Henderson's Blog

by Henderson posted Jul 24 2014 3:40PM
Food Healthy Black Bean Salad

This May 5, 2014, photo shows sweet potato, grilled corn and black bean salad with spicy cilantro dressing in Concord, N.H. This recipe swaps sweet potatoes for the more traditional white potatoes and loses the standard recipe's abundant mayonnaise in favor of a dressing high in flavor and low in fat. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)


Let's talk potato salad. Everyone knows it's good -- there's a reason it's a summer perennial -- but that doesn't mean it's good for you. Here's a crafty version that swaps in sweet potatoes for the more traditional white potatoes and loses the standard recipe's abundant mayonnaise in favor of a dressing high in flavor and low in fat.

White potatoes have plenty of nutritional value, but sweet potatoes -- a good source of fiber that's also high in calcium, folate, potassium and beta-carotene -- have them beat. One caveat: steam your sweet potatoes just until they become tender. Overdo it and they'll turn to mush.

I've cast black beans and corn in support of the sweet potatoes. I like black beans for their robust taste and their staying power. (They do a fine job of filling you up.) Like all legumes, black beans are low in calories and high in protein and fiber, and they boast an assortment of important nutrients.

Corn, of course, is in no need of hype. It's just about everyone's favorite summer vegetable. But corn is at its best when it's fresh, fresh, fresh! Corn's natural sugars start to turn into starch the minute it's harvested. The challenge is to safeguard its natural sweetness. If you live near a farm stand or a farmers market, buy your corn in the morning, then refrigerate it as soon as you get home and cook it as soon as possible.

Typically, truly fresh corn is so good you can eat it raw. Boil it and brush it with butter and you have a dish fit for a king. But grilling the corn, as we do here, takes it to an even higher level. Somehow this process amps up the flavor and decreases the need for fat.

In fact, with the exception of the spray used to coat the corn before grilling, there's no oil in this recipe. How'd I manage that little trick? By composing a dressing so flavorful -- the keys are chipotle, cilantro and garlic -- no one notices the lack of fat. The chipotles (or smoked jalapeno chilies) are the crucial ingredient. You can find them in your supermarket simply dried or in an adobo sauce. I prefer the adobo, made of tomato and vinegar, because it adds a lovely flavor of its own. The chili's heat is counter-balanced with the slight sweetness of the seasoned rice vinegar and by the sweet potatoes. (If you happen to be a cilantro hater, substitute basil or mint.)

One final note: toss the sweet potatoes with the dressing while they're still warm, which helps them to absorb the dressing and become deeply flavored.

Sweet Potato, Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salsa with Spicy Cilantro Dressing

Start to finish: 45 minutes (30 minutes active). Servings: 6.

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 clove garlic
1/2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 small shallot, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup seasoned rice vinegar
4 ears corn, husked
15 1/2-ounce can black beans, drained
4 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

Heat the grill to medium.

In a medium saucepan fitted with a steamer basket, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes, cover and steam until just tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl.

Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the garlic, chipotle, shallot, cilantro and vinegar. Puree until smooth. Taste, then season with salt. When the potatoes are done, pour half of the dressing over them, then toss well. Set aside to cool.

While the potatoes cool, prepare the corn. Mist the corn with cooking spray, then grill, turning often, until the ears are lightly browned in spots on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove the corn from the grill and set aside to cool until easily handled. Cut the kernels from the cobs. To do this, one at a time stand each ear on its wide end, then carefully saw down the length of the cob on all sides. You should have at least 2 cups of kernels.

Stir the corn kernels, beans and scallions into the potatoes, adding additional dressing as desired. Taste, then adjust seasoning.

Nutrition information per serving: 260 calories; 20 calories from fat (8 percent of total calories); 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 54 g carbohydrate; 9 g fiber; 17 g sugar; 9 g protein; 1250 mg sodium.

Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2014/07/23/3073944/no-need-for-tons-of-fat-in-this.html?sp=%2F99%2F923%2F1594%2F#storylink=cpy
Filed Under :
Location : ConcordNew Hampshire
People : Matthew Mead
by Henderson posted Jul 24 2014 12:29PM
**UPDATED** Read all the way through. It wasn't a hoax, but the true story is better than the viral story.

We've all sent text messages to people we didn't mean to at some point. Sometimes people get rude, other times something unexpected happens. I'm not sure if this is some huge ellaborate hoax or if it was a genuine moment of humanity uniting to celebrate the goodness of BBQ, but I am hoping for the latter.

A woman sent out a group text message to what she thought was a list of only her fiance's friends, but accidentally sent it to one stranger setting the stage for one of the most hillarious wedding photos EVER:

The hashtag westillcoming has already started trending on the webs, so be careful who you send those invites out to or you may have more guests than expected! In this case, it looks like one of the most EPIC wedding photos since the T-Rex wedding.
UPDATE: (from the Washington Post)

Amy and Ian Hicks saw their unique wedding photo and the story about it everywhere in recent weeks — in People magazine, the New York Post, the Daily Mail and of course on Reddit, where the tale went viral. But they didn't recognize what they were reading.

The articles all said different things, but the thrust was that the couple in the photo had accidentally sent a text message to a stranger inviting him to their wedding photoshoot. The invitation circulated. Supposedly, when the bride figured this out and tried to uninvite the stranger, she got message saying "we still coming," which became a trending Twitter hashtag, #westillcoming.

The photo accompanying the story in People showed the dude wasn't lying. The wedding party in the photo was surrounded by a a group of new friends.

It just didn't happen. "I really wish they knew the real story," Amy Hicks said in an interview with The Washington Post. "It's amazing how many legitimate news publications will post anything online."

No publication called them to get the real story, they said.

Here's what they say did happen. It's the story behind the photo.

Amy, 25, and Ian Hicks, 28, live in Washington, D.C, where she works in government relations and he works in sales for a furniture manufacturer. Their wedding took place in Detroit because Amy is from Michigan.

After Amy and Ian got married at the Colony Club in Detroit, the bridal party jumped on an antique trolley and stopped at several locations for photos. When they stopped at the Michigan Central Station, a once-grand but now decaying and abandoned structure, they encountered more than 30 young black men — a rap group called "7262″ filming a video for their new album using tricked out blue and gold Monte Carlos as props.

As Amy exited the trolley, she said the group clapped and congratulated the young couple. While Amy and Ian positioned themselves in front of the station for a photo, the groomsmen in their tuxes decided to mingle with the rappers in their brightly colored street threads.

But pictures weren't enough for Adam Sparkes, the couple's wedding photographer and a lifelong resident of the Detroit metro area.

"They looked over at us," Sparkes told The Post. "We waved back at them and then we said, 'we are going to come over and dance in your video.'"

The young men said sure, come on over.


Amy and Ian summoned the bridesmaids from the trolley and they all got out, with the crowd of rappers whooping and hollering. 7262 turned up the music — and for the next 15 minutes Amy, Ian and their bridal party danced to the "Anthem" rap song, all the while being filmed for the video.

One week later, they received a link to 7262's first video — "Anthem." The video opens with the bridesmaids exiting the trolley and running toward the group. Several groomsmen are featured dancing.

The photo that went viral was a cellphone picture from that moment. Someone uploaded the picture to social media and it's been spreading — with the fantasy story — for the last month.

Danta Norris, 20, and Joshua Norris, 18, rap as Mojo and Jojinooo in 7262. Mojo said that he doesn't mind the extra attention that the photo is getting because of the incorrect story.

"It's all cool that people making what they make up," Mojo said. "It's making it blow up more."

Filed Under :
Topics : Human Interest
by Henderson posted Jul 17 2014 11:12AM
In West Texas growing up, a sudden wind storm or afternoon thunderstorm with hail was not uncommon. I have even been caught by a sudden cold front with crazy wind gusts while floating the Yakima River in the summer. Unfortunately for these Russians trying to enjoy an otherwise warm day at the beach in Siberia, a cold front drops the temperature 20 degrees instantly, causing golf ball sized hail!
Filed Under :
Location : West Texas
by Henderson posted Jul 8 2014 4:03PM

Are you a believer? Are you a skeptic? Either way, there is something to see here! NASA is often coy when it comes to UFO talk and consipracy theories, but the official explaination for these photos from the Curiousity make me question the "official" word.

See for yourself:

Filed Under :
Topics : Human Interest