Just in Time for Holiday Shopping!

Have you noticed the comics shop button over there on the sidebar? Have you clicked it? No? Well, whether you’ve got just a few more folks on your gift list unaccounted for or you haven’t even started, head on over to my eCrater store at

http://randomactscomics.ecrater.com

and see if there’s just the thing you were looking for right at your fingertips counter strike 1.6 kostenlosen vollversion deutsch! In addition to the Year 1 book and some book-exclusive original art, there’s also handmade jewelry (all one of a kind) and my mini martini glasses android musik herunterladen. So go take a look!

Speaking of original art, almost all of the strips from Year 1 (May 1, 2007, to April 29, 2008) are available for sale hoe fotos downloaden van iphone. Since it’s going to take a bit of time to add buy buttons to each of those first 90-plus pieces of art, if there’s something you’re interested in, just email the date to randomactscomics@gmail.com and I’ll get right back to you with price and availability (average is $20–a steal!) ego shooter free full version german pc.

And, finally, if anyone is wondering what *I* want for Christmas, well, I’d love a fully-funded status for What to Feed Your Raiding Party herunterladen. If you’ve read about the project and thought ‘hey, that sounds cool’ or even ‘I’d buy it’ please consider making a pledge this month towards it becoming a reality android sprachdateien herunterladen. There are plently of pledge levels and each comes with it’s own reward. The most popular seems to be the $30 level which includes getting a recipe named after you (or one of your gaming characters or even after a friend or relative who’d find it really cool to be in a cookbook!) but it’s certainly not the only way to go; $7 gets you a pdf copy of the book, $12 a physical copy and $22 an Artist’s edition–it’s like a discounted pre-order on steroids (but without all those negative side effects) super mario.

Turkey Gumbo

Everyone has their own favorite ways of using up the leftover Thanksgiving turkey. In our family, it’s steaming turkey gumbo ladled over a pile of fluffy white rice herunterladen. (Yes, I know, brown rice is healthier but this is a once a year thing, folks; fluffy and brown rice don’t meat too often as far as I know!)

There are as many different ways to make gumbo as their are people who make it herunterladen. Here’s my way.

Turkey & Sausage Gumbo

First you make a roux from

2/3 c olive oil
2/3 c flour

Cooking to just past blond stage–enough to cook the flour completely and develop a little thickening power but without adding too much color to the gumbo Downloading language package does not work.

Add in

2 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 green onions, chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced

and cook for 5-10 minutes before adding

1 lb (or more) smoked sausage, sliced
1 turkey carcass with some meat left on the bones
2 smoked turkey wings (optional)
2 Tbsp parsley
1 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 c white wine

and then enough water to cover the works word für mac kostenlos. For very large turkey carcasses you may need to break it in half so as not to water-down the gumbo just to cover all the pieces.

Simmer for 45 minutes or so, then add

2 cups of cooked turkey, or whatever you have left

and continue to cook for 15 minutes bandicam kostenlos vollversionen.

Remove from the heat and stir in

3 Tbsp file powder

and let sit for 5 minutes before serving over white rice.

Mom’s the one who likes to use the smoked turkey wings, especially if we’re shy on actual leftover turkey besides the carcass herunterladen. (I know, carcass isn’t a very appetizing word but it makes a very appetizing soup!)

Meet the Reds: Pinot Noir

I saved my favorite for last. Yes, I’ve been on a serious Noir kick for the last few years and, once again, it has nothing to do with a certain wine movie I’ve yet to watch alle windows 7 updates herunterladen. Although, if that had anything to do with Pinot Noirs being easier to find, then, okay, maybe it has a little something to do with it.

As a grape, Pinot is another farmed in the Burgundy region of France as well as Champagne–according to one source 75% of Champagne is produced by Pinot Noir grapes aimp kostenlos downloaden. It’s grown all over Europe, actually, as well as in the States but it does tend to be a finicky grape, high maintenance in soil requirements and enjoys a later harvest than others so many vintners consider it a difficult grape herunterladen. I think the rewards far outweight the cost.

My love of Pinot Noir came quite by chance. I was browsing the wine aisles of my local World Market when I saw a fun-looking label featuring the See/Hear/Speak No Evil monkeys, that wine was named Pinot Evil (think about it, maybe say it aloud for the joke to kick in) herunterladen. Now, I know certain wine experts have said that anything with an animal on the label isn’t worth drinking but I found this Pinot Noir to be quite delicious, especially for $6.99 microsoft outlook free download windows 7. The label describes it as “velvety” and I couldn’t agree more. But, hearkening to other reviews I’ve read, do let it breathe for about an hour or so before drinking it spiegel app kostenlos downloaden. Goes well with almost anything, in our house.

Another good Pinot, this one from California (Pinot Evil is a French Import), comes from Echelon Vineyards in Napa herunterladen. Carried by our favorite local steakhouse (and retailing for about $10.99 at World Market), it comes off a little sharper than the Pinot Evil but still with the dry dry red characteristics and a bit of spice herunterladen. Obviously it goes well with steaks and pork chops, but anything rich and saucy would do well with this pairing.

Menu Planning

Since we talked quantity last week, let’s talk quality now!

Here are some qualities of a properly planned menu:

1) It complements the theme of the party or event assassins creed herunterladen.
2) The food is prepared and served properly.
3) There’s plenty of it.
4) There’s enough variety that no one feels like they should have eaten before they came or pick up something on the way home fl studio for free.

To achieve a good variety on your buffet, you should evaluate each item you plan to include as to where they fall on the following list:

Flavor: Salty vs Sweet
Texture: Crunchy vs Chewy/Soft
Temperature: Hot vs Cold
Composition: Meat vs Vegetable

Most items will fall in more than one category, the important thing is that there is a balance between each bahn app download. Shooting for at least 2 items that fall under each (whose other categories are different from one another) is a good target. For instance, at the last event I made both bacon-wrapped artichoke hearts and chicken salad puffs songs for free itunes. Now, both of these are meats and both of these are soft but one is hot and the other is cold plus they featured different proteins so they balanced. If I’d have served ham salad puffs instead of the chicken, we would have had our single point of difference but we also would have had two very similar protein sources, so you also have to consider what is going INTO each item and look for variety there farm heroes saga kostenlos herunterladen für handy.

Of course, there are exceptions to almost every rule. At last month’s Pumpkin Brunch I joked that I should have called it the Pork & Pumpkin Brunch as there was ham, bacon and 2 types of sausage (links and bulk) spread throughout the various dishes herunterladen. But, then, I knew my guests well and–as many said–they weren’t complaining! (There were several non-pork items as well: pumpkin pancakes, an omelet station and veggie quiches.)

Sure, sometimes in an effort to ensure a good mix of options there ends up being more food than was really needed for the number of guests liebes bilder kostenlos herunterladen. In my mind, though, it’s worth it to make sure no one feels left out, especially those with dietary restrictions or just a pickier palate.

Meet the Reds: Malbec

Not exactly a new grape, Malbec is one of many grown in the Bordeaux region, usually as a mix-in to (once again) smooth out Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a very popular grape to plant, however, in South America and it’s the Argentina Malbecs that really are something worth looking into adobe flash player for free for mozilla firefox.

They range in temperament from soft and fruity to bold and spicy. The latter is my favorite and what I had the pleasure of tasting at a local wine festival word 2007 full version download free chip. The spice notes were slightly smoky and really developed into a nice finish, tingling in the back of my throat.

An awesome fact about this particular wine is that it’s still under many radars (though gaining in popularity) and some really great bottles can be found for $10 and under videostar pro herunterladen. If you like bold, spicy reds, pick one up and give it a try.

How Much Food?

I’m helping a friend coordinate the food for an upcoming Open House and it brought to mind a common question when planning food for a party: how much to make or buy herunterladen? I often say that a [Southern, especially] hostess’ worst nightmare is to run out of food. Food is synonymous with hospitality and just like the welcoming spirit we offer our guests, we want our tables to be just as bountiful war sounds for free. At the same time, we don’t want to go so far overboard that food goes to waste.

As much as I love not having to cook for the week after a good party [planned overs are a great thing!], there is such a thing as too much.  So here’s a few guidelines for figuring how much food you’ll need at your next party download anonymously with tor browser.

First: How many people are coming and how long does the party last? The first bit is obvious: the number of people is directly proportionate to how much food you need to feed them Download audiobooks and listening games for free. Party length, on the other hand, can slide the portion scale up or down. Longer parties will need more food since people will have had time to digest and want a little something more as the party progresses, even if it’s a sit-down dinner it’s a good idea to have some nibbles (sweet or savory or both) out if the party will be lasting several hours past supper) windows 7 ultimate iso german free full version.

Second: What type of party is it? Plated dinners are the simplest to factor–3-5 oz of meat per person, 6-8 oz of side dishes, and 4-8 oz of wine (erring on the side of refills) or 8-10 oz of punch or tea android 7 herunterladen. Easy. Buffet? Consider doubling it unless you have waitstaff to serve the guests. Now, if you have an entree choice or numerous sides, divide the total food needed in each category by the number of options within and add a bit–say 10%–for margin of error kostenlos musik auf mp3 player herunterladen. That done, you should be good.

Cocktail parties require a little extra math in that you need to multiply the number of guests by the length of the party in hours  and then by the number of bites or servings per hour appropriate kostenlose spiel herunterladen. A general rule of thumb would be 5 pieces per person per hour (5ph) but even this is subject to some adjustments.

1) What time is the party? A cocktail party held at an off hour (mid-afternoon, instance) can stick with the 5ph idea but one served at a normal meal time (noon, 6 pm or later) should increase the servings per person to accommodate the guests’ usual appetites herunterladen.

2) Who’s coming? You wouldn’t serve finger sandwiches and petit fours to a Superbowl gang, would you? No, you’d serve heartier items musik aufnehmen programm kostenlosen deutsch. It’s the same with quantity. The heartier the expected appetites, the more items allowed per person.

3) Will a meal be served after or not? This can get tricky, but going back to the time of the party–if you’re serving cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before a dinner, stick to 5ph. But if you’re not serving a meal or it’s at such a time as your guests may substitute your party offerings for an actual dinner elsewhere, go up to 10ph.

4) Will there be alcohol served? If so, add a few more bites per person to try to offset the impairment alcohol can bring to the table. Cocktails on a full stomach are a lot less damaging than those on an empty one [though hosts should be careful to watch their guests’ consumption and call a cab when necessary].

Finally, adjust your numbers for the just-in-case factor. For smaller parties, add 25% to your expected number of items or servings to allow for an unexpected guest or two or some really hungry folks. A little extra never hurts. The larger the party, the smaller the bump-up needs to be to grant a similar allowance, never adding less than 10%, though. Once you have your total number of pieces, it’s a simple matter of dividing that by the number of different items you plan to offer to find out how many of each you’ll want to serve. Of course, the smaller the guest list, the fewer options otherwise these formulas might give you ridiculously small numbers per option that will look just pitiful on a buffet!

Happy holiday party planning!

Meet the Reds: Merlot

Oh, probably one of the better known reds and, in some circles, the most maligned. Just the word “Merlot” sounds like smoky back rooms and femme fatales making breathy requests of the sommelier visio 2016 standard. Or something like that. Of course, just as quickly I’m reminded of Selma Blair’s nose-in-the-air reminder to her guests to not forget to “bring your own Merlot” (in Legally Blonde) adobe photoshop cs2 for free without registration. And I’m told there are some very negative sentiments towards this particular grape in a certain wine-centric movie that I haven’t gotten around to watching myself alte pc spiele herunterladen. (I know, for shame, one of these days…)

The Merlot grape is grown extensively in the Bordeaux region of France as well as in Italy and Switzerland amazon kindle alle bücher herunterladen. It’s also one of the most popular grapes cultivated in California as well as a handful of other states. It’s generally considered softer and fruitier than the other Big Red (Cabernet) which is why some prefer it and others do not hörbuch von audible downloaden. To me it’s more a middle-of-the-road red and I prefer my wines more pronounced. It goes well with simpler red meat dishes, nothing too fussy or you might overpower the wine microsoft office outlook 2007 gratis downloaden.

As hinted above, I’m not a huge fan of Merlot as a varietal and, to be honest, Cabernet is okay, but it’s not my wine of choice. Given this, I was quite surprised to find that a blend of the two really produces a lovely wine directx 11 windows 7 64 bit free. At a Key Lime Cook-Off a couple of months ago, I tasted the Snoqualmie Vineyards Whistle Stop Red, which is a 70-30 Cabernet-Merlot blend antivirus. According to my wine reference, the French have been blending a bit of Merlot into Cabs for ages as it tends to blunt Cabernet’s natural tendency towards astringency while punching up the Merlot’s softer nature notes for guitar for free. It was an absolute revelation for me, to find that I liked it so much, and I snapped up a couple of bottles before leaving the event. (It also didn’t hurt that the cook-off and a portion of that day’s sales at the host location went to help the Leon County Humane Society.)

Comfort Food

Comfort foods can come in many forms: favorite recipes from childhood, treats remembered for special occasions or just starch-, fat- or sugar-laden dishes that offer a chemical reaction we associate with happiness as well as satiety hörspiele kostenlos downloaden ohne anmeldung. Usually considered a guilty pleasure or indulgence, I have a hard time seeing all comfort food as all bad and, I think, as long as it’s not an everyday occurrence or in massive quantities, a little comfort can go a long way herunterladen.

One of the reasons this came to mind (aside from the impending holidays and increasingly cooler weather, both of which set my taste buds craving those sorts of foods) is the birthday meal I prepared for a friend last winter and is mentioned in this week’s comics cmd ftp file. It’s pretty simple to prepare and not particularly unhealthy, so I thought I’d share.

Gnocchi Casserole with Pesto, Sausage and Broccoli

1 lb Gnocchi
Salted water
1 lb Turkey sausage, sliced
Olive oil
1 lb Broccoli, steamed
1/2 c Prepared pesto
Non-stick spray
1/2 c Parmesan cheese, shredded

Boil gnocchi in enough salted water to cover until tender herunterladen. Simultaneously, saute sliced sausage in a bit of olive oil until the edges crisp. Drain pasta and combine with sausage and broccoli. Whisk together the pesto and enough olive oil to thin it out enough to lightly coat all of the other ingredients youtube video in bester qualität herunterladen.

Prepare a 9×12 baking dish with non-stick spray (I prefer the olive oil variety, but any will do). Toss the thinned pesto with the gnocchi, sausage and broccoli and pour all into the prepared dish musikvideos kostenlosen legal. Top with cheese and place in a 350-degree for 15-20 minutes.

Now, of course, this can be done up til the baking and put in the fridge until later herunterladen einer webseite. Just up the baking time to 30 minutes or more, or as long as it takes to bring everything up to a nice and toasty 165 degrees. Cover with foil if it seems to be drying out or browning a little too much brawl stars auf pc herunterladen. You can also make your own gnocchi if you’re so moved, but I remember getting the gnocchi and pesto at World Market (CostPlus in some areas) and both being very high quality vivaldi herunterladen.

How much you thin the pesto is up to personal preference–I tend to think a little goes a long way–and how thick the pesto is to begin with herunterladen. Chances are you’ll have pesto left over. To preserve the rest of the pesto until the next use, add a layer of olive oil to the jar and store in the fridge. This will prevent the pesto from drying out while in cold storage.

Meet the Reds: Beaujolais

With our trip through the Alphahol complete, at least this round, I thought it’d be nice to take a break from cocktails and, instead, discuss a gentler subject: wine herunterladen. Since I’m more a fan of reds than white, this month I’ll pick a red a week and chat a little about it. Hopefully you’ll share your favorites with me in the comments kostenlos imo herunterladen.

Beaujolais is a Burgundy wine made from the Gamay grape in the southern portion of the French Burgundy district. It’s not generally an aged wine, with 5 years being the upper reaches of it’s optimum life-span kann man bei spotify herunterladen. With it’s very fruity nose and hints of dark cherry, the flavor can be fruity and light or oaky with a hint of pepper. It’s definitely a dry red, not sweet, with a light body that is meant to be served chilled, but not ice-cold herunterladen.

Like many of the Burgundy table wines, Beaujolais is a good all-meal wine as it pairs well with grilled red meats, white fish, cheeses and cold meat dishes without overpowering any of it itunes gekaufte filme downloaden.

My go-to Beaujolais is the Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages. The one in house right now is a 2005, so an older Beaujolais but according to the website it was an excellent year weather-wise for reds which is probably why this one is still so very drinkable herunterladen. What I love about it is that it works well to cook with and to drink, is easily spotted by it’s black ink on yellowed parchment label and can be found in my local grocery store for under $20 a bottle katzen bilder herunterladen.

Make sure to check out their website for more information about this vineyard and it’s history herunterladen. I love that the vintage notes go all the way back to 1860 and that they seem honest: not every year was a good year, but for most they were able to find something worthwhile in the grapes herunterladen. Like the 1877 vintage where the vines were affected by frost but still describe the grapes as “elegant.” Or the 1915 vintage that mentions the war and that women were largely responsible for the harvest dahoam is dahoam herunterladen.

The Omelet Station

This weekend was my not-exactly-annual BYOP (bring your own pumpkin) Party and it was a little different than the other’s I’ve hosted in the past powerpoint voor mac. For one thing, it was ON Halloween instead of the weekend before (the reason being that carved pumpkins don’t last that long down here in Florida’s humidity) and it was held in the morning to allow guests plenty of time for other gatherings that evening or trick-or-treating herunterladen.

Which meant, of course, that the meal changed from dinner to brunch–something I’ve not served to a group in quite some time.

While contemplating how to serve egg (buffet eggs can become rubbery or unpleasant as they sit plus the fact that eggs + aluminum (as in the disposable steam trays) = green eggs and, while I enjoy Dr Seuss, I tend not to disguise my food on most occasions musiken + topusenet. Enter the grill.

Grilled eggs? Not exactly. At our housewarming party this June we’d been gifted a lovely gas grill that came with a side burner ps4 spiele günstigen. Do you see where this is going? We used the grill to hold various add-ins (diced bell peppers, mushrooms, bacon, salsa, green onions, ham and cheese) and created a satellite omelet station as part of the buffet zoo empire kostenlosen vollversion deutsch. Allowing 2 eggs per person (plenty for an 8″ pan) plus a little milk (water can result in fluffier eggs but they can also end up watery and tasteless–I prefer to use fat free milk which adds a little more flavor), I cracked and beat enough eggs for the party and then placed them into an easy-pour 2 qt container which was kept in a cooler of ice below the burner herunterladen.

Our Omelet Station Set-Up

Our Omelet Station Set-Up

Some other tips if you’d like to replicate this for your own party:

1) Remove the knobs from the main grill to prevent any accidental flare-ups zoom download herunterladen.
2) Place a baking sheet on the grill to hold your mix-ins and cover it with a tea towel or large napkins–even the cleanest grill still looks like a grill: dress it up a bit free mill.
3) Make sure there’s a spoon or tongs for each ingredient option as well as a spatula.
4) Non-stick pans are great, but a little cooking spray (kept on the opposite side from the open flame) never hurts how can I download from soundcloud.
5) Have 2 pans available in case there’s an accident with one and it needs cleaning, the spare keeps the line moving.

As I was beating those eggs before the party I wondered would anyone really want to make their own breakfast iphone gratis lieder herunterladen? Granted, I had both quiche (broccoli-Swiss) and hash brown casserole (with 2 types of sausage, eggs and cheddar cheese) on the main buffet, so it’s not like they had to, but I was surprised how many people did partake of the do-it-yourself egg station. Definitely something I’ll keep in mind.

It also occurs to me that it would make an excellent pasta station with the same setup. Have a large bowl of pasta pre-cooked and oiled at the ready (bowtie, penne or rotini–something easily scooped up) with a variety of mix-ins (blanched veggies and pre-cooked meats, all cut to a uniform size) and a trio of sauce variations (garlic-butter, marinara and Alfredo?). Guests could then make their own selections, give them a quick toss in the frying pan to heat up and have just the supper they want.

No such gas grill? Check out the camping section of your local sporting goods or discount store for a camp stove and can of fuel. Same results without the grill-sized footprint.