Friday, December 21, 2007

Light posting lately, huh?

Don't worry, it's about to pick up. I've got a bunch of great stuff to put on here. We had a little bit of a medical scare with a "team" member near and dear to our hearts, but all is well for now. Just to wish everyone (all 2 or 3 of you) Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. I do have to tell you that I have found that Napster is worth whatever it costs if not for one thing only that I found tonight (and all you Dawgs will know what I'm talking 'bout)

Kinchafoonee Cowboys
1991-1994 The Album
Eggs, Toast, Grits and Bacon...Nawww honey, I ain't fakin'....
I gave her the ring...she gave me the finger!!!!!
Hell yeah!

Upcoming recipes:
Beef bourgignon, Bourdain style
Big 'ole pot of Mexican, trust me, it's good
Homemade tamales, Velazquez-stylee
Bowl stuff, Christmas goodies, etc.

As it's obvious that I'm about the only one able to post these days, I must say that DOG's about to get a little bro of his own, and that might slow things down a little bit, but hopefully not much. We'll see how it goes. "Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms." I'd bet JW is the only one that knows what that's from.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Breaking news: UGA loses beauty pagaent to drunk Cajun in purple.

Does anyone else have any idea of what just happened with the BCS standings? Here it is.

1. Ohio State 11-1
2. LSU 11-2
3. Virginia Tech 11-2
4. Oklahoma 11-2
5. Georgia 10-2
6. Missouri 11-2
7. USC 10-2
8. Kansas 11-1
9. West Virginia 10-2
10. Hawaii 12-0

Do you see the inconsistency here? I think, though, that we'll be better off in the long run, because a lot of weight was placed on winning the conference championship, especially in the SEC. But it exposed a huge weakness in the BCS, namely the subjective portion of it. It was ridiculous hearing Herbstreit get out there and lobby for LSU because he had screwed up and pissed off Les Miles by announcing that he was going to Michigan, in an apologistic effort.
So fine, UGA can't play for it all. We had a case, and I still think we do. Again, and Mark Richt said this in multiple interviews: we were ranked ahead of the teams that were going to be playing the conference championships, and that was known, but nobody really cared. Then, it was obvious that a 2 loss team was going to get in, and everybody started puttin' up the tents and havin' revival.
Who should be pissed off?
1. Virginia Tech. They were ranked ahead of LSU. They won their conference championship. They beat a higher ranked team than LSU did. Granted they did lose to LSU during the regular season, but that was a few months ago.
2. Missouri. They got penalized for losing their conference championship, getting passed over for a BCS bowl, EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE RANKED AHEAD OF KU. How does that happen? They're going to the Cotton Bowl, KU is going to the Orange against VT.
3. Am I right that Michigan (unranked) was selected for a higher bowl than Wisonsin (ranked) to play UF in the Capitol One bowl? Not that I give two shits about either one, but that doesn't seem fair.
4. The number 13 team in the country is going to the Rose Bowl. Illinois. Know why? They want to perserve their tradition of having PAC 10 teams play Big 10 teams.
5. Anyone but OSU. By not playing in 2 weeks, they went up. We went down. The difference? In not beating anyone worth a damn, but winning a crappy conference, they backed into the championship game.
6. Hawaii. They're undefeated. They won their conference championship.

As it turns out, unless LSU had moved up to 2, we would not be going to the Sugar Bowl, so that's great. Don't get me wrong, the Sugar Bowl is a huge deal for us, and we've got our hands full. I just don't think that anyone has any idea how this current pecking order was chosen.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Do you feel like dancin'?

Let me first say that I'm not sure that the BCS system is the best way to do things. But, it is the agreed upon system, so therefore we have to live with it. You don't think Auburn's still pissed off? Yeah. But, here we are at the end of the season, and guess what...


Now, before you start making reservations in New Orleans for the game, think about it. The scenario that we had to happen to give us a chance has happened. Two of the teams ahead of us lost, Missouri (game's almost over) and West Virginia (already lost after Pat White went out with an injury). The other stuff that we needed didn't happen (UT winning the SEC, BC beating Virginia Tech), but it may not matter.

Here's the controversy.
  1. UGA didn't win nor did they play for their conference championship, after tying the SEC East in W-L but losing the head-to-head to Tennessee. (Again, did you see that game? OUCH!) But, their losses came earlier than most of the other teams that are in contention with the exception of USC. The difference there is that both of the games that we lost were to ranked teams. USC lost to a 40-point underdog in arguably the biggest upset of the past several years.
  2. LSU has 2 losses (both in triple overtime) and won the SEC today. They're ranked 7 right now, and their losses were later in the season than ours were. UK was ranked when they beat them, Arky wasn't.
  3. Virginia Tech has 2 losses, and they won their conference championship today. They lost bigtime to the team they're ranked immediately ahead of. They just beat a ranked team today, in BC.
  4. Kansas has only one loss, but they didn't play this weekend, and they were solidly behind us. Again, they lost really late, and they didn't play for their conference championship. So how could they possibly move ahead of us when we didn't play either. Those two spots would have to remain static.

I hear all these "experts." And I hear all of the arguments against UGA, but this would not be the first time that this has happened. If you remember in the 2002 BCS championship game, Nebraska made it to the championship game without having won its conference. A couple of years later, Oklahoma lost the Big 12 and played for the national championship game, losing, of course.

So, I don't care what they call it, The Back-in Championship Series, yadda yadda yadda. There won't be any asterisk on our National Championship banner when we unveil it next September in Sanford Stadium. The main argument here is that Georgia was ranked #4 going into the weekend. 2 teams ahead of us played and lost. The team immediately behind didn't play. But our Ace card here is what our ranking was going into the weekend. The disbelief is that people didn't have any clue that either Missouri or WVU would lose. But it happened, and now you have to work with the system you have. Yeah, a playoff system would be interesting, but that's not what we have this year.

BCS Championship Game: Ohio State vs Georgia, and I like our chances!!! Get ready for it Dawg Fans, we're on the brink of doing something we thought we NEVER would have had a chance to do on the way home from Knoxville.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Clean Old-Fashioned Hate (a.k.a. Hell's too good for 'em)

It doesn't have to be pretty to be appreciated, does it? I was unfortunately in some crappy part of the country that refused to televise the game. Which game do I get? The West Virginia game.I mean, come on. That game was over just after the first half. I think that at some point they actually did switch to the UGA game, but by then most of those crazy plays had already happened. Regardless, has a great compilation of pictures.
I've been reading some of the message boards, and there seems to be a general consensus that somehow the referees were cheating for UGA. What games have you seen this year? What about all the games where the referees were doing everything in their power to ensure that we don't win? All the tech fans appear to be hung up on this pass interference call. As bitter as we may be about certain games in the past that affected us, the calls that are made are a part of the game. That is not to say that the pass interference call was bogus. It is just to say that even if there are questionable calls, you still have to make enough plays to win the game in spite of the officiating. I would refer you back to the Florida game and to the Auburn game that we played in this year. We really pissed off the officials, and it showed. Yet, we continued to make plays and still won those games.
By the way, if I were a Georgia Tech alumnus I would think it would be pretty embarrassing that over half my stadium was comprised of the opposing team's fans. Although, I bet they're used to it. I don't know why, but it's just further proof that Atlanta is one of the worst sports cities in the country. Do you think we could start a website called Maybe we can also put in a request for Reggie Ball to come back as Tech's quarterbacks coach.
Of course, I'm always a sucker for an anti-motivational poster. I highly recommend following that link if you're into some anti-Georgia Tech humor. Who isn't?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What else is there to say?

I was going to try and come up with something clever for the Tech game. I don't think that there's much more to say, other than what came up with. Then again, why do we even have to make anything up? They do it to themselves. I wish that they'd steal Matthew Stafford's jersey so that we could not only beat them, but do it with their shirts on our back, kinda like Sean Glennon did.

And then there's this from the Golden Tornado, a couple of years ago...

  • Nathan: You asked what Tech students do on Friday nights, but what we all really want to know is if UGA grads actually put “Able to drink an entire fifth in one sitting” and “Sat with hot co-eds in class” on their resumes?
  • Doug: Don’t have to. When prospective employers see a Georgia degree on our résumés, they just assume it.

I hate Tech. I guess you already knew that, huh?

Friday, November 23, 2007

The battle of attrition continues...

Now what? CBS currently had us at #6 before this game, I guess according to the AP poll. Think about it.

  1. Mizzou (4) and Kansas (2) have to play, so one of them has to lose. We're #5.

  2. LSU now has lost it's second game, now we're #4.

  3. If Kansas wins that game and loses to OU in the Big 12 Championship, we're #3.

  4. If WVU loses to either UConn or Pitt, we're #2.

  5. Keep in mind, this is regardless of whether or not we play in the SECCG.

Why not? Crazier things have happened, right? Of course this is clearly all for naught if we lose to Georgia Tech. The question now is where would we go if we don't go to the SECCG, and now LSU is not going to the BCSCG? Fiesta or Rose? As a testament to the crazy season, we're still in this stupid thing with 2 losses, and it may not help us to go to be SEC Champs, although I don't see how it could hurt. Unless we lost. Then it might be Outback Bowl or Chik-fil-A (weren't we just there?), against either Michigan, VT, or BC.

Monday = D-day

Lucy, Jennifer and ?Julia?
As if I had a life...atleast I'm not Jennifer! Thought I'd share a pic of the final days of pregnancy with you guys.

Gobble, Gobble...

Mmmmm....Thanksgiving....Just because no family are willing to visit me and my very pregnant family doesn't mean the Whites aren't going to have a big Thanksgiving meal! As per usual, I decided we'd pretty much have the works. My first experiment began last week. I wondered if smoking a turkey for the big day would be worthwhile, so I ran up to the Bi-Lo and bought a 5-lb turkey breast for a trial run. I rubbed the thing with some cajun spices, lit the BGE and set for 250 degrees, threw on some Jack Daniels smoking chunks, and about 3 1/2 hours later, this emerged...
BGE Turkey Breast
Looks good, tastes great, but for me was a big to BBQ for Turkey Day. Jen thought I was crazy for making this thing the Sunday before, but hey, it was a snap with the BGE and we had BBQ turkey sandwiches and the following day...
Turkey Pot Pie
Turkey pot-pie! This is AB's recipe that uses frozen, roasted veggies and curry powder...very good actually...With that said, I decided to ditch the BGE and do a Cook's Illustrated classic, "High-Roast Turkey". Jen and I have made this for 5 years running and it never fails to be a juicy, perfectly cooked bird. You start by spatchcocking the turkey (hack out the back bone, snip out the rib cage, and pound the sucker flat (barbaric but quite fun)) and brine overnight in the cooler. When you're ready to go, you just take the floppy turkey out of the brine, wipe dry, season, and place on a BROILER pan at 450 degrees (hence the high-roast). After about 80 to 90 minutes the thigh meat will be about 175 degrees and the turkey is done...that's it, an hour and 1/2 for a delicious 12 lb turkey with super crispy skin.
High-Roast Turkey
I decided to make a green onion gravy from this year's Bon Ap and their ham, leek cornbread stuffing muffins. I rounded out the deal with a butternut squash chowder, collards cooked in a ham stock, sweet potatoes, and a cranberry-apple compote.

Cornbread Dressing with Ham and Leeks

Butternut Squash Chowder & Green Onion Gravy
Collards cooked in Ham Hock Stock

Thanksgiving 2007

Dessert: Apple Tart (above) Pecan Praline Tart (below)

This was some good eats, which is a good thing b/c when you cook this much for 2 people, you tend to have some left-overs...Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Comfort food makes your clothes not so comfortable

Here's a couple of fall recipes that might hit the spot as we're getting close to the holiday.

Roasted acorn squash salad with bacon vinaigrette

One whole acorn squash, peeled, cut into 1 inch slices, seeded
1 cup of bacon cut into "semi-lardons"
sherry vinegar, 2 tbsp
olive oil, 3 tbsp + 1 tbsp
1 whole shallot, minced
mixed greens, arugala, or dandelion greens
Roncal cheese (can sub Parm-Reg or Manchego)
3/4 cup of pecans, roasted or not
  1. Roast the acorn squash (or whatever squash you have, you could also use sweet potato) tossed on a baking sheet with olive oil, thyme, and salt
  2. Cut your bacon up and cook it over medium-high heat, stop before it gets crispy, and add the shallot.
  3. Emulsify the vinegar and oil. When the bacon is "done," add it and keep on warm.
  4. Lay down some greens, then put your squash, pecans (crushed), bacon vinaigrette, and sliced cheese (can do this with a vegetable peeler).
  5. If there is going to be a delay in serving, keep your squash in foil so they stay warm.

"Mole" vegetarian chili

There's going to be some skepticism about this, but it's actually pretty tasty.
  1. 3 15 oz cans of pinto beans
  2. 1 large can of whole tomatoes
  3. 1 oz bar of semisweet chocolate
  4. 1 tbsp of cumin powder
  5. 2 ancho chiles, dried
  6. 1 tsp of cinnamon
  7. 1 chipotle chile, dried
  8. 2 small onions, chopped
  9. 2 smallish zucchinis, chopped
  10. 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  11. salt
  12. pepper
  13. 1.5 cups of water
  14. 1 tbsp of orange zest or orange juice
  15. olive oil

Seed, stem the chiles and toast them dry on a saute pan.

Add the chiles, cumin powder, cinnamon to a molcajete (mortar/pestle) and grind to a fine powder.

Brown onions in olive oil over medium high heat in a dutch oven. When they soften, add the garlic for a minute or so.

Add the chile powder. This will stick and burn a little bit, don't worry, you want that. Give it as long as you can stand it, and add the zucchini. Let that soften/sweat a while.

Add the tomatoes, water, orange juice or zest, chocolate, and salt/pepper to taste until the zucchini's done. Then, add the pinto beans.

Simmer. Remember, it's better the next day.

Could you add meat? Sure. I suppose that there are a lot of things that you could do with it such as use that liquid to braise a pork shoulder, shred it, and throw it in. You could add ground beef or pork, or whatever you want. Be creative with it!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Godamighty Willie, Godamighty!

I just can't believe that I'd say something like that after all of the blogs that I wrote with pretty heavy criticism about him. Honestly, though, I think he's learned a lot this season about scheming properly and guessing correctly. I thought the adjustment that we made after the first quarter was amazing. I mean, we gave up 3 points the rest of the game, and kept handing them turnovers.


QB That sucked. He made some good throws to keep us in it. He also some bad throws to keep it closer than it had to be. Andre' Woodson made a postgame comment about the wind affecting the ball, but the pregame guys said that it was 7 mph. UK did a good job of getting pressure on him early by stacking the middle and the left. They had Staff off-balance a fair amount and forced him into bad throws. Two interceptions, and it could have been 3 or 4, easily.

Receivers They get my vote for most-improved of the season. They still seem to be catching everything that comes their way.

O-line Had a rough start, and got man-handled a little bit. UK finally figured out what we've been doing, and Richt even said it after one of our games, essentially running behind the upper-classmen to the left. Alabama tried to do it to us, also, and Saban said something like that at halftime. What happened, we shut that shit down the second half, but kept them in it 'till overtime. I saw something on DawgSports that said that Scott Haverkamp was off the team. Any clue?

Running backs What can I say? Other than the two brain-dead fumbles... The first one, it looked like Knowsho ran into our own guy and the ball just flew out. I don't really see what any UK defender did to make that happen. The second was a matter of a great defensive play and TB not switching hands to outside once he got past the first line. Trippy! Knowshon, that guy just has a new level of elusiveness that we haven't had in a running back since I can remember. I mean, Huhhshul wasn't elusive; he didn't have to be. If you tried to tackle, he knocked your dick in the dirt, right Bill?

Offensive Coaching OK, fine, I understand the concept of wearing them down with the runs up the middle and trying to establish your presence up front. You can't ever completely give it up. I was watching the game with a guy that has never seen a UGA game this season, and he was asking what UGA's strengths are. I said the finesse running game and the deep ball. That's exactly what UK was expecting, and we didn't disappoint. We played a step behind for a while, and then our depth took over and we just won.

Dline Struggled a little bit getting in there, and then when CWM started mixing it up, we got some sacks. They came mostly on blitz plays. Good depth, and we just keep bringing different dudes every play. UK could not run. At all. 32 yds total.

Linebackers Really got into it with the blitzing. Ellerbee had lucky pass breakup that he had no business knocking away. Didn't do a great job of coverage. Curran is a freaking stud. That guy's everywhere, and he's the big hitter we've been looking for.

Secondary Here we go again with Kelin. That guy, I swear. He makes some brain-dead looking plays, and then shows up and makes a huge play. Int, blocked punt. Otherwise, it was hit or miss. There were some coverage sacks, so hat's off.

Coaching This has really improved through the season. CWM is understanding that pressure is good pass defense. He brings delayed blitzes, and those are effective. We are moving away from vanilla defense. We definitely look a lot smarter now, especially when the other team sees the "look" and audibles. We adjust on the fly, and we weren't doing that. See my post UT rant. It was obvious that if gave one of the best QB's in the SEC any time, he was going to light us up. "Bend-but-don't-break" wasn't going to work. So there, Big Head Joe Kines.
Special Teams I still can't understand how we have one of the best legs in the SEC, and we can't or won't kick deep on kickoffs. The blocked punt was awesome and really was a momentum swinger. Coutu was money, and it's a strange season for us where we're not kicking about 3-4 field goals per game. This has got to be a low for Richt since he's been at UGA. Kickoff return was actually great, considering the opening kickoff. We cooled, but we're still a threat. Mikey Henderson left the game sometime in the 2nd quarter, for what, we don't know.
Final GD UT gettin' by. By the skin of their tooth. That field goal would've done it, UGA in the SECCG. I had some mixed feelings about whether I wanted to go to that game. We have nothing to gain, right? Wrong. We can beat LSU, and they know it. Besides UF, I don't think there are too many teams that have any strong desire to play us.
I'm proud of this team. The coaching staff has undergone an incredible turnaround, and that's the story behind the story that you don't know unless you have been following these guys all year. The light seems to have been turned on, and those guys are on fire right now! I never would've thought that we'd be in contention for the SEC championship before the season, and least of all after that UT game. In the words of Richt about that UT game, "Never again." But the real turnaround is very well descrived by Mark Bradley in the AJC about the fumble that Vandy had on their game-winning drive that led to our field goal at the end of regulation. The celebration wasn't the Dawgs getting excited about beating Vandy as much as it was realizing that winning was as much or more about desire as it was talent and X's and O's.
I know you can't do it every week. Look around this league, no one can. But sometimes, you have to just will yourself to a win.
"This has been the season when Georgia reminded everyone it’s still Georgia."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sugar Bowl Bound?

Tennessee isn't likely to foul up against UK or Vandy. They are a pretty good football team. Don't know what happened to them against BAMA or Cal. They didn't show up for those games...Good news is that most of the BCS predictions will have the Dawgs playing the Rainbows in the Sugar Bowl. How sweet that would be...I suspect we would completely rout Junebug Jones and his band of lunatics. However, Slick Willie has screwed us before by not preparing for an unorthodox offense (WVa, anybody who uses an option, anyone who uses the dreaded "reverse")...would like to hear Larry say one more time, "look at the sugar falling out of the sky..."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Can somebody tell me what's going on here?

Honestly, I couldn't believe it. Auburn took the lead to 20-17, and I started thinking the worst. Next thing you know, Stafford keeps dropping bombs on Auburn's secondary, and we make Brandon Cox look like Reggie Ball. Then, Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson start dancing in the booth to the Soulja Boy. And Verne, God bless 'im, he's been pretty hard on us in times past. For those two to feel the energy and have fun, I think says something pretty profound. The whole crowd looked like they are a notch or two away from insane, and the smackdown continued. 45-20!!!!!!!! There was just something in the air, and it's not just the black jerseys and the fans wearing all black. That, however was incredible! The aerial shots from the blimp showing the entirety of Sanford Stadium looking like a Metallica concert was more than awesome! No, this is an example of Mark Richt being able to see the forest for the trees. He has made a few comments about that, and attributes his newfound vision to Mike Bobo being the offensive coordinator. I think it actually has made a huge difference. There seem to have been some games early in the season where Richt had a little bit of trouble letting go. But once he did, his attitude and the team's attitude have really benefited.

I guess this ain't your daddy's Bulldawg's, huh? But if anybody wants to know why we might ever have been frustrated by how this team is played, the wins against Florida and Auburn are great examples. We won because of attitude, and it'spretty exciting to see Richt get that fired up and be a real leader to his team in a time of "crisis." I know that we can't always come out there on fire every week, but least we know it's there when we need it. The craziest thing about this is that who really cares if we win the SEC East? Honestly, we will do better if we don't win the East. Think about it...
If we win the East, go to the SEC championship game, and beat LSU (which I have every reason to believe we can), then where will we go? The Sugar bowl. If, we go to the SEC championship game and lose, we may wind up in the Capital One bowl or the Outback bowl. Now, if we don’t go to the SEC championship and win out, we would have a good case for an at-large BCS bowl bid. If LSU wins the SEC and don’t lose another game, they’re definitely in the BCS championship game, which would put us in the Sugar Bowl. See my point? The final scenario is UT winning the SEC. If we win out, we’re still in the position of an at-large BCS bid. So, what’s the moral to the story? Don’t worry about anyone else, just keep playing your hearts out and WIN!!! And by the way, I don't think anybody in the entire country wants to play us right now. I can't say that I blame them.
One last thing. What was up with those refs? I think that was the same crew that officiated the Florida game, and they still continued to punish us for that celebration. I mean, some of the calls were just ridiculous. It didn't matter, we still prevailed, in spite of not because of them.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Every die-hard UGA fan that I know has their favorite team to hate. We have so many rivals, it's ridiculous. For me, it's Tech. No question. It's a history thing. I went there for a little bit, hated it, but I know what it's like inside and how F'ed up they are. For JW it's UT by proxy. For many, it's definitely Florida, with good reason. And then, there's Auburn. Here's the problem with Auburn. They're bizzarro UGA. Yeah, it's a smaller town without as much nightlife, and whatever. Listen to Mike Bobo talk about it. They're the "mirror image" of UGA. Problem for me is that I had several friends go there, I visited there, had a good time, and it's a little bit harder for me to reach the same level of hatred as I have for the Ramblin' Wreck and checkerboard orange and white bullshit of UT. So I have to direct my hatred to Tuberville, or "Ears" as many people call him because of his anatomic anomalies (please, someone call Guiness).

That said, Auburn is like our brother, always has been, always will be. One of the best friends that I've ever had is Auburn grad. For those of us from the western part of Jawja, we have a lot of friends that are AU people. We're used to losing players to AU because of the proximity. Ask anyone from Columbus or Newnan or Blakely. They're not an east oponnent, so we don't have to worry about head to head. It's the South's oldest rivarly, dominated recently by the visitors. There have been some incredible plays!!!

There have been some big hits...

Of course, this kind of hit that was declared so "great," has been outlawed, and was that year, as well. Head to head? Come on.

But, we hit back with "decleaters", or at least we used to...

There was the game that was like 8 hours long, 102-100, or something like that in 97 at Auburn. Quincy Cancer (Carter), decided to actually play and throw some passes without interceptions, or cocaine, or acting like a thug (thanks Jim Donnan). At least we won.

And then there's crazy shit like this that gets everyone fired up...


Add to My Profile More Videos

So what are we left with? Mixed feelings, although get it straight: I NEVER NEVER NEVER root for anyone against my beloved Dawgs. This has been a game dominated by the visiting team since 1992, hard to explain. But when your brother kicks your ass, he's still your brother. This is hard to explain to those big-time AU haters out there.

So where do I stand? If someone would let me sit there and bleed with these guys, I would, in an instant. No questions. We're a funny team this year. D shows up every now and again. O shows up, 'cept 'gainst "Cackalacky." Cathch the ball!!! We've got a Knowshown, they don't have a Kenny (oh my God, they killed Kenny, Those Bastards!!!), or a Cadillac, or Ronnie. We get in DVT's head, otherwise known as Brandon Cox, game's over. Auburn fans know it, admit it. It took a long time to get right after that game in the rain last year.

So, GO DAWGS!!!!!!! Beat the War Tiger Plains-Eagles (huh??) and please, oh please, don't forget about poor Bobby Lee and his family.

Whoaaa Eeeaagggglllle, as Bobby Lee says.

SIC 'EM, 'OOF 'OOF 'OOF 'OOF 'OOF!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HBTD GATA!!!!!! (get after their asses)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

If we win, is there anyone left in Alabammy to beat? Troy, Awbern, etc.

Hard to tell, when you don't get to watch the game on TV or see much in the way of highlights. I guess the important thing is that we won, and we knew it was going to be a struggle. You hate to see how we were shooting ourselves in the foot with turnovers, but it had to come at some point. That offense can't always bail the defense out (remember the USC game?). Knowshon Moreno has been a real bright spot this whole season, and it's awesome to finally have a guy that can deliver as a playmaker running back. We haven't had something like that since Robert Edwards in the mid-to-late 90's. Still, you come back to defense, and it's bothering that the defense is soooo leaky. This is totally uncharacteristic for UGA football to have such a weak defense, but I have to think that it all starts with our inability to get tough against the run, and the fact that we don't have a whole lot of defensive players that really scare anyone (Thomas Brown, Greg Blue, Odell, Champ, Boss, etc.).

Fortunately, our opponent this week hasn't exactly been an offensive juggernaut, so that may help. We took 'em to the woodshed last year in their house in the rain, and it took several months for Brandon Cox to get right after that game.

About this whole blackout thing, apparenlty it was asked for by the seniors, but I agree with others out there that is a gimmick thing that Big Ten schools do. We don't do that in the BIG SEC, because we don't have to. Also, the black makes us look more like South Carolina, and that just sucks, because "they've got a Jasper, a Casper, a Succop, and a Smelley." If that's what the players want, then that's what they get.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Christmas is coming, time for the BGE!

Got to get the Big Green Egg! Got one for father's day. Damn thing rules! Haven't had a failure yet! The BGE is kind of a hybrid between a charcoal grill, a smoker, and an oven. There is really nothing you can't cook on this thing. Unlike any grill or smoker I have ever attempted to use, this thing uses little charcoal and the temperature control is amazing. For example, I cooked a couple of chickens on Sunday (see below). All I did was light the thing, throw on a cup of soaked mesquite chips and played with the temperature for about 5 minutes and left the chikens to cook. I didn't do a thing to the beer-can chicken, for the other I flipped off the breast side after about an hour and 15 minutes. I used a temperature probe in the thigh set at 175 degrees. Total cooking time was about an 1 hour and 40 minutes. The BGE stayed between 300 and 325 degrees and I didn't have to do a thing!
"Beer-can chicken"

Regular Trussed chicken cooked in BGE

I've eaten 4 bbq chicken sandwiches since then and will likely eat another got to get one!

More Spicy Treats!

As I was thinking of my pal OG and his recent Salsa posts, I decided to make something spicy. Taking a note from Bobby Flay, I decided on a chili-rubbed pork tenderloin with a Flay-inspired sauce containing chicken broth, apple juice concentrate, chipotle with adobo, mustard, and some homemade chili paste. I served with some creamed hominy and a roasted pepper/chile salad. I don't have a picture, but this was pretty easy and damn good.

For pork-
2 pork tenderloins
2 T canola oil
5 T of mixed chili powders, I used 3 T of Ancho and 2 T regular McCormick's blend
2 T brown sugar
1 T smoked paprika
1 t kosher salt
1 t black pepper
1 t cinnomin
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t garlic powder
3 cups chicken broth (per Cook's Illustrated, the absolute authority for home cooks, Swanson's organic)
1 cup apple juice concentrate
2 T chipotle chile in adobo pureed
1/4 cup home made dry chile paste
1 T mustard
2 T mexican crema, creme fraische or sour cream would work as well
salt and pepper to taste

Start by making the sauce, as you are preparing your mise en place, start by soaking 4 to 6 dried chiles such as ancho or pasilla in warm water for 3o minutes and preheat your oven to 375 F. Once the chiles tender, remove stems and seeds, tear into small pieces and blend until smooth adding some of the soaking liquid until the "paste" is between the consistency of mashed potatoes and tomato paste. To same time here, go ahead and add 2 chipotle chiles and a tablespoon of adobo sauce to this puree.

In a medium saucepan, add broth and concentrate, bring to a boil, then add chiles, continue cooking at a brisk simmer to reduce. While reducing, start on the pork.

Pat the tenderloins dry with as many papertowels as you can stand to waste, then completely coat the tenderloins with the rub. Heat stainless skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes then add the oil. Shake the excess rub off the tenderloins and drop in the skillet. Brown the tenderloins well on roughly three sides (note this doesn't take too long b/c the rub has brown sugar). While the final side is browning, place pan in preheated this time the sauce should have reduced significantly.

The pork will roast for about 10 minutes, but if you are afraid of pork, I suggest checking temperature with instant read thermometer. The sauce should reduce until you have about a cup and the sauce is thickened. Once desired consistency is reached, whisk mustard and cream into the sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Let the pork rest about 5 minutes tented with foil before slicing into medallions.

I served this with creamed hominy and a pepper salad. For the hominy, I combined one can of hominy and added about a 1/2 cup of half and half, 2 T honey, some cilantro, some chipotle chile puree, salt, pepper and juice from a lime. Heated over medium heat and blended with a stick blender until all the hominy was broken down somewhat. For the pepper salad, I roasted and seeded a red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, 2 poblano peppers chopped into 3/4 inch dice. I combined the peppers with 2 cloves minced garlic, salt, pepper, a squirt of lime and a drizzle of olive oil. I crumbled in some queso fresco just before serving. The combined flavors were excellent.

After making this I found a Bobby Flay recipe that is probably better on titled New Mexican Rubbed Pork Tenderloin, has recipe for Sweet potato tamale...Next time, I'll try this one and compare the two.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

UGA-UF game, obligatory comments

I know that I didn't immediately put anything about the game. Needless to say, it's pretty great to get a win over UF no matter how it happens. I can understand that they might be pissed off about some parts of the game, though.

Richt made a comment in the post-game interview that hadn't really been reported on. He said something like, "The definition of insanity is when you keep doing the same old thing and you expect a different result than what you've been getting." I also think it's clear that he didn't plan to have the whole team run out there and do what they did.

If I were a Florida fan, I'd be mad, too. But I might be madder about the play of my offensive line, secondary, center, and run-stopping D. UF didn't really look like the team that they are, they were definitely playing poorly, and we were playing as well as we have all season (on offense, D-line, and kick return). UF's a great team and they're not going away anytime soon. Look forward to see how this impacts the series.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Salsa, a reprise

Out of necessity comes invention. When you're out of your key ingredients and you've got a hankering for something specific, you have to make do.

28 oz can diced tomato
1 habanero pepper, seeded minced
1 shallot, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded minced
juice from 1 squeezed lime
1/4 - 1/2 cup minced chopped cilantro
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

Add all of this to a blender and pulse until well mixed. Don't overdo it, or the tomato juice will get frothy.

The story is that I was out of crushed tomato and green onion, and I have noticed that the fresh garlic is a little bit overpowering, especially if you don't eat the salsa the same day. (See Mom, I do listen.) The habanero gives it a nice kick, and you don't have to put 3-4 jalapenos in it. Plus it gives it a little different color, as this one was orange (not that I'm a big fan of orange, see previous posts). Habanero also gives a sweetness that plays well off the bitterness of the jalapeno and lime juice. This has been one of my favorite mixes, yet. Again, I think that experimentation is the key, and find what you like. Everyone makes it differently.

Friday, October 26, 2007

World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party

OG: I have to admit that I never get tired of this. It's sad, I guess, especially considering that we've lost 15 of 17 games to the Gators. Hopefully it will be 15/18 after Saturday, but I wouldn't put any money on that. First one to 20 wins, that's how it usually goes. I like our chances this year. Anyway, you could save this post and have it set to come up every year at this time, and it would mean the same. I admit that I scarfed this from other websites...
I guess the real question would be what should I eat/drink during the game?

From: "Don't Sit Under The Grits Tree With Anyone Else But Me" - 1981
God Is a Bulldog

Jacksonville, Fla. - Dorsey Hill, the world's biggest Bulldog fan, left here Sunday afternoon, bound for Auburn, Alabama, where Georgia's undefeated football team next appears.

"I don't think you can get from Jacksonville to Auburn," I had said to him.

"You can change buses in Waycross and Columbus," Dorsey answered.

"You aren't going home first?"

"Home?" He screamed back. "I haven't worked since Texas A&M, and I haven't slept since Clemson. You expect me to go back home when we play Auburn in only six more days?"

I lost my head, I suppose.

A lot of people lost their heads here Saturday afternoon. Georgia played Florida. Georgia won the game, 26-21. It's a lot more complicated than that, however.

Georgia came into the game ranked second in the nation. To continue to compete for its first Big Banana ever, the national championship, Georgia had to continue its winning streak. Florida ( "bunch of swamp lizards and beach bums," according to Dorsey Hill), wanted to step on Georgia's dream.

Dorsey arrived here Thursday afternoon with thousands of others who made the early departure south from various points in Georgia. Many of those individuals were as drunk as five eyed owls by the time they reached the Florida line.

As local wit Rex Edmondson says, the Georgia-Florida game is the "annual celebration of the repeal of prohibition."

Dorsey waited until Friday to get into his serious pre-game drinking, however.

"I stopped at the New Perry Hotel Thursday for lunch and filled up on collards," he said. "It's hard to drink on a belly full of collards."


Now that I have had time to digest all that did eventually happen in college football Saturday, I think I can say without fear of charges of blasphemy that the whole thing was a religious experience. "Deacon Dan" Magill, the "Baptist Bulldog," read a prayer to the Georgia faithful in which he beseeched the Almighty to help the Bulldogs "smite the Florida Philistines."

Then there was the game itself. Georgia behind 21-20, ninety-three yards away, time running out.

"We need a miracle!" screamed Dorsey Hill, now fortified with more than collards.

Georgia got its miracle. Buck Belue to Lindsay Scott, for ninety-three yards and the winning touchdown with only seconds remaining. If that wasn't enough, there was the astounding news from Atlanta. Georgia Tech had tied No.1 Notre Dame. Surely, Georgia will be ranked first in America when the ratings are released.

"A tie was a gift from Heaven," said Dorsey. "Notre Dame gets knocked out of number one but Tech doesn't get a win. God is a Bulldog."


I must make one confession here. I did it, and I must suffer the consequences.

I gave up at Jacksonville Saturday afternoon. Florida had the ball. Florida had the lead. There was only three minutes to play. I left the stadium. I was in the street when the miracle came.

"You are a gutless disgrace," Dorsey Hill said to me later.

He detailed my punishment: "We're going to a tattoo parlor in this very town tonight," he began. "And you're going to have '26' tattooed on one of your cheeks in red. And you're going to have '21' tattooed in black on the other cheek. I don't want you to forget what you did."

I won't, but which cheeks is between me and the tattooist.

--Lewis Grizzard
Thanks to K. Daniel for supplying this column! GO DAWGS!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Brasato di Maiale Nero; Soup au Pistou

The weather's cooling down, and the summer fare is vanishing at the grocery store. More's the pity, I think I'll miss the tomatoes more than anything else (which is almost always the case). So, as many would attest, 'tis the season for soup and stewed meat. Here's a couple of recipes inspired by Bourdain and Battali:

Brasato di Maiale Nero (braised blackened pork tenderloin)

2 cloves garlic
pancetta, 1/3 pound (can sub bacon)
cup of flat parsley, finely diced
olive oil ~3-4 tbsp
pork tenderloin
6-8 sage leaves
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
red wine (anything here, but bourdeaux, pinot noir, chianti, etc.)
enameled cast iron dutch oven
Good news, this is an easy recipe, takes about 20 min to get started, cooks about 2 hours.

Mise en place: Easy. Chop your parsley, pancetta, and garlic. Be mindful of the raw pork.

Dice the pancetta (or bacon), parsley and garlic into a "paste," and throw into your Dutch oven with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Let it get going a little bit, while you season your pork tenderloin with salt and pepper. Mario's description called for tying the tenderloin with butcher's twine and sticking a few sage leaves (6 or so) under the twine, and I didn't do this. Not sure if it mattered. Next, brown the tenderloin very well. Add the tomatoes and 1/3 of a bottle of wine. Let it boil, drop the temp to low, and braise for about 2 hours. This one's all about temperature control, as with any braising, you have to keep the temp low, and keep things from burning. You can do it on the stovetop, just keep the temp lower than you think it should be. Serve with something green.

Soup au pistou

This is a take on a Bourdain recipe from Les Halles.

2 small zucchini, 2 small squash, roughly chopped, seeded
1 fennel bulb, diced
2 leeks, sliced thin
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced


1 can cannelini beans (or make them from dry)
+/- elbow macaroni or equivalent
1 medium tomato, diced (or can)
32 oz chicken stock
bouquet garni (couple of thyme sprigs, bay leaf, sprig or parsley)


1 large bunch of basil
6 cloves garlic
~4 oz parmesan (reggiano if you like)
olive oil

Mise en place: There's a lot of big veggies and a lot of chopping. Have your trash can or dispose-all handy, cut your onion and garlic first, and have a big mixing bowl for your other ingredients.
  • In your soup pan, get your onion and garlic going, until translucent. Cut your veggies, and once the onions/garlic are good, add the veggies, letting them sweat for a few minutes. Add the chicken stock. 32 oz is the lower limit that you can use here, you may need to add more. Boil, add the bouquet, tomato, and season, reduce to simmer.

  • Make your "pistou." Crush basil and garlic in your mortar/pestle or molcajete (if you have one). Add olive oil to get a nice pesto consistency, and then add parmesan. Adjust oil to the right texture. Wait until just before serving to add.
  • Back to the soup. Be careful with the past that you add. Honestly, rotini may do better than the elbow macaroni, because those things keep getting bigger and sop up a lot of liquid, so add judiciously. Or, you can leave it out altogether because the beans will be carby enough. If you use canned beans, add them towards the end. If you don't add them as soon as you add liquid, as they will be the rate limiting step. Let this go for a couple of hours, depending on your bean/pasta addition. When you're ready to serve, add the pistou. The longer it sits, the stronger the pistou gets, so eat or freeze within 48 hours.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Goin' out in NOLA

Please don't call it "Nawlins." I guess it's OK to call it the "Big Easy," but even that makes it sound like you've never been there before.
So, CLG and I went to NOLA, left the DOG with his grandparents, and had a little early autumn work vacation. What we found was that there are a lot of great places to eat, andmost of them won't break the bank.
Just a word about New Orleans, post-Katrina. Understand the geography, the closer to the river and French Quarter, the better off it is. The closer to lake, and the further west, the worse. A lot of these restaurants are houses in Uptown and the Garden District that are converted and have limited service availabilty.
Here's where we went:

Classic streetside French Quarter, a little bit of a wait, but everything moves through there pretty quickly. What they do have is char-grilled oysters! Primo, dude. Hard to beat the Po Boys. Solid but not jaw-dropping. Well known for what their name implies.

Apparently the Metairie location has closed. This place is also known for the char-grilled oysters, but they also do a lot of lobster. Prices are reasonable, but it is lobster after all. Highlights were lobster salad, char-grilled oysters with butter and parmesan, stuffed lobster, and whatever combination of fried fish and ditch critters you want.

Classic old New Orleans, went there on a recommendation after everyone and their brother and sister that I talked to said that they were going to August, which was the hot restaurant this fall based on the notariety of the chef on the food network. Galatoire's wasn't what I'd exactly call Creole, although it's possible that I just don't know what I'm talking about. What it was to me was French style versions of the Louisiana seafood/swampfood that we all love. Why did we like it more than anything else we had?

  1. The waitstaff. These guys (and they were all guys) knew what they were on about, were confident in their menu (as they should have been), and were spot on with the recommendations. No expert, but read Kitchen Confidential. If the waiter thinks it's good, it probably is, but if he thinks it's bad, then avoid it like the plague.
  2. Redfish. Seems to be making a comeback, as there is a limit to what you can catch in the wild. More and more, they're growing them like catfish on farms. Done with a brown butter sauce and covered with fresh crabmeat, it was near perfect.
  3. Appetizer with fresh boiled/chilled shellfish. Only qualm was that they included fried oysters, which didn't seem to fit. Again, the crabmeat was awesome, no matter what sauce they served it with.
  4. The menu. It looked a little bit overwhelming at first, but then the more you looked at it, it was systematic. There were several meat choices, and they could all be cooked in standard French/Creole fashion. Hard to argue with successful tradition.
  5. Desserts. The best thing that they had was a banana bread pudding. Better to me than Foster bananas, but that's just me. More of a comfort dessert.
  6. No reservations. Come whenever.
Beard award winner from 2002, this place had a lot of promise. For the most part, it was great. One of the things that struck me about it was the roux and the sauce that they included with a lot of the dishes. The gumbo was some of the best that I’ve ever had, and it started with the roux which was nice and dark. I had sweetbreads for the first time, and I was pleasantly surprised. The way it was explained is that it picks up the flavor of the surrounding sauce, and has a neat texture. Where I went wrong was with the duck. Must admit it was overcooked, and a little bit dry. They tried to get past this by adding the heavy roux sauce. Beef tournedos were great, as was the soft-shell crab. Good wine list. All in all solid, don’t get the duck. Deserts, including the ice cream was fantastic.

Classic, it’s hard to beat a shrimp and oyster Po Boy in the quarter at 11:00 in the morning with Zapp’s Cajun Crawtators.

Final word:
Good food, reasonable price, alcohol everywhere. Hard to go wrong! Sadly, we missed out on the Emeril restaurants and Commander's, but you have to draw the line somewhere. My liver and girlish figure are glad to be home from Vegas and NOLA in the span of 2 weeks. So’s my wallet.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Onion Soup

Woke up Saturday AM, chill in the air, wanted something warm and satisfying. OG called from NOLA a few times and I considered making a Cajun dish, but instead, as I was babysitting Lucy, opted for some onion soup. I have the Bouchon cookbook and Keller uses a whopping 8 lbs of onions for his soup, so I decided to create my take on 8lb onion soup...the rest of the ingredients are not MKs except for the simple satchet...
8 lbs sweet onions
4 oz unsalted butter
1 T salt
1 1/2 T AP flour
Sachet containing 12 peppercorns, 6 sprigs thyme, 2 bay leaves
2-32 oz boxes of Swanson's low sodium beef broth
1-32 oz box Swanson's 99% fat free chicken broth
1 cup red wine, I used a Cab from Sonoma
One baguette
Emmentaler cheese (The BILE-LOW near my house had no Gruyere or Fontina)
Mise en place: For the onions, I sliced off the ends and cut into halves and cut the core with a "V-cut" in the center of each half. Next remove the flat pieces and slice into 1/4 inch strips. For the remainder, I cut radially along the lines of the onion, then pulled apart to ensure there were no large chucks of onion. This is what 8 lbs of sliced onions looks like...

In my La Creuset 5 qt buffet casserole, I began by melting the butter over low heat. I made a diffuser by rolling up some aluminum foil. Then I added the onions and salt, which towered over and out of the casserole, but I was able to contain the huge mound under the lid. I cooked the onions covered stirring every 10 to 15 minutes for ~ 1 1/2 hours, then removed the lid. The onions had reduced by about 1/2 and there was a ton of water in the pan. I then turned the heat to medium-low to bring the liquid to a good bubble, but not boiling. The liquid began to evaporate/reduce, but the onions required stirring about every 10 minutes or the ones in contact with the pan would scorch. I continued cooking this way, while watching bad football on ESPN until the onions were deep brown and had reduced to about 1 1/2 cups. Then I refrigerated overnight.

The next day, I started by warming the onions in my regular dutch oven, and when the solidified butter had melted sifted the flour into the onion mixture. I then added all the liquids and the satchet and adjusted the heat for a brisk simmer. As the mixture cooked I skimmed any scum off the top about every 15 to 20 minutes. After about 1 1/2 hours the soup had reduced by about 1/4th and was finished.

To serve, I sliced the bread into ~ 1/2 inch pieces and baked in a 400 degree oven until cripsy and crouton like. I then filled large ramekins to about 1/2 inch from the top with soup, floated a few of the croutons and topped with a slice of cheese and finished with some grated cheese. It is important not have any of the crouton exposed as this will char under the broiler and taste awful. The ramekins were then placed on a baking sheet and under the broiler until the cheese was browned and bubbling ~ 2 minutes.

I served with a simple salad of bibb lettuce with a champagne vinegar, vinegarette and for a main course, some grouper sauted with slivered almonds and brown butter and simple boiled potatoes.

Of course I burned the hell out of my mouth on this soup, but I have been told by all that it was delicious. The soup was very sweet and I didn't think the store-bought broths affected badly whatsoever. I would make this 100 times was good! Next time, I will just have it with a grilled cheese sandwich and will curtail my hunger until the temperature drops below magma!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Salsa recipes (1)

You'll never need to buy salsa again if you stick with this pretty easy formula, although you know me and my taco bell sauce.

Basically, there are a couple of types of salsa: those that use tomato and those that don't. The trick is deciding what to make based on your peppers. Within the tomato groups, you can do raw or cooked, depending on taste, and a few other factors.

Basic raw red tomato salsa:

  1. 23 oz can crushed tomato (not diced or whole, too much liquid)

  2. 2-3 jalapeno peppers (3-4 if serrano), lightly seeded, minced

  3. 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

  4. 1 bunch of green onions, diced

  5. cilantro, 1/4 to 1/3 of a bunch, minced

  6. juice of 1/2 lime

  7. salt

  8. pepper

Save yourself the headache, cut your peppers last, or else the heat will be all over everything. Beware, this stuff is much better eaten within 24-48 hours. The longer it sits, the stronger the flavors of the garlic and onion. My mother doesn't like putting fresh garlic in, instead she opts for garlic powder, and to give a little soupier, but less watery consistency, she'll put tomato juice (like V8). Other possible variations are as follows:

  • Roast the peppers first. I really don't think this makes that big of a difference, but Bayless recommends it.

  • Roast the garlic. This might make a difference, but I don't do it in the interest of time and because sometimes to salvage a salsa that's been sitting around and wasn't eaten in time, I'll cook it to get it going again.

  • Out of green onions? You can use shallots (1-2), white/yellow/red onion (1/2), or onion powder for that matter.

  • Short on good peppers? You can sneak a little red cayenne pepper powder and/or red pepper flakes to give a little extra heat.

  • Leave more seeds/membranes for extra heat if you're short on peppers.

  • Leave out one jalapeno and add a couple of canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Gives it a nice flavor.

  • If you have nice avocado, you can dice one up and mix it in. Eat it soon, though.

Tomatillo sauce:

There're a couple of tricks to this. First is you don't want to pick out tomatillos that are too green. Don't use the canned stuff for this, it does make a difference. Good red tomatoes seem to me to be harder to find which is why I opt for the canned ones. Second, you have to oven roast the tomatillos under the broiler until they are black and half of them have exploded. I've tried to skip that step or to just sautee them, doesn't work, it comes out too watery and raw tomato flavored.

  1. 8-12 tomatillos, husked

  2. 1 bunch green onion or 1/2 medium white/yellow/red, diced

  3. 2 cloves of garlic, minced, which you can oven roast with the tomatillos

  4. 2-3 peppers, minced (I use either Serrano or Jalapeno or both)

  5. 1/2 lime

  6. salt

  7. pepper

  8. cilantro, 1/4 bunch minced

Broil the tomatoes, take them out and stick them in the blender. Pulse it to reduce it to runny jelly consistency. Add your other stuff, and you've got it. I tend to make this one hotter than others, but you don't have to. I haven't tried too many variations of this one, because I don't want to screw up the tangy taste, and if you anything red to it, it turns it brown and makes look like something you don't want to eat.

Georgia Beats VANDY!!!

From my perspective on the 20 yard line, it looked a little something like this.
Georgia fans made up over half of the stadium. Sadly, I guess there is no such thing as a home game for the 'Dores.

Offense: Again, couldn't get anything going when it seemed like we really needed it. It's so frustrating to watch those boys drop passes that hit them right in the numbers. Sean Bailey and Kris Durham, for example. Those were drive killers. The running game didn't get going until the second half when we had worn them down a little bit. We still come out and run a stubborn offense, but I can see the value of wearing them down for the second half. Line was blocking so-so until second half. Stafford had what I thought was enough time to get rid of the ball, he just seems to hold on to it forever. If it's because the routes are slow developing, then I would like to see us do some stuff that is quick hitting to generate tempo/rhythm. Stafford again makes passes that are jaw-dropping and others that make you take your hat off and slam it on the ground. SLOW feet in the pocket, but ran OK when he kept it on the option. Play-calling actually looks a lot more like Richt than Bobo, unless Bobo has drunk the Richt punch. What happened to the plays that we were running against OSU? The quick hitter passes and let your fast receivers make a play and get some YACs. We still would line up in I-formation, twin receivers and bring one in motion. Used the tight end, Chandler had a great game, and the crowd got fired up for/with him. Knowshon is pretty awesome, hard to say anything bad. Demiko had some great catches. Tony Wilson is just plain lucky, because we almost certainly would have lost the game if the Vandy defender did not kick that ball back to him. We haven't been using the fullback very much this year, such as catching passes on play-action in the flats.
Special teams: I don't know if you saw this, but Coutu was hitting field goals from 60-61 yards in warm-ups. His accuracy was great on the one that counted, but we missed the first one, BONK right off the upright. We are not doing great in kickoffs, and letting them get the ball around the 30-35 everytime. Meanwhile, we haven't been returning all that well, starting 20-25. You would have that with all that practice last week against Tennessee returning kickoffs, that we'd be better. Punting is better than it has been in recent years.
Defense: Couldn't break through their line until the 4th quarter. We just seem to get manhandled up front and I couldn't tell if it was a scheme problem, or that we just come with plain vanilla "Kill The Man With The Ball" and don't stunt and drop back, etc. We would not blitz until the end, and it worked. Pass coverage was average to worse than average. Overpursuit again, seemed to be killing us with the option, which BTW UF runs pretty well with T-bone. We really need some fire out there. We need some big hits, and Kelin needs to keep his head in the game. He roams around and wants to make a play, but a lot of the time just doesn't
Coaching: 12 men on the field always drives you crazy, doesn't it? Offense: line may not have been playing lights out, but I thought they were giving Stafford plenty of time, and I don't know if they just weren't open and that's why he got forced into some bad throws. We seem to run the same plays over and over, but where's the Bobo inspiration? He doesn't look like he's doing anything different than CMR. The most fired up I've ever seen CMR was when he was out there stopping those idiots from jumping up and down on the Vanderbilt V at the 50. He was pissed! Finally!!! Defense :<> Where were they? The adjustment at the half worked great, but we still gave up a huge play that almost cost us the ballgame, and if it hadn't been for punching a ball out, we might easily have lost. I don't know what it is, they just don't play with fire, and look lost out there half the time. CWM, what's going on? Is it just that we have bad players?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Chile Verde

Willie Martinez Wussified Chile Verde

I've said this for years, I'm not sure the SEC has great defenses or pathetic 19th century offenses. Suddenly UGA only can claim the pathetic offense. I could try to dissect the game and attempt to decipher what went wrong, but I also decided years ago that I would not lose any more sleep over UGA football until we could beat UF atleast once (not a Zookified UF). I wonder if we will ever win another SEC East game...

OG and I decided to do a foodie blog and hope to atleast post one recipe per week that was atleast edible if not a wee bit different. For the UGA game, as Jennifer is way pregnant and is experiencing the GERD, I decided to make a Chile Verde. I was skeptical while making this, but it turned out to be rather tasty.

~2 1/2 lbs pork (I used country style boneless ribs from the shoulder)
1 lb poblano
1 lb cubano
12 serrano
2 oz (about 15 cloves garlic)
2-4oz cans chopped green chili
2 bunches of green onions (white and light green parts only)
2 cups Swanson's 99% fat free chiken broth (the kind that comes in the 32 oz box is best)
Juice of 2 limes
2 T masa harina
2 T corn starch

Mise en place: trim ribs and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, pat dry; roast poblano and cubanos, peel, seed and chop finely; seed and dice serrano; chop garlic finely; chop onions finely.

Start by searing cubed pork in small batches in a cast-iron enamal dutch oven. Don't overcrowd the pot, else the pork will steam and not sear. Leave the pork untouched until a well browned on one side and releases easy from the pot, then stir to lightly grey the other sides. Remove, wipe the juices from the pot and repeat with the remainder of the pork. Once all the pork is browned, add 3/4 of the roasted peppers, the garlic, the canned chilis, the onions and the broth and simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Next add the remainder of the roasted chilis, the serranos and cook for another 30 minutes. At this point the chili will be more like a soup so this is what I do to thicken chile verde. Take the juice of 2 limes in a small bowl and whisk in the masa and corn starch to make a slurry and add to the chili. Crank up the heat on the stove to medium-high and bring to a light boil and the chili will thicken. Turn the heat back down to low for 10 more minutes and you will be ready to serve. If the chili is too thin for your liking, add more of the masa/corn starch mixture in 1 T amounts, but always bring to a light boil to know how thick the soup will be...

Finish with some grated jack cheese, mexican crema and cilantro. Wash down with a Pacifico or other tasty Mexican lager :)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Georgia Tennessee

It really is hard to know where to start with this one, or where to end for that matter. I think that JW and I really hit the key points of it. I made the statement during the game that this was as embarrassed as I've ever been watching my beloved Bulldogs play. I can't remember a game in the last 15 years that we looked that bad. Honestly, I didn't expect to be thanking Cracker Barrell poster child (Fulmer) for not running the score up on us any more than they did.
In my opinion:
We really got our D-line exposed this year. I think they're undersized, and from what I recall, there were a few injuries that kept us from having the full complement. This front four was not at all capable of breaking down their O-line and crashing through to make a play. I can't remember a single player's name (except for Weston) off our D-line. They got manhandled. Linebacker play was beyond pathetic. So many missed tackles, they seemed to be on their heels the whole game. Ellerbee is like the only guy that I saw make a single play on whatever rare blitzes we made. Secondary was in a word pathetic. In three words, pathetic as hell. Kelin Johnson looks lost out there at times. We couldn't stop the run so we made up for it by letting them pass all over us, all day. No sacks, right? What I noticed was that we would give them a defensive look, often a 5 man line made by rolling a linebacker over and playing what looked like a 5-2. If Ainge like what his play looked like, he'd keep going. If not, he'd look over at the sideline, and they would signal him in the new play (definitely from Cutcliffe) in the same formation and then they'd kill us. We would never fake a defensive look to lure them into a bad play. What's worse, is that we knew they were audibling, and I never saw us change our defense. They really don't look like they have any idea what they're doing. They're not instinctive at all like some defenses we've had in years past. The other thing that we're sorely missing (other than a dominant defensive line) is a punishing, big-hitter (i.e. Greg Blue, Odell, Thomas Davis). Nobody's scared of us at all, anymore, and they shouldn't be. What was our halftime adjustment? We looked pretty much the same to me. We just won't blitz, and when we do, it's so obvious, that the other team changes the play and burns us. That's not a reason to not blitz, it means that we're showing our cards so soon that we easily get outplayed. That's a coaching problem. You get the sense that our defense does a good job of stopping OUR offense, but no one else's. They're used to stacking the box to stop the run up the middle, but when they hit us outside we get torched, especially when we blitz in the middle or from a safety or corner from one side and announce over the PA system where we're coming from. The bend-but-don't-break concept works when we've got a dominant D-line, smart linebackers, and can adjust on the fly. That ain't the case this year.
In the end, we have to do something from the coaching side. I'm not saying that we HAVE to get a new DC, but come on, how many time has this happened, just like this with CWM? We play without fire, uninspired. We need an Erk Russel to headbutt 'em and bleed and light a fire under their asses. I'm trying to think of what we did right on defense, and I'm having a hard time figuring it out.
We have one of the most stubborn offenses in the country. It's like watching a kid try to pound a round peg into a square hole. Look around the country. I love the I formation as least as much as the next person, but the defensive solution is stack the box and stop the run, forcing you to pass quickly. Check this out, posted on RockyTopTalk....

4. Georgia got out of the gate well with a 35-14 win over Oklahoma State and then lost 16-12 to Steve Spurrier (we don't call them "South Carolina" on RTT). What did the Gamecocks do that the Cowboys did not?

PWD: The Cowboys are poorly coached, and they apparently didn't watch a minute of film on us. The scouting report on UGA is simple:

1. Run delayed draws straight at us and hope our talented DTs don't step up.

2. Run stretch plays behind your OT directly at our smaller DEs. Then use those plays to set up Play Action crossing patterns.

3. Blitz the hell out of us on defense.

4. Hope we drop passes and don't make you pay for blitzing.

Against OSU, they tried to run wide on us and roll their QB out using slow developing plays. Our super fast DEs ate them up. SC didn't do any of that dumb stuff. They ran right at us. UT will do the same. We also caught the ball extremely well vs. OSU. Stafford had some shaky passes, and the WRs dropped at least six passes by my count. Georgia lost b/c Georgia couldn't pass and catch. Not because of anything genius that Spurrier did.

That sums it up for gameplan. Back to offense, we keep running this bullshit up the middle and it doesn't work. How long have we been doing that? What's even more incredible to me is that the OSU game, I saw some play calls that I hadn't seen for a while with the quick passes and WR/tunnel screens, and they really seemed to work well. That looked like a Mike Bobo offense. The last few games have looked a lot more like CMR offense. I set, run up the middle. You can't play ball control when you're down by 28 points in Neyland Stadium. Again, uninspired. More later...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Las Vegas

The wife and I just returned from a trip to Las Vegas. Visited with some friends, attended a conference, and one out for little the night life. This is a really funny place, because every time you come, it looks almost completely different in comparison to your previous trip.

What was good: The meeting was great, I saw and visited with a lot of friends and made several new ones. We stayed in Summerlin which is a few miles off the strip, but it really did not make that big of a difference because we had a car that we could get back into the strip when we wanted. We also went to a new show entitled Le Reve at Wynn which was like O made more abstract on steroids.

What was disappointing: What remains obvious is that good food can be purchased for a reasonable price. However, great food comes at a staggering price and is frequently over rated. I think part of the problem is the typical Vegas mentality that more is always better. We all know that frequently is not the case. For example, a prestigious restaurant at Caesar's palace that has frequently received rave reviews, I and my fellow diners found to be quite average. And that really is a disappointment. The wine list was bizarre, especially for a place that had several steaks on the menu and offered less than a half dozen Cabernet offerings. The service was condescending, and this may be because of the clientele usually received. Not my fault, but despite the number of fantastic restaurants that have opened in several casino hotels around town, there will always be a market for great food with amazing wine that doesn't have to cost over $200 a person served by people who know what they're talking about, and don't treat you like you're in Jr. high.