100 Blogs And Counting... - Swampy's Kitchen Blog at Allrecipes.com - 318655

Swampy's Kitchen

100 Blogs and Counting... 
Dec. 30, 2013 7:29 am 
Updated: Jan. 11, 2014 3:10 pm

Four score and nineteen blogs ago I dropped a laptop with a debatable spell check program into a roomful of drunken monkeys and the rest, as they say, is history.

In those 99 blogs we have talked about a lot of things and most have of them have been food related. We have seen me chop off part of my finger while making “Chop-pino” for my wife. We have seen CHOPPED style battles in the kitchen with my kids (which I always win despite what my daughter’s blogs may counter). We have seen Doctor Killjoy order me to my room without dessert in response to my lifestyle, age & weight. We have seen a lifetime battle with my teeth play out with an apple waiting for me when the dust clears. We have even seen recaps of battles on the dance floor & battles on the football field that while technically weren’t food related somehow became food related. Most of all, we have interacted with each other on every topic and we have shared a more than few laughs at my expense.

Of course it really wouldn’t be one of my blogs if the drunken monkeys in the backroom didn’t go off on a tangent every now then so don’t be surprised, as if the 2 or 3 regular readers of this blog could ever be surprised by anything they read here, if some of what comes next doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

I think I have gotten over my infatuation/tradition of eggnog in my coffee in the month of December. Maybe the eggnog I have been buying is of an inferior quality or maybe I just can’t stand it anymore. Be that as it may, I chugged the last sip in the carton this morning and poured heavy cream in my road coffee instead.

I made another double batch of my Grandmother’s Spritz Cookies recipe yesterday. I love using her old cookie press. The grooves slip if the batter is a bit stiff and the non-stick pans are warped & nasty looking but I can’t imagine baking cookies without either one of them.

I couldn’t help but notice yesterday that the Organic Butter I was using was a lot more YELLOW than the regular butter I had used previously. I wonder why ? They were both made by the same company.

Sea Salt, Chipotle, Key Limes – these are a few of my favorite things.

Santa forgot to bring me razor blades for Christmas. I haven’t shaved in 12 days. I’m beginning to look like I belong on either Duck Dynasty or Survivor.

I went to the basement on Christmas morning to pull out 2lbs of frozen crawfish tails for my Crawfish Pie that night only to discover that I only had frozen alligator meat in the freezer and no crawfish. Well after a several phone calls and a trip to a local Whole Foods (40 minutes away actually) where the seafood guy not only lied to me but then denied even speaking to my wife on the phone, we found some at Wegmans (another 40 minutes in another direction). Dinner saved and Whole Foods got shamed on Twitter to all 874 spambots that follow me.

They say that “Time flies when you are having fun”, I wonder what time does when I am at work ?

I’m still in love with Slide Ridge Honey Wine Vinegar though I am finding that I am using it a little less these days. I am finding that I am using the Tabasco Buffalo Style Hot Sauce more & more too.

And Sriracha ? Get it while you can and use it liberally.

I think I expected a little bit more out of Top Chef New Orleans. Too many of the challenges are themed for that week’s sponsor and not for the incredible locale. I don’t know who to root for as we get down to the final few cheftestants.

Speaking of food contests, The National Football League regular season ended so that means 12 teams have advanced to the playoffs. That also means that both the planning of the Souper Bowl Menu has begun and so has the National Food-Ball League Playoffs Preview Blog. I’m making a list of dishes to represent each team and we will see the results of that blog later in the week.

I am 51 years old and I have lived the NY/NJ area most of my life. I have never once had the desire to go anywhere near Times Square on New Year’s Eve. I am more than happy to let the countless tourists here in NYC do that for me.

At this time of year, it feels a lot like I am swimming downstream against throngs of spawning salmon when I try to walk to the train station at night. Tourists are drawn to the bright lights of Midtown like Zombies. I keep hearing “Swim Dori Swim” as I weave my way through each night.

I tried to make some New Year’s Food Resolutions in a blog a few years back. I am sure I broke them all. I know that “Giving Sushi A Fair Shot” was on the list but as I have said many times before, there is nothing wrong with sushi that a fire can’t fix. This year I am trying to come up with resolutions that are much harder to break so I can act superior to everyone by February.

I guess I can scratch “humility” off that list.

I still can’t make decent sweet potato fries.

I still can’t flip fried eggs in the air without the breaking the yolks. I am sure my kids are hoping that I never master it since they have all gotten so good at duck & cover whenever they hear the pan start to slide around on the burner.

I found it funny that the day that the Boston Globe wrote an article about where Anti-Black Friday Movements like Respect The Bird are today that the website was closed for not being renewed. It felt a little bit like a toothpick had been driven through my heart.

If I had a food truck it would have to have a Cajun flair to it. I have way too much Spanish Moss on my Culinary Soul to want to try it any other way.

I still think I should have saved a couple of those baby turtles we rescued and made Turtle Soup with them.

I rarely watch food shows when I cook. I can’t pay attention to serious dramas or comedies either. Sports make for good background noise but I can’t cook to baseball or basketball. Music is my #1 background cooking companion. I listen to a lot of reggae & Jake Shimabukuro when I cook alone.

I would love to be on Master Chef but I hate the way they manufacture the animosity. Why talk trash when you can have the food speak for itself. And I am sorry but there is no way those home cooks don’t have access to recipes on the day of those challenges.

Speaking of TV Cooking Shows – Guy’s Grocery Games needs to go away. He is an over-exposed heart attack waiting to happen and watching people run around a grocery store at the end for the grand prize is idiotic at best.

And speaking of idiotic, yes I will be flying more & more for work again this year so expect plenty of thoughts, trials, tribulations and culinary expeditions in the blogs to come.

So thanks for stopping by and making these 100 Blogs fun to write. I know I wouldn’t write them if you didn’t read them.

Happy Cooking & Happy New Year.

Dec. 30, 2013 8:14 am
DM: I really want to come up with some intelligent comments...but I've been up all night...so it's just not working right now. This is a job that's going to require some sleep...
Dec. 30, 2013 8:19 am
good morning bikerfamily - I'll have some coffe brewing for you whenever you come back - Have a Happy New Year
Dec. 30, 2013 8:26 am
Happy 100th blog, Doug! I doubt I ever make it there; my thoughts run around in my head all the time, but until I actually have the motivation to corral them for committing to paper, it's a lost cause. I love your sushi attitude, too, and I agree completely! But alas, I can't get on board with your Tabasco. I can eat the chipotel one, but I haven't found another that I like. But since we make our own now, I don't have to keep searching for one in the store. Sriracha is something I haven't been able to develop a taste for. I just can't get past the sweetness...guess I prefer the vinegary ones to the sweet. That honey wine vinegar sounds quite good..will have to search for that. I use a lot of vinegar, so I'm always looking for unique ones to try! I haven't been able to get into any of the cooking contest shows. They put the emphasis on drama instead of cooking..for me anyway. But that's ok; it leaves me more time to actually spend in the kitchen instead of watching tv. I don't watch tv, either, when I'm cooking. I'd burn the house down if football was on, LOL. But music is a great for cooking. Love reggae, too. My latest focus is main dish salads and vegetable sides. Safe travels to you in 2014, and I look forward to more of your random thoughts!
Dec. 30, 2013 8:31 am
Good Morning wisweetp and thanks - I think I owe you a bottle of honey wine vinegar so I'll send one your way. I need to get back on the salads after the holidays so I will be looking to you for some ideas. Thanks for all your comments - Happy New Year
Dec. 30, 2013 9:03 am
One hundred blogs of food on the wall, take on down and pass it around...I had (gone now) some scorpion hot sauce gifted to me from LindaT. Wow, was that good. Now Marianne tells met that there is a new chile hotter than the scorpion. Have to get some.
Dec. 30, 2013 9:09 am
Dec. 30, 2013 9:37 am
Doug's Food Truck stirs up images of Cajun Alligator Pie, Alligator Subs, an Alligator on a Stick. Seriously, I think you should just chuck the job and just travel via Doug's food truck. I enjoy reading your blogs. I am looking forward to the SUPER FOODBALL Blog. Of course I expect to see some Orange and Blue in there for my favorite team the Broncos. I do like football. BTW, I tried to get Peyton Manning for my Fantasy Football team, but it was a no go. The person who had Manning blew everyone out of the water. I hope the Super Bowl has the same results.
Dec. 30, 2013 11:41 am
I really enjoyed reading that. Lela I agree Alligator would be a star in Doug's truck for sure. And you all know I am looking forward to seeing some good ole green in that Super Foodball Blog.
Dec. 30, 2013 11:42 am
Hi Doug, wonderful read, safe travels as you go to work. Tell me when and where for the apple:)) The best to you and your family in the new year. And as we say in my family BUON ANNO!!
Dec. 30, 2013 2:10 pm
Good evening BD - I have some scorpion sauce somewhere on my spice wall along with a couple of different ghost pepper combos. Not sure if I am ready to pucker though...Happy New Year
Dec. 30, 2013 2:12 pm
Hi Lela & Go Broncos ! There will be a whole lot of Orange & Blue throughout the playoffs and right here into NYC in February. Glad we have a week to rest. Have a Happy New Year.
Dec. 30, 2013 2:13 pm
Hi Joey Joan - I think that not only gator but crawfish would be on my truck. I draw the line at squirrel & frogs however. Have a Happy New Year
Dec. 30, 2013 2:49 pm
Good evening manella - big meeting in 3 weeks for my final set of choppers - the apple will follow soon after. Happy New Year !
Dec. 30, 2013 6:27 pm
Hey - cheer up! NOBODY can make decent sweet potato fries! Well, not crispy ones. I bake them because I love them with a spicy ketchup mix - I'm addicted. But back to YOU - thanks for all the entertainment you provide with your musings here. I say get that food truck ASAP because then you'd have more funny stories to tell than you do now...Happy New Year!
Dec. 30, 2013 7:19 pm
Congrats on 100 and to many more!
Dec. 30, 2013 10:01 pm
Congratulations on 100 blogs - I will look forward to more of your random thoughts while you are on road this year. A friend of mine is on a red eye to NYC tonight - there is a reason they call it 'red eye' - she will be there early on the 31st, watch the ball drop and return to the west coast on the first! I saw Time Square last August, that was enough for me! Stay well, Doug and let us know if you ever get that food truck....
Dec. 31, 2013 2:04 am
Very well written and entertaining, as always! I am looking forward to your "Souper" Bowl blog. Happy 100 and Happy New Year!
Dec. 31, 2013 2:53 am
DM: Well, can I politely recommend you purchase some razor blades? My husband is frequently mistaken for a Duck Dynasty look-alike. Just shave and save yourself the humiliation. * I don't have any personal knowledge, but I have been told that Turtle Soup is delicious. * Hopefully you'll get a green light on the apple when there are still some decent Honeycrisps available. * If your 2014 travels bring you to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, let us know. * Thanks for the coffee!
Dec. 31, 2013 6:23 am
Always entertaining Doug. Happy new year :)
Dec. 31, 2013 7:40 am
I always enjoy reading your blog but having read what you said about Guy's Grocery Games....I will become a true fan. I agree, make him go away. Happy New Year from Florida.
Dec. 31, 2013 11:35 am
thanks for the read doug! GF is over exposed at best. he is on everything! now i see him on a commercial! ugh. well, here's to a crisp apple this coming year! cheers!
Jan. 1, 2014 5:59 pm
Congratulations on your 100th Blog… that is really an impressive number. Yours was the very first Blog I ever read on AR… I believe it was after a family trip you took to Maui… I was instantly entertained and knew that whatever topic you chose to blog about…I would continue to be entertained… I was right and look forward to the next instalment…. All the best in 2014...
Jan. 3, 2014 4:21 pm
Keep 'em coming!! Always enjoy. No use for sushi here either!
Jan. 11, 2014 3:10 pm
Safe travels in 2014. BTW one of your neighbors has been in the news lately.
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Doug Matthews

Home Town
Princeton, New Jersey, USA
Living In
Mendham, New Jersey, USA

Member Since
Mar. 2000

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Southern, Healthy, Kids, Quick & Easy

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About Me
My mother decided early on that her sons would never have to rely on someone to feed them so we all learned to cook at an early age. I really started to branch out when I moved out west to Denver, SF & Dallas. Combine that with extended business travel to Louisiana & my growing love of spices and you get a real mix of flavors.
My favorite things to cook
Love to make cajun food with my favorites being crawfish pie, alligator stew & alligator chili - I go nuts on Super Bowl Sunday
My favorite family cooking traditions
We didn't have a lot of traditions per se but you could count on pancakes or waffles on sundays - dad making scrambled eggs twice a year on christmas morning & mother's day - veal parmagiana on christmas eve, Thanksgiving with Grandma Matthews and any menu of your choice on your birthday. We weren't a spicy family so I learned a lot of good strong basics in the kitchen from Mom that I have carried over into my cooking today.
My cooking triumphs
I love to experiment with variations of dishes I try around the country. My biggest success is here on allrecipes where I had 2 recipes published in the same cookbook - Southwestern Turkey Soup & Curried Carrot Soup. I think my corn muffins are a great starting point and my alligator chili has become a much requested Super Bowl favorite.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few times in the past where I tossed everything and took everyone to a restaurant instead. I'm not too proud to say my cooking is awful when it really is.
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