My Beef Hand Pie Challenge

I've vowed to cook/create something new and exciting every month this year. For March, my inspirations were 1. St. Patrick's Day, with its Guinness and Shepherd's Pie associations, 2. this "pie goes savory" article in New York Magazine. I went Googling and found a promising recipe from Yankee Magazine: Beef & Ale Hand Pies. Perfect!!

Before my photo sharing, a word about hand pies. What are they? They are a pie you can hold in your hand. Like a pasty, or an empanada, or a Jamaican patty. Like... delicious.

Part of the mise: Floured beef, thyme, potatoes, onions, garlic, celery.
Already chilling in the fridge is beef-broth crust.

Browning the beef cubes

Cooking onion, celery, garlic

"Meanwhile"... carrot and potato boiling until tender
(I have a rant about recipes that say "Meanwhile," but I'll save it for later)

Adding ale to pan! I used a chocolate stout.

The beef goes in, so do carrots & potatoes

Divided dough is rolled into rounds

Filling (this beef was unbelievably tender--
do splurge on one of the recommended cuts!)

One completed hand pie. They get an egg wash before baking

Glistening pies go into the oven

Baked 25 minutes

I served with mashed squash garnished with avocado oil & pepitas

Oh my! Flaky, savory, tasty, and PORTABLE. Glass of stout in the background.

Notes: If I ever need to make hand pies again, I'll definitely use this recipe. I love how even the crust has beef broth in it. Do you like beef? This thing is BEEFY. It's also pretty salty, but not excessively so. And because there are vegetables in the filling, these pies could qualify as a one-dish meal. They were also excellent reheated later. Please remember to pair your beef & ale hand pie with a yummy beer.

My challenge for January 2013 was Kusa.
My challenge for February 2013 was Cauliflower Pizza Crust.

While I was away reading Facebook

While I was reading Facebook, my life slipped by. Well, it's more like while I'm supposed to be blogging, or washing dishes, or cooking, or speaking to my spouse, or perhaps actually relaxing in an accepted manner, I find myself sidling over to check Facebook again.

What do I learn there? I don't know! Some people post stuff all the time, and some don't update at all. I don't know what I'm expecting to find. I do know that I'm not happy until I've read all the posts back down to where I left off last time. I think there needs to be a word for this, something like "readback," but better.

Anyway, I feel like I've accomplished something when I readback, and it's easy, so I do it all the time. And then I neglect things that are a bit more tangible, like blogging or writing in my real journal or sewing or even reading something on paper and not a screen.

This will be a rambling update to get back in the blogging habit. So much has been happening! For example, Google is getting rid of Google Reader, whaaat? What will I do? Do I have to go to each blog individually and... readback? Is there some other feed reader I can use? Are feed readers obsolete? I feel spoiled by Google Reader, which makes things easy and has handy Google features like internal searches and tag indexing. I've been tagging recipe posts by ingredient for years! I can export all my info, but it probably won't be the same.

Wanna know what I like to read? Here's a list:

Iowa Girl Eats
Carrots & Cake
Always Order Dessert
Run Eat Repeat
Skinny Runner
Once Upon a (L)ime
Ali on the Run
Jeremy & Kathleen
Door Sixteen
Chez Loulou
Enjoying the Small Things
Greetings from Texas

I also follow blogs by family and friends: Door Number Eight, the Desha Show, Adventures of ValleyWriter, Akratic Wizardry, various blogs about people's splendid children

There are several high-intensity design/DIY blogs that post so often I need to clear an hour or so to get up-to-date on the last 50-100 posts: Improvised Life, Design*Sponge, A Cup of Jo, Design Mom, Young House Love

In other news, Mercury has gone direct after a relatively short period of retrograde, so it's nearly time to try re-connecting my iTunes hard-drive that died several weeks ago. (What, you don't conduct your computer business based on planetary positioning?) It's been interesting living without the digital music collection that we've been amassing on this computer since about 2005 (and moved in 2010 to a separate hard-drive for "safe-keeping," which then failed). We've been listening to vinyl, to cassettes, and to CDs from the basement and from the library. Most of what was on the hard drive is duplicated elsewhere, but it will be a long dull process to try uploading things once again. However I am not devastated at possibly losing music I've gathered over the last 8 years. It feels like I've passed my obsessive-music-loving years and have everything I need already salted away for re-play anytime. Recent music is a bonus, but not a vital part of my being. That probably means I'm getting old (and not that music is getting worse, which was my first conclusion).

Also, my hotmail account tells me it's going to become an Outlook account soon.

Also, I've been getting a lot of insane spam on my blog. I have comments set to "review," so I get to see what comes and I post it personally. 95% of it is garbage.

Also, I just found out Pinterest is changing their look. IS NOTHING SACRED? I'm kidding. It's not that different. People like to get all upset about these types of things though, eh?

What are your rambling updates? Have you been noticing any odd technological quirks going on? Do you blame them on Mercury?