Warm Bananas with Brown Sugar and Bay Leaf

Stolen from food network

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons brandy
Pinch salt
6 ripe bananas, peeled and cut on the bias into 1/3-inch slices (about 1 quart)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fresh coarsely ground black pepper
Store bought chocolate cake or ice cream, for serving
In large skillet over high heat, melt the butter and cook until it browns, about 3 minutes. Add the bay leaves and stand back (it may pop). Add the lemon juice, orange juice, brown sugar, brandy, and a pinch of salt. Bring the mixture up to a boil. Stir and cook until the liquid has reduced by half and it has reached a syrupy consistency, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the bananas and pepper. Stir to coat the bananas evenly. Serve immediately spooned over cake or ice cream.

Cooking Notes: You can make the sauce hours ahead of time. Just add the fruit after you bring the sauce back to a simmer. The fruit should be a little cool inside. Serve it with a good, store bought chocolate cake or spoon it over your favorite ice cream.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranates and Vanilla-Pecan Butter

Stolen from food netowork

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
1 lime, finely zested
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
Combine the butter and vanilla bean seeds in a small bowl. Fold in the pecans and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the Brussels sprouts in a medium roasting pan and toss with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until lightly golden brown, 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, add the pomegranate molasses and stir to combine. Return to the oven and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes longer.

Transfer the sprouts to a large bowl, add the pomegranate seeds and lime and orange zests. Transfer to a platter and top with some of the Vanilla-Pecan butter.

Mushroom Risotto

Stolen from allrecipes


6 cups chicken broth, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 shallots, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Streaming Live TV to Android through http

I use a dvb device to record HDTV on my linux box, and want to stream the video to my new droid bionic. I found a decent solution using vlc. I mostly use this for football when I’m out of town.


vlc command

Took me a while to work this out:
cvlc -vvv dvb:// --dvb-frequency=FREQ --dvb-modulation=256 --sout '#transcode{soverlay,ab=42,samplerate=44100,channels=1,acodec=mp4a,vcodec=h264,width=640,height=352,vfilter="canvas{width=640,height=352,aspect=16:9}",fps=29.97,vb=400,venc=x264{vbv-bufsize=500,partitions=all,level=12,no-cabac,subme=7,threads=4,ref=2,mixed-refs=1,bframes=0,min-keyint=1,keyint=50,trellis=2,direct=auto,qcomp=0.0,qpmax=51}}: standard{access=http,mux=ts,dst=IP:PORT}'

FREQ is the channel frequency (2nd column in your dvbscan file)
IP is the IP address to bind to
PORT is the port (I use 8080)

You can see if its running properly with:

vlc http://IP:PORT

on another machine.


Playing on android

I evaluated two apps to play http streams: Daroon Player and MoboPlayer. I couldn’t get MoboPlayer to work for more than a split second.

I use Daroon Player. It is free and in the Market. when you open it, hit the streams->menu->add. Give it a name and enter


You can tell daroon player to use the hardware decoding on your phone to save batter/CPU.
Go to menu->settings->Decoding Mode and change http to Hardware Decoding.
The above encoding works on the hardware decoder on my droid bionic. I’ve heard it has a TI decoding chip (vs other ones on, say, the iphone) so you may need to change things.

There are still some issues I have to work out:

  • I couldn’t get audio to work using the software decoder in the Daroon Player. I really didn’t mind since I prefer the hardware decoder, but may be an issue for other phones.



I use the following script to parse my channels file from DVB scan, and startup the server.



if [ $1 ] ; then
FREQ=`grep ^$1: $SCANFILE | awk 'BEGIN { FS = ":" } ; { print $2 }'`;
if [ $FREQ ] ; then
CMD="cvlc -vvv dvb:// --dvb-frequency=$FREQ --dvb-modulation=256 --sout "$OP
echo $CMD
$CMD >& /dev/null
exit 1
echo "Usage: $0 [channel]"

Mom’s Cookies

1 cup margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour

Sift flour, salt, and baking powder, set aside. Cream butter and sugar, add
egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix well (by hand). Chill in fridge
overnight. Roll out, cut, and bake at 400ยบ 6-8 minutes.

1 lb powdered sugar
1 stick margarine
1 tsp vanilla
Dash salt
3 tbls milk (more or less, to desired texture)
Beat til smooth.

Christmas Salad

This is a salad I make around the holidays. I don’t recall which greens I buy, typically just get what looks good. I like to mix in some bitter greens cause it goes well with the dressing and candied walnuts. I don’t know the proportions, but its a salad, so figure it out.

Candied Walnuts
Poppy Seed Dressing
Dried Cranberries
Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
Mixed greens (I like a mix between red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, arugula, a few bitter greens, whatever…)

Orange Vanilla Cupcakes

Tastes like orange cream popsicles.
Stolen from 52 cupcakes.

1 box Duncan Hines Orange Supreme Cake Mix
1 box Jello Vanilla Pudding (not instant)

Follow directions on box and add in the box of vanilla pudding
Follow rest of box instructions.

I use the marshmallow frosting she mentioned as filling:
1/2 c. Marshmallow Fluff
1 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
dash salt
1/8 c. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients but vanilla in a double boiler over hot (~200 degrees) water. Beat with a hand mixer till soft peaks form. remove from heat, continue beating until stiff. Beat in vanilla.

Almond Vinaigrette

From America’s Test Kitchen
Good on salmon

Makes about 1/2 cup

1/3 cup almonds , toasted
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 medium shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
Table salt and ground black pepper

Place almonds in zipper-lock bag and, using rolling pin, pound until no pieces larger than 1/2 inch remain. Combine pounded almonds, honey, mustard, vinegar, and shallot in medium bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in olive oil until emulsion forms. Add water and tarragon and whisk to combine, then season with salt and pepper. Serve.


1/3 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound (3 1/2 cups) sifted confectioners sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons milk


Rueben Spread

I don’t remember where I got this….

1 jar (16oz) sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese, cubed
2 cups (8oz) shredded Swiss cheese
1 pkg. (3oz) deli corned beef (chopped)
3 Tbs. prepared Thousand Island sald dressing
Snack rye bread, loaf french bread, hard crackers, etc.

In a 1 and 1/2 quart slow cooker, combine the first five ingredients. Cover and cook for 2 hours or until cheese has melted; stir occasionally to blend. Yields 3 and 1/2 cups.