Monday, August 11, 2008

Peach Pie

Betty Crocker's 9 inch Pastry shell

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
⅓ cup plus 1 Tbs shortening
2-3 Tbs cold water

Measure flour and salt into bowl. Cut in shortening thoroughly. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until all flour is moistened and dough almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons water can be added if needed).

Gather dough into ball; shape into flattened round on lightly floured cloth-covered board. (for Two-crust Pie, divide dough in half and shape into 2 flattened rounds.) With floured stockinet-covered rolling pin, roll dough 2 inches larger than inverted pie pan. Fold pastry into quarters; unfold and ease into pan.

For One-crust Pie: Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pan. Fold and roll pastry under, even with pan; flute. Fill and bake as directed in recipe.

For Two-crust Pie: Turn desired filling into pastry lined pie pan. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of pan. Roll second round of dough. Fold into quarters; cut slits so steam can escape. Place over filling and unfold. Trim over-hanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pan. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil last 15 minutes of baking. Bake as directed in recipe.

Note: If using self-rising flour, omit salt. Pie crusts made with self-rising flour differ in flavor and texture from those made with plain flour.
Note: If possible, hook fluted edge over edge of pie pan to prevent shrinking and help keep shape.
Note: Simply roll dough out on wax paper, invert dough and wax paper into pie dish, and peel off wax paper.


5 cups sliced fresh peaches
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs butter

Heat oven to 425°. Prepare pastry. Mix peaches and lemon juice. Stir together sugar, flour and cinnamon; mix with peaches. Turn into pastry-lined pie pan; dot with butter. Cover with top crust which has slits cut in it; seal and flute. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil last 15 minutes of baking.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust.

Reference: Betty Crocker’s Cookbook - 1972, Page 316.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tonight's Menu: Grilled Tandoori Chicken with Rice Salad and Roasted Tomatoes

In the oven or on the grill, this is one of my favorite combos. The chicken and tomatoes have just a bit of a kick (spicy, not hot), and the rice salad makes a great left-over for lunch the next day.

Grilled Tandoori-style Chicken
Rice Salad
Grill-roasted Cherry Tomatoes

1) Grilled Tandoori -style Chicken
(Adapted from The Best of Fine Cooking Grilling)

1.5 tsp ground cumin
1.5 tsp curry powder
1.5 tsp kosher salt or sea salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne

2 Tbs oil
3 Tbs red-wine vinegar
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
2 2lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 Tbs chopped cilantro

Mix all of the powders in a medium, non-reactive bowl. Heat the oil in a pan over low heat. Stir in the spices and mix until the bubble, about a minute. Return the spice and oil mix to the bowl and stir in the yoghurt and vinegar. Add the chicken thighs, coating evenly. Put aside until you’re ready to grill, or cover and marinate in the fridge for up to 12 hours.

Throw the thighs on the grill and cook until done, depending on your grill and preferred grilling technique. Personally, I’m sold on Mark Bittman’s method of cooking the chicken over indirect heat for 12-15 minutes, then finishing over a hotter flame. Read more here:

Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

2. Rice Salad, from the New York Times Mark Bittman:

3. Grill-roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Use the recipe from our cookbook, but instead of using a pan and the oven, wrap the tomatoes in foil and grill over indirect heat for 30-40 minutes, turning once or twice. Be careful folding you foil — make sure you have a tight package that won’t leak, and leave some air in the foil packet

Monday, August 4, 2008

Motivation via ridiculous investments

My brother runs a couple of marathons a year. He usually gets on a pretty tight routine, ramping up the miles, mixing up LSD runs with speed work, and on race day he's right where he needs to be.

But sometimes, real life gets in the way, and he doesn't feel like getting up that extra hour earlier than normal, just to run by himself in the dark. Or after a long day, kids' soccer practice, projects around the house... he just can't bring himself to hit the road after all of that.

So what he does is a time-honored tradition among weekend warriors: he drops a load of dough on the most overpriced piece of gear he can find, and then he leaves it out in the open so that he has to look at it all of the time.

You drop $150 on running shoes, and you're not going to let them gather dust in the closet.

Of course, this is only really necessary if you're at the end of your rope. Me, this year I'm going for the ascetic, monk-like approach. I started the summer with new bike tyres, and I'm not going to add another thing until the first snow, I've promised myself. There's a small rip in my ten year old seat bag — I duct-taped the seam from the inside and it's as good as new. Repaired my shoes with Shoe-Gu, so they'll last another 2-3 years. Felt like my cleat/pedal connection was a little messed up, and REI had Crank Bro pedals on sale. Lordy, they were tempting, but instead of buying new, I tore everything apart and repacked the bearings, lubed everything, and I'm pretty sure they'll last another couple of years. Best of all, I got a flat, and instead of replacing the tube, I patched it up and put it back on. Of course I did it wrong, flatted again, and had to do it all over. But even still, saving that one tube has a grace all unto itself.

So choose your poison. Even though the two methods are diametrically opposed, they both work.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Embrace Your Inner Geek

Embrace Your Inner Geek

If you are exercising, and you don't know that you are exercising, do you get the same benefit as if you were doing the exact same amount of work but under the supervision of a personal trainer?

Maybe, maybe not.

A while back, a Harvard psychologist conducted a study using hotel maids. Despite the high level of physical exertion required for the job — hauling vacuum cleaners around, carrying linen, and lots of walking — very few of the maids felt that they got any exercise. Without changing their work requirements, half of the maids were told how many calories their daily efforts burned. The other half were kept in the dark.

Only a month later, the first group had lost weight and dropped their blood pressure, while the other group remained constant, even though both were doing the exact same amount of work.

That's the power of getting techie with your program.

You can hop on the treadmill, turn on the TV, and phone in a workout, and you'll burn X calories.

Or, you can hop on the treadmill, hook up the heart rate meter, log in your miles and speed, and the studies show that your body will respond to an exercise placebo effect: you'll think you're getting a better workout.

Two ways to accomplish this:

Without spending a dime, you can start writing down your workouts. Miles, minutes, distance, effort level. Lots of folks use a heart rate monitor, but studies have shown that simply rating your effort on a 1-10 scale can be as just as useful. Keep a log, and periodically tally up your numbers.

But sometimes that's not enough motivation, and in those cases, you have to whip out the plastic and buy the shiniest gadget you can find.

For instance, you can get a bike computer for around $30. That will tell you speed, distance, elapsed time, lap speed/distance, and max speed. But is that geeky enough? Because for five more Benjamins, you can upgrade to a GPS-based system that will track your entire route, tell you elevation gain, average climbing rate (VAM), power output, cadence, and a whole bunch of other functions. You'll spend so much time analyzing data, you won't have time to ride.

Geekiness doesn't have to be electronic or computer-based. You can buy running shoes with crazy insoles or support mechanisms. It's amazing what you can spend on a softball bat these days. And super hi-tech wicking, cool-max, dri-fit, polar-tech duds always work.

The key to success is that the item needs to make you think about your work-out. Technology becomes the anti-iPod: you are not tuning out the world, but instead tuning in to your pain or effort. Think about exactly what you're doing, analyze it, over-analyze it. Make it a conscious effort to improve.
Now get out there.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tips from the Pros

Sure, there are thousands if not millions of websites guaranteeing you fabulous abs or whatever... but how many of them feature the kid sister of one of our classmates?

Kathy Kaehler, Personal Trainer and Exercise Guru

Friday, August 1, 2008


Workout Music

This is a touchy subject for some folks. Most trainers say, if it helps motivate you, go for it. But there are some who say that critical parts of your workout need all of your mental energy. You need to pay attention to your pain, feel the effort, and think about what you're doing. In other words, a distraction from your base miles is good, but a distraction from your skill development (speed or power workouts or technique work) is not so good.

Shhhhhhh... don't tell the battalion safety officer, but I've been road biking with my iPod. I know, I'm like the last guy who wasn't riding with one. And I'm still kind of a wuss about it. I got a non-stereo, single ear bud thingy from Radio Shack, because I can't set the iPod to mono, so I only keep it in one ear, so i can still hear traffic. But still, that would be a 4C or a 15-and-15 or something if I got caught on post doing that.

But it's working. For base mileage workouts, it makes 2-3 hours just disappear.

So here's what I've been listening to lately: my Velo Tunes list.

The Old Apartment Barenaked Ladies Spectacle (Live)
One Week Barenaked Ladies Stunt
Got To Get You Into My Life The Beatles Revolver
Central Reservation (Ben Watt Remix) Beth Orton Central Reservation
Resignation Superman Big Head Todd & The Monsters Beautiful World
Broken Hearted Savior Big Head Todd & The Monsters Sister Sweetly
Rat Race Billy Idol Devil's Playground
Sherri Billy Idol Devil's Playground
Cherie Billy Idol Devil's Playground
Atom Bomb The Blind Boys Of Alabama Atom Bomb
Demons 4:31 The Blind Boys Of Alabama Atom Bomb
Badlands Bruce Springsteen The Essential Bruce Springsteen
The River's Gonna Run Buddy & Julie Miller
Shadow Stabbing Cake Comfort Eagle
Love You Madly Cake Comfort Eagle Adult
Sly The Cat Empire Two Shoes
The Car Song The Cat Empire Two Shoes
Sol y Sombra The Cat Empire Two Shoes
Party Started The Cat Empire Two Shoes
Saltwater The Cat Empire Two Shoes
The Rhythm (Bonus Track) The Cat Empire Two Shoes
Cruel & Gentle Things Charlie Sexton Paste Magazine Sampler 19
Beat's So Lonely Charlie Sexton Pictures for Pleasure
My Brilliant Feat Colin Hay My Brilliant Feat - Single
Timothy Dada Puzzle
9 Crimes Damien Rice 9
Rootless Tree Damien Rice 9
Dogs Damien Rice 9
9 Crimes (Demo) Damien Rice 9
Warehouse Dave Matthews Band Recently
The Crane Wife The Decemberists The Crane Wife
The Island The Decemberists The Crane Wife
Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then) The Decemberists The Crane Wife
O Valencia! The Decemberists The Crane Wife
The Perfect Crime #2 The Decemberists The Crane Wife
Sons & Daughters The Decemberists The Crane Wife
After the Bombs The Decemberists The Crane Wife
Peace Frog The Doors Morrison Hotel
Missing (Todd Terry Remix) Everything But The Girl Amplified Heart
Notice Gomez How We Operate
See the World Gomez How We Operate
How We Operate Gomez How We Operate
Hamoa Beach Gomez How We Operate
Girlshapedlovedrug Gomez How We Operate
Charley Patton Songs Gomez How We Operate
All Too Much Gomez How We Operate
Candy Iggy & Kate Pierson Brick By Brick
Kid Fears Indigo Girls Indigo Girls
Shed Your Skin (Tom Morello Remix) Indigo Girls Rarities
Thin Line Indigo Girls 1200 Curfews
Queen Of The World The Jayhawks Smile
(In My) Wildest Dreams The Jayhawks Smile
Coma Girl Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros Paste Magazine Sampler 7
The Man Comes Around Johnny Cash American IV: The Man Comes Around
Matter Josh Joplin Group Usefull Music
Camera One Josh Joplin Group Usefull Music
I've Changed Josh Joplin Group Usefull Music
Love Vibration Josh Rouse 1972
Jenny Was a Friend of Mine The Killers Hot Fuss
Mr. Brightside The Killers Hot Fuss
Smile Like You Mean It The Killers Hot Fuss
Somebody Told Me The Killers Hot Fuss
All These Things That I've Done The Killers Hot Fuss
Andy, You're a Star The Killers Hot Fuss
On Top The Killers Hot Fuss
Change Your Mind The Killers Hot Fuss
Believe Me Natalie The Killers Hot Fuss
Midnight Show The Killers Hot Fuss
Everything Will Be Alright The Killers Hot Fuss
When You Were Young The Killers Sam's Town
Read My Mind The Killers Sam's Town
Send Down The Rain Majek Fashek Spirit Of Love
Extreme Ways Moby 18
Dashboard Modest Mouse We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
Fire It Up Modest Mouse We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
Florida Modest Mouse We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
We've Got Everything Modest Mouse We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
People As Places As People Modest Mouse We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
Invisible Modest Mouse We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
Crystal New Order Get Ready
Ceremony New Order Singles
Perfect Kiss New Order Singles
Shellshock New Order Singles
Bizarre Love Triangle New Order Singles
True Faith New Order Singles
1963 (Edit) New Order Singles
Round and Round New Order Singles
Regret New Order Singles
Crystal (Radio Edit) New Order Singles
Baro Nil Lara
I Will Be Free Nil Lara
Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair (Jaffa Remix) Nina Simone & Jaffa Verve Remixed
Barcelona Nights Ottmar Liebert Nouveau Flamenco
Spanish Dancer Patti Scialfa Artist's Choice Emmylou Harris
Tony Patty Griffin Flaming Red
Long Road Patty Griffin 1000 Kisses Alt-
Home And Dry Pet Shop Boys Release
Love You 'Till the End The Pogues Pogue Mahone
Don't Stand So Close To Me The Police The Very Best of Sting & The Police
Voice Of Harold R.E.M. Dead Letter Office
Star 69 R.E.M. Monster
Texarkana R.E.M. Out Of Time
Meadowlake Street Ryan Adams & The Cardinals Cold Roses
Somethin' To Believe In Shawn Mullins Beneath The Velvet Sun
N.Y.C. Steve Earle El Corazon
Copperhead Road Steve Earle Essential Steve Earle
The Revolution Starts... Steve Earle The Revolution Starts Now
Desert Rose Sting The Very Best of Sting & The Police
Joyful Sound String Cheese Incident Outside Inside
Way Away Toad The Wet Spet Bread And Circus
Fly From Heaven Toad The Wet Spet Dulcinea
Crucify Tori Amos Little Earthquakes
A Sorta Fairytale Tori Amos Scarlet's Walk
Fast Car Tracy Chapman Tracy Chapman Folk
Even Better Than the Real Thing U2 Achtung Baby
Ultraviolet (Light My Way) U2 Achtung Baby
Beautiful Day U2 All That You Can't Leave Behind
Walk On U2 All That You Can't Leave Behind
Vertigo U2 How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
Lack Of Water The Why Store The Why Store
Put the Message In the Box World Party Goodbye Jumbo
Diavolo In Me (Devil In Me) Zucchero & Solomon Burke Zucchero & Co.