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What I would cook for Matt Harvey.

Helloooooo! It’s been a hot minute since I featured two of my favorite pieces of this blog: “Celeb Crush” and a “Boyfriend Recipe”, so I figured why not combine the two for something steamy, plussss…. did I mention I have a giveaway? A FREE FOOD giveaway?! Yes!!

But before we get into that fun stuff, let’s pick up what hottie Matt Harvey is throwing down (baseball puns!). Let me paint the landscape for you: I enjoy going to baseball games, but mainly because I’m willing to do just about anything for a chili cheese dog and an icy beer.

I’m not a huge Mets fan, so I’ll be clear here… I had no idea who Matt Harvey was until I saw him on Watch What Happens Live. While it was revealed on the show that he “dates” a lot of models, he was also sexily coy and I pretty much loved every second of it.

Aside from the model-thing, the other downside to having a crush on Matt is his name. If you’re new here, welcome, and all you need to know is that I’ve dated WAY too many guys named Matt in my life and they are all complete douchers.

But that’s the glory of the celeb crush, right? We (me) get to suspend reality and dream on, like the fool that I am! So, a few fun facts about Mr. Harvey:

  • Birthday: March 27, 1989
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Went to college before being drafted by the Mets
  • Set a record during his debut game for 11 strikeouts
  • He is a huge hockey fan and loves the New York Rangers (le siiigggh)

So, what would I cook for Matt Harvey even though he can buy something that may taste a million times better? I would cook Harissa Steak Tacos with smashed beans, ginger slaw, and lime-dressed kale. I actually made this earlier this week, as all of the organic ingredients were delivered to me from Green Chef.

These. Are. Delicious.

These. Are. Delicious.

And that, my friends, is what I’d like to give away today: organic ingredients for meals delivered right to your door, for FREE! I’ve been ordering from Green Chef for about three months now, and I love it. You get to choose how many meals (by meal they mean serving) you want delivered, and set your preferences. You can change your food preferences as often as you want, or skip weeks if you’re not feeling it, and there’s NO penalty for it.

I generally have my preferences set on “omnivore” and I get ingredients for 6 meals each week; however, most of the time, it ends up being enough ingredients for 9 meals. Usually the box (which is right on my doorstep and packed with ice packs) has two recipes with meat, and one vegetarian. Some of my favorite meals I’ve gotten so far include:

  • Poached Tuna Salad, with Spinach Salad and Olive & Red Pepper Couscous
  • Chickpea Shawarma Salad, with Cucumber & tomato millet, olives & pine nuts
  • Sweet & Sour Chicken with Black quinoa, edamame, ginger, pineapple & pepper
  • Greek Gyro Flatbread with Baba ghanoush, ground beef, tzatziki & feta
  • Pumpkin-Stuffed Shells with Spinach & walnut-parsley pesto, orange-chard salad

So, you’ll get the ingredients and then you cook the meals at your leisure. All of the ingredients are pre-measured, and organized with color-coordinated labels. Some of the ingredients are even prepped for you (chopped, mixed, etc.), so it makes the meals pretty fool-proof. But seriously, no catch with the free meals – I really just want other people to try this delicious stuff!

I have three free gifts to give away, so if you’re interested, shoot me your email address using the form at the bottom of this post. I’ll draw numbers tonight at 10pm Central time, and announce the winners in tomorrow’s blog! The Green Chef email with the free meals will be delivered to the email you provide, so keep that in mind.

In the meantime, I’ve got the recipe for those fantastic Harissa Steak Tacos I’m going to make for Matt Harvey on our fantasy date, where of course, he’s going to fall madly in love with me.

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 ounce grass-fed sirloin steak
  • 6 organic corn tortillas
  • Organic red cabbage slaw
  • 1 tablespoon organic harissa spice blend
  • Organic lime, jalapeño & red bell pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic cannellini beans
  • 4-5 leaves organic Lacinato kale
  • 3 tablespoons organic pepitas
  • Organic creamy ginger dressing

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pat sirloin steak dry with a paper towel. Season both sides with harissa spice blend, salt, and pepper. Set aside. Zest half of lime with a microplane (or on small holes of a box grater) into a small bowl; reserve. Cut lime into wedges.

Remove center rib from Lacinato kale. Roll leaves into a large “cigar” and slice across into about ¼-inch wide ribbons. Place in a medium bowl. Squeeze juice of one lime wedge over kale. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Massage kale with hands (or tongs) to break down fibers. Salt and pepper to taste.

Place red cabbage slaw in a large bowl. Drizzle with half of the creamy ginger dressing. Add pepitas. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cut jalapeño in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and stem. Small dice desired amount of jalapeño (or omit) and red bell pepper into about ¼-inch pieces.

Heat about 1 ½ tablespoons cooking oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add bell pepper and desired amount of jalapeño (or omit) to hot pan. Stir. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until peppers have softened, stirring occasionally.

Open, drain, and rinse cannellini beans. Add beans to pan with peppers. Add reserved lime zest. Squeeze juice of another lime wedge over pan. Stir. Reduce heat to medium-low. Mash about half the beans with the back of a cooking spoon. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm on back of stovetop, off heat.

Place corn tortillas on foil. Sprinkle with water. Wrap foil over tortillas. Warm in oven 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat about 1 tablespoon cooking oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add steak to hot pan. Sear 4-5 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness. Transfer steak to cutting board and let rest at least 3 minutes.

Cut steak against the grain into about ¼-inch thick slices. Pile beans and slaw on each plate. Serve three tortillas each. Place kale in each tortilla and divide steak between tacos. Drizzle remaining creamy ginger dressing over tacos to taste. Garnish with lime wedges. Enjoy!

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Fiction Friday: ‘Black & Blue’, Part V.

Somewhere, there's a naked hockey player roaming the Earth.

Somewhere, there’s a naked hockey player roaming the Earth.

The following is an original piece, written by Holly A. Phillips in 2007. It’s a story based on her favorite hockey player, Sean Avery. Read previous sections of this story here, here, here, and here (okay, so it’s kind of long). 

“You can sit down,” she said.

I took her word and sat on the couch.

“Did you have fun at the game last night?” I asked.

“Um…it was okay,” she said.

Lie.

“Well, I met your friend Amanda. She seemed to have a good time.”

Yeah,” she said. She was eyeing an outfit.

“Kate, ok,” I said. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” she said.

Another lie.

“No, seriously,” I said. “I know you’re upset. Come here.”

“Well, if you already know I’m upset, why are you asking?”

“Just come here,” I said. “Please.”

She put the camera down and sat on the other end of the couch, so she wouldn’t touch me.

“Tell me what’s up,” I said.

“I am mad at myself for being mad about it because it’s stupid,” she said. “But it just seemed wrong that you invited me to the game when it’s not really my thing. So I went and I saw all these other girls you obviously invited and I just wondered how many of those cheesecakes do you eat on a weekly basis?”

I tried to keep myself from laughing. She looked gorgeous even when she was mad. She held her hands together and sat them in her lap.

“Kate, it isn’t stupid,” I said. “She comes to all the games. I went out there looking for you.”

She was hesitant.

“I know we haven’t really talked much,” she said. “But I was excited to see you more and then I saw her and…she isn’t me and none of those girls are…”

“Don’t think about them,” I said. “Really, is isn’t like that.”

“It just took a lot for me to go there,” she said. “I don’t chase after guys.”

“So I’ve noticed,” I said. She finally smiled. “You okay?”

She nodded.

“Good,” I said. “Well, I can let you get back to work.”

“You don’t want to stay?” she asked.

Friday came and I was relieved. Practices had been running over the last few days in order to prep for the game. The Kings had us beat in the rankings; coach kept telling us over and over. It was going to be a tough game. I could easily pick apart my teammates, since I knew them. But I needed to actually be on the ice for this one. I was going to have to squeeze in a few jabs past the ref and see if I could stay in the game. Coach pulled me aside after practice. He dropped the Times’ sports section on his desk in front of me. “Black vs. Kings: The Most Anticipated Fight of the Season.”

“Nice article,” he said. “The game is sold out.”

“Oh yea?” I asked. “I hadn’t seen this yet.”

“What do you think? You’ve never played against any of those boys before.”

“Well no, but I played with them for seven seasons,” I know their moves.”

“Good,” he said. “We could use it. The new guys are nervous. Don’t get your ass in the box the entire first period.”

I nodded.

“Let the others get the penalties. Use your head. Play what you know they’ll play.”

“Got it,” I said. “Thanks.”

“Should be a good one.”

When I got back to my apartment, there was a newspaper in front of my door. A section of the story was circled with red pen. It read:

Black is quiet on the subject of women. Despite the obvious female crowd he draws in Madison Square, he said it’s just part of the game.

“As with most professional sports, there are women around,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean there’s one by my bed every night.”

Black puts women in a category with his Kings’ days, as part of his early hockey career.

“I’m not saying it wasn’t flattering,” he said. It is. What man wouldn’t want it? It’s just not as extreme as it seems. I’d like to think I could get laid without my hockey record.”

Thanks, Ed. Written below the article was, “Nice! Good Luck tonight. —K” I’d given her another set of tickets along with a promise not to fuck it up again. I was making progress. I sat on the couch and hoped to fall asleep until game time. But I had no such luck; my mind was racing. I couldn’t get too many penalties that night. I knew it was going to happen; it was a habit for me when I got on the ice.

Hours later, I put on my suit and began the walk to Madison Square.

Next Friday, I’ll post the FINAL installment of “Black & Blue” — When Wade finally meets his match against the Kings. In the meantime, help me shop for a Halloween costume on SnapChat @OrangeJulius7

Fiction Friday: ‘Black & Blue’, part IV.

Welcome to 'The Square'

Welcome to ‘The Square’

The following is an original short story, written by Holly A. Phillips in 2007, inspired by her favorite NHL player, Sean Avery. Read part one, two, and three, if you’re interested…

“Bro, damn, where you going?” 12 asked.

“Out there…you know,” I said.

“Haven’t seen you head that way in… Well, ever,” he said.

“Uh huh.”

When I raced through the door, my eyes scanned the mob of women. No Kate. I kept walking just to make sure. Someone pulled my sweatshirt from behind. I turned around. It was the sign-holding blonde from a few games before.

“Hey Black,” she said. She was grinning. Her lipstick was smeared and her eyes looked droopy. She was drunk.

“Hi. Do I know you?”

“Well maybe not yet,” she said. She swayed back and forth.

“Oh right,” I said. I looked past her face and behind her, still looking for Kate. “Do you know my first name?”

She put a finger to her lips and furrowed her brow. I kept looking while she mumbled different names aloud.

“Derrick…no…Jason…hmm…Chris?”

“No,” I said. “Keep guessing.”

Someone tapped my shoulder. I spun around to see a brunette wearing a jersey.

“Wade?” she asked.

“Yes, hi,” I said.

“Wade!” the blonde shrieked. “See, I knew it.”

“Um, yeah. I’m Amanda,” the brunette said. “I came to the game with Kate.”

Amanda pointed a finger behind her. Kate was standing there, cradling a styrofoam cup.

“Cool. It’s nice to meet you,” I said. “How did you like the game?”

“I loved it. I’m a big fan,” she said. She was eyeing the blonde.

“Good,” I said. “Really glad you guys came out. Is Kate alright?” I wondered why I was talking to Amanda and no Kate.

The blonde interjected. “Wade gave you tickets?” she asked.

Amanda nodded. Great.

The p-fuck tugged on my shirt. “I want tickets.”

“You already have tickets,” I said. “You come to all the games.”

“So you have seen me!” she said.

“Well, it was really nice meeting you,” Amanda said. “And thanks again for the tickets.”

“Hey…wait…er…you’re welcome. Maybe I’ll see you later.”

Shit.

“Look, it’s time for me to go,” I told the blonde. “Have a nice night.”

I turned my back and walked out of the Square and into the cold night. I really fucked it up. I shouldn’t have even talked to the blonde. But I did and Kate saw and she probably thought I was an abusive asshole. I didn’t know how I was going to get myself out of that one. I didn’t know Kate that well. Maybe she didn’t care; maybe she didn’t like me more than just a neighbor so she wouldn’t be upset. No chance in hell. I’d heard the guys in the locker room talk about their wives to know women get pissed over everything. When I got upstairs, I didn’t look at Kate’s door.

The next day, I got a call from The New York Times. The sports section wanted to do an interview with me in light of the Kings’ game that weekend. I was less than thrilled. They wrote a short piece about me when I got signed to the Rangers. The writer made me look like a dick. It was the same story every journalist wanted to cover: “Black Really is the Bad Guy.” Everything I said was going to be taken out of context. But I couldn’t say no. I agreed to meet the writer in the coffee shop downstairs.

The reporter, Ed, was waiting with a mug of coffee and a yellow Steno pad shortly after we’d spoken on the phone. I’d guessed he was running under a tight deadline. Mostly, we talked about the upcoming game. I told him it wasn’t a rival like everyone made it out to be. Hockey was my job and it just happened to be competitive. This, of course, brought up the anger issue and the number of fights I’d been in, which was now in the hundreds. I tried to keep it short, knowing he was going to blow it out of proportion. He asked me about money and politics. He asked me about women, blushing a little when he brought up the girls that danced on the zambony during halftime.

After the interview, I was done for the day. Ed told me to expect the story Friday — the day I would kill the Kings. I went upstairs and threw something frozen into a pot for dinner. While it simmered, I thought of ways to approach Kate again. I was going to have to go back over there and apologize. Shit. I ate and went next door. Kate answered the door, but didn’t say much. She gestured me in, but I didn’t feel like she really wanted me there. She followed me in the house but went to work on a stack of clothes. She was putting shirts with pants and then taking pictures of them.

…Stay tuned for part X of “Black & Blue” right here, next Friday, October 23! In the meantime, follow me on SnapChat, Twitter, and Instagram @OrangeJulius7.