Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mexican Tinga Poblana

This is an absolute favorite that my friend Nicole made for us recently.  I love it because of its many uses.  Great for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!  If you can't find Mexican Chorizo (they have a great soy chorizo at Trader Joe's), use another spicy sausage but add 2 tsp smoked paprika with the cumin.  Chipotle chiles are smoked as well as dried.

Serves 6 - 8

Tinga Poblana

4 dried chipotle chiles
3lb plum tomatoes, halved
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 1/2 tsp sugar
8oz Mexican chorizo or other spicy sausage
3lb pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2 in cubes
2 onions, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
3 thyme sprigs
1 tsp dried oregano
about 1 cup chicken stock or water
brown sugar, to taste (optional)

To Serve

2 ripe avocados
juice of 1 lime
1 cup sour cream
6oz mild soft white cheese
about 2 TBSP coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Cover the chipotles with just-boiled water and leave to soak. Put the tomatoes, cute side up, in a roasting pan where they fit in a single layer.  Drizzle with oil, season, and sprinkle with sugar.  Roast for 50 minutes, until soft, slightly scorched, and shrunken.

2. Remove the sausage from its casing and break into pieces.  Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a large fry9ing pan and saute the sausage pieces until well colored.  Put into a flameproof Dutch oven, retaining the fat in the pan.  Brown the pork well in this fat to a really good color (cook the pork in batches so the temperature stays high and you are frying, not steaming, the meat).

3. Remove the meat and put it in the Dutch oven, leaving behind any fat.  Add a little more oil to the frying pan if needed and fry the onions to a good deep gold.  Add the garlic and cumin and cook for 2 minutes more, then add to the Dutch oven with the thyme, oregano, seasoning, and enough stock or water to cover.  Simmer, partially covered, over a low heat until just tender (about 50 minutes).

4. Fifteen minutes before the cooking time is up, add the tomatoes and juices into the Dutch oven.  Remove the chiles from their liquid, take off the stems, and seed.  Coarsely chop he flesh and add this, with the soaking liquid, to the casserole.  Gently cook for 15 minutes. Check the seasoning; you may want to add a little brown sugar.

5. To serve, slice the avocados and squeeze lime juice all over them.  Season.  Put the meat into a large bowl (or leave it in the casserole) and spoon over the sour cream, add the avocado slices, then sprinkle with the cheese and cilantro.

You can serve over rice, eggs, on a tortilla, or (my particular favorite) with polenta.  Pan fried slices or warm piles are delicious!!!


~ Kate

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Courtney Robertston of ABC's "The Bachelor"

Courtney Robertson of ABC's The Bachelor.... I know you think I am going to rant about how nasty Courtney is on this season of The Bachelor, but quite the opposite.

I admit, I'm a new disciple of The Bachelor and all things Bachelor, including The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad and any other spin-off they come up with.  I started watching when my best friends let me in on the "out of the limo" wagering, top five game.  That was half way through Jake's season, so I wasn't able to bet officially, but my money was on Vienna.  I know, again, now you think I just root for the underdog or the "bitch" in the house.  Nope! Wrong again.

I simply can't stand hypocrisy and I can honestly say I have never seen a season with bitchier women than this season.  Great casting I suppose as I was anticipating this season being as exciting as watching a puddle evaporate, but in actuality there has been some real crazies and a lovely ton of biting comments and eye rolling.  Excellent!!

I am writing to rant about the hypocrites on the Bachelor Reunion show that aired last night.  It was unbelievable to me that not even five minutes after the show played video of literally 99% of these women saying "mean, hurtful" things about Chantal, then literally acted like they were a firing squad and were handing poor Courtney a cigarette and a blindfold.  I have never seen such holier-than-tho speeches and head nodding, eye rolling and hypocritical diatribes.  What did Courtney really do after all, other than play the game they each signed on for?  How many times did they accuse Courtney of doing the exact same thing they all ultimately wanted to do, WIN.  "She's in it to win it."  So they are asking America to believe they were all, every one of them, in it to lose it?  Hmmm.

Courtney with as much dignity and media training as she had in her, apologized profusely, owned up to this supposed "bad behavior" (which was edited to be so) and never once said "look, I was playing the game and groping for camera time" (which worked like a charm).  Frankly, in every single season I've ever seen of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, everyone is always saying awful, snarky things about the others in the house, they just usually don't say it to one another's face.  Really, the only difference between those A-holes and Courtney is that Courtney made her "winning" and "I have a rose" comments to their faces! Remember how Michelle Money was edited to be "the Bitch" but surprisingly everyone loved her? That's because her comments were only to camera and producers!

I knew Courtney personally and I've said it a million times.....Courtney Robertson is one of the sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  I still have the Betsy Johnson dress she gave me because I told her it was pretty!  If she was playing a role, she did it brilliantly.  This season's Bachelor would have been a miserable bore without her and if she was "in it to win it", then congrats on that.  Mission accomplished.

As for the rest of the, heartbroken and therefore excused for being such trolls, girls (Casey S and Brittany exclused).....LOSING!

~ Kate

Friday, December 23, 2011

Why Do I Do It??

How annoying and Grinch-like am I?  Are you the kind of person that starts getting the blues on the day before Christmas Eve, anticipating the day after Christmas?? Or bums yourself out on the first or second day of your 10-day vacation thinking about that awful plane ride home??  Whyyyyyy!!?

I found myself today, instead of feeling anxious and excited about the impending holidays, feeling a little sad as I gazed at my cheery red Starbucks cup and thought of how depressing it is going to be when they go back to white and it's all over with.  As a matter of fact (and even more demented), I was getting stressed when I saw the first Christmas decorations going up around Halloween because I wanted them to stretch it out longer and didn't want it to be Christmas just yet.

Is there a cure for this malady?  Can I just live in the moment???  I even do yoga, which is almost impossible to do without being present and concentrating "breathe in, breathe out, breathe in.....", and find that I'm anxious like a caged animal, like "hurry up! I have errands to run after this!" or I think of ten things I need to do at the office and feel the undeniable urge to break out, find my phone, and put them all down in my calendar's to-do list.

I think it's some sort of masochism, a self-torture ritual of sorts.  Is it an ancestral Mayan instinct intrinsically knowing that we're on the final count-down?  How's that for a cheery thought?

At any rate, as I write this, I'm already getting anxious about the ticking minutes until I'll inevitably be late for work, so off I go, as I can no longer be present and concentrate on the task at hand.

I do wish you loads of Christmas, Hanukkah, etc, cheer and many many many happy minutes all year long.

Happy, healthy, prosperous holidays and blessed new year and always.

~ Kate

Friday, August 12, 2011

Gym Towels

Is it the hard water?  The cheap detergent?  The multitudes of washes!?? My towel at the gym this morning literally felt like I was drying off with a brick.

I'm not complaining that they actually launder the towels.  The very thought of the thousand upon thousands of  towels used to dry the sweaty business ends of the multitudes of gym-goers makes me want to pull a Rod Tidwell and air dry, ugh, but if you read my blog you know my feelings on nakedness in the locker rooms.  Even when I opt to go home to shower I still use the towels on my FACE when I'm sweating, eiwww.  My face!!  Their bottoms!

With that visual I will bid you adieu!

Happy workouts and clean-ups :)

~ Kate

Friday, July 22, 2011

Nothing to Rant About!! BEST Mac n Cheese EVER!

Thank you Rania, for your mac n cheese recipe! If I have anything at all to rant about, it's that I haven't wanted to eat anything else since I made it!

The best part about this recipe is that it's all eyeballed and to taste.  You can also add ruffles or Panko flakes (the flakes were Erik's idea).

It was so thick and chewy that, when it cooled enough, my friends were picking it up and eating it like a rice crispies treat! When you cut it grease squirts out!! Need I say more!!!!??

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Noisy Neighbors

Noisy neighbors? Yes, of course.  We live in an APARTMENT building!!! It is the absurd policy of my building that if you hear "a noise" to call the front desk and tell them to investigate and if it persists beyond "15 minutes, call the police".  That's the POLICE to respond to Fluffy the poodle who wants to be walked or ever-so-bothersome walking in shoes or talking on the balcony!!!

I can't take it anymore.  To make matters worse, the acoustics in this building are such that sounds travel quite strangely.  I live on the top floor and I can hear people walking above me or pulling a chair in and out. Sometimes in the parking garage I hear a dog that lives at least 4 floors up.  I live almost directly above the pool and tennis court and never hear a thing.

I had about 6 or 7 friends over on LABOR DAY to hang out and BBQ.  We were at the pool (no music, no beer pong, just a handful of people chatting and laughing etc) and it was noon or so and the security came down to tell us that we had to keep it down.  Yes, outside, at noon, on a holiday!!! You can't hear noise mid day coming from a swimming pool!!!????

The point is....WHO gives a S@#T!  You have neighbors! You have a living space connected to someone else's.  Makes sense you might hear a noise or two every now and then!

If you want silence, move to a prairie in Kansas, PLEASE!!!

Have a peaceful day.

~ Kate

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

When It Rains It Pours

I normally agree with this, most-time accurate, analogy, but when I break it down literally I don't know why it's a negative thing.

What's worse than misty, spitting, drizzly, rain?  If it's going to rain, I just assume have it pour.

On the other hand, why is it universally true that when you have a great boyfriend, you meet five others after having only met troll after troll, or no one at all, for the prior 9 - 10 months in a row?!  Or, what about getting a good job finally and then a dream opportunity comes knocking, or two, or three?  Have plans this weekend?  Now you have 15 invitations, each better than the one you just committed to after you've gotten out of the first four or five somehow.

I attribute it all to timing.  The universe has a funny way of timing things pretty badly sometimes.  Maybe it's just me.  I've always noticed a pattern of bad timing, whether it's something pretty minor like getting in the other lane the nano-second the traffic starts to move in the lane I just abandoned, or some major career move at the wrong time or geographical move and realizing I shoulda, woulda, coulda.  My dear friend pointed out, however, that I have a bad habit of assuming the grass is much greener in everyone else's yard.
I guess the key is to live in the moment and hope that everything happens for a reason, is meant to be and/or insert your favorite cliche here!

I do like a good downpour whether it's rain or snow, but I'd like, just once, to meet the right person at the right time, get the right job and stick to it, have it be sunny AND hot at the same time, and last, but not least, go outside and sing in the pouring rain!

Enjoy whichever element is your fav.

~ Kate