Preppie61's Weblog

Are You Living The Dream?

The Last Man Standing.

This is the warrior blog. I hope this blog can provide you with the inspiration to stay the course and follow your dreams.There is a reason for all the pain, all the suffering, all the disappointments. You may be without a car, so you have to walk or take the bus. Your spouse may walk out on you and say you’re no good. People may laugh at you. Call you a loser. Believe me, I feel your pain. I know. I’ve seen all those things, too. Pay no attention to them. If you want it badly enough, it will be yours. And, for those of you who know me from my days of being broke and alone, How’s it going out there? How do you like me now?

So hang tough out there. There will always be naysayers, but don’t worry about them. Step over them.

It seems you never know people or what they’ll do. Not really. From fair weather friends to treacherous wives and girlfriends, it runs the gamut. But remember, It always falls on you to stay the course.  Any hidden agendas, sooner or later, will present themselves, and you will get the chance to deal with them. So stay strong and keep building!

“To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.”

-Sun Tzu

January 8, 2008 Posted by | My Philosophy, Who I Am Today | , , | 2 Comments

Hello Lovers Of The Good Life!

preppie61 weblog, Minnesota Bluewater Sailing Yes, Indeed!

Here in Minnesota, We have it all. Lots of things to see and do, the change of seasons, fantastic food, and great people. Don’t you know?

OK, Minnesotans, It’s Back Again!

Of course I’m talking about the Minnesota State Fair. Time for everything you can imagine that’s fried and can be put on a stick. Try the chocolate covered bacon (among other things). You might like it!

Heading out to the north woods on Saturday for one last winter visit. It seems that most of us here in Minnesota have, or have access to, a cabin. They are not all up north, but it is the way we go on holiday around here. The last time I was up there, I went snowmobiling and had a great time. I didn’t get a chance to get into Brainerd this year for the festivals, but I will next year. They had to cancel the dogsled races because it was too cold this year. Hated missing that.

If you do get the chance to join us, make sure you take the scenic drive and enjoy Lake Superior. It’s quite the sight to see.

The North Shore Drive

Now that we’re in mid-September, it’s high time to drive the beautiful North Shore. It’s about 150 miles plus the side trips off the beaten path. I’m gone all weekend. See you on Monday!

4 Places To Go Camping In Minnesota

Minnesota is full of beautiful country that is perfect for camping. However, you may find it difficult to choose the right spot to camp in since there are so many options. Here are 4 great places to go camping in Minnesota that you really should visit. If you enjoy horseback riding, then Ann Lake is the perfect camping location for you. There are plenty of trails and fishing holes to be found here as well.

Bear Lake State Park is a great place for family camping. It is a very simple structure so that it is hard to get lost. There are plenty of picnic areas for families to enjoy while hiking. There is also a very inviting swimming area that isn’t very deep but offers plenty of fun. Bear Lake State Park offers shower facilities as well for the camper who doesn’t quite like that part of getting back to nature!

Cadotte Lake offers more than 20 miles of camping ground for you to enjoy. The camping spots are very private so that is a nice change from what most of them offer. It is said some of the best fishing in Minnesota takes place here. You can fish from the shores or take your boat as there are plenty of great boating ramps for you to use. The swimming area is a nice place to take some time to relax on a hot afternoon.

Fenske Lake is the place to go if you enjoy wildlife. There is plenty to be observed from this particular campground area. You will find marked trails for hiking as well. Other activities include boating, fishing, and swimming. Regardless of which one of these 4 places to go camping in Minnesota that you choose, you will have a wonderful time enjoying the outdoors. Happy camping and enjoy your trip!

Great Weekend In Lanesboro!

We had a really great time in this very quaint little town! It was a bit chilly at 56 degrees, but we still had a brisk bike ride. Can’t wait to go back in the summer!

 

How About This For Crazy?

Brittany’s got nothing on this woman I met the other day. I was standing out in front of Dunn’s Coffee in Uptown when this woman just walked up to me, spread her arms out wide and said “you need a hug!” I said  “I do? ” She said, “YES!” And then she sprang into my arms and hugged me, rubbing her big boobs on me. Then, as she was walking away she said ” Praise the lord!”

I said to myself… “Is she out of her frickin’ mind?” What was that? What motivates some people to do crazy stuff like that? Beats the heck outta me!

January 7, 2008 Posted by | My Minnesota, Here At Home, The Good Life | , , | 2 Comments

Being Me – It Doesn’t Suck!

preppie61 weblog, Poverty Bites AIN’T IT THE TRUTH.

This is for all those people, (one young lady in particular) that did not keep the faith, and had an extraordinary lack of vision. I made it, boys and girls! Hot diggity damn!! And WOW, what a trip it was to get here! Don’t worry, I’ll tell you a little bit about it as we go along. These days though, I have a motto. It’s simply this:

“The best indicator of real wealth is to NEVER AGAIN have to ask, or worry about, how much anything costs.”

You can say that again, brother. You won’t feel truly alive until you feel that. Just get it, (whatever it is you want) pay for it, and forget it! You just have to see the look on the faces of the people that get to hold that gold card, swipe it, and within 1 second the approval comes blasting out. Sometimes, I’ll play with it when I’m sitting in a Hooters or something and watch the girls there start hanging around, drooling. They are already keyed in when me and Mr. XJR (Jaguar) roll up. Never think that the wait staff in any restaurant (From Wendy’s to Starbucks) is not watching what you drive up in. Believe me they are. Have some fun with them. I do. You’ll like it! Oh, what a feeling!!

Heading out to Nick’s Hamburger Shop in Brookings, South Dakota today. Great food here!

Weekend In Vegas….Big Fun!!

Had a great time there during my birthday weekend! Hey, I made the ripe old age of 50! So I hit the Vegas buffet scene! 9 big meals in 3 days! Only gained 3.5 pounds though! The food was great with the buffet at the Bellagio winning hands down as the best. Going to do it again soon!

Don’t Miss The Halloween Party @ First Avenue!!

Always a blast! I think invitations are still available. The occasional star type will drop by for the impromptu concert. Big fun every year! Call the venue for information!

Day Trip!

Driving out to the quaint little town of Wabasha today for some R & R. Gonna be a great time!

January 7, 2008 Posted by | The Good Life | , , | 3 Comments

Here At Home.

The Minnesota Deep Freeze Is In Full Effect!!
preppie61 weblog, Minnesota Winters
OK, boys and girls,
Here we go! You gotta love it!
 For those of you in places like Florida, I hope you liked Christmas with the windows wide open. WE don’t.  Up here, you gotta be tough. We put on our long johns, snuggle up and eat lots of soup, chicken and dumplings, chili, things like that. Don’t you know?
Watch that birth rate bounce up next year. You betcha! Are we cold? Forget about it! Yes, this is the life, let me tell you.
The newscaster on TV at the time said, I hope you all are someplace warm tonight! I said to myself “You bet your ass I am!” smiling as I polished off that last piece of warm apple pie. Delicious!
So if you want to come and visit us here, read the posted info on how to dress here. And understand, that this is not Florida. It gets REALLY COLD here. Here’s the link: http://minneapolis.about.com/od/travelweather/a/survivingwinter.htm I’m talking freeze to death type cold. So if you can’t deal with it, Stay there. This is not for everyone, believe me. Talk to you later!
Well, It’s almost over. Another season has come and gone. Much milder than last year, but it’s still cold. We should be all done by mid-April. Let’s just wait and see.

Well, I was wrong.

Old man winter is still here. We’re all good here though. maybe by early May?
So we made it.  I can tell you one thing. There sure is a lot of love here in Minnesota. It’s real nice to see the large amount of hugging that goes on here. Maybe it’s the cold weather?
Well, here we are in September and the cool weather has already begun! I’m loving this. Time to enjoy the fall Color Report and the leafing season, one of my favorite activities here in  Minnesota. Just drive up to the north country and enjoy the beautiful colors. If you ever get the chance I highly recommend it!

It’s Snow Time!

The fun is about to begin!! It’s only mid October, and we are already seeing snow in some places! So you know the drill. Plenty of food storage? Check. Warm clothes and waterproof shoes at the ready?  Check. Heaters and/or fireplaces ready to go? You betcha. Heating oil prices are way down so I would say fill those fuel tanks NOW. And get ready!!

You see what did I tell you? We got down to -40 degrees on Thursday the 15th, which means a wind chill of about -58 degrees at night with no sunshine!  Hey people! Now that’s cold.  And we still have a good 2 months to go! Downhill tubing anyone?
Well, it’s just March 21st, and I think the winter is essentially over. We may get 1 or 2 more flurries, but I think it’s done. But you know how it is here in Minnesota. I could be wrong.
WOW.
This has been the most brutal winter I have ever seen!!! They say it is the worst winter in Minnesota’s history. Simply unbelievable! But we know the deal here. Like I said before. You gotta be tough to live here. Just hang tough out there Minnesotans! We’ll make it!

Man Down! Man Down!

You never know what you might see around here. When I went outside early this morning to get my papers (this was about 5 am) I found a young fella passed out on the sidewalk on front of my house. I didn’t recognize him, but roused him up and asked him if he was OK. He said he was, and wanted to know where he was. When I told him, he said he had no idea how he got here.

So I told him to wait and I’ll get him a cup of coffee, and a big piece of cake. He thanked me for not calling the cops, and for the coffee and stuff. He went on his way with a smile.

Takes all kinds I guess. It looks like his weekend is off to a roaring start! Bizarre.

June 24, 2012

Just a wonderful sunny Sunday out there today, glad the rain finally stopped. Very weird weather patterns. I think we’re going to have a very short winter this year. But no worries! We’ll be ready!

Really?

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/31/face-attacker-mother-my-son-was-no-zombie/?hpt=hp_t2

Florida Zombies Back On The Attack!

http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_sarasota_manatee/Latest-zombie-eating-attack-man-under-the-influence-gets-naked-bites-off-chunk-of-mans-arm-#ixzz1yQQzG9F5

January 7, 2008 Posted by | My Minnesota, Here At Home | , , | 1 Comment

Sports.

This is about my favorite teams, and  pictures of me at a few of the games with friends. I’ll also put up a few pictures of my sailing adventures. I think you’ll like them.

Well, so much for Green Bay. I thought they were going to do it this time. No such luck.

WOW, what a game ,huh? I’m talking about the Super bowl. Just goes to show you that it’s not over until…..

Assume nothing. Play to win. Always.

WOW. The Timberwolves have got to be the worst team in NBA history. OK, so we won the last 4 (or was it 5) games. But 0 and 14? What a bunch of bums! Let’s see how the rest of the season goes.

Those guys just don’t want to stop. A really tall fella knocked on my door today and wanted to sell me a group box for the Timberwolves home games. This is a group of VIP box seats for 4 people. He was practically giving them away but you gotta be kidding!

March Madness Is On!!

OK, here we go!!!! The Gophers lost last night, so that’s it. Texas was the favorite I believe by 4 points, but I thought we could win that one. That’s OK, though! Lots more games on tap!

Alright UConn!! I knew they would do it again! If you don’t have the Big Ten Network where you are, Then you’re missing out. What a fantastic lineup of games this year! Great series!

Man, what a great NBA Series! The Lakers have done it again, and I think that’s great!  So much for what my girlfriend knows about basketball. So she owes me a steak and all the trimmings. But I must admit, I did get worried there for a minute in the third quarter. Boy, that was close!

It’s Miami For Lebron!!

I knew it! Alright, this should be a really good season for the Heat! We will see.

Well, so much for our long suffering Vikings. Maybe next year?

Sunday December 19th, 2010

Giants 31 Eagles 38

Simply unbelievable.  In all the years I’ve been watching the game of football, I have never seen anything like this. I was transfixed. The performance and endurance of Michael Vick and Desean Jackson were the stuff of legend. World class. A LOT can be learned here. For one thing, the power of a team in sync, cannot be underestimated. I can only say of the Giants in this game: that they have shown us an epic failure the likes of which I find personally shocking. Akin to driving a fully loaded semi tractor trailer at 90 mph and just taking both hands off the wheel.

Just a catastrophic loss of control. If this were my team, when I showed up at the Monday morning meeting, a number of people would be looking for a job on Tuesday. Simply outrageous!

Sports Weekend!!

Time to roam the land in search of fun! Ya never know where I’m liable to end up!

What’s A Sports Weekend?

This is time I schedule every 3 weeks, to takeoff on a mini holiday! I ramble all over the Midwest and I could be anywhere, doing anything! I don’t know myself until then! Follow me on Twitter or FourSquare and come along for the ride!

The Huskie Dogs Do It Again!!

What a nightmare for Butler! I knew from the start that UConn had this game cold! And after witnessing the shooting game Butler had, I was sure of it! The Bulldogs just never had a chance to win that one. Well, maybe next year!

Can You Believe This?

Minnesota 17 Purdue 45

What a team! But, on the bright side, at least we scored.

We Beat The Young Bucks Again, Twice Today!

Their game was good today too! They were in the zone!

So why did they lose? Because they love pyrotechnics, and IMHO, their basics need work. They lose, so they pop for pizza! Tough break. It is what it is.

This is exactly what I tell my sales team. The secret to selling success is not trickery, but solid skills that are centered in the fundamentals. And never underestimate your competition. Selling at our level….first and foremost …requires integrity. Without it you’ll get nowhere fast in this game. The game we just played makes this very clear.

Ohio State Beats Wisconsin 33 – 29!!

While Nebraska whips Michigan State 24 – 3! And the Gophers beat Iowa 22 – 21! Now, I didn’t see that coming! These are game-changing wins! (Except of course, for our long suffering Minnesota team.) We get to keep the Floyd of Rosedale Bronze Pig trophy for another year though!

In any case, it’s gonna be an awesome playoff season this year!

11/5/11… We Blow Another One!

MSU 31 MN 24

What the what? And we had an early lead, and had the game tied later, and we STILL BLEW IT! But Iowa took down Big Blue 24 – 16! Good game too! And lots of other great games that came out right like the way Northwestern spanked #10 ranked Nebraska in a real nail biter 28 – 25. This season is really shaping up to be one of the best ever!

Gophers 13 Badgers 42

November 12, 2011…

Well, no axe for us! I just can’t believe it!

Unreal! Are we ever going to get that axe or jug back here? I mean what the hey? What is it going to take to motivate this team? It makes me wonder if sparky was writing about this team when he drew the “Peanuts” cartoons! He had to be!

Gophers 27 Illinois 7

Go Gophers! Well it sure is about time! Why couldn’t the whole year be this good? Let’s see what next year holds for us!

The Gophers Beat Indiana!!
It was a close game, But we did it! Keep up the good work guys!

January 7, 2008 Posted by | Sports Rant | 2 Comments

The Super 70’s!

There was no greater time in history to be a teenager than in the 1970’s! The clothes, the hairstyles, the TV shows, the music…and no computers! We had an epic good time and I’ll visit them briefly here!

January 7, 2008 Posted by | The Good Life | , , | Leave a comment

The Difference Between Men And Boys…

preppie61weblog, Emmanuel James McQueen Is the price of their toys!! This is my son by the way. Handsome fella, isn’t he? He’s about 2 here. I have 5 kids, and he’s the only boy. This year is the year I do that first right of passage thing and take him fishing. I should say here that I am not a fisherman. I’m more of a hunter. But I do know how to fish. So I’ll take grandpa with us for technical support. This little guy is my best pal, and I told him that there are going to be a lot of things happening that we aren’t going to tell mommy about, so clam up. He just smiled and said, “OK, daddy.” You gotta love that. I’ll let you all know how it all goes when we get done with this trip!

This little fella now has the Cadillac of tricycles: a classic red Radio Flyer with streamers and everything. This is the same one I had as a kid. This thing is simply beautiful. He likes it. A lot. I’m surprised they still had the tooling to make it. It is so cool!

Just Another Day At The Farm!

I have to admit….being a father is all that and a bag of chips. Those kids take an idea from the movie “Home Alone,” and actually try it. They took Emmanuel ‘s mattress from his bed, and went sliding down the stairs with it! Mom calls me and reads me the riot act about my bad kids. “That was a new mattress” and yada, yada, yada. If you want to know the truth, I think it’s funny as hell! I wonder what they’ll do next?

I should have known better. I bought those brats a cellphone so that I could talk with them from time to time. E-man decided to open it up and see what’s what. He pulled out the SIMM card and then promptly lost it. So..the phone instantly turned into a brick! I guess I’ve got to buy another one. Easy come, easy go. So what else is new?

And now at almost 7 years old, he’s discovered blonde jokes. I told him that they won’t go over too well if he ever has a blonde girlfriend. He just thinks they’re funny. I do too. But still. I had to tell him to ease back on that stuff.

January 7, 2008 Posted by | Big Boy Stuff, Family fun, those brats of mine | , , | 2 Comments

Tech & Toys!

Greetings Players!

After setting up my new Panasonic 50 inch plasma TV, I am truly impressed. I’ve waited a long time to buy one of these, and it looks like they finally got it right. Full 1080p with all the bells and whistles. I have dish network in full digital, and TIVO. I have almost no software at home, as everything streams. Movies on demand, Netfilx for anything else, XM-Sirius, Pandora and classical music streaming on MPR. So I’m good. I do have an S-VHS VCR for the out of print tapes and other hard to find stuff I have. I have not broken down and bought the Sony Blu-Ray disc player yet, But I think I will soon. For the surround sound, I’m using an NAD amp with Definitive speakers, and a Velodyne subwoofer. I use only the four speakers as the NAD has a incredible 3D sound-field, and I get surround imaging as if I had a 7 speaker system. Simply amazing. Just a word of warning here: I tried two different wireless speaker systems for this rig and they both sucked!! IMHO, just stay away from them. They have a long way to go before they can even approach the quality of a wired system.

Well, I finally broke down and bought a Blu-Ray player. I have to admit, my eyes have been opened. I bought the Blu-Ray version of the movie “Cars” to try it out since my son likes it so much. This is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Fantastic!! I recommend that you put it on your Christmas list. Simply amazing!

High Definition Cameras. JVC HD250

You’ll really enjoy shooting video with one of these. I have a JVC HD-250 and it’s great. Put one of these on your must have list. You’ll be glad you did!

I have looked at some of the newer, lighter, HDTV cameras out there, and I love this one. It’s just an awesome product. I tend to stick with what works. In electronics, newer is not always better.

3DTV?

What the hey? Again with something new! Well, I haven’t reviewed one of these yet, but I  may get one in a month or so on approval for 30 days and see what’s up. I have to admit, I’m not all that gung – ho about it.

Well, I finally got  a chance to take a look at one of these. I’m still not impressed. I say save your money and stay with your high definition rig.

High Definition Video Models Are Dead Solid Perfect!!

I just received the firmware download from my HDTV streaming
company. While checking out the new channels in the lineup, I
watched a commercial for  a brand of HDTV. They had some of the
most beautiful women I have ever seen. I mean WOW. Just
perfect. Have you seen some of the ads? I was blown away.

For those of you not in HD yet, I think you’re in for a treat. I highly recommend that
you to get the relevant issue of Consumer Reports, do your own
research, and buy your first HDTV.  I promise you, you’ll never want
to watch anything else.

Panasonic Back On Top!

In the 50 inch plus class, it looks like Panasonic has reclaimed the number 1 spot! Samsung and LG are still top brands, but have lowered quality a bit. If you are still not in HD yet, what are you waiting for?

Tablets?

Now, People keep asking me if I think getting a tablet is a good idea. Only if you can work from it, don’t need flash content or a great deal of memory, among other things we take for granted with a laptop. Otherwise, no.

Who needs another screen to gaze at along with all the rest of the stuff we have to haul around with us? I say, resist.

OK, So I Got An Android Phone!

I know, I resisted these touch phones for a long time, as I have seen the damage done to them if you just drop it but once. And I have put my BlackBerry phone thru all kinds of stuff (even dropped it in Lake Calhoun) and it shook it right off.

But I must admit, this DROID phone is sweeter. Full connectivity, GPS, The whole nine. The new ones have addressed the issue of broken screens by using something they call Gorilla Glass. But be warned…It’s pretty tough, but it’s not unbreakable.

The New ZONE Systems.

This is the newest thing in home entertainment. This rig will beam music to any room in your home, and they can all be different stations, too! I don’t have one (yet) but I’m looking at them. Stay tuned …

January 7, 2008 Posted by | Big Boy Stuff | , , , , | 1 Comment

Food And Fellowship.

Ribs - Preppie61's Weblog - Food and Fellowship

This part of our little blog is about cooking and great places to eat here in the Midwest! Come with me as I explore and indulge in two of my favorite activities…cooking and eating!

Barbeque and Grilling Blunders – Learn to Eliminate Outdoor Cooking Mistakes that Kill Your Cookout

Your average backyard cook is no expert in the barbeque or grilling field. He has no television shows on the Food Network. He has no grilling cookbooks out. Nor has any of those been part of his lifetime goal.

No, your average outdoor cooking enthusiast makes more mistakes with BBQ grilling than you could ever imagine. The meat ends up dry and tough time after time, despite marinating for hours. Or the meat is burnt or cooked too long.

These mistakes are made time and time again because your average backyard cook usually does not know any different. He does not automatically know How to Barbeque.

Here are some of the more common mistakes and do’s and don’ts made in BBQ grill cooking:

1) If you started with frozen meat, make sure the meat is thawed completely. Trying to cook the inside of a still-frozen piece of meat is next to impossible without burning the outside.

2) When using a charcoal grill, try to start the fire without charcoal lighter fluid. Lighter fluid taste will always get into your meat no matter how much you cook the coals down first. A chimney starter makes starting the fire a breeze. It also allows you to add charcoal should the coals burn out along the way.

3) Never poke the BBQ meat with a fork after cooking has begun. This is one of the most common mistakes and one of the most deadly for your barbeque. When poking with a fork, the juices will run out of the meat and right into the bottom of the barbeque pit or grill. Your meat will be dry and less tender. Use a long set of tongs to turn the meat.

4) Lower the heat. Except for grilled steaks, which need a quick searing, cook slowly over low to medium heat. Lower heat is much more manageable and it will make the meat tender and juicy.

5) Quit lifting the lid to check the meat. Every time you do that it changes the temperature inside the BBQ grill or pit. Air from you opening the lid acts like a sponge and dries the meat up. Opening the lid also increases your chances of flare-ups.

6) This is more of a food safety mistake. Do not put the cooked meat back on the same plate or platter that the raw meat was on without washing it first. Mixing the cooked with the raw just begs for someone to get sick.

7) After removing the meat from the BBQ grill or pit, let it rest for at about 5-10 minutes. Cutting into or slicing the meat immediately after pulling it from the cooker will cause all the juices to flow out of the meat and onto the platter.

Of course, these are not all of the mistakes made by the amateur outdoor cook, but are some of the more common. But if you will prevent doing these yourself, you will eliminate many of the things that cause barbeque failures.

Your guests and family will wonder how come your grilled or barbequed food is so much better then it used to be. And, who knows?…Maybe the Food Network will come looking for you.

Pairing Food And Wine: Not As Hard As It Seems!

Many people love a great meal and for some of us, a great meal requires more than a well prepared dish. Food and wine just go hand in hand. You can really turn a nice meal into something spectacular if you make the right pairings. All it takes is a little know-how and some simple general rules to follow.

The process of pairing food and wine isn’t as complex as some may believe. Don’t think that you have to be a vineyard snob to appreciate a great glass that offers the right bouquet and texture for your meal. When it comes to food and wine, the only real rule is that you consider what you truly like.

It’s all about flavor. Stronger flavors in foods require heartier wines to hold up to them. For example, you want to serve food and wine at your next gathering. Why not appeal to flavorful as well as light pallets? This way, you are certain to make a real splash in your presentation.

A classic dish that many of us can’t resist is lasagna. Pair this hearty classic with a hearty wine that offers a lot of rich taste as well as a velvety texture. I love to have a nice glass of Cabernet with any pasta dish that has a flavorful red sauce. This food and wine pairing is a winner every time.

Looking for something a little lighter? Maybe you might be in the mood for a grilled salmon with fresh dill. A great food and wine pairing is meaty seafood along with a nice crisp white. I love Riesling to pair with a dish like this but a Chardonnay that has a hint of apple in its flavor is a wonderful pairing for this lighter meal as well.

Don’t know which Chardonnays have fruity undertones? Don’t fret. You can find out just by looking at the descriptions on the bottle. You can also bet that a Chardonnay from Oregon will have a crisp hint of apple in its flavor. You can make nice food and wine pairings that work with the undertones in the drink.

Considering this, you don’t necessarily have to subject yourself to the food and wine rule: reds with red meats, whites with fish and poultry. If you prefer red wine even though you are having fish, then choose red. There are plenty of nice options to consider that have lighter, fruity undertones.

The bottom line: choose what you like. Wine and food work together well and they should be enjoyed. Sure, you can maximize the flavors by making the right pairings but if you find yourself stressing over your choices, you just need to take a step back. You can’t go wrong with good food and wine no matter how you match them.

Pleasure Cooking

Far too often we get caught up in the necessity of cooking in order to eat and forget the absolute joy that can be found through the act of cooking. Of course this isn’t limited to stovetop cooking. There are many men and women around the world (me included) who find baking to be an extremely pleasurable pastime in addition to traditional stovetop cooking or even barbecuing on a grill. The main distinction occurs in how you perceive your cooking projects.

How Do You View Cooking?

While this question is asked somewhat rhetorically, it is a question you should ask yourself and answer. Do you view cooking as a chore or duty or do you view it as a project? There is something much more exciting about embarking on a new project than getting around to a loathsome chore. If you do view cooking as a chore the more important question might be why?

Some common reasons that people dislike cooking include the following: lack of skill, lack of confidence, boredom, or you could simply dislike the inevitable clean up far more than you enjoy the process of cooking. For each of these, there are solutions if you are willing to make the effort.

A lack of skill when it comes to cooking can be easily corrected in most cases by taking a few cooking classes. Classes are offered for varying degrees of skill sets and are meant to help you develop your cooking talents while teaching you the basics of meal planning and preparation. You can increase your skills by taking more classes down the road.

While a lack of confidence is a little more difficult to address, having a few ‘dinner parties’ in which your quests can compliment your culinary talents can often solve this particular dilemma. The key in this process is to plan your menu carefully and remain well within your comfort zone. You will be amazed at the wonderfully rich and delicious meals that can be prepared with very little effort if you are willing to sift through the recipe books in order to find them.

Boredom in the kitchen is perhaps one of the easiest problems to fix there is. The solution is exceedingly simple—find a challenge. Try cooking Thai or Indian cuisine. Try more difficult recipes. Try making only meals from scratch or simply try broadening your use of spices and seasonings. There are many things you can do in order to bring some excitement back into your kitchen. You may even discover hidden talents and tastes in the process.

There will always be clean up. My suggestion is to make a deal with either your partner or your children and they can draw straws over who cleans up. Of course if this won’t work in your family, you could always turn over a new leaf and clean as you go whenever possible. This makes the clean up process after dinner so much simpler to handle that it is well worth a few extra minutes during meal prep.

Cooking for pleasure is really the only way to cook. If you have difficulties when it comes to finding the enjoyment and entertainment value of cooking, perhaps it’s time you bring some fun back into your kitchen. If you’re barbecuing, put on some Jimmy Buffet and dance around your kitchen. If you’re cooking Italian find some nice Italian music to set the mood. Bring the fun back into your kitchen and you will find that cooking is a pleasure rather than a chore.

Thank you for stopping by, hope you enjoyed the articles!

January 6, 2008 Posted by | Cooking, Food | Leave a comment