Tim Foolery

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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Supper Club — Final Menu

I have finalized my menu for Supper Club tonight.

I will be serving the following:

Hors d’oeuvres:
Raclette Cheese
Manchego Cheese
Chaumes Cheese
BLT Popoevers
Bacon (for the Popovers)

First Course
French Onion Soup

Second Course
Sea Scallops with Bacon Butter Sauce

Main Course
Chicken Dijon
Haricots Vert Lyonnaise
Arugula Salad (with tomatoes, artichokes and cheese…maybe with some bacon too)

Ice Cream Bonbons
Dark Chocolate Truffles (I dipped the candies in a dark and white chocolate mixture and sprinkled with sea salt too)

The wine I’ll be serving is as follows — guests can drink what they want, when they want:
Pierre Delize – Blanc de Blancs Sparkling (France)
Macon-Villages – Chardonnay (France)
ArborBrook — Pinot Gris (Oregon)
Morgan 2008 – no idea the grape (France)
ArborBrook – Pinot Noir (Oregon)
Kopke Special Reserve Porto (Portugal)
Calvados (France)

For the folks who do not care for wine (god forbid), I am offering Trois Pistoles (Quebec).

I will be taking photos while I am cooking today and updating via my twitter feed.

What are you doing tonight?  Are you cooking dinner or are you having a home cooked meal at a friends home?  Maybe going out for a dinner and leaving the cooking to professionals?  I want to hear!

Recipe Test: French Onion Soup

After further review of several French Onion Soup recipes, I realized that the soup takes a decent amount of time AND if you make it a day or two ahead the flavor is enhanced exponentially.  Since Saturday will be a long day — shopping and cooking, I didn’t want to get stuck behind the French Onion Soup pot when I had a ton of other things to do — and I wanted to make sure the soup was as flavorful as possible.

I visited Whole Foods tonight and picked up 4 pounds of onions, a couple bottles of French wine and some other basic ingredients.  My dutch oven (somewhere between a medium and large size Le Creuset) wasn’t big enough.  The recipe said we should use at least a 7 quart dutch over — mine is 6 quarts, if that.  The onions filled about 3/4 of the pot.  Using the oven to reduce the onions was a really great part of this recipe as I couldn’t imagine standing over the stove for an hour sweating the onions and reducing them.

One option on the recipe was to stop at the end of Step One and allow the flavor of the onions to really build.  Saturday afternoon I will move on to Step Two.  God I can’t wait to try this soup.  I wish you all could smell my home now.

More photos and a full dinner report will follow.

US Airways Grand Slam Update – Miles Sweep 3

For several weeks nothing was happening in my US Airways account even though I’ve been playing the Grand Slam pretty consistently. When I last wrote I had completed 11 hits and earned 5,995 miles.  Since then I’ve continued to play and have done a few new things only to get miles.

  1. Dividend Mile Toolbar
  2. E-Rewards
  3. Dividend Mile Dining
  4. Buy Dividend Miles
  5. 1-800-Flowers
  6. Audience Rewards
  7. Miles for Magazines
  8. Track-It-Back 
  9. Dividend Miles Shopping Mall
  10. Super Shuttle
  11. MasterCard Purchase
  12. Officemax.com — I followed the guidance that several other bloggers have suggested and purchased a cheap item on Officemax.com.  The cheapest thing I could find was a small pump container of anti-bacterial soap. The soap was $1.99 plus $6 in shipping. I gave the soap to my mom — lovely gift, I know.  My miles to date now hit 6,000 total. Hit 12.
  13. E-Miles — E-Miles is a website where you click links and read about partner offers. Each offer varies in value (I didn’t buy anything).  Once you reach 500 points you can transfer those to the mileage program of your choice.  I transferred to US Airways for 500 miles — bringing my total to 6,500 miles.  Hit 13.
  14. Skymall — Like Officemax.com, I just bought the cheapest thing I could find — a bad Halloween decoration for $2.97 plus shipping (about $9 total).  I haven’t received the bad decoration yet, but I did get the points credited to my account already.  I earned 9 points here bringing me to 6,509 miles. Hit 14.
  15. Biscoff — I had no idea what this was, but like Officemax and Skymall, I followed fellow bloggers guidance and bought Biscoff Spread (still not 100% sure what it is…other than a peanut butter alternative).  For $19 including shipping I received two (glass) jars of Biscoff spread, 19 miles (6,528 total miles) and my 15th Hit.
  16. Points.com — This hit has been a total pain in the ass.  I didn’t want to swap out hotel points or buy any overpriced points to transfer around so my only real option was to transfer 10 US Airway Miles to 4 Asia Miles — then turn around and transfer 4 Asia Miles to 1 US Airways Mile. Yes, this means I’m losing 9 miles, but it gets me another hit.  The real issue here is that the miles were deducted from US Airways immediately, but wouldn’t credit to Asia Miles. They just sat there, “pending” with no movement.  I ended up transferring another 10 miles just to see if it would clear quicker.  I emailed Points.com 3 times asking for guidance.  Nothing. I called and they manually processed the transfer.  Once my Asia Miles were posted, I immediately put in the request to transfer back to US Airways.  The transfer continued to “fail”. I tried this 3 more times and nothing happened.  I emailed each time the transfer failed and was informed continually that they were looking into it. Right.  I called back and they suggested I swap my first and last name on my Asia Miles account — how logical is that? I knew for a fact that this customer service person was just trying to get me off the phone. I tried it…and it worked. Who knew?  I gained 1 mile and lost 20. So far, I’ve got 6,509 miles and a total of 16 hits.  What a pain in the neck though.
  17. Sharebuilder —  I’ve had a Sharebuilder account for years.  I use Sharebuilder as my main independent investment vehicle.  I also use ING Direct as my main savings account.  I opted to open another Sharebuilder account.  I had to fund it and complete a trade — which cost $9.95.  I bought some United Airlines stocks and hoped for the best. A new Sharebuilder account nets you 2,500 miles (flat amount not variable).  Hit 17.

While 17 hits have posted to my US Airways account, I’ve only gotten 10,000 bonus (Grand Slam) miles — which is only for 8 hits.  I’ve got another 9 hits that have already posted.  Most of these additional hits have posted in the past 3 or 4 days. With 12 hits, I get an additional 5,000 miles and with hit 16 I get 10,000 more.  Once these miles hit, I should have about 32,000 miles.  My current goal is to hit at least 20 hits — perhaps 24 depending on when some of these things hit.  If I reach 20 hits, I’ll have earned a total of 35,000 bonus miles — if I hit 24 I’ll earn 45,000 bonus miles.

I’ll keep you updated on how the points post.  If you are playing this game let me know how your points are posting — or are not posting.  If you haven’t started yet, you’ve got about 2 weeks get some bonus miles.  You can easily get 3,000 with out paying a dime and paying next to nothing for 10,000 bonus miles.

What are you planning on doing with your bonus miles?  How should I use mine?  What kind of crap have you purchased to hit these goals