When I'm just cooking for myself (i.e. if my special someone is out of town), I can certainly fend for myself nutritionally, but, I'm probably not going to get too culinarily ambitious. I find I either want to cook for lots and lots of folks (hence my two dinner parties over the weekend), or not really mess with it. I mean, who I am gonna impress and treat? Myself? Nah. Plus, I gotta do all the cleanup myself.
So, while I don't like to get take out every night, I'm prolly not gonna make a big mess in the kitchen with fancy fixings. And, probably at least once, when spending an evening huddled away in the basement working on a project, I'll resort to that single-guy staple: the frozen pizza.
Not that I like frozen pizza, of course. But, it does do in a pinch, requires little effort and clean-up, and sorta feels like a treat. But that bland blagh from a box doesn't have to be all bad. Especially if you take it up a notch with some fresh ingredients and clever techniques.
There are drinks that are fairly easy to serve, such as beer and wine, as you simply need to open and pour. Many spirits can be enjoyed in nearly the same way: whiskey neat, brandy in a glass, sake warmed. There are the highballs that are fairly easy to figure out: the vodka cranberry, rum and Coke, gin and tonic. There are the drinks that are so open to interpretation, you'll likely never make them the same way twice: the Bloody Mary comes to mind, as does any number of adverturous use-what-you-have mixes.
But then, there are the classic cocktails, those time-proven combinations that have proven themselves for decades. Besides being tasty, these have emerged as the standards for a reason: they're made from typical ingredients that you can find easily, at any store, and probably should be keeping in your own home bar.
They're so essential, I'm making the claim that every man should have these recipes memorized so he can shake one up at a moment's notice. Trust me, you want to be that guy that knows how to mix drinks: at a get together, after a date, at a work function or meeting. None of these are particularly difficult to commit to memory, and once you've got 'em, you've got 'em, and they'll never go out of style.
Over the last five years, the podcast has grown from that sorta strange, internet-interview-radio thing that no one really knew what to do with to some of the most engaging and informative, and often hilarious, media available. Most often for free.
As the cold season inches even closer, we're moving straight through jacket weather into heavy-duty winter wear. We happen to think that a scarf is an essential piece of gear for the dashing guy in winter, and love them even more when they're handmade.
A scarf is often a first project for beginning knitters or crocheters, and understandably so - it's straight, repetitive, and inherently practical.
So, here's a list of our favorite knittable scarves that'll suit the modern man, all of which come with free patterns:
Every craft and medium requires the right tool for the job. And while most men won't need a Shape-A-Dart for altering patterns to match the proper cup-size, we do love us some gear, and sewing notions are no exception. Here are ten tools - beyond the obvious needle/thread and sewing machine/bobbin combos - you'll never regret buying.
1. Seam ripper. I hate to admit it, but this is the sewing tool I use the most. One doesn't nail every stitch every time, and there's simply no better way to get it out and start fresh. These are also great for ripping apart clothing for fabric hacking and reuse.
2. Tailor's chalk/Marking Pen As a pencil is to woodworking, tailor's chalk is essential to proper seamster-ing. You gotta be able to mark what your doing - where to sew, where to cut, where to pin, and tailor's chalk, in both white (for dark fabrics) and blue (for lighter ones) is my favorite medium, as it rubs right out. They also make markers and pencils for special projects and fabrics - a water soluble pen is handy for special projects (like embroidery) when you need drawing control.
I do indeed love the sights, sounds, and smells of a razor-sharp sawblade ripping through a two-inch block of hard maple, or a router-bit whizzing at 23,000 rpm creating a perfect 1/4" roundover.
But, for as much as I embrace the strength and speed of power tools, I find myself spending even more time with those tools that DON'T require ear plugs. Of course, you need hammers and screwdrivers and wrenches, but here's a list of ten items you can find in your hardware store that'll help you turn out great work, without the need for batteries or electricity.
1. All Sorts of Clamps. There's an old saying in the woodworking community..."You
Some might call them gadgets, others utensils, some are even appliances. These ten kitchen tools, in addition to some quality cookware, can turn whatever equipment you have into a functional multitasking culinary workspace.
1). Spring-loaded tongs. Hands down, this is the tool I grab everytime I'm in the kitchen. The rule in my house is that these don't go in the dishwasher, not because they'll get ruined, but because I'm going to need them before it gets run and emptied again. Once you learn to trust the tool - and you can as long as long as you don't skrimp and get the .99-cent option - these things basically become a heat-resistant