Monthly Archives: February 2012

Simple Tiramisu

I’m a sucker for a good tiramisu, and after trial (and error), found that this recipe from Cooking for Engineers produced the best one yet. Super easy and quick to whip up, so perfect when you’re having company.


Simple Tiramisu
recipe from Cooking for Engineers

About 20 lady’s fingers (the crisp ones, not the soft ones)
2 shots (2 oz, 60 mL) espresso
1/2 c. (120 mL) coffee
1 c. (240 mL) heavy whipping cream
1 lb. (455 g) mascarpone cheese
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3 tbsp. (44 mL) rum or brandy (we used Kahlua)
Cocoa powder
Shavings of unsweetened dark chocolate

First, start by assembling the ingredients (see above). Chill whipping cream and bowl. Mix coffee and espresso and chill. Whisk the whipping cream until it reaches stiff peaks. This can be accompanied in a few minutes with an electric mixer or by hand (times will vary depending on arm strength and stamina).

Put the cheese, sugar, and brandy into a medium bowl and mix until smooth. Add more sugar or alcohol as desired. Fold in the whipped cream to create the cheese mixture.

Soak lady fingers in espresso for a couple of seconds, rotating to coat all sides. Place lady fingers side by side on bottom of an 8×8-inch pan. Put half the cheese mixture on lady fingers in pan. Smooth with a spatula or spoon. Sift cocoa powder liberally on surface of layer. Apply second layer of lady fingers and remaining cheese. Sift cocoa powder and half of chocolate shavings. Cover in plastic wrap and chill.

To serve, use the remaining chocolate shavings by sprinkling a bit onto eight plates. Cut tiramisu into 8 rectangles and serve on plates (or simply spoon them out).

CORRECTION – Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers, Game 5 denver nuggets schedule

Getty Images May 27, 2009 | Kevork Djansezian

Getty Images 05-27-2009 CORRECTION – Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers, Game 5

Full Size JPG (206 KB) EDITORS NOTE – THE DATE IN THE DATELINE WAS SENT OUT INCORRECTLY ON GETTY IMAGES PHOTOS # GYI0057543528.jpg AND GYI0057543584.jpg. BOTH PHOTOS WERE TAKEN ON THE 27TH.LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 27: Chauncey Billups #7 of the Denver Nuggets puts a shot up over Trevor Ariza #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 27, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) see here denver nuggets schedule

Kevork Djansezian

RIP: Sadie (1999-2012)

Excuse me if I’m bit distracted today. I’m profoundly sad because we had to put our 13-year old Beagle Sadie down last night – we woke up in the middle of night to let her and our Shih Tzu out for a potty break, and Sadie was fairly unresponsive to being woke up – she did eventually awaken, but was crashing into everything, yelping, and seemed totally unaware of her surroundings. Needless to say, a middle-of-the-night emergency vet visit was in order, and the veterinarian she saw agreed that Sadie was incredible distress, that it was likely a stroke, brain tumor, or aneurysm, and that given her age and a similar, less serious but still not normal episode a few months back, that the most humane thing we could do was to end her suffering. In a way it was a difficult decision (as it is for any pet owner), but in a way it was not. We just wanted her to not be in pain anymore. After being given a sedative to calm her down, the vet gave her the euthanasia shot, and she passed away peacefully around 3am.

Sadie Looking Adorable

Sadie came into our lives in a most unusual way – we came home from running errands in October of 2005 to find her chained up to our light post out front. We brought her inside (fully intending to take her to the SPCA), but her sweet disposition won me over in seconds. She had a collar on that had a phone number listed, but the number had been disconnected. After asking around the neighborhood and trying to find out who she belonged to, we found out she had been wandering around at large for over a year, and that her original owners had moved away without taking her with – that she essentially was homeless. She was part of our family within a week. After taking her to the vet, we found out she was 6 or 7 years old. Even though we knew we’d only have a few years tops with her (life expectancy for a Beagle is usually 11-13 years), we welcomed her with open arms. We were rewarded with the pleasure of her company for the last 6 ½ years.

We knew she was on the decline when she started developing cataracts, and then eventually, was stone deaf. In the past year, it was getting increasingly more difficult for her to get around. We were preparing ourselves for the inevitable – even though I feel an empty place in our hearts and our home right now, I know she’s better off. Hopefully you all will know the love and loyalty of a special pet in your life. I know my life was better because Sadie was part of it.

I’ll get back to posting regularly tomorrow, but for today, I just want to reflect on her and my time with her.

Rabbit, Mushroom and Tarragon Stew

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have a freezer chock full of meat that I bought and never got around to using. If you, like me, managed to find yourself with an extra rabbit in there, this is a perfect recipe for a chilly day. The rabbit is from the Athens Farmers Market – it was much easier to prepare than I thought it would be, and the result was a hearty stew that I could very easily see myself making again.

Rabbit, Mushroom and Tarragon Stew

Rabbit, Mushroom and Tarragon Stew
recipe from the We Are Never Full blog

What you need:

* 3 rashes of bacon, cut into pieces
* 1 small onion, diced finely
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 box of button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced lengthwise
* 1 whole rabbit, cut into pieces
* 3 sprigs of tarragon – 2 with tarragon leaves removed and chopped and 1 left whole, bruised by back of a chef’s knife
* 2 1/2 cups of white wine
* 2 heaping tablespoons of dijon mustard
* 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
* 1/2 cup light cream

What to do:

1. Heat heavy-bottomed pan/pot to medium-high and cook bacon pieces until almost crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2. Pour bacon fat into a bowl and, starting with one tablespoon, add the fat back to the pot. Cook onion, garlic and mushroom in the bacon fat until medium-soft (about 5-6 minutes). Remove and set aside in the bowl with the bacon.

3. Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper. Add a bit more bacon fat (or butter if you’d prefer) back to the heavy-bottomed pan and add your rabbit pieces. Sear the outside on all sides of each piece until they are nice and golden brown (about 6 to 8 minutes). Remove to a plate for a moment.

4. I know, I know… lots of removing of food from the pan. They’ll be back soon. Deglaze the bottom of your pan with wine – keep heat up to medium and scrape all the bits from the bottom of the pan. After about a minute or so, add your chicken stock, tarragon, bruised tarragon sprig and mustard. Stir.

5. Now, add back everything – rabbit, mushrooms, bacon, onions, garlic, etc. – to the pan. Bring to a boil and then lower to medium/medium-low and simmer, covered for 30 minutes. After that, continue to simmer the dish uncovered for another 20 to 30 minutes. It will cook down to a thicker sauce.

6. Finish by stirring in the cream and fishing out the loose tarragon sprig. Enjoy!

Pokemon to Host International Video Game and Trading Card Game Championships August 16-17.

China Weekly News August 26, 2008 Pokemon USA, Inc., the worldwide leader in trading card games and video games, announced details for both the 2008 Pokemon(R) Trading Card Game (TCG) World Championships as well as the first-ever Pokemon Video Game Showdown, which will pit the most skilled Pokemon video game players from the U.S. and Japan against one another in a battle to determine the ultimate champion. Both events will take place August 16-17 at the Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, bringing together hundreds of Pokemon fans from around the globe. site pokemon diamond pokedex

The Pokemon Video Game Showdown will feature 64 of the most talented players from the U.S. and Japan competing in two different age divisions. U.S. qualifiers were selected from two regional tournaments held in Los Angeles and New York on July 12 and July 19, respectively. Over 1,000 players from ages 6 to 43 came from all over the country to battle playing Pokemon Diamond or Pokemon Pearl for the opportunity to compete against the best players from Japan. Participants will strive for the chance to call themselves a champion and win a grand prize that includes a six-day vacation package for four to New York City, Honolulu, or Tokyo. Runners up will win custom Nintendo DS(TM) game systems and special Pokemon prize packs. go to site pokemon diamond pokedex

The 2008 Pokemon Trading Card Game World Championships follow a record-setting U.S. National Championships in June, which drew nearly 1,000 competitors. Hundreds of players from nearly 30 countries will compete in the invite-only event for the title of Pokemon TCG World Champion. The top 32 winners in each of the three age divisions will be awarded various Pokemon prizes and merchandise, including scholarship awards worth more than $100,000.

Pokemon has proved its dominance over the past 10 years as one of the most successful kid’s franchises of all-time. The Pokemon animated series is broadcast in more than 30 countries in over 25 languages. Nintendo’s Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl games sold more than 1 million copies in the first five days and more than 14 million copies since their launch. The Pokemon Trading Card Game is the number one collectible trading card game and boasts over 80,000 organized play members. Both championship events will promote the fun of the trading card and video games as players are required to use skill, strategy, and creativity to play.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 6/25/2011

Got home late last night, and didn’t get to bed until nearly 6am, so I slept in most of today. Putting together the entry for the FreshStreet pop up at Noodlecat as we speak, will hopefully have more for you tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy (vicariously, much as I did during the date) these pictures of what we have to look forward to on Saturdays in early summer.







Learning on their laptops Dist. 54 to provide some grades with iBooks.(News)

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) February 25, 2003 | Singh, Shruti Date Byline: Shruti Date Singh Daily Herald Staff Writer Dooley School teacher Jennifer Antonson is excited about the prospect of each of her students getting a laptop computer.

Her sixth-graders could research and write their English papers right at their desks, and they could read about history for social studies as current events occur, Antonson pointed out.

“I think back 20 years ago. A school wouldn’t even consider not having a set of encyclopedias,” said Antonson from her Schaumburg school. “This is a new resource every child should have access to.” Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 plans to give every student in grades four, five and six an Apple iBook laptop to use during the school year. The District 54 school board approved the project on Thursday. in our site ibooks for mac

The laptops will be phased in over the next three years. This fall, District 54 will provide laptops to about 1,700 students in seven of its 22 elementary schools. Another seven or eight elementary schools will receive laptops for their fourth-, fifth- and sixth graders beginning in the 2004-2005 school year. The remaining elementary schools will receive laptops for students in these grades beginning in the 2005-2006 school year. When the program is at its peak, about 5,100 students and dozens of staff members will work daily on laptops.

Each phase will cost about $2.1 million for hardware, software, training and support.

Officials said despite the budgetary constraints school districts face in this tough economy, they plan to pay for the program by reallocating money, and they won’t dip into reserves.

District 54 spokesperson Terri McHugh said each year the district spends money for various types of technology – from software licenses to desktop computers. She said, for example, in the upcoming school year the district would not need to buy desktop computers and would buy laptops instead.

The district this spring will choose the seven schools that will receive the first batch of Apple iBooks, based on current technology network and skills and strength of leadership in the building.

District 54 officials said along with books and blackboards, in this day and age laptops are logical learning tools for English, science, social studies or any other subject.

“We believe technology has to be woven into the subject,” said Marianne Zito, District 54 assistant superintendent for instructional services. “This is a modern-day book.” Zito said through the use of laptops, the district intends to enhance reading and writing skills, improve students’ connection with outside resources in a monitored environment and beef up technical skills. website ibooks for mac

She said the district hopes to equip these students with computer skills they can use in high school, college and the workforce.

“It certainly opens up the door to see what skills they will need in the future,” she said.

Through a pilot program conducted this fall in nine classrooms, students used the laptops to write journals, create presentations and do research on the Internet. District officials said teacher, parents and student surveys revealed the children were more motivated to work on assignments in school and at home, and they spent more time reading and writing.

Students also took laptops home everyday, which enabled them to show parents exactly what they did at school that day – something that moms and dads always want to know.

District officials said the results of the pilot program gave them qualitative information, but the program is too new for firm quantitative data about the improvement in literacy or technical skills.

Indeed, District 54 is one of just a handful of educational institutions implementing this program.

The Maine Department of Education launched an initiative this school year through which all seventh-grade students and teachers across the state receive iBooks. The department plans to provide all eighth-graders with laptops beginning the next school year.

When the $37 million state-funded Maine Learning Technology Initiative is in full swing, nearly 36,000 students and teachers will receive these laptops.

Tony Sprague, project manager of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, said it’s too early to make definitive judgments about the benefits, but the enthusiasm the laptops generate among students is evident.

He said during a pilot program the state conducted last academic year, attendance improved dramatically during the nine weeks students received the laptops.

Henrico County Public Schools, a Virginia school system that provides laptops to nearly 25,000 high school and middle school students and teachers, also has noticed some preliminary benefits. The $21 million laptop program began in 2001.

School officials said last year, scores for the U.S. history section of the standardized high school U.S. Standard of Learning exam jumped 20 points from the year before. U.S. history was the only completely digitized subject in the district.

“They’ve benefited by all having access. When you look how fast info moves … this is the way the world is moving,” said Janet Binns, director of public relations for the Henrico County Public Schools.

Singh, Shruti Date

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 6/18/2011

Today’s entry is going to be a quick one, as I’m going to be leaving in a few minutes to head up to Cleveland in a few minutes with the Columbus Food Adventures peeps to attend the one night FreshStreet popup (note: Facebook is down at the moment – will update entry later on to link to FreshStreet) at Jonathan Sawyer’s Noodlecat. I won’t be getting back until after midnight, so it’s now or never, although I should be doing some live updating on Twitter.

But back to what you’re looking at – I these were taken when I was still in Dodd Hall, and when P. was going out to the farmers markets and I attended vicariously through these photos. Out of all the things I missed last year, that was a biggie for me. So needless to say, these pictures became my motivation – when I was learning to walk again, it was in hopes of being able to walk by the time the farmers markets started this year. I’m so happy that I’ve got there with time to spare.

So in all honesty, I’m not sure which pics were taken where, as I’ve totally lost my frame of reference, and P. doesn’t remember. But enjoy, anyway – and remember that this is only about 4 or so months away…



Red Raspberries




HAVING FUN SERVING OTHERS; Alternative spring-breakers forgo bars, beach.(FAMILY TIMES)

The Washington Times (Washington, DC) March 23, 2003 Byline: Alexandra Rockey Fleming, THE WASHINGTON TIMES Boston College junior Jeff Capotosto needed a break from the daily grind. Like most students, he hit the road, hoping to put some miles between himself and the stress and responsibility that riddle higher education. Mr. Capotosto’s spring break – unlike those of many of his peers – didn’t include any tequila shots, no honeycomb of revelers crashing cheap motels, no random hookups with unknown coeds. He traveled to Washington instead – on his own dime. Here the 21-year-old and his compatriots spent a week laying insulation and posting drywall on a couple of houses in projects supervised by D.C. Habitat, an affiliate of Habit for Humanity International, the Christian nonprofit housing organization based in Americus, Ga.

Nearly 30,000 students nationwide will participate in some type of alternative spring break this year, says Dan McCabe, executive director of Break Away, a national nonprofit group that assists colleges and communities in promoting alternative break programs. Organizers say this type of trip appeals to students who want to make new friends, help other people, learn about different cultures and experience a new environment – minus the bacchanal more frequently associated with spring break.

Before his trip, Mr. Capotosto said he was confident that his vacation, organized through Boston College’s service group, Appalachian Volunteers, would be a great opportunity – “everyone coming together for a cause,” he says.

“A lot of times you’re worried about your own life,” he says. “This is a week where you can actually do something for someone else. It’s a nice thing to do that’s also rewarding for everyone involved.” +++++ Concerns The three B’s booze, beaches and bikinis commonly are linked to spring break in the minds of many students. Some considerations for parents of teens who are planning spring-break vacations include:

* Many “all-inclusive trips” to foreign destinations such as the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada include all-you-can-drink parties, booze cruises, unlimited open bar and parties sponsored by liquor distributors where alcohol is distributed free of charge.

* The drinking age is 18 or 19 in Mexico, Canada and much of the Caribbean, and in many of these places the age limits are only modestly enforced, if at all. alcohol poisoning symptoms

* U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country they are visiting. If a teen is arrested, there is little if anything that the State Department can do to help. Also, medical care in many resort areas often is inadequate to respond to drinking and other substance-related crises.

* Although some travel companies provide adult chaperones, these adults are not responsible for monitoring students’ alcohol or drug consumption or sexual activity.

* Many young people don’t know the signs of alcohol poisoning. Symptoms include the following: The person doesn’t respond when spoken to, pinched or poked; the person vomits when passed out; the person cannot stand up or remain standing without aid; the person has a very slow rate of breathing fewer than six breaths per minute; he has bluish or purplish or clammy skin that feels cool to the touch; his pulse is slower than 40 beats per minute.

Source: Students Against Destructive Decisions +++++ More info Books * “The Uncollege Alternative: Your Guide to Incredible Careers and Amazing Adventures Outside College,” by Danielle Wood, ReganBooks, 2000. This book includes ideas and resources on opportunities for adventures around the world; internships, apprenticeships and training programs; and community service projects.

* “The Back Door Guide to Short-Term Adventures: Internships, Extraordinary Experiences, Seasonal Jobs, Volunteering, Working Abroad,” by Michael Landes, Ten Speed Press, 2002. This guide contains more than 1,000 opportunities to work, play, learn and help, introducing readers to previously unconsidered options. this web site alcohol poisoning symptoms

* “Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years,” by Helen E. Johnson and Christine Schelhas-Miller, Griffin Trade, 2000. Using case examples and real-life dialogue, this book shows how parents may have lost control over their college student, but they haven’t lost influence.

Online * SADD, Students Against Destructive Decisions, ( has identified spring break as a time of year when teens are particularly at risk. Its Safe Spring Break Campaign offers a safety kit that includes materials that warn young people about some of the dangers of underage drinking. SADD also encourages young people to turn their energies to community-service projects that will strengthen and improve their communities. The Spring Break Safety Kit includes ideas and information about community-service projects that teens can organize that will provide opportunities for teens to get together, have fun and accomplish a worthwhile objective over spring break.

* Break Away (, a national nonprofit organization, provides workshops and facilitates a network to connect nonprofit groups that need volunteers with the goal of having students become lifelong participants in community service.

* Youth Service America ( is a resource center and alliance of more than 300 organizations committed to increasing the quantity and quality of opportunities for young Americans to serve locally, nationally or globally.


Boston College junior Jeff Capotosto helps repair the house for D.C. Habitat, an affiliate of the nonprofit organization. “This is a week where you can actually do something for someone else,” he says. “It’s a nice thing to do that’s also rewarding for everyone involved.” [Photo by Jessica Tefft/The Washington Times] Boston College students and AmeriCorps workers put siding on a Habitat for Humanity house in a Northeast community in the District. Nearly 30,000 students nationwide will participate in some type of alternative spring break this year, says an official of a nonprofit group. [Photo by Jessica Tefft/The Washington Times] Natalie Battle, a junior at George Mason University, traded sand, sun and relaxation for an alternative break in New York City. There she spent a week caring for victims of HIV/AIDS via the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, an AIDS advocacy and education organization. [Photo by Jessica Tefft/The Washington Times]

Rattlesnake Sliders

If you like spicy foods, here’s one for you. The cayenne in the recipe gives it quite a kick, and the sweet Hawaiian roll is a great contrast to the heat. I’ve had to cut the heat out of most of my diet, unfortunately, but even without it’s full complement of red pepper, it still came out delicious. During the winter, I make these on the indoor grill – not ideal, but still quite edible. Since you’re cooking chicken here, make sure it gets to at least 165 internally before eating. For better mouth feel, use ground chicken (15% fat) only. It’s not nearly as good with just white meat ground chicken.

Rattlesnake Sliders

Rattlesnake Sliders
recipe by Jeff Krump of Ezra Pound Cake

Makes 12 small burgers

1 lb. ground chicken
1 lb. andouille sausage, casings removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ tbsp. coarse ground pepper
½ tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
12 soft dinner rolls (preferably King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls)
Condiments: shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, cheese, sliced onion, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, chili sauce

Preheat the grill to medium-high. Using a food processor, process the andouille until finely chopped. Transfer the andouille to a large bowl. Add chicken, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne. Mix gently, being careful not to overwork the mixture.

Form the mixture into 12 patties, and place them on the grill. Cook until the internal temperature registers 170F, about 5 minutes per side. During the last minute of grilling, add the cheese to the tops of the burgers, and toast the rolls (cut side down, about 30 seconds).