Google Calendar (GCal) Hide Sidebar and Search

I just developed this nice extension for either the Greasemonkey Add-on in Firefox or for Google Chrome which will allow you to toggle on and off the mini-calendar navigation and search bar at the top. This enhances the visible screen real-estate and allows for smaller screens, such as my 13″ MacBook, to display more of my cluttered calendar.

Screenshot

Feel free to check out the project’s page for more information and the ability to download this.

Enjoy!

Daniel Slaughter

Orange Wine Roast Recipe

Orange Wine Roast, Photo 8I’ve never quite enjoyed roasts much, however when I first made this on my own I thought it was one of the best things I’ve ate in a long time. I have made this a few times since my first attempt, and the recipe hasn’t changed a bit. Hopefully you’ll enjoy this roast that’s not your typical Grandma’s recipe!

Ingredients

3-4lb Round Choice Roast, Lean
5 Medium Redskin Potatoes, Washed, not skinned, and quartered
6 Medium Carrots, Washed, not skinned, and cut into 2″ chunks
2 Medium-small naval oranges, sliced with tips/ends removed.
300 ml (2/5th bottle) Red Wine, Pinot Noir
1 28oz (1lb 12oz) can of Hunt’s Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1.5 Tbsp Honey
1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Red Cayenne Pepper Powder (for a little zing)
1/8 tsp Thyme, Ground
1 tsp Liquid Smoke
1/8 cp Soy Sauce
2 Beef Bouillon Cubes

Directions

Orange Honey Roast, Photo 11. Trim any excess fat from the roast and cube into 8-10 hefty pieces. Next, slice the oranges into 1/2″ slices removing the tips of the oranges. Make sure to leave the orange peal on as it will substantially add to the flavor of the roast. Do remove any seeds that may be in the oranges.

Orange Honey Roast, Photo 22. Although browning is optional, I would suggest doing so as it adds to the flavor of the roast by eliminating some of the moisture which allows the roast to intake more during the actual roasting process. If you have an Iron Skillet use it at this point, otherwise a typical pan will do just fine. Brown two opposite sides of each cube of roast and arrange them evenly on the bottom of your crockpot so they’re all on the same level.

Orange Honey Roast, Photo 33. Place the Broth Bouillon Cubes around the roast. On top of the roast in the crockpot place the slices of oranges evenly on top so there is minimal overlap and minimal quantity of roast showing through. As the roast cooks the oranges will break apart causing a tangy tannin flavor to the broth.

Orange Honey Roast, Photo 44. Wash and quarter/halve the red-skinned potatoes. Place the potatoes on top of the layer of oranges in the crockpot and evenly apply the dry seasonings from the ingredients list above (Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Thyme). On top of this drizzle the Honey across all of the potatoes.

5. Pour the Pinot Noir wine over top of the potatoes, making sure to wash away all of the seasonings. Then, pour the soy sauce and liquid smoke as well over the potatoes. The liquid should only go up half the depth of the crockpot, ensuring there will be enough room for juices that will later come from the vegetables and meat.

Orange Honey Roast, Photo 66. Wash and chop the carrots into 2″ pieces. Do not remove the skin unless it is unnecessarily dirty as this is the most nutritious and flavorful part of the carrot. Place the carrots over top of the potatoes in the crock pot.

7. For the final layer add the entire can of Huntz tomatoes on the top, juices and all.

Orange Honey Roast, Photo 78. Set your crockpot to the “Low” or “Medium-Low” setting and let stand for 8-12 hours or until carrots/potatoes are soft and naturally breaking up. Make sure to not stir the mixture until at least 6 hours in. The layers are there for a reason, I promise. 😉

Wine Recommendations

Orange Honey Roast, Photo 5The reason why I say to use a Pinot Noir is due to it’s rich earthy flavors. Its hints of mushrooms, grass, pepper, and dark brown sugar make it an excellent counterpart to this dish. The wine I’ve always used in particular, the three times I’ve made this dish, is an inexpensive bottle ($9) of Pepperwood Grove’s 2007/2008 Pinot Noir from their Valle Central region. I love this wine because although it is inexpensive it has the complexity of flavors comparable to a $20+ bottle of wine, and accents this dish perfectly. I can find this bottle at my local Meijer store, but aside from that you may have to hunt it out if you’re not local to one. You’re more than welcome to try any other type of Pinot Noir, just make sure you’re picking something that contains rich flavors and aromas of earthy textures and tastes.

Also, since you’re only using 2/5ths of the bottle you’ll have plenty left to accommodate the dish once it’s prepared, or as you wait. Enjoy!

Tomato Basil Soup Recipe, Zoup!’s

Tomato Basil SoupAfter visiting Zoup!, a soup restaurant located in the North-West of the United States, I was inspired to reverse cook/engineer their Tomato Basil Soup I had. I’d have to say it tastes pretty much exactly the same… and for your enjoyment here’s the simple 15-20 minute recipe:

Ingredients

1 28oz (1lb 12oz) can of Hunt’s Diced Basil, Garlic & Oregano Tomatoes
1 1/2 Tbsp Basil (dried is fine. I used freeze dried, and fresh would make it better)
1/2 tsp ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp salt-free butter
3/4 cp Milk (I used 1/2%, anything will do)

Directions

Place all contents into a large soup pot over medium heat, stir. Remember to stir occasionally in case of sticking/burning. In about 15-20 minutes it should be done. Pretty simple, ‘eh? Enjoy!

Servings: Makes 2-3 bowls

Why I hate Rob Bliss Experiments

On December 3rd, 2009 Rob Bliss was hired by Wood TV 8 with the title “Social Media Event Planner.” Pertaining past Social Media experiences with Mr. Bliss I contacted the Manager of WOOD TV 8 with the following response:

Rob Bliss Experiments

Rob Bliss Experiments

It has come to my attention you’ve recently hired Rob Bliss for his Social Media Expert skills. Although Mr. Bliss appears to have a very excellent Social Media presence, there are some things you do not see. Why do you not see these? Because Mr. Bliss deletes comments that are par or unsatisfactory from his event pages, fan pages, and personal wall.

On September 29th following the 100,000 Paper Airplanes art prize venue, which I attended, Rob Bliss invited me to be a fan on Facebook to vote for his event. On this events page I simply said, “Although the concepts of your event were good, it was not your best Rob Bliss Experiment.” I used no vulgar words, no discrimination, and even applauded Mr. Bliss for his excellent past events. However, minutes later the post disappeared. Thus, I re-posted the comment. Again the post disappeared and then I posted it once more appending, “Please stop deleting this comment” to the end.

Minutes later I received a very unprofessional and unpleasant private Facebook message which to this day has made a distaste for myself against Mr. Bliss. The conversation is as follows:

Rob Bliss on September 29 at 10:41am:
I apologize but negative comments are deleted because then it pisses off people who support me, etc. and turns into a flamewar and I have no interest in having that on my facebook stuff, any issues you have with the events can be directed towards me personally though

Daniel Slaughter on September 29 at 12:13pm:
I simply stated that I didn’t feel it was your best event. I do appreciate what you’re doing for the city, but at what point do opinions not matter? Any piece of art will have criticism, the least you could do is accept this and take it with an open mind. And furthermore, I would appreciate it if you took a more professional approach to your “business.” Using words such as “pisses” is not very couth.

In a professional Social Media setting I cannot see any successful company taking forth an individual to conduct this line of professionalism. Mr Bliss’ inept ability to handle negative criticism is quite questionable. I personally feel anything WOOD TV 8 puts on their Social Media pages to henceforth be bias and lacking an even blend of criticism. And, is that not what the news is all about?

Please do what you will with this information, however as it currently stands WOOD TV 8 has made a horrible mistake in hiring this individual. I have always appreciated the content and material you have put forth in the news, but as long as Mr. Bliss is employed by your station I will not be watching it anymore.

Will WOOD TV 8 take my experiences into consideration? Have they ever produced anything worthy of news? Probably not.

Daniel Slaughter