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Day 181: Hunger + Food Network + Too Much Time =

6 Jul

Yeah…ok, I’m a foodie.  I watch a lot of food TV,  I get excited by new restaurants and new foods, and I am super experimental in the kitchen.  Anyone who’s ever eaten dinner at my place can attest to this (curried goat anyone?).  It’s just the way I am and how I was raised.

You see, I come from an entire family of foodies.  I grew up on Julia Child and Jeff Smith.  I was always encouraged to try strange new things.  My family always put interesting meals on the table.  I was the 5 year old who’s favorite food was lobster!

Being a foodie can be a bit of a problem though…You see, when I’m hungry and have too much time on my hands, I end up with this…

an unbelievably ridiculous amount of sushi!

Yeah….it’s a sickness really.  I just couldn’t stop myself from slicing and rolling.  I made all this rice….and then there was the fish….and before I knew it, I was 6 rolls in with sliced salmon sashimi on the side.  Waaaaaaaaaay too much fish for just 2 people!!!!

But look how pretty!!!!!

YUM!!!!!

I’m rather proud of my sushi rolling abilities!  😀

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Days 170-180: 6 months of blogging!!!!!!!!

5 Jul

Granted, I haven’t posted in a week and a half, but still…….day 180?!!!  That’s insane!  Who woulda thought that I could stick with this for a full 6 months?!  I think I deserve a big pat on the back for this one!

Anywho, Scott and I had a fabulous time on vacation.  We went to Salem, Massachusetts for our anniversary, stayed in a phenomenal b&b (it was literally haunted), and thoroughly enjoyed our “us time.”  This was my first time to Salem in…oh..20 years or so, and it’s definitely a quirky little city.  I mean really…..who’s idea was it to center tourism around such a morbid and disturbing event as the Salem Witch Trials?!  Do I really need to see life size recreations of people being hanged and pressed to death??????  And there were kids on these tours!  It’s the stuff of nightmares!

???!!!!!!!!!!

All that aside, I did do some giggling.  We didn’t spend the entire trip inside of creepy witch museums afterall!

We also went to Salem Willows, a pretty little beach and arcade area on the edge of town.

We were there around low tide, and the sandbars were incredible.  I could almost walk out far enough to touch the anchored sailboats!  Prime location for some giggly goodness!

teehee!

I made this giggle way out on one of those sandbars using flipped over mussel shells.  The tide was coming in at this point, so Scott and I had to work fast to build this happy guy.  I love making silly faces for others to find.

Sometimes they find me!

This was the uber fabulous clam chowder (or “chowda” as they say in Massachusetts) at the Lobster Shanty.  There I was enjoying my soup when lo and behold….it giggled at me!  Thankfully, I had a camera on me!

I made a few more giggles in and around Salem, but I have yet to develop the film (who uses film anymore anyway??!!!!)  I didn’t want to get my new camera all yucky while paddling.  The last giggle of the day is something unexpected from two Jews in the middle of July.

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Merry Christmas!

Days 155 – 158: Of blogs and other things

13 Jun

Blogging is a funny thing.  It’s a lot like keeping a diary, except everyone in the world has the key.  I pour my heart and soul into these pages and give others a glimpse into my quirky little life.  I like having a venue to make my thoughts and beliefs heard.  However, unlike a real diary, I have to be careful with what I post.

Everyone these days is internet crazy.  Between Facebook, Twitter, BBM, and all the other social media out there, words can circulate like wildfire.  All it takes is one picture, one joke, one misstep and your peace can be destroyed.  Take this whole Anthony Weiner thing, for instance…  So the guy sends some nudie pics to women he met online…this is nothing new.  People do this all the time.  They have cyber relationships and sexting and all that fun stuff.  Being a politician doesn’t make it any more wrong than if he was Joe Shmo the office clerk, but it does mean that he’s got more to lose.  And that he’s being watched more closely.  He got caught, and now he’s royally screwed.  His life and career will never be the same, all because he snapped a picture of his junk and put it on the internet.  Serious lack of judgement…

You don’t have to be high profile to have this happen to you either.  I read somewhere that infidelity is on the rise as a result of social media sites.  People think that the computer screen offers them privacy.  They can do things through the screen that they wouldn’t normally do.  However, Big Brother is always watching…

Let’s take my blog for instance…I’ve shared my life and views with you all for over 5 months now.  In that time, I’ve posted about politics, religion, society, relationships, culture, etc. in addition to the art and laughter that is this blog’s focus.  I’ve touched on controversial issues, and I’ve tried really really hard to not dig my own grave.  I won’t lie…I seriously censor my posts.  Each of my more serious entries has gone through several revisions before I deem it safe enough to publish.  It sucks, but it must be done.

I wrote a very long and very eloquent blog post earlier.  I read and reread it, each time coming to the same conclusion…It’s un-postable.  It really sucks, but what can I do.  As passionate as I feel about some issues, it’s best I keep them to myself.

That being said, on to the giggles!

Friday, I made an awesome dinner.  It inspired this giggle…

Yum!

This was a modified Rachel Ray recipe for pineapple hominy stuffed avocados.  I used mango and shrimp instead of the pineapple.  It was deeelicious!

The next giggle is a headband I created.

pretty!

I don’t know what it is about these headbands that I enjoy so much.  I love them!  This will look fabulous with my grey skirt…

The piece de resistance of today’s list of giggles is my new handbag!  A while ago, I posted about my experiments with woodburning.  Did it ever pay off?!

Ta da!

This is my wine box purse!  She’s burned into the front of the box and painted in watercolors.  I glued pearls around the edge and on the face of the box to add a little sparkle.

and the back

I used an embossed paper and ribbon to cover the back and sides of the box.

and the inside

I lined the inside of the box with shell pink paper and fabric and put a little pocket in for lipstick and goodies.  I’m very proud of my new bag!!!!!

Last, but not least, is today’s giggle.  It needs no explanation…

 

Days 145-148: I’m baaaaaaaack!

3 Jun

Hello there!  Good to see you.  It’s been a while.

So the week from hell is finally over.  Nothing bad happened…I’ve just been super incredibly busy with stuff.  I started a yoga class that will last through the summer.  I’m seeing a new doctor to help with my back issues.  And today was the last teaching day of the school year!!!!!!!!

With everything that’s been going on, I just couldn’t find the time to post.  I did make stuff though.  Lots of giggles happening here!  First up is another funky pillbox hat.

Believe it or not, I actually made this one with my club kids.  They thought it was hysterical.  Theirs came out pretty cute too.  Will I ever wear this one?….probably not.

except maybe this once...

Eccentric much?

Anyway…so that was Tuesday’s giggle.  Wednesday I was just too busy to do anything.  Yesterday’s giggle is a fun photo…

It's alive!!!!!!

Remember my herb garden?  It’s only been a week, and this sh!t’s growing like crazy!  I have no idea which of the herbs those are, but I can’t wait to find out!  I’m looking forward to some homemade caprese salad this summer!

Last of all is today’s giggle.  I’ve been working so much with my curvy mermaids lately….it was time for a bit of a change.  Today, I chose to paint something else…

CATFISH!!!!!

Isn’t he cute?!!!!!!  I think the next painting will be a curvy mermaid with her pet catfish.  🙂

Days 141 and 142: Animalistic tendencies?

29 May

I didn’t giggle yesterday.  😦  I was a bit upset and just couldn’t focus on blogging.  However, I more than made up for it today!

I took Scottie-boy into Manhattan today for a culture filled birthday extravaganza.  Honestly, as much as I b!tch and complain about living in NY, there really is no place like it.  There’s just so much going on all the time.  Sights, smells, sounds…..it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes.  Still, you just can’t beat NYC for culture.

Hubby’s birthday present this year was dinner and a show.  I got an awesome deal on StubHub for Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.  Weird name, I know…but it was truly incredible.  I’ve never seen a play like this before.  I just can’t stop thinking about it.  It didn’t hurt that the title role was played by Robin Williams either…

RAAAWWWWRRRRRRR!

The show isn’t the only part of my day that left an impression.  We had THE most amazing dinner before going to the theatre.  Scott is a taco freak.  He always begs me to cook, bring in, and/or go out to Mexican food.  I, on the other hand, can pretty much take it or leave it….more often than not, I leave it.  This time, I gave in.  I made reservations at a place called Toloache in the theatre district, and it turned out to be one of the best meals I’ve ever had!

It was gosh darn pretty too!

Everything on Toloache’s menu sounded delicious.  Instead of ordering entrees, Scott and I decided to order a bunch of small plates and have “Mexican tapas!”  I’m not going to go into detail about each and every selection (I’m not a food critic after all!), but there is one item that I absolutely have to share.  Today’s giggle: chapulines tacos!!!!!!!!!

What are chapulines, you ask?  They are toasted grasshoppers!!!!!!!

Yum!

Yeah, yeah, yeah……I know I’m a bit more adventurous than most, but this was still a stretch for me.  I mean…..they’re freakin’ bugs, for goodness sake!  Creepy, crawly, scary little bugs!!!!  I don’t eat bugs….that’s something my cats do.  However, someone apparently thought that these critters were worth putting on a NYC restaurant menu, so…..I had to try them.

Here they are in taco form.  The tacos has lettuce, onions, chiles, and guacamole in addition to the grasshoppers.  Honestly, they looked innocent enough at first glance.  The chapulines looked more like walnuts than grasshoppers, which is funny, because they had a definite nutty flavor accented by chile and lime.  The texture was a bit unusual…..very crunchy like eating shrimp tails.  All in all, I have to say that they were pretty tasty!  Thumbs up for grasshoppers!!!!! (and for the tuna watermelon ceviche in the background of that picture….seriously delicious!)

So, what do you think about eating bugs?  Would you try them for a meal?  Would you eat them with an eel?  Would you, could you in a taco?  Or do you think it’s really wacko?

Dr Seuss I’m not…

 

Days 132 and 133: Traveler’s Anonymous

20 May

Lots going on….Let me sum up.

First of all, apparently tomorrow is the end of the world according to these crazies…  This has totally been the hot topic of conversation lately!  All  my students have been talking about it…7th graders are scared sh*tless, while 11th graders are hoping for a zombie apocalypse a la call of duty!  Insane!  I, for one, don’t think whatever divine being there is would let us lowly humans know if the end was near (or “nigh” as the crazy street corner people say).  Let’s think about this, shall we?  If you were G-d, and you were going to wipe the slate clean, would you let the creatures you were going to kill know?????  Especially if your whole point in doing so was to “save” the righteous and make everyone else suffer?!  I’d like to think that G-d, whomever he/she/it may be, would keep that information to himself.  Regardless, people have been speculating for hundreds if not thousands of years when the world would officially “end” and no one’s got it right yet.  Won’t these people feel real stupid when they wake up Sunday morning to find that all’s well?

Besides, I’m kinda tired of hearing this song….

So I’ve been working on a drawing based on this “end of the world ” theme, but I’m not ready to show it yet.  Later.

What I am ready to show is my lame attempt at culinary excellence!  I pride myself on being a world traveler.  Every chance Scott and I get, we are off to some exotic or unusual locale.  Unfortunately, cash has been tight lately…so we haven’t gone on many trips.  Instead, we live vicariously through TV personalities on the Travel Channel.  The only time I even turn on the TV is to watch reruns of Bizarre Foods or No Reservations!  Tonight I made a Bizarre Foods inspired dinner.

Some time ago, Andrew Zimmern took a trip down to Trinidad.  He ate all kinds of weird and crazy stuff there, but it was the “bake and shark” that really caught my interest.  I mean really…..who doesnt’t love a fried fish sandwich?!  I decided to make my own version tonight.

I followed this base recipe, but added my own twist here and there (whole wheat flour anyone?)

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

I made the fry bread from scratch, and it honestly wasn’t worth the trouble.  I’m not very good at frying things….I don’t do it often, so I don’t do it well.  In the future, I’d substitute pita bread and probably bake the fish.  The spices and marinade were delicious, as was my homemade coleslaw.

My mouth is watering...

I wonder if it was close to the Trini version…

Days 104 and 105: What do eggs have to do with Jesus?????

22 Apr

I didn’t post yesterday.  I’d like to say that I had a good reason for not posting, but I don’t.  Truth is, I was feeling sorry for myself.  I had a night where I dwellt in self pity.  Yes, this is almost my 30th year and I’m not where I’d planned on being.  Yes, my financial status isn’t as established as I’d planned.  Yes, I’m living in a 2 room apartment crammed full of crap instead of the spacious house I’d envisioned.  But the fact of the matter is that I’m alive.

I found out earlier today that a good friend of mine passed away.  Mary was a vibrant woman, full of life and fiery spirit.  She was funny as hell and really knew how to get the most out of life.  Little did I know how sick she really was.  I’m told that she passed on without any pain or suffering, but honestly, that’s little comfort.  I’m having a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that she’s gone.  As Billy Joel said, “Only the good die young.”

Today has been rough for me.  I keep picturing Mary as she was, full of life.  I needed a distraction from my grief, lest I fall back into the dark oblivion of days gone by.  My answer?  Egg dying.

I had my friends Kim and Greg over for dinner tonight.  I needed the company and distraction from my thoughts.  We made a fabulous dinner of ham and leek shepherd’s pie using the remains of my Porkover feast.  After dinner, we happily dyed Easter eggs!!!

No, I don’t celebrate Easter.  Yes, I dye eggs.  It’s a little known fact that egg dying dates back at least 500 years before the birth of Christ (wiki).  Ancient pagan religions decorated eggs as part of a spring equinox celebration, celebrating life and rebirth much the same way today’s Easter eggs symbolize the resurrection of Christ.  It is this springtime rebirth that I celebrate with brightly colored eggs.

Here are our eggs.  We used a combination of crayon and stickers to make the lines and patterns.

Greg wrote his favorite word on his egg…

I think Freud would have some interesting comment on that…

Even the cats were into the egg dying business.

finger lickin good!

Day 102: L’chaim! Wait…..no…I mean L’ham!

19 Apr

For those of you living in a culturally challenged bubble, tonight is the second night of the Jewish celebration of Pesach or Passover.  Basically, Jews everywhere celebrate a moment in history that happened over 2000 years ago.  In a nutshell, Jews were slaves in Egypt.  Pharoah decided to kill little Jew boys.  One little Jew boy, Moses, escaped death by being dumped in a river by his obviously well-meaning but judgement-challenged family only to be found and raised by Pharoah’s daughter.  Moses grows up, discovers his Jewishness, and leads his people to freedom.  Miracles abounded, and Moses (aka Charlton Heston) even got to part the red sea and drown a bunch of Egyptians.  Woo hoo!  Great holiday!

I don’t mean to be cynical….well, okay…yes I do.  I’m all for celebrating freedom from oppression, but the details of the story just never sat quite right with me.  While I was born and raised Jewish, I never really subscribed to the whole thing.  I’m a firm believer that every person should try to find their own spiritual path, whether it’s the religion they were born into or another they’ve come to love.  Personally, I like my religion cafeteria style.  I pick and choose what I want to believe from the many cultures and religions of the world.  Consider it a safeguard against all that “my G-d’s the only G-d” business.  If I believe in a little of everything, I can’t get stuck on the wrong side of the pearly gates/reincarnation/what have you.  Besides, there are a few common threads that weave through all of the world’s religions.  I consider these commonalities the basic rules to live by, not what a couple of old men decided to write down a couple thousand years ago.

That being said, I do identify myself as being culturally and traditionally Jewish.  I celebrate the important holidays and observe the rites and rituals that suit me.  My family has always gotten together for a traditional Passover sedar (loooooong dinner where we retell the above mentioned story along with singing and lots of drinking) on both the first and second nights of the holiday, but not this year.  This year, we had a sedar of convenience the weekend before Passover actually started, leaving me with nothing to do during the holiday itself.  I decided that, if I couldn’t have a traditional Passover sedar with the family, I would have an anti-traditional sedar at home!  My new holiday: Porkover!

What is Porkover, you ask?  Let me show you!

yum!

This is my Porkover table.  There is no sedar plate symbolizing all the hardships of life in slavery.  Instead, the centerpiece of the table is a gigantic platter overflowing with pork.  Instead of traditional passover foods like gefilte fish and matzo stuffing,tonight’s meal consisted of food as far from kosher as possible.

oink oink

The star of the show was a apricot and mustard glazed ham.  The crust charred a bit in the oven, but it was sooooooo delicious!  Did I mention the ham came free with a $100 purchase at the supermarket?

mmmmmmmmmmmmm

As a side dish, we had baked celery root with bacon, olives, and parmesan.  This was my first time cooking celery root (aka celeriac), and It is definitely my new favorite root vegetable.  Granted, it’s one of the only roots I’ll eat…It tastes almost exactly like artichoke hearts.  You must try it!  I got the recipe here.  It didn’t quite slice the way they said it would, but it was fabulous none the less.

Lastly, what sedar would be complete without wine?  Forget Maneschewitz concord grape!  Tonight’s wine was made by a company called “The Dot”  I’d never tried this label before, but Stew Leonards gave it a nice writeup, so I decided to go for it.  The variety was Austrian Pepper/Gruner Veltliner.  I can’t even tell you just how good this wine was (is…I’m enjoying a glass as I write this).  The wine is crisp, light, and definitely spicy on the finish.  It paired fabulously well with my Porkover meal.

And yes, I put the box of matzo on the table purely for sh%ts and giggles.

L’chaim!

Day 97: Defining “Kawaii”

14 Apr

Have you heard the term “kawaii?”  I hadn’t until recently when I started all this mail swapping business.  There’s a whole section on swap-bot for kawaii.  People throw this word around like I’m supposed to know what it means….Well, now I do!

Kawaii is the Japanese culture of cuteness.  I finally have a name for my enjoyment of adorable animals, cartoons, and cute fashion accessories!  It’s all beginning to make sense now…

Today’s giggle is a little bit of kawaii that will also be tomorrow’s breakfast!

yay for pig bread!!!

The piggy on the left is stuffed with cinnamon and peaches and topped with cinnamon sugar.  The one on the right is stuffed with ham and cheese and topped with rosemary.  I got the idea here but used my own quick bread recipe (didn’t have any yeast  😦  )  Not only are they freakin’ adorable, but they taste pretty good too!  Yeast is now on my shopping list.

oink!

Day 90: Tasty treats

7 Apr

It’s day 90!  I’ve officially been blogging for 3 months now.  Go me!

Anyway, the faculty bake-off was today.  My entry wasn’t exactly “baked,” but it was still super tasty.  I made marshmallow peep pops!

yum!

Clockwise from top: Butterscotch Heath Bar, Fruity Vanilla Nerds, Dark Chocolate Strawberry, Oreo Cookies n Cream, Cinnamon Cookie, Chocolate Snowcaps

Basically, I skewered bunny peeps on lollipop sticks, dipped them in melted chocolate, and rolled them in candy.  There were only 2 left at the end of the day today, so I guess they were pretty popular.  Unfortunately, the math teacher baked a Spongebob Squarepants cake that blew my sad little peep pops out of the water.  It was pretty awesome though…she definitely deserved to win.  Congrats Laura!