I might need this fireplace

Nov 30, 2010 by

I need this

Its cold here in San Diego!  I’m talking below 60 degrees people.  I need this fireplace, pronto!  This fireplace is way cool… or er hot.

Designed by Jan Des Bouvrie, this fireplace comes in mirror finish, or black or white and it includes an LCD TV.

I do like my wood burning fireplace, but its just not as cool as this one.

Ben…

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A twist on the same old Thanksgiving turkey

Nov 26, 2010 by

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We had a great Thanksgiving this year.  My wife’s family and some friends all went over to my friend Joe’s house.  Since he was doing the turkey, I decided to try something a little different.  I found this recipe in a magazine and gave it a whirl.

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For this recipe you will need:

  • 2 turkey breast halves
  • 3/4 cup butter – softened
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp dried sage leaves
  • 2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 pkg  12 oz – unseasoned stuffing cubes
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

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First take off the skin and bone out of the turkey breast (if there is a bone)

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Now we need to flatten the breasts to a consistent 3/8 inch

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cover with saran wrap

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and beat to a pulp with a heavy skillet or mallet

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they should look all nice and flat and even now

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Mince up your garlic

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Throw it in with 1/2 cup butter and add the dried sage

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Overlap the turkey breasts on one edge and mix the buttery garlic mixture over both.  Set this aside

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Chop up your onion

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Throw it in a big pan with the rest of the butter

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chop up your celery

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throw that in with the onion

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saute for a minute or so until slightly tender.

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add the poultry seasoning and 3 cups of chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for a couple of minutes

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add in your stuffing cubes and stir

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spread the stuffing out over the turkey breasts

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Make a good covering, but not too thick.

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roll it up and tie it together every few inches with some string

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Throw that in a large baking dish and throw it into the oven at 325 for 2 1/2 – 2 3/4 hours.

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Take the half cup pineapple juice and the olive oil and mix in a bowl.  Set this aside and baste the turkey every so often with this as it bakes.

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When its done it will look awesome like this

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And it will smell amazing too

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Slice it up and serve.   Everyone loved and devoured this at dinner.

How did your Thanksgiving go?  What great creation did you make?  Share in the comments below

Ben…

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What I want for Christmas

Nov 26, 2010 by

I have a house full of stuff

I have a closet full of clothes

I don’t need anything.

Is there some gadget I don’t have?  Sure, lots of them.  Is my car on its last leg?  Yeah, kind of, but it works.

When asked what I want I have to think about it.  I don’t know.

That’s when I realize what I want for Christmas.   Nothing.

I don’t want more stuff I don’t need that I then have to find somewhere to store.

What I would really like for Christmas this year is for that time, money and energy to go toward those that really need it.

Please donate to one of these great organizations.

http://friendsandhelpers.com/

http://www.kiva.org/

http://www.charitywater.org/

This Christmas please help someone who truly needs it.

If you absolutely must buy a gift for someone, make it something you can experience and do together.  Buy tickets to an event, take a class, go out on an adventure together.   Spend some time with friends and family making great memories this year.

Ben…

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A garden update for November

Nov 22, 2010 by

Its been a while since I’ve done a garden update.  Its still growing like crazy and I’m loving that I can walk out to my front yard to grab some vegetables for that nights dinner.

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I found this guy out there when I went to grab some parsley for the zucchini lasagna I made.  I cut the parsley way back and its growing back strong again.

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And finally, we have our first artichoke.  I’ve had the artichoke plans growing bigger and bigger without any signs of a single one.  But this one is big and almost ready to eat.

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I finally pulled out all the watermelon and cantaloupe.  These never quite worked out.  I grew tons of them, but they would only get to be about 4-6 inches in diameter and then rot on the vine.  Not sure when wrong with those.

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My lettuce is starting to come back all on its own.  How nice that I didn’t even have to replant it!

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I planted a little $3 basil plant I bought from Trader Joes when I needed some basil and this thing has gone crazy!  I’ve used it so much for cooking and it just keeps growing bigger.

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My tomatoes are still overtaking my garden as well.  I never got many huge ones, but the little ones came in droves.

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Cabbage is looking good

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And my broccoli is doing great as well.

I just recently planted some beans and peas and went through and cleaned out a lot of over grown areas.

So far this is one of the best things I’ve ever built and I’m LOVING it.

Ben…

Got any gardening tips to share?  Please leave a comment

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The most amazing zucchini lasagna ever made…ever

Nov 17, 2010 by

So I had this ginormous zucchini from my garden and I had to do something with it, so I set for to create a zucchini lasagna. Its the kind where you use the zucchini as the noodles, so less carbs + awesome zucchini = tasty tasty goodness.  Well I had no idea just how amazing this would turn out to be.  I’m not sure if its the fresh veggies from the garden, or just a bit of luck, but this recipe is an all time new favorite.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 very large zucchini, or around 3 pounds of smaller zucchini
  • 3-4 medium size tomatoes (I used a bunch of smaller ones from the garden)
  • 1 onion
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 30 oz tomato sauce
  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • Some bread to make some bred crumbs
  • Cheeses:
    • Ricotta – 1 pound
    • Parmesan – 1 Cup
    • Mozzarella – 1 pound
  • dried oregano, basil, parsley
  • 4 eggs
  • Ground Turkey (optional, You can leave it out  if you want to go veggie all the way)

First up you need to make some bread crumbs

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Its so easy to make bread crumbs vs buying in the store.  Throw a few pieces of bread into the food processor.

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Throw in some dried oregano, basil and parsley flakes.  I used about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon each.

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Pulse it all together until you get this awesome looking and smelling mix.  Set it aside.

You can also put the extra in a bag or container and save in the fridge for a long time.

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Now to slicing the zucchini.  Here’s where i realized that my ginormous zucchini was rock hard and was NOT going to work for this recipe.  It was at this point that it was dark outside and I had changed into comfy clothes and did NOT want to go out and go to the store.

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Take 2!  So after a trip to the store and some new fresh zucchini later, we are ready to rock.

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Using the fancy schmancy mandolin slicer, you will get these very pretty strips of zucchini.

Set those aside for a minute.

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Time to make a mixture of goodness.  Combine 1 cup of the bread crumbs in a bowl.

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add 1 cup of Ricotta cheese

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1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano

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1/2 Teaspoon dried basil

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Chop up 2 Tablespoons of fresh parsley and throw that in the bowl

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throw in 4 eggs

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finally add 1 Cup of Parmesan cheese and mix it all up

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This mixture of goodness looks and smells amazing.   Set this aside, and lets make the sauce.

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I think the fresh basil is the key here.  Add about 10 or so leaves to the food processor

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throw in your tomatoes

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And an onion and mix

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You’ll have an amazing chunky sauce at this point

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Next throw in the tomato paste and the tomato sauce and mix it all up.  Set this aside and lets start building the lasagna.

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Boil the zucchini slices for 5 minutes or less and let dry on a paper towel.

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If you are adding the turkey, go ahead and brown it now.  I added a dash of some Italian seasoning to this as it browned.

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Go ahead and grate up your mozzarella now as well.  Side note, the Salad Shooter
is awesome for this job.

Go ahead and start preheating the oven to 350 now.

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OK in a big 9×13 pan, lay down a layer of your awesome sauce

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Sprinkle over bread crumbs

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Add your first layer of zucchini

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Spread over about half the mixture of the goodness you made earlier

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And add half the mozzarella cheese

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Add the turkey meat if you are using it

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Add the second layer of zucchini and more sauce

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More breadcrumbs and the rest of the goodness mixture

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Finish it off with the rest of the mozzarella cheese

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And I added a bit of Parmesan flakes on top as well for good measure

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Throw it in the oven at 350 for 40 minutes to 1 hour.  You want the cheese to be all nice and melty and golden brown.

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Like this

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Almost a little too golden, but its all good.

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Nope I take that back, its so much better than good.  It is truly amazing.  I was shocked at how great this tasted.  Sometimes my recipes don’t always turn out, but WOW did this one work and work really well.

I can’t recommend this one enough.   Its so nice to have some warm lasagna on a nice cool evening.

You really should try this one soon.

Ben…

If you try this recipe let me know how it turned out.  I think you will love it.

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