Tuesday, March 28, 2017

How to Make 1000 Island Steak (aka Heart Attack Special)

So this is something that has been in my family for a very long time. It’s a recipe for a mouth-watering burger that can only be described as pure manliness. When I was in high school my buddies would come over every time we had this because they could never get enough. One of my best friends appropriately dubbed it the “Heart Attack Special” and you will see why in a moment. But the name “1000 Island Steak” is actually what we call it.

We are from Upstate New York (in other words we live in the state of New York, not the city) and my grandmother first had this when she was visiting a friend in the 1000 Islands. I’m not really sure if it is really called “1000 Island Steak” or if that is just what my grandmother called it, but it has stuck with the family ever since. In fact, it has become a staple for whenever the boys come over for a big game or some good fights on PPV. They always request the “1000 Island”.

So without further ado, here we go.

No this really isn’t all that complicated to make. It’s only a few ingredients. But it is something that you have to watch as you cook very carefully. When I was in college I used to try to do this on the mini propane grill that we had at our lacrosse house and I would end up completely burning the entire thing. So you have to be careful!

The ingredients:

  • 1.5-2 lbs hamburger meat. I go with the 80/20 because this sandwich is not where you want to start thinking about your waste.
  • 2 packages of bacon. Regular slice is fine here.
  • 1/2 brick of cheese. This depends on your taste. I like pepper jack. But I have used cheddar, mozzarella, and provolone.
  • Pepper
  • Onion Powder

And that’s it.

Now the other key ingredient that is absolutely essential to making this is the grilling basket. You really can’t do it without it. You can buy them at Home Depot or anywhere that sells grilling supplies or equipment.

thingsmenbuy grilling basket

First thing you do is spray the basket with grilling Pam. This will help in the end! Then what you do is lay down a layer of bacon. You want all of the pieces to be connected and overlapping. You want to cover the bottom of the basket with bacon.

Once you have done that, take out half of the ground beef and make a giant patty as thin as you can. It is important that you connect the beef together and it is on big patty. You can’t have any holes!  You lay that on top of the bacon, leaving about an inch or two of bacon on all sides.

You then grate the cheese and lay it on top of the ground beef, again, leaving about an inch of ground beef on the sides. Sprinkle a little onion powder on top of that.

Then you take the rest of the beef and make another patty. Again, you have to make sure there are no holes. You lay this patty on top of the cheese and connect the been on the sides. This makes one giant “Juice Lucy” hamburger.

Once you have it all connected and no holes, you fold the excess bacon from the bottom layer over the top. Then you take the rest of your bacon and you layer the top just like you did before. Each piece is connected and overlapping. You cover the entire burger.

Once there is no more burger showing you put the top of the grilling basket on, making sure it is tight. Sprinkle the outside with pepper.

Now go to the grill and cook it on low for about 10-15 minutes per side. Your grill will flame up from the fat so you have to be extremely careful. Keep an eye on the grill at all times. This is very easy to go up in flames and become a big piece of charcoal.

Once you’re done, take it off and slice it into individual burgers.

You will be the king of the tailgate with this one!

Craig Tuttle's 1000 Island Steak

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

21 Manly Things to Own

This is a list of 21 things that every man above the age of 30 should own. Most of these are common sense, but I will give explanations for each item. These are in no particular order and are solely based on my opinions of what every guy should own!

So with that here are the “21 Manly Things to Own”

Grill

Every guy needs to own a grill. You need to have some form of cooking a steak on your own if you are a man. If you live in the city where proper space for an outside grill cannot be afforded to you, I know of a portly former boxing champion who has an inside grill that can come in handy in a pinch. But you really should own a grill if you have a pair. And owning is half the battle. You are the only one who knows how to use your grill and you guard that privilege with your life, if necessary.

manly things to own - grill

Tool Kit

Ok, so I have to come clean a little bit. I’m about as handy as a back pocket on a shirt, but I do have a tool kit. I may not be able to accurately identify every piece of equipment in said tool kit, but I sure as hell have it. And you should to. You never know when those plyer thingy’s are going to be necessary.

Decent Pair of Sunglasses

It gets sunny outside. You need to protect your eyes. Sunglasses are a necessity. But there are a few rules here. Do not buy a pair from the local pharmacy or grocery store for $5. They look as cheap as they are. “Grow up Peter Pan…Count Chocula!” The other rule is that if I see you wearing sunglasses at night I am going to assume that you are covering up a shiner because there is absolutely no sensible reason for you to don sunglasses in the dark unless you’re in the UFC and you’re hiding your black eye at the post fight press conference. Again, sunglasses are a necessity but don’t abuse them.

manly things to own - sunglasses

Watch

Now a lot of guys love watches. I do too. But I also have really gotten into the fitness trackers lately. So I am going to lump them into this category as well. You need something on your wrist that tells time. This is also an excellent opportunity to show off your taste and sophistication so let’s leave the Garfield watch in the drawer. It’s not funny. It’s not cute.

Grooming Kit

Ok, so there has been a big resurgence in facial hair recently and frankly I’m all about it. I despise shaving and would love to be able to get away with not ever doing it. But there are limits. Trim that thing up. I know if I let myself go for more than a few days without grooming my facial hair I end up looking something like Michael J Fox in Teen Wolf. The cheek bone facial hair is not a good look. Trim it up. And while we’re at it, the grooming kit can also be used elsewhere. I’m not going to get too graphic here, but think logically. What you like on her, she probably likes on you. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you may not need to read on as you are probably not old enough to be worrying about what a man should own anyway.

Bottle Opener (Church Key)

There is nothing worse than offering a cold one to a friend and then having them have to use their keys in some MacGyver-esque move to take off the cap. A bottle opener is something that every guy should have at the ready. You never know when you will need one.

Cards/Poker Table and Chips

If you are a guy, you should enjoy poker with your buddies. It’s only natural. But don’t be the guy that plays with old soggy cards and pennies and nickels. You need a decent set in order to host, so pony up and get a few decks of good playing cards and enough chips to cover the boys.

manly things to own - poker table and chips

Gym Membership

Do not become the prototypical slouch of a man with a beer gut hanging out and not enough wind to make it past second base (take that however you want it). If you have a beer gut, do something about it! Every man should fit exercise into their daily routine.

Booze

It’s funny how I fit this right after the gym membership, but every guy should have some booze in the house. Even if you don’t drink, that doesn’t mean your company doesn’t as well. Even if you don’t want to have bottles of booze at the house, you could at least have a couple of cold ones on hand at all times for when your buddies come over.

Cigars

Every guy should have a few nice cigars on hand. There is no better way to celebrate a win in life than smoking a nice cigar with your feet up, relishing in victory. It’s also a very cool thing to offer your buddies. A cold one and a cigar and you’re good to go!

Sports Equipment/Balls

You should have a football, basketball, soccer ball in your possession and be able to find it. It should also be able to be inflated and used. You’re a guy. You are expected to have these things. There is nothing worse than your boys wanting to toss around the pigskin and you having to sheepishly admit that you don’t have one. Immediate review of your Man Card.

Wallet

You should own a nice leather wallet. Even if you carry your money in a money clip. You need a place to store your other pertinent information. I’m not saying you have to be George Costanza and have a wallet that resembles a Big Mac. But you should have something!

Chef’s Knife

There is nothing worse than seeing a man try to cut something up with a simple steak knife. Get yourself a decent Chef’s knife and you’ll be amazed at the things it can do! You’ll be like Bobby Flay in no time!

Computer/Laptop

Let’s face it…you need a way to get to your favorite site…ThingsMenBuy.com!

manly things to own - computer

Duct Tape

Essential. This is beyond a must have. It is perhaps the most important item in this list. You should also know where the duct tape is at all times as well. There is nothing worse than knowing that you can finally solve a problem that has the rest of the room stumped but not being able to find the one ingredient that you know will do the trick. The duct tape!

Power Tools

Again, I’m no Bob Villa, but I do have a few power tools. How emasculating is it when a buddy is over helping you fix something and asks for your drill and you have to look him in the eye and tell him you don’t have one. Again….Man Card review.

Protein Bars

Nothing says man more than a good protein bar after a hard workout. You should have some on hand for those days when you bust your ass in the gym and you just don’t feel like making a solid meal afterwards.

manly things to own - protein bars

Good Headphones

Every guy needs to be able to get away. Noise cancelling headphones are essential. I could not perform without them. I have a lot of noise going on around me. Pretty much my whole life. I would not be able to function if I didn’t have my noise cancelling headphones.

Movie Collection

Every guy should have a respectable collection of movies. Essentials in comedy, action, and horror. Don’t rely on Netflix. You should own your favorites…and be able to recite them word for word!

Books

Yes…books. You should have books that you have read and intend to read. You should read a book a week. That’s my goal at least. Expand your mind. Exercise your brain.

Recipes

Every guy should have their own recipes. Your own specials that you will never allow any other guy to know because it’s just that damn good and you don’t want them getting credit for your creation. Those recipes! If you don’t have at least one dish that you’re known for, even if it’s in your own mind, then you need to get to the kitchen and get to work! Every guy needs their own secret recipes!

 

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Ways to Order a Steak for Rookies

I think we have established in previous posts that there is no more manly meal than a big, juicy steak cooked to perfection. No matter what cut or type of steak we are talking about, it’s absolutely imperative that you know how you really like it. You probably always order your steak a certain way every time you go out to eat at a restaurant, but do you really know what you’re asking for?

Probably not.

The fact is that most guys don’t even know what a rare steak truly is supposed to be. When you order a rare steak, do you know what you are telling the cook? Or do you just know that you like your meat with a little red in the middle? This is not your backyard grill where you get to make the rules. There are really specifications to the degree of doneness when you order a steak. Especially at a steakhouse. I made this mistake myself when I was in my rookie season. So I decided to put this little guide together for all you rookies out there.

ways to order steak

Blue

I bet you didn’t even know this was an option, did you? I definitely didn’t when I first saw it. This is more rare than rare (if that makes any sense). A blue steak is just warmed on the outside and the inside is still cool. The center is bright red and the steak almost feels raw. It’s only cooked for a minute or two on each side.

Rare

This is cooked slightly more than a blue steak. It is seared on the outside for a couple of minutes per site but it is still cool on the inside. Up to 120 degrees. It is still soft to the touch and almost feels raw on the inside.

Medium Rare

This is the most popular way to order a steak. You get the best of both worlds. You don’t feel like you’re necessarily eating a raw piece of meat, but you still get that red middle. The outside is seared a little bit longer giving it a thicker crust and locking in those succulent juices. The middle is cooked from 130 to 145 degrees.

Medium

This is just what it says, right in the middle. If you don’t want too much pink in your steak, but you don’t want to be chewing on leather, this is what you order. This is cooked to about 160 degrees.

Medium Well

These steaks are for those who want absolutely no pink in their meat. This steak has a very thick crust and is cooked all the way through.

Well Done

This is shoe leather. This steak looks like it’s been left on and forgotten about for half the night. I don’t know of anyone that prefers their meat this way, but I am thinking about doing a post on beef jerky and that may be right up your alley if you like your steak well done!

So there you have it, rookies. Now you know that when you go to a steakhouse, this is what you’re asking for. So what you thought was a perfect medium rare on your grill in your backyard is most likely at least a medium. And probably creeps up to a medium well once it sits for 5 minutes.

 

Have any horror stories about ordering steaks? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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Game Used Baseball Cufflinks

I came across these game used baseball cufflinks and was so intrigued. Let’s face it, there is nothing better than having some kind of clothing or apparel revolving around your team that you know your buddies don’t even know about. Something that makes them know that your passion for your team makes you a “real fan”. That’s what these cufflinks are. The first time I heard about them, I knew I had to find out more.

Now normally a pair of cufflinks are about as interesting to me as an old piece of gum, but these definitely have something else to them. They are made from real game balls that have been used in Major League baseball games. The cufflinks are actually the stitches of the baseball that have been cut out. The stitches are set in sterling silver, giving them a perfect balance of game worn elegance.

game used baseball cufflinks

Each pair comes with a hologram number verifying their authenticity and your team engraved in the sterling silver. You can even go online and search the number and find out everything there is to know about the game the balls came from that were used to make your set of cufflinks.

Talk about a conversation starter! I remember the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry had an old pair of Jerry Lewis’ old cufflinks that he was going to use to start up a conversation. Now imagine having a pair of game used baseball cufflinks from a game that had a no-hitter. Or the game the Yankees clinch the pennant!

When I was looking these cufflinks up I saw even more goodies that I have to get my hands on. There are the hockey stick and baseball bat bottle openers. Game used base stools where the seat is actually a base that was used in a real game. Imagine having a man cave and at your bar, there are stools where the seats are real bases from actual Major League games. On top of your bar, you have a bottle opener made out of a real game used bat from your favorite team. These are touches that not many people can have to their man cave.

game used baseball cufflink

But first things first. I need to get my hands on a pair of Yankees game used baseball cufflinks! I need to research the game they were from and know it inside and out. So anytime I wear these cufflinks I can tell people all about them. I really don’t think anything says you’re a ginormous fan quite like a pair of game used baseball cufflinks from your favorite team. Check them out!

 

Have you seen anything this unique revolving around your favorite sports team? Share in the comments below!

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Why BikeBandit.com Is The Best Motorcycle Parts Store Online

As a motorcycle enthusiast, you want to be able to find online motorcycle parts quickly and efficiently. And, because keeping up with your bike is a long-term investment, it will also be nice if those parts could be cost-effective as well. While you could try to buy directly from your manufacturer, it’s usually better to search for OEM parts that work just as well or better than dealer-made ones.

Fortunately, there is a website out there where you can find all of the best gear and equipment at the best prices, with the largest selection: Bikebandit.com. Here are three reasons why this site should be on your bookmarked list:

Best Selection

Whenever you are looking for Yamaha OEM parts or other brands, it can always be tricky to find exactly what you need online. Thankfully, bikebandit.com makes it super easy to locate the right component because it has one of the largest inventories out there. No matter if you’re searching for something big like new tires, or something small like stickers and decals, you can find it within minutes.

Best Quality

For some bikers, the thought of using OEM parts is beneath them as they’ve been led to believe that somehow they are worse than dealer-made components. In reality, however, aftermarket gear is just as good or better without having the inflated brand-name price. So why does this myth exist? Well, using OEM parts can void some warranties, so they get something of a bad rep. However, if you are outside of any dealer warranty, then OEM is by far the best way to go.

Helpful Staff

If you’re trying to upgrade parts of your bike, you may be wondering what the best way to do that is. At bikebandit.com, they have staff and helpful services to let you know exactly what you need to take your bike to the next level. Chat with them or watch some of their helpful videos to understand how your new parts work, and what they can do for you.

Overall, when it comes to finding motorcycle parts online, no one does it better than bikebandit.com. Check them out today.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Top 3 Sour Candies of All Time

If there was one thing that I had to pinpoint as being my Achilles heel it would have to be my sweet tooth. I know that nutrition for guys is the one thing that accounts for most of your overall fitness goals. You can have the best workout and exercise plan in the world, but if your diet is FUBAR then you’re not getting anywhere. Sometimes that’s where I feel I am sometimes. Almost on a hamster wheel struggling to stay where I’m at instead of bursting my pants up another belt notch. I know that the struggle lies with my diet, and specifically with my sweet tooth. I think that second to quitting smoking for guys is the diet when it comes to the thing that they could fix to increase their level of health and fitness. But I don’t know if that’s ever going to change for me. I have a serious problem with candy. And specifically my affinity for sour candies. There is nothing else that gives me the most trouble when it comes to my nutrition. I am a big fan.

In fact, you might say I’m a bit of a connoisseur of sour candy! There are not many that I haven’t tried. I’m actually ashamed to admit that I used to have a subscription that delivered five different sour candies to my house every month. That might be going a little overboard for most, but it was right up my alley. I would sit and wait for the mailman when my delivery was scheduled to come to the house like it was Christmas day! So needless to say, I’m a little bit of an expert when it comes to sour candy.

So if I had to pick my favorite sour candies of all time, here are my top 3:

sour candies - trolli sour gummi worms

  1. Coming in at number 3 would have to be Trolli sour gummi worms. This was a close race between Sour Patch Kids and the gummi worms, but after watching a recent episode of Unwrapped 2.0 that featured Trolli gummi worms, I decided to make them my number 3 sour candy. 

sour candy - sour skittles

  1. Coming in at number 2 is my old favorite…Sour Skittles. These are outstanding. Skittles were always my favorite candy growing up. When they added the sour option back in 2000, it was one of the greatest things to happen in the food industry since they decided to slice the bread. Just when you think they couldn’t make something so great any better, they went ahead and did it! And knocked it out of the park! This was definitely number one on the list until it was overtaken recently with…

sour candies

  1. Chewy Sour Sweet Tarts. I was introduced to these guys a few years ago when they were known as Shockers. I was really pissed when I thought they went away. They actually are sour. Now as you know, a lot of sour candies claim to be sour but are barely even tart! I like to have that pucker in my sour candy before it turns sweet. These Sweet Tarts do the trick for sure. They can definitely make you pucker up, but it doesn’t last long. Then it turns to a sweet chewy goodness that leaves you wanting more every time. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

So there you have it. My top 3 sour candies of all time! What do you guys think? Comment below and let me know any I may have overlooked. 

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Buying a Steak at the Grocery Store?

So if you’re looking to buy a good steak, the last place you’d probably think to go is the grocery store. Don’t get me wrong, grocery store meat isn’t bad, per se, it’s just not as good as going to a butcher. But here are some tips for buying steak at the grocery store that make it very close to your local butcher.

The first thing that may help when it comes to buying a steak at the grocery store is to get the idea of convenience out of your head. You are looking for quality, not convenience. The best part of buying things at the grocery store is that everything you need is typically right there. All wrapped up and ready to go. But how long has it been that way? In other words, that steak you’re looking to buy had been wrapped up in the package for more time than I care to think about. What you want is a fresh cut. So most grocery stores actually have a butcher there. You want to go to him and have him get you a fresh cut.

The next thing you want to think about when buying a steak at the grocery store is price. This coincides with the first point. This is a steak. Not ground beef. Again, it’s about quality. Yes, going to the butcher will cost more. But what is the price that you put on quality when it comes to your steak? I know if I’m going to eat a steak, I want it to be the best it can be. And it all starts with the steak purchase.

buying a steak at the grocery store

So before going to your grocery store’s butcher, you want to know what type of steak you want to be getting. How many are you cooking for? Is this a fancy dinner or a family reunion type of get-together? Once you have the cut you’re looking for set, it’s time to actually talk to the butcher.

Don’t be afraid to talk to the butcher. See what meat is the freshest. Ask him what grade the meat is and what they recommend. They will definitely be able to help guide you in the right direction.

Now I know this part is kind of a douchy thing to do, and it makes me “that guy”, but what I like to do is have them cut you me a steak, then say that the cut is no good and have them cut another. I know, I know, that’s kind of shady, but think about it…I am assured to get an absolute fresh cut because the only part of the meat that is touching any air is the edges of the steak. This is the freshest cut you can get. Yea, you may seem like a dick to the butcher, but again, what does the quality of steak mean to you?

things to know when buying a steak at the grocery store

So those are my quick tips for buying a steak at the grocery store. Remember, you are not shopping for a steak for convenience. Take the time to do it the right way. And don’t be afraid to come off as a little bit of a dick. It’ll be worth it when you’re eating that delicious cut of red meat straight from the grill!

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