Thursday, May 20, 2010

Still Blogging

Yeah, it's been awhile. I'm sorry for letting all 8 of my faithful followers down with my lack of commitment (which includes myself. Yes, I follow my own blog.) But, I'm blogging now, so I guess that's all that really matters. I try to avoid boring everyone with my personal life and instead bore everyone with my opinions on antiquated video games and strange foods, but I'd just like to say that it feels great being done with this semester of school. Hopefully I'll have more time and motivation to blog this summer, but no promises. Well, no promises regarding the motivation. I'm sure I'll have plenty of time on my hands. Anyways, I'll go ahead and move on to my old school video game review.

Today's game will be dwarven fortress. It's similar in style to Angband (see last post), but it's more of a kingdom builder than an rpg. A friend of mine told me about it after he found out I played Angband and said I'd probably like it. The concept for the game is great. The only problem is I'm not nearly smart enough to play it. In fact, I feel pretty safe saying that you need a pretty strong foundation in engineering, animal husbandry, masonry, diplomacy, and survivalism, just to make it through the first couple of years. I'd be willing to bet that the only people who are any good at this game are the one's who made it. Long story short, unless you like getting extremely frustrated and feeling like an idiot because you can't figure out how to play a game that was created in the 80's, then I would not recommend this game to you. It's not rocket science... but it's just as complicated.

Today's recipe is gonna be one that I haven't actually made yet, but it's one I've wanted to make for a long time. I'm just gonna copy and post directly from the website I'm stealing it from as well as a picture of the finished product, but I'll also post the site at the end so you can see pictures of every step along the way. Also, if you actually make it, please let me know how it was.

2 pounds thick cut bacon
2 pounds Italian sausage
1 jar of your favorite barbeque sauce
1 jar of your favorite barbeque rub

To kick off the construction of this pork medley you’ll need to create a 5×5 bacon weave. If the strips you’re using aren’t as wide as the ones pictured, then you may need to use a few extra slices to fill out the pattern. Just make sure your bacon weave is tight and that you end up with a nice square shape to work with.

The next step is to add some barbecue seasoning on top of your bacon weave. Being the barbeque addict that I am, I whipped up a batch of Burnt Finger BBQ’s competition pork rub for this special occasion. Seeing as not everyone has the time, or the expertise, to create a tasty rub of their own, I would recommend trying Cowtown Sweet Spot for the best combination. Plowboys Yardbird, Bad Byron’s Butt Rub, and Rendezvous Famous Seasoning are also excellent choices.

Now that you’re pork is well seasoned, it’s time to add more pork. Take two pounds of Italian sausage and layer it directly on top of your bacon weave. Be sure to press the sausage to the outer edges of the bacon creating a patty that is the same thickness all the way across. Most grocery stores carry loose sausage, so just pick out one you like. I chose to go with a mild sausage, but spicy would work just the same. If you really want to get crazy, take a stab at making your own homemade sausage.

Next up is bacon layer number two. Take the remaining bacon slices and fry them up the same way you would for breakfast (or lunch, or dinner, or a midnight snack). If you like soft bacon, make it soft. If you like crunchy bacon, make it crunchy. If you like your bacon burnt to hell so the smoke detectors go off, then burn it to hell so the smoke detectors go off. These pieces are going to be a major part of the inner flavor of our sausage fatty, so cook them your favorite way. Personally, I like my bacon right at the point when it starts to get crispy, but hasn’t quite lost all of the softness yet. Regardless of how well done you like yours, you’ll need to crumble or chop the cooked strips into bite size pieces and place on top of the sausage layer. (Note-It’s okay, and encouraged, to snack on these pieces while your chopping/crumbling. But keep in mind that once those bacon morsels touch the raw sausage, you’ll need to resist all temptations to nibble. This can and will be difficult, but hospital trips are no fun, so stay strong.)

Since this is a barbeque recipe, we need to add another layer of barbeque flavor. Take your favorite sauce and drizzle it all over the top of the bacon pieces. Personally, I prefer to use Burnt Finger BBQ’s homemade competition sauce, but if you’re torn on what brand to use I recommend Cowtown,Blues Hog, and Fiorella’s Jack Stack. Once you’ve sauced the bacon, sprinkle on some more of the barbeque seasoning you used on the bacon weave.

Now comes the fun part. Very carefully separate the front edge of the sausage layer from the bacon weave and begin rolling backwards. You want to include all layers EXCEPT the bacon weave in your roll. Try and keep the sausage as tight as possible and be sure to release any air pockets that may have formed. Once the sausage is fully rolled up, pinch together the seams and ends to seal all of the bacon goodness inside.

At this point we can start to see the final shape of our Bacon Explosion, but we’re missing one key item. To complte the constuction process, roll the sausage forward completely wrapping it in the bacon weave. Make sure it sits with the seam facing downward to help keep it all sealed up.

Sprinkle some barbeque seasoning on the outside of the bacon weave, and now this bad boy is ready for the smoker. Cook your Bacon Explosion at 225 degrees in a constant cloud of hickory smoke until your Thermapen gives an internal temperature reading of 165 degrees. Normally this will take about 1 hour for each inch of thickness, but that could vary depending on how well you maintain your fire and also how many times you open the smoker to take a peek. Mine took about 2.5 hours, which was right on target with its 2.5 inch diameter.

Now that our Bacon Explosion is fully cooked, we need to add some finishing flavors. Remember that barbecue sauce we used for inner flavor? We’ll be using that same sauce to glaze the cooked bacon weave. Using a basting brush, coat the entire surface with a thin layer of sauce. Sweet sauces are loaded with sugars, so they’ll give your fatty a nice glossy finish. Spicy and vinegar based sauces don’t contain as much, so they won’t set up as well. If you’re dead set on using those sauces, just cut them with a bit of honey and you’ll get the same effect.

Slice the Bacon Explosion into quarter to half inch rounds to serve. If your roll was good and tight, you should now see a nice bacon pinwheel pattern throughout the sausage. Obviously pork is best served by itself, but if you feel the need to make this meat monster into a sandwich, try placing a couple Bacon Explosion slices on a warm Pillsbury’s Grands Biscuit. You’ll reach pork Nirvana in no time flat!

Stolen from

And the quote of the day is "An autobiography is the story of how a man thinks he lived." (Also stolen)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Number Two (Numero Dos)

Yes, I'm still blogging. I've decided to go with a classic video game review and a new recipe with each blog. Some recipes will be normal food most people would enjoy and some will be of food you pretty much had to grow up on to like. I'll specify at the beginning so you'll know if you want to actually make it. I still haven't learned how to do fancy stuff like skip lines and indent so this blogs gonna be another wall of text, but I'll try to figure it out later. (No promises.) Anyways, without further adieu (that's french for something) I'll move on to my video game review...

The game of the day is Angband. This is probably my favorite old school dungeon exploration game and it's also the oldest I've ever played. The game came out in 1985 and is 100% textbased. You play as a cute little @ symbol and battle hideous monsters such as "G's" and "L's". On a serious note, the gameplay is incredibly indepth for such an old game. There is more spells, gear, and different kinds of monsters than pretty much any game that's come out recently. That's the benefit of games that aren't graphically intensive. The game is based off of Tolkeins middle earth and you run into boss monsters like Smeagol and Sarumon. The only problem I have with the game (which also happens to be something I love about it) is there are 100 levels of the dungeon and I don't think I've even made it to level 30 yet. The game is freaking so huge it can be frustrating at times. The reason I have this love hate relationship with that aspect of the game is every couple months I go back and play it and still find new things all the time. The game is set up so that you aren't "supposed" to be able to save after death (i.e. once you die you have to start over for those that only play modern games) but it's pretty easy to get around that. If you want to check the game out and decide you need to save shoot me an e-mail or give me a call and I'll tell you how. Here's some screenshots so you can get a visual of what I'm talking about.

Now, I think it's time for the recipe of the day, and the winner is (drum roll...) Cheesy Potato Soup!!! This is a recipe that is extremely easy to make and it's completely normal. It looks fancy too so if you want to make someone think you're a great cook but you are low on funds and talent this is the recipe for you. What you need is a couple cans of campells cream of potato soup, about a cup of milk, shredded cheese, bacon bits (real bacon bits, not bacos) and chives (optional). I also like to use a pinch of basil and oregano but if you don't have a spice rack you don't have to use that either.

All you have to do is dump the soup into a pot and add milk until it's creamy (not watery.) Add your spices while it's heating up. When it's hot sprinkle in the cheese and bacon bits. I'm not big on measuring things out so just add a little bit at a time until it tastes right. When you're done pour it into bowls and sprinkle some more cheese, bacon bits, and chives on top. (That's what makes it look fancy.) It makes about two big bowls. Use one can if you're making it for yourself or use more cans if you're making it for a group. Just use less or more of everything else proportionally. That's what makes it so easy. You can't really mess it up.

I think that pretty much sums up todays ravings. Check back often as you never know when I'll be motivated and bored enough at the same time to do this again and remember, all generalizations are false, including this one. Have a great day.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My first attempt at a blog

I'm obviously new to this blogging community, but I figure it's better late then never so here it goes...
Today was pretty much like 99% of the days I (and most other people in the world) have. Nothing particulary good or bad happened, and everything that did happen would be about as entertaining to anyone else as staring at a picture of a pink flamingo...

This time I went with the latter. Now that I'm done blogging about my day I'll go ahead and blog about one of my personal interest and I'll even throw in an opinion or two on the house. It is a little known fact to most of the world, but a very well known fact to most of my friends that I am a retro video gamer. (If this topic doesn't interest you see above image.) To prove my credentials I recently purchased an NES turbo pad and Techmo Bowl (go Bears), and I can beat Super Mario Bros. without getting hit. I recently found an old DOS game called Quest for Glory that I used to play as a kid and it's still crazy awesome. I would recommend it to anyone who likes old games. It's a short game but there's somewhere around 9 sequels so it takes a bit of time to beat them all. The best thing about the series is it's full of good old fashioned dry humor, something you rarely see in video games nowadays. If you make it through this blog and plan on reading more of my ramblings be prepared to hear about a classic game in pretty much every one. Once I get the hang of this blogging stuff I'll start titling subjects so you'll have the opportunity to skip the parts you find less than interesting (which will more than likely be everything except the pictures... Okay, maybe the pictures too.)
Moving on, another intersting fact about me is I love backwoods southern country cooking. I have to add backwoods in there because most people consider fried chicken and collard greens country food. In a way it is, but It's fancy country food. It's good in it's own way, but I really love poor folk country food. I just made a pot of boiled potatoes, cabbage, and ham and a bunch of people gave me a hard time about that. Where I'm from that kind of stuff is a staple. I also made a pot of bean soup and hamhocks a couple weeks ago the country way (yes there is a non-country way) and I ended up eating the whole pot by myself because no one else could stomache it. If there are any brave souls that read this blog that is interested to find out what real Kentucky style, backwoods, country food tastes like let me know. It could prove to be a very interesting learning experience.
I suppose I've gone on long enough, but I'll end with a quote I hold very close to my heart...
"The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not." - Mark Twain
Let that sink in for awhile...