Nacho Daddies Nachos

I had a hankering for nachos today. Usually, when I decide to make something, like most people, I journey to my favorite cookbook. In my case that is America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, those guys rock my cooking world. More on that another time though. Today I had a pretty good idea about where I wanted to go with the nachos, so I skipped the good book, went straight to the grocery store and most certainly did not collect two hundred dollars.

It had been ordained to make chicken nachos. Not sure if that was my call or someone else's. Most likely was not my call, thankfully. While buying ingredients, it struck me that marinating the chicken in fresh lime juice might add a nice curious flavor to the nachos, so I grabbed three limes. Whimsy is occasionally my friend.

Without further ado, I present to you...


Intrepid's Nachos

  • 1 chicken breast, cut bite sized.
  • 3 limes
  • 1 tbl spoon fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbl spoon hot chili sauce (I used Sriracha, most likely because it has a chicken on the bottle.)
  • 1 can refried beans
  • lots of fresh nacho chips (I must talk about fresh nacho chips another time.)
  • 1/2 can black olives (Mine were whole, which I then had to slice. Next time I will not be a cheap basterd and buy them already sliced.)
  • Three medium peppers. Colors of your choosing. I used a red, yellow and an orange. (mmmmmmm)
  • 1 firm tomato, diced.
  • a fresh jalapeno or two, sliced (This is to personal preference.)
  • Lots of shredded sharp cheese (Sorry, that is the best I can do on the amount, I just kept shredding. Shredding. Shredding. Apologies Dory.)


  1. Marinate the chicken in the juice of two limes and the cilantro for about 20 minutes. Add the chili sauce and marinate for another 5 minutes. I did all my marinating in a zip lock sort of bag. Cook the chicken in a little bit of olive oil. Keep the juice that forms in the pan.
  2. While the chicken is marinating, make your nacho chips. If you are not using fresh chips, please, please, do not tell me.
  3. Pre heat the oven to 300.
  4. Spray a 9x13, or so, glass oven safe dish lightly with a non-stick spray.
  5. Spread the refried beans on the bottom of the dish.
  6. Place the remaining ingredients, except the one lime, in at least two layers with chips forming the bottom of each layer. Use plenty of cheese. It is okay if you end up a little above the top of your dish. That just gives you all the more to eat!
  7. Drizzle the juice you have left over from cooking the chicken over the nachos. I just love that word. Drizzle!
  8. Place in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. You want to have all the cheese, including what is buried in the center of the nachos, nice and melty.
  9. After you remove Intrepid's Nachos from the oven, squeeze the juice of the remaining lime over the nachos.
  10. Serve. Enjoy. Repeat.


Please share your nacho experience in the comments below, whether with this version, a favorite recipe or your own personal creation. Happy eating!



Andromeda Galaxy Coolness

M31, the Andromeda Galaxy via NASA’s Swift satellite

I find it hard to express the feelings evoked here. This image of the Andromeda galaxy takes my breath away: 'tis a thing of beauty.

Even more amazing than the image itself is the fact that we have it at all. When was the last time you have seen anything from 2.5 million light-years away? Think about that distance and then go get some angel food cake.

If you are interested in more details, check out the essay on Bad Astronomy linked below. Nothing bad about it though.


Please share your thoughts below.





"A Swift view of Andromeda" [Bad Astronomy]

The 2% Rule

There is a story I was aware of when I lived in Maine. It concerns a rather large apparel merchant that was founded in that fair state with its roots in mail order. To keep things simple, I'll call them JJ Sprout.

Now, JJ Sprout has a return policy like no other. It is both quite extraordinary and extraordinarily simple. If you are ever dissatisfied with any of their products, for any reason, they will replace it free of charge. This means that you could buy, say, a pair of slippers from them and wear them all day long every day for years. Slippers are comfortable after all. At some point down the line, the slippers would develop holes in the soles, most annoying. At that point, under JJ Sprout's return policy, you could return the slippers and they would gladly ship you a replacement pair, free. Seems sweet to me. Sounds crazy to some.

According to the legend, back in the day when Mr. Sprout was still involved in the daily operation of JJ Sprout, he would often wander around talking to his staff. One particular day, a new team member had the courage to ask Mr. Sprout a rather direct question. The conversation went something like this:


Brave New Guy

Mr. Sprout, I really enjoy working for your company. You treat your employees fairly and the environment is fun. If it is okay with you, I have one question for you though.

Mr. Sprout

Why certainly son, please feel free to ask anything you want.


Thank you sir. My question concerns our return policy. Frankly sir, I do not understand it. It seems foolish to replace any product at any time with no questions asked. Someone could buy their entire wardrobe from us once and then get it replaced for free as it wears out. They would never have to spend a penny on clothes again.

The way I imagine this exchange, Mr. Sprout would then purse his lips, furrow his brow, gaze at our brave young lad and generally look thoughtful for a few heartbeats.


Well son, that is an excellent point that you make there. Let me respond to your question with another question. Who should we worry about more, the 2% of our customers who try to take advantage of us or the other 98% who keep us in business?

As I watch various organizations, both from the inside as an employee and from outside as a patron, I often find they focus too much on the few bad apples in the ranks of their customers. Sure, you need to have procedures in place to weed out the thieves (that is what they are), but it is better to err on the side of generosity. The greater sin is to lose a profitable, loyal patron because you or your policies assumed he was trying to take advantage of you when he had nothing but honest intentions. Letting a few bad apples "get away with it" is a small price to pay in order to keep your bread and butter customers content and coming back.


Please share your thoughts below.



Apologies everywhere and only a mojito in sight

So, J and I are out to eat tonight at a regional restaurant whose name is close to the candy bar of exclamations. They have provided me with amazing steaks both times I have dropped in for a visit. The mojitos aren't too shabby either. Shortest distance to my heart? Provide me with an amazing mojito. J orders her salad with French dressing. When the salad arrives I notice that the dressing looks remarkably like the ranch dressing on my salad. We point this out to the waiter, of course.

His initial reaction is not one of apology and let me get you another salad faster than you can say oops. Instead he pulls out his order pad to see what he had written down. Honestly, I do not remember what he said next. After hemming and hawing for an instant he apologized, offering to get her a new salad. I do have issues with the process he went through there, not my focus at the moment though.

The kicker here is not only did he apologize twice more before departing the table, when he dropped off the check he apologized again! Please, please, please when you mess up apologize immediately and sincerely. Then offer to fix the issue and actually fix it. If compensation of sorts makes sense, do that as well before your guest asks. Do not continue to apologize though. Know what that does? It reminds me of how much you messed up. Seems to me that you want me to be focusing on how you resolved the issue instead. Maybe I am silly, but I would want the person filling my pocket with money focused on positive points, not negative.


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My goal here? To promote and stimulate a conversation on what good customer service is and how to deliver it.
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