Inspiration

If you can watch this without being inspired to do something, well, I feel terrible for you.

More Please:

Hamburger Assistant

Like the idea of Hamburger Helper but don’t like the smarmy little glove? Need a quick dinner? Try this.

Ingredients
1 lb. Ground Beef
2 packages Beef flavored Ramen Noodles

Cook the ground beef about 3/4 done and drain the fat off. Add seasoning packet from one of the Ramen packages and continue to cook. Meanwhile, boil the noodles from both packages together (no seasoning) for two minutes and drain well. Mix the noodles with the cooked beef, and add remaining seasoning packet to taste. At least a half packet, you may want the whole thing.

This has always been my go-to dish when I’m Mr. Mom. The kids love it, and so do I. At $0.20 plus a pound of beef, it’s a lot cheaper than the glove too.

Missing Comments

If you have commented on a post in the last few months, and it never appeared – it should now be present (unless it was spam, of course). I just discovered a number of comments awaiting moderation; I don’t seem to have been getting the notification e-mails. I’m trying to figure out why; in the interim, I’ll try to keep an eye on the moderation queue.

My Television Debut

Those of you who could pick me out of a lineup may catch a glimpse of me tonight, if you watch the Phillies’ Season Opener against the Braves, at 8pm on ESPN2. Whether you know me or not, tune in – baseball is back! It should be a great game. Go Phills!

A Lovely Cuppa

I am a lifelong coffee swiller. I started drinking coffee in high school, and never really stopped. The blossoming of premium coffee that started in the 90’s with Starbucks increased my appreciation for a good cup, and reduced my patience with bad brew. The coffee in my office isn’t great, but it’s not terrible; also it is free and always available. Six or more cups a day was not uncommon for me.

But I’m getting older. Time was, I could have a cup of coffee a half-hour before bed, and go right to sleep. Those days are no more. Nowadays, a cup of coffee after dinner and I have trouble falling asleep; two cups and I’m up all night. So I gave up coffee after dinner a while ago. However, the coffee was starting to tear up my stomach. So I quit completely.

I didn’t set out to give up coffee. In early December, I had a mild sore throat. One evening, I decided to treat it with a hot toddy – in this case tea, with honey and bourbon. Now, a few years ago, a co-worker turned me on to loose tea from Adagio Teas. I have their IngenuiTea teapot, which is the most convenient way to make a cup of tea I’ve seen. Since I hadn’t used the teapot in a while, I didn’t have much on hand for tea – just a set of samplers I had received when I ordered an extra teapot for Sherri to use (mine was at work). Wanting something to go with honey (and bourbon), I made a cup of Citron Green. It helped my throat, and I loved having a hot beverage in the evening again. Tea has about half the caffeine of an average cup of coffee (and much less than a strong coffee like Starbucks), and green tea has about half the caffeine of black tea.

In addition to the reduced caffeine, I noticed that the tea wasn’t irritating my stomach either, so I tried some other teas in the sampler. This led to a fresh order from Adagio, and some more sampling. After another week, I found that I was honestly enjoying tea more than coffee, and just stopped drinking the coffee.

So I’m now a tea convert. I’m still trying different samplers occaisionally, but here are my daily teas:

  1. Earl Grey. Captain Picard was right. Now, this is an acquired taste for some people. Earl Grey is a black tea flavored with oil of bergamot, a citrus fruit. It is somewhat floral. I’ve always liked it, but Adagio’s version, “Aristocrat Earl Grey” (also called “Bravo”) is outstanding. This is my first-cup-of-the-morning tea. I enjoy this tea with a splash of milk and a little sugar – about 1 light teaspoon to an 8 oz cup of tea. I don’t want it to be sweet, but I find that a little sugar brings out a lot of the flavors in the tea.

  2. Yunnan Jig. A black tea from the Yunnan region of China. I’ve spent several minutes trying to figure out how to describe it. It reminds me of a classic black tea, like English Breakfast tea, but so much better. I was never a huge fan of regular black teas, but this is now my standard tea. Sublime. I take this the same way as the Earl Grey – milk and sugar.

  3. Citron Green. This is a green tea flavored with citrus. It is excellent with a half-teaspoon or so of honey. It’s a great tea to relax with, and is the tea I always reach for after 8pm, if I’m having tea.

If you’d like to try some tea, I’d certainly recommend trying a sampler of loose teas from Adagio. They offer a number of samplers – black, green, oolong, flavors, herbal, and more. They used to sell samplers along with the IngenuiTea teapot at a discount, but I can’t find that on the site. Customers can send free $5 gift certificates to their friends, so if you’d like a gift certificate, send me an email and I’ll pass one along.

Oh, and I’m not the only fan of loose tea in general or Adagio in particular; what started as a comment to Effika’s post on the subject became this post.