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Archive for September, 2010

Grilled Chicken Breast in a Spinach Cheese Sauce
Over Pasta

 

Shown over Gemili Pasta.

 

This is an original Lisanti Italian creation.  I had been playing with the recipe in my head for some time and finally decided to give it a whirl.  To my surprise I created a rather enjoyable dish.  Just for your warning this one is a bit on the expensive side.
Total Cost: 16.75
Feeds 4 people

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Breasts – 4
  • Ricotta Cheese – 1lb
  • Heavy Cream – ½ pint
  • Milk – ½ cup
  • Spinach – 10 oz chopped
  • Salt – 2 tablespoons
  • Pepper – 1 ½ tablespoons
  • Mozzarella Cheese – 12 oz shredded
  • Parmesan Cheese – 8 oz shredded
  • Fresh Garlic – 1-2oz minced
  • Oregano – 2 tablespoons
  • Basil – 1 tablespoon
  • Olive Oil  – 1 tablespoon
  • Pasta – 1lb

Step 1: Grill the Chicken – First clean your chicken breasts of all excess fat.  Then throw it on the grill turn every few minutes till chicken is cooked.  It should probably take around 10-12 minutes.

Step 2: Make the sauce  – Combine Ricotta cheese 1lb, ½ pint of Heavy Cream, ½ cup of Milk, Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Basil, and Garlic.  I have 1 or 2 oz garlic listed but you can add as you see fit.  Im not a really big fan of garlic, I know it sounds absurd for an Italian, so I use just enough to get the flavor but not over power the taste of the other ingredients as I have seen done by others more times then not.  Bring to boil and stir in the Mozzarella Cheese and Parmesan Cheese.

Step 3: Prepare the Spinach – I personally use frozen spinach, but you can use fresh as well.  If you use fresh make sure to chop it up.  Boil your spinach with salt in the water for around 8 minutes.  Strain and ring out spinach of all excess water.  Should be rather dry when your finished with it.

Step 5: Make the pasta – Boil your pasta in an adequate size pot to allow it a fair amount of breathing space.  Add salt and Olive Oil to the water to prevent pasta from sticking and allow it to boil faster.  Boil for around ten minutes or till desired pasta quality.

Step 6: Put it all together – Mix Spinach into boiling sauce, stir for 2 minutes and then let stand for five minutes or so.  Cut chicken into small cubes.  Put the chicken over the pasta and top it all off with the sauce which should have a nice thick consistency.

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Rincon Opener Revisited

I was not going to blog today minus the usual updates to Groovin’ High and Surf Log, but then I was fishing around the net at some of my usual haunts and came across some video and photo coverage of yesterdays session as written about in “There is Nothing Like Opening Day” blog.  Its on SantaBarbaraSurfer.com and they got one shot of me groveling, the third shot down from the top of the page and there is even a little video to show the conditions.

Great Moments in groveling. Like that wing span? Photo courtesy of SantaBarbaraSurfer.com

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There is Nothing Like Opening Day

Last year we had already seen three solid NW swells by this time, but it was El Nino and as I’ve been told La Nina is not to be thought all that highly upon.  Technically Rincon broke a few weeks ago but it was only a minor wind swell.  Today on the other hand we saw the first true NW groundswell of the season, add unseasonable 100 degree weather and it was on.

I had to work from 6am to 2:30pm my only consolation knowing that Rincon would most likely be waiting for me when I got off.  I showed up around 4pm ready to shred.  The lot was pretty crowded forcing me to park in the top lot about half way in.  Normally when this is the case I just move on to another spot.  Not today, its opening day and anyone who is anyone at a surf spot must show their face for at least one wave on opening day. Besides I always get my waves at the Con’ anyway.

I get down to the point and it was far from what I had hoped only about chest with the occasionally plus set and about fifty guys spread amongst the entire point.  With a steadily dropping tide I figured it could only get better.  I was heading to the top as I usual do on such small size when a friend of mine talked me into surfing the cove claiming it was rather kelpy and over crowded up there.

Him and I have similar surfing styles and wave interests so I took his word for it and focused my session in the cove, by far the best section at Rincon anyway.  It was crowded but it turns out the majority were just donkeys getting in the way more then competing for waves.  The whole sess went down splendid.  I was still not sure if it could be truly considered opening day until I saw Tom Curren come screaming down the point on a fun looking right.  If Curren is out then you know its real Rincon.

It was getting near the end of my session and I was just looking for one more good one.  Of course whenever that is the case snagging said wave is nearly impossible.  I actually had three good ones that would have been more then amiable to quit on except for the fact that I was burned miserably by this kook ass chick on the first, and the next two I spent the entire wave on defense fighting off other potential drop ins during the best section of the wave.

Finally a set wave came my way, although I was a little deep.  I was sitting there watching to see if this lady deeper then myself was going to go.  Not surprising she opted out of it being a bit too late giving me the chance for it.  Im not going to lie I was super deep and very late on the take off.  I grabbed my rail for a Hail Mary elevator drop into a larrel (shitty barrel).  Somehow I made it out and as I was bottom turning to set up the next section of the wave I saw this guy drop in.

The surfer turned out to be none other then three time world champ Tom Curren.  There are a few people who I don’t get angry at burning me at Rincon, him being one.  When he saw I made it through the foamy larrel thing and was cruising he pointed down the line, pulled off the back of the wave and bowed his head to me.  I ended up getting four top to bottom backside hits on it, followed by three roundhouse rebounds to the beach.  Thank you Tom for the wave and the respect.

Here is some Ricon Highlights from last season.  Im so glad its winter again.

Nothing like a good backside assault at one of the worlds best right hand points.

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What It All Amounted To.

A little over a week ago I wrote a rather discouraging blog to get out my agony and frustration from my new job entitled, Im F$%king Angry.  Im not going to give a synopsis here click the preceding link if you missed out one of my tantrum like rants.  It had been a long time coming.  I used to write blogs like that every week; as a matter of fact it had its own weekly segment and was called “Rants”.

Since then I did not bother to write a follow up to the whole situation sort of leaving everyone hanging on what became of my current employment station and the goings of my life in general.  Last I left things they were going less then desired.  Well as I predicted I was bounced from cook to the pizza position except instead of just pizzas it turns out Im responsible for roasts, rotisseries, sandwiches and sides at least three times a week.

Turns out the job is basically the same thing as a cook with the difference being you are responsible for your personal section meaning whatever happens its on my back.  On further thought of the job Im happier with it because now I wont be taking orders from like six other bosses leaving me in a “too many chiefs not enough Indians” scenario.   Truth be told I cant tell you how that position is going cause although it was bestowed upon me two weeks ago I have still yet to work it more then twice.

So far I have still been working as cook and getting a ton more proficient at it.  Even my boss who I thought hated me has come around and been encouraging my growth.  My skills with a knife have improved immensely allowing me to cut through 100 pounds of onions in just over 15 minutes.  I still need to shave like 5 minutes or so off that time but Im getting there.

At first I was bummed on the hours being 7am-3: 30pm but on further reckoning I will probably surf more being more apt to go surf sub par conditions in the afternoon to wash the stress of work away.  The experience I am getting here is invaluable.  I am basically getting paid to hone my skills in the kitchen.

Everything done here is in gigantic proportions so the amount of practice I get on one task per sitting is unprecedented.  For example this week On Sunday I cut around 50lbs of squash and zucchini julienne, then on Monday the same vegetables but diced.  I cut around 100lbs of onions every other day both julienne and chunked.  I blanched thirty pounds of carrots, grilled 150lbs of steaks, followed by another 150lbs of chicken, followed by 100lbs of carne asada all within an eight hour shift.

Its exhausting work but this is a field where one must go at painstaking lengths to pay their dues.  In short I decided to stick it out Westmont for better or worse although I think it is for the better.  I still plan on going to school for the spring semester here at City College to study to be a chef so I can expedite the original process addressed in The Apprenticeship blog.   Right now life is mostly hard work with very little play but as my dad once said to me “short term pain for long term pleasure”.

This what an onion cut julienne looks like. Now imagine doing 100 lbs worth!

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Or any non flavored rice for that matter.

Total Cost: less then a $1 a pound
Feeds 85% of the population of the world.

Yummy perfect rice!

We have had a few killer recipes on here so far and I hope any of you out there who have attempted to make them have had a tasty success.  If you have any questions on any of the recipes that are featured here on surfingruinedmylife.net feel free to ask me and I will help you as best I can.  This week I thought I would give a basic skill lesson on how to cook any type of plain unflavored rice such as white rice, brown rice, wild rice etc. ***Note that for brown or wild rice it will take about double the time to cook then white rice***

For years I was clueless on how to make good rice 100% of the time with out the help of a steamer or rice cooker.  When I was bumming around New Zealand I few years back I met this Japanese surfer, Jun, who besides being an all around good guy and surf buddy taught me how a fool proof method to cooking excellent rice in a pot on a stove top.  Since I call for rice in a bunch of my recipes I decided it about time to share this method with you.

Ingredient List:

  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Water

Step 1: Dolling Out Your Rice – Measure out 1 cup of rice, you can make as much rice as you want this method will work with any quantity. I am going to use one cup just for this demonstration.  Pour rice into a sauce pot that will allow the rice to sit no more then 1” to 2”s when equally spread out in the bottom of the pot.

Rice equally spread out.

Step 2: Washing the Rice – Fill pot with rice to the brim with cool water.  Swish your hand around inside the rice till water is cloudy.  Drain the water and repeat as many times necessary for the water to be relatively clear after swishing rice.  This will allow your rice to be less starchy and there will be no nasty film on top it either.

Washing rice; Cloudy water, pouring out cloudy water.

Step 3: Cooking the Rice: – Refill pot with water while sticking your index finger inside the pot resting just at the top of the rice.  The water level should be no higher then the first line of your index finger closest to the rice. Cover and put on burner set to a high flame till water begins to boil.  Reduce heat to low flame and let simmer for 10-12 minutes or until there is no more water and rice is all fluffed up.  Give it a taste if rice is a little hard add a tad more water and let it sit for another 5 minutes or so.  Fluff rice with a fork and serve.  For sticky rice use more water I would say to the middle of the two lines on your index finger.  Hope this helps with your rice making.

Measure out water level with index finger, note water is up to the nearest line to rice on finger.

Rice is great with any meal. Here I have it featured with a roasted Lamb chop, under Italian seasoned sautéed vegetables.

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Last night I posted a blog regarding a video clip of me pussing out in Dane Reynolds latest Marine Layer Down Load.  This weeks Blast from the past is the actual blog from that session posted on 4/23/10.

I have in my now almost 3 decades of living in the lore of the surf experienced a wide range of waves at home and afar.  It was not hence this week that I was put in front of a wave I had absolutely no vocabulary for.  Mix in some serious size and power and a challenge of immense propensity arose.

For over a year now I have been enticed by the idea of a seemingly mystical and very exclusive wave located south of Santa Barbara on a highly secure naval base.  My photographer Dave has a pass, veritable “Golden Ticket” so to speak, being that his father is in the service.  Up until this time we had made several attempts none successful at getting this wave to work.  He had long dangled the idea of a wave most consider too heavy to surf in front of me since our affiliation, I was yet to experience such although had gotten inkling of such from prior recon and a brief clip of Dane Reynolds there (although at the time had not idea it was the same spot).  Most I have talked to about said spot claim it as one of the best waves in California.

On Monday (4-12) there was forecasted south activity to move in towards the end of the week, banking on this we had made plans to make another attempt at the base.  Conditions looked best for Thursday (4-15) and the stage was set, whether for a tragedy or a comedy still unknown.  Given the distance south from Santa Barbara we struck out early just before the sunrise and headed on the fifty mile trek south.  There is nothing worse then waking up at 4:30.

The way down felt like it took an eternity although less then an hour.  Both of us were rather apprehensive on what we were to discover.  We joked the entire way about getting skunked yet again, the base being the biggest lie in southern California, of Dane and his filmer being there and challenging us to a duel, anything to calm our nerves.  I brought two boards, my standard 5’10 J7 and this Simon Andersan 5’11 round tail I have been carting around since the fall of 08’, still a trusty soldier despite its age and being broken through the nose by a careless airline baggage handler.  The great boards of man are always seemingly ruined by the hands of the airlines, I believe almost every traveling surfer can attest to that little adage.

We get on the base undisputed by the guard and cruise up to the parking lot.  Already there are more cars there then we had ever seen, a very good sign.  Stepping out of the car the booming of breaking waves became prevalent and spray could be seen just making it above the sea wall (it stands a good 12 feet or so above sea level).  Dave got over the top of the wall first and let out a yelp with a huge grim across his face.  I climb up and all I could see was perfectly oil glass overhead bowls throwing out as wide as one can imagine with four guys on it and a crowd of body boarders charging some disgusting triple up practically breaking on the sea wall to the south.

Then a set came and it was solid eight to ten feet, sucking up to solid double overhead, I have not seen that much spit from a tube since my time at Pipe.  Needless to say I was back at the car, into my wetsuit and out in the lineup before you could drop a hat.  As I climbed down the seawall to beach level Dane’s videographer was on the beach tucked into the rocks.  I was about to paddle out to the middle peak to get my bearings but he cat called me to paddle to the main peak with Dane.

I jumped in and though it was between sets just ducking under the little one’s I could tell that this break had some serious force to it.  I get out there and I was completely dumfounded.  There were waves coming in from every direction, south, north, west, parallel to the beach.  On top of that there was side wash, back wash and contradicting currents between both the inside and the outside.  Basically there was a ton of mother fucking water moving around.

Dane was going ballistic doing no paddle take offs into deep below sea level pits finishing off with an array of eight-foot airs.   As for me I found myself absolutely at a loss on what to do with this crazy left bowl/wedge thing that was on set sucking up to solid double overhead.  Basically I kooked it shoulder hopping most, bailing through the back on sections I was not confident about and I even pulled back on three waves, one of which was one of the best waves of the session and in front of everyone in the lineup. Now immortalized thanks to Dane and the internet.

After that one Dane paddled up to me and told me to get my shit together and everyone else just had the dirtiest stink eye for me.  What can I say the place was gnarly and I had no idea how to surf it, not to mention where the waves were breaking was no more then knee deep.  I was tested and was beaten failing miserably.  Since that day I vowed to learn that wave and master it so that next time its on I can surf it to my full potential.  I still am far from mastering it feeling like a kook the most recent time I was there.

Funny thing is I went back there Saturday (4-17) and it was smaller around chest to head with the occasional bigger set and it still kicked my ass, although I did feel as though I was beginning to understand it more.  I guess it is finally time for a new surfing challenge to be brought about in my life.  Usually summer here is all about the grovel but I guess this year its going to be about the charge.  We only surfed and filmed there maybe a dozen times at best this summer and never saw it as good as this day was.

 

One of the bigger ones I caught that day.

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Why You Should Never Pull Back.

A back in the spring I managed to finagle my way onto Point Mugu Naval base with my photog Dave.  It was the third or fourth attempt we made at getting the wave and this time we scored.  It was solid overhead, heavy, perfect conditions and a light crowd.  Upon checking it we saw that Dane Renyolds and his videographer were on it as well, Dane killing it as usual.  We had not seen the footage of it and wondered what ever had become of that session not being posted on his blog MarineLayerproductions.com.

All that wondering went out the window when he posted a free 30 minute video download with the finale of the video being that session and one of the last few clips is of course me pussing out of the wave of the day.  It’s at the end of the video at 30.45 on the video timer.  If you are new to my blog and missed the original blog from that faithful day I am going to repost it here in a day or so.

Here is Danes video, its like 32 minutes long, but after it downloads you can skip to 30.45 and witness my pulling back in all its splendor.  I should have went after seeing it I think I could have made it.

http://player.vimeo.com/video/15007394 This link will get you to the video for whatever reason Im retarded and could not get the embedded code to work.

Here is one from that day I did make.

All I can say is that if was macking.

All I can say is that it was macking.

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