“An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.” – Laurence J. Peter

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vegetarian Weekend

Sometimes, without really meaning to, we have vegetarian weekends. This tends to happen most often during the hottest days in summer when we are looking for light, easy-to-cook meals. (Of course, BBQ is also an alternative.) 

Last year, I think we went 5 or 6 days just eating veggie meals. This year, we just had a streak of 3 days.

Here are a few of the better recipes that we gravitate to:

For the Tomato Tart, for example, we just use store-bought puff pastry or make a simple savory pie dough then spread a little Dijon mustard on it. Add some grated Gruyere cheese and top with slices of fresh tomato. Salt and pepper on top and bake it. That's it. You can decorate it with some basil or parsley if you want. Simple is best. Of course, this basic recipe could use mushrooms instead of tomatoes, or even asparagus or caponata!

Or, put your favorite veggie ingredients on pizza dough and cook it on the grill.

Tags:  at-homefood
Posted under: Food and Cooking • by Rick on 07/18/2013 at 11:55 AM
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Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy 4th of July, 2013! [Updated with Photos]

Wow. It is another 4th of July holiday. Of course, I have off work today, and even though tomorrow is a work day, I'm taking it off.

Plans? Well not much. Our activities will revolve around food and the pool, of course. It is supposed to be in the high 80s but with the humidity percentage equal to the temperature, it will be a muggy day with a heat index well into the 90s. The pool is open and the robot is cleaning to prepare for an afternoon in the water.

We call this the Chic Sheik Shack. A great place to hang out if not in the water!

I'm going to try a ceviche for lunch. I love ceviche, but have never tried to make one myself. I'll let you know how it goes.

It went well!

And, around noon I will start the process of smoking then roasting a pork shoulder for pulled-pork sandwiches. I made a spicy rub yesterday and the pork has been sitting in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, sucking up the flavors of the rub. I've got hickory chips soaking in water. Soon, I will fire up the Weber charcoal grill and when ready smoke the pork for about 3 hours. Then it gets wrapped in foil and goes in the oven for another 2 hours. Then into a double thick paper bag for one hour. Even after resting for an hour, it will be very hot, but by then we will be so hungry I'll tackle it with a couple of forks to "pull" the meat off the bone. We'll serve it on hamburger buns with a ketchup-based barbeque sauce and cole slaw. Yum. I can hardly wait.

Pork shoulder smoking.

Pulled pork.

The completed dish.

Ice cream for dessert.

Tags:  at-homefoodactivitiespool
Posted under: New JerseyStuff You Gotta Know!Food and Cooking • by Rick on 07/04/2013 at 07:09 AM
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Monday, July 01, 2013

Nice Weekend

We had a pretty nice weekend.

We worked at power-washing the deck for about 3 hours on Saturday morning. Even with an early start and a cloudy morning, it got pretty hot before we were done. It had been a couple of years since I'd washed it and it needed it badly. It looks great now.

Then, we did some shopping and had lunch at a local old-fashioned diner called Good Times. The afternoon was spent around the pool.

We had beer-can chicken for dinner and it was great. Grilled corn-on-the-cob was an excellent accompaniment. 

Sunday, we went to the Warwick market where we got some veggies and greens. Upon arriving at home we made a nice green salad with goat cheese and roasted beets. Yum.

Another afternoon in the pool. Toward evening the weather got cloudy and looked threatening, so we spent the evening inside. Although we did fire up the bbq to do grilled lamb chops along with some roasted carrots and fingerling potatoes.

The only real bad thing on the weekend was our discovery of swollen lymph nodes on Alex. That is a sure sign that something is not right, and that "something" is most likely lymphoma. We've been through this with Sailor several years ago, so know the protocol of chemo treatments. Lynne will get him into the local vet this morning and we'll take it from there. Alex is approaching 11 years old--old for a Bernese Mountain Dog. And, he has always been a wonderful dog so we'll do whatever we need to do to keep him with us as long as possible.

Tags:  at-homefoodactivitiesalexpool
Posted under: New JerseyDog StuffFood and Cooking • by Rick on 07/01/2013 at 06:49 AM
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013


When we told friends and family that we planned to visit Cartagena, Columbia in mid-June the common response was "that's interesting." I needed to travel to do training for our South American sales team, and I asked Lynne to come along so we could spend a weekend together in a city and country we would likely not visit under any other circumstances. I think Colombia's reputation for drug cartels, violence, and internal political strife had people thinking we were crazy. Only the word they used was "interesting."

Read on for the details of our visit! And, be sure to check out Lynne's posts on our trip here.

Center courtyard at hotel, typical of colonial-style architecture.


Tags:  foodtravelgalleryactivities
Posted under: Food and CookingTravel • by Rick on 06/18/2013 at 02:13 PM
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Lynne and I discovered this great service that is now available in the NYC area--luckily that includes us.

It is a service that works a bit like a book club. Only, instead of books their product is dinner. It is called Plated and you can learn more at http://www.plated.com/invites/e013c9. (If you decide to try them out later, please use this link to access their site. That way, I get credit for your referral and maybe a free plate!)

Here is how it works. Each week you get an email describing four or five different meals that will be available the following week. You can go to their web site any time to learn more about the next week's meals. If you want to try one or more, you can select them and have them delivered to your door on Tuesday. You must select at least 4 plates and they must be selected in pairs. So, when Lynne and I use this service, we select two meals from those available and then order two of each. Plates cost about $15 each. 

The really great part is that you get everything you need to make the meal (well except some staples like olive oil, flour, salt and pepper.) It all comes in a box with every ingredient pre-measured and packaged. Just follow the simple instructions that are included and in less than 1/2 hour, you have an excellent meal. 

The recipes can be kept and recreated later (but you must do the shopping.)

If you join as a member an pay a monthly fee (I think it is $10) then you get a discount on each plate (that more than pays for the membership.) And, you will get a preselected set of meals each week unless you go online to cancel (or call or send an email.) This is where it is a bit like a book club. Lynne and I have the membership, but most weeks I cancel the proposed meals and either select our own or select nothing. After all, we really don't need two meals a week from them.

But, if you ever have those weeks where you just can't decide on what you want to shop for and eat, this service is helpful because the recipes are varied, always good, and very, very easy since everything is delivered ready to cook.

Check it out!

Tags:  food
Posted under: New JerseyFood and Cooking • by Rick on 05/15/2013 at 09:15 AM
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