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Archive for March, 2012

Crock Pot Beef Burgundy with Egg Noodles

From a website (and I love this one!) called Momswhothink.com: 

Burgundy Beef Ingredients:

2 ¼-2 ½ lbs. pot roast
1 can condensed beefy mushroom soup
1 can condensed creamy mushroom soup
1 cup sliced mushrooms or chopped onions (optional)
¼ cup burgundy wine (or cranberry juice)

Directions:

1. Trim fat and cut meat into 1-inch pieces. Place in crock-pot.

2. Stir in soups, mushrooms or onions if desired and wine.

3. Cover and cook on high 4-4 ½ hours or low for 8-9 hours.

4. Serve over cooked egg noodles.

 

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The Lessons of Super Tuesday

The Lessons of Super Tuesday

This is an article I wrote for my blog on CafeMom.com/the Stir as part of the Moms Matter initiative I am taking part in…

What are the lessons of Super Tuesday? I’m a newcomer to all this myself but it seems to me, it’s a little bit like a pit stop at a race track, where a candidate can see what’s dragging him or her down, tweak and re-launch. And if he does it right, that re-entry might give the candidates exactly the momentum he or she needs to clinch it. 

Wednesday morning, Mitt Romney, who won the largest number of delegates by a pretty good margin, was probably wishing that delegates were still awarded on a winner take all basis. Because they’re not, Rick Santorum is actually going to get a big chunk of the delegates even in states he didn’t win. What he didn’t get was a big chunk of Catholic votes. Catholic voters, one of the biggest groups of swing voters, have consistently voted for Romney in state after state. According to CNN’s exit polls, Romney took 43% of Ohio Catholics on Super Tuesday, compared to 31% for Rick Santorum. (www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2012/03/analyst-catholics-may-account-for-romney-win-in-ohio/) Why is this? Because Catholics, not unlike Republicans, have more depth and individualism than many people assume. And Santorum’s reaching out to social conservatives may be turning some Catholics off who care more about job creation than rewriting creation.  

 Super Tuesday is like a snap shot that shows a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses with different kinds of voters in different parts of the country. While Romney’s loss in some southern states is a concern, the good news is by winning Ohio, he proved he could win another big industrial state. Michigan was the first. 

 For sure, it’s time for Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul to bow out gracefully. Yes, Newt, Georgia thinks you’re a peach. Now, would you please step aside and help stop the creeping rot that is hurting the whole crop!  As for Rick Santorum, somebody needs to get a bucket of water and douse the religious fire. An admirable crusader, he is unfortunately leading the troops straight towards a cliff. There’s no doubt that Romney stands head and shoulders above Santorum when it comes to all matters related to the economy. And when voters say their biggest concern is job creation or taming the deficit, Santorum’s religious sanitizing of the Republican party seems a little, well, off-topic.

 I just read a great article by Major Garrett in the National Journal  about the division in the Republican party and the split between what the writer calls, “The Rationals” and “The Notionals.” (nationaljournal.com/2012/03/two-sets-of-gop-voters-rationa.php) It has nothing to do with rational versus irrational thinking. Instead the Notionals are the Republicans who have a notion that there is someone out there who is better than Romney. And they have been flipping back and forth for a year and a half about who that may be.

To build on this thought, I would say I guess it is Rick Santorum’s good fortune that the Notionals have discovered him at this stage of the game. But does someone, who soundly lost a re-election bid as Senator in his home state, have what it takes to defeat President Barack Obama in what is going to be a tough general election driven in large part by voters concerns about the economy? 

According to Garrett, the Notionals are the grass roots activists who are trying to effect change by staying longer and talking louder. They are the Tea Party-ers, the Bachmann and Palin fans, the Donald Trump fans, the Rush Limbaughs, who get a lot of attention but do not speak for most Republicans I know.  The Notionals are the ones who said in polls that it is important that a candidate share their religion. 

 I would add that the Rationals are the people who recognize the range of social opinions within the party when they hear George Bush’s daughter advocating gay marriage. They care when someone they trust, like Barbara Bush, says they’ve known the Romneys for years and they really are good people. The  Rationals are the same people who can take an objective look at Mitt Romney’s resume and see a pretty compelling match between his skills and our country’s most pressing needs right now.   

 One obvious target Romney could reach out to to bolster himself in the final months leading up to the nomination is moderate Republican women. According to CNN, half of Republican voters are women and two-thirds of new small businesses are started by women. We’re here and we tend to vote Republican. And we really like Barbara Bush. In fact, we’re waiting for her to come up with another zinger like, “It rhymes with rich.”

What would she say about this current hard right/then hard left/now hard right turn into the bedroom and the ensuing flap on birth control? Hmmm.  If anyone can put it in perspective, she can! And God knows, Republican women could use a good laugh right now! 

By the way, Romney took Vermont, too. According to CNN’s Super Tuesday polls, Vermont is the only state where the majority of Republican voters heading to the polls on Super Tuesday identified themselves as Moderates. I believe the majority of Republicans are moderates who view the social conservatives with suspicion. They’re just waiting for the reasonable Republican to be revered the way the social conservative is now feared.  That is what it is going to take to re-engage them and get them to the polls!  I guess it’s clear who I am voting for – the Rational! Or Mitt Romney. 

We do love Barbara Bush. Who, by the way, is crazy about Romney!

Barbara Bush: 2012 Is ‘the Worst Campaign I’ve Ever Seen’

By ASHLEY PARKER
The former first lady Barbara Bush is back on the campaign trail — this time for Mitt Romney — and once again, she’s not biting her famously sharp tongue.

Speaking at a conference about first ladies at Southern Methodist University on Monday, Mrs. Bush called the 2012 presidential race “the worst campaign I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“I hate that people think compromise is a dirty word,” she said. “It’s not a dirty word.”

Though her husband, former President George H. W. Bush, unofficially endorsed Mr. Romney in late December, calling him “the best choice for us,” Mrs. Bush did not ramp up her public support for Mr. Romney until recently.

But now that she’s in, she’s been a frequent presence on television, in the newspapers and even on the phone to voters in crucial Super Tuesday states. On Sunday, the Romney campaign began a round of robocalls recorded by Mrs. Bush in Ohio and Vermont.

In the call, Mrs. Bush directs voters to a phone number and e-mail address for the Romney campaign headquarters in their state. When recording the call, she omitted an anti-Obama line in the script, according to her spokesman.

But negative campaigning is not new for the Bush family. Mrs. Bush made her famous “rhymes with rich” line, and her husband ran the Willie Horton ad against Michael Dukakis in 1988.

On Monday evening, Mrs. Bush continued her campaign for Mr. Romney in a phone call with Fox News. Mrs. Bush said that her ties with the Romney family dated to the days of Mr. Romney’s father, George, a former auto executive who became the governor of Michigan.

“We’ve known the Romneys for a number of years,” she said. “I knew the mother and father. I’m so old, I probably knew the grandmother and grandfather. In any case, we loved them. George Romney started really the inspiration for the points of light. He just was a wonderful giving man, and his son is the same.”

Though she went out of her way to point out that she, like her husband, has not officially endorsed Mr. Romney (“I haven’t endorsed anyone, yet of course you think I have obviously,” she told the host), her visible role supporting Mr. Romney certainly seems a lot like an endorsement.

“I’m sort of sick of people tearing him down, because I think he’s a great man, would be a great choice,” she said.

“I’m worried about this campaign, because it’s too ugly, I really don’t like it,” she said on Fox News. “I’m very much for Mitt Romney, as I guess is my husband — I’m endorsing him for George.”

“There I go again,” she added.

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 Santorum slumps in Super Tuesday polls
/

 Sandra Fluke on ABC News reacting to Rush’s apology for calling her a “slut.”

Super Tuesday

What is Super Tuesday? It’s the day with the most delegates at stake in the Presidential campaign.  A total of ten states will be voting tomorrow. They are Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. Right now, Romney is way ahead with 353 delegates committed. But tomorrow’s primaries aren’t winner take all. That means a strong second place showing could have a major impact on who gets the nomination. Ohio is the most critical race with 63 delegates.

 Pinteresting...

Pinteresting…

The internet is a twitter or abuzz, I should say, about the fact that Anne Romney listed Anna Karenina as a book worth reading on the social media site, Pinterest.  Since sex and women’s reproductive rights are becoming a wedge issue this year, all of political cyberspace is asking what is Anne Romney really saying?  I could be missing something but it seems to me that Anne Romney is saying Anna Karenina is a good book. And that Tolstoy is a brilliant novelist. Hardly a unique opinion and certainly not earth shattering stuff although I must admit I am happy to know that the future first lady and I share a love of that novel!

Consider what Oprah had to say about the book, It’s Not As Foreign As You Think.” Of all the Russian novels written during the 19th-century, Anna Karenina is perhaps the most taught in college literature courses. Even so, over the years it has grown in stature to nearly mythical proportions as one of the most challenging novels to read. To give Tolstoy credit, this is a complicated, rich story with many layers and much to digest. However, it is also a lot of fun. The characters are well realized and in most cases very approachable. Their experiences, from Stiva’s infidelity to Levin’s firstborn child, are not so far from our modern-day understanding of life and the world. Tolstoy’s prose is generous, giving its reader many ways to interpret it and a lot to consider. Once you’ve finished Anna Karenina, you’ll not only be proud of your accomplishment, but also realize how rewarding a great summer read like this can be! As Oprah says: “Don’t be scared. We will do this together.”  

Did anyone question Oprah’s commitment to Steadman Graham when she listed it as a worthwhile novel?

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/oprahsbookclub/Your-Guide-to-Understanding-Tolstoys-Anna-Karenina/2#ixzz1oH8wS8Vr

Spaghetti Carbonara

From Everyday food:

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 8 ounces (8 slices) bacon, cut 1 inch thick crosswise
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half

Directions

  1. Set a large pot of water to boil (for pasta). In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 12 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
  2. Salt boiling water generously; add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan, and half-and-half. Set aside.
  4. Drain pasta, leaving some water clinging to it. Working quickly, add hot pasta to egg mixture. Add bacon; season with salt and pepper, and toss all to combine (heat from pasta will cook eggs). Serve immediately, sprinkled with additional Parmesan cheese.

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