Friday, August 24, 2018

Trio Italiano with Hunt's pasta sauce!

There's something about a dish of hot pasta that just seems to yell 'Comfort Food'. That was the case for me, on a late August afternoon, when I sat down to a lunch that included a mix of; Rotini (spiral), Conchiglie (shell) and Penne rigate (rifled) pasta's. An interesting combo that really holds onto the pasta sauce of your choice. In my case that sauce was Hunt's pasta sauce, which is fairly cheap (under a dollar for 24 ounces when on sale), and which is also a great addition from a nutritional standpoint.

 At just 230 calories, this main entree fitted in nicely with my current dietary effort. And yes, those carbs were on the high side, but when viewed in the context of what other foods I ate that day, they were also in line as I ended up at under 100 grams! (Not shown was the nutritional impact of 30 grams of lean hamburger meat that was browned and then thrown in at the last minute). The entire meal, including the meat is shown below;

Note shown were the following ingredients; raw garlic, oregano and a dash of red wine!

Effective planning of meals with an eye to cost versus nutrition is something I feel should be taught as a required course at every High School across the country. Learning how to eat well along with good exercise are two keystones to aiding in the reduction of future health costs for everyone! This whole meal cost me under a dollar, was filling and delicious! Please give it a try!

A permanent base on the moon! Is that really needed?

A recent article by titled 'NASA Chief Wants to Send Humans to the Moon - 'To Stay' caught my interest. It was a lament on how the United States perhaps missed an opportunity. NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine stated, “When you look back at history, look back at the end of the Apollo program, 1972 when we didn't go back to the moon... you look back and there was a period of time there after Apollo and before the space shuttles when we had a gap of human spaceflight capability," Bridenstine said. "And then you go forward and look at the retirement of the space shuttles in 2011, and now we're getting to the point where we're ready to fly commercial crew. We've got a gap of about eight years in our ability to fly crew into space.

"When we think about the [end of the] International Space Station, we want to make sure that a gap doesn't materialize," he said. "I believe it is important to do everything in our power to prevent another gap from occurring and that is why it is important to start this conversation now."

I fully agree with Mr. Bridenstine. I believe that having a permanent moon base will become of great strategic geopolitical importance, in the years and decades to come. If you question that statement, just imagine Russia or China with a base of their own up there... right over our heads...

Some time ago, I wrote a tongue-in-check blog called Welcome to Mooneyville.  Perhaps getting a few convicts up their, as a cheap labor force, might help reduce costs!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Great Northern beans with ham, slow cooked!

My fast, yet slow method of cooking up a batch of Great Northern beans with ham required the following eight basic steps;

1) Measure out a cup of beans (about 233 grams).
2) Sort through beans and remove any foreign matter.
3) Rinse the beans, then place in cold water over high heat. Bring to a boil.
4) Boil for about a minute. Remove them from heat.
5) Place beans into a strainer and rinse.
6) Add beans to a 2 quart slow cooker and cover with about an inch of cold fresh water.
7) Add 1 cup chopped cured ham.
8) Set the cooker on Hi and cook for about 4 hours*. Test the beans for doneness after three hours.

After the beans have been cooked, add a little salt for taste and then serve! I often like to combine the beans over white rice, along with the chopped ham.

 This is a very nice little high carbohydrate meal-a-deal that can work for dieters, just as long as you keep the proportions within reason. For those not on a diet, it's filling and very cheap to make for anyone on a fixed income. Serves 6-8.

Notes on Great Northern beans: Great northern beans are a low-calorie, low-fat, cholesterol-free source of iron, dietary fiber, protein, and potassium. Eating beans like great northern beans regularly can reduce the risk of many potentially serious medical conditions (According to the Harvard School of Public Health).

* Slow cookers vary in the amount of heat they generate and that along with the age of the beans can affect total cooking times.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Empire Electric jacked up rates in May and I missed it!

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo- The Missouri Public Service Commission has approved a request filed by Empire District to change the fuel adjustment charge (FAC) on the monthly bills of its electric customers back in May 2018.

As a result of this filing, the FAC for a residential customer using 1,000 KwH (kilowatt hours) of electricity a month will increase by approximately $5.74 a month, from approximately $1.84 a month to approximately $7.58 a month. The change is expected to take effect on June 1.

The FAC change reflects Empire’s fuel and purchased power costs for the six month period of September 2017 through February 2018 (Case No. ER-2018-0270). It also reflects Empire’s FAC true-up filing (Case No. EO-2018-0271).

Empire District serves approximately 151,700 electric customers in the Missouri counties of Barry, Barton, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Greene, Hickory, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Polk, St. Clair, Stone and Taney. [Posted by KY3]

My thoughts: Just as in the convoluted and twisted tax structure we all live with, so does our utility companies have the ability to jack its customers up whenever the mood strikes them. Oh, and the money goes to the Canadian owners not to workers in the US. Yes, the taste of free money is intoxicating, isn't it? My opinion.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Mueller! See the funny little clown!

 Thirty million, almost two years and nothing for that effort. Sad...

As I've never met Robert Mueller or would want to, I cannot say of what sort of 'intestinal metal' this is respected man is made of. I can assume he is composed of some stellar quality stuff, looking backwards at his outstanding career,  in many critical and important roles. That said, it's very confusing for myself (and many other Republicans I'm sure), as how I should view the convoluted series of events that have circled around this man and his two year long investigation of Russian collusion via the Trump campaign in the 2016 United States elections. Trump was exonerated. Yet, more and more to me, while he may not actually be a clown, a sad political stain remains.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Space Force wants you!

President Trump has indicated that Congress may be charged with the creation of a new branch of the military. (Something that hasn't happened for over 70 years). He's indicated that 2020 is the current target date! New recruits are rumored to be known as 'splats'....

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

PT 2 - Bobby Vee and True Love Waits!

I'd given up on over the air FM and was now trying for an internet streaming channel. Tough work as the powers that be do not want to hear from the likes of me.... Well, that too was a dead end. So, now I face a choice; fade in to the embers of time, or break federal law and broadcast over the airwaves, anyway..... I do hold an FCC Technicians Class license. Like that would matter.... In answer. Yes, most likely I would. Local, State and Federal laws all cite the need for suspension of actions by those who believe that the Nation is in danger. I think that might just apply here...

A representative Republic, like we have all enjoyed, is very hard to maintain. Ask the Founding Fathers. Right now. Right this minute. That fragile structure is under serious attack! 

No FM station for me! PT1.

Bummer. I wanted to set up a LPFM or low powered FM station, but discovered that you have to be a 'government entity' to do so. Of course, give me ten million or so and I could build a commercial one. That's it! Either you're rich or with the government should you want to be heard by more than a few people. Hmmm.

OK, so I think I'll try another route.... Not a true podcast, but rather something more like Pod thoughts... PT's!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Da Gary Brown Burger. A new idea in hamburgers?

Forsyth, MO. - While cooling myself at a local watering hole, recently, I noticed a man sitting next to me adding a couple of unusual condiments to his hamburger!

That gentleman, by the name of Gary Brown, informed me that he likes to apply liberal amounts of Heinz 57 and prepared horseradish to his hamburger. WTF I thought? He suggested that I might even enjoy such a strange combination.

At first, I had a few doubts, but then remembered that I often love to eat roast beef slathered with generous amounts of the Brassicaceae. When added to a burger with a little Heinz 57 (which is actually a tangy steak sauce), you get a very interesting and 'synergistic' effect that left me with a slightly runny nose! In other words, damn good burger!
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OK! As the nutritional panel at right clearly illustrates, this is a rather hearty meal-a-deal  (especially if you add a side of chips or fries)!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Enjoying pasta even while dieting!

For anyone who has had to go on a diet, I would agree that it can be tough! Food  that you might really like, as in potatoes, pasta and bread are generally included on the list of stuff you can't eat!

In my case, I look at all foods mainly in terms of just two factors; carbs and calories! If you can reign those dudes into some semblance of reason, then any diet you might try, will likely be successful. The carbohydrate intake, in particular, needs to be monitored very carefully. (I try for less than 160 grams per day). Note that going below 50 grams can throw your metabolism into a state of ketosis. A potentially bad thing for you to find yourself in - see this article for more.

Click to enlarge.
As you can see in the picture above, that's a whole lot of pasta with a simple meatless tomato sauce! And is that garlic bread? Yes. I'm guilty on both counts. But at 277 calories (290 with the Parmesan and red wine I added), this was still a very can do lunch! After having a bowl of oats for my breakfast with half a cup of milk, I had a good idea of what I could enjoy for afternoon snack and dinner!

Following was the entire day that followed. Note that I was able to reserve calories for those inevitable late night snacks....

Click to enlarge.