Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'll Have Two, Please.

Wow. May I have both of them for President? I am glad to be able to have the choice. I am finally watching a live debate and am excited. Civil, intellectual and down to earth, easy-to-follow debate. Just not sure which way I will sway.

I find it interesting how Wolf asks questions differently of each Senator and what questions he asks of each candidate. I thought moderators are supposed to be impartial.

Come on, Wolf.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Things That Make You Go Hmm.

Just like the multi-media news market, tilting the scale in favor of one candidate over another just to make a buck (that was back in November).

Friday, January 25, 2008

Caramel-Pecan Rolls

From the America's Test Kitchen, comfort food at its best. "The defining element of Maryland Fried Chicken—the cream gravy—is traditionally made with milk. We swapped heavy cream for the milk to create a rich, velvety sauce with a satisfying dairy flavor. Serve the chicken with our easy skillet version of Apple Brown Betty."
After mixing up another pumpkin bread on a lonely Friday night, I have whipped out the laptop in front of the Food Network which is also showcasing "comfort food" (email above from Cook's Illustrated). Hmm. Wonder why? Okay, I am not going to complain because it is colder somewhere else in the world.

I will let you know how the Maryland Fried Chicken turns out when I am allow to make comfort food again (when it is warmer!).

I have been banned from making comfort food in winter as I made whole wheat, caramel-pecan rolls a couple weeks ago. Three of us dusted off the pan in 20 minutes with cinnamon, sugar and butter clinging to our teeth. I had not made these rolls in many years. I said I would not make them until the summer so we can burn them off better. Well, the final playoff games were on Sunday and I whipped up five batches of dough for pizzas and another log of caramel-pecan rolls and Brad made a pot of chicken corn soup.

I use my 10-year old Oster bread maker to make the dough. You don't "knead" the bread maker to make these rolls. Just mix the dough ingredients together to get a damp ball of dough (about 5 minutes), then knead by hand for about 10 minutes. Let rise in a warm area for a little over an hour.

1 cup water
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp of active dry yeast

I added about a 1/4 cup of ground pecans to the dough for fun.

Grease 13x9x2 pan. Mix the topping; 1/3 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 2/3 cup of pecan halves and spread it in the pan.

Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tsp of cinnamon. Flatten the dough with hands or rolling pin into 15x10 inch rectangle. Spread with 2 tbsp of butter; sprinkle with the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Roll up tightly, beginning at 15-inch side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Cut roll into 1-inch slices. Place in pan. Let rise in warm place for about an hour or until double.

Bake in 375 oven for about 22 to 27 minutes. Oh yeah. Immediately invert pan onto heat proof serving plate or tray and devour immediately.

The second time I made the caramel-pecan rolls, I added a tsp of vanilla, extra butter and pecans in the topping. Fantastic!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Scratchy Throat

I had another one of those fantastic days again. While feeling a little under the weather, I decided to sooth the throat with a little vitamin C, Cranberry Lambic. From Samuel Adams® website: "Samuel Adams® Cranberry Lambic is a fruit beer that draws its flavor not just from the cranberries it is brewed with, but also from the unique fermentation character imparted by the rare wild yeast strain. The result is a flavor rich in fruitiness and reminiscent of cranberries and bananas, cloves and nutmeg. The yeast fermentation also will create a slight sourness on the sides of the palate, a signature of the original Lambic style which, with the subtle cereal note from the wheat malt, remind its drinker that, as fruity a beer as this is, it is still a beer."

It reminds me of Stoudts Triple.

Yesterday's ale was from Oregon. I think is was the American Amber. Life's too short. Work on those zen moments and let the good times roll. I think the beer is talking.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Right Now

Pretty great day to ride a bike in the Northeast, unless life takes over. With my windows down, my stereo blaring Korn and my bike all cozy in my hatchback, I drove to a fairly new restaurant in Lancaster for a beer after work. What did the bartender say, how can someone so sweet dish it out? Guess that's why I race a bike.

My girlfriends would have loved the bartender. Young, stylish and Matt Damon-looking. I enjoyed my beer and tried to look cool. Luckily, I did not flat any wheels tonight but I was feeling pretty old. He threw out a philosopher's name and I chuckled inside. When I arrived home, I found my own bartender made dinner while he worked on his bridge ratings.

I heard many great things about the restaurant, Fenz, so I cannot wait to partake an evening of dinner.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Thermal Gear

Damn. My thermal gear works but what about the face?! I was warm and cozy riding in to work yesterday and today in below freezing, windy weather. My face is about scared with frost bite. Yesterday, without the neck gator, my head froze on the way home and it was 25 degree F. Go figure. Today, I did have the neck gator. The neck gator definitely helped my stupidity.

I have decided that anything below 20 degrees F is NOT worth riding into work. Even if I wore ski goggles, just no way. I wasn't so cozy this morning. Somehow my hips and arse froze halfway through my half hour ride to work at 7 a.m. E.S.T. It was only 18 degrees F. I rode as fast I could in tight, thermal gear to stay warm and I mustered 14 mph. Pretty funny. I guess this is the gear I need.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


A couple of weeks ago I finally got out to ride and rode the cross bike on the road. Damn thing has the knobby tires but it will be great when the weather gets crappy. So I was not hanging with the guys on the 'Stick ride. As we loose daylight and the cold sets in, I tell the guys not to wait for me. But when they do wait, it is so sweet.

I ride home with Brad and our friend Randy. The roads had gravel and crap everywhere because of the wet and icy December weather. Since I am on the cross bike, I can ride through most of the rough roads and gravel.

A mile from the house, I ride through a pot hole and thought I was going to be really cool on the cross bike until I immediately flatted! I hopped off and started walking. Randy apologized for not pointing out the hole. I laughed at myself and said it was not his fault. I was trying to be cool but it did not work. For some reason I picked up my bike and bounced it on the road and BOTH wheels were flat. Brilliant! Brad offered to get the car and I said no, with a laugh. I had my mountain bike shoes on and I deserved to walk home. Thank goodness I didn't have my period or wasn't on steroids or I would have thrown a nasty fit and tossed the bike. The guys had a good laugh at my silly, loud ranting as my testosterone levels were naturally high from a most embarrassing moment.

My poor cross bike probably will hang in the basement until next fall as I am a lazy arse and will not change those flats. I look at those wheels every time I am in the basement and shake my head at my silliness.