In January, we’ll be dabbling in urban fantasy when our little book club tackles Marjorie M. Liu’s The Iron Hunt (Check the right sidebar for details.  Oh, alright, you lazy good-for-nothings.  Discussion the week of January 17th with author Marjorie M. Liu).  In February, we’ll be switching gears to take on a little Hard SF in Karl Schroeder’s Lady of Mazes

Says Publisher’s Weekly: “Canadian author Schroeder’s challenging hard SF novel explores the vast potential of artificial intelligence for transforming human culture. On the remote ring world of Teven Coronal, Livia Kodaly and her family inhabit the beautiful Westerhaven manifold, surrounded by a richness of high tech and virtual conveniences. Due to a childhood tragedy, Livia enjoys different consensual realities. The mysterious Book 3340 breaks down the barriers between manifolds, destroying her world, so that she must travel, with a few accomplices, out of Teven Coronal into the Archipelago, where she encounters several models for a perfect human society and examines her own. Her task is to choose among them, but ultimately to ensure that choices are possible by sacrificing herself to prevent the total subjugation of humanity. The interrelationship between technology and philosophy that informs her choice gives depth and breadth to a book that many will want to reread to get all the nuances.”

Says SfSite: “Karl Schroeder’s new novel is the real thing–head-snappingly cool SF, with big and clever ideas, almost believable transcendence, and a way to map human scale stories into a world where ‘post-human’ powers exist.”

Says Library Journal: “Schroeder specializes in far future, hard sf. His lively writing style and cutting-edge visions combine to deliver a topnotch story that emphasizes the human will to persevere even when reality is falling apart. A good choice for most sf collections.”

Says me: I’ve heard a lot of great things about Lady of Mazes from some very great people.  Plus, Karl and his wife are Stargate fans!

Discussion the week of February 14th, 2011 with author Karl Schroeder.

Well, as promised, after considerable consideration, I’ve narrowed down your entries in the “I Make the Best Whatever” contest down to the Elite Eight dishes that will battle for culinary supremacy on this blog (and in my kitchen).  The champion of the round robin tourney wins the title of Goodliest Eats 2011 and a remarkable prize (to be decided on awarded at a later date).  It was very tough choosing from among the slew of delectable-sounding dishes but, in the end, I was able to trim the field by focusing on those entries that: a) appealed most to my warped culinary sensibilities, b) showed a degree of creativity and/or personal ownership, and c) seemed uncomplicated enough that even I could successfully prepare them without burning down my kitchen.  And so – drumroll, please – the Elite Eight are…

dasNdanger's Puerco Pibil

You had me at “Puerco”.

Jeff W's White Chocolate Cheesecake

Yep, that’s right.  I went with the white chocolate over the milk chocolate cheesecake.  I’m leaning toward the white’s more subtle flavors.  Also, Akemi prefers white.

Mark's great Great Grandma's Kifli

It’s his Great Grandma’s recipe!  That’s as home-cooking as you can get.


Tim Lade’s Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bread Pudding

I was promised a pic, but the combination of the words “chocolate”, “peanut butter”, and “pudding” alone were enough to secure a playoff spot.  But I still want that picture!

DP's Cobbler

I’m usually not a fan of fruit-themed desserts, but I’m a sucker for cobbler with a nice dollop of vanilla ice cream.  Of course, if the official entry doesn’t include a recipe for the accompanying vanilla ice cream, DP faces a darkhorse battle.

Alexander of Houston's Pork Tenderloin

From group underdog to field favorite.  Alexander of Houston dishes a recipe worthy of culinary institute.  But am I worthy of following his directions?


Shiny’s Sancocho

No, it’s not a euphemism.  It’s a hearty traditional soup/stew popular in Spain, the Canary Islands, and South and Central America.

Sparrow_hawk's Chicken Breast with Brown Butter and Fried Sage Leave

This looked and sounded so damn good, it edged out the Nutella Croissants!

So there you are.  Listen up, candidates – if you haven’t posted a recipe yet, please do so.  The rest of you – let the betting begin!  And thanks to everyone who entered.

A marginally better day today.  At least my dog didn’t pee on me.  I woke up way too early because Jelly was crying.  Was she in pain?  Lonely?  Did she have to go to the bathroom?  Nope.  She was just hungry.  I fed her and the rest of the gang, then proceeded to clean the house (since I’ve realized I’ll have one whole half day to tidy up between my return from Tokyo and mom and sis’s arrival in Vancouver for Christmas).  I worked out, had my protein shake, then showered up and headed out, Jelly in tow.

In a desire to make as informed a decision as possible, I decided to look into alternative treatments and second opinions for Jelly.  The first vet I visited checked her out and informed me that nothing short of surgery would cure her condition.  Instead, he focused on pain management, suggesting I  start her on Gabapentin and monitor her progress for a few weeks before trying acupuncture.  The second vet I visited checked her out and came to the same bottom line conclusion: only the surgery would improve her condition. But unlike the first doctor’s wait and see attitude, he urged me to schedule the surgery as soon as possible lest she deteriorates completely.

Suffice it to say that the second opinions only served to reinforce my confusion and general uncertainty.  If I go ahead with the surgery and it leaves her paralyzed (or worse), I’ll feel terrible.  If I don’t do the surgery and her condition deteriorates, leaving her paralyzed (or worse), I’ll feel terrible.  If I wait too long to schedule the surgery and she takes a turn for the worse, I’ll feel terrible.  If I rush her into surgery and something goes wrong, I’ll feel terrible.

I cheered myself up by heading back to the dentist for the third time this week to (finally) get that crown finished.  To the list of things I hate – popcorn, candied fruit, shepherd’s pie, kiwi’s – please add “needles”.  I received another four this afternoon and, when they didn’t do the trick, another two for good measure.

“Is it working?”asked my dentist hopefully as I massaged the right side of my face.

“I hope so,”I said.  “Otherwise, I think I’m having a stroke.”

All lopside grin and drooling aside, it was a much nicer visit than the last one.

Tomorrow, Jelly has one more vet appointment and I have a bunch of things to get done (ie. buy chairs for the kitchen table because all the old ones have last their backs) before I’m Tokyo-bound on Monday.

Also, there’s something wrong with my garage door.

Soooo sleeeeeepy…

46 thoughts on “December 2, 2010: February’s Book of the Month Club Pick! The Elite Eight Dishes Squaring Off in the “I Make The Best Whatever” Contest! A Marginally Better Day!

  1. Joe, and not to make light of the situation, but you could always have Carl make the decision about Jelly’s treatment for you. Then, if anything goes wrong, you can blame Carl and HE’LL feel terrible.

    Ya know, just a thought. 😉

    I’ll get my recipe to you tomorrow. Too tired tonight.

    @ Sparrowhawk – My favorite part with Corrie was when he went on about the piercings. 😆 Some good detective work there…finding out exactly where she was, and was not, pierced. 😉


  2. I would do the surgery.
    If all vets indicate a very probable degradation without it, then the sooner is the best.
    Your dog will still be strong enough if you do it early.
    Lets face it, its not going to get better but only worse so get this out of the way ASAP.
    My best wishes of recovery to your pug. And also take care of yourself in Japan. Relax, enjoy the time off. Make sure you leave your dog with someone trustful. Leave instructions and go to Asia.
    Take care of yourself first.

  3. Joe, I had a similar choice to make concerning TMJ treatment. Decided on pain management after reading reputable online sources (US National Institutes of Health, Mayo Clinic, TMJ Association). Found a pain-management dentist through the specialty’s professional society.

    Perhaps there are similar authorities for veterinary science? Is there a vet school in YVR area that would have both pain-management and orthopedic specialists?

    Please pet Jelly and the other pups on my behalf.

  4. First I noticed that destiny’s hull looks oxidized, even rusted, in the vacuum of space metal wouldn’t do that, would it? Is destiny capable of entering the atmosphere of life supporting planets and landing? Second I would just like to say that Resurgence was an amazing episode and I am looking forward to seeing the last half of season two, and third is there any chance that we might get to see any schematics or hull geometry for the seed ship… or destiny.

  5. Joey, dropped you an e-mail. And no worries, it has nothing to do with albinos, my opinion on how characters should be written, or my living room. 😀


    PS. FYI… albinoesque characters should be written EXACTLY how Pendergast and Elric are written. They’re just so wonderful to curl up with on my living room couch after Mr. Das has crawled off to bed!

    Ya know…just for the record. 🙂

  6. Wow Joe, I am surprised this came about. I will have to get back to you with the recipe in another day, I have to research some notes.

    Jelly don’t look so good and with her advanced age as well as her problems, I know this is a hard decision for you. The only empathy I have is when my parents adopted a pound puppy, it was part Great Dane, who had a severe hook worm infestation and would not make it b/c of blood loss. I wanted nothing more than to try and help him through it. In the end, we had to put him down. In the short time I knew him, I loved him. You’ll do what’s right by Jelly Joe, but since you are about to be out of country on a trip, it will be difficult even more so.

  7. So Joe,

    What’s the most number of pages that you’ve ever written?

    (For a story or anything else.)

    It turns out I’m already making a revision to my dissertation (for the ph.d.)…

    …and I haven’t even had the “final exam” with the professors on the doctoral committee yet. lol

    One prof responded a week after I submitted the completed paper (all ~300 pages of it) and he already had gobs of comments for things he wants me to update in it.

    And he expected me to complete the revision in just a couple days. HAHA rrrrrriiiiiight. It was more like a one-week venture, currently working on finishing up the current revision.

    I’m betting one of the professors on my doctoral committee will make a comment during the final exam/oral defense, right after they (hopefully!) pass me and right as I’m about to walk out, they’ll say something along the lines of, “Oh, by the way, even though we’re passing you, we’d still like you to make another revision on your dissertation.” Then they’ll unload gobs and gobs of requests for adding stuff, removing stuff, changing stuff, fixing stuff, etc.

    FUN! 😀

    Anyway, yeah, well… okay back to work.

    Have a nice day,

    Sean D.

  8. Your day yesterday sucked, Joe. I have a feeling that the third opinion you seek for Jelly will give you a third opinion, confirming neither the first or the second.

    It’s hard to make these kinds of decisions. It reminds me of some friends I know who had to make a very difficult decision for their child. The child was having constant seizures. They had gone through every possible medical therapy combination they could try. It appeared the only choice was to have part of their child’s brain removed. If they didn’t do the surgery, their child would continue to have seizures. The seizures on this scale could cause brain damage. It was definitely influencing quality of life. The seizures could also lead to death if they struck their head on anything while having one. However, it is a known thing. Something the parents are comfortable with treating. The surgery has its own risk including the child becoming brain damaged, death. There would be months of rehabilitation while the child learned to walk, talk, etc., do all the things that part of the brain controlled that would now be gone. All that stuff would need to be rewired, relearned. How does a parent decide to remove part of their child’s brain? I cannot even begin to process that kind of decision-making, the endless tears, the sleepless nights. In the end they did it, and it took a long time, but most of the child’s functionality (that the brain controlled) has been relearned and the seizures are gone. For them, it turned out well. But what if things had gone the other way?

    I don’t want to start a controversial topic on the blog, so please everyone, I’m just saying this to expand on this topic. I believe that the vaccines are what gave Patrick his autism (and I’m totally okay with people disagreeing with me on that point, but that isn’t the point, so read on). And as his parent, I decided to allow them to be given. For a long time, I lived with that until I decided I wasn’t going to punish myself for that anymore. It served no good purpose. I made a decision based on the information I had at the time. Sometimes decisions you make turn out well, sometimes they don’t. I went around for years blaming myself for his autism. Patrick was not blaming me. No one else was blaming me. Then one day I said, “What am I getting from this?” Guilt, anger. Next question was what was guilt and anger getting me. It was propelling me to advocate for change. Okay, so I was doing something positive with those negative emotions. But could I advocate for change without feeling guilty and angry? And the answer was yes, so I said goodbye to them. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but maybe it would help you in your decision making. It was very liberating. I can’t change what has already been done. Beating myself up helped no one.

    If you decide on the surgery, then commit to it, think positively about it, and be ready for whatever the outcome is. You are a good dad. Being a parent sucks sometimes when you have to make these kinds of choices.

    As far as which decision I’d opt for, I’d probably let Jeff make it! After all, I’m the one who opted for medical treatment of one of my conditions which then resulted in these God-forsaken kidney stones that I swear are taking on my personality as being the most stubborn ones I’ve ever heard of even after 2 surgeries.

    If there was more time, I’d probably opt for less invasive and then move towards the surgical option, but in this case, I might lean more towards the surgery.

    Now great, you’ve involved me on this. If you choose the surgery and something goes wrong, now *I’LL* feel guilty. Aren’t you clever. The Ponzi scheme of guilt. LOL.

  9. My thoughts are with you, Joe. So hard to make these calls. Best wishes to Jelly. Give her lots of fuss for all of us.

  10. Hey Joe,

    I so LOVE…

    “Oh, alright, you lazy good-for-nothings.”

    Perfectly describes me right about now. I am on vacation visiting family for the holidays and I would say…doing pretty much “nothing”. So I am good for doing THAT…nothing.

    Of course lazy could have referred to me earlier this week when I choose to stay in my PJs all day and watch endless TNT & Syfy. Okay..I was sick..but was quite the lazy day.

    I will attempt to obtain the book and have it read before the deadline. Vacations and books are so very yummy.

    Best to you Joe…and Jelly,

    P.S. I was told by a very GOOD doctor that AloeVera Gel relieves different kinds of pain when applied to the skin…even for tummy troubles. I’d had a stomach ache for a week without any relief from over-the-counter or prescribed meds. I used the gel as he instructed…within 15 minutes I had relief. I couldn’t believe it. Not just on the top of the skin relief…but all the way through. Go figure..had no idea. Not that I could figure out how to apply it to Jelly…but it would actually probably be even good it she licked it. Just a thought. *hugs & a squish for Jelly*

  11. I notice from your ‘currently reading’ list that you seem to read a lot of stand-alone novels. How much do you read books that are part of a series of some kind? Or rather, how frequently do you read all the books in a series?

  12. Hello !!

    ça va Joseph?

    Une journée bien remplit on dirait? =)

    Moi oui super! Tiens il neige sur le blog,^^ à Paris aussi, avec des températures digne du pôle nord mais ça à l’air d’aller mieux..

    Lol le dentiste, j’aime pas ça non plus, surtout les anésthésies…c’est vraiment étrange comme sensation.

    Oh, je suis triste pour Jelly =( j’espere que son état va s’amélioré.

    …bientôt les fêtes en famille!! Je suis tellement impatiente!!!

    Merci pour ces photos!
    Gros bisou!

  13. Unfortunately, you are the ultimate decider. Some of the factors I use are: how good a patient is the animal? If Jelly is good for treatments, that is a big plus. The more she hates it, the more stressed out she will be. Quality of life is a big factor, too. You are the one that sees Jelly every day, so you can answer that by observation. Nail down those jello vets and ask them why they have decided on their course of action. (good luck with that one)
    Whatever you decide will be the right decision. Don’t look back and agonize over what path you took. Jelly knows you love her and will always do what is best for her.

    Narelle: what language was that yesterday 😀 .

  14. @Joe:

    let the betting begin!

    Hmmm…I think I’ll place my bet on Alexander of Houston’s Pork Tenderloin or dasNdanger’s Puerco Pibil. Now what are we betting again?

    I really really want to try the Puerco Pibil! Will the recipes become public? 😉

    On the white chocolate cheesecake recipe, I’m a little ambivalent about the strawberry syrup; meaning you could produce a light syrup with no cooking (great for a summer cheesecake) or a heavy syrup on the stove with reduction.

    For winter, you may want to do the reduction. In this case simply reduce the light syrup on a stove over low-heat.

    Good luck and email me if you have questions. Oh, and be careful of giving a slice to Ashleigh…every woman I have given a slice to has demanded I bake them their very own cake…multiple times! 🙂

  15. I’m so sorry to hear about Jelly’s deterioration and your bad day yesterday *big hugs to you both*

    It’s a massive decision that only you can make. I remember when I had to make such a decision about our cat Maxine, only I was just a high school kid and Maxine had a stroke and was paralyzed and dragging her back legs. It was heart breaking.

    I did some research online and found a few sites that might provide more information to help you make your decision regarding surgery, rest, alternative therapies.

    Go Pets America

    Seattle Vet Specialists

    Integrative Treatment of Dogs with Intervertebral Disc Disease

    Who is looking after the dogs while you’re away or are they going to a kennel?

    Cheers, Chev

  16. Joe:

    I decided to look into alternative treatments and second opinions for Jelly.

    Man I am slow on the uptake this morning! First the manners thing then skim-reading too fast. Gotta remember finish coffee then comment…finish coffee then comment.

    I’m praying the latest vet visit will give you some clarity and direction for Jelly’s treatment.

  17. Still bummed about the competition. Joe you really got my hopes up with the judging criteria and the fact you included dishes without pictures. Should have known I never had a hope. 🙁


  18. Awwww…poor Jelly. I so wanna give her a hug. I’m such a dog nut that I turn into a complete emotional mush. When you said you heard Jelly crying and you thought she was in pain, my heart sunk. Dogs are amazing creatures. Even though they are in pain, they try not to show it and will still do anything to please you. I’m sure you’ll do what’s best for the poor girl. She’ll be in my prayers.

  19. I was so excited to see your Book of the Month pick for Feb. It’s at my library so I’ll get to participate! All of those dishes look good. I know you will have fun trying them out. All the best as you make your decision about Jelly.

  20. How did your kitchen chairs lose their backs? You’re not a lean-backer are you?

    Mt gold crown arrived at the dentists yesterday. They aren’t open on Friday, so I will know Monday when they can install it. I can’t see my upper back molars, so I think this one is number eight. All gold, all hand made by my brother in law. As for needles and dentists, I have an extra “branch” in the nerve to my jaw, so extra numbing is required. Yuck-o.

    Hugs to Jelly, a throw in a few for yourself.

    I saw a t-shirt at thinkgeek, all in Kanji. Supposedly says “I am looking for a Japanese girlfriend”. I laughed and thought of you, immediately followed by an image of a scowling Akemi.

  21. About that leaking washer: Check where the drain hose meets the plumbing. A clog may cause the drain to back up. If that area is wet, call a plumber to clear the pipe. (Just did this at our house.)

  22. Hey Joe,

    It’s a sad thing to hear about Jelly, so it must be awful going through it. You shouldn’t feel terrible either way you go because you’re just trying to do what’s best for her. In my opinion though you should do the surgery as soon as possible. It’s like removing a band-aid…you’re gonna feel the pain anyway you approach it so get on with it.

  23. @ JeffW – I wouldn’t bet on the pork. It has two things Joe isn’t extremely fond of – salt, and lime. 😀 It’s still damn good, though!

    Puerco Pibil

    5 tablespoons Annatto seeds [achiote seeds]
    2 teaspoons Cumin seeds
    1 tablespoon Peppercorns
    1/2 teaspoon Whole cloves
    8 Whole allspice

    Grind spices in a coffee grinder [one used ONLY for spices] until VERY, VERY fine. this may take awhile, but be sure to get them as fine as possible.

    Next, combine in a blender:

    2 Habanero peppers, chopped [remove seeds to reduce heat, or leave in to keep the heat]
    1/2 cup Orange juice
    1/2 cup White vinegar
    2 tablespoons Salt
    8 cloves Garlic, chopped
    Juice of 5 Limes
    Splash of top quality tequila [clear tequila – avoid the ones with a carmel color as it might alter the flavor]

    Add in the spice mixture and blend well.

    5 pounds Pork Butt [or Pork Loin for less fat, but using loin will make the dish drier]
    Banana Leaves

    Cut the pork into 2 inch cubes…put in a large plastic bag and pour in the sauce…mix and let sit while lining a baking dish with banana leaves. Add pork and sauce, cover/wrap with more banana leaves and seal the whole thing well with tin foil. Then slow roast at 325 degrees F for 4 hours.

    Serve it up with rice and beans and lots of tequila! 😀

    Two notes: The flavors of this dish are rather intense, and achiote has a very distinctive smell and taste. IMO, the saltiness of the dish compliments the intensity of flavor, however, it is up to you whether you want to reduce the amount of salt used. Also, whole spices should be used as described, not the pre-made seasonings (sometimes in a paste) that are available as these will change the flavor of the dish.

    I have never tried to cut this recipe in half, but it should be easy enough to do.

    That’s about it! Dang…I sure hope you aren’t allergic to achiote… 😛


  24. PS…I stole that recipe from Robert Rodriguez…who stole it from a restaurant in NYC. Though I did make a change…so I guess that makes it mine. 🙂


  25. Taking advise from people on the net is probably the last you should do…but…
    Logically regardless of what you choose there is a 50/50 chance (and with varying probabilities on the choices).

    So my advice based on logic alone is to go for the surgery,
    at best the surgery is a success and she’ll get better,
    at worst you’ll know you did everything you could.

    Besides, three vets suggested surgery right?, and one even suggested it ASAP.

    If you are still in doubt, what would you have written for a similar scenario on the Destiny?

    Surgery is risky, sure, but the potential result is good,
    not doing the surgery is likely to keep things as they are or worse.

    If you where able to speak Pug’ese I’m sure she’d say she is willing to risk the surgery, as it probably sucks the way things are currently.

    Animals tend to accept the situation they are in, thinking that this is how things are.
    Humans tend to always want to better things, even if there is risk involved. (Destiny crew is a particular example of this.)

    So the ultimate question for you is if you look at her as just an animal, or as a part of the family.

    Or since the world actually does revolve around the individual (since that is the only way we are capable of perceiving the world),
    why not apply the situation to yourself?
    What if this was you instead?
    I’m pretty sure that you would risk having a surgery instead of hobbling around right?

    In any case, best of wishes to both of you!

  26. Don’t know how much crossover there is between Stargate and Community fans, so you may not have seen it. This week’s episode of Community has a scene where Abed (with Asperger syndrome) is in a bar and has a sci-fi/Farscape conversation with an ooky guy trying to pick him up. It’s funnier than it sounds. Anyway, Stargate is mentioned at the end.

  27. Cobbler is to vanilla ice cream as prime rib is to a plate.

    I don’t have a vanilla ice cream recipe that I can call mine/a family recipe. I go for store-bought ice cream. I remember some home made ice cream from my childhood and it was too soft.

    (You know I have authentic hillbilly blood when “store-bought” is a distinction I often need to make.)

    I might’ve submitted the blackberry dumpling recipe of my grandma’s, but no one can get the dumplings to the right texture like she could. *Nostalgic sigh*

    Anyone else got a vanilla ice cream recipe for Joe?

  28. @Das:

    That’s about it! Dang…I sure hope you aren’t allergic to achiote…

    Guess I’ll find out! 😀 Thanks Das!

    I’ll try this recipe out early next week. I need to visit the Hispanic Market and get some Mexican Cokes for movie night tomorrow (I like the real sugar and glass bottles…more like the Coke I grew up with), so now is the perfect time to get the ingredients.

    As to the spices, my wife loves garlic (8-cloves?!?) so I think she’ll like this, but I’ll have to remove the habanero seeds for her (and the kids).

    I don’t have a spice or coffee mill (that hasn’t been used for coffee), but I think now is the time to get a Christmas Present for myself 😉

    Thanks again for the recipe! I’ll post pics on Flickr when I’m done so you can point out where I (inevitably) went wrong. 🙂

    Off to make dough for pizza tonight…

  29. Thanks dasNdanger for the recipe. Looking forward to trying it out.

    Sorry to hear about your slightly better but still horrible day, Joe. At least the thought of that food may have made it marginally better.

    On Jelly, sorry we people can’t be much help. Just blame the result on us… heheh. There are always going to be risks with surgery, but I would go with the one that made me feel least terrible. No doubt that I have not helped at all. Doing something rather than nothing sure beats sitting there and crying in my opinion.

  30. Joe, sending more “love” for Jelly and you. The links above might give you more good information. If you haven’t already, you can ask other pug owners online (from the link I sent earlier, pug village?). They will have breed-specific insight, and you get to be anonymous there. 🙂

    For DP and Das, I used to work for a group of health/general interest magazines. We used recipes in our issues, and had a registered dietician on staff who tested them in the test kitchen. (Yum!) Her rule of thumb was: if you change three ingredients, you can call the recipe your own. So DP, don’t give up on your vanilla ice cream; there’s hope. 🙂 Find a base recipe and tweak it enough to make it yours. Changing the nuances of the vanilla flavor might be a way.

  31. Das, I’m sorry. That didn’t come out right. (It’s been a long week…) 🙂 Meant for the above to read that your recipe is still yours because of your creative interpretation.

  32. Surgery likely or not is the best thing for an animal. When I was younger one of my pets had a serious condition that if left untreated would be fatal and long story short we had to put to sleep as that was the best thing for it but not after a lengthly and costly way of extending the life of said animal.

    I doubt Jelly is at the point I mentioned however. Just from experience of having to take an animal down for medication/ops it is kinda hard.

    Thing is, Vets usually have the best interest of the animal at heart. From their point of view if they view it as the best course of action for the animal it usually is.

    Just you have to view things from the animals point of view, does she want to live like that? Does she want to get better, is her quality of life going to improve afterwards?

    Sometimes you just have to decide whats best for the animal, it should be a relatively easy choice. If she needs the surgery go and you feel she’l survive it, go for it. If you feel she can’t but you can give her the best quality of life till the end go for that. Either way the pet will know you loved her regardless of what happens.

    Anyway seems to be a lot of talk about the ratings. I think if anything it’s not the show in general that’s the problem. It’s the audience of the Syfy channel in general. Dark and serious shows just don’t seem to have an audience anymore, I would love to see the show continue on another network if Syfy doesn’t want it.

    Is there any way that the show can air on a new channel? Maybe you should do 2 Stargate productions side by side, and somehow have a clause in the contract that releases SGU from Syfys grip and makes it available for other networks..

    Still if another Stargate show does get made after Universe, you should stick around Joe, seems a lot of people have the view that you and Brad would be leaving after Universe regardless. You shouldn’t. Both of you made Stargate what it is today, stick with it!

  33. Okay, here it is, my world famous chicken recipe. If you are worried about calories, the Parmesan chicken breast alone has 288 calories per 4 oz serving. With 1/2 Tbsp of the butter sauce and pine nuts, it goes up to 350 per serving, which is not too bad.

    If you despise chicken, you can use pork loin, also pounded to make cutlets.

    Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast with Toasted Pine Nuts and Fried Sage Leaves

    Step 1. Toasted Pine Nuts

    ½ cup pine nuts (pignolli) (or more if you love them)

    Heat a frying pan over a medium high heat. Add the pine nuts and heat for about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside. Hide them so you can’t nibble on them while you cook.

    Step 2. Fried Sage Leaves

    20 sage leaves
    1 Tbsp milk
    1 Tbsp flour
    ½ cup olive oil

    Rinse and pat dry the fresh sage leaves.
    Heat ½ cup olive oil in the frying pan.
    While the oil is heating, dip the sage leaves one at a time in the milk then dredge in the flour.

    When the oil is hot, add the sage leaves and fry until lightly browned. The light flour coating keeps the sage leaves from getting overdone and bitter. Drain on paper towels. Don’t eat them all before you finish cooking the chicken.

    Step 3. Parmesan Chicken Breast

    16 oz boneless Chicken Breasts (about 3)
    2 Tbsp flour
    1/2 cup Italian Flavored Bread Crumbs
    4 cloves Garlic
    2 Tbsp Olive Oil
    2 Tbsp unsalted butter
    1 egg
    1/2 cup Grated Parmesan
    4 Tbsp unsalted butter

    1. Cut the chicken breast into 4 oz. pieces and pound to about ½ inch thickness.
    2. Beat the egg with about 1 tsp. water and place in a shallow bowl.
    3. Combine the bread crumbs and grated Parmesan in a second shallow bowl in preparation for breading.
    4. Put the flour into a plastic bag and add a couple of pieces of the chicken breast. Shake to coat.
    5. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg and then then crumb/Parmesan mix to coat.
    6. Lay on a plate for about 15 minutes to let the coating set.
    7. Repeat until you have coated all the chicken pieces.
    8. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.
    9. Give the garlic cloves a whack with the flat of a knife and remove the skin.
    10. Put the garlic in the oil and butter and heat until lightly browned then set aside.
    11. Saute the chicken pieces until golden brown on each side (about 5 minutes on a side) and cooked through. Don’t crowd them or they won’t brown well. You will probably need to do this in three batches.
    12. When the chicken is cooked, place on the serving platter and keep warm.
    13. Add the last 4 Tbsp of butter to the pan and return the garlic; heat over medium high heat for about 3 or 4 minutes until the butter just starts to brown. Add a little of the olive oil you used to fry the sage leaves and put into a bowl.
    14. Toss the pine nuts over the chicken and arrange the sage leaves around the border of the platter. Serve with the brown butter.

    I usually serve this with rice or a simple risotto and a green veggie like steamed brocolli or my twice cooked green beans with chili garlic paste.

  34. where i live we never get snow, thanks alot for reminding me!

    any word from syfy? When will we know? and does the ending of SGU, like what you have planned for it at least, does it open up more storyline or is it truly the end for the stargate franchise in terms of stories? Because how can you trump that afterwards, you know what I mean?

  35. @ for the love of Beckett – No worries. In the end, it’s all about the ‘touch’ – two people can make the same exact thing using the same exact recipe, and one comes out great, and the other not so. This is just one of those things I can do well (I am not the greatest cook on the planet – I tend to burn stuff :P).

    The ONLY reason I have that recipe in the first place is because of Johnny Depp. See, his ‘Agent Sands’ thought it was the best pork in the world in Once Upon a Time in Mexico. If it was good enough for Agent Sands, then it had to be good enough for me! 😀 (I just had to know what the greatest pork tasted like! 🙂 ) When I make it, I tweak a few things, but that’s the ‘touch’ stuff…the thing that doesn’t translate well when writing down a recipe. Picking the right limes, grinding the spices just right, marinating the pork a bit longer than suggested…adding a bit more tequila 😉 …those are the things that you just do by feel. In the end every dish is unique – with a little more of that, or a little less of this – and that’s what makes it your ‘own’.


  36. @das: Yum! I’ll have to give that a try. I hope it will work without banana leaves as I’m not sure I can find them. The rest shouldn’t be a problem.

    I promised I would post the Nutella Croissant recipe. I’ll do that tomorrow.

  37. Ya know Joe, I ‘ve been thinking about Miss Jelly (because you are both in my thoughts and prayers) and I was wondering, if she became paralyzed would it be painful? Or would the pain go away? I know a dachshund dog that is paralyzed from the waist down. People look at the dog and say “Oh how sad”, but that dog keeps up with me walking in it’s backyard and house. It is upbeat and very happy. It acts like all it’s other dachshund siblings it lives with. I know if that happened to Jelly she would still be babied and pampered by you. You could even get her a 2 wheel harness for her back legs when she needed to go out for distances. And you are already carrying her up the stairs anyway, right? So no change there. They make doggie diapers, so that means dogs wear them. Paralyzed people live full lives. They just need a little assistance with some things. Same thing with dogs. And I don’t think she is that old. Small dogs live longer than other dogs. Just thoughts…

  38. I hate to say it and please dont think i am not being sensitive. But, as hard as it will be, maybe its best to say goodbye. From the sounds of any of the options, its seems like she will have an uncomfortable short time left with you. Time to pick up a new little guy, Jelly 2.0??

    On a brighter note since you didnt list peppermint on the list of things you hate, i am sure you will love the triple peppermint cake with peppermint icing that i got you for christmas. Also i wrapped it in a peppermint bow.

    And thanks for pointing out that Akemi likes the white, we hadnt noticed!! Is she going with you and Ivon The Terrible to tokyo??

  39. Thanks for nominating my recipe for the elite eight. I posted the recipe below but I also have the recipe and a few diagrams on how to make it at:



    Mix together the following three ingredients and set aside. Ensure it does not clump.

    1/4 CUP MILK (Warmed)
    1 tsp SUGAR

    Using a pastry knife, Mix the following three ingredients in a bowl:

    1/2 lb. BUTTER (1 CUP)
    Pinch of Salt

    Add the following two dry ingredients to the above:

    3-1/2 TBSP SUGAR
    1/2 tsp BAKING POWDER

    In a separate bowl, mix the following:


    The add the yeast mixture from above (by now it has frothed) and add:

    1/2 tsp VANILLA

    Mix these ‘wet’ ingredients together with the dry ingredients. Should have the consistency of peanut butter cookie dough. Add flour if sticky. Knead well and let stand 2 hours in a warm place. To allow the dough to rise, we place the bowl with the dough (covered with a tea towel) onto the top rack of our oven and place a bowl of hot water on the lower rack. Leave the oven off and it will gently warm and allow the dough to rise.

    Divide the dough into 5 equal sized balls. Sprinkle sugar on a board, put a dough ball on the board, and roll out into a circle about 12 inches across. Flip the dough over and put more sugar on the board. Cut like a pizza into wedges about 1-1/2 inches at widest. Put Lecvar plum jam on each wedge (about 1 tsp each) and roll in sugar. Bake on a cookie sheet at 325 F for 15 min until golden brown.

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