Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bluduh! BluddAH! No funyeee!

I could watch this all day. Before this clip, the kid accidentally kicked the baby in the face while roughhousing on the bed, leading to the baby's mouth bleeding. The poor kid is like a foreigner in a foreign country trying desperately to communicate with the natives using his limited language skills, and not being able to get his extremely important message across.

Check out this photoshop contest called 'celebrities upside down images'
It'll make you feeeel weeeeird

AMAZING Vegetarian Etouffe

What do you do on a snowy Saturday afternoon when the roads are so bad you can't leave the house? Well if you know someone with 4 wheel drive, he picks you up and takes you to the grocery store to buy the ingredients so he can make your very first vegetarian etouffee. Ever since the first time I heard someone order this at a bar 15 years ago, I knew I wanted to try it, but I never could, because it is usually crawling with insect carcasses, namely, SHRIMP, or CRAWFISH. gross. (No offense but, how do you people put that in your mouth!) Until now! For all of you vegetarians out there, or omnivores looking for something with no cholesterol, here is a recipe that is sure to wow you. Plus, you get to make a roux, and admit it, that just sounds cool. Enjoy! And believe me, you WILL enjoy.

(adapted from Ivy's Feast)

1/2 cup Earth Balance butter spread
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
2 small chopped zucchini, dusted with the old bay seasoning
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups vegetarian chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 Quorn Naked Chik'n Cutlet, 1/3 cup chopped seitan, 1 chopped Morningstar Farms Chick Patty
Sea Salt, cayenne pepper, freshly ground black pepper, paprika, old bay seasoning
Prepared brown basmati rice for serving (this rice takes 50 minutes to cook so start this first!)

Melt the Earth Balance in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking nearly constantly until the roux is deep brown. This should take 25 minutes or so.

Add the tomato paste and vegetables except zucchini and saute until the onion is translucent, 8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 45 seconds. Add the thyme, bay leaves and stock. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 20 minutes. Season with paprika, salt, cayenne, black pepper to taste (heavier on the black pepper, lighter on the salt).

Add the Quorn, seitan, chick pattie, and zucchini stir gently to combine. Simmer over medium heat until zucchini is tender. Serve with rice.

MAKE THIS. You will freak out, and you will eat it all in one sitting. We did!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Everyone has 15 min to kill on a Friday

Need to kill some time at work? Looking for something to... look at? Perhaps you will disagree, but spend the next 15 min watching this cute video and try to admit it didn't make you feel a little good. But don't just watch part of it, watch it until the end. It may not be realistic, but its really cute! Comment what you thought of the movie, did it make you smile, or roll your eyes?

And now for my review of vegan stuffed mushrooms from the cookbook Vegan with a Vengeance:
VERY LEMONY! And now, I am going to mentally prepare for a weekend with a HIGH OF 23 degrees. Oh mother nature, you sure are a B sometimes! Oh well, thinking about a certain someone, we'll call him 'Rocky Balboa', running stairs and doing pull-ups on a pipe will warm me up a bit ;)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

barefoot like hobbits

I heard a story on NPR today about how it is better for us to run barefoot than with shoes on. A professor of human evolutionary biology found that those who wore shoes hit their heel against the ground with dangerous force, while those who ran barefoot had a springy step and landed towards the middle or front of the foot. Apparently barefoot runners use about 4 percent less oxygen than those wearing shoes, and they appear to naturally compensate for the lack of cushioning and land more softly than runners in shoes. It is associated with a substantially lower prevalence of acute injuries of the ankle and chronic injuries of the lower leg. Did you know that runners who wear cheap running shoes have fewer injuries than those wearing expensive trainers. Meanwhile, injuries plague 20 to 80 percent of regular runners every year (Wired).
a heel-first strike in a traditional running shoe (left) compared to a midfoot strike in Vibram FiveFingers (right). Video: Michael Lennon/

I'm curious to try it, but then memories of elementary school come flooding back...

I frequently ran around barefoot back then, in the summertime, playing with other neighborhood kids. We would play sharks and minnows, flashlight tag, and make believe games where everyone wanted to be named 'Diana' and then later on 'John' (even the girls). Perhaps my memory exaggerates, but it seems like 3 out of every 5 times I ran down the road barefoot, I would stub my toe so badly that it was bleeding. I can think of some other reasons why barefoot running could be dangerous. Less injuries? I'm not so sure about that... Maybe will have to go for some minimalist footwear like Nike Free, the Newton All-Weather Trainer and the glove-like Vibram FiveFingers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

stealing hours

Lately (thanks to a wonderful certain someone who found a park which is semi-local to my place of employment) I've been spending my lunch break embarking on these fun little mini-hikes. Its so invigorating to be out of my 4-wall prison for a while, getting exercise, fresh air, vitamin D, navigating the uneven terrain amongst the trees and fallen winter leaves in complete and utter peaceful seclusion. There's hardly ever a soul in site save the squirrels, birds, and white-tailed deer. *sigh*

I've tried taking walks during lunch in the past- I know its bad bad bad to sit in one spot in front of a computer for 8 hours barely moving. But, walking up and down the road smelling truck exhaust, and traversing the perimeters of the multitude of square, flat, paved parking lots surrounding my building always felt like a soulless exercise. Like when prisoners get their 'yard time' and, heads down, surrounded by guards with guns, are marched around and around the blacktop within the barbed wire fencing. OK so maybe I've seen too many movies, and really those prisoners are probably out there playing cards and basketball and stuff. But anyway, the point is, it was dreadful and tedious and felt like a chore that I was doing because I had to.

But not this. This feels like an escape, like I stole some time from the day and transported to another day, a Saturday, when my time is mine and I can just go explore the forest on a whim. By the time I'm done walking, I'm tired and happy and ready to go back and sit at my desk. I can't wait until spring when everything starts to turn green!

How did I ever live without this??

Monday, January 25, 2010

make new friends and keep the old

On Facebook today someone posted this, which I liked:
It is chance moments which control our fate. Believe this vigorously as you stumble about in the darkness of this life. Walk with love and speak with care while thinking only the brightest of thoughts so that you may effect the future in the most positive of ways.
Mostly, I like the positive message. That we shouldn't let ourselves get bogged down in the dark mucky potential that we all have to be sad, depressed, angry, bitter, hurtful, hateful. Instead, tap the other capacity that we have of giving, understanding, love. Actively attempt to think joy, spread happiness, pay it forward, be the bigger person, work things out, forgive, compliment, lift up those around us and thus be lifted up ourselves. Let things go. Understand other people's perspectives. Trust. Be honest, but gently so. Give more than you expect to receive in return.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

In less didactic news, 20 Worst Parenting Fails Caught on Camera

Friday, January 22, 2010

La Pequena Amy Winehouse

I don't really even have words for this. Except maybe "what the..."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Think before you act: A story

Found this fable on the interwebz:
A boy was constantly getting into trouble. His father told him from now on instead of punishing him every time he got into trouble he was going to put a big nail into the barn door, so he could see just how often he was bad. At first the boy liked it, NO PUNISHMENT WOO HOO! The nails started to add up. Soon every time he looked at the door with all the nails he would feel ashamed knowing everyone could see it too. He asked his father to go back to the old way. His father said from now on when you do something good I will remove a nail. The boy worked very hard at being good and when he was down to the last nail. the boy looked and saw all of the holes and was sad. His father asked why the sad face? He said all the nails are gone but the holes are still here. His father explained to him they are Scars. whenever we lie, cheat, steal, hurt someone else or do wrong in any way it's like driving a nail into that spot. No matter if we make amends and are forgiven there is still going to be a scar. You can cover it up and hide it, but it's still there. We should all think before we act because once the nail is driven in there will always be a scar.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mushrooms anyone?

What do you say to your 16 year old kid when he announces, 'I have decided I really want to try mushrooms.'

And he doesn't mean shiitake.

This actually happened to me recently during family dinner, no less. Apparently having done the research, finding psilocybin to be non-addictive with no harmful side effects, he decided this may be something worth checking out.

I guess its good that he feels OK bringing this sort of thing up in front of me, at least I have the opportunity to do some damage control! I went with the 'what if you want to become president or work for the FBI - you'll never be able to pass a lie detector test saying you never did illicit drugs' and the 'when you buy drugs off the streets, you never know exactly what you are getting or how safe or pure it is, its not like picking up tylenol at the WaWa (the wa-whut??)' and the ol' 'what if you have a bad trip' arguments. That was my best shot, the rest is up to fate I guess...

What would YOU say to YOUR kid?