Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

St. Patrick’s Day Recipes That Aren’t Corned Beef and Cabbage

St. Patrick’s Day is this Sunday and if you are looking to mix up your recipes to something other than corned beef and cabbage, Great Plains Communications has you covered. We have looked to our cable channel, Food Network for some of our favorite holiday inspired dishes that won’t have your house smelling like cabbage for days on end.

Green Pancakes and Hash

Start the day off with this festive breakfast of savory spinach green pancakes and hash. The pancakes are as simple as dumping ingredients into your blender and frying them up. With the protein from the hash and eggs and the filling cakes, you will be ready for a day of festivities.

 

Rachael’s 30 Minute Shepherd’s Pie

Rachael takes a shortcut and swaps brisket or beef roast for ground beef in this quick shepherd’s pie recipe. Add your family’s favorite vegetable blend to the meat and top with her creamy potatoes and you will have a deceivingly cheap crowd-pleasing dish.

 

Ree’s 5-Star Beef Stew with Vegetables

This stew has a robust beef flavor from the chuck roast cooking down in the beer and broth. While it doesn’t add a tomato flavor, the tomato paste is an essential ingredient for adding a depth of savoriness people have come to expect from a hearty beef stew.

 

St. Patrick’s Day Mint Shakes

Finish the day with this festively green shake as it combines peppermint with the vanilla ice cream. If you are throwing a party, this is one recipe the kids are sure to love!

It’s the 30th Anniversary of the World Wide Web

If you have done a Google search today, you might have noticed that the Google Doodle looks a little different. The search engine is celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee’s proposal that was the creation of the World Wide Web. Today the terms, “Internet” and “web” are often used interchangeably, though they actually have different meanings. Before the World Wide Web, the Internet was only accessible by the military in a form known as ARPANET – a global network of computers that were able to communicate with one another developed in the 60s. It wasn’t until Berners-Lee’s proposal in the late 80s that created the web, or the public’s main access to the network.

“Information Management: A Proposal”

In March of 1989, Tim Berners-Lee was a young software engineer working at Switzerland’s European Organization for Nuclear Research, also known as CERN. He was working on ideas combining “broad connectivity and openness” when accessing information. So, he wrote his first proposal, “Information Management: A Proposal.” According to an article from CERN, the proposal was for “an internet-based hypertext system to link and access information across different computers.” By Christmas, Berners-Lee had implemented components we know today as HTML, HTTP and URLs.

Keeping Things Open

In April of 1993, CERN released a freely available version of the WWW software to the public, which was the beginning of the open platform we know today. They encouraged the public to not only use it, but improve upon it through open source software, open hardware, open access publishing and the CERN Open Data Portal. This is what allows you the opportunity to create a website right this minute, or two websites, or 50. According to Statista, in January 2019 there were around 4.4 billion active Internet users and according to Internet Live Stats, there are just under 1.7 billion websites on the web and the count continues to rise.

A Few Things You May Not Know About Daylight Saving Time

This Sunday, March 10, 2019 we will “spring forward” in recognition of daylight saving time. While we have been changing the time on our clocks for many years now, have you ever wondered why that is or why there are some areas that don’t do it? Great Plains Communications has a few fun facts on the matter.

The Legislative Bill 309 has been introduced.

In 2018, Senator Lydia Brasch introduced Legislative Bill 309 with the intent of eliminating daylight saving time in Nebraska. She stated, “The standard time of the state of Nebraska shall be the time established by the Uniform Time Act of 1966 in both the Central and Rocky Mountain time zones, except that the state of Nebraska shall not observe daylight saving time.”

The United States was not the first country to recognize daylight saving time.

Germany was the first country to enact daylight saving time on April 30, 1916 in steps to conserve electricity during World War 1. Shortly after, the United Kingdom did the same, introducing “summer time.” The United States didn’t adopt daylight saving until 1918 but didn’t apply to everyone. It wasn’t until Lyndon B. Johnson started the Uniform Time Act in 1966 that we observed time as it is today in America. The Uniform Time Act gave states the option to either adopt daylight saving time for six months and standard time for the other six months of the year or opt out altogether.

Not everybody in the United States changes their clocks.

Both Hawaii and Arizona do not observe daylight saving time, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Some Amish communities also choose to remain on standard time year-round.

2019 Mardi Gras Party Recipes

Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday is next Tuesday, March 5. Great Plains Communications wants to help you celebrate the flavors of the holiday with some of our favorite recipes from our cable channel, Food Network.

Cajun Shrimp Étouffée

Shrimp Étouffée is a classic Cajun dish, containing the “holy trinity” of onion, bell pepper and celery, along with seafood base and gulf shrimp. You might be wondering what the difference is between étouffée and other classic dishes such as gumbo. Étouffée is a thicker consistency and made with one type of shellfish, while gumbo is more of a soup base and includes a mix of vegetables, meat and shellfish.

 

Slow-Cooker Smoked Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo

This recipe is layered with flavor but skips the hassle of constant attention. You still have to make a deep roux to provide thickening and a crucial flavor to gumbo, but that is the only prep needed with the slow-cooker doing the work.

 

Viv’s Beignets-and-Crawfish Mardi Gras Party

With these recipes, your party will feel like a true Mardi Gras event from the savory twist on a classic crawfish dish, sweet and fluffy beignets and the crowd-pleasing Hurricane cocktail. As Viv mentions, if you can’t find crawfish or aren’t a fan of the flavor, feel free to substitute shrimp in its place.

 

NOLA-Inspired Muffuletta Pinwheels

Another classic dish in New Orleans is the muffuletta. This sandwich is full of pickled veggies pressed down with different meats and cheeses. The key to the muffuletta flavor is the pressing of the sandwich, that generally takes an hour or longer. If you aren’t looking to spend that time or just want something simpler for your Mardi Gras party, try these muffuletta pinwheel bites.

 

If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to learn about the services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

2019 Oscar Winners

The 91st Academy Awards aired this past Sunday, February 24. If you missed it or just planned to look for the list of Oscar winners after the fact, Great Plains Communications has you covered.

Best Picture:

Green Book”

Director:

Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”

Actor:

Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Actress:

Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”

Supporting Actor:

Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”

Supporting Actress:

Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Original Screenplay:

“Green Book”

Adapted Screenplay:

“BlackKklansman”

Foreign Language Film:

“Roma”

Animated Feature:

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Sound Editing:

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

Visual Effects:

“First Man”

Film Editing:

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

Animated Short:

“Bao”

Live Action Short:

“Skin”

Documentary Short:

“Period. End of Sentence.”

Original Score:

“Black Panther”

Original Song:

“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born”

Production Design:

“Black Panther”

Cinematography:

“Roma”

Costume Design:

“Black Panther”

Makeup and Hairstyling:

“Vice”

Documentary Feature:

“Free Solo”

Sound Mixing:

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

2019 Spring Sunspots

Strangely enough, the sun can impact your cable television service. When the energy from the sun expands, solar flares are created, better known as sunspots. For around two weeks each fall and spring season, you might notice some channels periodically showing a fuzzy signal, sparkles, or even a total loss. Typically lasting 5 to 15 minutes, the sunspot activity should not cause any worry as it will pass.

So, what exactly causes the disruption in your channels? As the satellites orbit, they eventually will align between the earth and sun. As a result of the mini-eclipse the satellite has formed, the sun’s rays overpower the transmission from the satellite. It is important to note that the effects brought on by sunspot activity is not a cable outage and there is really nothing Great Plains Communications or any other cable provider, is able to do. The sun outages are often country-wide, and the only thing we can all do is wait for it to pass. Luckily, after 5 to 15 minutes of disruption, your program should air as normal.

If the problem has not subsided after 20 minutes, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 so that one of our technicians can look into the issue. For more information on sunspots and the current level of solar activity, visit NASA’s website at https://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/SunspotCycle.shtml.

Show Premieres Coming This Month

The temperatures may still be in the freezing, but the drama in these new shows is heating up! Great Plains Communications has found some of our favorite premieres coming out in the next month that you won’t want to miss.

Proven Innocent – FOX

Premieres 2/15/19

A young woman was wrongly accused of murdering her best friend. Once her conviction was overturned she turned to the books and became a lawyer, determined to help others with stories like hers.

 

The Umbrella Academy – NETFLIX

Premieres 2/15/19

You will see some familiar faces in this 10-episode adaptation of graphic novels highlighting a family of superheroes. The show is sure to be jam packed with action and an underlying thread of comedy.

 

Whiskey Cavalier – ABC

Premieres 2/24/19

The infamous rivalry between the CIA and FBI is not new to our screens, but Whiskey Cavalier looks to provide not only action and drama but romantic tension between the two agents as they both work to obtain the same target.

 

The Widow – Amazon Prime

Premieres 3/1/19

This is the American debut of the eight-episode British thriller starring Kate Beckinsale. Her husband is believed to be dead after a plane crash, however Beckinsale’s character isn’t so convinced.

 

The Act – Hulu

Premieres – 3/20/19

Keeping with the true-crime trend, this short series tells the intense story of a toxic relationship between mother and daughter, based on the Dee Dee and Gypsy Blanchard true crime story.

Easy Valentine’s Day Recipes

Skip the reservations this Valentine’s Day! We have looked to our cable channel, Food Network for some of our favorite date night recipes that you can enjoy at home. No matter if you spend the evening cooking together or surprise your sweetheart with a home-cooked meal, these recipes are definitely some to consider.

Lobster Linguine

By adding an expensive seafood, such as Lobster or crab, to a pasta dish, you can enjoy the decadence while stretching your money. This recipe has very few ingredients and comes together in 30 minutes but spares no flavor. The freshness of the arugula and peas added at the end will brighten the creamy sauce and won’t overpower the flavor of the lobster.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts might not be your first choice for date night, but this recipe will have you reconsidering. By wrapping the cutlets in prosciutto, you are adding fat that will keep the chicken moist while cooking and add a ton of salty, delicious flavor.

Date-Night Carrot Cake for Two

This perfectly portioned cake will add a sweet ending to your Valentine’s Day dinner. The classic flavors of naturally sweet carrots, vanilla and cinnamon accented with the chopped pecans make for a beautifully spiced base for the indulgent cream cheese frosting.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Tart

The thought of making a tart can be intimidating, but this recipe is as simple as making the filling and placing the whole thing in the refrigerator. While Katie Lee made her shell, you can also buy pre-made shells at most grocery stores.

 

From all of us at Great Plains Communications, we wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day! If you are not currently one of our cable customers and would like to learn more about the services we offer in your area, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Valentine’s Day DIY Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day is next week, which means there is plenty of time for DIY gift ideas. Great Plains Communications has turned to a few of our cable channels for some of our favorite gift ideas you can make at home, getting the kids involved as well.

DIY Valentine’s Day Door Decoration – HGTV

This door decoration only takes a few things to make and the kids will love helping stick on the fake moss. It is simple and will add a beautiful romantic touch to any door or wall in the home.

 

DIY Barnwood Wine Glass Holder – DIY Network

This country chic wine glass holder will make a great gift accompanied by your special someone’s favorite wine. Spend less money and more time, showing how much you care with this beautifully resourceful gift.

 

Tiered Planter Box – DIY Network

Are you someone who loves working with your hands? Get the older kids involved in making this tiered planter box as a Valentine’s Day gift for the gardener of the family.

 

Andi’s Origami Valentine’s Day Hearts – Disney Channel

Making these origami Valentine’s Day hearts is a fun craft for the whole family. Write personal messages inside and take the time to show younger children how to fold the intricate designs and watch as they glow with pride when their folds turn into a beautiful heart.

2019 Safer Internet Day and Tips for Parents

Are you a parent, scrambling to figure out ways to keep your children safe online? As children grow up with technology from before they can take a step or speak a full sentence, there are many questions and troubles that can arise. Striving to address an emerging online issue each year, the Insafe organization has shed light on topics such as cyber-bullying and social networking. This year, Safer Internet Day 2019 has the theme “Together for a better Internet.”

Safer Internet Day (SID) started as an initiative and has grown into a landmark event. Forming in Europe, the Insafe organization has grown above and beyond its original geographic zone and now celebrates in more than 100 countries worldwide, across all continents.

The idea is that no matter what language you speak or what country you call home, we all face issues brought forth by the Internet. As our children become emerged in the culture and effects of technology, cyber safety becomes increasingly important and we need to play our part in making the Internet a better place.

One resource of SID 2019 is a program called Family Online Safety Institute. The site provides parents with, “advice, tips and tools empowering you to confidently navigate the online world with your kids.” You can filter the content by specific topics such as: safety, privacy, social media and more. Great Plains Communications wants to help provide information, so families enjoy all the Internet has to offer, but in a safe manner. For more information on SID 2019, check out their website at http://saferinternetday.us/.

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