Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentines Day

This year for Valentines Day I decided to grill up some steaks. I bought some beauts too. They were some lovely NY strips or Top Sirloin or one of those nice cuts. I could hardly wait. There was just one little possible problem. After all, this is western Washington. Not to worry though, I had a redneck tarp handy so I set it up. I was determined to be grilling-rain or shine.See, neat, huh? Grilling in February Western Washington Style.

Well, the steaks were really good. I can't say they were epic because I was trying to make too many things at once and the grill was a little hotter than I thought. The steaks wound up with a little extra color (black) but overall they were still very good.

The heat from the grill also caused another casualty. I've always used the grill right next to the house and never thought anything of it, but this time the price was steep. One of the times I went in to tend the stuff in the kitchen I left the grill lid open. When it was open it was only about an inch and a half from the glass of my back window. All of the sudden I heard a loud pop that startled both Jake and I. It seems that the heat from the grill heated a small area of glass to the point that it couldn't take it anymore. So now I get to replace the biggest window in my house. My favorite. Check it out:
I've been thinking I want to get one of those little gazebos to go out on the patio. This might be a nice excuse. Also, with one of those I could grill all year round.

Monday, February 08, 2010


Most people in the US would know this as Rodizio. In Brazil, Churrascaria (shoe-has-cahr-ee'-a: two r's together make an 'h' sound, the a's are like in "father") is the generic term for this type of restaurant and you order the Rodizio if that's what you want. "Churrasco" is barbecue. It has been too long since I've had Brazilian food and I didn't even know it. This was a surprise that Chelsea has been cooking up for some time now as my 30th birthday surprise and when we were on the way there today and she told me I was excited, but I didn't know how much I was missing it until I started eating. We went to Ipanema Brazilian Grill in downtown Seattle.

They have a way of flavoring the meat so that it is so savory. I can't understand how they make it that good. So the meat was absolutely delicious, but the thing that really put me over the edge was the rice and beans.

The rice and beans........

Mexican style rice and beans is delicious, and readily available, but Brazilian rice and beans is more delicious and as rare in North America as jaca fruit (google it). I could be biased but I think Brazilian beans are much better. One of my favorite ways to eat rice and black beans is with eggs. It make a fantastic breakfast. If I wasn't so stuffed my mouth would be watering.

Chelsea thought that this was a little ironic. There are all sorts of vegetables and delicious meats cooked up Brazil style, but the thing that really set me going was the basic rice and beans.

Here's a picture of my rice and beans with a little sausage and bacon wrapped sirloin. I'm sure we had our month's worth of sodium.
Here's me being sad because I got full and couldn't keep eating. Thanks for a great surprise, baby.

Project of the Week

After sitting on it for a month, I finally decided what to do with the Christmas money my parents gave me. It took me a while to decide, but after looking at my pitifully inadequate toolbox I finally resolved that it was high time for some organization.

So I headed down to Lowes and after drooling on all the neat tool tool chests I finally accepted that one of those still isn't in the cards for me. I settled on a nice portable toolbox with some drawers in the front to accommodate my sockets. There was some money left over so I also bought some drawer liners.

So I brought it home and started putting all my tools into this great new toolbox. It was clear, however, that the sockets weren't going to stay put. I had to figure something out. Sure if you want to spend some money you can get some nice little "socket rails" that organize those for you, but, since the Christmas money was exhausted, and I'm a new homeowner, I wasn't interested in spending the money.

I had a better idea. At work we assemble specialized tool kits for the Navy and we use this white foam to pack it into nice pelican cases, so I went scrounging for foam. It wasn't hard to find a scrap big enough to do the job. After all, I only needed a piece about 17"x7".

Next I laid it out how I thought it would look and measured all the sockets. Then, at work, during my lunches, etc., I laid it out with the CAD software. Here's a pic of the miniature:
There is a list of all the sockets on the back of this card, and each of the numbers corresponds to the socket that lives in the hole. That way I can keep track of it if there are any that go missing.

I plotted the layout at actual size and used these special punches at work to cut the round holes for the sockets. The other stuff I just cut at home with the Xacto knife. Here's the finished product. See, way cooler than socket rails.