Tag Archives: His

His: Sportscenter and Spaghetti

As a show of my love for Ally, I have agreed to attempt cooking one meal a week for us.  It’s a huge sacrifice I know.  Not just for me and my very important time but for Ally because God knows my food probably won’t be that good.  I’m a man (I use that term loosely) who makes a few things well, but I’ve also ruined my fair share too; my crowning achievement being instant pudding that somehow ended up tasting like play-doh.  And really, the play-doh probably tasted better.  It’s also a great excuse for me to eat some red meat which has become a delicacy in our house.

Delicious?

Delicious?

Well, last night was my first attempt at a meal as per our agreement, and I drew my inspiration from Sportscenter of all places.  Several months back, they did a feature piece on Arizona Cardinals All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s off-season activities.  One of them happens to be cooking.  He and Italian celebrity chef “Chef Steff” (I couldn’t find his last name for the life of me) made Spaghetti with Filet Mignon Bolognese.  The idea sounded and looked amazing and pretty original.  So when I said I drew my inspiration from this story, I meant that I took that dish and made it myself.  And in my defense, they did not provide instructions so the cooking part was actually my doing with advice from a few people who actually know what they’re doing in a kitchen.

Chef Steff

Chef Steff

I started with two six ounce filets, hit them with a little salt and pepper, diced them into manageable bites and gave them a light flour coating. 

Browning the Meat

Browning the Meat

 I cooked them on the stove top in a little bit of olive oil until they were browned all the way around and took them off the fire.  Keeping the same pan over the heat, I added one diced yellow onion, three cloves of garlic (Ally’s a garlic guru) and a handful of chopped mushrooms.

Use Garlic Liberally

Use Garlic Liberally

After everything had caramelized, I added a cup of red wine for flavor and to deglaze the pan.  I used a wonderful, subtle Cabernet Sauvignon known as “Two Buck Chuck.” 

God Bless Trader Joe's

God Bless Trader Joe's

Seriously though, for an actual retail cost of $5, it’s really not that bad.  Ally and I both highly recommend Trader Joe’s wines if you have access to them.  Anyway, after the wine had reduced, I added one 35 oz can of Italian peeled tomatoes that I crushed by hand of course. 

I'm Feeling Saucey

I'm Feeling Saucey

 The last step was to add the meat back to the sauce to finish cooking.  After simmering for another ten minutes or so, it was finished. Continue reading

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His: Tired, Lazy; Here’s A List

Sorry guys, but I don’t have it in me tonight.  We’ll just say it was a long day.  I don’t want to make excuses so I won’t.  That IS mine.  I didn’t make it.  Instead of trying to be funny or ironic or anything else, I’m going to give you a list that may give you a better idea of who I am.  More lists will follow when I’m too tired to think about anything else.

Favorite Foods:

1. Pizza-Cheese, bread, tomato sauce and additional meat oriented toppings…what could be more delicious?  My favorite Pizza ever in NYC deserves its own post so I won’t get into it now.

My Favority in DE, not in NYC.

My Favorite in DE, not in NYC.

2. Chicken- I know it’s generic, but there isn’t a chicken dish out there that I won’t enjoy.  If I had to pick a favorite, it would be chicken parm.  And you can even put it on pizza.

Kenny Rogers Roasters....Best Seinfeld Ever...This Is Ally's Though

Kenny Rogers Roasters....Best Seinfeld Ever...This Is Ally's Though

3. Pierogies- So Ally’s grandmother (Babci) is straight off the boat from Poland and makes some killer pierogies (just a bit better than Mrs. T’s).  I’ve also had the privilege of going to Poland and trying them there so these delicious little Eastern European Dumplings were an easy choice for my top three.

Not Exactly Babci's But Close Enough

Not Exactly Babci's But Close Enough

4. Pretzels and Peanut Butter- Yes, it has to be together.  I don’t remember the last time I went to bed without eating this combination….enough said.

Not Even Close To Joking About This

Not Even Close To Joking About This

5. Beer- It’s liquid bread…think about it.

Real Men Drink Bud Heavy.  Wait...Am I A Real Man?

Real Men Drink Bud Heavy. Wait...Am I A Real Man?

Troeg's Dreamweaver Wheat; Light, Crisp, Refreshing

Troeg's Dreamweaver Wheat; Light, Crisp, Refreshing

Smuttynose Pumpkin; A

Smuttynose Pumpkin; A Great Fall Treat

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His: Do I Look Like A Grunter?

Weird title huh?  I know, but I thought I would do my best Tarantino impression and start with the end and fill in the gaps as we go.  And I just shot Marvin in the face!

That Is A Tasty Burger.

That Is A Tasty Burger.

Anyway, it started over a year ago when we joined a local gym in our neighborhood.  The standard health reasons for joining you can probably assume, but the ACTUAL reason that we chose the one that we did (and we still belong) is because there is free parking.  The redeeming qualities of the gym (which will remain nameless) end there.  And for what we get, the $63 a month that we pay really seems like extortion. Come on! A buddy of mine goes to an NYC rec center and pays $75 a year.  Granted, he has to stay alert at all times and there is a high stabbing rate, but I think I could handle it.  I used to watch OZ.

In My Head, This Is The Rec Center

In My Head, This Is The Rec Center

And I understand that places like Equinox and NYSC are even more, but you probably get what you pay for.  What we get is an unfriendly staff, really shitty Queens electro Euro-trash pop music and headphone connections that never work for their four televisions.  What are we?  Amish?  And seriously, is it me or shouldn’t the staff at a FITNESS CENTER look like they use the equipment every once in a while?  Honestly, I think ten percent of the workforce has ever worked out.  Even when one of them does, you wish they hadn’t.  Like the one time the manager’s vajay jay was quite visible due to her unflattering and unnecessarily short shorts.

Not A Personal Trainer

Not A Personal Trainer

They try to compensate for their shortcomings by offering four dollar smoothies and classes like the dance class that I talked about in my last post and a boxing class taught by a guy who I’m pretty sure fought Joe Lewis (use the Google).

BULLY! BULLY? BULLY!

BULLY! BULLY? BULLY!

I know at this point, you may be thinking, “Stop whining and switch gyms then!”  Well, that’s exactly what we did.  Or at least we tried to.  As I eluded to earlier, we are still frequenting this Meat Head Mecca.  We finally concluded that free parking trumps everything.  But before we had to concede defeat, we explored our options….or option I should say.  Ally and I went to visit a new Planet Fitness (famous for its $19.95 per month policy).  It was great inside; plenty of equipment, plenty of tv’s and best of all, it was cheap.  We left, feeling excited but a little dirty like we had cheated on a lover.  The following week, we mustered up enough courage to break it off with the other gym.

We marched straight up to the counter to the most unfriendly employee they have and said, “We’d like to cancel our membership.”

“Why,” she responded arrogantly, sticking her pierced nose up at us.

“Uh, because Planet Fitness is only $20 per month and I can save $500 a year if we switch,” was my retort.

I was prepared for the worst and yet secretly hoped it would be like the episode of Friends when Chandler tries to quit his gym, but they get the super hot chick to convince him otherwise.

I Would Have Stayed if SHE Asked.  I Hate You, Tom Brady.

I Would Have Stayed if SHE Asked. I Hate You, Tom Brady.

No, not even close.  Her first response.  Her first inkling.  The thing that she thought beyond a shadow of a doubt would convince us to stay was, “You know they don’t let you grunt there.”

Insert title here.

“Uh, hold on, I have to get Jerry the manager,” she muttered.

So Jerry comes over, all smiles, ready to keep us in his Thunderdome.  Again, we tell him that we’re going to Planet Fitness.  He proceeds to assure us that we’ll be back and that several members previously switched to Planet Fitness but ultimately ended up back there.  He finally agreed to let us go.  We were free at last, free at last.  No longer did we have to deal with this place and awful members who stare at their abs in the mirror (a daily occurrence).

But alas, like those dysfunctional relationships that you just can’t get out of, we got back together.  We couldn’t let go of the parking.  It was like they knew something horrible about us, and in order to keep that secret, we agreed to go back to them.  And we’re still together today.  But the itch is back to switch again.  And this time, we’re staying local.  We won’t need parking because we can walk to this gym.  We would have switched earlier but it’s more expensive so we were hesitant.  But it doesn’t matter anymore, we can’t take it.  So when we break up again, you’ll hear about it.   Here we go!  Like a Band Aid!

Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!

Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!

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His: Confessions From An Aerobics Class

Yes, you read that title right.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I did indeed take an aerobics class with Ally.  Actually, I’ll admit that it is the second time I’ve taken a class with her at the gym.  They were two different classes, and I must admit that the latest class was one of the best workouts I’ve had (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is also up there but I had to quit after I got fired from my job).

The first one that I took with Ally was a Dance themed class about three months ago.  I know that sounds bad  BUT, in reality, I was just being a good boyfriend. She had been hounding me to take this class with her for months.  We took the class and it was not pleasant….for me at least.  But Greg, weren’t you surrounded by a bevy of beautiful, fit ladies?  Why yes I was and my girlfriend was one of them so this point was moot.  Ok, fine, I’m sure the workout was fairly intense with all the plie-ing and arabesque-ing, right?  Um, not quite.  I’m sorry to say that it was a waste of a gym night.  Ally even admitted that it was a sorry excuse for a class.

Needless to say, I didn’t take the dance class again.  Actually I had no intention of ever entering a “aerobics studio” ever again.  Turns out that I’m a huge sucker.

Ally used to take KOGA classes when she still lived on the Island several years ago. Somehow, she rediscovered this Kickboxing slash Yoga workout in Astoria Park this past Summer and hasn’t shut up about it since.  Tune in to the Dr. Oz show this Tuesday at 3pm and you’ll see a segment on KOGA.  There will also be a piece in next month’s Self Magazine, so this thing is for real.

Well, this past Saturday, she finally convinced me to take a class at a local gym.  I went thinking that it would be a cake walk.  I WAS DEAD WRONG!  I’m pretty sure that the only reason I can type this is because my fingers are the only things that can move right now.  I’m sore in places that I didn’t think you could be sore.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  I’m not talking about THERE.  Did you know that your esophagus could be sore without being sick?

Seriously, I hurt badly right now but I’m happy about it.  It’s always a good pain when you know you worked your ass off the day before.  And I would go back again and again and again regardless of the fact that the only other Y chromosome in the room belonged to the instructor.  John Koga’s passionate if cheesy instruction (think Billy Blanks if he was from Long Island) motivated me to the brink of exhaustion, but I didn’t quit, and I couldn’t be happier about it.  I got home, drank a protein shake and swallowed four spirolina pills (yes I’m still taking them…update later).

So fellas, if your girl is trying to convince you to join her at a class at the gym, don’t scoff at the idea so quickly.  Give it a chance because you never know how hard it may be.  I took the chance and had a lot of fun and had a great workout.

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His: Find Your Motivation

So one might assume that, because we are bloggers and give our opinions on many different things to many different people, we are narcissistic and take ourselves very seriously.  While Ally is quite the opposite, in my case, you’re probably right.  I don’t at all mean that I don’t care about anyone else or that I look at myself in the mirror all the time because, in all reality, it’s only some of the time.  JOKING!

Oh, hello, are you looking at me?

Oh, hello, are you looking at me?

I know, I know, I just posted about how getting fit is good for your mind.  But seriously…I’d be lying to myself and to you if I didn’t say that being fit can be just as much about health as it is about looking awesome. And I’m here to tell you that it’s OK.

Of course, I’m not recommending going crazy about it.  There are more important things in life, and being obsessed with being healthy doesn’t make you healthy. But, if you’re single and trying to impress a new mate (yes, I said mate), or if  you’re in a steady relationship and want to keep up appearances, it’s ok to use that as motivation.  I exercise and try to eat right because I want to feel good and like what I see in the mirror, but I also want Ally to like what she sees.  Physical attraction is part of what makes a relationship work, and these chiseled features don’t come without a little sweat, you know? (Again, I kid!)

Like Adonis, I am.

Like Adonis, I am.

Relationships are a lot like exercising.  You’ve got to give a little to get a little, if you know what I mean. And if you can’t get up off the couch yourself, then you’ve got to find something (or someone) that will make you do it.

FIND YOUR MOTIVATION!  Maybe, for you, it’s watching “The Biggest Loser,”  which we just started doing.  You might tape a picture of David Beckham to the fridge to remind yourself to watch it with the beer.  Work out with a friend or significant other and remember that you’re doing something good for your body and for theirs.  Don’t use Madonna as a role model….she’s GROSS.

I have creepy Man-Arms.

I have creepy Man-Arms.

I’ll say it again….I don’t take myself too seriously (most of the time).  BUT, I do take being healthy and staying fit seriously, and I think you should too.  You’ll feel good about yourself, and the benefits go way beyond.  Motivation doesn’t always have to be something deep and full of meaning.  So long as you’re being smart and not taking it to extremes, it’s ok to be a little full of yourself.  You’re working hard, and there’s no shame in taking a look in the mirror and humming “I’m Too Sexy.”  If it gets you off your ass, then just do it. (Hi, Nike!  Please send me stuff!)

How do you stay motivated?  Let me know!

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His: The Last Train to Scoville

Throughout history, there really haven’t been that many great people named Wilbur.  If I had to really think about, though, there may be a few.  Let’s see…there’s the greatest Wilbur of all time, Wilbur Wright.  He, along with his brother, were the first people to have sustained powered flight in 1903…..IN THE AIR!!!!.  Oh, and his brother may be the most famous person ever named, Orville.  However, that’s a debate best saved for my popcorn blog.  I suppose next would be that dude who owned Mr. Ed.  It’s a little before my time but there are few people who have never heard that wonderful speaking equine saying, “Hello Wilburrrrrrrrr.”  Oh, sixties comedy, how I love thee.

Don't yell at me, Wilbur, I'm not your wife.

Don't yell at me, Wilbur, I'm not your wife.

And I suppose that’s it for all the……wait a minute.  How could I forget the most important Wilbur of all time as he pertains to our world?  Wilbur Scoville.  The man, the myth and the legend.  The very gustatory gladiator who, ironically in 1912, came up with a scale that measures the heat in peppers.  The scale starts at 0 units with the likes of the sweet bell and sweet banana pepper and goes up to the dreaded Ghost pepper which comes in at over 1,000,000 Scoville units.

Hot hot heat.

Hot hot heat.

The chemical that causes the “heat” is called Capsaicin, which you may recognize from anti inflamatory creams used for joint pain.  The capsaicin is what causes the heat and thus the pain relief.  This spicy chemical is present mostly in the ribs and seeds of hot peppers; if you’re looking for a little less burn, just scrape those bits out and use the outer flesh for a slightly cooler sensation.  Additionally, eating foods containing capsaicin has been known to increase metabolism, and thus, aide in weight loss.  Heat is a great way to add flavor to food without additional calories.  This does not count if you are eating Buffalo wings.

Like Pacman chasing a Ghost

Like Pacman chasing a Ghost

As I got thinking more and more about peppers and heat, I felt that I wasn’t being true if I didn’t try some of the peppers from all parts of the Scoville Scale.  With that said, today, I went out and bought six different peppers, all with different Scoville rankings.  I set out with the goal of trying all of them and relaying the experience to you readers.  (Note: Ally does not eat spicy food.  She did not want to “burn her freaking tongue off,” so she will be my trusty photographer and milk pourer.)

Moo juice saves the day.

Moo juice saves the day.

Interestly enough, milk is the best remedy for heat-overload.  Casein, a protein found in dairy products, has a detergent effect on capsaicin.  Too heavy on the hot sauce?  Head to the dairy aisle.

First up was a sweet banana, which is a 0 on the scale.  Honestly, I thought there was a decent heat to this pepper.  Certainly, my expectations were lessened by the 0 rating, but I was most definitely surprised.  It wasn’t an uncomfortable heat but rather a nice heat that would  be welcomed in any number of prepared dishes.
Not so bad.

Not so bad.

Second was a hot cherry pepper, also called a pimento, which comes in around 500 on the scale.  Again, I was surprised by the heat.  I guess I was expecting nothing, but I was very pleased with the flavor and the heat level.  I should also say that I ate larger pieces of these peppers.  At this point, I was beginning to question my ability to eat spicy food and was fearing the peppers that were coming up.  Oh well…I’m a guy.  I can eat anything.

Next was an Anaheim Chile.  Or is it a California Chile or is it a Los Angeles Chile?  No, it’s a Los Angeles Chile of Anaheim (any baseball fans out there?)  Anyway, this pepper can have anywhere from 500-2500 Scoville units.  I ate a rather large piece of this pepper and was blown away by the LACK of heat.  I assumed that we picked up a small bell pepper by mistake, and I offered the rest to Ally.  (Ally loves snacks.)  She happily popped the pepper into her mouth and….it was an Anaheim Chile after all.  Bad news.

Not happy.

Not happy.

I’m sorry that I doubted you, anonymous produce section worker.  I’m sorry you burned your freaking tongue, Ally.

The fourth pepper was a Jalapeno.  A largely popular nacho accoutrement, I’ve been eating jalapenos forever…or so I thought.  I cut myself a nice healthy slice and chewed vigorously.  We’ll just say it was too big of a slice.  I immediately began to sweat profusely, my mouth feeling like Phoenix in August.  I had to chug a large glass of milk and let myself cool down before I moved onto the Serrano that awaited me.

My taste buds hurt.

My taste buds hurt.

After recovering completely, I stepped up to the plate, facing all 22,000 Scoville units in the Serrano Chile.  Knowing this, I cut a small piece, but all the while making sure to eat some of the spicy seeds.  I was pleasantly surprised by the taste and the perceived mild heat.  It definitely burned at the back of my throat which was a new sensation, but not bad enough for me to go to the milk.  Score for manliness.

It's almost time.

It's almost time.

All that was left was the Red Habanero.  I cut a tiny piece of this guy, knowing that 285,000 Scoville units might do some damage.  I thought the pepper itself would contain enough heat, but I was mistaken.  I wanted to show you the full effect so I went back and ate a seed.  Just one….but the damage was done.  I’m fine now, but I can’t imagine eating more than one, maybe two of those seeds.  The heat was incredible and all around my mouth and throat.  It’s definitely not a sensation that I enjoyed or want to experience again.

No more peppers.

No more peppers.

So that’s the end of my battle with the peppers.  For now, I’m going to avoid touching my eyes and other areas, and relax with an Iron City….Pittsburgh’s official brew.  I hope you guys enjoyed today’s post because I went through some pain for it.  For more information on hot peppers, check out this great site:

US Hot Stuff

Do you like spicy foods?  Hit me with your best spicy food stories!

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His: That Little Green Pill

I got nothin

I got nothin'.

If you have read a few of our previous posts, you may have read the one where I talked about taking Spirulina as a daily supplement.  Well, I actually bought some, and I took my first “dose” tonight.  I can only hope that I don’t get angry and turn into a giant monster who then has two terrible movies made about me.

Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know that I will keep you posted on any ill or positive effects of this little green organism.  And again, I want to reiterate that if any of you have taken spirulina or any other so called “super foods,” we want to hear about them so we can try or not try them.

Little, Green, Different.

Little, Green, Different.

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