Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Halloween Fixins!

Honey Garlic Meatballs

meat mixture:
2 pounds lean ground meat (turkey, chicken, beef, or veal - I used turkey)
1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup club soda or water (approximately)
1/2 cup bread crumbs or matzo meal

sauce mixture:
1 1/2 cup honey garlic sauce (recipe to follow)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1 teaspoon sesame oil, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Combine all the ingredients for the meat mixture. Wet your hands lightly, and shape into small meatballs. Arrange them on the baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, until firm.

Heat the honey garlic sauce in a large pot. Dissolve the cornstarch in the orange juice, and stir into the simmering sauce. Add the red pepper flakes and sesame oil. When the sauce is thickened, add the meatballs. Simmer partly covered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes about 5 dozen meatballs (depending upon the size you make them).

Honey garlic sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons molasses
6 cloves garlic, crushed
Combine all the ingredients and mix well.


On Halloween, pumpkin is expected. This cake is super simple. Rather than using a fat-laden icing, I spread the top with pumpkin butter (no dairy in there!) and topped it all off with toasted walnuts. It made a beautiful and mouth-watering presentation.

Pumpkin cake with pumpkin butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup pumpkin butter
3/4 cup halved walnuts, toasted on tray in toaster oven at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, til aromatic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour one 9? round baking pan or dish.
Place the sugar, oil and eggs in the large bowl of your mixer and combine. 
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, and mix well.
Stir in the pumpkin puree and mix well. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and cake tester comes out clean from center.
Cool on rack and remove from baking pan. Slather on your pumpkin butter on the top of the cake, and decoratively arrange the walnuts. Makes 8-10 servings.

You can create this impressive cylon too...click here.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Homeless Brilliance: Mind Matters

ninja vengence

"Hey big man, let me hold a dollar"

This blog is inspired by my co-blogger's image on his latest. I couldnt help but look at the image several takes. The more I thought about it, the more I grinned. I probably would have contributed. Was it true: probably not. Was it creative; almost. Would it have stopped me and made me read and consider; absolutely. It reminded me of times that beggars thought that just by making eye contact I was obligated to hand over my hard earned change. Unfortunately, I am not a bleeding heart. So its completely up to my discrection if I give you money for nothing or for grace. This sign gets me. If ninja's killed my family; I dont think I would wait long enuf to learn the finess of karate. Smith and Wesson has a speed reading class ... yada...yada...yada. BUT, here's a couple of dollars for good marketing. In light of the current undercurrent, I had to relook at this sign several times cause I thought it said something else. America's full of Ninjas. Less convincing are the mismatched socks and the expensive purse with super shades offset by the money cigarettes must have cost. I think today's youth are far more creative when it comes to "not working" and taking short cuts.

I have encountered situations where someone less fortunate and home deprived who just said, "hey, I need two dollars to go get a beer and a smoke." Sometimes I am more inclined because they have spared me the struggle of wondering what will really happen to my good intentions. In truth, given in the right spirit, its not my problem what they do with it so long as I gave it in a gracious spirit. I'm not entirely sure that is true; but I have heard it said. No, if you tell me you need a few extra bucks to go get a gun so you can rob someone of their hard earned money; NO, I probably wont help. So in honor of these creatives; here's some homeless signs:

Monday, October 27, 2008

BLUE Monday: Titan Blues!

Its another exciting time here in the Ville; Nashville that is, Tennessee!!! The air is really brisk today; very much unlike the sleevelessly warm day before. It was a great weekend all together! We hosted a "Supper Club" gathering Saturday night at 6:30 which always means you spend evey minute before then cleaning, decorating and cooking. This was no different. We even skipped gym. I wish I could say I had been heartbroken. We hung more pictures in one afternoon than we have in the last 10 years. I had stopped by Hobby Lobby Friday afternoon on the way home. It became terrifyingly obvious that this was one of the best Hobby Lobbies I had ever seen. I couldn't focus. Everything was screaming "buy me!" or "this would look great" and OVERLOAD. I had to leave. I called honey and told her we would have to come back together. It was a fantastic menu of sweet potato cassorole, green beans, mashed potatoes, home baked turkey, little wiennies, ice cream, homemade poundcake, pumpkin spice pudding, cresant roles, sweet tea and ice cold lemonade; all kicked of with a prayer of thanks and blessings.

Sunday was a really pleasant day. After sleeping in til noon, my sweetie and I planted 13 trees around the homestead and have another 20+ to go. The best part is I got to play with a new toy I rented from Home Depot. They really do have ways of making life easier. Typically I would have used a shovel and post hole digger; whew, I rented a hole driller and saved my palms, my shoulders and my energy. It was just like a weedeater with a drill on the end. Sweet! In four hours I had all the holes dug. I am sure my inexperience was visible; but I didnt care. I will not be beaten by the machine. I did get the hang of it and all went well.

The bad news: after putting out all those trees, it is allegedly "freezing" tonite. The game can easily be watched while snuggling on the couch eating tasty treats. The workout can easily be scooted to another day. The workday has been good. I have knocked out an 8 page newsletter, a 40 page magazine layout and started a newspaper.

Traffic was horrible this morning. The Colts are in town and a GET MOTIVATED siminar. I am certain that some folks enjoyed the seminar as a necessary business expense to be in town for the game a few hours later; not to discredit those motovational seminars — they are typically very good! The hard part is the jolt back to reality after you return home/work.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Poe Chicken Friday Fixins

wine and Poe

I found this site and it has the same idea; well almost, I was thinking about....how nice. What a nice glass...

Its a cool, damp, dreary Friday here in Nashville, Tennessee. It's the perfect day for some good Edgar Allan Poe over a short glass with double shots with a lonley candle flickering in the darkness, teasing the air to be warmer. There's something about these kinds of days that warm my soul. Something so familiar that I can only think of warmer things mixed with my own frigid tendencies. That's kinda what makes magic isnt it? Sweet and Sour, Bitter and Sweet, Sugar and Salt .... you get my drift. Its like a hot bubble bath with a cool glass of wine. Something unique happens when the cold wine slinks down into a warm stomach surrounded by much warmer water and then you just smile. How nice is that other than the smile flashing back at you. Nuf said.

warm bubbles and hot smirks

delicious sweet chicken gumbo

Friday Fixings: Sweet Chicken Gumbo

8 cups water
1 can of green peas (drained)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
2 carrots, sliced thin
4 ounces fresh mushrooms
1 (10 ounce) package frozen okra, thawed and sliced
1/4 cup uncooked wild rice
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half - cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups uncooked rotini pasta
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tbs of sugar
1 small red bell pepper chopped

1. Bring the water to a boil. Add the garlic powder and the hot pepper sauce. Put the carrots and mushrooms into the pot of water. Cook for five minutes.

2. Add the okra, wild rice, green peas, chicken cubes and remaining ingredients except pasta. Turn heat to low, and cook for three hours.

3. Add the spiral pasta, and cook for ten minutes. Add salt and pepper and sugar to taste. Serve hot, garnished with chives or marbled shredded cheese.

Thats it for Friday. Stay warm and full and content. Perfect on a cool night with warm intentions....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nuts About Autumn

We have really been treated with some spectacularly decorated skies here in Nashville, Tennessee. Its no secret that summer is over and autumn is here. Cooler mornings, shorter days and an extra need to snuggle remind me of my favorite season. Every sunrise and sunset has been rich in purples, yellows, reds, oranges and deep blues. It probably doesn't hurt that the leaves are changing colors too over the rolling hillsides. Its odd to watch the colors change around the sillohettes of massive bulls and cows in the fields as the green folliage fades to a harvest brown.

This morning was no different. Crisp air conveyed the morning greeting of nature's breath. I sped to the office just like any other day in any other week trying to decide if I was going to stop at Hardees if I made it to my proclaimed spot at such and such time. The beauty of the morning has a way of making you smile if you take the time to notice its elegance. I did and smiled.

Well I skipped my Hardees treat and decided to wait until I was closer to the office — Burger King! Oh that was so "uneventful" and I knew better. There is NOTHING like Hardees in the morning except homemade; but who makes time for that? Yes, I ate the sausage croissant and I ate the chicken bisquit but I would have easily unmade this bad decision or just gone without til lunch. Se La Vie! At least its Wednesday. May it not lumber along like a legless elephant.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Broke LOGIC: Dumb Money

I am always amazed by folks. There are just things about people that you just have to find entertaining. Why would I drive 10 miles out of the way for 3 cent per gallon cheaper gas? I am forever hearinow greaat sales are and how much I will save; but I'm thinking I will save even more if I dont buy it period. There is a logic missing in the common sense gene of people. And what of those blamed credit cards...slick, sleek and seductive; so if I dont have it now, you'll take my word for it later....??? I cannot count the number of times I have vowed to myself, "just for emergencies" only to discover, I had a lot of emergencies a lot more often than before. Money is certainly right up front on the American stage; from bailouts, forclosures, takeovers, and closings. I am reminded that its the "love" of money that is the root of all evil and NOT the money itself. Perhaps it could be said that it is the love of people that is the source of their demise and not the people themselves. Why else would you spend $10.00 to save $1.50? Either way, thats two cents on a cool Nashville Monday morning....

aquire money

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Stuck in the 80's!

Ok...you already know I listen to an iPOD to feed my creative monsters. Today I accidented upon this: Stuck in the 80's! Now I didnt think it would be that good; but it was pretty fun and really brought back some memories. I did like, maybe love the 80's! I can remember my brainwaves during that evolutionary point in my life....(smile, laugh, choke). Anyway, Napolean Dynamite would have been proud.

50 Ways To Know That You're Stuck In The 80's:
Written by: Paul Vecchione

30. You go to Pep-Boys trying to find a Flux-Capacitor for your new DeLorean.
31. Whenever you paint, you think to yourself, "Wax on, wax off, wax on, wax off".
32. You think that the word "come" in the song "Relax" is a synonym for "proceed".
33. You sometimes have a hard time sleeping because you're worried that Mr. Roper will find out that Jack isn't REALLY gay and kick him out of the apartment.
34. Nobody is impressed when you show them how well you can moonwalk.
35. One day, in a staff meeting, you turn to your boss with a quizzical look on your face and say," Whatcha talkin 'bout, Willis"?
36. Whenever you hear, "Flashdance", you must put a chair in the middle of the room, beat it, and have someone dump water on you. Your co-workers are getting tired of this.
37. You still have the birth certificate for your first Cabbage Patch Doll.
38. You can't figure out why nobody else sees the true talent of the "New Kids on the Block".
39. You've been trying to follow Skip Stephensons career since the end of "Real People" without much luck.
40. Whenever faced with a tough decision, you ask yourself, "What would Ferris do in this situation"
41. You still don't realize that Tic-Tac-Toe is a winless game.
42. You want hair just like Goose.
43. You use the phrase, "gag me with a spoon", at least three times per day.
44. You keep hoping that Twisted Sister will make a comeback.
45. You think the Pet Shop Boys are heterosexual.
46. You write a letter to the Gap asking them why they no longer sell parachute pants, because you really need a new pair.
47. You buy a Swatch.
48. You go to Subway and try to order a vegemite sandwich.
49. Your co-workers know to hide the fruit when you start walking around the building saying, "wakka-wakka-wakka"
50. You spend 3 hours on a Saturday night writing this list!!

...this is a great podcast to echo off the insides of your skull on a lonnnnggg day....

...now dont you want the rest....OK then here you go.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Under All The Kings' Makeup:

THRILLERBATE '08: Thrillercast on Debate Day

Thriller, Michael Jackson

Well its Tuesday and it just happen to be raining in Nashville, Tennessee. I am only a couple of streets from Belmont University and the steets have been closed and shut down for all the debate happenings planned at Belmont University. There is much anticipation of the things to come. Typically I dont care much for politics and still dont; but I DID register to vote this time around. Hopefully you did too. Rock The Vote I think both are certainly credible candidates and it should be a good debate/race. May the best man win. "To the victor go the spoils!"

Of course, part of the irony for me is today or this morning I am listening to the "King of Pop" with my trusty iPOD -- which I RARELY leave home without. ThrillerCast! Listening to Michael Jackson on the morning of such a historical debate presents some odd mental quanderings. It's no secret that the King of Pop has his own set of problems: the constant change that eventually cost identity, the power of childhood to overshadow the remainder of life, the struggle to be successul and black in America: the cost of the color, the ability to sprawl color lines despite the internal conflict of shades of gray. I suppose the irony lies in many things:

The possibility of the first black (African American) president
The possiblity of the first female Vice President/President
The seeming embrace of a candidate from a biracial origin...(but aren't most of us?)
The focus of a campaign not on race, in spite of its underlying implications
A beautiful Vice President candidate that isnt being torn down for her looks
the power of choice or perceived choice to energize the "hope" of change
the thought that any one person could stand against "the machine"
the implication that any candidate/politician can actually be perceived the same before as after his/her election
...and the list goes on.

The additional irony....its raining..... Ever notice how it rains on some weddings and not others? Ever notice how it rains on some funerals and not others? Ever notice the contradiction that the rain purifies but spreads contamination? Does it mean anything or matter? Even floods (a lot of rain/water) leave an area contaminated or devastated. If floods can be a lot of water; then a tear can be one raindrop. In that raindrop is the power to change the entire course of the river it falls into. We live in great and terrible times where everything and anything is possible; how terrifyingly exciting! The ink in the pages of history are still moist; if we hold the pages just right we can form new words and a new history and embark on a new destiny. But let us not forget, magic wands are only in fairy tales and Merlin has his own problems that absorb him before ours. There is no substitute for owning up to our own misstakes and decisions and lack of disciplines. The government is not our parent; not our brothers' keeper; not God; not a magician....we the people are still our own worst enemies looking for someone else to change our dirty diapers. Nobody wins the Olympics without first training toward the goal. The tough decisions are always left to someone who didnt have to make them who chooses to in spite; but could have also passed them on to the next guy like the one before him. Who will stand for us if we dare to stand for ourselves? We are still looking for a hero....