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Archive for June 2014

This Blind Squirrel Found A Nut

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Squirrels are omnivores

Squirrels are omnivores

Over Memorial Day weekend my wife and did not plan much and at the last-minute on Sunday we picked up a pork tenderloin to have the next day. It was one of those in store specials that they discounted for a quick sale since the sell by date was soon approaching. We got a 5 pound cut for about $14 after using a $2 coupon the store mailed us along with coupons for other frequently purchased items. Yes, big brother knows what we eat.

I cut it in half, length-wise and froze one half for later consumption. The other half, I rubbed down with a special mix and then put it in a gallon storage bag with an apple cider based marinade for about 24 hours. Alton Brown will tell you the science behind the acidity in the vinegar breaking down the meat fibers making it unbelievable tender. I will tell you that science or no science it was good!
Since you have all been very good I will give you my rub recipe and my marinade recipe.

The rub consisted of salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper and brown sugar. I did not measure anything but I would say it was roughly 1 tablespoon of salt and pepper, about half as much cumin and cayenne pepper and about ½ cup of brown sugar. After I rubbed it on I took some minced garlic and added it and then I took about 1/3 cup of pure Ohio Maple syrup and slathered it over the rub.

I placed the meat in the storage bag and added the marinade which consisted of about a half cup of apple cider vinegar, about a half teaspoon of liquid smoke and about a tablespoon of soy sauce. I also added a about a tablespoon of olive oil.

When I was ready to grill, I cut the meat in half again lengthwise making a piece about a foot long and 2 1/2 inches thick. I had fired up the grill and waited until it was about 700 degrees and cooked it for about 5 minutes on the 4 sides for a total cook time of 20 minutes. It had a nice char on it when I lifted off the grill and onto the serving plate and let it rest for about 10 minutes. As I was taking it off the grill I remember thinking that it had a very pleasing aroma as it drifted up in the air.

I was very pleasantly surprised how good it was and the maple syrup and brown sugar gave the meat a subtle sweet flavor. We also had boiled redskin potatoes and corn on the cob to make it a great kick off to the summer. I guess you can say that even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while. I can’t wait to repeat the process with the other half someday soon.

Have a great week.

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Written by pacelinebiz

June 30, 2014 at 7:58 am

Welcome To Summer 2014

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Summer

Summer

Summer is officially here and it is my favorite time of year. I am looking forward to a bumper crop of vegetables in my little garden. Tomatoes and peppers were planted this year and I hope I can have some salsa canned for enjoying this winter. My salsa has 100,000 rays of sunshine per 6 ounce serving. It can come in handy on a cold winter day. You can use it to spice up any boring soup or stew and is guaranteed to put some zip in your zippity do da.

Perhaps you will find the following summer related topics of interest by clicking here, here and here.

By the numbers here is how I see my summer playing out:

2 – The number of long weekends this summer, Labor Day and Independence Day. The fourth of July is on a Friday!
4 – The date of the first Friday in July. Did I mention that the Fourth of July is on a Friday?
8 – Quarts of Salsa I hope to store up for winter.
16 -The number of ounces in a pint and I might raise a pint once or twice this summer.
32 – The longest month of the year should be this many days and it should be a summer month to extend the best season of the year.
56 – Consecutive hitting streak record in baseball held by Joe DiMaggio will continue as it has since 1941.
73 – Number of years the DiMaggio record has remained unbroken.
100 – Certainty, expressed as a percentage that Barry Bonds used steroids.
365 – Days of summer each year if you keep a positive attitude.

Have a great summer.

Written by pacelinebiz

June 23, 2014 at 7:58 am

Ranch Dressing, The New Ketchup

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Where's the ranch?

Where’s the ranch?

For some reason there has been a disturbing trend of using Ranch dressing as a condiment on everything. I have noticed this for probably 10 years and it continues as the junk food purveyors give the people what they want. There are numerous ranch based combos for chips like chipotle-ranch or bacon-ranch. It is the number one salad dressing by a wide margin and I honestly believe it is becoming as much of a “go to” condiment as ketchup.

Ranch dressing is used as a dip for carrots and other crunchy vegetables and I can understand that one. There are so many ways it is being used now that it is getting ridiculous. People are now dipping their pizza in the stuff. I am sure there already are many pizza shops that have a ranch dressing pizza. It is now popular to use it on French fries, hamburgers, sandwiches and potato chips.

I draw the line with French fries. If you put ranch dressing on French fries you either don’t like French fries or just really need an excuse to deliver ranch dressing to your pie-hole. What is next, ranch licorice? The bad thing about this trend is that regular ranch dressing is loaded with calories from fat. This is not a good trend especially with the obesity epidemic we have in the United States.

I suspect that this is a somewhat age-based craze. The younger you are the higher the likelihood of your usage of ranch dressing on anything other than a salad. Don’t get me wrong, I like ranch dressing on a salad but it is not my first choice perhaps it is my number three favorite. If I were to guess what the next dressing to be used in strange food combinations it would be honey-mustard. I have seen that as a dipping sauce for chicken for some while now. Look out ranch here comes Honey-Mustard!

Have a great week and enjoy a ranch Slurpy to refresh you on a hot summer day.

Written by pacelinebiz

June 16, 2014 at 8:01 am

My Man Cave

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My Man Cave Is A Smoke Fee Environment

My Man Cave Is A Smoke Fee Environment

I have recently been considering a Florida room addition to my house. My wife and I think that is what we need to complete our house as the last piece of the puzzle. We want to convert our deck off of our kitchen to do it. By expanding the deck three feet in width and length it would be a very adequate size of 13 ft by 15 ft.

This will give us a nice area on the first floor to entertain guests or enjoy an outdoor experience while under cover of a roof. Perhaps, I can relax in my smoking jacket with a cocktail. Ok, I don’t smoke or have a smoking jacket and the only mixed drink I have is when I empty the last of the diet coke into my coke zero glass.
We do not intend to have Heating or A/C in the room but enough screened windows to allow for a pleasant breeze in the evenings or on moderate summer days. We will also enjoy the cooling breeze that will flow into the kitchen area. We feel we need to have windows because of the spring pollen that is so thick that it collects like dust outside. We have had pollen counts over 9,000!   During that one month time period, we can still enjoy our new room with the windows closed and the ceiling fan on creating a gentle breeze.

I am hoping the project will go forward but of course we are in the process of getting estimates to see if the cost will allow it. I hope we will not run into any surprises that will make the project cost prohibitive. It is recommended to get three estimates for a project of a significant size.  In the event the project goes forward, I plan on spending much time out there and anticipate that it will become my favorite room 9 months of the year. It may be too cold in December and January and the summer months may be difficult at times.  I am already calling it my man cave!

Have a great week relaxing in your favorite place.

Written by pacelinebiz

June 9, 2014 at 8:00 am

Business Lessons Learned From My Mother

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...and THAT'S how you do it

…and THAT’S how you do it

For those who are new to reading this blog, I want to advise you that in the summer months I write only one business topic per month. After today, the next business topics will be on July 7th and August 4th. I will resume the normal schedule of alternating between business and non-business topics with a September 1st labor day business blog.

After a brief career as a registered nurse, my mom retired and raised five kids – at one point she had a newborn, a one year old and a three and a half-year old. At that point my older brother and I were nine and eleven so of course we were willing to help out around the house.  If you believe that especially about the nine-year-old me then I’ve got some authentic Rolex watches I can sell you at a nice discount.

So what does this have to do with business lessons to be learned?  The first lesson I learned was delegation.  When she had her hands full, she would assign tasks for me and my brother to do. They were the type of tasks that we were able to handle without much, if any, supervision. Things like go get the mail, get me some butter from the fridge for these cookies I am whipping up.  One of the traits of a good manager is to delegate and do it the right way.

Another lesson learned from her was that sometimes you had to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty to accomplish a task. As you may know from previous blogs, my father had an auto repair shop and gas station when I was growing up. This meant that he was very busy and did not always have time to do things around the house. When she wanted mulch for her flower beds she would get my dads’ mid 1950’s manual transmission Chevy truck he had for the business and grab the neighbor lady and get the mulch. She would drag along my brother and me to “help”.

Another lesson I learned from this was thinking outside the box.  My mom was about 100 pounds and did not know how to drive a truck with a stick shift and it was without power steering.  Fortunately, the neighbor lady grew up on a farm and could handle it.  This also shows her ability to collaborate and problem-solve to accomplish a task. She also showed me that obstacles were meant to be overcome not to stifle progress.

I think these lessons should be applied by all business owners when going about their day-to-day operations. Actually, everyone should apply these lessons in their daily lives because this type of attitude is what built this country into an economic superpower. We need more people with my mom’s determination and business sense today.

Have a great week applying lessons from my mother.

Written by pacelinebiz

June 2, 2014 at 8:01 am