Archive for May, 2011


I saw some cedar wraps from woot.com on sale and thought “Man, I gotta try these”.  For those that don’t know what they are here’s a link from amazon:
Click me for cedar wraps…

Another key ingredient, agave nectar, to be used in place of syrup or honey, all natural too.
Click me for agave nectar…

Shrimps:

Lime juice
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Agave nectar
Old bay seasoning to taste
Baby carrots sliced lengthwise
Chopped chives.

Soak cedar wrap planks in liquid for at least 20 mins, I used apple juice.  If you’re using 6X6 wraps, you’ll get about 4 shrimps per wrap.

Shell and devein a pound or more of jumbo shrimp.

Mix in bowl the cilantro, baby carrots, chopped chives, soy sauce, olive oil, a few shakes of old bay, a few squirts of lime juice, and a few squirts of agave nectar.

Add shrimp and toss, let sit for 20 mins in fridge.

Line up shrimp in the middle of wrap (make sure to include some of the marinated chives and carrots, or add any other veggies you may like), wrap and tie lightly with green onion or butcher string.

Grill indirect for 6-10 mins until shrimp looks pink.  If you want to try with fish, like tilapia or grouper, just cook about 5 mins longer.

Serve hot right on the plate and eat food out of wraps.

Peaches and pears, (wrapped): 

Two to 3 cups of peaches and pears, cut into bite sized pieces

1/4-1/2 cup of your favorite baking  liquor, i used naVan and amoretto

2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vanilla bean sugar

Flaked coconut.

Mix all ingredients except coconut in bowl and let sit for 20 mins.  Take four peaches (depending on the size) and lightly roll in coconut until covered.  Line up fruit in the cedar wrap (pre-soaked in apple juice), wrap and then tie with butcher string or clip with metal paper clip.

Repeat with pear and remaining fruit.  Grill indirect for 10-15 mins until coconut looks nice and toasted on the edges.  Serve hot on plate in wrap along with ice cream or whipped cream.

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Due to evil mean people, I’m forced to post this recipe for fear of my family’s life. LOL
This is a tweak of the recipe I found here : http://www.bakeorbreak.com/2006/09/mini-cheesecakes/

First you need a mini cheese cake pan such as the link below where the bottom pops out with a lil metallic disks :

Click me! I’m the mini cheesecake pan he’s talking about.

Preheat oven to 350.

Crust:
About half a bag of ginger snap cookies (if you can find vanilla snaps, use those, they are the bomb!)
1/4 cup of turbinado sugar
1/2 stick of butter softened

Crush gingersnap into small crumbs. mix ingredients together, spray cheesecake pan with pam, press mixture into bottom of pan for about 1cm layer of crust. more if you like it “crusty”. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until its browned and firm somewhat. You don’t want to burn it or cook it till completely done here. Remove and set to the side
(You may want to put a pan underneath the cheesecake pan as some of the butter may drip through the round disks)

Filling:

1 pkg soften cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 banana cut up
about 1/3 cup of cream de banana (or some other banana flavored alcohol that you like)

Blend ingredients until smooth. Add or subtract banana liquor to your tasting. The 1/3 cup I used was enough to know its banana, but not overpower it. The more you add, the longer it cooks too, keep that in mind. Pour batter over crust in pan about 2 cm deep. If you have left over, just spread it out to the rest of the cheesecakes. Bake for about 15-20 mins, and check status every 5 mins afterwards. The amount of liquor offsets the cooking time for a little longer. When the top looks solid and slightly browned, remove from oven. Let cheesecakkes cool a little and then after they’ve “shrunk”, take a knife and go around the edges to loosen them from the sides. You will want to do this while they are still warm. After cooling complete, pop out cheesecakes and lay on wax paper. Serve room temperature or chilled.

Extra credit:

If you want strawberry marbled, do this before making the crust. Take some fresh strawberries, and depending on how sweet they are, add sugar to taste, and then a lil water. sautee on hi heat in a sauce pan stirring constantly, adding a lil flour to thicken up and mushing the strawberries in process. After its thickened to a nice consistency, let cool and then do everything from above, instead of pouring all the cheesecake mixture, pure half the amount. Then pour a small layer of strawberry “stuff”, then cover with the other half of cheesecake mixture. Take a toothpick, and “marbleize” the cheesecake by swirling designs into it. Proceed with cooking. 🙂

Daddy on “Birthdays”

Posted: May 27, 2011 in Family, Fatherhood, Nariah

Birthdays and Father’s Day. Two days of the year you can expect gifts from your child(ren). In my experience, the saying “Its the thought that counts” doesn’t hit home more so than when your daughter gives you something and then gives you instructions for it’s use.

Nariah made me a necklace for my birthday. She said it was a very special necklace and she made it for my birthday because I was the “best daddy in the whole world”. As she gives me the necklace while I’m picking her up at school the day prior, she informs me of each bead that is on it and asks me to put it on.
Now daddy, I want you to wear this on your birthday ok? Wear it to work tomorrow so all of your co-workers can see it. Don’t worry if they make fun of you, you can just tell them that I made it especially for your birthday ok?

That statement alone makes me want to wear it for much longer than just my birthday!

Nariah says… #36

Posted: May 26, 2011 in Comedy, Nariah

Its the evening before trash day, and we walk into the house after swimming lessons.

Eewwwwwwwwwwwwwww, what’s that smell!?!?!
I laugh and reply “I’m pretty sure its the trash boo, I guess we need to take it out huh?
Sooner!
Sooner??
Yes, sooner, not later, not tomorrow. It needs to go out right now.

I have to admit, it did need to go out “right now”. LOL

Nariah says… #35

Posted: May 25, 2011 in Comedy, Nariah

Even when Nariah is serious, she is a trip.

I’m away playing basketball and Toya and Nariah are talking to Nariah’s aunt “TT” on speakerphone. A while into the conversation, the subject of my birthday arriving soon comes up. “Oh yeah that’s right! Ryan’s birthday, I guess I need to find something and send it in the mail. Nariah, what does you daddy like?

Nariah is not really paying attention at this point and Toya repeats the question, “Nariah, TT wants to know what does daddy like?
And without a smile Nariah replies “Umm, daddy likes to read magazines when he poops.

TT : “Huh?

He likes to read magazine when he POOPS

Toya quickly tries to edge Nariah along with a “Umm what else does daddy like Nariah?

He likes movies… He likes to watch movies… He likes to go to the movies… He really likes movies

This actually could’ve been worse, as I have alot of video game magazine which Nariah sees all the artistically different covers and calls them “daddy’s weird magazines”.Can you imagine how “daddy likes to read weird magazines when he poops” would sound coming out of a childs mouth? LOL. The innocence is so hilarious you can’t even get mad at it even if it is embarrassing.


Tried out some salmon, and I’m always looking for a new way to incorporate some flavors.  I’d heard about teriyaki & pineapple on the internet and never really tried it yet. Then one night at a party I was drinking amaretto when there was salmon served… and brain started clickin… Toya came up with the garlic and pepper, and I added the sugar and krazy salt for good measure. A few friends of mine have requested this recipe since having it at a cookout of ours (one in particular has been threatened by his wife that he must get this recipe, LOL).

A nice sized flank of salmon will do. And you will also need a cedar plank, found in most grocery stores near the seafood section or on amazon. Since the summer months are coming up, keep an eye out for woot.com to sell the planks, they are much cheaper. (They also have cedar plank wraps which I’ve grilled shimp in and I must say, I endorse).

Soak in your salmon in Disaronno Amaretto overnight. Soak your cedar plank in water also, (that’s what the instructions say, if you want to twist it up like I do, soak it in apple juice instead). Fire up the grill and with a rub down the top side of the cedar plank with a few dabs of olive oil. You don’t want it oily, just enough to make the fish slide a little. Place the salmon on the plank and season with minced garlic, Janes Krazy Salt, pepper, vanilla bean flavored cane sugar. Top the salmon with pineapple rings. Grilled covered until the edges start to turn white and the fish is flaky. It is preferred to grill this indirectly but if you have alot happening on the grill as I did in the photos below, direct grilling is fine.  The olive oil helps the fish slide off the place with out losing precious fish they may stick to the plank. Try it out for a light taste. (Its not as sweet as you guys are wondering)

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Tried out a new way of grilling shrimp. Used some Lawry’s Havana garlic and lime marinade with some shell-on butterflied colossal shrimp. It’s real simple and quick.
Click me to see the marinade!

Most of the time if you buy colossal shrimp, they are split and deveined, if not, butterfly and devein the shrimp. Wash the shrimp and place them in a large ziplock bag. Pour about 3/4th bottle of the garlic and lime marinade into the bag, shake and let marinate for at least 20 mins, but not for more than 4 hours.

Prepare grill for direct grilling and get the grates hot. Brush the grates with olive oil on a napkin (keeps the shrimp from sticking, but only do this after the grates are hot). (If you’re feeling funky, use half an onion dipped in olive oil and slide across the grates for a smooth oniony flavor)  Toss them boys face down (butterflied open) for about a minute on hot coal, let ’em sear, then flip and keep brushing them with the remaining marinade until they are slightly firm to the touch. Yeah I said touch, you gotta become one with the heat. lol.

Butterflied on the Grill

Direct Grilling

Turned over to cook

So ummmm, yeah, I ate one of them before taking them inside. Had to make sure it was “OK”.  :o)


2 part dish

PART 1:

Vanilla Lobster

2 fresh lobster tails, shelled, and cut into lil chunks
one sprig, or twig or whatever you call it of vanilla bean cut into 1 inch pieces (not extract, the real bean)
olive oil
fresh diced chives (or green onions, or spring onions, depending on where you’re from)
old bay seasoning

Coat medium sized pan in olive oil, on med/hi heat, add chives and vanilla and after a minute, add lobster meat and stir continuously. As you’re tossing the lobster meat you’ll see the specks of black over the lobster, these are the vanilla bean “seeds”. Once the lobster gets a lil opaque (maybe 5 minutes), add a light dusting of old bay, just to give some kick. You don’t want to over power the vanilla.

PART 2:

10 Large Fresh Scallops cut in half
5 pieces of peppercorn bacon cut in half
20 toothpicks

5 Way Bacon Wrapped Scallops
Simple recipe, 5 different flavors. I’ll show the main setup and then the different flavors afterwards. This can also be grilled (I know you’re shocked its not grilled this time)

Pre-Heat broiler. After flavoring the large scallops (see below) roll in bacon and then hold in place with toothpick. place in middle rack under broiler for 6 mins, turn and broil for six minutes on a broiler tray.
If bacon isn’t done, cook for a lil bit longer.

a. marinate/toss scallops in olive oil, vanilla extract, chives, pepper

b. marinate/toss scallops olive oil, honey, old bay seasoning

c. soak scallops in naVan, then roll with cane sugar (i used sugar in the raw)

d. soak scallops in Malibu coconut rum, then roll with lime-pepper seasoning

e. soak scallops butterscotch schnapps, then roll with seasalt


From left to right:
olive oil / vanilla / chives
olive oil / honey / old bay
naVan / cane sugar
Malibu / lime-pepper
Butterscotch Schnapps/ sea salt


Now this cake isn’t supposed to “look” good, it was made as a joke for a friends bday who’s getting “old”, lol. but it tastes yummy! I’m not putting the whole recipe, you guys can follow the back of the cake box I’m sure, I’ll just add the “tweakings”.

Use your favorite White cake mix

Additional items:
Disaronno Amaretto
NaVan (vanilla flavored grand marnier)
black food coloring
one box Jello instant pudding (i used french vanilla, try whichever flavor you like, this make the cake moist)
your favorite icing

Follow instructions on box of cake. Before pouring mix in bundt pan, add box of instant pudding, a “shot” of amaretto, and a few drops of the black food coloring to get it to the grey coloring you like. blend again until smooth and grey. Bake as instructed on the box.
After removing from the bundt pan and cooled, use fork to carefully poke holes in the top and pour NaVan over top, let sit lightly covered, and pour again after a few hours. Depending on how “Old” you want it, keep the process going. (I did it twice on my first stab at this)

For icing, add the food coloring a little at a time and stir to get the desired grey look. I left the cake in the microwave overnight uncovered to allow it to soak up and “un-sog” itself before adding the icing.


I apologize in advance, I forgot to take pics. Please don’t hold it against me.

I actually made this up myself, just taking bits and pieces of crab chowders that I’ve enjoyed at different restaurants and adding different things that I like to it.
(feel free to sub out what you don’t like, I know everybody can’t like everything! I just added things I like, almost turned chowder into gumbo, lol)

6 servings (manly servings that is)
Ingredients

* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 4 fresh spring onions chopped (aka chives or green onions)
* 3 tablespoons of garlic powder
* 3 1/2 cups (1-inch) cubed red potato (about 1 pound) (skin on)
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
* 8 slices of cooked bacon, sliced into 1cm thick pieces
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 turkey smoked sausage cubed (i prefer EckRich Skinless turkey smoked sausage, its skinless)
* 1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
* 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
* 8 ounces lump crabmeat (or more if you’re crabby)
* 3 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning (i’m a little heavy handed on this one)

Preparation

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add onion, and garlic powder; sauté 4 minutes.
Add potato; sauté 1 minute.
Sprinkle with flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Stir in milk, pepper, corn, and broth.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally.
Fry turkey in separate pan without grease until browned to your liking liking.
Stir in crab, bacon, spring onions, Old Bay, and turkey; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Enjoy!