Jalapeno’s on Fire

Saturday night we were having some friends over and decided to make some appetizers. Nothing extravagant but not ordinary, anyway. We decided to make a hot artichoke dip, smoked gouda and Asiago cheese with crackers, stuffed jalapenos and an assortment of wine and beer. We also ended up with smoked turkey, smoked brisket and roasted sweet potatoes with red onions, but that’s another story ūüôā

I got the idea for the stuffed peppers from the seedlings I’m growing (in our 20180106_140120-0002kitchen at the moment). I’ve got both Datil peppers and Carolina Reapers just starting. I was misting the delicate plants and thought of how good some jalapeno poppers would be.

I’ve made them several times before and have a tried-and-true (and simple!) recipe: 1 pound pan sausage, 1 block cream cheese, 1 package Knorr veggie mix and some grated parmesan cheese. Cook down the ground sausage and drain off the grease. Over a low heat, mix in the creamcheese and some parmesan. Finally, stir in the veggie mix, and then set aside to cool.

Wearing latex gloves, slowly remove the core, stem and seeds from the jalapenos. Take a small spoon (I used a ‘baby-food’ spoon) and filled each with as much as I could.¬† I put them into the oven and cooked for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

While they turned out well, what I didn’t bargain for:¬† the heat!¬† I know that sounds crazy–jalapenos that were incredibly hot–but these were.¬† I didn’t grow them, instead choosing to purchase them–so I don’t know if they cross-pollanated or what, but wow!

20180106_144336-0003

In the end, everything turned out well.¬† I sweated profusely but enjoyed the extra refreshments.¬† I took a few to work, since some of my co-workers claim to love heat ‘as hot as they can get it’.¬† They got what they bargained for.

I can’t wait to see what my new Farmer’s Market Jalapenos will be like in a few weeks!

[[Resume]] 2018

Ok, so I’ve been a bit quiet…for the last year (plus some).¬† I let this silly thing called ‘life’ interrupt my blog–go figure.¬† I moved in early 2017 and never got my servers running again (except Plex).¬† New house, new changes,¬†remodelling, maintenance, landscaping.¬† In retrospect, it’s all good.

There’s a lot happening in the world–changes in culture, perceptions, challenges to the status quo.¬† Some are refreshing, some are difficult.¬† Being a non-millennial, some things make no sense.¬† Being a ‘boomer’ some things are welcome ‘why-didn’t-we-do-that-before’ stuff?¬† It’s all in perspective, perspective I say!

The one thing I’ll say looking forward is that 2018 is going to be an amazing year in many ways, personally, professionally and environmentally. ¬† Personally my health and family will be front-and-center in lieu of a side role.¬†¬† I’m looking forward to travelling a lot more in the year ahead.¬† A new hydroponic garden will take shape.¬† A honeymoon (four years too late) will be in March.¬† I’m going to keep my cancer issues under control via diet this year too.

I’ll do my best to update my pages no less than once a week.¬† Sometimes more, sometimes a little less.¬† And if I’m really lucky, I’ll even begin my YouTube channel soon too.

–Stephen

Definition of Insanity

So, we’ve all heard the famous definition of insanity: Doing something (repeatedly) and expecting different results. ¬†Whether it be in sports (‘Did I really throw him a slider, again?’), ¬†work (‘I really should’ve left earlier to beat this traffic’) or parenting (‘I know I shouldn’t let my daughter have everything she asks for, but…’) continuing to act as past experience has shown to be ‘sub-optimal’ is a recipe for, well, lousy results.

As it is in politics–local, regional and national. ¬†If you love your mayor, great–but if not, you’re going to vote against them, correct? ¬†The key in that is ‘vote’–not just sit at home and complain about their actions–actually do something about it! ¬†Hate your Senator, vote the bum out!

Unfortunately what happens when you’re trying to decide the lesser of evils? ¬†In several races this year, the best we have to describe them is exactly that–lesser of evils–especially in the Presidential race. ¬†Yes Trump is loathsome on so many fronts. ¬†Hillary is also, well, loathsome on so many fronts (don’t get me started on either of them).

So here’s where the bottom line remains: ¬†If you like the direction of our country–you know where you should probably vote. ¬†But if you don’t–and the majority of American’s do not–how can you possibly vote for another 4 years of the same failed policies–and someone so ilked in corruption and deception?

Insanity?

Time, Sands of

I wish I could finally finish the cloning device I’ve been working on for years–seems there’s just never enough time, and I think that might be helpful (with apologies to Michael Keaton and ‘Duplicity’)…

I work in Virtualization, which in simple terms is a lot like a ‘clown car’–one ‘host/blade’ may have up to 35¬†‘servers’ on it (‘how’d you get so many in there…?) ¬†I wish I could do the same with my life! ¬†I have so many things I want to do (home improvements, hydroponics, remodel the garage, fish) and people I want to be with (my beautiful wife, my kids, grand-kids, friends).

But even in that it’s a double-edged sword… ¬†I know I need to keep a low profile (per my oncologist), but when you’ve danced on the edge of the cliff, who knows what the future holds? ¬†So if I’ve only got a limited time left (well technically I guess we all do, but…) I want to get every bit out of life I can. ¬†Where’s the balance? ¬†Where is the compromise? (What’s the frequency, Kenneth?)

I know, I have to learn to streamline, be more efficient. ¬†Cut the fat, eliminate the waste, right? ¬†If I was 25 again, that might be an option. ¬†If I was 35, maybe. ¬†45? ¬†Perhaps. ¬†55? ¬†Wait, who’s 55? ¬†No, I’m not *there* yet.

Part of it is sharing, and I’m learning to do more of that. ¬†Sharing the fun. ¬†Sharing the creativity. ¬†Sharing the hours and days with my love (see: ¬†Karen). ¬†Teaching her to use a pocket jig (look it up–it’s not perverted), a speed square, square knots, rockwool, datil peppers, rattletraps, wood gas and edge-banding, among other things. ¬†I’m learning from her grace, patience, planning and of course persistence. ¬†She truly is amazing.

Out with the Bad, in with 2016

A lot of things happened in 2015, very few of them good — unfortunately most were memorable… ¬†In hindsight few were avoidable (cancer, passing of a parent) but in all of them, lessons were learned. ¬†I learned a LOT about myself, about Him, about her (my amazing wife Karen), about them (unbelievable family and friends) and about second chances.

On these pages I’ll generally keep my personal life out of it…but every now and then…well, you know… ¬†ūüôā