Friday, August 31, 2012

Off the Schneid!!!



Labor Day Weekend is off to a great start!!   Byrnes has already managed to get Bingo by heading out on Lake Saint Clair and catching a coupla real tasty-lookin' walleye!!!  We're all hoping that they manage to catch about 16 more (or whatever the limit is)!  These babies are gonna be uh-mazing with a little teriyaki & soy swaace!!  Wo0t!




Stay tuned for more updates on the shenanigans and goings-on Up North, eh!

Click here for a link to the photo album for the weekend!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Once a Cheater...

Cheater Pizza!  Under $10, feeds 4+ ppl!

As they say, "Once a cheater, always a cheater" though, when it comes to cooking, cheatin' isn't necessarily always a bad thing!  We've all had those days when work sucked, the fam is driving ya nuts, or you've simply not had enough rest to deal with all of the b.s. that had been dealt to you.  On such occasions, most of us are tempted to just scarf down whatever crapola that is within arm's reach without regard for cost, either financially or physically.  





OMG! This picture makes me want to
BAAAAARRRRFFFFFFF!!!


As a result, we may gorge upon whatever shitfood (see image on right) may be easily nukable as a means by which to mitigate the hunger that had been plaguing us since the last time we'd eaten -- seemingly days ago.  For this reason, I've created a repository of easy solutions to feeding your face when you've contracted a particularly nasty case of the Aw-Fuck-It's!!  This just so happens to be the first (of hopefully many!) recipes for satisfying your hunger without resorting to or relying upon any shitty, pre-packaged meal found in your grocer's freezer!


The Eye of Sauron!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love shopping at Sam's Club.  I need not get into detail about the cost-savings of buying in bulk for we are all aware that acquiring one's consumables from such a venue is FAR more cost-effective than obtaining the same quantities of similar items at the local grocery store.  For an in-depth lecture on this subject, please check out my forthcoming book on contemporary cooking due out sometime later this decade!  For now, continue reading onward!


What do Lidstom & I have in common?
We're both former employees of Ilitch!


Wandering through my local Sam's the other day, not for the first time did I spy the "Take-&-Bake" pizzas in the cooler section.  Now, I'm a serious pizza snob from waaaaay back because I actually used to sling 'zzas back in the day for none other than Mike Illitch himself (well, indirectly).  As such, I have the ability to make pizza from scratch, dough included, without breaking a sweat, so I almost never actually buy retail pizza, whether from a restaurant or (especially) pre-made.

However, I've walked by the cooler case full of 16" pizzas touting the slogan "Made fresh in club!" many times wondering just how good these things actually come out when you make them yourself at home.   Typically when I make pizza, it requires a bit of foresight and planning in order to make the dough sufficiently ahead of time to allow it to rise properly, sheet it out, sauce it, then cheese it, before getting down to brass tacks and putting on the toppings.  These pre-fabricated pizzas can be purchased with pepperoni (the most over-rated pizza topping!) or as a "Supreme" with the addition of green peppers, onion, black olives, and mushroom slivers.  Alternatively, plain cheese pizzas can be obtained for slightly less than those that have toppings -- under $7 bucks actually -- which makes them a great value for what they are -- or so I was about to determine one way or the other!

I was underwhelmed when I first saw it...
I had considered several times in the past picking up one of these pies and giving it a shot to see if the savings in time and energy was worth spending the money on the convenience of not having to make a dough, sheet it out, sauce it and cheese it.  After all, the majority of time spent making a pizza is allocated toward the creation of the dough from scratch and then sheeting it out in preparation for the application of whatever toppings are about to go on it.  If all that hassle could be exchanged for a reasonable price & without a huge degradation in quality, then it might be worth the savings in both time and effort on those occasions when I have neither the time nor energy to make a pie from scratch. After nearly a year of intending to do so, I decided to pick up one of the plain cheese pizzas to give it a shot with a few of my own toppings to see if the sacrifice in quality was sufficiently low enough to justify not having to make a dough from scratch.  Due to the uncertainty of the results for this first attempt, I decided that this little food experiment was best conducted on an evening during which I had no one but myself to (un)impress given the possibility of total failure.  For only $7 bucks, I figured that I didn't have much to lose if it were a total loss and, if not, then I might be able to cheat once in a while when I'm in a pinch!

I picked a night were no one was planning on joining me for dinner & decided to give this a good effort.  I knew immediately not to expect the same results as a 100% homemade pizza, but I remained cautiously optimistic.  As shown in the pic above, I was sort of underwhelmed when I first saw what was in the box, but I decided to go for it anyway and I'm glad that I did!   The first order of business was to get busy hackin' up a leftover pork chop into smallish nugs that could be distributed fairly evenly.  I remember thinkin' to myself that I was nice to not have to deal with all the hassle that is involved with dough production as I dealt out the chunks of meat between swigs of my vodka & tonic.

Don't waste real estate like I did here!
Put toppings all the way to the edge!


A green pepper was the next victim of my blade and, moments later, it had been tossed onto the 'zza before moving on to the next round of toppings!






Don't over-do 'em if they
are going on a pie!

A smallish, virgin onion that had never prior to its rendezvous with me known the touch of a man, I then sliced thinly into slivers before sauteing them ever so slightly to convince them of their good treatment (as is done in the Netherlands!), then intermingling them among the other toppings to let the love start to happen.



Ready for the oven in under 15 min!



Once properly applied, the onion, green pepper, and pork awaited the addition of the final topping without which this pizza would have felt -- naked.  After having discovered that I was completely out of mozzarella, I got creative with some sticks of colby jack string cheese, which seemed to be just what was needed to top this all off!



Mmm... uncut pizza = sexy!


25 minutes later (10 more than instructed on the package!) and this pie was screamin' hot and ready to come out of the oven!!  A display of sheer willpower was necessary to keep from diving right into this gorgeous concoction while it cooled far too slowly on a rack.  I hold firmly the opinion that uncut pizza is one of the sexiest-looking foods that can be made! AmIwrong? I think not!




Om-nom-nom-nom-nom!!!!

And what of the results, you ask?!?  Not bad!  In fact, pretty damn decent for what it was worth!  As can be seen in the images, the chunks of colby jack melted nicely into the interstices of the other toppings which then amalgamated when cooled into a piping hot, ooey-gooey, thin-crust pie that was just begging to be sprinkled in Fiery Diablo Seasoning and hucked upon with abandon and disregard for the well-being of the roof of one's formerly non-burned mouth!!







Indeed, the success of this experiment means that I can now use this as a backup plan for nights when I'm short on time, but I've got a crew of hungry guys coming over for a hockey game and some brewskis!  The ease with which a cheater pizza of this nature can be whipped up makes it worth every iota of energy saved in not having to fart around pulling out the flour, mixing, kneading, stretching, sheeting... et cetera!  Give it a shot, you'll probably be as pleasantly surprised with the results as I was!



Click here to check out the whole gallery!

Post a comment below to let us know how yours comes out or to tell us how you think this could be done bettter/more efficiently!





Peake'n'Stine's 5th Annual 30th B-Day Party: The Debriefing!


Not quite half-way done...
Once again, as legend had foretold, the 5th annual Peake’n’Stine bash was hailed as the best yet thrown and shall not be easy to out-do next year!  Good folks from near and far reunited for good grub, good beer, and good times!  The suds & squealer were graciously provided by the hosts Jake Stine & Sasha Kush, without whom this soiree would not have been possible!  Without a doubt, their hard work in preparation for the party paid off in the form of guests enjoying themselves comfortably while a smooth cooking operation ran nearly unnoticed in both the kitchen and in the grill area.   As a result, this year’s pig was dubbed the best yet by all those in attendance!   Served alongside dinner rolls, corn on the cob, Jake’s traditional baked beans, and Esteban’s righteous fresh guacamole, the roasted pork was perfectly flavored from all of the apple wood used to smoke it.   




...finished (finally!)




Prior to this main course, we’d all grown a hunger that had been stoked by an entire day of smelling the succulent pork rotating slowly as it cooked in its own juices and the Kuenhenn’s Porter with which we kept spraying it!






Just some of the grub up for grabs!


To stave off this hunger, we’d fried deeply the various vittles that had been generously brought by the guests as sacrifices to the Gods of Deep Frying.  Propane was set alight and, before we knew it, Chef Byrnes had whipped up batch after batch of french fries & tater tots, as well as freshly-breaded chicken wings and zucchini, the latter of which had been harvested from Byrnestyle Farms not more than an hour before cooking!



Not the first pig Jamie's ever kissed!




Cornhole and Frisbee Cups were played until it became too dark to see, at which point the stadium lighting was erected!  The firepit was ablaze, our stomachs were stuffed, our cups were full, and so on the party went until the wee hours when only the strong remain standing.  With great fortune and perhaps a bit of benevolence from the Party Gods, this year’s Peake’n’Stine Bash was a major success!   I think it is safe to say that we are all already looking forward to next year!   

Monday, August 27, 2012

Keepin' it Fresh!

Though I'm not sure why storing one's broccoli in a vase is not more mainstream, I'm certain that my people have been doing so for centuries.  I've finally made the decision and spill the beans on this closely-guarded family secret to share it with the world!  As you can see here, the broccoli shipment that I've just received from Byrnestyle Farms is chillaxing merrily in a bit of water, patiently awaiting it's rendezvous with my facehole!






Click on the pics to embiggen!

Addendum:   Doing this sounds like a terrific idea, does it not?  Just be forewarned; broccoli is a cluster of very small flowers that actually smell like total asshole.  Also, even changing the water daily isn't going to keep your broccoli from tasting like "shit".  There's a "fishiness" that is certainly an acquired taste! It's no wonder I've had terrible gas lately! Haha!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Finger-Fright!!!

Chicago Baaab -- age 9!
Some people can be referred to as "normal" meaning that they are likely to fall within one standard deviation of typical behavior exhibited by other human beings under similar circumstances.  Then there are those of us who would otherwise fall into a category outside of the norm, which can be assigned any arbitrary name, but shall henceforth be referred to as "wierdos", or those people that exhibit abnormal behavior as compared to those that fall within the normal category.  Some might say that I fall within the latter category, and perhaps for good reason.  

Stop looking at my hands!
Not that it matters much, but I can type rather fast -- when no one is looking.  If someone were to watch me type, or if I even think that someone is watching me type, I suddenly lose the ability to move my fingers with the coordination needed to bang out my usual 50 or so WPM.  It's such to the point that I will actually request that people look away from my keyboard and simply watch what is on my screen, if I happen to be showing someone something on my PC.  Furthermore, I find that I cannot type nearly as fast when I, myself, look at my own hands while doing so!  Now, perhaps for this reason alone I should be categorized among the other weirdos out there, but I assure you that there are plenty of other reasons for which I find myself in the good company of those who fall outside of the norm.  

Cuz's kryptonite!
So, my question to you is:  In what way do you fall outside of "normal" behavior?  Are you like my brother, Chicago Bob, who, for the first two decades of his life, wouldn't eat food if it was touching the other food on the plate? (He's since gotten over this -- mostly -- and can now eat most things that reside in close proximity to one another on his plate real estate.)  Or like The Cuz, who grew up loving tomatoes, but is now repulsed by the thought of having to eat the mushy seed goop inside of them, yet he still thoroughly enjoys things with 'mater swaaace cooked into it (like my pastaccioli!).  

Here's an idea!  Let's RUIN this perfectly good bagel w/ a schmear!
Now, I'm not sittin' here huckin' stones in a glass yurt; I'm simply pointing out that most of us have eccentricities that fall outside the norm in one way or another.  I just happen to be more willing than most to admit that I'm not your average duck.  Everyone that knows me will tell you that I have a propensity to shun foods that are "white & creamy", though most assume that it is due to some fundamental aversion to the look/consistency of such foods because of their similarity to other, more undesirable substances when, in actuality, it stems moreso from a dislike of the "tangy/tart" shitty flavor that is typically associated with foods of this nature (read: sour cream, mayo, tartar sauce).  Don't get me wrong, I'm no picky eater!  I just fail to see the appeal of schmearing schome narsty schit on my bagel, if ya get what I'm sayin'! 

Tell us what you think!  Are you a weirdo too?  How so?  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Some Dogs Love Their Veggies!

Zoey behaves well -- sometimes!
Wouldn'tcha know it?!?  Some dogs actually love veggies!  A few weeks back, Chicago Bob was in town for a wedding, so Zoey & I had the fortune of hangin' out together for most of the weekend while he was off partyin'!

Dogaroo loves elote!!
Now, the two of us had a good time playing fetch and wrasslin' around, but we worked up an appetite, so I made some elote!  Of course, dogaroo wanted some too, so who am I to be a dick and say "No"??  I gave her just a little to try and she loved it!  When I gave her the remainder of the cob, she ran off with it, then started going to town on it!  There wasn't much left on it after just a minute or two! I've never seen a dog that loves corn as much as this one!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fiery Diablo Seasoning!!

This is it!!  The fiery creation that started a few days ago as the Food Dehydration Project!  This seasoning came out awesome and it couldn't have been easier to make! Here's how I did it:

Start by coarse-grinding a bunch of dried peppers from your garden.  The type of pepper you use will determine the level of heat for the seasoning, so I was able to make three different seasoning blends; mild, medium, and fuck you!  I like my mouth-parts en fuego, so I tend not to hold back, but I made some less killer seasoning for those that can't hang.  





Toss the ground pepper into a dispensification unit, then add the seasonings that will later allow you to convince your food of the good treatment that it is about to receive. -- as is done in the Netherlands.


On this particular occasion, I used two packets of Sazón by Goya, granulated garlic, coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, dried minced onion, and a whole lotta love!



By no means do you need to adhere to this formula!  This happened to be a nice "Mexican" blend of seasonings that goes great on chicken, fish, pork, veggies, fried foods, frijoles, quacamole, fajitas, arroz, elote... you see where I'm going w/ this!  





This batch has dried habanero peppers in it!


An "All Purpose" fiery seasoning could just as easily be done by using Lawry's Perfect Blend Poultry Seasoning, hot peppers, garlic, onion, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper.  Or try making an "Asian" inspired seasoning blend w your dried hot peppers by throwing together toasted sesame seeds, sea salt, dried minced onion, granulated garlic, thyme, star anise, Thai basil, fennel seeds, cinnamon, and fresh ground Szechuan peppercorns!   Get as creative as is legal in your country and see how things come out!  Feel free to post your suggestions or how you made your concoction in the comments below!

If you are too chicken to try to make your own spice blends, check out our friends over at MySpiceSage.com!!!  They've got an awesome selection, great prices, and FREE shipping anywhere in the U.S.!! 

Click here to see the whole gallery!

Fiery Diablo Seasoning on cukes fresh from Byrnestyle Farms!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Peake-n-Stine's 5th Annual 30th B-Day Bash!!!!



This coming weekend will be the 5th Annual Peake-n-Stine's 30th B-Day "Shitwhathaveyou"!!!  Yet another year has flown by and it is once again time to congregate the extended crew to feast upon massive piles of swine and copious amounts of booze in a merry reunion of good people from far and wide! Old friends and new shall clink glasses again after the far-too-long that it has been since we’ve all seen one another last.  Indeed, there shall be no shortage of good times and shenanigans to be had!  


This year, this soiree will be hosted at Stine’s new residence in Farmington Hills!  Once again, Sasha has made over 200 Jell-o shots & there will be two barrels a-flowin’, but guests are also encouraged to bring a bottle of booze or some specialty/microbrew beer to share!  The Big Pig Rig will be slow-roasting a 90 lb squealer injected with beer, stuffed with garlic, and smoked over apple wood until it’s falling off the bone!  Steve’s “cooler corn” (on the cob) and Stine’s baked beans are already taken care of, but everyone is welcome to bring a side dish or appetizer if they would like to do so!  Chip dips and salsas are already under control, but we will also have a massive deep fryer cookin’ up vittles, so we highly encourage people to bring things like chicken wings, mozz stix, japaleno poppers, tater tots, or anything else they would like to have fried!  

Indoor sleeping accommodations are unavailable at this point, but allegedly there is plenty of room to set up a tent in the backyard!  If things go as they have in years past, there will be a whole encampment of people passed out shortly before sun-up!  Bring what you need to camp out and plan on havin' fun until the wee hours around the bonfire! 
There has been an event created on Facebook for this party, so please RSVP through there so that the hosts can get an idea of how many people to expect!  Everyone is welcome, but keep in mind that this is an adult-oriented party that might won't be appropriate for the kiddies!  Dogs, especially chill, well-behaved dogs, are welcome!  Please let Jake or Jamie know if you plan on bringin' your K-9 along with you to party! 

See you at the pig roast! 

 Steve-o




Wednesday, August 15, 2012

BFC Night!! --- Teriyaki Glazed Chicken!

Though there had been no official plan formulated for that on which we would be feasting for last week's BFC Night, Dave Dubay managed to save the day by bringing a generous 3-lb contribution of boneless chicken breasts with which to do as we pleased!  Just as unexpectedly, Chicago Bob made his appearance 3.5 hours ahead of his anticipated arrival time with a thirst that seemingly could not be slaked!  After a good session of warm-up ceremonies, we got down to business and decided that the best thing to do w/ the chicken would be to hack it up and marinade it in a teriyaki/garlic/soy sauce glaze while we prepped the massive squash and zucchini that had been harvested from Byrnestyle Farms in West Bloomfield.  Into each their own saute pans the ingredients went; the chicken in one and the veggies in another, cooking away merrily as the chefs supervised while sipping suds.  Lo Mein, it was decided, was the appropriate starch with which to eat this Americanified Asian dish, so Byrnes got them on the make and before we knew it, BAM!  We were scarfing down Teriyaki-Glazed Chicken w/ Squash & Zucchini on a bed of Lo Mein and washing it all down with a cold squirt of Molson from the keg!  Yet another great BFC Night! 

Dying from Dehydration

Though the sun had already dipped below the horizon, last night I cleaved a rather large harvest of  "rainbow" hot peppers before moving on to the habanero and japaleno plants with a deftness and precision that would make a ninja look like a hack.  I left my victims screaming silently in the twilight as I scurried the produce indoors to await its date with destiny in the food dehydrator.  A boisterous round of slightly maniacal laughter emanated unintentionally as I sacrificed my vegetative victims to the Gods of Food Dehydration.  Somehow, during all the craziness of the dancing and what with the whooping it up and all, I managed to get a few pics of the victims after they'd been interned to their well-ventilated graves! 

System reboot...

I have the power.... to change layouts!!!!
So, I've decided it was time for a change, a new look, a different perspective... and, as a result, the site has a whole new layout and is now much more dynamic!  Visitors can now customize the layout to their preferences by adjusting the drop-down menu in the upper left from "Magazine" to any of the other options listed below it!  This cool new feature even makes the Master of The Universe pleased!!