Wednesday, August 28, 2013

20 year old idiots: You were once one

First off, let's just get this out of the way, we think Johnny Manziel is an idiot.  We don't think that is up for debate.

We can say the same about Miley Cyrus.

They were born about two weeks apart in 1992.  Both 20.  Both born into affluent or semi-affluent families. Both idiots. Both 20.

We were idiots when we were 20.  I'm sure many of you can relate. But we, at twenty, were not in the spotlight or had a camera on us 24/7.  Some of the stuff we did at 20 would be prime fodder for YouTube today.

But we didn't have to deal with that.

We are in no way condoning the behavior of either.  Just taking a step  back and saying "You were 20 at one time. Would you want what you did then immortalized on a a social network, much less the national media?"

Perspective.  That's all we're saying, perspective.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Alfredo Sauce Made Easy

I'm going off the rails a bit with this post.  Not sports, not music,

Cooking is not rocket science. Or brain surgery. Or rocket surgery, for that matter. Good cooking does not necessitate a laundry list of exotic ingredients or the possession of intricate technique. In fact, the best alfredo sauce I've ever made (or eaten) consists of three very simple ingredients: butter, heavy whipping cream and Parmesan cheese.

Although I firmly believe recipes are guidelines (except when baking, when it's actually a formula), some ingredients cannot be substituted for optimal results. When I say butter, I mean real butter. Not margarine, not I Can't Believe It's Not Butter (I actually can believe it's not butter), not some other butter substitute. When I say heavy whipping cream, I don't mean Half & Half, or milk, or, heaven forbid, skim milk.
I would not recommend substituting anything for this recipe. If you're on a diet, then your best bet would be to find another recipe, because this is full fat, full flavor deliciousness.
You will need roughly equal parts butter and heavy whipping cream. The amount will depend on how much alfredo sauce you expect to use. I would not recommend making much more than you need since this does not keep and/or reheat well.
Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the whipping cream and heat almost to a boil. Boiling and dairy products can create an experience you would not wish to repeat. Slowly stir in parmesan cheese until a thin gravy consistency is reached. During this step, make sure to stir constantly so as not to burn the cheese and also to ensure the cheese is incorporated enough to create a creamy smoothness.
Now, ladle over your favorite pasta (fettuccine is my recommendation) and enjoy. That, by itself, is enough, but embellishments are definitely encouraged.
A grilled (or baked) chicken breast seasoned with basil, garlic and oregano can be sliced or diced and added to the plate.
My favorite embellishment involves a bit more technique, which can also be applied to the basic preparation.
Sautee a few sliced mushrooms in butter and a splash of white wine until softened. Then add some fully cooked diced ham and lemon pepper to taste. Then add heavy whipping cream (roughly the same amount as the butter) and heat through. Add fully cooked and cooled noodles (again fettuccine is preferred). Stir and heat through. Add parmesan cheese to desired consistency, stirring constantly. When your preferred consistency and creaminess is reached, transfer immediately to plate and enjoy.
Happy dining.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

What Casual Baseball Fans Are Missing

We are here to help out the casual baseball fan whose head may be spinning a bit with all the non-baseball news surrounding baseball.  And we think you know what we're talking about.

With about six weeks left in the season, here's what we have going on:

-  The Pirates are in first place in the NL Central.  Not a typo.  Yes, those Pirates.  From Pittsburgh. The Pirates currently hold a three game advantage over the St. Louis Cardinals.  And a lot of you thought that franchise had folded years ago, right?

- The Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics are currently in a dogfight for supremacy of the AL West. Separated by a mere one half game in the standings, and dead even in the loss column, this race could come down to the last day of the season as it did last year.

- The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays are involved in quite the battle themselves in the AL East.  Just a game between them in the standings with Baltimore lurking around at 5 1/2 games out.

- The LA Dodgers are probably playing the best of anyone in baseball right now, taking a commanding lead in the NL West over Arizona.

- On a lesser note, the Kansas City Royals are above .500.  Might not sound like much, but ask a Royals fan.

It's time for A-Rod to fade away. Disappear forever. That won't happen, so it's time for us to just focus on what is happening between the lines. Some good baseball yet to be played. Let's enjoy the pennant races. That's what it should be all about this time of year.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rangers Need to Take Advantage of Soft August

With about a month and a half left in the season, here is where our Texas Rangers stand.  In first place. But Oakland is not going away.

In the past month, the Rangers have gained a Matt Garza and an Alex Rios.  They have lost a Nelson Cruz, a Colby Lewis and now a Matt Harrison.  So where does that leave them?  Better than before.

"What?", you say.  Texas has not had Lewis or Harrison for practically the entire season.  Their losses don't mean that much.  Sure the Cruz loss hurts, but Rios can fill in adequately and provide production.  Not the same as Cruz, but he will contribute.  Now, take a look at the rotation.  Better to have Garza than a maybe Harrison or Lewis. Or maybe Neftali Feliz.

What the Rangers have right now is what they're going to have to go with down the stretch.  We like the chances.  However, looking at the schedules, the Rangers need to have at least a four game lead going into September.

Texas has an easy August schedule.  Oakland's is tougher.  The tables are turned in September.

And for the "Fire Wash" crowd, Ron Washington deserves no less than manager of the year if he guides this team to the playoffs.  We won't bore you with the details now, but it could be coming at a later date.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Johnny Manziel

The saga of Johnny Manziel, Johnny Football if you will, has been well chronicled. From almost being suspended before the 2012 season to winning the Heisman Trophy, from the insipid tweets to "oversleeping" at the Manning's quarterback academy, the Texas A&M quarterback has gone on quite the ride.

Johnny Football's latest transgression to come to light may land him in hot water with the NCAA.  It has been reported that Manziel received -gasp- monetary compensation for signing memorabilia.  Not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.


As opposed to stupid tweeting and "oversleeping", generating income from your own fame is against NCAA rules.  After the weasels at the NCAA get finished probing this situation, it could be bad news for Texas A&M and Johnny Football.  We'll have to wait and see how that all plays out.

We want Manziel to play.  He's fun to watch.  But apparently he's not very bright.  Either that or he has an extreme sense of entitlement.  You can only play the "he's just 20 years old" card so many times before it becomes a problematic behavioral flaw.

Given the NCAA's own investigative incompetence in the past, we wouldn't be surprised if they turn up insufficient evidence to suspend Manziel.  Until Johnny Football pulls another bone-headed stunt.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Riley Cooper

So much happening in the world of sports lately.  And nothing that has to do with on-field performance.

We have Riley Cooper, Johnny (Johnny Football) Manziel, BioGenesis, Alex Rodriguez and Nelson Cruz.

Knee jerk reactions are for twitter and facebook.  Here in the Cheap Seats we like to let things marinate before jumping off the deep end.

Therefore, we will tackle each issue separately and with pertinent distance.

First, Riley Cooper:

What he said was indefensible.  We aren't going there.

It seems as though Riley is a bad drunk.  According to him, he was as surprised as anyone else when the video came out because.............HE DOESN'T REMEMBER SAYING IT!!!

Dude, if you're going get that hammered at a Kenny Chesney show, we would lay low.  We have seen Kenny Chesney.  It's not worth going stupid.  Sure, Chesney is popular.  But not that great.

Ultimately, it's about what Cooper's teammates think.  Idiots like us, and idiots writing for the major sports sites can espouse whatever opinion we/they feel, it doesn't matter.

It really doesn't matter what "we" think.

Let it play out as it will.