Fantastic Voyage


So this happened the other day:


For those of you who haven’t heard this song, it’s still throwback catchy lol, google it.  And yes, I have drivers seat dancing down to an art (can you get a ticket for Driving while Dancing?  Hmm…), it was a thing of beauty!  But as for the embarrassed part?  If there’s a lesson to have been learned from all of these posts, it’s that I always say to just be yourself and don’t worry about what other people are doing.  So nah, I wasn’t embarrassed – besides, as you can probably already guess if you know me personally or you’re a regular reader, I’ve had way more awkward moments in the car than that! 

I won’t go into all of them here because that could be an entire post on its own, however one of the highlights that comes to mind is when I was living in Phoenix.  Don’t let all of that “it’s a dry heat” nonsense fool you.  My oven also produces “dry heat” but I wouldn’t stick my face in there either. Arizona isn’t much different. 

It gets hot out there man!  Like crazy, stupid hot.  Like ‘you’ll probably stick to the car seat and rip your skin off if you’re wearing shorts” hot.  Like “Rihanna sipping coconut water and courtside eating French fries” hot.

Anyway, in that kind of heat, it was necessary to cool down the car before you could drive.  I know, in most states you have to warm up the car, but there, if you don’t park in the shade (I didn’t that day) or use one of those window screens (I didn’t) you’d better cool things down before you attempt to drive.

I was running late this particular day though so I didn’t have time for all of that. However, since it was seriously about 120 degrees (that’s Fahrenheit…sorry my international friends, lol you’ll have to convert that temp) outside, touching that steering wheel felt like high-fiving the sun.  There was no way that I could drive like that, yet I had to think of something since I had an appointment at work that I couldn’t miss.

The only solution that I could think of was to cover my hands with something but it’s not like you’re stocked up on gloves and mittens in Phoenix.  “Winter” is still like 50 degrees (yep, still Fahrenheit #SorryNotSorry) so what’s the point?  What I did have, however, was oven mitts. 

Now, I’m not taking full blame for this because I had 2 roommates back then.  I’m honestly not sure why we had oven mitts that prominently featured a pig and a frog (but I’m also not sure why I wore that crazy outfit in the photos for last post either….still, I didn’t pick out these mitts, I swear!) but um yeah, those were the only option.  So, BAM, the pig went on the left hand, the frog went on the right and off to work I went.

As you can tell from the status this topic started with, I’m really into music.  I listen to it, I write it, I create it.  So I’ve got the music going and I’m getting lost in the beat.  The windows were down and the roads were clear so it was a great day. 

Anyway, I stopped at a red light and the girl in the car that pulled up next to me was checking me out hard!  Or so I thought… it wasn’t until I went to wave at her that I remembered the pig and the frog oven mitts were still on my hands!  Needless to say, I did not get her number…

Again, this isn’t turning into a “Darrell’s car fails” column but I did just remember one more incident that happened involving a car but I wasn’t actually driving this time. 

Actually, I wasn’t even inside of the car.  I was walking across the mall parking lot to head inside after scarfing down a quick meal but it felt like I still had broccoli stuck in my teeth.  Man that was annoying…like a huge clump of it.  

Something_in_my_teeth_Ace_Ventura_114935083_thumbnailI tried using my tongue to get it out a few times but no luck.  It was SO annoying.  I kept trying, but no luck.  Not only that, there was so much that I could barely tell which tooth was even the true culprit anymore so I finally stopped to look in the side mirror of this car on the way to the mall entrance. 

I leaned in close and opened my mouth really wide so that I could finally see what was going on in there. Ah, no wonder I couldn’t figure out which tooth it was, it was in several.  Geez, I must have eaten like a caveman that day or something! 



Web MD says this is a bad idea…so do I.”

I finally managed to pick most of it out with my fingernail, but there was this one last annoying piece way in the back of my mouth.  It was in there deep too and at such an awkward angle that I couldn’t quite reach it with my short finger nail.  That’s when I remembered that I had a business card in my pocket…and hey, desperate times call for desperate measures right?  So I folded it in half, got really close to the mirror and went to town, picking all of the broccoli out until my pearly whites were free and clear.


I stood back up, applied some Chapstick (my main addiction… see context in this post) popped in a piece of gum and was about to head inside when I noticed movement inside of the vehicle.  That’s when I realized that this lady had been sitting inside of the car staring at me the entire time I had been using her mirror!  She was literally smiling from ear to ear and laughing hysterically.  However, she did congratulate me on my victory.  Darrell 1, Brocolli 0.

84427716hbichCars are a funny thing though.  In this case, I was the dummy who didn’t see the person inside of the car, but most people seem to lose sight of others outside of their car.  Or should I say that they somehow think that they become invisible once they close the door?  As though we can’t see them screaming like maniacs or jamming their fingers way up their nose as they speed by in the next lane.  I’ve seen it all.  Unless you have tinted windows, save that for the house….or better yet?  Carry tissues ya nasties…

Anyway, before we move on, look what arrived in the mail the other day!  I seriously have the best readers – ha, thanks Candice, this thing is awesome! 

Ha, yes I am now the proud owner of that Tricerataco that I mentioned a few posts back! Look kids, dreams really do come true.  Now if one of you could finally get Sophia Vergara to come feed me a giant plate of spaghetti, I’d be all set…


So speaking of a giant plate of spaghetti, this is close enough!  My friend (who we’ll refer to by her Instagram name) @Neen725 made this incredible lasagna on Father’s Day in honor of her dad since it was his favorite meal.  I can absolutely see why he loved it so much –  I mean, look at those photos down there!  When she shared them with me I almost wanted to eat my phone so I had to ask her for the recipe which she was kind enough to share below!  Check it out…  

My Grandma’s Lasagna (béchamel style) 

By @Neen725 (Instagram)


IMG_20170618_190211_346Meat Sauce: 

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion chopped

2 cloves garlic 

1 pound ground beef

2 links each sweet & hot Italian sausage

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Freshly ground black pepper

Five boxes strained tomatoes use brand Pomi 

1 cup dry red wine 


Fat Darrell DoubleFML.pngBesciamella Sauce:

3 cups whole milk

1 stick unsalted butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

 ground nutmeg

Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper



1 pound no-cook lasagna noodles Barilla or an imported Italian brand which I always prefer 


IMG_20170618_190934_587For Layering: 

Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or I use Grana Padana 

One 8-ounce Polly-o mozzarella shredded or fresh 


Cooking Instructions

To make the sauce: 

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over deep pot on medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft and about 8 minutes. Add the ground beef, sausage, salt, basil, Italian seasoning, oregano and pepper to taste and turn the heat to high. Cook breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned. Add the tomatoes. Pour some of the wine into the empty tomato boxes to rinse out the tomatoes and add to the pot, along with the remaining wine. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens and the flavors about 1 hour. Add the black pepper.


To make the Besciamella: 

Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until just simmering and then turn off the heat. 

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour to the butter and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and then turns loose again, about 2 minutes. Add the hot milk, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper and taste making sure it’s seasoned well! Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, whisking almost constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and use immediately

Time to layer: 

Spread an even layer of the meat sauce over the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles over the sauce than mozzarella, cheese and more sauce! Continue making layers following the same pattern! One you can’t make layers anymore add some sauce and cheese on top!  (If you want to add meat into this lasagna you can break the sausage up and add this to the layering process! I sometimes break up some beef in the sauce so some chop meat gets added :0)! 

Cover the pan with foil and bake until heated through, about 35 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is brown and bubbling, about 20 minutes more. During the last 10 minutes of baking, scatter the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano all over. Let the lasagna stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Again, thanks @Neen725 and her grandma for sharing this incredible recipe!  I’m hungry already (okay, I’m always hungry but still…)!

Have a food item, restaurant location or recipe that we should all try out?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

mfmI forgot who or what meme first put this thought into my head, but man, it sure is funny how most people will eat junk food without batting an eyelash but if you tell them to eat something healthy they suddenly become PHD research scholars! 

Starbucks?  Cool.  Donuts?  Cool.  Potato chips?  Cool.  An apple?  “Oh man, I don’t know, there’s a lot of sugar in those!  I’d better just stick to these M&M’s instead…”

be-honest-is-this-too-much-lettuce-5103291Just today, I was given a full 10-minute dissertation about how broccoli and vegetables have way too much sugar in them from a woman who had just pulled up the Uber Eats McDonald’s menu on her cell phone after telling me how great Starburst candy is for energy!

Now, I’m not saying to NEVER eat those things.  I mean, most of you know my background – I’m the crazy sandwich guy, so no, I’m not saying that you CAN’T eat those things, I’m saying you can’t ALWAYS eat those things!  Not everyday at least.

I’m also saying that if you’re willing to research the heck out of fruits and vegetables, do the same with some of those sugary snacks that you turn a blind eye toward!  Learn how artificial ingredients and sweeteners affect your body too!  It just might make you want to reach for that “sugary apple” instead next time after all…

Have a fitness question you’d like answered or an accomplishment you’d like to share?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

Today’s Soundtrack

Fantastic Voyage – Coolio

C’mon and Ride it (That Train) – Quad City DJ’s (wow, this is at least the third time they’ve made this list and the second time this very song has appeared as well ha who know I was such a fan?  I surely didn’t lol)

Let’s Ride – The Game

Let me Ride – Dr. Dre

That’s Amore – Dean Martin (Why?  Cuz I’m craving a big pizza pie like the moon hitting the sky right now…)

Have another song that fits today’s themes or that we should just check out in general because it’s awesome?  Tell us about it in the comments below!


Okay, that about does it for this week but before we go, shoutout to those keen-eyed readers who wrote in (but should have commented! Don’t be shy lol) asking if that jacket that I wore in the last post was the same one from my Man vs. Food episode.  The answer is YES, yes it was!  Impressive memory lol here’s your photographic proof, or you can check out the episode in the video archives on FatDarrell.com by following this link: http://www.fatdarrell.com/fdmedia

While we’re on the subject, if you’re not following me on social media (which obviously you should be…duh!  Click the buttons on the side panel to do so…), you may have also missed this post: 

FatDarrell Paula Deen

Yes, last Thursday was my 5-year Atlantaversary!  I still haven’t fully explored all that this, and the surrounding states, have to offer yet though.  I’ll definitely have to make Georgia bucket list before I eventually relocate again.  In the meantime, here’s to you Peach State (but the Garden State will always be home 😉).

Okay folks, don’t forget to drop a comment below before you leave and thanks again for dropping by!  Until next time my friends – May the Fork be With You…


“If your dog loves hanging his head out the window of the car as you’re driving but growls when you blow in his face, you may need a breath mint…”




11 thoughts on “Fantastic Voyage

  1. The dry heat skeletons have sealed my commitment to cancel my vacation to Las Vegas this year!!! They are holding hands, how sweet lol.!! Your fantastic voyage post “really cracked me up”, especially the story about picking your teeth!

    Liked by 1 person

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