Saturday, October 19, 2013

It's Caturday Y'All

So I have started putting together my favorite jokes in text over my absolute favorite picture of my sister's cat.  Other than the text, the picture hasn't been altered other than some slight color tweaking.  Yes, the cat wore those glasses.  For about a minute.  Which in putting stuff on you cat terms is pretty much a miracle.

Here's a sample:

Smart Cat Telling Stupid Jokes

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pinterest Food Hall of Shame

I started a new board on Pinterest called "Pinterest Food Hall of Shame".   People post a crazy amount of really gross things that could loosely be described as food on Pinterest.  Many of these recipes contain: Jello, Cool Whip, bacon, canned cinnamon roll dough, or crescent rolls.  There are other offending ingredients, but those are some of the biggies.  I'm not a food Puritan.  I like sweets and other snacks - but the indulgence should be satisfying and decadent.  These are usually just sugar and hydrogenated fat bombs that people usually scarf down without even really experiencing what they are eating. 

So I started a board where I repost these with my own commentary on the ingredients.  One of the first recipes I pinned is a dessert sandwich made with Cool Whip, graham crackers, frosting, and sprinkles.  When I first saw it I thought it was made from Pop Tarts (which would be even worse). 

Two hours after putting this up, I have 5 people who have reposted the pin onto their own boards with names like "Yummy Food".  This despite the fact that there is very little food in that "food".


You can check out my Hall of Shame for Pinterest here:

I clicked through most of the links to the originating blogs.  Many of them are filled with things that do look like really delicious indulgences that may be worth the experience and pleasure of eating.  Or they are on blogs that show off a variety of crafty and fun stuff from their authors.  When you see them all together on people's Pinterest pages is when it just seems like a disgusting gluttonous sea of sugar coma inducing sweetness. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Short Post

Me: If we play the Leverage RPG then I want to serve something with capers.

CJ: Ok

Me: If we play Shadowrun -  then I'll have to make something with broken up computer parts and glitter.

CJ: Ok...?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Right Man

CJ once again proved to me that I married the right man. 

We went to a Pink concert last night. I've been having a rough time lately - so it was a great distraction.  We danced in our seats while singing every song - except "Trouble" which neither of us seems to know very well.   I was thinking about how much I love that my husband sang along with Pink at a concert and knew every word (almost).   We left our seats and were walking through the arena to get to an exit.  

Amid the throngs of people, I see a group of young women in skinny tight dresses laughing and giggling and being super hyper-girly. 

(sigh) I started grumbling in my head and feeling bad because I'm not...

My unhappy and self defeating thoughts were interrupted by this comment from my husband.

CJ:  "Do you think they do that as camouflage to hide from lions or something?"


They pretty much looked like this -but with more eyeliner.
He had a sort of puzzled look on his face - so I look over at the girls again.  They are all wearing black and white stripes, in a group, while moving in a noisy and chaotic mass.

Me:  "You mean they're like zebras?"

CJ:  "Yeah, that's what I was thinking."


Thursday, March 07, 2013

Tricksy Strikes Again

There are two things Tricksy hates - paper and birds.  She couldn't resist.

  Tricksy has an anxiety attack before dinner that generally starts an HOUR before dinner EVERY night. Usually she gets so crazy we can't stand her  and the new verb entry-wayed has come into play.  We try to catch her and then put her by herself in the entryway and she calms down a bit.*  You can also put her in a file box with a lid, but we don't often have an empty one just lying around.  We used to, but we've made great strides in our decluttering. Also - when she is really going nuts she can just push the top off the box, but I've yet to see her break down a door. 

 So yesterday I didn't catch her in time.

 I cut some birds out of a calendar the other day to decoupage my table later in the spring. The scissor work was all very precise and it was impressive.   I hadn't yet found a home for these birds though. Temporarily, a box with mail to go through was their habitat.   Tricksy found them and proceeded to chew and rip at the pieces of paper.

 This one was the worst - most of the others just had a few bite marks.  I hope they don't turn into paper vampire-werecat paper birds.  Even if they do, it's ok because I have them safely imprisoned in a nice flat box now.  Since they are only made from paper - that should be strong enough.  If not then I'll just spray them with water.  That messes up paper pretty quick.

*In case you think I am super mean to my cat - she isn't traumatized by her time outs.  She really does seem to relax with the lack of stimulus.  If she starts meowing sadly from the other side of the door then I go sit in and pet her.  The other solution would be a continuous rolling back of dinner time until you are feeding them in the middle of the afternoon.  Which leads to feeding them 3 - 4 times a day (which from my friends' stories includes middle-of-the-night or ass-crack-of-dawn feedings.  We aren't going down that road!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Winter Cheer... and a recipe!

Oh, winter - so cold.   It's February here in Minnesota and many of us try to get through the cold with our favorite beverages.  Many of my friends turn to the vine at this point and let the winter evenings blur past them in the warmth of their favorite bottle.  That sort of makes them sound like alcoholics - most of them aren't though.  People just seem to enjoy a glass at night more often in the winter.

 Anyway - that doesn't work to well for me.  I had a glass the other night and had the fun of arthritis flaring the next day.  So it turns out that I like the idea of an after dinner glass of wine with my husband before retiring for the night.  The reality doesn't match the cozy romantic ideal. Sadly, it involves waking up in the middle of the night with painful hands and enjoying a larger than normal handful of Advil with breakfast.

I've also given up coffee.  I gave it up while I was pregnant.  The first thing I did after learning that I had miscarried was go and get a cup of coffee.  I sent CJ into the coffee shop because I was crying.  But what the hell - I was at least going to have my coffee if nothing else.  It was delicious, but didn't seem worth getting hooked on it again.  So I have left it for an occasional indulgence.  It's more special that way anyway.

So I switched to hot chocolate.  Especially the hot chocolate at Caribou.  I like mine with half dark and half milk chocolate, whole milk, and whipped cream on top.  At Caribou they also sprinkle some of the tiny chips on top of your whipped cream.  After a few weeks of a few of these a week, I realized it's basically a really decadent dessert rather than a mildly indulgent drink for a winter afternoon.  It's been even worse for CJ, because I can never finish my drink.  I always hand the last half to two thirds to CJ to finish.

So in the interest of saving our tummies from getting too pudgy and our wallets from getting too thin - I needed to find a new winter indulgence.  Something warm and comforting, but not too over the top sweet.  I like chai - so I decided to go with that.  I don't like most pre-mixed chai.   The stuff you get at coffee shops is usually really sweet.  I mean really really sweet.  I have a definite sweet tooth, but am not a fan of things that taste like drinking straight sugar.

 The boxes of chai concentrate liquid are basically the same.  There is even a brand that sells a type of chai they call "Slightly Sweetened".  Slightly sweetened, my ass.  It isn't as sweet as the regular, but it still overwhelmingly tastes like sugar over anything else.  Is there even any tea in those?  It's listed in the ingredients, but I can't taste it at all.

So I started putting together my own blends.  I had done this a couple of times in the past, but wanted to revisit the way I put them together.  I did something crazy and actually wrote down the amounts of spices I used this time.  So if I like this batch, I may even be able to recreate it in the future.


1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp whole cloves
1 Tbsp dried ginger (the big flaky kind - not the powder)
2 Tbsp green cardamom pods
1.5 tsp fenugreek
1.5 tsp fennel whole fennel seed
1 tsp black peppercorns
1.5 cups Irish breakfast tea

I crushed all the spices that started whole with my mortar and pestle.  Except for the fenugreek - that was  uncrushable.  If I hadn't been too lazy -  I probably would have washed the blades from my Magic Bullet and just used that.  As an aside, I am a weird kind of lazy.  It seemed like more effort to wash one item than to use my crazy morning stiff arthritic hands to manually process the spices.  Anyway, if you do use a blender or a coffee grinder just pulse it.  You don't want these to become powder - just crush them to release the flavor.

Mix up all the spices in a bowl and then store them in a glass jar.  I use one teaspoon per coffee cup sized serving.  You can either brew the tea, strain it, and add honey and milk (or cream, or coconut, or whatever) or you can heat the tea mix, half milk/ half water, and honey all together.  If you have some fresh ginger in your kitchen - adding some of that either grated or sliced adds a little more deliciousness.  You can even buy ginger juice and just add a splash of that to your liking.  Sometimes I go crazy and splash twice.

Why Irish Breakfast Tea?  Because there aren't a lot of loose leaf black teas at my local co-op.  My choices were Irish Breakfast, English Breakfast, and Earl Grey.  I used my sniffer to figure out which one to buy.  .

Earl Grey?  No way was that flowery piece of crap making itself anywhere near my drink.  I've never liked Earl Grey.  It tastes like drinking perfume.  People must actually like that because I know it is a popular drink.  Despite the fact that Captain Picard drank it - I just can't choke the stuff down.  Sorry, Jean Luc.  The English seemed like it might be too overpowering.  I really like the taste of all the spices when I drink my chai, but I also like tea - so I needed a balance.

Irish Breakfast wins!  It's probably good that there weren't more options.  I may have been paralyzed by indecision and remained standing at the co-op, stuck in front of the spice/tea rack, still trying to choose.  As it is, this makes enough for a few weeks of delicious tea mornings.  I even got all magnanimous and gave a small jar to a friend.  Because sharing is caring, you know.

Enjoy!  If you actually make some of this, I'd love to hear your feedback.  Also, yes, I realize the instructions in my recipe are not terribly straight forward and took a weird Star Trekky-ness in there somewhere.

I think I am going to need more honey!
Here's the abbreviated instructions.  Smoosh up the spices and mix them with your tea leaves.  Make tea like usual.  Add some kind of milk and sweetener - I use honey.  Add more ginger if you feel like it.  Watch an episode of Next Generation and revel in the fact that your tea is 1000 times better than that replicated cup of flowery crap.

Make it so.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Cats

My sister's cat, Fluffy, contemplates her plans for cookie decorating.

Lion-o enjoying his holiday finery - received as a gift from one of CJ's coworkers.

Miss Kitty (her actual name) enjoying the tree at my mother-in-law's house.