Thursday, April 28, 2011

The many things you can do with your $3.99/lb ground meat on Pesach

If you bought a 5lb family pack of ground meat and are not planning on using it right away, do not stick it in the freezer.  Break the pack into 2 or 5 pieces, put them into plastic bags and make them as flat as possible and only then freeze them.
All of the following recipes are for a slow cooker/crock pot, for people like me who are too lazy to kasher their oven and are using it for storage of their non-Pesach pots and pans.

Shepherd's Pie
If you're Ashkenaz, Pesach time your house is full of potatoes, carrots and onions.
Layer chopped onions, ground meat and chopped potatoes.  If you want, add carrots, spices or even dump a couple turkey pieces on top of everything.
For liquid, use chicken broth and remember that this is not cholent with beans or rice or barley and the water will not get absorbed.
Splashing in some brandy adds to the taste and smell.

You can make meatloaf in a crock pot as long as you add liquid like water or chicken broth so that it doesn't become dry or burn.
Mix seasoned matza crumbs, chopped garlic, spices and eggs and leave it on low for a couple hours.

Pesach Cholent
Last time I checked, if you use quinoa, you to check it for foreign matter and I'm just too lazy for that.
Garlic on the bottom, then some lamb breast and roasted chestnuts, spices, ground meat and/or chicken gizzards, cut yams and/or potatoes.
On top, you can add raisins, honey, eggs and turkey pieces.
Since beer is chometz, can splash some brandy or slivovits.
Again, remember that you're not using anything that will absorb most of the water so don't add too much.

Ground meat with crushed tomatoes, garlic and brussel sprouts
Invented this this year and that's exactly what it's made from.
Layer ground beef and a lot of minced garlic.  Pour a large, at least 28oz, can of crushed tomatoes on top.
Add brussel sprouts in the last 1~2 hours so that they don't turn into mush.

Not ground meat related, but another favorite Passover recipe of mine is to dump 9oz of chicken sauce into a small wok and boil chicken pieces in it, turning them until done.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

John Deere - Tot Tractor (Not recommended for children)

Saw this on for $11.99 and decided to see what the regular price is and what people say.  A lot more entertaining was what said about this item.

There's a large, BOLD AND IN CAPS warning about this product having small parts and being a chocking hazard and that it's not for children under 3 years.  Right below that are the Product Features, which state that the Recommended Age Range is 1 to 3 Years.

What?!  So if your child is below 3, he will choke to death and if he's above 3, he will receive multiple wounds and suffer broken bones when the tractor collapses under him?

If you scroll down some more, you'll see that the Manufacturer recommended age is 18 months to 5 years and lower still, it says that this tractor can supposedly handle up to 75lbs.

What have we learned?  This toy is absolutely not for 75lb 3 year olds.  So if your child is 3 years old and weighs 75lbs, you should definitely not buy him this tractor.  Also, you should definitely stop taking him to McDonald's for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New rig - All copper, all the time

Though my computer is only 4.5 years old, cringe, the weekly freezing, having 2GB of ram and being unable to keep too many things open at the same time made me decide to build a new rig.

My old computer, had the ZALMAN CNPS 9500 AM2 CPU heatsink/fan, bought at the time for $45.99.  This massive heatsink with 3 pipes and 92mm copper blades is the thing to get if you want to OC.  One issue was that it was so huge that you had to make sure that your motherboard and case would have enough room to fit this monster.  And if you bought it, make sure you have a case with a window to show it off.

What's new?  The ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED, bought, ironically, for $35 after rebate.
Main difference?  The 9900 will fit AM3 and also Intel, up to LGA 1156, not that I would buy an Intel cpu.
What else?  It's bigger, it has a bigger dissipation area and depending on use, it may be slightly louder.  Unlike the 9500, the 9900 does not come with a fan speed controller and adjusts the fan speed automatically.  It also comes included with a resistor cable which changes operation from normal mode to quiet mode.  If you don't care about the noise, keep the resistor off and you'll be getting as high as 2Krpm spin, but as high as 38dBA noise level, which is actually 10dBA more than its predecessor.  Keep the resistor on and you'll be seeing 800~1,300rpm with a noise level of 18~28.5dBA.

One thing to remember about both these coolers, the blades are very, very thin and sharp and while they will not break, they will cut your skin if you're not careful.