Piques of the Week – Volume 7

Some things I’ve been enjoying in the kitchen.

Kitchen Aid Spiralizer

I received the KitchenAid Spiralizer as a gift from my wife. I do enjoy cooking because it’s therapeutic most of the time. I’m also a sucker for good pasta,1 so getting me something that helps me make pasta alternatives is amazing.

One of the best meals I’ve made in a long time has been chicken zucchini pesto. It’s a simple, healthy recipe; I had been attempting to make zucchini noodles by hand (with a peeler and a knife), and things turned out mostly ok.

But now that I’m using the spiralizer attachment, I do not know how I survived without it. What used to take me 45+ minutes to do by hand now takes 10 minutes, including cleanup, with this tool. It’s an attachment for our KitchenAid mixer, which does all the hard work.2

This is easily my favorite thing I’ve had in the kitchen in a long time, and makes me want to create new things all the time. Easy set-up, easy clean-up, easy dinner – and healthier living.

Mezzaluna Knife

I gifted this Mezzaluna Knife to my wife.3 Cutting up fresh herbs can be a [literal] pain, but this makes that process easier. We tend to do a lot with fresh herbs, and although I could use a knife and cutting board, anything to make my work easier — and safer — in the kitchen is better for me.

Tritanware – Camping Silverware

I usually pack food for work. Which means I go through a lot of plasticware during the week. After a few times of eating what I normally eat for breakfast (see below) and breaking my fork/spoon in it, I needed to look for something better.

This camping silverware is a combination fork, knife, and spoon all-in-one. They come in a nice carry case with carabiner in set of five – one for every day of the work week – and are machine washable. I can also use them while camping, which means they get a dual purpose. They’ve been outstanding for what I need. I also feel better that I’m not contributing more to the garbage pile, and that’s enough for me.


Recipes

Like I said above, this dish is great. I’ve been able to tweak it for how I like it. You can download a printable version here.

Chicken Zucchini Pesto

Ingredients

  • 6 zucchini (medium sized)
  • 1-2 lbs chicken breast
  • 4oz basil
  • 4oz spinach
  • 4oz arugula
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 – 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • water

Directions

  1. Use the spiralizer to make the zucchini noodles. Set aside.
  2. Cook the chicken in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Cut up into strips or cubes; set aside.
  3. Make the pesto by combining the basil, spinach, arugula, nutritional yeast, and olive oil into a blender until smooth. Salt & pepper to taste. Note: This makes a lot of pesto, which is good for leftovers
  4. Place 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add zucchini and cook for 1-2 min, stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 – 1/3 (depending on portion) of water, and cook for an additional 6-8 min, until the desired firmness is achieved to be like pasta.
  5. Add chicken and the desired amount of pesto to the meal, stir until warmed, and serve.

This is completely dairy free, and is amazingly filling.


For those that want the recipe for my breakfast, I got the inspiration from a recipe I found online and tweaked it. Hope you enjoy it. You can download a printable version here.

Breakfast To-Go

Ingredients

  • 1 container of liquid egg whites (or 9 eggs)
  • 2 packages of uncooked turkey breakfast sausage patties, total of 24 patties
  • small amount of shredded cheese of choice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. I start off by using 12 4-oz mason jars in a 9 x 13 baking pan (to avoid spillage in the oven).
  2. Place 2 patties in each container. Use your fingers to line the jar with the patties, making a spot for the egg to fit.
  3. If you want to add cheese, add just a pinch to each one. You can also add a slice of mushroom, or a pinch of chives, or whatever else you’d like.
  4. Evenly distribute the eggs, leaving about 1/4″ from the top. If you are using the eggs, beat them together first.
  5. Cover the entire baking pan with aluminum foil and put in the oven for 55 min at 375ºF.
  6. Let them cool down and put the lid on each one. These can be refrigerated and/or frozen.
  7. When you heat them up in the microwave, be sure to heat them all the way through with the lid off.

For how I make this recipe, it’s about 120 calories or so, and it’s the perfect amount to go with my coffee.

  1. Pasta is my spirit animal.
  2. If you don’t have a mixer, The Pampered Chef makes this standalone version of something similar.
  3. The sixth anniversary is iron or wood, so I got both.

Dictation Dingus

There are a lot of things during the day that I often need to remember. And most of the time, I’m trying to get things into my phone quickly without having to think too much about where it’s going.

Enter Drafts.

Drafts is a wonderful tool for this kind of activity. I can simply enter the text using my fingers and thumbs. Starting ideas here has been the natural place for me for a long time now. And with the latest update, it’s now made even easier with the dictation feature, thanks to the changes made in iOS 10. It takes cognition-to-completion, something I first heard from Merlin Mann on Back-to-Work, down to seconds to complete.
Continue reading “Dictation Dingus”

Bifurcation

This summer has been a busy one. It seems like the time of year that things will always get busy for me. I'm currently working on a global launch of a product in four countries, and with all the little differences and nuances in each place, it has been difficult to keep track of all my tasks.

Which is why I love 2Do so much.

But this summer has been really different for me. Instead of one thing to focus on, I have a bunch more. More than I've ever had to keep straight. And it's made even further complicated by personal life stuff. So there's been a need to re-evaluate what I'm doing, and how I'm doing it. Luckily, I have some amazing friends, and one in particular that has had similar issues and feelings this summer.
Continue reading “Bifurcation”

Piques of the Week – Volume 6

This week, I’ve been enjoying two great podcasts.

Science Vs

I really like the Reply All podcast from Gimlet Media. If you haven’t listened to that show, make sure you go listen to it. At the end of episode #71, they had a preview of the second season of a podcast I had never heard of, Science Vs I listened to the preview, which was the first half of the “Fracking” episode, and I was hooked.

Hosted by Wendy Zuckerman, the whole idea of this show is to take a topic, break down the key points, and scientifically back-up or refute the validity of said points. The topics range from fracking to diets to medical marijuana. In the latest episode and first in a two-part series titled “Guns”, she tackles a fiercely debated topic dealing with guns in America. It points out where some of the groups that use statistics get it wrong, and shines some light on how some of these figures get collected. The difference the podcast brings to the debate is that it’s not from a passionate point of view, but rather a scientific one to help understand what is really going on. Is it a problem? Is it a problem with incorrect statements of fact?1 I’m really looking forward to part two.

A nice touch in the beginning of the episode: she gives the telephone numbers for two suicide prevention and crisis hotlines, and even more in the show notes. This is a touch of class that I have not experienced while hearing another podcast, and given the subject matter, was the perfect way to start the show. Bravo, Wendy.

I’m happy that Reply All featured a segment, and I’m going back now to binge-listen to season one. I highly recommend you do the same.

Science Vs on iTunes

Reply All on iTunes

The Black Tapes

I don’t remember how I heard of The Black Tapes, but ever since listening to the first few episodes, I’ve been enjoying this serialized docudrama. The show features Alex Reagan sharing her journey, along with her producer Nick and the focal point of the show, Dr. Richard Strand, through a complex web of a story. The show deals with the “Black Tapes”, a series of tapes that cannot be scientifically explained. It covers elements of the supernatural, demons, the occult, and other topics; some of the are downright terrifying, and often makes me thankful this is an audio-only show.

I should state now that this is not a show for kids, or even listening to it with kids in the car. It can be more intense than other docudrama podcasts, with the background soundtrack adding effects that can make you feel a bit uneasy (but adds to the ambiance of the show). The story starts from the first episode, so if you want to get into the show, you really do need to start with episode one. I’ve really enjoyed this podcast, and if you enjoy Lore, I would definitely give it a shot.

The Black Tapes on iTunes

Lore on iTunes

  1. I’ve often hear this statistic: “90% of all statistics are false.”