Monday, October 13, 2014

Jambalaya - chicken, shrimp, pork, sausage, seafood, whatever

Photo by liz west
I know there are tons of recipes for jambalaya out there; this is the one we use (and put up by popular demand). One thing you'll notice with our recipe is that we puree the vegetables. This is a good way of hiding the veggies from the kids so that they don't even know that they're eating them.

Makes enough to serve 6ish, depending on people's appetites. The nice thing is you can sub a pound of whatever for the chicken and or shrimp; often I'll make a braised pulled pork several hours or the day before, rubbing it with the spice mix and then braising it in a little water at 350 until it was fall apart tender (6ish hours), and then add it when I'd usually add the meat. For seafood, chicken, and tender cuts of pork, you'll want to add it raw when the recipe says.

Ingredients
  • 8oz raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 8oz chicken breast, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder1 teaspoon fresh oregeno cut fine (for dried 1/2 teaspoon powdered)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, crushed (for dried 1/2 teaspoon powdered)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder (or whatever your favorite hot pepper powder is)
  • 1 andouille sausage, chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 1 large red bell pepper (or two. Really. Can't have too many red peppers.)
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 6 roma tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (I recommend Bourbon Barrel Worcestershire sauce, it's YUM)
  • 2 teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce (Franks is probably the most well known, but any Louisana style that you like would be fine)
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 5 cups chicken stock
 Mix together spices and coat meat in it; set aside (if using more/other meat, just use about a teaspoon per lb). Puree onion, pepper, and celery in food processor and saute in large stock pot over medium heat for about four minutes. Meanwhile, puree the tomatoes. Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce, and cook for 4-5 minutes longer. Add rice and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add meat and sausage and cook 12 minutes more. Serve in bowls.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Pizza 'N Games V logo

http://www.pizzangames.com

Thought I'd show everyone the new Pizza 'N Games 5 logo and website. OK, it doesn't really have any new info on it, but it does have a new design and logo, inspired by the Final Fantasy series (obviously). Lemme know what you think!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Another website update

Short one today.

So I wanted to show at least some of what I do on my website, so I added a section near the top that shows a little bit of what I actually do. I even managed to make it responsive and fade between images (which was surprisingly more difficult than it sounds). Did learn a little more jQuery. Wooo!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday Kiddie Cocktail -- Pumpkin spice tea latte

Tis the season for pumpkin everything! This is not a bad thing. I love pumpkin, personally, so this is one of my favorite seasons. This is my recipe for a pumpkin spice tea latte (you could make it with coffee, but this one's for kids.... and I'm not fond of coffee). This makes about 8 normal/small size servings; if you want something like a grande then you'll get maybe
4 servings.


Ingredients
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 cups black tea (brew your favorite)
  • Whipped cream for topping
Combine pumpkin and spices in a saucepan over medium heat, cook for about 5 minutes. Add sugar, milk, and vanilla, and heat stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture is steaming. Add tea and serve hot with whip cream on the top.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My current design reading list

It's heading towards winter (obligatory reference), and that means less stuff outside (no more painting/varnishing large pieces this year), and more reading. I've got a large reading list in general, but here's my current list of design reading. some of these I've read before and will be refreshers, some are new. You'll notice a lot of "A Book Apart" on here; they really do make nice little books on important web design topics.

I'll try to get reviews of these up as I get through them. (Full disclosure: if ever someone would click though to Amazon thru my site and buy something - which has never happened - I'd get a commission. Personally, I got Beyond Trend at the Dollar Tree.)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday Happy Hour - the Negroni

With NPR celebrating bitter in a story this week, I thought nothing could be more appropriate than the recipe for the Negroni, a champ of appertifs, slightly sweet and with a nice bitter bite. It's a great go-to cocktail for before dinner as it leaves you nicely hungry and relaxed.

Ingredients:

1oz gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz Sweet red vermouth
Optional: dash of fruit flavored bitters - cherry, grapefruit, orange

Add ice to a tumbler, combine ingredients and stir. Serve.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Pizza N' Games IV is here!


Tomorrow: it's on like Donkey Kong. Quite literally, we will have Donkey Kong. Pizza n' Games 4 has finally arrived! Come to Les & Jim's in Merrill for some epic game playing - video games, board games, RPG, and much much more. Vendors will be selling games, game related merch, and other nerdy stuff. There will be various SCA demos. I'll personally be running Call of Cthulhu and the Doctor Who RPG (the old FASA one). Come and join us - only 6 bucks for a full day and pizza!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday Kiddie Cocktail -- Ginger Apple Sparkler

Another fall recipe this week; not hot this time but with distinct fall flavors. There is an alcoholic Gingered Apple Sparkler as well, but this is decidedly virgin.

Ingredients
1oz ginger syrup
3oz apple cider
1 oz orange juice
3 oz seltzer (or, as usual, replace ginger syrup and seltzer with ginger ale)
dash of bitters (Angostura, a popular brand, adds a negligible amount of alcohol, little enough that this is still technically non-alcoholic aka <.5 ABV; there are a couple of industrially produced non-alcoholic bitters as well, if it is a concern. Or, leave it out.)

Put 2-3 ice cubes in a highball glass. Add ingredients, stir lightly, serve.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My crazy idea for the week

Photo courtsey Kainet
So here's my crazy idea for the week on how Merrill can attract businesses and create jobs in the area:

Invest in fiber optic infrastructure.

Feel free to discuss.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Race and northern WI

I grew up in Merrill, but I spent 12 years - most of my adult life - in the Bay Area. Growing up, there were a couple of kids who weren't white (most were of pacific-rim east asian extraction, and a couple of Native Americans), but for the most part everyone was about as white bread as you can get. In the bay area, there was an absolute melting pot of all kinds of different peoples and cultures.

Growing up I heard many people complain and make jokes about the Hmong (our only local recent immigrant population at the time), yell about Native Americans spearfishing rights (using more racial epithets), and casually use the N word. "Pollack" jokes too, but at least those were mostly made by people of actual Polish decent. I was raised - by my parents, by Sesame Street and Mr. Rodgers, by everything that I knew about science - to deplore such actions, but I got used to it.

Then I moved away, into a place where racism still exists but it is conversed about, and blatant racism is called out much more. I got to interact a lot with people from all over the globe.

When I moved back to Merrill I discovered that the population has become more diverse in northern WI, and some of the more blatant signs of racism have gone away, but it's still much more prevalent here, especially amongst the older generations. My stepkids' cousins - some of the sweetest kids you'd ever meet- are multiracial, and I hate to think of the things they are called, both behind their backs and to their faces.

I have still heard the N word used since I got back. I've still heard jokes about how lazy -fill in the blank- race is. I've heard the jokes about Mexican immigrants (who've apparently replaced the Hmong on the local scale of "scary immigrants") I've still seen the cops called on someone because they were playing "urban" (how's that for a cover word?) music.

Systemic discrimination is a problem everywhere (look at the headlines in the news! When your case is suddenly much better because of your witnesses' skin color, we have a race problem!), but it is so ingrained up here that I think we have to take a good look at our institutions and ourselves, and start to talk about how racism is effecting us all, and not for the best.

I'm calling this out. If I hear someone being racist, I will not look embarrassed and sheepishly turn the other way. I will tell them they are being inappropriate, and explain exactly how and why they are wrong. I will encourage people to learn more about other cultures. I will encourage people to learn more about the history of race relations in this country (at the very least, I'll encourage them to watch some Spike Lee joints). And I will not accept that this is just how things are up here.