Posts Tagged ‘jodi liano’

Still Facing My Fear… and ready to #CrushIt!

July 23, 2011

A while back, you read about my life-long hatred of eggs.

What’s that?

You didn’t?

How dare you!

Click here to catch up.

Now as gung-ho as I was about attacking all of the recipes in Jodi Liano’s “Egg” book

"Eggs" by Jodi Liano. You know what time it is! Yeeeeaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh Boooooooooyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!

writing the post about it, and reliving the Hulkster’s Powerful Protein Shake experience was really tough for me. The more I wrote, the sicker I felt.  After I published the entry, I avoided eggs for about a week.

Now look…

I’m not one to give up so easily.  All I needed was a little BREAK from the EGGS (You like that one?).

A few days ago, I decided to jump back on the egg wagon.  Here’s what I made…

Jeff and Kara in a Hole.

I really liked this one.  The letters that I cut out of the bread were a little too small.  As the egg was frying in the hole, a lot of it piled on top of the bread.  This increased the cooking time, and made for a messy presentation… But… It was delicious.

Kara would have liked it to be a little more runny, but I’m beginning to like mine over hard.

This morning, I made this…

Egg, Bacon, and Smoked Mozzarella Panini

Now, in the book, Jodi uses brie, but I had some smoked mozzarella that I wanted to finish off… so I did.  I got the ciabatta and bacon from Trader Joe’s.  One problem was that the ciabatta loaf was too fat, so the panini could not get as flat as I would have liked.  Another issue was the bacon.  Trader Joe’s is a nice store.  I love it.  Their bacon selection, however, is HORRIBLE.  I got this crappy turkey bacon that did not get anywhere as crisp as I would have liked.  Next time, I’m going to Safeway to get me some real crispy pork action.

By the way, the sandwich was f-ing AWESOME!  I can only imagine how good it would have been with better ingredients.

Okay…

So…

Here’s the deal…

Since we returned from Healdsburg, I haven’t tasted any new wines… but I have been reading a lot recently.  I wanted to share some of these books with you.

I know.  I know.  This is a wine blog, so let’s see if we can tie in some wine…

When I was in high school, I was in a punk rock band called The Willies.

I'm the skinny kid, practicing my punk rock jumps with a mic in my hand.

A few weeks back, my old friend and drummer, Nick Thedrummer, suggested that I read “Crush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk.

“I know Gary!” I wrote back to Nick.  “I’m a huge fan of his video blogs Wine Library TV and Daily Grape.  He even follows me on Twitter.  I just don’t know if I want to read a book about business.”

“Just read it, dude.”

A few days later, I was kicking it with my buddy Dave Thevegetarian when I meantioned Gary’s book.  Dave was all, “I’ve got Crush It right here.  You want to borrow it?”

"Crush It!" by Gary Vaynerchuk... and you should too.

I was all like, “Sure.”

The book is a quick 142 page read (including two appendices).  It’s all about tapping into things that you are passionate about, creating blogs, and using social media to build your personal brand.  This book is very entertaining, and… dare I say it… inspiring.  I was just a few weeks into this blog when I read Crush It, and have since been inspired to take on the world.  If you like blogs…  If you have a Facebook or Twitter account…  If you are passionate about anything… You must read this book!

One of the things that Gary preaches in his book is to become an expert on your passion, by reading as much as you can on the topic.  So last week, I picked up this…

"Kevin Zraly's Windows on the World Complete Wine Course" next to some spheres inside some cubes.

This well-written 338 page textbook is the number one selling book about wine in the world.  Kevin takes the reader through a step-by-step guide on getting to know all the wines on the planet.

Right now, I’m in the middle of Class One: The White Wines of France.  I am stoked on the way he presents information in this book.  Zraly makes wine a whole lot easier to understand.  If you like wine, and want to know more about it… Grab this book!

As interesting as Windows on the World is, I’m realizing how much more I have to learn about the subject of French wine (and wine in general).  The good news, according to Zraly, is that the best way to understand wine is to TASTE it.

Looks like someone’s gonna have to make a run to the wine shop and make a raid on the Alsace section.  Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Gris better watch out… None of them are getting out alive!

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Facing Your Fear: Over Easy

July 14, 2011

I hate eggs.

HATE them!

Eggs. Yuck!

My list of hates is pretty short.  There are birds, and there are eggs.

The bird thing has everything to do with the time I got attacked by a crow (a story for another day).  That’s understandable, right?

The egg thing requires a bit more history…

When I was in elementary school in the 1980’s, I was a HUGE professional wrestling fan.  Every Saturday morning, I would wake up bright and early to watch WWF Superstars of Wrestling on TV.  On the show, big time wrestlers like “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Andre the Giant, and King Kong Bundy would take on jabronis (bad wrestlers hired to lose matches) like Leaping Lanny Poffo, The Brookly Brawler, and Barry Horowitz.

My favorite part of the show was not the actual wrestling.  It was the interviews.  This was where the personality of the wrestlers was exposed to the audience.

Like most kids my age, I was a big fan of Hulk Hogan.  In retrospect, his wrestling skills were not that great… but his interviews… those things were epic!

Hulk Hogan back in the day.

So one day, my folks took me to the video store, and I saw that there were a few tapes all about Hulk Hogan.  I was very stoked that they let me check all of them out and allowed me to spend the entire day watching clips of his matches and interviews.  There was one segment in particular, where Hulk Hogan showed Vince McMahon and Lord Alfred Hayes how to make “Hulkster’s Powerful Protein Shake”.  All the ingredients that he threw into the blender seemed pretty normal (milk, bananas, protein powder, etc…), but to finish the shake off he added two raw eggs (shells and all).  While sipping on the shake, Hulk said something like, “If you want 24 inch pythons (arms) like me, brother, all you need is your training, your prayers, your vitamins, and Hulkster’s Powerful Protein Shake!”

That gave me an idea…

I ran up to the kitchen to raid the fridge.

Milk?  Check!

Banannas?  Check!

Chocolate Sauce and Cream Soda (Hey!  I was eight!)?  Check!

Raw Eggs?  Check!

I didn’t know how to use a blender, so I just started throwing all of the ingredients into a tall glass.

“What are you doing?” my older sister asked.

“Making a power shake.”

“Are those raw eggs?”

“Yup.”  I threw spoon into the glass and began to stir.

“You’re gonna get sick if you drink that.”

I took my first sip.  “It’s not bad,” I told her.  “You want some?”

She took a sniff.  “If you drink any more of that I’M gonna throw up!”

“In that case…”  I put the glass back to my lips, and chugged the rest of my “shake”.

For a while after I drank the shake, I was feeling great.  The kind of feeling that a kid gets when they have a new pair of shoes… You know… How they think they are instantly faster.  Now that I had ingested my “power shake”  I was instantly stronger.  I ran around the house trying to pick up every heavy object I could.  For a good ten minutes, I was Hulk Hogan.

Then…

Then things started changing.  My stomach started turning and growling like crazy.  I didn’t throw up, like my sister had warned.  It was much worse.  I was woozy for hours.  I couldn’t see straight.  I couldn’t think.  The only thing I could do was curl up in a ball.  It was a BAD feeling.

Ever since then, eggs and I have not been on the best of terms.

Look… I know that eggs are in a lot of products.  I’ve got no problem with bread and baked goods.  I’ll mack a quiche.  I’ll even eat an omelet or a scramble.  The problem for me is when the egg looks, or tastes, “like an egg”.  Specifically raw eggs, fried eggs, poached eggs, and especially hard-boiled eggs (yuck!).  Even the thought of eggs makes me sick.

There comes a point, however, in a 32-year-old man’s life when he has to grow up.  I’m tired of avoiding certain foods.  I’m tired of making funny faces every time someone mentions eggs in front of me.  I’m tired of asking people to make sure to scramble my eggs.  It’s time for me to face my fear.

Yesterday, Kara and I went to the mall together.  I broke off on my own for a little bit to get her a gift (our anniversary is this Sunday).  Since I don’t have a cell phone, we arranged to meet up at Starbucks at 2 o’clock.  I finished my shopping around 1:30, so I had some time to kill.  I peeked my head in Williams-Sonoma and found this book…

After flipping through the book and seeing some delicious pictures (and many disgusting ones), I decided to pick it up.  My goal is to read through the whole thing, and eventually make all of the dishes (like in that one movie) from front to back.

Today, I had my first test…

Fried Eggs!

The most difficult part for me, was learning the difference between sunny-side up, over easy, and all the rest.  I’m sure you’re probably yelling at me through the internet right now.  “How could he not know what over easy means?!?!?!”  You have to remember that I’ve been avoiding fried eggs my entire life.  They all seem gross to me.

After reading through the fried egg section, I decided to go for over easy.  Runny, but not a yellow ass yolk looking like it’s gonna blow up on you.

Here’s what I made…

Fried eggs over easy with sweet pepper piperade. One for me. One for Kara.

Piperade is a spanish style of sauted onions and peppers made with a little sugar and vinegar.  Immediately, when I sat down to eat this thing, I broke open the egg to let the yolk out to mix around with the peppers.  The egg was definitely rich, and went well with the sweet and tangy peppers.  The egg was good, but I still don’t know why anyone would ever go out of their way to eat one.

I asked Kara what she thought, and she wants me to make it for her again, so I guess I made it right… maybe.

The next recipe sounds a little bit more up my ally:  Egg, Bacon, and Brie Panini.

I’m glad I made these eggs today.  Mainly, because I know that a fried egg will not kill me.  It really was a test for me, but I think I made a little progress in overcoming my fear.

So maybe I can get over this whole egg thing… but birds?  That’s another story.

Stay Rad,

Jeff


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