Friday, January 15, 2010

Manager Rant!

I got another ‘dissatisfied’ survey report on a work ticket.
Essentially, it was for turning in the work ticket 2 days after the work was done.

The work was done on the day it was requested.
The customer was contacted.
The customer expressed appreciation.
The customer was told what to do if a follow up was needed.


But the ticket was turned in 2 days later… for this the customer was dissatisfied?!?!?

And my ‘manager’ did not in the least back me up?

In managements eyes, the works not done till the paperwork is done.

But you and I know that’s B.S.

What’s the most important part of the work ticket sequence?
GETTING THE REQUEST RESOLVED!
That’s gotta be 99% of what is important about the work ticket.  The last 1% is the paperwork.
As far as I see it, this is a management failure to see what’s really important: that the work got resolved!
I accomplished 99% of what’s important, and failed 1%.
Let’s not forget all the tickets I’ve turned in without any ‘dissatisfied’ survey response, most of those were ‘late’ too!
Ninety Nine Percent Success!  That’s an A+ at any school!
I should get back pats, not berated!
You’d think a good manager would know when to back up his employees.
Oh well, I guess a good manager is too much to ask for.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

55 min | 20 min prep
6 muffins
  • 1 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons SACO Buttermilk powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar with 2 Tablespoons of water
  • 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Coat 6 muffin cups with cooking spray.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and buttermilk powder
  4. In a separate bowl, egg whites, oil, sugar and water until creamy, then stir in the blueberries.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry.
  6. Fold together with a rubber spatula until the batter is moist yet remains slightly lumpy.
  7. Pour into muffin cups and bake 30 to 35 minutes
You could use 1/2 cup real buttermilk instead of the powdered stuff with 1/2 cup water.  You can try 1/4 cup honey instead of the sugar.  The first time I baked this, I used twice as much oil and sugar by accident.  I was adapting a different recipe and messed up the math... See kids! Math IS important!  Fortunately, they still turned out very delicious!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Half 'n Half Sandwich Bread

My adaptation of King Arthur's Classic Sandwich Bread:

1 1/2 cups King Arthur Bread Flour
1 1/2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup milk (skim, 1%, 2% or whole, your choice)

1/2 cup hot water, enough to make a soft, smooth dough
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter, margarine or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons instant yeast

Mixing: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine set to the dough or manual cycle). Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 60 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Shaping: Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8-inch log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 60 minutes, until it’s domed about 1 inch above the edge of the pan. A finger pressed into the dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly.

Baking: Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for about 35 minutes, until it’s light golden brown. Test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom (it should sound hollow), or by measuring its interior temperature with an instant-read thermometer (it should register 190°F at the center of the loaf). Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a wire rack before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature. Yield: 1 loaf.


Notes:  Baked for 30 minutes and checked temperature incorrectly (I didn't wait long enough for the thermometer to get an accurate reading), so it went in for another 5 minutes. At that point the bread was 193 degrees. Turned out pretty good though.  Soft and tasty, I'd make it again.  I've read that the original KA Classic Sandwich Bread is very adaptable to different flour mixes, so it's a good recipe to mess around with.

Moist Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Moist Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Moist Whole Wheat Banana Bread Recipe and Instructions:

Be sure to use ultra ripe bananas for this. Their skins should be mottled black and they should feel soft to the touch. Using what you would normally consider to be ripe bananas will diminish the bread’s rich flavor.
½ cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter
½ cup (3 ¾ ounces) packed light or dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (~ 12 ounces) mashed ripe banana (3-4 medium to large bananas)
¼ cup (3 ounces) honey (I used sugar – works fine)
2 large eggs
2 cups (8 ounces) whole wheat flour, traditional or white whole wheat (I found that 2 cups was closer to 10 ounces – guess my whole wheat is heavy)
½ cups (2 ounces) chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
Beat together the butter, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the banana, honey and eggs, beating until smooth. Add the flour and nuts, stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and let it rest at room temperature, uncovered for 10 minutes.
Bake the bread for 50 minutes. Lay a piece of foil gently across the top and bake until a cake tester (like a toothpick) inserted into the center comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.
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Pretty good for a whole wheat version. I think I'd like to try this with 1/2 white & 1/2 wheat or so.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

You Need A Budget!

If you make money... well, you probably spend money...

And if you spend money, you gotta have some way to manage it. Are you managing ok, or do you think you may be able to do better? If so, read on!

I've been recently using a personal finance software called You Need A Budget, or YNAB for short. It's an envelope based system that is remarkable! I've used quicken, MS Money, My Envelopes, and Mint, but none of them holds a candle to YNAB. There's a ton of helpful info at the website, great videos, and a very supportive forum. There's a new version coming out real soon, YNAB 3. I'm really looking forward to that! It'll probably be out by the time you read this!

If you spend money, do yourself a faver and check it out!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Meatless Monday

Health Care, Global Climate Change... what can we do about it?
You can make a difference. We must try.
This plan was used in WWI and WWII. It was restarted in 2003, and we need it desperately.

Take a look at this video, then visit
Meatless Monday, for more!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Michael Pollan's 20 favorite food rules.

Earlier this year was a request for people to post their favorite food rules. Michael Pollan, author of the wonderful and important book: In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
, chose 20 of his favorites, from among 2500 entries.

A few of my favorites:
  • If you are not hungry enough to eat an apple, you are not hungry enough. ~ Emma Fogt
  • Eat foods in inverse proportion to how much its lobby spends to push it. ~ Kirk Westphal
  • It's better to pay the grocer than the doctor. ~ John Forti