Caramel Corn and Staying Alive at the Movies

American Dessert

CARAMEL CORN

INGREDIENTSCaramelCorn-

6 tablespoons popcorn kernels
1/2 cup butter
1cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup light-colored corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

SPECIAL UTENSIL

popcorn popper

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Pop popcorn according to instruction on bag or from popcorn popper. Remove all unpopped popcorn. (Peter Piper popped a peck of popcorn.) Put popcorn in large mixing bowl.

Add butter, sugar, corn syrup, and salt to skillet. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until mixture boils. Stir occasionally. Add baking soda and vanilla. Stir this syrup until well blended. Add popcorn evenly to baking pan. Pour syrup over popcorn. Bake in oven for 1 hour. Stir popcorn/syrup every 15 minutes.

TIDBITS

1) Everybody loves caramel corn, hard-working people and politicians too. However, not everyone likes to hear popcorn being eaten. In 2011, a Latvian movie goer was arrested for shooting another man dead for eating his popcorn too loudly during the film Black Swan. The dead man would have been safer eating caramel popcorn as it’s not nearly as crunchy as regular popcorn.

2) Or if you don’t wish to get shot during movies but still wish to munch on regular popcorn, may I suggest going to a comedy? The film goers’ laughter will mask the sound of your popcorn chomping.

3) As a public service to you popcorn lovers, here are my favorite all-time gun-shot-free-funny movies: Bananas, The Bank Dick, Bringing Up Baby, A Christmas Story, The Court Jester, Duck Soup, Father of the Bride, A Hard Day’s Night, It’s a Gift, Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, One, Two, Three, The President’s Analyst, She Done Him Wrong, A Shot in the Dark, Tight Little Island, Tootsie, and Unfaithfully Yours.

4) There, I am bringing peace to the world. I shall certainly be getting the Nobel Peace Prize soon. Taps foot.

- Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Mayan Tacos and How to Beat a Drunk-Driving Ticket

Mexican Entree

MAYAN TACOS

INGREDIENTSMayanTaco-

3 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups achiote sauce
12 4-1/2″ wide corn tortillas

PREPARATION

Shred chicken breasts. Add chicken breasts and vegetable oil. Sauté chicken on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir frequently. Warm all tortillas in microwave for 30 seconds or in another skillet on low-medium heat for about 10 seconds or until warm. Add chicken equally to tortillas. Top with achiote sauce.

TIDBITS

1) Tacos is an anagram for tacos. The phrase “Mayan tacos can be found on the Mayan Coast” will help you remember this fact.

2) You may never forget the anagram and the phrase shown in tidbit 1). Indeed, you may find yourself pulled over by a traffic cop for weaving. You were only weaving because you were tired from attending a late-night lecture on the effects of heteroskedasticity on the confidence intervals of coefficients using three stage iterative least squares analysis.

3) But the traffic cop doesn’t know that. He knocks on your window. You roll it down. He says, “You know how fast you were going?” You say, “Sorry, officer, I was in a hurry to get home.” He grunts. “You were weaving out there. Been drinking much?” You shake your head. You want to say no but you blurt out, “Mayan tacos can be found on the Mayan Coast.”

4) The officer yells, “All right, get out of the car.” You get out. He handcuffs you. So convinced by your outburst of your drunkeness, he doesn’t bother to test your breath. He leads you to his patrol car. Sweat dots your forehead. “But honestly officer, I’m not drunk. I really am dead tired from trying to wrap my brain around a lecture on the effects of heteroskedasticity on the confidence intervals of coefficients using three stage iterative least squares analysis.”

5) To back up your claim, you launch into the lecture. The traffic cop’s eyes glaze over. A tsunami of tiredness crashes onto his soul. His will to live evaporates. He realizes he’ll have to listen to you spout the intricacies of empirical economies all the way back to the police station. He lets you go. You will both suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder the rest of your lives.

- Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Achiote Sauce

Mexican Appetizer

ACHIOTE SAUCE

INGREDIENTSAchioteSauce-

4 ounce achiote brick or dry paste
1 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup water
3 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
5 jalapeno peppers
2 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons white vinegar

makes 4 cups

PREPARATION

Add achiote brick, lemon juice, orange juice, and water to mixing bowl. Stir with whisk until achiote dissolves. Remove seeds from jalapenos. (Be sure to wash your hands immediately afterward or touching your face will make it sting like the dickens.) Dice garlic, onion and jalapenos. Melt butter. Add onion, jalapeno, butter, chili powder, cilantro, olive oil, and vinegar to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Goes well with Mayan tacos and nearly everything Mexican. Well, maybe not flan.

TIDBITS

1) And now a crossword puzzle for people who don’t like to be confused.CrosswordSquare-

ACROSS 1 ) The first letter in the alphabet.

DOWN 1) The word “apple” starts with this letter.

- Chef Paul

 

 

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

 

 

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Saudi Al Kabsa – chicken and rice

Saudi Entree

AL KABSA
(Chicken and rice)

INGREDIENTSAlKabsa-

3 pounds chicken breasts (or other parts)
2 carrots
5 garlic cloves
2 medium onions
3 Roma tomatoes
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup tomato puree
2 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups chicken stock
2 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons kabsa spice mix (See Kabsa Spice Mix recipe if you can’t find the mix.)
2 cups basmati rice (Do not precook.)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Serves 6

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop chicken into 12 pieces. Grate or dice carrots. Mince garlic cloves and onions. Dice Roma tomatoes. Add garlic, onion, and butter to Dutch oven. Sauté garlic and onion on medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add chicken, tomato puree, and chopped tomatoes, Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add water, chicken stock, carrot, cloves, nutmeg, salt and kabsa spice mix. Bring to boil using high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove chicken and bake for 25-to-30 minutes at 350 degrees or until it starts to brown.

Bring to boil. Stir in rice. Simmer for 30 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally. Add raisins. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Place rice on plate and top with 2 chicken pieces. Garnish with an equal amount of almonds.
TIDBITS

1) The Temple of Eve is supposedly located in the Saudi city of Jeddah. Cool.

2) Saudi Arabia is one of the driest countries in the world.

3) British humor is one of the driest in the world.

4) These tidbits are getting shorter, aren’t they?

5) Yes, they are. You can measure them.

6) Soon nothingness.

7)

8) And rebirth.

9) And so new, longer, vibrant tidbits come into being.

10) I feel like writing a haiku to tidbits.

11) Tidbits, o, tidbits.
Life was so sad when you were gone.
I’m glad you are back

12) Haikus are composed of three lines of five, seven, and five syllables respectively. They can evoke complex imagery within this restrictive space or they can display the elegant simplicity of the following effort:

Word, word, word, word, word
Word, word, word, word, word, word, word
Word, word, word, word, word

13) Speaking of using words to communicate information; all shops in Saudi Arabia are forbidden on Valentine’s day from selling anything red or with hearts on it. You may not wear anything red.

14) Movie theaters and beer are banned in Saudi Arabia. You must drive to Bahrain for these things, which depending on where you live could be anywhere from twenty minutes to twenty hours away. That movie had better be good.

15) And what if the beer you had made you sleepy and you fell asleep during the movie? That movie that took you twenty hours to get to? And twenty hours to get back?

16) If had to drive forty total hours for a beer, I would get the best, most expensive beer I could buy and really, really, really savor it.

17) And I would get gourmet popcorn for the movie. A giant tub of it.

- Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Bubble and Squeak

British Entree

BUBBLE AND SQUEAK

INGREDIENTSBubble&Squeak-

4 potatoes
½ head cabbage
4 ounces bacon
2 celery stalks
1 onion
2 ½ tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

PREPARATION

Peel potatoes. Cut each potato into eight pieces. Put potato pieces into large pot. Add enough water to cover potato bits. Bring water to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Drain potatoes. Add butter to pot with potato pieces. Mash potatoes with potato masher.

While potatoes simmer, thinly slice cabbage. Put cabbage with enough water to cover and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Dice celery, and onion. Add onion, celery, and butter to large skillet. Sauté onion and celery for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add bacon to frying pan. Fry bacon on medium-high heat or until bacon starts to turn crispy. Remove bacon and press with paper towels to remove grease. Cut bacon into 1″ squares.

Add mashed potato, cabbage, bacon, celery, onion, pepper, and salt to large skillet. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until bottom (The mixture in the skillet, not your bottom. Goodness.) turns golden brown. Turn mixture over and cook for another 5 minutes or until it browns again on the bottom.

TIDBITS

1) This traditional British dish is named after the bubbling and squeaking sounds it makes while being cooked. The earliest known recipe comes from Maria Rundell, who made it in 1806. No, I do not know what she did in 1805. Still, knowing this fact will give you an advantage over the other contests in JeopardyTM when the Bubble and Squeak category comes up.

2) Bubble and squeak is also Cockney rhyming slang for Greek. Just like fashion and fad is Cockney for iPad. Similarly, Pow and socko for taco, Sang froid and calm for A-bomb, symphonies and coda for soda, large rat and busy bee for reality TV, Jeb and Jethro for cilantro, grovel and beg for nutmeg, mite and midge for fridge, bondsman and post bail for junk mail, and, of course, tasty and new for chicken cordon bleu.

- Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Kabsa Spice Mix

Saudi Appetizer

KABSA SPICE MIX

INGREDIENTSKabsaSpice-

2 1/4 teaspoons allspice
2 1/4 teaspoons cardamom
3/4 teaspoon cloves, ground
½ tablespoon coriander
½ tablespoon cinnamon
½ tablespoon fennel
3/4 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon lime or orange zest
½ tablespoon pepper
½ tablespoon turmeric

Makes 4 2/3 tablespoons

Note: The above list of ingredient assumes the spices to be already ground. However, spice mixes taste better when using grinding your own spices. However, if you think the effort in tracking down ginger root, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, and peppercorns might turn you into an axe-wielding murderer, please consider using already ground spices.

PREPARATION

Mix ingredients together with fork.

TIDBITS

1) Isn’t that the shortest preparation instruction you’ve ever seen?

2) William Shakespeare could have had the shortest resume ever. All he would have needed to write was, “I am available.”

3) The smallest country in the world is Vatican City with an area of 0.2 square miles and 770 permanent residents. This tiny nation is the spiritual center for over one billion Roman Catholics.

4) Monaco gets the silver medal in the small-countries event with an area 0.7 squares miles and 32,000 people. It’s ruled by Prince Albert II. This nation maintains its independence from France only as long as the princely line produces heirs. Last time I checked the good prince had not produced kids, much less get married. Get cracking, Albert.

- Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Stan the Man, Stan the Country

Tired of being dismissed by the world as being politically and culinarily important, the nations of: Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan have decided today to unite and become one nation. Stan. Said President Stan Asid, “Maybe now the nations of the world will respect us or at least spell our country’s name correctly.”

Stan, the world’s newest nation, as shown on this nifty map.                             President Stan Aziz Azed

???????????

StanMap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- Paul R. De Lancey

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

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Icelandic Crepes – (Pönnukaka)

Icelandic Entree

ICELANDIC CREPES
(Pönnukaka)

INGREDIENTSIcelandicCrepe-

4 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 3/4 cups flour
12 ounce jar lingonberry jam
1 cup whipped cream
2 tablespoons confectionary sugar
no stick spray

makes 15 crepes

SPECIAL UTENSIL

crepe pan or skillet

PREPARATION

Melt butter in skillet. Let butter cool. Add cooled butter, eggs, milk, and sugar to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk for 1 minute or until thoroughly blended. Add baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and flour to second mixing bowl. Mix these dry ingredients with whisk.

Gradually fold in the baking powder/baking soda/cardamom/flour mix into the butter/
eggs/milk/sugar bowl. Mix with whisk. Batter is ready when lumps disappear.

Add drop of water to pan. Turn heat to medium-high. Pan is ready when water sizzles. Spray pan with no-stick spray. Pour 1/4 cup batter into pan. Make sure batter spreads evenly. Cook on medium-high heat for about 1 minute or until bottom of crepe turns golden brown. (X-ray vision helps. If you do not possess this skill, gently lift up the edges of the crepe with a spatula and take a peek.) Turn over crepe with spatula, a wide one is helpful, and cook for about 1 minute or until golden brown. Remove crepe from pan. Repeat for each crepe.

Place 1 heaping tablespoon whipped cream and 1 tablespoon lingonberry jam on the middle of each crepe. Fold in half to make a half-moon shape. Fold in half again to make a pie wedge. Press down gently to spread lingonberry and whipped cream through crepe. Top with 1/2 teaspoon confectionary sugar. Repeat for each crepe. Serve right away.

TIDBITS

1) Over half of all Icelanders believe in elves! Icelandic music companies have a bias in signing musicians who profess to believing in elves. It is said the elves will defend their rocky homes by using magic powers. Bulldozing companies sometimes arbitrate with elves in hopes of getting the wee people to leave. I would love to see this.

2) The Yule Lads are Iceland’s answer to Santa Claus. While the story around Santa Claus originated from a real person, Saint Nicklaus, the Yule Lads descended from evil trolls. Indeed, parents tormented wild children with, “The Yule Lads will get you if you don’t behave.” However, the powers that be made this form of parenting illegal in the 18th century. Now, they are relatively benign even though they sport names such as Bowl Licker and Window Peeper.

3) Today, kids are tormented by internet outages.

4) Britain and Iceland nearly went to war three times over the right to fish for cod near the Icelandic shores. Something to thing about when munching on a fish stick.

5) This tidbit did not survive editing.

6) Icelanders love to play midnight golf during July and August when the day is twenty-four hours long. There are lava beds on some Icelandic golf courses. Is there a lava-bed wedge in Icelandic golf bags? I don’t know.

7) Ice melts when dropped into any one of Iceland’s volcanoes.

8) Indeed, ice melts in any of the world’s volcanoes.

9) Cheese sandwiches burn rapidly when placed in an active volcano. That’s a bad way to toast your cheese sandwiches. Indeed, doctors everywhere recommend against this cooking technique, citing near certain incineration of the chef.

10) This is why Iceland has no gourmet toasted-cheese sandwiches restaurants close to active volcanoes, not even for tourists.

11) Can Iceland’s magical elves survive the intense heat of an active volcano? If so, they could toast cheese sandwiches. Sure, Iceland’s elven chefs would have to have incredibly quick and skilled hands. But wouldn’t a volcano-fired golden brown cheese sandwich be way cool?

- Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Finnish Dilled Beef Stew

Finnish Entree

DILLED BEEF STEW
(Tilliliha)

INGREDIENTSDilledBeef-

3 pounds boneless chuck roast
1 onion
3 tablespoons butter
3 ½ cups beef broth
1 teaspoon allspice
½ tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flour
2 ½ teaspoons sugar
2 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
½ cup cream
4 teaspoons dill

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven

Serves 6 (How big are your bowls?)

PREPARATION

Cut chuck roast into 1″ cubes. Mince onion. Put roast and butter into Dutch oven. Sauté for 5-to-10 minutes on medium-high heat or until chuck-roast cubes turn brown. Stir occasionally. Add beef broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Add onion, allspice, pepper, bay leaf, and salt. Cover and simmer on low heat for 90 minutes. Skim off foam as it occurs. Remove meat from Dutch oven and set aside.

Add flour, sugar, and red wine vinegar to broth and increase heat to medium. Stir continually until sauce thickens. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

TIDBITS

1) Ronkainen, a legendary Finnish robber of the 1700s, had would-be gang members carry a heavy woman over an obstacle course to prove their strength. The annual wife-carrying championships in Sonkajaarvi, Finland derive from this test. Wife carrying is not an Olympic sport. However, synchronized swimming is.

2) Finns excel at non-traditional sports as well. Be sure to make your way to Savonlinna, Finland during August for its prestigious Cell Phone Throwing Championship. Participants throw the cell phones over their shoulders and are judged by distance and techniques. Cell-phone-throwing mania is going global having caught in the rest of Europe and in the United States. This would be one Olympic event I would watch. Contact the proper agency for rules of competition. Despite the obvious tie in, I don’t believe Nokia is an official sponsor.

3) Air guitar enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Air Guitar season. Prestigious events are held in Germany along with Japan’s own elimination tournament. However, the crème de la crème of air guitardom is the World Final, held in Oulu, Finland in late August. Don’t forget to pack your air guitar or you’ll be forced to buy one at the local Ouluan shops and you’ll know what high prices you’ll see there.

4) The Mosquito Swatting Championship is held each year in Finland. Contestants try to swat the most mosquitoes in 5 minutes. Over thirty is a good number. I don’t know when the event takes place, but I imagine it is in the mosquito season. Visitors who attract mosquitoes like flies, hee hee, will be asked to sit in the back rows as the mosquitoes biting them diminish the number of mosquitoes available to the contestants.

5) Finland hosts the Ant Nest Sitting Competition. Athletes–whom am I kidding?–sit on an ant hill for as long as they can stand the ant bites. Okay, this one is weird.

6) Relax while competing! Enter the Finnish Sauna World Championship Simply stay the longest inside Finnish sauna in a temperature 110 degrees centigrade, 240 degrees fahrenheit. Held in August in Heinola, Finland, this contest makes a natural companion to tourists taking in the Air Guitar final.

7) Love soccer? Love mud? Head on over to Hyrynsalmi., Finland where over 200 teams from all over the world vie to win the Swamp Soccer World Cup. It’s held during Finland’s mud season.

8) If the idea of bodies writhing in mud gets you hot and bothered, be sure to take in the Kutemajarvi Sex Festival and Matchmaking Festival held in the towns Kangasniemi and Kurikka, Finland. If you are interested, please visit the Rakkausfestivalli’s website where a knowledge of the Finnish language helps a lot.

9) Speaking of speaking Finnish, consider attending the Finnish Dialect Speaking Championship held in early July in Kuopio, Finland. Past winners have usually demonstrated a strong command of this Nordic language.

10) Can’t speak Finnish, but still love to make yourself heard? Alaptika, Finland, puts on the renowned Cattle Calling Championship. Techniques of the champions are closely guarded secrets.

11) Lost at the Cattle Calling Championship? Want to take out your frustration from months of wasted practice? Redeem yourself by entering Milk Stool Throwing contests held all over rural Finland in early summer.

12) But above all else behave yourself while visiting Finland. Finnish prisoners are only allowed to use the sauna once a week. Scared straight, you bet.

- Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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