A few words on the Oscars.

- Let no man ever say that Hugh Jackman is talentless. Singing. Dancing. Comedic timing. Beyond thinking he made a pretty good Wolverine, I've never really thought about the guy, but now I'm convinced.

- The coin that Phillippe Petit (from Man on Wire) made disappear was found this morning off the coast of Argentina.

- I came in second place in a winner-take-all Oscar pool, and fully blame the Academy for underappreciating the sound mixing and editing in Wall-E.

Most entertaining Oscars in a long time, in my humble opinion.


Adobo a-go-go.

I listen to this great podcast called "The Splendid Table" with Lynn Rosetto Kasper. It's a show about food and cooking and all that jazz, and it's great.

I know. I'm a party animal.

She's been really big on this recipe for this Filipino dish called Chicken Adobo. (Adobo from the Spanish word for 'marinate'... Chipotle peppers, for example, are canned in adobo sauce. Which is mexican, but from the same Spanish root.) I've been meaning to try it and finally did.

It kicks ass.

You take chicken thighs (I used chicken quarters, and seperated them first into thighs and drumsticks) and marinate them for about a day in vinegar and soy sauce with a ton on garlic and black pepper. (You can also put in a tomato. The recipe calls for a whole canned tomato, but I didn't have those on hand. Instead I peeled and cut up a fresh tomato and threw it in the marinade. It turned out really well.)

After it's all marinated and awesome, you cook it in the marinade for 25-30 min at a low bubble, then pull out the chicken and brown it in olive oil.

Cook, then brown. It's a killer thing.

You skim off a little schmaltz from the marinade, boil it down by half, and pour it over the chicken on a bed of rice.

Full recipe here: http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/20985

It's tangy and peppery and garlicy and really good. You use around 5 times as much vinegar as soy, because if you use too much soy it gets stupid-salty when you reduce it. It all seems like too much when you put it in to marinate, but I can vouch for the fact that it is not.

I ate half for dinner last night and the other half for lunch today.


My cat, Sunkist, has been chilling down South for several months now, as I've been running all over the place being a deadbeat pet owner. That's okay, though, because she's been hanging out with Jen and Jen's giant cat, Stanley.

Stanley must way twenty pounds, and that's not twenty pounds of fat. It's twenty pounds of feline muscle.

Plus a little fat.

Anyway, I miss her, and miss having another creature in the apartment that has a pulse.

Jen just sent this picture, and I like to imagine that it's a picture of SK flying, ninja-warrior style, through the air with a smokey, overcast sky in the background.

Kitty-San! Attack!


Bizarro World, courtesy of the economy.

So, economy in shambles. 20,000 jobs a day going down the crapper. People freaking out.

Still, one of the strangest parts of this whole economic situation is the elevation of Paul Krugman to household-name-status. He's a star. It's only a matter of time before there's a calendar of hearthrob economists floating around out there.


"Kandid Keynesians"

"The Invisible Hand-some"

Sure, we'll all throw up in our mouths a little when we see them, skinny and pasty wearing only suspenders and cut-off chinos, but we'll all be smarter for it in the long run.



So I'm trying not to eat so much red meat.

I know. It tastes amazing. I still love beef and REALLY love pork (more than anyone should love the meat of any animal that doesn't sweat), but both are pretty bad for you and pretty bad for the environment and generally better left as "sometimes food".

(Having said all that, I do have plans of one day building a structure on property I do not yet own specifically dedicated to curing my own ham. I'm especially interested in crafting my own proscuitto or serrano, and would love to make nice, salty country ham, too... but I digress...)

Still, cutting down on red meat has me trying some fun new things with fish, chicken, and... tempeh.

Now, for those who consider tempeh a pretender to tofu's crown as the top of the meat substitute heap, I say nay. Tempeh is a nice source of body and substance in a vegetarian dish, but should NOT be considered a meat substitute. It's nutty and hearty and really nice marinated and pan-cooked. It's got texture ENTIRELY different from tofu, which is good. Tofu is usually fairly gross.

My favorite lately is this:
Take tempeh (which, if you have a Trader Joes nearby, especially, is really inexpensive. 1.69 or so per package) and slice it into strips, each maybe a quarter to a half inch in thickness. Marinate that in some soy sauce, adding plenty of cinnamon, ground mustard, and paprika to the mix. Cook that in a nice hot pan for a few minutes per side, trying to get a nice crispy outside on the tempeh. ( use a non-stick pan with no added oil, but that can sometimes get a little problematic with the soy runoff burning in the hot pan. It doesn't hurt the tempeh, just might make your kitchen a little strong-smelling for a bit.)

Take some nice bread (I like a sourdough or tuscan pane) and put a little chevre or other creamy goat cheese on each slice of bread. Don't overdo it on the goat cheese, but make sure each slice has a nice coating. Add the cooked tempeh, make a tasty sandwich, and then grill that, either in a sandwich press or in a pan. Cut in half. Enjoy.

Flavorful. Filling. A nice meat-free dish is which even I, a raving omnivore, don't miss meat in the slightest.