Simple Homemade Mac n Cheese Recipe

YES, it’s another homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe!

It might not be as good as the ole fashioned baked stuff your grandma made! But, in my opinion, it’s better than the boxed stuff and pretty simple to make!

What you will need:

2 qt Sauce pan (for noodles).
1 qt Sauce pan (for cheese sauce).
Whisk or large wooden fork or stir spoon.
1 Tbsp of Vegetable or Olive Oil.
1 1/2 cups of small elbow macaroni noodles.
1 “heaping” cup of graded cheddar cheese (mild or medium).
3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream (you can use regular whole milk).
3 Tbsp of butter.
1 1/2 tsp of salt, or to taste

Follow suggested directions on the box to cook the macaroni noodles.

Add about 4 and 3/4 cups of water to the 2 qt sauce pan, Tbsp of vegetable or olive oil and 1 tsp of salt and bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook until al dente or slightly firm but not tough. Be careful not to over cook. 

When noodles are close to done, melt the 3 tbsp of butter in the smaller sauce pan on low heat. Add about 1/2 tsp of salt and the 3/4 cups of heavy whipping cream, to the pan. Whisk butter and cream together until well blended.

If your noodles are done, drain briefly in a strainer (we want to retain just a little of the moisture so don’t strain it dry) and return it to the hot pan. Set it aside on a pot holder or cool burner on the stove.

Increase heat to medium-low (#3 or #4 on electric stove) on the heavy cream and butter, and whisk or stir a couple of times, until it starts to simmer (decrease heat a little).

Add graded cheese a little at a time and whisk or stir constantly together and melt the cheese until completely dissolved. Keep repeating this step until you have mixed in all the cheese and it is completely dissolved and smooth (if not completely dissolved, it will taste grainy).

Then pour over the done and drained noodles in the 2 qt sauce pan, and mix around until noodles are well coated with cheese sauce.

Note: If it looks a little dry, try adding a little hot water to the pan and stir until blended together and smooth again.

Serve immediately!

I am not good at making these videos with one hand, but here is a video of me making the cheese sauce.

Enjoy!

Simple Homemade Pizza for Dinner!

Making delicious homemade pizza from scratch (except the sauce, it’s store bought), isn’t too hard! Here is my recipe!
(makes two 12 inch pizzas) 

You will need:

2 1/4 to 3 cups of flour (I use bread flour).
1 package of quick or rapid rise yeast.
1 cup of warm water.
1 Tablespoon of sugar.
1 Teaspoon of salt.
1 & 1/2 Tablespoons of olive oil (and extra for greasing bowls and pizza pans)
1 16’oz block of whole milk low-moisture mozzarella cheese.
Any pizza sauce that you like.
I recommend a 5 oz box of Boboli sauce. It needs no refrigeration for unopened packets and can be stored in the cabinet for a while. It contains 3 sauce packets. We use 1 packet for two 12 inch pizza’s.
Two 12 inch pizza pans.
I recommend non stick. 
Your choice of toppings (pepperoni, black olives, hamburger, anchovies, etc.).

Note: You can use a bread machine or mixer with a dough hook to make your dough if you want. May actually turn out better. But I don’t have one, so I just use my ole fashioned “hand” mixer. lol!

 

STOP the FAKE FACEBOOK HACK MESSAGE

So lately there has been this message invading facebook inboxes, with a warning that has gone extremely viral, telling people not to except someone by the name of Jayden K. Smith, as a friend. And to forward it to your contacts.

For one, you have to ask yourself, do you even know a Jayden K. Smith, why would you except them as a friend if not? Are they a friend of a friend maybe? If you get the friends request, did you even ask your friends if they even know who this person is, before you would accept the request? They may have unknowingly been hacked themselves.

2nd, if you forward something to all your contacts without checking it out 1st, you just set your account up and every account on that list, to be hacked! One of the oldest tricks in the hacker playbook from the days of windows 98 and XP, is to attack the contacts list via email! But see the hacker does not have access to your contacts list as easy anymore with some of the security updates (though still outdated) that have been implemented, so they have to depend on you to deploy it for them.

Lucky for you, it is a hoax and a test to show you how easily people are manipulated by fake news and propaganda, to cause chaos! But by forwarding this to your whole list, you have exposed a vulnerability! So if someone had actually attached a real threat to it, it would have spread like a wild fire!

Heck, now look at all the posts with the exposure of the hoax getting posted everywhere! I just did it myself! So, it worked in more ways than one!

BTW, CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH! DON’T USE RECOGNIZABLE WORDS OR DATES THAT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOU PERSONAL LIFE OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW! NO PETS! NOT EVEN FAVORITE BRANDS YOU USE! USE CAPS, NUMBERS AND SYMBOLS, ALL MIXED UP! IT MAY BE HARD TO REMEMBER BUT HARDER FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO HACK! GO THROUGH AND SECURE YOUR ACCOUNT BETTER. CLICK HERE FOR SOME SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO MAKE YOUR ACCOUNT MORE SECURE!

So, be forewarned for the next time! If you see posts or messages that have gone viral with some warning, check it out 1st before you spread it yourself! Takes only a few seconds to google it!

And as just like in the video above, don’t believe everything you see on the internet!

Smoked Chicken

Going to smoke some chicken. Getting marinated in some salt water and lime brine.

My brine solution is nothing fancy. You dissolve 4 table spoons of salt in a couple of cups of really hot water. Then ice down the water and stir to make it completely chilled. Then poor over whole chicken or part of it on one half and part on the other evenly and then fill with more water to cover chicken (may have to weight it down with something).  You can add some other seasoning if you like to the brine like teriyaki or soy sauce, some rosemary, garlic, etc (experiment). Cover and refrigerate over night. Rinse well before seasoning. Add maybe just a light sprinkle of salt if you want

Going to make one 1/2 lemon pepper and one pepper and garlic. Will update this as I go. I coated it with olive oil 1st, then seasoned it all over, and under the skin as far as I could.

Looking Good, after about an hr. Got a little hot on one side, though. 😉

3 hrs later, the finished product. It was good. Could have used a little more time in the brine maybe or maybe some season salt.

Char-Broil 430 Offset BBQ Smoker Pit Mod

Made a little modification to my Char-Broil 430 Offset Smoker for better smoking.

So I got this little Char-Broil offset smoker (430 model) on a whim when my propane grill was on the fritz and my other pit had rusted out too much.

It’s small, cheap, and was easy to put together. Has just enough room to smoke a small brisket or a full rack of ribs. And, plenty of room to grill enough steaks or burgers for my family of 4.

It works great as a grill, but when I 1st started to use it as a smoker, I had some problems. It’s made of very thin metal, and has several gaps where the smoke and heat can escape. So I had to experiment a lot with the dampeners to get the airflow right, to get the temps where I wanted them. But, I came up with a way for it to work a little better.

I had a steel company (West Texas Steel) cut me a metal plate (16 gauge thickness I think) to fit over the smoking chamber where the grill grates normally sit (cost about $11). The plate leaves about an inch gap at the end, close to the side where the smoke stack sits over, for the smoke to escape there.

Then I lined the bottom of the smoke chamber and the little coal grates that sit in the bottom, with heavy duty foil. I set my meat directly in there. Then put the plate inside and on top of the rails, where the grill grates normally sit. It fit perfect!

I also drilled a hole and added a extra temp gauge in the bottom half of the smoking chamber, so I could monitor the temp where the meat was.

Worked great! Held in more of the heat and cooked more even. Only problem I have now is, the smoke box does not hold enough coals to keep it going for a long while. So you can’t slow cook all day or night without needing to add more coals a few times.

Anyway! Our little 4th of July brisket turned out pretty good!

My Sort of Portable Retro Gaming System

Starting Up Emulationsation running RetroPie 4.2.
Using a Pi Zero W
2.8 capasitive touch screen
pocket juice
Powered by a 4000 mAh PocketJuice portable charger with 5 volt 2.4 amp output.
And an 8Bitdo mini bluetooth gamepad.
Ready to play!

Emulationstation Pixel Desktop Shortcut No Command Line

How to create a emulationstation desktop shortcut to get to back to RetroPie from the Pixel Desktop, without going to the command line!

You can easily install the Pixel Desktop from the RetroPie setup menu (Configuration / Tools >> Raspbiantools >> Install Pixel Desktop Environment). It takes a while, but once installed and after restarting Emulationstation, it will be in the Ports menu on RetroPie.

Enter the desktop with whatever button you setup to enter the games with, on your controller.

*Note: You will need a keyboard and mouse to navigate the desktop!

Once you are at the desktop, right click somewhere on the background and choose, “create empty file” and name it, emulationstation.desktop.

Then download the icon below (right click and save as), and move it into your /home/pi directory.

emulationstation desktop shortcut

Then right click the new empty file and choose, “Text Editor” from the list. Then in the editor, copy and paste or type this information below in the box and save.

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Games
Comment=EmulationStaion
Icon=/home/pi/emulationstation.png
Exec=pkill Xorg
Type=Application
Encoding=UTF-8
Terminal=false
Categories=None;

I found this code here.

The icon should change to the ES icon, once saved. Then test it by double clicking the icon. It should take you back to the Ports menu on RetroPie. You may have to reboot for some settings to take effect.

And there you go, you can now exit the Pixel Desktop with the emulationstation desktop shortcut! Fun!

Netflix on the Raspberry Pi 3 – How-to

A Simple Way to Get Netflix on Your Raspberry Pi 3!

netflix on raspberry piLike many others, I have longed for the day that the Raspberry Pi would be able to play videos natively from Netflix. And like many others, I have tried several different ways to make it work, to no avail, but I kept trying.

So, why keep trying?

Well because the Pi 3, should be able to play video from Netflix. It has the right amount of processing speed, ram and runs on a modified Debian based Linux distribution. After all, it plays fine on a smart phone, with even less specs than the Pi. And it even runs in the Chrome browser on a Linux OS (albeit x86 based), and plays Netflix video, just fine.

So, I thought maybe Netflix just has some sort of block on ARMv7 based processors (which the Pi 3 has). Or a block on running on open source software, afraid they would get hacked or something. But many Linux distributions are open source, so that isn’t it either!

Then what is it?

Well, I am not exactly sure. I could go into a bunch of technical stuff to try and explain it, but I really don’t know exactly what I am talking about. I do understand it a little bit, but not totally. It has something to do with a Chrome plugin called widevine, that allows Netflix video, and other protected video content, to play in the Chrome browser. Widevine is automatically installed and enabled, when you install Chrome on your computer.


netflix on chromiumBut, the Chrome browser will not install and run natively on the Pi. Instead you have to install and run Chromium, which is an open source modified version of Chrome. Chromium however, does not come installed with the widevine plug in. But it is available through a code package that installs Chromium and the required patch for widevine to work, thanks to someone named krusti8 found on the raspberrypi.org forums. The code also installs a Netflix shortcut under the internet menu section on the Pixel desktop, called the Netflix Launcher.

netflix launcher

To install it on the Pi 3, it’s probably a good idea to 1st do an update. Open the terminal and type sudo apt-get update and hit enter. Once done and at the prompt again, copy and paste this code:

wget https://github.com/kusti8/chromium-build/releases/download/netflix-1.0.0/chromium-browser_56.0.2924.84-0ubuntu0.14.04.1.1011.deb
sudo dpkg -i chromium-browser_56.0.2924.84-0ubuntu0.14.04.1.1011.deb

It will start downloading and takes a little time installing. It actually installs in two parts, so you need to watch for when it finishes installing the 1st part, and then hit enter for the second part at the command prompt.

This was pretty simple! I got it up and running on my Pi with no issues! Now I can watch Netflix directly on the Pi! Without streaming from another PC or without using some other virtual windows emulator! Woo Hoo!!!! Thanks kusti8!

Enjoy!