Monthly Archives: May 2016

Randy’s Recipes: Easy-Make Jumbleayayaya

A “hot mess” is what my brother would’ve called this concoction — a recipe, it’s really not. But, what it is, is a fairly tasty half-and-half meal — half-prepared, half-preparation.

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Randy’s Recipes: Easy-Make Jumbleayayaya (Randyjw; May 31, 2016)

 

Ingredients (serves 1):

1/4 – 1/3 bag (approx.) brown rice, boiled

1 can Hormel tamales (approx. 6 per can)

Cilantro, dried (or fresh); to taste

Garlic powder (or fresh, prepared); to taste

1/4 – 1/2-cup (approx.) dry-roasted peanuts (optional)

Add-ins (optional): beans; tomatoes; onions (raw or cooked); potatos; shredded cheese; cooked ground beef; cooked chicken; cooked crayfish (jumbalaya-style); etc.

Garnish (optional): sour cream, scallions, shredded cheeses, etc.


Preheat oven to approximately 375°. In a saucepot on top of the stove, boil rice in plain water until finished. Spoon cooked rice into a loaf pan or other baking dish. Add spices and any other add-ins, and mix through. Unwrap tamales and place on top of rice. Pour remainder of tamale sauce over top and bake approximately 8-10 minutes, or until heated through. Mix-in peanuts, if using, then add garnishings. Enjoy!

5 – 3/4 Yums Up

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U.S.A. (ASL)

 

U.S.A. (ASL) (Randyjw; May 30, 2016)

 

A   S I L E N T   T R I B U T E

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Best Wishes, Anisa!

 

Best wishes, Anisa! I love this girl! Anisa Kazemi, our beloved food and lifestyle blogger over at http://www.iaccidentlyatethewholething.com, has just secured a wonderful position as a columnist with SavvyTokyo in food, lifestyle, health and beauty. She will continue to amaze us with her upbeat takes on life, food and photography, as she expands in this new position, exploring Japan, food, and the great, wider world-at-large with her delicious and inspiring articles. L’chaim, Anisa! Best of life and health to you as you bring us the latest and greatest through your love for the world, and all that’s in it! Mazal Tov!

 

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Randy’s Recipes: Onion-Cocoa Gravy, with Meal Ideas

 

This gravy is a sautéed delight of onion, paprika and cocoa, serving as well for a vegetarian meal, as it does for a base of chicken or beef. This can be prepared Kosher, with the proper ingredients and utensils, if desired. Obviously, you wouldn’t use butter if preparing this as a Kosher meal using meat or chicken. Here, some of the ingredients used are not Kosher, and the meal is not meant to suggest Kashrut-compliance.

 

I enhanced the meal with the selections of beverages well-paired to the dish. I highly recommend a coffee served on the darkish side, something deep and earthy — perhaps a strong cup of Turkish roast, or even a slightly-lightened instant would do fine (again, not pairing dairy with meat or chicken, if cooking Kosher). Because I’m normally not one to drink a hot beverage with dinner, the cold beverage I made was a homemade lime-slurry (lime peel-infused cold-sugar syrup) mixed with cold water, for a lightly-blended, but not bland, fragrantly-flavored water. I’m not one for alcohol with meals, either, but I suspect the same earthy essences would pair nicely: oakey, leathers and chocolates, definitely deep into the berry with this; perhaps lighter-tinged if on the honeyed side.

 

This turns into an entrée by simply topping over rice or pasta or potatoes, etc. The gravy/sautée is prepared first and the meat is mixed in, once it has finished. So you will want to have your bulks pre-cooked, to mix-in at the end. Please enjoy!

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Randy’s Recipes: Onion-Cocoa Gravy, with Meal Ideas (Randyjw; May 22, 2016)

 

Ingredients (Makes 1-2 servings; but for me, it was just one: FYI):

 

White onion; 3/4- to 1 whole; Large: sliced in varying sizes

Paprika: “Hot” (or you can use “sweet”)

Oil\butter: I used a combination of both oil and salted butter to sautée the onions, using roughly four slices off the stick throughout the sautèeing process.

Cocoa Powder, unsweetened: 1 REAL Tablespoon, levelled

Chopped dry-roasted peanuts\Garnish: (optional, but most highly recommended)

Rice\Pasta\Potatoes: Base for either vegetarian or meat/fowl-based meal. I used about 1/3-bag (2 lb. bag) brown rice, although I cooked an extra 1/3-bag at the same time to keep on-hand.

Fowl\Beef\Eggs: Main Entrèe Ideas; feel free to substitute your own – I used a can of chipotle chicken, which totally changed the flavor, but was still really good.


 

Prepare whatever add-ins you choose with this dish ahead of time, whether chicken, veal, bison, venison, duck, beef, etc. You could also add these to the pan after the onions have turned translucent during the sautè process.

 

Put your water on the boil in a saucepot if preparing additional vegetables, or a starch, such as rice, potatoes, pasta, and begin to prepare as you normally would. I made a plain-boiled brown rice, forgoing the extra fats in its preparation in the suggested package instructions, as it would have been overly heavy in addition to the oils used for sautèeing.

 

While your base is cooking, prepare the sautè. Place your oil or butter and chopped onion(s) into a frying/sautè pan and begin heating. (I used a bit of corn oil to emulsify the spice and make it slippery, supplemented by 2 slices off the stick of salted butter, to start; increasing to about 4 slices total, throughout the process). Stir occasionally. As the onions begin to soften, add some good dashes of paprika, to start. If you need to cook your meats, or prefer to do so now, then add that in now. Add a bit more paprika as it continues to cook, as well as butter as it starts to dry, as well as about a handful/1-4-cup of water, added in small amounts, to moisten and thin, as needed. Towards the end, sprinkle about a level tablespoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder on top, and stir. If adding pre-cooked extras, such as meats, add these now and heat through, stirring occasionally. I used a small can of chipotle white meat chicken; I’d never had it and wanted to try it. It changed the flavorings of the meal and overpowered the other flavors, slightly, but was still good.

 

Remove from heat when done and combine with your bases and any extra vegetables or additions you prepared. I spooned the gravy over a bed of brown rice and topped with a sprinkling of chopped, dry-roasted peanuts.

 

Drunken in tandem with the dark coffee and the lime-water, it was a rich, gourmet meal on a low budget and a full stomach!

8.2 Yums Up

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Dear Melania Trump:

 

Dear Melania Trump:

 

In the desperate world which is my life right now, I struggle to find employment, and to find a way to take care of the over-abundant cell-growth emanating from my forhead without the benefit of non-existent health insurance via an employer. I don’t qualify for medical care under the Affordable Care Act, because I don’t contribute enough taxes to garner a government-provided subsidy. I never believed in the policy, anyway, because, despite Supreme Court rulings to the contrary, I still believe it impinges upon our civil rights to be free from the imposition of a government-mandated commerce-based purchase by coercion. Medicaid, which is a fallback option for medical coverage for low-income families (and I am definitely low-income), discriminates against my female womb, which can produce no children, as it covers only those who have children, or are disabled, which I just became through an accident at work. Since this new development, I may now be able to be covered. How awful to think that my disability might somehow open up the door to my being able to remove this growing collection of ugly cells from my face (may they never mar yours).

 

But, no… This is not an article about the pathetic state of my life, and my many jags of uncontrolled crying in self-pity as this tumor-thing widens across my head, scarring and bleeding and maybe burrowing into my brain. I’m not sure if the many recent headaches I’ve been having result from my stress, this growth, or from my self-induced pity party as I try to fight my way out of a dreadful economy and a glimmer of hope for a future of, even, any kind at all. Just a future.

 

But, I want it to be a good one. It’s not your fault that my life isn’t where I want it — in fact, it’s mine. I haven’t made great choices, and I’m wondering, now, if my choice for your family, for Donald Trump as president, was really the right choice, at all? I’ve been a Trump supporter for years, before his decision to run. I’ve heard him, over the years, on conservative radio talk shows and I’ve mostly always agreed with everything he said. I placed him into a commerce position to deal with China and trade matters in my 2012 presidential “dream-team” cabinet, only because he was not running and Mitt Romney was.

 

I consider myself a reformed Democrat, now Republican, aligned to issues, rather than a party. And now I have an issue. A big issue. Because I also try to live my life free from anti-Semitism. But, nobody seems to want to allow me to do that. Not jobs I’ve been in, not co-workers I’ve dealt with, not Muslims who want to kill me just for the sole factor of my heritage, not the Christian churches who have un-Constitutionally divested assets from Israel in a discriminatory measure against the Jews, not the academic institutions here in America who have boycotted Israeli academicians and scientists and participated in Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions actions, not the college institutions who allow the harrassment of Jews on their campuses, not the European Union (EU) with their double-standard applications towards Israel to label food made in Judaea/Samaria yet no other country with considered “conflict” areas needs do so, and not the anti-Semitic United Nations with their hypocritical never-ending resolutions condemning Israel as the cause for all evil while simultaneously praising our incessant Arab killers and their war-mongering, murderous countries.

 

In such an atmosphere, does my obvious Jewish name prevent me from obtaining employment by those who discriminate? I’m still awaiting a promised employment interview, promised as per their site, from an agency to which I applied which enrolls potential voters. I followed-up during business hours with a telephone call to their office — it continued ringing, until my call was answered by their answering machine, upon which I left my contact information, yet again. I have still received no reply. Shall I sue for false advertising? They seem racist, anyway, as they state their targetted goal of enrolling Blacks and Latinos, whom they consider minorities. (Update: Eight days later, I have received an initial contact by telephone. Success! It gives me faith in the process. I guess they’re not racist, after all. I still await that interview, though — I guess my call may have been forwarded to the central location; I’m not sure of its particular nature (it was hard to hear), but it seemed more location-oriented — but, that doesn’t make sense… Anyways, we’ll see… I hope to have a job soon!) (Update 2: I had the interview and didn’t get the job. I guess they didn’t like my questioning why they say the first 45 minutes of training will go unpaid and why the first day would also be an “observation day”/”like a ‘second interview'”. Oh, and it was a group session with other applicants to learn about the company, etc. with applications on each seat, in a teeny-tiny office. That’s too bad; It caught me for a loop, compared to my initial expectations…) As for me, a minority Jew, I’ll enroll anybody who is eligible, regardless of color, or ethnicity, or religion, or anything else, because I believe in democracy…

 

Jews are a very small minority in the population. But every possible designation afforded others to declare themselves a minority are not equally allowed for Jews. So, we’re even discriminated against in being a minority. We’re even less in numbers than the Black or Hispanic populations, but then our general success, overall, makes people do everything they can to count us out. Never mind we also couldn’t get into universities in the United States, or countryclubs and social venues. So, we’ll make our own businesses and countryclubs — which we did.

 

Well, I haven’t inherited any long-earned wealth, and I’d really rather not have to start a business of my own. Can’t I just work somewhere?

 

My hobby is fighting anti-Semitism; frankly, I’d prefer something a little more relaxing. Let me put this another way: I love Israel. I am a Jew. And I am a target.

 

The anti-Semitic actions listed above sound like a page ripped from Mein Kampf. I would prefer to address you as ‘First Lady’, not ‘Fraulein’. So, when you insinuate that a reporter, who wrote an article on you for GQ magazine, which you considered ‘inaccurate’, at least according to an article by Jewish News Service/Jspace.com bringing this to attention, had done something to provoke the stated anti-Semitic epithets and death threats she supposedly received, you say that she brought on this anti-Semitism upon herself.

 

Free speech is one thing, but when it veers into threats and stated intentions to kill someone, it starts to become an assault. Tie that into separating that person for special targetting due to their race, or ethnicity, or other so-called ‘statuses’, and it becomes discrimination.

 

Did this reporter with a Jewish last name provoke anti-Semitism when she wrote this article? The article was not about herself, or Judaism or Israel; it was about you, wasn’t it? What does her identity have to do with anything? Is she Jewish? Do her attackers know what her faith is, or are they presuming from her last name? If so, how did they learn this? And if she is Jewish, does it matter in the whole scope of this article? Isn’t she allowed to write what she wants, whatever “brand” of being that she is, without being threatened for who she is, as a Jew (regardless whether she is, or isn’t)?

 

We live in America! Free press! Free speech! Free hate? Yes. Free threats? No, not really. Your equivocation implying that Jews deserve to be battered about because they are Jews, and that they bring such treatment upon themselves, because they ARE Jews, is disgusting. The more I write this, the more I’m tempted to withdraw my volunteership. I’m going to think about it for awhile. I considered not giving you my vote. (Update: I don’t plan to change my vote, though I briefly considered it. I’m still thinking about my volunteership and weighing it. And, I don’t believe I’ve heard anything emanating from Mrs. Trump by way of apology. Has anything been said? The article in question, which you can read below, did nothing to provoke the alleged death threats and anti-semitic epithets hurled at the magazine author because of anything she wrote. If Mrs. Trump did, indeed, say that the author provoked such actions, that is just wrong. It’s a classic anti-semitic slur. Whatever happened (the DuJour article, where Mrs. Trump allegedly said that the reporter “provoked” the behavior from her “fans”, whom she “doesn’t control”, was not accessible to me), it can hardly be concluded that the article’s verbiage would have brought on any such response, least of all those being anti-Semitic in epithet. A press conference, or something from Mrs. Trump, indicating that she has some type of feeling toward the Jewish community being attacked in any way, would help to put to bed the incident and not have to leave me feeling rather heavy-hearted and disappointed. I’m not sure anything has come out to that effect, if at all. If it did, I missed it. I hope it didn’t get sweeped under the rug with a shroud of silence surrounding the matter. And even still, I have to eat it, because the alternatives are way, way worse. A few more days are left in this window of opportunity to express remorse for causing Jewish people distress; I hope you’ll take it, before it slams shut again.)

 

And then I thought about the alternatives and changed my mind back. I didn’t invest all my hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow on a losing philosophy. I know that Ivanka is happy having become Jewish, and that makes me happy for her. I base my ire on an article I didn’t read, and I presume, also, that it stated what happened, although I’m very selective and find most media inaccurate, as well. Especially where Jews are concerned. I don’t know; maybe your perception of Jewish people was informed by the same people who get us wrong, and report wrongly about us, anyways. (Update 3: I withdrew my name as a volunteer with the Trump campaign, as I could find no public statement or commisseration from Mrs. Trump stating how horrible it is for people to have attacked the reporter in an anti-Semitic manner. She should have sided with the reporter — not against her, and she should have publicly chided the bullies who could do such a thing, especially during all the Jewish remembrance services regarding the Holocaust, Independence, and other matters. I am still voting for Trump, because he will be best for the country, but I’m disgusted over Mrs. Trump’s callous disregard over Jewish lives and the treatment of our people.)

 

I’ve mostly come to the conclusion that anti-Semitism may be an incorrectible scourge. I would have hoped that the Holocaust, and other such atrocities, would have at least provided a teachable lesson for correction. It is teachable. But, can it be learned?

 

“Melania Trump: Anti-Semitic Attacks on Reporter Go ‘Too Far’, But Were ‘Provoked'”; Jewish News Service, as received via Jspace.com, May 18, 2016: http://www.jspacenews.com/melania-trump-anti-semitic-attacks-reporter-go-far-provoked/

 

Update: I keep trying to post the link, which doesn’t seem to want to work in this space. You can research this yourself from what I’ve written.

 

Update 2: The link began working after writing the first update. I then found and read the GQ article online. It starts off rather cheekily, I think, and makes a number of snide-ish potshots throughout, in my opinion. The woman who wrote it went to an awful lot of trouble to visit Mrs. Trump’s European childhood location to speak with her friends and people she grew up with. It makes way too much fun of and puts way too much emphasis on the luxury of living with luxuries. The tone seems to change towards the latter half, and ends on a note feeling good, actually, about the piece — Not that it’s bad, even though it’s pocked with invisible bb’s throughout. I don’t really understand what the “inaccuracy” is — perhaps the whole thing is. It doesn’t reveal much, at all. It feels more like a tonal “period” piece, just not in book or t.v. form. That now the story has taken on a life of its own beyond this is unbelievable. That it’s now become an anti-semitic afterword, is just unreal. Here is the link to the GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly) article. Ioffe, Julia. “Melania Trump On Her Rise, Her Family Secrets, and Her True Political Views: Nobody Will Ever Know”; GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly), April 27, 2016: http://www.gq.com/story/melania-trump-gq-interview.

 

The supposedly offensive retort from Mrs. Trump allegedly occurred in DuJour magazine, as indicated through various search engine blurbs quoted at various news outlets. When I tried to read the article at DuJour, each search engine, and I tried the three major ones, shut down my phone’s browser when the logo for the article began to appear on my screen; consistent attempts to connect were ineffective. That link, and I do not know the author, as I cannot connect to the article, is: http://dujour.com/news/melania-trump-interview/. I don’t know if whether, by clicking the link here, it will shut your, and my, site down, as well, here. I guess my phone company doesn’t want me writing this article, or something. Or, maybe it’s the Stasi secret police, ‘cuz that’s what it feels like. Actually, it’s more like G-d, as I have a stinging spider-bite mark suddenly at my right shoulder. I hope it’s not one of those devastating kinds. You know, there is that Hebrew prayer about Jerusalem, that if I should forget Thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its cunning… Trump, I think, would be good for the Jewish people. Say you’re sorry, Melania. Live and learn.

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New Food Ratings: Yums Up

 

New Food Ratings: Yums Up (Randyjw; May 19, 2016)

 

Hello! Thank you for all your kind likes, follows and nice comments. I really appreciate that you’ve taken your time to read my thoughts and respond with yours. That’s really kind.

 

In response to thesmilingpilgrims’ one-word compliment, “Yum”, on Easy Cheesy Rice, I replied something like (maybe not verbatim), “My thoughts plus yours make two Yum’s Up”! After a short while, it occurred to me that that would be a cute food rating system we could use across the blogosphere, no? Anything up to Ten Yums, allowing for fractions, versions and decimals will be permissible.

 

If I forget to do it and it becomes too burdensome, then I’ll drop the idea like a hot potato (ha-ha). But, meanwhile, I offer it to food bloggers and food lovers out there who might have fun with the idea.

 

I suddenly went on a food blog tangent the other day and began seeing what was out there, since I’d recommended someone to do the same. I liked what I saw. I decided I’d tell you what caught my fancy in the nice food blogs I’ve seen on that journey. I’m not getting formal with links and total accuracy here, but you can check for yourself and see what you like. P.S. These are non-tested; you’re the judge.

 

Anisa Kazemi – https://iaccidentlyatethewholething.com – Always a love. You’ll love her, too.

Maya – artsyteenblog – A blog for teens. Really incredible. Craft projects and recipes. Check out her divine looking lemon-based dessert recipes.

Maureen Abood – http://www.maureenabood.com/ – Lebanese and inspired food from her heritage.

Georgia McDermott – George Eats. http://www.georgeats.com/ – Interesting ideas and journey.

Ania – http://www.lazycatkitchen.com/ – A vegan life lived in the Greek Isles.

Christina – http://www.christinacooks.com/ – Every episode of her tv show features tantalizing plant-based dishes that never disappoint. Get her tips and explore ideas at her website, as well.

Stunning food photography and edible artistry at: https://ice-cream-magazine.com/

Nepali Food: http://www.food-nepal.com/ – Recipes, learning about local dishes, etc.

http://www.cookingandme.com/ – Delicious pix and easy Indian, and other, food recipes.

Morgan – http://hostthetoast.com/ – Great twists on classic dishes and fusion-food.

Pati’s Mexican Table: Mexican food is more than enchiladas. Pati Jinich shows you how: https://patijinich.com/

New Scandinavian Cooking: Andreas Viestad cooks up some new, interesting recipes: http://www.newscancook.com/

Nick Stellino: Italian food with friends. http://www.nickstellino.com/

The Free Range Cook: Annabel Langbein cooks up local foods grown in New Zealand: http://www.annabel-langbein.com/

 

Nominate a food blog, read food tips, get recipes: http://www.foodista.com/

 

Anthony Bourdain – Oh, yeah… HarperCollins Publishers’ books include cookbook authors, and the Ecco imprint was the line reserved for Anthony Bourdain and his choice selections of break-out, budding talents. I found this info under the HarperCollins website and learned they have a New Zealand/Australia/World branch, which I clicked on. I found their site rather friendly toward the solicitation of new materials. If you’d like to make a submission of your work for consideration, please do so on a Wednesday only, and here is the link: http://www.wednesdaypost.com.au/. I also read some Anthony Bourdain quotes, one of which really had me laughing alot, at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/1124.Anthony_Bourdain

 

I’m sure I probably inadvertently left off people I meant to include — that’s one problem with lists. If I remember for the future, I’ll try to add-in more as I go along. Meanwhile, thanks for reading. May your life and health, as well as your food, be hearty and happy! – Randy

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Randy’s Recipes: Easy Cheesy Rice

 

Randy’s Recipes: Easy Cheesy Rice (Randyjw; May 18, 2016)

 

Jasmine Rice, cooked per package instructions (substitute your own favorite type of rice)

Parmesan cheese, grated (block-form you grate yourself, ot the kind you sprinkle from a canister)

Pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

 


 

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After boiling rice and letting it absorb what water it will, cooked as per package instructions, just season with a good dose of cheese, and salt and pepper, to taste. Easy and well-done! Yum.

4.2 Yums Up

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