our Roku

Terry and I knew that we were going to have to shell out for the CBS All Access streaming service after watching the one and only episode of Star Trek: Discovery broadcast on CBS television. Sitting at my computer to watch the show did not seem like an appealing idea. Ultimately we decided to buy a Roku device to plug into our smart TV. The problem is that Roku supports a lot of streaming services, so restraint is required.

Roku packageCBS All Access is a given.  In addition to Star Trek we can watch Stephen Colbert on demand, which is really cool. He is, after all, a favorite of those who can’t stand that guy with orange hair who lives in the White House, and I openly cast my lot with that group.

Then there’s Hulu which seductively offered a free one month trial. We’re keeping it. I have gone back to season one of The Mindy Project, and I am hooked. We can watch previous seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm and new episodes of Saturday Night Live as well.

The base Roku service offers movies from Fandango at a $1.99 and up rental rate. There’s quite a catalog there.

I guess we’ve been sucked into the world of streaming TV.


we will miss Marcela

As long as it has been on the air, The Kitchen on Food Network has been hosted by Marcela Valladolid, Geoffrey Zakarian, Jeff Mauro, Katie Lee, and Sunny Anderson. It is a program that Terry and I thoroughly enjoy. We have missed only a few episodes. We didn’t catch on in time to see Season 1, Episode 1, and perhaps we missed a couple of episodes when we were moving. That’s it.

Late last week Marcela announced on Instagram (@chefmarcela) that Saturday’s show would be her last. Terry and I were both sad, as we loved her presence on the program. She brought a Latina flavor that was otherwise lacking.

The sad thing is that they did not even say goodbye to her on Saturday. The show was certainly taped several weeks ago, and perhaps she made the decision after the taping. Unlike the other hosts she is West Coast-based, and with three kids the decision to stop flying to the East Coast for taping is understandable.

She will no doubt continue her social media presence, but we will miss her on The Kitchen.


creamy chipotle chicken

Creamy Chipotle ChickenI was looking for a one skillet recipe and came across this one for creamy chipotle chicken when using the one skillet filter in my Living Cookbook database. It’s not quite one skillet, though, because you really need to serve it with rice, but it was easy enough.

It turned out quite well. As always I replaced the onion with minced onion. I was careful with the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce; I have a tendency to overdo it with those ingredients. The end result was quite delicious. Terry certainly loved it.


Sacred Music Friday: Adoramus Te, Christe

VOCES8 performs ‘Adoramus Te, Christe’ by Claudio Monteverdi at the Gresham Centre in London.


Mexican shredded beef

I was looking for a slow cooker recipe for a recent weeknight and was in the mood for beef. I came across this recipe for Mexican shredded beef when searching my recipe database.

Mexican Shredded BeefI simplified this recipe a great deal. I used chuck roast and made the spice mix as specified. (Although I think that I forgot the allspice.) I replaced the onion with minced onion. Rather than following all the steps I simply rubbed the beef with the spice mix, put it in the slow cooker, then added the stock (vegetable), lime juice, orange juice (orange/peach/mango actually), garlic, and diced tomatoes then turned on the slow cooker. I set the cooker on high for about four-and-a-half hours and then switched to low for another two-and-a-half.

I served it on rice the first night and then microwaved it and served it with tortillas two nights later. Quite a flavorful dish!


Star Trek: Discovery

Terry and I are delighted. We have Star Trek on television again. Sort of.

CBS has brought the new series Star Trek: Discovery to the online pay service CBS All Access. Smart folks that they are, the people at CBS put only the first episode on the broadcast network. Sort of like drug dealers: the first one is free then you have to pay after that. They had Terry and me hooked.

Star Trek DiscoveryThe question was how to access CBS All Access. Neither our smart TV nor either of our two Blu-ray boxes (the second being attached to a dumb flat screen in the bedroom) has that as an available service. I thought we could sit in my office and watch the show on my computer, but the longer I considered the idea the sillier it seemed. Finally we decided to buy a Roku box (much more on Roku another time) which we attached to the smart TV in our Great Room.

The series takes place ten years before the original Star Trek, though the uniforms somewhat resemble those on Enterprise, which was set fifty years before the original series. That’s OK. If what we are told is correct the series remains true to the Star Trek timeline, unlike the current movie series that totally mucks up the space-time continuum.

It’s Star Trek on television honoring the timeline. Terry and I are happy to pay a few dollars a month for that.


Days of Awe and Wonder

Days of Awe and Wonder coverDays of Awe and Wonder: How to Be a Christian in the Twenty-first Century
Marcus J. Borg
HarperOne (March 14, 2017), 293 pages
Kindle edition $12.99, Amazon paperback $10.80

Marcus Borg was one of the great thinkers in the realm of progressive Christianity. We lost him in 2015, far too soon. He wrote a number of books aimed at helping us fit Christianity into a modern framework.

The present volume is an anthology. It contains book excerpts, sermons, lectures, and blog posts. The themes are familiar: the historical Jesus vs. the post-Easter Jesus, reading the Bible without taking it literally, Jesus’s fight against the domination system, and so forth. There is nothing here that you won’t find in his other books.

Strictly speaking, I don’t know that this book was entirely necessary. However, The Christian Century thought it important enough to give it a featured review. And from my perspective, anything that keeps Borg alive in our memories and thinking is a Good Thing.