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Everyone’s probably tried adding something or other to their boiling rice water before, tying to perk up that same old rice.  If you’re like me, you’ve had mixed success in the past.  All the seasoning seems to keep to the sides and bottom, so the results are inconsistent.  Just how do they make that treat from San Fran?  The key is to toast your rice in seasoned butter or margarine first, before you add the water to boil the rice!  Melt twice the usual amount of oleo you use to make rice (don’t be stingy), then add rice and Lawry’s seasoned salt instead of regular salt (one and a half times as much) into a pot over low heat (above a slow simmer but not medium heat).  That’s a mixed endorsement for Lawry’s, because rice is the only thing I’ve ever tried that it’s good on.  Stir every 1-2 minutes, allowing the rice to absorb the oleo and the seasoning for 8-10 min.  If the heat is too high or you don’t stir, it will start to burn (my legal dept. made me write that disclaimer, lol). But you need to toast the rice about that long to help lock in the seasoning.  If you add the water too soon, it can wash the flavor out of the rice. Once the rice is toasted, add water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 mins, the same way you make ordinary rice.  Rice made this way really has a wonderful flavor.  I make a big bowl and use it for all sorts of dishes, adding sauteed veggies for pilaf or adding scrambled eggs, soy sauce and leftover meat for fried rice.  You can also use chicken or beef bouillon powder instead or with the Lawry’s, and once you get the hang of it, add some chives and parsley as well.  I’ve also tried adding those flavor packets from Ramen soup, although I definitely do not recommend the shrimp flavor!

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Hurray! Egg prices are finally back to normal.  Prices rose to insane levels for a couple of years, from around a buck to $3.50 a dozen for regular large eggs.  I heard the price increase was due to a shortage caused by greater demand as more restaurant chains like Taco Bell began to serve breakfast.  Another story was an outbreak of bird flu necessitated the slaughter of a large number of laying hens, and that resulted in the upward price spiral.  In any case, prices are back down to around a buck a dozen and Americans are grateful.  This week they were even on sale for 69 cents, so I picked up an extra dozen just to hard boil them. (Hint: mark the carton so you know which one has the fresh eggs and which the boiled ones, or you’ll be sorry!)

It’s a great idea to keep a supply of hard-boiled eggs handy, especially in summer when salads are so popular and spending time over a hot stove is the last thing you want.  Your basic mix of chopped eggs, sweet onion, pickles and a variety of bell peppers is so versatile. Alone, its egg salad. Add potatoes for your basic potato salad.  Substitute sweet gherkins, miracle whip and add small pasta shells for a great tuna salad.  Prefer albacore tuna? Use regular mayo and substitute green olives for the pickles. Avoiding tuna?  Try adding some apple and use leftover chicken.  I also love to include a splash of Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire to any of these recipes to bring out the best flavors (get the name brand- it’s worth it).  Add tabasco for a hint of heat. The best part is you don’t have to deal with a hot kitchen, and you can make these ahead of time (salads are actually better if the flavors can meld overnite).  Finally, if your standard salad recipe is seeming a bit bland lately, try stirring in just a scoche of mustard, or using dijonnaise. One final tip: If you’re trying something new, make a small amount as a trial to see if it suits your taste first, before you make a big bowl for guests or family.  It’s a lot easier to adjust the seasonings or ingredients in a recipe when you’re working with a small sample. And a lot easier on everyone’s stomach!

US Soccer a flop


The US Men’s Soccer team needs a giant dose of Viagra. They lost to Columbia ussoccerTeam16148094956311-1and are out of the tournament, finishing 4th in their group. I’ve never seen any team so impotent. They had at least three good open looks in front of the goal, and couldn’t even get a shot off! Late in the game they had a wonderful chance to tie the score on a perfect crossing pass that rolled in front of a striker running to the net. But he missed! I don’t mean he missed the goal, he missed the ball! The ball was at his feet, he went to kick it and just totally whiffed. Pathetic. This was followed by the ejection of a US player for shoving an opponent in the face. Klinsmann may have been a superb player for Germany, but he’s an epic failure as a coach.

Consumer alert


Wish I had read this article before buying Spring Valley!
If you’re picking up your supplements at Walmart, you may not be getting what you pay for. A recent investigation by the New York attorney general’s office found that many of the store-brand herbal supplements sold at Walmart, Target, Walgreen’s, and GNC didn’t contain any DNA from the plants listed on the label. Zero!  Walmart was the worst offender of the bunch, with only 4% of products testing positive for the labeled ingredients. (That means you’re getting ZERO of the products on the label in 96 bottles out of 100.). So what are you swallowing instead?  Its ginkgo biloba supplements were actually powdered radish, houseplants, and wheat, the New York Times reported.  So THAT’S  what happened to my chia pet!!!!

Someone shared a link asking which of these three would make the best Prez, which inspired this reply from me:

If Trump becomes Prez, the White House will be renamed the Trump Capitol Casino, hair implants will now be covered by Medicare and topless women will walk the floors of Congress selling Keno tickets between votes. If Carson becomes Prez, the National Anthem will be replaced by Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”, and the military will double as a delivery service. Whenever you order a large pepperoni meal deal, it gets delivered by your choice of an M1 Abrams tank or an Apache attack helicopter. God help you if you forget to tip the driver!
If Canadian born Rafael “Ted” Cruz becomes Prez, he will merge the U.S. with Canada in order to form a new supernation, Canuck. The new currency will be the Loon and the current President’s Day holiday will be replaced by Fidel Castro Day, to honor his father’s military service fighting for Castro.

Chuckle of the day


I was at the grocery store right before closing, and they buzzed the register to ask if the garbage was ready to go out. The cashier answered,”I’ve got the trash right here in front of me.” To which I replied, in my best vamp pose, “Who you callin’ trash, honey?”

TM. All rights reserved.

Poop Capital


Sometimes it takes a really great piece of data visualization to help us grasp an important point—a point so fundamental that it needs to be understood by as many people as humanly possible. Such a point is knowing that San Francisco is being utterly overwhelmed by a tidal wave of human poop.

In October 2015, a data visualizer known simply as “William” developed an animated map collecting all reports of human poop in the city. The map begins in summer 2008 and ends in summer 2015. The more reports of poop, the bigger and bluer the circles get. What he uncovered was an out of control pooping epidemic.

In the last seven years, people dropping a log on the streets of San Francisco has gone from disappointingly frequent to completely off the chart. While the map’s start records a few clusters around the downtown area, by the time we hit 2015, half the city is lost under an avalanche of human waste.

To give you an idea of how bad things are getting, in 2012, a city escalator became so clogged with poop that it stopped working, and a hazardous waste materials team had to be called. If Tony Bennett were to visit the city today, he wouldn’t leave his heart…he’d leave a dump.  San-Franciso-Poop