Category Archives: food

Bachelor Chow – Cooking For the Single Guy

I am not a single man, but was one once. And when I was a single man I had to eat. I had to eat food. And even though I ate them often, one can’t subsist on Western Bacon Cheeseburgers alone. So there are several things that I made for myself on a regular basis, one of them was bachelor chow.

I call it bachelor chow, but there are many different names for what I make. My mother-in-law calls it a variation on dirty rice. Other chefs may call it a good start to an interesting chili. My mom calls it dog food. She calls it that for good reason, that’s how I learned how to make it. The basis is from a recipe that my mom used to feed my first pet, Muffin, when she was sick and needed a special diet. 
The ingredients are simple: 
– Ground beef
– Chopped/diced onions 
– White rice, cooked
That’s it. Cook the beef and onions together and spice to taste; add the rice and voila! 
At least that’s how I used to make it. That particular preparation is actually pretty bland. Not bad in a pinch, but it doesn’t have much “wow” to it. When I did the No Wheats/No Sweets diet it was important to find things that were easy to make and that had no gluten and no sugar in them. Bachelor chow totally qualifies but I wanted to, literally, spice it up. When I started my experiments I had to work with the spices on hand. We had recently moved and most of our stuff was still in boxes. I had salt, pepper, garlic powder and mustard powder. It was good and warranted some perfecting. I now have my preferred mix of stuff and I live tweeted/Instagramed my preparation last night. 
Here it is in a single place just in case any of you single fellas out there want to feel like a single serving gourmet:

These are my preferred spices now: Coleman’s mustard powder, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, and Gilroy Garlic Festival Garli Garni – this stuff is key. It’s garlic, which makes it wonderful, and has all kinds of other great flavors in one convenient package. Rene and I get it at the Orange County Fair every year.

I’m very particular about my beef. I like Trader Joe’s because they are too. For this batch I selected Teva Kosher Foods Angus Ground Beef. It keeps well and cooks well. 85% lean means less chance of a heart attack.
Chop up half a white onion and add it to a large skillet with bell peppers. I used Trader Joe’s frozen Melange a Tois. The frozen part helps later.
Toss in the beef with the veggies. Then sprinkle on the mustard, Garli Garni and Worcestershire sauce to taste, I’m generous with the garlic and mustard.
I don’t use white rice any more. Since I’m getting older I’ve started using brown rice. It’s a grain. It tastes good. Again, this is from Trader Joe’s. It microwaves in three minutes and comes in a convenient bag. Good stuff.
Because the bell peppers start frozen they make a lot of liquid in the skillet. Simmering everything together really helps to blend the flavors. Also, since this is something I can eat through the course of the week, it helps keep it moist so that it microwaves well.
After the meat is cooked and the rice has been nuked I put them together over the medium heat. This finishes any cooking and the rice helps soak up some of the liquid. Each grain of rice becomes a little flavor bomb!
Here it is, the finished product!
If you try it let me know what you think or if you have a new variation.
See you next time!

Leave a Comment

Filed under cooking, food, garlic, Gilroy garlic, meat, photos

Eating Like a Girl? A No Sweets/ No Wheats Epilogue

For most of my life I was blessed with a very high metabolism.

Very high.

Couldn’t-keep-weight-on-if-my-life-depended-on-it high.

Combine that with an active lifestyle and I was a pretty skinny dude with a less than sensitive attitude about weight and diets and exercise. I wasn’t mean about it, but I never truly understood why people might not want to eat an entire funnel cake in one sitting or how they could worry about getting fat by finishing off a dozen Krispy Kremes all by themselves (a feat I do not recommend to anyone). In my mind all you had to do was chase your dog for 30 minutes or go dancing and all those “calories,” or whatever it is you count, just burn off!

But now I’m 36 and I sit in front of a computer screen for almost 10 hours per day and my metabolism is not what it used to be.

My lovely wife, Rene, is an actress and has been exercising and weight watching as part of her job for as long as I have known her. She’s very good at it and has written quite a bit about the subject on her BLOG.   She does calorie math in her head, knows the calories for her favorite foods in varying amounts and has a general catalog for good eating stowed in her brain ready to quick reference. I used to tease her relentlessly. But she’s not alone in this. Every adult actress I have ever know my whole life has been very conscious of what she eats and/or how often she exercises. It seems a bit crazy, and I do not envy women in this industry, but it is functionally part of their job to maintain a “look” and typically that involves being thin and fit. Emphasis on the thin. I don’t endorse this practice, but it is an important thing to note relative to how women in the entertainment industry program their heads when it comes to eating.

When I started No Sweets/ No Wheats I approached it in a mechanical manner: I can eat this, I cannot eat that. I set rules and was ready to follow them. It was poor planning. Rene heard about my challenge and her experience with finding ways to enjoy what you are restricted to came into play. Instead of just focusing on what I couldn’t eat (a surprisingly pessimistic view for me to take, even if it is pragmatic) she showed me how to focus on what I could eat. I started to notice how many calories were in things and just how many I was actually ingesting. I started actually reading the ingredient lists on things (and being surprised at what is in most food) and actually understanding them. I started to get serious about how much activity I got during the day. I found out that brown rice and vegetables (especially Amy’s Brown Rice and Vegetables) is actually pretty good. I got past the angry carnivore inside me that that grunts and says “Western Bacon Cheeseburger!” whenever I’m pressed for time and need to eat something quickly. I discovered quick food over fast food. I found out that food I actually like can be made in new ways and so making the change wasn’t so bad.

I started eating “like a girl.”

Now, due to regular gym exercise and eating better, I’m getting back the body I naturally had in my 20’s – although more grown up and manly – and I’m feeling  much better.

Now I want to hear all kinds of diet stories. What do you eat and why? tell me in the comments.

See you next time!

1 Comment

Filed under body issues, food, funnel cake, getting fit, getting old, health, Hollywood, rene

No Sweets, No Wheats – It’s Over!

I have completed the No Wheats, No Sweets challenge and I’m feeling really good!

Even though the challenge is complete, I still felt leery drinking my breakfast smoothie this morning (it had a small amount of sugar in it). Now that it’s all done here’s what I can take away from the experience:

  • Although it was a little more difficult to eat on the go, it was not impossible or really all that hard at all. It just required a little more vigilance and avoiding junk food, two things that are good habits to get into anyway. Once I got over not being able to have a Western Bacon Cheeseburger new choices suddenly appeared as if by magic! Thank you to Taqueria de Anda and Trader Joe’s for making it easy to eat what I want in a way that fit with the challenge.
  • I don’t seem to have a problem with gluten. Some of the other challengers noticed a significant change in their bodies and energy levels based on eliminating gluten from their diets. Even Rene noticed that her body seemed to prefer no gluten. The only change I noticed was a lack of tortellini. And sour dough toast. And pancakes. And waffles. I do look forward to eating those again. I’ll let you know if I notice a change post challenge.
  • I prefer my coffee unsweetened now.
  • I’m skinnier. A lot skinnier. I was starting to get a bit of a paunch, not huge but noticeable. It is gone now and I almost have abs again. I’m going to add a lot of these changes to my “normal” life if only to get the abs back. Vanity is one hell of a motivator. By the way, total weight loss over the period of the challenge: 8 pounds! And I need to wear a belt with all of my pants. It’s pretty cool.
  • Sometimes you just need a good enough reason to start. In this case it was bribery, the promise of cash should I succeed, but bribery works and I’m very grateful to and Darcy Hogan for providing the bribery in this case.
  • I have discovered a love for dirty martinis. More on that in a different post.
Now that I’m no longer doing the No Sweets, No Wheats I want to hear about diets or challenges you might  be doing. Let me know in the comments.
See you next time!

Leave a Comment

Filed under food, getting fit

No Sweets, No Wheats: Today Is Day 1 (Well actually, Day 3)

For four weeks I will be gluten and sweet free.

Not sugar free, “sweet” free.
No honey, no sugar, no agave nectar, no artificial sweeteners, no sweet additive whatsoever.
Why am I doing this, you may ask? The long and the short is this:
  1. Monetary Prize and 
  2. Getting all sexy for the company retreat to Hawaii!
Oh, and I guess being kinder to my body isn’t a bad reason either.
In preparation for these next four weeks I had already started weening myself off of sugar – I stopped adding it to my coffee, put the kibosh on soda pop, lowered the intake of donuts, you know, the usual. But what I didn’t expect was that “weening” and stopping cold turkey would have surprisingly dramatic effects.
This blog was actually due to come out a couple days ago (along with a few others that are sitting here in draft form) – but it didn’t because I was completely listless. It took all of my concentration to work yesterday and then the idea of doing anything beyond that was unthinkable. I had headaches and just didn’t feel like myself.

Now I’m feeling much better.

On the 24th, my last day for food freedom, I did indulge a bit much.

I had a muffuletta from New Orleans:

Photo by Deep Fried Kadzu
A cannoli, also from New Orleans:

Photo by

And some New Orleans King Cake:

I would have taken pictures of the actual items instead of finding these images on the internet, but I ate them all so fast I didn’t have the chance.

Between working out and cutting ALL sugar I’m hoping that the summer beach bod will be in full effect sooner than later.

I’ll update as it’s worth updating.

See you next time!


Filed under challenge, food, getting fit

Warhorse – The Play

Rene and I saw Warhorse and it was amazing. The puppetry and spectacle were awe inspiring and there was even a tank!

We took the time to have dinner before hand at Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge where I had my first dirty martini (with blue cheese stuffed olives).

The food was so good! We made faces like this:

And this was us before we left for the show.

 After the show we looked at the exhibits around the lobby. Many of them were winding down because the show was over, but we did get a chance to take a picture of the diagram for the horse puppet. It was really neat to see the mechanics of the horse.

Now I’m not one to review things in-depth  but I will say that I have never felt so much for an inanimate object. The puppeteers were masters of making the horse work and I was far more moved by the horse than by the humans – as I suppose I should have been. The show is called Warhorse not Warhuman, after all. I’d also like to give a special shout-out to the goose. It was a funny goose.
It is in it’s last week at the Sergerstrom Cemnter for The Arts, so if you have the time I suggest seeing it. Living Social or Groupon may still be offering ticket deals – but I don’t have links for them.
See you next time!

Leave a Comment

Filed under date night, drinking, food


New fitness plan = eating better.

Eating better = no fast food.

No fast food = no In-N-Out or Carl’s Jr.

I miss the Double Double and Western Bacon Cheeseburger so much!!!!!!!

My new fitness plan does not restrict these delicacies, I mean I made it up so I’ll eat what I want(!), but for the results I’m trying to get it makes sense to hold off and save the burgers for later.

But I’m feeling the cravings.

Feeling them good.

Oh, delicious, delicious burgers…

See you next time!

Leave a Comment

Filed under food, getting fit, western bacon cheeseburger

Let’s Talk Food

In my effort to get fit again I have made the appropriate changes to my diet. Thanks to Rene it wasn’t that difficult. I’ve cut out the high calorie junk, started eating more green things, generally just “better” than I used to eat. It’s even easier when you don’t have to sacrifice taste or the things you really like, like sushi and a really good steak and fresh pasta (in moderation).

But I’m running into an issue and I wouldn’t mind a little help. Rene and I are really busy. I know everybody is busy, I’m not trying to have a pissing contest about who has the least amount of free time, and I need to find food that is good and fast. There aren’t a lot of options for that. Tonight we did Flame Broiler. I like Flame Broiler, but we’re going to need more options than that. We also do El Pollo Loco quite a bit and that’s about all I can think of that’s quick and has a drive-thru. So does anyone have any spots that they can recommend in Orange County.

Here’s the rules, ‘cuz there’s always rules:

  • No recipes – We got it handled at home, I’m just looking for run-and-gun food.
  • Availability – Ideally there will be more than one or two locations. We know some GREAT spots in Fullerton, but now that we don’t live in downtown it’s tough to get there before they close. We need spots with availability.
I look forward to your responses, if only because January is packed and I’m going to be hungry.
See you next time!

Leave a Comment

Filed under food, getting fit

I Missed a Day, But We Went To The Fair So It’s Cool.

Blogger didn’t post my Friday blog when it was supposed to!  That sucks!

Also, I missed yesterday.  Sorry.

I’m still struggling with the whole one space after a period/two spaces after a period thing. Gah!

That’s neither here nor there, let’ talk about the fair!

It has become a tradition  for Rene and I to go to the Orange County Fair every year. In all the years I have lived in O.C., and I’ve been here over 25 of them, I never really got into the fair. I was taken once or twice over the years but never really got into it until Rene shared her joy of the fair with me.

Now we’re Super Pass holders.

We got Really lucky this year and got ours through Groupon so our were half price! Seriously, Groupon doesn’t sponsor me or anything, but Rene and I really enjoy a lot of the deals that they offer. If you enjoy trying new things Groupon is an inexpensive way to do it.

Our trips to the fair are a celebration of fried food, terrorizing carnival rides and sushi – but I think pictures speak louder than words:

And every year we take photo booth photos, are are the ones for 2011:

See you tomorrow!

Leave a Comment

Filed under fair, family, food, fun, pictures, rene

Inspired By Hipsters

Rene and I had lunch in the Max Bloom’s Cafe Noir today based on a recommendation from our friend Peter James Smith about their grilled cheese sandwiches.  It’s right in the heart of Downtown Fullerton and I’ve passed it several times but never actually stopped in or even really noticed that there was even a cafe there.  Technically it is a coffee shop that serves food, but that is hardly a bad thing.  It is something that I like to call a “Hipster Haven,” a place where things are cool for the sake of being cool and the folks who frequent it are the kind of folks that “get it.”  Bloom’s totally fits the bill.  The 40’s noir theme is wonderfully executed across the board right down to a faux radio cover for the air-conditioning box.  As soon as we walked in we noticed two things: 1) it was as quiet as a library and 2) everyone had Apple Power Books (the Hipster accessory of choice).  We felt a bit out of place.

I used to wonder if I would ever be a hipster.  I like obscure things, there was a time when “I liked things before they were cool” and I pride myself on “getting” things but I can’t grow facial hair (it’s physically impossible), I don’t wear glasses and I never wore vintage clothes.  It’s a bit of a toss-up. Being in the cafe today kinda’ confirmed for me that I’m a bit past the point where I could reasonably be a Hipster.  Regardless of my personal “hipster-dom” and for how quiet the cafe was, the food was great!  We got the grilled cheese with provolone, tomato and pesto with a side of pasta salad and “classic soda.”  I got the Faygo Root Beer (a drink that until today I thought was bottled by and for Juggalos) and Rene got a classic ginger ale.  Both were delicious!  The real draw for me, though, is the decor.  between the 40’s music playing in the back ground and “Max Bloom’s Desk” in the corner there is plenty of eye candy to occupy your whole meal.  If you need a cup of joe or a bowl of soup and you don’t mind a taste of hipster then I highly recommend Max Bloom’s Noir Cafe.

See you tomorrow!

1 Comment

Filed under adventures, food, musings, rene

Project 365 9-25-2010 I’m A Chef.

You know what that is?

Rack of lamb.

You know who made that?


Well, technically Trader Joe’s and then me – but the end user was me so I’m taking credit.

The asparagus too.

It was AWESOME!  I’m definitely doing that again.

See you tomorrow!

Leave a Comment

Filed under food, project 365 2010