Recreation Archives

It’s Breadmaking Season

One of the things that I love about fall, aside from the spectacular displays of leaves turning color (which is more impressive that I would have expected in Northeast Arkansas), is the fact that the weather is turning cool enough that baking and breadmaking can be done without turning the house into an oven in it’s own right.

One of the favorites around here has always been the classic Toll House Chocolate Chip Recipe that’s been printed on the package of Semi-Sweet chocolate chip morsels for almost forever….

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks, 1/2 pound) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups (12-ounce package) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE in preheated 375-degree [Fahrenheit] oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

The only part about making this classic recipe is the mixing part.  It’s easy enough to talk about mixing and beating and stirring but it’s entirely something else again to do it.. Especially since the cookie dough very quickly gets heavy enough that our poor handheld mixer can’t do much more than move it a little while it makes straining sounds and gets hot.

Of course this means that it’s time to fall back to elbow grease to get it mixed.  It works, but my joints aren’t what they used to be and that I have to stop when they start complaining.  Oh, it’s worth it in the end but I’d still like to have something like one of those cool looking Hamilton Beach® Mixer units that I see various tv chefs using on the food network.

In fact, looking around on their website, the Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer looks like it could become a central part of just about any kind of mixing and baking tasks.  Perhaps sometime we can get one of those fancy Eclectrics® Mixer units, at the very least to make those cookies easier to make.

 
 
 

Technorati Tags: recipe, cookie, toll+house, mixer, hamilton+beach, eclectics, baking, mixing

World Tour

Like a lot of people, one day I’d like to be able to do a bit of traveling.  Not only would I like to see a lot of places here in the good old U. S. of A., I’d also be interested in quite a number of places around the world.  for example I’d like to see the sights in cities like Jerusalem, Paris, London and a bunch more after spending some time on a travel blog to read up on destinations & such

After the initial tour through the US, one idea would be to head east, which would make London one of the early stops.  The best way to take such an extended trip would be to spend at least a couple of weeks in each place to give yourself time to do more than look over downtown London hotels, shops, museums, theaters and maybe a little bit of the surrounding countryside.

‘Course, it’s a given that before even beginning such a trip that money is not something you need to worry about.  You want to have enough to do things right instead of staying in cheap hotels and B&B’s and such unless you actually wanted to.  Personally, I’d prefer to just win the Super Lotto and set aside a couple of million for travel.  Hey, if you’re going to dream, dream big.

Technorati Tags: travel, jerusalem, london, paris, hotel, b&b, extended+trip, world+tour, money, super+lotto

Quick Look At Accomline Blog

This is a blog that’s all about travel and the accommodations you need when you get to your destination.  It appears to be operated by Accommodation Line, a worldwide site offering hotel and accommodation bookings up to a year in advance.  Their blog is a source of accommodation travel news from a variety of destinations all over the world.

There’s a lot of travel related information and accommodation news in several categories from North America to Europe and from Shopping to Strange.  Also covered is Travel Ideas.  You can read accommodation stories and reviews of hotels and other accommodations.

The blog appears to be fairly new with archives going back to July ’07 but it’s got plenty of growth potential and will no doubt become a major source of accommodation updates because the Accommodation Line website and it’s connections to literally thousands of hotels around the world.

“Earl” T-shirts?

Sometimes I get the feeling that maybe I’ve been living in a cave someplace and I’ve got that feeling once again.  I mean, I have actually heard of the ‘My Name Is Earl’ tv sitcom, but I’ve never watched it, well, because I’ve seen commercials for it.  Apparently however an awful lot of people do watch it.  Enough that Cafepress now has a full line of T-Shirts derived from the show.

There are three main designs starting with a basic “Free Earl” message (I suppose they’re assuming that you already know who Earl is and why he should be given freedom.), The next one bears the message “Hey Crabman” and is another reference that is totally lost on me.  Finally there is one bearing the single word “Karma“, which I suppose has to do with Earl’s philosophy or somesuch.  I don’t believe in Karma myself except in the Biblical sense that you reap what you sow and of course again, because I’ve never watched Earl I have no idea what any of these are talking about.

Mac Users Up For Some Poker?

Like a lot of people, I’ve played a bit of online poker…just for fun of course.  I stick strictly to the free games that are for entertainment only.  (besides, I’m not very good) I’ve also had computers and operating systems in the past that weren’t compatible with most stuff out there.

Given that, When saw the Mac Poker site, even though I’m not a Mac user, I had to take a look just for the heck of it and I have to say that it’s put together very nicely by someone who seems to have experienced first hand the difficulties in finding a Mac version of something in a world full of PC’s.  They’ve gone to a lot of work to pull together just about anything related to playing online poker games on a Mac.

They start right out with recommendations for places to play for those that just want to find a place that has a Mac version of their client program.  The first place they recommend is Fulltilt Poker, a site that I’ve played myself.  If the Mac version is anything like the Windows version then people are going to like it.  It’s just easy to use.  Plus, playing on FTP you’re liable to run into poker pros playing online.  I’ve seen people like Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer, Jennifer Harman, Allen Cunningham and other names that have been at the World Series of Poker final tables.

Another site on their list where I’ve played is PokerStars, another site with a nice clean interface that lets you get the most out of playing with the least amount of hassle whether you’re playing for real money or “play” money.

There is also a page devoted to online poker sites divided into three sections: “no download” games where you play on their website without having to download a client program to your machine.  Then there’s “download” games that have a Mac version of their client program, followed by games that Mac users need to run in a Windows Emulator.

Each of these sites listed includes a link to the site and an overall rating for that site.  There is also a link to an extensive review of the site where you can see details of how it rated on a 1 to 10 scale for 14 different categories.

In addition to helping players find places to play that are usable on a Mac and can be trusted, there is plenty of helpful resources like articles, software downloads, even where to get a Windows Emulator.  Anyone running a Mac that wants to play online poker really ought to make Mac Poker one of the first places you go.  You can save yourself a lot of aggravation in the process.

Honestly, the ONLY downside I found on the site was the link to their forum didn’t work, but I’m sure that’ll be fixed soon.

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