27 March 2006

Pat Strikes Again....

Pat Robertson, quoted in the PARADE magazine that comes with my Sunday paper....said he has prayed for years for a change on the Supreme Court...feels that his prayers have been answered. If that's not enough to make you want to run for Canada, I'm not sure what is. Pat Robertson thinks GOD speaks to him, people. Do you WANT this guy in charge of your civil liberties, or telling you what you are and are not allowed to do with your body? Mid-term elections are coming up this year and if a landslide of democrats aren't elected..........

26 March 2006

Perfect Sunday Dinner

I'm so clever, I am. Came up with a perfect sunday dinner all by myself, and then as I've started to enter it here, banged my knee into something under the computer desk and owwwww.

I did a post on slow cookers for FitFare last week, and I made the slow cooker chicken that I wrote about for the post. Its easy, and I'm not entering the whole damn thing again here. Check it out over on FitFare, the post went live on 03/24.

Then I've got some brown rice going to accompany it, but the thing I'm most excited about are the stuffed tomato halves that are waiting to go into the oven. The credit for this goes in equal parts to Aunty Marianne and Giada De Laurentiis, strangely enough. Aunty Marianne did a stuffed mushroom caps recpie the other day (03/18 to be exact), that I found wonderfully inspiring. The problem is that I'm really allergic to mushrooms. They make my throat close over, which does make it difficult to breathe. Then this morning, when I should have been getting dressed, I was instead watching Giada make a big Sunday dinner for her family. I didn't make the tomato halves just like her, though, because she left out several vital things IMO. She said during the episode that her mom doesn't like garlic (horrors, can't imagine cooking without it, myself. Ever.) so she wasn't putting any in. Also, I love the combination of tomato and basil, as does apparently Aunty Marianne, because her blog is called Tomato and Basil sandwiches. Anyway, here goes.

2 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut in half, seeded, and centers removed with a grapefruit spoon
1/2 cup provolone cheese, shredded
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, unseasoned
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp finely minced fresh basil leaves
1 tsp oregano

Chop the removed sections of tomato into a fine dice. Mix all ingredients well and stuff back into hollowed out tomatoes. Bake in 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Top with more shredded cheese.

I'm excited about the taste. I tasted the filling raw, of course, and it is yummy. So I'm thinking that hot and with the cheese all melty it will be even better.

I have a fairly yuucky week coming up, so I'm pulling out the wine for dinner as well. Cheers!

24 March 2006

Wishing I

The title from the post comes from the chorus of some silly pop song that's running through my head,

Wishing I
Wishing I
Wishing I was still with you

Too bad I can't remember who the hell sings it. Or get rid of it.

I've been reading bunches of Euro bloggers today, so wishing *I* was still in Europe...

And then it is Friday, thank god, so wishing *I* had about 6 more days off would be nice too.

Had an episode yesterday that was a sure sign of aging. Went something like this...

I was at my office, on the telephone, and talking to one of about 17 bosses that I have. His office is near my home, and I told him that I would stop at his office on my way home. I hung up the phone, shut down the computer, turned out some lights...and....left what I had promised to drop off locked in my desk. Then I drove toward home, and got about 1/4 mile from my house and realized what I had done. D'oh. So I called him from my ever-present mobile phone and he, being the sensitive and understanding fella that he is, laughed at me. I laughed along with him, but felt rather stupid. Sigh.

So wishing *I* was still 20. Maybe. Cheers-

17 March 2006

Senate and House craziness.

Had lunch with FGK4 yesterday, and while I was waiting for him to arrive, I picked up a copy of our local paper. My working environment (although not me personally, tack och löv) has been in the news recently, and I wanted to see if there was anything new.

Didn't find anything about THAT, which in this case no news is good news, but I came across this distressing turn of events. Apparently, if you spend more than $250/year on your blog, and talk politics, as I often do, you could need to hire a lawyer unless this law passes. I don't spend any $$ on my blog, but think, if you use Adsense, or have a Paypal link on your blog for folks to donate to you....this could be a real problem.

Now, my local paper pulls all kinds of stuff off of the newswires, and sometimes adds a little local flavor, so I went over to the source (The Christian Science Monitor, something I wouldn't pick up normally) to check the article out, and they copied it e-zactly. HELLO AMERICA!!!! your civil rights ARE being eroded. It pains me greatly when this happens, but I agree with a republican here. And one from Texas at that. (Shudder. Deeeeep breath. OK, I'm past it.) Jeb Hensarling, R, Texas, has a bill before the House that will pre-empt the legal morass, because he says that, "No American should have to hire an attorney just to express their views online."

Herregud, common sense from a Texas republican? Sorry, I'm slipping into Swedish. Herregud is the rough equivalent of "dear God" and tack och löv is roughly "thank goodness". I do that sometimes when I'm at a loss for words. And sometimes the Swedish just expresses what I’m feeling better. But this time, I’m just (nearly) speechless. What a clusterfuck. Really. There’s this big loophole in some federal legislation and so I’m going to have to watch what I say about how much I dislike the Bush administration? What the hell happened to freedom of speech? I could publish a daily little log locally and distribute it, and since I live in the heart of the red states, no one would read it. Or I can rant and rave on the Internet, possibly have a worldwide audience, and still no one (or almost no one) reads it anyway, because I’m not a popular blogger. I believe that will eventually change, but the point is that regardless of how I express my views out there in the wider world, it is still freedom of speech. Helloooo, anyone remember the founding principles of this country? Freedom of the press; freedom of speech; freedom of religion; freedom of assembly…ya know?

I could get real riled up about the PATRIOT ACT too, but I’m going to save that for another day. I think. Let’s talk something else.

Today’s St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not Irish at all, rather more of mixed Anglo European heritage. I’m Swedish, Danish, Welsh, English, Czech, Slovak, and Polish. Two great-grandparents came from England, while the rest came from different countries. Like many 3rd and 4th and so on generation Americans, rather than rattle off that whole list when someone asks me what my heritage is, I stick with the "I'm a mutt" answer. So my heritage spans a big section of Europe. I've talked before about my total lack of understanding about racism, bigotry, prejudicial behavior, so it should come as no surprise that I don’t harbor any dislike for the Irish or for the holiday, rather I just think it can get way too silly. Green beer, urgh. I’ll be passing on that. If I drink anything green tonight, it would probably be a grasshopper, which I liked back in the day at about 17. I think the last one I had was about that time, but it was green and sweet. I’ll have to see if I can find a recipe for it. Don’t ya love Google? Found 3 recipes in about 10 seconds. Here we go!


1 shot Crème de Menthe
1 shot white Crème de cacao
1 shot light cream

Shake well, serve frozen or over ice.

Vodka Grasshopper
1 shot crème de menthe
1 shot white crème de cacao
1 shot vodka

Shake well, serve over ice.

YUM. As I recall, it tasted something like a Thin Mint cookie, you know, the Girl Scout cookies. But might be a bit too sweet for me now. The vodka one shows promise. But we’re going to a Martini bar tonight, so maybe I’ll stick with a Cosmo. Or something like it. Whatever you end up doing, be safe. Skål! (Cheers)

13 March 2006


Wow, we have an anticipated high temperature of 71 degrees today. (That would be 21 in the Celsius scale.) And thunderstorms. I do love a Midwestern spring, the t-storms can be very thrilling. Scary, yes, but thrilling. This morning, as I was getting ready for work, it started to hail. There is a skylight above my bed, and I thought that it might crack, so much heavy precipitation was falling. Hail is really neat. And destructive. One of the worst hail storms I remember happened when I was a child and it stripped most of the apple blossoms off of the trees in a local orchard. There were very few apples to be had that fall that were locally grown. I don't normally advocate watching television of any kind, but The Weather Channel is doing a Tornado week that is worth checking out if you're a weather buff.

I wrote the article for low fat party appetizers, and I mentioned the punch recipes that I make for almost any party. However, both punch recipes that I make are not appropriate FitFare items; one has a ton of booze, and they're both high in sugar. So I'm posting them here for anyone who wanders by from FitFare

Sneaky Punch

The original recipe appeared in a magazine in 1996 or so, which was shortly after I turned 21. It always makes me laugh that the inspiration for this punch came from Miss Martha. Somehow I just can't associate her with intoxication.

1 (6 oz) container frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted
1 (12 oz) container frozen lemonade concentrate, defrosted
1 (2 liter) bottle clear soda, such as Sprite, 7-UP, Squirt
1 (750 ml) bottle Southern Comfort
3 lemons, sliced
3 oranges, sliced (I like blood oranges for the pretty red color)

Layer the slices of lemon and orange on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and freeze overnight.

Combine all other ingredients in a large punch bowl and stir well. Remove citrus slices from freezer and float on top of punch.

The neat thing about the lemon and orange slices is that they keep the punch cool without watering it down, as pesky ice cubes can do. But this stuff really sneaks up on you. Serve in SMALL glasses and encourage those who drink it to get up and move around between glasses, because (I speak from bitter experience here) you can drink 2 or 3 glasses of it that someone else has brought to you and then discover that you are unable to stand. Or walk; or speak coherent sentences. (smiles)

Mike's Non-Alcoholic Punch

Credit for this recipe goes to my old boss at the big ol' bank. This punch was a staple at department parties. I always thought it would be even better with some rum, but there are two problems with this. One, we were not allowed alcohol at department parties held during the day on bank premises. Secondly, I have two types of punch available at parties in my home because not everyone drinks. Since the point of two types of punch at a party is that one has alcohol and one does not, that would be silly. Right? It is an odd combination; you might think while reading it that lime, apricot, pineapple and something fizzy wouldn't work, but it really really does. The only problem with it is the huge amount of sugar in it. Mike used to freeze maraschino cherries and water in a jello mold and float the frozen ring on top of the punch to keep it cold. That adds a festive touch, but I hate maraschino cherries and so I leave that out. Also, I find the measurments very strange for this recipe.

46 oz apricot nectar
46 oz pineapple juice
18 oz frozen limeade concentrate, defrosted.
84 oz ginger ale

Combine all ingredients, adding ginger ale last and slowly, as it can fizz over. Stir well.

As I said, the amounts of each thing are odd. I do not measure out 46 oz of apricot nectar, just get as close as I can with whatever size container I've been able to find. And apricot nectar isn't easy to find; last party I had back at the end of February, I found it with the stuff from Goya, in the hispanic foods section. Whatever, I was happy to locate it. The brand name is Loza, and strangely enough it says "Product of Belgium" on the bottle. Weird.

Anyway, chickadees, cherrio! Must note that there is a "winter storm warning" in effect for my area, after that 71 degree high, apparently it is going to snow lots overnight tonight. Love it.

08 March 2006

Wondering if the world's gone mad

Yes, indeedy. Its been a heck of a week and it isn't over yet. I'm wondering if there's a full moon all week, cause things couldn't be crazier. First, to start the week off, I was called into work at 4 am on Sunday. Yah, if that ain't the best way to start the week, maybe it could only be better by having my annual OB/GYN exam first thing on Monday morning. Which I didn't; I have that on Friday. Remember that 80's song, "Baby I'm the Lucky One"? I think it was maybe by Amy Grant...feels like it must be the sarcastic theme of the week, although strictly speaking I'm not crazy about Amy Grant. Anyway.

I've added some links over on the right, found a funny funny european blogger named Zoe, check her out, she is hilarious. Have you ever followed blog links from one blog to the next and suddenly discovered that you've lost 3 hours? That's how I found Zoe, I'm not even sure of the path that I followed to her front door in Brussels. I also found an American expatriate living my dream life in Stockholm that way. I'm waiting to find out if it is OK with him to link his blog here. I AM senstive to those who might not like my political leanings, really. I know that they're allowed to disagree with me, and I also know that they're just wrong. :-p

I was having a chat with one of the few other pro-choice folks that I know and she was telling me about a South Dakota law that was passed which bans all abortions. Egad, has the world gone totally mad? And how did I miss this? The bill was signed into law on March 6th! And the first time I heard about it was yesterday. Anti-choice folks are hoping that it will be challenged by Roe v. Wade supporters, because that way it will be sure to come before the Supreme Court. We all know how much the court has changed recently and the hope of the anti-choice folks is that it will considerably weaken Roe. May I remind you all to run along to Save Roe and support them in whatever manner you are able?

My first article on Fit Fare will post on Friday (that's tomorrow), do check it out. I wrote a cookbook review and had my sister and my BF read it for me, before I submitted it. BF reminds me yet again that I have problems with run-on sentences....I know. Sigh. I'm working on it, really. But I'm really excited about the new venture, writing a weekly article for FitFare. Up next is an article about low fat party appetizers, which will probably spill all of my party hostess secrets...Most of the things that I make for the parties I have ARE low fat, and I just don't tell anyone. And then they don't know they're eating healthy! I like to fool people that way, and then relish their facial expressions when they find out that the cute little canape that they ate wasn't bad for them. Gotta run...

02 March 2006

Food writing and the world at large

How excited am I that I'm going to do some semi-regular writing for a food website? My first article will go live on March 10th, at WellFed. Wooooooooo!!!! Really, I can barely contain myself. My bio is up already, and I'm working on that article to go live on the 10th.

So since that's what I've been up to, I haven't been much paying attention to the news, but I would like to register my disgust with W's blatant photo-op visit to Afganistan the other day. Shudder. And a wave of barfy feelings too. I haven't read the details of the nuclear agreement with India, so let me just say that I'm annoyed about the fact that the president can't properly pronounce the word nuclear. And that if the general population at large wants to be all up in arms about a Dubai company running several important ports here in the US, why is no one upset with a possible nuclear deal with India? I don't know if the India deal is a good or bad thing, but hey, Joe and Jane 6 pack, India....Dubai....with the average American's grasp of global geography, you'd think that someone would be soapboxing that issue. Just for your own info though, folks, India and Dubai aren't the same country, nor are they all that close to one another. Check out Rand McNally to be sure. Cheerio!