Archive for January 2014

Top 5 Free PC Tools and Utilities

I have been working on computers for over 10 years and a lot of my friends always ask me what they can do to protect their computers and keep them running fast and free from hang ups. So I put together a list of free software that is a must have to keep your pc secure and running in tip top shape.

Avast Free Antivirus 2014 One of the best free anti-virus and spyware programs that’s out there. Ive used this for several years now with no complaints.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware This is a must have software for protecting yourself. This program is easy to use and most importantly the best effective tool I use.

ProduKey This program shows the product ID of software or OS installed on your computer. If you have MS Office or any other program you paid for this is a great tool for those just in case moments.

SlimCleaner Free  s a free utility that cleans, optimizes, repairs, and updates your PC based on the latest threats and issues. Its loaded with a lot of useful other tools like disk defragmenter and disk cleanup to name a few.

SlimDrivers Free is a simple tool that uses cloud-based scans to identify, download, and help you install driver updates for your system. It creates a personal profile that remembers your drivers and downloads the right ones automatically when you scan your system. Updated drivers help keep your system running safely and smoothly.

There are a ton of other great software out there but these are some of the best in my opinion.

Submitted by Scott Fuqua

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Braised Rabbit in Red Wine Sauce

Ingredients:

One, 2½ to 3-pound rabbit, bone in, cut into serving-size pieces Braised rabbit
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
About 3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup canola or peanut oil
4 medium carrots, chopped
1½ medium onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp of dried thyme
1 cup red wine
1 cup water
Rice or noodles
Chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:

Spread the flour in a shallow dish. Season the rabbit with salt and pepper, and dredge it in the flour. Shake off the excess flour. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat. Add the rabbit, and cook it for 5 to 6 minutes, turning until it is lightly browned. Lift the meat from the pan, and set it aside.

Add the carrots, onions, and garlic and thyme then cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the onions are lightly browned. Reduce the heat, and cook the vegetables over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rabbit, wine and water and cover the pan. Cook over low heat for about 35 minutes until the rabbit is cooked through.

Using a slotted spoon or spatula, remove the cooked rabbit from the pan and set it aside. Puree the pan’s contents with an emulsifier, food mill, food processor or blender. Return the rabbit with sauce to pan, add the rabbit, and bring back to a simmer. Serve the rabbit and sauce over rice or noodles and garnish with parsley.

Submitted by Ralph Carr

Pecan Venison

Ingredients:

4 or more venison steaks, preferably from the backstrap
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup sliced onion
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 tbsp. medium dry sherry
2 cups vegetable broth
½ cup heavy cream
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/3 cup pecan halves
¼ cup green onions, finely sliced

Directions:

Season the venison with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet, add venison and cook until venison is rare. Remove from skillet. Add onion and mushrooms to pan; cook 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Add sherry and cook 1 minute. Add broth and boil until liquid is reduced by half, skimming any fat or foam.

Combine 2 tbsp. cream with the cornstarch. Add remaining cream to skillet and bring to a gentle boil. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture, simmer 4 to 5 minutes. Add venison, pecans and green onion. Simmer about 2 minutes and serve. Great with rice or noodles.

venison-pecan-sauce

Submitted by Ralph Carr

New PC Scam Alert

Just want to let all my friends and family know about a new computer scam that is hitting the area. There has been a total of 6 reported cases in the last ten days and it usually starts with you getting a phone call from someone saying they are from Microsoft, an ISP or some other reputable company and that they discovered some sort of problem with a virus or counterfeit software. They then walk you through a series of tasks they need you do on your computer to fix the problem but in reality they are taking you through the steps to give them full access to you computer. Once they are in they take over and lock you out of your computer and ask you to pay a fee or as I call it a ransom to unlock your computer. The biggest warning sign should be the fact that they called you, when typically you call someone when you have a problem.

I had to work on one yesterday for a customer and it took several hours to bypass the passwords and I still ended up having to replace the hard drive. After speaking to him more he told me more about his encounter and said that they tried to make multiple withdrawals from his bank account. So I encourage you all to be vigilant and make sure you back up all you photos  and documents.

Submitted by Scott Fuqua

Thai Venison and Broccoli Stir Fry

Ingredients:

1/2-1 lb venison roast
1 medium head broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
1 red pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 shallot or 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 T ginger
1tablespoon currypowder
1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce (or any hot chili sauce)
Sherry
1 teaspoon cornstarch (dissolved in 3 Tbsp. cool water)
2 -3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lime wedges & cilantro
Rice

MARINADE

3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
chili flakes, to taste
Salt and pepper

STIR-FRY SAUCE

1/2 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce (or soy sauce)
1 -2 teaspoon brown sugar, to taste

Directions:

1. Cut roast on a bias into thin strips and place in a bowl. Combine marinade ingredients in a cup, whisking to dissolve the cornstarch. Pour marinade over the venison. Set aside.

2. In a cup or small bowl, combine the stir-fry sauce ingredients together, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.

3. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oil to coat the pan, then add the shallot/onion, garlic, chili sauce, curry, and ginger. Stir-fry 1 minute to release the fragrance.

4. Add the venison and its marinade. Stir-fry until browned, 4-5 minutes. Add the sherry as you stir-fry to keep pan moist. Remove meat from pan.

5. Add broccoli and red pepper plus stir-fry sauce. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened but still retain some crunch.

6. Stir together the cornstarch and water mixture. Push ingredients aside in the wok to reveal the stir-fry sauce. Add the cornstarch-water mixture and stir to thicken the sauce. Then add in venison and stir-fry everything together. Serve over rice with fresh lime wedges and cilantro.

tsf

Submitted by Ralph Carr