Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chipotle Dip

My favorite appetizer we made this past week in Honduras was the Chipotle Dip. Mix one box of cream cheese and one cup of mayonnaise with 1/2 cup ranch dip. Stir this together until it is smooth. If you want a mild good flavored dip, use one can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. If you want to kick it up 3 notches, use 2 cans. First open the can and dump all of the peppers onto a cutting board. Slice up the peppers in very small pieces and stir into the cheese mayo mixture. Be sure to get all of the sauce out of the can and off the cutting board. There is a lot of good flavor in the sauce. You are using smoked jalapeno peppers, so be careful not to get them in your eyes or other sensitive areas.

We served this dip with crackers, corn chips, or potato chips.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Crowd Pleasing Appetizers

I am looking for some crowd pleasing appetizers for Honduras next week. I am going to try to have a small special something ready for the hungry crowd when they get in off the bus. Last time I made jalapeno poppers one night roasting whole peppers on the griddle and filling them with cheese. They were a hit with the eaters, but I gagged the cooks when the capsaicum hit the small kitchen. We were coughing and gagging like when we had to take a note into the teacher's lounge back in high school (you could still smoke indoors back then.) I've thought about cheese trays or stuffed eggs. I'd like to do something Asian or Mexican too.

So if you have any ideas, please send me a comment. All I have to cook with is hot water or a griddle. I suppose I could do sushi, but one of my firm rules when traveling is don't eat raw meat.

I have to come up with 5.

Here are some other considerations:
Queso Dia
Egg Rolls (if we can find wonton wrappers)
jalapeno poppers
Chips and salsa
Sesame Chicken Skewers
Potato Skins
Candied Ginger
Fresh french fries with cheese and/or gravy
Shrimp and Grits (gonna get fancy one night)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cool contest I found to win free groceries for a year

Hey, I just entered this contest on to win free groceries for a year. All you have to do is put in your email address.

Even if you don’t enter, please click the link to help me win. (I get an extra entry for telling you.) Thanks!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Top Ten things to do at work when you are alone

For those not in the know, the City of Jackson does not have water to drink or flush in Downtown. Ever since the deep freeze the past 14 days, pipes have been bursting all over, and the city is struggling to repair them and get the pressure back up.

The Gov closed all of the state buildings and sent the workers home. But as portable toilets were set up, we've been slowly coming back to work. Management and supervisors were suppose to be here yesterday and continue working all week. And it makes sense, there are lots of inspections and trips that could be done away from the office.

But it wound up being just me on my floor. OK, there are some other folks here, but I don't hear them or see them. So Donna and I were coming up with the top ten things to do at the office when you are the only one working. Here goes:

10. Spider Man crawling across the tops of the cubicles.
9. Making a luge out of a two wheeler and setting up a course in the stairwell.
8. Riding the floor polisher in the lobby.
7. Fax relay races. Send a fax from the 6th floor to the 1st floor and see if you can run down stairs and beat the fax machine.
6. Get a library cart and a mop and go white water rafting down the cubicle rows.
5. Go reset the height and lumbar support on all of the chairs on the 3rd floor.
4. Hook the Wii up to the big presentation flat screen in the executive suite and play super mario cart while reclining on the oak conference table.
3. Replace all of the dry erase markers with permanent markers in the conference rooms.
2. Write "Jerry eats Worms" on the executive marker board and close the door so the next time someone needs it and opens it, they will get a big laugh.
1. Pants are optional!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Environmental Work Day

Today was another stay at home day from work because the City of Jackson has really old water pipes and lax leadership with a poor maintenance record. That may be harsh, but so be it. That's the way I see it. Who needs water when you got good scotch?

So to make it a productive day, and because it was in the upper 40's we did some green projects around the house we have been wanting to do. For Christmas we bought a rain barrel. I put it together and rearranged the downspout by the chimney in the backyard. This barrel will hold about 50 gallons of free water that we can use for grill fire suppression and flower watering. I want to get another one put in the front courtyard to help dry up our front yard some. There are some places that stay wet that I want to get rid of. This barrel has an overflow drain that will pull the water away from the foundation and a garden hose connection to fill watering buckets. It also has mosquito mesh to keep little critters from developing in the water. It seems very well made. We got it at Northern Tool and Supply on sale for about $50.

We also installed a huge rain gauge on the fence in the backyard and did some repair work on the fence. It had a couple of warped boards that are now screwed on strait. Will and I also figured out how to change the headlight in the Blazer. It took us longer to go online and get the answer to how to do it easily than it did to actually change it. came to the rescue again with the trick on how to get to the backside of the headlight assembly.

1135 work days to go. My master's course this semester is on data analysis. One of the text books is the excel bible. I was flipping through it and found out how to build a retirement clock and take out all of the holidays and weekends between now and my planned retirement day. Having this day off in the middle of the week unplanned gave me a good idea of what retirement will be like. I want you to know that I did get up from my nap to go with Donna to pick up the girls from dance. She said I didn't have to, but I'm glad I did.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Now that is a grill!

We got it done. The last grill we will ever need. They measure the grill surface in acres. It will smoke, grill, bbq, baste, roast, fry, skewer, shish-k-bob, and cook. This cast iron behemoth took about 5 good hours of work and study to put together. We had to do some hammering and drilling to make it all work, but overall I was very impressed with the craftsmanship of the Chairbroil Professional Grill. Every hole lined up as it was intended. We did have to pop out some of the metal because we added the smoke box to the side, but that wasn't too difficult once you overcome the thought of knocking a huge whole in the side of your new grill.

It has a gas grill section, a charcoal grill section, the aforementioned smoke box, and a side gas fired eye that doubles as an eye for cooking and a starter for a charcoal chimney. I think I could easily smoke 4 slabs of ribs for dinner and cook a case of burgers for lunch all at the same time.

The funniest instruction was "Do not consume alcohol or recreational drugs while putting this grill together." That's funny because they have obviously been sued by some poor rednecks widow whose last words were, "Here, hold my beer while I light this baby up!"

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hijacking someone's Blog is Wrong

I feel bad about hijacking my sister's blog. I did it to encourage her to get back in the habit of blogging. Then we have the whole kettle black pot thing to go through. It was misguided to allow the public to assume that she is 45 years old.

So, I am sorry Sabrina. It was wrong of me to get into your account and post a blog about how you don't blog when I have also been lax. You see, my sweet wife has taken to blogging like a toddler to cheerios. She can do more stuff than I can, fancy stuff like advertising and backgrounds and whatnot. Her new blog is Mississippi Momma. It is really good. Tiki Travelers has fallen to my responsibility.

So in the spirit of doing a blog that is worthy of your time to read, I will tell you what we did to save money this past week. First off, it is cold cold cold! I like to say it is colder than a witches bosom in a brass brassier. We went shopping for the insulation cones to protect the outdoor faucets. None were to be found, so we improvised. 3 old towels and some duct tape sealed the deal. The boys wrapped up the faucets and secured them for the winter, so we won't have to call the plumber for that fix this spring and no leaking water in between.

The big money saver this week was the rejection of the landline telephone. I called AT&T (dreading it by the way) cause they always want to argue with you about spending your money. We don't ever use our home phone, so we decided to cut it off. AT&T was real nice about it and helpful. She then told me about the new fiber optic cable in our neighborhood and ended up getting me to switch from Directv to AT&T for television. We are going to end up with the same level of TV service, double our internet speed, put DVRs on all of our TVs and save $70 a month. And that $70 is going on the mortgage (baby step 6 as it were).

So, I hope you enjoyed my return to blogging. Next up will be the construction of my new grill I got for Christmas. We are cranking up the fire place on Saturday and building the grill and smoker inside the house. Here's hoping it will fit going back through the door when I am finished!