Monday, May 31, 2010

Taking stock of the domestic life

Today is memorial day, and I thought it would be proper to say that I would never have this glorious domestic life if not for the sacrifices of our troops. I might have my reservations with most wars today, but if not for those who came before me and their choices to protect this country, I might not be able to choose to live the life I live. Choosing to be an artist is a dubious financial decision as it is! It's a big thing to offer up your life in the name of what you believe in, and that to me is awe inspiring. We should all reflect on that as we eat our steel-cut oats this morning. Oats with a splash of milk, cranberries, and raisins. No sugar, lest you offset your blood sugar for the day! Sorry, I read too much about food. Have a great day everyone!

And seriously, just look at the sheer joy on Oscar's face as he eats that chip! LOL!!!!!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pizza 51

Ah, the artist life. When things go right, we are surrounded by art, artists, and damn good food. It's a craft thing. I have a high appreciation for things done well, for artistry in the kitchen and in the studio.

Today I met up with a couple people whom I only recently met here in Kansas City, Bob and Anna Atkins. Bob is a letterpress printer with his operation Skylab Letterpress, and Anna works for Hallmark as a designer. Talk about fascinating people, and we had what was probably the biggest slice of pizza I have ever seen. Pizza 51 is an old gas station, something I've found is a consistent sign of a good restaurant in KC. I paid $5.75 for a slice of pizza, with five hand picked toppings, and I couldn't nearly finish it in one meal. We're talking a slice the size of my head, and my huge Irish/Belgian head would make an unrivaled meal if equated in portion size!

The talk was great as we meandered from food to local corporate powerhouse Hallmark (which is probably interesting enough for a blog post unto itself), and of course we talked about printmaking. It's nice being around artists after my hectic year of travel, unemployment, and my exodus in Iowa. I have to say all parts of the past year were great. I traveled through India with my best friend, I got back into a kitchen, I signed on for a triathlon that's happening officially 7 days from today, and after all of it I'm here with a job at a print shop with nothing but open road ahead of me. It could only get better if I eeked out a source for health insurance. But then you can't have everything, but you can find ways to keep life good, prosperous and full of potential. So I've got that going for me, which is sweeeeeeeeeeeeet.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Slanging dental care products ala Costco

I currently work two jobs, so my time as home is limited, thus my domesticity is becoming a more focused affair; quicker, dirtier. Back to the impromptu ways that I love! I'll pass on a few lessons learned since coming here to Kansas City.

1) Costco is insane and no I don't need 10 toothbrushes. Can one become a dealer in supplies such as toothbrushes and Mach III razors? Perhaps that can be my backup plan since teaching is ridiculous to even consider.

2) When making lunch on the go, Quinoa is great as a sub for rice in beans and rice.

  1. Prep a batch of Quinoa. Add fresh garlic and onion while it's hot, olive oil, and salt and pepper. This is your base and you can eat it all week.
  2. Use some chopped up chipotles to your tolerance level. For me that's about three perbowl of food. This level of spicy consumption is attainable by you too, if you so wish.
  3. When you're making your to-go bowl of food, add the Quinoa mix and the chiles. Toss in whatever you have: spinach leaves, zucchini, cucumber, bell peppers, cheese.
  4. Final addition: Black beans straight out of the can, rinsed quickly. Again I owe it to Costco for coercing me to buy way too much of one thing. I have like 10 cans, and these with the rest of this mix makes for a great little meal, and it's simple.
  5. Eat with chips, tortillas, some hot sauce, sour cream if you're into the dairy cow emulsions.
3) Yogurt on the go is a great thing, also from Costco, I have a gallon or so to work on. Just make sure to seal your tupperware, or the yogurt liquid can spill out all over your calendar and sketchbook and leave you with this funky mess that isn't really possible to clean since it's inside your backpack.

Yep, if you're in need of 7 pounds of nuts, it's the place to go.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Nyerding out/Eating yogurt

O' say is that beef?

With banana in hand, my late night dinner in the print shop, I'm contemplating prints, food, interactive art, etc. It's a new direction for me personally, but I think it has to be a part of this new venture of mine. Recently I've started as Director of INKubator Press in Kansas City, MO. The funny thing is, I'm unsure about my future in prints. I know that whenever I leave it, I always come back and do it more than before and there are a lot of things to explore here in our shop.

I suppose that what I was thinking about was how can prints function in the art world today, and by that I'm wondering about the art world trends towards performance art, social practice, interactive art, experiential happenings, etc. Within that world, how does printmaking function? It's a question I haven't answered for myself, and in reality I hardly practice things like that, but maybe that's where this love for food could channel.

Is there a future in edible delights of a political nature? Could our family dream of someday opening a taco cart come to fruition at an art gallery? Am I capable of moving beyond impromptu cooking and actually be able to create recipes for contemplation and consumption? Hmmm...I think this post has generated something to consider. Whether you're into art or not, what do you readers think?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Love handles just not big enough to handle?

So I just updated my site within the depths of Blogger, and hopefully keystrokes of cooking goodness will begin to reach a few people out there. Following apparently doesn't do jack, so I added a few emails to a list, and there's an email subscribe link as well as the means to add to a google reader, which I highly recommend if you use iGoogle. I keep up on a lot of blogs now, and you can too. So keep up with my latest turmoil over the hot stove, and let me know what you think!

The Domestic Male

Case in Point

If you want the start of this, see the previous post.

So I followed a link on a blog, and came upon this trended site based on men cooking. Man Tested Recipes is the name, and yes the lead ingredients include meat, pasta, bacon, beans, beer, butter, cheese and chocolate. This is funny to me, as it describes a good portion of my palette, but it's also funny because combinations of these foods in large portions also leads to man boobs.

What is also terribly ironic is that my next recipe, a whopper I'm preparing based on a meal the other night, includes chiles, beer, meat, and a grill. I suppose you can't get around it, but I swear that I'm not choosing my materials or methods based on masculine prejudice. I just like flame seared asparagus. I lived in New Mexico, so my stash of chiles is straight from fields near my old house. (Man I miss running on those dusty irrigation canals.) Even with justification, my trends do lean towards the man-proven recipe direction, but I'll chalk it up to a genetic predisposition. At some point hundreds of thousands of years ago, humans discovered and tamed fire. The next thing was naturally some grilled critters that previously weren't nearly as tasty, and grilling was born. I'm thankful for that innovation, and you don't have to be a man or woman to appreciate that.


A domestic male might be someone who has cleaned his car...once. Yes, one time in the past four or five years. I'm an artist, and I travel a lot, and I don't have a lot of time to vacuum upholstery. That's my story. When I finally cleaned it, I kicked its ass!

He might do dishes or fold an errant blanket. For sure he'll cook up a storm for the most random of occasions, especially for a movie party where people will eat their fill of chipotle salsa and piles of various meats. With all of this domesticity comes a way of life, and with that a language to describe it.

Cooking is an amazing skill to have, and it doesn't make a man less masculine. On the contrary, it's becoming more and more common for men to cook. Now I'm not saying that a man who cooks has to be using insane spices, beer and pork in every other recipe as stated on Aldenteblog. I could care less about testosterone-related ingredient choices. But I'm saying that a man can be sensitive, whip up a mean Quinoa, and relax at night reading a scholarly article on the contemporary nature of printed multiples. (Sorry for the print nerd reference.) I'm not worried to say that a squirrel I saw was cute, but when it popped into my head my first thought was, "Aw, what a badass little guy!" That's where I'm coming from. Now I'm going to go make a spicy egg sandwich!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In the running for the most terribly numb day of my life

I just did the dishes. I didn't wash that tea cup.


The Domestic Male

Ass Burning Green Beans

Green beans. Spicy, kickass ginger garlic flavor, and some green topped radishes sliced thin. A bit of orange juice and soy sauce make for a great background for this highlight of early summer. Add spice as you like. I like chile bean sauce.

Monday, May 3, 2010

No excuses when you're trying to live.

Yeah, sometimes I just eat a gas station corn dog.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Best food site ever?

I had to link to this site, which crosses the line for tasteful language, but not tasty sounding foods. It makes me laugh over and over. With a similar mission to mine, I feel suddenly like I write way to much crap in my posts when I could keep things so much more simple.

Who needs ingredients anyway? does go well with the freezer burn.

I promised to talk about my marinara, which was inspired by a show I saw where this dude made some marinara. What a wonderful modern day inspirado, detached food inspiration from cooking shows; just enough to get people to eat other foods than their daily burnt toast and JIF peanut butter.

So here's my crib sheet. I find that lately I am writing down little plans for my food, because some are too complicated for me to throw together, yet I don't need to measure much and I know the order of cooking before hand.

The plan was to start a simmering tomato base with canned diced tomatoes. You can soup this up to your own specs. I added turkey broth made from turkey parts, maybe two or three cups, and a splash of balsalmic. Salt and Pepper of course.

Then I sauteed up some garlic and onions in a healthy amount of oil, maybe a 1/4 cup. When they were tasty and fragrant, I added some capers and red chile flakes. This was what made the smell take off, and you can let this cook for just a couple minutes before throwing it in with your tomatoes.

To this I added the secret ingredient, fresh herbs frozen last summer that I discovered in the freezer. There was basil and rosemary. Be careful with the rosemary, it can be a bit strong. And then when I found the sauce had a tinge of bitterness, I put in some honey. Test it and alter as needed, but this was simple and damn good on those freezer-burned raviolis the other night.

The Domestic Male eats leftovers

The life of the Domestic Male is hard. Considering that I live in my parents attic and I'm 29 years old, you would think my daily routine consisted of bong rips and world of warcraft, but in reality it's a lot of hard work. I sit here and craft business documents, update websites, network with administration officials, and workout (or sulk because I skipped my workout!). Going into the details that brought me to this predicament is T.M.I., but it's enough to know that because of my situation, I have created this blog.

I find that my parents are collectors. Collectors of antiques, exotic species of rice, and $7 jars of honey. They have enough stemware to serve a party of 80, and they hardly drink! Still, it's the food accumulation that I find fascinating. My father gets compelled by fits of solidarity for small town grocers and comes home with the strangest things. My mother is an herb growing machine, the benefits of which are my huge increased consumption of pesto in the past two years. YUM! She has to throw it out, and I daydream of fried sage leaves. A perfect mix for me to live here, because the house comes equipped with everything an inspired cook needs, with just enough to push me to be creative since everything is so random. It was with this mood that I created a great breakfast today. Simple, sort of healthy, and so satisfying.

The basic parts: amazing locally roasted Brazilian and Costa Rican coffee from Roasters in Hiawatha, some broiled butter toast, and a homemade marinara with a couple poached eggs thrown in.

My next post will detail my thought on the sauce, but this was a breakfast of champions. And I'll throw in my advocacy for un-toaster toast here for free. We used to have this practice at the house for toasting bagels under the broiler with margarine. It leaves the bagel soft and chewy, and crisps up the top to a golden brown. (Unless you walk away during that crucial minute when the bagel is perfect, and you end up with a black charred thing that you might have to eat anyway because you're in a hurry to go wrestle somebody.) Anyway, it's the best toast, and it's how I did it today, with good bread, and I watched it like a hawk. So eat more poached eggs, be kind to your toast, and be a snob about your brew. Texas Toast has it's place, but not this morning.