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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cooking with Banshee: Pear Martini

One of the best things about the changing of the seasons is the tasty new flavors come along.  This drink combines sweet juices with hard cider and vodka.  My cousin Sheila Carlberg was kind enough to share this recipe with me.  And, it is delicious.  I will warn you, though.  Pear juice can be tricky to find.  Don't be embarrassed if you have to buy some of your mixers from the baby section of the grocery store.  I wasn't.

Pear Martini

1/3 cup pear juice
2 Tbs citrus infused vodka
1 Tbs pomegranate juice
1 Tbs lime juice
1 Tbs agave syrup
3 Tbs hard cider

Chill a martini glass in the freezer.  Put a handful of ice in a martini shaker.  Combine all the ingredients and shake to combine.  Pour into the chilled glass and enjoy.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Temper Temper: Sports Tantrums of Summer

Summer is now in our rear view mirror.  As usual, the summer months brought us hot temperatures and hotter tempers.  The lack of self control reared it's ugly head in all different sports.  So, without further ado, Banshee Sports proudly presents the best sports tantrums of the summer.

1.  Blaming the Tools.  According to the old adage, "A good carpenter never blames his tools."  Well, apparently, that is not the motto of Charl Schwartzel.  After an unsatisfactory shot out of the fescue at the British Open, Schwartzel decided that he did not need the services of his iron for the remainder of this round.

2.  Papi Mad! Papi Smash!  On July 28, David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox was called out on strikes in a Baltimore.  Papi disagreed with the call.  And, in fine baseball tradition, Papi took out his frustration on an inanimate object in the dugout.  The most noteworthy part of the clip is the complete disregard he has for the safety of those sitting nearby.

3.  Friday Night Fights.  I know that people in Texas think they have the market cornered on serious high school football.  Well, evidently, things can get pretty serious on Friday nights in Pennsylvania, too.  On September 6, Hamburg High faced off against Anville-Cleona.  In the third quarter, a skirmish broke out between the two teams.  Joey Cominsky, a senior quarterback and safety for Hamburg, ripped the helmet off an opposing lineman and then beat him over the head with it.  Cominsky was ejected from the game and served a mandatory one-game suspension.  His status beyond that will be up to Hamburg High School.

4.  Stand By Your Man.  Two race car drivers going after each other after a race is pretty common place.  But, after the Camping World Truck Series on September 1, Mike Skeen's girlfriend decided to get into the act.  Skeen and Max Papis got together in the final corner of the road race with Skeen getting the worst of the collision.  Skeen and Papis exchanged words and gestures on the cool down lap.  But, Kelly Heaphy evidently didn't think her man had the manhood to stand up for himself and assaulted Papis during a post race interview.  Even if that is true, Papis should not have publicly admitted that.

5. Punter Gets Booted.  This is certainly not the worst football brawl I've ever seen.  It's not even the worst one in this post.  But, it is the first football fight I've ever seen that was started by a punter.  It's a bad all around sequence for #10 for San Jose State.  First, he gets decked like a little boy on the onside kick.  And then when he tries to avenge his honor, he gets ejected from the game for his troubles.  Oh yeah.  And his team loses to Minnesota.  This video was hard to track down, so you'll have to follow the link.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Cooking with Banshee: Pulled Beef Barbecue

Football season is in full swing.  For a lot of us, this means cooking for a crowd.  This recipe is a crowd pleaser for tailgates and homegates.  And best of all, you can make it ahead of time so that you can concentrate on the game while your guests marvel at your culinary skills.  This takes a little time and planning, but you will never regret the effort.

Pulled Beef Barbecue (makes 16 sandwiches)

5 lbs chuck roast (can be more than one piece)
3 Tbs olive oil
2 large sweet onions (finely chopped)
1 cup ketchup
1 cup beef broth
2/3 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs yellow mustard
2 Tbs molasses
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp black pepper
Sandwich rolls

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Heat oil in dutch oven.  Brown the meat on all sides.  Place the meat in a roasting pan and set aside.  Add the chopped onions to the oil and saute for 5 minutes.  Add all other ingredients.  Bring the mixture up to a boil.  Then simmer for 15 minutes.  Pour the liquid over the beef in the roasting pan.  Cover and cook for 2 hours.  Flip the meat.  Cover and cook for another 2 hours.  When the meat is fork tender, remove it from the sauce.  Shred the beef and return the shredded beef to the sauce.  Mix together and enjoy!

Before returning the shredded beef to the sauce, skim off or soak up some of the grease that will be sitting on the top.  Even if you soak up some grease, this is pretty juicy, so you'll want to serve it on pretty sturdy rolls.  And this can be made well ahead of party time.  It heats up wonderfully in a crock pot.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

NFL Postseason Predictions

Last week, I posted my regular season predictions for the 2013 NFL season.  It was a division by division breakdown.  And, like last year, I'll give those predictions a grade periodically throughout the season.  But this year, I'm going to put on my big girl pants, show a little courage and make my official post-season predictions ... right here in the pre-season.

AFC Playoffs:  Houston and Denver will have the two best records in the AFC, so those teams will both have a week off to start the playoffs.  Miami will host one wild card game.  Cincinnati will host the other wild card game.  Cleveland and Kansas City will be the two wild card teams, but even Nostradamus couldn't possibly predict at this point exactly how that seeding will shake out.  In any event, the Bengals will win their game and face the Broncos in Denver in the divisional round.  Denver will defeat Cincy and advance to the AFC Championship game.  The Texans will defeat whoever it is that travels to Houston in the divisional round.  The Texans will then host the Broncos in the AFC Championship.  A lot of points will be scored in the conference championship, but it will be the Texans who will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

NFC Playoffs:  San Francisco will have the best record in the NFC and will have a bye in the first round of the playoffs.  The Atlanta Falcons will have the other bye.  Seattle, as a wild card, will have to travel to either Washington or Chicago for their first round game.  Regardless of who they face, the Seahawks will win on the road and earn a trip to Atlanta for a re-match of last year's divisional round.  The NFL will not make the egregious scheduling error that they made in 2012, and the Seahawks will beat the Falcons in the Georgia Dome.  Whoever is not playing Seattle in the first round will defeat Tampa Bay and get a trip to San Francisco as their reward.  The 49ers will handle their opponent and host the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship.  In one of the most physical playoff games of all time, the Seahawks will win on the road and represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XLVII:  The Super Bowl will be played in East Rutherford, New Jersey ... in February.  That means that weather could certainly be a factor.  Even if it's dry, it will likely be cold.  But, both the Texans and the Seahawks play a style of football that translates well to cold weather.  This will be an epic battle between two teams that love to run the ball and play defense.  In the end, it will be the Houston Texans who win Super Bowl XLVII and take the Lombardi Trophy back to the Lone Star State.

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