Good eats: The making of Bison Burgers

bison burgers

I had recently come across ground bison meat in the grocery store and decided it was something I wanted to try. I did a quick search for “bison burger recipe” and chose the top result (from Epicurious) as a starting point. The recipe (Bison Burgers with Cabernet Onions and Wisconsin Cheddar) seemed intriguing so that’s what I went with.

I should start out in saying that I suck at cooking. Completely. I’m very impatient and hate following directions, so things usually don’t turn out too well.

I deviated from the recipe a tiny bit, but in the end I think it turned out to be pretty tasty for a first effort.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t cook the onions right and I definitely used too much wine (Once Upon a Vine: The Big Bad Red Blend), but I think the rest ended up being quite good (for my poor culinary skill and “I’ll eat anything” tastes).

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Yup, I served on paper plates ūüôā

I enjoyed the process of cooking and hope to try out some more recipes someday. The one thing I will say is it turned out to be a little pricey ($44… 1LB of bison meat was $10 and the wine was about $12 so that’s the bulk of it).

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Recently watched: Fury

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Last night we watched¬†Fury, the WWII tank warfare movie starring Brad Pitt. I had been wanting to see the movie for awhile but hadn’t gotten around to it. We rented it on Blu Ray from Redbox, but now I’m kicking myself for not seeing it in theaters. It would’ve been an awesome movie to see on the big screen. It sounded pretty good on my sound bar, but I had to adjust the volume frequently in an effort to not disturb the neighbors (we live in a duplex).

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The movie has amazing sounds and great visuals throughout. The cast (led by Brad Pitt just as his character leads his soldiers) is wonderful and they fit together quite well. Logan Lerman also has a standout performance and his character’s transformation is thrilling to watch.

I loved both the action packed, bullet flying, blood splattering moments and the slower, human, emotional moments throughout the film. Everything fits together so nicely and watching the characters struggle physically and mentally is fulfilling throughout.

I highly recommend checking out¬†Fury if you haven’t already. Even if you’re not a fan of war movies I think you’ll find something to enjoy!

Playstation TV (first impressions)

So today, on a whim, I decided to buy a Playstation TV. Heck, I didn’t even know the thing existed until I spotted it at the Bx, and it was $40 off, so I figured why not check it out!

Playstation TV bundle

 

The interface is pretty nice, though parts of it feel outdated. It’s nice to be able to see your PSN friends list, trophies and messages from the device, even if you don’t own a Playstation console (as I no longer do). There aren’t very many apps available for it (Netflix and other entertainment services are notably missing), but I already have a Chromecast in the bedroom anyway.

Playstation TV interface

I was initially under the impression that using PS Now on the Playstation TV would work just like it does on the PS4, in that for $20 a month you’d have unlimited access to the library of over 100 PS3 games available on the service. Sony doesn’t make it very clear, but as of right now you CANNOT use the PS Now subscription service on the PS TV. Well technically you can, but only if you actually sign up for PS Now using a PS4.

It’s downright crazy, that you can use the full featured version of PS Now on a Playstation TV just by signing up on a PS4 first, but if you download the app on the Playstation TV without a PS4 you’re only able to rent the games. This isn’t made clear on the product packaging or the PS Now website (at least not immediately clear, after some digging it explains you can only sign up for the service on a PS4).

That said, I went ahead and rented The Last of Us for $7.99 for 7 days. Running off WiFi in the bedroom the Playstation TV passed the streaming test and let me hop into the game. I also re-upped my Playstation Plus (I used to have a PS3) and was able to import my cloud save from the last time I played The Last of Us (the process isn’t necessarily easy to figure out at first).

The Last of Us playstation TV

Once I jumped into the game I was surprised at how good it looked. I have 50mbps cable that taps out at 47mbps over WiFi according to Speedtest.net. There was seemingly no lag in the controls at all, which was awesome! I’m sure there’s some sort of delay, but I can’t notice it at all. I only played for a few minutes but didn’t see any drops in quality while playing.

I initially wasn’t aware that the Playstation TV could read PS Vita cartridges, so once I found that out I looked up the list of compatible games and picked up Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD and Persona 4 Golden for the Vita. I’ve never played a Persona game, but since I’ve been playing Shin Megami Tensei IV on the 2DS I’ve been interested in checking out Persona.

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I threw in the Final Fantasy X cartridge and it loaded quite quickly. The game looks better than it did on the PS2 (as far as I can tell), but still looks aged so far. Nevertheless, it’s just awesome to be playing it again! I’m excited to dig deeper into the game.

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It’s also worth noting that if you’re a Playstation Plus member you’ll be able to download any PS Vita games that are in your library (and compatible with the device) to the 8GB SD card included with the device.

So far I’m pretty impressed with the Playstation TV. It’s lightweight and small which makes for a nice addition to the bedroom that doesn’t take up much space. It’ll also be great for traveling, especially once PS Now subscriptions are available on the device (they’re coming, eventually). You’ll be able to toss a small device in your laptop bag and set up anywhere with a TV and a decent internet connection and have over 100 games available to you.

playstation tv

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I’m looking forward to experiencing some Vita games I would have otherwise never gotten to play (such as Persona 4). I’m a tad upset that PS Now subscriptions aren’t currently available, but hopefully it’ll be worth the wait.

 

 

Now listening: Lady Gaga’s “ARTPOP”

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I used to be borderline obsessed with Lady Gaga. In college I loved The Fame and The Fame Monster so much that I ordered them on vinyl and picked up almost all of the singles (and their remixes) on vinyl / picture discs.

Then, for whatever reason, 2011’s¬†Born This Way¬†and 2013’s¬†ARTPOP¬†managed to completely pass me by. Out of the blue I decided to give¬†ARTPOP¬†a listen on Spotify as I drove to work on Monday. I was immediately hooked. The album is probably as close to a perfect pop album as anyone can get, at least to my untrained ears.

There is just so much about the album to love. The instrumentals are of the same hypnotic, energetic style that got me hooked to her first album and follow up EP. Her lyrics are catchy (love “G.U.Y.”), sexy (“Sexxx Dreams” and “Do What U Want” which features R. Kelly) and hypnotic (“Venus”). I love all of it!

The hit single “Applause” (which I somehow hadn’t heard until Monday) is incredible. I feel like she brings her unique Lady Gaga with a slight mix of Katy Perry and everything about the album works on every level. I can’t stop listening to the tracks over and over again in my car, and I’m not ashamed to have pop music blasting from my speakers as I cruise down the highway.

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I especially love the slower paced, piano ballad “Dope”. Her voice is absolutely incredible. I love the deep, brooding tone of the song. The song gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.

I still haven’t listened to¬†Born This Way, and I’m not sure if I want to. I love¬†ARTPOP¬†so much I’m almost afraid I won’t like her sophomore album as much.

Medusa, I will defeat you (one day). Shin Megami Tensei IV

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So a few nights ago I hit my first roadblock in Shin Megami Tensei IV, in the form of the Medusa boss battle. Up until that point I had been cruising along, never facing any particularly challenging moments. I was enjoying the progression of the story and the flow of the gameplay, when all of a sudden the cruel and monstrous Medusa showed up and stopped me in my tracks.

The fight felt like it was going well, until the first dialogue choice came about. Medusa asked my opinion of her statues and I said that they were ugly….Oops! This enraged her, thus increasing her attack power and she wiped out my entire party on the very next turn. Not cool.

So I walked myself out of Hades, determined to put an end to Medusa’s treachery. The next battle went about as smoothly as the first, and when presented with a dialogue option, this time I praised her statues which in turn lowered her attack power. “Hooray!” I thought, this is going to be easy now.

Not so much. I made it to the second dialogue exchange, which from what I understand marks the 2/3 point of the fight (or at least 2 out of the 3 dialogue exchanges) but soon after my character was killed which left me unable to swap my creatures out for fresh ones and also left me unable to use items to heal them. I wiped again.

I tried the fight two or three more times with no success, and decided it was time to grind. I brought all my creatures up an additional two levels (to the 12-13 level range) but fared no better in the fight. So I went back to the grind and got my Gremlin to transform into a level 18 Raiju once it hit 14. I’m hoping this will give me an edge when I return to Medusa’s chamber again later tonight and finally attempt to finish her off. Wish me luck!

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I apologize for the glare, was grinding away in my car earlier as I had some downtime and it was bright outside.