How to remove a Mexican liquor bottle “safe-pour” spout

I was asked to reblog this!!! So check out my video!

Dicks

CritDicks.com

Ok, so our last trip to Cancun presented this small challenge . . . but, over and over again.

mexican liquor bottles

It even got worse when the liquor bottle was placed in the freezer. There’s a safe pour stopper mechanism in the bottle and they are not easy to get removed. We searched for a video on how to do this process, but no one had it on YouTube.safe pour spout

We created our own. Thanks to all of the cinema-technical geniuses involved. Watch our silliness!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eV-F6DsauM

If you enjoyed this . . . read more of my rants at www.CritDicks.com

Foodie

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What’s in YOUR lunchbox?

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I think I’m going to have to agree with some of the folks I work with. They have over the course of time, since beginning this culinary school thing, commented repeatedly about some of the left overs, . . . ok, most of the leftovers, I bring for my lunches. I personally like observing what others bring in as well; constantly thinking to myself, “really, they eat like that?”

Often times I will see my workmates making frozen prepackaged stuff in the microwave. That just scares me; but I guess that’s a normal thing, even for my kids. I guess I just steer clear of GMO stuff as much as possible. Others I observe, will go out religiously and buy junk food or maybe a sandwich. Some bring salads and some bring leftovers as we’ll, but never as often as I. I bring leftovers almost exclusively. Looking at some of the leftovers I see in the lunchroom leave no question as to why some of my workmates eat lunch out so often. Some scary stuff being served in the American household!!!

I recently got a new iPhone (yes , I’m typing on it now) and had to try out the camera. I compiled some leftovers from the fridge in an attempt to make room for the first of the upcoming holiday meals (Thanksgiving). These leftovers came from the weekend meals that we had prepared for my birthday and our Sunday and Monday dinners. Wow, we eat like this? Yes, being a grad from culinary school probably grabs that spotlight occasionally.20131127-131901.jpg

So I put together a microwave safe container of leftover Rolled Spinach Lasagna, Spicy Turkey Italian Sausage n Pepper Penne, Grilled Roast Asado and Salt Baked Potato. I lay it all in the container and my kids look and see this masterpiece. So now I have to see what it looks like on camera. I’ m telling ya, the comments just kept coming in. “Wow, look at that”, my workmates would say as I opened it the next day.

Be that it may, I am proud I display my abilities. I also very frequently share my methods for cooking what the gawkers are looking at. Only rarely, and only certain persons get to try outside of the workplace potluck. I just like my food too much. And when I can have leftovers like this, who wouldn’t be eating them everyday.

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See I told you it was a lunchbox.

Dicks

banh mi – Don’t look at the meat!

BNH_M_~1Perhaps one of the latest culinary fibrillations of an abusive American language slathering copious amounts of whatever when interpretly pronouncing or simply ordering from a Vietnamese menu. Huh???

Banh Mi, pronounced as American “Bun – Mee”, and the other is Pho; again Americanized “Fuh-uh or Fuhh”. Not much difference there except for the other thousands of morons pronouncing it as Fa, Foo, Foa . . . or whatever else. One thing I’ve come to realize, is the idiocracy of Americans to venture out of their bubbles and try new stuff . . . you know, to taste outside of the box; or as you saw it in a Jack-In-The-Box commercial, “think outside of the bun”. To venture past the mundane and ordinary normal, and try some new foods . . . some new ingredients. Don’t worry, worst thing that can happen is you die . . . or just throw-up . . . or both. Ok, maybe you can actually expel stuff from every one of your orifices while on your way to gripping the pearly gates.

I’m not pretending to know everything; but I have learned Vietnamese cuisine encapsulates numerous flavors to achieve spectacular balances of spicy, sour, sweet, salty and bitter by using mostly fresh ingredients. Sometimes these ingredients are surprising to folks that decide to take a peak at just what they’re eating. It’s usually those folks that would be inclined to order a McDonald’s hamburger with “no mayonnaise”, or “no onions”. Not to say these folks are the only folks I’m talking about, but they would also seemingly be the same persons that would open a sandwich to see what’s inside, and scrape off any onions or mayonnaise that wasn’t ordered. Thus was the case of the Banh Mi sandwich orders taken at my workplace just the other day. I think I ordered the #1 (special) and the #9 Grilled Pork. On that particular menu, #’s 2-4 all were made with some sort of pate. I have made pate and elected not to try any today. Just didn’t feel right about the whole Vietnamese pate thing. I did elect for the “special” though knowing that it could have been most anything. I was right. Today, it was most anything including the pate. Oh well, it was friggin good! I didn’t know it had any pate in it until I returned home to read about the “K” Sandwiches shop http://www.ksandwiches.com/ these were purchased at. For less than $3 you get a 9 inch banh mi with whatever their filling are . . . many including pate. Ok, relax on the pate issue. Pate is nothing more than a form of a ground up meat form somewhere in the animal. Yes I said somewhere, flavored and spiced to taste good. Usually many pates are very strong and full of flavor. Pates are fine, if you figure out just what is in them . . . and where they are from.pate

This story isn’t about the sandwich, Vietnamese food or pate. This story is about a worker venturing out of a comfort zone and trying something “you just gottta try”. Something she cared to share with the rest of us at the office today. I am always game for trying foods from a restaurant, because I like to see and taste things the particular restaurant brings to the table. What kind of bubbles are chefs out there breaking to be different, maybe to be the same or just to keep you interested. Well the sandwiches today were tasty. I expected them to be so. To me, today wasn’t about the sandwiches so much as it was about the experience. The office all having something new to them that I was able to experience. Seemed everyone had heard of a Vietnamese sandwich, or even Banh Mi, but I don’t necessarily know that any of them had ever tried. I’m not to sure any of them will ever try again after one adventuresome traveler (or eater) decided to look at the inside of their sandwich. “Uh, . . . what is this . . . ?”pho

Today would have been a perfect day for pho. It was cold, windy, slightly rainy and to top it off, our office heater wasn’t working. Something nice and hot like a very hot soup, along with the Banh Mi would have been perfect. Wikipedia describes Pho as “served in a bowl with a specific cut of white rice noodles in clear beef broth, with slim cuts of beef (steak, fatty flank, lean flank, brisket). Variations feature tendon, tripe, or meatballs in southern Vietnam. Chicken pho is made using the same spices as beef, but the broth is made using only chicken bones and meat, as well as some internal organs of the chicken, such as the heart, the undeveloped eggs and the gizzard”. That’s the good stuff I’m talking about here. It’s when that stuff makes its way into the pates that adorn the Banh Mi sandwich. That’s the stuff that person saw in their sandwich. That’s what makes it all good.

Today’s sandwich tasted rather common from my understanding of the Banh Mi. The fillings are all seemingly the same, but today the bread itself stood out quite clear. I guess the bread on the banh mi is like the broth for the pho. It’s a make or break deal. It is the dish. Maybe that’s why this “K” Sandwiches is so good. Their bread rocked.

Dicks

Tacos Los Claros: Eating Good, Fresh and Cheap in Los Cabos

By the look of things, this may be “the place”. I’m going to have to give ‘er a go my next visit!

Good job Gringo!

Dick

A Gringo in Mexico

SAN JOSE DEL CABO – When we took a 3 week family trip around Baja California Sur last year, one of our favorite discoveries was Tacos Los Claros in downtown San Jose del Cabo (with two other locations on Highway 1 toward the airport and Cabo San Lucas). Approaching lunchtime while tooling around the historic Spanish Colonial town one day, El Gringo asked the locals where to find the “…best mariscos tacos in town.” Three out of four locals directed us to Tacos Los Claros, about halfway between downtown and the beach (the fourth local was a taco shop owner and tried to lure us in with free margaritas…to no avail. El Gringo may be cheap, but he is not easy).

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~ culinary trends ~ Gangsta Mexican food ~ the “Hooter’s salute” ~

el torito

I don’t think I’ve eaten so much Mexican food in one week, until recently. Let’s see; I have had rolled tacos (Taquitos) with all of the fixin’s, carnitas, a pollo asado burrito (sautéed pepper style) and a totally unique Quesadilla Rio described as a quesadilla stuffed with a chili relleno, shredded beef and beans; topped with enchilada sauce and sour cream. I found this concoction at Anita’s in Oceanside, CA. The flavors, plating and overall texture was fine on this plate, but for some reason the chili used was extremely tough. I don’t think I have ever experienced such a tough chili. I looked to see if it had been roasted with the skin removed, but couldn’t readily identify if it was, without fully deconstructing the assembly and grossing out everyone at the table. I then recognized that the Pasilla (Poblano, depending on the area you are from) chili didn’t even exhibit a consistency even close to being raw . . . or cooked. It was very odd. It was very, very tough. Also this week, I had Choriso con Huevos one morning from the hospital cafeteria. I still maintain the positive reviews of Tri-City Hospital’s cafeteria as being one of the finest hospital cafe’s this side of the 15 freeway and North of the 78. Actually, we passed up the opportunity to try the newest hospital addition to San Diego, when we decided to house both the sick and injured under one roof for this Friday night.  You see, this story brings several elements together that surround loved family members injuries and  illnesses and the support the family gave during this trying time. So this last week had been consumed with trips to and from the hospital and minimally entertaining family members all doing the same thing . . . making trips to and from everywhere.

During this time we had many meals that seemingly had all been centered around what is fast and convenient, however we also had a chance to sneak in a few decent meals other than the Mexican fast foods. I was able to show off The Flying Pig on Halloween night (I saw it a chance to go without a wait) that was executed perfectly by a fine sever who was really on her game that night. She did a great job (sorry can’ remember her name). Everyone at our table thoroughly enjoyed their meal. There was only minimal controversy over the wines that Roddie carried, but it was also quickly discounted by my traveling wine wholesalers that joined us that evening. We all promised a no wine-repeat-failure for our next adventure. What will probably ensue is the corkage fee “bring-your-own bottle” rendition of the Hooters beer and wing event (inside family joke). I guess I can let the joke out by telling you to visit the nearest Hooters and ask what they charge for corkage. You will probably get the Hooter’s salute . . . that’s when the server says, “what’s a corkage”?G26

To culminate a week of Mexican culinary treats, my wife and I decide to catch the first half of football this Sunday morning. Unfortunately we like the spread and the Sunday football feature in the bar area (cantina) of our local El Torito. It is always full of our favorite team’s fans and is reasonable in price with multiple televisions everywhere so we don’t miss a play. Problem is it was again Mexican food. No problemo senor, I just focused on the awesome “to-order” omelet prepared by Alfredo to start things off, then I made up a sweet plate of waffle and churro topped with strawberries, pineapple and whip cream topping. Once I had enough breakfast items, I then attacked the Mexican Menudo, Ceviches and other entrées .

To top off the weekend, I needed to cook something after being challenged with everything challenging . . . yeah, I just said that. Challenges like my son’s football injury (suspected torn MCL) and coming home to a leaking water main coming into the house. You see, sometimes you just have to accept things, and Mexican food, for what it’s worth. It seems to have a perfect place in my week’s routine. So after all of these challenges, I decide to use the left-behind Halloween pumpkin by making a Curried Pumpkin and Nutmeg Puree to go underneath a Grilled Lamb Chop, Pork Belly, Salt-Baked Potato and Peas. A totally unique dish that presented a lot of interesting flavors.Salt-Baked

So we have been spending numerous hours in the emergency rooms and ICU of our favorite hospital and have come to notice two officer from the California Department of Corrections strategically placed just one room away from my our location in the ICU. We whisper to each other. “what do you think those guys are here for”. So my brother and I quickly devise a story to substantiate the guards existence in such close proximity to our room. My father, the one who is hospitalized, volunteers with the OPD to enter gang member data into their computer files. The person in the room next to my father is a gang member and knows my father volunteers for the force. In order to maintain stability in the hospital and my father’s safety from this hospitalized gang member, the corrections facility officers are strategically placed to keep the two separated and protect my father. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.corrections

During all of the visiting with my family, hugging all of the cousins, nieces, nephews and siblings and everyone else; they all made an honest attempt to be around during this complicated week. Through all of the hours we spent together in lounges and waiting areas for information about our sick and broke, they (the distant family members) have just come to realize that I have been attending culinary school for the past 3 years and am about to finally graduate. What’s even more funny is these same individuals could care less about the fact that I write about this shit, and are seemingly more focused on the opportunity of when I was going to cook for them at my graduation party. They all seemed to be concerned and curious, wondering what kind of restaurant I am going to open. That would light a fire under my sister to condemn those suggestions, fearing my life would be over if I was to ever open a restaurant . . . hell, graduation will ensue. Nothing better than family . . . nothing!

Dick

My Thoughts on Social Media

Now here’s something worth repeating. I have long thought of the powers of social media. I find it fascinating that we take such evasive maneuvers as this blogger points out. Good Blog.

Dick

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