Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

The one time I don’t really enjoy cooking is when I am under the weather, but canned chicken noodle doesn’t cut it, so this is my solution, just in time for Cinco de Mayo. Despite including no fresh ingredients and using every Sandra Lee shortcut in the book, it’s pretty damn good, especially when you are sick.

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 quart chicken broth (not low sodium; you’ll just have to add salt)
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (with jalapenos if available)
1 10-ounce can red enchilada sauce
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
1 tablespoon minced garlic (from that jar in the back of your fridge)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 bay leaf
1 12-ounce package frozen corn
1 10-ounce package frozen onion
1 pound of rotisserie chicken (shredded)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips

Note: Fresh options for the garlic, onion, corn, etc. are great, but I wasn’t up to the challenge today.

1. Put everything but the chicken, cheese and chips into the crock pot, and leave it covered on low for 8 hours (if you are going to bed) or 3 hours on high (if you are just taking a nap).

2. Add chicken to pot before serving. Garnish each bowl with cheese and chips. Sour cream and fresh cilantro are also good garnishes.

February 2012

Post holiday excess, I’m going to tone it down for a month or two and ramp-up my artistic production, because 1. I need to and 2. I’m toying with the idea of starting an MFA program in 2013, so I need to get my portfolio back on point this year.

Here’s the plan:

1. Build out my new Portfolio Website. It’s mostly photography at this point, but that’s a good start.

2. See more art (galleries, museums, installations, art walks, opening parties, etc.)

3. Make more art (photos, illustrations, sculptures, design projects, writing, etc.)

4. Stay in more evenings and spend as little money as possible.

5. Eat healthier.

In case you didn’t click the portfolio, here are photos I took from the plane on my way home from Denver:

January Fascinations

Here’s what’s held my attention of late:

While home for the holidays, I spent some time with my dad in the carpentry shop, where I made a french rolling pin for a dear friend who is starting her own cookie business, and a muddler for the guys behind the bar at Anvil Bar and Refuge in Houston.

Oh yeah, I drove through Texas over the holidays, starting with ten days in Vermont and 36-hours in NYC (one great night at Prime Meats and Bourgeois Pig). I was supposed to spend New Year’s in Manhattan, but I got a call at Christmas asking if I wouldn’t rather celebrate in the middle of nowhere, than attend the usual fete at Death and Co., so I flew to San Antonio, where I was driven through the night to a little town called Marfa.

We spent New Year’s Eve in a little honky-tonk called Padre’s watching Jimmy Dale Gillmore and Butch Hancock play to a sold out house of about 120 people, then David Byrne walked in around 11 o’clock. He seemed like a nice guy! He said hi to me when he walked in and waited in line for a drink like everyone else.

From there, we drove to Austin to see friends and Houston for a couple nights to visit the above-mentioned Anvil, to experience “Fancy Cocktails in Plastic Cups” at Fitzgerald’s and to linger well past closing with the gorgeous ladies behind the bar at Grand Prize.

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What else? I got a new glass water bottle from Takeya that I love.  Drinking from glass is great because it never tastes off, and this model is slim enough to fit in any cup holder and has a wide mouth.  I also think their glass tea makers would be great for infusing spirits and making liqueurs.

Caligraffiti
The Skitch clothes hanger design opens me up to the idea of a hangar that holds a whole outfit, but rather than the creepy punk skeleton motif, I’d like to see something classier that holds a pair of pants, shirt, jacket and even socks, boxers and an undershirt.  The idea of just grabbing one hanger in the morning seems amazing to me, and it would save space too, so I may prototype my own design soon.

 

 

 

Strelein Warehouse by Ian Moore Architects

I would like to live here, or build my own little modernist hide-away. I’ve been into very small homes of late and wish I had a tiny plot of land on which to build.


This video amuses me, even if I don’t wear scarves.

Lunar New Year Party Planning 2012

The year of the Rabbit is coming to an end and the Dragon is upon us, so I should throw another party.

I generally invite 20-30 people to my tiny apartment and serve 8-10 courses over the span of the evening. This year, I would like to get out of the kitchen, so we are going to shake it up a bit, but be no less ambitious.

 

1. Since it is a Water Dragon year, there will be several interstitial liquid courses, and by that I mean shots.  Between courses, we’ll have a palate-cleansing round of Red Dragon Shots, Golden Dragon Shots, etc.

2. All of the utensils and dishes will be compostable, because I don’t wanna do dishes.

3. Food will be prepped to the heat-and-serve level. Nothing fried, as it requires too much attention.

 

So far, the menu is looking like something like the following:

Braised Bunny Banh Mi

Red Dragon Welcome Shot

Dragon Roll (sushi with some combo of bbq eel, cuke, avo, tobiko and tempura)

Dragon Buns (steamed bao full of bbq gator)

Dragon Ribs (probably just my OMG ribs again, but grilled instead of pan-fried)

Potstickers

Green Dragon Shot

Noodle Bar with lots of customizing options

Golden Dragon Shot

Magic Dragon Puffs (profiteroles filled with something fun)

Orange Slice Jello Shots

 

Looking back at previous invites, I also realized that I must craft another absurd illustrated invitation.  Hmmm… something with dragons and current events… Occupy Mordor?

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions or suggestions?  Please comment below!

Have You Heard About HeardAbout?

I’ve recently started contributing to HeardAbout, and along with my writing and photos of some of my favorite foods in San Francisco, they will also soon be featuring some of my favorite cocktails.

From the HeardAbout website:

“HeardAbout features one delicious dish each day handpicked by our community of passionate local food bloggers, chefs, and restaurateurs. Occasionally we provide offers to try featured dishes for less – this is free to the local businesses (we take no commission or fee) and the offers are free for users to claim. Our goal is to provide authentic recommendations and to motivate locals to try the great food their city has to offer. Every so often we’ll run a sponsored feature (we do have bills to pay, after all) – but we promise these will be relevant and may even include fun offers as well!”

Kindle Fire in the Kitchen

I’m pretty sure Amazon’s Kindle Fire will be my ultimate kitchen gadget.

It’s not a robust laptop replacer, but it will likely save my laptop from total destruction. I always have it with me in the kitchen to check a recipe, jot notes on whatever I am making, listen to music while I cook, or watch Top Chef while I wash dishes, and it always comes precariously close to total destruction.

The Kindle Fire can manage all those tasks and costs $200 (not cheap, but a lot cheaper than replacing my laptop), and it has extra-durable and scratch-resistant glass. It’s also flat and light, so I am probably going to just stick a strong magnet on the back so I can just slap it onto my fridge or the steel hood over my stove while I’m in there.

September 2011

Update: I’m finally posting this midway through the month, and I am doing better than usual, but I’m no saint.  I’ll try to push through with this until I head to Portland at the end of October.

My plan is to spend the month of September spending as little money as possible.

This will likely lead to a lot of time at home, which I will try to spend simplifying my life, ideally:

  • Getting rid of things I don’t need
  • Finishing projects that remain incomplete
  • Cooking and eating healthy
  • Give extra attention to those who mean most…that’s a lot of people, so a few at random every month
  • Digitize 30 years of notes, sketches and scraps of paper.  I have a lot of scraps of paper
  • Hydrate!
  • Respond to concerns as they arise, immediately and in the moment
  • Generally don’t procrastinate on anything
  • Pick three projects, one personal, one professional and one creative and attack them like a hungry piranha
  • Deep breaths while commuting… unless the train smells bad, which is often
  • Do one thing at a time
  • bias toward action!
  • Organize, compartmentalize and itemize (label)
  • Read the several months of backed up papers and magazines. Don’t renew subscriptions… except NYT
  • Unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe (I’m on a lot of email lists that I delete without reading)
  • Don’t make so many damned lists

If you have any advice or words of encouragement, feel free to share, and if you feel like buying me a drink, call me in September.

Got Bored, Re-Imagined Bar Codes

So, in avoiding other obligations, I decided to find more subtle ways to post a barcode.  The newly-ubiquitous QR codes are hard to miss, being all blocky and checkerboard-like, but traditional bar codes are easier to disguise.  I’ve got a fistful of ideas for how to do this, but here are the first three. After this, I am thinking of a ray gun blast, integrating it into a wood grain pattern, water from a shower head, and an urban skyline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can click on any of the above to get a larger image and which can be scanned with any barcode scanner app.