Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Hit and A Miss At The Same Time

The fish tacos with the white Mexican sauce were both a hit and a miss tonight for supper. To back track, the fish tacos came up at work a few days ago. A co-worker was telling me about fish tacos with cabbage and I thought they sounded awfully damn good. So I decided to make them for supper tonight and paired them with the sauce I made the other day.

I thought they were excellent. They smelled wonderful, very strongly of lime but I didn't add the jalapenos because I didn't have any. I layered the hard taco shells with the shredded cabbage, white sauce and the fish (I used tilapia filets). 

My husband didn't like them so much, but that's okay. Live and learn. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Free Sauce Recipes

Last night, I had a burst of inspiration for supper for the next couple of nights. After work, I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few things. My husband made hibachi-style teriyaki chicken and fried rice, but before we started that, I made Yum Yum Sauce, that orange sauce that’s served at the Japanese steakhouses.

Out of respect to the guy that cracked the particular recipe I used last night, I’m not going to post it here on my blog. He asks that much on his website. However, you can visit his site here and get the recipe for yourself for free.

One correction/addition I’d like to make to that recipe is this: he calls for ¼ cup of water. I needed slightly more than that. After combining all the ingredients and letting it chill, it thickened up quite a bit. I needed an additional 1/8 cup of water to get it to the right restaurant-style consistency and creaminess.

My other bit of inspiration was to get stuff to make fish tacos this weekend. To go with them, I wanted to make the white sauce found in a lot of Mexican restaurants with the nachos and salsa. The first one that popped up for me was this one.

2 cups creamy salad dressing, e.g. Miracle Whip ™
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

Measure salad dressing into a medium bowl. Gradually stir in the milk. Season with red pepper flakes, cumin, salt, garlic powder, and oregano, and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend. If you taste it right away, all you will taste is salad dressing.

Even though I read a few other recipes, I went back to this one with one addition: a quick healthy squirt of fat free Ranch dressing. We have tried this one but only to sample it. We’ll actually be having it tomorrow night. When I get on a roll with cooking, I tend to really get into it and typically make more than one thing. But I think this one is also the right recipe. Even before sitting long enough in the frig to let the flavors mix, it’s already tasting just right!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Not Getting Into All The iPad Hype

"Responding to strong demand in the United States, for its iPad, Apple said Wednesday that it would delay the worldwide release of the tablet computer for a month.

“’Faced with this surprisingly strong U.S. demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May,’ Apple said in a statement.

“The company said in a statement that it had delivered more than 500,000 iPads during the first week that it was on the market, but that demand was ‘far higher than we predicted and will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks.’”

Could it be that Apple is withholding the iPad for other reasons? Remember, people have already have problems with the Wi-Fi connectivity with them: “…user complaints centering on the iPad's inability to maintain a full, steady Wi-Fi connection.” If the Wi-Fi connectivity is a concern for Apple, maybe this delay will give them the chance to correct the problem, pre-purchase.

Personally, I don’t think the iPads are anything to get all excited about. I will admit, when I first saw the iPhone, I thought it was drool worthy. However, I didn’t get one for two reasons: I didn’t want to be locked in with only one cell phone service provider, and I don’t like buying a brand new product (electronics, car, computer, etc.) when it’s brand new on the market. I figure I can wait a bit and let the manufacturer work any bugs out of the system. There’s nothing wrong with a new product having a few bugs (the Wi-Fi on the iPad) because I don’t think you can test for EVERYTHING before it goes live.

And remember, the iPhone sold like hotcakes at first. And then Apple decided to drop the price on it by about $100. People who had already bought one were kind of S-O-L, but Apple decided to try and make it up to them by offering them a couple of free accessories within a certain timeframe.

That makes me wonder if the iPad will be sold the same way here in the United States. Currently, it’s available with Wi-Fi and with Wi-Fi and 3G. Both options are available with 16, 32 and 64 GB hard drives. The prices range from $499 to $829. I’ll make a wild prediction and say in a few months (to give them time to judge sales), a new iPad will be made available. It will still be Wi-Fi (but no 3G) with an 8 GB hard drive for $349. It will be aimed more at the low-end computer user that doesn’t need all the bells and whistles.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Two New Laws in Nebraska

"Nebraska's governor on Tuesday signed into law two anti-abortion measures that proponents say protects women and their viable fetuses but opponents charge are aimed at halting abortions altogether.

"One measure requires doctors to screen extensively women seeking abortion, taking into account the latest scientific literature that weigh factors such as a mother's physical and mental health.

"The other state law bars abortions after 20 weeks gestation on grounds the 'unborn child can be capable of feeling pain,' Republican Governor Dave Heineman said in signing the measure."

I can't help but wonder who gets to decide if the mother's mental health is stable enough to get an abortion. Are there going to be some kind of standardized tests?

"He [Kyle Carlson, a lawyer for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland] said the screening law appeared to be vague and a "moving target" that could be challenged legally as it requires doctors to ask clients about 'any risk factor identified in any peer-reviewed (scientific) journal in the previous 12 months.'"

That's still kind of a vague description, even for a Yahoo! News article, where space online is really pretty much infinite. A better, deeper description of those risk factors would have been good.

"The general principle behind both bills is the same," Carlson added. "It is to try to intimidate women out of believing they have a choice they can make about their reproductive health."

See, that's what I'm thinking too. The bad thing, to me, is this: an idea like this takes seed in the heartland of the United States. From there, it can only spread across the country. State by state, American women will lose the right to decide what to do with their bodies...we're losing our reproductive rights and we can't sit idly by and allow that to happen. Do Republicans think we are too dumb to decide what's best for ourselves?

Granted, "banning abortions after 20 weeks gestation would not affect Planned Parenthood because the group does not perform abortions after 20 weeks." So that strikes me as an unnecessary law and a waste of time.

I don't want anyone to wonder. I've never had an abortion. I've never been in a situation where I've needed to consider it. I think they should be legal, because every woman has the right to decide her reproductive future. The only limitation that should be put upon the ability to have an abortion should be that 20 week mark. Beyond that, pregnant woman should have all the options laid out for them, and if they choose to have an abortion, then that is their decision.

Yes, I am pro choice. And if you are pro life, then that is a choice too. What may be right for one woman may not be right for another, but that's okay.

A "New" Film About Lincoln

"In a tale celebrating the romance of movies, a contractor cleaning out an old New Hampshir barn destined for demolition found seven reels of nitrate film inside, including the only known copy of a 1913 silent film about Abraham Lincoln.

"When Lincoln Paid," a 30-minute film about the mother of a dead Union soldier asking Lincoln to pardon a Confederate soldier whom she had initially turned in, stars the brother of John Ford, director of "The Grapes of Wrath," "The Quiet Man," and other classics."

I think this is wildly interesting. Maybe I'm still on my Abraham Lincoln high right now (I just picked up a bio on Lincoln the other day at the Book Exchange).

I can't help but wonder why it took almost four years for the film's discovery to be announced though.

"After working with the George Eastman House film preservation museum in Rochester, N.Y., the college determined that the film, directed by and starring Francis Ford, did not exist in film archives. In fact, it was one of eight silent films starring Ford as Lincoln; there are no known surviving copies of the others."

Two short clips of the film can be viewed here. I didn't think Ford was as bad of a Lincoln as the Yahoo reporter seemed to think.

If the talk about turning Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter into a movie in 2011, then Lincoln is going to become very popular. Maybe there will be traveling screenings of "When Lincoln Paid" to tie in with it. I'd check them both out.