Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's the Great Pumpkin Zach!

So I wasn't able to join Heidi, Zach, Grandma and Grandpa since I was sick. I was pretty let down about that for sure. As you can see from the pictures I missed out on a really fun time. Next year no matter what!

Also have some pics of Zach as a Bear for Halloween. He did an awesome job trick or treating for the first time. He just went along with the other kids. He was super particular whenever he was given the choice to pick the candy. He'd mull over his options even though he had no idea what any of it tasted like since we've never given him candy. I think he's had some once at daycare but that's it. So once he'd pick his candy he'd put it in his bucket and then pull out either a full size tootsie pop or a shiny three musketeers bar. He always had to have something in that other hand for some reason, he wouldn't even start for the next house unless he had secured a piece of candy in that other hand. The funny thing is he was asking for candy all day long. He finally gets some and doesn't say a word about eating any of it.

Also, the one picture with the fire truck was a total downer. Zach loves cars, trucks etc... He has a couple of fire trucks (one that's taller than him, thank you Grandpa) and gets really excited when he sees big trucks or heavy equipment. Well his daycare provider worked it out so that the Fire Dept. would come out to her house to give a demo of their suits, fire safety and then check out the rig. It was raining, Zach was wired and we went about helping him all wrong. He was upset goes out to the rig gets to sit and is totally jazzed. Problem is, he'd like to stay all day. This was me tearing him away from the fire truck. Good times.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Projects including another Guitar Hero Axe

So it's taken me months to do since I've had very little "free" time but I think it turned out pretty good. Some obvious mistakes but ones I can ultimately live with. For those of you who are unaware the one on the left is the new one I just made; a replica of Eddie Van Halen's "Frankenstein" guitar and the one on the right is Zakk Wylde's guitar "the grail".

Now I just need time to actually play the game...

The pumpkin was one of two that Heidi, Zach and Grandma and Grandpa picked up. Both were kept inside the house, one rotted (very unpleasant) this one was still good so we had Zach draw a bunch on the backside and then I carved out the frontside. Turned out okay for a super rush job. I think I had twenty minutes to do it start to finish.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Puerco Pibil (how to make your wife cry, yes, it's that good)

Most who know me, know that I love a good action flick. Couple of years ago Robert Rodriguez made a sequel of sorts to "Desperado" called "Once Upon A Time In Mexico". In the movie starring Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Willem Dafoe, Mickey Rourke and Eva Mendes, Johnny Depp's character has an obsession with a slow roasted pork meal called "Puerco Pibil" and kills any chef who makes it really well. Looked good on screen, but most food does in the movies. What was cool is that when I bought the DVD there was a bonus feature of Robert making said dish. Now not only did it look good, but sounded good. I'm not an avid cook or anything but I've always had a couple signature meals I could make mostly from memory because as a single guy, I always thought it cool to prepare meals for dates (as long as it turned out well). By this time I'm married to my incredibly gorgeous wife and felt like, "hey, don't stop working at wooing her". So I decided to make this meal for us.

Fair warning, it takes a while to prepare and not all of the ingredients are easily accessible, but if you're a guy who doesn't normally cook it makes it all the more impressive. Also it can be pretty expensive the first time out if you don't have all of the equipment needed to prepare the meal already.

You will need a blender, a cooking pan approx. 13x9x2, and a coffee grinder dedicated for the sole purpose of grinding spices. You can use the old one you have and get a new one for the coffee but you'd better do an amazing job cleaning the old one before using for it's new purpose. Again part of what makes this cool, is that it's totally from scratch and fresh as can be. Chicks dig fresh.

Then you'll have to aquire:

5 lbs. of pork butt
5 T Annatto seeds
(any Mexican market should have these, some grocery stores do too, but not many)
2 tsp Cumin
8 Allspice
1/2 tsp Cloves
1 T Black Pepper
(all of your spices should be whole and not pre-ground)
1/2 C Orange Juice
1/2 C Vinegar
5 Lemons
8 Cloves of fresh Garlic
2 Habanero Peppers
2 T Salt
1 T Tequila (get a good tequila, no swill!)

First gather up your annatto, cumin, allspice, cloves, and black pepper. Grind all of these together into a fine dust with your new (or newly cleaned) coffee grinder. This is the base of your annatto paste.

Next, take the 5 lemons, halve them and squeeze over a colander into your blender, getting as much of the juice as possible. This also doubles as a great workout, so make sure you're wearing a headband, legwarmers and rocking out to Olivia Newton-John's "Get Physical". Throwing the lemon rinds in your garbage disposal one at a time is a good idea to help with any wayward smells that might be lurking in there.

Cut your habanero's into fine pieces making sure to remove the veins and seeds, unless of course, you hate yourself, family, friends and co-workers. You can also wear surgical gloves when handling peppers to guard against self-inflicted pain. I made the mistake of going to the bathroom after preparing the peppers (without gloves) and lets just say I was reminded of a certain Jerry Lee Lewis song for the rest of the evening.

Now add the annatto spices, orange juice, vinegar, tequila, habanero's and garlic (I usually add a couple of extra cloves) to the blender and let er rip!

Take your pork butt and cut it into 2 inch squares and dump them into a 1 gallon freezer bag. DO NOT CUT OFF FAT! The fat is crucial for taste and will fall off the meat after it's cooked. Pour annatto paste into bag and mix it up. You can let the meat marinate for an hour or so but I don't recommend much longer as the acid in the lemon can start to "cook" the meat.

Add contents of freezer bag into pan and cover tightly with tinfoil. Make sure your pan is deep enough otherwise the annatto paste will boil over into your oven. Cook at 325 degrees for 4 hours. If you want to get really exotic (and you can find them) line the pan with banana leaves and cover meat with leaves before covering in tin foil. Hope you don't mind the smell of annatto paste in every square inch of your home for the next day.

Remove foil and sprinkle salt over meat (you can add it earlier but it can dry the meat out a little).

Take a head of lettuce and peel whole sections off to use like a bowl, serve white or spanish rice with a side of diced tomato and a dollop of sour cream. Manny's tortilla chips go great with it also. Do a shot of tequila (if your of age) and enjoy!

PS first time I served this to Heidi it was so good she cried. True story.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lake Carroll

So Wiena and Barbie hooked us up with a weekend on the lake about a month ago and it was so sweeeet. Others were able to stay a bit longer which was cool. I had a great time just chilling with my family. It's so cool to see how my family loves up on Zach. Had a lot of fun playing with Zach/the nephews. Heidi, Zach and I went to the "beach" a couple of times and had some fun playing in the sand and getting all dirty. I got sand all up in my bits that took a healthy scrubbing to get rid of. Wally made awesome breakfast sandwich's every morning and grilled in the evening. Did a little Jet-skiing while others went out a lot. Zach touched his first fish and he thought it was cool! Mitchell hooked up the bonfire, so we did s'mores and finished the night off with some fireworks (we just watched and they were good ones too, not bottle rockets). Zach was loving the fireworks, yelling out "BOOOOOM!" everytime they went off. I loved it and hope we can do it again, it was awesome! Thanks to everyone who made it such a great weekend.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Baby G's 1st Birthday

Been way busy but I had forgotten to post these pics with Heidi's side of the family celebrating G's first birthday. Was a great day and look at those pictures of Zach with Grandpa! He loves Grandma and Grandpa a lot but recently has developed a bit of a favor for 'pa, which is bogus since he still likes Heidi a lot more than me. Until now I could just blame it on the fact that he likes girls more...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

7th Anniversary!!!

So we have a lot going on in just a very short time in the Wisniewski house... Zach's birthday, our anniversary, Heidi's birthday and then mine all within a month of each other. This was our 7th anniversary! It's weird to think we've been married that long. I still feel like we're newlyweds. We are fortunate enough to be able to go back to where we were married every year on or around our actual anniversary date. Of course none of those days have been as hot as the day we were wed.

It's cool taking Zach here now that he's so mobile. He was digging it. As you can see by the photos I'm a blessed man...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Zach is 2!!!!!!!!!

To celebrate we took him to a bar because we are excellent parents! Actually it's a kid friendly place down on campus as long as you're not there in the late hours and who in their right mind would have their 2 year old out that late anyway? So he got to sit at the bar, he was given his free birthday "milk" mug and after dinner he enjoyed a nice sundae. They also announced his birthday over the P.A. and gave him a birthday balloon! All in all, it was a really great time.