30 January 2010

Funny iPad cartoons and more 30 Jan 2010

From Denny: Great cartoons this week from the busy mind of editorial cartoonists! They sure had a wild time with all the ways the American people got screwed over this week like by the Supreme Court for starters. Check out all the goodies over at The Social Poets blog because the blog template here is not wide enough to include the entire cartoon - and the cartoon site doesn't have a smaller version available for embedded linking.

For this week's funny political cartoons about the State of the Union, iPad and more, go here: Editorial Cartoons This Week 30 Jan 2010

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, a big shout out to current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email!

5 Tasty and Weird Bacon Recipes

From Denny: OK, I've been hearing about the popularity of "bacon blogs" and wondered "is there anything you can't pair well with bacon?" Answer: not much as "the pig" is quite versatile. I see why the pig has so many devotees.

Check out the savory bacon recipes:

Bacon Explosion (BBQ)
Bacon Pie
Bacon Balls (mini-cheese balls)
Bacon Bread
Clams Casino

Bacon Explosion

This is a calorie monster, weighing in at 5000 calories! Read that as "bring your friends" to this BBQ because it reigns as King of BBQ.


2 pounds thick-cut sliced bacon
1 1/2 pounds Italian sausage, casings removed
3 tablespoons barbecue rub
3/4 cup barbecue sauce


Using 10 slices of bacon, weave a square lattice like that on top of a pie: first, place 5 bacon slices side by side on a large sheet of aluminum foil, parallel to one another, sides touching. Place another strip of bacon on one end, perpendicular to the other strips.

Fold first, third and fifth bacon strips back over this new strip, then place another strip next to it, parallel to it. Unfold first, third and fifth strips; fold back second and fourth strips. Repeat with remaining bacon until all 10 strips are tightly woven.

Preheat oven to 225 degrees or light a fire in an outdoor smoker.

Place remaining bacon in a frying pan and cook until crisp. As it cooks, sprinkle bacon weave with 1 tablespoon barbecue rub. Evenly spread sausage on top of bacon lattice, pressing to outer edges.
Crumble fried bacon into bite-size pieces.

Sprinkle on top of sausage. Drizzle with 1/2 cup barbecue sauce and sprinkle with another tablespoon barbecue rub.

Very carefully separate front edge of sausage layer from bacon weave and begin rolling sausage away from you. Bacon weave should stay where it was, flat. Press sausage roll to remove any air pockets and pinch together seams and ends.

Roll sausage toward you, this time with bacon weave, until it is completely wrapped. Turn it so seam faces down. Roll should be about 2 to 3 inches thick. Sprinkle with remaining barbecue rub.

Place roll on a baking sheet in oven or in smoker. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on a meat thermometer, about 1 hour for each inch of thickness. When done, glaze roll with more sauce.

Bacon Pie


12 Bacon slices (crisply cooked, crumbled)
4 Eggs (beaten)
1 cup Shredded Cheese
1 cup Baking Mix
1-1/2 cup Milk
1/8 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/3 cup Onion (chopped)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Sprinkle cheese, bacon slices and chopped onions on a greased pie plate.

Stir milk, eggs, baking mix and black pepper in a medium bowl with a fork.

Pour this blend into pie plate.

Bake it for about 40-45 minutes.

Bacon pie is ready.

Bacon Balls

Bacon, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese and... Miracle Whip mayonnaise??? Yep, and these are awesome tasting! They are basically mini-cheese balls. A shot or two of Louisiana hot sauce would complete this recipe in my not so humble opinion! :)


1 lb bacon, cooked until crisp, cooled and drained on paper towels
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins brand)


Process the bacon in the food processor until finely minced. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and Miracle Whip with an electric mixer until well mixed.

Beat in the remaining ingredients (except the bacon). Beat in the bacon only until mixed.

Shape into two small cheese balls and wrap each well in plastic wrap. Chill overnight.

Serve with crackers or pita chips.

To serve, you can leave the cheese ball as is, or roll in finely minced parsley, chopped nuts or finely shredded cheese. This keeps well for a few days in the refrigerator.

Bacon Bread

Super simple recipe for a bread, cheese and bacon combination. You might think you had died and gone to heaven. Of course, with this much fat in a recipe you just might go to heaven...


12 slices bacon, diced
1 (1 pound) loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil, divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (1 ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix


In a skillet, cook bacon over medium heat for 5 minutes or until partially cooked; drain on paper towels.

Roll out dough to 1/2-in. thickness; brush with 1 tablespoon of oil. Cut into 1-in. pieces; place in a large bowl. Add the bacon, cheese, dressing mix and remaining oil; toss to coat. Arrange pieces in a 9-in. x 5-in. oval on a greased baking sheet, layering as needed. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cover with foil; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown. Yield: 1 loaf.

Clams Casino

Rhode Islands' Narraagansett Pier Casino, originating in the early 1900's. Shellfish and pork marry for one tasty dish.


24 small clams in the shell
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled


Open clams; remove clams from shell. Wash shells; place each clam in deep half of shell. Discard remaining clam shell halves. Sprinkle clams with a little salt. Blend butter, chopped green onion, chopped bell pepper, chopped celery, lemon juice, and crumbled bacon. Top each clam with a scant tablespoon of the butter and vegetable mixture. Arrange the clams casino shells on a bed or rock salt in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 425° for 10 to 12 minutes. Clams casino recipe serves 8 as appetizer.

*** ALSO: Chef Sandra Lees Easy Frozen Chocolate Cookie Cake

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, a big shout out to current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email!

28 January 2010

67 Charities to Donate: Helping Haiti Heal

From Denny: The outpouring of donations worldwide for the relief of suffering in Haiti following a 7.0 devastating earthquake is incredible. The following are a list of 67 well-known established charities to which you can donate safely.

The Mobile Giving Foundation has received over $30 million in text pledges from cell phone donors the past two weeks. Even the Pew Research Center was well impressed and threw out some statistics:

14% donated by text message
12% donated by phone
23% donated via the web
5% donated via email
39% donated in person via a church or other group

Here's something I doubt any of us thought about when we donated by text message or phone: how long will it take for the phone companies to send out that donation? Turns out it can take from 30, even up to 60 days to transfer customers' contributions, which is then added to the mobile phone bills.

The biggest carriers like Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have all decided to expedite those donations.

Here's each company's status:

Verizon Wireless:
Last Friday, 22 January, they transferred $2.98 million. Today, 28 January, they transferred $4.84 million. Jeffrey Nelson declared the campaign "the largest outpouring of charitable support by texting in history — by far. In all of 2009, all mobile giving (via texting) to all charities totaled just under $4 million for the year."

AT&T: Donations are up to $10 million. The company says they will "advance payment of verified texted donations" to the Red Cross.

Sprint: Donations so far are $3.1 million. By Friday, 29 January, they will advance 80% of the donations with the remaining 20% placed into the usual 30 to 90 day settlement cycle.

T-Mobile: They are working hard to expedite on a weekly basis.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Relief Agencies where to donate:

Action Against Hunger 877-777-1420
Agape Flights 941-584-8078
American Red Cross 800-733-2767
American Refugee Committee 800-875-7060
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee 212-687-6200
American Jewish World Service 212-792-2900
AmeriCares 800-486-4357
Beyond Borders 866-424-8403
B'nai B'rith International 202-857-6600
CARE 800-521-2273

Catholic Relief Services 800-736-3467
Childcare Worldwide 800-553-2328
Church World Services 800-297-1516
Clinton Foundation 501-748-0471
Concern Worldwide 212-557-8000
Convoy of Hope 417-823-8998
Cross International 800-391-8545
CRUDEM Foundation 413-642-0450

Direct Relief International 805-964-4767
Doctors Without Borders 888-392-0392
Episcopal Relief and Development 800-334-7626
Feed My Starving Children 763-504-2919
Food for the Poor 800-427-9104
Friends of WFP (World Food Program) 866-929-1694
Friends of the Orphans 312-386-7499
Habitat for Humanity 800-422-4828
Haiti Children 877-424-8454
Haiti Foundation Against Poverty

Haiti Marycare 203-675-4770
Haitian Health Foundation 860-886-4357
Healing Hands for Haiti 651-769-5846
Hope for Haiti 239-434-7183
Hope for Haiti Now 877-99-HAITI
International Child Care 800-722-4453
International Medical Corps 800-481-4462
International Rescue Committee 877-733-8433
International Relief Teams 619-284-7979
Islamic Relief USA 888-479-4968

Lions Club International Foundation 630-203-3836
Lutheran World Relief 800-597-5972
Medical Benevolence Foundation 800-547-7627
Medical Teams International 800-959-4325
Meds and Food for Kids 314-420-1634
Mennonite Central Committee 888-563-4676
Mercy Corps 888-256-1900
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries 800-306-9950
New Life for Haiti 815-436-7633
Operation Blessing 800-730-2537

Operation USA 800-678-7255
Oxfam 800-776-9326
Partners in Health 617-432-5298
RHEMA International 248-652-9894
Rural Haiti Project 347-405-5552
Salesian Missions 888-608-2327
The Salvation Army 800-725-2769
Samaritan's Purse 828-262-1980
Save the Children 800-728-3843

UN Central Emergency Response Fund
UNICEF 800-367-5437
United Methodist Committee on Relief 800-554-8583
World Concern 800-755-5022
World Hope International 888-466-4673
World Relief 800-535-5433
World Vision 888-511-6548

Text to donate:

Text/ Number/ Giving campaign/ Amount

"HAITI" 90999 American Red Cross $10
"QUAKE" 20222 Clinton Bush Haiti Fund $10
"GIVE" 25383 MTV telethon $10
"HAITI" 25383 International Rescue Committee $5
"HAITI" 85944 International Medical Corps $10

"YELE" 501501 Yele Haiti foundation $5
"HAITI" 52000 The Salvation Army $10
"HOPE10" or "UNICEF" 20222 UNICEF $10
"HABITAT" 25383 Habitat for Humanity $10
"OXFAM" 25383 Oxfam America, Inc $10

"HAITI" 40579 National Religious Broadcasters $10
"SAVE" or "SAFE" 20222 Save the Children Federation $10
"GIVE" or "WORLD" 20222 World Vision, Inc $10
"CARE" 24383 CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc) $10
"AJWS" 25383 American Jewish World Service $10

*** THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATIONS - even the smallest amount delivers a huge impact!

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, feel free to leave a comment, a big thank you and shout out to current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email!

26 January 2010

Secrets to the Tastiest Tailgating Party

From Denny: Well, it's official! The New Orleans Saints won their last game and are on their way to the Super Bowl!!! Can I tell you that all of Louisiana is shocked and amazed - and deliriously happy? The Saints deserved a break and this season God finally shined His Face upon them. What a wild ride with so many people holding their breath, wondering if The Saints would make it. Congratulations, Saints!

Sports are big here in Louisiana and tailgating is a long time honored tradition to get together with friends and loved ones to make new friends. CBS Early Show had a great video and some recipes to share.

From CBS: "Wing expert Kevin Roberts, executive chef and owner of San Diego's East Village Tavern, chili queen Elizabeth Karmel, executive chef of New York's Hill Country and pitmaster Ed Mitchell, of Raleigh's The Pit, prepared their best to fill up your guests on game day. You can see Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday February 7, on CBS."


Smokey West Coast Wings
Far East Wings
The Original Buffalo Chicken Wings
Super Bowl Sunday Ribs
Bowl of Red (Chili)

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Kevin Robert's Smokey West Coast Wings


2 1/2 pounds Wings (flats and drumettes only)
1 stick butter, melted
1 bottle Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1 can Chipotle Peppers with Adobo Sauce Grilled - until crispy


In a large pot with boiling water boil the chicken wings for 10 minutes. Remove the wings from the water and pat dry. Place on a hot grill and cook until crispy and cooked all the through.

Combine the melted butter, cayenne pepper sauce, and chipotle peppers with adobo sauce. Add the wings and coat thoroughly. Serve immediately.



2 1/2 pounds (flats and drumettes only)
1 bottle Sweet Chili Sauce
1/4 cup Honey
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
Juice of 1/2 Lemon


In a large pot with boiling water boil the chicken wings for 10 minutes. Remove the wings from the water and pat dry. Place on a hot grill and cook until crispy and cooked all the through.

In a large bowl combine the sweet chili sauce, honey, soy sauce and lemon juice. Mix well and add the chicken wings and coat thoroughly. Serve immediately.



2 1/2 pounds Chicken Wing Pieces
1/2 cup Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1/3 cup melted Butter


Deep-fry* wings in hot oil (400°F) for 12 minutes until fully cooked and crispy; drain.

Combine Cayenne Pepper Sauce and butter. Dip wings in sauce to coat.

Serve wings with celery and blue cheese dressing if desired.

Note: For equally crispy wings, bake 1 hour at 425°F, or grill 30 minutes over medium heat.

Ed Mitchell’s Super Bowl Sunday Ribs


Your favorite seasoning or rub
Eastern North Carolina-style, vinegar-based sauce Your favorite tangy barbecue sauce

Prepping: With a good knife and cutting board, remove “skirt” on the bone side of the ribs. Turn ribs over and remove about 2 to 2 1/2 inches along top of rack. Clean both ends of rack if they are ragged. With a small paring knife, lift up membrane on bone side, grab with a kitchen towel and remove from rack. Remove large fat deposits on “meat” side and lightly make several “knife scores” along the rack, parallel with the rib bones.

Next, cut the rack into five bone portions. Four bone or six bone portions are fine, but five are ideal. Once all the ribs are portioned, sprinkle the rub on both sides of rib. Place in covered container if not grilling immediately.

Cooking: Once you have the grill pit hot with charcoal, arrange seasoned ribs, meat side down, on the grill. Allow this side to cook uninterrupted for about 15 minutes. Using tongs, carefully and quickly turn ribs over (bone side down). Baste with Eastern North Carolina-style vinegar sauce. Allow to cook for another 15 minutes or so. With a clean kitchen towel, blot off any blood on the meat side of the ribs. Repeat, turning over ribs at 10 to 15 minute intervals for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until just fully cooked. After each turn, baste with vinegar sauce A properly cooked spare rib will have a nice seasoned browned color.

After removing the ribs from the grill, baste the ribs with vinegar sauce again. This step helps keep the ribs moist and gives the ribs additional flavor. Cover pan with aluminum foil and put in a low-temperature warmer (150˚ F.) until they will be served. Lightly brush ribs with barbecue sauce before to serving.

Elizabeth Karmel's Bowl of Red

Serves: 4 - 6


2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
Olive oil
1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound ground chuck
1 12-ounce bottle of Lone Star or other beer
2 10-ounce cans Rotel tomatoes with Chiles
6 ounces tomato paste
2 tablespoons freshly ground cumin
1 tablespoon freshly ground oregano leaves
1 tablespoon dehydrated garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt or more to taste
1 tablespoon Ancho Chile powder
2 teaspoons New Mexican Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cold Kreuz Market Jalapeno Cheddar link, chopped (optional)
Cornbread or Tortilla chips as an accompaniment


In a large heavy-bottomed pot, onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add beef and continue cooking until onions are translucent. Add beer, Rotel tomatoes and tomato paste and stir. Stir and simmer for a few minutes, then add spices. Stir thoroughly.

Cover pot and cook on a low heat for 2 hours. Stir occasionally to break up the pieces of tomato and make sure all the spices are well incorporated. Add sausage if using and heat for 5-10 minutes more or until sausage is warmed through.

If chili is too thick, additional water or beer may be added, but add slowly and cautiously.

Serve with a slice of cornbread or tortilla chips and extra hot sauce for the heat freaks on the side.

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, feel free to leave comments, a big shout out to current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email!

24 January 2010

Mission of Hope Run by American in Haiti

From Denny: A few years before the disaster struck in Haiti, American Brad Johnson decided to move there and help the people in his parents' ongoing Christian mission to Haiti. He was in a unique position to help after the earthquake as he already had an established school, an orphanage and a medical clinic operating, along with plenty of supplies. His mission is just outside of Port-au-Prince. He is busy distributing supplies to survivors and has been within hours of when the disaster hit.

Here is the website: Mission of Hope in Haiti

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, a big shout out to current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email!

22 January 2010

Newest Fish Trend: Silverfin Asian Carp, 2 Recipes

Silverfin Fish Cakes

From Denny: Looks like it's official on two fronts. Louisiana is known as the place of "if you can catch it,you can cook it and eat it!" The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has come up with a Silverfin fish promotional campaign to promote an unusually tasting fish that is quite delicious.

Developing the New Fish Product

Rivere Foods, Inc. of Paincourtville, Louisiana is the processor of these new to the market products. They are offering Silverfin Fish Cakes just in time for the Lenten season here in Catholic south Louisiana. The first local supermarket to carry them will be Rouse's.

Chef Philippe Parola is the developer of the unusual product and consultant to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Chef Parola was fishing for gar near Pierre Part when two huge fish, weighing each 12 pounds, literally jumped into his fishing boat, almost tagging he and his partner. The fish were quite active, leaping all around his boat as soon as they arrived at their fishing spot. OK, I'm not a fishing person as I'd rather cook and eat than catch and clean but wow! that sure sounds unusual. It's as if the fish are saying, "Catch me!"

Chef Parola immediately treated the new fish like a similar one of which he was familiar, saltwater jack fish in Venice. Apparently, jack fish are far better tasting if immediately upon catching if you cut off the tails and bleed them out before chilling. He noticed how firm and pink the meat, thinking it would be interesting to cook it and found a wonderful surprise when he did. Chef says the meat tastes like a cross between crabmeat and scallops.

Asian Carp: Invasive Pest or Blessing?

Eventually, from his research he located what family the fish belonged to and it was Asian carp. In America Asian carp have become a serious pest and there are eradication programs in effect because it is such an invasive fish. The Asian carp is rapidly replacing native fish in the Mississippi River, reaching out in the River's tributaries and distributaries too. In the Midwest fishery experts are worried the Asian carp will migrate into the Great Lakes.

Typical of Louisiana we don't fight the change but rather make use of it. "Why kill these fish and relegate them to trash fish status?" asks Chef Parola. "The Asian carp is delicious tasting. It’s simply under-utilized, undiscovered."

LDWF and Parola Partnered to Market Silverfins

Chef Parola offered his personal research and expertise to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries as a way to develop a marketing plan to sell the carp. Why did the Fisheries department take him up on it? Easy, "Our experience with eradication is it doesn’t work. We think creating a financial incentive for harvesting the fish is a far more effective control. And that’s what LDWF wants to do … increase demand for Asian carp and build a viable fishery based on the fish,” Gary Tilyoun, LDWF inland fisheries administrator, commented.

Asian Carp and Dilemma of Removing Bones in Processing

One obstacle to marketing the fish is that they are known for having "floating" bones that are difficult to remove. There are two varieties considered marketable: silver carp and bighead carp.
Louisiana people like to problem solve. Chef Parola asked around with crawfish and crab processors about how to steam process this fish in the hopes of removing the bones.

Important for Local Fish to Take Place of Imported

The reason Chef Parola is pursuing marketing this fish is as he says, "As a chef, I see the need for a domestic fishery, a source free of pesticides and antibiotics, a need for a good fish to take the place of imported fish, which we cannot monitor for contaminants, a fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, the good fish oils that promote heart health. Really, Asian carp is an answer to a chef and restaurateur’s prayer."

Previous Attitudes Toward Carp

Another issue for marketing the Asian carp is that Southerners associate it with the smelly muddy common carp that registers high on the ugly meter. The collective decision between the fisheries department and Parola is to designate this carp as "Silverfin" fish. Certainly sounds more attractive.

Website and Resources to Find Out More About Silverfin Fish

LDWF is promoting Silverfin fish to both recreational fishermen and to the food service industry. Want to know how to handle this fish? Check out their website, go here.

Note to chefs: You can also purchase Silverfin fish boneless flakes which closely resemble lump crabmeat. Soon that product will be available from New Orleans Fish House and Louisiana Seafood Exchange so stay tuned. Rouse's Supermarkets will be selling Silverfin products like fish cakes and fish dip by around Lent, 17 February 2010. Tony' Seafood Market & Deli will be selling raw Silverfin fish fillets as early as this next week.

Check out the recipes for this new fish which tastes like a cross between crabmeat and scallops!

Silverfin Cakes

From: Rivere Foods, Inc.

Serves: 4


1 lb. silverfin white meat
4 ozs. unsalted butter, melted
1 tbl. Dijon mustard
2 eggs, divided
1 tbl. lemon juice
1/2 cup (or enough to bind) bread crumbs
Seasoning and hot sauce
Seasoned flour
Oil for frying


1. Poach or steam silverfin meat until fully cooked.

2. Break fish into pieces being sure to remove all bones.

3. Put meat into bowl and add melted butter, mustard, 1 beaten egg and lemon juice. Mix well. Add bread crumbs and season, as desired, with seasoning and hot sauce. Form into small cakes.

4. Beat remaining egg in a separate bowl. Dip cakes in egg wash and roll in seasoned flour. Fry, drain and serve.


Silverfin Fried Strips

Rivere Foods,Inc.

Serves: 4


16 strips of silverfin fish (boneless, if possible)
2 eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup seasoned fish fry meal or seasoned flour
Oil for frying
Pickapeppa mango sauce for dipping, optional (from Jamaica)


1. Inspect strips of silverfin and remove bones.

2. Beat eggs and half-and-half together. Place strips in egg and half-and-half mixture.

3. Remove fish and coat with seasoned meal or flour.

4. Fry fish in hot oil until done. Serve with Pickapepper mango sauce for dipping.

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, a big shout out to current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email!

20 January 2010

2 Inspiring Haiti Stories: Woman Pulled From Wreckage, New Baby Born on USS Carl Vinson

From Denny: Finally, a happier story of triumph as a woman named Jeanette was pulled from the damaged building in strong health with minor injuries and dehydration after six days pinned down. This is an awesome story of her faith in God and her determination to survive to be reunited with her husband.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Of course, with any horrific disaster it helps to focus upon the positive. Nothing is more positive and heart-warming than the birthing of a new life. How fortunate this young mother was to have an entire USS Navy ship at her beck and call. The crew is all smiles to be a part of something so life affirming. Can you guess the new baby boy's name? Yes, it's Vinson, in honor of the ship and crew.

The ship is about 17 miles out from the shore of Haiti. They have been taking in any and all injured discovered on the streets of Haiti by U.S. troops. They were the closest American ship in the area and the first to arrive after the disaster.

Can you imagine being pregnant and deep in labor right after an earthquake? The things that had to be going through her mind as she was getting ready to birth her baby. Luck had it she was found by American troops who quickly transported her to the ship to deliver her baby safely.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, a big thank you to current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email!

19 January 2010

New Orleans Saints Celebration Menu: Jambalaya and Crawfish Gold

From Denny: It's been so long coming that Saints football fans in New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana are downright giddy. Here are some of their contributions to Louisiana recipes to enjoy the moment and the glory.

We have a preference for cooking with iron skillets here for long and slow cooking. These recipes are a perfect fit.

(Black-iron pot) Jambalaya

From: Mrs. W.R. Smith is from “River Road Recipes” published by The Junior League of Baton Rouge in their 50th anniversary edition

Serves: 6 to 8


1-1/2 lbs. sausage or cubed beef
Salt and pepper for seasoning beef, if beef is used
3 tbls. bacon drippings
3 tbls. all-purpose flour
2 medium onions, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 tbls. parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-1/2 cups water
2 cups rice
2 tsps. salt
3/4 tsp. red pepper


1. In a heavy, black-iron pot, brown sausage or seasoned beef in bacon drippings over medium-high heat. Remove browned meat from pot and set aside.

2. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a dark roux. Add onions, parsley and garlic and cook until soft.

3. Add water, rice, salt and red pepper. Return browned meat to the pot and stir.

4. When mixture comes to a boil, lower heat to lowest point and cook about 1 hour, covered tightly.

5. When rice is done, remove lid and let cook for a few minutes until rice dries a little.

Crawfish in Gold

From: Nancy Marionneaux

Serves: about 8


1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp. minced jalapeño, seeds removed, if desired
1 tbl. olive oil
1 tbl. butter
1 (8-oz.) pkg. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tbl. minced garlic
3 tbls. flour
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp. dried, crumbled thyme
1 (18-oz.) can chicken broth
1 (18-oz.) can water
1 lb. peeled crawfish tails
1 (24-oz.) pkg. yellow potatoes, sliced
2 to 3 tbls. whipping cream (optional)


1. Sauté bell pepper, onion and jalapeño, if desired, in olive oil and butter over medium heat until translucent. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook until softened.

2. Add flour and sauté 3 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, thyme, chicken broth, water and crawfish. Turn up heat a little; stir until sauce thickens slightly.

3. Add sliced potatoes and reduce heat to low. Cook, uncovered, until sauce thickens and potatoes are fork tender.

4. Add whipping cream, if desired. Garnish with parsley.

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, huge hug to current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email!

16 January 2010

This Weeks Editorial Cartoons 16 Jan 2010

From Denny: Since I changed this blog to a smaller template to accommodate the cool visually interesting background - and most blog backgrounds are configured to only fit this smaller template - now these wonderful editorial cartoons are too large to fit for proper viewing.

Every Saturday you can find editorial cartoons over at The Social Poets and I'll keep a link on the sidebar for your convenience if you forget.

So, I'm referring you to the original flagship blog that spun off this blog and a gazillion others, The Social Poets:

Haiti Earthquake - Editorial Cartoons 16 Jan 2010

This cartoon is about the late night show dilemma of two competing shows getting their time slots switched when Leno's show did not do well in an earlier time slot competing against prime time shows. To the right is the rest of the cartoon that actually makes it so funny because "the wheels are coming off" of Jay Leno's vehicle. Much funnier on a wider format template over at The Social Poets...

The Social Poets: Haiti Earthquake - Editorial Cartoons 16 Jan 2010

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15 January 2010

Paula Deens Shrimp Gumbo Casserole

From Denny: Here's an unusual but easy recipe I ran across the other day from Food Network star Paula Deen who lives in Savannah, Georgia. I've seen and cooked a lot of different styles of gumbo but never have I seen anyone choose to put a cornbread topping on it like a Shepard's Pie, very clever, and so easy! Just think, she found a way to skip the step of baking a pan of cornbread by throwing it on top of the stew. Talk about a one dish meal. The winter is the perfect time for this easy crowd pleaser and time saver dish!

From: Paula Deen, Paula's Home Cooking @ Food Network

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 45 min

Level: Easy

Serves: 6 servings



1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons House Seasoning, recipe follows
1 cup chicken or fish stock
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
10-ounce package frozen cut okra
2 cups shrimp, cleaned, peeled, and deveined


1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup milk
12-ounce package corn muffin mix


In an iron skillet, saute onion and celery in oil. Add bay leaves, thyme, lemon-pepper seasoning and House Seasoning. Pour in stock and add tomatoes and okra. Cover pot and gently simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in shrimp.

To prepare the topping, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix together egg and milk, add to muffin mix, and combine until just well-blended. Drop by tablespoonfuls on top of hot shrimp mixture, leaving the center uncovered. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.

*** Paula's Cook's Note: This Southern dish usually is prepared and served in an iron skillet, but may be cooked in a frying pan with an oven-proof handle.

*** Denny's Cook's Note: If you do use an iron skillet, make sure it is well seasoned as tomatoes have acid that can compromise that seasoning layer, putting pits in it, leaching a little too much of that iron taste into the food. After you do use an iron skillet with tomatoes or lemon acid in a dish, make sure to season it again just to make sure the pan is well sealed.

Paula's House Seasoning:

1 cup salt

1/4 cup black pepper

1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

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14 January 2010

Funny Music Video of How Americans Sound to Foreigners

From Denny: This is so funny, mainly because the lampooning Italians have us accurately nailed to the wall. If you have ever wondered what Americans sound like to others who speak different languages you will laugh at this. An Italian singer decided to write a song with nothing but gibberish to sound like it was intelligible English. Of course, the funniest thing of all is that often today's music sounds unintelligible to us as well! :) But hey, pop music is really all about the beat that makes you want to dance and have fun! ("That's my story and I'm sticking to it!" as the saying goes in America...) I guess Americans can remind themselves of the other saying: "Imitation is the greatest form of flattery." Anyway, you look at it, this little musical spoof is great fun!

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13 January 2010

5 Funny Quotes About Time

Time? Where are you, you little rascal? I'll go shoot me some Time to keep!

From Denny: Enjoy these funny quotes as a sampling of today's Mind Candy! For more grins at funny photos and quotes, go here: Funny Quotes About Time - Cheeky Quote Day! 13 Jan 2010


* When I give a lecture, I accept that people look at their watches, but what I do not tolerate is when they look at it and raise it to their ear to find out if it stopped. - Marcel Achard

* Time will explain it all. He is a talker, and needs no questioning before he speaks. - Euripides

* I would I could stand on a busy corner, hat in hand, and beg people to throw me all their wasted hours. - Bernard Berenson

* I've been on a calendar, but never on time. - Marilyn Monroe

* Time and Tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of thirty. -Robert Frost

: "Play it again, Sam!"

*** To enjoy the full post, full of funny photos too:
Funny Quotes About Time - Cheeky Quote Day! 13 Jan 2010

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, huge hug to current subscribers and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email! :)

12 January 2010

Easy Winter Comfort Food: Beef Burgundy

From Denny: This past week all across America has been in the deep freeze weather wise, brrrrr! Even I finally turned on the house heat - when it dipped below 25 degrees F. So, I was looking around the TV networks to see what they were offering as warm comfort foods to ward off the cold. The recipe of Beef Burgundy harkens back to the French culture that built Louisiana, so how fitting is this? :)

The good news is that this recipe of long cultural tradition has been examined and tweaked by none other than the esteemed cooking magazine, Cook's Illustrated. The magazine took an easy slow cooked recipe and turned it into an easy recipe step by step. The editor, Chris Kimball, is featured in the video, suggesting we let a slow cooker do all our work though the recipe is for the oven. This is a perfect relaxing kind of meal to make on the weekend when you have some time. Of course, you could just as easily make this in the slow cooker on Sunday night, refrigerate it, and then start cooking it in a slow cooker as you go off to work on Monday morning. After the busy holiday season we all need down time to relax and make our lives simpler. What could be more soul satisfying than a recipe like this?

This recipe is all about marinating the beef in red wine and aromatic winter vegetables. Take a look:

Beef Burgundy

Editor Chris Kimball

A few cooking notes and observations from Kimball if you choose to use a slow cooker:

Long hours in a slow cooker turn the foundation of beef burgundy — red wine — sour. We solved the problem by reducing the wine separately before adding it to the slow cooker, a step that mellows the harshness and acidity of the alcohol. And since slow cookers have a tendency to wash out the flavor of stew, we added a lot of garlic and thyme, a half a can of tomato paste for sweetness, and a hit of soy sauce to boost flavor and color.


Aromatic bouquet

• 4 ounces salt pork, cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks
• 10 sprigs fresh parsley, torn into pieces
• 6 sprigs fresh thyme
• 2 medium onions, chopped coarse
• 2 medium carrots, chopped coarse
• 1 medium head garlic, cloves separated and crushed
• 2 bay leaves, crumbled
• 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed


• 1 (31/2- to 4-pound) boneless beef chuck eye roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
• Salt and ground black pepper
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
• 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 (750-ml) bottle red Burgundy or Pinot Noir
• 11/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
• 11/4 cups low-sodium beef broth


• 7 ounces frozen pearl onions
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 pound white mushrooms, wiped clean and halved if small or quartered if large
• Salt
• 2 tablespoons brandy
• 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
• Ground black pepper


For the bouquet: Cook the salt pork in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until lightly browned and crisp, about 12 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the salt pork to a plate. Pour off and reserve the fat. Following the illustrations on page 102 - from the featured new cookbook "The Best Slow and Easy Recipes" - assemble the salt pork and remaining bouquet ingredients into a double-layer cheesecloth pouch and tie securely with kitchen twine.

For the stew: Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Pat the beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the rendered pork fat in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of the meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 7 to 10 minutes, reducing the heat if the pot begins to scorch. Transfer the browned beef to a medium bowl. Repeat with 1 tablespoon more rendered pork fat and the remaining beef; transfer to the bowl.

3. Add the butter to the pot and melt over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in all but 2 tablespoons of the wine, scraping up any browned bits. Gradually whisk in the broths until smooth and bring to a simmer.

4. Stir in the browned meat with any accumulated juices, submerge the aromatic bouquet in the liquid, and bring to a simmer. Cover, place the pot in the oven, and cook until the meat is tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

5. For the garnish: Bring the pearl onions, water, butter, and sugar to a boil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the onions are fully thawed and tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook until all the liquid evaporates, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, without stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir and continue to cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are browned and glazed, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

6. Remove the stew from the oven and remove the aromatic bouquet. Stir in the mushroom and onion garnish, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons wine, brandy, and parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often for a great recipe, huge hug to current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog - please subscribe in a reader or by email!

09 January 2010

Funny Editorial Cartoons 9 Jan 2010

From Denny: You knew it was going to come at us full tilt - cartoonists lampooning the airport body scan debate. Tiger Woods got lucky in this week's news cycle.

Then there are those retiring politicians on both sides of the aisle like Senator Chris Dodd. People were happy with him until he was an advocate of the odious bailout monies for Wall Street, killing his popularity and trust with the people. He had done a lot of good in his many years of office but this was a serious political miscalculation.

Cartoonists - and the public - are still asking the age old question: Hey, old boys club, where's the change you've been promising the voters? Sure looks like business as usual at Capitol Hill. Yet another athlete disappoints those who were foolish enough to put him on a pedestal in the first place. Wall Street is as cavalier as ever with everyone else but their self-absorbed selves.

Old Rush took another hit for wanting attention so badly he faked a heart attack. Guess his bloated ego just couldn't stand it that the news world tilted to Hawaii while the President was trying to have some semblance of a vacation from the fools in Washington. The CIA took it on the chin, absorbing all the intelligence criticism, when the reality is there are a good deal more agencies involved who did not do their part properly "so easy a caveman could do it." (GEICO ad, how appropos since GEICO started out as a government insurance agency.)

Take a look at this week's funny roundup and enjoy!

Body Scans and airport security

Yet another athlete

Politics and retiring politicians

The economy and lack of job satisfaction in America

*** Also: Funny New Years Resolutions Cartoons
*** THANKS for visiting!
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