2019 - Week 13 Cooking

We went out to the new Palms Imax theater in Waukee to see and early screening of Shazam! It seems like they opened early to start bringing in money. There seems to be thinks that are not in place yet. Also it seems like some parts are a flow design nightmare. The parking lot appears to be unlined, the “sidewalks” seem to be just other colored concrete (we saw people parked over it). They’re still installing some of the decoration on the outside. Inside, the kiosk where we get the tickets (from the fandango purchase), it is unclear where we’re supposed to scan the bar code. There is a restaurant, and snacks and these work about what you expect. It seems as if they haven’t gotten down the amount of frequency you need to clean the bathroom, or change the paper towels (I got it twice, once with no paper towels, once with just a single one). The closes bathrooms to the IMax and upper end theater are far enough away it doesn’t make for a quick run out mid-movie and return. So for the upcoming big screen experiences, it seems to exclude it from anything of any length (2.5+) from wanting to be seen there. That being said, the sound in the XL Digital screen has better sound then where we have been going. They also don’t even seem to be remotely concerned about recycling. Shazam!, was pretty good though. I think DC is finding the right balance, between darkness and humor.

I decided to put the fridge looking on hold for a bit. The one I limited it down to is supposed to come in stainless still and black stainless (black being more expensive). But they were out of stainless, and I prefer the Costco delivery over others I have worked with (also the money I get back). So I’ll wait to around the next appliance holiday sale or whatever and check again. I do have everything measured and noted. The old house challenge of having narrow (by comparison) doorways. I went all the perspective pathways and found the easiest one (31” max width) was the one with the most width. This is also related to the fact that I’ve blown through my flex spending already (new bifocals + new CPAP), so if anything comes up, we don’t want to be in a bind.

I’ve been adjusting our near term financial goals to have more in reserve. The adjustment has been a bit hard, as most money adjustments are. It is also challenging to know that I can pay off the last of my student loans, but that may not be the best financial choice.

Also, I’m going to Weezer this week. I’ve seen them before, but I also get to see The Pixies, which is also pretty cool (I’ve never seen them).

2019 - Week 12 Cooking Results

Fettuccine Alfredo

I did much better this time around, though I did forget to cook the chicken like I had planned, but that was ok. Maybe because I didn’t mess this up like the other recipe, I clearly like this one better. I’m much happier now.

Halved One-Skillet Cheese Beef And Macaroni

So halved in some places, others not so much. So it was a bit extra noodly by comparison. That being said…it was ok. Not enough pop, I guess. Just something that I’d expect out of a box meal (add one pound of meat for food like substance).

Quick and Easy Pork Fried Rice With Corn and Shishito Peppers Recipe

I couldn’t find shishito peppers, although I didn’t try that hard to find them (no extra stores), I just used a green pepper. The recipe was clear and simple and turned out pretty good for a simple meal. I made it early so we could go to a movie. I added a bit of heat to mine, Shannon not so much.

Taco Salad

Good as always.

Lamb & Fennel (Large Black) Sausage over Potatoes

Roasting, fat spills out over the potatoes, to flavor them with lamb and fennel. Perhaps the fennel was a bit more pronounced then it should be (I like fennel). Made for a good meal.

2019 - Week 11 Cooking Results

Chicken Alfredo

As this was for Shannon’s Birthday, I was frustrated with myself as I well and truly fucked this up. Re-reading the recipe I can see why, but I’m still frustrated with myself not being able to pull it out. I’m going to do this again. Maybe not this recipe, but ffs, I’m annoyed with myself.

Easy Meatloaf

So this was interesting. It is always a bit odd to watch the variables that change to make the relatively simple combination of eggs, milk, bread of some type to add as a binder. The English muffins was a bit new for me. That being said, this was a little bland for my taste. I tried to follow it as closely as possible and added a stripe of Dijon mustard before baking it. It was ok, it made for good sandwiches.

Hamburgers (for real this time)

I tried my best to cook these low and slow, to avoid setting off the smoke dectector…



Oh well. I have been passively investigating a hood vent, but the fridge needs help more then that does, I guess.

Grilled Cheese (Emmentaler)

A little fried Canadian bacon, a bit of cheese and some lightly soured bread (normally it would be called sourdough, but seriously I know what it should taste like, and while better then some bread, it’s not sourdough). It worked out pretty well. The cheese was bought as part of a drive to save the Emmentaler. It’s a great cheese. Sandwiches were pretty good.

I made some brownies. I haven’t made them in a while. they turned out pretty good, I follow a recipe on Serious Eats. They got good reviews.

2019 - Week 11 Cooking

We are at about 1.5 weeks of having a fiber optic internet connection from CenturyLink. This is something I’ve been wanting for…well as soon as I realized it could be a possibility. I still am thankful that Mediacom is investing in Iowa to upgrade all their connectors, however, fiber!. Anyways, so far the stability has been rock solid. I upgraded our internal network to support the connection better (I did this previously so it could take full advantage of the speed that we had from Mediacom previously), and eve at that it peaks out at around 4/10s of the capacity. So far I’m pretty happy, not to mention saving 40% for 5x the speed is not a bad thing.

From time to time I look at condos in the area that we’ve vaguely talked about moving to, and I’m of the opinion that it might be a requirement now to have fiber to the home. I guess we’ll see.

I’ve been drinking my beer cellar out of Founders and Goose Island. Most are recentish, but some reached back over nearly six years. With the January drinking break, and Cleaning the cellar, my alcohol spending is way below normal, which is probably for the best.

2019 - Week 10 Cooking Results

Creamy Chicken Chowder with Garlic-Parmesan Oyster Crackers

I ran out of milk, so I added extra cream and water. I didn’t have the garlic or parsley, so they were just parmesan oyster crackers. It was pretty nice though. A nice flow of activity. I started a bit early so we would have enough time to medicate Freyja and drive out to see Captain Marvel. Made for a pretty good meal on a not as cold but really windy day.

Spanish Baked Rice with Chorizo and Chickpeas

I had leftover chorizo from the braised chicken thighs dish from a bit back. It worked well in this situation and this came out to be quite delicious. It took a bit, but couldn’t be helped. It had a lot of inactive time, which worked out well.

Cottage Bacon & Eggs on English muffins

Simple and good. Using cottage bacon from the freezer.

Beef Burgers

So when I was making the Spanish baked rice, I accidentally stuck my hand in the wrong box and opened up a tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes, because of this, I decided to go with sloppy joes. As I used my last can of diced tomatoes on the baked rice, I picked up a can as a side trip and got buns as well. I used some of the leftover BBQ rub in the mixture and it turned out pretty good.


Easy and simple.

2019 - Week 9 Cooking Results

Parmesan Minestrone with Chili Mayo Toasts

For being a recipe from a celebrity, this was pretty good. I think the chili oil used may be a bit more spicy then the one I picked up (learning the lesson that I should’ve taken the time to make my own). But pretty good overall. I did make some swaps, frozen green beans over canned, Pecorino Reserva over parmigiana, because I picked up the wrong cheese from the fridge.

Spicy-Sweet Sambal Pork Noodles

I really enjoyed this. It was spicy, but not to spicy that Shannon would have issues, like a building spice. Meaty and fairly consistent throughout. It really should be a standard. I used about a pound of dried noodles (costco ftw) that I had around the house. It did use the last of my plain ground pork. Which is, I suppose, part of my goal of emptying out the freezer.

Sous Vide Pork Chop (Lucky George)

I need a vent hood, so I can effectively finish things at high temperature. After dealing with the smokey main level of the house, the pork chop was pretty good.

Deer Burgers (Thanks Charlie!)

We had to start Freyja on medication for hyperthyroidism, and she does not take medication very well…at all (we were both injured). So my original thought of doing a couple of separate smaller versions didn’t work out very well. I stuck to just a bunch of butter and salt and pepper. Still pretty good.

Spanish Baked Rice with Chorizo and Chickpeas


2019 - Week 8 Cooking Results

Tomato Curry Chicken

Too much condensed tomato soup taste. It was not an ingredient in a larger balanced dish, but just overwhelmed everything else.

Chorizo & Chickpea Braised Chicken Thighs

I adjusted this quite a bit. Well, some. I had some leftover onions so I added those to the mixture. So it ended up having quite a bit more stuff around the chicken then chicken itself, which was fine. It turned out to be quite tasty. Good stuff. There is a lot of the stuff around the chicken left so I’ll probably make some rice to put it over for lunch.

Pasta With Sausage, Basil and Mustard

This was surprisingly simple and delicious. As a fan of mustard, this really is right up my alley. I had to slow down the process as I waited for the water to boil. I did, however, leave the pan on very very low, while we were eating, so I over cooked the leftovers a bit, so I can’t report on how they were, fairly. It’s a good thing.

Chicken Salad

I have been getting home later than I intend to this week and combined with my recent desire to nap after work. So an hour or so of running the sous vide, didn’t seem to be the way to go, so I planned on a snack. I got everything put together and got the chicken going. Then took the snack downstairs to Shannon and we watched TV for a bit while the chicken cooked with the salt, lemon and tarragon. Shortly after the minimum time finished, I headed back upstairs to finish the recipe. I didn’t follow it fully as I know how to make a chicken salad. I should’ve let it cool down further, but it was already closing in on 8:PM. So I mixed them in with the mayo and mustard and vegetables and served them on rolls and it was pretty good. I like the process of it because you have a nice perfectly cooked chicken as a basis for a salad. There is, however, something to be said for the torn chicken from a rotisserie, but even so, it’s a nice alternative with a bit of extra fat and flavor from chicken thighs.


White park beef, good stuff.