Category Archives: Uncategorized

Re-thinking my Google+ Strategy

Obligatory Google Plus logoSo, when exactly did it become mandatory for everyone on the intarwebz internet to have a “social media strategy”? Thanks to the good folks at Google, we now have a chance to “reset” our strategy with Google+, the #ohjesusnotanotherone of social media. We have the Twitter, we have the Facebook, we have the Foursquare, we have LinkedIn and if you’re hip, Tumblr and Oovoo (which still makes me think of olive oil, and unfortunately, Rachael Ray) and Quora.

But now that I’m one of 10 20 x million fortunate early adopters, I get to “reset”. At first I thought OK, I already live a lot of my life in public, I’ll just extend that to Google+ and let everyone in.

And then I reconsidered. Continue reading Re-thinking my Google+ Strategy

OMG i hate beer!

It’s been a personal goal to turn on as many people as possible on to beer. As I mentioned in the Fordeville blog, my own journey to the beverage was not direct,  so I sympathize.But allow me to try to convert you once again,  dear beer-challenged reader.

A beer snob's dream beer; not for the faint of heart. Photo by Arclight Images (www.arclightimages.com)

“Oh, it’s too bitter”. Then you’re drinking the wrong beer.There are 23 general styles of beer, with infinite variations within each style. There are many more breweries than Anheuser Busch, Coors, and Miller, you know. (As an aside, the oft-favored Blue Moon is owned and brewed by Coors). If the beer’s too bitter, first try to find out the style- then avoid it. The hoppiest types – which are the most bitter – are IPAs and Pale ales. Try a malty style, like a Dunkelweizen, porter, or brown, which traditionally have very low hop flavor and aroma. Or, a classic Weihenstephan Weissbier.

“Dark beer scares me. It’s too much alcohol”. Then you’re drinking the wrong beer. Realize that “dark” doesn’t necessarily mean “high alcohol”. The perennial “dark beer” Guinness actually has less alcohol by volume than Budweiser. Try a Sierra Nevada Porter (they make more than just the green-labeled Pale Ale), or a sweet stout like Mackeson’s.

“Beer has too many calories”. Then you’re drinking the wrong beer. Drinking an MGD 64 or Bud Light is like eating iceberg lettuce – it gets you where you want to go, but doesn’t bring a lot of flavor to the table. Alcohol inherently has calories, regardless if it’s wine, beer, or gin. Just find the right one- high alcohol beers are generally heavier because of the higher quantities of malt. Again, a bottle of Guinness only has 126 calories, and in my opinion, is worth drinking one instead of two MGD 64s.

“I get bloated drinking beer”. Then you’re drinking the wrong beer. If you want bang for the buck, calories be damned, have a barleywine. Anything “Imperial” means more malt, more hops, and more booze. If you can handle a “regular” IPA with higher hops, try an Imperial IPA like Dogfish Head’s 90- or 120-Minute IPA.

It make take some time and effort to find just the right beer for you, but remember, it’s the journey, not the destination. When possible, drink locally and support your local breweries and brewpubs. And if you want a full-on beer education, meet me at the Copper Mine Pub.

Easily Vegan Potato Leek Soup Recipe

This is one of those recipes that, with one simple substitution (vegetable instead of chicken stock) and one omission (bacon), is easily a vegan meal.

The upside to living with a gluten-free, dairy-free person is that we eat fresh and eat well. We also eat quite a few meatless meals, but still enjoy a full omnivore diet. And really, aren’t most things better with bacon?

A couple weeks ago, our CSA farm share supplied us with some really nice leeks and potatoes, so we made soup.

Nearly-vegan Potato-leek soup served with gluten-free/dairy-free bread.
Nearly-vegan Potato-leek soup served with gluten-free/dairy-free bread.



In searching for vegan soups, several folks added onion, which I found intriguing, but only one I came across included grated onion. Though there was no real explanation or reasoning behind it, I added the grated onion. I didn’t notice much of a difference, so you can probably just dice it to save yourself some time and cleanup.

Ingredients

One bunch leeks (three)

One medium yellow onion, grated or finely diced

Dried dill from Penzey’s

Penzey’s caraway seeds. In my opinion, no potato soup should exclude caraway.

One sprig of fresh rosemary, or to taste

Trader Joe’s uncured bacon

Approx. 8oz of Mimicreme Vegan Cream (this one:)

MimicCreme cream substitute
This stuff is pretty good.



Approx 16 oz. Kitchen Basics unsalted chicken stock (replace with vegetable stock for vegan)

Fresh chives for garnish

Directions

  1. If you’re using bacon, heat a dutch oven or similar vessel over medium-high heat, add a small amount of canola oil, and then cook the bacon. Reserve the bacon, and then remove most of the fat. Lower the heat to medium-low, and skip to step 3.
  2. If not using bacon, in a dutch oven or similar vessel, heat about two tbsp. (again, i never measure) of canola oil over medium-low heat.
  3. Add the leeks and allow to sweat for a bit. Your goal here is not to brown, but to release moisture.
  4. After a few minutes, add the onion and allow to sweat.
  5. Once the onions look translucent, add the potatoes.
  6. Add the stock, rosemary, and caraway seeds.
  7. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low until potatoes are cooked through.
  8. Add cream and stir.
  9. Use a stick blender to smooth out the soup.
  10. Serve in warm bowls, garnish with bacon (optional), snipped chives, and a swirl of extra-virgin olive oil.

My new Droid

So I got the new Droid incredible. It has a WordPress app, on which i’m typing now. I’ve had a pocket pc for years and loved it, so I had no reason to buy a smartphone. However, my dell axim was showing its age, and the headphones jack is on its way out. This is pretty cool; integration is amazing. More to come as I get used to it all.