Sunday, December 28, 2008

December 29, 1981

That was a good day. Today is a reminder for me that I'm officially 27 years old.

People have been asking me what do I plan on doing to celebrate...and my answer is simple...NOTHING.

You guys read about my life - you see how I live. Each day is a celebration for me, it really is. When I get the urge to live life, I live it. When I feel like celebrating others just because, I celebrate. When I decide to cook a good meal for myself just because, then I cook it. So, today for me is nothing more than just a reminder - because I vowed a long time ago to celebrate every stage of life when it happens...and that's what I do. So yup - today's my b-day - but it doesn't mean anything - lol.

In other news - the tapings for Everyday Cookin have been going phenomenally well! We've been having a blast. Here, take a peak!

Don't forget - 1/11/2009. If you want to get your e-mail on the Everyday Cookin'.com list - e-mail me - and I'll be sure to keep you updated...okay?!?!

Promo 2 from Darius Williams on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

No Real Post...

So, I'm in week 2 of taping and as you can imagine - hilariousity at these damn out takes. I mean, really - it's kinda funny. I've only captured two and put them on video for you guys to see. So, check out the video below - it's kinda funny.

Oh - and I don't know why it's off center like that. Any HTML gurus wanna offer some advice? I know how to fry a chicken - but not center a video...look at the irony!

I do realize that the windows media player thingy may not work depending upon your connection. Sooo, I've added in the youtube clip as well.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Cook It - You Name It

I have no name for this - but I tell you one thing - it was damn good. 

At first I was thinking cassoulette. Then I thought to myself "who am I kidding." Real chefs would castrate me for my attempt at such a classic dish for everyday cooking.

So, keeping with my "Cooking Myself Skinny" theme - I thought of this. The only problem is I have no name for it. You do me a favor. I'll tell you how I cooked it and you tell me what I should call it. 

Okay, let's go. 

So I used turkey smoked sausage and hot turkey Italian sausage. I browned those and removed them from the pan. I sauteed carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and green bell pepper until soft. I added flour to make a roux and then I added chicken stock to form the sauce. I seasoned with dried rosemary, thyme, and basil. Then I threw in some canned white navy beans. I put the whole mixture into a bowl that I made out of puff pastry (the not so healthy part) and I ate myself in happy oblivious. 

See the process below.

Remember, I need a me, please? Who knows, if I pick the name you give me I just may come and cook this in person for you!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cooking My Way to Skinny - Root Vegetable Bisque

Sometimes it's the simplest things that make the best meals. I call this my Vegetable Root Bisque. It's so easy, it doesn't even need a recipe - I'm serious.

The good thing about this is that roasting the vegetables first allow a depth of flavor to develop that tastes great.

I used carrots, parsnips, onion, garlic, potatoes, and red bell pepper. I roasted them in a super hot oven after I coated them with salt, pepper, and olive oil. In a separate pot I steeped canned chicken stock with fresh thyme and rosemary. 

Remember what they say - you've always got time for thyme! (I know, bad joke - right?)

I used my blender to mix everybody together to be as smooth or as chunky and I wanted to. I added a bit of salt and pepper to the mix for a re-season session and that's it. Soup's done in less than 20 minutes.

Oh - here's a neat trick to. I wanted just a few croutons made out of whole wheat bread - but I didn't want to buy an entire loaf. Soooo, I used whole wheat kaiser rolls - I used one and froze the rest. How's that for economical? I toasted those up in the hot oven and put just a few over my soup.

See - now really, do you need a recipe for this? I think not!!!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another Hit - 600 Calories per Serving!

Yet another quest to cook my way into being skinny. I'll probably never make it - but I can at least try, right?

So, here's another meal. It has to be like 600 calories even. I mean, I don't know how to measure calories - but if I had to guess...I'd say 600. Don't ask me why - lol.

So, I did up my version of stewed chicken which crushed tomatoes and white wine (which I always seem to have handy). I also did a sun-dried tomato risotto made with brown rice. 

I know what you're saying. You're saying how could you possibly make risotto with brown rice. I know, I know - I didn't believe it either. It took me a while to come up with a trick to make this work - I think I've got it figured out.  

See, brown rice doesn't have a whole heck of a lotta starch like the rice you'd normally use for risotto. Soooo, know what I did? I diced up a starchy Idaho potato and added it to the cooking liquid. It cooked down and stirred in beautifuly. This risotto has NO CHEESE - just white wine (which I always have on hand), chicken stock, a bit of olive oil, and some low fat margarine that I'm using these days. I added a few herbs and sun-dried tomatoes and voila - you'd never know what was missing. I don't have the recipe finalized yet cuz well, I'm still playing around with it. I'll have it sooner than you think.

Lastly, I did some spicy garlicky green beans. A quick blanch in SHOCKINGLY SALTY WATER and a toss in garlic infused olive oil with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Easy, simple and delicious. 

Here's there recipe for the Stewed Chicken!

White Wine & Tomato Stew Chicken


1 whole chicken, cut up into individual pieces

1 16 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

½ cup of white wine

2 table spoons of olive oil

2 table spoons of reduced low fat margarine

¼ cup of chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon of dried basil and rosemary

Salt and pepper


In a skillet heat olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Sear on both sides until golden brown. Remove from skillet and add onions and garlic to the pan. Sauté in the pan drippings until translucent. Add white wine, tomatoes, bay leaf, basil, and rosemary and stir until well combined. Bring to a boil, add chicken, and simmer. Cover and cook for 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked throughout. 

Here are a few pics...enjoy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cooking My Way to Being Skinny

So, I went on this cruise and before I left I was 180 pounds. Now that I'm back, I weighed myself this past Sunday...I'm 342 pounds. I may not be the greatest in math, but that's a whole lotta weight I've put on in just a week. So, we've gotta do some work to get back to 180 pounds. 

Besides, folks have been asking for healthy recipes and such - well, here's one. It's so easy - there's not really a recipe. 

What is it?
Well, it's a quick salad made from brussel sprouts (my favorite veggie), match stick carrots, and orzo all tossed in a lemon vinaigrette. I also pan seared a bit of tilapia and seasoned it with lemon zest, salt, and pepper! Great meal - and I'm sure it's gotta be super low in calories and stuff, right?

Here's the only recipe you'll need - the lemon vinaigrette.

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 cup of really good olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced

Just combine all the ingredients...and voila - vinaigrette's done. How simple was that?

Enjoy the pics!
This is how it started. Look at how gigantic those lemons are!

What's one of the first things we learn about blanching veggies and cooking pasta? SHOCKINGLY salty water does the trick!

The tilapia is just hanging out getting seasoned!

Have I ever told you how big these lemons are?

I squeezed one lemon and got all this juice!

Mincing garlic for the vinagrette!

The tablespoon of dijon is soooo necessary.

Don't forget to add salt and pepper.

The finished product...looks good, right?

I just tossed in the vinagrette with orzo, shredded carrots, and blanched brussel sprouts.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I'm Back!!! Enjoy the Pics!

So, the trip is over...booo - I soooo wanna go back. But now it's back to reality. I snapped about 600 pictures. I think I only posted 150-something or other.

UPDATE: I just realized that it's going to take me allll day to caption all these pictures. I can't possibly caption all these pictures, can I? There are waaay too many.


Landing in the Ft. Lauderdale metro area

Some statue in the airport in Ft. Lauderdale...I thought it'd be a good thing to take a picture of

A picture of Levell - this is us in Miami

A photo of the Ritz Carlton in Miami

Me on the beach in Miami - I have no idea what I was doing.

Me, on the beach boardwalk - we need one of these in Chicago.