Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Night in Bethlehem

My family has a tradition of celebrating Christmas Eve by pretending we are in Bethlehem.  We dress up in towles, turn off the lights, and eat semi-authentic food by candlelight.  Usually this is fun and traditional, but this year the kids actually liked what I made, so i'm writing it down so I can remember for next year.

Chicken broth, about 3 cans
Barley, about half a cup
curry powder, about 3 tsp
1 onion, fried
3 cloves of garlic
3 chicken breasts
1 can of chickpeas
6 mini carrots, chopped

handful of raisens for garnish 

put the barley in the chicken broth, add in the onion, garlic, carrots, and curry powder.  cook until barley is tender, about 90 minutes.  Add in chicken and chickpeas cook about 20 minutes. 

My husband added paprika and cayenne pepper to his.

I also made homemade pita bread, which was quite good.  I served cucumbers, appricots and raisens on the side.  Almost everyone ate it without complaining.  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Moving to lollipop on a nexus 7 - Don't do it

I was excited to up grade to lollipop on my nexus 7.  I did not have a good experience. I experienced freezing and locking. 

I did a factory reset and it became boarder line useful, but it stopped being able to charge.  It was taking ten hours instead of three or four.

  My nice husband reflashed it back to kitkat which is where it will stay until a major patch for lollipop comes out.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Initial Review: Pebble SmartWatch

I love gadgets.  When my husband mentioned the Pebble, I looked into it and decided I really wanted one.  I went off to Target and bought a white Pebble.  Since it was something of an impulse buy, I regretted it the next day and gave it my husband to try.  While he was using it, I did some more research and decided I wanted it back.  So far I am happy with my purchase.

I wanted the Pebble so I wouldn't miss calls or texts.  I also wanted to be able to control my podcasts without having to get my phone out of my pocket.  Also, have I mentioned I like gadgets?

- not missing notifications.  Today my phone was charging, and I still got the Facebook messages and text messages I was sent.
- battery life.  Pebble's website claims 5-7 day and I am on track to hit four or five days.  I can live with charging twice a week.
- skipping ahead in podcasts without having to find my phone.  The podcasts I listen to are from radio shows, so there are often commercials and news and weather reports from days ago.  With the appropriate app, I can use the Pebble's music controls to fast forward through them.
- cost.  At $99, I don't mind taking a risk.
- waterproof.  Apparently I could take it swimming.  I'm not that brave, but it means it will be fine if I accidentally wear it in the shower.
- apps.  There are a large number of apps that can run on the watch.  Some of them require paid apps from the itunes store.
- kids.  My daughter could play on my phone and I wouldn't miss any texts or notifications.

- size.  The watch is as wide as my wrist. (I have small wrists).  It looks huge on me.
-color.  I got the white.  I wish I had gotten the black.  The white stands out more than I thought it would.  (Updated: I put a black watch band on it and it looks much better.  It also made the match seem to fit me better because there wasn't several inches of watchband sticking out.
- random bluetooth disconnects.  The regular notifications use bluetooth-le and it doesn't seem to be as reliable as the regular bluetooth.  This means sometimes my calendar notifications and reminders don't go to my watch like they should.

- It does not have a speaker or microphone.  I can answer my phone, but still have to find the phone to talk.  It is more useful for declining calls when I forgot to turn the phone off.
- The screen is an e-ink screen.  It is not a touch screen.  Neither of these things bothered me because I didn't want a watch that I had to charge every day.
- One of the main things I wanted to do is be able to jump ahead / fast forward during podcasts without messing with my phone.  This is possible, but I had to buy DownCast for my iphone.
- There is a website where you can make your own watch face for the Pebble
- I wasn't terribly impressed with the pedometer app, so don't let that be a deciding factor.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cake Mix Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I modified the pumpkin cake recipe on the Western Family Spice Cake box and came up with this recipe. The whole family enjoyed these.  Even though they are made with a cake mix, they are muffins not cupcakes.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Cake Mix Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1  spice cake mix
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 c pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 c oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c chocolate chips

Pre heat oven to 350.  Mix ingredients.  Put muffin liners in tin.  Put approximately 1/4 c of mix in each cup.  Bake 14 - 18 minutes.  Makes approx. 18.