Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
It's been a while since I put up a picture of Jake so here he is today, Good Friday, having a fast food lunch out with his parents and brother. It seems by this picture he doesn't get fast food milk shakes that often since his face is pure ecstasy.
A weird theft story and one in which I'd like to know the why. A St. Louis man is accused of stealing $13,000 worth of nuts from his employer. That's it for the story and no explanation at all. What do you do with than many nuts unless you know people who want them.
The Dogtown neighborhood in St. Louis is readying itself for the annual huge St. Patrick's Day parade and channel 5 put up this picture from Seamus McDaniel's famous restaurant this morning. Getting ready the message said. What I'd like to know is exactly what the Irish whiskey is being poured into. Is it eggnog? Or Creme de Mint? Or something else?
One interesting statistic in this story on where we eat out is "Restaurant visits by consumers in the year ending December 2015 rose by 700 million compared to 2010, almost returning to pre-recession levels." The economy getting better may be part of this trend, but the lower cost of gasoline plays a part as well according to a grocery story exec we talked to. When fuel doesn't take as much of our income, we tend to eat out more and when fuel is high, we cook more.
But the point of this story is that those of us who eat out these days are heading more and more to the chain restaurants as opposed to the owner owned. The chains are heavily into advertising special meal deals. Starbucks added 559 U.S. locations in fiscal year 2015. Both Taco Bell and Chipotle each added about 200 stores in 2015, and Dunkin’ Donuts increased its store count by 349.
McDonalds is about the only fast food company which has fewer locations. The number of independent eateries had shrunk by more than 7,100 last fall compared to a year earlier. Meanwhile, the total number of chain restaurants increased by more than 3,200. It looks to me from all this is that we're choosing fast food rather than real meal food when we go out.
I'm not sure exactly why a place like Wendy's, for instance, would have more business than say, Fazzi's in Collinsville or Zia's on The Hill except that Wendy's are everywhere and easy to get to. But for a good meal out, I'd much rather go to a real place with real food and a wait staff.
Our choices for eating out may also explain the new rise in independent eateries doing fast food done well. For example Fort Taco on Manchester, Steve's Hot Dogs in Tower Grove etc. They're doing well from what I can see.
Big news for those of us addicted to Snickers bars and other candy made by the Mars company. There is now a recall in 55 countries for all Mars candies after a "small piece of plastic was found in one of its products." For us in the U.S. we can go on as usual because the company believes the problem originated in their Netherlands plant. If your Snickers or Milky Way or other Mars bar doesn't say on the packaging, "Mars Netherlands", you're ok.
I'll confess to being a Snickers person. I take a bite out of a Snickers here and there throughout the day. I just don't feel right if I don't have that Snickers bite. I have also noticed that the company has now created a Snickers Crisp bar which is similar but has a rice krispy center. I tried one the other day but it didn't have that deep caramel, chewy texture I like.
For once the diet police have given permission to us to have something good. "Why Valentine's Day is Actually the Healthiest Holiday".
"Recent studies have often pointed to the impressive health benefits chocolate" although it is only certain types of chocolate which are good for you. Dark chocolate ranks among the most powerful superfoods known to mankind.
Wow. That is quite the statement.
Wine has also been shown to have health benefits, especially red wine. It helps reduce the risk of depression and dementia. It is also associated with anti-aging properties, as well as with a lower risk of developing breast, lung or prostate cancer. Wine was also shown to protect against type 2 diabetes, stroke damage and even liver disease.
Dale got into the habit of loving eggnog with a bit of bourban added to it over the holidays and now misses it since eggnog is gone until next November. I have no desire to try and make it from scratch so have been looking for alternatives and I do believe I've found it and it's all about Ted Drewes frozen custard.
I looked up what goes into eggnog and it's pretty much what you get with a Ted Drewes vanilla custard. I bought a couple of the individual cups sold in local grocery stores, let it soften to not quite liquid, put it into a container, added some nutmeg and a bit more vanilla, a bit of milk to thin and Voila! After the first sip Dale said, "That's it!"
If I get tired of doing this, I've heard Baskin Robbins always has eggnog ice cream but I'm not sure it's creamy enough.
How's this for a change of pace? Most stories about what to have while watching the Super Bowl are positive, written so that you'll go get whatever the article recommends. But not this one from Chicago Tribune columnist, John Kass. He writes: Super Bowl Snacks Must Rise Above Glistening Cheeses, Wilting Vegetables.
Ha. Most of us have been around football parties that featured veggie trays and plates of small cubed cheeses. Ranch dressing for dipping, crackers for holding the cheese. Often toothpicks are involved.
"Clearly, there is a reason for bad Super Bowl Party food: lazy cooks who don't even cook.
"Raw vegetable tray," tweeted reader Dan Lambert who hates the ubiquitous vegetable tray. (Crudites if you are fancy.) Deep-fry it or GET OUT!"
Sadly, Super Bowl hosts and hostesses have been brainwashed by evil corporate America to think all they have to do is order up deli or chunks of yellow cheese and stick stupid toothpicks in them and call it Super Bowl food."
And more wrong football food is stuffed into the story.
So what serves as good Super Bowl Food? Kass doesn't even like hot wings because most are not hot and they're soggy. He thinks they should be crisp. Frankly, I don't remember ever having crispy wings, most are sort of soft because of the sauce they've been tossed in. What he likes is Louisville Wings, bourbon-flavored wings dumped on a hot grill to crisp, then smothered in that spicy bourbon sauce.
Chips and dips and salsa and beer are good. But don't put out any food or dips formed into a football shape.
I usually try to do wings, tortilla chips with gaucamole and salsa, other snack stuff and a meat of some kind, sausage maybe. Beer, wine, Dr. Pepper, Scotch. Maybe meatballs would be good this year with good Italian rolls or bread.