Saturday, June 22, 2013

BK's Homemade Potato Salad

Last weekend, on a complete whim, I decided to try to make some homemade potato salad, and it really turned out well.  Wanted to give it another shot today, and document it so my dumb-ass can remember how to make it!!!

As per usual, when attempting to cook something new, I went on the Internet for some ideas.  But I rarely, if ever, use a straight recipe or ingredients.  I just like to browse for some ideas, get a good idea of the basic cooking times, and then just wing it.

Here are most of the ingredients I used:




5 eggs
5 medium sized potatoes (which was plenty)
Cholula
Ranch Dressing
Honey Dijon Dressing (I hate yellow mustard with a passion, so used this in it's place)
Cajun seasoning (Tony Chachere's of course!!)
Hellman's Mayonnaise (just the regular old standard kind)
Sliced jalapenos (the jarred kind)
Sliced banana peppers (again in the jar)
Relish
Salt
Butter
Vinegar
Bacos or some kind of bacon .  I use those because they are meatless (have to cater to the vegetarians in the house) but they still add flavor.  Some real crumbled bacon would probably work great too.



The first thing I do is get the potatoes and eggs going.  Put the potatoes in a big pot and fill with water until they are covered by a few inches.  Get it on the stove and boil for 20-30 minutes.  The first time I think I overcooked them just a little.  This time I went with 25 minutes, since the potatoes were a little bigger.  That was plenty, and 20 might have been enough. Basically, if you can fork them easily, they are done.    After starting those, get the eggs ready.  Put them in a pot and fill with COLD water until they are covered by an inch or two.  I add a little salt and vinegar too, on a tip from THIS site, as before last week I had never hard boiled an egg before!!  Cross that off the bucket list!!  Bring them to a pretty good boil, then remove them from the heat and cover for 10-12 minutes.  Then put them in a bowl of ice water until they are fully cooled.

While the potatoes and eggs are cooking, I get the dressing prepared.

I use a glass measuring cup and get about 1 solid cup of mayo in there.  Add a splash of vinegar, about a table spoon of both dressings, some Cajun seasoning, the bacos, about a tbsp. of Cholula, a little salt, a spoon full of relish, and a tbsp of melted butter.  Then I chop up some of the jalapenos and banana peppers and add those. Dump the entire thing into a big bowl.



Then once the potatoes and eggs are ready, start peeling them and chopping them up.  Add them in to the dressing and mix everything up well.  Then, put into the fridge for a while and let it cool.  The peeling is always the worst part.  Since the potatoes are cooked, they peel kind of easily, but can still be a pain.  Peeling eggs sucks, or at least I suck at it, but since you are just going to chop it up anyway, it doesn't really matter so long as you get them all out, and there are no shells.  If anyone has any tips on how to make peeling potatoes and hard boiled eggs easier, I am all ears.



Anyway, it turned out great again!!!  One of the best things about it is, that the kids HATE it, so that just means more for me!!!!  Went great with the steak I grilled up. It's got some kick, but nothing major or too overwhelming.  Could definitely tone it up some if you want something spicier.  Definitely plenty of room for tweaking to conform to your own tastes.

If anyone ever tries this, let me know how it turns out.  I will definitely be making it again in the near future!!!


thx

bk

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Friday, June 21, 2013

World War Z, Under the Dome and Aaron Hernandez..........

Seriously, what the hell is going on with Aaron Hernandez!??!?!  Doesn't look good for the Pats Tight End.  Not to jump to conclusions or anything, and EVERYONE is certainly entitled to due process, so I'm not condemning him as guilty just yet.  But let me say this, since it's highly unlikely I will be defending, prosecuting or on the jury, I'll just throw my two cents in.  He's either guilty of something REALLY bad, or he is seriously covering up for someone that is.  Just crazy.  Regardless, I think it's safe to say I won't be protecting him as a keeper in my fantasy football league!!!!



OK, had to get that out of the way.  Now, on to today's topic of discussion.  Two novels that I read in the past year are both making the transition to the big screen. Well, one to the big screen as in the "theatre" and one is going to be a television series.  It's always interesting to have books try to make this transition, and usually the reader ends up disappointed, as the movie/show doesn't live up to the novel.  There are some exceptions, but that seems to be the general rule of thumb.

Let's start with the movie:  World War Z, by Max Brooks.



Came out today. So far, I have heard mixed reviews.  Not that I really care what other people think anyway.  Let me first say, that I am not really into the genre of zombies, vampires, mummies and the like.  I think the market is pretty saturated with the "undead" right now.  I have seen a couple episodes of "The Walking Dead", and they were OK.  However I am very into apocalyptic things, so some of that stuff does interest me in.  Anyway, I wouldn't normally think World War Z would be something that I'd read, but something about it grabbed my attention in the book store, so I went for it.  I was VERY surprised at how good it was.  Couldn't put it down actually, well written, and good story.  To summarize, the narrator is basically just interviewing several dozen "survivors" of the war, and the book is just a collection of those interviews.  So, there really are no main characters or story lines.  Some interviews are more in depth than others, and the range of who is interviewed varies greatly, from simple common citizens, to high ranking government/military officials.  It's not really a linear story though, and I am really questioning how this novel could be translated to the big screen without severely changing (or adding to) the story.  I am definitely going to see it at the theatre soon, but my expectations will be VERY tempered, and I fully expect it to not live up to the book, as per usual.



The other novel I read, about 1 year ago, was Under the Dome, by Stephen King.



Previously I had only read one King novel, The Stand, and absolutely loved it.  I'm not really into horror stuff, so most of King's novels don't really jump out at me. But this one did, and it DELIVERED, big time.  It was a great read, albeit a long one.  The characters were great, and it was a classic good vs. evil psychological thriller, with a lot of other moving parts, and it all made for a great story.  Just a lot of humans in a weird situations regressing to their basic human/animal instincts.  I don't want to say too much, so I will just leave it at that.  I was surprised when I saw this was coming to TV, but was happy they took the series route, as opposed to the mini-series, like other King novels in the past.  The Stand mini-series was decent, but left SO much OUT.  They could have easily made that into a series that had 3 solid seasons.  I have ZERO idea what the network's plans are for Under the Dome as far as episodes, but I hope they take it slow and don't try to cram everything into one season.  I think it has potential, despite it being a "network" thing.  My expectations of this are set a little higher, as I think as a full series it has more potential to deliver, and to do the book justice.  Of course, it premiers on Monday night at the exact time the Blackhawks and Bruins will be playing Game 6!!  I guess that's what DVRs are for.  But then when will I get to watch the Bachelorette!?!??!?!?

Let's face it, there is no shortage of HOT GARBAGE being thrown at all of us on TV and the big screen.  Hopefully these two will deliver, but as I have stated, I won't set my expectations too high for fear of being severely let down.

I do recommend both novels though, as they are both great reads, and not super-challenging.  Although, Under the Dome is a thick one.


That's all I have for now.  I wanted to get this posted before these came out.  I have plenty to say about the Cup Finals, and overtime playoff hockey in general.  Also, plan on making my soon-to-be-famous potato salad this weekend too.

Thanks for stopping by..............GO HAWKS!


bk
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Monday, June 17, 2013

NHL Playoffs, Boring Baseball, Potato Salad, and Poker..........................

BREAKING NEWS!! THE NHL STRIKE IS OVER!!!!! And what do you know, the Chicago Blackhawks are having a great season!!  OK, obviously I knew the season started months ago, and after initially being a little salty about the whole lockout/strike thing, I have really enjoyed the NHL season/playoffs so far. I guess it always helps when your team posts the best regular season record, and is now playing for the Stanley Cup!!  Of course, I am the idiot that opted out of his Blackhawks season ticket group this year!  DOH!!!  Bad timing, but I don't regret my decision.  Games were just tougher and tougher to get too, and the cost continued to rise.  I am content watching the games from the comfort of my own home anyway.



Hopefully the Blackhawks can take care of business tonight and take a 2-1 series lead.  Both games so far have been really exciting, and both teams have played some great, and not-so-great hockey.  Either way, if I was an impartial hockey fan, I'm sure I'd be pleased with the level of excitement the Cup Finals and the playoffs in general have provided.  Playoff hockey is one of my favorite things to watch, no matter who is playing.

LET'S GO BLACKHAWKS!!!!


Baseball has become pretty boring to me.  I still love it, but just can't watch it day in day out.  It's also a tough sport to gamble on, and it's a complete grind, so I opt to not even bother. Of course, I still do fantasy baseball, but I won't bore you with the details on how good my teams are.  Because let's face it, NO ONE really wants to hear about someone else's fantasy teams.  I don't want to hear about how you got beat out bidding on Gerritt Cole, and I won't bother you with details about how I drafted Kyle Blanks.  Oh, and we're not even half way through the season!!!






The WSOP is in full swing out in Vegas.  This is the 10th anniversary of Chris Moneymaker's epic Main Event win back in 2003.  Can't believe it's been that long.  So much changed in the poker world before, during and after his win, and it's been nothing short of a wild ride in the 10 years since!!  Here is a GREAT article on the 2003 Main Event, as told by those involved.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9286395/view/full/the-oral-history-2003-world-series-poker-which-chris-moneymaker-turned-39-25-million

It's a really good read, and even the most passive poker fan/player would enjoy it.  I seriously suggest you check it out. Seriously, do it.  Rounders was released in 1998, and I think the world is ready for another successful poker movie on the big screen.  Someone seriously needs to consider giving the Moneymaker story a shot at it.  I think it would be great, although, I am admittedly a little biased being the poker fan that I am.  It's a little weird saying poker ''fan''.  I am a poker player, but I do enjoy watching/following the stories as well.  I guess poker enthusiast/player better describes it.  Anyhoo, a few big names already making some waves this year as David Chiu, Mike Matusow and Tom Schneider have all won bracelets and Eric Baldwin, Scott Siever, and Allen Cunningham have all finished as runners up.  Matusow has always been one of my favorites.  For me, maybe next year!!  Until then, I'll just keep grinding it out online playing $2 and $5 HU SNGs!!!  ; )

photo courtesy of pokernews.com
CONGRATS MIKE!!


On a completely spontaneous whim Sunday, I decided to make homemade potato salad.  I knew we had potatoes and mayonnaise, and figured I could fill in the blanks from there.   And that's just what I did.  I had never, EVER, made potato salad before, hell, I had NEVER even hard-boiled an egg before.  So, my expectations were tempered. But let me tell you, I knocked it out of the fricken park!!  It was FANTASTIC!!  Going to try it again soon and will include pics and instructions here.  Only need to tweak a couple minor things.  Seriously, that is how good it was.  Went great with the BBQ chicken drumsticks and corn on the cob I grilled, while watching the final round of the US Open.  Was pulling for Lefty to finally get the W in the Open, but not to be.  Justin Rose played good though, and deserved the win.


That's all I got for now.  Thanks for stopping by..................



bk
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