Mediterranean “Nachos” (And Tehina Sauce Nutrition Facts)

Yeah it’s another recipe post. Since Superbowl Sunday’s on its way, and I told y’all how to make my favorite hummus last time, I thought I could give y’all one way to use said hummus and the tehina sauce you made with it…

I put “nachos” in quotes there because this is obviously neither Mexican nor Tex-Mex. I took the idea of nachos… that of chips loaded with ingredients… and went a completely different route with it.

The best part of this recipe is its customizability. The most important ingredients are the pita chips, the hummus, the tehina sauce, and the tzatziki sauce. Beyond those four things, you can add whatever you want… you can even skip everything else and just use those four ingredients. So feel free to play with this. And if you like it enough, maybe serve it at your Superbowl party… you know… if you’re having one…

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My Favorite Hummus Recipe… Everything’s From Scratch

Okay so this isn’t an original recipe, exactly. It’s a hybrid, relying on Michael Solomonov’s tehina sauce and hummus recipe from his Zahav cookbook, and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s hummus recipe at Serious Eats. The biggest change I made is that I make my own tahini. So I thought I’d share it here and see what y’all think.

Quick thing, first… I realize that those links are to “Israeli-style hummus”, two of which are from an Israeli cookbook (well okay… the hummus and the tehina sauce). I’m really not interested in the debate over whether or not that’s a hummus that exists. We Jews seem to really love our tahini, because we add a lot of it to our hummus. So maybe this is more a “Jewish-style hummus”? I don’t know. What I do know is that this is a recipe, not a political post. You’re making this entirely from scratch, so you can source the ingredients from wherever you want. You don’t have to support anything you don’t want to support to make this.

And as for the debate over the Middle East… yes I have thoughts, and honestly, they’re likely in line with most of you reading and most other bloggers on this network. It is also a debate I do not like having. I have my reasons for that. Please respect that.

Let’s just enjoy a perhaps overly-complicated recipe for hummus…

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Making Soda the Simple Way

Hello everyone! Obviously my blogging has been super slow. I have a new job! I… am a stock guy and sales associate at Godiva. Still fucking retail. But it’s a paycheck, at least! I’ve decided to start sharing food posts and recipes. It won’t be often, but it will give some life to this blog for now. I do have ideas for other major blog posts, like the trilogy I did on ableism. I still want to do one about the US police and patriarchal white supremacy. But those kinds of posts take a lot of time, which I don’t have much of. I do also want to reignite my Great Guitar Solos series, but I’ve been listening to podcasts rather than music for a long time, now. I need to get back into listening to music again, so I can find more awesome guitar solos to highlight…

I’ve also been thinking about writing out my own political platform. No, I don’t plan on running for any political office. It’d be an excuse for me to really study and learn about politics in a more in-depth way… both domestic and foreign. I have so many thoughts and positions, but I also know that my views are at least somewhat shallow, and I could always stand to learn more. Such a platform would be long… several posts worth. But I think it could be fun. The first thing I’d need to learn, however, is how to actually write an in-depth political platform. I don’t actually know how to do that…

So in the meantime, I’ll do stuff like this. Food posts, recipes, etc. No, there won’t be fancy recipe cards or professional pictures. This isn’t a food blog. It’s just a blog that I’ll sometimes share fooding posts on. And I’ve done this before. I know I’ve shared several recipes here; and yes, I know the vast majority had pictures (a couple even had videos!). So this isn’t new. It’s just going to be a tiny bit more frequent, now…

So let me start with a confession… I’m addicted to soda. I absolutely adore carbonation, and I love the sweetness (I don’t care what anybody says… high fructose corn syrup is my bae).

I really don’t like seltzer, however. Don’t get me wrong… I love water (I literally have a 64-ounce water bottle that I fill once, sometimes twice, a day), but I like my water… flat, I guess. Adding carbonation to it actually does change the flavor, and I don’t like it.

And don’t get me started on “flavored seltzer”. Like… what a cheap imitation of soda. Fucking unsweetened soda? Fuck you. Shit’s gross. Give me real soda or get out of here.

So anyways

Point is, I really like soda. But I also know that, despite my love for it, HFCS can be bad for you if you overdo it (which… to be fair… is true of everything, so). I also have a love for making things from scratch… foods and drinks, specifically. One of the things I learned how to do, and quite easily, is make my own soda.

And now I’m gonna teach y’all how, as well…

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I Am NOT Satisfied by Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Response

Okay so… Neil deGrasse Tyson was probably my favorite living scientist and science-popularizer. He has carried on the scientific legacy of Carl Sagan in a way I can only admire. I absolutely adored his take on Cosmos, and I loved Startalk (until he decided to have Michael Shermer on as a guest… recap on that for those who’ve forgotten). I was a huge fan of his, to the point where I was defending his “ruining” of movies. I loved when he pointed out the scientific failings of films, regardless of what film it was or if science was at all relevant to the film. He was like CinemaSins, only with science (and yes, I like CinemaSins… get over it).

So, by all accounts, I’m the exact right person to defend his statement about these allegations.

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Rock Isn’t Innovative Anymore

From reading my blog, my tastes in music should be obvious. I like Progressive Rock, Classic Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Blues, Folk, and even some experimental stuff. But my tastes tend to be rather limited. I like guitar in my songs… and not just guitar, but, at least most of the time, guitar solos. But even with those, I’m picky. I don’t like “look at how fast I can play” odes to toxic masculinity (let’s be really… straight speed is basically “look how big my dick is”). I don’t mind speed, but only as one technique in a guitarist’s arsenal of techniques. And considering that David Gilmour is one of my three number one all-time favorite guitarists, speed isn’t even the most important technique, in my opinion (though he did have it to a point, he barely ever used it).

To be fair, no guitar isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. Emerson, Lake, & Palmer is another of my top 10 bands of all-time, and they only had guitar sometimes, with most of the leads being taken by Keith Emerson on keys, while the guitarist, Greg Lake, favored playing the bass guitar, instead. But even then…

Perhaps it’s because I’m a songwriter, but I don’t really listen to music as an escape. I don’t like going to clubs (too many people, too loud, not enough personal space), and I hate dancing (because I’m really, truly, honestly bad at it… I promise you… you don’t ever want to see me dance… you’ll have nightmares). So I’m not listening to music for the rhythm. I also don’t listen to music as background for something. The best time I have listening to music is, in fact, when I can gather a small group of friends, we can pour some drinks, grab some snacks, turn some music on, and sit and discuss it. I only got to do this rarely (and I haven’t done it in a long time… I miss it), but I have done it with Jimi Hendrix, ELP, Led Zeppelin, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Chantel McGregor, Anna Calvi, Living Colour, and Steven Wilson.

And this means that most of today’s mainstream music, including Pop, Rap, Hip Hop, R&B, Top 40 Rock, New-Age, etc isn’t my jam. I don’t hate them… I realize music is subjective, and I absolutely acknowledge the monster talents that can exist in these and other mainstream genres (Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar are just two of many, many examples [yes, I genuinely believe that Kendrick Lamar deserved that Pulitzer for “Damn”]). But, overall, when I look for music to listen to, I look, basically, for guitar-driven Rock… whatever that may mean. In short: I’m absolutely a music snob of sorts. (I still have trouble with Metal, though… I don’t like 80’s Metal at all, and I have a lot of trouble with the harsh growls and screams of heavier, darker Metal [some Prog Metal, and most Death Metal, Doom Metal, Black Metal, etc], despite the fact that the music in these genres is often incredible.)

So you might be surprised to find that I kind of agree with Steven Wilson, here

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Quick Blog and Personal Update (That Ableism Post I Promised)

I can’t remember exactly how long ago it was, only that it feels like it was in 2016, when I promised a blog post about ableism and words like “stupid”. Of course, that never materialized, but I kept posting here about how it would be “soon”.

In one blog post I put up a tiny bit more recently (back in August of 2017), I talked about how I actually had a private deadline. No one will believe it, but that deadline is actually approaching. It’s Monday.

Yeah, I did honestly give myself that long.

Why?

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And…

I’m officially 31 as of 1:28 pm.

Today.

It’s my birthday, I guess…

Yay me?

Tomorrow (Wednesday), I embark on a drive down to Georgia (from New York), where I’ll spend a couple weeks or so…

I need a job, by the way. Anyone know of anything?

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I Saw a Stranger in the Mirror…

I mentioned in my last post that something a bit scary happened to me. No one was hurt, no one else was involved, but it was scary nonetheless. It was all mental, and disturbing, because it dragged up memories and feelings I haven’t had in over 15 years. And I’m not really sure what to do with that because I am as far away from how I felt about life and myself 15 years ago as it’s possible to be.

So anyways…

Content Warning for mention of suicide, for discussion of anxiety, stress, and depression, and talk of (I think) dissociation(?).

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In Memory of Grandpa

Grandpa Sal as a Young Man in ROTC

Grandpa Sal as a Young Man in ROTC

On the morning of Friday, December 1st, I had dropped my parents off at the airport. They were heading to Atlanta for a conference. Later in the day, I drove over to work to get my schedule for the coming week. While I was heading there, Dad had rented yellow Mustang convertible for their week, and had texted me a picture of it. So I got to work, got my schedule, and hung out for a bit.

Then I got a phone call from my mom, who was crying. At first, she could barely talk, and two horrible thoughts went through my head. First, I thought she and Dad had gotten into a bad accident. Then I thought my brother, and best friend, Aaron, had gotten into an accident.

What she finally told me did not make me feel better.

At all.

Her dad, my grandpa, in Connecticut, had had a heart attack. He was in the hospital on life support.

Not long after, Dad called me. Grandma was taking him off life support, so he wouldn’t suffer.

I picked up my parents and my brother at the airport the next morning, and we went straight to Connecticut.

That side of my family is Catholic. The wake was Wednesday. The funeral was Thursday. And we came back home on Thursday night.

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