Randumb writings on travel, music and cooking.
When I moved to the states, this Fat Boys album was the first cassette I bought. This song is still just as fun. I like their dance moves at the 3:07 mark.
I got this recipe from my sister who got it from some website. I tweaked it a bit to make it vegetarian friendly. Rough list of the ingredients you’ll need:
First thing, preheat the oven to 400F.
Next, bring a pot of water to boiling. Add the diced up potatoes and boil them for around 12 minutes. You want them soft. Once they’re boiled, mash them up in a bowl with the butter. Set them aside.
Heat a pan up, add some oil and then sautee the onions till they’re golden and shiny and they look delicious. Add the ground beef and while it’s cooking I’d add a generous portion of sea salt and maybe something else from the spice cabinet. I tried cumin this time and it was ok. Black pepper may be a better call.
The ‘meat’ is already cooked so after a few minutes you can add the Foursome. Once you’ve got it all in there, I’d add a cup of water to make things cook better. Eyeball it and see what it needs. Lower the temp, cover it and let it do its thing for 10 minutes or so.
This is the easiest part. Take the beef, veggie, onion mixture and put all of it in a casserole dish. Smooth it out. Then add the mashed potatoes across the top. I like to get it pretty well covered all over and then with a fork bring up a few peaks to give it some texture.
Place it in the oven, uncovered. 30 minutes will cook it. After that, turn it up to Broil and let it cook for another 10 minutes. This should make the potatoes a bit browner and firmer.
What do Facebook, email, text messages and Perez Hilton all have in common? They are great distractors from getting real work done. If you’re like me, you’ll be in the middle of working when out of nowhere you’ll wonder if someone has commented on the funny picture you just posted on FB. So you open a new browser tab, go to facebook and thirty minutes later you’re not sure how you quite got to looking at your prom date’s profile and wondering what if….
So if you ever feel like you should be getting more work out of the time that you put into your work, here’s a way I’ve found to get a very solid and productive hour of work:
1) close all browser tabs not related to what I am working on. so no interruptions from gmail or facebook can happen.
2) exit out of Skype and IM clients so no interruptions from friends or questions from coworkers.
3) put my phone on airplane mode so no text messages or phone calls to interrupt
4) set a timer on my phone for 60 minutes and start working
60 minutes sounds like a long time but i’m always surprised how quickly it passes. the hour is always very productive and my level of concentration very high. and to reward myself, i move on to the final step:
5) immediately undo steps 1-4 and see what you missed in the world while you were being productive
I recently switched from a full time employee with benefits, stock options, 401k, dental, vision and all that stuff we need to working as a contractor with none of those benefits. I decided to make the change for a couple of reasons.
First, I found that I can’t work at a high level of productivity for 8-10 hours straight. I typically have a good 2-3 hours in me before I need a break. Second, spending the day time part of every one of my weekdays in an office just started feeling too restrictive. On days when the sun is out and all I want to do is be outside at a park or at the beach, instead I’m in the office and closing the blinds to keep the sun out. Not fun.
Third, this gives me a chance to start something myself. I’m not starting a startup with a hot new product but I am working for myself, and this means I will need to promote myself, network a lot more and learn how to run an LLC. All new stuff, all good stuff to learn.
Fourth, I want to spend more time with my family in Michigan. With 2-3 weeks annual vacation, I find I get very stingy with my days off and that seems very backwards. It’s my time, and I should be able to choose where and how I spend it. And of course the freedom to travel abroad for a few weeks without having to ask permission.
And finally, I want to try something new. I’ve been working as a full time corporate employee for the past fourteen years and have yet to start something on my own. I’m already excited about the opportunity to start something new now and excited about the possibilities that may arise out of this.
So with that, time to go meet a friend for coffee and then head to Kezar Stadium to run intervals for a few miles before coming back home and doing a bit more work.