Week 7 – Test Kitchen Troubles

Another Cold week and more chances for snow, oh boy! It’s been a while since Indy has been above the freezing mark and I think we have another week before we have a chance of making it there.

Issues at the Bon Appetite Test Kitchen as detailed on the /reply-all/ Podcast episode #172 (part 1 of 2). I used to LOVE watching the Bon Appetite test kitchen on YouTube as well as reading the monthly magazine. But a lot of things have come out this past year about racism and unfair treatment of minority employees. It was so bad they’ve all but disbanded the original cast and tried to reboot the show with an all new cast. It’s not the same & it’s a shame things happened the way it did. The podcast is an interesting report of how things transpired for the past 10 years up until things started coming to light in 2020.

Ammo prices are crazy right now! If you like to shoot you probably already know about this. There was a time not so long ago that a single round of 9mm would average about $0.15 when you purchased in bulk. These days that same round is closer to $0.90. That has a lot of people shooting less and no doubt putting pressure on the area firing ranges. I know I sure can’t justify throwing a dollar down range with every shot. I think Chris Rock was onto something years ago.

Well the Super Bowl was a little disappointing this year. Not only the outcome but the actual game. The oddsmakers had it listed as a 3-point spread so everyone was anticipating a shootout to the very end. Reports released this week indicated it was was one of the least viewed games in 14 years. Maybe next year will be better, don’t think it can get any worse!

Prior to the Super Bowl DraftKings presented their Big Game Snackdown on their YouTube channel. This was a competitive eating competition featuring the top people in the sport such as Joey Chestnut. They had 8 minutes to eat a variety of foods one might find at a Super Bowl party. It was a LOT of food and several of the contestants didn’t make it to the end.

For the food portion of this weeks entry I’d like to give some props to the A 2 Z Cafe on 96th St in Indianapolis. This place is right down the street from the office and I’ve only been twice. Once for breakfast pre-Covid and once this week for lunch. It’s a small family run business with a lot of character and a great menu featuring all the diner classics along with several Hawaiian classics.

Shoyu Chicken and Coconut rice with Pasta Salad

And finally, there was a time when the Boston Dynamic robots were wobbly and not so sure on their feet. Now we have this. Technology has come a LONG way!

2021 Week 6 – Bundle Up!

We had quite the cold snap this last week and it’s supposed to last until NEXT WEEKEND! At least the sun is out today & helps take the edge off. Oh yeah, the Groundhog saw its shadow Tuesday so we get this stuff for 6 more weeks.

I was able to take advantage of the Hoagies and Hops Thursday lunch special last week. I’ve seen the “Godfather” on their Instagram feed for a few weeks and was finally able to check it out! Grilled Salami, Capicola, Prosciutto, Bacon, Sharp Provolone and Pepper Relish. Add a side of perfectly cooked crinkle fries & you have an awesome lunch!

The Godfather special at Hoagies and Hops

The entire NCAA Championship (March Madness) is going to be centralized in Indiana. This is a HUGE win for the city that will bring some much needed stimulus to the downtown area. It was also announced this week that the entire Big-10 tournament is going to be held in Indianapolis. It’s not known yet if they will be allowing fans to attend. Congrats to all those involved to make this happen!

What color will the Gatorade be that gets dumped first at the Super Bowl? Who will win the coin toss? Will it be heads or tails? These are just a fraction of the fun side bets you can make for the Big Game. Since online gambling has become legal in Indiana I’ve been having a lot of fun playing along. Soccer and Football have been my favorites and my initial deposit of $50 has kept me entertained for the last year. If you want to make the game a little more interesting try placing a small bet on the outcome!

And finally…

2021 Week 5 – The Super Bowl is Set!

The American Football Conference champion Kansas City Chiefs will play the National Football Conference champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV (55) on February. SB 55 will NOT be in 4K “because of COVID“. I’m a little disappointed the major networks haven’t upgraded all of their programming to 4k when the industry went digital several years back. The trick of upscaling 1080 to 4k is just that, a trick. Looks awful on a 50″+ setup.

Best Chocolate is back open on Mass Ave! They used to have a storefront along the east end but when they were acquired in 2019 they closed the brick and mortar. This made finding some of the best chocolates in the city really hard to find! Well, I just learned they are back in a physical storefront pretty much across the street from where they were previously. You can find them at 871 Massachusetts Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Hellbender Documentary in Indiana – I was participating in a virtual 1 Million Cups event the other day and before things got started we were put into breakout rooms for some networking. One of our participants was a documentary filmmaker who is currently working a film about the elusive Hellbender salamander in Southern Indiana! You can follow along with the film progress here.

I Million Cups is a really cool program for entrepreneurs to present their ideas and get feedback from the audience. It’s also a way for them to talk about where they’re stuck and ways the audience can help them (through referrals or ideas). The events are held monthly and currently they are online. When things get back to normal they will be back at the SpeakEasy co-working space in Broad Ripple

And finally here is a fun band out of Australia. We saw them live in 2019 at the HiFi in Indianapolis.

2021 Week 4 – Sushi in Fortville?

I can’t remember how I found out about this place but I finally got over to Fortville to check out Bonsai Fortville. I was there right after they opened at 11 and sadly was the only one there, but more people arrived when I was leaving. Talked to the owner a bit and found out they opened last November. They have a nice variety of rolls and I tried the Mexican roll (special that day) and the KFC roll with fried chicken. Both were very good and I’d order either one again.

Mexican roll (left) and KFC roll (right)

Besides Sushi Fortville has quite a few quality restaurants worth checking out:

  • Cortona’s Italian Cuisine & Wine Bar
  • Los Maguelles Mexican
  • Taxman Fortville
  • FoxGardin Kitchen & Ale

You really can’t go wrong with any of these and if you’re looking for something a little different it’s worth a little drive east on Pendleton Pike (US 36).

The New York Times had a great write up on Geocaching a few weeks ago. My son and I ended up visiting every county in Indiana to complete a Geocaching mission a few years ago. It was a lot of fun to do and quite a rewarding task once we completed it. The scenery and terrain around Indiana is a lot more varied than people give it credit for.

Watched the first season of “Upload” on Amazon Prime. It’s a very interesting (SyFy) look at a future where your spirit gets uploaded to the cloud and you can still communicate with people back on earth. Writing and acting were very well done and I’m already looking forward to Season 2!

POTUS 45 is out and POTUS 46 has been sworn in. There was a lot of talk about more protests at various capital buildings around the country but it doesn’t look like anything actually materialized. The Indiana State Capital building actually closed down for a few days up to and including the inauguration. As of today (Thursday) Downton has returned to the Pandemic “normal” we’ve all gotten used to.

Hot Dish Casserole Recipe – This is a good one. We all probably have our own version of a tater-tot Casserole but I think this one is my favorite one. Don’t skimp on the pepper jack cheese which adds some nice spice. This reheats well and I even vacuum sealed several pieces and put them in the deep freeze for a quick weeknight meal.

Finally, I rediscovered this amazing Bluegrass cover band

2021 Week 3 – Snow!

We’re 3-weeks in & it’s been an interesting start to the year. The political mess and COVID-19 continues to top the news. It’s been cold and cloudy in Indianapolis this past 2 weeks and we finally got some measurable snow! It’s either going to be another “mild” winter or we’re in for something big. Only time will tell. I just put some 3-Peak rated tires on the Subaru so I could go for a big snowstorm right about now.

Some really great football games on last weekend and the CFB national championship goes to Alabama! It was looking like it was going to be a good game at first but Ohio State just couldn’t keep up. Just a few more weekends and the NFL will be over too… BUT NASCAR starts on February 14th! (and we always have soccer).

Do you eat in your car often? I saw this device being used by a mobile food reviewer and had to have it (especially since it’s only $12!). – Laptop Steering Wheel Desk It works surprisingly well and helps the crumbs & sauces off your lap.

You need one of these!

Total Wine & More opened a new store in Nora mid-November (first one in the Indianapolis region) and if you haven’t checked it out you should! It’s one of the largest liquor stores I’ve ever been in and it’s designed very well. Crowds have been heavy but there’s plenty of room to move about and keep your distance from others. If you’re a wine or Bourbon fan you’re sure to find something you like there.

Total Wine & More in Nora

Tried a new recipe this week (Mushroom Bourguignon) and it was a huge hit. There is a lot of prep but the cooking goes pretty fast. Probably something to fix on a weekend and enjoy throughout the week. Looks like the recipe I used from NYT Cooking is behind a paywall but this one is pretty similar.

Remix of a 2020 YouTube hit. That cat cracks me up!