Hot Italian Giardiniera (Hot Mix)   Leave a comment

Homemade Hot Italian giardiniera (hot mix)

 

I discovered hot Italian giardiniera while on a business trip to Chicago several years ago. It was served as a condiment for an incredible Italian beef sandwich. I like to use this on hot dogs and sausages.

Here’s my version of this tasty and easy “hot mix.”

Nothing in this recipe is critical – choose vegetables that are either on sale or with nice color, or what you like best. You may slice, dice or chop them in large or small pieces. If you are short on time, or don’t like vegetable prep, you can take advantage of pre-cut carrot chips and similar items.

Vegetable Mix
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 yellow bell peppers, sliced
8 jalapeno peppers, sliced – adjust for hotness level
3 celery stalks, diced
3 medium carrot, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup salt

For the Dressing
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 (5 ounce) jar pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped or whole
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup canola oil

Chopped jalapeno and other peppers for hot Italian giardiniera.

 


1. Chop and dice all vegetables and put them into a big non-reactive mixing bowl.
2. Mix salt with about 2 cups of water until it dissolves and add it to the bowl. Add water to cover the vegetables.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
4. The next day, drain and rinse vegetables. Add the olives.
5. In a separate bowl, mix together garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, black pepper and celery seeds.
6. Add the vinegar and oil, and stir well.
7. Blend the dressing with the vegetables.
8. Cover and refrigerate / store in jars.

This is a great side dish for beef and beef sandwiches. Put it on pasta or hot dogs instead of pickle relish.

Ono Ono Chicken Thighs on the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

I made some “shoyu chicken” a while ago.

(ONO ONO means – VERY delicious.) It starts with a simple marinade, the ingredients look like this . . . .

Marinade ingredients for the Ono Ono Chicken

I decided I wanted to try trimming the thighs “competition style.” I need more practice, but this is what I did. It took a long time to do all this surgery, but it was worth it, since there is a lot of un-needed fat that you can throw away.

Thighs from the supermarket had this weird flap of extra skin. Yeah, I do love eating that stuff, but I decided to trim it off.

Chicken thigh from the local supermarket – all kinds of extra skin.

After trimming the excess, pull the skin away from the meat. If this process bothers you, you may want to think of this as a biology lab session. All this surgery is not for the faint of heart – and stomach.

Pull the skin away from the meat, and scrape the pasty fat away.

I used a spoon and a paring knife to scrape the fat from the inside surface of the skin.

Use various tools to scrape the fat away.

Keep scraping, but try to avoid damage to the skin.

 

Once the excess is scraped off, stretch and wrap the skin back on the thigh meat. I removed about a tablespoon or so of this excess stuff from each thigh. This is what it looked like. The guy performing the demonstration made his thighs look like little pillows, almost like a perfect, puffy rounded rectangle. Amazing.

Chicken thigh after trimming and de-fatting.

Prep Work Done – On to the Grill!

The marinade has a lot of sugar, so indirect grilling is used to prevent nasty flare-ups. (Big Green Egg Platesetter legs up, under the grill grate.)

Ono Ono Chicken on the Big Green Egg

Isn’t the color amazing? Cook until the safety zone is reached, about 160 to 170 degrees F.

Get ready to eat.

 

Here we go —

Ono Ono Chicken ready to eat.

 

I posted the recipe on the Green Egg – EGGhead Forum in 2011.

 

2015 Bay Area Maker Faire Discount Tickets Available   Leave a comment

 

Maker Faire headquarters announced early bird discounts for Maker Faire Bay Area on May 16 and 17, 2015.

What’s Maker Faire? Take a look at this Drone’s Camera View from Bay Area Maker Faire 2014.

The sale ends on February 28, so don’t delay!

Order your tickets now to take advantage of the discount.

I will see you there – Look for “Not Your Grandpa’s Ham Radio” and our new projects!

How Effective is Your Personal Brand?   Leave a comment

A cubicle neighbor – brainwashed

Mind Share, Customer Awareness, Top of Mind Whatever You Call It – Who Knows You?

Like a lot of folks, I work in a cubicle office space. One of my cubicle neighbors has an irritating habit of humming, whistling or singing jingles and quoting commercials about athletic shoes, junk food restaurants and car dealerships. This guy is completely brainwashed with these messages, and consciously or unconsciously, spreads his junk knowledge to others around him. I usually tune this audible garbage out by focusing on my work, or putting my USB headset on.

By the way, sometimes I have music on, sometimes I am on a conference call or net meeting, but often I just have the headset on without listening to anything, so people won’t bother me. If you are in a similar noisy situation, you may want to try this “do not disturb” technique. The “commercial guy” is a little less irritating than “the nose whistler,” but that is another story . . . .

In any case, as I tried to ignore this audio pollution and tried to focus on editing a CAD model, I thought about this from a job search point of view. Companies and advertising agencies love people like my office space neighbor: Their messages are always at the top their minds, and their brand images and marketing messages are getting through – and are broadcast to potential customers.

If you are new to the idea of personal branding, consider how long and how much money it took Nike, McDonald’s, Burger King, Toyota, BMW and other companies to establish and achieve their brand recognition. Corporations have money, agencies and time to create, maintain and protect their branding. For the rest of us, our resource is time. And we can leverage the power of LinkedIn to broadcast our personal brand.

Putting this in the form of a question from a hiring manager, recruiter or company headhunter, their thoughts could go like this:

“Who is the best person in my network that can become our new (fill in the blank with a job function or title)?”

The interesting part about this question is that the person selected may or may not be the best qualified or best experienced person in their network. It is more likely to be the very first person they can think of.

And this is where we want to be: All of us should do everything possible to earn that same place in everyone’s head. We want to be the first person people think of when they are seeking advice or trying to fill an opportunity.

While you don’t necessarily need to make up a jingle about yourself, your personal brand must communicate who you are, what you do and why you do what you do in simple, easily-understandable language. As you craft this message, always think about this from the viewer’s point of view – your “elevator speech” is not for you, it is for someone looking for your skills and expertise.

The next step is to edit your personal branding message into language your grandma can understand. You must be able to answer the famous questions, “Why should I hire you?” and “What is it you do here?”

Creating and maintaining your personal brand takes time, and the messages must be consistent and positive. Why not start today and optimize your LinkedIn profile summary with a simple, powerful and memorable personal branding message?

For more posts like this, visit my LinkedIn Publish page – and connect with me on LinkedIn – just remember to personalize your request so I know how you found me.

 

Call for 2015 Bay Area Makers is Now Open!   Leave a comment

IMG_0183 wayne yoshida tech writer dragon-head fire

The call for Bay Area Makers is open now. The deadline is Sunday Feb 15.

What’s a Maker? Take a look at what a lot of us are doing in The Maker Movement.

But if you think this idea is new, read this post about re-inventing the wheel. In this case, the wheel is the definition of “Maker.”

More info on the 2015 Bay Area Maker Faire. . .

Just to whet your appetite about the upcoming Maker Faire – take a look at a Drone’s Eye View of Maker Faire 2014!

Search for “Makers” and “Maker Faire” on this site to see some of my previous projects and participation at Maker Faire.

Christmas Boat Update: D25 Wins Another First Place Award   Leave a comment

Photo by Bleu Cotton Photography, Inc.

Photo by Bleu Cotton Photography, Inc.

All that hard work paid off. D25, Peter Barbour’s entry in the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade earned First Place, Best Animation/Special Effects. This is the 11th time D25 has won an award in the parade.

The theme for 2014 was “Something’s Cooking in the Kitchen” and included a boiling tea kettle on a stove with smoke (steam) effects. All of the items on the sail area are animated and are controlled by a total of four computers.

If you look closely, a Christmas “Easter Egg” is planted on the stove. Do you see it? Maybe this photo, taken when the decorations were still under construction will help.

An argument about a detail on D25 for 2014

An argument about a detail on D25 for 2014

Still don’t see it? When Steve was painting the final touches on the stove, a heated discussion took place. Should the clock on the stove be analog or digital? What time should it show? Our thinking process went from “I doesn’t matter” to “Midnight. Doesn’t everyone wait until midnight to open all the gifts?” to “Wait. Christmas. December 25. Boat is named D25. 12:25!”

Here are some more images of D25 under construction . . .

 

Other 2014 Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade Winners are posted on the official Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade website.

Peter is N6RAS. D25 includes Amateur Radio equipment as well as a GPS and APRS locator/tracking system on board.

What’s in store for Christmas 2015? Only Peter knows – but we can all look forward to something amazing!

Re-Invent Your Career with Transferable Skills   Leave a comment

wayne yoshida tech writer screwdriver image

Here’s an example of a re-purposed item. An ordinary Phillips head screwdriver became something new by adding a few bends in its shaft. The bends were transferred from some other screwdriver ideas . . . .

Everyone has a set of skills and expertise, no matter who they are or what they do. Think of your skill set as a collection of things you learned from your earliest memories to present day. This is especially important when contemplating your next career move: All of us can jump from one career or position to another, but the jump must be realistic and make sense to anyone looking at your profile and work history. I call this our inventory of transferable skills.

Take a close look at everything you do and everything you know, including any personal, time-off activities such as sports and hobbies. Make a list of your skills and knowledge, then think about how these elements can transfer into your next career. You may discover more possibilities as you examine your list.

IMG_0764 wayne yoshida Tech Writer

While helping my friend Peter decorate his boat for a Christmas parade, we talked a little bit about work and career events over the last year. Of course, I had to mention LinkedIn and how it helped me. Peter is not on LinkedIn (yet) but I hope he decides to give it a try.

Peter’s extreme Christmas decor aboard his boat includes thousands of individual lights, four microcomputers two generators and hundreds of feet of wires.

Connecting all of these elements together and making them work on a short schedule is a demonstration of Peter’s knowledge and skills. Many, if not all, of these skills are transferable to several career paths.

Here are just some of the skills and expertise needed to create an award-winning Christmas boat entry:

Project planning/project management
Advertising and marketing
Public information/public relations
Computer/microprocessor programming
AC circuitry
Ocean navigation
Electronics
Programmable logic controllers PLC
Electrical safety
Computer software and hardware

The list is impressive, and it is even more impressive when you remember this is just a short list of things based on one hobby-type of activity.

So as this year comes to a close, I encourage everyone to make a list of transferable skills and expertise, and remember to include both work and non-work activities.

Learn more about leveraging LinkedIn as a career management tool at the LinkedIn workshops at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. If you are out of the area, watch for postings about our live, online sessions. Check the “Calendar & Events” page for dates and times.

Connect with me on LinkedIn and see my other LinkedIn Publish posts.

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