12 June – Disappointment

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Brand New Fighter Pilot - Sweet glasses

Brand New Fighter Pilot – Sweet glasses

Mind –Setting tough goals might bring momentary setbacks along the way.  Hell, you might even face flat out failure.  No doubt these tough times will test your mettle, but how failure is dealt with is more important than the initial result of your efforts. In fact, sometimes without realizing it, failures are just the result needed to propel you to levels previously not thought attainable. I can remember being extremely disappointed about not receiving an appointment to the AF Academy my senior year of high school. I was however given a Falcon Foundation scholarship to attend New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM. What I didn’t know was how beneficial that year of rigorous training and academics would be for me, and how much fun it would actually be. I got to meet a lot of great folks along the way, many of whom I run into even still.  Remember, results are important, but how you deal with both good and bad results is more a measure of character.
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Love the Desert

Love the Desert

Body – Flexibility
Wingman/Flight Leads/Instructors
30/60/90 minute yoga
Weapons Instructor Course
90 minute Bikram hot yoga
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Recipe of the Day 
Soo tasty

Soo tasty

Grilled Chicken Teriyaki and Bok Choy – Recipe taken from Cooks Illustrated, summer 2008.
Photo by AJAX
Serves – 6
Prep time – 35 minutes active, 35 minutes total
Nutrition – 432 calories, 56 grams protein, 15 grams fat, g13 rams carbs
Ingredients
2 pounds chicken thighs with skin
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 medium garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons mirin
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Directions
1. De-bone the chicken thighs, trim excess skin, leave top covered with skin and cut three slices through the top of the skin, set aside.
2. Start a hot charcoal fire.
3. Combine in a small sauce pan the soy sauce, brown sugar, grated ginger, garlic cloves, mirin, and cornstarch.  Simmer over medium to high heat whisking often until reduced and the mixture starts to become syrupy.
4. The key to this recipe is how you grill the chicken.  DO NOT put the sauce on before grilling.  Additionally, separate the hot coals to either side of the grill.  Fill a disposable aluminum casserole with the chicken in a single layer skin side up.  Place the chicken in the center of the grill and allow the chicken to render all its fat in the pan.  Grill for about 20 minutes in the pan with the lid partially closed to allow for the smoke to build but so as not to cool the coals down.  Cook until an instant read thermometer reads 150 on the thick parts.  Pull the pan full of chicken off the grill and add a fresh one to the center of the grill, this is the grease free cooler area to rest the chicken.  Now place each piece of chicken skin side down over the hot coals to char the skin, flip once or twice to get some nice searing on both sides.  If the coals flame up too much return the chicken to the pan while the others finish.
5. Bring the chicken in and cut into 1” bite sized chunks. Once complete serve over rice with pan seared bok-choy.
6. Finally, brush on sauce or use as a side for individual preference.
MackNBee taste rating 4 out of 4
AJAX ease of prep rating 3 out of 4.  This teriyaki is delicious because the sauce is not over powering and the chicken remains tender, juicy, and crispy all at the same time with just the right amount of salty, sweet sauce.
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Spirit –  Psalm 69:13 “ But I pray to you, O Lord, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God answer me with your sure salvation.”
This is the part that is sometimes so hard, “…in the time of your favor…” we do not have an infinite perspective which makes waiting very difficult.
© 2013 by LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT. All rights reserved.
The views of LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT are those of the author alone and should not be considered any official DoD, Government, or USAF position.

20 May – I want to fly fighters…

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Me a new Wingman with Rufus

Me a new Wingman with Rufus

Please vote for AJAX on the Rantingchef.com….Last day and the competition is close, scroll down on right side.
Mind – Having a vision and goal is important towards accomplishing both large and small things. For me, when I was about in 8th grade I knew I wanted to fly fighter aircraft, after that moment there was no deterring me in accomplishing that goal. I can remember watching an F-15C demonstration at the Paine airshow in Washington state, afterwards I approached the pilot and asked me how I could do what he did, in short he said, “Go to the Air Force Academy, it is your best chance at a pilot slot.” Fortunately, along the way I had my parents, coaches, teachers, and high school principal encourage me, guide me, and correct me when I screwed things up. I can also remember some guidance I got from “General Bill,” a retired Air Force officer and client of my parents, he said, “Never give up on what you want to do, never waiver.”  That was a great bit of advice because along the way there were many pitfalls and tough times that could have knocked me off course.  With my goal firmly planted in my mind, and sometimes not so gentle coaching along the way, I decided to go to the AF Academy.  Thank goodness Col Sykes also advised me to fly the mighty Viper, otherwise I might have been tempted over to the dark-side flying twin tail targets…at least it was single seat version. So what is your goal? Set it, make it measurable, make it a stretch, then go for it.
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Body – Strength
Photo by Dan Reshef

Photo by Dan Reshef

Wingman
10 Minutes Stretching
 3 rounds of
20 Air Squats Demo http://youtu.be/zf2SWnIQbwI
20 Mountain Climbers http://youtu.be/nmwgirgXLYM
Flight Leads
25x Situps
8-10 Reps of
45lb Barbell Clean and Press
45lb Barbell Curls
5lb Dumbbell Lat Raises
5lb Dumbbell Curls
45lb Barbell Upright Rows
45lb Barbell Push Presses
5lb Seated Dumbbell Curls
45lb Narrow Grip Bench
45lb Barbell Wrist Curls on Bench
45lb Barbell Reverse Curls
Instructors/
3 Sets of 8-10 Reps ,  weight as desired
Barbell Clean and Press
Barbell Curls
Dumbbell Lat Raises
Dumbbell Curls
Barbell Upright Rows
Barbell Push Presses
Seated Dumbbell Curls
Narrow Grip Bench
Barbell Wrist Curls on Bench
Barbell Reverse Curls
Weapons Instructor Course
5 Sets of 8-10 Reps ,  superset, weight as desired
Barbell Clean and Press
Barbell Curls
Dumbbell Lat Raises
Dumbbell Curls
Barbell Upright Rows
Barbell Push Presses
Seated Dumbbell Curls
Narrow Grip Bench
Barbell Wrist Curls on Bench
Barbell Reverse Curls
Kettlebell Swings
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Recipe of the Day
 Croque Madame
Croque-Madame
By Romulo Yanes in Gourmet
Photo by AJAX
Serves – 4
Prep time – 35minutes active, 35 minutes total
Nutrition –calories, grams protein, grams fat, grams carbs
Ingredients
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 1/2 ounces coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (1 1/3 cups)
8 slices firm white sandwich bread
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 pound thinly sliced cooked ham (preferably Black Forest)
4 large eggs
Directions
Make sauce:
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, then whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes. Whisk in salt, pepper, nutmeg, and 1/3 cup cheese until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and cover surface directly with a sheet of wax paper.
Make sandwiches:
Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce evenly over each of 4 slices of bread, then sprinkle evenly with remaining cheese (1/4 cup per slice). Spread mustard evenly on remaining 4 bread slices and top with ham, dividing it evenly, then invert onto cheese-topped bread to form sandwiches.
Lightly oil a 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately low heat, then cook sandwiches, turning over once, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes total. Remove from heat and transfer sandwiches to baking pan, then wipe out skillet with paper towels.
Preheat broiler.
Top each sandwich with 1/3 cup sauce, spreading evenly. Broil sandwiches 4 to 5 inches from heat until sauce is bubbling and golden in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off broiler and transfer pan to lower third of oven to keep sandwiches warm.
Heat remaining tablespoon butter in nonstick skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then crack eggs into skillet and season with salt and pepper. Fry eggs, covered, until whites are just set and yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Top each sandwich with a fried egg and serve immediately
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Spirit –  Paul in his letter to the Philippians, Philippians 3:12-14 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
© 2013 by LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT. All rights reserved.
The views of LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT are those of the author alone and should not be considered any official DoD, Government, or USAF position.

17 May – Out Of Your Element

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Tail 90-0768 - Top Hat 01

Tail 90-0768 – Top Hat 01

NVG View

NVG View

Please go vote for AJAX at the Rantingchef.com scroll down and look on the right side.
Mind – The final round of Diced is here, and unfortunately for me, The Ranting Chef threw a curve ball. If you have followed LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT.com you know we really don’t do desserts.  We work on the mind, body, and spirit, and when it comes to eating, our focus is making tasty, expedient, dinners. You have to know when you are out of your element in order to be able to operate in it. But one thing about flying fighter aircraft, you can’t shy away from things that are tough, or situations that make you uncomfortable. The only way to get better at difficult tasks is to dive in and practice. I can distinctly remember learning how to fly with night vision goggles. Imagine greatly reducing your natural field of view and taking away all your depth-perception and then flying in close proximity to other aircraft. Then imagine flying low altitude at 510 knots (600 mph) under the same conditions…sucking up seat cushions is how some describe the experience.  Practice is important, but so is bringing in the right people on your team. For this task I brought on the team my secret dessert weapon, my wife Lisa. So fights on Maggie, I think you will all love the dessert.
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Photo 2 The match
Body – Sports Day
Wingman/Flight Leads/Instructors
30 minutes of boxing bag work
– 15 on the heavy bag
– 15 on the speed bag
Weapons Instructor Course
30 minutes of sparring
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Recipe of the Day 
Lemon Tart with White Chocolate Mascarpone Cream and Macerated Brandied Blueberry Sauce 
The Lemon Tart by Marcella Rosene
The White Chocolate Mascarpone is Lisa’s
The Blueberry Brandy sauce is by AJAX’s
Photo by AJAX
Photo 3 Main Dessert
Serves – 8
Prep time – A lot, this is not a quick prep item.
Nutrition – Calories…a lot, its dessert, hit the gym
Ingredients
For the Tart Shells
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups flour
Filling:
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon arrowroot
1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced lemon peel
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
First the Lemon Tarts
1. To prepare the tart shells: Place the powdered sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process just long enough to remove any lumps. Add the butter in small pieces and process until the mixture is almost fluffy. Gradually add the flour and continue processing until the mixture forms a firm dough. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a large piece of plastic wrap. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap. Chill just until the dough is no longer warm from processing, no longer than 30 minutes. (The dough needs to be at room temperature to form the shells.)
2. Spray eight 3-inch tart tins with a nonstick cooking spray. Separate the dough into 8 equal pieces. Place a ball of dough in the center of each tin and press in the bottom and up the sides. The dough should be spread very thin. Refrigerate the shells at least 20 minutes before baking. (The shells can also be frozen.) Prick the bottoms before baking.
Photo 4 Tart Shells
3. Place the shells on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 325-degree oven 15 minutes. Rotate the shells and continue baking an additional 15 minutes. Cool on a rack for at least 45 minutes. Loosen the shells from the pans with the tip of a knife if necessary and remove. (The unfilled shells can be held at room temperature in a tin for a week.)
4. To prepare the filling: In a food processor place the whole eggs, yolks and lemon juice. Process until the eggs are well beaten. With the machine running gradually add the sugar, arrowroot and lemon peel. Add the cream cheese a chunk at a time and puree until specks of cream cheese are no longer visible.
5. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture coats a spoon but is still thin enough to pour. When the filling has begun to thicken pour into a measuring cup. If the filling has thickened so that it is no longer pourable, stir in a teaspoon or two of warm water.
Photo 5 Lemon Mix
Photo 6 Strain Lemon Mix
6. Place the pastry shells on a cookie sheet and carefully pour the hot filling into the shells. Place the tarts in the oven and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 6 minutes or until the filling does not jiggle when the tarts are moved. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cover loosely and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Photo 7 Lemon Tart
Ingredients
White Chocolate Mascarpone
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
4 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
9 oz Mascarpone cheese (room temperature)
4-6 Tablespoons brandy
4 oz good quality white chocolate such as Lindt
1. In a small bowl combine the Mascarpone and the brandy.
Photo 8 Mascarpone and Brandy
2. Break the white chocolate into small pieces and melt in a double boiler.  Allow to cool, then stir into the Mascarpone and brandy bowl.
Photo 9 White Chocolate
3. Combine sugar and water in a small non-stick pan over high heat, bring to a boil.
4. In a standing mixer with whisk attachment lightly beat egg yolks until blended, increase speed and beat until light yellow and frothy.
5. Using a candy thermometer cook sugar syrup until 240 degrees Fahrenheit/soft ball stage.
Photo 10 Sugar Syrup
6. With mixer on high, slowly pour sugar syrup down the sides of the bowl and incorporate.
Photo 11 Combine
7. Whisk egg yolk on high speed until cool, up to 10 minutes, add one half teaspoon of vanilla and combine for 1 more minute.
8. Stir the egg yolk sugar mixture into the Mascarpone brandy and white chocolate bowl, combine well and refrigerate for two hours.  Set aside.
Macerated Brandied Blueberry Sauce
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup brandy
1. Combine blueberries and brandy, simmer on medium heat until reduced.  While simmering crush blueberries slightly with a fork. Let cool slightly before topping tart.
Photo 12 Blueberries
Assembly
1. Cover lemon tart with large dollop of Mascarpone White Chocolate, drizzle with brandied blueberry sauce, then sprinkle lightly with crumbed white powdered donut.
Enjoy
AJAX
MackNBee taste rating 4 out of 4
AJAX ease of prep rating 1 out of 4,
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Spirit – Sometime you just need to rest your body and your mind.  Sit back relax, consider all your blessings and have a tasty dessert after working hard.
Cheers
AJAX
© 2013 by LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT. All rights reserved.
The views of LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT are those of the author alone and should not be considered any official DoD, Government, or USAF position.

7 May – Teamwork

Sweet Machines

Sweet Machines

Mind – Ok I hear all the griping about the non-updated site.  Copy all, I am getting my ass into gear. Today I am going to discuss teamwork a little. You have all heard me make fun of the WSO’s (Weapons Systems Operators) because they sit in the backseat of some our two seat fighter aircraft, and if you have been following any of the comments from my friends that ride (Dez and Bullet), you know they probably deserve the ribbing.  However, I will say that flying a two seat aircraft probably takes a lot of teamwork. For that matter flying single seat aircraft takes a lot of teamwork as well.  Fighters never employ single ship, we employ with a minimum of two and usually four or more. I have been involved in Large Force Employment (LFE) packages with upwards of 80 aircraft. The aircraft involved included command and control aircraft, electronic jammers, high value assets, search and rescue, strike, cargo, and air superiority aircraft. Behind all those assets are maintenance crews, fuel and weapons, intelligence, and so much more to make the mission happen. The bottom-line, it takes teamwork to make the mission happen, each piece is vital. Knowing your roll and how to make the team function best for all is one of the hardest things about being on a team, especially when the team is made up of a bunch of hard charging go getters.  Sometimes true leaders must know how to follow, take pride and take care of their minor roll, while encouraging others to step up to the plate.
On that closing note, if you would like to write an article, or submit a meal or workout, send me a message and I will contact you to add you to contributors.
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 Yoga
Body – Mobility and Flexibility
Wingman/Flight Leads/Instructors
30/60/90 minutes of yoga
Weapons Instructor Course
90 Minutes of hot Bikram yoga
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Recipe of the Day 
 Brown Rice and Beans
Brown Rice and Beans with Ginger, Avocado and Chile Salsa 
Recipe from Bon Appétit, modified by AJAX
Photo by AJAX
Serves – 4
Prep time – 20 minutes active, 50 minutes total
Nutrition – 360 calories, xx grams protein, 16 grams fat, 16 grams carbs
Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped, divided
1 cup brown rice
Kosher salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth or water
2 red jalapeños or Fresno or Holland chiles, stemmed, halved, seeded
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon chopped peeled ginger
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 avocado, halved, pitted, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese or feta
Lime wedges (for serving)
Directions
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/4 of onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat. Add 2 cups water and season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until rice is just tender, 40-50 minutes.
Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork. Fold in 1/4 cup cilantro; season with salt and pepper.
While rice is cooking, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 2/3 of remaining onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened, about 5 minutes.
Add coriander and cumin; stir 1 minute. Add beans and broth; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, occasionally mashing beans, until thickened, 8-10 minutes.
Pulse chiles, garlic, ginger, lime zest, lime juice, and remaining onion in a blender until a chunky sauce forms. Season salsa with salt.
Serve rice with beans; top with salsa, avocado, cheese, 1/4 cup cilantro, and lime wedges.
MackNBee taste rating 4 out of 4
AJAX ease of prep rating 4 out of 4 — awesome recipe, kids and I loved it.
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Spirit – One question I frequently hear is, “Why does a perfectly good, perfectly loving, all powerful and infinite God allow the pain and suffering of this world?”
My pastor this weekend had a great response, and there is no way to cover it fully in this short blog, but ponder this.
Let us assume that you could advise God on how to remove suffering from this world, first you say…1) Eliminate all the terrorist and killers of innocents.  Surely this would eliminate some of the suffering.  Then you advise further, 2) Eliminate all the murderers, criminals, pedophiles, rapists, and thieves. Again, this would surely end some of the suffering in the world.  Then you think harder, 3) Eliminate all the crooked politicians, bad cops, and despot leaders of the world. Again, not so bad, but then you extrapolate further and say, 4) Eliminate, the liars, the cheaters, the coveters, the greedy, the vain, the slanderers and gossips, the immoral, the drunks, and addicts, the cruel, the selfish, the lazy, the frivolous, the overbearing, the lustful… and on and on. Here we should all shudder with fear; as we think, we soon realize that means elimination of each of us.
Fortunately God had the solution, Christ! Free to all, through grace.  Each one of us paid for, forgiven, we just have to ask.
© 2013 by LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT. All rights reserved.
The views of LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT are those of the author alone and should not be considered any official DoD, Government, or USAF position.

25 Aprils – Showers and Volleyball?

First thanks to all who voted for me in Diced competition, we are moving on to the final round!
Ice
Mind – I know I am not in the Navy so I can’t speak with total authority, but what is up with the constant showering between flights and oiled up volleyball matches? I am going to have to put this myth in the busted category; from my training experiences every second after the mission was used to verify all of our shot data and then debrief. Although I guess I should caveat single seat squadrons don’t have WSO’s available to gather all the data for the debrief. In that case, maybe this myth is at least plausible for the Navy and Strike Eagle community.
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WSO's Bench Pressing

WSO’s Bench Pressing

Body – Strength
Much Better Form

Much Better Form

Wingman/Flight Leads/Instructors/Weapons Instructor Course

3 Sets of 10-12 reps
Bench press
Dumbell incline press
Dumbell pullovers
Seated Cable rows
Pullups
Cable Wood Choppers
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Recipe of the Day 
 Lamb
Roast Lamb with Lamb Sausage Crust and Fresh Grape Pan Sauce
Recipe from Bon Appétit, December 2007
Photo by AJAX
Serves – 8
Prep time – 60 minutes active, 90 minutes total. I made this for Easter and it was tasty.
Nutrition – 831 calories, 70 grams protein, 44 grams fat, 22 grams carbs
Ingredients
Sauce:
2 cups halved seedless red grapes
2 cups tawny Port
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Sausage Crust and Lamb:
1/2 cup halved seedless red grapes
1/4 cup halved pitted Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 small garlic clove
8 ounces ground lamb
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 2- to 2 1/2-pound well-trimmed racks of lamb (each with 8 bones)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
2 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
Directions
For sauce:
Boil all ingredients in large saucepan until reduced to 2 1/3 cups, about 20 minutes. Cool. Puree in blender. DO AHEAD: Can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
For lamb:
Pulse grapes, olives, chopped rosemary, vinegar, and garlic clove in mini processor until olives are chopped. Transfer to bowl. Mix in ground lamb,1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Sprinkle racks of lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 rack, meat side down, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Set on rimmed baking sheet, meat side up. Repeat with 1 tablespoon oil and remaining rack; reserve skillet. Cool lamb completely.
Add 1/2 cup broth to skillet. Boil until reduced to glaze, scraping up browned bits. Add to sauce. Cover and chill.
Spread each rack with 1 tablespoon mustard. Press half of lamb sausage over top of each rack (layer will be thin). DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons oil, and 2 tablespoons mustard in medium skillet. Toss over medium heat until beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Press crumbs over sausage on each rack. Cut through crumb crust (not lamb) between bones to score. Roast until thermometer inserted into center registers 135°F, about 30 minutes for medium-rare.
Transfer lamb to platter; let rest 10 minutes. Pour juices from baking sheet into sauce. Simmer in small saucepan until reduced to about 1 1/3 cups, about 9 minutes (sauce will thicken slightly). Season with salt and pepper.
Cut lamb between bones into chops. Set two on each plate. Spoon sauce over.
WHAT TO DRINK:
Martín Códax 2005 “Ergo”Tempranillo (Spain, $14), with lively fruit,full body, and supple texture.
MackNBee taste rating 3 out of 4
AJAX ease of prep rating 2 out of 4
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Spirit –  1 Chronicles16:11 “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek His face always.”
© 2013 by LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT. All rights reserved.
The views of LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT are those of the author alone and should not be considered any official DoD, Government, or USAF position.

24 April – Too Close For Guns?

Too Close ... watch out for the pilot!

Too Close … watch out for the pilot!

 
 
Mind – “I’m too close for missiles, Goose, I am switching to guns!” First things first, hopefully everyone can see what is clearly wrong with this statement by now. You guessed it, why would anyone fly a two seat fighter aircraft requiring any sort of coordination with a Whizzzo?  Ok all kidding aside, this is indeed true and not a myth, sometimes you just need a gun to get the job done for many reasons, not just range. One thing of interest…this is really fricking close, and if you have ever seen the WWII videos of gun camera footage where the victor shoots the other aircraft then flies through a smoking fireball; on the good bad scale that is bad.  Generally speaking flying wreckage, debris, and fire don’t mix well with aircraft and is a good way to find yourself also using the silk let down (parachute). Finally we have found something true about Top Gun, the myth is not a myth! The lesson for today? If you find yourself too close to a situation…you just might get fragged.
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Photo by Alicia Crossfit

Photo by Alicia Crossfit

 
 
Body – Power Day
 
Wingman
5 rounds of
20x kettlebell swings
7x jumping lunges
10x pushups
 
Flight Leads
5 rounds of
20x kettlebell swings
7x jumping lunges
10x pushups
10x 135lbs deadlift
 
Instructors
5 rounds of
20x kettlebell swings
7x jumping lunges
10x pushups
10x 135lbs deadlift
 
 
Weapons Instructor Course
5 rounds of
20x kettlebell swings
7x jumping lunges
10x pushups
10x 225lbs deadlift
10x 135lbs clean
 
 
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Mediterranean Chicken Salad
Recipe from Bon Appétit July 2004
Photo by AJAX
Pretty Tasty

Pretty Tasty

 
 
Serves – 4
 
Prep time – 30 minutes active, 30 minutes total
Nutrition – 553 calories, 37 grams protein, 31 grams fat, 30 grams carbs
 
 
Ingredients
 
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons tarragon vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 cups diced cooked chicken (from one 3-pound purchased cooked chicken)
 
1/2 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta; about 3 ounces)
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (about 10 ounces)
1 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/3 cup dried currants
1 1/2 tablespoons drained capers
 
Directions
 
Combine oil, vinegar, tarragon, lemon juice, and mustard in small bowl; whisk to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Place chicken in medium bowl. Mix in 1/4 cup dressing.
Cook orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Rinse under cold water to cool; drain well. Transfer orzo to large bowl. Stir in remaining dressing and toss to coat. Add chicken mixture, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, currants, and capers. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
 
 
 
MackNBee taste rating 3 out of 4
AJAX ease of prep rating 3 out of 4
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Spirit –  Job 42:1-3 “Then Job replied to the Lord: ‘I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.
 
 
© 2013 by LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT. All rights reserved.
The views of LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT are those of the author alone and should not be considered any official DoD, Government, or USAF position.
 

23 April – The Best of the Best

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Who's the best?

Who’s the best?

Two place aircraft...not the best

Two place aircraft…not the best

Mind – Maverick and Goose got their dream shot flying with the best of the best.  But who really is the best?  Most fighter pilots will respond in the first person if asked. But between Navy and AF, I am biased, AF all the way.  Anecdotally, via the two Top Gun invitational tournaments my squadron flew in, we remained undefeated; that is except for my Marine Corps exchange pilot Chief. I can also say having attended the Air Force’s Fighter Weapons School, the instructors at both Top Gun and Weapons School are truly the best of the best. Ajax B. (the other AJAX) was an instructor at Fighter Weapons School, and that guy is a phenomenal fighter pilot, along with Rowdy, Nut, Pee Wee, Thirty and many more. Here’s the other thing I’d always put my money on, any American fighter pilot.  Why? Because the fighter pilots that I know love to compete, they strive to improve at everything they do, they care about what they do, they are true professionals, and they aren’t afraid to work until the job is done, and finally…we never quit! I will bust one myth, the shenanigans that Maverick pulled is total B.S., tower flyby stunts is a sure way to be grounded permanently and possibly even be court-martialed. So I can’t really settle who’s the “Best of the Best” for you all, but I will say I am damn glad I’m on Team USA with Red, White and Blue fighter pilots.
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Body – Sports Day/Job Specific
Muscle Ups...she's the best.

Muscle Ups…she’s the best.

Wingman/Flight Leads/Instructors
Racquet Ball
Weapons School
Cut Throat Racquet Ball
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Recipe of the Day 
Grilled Steak and Veggies
Roasted Spring Vegetables, and Grilled Steaks
Recipe from Bon Appétit
Photo by AJAX
Serves – 4
Prep time – 15 minutes active, 30 minutes total
Nutrition – 480 calories, 48.5 grams protein, 27.3 grams fat, 8.8 grams carbs
Ingredients
1 pound assorted spring vegetables (such as carrots, asparagus, radishes, spring onions, or sugar snap peas), trimmed or peeled if needed, cut into same-size pieces
4 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
Directions
Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine vegetables, garlic, and oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Spread out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring halfway through, until tender, golden brown, and charred in spots, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
MackNBee taste rating 3out of 4
AJAX ease of prep rating 4 out of 4
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Spirit – Colossians 4:6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.’
© 2013 by LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT. All rights reserved.
The views of LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT are those of the author alone and should not be considered any official DoD, Government, or USAF position.

22 April – Bring Em in Closer?

 Top Gun Close

 

 

Mind –Back on the train again, I had to take a sequester break.  Let’s continue on and close out Top Gun myth busting. Without a doubt the 1986 movie had some cool shots, I think one of the best is the Tom Kitty doing an aileron roll right after take off with the camera pointed back at the carrier.  Also cool were the shots of aircraft swarming around during the dogfights…this however, is Hollywood folks. In reality we try to take care of most of the killing before anybody is close to seeing another aircraft. In the event we do arrive at visual engagements actually gaining the “Tally-ho” is extremely difficult. Fighter aircraft are small, (noted exception for my favorite aircraft to pick-on, the F-15E) and they are painted a camouflage gray which makes spotting them even more difficult outside of a couple of miles. In addition aircraft formations purposely fly farther apart so as to complicate efforts to gain a visual of more than one aircraft at a time. So when Maverick and Goose are clowning around yelling at Iceman to take the shot or clear…once again I would chalk that up to making a good movie, but not anywhere close to reality. Reality is the bad guy just blows up never seeing who shot him. A good wingman stays away from the “furball” and looks for a clear shot of opportunity while protecting the “engaged” fighter, once the shot is open its just taken…fights over, egress quickly. To sum it up, there is no I in the combat team, a flight lead and wingman work together to get the job done.

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Tire drag 

 

 

Body – Endurance

 

Wingman

Row 500 meters for time

 

Flight Leads

Row 2000 meters for time

 

Instructors

Row 5000 meters for time

 

Weapons Instructor Course

Row 5000 meters in <20 minutes

 

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Recipe of the Day

Watercress 

Chicken and Watercress Salad with Almonds and Feta

Recipe from Bon Appétit

Photo by Elinor Carucci

 

Serves – 4

 

Prep time – 15 minutes active, 15 minutes total

Nutrition – 385 calories, 20 grams protein, 31 grams fat, 7 grams carbs

 

 

Ingredients

 

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

1 large shallot, chopped

3 tablespoons almond oil, walnut oil, or grapeseed oil

3 tablespoons grapeseed oil

3 large bunches watercress, thick stems trimmed

2 fully cooked chicken breast halves, meat torn into bite-size pieces

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

4 apricots, pitted, each half cut into wedges

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

 

Directions

 

Combine vinegar and shallot in medium bowl. Whisk in both oils. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Place watercress, chicken, cheese, and apricots in large bowl. Add dressing; toss. Divide salad among 4 plates. Sprinkle each with almonds.

 

 

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chicken-and-Watercress-Salad-with-Almonds-and-Feta-353394#ixzz2ONxVHkF4

 

Wine – Chateau d’Esclans Côtes de Provence

 

MackNBee taste rating 2 out of 4

AJAX ease of prep rating 3 out of 4

 

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Spirit – Psalms 3:3 “But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.”

 

 

© 2013 by LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT. All rights reserved.

The views of LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT are those of the author alone and should not be considered any official DoD, Government, or USAF position.

19 April – Round 2

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Round Two

Please go to the Rantingchef.com and vote for me under the Diced round 2 competition! VOTE HERE 

 

Thick Flak

Thick Flak

 

Mind – Competitors know about the pre-game jitters. The excitement of the moment, the adrenaline, the fear of the unknown, all contribute to the butterflies dancing in your stomach. There have been many studies on how stress can actually improve performance up to a certain point. Stress and anticipation heightens senses and can focus energy. It can also be crippling. I am in constant awe when I read about what the greatest generation did during WW II. I had the opportunity of meeting a B-17 turret gunner who flew 117 missions and made it back alive. Statistically this was next to impossible from 1942-43 when Sergeant Roth started flying; the time before the allies still had not established air superiority. Tour length was established at 25 missions, but many didn’t make it that far.  The thing that is amazing is the bravery it took to go on mission number 2, 3, 4 and so on. The first mission was fueled by bravado and curiosity, after that it was pure guts when reality set in and their friends didn’t return.  I asked Sergeant Roth what kept him going, he said it was his sense duty and commitment to his brothers.  Imagine what we could all accomplish with that kind of dedication.

 

 

Battle Damage - Photo by WWIIzone.com

Battle Damage – Photo by WWIIzone.com

 

Cheers

AJAX a.k.a. “The Raging Scotsman”

 

 

The Raging Scottsman and Rachel Marosko

The Raging Scottsman and Rachel Marosko

 

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Leg Day - Photo by Crossfit Pride.com

Leg Day – Photo by Crossfit Pride.com

 

Body – Strength, Leg Day

 

Wingman

5 minutes of jump ropes

5 minutes of 12-24” box jumps

 

4 rounds of

25 Air Squats

25 Walking Lunges

25 Standing Calf Raises

25 Burpees

 

Flight Leads

5 minutes of jump ropes

5 minutes of 12-24” box jumps

 

3 Sets Each of

25x 25 lbs. kettle bell swings

10x 95 lbs. squats

10x 45 lbs. lunges

10x Good Mornings

10x 45 lbs. straight leg deadlifts

10x 45 lbs. calf raises with shrug

 

 

Instructors

300 double unders

5 minutes AMRAP 24” box jumps

 

3 Sets Each of

25x 50 lbs. kettle bell swings

10x 225 lbs. squats

10x 95 lbs. lunges

10x 45lb good mornings

10x 135 lbs. straight leg deadlifts

10x 225 lbs. calf raises with shrug

 

 

Weapons Instructor Course

500 double unders

5 minutes AMRAP 36” box jumps

 

3 Sets Each of

25x 50 lbs. kettle bell swings

10x 315 lbs. squats

10x 135 lbs. lunges

10x 45lb good mornings

10x 225 lbs. straight leg deadlifts

10x 225 lbs. calf raises with shrug

 

Finish with 1000m all out row

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Recipe of the Day

 

 

Killer Chilli

Killer Chilli

 

Turkey Chili with Bacon and Ginger Snaps

Rachel Ray’s chili heavily modified by AJAX

Photo by AJAX

 

Serves – 8

 

Prep time – 36 (HARRRUMP) minutes active, 50 minutes total

Nutrition – 500 calories,  44 grams protein, 27 grams fat, 18 grams carbs

 

 

Ingredients

 

1.5 pounds ground turkey

6 slices super thick bacon, ½ inch strips

1 pound top sirloin steak, DICED!

1 large sweet yellow onion DICED!

1 fresh jalapeno, DICED!

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce

4 Tablespoons of Pete’s hot sauce

2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire

1 teaspoon Tobasco

½ cup of brown sugar

8 ground ginger snaps, about ¾ cup

½ cup of chili powder

2 teaspoons of salt

1 Tablespoon of ground black pepper

¾ cup of beef stock

½ cup of sour cream

1 cup of plain Greek yogurt

 

 

Bacon is key

Bacon is key

 

Directions

 

Gather all the ingredients.  Cut the sirloin into quarter to half inch cubes.  Slice the bacon into half inch strips.  Dice the onion, jalapeno, and crush the garlic.  Chop the ginger snaps in a food processor until fine crumbs. Combine in a medium bowl the tomato sauce, Worcestershire, hot sauce, Tobasco, brown sugar, and crumbed ginger snaps.  Combine in a separate bowl the yogurt and sour cream.

 

Photo 7 

Cook the bacon in a large pot until the fat is rendered and starting to crisp, about 6 minutes. Add the turkey and the sirloin and cook on high heat until browned, about 10 more minutes.  Add to the turkey, sirloin, salt, pepper, and chili powder, cooking for 1 more minute.  Add the onion, jalapeno and garlic cooking until softened, about 6 minutes.  Add the tomato, Worcestershire, hot sauce, gingersnap mixture, bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.  Add ½ cup of beef stock and simmer to desired consistency, about 10-15 minutes.

 

Photo 8 

Serve with yogurt sour cream mixture and garnish with cilantro and saltine crackers.

 

 

MackNBee taste rating 3 out of 4

AJAX ease of prep rating 4 out of 4

 

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Spirit – Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

 

© 2013 by LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT. All rights reserved.

The views of LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT are those of the author alone and should not be considered any official DoD, Government, or USAF position.

2 April – Communicating

Tags

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 maverick-and-goose

 top_gun_flips_the_bird

 

Mind – “So Maverick and Goose, what exactly were you doing with the MIG up there?” “Communicating!” was Goose’s response to Charlie’s question. Let’s get one thing straight, flying inverted, three feet away, and directly above another fighter aircraft is completely ridiculous and not done, even by the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels.

 

When encountering aircraft with unknown intentions real fighter pilots are not going to put their aircraft in a position of disadvantage. Remember the Chinese J-8 that ran into the Navy P-3 on April 1, 2001, known as the Hainan Island incident? The Chinese pilot was killed in the collision and the P-3 crew is fortunate to be alive. I don’t know what the Chinese pilot was thinking, but when it comes to flying, running into things is generally frowned upon.

 

Real fighter pilots are extremely disciplined and adhere to procedures and rules that they apply in training and in combat. This is the one area that Viper got right when he was chewing out Maverick and Goose for their hard deck violations. Professionals apply discipline to all they do, while actors…are just acting. Real results are obtained through discipline and hard work.

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Photo by Bikramyogajoondalu

Photo by Bikramyogajoondalu

 

 

Body – Mobility and Flexibility

 

Wingman/Flight Leads/Instructors

30/60/90 minutes of yoga

 

 

Weapons Instructor Course

90 Minutes of hot Bikram yoga

 

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Recipe of the Day

 Steak Picadillo

 

Steak Picadillo Soft Tacos

Recipe from Bon Appétit

Photo by AJAX

 

Serves – 4

 

Prep time – 35 minutes active, 35 minutes total

Nutrition – 658 calories, 31 grams protein, 20 grams fat, 83 Carbs.  Nutritional info is based on my calculations using the App Lose It.  I have found the online info incorrect and usually low.

 

 

Ingredients

 

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 12-ounce strip of skirt steak

1/2 cup 1/4-inch squares green bell pepper

3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes with green chiles

1/3 cup halved drained pimiento-stuffed green olives plus brine from jar

1/4 cup raisins

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

8 corn tortillas

Chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish)

 

Directions

 

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Add to skillet; sauté 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to plate. Add bell pepper to skillet. Sauté 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with green chiles,olives, raisins, tomato paste, cumin, and allspice. Simmer until sauce is thick, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and olive brine.

Cut steak into 1/3-inch-thick slices on diagonal across grain. Add steak and any juices to sauce in skillet; toss to blend.

Char tortillas over gas flame or in broiler until blackened in spots, 15 to 20 seconds per side. Divide filling among tortillas. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

 

 

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Steak-Picadillo-Soft-Tacos-364552#ixzz2ONwNHTdD

 

MackNBee taste rating 1 out of 4. Nobody really liked it. I should have used fresh tomatoes, my own hatch chilies, better olives, and eliminated the raisins.

AJAX ease of prep rating 3 out of 4

 

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Spirit – 1 Corinthians 27-29 “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”

 

 

© 2013 by LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT. All rights reserved.

The views of LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT are those of the author alone and should not be considered any official DoD, Government, or USAF position.