Monday, February 16, 2009

In the Kitchen

For Valentines Day this year, instead of 'going out' (something which has proved to be almost impossible with baby), I decided to challenge myself and cook a wholly original (for me) supper. Nothing on the menu was something that I had tried before. Though sometimes I could hear Chef Ramsey shouting profanities at me, overall, I think I did a pretty good job.

Above are the four main parts of the meal, for starters we had a fresh spinach and strawberry salad with sesame seed dressing. Then a healthy bowl of french onion soup topped with provolone cheese, and a twice baked potato. The main course was a beef tenderloin with port wine reduced shallots.

After all that I decided to go with homemade flan for dessert. I've tried the flan-in-the-box version before, and while its quick to cook, it tastes like mashed paper. This was much better., if a bit more difficult to remove from the oven...(you've got to bake the ramekins in water). For wine we had Da Vinci Chianti, which tasted OK. I tried to find a wine that was made in Iowa that would work with this meal with no success. My new goal is to try to buy as much Iowa-made alcohol as possible. Our state needs those dollars!

Noah got his Valentines Supper as well. He's had his 'milk ala Enfamil' meal many times before, but he'll settle for nothing less.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stimulate This.

Let’s get pessimistic for a while.
What a time to have a kid. Either the world was always this dire, and I was blissfully self absorbed and didn’t see it…or its gone completely in the crapper the moment Noah was born and I started paying attention. Either way I’m scared.

I know the election of Barack Obama made (and still makes) people optimistic about our future. But America is extremely superficial, and elected him for extremely superficial reasons (he’s black, eloquent, voted against Iraq, he’ll save us all, etc.)

That doesn’t mean that Barack isn’t able to handle the task, in fact I think he might be more than capable, but he’s got a whopper of a mess.

What bothers me about this recession (now we can call it that) is that no matter what stimulus package we pass, we’ll have to innovate to truly get out of it. That’s the way America works. The last 30 years have seen the computer in the 80’s, internet in the 90’s, cell phone in the late 90’s. Now web 2.0.

Back in college I used to get into drunken arguments with a Danish economics major. He kept saying that the America’s days of innovation were over; other more hungry countries would take it away from us. This was back in 2001. He wasn’t completely right (smartphones and web 2.0), but our most recent ‘innovation’ has been moving magic money from house mortgages to investors. That's worked out well for us.

I really hope America can think of the ‘next big thing’ again. The possibilities are endless. Thomas Friedman would like that to be green energy. I would like that to be GMO'd pets. Let’s do it America! Beat those Dutch.

Thursday, February 5, 2009