Thursday, December 16, 2010


Oh, it’s been a while…I wrote this in a timely manner and am posting it in a less timely manner and I am sorry for that. And I’ve half written three or four other posts. Eh. I hear blogging is dead anyway. But I am not. And I have those other posts to I will…eventually. But if I don’t do it before Christmas…Happy Christmas! And all that jazz.


So, here’s the scoop. The pumpkin empanadas: super good. I used the recipe for empanada dough from The Joy of Cooking and added about two tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon. For the filling, I mixed canned pumpkin with brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and mace to taste. They were a keeper and although I am not really a “pie” person, I did enjoy both the making and eating of these.

The chocolate pie with the pretzel crust was…good. Good with some reservations. I liked the filling a lot, but it was, essentially, just a rich chocolate pudding. The crust is a good idea, but I was not picky enough with my pretzels and ended up not liking it. I say go for good, thin pretzels. I am thinking a Mr. Salty stick pretzel type would be good. And although the recipe tells you to “coarsely chop”…don’t. Finely chop. Whiz (or, if you are Jamie Oliver, “wazz”) it all up in the food processor until it’s the consistency of bread crumbs or graham cracker crumbs. Coarse doesn’t work well. And also, if you are even mildly lactose intolerant, don’t get all cocky and think you can eat this. You can’t. I don’t know why you thought you could. Just don’t.

The mashed potatoes and parsnips with carmelized onions and blue cheese were..fine. I got lazy and bought a package of cubed parsnips, rutabagas and turnips and they were a little…grainy and slightly watery. And I sliced the onions into fine rings. Next time I would cut them into cubes or something so they weren’t so…dangly. In fact, I also think I’d just go with potatoes and leave out the other root veggies. And add more cheese. You’re not adding butter or milk to these so go for the cheese.

Let’s see…what else? Oh, the twice baked sweet potatoes…they were good, but hollowing out a baked sweet potato is slightly more delicate a process than hollowing out a russet. So they got made in ramekins, and that was fine. Probably good. But once that happened I just started winging it and didn’t really follow the recipe. But the principle is sound and the flavors were good, so don’t be worried about that.

Everything else was fine. I thought last year that I was over turkey. And this year, when the turkey came out of the oven I was actually quite excited about it. And then I ate it and I thought, “Hmmm… I think I am over turkey.” And then there were leftovers and I was definitely over turkey, so…I’ll have to think on that for next time.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Recently I was tagged on one of those facebook memes. This was the “Name 15 authors who have influenced you but do it in 15 minutes” one…Something like that.

It was harder than I thought it would be. I really thought I’d rip it off like nothing. But I couldn’t come up with fifteen authors…I did eventually, but then I started second guessing myself. Did these people really form my sense of self. And then I decided I was over thinking it all and posted it. And then I realized that I had left some out. And then I also realized that it didn’t really matter.

This is what I said:

The Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen writers who've influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

1. William Shakespeare
2. Allen Ginsberg
3. Douglas Adams
4. Terry Pratchett
5. Jane Austen
6. China Mieville
7. John Donne
8. Edith Wharton
9. Nancy Mitford
10. M.F.K. Fisher
11. Geoffrey Chaucer
12. Roddy Doyle
13. Russell Hoban (specifically, the Francis stories0
14. F. Scott Fitzgerald
15. A.A. Milne

Special Mention: Neal Stephenson, Douglas Coupland, David Berman…

Also possibly Eoin Colfer.

But I wanted to say so much more about it. But I am a nerd that way.

Looking at the list now, I realize that the one thing that ties them all together in my mind is a sense of humor. They aren’t all humor writers, but they all….”get it.” I have long said that my favorite thing about Jane Austen is how damn funny she is. That hasn’t won me any points with the Janeites. But I am realizing that a sense of humor in writing, no matter how subtle, really makes it…click…for me.

But…wait…Edith Wharton…not so funny, but kind of big on the irony. We’ll let her stay.

And then there are those special mentions…all because of the way they twist the language to their needs. In fact, there are several Stephenson and Coupland books I don’t care for. But the ones I do like did make THAT BIG an impression. And lingering in the back is Eoin Colfer. Why? Because the last book I read by him really had people using technology in a natural way. Kids texting and IMing. Not necessarily to further the plot, but just because that’s what we do.

As for the famous fifteen…I can’t imagine my life without any of them. Some are newer finds, like Nancy Mitford. And some are authors who seem to become more important to me as I get older, like F. Scott…and oddly, Terry Pratchett. And do you remember how subversive A.A. Milne really is? How he’s really got that odd sense of humor that only some kids will appreciate? Go read it again.

I wish I could say that I unreserveredly recommnend these authors, but I don’t . You might not like them and that would make me sad. But if you like funny stuff that isn’t always funny…

So...time to comment. Name me one book that changed your life. Better or worse. I'm gonna say....Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy because it made me understand that I didn't have to be so serious about religion and science.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I know, I know. You weren't waiting for me to post, but here I am anyway.

The thing is...this year is kind of just buzzing past me. And it's my own fault. I basically ignored Halloween. Not really a fan so it didn't seem like a big deal. Bought a bag of candy, just in case. SIDENOTE TO THE CHILDREN OF MY NEIGHBORHOOD: You should totally take advantage of apartments. You can get craploads of candy superfast. Seriously, when I was a kid, back in the olden days, we LOVED trick-or-treating in apartment buildings. Granted, that was on the east coast, where it might be really chilly on Halloween, but still, LOTS of candy, VERY LITTLE walking. Then you can move on to the neighborhood and you're golden.

I hear people are trick-or-treating less and now doing this trunk-or-treating thing. That's all well and good but please make it clear to the kiddies that they can't take candy from trunks on any other day of the year, ok?

So, like I said, I kind of skimmed over Halloween and started planning Thanksgiving dinner. Which is a little silly because it's just for two of us. But I like it. Here's the plan...

-Ancho Chili and Honey rubbed Turkey Breast (possibly cooked in the crock pot)
-dressing made with french bread and sage
-roasted brussels sprouts with garlic
-twice baked sweet potatoes
-vanilla mashed sweet potatoes
-mashed potatoes and parsnips with carmelized onion and blue cheese

and for dessert:
-pumpkin empanadas
-milk chocolate cream pie with a pretzel crust


Yeah, it's overkill, but I really want to try out some of these recipes. Besides, you'll come over for leftovers...won't you?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


What I’ve been reading: I have been reading! But I’ve been reading slowly. Currently it’s “The Girl who Played with Fire” by Steig Larsson and “Changeless” by Gail Carriger. I am enjoying both of them. The first is the second in a trilogy and at the moment, I like it better than the first. The second is also a second in a series, (but I don’t know how many will be in that series) and I don’t like it quite as much as the first. This is a problem with all book series, I guess. One will have one’s favorites.

Speaking of favorites, I see two of my favorite novelists have new (sorta) books out. Carl Hiaasen has a new one called “Star Island”, which, to be honest sounds like more of the same from him. The good thing is, I happen to like his same. And a Nancy Mitford novel that has been out of print for quite a while is recently back in print, ”Wigs on the Green.” Last year I read a Mitford novel…I think it was “Don’t Tell Alfred” that had me laughing out loud while waiting to serve my jury duty. So you know it had to be pretty good. Both are in the queue for next books to be read.

What I’ve been watching: We (the husband and I) just started watching “Rubicon” and I really, really like it. On several levels. I happen to really like mysteries and cryptography even though I am crap at figuring things out. The actors are, so far, very good and the art direction….sublime. Really. I mean, the art direction on “Mad Men” is very nice, but when you are given a period piece to elaborate on, you have a pretty good basis to start with, right? “Rubicon” is the current time period, but they have done that thing where it they attempt to make it feel rather timeless. Kind of like…well…look at that Harry Potter movies have…we all know that they are set in the now, but there is a quality to them that makes you feel like you are watching a fairy tale. No one randomly uses a cell phone or a remote control or computer…“Rubicon” has a similar feel. People drive older cars, and wear non-designer-y clothes. It all feels like it’s taking place in the now, but COULD be taking place 30 years ago if it weren’t for that computer on the desk. It also utilizes this amazing gray and tan color palette, which strikes a perfect balance (for me anyway) between cold and warm, glowing and chilly, dark and light. It all feels very purposeful and I rather like that.

And the movies? Recently watched “Kickass”, which I enjoyed but didn’t feel like I really need to see it again. It was fun and crazy and over the top. Mark Strong was amazing as per usual and, you know, I liked it just fine. But it didn’t blow my mind. However, I also recently watched “In the Loop” which kind of did blow my mind. Very funny, bitter, and painfully honest political comedy spun off from a British TV show, which I have only seen bits and pieces of. The much under utilized Tom Hollander was great and Peter Capaldi is, as ever, genius. But I think my favorite character is the one referred to as “the angriest Scotsman in the world.” What I found most impressive about this movie…well, I was watching it with my husband and just kind of chortling through the whole thing and whenever I wasn’t, I realized that he was doing the same. Highly recommend this one.

What I’ve been cooking: Eh, mostly just dinners. Nothing special lately. I did make that banana soft serve that is all over the healthy eating blogs and it was fine. But I am not sure it was worth the noise of the food processor. My food processor is very loud. Is yours? I don’t like to hear it.

NOW…here’s the thing. I wrote this a while ago, so…UPDATE AHOY!

Read those two books, also read “Star Island” which I need to say, disappointed me a bit. Ah well. Now reading a Val McDairmid novel and it’s intensely and disturbingly engrossing. I do need to stop reading serial killer novels over lunch though. Next I am thinking it’s “Wigs on the Green” or a China Mievlle. We’ll see.

Also in the meanwhile I saw “Whip It” which was fine but not really anything new. “I Could Never Be Your Woman” which was strange and not exactly not funny, but not exactly unfunny… but…well…research it and you’ll see why I am at a loss here. And…um…oh. Right. I saw Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” And, Mr. Burton…I don’t know what to say about you anymore. You are an artist. You make pretty pictures, but I think maybe your pictures should remain static and speechless. I don’t want to be cruel but…you can’t tell a story for shit, dude. Nice casting though.

Oh and in the actual movie theatre I saw “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.” I was a little nervous. I am a big fan of the books and I saw it with two people who had no familiarity with the books at all (does that make sense? It does, right?). We all really liked it. Way more than I expected to. So…yay.

There have also been…let’s see…Hostess style cupcakes, Funfetti style cupcakes, Vanilla cupcakes, Root Beer cupcakes, vegan cookies and…oh, brownies…probably some other stuff. You should totally invite me to your party. I like having excuses to bake. Don’t really like parties though, so I’d be happy to drop ‘em off on my way by…

Saturday, September 18, 2010


So...there you go. Updated the blog a bit. I'll have to do something about that header and clean up some stuff, but it's cleaner and newer and I got rid of a bunch of stuff...and you don't care at all, do you? It's ok, I'm fine with that.

Again, not abandoned. Stuff still going on. Wrote some stuff, didn't post it. Got another blog but I'm trying to avoid cross pollination...or pollution...or whatever. If you have interest in an art blog of my art, but don't know where to find me drop me a line, I'll let you in on the big secret. It's just that I don't want to cross the streams too much. I don't want to say something that would...I am terribly paranoid, aren't I? But you knew that already. Ok. I'll be back shortly with all those things I've promised previously. Yeah...sure I will...

Friday, August 20, 2010


Also, I've been thinking about fixing that whole format thing. I spent a lot of time playing with html to get my blog design ages ago and really enjoyed the tinkering, but I don't really know what I am doing when I mess around like that. I may just grab a ready made template soon and fix all the goofyness with this sad old blog. We'll the meantime, sorry about the silly mis-sizing of things and all that...


So, Comic-Con. That happened.

It was good. Busy. Exhausting. All the stuff that it always is. And good. I had fun. I lost my voice. The new stuff seemed to be well liked. I didn’t see the sun. Well…that’s an exaggeration, I DID see the sun, but only as I entered and exited the hall. I was busy like a little bee and that’s fine. I didn’t see very much of the floor, also fine. And I didn’t see the zombies that were apparently out wandering in front of the convention center. Which was more than fine.

I did go to a party which was supposed to be attended by Charlaine Harris. She of the Sookie Stackhouse novels. She wasn’t there. Eh. I had a cocktail and went to dinner instead. I saw China Mieville from a distance. Miss Smith ran after him to have a conversation. She said he seemed nice but that maybe there was a little crazy in there. But there’d have to be, no? Saw a few other famous faces here and there, tried to will them to come purchase my goodies (heh) but no…no interest.

One excellent thing did happen however and I owe it all to my beloved JHo, who is a god among geeks. See, I did a geeky girl pinup in honor of a character I particularly like from a show I particularly liked. Do you get this?

See her tattoo? It (hopefully) translates to “serenity”. See that circle thing behind her? It’s meant to be reminisicent of a particular logo. See that hat? Are you with me yet? She’s called “Jayne’s girl” alternate title, “How’s it set?” And I had hoped to see Adam Baldwin somehow. I didn’t EXPECT to see him, but I figured that if I saw him, I would give him one…print…I mean…not…anything else. Unless he asked…but probably not even then…anyway….I didn’t see him.

But that’s where JHo comes in. He DID see Adam Baldwin. They were on the same train. THE Adam Baldwin that I may have gazed so lovingly upon many years ago in a little film called “My Bodyguard.” Oh, you can have your Matt Dillion. I got me a big ol’ strapping man! And JHo saw him and in the beat of a generous and kind heart, decided to approach him with my art. Mr. Baldwin has been reported as saying “Nice, nice” upon viewing it. I forever thank JHo for his kindness.

And that said, I have to acknowledge that Mr. Baldwin and I do not see eye to eye politically. However, I don’t need to talk politics with him and I do admit that he doesn’t appear to be of the crazy variety. He is well informed and well spoken, just…the polar opposite of me belief-wise. But that’s ok. He’s pretty.

And…that was pretty much comic-con. Until I do it all again.

And since then there have been…coconut cupcakes made with coconut cream that were really lovely. Snickerdoodle cupcakes that seemed to do just fine. Several batches of vanilla cupcakes that no one complained about. Vegan rootbeer cupcakes that vanished rather quickly. Brown sugar cupcakes with cream cheese frosting that even impressed me, even though I was the one who made them and a batch of very dark chocolate cookies with butterscotch chips that I still dream about….so…yum.

Now life continues on. There is new art to be made, new recipes to explore. There are movies to watch, books to read and I really need to start listening to music that was not recorded by David Gray…eventually…

pee ess: This concert was actually on tv while I was at comic-con. I fell asleep to it. Which brought the whole thing full circle.

Friday, July 16, 2010


One of the new girls.


Signs of stress in Comic-Con Sellers
  1. Listening to the same cd over and over and feeling panicked when someone changes the music.
  2. That rash on your arm and back that persists despite changing soap, lotion, detergent, and state.
  3. Stomach upset following any food that is not sugar or carb based (only donuts don't cause queasyness).
  4. Impending sense of doom.
  5. Loss of perspective. (Note to self: Odds are good that the world won't end if you don't print that last piece of art).
  6. Finding face in forced grin while saying "Hi, How ya doin'? Can I help you with anything?" under your breath.
  7. List making, especially any list that includes "sleep".
  8. The comic-con eye twitch. (It arrived today. Precisely at 2pm.)
  9. The desire to drink alcohol at 8am.
  10. Not drinking because you just don't have time.
  11. Blogging while the print queue is full.
  12. Idly googling "colin firth+coffee" (no, seriously, do it...) and "pretty british men" instead of working.
  13. Organizing iPod...again.
We leave on Wednesday. Everything was under control...until about a week ago. My mantra is now "it will get done because it HAS to get done." Well, it's that and "Damn, I need a gin and tonic."

There are at least 4, possibly 6 new prints on the table, two new sets of cards and a "sketchbook." It's worth it just to see the smiles on their faces when they look under the tree on Christmas's not it...

Thursday, April 29, 2010


What I listen to when I want to fall asleep: Pink Floyd: Division Bell, Buddha Machine

I discovered years ago that this one particular Pink Floyd cod just makes me fall asleep. I love it. And the Buddha Machine is this weird arty project that I think was kind of intended to be used for meditational sound scapes. I never did get my hands on an actual machine but I have the sounds from it. And there is also an app for that (go figure). It’s a little droney, a little incessant and really, really soothing for me.

What I listen to when I want to relax: Rancid: And Out Come the Wolves, Ramones: Pretty much any Ramones but most likely the Greatest Hits

I know it seems counter intuitive but punky loud music kind of wears me out. I like to listen to it when I just want to get home, kick off my shoes and watch crappy tv. It kind of keeps me in overdrive until I can get into my pj and start dozing.

What I listen to when I want to work; Opera, Thom Yorke: The Eraser

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. I am not that well versed (ha! Get it?) in opera. It’s kind of pretty noise to me. I have read up on a lot of the operas that I listen to and I have some favorite singers (Franco Corelli), and preferred operas (NOT La Boheme) but it’s really just nice in the background. I have seen operas, some I have enjoyed more than others and I would like to see more. But when I am working, it’s nice to not know the words and get distracted. It’s pure feeling, I don’t know the story, but I can certainly get the emotions behind it. And as for Thom Yorke…I am oddly obsessed with his solo album and wish he would do another. I listen to it a lot. A lot a lot. I mean it’s kind of silly.

What I listen to when I want to feel like someone is whispering in my ear: John Doe: The Wilderness, David Gray: White Ladder, Gary Louris:Vegabonds

You know what I mean, right? That soft voice in your ear that may or may not give you shivers. Or maybe just makes you feel not quite alone, not that you were feeling lonely but just that little…you know what I mean, right? I have long loved John Doe, in X, as an actor and then I bought this album and I kind of feel like I found him all over again. Not as punky as X, just mellow and kind of sad, but in a good way. Kind of all golden light in the late afternoon, if you know what I mean. Now, David Gray, I have a few of his albums and he’s just a fine, fine musician, but I CAN NOT WATCH HIM SING. Well, not if he’s playing the guitar because he does this odd head nodding thing and I swear it looks like it’s gonna fall right off. But I don’t care because White Ladder is such a good, good album that I listen to it over and over. And of course, Gary Louris is part of my beloved Jayhawks, which doesn’t hurt, not at all.

What I listen to when I am cooking; my ipod mix

It’s a weird little mix, this one. A little Joan Jett, a little Nerfherder, The Cramps, Robbie Williams, Gnarls Barkely, Hoodoo Gurus, Joni Mitchell, Blur, Pet Shop Boys, Peter Murphy, Elvis Costello, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Julian Lennon, Nina Simone. It’s a lot of …stuff. And it just doesn’t get boring at all.

What I listen to when I when I need cheering up: T. Rex.

Never fails.

What I listen to when I want a place to feel like home; The Cure, Radiohead: Pablo Honey, The Jayhawks

What I listen to when I want to revisit my youth: Adam and the Ants: Kings of the Wild Frontier and Prince Charming

My brother introduced me and my mother to Adam and the Ants and we fell in love. My mom loves the drums. I loved Adam. It’s good stuff to bounce around to. Mom even took me to see him in concert when I was in…probably just in high school. It was when he was solo on the “Stripped” Tour. Mom dressed up as a pirate and danced the whole time.

What I listen to when I want to sing loud: the soundtrack to Josie and the Pussycats

I know, I know. Bad, bad movie. I totally agree. Excellent soundtrack that was created by a bunch of cool people. Anna Waronker, Adam Duritz, the girl from…um…I don’t know, people you kind of vagely know from other bands. Some dude from Fountains of Wayne and the girl from…The band had an album called “Wholesale Meats and Fish”…Oh…Letters to Cleo. Right. Oh and Matthew Sweet. Anyway…good soundtrack and I like to sing it. It’s almost in a key I can sort of keep in tune and it’s very girl power-y.

What I listen to while driving: Pretty much anything, but often times it’s Django Reinhardt

I have a nice box set and I can listen to it for weeks at a stretch and never get bored. Mostly it’s instrumental but there are plenty of songs with singers and so it kind of covers all the bases.

What I listen to when I wasn to sing softly: Tom Waits, Everything but the Girl

I never feel bad when I sing to Tom Waits songs. I mean, I feel BAD because so many of them are so mournful, but I don’t feel bad because, let’s be honest here, the dude has a strange way of singing…and that makes my strange way of singing seem less strange. As for Everything but the Girl, it’s weird, Tracy Thorne has a beeeeyoootiful voice, oddly deep but just lovely, and I can almost, not quite keep up with it. So, I can handle most of the notes. Not as nicely as she does, but it’s not like trying to sing along with…I don’t know, Christina Aguilaria, or anyone who uses an autotuner.

What I listen to when I feel all girl-powery: Loretta Lynn, Spice Girls (no,seriously)

Aw, hells yeah! I loves me some Lo-retta Lynn. Always have. Well, always probably since I first saw Coal Miner’s DAugher, which is one of my all time favorite movies and I think I know all the words. (An' stoppa that growlin'. You sound like a big ol' bar.) But she is really one of those songwriters that people tend to dismiss, oh, it’s just tears in your beer country music, but dude, Loretta is the queen of girl power. Songs about birthcontrol and beating up women who cheat. Squaws on warpaths and all that. Just awesome stuff.

Of course then there is the Spice Girls. But c’mon, I’m not saying they were brilliant, just brilliant at what they did. I don’t much care for their ballads, but the dance stuff is great fun and you get to actually yell GIRL POWER during it. Hence the girl-powery vibe.

What I listen to when I need to feel a little bit badass: AC/DC, Green Day

Oh yes I do. Loudly.

What I am listening to now: Pomplamoose

Have you seen these two? Cute stuff. Partially, I really like watching the videos because that Nataly Dawn is so cute, but the music works so well in that lo-fi way. It’s just sweet and charming and not at all AC/DC.

What I LITERALLY was just listening to:

Radiohead: Pablo Honey. Got the urge. But I am thinking this world could use a little hmmmm….How about some Cake?


So, the Snarkydork recently posted on music and as she and I have some crossover in our listening, I was very interested. Then Russell of EBCB has been doing this thing about music too, and again I was interested.

I can’t promise to be interesting but here (shoves this at you)…

What I’ve been listening to lately: Well, I am a radio listener, for the most part, in my car. Not entirely by choice. But I don’t have a mp3 jack in my car, and I get tired of my cds from time to time, so it’s a blend of news, rock and the sort of indie station here in L.A. Kind of radio ready indie, as it were. But it’s what there is. There is a pretty good stretch of my drive where the news station isn’t available and I switch between the two music stations looking for something I like. And what I like is pretty whimsical. 70’s rock, 80’s “alternative”, the occasional pop tune. I hop between stations with…um…I can’t think of a good word here…oh! abandon, that will work. Once I get the main bits of news traffic and weather, it’s music, until there are commercials, then it’s cds.

The Cds: In my car at any given time are probably about…let’s be conservative and say 50 cds. It’s terrible. They get everywhere, under the seats, in every nook and cranny and none of them are ever in the proper case or carrier. It’s annoying, but it’s also a necessity. It’s a long drive. What’s a girl to do?

Some of the cds are just regular ol’ cds, I can tell you from memory that at this moment, in the pocket of the door on the driver’s side is…well…let’s see, I know there is a Cyndi Lauper cd, her last one, the dancey one, and I know there is a Britney Spears cd…Circus, I think it’s called. Gary Louris, lest you think all I listen to is disco dance pop, and I think a Gary Louris/Mark Oleson duet as well, Andrew Bird, and I know there WAS a Bibio cod, but that might be elsewhere by now (apologies, Word is once again insisting that I listen to cods in my car and well…yeah). Oh, Spoon, is there, and at least one Gorillaz and I know by David Gray’s “White Ladders” is in there because I was just listening to it.

Then there are the mixes. Or, more specifically, the throw-togethers. Cds that I just throw songs I am interested in on. No rhyme or reason, and usually things I have come across on music blogs, free from amazon or at places like 3hive. They all get chucked on so I can see what I like. And that’s how I end up finding a lot of new music.

Then there are the sing-along cds….I don’t really have to go into this, do I? I know I am not the only person who sings in my car…loudly. Lots of Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Holly Cole and…the occasional big musical dance number.

At the moment I am seeking out music for a friend who is a belly dancer and wants something new to make her shake. I’ve been pulling together a lot of trip-hop and bluesy feeling stuff so…um…when you pass me on the four oh five and I look like I am having a seizure, it’s seated belly dancing. Seriously. I can’t expect her to dance to it if can’t, right?

Thursday, March 18, 2010


So, around Christmas time, I was invited to a cookie swap. I had never been to one before and it was fun but…I didn’t really enjoy baking the cookies. I couldn’t tell you exactly why except…it’s kind of fiddly. I mean, with a cake or cupcakes, pretty much all the work happens at once, it’s baked and you are done (unless you want to frost them). But cookies, much like candy, seem to go on and on. I tried to bake several pans of cookies at a time, but with an entirely accurate oven and all, I got a little twitchy. If burned one batch, I’d burn all of them, so I stuck to two pans at a time. It was fine. I think I made three kinds of cookies and you know, they were all good, but I just didn’t enjoy the experience as much as I wanted to. I’ve baked cookies many times before and you know, it’s not my favorite thing to bake but…this time…I kind of felt guilty that I didn’t enjoy it more. Maybe it was the holiday aspect, maybe it was because I was taking them to a party. It just wasn’t…my thing.

So, I’ve decided I need to dedicate a little more time to cookie baking. And, since I enjoy the vegan cupcake-baking thing so much, AND there is a lovely vegan cookie book by the same authors, I’ve been baking cookies a little bit more.

So far I’ve tried three recipes from the cookbook and I’ve liked them all well enough on their own merits. I do have to say though that a vegan chocolate chip cookie, while perfectly pleasant, even good, is not a chocolate chip cookie to me. It’s like a veggie burger. I enjoy it for what it is, not what it isn’t. I don’t like beef much but I do enjoy a good veggie burger, be it bean, soy or…other. But they don’t taste the same to me at all. One is not a replacement for the other in my book, and so far, I feel the same way about the chocolate chip cookies. Non-vegan chocolate chip cookies get much of their flavor from the butter. The two versions we tried relied more on the chocolate. One was enhanced by a base of whole wheat pastry flour, which gave the cookie a nice nuttiness. The other was, to me rather bland, but with a nice traditional texture, that half-baked chewy thing. But it was this that made me realize that I actually prefer a cake-like cookie and I liked the texture of the whole-wheat version.

Surprisingly, well…to me…the brown sugar flavor of a chocolate chip cookie really kind of fades into the background without butter. Who knew? Nonetheless…we ate all of both kinds. And yesterday my husband asked me where I had hidden the cookies. Um…in my tum. Sorry.

The other recipe I tried was a peanut butter bar cookie and man was it good. It was ever so peanutty and the recipe described it as fudge like. I don’t like fudge. I liked this bar. There you go.

Next, I’d like to try the recipe for… I think they were Mexican flavor influenced snickerdoodles. And there is a recipe for Rocky Road cookies with and accompanying picture that drives me to distraction.

But, in the meantime, while I haven’t had time for the fiddlyness of cookies, I did whip out a batch of wicked good cornbread muffins and a whiskey cake that was very good but could be better.
(PeeEss…if you are interested in the cookie book it’s Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar but Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romeo. I am enjoying it very much.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Today I read a Dorothy Parker quote that I had never heard before. Granted, I am not well versed in Dorothy Parker, although she is part of a good era for me, she was an American, and I tended to kind of phase out during modern American lit lest someone mention John Updike.

“This wasn’t just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.”

Now, personally, I love this quote because it mentions raisins. If you are child of the same 80’s that I am a child of, you probably know the other famous quote involving raisins.

“It’s got raisins in it. You like raisins.”

And if you don’t know that quote…I’m truly sorry that you believe that John Cusack is just now starting to do wacky comedies (don’t get me started though, I am kind of cheesed off about this whole “Hot Tub Time Machine” thing. Seriously, dude, you wouldn’t do commentary for “Better off Dead” but three or four tragic films later you hearken back to your roots? Seriously?).


Yes. Raisins. I could tell you how I am not such a big fan of raisins except in certain circumstances (covered in chocolate, perhaps).

Or I could tell you that I actually own a bracelet.that has another Dorothy Parker quote on it. “I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.”

My husband doesn’t think it’s funny.

He’s should be glad it’s not this one: “Ducking for apples -- change one letter and it's the story of my life.”

Yeah, I know this isn’t much of a post but I read those quotes today and felt the need to share.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


So tell the truth. Do you read certain blogs or websites because you hate them? Hate the recipes, hate the designs, hate the suggestions for improving your life, the sanctimonious tone or the trite ideas? Do you?

I subscribe to a newsletter that I detest. It’s written by a “person of note” and it’s ridiculious. It tells me all the wonderful things I can do in cities I can’t afford to visit and places to stay that will cost more than I make in a week. It gives me recipes that make me shudder and tells me that I should exercise more, eat more fish, and only use organic toilet paper. It tells me why my friends don’t like me, who my friends should be, what my friends should be wearing and where to meet my friends to tell them I no longer want to be friends with them. It’s amazing and spectacular and hateful and horrible. And every time I read it I think, “Man, this is awful, I should cancel it.”

But I don’t.

Because then how could I possible feel so smug about being better than all this? Being better than a newsletter? How could I make fun of it if I didn’t read it every damn time it appears in my inbox?

It’s petty and it’s childish and I am pretty sure we all do it. I am pretty sure that someone is doing it right here, right now. It’s all right. We don’t all have to like the same things. Heck, I rarely like the stuff other people like, but I’m just contrary like that. But yeah…’fess up. You do it too, don’t you?

Soooo…here’s what I am doing for and you can now dislike and make fun of in your spare time…

Soulless by Gail Carriger- my dad says that the Kindle, which he loves, is problematic in one way, he can’t browse the aisles of the book store the way he used to and he has a hard time finding new books. Um…I have the opposite problem. I browse online (he doesn’t really like being online) and I follow links and the next thing I know I’ve got a list of new books and not enough time. I think that’s how I came across this one. And I was given a few gift certificates and I thought, oh what the heck? And I am glad I did. Very entertaining, light but not fluffy. Good understanding of the Victorian age and clothing of, and sexy in a way that worked without being embarrassing. Oh and it has vampires and werewolves. Can’t really go wrong can you? But then I finished that. So right now it’s:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Yeah, I know, I know, you read it ages ago. Whatever. It’s taken me while to get into it but at about 23% in (hello kindle!) and I am starting to get into the groove and I’m enjoying it a bit more (NO! Wait! I finished I enjoyed it but…well…that’s for another day). After this…well, I have quite a lot of free books I have picked up for the kindle, a few cozy mysteries, a romance (of all things!) and what appears to be a parody of a Victorian mystery. So I have choices to make, but I also just ordered the first book of the Red Riding series by David Peace. After reading about the tv series based on these books which were themselves inspired by a series of murders and…well, I haven’t read it yet, but it looks good. I’ll let you know.

What I’ve been listening to:

I think I have a new desert island disc. I’ve been listening to Pablo Honey on repeat for a while now. I think I kind of dismissed the whole Radiohead thing early on. Well, not true, I liked Creep, from this album and of course Fake Plastic Trees, but then I kind of wandered away from them, as I tend to do, until much later. And then I started kind of obsessively listening to Thom Yorke’s solo album, which I really, really love and that brought me back to Pablo Honey. So, the current list of desert island discs kind of reads like this:

Pablo Honey- Radiohead
The Eraser-Thom Yorke
Fashion Nugget -Cake (I know, what?)
All Over the Place-The Bangles (DO NOT JUDGE ME! It's a very listenable album!)
Django Reinhardt Box Set (sorry, I’ve not yet decided which single disc, I’ll try not to get stranded until then)
Elvis Costello-Mix cod (spell check insists that I mean COD here, and who am I to argue?) that I will have to prepare before being deserted
And I am starting to think that Massive Attack may have to appear here, possibly with Blue Lines (or maybe Protection) and some Rolling Stones...and...and...

Hmm. I think I need think on this. I did spend some time over the weekend tracking down some cds. Don’t you hate when you grab a cod (*ahem, thank you spellcheck) case take it to your car and then go to pop it in and…what? Am I the only person who doesn’t have an mp3 player in their car? Anyway, lots of empty cod (knock it off!) cases later I tracked down my copy of Fashion Nugget and listened to it on the way to work. It remains awesome.

Also, I’Ve been baking cookies. It’s experimental as I don’t really care for the act of making cookies as much as I like the act of eating cookies, but…it’s been slightly enlightening. Which is mostly just a phrase I wanted to use because I like the way it sounds. I’ll get back to you on this cookie experiment later…

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I haven't abandoned anything! I don't care what they say. But until I can get it all back together (um...the tree is still up. Christmas presents are still ungifted...and there are two big boxes full of stuff from the east coast in the middle of the floor. Not to mention the suitcases that need to be put away, the thank you notes that need to be written and the dusting...oh god the dusting!...that needs to be done)...

Hellllllllo Nurse. Nice to see ya, Doctor!

Until then, gaze adoringly at the Ninth Doctor as John Lennon. How could that be any better? Maybe if he was holding a fluffy bunny or perhaps a Publisher's Clearing House check made out in my name...or maybe just a cupcake.

I'll be back. I have a list of the books I read in 2009. A rundown of People's Sexiest Men (no, seriously, I wrote it THAT long ago), some commentary on candy making, and why I don't like baking cookies...oh all kinds of lovely things! It will be delightful. Really, it will!