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Vinho Verde a Delicious, Yet Affordable Bottle of Wine

I want to start this post by apologizing for the lack of posts the past few weeks. Between getting Men Cook Too ready for publishing, the holidays and a great four day trip to Vermont, I have been pre-occupied. I just got back tonight, but wanted to make a quick post about how well a glass of Vinho Verde goes with almost anything.

While I was in Vermont, I saw a post online about how the sales of Vinho Verde in the United States has been going up to the tune of millions of dollars. As someone who grew up in a Portuguese household where Casal Garcia Vinho Verde was a common bottle of wine to be opened, I may be a bit biased, but nonetheless, here I am. I wasn’t going to make a post about this until we were heading back to Connecticut today from Vermont. We made a stop at the local country store in East Burke and then made another stop in St. Johnsbury at a neat little convenience shop/deli/everything else you could imagine and low and behold, each shop had bottles of Vinho Verde. With numerous local wineries and vineyards within a few hours drive, seeing imported bottles of Vinho Verde from Portugal spoke to me.

Anyone who has had a glass of Vinho Verde can attest to the fact that this wine tastes great and is something that can be put at the table regardless of the food prepared for the evening. One of the best parts about this type of wine is that you don’t need to pay a whole lot for it, as this bottle of Pavao cost me just $8.99, which is actually one of the more expensive bottles of this type of wine I have ever encountered.

With that, here is my message to all the guys looking to pick up a nice bottle of wine for dinner. More isn’t always better. Don’t go with the expensive bottle of wine only because it costs more. Sometimes you can find a great deal on a delicious bottle of wine like a Vinho Verde. If you haven’t seen any Vinho Verde in your local liquor store, check out Total Wine to look at the many options available (my advice would be to try the Gazela).

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Cookbook Officially Ready to be Formatted – Update to Kickstarter Backers

It seems like months have gone by since the end of the Kickstarter campaign for Men Cook Too, but it has been just two and a half weeks. These 17 days have been filled with plenty of work that needed to be done to complete the entire book process and as of last night, the book has been edited, as have the pictures and everything has been put together to be formatted professionally. The formatting process will take an estimated three weeks and from that point, as long as everything looks on par, the book will be published, printed and released about a week later. For everyone that pledged through Kickstarter to get the cookbook, this puts on directly on schedule to have the book in hand by the end of January.

It wasn’t just the book that I needed to get ready for all my backers, as I also needed to take care of ordering the recipe postcards, wine glasses and corkscrews. The wine glasses are already in hand and can be found in the Men Cook Too store (and with orders made by the end of the day on Sunday, Christmas Eve delivery is guaranteed). The corkscrews have been a bit more difficult as the company I am using for them reached out to me today to let me know the planned color was out of stock. This shouldn’t be a problem when it comes to the estimated delivery dates.

As an added bonus to the Men Cook Too Kickstarter backers, you can purchase wine glasses or corkscrews and not pay shipping. The store I use here won’t allow me to let customers adjust the value of the payment, so I will simply refund the shipping amount charged at checkout.

Another reward included with pledges during the Kickstarter campaign was being thanked here on Men Cook Too and that reward has been live for about a week.

That’s about all for now. I just wanted to update you all on where we stood on rewards and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Check out and like our Men Cook Too Facebook page

Check out and like our Men Cook Too Facebook page

The finished product: Oreo Cheesecake Cookies.

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies: A Holiday Cookie Swap Idea

I’ll be the first to admit it. I am new to the corporate world and the idea of having holiday cookie swaps. While I may be new to the idea, it doesn’t mean that I don’t like the idea especially considering the fact that I love cookies. They have been my downfall ever since I was a young kid. That being said, when emails started being passed around my company talking about this big event tomorrow, I began to think of cookie ideas that will blow everyone away. I struggled to come up with an idea until my cube-mate suggested Oreo Cheesecake Cookies. 

I am currently writing this blog post as the cookies are baking in the oven. I am anticipating these cookies tasting amazing because, well, it’s cheesecake and Oreo’s. How much better can it get?

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

Servings: Three Dozen Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

BakeTime: 15 minutes per Dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups Crushed Oreo Cookies (equates to roughly 30 cookies)
  • 9 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1½ cups cups Unsalted Butter
  • 3 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 3 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 3 cups Al-Purpose Flour
  • 1½ cups Chocolate Chips

Instructions:

-Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and prepare baking pan with either parchment paper of aluminum foil.

-Crush your cookies by placing them in a Ziploc bag and using the back of a wooden spoon to break them down. It will take roughly 12 cookies per cup once crushed. Put these in a bowl and set aside.

-In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese and blend on medium until mixed well. Once mixture is smooth, add vanilla extract and sugar and mix until mixture is mixed well. Add flour to mixture and mix on low until well blended and then add chocolate chips (which can also be left out of recipe if you’d rather not have the extra chocolate).

A look at the cookie mixture after all ingredients have been included.

A look at the cookie mixture after all ingredients have been included.

-Take your cookie mixture and scoop into balls around 1½ to 2 inches and drop into cookie crumb bowl. Use your best chef flipping skill to cover mixture completely in cookie crumbs. Place your cookie balls onto your baking pan, leaving enough room between to expand.

-Bake for 12-15 minutes. Let cool on pan for several minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

I hope you enjoy these cookies and consider using them for you cookie swap this holiday season. On a side note, pre-orders for the Men Cook Too cookbook are available now in the Men Cook Too store. Other items in the store include wine glasses and corkscrews, all of which would make for great additions to any bar.

The finished product: Oreo Cheesecake Cookies.

The finished product: Oreo Cheesecake Cookies.

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Update on ‘Men Cook Too’ Process after Kickstarter

I just wanted to check in with everyone on where we stand in the Men Cook Too process. I am currently going through and editing the book for the final time. The final count for the number of dishes in the cookbook is 41, 43 or 44 total recipes so our book will be between 65 and 80 pages in full color with incredible photographs from our Safaris and Sunsets partner, Sarah. Once the photos are ready and the book is completely edited and proofed, I will be sending it to my publishing company to be formatted and structured. Once they have the book, it will be about three or four weeks until I get a proof to look at and everything looks the way I envision it, we will be good to print and all the backers from my Kickstarter campaign will be getting their books soon after.

Another important process for the book is getting the cover designed and completed courtesy of Kristen Brassard. She is extremely talented and one of the best graphic designers I know, so I am 100 confident that she will come up with something that looks better than I ever could have imagined myself.

I’ve also recently ordered the Men Cook Too stemless wine glasses (will be available for purchase next week, along with pre-orders of the book and custom corkscrews), which will be completed and in hand on Tuesday. Next up is ordering recipe postcards for the backers of the book, as well as creating a graphic for this website showcasing all the supporters I got through Kickstarter and those that I know personally.

One more thing before I go, I had joined together with Safaris and Sunsets to host a giveaway for a copy of Men Cook Too  and earlier this week, that winner was chosen. Amanda Rose of Sew Much 2 Say was the winner and will get her book in January and will also get ad space here on Men Cook Too for three months. Everyone click the link in the “Men Cook Too Partners” section to the right and check out her great site.

Have a great day everyone!

Hobson

Check out and like our Men Cook Too Facebook page

Check out and like our Men Cook Too Facebook page

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Becoming an Affiliate with Blendtec

Things continue to work wonderfully for Men Cook Too. Between getting the funding for my cookbook and preparing the book for its release, things have been busy. Despite a busy schedule seven days a week, things aren’t only stressful. Things are continuing to look great for Men Cook Too. I am proud to announce that I was recently accepted into the Blendtec affiliate program. Nobody opens up a website with the intention of making a lot of money, but there is always hope that it could happen. This is one of those opportunities for me and this website to eventually become one that is relied upon for people on a daily basis and I think it starts with Blendtec.

Blendtec is a company that was founded in 1975 and specializes in blenders for professional or home use. The company is headquartered in Orem, Utah, and is constantly working at improving their products. They recently won the 2103 Gold Innovation Award for innovations for their line of stealth blenders.

Among the top products that Blendtec  currently offers include the 100341 Q-Series and the Home TB-621 Blender.

Blendtec Q Series The Q-Series has plenty of power for all your blending needs, but does so without the usual noise that comes with using a blender. It is perfect for use in your home, or even in a restaurant or bar. There are 30 pre-programmed cycles that can be cycled through with the blue LCD screen. The Q-Series comes with two 96 oz. Wildside Jars allowing you to make large batches of smoothies without needing to wash the blender each time.

The TB-621 blender can be used for whatever blending job you have in mind. It uses smart-touch technology for its digital touchpad. The blender can use its 29,000 RPM blade to draw items to the bottom to mix. This blender can actually help you gain space on your kitchen counters. With this blender, you can get rid of your juicer, grain mill, ice cream maker, bread machine, blender, milkshake blender, coffee grinder and ice crusher.

if you or anyone you know might be interested in one of these high-powered blenders, click below and please share this post.

Blendtec Blenders

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Hectic, But Fun Times at Men Cook Too

If you are a follower of the Men Cook Too Facebook page, followed the Kickstarter funding campaign for the Men Cook Too cookbook or followed me at Twitter, you would know by now that the crowd-funding campaign to get the cookbook published was successful. The campaign ended Sunday night with a roaring final two days that saw 23 more people back the book to help reach the $3,000 needed to become published.

Just because the Kickstarter is complete doesn’t mean the work is over. I now need to finish the final few recipes of the cookbook, let my incredibly talented girlfriend, Sarah, (from Safaris and Sunsets) finished editing the pictures and send the entire book off to be formatted and structured. While the book is getting professionally worked on, I still need to take care of ordering the other rewards for my amazing backers including recipe postcards and custom wine glasses and corkscrews.

I am excited that so many people believed in the book enough to pledge their hard-earned money on it and am excited for what is next. When the book is finally out of my hands and into the hands of the professionals that will organize it for me, I will have more time to do what I’ve been wanting to do, including making a Smoky Paprika Chipotle and other fun things.

As I continue the next steps in the Men Cook Too adventure, I will keep you all informed and continue to let you all in on the fun stuff we here at Men Cook Too have planned. Have a great night!

Hobson

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Quick Rivalry Saturday Recipes

I know it has been a few days since my last post, but things have been busy. Between spending Thanksgiving Day with family, putting the finishing touches on Men Cook Too (Pledge here 😉 before tomorrow at 8:25 p.m.) and working on some freelance gigs, I’ve been kept away from Men Cook Too. Don’t worry though. I haven’t forgotten about all of you. With today being Rivalry Saturday in NCAA football, there are numerous easy dishes we can make that will keep our stomachs filled despite the hurt-feeling that watching the big games brings (Go OSU, FSU and UConn!)

Boneless Chicken Breasts

Not only is it easy to make, but boneless chicken breasts are a great way to cure your hunger. All you need is 2 pounds of chicken breast, cut into 1 inch x 1 inch cubes, a large plastic Ziploc bag filled with your favorite rub or marinade and a grill. Put your chunks of chicken into the bag, shake it around and let sit for a half-hour or so and when ready, put on the grill for a few minutes and you’ll have a delicious and filling appetizer.

Sausage and Vegetable Skewer

Another easy to complete dish is a sausage and vegetable skewer. Take your favorite type of sausage, whether it be sweet or hot Italian sausage, or homemade Portuguese sausage and cut into 1/2 inch strips. Then cut up peppers, onions and tomatoes and place on a skewer. You can grill these on the grill or broil them in the oven. Either way, you will get a nice flavor.

If you are looking for something simple and nachos-related, check out a post I wrote a couple weeks back for a great recipe.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend and if you enjoy the posts I make here on Men Cook Too, please consider pledging for the cookbook by clicking the logo below. The campaign ends tomorrow at 8:25p.m. and if my $3,000 funding goal is not reached, nobody is charged and I get nothing.

Hobson

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My Own Thanksgiving Feast

Some of my greatest memories as a youth was waking up on Thanksgiving morning and smelling all the amazing food being prepared by my mother. Anyone with a Portuguese mother can attest to the fact that there was a lot of appetizers, sides and desserts being prepared along with the turkey. Those were great memories.

In the final stretch run to complete Men Cook Too and get the cookbook funded on Kickstarter, last night was my like our own Thanksgiving Feast… Well, aside from the turkey. I checked off two appetizers, one cocktail and on dessert off the to-do list and ended up feeling like I just ate a big Thanksgiving meal. That is one of the best things about the cookbook. While there are dishes that require more effort to complete, there are also a large amount of recipes that take less than 15 minutes of prep time, allowing you to have a feast whenever you want.

With that, I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and hope that everyone has a chance to check out the Kickstarter for Men Cook Too.

Hobson

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Helping in the Kitchen on Thanksgiving Day

If the main idea behind this website is to help encourage men to get in the kitchen and lend some support in their quest to become great cooks, that is what I am going to try and do here. Thanksgiving is just days away. For different people, this holiday has different meanings. For some, it means eating a big, fat, juicy turkey. For others, it means being with family and friends. For others, it means enjoying the National Football League action and of course, there are those that are all about the Black Friday shopping deals. With that being said, as we look ahead to Thanksgiving Day, let’s look at what simple dishes men can help take care of.

Stuffing

Stuffing

With the creation of Stove Top stuffing packages, making this popular Thanksgiving dinner side is easy to do. By simply boiling water, adding the package of Stove Top and setting aside for about five minutes, you can say you helped out.

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

If you want to help out with the mashed potatoes, you can do the same as you did for the stuffing. If you want to make homemade mashed potatoes, the process is simple. In a large saucepan, boil water. While water is boiling, peel your potatoes and cut them into thin slices. This will help them cook faster later on. When your water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium, add the potatoes and cook for about 20 minutes, or until soft. When they are soft, you can either mash them by hand or in a food processor. At this point, you should also add a tablespoon of milk, 2 tablespoons of butter and 3 or 4 tablespoons of heavy cream and mix together. You can also add salt and pepper to reach the taste of your liking, but in about a half an hour, you will be able to say you make a great dish of mashed potatoes.

Hobson

P.S. Please support Men Cook Too on Kickstarter by clicking the link below and pledging. For as little as $20, you can get yourself a copy of Men Cook Too.

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Officially at Seven Days for Men Cook Too on Kickstarter

Hello again everyone!

We are down to the final seven days for the Kickstarter campaign for my new cookbook, Men Cook Too. This cookbook is something I have put a lot of time and effort into putting together and something I know will be enjoyed by men and women alike. I still need your support. I have gotten nearly $1,600 of the requested $3,000 needed to get the book formatted, published and shipped out.

I want to reiterate the fact that you aren’t giving money for nothing. In return for your pledges of support, you can get copies of the book in paperback or ebook form and other goodies including recipe cards, wine glasses, corkscrews and more. The latest pledge level added to the campaign is for $125. In return, you will get a couple copies of the book, as well as a 1-hour Skype session with me as I work with you on making recipes from the book. If you or someone you know would love the chance to learn how to cook, this level is perfect to make that happen.

Continue to spread the word about Men Cook Too on Kickstarter and I look forward to getting a copy of the book to your door!

Hobson
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How to Pledge for ‘Men Cook Too’ on Kickstarter

Ever since the launch of the Kickstarter campaign for Men Cook Too began, I have been getting a bunch of questions about how to actually pledge. With a little more than a week left to reach my funding goal, I figured I would give a step-by-step guide on how to do it.

1. Go to the Men Cook Too page here.

2. Choose your pledge level and kick “Back this Project.”

3. Either sign into your Kickstarter account, or register for a new one. Registering can be done by linking your Facebook account or by entering all your information manually.

4. Once registered, you will be asked to sign into Amazon to complete the payment process. If you have a regular Amazon account used for shopping, this is the account you will use. If you don’t, sign up for new account.

5. Follow the steps listed on the Amazon payments screen and remember that you will not be charged until December 1st and that is only the case if I reach my funding goal.

6. Once your pledge is complete, please use Twitter and Facebook to tell your friends you supported Men Cook Too and urge them to do the same.

Hope this helps. If anyone has any issues completing the process, please reach out to me here or on Facebook and I will help you along.

Hobson

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From the Heart – Create Lasting Memories in the Kitchen

When I lived at home, I never cooked. I barely warmed anything up for myself. It was always my saint of a mother that would make dinner and take care of all the meals each day. It was something I don’t think I appreciated as much as I should have, but as time goes on and everything with Men Cook Too continues to go well, I am finding more and more inspiration from those dishes I’ve seen my mom make a million times. I tried to make one of those meals tonight and when my pot of Caldo Verde soup was complete, I can honestly say that while it wasn’t better than what my mom made, it was something she would be proud of.

With that, here is my message for all you guys. Get in the kitchen. It might sound like I just want you to pledge for my cookbook (and remember for as little as $20, you can get your very own copy), but in reality, think about all the memories you may have had as a child growing up. Whether it was trying to get a finger in the cake batter or waiting around for the Thanksgiving day turkey to finish cooking, they were memories that bring back smiles and once you get in the kitchen, are things that can bring memories to mind for your kids 30 years down the road.

Hobson