Tuesday, May 02, 2017
About a week ago, most of my family went out of town. Before leaving, the fridge was stocked and I have been testing different recipes almost everyday.
One of my favorites- a roasted chicken breast with olive oil, cayenne pepper, salt, and the original chicken seasoning by McCormick. I roasted it in the convection oven-- according to the instructions in this recipe and added sides of fresh cranberry sauce and white rice.
Today, I grilled a steak on an indoor grill I purchased last year as a holiday gift that I decided to keep. The price on the grill was such a great deal, Amazon does not even list it with the order. Check here for more on the grill.
Short video capturing the grill in action today.
My new Canon camcorder produces MP4 and AVCHD [MTS] video files. Often I use the AVCHD setting for the higher resolutions. The camcorder has a built-in utility enabling quick conversion of AVCHD videos to MP4.
I also found a great video conversion utility which works with the MTS [AVCHD] video files, allowing for slightly higher file resolutions than the camcorder's built-in function.
Here is a screenshot of the AVC program.
This week, I also made a video showing how to make fresh cranberry sauce with frozen berries, however that video was 35 seconds and the steak video only 15, so I opted to use the shorter to discuss the AVC utility program.
By the way, I also love the grill.
Monday, January 09, 2017
Sunday, January 1st, 2017 I cut the base of my left thumb pretty deep with a pairing knife trying to core a cabbage. Though I called 911, I opted out of going to the hospital. I am happy to report the thumb is on the mend--- think  because I applied a lot of pressure quickly and  my mother and sister came through with the right first aid supplies.
I am still cleaning the wound every 24 hours and applying new gauze bandages and tape-- but mainly to protect the wound from re-opening. It is a very loose dressing to insure the wound gets enough air.
That said, this week I did get some things done.
- Tuesday, went by my business bank to transfer some funds from my personal account to the savings account.
- Paid off my holiday bills.
- Did most of the prep work to e-file my Federal and State returns. Still waiting on an EIN number so that the reason I did not actually file the Federal return. Marylanders cannot iFile [e-file] before the 23rd of January 2017 so the other reason I did not file that return.
- Caught early Down Under pro tennis action. The Australian Open starts Monday, January 16, 2017 [that's Sunday night here].
- Caught the latest episodes [air dates: 1st & 8th] of Showtime's series "The Affair".
- Tweaked the HDTV antenna [holiday gift] for the television in the guest room.
- Tried out the new grill [another holiday gift].
- Updating the stores [see upper right sidebar]. Noticed some great sales, too...
If you are wondering how those HDTV antennas work, I have a short demo of how to set it up. Also note the television resolution- I think it looks pretty good.
Photos of the setup...
Minor setback to the new year, insofar as the thumb, however I think it is going to be okay. This is a big load off my mind.
Friday, November 25, 2016
Yesterday morning [Thanksgiving], I was up and dressed by 7:00 am and the turkey was on by 7:30 am.
In years past, because my parents' home was the site of so many festive Thanksgiving gatherings, I try to provide photos of the events going on now. Does anyone remember my Mother's beautiful holiday trivets?
I like the quiet holiday we now enjoy. In the past, I always felt I simply stopped in to have dinner, greet visiting relatives and old friends, and then left. I may have returned over the holiday weekend for "extended family" shopping trips or leftover dinners, however really just a visitor.
Now, I am much more the event planner. Before, my career was very important to me-- and I went to an office everyday. I hosted very few parties in my own home. An office Thanksgiving party was also a big event, also planned by others [in this case, office staff].
This more to say, although Thanksgiving is now different-- it is not bad. I love working and now I combine work with holiday planning. In the past, holiday planning was done for me. Believe it or not-- I used to give my Mother money to purchase the holiday gifts I gave. Now I do all of that.
This morning, I had plans to be at Arundel Mills for the beginning of Black Friday shopping, for a Hanover MD, Businesses project. I cancelled when I realized the Mall opened yesterday at 6:00 pm and has been open ever since.
I am almost done with my holiday gift purchases. Later today, I will be wrapping more gifts. By the second week in December, I will finish all of my shopping and we will start putting up the decorations and tree.
This year, I want to get out and enjoy the season more, however have no definite plans. Are you still looking for gift ideas?
Today, I am working and having leftovers for lunch.
Sometimes, I simply cannot believe I make my own turkey and dressing with all of the trimmings...
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
I was up early this morning preparing some of the baked goods we will have for Thanksgiving.
Last week, along with some of the gifts for family- my new wallet arrived.
I cannot tell you how pleased I am with this purchase. I listed it in the "Items I Have" Category, however if you need other gift ideas you may like some of my finds...
Right now I am waiting for my cheesecake to cool so I can add the sour cream and sugar topping for the final bake [a ten minute process]. I am on schedule insofar as holiday baking. Hope your preparations are coming together.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Today is my Mother's birthday. As previously reported, her gifts arrived November 8th, 2016-- and this morning I finally gave them to her.
On Tuesday, I went to the market to purchase ingredients for the cake, I changed my mind about making. You may recall- I did not think I was going to make her a cake this year.
The tea set...
In August, when I gave my sister a similar set- she seemed to like it, so when I found this Ancient Coin Cast Iron Tea Set, I thought she might like it as well. She did, along with her new tunic top.
Big dinner and other plans tomorrow.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
I love cranberry sauce. I love it so much- I keep OceanSpray Cranberry Jellied Sauce on hand- year round.
That said, three or four years ago I started making my own sauce for the holidays, i.e., Thanksgiving and Christmas. Photos from last Thanksgiving.
I use the recipe on the back of the OceanSpray Cranberries bag which can also be found here. I use the non-frozen berries normally found in the produce section.
If you have not tried this recipe, you may be surprised by how much you like it.
I know- changing a traditional recipe at the holiday is often hard, however in this case, it is easy to keep on-hand a can of Cranberry Sauce or bag of Craisins, you can use later if it works out.
Other preparations for the holidays? I have been researching and shopping. Do you need gift ideas? I think I have found some pretty good ones:
I feel I am on schedule this year. How are your plans shaping up?
Sunday, October 02, 2016
I have been home alone since Thursday, September 29, 2016, because of an extended family health issue. Normalcy should return tomorrow.
This morning, I finally tested the Buttermilk Pancake Recipe I found on cookinglight.com and have to report-- it is pretty good.
Most are aware, because of legal issues- I do not like being mistaken for someone else. In the coming weeks I will be out a bit more than normal because of appointments I need to keep. My appearance is changing. Of course, I am getting older and it shows.
That said, I have been working on a project that slightly changes my appearance more. I simply want to note it...
Other things I have been up to?
- Updating my Amazon Stores, see here, here and here. BTW: Found a Mac Mini slightly cheaper however with less memory. My software development environments require a lot of memory. Still researching...
- Movie: The Private Lives of Pippa Lee w/Robin Wright Penn [caught last night]
- Tennis: Asian swing, including current tournaments; the China Open and Japan Open Championships. Upcoming, the Shanghai Rolex Masters
- And finally, see this post on my Business Blog, Remix.
It was a quiet weekend and I am told everything is as good as can be expected insofar as the relative's health issue. This is good news.
Monday, August 22, 2016
It has been a hot "August" and I have made it hotter with some of my favorite Mexican entrées.
Sunday before last [August 14, 2016], I made enchiladas for lunch/dinner and had the same as leftovers the following Monday and Tuesday.
Today for lunch, I decided to use the leftover flour tortillas to make fajitas. Note: The flour tortillas worked with the enchilada dish however I think I meant to get "soft white corn tortillas" for that dish.
Short video showing how I put together my lunch [fajitas] today [two attempts]:
I have been up to other things, too:
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
I really like this dish. I have mentioned this before.
In the earlier post, I mentioned the Yakisoba [Noodle Entrée] is available at Costco. The large container of Mr. Yoshida's Original Gourmet Sauce is also available from Costco.
In addition to those ingredients, for this dish- I also use a frozen chicken breast portion; defrosted [microwave], diced and stir fried.
If you love Lo Mein Noodles, you will probably love this dish. I love Szechuan dishes and have developed my own recipes to replace the take-out and restaurant meals I used to have, when I went to an office in the city, on a daily basis.
Friday, June 24, 2016
I did not start drinking coffee until after college- when I started my first position with Boeing Computer Services in Vienna, VA. The coffee stations scattered about our floor offered Brim or a non-decaffeinated brand and I chose the Brim.
At the time, I lived in Falls Church, VA- minutes from Tyson's Corner Mall. I purchased my first bag of fresh coffee beans [in the beginning I had the beans ground at the store] from a shop that had amazing aromas coming from its open doors.
My favorite flavors included:
- Columbian Supremo
- Orange Blend
- Irish Cream
Since then, I have owned many coffee [spice] grinders and coffee makers. I have mentioned before, my brother and sister-n-law gave me my first espresso machine for Christmas one year, which I never used before moving to Hanover. I used to use a drip coffee maker with freshly ground beans.
Since moving to Hanover, I have used four different espresso makers, including the gift from my brother and his wife.
Shown below, some of the espresso makers I have used. Not shown, a smaller Italian Bialetti Moka Express, Espresso Maker [similar to the larger silver one shown].
I love espresso. If I have nothing else during the day [this seldom happens], I will have an espresso.
This morning's brew [literally]....
In 2011, after more years of daily use than I want to admit, I needed to replace the Krups. I found the Krups a little more than I could afford, so my mother gave me the Mr. Coffee that I now use. Both brands make excellent cups of espresso.
Espresso Machines make great gift ideas. I have done a little research on espresso machines, grinders and beans and provided the results in some of my stores [Gift Ideas & Items I Have]:
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
In my last post, I discussed deep frying French Fries using a wok.
I used the smaller wok I purchased after I bought my first home. Back then- career, eating on the go, and living single rarely had me in the kitchen, however caught up in the excitement over my new place enabled me to fantasize about cooking in my new kitchen.
I purchased a lot of things for that kitchen, I never used.
Today it is just my Mother and I, and I tend to cook only single servings-- as was the case over the weekend- with my experimentation deep frying French Fries. I made a total of three batches over the course of two days, each time using the same oil.
I found this Epicurious article on "Reusing Frying Oil" useful. You may as well, if you think this method might be a little too expensive.
Using the same oil, I found each serving as good as the one before, however the second serving I diced the potatoes a little too fine and noticed that batch was soggier than the other two, however still good.
Check out my Home & Kitchen Store if you are looking for some of the items I used to prepare my French Fries.
Monday, June 20, 2016
I was in the kitchen this weekend, trying to capture on video "How to make French Fries" with a wok. I often use my wok to make Kung Pao Chicken or other stir fry favorites, however never fries.
In photos, the results...
Video clip as I am scooping the fries out of the wok. My video production efforts are still a work in progress.
I have to say, I love McDonalds Fries, however these were pretty good. Not shown, the salt I added just after the fries were pulled from the heat.
Monday, May 30, 2016
The sun is shining and I had an early lunch of leftovers because we cooked yesterday.
Also this weekend:
- Movie: "The Intern" with Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro
- Movie: "The Last Days of Disco"
- Earlier in the week; Movie: "21 Grams"
- Movie: "All the King's Men"
- The French Open.. Rainy in Paris.
- Playing around with video production.
- Paid the quarterly web hosting tab for qisoftware.com
I will probably go out later today. Hope you are having a nice weekend.
Friday, May 06, 2016
I have decided that video production is not as easy as I thought it would be, so I have been practicing. Yesterday, I shot three videos while doing various tasks in the kitchen. Here is the last of the three.
I have also discovered I am having audio issues.
Though I am pleased with the video quality produced by both my Android and Canon PowerShot A590 cameras for online use, I am not that happy with the audio quality being reproduced.
Unfortunately, my PowerShot does not have a port/jack for an external microphone, however the Android does have this feature.
That said, I am now careful about moving in and out of range while speaking when the record function is active.
Video issues? Yes, the next time I will use a little less of me when trying to open, scoop and plate the Gelato. Other issue? How long does it take to open a new container of Gelato? I should have tested that before I started.
The first two videos were nowhere as good as this.. so I will continue to practice.
The Marie Callender's Apple Pie? Delicious. I also like the Breyers Vanilla Caramel Gelato, however the combo may be a little too sweet. Dessert for Mother's Day? I would offer either, or.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
So far this Spring, we have had more delightful weather than not. Photos of the house and yard- taken over the last two weeks or so.
I have not been getting as much done as I would like, however I am staying busy. Out and about in Hanover yesterday. A little yard work. Researching several legal issues...
Anyway, do you shop Costco? I love Costco brands, especially Kirkland Chocolate Covered Raisins.
I also love those SkinnyCow Ice Cream Sandwiches.
I cleaned the grill last week so maybe I will do a little grilling later this week.
I am expecting a slight change to my situation in the near future, and think that is why I am a little hesitant about taking on new projects. Until the change is actually a tangible- my plans are more thoughtful, rather than anything else. Nevertheless, I am researching various options based on this expected change.
This sounds a little mysterious I know. It really is not.. It simply explains why I have been sitting around thinking about my options in more detail and not getting a lot done.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
It is going to be a quiet Easter weekend. Wished everyone a safe trip around six this morning. Large espresso for breakfast. Mini bagel and two slices of bacon for lunch and strawberry shortcake for dessert.
- Last night, watched "The Forger" with John Travolta and Christopher Plummer.
- The MiamiOpen.
- The "Rogue Lawyer" by John Grisham, about halfway through.
Also updating my Amazon Stores.. more details later.
On Monday, I had to mail a package so I went by the Hanover post office and then Arundel Mills Mall. I seldom get out these days, so when I do-- I try to provide details about my outings.
I also post outing photos to my Instagram account.
Wednesday, March 02, 2016
Recently, I have been working various projects including a site monetization project I will post about on my Remix Business Blog later today.
While I work, I snack a lot- in that I mostly work right off the kitchen in the informal dining area. Over the last 5 days, here is what I have been munching on...
I have also been getting more sleep. These photos were taken yesterday and I am happy that even I see, a lot of the strain from a lack of sleep, has left my face. I feel a lot better.
I snapped this photo of my Mother as she was about to leave for church Sunday.
Is she cool, or what? She has her Michael Kors bag [Christmas gift from my sister] and iPhone packed and ready to go for her excursion...
Me, I did not go to church. These days, I rarely go to church. As I explained, I have been working different projects, including several social media issues, intermittently catching a few tennis matches and looking forward to next week. More details later.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Normally I do not have breakfast unless on an exercise schedule. I am not currently on an exercise schedule and lately I have been getting up after 10:00 in the morning.
Whenever I get out of bed and go downstairs, I usually have a large espresso with cream and sugar and later, a big lunch.
This morning, I was awake by 3:30 am and decided to get up- around 6:30 am. Normally, I keep my Android on the ready to review things when I have early mornings like this, and this morning was no exception.
The exception to the morning? I decided to have more than an espresso for breakfast. To be exact, Espresso and Orange Sweet Rolls.
When cooking, I find I am more efficient if I lay out all of the things I will need for the preparation of the meal, however the photo above, was taken in case I wanted to blog about it later...
Here's how this morning's meal preparation evolved.
Yes, breakfast was good. Am I sleepy? Yes, a little. May have to take a nap.
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Because I now keep buttermilk on hand [love this Buttermilk Belgian Waffle recipe], I have been looking for other recipes that include the ingredient.
Thursday, Feb. 18th, I found what appeared to be a promising Buttermilk Chicken Tenders Recipe and decided to try out a slightly modified version on Friday for lunch.
Must say, it was pretty good even though I did not have the garlic powder the recipe suggested. Instead I used the McCormick Original Chicken Seasoning [shown] which included garlic. Not shown in the photo below, the baking powder I also used.
I only marinated the chicken tenders for about 2.5 hours rather than overnight. I was pleasantly surprised by how good I thought these tenders were and coupled with two of my favorite side dishes-- a great lunch-- as well as dinner that evening.
What else have I been up to this weekend? Updating my Amazon Stores [purse, Samsung Set Top Box compatible with Verizon FiOS and a dress], watching great old movies, "Jade", "Final Analysis", "Sliver", and the finals for this week's tennis tournaments. Tonight, I will also be catching the next episode of "Billions" on Showtime.
Monday, February 15, 2016
I did nothing special for Valentine's Day other than cook.
Saturday evening, I made a butter cake with chocolate buttercream icing. Sunday, after defrosting and braising a huge chuck roast [from Christmas/ we had Pork TenderLoin instead], I put the roast in the slow cooker for three and a half hours. The last half hour I added potatoes and a small whole onion.
Sunday dinner was pretty good, and leftovers even better today for lunch.
Last week, I watched several tennis matches via the TennisChannel and my Android. I have also been watching the Showtime series "Billions, so last night, I watched the fourth episode. The television in my bedroom is not HD so often when the show is after hours-- I watch via my Andriod which provides HD quality. Following graphic shows what I have been watching via my Android.
Several weeks ago- I ordered new sunglasses and they arrived in short order. I am pleased with the glasses even though they are not Ray Bans. I have been sporting them around town... [bank, photos for a business project, minor errands..].
Nothing else going on right now. As always, updating my Amazon Stores and other minor research projects.
It's snowing again today-- so I am hoping the two-three inches on the ground will melt with tomorrow's predicted 51° temperatures.
Temperatures--over the weekend mostly in the teens. Nice to stay in and keep warm.
Monday, January 18, 2016
For reasons I am not going into just yet, I did not get around to making enchiladas until today. Reminder, in an earlier post I indicated I would be making them last week. And then it was almost a disaster, anyway.
However, it worked out and they were pretty good.
It's about 6:40 here in the evening and in about 20 minutes I am going to continue watching live first round action from the Australian Open via watchESPN.
Saturday night, I checked [via OverDrive] the status of the books I have on hold at Maryland's Digital eLibrary-- thinking if I found nothing to do during the day these next two weeks [plan on watching a lot of the tennis in the evening], I could catch up on my reading.
Since I am still in a holding pattern insofar as the books, things I will probably do instead:
- Update my Amazon Stores, have a small issue with the Amazon widget in the upper area of this blog's sidebar that I want to research.
- Continue to research Hanover Businesses.
- Have fun with my Instagram account.
- Fill in my Australian Open draw sheets. I hate wasting toner for updated PDF draws, so I normally fill them in to get a better idea of what's next.
Believe it or not, I just received notification that one of the ebooks is now available.
Should be a good week.
Thursday, December 31, 2015
I started this post last night, in bed while watching television. I took photos to show my vantage point.
That said, after making the Pineapple Upside Down Cake [shown below], cleaning the kitchen, preparing for bed and then more research [how to set up recurring events in Facebook, ans: copy a previous event and update], I was too tired to do anything but put my camera away and go to sleep.
I made the Upside Down Cake, because the day before I made Sweet and Sour Pork using the leftover Pork Tenderloin from Christmas and had leftover pineapple slices.
I love the basic cake recipe I used for this and plan on using it again with other flavors. Recipe here. I used unsalted butter instead of margarine [creaming the butter and sugar for 3 minutes] and a 9" round cake pan instead of a 9"x9" square pan. I only have 8"x8" pans.
Earlier in the day, before I started the cake, I had leftover Sweet and Sour Pork for lunch and began taking down the holiday decorations.
Other things I've been up too?
- Tuesday: Visit to the bank, deposited some of my Christmas Gifts.
- Tuesday: Taking photos in Hanover, MD for the Facebook HanoverMDBusinesses Page.
- Movie: The Children's Hour  w/Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, James Garner on Turner Movie Classics or AMC.
- Movie: The Mirror Has Two Faces w/Barbra Streisand, Lauren Bacall and Jeff Bridges, yes, I have seen this before but saw it again the other day.
- Movie: 5 Flights Up w/Diane Keaton, Morgan Freeman I was a little surprised by how much I liked this movie. In my opinion, my favorite stars have been doing more films that are philosophical in nature, doomsday or an elongated discussion on society in general, which given my current set of circumstances, I sometimes find hard to watch. This movie was pretty good. I watch a lot of old movies.
Did you get holiday gifts in the form of money? Me too. Something I purchased with some of the gift money:
Also updating Amazon Stores. You can find great deals now.
Oh and by the way, Happy New Year...
Friday, December 25, 2015
I started the week planning meals. Sunday I started the baking with a Chocolate Buttermilk Cake. The recipe did not work out for me, however I took photos...
Monday I revised plans for the dessert cake and the recipe for the Pork Tenderloin. Tuesday, I made the cornbread for the sausage stuffing. Since I decided to make my favorite Lemon Layer Cake, I spent most of Wednesday making the cake and sautéing onions, celery and sausage for the stuffing.
Thursday evening I made the Cranberry Sauce. I use the recipe on the Ocean Spray bag that uses only the berries, water and sugar. It has become a favorite for us.
Thursday [Christmas Eve], I made Belgian Buttermilk Waffles [same recipe I used Sunday, see last post] for breakfast and Kung Pao Chicken for lunch/dinner-- shown.
Today, I made Pork Tenderloin Medallions with a Honey, Mustard and Pineapple marinade, Macaroni & Cheese, Candied Yams, and finished the stuffing by baking. We had dinner lunch around 1:00 pm today just after opening our gifts.
Gifts? As always, I received mostly money however I also received a couple of gifts. One that I love this year, shown.
Everyone seemed to like the gifts I gave them. They also liked the lunch. I thought it turned out well. It was a nice day for me. Hope your day was good too.
The New Year? Going on a diet.
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Christmas 2012, one of the gifts I gave my Mother was the Oster Thick Belgian Flip Waffle Maker. Ease of use- great, however until yesterday I had only tried a commercial waffle mix that did not require milk or eggs.
Though I tried enhancing the flavor with blueberries and chocolate, I never really felt it was worth giving up the frozen waffles I love. That is, until yesterday. I made this Belgian Buttermilk Waffles recipe [with non-fat buttermilk] and the only thing I can say "gosh was that good"- and I mean really.
My sister purchased her Belgian Waffle Maker a couple of years earlier than we did , so I know the trend for this type of purchase [remember the George Foreman...] is not as popular now. She tends to keep up with new innovations for the kitchen.
That said, if you love Buttermilk Waffles from scratch, then this is the recipe to use. Yesterday, I added the Oster Thick Belgian Flip Waffle Maker [I chose] to my Amazon Store [Home & Kitchen] because for the price, it is rated pretty well and I agree. See all of my Amazon Stores:
I love blueberries so I may try this recipe with that added ingredient, but not because I need to enhance the flavor.
Please note: Yesterday, I only made half the recipe. It made 2 large waffles [each waffle having 4 quarters as shown in the photo above]. I also used Pam to coat the waffle maker cook surface. I love Baker's Joy and Pam.
PS: I did not have much success with the Buttercream Chocolate Cake I discuss here.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
I have been cooking more since Thanksgiving. Last week I made pork chops, candied yams, macaroni and cheese and cornbread for lunch on Monday and had leftovers Tuesday and Wednesday.
I am also planning meals for Christmas, the days following and New Years Day.One of the desserts we will be trying, this Chocolate Layer Cake, [Update: 12.20.15 I had no success with this recipe]. I have most of the recipe's ingredients on hand, however needed to get baking chocolate and cocoa.
I also need Buttermilk, something else I do not keep on hand. In addition to planning meals, our holiday decorations went up this week.
Sometime ago, I noticed a television ad featuring a Balsam Hill Blue Spruce. I thought it so nice, I added the tree to the Gift Ideas Amazon Store. Need more ideas? [Amazon Holiday Ordering and Return Deadlines [U.S.]]