Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Broccoli Casserole

This is a good recipe for when you've had a party and you have a ton of leftovers.   For some reason not a lot of people liked the broccoli, that and I had a ton of cubed cheese leftover.  So how better to prepare the broccoli than add some creamy cheese to it.  That's the only way it's going to get eaten in my house. 
The recipe I found called for frozen broccoli.  Since I was using raw broccoli, I thought to cook it a bit before I put it in the over.  So I put the raw broccoli I had in the casserole dish, filled it 1/2 way with water, put the lid on the dish and microwaved in 2 minute increments until it was aldente.
Ingredients:
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1/2 cup milk (I just filled 1/2 the can)
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 bag (16 ounces) frozen broccoli florets, thawed (see above if you use fresh broccoli)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons butter, melted
Directions:
Stir the soup, milk, mustard, broccoli and cheese in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.
Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl.
Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the broccoli mixture.
Bake at 350°F. for 30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling.

Stay hungry my friend! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

In preparation for the Consumer Electronic's Show, I've officially started my production company.  With that you need business cards and I've been toying with new job titles, which one do you like?

  1. Chief Executive Twitterer
  2. Facebook Fashionista
  3. Web 2.0 Wonk
  4. Manager of Deep Web Research
  5. Twitterer-in-Chief
  6. Chief Evangelist
  7. Social Media Maven
  8. Community Manager
  9. Online Audience Development Manager
  10. Online Obama Organizer
  11. Enhanced Interrogator
  12. Mommy-Blogger-in-Chief
  13. Relationship Development Coach
  14. Social Media Director
  15. Chief Mapper
  16. Central Interactions Architect
  17. Virtual Doula (a videocam enabled doula)
  18. Skype Scalper (selling tickets on Skype)
  19. Twitter Tutor
  20. Facebook Consultant
  21. LinkedIn Liason
  22. Curbing Climate Change Consultant
  23. Brand Champion
  24. Senior Brand Strategist
  25. Senior Hacker (Coder)
  26. Virtual World Bureau Chief
  27. Lead Functionality Director
  28. Dynamic Quality Sheriff
  29. Lead Micro Dude
  30. Outrageous Optimization Engineer
  31. Social Media Solutions Point Person
  32. Director of CEO’s Tweets
  33. Communication Specialist Assistant
  34. Communication Specialist 2nd Assistant
  35. HR Internal Twitterer
  36. Pastor of Communications
  37. Super Genius
My computer crashed as I was writing this post.  If you know where I got it from, please let me know so I can credit the author.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas with Gordon Ramsey

Watching the different shows that Gordon Ramsey has on t.v. is a simple as watching BBC America.  This morning after The F word was done, there was a Gordon Ramsey Christmas special on.  Who knew this tyrant of a chef (my impression of him after watching too many episodes of Kitchen Nightmare) had a softer side, which can be seen on Gordon Ramsey's Ultimate Christmas, where he make treats with his kids and dessert with his mum.

Here are a few of the recipes featured that I'd like to try.

Gordon Ramsay Roast Turkey with Lemon Parsley and Garlic
Ingredients




  • 1 free-range turkey about 5-5.5kg
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 onions peeled and halved
  • 1 lemon halved
  • 1 head of garlic halved
  • 6 bay leaves
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • 8 strips of smoked bacon
  • 375g butter at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 small lemons
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • small bunch of chopped flat leaf parsley leaves

  • Directions
    Preheat the oven to 220 C / 425 F.
    Meanwhile, prepare the herb butter.
    Put the butter into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Add the olive oil and mix well. Add the lemon zest and juice, crushed garlic and chopped parsley.  Mix well to combine.
    Remove the giblets from the turkey cavity. Season the cavity well with salt and pepper, then stuff with the onions, lemon, garlic halves and 2 bay leaves.
    With your hands, loosen the skin on the breast from both ends of the bird so that you will be able to stuff the flavoured butter underneath it, making sure you keep the skin intact. Repeat with the skin on the legs - from the lower side of the breast feel your way under the skin and out towards the leg, loosening the gap.
    Stuff half the butter mix into the opened spaces under the skin. From the outside of the skin, gently massage the butter around the breasts so that the meat is evenly covered. Finally, insert the rest of the bay leaves under the skin of the breasts.
    Place the bird in a large roasting tray, breast side up. Spread the rest of the butter all over the skin. Season well with salt and pepper, then drizzle with a little olive oil. (If preparing a day ahead, cover the turkey with foil and refrigerate at this stage.)
    Roast the turkey in the hot oven for 10-15 minutes. Take the tray out of the oven, baste the bird with the pan juices and lay the bacon strips over the breast to keep it moist. Baste again. Lower the setting to 180 C / 350 F and cook for about 2½ hours (calculating at 30 minutes per kg), basting occasionally.
    To test whether your turkey is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the leg and check that the juices are running clear, rather than pink. As oven temperatures and turkey shapes and sizes vary, it is crucial to check your turkey about 30 minutes before the calculated roasting time. If the juices are pink, roast for another 15 minutes and check again. Repeat as necessary until the turkey is cooked.
    Transfer the turkey to a warmed platter and remove the parson's nose, wings and tips of the drumsticks; reserve these for the gravy. Leave the turkey to rest in a warm place for at least 45 minutes; make the gravy in the meantime. Remove the bay leaves from under the skin before carving.
    Serve the turkey with the piping hot gravy, stuffing and accompaniments.

    Gordon Ramsay Pork Apricot and Pistachio Stuffing
    Ingredients




  • 350g pork mince
  • 100g spicy sausage (Merguez/Chorizo)
  • handful finely chopped chopped apricots
  • handful finely chopped pistachios
  • 1 grated apple
  • grated lemon zest
  • coarsely chopped parsely
  • sage leaves
  • salt and pepper

  • Directions
    Place pork mince in a bowl, season with salt and pepper.
    Add grated apple, add chopped apricots, nuts, lemon zest and parsley. Mix thoroughly.
    On a sheet of tin foil (aluminum) drizzle olive oil, line with sage leaves and season with salt and pepper.
    Place half of the pork mince meat on top of the sage and make a groove down the center with your finger.
    Place the spicy sausage inside the groove and cover with remaining pork mince meat.
    Lift the edge of your foil and roll, being sure to roll it nice and tight. lift back foil to check sage is in right place! Roll and twist the ends while pushing in to make a perfect cylinder.
    Cook at C/400 F for 40-45 minutes
    Remove from oven, slice and serve.

    Gordon Ramsay's Pancetta Chestnut Brussel Sprouts
    Ingredients




  • 1 pound brussel sprouts
  • 5 oz pancetta or smoked bacon
  • 3 oz chestnuts
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

  • Directions
    Wash, trim and cut sprouts in half
    Blanche in boiling salted boiling water for 2 minutes
    Chop pancetta (or smoked streaky bacon) and crisp in a hot pan with a tsp of olive oil. Season bacon with salt and pepper.
    Thoroughly drain the sprouts and carefully add to pan with bacon. Toss. Watch for back-splash.
    Chop chestnuts and put in the pan 3 minutes before the sprouts are done. Do not add chestnuts too early or they will turn mushy.
    10 secs before you are ready to remove the sprouts, add a squeeze of lemon juice.
    Put in a bowl and serve immediately.

    Gordon Ramsay's Chocolate Mint Truffles
    Ingredients
    • 250ml double cream
    • 250ml single cream
    • small bunch of mint
    • 500g dark chocolate
    • 130g diced butter
    • 130g clear honey
    • cocoa powder
    • crushed chocolate flake bars
    • crushed amaretti biscuits
    • finely chopped nuts
    • any other coating you wish to toss the truffles in
    Directions
    Pour both creams into a medium saucepan. Lightly bash the mint sprigs with a wooden spoon to release their fragrance and add to the pan. Heat very gently for 5-6 minutes to infuse the cream with the mint.
    Meanwhile, break up the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl with the diced butter and honey.
    Strain the hot cream through a sieve onto the chocolate, butter and honey, stirring as you do; discard the mint sprigs. Continue to stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
    Pour the mixture into a wide, shallow dish, cover and chill in the fridge for an hour or until firm.
    Scatter your chosen coating(s) on separate plates. Take the truffle mix from the fridge and, using a teaspoon, scoop out a portion and shape into a sphere by quickly rolling it in your hands. (Do this speedily to avoid the truffle melting with the warmth of your hands.) Toss the truffle in your preferred coating and arrange on a plate.
    Repeat with the remaining mixture.
    Place the truffles in a shallow plastic container, seal and refrigerate until firm and read to serve.
    Eat within 3-4 days.

    Stay hungry my friend!

    Recipes are creations of Chef Gordon Ramsey.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    Mini Meatloaves

    This recipe is good when you're concerned about portion control and they take less time to cook than a full loaf.  Making mini loaves, you can also experiment with different toppings and ingredients. 

    Ingredients:

    butter, for greasing pan
    1 pounds ground beef or turkey           
    1 cup onions, finely chopped
    2 stalks celery, finely chopped
    1 cup green pepper chopped
    2 large eggs
    2 tablespoon ketchup
    2 1/2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 teaspoon salt, sea
    pepper, black, freshly ground
    1 teaspoon thyme, dried
    1 cup of shredded cheese (optional)

    Directions:
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    Butter a 12-cup muffin tin.
    In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, onions, green peppers, celery, eggs, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme.
    Spoon mixture into prepared pan.  Optional top each loaf with cheese or ketchup.
    Bake for 20 minutes or until meatloaves are cooked through.
    Remove meatloaves from oven and unmold meatloaves onto baking sheet.

    Stay hungry my friend

    Social media wizardry

    As the year comes to an end, so does a social media adventure that began in June.   Last night my social media maven partner in crime, Tanya Gorlow and I did our final on-camera interview for KillcamLive.  A place where we have spent the last six months helping develop.  Prior to the interview, I had no clue what we would talk about and thought it would go quickly.  But once the camera started rolling and the questions came, there was so much for us to talk about and ponder.
     
    Imagine making a film project that depended on the interaction from people online.  One starts to worry about how to get people to follow you, and then keep them.  For the first five months of the project, as we created this world for our characters, our social media team went out and created people with lives and photos to make them seem real to our soon to come followers.  But what was incredible, was once the project went live, there was no stopping us.  If you've never participated in an livestream, you should, it is an amazingly weird experience (check out Ustream or Stickam).  For the first week, I was glued to the livestream, nothing was happening, but yet I stayed and watched.  As the weeks went by fans started re-posting the kills, adding music and commentary, and super fans like ESL Kevin posted weekly wrap ups and blog posts (which are now on their own fan blog, visit to see what you missed.)
    But what do you do with all that information and how do you find it all.  That's where we're at now.  We want to be sure that we archive all the information that people put out there, it can be used for something right?  So right now I'm in the process of collecting all the Facebook information that people posted, who knows some of it may end up in the final product.  Did you know you can download your personal Facebook data?  Yup, you can!   Here's some info from Facebook:
    What's in your archive?
    • Your friends' names and some of their email addresses (Note: only email addresses for friends who've allowed this in their account settings.

    • Your profile (timeline) information (ex: your contact information, interests, groups)
    • Wall (timeline) posts and content that you and your friends have posted to your profile (timeline)
    • Photos and videos that you have uploaded to your account
    • Notes you have created
    • Events to which you have RSVP’d
    • Your sent and received messages
    What's not in your archive?
    • Your friends' photos and status updates
    • Other people's personal info
    • Comments you've made on other people's posts
    • Any comments that you and your friends have made on your Wall (timeline) posts, photos, and other profile (timeline) content
    Why do you want a copy of your information?  It's an important part of controlling what you share.
    In addition, downloading a copy of your information may come in handy if it only exists on Facebook.  For example, you may have lost your mobile phone, which contained many photos you took using that phone. If you had uploaded those photos to Facebook, then downloading your information lets you get copies of them back on to your computer.

    At the end of the day, the producers extrordinaire, April Wade and Canyon Prince, put together a terrific team and we got over 3 million views in 8 weeks, you can't ask for more success than that.  Ok, the articles in Variety ("Indie 'Killcam' exploits social media", "Jeff Kalligheri, CEO, Waterstone Entertainment")  helped as well.

    I'm sad to see it go, but I have learned a ton of stuff.   Be sure to watch for us, as we may be coming to a theater near you.

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Kombucha dressing

    Sometimes when making kombucha tea (KT), things may go wrong.  If your KT is a little too sour for your liking, you can gain the benefits of this probiotic wonder, by using it as a dressing.

    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup raw tahini
    1/2 cup fermented kombucha vinegar (the stuff that’s too acidic to drink)
    1/4 cup flax seed oil
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    4 cloves garlic crushed
    1/2 cup water
    2 tbsp dried parsley
    3 tsp cane sugar
    2 tsp cumin

    Directions:
    Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

    Stay hungry my friend.

    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Why do I blog?

    Lately I've been wondering what's the use of having a blog?  I started out blogging way back in 2004, I have gone through several different platforms experimenting with content, display, formatting.  In 2010 I went a little crazy and started a new blog for everything.  I think I'm up to 10 now, but lately I've become overwhelmed with the need to constantly update and find new content.  It seems nowadays everyone has a blog.  So hopefully these helpful hints will be put to good use.

    1. Do it first thing in the morning, then you'll feel accomplished and you can get on with the rest of your day.
    2. If you just can't do mornings, try late nights when you're just sitting around wasting time online. 
    3. Ok, you can't do early mornings or late nights, how about when you're carpooling to work or school?   You've seen this view a million times, take this empty time and put it to good use.

    4. What about lunch?  Surely you aren't actually eating for a whole 60 minutes?  Pack a notebook and pen with your lunch so you won't forget.

    5. Don't feel the pressure to write a novel each time you blog.  Post a picture or video. As long as you get your point across, it's all good.

    6. If you feel overwhelmed during the week, why not try knocking out 2-3 posts at a time.  With Blogger you can schedule your posts, so you can be enjoying the weekend and get a lot done to reduce your weekday stress.

    7. Sometimes time is not your friend.  You'll just sit there waiting for greatness to blog about.  So why not try timing yourself?  Set the clock to 10 minutes and just write the first thing that pops into your head.  Don't worry about quality, just write!

    Sometimes you just need a little nudge to get things started.  Good luck.

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Crab Cakes

    Another over zealous trip to Costco contributed to this recipe.  One person can only eat so much chunks of imitation crab meat and I really enjoy ordering crab cakes when I'm out to dinner, but I've always felt that if I would try to make them they would fall apart.  So what better way to see if that would happen, than to actually make them. 

    Ingredients:
    ¾ cup cracker crumbs
    ¾ cup bread crumbs or panko
    ½ pound crab meat
    3 tbsp olive oil
    2 tbsp water ¼ tsp salt
    2 egg whites

    Dipping sauce:
    1 tbsp of hot sauce
    1 tbsp Dijon-style mustard
    1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    ¼ cup nonfat mayonnaise
    1 tbsp minced green onions

    Directions:
    Coarsely chop the crab meat.
    Combine all the dry ingredients first and then add in the wet ones.
    Blend well and then flake in the crab meat.
    Form into 6 crab cakes, place in plate and cover with plastic wrap.
    Refrigerate for an hour, then take out and let sit for 5 minutes.
    Lightly oil a skillet and place on medium heat.
    Add crab cakes and fry for 6 minutes on each side.
    Serve with a dollop of dressing.


    These were a huge success and I would definitely make them again!
    Stay hungry my friend.

    Saturday, December 3, 2011

    Reason why you're not doing well on Twitter

    I found this list online about why someone may not be "winning" on Twitter.  It's been culled down from 31 reasons:

    1) All you want from Twitter is to increase your number of followers #ThisAintHighSchool
    2) Your bio is incomplete
    3) Your handle is something like @BlueEyedBabyDoll or @BigDawgOnDaBlock
    4) You are neither a chef nor a food and beverage reporter, yet your tweets revolve solely around documenting what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner
    5) Your grammar and spelling parallel that of a first grader #BillyMadison
    6) The only content you post is your own
    9) You refer to yourself as a social media evangelist, guru, expert or ninja
    10) You have nothing nice to say #Scrooge
    11) You use too much profanity – profanity is like using a Porta Potty: use it only when you really need to #Tailgate
    12) You go days or weeks at a time without tweeting
    14) You don’t follow anyone #ButYoureNotFamous
    17) You post 25 times in one day, and 24 of those tweets are about your favorite sports team or TV show #FactsOfLife
    18) You retweet the same three sources every single day
    19) Your profile photo is one of the following:
    1. High school photo pre-2011
    2. Glamour shot
    3. Kissy face
    4. Wearing sunglasses
    5. Your pet — wearing sunglasses, or without
    6. Non-existent
    20) You operate multiple Twitter handles … and retweet your own content #MultiplePersonalityDisorder
    23) You post more than three times a minute
    29) You don’t read any of the articles you tweet about

    Thursday, December 1, 2011

    Aioli? What's that?

    For some time now, I've had craving for fish. So while at Costco we bought a HUGE fillet of salmon. Experimenting with new recipes is always difficult with fish. Because really, what can you do with fish, besides grill or top it with a ton of lemon and butter. So instead of worrying about how to cook it, I focused more on what to top it with. Aioli sounded exotic so I decided to try an make my own.

    But what the heck is Aioli?
    In my opinion - fluffy goodness!  But really?  Aioli is a classic French dressing that can be served with a variety of foods, that is usually flavoured with crushed garlic.  Classic aioli is made with just olive oil and garlic.  Variations on the recipe include using egg yolks to give the dressing a thick, mayonnaise-like texture.   It can be served at room temperature and used as a dip for fried, vegetables, or as a spread on a sandwich.

    Ingredients:
    1 head garlic
    2 large eggs (1 whole egg plus 1 yolk)
    1/2 medium lemon, juiced
    1 cup olive oil
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

    Directions:
    Prepare roasted garlic
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    Cut head of garlic in half. 
    Place on foil, drizzle with oil, and wrap foil around garlic, and roast for 45 minutes and set aside.

    To make Aioli:
    Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skin and place into blender or food processor with egg, egg yolk, mustard and lemon juice.  Puree until smooth.  Slowly add the oil to the mixture until the aioli emulsifies.
    Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

    Stay hungry my friend.