Monthly Archives: February, 2006

Recipe: Beef Peach Pie

The apartment complex Ariesna and I live in is located directly behind a grocery store. The store is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except for a couple of holidays). Given it is only about a 5 minute walk to get inside the store; we tend to leave the decision of what to have for dinner till it is time to make dinner. The upside is we don’t have to keep a lot of food around the house and we can get fresh meats/fruits/veggies for dinner. The downside is we are frequentally tired after work and just grab some sort of box meal, like Hamburger Helper, as we don’t always feel up to doing real cooking. Tonight, like many nights, neither one of us knew what we wanted for dinner. I started poking around online looking for a recipe to try and found the following recipe

Beef Peach Pie


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can sliced peaches, drained
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, egg, milk, onion, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Press into a 9 inch pie pan like a crust.
  3. Prick meat all over using a fork.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven.
  5. Remove from the oven, and pour off any excess fat.
  6. Arrange the sliced peaches over the beef.
  7. Mix together the vinegar, ketchup and brown sugar, and spoon over the top of the peaches.
  8. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  9. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

NOTE: This recipe is copyright 2006 and not CC licensed like all of my works on this site.

I think Ariesna mostly made this dish to humour me. She hates peaches. But from the moment she pulled it from the oven, I was sure we had a winner. The scents coming off the pie were mouthwatering. Then I got myself a plate, a fork and took a bite.

Oh. My. Gawd. It was GOOD! The brown sugar mixture carmelized over the meat creating a heavenly glaze. And the juices of the peaches soaked throughout the meat, every bite was delectable.

AWelkin, does this dish sound good to you? We’re thinking about making it again when you and Bryon come over on Friday.

Review: Old Man’s War

Old Man's War
Old Man's War

Old Man’s War
My rating: 5 out of 5.

For a while now I’ve been despairing of finding new science fiction authors I like. I would go through my local bookstores and the only ones that didn’t seem like pure twaddle were either books I’ve read previously or by authors I was previously familiar with. Authors who usually are very old or already dead. Oddly this problem only seemed to be happening with science fiction. Fantasy, horror, mystery and so on all are fine right now. I just haven’t for the longest time been able to find any decent science fiction by an author who wasn’t all corpsified (or close to being so). This has concerned me as I misspent much of my youth blasting around the universe on the dread rocketship Imagination fueled by the works of many fine authors. I wish to continue to doing so, but the fifth or fifty-fifth time you read a book it does not always generate as much juice as the first time.

All that being said, I am pleased to say I have found a new science fiction author who writes something worth reading! A while back, I was reading Doug Stewart‘s blog and he mentioned getting a particular book for his birthday. Interestingly enough the author of Old Man’s War, John Scalzi, stopped by Doug’s blog and wished him a happy birthday. I thought that was pretty cool of him. Given that Doug described the book as a gift that should “warm any decent sci-fi fan’s hardened heart”; my interest in this book was peaked.

I followed the link from the author’s comment to his website and noticed he had a free, sample chapter of the book online. I read through the sample and quite enjoyed it, so I added the book to my list1. A few weeks later, the wife and I stopped in a Barnes & Noble to rest our weary feet and grab a coffee from their café. Before we went into the café, we looked around the store for some reading material. I still remembered wanting a better look at Old Man’s War, so I hunted around and found a copy of it. I thought the plan was to simply browse through the material while having our coffee but I was overruled and she bought the book with the coffees. As we sat down, I started to flip through the book but she wanted to look at it. Since she hadn’t found anything to look at and I actually had several books at home I was in the middle of; I let her have it. That turned out to be something of a mistake on my part, as I didn’t get it back until she finished it the next day. Since I didn’t get it back right away, I stuck it into my stack of books to read. I held off a couple of days before I broke down and yanked it out of the middle of my stack. I read it cover to cover in a single evening and loved it. I just read it again (since I’ve been home sick for a week) and still loved it. But enough about me, you probably want to know something about the book other than I loved it.

Right, Old Man’s War is set in the future. How far in the future is not explicitly stated but it seems to be the not-too-entirely-distant future. In this future, humanity is living and fighting amoung the stars. It turns out while there are numerous stars & planets out there; only so many of them are of any use to us and to the other races we’ve met. That’s right, there is alien life out there and it ain’t friendly. Human space is protected by the Colonial Defense Forces (CDF) which boasts the oldest army ver fielded by man. The CDF’s infantry is entirely made up of the elderly. People, like the main character (John Perry), cannot even join the CDF until they turn 75. The elderly are joining up in droves because they all know the CDF must have someway to make them young again. After all at 75 years on Earth, humans are not exactly in the ideal condition for fighting a war.

The book starts with Mr. Perry visiting his wife’s grave and then joining the army. From there it’s a fast sprint through the rest of the story. Mr. Scalzi’s writing is easy to read, in part because he does not bog you down with tons of details about the new technologies used in the future. Also the characters are very likable and easy to relate to. But the book is not without its flaws.

The CDF is an independent entity from Earth and has more power than any goverment on Earth, but there’s nothing in the book telling us how this came about. Mr. Scalzi hints at it saying that the CDF isolated Earth from the rest of space2 and then used technologies it developed or stole from other races to maintain its monoply on humanity’s spaceflight. The actual details of how the CDF managed the initial isolation and how they continue to keep Earth from building more skip drives3 and sneaking off planet. Also the plot covering John Perry’s rescue by the Special Forces and subsequent interactions with his rescuers seems…. a bit too deus ex machina. Mind you it was fun to read but it stretches the believability more than just a little and no I won’t tell you exactly why as that would require me to reveal big spoilers of the plot. Hopefully some of this will be cleared up in the sequel, The Ghost Brigades (due out next week according to

1 The list of books in my head that I need to buy when I have the money and am in a bookshop. It fluctuates depending on how good my memory is, how empty my wallet is, how often I’m visiting any given bookshop and how big an impression a book or an author makes on me.
2 Due to an outbreak of an alien disease that sterialized all but 1/3 of Earth’s men.
3 The skip drive is the FTL drive in Mr. Scalzi’s universe.

A Real Pill

As previously mentioned, Ariesna & I have been sick for a bit over a week now. So today, instead of taking a “romantic cooking” class through NewPi like we’d been planning; we got a trip to the doctor’s office. Whee…. For extra fun, we each got a Zpak1. I guess that’s a lot better for us than a box of chocolates, but it’s nowhere near as much fun. Still, as I told Ariesna earlier; it’s been a real pill of a day.

1 A 6 pack of azithromycin tables (250mg).


I’ve been under the weather for about a week now. I think I’m just about over this flu crap and will be back to posting slightly more regularly soon.

Review: Deception Point

Product Image: Deception Point

Deception Point
My rating: 2 out of 5.

This started off as a fun book and for a long time into it I was able to suspend my disbelief to enjoy it. It read something like a weak Tom Clancy novel. At least up until a certain point in during the climatic finale of the story. At that particular point in the story, my disbelief slipped into overdrive and suddenly I felt I like was reading a bad movie script. *sigh* And it was so looking better than

To avoid spoiling the book for those still interested, the scene in particular will only be described after cut. Even there, I will try to avoid spoilers as much as possible but if you wish to read the book completely spoiler free; go read it before you read the rest of this article.
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