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Keeping Your Family Connected

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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/.

2019 Big Game Commercials

We have covered recipes for your big game day party, but how many of you are primarily there for the commercials during the game? Great Plains Communications has found a few of our favorite commercials you can expect to see this year and teasers for those brands that are making us wait.

Amazon – Not Everything Makes the Cut

 

Avocados from Mexico – Top Dog

 

Bubly – Can I have a bublé (Teaser)

 

Colgate – The Close Talker

 

Hyundai – The Elevator

 

Michelob Ultra – The Pure Experience

 

Pepsi – More Than OK

Don’t miss the big game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams this Sunday, February 3 at 5:30 PM CT on CBS.

2019 Game Day Recipes

The big football game is this weekend, which means you have plenty of time to plan that perfect menu to wow your friends. Great Plains Communications has looked to our cable channel, Food Network for twists on some of our favorite game-day classic recipes.

Tomatillo Beef Nachos

As Eddie Jackson says, the beauty of this recipe is that you can make the different components ahead of time, so all you have to do is assemble when your guests arrive. The charred tomatillos will add a smoky flavor that melds perfectly with the savory beef. Keep the different toppings on the side for people to garnish as they please and you will have a fan favorite!

Spicy Pop Pulled Pork

Another make-ahead meal, you could prepare this pork the day before and reheat it in the crockpot for whenever your guests are hungry. The sugar in the pop and brown sugar levels out the spicy, smoky notes of the chipotles. Grab packages of buns and you have a sweet, savory, spicy dish that will have your friends’ taste buds dancing.

3 Ways to Amp Up Queso

Not wanting to take the time to make your own queso but are looking for a way to jazz up that jarred cheese? Here are three toppings that will add flavor, heat and freshness to the already beloved cheese dip.

Jamaican Meat Pie Footballs

Okay, this one might not be a classic game-day dish, but if you are looking to add something different to your table of treats, these Jamaican Meat Pies are just what you need. There is spice from the pepper mix and the dough is flaky, plus they look like little footballs so that’s a total touchdown!

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

Congratulations to Our Fit Social Giveaway Winner!

Jenni Joedeman and her family

Help us in congratulating our Fit Social Giveaway winner, Jenni Joedeman of Stapleton, NE! By liking the Great Plains Communications Facebook page, the post and tagging her workout buddy in the comments, she has won a Fitbit Charge 3™. This advanced fitness tracker helps monitor steps, calories, 24/7 heart rate, sleep tracking and much more!

Even if you didn’t win this giveaway, that doesn’t mean there aren’t many resources online to find support in getting healthy and reaching your goals this year. One example would be the LiveWell Challenge, formerly known as the NE150 Challenge, here in Nebraska.

So, what is the goal behind the LiveWell Challenge?

It is a group of Nebraska organizations, business and schools joining together with the Nebraska Sports Council in effort to get Nebraskans to complete 150 miles or more of physical activity throughout the year. This doesn’t have to just be running or walking, but bicycling, swimming, hiking, etc. Then if you wish to participate, you create a free account at LiveWellNebraska.com and log your miles. It is a way to connect with others reaching for the same goals across the state. They will also include events and articles on healthy living throughout the year.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in our Fit Social Giveaway and again congratulate Jenni Joedeman on being randomly selected as our winner!

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