Fall is here. I think.

I was taking Jelly for a walk yesterday when I ran into my neighbor on her way to work.  It had been a while since we’d crossed paths. “You’ve lost weight!”she marveled.  I was about to tell her that I’d been working out, morning and night, in preparation for my annual Tokyo food tour.  But, before I could, she followed up with: “Are you sick?”. No.  Not sick.  But thanks for asking.

Alas, someone who IS sick is my mom’s cat, Baby.  The poor little guy has been unwell for quite some time and suddenly stopped eating yesterday.  Sis picked him up, brought him to her place, and has been nursing him since.  Apparently he has started eating again which is great news.  Sending good thoughts Baby and sis’s way.

Thanks for the birthday wishes.  Yes, it’s today!  How are you all celebrating?  Yesterday, I met up with Ivon who took me out for Vancouver’s best tacos at La Tacqueria (La Taqueria).

“It’s your birthday?  Oh.  This is akward.  Well…guess I’m paying for lunch.”

I was on my way back to the car when I noticed a text message from Akemi on my phone: “Where are you?”.  Then, just as I was reading the message, a call from Akemi.  Turns out that, after dropping her off downtown for her presumed class, she had taken the bus back and secretly picked up my birthday present.  The plan was to surprise me at home… except I wasn’t home!  So, in retrospect, it was kind of nice in that we were BOTH surprised.

My present: a water carbonator. After my evening work-outs, I like to drink something fizzy. So, it’s either this or gin and tonic.

I also received a little something from my best buddy in Toronto, Tara (tarayelland):

Heartfelt, no?  The bag of muffin mix in the background is an exceptionally nice touch.  And, to prove she’s my BFF, she did her nails with a birthday theme in honor of yours truly:

When was the last time my writing partner, Paul, did this for me? The answer: a loooong time.

Off for a special birthday dinner tonight.  No idea what I’ll be having but I doubt bean sprouts and a nice light fresh fruit dessert is in the offing.

Finally, for those who asked, I leave you with Cowboy Rob Cooper’s green chili recipe.

For your blog readers who asked.  Pass along my thanks for all the birthday wishes.

Chili Verde

Prep Time: 01hr 0 min | Cook Time: 2-3 hr 0 min | Makes: 10-12 servings


  • 1 large boneless skinless turkey breast or medium pork shoulder
  • 2 andouille sausage
  • 4-5 large poblano chilis
  • 4 jalapeños
  • 4 serrano
  • 5-6 large fresh tomatillo or 2 cans
  • 1 large onion
  • bulb of garlic
  • quart of chicken stock
  • tsp cumin
  • tsp salt
  • tsp pepper
  • tbsp sugar


Lightly oil the onion – sliced thick, garlic (whole, skin on) peppers – cut in half, and roast. If the weather’s decent I do this on the grill. Gives a nice smokey flavor. Peel the burnt skin and removes seeds. I do this wearing rubber gloves! Don’t rub your eyes! Learned that lesson the hard way. Blitz the lot in the food processor until fine.

I also slice and grill the turkey or pork to give it a bit of color and flavor but not until done. Don’t want it to dry out. Then cube into small pieces.

Chop and brown the sausage in your pot. Render off excess fat. Add turkey or pork and continue to brown. At this point you could transfer to slow cooker. Add chicken stock, spices and veggie mixture. Cook on low for a couple of hours. Spiciness will depend on your peppers. Not hot enough for ya, add a few shakes of habanero sauce.

Serve over rice with a tablespoon of sour cream if you like.

Note: Traditinalists will scoff and say New Mexcio green chilis are the only way to go but these are unavailable in my area. Poblanos are easy to find. I do not advise substituting regular green peppers.

Source: My Collection

53 thoughts on “October 16, 2012: Baby, Birthday, and Chili Verde!

  1. Damn, I already gave the mariachis the week off. Guess I’ll send the samba drummers instead. *evil grin*

    Have a calorific birthday evening!

  2. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you Joe and many more, Enjoy dinner and especially dessert!

  3. Hey, Joe!

    In honor of your Birthday, my cousin had her baby today!
    (and no, she didn’t name her Jo)

    …coincidently, I now have 3 cousins w/ their B-day on Oct. 16th (must be something in the water)

  4. Well, Happy Birthday, Joe… I’ve wrapped up that Lamborgini you wanted. Now, where do I mail it?

    Why are you oiling an onion….does it squeak? I know…lame. Hope you had a great day.


  5. Enjoy all the attention Joe!

    Thanks for sharing your recipe Mr. Cooper.

    Best wishes to “Baby”.

  6. Happy Birthday, Joe!

    I celebrated by being worked near to death at work, then taking my son out to the local brewpup for dinner and beer. Two Brothers Scotch Ale for me.

    Thanks for the green chili recipe. I’ve never had it before but would like to try it.

  7. Dang. That was supposed to be *brewpub* … My fingers aren’t working. I think I better go to bed before I injure or embarrass myself.

  8. Happy Birthday! My abject apologies for not realizing it was that time of year again. I do hope that you have the funnest birthday ever, and throwing good wishes Baby’s way also.

  9. Happy Birthday!
    I wish I had heard of La Tacqueria when I was in Vancouver for my birthday- Cinco de Mayo (an American drinking holiday much like St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving, Groundhog Day, Administrative Professionals’ Day, etc.). Spent the day in search of Mexican dining delight in Kitsilano…ended up enjoying a Corona and a beautiful sunset while sitting on the pier at Jericho Beach. I put that day in my ‘win’ column.

  10. oh. Ran out of space on my calendar… 😀 **HAPPY B-DAY, BABE!!**

    btw, do you wear Toques? Would You like to wear a Toque? I can make You a Toque. A NICE *REAL*-WOOL Toque! You could make Ivon jealous..?

  11. Happy Birthday! I’ll celebrate this weekend by taking my nephew to his first convention (the new Edmonton Entertainment Expo). I’ll give him your present too!

    Enjoy you Birthday meal!!

  12. Happy Birthday and THANKS SO MUCH to Rob! I’m a shoe-in for the next chili cook-off. Will be practicing before then and will report back. Awesome!

  13. Happy Birthday Joe! I celebrated with chocolate chip ice cream. 😀

    Get well wishes to Baby.

  14. ‘Happy bird-dae to you, happy bird-dae to you, happy bird-dae happy bird-dae, happy bird…dae (big finish) to…you!!!’

    I hope you had a great day, and enjoyed our family version of the classic!

  15. Seems I’m always late with these things, But still. Happy Birthday Joe! I hope you have/had a nice one, And I hope you’ve got many more good and happy years ahead of you! 🙂

  16. Happy belated Birthday Mr M, am a bit under the weather.

    Wait to see what’s on the surprise dinner menu. Guess it will be interesting.

  17. Happy Birthday Joe! Hey, give us a review of the soda maker. I’ve been considering one.

    Feel better, Baby. Good thoughts headed your way.

    Rob, thanks for the recipe! I will definitely give it a go.

  18. P.S. Well wishes for Baby, he is in good hands with Sis, Hi Sis!
    Thanks to Rob for the recipe. Yummy.. Now if Ivon will share some of his, much thanks.

  19. *googles “how to oil an onion”, learns nothing but that onion oil is a thing*


    Heeeeeeey, what does oiling an onion mean? Is this one of those cooking things it’s assumed I’d know, like “boil water”?

  20. Happy Birthday, Joe! Hope all your villainous wishes came true! Did the cake catch on fire? 😉

  21. Happy Birthday! I feel like I’m the one that got a present: Thank you for the recipe 🙂 .

    I hope Baby continues to improve!

  22. Looking forward to birthday dinner pics, Joe. Akemi, that was a good surprise!

    Thank you, Rob, for the green chili recipe, and belated b-day greetings.

    Sorry to hear about Baby kitty. Hope he is feeling better soon!

    P.S. Will we be able to click/enlarge the blog photos again? Was hoping to see more of Jelly in the fall-colored leaves. 🙂

  23. I figured out what oil the onion means – it’s to cover it for the roasting step. Then I tried to figure out how to garlic peppers. Then I stopped reading it like a jet engine tear-down manual and imagined someone speaking the words and I get it now.

  24. Happy Birthday! You should probably go ahead and celebrate your birthday week. Heck, just go for the rest of the month!

  25. @for the love of Beckett – You can still enlarge. In Chrome, I right-clicked on the image and selected “Open image in new tab”. My baby wanted to see the “pitty doggie”, but Jelly was too pixelated for the enlarged one. 🙁

  26. Happy b-day Joe, and today Weds is my sister’s b-day too, sent her a big box of goodies like Almond Cocoa spread and spices from the Persian market. For you I’ll send b-day wishes and a silly song by Jali for you to remember your awkward years and be glad you are older and wiser. Get well Baby, there’s a cute film called Miss Minoes that she might enjoy, about a cat who turns into a girl-full of cat humor and long yowls on rooftops.


  27. Sounds like your birthday was a great one Joe, and of course well deserved. Is La Taqueria the place we walked by that you said was so good? I was going to back there the next day for dinner, but as it turned out they aren’t open on Sundays.

    Hopefully, Baby will be feeling well soon!

  28. Happy Birthday Joe! Hope you have a fantastic dinner and a delightful rest of the day. Thanks, as always, for letting us share just a little bit of your life with you.


  29. Thanks, Joe! Feel free to share lots of fall/doggie pictures. This is my favorite time of year.

    DP, I agree with your daughter. Jelly is a “pitty” girl. 🙂

  30. Happy Birthday, Sorry I did not send my glad tidings sooner but I was celebrating by taking a trip to Bangkok. The fresh baked seabass with lemon-mint sauce was lovely.

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