A long time since I’ve blogged.

Aaron’s been hard at work on the blog for some time now, and wheedling me (ok, not wheedling, but he has asked) to post. So, I will give a quick update. I’ve been spending almost all my recent internet time on my U1S idea. It is not easy to launch a community, even if I feel I have a vision for it and where it can go. So, I’ve been doing everything from posting and writing articles to build content, promoting it through various outlets, learning about google analytics, tweaking the site layout, and growing a social network. There are lots of great resources out there, but like most things it ultimately boils down to a lot of time invested to get others to buy into your vision, but then of course letting it shape to their needs too.
Aside from this, we’ve had a great Thanksgiving weekend including Thanksgiving at the house. Most of the food was prepared by Chef Aaron, and he did a great job. I think everyone had a great time, up until his brother fell on the stairs… but he was ok, though a bit sore. We’ll cap the weekend off with some Patriots football (and who really expects anything less than a romp at this point), and then… it’s back to work thoughts.
I wish we could have more time like this, but at least I will get time off soon for the winter holidays.

Turkey TrashCanzini

This is my take on a ‘Fabulous’ retro classic, Turkey Tetrazzini.  This is a great use for all the left over turkey we have.  It’s also a good change of pace from Mayflower sandwiches, and all the other Thanksgiving flavors. Also, check it out I’ve even got pictures.


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French Canadian torterrie and meat stuffing (aka Meat pie)

‘tootkay’ is a family tradition. It’s something I’ve grown to love about the holidays. We’d usually have these pies around the house around thanksgiving, and Christmas. I apologize in advance, this is not for the vegetarian, or Kosher, but it is tradition with my family.  Please note, as Tasha would like me to point out, you can make this without pork, and I plan it, so that my lovely wife can know why I enjoy this so much. Also, I have no pics, because I’ve yet to actually make it. Here is my Nana’s recipe.

UPDATE: Photos available here

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van Es – Cream of Carrot Soup

This soup is a tradition in the van Es house for thanksgiving dinner. I’m not sure of the origin, but it’s pretty tasty, and not too bad for you if you cut down the cream and butter. Note, I’m writing the recipe as it’s found in the book, but I prepared it a little different which I’ll explain below.

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I don’t recall doing this…


Your CooksIllustrated.com membership has been renewed for a term of 12 month(s).
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But I do appreciate it. Whom ever you are. (runs off to check my own credit card statement).

Skillet Lasagna -

This is a recipe from a coworker. Unlike your traditional office environment where the guys talk sports or hunting, the support team at Endeca is filled with ‘Chef’s. So, are conversations often cover what did you make this weekend, would you use a bread maker or your stand mixer to make dough, or practical uses of foam, or agar agar in home cooking.

The recipe below is one that I asked for before, recieved, and never made. I hope after blogging about it, I’ll actually make it, since it seems pretty straight forward, and good. However since I’ve never made it, I cannot provide pictures, nor can I comment on how good / easy it was.


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There is one thing I do more than anything else in my life, besides work and sleep. That is commute.

I commute about 37 days a year, 18 hrs a week, 3.5 hrs a day. That’s 37 days just crossed off the calendar. Well, Since I’m sometimes smart enough to commute via commuter rail, I would guess only half of this is actually wasted time. Driving to and from the train, walking between the commuter rail and the T, the T and my office, and the oh so important morning coffee stop. With the time that is not lost I could sleep, zone out, or chat with ‘commuter rail’ friends, but if I did that this time would be moved back into that waste category. I’d like to think I do things that are productive. I listen to podcasts, I manage my email, read online papers, but mostly listen to audiobooks. This past week I’ve listened to Botany of Desire, and the overlook, with a few still on the pod to listen to. My point? I don’t have one.

I’m just trying to reassure myself that I’m not wastig 37 days. :)

Stuffed shells

This is a what I made for dinner tonight. I think it came out quite good.

1 box extra large shells
16 oz whole milk ricotta
1lb Ground beef
1/2 large onion
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
crushed red pepper
1/4 cup shredded cheese (Italian style)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
1 jars worth of pasta sauce
a fresh mozzarella ball, sliced

The ingredients are a guess, I sorta make it up as I go along.
Start the water boiling for the pasta, salt it liberally. Preheat oven to 350. Cook the pasta al dente.
Over medium high heat, saute the onion, in a few tbs of olive oil, add the sun dried tomatoes and garlic cloves minced, lightly salt. Cook until translucent. Remove and set aside.
Over medium high brown beef, salt, add basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Cook thoroughly then drain.
When meat is finished, mix with parm, ricotta, onions.
In a 16×9 Pyrex baking dish, coat bottom of the pan with sauce.
Liberally stuff shells with mixture, and pack tightly into pan.
Top the shells with the shredded cheese and the mozzarella sliced.
Cover with sauce.
Bake for 35 minutes.
Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes to set.
Serve with Garlic bread, or salad.