(I posted this as a Facebook note, but I also put it here for any non-Facebook friends)

My wife’s favorite pizza is the Papa Murphy’s Steak and Gorgonzola pizza, but it’s only a limited time item maybe once a year.  It didn’t come back this year for her birthday, but I wanted her to have it for her birthday.  I checked to see if there was a copycat recipe online, but none looked like the right one.  One hit I found in my search was a review of said pizza, and the reviewer broke down every ingredient he tasted.  Using that as my template, I decided to give it a go.  My first attempt was consumed by the family within 20 minutes, so I’d say I hit it pretty close.  For those wondering, here’s how I did it.

Russ’ Not Quite Papa Murphy’s Steak and Gorgonzola Pizza

One Papa Murphys De-Lite crust (they sell these for two bucks if you ask nice)

1/2 pound of thinly cut steak (HyVee cuts and wraps free)

One 4 oz. container of crumbled gorgonzola cheese

One 8 oz. package of shredded “pizza” cheese (or just mozzarella)

One package of Popeye Spinach (you’ll only need about 2 oz. of it, so if you can just get a little do that)

One jar of Newman’s Own Roasted Garlic Alfredo sauce (any roasted garlic alfredo sauce will do)

Before getting the crust (I did this the night before), fry the steak strips and set aside.

Then, unwrap the crust.  Spoon and spread sauce across the crust, using roughly 1/4 to 1/3 of the jar.  Sprinkle roughly half the package of shredded pizza cheese on top of the sauce, making sure it is spread evenly.

Now that we have the base, distribute the cooked steak strips all over the pizza.

Wash the spinach and then pull the leafy parts apart into small pieces.  Lay them near (but not on) the steak strips.

Then, finish with the crumbled gorgonzola cheese all over the pizza.  Depending on your taste for gorgonzola, you can alter the amount you use.  I used about 2/3 of a 4 oz. container, and that was a bit much for Kate (but just right for me).

Bake for approximately 14 minutes at 425 degrees and enjoy.


My plan for baseball

Posted: April 22, 2010 in Baseball

I keep hearing about “radical realignment” or “unalignment”, but I have a solution that takes Major League Baseball back to their old 80s plan of 32 teams.  Here’s what I’d do.

1.  Expand by two teams.
For the sake of this argument, we’ll say the Portland Beavers (Portland has been mentioned as a future expansion destination) and the Montreal Expos 2.0 (baseball worked there when they had competent owners and front office people, and baseball wasn’t trying to drive them into the ground).  The Expos go into the National League, and the Beavers to the American League.

2.  Milwaukee moves back to the AL.
Sorry to move you back Brewers fans, but the team has a lot more time in the AL than the NL.  While you’ll lose some time against the Cubs, you’ll re-ignite your rivalry in Minnesota.

3.  New divisions
A.L. North
Chicago White Sox
A.L. East
New York Yankees
A.L. South
Tampa Bay
Kansas City
A.L. West
Los Angeles of Anaheim

N.L. North
Chicago Cubs
St. Louis
N.L. East
New York Mets
Washington D.C.
N.L. South
N.L. West
San Francisco
San Diego
Los Angeles

4. Expand to two Wild Card teams
How would this work?  Well, the best WC team plays the fourth ranked division winner, and the worst WC team plays the third best division winner, with the first and second ranked division winners taking a breather, but not a long one.  The WC round is now a best of three, with the WC team getting a home game in game one, and the division winner getting home games in games two and three.  Also, if the series is tied after game two, game three is played the same day as part of a double-header.  That adds one round of playoffs without adding many days (and none if we cut down on off days), and it puts the weaker teams at a disadvantage against the stronger teams, thereby answering the call to make life a bit tougher on the wild cards (and the weaker of the division winners).  The wild card round gets spread between MLB Network, FOX, ESPN and TBS.

My optional idea is to address the potential for a division winner not having a winning record.  In the event that happens, that division is cut out of the playoffs and a third wild card is added so a more deserving team makes the playoffs.  I say that’s optional because it invites the argument about dissolving divisions all together and just having one big division and seed playoff spots after that.

I’d also advocate for a balanced schedule and limiting interleague play to a run of six weekends spread over June and July, allowing for a home/road rivalry series and a rotating division against division system.

C’mon MLB.  This will work.

Goodbye Captain 11

Posted: January 28, 2010 in Captain 11

(I read this on KKCK at 2:08 PM on 1/28/2010, but I did stray from the script a few times)

Normally here [KKCK] we like to keep it light, talk about stuff and be excited.  I’m wondering if you’ll let me speak a bit from the heart today.

When I was growing up in South Dakota, I lived so far North that the border with North Dakota was only seven miles away.  My hometown didn’t have a cable provider, so over the air TV was the only option.  Since we were only seventy or so miles from Fargo, the only TV channels we could normally get were from Fargo.  However, we also had a lake cabin on Red Iron Lake, which was about twenty or so miles Southward.  We would go there at least once a week in the summer, if not more.

The lake was quiet, and there were plenty of woods, water and hills to keep me occupied outside.  However, in that lake cabin was an old black and white Motorola TV with bent rabbit ears.  That’s where I first saw Captain 11 on KELO.  I don’t remember much about seeing the show for the first time, but I knew I wanted to see it every chance I had.  There was just something about Captain 11 that was fantastic and yet local, because so many kids just like me severed as his crew every day.  From then on, every time we were at the cabin, I always made sure to get back to the cabin and warm up the old Motorola in time to hear the opening lines, which I’ll paraphrase now…

One man in each century is given the power to control time. The man chosen to receive this power was carefully selected. He was kind. He was fair. He was certainly brave. He fulfilled these requirements and more; and the Outer Galaxies designated to him the wisdom of Solomon and the strength of Atlas. He was, and forever will be, Captain 11.

Rest in peace Dave Dedrick.

Too gone too long

Posted: September 26, 2009 in blogging, Braeden

I’m going on a limb that everyone hates blogs that start “sorry I haven’ t written much lately”, so I won’t do that, even though that sums up how I feel.

I have been writing, but that writing isn’t ready for mass consumption yet.  I have been keeping to my MySpace/Fanwitch blog on a weekly basis, but my Sunday South Dakota blogs will be on break for a while yet.  I don’t want South Dakota to think I’ve stopped caring.  I’ve been sneaking peaks at goings on, and I plan to resume blogging about the fairest of states once I finish the project I’m currently working on.

Speaking of said project, the wee one is asleep.  Time to get my typing on.

In case you hadn’t heard or read, my eMac is in the shop.  The other night I went into my office to work on a 52 Cards blog, but all I could get was a blue screen with a spinning wheel near the bottom.  After a frustrating night and early morning with the wife’s laptop dialed in to the Apple support page, I gave up and called the one place in town that works on Macs.  I took her in Friday, but they can’t get her in to the shop until Wednesday.  There are two things I hate being without, in terms of inanimate objects: my computer and my car.  If both are running well, I can face pretty much anything.  If one is in the shop, I’m just a bit off.  I’ve had my car in the shop a lot more than my computer, so this is a different kind of “feeling off”.  It isn’t so bad, as my wife’s computer works fine (albeit w/Windows Vista…ugh) and my old PowerMac tower is still a non-internet option.  I won’t lose my music collection, because that’s on a backup drive.  I may lose my collection of over 1,000 wallpapers, which actually makes me wish I’d backed them up now.  I’m holding out hope they can fix her, or at least recover my wallpapers and some other pictures and documents.

I had to post a quick “sorry, computer’s broken” message on my 52 cards blog, but lately I’ve been thinking about abandoning that project.  When I came up with the idea to do a blog a week involving each card in the deck, I thought it would be easier than my daily story project Cliffhanger Theater.  It turned out to be a lot harder than I was expecting.  Cliffhanger Theater was actually a breeze compared to this, because it was just one long story.  Thinking of a new direction each week has been challenging and at times frustrating.  Some of what I’ve written there I really didn’t want to publish, because I thought it wasn’t up to my meager standards.  I do have a few multi-part stories I’d like to finish, but for the most part I’m ready to ditch 52 cards for a while.  I’d like to devote more of my free writing time to finishing the novel I started a few months ago.  I’m almost three chapters into it, but I haven’t written anything for it in almost three weeks.  That, combined with a ton of other ideas I’d like to get to sooner as opposed to later, and 52 cards is starting to look expendable at best, and a self-adorned albatross at worst. 

The reason I don’t think I can quit 52 cards?  I hate quitting things.  A good chunk of my younger days I was quite a quitter.  I’d like to think as the years have gone by, I’ve become less of a quitter.  I made it through a year of Cliffhanger Theater, which was important to me more as a big project I finished as opposed to an exercise in a practice run as a writer.  Either way, I’ll still be writing.  I just have to decide where to focus my resources and energy right now.

I hope to decide by Thursday.  Either way, I’ll try and do more with this blog on Sundays.

Funny story…but not really

Posted: August 9, 2009 in G.I. Joe

So…I had to skip most of work on Friday, and I’ve spent most of tonight catching up. 

I enjoyed G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra.  I’ll probably go again this week.  My disclaimer on that statement involves my first figure being the first Zartan, and my first issue being about #34 of the Marvel run.  My fandom really started on a day when I found “The Revenge of Cobra” airing as one long movie on WGN.  Yes, they changed several characters…a lot.  That didn’t bother me because a live-action G.I. Joe movie is something I’ve wanted since #34, Zartan, and “The Revenge of Cobra”. 

Early word from the producer is that the sequel, if greenlit, might have Flint.  Throw in Lady Jaye and we have a deal for a minimum three trips to the theater.


Posted: August 2, 2009 in life

Due to severe weather putting me behind tonight, I don’t have time for a proper blog.  If you’d like to read about my little health scare, head over to Verbiage Dump or my MySpace blog for an update.