Thursday, January 27, 2011

This is Indiana

Two Indiana Students recently put together

a music video that details their love

of Indiana University
and IU basketball specifically.

Brice Fox and Daniel Weber have become

YouTube stars since posting

and have garnered the attention

of IU's Athletic Director, Fred Glass.

They have certainly captured the attention

of hometown fans.

Please enjoy.

Many thanks to the Foodie Daughter

for figuring out how to embed the video

for me.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Best Wishes to My Friends

A couple of my friends each had foot surgery this week.

Rosie and J,

here's hoping that you each recover quickly.

And that you can get back to running track

and playing football.

Or blogging.


Monday, January 24, 2011

The Birds

While sitting in my library this afternoon

I became aware of a ruckus outside the window.

A flock of blackbirds and starlings had descended upon

my bird feeder and were chattering away in

the two nearby dogwood trees.

They don't seem to be the patient sort.

Alfred Hitchcock had it right:

beware when the birds come around.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's Snow Time!

Snow - in winter.

Who'da guessed?

Last Thursday were were once again graced with snow.

This time we got about three inches of the white stuff.

I keep telling the Foodie Daughter that she

can't paint her red car white.

But does she listen?

And as long as it keeps snowing every few days

our contractor can't put this back up on the roof

where it belongs.

The Foodie Daughter was nice enough to take

some pictures for you while she was walking

to classes on the IU campus.


It might be noted that the wind chills were in

the negative digits.

Please thank the Foodie Daughter for

taking these pictures even though

it was windy and very cold.

And the sun shines the next morning.

If you click on the picture you might be able

to see the deer tracks in the snow.

The garden sleeps.

Happy winter.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Rocking Shepherd's Pie

Have I mentioned that my new favorite

cooking show is Bitchin' Kitchen?

Nadia G. (warning: the videos will play automatically

- but do check out the Furious Food Song )

is funny and a great cook.

And this recipe from her is another winner.

Warm, comforting and easy to make.

I halved the recipe and made some substitutions.

What else is new?

My ingredients are:

ground beef

green onion



Yukon gold potatoes

sweet potato

ground cayenne pepper

sweet paprika

dried parsley

kosher salt

black pepper

frozen corn

half and half

potato chips

Right off the bat it is apparent that I can't follow

directions as I plopped the ground beef in the pan first,

rather than sauteing the onion in olive oil first.

Oh well.

I added about 1/2 cup onion,

a pinch of dried parsley,

a pinch paprika,

a pinch cayenne,

a pinch salt

and a few grinds of black pepper

to the mix.

I allowed this to saute for about 10 minutes as directed.

Then this went into a 7" x 11" baking dish.

I pressed the meat mixture down firmly.

Next I worked on the creamed corn.

I put in about 1-1/2 cups frozen corn into a baking dish.

I then added a splash of half and half, one chopped green onion

and a tablespoon unsalted butter before microwaving,

covered, on high for about 4-1/2 minutes.
After uncovering the dish, it was then

microwaved for another minute.

Then it went into the processor for a quick whizz.

This was the next layer to go down.

Meanwhile and apparently un-photographed,

I peeled the potatoes and sweet potato before chopping

them into about 1-inch chunks.

I then put them in a microwave-safe container,

added a bit of water and some salt and put them

in the microwave on high for about 15 minutes

until they were tender.

They were then mashed with a tablespoon of butter,

a splash of half and half,

a pinch of salt

and a few grinds of black pepper.

The potatoes were carefully spread on top.

And finally some potato chips were crushed and sprinkled

over the top along with another pinch of paprika.

This then goes under the broiler for a few minutes

until the edges are browned.

Confession time:

in the nearly 13 years we've lived here,

I've never used the oven broiler before.

So I let the top burn a bit.

Plus, I had other things on my mind

- like broken furnaces.

But it was still good.

Three out of four decided this recipe is a keeper

(the fourth being the one who prefers his soup out of a can).

This was a warm, comforting meal

for a cold winter's night

when one's furnace unexpectedly goes out.

Bad furnace.

Great recipe.

Bad, bad furnace.

Curious kitty.

Wonderful heating guy.

He brought by some small heaters today

and took out the old blower so they can put a

new one in bright and early Monday morning.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

General Tso's Pork?

While out shopping for groceries and other assorted goods

before our latest snowstorm hit the other day,

I stopped in at my favorite Chinese restaurant,

Sunny Palace.

I know from experience that the $7.50* or so that I spend

here be will vastly outweighed on what I will save at the grocery store.

*They got a larger tip this time because they deserved it!

Here is a real money saving tip for you:

Never go to the grocery store hungry.

You will easily spend $20 to $40 or more on food

than you need or want.

And that's a fact.

Now on this fine day I finally got up the nerve to ask

a special request.

One of my all time favorite American-Chinese dishes

is General Tso's Chicken.

However, you will remember that I am allergic to chicken.



I asked if there was any way that they could prepare

this fine dish with pork instead of chicken.

The kind gentleman replied that he would have to ask,

but he thought that they might be able to use

the pork from the sweet and sour pork and combine it

with the sauce for the General Tso's Chicken for me.

After consulting with the kitchen,

he informed me that it was indeed possible.

I thanked him and looked forward to this dish.

I ordered my usual won ton soup with pork-filled won tons.

Delicious as always.

Much needed on a cold, damp, dreary day like this.

Finally, the hybrid General Tso's/pork dish arrived with

fried rice.

It was good.

It was nice.

It also reminded me just why I so loved

General Tso's Chicken

- for the chicken.


Still, I very much appreciate the effort

and thoughtfulness that the staff of

Sunny Palace went through for me.

And that is just part of why this is my

favorite Chinese restaurant in B-town.

Remember - when you find a favorite

restaurant; frequent it, promote it, help it

- especially in this economy.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Switching Up Sides - Glazed Carrots

Every now and again I find myself in a culinary rut.

It seemed like I have been making the same old

veggies and potatoes or noodles every night for dinner.

Something needed to change.

A quick search on the Internet yielded several

recipes for glazed carrots.

I chose this one.

I also halved the recipe, so my ingredients are:

1/2 pound carrots

2 tablespoons orange juice

1-1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon butter

I deviated from the recipe by adding

a pinch of black pepper

and by only adding salt to the cooking water for the carrots.

First I peeled and cut the carrots into roughly equal-sized


After the carrots cooked in salted water until tender,

they were drained.

Then the orange juice was added and this was

cooked for another five minutes.

Then the butter, sugar and black pepper were added.

Cook until the butter and sugar are melted.

This was a nice departure from the same old, same old.

I think I'll work on tweaking the recipe to allow for

a thicker glaze the next time.

Maybe a little pop of color as well?