Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bits and Pieces

Back to Normal

Mrs. de-I is amazing. She just shrugs off jet lag and jumps into her daily routine

de_I Sandia Outfitters (You Have Nothing To Lose But Yourself!)

Cabinet Lady told me she was being stalked by some gansta woman and hired me to find a way to take care of this problem
Here CL is with the problem.
Look at her with her baggy pants, hat on backward, sweat shirt.
No wonder CL came to the pros

Foodie Find

There's a new Vietnamese restaurant (though we have tons already here) that has some very interesting appetizers. This one (which you really can't see in the picture) has this kind of jelly substance on the bottom of the plate, which is warm, and all these flavorings on the top. You scoop the whole thing out. It was very yummy though I suspect many might be put off by the texture of the bottom layer.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Decoding the de-I Family Code

So blogmate Terri posed the question..."What's with the 1A, 1.1, 1.2 stuff?"

de-I has so much significant stuff rattling around in his head. Things like "How am I ever going to collect on the GD contract if he's too afraid to book again with de-I Sandia Outfitters (you have nothing to lose but yourself)" and "I need to encourage Steve that Pommard is our go to wine when he's paying" and "What crazy ass meal thing can I do next". Important stuff like that.

Remembering all the names of those grandchildren and all those sons-in-law. For crying out loud they don't even blog - any of them - so how am I to remember them? So I came up with simple system. Works like this.

  • Each daughter has a number according to their age so Motherrocker is 1, Pulisha is 2, AinA is 3
  • Each of their children gets a number according to their birth rank - 1, 2, 3, etc.
  • Each son-in-law gets a letter according to their sequence. Only have had one husband? The letter is A. If you're on the second husband, the letter is B.
It is simple for me then to remember them.

  • AinA's new first baby - 3.1
  • Pulisha's second husband - 2B
  • Motherrocker's second and youngest son - 1.2

Easy peasy for the megalomaniac on the go.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Gone and Back

Only one more day til Wifepoo returns!!!! Let me tell you 3 weeks without the love of your life is a long time...unless you were in the centuries preceding this when couples regularly were gone for months and years at a time...or your one of the many people in the military today serving in South Asia...or...well OK I'll stop bitching.

I decided that I needed a little get away time during this period so I combined some business and personal stuff and went to the Bay area on Friday. My flight to San Francisco left at 5:49 AM!! Not happy about that. I had two business meetings in the afternoon. Then I drove down to Salinas California to spend Friday night through Sunday morning with good friends Steve and Lady Di. There is always much enjoyment of food and drink when we are together and Lady Di is a killer cook. On Friday we went to this one place and had a wonderful meal with a great wine, a 2005 Pommard. They have a top rated wine cellar which we got to see.

Saturday was mostly just lying around. Work has been busy and with covering for Wife's functions at the business my days have been stretched to the max. Lady Di cooked one of her fantastic meals on Saturday night. It was big ass lamb chops which Steve and I are very partial. I had bought a bottle of reserve Malbec which was very interesting. Even with decanting and letting sit for an hour, it was very tightly wound and clearly could have aged for a number of more years.

I am not partial to desserts but Di knows this and makes things that are very light on the sweetness.

This was trio of a almost panna cotta like cream with fresh strawberry topping, a fresh apricot tart (killer crust) and a flourless chocolate cake that was extremely airy and chocolatey but not too rich or sweet.
On Sunday it was driving up to Contra Costa County in the East Bay where daughter Motherrocker, Son-in-law John the Armenian (1A) and grandchildren 1.1 and 1.2 are now living (having moved from Chicago). We had fun hanging around watching 1.2 (who is not quite 2 years old) showing that he clearly has no intention henceforth of listening to anything that his parents say. We (I mean everyone even 1.2) all participated in preparing Mexican style skirt steak and shrimp on the fire with all kinds of condiments we made and fresh tortillas.

On Monday, I had scheduled video taping. I have started to put video posts on my business blog. The first ones were done on the cheap and I wanted to up the production value so I hired a firm to handle it. It's really nice to get the star treatment.

We drove all around the area to various parks taking shots on location.
Very different from the just sitting behind a desk shots we'd done before.

When you're a big star like me, you get your own dressing room!

Plus you get a black German car to drive you around with a driver and your own handler.
It was another 6 AM flight to get back to Albuquerque on Tuesday. Definitely feeling the effects.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Making A Fine Meal Fast

So Wife is off in Amsterdam doing her super Mom-Grandma thing (she looks so happy every time we Skype) while I'm holding down the fort. Does that mean I'm going to just hole up and be a hermit. Well actually yes for the most part because I'm mostly troll with equal parts spiritual recluse. BUT I do occasionally have the need to be social. So I invited my friends K and A over for dinner.

Now it turns out that the same night that I invited them over was the day I did the hike to the summit. So I my challenge was how do I cook a meal that meets my standards with minimal time and energy available?

Ah acolytes - you do it by falling back on simple things with a twist and the trusty freezer.

Why do they look so terrified? Oh they probably read all of the de-I Outfitter posts instead of the foodie posts. Worry not. Your in for a totally safe experience...unless you decide to go hiking with me (ominous dun dun dah)

Dish One - Spanish Flavored Chard with Egg

This is a stand by for me. It looks complicated but isn't. Since Wife has Chard growing in the garden it's easy to access but you can do this with lots of vegetables.

Clean, chop and dry the chard

Start your flavor base by sauteing onions and garlic in olive oil.

Now the other flavor elements
Chicken stock base, pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika) and some tomato paste.

Add some water and dry sherry and cook for 10 minutes to meld the flavors.

Add the chard. Our chard is very tender so it only takes 10 minutes to get it tender.

This is done before the guests arrive.

Now take some pancetta (Italian salted bacon)

Saute until nice and crisp

This is done all in advance and takes around an hour. It was the most time intensive thing I did.
Then before serving, fry an egg, warm the chard mixture in the microwave, put egg on top of chard and sprinkle with the crispy pancetta and some pecarino cheese.
Dish Two - Shrimp Salad with Asian Mayonaise

Frozen shrimp from Costco. Love it. Defrosts in about 10 minutes
Marinate in some oil, spicy Szechuan Garlic Paste, some garlic, and some Thai fish sauce.

Shred some jicama and carrot, put in water with ice to get nice and crisp

Saute the shrimp for just a minute or two on each side.

Add some of the chile paste to prepared mayonnaise with a little soy sauce and sesame oil.
Drain and dry the jicama and carrots and mix with the mayo.
Plate with a scoop of the veggie slaw in the center, the shrimp around the salad and a scoop of the mayo in the center.

Dish Three - Linguine with Meat Sauce

Thank you freezer!
A trusty container of long, slow cooked meat in tomato. Ideal for a quick pasta.
I jazzed it up with a slurry of parsley, basil and garlic from the garden.

This takes no time at all. Cook the pasta, Finish it in the sauce with some fresh Parmesan and olive oil.
When guest asks what they can bring, tell them to bring dessert and that saves time too :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Da New Wheels

Da Durango is no more. Every 14 years or so, need to get a new car. Wife can now clean up the garage from all the oil leaked over the last 5 or 6 years.

Yes, de-I finally pulled the trigger and got the new car. The VW Tiguan I wanted - just not with the manual transmission. Went to a dealership in Santa Fe because of the horrible experience I had with the one in Albuquerque. But because of my bitching to VW HQ, I had $1K to put toward the vehicle. With the trade in of the Durango for five acorns (I was happy I didn't have to pay them to take it!), I was able to do a 3 year lease with zero cash out of pocket. Sweet.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Climb to the Top

As much as I hike in the Sandias, it is rare that I take the signature trail, the La Luz trail, one of only a few that allow you to climb directly to the summit. And most of the times I've done it, I cut short just before the summit and go to the Tram that takes you down.

On Saturday, I and Gaius Derf decided this would be our hike. The first part of the hike is deceptive because it has a gentle slope and accounts for the first 2/3rds of the 7.5 mile hike. (climb of 4,000 feet. This is made up for in the last 3rd where it is very steep with a long section crossing over 15 switchbacks of a huge rock slide. Derf wasn't feeling well so he turned back just before the rock slide. But I was filled with the lust of accomplishment and pushed on to the summit.

I was pretty freakin tired. And it got cold and rainy. It even snowed just a touch when I was at the top. It's another 2 miles or so from the summit to the Tram terminal. So about 9.5 miles all together.

The weather was pretty bad so I didn't take may pictures.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Drowning the Sorrows of Failure

Oh the humiliation. Not only did I lose my commission because my freakin' client avoided over 5 of my traps, but on top of that the creep hijacks my blog and humiliates me in from of my 10's of fans.

Well there's only one way to deal with failure...THE BOTTLE!

Well maybe a few bottles.

Hmmm. Are those grapes in my pocket? Good idea. I can always ferment them if I run out.

Hmmmmm. It's dark out.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Survivor's Tale

Testimonial posted by a Mr. GD on the de-I's Sandia Mountain Outfitters web site (You Have Nothing to Lose But Yourself)

My beloved wife AW knew that I was excited by the opportunity to hike in the Sandia Mountains. So on our trip to New Mexico she arranged to have me taken into the mountains by what she told me was one of the top guide firms in Albuquerque.

I thought it was a bit strange to start the hike with this posed picture next to a skull!

And I have to say that when I questioned my guide about this pile of rocks, he told me not to worry it was just a burial mound!

We weren't that far into our hike when suddenly this tree fell down almost on top of me! My guide told me not to worry. Trees falling were just a way of life around here.

Geez then we went through this field of poppies. I was getting so light headed. I didn't know where is was taking me.

Ow. OK trees falling but trees popping up from the ground! Somethings not right I'm telling myself.

OMG that one almost got me. Mr. Guide this can't be right!

Wait a minute. I saw you that time. These aren't accidents. You're triggering these!
You son of a @&%!@

That's right. Run away you bastard.

OK. Finally got away from him. But where am I. It so foggy and dark. I'm sure that AW will be sending out to someone to help me. It's so lonely.....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Home Alone

Wife is jetting her way across the Atlantic to spend 3 weeks with daughter AinA, the newly minted mom, son-in-law OH, and newest grandchild 3.1. That means 3 weeks of being by myself. Can't say I'm terribly exited but I super glad Wife is getting to spend time with them and I'm willing to bet they're going to be glad she's there too.