Untapped Grilling and Other Addictions

Archive for the month “January, 2013”

Chicken Soup

The World’s Best Chicken Tortilla Soup !!

(and I mean it)

You Have To Try This Tonight!

You Have To Try This Tonight!

I rarely,rarely,rarely,suggest a recipe for y’all to try. So when I do, it is in your best interest to take me seriously. I am not a huge Soup Nut, nor am I a Mexican. But after making this soup last night, I want to be a Soup Nut and Tijuana……here I come!

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Black Beans and Corn

2T. Vegetable Oil or Grape Seed Oil (depends on how healthy you are)

1 1/2 Medium Onions (yellow)

3 Cups Finely Chopped, Peeled Carrots

1 1/2 Cups Finely Chopped Celery

******** If you are lazy like most, Trader Joe’s sells packaged Mirepoix (already finely chopped onions,carrots,and celery)




 3 Cloves Minced Garlic

2 tsp. Cumin

Pinch or two of Cayenne Pepper or three

2 tsp.dried Oregano

5 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth

3/4 Cup of Dry White Wine plus a nice big glass for you to drink while cooking



1 – 15 Oz. Can of Black Beans

1 – 14.5 oz. can of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (Trader Joe’s)

I Cup Roasted Corn

1 tsp. Tabasco Sauce or two or three

2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce ( What is this stuff?)

Salt and Pepper to taste

4 Cups Shredded Chicken ( I like to buy the Roasted Chicken at the store and just pull off the meat)


Now take yourself a big ole pot and heat up that vegetable oil. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes and throw in the celery, garlic,carrots, cayenne, cumin, and Oregano. Stir and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes until all this stuff is soft. Then add the broth,wine, and beans. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Then add the tomatoes with juice and corn. Pour in the Tabasco and Worcestershire, salt and pepper, and plop in all the Chicken. Soups done.

Now for the absolutely necessary garnish:

1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil

6 Corn Tortillas (I like the Blue ones)

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

2 Ripe Avocados peeled and sliced

1/2 Cup Chopped Cilantro

2 Limes cut into wedges


Now cut up the tortillas into strips and fry with the oil. Serve your soup in your bowls and put a dollop of sour cream in the middle, surrounded by your sliced avocados. Sprinkle some cilantro all over and throw in the fresh tortilla strips.  Now sit back, pop open a bottle of Corona and watch your guests wet themselves!


If you are smart you will double this whole thing and freeze half of it. It is a lot of chopping and prepping but I promise it’s worth it.


I am so tired of chopping, I feel like a rubber nosed woodpecker in a petrified forest!

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Winter Garden

In The Beginning

In The Beginning

It all started very innocently. After a very successful 6 months of Spring and Summer gardening, it was time to take my shot at Winter Gardening. Unfortunately for me, I was not prepared for the difficulties and everyday dilemmas that exist in growing veggies in the freezing cold. Now you may wonder how someone living in sunny Southern California can whine about his farming woes, but this is not a normal SC winter.


With my Turkey Poop and new top soil mixed well, the lettuces,broccoli,onions, and squash started out well. And then came the cold, and the rain, and the rats, and more cold, and no sun, and more rats!!! Dadgummit! What is with Rats and Winter?



This is what most of my communal gardening community looks like now.

Ghost Town

Ghost Town

Frozen Plants

Frozen Plants

It’s really sad and a little bit depressing. All of the work and time and love for these plants and 2 days of freezing weather can destroy everything. I started thinking about a scenario where what if I only had this food to eat for my family. It was our life line to nutrition. If this happened under this scenario we would starve to death. Now that shed another light on who we are as humans and what we take for granted each and every day.

Fortunately, my plants were  a little more mature than most because I planted earlier. I was blessed! Most were able to fight off the cold, rains, and rats. But not all. I did salvage a few delicious veggies this winter and I am very thankful for this.

Mixed Lettuce

Mixed Lettuce

Pristine Broccholi

Pristine Broccoli

Emerald Cabbage

Emerald Cabbage

Purple-Cauliflower-400x300Purple Cauliflower

So as you can see, I have gotten over my self-pity and realized that I am one blessed gardener. The rains, cold, and rats may have played havoc on alot of my garden this Winter, but the Good Lord still provided what was necessary and some more.

………….and by the way………..I did take care of the Rats!

Not bad, taste like chicken!

Not bad, taste like chicken!

Don’t Be Hanging Your Basket Higher Than You Can Reach!

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Finding London

I have been traveling to London since I was 21 years old. I reckon I have made at least 45 to 50 visits to this incredible city. Over the years I have had my favorite part of London. Covent Gardens, Knightsbridge, Kings Row, the list goes on and on. But on my recent trip, I found my new favorite!



Have you heard of it? You can access this hip area of London by tube through either the Highbury & Islington Station via the Victoria line, or Angel Station via the Northern line. My recommendation is to start at the top (Highbury & Islington) and head down Upper Street until you reach Angel Station. The entire walk with shopping, eating, and walking can be a great afternoon jaunt.



Halfway down Upper Road you will run into Ottolenghi (author of “Plenty” and the Jerusalem Cookbook“). This is a must for anyone in London that loves quality cuisine. You will never get in at night without a reservation a month in advance. But if you arrive early for lunch you stand a chance.

Communal Dining

Communal Dining

Sweet Stuff

Sweet Stuff

Mediterranean Miracle

Mediterranean Miracle

Once you are stuffed, cross the street and look forFolklore, what I believe to be the coolest Interior/Entertaining shop in London. You see, everything in Folklore is made by a craftsman or an artist. Each piece is hand-made from African villages to a village in Wales. If you like the one-of-a-kind stuff, this is definitely a must see.




Tree Branch Light Fixture

Tree Branch Light Fixture

Table Top Treats

Table Top Treats

For the best in Casual men’s and women’s apparel, make sure you stop in at “Jack Wills”. This great brand of English sportswear is located in an old train depot in Islington. It’s worth going just to see the building itself!


Jack Wills

Jack Wills

Another great Men’s Fashion Ship is “Fat Faced Cat. It is located on Camden Passage which is a small alley that runs perpendicular to Upper.


And if all of this shopping and walking have made you hungry again, stop and have a burger and chips at “Bryon“. Can’t beat this place.


Now These Are Some Chips

Now These Are Some Chips

London is a magical City ,full of hidden treasures such as Islington. Use the Tube loosely in Finding London.

Cheers Mate

Heck, I’ve been busier than a set of jumper cables at a family reunion!

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A British New Year

Happy New Year Everyone!

I have been out and about for the last 10 days or so in London England. What a grand, majestic place to spend New Years Eve and the first few days of 2013.

The Bond Ball

The Bond Ball

So what do you do if you are in London on New years Eve? You attend the James Bond Secret Agents Ball! 

The Driver London

The Driver London

Located at The Driver, a night club in central London, the evening was full of James Bond wannabes as well as a wide variety of Bond Girl wannabes. Now this made for an interesting evening. The night consisted of a wonderful dinner followed by five floors of every kind of dance music you could imagine. But by far and away it was the Bond and Bond Girl gazing that made the night so special.



The night was full of crazy dancing and LOTS OF VESPER MARTINIS, Bonds drink of choice. Bond girls were decked out in glitter and Jewels and pistols stashed away in their garter belts. Fortunately for me, I was blessed to have my 20 year old daughter as my Bond Girl for the evening who reminded me of the ever famous Bond Girl, Jane Seymour who played “Solitaire“.



All in all it was a very interesting way to spend New Years in London. There just is something very special about James Bond and London!

Goodbye “M”


Keep Things “Skaken  not  Stirred” in 2013.

It’s Time To Paint Your Butt White and Run With The Antelopes!

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New Years Resolutions

I have thought long and hard about my 2013

New Years Resolutions.

I could come up with some real good ones that I would not live up to the first week. Or I can really reach deep down in my soul and pull those heart-aching convictions out and try to really do something this year. So That’s what I am going to do. I will keep my resolutions this year!


1. I will not call my mother “Aunt Betty”anymore.

2. I will stop Farting in public and blaming my children, and stop taking credit for my dog’s smelly farts.

3.I will sleep more and over eat every day.

4.I will stop using “Jack Daniels” as a Breath Freshener.

5.I will stop using “Crisco” in bed.

6.I will stop sticking my arm in the ceiling fan.

7.I will buy a tee shirt that will cover my belly.

8.I will stop taking toilet paper from the public restroom.

9.I will start to do some deeper reading, like “Field and Stream”.

10.I will stop making my wife wear Tube Tops to weddings.

I will give my wife that Flat Screen TV SHe has wanted forever.


11.I will give my wife that Flat Screen TV She has wanted forever.


12.I will stop bathing in the pond out back.


13.I will give my wife her nice bra back.


14.I will give my neighbor his doorbell back.

and lastly………………

15.I will kiss my own wife on New Years this year!

Happy New Year Everyone!

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