Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Excuse me, please, and thank you

One of the things we've tried to teach the kids from the start are excuse me, please, and thank you. You say excuse me when you're interrupting someone or you want someone's attention (not "Excuuuuuuse me!", the polite "Excuse me?"). You say please when you'd like someone to do something. You say thank you if someone has done something for you (or something you generally appreciate).

These words are more than just polite manners (this isn't like keeping your elbows off the table). They inform how we view the world. By using please, thank you, and excuse me you're acknowledging the other person, and re-enforcing your empathy and compassion towards them. You're saying "I understand that you are a person with your own plans, thoughts, and feelings, and I respect that."

I'm hopeful that the kids, as they grow up, will continue to use these words even if they aren't face to face with someone. If everyone kept "excuse me, please, and thank you" in mind while driving, for instance, there'd be a lot less problems with traffic. The internet would be much better if people used these words in earnest instead of in sarcasm.

It's essential that our kids know that they are important, and have a sense of their own self worth; it's equally essential that they know that they aren't the center of the universe and that other people are also important. Excuse me, please, and thank you are good steps to remembering the humanity of others.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Jambalaya - chicken, shrimp, pork, sausage, seafood, whatever

Photo by liz west
I know there are tons of recipes for jambalaya out there; this is the one we use (and put up by popular demand). One thing you'll notice with our recipe is that we puree the vegetables. This is a good way of hiding the veggies from the kids so that they don't even know that they're eating them.

Makes enough to serve 6ish, depending on people's appetites. The nice thing is you can sub a pound of whatever for the chicken and or shrimp; often I'll make a braised pulled pork several hours or the day before, rubbing it with the spice mix and then braising it in a little water at 350 until it was fall apart tender (6ish hours), and then add it when I'd usually add the meat. For seafood, chicken, and tender cuts of pork, you'll want to add it raw when the recipe says.

Ingredients
  • 8oz raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 8oz chicken breast, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder1 teaspoon fresh oregeno cut fine (for dried 1/2 teaspoon powdered)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, crushed (for dried 1/2 teaspoon powdered)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder (or whatever your favorite hot pepper powder is)
  • 1 andouille sausage, chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 1 large red bell pepper (or two. Really. Can't have too many red peppers.)
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 6 roma tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (I recommend Bourbon Barrel Worcestershire sauce, it's YUM)
  • 2 teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce (Franks is probably the most well known, but any Louisana style that you like would be fine)
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 5 cups chicken stock
 Mix together spices and coat meat in it; set aside (if using more/other meat, just use about a teaspoon per lb). Puree onion, pepper, and celery in food processor and saute in large stock pot over medium heat for about four minutes. Meanwhile, puree the tomatoes. Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce, and cook for 4-5 minutes longer. Add rice and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add meat and sausage and cook 12 minutes more. Serve in bowls.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Pizza 'N Games V logo

http://www.pizzangames.com

Thought I'd show everyone the new Pizza 'N Games 5 logo and website. OK, it doesn't really have any new info on it, but it does have a new design and logo, inspired by the Final Fantasy series (obviously). Lemme know what you think!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Another website update

Short one today.

So I wanted to show at least some of what I do on my website, so I added a section near the top that shows a little bit of what I actually do. I even managed to make it responsive and fade between images (which was surprisingly more difficult than it sounds). Did learn a little more jQuery. Wooo!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday Kiddie Cocktail -- Pumpkin spice tea latte

Tis the season for pumpkin everything! This is not a bad thing. I love pumpkin, personally, so this is one of my favorite seasons. This is my recipe for a pumpkin spice tea latte (you could make it with coffee, but this one's for kids.... and I'm not fond of coffee). This makes about 8 normal/small size servings; if you want something like a grande then you'll get maybe
4 servings.


Ingredients
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 cups black tea (brew your favorite)
  • Whipped cream for topping
Combine pumpkin and spices in a saucepan over medium heat, cook for about 5 minutes. Add sugar, milk, and vanilla, and heat stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture is steaming. Add tea and serve hot with whip cream on the top.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My current design reading list

It's heading towards winter (obligatory reference), and that means less stuff outside (no more painting/varnishing large pieces this year), and more reading. I've got a large reading list in general, but here's my current list of design reading. some of these I've read before and will be refreshers, some are new. You'll notice a lot of "A Book Apart" on here; they really do make nice little books on important web design topics.

I'll try to get reviews of these up as I get through them. (Full disclosure: if ever someone would click though to Amazon thru my site and buy something - which has never happened - I'd get a commission. Personally, I got Beyond Trend at the Dollar Tree.)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday Happy Hour - the Negroni

With NPR celebrating bitter in a story this week, I thought nothing could be more appropriate than the recipe for the Negroni, a champ of appertifs, slightly sweet and with a nice bitter bite. It's a great go-to cocktail for before dinner as it leaves you nicely hungry and relaxed.

Ingredients:

1oz gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz Sweet red vermouth
Optional: dash of fruit flavored bitters - cherry, grapefruit, orange

Add ice to a tumbler, combine ingredients and stir. Serve.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Pizza N' Games IV is here!


Tomorrow: it's on like Donkey Kong. Quite literally, we will have Donkey Kong. Pizza n' Games 4 has finally arrived! Come to Les & Jim's in Merrill for some epic game playing - video games, board games, RPG, and much much more. Vendors will be selling games, game related merch, and other nerdy stuff. There will be various SCA demos. I'll personally be running Call of Cthulhu and the Doctor Who RPG (the old FASA one). Come and join us - only 6 bucks for a full day and pizza!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday Kiddie Cocktail -- Ginger Apple Sparkler

Another fall recipe this week; not hot this time but with distinct fall flavors. There is an alcoholic Gingered Apple Sparkler as well, but this is decidedly virgin.

Ingredients
1oz ginger syrup
3oz apple cider
1 oz orange juice
3 oz seltzer (or, as usual, replace ginger syrup and seltzer with ginger ale)
dash of bitters (Angostura, a popular brand, adds a negligible amount of alcohol, little enough that this is still technically non-alcoholic aka <.5 ABV; there are a couple of industrially produced non-alcoholic bitters as well, if it is a concern. Or, leave it out.)

Put 2-3 ice cubes in a highball glass. Add ingredients, stir lightly, serve.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My crazy idea for the week

Photo courtsey Kainet
So here's my crazy idea for the week on how Merrill can attract businesses and create jobs in the area:

Invest in fiber optic infrastructure.

Feel free to discuss.