So I dressed as Don King for Halloween and sent the pic to my buddy who is a sports writer for the Examiner and a former attorney for Don King Productions. Looks like he liked the get up so much he posted it on his nationally syndicated sports page. Wicked good!
Last night Rachael Ray was texting me all upset still over Martha Stewart slamming her in a Nightline interview a week or so ago. I exported the text from my iPhone using a non-Apple approved app. Check it …
RaRay: hi JamieCakes!!!
J.Ho: hi SugarBum, wasup?
RaRay: I can’t believe this shit!!!
RaRay: Did you see what that tw@ Martha Stewart said about me on Nightline?
J.Ho: Like I watch Nightline!?!?!
RaRay: Yeah, anyway, she went off on me saying how I admitted to her once that I don’t know how to bake. Is that news to anyone? Haaaarow?!?!?
J.Ho: LOL!! I know only a few things as fact. It will get dark tonight. Monday comes after Sunday. and you can’t bake! I’m not much or a baker either. Who actually bakes anyways?
RaRay: That’s not all … she said my new cookbook is just a compilation of old, re-editied recipes.
J.Ho: Get the fuck outta here
J.Ho: Ummm, aren’t all recipes pretty much re-edits of older recipes?
RaRay: TOTALLY!!! There hasn’t been an original cookbook published since like the 20s
J.Ho: The Giada De Laurentiis cookbook “Everyday Italian” was pretty original
RaRay: FUCK YOU!
RaRay: I’m all wound up and you’re makin fuckin jokes
J.Ho: Sorry, you still love me though
RaRay: Anyway, then she goes on saying how she writes books that are lasting, unique things that everyone would want in their library. BULLSHIT!
J.Ho: I was just at Costco and saw a book of hers on the discount table titled, “Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home” … yeah, everything but your husband and daughter!!!
RaRay: Yeah, total family woman. Her ex-husband hopes she starts bleeding out of her eyes and her daughter wouldn’t have anything to do with her until she bought her a nice little private jet
RaRay: And she says I’m just an entertainer, not a “teacher” like her. Ummm, and her point is?
J.Ho: Where has she been?
RaRay: LOCK UP!!! THAT’S WHERE!!!
J.Ho: LOL, what makes her think you’re an entertainer? Was it your 52 TV shows? Or your Daytime Emmys?
RaRay: God I swear every time that old goat opens her mouth a cloud of dust puffs out.
J.Ho: Don’t worry about it. She’s just jealous. Total jelly! She needs some peanut butter cause she’s so jelly!
J.Ho: Look, she has no personal life, her own family hates her, she’s been in lock down, her company’s valuation is in the toilet and she has no idea how to relate to the public. She made a career on telling women how to be wonderful little homemakers. That shit doesn’t fly nowadays.
RaRay: No shit!
J.Ho: And if she’s gonna try to get noticed again, the only thing she can do is to talk shit and compare herself to the ruler of the universe, which is you, BubbleButt! It won’t work.
RaRay: You’re totally right. I just responded by saying, “Yeah, you cook better than me, Martha. C-ya!”
RaRay: What are you doing tonight?
RaRay: Where are you playing?
J.Ho: Lucky Dog, probably
RaRay: Sweet, I gotta run. I have nine more books I have to finish writing by tomorrow afternoon. Copy/Paste, Copy/Paste!!!! Oh, I saw Taylor Swift the other day. She couldn’t stop raving about the mix CD you made for her.
J.Ho: I put a lot of thought into that CD. Especially the order of the playlist.
RaRay: Does she know about us?
RaRay: Sweet! … bye!
RaRay: Hug hug, kiss kiss, hug hug, big kiss, little hug, kiss kiss, little kiss
J.Ho: Ok, Nacho!
RaRay: Yankees suck!
J.Ho: God, I love you!
So my Bedfordite pal, Markie DeBeers, and I go out for a Chinese lunch buffet, and I get this fortune in my cookie:
“Your fastidious nature has much more fun this year!”
Not only did I have no friggin’ idea what fastidious meant. Neither did DeBeers. I couldn’t even pronounce it. And vocabulary, spelling and pronunciation are things I’m wicked good at. So I Google the word and he’s what I learn …
fastidious: fas·tid·i·ous (f?-st?d’?-?s); adjective
1. Possessing or displaying careful, meticulous attention to detail.
2. Difficult to please; exacting.
3. Excessively scrupulous or sensitive, especially in matters of taste or propriety.
4. Microbiology. Having complicated nutritional requirements.
So I guess they are saying I’m an asshole. And the fortune cookie predicts my asshole nature is going to have a great time this year. I guess that’s good. WARNING: If you thought I was an asshole last year, just wait!
When Markie tried to crack open his fortune cookie, it shattered into a hundred pieces. Just completely broke apart and fell all over the table. He was like, “Faaaauck! My cookie is wicked pinned! That cookie just shattahed … oh look heeeyah doooood, the faaachun says: Kid, good thing yah not allehgic to fehkin dust paaahticles!”
I know of several ways to roast a turkey. But only one or two ways that actually yield a delicious, juicy bird. I was cruising the Boston Globe’s online Food section. What do you know. They have a roasted turkey recipe. Since I’m one always willing to learn something new or something old, yet effective, I clicked on the link. Look at it for yourself here.
Now I noticed the article was dated 2006. It’s not like I’m expecting a turkey recipe from 2007 to be irrelevant in 2007. The roasting method seemed pretty simple and straightforward, which is the typical methodology for cooking anything delicious. Three times the article refers to a chart for gauging the roasting time. Something that’s pretty important in my opinion. Anyone can season a bird and slap it in the oven. The mystical part of roasting a turkey is figuring out how damn long the thing needs to be in the oven, and at what temps and stuff.
The chart they are referring to is not found anywhere on that page! What the hell? If I had to guess, and I hate having to guess, I would say this article was originally published in the paper version of the Globe and reincarnated as a short article for the web a year later. Someone’s lazy ass did a simple cut-and-paste from some database (or maybe it was an automated system) and simply syndicated the article. But somehow forgot to, or intended to leave out the important roasting chart.
Typical, TYPICAL Boston Globe journalism for you. Lots of fluff that everyone knows and leaving out the things that we might actually need.
By Anna, Senior Analyst, pleasurecooker.com
Scrutinizing a bag of Trader Joe’s frozen organic vegetables doesn’t normally rank in my top ten things to do but that is exactly what I was doing the other evening. There seemed to be no cooking instructions anywhere to be found, not even after donning reading glasses or checking the wine bottle to make sure I hadn’t had a little more than I thought. I never did find any instructions but something in small black print did catch my eye: PRODUCT OF CHINA.
Not to be vegetablly-incorrect or anything but there seems something incredibly perverse about a broccoli floret traveling 7000 miles to get to a dinner plate (although some five-year-olds would argue NO distance is justified). On the flip side, if it was the bag that was from China, might this not be even more disturbing given recent events? Organic veggies, after all, are only as wholesome as the rat poison not lacing the package lining. As far as the quaint farm pictured on the bag? Probably a graphic artist’s creation made on her Mac computer and the real farm is a diesel-dusty field alongside an office park in Beijing.
The point is: 1) knowing where your food comes from is a good thing, and 2) vegetables and fruits freshly harvested from a local farm are a lot tastier than those that have spent weeks in the dark hull of a cargo ship.
Supporting local farmers is a win-win: good for helping preserve our open space and farmland and good for the economy. The alternative is ugly as more and more farmers are forced to sell their land to developers. And last I checked, McMansions don’t offer much in the way of nutritional value (a few years of firewood perhaps but that’s it).
You may not be able to find locally grown blackberries in November but at least your state representative or senator’s Blackberry is always in season. Email him or her today in support of “Buy Local” initiatives in your area. Yankees suck and they should start eating their broccoli — preferably from China!
Hey, another bright, colorful, fun, cooking show on the Food Network with a pretty hostess that knows nothing about food! What could go wrong? Is it me or is the Food Network really beginning to suck? I understand as well as anyone the value of being an entertainer more than a chef on these shows, but this is getting a bit ridiculous.
I wrote about Ingrid Hoffman and her proposed new show Simply Delicioso a while back when I heard about it’s introduction. Read it again here. Now I hadn’t seen her before and the show was several months away from its broadcast debut. As usual I was taken back by her good looks, slammin’ Latina figure and blonde highlights. Foiled again! The Food Network threw in some eye candy to hide the fact there is nothing else about show worth watching.
I asked my beloved TiVo to record every episode. TiVo asked me if I was sure since I already scheduled him to record other shows that overlapped this show. I told him I was positive and he was like, “Aaaallllriiiiight, don’t come bitching at me when this show sucks.”
TiVo had it right. This show sucks. This show is beat. I mean like wicked beat! I wasn’t even sold on her prettiness for very long. Which is odd. Believe me.
My first problem was with the production set. Lots of colors. Trying to look too Latin. Or what they think the American audience believes should be Latin-looking. I mean, look at the pic on the left. Green limes, yellow lemons, red pot or something, orange bowl, fuschia shirt, olive green walls. Well, I like the shirt. Two giant thumbs up! The place looks like the house in the movie “Fools Rush In” after Salma Hayek was done decorating it. It also looks a lot like every scene in “Ugly Betty,” which Salma guest starred in and also produces by the way. I actually like that show. It’s all latin-like and colorful, especially Betty’s house, but it’s done in a style that’s meant to be comical. It’s all joke-like. The problem with Simply Delicioso is they are actually trying to be seriously real. Seriously beat!
I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been a cynical prick lately. Maybe it’s because I’ve been living in Massachusetts too long. Being on the north shore doesn’t help either. It seems everyone up here is angry for one reason or another. Anyway, not only is the set trying to look too Latin, she’s trying to act too Latin. She was â€œnot Hispanic enoughâ€ when she auditioned for Latin soap opera television roles in the US similar to the ones in which she starred in her home country of Columbia. I guess her experiences are not without a sense of irony. I can read people like you have no idea. I can tell she’s is being fake and over-acting. Is this a show about Latin food and culture or Miami food and culture? There are differences. Big ones.
This show is fake and rarely features anything I would actually want to cook. The Food Network goons are trying to blend Charo with Barefoot Contessa. I’ve been attracted to Charo since I could walk. Ina Garten, not so much. The recipes seem to focus on how join ingredients in an unconventional (silly) manner, like mango-peanut dressing. Come on.
Yeah, I get it, the Food Network is basically trying to put on shows that are more about entertainment than food or real living. It is what it is, as they say in Havana. Or more like watching Nancy Grace and expecting to learn something about law. Sure Nancy is a licensed attorney, but she’s a freakin’ goof.
Get this, on the show’s main page (see it here), they give out Ingrid’s “Ingrid’s Sizzling Tips.” Seriously. Tips. What could these nuggets of knowledge be? Tips on using guava chips and pepper jelly. Woo-hoo! Just what the culinary world needed. Next was something that really caught my eye:
- Sit, Then Slice
Whenever you cook any piece of meat, let it rest a bit before you cut it. If you slice into it straight off the grill, all the yummy juices will run out instead of staying where they belong – in the meat! For a thin cut, like skirt steak, a few minutes is fine. For a big chuck roast or tri-tip, 20 minutes under a little foil tent will do the trick.
Wow, did you come up with this one all by yourself, mija? These people really think we are all a bunch of tards. What’s good to watch these days?
Now don’t get me wrong, this show sucks, but Ingrid is one absolutely gorgeous little mamacita. Seriously. She’s wicked mint! Beautiful face, killer smile, insane body and great, great hair. Hair is a big deal with me. I love her accent. Women with accents drive me wild. Especially Latin accents. The only problem is my affinity for the accent is usually what’s first to go when I start to hate a woman. So, its appeal will eventually wear off.
Simply Delicioso? Simply Estupido! Yankees suck!
Restaurant Week is an event which showcases a number of Boston restaurants offering special dining promotions of three-course lunches and dinners for fixed prices of $20.07 and $33.07 respectively. The idea is for people to visit the city and try restaurants they normally wouldn’t visit. It’s a great idea. On paper.
So I go into Boston the weekend before last dying to tryout a new place for dinner. I pick up a friend in the late afternoon and we took a stroll up Charles Street, walk across that bridge that connects Cambridge & the West End, and back again. It seemed like the entire time we were walking we volleyed back and forth: Chinese or Italian? Steak or seafood? Sushi or Indian? French or Ethiopian? Creole or Greek? What do you want? I don’t know. What do you want? Whatever you want. Seriously, what do you want? I don’t care. Well just pick something! You pick something. Come on. Why can’t you pick something? Cause it doesn’t really matter to me. Same here. Well, where do you NOT want to go. I don’t know. I hate it when you can’t make a decision. Well it sucks when you’re harshing on me for not picking something when you can’t pick something either. FUCK!
We’ve all been there …
The indecisive banter continues … what neighborhood we should dine in rather than the food type? Alston or Fenway? South End or Kendall Square? Financial District or Harvard Square? She says, Back Bay! I say, I hate the Back Bay, nothing but a bunch of banker/lawyer clowns talking about their weekends with Muffy on The Island. I say Theater District. She says there’s nothing but bums over there. I’m like, it’s not as bum infested as pretty much all of downtown San Francisco. We both chuckle. What happened next seems like a simultaneous stroke of genius on both our parts. A complete rarity. It was staring us right in the face and neither of us knew it. All of a sudden we look at each other and say, synchronously, “North End!!” Hells yeah! Probably one of the few things we agreed on all day.
We cruise over to the North End and discover half of the North End streets were closed down for the Saint Agrippina di Mineo Feast. It looked cool. They had a bunch of street vendors serving food, selling jewelry and offering carnival style games. There was a stage where some old fat Italian guy was belting out Volare. He had a pretty good voice. The feast was pretty small considering how much of the neighborhood was blocked off. I was like, they screwed up traffic for this? The upside was that we could walk around in the streets and not worry about being plowed by a cement truck.
The North End is by far my favorite area of Boston. It’s known as Boston’s Little Italy, but has had numerous ethnic groups occupying its borders since it’s inception as Boston’s first official settlement and oldest residential community. Plenty of big U.S. cities have some sort of “Little Italy” area or district. In Manhattan there’s Mullberry Street. In San Francisco there’s North Beach. Mullberry street was a nice experience. But in San Francisco’s North Beach isn’t all that. You wouldn’t even know it was a Little Italy if it weren’t for a few tattered Italian flags hanging from the light poles. Italian restaurants down there suck. Pinocchio’s, Molinari’s, Tosca, Vesuvio, Cafe Zeotrope and CaffÃ© Greco are great, fun places, but everything else is for the birds. Don’t waste your time in The Steps of Rome. I guess it’s a cool place for faux Italian’s to hang out and watch soccer, but most of the guys in there are Persians sporting brightly colored European soccer shirts and wearing sunglasses at night.
Anyway, I love the North End. It has a true Italian vibe going. I know, I spent two consecutive summers in Italy. As you walk down the street you pass by dozens of tiny Italian restaurants and pastry/coffee shops. You smell garlic one second. Espresso the next. Over and over. I love it! We’ve dined at Florentine Cafe more times than I can count. The Daily Catch is, well a catch! Il Panino Express, great sandwiches. Lucca, amazing!
We decided to try something new. Wandering around aimlessly, we wanted to find a nice place where we could dine at the bar and watch the Red Sox game. And preferably someplace with large open windows. The weather was amazing. We walk past a place called Bacco. It looked nice, menu was reasonably priced, had a bar, a TV, wide open windows facing the sun, smokin’ hot hostess … Perfect!
We grab a seat at the bar and I say, mango martini for me and a cosmo for my lady friend. The service was a bit slow considering on how dead it was and how many people they had behind the bar. We sipped our drinks, watched the game, made fun of people walking past the windows, under our breath. The menu looked good. Wine list was fair. I asked what the daily fresh seafood was that came with their Frutti di Mare. He said that they weren’t serving the full menu due to Restaurant Week. I really didn’t understand what Restaurant Week was all about. He handed me a sheet of paper with the special Restaurant Week menu. I was all like, why the hell did he give us the full menus, let us look at them for 15 minutes, then wait to tell us we can’t order off it and then finally hand us a significantly smaller menu. Stupid.
That’s when I learned about the “pre fixe” menu baloney. We’d get an appetizer, main course and dessert for $33. They had only a few selections for main courses and none were the Frutti di Mare I was all ready for. Turns out this fixed price menu only saved us about four bucks. Basically a free dessert. This wasn’t much of a value to me since I rarely eat dessert, and when I do, never in the same restaurant I had dinner. I like going for a walk and finding another place to sit and have some coffee and a cannoli. Irritated, we decide to stay and order anyway since probably every other restaurant has the same deal.
I can only think that some guy was saying … “I got an idea! Let’s get drum up interest in local restaurants by limiting all the menus!” “BRILLIANT!!”, the Guinness guy replies. One argument was that if you have fixed prices, people can go to some of the more expensive participating restaurants and try out their food at a bargain basement price. This argument is weak. Read on …
I order the Caprese salad with vine ripened tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil as my appetizer. I selected the Veal Florentine with seared spinach, pignoli, fontina cheese, pan seared gnocchi, and a vermouth glaze as my entrÃ©e. My friend ordered Prosciutto di Parma with warm grilled pears, gorgonzola and balsamic vinegar for her app. Chicken Marsala with wild Mushrooms and polenta for her main course. As for the wine, Bramosia Chianti for her; Buckeley Shiraz for me.
It took about twenty minutes for the appetizers to arrive. As customary we split the apps. Everything was fine with the apps except for there was no basil on my Caprese salad. It was on a bed of field greens. No basil in sight. The workers seemed pretty busy, so I over looked it. I don’t understand why they were so busy though. The place was dead. I think there was an upstairs part, but no noise was coming from up there. And they kept bringing out trays and trays of clean glasses to stock behind the bar. I’m all like, this place is dead, who the hell is dirtying all these glasses?
So the food comes. Now, I’m very picky, yet very tolerant when it comes to dining out, if that makes any sense. The veal was tough and fatty. Obviously not a good cut of meat. Gnocchi was cold. As was the spinach and the vermouth glaze. My first instinct was to send it back, but I was so freaking hungry I couldn’t wait for them to fix it. My friend asked for a bite of my dinner. I gave her a slice off the one side that was warmer than the other. If she knew it was cold, she wouldn’t have let me sit there and not ask for them to fix it. Honestly, I just wanted to get out of there. I had a bite of her chicken marsala. Pretty good. We wolf down the complementary tiramisu and bailed out. What sucked more was that my tiramisu was partially frozen on one half and almost room temperature on the other.
It’s my conclusion that the restaurants weren’t trying that hard to push out quality meals in the Restaurant Week pricing format. I can’t imagine that the real expensive places would give you $100 food for $33. Then again, I only sampled one place. The net-net of it all … Bacco sucks. However, the wine was great.
We leave Bacco and there was some sort of random marching band across the street. Pretty cool.
We’re walking back towards Hanover Street and we walk by a restaurant called Trattoria il Panino e Giardino. It smelled so awesome walking by. They had a great little outdoor garden dining area. That’s going to be my next dining experience in the North End I assure you. We’re walking up Hanover street looking for a quiet bar to watch the rest of the Sox game. We pass Mike’s Pastry. This place has some of the best pastries, cannolis, cookies and Italian bread you will ever find. It’s nearly impossible for you to walk anywhere in the North End and not see people carrying white & blue Mike’s Pastry boxes tied up with twine. I love it!
After wandering around for ten minutes we end up at the Waterfront Cafe on Commercial Street near the Coast Guard station. Awesome little Italian pub with an excellent selection of beers. Flat screen TVs everywhere! We finished watching the game. The Red Sox won, 4-3!
I took a picture of the vending machine in the bathroom. With a pretty girl in the bar, awesome beer on tap, Sox on TV, gorgeous weather, and this stuff in the vending machine … what more do you need? Yankees suck!