones.  Mad Men‘s final season is airing and it’s been good but also sad because this is the LAST SEASON.  NOOOOO……!!!  It’s not clear where it’s headed, but one thing that does seem kind of apparent is that Don Draper is and will continue to be the same broken and flawed man he was from Season 1.  Game of Thrones is exciting this year as we’re finally at that expected divide when the TV show caught up to the books…and now the show is able to write its own interpretation of what happens next.  George R. R. Martin has given the showrunners an outline of what he has intended the overall story to encompass for the ending, but the details are likely changing regardless.  There are promises that characters will die even book readers will find surprising.   So, those shows are ongoing while Larry & I also are enjoying the third season of House of Cards on Netflix, although that has been slow-going for a few reasons, including my initial PwC travels and then moving.  But we didn’t let all that stop us from binge-watching Netflix’s other new series, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which is fucking awesome and funny as hell.

Alright, this was just a word-vomit post for today, but I need to keep trying to get back in the swing of posting and so here we are.  I have some more pics to share too, including a bigger batch from yesterday when Mom and Helen came over to visit.

April 9, 2015 – PwC All Hands in Santa Monica!

Last week there was an All Hands meeting for the group here in SoCal and it was held out on the Westside, kinda near my old stomping grounds.  The traffic was ridiculous, as expected, but not nearly as bad as it could have been.  Even though it felt like a longer ride, it was only an hour or so back to my home in Glendale…although that was with me leaving at 7pm.  I had looked earlier at 5pm and the trip was easily 1.5 hours.  Eff that.  I did enjoy being back on the beach though, but that’s just not enough for me to say I miss the Santa Monica area, as I don’t.

09-Apr-2015 17:34, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
09-Apr-2015 18:13, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, ISO 32
09-Apr-2015 18:13, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
 
09-Apr-2015 18:13, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
09-Apr-2015 18:14, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, ISO 32
 

April 11, 2015 – Final Stretch….

I have to say this is kind of misleading titling, as while it was a final stretch of boxes and installations, like I rambled about above, there’s still a lot of work.  But at least we’ve gotten so much crap off the floors!

More boxes on their way out
More boxes on their way out11-Apr-2015 12:40, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
Not just a pic of a bathroom, but a bathroom without boxes!
Not just a pic of a bathroom, but a bathroom without boxes!11-Apr-2015 12:40, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.042 sec, ISO 250
Goodwill stuff
Goodwill stuff11-Apr-2015 12:40, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 200
 
11-Apr-2015 19:57, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 320
11-Apr-2015 20:18, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 400
 

April 12, 2015 – Mom and Helen, Some Grilling, and More Home Improvement!

Helen came up to visit mom so they came over to see how we were doing in the getting settled effort.  Mom wasn’t impressed but I reminded her, gently, that it actually was MUCH better than when she saw it and it was a goddamn warzone.  We took them on a tour of the amenities as we hadn’t shown my mom that her last time here as there was work to be done then!  These pics are from the roof deck of the building we live in, not of our own private area.  Our grilling adventures for dinner later that evening were a bit educational – the grills provided around the complex are very nice, but they’re huge.  So we’ve realized that a large grill takes much more to heat up.  The El Pollo Loco chicken recipe requires indirect heat, so to do that in a big grill, you need to use more burners.  Lesson learned, hopefully.

12-Apr-2015 10:52, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 125
12-Apr-2015 10:52, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 100
12-Apr-2015 10:53, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.059 sec, ISO 250
 
12-Apr-2015 11:08, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 160
12-Apr-2015 11:08, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 200
12-Apr-2015 11:16, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 160
 
12-Apr-2015 12:31, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
12-Apr-2015 12:31, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, ISO 32
12-Apr-2015 12:31, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
 
12-Apr-2015 12:31, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, ISO 32
12-Apr-2015 12:31, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, ISO 32
12-Apr-2015 12:32, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, ISO 32
 
12-Apr-2015 12:32, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, ISO 32
12-Apr-2015 12:32, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
12-Apr-2015 12:32, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
 

Sunday Dinner with Gwyneth’s Goop

Last week on Gawker.com there was a quite hilarious article about making one of Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipes that could be found on her site, Goop.com.  Well, it was funny but also quite serious, in the fact that the meal was decadently delicious.  There’s sarcasm galore to be found, but at the core of the article, it’s complete bowing-down to the great recipe.  So Larry was up for the challenge of making it, and goddamn….it was one of the best meals we’ve had in a while!  SO FREAKING GOOD.  I highly recommend it to anyone up for delicious chicken…..

05-Oct-2014 16:55, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.042 sec, ISO 250
05-Oct-2014 17:02, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 200
05-Oct-2014 17:02, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 320
 
05-Oct-2014 17:07, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 160
05-Oct-2014 17:13, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.042 sec, ISO 250
05-Oct-2014 17:14, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 250
 
05-Oct-2014 17:14, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 250
05-Oct-2014 17:20, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 320
05-Oct-2014 17:22, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.042 sec, ISO 250
 
05-Oct-2014 17:22, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.059 sec, ISO 250
05-Oct-2014 18:15, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.042 sec, ISO 250
05-Oct-2014 18:15, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.042 sec, ISO 250
 
05-Oct-2014 18:48, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 2.65mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 320
05-Oct-2014 18:49, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 250
 

We made our own El Pollo Loco

We found a recipe for El Pollo Loco-style chicken and yesterday, we actually made it.  And it was good!  Really good!  The chicken marinated for about 3 days although it didn’t need to as you can marinate for just 24 hours, but after those 3 days, we put the chicken on the grill.  The trick for us was to use the “indirect heat” method of cooking chicken on a grill.  This method basically has you turn on the heat on one half of the grill, but put the chicken you’re cooking on the non-heated side.  It worked like a champ – we had the chicken cook for 4 rotations of 12 minutes each, and DAMN, so good.  Can’t say this will keep us from going to El Pollo Loco in the future though – while it was a successful attempt, it’s a lot of time and work to make it.  But very nice to know it’s do-able!

The source material, having been marinated in the El Pollo Loco recipe marinade
The source material, having been marinated in the El Pollo Loco recipe marinade23-Jun-2014 18:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 1250
23-Jun-2014 18:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800
Ready for cooking
Ready for cooking23-Jun-2014 18:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.803mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800
 
Necessary fuel for cooking
Necessary fuel for cooking23-Jun-2014 18:22, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 160
23-Jun-2014 18:22, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 32.849mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
23-Jun-2014 18:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 32.849mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1000
 
23-Jun-2014 18:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 32.849mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
23-Jun-2014 18:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 32.849mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
23-Jun-2014 18:31, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.109mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 400
 
Cooking the chicken with indirect flame method
Cooking the chicken with indirect flame method23-Jun-2014 18:31, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 4.844mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 125
23-Jun-2014 18:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 4.844mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 100
23-Jun-2014 18:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 320
 
23-Jun-2014 18:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 160
23-Jun-2014 18:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 11.63mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 250
23-Jun-2014 18:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 11.63mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 500
 

Larry Conquers Olive Garden (MM)

How, you ask, did Larry conquer Olive Garden?  Because Larry made freakin’ Zuppa Toscana soup, almost exactly like Olive Garden makes it.  I found a recipe online after googling “Olive Garden Toscana recipe”, there it was!  He got the ingredients, and after using his culinary expertise, he rocked the hell out of the soup.  Next thing to conquer – how to make those addictive breadsticks!  “Olive Garden” was Sunday’s dinner; you know what he was able to make on Saturday?  My favorite meal from Chili’s, the Cajun Chicken Pasta!  On the same website, I also found the recipe for that meal too, and amazingly, he made a very good representation of that dish too.  Can I say I am one lucky guy?  Because I am.

Anyway, if you want to endeavor and recreate some classic Chili’s or Olive Garden dishes, here’s the site I got the recipes from.  Not sure how long this site will stick around, so get the recipes fast:

http://secretrecipeworld.com/

The weather here in NYC has been stupid.  It was 56 degrees here today.  What figures is that the 30 Rock maintenance folks can’t turn the heat off, so the heat was on full-crank too, so it was a fuckin’ sauna at work today.  A few times today I thought I must be catching a fever as I got so hot while sitting at my desk.  That can’t be good for you.  What I’ve heard is that by the end of the week, we’ll be back to 20-degree weather and snow.  Yay!

My Colorado Springs friends are going to be having SnoFest this weekend.  :-(  I wanna go.

Other Colorado Springs news:  my previous tenant has been evicted, and after some cleanup, it looks like I once again have a tenant in the house.  Thank God.  It’s not exactly cheap to pay two mortgages all by myself.

Did I tell you that I’m going to be starting guitar lessons next week?  I decided to try something new.  I had already started violin while back in the Azores, and while I think I could have eventually been decent on it, I just don’t have the motivation and discipline for it anymore.  Violin is hard!  I’m sure guitar isn’t super easy either though, but I think it’ll be fun to play an instrument that lends itself to group singalongs.  Because you know I LOVE group singalongs!  🙂

The NYC Half Marathon training plan is going forward still, and I seem to have persevered through the initial leg/calf soreness that usually dissuades me from continuing.  I couldn’t run the 7 miles I was supposed to today, but it is EXTREMELY difficult to run for over 60 minutes in one spot.  I got so bored.  After 5 miles, I was like, Peace out, I’m done.