Posted by mike d. Filed in Food

Sander and I got to talking about Vegemite.

Sander: Do you know what vegemite is?
Mike D: I have no idea. Like some peanut buttery thing?
Sander: No, not at all. It’s like the left over yeast extract from beer making. Some old people in Austrailia insisted I try it.
Mike D: Any good?
Sander: It is disgusting. The saltiest grossness you can imagine. It was so salty I’d have gladly washed it down with a pint of Soy Sauce.

And there you have it! Vegemite!



Posted by mike d. Filed in Food

Just over a week ago, I decided to roast a turkey. In traditional Mike D over exuberance, I refused to settle for a normal recipe and instead tried a deconstructed turkey. The problem with conventionally roasted turkeys is that you have to time the cooking to the thickest part of the bird; this results in the white meat being drier than it needs to be. By deboning the beast and homogenizing the width, you can better time the cooking so it comes out perfect! That’s the theory anyway.

Result: Complete failure. I did everything wrong.

And thus I begin my training. Since I floundered with the Turkey, I needed to start small. I picked up a chicken last weekend and got to work.


Watch the first 2m30s of that video to be wowed by Jacque Pepin. He debones a Chicken in about 40 seconds. For those of you who are interested, watch the rest – they do a turkey as well as all sorts of other impressive dishes.

What Jacque did in 40 seconds, easily took me 30 minutes. It was slow and painstaking. I had a hard time finding the joints and Jacque moves soooo quickly that I found myself rewinding again and again and again. I could blame my less than sharp knives, but I’m fairly certain it would have taken me just as long with a lightsaber.

Eventually: success


Once deboned, I spread out the meat into a mostly uniform layer


Jen and I then added a pad of sausage stuffing (onions, sausage, pork, bread crumbs, egg, and seasonings)


I then rolled it up, and tied it up with twine. I was a little worried because mine didn’t look as snazzy as Jacque’s. It turns out climbing knots do not help for roasting.


Despite my weak-sauce rope-work, the chicken came out great!


With the stuffing:


Overall this was an extremely rewarding experience. I’m going to try doing one chicken every two weeks like this until I can complete the deboning in less than a minute. Then I’ll upgrade to a turkey and ultimately try it with my sword for a new kung fu party trick.




Posted by mike d. Filed in Food

I’d really like to see a cereal company provide a cereal box back with some challenging questions. This morning LIFE cereal challenged me to find the number 7 and recognize that Boat rhymes with Goat. I think some of the less sugary cereals should focus on challenging word games or deep logic puzzles for an adult audience.

I’d buy that cereal.

Unless it was Grape Nuts.
Don’t be fooled: Definitely not grapes. Definitely not nuts.



Posted by mike d. Filed in Food

Thanksgiving at the House of DiDonato is such a pleasure. It’s like a 96 hour marathon of sleeping and binging on foodstuffs. The highlight of the weekend’s eating was a new Mac & Cheese recipe that Mom D made for us. It’s called:

Smack Yo Mamma Mac and Cheese

This recipe was a finalist on ABC’s Good Morning America for best Mac and Cheese. It was claimed to be so delicious that you would go home and smack yo mamma and demand an answer to why her Mac and Cheese wasn’t as good as this Mac and Cheese.

The dish lived up to its reputation. Thankfully, I did not have to Smack Mom D because she did, in fact, make this mac and cheese for us. Thanks Mom D!

Here’s a link to the recipe!

Posted by mike d. Filed in Food

I have been driving the exact same commute every weekday for the past eight and a half years.

With 50 work weeks (less 2w vacation) subtract about 7 weeks per year for business travel… that’s 43 weeks. At 5 days a week that 215 days per year. That’s about 1,800 trips to work.

And I just noticed that there’s a cheese shop one street over called “The Cheese Shop”

Whattt?! How did I miss this?!



Posted by mike d. Filed in Conversations, Food

Jen: “Orzo is really great. It has all the great qualities of pasta, and you don’t have to chew it.”



Posted by mike d. Filed in Food, travel, Work

Of all the foods I’ve tried, it is Korean cuisine that I can’t yet appreciate.

I am currently working on the South East end of the Korean peninsula about a four hour drive from Seoul. A typical lunch for the workers here consists of a pile of white sticky rice, various vegetables covered in brine and hot chili peppers, kimchi, a meat and a soup. It’s that brine-esque, pickled vegetable stuff that I haven’t yet learned to love. and it is EVERYWHERE. 50% of most meal options are sprinkled with hot&spicy ocean flavor spices.

Yesterday, the Koreans that I’m working with requested a pizza party. So we bought them Pizzas from their favorite locale: Dominoes.

Korean Dominoes should be classified as local cuisine. Two of the pizzas had mayonaise on them, another had shrimp and unidentified yellow cubes. Squash? I’m not sure. You’d think I would be all over that mayo pizza, but I couldn’t move myself to try it.

I will be here until the 28th.

Posted by mike d. Filed in Food, Quickthoughts

I woke up this morning craving Holiday Inn cinnamon buns.

Not a good sign by any means.

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