Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hot, hot, hot!!!

Summer hit us all of a sudden during Spring and . . . man, is it hot!  This week has been quite brutal—temperature wise—specially with a record high temperature of 100 degrees for this time of the year, which was set on Thursday (and which actually felt worse because of the heat index!).

So many things have happened since I wrote last time . . . I travelled to MI twice, the Cooking Channel was launched (and I'm hooked!); it's been a year since Michael Jackson passed away; oil has been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for more than two months now; General Stanley McChrystal—the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan—publicly criticized President Obama . . . and got fired; according to a government report, the U.S. economy is slowly but steadily recovering across the country; Marvin Isley—bass player who helped give Isley Brothers their distinctive sound—died at 56; Israel announced easing of Gaza Strip blockade in response to international pressure; Gary Coleman—42 , the diminutive, wisecracking child star of the sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes"—died at a Utah hospital from a brain hemorrhage; the 2010 FIFA World Cup started in South Africa . . . among other things . . .

But, going back to my last trip to MI . . . it was such a fun week!  Bobby and I did tons of things, but specially enjoyed antiquing (our favorite hobby lately) and accompanying him to play golf.  We visited the "Dixieland Antique Flea Market" (one of the oldest and biggest flea markets in Oakland County, with over 250 independent merchants offering unique items, antiques, and collectibles).  I also had the chance to go sailing for the first time in my life out of Grand Traverse Bay, in Traverse City . . . and my sunburn marks are still showing after a week! lol  I was on board tall ship Manitou, which is a replica of an 1800s “coasting” cargo schooner, similar to those that sailed the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean.

Bobby and I stayed one night at the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel . . . in one of their Deluxe Suites!  The suite was well over 500 square feet (way bigger than my own apartment!) . . . hardwood floors, king bed, bathroom with marble countertops, jetted tub, and oversized shower with seating and multiple showerheads. Wet bar with refrigerator and marble countertop. Two 50-inch LCD TVs, one in the bedroom and one in the living room . . . among other amenities!  I know what you must be thinking . . . "how much did it cost?" . . . well . . . not even a penny!  It was a "treat" from Bobby's brother and his girlfriend—courtesy of Turtle Creek—for being such good clients!  Of course, we went to the casino on the ground floor and had a delightful dinner at the casino's "Bourbons 72" restaurant . . . I had Cream of Broccoli Soup, Chicken Oscar (a moist chicken breast topped with sautéed asparagus and crabmeat, drizzled with hollandaise sauce, served with rice pilaf) and Crème Brûlée . . . all washed down with a delicious Blackstone Cabernet Sauvignon!

We also went up north to visit Bobby's dad—more golf and attended an "after golf" party at a beautiful house by a lake.  Father's Day was, as well, a day filled with fun stuff . . . and I flew back home that same night.

This week has been kind of grueling—specially with the hot weather—and I even had to monitor an exam during almost 7 hours!!!  I'm so glad the weekend is finally here!!!

Well . . . speaking of hot . . . I was checking a blog I came across today (well, actually yesterday, since it's 1:28 a.m. already . . . ha ha ha), "White on Rice Couple", and found an interesting recipe for a home-made condiment I usually request at a chinese restaurant, near the office:  Sriracha

Chili Garlic Hot Sauce Recipe- Cult Sriracha style
Posted By White on Rice Couple

Note: this recipe all varies depending on the chili’s (red jalapenos, habanero’s, etc.). Every chili pepper has a different heat level, so you must be the judge of the amount of spice you prefer. Start your first batch with smaller chili pepper quantities to familiarize yourself with the heat level of your chili peppers.

1 c thai red chili peppers (about 100 grams). Start with less (about half) if you want a more mild, gentle hot sauce
4-5 med. cloves of Garlic (crushed or minced)
2 med Shallots (minced)
1 T Vegetable Oil
2 – 8 oz. (or 1- 15 oz.) can of Tomato Sauce
1 T Fish Sauce (don’t skimp out on this!) or use Soy Sauce (for vegetarians, but if you can, try to use the Fish Sauce)
3 T Rice Vinegar
3 T Sugar

1. Remove stems of chili peppers, rinse clean. Blot dry with paper towel. Wearing rubber gloves, mince the chili peppers. The smaller the cut, the smoother your final sauce will be.

2. In sauce pan, heat oil then add minced garlic and shallots. Over medium-high heat saute for a about 1 minute or until light brown and fragrant. (don’t burn your garlic!)

3. Add tomato sauce and minced chili peppers. Let sauce come to a simmer then lower heat to keep at a low simmer. Add fish sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Mix well.

4. Continue simmering sauce for about 5 minutes. This will break down the chili peppers and soften them to create the smooth consistency.

5. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

6. Transfer sauce to blender and blend till smooth or until most of the chili pepper skin and seeds break down- preferably on the “liquefy” mode.

7. Taste the hot sauce. Further customize the hot sauce to your liking: add more sugar, vinegar or water. Blend one last time till smooth. Pour into clean, air tight jar and refrigerate. Use within about 1 week.

(Article printed from White on Rice Couple: