Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Holidays

The Holidays seem to have the rampant capacity to consume everyone's schedule and plans, and mine are not an exception. I'll get back to real postings soon, I promise.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ea. garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper, dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ea. sea salt, black pepper

Mix well. Store in airtight container.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Electronics Website Review - The Wirecutter

I'm now a fan of this website. The Wirecutter is a simple review site. It's run by the former editorial manager of Gizmodo, Brian Lam, but it has a very different feel than the Gawker blogs.

The idea is that he lists the best choice in electronics. He pulls together reviews from experts, testing statistics, and so forth, and designates what his top choice in a category would be based on these. He's always explicit with his sources, and with his reasoning points. If you're one of those people always being asked for advice on the best electronic whatever, this is a great fallback site.

Friday, October 28, 2011

1001 Albums - #2 Elvis - 'Elvis Presley' (1956)

'Elvis Presley' was Elvis' debut album. The first thing that struck me when listening to this album was that it doesn't sound much like rock and roll as we know it today. Most of it would pass easily on country stations. He even covers the classic 'Blue Moon'. To me, though the cover of 'Tutti Frutti', the 1955 song by Little Richard, was the most telling. You can see the beginnings of the melding of the types of music he was exposed to, and crossing the genres of country and rhythm and blues into what would be called rockabilly music.

This brings back memories, even though I'd never heard the real album all the way through - my parents had Elvis' Greatest Hits, (parts 1 & 2) when I was growing up.  


Lovely, aren't they?
Thanks to Mat Jurgensen for them!
I'll be experimenting with these this weekend. Habanero oil and habanero hot sauce. :) I'll post the recipes and pics.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die

It's the musical equivalent of history lessons - a critical selection of the best albums from 1955 to the present day.

I've decided to go through it, album by album, and I'll stick my comments up here. They may be a bit out of order, as I expect I'll jump around as the mood strikes me. There's also a few gaps in my collection, and I'll remedy those as I go along.

I'll eventually get going on the 1001 books, too. I've got a bunch of them loaded on my Nook now. Once of these days when I finally finish Cryptonomicon, I'll settle down to that.

Monday, February 28, 2011


Breakfast Quiche
This makes two 9" quiches, which sounds like a lot, but it keeps really well. Since it takes a full package of most of the ingredients for two, it's easier to just make two.

1 twin-pack deep-dish pastry pie crusts
2 cups (one pint) half-and-half
4 eggs
1 cup chopped ham (I usually use the Hormel canned ham, one can is perfect. It's where the tuna is in most supermarkets.)
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar, or casserole blend)
1 cup chopped onion (or less, to taste. You can also use onion powder if you don't have onions on hand. I recommend the prechopped frozen onions, cause I'm lazy.)
salt-and-pepper to taste.

1) Take crusts out of freezer and wrappings. Leave on countertop to thaw a bit.
2) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3) Prick pie crust bottoms with fork all over, bake 5 minutes, pull back out. (this way the crusts aren't soggy.)
4) In large bowl, lightly beat 4 eggs. Beat in half-and-half, salt and pepper. Sit aside.
5) Sprinkle half of onions, ham, and cheese into each crust.
6) Pour half of egg mixture into each crust.
7) Bake at 400 degrees for around 35-40 minutes, or until egg filling is set and golden brown on top.

Enjoy! It keeps really well, just cover in foil and put in fridge after it cools. It's also a great thing to take to potlucks and family things, as it's easy to make in advance and it looks so much more complicated than it is. The crusts tend to burn a bit around the edges, if that worries you put a rim of tinfoil over the edges when you put them in to bake.
You can experiment with the fillings. I've used ham, broccoli and white cheeses; ground beef, cheddar, and bacon for a bacon-cheeseburger effect; and taco beef, green peppers and cheddar for a Mexican taste.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sausage Balls

Sausage Balls

2 lbs. Sage Sausage (Jimmy Dean's my favorite)
4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. minced onion
1/2 c. celery, chopped fine
1 1/2 c. biscuit mix (like Bisquick)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder or minced garlic

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix everything together thoroughly.
Shape into into 1" balls. (If you're making for later, freeze at this step. Thaw when ready to use and cook normally.)
Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 15 min or until golden brown.
Makes about 6 dozen.

For something different, try some ingredient replacements.
1) replace celery with cooked chopped broccoli.
2) fine chopped jalapeno peppers and add 1/2 tsp chili powder.
3) Replace one of the pounds of sausage with Italian sausage, add 1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning, and add some Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Buttermilk Pie / Buttermilk Crunch Sundae (like Mark's)

Buttermilk Pie

Unbaked 9 inch pie shell
1/2 Cup butter, softened
1 1/2 Cups sugar
3 Tbsps all purpose flour
3 eggs
1 Cup buttermilk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla
Cinnamon for sprinkling over the top, if desired

In mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.
Add in all remaining ingredients.
Sprinkle cinnamon over the top, if desired.
Bake at 350 for forty minutes.
Let cool and store in refrigerator.
You can also sprinkle nuts or powdered sugar over the top.
Buttermilk Crunch Sundae
To make the sundae, cut a piece of pie into chunks. layer it with
vanilla ice cream, nuts, and caramel. Yum!