Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Want to be Alone on Christmas ...

"I Want to be Alone on Christmas (Here with You)" by Milwaukee group Testa Rosa is a song that I never heard until about an hour ago, but it instantly hit me. The lyrics echo exactly my sentiment towards 2011's holiday season. Not every season, but this one in particular.

There are times we get too wrapped up in everything. Work, fitness, home maintenance, media, and even recreation can become overwhelming. I don't mean overwhelming in a "I can't handle it anymore!" kind of way -- not for me, fortunately -- but just enough that one can lose sight of what is most important: our loved ones. And even  ourselves.

This year, unlike any other, my wife and I are going to get away. We need a change. We long for a break from our routine, from politics, from our associates, from ... our own perspective. Leaving our house and our beloved pup Bailey in the good hands of my mother, tomorrow we board a Europe-bound plane where we will stay until New Year's Eve. Unlike other trips we have taken, we're not moving from town-to-town, country-to-country or airport-to-airport. No, this time we will stay in one hotel and embrace and submerse ourselves into a different language and culture. Hopefully, when we return, we will be renewed and ready to dive into a prosperous 2012 -- where we'll want to be alone with you for the entire year. :)

Merry Christmas and enjoy this song!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's That Time of Year ... for Mexicorn!

"Mexicorn?" you ask. "What the heck does the Christmas season have to do with Mexican corn?"

"Well, nothing," I reply. "Almost nothing."

It goes back roughly 5 years ago. All in my company were writing down on a sheet what they were going to bring to the Christmas luncheon. I looked at the list. There were about 12 different meatball variations, 14 different cakes or bars, veggie trays, cheese trays, thawed shrimp, thawed pies, thawed anything -- you name it. But only a few items to go as an accompaniment to all that meat, so I thought about it for a bit. "Hmm. I had some pretty good Mexican corn at at Mexican restaurant recently. Why not bring some Mexicorn?"

So I did.

It all got eaten.

So I brought it the next year.

It all got eaten, again.

And thus, a Christmas luncheon tradition was born. From now until the end of my working days, I will make a pot of Mexican corn to accompany everybody else's meat.

And, so I don't lose and scramble to find the recipe again next year, I'm blogging about it.

To make Mike Collins's Traditional Christmas Season Mexicorn, you do this:


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups of fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
a pinch of cumin
1 teaspoon lime juice
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add corn, bell peppers, red onion, salt, pepper, cumin, and lime juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until vegetables are slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with fresh cilantro.

And of course, if company policy would allow, I would accompany with a nice cold Dos Equis lager.

Give it a try. Let me know what you think.

Merry Mexichristmas!