Maybe it Needed the Exclamation Point? live.yahoo!.com

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After reading the justintvgossip blog I took another trip to live.yahoo.com to see what was going on and to see if I could find Bradman since yourstruly was unable to. As I mentioned in a recent post, I set up a channel there myself a few days ago. It was easy to set up and to broadcast, but after about 30 seconds of trying it out I was done. I like to see and try everything new, but it held no real attraction for me. I’ve got justopia.com and I’m very happy there, thank you very much.

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Out of Sorts

Catharsis

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Knitted, sewn together and felted (washed in hot water to shrink) and trimmed — the purse and change purse are done!

For some, a drink, a cigarette, a good session with an axe and a bunch of logs is a cathartic experience, one that helps to release emotional tension and that restores and refreshes the spirit. For some it’s the act of eating food or going for a long walk. The task is as individual as the person. For me, knitting, needlepointing, creating with my hands — cooking and eminently, writing all help me to clear my head. They help me to work through what is gnawing at me, causing me to dream less than pleasant dreams, to grit and grind my teeth at night and to get worked into a dither.

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Using What’s in the Fridge and Pantry, The Naked Cowboy in the News and Which Broadcasters Have Fled to Live.Yahoo!?

Made Over Left Overs

I’ve been spending far too much money on food in the past 5 months — since I began broadcasting and from time to time I just open the fridge and the freezer and the pantry and see what I can put together from the ingredients I have at my fingertips. I didn’t know what I felt like having and as I thought about it during the day at work an idea began to formulate.

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Happy Hallmark Holiday

Woe is Me

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Beef Soup with White Beans and Fire Roasted Tomatoes

I’d say that the general consensus that the Christmas holiday season is the toughest time for singles is not entirely accurate. I don’t feel any worse during Christmas because I live alone or have no family around or often do nothing different on December 25th then I do on December 26th. It’s not a holiday I celebrate, and while most of America does, there are large numbers that don’t, and contrary to popular belief, it’s just not a big deal to some of us.

On the other hand, when Valentine’s Day rolls around and once again I am destined to spend the day alone with no prospect of a romantic candlelit dinner or a card or sublime sentiment, I do feel like I’ve missed out on something. It’s much tougher to spend the night alone on February 14th than on December 24th or 25th. I am happy that this year I will have, no matter how virtual, a group of people to spend the evening with. The numbers fluctuate. Some nights there are few and others we see a bit more respectable numbers of viewers, but those that are there night after night help make the alone-ness in life on Valentine’s Day more bearable.

I go on about how I am happy to be single and I mean it. Really, I do. But today, for whatever reason I am not happy to be alone. It’s most likely the fact that I went to the movies to see Definitely, Maybe this afternoon. Not a great movie, definitely a chick flick, not maybe. No two ways about it. I knew what I was getting myself into, but I went anyway.

I made a DEElicious pot of beef-vegetable soup and when it came time to broadcast the show was a technical disaster. I am not sure if it was the changes made to JTV today or if it was my Mac, but it wasn’t much fun and the viewers had to endure the attack of the repeating episode during the broadcast. I think if they heard, “Ok, the Twitter has been sent” too many more times they were going to revolt.

But that’s how technology rolls sometimes. It’s not always perfect. It’s not always smooth. This is relatively new technology and Justopia.com usually rocks. Justin.tv has been quite stable in recent weeks as well, but tonight was a challenge. So we try again tomorrow and I am hoping for a good night. A night free of cupid and his or her arrows and free of technical glitches.

OMG! It was Piefection. A Comfort Food Night at Justopia.com

Comfort Food

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I know, I know. It’s not good for me — you — anyone. But I was in the need for some comfort food. Ok, so a light bulb moment, right? A clear indicator that I use food to make myself feel better. Yes, it’s temporary. Yes, it’s bad for your health in all different ways, but when I need instant gratification, cooking does the trick, at least for a little while.

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I was sleep deprived and just feeling a little low today. Ok, so maybe it’s been the past few days, as you probably picked up from my last post, but today I decided I needed a pick-me-up. I was out surfing the food blog world and saw a post or two with photos of fried chicken. I had defrosted chicken thighs and legs and was stumped for what to do with them. I pulled out my Tagine and quickly decided that Moroccan food was not what I was in the mood for. I thought about chicken with lemons and garlic, but how many times am I going to make that on Justopia.com? I mean seriously, enough already with the lemons and garlic! So as soon as I spotted the fried chicken on Smittenkitchen.com my mind was made up. I knew I just had to have fried chicken for dinner.

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I had noted on the schedule that I was going to make Ο€ — Apple Ο€ to be exact, but since it would take over an hour to bake once I had the dough together, I decided to broadcast dinner. And I’m happy I did. One of the greatest pleasures I get in life is feeding people and since I don’t have much opportunity to have people over these days, it’s fun for me to have company virtually for dinner each night. It’s a shame there is no smell-o-vision or taste-o-vision yet, but trust me when I tell you, the house smells like paradise each night.

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Fried Chicken, Red Beans and Rice and Broccoli Salad with a Honey/Lime dipping sauce

I’d wanted to have a restaurant for years, but never took the plunge, so this is my way of doing it … digitally. For a lot less money, no staffing issues, no board of health problems, no facility overhead and no food sent back to the kitchen! Justopia.com and Justin.tv have given me the opportunity to live part of my culinary dream and to connect with some great people — all the people that view the broadcast or that are involved with putting it together and keeping it running smoothly.

Where Are They?

What was kind of sad tonight was that I had been asked time and again to make pie, and sometimes to make apple pie, specifically, but those that had made the numerous requests were not here to watch tonight. 😦 The good news, many Justopia.com regulars were there to join in on the fun. Thank you!

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Fried Chicken

  • 4 chicken legs, 4 chicken thighs (or whatever cut of chicken you prefer)
  • Flour to coat
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • Oil for frying — I like to use peanut oil for it’s flavor and high smoke point

I have found that it’s helpful to set a baking pan on the counter with a silicone mat or parchment paper and a bakers rack on top. After coating the chicken, simply place the pieces on the rack and let sit to settle for at least 30 minutes or in the fridge longer.

After rinsing the chicken under cold water, pat dry so that no water remains. Add buttermilk to a large bowl and flour to another bowl. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk and then into the flour and place on the baker’s rack.

Heat a large deep sided pan on the stove top until it reaches between 350ΒΊ – 360ΒΊ and begin frying the chicken, taking care not to crowd the pan or reducing the heat with too much chicken. Use a button thermometer to test for doneness.

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Apple Pie

Basic Pie Dough Recipe

  • 1 1/4 all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1/4 teaspsoon salt

This recipe makes enough for 1 portion of pie dough. Double the recipe for a top crust.
In a mixer with the paddle blade, stir the flower, sugar and salt. Add the butter and stir to coat the cubes before mixing on medium low until the mixture resembles peas. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time and mix just until dough comes together. Do not mix too long or the dough will become too warm and will not be flaky.

Dust a work surface with flour and transfer the dough. Form the dough into a disk and roll out to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Do not warm up the dough by rolling too hard ot roo much. Once the size of your pie pan place in the bottom of the pan. Put in the refrigerator to chill for at least and hour. If you are making a top crust, be sure to remove the dough before filling the pie so that you can cover the filling without breaking the crust.

Filling

  • 4 large apples — I use Granny Smith for their snap and tart taste
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice — orange juice works well also
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg or allspice
  • 1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado, raw or demarra sugar

Heat oven to 350ΒΊ
In a bowl, mix sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon and allspice. Core, peel and cut the apples into thick slices or 1 inch dice. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Place apples in a large bowl and coat with mixture of dry ingredients. Top with butter pieces.

Fill the pie with apple mixture and cover with top crust. Brush crust with egg whites and finish with a sprinkling of turbinado sugar. Place on middle rack and bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until filling is bubbling.

Slip Sliding Away

Where Did the Time Go?

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This was a recipe for Beef and Pepper Lo Mein that I tested for Cook’s Illustrated and as I suspected from the info and recipe it was bland and uninteresting. Boo

OMG! I’m living in yesterday. I came home from a very early and physically exhausting day at work and settled into an afternoon of watching TV from the well worn right-hand seat on the soft, homey, welcoming couch. I’d been recording all of my favorite shows from the beginning of the fall season and had watched just one episode of one show recently. I decided that today was the day I would make a small dent in the shows waiting in the queue for me rather then sitting around looking for something to entertain me on JTV.

Smart move, but a bit of an eye-opener. While hunkering down to episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, I began to see ads for television shows I’d never heard of. What’s this, Women’s Murder Club? Or Big Shots? And Christina Applegate’s new show Samantha Who? And these are just the shows on ABC. I haven’t taken a dive into the NBC shows I have queued up, but I bet there are a slew of new ones I missed for lack of staying informed.

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The recipe called for far too much volume in noodles …the ratios were off

My total immersion into JTV, a nightly broadcast and the job has left me with a blank spot. A scary, deep, dark hole. As I watched the commercials fly by (you see, I don’t use the fast forward button on the remote), it felt as though I was seeing a recording of my life on an old fashioned reel to reel tape player and there were parts of it missing. As though the tape broke at some point and was edited to put it back to piece, but portions of time were left on the editing room floor. I’ve missed out on the Samsung Juke and Comcast Triple Play offerings, all those Christmas ads I thought I had so cleverly avoided are coming back to haunt me now with TV show reruns.

And just who was the winner of the CMA Awards anyway?

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I made a salad with lots of toasted coconut to punch up the dinner

Pretty soon I’ll be at the end of the list of recorded episodes of Grey’s. I heard there was a writer’s strike? I am going to be looking for a FOX channel up on the bar tomorrow to see if they will broadcast the behind the scenes action in one of the Super Tuesday primary states.

I really thought Justin.tv was going to be more active on the political campaign front seeing as how Michael is interested in politics and mentioned in an interview many months ago that he may have an interest in running for office one day. I thought surely that would amp things up in the political campaign arena, but to date, we have just seen Ron Paul channels.

Whatever happens tomorrow, I think I will take my laptop out for a spin to a place with WiFi connectivity and get some fresh air and a change of scenery.Β  If I can’t tear myself away from JTV entirely for the day, a change of venu is a good first step.Β  πŸ™‚

Superbowl XLll– What More is there to Say?

Plenty

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The Control Room in one of the FOX trucks

So there I was, sitting on the couch, waiting for my osso buco to roast to golden deliciousness and thinking about what to write about while I sat in silence, my plasma TV dark. See, I have no interest in watching football. I know, I’m un-American. I am not one of the huddled masses when it comes to sports. My interest in the game was limited to getting the order I’d taken for Fried Wontons delivered on time for a Super Bowl party it was going to, until just before game time, that is. I decided to check in on JTV and there, in front of my eyes was a FOX icon up on the channel bar. It was not in the #1 spot, but it was just a few away from it. I sauntered on over and walked in and saw a four camera shot from what looked and sounded like the control room at FOX.

Interesting.

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I watched as the team in the control room put on television for all the Super Bowl fans that were interested in the behind the scenes activit. I looked up and noticed another Super Bowl icon on the channel bar. This time in the #1 position. When I headed in, the game was just about to kick off, people were “chanting” for the game to come on and most importantly, the feed was horrible. Compared to the backstage channel, it was a miserable broadcast. I’m not sure why anyone would want to watch this broadcast? Audio was good, but video was miserable. It’s not like the commercials were suppressed for those that thought they could watch the game on JTV without. And why wouldn’t you want the commercials? Isn’t that one of the big draws? πŸ™‚ Ok, maybe there actually are people that want to see sweaty men running up and down a field chasing a ball. I don’t know.

Whatever it was, I had the feeling it wasn’t an NFL sanctioned broadcast.

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Meanwhile, back in the control room, the team was busy at work. They were looking for celebrities in the stands and calling out box numbers for the people behind the cameras to use to find shots of people that viewers would find interesting — John Travolta, Gizelle, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, Jim Carey and more. We’d hear them directing the shots and moments later the person would appear on my television screen.

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Yikes! Time to go back to the drawing board on the blog post? Naaah..

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Clearly, GeorgeW likes playing with his colleagues πŸ™‚

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GeorgeW, the FOX employee that seemed to be the JTV channel owner stayed on for a few minutes after the game and said that he launched the channel to give friends and family a chance to see him at work and at the end of the game he said that without football to broadcast, it looks like all that is left is Super Tuesday. I am all in for that!

Oh wait! On FOX? Naaah, I think I’ll skip it. πŸ˜‰