Memorial Day Brisket

Impulsive Purchases. We all have them. Most grocers put
candy and gum by the register to promote impulsive purchases.  It works on Mandi; she always leaves the
store with a candy bar.  I think they
should put the meat section right at the registers because I would always leave
with extra meat.  All of my impulse buys
happen to be large chunks of meat!  My last
one resulted in this
.  This past Saturday
I called Mandi from the store:

Me: Hey
Mandi: what’s up
Me: nothing.   Ummm   I just bought a brisket.  I don’t know why.
Mandi: uhhh  sweet?
Me How the hell do you cook a brisket
Mandi: I don’t know
Me: Go online and get me a recipe so I know what else to
Mandi: Naa, Im gonna go back to watching friends half
awake.  SEEYA!

Luckily, I had everything I needed at home!  Thanks to a loosely followed Paula Deen
, we were in business.

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Seared Tuna Taco

I have really wanted to sear tuna lately.  Why? I have no idea.  For some reason it has been one of those
dishes that gets stuck in your head and you can’t stop thinking about it until
you finally make it yourself!  But what would
we do with this seared tuna?  I didn’t really
want to put it in a salad.  The brainstorming
began at 2:30ish between Mandi and I over email.  Mandi wanted avocado because Thursday is
usually taco night and if she couldn’t have tacos, some avocado would at least
ease the pain.  I thought mangos would be
a nice compliment to the lightness of the tuna. 
After looking for awhile online, I was reminded of a raw tuna nacho
appetizer I had at Mesa Grill in New
.  I saw a
recipe that included an avocado and a chipotle crema and decided to make these,
wing a mango salsa, and put it all on a corn tortilla.  The results were delicious!

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Calzones are the oft neglected brother of the pizza.  When faced with the option of calzone or
pizza, most people I know would choose the pizza.  But what most people don’t realize is that at
home it is 10 times easier to recreate a delicious takeout calzone then it is a
takeout pizza.  And what’s better is you
can do it with leftovers!  Last night we
made these calzones because we had made pizza over the weekend and had
pepperoni, peppers and onion leftover. 
Mandi made some cheesesteaks for a work event and had a bunch of
leftover cheesesteak filling.  These
would also be good with a filling of leftover Buffalo wings, pasta, sausage,
chicken parm, taco meat, or really anything you could think of!  My opinion is that the wackier the filling
the better the calzone. (Disclaimer: this is the opinion of Dan only and not
the opinion of Mandi. Also TFIMB is not responsible for your awful chicken
parm-pad thai-taco-mozzarella stick calzone with orange flavored dipping sauce)

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Quiz – Cereal Mascots

Because my last quiz was so popular, and also because I am a
little behind in the cooking department, I have another one for you all
today.  Today’s quiz asks you to guess
the cereal name, and mascot name, for each of the cereal mascots below.  There are 20 pictures and therefore 40 available
points for correctly naming the mascot shown and what cereal he sold.   Scroll down after the pictures to see the
answers.  Some are very obscure and one
is fictional so don’t feel bad if you miss some.  Feel free to post your score below if you
think you are smart.  If you get above
30, lay off the sugar in the morning! Click below to start the quiz.

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Breakfast Pile

I haven’t put any breakfast posts up, but in my interview I
mentioned that breakfast is my favorite meal to cook.  I think this is because it is very relaxing
to me.  There are no cameras around, it
is a weekend morning, and I am in relaxation mode making an omelet for Mandi or
a few egg sandwiches before heading to the beach.  I decided to put some of my favorite
breakfasts up here.  They are all very
simple, nothing crazy or innovative, and most involve eggs.  Today we have the infamous “breakfast pile.”  I’m sure everyone has made this before. A big
pan of scrambled eggs with any and everything breakfast related mixed in.  Make no mistakes; this meal is made for
hangovers.  This is the perfect breakfast
for when you don’t feel so good when you wake up, but you have plans for the
day that need to be carried out.  The breakfast
of champions.  It is also helpful to have
a lot of leftovers in the fridge.

The most important thing when making the breakfast pile is that it’s not a recipe, it is an order of operations. 
Similar to the FOIL method when learning math (first, outer, inner,
last), there is a breakfast pile method I like to call the VEMCH method
(Veggies, Eggs, Meats (cooked), Cheeses, Herbs).  Once you own this method, you can put
whatever you want in here.

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Meat – on – a – stick

Ever go to a BYOF BBQ? 
Ya know, when your friend says “Hey man, come by tonight, we’re gonna fire up the grill and you can bring some meats or whatever you want to throw on there.”  When this happens what do you end
up bringing?  I bet the answer is a
burger or hot dog.  Now not that those
things aren’t delicious but I think it is much more fun to bring something like
this.  This particular day we weren’t
going to one of those BBQ’s, we were going to the beach, but this is a great recipe for one of those situations.

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Chicken Tuscany

About 2 and a half years ago, my mom found some random recipe
online.  It was really simple and
delicious she said.  So I decided to try
it out for a dinner party.  It was our
first dinner party ever, Mandi Rich and I fresh out of college living in Allston, MA
and having 5 people over after work on Thursday to watch the office.  Mandi and I worked on the meal while Rich
(1/2 of design team) cleaned up and prepped for the guests.  As we ate, we all just laughed the entire
time.  This was the best food any of us
had ever tasted!  I think that moment
caused me to get more into cooking because seeing the joy on everyone’s faces
was really awesome.  These days, I make
this meal occasionally and it always reminds me of that night.  It is no longer the best thing I have ever
tasted since my palate has changed and I have eaten much more types of foods
since then, but it always brings me back to those days on Lorraine Terrace.

Does anyone remember that party?  Was it as good as I remember?  Or was I just drunk… Anyways, the recipe is
.  It is called chicken Tuscany although I don’t think it has anything to do with
Tuscany.  We decided to put a Jamie Oliver risotto
recipe with it.  Before I get into the
food part, I found 5 pictures from that party a few years back that I want to
share with you.

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Sliders are a popular option at so many restaurants these
days, but did you know they are extremely easy to make at home?  Some weary travelers were set to arrive at my
house around 4 and we weren’t going to be having dinner until close to 9 so I
knew they would need a snack.  I thought
this would be just the thing to get them going.

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Strawberry Salad

Nothing crazy here today, just a really basic yet delicious strawberry
salad.  I’m sure you’ve all pretty much
had this salad in one form or another, and this is the way we make it.  Mandi really wanted to post this one because
it is her favorite salad.  The strawberries
were really fresh and delicious and the pictures came out great so here it is.

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Farmer Dan

I decided to grow some plants in my backyard.  I have always wanted to, and a combination of
being an impulsive dude, the right time of year, a beautiful day, and reading this
(I’m reading his book at the moment) made me run out and get
some containers and seedlings.  Suddenly
I had a small garden.  Now I am by no
means an expert on this, I’ve never done this before.   But I still wanted to post up some pictures
because I think these plants are beautiful. 
Also to show people who think they don’t have enough space and expertise
that it is really not that hard.  Its not too late either!

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I totally did not plan to make a Cinco de Mayo themed post
today.  I had tamales all lined up to go,
and I woke up and was like…hmmm today is Cinco de Mayo…  crazy! 
We made these because Mandi was scouring the internet for other things
to steam.  Once we bought the steamer she
decided that she wanted every meal steamed from that point on.  The thing about tamales is you are supposed to
use a metal pot steamer.  This is because
they take over an hour and a half and the bamboo starts to get really soggy at
that point.  This is fine, it still dries
out and everything, you just have to be careful with it.  They came out great for us and we even got some
nice bamboo flavor in the tamales that was delicious.  In a totally unrelated side note to TFIMB
fans, check out the web comic xkcd from today and also from Friday.  They are both food related, slightly nerdy,
and hilarious as usual.  Be sure to mouse
over to see the alt text.

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