Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Sharing my BBQ Recipes

August 20, 2012 1 comment

This past weekend, we held our 5th Annual Near BBQ in our back yard.  This started as an excuse to get some use out of my smoker and has grown into a pretty big event where I add in some new southern food element each year.  Several people asked me for recipes, so here we go…


Smoked Jalapeno Poppers (ABTs)

Making ABTs  Making ABTs


  • 8oz brick of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp BBQ rub
  • 15 Jalapeno Peppers
  • Pound of bacon, thinly sliced


Realistically, you’ll end up using as much of the ingredients as you need to fill the peppers you bought.  I generally buy more raw ingredients than I think I’ll need and mix it up as needed during prep.

  1. Slice the jalapenos in half and remove all seeds and white ribs (remember to wear gloves to protect from the heat!)
  2. Combine equal parts cream cheese and shredded cheddar
  3. Add BBQ rub to the cheese mixture and mix by hand
  4. Put cheese mixture into a ziploc bag and snip the corner
  5. Squeeze the ziploc bag to pipe the cheese mixture into the jalapeno halves
  6. Wrap each jalapeno half in a slice of bacon.  Try to keep the bacon as thin as possible, which may mean trimming excess with scissors.
  7. Sprinkle lightly with more BBQ rub
  8. Cook on the smoker at around 250 degrees for about two hours.  Alternatively these can be cooked on the grill but use indirect heat or you’ll end up with a nasty grease fire.


Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ rub
  • 4 canned chipotle peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup honey


  1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, save one chipotle pepper
  2. Heat and simmer for about ten minutes
  3. Adjust the spiciness to your preference by adding honey and/or the remaining chipotle pepper.  The adobo sauce that the peppers are canned in is also great tasting if you want a bit more spice!
  4. Mix ingredients with a stick blender to ensure that any large chunks are chopped small enough that they won’t clog your sauce bottle.
  5. Cool and pour into a sauce bottle (I get mine at the local restaurant supply store)


Slushy Machine Margarita Mix


  • 2 cans Minute Maid limeade concentrate
  • 1 can Minute Maid lemonade concentrate
  • 6 oz lime juice
  • 2 litres of water
  • 1/4 cup of simple syrup (or sugar dissolved in warm water)
  • Tequila


  1. Combine all ingredients except for Tequila in the slushy machine
  2. Allow the machine to mix and freeze the virgin mix
  3. Add one shot of tequila to the bottom of a cup and dispense the slush on top.  Mix.


Smoked Pulled Pork

Pulled pork from picnic roast

My pulled pork recipe comes pretty much directly from a hobbyist site called the Virtual Weber Bullet, where there is an amazingly detailed overview of how to make it.  You’ll of course need a smoker and I have recommended the Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) to many of my friends.  This fan site makes it very easy to get started with the WSM.  Here’s the recipe:


Credits (recipe starters)

I didn’t invent these recipes, most I adapted from those posted on the internet.  Sources below.

Categories: Family

Lake Ontario State Parkway

August 8, 2006 Leave a comment

We were in western New York for the long weekend, and came across a highway there that is just shocking to me.  Our drive right through the middle of nowhere ended at Lakeside Beach State Park, and as we pulled into the park we passed under a massive twin-span bridge that looked like it belonged to a major highway.  After checking in to the campsite, we went for an exploratory drive around the area and sure enough, those bridges belong to a four-lane divided highway with controlled access, nice solid concrete roadways and wide paved shoulders.  But where does this mystery road go?  We drove down the road for about twenty miles and it continued from the middle of nowhere to slight off center of nowhere, and I kid you not we were the only car on the road.  With visions of the jammed expressways in Ontario fresh on my mind, my only thought was “my god what a massive waste of money”. 
I consulted a map and it turns out that this highway is called th Lake Ontario State Parkway, and stretches from Rochester out to Lakeside Beach State Park.  Well I’m glad that I’m not a taxpayer in the great state of New York, or I’d be mighty angry with whoever funded this project.  I know it may not sound like much when you read about it here on my blog, but here are some other fun activities that I enjoyed on this massive highway:

  • Used it as a nice calming way to go for a drive and get the baby to go to sleep.
  • Drove from the park to the bait shop just down the road.
  • Jodie and I would have bets when were were on the highway as to how many cars we would see in any direction, the options were either one or zero
  • At one point I saw a guy on the side of the road broken down.  I pulled over to make sure he had a phone so he could call for help (wouldn’t want to be stranded out there, it’d be hours before another car might stop).  When I pulled over to talk, I simply stayed in the right-hand lane, slowed the car down and pulled up beside him.  After I knew he was okay I kept on going and thought to myself “wow, I just stopped in the middle of a four-lane highway to chat with some guy and didn’t even pull to the shoulder, that’ll get you killed anywhere else.”

Just astonishing!

Categories: Family, Travel

Turn down your AC, I want to get home!

August 1, 2006 1 comment

I’m out in Regina, Saskatchewan today and just checked in on the weather forecast back home in Toronto.  Holy Schmokes, 48 degrees humidex!  Heat waves always sound more alarming in farhrenheit, which for the record will be a steamy 118 degrees.
I went out and bought a fancy Energy-Star air conditioner recently so I consider myself to be immune from my own advice, but all you other energy hogs out there had better go easy on the air conditioning.  I want to get home tomorrow to have anniversary dinner with the wife, and I’m reminded of almost three years ago to the day when I was in Miami and desperate to get home for my sister’s wedding.  At that time, all you people in the northeast US and southwestern Ontario were lavishly churning the AC and blew out the entire grid.  Since I wasn’t there, it couldn’t have been my fault so I’ll point my long finger from up on my ivory tower at everyone else.  J’accuse!
Now that we’ve established that it was clearly your fault that I almost missed my sister’s wedding three years ago, let’s refocus on today.  It’s stinkin hot, and I know you want to once again crank up that AC.  But resist the urge…  think to yourself “Pete doesn’t want to get stuck in Regina for a week, maybe I’ll just sweat it out”.  If everyone just thinks of me today, we should get through the day without incident.  If however you ignore my needs and blow the grid again, I’m going to be mighty angry at all of you.
Thank you for your attention to my comfort, good day.

Categories: Family, Front Page

Kinda creepy: my old priest charged with abusing children

July 27, 2006 Leave a comment

I was sent this article today from my old home-town newspaper.  It would appear that one of the ministers from my old church is being charged with gross indecency and indecent assault for abusing a 12-year old boy.  At the time I would have been anywhere between 0 and 6 years old and I can’t say that I even remember who this guy was.  But it is nevertheless very unsettling to me to hear this news.
I’ve heard alot about sexual abuse related to the Catholic church, but it has never involved anyone that I know or knew.  It gives me chills.

Categories: Family

You have to be kidding me – sick again?

July 18, 2006 Leave a comment

The last time I went to a north american sales meeting in Minneapolis, I wound up sick as a dog with literally a mountain of kleenex at my conference table.  It got so bad that I had to pass on the evening dinner and socializing.  I’m heading back out to Minneapolis tomorrow (technically I guess it would be today) and wouldn’t you know it I’m up at 1:45am unable to sleep due to sinus pain.  Jodie picked up a sinus cold yesterday and it would appear that she had just enough time to pass it to me so that I look like a huge tool in front of my peers again. 
Right now it’s just an annoying tingle, and I hit it with the full complement of drugs tonight so maybe I’ll head this one off.  I will however make sure that I have the front desk send up an extra box of tissues or three when I check in at the hotel… just in case

Categories: Family, Travel

Too much tech talk around the kids

June 26, 2006 Leave a comment

I realized this weekend that you really know what you’re saying and how often until it is repeated back to you by your 3-year old.  There are two words that Katlyn just can’t stop misusing, and I’m sure it’s my fault:

  1. Email.  Over the last week, when the mail man comes Katlyn goes to the mailbox to get the mail and comes running back into the house “Daddy, daddy, you’ve got email!”.  We’ve corrected her several times but she can’t shake that word.
  2. Website.  We went camping this weekend, an activity that I particularly love because it gets me away from technology to spend time with the family.  After we arrived at the provincial park, Katlyn came out with a “Daddy, are we at our website yet?  We’re going camping at our website!”.  Again, we corrected her a few times to let her know that indeed we were camping at the campsite, but it’s been tough for her to change that word out.

It’s incredibly cute, but at the same time it’s clearly a reflection back of how I talk to her. I’m going to have to try and change that.

Categories: Family

I really don’t like life without Media Center

June 19, 2006 2 comments

As you may have read, we’ve been moving for about the last two weeks and one of the casualties of the move has bee, temporarily at least, my media center setup.  I had the whole rack setup in the basement at the old house, which was once a work of art with wires all routed propely along the wire rack, zip ties keeping everything neat, and lights blinking seemingly in unison amongst all of the equipment.  This rack housed my server, two MCE machines, a scanner, two printers, an AV receiver, and all of the networking and modulation equipment.  Unfortunately over time the work of art became a tangled mess and moving it was going to be a challenge, so I left it at the house and delayed the inevitable headache that was to be.

Yesterday I went back to the house and packed it all up, but with the basement about a week away from completion at the new house we are in no position to set it all up anew.  Instead, it looks like it will be yet another week with no media center and I’m starting to crack…  I had forgotten how bad TV can be, especially in the summer.  True, we’ve been doing enough work that television has been a low priority but I do enjoy sitting down for 30 minutes to decompress when I need to.  Those 30 minute downtimes have been a pain – there’s usually nothing on and/or it’s very difficult to find anything I want to watch, commercials are incredibly annoying, and I can’t even pop in an old movie to rewatch while barely paying attention (the movies are all either ripped on the MCE machine or the DVD collection is in a box somewhere in this house that has at least another week of unpacking to go through before we find them).

Some things annoy me about MCE, especially as I’m getting ready to completely switch over to Vista on my production machines, but being without it for a couple of weeks certainly makes me remember the little things that I love about it.

Categories: Family, Media Center

I’m not quite dead yet… I think I’ll go for a walk

June 19, 2006 Leave a comment

(that’s a Monty Python reference in case you missed it).

Yesterday was the final hurrah to clear out the old house.  Only a few things remained, including some pictures, lots of garbage, computer equipment, and the big fish tank.  I went into the day knowing that the fish would be the biggest job, and tried to be well prepared for the task at hand.  Jodie had gotten a new bucket with a lid, which is pretty much a requirement for moving the fish to ensure that they don’t hop out during transport.  I washed the bucket out with hot water only (soap might harm the fish) and brought it along.  The emptying and packing of the tank went much better than I had expected – it took a few trips to get everything in the van and moved over but for the most part it was finished in the morning. 

When everything was at the new house, I noticed that the fish were acting strangely in the bucket.  A few of them were laying on their sides near the bottom of the pail.  I rushed to get the tank set up and filtered because it looked like the bucket was quickly becoming toxic.  I wrestled with the filter for far to long, with the grating but innocent questions of my 3-year old daughter ringing in the background as the pump refused to start.  “Why is the water still dirty daddy, why’s the pump not working, are you going to put the fishies in daddy?” lather, rinse repeat about thirty times as my blood pressure raised to a boil.

Finally, the pump started and I got a chance to sit down for some lunch and let the blood pressure drop to more human levels than it had been at for the last hour.  We enjoyed our lunch, and then noticed that the water was clear enough now for the fish.  But uh-oh, that looks like a couple of fish upside-down in the bucket and the rest incredibly lethagic.  I scooped them out (which was much easier than scooping them in what with the whole almost-dead thing), put them in the new tank, and crossed my fingers.  Slowly but surely they all got back into shape – and were hungry for a meal by night-time.  A few of them saw the light at the end of the tunnel, but apparently decided that it wasn’t their time.  They will all live to fight another day.

Categories: Family

We’re all moved in

June 12, 2006 Leave a comment

Well, the boxes have been moved anyways.  We spent the last 4 days packing, moving, and have gotten a start on the unpacking.  Myself, I spent the entire weekend prepping my office and most of that time was dedicated to assembling deskzilla – the massive office desk and furniture suite from Costco.  The kitchen is mostly unpacked and we have usable bedrooms right now but that’s about it.  The rest of the house is littered with boxes which I’m sure we’ll get to over the next couple of weeks.

Categories: Family

Someone patched over Jodie’s new paint

June 7, 2006 Leave a comment

I feel sorry for whatever contractor did that!  The first thing Jodie did in the new house was paint and decorate the girls’ bathroom in a rubber-duck theme.  Today we noticed that a large section of the wall had been covered in drywall mud, and have no idea who did it or why that might have been.  I urge all of the contractors in our house tomorrow to wear a cup to work!
My guess is that someone nicked the wall with a ladder or something else that they might have put in the bathroom and promptly fixed their hole.  But still, protect the family jewels tomorrow boys!

Categories: Family