Everything from a can tacos

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In honor of taco Tuesday, I thought I’d to a taco themed post. That is, a post where I talk about how we make ‘tacos’. You’d think that since I have a moderate stock-pile of ground turkey, I’d just use that. Nope. That takes planning and shit, and during the week I don’t really have the attention span for planning. My solution? Everything from a can tacos. It’s easy and all you have to do is open a bunch of cans and heat them up. Plus add whatever taco shell tickles your fancy. I like this particular dinner because it requires virtually no effort, tastes okayish, and includes vegetables (fruit – actually, tomatoes are fruit). Anyhow, here it is so I can continue being lazy and cooking dinner that’s actually not everything from a can tacos (chicken in the oven, I’m just sitting here waiting for the thingy to ding and tell me it’s time to get off my ass, grab another beer and then point at the food and exclaim CHILDREN, YOU’VE BEEN FED BE THANKFUL YOU DON’T LIVE IN A CARDBOARD BOX YET!)

What you need:

  • 1-2 Cans of chicken breast
  • 1 can of diced green chilies (mild or hot to taste)
  • 1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 diced onion (I know this isn’t from a can, but this is essential so cope)
  • 1 small can of salsa verde
  • 1 can of black beans (drain)
  • 1 can sliced olives
  • 1 package of taco seasoning

Directions:

Mix it up in a deep pan and heat until heated. Do whatever it is you normally do with taco shells and serve.

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Rising Creek – Bourbon Whiskey Review

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Lookey-loo! I finally got round to doing an actual bourbon review! And only a week late. So, just real quick, to make sure we’re all up to speed. What is Bourbon? To start, the mash (the fermentables in water) must be 51% corn. The rest of the grain is usually a mix of barley and rye. The other thing is that it’s got to be aged in new charred oak barrels – and quite frankly it’s not any sort of whisky unless it’s been aged on oak. Interestingly Bourbon does NOT have to be made in Kentucky, that’s just Kentucky straight bourbon, which has it’s own special marketing designations. Normally, when these are fermented (and this is generally true for the bulk of large modern distilling operations) a sour-mash is used to ferment the mash. In Beer, you’d mash by steeping the grains in water at a temperature of about 150F. Provided you have enough barley (natural source of amylase), the starches in your mash will convert to sugars that can be fermented. In a sour-mash, everything is just dumped into a fermentation vessel of some sort and allowed to slowly convert the starches to sugars and ferment at the same time. Lactic acid builds up in the process giving a distinct sour taste that comes through so strongly in american whiskeys & bourbons.

In any case, that’s enough about bourbon as a thing. On to reviewing this specific whisky. First off, it is smooth like a Canadian whisky, but without all of the heavy caramel flavors you usually get in one of those. Normally, Bourbons tend to be a bit more rough around the edges.

The nose here reminds me of apple, but it also smells ‘raw’, as if it’s just been brought out of the still and into the cup. It’s sort of hard to describe, but it’s like the grain flavor has been reduced into it’s essential grainy bits and fed to you. The flavor is kinda bland actually. A hint of caramel, a hint of oak, or toffee, a bit of something nutty and some spice, but that’s sort of it. The finish is not super long and a wee bit spicy. Really, it’s about as smooth as the taste itself. If I’m being honest, this bourbon reminded me of what would happen if an Irish Whiskey knocked up it’s Canadian Whiskey girlfriend.

On a scale of Mix to Neat. I’d actually put this as shots. (yes, below mix, it mixed plain and din’t add much to the drink). Anyhow, it was cheap, and I wouldn’t say don’t buy it, but meh, sometimes you need to take shots – like when arguing with someone politically diametrically opposed to you on Twitter. Nobody is going to win and you really just need something to bring you off the ledge of apoplectic rage.

Phoning it in – Plain noodles

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So far with this blog I’ve managed to write up some family favorites, but what I haven’t yet done is the misadventure part. I think I’d like to change that, largely because it’s a more significant part of my cooking-dad narrative than this blog might otherwise suggest.

Last week, I failed to write a blog post. There are a bunch terrible of reasons for this more akin to excuses. The largest of which is that I went to a writer’s retreat and didn’t feel like it. I worked on my book, which is a satirical take on the fairy tale of true love, not cooking. I could, of course, have just written and scheduled a post ahead of time like all other studious bloggers, but, well – lazy. In fact, I was lazy all week. My crowning achievement was folding the laundry. I spent most of the week phoning-it-in for dinner, and not the sort where somebody brings you food. Dinner was a product of condensed soup, McDonalds, and plain noodles.

One lament, heard far and wide, by working parents is that about cooking. I mean, after a 10 hour day of commuting, working and generally not sitting on the couch watching TV, the last damn thing any one of us wants to do is cook. Usually, this is where going out comes in, but when you’ve got kids that are starting to eat like teens, that becomes an outrageous expense the minute such a notion pops into your mind.

When I was a kid, about the age of our oldest now, the go-to was hamburger helper. If memory serves, it was the first thing I learned how to cook. The other go-to, for a time, was also TV-dinners. To be clear, this was NOT an every night occurrence, though if you eat enough hamburger helper, it may as well have been. In my family, the solution is plain noodles. No olive oil, or pesto basil with sliced olives, sun dried tomatoes, toasted almonds and mushrooms. None of that. Just plan damn noodles. It takes roughly 5 minutes dirties exactly 1 pot and exactly 1 strainer and it’s slightly more healthy than mac-and-cheese.

At this point, you may be saying, but Dave! You could also just empty a jar of sauce into a pot and have sauce too, then you’d have a veggie to go with. To this, all I have to say is: one pot, one strainer, why the hell would I dirty more dishes if I don’t have to.

What you need

  • Some damn noodles
  • A pot of water

Directions:

Boil the water, add noodles and boil until soft, but no so soft they’re basically mush. You want a bit of firmness in your noodles. And, if you insist on being one of those pinterest parents, you can add the basil pesto, a couple cans of sliced olives, sliced mushrooms, a handful of toasted almonds and half a jar of sliced up sun-dried tomatoes.