Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Serve with a side of black beans and rice and you have a perfect "Mexican" meal!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Well, now we will look at a recent technology purchase I made. But, first a little history…. A few months back, I told 5th and the kids that I want to get away from cable and satellite television. I want to get all of our video entertaining from the internet. That piece of news was met with an enthusiastic GROAN! With so much enthusiasm, I took it as total unbridled support! So, last week I ordered a Roku player. What is a Roku player you ask? Ah, it is ONLY the best internet video streamer on the market!!
With a Roku player, you can stream movies from Netflix, or Amazon. Roku inc., is also working on expanding its channels to include such video sites as YouTube and Hulu. (Don’t know what Hulu is? Wow! Do you have a lot to learn! – Check it out at Hulu.com… you’ll love it!).
We have a Netflix subscription and have been using it for only watching DVDs. Well, Netflix has this amazing video streaming feature included for as part of the subscription fee! So, with the Roku player, you can watch these videos on your television!
So, I get the Roku player in the mail yesterday. I assemble it in less than a minute. Every thing is very simple. I connected it to our television, still very simple. But, I thought, no one makes it easy to connect wirelessly to the internet. Especially ours – I use WPA2 encryption! I’m thinking to myself -- “self, this will take an exceptionally long time to connect.” The set up screen comes on. Simple enough! Everything is easy – maybe, too easy! Well, fortunately that was not the case.
The Roku player connected to the internet and played movies almost perfectly. I couldn’t believe it. A device that may live up to its hype! So far, I have found only a few minor flaws:
1) No OFF switch. It is meant to be kept on all the time.
2) With limited bandwidth (everyone using the internet at the same time) the movie sometimes pauses to re-buffer.
3) My son cannot watch a movie through to the end! With so much selection, he’ll start watching one movie then switch to another! ARRRG!!
Other than that, I love it and can’t wait for the expanded channels! What are your thoughts? Have you already tried the Roku player? Or, maybe you are a Boxee type of person (that’s another story!)… Well if you’ve used this device or not, let me know what you think. Do you think my family can EXIST without cable or satellite service??? Do you think I’m a bad husband and father for depriving my family from that slice of heaven called Food Network or American IDOL?
Oh well, tell me what do YOU think!
This is Mr. Sister, once again signing off. Over to you 5th…
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
We arrived at Ocean Isle Beach on Friday afternoon. We spent the majority of the afternoon hiking along the beach, collecting shells and just enjoying the soothing sounds of the ocean. Since it is not "beach season" we pretty much had the beach to ourselves.
It was quite chilly and windy that afternoon. That didn't faze our son who decided to brave the water and test it out. By the look on his face I'd say the water was a tad too cold.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I was reflecting upon how I got started with all of this blog business. Funny thing is that I really had no intention of blogging...EVER! Gradually, I was exposed to certain blogs of interest through other networking sites I was an active participant on. All Recipe's Recipe Exchange was the most influential. That is where I discovered The Pioneer Woman, Cake Wrecks and other blogs of note being discussed by the exchange members.
During this time, I helped launch a continuing thread on the Recipe Exchange that related to a dream I had about running a race in Africa. These thread of posts detailed our virtual safari through Africa, beginning in Cairo, Egypt and ending in Johannesburg, S. Africa. Members, interested in getting fit, logged their miles that they either ran, walked, hiked, biked, stair-stepped, ellipticalled, rowed or swam. We were able to complete our trek in just 4 short months! Pounds were shed, muscles were defined and friends were made along during this virtual journey! We all had such a great time that we are now in the process of a virtual North American Tour, stretching from coast to coast with a foray into Canada to visit our Canadian friends.
I also began following a particular blog during the aforementioned trek. This on line journal was about one person's endeavor to change their lifestyle from a sedentary one of obesity and ill health to one of fitness, healthy eating and weight loss. I followed this person with great interest as they trained to fulfill one goal to the next. This person's honesty and wit made a strong impact on me and helped inspire and motivate me to do the same as well.
This person's blog gave me the impetus to take ownership over my own state of health. I have lost over 15 lbs. since last summer and can now run a mile in under 10 minutes following the training advice on their blog. Reading their blog made me consider how beneficial it might be for me to pen my own on-line journal. Maybe I, as well, would see improvements in my body, health and mind along the way. That was how my blog was born. Okay, so I have a tendency to ramble on and muse about a variety of topics, but it's a start, right?
In addition to their blog, this person was instrumental in getting both the African Safari and North American Tour exchange threads up and running smoothly...documenting miles and distance...keeping us all on track! This particular blogger was (and still is) a partner and the biggest fan of these threads. He/She busily encourages us along our journey: through funny posts and links to photos of where we are at any particular moment.
Without further ado, I am pleased to announce that the very 1st recipient of The "Write" Stuff award is Luis Bueno of The Muddy Runner.
It may not be a "pretty" award, but it is given with great respect.
You, too, may be the bearer of this award. The rules are simple:
2. Post about this blog on your site, along with a copy of this award.
3. Let the honoree know of their award by commenting on his/her blog.
4. You may only give out this award ONCE and to only ONE recipient.
5. A particularly influential recipient, may, however, receive the award more than once.
6. The recipient is to acknowledge the award in a brief post on their blog.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
What do you all think of the design we came up with?
Diagonal with a border!
Thin strips will be going in the space you see that remains open.
'Tres chic', don't you think?
Grouting will be completed tomorrow.
I finally decided on "Sandstone".
I hope it will be the right decision.
Coming next...the screen!
Enjoy this simple little recipe of mine!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Lost in the festivities is the person whose feast day we are actually celebrating. It’s unfortunate, because Patrick is a man worth remembering — particularly in today’s culture.
A beacon that has never been extinguished, despite persecution. Even today, Ireland continues to stand against the culture of death in its refusal to accept abortion as the law of its land.
Patrick’s gift to the Irish was not luck, it was faith. His gift transformed a nation. The Irish were proud and brave and industrious and loyal before Patrick came to them. The faith that St. Patrick brought gave depth and purpose to the natural gifts of the Irish. A depth that enabled them to withstand the persecutions and famines that lay in their future.
A depth that carried the Irish who came to America through the years of “No Irish Need Apply”.
The contributions that the Irish have made to our beloved America are not the result of parades or potables. They flow from the faith that has been at the heart of Ireland since the days when a man named Patrick conquered the Druids on an Easter Sunday morning.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper (can use crushed red pepper flakes with good results)
2 tablespoons basil
2 tablespoons thyme
Thursday, March 12, 2009
4 boneless/skinless Chicken breasts
1 large onion
2-3 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 lbs. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1-2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano (or 1-2 tsp. dried)
1/2 tsp. Polly's Signatue Spice Blend
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste ( I used 1 tsp. Kosher salt and 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper)
20 sheets 9x13 phyllo dough
Take 4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Boil until no longer pink. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before shredding.
Chop 1 large onion. I have to chop mine very finely as dear son is under the silly impression that he doesn't like onion. Saute, along with garlic, in a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil until tender.
Add the shredded chicken, spinach, cheese, egg and spices. Mix well and set aside.
Spread the spinach/chicken/feta mixture evenly over the phyllo sheets.
Cut into 8 individual servings and serve. I served mine with dilled baby carrots (carrots steamed with 1/2 tsp. dill sprinkled over the top...simple and good for you!)
Calories are approximately 425 per serving.