Review – Our Groceries App

I’m a list maker.  I find lists are the best way for me to get things out of my head and free that thinking energy up for more important things.  To keep all of our family lists in sync we uses the Our Groceries application.

Our Groceries is a free “cloud” based tool that’s accessible via the web, and applications designed for Blackberry, iPhone and Android.  It’s a simple list maker that keeps everyone updated in near real-time.  The free version is ad-supported and has small ads at the top of the screen.  You can purchase an ad free version for Android and Apple.

My family uses Our Groceries for our master grocery list as well as errands, gift ideas, and even dinner ideas. It’s also a great way to make a packing list for vacation.  Creating a list is a one step process and once it’s created you can start populating it right away.  One of the cool features is that Our Groceries remembers your list items even after you check them off.  Enter an item once and it’s always available for quick entry in the future.  This is great for grocery lists where you’re adding the same things every week.

The magic of Our Groceries is in the synchronization.  Once all the users in your family are connected (a very simple process that’s done via email) every time you add an item it’s automatically synchronized to the other users lists.  Cross something off and it crosses that item off on their list.  This all occurs within about 10 seconds.

When our daughter says she needs something from the store, we tell her “add it to the list”.  There have been times where I’ll be at the grocery store and my wife will remember that we need something.  Se adds it to Our Groceries on her phone and it magically shows up on my phone just a few seconds later.  I really can’t stress enough how cool this application is.

Other features of Our Groceries allow you to input your favorite recipes and with one click all the ingredients get added to the shopping list..  Using the web you can drag and drop items so they are in the proper order when you walk through the store.  I always put all of the produce at the top and frozen items at the bottom.  The next time that produce item is added it will automatically end up at the top of the list.  If you want to get really fancy you can assign categories to items so they’re grouped together.

The uses for Our Groceries are nearly endless.  You don’t have to synchronize with other people, you can use the application by itself as well.  Check it out and let us know what you think!


Happy Festivus!

If you’re tired of the over-commercialization of the Christmas holiday maybe its time you celebrate Festivus!

Although popularized in 1997 by the Seinfeld show it originated in 1966 and was dreamed up by Dan O’Keefe.  Traditional Festivus activities include  “Airing of Grievances” and “Feats of Strength”.  The traditional “Tree” has been replaced by a non-decorated aluminum pole.

Just another way to have fun during the holidays.  Oh yeah, by the way…  Christmas is 2 days away, have you finished your shopping, wrapping, decorating yet?


Herb Crusted Standing Rib Roast (Prime Rib) always get lots of hits from people looking for holiday food ideas.  I first posted this back in 2008 and every December it gets several hundred views.  I thought I’d re-post this to make it easier to find for those of you looking for it.

The Red Wine Sauce takes time and effort but it’s totally worth it.  Don’t forget the Horseradish Cream Sauce too!

From 2008:

The holidays are the time to break out the big guns and impress your friends and family.  We cooked our first standing rib roast a few years ago rib-roast-rawand it’s the go to dish for at least one family gathering each year.  A standing rib roast is NOT a cheap cut of meat but you’ll be surprised how many people you can feed with one of these, so when you break it down per person it’s not as bad as you think.

You order your standing rib roast by the bone.  Plan on feeding 2 people  per bone and don’t go less than 3-4 bones or you might as well cook streaks.  A quality instant read thermometer is key to cooking the perfect roast.  You can ball park the doneness with a timer but only a thermometer will tell you how far the inside has cooked.  Do yourself a favor & don’t ruin an expensive piece of meat by winging it.

I keep it simple when cooking my roast:

Olive oil
Herbs de Provence

That’s it!  Make sure you bring your roast to room temperature (30-45 min) before cooking or you can guarantee it will be raw when the outside rib-roast-cookedis done.

Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.

Put beef, fat side up, in a small roasting pan and brush on a light coating of olive oil.  Sprinkle all over with salt,  pepper and herbs.

Roast beef 20 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and roast until thermometer inserted into center of meat registers 115°F, about 1 1/4 hours more.

Transfer beef to a cutting board and let stand, uncovered, 25-30 minutes.

Meat will eventually reach 125°F (medium-rare).

Adjust the cooking time accordingly to reach the desired doneness.  End pieces will be more done than the center pieces so you should be able to make everyone happy.

Be sure to accompany this roast with a delicious Red Wine Sauce.  Enjoy & happy holidays!

Horseradish Cream Sauce

This sauce is great on a lot of dishes, especially the Herb Crusted Standing Rib Roast.  It’s easy to make and keeps very well.  Adjust the amount of horseradish to suit your taste and, by all means, use the prepared stuff if you can’t find (or don’t want to deal with) the fresh stuff.

1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated fresh horseradish
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place all of the ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.  Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks (if it even lasts that long)

Indianapolis – Scotty’s Brewhouse

Photo by SpecialKRB

When I was told the oil change on the Honda was going to take upwards of 2 hours I decided it was time to go find a place to sit down, eat some lunch, and get some work done.  Luckily the dealership is right across the street from Scotty’s Brewhouse on 96th St. in Indianapolis.

I’ve been to Scotty’s several times and have always had a good experience.  The food is consistent and the service is always very attentive.  I especially like the terry cloth “napkins” which you need for a lot of the dishes they server here.

On this visit I went with “The Shewman” a $10.50 burger with a side (I chose Mac-n-Cheese).  according to the menu The Shewman was once voted by Indianapolis Monthly as one of Indy’s top 25 burgers.

To make this award-winning burger you need these ingredients:

  • Peanut Butter (smooth)
  • Jalapenos (pickled)
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Bacon
  • 1/2 lb beef patty
  • Toasted bun
  • Lettuce, red onion, tomato, pickles

To the unadventurous this might sound like a big mess on a bun and it is, in a good way.  I was warned by my server that the Shewman is spicy.  I like spicy so I was expecting a little more heat than I got from the pickled jalapenos.  If the peppers would have been freshly sliced the heat could have been awesome.

I ordered mine med-well (unless I’ve ground the beef myself this is my preferred doneness).  I’ll go more pink if I know all precautions have been taken to make it safe.

Believe it or not the peanut butter is not that prominent on this burger.  It’s there in the background and it adds an interesting texture to the sandwich.  The burger was grilled to the proper temperature and all of the other ingredients were fresh and plentiful.  It was juicy enough with all of the toppings to require judicial use of the towel/napkin.

The Mac-n-Cheese was good but nothing spectacular.  The addition of some Cajun seasoning to the top did help a little.  FYI, the BEST Mac-n-Cheese I’ve had in a LONG time is at Famous Dave’s BBQ (it has corn and jalapeno bits in it).

All in all the Shewman is a solid burger and not as weird as you would think.  It’s going to be hard not to order it again when I return in 4-5,000 miles.

Scotty's Brewhouse on Urbanspoon

Ghetto Turtles

While visiting family over the holidays my sister introduced us to what I’m calling Ghetto Turtles (everyone else calls then Pretzel Turtles).

They are VERY good, easy to make (the kids can do these with some supervision) and, considering the quantity you can make for the price of the ingredients, quite a bargain!

The amounts below will yield 90-100 candies and cost about $12  Try getting that kind of a deal from Fanny Mae…


  • 1 Bag small mini pretzels (the square waffle shapes work very well)
  • 2 Bags Rolo candies (chocolate covered caramel)
  • 1 Lbs pecan halves


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  2. Arrange the pretzels in a single layer on a foil/parchment lined cookie sheet.
  3. Place one chocolate covered caramel candy on each pretzel.
  4. Bake for 2-3 minutes.
  5. While the candy is warm, press a pecan half onto each candy covered pretzel.
  6. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Indianapolis – Yogokiss

After shopping the Friday night a week before Christmas my daughter and I stopped at Yogokiss for a little treat.  She’d spotted the store on our way to the keystone Mall (from the sneaky back way on 96th St.) and mentioned she wanted to try it.

Having worked in a locally owned Frozen Yogurt store in the 80’s (what goes around comes around) The layout of Yogokiss was very familliar.  Put a couple of dual-head freezer machines along he back wall, setup your topping station, and offer a few drink alternatives.  I did not see (or smell) the traditional waffle cones but they did have a waffle (ala Eggo) maker for what looked like some kind of diet busting YogoWaffle sandwich.

Since spending time behind the counter of one of these establishments my fondness for frozen yogurt has been pretty lackluster.  I ate enough of it back then to set me for a lifetime.  Having been a while since I last had frozen yogurt I decided to give it another go.

Yogokiss had all the traditional flavors that evening; Chocolate, Vanilla, Coconut…  They also had two I had never seen; Soy Vanilla and Taro!  I’m a Soy Milk fan but the Taro flavor caught my eye.  I’ve always wanted to try Hawaiian Poi and hoped this was a close, albeit frozen, substitute.  I asked for a sample and it was love at first taste.

The thing that really impressed me about the Yogokiss product was the texture.  It was probably the smoothest and densest frozen yogurt I’ve ever had.  I’m sure that’s attributed to the ingredients and the machinery used to freeze the product.  If I had to guess the frozen yogurt machines are churning very slowly to minimize the incorporation of air into the product.  It’s difficult to quickly produce any kind of large quantity with this method but it’s worth the outcome.

Taro frozen yogurt with Mochi, Peanuts, and Chocolate Chips

Toppings ranged from the traditional nuts and candy to fresh fruit and the not-so traditional Mochi pieces.  My daughter ordered a small Coconut with coconut flakes, almonds, and chocolate chips.  I ordered a small Taro with mochi, peanuts and chocolate chips.  Both flavors were very good but the chocolate chips became quite hard after being chilled by the yogurt.  I think I’ll opt for something softer next time.

Prices at the time of our visit (all come with your choice of 3 toppings):

  • Kids $2.95
  • S $3.95
  • M $4.95
  • L $5.95
  • XL $9.95

Having been out of the frozen yogurt scene for years I’m glad to see it coming back (or did it ever leave?).  I’ve never been that big of a sweets fan and one of the things I always liked about frozen yogurt was the low sweetness factor.  Yogokiss has me wanting to eat more frozen yogurt!

Yogokiss on Urbanspoon