Monday, September 28, 2009

Good TV

We are swamped with too many great tv options right now. Meaning we really need to decide which nights we will not turn the tube on or we would be watching all the time.

On dvd:

Battlestar Galactica. After hearing an expert in religion and the media discussing BSG in the same breath as one of our all time favorites, we started checking out disks from the library. I was a little leery because I'm not a big sci-fi fan, but it's great. We just started season 2.

Mad Men. Recommended by my sis. We've only watched a few episodes, but wow, did they really smoke that much?? A plus--West Wing's Elizabeth Moss stars.

Arrested Development
. Old news for most people, but when AJ was in the hospital this summer, our friends brought over the first two seasons. He watched four hours straight and it's good for a lot of laughs.

Speaking of laughs, we are still watching season 2 of 30 Rock, also highly recommended by my sis. She's nice enough to let us borrow her copy, after it took us 4 months to watch season 1 and get it back to her.

On TV:

Glee. This one is all AJ. He loves it. And I am liking it more and more. We had to watch this segment a few times the night it aired, and then AJ showed it to his team at work. My favorite takes me back to my adolescence.

Dance, our family favorite, is back on for a fall season.

Not to mention Ken Burns and the national parks.

Read more . . .

Friday, September 25, 2009

New Recipe

This is amazing. We had it for dinner last night and I already gobbled up the leftovers. And this, with modifications. I had no paprika, let alone smoked Spanish paprika. I used ground turkey and no bacon. And I used the vinegars I already had in the cupboard. Thank you New York Times Food Section!

Smoky Pork Burgers With Fennel and Red Cabbage Slaw

Adapted from a submission by Jennifer Hess


2 tablespoons fennel seed

1/2 cup finely diced onion

3 small garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika

1 pound ground pork, preferably sirloin

1 cup minced bacon, (about 3 thick strips, slightly frozen before chopping)

4 soft burger rolls or sandwich buns


2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 cup shredded fennel bulb, plus chopped fronds

1 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage.

1. To cook burgers: Prepare a grill.

2. Gently toast fennel seeds in a dry skillet until aromatic.

3. In a large bowl, combine fennel seeds, onion, garlic, salt and smoked paprika.

4. Add pork and bacon. Toss gently until well mixed, without overworking meat.

5. Divide into four portions and shape into patties. Place on a plate or platter and chill for at least one hour.

6. Cook burgers for about 6 minutes on hot side of grill. After 3 minutes, flip and cook 3 more minutes, then move to cool part of grill for 3 more minutes. Burgers can also be fried in a pan over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes on each side. Let burgers rest for a few minutes, tented with foil, before serving.

7. To prepare slaw: Whisk vinegars, mustard and salt in a bowl until salt is dissolved. Add oil and whisk until emulsified.

8. Place fennel bulb and cabbage into bowl and toss to combine with dressing. Add fennel fronds and toss again just before serving.

9. Place burgers on toasted or lightly grilled buns and top each with a little slaw.

Yield: Four burgers.

Read more . . .

Thursday, September 10, 2009

State Fair

Last week, AJ took the day off work and we went to the amazing Minnesota state fair. It was a perfect day--high of 75, a breeze, plus some cloud cover for part of the time. We didn't have much of a plan, save for "eat good food", plus a few rides on the kiddie midway, and we had a wonderful time wandering around, stopping in to whatever caught our fancy. The days leading up to this had been terrible. Terrible, I tell you. Some of my worst mothering moments ever. So, I was very grateful to have a very different kind of day, with AJ, to move me away from what had been happening.

Highlights include:

A Pirate Ride

Learning about agriculture, from seed to market

Cotton candy

Sweet Martha's cookies--divine!!

Celebrity sighting: Our newly minted senator

Read more . . .