Monday, August 30, 2010

Bacon Brittle

Bacon Brittle

Yield: 12 servings
Menu Price: $4.00; Food Cost/Serving: 25%

Thyme, finely chopped2 TBS
Old Bay1 tsp
Kosher salt7 tsp
Cayenne 1 tsp
Dry mustard1 tsp
Peanuts, unsalted, roasted6 C
Maple syrup1 C
Bacon, cooked, finely chopped, with its fat4 Oz
1. Preheat convection oven to 275 degrees F, with fan on low.
2. Place thyme, Old Bay, salt, cayenne and dry mustard in a small bowl and stir to combine.
3. Put peanuts in large bowl. Add maple syrup and bacon (with its fat) to peanuts and stir thoroughly to coat.
4. Add herbs and spices to peanuts and stir thoroughly to coat.
5. Lightly oil 2 half-sheet trays and divide peanuts between trays, spreading evenly. Bake peanuts in center of oven for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. Lightly oil another sheet tray. Remove peanuts from oven and cool on original sheet trays for a few minutes. Transfer peanuts to new sheet tray, stirring to coat, breaking up any clumps of bacon and coating brittle with warm sugar.
6. Let cool completely before breaking up brittle chunks and storing them in small jars.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Domo Arigato Morimoto

This is a food blog, so lets talk food again. Not just food though, but really really good food. The kind of stuff that makes you close yours eyes and have that private moment with yourself. You know the moment that you prefer to have in a dark room with some Barry White playing in the background.

What kind of foodstuffs come to mind?

  1. Pork or the many variants there of?
  2. Some drenched in several layers of chocolate?
  3. Or maybe the best wine and dish combination?

For me in order for it to be perfect it has to engage all the senses. It has to look, smell, and taste incredible. Recently I had those stars align for me perfectly. During my recent trip to Philadelphia for LiveSTRONG we had a team dinner at Morimoto's. Yes the Iron Chef himself and my all-time favorite Iron Chef.  This was unbelievable to say the least.  Especially for this hillbilly from Kentucky who grew up on Hamburger Helper, this was the zenith of what I always hoped a fine dining service could be.

When we arrived we were greeted by a very unassuming sign, which is seen above, to be honest if we didn't have the navigation on I am sure we would've passed it several times.  That is where the cloak of disguise ends because the inside of this restaurant is beautiful and very engaging.  We were quickly escorted to out table which was in the center of what I am going to call a culinary stage.  The table was like ice and was lit in a greenish color but as you sat you realize the colors change to red,blue, and yellow.  This is so subtle, but it is very warm and inviting.  Also the walls seem to flow from front to back with a inlay of fabric that casted shadows with light that was projected from the floor like waves in the ocean.  Although my favorite feature of the architecture was the ceiling which was made of bamboo and flowed like a sushi roll.

I opted for the m o r i m o t o  o m a k a s e “chef’s choice” a multi-course tasting menu designed to allow you to experience the essence of morimoto’s cuisine. This is the only way to go if you plan to go to Morimoto's because it adds an extra element of excitement to your experience.  To be honest I did have a huge fail to this trip though, first I forgot my camera and also I didn't write down all the courses I had.  I know super fail.  What I have learned is that the Omakase is constantly being changed so what I had may not be what you would be served.  

This is the sushi course we had and it was very fresh and good. 

How can I possibly say any more than I already have? Our meal at Morimoto was, for me, the single most magnificent meal I have ever eaten. The delicacy, the luxury, the sexuality of the food was unmatched by any of my previous experiences in fine dining. This restaurant has become the gold standard, by which I shall judge all future Japanese restaurants. Admittedly, my budget will require me to settle for lesser-quality food on most evenings out (though lesser-quality can still mean a very, very good meal indeed), but that is just fine. One can’t survive on that quality of food unless one has several million dollars in the bank. If you go, opt for the Omakase menu. Order, sit back, and let the wondrous experience begin. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Well today we will be getting ready to pack up and head to Philadelphia for LiveSTRONG.  This summer has been quite a journey.  On June 19th when I had my accident I didn't think I would be able to do Livestrong more less ride my bike for months.  But here I am and ready to ride.  While I was on the couch this is the video I watched a lot and it contains one quote that has helped me make it through:

"Its about doing what you set out to do."

Go Marlene's Misfits!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010


Yesterday I was able to head back out on my bike for a real ride (56 miles)  since my accident on June 19th.  I decided I wanted to go back to where I had my accident and thank the guy who helped Nicole and I that day.  As I began to ride I was very nervous and honestly a little scared.  If you have taken a nasty spill on a bike you know that it can be daunting to get back in the saddle.  As my nerves let up and I was noticing that my wrist wasn't hurting too bad I started to think about all the people I needed to thank for helping me out while I was laid up on the couch.

First of all I want to thank my wife who cared for me hand and foot for two months.  Without her I would've been helpless.  I am sorry for all the complaining and crankiness.  Also I want to thank Casey and Jason for coming over and cutting my grass this summer.  Not a fun job when its 90 plus outside with ridiculous humidity.  Also would like to thank all the friends and family that have sent me get well wishes.  Every little bit helped and without you I would not be where I am today.  

So as I rode today I could hear everyone whispering in my ears.  Telling me to move forward and to not give up.  So when I head out on my ride for the Livestrong Challenge on the 22nd I want to let everyone know you will be with me.

Each of you fuel my engine

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

He Can't.....

Okay since it is Friday i figured I would lighten it up a bit since I have been told that some of these videos are depressing and sad.  So this is a commercial I stumbled upon on YouTube talking about some of the things Lance can't do....

Thursday, August 12, 2010


His bike is the written and spoken word.  What is your bike?

What can you do?

Be informed...Be inspired...Be involved.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Jessica did what she needed because of the strength she got from her mother.  She wrote a book to keep her mother's spirit alive.


Be informed...Be inspired...Be involved.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


With one lung he climbed Everest and became the only cancer survivor to do so.  But this is only part of the story...

For Sean it was about screaming hope.

Be informed...Be inspired...Be involved.

Monday, August 9, 2010


So since we are ten days from leaving for the Livestrong Challenge in Philadelphia I see it as the home stretch.  So everyday until then I am going to share a video from the Livestrong Army youtube channel.  Today we meet Laurel, a triathlete and a cancer survivor.

Be inspired...Be informed....Be involved

Friday, August 6, 2010

If There Is Anything I Can Do.....

What motivates you?  Does there always have to be WITFM or (Whats In This For Me) aspect in order for you to do something you were not really planning on doing?  Like at work, what if you are asked to do something that may take you an extra few minutes a day to cover for someone else out.  Would you expect to be compensated for that extra few minutes? Just take some time to really ask yourself those questions.

Reason being is because I find people are trained to expect something in return for anything that they do no matter how small it may be.  For instance, the gold of all giveaways, the t-shirt.  I am convinced that you could almost get anyone to do anything for a free t-shirt that proves they spent an hour doing some kind of sporting event.  So they can wear into Kroger's on a Sunday morning and show everyone, "Look I did something active and the t-shirt I am wearing with 30 sponsors on the back proves it.  Between t-shirts and york peppermint patties they have trained people to always expect something for really nothing.

This leads me to a word that is controlling everyone today, selfishness.  I know people who when asked to do something will not do it unless it benefits them in some way.  They would rather not participate if it doesn't give them something free or improve their place in life.  As I get older I find this to be very sad and unfortunate.  Selfishness is what controls the actions of a lot of people in ways they would never admit to you face to face.

Now I know the whole world is not selfish, and a lot of people everyday do a lot of great things for others without any thought of compensation.  Lately, I have found I know less and less of those kinds of people.  I find that everyone is jocking for position to make sure they come out on top or get whats coming to them.  When you ask them they have no time, but if they need something they expect everything you have yesterday.  Funny thing is when you need something no one is there but when you die everyone shows up and all they want to say is, "If there is anything I can do let me know."

Kind of ironic.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

First Thoughts

When you wake up in the morning what is the first thing you think of, or what pops into your head? Maybe a priority list of things that needs to be done.  Or how many times you hit the snooze and how much time you have to get to work before you get fired.  Whatever it may be it probably  is about you, and what you have to do.  Not what you want to do.  Now this is not a bad thing really, I mean you made the choice to do what you do so to you it seems fine and it is I suppose.  I can remember some of my best first thoughts in the morning had to do with the night before and what may or may have not transpired.  Wondering who is Lisa and why do I have a number from her.  Who am I kidding I never got a girls number at a bar.  Oh well with age comes a different set of priorities and first thoughts.  Now normally my first thought is how can I get my damn wrist fixed so I can jump into this game of food for which I am decades behind.  Which leads me to the second thing I dwell on in the morning, how do I get a sweet cushy TV show all about me and my culinary perspective.  News flash, I don't have some special, cute and cuddly food perspective.  If I had to write one up for a Food Network talent agent I would say, "Making food is my last chance, without it I will surely dive off the ledge of a bridge."  Which would be followed by , "Now make a cute little show about that, Tuschman."  I can say all that without any worries because my face is more a radio one than a TV one.

Although seriously I am not kidding about the ledge of the bridge deal.  I know it sounds a little dramatic but I have reviewed the options for suicide and the bridge jump wins.  I believe that if I can't learn to cook in a restaurant I will be destined to a life of peddling cell phones in kiosk in a mall.  Which I have done before and its a blast.  When I say blast, I mean like being punched in mouth with a sledge hammer, twice.  So with the constant nightmare of the  sledgehammer punching it seems I have put a lot of pressure on myself to do well enough to call myself a working cook.  I refuse to use chef, others call you chef, I will always be a cook. This pressure is now with me everyday I walk into the Midwest Culinary Institute.  This, if you don't know, is where to go to school and it is where I am trying my best not to screw up.  So far not to bad, but I hear the heavy stuff comes later so I am looking forward to my first butt chewing session when the scallops are over done.  Now I seem to do well under pressure, and I think I look for it and need it to do a good job.  This may be the only reason I feel I might have a fighting chance at making it through culinary school and maybe landing a mediocre job in some restaurant.

So remember what you parents told you about yourself right?  Mine told me to be the best I could be and never to give up.  I work hard everyday to have those as first thoughts as I lay in bed staring at the ceiling.  Now I know parents don't always say the right things at the right times and well mine have said a lot things that have discouraged me more than encouraged.  This can never be used to blame them but to encourage yourself and to push yourself closer to what you know is right.  To help you have your own first thoughts and to not be defined by what others think but you or what you know to be true.  First thoughts of this wanna be cook boy...

"Run before you crawl and dive in with no water in the pool."