Food Porn

Poached Eggs on Sautéed Greens and Cannelini Bean Puree

poached-egg-and-greens-recipe

Not only is this a great tasting and beautiful dish to serve to a lovely lady in the morning, but it’s also on the Slow Carb diet that is so popular these days.

That means that it has no flour, sugar, or dairy. It is also nut free, so you have lots of coverage in the safe arena for this one. It might even be Paleo happy, but I’m not into that one. You decide.

This is a very simple recipe and you can make the bean puree well ahead of time and use it in tons of tasty dishes, including to thicken soups, or as a dip for crudités. It adds your Slow Carb bean component to almost anything you can imagine. Enjoy!

bean-puree-recipe

Bean Puree

What You'll Need:

Put the beans, garlic, and lemon in a blender.  Blend. As you blend, slowly drizzle olive oil in until you reach your desired consistency. Add S&P.

sautéed-greens-recipe

Sautéed Greens

What You'll Need:

Sauté onions in oil for a minute, then add the garlic, then the greens. Sauté till wilted. Add S&P.

how-to-make-poached-eggs

Poached Eggs

Here’s the trick to making great poached eggs…Vinegar! And having the eggs pre-cracked in separate bowls.

Bring a pot of water to a simmering boil (small bubbles everywhere, but not rolling).

Add a teaspoon or so of vinegar to the water. This helps the eggs coagulate quickly.

Drop eggs in one at a time, gently, in a clockwise manner. After about 2-3 minutes, they should be set and ready to go.

Turn of the heat and remove eggs. Start with the first egg you put in and work clockwise. Drain with a paper towel to remove excess water.

 

Porn, #FoodGame Style

food-porn

Some guys sit in front of a tiny computer screen and look at naked women doing naughty things and get all hot and bothered. I don’t care too much for that type of porn. Not that there is anything wrong with it. As long as everybody is a consenting adult, knock yourself out. But, for me, it’s all about Food Network, the Cooking Channel, and the Travel Channel.

Oh, to see bubbling gumbo writhing and churning, barely able to contain itself until it is bursting over the top and slowly dripping down the sides of the pot!

Cutting into a perfectly grilled thick cut Porterhouse steak, seeing that beautiful hot pink meat, juices seeping out all over the plate, streaking down my chin as I take a greedy sinful bite is simply orgasmic.

Right now, I’m watching a chef slowly drizzle sweet hot cherry gastrique over a sizzling breast… of duck. (Insert Homer Simpson drool noises here.)

Oh yeah. That is my kind of porn. Food porn. Porn, #FoodGame style.

For me, it’s all about the food.

That’s why I focus so much on it in my dating and relationship work. Food is sexy! Food can be a great gateway to actual sexy shenanigans in your own life. But you can’t just throw crap together from a box and expect to impress your lovelies.

When you take the time to actually prepare something tasty, you add a certain level of love that shows and impresses. It also gives you something to talk about. Instead of dreary chit chat about instant potato flakes or Uncle Ben’s whatever, you can wax rhapsodic about the sexy simmering sauces of sultry Colombia, spicy N’Awlins, or savory succulent Paris.

It doesn’t take a lot to really spice up your love life with great tasting food. Easy is the key. Great ingredients, simply prepared, will do most of the work for you. The more complicated you make cooking for your date, the harder it will be for you to impress.

Working too hard can work against you. If you are busy for hours and have too many things going on, by the time your date gets there, you will be pooped. Keep it simple.

And what if, after all that work, she doesn’t rave about your food? You will be really let down. Not a good place to start a date.

So what kinds of dishes will keep you happy and casual while cueing the “Bow chicka wow wow” music? Here’s a few to work with.

1. One pot meals.

Things like chili, cassoulet, soups, braised meats, and oven baked goodies of all kinds, are perfect for making the place smell amazing and keeping you cool and casual at the same time.

2. No cook meals.

Throw together a charcuterie plate of mixed meats like salami, capicola, and prosciutto and some tasty cheeses to pair with a really nice glass of wine.

3. Slow cooker.

You can’t get less stressed than throwing a bunch of great ingredients in a pot and walking away. And that slow simmer all day squeezes out every ounce of flavor you can get from an ingredient.

Take the time to get good ingredients, prepare them simply, and relax. You will find that things will go much more smoothly on your dates. Your place will smell amazing, her taste buds will be tickled, and if you play your cards right, that won’t be the only thing getting tickled.

Bon “chicka wow wow” apetit!

A Nice Wine Country Run in Sonoma

So, my lovely lady, Kim, ran a half marathon in Healdsburg, CA. Some of you know that that is what we call Wine Country! Or as the I, the Maverick Adventurer call it, “My Playground!” I love this part of the world. I have been to wine areas all over the world – Australia, New Zealand, Paris, Canada, etc, but I have always enjoyed the Napa/Sonoma area the best. It’s just my taste. So when my gal runs a marathon there, what on Earth is a growing boy to do, but go and support his sweetie. Oh, and taste some wine……

kimberly-spencer-spike-spencer-healdsburg-sonoma

So a little about Healdsburg. Walking around the tiny town is a joy. Just like so many of the little towns in this region, there is a warm feeling of a common love of all things wine, food, and quality. Everything is clean and well kept, the people are friendly, and the vibe is laid back. Though there is a bit of a rivalry between Sonoma and Napa, I believe the overall sense of the region to be open and inviting. Even though Napa’s wineries charge a lot more than Somoma. Just sayin.

While in Healdsburg we dined at Willies, an unassuming local place that simply blew me away with dishes like the Caramelized Butterfish w/ Miso Vinaigrette & Exotic Mushrooms (below) and the Hamachi Ceviche with Rocoto Chili, lime juice, and Pepitas. Both dishes were exquisitely prepared and perfectly presented. The service was excellent and our server, Gabriell, was knowledgeable and friendly with great hints about other wineries to visit later in the day. I highly recommend Willie’s!

willies-sonoma-restaurant

Then we popped next door to the Toad Hollow Vineyards tasting room. Another unassuming storefront that did not belie a truly great wine tasting experience. Fun, inviting, whimsical, and friendly yet again. And, did I mention, free? Our host, Travis, was not just a tasting helper, but also a marathoner, swimmer, and fitness coach. Kim and he got along swimmingly. Nyuck nyuck nyuck. The wines were lovely. Though nothing jumped out at us, I will most definitely go back for the fun vibe. And, of course, the tasty wines!

toad-hollow-tasting-room

Then there was Santa Rosa. Nice place, but definitely a bit of a different vibe. As far as “Adventuring” goes, there definitely was some of that. One of the things I do when I travel is I tend to stay at budget motels and such. Big fan of Motel 6, and I will have a great one to tell you about later. I figure, you are not there for the sleep, you are there for the ADVENTURE! But the Santa Rosa stay was at a bunghole of a rat trap called the Vagabond Inn. Wheeere to start?!? Crappy bed, crappy pillows, crappy water, crappy coffee, crappy area, crappy vibe, crappy lady running the place, crappy guy passed out at the bottom of the stairs, crappy crappy crappy! Let’s just say, I won’t be staying there again. Run from this place!

But there were a couple of nice eateries that I discovered in Santa Rosa. One was called Piner Cafe where I had a really great blue cheese burger (pictured below). Nice family friendly feel here. Don’t let my sad alliteration or the tatted up waitresses scare you; they were really very sweet and attentive. There was plenty of food at a good price. And that burger was damn good!

Piner-Cafe-burger.jpg

And there was another tasty burger to be had the same day at Brody’s. (Yeah, I know, I need a frickin salad or two.) The burgers here were varied and happily grass fed, hormone free and such. And they were executed well. Another draw are $1.50 pint brews on tap. Good on ya! Oh, and quite tasty onion rings, crunchy and substantially thick cut. If ya know me, ya know I’m always looking for the best onion rings. The building used to be a fast food joint or something similar and still has that feel, but they have made it a little more interesting with a TV and some local “color” aka drunken, sport junky, revelers. But not completely trailer park, ya’ll.

The wine find in Santa Rosa was the Siduri and Novy. This is a winery located in a business block warehouse area, not what I expected. And, again, the tastings here are complimentary. The wines were very nice with grapes sourced from all over. Pinot Noir and Syrahs were the predominant varietals here. On both of which I have mixed feelings, but I find Sonoma and Napa to have the best in the world. The discovery for me here was a Blanc Pinot Noir from the Novy side. Yep, I said Blanc. I was unaware there was such a thing! I’m a red wine guy almost exclusively, but this smoky, slightly fruity toned and refreshing wine was a nice surprise and now holds a place on my shelf.

The final stop in Sonoma for us was at the Paradise Ridge Winery (prwinery.com). This place has a really interesting art sculpture garden that greets you on the drive up. This place has a $10 tasting fee  that is waived upon purchase. We received a 2 for 1 complimentary tasting, and I’m quite sure that was due to my sparkly lady. They have a gourmet chef on site and they provide food pairing suggestions with each wine that made the Foodie in me quiver and really want to cook! The wines were robust and the scenery was lovely as well. The art was modern and interesting to downright weird and macabre. But overall, an enjoyable experience that I can recommend.

sonoma-wine-country

So that was the Sonoma quickie trip! I am sure I will be back to explore the area even more. So go visit the area, taste some wine, take a lovely stroll in downtown Healdsburg, and whatever you do, steer clear of the Vagabond Inn in Santa Rosa!