Monday, August 31, 2009

The Music Memoirs (memes)

"How Tired Can You Get?"

Instructions:
"10 songs that sum up your weekend...or were on your weekend playlist...and one picture that relates back. (oh, and if you feel like it, tell us why you picked the songs you did)."







____________

This is my first time doing this meme. I did not have ten songs this weekend and I did not feel that there were any that summed up my weekend. The weekend was just long and tiring....and filled with people who are lazy and deliberately annoying. The last sentence was very, very honest. :-(

I hope that you enjoy the songs I listened to. At least my musical choices were humorous.

I also thought of putting up a picture of an allergy attack...that also summed up my weekend. I did not have allergy problems growing up or as a young adult. I am now progressing into actual allergy attacks....as I type this I have just sneezed very hard. Not fun.

Today (not the weekend):
-----Not feeling well...to the point I called off from work.
-----Worried about a pet that someone we know abandoned. Trying to see what I can do to help.
-----A headache that won't go away.
-----I did not think we would get anymore blueberries...we got a lot more.
-----Finishing up on reading "Julie and Julia." I do not like Julie Powell much. Julie and I do not have the same mindset on a lot of things....but she is making me laugh here and there.


Moxy Fruvous




I found this is actually about a real politician.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Haricot Vert



-----I am teaching myself French...mainly starting with culinary terms. I still need to make a learning contract with myself on this as a part of my "23 Things" work. I am just not sure what I want to put in my I-Will-Learn-French Learning Contract.
-----My term for the day is "haricot vert"....it is the French word for a "green bean" and was an ingredient on Hell's Kitchen this week.




-----French green beans are usually thinner,longer and more tender than American green beans. They also have a more complex flavor than American green beans.
-----I am not sure if I will be able to find haricot verts at the grocery.

Recipes:
-----Garlic Lemon Green Beans. A side dish.
-----French String Beans.Pretty simple recipe.
-----Haricot Vert Salad. From Martha Stewart
-----Haricot Vert with Shallots. I definitely need to find time to go through all of Smitten Kitchen recipes, make some and post them on the Smitten Kitchen Recipes Flickr pool.
-----Emerils Bacon Smothered Haricots Verts. Calls for sherry wine vinegar which is on my "(I Have) Never Cooked With List." Apparently, it might be a good dish for Thanksgiving Dinner.
-----A simple way to cook haricot verts from "The Essence of Emeril."
-----Cold Green Beans. Calls for walnut oil. I like walnut oil. Walnut oil can be hard to find.
-----Roasted Haricot Verts,Fennel and Potatoes. I have never cooked with fennel. It is on my "(I Have) Never Cooked with List"....and I will be remedying the fact that I have not cooked with the many ingredients listed.
-----Thai-Style Haricots Verts. Peanut oil and fish sauce are on my "(I Have) Never Cooked with List." I have also never cooked Thai food.
-----Seviche of Striped Bass. Calls for "1 oz. red onion, Brunoise"...and I need to figure out what this is.
-----The Ultimate Almandine. This is a personal recipe from the author of "The Well-Seasoned Cook" blog....one of my newest great finds.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Adding to The Never Cooked With List.

Licensed Photo. "Farmhouse Fireplace"
Taken by Roger Kirby.

I started a list of things that I have never cooked with before and I will slowly be working my way through that list. Hopefully, I will be able to find all of the items at a market somewhere.

I have never cooked with:
-----Ada miso (red miso). I cannot eat it myself...soy.
-----Almond milk (reportedly Michael Jackson had it with granola for breakfast)
-----Barley Malt Syrup. The best way to use it is along with other natural sweeteners...I do not know what sweeteners I will use it with yet.
-----Bay scallops...or any scallops. Some of the people on Hell's Kitchen make cooking scallops seem like rocket science.
-----Bean sprouts. I have eaten them. Ham and Bean Sprout Salad sounds interesting.
-----Black sesame seeds. I have seen these mentioned many times and I am really eager to try them.
-----Cashew butter
-----Chipotle Tabasco
-----Curry Powder
-----Dark sesame oil. Also sesame oil itself...seriously, I have not cooked with it or peanut oil.
-----Dry mustard
-----Edamame (though I will not be able to taste/eat due to thyroid issues)
-----Enoki mushrooms.Mild.Crunch. Used for soups and stir fries.
-----Fennel
-----Fleur de Sel (maybe I have had this....haven't paid attention to sea salt labels)
-----Frozen ramen
-----Garlic Tabasco
-----Gobo (burdock root). Tastes similar to an artichoke. You only eat the roots....the parts the grow above ground can cause dermatitis.---too many negative aspects for my tastes. It's upsetting that I decided not to cook with this....I wanted to try a noodle dish that involved burdock root. I am concerned that it would be bad if my dog got it somehow.
-----Ground Szechuan peppercorns
-----Haricot Vert
-----Hoisin sauce. My first recipe candidate for cooking with hoison sauce is Salmon Summer Rolls with Dipping Sauce.....that way I get to learn to use the rice paper for rolling, too. I am also interested in this Beef and Green Bean Stir-fry ( I sometimes break my soy taboo and use soy sauce).
-----Hotel Bar butter. Part of New York cuisine for over a century.
-----Japanese soy sauce. There is a difference between Japanese soy sauce and the stuff we get in The States.
-----Katsoubushi (dried bonito flakes). Bonito flakes are bits of dried bonito fish and they look like wood shavings. They are perfectly edible by humans....but in the United States some companies sell them as cat treats (I do not want to eat the cat treats). Bonito is a type of tuna.
-----Kelp.Supposed to increase thyroid function...and I have thyroid problems.There are some kelp items I will be trying in addition to any recipes.
-----Kombu
-----Leeks. I will be making Julia Child's Potage Parmentier (Potato and Leek Soup).
-----Mirin. A co-worker was surprised that I know what it is. I wonder if there are many recipes that one could substitute it for sake.
-----Muscovado Sugar
-----Napa cabbage
-----Nori. I tried my first Nori independent of California Rolls rolls this week. It looked like a papery-green-jerky strip and reminded me of fish skin. I liked it.
-----Peanut oil
-----Pickled ginger
-----Pine Nuts (never tasted one)
-----Roasted peanut oil
-----Salsify
-----Sansho pepper (Japanese pepper seedpods)
-----Seitan (wonder how this is pronounced and I have never had)
-----Sesame Seeds
-----Soba Noodles. I have had them and had them cooked for me.
-----Sherry Wine Vinegar
-----Shimeji mushrooms. Have to be cooked....otherwise are bitter.
-----Shirojoyu (white soy sauce)
-----Shiro miso (white miso). I cannot eat it myself....soy. I ate shiro miso many times before I knew that it was soy.
-----Shungiku
-----Squid. I love to eat it.....but NOT pickled. Ditto for octopus on not having cooked and the same eating preferences as the squid.
-----Tahini. Tomato Salad with Tahini Sauce....talks about eating it during Ramadan (I am assuming during the non-fasting hours).
-----Tamarind paste
-----Tamari Soy Sauce. Made with more soy beans than regular soy sauce....and I will likely only be able to taste it (no soy for me). It is supposed to be smoother and have a more complex flavor.
-----Tobanjan (Chinese chili paste)
-----Tofu. Have eaten....though I don't count heating up veggie burgers as having cooked with it. I might prepare something from the "This Can't Be Tofu!" cookbook. I can no longer eat tofu myself...soy products and my thyroid problem don't mix.
-----Wakame. If I figured a way to grow it, I would be careful since Wakame is invasive.
-----Wood ear mushrooms. My first cooking with Wood Ear Mushrooms will likely be Chicken and Wood Ear Mushroom Soup. The Chicken and Wood Ear Mushroom Soup uses peanut oil (which I have not cooked with yet).

_____________

HOPING:
That I get tickets to go to a really nice cooking class next month.....Taste of Home Cooking School. Stay tuned for details of my experience if I do get to attend. :-)
_____________




-----Taking the toothbrush mustache back from Hitler.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Next Food Network Star??


Making a "Cajun Hot Salad" with a twist. Though I do not usually like the fruit involved, I would try this. I have also never tried Macadamian Oil...but would have to be very careful about any dripping on the floor. Macadamias are very hazardous to dogs.
______________________________________


I actually would have found her childhood program interesting (when I was a child). More children should learn things like how to actually make an apple pie. I lament the fact that I am still puzzled by making pie crusts (at least for the top of the pie)...something I wish I had learned while growing up.

_____________________________________


She has a lot of spunk. I could actually see her hosting a show.


I have never seen anyone mix a cake in a glass bowl...unless it was Pyrex.


She can remain fairly calm through anything.



Hacker Holidays, Found Monsters and Disney's Door

-----Hackers up efforts for Christmas.
-----Is the Loch Ness Monster on Google Earth? I am undecided....but mainly think that it is not.
-----I did not know that Disney had taken up the time to do a "vault" like this. Now I want to go see it.

Adding to The Never Cooked With List.

Licensed Photo. "Farmhouse Fireplace"
Taken by Roger Kirby.

I started a list of things that I have never cooked with before and I will slowly be working my way through that list. Hopefully, I will be able to find all of the items at a market somewhere.

I have never cooked with:
-----Ada miso (red miso). I cannot eat it myself...soy.
-----Almond milk (reportedly Michael Jackson had it with granola for breakfast)
-----Barley Malt Syrup. The best way to use it is along with other natural sweeteners...I do not know what sweeteners I will use it with yet.
-----Bay scallops...or any scallops. Some of the people on Hell's Kitchen make cooking scallops seem like rocket science.
-----Bean sprouts. I have eaten them. Ham and Bean Sprout Salad sounds interesting.
-----Black sesame seeds. I have seen these mentioned many times and I am really eager to try them.
-----Cashew butter
-----Curry Powder
-----Dark sesame oil. Also sesame oil itself...seriously, I have not cooked with it or peanut oil.
-----Dry mustard
-----Edamame (though I will not be able to taste/eat due to thyroid issues)
-----Enoki mushrooms.Mild.Crunch. Used for soups and stir fries.
-----Fennel
-----Fleur de Sel (maybe I have had this....haven't paid attention to sea salt labels)
-----Frozen ramen
-----Gobo (burdock root). Tastes similar to an artichoke. You only eat the roots....the parts the grow above ground can cause dermatitis.---too many negative aspects for my tastes. It's upsetting that I decided not to cook with this....I wanted to try a noodle dish that involved burdock root. I am concerned that it would be bad if my dog got it somehow.
-----Ground Szechuan peppercorns
-----Haricot Vert
-----Hoisin sauce. My first recipe candidate for cooking with hoison sauce is Salmon Summer Rolls with Dipping Sauce.....that way I get to learn to use the rice paper for rolling, too. I am also interested in this Beef and Green Bean Stir-fry ( I sometimes break my soy taboo and use soy sauce).
-----Hotel Bar butter. Part of New York cuisine for over a century.
-----Japanese soy sauce. There is a difference between Japanese soy sauce and the stuff we get in The States.
-----Katsoubushi (dried bonito flakes). Bonito flakes are bits of dried bonito fish and they look like wood shavings. They are perfectly edible by humans....but in the United States some companies sell them as cat treats (I do not want to eat the cat treats). Bonito is a type of tuna.
-----Kelp.Supposed to increase thyroid function...and I have thyroid problems.There are some kelp items I will be trying in addition to any recipes.
-----Kombu
-----Leeks. I will be making Julia Child's Potage Parmentier (Potato and Leek Soup).
-----Mirin. A co-worker was surprised that I know what it is. I wonder if there are many recipes that one could substitute it for sake.
-----Muscovado Sugar
-----Napa cabbage
-----Nori. I tried my first Nori independent of California Rolls rolls this week. It looked like a papery-green-jerky strip and reminded me of fish skin. I liked it.
-----Peanut oil
-----Pickled ginger
-----Pine Nuts (never tasted one)
-----Roasted peanut oil
-----Salsify
-----Sansho pepper (Japanese pepper seedpods)
-----Seitan (wonder how this is pronounced and I have never had)
-----Sesame Seeds
-----Soba Noodles. I have had them and had them cooked for me.
-----Shimeji mushrooms. Have to be cooked....otherwise are bitter.
-----Shirojoyu (white soy sauce)
-----Shiro miso (white miso). I cannot eat it myself....soy. I ate shiro miso many times before I knew that it was soy.
-----Shungiku
-----Squid. I love to eat it.....but NOT pickled. Ditto for octopus on not having cooked and the same eating preferences as the squid.
-----Tahini. Tomato Salad with Tahini Sauce....talks about eating it during Ramadan (I am assuming during the non-fasting hours).
-----Tamarind paste
-----Tamari Soy Sauce. Made with more soy beans than regular soy sauce....and I will likely only be able to taste it (no soy for me). It is supposed to be smoother and have a more complex flavor.
-----Tobanjan (Chinese chili paste)
-----Tofu. Have eaten....though I don't count heating up veggie burgers as having cooked with it. I might prepare something from the "This Can't Be Tofu!" cookbook. I can no longer eat tofu myself...soy products and my thyroid problem don't mix.
-----Wakame. If I figured a way to grow it, I would be careful since Wakame is invasive.
-----Wood ear mushrooms. My first cooking with Wood Ear Mushrooms will likely be Chicken and Wood Ear Mushroom Soup. The Chicken and Wood Ear Mushroom Soup uses peanut oil (which I have not cooked with yet).

_____________

HOPING:
That I get tickets to go to a really nice cooking class next month.....Taste of Home Cooking School. Stay tuned for details of my experience if I do get to attend. :-)
_____________




Tofu Goodness??



I am reading Deborah Madison's book "This Can't Be Tofu!" I have thyroid problems and can't eat tofu but I want to learn to cook with it. Husband is really leery of the tofu. I guess this idea needs to go to a back burner until I can find someone to eat my efforts (and have some spare money for experimentations that neither of us will definitely eat).

Only 75 recipes...so, this will be an easy read.

-----I found out that there are tofu smoothies. From the acknowledgements in the book, I am wondering if there is a place that serves these at Walt Disney World.
-----I added "Book of Tofu" by Bill Shurtleff and Aikiko Ayogi to wait list at the library.
-----Tofu has isoflavonoids that can help soften menopause and protect against breast cancer. My Mother has Stage 4 Breast Cancer....but it would take a lot to get her to try tofu.
-----Some preliminary research findings on isoflavonoids.

_________________



What do you eat when you eat alone? I eat tomatoes with salt on them, apples with salt on them, Spanish rice and home-made soup. I sometimes have leftovers if dining by myself. I drink a lot of water and tea when I am alone.

Tackling Some More....

Tackle It Tuesday Meme


Last week this was the bookshelf:

Note my Snarf...."Snarf! Snarf!"

My Husband gave me "The City Tavern Cookbook: Recipes from the Birthplace of American Cuisine" and I decided that it was too pretty to risk ruining. In fact, I decided that keeping my cookbooks in the kitchen is disastrous to their health. So I switched the shelves around and the recipes will be used in the kitchen via scanner,flashdrive and printer. It works for me. :-)

The contents of my bedroom bookshelves don't get used as often as I would like. So the project is to sort through the bedroom shelves and to switch them for higher use of items.Expect to see more shelf posts....I have 26 surfaces that qualify as personal bookshelves in my bedroom alone!

The new shelf:

-----Of course, that is a butterfly there. Another thrift shop find.
-----The City Tavern Cookbook that inspired this massive re-organizing is on the left.
-----I love soups,crockpot-cooking,retro recipes,oriental food and making the best use of what I have. This is apparent in my recipe collection.

The menu and shopping progress:


A look at how I work on ideas. This is the recipe ingredients along with what is expected to be extra from each ingredient and how many servings we should get. The projected-ingredient-leftovers were copied to a clean list and added to our non-recipe grocery needs.

We are trying six recipes on the next grocery order:
-----Yum Yum Brownie Muffins
-----Soda-licious Baked Apples. We could not find the diet black cherry cola...just regular.
-----HG's (HG stands for "Hungry Girl") Sweet 'n Sassy Slaw. I could not find the Sesame Ginger dressing....but I do have a Newman's Sesame Ginger Marinade that I think will work.
-----2-Ingredient Cake. We will be doing the cool whip and berries...so, actually four ingredients. :-) I am guessing it will be good....we choose cherry pie filling and strawberries for the top.
-----3-Ingredient Fettuccine Alfredo. We will have almost an entire container of grated Parmesan left over...this is very helpful.
-----3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies. I thought about two batches for a while....but our first batch with this recipe will be the crunchy peanut butter.

PARTICIPATE IN TACKLE IT TUESDAY.

Monday, August 24, 2009

In My Life.....

-----Added Stephen King's "Silver Bullet" (movie) to my library waitlist. It has Corey Haim and Gary Busey in it. Seems like a hard movie to get ahold of.
-----I want to try foods with tayberries in them. I would also like to try cooking with tayberries. I have only been able to find one jam that contained tayberries. I did find a lot of other great jams....as evidenced by the post proceding this one. I am guessing that tayberries would be a lot easier to find in Scotland.
-----Watching "Howl's Moving Castle" this evening.

Sunday, August 23, 2009







Some of these are on my Amazon wishlist. My friend owes me jam.....I am asking him for "Cow Jam" which is inexpensive (a Oregon favorite).

Finds

-----These single serving wine glasses are kind of neat. :-) I like products that help solve a problem...in this case, the use of glass drinkware at certain events.
-----There have only been a few pairs of jeans that I have ever been attached enough to that I would have sent them off for Denim Therapy.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cooking Adventures.....Taste of Home

Licensed Photo. "Farmhouse Fireplace"
Taken by Roger Kirby.


-----I am cautiously excited....there is a chance that I might get to attend one of the Taste of Home Cooking School sessions this Fall! They look phenomenal.
-----I have a free subscription to Taste of Home through She Speaks ( a site that is a LOT of fun and that I highly recommend to the gals out there. I also took advantage of a special offer recently and got my Mother-in-Law a subscription to Taste of Home Magazine for just 10 dollars....I hope she likes it.
______________

I really like their Recipe Makeovers section...."Your Favorite Recipes Made Healthy." I am going through and deciding those that I want to try....and pass on to relatives with diet concerns (either facing a health issue or trying to prevent one).

There are a lot of people at my workplace who might appreciate these recipes, too. I might bring some of the finished products to work to share...after I have perfected making them.



Appetizers
-----Creamy Artichoke Dip...50% less fat than the original.
-----Garlic Spinach Balls. Originally had a lot of butter. I have never had a garlic spinach ball nor known that there was such....so, I look forward to trying this. :-) Garlic has so many health benefits. If I like it, the green color makes it a candidate for St. Patrick's Day and Christmas menus.
-----Veggie Pizza Squares. Includes broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.
-----Mexican roll-ups...with fat and cholesterol drastically reduced.



Main Dishes
-----Chicken 'n' Broccoli Braid....replaces some mayonnaise with yogurt!
-----Chicken Artichoke Bake. I have never had artichokes in anything where they weren't really blended in. I definitely want to do some cooking with artichokes...and really experience them.
-----Creamy Chicken 'n' Artichokes. I often enjoy cooking with alcoholic beverages more than I enjoy drinking them. I will have to pick a nice bottle when we try this.
-----I wonder if I could find a main dish on here that we could be modified to include the pomegranate wine that we purchased at the grocery the other day. Hmm....I must explore healthy recipes that can use pomegranate wine.
-----Shrimp Rice Casserole. If you need to boost fiber, you can replace the white rice with brown rice. Remember that brown rice often takes much longer to cook. Also, be more careful in your brown rice taste testing....take from more than one area and taste it longer....this advice comes from crunchy rice experiences (though I taste everything when cooking).
-----Slow-Cooked Mac 'n' Cheese. We like anything that involves the crockpot. I am wondering if this will involve a lot of mess when it comes to cleaning the crockpot.
-----Velvet Shrimp. I have never had any kind of shrimp dish that involved cheese.
-----Sloppy Joe Mac and Cheese. Willing to try this one.



Side Dishes
-----Creamy Cranberry Salad. You can only find cranberries here during the holiday season. My plan is to either take a roadtrip during appropriate weather for transporting food or to freeze a LOT of them (at Thanksgiving and Christmas).



Desserts
-----Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies. They have coconut and raisins.
-----Old-Fashioned Banana Cake....with the addition of crushed pineapple and maraschino cherries.
-----Coconut Supreme Torte. Looks good....but for me I think that I would still only want a small piece. I tend to eat only small portions of anything with coconut....how I am with the sweetness.
-----The dessert section of Taste of Home's Recipe Makeovers is making me WANT DESSERT!

_________________

I am working on a new feature for my blog called "Weight Loss Gets Real." This will chronicle my efforts to lose the remaining 23.2 pounds gained from a thyroid problem. There will be a lot of recipes (probably made over), a lot of health books explored, intros to all the weird exercise things I have/do and real-life pictures of the scale as it reads when I weigh myself. Stay tuned.

A home full of new fun.

My dream home is somewhere out there.
Maybe someday I won't just be going by the beautiful sunsets.

I have blogged about this before. I sometimes like to look at house plans. That sounds unusual but I have several loved ones who have attempted to build their own homes....only to run into economic difficulty and not be able to finish.

Husband does not often seem amicable to building anything other than a two-story workshop (guess who would use that)....because he has heard of all the difficulty that can be involved in building your own house.

I think that with a lot of planning, a good house plan, a few consultants and plenty of research anyone can build there "dream home"....or two-story workshop with extra bedrooms/apartments on top. Some families want to have the first college graduate...I want to have the first successful house-building (or fancy workshop). :-)

The site I go to most often to ponder home plans is "www.HousePlansandMore.com" (a division of "HDA, Inc.").

By looking around I have learned:
-----I like houses with both a garage and a convience carport built in. The carport part has to be aesthetically-pleasing. We almost bought a carport not long ago....but it should have said "shopping cart port" in the ad....thought I would share the humor.
-----That A-frame homes are a good choice if their is a lot of snowfall....slooped roofs. They can also be arhitecturally beautiful.
-----You can find house plans with atriums. I have known of people who liked to use these to have skylights above fairly large trees growing indoors. I would modify an atrium so it wasn't so open anymore...in my "dream house" there would be a truly stunning glass-walled aviary somewhere.
-----There are house plans that specifically address the needs of people who are living on the beach or coast (houses built on stilts, the wearing down of materials that salty conditions could cause, piers for protection and so on). If we move at some point, I can think of at least three considered locations where this kind of building technique would be very helpful.
-----I have learned that I don't know what a "Craftsman" home is. I have heard the term so many times...and plan to try to figure it out.
-----Though I like the space of luxury dream home plans....I am more into cottages and cabins. It fits in better with my interests in using as much of the lot space for urban farming as possible....and looks adorable,too.
-----A Cape Cod house can have a similar feel to a cottage...but might be better if one is planning to have children....room for growth.
-----Though I have relatives that seem to love this look Colonial or Early American is not for me....unless I were planning a short stay at the White House. I do like pillars....indoors. I am OK with (and sometimes fond of) the pillars that some Farmhouses have (still would not see a need for us to build something of that size).
-----I think that we have to take the fact that we have a lot of guests into consideration. A few guest bedrooms and a spacious living room (for couch-borrowers) would be nice.
-----There are even Florida house plans on this site. :-) Florida sounds really good sometimes. I love the beautiful foliage there.
-----Special needs like waterfront property, living in a sunbelt and living in low country (swampy areas,for instance) can be addressed in ones building plan. A possibility that I think many architects overlook....ask people whose houses flood over and over whether they think my hypothesis is correct on this.
______________

-----"House Plans and More" offers free shipping. That's good....I don't have to spend chunks of time searching for a serviceable coupon code or waiting for a sale to knock out the shipping.
-----It's not just house plans and the like that HDA does. From what I understand HDA is the company that provides all the great books when you go into Lowes and other stores.

-----P.S. If we get the fancy workshop, I get a kitchen expansion and/or my own studio/dance area. There will also be a fancy greenhouse. This is incentive for me to lean towards the workshop project (practically a house itself).

Friday, August 21, 2009

I discovered Thursday Thunks on a Friday.

1. Your thoughts on hunting?
I like the products produced from it. I do not like cruelty to animals. I do think that God gave us animals to eat. I like fur and leather...but find it disturbing when I really think about it (as far as ornamentation).
Animal Acres (farmed animal rescue)

2. Swine Flu vaccine... will you get it?
I may have to...depending on how many around me get sick. I have thyroid problems that cause my immune system to be weak.

3. What is one job/profession that you think there are just too many of?
Women who spend their Husband's money all day long as a hobby. Super Shoppers.They look at there Husbands as a tool. Many of them act like this is their profession (and right).

4. I want to go on a diet, what advice will you offer me?
Learn about the various natural cleanses and safe ways to do them. Cleanses and certain foods can help with health problems, too.

5. You are going out on a date with someone for the very first time. When you get into their car, you see a box of condoms on the floor. What do you do?
Ask why they have them there. Proceed to have a very frank conversation. Make sure I have an escape route planned if I don't like the way they are acting in their response. Luckily, I am married so this one won't happen.

6. Name something in your bathroom that shouldn't be there.
I can't think of anything...other than some clothes I wore...on a shelf. Need to make their way to the washing machine. One thing NOT in our restroom is Doggie....is only ever allowed in for a shower.

7. What was your Kindergarten teacher like?
I am conflicted on this. I don't know that she really cared about her students...but this is based on brief interactions after Kindgergarten. Sadly, I have found with many teachers after you are their student, they don't have any use for your presence.

8. What kind of oil do you use when you cook?
Olive oil,canola and vegetable. I buy them whenever they are on sale....and stock up. Cooking oil is expensive nowadays. We also have garlic-infused olive oil.

9. If someone takes an unflattering picture of you and posts it online, do you beg them to take it down or do you laugh at yourself with everyone else?
It depends on where it is posted. Also, I have an eye problem (exotropia) and sometimes odd swelling from thyroid issues....there are ways to photograph so that this does not show up as much in the photos. If people deliberately show or point out my exotropia in photos I get very upset.

10. What brand of dishwashing soap do you use?
No particular brand. Nothing that makes my hands break out and usually apple-scented. Perhaps, lemon-scented. I do not like orange-scented soap.

Participate in "Thursday Thunks."

Adding to The Never Cooked With List.

I started a list of things that I have never cooked with before and I will slowly be working my way through that list. Hopefully, I will be able to find all of the items at a market somewhere.

I have never cooked with:
-----Hoisin sauce. My first recipe candidate for cooking with hoison sauce is Salmon Summer Rolls with Dipping Sauce.....that way I get to learn to use the rice paper for rolling, too.
-----Shimeji mushrooms. Have to be cooked....otherwise are bitter.
-----Tofu. Have eaten. I might prepare something from the "This Can't Be Tofu!" cookbook.
-----Bean sprouts. I have eaten them. Ham and Bean Sprout Salad sounds interesting.
-----Wakame. If I figured a way to grow it, I would be careful since Wakame is invasive.
-----Tahini
-----Tobanjan (Chinese chili paste)
-----Frozen ramen
-----Pickled ginger
-----Black sesame seeds. I have seen these mentioned many times and I am really eager to try them.
-----Shungiku
-----Nori
-----Napa cabbage
-----Enoki mushrooms.Mild.Crunch. Used for soups and stir fries.
-----Age-man (ready-made fried Ramen that is sold at Asian food stores)
-----Bay scallops...or any scallops. Some of the people on Hell's Kitchen make cooking scallops seem like rocket science.
-----Wood ear mushrooms
-----Squid. I love to eat it.....but NOT pickled. Ditto for octopus on not having cooked and the same eating preferences as the squid.
-----Sesame oil. Seriously, I have not cooked with it.
-----Japanese soy sauce. It was in a recipe book. I don't know if it is different than Kikkoman.
-----Katsoubushi (dried bonito flakes). Bonito flakes are bits of dried bonito fish and they look like wood shavings. They are perfectly edible by humans....but in the United States some companies sell them as cat treats (I do not want to eat the cat treats). Bonito is a type of tuna.
-----Shirojoyu (white soy sauce)
-----Kombu
-----Hotel Bar butter. Part of New York cuisine for over a century.
-----Leeks. I will be making Julia Child's Potage Parmentier (Potato and Leek Soup).
-----Almond milk (reportedly Michael Jackson had it with granola for breakfast)
-----Kelp.Supposed to increase thyroid function...and I have thyroid problems.There are some kelp items I will be trying in addition to any recipes.
-----Soba Noodles (though I have had them and had them cooked for me)
-----Miso (eaten this plenty of times)
-----Pine Nuts (never tasted one)
-----Muscovado Sugar
-----Cashew butter
-----Curry Powder
-----Scallions
-----Shiro miso (white miso)
-----Ada miso (red miso)
-----Sesame Seeds
-----Seitan (wonder how this is pronounced and I have never had)
-----Fleur de Sel (maybe I have had this....haven't paid attention to sea salt labels)
-----Tofu (I don't counting heating up veggie burgers as having cooked with it)
-----Edamame (though I will not be able to taste/eat due to thyroid issues)
-----Sansho pepper (Japanese pepper seedpods)
-----Salsify
-----Gobo (burdock root). Tastes similar to an artichoke. You only eat the roots....the parts the grow above ground can cause dermatitis.---too many negative aspects for my tastes. It's upsetting that I decided not to cook with this....I wanted to try a noodle dish that involved burdock root. I am concerned that it would be bad if my dog got it somehow.
-----Mirin. A co-worker was surprised that I know what it is. I wonder if there are many recipes that one could substitute it for sake.
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HOPING:
That I get tickets to go to a really nice cooking class next month.....stay tuned for details of my experience if I do get to attend. :-)
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Blog of Difference.....

Well here is my old blog and my start on a Confident Writing project who's theme is "possibility." The idea is to explore new ways of blog-writing....to explore your comfort zones. I did a lot considering that I came to the project pretty late...I only had 8 days to expand my blog horizons. Many have been doing this project for about a month...so, I plan a follow-up post showing further Transformations. Anyway,.....on to the Difference.


The new blog has my Flickr photostream at the top...something I started this week. I have found that there are a lot of neat people on Flickr. I know that I am going to be a super-prolific "note" adder.

I added a Breast Cancer graphic at the top. I plan to use more graphics to decorate. I put the important things at the top....so that means thoughts and prayers. My Mother has Stage 4....and I also decided to start explaining what that really means. I need to start examining what my Mother's cancer means to my emotions and chronicle my struggles to get a recommended mammogram w/no insurance.

All advertising was examined. If it was something that was expired or I wanted to remove it for now....down it came. I am a fan of Izea which was at the top and wish that I could go toIzeafest....you can bet that I will be blogging about what I learn from those who attend. I need to find some sort of fun way to blog my virtual impressions of conventions.....I must mull this. I think my can't-attend-the-convention-but-it-is-neat-place-to-go blogging will involve giveaways.

-----The CNN political ticker made it's way to the bottom of the blog.
-----Entrecard moved as there no more paid advertising and it does not have to be above "the fold" anymore. This excercise made me realize a LOT about things that I had been doing for a long time.
-----My profile has not been updated since January. I have a DETAILED profile and always try to keep it up-to-date on my interests.
-----My prayer/thought vigil was edited....to include Memorials of people that the world should not forget on the side of the blog. If there is still something that can be done for the people (i.e. someone who has been missing for a long time), I will add info about that too. I am moving even more to treating my sidebar as a place to include more blog-like posts that say what is important to me.
-----I really thought about my blog. What it says to others....and what it says to others after I pass away someday (if it is left up). I want my blog to be a gift to real-life and virtual loved ones. I hope that I can translate all that I care about onto the virtual page.


-----A "Contact" area was added over in the sidebar. I will be having a LOT of snailmail fun with readers. If you want to send me a RAK (Random Act of Kindness), then see my sidebar.....and I will send you one back.
-----I need people to actually play my Akoha cards after I give them. I am going to add an appeal about this soon. Akoha is a "Play It Forward" game....emphasizes kindness and making the world better. Let me know in the comments if you would like me to play an Akoha mission with you.
-----Maybe you should get a Bloggy mailbox and have some fun with your blog readers.

-----I did not just suffer or just complain when I was mistreated because of my odd-looking eye problem. I wrote a poem about when it happened at work.....called "Incident Report."
-----I resolved that I would talk about when people mistreat me about my eye problem....it is a daily encounter of my life. This week taught me to stand up A LOT.
-----On Blip, Froosh posted "America's Greatest Hero-Believe It or Not." I am going to use this as an anthem-posting. I will regularly list the things that I am proud of myself for.
-----I concentrated more on really exploring myself in sponsored posting....something I did before. I am particularly proud of this cruise post.
-----I started FREQUENTLY updating "deal" posts. I really want to point readers to deals...we can all use help in this troubled economy. Arby's has a deal for August 26....get a FREE Roast Beef n Cheddar sandwich with a soft drink purchase. :-)



-----If I virtually meet you and really admire something about you, I will point it out to the world. Complete with a "Glad to Know Ya" graphic.
-----I do not birdwatch nearly enough birds. I do see a lot of birds online.....look at the Kestrel I found. Expect to see more Virtual Birdwatching and for me to expand on this concept.

-----My first week of participating in Tackle It Tuesday. I will be storing my cookbooks in the bedroom....because it makes sense for me.
-----The Heads or Tails Meme made me decide that I am going to start compiling immense lists of my recipe finds. Here is what I am interested in for Sierra Nevada pale ale as an ingredient.

----"Positive Economic Signs" was taken out as a section. I finally acknowleged that right now I don't find many positive economic signs.
-----More reviews....LOTS more. I need to keep up with when I intend to write a review. I loved reading this James Beard book on soup. The plan is to actually put up reviews on Amazon...something I have never done. Who knows, I might actually get accepted into the Amazon Vine Program.

-----I love unusual ice creams. So it makes sense for me to start a comprehensive list of my finds in the sidebar. :-) Bobby Flay's Maple Spice Ice Cream looks good.

-----A new project...."23 Things."
-----Groups I have joined on Flickr.

-----Chronicles of dinner efforts at my house.
-----In general, more photos of my life.
-----My new institution...."Clean the Fridge Thursday."

-----Honest coverage of what I am learning about life....for instance on making mistakes and making changes.






-----I decide to share more of my thyroid struggles.....particularly the weight loss issue. I have struggled and actually lost weight...but it was a uphill struggle. I have 23.2 pounds left to lose. I am planning to do a section called "Real Weight Loss" .....meaning I will be candid. Our bathroom scale with its actual reading will become a prominent feature.





The new blog has new Flickr stream at the top. I only have three photos right now...but they are diligently noted. I am going to have a lot of fun exploring my world and that of others on here. If you have not tried Flickr, you really should.





-----I obviously learned how to manage the screenshot utility well. :-) On Blogger you have to split up the page (with occasional overlap). Then you add your shots in reverse order....five images at a time. That is another thing I will do....sharing SOME of my blogging tips.
----I did not include all 50-some screenshots of my old blog. :-)
-----Something I wanted to do a long time ago is start indulging in something like Disney's "Hidden Mickeys"....extra gifts to the studious reader and an adventure to see if people notice. So, that being said....let us see if Ben Spark notices that I said the hat and facial hairdo suit him.

THANK YOU TO ISABELLA MORI FOR TAGGING ME TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS EXERCISE.

Incident Report

You saw me working hard.....
and you made fun of me.

You saw I was different-looking....
You took advantage of someone you thought was lesser....

You know nothing about my world...and why I work.
Someday maybe you will work hard....though I doubt it.

You are not just Youth...you are spoiled youth (in so many ways).

You should have looked closely at your friend (who participated)...
She did not really think it was so funny.

When I let you know with my eyes that I knew,
you looked scared.

Make fun, Pause, Stare at me...Repeat.
Make fun, Pause, Stare at me...Repeat.
I was lucky I did not stare, too.

Unspoken policy makes it so I can lose my job for telling you that you are rude...
No matter how rude you ARE.

When I got home I was literally sick....because you upset me.

I am proud of myself.....and I hope you are not.



Vacation Breezes

Photo from the Super Club Breezes Resorts website.
Spectacular fish. Must be breathtaking to swim among them.

Have you ever noticed that when you are on vacation the air just seems to be different??? Maybe it is just that when you are RELAXED you notice more. Each breeze and each glimpse of a new world is special...almost magical.

Our next vacation will be kind of like one of our most memorable trips....sort of medieval-themed.
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Another type of vacation that I am fond of is the "Super-Inclusive" vacation. These type of vacations fit in so much (a wonderful slice of a region). Also they save a lot of money!

A Super-Inclusive vacation includes meals,drinks,entertainment,all sorts of sports (even lessons in those sports). Plus, tipping is not expected or permitted (I kid you not). This means that, unless you are a Super-Souvenir-Shopper, you will not get depressed as your wallet becomes thinner all day long. A truly carefree vacation.

For instance, a Super Club Breezes Resorts inclusive Jamaica trip would be lovely.
----I could actually feel soft sand. Every beach I have been to has irritating and hard sand....and lots of noise and pollution. Jamaica would be a totally different experience I am sure. Doctor's Cave Beach in Montego Bay has almost white sand. If it is legal, I would bring home a tiny jar of sand from every beach we visited (to put on one of my bookshelves).
-----I have a fascination with caribbean hotels. Such hotels are obviously planned to make the world seem like it is full of possibilities. Jamaica is in the Caribbean Sea...and I would love to go to a hotel where I could see the unique blue of the water.
-----From what I understand Breezes has Ocho Rios hotels. Ocho Rios is somewhere I would like to spend a few days. I am not a heavy shopper...but I do like anywhere that has a new-to-me-non-commercially-shopping (yes, I make my own "words"). Ocho Rios sounds like a shopping mecca. :-) Ocho Rios is also well-known for scuba diving (which I would definitely enjoy when accompanied by an instructor).
Memo to self....must get underwater camera.Must also learn about currency in Jamaica. I wonder if they heckle over prices in Jamaica.

----Watching polo in Ocho Rios would be great. If I felt like it was safe enough, I would try it myself. I have never seen a polo game (living in the States).
----I can never drag Husband to go golfing with me. On vacation I can drag Husband to the golf course. I am thinking Runaway Bay. Breezes has a PGA Golf Course in Runaway Bay. Hopefully, Husband (who is anti-golf) will not run back to the hotel. Being in a place we don't know means I need a chauffeur....convenient for dragging Husband to the golf course. :-)
-----Of course we would experience a little rum and reggae. Maybe even the Bob Marley Museum. Seeing a good cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" performed in Jamaica would be a great moment for me.
-----Negril's "7-Mile Beach" is often rated one of the top ten beaches in the world. That has to be worth seeing. :-) Though it sounds fascinating, I don't think I could watch any of the cliff jumpers there....wonder how long one trains for that and if it is something you attempt only a few times in a life time.
-----Oh!...and Mobay Undersea Tours. That has me really excited. It is a tour of the Montego Bay Marine Park....onboard a semi-submarine. Jamaica's first marine sanctuary. I am sure the fish are very beautiful and that there will be a lot of surprises.
-----I must read "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" before I go. I will add that to my wait list at the library. This book takes place in Jamaica and I love having literature reference points when I go somewhere...."hey, I recognize that!"
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One of my adventures with Husband.
The breeze and the world is majestic on Vacation. :-)

:-)



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