When Niles and I first moved in together, I wasn’t used to sharing my living space, and I had a really hard time learning to sleep when someone else was always there, breathing and stuff. But now I’m so used to it that while he was gone for all of four days, I had a really hard time falling asleep. I toyed with the idea of creating an ambient noise app that’s the sound of “Boyfriend in the Next Room Playing Video Games” – because then I’d seriously sleep like a baby – which led to the discussion of creating ambient noise apps for Chicago neighborhoods: “Homeless Guy Rummaging Through Dumpster”, “Random Fireworks Going Off At Unexpected Intervals”, “Neighbors Having Sex”, and “Teenage Lovers Arguing in Alley”.
Sorry, this feels a little lazy, but I ended up having a great dinner with my brother and some friends and we got caught up in a very complicated and intense discussion about religion and other heady topics and I didn’t draw my comic until I got home and had already had a few ciders. Vander Mill Totally Roasted Cider is delicious, by the by, and I haven’t really been a cider drinker for a while. The jerk chicken sandwich at the Small Bar used to be a jerk chicken salad – with avocado slices, crushed pineapple, and pineapple-bacon vinaigrette – but the sandwich is almost as good. And the conversation! I keep trying to think of something better in life besides sharing good food and good alcohol with good company, but I can’t quite think of anything…
Runners! I have two questions for you.
1) Is this a thing, high fiving each other for running? And if not can we make it a thing? Because it was pretty great.
2) Having been told a few horror stories, I’m a little terrified of hurting my knees. This morning during a run, just as I was hitting my stride, I had a brand new, kinda sharp pain on the side of my kneecap. I stopped right away and just walked the rest of the route. I’m not sure if I was being paranoid or not, but… is there anything I should be doing to protect my knees while I’m running? I have very good shoes, so I’m not so much worried about that. I would very much like to keep running, but not at the expense of usable knees.
So these were just going to be What’s-In-The-Fridge tacos, but they pretty quickly turned into What-We-Can-Buy-At-The-Carniceria-Across-The-Street tacos. Much like stone soup, we headed to the carniceria to grab one thing – tortillas – and ended up walking out with things like avocados and nopales. Niles grilled up the chicken chorizo with the cactus, we grated cheese and chopped onion and tomato, and suddenly there was a perfectly delicious batch of tacos in front of us. The avocado cooled off the spices from the chorizo, the strong saltiness of the cheddar balanced out the tartness of the cactus, everything worked together so well, especially for improvised weeknight tacos. Two thumbs up!
Do you get it? Because it’s brushed with BALSAMic vinegar? See? The life of a punster is a difficult one, but the life of those doomed to love a punster is no cakewalk either.
Anyway, Niles made steak for Corinne and me last night, and it was delicious, and there was much conversation and probably too much wine, and that’s why this comic is late and also pretty lazy. Sorry!
Niles wrote this one! I had to edit it down a little, because his instructions were very detailed. So here are some extra tips that didn’t quite fit on the page:
* Make sure to use corn or vegetable oil, NOT olive oil. Olive oil has a lower smoke point, so you can’t get the pan quite as hot without filling your kitchen with smoke. Seriously though, even with the vegetable oil, Niles sets the smoke alarm off EVERY TIME he makes a steak. We have a very sensitive smoke alarm (again, sorry neighbors!), but still.
* You can replace the 1/4c of wine with beer, which is what Niles did tonight, and it was just delicious.
And that’s it! Enjoy!
So, Niles has this running joke, where whenever I tell him I can’t think of something to draw for Sauceome, he suggests doing a comic about an oil rig. It’s from some inside joke he had with a friend in college, I don’t remember exactly what it was. But every time I ask him for ideas, he says “oil rig.” He thinks it’s pretty funny. So tonight when I said, I want your help writing a Sauceome comic, he asked excitedly “Is it about an oil rig?”
No, but it IS about one of his favorite topics. Niles is an expert at making steak, perfectly seared on the outside, tender and pink on the inside. We were in a grocery store the other day, looking at the meats section, and I realized: I know very little about the cuts of meat – I mean, obviously I’ve heard the names, but I didn’t really understand which part of the animal each of them came from, or how they were different – so I made Niles give me a lesson. I learned some interesting things!
Niles now wants me to do a Sauceome comic where he explains how to make a steak perfectly, and I’m okay with that if you guys are.
PS! A while back, I drew a bunch of Pokémon butcher charts. Please don’t show them to any impressionable children.
WHAT? What do you mean, you forgot how to make a basic maki roll? What am I going to do with you guys? Fortunately the 3-part recipe is over here.
So this is one I threw together this week for some work lunches. It’s inspired by the knockout spicy tuna maki at Hana Restaurant in Rogers Park. They chop the tuna super fine, and mix it in with finely chopped peppers and spicy mayo, and the combination texture – the soft tuna plus the spicy crunch of jalapeño – is phenomenal. Normally I don’t chop up my maki fillings that finely, but the charming ladies at Hana have me second-guessing that.
Fair warning: obviously, this recipe is pretty spicy; but that’s why the avocado is there, to balance out the heat. Still, maybe go easy on the wasabi with this one.
Niles and I met some friends at Kuma’s on Sunday for some obscenely tasty burgers. They have two competing specials for March: the Maligno, with spice braised pulled chicken, sriracha, jicama slaw, and mint; and the King Bong, with garlic rosemary pulled pork, spicy mustard glazed onions, smoked Gouda, and crispy strips of prosciutto. I opted for the King Bong, and I have no regrets. The textures are complicated and interesting, and the tastes blend together extremely well. The pulled pork was maybe a little dry, but it was exceedingly well spiced, and the moisture of the melted cheese and the onions more than made up for that. The crispy strips of prosciutto were a super bonus, but honestly the mustard-glazed onions were probably my favorite part.
As always, I ate half of the burger and sat there staring at the second half, knowing full well I would regret it if I ate it, but wanting so badly to eat it anyway. Fortunately one of the servers read my mind and dropped a takeout box in front of me, so now I get to have this delicious burger again later. Hooray!
IN OTHER NEWS: I am just about done sending out the Kickstarter rewards for the Shuteye book! Which means that I can start taking orders for it in earnest. Anyone want a comic book? I’m still finishing up the last few of the more time-consuming rewards for the project, but once those are done, I’m going to be ready to move on to the next project, which I’m really excited about.
Since that one’s going to take a long while to do, I think in the interim I will finally, FINALLY be doing a Sauceome book! After long deliberations, I think I have a pretty good idea of how I want to put it together. It’s going to take a while to collect the print-ready files and lay it out, get quotes, probably run another Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing – so with any luck by that time, I’ll have sold enough Shuteye books to make room for a Sauceome book!
So maybe it was a mistake to draw a little picture in every single Shuteye book that I’m sending out, or maybe it’s not, but either way I am dead tired and I’m still not quite done. Between signing books, packaging books, carting books to the post office, packing things up for Chicago Zinefest, writing a presentation I foolishly volunteered to give at Zinefest, and just the everyday crap of working and getting around and maintaining a thin facade of being in control and behaving like a normal grown up, I am SO TIRED right now, I think I will collapse the second the last Kickstarter envelope is in the mail.
I promise, it’s business as usual on Monday!