Friday, January 15, 2010

Do something nice

What has happened and what will be happening in Haiti is completely out of the realm of my imagination and I am sure most everyone that lives in the US. Wether you decide to give to the cause your not is your decision, however I have a very easy and simple way for each and every one of us traveling warriors to make a difference because of our travel.
If many of you are like me you hardly use the hotel shampoo, soaps, etc. because you have a preference and carry your own with you. Next time you travel, collect all of those toiletry items and put them in one of the plastic hotel laundry bags and bring them home with you. If you do that after every trip then you will collect quite a pile of small bottles and plastic wrapped soaps and your question is what would I do with all of these items.
In case you don't know what a plastic hotel
laundry bag looks like.

The loot I've collected this week...please note the stylish bed runner is not mine, it is property of the Marriot in Nashville.

Well the really, really nice stuff keep in your spare bathroom for guests to use when them come to town or if you are like me and are never home, don't have a spare bathroom or have guests come to town (mainly because I'm never there not because I'm not likable or don't have any friends) then you can give those items to the local homeless shelter, battered women's clinic or other charitable organization in your area...or send them as part of the relief efforts to Haiti or other countries that may be in need of our help in the future. They take up very little room in your suitcase and imagine the joy they could bring someone who hasn't had a shower or truly felt clean in days, weeks or maybe even months. Traveling Cowgirl Code: Do something nice for someone once a week and gathering up soaps, shampoos, etc. can be that one nice thing that someone could pass along.

Great Steaks!

So this recipe falls into the let-someone-else-cook-it-for-you (and buy it) category. On my trip to Orlando we were taken out to dinner by a group that we work with often to promote products at the office. We went to a great steakhouse that is listed in the Spirit Magazine for Southwest Airlines as one of the best 10 Steakhouses in the US. Secretly as a steak lover I have wanted to visit another steakhouse on that list (years ago I was at Manny's in Minneapolis, but before I truly appreciated the status) and last night I did. Charley's Steakhouse.
The woman had my heart when she introduced the cuts as only the best steaks from corn-fed steers fed in eastern Colorado and western Kansas...ahhhh, heaven...and aged to perfection in their oxygen free environment which I am not an expert on aging meat, but it sounds good right.
They cook all the meat over a wood fire with multiple woods used for great smoking effect and let me tell you that these steaks were cooked to perfection. We also started with the crab cake and calamari appetizer, house salads and fried green tomato and asparagus sides to share with the table. The appetizers were great, salad and friend green tomatoes were ok. I didn't have any asparagus because I was just too full.
Here are some steak shots...yeah they were really that big.
Steak #1 - Bone-in Ribeye with Prawn

Steak #2 (mine) - 28 oz bone-in strip steak

I highly recommend Charley's in Orlando on International Drive for great wine, good steaks and an overall relaxing dining experience. Schedule some time for this one...we were 3 hours.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Genius of the Day - January 13, 2010

Congratulations Mr. Escot Motorcoach Driver, you are the genius of the day for January 13, 2010. For all you kids out there, don't drive your motorcoach bus into a driveway that you are going to get stuck in and shut down a lane of International Drive in Orlando, FL.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

BaCHILIon...yum, yum!

Ok so everyone is thinking what is BaCHILIon? Well it is pretty is a basic chili recipe with the addition of some bacon. I was making chili today and was trying to clean out the refrigerator because I'm headed out of town for long period of time so after thorough investigation I realized I had onion, bacon and shredded cheese that wouldn't survive and with the weather being the way it is I decided to make a kicked up chili. As always these recipes can always be tweaked depending on what is in your fridge that needs used...after you serve this once you can freeze the left overs for another time when your home late, its cold outside and you don't want to have to create another meal from scratch. BaCHILIon ¼ small white onion chopped 1 TBS olive oil (or butter) 1 pound ground beef 1 can pinto beans (drained) 2 cans tomato sauce (or 1 large can) 1 can diced tomatoes (drained) 2 TBS chili powder 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp garlic powder 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 2 tsp A1 Sauce (I used Smoky Mesquite) 1 pound bacon (you don't have to use the whole pound...I usually eat a piece or three when cooking them) Heat a pan over medium heat, add olive oil and onions for approximately 1 minute until they start to get soft, add ground beef and brown thoroughly, drain. In a crock pot on high heat add beef and onion mixture, beans, tomato sauce, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and A1 sauce and stir together and let heat through on high for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to low. Cook bacon (I put my bacon on a broiler pan and baked in the oven at 375 for 8-10 minutes depending on your preference of doneness), chop coarsely and add to the crock pot. Allow the crock pot to cook together on low for a minimum of 1 hour but preferably 2-3 hours. Traveling Cowgirl Code: Traveling can be daunting, but creating a fun new recipe is a great way to clean out the fridge before leaving.