Cook Through — Day 1 and a Real Sense of Community at JTV and Do You Know What a Frantrum Is?

Helping Hands

Miso glazed salmon with Bok Choy and Sesame-Udon noodles from the Williams-Sonoma “Food Made Fast — Weeknights” book

Last night was a troublesome one. I worked hard in my kitchen most of the day and I was ready for my first Cook Through broadcast when I was faced with a horrible, terrible, seemingly insurmountable problem … I could not connect to my wireless network! This meant I was tethered to my Mac with just 3 ft. of ethernet cable. I not only had no ability to carry the machine to the kitchen, but I could do little more than sit at the desk by the tangle of cables that makes up my little network of printers, two machines, one Mac and one Windows machine, a cable modem for the computer and one for the phone. And of course last night, the problematic Time Capsule — the Apple combo router/backup device.

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A Deeper Dive Into the JTV Viewer Counts

High Numbers

Tonight’s dinner, a healthy all-grilled meal was stupendous!

While I was broadcasting this evening, a viewer noted how there were 38k people watching something on JTV and yet just 20 viewers in my room. I toggled over to Firefox, launched JTV and headed to the main page to see what was up. Much to my surprise, the schedules were showing up, but the bulk of the main page was white and there was a message that no featured channels were broadcasting.

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Customer Service With a Smile and a Little JTV Publicity

NOTE: I am doing battle with WordPress this morning. It is simply not cooperating. The only way I could get photos into the post was to link them as a gallery — nothing to aid in breaking up the text in this long post. Hopefully things will be back to “normal” tomorrow.

Run Aroun

I just spent the afternoon in search of what was once a common household item. Well ok, not common in big cities and urban areas perhaps, but back when things were more simple. Slower. Less stressful. Not connected

Alright, I think I better start at the beginning … a very good place to start. When you read you begin with A. B. C. when you sing you begin with … OMG! WTF? This has nothing to do with what I wanted to talk about, but yes, I do believe there were probably plenty of jars of home made, preserved jams, jellies, pickles, sauces and more. Hell, I am quite sure they had Vienna Sausages in the Von Trapp family home! And just how do you think it happened without big canning pots and tongs and packets or bottles of fruit pectin? I’m just askin’!

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An OMG! a What was I Thinking Moment, a Question, and an “Are You a JTV Maven” Contest Announced!

NOTE: This is going to be a throwback to earlier Living the Justopian Life posts where I muse about a variety of subjects and that takes time, so hunker down, curl up with a blanket or if you are in warmer climes, next to the airconditioner and settle in for a long read…

How Inconsiderate of Me!

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Back in the early days, Piglet was a big topic of JTV discussion, here he was helping me do the dishes

Let’s begin with the What was I Thinking Moment, shall we? Upon waking up, stumbling to the computer and opening WordPress to see what the traffic was like overnight, I took another look at last night’s post and realized that right there, right in the middle of a post dedicated to the plight of the hungry I posted two shots of my heaping full plate of dinner! I know that there are some out there that roll their eyes, pound their fists and stomp their feet at some of the dumb arse, non-thinking stuff I do and say, but this one even has me rolling my eyes!

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I Forgot to Tune In!!!! and an iJustine Sighting and a Little Humility Please

Monumental

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Not having a real desire for any type of food in particular I threw together an Asian inspired chicken with fried rice meal

For the first time since March 21, 2007, I forgot to load up JTV when I booted up my computer this morning! My usual routine has been to power up the computer, check mail and then head over to JTV. Not today. I didn’t realize for 2 hours. I was shutting down apps before going to get ready to spend the day out in real life when I realized there was no browser tab open for Justin.tv.

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The Competition Just Got Hotter — On the Field and Off

Breaking News!

I received a comment this morning from a reader named Blaine that raises a very good question and this is what it said:

Blaine

Hi justopia, i was wondering what you think will happen to JTV now Youtube have said they will be offering live video from this year? Do you think JTV will be around and make much money once this happens? I’m not so sure what will happen, in 5 years time we might be thinking Justin who?

http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/02/29/confirmed-live-video-on-youtube-this-year/

Well Blaine, you raise a question that will have those of us that pontificate, speculate or attempt to measure the depreciation rate of JTV scratching our heads in an attempt to figure this out.

My immediate response? JTV and the other live streaming media sites will be up against a force to be reckoned with and it’s time, right now, for all of them to make a full court press and market the hell out of their product offerings if they want to be on the scene once YouTube/Google makes their move.

Remember to continue reading after the break!

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What if they Held an Election and No One Showed Up to Vote, Closed Captioning at Justopia.com and What Are People Thinking … Or Are They?

Primary

I showed up at my new polling place this afternoon and when I was finished casting my ballot I was the only one in the room and no one else seemed to be showing up. I was expecting a crowd. I charged up the iPod, packed the headphones in my purse and prepared for a wait in line for my turn at the booth, but I walked in, saw smiling volunteers behind the desk, ready to check people off and move them along and there was no one but me to help. One woman was just finishing up and she departed as I stepped up to the empty booths. I don’t get it. No, I mean seriously, I don’t understand. I know that usually a primary doesn’t draw the numbers that the general election does, but I expected from the large voter turn outs in other states that I would see lots of people. I know that some of my friends blow it off. That they think it’s not worth their time — bah! That’s nonsense. Some of those same people think that the US is the only place to live, they don’t have an interest in vacationing outside the US. They don’t like the idea of going to a developing country because it’s just “not as good as the US.” So why pass up the right to vote when you have the means and the opportunity? I don’t get it.

Closed Captioning

ChannelZ built in closed captioning for Justopia.com and we all had fun with it tonight. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take a screen shot, so there’s nothing to show you here, but it worked really well. It’s labor intensive for the person inputting the text — as ChannelZ did tonight — but his use of creative license made it rather funny.

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Chicken Fricasseé, Chopped Broccolini with Croutons and Mushroom Pasta

He developed it for people who are hearing impaired, but it turned out to be great fun for everyone who was watching. It took me a few minutes to figure out what was going on, but eventually I catch on and when it dawned on me that I was missing out on 1/2 of the conversation I realized I needed to open the closed captioning feature. Emoticons were the big draw for Justopia.com for a long time, but I have a feeling this will be hot for a while.

Give Me a Break

After dinner I thought I’d wander down Main Street at JTV. I had not spent any measurable time in the channels in a while and wanted to see what was going on. What I ran into was a mom with two small children flashing the camera in her tequila state and episodes of Dateline NBC’s To Catch a Preditor all on the channel bar at the same time. The 28 year old mother with a 2 year old and a 4 year old running around late at night was drinking tequila and trying to settle the kids in for the night while having some broadcasting fun all at the same time. The room was going wild. I guess she flashed once or twice before I stepped into the room and the pervs wanted more.

She was quickly taken off the channel bar and I watched as most viewers attempted to goad her into more flashing, while a few were clearly unhappy with her parenting style. One of the children made his (or her) way into the laundry room a few times, only to be scooped up and carted away, leaving most of the audience hungry for more. Some of the less than supportive chatters managed to upset the broadcaster by telling her that “they” were going to take her kids away. I’m not sure who “they” is, but she was clearly worried and made note of that fact the last time she came back to the camera. Shortly after, she was banned. I felt kind of badly. She said her husband is a Marine stationed at Parris Island — probably more information than she should have given out. But it made me think. It was after midnight and he wasn’t home, so she found something to keep her occupied and it wasn’t good. As a matter of fact, it got her banned. You know, I haven’t been keeping track, but it seems to me that most of the rooms that get banned are females and in the same age range — mid to late 20’s. It makes me scratch my head and wonder, what’s going on with this generation?

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Chopped Broccolini with Fresh Toasted Croutons

I decided I needed something to write about and thought I’d pop into another room. The room was showing To Catch a Predator. It seemed somehow ironic. Each time the toddler came into the room and on camera in the other channel, it made me think — could one of these predator creeps be lurking, and just how long might it be before we see Chris Hansen profiling a case in which the predator was lured into the Dateline net via JTV?

It’s not out of the realm of possibility, is it?

Christmas Redux, Cookie Madness, and a JTV Free Day

Merry Christmas! Again…

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Ready to start the cookies

The funny thing about watching a back up of recorded shows on the DVR and not being a user of the fast forward button is that you get to experience Christmas, 2007 all over again. I’m not so sure that’s a good thing, but in a way, it’s like turning back the clock and gaining that part of your life back. It’s like stepping into a time machine that lets you start over — at least a portion of your life. You don’t get to take back money spent, or comments made or calories eaten, but you do get to take another look at things you may have missed or had not paid attention to the first time around.  I was not affected by the writer’s strike and continue not to be, but when these saved up episodes of my favorite shows is like a Christmas present and seeing as I didn’t get any presents this year, it’s a little gift in February.

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I’m still working on November, so the Christmas season is barely upon me. I remember saying how nice it was not to be bombarded by ads and music and the jolliness of the season and now I am subjecting myself to it. Now, it’s easy to avoid all that holiday merriment, but I am kind of enjoying it. It’s like my own private holiday — one that I don’t even celebrate!

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Having a Gray’s Anatomy marathon today allowed for knitting, baking, reading, and thinking about something other than the world of lifecasting and what’s on on in JTV-land. It was filled with iPhones and jewelry and greeting cards and hams and cookies and all the fun and deliciousness that goes with the holiday. It was the holiday without the rush and crush and the feeling that I had better get out and join in the compulsive consumerism of the season.

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In complete contradiction to this is the death and despair and mostly sad moments mixed with some brevity during the Grey’s Anatomy lollapalooza I am still wrapped up in. It brings me back to reality, and the fact that today is February 11, 2008.

Dozens and Dozens

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Norah, of the familiar face in the JTV offices (when Justin was lifecasting and the OfficeCam was broadcasting) has been under the weather of late and I thought that since she’s a proclaimed cookie lover I would send off a batch of chocolate chip cookies to help cheer her up. Of course, if I send cookies to Norah, Jacob would get to partake, but it doesn’t end there. How could I ship cookies to Norah by way of the JTV office without baking some for the rest of the gang?

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So I cleared up the kitchen counters and baked. And I baked and I baked some more. I baked until I had a big box of cookies and 5 dozen more in the freezer waiting to be baked.

As of right now I don’t want to see another chocolate chip cookie for a long long time! 🙂 I’m hoping they like ’em.

No Computer Sunday

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I decided that I needed to do something other than spend the day on the computer, so I did just that. I went out to pick up the things I needed for the cookies and the knitting and the cake and to drop off a bottle of rum extract to the store for a Bananas Foster Trifle, and … good grief I think I need a white board to keep this all straight! Does anyone have any post it notes?!

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Oh yeah, and the only thing that would work to wrap the cookies was a plastic Christmas bag! Ho! Ho! Ho!

I’m Overwhelmed!

More Than I Can Chew

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What am I thinking!? Full course dinners six to seven nights a week. Work. Knitting, felting and finishing handbags for a few, but eager customers. And this blog. Did I mention surfing JTV and maybe watching a little TV from time to time? Throw a movie and dinner or lunch once in a while and, Wham! You have a recipe for exhaustion and burn out.

Oh yeah, and did I mention I have MS? Yeah, well I do. It’s not a problem really, but if I keep up this schedule of working and playing nearly around the clock daily it might become one. That said, I am going to finish up some work I need to do and head to bed. Tonight on Justopia.com we made a DEElicious, yet ingredient-heavy Italian meal. For a while I was worrried that the clean up was going to take as long at the prep, but luckily I was out of there in 20 minutes.

We had spaghetti bolognese, toasted eggplant, caesar salad and olive bread with cannelini bean spread. Wow! That’s a mouthful, but it sure was tasty.

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Changes

The JTV team has been very hard at work making changes and improvements. Tonight as I was up to my elbows in garlic and tomatoes, there was a hiccup in chat and when it came back, there were additions to chat on JTV and to the Broadcaster Tool. The tool that we use to launch our lifecasts. Good changes. Helpful changes. Some of it, I think, has been asked for by viewers and broadcasters. There is now a “Clear Room” function which I’d imagine will help during those times when a room is being raided. Rather than a moderator having to clear out the mess, the channel operator can clear the room and start over. I’m not 100% sure this is what is supposed to happen though. I checked out the JTV blog and it mentions most of the other features, but not this one.

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A feature that’s sure to be a hit with many is the “Send Highlight to YouTube” function. It’s simple. I just tried it and am awaiting email confirmation from YouTube that the highlight was successfully uploaded. It’s a cool idea, one that will be a big hit, I’m sure.

JTV has been around less than a year and there have been some great improvements recently. It’s good to see that the creativity and innovation is not stagnant. I think that the weekly broadcast Phil does with viewers and broadcasters has been a good thing also. It seems that they are taking suggestions from those that participate seriously and from what Phil has said, some of these changes were viewer/broadcaster initiated requests.

We’ll see what the future brings. On Justopia.com, ChannelZ, who so tirelessly and graciously works on the site is continuously looking for ways to improve and enhance what we bring to you each night. Suggestions and comments are welcome.

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 π — Apple π 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 350º – 360º 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 350º
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.  If I can’t tear myself away from JTV entirely for the day, a change of venu is a good first step.  🙂

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? 🙂 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 🙂

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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. 😉

Guest Who’s Came to Dinner! There Were Two of Them — Guests, that is, An Attempt at Vegan Chili, Crazy Drama on JTV, and … Tag! You’re it.

Friends

So, in the same vein as a number of my recent posts, I am going to tell the story of last night’s show in retrospect. In focusing on getting something posted before I head off to bed each night … err, morning, I head over to JTV to see what’s going on that may be of interest as I am uploading and resizing and then posting the links to my WordPress storage space. It’s become a kind of exercise in busy-work to help me find my words and to get something up there so that when the blog readers crawl, it at least feeds you something to look forward to. That is, if you subscribe.

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Bunny, who is soooo not a pink person, at the ready, waiting to dig into our DEElicious meal!

Last night’s show was some production though and I needed a good night’s sleep before I came back and sat down to “pen” a recap of our India Night with a Guest. Now that I’ve had solid NINE hours of sleep, let’s talk about how things went last night in Justopia. It was a great, albeit a little hectic, night of fun, food and even family!

One of the people I work with was talking about a chicken dish her childhood friend’s mom, who is from India, used to make. She said she really liked it and would love to have it again. I told her I would be making Indian food again this week and we decided she should come over and help, that she should be the evening’s sous chef.

And so Bunny, as we called her last night, arrived at 7:30 and we got started right away, beginning with naan, an Indian flat bread. I was rather “directionally challenged” as my feisty helper pointed out, and she was not talking about knowing north from south, east or west. I could not follow the naan recipe to save my life and as a result, if Bunny had not been around, the naan would have been a horrible mess and we would have been without a starch to round out our DEElicious meal. It was Bunny to the rescue! I like putting Bunny in bold pink.

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Daal, Tomato, Onions, Radishes and Harrisa Salad

More Courses

The dinner consisted of four courses and many ingredients and with two people in the kitchen it could have gotten unwieldy to prepare Buttered Chicken, Naan, Daal and a Tomato, Radish, Onion and Blood Orange Salad, but we managed to do it without stepping on each other’s toes, or getting burned or breaking anything — at all! Hell, I do that on an almost weekly basis without any help at all, so this was quite an accomplishment.

Be My Guest

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My attempt at Vegan Chili

A while into the broadcast I heard Bunny say, “Hi mom?” With a real question mark in her voice. I was in the middle of slicing tomatoes or kneading dough or something and couldn’t look up to check out the chat room right away, but when I did I caught Syrrus making the comment and realized right away that it was #1 son. Before I disclosed this Justopian life to my boys, I had to come up with a way to refer to them on the broadcast and birth order is what hit me. Syrrus was born first and so #1 son just rolled off my lips when I started lifecasting, but now that I’ve got a username to identify him with, we can drop the #1 thing. 🙂

It was great having Syrrus with us and if we can get #2 son to join us, all will be right with the world. Well, until my sister or parents want to make a visit. Then I’ll have to decide if it’s time to come clean with the rest of the family or if I scramble to move the big lug of a computer and the monitor and camera and bare lamp all back to their rightful homes. Oh but that could be a little problem. See, the computer has no home other than the kitchen. Well, I am sure I can hide it in a closet.

I think the decision — whether to tell everyone about justopia.com or not will come fairly quickly. I suspect my sister will be making a trip down here in the not too distant future. Stay tuned for more details.

All in all, the meal was a success — DEElicious, we had fun doing the show together and I think we’ll see Bunny back for more broadcasts sometime in the future.

Who’s on First?

I tuned into OmegaJ after the show tonight and although his broadcast quality was in the toilet, I could make out Laggie’s voice between the technical stuttering. She did not appear to be happy at all, and it was excruciating. He tried to revive the quality, but it just was not happening. I think he’s mentioned that he kind of borrows his neighbors broadband so I’d imagine that could be a problem when trying to lifecast. Some thought it was that he was running WebCamMax, but I did not care, as soon as Laggie put up her broadcast I ran for it. I wanted to hear what all the drama was about, but it was a bit hard to make out at first.

I guess the long and the short of it is that datguyscott was broadcasting and someone (not sure who exactly) did something to put his job in jeopardy. As you may or may not know, Scott is a sex phone operator and he broadcasts some of his calls on his JTV channel.

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Now, whether it’s appropriate to broadcast on according to JTV’s Terms of Service is not my business. Justin and team can make the decision on that one and from what I now understand, they have and it’s cool. If Scott has permission from his callers or his employer (if he is not self-employed) is also not my business. I don’t control him. He owes me nothing. I had noticed that he has not been in justopia.com for a little while and from what I heard on OmegaJ and Laggies’ channels tonight, there was a “to do” about Scott broadcasting and some are worried that it’s biting into his livelihood. Laggie said point blank that it’s not right and that she would advise him as such, but I’m not sure where any viewer has the responsibility to manage another channel owner’s content or the protection of the channel owner’s callers.

This odd sense of purpose is not unlike the perceived power some moderators have. This is Justin.tv and as EastCoastVegas so eloquently pointed out in Laggie’s channel this morning — it will likely all blow over, and JTV has all of about 1200 viewers, 300 of which are probably fake viewers, so not to worry, this to shall pass.

What is disturbing is how upset Laggie has become. She said that she was besieged by well over 100 pieces of hate mail after the Friday night ECV big announcement broadcast from her home when, by the way, she was as sick as a dog. She was pretty emotional most of the night, but by the end she seemed to perk up a little bit and was not talking about retiring her broadcast any longer.

You know how they say things are always more severe at night? Well, I suspect this will shake out in the next few days.

Interesting Concept

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Mashed Avocado and Fried Corn Tortillas in a bowl of Chilli

A new Justopian Life reader, Lekhni, of The Imagined Universe, published a blog post today that I found interesting. Since you’re blog-readers, I thought I’d tag her back and send you over to her space. She writes well and has a fun post about making samosas which is very timely since we had another India night at Justopia.com last night. I have spoken on the show and in the blog in the past about my appreciation of Indian authors for their attention to detail and their ability to take me into another world and Lekhni seems to have that skill as well. I look forward to reading more of The Imagined Universe.

Food from Far Off Places

Nothing to Watch

Sometimes there’s just so little to watch in the .tv/lifecasting world. I was on JTV this morning looking for something to watch, but came up empty — again. I sure wish someone would take a trip and bring us along. It’s been months since Nekomimi_Lisa too us to Japan and it would be great if someone else would bring us along on their travels.

I’d like to get a mobile set up and take people to Washington, DC, but at this point it’s an expense I’m not willing to make. I still think about the potential this medium has for the entrepreneurial sort. I can totally see booking travel plans for a vacation after watching a channel that provides information on travel destinations.

How about live streaming video of a resort for destination wedding planning? The stress of a wedding is never easy and many plan destination weddings, but if you’ve only seen the destination from a brochure or a description on a static website, it would be so helpful for the team handling your big day to communicate with you live. It could really add a comfort factor to the bride and groom-to-be’s state of mind.

Then there’s the benefit to realtors and prospective home-buyers. Imagine being on the hunt for a new house, but you live hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Before spending the time and money to travel to the new place you plan to live, check out the neighborhoods and housing available live — online!

There is just so much potential with lifecasting, but there are so few that have really begun to tap into it. The future is wide open, and I think it’s bright.

A Trip to China and to India

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Kung Pao Chicken and Sauteed Spinach.
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And on to the sub continent

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Buttered Chicken, Daal, Naan and a Salad of Tomatoes, Radishes, Onions and Blood Oranges in a Vinaigrette

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What’s Wrong With Me? A Night Out. A Little Promotion Courtesy of EastCoastVegas. And a Couple of Not-to-be-Missed Recipes!

To Sleep, or Not

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Incredibly decadent slow cooked chocolate French toast

What’s wrong with me? I went to bed at midnight .. yes! M-I-D-N-I-G-H-T! A time BEFORE 3am and I woke up at … 6:23am! Why did that happen? This means that for the next 5 days to a week or more I will be waking up at 6:23am no matter what time I go to bed. I don’t know how or why this happens, it just does. It is as though I wake up, look at the clock to see what time it is and go back to sleep just so I can wake up at the same time I did the day before just for the heck of it. It’s like sleep-waking. I remember nothing of the waking up part to check on the time until that mysteriously magical time when my head says — Ah! It’s 6:23 (or whatever time is the current “wake up” time for me), time to get up!

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It makes no sense. I tried hard to get more than 6-ish hours of sleep, but it just wasn’t happening. Of course, that could account for the reason I spent most of the day reading, knitting, writing, uploading photos and creating recipes and slideshows. I barely moved from the couch, but now it’s time to race around and get ready to head out and meet a friend for dinner.

I am really looking forward to our night out. We haven’t gotten to sit and gab for a few months and it’s long overdue.

Then I’m going to come home … driving in the dark is also something I have not done in months and not something I have ever done in this new, barely used little car I downsized to a few months ago, but I’m sure I’ll be fine. REALLY! I’ll be FINE!

Back Safe and Sound

Here I am again, just where I left myself 3 hours ago — on the couch with my laptop perched on my lap, tapping the keyboard in an attempt to communicate and to make interesting, non-boring sense of things and perhaps provide a modicum of information with a dash of humor laced in.

While dining at the ever-popular Macaroni Grill tonight, friend and I … I have italicized her name because I don’t want to keep referring to her as just any old noun, but I also want to respect her privacy and identity so for now, she will be, simply, friend — the color choice a perfect match for her beautiful hair. I think I will refer to friend’s husband in this color, because of his fiery South American-ness. Yes, this is the perfect, if not a bit labor-intensive way to refer to my friend and friend’s husband. Anyway, it turns out that both are fans of Justopia Cooks on justopia.com and friend is also a loyal reader of this blog. Both of these friends (notice they are not italicized or color coordinated because in this case I do mean to reference a common noun) are well acquainted with my global nomad-esque life and life at AOL and in the 12 years I spent there, the three of us had the fortune of working together for years, mostly outside of the US — India, Argentina and Mexico, to be specific.

We have fond memories of the place and one of the three of us is still lucky enough to be toiling away there, while a 2nd is now working for the parent company and one of us is a couch-sitting, blogging, home cooking show broadcasting, Williams-Sonoma working, eccentric. A motley crew we make, no?

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I didn’t end up using the Crock Pot® It was too small or my All Clad ramekin, so I put it in my beautiful All Clad Dutch oven and slipped it into a 200º ove, which worked beautifully!

Anyway, friend and I were chatting about the show and the blog and it turns out that while friend has mentioned to people that I am out here in the digital world broadcasting part of my life each night from 9pm – 11pm Eastern, full details have not been disclosed. And this makes sense. I had kept justopia.com and justopia.wordpress.com big secrets until just recently. But that’s what friends do — they hold confidences when asked or when it seems the right thing to do.

But now that I have begun to disclose my online whereabouts to anyone that will listen, I gave her the green light to let the legions of AOL employees that I was friends or acquaintances with at AOL somewhere in the span of a dozen years in on my online life. Ok, so there are no longer legions of employees left, but even a few dozen new viewers and readers will make me smile. Hell, tell whomever is leading AOL and Member Services now. As you can see, I don’t pay much attention to those details nowadays. My focus is on Chuck Sonoma, All Clad, Staub, Shun, Breville, and more products and people in the realm of all things culinary and retail.

A Plug from EastCoastVegas’ Twitter Account Tonight!

I was looking at blog stats a little while ago and noticed a few hits from EastCoastVegas’ twitter account. I scratched my head and thought … hmmm… what’s up here and clicked my way to Twitter where I found this little surprise!

Ecv_ii_bigger eastcoastvegas

Tired of Google? I use https://justopia.wordpress.com and love it!

from txt

Any promotion is good promotion as far as I’m concerned. The more people that come to the show and the blog, the more chances of people not eating at McDonald’s and Pizza Hut all the time. Just a little bit of inspiration and initiative and more people might be eating DEElicious food made right in their own kitchens!

And yes, I was disappointed with Friday night’s big announcement on ECV’s justin.tv channel, but it’s yesterday’s news and we are about to embark on a new week where all the fun and frivolity of Mardi Gras and the march to Easter and Spring begin. That said, I think it’s time for me to head out to my favorite food blog and cooking sites to see what I might find for inspiration for a Mardi Gras show. Oh! And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter. I don’t send many tweets, but I do alert as I launch the broadcast each night which many find a helpful reminder.

Oh! Speaking of planned shows … friend had a GREAT suggestion for a pre-Valentine’s Day show. I won’t disclose just yet, but be on the lookout for something fun and in the spirit of cupid and romance for single — or not — Justopians and Justopia.com viewers.

That said, let’s get on with some DEElicious dishes.

Chicken with Lemons, Garlic and Tarragon

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• 4 chicken legs and/or thighs
• 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
• 10 cloves of garlic, lightly smashed
• 1 lemon, quartered or cut into large chunks
• 4 cups of chicken stock
• ¼ cup white wine
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 1 teaspoon tarragon
• Salt and Pepper to taste

In a saucepan, bring chicken stock and garlic to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 45 minutes. If liquid is evaporating too quickly, cover. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan and cook chicken until golden brown on all sides. Remove to roasting pan or Dutch oven, reserving oil in the pan. Remove chicken to the roasting pan, adding garlic and lemon.

Add flour to the remaining oil and stir until light brown in color. Add the wine and stir until combined, then add reserved chicken stock and stirring until lightly thickened. Pour over baking pan with chicken, garlic and lemon.

Roast for 1 hour, until chicken is tender and lemon is well cooked and incorporated into the chicken mixture.

Cooking time: 2 hours
Serves: 2

Slow Cooked Decadent Chocolate French Toast – Adapted from Crock Pot® Recipe Collection 2/19

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Eggs, Half & Half, Sugar and Vanlla = Custard

• 3 slices thick-sliced bread such as challah or pannetone with
• ½ cup semi sweet morsels
• 3 eggs
• 2 cups half and half
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ½ tablespoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
• Powdered sugar
• 1 tablespoons toasted, chopped pecans or walnuts
• Lightly sweetened cream for whipping (optional)

Preheat oven to 200º

Whisk eggs, half and half, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and set aside.

Butter large ramekin or other heat-proof baking dish that can fit in a Dutch oven or covered casserole. Place one slice of bread in and add ½ of the semi sweet morsels on top, taking care that the morsels do not spill over the sides.

Layer with another piece of bread, topping with the remaining morsels and top with the 3rd slice of bread.

Pour the egg, half and half, sugar and vanilla (custard) mixture on top of the layered bread and let soak for 10 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed by the bread.

Cover with buttered aluminum foil and place into Dutch oven or casserole. Carefully pour in 1 inch of water. Cover and bake for 2 to 3 hours or until no dough remains on a knife or toothpick when inserted. The French toast will rise like a soufflé and quickly flatten once the cover is removed.

Dust with powdered sugar and add nuts. If you are feeling more decadent (it’s hard to believe it could get any more-so, add fresh whipped cream!