Thursday, August 25, 2011

*I* Don't Like Your Tweed, Sir!

A dear friend, or a mean-spirited one, brought this to my attention earlier today. And dammit! I cannot quit watching, listening or quoting!

From what she tells me, the illustrious Ellison bent her ear to Professor Elemental. She apparently decided to share the worm.

And am I ever so thankful she did!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer's Over

I started back to school a couple days ago. My first impression of my micro-ec prof was one of the negative nature. But, once class actually started, he seems to 'bloom' and I think I might get to enjoy the class.

I finally looked at my micro-ec homework today. Then decided to take a shot at actually doing it. Because really, why take the class if you're not going to do the work, right?

And there were questions on the homework that I sat there going, WTF? Isn't that a judgement call? How the Hades am I to know why when income increases that sales of guitars increase. There's a bunch of Jimi Hendrix wannabe's out there?

So I did what I always do- I deducted which answers it couldn't be, then picked from the possibilities left to me.

And guess what?

I got a 95.

Yeah. I'm stoked.

And for Algebra? The prof likes me. Well, not in THAT way cause I think he is gay. But as a person, likes me. I will perpetually be late to class because I get out of Micro at 845 and math is at 9am, 20 mins away on another campus. My micro prof said I can leave 5 mins early, and my math prof said I can be 5 mins late, so it works.
On the first day of math class, I walk in and prof says,'There she is! We saved your seat up front!' (which, btw, I have sat in the same place the past two classes I've had with this prof). So I go sit in my usual spot.

Today I come in my usual 5 mins late and Whoops! Someone is in my spot. I was flustered for about 15 seconds, then I just sat in the nearest back seat I could find.

Abotu 10 mins later, one of the other students said, 'Where's Cordovan?' And prof pointed to me in the back. The student says, "Oh! she wasn't in her seat I thought she wasn't here!'

Then the Prof goes to the unknown student sitting in my spot, puts his hands on the desk and says, 'This is Cordovan's seat. It is saved for her.' and then laughs and tells the poor scared guy, 'nah, it's first come first seated.'

But seriously? I hope my seat is open next week. (Thanks gay Math Prof!)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blender Blunder

I love my blender. Really I do. I use it for all sorts of things. Most recently, I used it for creaming frozen bananas into ice cream.
This is my blender:

Pretty, right? I've never had a digital blender before. When I went in search of a blender, I found this one had the one main thing I was looking for- a glass jar. Do you realize how hard it was to find a blender with a glass jar? One that I could afford and not have to auction off my glass eyeball collection? Yeah, not easy.

But when I went to use it yesterday to blend tomatoes, garlic and onion into a salsa-goodness, it wouldn't work.


Do you see the part of the blender there, below, that shows the black disc holding the inverted blades? The actual part that blends things? Yeah, that one....

Well, it doesn't spin-a-roo any longer. Apparently, when I decided to cream banana's, I creamed a naner that was a little too hard. And POOF, I stripped the bolt that makes the spinner go all spin-y round.

I hate that.

Now I have to mail away for a new part. Oh well, at least it's not towels.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Little White Regrets

I am not usually a 'I regret that' kinda girl. I like to live my life making the decisions I know I will not regret later. And yes, that even includes marrying the alcoholic, druggie ex-husband. I mean, he gave me three beautiful children, even if they do not know my worth.
I know my worth and that's what matters.

But this morning I saw a story on the morning show about a man who secretly planned his girlfriend's perfect wedding. He'd been asking her questions about it for a year. A YEAR! Getting her opinion on everything she ever wanted in a wedding.

And then on the day she thought they were doing a surprise BBQ, she was the one surprised when he asked her to marry him RIGHT THEN.
Of course she accepted, even if she was shocked and happy and ....shocked.
The groom even had his friends move the woman's entire bedroom furniture (except the bed) to the wedding site so she could have everything she might need to get ready.

The groom even had her wedding dress bought and secretly delivered for her.

It was an awesome story, even if the guy screwed himself because seriously, how's he going to top THAT?

Well, it got me to thinking about my own life. And the one thing I truly hate is that I never had a wedding. I got married at 11am by the mayor of a little town in NJ and by 1pm I was back at work. The witnesses were two people I had met only once that were friends of my uncle, and the only people I knew in town.

Now I think about my lack of a wedding, lack of a honeymoon, and I think back, that's one thing I truly wish I could have had.
Even now, I know I love my BF beyond anything I could ever imagine. But it will never happen with us. I'm not saying I won't marry him. But I am saying that the 'wedding dream' is meant for the young. For a dad that can walk you down the have a funny 'father/daughter' dance or husband/wife first dance and post it on youtube kinda wedding.

The kind of wedding where you find that perfect wedding dress and it doesn't look like a circus tent because of the 'middle-age spread' or too many doritos.

The kind of wedding that people don't secretly say, 'They've been together so long, why are we buying them shower gifts? Don't they have everything already?' or

'Why is she wearing white? Hasn't she been married before?'

The dream, the perfect wedding dream, is no longer mine.
By the time I am ready to be married again, my father would most likely have passed on. Or at best, be unable to walk (he already has a rough time walking a lot).
I could never fit into a beautiful wedding dress and think I am beautiful too. That's never going to happen.

So in some small way, one regret is never having a wedding.

But that in no way detracts from the love I got in exchange once I found the right guy.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Zest of Life

Or lemons, rather. And not really zest. More like the whole lemon. And not a regular lemon. Organic lemons. Preserved. With Salt. Yeah, I know salt is bad for you. And as a general rule, I stay away from salt. Besides it being bad for you, my body doesn't process salt well. My ankles swell and it's not a pretty sight. Think the Elephant Man (or girl). Yeah. Ewww.....

BUT- all that aside- preserving lemons is easy. It requires a seal-able jar, lemons, and salt. (Kosher salt or sea salt.)

Preserved lemons are fantastic in stews or any time you need a bit of lemon zest and don't have fresh lemons on hand. Besides, watching the lemons in the jar is magic all on its own. Seriously. They meta-morph into something wonderful!

Just rinse the lemons before use, and voila'! Fantastic lemons.

I used organic lemons. But you could use Meyer Lemons or any really good variety of your choosing.
Just slice the lemons, rub salt into the slices and all around...then place in a jar and let sit.
Once the extracted juice becomes cloudy (about three weeks), you can place it in the fridge. As long as the brine covers the lemons, they'll keep for about a year. A year! Wow!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Joys of Porking

I am a Pinterest junkie. Yeah, I said it. After all, admitting is the first step, right?
Anyway- I ran across this fabulous recipe and I had to try it. You know me and my love of cooking.....I'll try anything once. Twice if I get a good review. LOL
So- here's a WONDERFUL Tuscan Pork Roast (they called it a roast, but it's really a tenderloin).

And can I tell you how easy this was to make? Seriously, I couldn't have asked for an easier recipe that looks and tastes as good as this does!

The recipe:
2 T chopped fresh Sage
2 T chopped fresh Rosemary
2 cloves garlic
1/4 t Salt (I use sea salt)
1/4 t pepper

Mince it all together and lay out across a cutting board.

Take your pork tenderloin and trim off fat and icky pieces (yes, that's a technical cooking term!).
Coat tenderloin in 1 T Olive Oil and brown on all sides in frying pan. You are not cooking it, just browning it to lock in the juices.

Take a baguette....cut out the middle.

Take pork tenderloin and roll in minced herbs. Place tenderloin inside baguette. Place any remaining herbs on top of pork.

Truss up the baguette with cooking twine.

Then bake at 375 until port reaches 165' an the fattest part. Remove from oven and let rest 5 mins. Slice through and serve.

Monday, August 8, 2011

10 Extract

Awesome to know!

I've already started two large quarts of vanilla extract. I'm testing the difference between a 1:1 and 1:2 ratio alcohol to water using the same number of vanilla beans.

I think I might try to make ALL of these. Hat/tip to Babble Blogs & the Naptime Chef

10 Easy Homemade Kitchen Extracts

1. Vanilla Extract: Here is Paula’s version of homemade vanilla extract.

2. Hazelnut Extract: 1 cup hazelnuts (toasted, skins removed), 1 split vanilla bean, 3/4 cup vodka. Add hazelnuts to a jar, add vodka, vanilla seeds and vanilla bean. Close and infuse for 3 to 4 weeks. Strain hazelnuts from extract. Sweeten the remaining hazelnuts with a dash of simple syrup if needed.

3. Almond Extract: Repeat process above for hazelnut extract substituting freshly ground toasted almonds instead. Steep mixture for 3 to 4 weeks, shaking the jar lightly once a day to stir up the almonds.

4. Vanilla Scented Sugar: Split a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds and add the bean to 2 cups of granulated sugar. Stir in the flavorings and store in a cool dry place for at least 10 days before using

5. Lemon Extract: Remove the rind of one medium lemon and remove ALL of the white pith. Chop up the remaining rind and pour it into a jar with 1/4 cup water and 1/2 cup vodka. Place in a cool dry place for one week. Strain out the lemon peel before using.

6. Orange Extract: Remove the rind of one medium orange and remove ALL of the white pith. Chop up the remaining rind and pour it into a jar with 1/4 cup water and 1/2 cup vodka. Place in a cool dry place for one week. Strain out the orange peel before using.

7. Lime Extract: Remove the rind of three medium limes and remove ALL of the white pith. Chop up the remaining rind and pour it into a jar with 1/4 cup water and 1/2 cup vodka. Place in a cool dry place for one week. Strain out the lime peel before using.

8. Peppermint Extract: Clean and dry fresh peppermint leaves. Finely chop 1/4 cup of dried peppermint leaves and place in a jar. Add 1/2 cup vodka and 1/2 cup filtered water. Shake the jar lightly once a day for about three weeks. Prior to using strained out the chopped leaves.

9. Strawberry Extract: Wash and hull 1 pound of strawberries and slice thin. Place in a pan over medium heat and bring to a boil with 1 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain out the berries with cheesecloth. Return liquid to the pan and simmer until the berry water has reduced to a syrup. Allow to cool.

10. Lavender Sugar: Mix 1 tablespoon of culinary lavender, or washed, cleaned fresh lavender, with 2 cups granulated sugar. Allow to steep for at least one week before using.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pinching a penny and making it smell sweet

I like saving money. I like spending it, too. But saving money? Yeah, that's a lot of fun for me. Especially when I can save money on products I use but can make myself.

Today's Penny Pinch comes from the blog Old Centennial Farmhouse. Homemade Fabric Softener. And depending on the conditioner you use, you can specify the scent.
Here's the basics:

Pick your favorite scented hair conditioner, and get a move on! what are you waiting for?

I've also heard, although I haven't tried it yet, that you can take your fabric softener, soak a hand towel in it and let it dry. Then use the hand towel in the dryer. It is reusable and lasts for about 40 loads. Which is what I am going to do because I once had my repairman tell me liquid fabric softener was the worst thing you could do to your washing machine.