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Archive for February, 2016

A Delicious Borsch Recipe


Holy Crap. Look out. It’s a Borsch recipe from someone who’s heritage didn’t have Borsch!

I can normally get all the ingredients from the local grocery store for under $25. You WILL have leftover ingredients, so get creative and come up with some other meal ideas with the extras!

 

HoKay. Below is the ingredient list (For the spices, I just do what feels right throughout the process)

 

Ingredients:

1 lb Stew Beef (or beef chunk, trimmed and cubed)

1 teaspoon each: dried basil, groun black pepper, smoked paprika

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

6-8 cups beef broth (more broth = more soup! I use two boxes of Wegmans organic or Swanson broth depending on sales)

1 medium to large onion, diced

3 Carrots, diced

1-2 Celery Stalks, diced

3 Large Beets, diced

2-3 Large Potatoes, cubed to about an inch

2 cups shredded cabbage (1/4 of a cabbage) (I slice mine by hand, it’s good enough)

2 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

2-3 green scallions, diced

 

FOR THE SAUCE!

1 medium onion, diced

2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed/sliced/diced/minced/whateva

1 small can (like 1 cup size) tomato sauce or puree

¼ Cup of Ketchup (you read that correctly)

1 cup water

¼ teaspoon each: salt, black pepper

 

 Directions:

Here. We. Go.

  1. Coat the bottom of a large pot (I use a Dutch Oven) with some olive oil.
    1. Warm that sucka up over some low-medium heat.
    2. You’re about to sauté, not deep fry.
  2. Drop in the beef and cook thoroughly
    1. Add some salt and pepper to taste
  3. Once the beef is done cooking, remove from the pot and place in a bowl for later.
  4. Start sautéing your mirepoix (onion/carrot/celery mix)
  5. Once it’s all nice and cooked up, add the beef back into the pot, add the beets and add the broth
  6. Add a little more salt and pepper, add some paprika if you feel inclined and add some dried basil.
  7. STIR IT UP! MmmmMMMMMmmmmMMMMMmmmMMMMMmm
  8. Get that thing back up to a nice simmer, reduce heat to low and let it ride/simmer for the rest of the time.
  9. Set a timer for 45 mins.
  10. When the timer goes off, start making the sauce!
    1. Put some olive oil in a frying pan
    2. Sauté the onion and garlic until golden brown (you know what’s up)
    3. Add the tomato sauce/puree, ketchup, water, and salt/pepper
    4. Simmer until the sauce reduces down to a nice marinara consistency (probably about 10 mins or so)
  11. ADD THAT SAUCE TO THE POT!!!!!
  12. While you’re at it, why not add in those cubed up potatoes, they look like they could use a good soak.
  13. Set a timer for 10 mins.
  14. When that timer goes off, add in the cabbage, fresh dill, fresh parsley, and scallions.
  15. STIR IT UP! MmmmMMMMMMmmmmMMMMMMmmmMMMMMmm
  16. Set another timer for 5 mins.
  17. When the timer goes off, turn off the stove, remove from heat and cover.
  18. STIR IT UP! MmmmMMMMMmmmmMMMMMmmmMMMMMmm
  19. Let it sit for at least an hour.
  20. It should still be warm enough at this point so dish it out and enjoy!
    1. You can serve this delicious meal garnished with a sprig of fresh dill if you like to be fancy.
    2. If you want to go old school Russian hardcore traditional style, add a dollop of sour cream or mayonnaise on top.
      1. I know this sounds weird as hell, but I tried it with the sour cream and it was REALLY Freaking good.
        1. It kinda made it taste like a baked potato
        2. The sour cream will sort of separate out and look gross as little sour cream balls. It’s normal.
          1. It still tastes great.
            1. So good.
              1. MmmmMMMMMmmmmMMMMMmmmMMMMMmm

 

*To make this paleo, swap out the potatoes for some rutabaga. You just need to boil the rutabaga separately for about 20 mins before adding it into the soup*

If you have any questions, feel free to ask below. If you have any comments or suggestions, also, pop them down below!

 

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Fair Trades: A Lesson From my Father


The year was 1993. I was seven years old. I was into Power Rangers, baseball and cartoons. I loved cartoons. I learned a lot from watching television as a kid. Growing up, I was the type of kid to try everything I saw on TV in real life. Not just the crazy stuff, but the life skills as well. I remember watching an episode of a cartoon that was teaching how to trade things. I couldn’t believe what I was learning. I knew what trading was of course. I would trade my cookie for someone’s gummy bears at lunch, or I would trade my M&Ms for someone’s Skittles, but I didn’t realize that you could trade things that you didn’t want or need for things that you wanted! This was a huge revelation. I knew a kid who lived up the street from me who had an Etch-A-Sketch. I had always wanted one. I thought that I would try trading the kid for it. I liked all of my toys; even though they were mostly hand-me-downs. I didn’t want to part with any. Then I saw it. A little red toy bicycle from an action figure set. Nothing moved on it, it was just one solid piece of plastic, but it would have to do. I really wanted that Etch-A-Sketch. So I waited in my front yard until I saw him go outside to play. I called him over to my yard to see if he wanted to play. That’s when I began showcasing my little red bicycle.

I took the 1.5 inch tall 3 inch long toy and began playing with it like crazy. I even let my friend play with it too, so he could see just how much fun it was. When he was playing with the bike, that’s when I said, “You know… you can have that bike if you want. We could trade for it!” He asked me what I meant and I said, “We can trade toys! I’ll give you this cool little bike and you can give me your Etch-A-Sketch” He wasn’t too keen on the idea of giving up his toy so I went to work selling how awesome this bike could be. I went over to the picket fence in the front yard and started doing “Jumps” from post to post with the bike. I said, “See, the bike can do jumps and everything. You’re Etch-A-Sketch can’t do jumps” He agreed with me and eventually I was able to get him to trade his awesome toy for my not-so-awesome one.

I was so proud of myself. I was able to take a worthless toy and convince someone to trade a treasure for it. I was King of the World! For about 20 minutes. I went to the backyard and sat on the swing. I was playing with my new Etch-A-Sketch when my dad came out to see what I was up to. He asked me where I got the Etch-A-Sketch from and I told him the story of what transpired to result in my having a cool new toy to play with. That’s when the cruel dark fist of reality came crashing down on my soul.

My dad told me that what I did was wrong. I pleaded with him that it was a trade and he WANTED to trade with me; he WANTED the little red plastic bike. My dad taught me that in order for a trade to be fair, both sides need to get equal value. My toy bicycle wasn’t worth the same as the Etch-A-Sketch. The kid up the street was not getting a fair deal. It was a hard concept for me to learn, but I came to understand what he meant. My dad told me that trades are like a scale. On one side you have what you are giving up and on the other you have what the other guy is giving up. You want those scales to even out. He also told me that trades can be uneven in value if the items mean something to the other person. For example: if the kid had the same toy set that they bike came from but he had lost his bike and wanted to replace it so he could have the whole set again, then it would be a more fair trade. But since that wasn’t the case I was wrong for making that trade.

My dad made me go down to the kids’ house and explain that I was wrong for making the trade with him. That it wasn’t a fair trade. It was one of the hardest things I had to do that year. 1993 taught me many things, how to swindle kids out of cool toys but also that it’s totally NOT cool to do so. It also taught me that doing the right thing usually pays off. Fast forward four months to Christmas morning. Guess what was under the tree.

 

 

 

 

 

This toy is similar to the one that I traded for the Etch-A-Sketch.