Monday, February 29, 2016

Joana Vasconcelos

OMG!  Google her!  Right now!  She's a Portuguese artist and her installations are absolutely stunning! As you know,  I end up using my Google-fu a lot for Nerdopolis and Nerdwars, especially at the end of the month when I'm helping fellow Fraggles work their projects into challenges.  Yarnardent made a doily and this artist was mentioned in the  description so I Googled her.  WOW!  Since it was a doily I found these pictures:

But then I saw all these pictures of giant shoes!  I am so in love!
And my inner Starwars geek squee'd at this:

I want to use this as inspiration for a much smaller project somehow:

She works with wrought iron to!  How cool is this teapot???


Friday, February 26, 2016

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary Curt!  You're the only guy who can be the Gomez to my Morticia!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The First Love Stories; From Isis and Osiris to Tristan and Iseult

Seven stories, each from a different ancient culture, each focusing on a different aspect of love.  The Egyptian, Isis and Osiris (one of the stories I got the book to read) on Love is greater than Nature.  Inanna and Dumuzi, the Sumerian tale of the cyclical nature of love, although since Inanna gets mad at Dumuzi and banishes him to the underworld, and it is his sister who loves him enough to trade off six months a year, so he can still be in our world, it may be more about sibling loyalty, since Inanna's love is all about her vuvla and in my mind lust.  Then the Hindu Shiva and Sati, the Passion of the mind.  The Song of Songs, a Hebrew love song in the Catholic Bible we read as kids??, is a sensuous yearning love.  The Greco-Roman Psyche and Eros is supposed to be about forging yourself - but I see it more as curiosity killed the cat, literally in terms of Psyche's sisters and almost Psyche herself.  Layla and Majnun, loving for love itself, from a distance, the madness of unfulfilled love (and in my opinion the most depressing story in the book - spoiler - everyone dies)  Finally the Celtic Tristan and Iseult (the other story that prompted me to read this book) Is about choosing duty and honor over love, king, country, promised marriage, yet loving until death do you join, also pretty depressing.

The book is well worth the read, because of references to these timeless stories, and it's good to know that lust and premarital relations was going on for thousands of years, not just today.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dessert for my Valentine

I had to work the three days before Valentine's Day, and the day itself, but I still wanted to make Curt a yummy decadent dessert.  So, I cheated a little and combined some stuff from Rachael Ray and Michael Symon.  Symon had made a chocolate cheesecake covered with dark chocolate ganache and topped with bourbon cherries.  Curt however, doesn't like cheesecake ( I know!!! wtf??) Ray had a long time ago, made a cake where she substituted beer for water and added cinnamon and nutmeg.  SO here's what I used:

Duncan Hines Perfect size chocolate cake mix (comes with it's own easy release pan) 
butter (amount from box)
1 tbsp cinnamon
about 1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
6 tbsp Yards Chocolate Love Stout
1 egg

I followed the directions on the box and cooled overnight. For the ganache I heated the cream and sugar, then added the chopped chocolate and stirred until it started to get thick, poured it over the cake and "pushed" some over the edges to get the sides.

1/2 cup heavy cream
bar of 86% and one of 72% dark chocolate rough chopped to one cup
1 tbsp coconut sugar

After dinner I put all this in a heavy sauce pot and stirred occasionally until thick and saucy:
2 cup frozen dark cherries
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 cinnamon stick
juice of 1/2 and peel of 1 lemon (pulled the peels out  once done)
1 tbsp cornstarch
1tsp real vanilla extract
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup Knob Creek bourbon 

Poured sauce still warm over slice of cake.... cannot even begin to describe how good this was!


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Crockpot Poblano Stuffed Shells

Woman at work wanted some easy recipes, so here's a quick go to for me. (so quick I don't have a picture of the finished product).

Roasted three poblanos on the stove - need a gas stove just rotate the pepper directly on the flame until blistered on all sides, then put in a glass bowl covered with plastic wrap to steam off  the skins. rub the skin off with paper towel (don't rinse you wanted the charred taste)  cut in half and de-seed.

Meanwhile put a thin layer of red sauce (basic tomato basil is good the poblanos add some spice without making it hot ) put a frozen stuffed shell inside each half pepper and put in crock pot.  I then threw in some leftover meatballs I had in the freezer but that is optional(Jane likes 5 not 6 things...).  Fine chopped some basil, oregano and garlic (you can use dried spice and dried minced garlic or leave off - I don't use a lot of salt so I always increase the herbs to make up for it) sprinkled over the shells, and then top with more sauce.  Don't drown it - sauce won't evaporate in a slow cooker- should still see parts of the shells and meatballs.

Cook on low for at least 6, if you are working 8 or 9 won't hurt- just put more sauce on the bottom and less on top so things don't burn.  15 minutes before you want to eat sprinkle on some shredded mozzerella ( I used Sargento's pizza cheese mix this time - but any Italian/Pizza ish cheese will do) cover - and once the cheese is melted it's time to eat!

The ONLY drawback to this recipe is the cheese doesn't get brown on top.  I used a crockpot liner for easy cleanup (seriously whoever invented these is a genius!!!)  but if you want brown you can always skip the liner and then before serving hit it with a kitchen torch, or I guess you can torch it on the plate or use an oven proof plate and throw it in the broiler a minute before serving.  I just deal with no brown. It's still good.

Boot Cuffs

I've been on a boot binge.  Yup, binge.  I went from one pair of tall boots to 5, and bought a bunch of new short boots.  I really like all the boot cuffs I've been seeing on Ravelry, and when I saw them in the store I liked them - but I have thick calves so the ones in the store really don't work well. So I dug around my acrylic yarn bag and found some thicker yarn so they would work up quickly and knit one pair and crocheted another.  I actually have 2 more in progress as well. 

 You can actually see an awesome "hack" I picked up from my daughter.  Pool noodles at the dollar store can be cut and you can get 1 1/2 to 2 pairs from one noodle depending on the height.  The things they sell to put in your boots to keep them upright start at $8 a pair -- and that's TJMaxx's price!! so I did all my boots for $4 instead of $40!!


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

While My Pretty One Knits

Another "quiet town with no crime", has a busy tourist season and a calm peaceful off season... yet... someone gets murdered, and knitters get involved in finding the killer.  I really didn't realize that this was an entire genre of fiction!  I think I like Sally Goldenbaum and Maggie Sefton's characters better though I will probably still at some point read the second book in the series.

When Summer Comes

It was ok, definitely not my favorite Whiskey Creek book.  Don't know if it was just the story or if it's because I knew what happened at the end because I read book six already.  But really, we know most of these books are going to have a happy ending right?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Jeff Dunham

Curt had gotten us tickets, back in November, for Jeff Dunham's show at the Prudential Center in Newark.  It was a bit weird having people and not ice down on the floor, and I discovered that while the steep seats mean great views, during sporting events you are jumping up and there are 2 breaks for the zamboni in between periods, you don't notice how little leg room there is.  When just sitting there for 2 hours my knees were killing me by the time we left.

We stopped at Taste Venue across the street for some food beforehand (the Angie and I discovered it last year during a snowstorm that shut a lot of Newark down, but did not stop hockey) some empanadas, catfish fingers, and spinach artichoke wontonish dumpling things and a Guinness were absolutely yummy, although trying to get the check to get out was aggravating.

Jeff was hysterical!  And as a new dad of twins at 53 he has a lot of new material to work with, not to mention everything he gets from the Presidential debates.  He said he was working on some new material for an ABC special in the fall, so he was trying out some jokes, but we could get those jokes for "free".  I will tell you this - while some of this stuff had me just about crying, I'm pretty sure it will never air on network TV.

At one point during the show, he dropped Peanut.  The puppet just sort of flew off his hand.  Jeff picks him up, and Peanut's mouth is hanging open.  We hear Peanut say "my mouth is stuck" and we understand, but Jeff "doesn't".  Peanut repeats himself a bunch of times each time also calling Jeff and Asshole.  Finally Jeff figures it out and tries to fix Peanut's mouth, but Peanut now is saying his fingers smell like poop (remember newborn baby jokes earlier) Another funny that Peanut had was after Jeff talks about getting on the plane in LA at 80 degrees he gets off the plane and it is 2 degrees here, Jeff tells Peanut that NJ is having a mild winter overall - Peanut tells Jeff that a NJ mild winter is like being Kind of pregnant.
Walter, Bubba J and Achmed were all in rare form as well. (I bought Curt a Walter "shut the hell up"  shirt, and got an Achmed "silence I kill you" shirt for myself.

We were hungry after, and since it was late and they were doing road  construction, but we made it to the Tic Tock diner in Clifton in time that I was able to get corned beef hash and eggs before it was midnight and technically Friday ( I don't eat meat on Friday's in lent)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Stars of Fortune

Whenever Nora Roberts starts a new trilogy, I always say I'm going to wait until all three are out and read them at once.  Every time, every single time, I end up reading book 1 and then having to wait... I hate waiting.   Is this her best book ? No.  Is this kind of her formula? Yes.  Did I really enjoy reading it? Yes.  Am I waiting impatiently for book 2?  Yes. 

My predictions??  Book 2 has Sawyer and Annika hook up (if indeed Annika can hook up with a human). Book 3 as Riley and Doyle, something of finding the 3 stars and returning them will break Doyle's curse.  

potential spoilers so I'm adding a break here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mardi Gras at work

We had some big shot from Atlanta walk our store today.  So all the panicked scurrying about like little rats, all the chapstick application for ass kissing etc, etc, etc.  Then there was me, Fred and Ernest, for us it was Mardi Gras.  Here's Ernest and me:


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Really don't like the way 2016 is going

Tony broke his L1 vertebra, had surgery Tuesday.

Now the list of people dying keeps growing. Joe Alaskey, voice of Bugs Bunny and others passed.

One of the founding members of Earth Wind & Fire as well.

Just stop already!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Highlander Next Door

Ugh - I really hope Chapman is working on the sequel!  I'm so tied up in these characters.  I want to know if Hazel ends up with Claude or Sam, what's the deal with Silas French? How does Telos "mature" as a god - does he keep his communications with Birch and Niall?  how does the colony of Atlanteans do?  Does Atlantis get found???  We haven't seen much of Mac, Titus has been more at the forefront...

Why is this listed as the last book in the series???????

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Feeling Restless

Can't explain it.  Just a very restless, unsettled feeling.  Can't focus on reading, or knitting or TV...