This is Colin McCloskey

Bearded, computery nerd person and excellent dude.

This is Colin McCloskey

Bearded, computery nerd person and excellent dude.

• Posted in Meta

So… it turns out I have a personal website. And you are currently reading it. And it also turns out that I haven’t contributed interesting content to this site — apart from a résumé update or two — since my birthday nearly two years ago.

So… I’ve decided (once again) to put new effort into this place. There are lot of things going on in my life that are worth talking about — mostly for my own self reflection purposes, but no doubt for the benefit of some of you reading. I’ve used writing and reflection in the past as a way to deal with change and challenges and that seems like a good thing for me to be doing as we head into 2014. Read on →

• Posted in History, Memory

Today will mark 29 years since the end of the B.C. (“Before Colin”) calendar and the beginning of the current and amazing A.D. (“Awesome Days”) period.

You’re welcome.

• Posted in Food

Here I am, at it again! Cooking!

This recipe is a basic, tasty dish that uses a protein I wasn’t familiar with, personally, but which is a treat to many before me: the portobello mushroom. This dish is one notch away from being vegetarian — one deliciously wonderful notch. So, you’re able to modify this to suit a few different dietary needs.

Plus, it’s frakkin’ delicious and easy to make in about 15 minutes.

You should pick up:

  • Portobello Mushroom Caps — often sold is a store-wrapped package at your grocer. They look like this.
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 to 2 Garlic Cloves (depending on how garlic’y you like things), peeled and minced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into strips (you can sub in a green pepper if you’re stuck, but red or orange peppers are the best — you should know this already)
  • Strips of Bacon (one for each mushroom cap)
  • Montreal Steak Spicy seasoning (you can use pepper and red pepper flakes if you want to get close)
  • Salt (don’t measure your salt, just go with what feels right)
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese (this is a topping, so have enough to top your caps)
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (also for our cheesy topping)

Got it all? Ready to go? Nice. Let’s continue!

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and peppers. Season with salt. Cook uncovered for a couple minutes, and then…
  2. Add strips of bacon to the skillet. I find placing them around the edges is best. Continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes until peppers are tender. While tenderizing your peppers…
  3. Prepare your mushroom caps by first washing them, then drizzle some olive oil on and in the gills (the underside). Season the underside to taste with Montreal Steak (or your pepper substitute) and a bit a salt.
  4. Now, flip the bacon and add your mushroom caps to the center of the skillet, cooking the underside first. Reduce heat to low-medium, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Your kitchen is going to start smelling really great about now, if it doesn’t already.
  5. After 5 minutes or so, flip the bacon and mushrooms once more. Layer both shredded cheese on the mushrooms (you are applying the cheese to the seasoned underside of the mushrooms). Cover it up again and cook for another 5 minutes, until tender.
  6. Now it’s ready! Remove from heat and plate! Take each cheesy mushroom cap off the skillet, then cover each with your pepper/garlic reduction. Put a strip of bacon on top and it’s good-to-go delicious!

It looks like more work than it is. Total prep and cook time should be about 15-20 minutes. And it’s worth it. The bacon fat helps the peppers and garlic reach a state of “more awesome than usual” without robbing the dish of its healthiness.

I suggest you serve beside Tomato Lentil Couscous, which is a great compliment.

Wow! Colin cooked up mushrooms!

 

• Posted in History, Memory

SEPTEMBER 11th, 2001
as remembered on
SEPTEMBER 11th, 2011

I was waking up. Earlier than usual, because I had a class to get to. It was barely the third week of college and I was in Room 103 of Russell Hall E at the University of Delaware. My roommate –now one of my closest friends, but then still someone I was getting to know– and I were awoken by our neighbor, Adam from Room 105, banging on our door telling us to turn on the news.

We had the largest TV on the floor, which is funny considering it was a mere 25in. TV/VCR combo. As a result, a handful of friends and floormates gathered in our room. I was watching the havoc unfold and watching live when the second plane struck.

Read on →

• Posted in Food, Homesick

Perfect for a warm summer day. Not a salad you’ve added shrimp to, but a chilled pasta and shrimp sensation! Plus, there’s mayonnaise, so it’s extra indulgent… yes, that’s the word I’m going for… indulgent.

You will need:

  • 2 cans of Tiny shrimp (Bumble Bee brand is great, substitute Small if your grocer does not have Tiny)
  • 1 lb. box of Medium (or Small) Shell Pasta
  • 1 onion (sweet or not, pick your poison)
  • Some celery (no exact amount)
  • Some mayo (again, not exact)
  • Salt, pepper, spices

Take the next 20-30 minutes to prepare, thusly:

  1. Cook pasta. This will take about 20 minutes between bringing the water to a boil and the 12-14 minute cooking time. Which is great, because while it’s cooking, you…
  2. Dice the onion and celery. Finely diced is best, but this is an inexact science type of dish, so don’t sweat it.
  3. When ready, drain the pasta, let it cool a bit (don’t rinse it, just let it cool in your strainer)
  4. Empty the pasta in a big mixing/salad bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. I also sometimes add oregano or light garlic spices, so play with it a bit. Don’t over-do it, because next you’ll…
  5. Add the diced onions and celery.
  6. Open the cans of shrimp, drain the water from them, and add the shrimp to the bowl and mix everything together with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  7. Add mayo. Add it in rounds, you’d like your component parts to all have some mayo on them, but by no means be covered in the stuff.
  8. Cover the bowl. Chill for a few hours in the fridge.
  9. Remove from the fridge when cold, give it another few stirs and dish it out.

You can try this with any type of pasta, but the shells are the best, because they occasionally create these shrimp-onion-celery-pasta bombs in one single bite when they catch everything together. It’s grand.

This makes me think of my Mom. It makes me think of summer. It makes me happy. It’s a perfect compliment to burgers, hot dogs, and anything else you’re whipping up on the grill.

Enjoy.