Tag Archives: Experience


Deam Lake Dip

0By JD Dotson

For th e past few wi nters, I have been

asked off and on by my friends Jenna and Kara to

join them and a small group for a winter dip in the

lake. Every Sunday from November through April

these two will trek to Deam Lake – and sometimes

Blue River – to take a dip in the frigid waters. My

answer has always been the same.: “I love you, but

that will never happen.”

I pride myself on being a man of my word, but I

had to go back on part of it. Before I did, I wondered

if I would still love them as much after jumping

into a lake in early March.

I despise being cold and much prefer the heat of

the summer. New Orleans in July, for instance, is the

best time to go in my opinion. I suffer through the

cold weather, wishing summer would last longer

every year. To say I was dreading telling the girls I

would go with them would be the understatement

of the year. But I said it, it was out there and I would

honor my word.

Before I would subject myself to this icy torture,

I had a million questions and got the basics about

where to meet and what to bring, which included a

swimsuit, bathrobe, towels, a toboggan and water

shoes. I would get the rest of my grilling out in the

car ride. I figured if I was more informed about

why on earth people would walk of their own free

will into a lake in winter, it might calm my nerves

about the whole thing.

On a chance meeting at a New Year’s Eve party in

New York City in 2008, Jenna learned of a group of

people meeting the next day at Coney Island for a

dip in the water. The Coney Island Polar Bears are a

charitable club with member dues and a 12 dips per

season requirement to join. Jenna met her member

requirements doing a two-hour door to beach trip

across New York. Where I am a worshipper of the

sun and summer, Jenna is my polar opposite. She

thrives in the cold weather and is co-responsible

for bringing Santa Con to Louisville in December

and jumping in frigid waters all winter long. The

coldest water Jenna has been in was 36 degrees,

and the group has broken up ice to get to the water

in the past. Luckily for me, the day I dipped was

unusually warm and sunny out.

Many cultures around the world have been

practicing cold water plunging for centuries.

Dipping in cold water was all the rage during the

Victorian era as an exhilarating way to start the day.

Research and modern science tell us that there are

many health benefits, too. Any Google search will

include numerous medical and health professionals

extolling the virtues of taking an ice bath, none of

which are lost on Kara and Jenna. Studies show

that cold water stimulates the release of cytokines,

a substance vital to immune systems. Cold water

is known to reduce pain and inflammation by

releasing endorphins in a more immersive way that

is similar to the effects of an ice pack. There is even

evidence that the cold water helps with weight loss

by increasing adrenaline and causing your body

to burn sugar. Mental benefits abound as well as

research shows the cold water activates sensory

nerves leading to the brain, greatly improving

mood and leaving you with a feeling of elation

and accomplishment.

Health and mental benefits aside, the duo

ascertain that other important benefits of taking

the plunge is to test your willpower, and training

yourself to face your fears can be a practice. Kara

knows if she can walk out into icy waters for a

sustained amount of time, she can do anything she

puts her mind to doing. They both agree one of the

greatest benefits they both get out of meeting every

Sunday is the camaraderie of the group of people

that join, sharing tea and stories, and supporting

each other facing their fears together. As a moody,

arthritic person obsessed with his weight and scared

of doing new or uncomfortable things, this plunge

seemed to be just what I needed.

Armed with all of the knowledge I could want,

I enjoyed the camaraderie and tea, which felt like

a pre-game has helped allay some of my fears as

we headed lakeward. I knew what to expect in my

body, and my mind was set on doing this thing,

facing this fear. In reality, nothing can really prepare

you for the first time getting in water that cold.

The temperature of the water that day was 53

degrees, which doesn’t sound that bad. A 53-degree

day is actually pretty nice, sunny and mild. The

same temperature in water is not so nice.

The last person to wade out to the group, I

ditched the robe and thought to myself, Just go

out quick, get covered fast, yank the Band-Aid off,

so to speak. I was not expecting how my breath

would be taken away. I had a hard time forming

full sentences (though curse words came easy),

and I can only imagine the look I had on my face.

At the time, I would have told you I was out

there up to my chest for at least 10 minutes.00 In reality, I lasted 90 seconds, but I am proud of that

minute and a half. In 90 seconds, I felt the sting

of blood rushing out of my extremities to keep

my core warm and my skin numb. I held on as

long as I could before heading back to shore. The

more seasoned group stayed in the water up to

15 minutes, laughing and talking before casually

making their way back.

To say I enjoyed the experience would be a bit

of a lie. I did enjoy the company, the camaraderie,

the snacks and the tea. I do feel like I faced and

conquered a huge fear, and feel like I do not have

to be so “I will never do that” all the time. Maybe it

was psychosomatic, but my shoulder didn’t ache

in its usual, arthritic way, (although maybe I was

just numb.) Also, if the weight loss aspect turns

out to be true, I could be persuaded to make it a

regular thing. Summer is coming and my swimsuit

was a bit snug.

Pork Carnitas Lettuce Wrap

Instant Cooking: A Blessing for Our Busy Kitchen

By Adam & Kristin Kleinert

Pork Carnitas Lettuce Wrap

Pork Carnitas Lettuce Wrap

If you’ve read our column before in the now-tabled Extol Sports (Extol Magazine’s sister publication), you’ve probably heard about our enthusiasm for our Instant Cooker. It’s worked its way into our dynamic and is quickly becoming a dear family member. This month, we wanted to share a handful of our go- to recipes.

    While handy in a multitude of ways, the Instant Pot is a game-changer for our household due to the sheer amount of time it saves us. In the past, crockpot meals have been a staple, but the Instant Cooker allows for almost zero advanced planning. We can throw something in at 4 or 5 p.m. and enjoy a dish that would previously have needed to cook all day long. Even frozen foods can be ready (and delicious) in less than half an hour. Overall, this handy gadget is one more way to save precious amounts of time and, for our crew, that’s always a blessing.



We do two of these loins at once and store the leftovers in the fridge for a day or two to eat in tons of ways: lettuce wraps, tacos, sandwiches, over salads. It’s lean, flavorful protein that our whole family loves…and it’s FAST.


(again, we just double this and do two):


    2 lbs boneless pork loin, cubed

    1 1/2 T Olive Oil

    1 t salt

    1 t ground chipotle chili pepper

    1/2 t black pepper

Cooking Juice:

    1 cup orange juice

    1/3 cup lime juice

    2 t dried oregano

    1 1/2 t cinnamon

    4 garlic cloves, minced

    1 onion, peeled and quartered

    Mix rub ingredients and rub cubed meat into

it. If you have time and want let this sit, it’s extra

yummy, but not a must. Turn Instant Pot to the

saute mode and drizzle a bit of olive oil into pot.

Add the rubbed meat, stirring occasionally, until

browned on all sides. Add the juice to the pot and

secure the lid. Cook on high pressure: 17 minutes

for one loin, 23 for two loins. Quick release the

pressure and shred the meat. (Use a whisk or a

potato masher for this). Enjoy!

Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes

Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes

Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes

    So it’s more of a splurge than a healthy, family

recipe, but it’s a favorite comfort food at our

house and we’ve found it soothes the soul after

a busy week. Besides, who can resist trying it

out when it cooks together, in one pot, in just 25



    1 lb ground beef

    1 lb ground sausage

    1 small onion, chopped small

    1 egg, beaten

    3/4 cup bread crumbs

    Splash of worcestershire sauce

    1/2 tsp salt

    1/2 tsp pepper

    1/4 tsp cajun spice, old bay, or italian seasoning

    (your preference!)

    *3 or 4 strips of microwavable bacon, if desired

For Topping

    1 cup ketchup

    1 1/2 tsp brown sugar

    1 tsp hot sauce

For Potatoes

    3 1/2 to 4 lbs of potatoes, washed, peeled and quartered

    1 1/4 cups of chicken broth (butter, milk, broth…

    whatever you like to add to mashed potatoes)

Layer the cut potatoes in the bottom of the

instant pot and pour the broth over top. Lay

the rack that came with the cooker on top of

the potatoes so that it lays pretty flat. Combine

meatloaf ingredients (minus topping ingredients)

and shape into a rounded loaf. Place on a piece

of tinfoil, large enough to shape the sides up as

if meatloaf is in a pocket. *If you are using bacon,

lay strips over top of loaf. Place on top of rack

and secure lid. With the steam release closed,

use manual mode on high pressure and set for

23 minutes. When finished, quick release steam.

    Lift meatloaf out of cooker and place on a

baking sheet. Mix topping ingredients, spread

over top and place under broiler for 3-4 minutes,

until topping is caramelized.

    Meanwhile, add your desired ingredients to

the potatoes (we use a heaping

spoonful of butter, a little chicken broth and

some salt and pepper) and mash until smooth.

    Serve sliced meatloaf together with potatoes.


Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

Weeknight Chicken

    Like the pork, this chicken is so

versatile that it’s an invaluable

staple in our meal cycle. Here’s the

kicker (and thus, the beauty of an

Instant Cooker): It’s a bag of frozen

chicken. And it’s ready to serve or

add to another recipe in less than

half an hour!


    1 bag of frozen chicken breasts

    (about 3 lbs)

    1 can of salsa verde, OR 1 jar of

    any Asian sauce or chicken broth

    and spices of your choice

    Mix rub ingredients and rub

cubed meat into it. If you have time

and want let this sit, it’s extra yummy,

but not a must. Turn Instant Pot to

the saute mode and drizzle a bit of

olive oil into pot. Add the rubbed

meat, stirring occasionally, until

browned on all sides. Add the juice

to the pot and secure the lid. Cook

on high pressure: 17 minutes for one

loin, 23 for two loins. Quick release

the pressure and shred the meat.

(Use a whisk or a potato masher for

this). Enjoy!

Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard Boiled Eggs

FAST Hard-Boiled Eggs

Quick, wholesome sources of

protein are key for our busy tribe

and the Instant Pot delivers

perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs

with amazing efficiency. It’s so

easy our kids can do it themselves.

We cook a batch in record time

and have go-to snacks on hand for

several days. Bonus: this method

causes the shells to slide off so


5-5-5 Recipe:

    8 to 12 fresh eggs (a friend swears she

    does 18 at a time but we’ve never tried

    more than a dozen at once)

    1 cup water

    Using the rack that came with

the Instant Pot, sit the eggs gently

inside on the rack. Pour in one cup

water and slide lid into place. Set

to high pressure for just 5 minutes.

Natural pressure release (which just

means to leave them alone) for 5

minutes, then release rest of steam

and put eggs into an ice bath for 5

minutes. (Use a whisk or a

potato masher for this). Enjoy!


Tucker’s American Favorites

Much More Than A Sports Bar

By Angie Fenton | Photos by Jason Applegate

OK, there’s no denying Tucker’s American Favorites is the perfect place to watch sports. The restaurant – which is located at 2441 State St. in New Albany – boasts three 118” big screen TVs and flat screens nearly everywhere you look, all of which broadcast one sport or another. There isn’t a bad seat in the house, especially in the large main dining area, which has tables and booths, including giant half-circle ones that can fit six people or more.

Additionally, the beer is cold, the wings plump and spicy (or not; your choice) and the bartenders, hosts and wait staff attentive and friendly. Plus, there’s an array of food choices ranging from the ooey, gooey and oh-so-delicious Queso & Chips ($6.99) and Tucker’s Beer Cheese ($5.99) to Rib Slabs (1/4 slab $10.99; 1/2 slab $14.99; full slab $18.99) and juicy steaks to Top Shelf Burgers ($11.99) and Fish & Chips ($12.99).


Tucker’s also is incredibly family-friendly (kudos for the diaper changing station in the men’s room) and offers a menu for kiddos 12 and under, with all entrees priced at $4.45 and served with Fries or Scalloped Apples and Chocolate Pudding.

But what Tucker’s – the consummate sports restaurant with a full bar – also offers is an easy, appetizing way to stick to your diet, if you’re into that kind of thing.

For starters, you can order lunch-sized portions anytime. The Sirloin ($8.99) is oz. of USDA choice beef cooked to your liking and served with one side. Try it with Steamed Broccoli and add a Sweet Potato ($3.29), and you have the perfect mix of protein and carbohydrates.

If seafood is more up your alley, try the Salmon ($15.99 or $13.99 for the lunch size), the Grilled Tuna Steak ($13.99) or the Shrimp Dinner ($13.99), which you can order blackened or grilled (or fried).

t2Veggie fans should try the Vegetarian Delight ($9.99), a fresh Tucker’s Salad and your choice of three sides, which include Fluffy Baked Potato, Mashed Potatoes, Baked Beans, Country Green Beans, Creamy Coleslaw, French Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, Savory Sauteed Mushrooms, Sweet Potato, Onion Rings, Scalloped Apples and Steamed Broccoli.

There are a number of salads on the menu: The Tucker’s Salad ($4.99) is a bed of fresh greens topped with vegetables, tomatoes, cheese, bacon and egg. To keep it healthy/healthier, either request the bacon and cheese on the side or request the salad without them. Try the Chicken Salad ($9.99), which is a portion of grilled or blackened (or fried) chicken, or the Salmon Salad ($12.99), both of which are served on a giant – seriously – Tucker’s Salad.

A word of advice: Don’t overlook the Burgers & More portion of the menu. The Wild Alaskan Burger ($10.99) is a delicious, house-made salmon burger. The Bison Burger ($12.99) and Veggie Burger ($8.99) are both scrumptious. The Chicken Sandwich ($8.99) is, too, and can be ordered charbroiled or blackened (or fried).

If you’re one who believes in moderation, try Tucker’s Ice Cream Cookie ($4.99) at the end of your healthy meal. Added bonus if you share the giant, fresh, baked-to-order chocolate chunk cookie with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate and caramel sauce with a companion or two or more. You’ll cut the calories and your tablemates will be thrilled.

Tucker’s American Favorites

2441 State St. | New Albany