Acorns on summit of Humbug Mountain by Gary Sharp

thumbnail, featured imageAcorns on summit of Humbug Mountain, by my friend Gary Sharp, on Flickr. Hipstamatic 267. Gary says, “After some research, I’ve learned that it’s an Oregon White Oak. As many times as I’ve passed by that tree, had never noticed the acorns at that stage of their growth. The tentacles looked cool, really got my attention.” See post for image in PHOTOS.

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Microwave Bacon

This really works, and works superbly better than pan-frying. In 5 minutes you get uniform crispness, grease-free bacon, great flavor and no mess, scorching, hotspots, sticking or scrubbing. It sounds too easy. I wish I’d looked into it years ago.

This method assumes you’re using an 1100+ Watt microwave with rotating carousel.

On a microwave-safe platter, layer 2-3 sheets paper towels, Lay out individual bacon strips or half-strips. Cover with one sheet of paper towels. Microwave for 4-5 minutes. Discard HOT! paper towels and serve bacon on separate plate, or in your favorite bagel or breakfast sandwich.

That’s it! Increase cooking time slightly for lower power microwaves. The first time, I checked for doneness at about 3-1/2 minutes. After you get a time for your favorite brand of bacon and desired doneness, cooking time is quite uniform every time. 5 minutes worked best for my taste. Thick sliced bacon seems to cook a little faster (4-1/2 minutes). If you are only cooking a single serving (2-3 slices), check at about 3-1/2 minutes. For larger batches, you can skip the plate and just use the clean glass carousel tray. A microwave-safe kitchen plate will hold about 6 slices of bacon; you can do up to 1/2 pound directly on a typical glass carousel tray.

The plate and paper towels will be very hot. Use a mitt or pot holder and handle like any other hot dish.

Also posted in Recipes.

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I found three previously unposted prepared-dish recipes. Bob gave them to me in February 2004, but we didn’t have the proper attribution for them. They look tempting and deserve a try. Look for Asparagus Casserole, Beef Parmisan and Chicken Casserole, NEW in RECIPES.

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Updated Recipes Department

Similar to what we did for the Humor department, we updated all 211 Recipes pages to work in a php format with the new Rainbo frames replacement. The recipes are the same, but the pages are rewired to let you browse the entire collection within a single browser window.

We still have frames for large articles elsewhere in the department, but this is the last of the two departments that replied on the cumbersome (and sometimes annoying) old Frames technology.

All site links and menu bars have been updated for the new Recipes URL. Bookmark and Google cache users being pointed to the old index page are automatically rerouted to the new one.

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Updates and Additions

Today we completed a security upgrade to WordPress version 2.1.2. Some of the AT A GLANCE last-modified dates are falsely updated to today, but we do have a number of genuine additions since the last What’s New post, too.

  • In My Notes we’ve posted new short articles on the “Luckypod” tree and “Celebrity Chicken Soup”.
  • In Commentary we posted an article on the US Iraq talks – should we attend, and should we pound the pulpit or just listen and take notes?
  • In Computers we offer some observations about how passwords seem to be taking over our surfing life, and what we can do to manage these necessary evils.
  • In La Parola we continue our exploration of the well-meaning but useless feel-good practical benefits of the California Domestic Partnership Act.
  • In PHOTO Notes you’ll find our friend Swan has submitted a couple of nice images of Winter in Heartland country. Under the cold, gray skies of Old Man Winter, it’s tough to take nice photos in any part of the country. It’s possible, but to the photographer the lighting and barren trees offer special challenges.
  • In RECIPES, look under “Prepared Dishes” for a delicious new take on the old shopworn standard, “Chipped Beef”.
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    Lazy Alfredo Casserole

    This is a casserole in name only. This is your chance to throw together a really quick pasta dish that’s really delicious and shamefully easy to prepare in under 15 minutes.

    In Recipes. To find “Lazy Alfredo Caserole” quickly, you can filter for the new “Pasta” category.

    Happy New Year!

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