Ground Chuck, Kale, and Garbonzo Chili

Well, I may have outdone myself this time.  I showed up at V.Richards with no recipe and this is what I came up with!  Healthy yet damn good…

  1. 1# Ground Chuck
  2. 2 Kale Leaves (chopped)
  3. 2 cups tomatoes (about 3 medium chopped)
  4. 1 Red Bell Pepper (chopped)
  5. 1/2 Vidalia Onion (chopped)
  6. 1 Large Jalapeno (seeded and diced)
  7. 1 Can Garbonzo Beans (drained and rinsed)
  8. 1 Can Kidney Beans (drained and rinsed)
  9. 1/4 Cup Beef Stock (or more if you like it runny)
  10. 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  11. 1 Dash Worcestershire
  12. 1 Tsp Sea Salt
  13. 2 Tsp Chili Powder
  14. 1/2 Tsp Paprika

Alright, so you’ve got everything together and prepped.

  1. Brown meat in a saucepan on medium-high heat until cooked.  Drain and set aside.
  2. In a 2QT Pot, sauté the kale, red bell pepper, jalapeno, and onion in the olive oil and worcestershire sauce.  Add the sea salt, beef stock, chili power, and paprika.
  3. Add the cooked ground chuck, tomatoes, and beans. Bring to a boil and then turn heat to Low, cover, and let simmer for at least 20 minutes.  This is where the magic happens.  Add a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, cheese, and some Fritos and NomNomNomNom!  *If you’re into spicy like me – add cayenne pepper to taste*
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Thoughts on Thoughts

As I sit in this fine establishment drinking my expensive, naturally sweetened, cold-brewed iced coffee while reading economic research on small Alabama communities, several things are apparent to me.

Small business is good business.  Employee-owned companies are better for everyone – yes – even board members. Obesity and exercise participation rates are low AND THAT IS A PROBLEM. Risk aversion can be healthy, but taking no risk at all leads you nowhere quickly.

This world wasn’t designed for waiting.  It’s simply too pretty outside for that nonsense. Have an idea? Feel like success is ever so slightly less-than-impossible? Life doesn’t have to suck, but I’m sorry – you do eventually die so you had better start now.

With that positive, albeit serious, note out of my system – stay tuned for our dinner recipe tonight because folks, it’s chili season and I’m hungry.

Adventures in BabyLand: How to Survive Babysitting

“Just give him a bottle” she said.  “Just rock him until his eyes close” she said.  “Oh, our baby never crys” she said.

Sound familiar?   It should if you’ve ever been asked and/or tricked into babysitting. Ahhhh, babysitting…funny thing that word.  Okay – it’s not funny at all actually.  The word is a straight lie.  If you’ve ever had or been around these young souls we call babies, then you know that the one action (or inaction I suppose) rarely bequeathed upon one caring for a child is exactly that – SITTING!

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At this point, I’m going to assume that you typically answer no to the question most commonly asked under the breath (or even whispered!).  Well I’m here to help but to get the disclaimer out of the way – I’m in no way claiming expert status on the topic of babysitting!  Enough with the formalities: I’m about to blow your mind on the topic of caring for stranger’s children….wow. Some things sound quite odd when you read them back to yourself! Creepy description of babysitting aside, let’s do this!

1. Don’t panic.  I get it. Really. Babies scream, and cry, and do everything they can with their tiny little bodies to scare the ever loving hell out of you.  DO NOT LET THEM.  It is a mind game. Deep breaths. Use the process of elimination, or the triple threat as I like to call it – Diaper? Hungry? Tired? Its.that.simple. Cover the basics and nothing else matters!  In the end, you’re just a filler until the SWAT Team (aka Madre and Padre) arrive to make you look like a struggling donkey at the Derby.

2. Tips for a screaming baby.  I don’t know what our parents did without ipads, but these sweet little morsels of tech are probably the strongest weapon in your arsenal against the angry babies of Mother Earth. wpid-psx_20140921_222412.jpg Now I’m not saying that you should surf to YouTube and let the kid go to town, but educational apps that stimulate the eyes and ears go a long way!

Don’t have a tablet or smartphone?  No worries! It’s all about diversion. My mom always said, “Divert. Divert. Divert.”  It works 99% of the time!  Playing in a dangerous manner? Gain their attention and present an alternative, preferably something that lights up and/or makes noise! If you’re lucky and patient, you should have a happy baby in no time! This was taken no more than 2 minutes after a world class meltdown:

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My saving grace this time?  Pooh Bear of course!

3. A little rule breaking isn’t always a bad thing!  You’re in the trenches. Shots fired. People dying. Drastic steps sometimes need to be taken. Okay, that was a little overkill but seriously,  a little extra sensory stimulation goes a long way in keeping you (and the baby) sane until the holy parental grail returns!

Hopefully I’ve given some semblance of advice and haven’t offended anyone in the process!  I do know one thing – these principle guidelines led to my night ending peacefully, with a happy, albeit tired, little rascal on my lap watching his favorite.

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Moms, dads, babysitters for hire – I want your comments and feedback!  Please, as always, keep it constructive and on topic!

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Will it matter tomorrow?

FACT: Your pride is less important than your marriage.

Seems like a simple concept, right?  Then why is it one of the most common causes of disputes between couples? Unfortunately, pride is often stronger than the ability to remember how unimportant it is in the scheme of things. Family has always told me,

“If it won’t matter tomorrow, in a week, or even next month, don’t argue over it.”

So next time you’re about to open your mouth and start World War 3 in your house – just don’t.

Kevin Hart says it best, “But…why would you throw a pen at it…when we don’t even know what it IS?”

*Scan to 1 min 50 secs*

That is SOLID advice. Live by that code.  Swallow the pride.  You’ll have plenty of chances to flex it on the issues that actually matter.

Oh, did I mention New Belgium is now available in Alabama?  Check back later for some entertaining BeerViews (we’d call them beer reviews, but that implies we actually know what we’re talking about)!

Check out the AL.com article on the brewery’s expansion here.

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Be Healthy, Be Bad

Let’s keep this one short.  Dieting and remaining a man is always difficult.  I mean a real man. One that eats meat and drinks beer.  We’re going to attempt to sustain the persona, but try to cut down on the calories of some old favorites.  How do we do that, though?  As with most “new” things we’d like to try, someone has done the work for us!

After some searching I found these 2 delicious versions for a Saturday tailgate or a Sunday Funday.

Skinny Buffalo Wings by Skinnytaste

&

Fried (Baked) Pickles by Full Flavor Food

The pickles, while a well-calculated attempt at recreating the gloriousness that is a fried pickle, came up short on flavor, moisture, and overall taste.  As the Nike cliche goes, if you’re gonna do it, JUST DO IT.  Skip the baking and fry those bad boys up like your momma taught you!

As for the wings…they were a different story.  Whenever I think of buffalo wings, I now recall those wings.  To ease on time and process I baked the wings at 400°F for 45min flipping at around 22min to even the heat.

Moisture? Check. Flavor? Hell yes. Too hot? Just right – a kick in the junk but just soft enough to leave you standing.

Healthy? Questionable – but definitely not as bad as they could be!

Mouthwatering imagery ensues…

Welcome, welcome!

I’ve always wanted to write a blog, but never fully committed with a lack of enthusiasm.  Lots of semi-developed ideas later, I find myself unable to concentrate on anything but this one idea – the henpecked husband. A title I’m often given by coworkers. “If you look up henpecked in the dictionary, Bud’s picture is right there!”  This typically follows a short illustration of the overthought meal I’d prepared for my wife the night previous.

Unaware of it’s meaning, I actually looked it up and realized – I’m not henpecked.  I just love my wife.  She doesn’t ask me to do the things I do (most of the time), but I do them because that’s what being a man is about. Proving to your love the reason they chose you everyday SHOULD be your priority.  I can tell as I write, baby-boomers are rolling their eyes and men of the 1920’s are rolling over in their graves.  I’ve always found the status quo of the domesticated spouse interesting.  It’s always the woman. When a man comes home to a wife in the 21st century, it’s likely she’s returning from a long day at work as well.  Who cooks and cleans in this situation? Times have changed.

Why? Because you’re a man damnit.  You SHOULD be able to get up, walk the dog, go to work, slave away, research a meal, buy groceries, flowers for the wife, workout, cook, and kiss her on her way in.  That’s how MY mother taught me to treat my wife and that’s the mentality I urge you to adopt.  Think happy wife, happy life – modern rendition.

This place will be a haven of recipes, photos, beer reviews, projects that I’m working on, and generally just cool shit I find worthy of sharing.

On that note – let’s start with some healthy yet manly tailgate food…see post to follow

Auburn vs Arkansas 2013

Auburn vs Arkansas 2013