Friday, December 25, 2009

Miso Soup and Sushi Christmas Lunch

Chestnuts roasting by an open fire.... Not so much

Lunch this year is Miso Soup and Sushi

Miso Soup is very Japanese, but not so common in the U.S.

Exceptionally simple to make, the most important thing is the Miso. We use Hacho Miso, from Eden Organics

6 cups water, bring to boil
Add one leak, sliced thin.
Reduce heat to medium
After 5 minutes, add carrots (I match stick them). Simmer another 5 minutes.
Add 1 lb cubed tofu (I let it drain for an hour before hand), reduce heat to low
After 3 minutes, scoop out some of the broth into a bowl, and mix in 5 tbs of Miso - stir, then add back in.
Simmer for 2 minutes - serve!

Sushi -

First, make the rice in a rice cooker. No rice cooker? Buy one - you will thank me later. Buy one with a real top that locks down - not a glass top one.

Ingredients - well, this is Wisconsin, so no raw tuna (unless you can find someplace that sells frozen sushi grade). We use cooked shrimp, smoked salmon, cream cheese, carrots, cucumber, wasabi, toasted sesame seeds in a variety of combo's.

It's easy to roll - check out you tube

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bandit Pinot Grigio

Other reviews at - my take?

Drinkable. Convenient. Used it in Coquille St. Jacque, and then served the rest with it for our Christmas Eve Dinner. Slightly thin, some mineral, little bit of sweetness in the mid palate. Finish ok. Reasonable acidity, not very fruity (which is ok) not too sweet. Say - an 82

Monday, December 21, 2009

Burrito's as Big as your Head

Tonight is Burrito as big as your head night.

We will pressure cook some chicken thighs
We will convert the left over Red Beans from last night to Refried Beans (add cumin and cook down more)
And make some Chipotle Lime Rice (sort of)

Wrap it all up in Del Rey Burrito tortillas as big as your head (with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa and cabbage) it should be great.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Red Beans (and Sweet Potato) and Rice

Well, it's Red Beans and Rice again this weekend - the family loves it.

Somewhat different - Daughter #3 is not a fan of ham/sausage. So, an almost vegetarian version.

I started with this recipe, but added some variations, not the least of which, it may be meatless, but it is not vegetarian.

To start, I like to chop my vegetables - I don't mind if you can see the celery in my RBnR. The onion cooks down, but the celery has a tendency to maintain it's shape and color. That works for me.

Second, I cut the spices way down because my family won't eat it spicy.

Third, and our family favorite - Sweet Potatoes! I add 1 sweet potato, 1 inch dice when cooking. It gets very soft, and starts to disintegrate. It also adds a little sweetness to the RBnR.

And finally, I use chicken stock instead of water. That pretty much kills the vegan thing.

I have never used the liquid smoke before, but it works well in this - i think because usually the ham hock and/or bacon usually carry that. - Side note - Why do so many vegan dishes do things to fake the meat? Answer - because meat is good.

Oh well, I will fry up some smoked sausage to serve on the side - it's all good, my daughter's happy, and so is everyone else.

Red Beans and Rice - truly a great dish.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Red Beans and Ricely Yours

Louis Armstrong signed his letters that way as an ode to N'awlins.

Louisiana is home to a lot of great food, but I have to admit, I love red beans and rice, even if I am a born and bred Wisconsin boy.

A good recipe is here - my changes are...

Use Chicken Stock rather than water
I use Tony Chachere as my seasoning -
I also use Turkey Smoked Sausage (just can't find the real stuff up north)
I prep the beans by bringing them to a boil, then off heat and covered for an hour.
I then drain them and start cooking.

I also serve the hot sauce on the side - the rest of the family is a little shy of heat.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Asia Pacific - Good Chinese Buffet, But...

New Chinese Buffet on the east side of Eau Claire, by JoAnne Fabrics/Office Depot/Office Max.

Excellent selection of food, Sushi Bar included, many seafood dishes for Friday Dinner (shrimp, clams, mussels, oysters, squid,crawfish, salmon, very little of that fake fish stuff) and the food tends to be better prepared than your average buffet. Not sure on the selection during lunch, weekdays.


The second time we were there (Friday night, not crazy busy), the restaurant was not that clean - napkins on floor, food spills in dining area not swept up quickly, entry way muddy (hey, it is wisconsin, but did you ever hear of a mop?)

Makes you worry about the food cleanliness. I will go again because of the huge seafood options and SUSHI BAR, but if it is not clean, I may leave.

Asia Palace on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Arnie's Dog House - Nothing to Bark About

Arnie's in Munster, Indina - not the best place ever for a dog

When in the Chicago area I like to get a dog - hot dog that is. Preferably a double dog (2 dogs, one bun) with everything. AKA Chicago Style. And then Cheese Fries.

I often hit Arnies's, but my last visit was disappointing, to say the least.

Now a real chicago dog has some very specific ingredients - and Arnie's was missing some, replaced others - not good. It should be a steamed all beef hot dog on a poppy seed bun, with:
1. Yellow Mustard - pass
2. Bright Green Relish - fail (not florescent)
3. Fresh Chopped Onions - pass
4. Two Tomato Wedges - fail
5. A Pickle Spear or Slice - pass, but it was on the side, not on the dog
6. Two Sport Peppers - FAIL - they used peperoncini
7. A Dash of Celery Salt - fail

They use Vienna All Beef (or so the sign says), but the overall - pathetic.

And the fries were no hot shakes either.

Arnie's Dog House on Urbanspoon

Good Coffee, TERRIBLE food

Cattails Coffee - Marshfield, WI.

They serve Alterra Coffee - perhaps the second best coffee you can buy (just behind Just Coffee), but if you reversed the two I would not be offended.

Cattails brew it alright (could use more coffee) but the food - a crime what they sell

How do they make scones - 4 easy steps

1. Open Freezer
2. Take out Box
3. Place premade scone on serving tray
4. Sell

$2 for a dry, tasteless, nasty scone.

Free Wifi. Good Coffee. Terrible Food.
Cattails Coffee on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Old Fashioned (the Restaurant, not the drink)

Although you can get an old fashioned there, the restaurant in Madison is a great place.

Lunch visit with the daughter - I had the House Burger, she the special (Italian Sausage)

Great food - House Burger is a burger cooked the way you want it - woo hoo - ordered medium rare and got it -- over a wood grill - with bacon, garlic sauce, fried onions, aged chedder and a fried egg - also cooked perfectly - bottom not burnt, yolk perfectly runny but no snot on top (you know what I mean - that runny clear stuff that most of us go for easy over for). Comes with fries or salad, 8.95. A burger that anyone at Red Robin could only dream of being served.

Place is busy, even on a slow day. I understand the wait can be 3 hours for the fish fry on Friday, so go early or late, or expect to try one of their 150 beers

Need to fine it? Try This

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Power to the People Coffee!

Great Coffee, from Just Coffee in Madison Wi.

They may be hippies, but darn fine coffee. Here in Eau Claire it is used as the coffee for Harmony Cafe (closed, but reportedly reopening). My kids find it funny that a climate change denying republican leaning old guy loves hippie coffee, but there you go

My favorite is Revolution Roast, but I have never tried one that wasn't great

Friday, November 27, 2009

Yes, This is the BEST TURKEY EVER

I said it in ALL CAPS so it must be true - right?

Anyway - based on Alton Browns, with edits, has the best turkey ever - no, not the deep fried one, although that is very fine too.

My only addition - get about six dry ancho chilis - cut them up and put them in the brine. I started brining turkey with them years ago when I read about it in a Whole Foods thing - great addition - they do not add any heat to the turkey, but it is a great enhancer to the flavor


Brine - 1 cup salt (I use sea salt), 1 cup brown sugar, 6 dried ancho chilis, cut up, 1/2 gallon of water
Bring all up to heat, stirring to disolve. When the salt/sugar is disolved, take off of heat, and add ice cubes till the ice does not melt (about 5 lbs).
Place cleaned turkey in turkey brine holder (I use a big stock pot), pour brine over, and top off with water till bird is almost covered. Put breast portion down, so if some of the turkey is not covered, it doesnt matter as much. Place stock pot in fridge, or if you are like me and have no room, in a ice chest, surrounded by more ice. If you are in Wisconsin, and it's about 30 degrees outside, put it in your garage, covered (keep out the raccoons dontchaknow.

I like to brine for about 6 hours, so I usually do it the morning of, as we start cooking the turkey 2ish, eating 5 to 6 ish)

Cook following Alton's instructions (dont forget to rinse off before cooking).

Feel free to smoke the bird after this brine, or deepfry, or just roast.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Gift Made of Love

It was my daughters birthday recently. As we were discussing the menu plans for her birthday fete, the topic of desert arose.

Cake was the decision, chocolate. My wife suggested a cake from the bakery, as we were in the middle of the school year (with my wife back in college also).

My daughters response - NO.

A store bought cake is not made of love, she proclaimed.

She did not say made with love - she said made of love.

It struck me at that moment that in our house, making meals are made of love. That when I cook, I do it from love - for the doing for my family. When I am home alone, my meals are modest. But when made for others - I plan, I labor, I put forth every effort, even for a simple lunch.

What in your house is made of love?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

30 Minute Shredded Chicken Taco's

Did I ever mention I love the pressure cooker?

3 lbs chicken thighs, with the skin off (can use boneless if you like - more expensive, but a little less work
1 jar salsa
1 cup water or chicken stock
1 packet chicken taco seasoning

Toss in pressure cooker
Bring to pressure, then back temp off till it's a low whistle
Cook for 20 minutes
De pressurize

Using tongs, take out the thighs, shred meat (will be falling apart)
At the same time, boil down the cooking liquid -
Combine shredded chicken and some of the sauce

Serve with your favorite taco seasonings!

Subsititute bbq sauce for the salsa if you want shredded chicken sandwiches.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pressure Cooker Chili - easy and great

First, read this, which is Alton Brown's recipe - mine is simply changes additions to.

Changes -

Meat - I use 3lbs chuck roast. Feel free to use other meats as Alton suggests

Beer - not a favorite for me - i substitute low sodium chicken stock.

If you use chicken stock (store bought) drop salt - the stock will provide all you need.

Additions -

1 cube semi-sweet cooking chocolate - add's a very interesting, and mexican, addition. Smooths and deepens the flavor.

Beans - yes, I like them. I had 3 cans of whatever - black, red, pink, white. Drain and rinse first, add when chili comes out of the pressure cooker.

Don't Drop

The chipotle peppers and adobe sauce - the heat will cook down - great flavor.

Tortilla Chips - they really thicken the sauce, add great consistency - many chili's end up being meat and beans in a watery sauce - the chips really make the sauce part great.

Great recipe - not that long to cook since you are using a pressure cooker and salsa, and will make you seem like a chili god at your office chili cook-offs.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Low Rent in an Awesome Way

Perfect Review of the Paradise - from Eating in Madison A to Z.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Karabalis Restaurant - Hayward Wisconsin

Karbs in Hayward Wisconsin - ate there after Labor Day - so it was fairly empty

6 oz Sirloin with potato and salad bar

Sirloin was decent, although cold in the center (rare should be cool, not icy). Hash Browns were good - Salad bar was above average for a northern wisconsin super club.

Price - $9.95 - excellent value. Good service, although limited beers on tap.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tinga - in the Pressure Cooker

Pressure Cooker Tinga today - not exactly traditional, but I used what I had

5 lbs of boneless Country Style Ribs (99 cents per pound!)
2 onions, rough chopped
3 tomatoes, rough chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 cups chicken stock
3 tbs chipotle pepers, chopped, with sauce
Achiotina in lard (try a mexican grocery)

Based this off of memory, and recipes here and here.

Chopped and trimmed the ribs down to 1 x 2
Heated oil and 2 tbs achiotina in lard
Browned meat in batches
Once the meat was done, browned the onions
After the onions were browned, added garlic, cooked for 2 minutes with onions
Added chopped tomatoes, cooked 2 minutes
Added Chicken stock
Salted to taste
Added meat back in, put on the lid, cooked for 20 minutes - high heat till whistling, then turned to med - low (4 on my dial) so that it whistled, but not screaming.

Meat is falling apart tender, not too spicy. Pablanos would be nice with the onions, or other more spicy peppers, but for my family - have to be hot sauce on the side for me.

Two options for this -

First, 10 minutes into cooking, added pealed diced potatoes, then pressure cook for 10 minutes more. Serve like a stew, with sour cream, avocado, red onion, warm tortillas on the side

Second option, pull meat from sauce, cook sauce down, add back the meat, then serve as tacos or tostadas.

Both are great options.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Draganettis - Eau Claire Edition

Dinner for 6 on a busy Friday night in Eau Claire, WI at Draganettis. Google Maps location is here

Server was new (I hope). Mistakes, in order:

1. Left pepper shaker on nearby table rather than offering it to us
2. Did not clear salad plates before serving main course
3. Ordering multiple glasses of wine, couldn't be bothered to serve ordered refills - that costs the restaurants money and the servier, as the tip is based on total meal cost
4. Coffee ordered came late, no offer of refills till we were checking out.

Food Commentary:

Bread was ok, olive oil for dipping is on the table (not good quality). Butter was mixed with garlic, pimento, spices - ok.

Salad was so so, served with the dressing in a little plastic cup on the side - this is a linen napkin kind of place - dressing in a plastic cup?

A wide variety of dishes were ordered, three with cream sauce, three with tomato sauce. I ordered the special of the day, .Seafood Pescatore (fruits of the sea). Plates (bowls, depending on your order were large.

Cream sauced dishes were the best, tomato based not so much. The Pescatore was disappointing. Swordfish (overcooked), shrimp (2, ok), clams (not in the shell), cod (cheap filler), sauce was acidic, had heartburn all night, and I don't get heartburn. If I am going to not an inexpensive restaurant, ordering the special of the day, I expect a good meal, not merely an edible one.

I have had good meals/service here, and the pizza is good, but this meal - below average for sure.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Gourmet Magazine is Dead - Good Riddance

Gourmet Mag, at one time, was the pinacle of fine food magazines. I loved to read it in the 7o's and 80's. When I resubscribed in 2005, it was a pathetic image of it's once proud self. So I was not shocked to read of it's demise.

Good Bye. Good Riddance.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Flores Mexican Restaurant - Gas City Indiana - Possibly the Worst Mexican Food I Have Ever Choked Down

I was hopeful going in. Plenty of small towns have Mexican families open up restaurants and serve great food.

Peeked in the kitchen - no mexicans. Not a good sign for Flores Family Mexican Restaurant.

Food was plentiful, but tasted like a bad buffet. The "steak" in the steak taco's reminded me of the old Cheers gag - beefalo, the fake beef. Processed and formed bits of some type of meat with soy vegetable protein. Insanely bad.

Beans were ok, rice was that nasty spanish rice the lunch ladies served you.

Staff was nice, place was clean, food was TERRIBLE. Any positive review of this place is either from the owner or from someone who has never had decent mexican food.

Wine Spectator - Not What it Used to Be

I subscribe to WS - Thanks Dad!

However, somewhere over the years the made a dreadful change

No More Bad Wine Reviews!

You know, the wines that rated in the 70's or lower. The ones that just dished the dirt. I loved those!

Probably dropped it because of pressure from the industry - I don't think they inflate ratings - just don't report the really bad wines. Which is a loss.

Of course, WS has not fallen as far as Gourmet, but still.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Culverized - The New Eau Claire Culvers

Very nice - They took the old Pie Place and converted it, but made it far nicer than any other Culvers I have been in. They have multiple seating areas, 46' flat screens - one CNN, one ESPN, one infomercials in front, and the same Culvers food (which is far better and far more diverse than any other FF place

I had the pork tenderloin (breaded) for the first time - very nice. They have also added real tea and real "sweet tea".

If they had wi fi it would be perfect, but they probably want to flip tables.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hipster Coffee in Downtown Eau Claire (Campus side)

Racy's a little hidden - on the river side of water street (go south on 4th then turn west, you will see it) with a great location on the Chippewa River for sipping you coffee on the bike path along the river

Good coffee - not sure where they get it from (likely Fair Trade if I remember correctly). Free Wi-Fi. You can get food from the attached restaurant. Not the best coffee in the valley (try the 4:30 in Chippewa Falls), but good, and free wifi (take that starbucks!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Coffee Grounds Eau Claire - local roaster, but....

still not my favorite coffee in the valley (which would have to be the 4:30 in Chippewa Falls.

While roasted on site, the roaster likes it either lite roast or burnt roast - nothing choclately brown, all nice and oily. As such, most of the roasts are best drunk without half and half (my fav) or you have to pony up for the shot of espresso to give it enough heft to hold up to the cream.

Food is ok - sandwiches fair, soups good, muffins and scones good.

WiFi is a pain - three people here online and it is so slow I have to downgrade to Gmail dial up option.

For a coffee shop - just average. However, they do have the areas best selection of wine and beer, and a decent selection of cigars.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A & W - Neilsville, WI - America's Root Beer Stand

Minus the stand part.

Older A&W, without the drive in, just the drive through, like most fast food restaurants these days. Clean, but old. Skate Park Next Door. Still serves that fine AW Rootbeer. Ordered a single papa burger combo, they charged me for the double.

A decent place for a meal, but clearly the owners are not interested in bringing their store into the 21st century, and neither is YUM brands, owner of the franchise.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cancun Mexican Restaurant - Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire

The Short Story - Mexican Food For Americans - edible, but not that much up from Taco Johns.

Located in both Eau Claire and in Chippewa Falls, Cancun is a decent American Mexican restaurant. Nothing too special, nothing too spicy, with generic sauces. The staff is attentive, food served fast (straight from the heating table, into a tortilla, onto to your plate), it is a good place for a business lunch - in and out in 30 minutes, but it doesn't feel like they are pushing you out the door (even though they are in working hard to flip tables).

The ubiquitous chips come with a decent, although mild (err, american style) salsa and this odd ranch dip, that has this gluey nasty consistency and odd taste (although surprising ok on top of the generic burrito you ordered)

Ok if you need a decent looking place (think a smaller chi chi's) with generic american mexican food (think chi chi's)

If you want real mexican food - go to where the staff at cancun eats - Tacqueria Sandoval, 2824 London Rd. - Now that is great mexican food -- real mexican food.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Texas Roadhouse - Eau Claire Edition

Texas Roadhouse is largely a steak place that has a gimmick - it is "modeled" after a roadhouse - hot waitresses, line dancing, peanuts (toss the shells on the floor) and beer. Well, the wait staff are not dressed like Hooters girls, the beer special was Sam Adams (what roadhouse would serve a beer from Boston?), and the only dancing is the wait staff doing line dancing every once in a while (but not always loving it).

For a chain, the food is good, the staff friendly, and lots of country music played loud. While sam adams boston lager might of been the special ($2.25 for a 12 oz tap), you can order Shiner Bock in bottles for that true road house draught. Sides are decent (I love the sweet potatoes). Steaks tend to be a little over seasoned (too much salt), but good quality, and cooked correctly (i.e. rare is rare). I tend to get the 12 oz Ribeye, which is plenty of food. The baby blossom onion is 3.99 - a good value, and tasty, if you like deep fried onions, that is

But don't think this is a real roadhouse - no drunks throwing bottles at the band. For that, see this Roadhouse

Overall - good steakhouse - for a chain.

Best Breakfast Burrito? The Eau Claire Showdown

Taco John's advertises it's breakfast burrito as the "best in town". Well, is it?

Up against the Tex - Mex Fast Food Chain - McDonald's and Sonic

The Verdict? Yes, they are the best.

The Why?

Worst first - McD BB is an abomination, with the nastiest chipolte sauce splashed on it. Per their website, composed of sausage, potatoes, eggs, peppers and onions, cheese and fire roasted salsa. For something approaching edible, order it no sauce, then get two hot sauce packets and put them on instead.

Next..... the SuperSonic BB - an ok item, with the advantage of being available all day. Sausage, Scrambled Egg, Cheese, Tater Tots, Onions, Tomatoes and Jalapenos. Needs salsa (they serve a nasty generic salsa on the side), but it does have Jalapenos.

And the Winner - and even good - the Taco John Sausage Scrambler BB. Sausage, eggs, cheese, seasoned hash pellets (better than the tots at Sonic), onions, tomatoes, green peppers, nacho cheese sauce. Actually tastes good, but what puts it over the top is the salsa bar - add your own - my choice, pico de galo and jalapeno's. Love that salsa bar.

So yes, TJ's does have the best breakfast burrito in town.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Smokey Jon's - Excellent Ribs

Excellent for Wisconsin, that is. Excellent Ribs, when they are not overdone, great brisket, but they put too much sauce on the orders - I like their sauce, but does everything have to swim in it?.

Sides are ok - good fries, beans good, but no meat in them, corn doesn't taste much like corn, but decent spice.

Careful on the to go menu - if it says serves 4-8, it serves closer to 4 than 8

Smokey Jon's - East Side of Madison, WI

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kwik Trip - Lake Hallie (53 and 29)

A newer store, conveniently located just off the new bypass. Has both gas and diesel terminals. However, no restaurant, just their coffee area and reheated food.
No WiFi, no seating area. Just your clean, fast moving, well stocked modern Kwik Trip. Staff is nice, plenty of pumps.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Subway - Chippewa Falls

Subway in Chippewa Falls - on Woodward Ave is a good subway. Good in comparison to other subways, that is.
Clean, quick service, updated counter, they put out what you expect. Gloppy bread with a ton of things you can put on top. I went for the Chicken Breast, pepperjack cheese, toasted, with everything, topped with the sweet onion dressing. No Chips.
Very filling, reasonably tasty, $5. Good enough to go again, but not something you dream about

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Marshfield Hardees - Old and Tired, Just like the Chain

Hardees in Marshfield is an older model - looks a little tired, even though it is clean, it just doesn't seem clean. Parking lot pavement has almost gone to gravel, outside is tired, tables inside were old 20 years ago. Plus, having your server wearing a polo with stains just doesn't build confidence.

The food is typical of all Hardees. I ordered the original thickburger with regular (not curly) fries. Burger was overdone (as is usual) and salty. Bun is not sturdy enough for all the sloppy fillings (which is why they wrap it in waxed paper). Fries were ok, but I did not finish them all, which makes them fair at best. Tasted the burger and onions all afternoon, even after chewing a piece of Orbits mint gum.

Bathroom was clean, eating area clean, trash was not over flowing, they had a staff person out wiping up tables, so that's all good.

They even have brought back the big twin, so everything old is still old.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kwik Trip - Black River Falls Version

Kwik Trip, How I Love Thee - Black River Falls - Interstate Version

Everywhere I drive, always open, no fee ATM's, and the infamous Mountain Dew Freezie This version is a Truck Stop version - big area for diesel, has a kitchen so it carries more than just you warm up foods the rest of them sell, and best of all - FREE WIFI! I know you Starbuck snobs will sniff, but for your average small town gas station - a place to sit, refuel and log on to the internet makes it pretty special.

On the down side - it's a little old and showing it's teeth. Bathrooms have that old smell, and its just not up to the usual kwik trip clean standards that the new ones have. Also the food they have is below average also. On the plus side, you can always get fresh fruit and veggies rather than the gut bombs. Definitely a good place to stop, but could use some updating.

Torn between 4 and 5 stars - WiFi at a gas station is nice, plus a place to sit. However, it has to be 4 stars because of the age and upkeep. Not dirty per se, but just old. Still, high value for the money makes it a great stop. Did I say I love the free wifi?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Now for Good Food in Eau Claire

Try Taqueria Sandoval

Great Mexican Food

Three items - Tacos, burritos and Tortas - all great. Variety of meats (beef, pork, chicken, steak, tongue, sheep). napoles, Mexican Beers and Soda. Plus they make a great horchata and excellent salsas you can buy and take home.

I have had the tongue, sheep, pastor (marinated chicken) and the steak.

It's not your average mexican restaurant - it's where all those mexican employees of those restaurants go to get real food. Pretty funny seeing them line up for food while wearing thier uniforms from those restaurants.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Green Mill Restaurant - Could Pizza Be Any Worse?

Green Mill Restaurant - Eau Claire Edition

Perhaps the worst pizza I have ever had - rivaling under cooked frozen pizza. Bad undercooked frozen pizza.

I appreciate food based on price paid. $1 for a frozen pizza - doesn't have to be very good to be acceptable.

$22 for a pizza (plus drinks and tip $36) it should be pretty good - in fact, it should be the best in the city.

The order - One large, classic crust, spinach and garlic, portabella mushroom and prosciutto pizza (plus mango push up slushie and a Sam Adams Summer Ale)

The good - the mushrooms were fresh, the prosciutto was a decent size and taste

The bad - everything else, especially the crust. Pizza all depends on the crust - and I like all types - deep dish, New York style, crisp, whatever. But I want what I ordered. In this case, the classic crust - advertised as a "cracker", i.e. crispy crust, it came soft, bland and floppy. The only way to eat it was with a knife and fork, or New York style. Which is fine, IFt it tastes good and IF it's what I ordered - Also - the spinach garlic mix - Frozen spinach thawed and someone whispers garlic over it? JUST SAY NO! For $36 i expect fresh spinach, chopped and sauteed with garlic.

Overall, this dining experience is an F. Not recommended.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Missing the point, again

Pyromaniacs: The-Holy-Spirit, not-the-Bible dodge (NEXT! #14)

It's not that biblidolatry leaves no room for the Holy Spirit - it's that it attempts to limit, box in, control God. After all, the bible can be studied, classified, theologized. The Holy Spirit is uncontrollable by you and I. And that is a frighting thought

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Quote of the Day

The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any word in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church's prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.

Soren Kierkegaard

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thank You For Selling Your Soul To The Republicans, Mr. Moral Majority/James Dobson/Religous Right

Because you have proven your faithlessness.

From GQ, perhaps the most disturbing thing to come from the Bush II White House - terrible exegesis, and all in all a insanely bad witness to the world.

You all rode that horse, now you go down with him. Perhaps there was a reason Jesus formed no political party, took no position on monetary systems?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Irony Abounds

Slandering fundamentalists is something of an acceptable pastime for evangelicals (not to mention the wider Christian community and culture). But since slander is sin, we're better off showing respect (even when we critique) and seeking to learn what we can.

(spelling correction and bold are mine)

Thanks for the cup of Fe -
Between Two Worlds: Fundamentalism 101

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Enabling the Fault Finders - Should Bloggers turn from the Carnage?

Tim Challies posted on fault finders (a.k.a. known as Watch Bloggers, an all together too referential and polite term for the worst of the vermin).

Filling our minds, our hearts, our computer screens, our blogs with all that is wrong in the church will do little to conform us into the image of the Savior. It can do little. My encouragement to you, whether you are a regular visitor to one of these sites or whether you simply visit them occasionally, is to examine your heart and to examine your motives. Do you visit such sites because they have information that you truly need to know? Or do you visit as a means of entertainment? Are you delighting in what is good and true and pure and lovely, or are you finding a strange, sick delight in all that is evil and ugly?

This has made it's way around the blogosphere, with interesting, if predictable results. including Challies having to shut down comments because of the crazies.

Phil Johnson tweeted it (and then deleted his tweet - that is odd), at which point it hit the fan, including when Justin Taylor picked up on, along with the usual suspects who are now calling for Challies to repent for calling them out (sort of, as he never named names).

The Question is this ---

If bloggers agree that Fault Finders function (at best) no more than watching bubble headed bleach blonde's telling us about plane crashes with a gleam in their eye ... Why do bloggers link to them? Why are they placed in their blog rolls???

If they function as parasites to peoples souls - then pluck them out and cast them away. De link Fault Finders. Get them away from you.

And yes, I mean Ken Silva, Ingrid, and all their ilk. I will name names, but I won't link. I stopped reading them because they are poison to the soul. And I began the process of de-linking long ago.

Postscript - Frank Turk in Challies meta (which Challies closed because of how it degenerated) describes watch bloggers as:

Any blog-like website which has the primary objective of “exposing” the church life errors of people in the English-speaking, North American church; sees “apologetics” as primarily the prosecution of guilty heretics and not as turning a brother away from sin; rarely turns its attention to exhorting the exceeeding beauty and sufficiency of Christ.

fair enough

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Where is the charity in amoungst the NeoReformed Bloggers?

"In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity."

Attibuted to many, the phrase has been adopted by many.

Yet charity seems to be lacking amoung the Neoreformed

Let's define charity first - it has been defined as unlimited loving-kindness

I propose a simple definition for bloggers - not assuming ill, or fault, where there is no reason to do so. Basically - I will not blog unchartably about someone without more evidence than ....

-- 28 words qouted by a reporter in a newspaper (instead of assuming that a world renkowned Bible Professor might have said something just a little different) and proceeding to sub title the post "Unrepentant Professors...."

-- taking the words from an interview about a particular subject, then completly missunderstanding them, while declaring his views "claptrap" (although at least an apology came from that)

-- labeling a reknowned author and professor books to be worthless, not because he has read the works (because he admits he has not), but because of the authors association with the Anglican church.

Why the Conversation Matters

The text doesn't mean one thing today and something else tomorrow.  Whatever it means, it means forever.  But you will never cease the process of applying the truth to your life (Howard and William Hendricks)

Some of the NeoReformed will camp out on the first part of that concept - especially when they hammer on Emergent' s.  But the fact is, the conversation is all about the second part - how do we apply that truth in our lives?  

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Can Love of the Bible mean You Don't Love God?

There is a cult of placing the bible above all things, in particular the Holy Spirit. It is a disease of modernism, where rationalism has won the day. Some have substituted love for the Bible in place of the Love of God.

Some blogger concluded a post on angels this way, finishing with a question that he provides two possible answers for:

Is it the Word that ALONE reveals these truths?

Or is it games, pageantry, frippery, triviality, entertainment, froth, foam, and inanity?

So, he asks, is it the bible, or is it games, pageantry, frippery, et. al. that reveals truth?

May I suggest the correct answer, the one the bible gives?

That would be the Holy Spirit. You know, that part of the triune God that as John 16:13 says:

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come.

It is only through the Holy Spirit that truth of the bible means anything to us. The Holy Spirit inspired the authors, providing us with scripture, and the Holy Spirit that indwells us allows us to understand and apply the scripture. The Bible, by itself, does nothing.

Thinking the Bible alone reveals truth is inanity.