13 09 2011

Sept. 1: TJ Hotdog Night w/friends and family: Me x Stef x Janet Raso x Leon Browning x Gabriel Urias x Marissa Vasquez Urias x Marieke Dewitte x Simion Kreimer x Ivin Arquiza

Sept. 2: Wedding Rehearsal dinner @Fuddruckers & House Party with entire wedding party

Sept. 3 Bachelor Party @ Iron Fist Brewery x Lost Abbey x Green Flash x Ballast Point x Toronado SD x True North

Sept. 4: Quintaso Wedding @Memorial Bowl Park x La Bellas Cafe & Games 11 hour wedding reception

Sept. 5: Rehabilitation x Menudo x Wedding Party x Recovery

Sept. 6-11 London, England:
The Underground x Parliament x Buckingham Palace x Big Ben x Thames River x London Bridge x Harrod’s x Selfridges x Fish & Chips x Large Warm Pints on cask x Pickle x Tea Time x The British Museum x Bricklane x Trafelger Square x SoHo x Piccadilly Circus… All of it.

Sept. 11: Edinburgh, Scotland: in progress…


Mansions on the Moon…

14 01 2011

Though this digital download came out in October, 2010… Benzi & Diplo presention of MANSIONS ON THE MOON ( MOTM (PARADISE FALLS)) contains sounds, noises, and music that takes you to a lakeside villa on the moon in the year 3,000… chillax (chill out and chop wood) and enjoy!

El Lay #November, 2010

24 11 2010

If Home is where The ♥ is… I have many Homes ^_^

This sentiment sums up the feelings that grew in me as I arrived to my house after galavanting around the greater Los Angeles area this past weekend. When I arrived home from a long weekend in L.A. I was excited to reconnect to my material things: the home I worked so hard to buy, my couch which has the same effect as vicodin on the human body, my french press which makes me cups of snobfee, and ofcourse my DVR and whatever I forgot I cared about recording and am surprised to find when I look at my list.

Though these things evoke many emotions: Gluttony, Sloth, and Pride to name a few; these sins are fleeting and in no way compare to time spent with friends or family. Like breakfast and a movie with me mum. Beer and Chargers with my Pop. Craft Beer hunting with my closest friends. And, more specific to this past weekend: Geeking out with my Best Buddy from college Eugene, or being extra posh with my fairest protege Ms. Crystal. Having new experiences and seeing new things is one thing, but it is quite another when shared with the people you love.

Having said that, one would think that I don’t like to be alone. On the conrtrary; I’m actually quite comfortable in my own skin and nothing is as trance inducing as driving 100mph in my Mustang, listening to The Cool Kids, with the promise of new gear in my future. In fact that was the first stop on my trip. Shopping on Fairfax. Crooks & Castles on Sunset Blvd. Huf. Supreme. 10 DEEP. The Hundreds. Most of these brands may not mean anything to you, and in the grand scheme of things they don’t mean anything, BUT when I make a purchase I want it to mean something. I have spent nearly 2 years researching student validation for my dissertation, I conduct hours of research to buy soy milk, you can imagine the amount of research I put into buying shoes, so much so that it comes naturally so that even the purchase of hats, or shirts comes after learning the history of a company, the manufacturing facilities that make their wears, and the life-styles that these brands promote. I did my shopping, took my time, and enjoyed it all by myself so that I COULD do my shopping and take my time 😉 1980’S inspired sports teams hats at the hundreds, HUF brand box cutters, LA exclusive 10 Deep hats at their pop-up shop on Fairfax, and unparalleled customer service by the actual honors/designers of Crooks and Castles is the stuff hypebeasts dram of, but I call it Friday…

After a few hours of being a consumer I came across Damiano’s Pizza on Fairfax a “B-Rated” establishment with a bustling shop; which told me one thing: This place must be good! They had me at hello. As I enetered there were 5 refirgerators filled with craft beers and exotic imports. Old Speckled Hen. Abita Beer. Lindeman’s Lambic Framboise. The later found it’s way on my table with a sicilian slice of pepperoni, eggplant, and garlic pizza, all in all a fine meal in a dank and dingy dungeon. As I left the establishment I readied my GPS and headed to “Avenue of The Stars” to visit my “Bust Buddy from College” Eugene. Eugene and I were Student Mentors at SDSU as undergrads. Though we are friends for many reasons Eugene will always have my respect for teaching me how to let go and go with the flow. In other words I would not be as laid back as I am without his guidance and for that I thank him. Anywho. Eugene was a Film major at SDSU, he had a black turtleneck and glasses on at all times, and now he’s “Hollywood Kid” working at Fox Studios carrying out murders and assassination plots.

Friday with Eugene was dope. Visited the Fox Studio Store where you can buy many dvds at cost (I got season 5 of IASIP for a song). We toured the Fox Studios lot (everything is a set, even the lot is a set). Took pics with many costumes actually used on set (see pics below). And I met high powered douchebags as well (awesome!). After that we headed to HollyHood (Hollywood) to get our “grub on” at Roscoe’s Chicken and waffles. What can I say southern fired chicken slathered in gravy served with two huge delicious waffles with butter and syrup surely cut my life short, but the orange soda made it perfect. Afterwards we walked for a good half hour down the walk of fame in all its grimey goodness with the hope of inducing digestion; it kina worked… kinda. We then headed to the Arclight theatre to meet up with some of Eugene’s friends to see HP7: HPATDH. What’s cool about Arclight is you have premium assigned seating, what’s whack is when your freind buys you a ticket for the wrong showing and you’re booted out of your seat… twice. After using my sexual wilds and feminine charms I was able to get a seat in the theatre. Though all the way at the top and in a handicapped seat, and, boy, let me tell you that was the bees knees. SPOILER ALERT: Don’t watch HP7 if it is your first HP movie, but do watch it if you don’t care how boring the middle is and how awesomely awesome the last hour is :p

Flash forward through some geeking out, people convincing themselves how “dramatic and suspenseful it was” and sleeping…

It is now 10AM and I’m driving down the 405 headed to meet with my good friend and protege Crystal, but I’m not sure I’m gonna make it becuase i have fished tailed 3 times while driving through sheets of rain at 50mph with my hazards on. Phew. I made it! …and now I’m getting a campus tour of Loyola Marymount University from my friend, former student, and Community College success story. The campus is gorgeous, the vistas beautiful, the atmosphere, collegiate, but those all paled in comparison to the pride I felt as I listened to Crystal detail all that she has done, and all that she hopes to do.

Crystal continued our day on West 83rd St. catching up with one another eating “Hearty meals of hearty plates” such as breakfast pasta or “famous” scrambles” at Toast Bakery Cafe Inc. dodging buckets of ice cold water as they burst through storm warn awnings and unsuspecting pedestrians below on our way to get cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery. We made our purchases, however the satisfaction was delayed as we were far to filled from brunch, all the better though really, as we were on a schedule and in need of getting to La Cienega Blvd. to bear witness on Honor Fraser Gallery where camouflage prints by Andy Warhol were on display. As we drove down the blvd. we saw a huge line wrapping around the block and ending at the gallery’s entrance. Crap…
As Crystal and I made our way to the front of the line I was shocked and surprised to find out that one of my favorite living artists KAWS was there signing his recently released book, a book I had already purchased, but still dope nonetheless. As Crystal and I made our way to the front of the line (what we’re brats) we saw that people were entering the gallery seperate from the line that had formed. We walked in. Maybe it was our demeanor, maybe it was our attire, maybe it is my hulking appearance, or maybe no one cared, but we walked around with impunity taking pictures as we pleased, and there he was… KAWS. The man himself sitting there. Eating pizza. We locked eyes for the briefest of moments, but in my heart of hearts I knew what he was thinking, “WTF is this guy doing here?!?” All in all Crystal and I had a great visit, but I had to away back to the home of my friends Andrew and Norin, and Nigel (the dog) and ofcourse Eugene.

From there we mobbed deep to Koreatown where we had Kalbi Beef Burgers at Kalbi Burgers. This was true Seoul food; the Kim Jong Illest at that! Kalbi beef ribs ground into patties served with what tases like whit kimchee, on an artisan roll, with salt and vinegar fries on the side was the perfect meal before seeing Demetri Martin live at The Wiltern Theatre! His show was amazing, his adlibs sharp, surprises such as Will Forte and encores of his classic (read old) jokes mad it the most hilarious event i don’t remember. We were sober, mind you, but his show was so hilarious that I just crumbled and was enveloped in his wit. We ended the night back at home drinking some rare craft brews (Andrew and I) and watching HOT TUB TIME MACHINE (all 4 of us). It was an epic day of epicness.
Sunday was a lazy Sunday filled with classic cartoon bootlegs, comics based dramas, shopping, and consuming, as well as my obligatory fantasy football app checking (every 1/2 hour or so)… As Eugene helped me load my car with my bounty from the weekend. I remembered what Kanye West “All my niggas from the Chi, that’s my family dog. And my niggas ain’t my guys, they my family dog. I feel like one day you’ll understand me dog. You can still love your man and be manly dog.” I love Eugene. I love Crystal. I love my friends and family, that is to say the real ones, and that is why If Home is where The ♥ is… I have many Homes ^_^

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23 11 2010

Friday November 5th, 2010 – Sunday November 14, 2010… San Diego Beer Week 2010.

“San Diego Beer Week promotes San Diego’s thriving craft beer culture by sponsoring a ten-day countywide festival that attracts beer tourism, fosters knowledge of our regional brewing heritage, and serves as a showcase for San Diego’s breweries, restaurants, pubs, and other businesses with ties to the craft beer community.”
http://www.sdbw.org Accessed 11/21/2010

Building off the success of the first San Diego Beer Week (SDBW) in 2009, the San Diego Brewers Guild held the 2nd Annual San Diego Beer Week November 5 – 14, 2010. Though there is no official word posted on the interwebz I would attest that though this month San Diegans were blessed with the 2nd official SDBW; this would unofficially be San Diego’s third beer week in a row. I would wager that SDBW actually was birthed two years ago as a result of the 2008 San Diego Craft Brewers Festival & Competition an event that brought local as well as national brewers to San Diego for competition, sun, and suds, and was an event that kicked off not only my love of, but deeper understanding of the craft beer world, but I digress…

For 2009 due to scheduling conflicts, alignment of both the moon and the stars, and general inability to rally troops to the craft beer scene; I was only able to partake in a SDBW event at La Bella’s Pizza and Ballast Point’s Linda Vista Brewery. Though both very good craft brew experiences were held at these champions of the San Diego Brewer’s Guild; I found my self determined to have a true beer week.

Flash forward one year. By “liking” SDBW and other local Brewers Guild spots such as Ballast Point (Linda Vista), La Bella’s (Chula Vista), and Toronado (Northpark) I had found myself well informed of official SDBW events year ’round as well as privy to upcoming official SDBW 2010 events. Fall in San Diego (and most other places in the continental U.S.) always meant sweater weather, Halloween, Turkey Day, Christmas and New Years, but now I found myself looking forward to beer week as an adult the way I looked forward to trick-or-treating as a child: with great excitment, and a plan.

WWW.SDBW.ORG A very rudimentary website, save for it’s calendar, each hyperlinked to a seperate page devoted to the events of that day, and each of those events hyperlinked to a page detailing the event: Date, Time, Location, Cost, and Description were all methodically written out for the beer hunter to weigh and ponder upon.

SDBW unofficially began for me, and many others, and Toronado in North Park when on Thursday 11/4/2010 they made a Facebook post something along the lines of “ALL TAPS $3”. Knowing some of the rare beers they have on tap; I just couldn’t resist starting a wee bit early.
I got the following beers for the price of a pitcher of Coors Light at your average bar, and boy was I stoked…
Anderson Valley: Huger Boont a blend 40% amber 60% barrel aged IPA
Anderson Valley: Barney Flats, Oatmeal Stout. ?% ©2010
Even Keel a Ballast Point session ale 4.2% ©2010

My official SDBW kick-off, however, began with me having one desire in the forefront of my mind: Try Somewhere new. Such was the case when Friday 11/5/2010 rolled around and i found myself at Nicky Rotten’s in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego to partake in Stone Beer Night with my friend’s Zarak Smith and Rudy Ortiz. The atmosphere is like very few places I have been: Restaurant with killer burgers meets nightclub with a killer dj x Eat while you dance and dance while you eat… if you’re into that sort of thing. They had three Stone Beers on tap and it was “buy a pint keep a glass night” however we were too late, and they had sold out. The beer was good, but I left with a bitter taste in my mouth… I needed my trophy… I needed my pint glass.

Life sometimes gets in the way of things, from our selfish point of view, and SDBW 2010 was no exception. It was now Thursday 11/11/2010 and I had only 1 official SDBW event under my belt, but I was determined to make it happen. You know one of those nights where there’s no real plan except to go out? That was what happened that night, a night off epic epicness. Starting out with my friends Gabe, Marissa, and Estella we found ourselves at True North in North Park sampling Racer 5 Speedway Stout and a Double Arrogant Bastard and BOOM, 8 free glasses right off the bat! We then made our way to Toronado where they had tapped 10 FRESH KEGS of various Sierra Nevada Beers for Sierra Nevada Night (clever title). Here we met up with various other friends, Rudy, Homero, Andy, Mark, and other randome people whose names are inconsequential to this blog. All ten beers were sampled with many others thrown in for good measure: The Empire Strikes Black (A not subtle, but not overpowering black licorice flavor) thanks to my friend Mark and Double Dog Nitro (with a crisp Tamarindo finish) thanks to my friend Homero. Toronado was packed, but there were so many beer nerds it didn’t even matter, the conersations were more sparkling than the brews. The rest of the night is a blur of Heaven Sent desserts and more partying back at True North somehow.

Friday 11/12/2010 (Vertan’s Day) was a crisp, cool day with a sky bluer than blue. My friends Marissa and Rudy met me at my house at 11am and we headed up North to the Karl Strauss Brewery in La Jolla to have lunch with our friend Mrs. Anna Bravo-Romero. We had great conersation, and detailed for Ana the night that she missed out on and the night that Marissa forgot “ohyeeeaaaaaahhhh”. Though the food is amazing at KS, were were there for the super SDBW special a flight of 4 5oz taters for Fullsuit Belgian Brown Ale, SDBW Stout brewed with Star Anise for a subtleblack licorice, Flan-Diddly-Anders, and ofcourse Red Trolley all made the cut with me taking home a filled brand new growler for $8 and 2 SDBW x Karl Strauss commemorative pint glasses for $3ea. You gotta love a deal, especially when its on great beer and beer schwag!

As we parted ways with Ana I was thinking forward to our next location, The San Diego Sheraton Hotel & Marina where they were holding a total tap takeover by Stone Brewery. $7 pints and $6 refills, we convinced the waitress to charge us $7 for each pint and $7 for refills in new glasses. Rudy was kind enough to pick up 6 new glasses for the three of us, he said it was because he lived closer to North of the 8… whatever that means 😉

We headed back to National City where we all parted ways, until I caught up with Gabe and Marissa at their house. From there (thanks to Mar’s sweet driving skills) Gabriel and I started our adventure together downtown at the Tipsy Crow. Formerly “The Bitter End” The Tipsy Crow is DT’s answer to Craft Brew, and it is a pretty good answer. In many ways it is better than existing beer joints DT such as The Local and The Neighborhood because it was accessible with a non-snob cast and crew. Gabe and I are long time friends, but we also share an appreciation for craft beers, and other spirits. We were fortunate to be on had for the tapping of a very rare 14th Anniversary Imperial Stout by one of Stone’s brewmasters a beer we had the night before that tasted like swill, but was amazing in this freshly tapped cask. In addition to this amazing Imperial Stout we had a few pints of their Chipotle Ale; sounds scary, but tastes like the essence of Chipotle within a crisp and refreshing ale… Amazing! Especially when paired with the swiss/gouda grilled cheese sandwich and tomato bisque. As more firends rolled through many more beers were tried until we found ourselves making an Official Un-Official SDBW Event @Analog DT. Tall Cans of Budlight, Saporro, and Corona littered the table as we took in the ambiance of trip-hop and Street Fighter II being played on the big-screen. By this point we were just partying, but SDBW was in our hearts.

Saturday came and went. Recovery, school work, work work, and Manny Pacquiao composed my Saturday, and that was fine by me ^_^

Sunday morning arrived. The last day of SDBW 2010 and the one event I had on my calendar all week started at 10AM. I cruised over to my friend Rudy’s house at 9:30AM to pick him up for brunch at Small Bar in University Heights. We were there at 10AM sharp and a good thing too, the bar’s name isn’t just clever sarcasm of a disaffected generation, Small Bar is indeed a small bar. By the time we ordered our fried chicken covered in gravy with some waffles on the side with a Coronado Brewery Orange Ave. Wit Beer the bar was PacKeD! The beer tasted like an orangeaide and the wafles x gravy x chicken collabo rivaled Roscoes in every which way. We washed this all down with a Small Bar Bloody Mary which is an EXPERIENCE and a MEAL and not just your run-of-the-mill hangover cureall. Served in a Guiness glass and garnished with a shish-kabob of olives, onions, shrimp, peppercinis, and stuffed with celery, carrot sticks, and a thick piece of crisp bacon, you better have thirst, hunger, and time on your side if you’re going to finish this beast of a drink. As we left, the bar ever Coronado Brewery keepsake pint glasses in hand, we knew we made the right decision to get there early.

After an early afternoon of walking around the Home Depot purchasing goods to help us chip away at the endless to-do lists for our respective homes and Killing one another in NBA JAM 2010 for the Wii Rudy and I were joined by our friend Gabriel as we rolled out to “Luigis At The Beach” in Mission Bay. Before that we picked up our friends Ricardo and Jessica and were ready for a crack at 25 local beers and beach weather in November, SD BABY!

While at Luigi’s we were able to partake in 1/2 off of ALL but I believe 7 of the following: Coronado Golden Ale, Karl Strauss Woodie Gold, TailGate Jay’s Blacktop Blonde, AleSmith Horny Devil – Belgian Strong Ale, Airdale Horizon, An American Hefeweizen, Black Market Brewing Co. Bavarian Hefeweizen, The Lost Abbey Devotion Belgian Pale Ale, Firehouse Sun God Belgian White Ale, Ballast Point Yellowtail Pale Ale, Firehouse American Pale Ale, Stone Pale Ale, Karl Strauss Oktoberfest, Coronado Islander Pale Ale (IPA), Stone IPA, Mission Shipwrecked Double IPA, Lightning American Amber Ale, Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale, Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale, Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale – Belgian Strong, Arrogant Bastard Ale, Oceanside Ale Works American Strong Ale, AleSmith Nautical Nut Brown Ale, New English Brewers Special Brown Ale, Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, Airdale Homecoming – A Spiced Holiday Porter.

While we were there enjoying brew, conversation, and The NFL on this lazy Sunday we were hit with a wave of emotion as our good friend Rudy Pollorena made his way back home to San Diego from the ATL after what felt like years (and really it was) of him being gone. Gone, but not forgotton, and as we sat there drinking local craft specials we caught up with him, but in many ways it was like he had never left.

As night fell we new we had to make the most of the final night of SDBW 2010 and headed to The Beer Co. on 6th and Broadway in DT San Diego. to try their SD Beer Co Hef, IPA, Reds and Bowns. Their beers were tasty, but the highlight of the night, and a perfect way to end the week was when Rudy Ortiz uttered the words “Carne Asada”. When we were at The Beer Co. on Sunday we were hungry for nachos and Mr. Ortiz asked “Ya’ll want caRRne ‘saDa?” to which RudyPollo and I said “FoSho!” when “Becky” came to take our order Mr. Ortiz said I ‘d like the nachos with Caaarrrrrrrrrrrrne Saaaaaaaaaaaada! (W/A Super Mexican Accent!) she looked hypnotized, scared, and on the verge of crying ALL at the same time!!! She did not know what he was saying so he broke it down (Like any GOOD Teacher would) and said “Not Beef, but Chicken.” Classic way to end a day.

At the end of the day SDBWeek means many things to many people, but for me it means trying something new with your old friends, and, to be honest, that’s all I want everytime I leave the house, to try something new.

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Dr. Dre featuring Eminem & Liz Rodrigues – I Need A Doctor

17 11 2010

EMINEM Kills it on this track, but ‘Forgot About Dre’ kills it 12 years in the past…

“After the world had to wait for more than a decade, it looks like there is new music stemming from Dr. Dre emerging on a daily base. The good doc has found the appropriate response to the constant demand for his craft as he enlists Eminem for the much revealing “I Need A Doctor”. The hook is contributed by Liz Rodrigues of The New Royales. Contrary to initial reports, this Alex Da Kid-produced tune could become the first Detox-single whereas “Kush” is supposed to be the street single. A recent interview with the British producer, however, indicates that this track is off the re-release of Eminem’s Recovery. Don’t let it irritate you, just listen below and stay tuned.”

+by Petar Kujundzic, November 17, 2010

Dr. Dre featuring Eminem – I Need A Doctor by Hypetrak


11 10 2010


Guest Chef 8: John Jimeno

8 10 2010

Name: John Jimeno
Age: 29
Occupation: Property Manager
How’d we meet: Brother of my good friend Jeremiah, our own friendship grew out of that (awww).

Last week, as you may remember, was the whakiest weather week in history. Well, by history I mean recent memory, and to be honest that’s all that matters ESPECIALLY in San Diego where we like to piss and moan when the weather is less than perfect, damn right too we pay a premium for that shiz ;p Monday was a scorcher, Tuesday & Wednesday were muggy, and Thursday found us dodging not only cats and dogs, but thunder and lightning as well. I must admit that I, like many San Diegans, behave as if I am made out of sugar and therefore will melt if I’m out in the rain, and to be honest I just might be one of those psychos that thinks ‘If I drive faster, I’ll be home sooner!’

Well, Thursday was one of those days. Buckets of cats and dogs, dodging lightning and Guile’s sonic-booms all in an effort to get to SDSU’s Interwork Institute in Mission Valley so I could attend a seminar for an internship I am currently involved in. Yes internship while I have a 40+ hour a week job and dissertation that is constantly in the back of my mind like a phantom menace.

I was tired, cold, wet, and over it… and then class started. A few moments into class I was thrown a little bit of happiness when my friend John reminded me (via text message) that he would be over to my house at 8pm, and if that would still work for me. Though I had worked the details out with John earlier in the week a Guest Chef episode was the furthest thing from my mind on the wet and weary day. ‘SWEET!’ I replied, and the rest of class breezed by. Maybe it was the shit talking session me and my friend Chaz had, maybe it was the fun and excitement that our professor was exuding, or maybe it was the promise of rib-eye and salmon that made every moment in my seat worthwhile, inany case I was excited.

By the time class had ended the skies had cleared and it was a safe drive home. I got to my house with just enough time to open my windows and turn on the fans, a ritual I have when I get home that is both practical and relaxing. I like to let the stank out and fresh air in, but I also do it because it feels like there’s no energy in my house until one of the elements blows through and lends its energy. Just as I turned on my final fan I saw a white Honda Civic pull up in front of my house and John Jimeno coming up my walkway with a big bag of groceries… It was about to go down!

I have been told numerous times that I work too much, but; to be honest no one I know currently works harder than John Jimeno, but hey we do what we do… and I like nice things 😉 Anywho… John is currently a property manger, amongst other things, but once upon a time he was a Cook at The Olympic Training Center in East Chula Vista. He worked with some of the best and brightest who served world-class athletes of the world and now my friend was hooking us up with some fresh, healthy, and delicious foodstuffs for our Guest Chef Episode.

Rib-eye steaks (1lb) x 2
Salmon Filet (large) x 2
1 Purple Onion
1 Yellow Onion
2 Tomates
1 Ripe Mango
1 Bushel of Cilantro
1 Avocado
1 Can of Red Beans (washed)
6 Lemons (For Juice)
1 Orange (For Juice)
1 Tablespoon of Salt
1 Tablespoon of Pepper
Tin Foil
Appetizer (Maple Smoked Bacon 12 seedless dates)

Something cool that happenes everytime someone cooks at my house, besides the funa and enjoyment of the experience, is the fact that my guest always asks for at least one cooking utensil or food item that I do not have; which has led to me completing my kitchen pantry… lil by lil. This guest chef was the first time, however, that I wasn’t missing a food item isn’t to say the items were easily found.

I had a litlle get together the previous weekend and, yes though it was Thursday my house was not yet quite in order. Cutting Board? ‘Let me wash that.’ Can Opener? ‘That’s on the deck.’ Tongs? ‘Somewhere in the backyard.’ Juicer? “My bear hands.” I had the tools, and the ingredient, but it took a while to bring all of the elements together. Even my BIG YELLOW container of sea salt was elusive, how dare I put it in the cupboard where it belongs ;p

This scavenger hunt was well worth it and boy, was it worth it. Right of the bat John has me unpackage thick cut maple smoked bacon and cut the 12 inch strips in half. After that seperate them into uindivdual 6 inch strips, place a date at one end and start rolling. Do this until you run out of back, place in a hand crafted tin foil box and place in the oven at 300 degrees. Leave in until you smell a thick fog of sweet bacon and hear the sizzle through the oven’s door. Remove and allow to cool, not get cold, cool. When you bight into this little date in a blanket you will swear you are eating a fat hickory smoked, maple glazed prok rib, but no it’s a date wrappe din bacn, easy, and delicious, and also high in protein and low in fat (if you get the right cut of bacon).

Next was the salsa, the thing about this and any salsa is the prep time. You should have the bacon baking whilst chopping your fruit and veggies. John once again had me joing in the cooking which is fine by me. Aside form learning new recipes I relish the opportunity (anywhere) to learn a new skill. Though I have chopped fruits and vegetables over the years John taught me some tricks to quick and easy dicing and chopping, particularly cilantro and avocado. John asked me for a juicer so we could get all of the juice out of the six lemons, I did not have a juicer, but instead offered up my big strong mitts and squeezed every last drop out of our citrusy friend. It was at that time that John pulled a mango out of his bag of goodies. I have had mango salsas in the past, so I was a bit hesitant when I saw it, but trusted John nontheless. Everything that was chopped was added to a large bowl along with a can of red beans 6 lemons worth of juice and 1 tbsp of fresh ground pepper and 1tbsp of sea salt. Mix it up with your hands and set it in the fridge (best served chilled).

Next came the salmon filets. First get the filets nice and rubbed in fresh dill, rosemary, ground pepper, and sea salt and sear it in a stainless steal pan in E.V.O.O. next place the filets in individual hand madetin foil boxes with tops and squeeze half of a large orange on top. Make sure that it is a very juicey orange because it is important to have thall of the spices stick to the fish, and the sfill the bottom of the foil box so that the flavor of the orange and steam from the juice infuses and cooks the filets.

It was at this time that John told me that he believes in combining simple techniques and simple ingredients to make delicous and complex flavors. The simpler the better. His philosohpy remained to be untested by me, but if the dates in a blanket were an indicator for things to come, I was sure to be happy with the results.

As the fillets were being broiled in their tin foil cocoons John unveiled two 1lb rib eye steaks (bone in). John showed me the steaks and pointed out the marbled complexion and veins of the meat. He said the veins are the flavor, they are veins of fat and other tissues that metl and flavor the meat. For these steaks all John did was rub them in fresh ground pepper and salt, pan seared, and broiled in a hand made tin foil box, much like the salmon filets.

John and I sat at the counter drinking water and catching up with eachother, but mostly we discussed the deliciousness of the date in the blanket and the now chilled salsa which we enjoyed with tortilla chips. John looked in the oven and said that both the fish and steaks were ready. It was at this time that I served up two pint glasses frilled with Ballast Point  Yellow Tail beers that John, ironically, had brought the previous Saturday, and I had hidden in my fridge’s crisper for just such an occaison.

John asked for two plates on which he covered in a bed of rice pilaf, which I did not see him prepare and therefore had nothing to write about ;p He placed the Surf (a beautiful pink Salmon Filet) and Turf (a marbelized Rib-Eye) atop of this bed of brown rice pilaf and garnished it all with a beautiful rainbow of mango salsa. I placed our beers on the counter.

The time had come to enjoy the fruits… and vegetables, and fish, and steaks of our labor, along with some Yellow Tail. The steak had the taste of butter and could be cut with a butter knife, the salmon had become flaky and succelent all at the same time with a combination of rosemary, dill, and orange juice filling your mouth. The rice was rich and flavor and a hearty addition to the meal. The Beer, with it’s full body and citrusy flavors was the perfect compliment to them all.

Though I may not be an Olympian, I felt like I was dining on Mount Olympus! Thanks Johnny 🙂


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