Predicting the Future of Technology

Technology and how I see it…

WALL-E

Ok, so I’m not going to exactly answer this question, but I will say how technology has influenced my life or generation. Since I was born– PCs have become a common commodity, there were portable CD players, cellphones evolved from the Brick to the i-phone, walk mans became i-pods, and now PCs are net books and i-pads.

When I was little I had the Sega video game console (were they called consoles then??) and the Sonic the Hedgehog video game…I thought that was the coolest thing, and now I’m sure a kid today would look at that thing and say something like…”Wow, this is really boring….lame.”

And I’ve always been a big ‘note-taker’ and I don’t mean I type notes on my laptop, I went to the classroom in college and was one of the last people with things called notebooks (with college-ruled paper) and pens and pencils.

Now, I’m all about technology…it’s great for keeping in touch with people, making a statement, etc. but I miss seeing kids playing outside (I haven’t seen kids playing outside in my neighborhood in YEARS) and I think that actually writing a letter and sending it in the mail is more personal than sending someone an email. I guess I’m saying maybe technology is killing our imaginations and creativity and maybe having too many media outlets is actually giving us too many choices?? But hey, I could be wrong. I just keep thinking that possibly in five years we’ll all end up like the “people” in WALL-E…motorized chairs and forever in front of a computer screen.

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Be my empanada…

I’ve been in a cooking mood lately, which is saying something for me since the my cooking skills amount to sauteing, boiling water, and using the microwave.

Last week I cooked some awesome Mexican chicken, baked with Rotel, black beans, onions, chili powder, and a pinch of garlic salt.  And then yesterday I used my ‘mad’ sauteing skills to create a dish with onions, mushrooms and zucchini tossed over Organic wild rice and spritzed with Braggs Liquid Aminos, yum if I do say so myself!

So I guess all this cooking really reminds me of Argentina.  While studying there for a semester I lived with a wonderful and interesting woman named Rosita.  And Rosita was a great cook and an anomaly–a vegetarian in Argentina (the Beef Capital of the world).  Regardless of her diet preference, Rosita made great dishes with homemade pasta, fresh baked bread, pizza with a polenta crust, and the list goes on and on.

One of my favorites of hers were her empanadas–an Argentinian classic that varies by region.  In Cordoba, (where I was) the empanda was a tasty pastry that contained raisins, olives, eggs, and beef, seasoned with sweet paprika.  I thought I would share the recipe with you, I have no idea of portion control for this—but I believe it makes about 12-16 empanadas and unfortunately it’s more of a list of ingredients but I’ll do my best!

Rellena de Empanadas                                                                          Empanada Filling
1 libra de carne molida                                                                          1 lb. of ground beef
1 1/2 taza de pasas                                                                                   1 1/2 cup of raisins
1/2-1 taza de aceitunas picadas (negro o verde)                         1/2-1 cup of minced olives (black or green)
2 papas grandes                                                                                          2 large potatoes
3-4 huevos duros                                                                                       3-4 hard boiled eggs

Brown and drain the beef, then and cook with sauteed onions (minced) and potatoes
Dice the hard-boiled eggs and add the raisins, olives, eggs to the beef mixture
Season with a pinch of salt

Masa de Empanadas                                                                                 Empanada Pastry
3 posillos de harina                                                                                   3 cups of all-purpose flour
1oo g de margarina (o mantequilla)                                                   1 stick of margarine (or butter)
Una cucharilla de pimenton dulce                                                      1/2 tsp of sweet paprika
Una cucharilla de sal                                                                                 1/2 tsp of salt
1 taza de agua fria                                                                                        1 cup of cold water

Mix dry ingredients first
Melt butter and fold into mixture
Add cup of cold water, mix well let sit for 30 mins

Roll dough into half and egg shape and roll out on cookie sheet to large coin-size about 1/8 in thick
Add Empanada filling to the center of each
Fold half of the dough over and close by pinching the folded edge together with a fork
Lightly brush each empanada with egg
Bake at 350 degrees until golden

Want a more specific recipe check out:
http://www.try2cook.com/Cooking-Empanadas-Argentinas-in-Buenos-Aires.html

Five Things I Love About My Culture

What am I again…

Collard Greens Horta a la Greque

The interesting thing is I don’t really belong to a specific group, yes, I am American and I love all the Americana—Apple pie (truly my fav), hot dogs, hamburgers, cooking out, fireworks–the usual I guess. BUT, I was born in the north and raised in the south.

So, I’d like to say, I’m southern since I was raised here but this issue is debatable when I talk to some of my friends….they say things like, “Yeah, you were raised here but BOTH (like there’s something wrong) your parents are from up north and you don’t eat the same food we do, and you don’t really talk like a southerner either. And that’s true, I’m not one for collard greens, mac and cheese at Thanksgiving, black-eyed peas, etc. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…) And maybe some of my words come out a little nasal sounding, i.e. “caaan”, “pajaaamas” but I will forever call the south home because I love the people, the weather, football season (GO TIGERS!!!!), boiled peanuts, and how the concept of neighbors still exists. I guess I qualify???

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Back to School

      

   School is starting up this week and as always it gives me a bout of  nostalgia.

It might sound a little nerdy, but I miss back-to-school shopping: getting a new book bag, the smell of a new box of crayons, organizing binders (with the thought, <<I’m going to be really organized this year>>, and that only lasts a week…).  And then there’s that first day of school, you’ve got butterflies in your stomach as you run through a little mental checklist: book bag, notebook, pencils, lunchbox and your mom starts taking a million pictures, documenting  the beginning of yet another year.

I miss those butterflies–anticipation of a new year, new friends, new things to learn and new adventures.  So, to all you back-to-schoolers, be you 4 years old or 40 years old, Good luck this year, I hope it’s a good one and if you need some help I’ll be here!

My Favorite Month

summer is finally here

June is definitely my favorite month. It’s the beginning of summer, filled with lots of potential, the weather is warm but not too deathly hot (yet), and June 21st is the longest day of the year (for us).

Unfortunately, I find that day a little bittersweet, it’s the longest day, but then the days start getting shorter. I guess I’ve always been a summer person…I live in the South where it’s super hot, but it’s so worth it.  I despise winter and everything that goes along with it…ice, snow, freezing temps, long underwear…etc. I feel like a part of me dies in the winter, so I guess I’m just a summer girl…

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From National to Regional

Did you know that the Southeast in one of the fastest growing economic regions in the country?  I didn’t until very recently.  I know that my hometown of Greenville, SC is working toward a 2025 city-plan that predicts its inclusion in the Atlantic Mega-Region.  What’s a Mega-Region?   According to the America 2050 Initiative mega-regions are “large networks of metropolitan regions that are linked by environmental systems and geography, infrastructure systems, economic linkages, settlement patterns, and shared culture and history.”

And the Atlantic Mega-Region will grow to include, Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh and all cities in-between with a concentration in Communication Services, Software and IT, Utilities, and Construction. 

 Why is this really important?  Answer–States and Regions are now competing on an international economic level, making language, education, and bilingualism more than a luxury, it’s now a necessity to be successful in today’s economy.

Want more info?

Visit These Links:

http://www.angeloueconomics.com/megaregions.html
(More info on Mega-Regions)

http://www.scchamber.net/CWT/EXTERNAL/WCPAGES/MediaCenter/Mega-Regions_Mega-Growth.aspx
(Upstate SC)