Creamy Spinach Soup Put 1 chopped onion, 2 peeled garlic cloves, 3 cups water and salt and pepper in a pot over high heat. Boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer until the onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Add 10 ounces chopped spinach and 1/2 cup parsley leaves; cook until the spinach is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup Greek-style yogurt and purée. Garnish: A spoonful of Greek-style yogurt and chopped parsley.
Squash-and-Ginger Soup Substitute 1 tablespoon minced ginger for the garlic and 4 cups chopped butternut squash for the spinach (it will take longer to soften). Skip the parsley and substitute half-and-half or cream for the yogurt. Garnish: A spoonful of cream.
Curried Cauliflower Soup Substitute 1 tablespoon minced ginger for the garlic, 2 cups cauliflower florets for the spinach (they will take longer to soften), 1 tablespoon curry powder for the parsley and coconut milk for the yogurt. Garnish: Chopped cilantro.
Vegetable Broth With Toast Put 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped onions, 1 small chopped potato, 2 chopped celery ribs, 2 garlic cloves, 10 sliced mushrooms, 1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine), 10 parsley sprigs, 1/2 ounce dried porcini, 8 cups water and salt and pepper in a pot over high heat. Boil, lower heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft, 30 minutes or longer. Strain and serve over toasted good bread. Garnish: Chopped celery leaves.
Egg Drop Soup Beat 4 eggs. Boil the strained stock, lower the heat so it simmers and add the eggs in a steady stream, stirring constantly until they’re cooked, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped scallions, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Skip the bread. Garnish: Chopped scallions.
Rice-and-Pea Soup Boil the strained stock, lower the heat so it simmers and add 3/4 cup white rice. Cook until tender, then add 2 cups fresh or frozen peas; cook for a minute or two. Skip the bread. Garnish: Grated Parmesan
Bean Soup Put 1 1/2 cup dried beans, 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery ribs, 2 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves and 6 cups water in a pot over high heat. Boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer until the beans are soft, at least 1 hour, adding more water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish: A drizzle of olive oil.
Chickpea-and-Pasta Soup Substitute chickpeas for the beans and rosemary for the thyme and add 1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine). When the chickpeas are almost tender, add 1/2 cup small pasta. Cook until the pasta and chickpeas are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish: A few chopped rosemary leaves.
Spicy Black-Bean Soup Use black beans and substitute fresh oregano for the thyme. When the beans are done, add 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 dried or canned chipotle and the juice of a lime. Garnish: Cilantro and sour cream.
Minestrone Sauté 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped celery rib and 1 teaspoon minced garlic in 3 tablespoons olive oil for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups cubed potatoes and salt and pepper; cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine) and 5 cups water. Boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add 1 cup chopped green beans; simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish: Chopped parsley and grated Parmesan.
Mushroom Soup Substitute 1 1/2 pounds sliced mushrooms (preferably an assortment) for the potatoes; sauté until they brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Substitute ½ cup white wine for the tomatoes, skip the green beans and add a fresh thyme sprig with the water. Garnish: A few thyme leaves.
Tomato-and-Garlic Soup Use 2 tablespoons minced garlic and substitute 2 tablespoons tomato paste for the celery. Skip the potatoes and green beans; use 3 cups tomatoes and 3 cups water. Cook the tomatoes for 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish: Lots of chopped or torn basil
All of these recipes serve four, and you’ll want about a 2.5-to-4-quart (medium or large) pot. Most can be cooked for a while — but not so long that the freshness is gone. Most will taste as good or better the next day, so consider making a double batch and refrigerating (or freezing) the leftovers. But never boil a soup after you’ve added dairy to it; instead, reheat gently.
If you want a supersmooth soup (and just about any of these soups can be puréed if you like), use a standing blender — let the soup cool a bit first — which creates a finer purée than an immersion blender does; you might even strain the soup after puréeing it.
Garnishes are all optional, though herbs add a dimension that will be lacking otherwise. If you taste as you’re cooking, you’ll be fine, because there is really nothing to go wrong here.
Alright, if you’re a consumer and you’re considering picking up the new Xbox One console, then please, take a moment to listen to me. Before we begin, no, I am not a fanboy or a hater. I have no console Bias. I have a PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and a Gaming PC. Each has their pros and cons but now onto business.
DO NOT BUY AN XBOX ONE. Why? See the reasons below:
Xbox Requires an internet connection. Here’s how it works: Every 24 hours your Xbox will try to connect to Microsoft’s servers for verification. If it is unable to connect, sucks to be you. You’re blocked from playing even single player games until it can connect.
Do you like renting games, lending them to a friend, or even borrowing them from a friend? No longer possible. Every Xbox One game you get must be registered to your Xbox live account to be played. After that point it will only work for you. No one else can use it unless they pay a fee. Essentially it works like this. You pick up a used Xbox One game from somewhere or someone, pop it into your console. The system verifies it’s been registered to your account. Uh-oh, it isn’t! In order to play it, you have to pay Microsoft a fee, which is currently slated to be full retail price. Doesn’t matter how scratched up it is or how cheap you got it at gamestop or from a friend. You aren’t just buying the physical copies anymore. You’re paying Microsoft for a LICENSE to be allowed to play that game.
It is worth mentioning Microsoft is exploring ways for you to trade in and resell your used games. This is rumored to mean that you can sell your digital license to play the game (registration) back to microsoft, likely for microsoft points. You can then trade in the game at gamespot for some cash if you like. Either way, as it currently stands, the new owner would still have to pay a fee on top of the price of actually buying the physical copy.
Is it worth mentioning that Microsoft if shafting Indie Developers as well? Where as on Playstation Network or (whatever the Wii has) Indie Developers can self publish their content easily. Playstation even encourages this. Microsoft however forces these Indie Devs to enter publishing deals with them to be allowed to market their content. You don’t go through them, you don’t get to sell what you developed.
I’m not quite done yet! Now, I’m sure you heard a lot about “TV TV TV TV SPORTS TV TV SPORTS SPORTS TV.” Yes, the Xbox is slated to be able to stream live tv, live sports, etc. So let me ask you this. You obviously already have something like cable or DirecTV. Do you really want to shell out hundreds of dollars more and pay a monthly subscription fee to have another television provider? Yes, I said hundreds of dollars, and I don’t mean the cost of the console. To view live TV from the Xbox you are required to purchase ANOTHER separate device for it to work. Why would you even consider shelling out more money for something you already have anyway? Even if you didn’t, DirecTV is cheaper. Or you could even subscribe you Hulu.com and watch live tv on your computer. FOR MUCH CHEAPER. You essentially have to buy another cable box if you don’t have one. And if you do… what do you need the Xbox One for?
So far we’ve discovered that the Xbox One is not really a gaming console, at least… not a consumer friendly gaming console. It’s being marketed as an all-in-one home entertainment system. Something to replace all of the other devices in your house. But there are drawbacks even to that. Put on your tin foil hats for this part folks. Take from it what you will, all I’ll say is… possibilities…
The Xbox One’s features will not function unless the Kinect is plugged in and active. This is not an optional piece anymore.
So imagine your Kinect piece breaks? Tough luck, no more Xbox for you. But you know what’s worse?
Pay attention, because this is important. The Kinect is always watching. Always listening. Even when the system is off.
Yes. One of the ways to turn the system on is to audibly say: “Xbox On” while the system is off. The Kinect, which is always on, hears you and turns it on. Now this might seem like a cool feature, but did you know Microsoft patented a feature that would allow the Kinect’s camera (It’s no longer just a sensor, but a camera) to spy on you for the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America?) While they may not actually do this, it is actually possible for them to do this now. It has a camera, and a microphone. The Kinect is always on. It is ALWAYS listening, ALWAYS watching.
An idea has been tossed around that by using this feature, it will allows game developers and movie produces to set a limited amount of how many people can be allowed to view the entertainment. So as a hypothetical example, you and three friends are watching a movie, which is the maximum allowed. A fourth friend enters the room and the Kinect’s sensor registers the fourth individual. The movie stops and you a prompted to pay a fee so that the extra individual may also view the film. Again, that is NOT currently the case, but these are the ideas currently being tossed around with the system’s current capabilities.
This isn’t really a good or bad thing, but it’s annoying. It also explains how they can prevent you from playing a used game if you didn’t pay their fee. Xbox one no longer plays games off the discs, you HAVE to install them to the hard-drive in order to play them. I believe PS3 also has you do this (on a number of games but not always it seems), except that PS3 isn’t trying to Nickle and Dime you at every corner. It also seems according to this article there is something related to the Online portion at the beginning of this post. The option is there for Developers to require the Xbox to always be online to play their particular game. Well, it seems PC gamers and console gamers have one thing in common now… DRM.
(At least pirates on PC can bypass DRM easily. Not an option for Consoles.)
And last but not least, another annoyance… Xbox One will not be compatible with any and all current headsets. Nope, companies will either have to make new headsets altogether specifically for the Xbox One, and they have to adhere to what Microsoft wants. Look forward to price gouging.
Oh, one more thing… If you have an Xbox 360, don’t get rid of it. Why? Well if you want to keep playing your old 360 games you’ll need it. The Xbox One isn’t backwards compatible. At all. Not only that, but President of Microsoft’s Xbox Division Don Mattrick insults the very notion of backwards compatibility! He calls it: “Backwards thinking.”
That is all I have to say currently folks, and I hope you took the time to read this far. I’ll conclude with the following… please… PLEASE do not buy this console. Paying for this supports greedy and anti-consumer business practices. Speak with your wallet, and pass up the Xbox One. No matter what games it might have that you want, even if they are exclusive. Do the right thing and make a statement. Refuse to be nickle and dimed like this. Refuse to be seen as a mindless consumer who will buy anything tossed to them.
We won’t know much else until after E3, but as it stands now, the PS4 or a decent gaming PC is the best way to go.
If you are willing to do so, please spread this post around. Liking is not even remotely necessary, but do please share it if you agree with and acknowledge what you’ve read here. The more people know, the fewer of them waste their money.
Thank you, kindly.
(Originally posted on Facebook by one of my friends. He brings up many valid points. Mind you, I haven’t been a fan of Xbox in a long time and I will most likely get a PS4. But this confirms further for me that I won’t be getting an Xbox one any time in the foreseeable future.)
TL;DR —The XBOX One is going to be a piece of shit and you really shouldn’t even remotely think about getting one.