Month: December 2011

Men in Black 3 – Looks Great!

This is looks like a great sequel!  Josh Brolin looks is a dead ringer for the younger version of Tommy Lee Jones.  Memorial Day is a LONG way off.  I hate it when they preview movies 6 months in advance…

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)

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