Month: February 2012

Banana Bread

What do you do when the kids didn’t eat all of the bananas they asked you to get at the store last week?  Easy, make some banana bread and get a few more days use out of that over ripe fruit.

Banana Bread

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon Baking Soda
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup Walnuts, or Pecans (optional)

In electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar and butter until fluffy.

Add baking soda to milk and stir well. Next add the white vinegar to the milk and stir again. Add mixture to batter along with bananas, vanilla lemon juice and salt and mix will.

Add flour and beat until smooth. Remove bowl from mixer. At this time you may stir in the nuts, if you prefer.

Bake in large greased loaf pan for 1 hour at 350 degrees, or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Remove from oven unto wire rack immediately. Wrap in plastic wrap when still warm to keep moist.

Served warm with a little softened cream cheese this makes a great breakfast.

Chicago – Michael Jordan’s Steak House (Bar)

Located in the Inter-Continental Hotel on Michigan Avenue Michael Jordan’s Steak House is typical of similar places in the city (modern, dark and packed).  This evening I was killing some time before a dinner reservation down the street (and a guest of the hotel) so I decided to give it a try.

The “Craft” cocktail has made a comeback in a big way and I, for one, welcome it.  It’s too easy to pour a few things into a glass and call it a cocktail, it’s all together different to actually build a proper cocktail from scratch.

The bar at Michael Jordan’s Steak House serves an eclectic selection of cocktails for around $13 each.  It’s not cheap by any means but it’s worth trying something new every once in a while.  On this visit I chose the following drink:

One Mans Ceiling – Blended Scotch, Pedro Ximenez, Cherry Bitters, Ginger Honey Foam, mint leaf garnish

This cocktail was slightly sweet with a strong smell of ginger. It was very drinkable and as much as I dislike things with foam it actually worked well for this particular application.

Towards the end of this drink I was pretty sure I had enough (the ginger started to become a little overpowering).  The cherry bitters were just barely perceivable but would have been missed had they not been there.   I was glad I ventured down a different path than the usual martini or scotch on the rocks and after finishing “One mans Ceiling” I was ready for dinner!

As an aside, I’ve stayed at the Inter-Continental before and was not very impressed.  This time, however, I was upgraded to a 2-room suite and it made the entire experience much more enjoyable!

Michael Jordan's Steak House on Urbanspoon

Man’s Best Friend Now Has a Best Friend

I would think this guy should be worrying about his job, not his dog…  I’m pretty techy but this guy is talking about crap I’ve never heard of.  Maybe he can get a guest star part on The Big Bang Theory!

Single Use Breathalyzers; Manditory For All Drivers in France

From The Local:

France is battling drink-driving (sic) by forcing every car driver, including visitors to the country, to carry a single-use breathalyzer kit from July.

Officials at the transport ministry confirmed to The Local on Monday that the rules will apply to anyone driving on French roads, including foreigners visiting the country.

The good news for them is that anyone caught without the kit will not immediately face the €11 ($14) fine. Police are to be instructed to start issuing fines only from November.

A departmental spokesperson told us that the start date for the new measure has been pushed back to July 1st 2012, a time when many foreign visitors take to the country’s roads for their holidays. (MORE)

Pretty bold move and one that I’m sure has the possibility to save lives.  French drivers are already required to carry first aid kits, fire extinguishers and spare bulbs for car lamps, lenses and reflectors (and face a fine of they do not).  Maybe that’s why the French are such poor drivers, they have too much stuff in their car! (ha)

When I first heard about this story it sounded like they had to use the breathalyzer each time they started the car.  I’ve since found that they need to have them in the car for use on themselves before driving.  At €1.50 ($1.99 US) it’s not that much of an expense.

The questions I have is this…  How long until this gets introduced to the US roadways?  What if auto makers made it a standard accessory in all new automobiles like anti-lock brakes and air bags?  If you’re not sure you’re legal to drive you would have a tool right there that would tell you the result.  Unfortunately if it were to lock out the ignition upon a high reading people would not use them (unless it was mandatory to start the car, and that would be met with a LOT of resistance).

I think we can all agree drinking and driving is a problem.  It’s been a problem for a while now and there have note been very many effective ways to make a difference.  What do you think?  Is France leading the way to a solution for drunk driving?

The Iraqi Embassy is the Size of Vatican City!

(Newser) – The United States’ hulking $750 million Baghdad embassy is home to 16,000 staff and carries a $6 billion price tag annually—and it’s about to get slashed in half in the wake of US troops’ departure, reports the New York Times.

I’ve heard this place was big but I had no idea HOW big.   Now with the troop withdrawal there are reports indicating the staff of 16,000 being reduced by half.  The building cost taxpayers $750 million to build & has an annual operating budget of $6 BILLION!  How can that be?

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