I'm a Freelance Music Photojournalist from NYC and Founder of the Heavy Metal website PiercingMetal.com; I created this blog site to showcase the other things in life that keep my interest or catch my attention. Believe me that is a lot of stuff to talk about when it comes down to it. I hope you enjoy what we are delivering because there is so much to share as a resident of this bustling metropolis.
I’m sorry, I can never resist the chance to be on the corny side so where was I. Oh yes, I was wandering around in the Big Apple after some very interesting museum visiting with my colleague and I was curious to see what else would pique the interest of my photographic eye for your entertainment. Sometimes just walking around the city is inspirational and this particular day I was seeing a lot of tourists walking around with shopping bags from the new M&M World store.
These photos are a couple of years old as you can see by the date in the title that I gave to the posting, but they have never been presented to the readers of the PiercingKen blog since it did not yet exist. Since its overall goal is to share some of the adventures in life and photography that I have taken I wanted to post these for all of you to enjoy.
One of the coolest things that a corporate entity can do is deliver something that makes people smile and engages the spirit of the holidays for free. Such was the case found with the annual model train display that was set up in the lower level of the Citigroup Center for many years. Taking a couple of sentences from its description the massive display is said to feature “thirty-one trains circle through the display, which portrays a journey from Weehawken, New Jersey, just outside New York City, to a fictional town in the Hudson River valley, then up to the Catskills and the Adirondacks.” Let’s begin our walking tour of this massive train setup.
One of the dishes that I have loved for a long, long time is chili. My Mom cooks it a few times a year (especially in the colder seasons) and I always look forward to it when she makes it. With many of my friends being amateur level gourmands that frequently offer up samples of their own wares, it was only a matter of time before I started boasting my own branding of the stuff. Of course only a few select number of friends have been able to try it out and now with the new personal blog, I decided to discuss my most recent cooking adventure with the stuff. I hope that you like our take on this concoction.
Before going any further, I wanted to say that this was not at all a conventional chili recipe that used only the typical meat and kidney beans along with a dose of spicy seasoning. In my view of it, chili can be looked at as a bit of a pot luck recipe where anything goes depending on what you have at hand. With this in mind, I decided to try some very different ingredients this time around to see what came of it. Let’s begin with what you’ll need to mix it up.
2 lbs ground chopped meat.
1 mid-sized red onion
1 clove of garlic
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 can corn
1 can sliced mushrooms
1 can red kidney beans
1 can white beans
1 can field peas
1 small can tomato paste
5 teaspoons of chili powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
*** I don’t usually use this many different kinds of beans in the regular recipe but for this one wanted to try and see how some other things worked out. I also used Goya as a brand for all of them.
Tools: Medium sized skillet pan. Deep pot. Sturdy wooden spoon.
Get the chopped meat nice and loose and start to brown it in a medium sized skillet pan if you have one. I generally like to coat the pan with a little bit of butter or canola oil but that is up to personal preference. Chop up and stir in the red onion and add in that 1/4 teaspoon of salt for seasoning. Lately I have opted to use sea salt and found that this works out well and is a little better for you in the end. Don’t overcook it of course so keep an eye on this part of the recipe.
Once the meat is browned, drain off as much of the excess water and grease drippings that you can and cover it for the time being. Depending on your love of the stuff, you can use one piece of the garlic clove in this browning process. I didn’t this time around but usually do.
With the large pot ready to go, I drain off any excess waters from the various canned beans, mushrooms and corn that I am adding to the concoction. I also like to rinse them off as well one at a time before adding them to the pot. Before you begin adding each thing to the mix make sure that the shelf life of the item has not passed. It’s better to be safe than sorry. As each one gets safely added to the pot, I use a large wooden spoon to stir it together so it will cook up as a blend as opposed to layers of different things.
Turn On The Flame \m/
The last couple of times that I have made chili, I decided to simmer the beans, corn and mushrooms for a few minutes before adding in the recently browned meat & onions to the mixture. The main reason is because I feel that this cooks off a little more of the water that I recently rinsed these ingredients in. Five minutes is probably more than enough on a simmer level flame, so pour in the meat and onions at this point and stir it up good.
Now add the can of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and the can of tomato sauce. I know that this recipe sounds like we are over tomato-izing the mixture, but since I had them in the cupboard, I wanted to use them. I would not regret the decision. With the sauces all on top of the meat and the beans etc, I now add in the five teaspoons of chili powder that the many recipes I have sampled seem to call for. I also use a garlic press to add in about three or four small segments from the garlic clove that I said we would need. Mix that all up and let it simmer cook for about twenty five minutes. You will need to return and look at it from time to time and stir it as you do that. Cooking it on the simmer flame with a cover over the pot should make it come out fine.
You might be wondering why I didn’t pour some cayenne pepper into the mix while cooking it and the reason is simply because I have had chili in the past that was so damned hot that eating a couple of spoonfuls was torture. That being said I decided to add it like I would regular pepper and allow the person enjoying it to add it to their own personal tastes.
But Ken, I’m A Vegetarian!!!!
That’s not a problem with the recipes for chili that I make, because you can easily substitute any of the meat with some extra mushrooms (perhaps portabella ones) and the vegan delicacy of choice – tofu. I am sure the stuff would absorb any of the sauces and seasonings and come out rather good in the end. I doubt that I would make it like this for myself, but you are always welcome to invite me over for a batch when you cook it up or save me some somehow.
Even though the PiercingKen blog is only a few months old, its pretty safe to say that most of its readers know that I am a massive fan of the live concert scene and that some of my side musings might be about music as a result of that. I will try to keep them to ones that really don’t make much sense for the Official PiercingMetal Blog though. So resultant of my keeping a comprehensive event calendar I happened upon this rather amusing listing. It was the kind of thing that just had to have a screen capture taken of it. Take a look.
You are not imagining this and of course seeing it very clearly but please know that it is a mistake listing. If it was not, I am not sure what planet a headlining set by The Killers Brandon Flowers would have had Children Of Bodom opening, but it was amusing to see nonetheless. There was a hot minute that fans and I were fooled since we didn’t readily know the singer of Killers name. Its not the kind of stuff the general Metal fan knows off the top of their head. I did send a link to this to some industry insiders to be on the safe side because if it was happening I would have had to set up coverage of the Finnish openers. That being said I leave you to your regularly scheduled programming. See you again soon.
Back in 2009 I did a little blog post on my PiercingMetal Musings announcing that the entire catalog of The Beatles was being remastered and released in both Stereo and Mono box sets. Fans that only wanted a few select albums would have the chance to snare those as well and you can refresh your memory HERE if you like.
Well now the big news is that this same catalog is finally available on iTunes and it really was not as timely as people had expected. Its been out on physical CD in the new version for over a year but there was some issues in getting the proper okays to do it in the digital manner. That made me decide to add the new news to the side blog since I was walking down 14th Street and saw that massive billboard on top of the Apple Store for all the world to see. Personally speaking, I prefer The Beatles catalog on CD and not MP3 but that is probably because I no longer have a digital music player.