Stuck in the house because of all that snow? With more snow expected tomorrow, some of us need a little diversion to spice up our winter hibernation. For me, baking is a way out of the winter funk. My 140 year old house on Grove Street came with a nice kitchen that has lots of room for baking.
My Dad also likes to cook and we send each other recipes that we have tried and liked. We both get inspiration from Cooks Illustrated and I still rely on books like The Joy of Cooking and the Fannie Farmer Book of Baking . There are the family recipes handed down from my Polish Grandmother and even some recipes from my Mom like her chocolate cake with maraschino cherries and walnuts with cream cheese frosting. We just call it Mom’s Chocolate Cake. Of course I have to send Dad photos of some of my better efforts.
When all the baking is finished, its time for some TV. Although we have hundreds of choices on cable, you may not want to pay for the premium channels. Today we have another choice in the form of internet streaming devices. If you have a new HDTV or Blu-ray player, you may have this service built in. For those that do not, or want more of a selection than the built in devices offer we have independent devices like the Roku or Apple TV. Being a Mac person, I have the Apple TV which is a little bigger than the size of a deck of playing cards and comes with a wireless remote. This device connects wirelessly to your internet cable service through a wireless router. You plug the HDMI cable into your TV and that’s it (It also has optical audio output to your stereo receiver). You can stream movies from Netflix, music and movies from iTunes or YouTube and view them on your big screen TV in HD. You can stream media directly from your computer or iPhone/iPod through this device. The Apple TV also has the capability to stream a slide show of your favorite images complete with music and transitions.
The Apple TV has no hard drive and does not store media, it just provides streaming capability through an interface that is familiar with those who have worked with Apple products.
The menu provides descriptions and ratings of movies along with a brief preview. A Netflix subscription for streaming media is only $7.99/month. iTunes charges for movie rentals (usually $4.99) and TV shows (.99 cents). There is no charge for Podcasts, YouTube, internet radio stations and media already stored on your computer.
Priced at just $99.00, the Apple TV is a great little device that will have you glued to your TV for hours.
Once you are recharged from all the good food and entertainment, it will be time to get back out there and shovel the snow again!