Cooking: Fun with Olives

A bowl of kalamata olives.

Image via Wikipedia

I have never been a fan of olives.  They either ranged from too salty to not having any taste at all due to being canned.  However, my lovely wife would eat them every day.  She especially likes Kalamata olives which she picks up every time she goes to Whole Foods.  I figured it was time to do something with these olives.

Two thoughts came to mind: hummus and sauteing chicken with them.  The hummus was easy.  I used my basic hummus recipe with a few differences.  I substituted a half a cup of  olives for the olive oil.  I also put in only a fourth of a cup of tahini.  I also put in less garlic so it wouldn’t overpower the hummus.  I then placed this on the plate as it would serve as the bed for the chicken I was going to put  on the top.

The chicken was easy.  Just slice the chicken, season with basil, oregano, pepper and a about a tablespoon of lemon juice.  Saute them for a little until you don’t see any pink any more.  Then I added some slice olives and mushrooms.  Saute them for a little longer and then place them on top of the hummus.

Now, I like olives.

Running: Hopefully Not out of Breath

Lafreniere Park

Due to the heat, it’s a lot darker, when we run. (Image via Wikipedia)

Cristina and I have decided to take on a new adventure: running. Why? Mainly because we are out of shape and need to get fit. Also, it is something that can sometimes be fun that we can do together. When it’s not fun, like when we are huffing and puffing and worrying about can we make it to the end of our route, at least we have each other for support.

We are doing the Couch to 5k program. We have been running at Lafreniere Park. We could run closer to home but being lazy teachers during the summer, going there lets us actually get out of our house once in awhile. I’ve always like Lafreniere Park as a place to go walk or hang out. It’s nice and peaceful towards the eastern end and full of noise and sports on the west end. Plus, it gives us a two mile loop which lets us think both in time and distance. However, with school starting soon, we will probably switch our runs to the levee.

The best thing about starting this program is that we have been way more conscious of what we are eating. I don’t want to say we are dieting especially since I made almondine sauce for our red snapper yesterday. We are just trying to stick with real food. We are looking at ingredients on the few box things we buy such as cereal. We are keeping track of calories with myfitnesspal.com. This is especially important for me since my recent trip to the doctor showed I improved in all areas except my cholesterol.

The second best thing about running so far was our trip to Varsity Sports  on Magazine Street.  We walked in told them what our goals were and that we were looking for a pair of running shoes.  Instead of asking us what brand we wanted like a big shoe box store would, they examined our current shoes as well as our gait.  They then picked out shoes that would be good for us and brought out every pair that matched those qualifications.  I can’t recommend them enough.

Our first race will be on October 1 in a pretty cool location. More on that later.

Eating and Concerting: Old Tyme Grocery and NKOTBSB

Because I’m a great husband and also because I’m the best brother ever, I recently accompanied my wife, sister, and sister-in-law to Lafayette for the NKOTBSB concert. I had one condition for the torture that would befall my ears in form of young girls and older women shrieking: a shrimp po-boy from Old Tyme Grocery.

I found out about this place by coaching basketball. The coach who I was an assistant for loves this place. He also loves shrimp and has pretty high standards especially since his brother trawls for a living. He always has a freezer stocked. He is right, this place makes a great fried shrimp po-boy. It is set up like a grocery but with only chips and drinks to buy besides the sandwiches. They also server oyster po-boys as well as meatball, ham and roast beef ones. I have no report on these other sandwiches for I always get the shrimp po-boy.

They use large 10-20 shrimp on their sandwich and even though some fall off you never just get a bread bite. The bread is toasted yet still soft. I don’t like much on a fried po-boy, just a little hot sauce and mayonnaise. However, I would eat this one plain. The shrimp taste fresh and the batter is seasoned just enough. If you are in Lafayette, check it out. However, they are cash only.

As far as the concert goes, it wasn’t all that bad. I was in high school when the New Kid’s were popular so it brought many memories of hating the band yet always trying to find the right girl to dance to when one of their slow songs came on. I bought my sister a ticket as a present and she loved it when Donnie took off any clothes. And to be brutally honesty, they have aged a lot better than most of their fans. My wife adores the Backstreet Boys and to see her get so excited when she saw them made it worth it. Except for when she looked at Nick Carter. Then, I got a little jealous. Just a little.

Traveling: Sulmoma, or Home

There are very few reasons an American would ever go to Sulmona, Italy, unless you are George Clooney and you are making a movie called The American. Very few people in this town can speak English…actually only those that have gone to college recently. It’s a modest size town with a medieval, and fully functional, aqueduct and a stature of Ovid, the town’s favorite son. It is big enough for the Pope visit, but doesn’t really appear in any of tourist guides. So why go there and how did it end up being the one place I vow on visiting again and again?

Dino Cavicchia

Dino Cavicchia, May He Rest in Peace

Because Cristina is from there. More specifically, it’s where her father was born and raised before he set out for America. So, it is where Cristina is from and if we have children, it where they will be from too. Continue reading