Posts Tagged With: food

Keeping It Clean


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Serious Riis Is Serious

I’m not an old man, but I’m not a young man anymore either. Hmm… I’m “just right”. I’m in the stage of my life where I’m young enough to pull off the occasional outrageous stunt (and I have), but old enough to know better (yeah, won’t do that again). I believe that for most people, with age comes wisdom. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years…

  1. Whenever you leave the house, dress as if you’re about to meet the person who will be critical to advancing your career. Because eventually, the day will come when you will. No, it doesn’t mean you wear a suit everyday. Especially if you’re a musician. It just means don’t go outside looking like you never made it passed the curb after you left the rave party last night. These things are usually not planned, and it’s better to be ready.
  2. Wash your butt. There is absolutely NO REASON for you EVER to think, “I don’t need to wash my butt today.” Yes. You do. EVERY DAY. For real. Wash your butt!
  3. If you’re married, brag about your spouse to other people. Tell others what you find awesome about them. Do it often. It will prevent you from dwelling on the things that irritate you, and will instead remind you why marrying this person was the one of the best decisions you ever made. Over time, we can sometimes forget.
  4. If you have children, don’t forget to call your mom (or dad) every so often and tell her you love her. For you, it’s the realization and acknowledgment of the challenge they may have endured raising you. For them, they’ll know that you finally, FINALLY get it!
  5. Don’t let procrastination become a routine behavior. It’s like an invisible drug and one of the hardest habits to break. Plus, there’s no rehab clinic for it.
  6. Unless you have a tapeworm, there will come a point in your life when you won’t be able to get away with eating whatever you want. All that pizza, those hot dogs and those $2 fish tacos will all come back to bite you in your (clean) butt. It’s better to start making a habit of eating what’s best for you now, so that you can continue to do so later.
  7. Never take your family and friends for granted. Enjoy them as much as you can with the time you’re given.
  8. Don’t let your decision of whether or not to have kids be effected by finances. There is no “base price” for children. Every child is different and you’ll never know beforehand what your child’s needs might be or the cost associated with them.
  9. As a parent, never, ever withhold your affection from your children. It is one of the most critical love lessons they will ever learn. How they treat others is most often a direct result of how you treated them.
  10. Don’t be afraid to tell someone “no”. You avoid unnecessary stress, resentment and you gain respect from those who now understand the value of when you say “yes”.

Take those for what they may be worth to you. I guarantee these to be 100% true and effective or so says my Magic 8-Ball.

Categories: humor, opinion, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Anniversary Bliss Recapped


It was a beautiful morning in Southern California on August 7th when I woke up and finally pushed myself out of bed at around 7:30am. I’d like to think that the sun was out from behind the clouds with a cool breeze filtering through the open windows in supportive rejoicing over the fact that it was our 9th wedding anniversary. 🙂

My morning euphoria was interrupted by the fantasy-shattering cries of a 2-year-old who was more than ready to be liberated from his crib/prison. Joined by his 6-year-old brother and 4-year-old sister, the trio accosted me with their usual demands regarding breakfast. No milk for cereal. No oatmeal to sprinkle with raisins. I only had bagels and English Muffins to work with. They conferred and settled on requesting egg & cheese bagels (the English muffins had added ham) with homemade raspberry jam. I obliged.

After that, the morning came and went in a blur of swim lessons, missed naps, the Grumpy Lunch Hour and working with my wife to try to figure out how, since our evening plans were already figured out,  we could best manage the early part of our day of celebration with 4 small children in tow. Solution? Make a trip to Skinny Minnies (Gardena location) for celebratory FroYo… that only the children get to eat, since we’re on a restrictive diet at the moment.

Back at the house, it was time to let the two older kids watch Despicable Me (the first movie) while the two younger ones went down for nap. This, of course, allowed mommy and daddy to get all gussied up for their night out. 🙂 Since I was first to get dressed, I left to go pick up my oldest son from work, who agreed to watch the smaller kids (sans August, the infant) while we went out to dinner.

Earlier in the week, my wife made reservations at a local place that consistently got rave reviews. It’s called the Tin Roof Bistro and the food in, in a word, heavenly!

But before I get into the food, I have to give a shout out to our waiter Jay, who was by far one of the best waiters I’ve ever encountered. He came to our table to take our drink order, and I couldn’t remember the name of a particular drink. So I described it briefly and Jay seemed to read my mind when I mistakenly asked for a mimosa when I really meant a mojito. 😛

You know what’s one of the wonderful things about our marriage? How much we laugh. I caught my wife in the middle of a good chuckle and couldn’t resist sharing it. I think she looks even more beautiful when she laughs. :pleased:

I thanked him and said with a smile, “What’s your name? I don’t think I caught it before. I don’t want to say ‘Hey you’ to get your attention.” He smiled back and said, “My name is Jay, but it doesn’t matter because you’ll never have to ask for anything.” And he couldn’t have been more right. In spite of the fact that it was moving into the busiest hour of the day and he had several other guest to handle, he never missed a beat with us the entire evening. He was there every time we were done with a plate. He brought additional forks for the appetizer and main course. And he continued to check on us to make sure we had everything we needed. Major props Jay!

Anyway, on to the meal… we started out with a full order Triple Green Salad that we split.

Then, my wife surprised me by ordering an appetizer (which was the main reason she wanted to go this particular place) of Caramelized Brussels Sprouts (she knows I love, love, LOVE brussels sprouts)! I can’t even describe to you how delicious they were. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming! They were sliced in half and the outer leaves were crisp and flaky. I nursed a mojito while I took my time and savored the exquisite taste explosion in my mouth. I had to wonder if they were really this amazing, or was my mouth just extra sensitive to other flavors after being on the new fitness regimen the last 3 weeks where I mostly ate broccoli, rice, chicken and extra lean ground turkey. Nah, it was just incredibly delicious!

But I don’t think my mouth or my mind was ready for what was next. On the recommendation of our waiter Jay, I ordered the Grilled Pork Tenderloin.

There were so many wonderful things about this dish that I wouldn’t be able to list them all! The sliced pork was grilled to perfection. A dollop of mashed potatoes was the perfect counter-flavor to the summer corn and bacon succotash. This is one of those rare occasions were every mouthful was immediately followed by a clearly audible moan of pleasure. Mmmmmmm… was all I could manage for the first 5 or 6 bites. Of course, I had to share this mesmerizing dish with my wife. 😉 We finished the night with two of their signature desserts: mixed berries with lemon curd and tapioca pudding topped with mangoes and toasted coconut. I have to say that this was most definitely an anniversary-worthy foodie experience. I could go on and on about this, but I’ll stop here.

When Jay brought us the check, he informed us that he took care of the appetizer and one of our desserts as a gift for our anniversary. Needless to say, I took care of him with the tip. This guy deserved every single penny and more!

Anyway, we were supposed to finish the evening by going to the movies, but since the hour was getting late, we opted to stay in. All in all, one of the best anniversaries yet! 😀

Categories: marriage, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

PHOTOBLOG: Brazilian Bar-B-Cue


This weekend we had the pleasure of attending a party thrown by a good friend for his wife and daughter whose birthdays happen to be on the same day. As his wife is from Brazil, everything had a Brazilian twist. From the food to the band to the decorations and the drinks. It was amazing! So I thought I’d share just a few photos from the day.

This is our friend tending his custom-built, fiercely intimidating barbecue pit.

THIS is how you grill some meat!

And boy was there a lot of it!

 

Lamb and choice cuts of beef and pork.

Salted for tenderizing and full of flavor. OMG!!

This drink is called a Caipirinhas. There are various kinds.
This was a Kiwi Caipirinhas. They also had Blood Orange and Traditional (with lime).
It tasted like a mojito to me.

And as most of you know by now, there was plenty of dancing. Here is my beautiful, smiling wife and our darling daughter.

Categories: personal, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DOVE NOTE #2: It’s In The Details


(from the forthcoming book “Dove Notes”)

Men like to do things big…

Big trucks,

Big home theater systems,

Big plates of food,

even Big pets…

But in talking with my female friends, one of their chief complaints is that in doing things BIG in the relationship, men often overlook the details. And let me tell you, the details matter.

You can score points by remembering details. But, the opposite is also true. MAJOR points will be deducted for missing important DETAILS.

She will definitely appreciate you planning a romantic dinner for the two of you and making reservations at the most swanky restaurant in town. But what will impress her more?  Have the car washed and detailed before you pick her up… even if the evening is a surprise, inform her of the specific dress code for the night’s events so she won’t be too hot, too cold, over or under dressed for the occasion … remember (and then order) her favorite wine…

DETAILS.

Steal her for a unexpected weekend getaway.  But have all the arrangements made for kids/pets/plant care, pre-pack the suitcase and let her know that if we’ve forgotten anything, you’ve brought extra cash for contingencies.

DETAILS.

Offer to cook dinner. Have dinner ready at a reasonable hour and be mindful of her current health focus/diet plan/eating guide. Make dessert something indicative of your relationship. Pudding cups are UNacceptable.

DETAILS.

I guarantee that the response to your attention to detail will be exponentially more than the effort invested.

Categories: Dove Note, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

DOVE NOTE #46: Debate Abatement


(from the forthcoming book “Dove Notes”)

You can often avoid unnecessary debate with your significant other by simply answering a question clearly and completely the first time it is asked.  Ambiguous responses are typically unacceptable, and answering a question with a question is borderline abomination.

Some conversations become unnecessarily convoluted because of miscommunication, assumption and hurt feelings.  Many times this byproduct is completely unintentional, but left unchecked, conflict becomes equally unavoidable.

The key to avoiding this pitfall is to make sure you fully understand the question being asked before you answer.  Try to connect with the underlying motive for the question being asked.  Realize that the person is trying to gather very specific information from you.  It’s your job to identify what info they are requesting and then answer that question directly.

Here are a few examples:

Do you want to go dancing?

CORRECT: “Yes” or “No”                  INCORRECT: “I don’t mind”, or, “I’m not a good dancer”

Are you hungry?

CORRECT: “Yes” or “No”                  INCORRECT: “I could eat”, or, “Are you cooking?”

Did you call my father back yet?

CORRECT: “Yes” or “No”                  INCORRECT: “Why, did he call you?”, or, “You know I’ve had a busy day”

If you fail to answer the question directly, your purely innocent conversation that otherwise would have lasted maybe 15 seconds, will now consume the better part of a day… or more, depending on how utterly clueless and insensitive your response was considered to be.

Categories: Dove Note, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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