Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Asian Moo on Crack

Sorry for the lack-o-post, its been a busy post-hurricane week. But the show must go on. And by that I mean the housewarming party. I've been experimenting in preparation and really liked this one.

  • 1/2 C Light Soy
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 T Ginger, Minced
  • 2 T Honey
  • 1 T Sesame Oil
  • 4 T Olive Oil, Divided
  • 2 Limes, Juice Squeezed
  • 4 Oz Cream Cheese
  • 4 T Sour Cream
  • 1/3 C Wasabi
  • 1/2 C Cilantro Leaves
  • 1 LB Flank Steak
  • Sesame Crackers
  • Grape Tomatoes, Halved

Mix soy, garlic, ginger, honey, sesame oil and half of the olive oil in a large Ziploc bag. Add steak and shake. Refrigerate flat for at least 3 hours, turning over once.

Mix cream cheese, sour cream and wasabi in a small bowl then refrigerate.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large pan over med high heat. Sear steak on each side for 3 minutes then continue to cook to the desired doneness (another 3 minutes on each side for med rare). Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Slice thinly against grain.

To assemble, spread wasabi cream cheese mixture on a sesame cracker. Fix a cilantro leaf to the cream cheese mixture. Add a slice of beef on top. Optionally add a grape tomato half on top of the beef.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

IKE, you cheeky sod

That was fun.

Actually watching the hurricane from the bedroom was extremely dramatic. 4 stories of glass looking out onto trees and rooftops. The trees mainly stayed horizontal, first to the left, then the right. The wind sounded like a train rushing by. What I thought was lightning and thunder was actually the sound and sight of every transformer in my neighborhood blowing up. It was unsettling to feel the house MOVE with the wind, although logically I knew it was better for it to bend a little.

Mostly my hood faired well. Ironically the guy who left the Big Wheel unattended was also the guy who's fence was flattened like a pancake. The Big Wheel was crushed by the fence, lol. Mostly all the wood fences are completely down. There are medium tree limbs everywhere, some large. A couple of very dramatic scenes where 100 year old oaks were completely uprooted and slammed into houses, cars or just into a neighbors pool. I was going to post pictures but there are enough dramatic photos online already, no value would be added.

What impressed me the most was how the neighborhood came together. The morning after EVERYONE was out with rakes, bags, chain saws and trucks removing the aftermath. Noone had to ask for help, people roamed the streets helping where they saw help was needed. People with outdoor grills cooked and ditributed. The mood was surprisingly upbeat.

The one thing that I will remember were the sounds of sirens. Without power there was not the usual fare of white noise, no entertainment and no distractions. All you could here every minute of every hour were the sounds of sirens. Everywhere.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Red Ball Of Joy 2

Friday 10:20pm

Its Heeeeeere.

Obviously my power and internet is holding out but crap is falling all over the place. I'm assuming its branches. I'm hoping the Big Wheel that some idiot left out back doesnt become a missile. I'd hate for the one story from my "I survived IKE" chapter to be I got knocked out by a Big Wheel traveling at 80 MPH. That would be tragic, lol :)

Friday 9:20pm

Wind died down a bit. Neighbors are having a hurricane party. Beer and ping pong, bring a friend, lol.

Friday 8pm:

Holy crap, the wind has definitely picked up! Still no rain but now its dark and new place feels creepy. I made buffalo burgers with apricot chipotle sauce for dinner. Yum! I know it sounds crazy to be cooking but I find it comforting.

I just had my second RBV, I'll be wide awake but relaxed by the time Ike comes to town, lol. I'll be making my way to the interior room with no windows by midnight, which would be the upstairs bathroom :)

Friday 6pm :

So the winds are picking up now. Not really noteworthy just much stronger. No rain, lots of scary clouds. All of my neighbors are "hunkered down" (lol). Appears as though noone in my hood is leaving. And it would be "certain death" if they tried.

PS: As a fun game take a shot every time you hear "hunkered down" or "certain death" in reference to Ike. You'll be long passed out under the sofa before it hits at midnight!

Thursday 9pm:

Thanks for the all phone calls and words of wisdom. I'm riding out the storm in Houston. Ike is a strange storm, its a Cat 3 but that is at the top of the storm, The bottom, which is what we will feel is Cat 1.

We'll get 100 MPH wind "gusts". Bad but not nearly as bad as say Camille, which I lived through in Mobile AL. If remember correctly we had upwards of 170 MPH "gusts".

Evacuations were not mandatory or even suggested for my area. And considering Austin, San Anotnio and Dallas will all feel Cat 1 hurricane winds and experience some massive flooding, why spend countless hours on the road for something you can get at home! :)


Sunday, September 07, 2008

Red Ball of Joy

Another busy week at the Cancer Shoppe and still trying to catch up from my Dallas journey. Mostly I still like the job thing but Manager and I will be having some discussions at week's end to clarify direction. Nothing big, just clarification. Meanwhile Sistah L, the J's and I continue our ritual Friday lunching at Specs in downtown Houston. For those not knowing, Specs is a kajillion square foot liquor store with a deli and specialty groceries. The sandwichs are basically big enough for 3 and cost $6. I seriously couldnt buy the lunch meat for the price of the sandwich. We lunch, shop for new wines and snacks then return back to researchland. (I promise a picture next time!)

In other news, there is the recurring joy of living in a tropical weather zone.

Its a little early to tell but Hurricane Ike appears to be gunning for the Texas Coast. If you follow the path of the Red Ball of Joy you can see it leads to the little divet on the Texas Coast otherwise known as the 8-million person metro Houston area. I looked at the weather underground computer models and the paths basically center around Houston. Just for fun they predict by next weekend the Red ball will turn to a Pink ball, meaning Category 4.

Perhaps another trip to Dallas is in order.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I've been on a quest for a Turkey Burger that doesnt taste like highly salted cardboard. I asked a few of my foodie friends and one of them had the platform from which I made the JLO Turkey Burger.


1/4 C Green Onions, finely chopped
1/4 C Celery, finely chopped
2 Granny Smith Apples, finely chopped
1/4 C Parsley, finely chopped
1/4 Cashews, finely chopped
1 LB Ground Turkey Breast
1 T Salt
1 T Black Pepper
2 T Chipotle Tobasco
Zest and Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1/4 C Mango Chutney

Sautee green onions, celery and apples over medium heat until tender. Remove from heat and cool. In a large mixing bowl add turkey, sauteed items and all other ingredients. Mix brirefly then shape into 4 patties. Cover and efrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavors to blend. Cook patties on grill or in frying pan for 5-7 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.


1 Pear, very ripe, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Allspice
1/2 t Black Pepper
1/2 t Chipotle Tobasco
1 t Salt
1 1/2 C Mango Chutney
1/4 Golden Rasins, chopped
1/4 Cashews, chopped

Toss pear in the next five ingredients then bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool. Mix the pear with the other ingredients in a medium sauce pan and cook over low heat until ready to serve burgers.

Plate up on burger and a 1/4 sauce. I did this once with brown rice and another time over an English Muffin - both good.

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Monday, September 01, 2008


I spent Labor Day in Dallas. It was my first trip back since leaving. I had a great time: Birthday party, BBQ and pool party, a trip to the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth along with many meals out. I realized I miss my friends but I don't miss the city at all. I was super glad to leave today and return home to Houston.