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Chocolate Martini Recipe – Get Her Drink On!
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Let’s get that heart working…. Wellness Wednesday
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A List of Things Men Must Know
4
Menu Monday…Shrimp Chop Salad Recipe
5
Time for Some New Shoes: Get Your Kicks!
6
Your Signature Drink
7
Hey… Do you want to feel better? Tips for Healthy Living
8
Fix your face!
9
Refrigerator Oatmeal
10
Your New Happy Hour Shirt

Chocolate Martini Recipe – Get Her Drink On!

chocolate martiniWe have been together now for a few weeks and I think we can be honest with each other.  We have focused almost solely on how to build up your swagger.  Now it is time to unleash that feminine side and let her have the stage.  This recipe is a little bit of a lie because quite honestly none of these motives are pure.  This drink is designed to please her taste buds certainly, but it has the primary function of elevating your status.  We call it a win-win.  How about we try and get her drink on!

The Perfect Chocolate Martini

There are endless martini recipes floating around the ether with an equally endless number of ingredients you need to have to make them.  I have a book of Martinis at home that can take you down any liquidy road.  One of these delights calls for toasted marshmallow on the entire rim…you need flame and liquid marshmallow to do this.  An exceptionally obscure drink requires  a plum and a candied pear slice.  All super cool drinks but I have to be sure my “customer” likes those particular garnishes.  Here is what I know, women love chocolate.  This is almost as universal as that nine minutes of post-alarm, snooze-button sleep is the greatest sleep you will ever have.  You may have to step up a notch financially on this one but the liquor does not spoil and the results will hopefully bring you a healthy return on your investment (wink-wink, nudge-nudge, do you ya know what I mean).

The Recipe

1 1/2 Ounces of Chocolate Infused Vodka – there are many options out there.  If you don’t have and infused vodka you can drop a 1/4 ounce and add more of the other ingredients

1/2 Ounce of Carmel Bailey’s

1/2 Ounce Godiva Chocolate Liqueur

A chocolate sauce to decorate the inside of the glass

Some kind of chocolate to garnish

As always fill the martini glass with Ice and Water to chill it or put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Fill a Martini Shaker with ice along with the liquor.  Empty water from glass.  Gently swirl the chocolate sauce in the glass for effect and garnish the rim with the chocolate.  Pour the contents into the glass and serve.  BOOM – so delicious, so smooth, no bite, chocolate goodness, grateful taste buds, and gentle “mmmmmmms” of approval will follow.

The Options

Hot and sweet martini1Some sweet little variations can completely change this drink.  One of my favorites is using an Absolut Peppar or spicy infused vodka.  Drop the Bailey’s and use just the Godiva.  Rim the glass with shaved chocolate and crushed cayenne pepper.  It is surprisingly tasty and amazingly feisty.  Perhaps this can be a test used to measure creativity in your drinker?  Be careful not to make it an inferno.  This is supposed to have some kick but not kick you off the bar stool.

Try swapping Carmel for Mint!  Use a frozen snickers and a cheese grater to make the rim for the glass.  There are four of five different Godiva varieties – go for it.  Just keep in mind the main idea behind this drink is to be smooth and gentle.  This is showing your smooth and gentle side.  You can unleash the whiskey man later!

Always Remember

You must know your budget, audience, and your vibe.  This drink is specialized and costs a fair amount to stock the ingredients in your house.  Also remember that with great drinks comes great responsibility.  Do not serve this if you don’t want your date to melt and stare dreamily into your eyes.  Certainly don’t serve 3 or 4 if you are not ready for dreamy to become steamy.  I also recommend this is not an every time you drink offering.  It has brutal quantities of sugar and calories that can wreak havoc if you don’t have a plan to burn that energy.

Add this to the repertoire, you will thank me and she will thank you.

Let’s Go!

Let’s get that heart working…. Wellness Wednesday

xango heart healthEvery day we are inundated with health tips and tidbits about how to live longer.  That is great, everyone means well.  I am not sure if a “glass or red wine is equal to 2 hours in the gym” or if “6 pounds of garlic will triple your libido”.   Digging the libido and I am rather fond of Garlic but that may not be a key element to your health.  I am sure that your heart is a critical part of your health equation.  Let’s get your heart working by trying to consume food that won’t kill you!

Here is a cool little ditty on some things to pour in your gaping maw and things you should leave on the shelf.  I understand but we are creatures that need to have information pounded into their brain over and over.  Eat some fruit (which is low hanging fruit sorry).  In fact just tonight I thinking of eating a delicious deep fried wad of butter.  Whew…this chart saved me!

Honestly take a look at your menu and think about your heart.  Not to be redundant with my themes but take little steps and fix stuff.  Spoiler alert:  take a look at number 19 on the good side.  I am a huge fan, a HUGE FAN of Xango Juice.  This product is not just some magic potion based on folk-lore.  It has piles and piles of scientific research extoling the virtues of Xanthones.

It is time people.  It is time to stop stumbling through your health journey pretending that everything will be fine.  We all need step out our game and step out of our comfort zone.  We only have one life (I think)  and need to live it with gusto and with purpose.

Let’s Go!

A List of Things Men Must Know

 Things Men Must Know

A List of Things Men Must Know

I generally dislike obligatory lists of lists – but there is a need here to have a core description of gentlemanly things all men must know.  This really isn’t a list, just thoughts disguised as a list.   Listen, you don’t have to believe me, go look at anybody that is successful or tall or who is able to communicate with women; they have a rudimentary grasp on these things.    No list is complete, this one is not either so please sit back,  gloss this over, and help me add to it.

Sartorial Splendor

Every man needs to know how to iron a shirt and tie a tie.  This is listed first because it is a mandatory item.  The dry cleaner is always anhow to tie a tie option when you need a pressed look.  It will cost a couple bucks and planning is required.  What if you end up in a hotel with a wrinkled shirt or at home preparing for a last minute meeting?  Get out the iron and fix that shirt.  The tie is just as important.  If you have a zipper tie or a clip on tie that is just fine, if you are ten.  It is not hard to learn and is a staple of your wardrobe (once I figure out how, I will add video evidence).  The other simple thing that is a must are well polished shoes.  Again I will beg off the details on how to polish them, but you can be sure I will cover that topic soon.

Epicurean Delight

Dude needs to cook.  This blog littered with recipes that are easy and can make you look suave.  Guys that cook are sexy, that martiniis the word on the street.  Breakfast should be more than eggs and bacon.  An omelet is so easy and it has great curb appeal.  Manage the grill, cook a steak, make any food that does not come in a can or a box.  The bottom line is a cooking class may be in your best interest.  I am a Midwest guy, raised on casserole (or as we simple folk call it, hot dish).  Hot Dish will do in a pinch, much like spaghetti or chili, any dolt can make it.  Get to a couple go-to meals and you will be ahead of the game.

This category includes some drinks.  We have already discussed the whiskey play.  You also need to know how to make a martini.  The “drink it” section will be your friend , I promise.  In the mean time a classic shaken martini with olives is the rule to live by.  Splurge on the vodka for this one (2 oz. Ketel One mixed with 1/2 oz. dry vermouth shaken over ice poured into chilled glass with two olives).  There is a direct correlation between the quality of the Vodka and the suffering of the people who make it.  Swarthy Polish people make Belvedere, they have suffered and the Vodka is righteous.  For the same reason I generally avoid Grey Goose, the French, come on.  You can use any crap in a Bloody Mary or a Screwdriver because the mix is so strong, but the Martini gives you no where to hide.  That reminds me, Bloody Mary recipes are coming!

Train The Brain

It may seem like a small thing but you need to get your mind around communication.  Every man needs to be able to have a conversation with a child.  It is a great exercise in joy and patience to talk to children on their level.  Nothing moves the fairer sex more than seeing a man and a young one in a deep conversation.  Don’t do it to just look good, do it because it is tonic for your soul.  On that same bent, have a book handy to read.  You can use the Kindle, an app on your phone, or even read an old-fashioned paper book.  This can help you build that organ you need to use more, the brain.  Not just the brain stem that demands food, sleep, sex and wants you to fight.  It builds the advanced frontal lobes.  It helps you communicate with that delicate child.

Get Past Your Past

If you ever want to be a whole person you will have to eventually realize that you can neither ignore your past nor can you change it.  It is stuff you did.  Sure you can spin it and justify your behavior but, eventually you have to face the fact, it is the path you took.  Every man needs to respect that past and grow from it.  Even if that past is littered with figurative, or literal, skeletons you must reflect and grow.  I realize this is along way from getting a good knot in a tie but, that tie looks better on a self-aware neck.  I have said it before and I will say it again – every man needs to talk to someone smarter than them about emotions.  Many of us did not even know we had emotions let alone recognize experiencing them as manly.

And Of Course

•travel   •get a firm handshake   •listen to classical music (not The Rolling Stones – Mozart)   •Have ten different music mixes on your Spotify   •volunteer for something   •go to the gym (you will thank me)   •look people in the eye   •be a gentleman (especially with women)   •put your phone away when you are engaged with someone   •build a fire  •do something outdoors  •laugh   •learn to tell a joke   •no really laugh (don’t take yourself so seriously)  •and find a passion  (scratch and claw and dig to find something that moves you) Perhaps the list should just be that last bullet point.  Everything else will become a detail if you find your passion. That is all for now Let’s Go!

Menu Monday…Shrimp Chop Salad Recipe

shrimp chop salad

Here comes a super versatile, amazingly delicious Shrimp Chop Salad Recipe.

The version posted here is a single-serve salad but there are so many cool ways to offer it to your guests, family, or your date (and he/she will be impressed).

Ingredients

•One bag of frozen shrimp – for this salad grab the 41-50 per pound bag  shrimp chop salad ingredients

•4 Cups of Fresh Spinach  •1/2 Medium Red Onion  •1 cup Sweet Cherry Tomatoes

•1 Medium Cucumber  •1 Orange  •1 Lemon  •1 Lime  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro  •1 Avocado

•1 Tbsp Seasoning – I used a pre-packaged Orange Ginger but you know what you like

•1 Tsp Black Pepper  •1 Tsp Cayenne  •1 Tsp chopped or Minced Garlic

•1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese  •1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Directions

Prep all of your fresh fruit and vegetables first.  This helps stay organized while you make the main course or mix your Margarita.   Spread a bed of spinach and sliced red onions on a small plate.  The tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados can be placed in cool little piles on the plate.Next, take a few tomatoes, cucumber discs, and avocado wedges so they plate can them in little fun piles.  The fruit is used as a combo platter of aesthetics and salad topping.  Put a piece of each on the side.

Saute the shrimp in the olive oil.  Use the directions on the bag.  It is basically a medium heat until the shrimp a little browned on the outside.  Add the Pepper, Cayenne, Orange Ginger, and Garlic when the shrimp is almost done.  Crank the heat to high for about 2 minutes to sear the seasonings to the shrimp.  PAY ATTENTION HERE.  You have the potential for burning the only ingredient that is actually expensive and, it could escalate to kitchen fire.  I am not saying you will die in a giant fireball, but it is the only risk point (I like that there is some element of danger).

Take about 1/4 of the shrimp and place them in cute little pile on the greens.  Sprinkle the Cheese and the Cilantro on top and serve.

Variations

This guy can be a few different appetizers, a dip, an entrée, and a snack.

Appetizer

shrimp chop salad plateHere is a picture of a variation that is fun for munching on in a casual environment.  A party in the back yard where the theme has a finger-food theme.  Big chunks of ingredients that people can mix-and-match allow each person to eat what they like.  You may want a side of flat bread crackers to pile the good stuff on, pile it deep and gobble it up.

You can also finely chop the ingredients into a pseudo-salsa style.  Pour the fixings into a goblet with some huge shrimp or prawns hanging over the edge.  A simple twist on the classic shrimp cocktail.  This will require some starchy little chip or cracker for cleaning up the extra salsa (waste-not-want-not).

 

Dip

This is the easiest way to make this recipe fast.  Chop all of the ingredients (including oranges) into a pico and serve with whole wheat tortilla chips or pita chips.  I would be a little cautious with the amount of lemon and lime you add.  Squeeze the juice into the mix based on taste.

Ingredient variables

My favorite thing about chop and serve recipes is all creative options.  You can use any seasoning you like on the shrimp.  Look in the cupboard and experiment.  Sweet, hot, savory, all of these work.  If you don’t like avocado replace it with feta cheese.  If you really love red bell peppers JUST DO IT.  I am not the boss of you.

Be a little careful of what you add because you can move this from a healthy little ditty to artery assault by adding cream cheese and bacon.  Listen, I love bacon, this is not blasphemy here, just think about the children.

Final Thoughts

If you are trying to impress a date, this is a great option.  It is not hard at all and it pleases so many senses.  It looks great, smells amazing, tastes delightfully complex and can be eaten with your fingers.  You look like you understand health and imply you are functional in the kitchen.  You can serve it with many different entrees or just as a small plate before you go out to eat.  I hope I don’t have to tell you not to serve this with wieners and beans.  Have some fun with it, my family loves it and they have begrudgingly allowed me to share with all of you good Internet people.

Enjoy and Let’s Go!

 

 

Time for Some New Shoes: Get Your Kicks!

cool shoe

You should buy these shoes

It’s Friday.. and that means it is time to get your fashion fix.  At the risk of seeming like I have a foot fetish, let’s grab a pair of shoes,  I’m thinking these Bostonian Men’s Pavillion Oxford are the perfect fit.

Three Tips for Buying Shoes

TIP NUMBER ONE:  Stay on a budget but don’t be dumb about it

Shoes are not a place to go total bottom dollar.  You can get some shoes that look awesome on the sale rack at Marshall’s only to have sore feet and a bill for new shoes in a few months.  Find a brand name you have heard of, a brand name of a company that actually MAKES SHOES.  I saw some Van Heusen shoes that looked nice, but they probably don’t even make them.  Even worse, shoes made by Apt 9?  That sounds more like a place you would see the Law And Order team searching for the murderer!  You are going to wear them a lot so be frugal but be savvy.  The shoes I have listed above are ones I just ordered.  About $80.00 fetched me some Bostonian Oxfords.  This is a brand that has a great reputation and I have bought them many times in the past.

TIP NUMBER TWO:  Get a versatile shoe

If you’re on a budget and need to buy things like food, Internet, and green fees make sure one shoe can do the work of two.  You have already bought a better quality shoe so you should get greater wear.  This shoe will look great with your Khakis at work and will dress up your cool jeans after work.  There are different shades, but the darker brown will be more functional if you need to go with a suit and tie at some point.  This little number is dressy and casual.  It is your little black dress, Mister.  Later, as budget and creativity allows, start adding shoes with different styles, tints, hues, and funk.  For now, get a good utility pair.

TIP NUMBER THREE:  Take care of them

I will have a post coming soon where I enlist a shoe care expert to give the details on what polish, cream, brush, and processes to make those puppies both last and look smashing.  A few bucks worth of TLC can save you looking ratty and can save your beer money.  We will add to this tip in a future post since it needs a fair amount to time dedicated to it.

There it is, do something about it…

Let’s Go!

 

Your Signature Drink

Your Signature Drink

I AM SO FIRED UP!  I have been writing all sorts of nonsense for the last few weeks and money shot is finally coming.  I get to write about having a cocktail!  I can barely contain myself.

Here is some background information.  I have owned a couple bars and still work as a bartender, sooooooo I know a bit about this topic.  OK, more than a little bit about this topic.  I also have a drinking problem (Alright, that last part is subjective — Sorry, Mom).  Here’s what I do know:  It is so lame for people to come to the bar say one of these things: “What kind of drinks to you have?” or “What’s on special?” or “What kind of rail vodka do you use?”  Basically all of the questions are interpreted as: “Why am such a big pussy?!”.  One of the best places to assert you manhood is the BAR.

Here is what you need: a signature drink.  Don’t go in to a bar without a plan.  I am all for a Captain coke or tap beer once in a while.  But c’mon… those drinks have no moxie.  NONE.  You need to have a drink that represents you, something that you can throw out at the bar without looking like a clown.  Let’s get you cool in the bar, Big Fella.

My first recommendation is whiskey water on the rocks.  I don’t care if you don’t like whiskey, it isn’t about that.  It is what Whiskey represents: confidence, bravado, testosterone, and flavor.  You can work your way to a brand you like best, however, don’t go all obscure either.  That can backfire and usually ends up making you look like a snob.  Ask for Crown, Jameson, Windsor, or Jack… something that every bar will have.  By choosing a quality standard you won’t have to stammer and argue and make everyone wait for you to grow up.  Part of being the man is bar etiquette, more to come on that…

Don’t overthink this.  Just get some whiskey (beer is cool too, but that wrecks my entire post and it doesn’t have the same vibe).  You have confidence, you have a plan, you look larger and you seem smarter.  All that makes it worth learning to drink whiskey.  Cheers.

Let’s Go!

 

Hey… Do you want to feel better? Tips for Healthy Living

Health Tips

Health is a massive topic that generates billions of dollars and twice as many so-called experts who “have it all figured out”.  Everyone is searching for an easy answer, but it’s not that simple.

Three Tips for Healthy Living

I am in my late 40’s and in relatively good shape (although my peers have set the bar damn low).  I am not a personal trainer, I am not a nutritional expert, and not the guy that can turn you into a world class athlete.  However, I am someone who can help you get started down the road, point you to resources that can help you grow, and show you that all you have to do is make it part of your day.  Because I have done just that.

TIP NUMBER ONE:  QUIT EATING EVERYTHING

If you do nothing else in the beginning, simply try eating until you are comfortable and not until all of the food is gone.  Try use a smaller plate for starters.  Easy.  We are programmed to fill our plate for some reason and then we are required to finish it.  Our well-intentioned parents said, “Clean your plate, there are starving kids in Africa!”.  While the last part of the statement is true, along with most of the world; cleaning your plate will have zero impact on them and you will get fat.  No problems are solved, but one (it’s called obesity) is created.

TIP NUMBER TWO:  STOP EATING CRAP

Here is a great rule of thumb:  If it comes from the middle aisles of the grocery store it is probably crap.  Exceptions: The things that are not crap (brown rice, couscous, almond milk, etc.).  Spend most of your money on produce and your grocery time shopping the perimeter of the store and you are off and running.

Each week there will be a little more detail and some very tangible examples to drive the point home.  But start with baby steps and start thinking about what you eat and how much goes in the yammering cake hole.

TIP NUMBER THREE:  PLAN FOR SUCCESS

If you want some great focused plans for meal planning stop over and visit Team Beachbody.  They have a cool system to organize quality and quantity (their 21 Day Fix is a GREAT program to get you accustomed to eating right).  If you want a laser-focused plan that is completely scripted I recommend learning about Favao.  We will dive into the merits of each one very soon as well.

Go on now…. Get off the couch and walk down to the grocery store.  You can get some exercise and the bags of produce will be quite light so you can make it back.

Let’s Go!

Fix your face!

Facial Hair GuyAll day, every day on every social media platform, and somewhere on every website, there are unkept men talking about women and focusing on every detail.  We expect women to look perfect for us in all aspects, but don’t demand the same of ourselves.  GO GET A MIRROR. Don’t get me rolling on the clowns that used to have the “no fat chicks” bumper sticker.  Most would be lucky if the female that would actually spend time with him didn’t live in the barn!

Here comes a rant:  We watch the red carpet interview at the Oscars where brilliant, beautiful women are whittled down to who they are wearing.  Endless magazines and talk shows rate these women as “10 Best” and “10 Worst” without a single mention of their body of work – just the body.   Don’t misunderstand.  As a big fan of the body, I am just certain this is quite #sexist.  Here is the rub: Some knuckle-dragging sasquatch of a man lumbers up and we ask him about his philosophy on life.  We don’t even notice his bushy-ass gross eyebrows or ear hair that is just a smidge longer than the chest hair curling up from under his collar.  WTF.  How about who he is wearing?  …Duck-frickin’ Dynasty?

DON’T BE THAT GUY!  You are not a Hollywood heart-throb.   You are plumber, a sales rep, a dentist, a rodeo clown and hopefully much more evolved than that.  This is all part of having your game.

Go and invest a few bucks in a detail trimmer to at least fix the face.  It is not hard.  Eyebrows, beard, neck, ears, nose.  Do it in that order for reasons that should be obvious.

Some tips to help you:

  • Use the little tiny comb that comes with it to ensure you don’t slip, and take a chunk out of your eyebrows
  •  If you have fears, have a stylist do it the first time and then you will have a template
  •  If you keep a little stubble (or even a manly beard) use the detail trimmer around your lips to catch the strays
  • Clean rogue hairs regardless of location: The long one on the cheek, neck nonsense, or even that mullet growing out of your ears
  • Do the nose hairs last, and don’t be gross — clean it when you are done

Wahl razorThis is all part of the mix, guys.  Women are watching you as much as you watch them– and the attention to detail is critical.  They notice, trust me.  They notice.  So your choice is leave your face a grizzled mess and live a desperate life of can cheese and crackers or… eat a giant T-Bone with your manly hands as women swoon – swoon I sayYou will have to beat them off with a stick.

Look:  You can even buy this Wahl 5545-400 Wahl Ear Nose & Brow – 3 In 1 Trimmer for about $10.00 without even having to go to the mall!

Let’s Go!

Refrigerator Oatmeal

Oatmeal3The alarm goes off and it is time to get things done.  Fuel up that body on the way out the door.  I recently saw a recipe for crock pot oatmeal and it looked amazing.

Here is the deal:  Not everyone has a crew to feed.  I mean oatmeal is good, but ten days of leftovers may not be part of your morning vibe.  That’s understandable. Here is a quick – no-cook recipe that tastes fantastic and can be made before bed – not when you are scrambling to get out the door (you’re welcome Mr. Snooze Button).

Grab somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of quick cook oats.  Buy the fancy ones with the dude’s face on the container, something organic, or something generic.  It’s oatmeal – the kind doesn’t really matter.  Then toss in some “stuff“.  I put in about a tablespoon each of almond slivers, brown sugar, and diced green apple.  Cover it with almond milk and put in the fridge.  BAM!  Two minutes and you are ready for tomorrow.

A little editorial note here: I love the marketing description that calls for steel-cut oats.  It is a combine, people. They are made of steel and they drive through a field.  Of course it is steel-cut oats.  So are my whiskers when I shave.

One of my favorite things are recipes you can mess with.  Put whatever strikes your fancy right in the bowl, go on, live a little.  Put in some dates, raisins, pears, kiwi, cinnamon, flax seed, sunflower seeds, protein powder, heck I don’t care, if you like it try it.

Refrigerator OatmealThis little ditty can be made in any quantity, so when you have that morning meeting  with your posse to go over the spreadsheets and crap, fill a cake pan and go for it.  This should go without saying: up the ingredients.  The key is simply covering the ingredients with almond milk.

I realize this is not a glamorous picture but it is OATMEAL.  It’s not the most photogenic food. So give me a break.

 

 

Your New Happy Hour Shirt

Happy Hour Shirt

Try this on for size

It’s time to go to Happy Hour.  I beg you to not look like a tool, please?  You need a cool happy hour shirt.  This should be all I need to write, but I hear the clamoring for details.  Ok, ok…here is a good rule of thumb:  If any female, any female (I don’t care if it’s your mom – insert joke here) compliments the shirt, you are heading the right way.

A couple key things to consider when you are getting dressed:

Ditch the t-shirt.  If are thinking a trying to match your baseball cap, you should stay home.  You need to try a little bit.

Let’s grab a shirt with buttons, run a comb through your hair and be somebody.  Here’s a shirt I think is cool and REASONABLY PRICED.  You don’t have to break the bank to look like you have a checking account at the bank.

Iron the shirt – I’m not gonna go into that now – another post is coming for those who are challenged in that area.

Start with a simple step, get a shirt.  You can purchase this Tom’s Ware Casual Shirt on Amazon for less than $30.00 so you have money left to buy a drink.   Cheers!

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