Monday, March 31, 2008

Taking a Break...

Hi Everyone,

I have some job responsibilities to tie up and we're also hitting the road soon, so I'm going to take a break from blogging until April 14th or so. I'll still be reading from time to time, but it's just time to breathe a bit.

Have a great couple of weeks!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wijvenweek/Singular Saturday: Today's Wijvenweek theme - What men just don’t get - REALLY

LISTENING




Join Jenn in Holland for other singularly wordy individuals...





To see other wijvenweek blogs on what men just don't get, (especially if you speak Flemish), please visit the Wijvenblogs page.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wijvenweek/What's Cooking Wednesday: The Ideal Man



and



To see other wijvenweek blogs, (especially if you speak Flemish), please visit the Wijvenblogs page.

And please go to Shan's place for more What's Cooking Wednesday participants.

As you can probably tell by the title of my blog, I enjoy cooking and food. (Too much, but that's another story).

Today's theme for Wijvenweek is "The Ideal Man." It's also, however, What's Cooking Wednesday and I couldn't miss that. So I tried to think of what I'd want the ideal man to eat.

Okay... so maybe I'm stretching a bit... but here goes.

Well, I'm lucky, because I'm married to my ideal man. He's loving, has a great sense of humor, loves many of the same things I do, is a great dad, and so, I'm lucky that way. Another of his inestimable charms, however, is that he eats just as my ideal man should.

Before I met D, he ate a lot of this:






and this:





and this:



By the time I met D, his tastes had changed (thankfully). In fact, on our first date, he made me this:



No... I'm not kidding. How could I not have fallen in love with him?

Today, we're both in mid-life and we both care about healthy eating. So in honor of D (my ideal man), and What's Cooking Wednesday, I give you a couple of his favorite recipes:


Cucumbers in Sour Cream adapted from A Taste of Russia: A Cookbook of Russian Hospitality by Darra Goldstein

Ingredients

2 cucumbers
1 cup reduced fat sour cream (I prefer Breakstone)
2 TBS cider vinegar (white balsamic works well, too)
4 TBS snipped fresh chives (or equivalent number of dried teaspoons)
2 TBS snipped fresh dill (or 2 tsp dried dill)
pepper to taste
2 tsp salt

Nutritional Info


Fat: 2.6g
Carbohydrates: 4.5g
Calories:45.6
Protein: 1.7g



If the cucumbers have been waxed, peel them; otherwise, washt them well but leave the peel on. Slice the cucumbers very thin and pat them dry with paper towels. Mix together the remaining ingredients, adding vinegar to taste. Stir in cucumbers. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before refrigerating. Serve well-chilled.

Serves 6.

Number of Servings: 6


Lowfat Cornbread

Ingredients

1 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
2 TBS maple syrup

Nutritional Info


Fat: 1.0g
Carbohydrates: 13.4g
Calories:70.1
Protein: 2.4g



1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray an 8X8 cooking dish with butter-flavored cooking spray.

2.Combine dry ingredients; add beaten egg, maple syrup and buttermilk, mixing well.

3. Pour batter into baking dish. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Number of Servings: 12



Slow Cooker Mixed Chili

Ingredients

1/2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
4 oz. lean ground beef
12 oz. of ground turkey breast
1 can of black beans
1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped fine
1 TBS chili powder
1 medium onion, chopped coursely
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn kernels


Nutritional Info


Fat: 6.8g
Carbohydrates: 24.1g
Calories:225.5
Protein: 18.6g



1. Heat olive oil on medium and add onions. Cook until they are soft - 5 - 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds more.
2. Add meats, cook until meats are browned. Drain and blot with paper towels.
3. Place meat mixture and all other ingredients (except for the corn) in a slow cooker.
4. Cook on high for 1 hour, low for 4 - 6 hours after that.
5. 20 minutes before chili is ready, stir in corn.
6. Top with fresh cilantro, reduced fat sour cream and reduced fat cheddar, if desired.

Serves 6

Number of Servings: 6

As always, nutrition information supplied by the recipe calculator at sparkrecipes.com. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wijvenweek/Shopping: How to be a Lady at a Bookstore



To see other wijvenweek blogs on shopping, (especially if you speak Flemish), please visit the Wijvenblogs page.

Today's topic is shopping.

I am one of those strange female creatures who hates to shop. I get no pleasure out of shoes, make-up, bargains, or the latest seasonal fashion.

I can be convinced to drum up a little enthusiasm for: Ikea, other quirky household type stores (but I rarely buy in either), and specialty food shops.

There is, however, a shopping experience I love: going to the bookstore.

So here is a primer on going to the bookstore in a ladylike fashion, since that's what we're all about this week:

1. Choose your outfit carefully. Make sure you are correct for the season. No white before Memorial Day, no capris in January, no Doc Martins in July.

In fact, leave the Doc Martins at home.

Just this once.

Please.

Hats, gloves and just the right touch of lipstick, powder and rouge can make or break the look. This should be about right:



Too formal, you say? Mais non! It is our job as women to look our best at all times. Anyone who knows me truly, knows I always follow this dictum. (Anno... shhhhhhhhh).

You might want to ditch the cigarette, however, as books and fire generally don't mix, and the length of the holder would be unwieldly and ash might fall on a book or three. And you still need a hat.

If you don't look like Audrey Hepburn, perhaps you should rethink your trip to the bookstore.

Well, at least you tried.

Now assuming you have the right look down, the next job is to select the proper venue for your outing.

I favor independent bookstores. Independent bookstores are unique and individual and aren't slaves to corporate favor. Some of the wonderful independent bookstores in Ann Arbor include Nicola's Books, Aunt Agatha's Mystery Bookstore, Crazy Wisdom, Shaman Drum, and Common Language Bookstore, among others.

The only trouble with independent bookstores is that they rarely have a tea room, and to have the proper outing, a tea room is de rigeur, because you might want to luncheon.

Ladies don't have lunch, they have luncheon.

Just ask Nancy Drew.

So once you have selected the proper outfit and the proper location, what should you do upon entering the bookstore?

Start by exploring all the aisles, pausing briefly in the finance and history sections to show that yes, women can be interested in such topics, too, but find your final destination in either cooking or fiction, preferably the romance section. Because, as we all know, those sections contain our true passions. If you're not actually a reader, and you decide to go on this outing as an experiment, you can certainly pick up a fashion magazine instead. All the best stores have media sections these days.

Choose a book or three (more would be awkward) and make your way to the tea room or cafe. Order some tea and crumpets. This order will mark you as a true lady. It's not quite enough for a luncheon, but it will allow you to have sustenance while not applying grease marks to your unpurchased books. For tea, the most ladylike choice would be a chamomile/lavendar blend. It's calming and good for the complexion.

If you insist on keeping the cigarette holder, and you still haven't been removed from the store, then order a single espresso - no crumpets. Remember, your sustenance is also an accessory.

Sip your tea, nibble on a crumpet, and allow your mind to embrace the writing within your chosen selections.

When you are done, spring to your feet and dash away from the table, leaving the books there in seeming forgetfulness. This allows you to have read the books without actually paying the authors, editors, publishers and agents (well maybe not publishers) who slaved and gave at least six months of their lives (and maybe years, in the case of the authors), to make sure that you can have this precious experience.

Walk gracefully through the double doors leading to the street (because all the really best bookstores have double doors) and take in a breath of fresh, springtime air.

In the words of our President: Mission Accomplished.

See you tomorrow for What's Cooking Wednesday and "Meals that Men Like".

Monday, March 24, 2008

Wijvenweek/Music Monday: "Obsessed about my Bre*sts" - The Condos




For other tales of musical adventure, please visit Soccer Mom in Denial.

First of all, thanks to everyone who helped us out on our vacation plans. Your answers not only clarified this particular road trip, but actually, now we have plans for several others! Yay!




Today is the start of Wijvenweek (Women's Week) - a project started by a group of Flemish women bloggers. You can read more about it here, over at Goofball's place, who invited me to join. Basically, a group of international women bloggers are going to spend the week blogging about issues that are particular to women in an ultra-feminine, humorous way. You can see all the daily posts here. Most will be in Flemish, but there will be some English entries as well.

Now for me, that's going to be a bit of a challenge. For example, there is not an ultra-feminine bone in my body. Secondly, in terms of all things ultra-feminine, in my life that's led to more tragedy than comedy. But I'm giving it my best shot, as the fab Pat Benatar would advise me (who deserves her own Music Monday).

So, today's theme is "my body," and my body, sadly, can not be discussed without starting with my bre*sts.

When I was younger, I was the envy of many of my classmates. I had THEM - the "sisters," "the girls," and I had them early. Oh, to be so envied... and yet, here are some of the things I experienced, because when you're young and you have THEM people a. think you're older than you really are, and b. that you want IT. And we all know what IT is, don't we? And if you need a reminder of just how clueless I was at that age, you can read all about it here. I was so not ready for IT in any way, shape or form.

So here are some of the highlights of my long history with my bre*sts:

1. In seventh grade, the boys in my class stealing into the girls locker room during gym time and stealing my bra. Then I had to go to my MALE teacher (walking cross armed back up from gym) and explain to him what happened and that I needed it BACK. And then he sent me out of the room so he could question the ENTIRE class about it.

2. Finding out that my first real boyfriend had only gone out with me because of my big bre*sts, but then dumped me for someone else who also had big bre*sts, but would do IT.

3. Having my pediatrician suggest bre*st reduction surgery when I was 17 (I was a whopping 36C at the time).

4. Having strangers approach me and discuss the joys of bre*st reduction surgery. Complete. Strangers.

Yeah, so, like, my breasts aren't my favorite thing. And why don't I get that surgery? Well, a. my insurance won't pay for it. Despite documented back and massive other health problems, women with big bre*sts are left to hang, so to speak. B. the couple of times I've had surgery as an adult, things never went well. So, I'm scared. Call me a wuss.

So to change to a lighter tone, I give you The Condos singing "Obsessed about my Bre*sts". This is just a great song that goes much deeper than "the twins" and one that I'm sure every woman can relate to.

Since youtube is still not speaking to me, here is the link.


Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Question...

And Happy Easter, to those who celebrate!

Okay, here's the question:

D, C and I are going on a road trip in a couple of weeks. We're heading south, and/or maybe east or west. Places we may stop MAY include KY, TN, NC OR Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

C is 14 and would do some museums, but not JUST museums. He's also not into amusement parks.

We all hate shopping.

We're all nerds.

We like hiking (moderately). We like quirky things. We like good food. We love soaking up the culture of the new place.

Any suggestions?

We'd be very grateful. (We're already very disorganized).

HUGE thanks on this!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Springtime in Michigan

Taken from my front door at 9:40 a.m.:



Taken from my front door at 6:30 p.m.:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Because times are hard...

You MUST, yes, must, go visit NYC/Caribbean Ragazza immediately for this post.

Try to be upset about winter or anything else while watching the mashup.


Gave me the best laugh I've had in a while. And show her some love - she's the one who found this piece of genius.

What's Cooking Wednesday: Chocolate Covered Strawberries



Please go to Shan's place for more What's Cooking Wednesday participants.


They bring up luxury, and yet they are simple to make and can be quite inexpensive. They're also a way I can get a couple of fruit servings into my fruit-and-vegetable aversive DS.

This week, I give to you our favorite dessert of the moment:

Chocolate Covered Strawberries






Ingredients:

a pint (16 oz.) of strawberries (preferably on sale)
3 oz (more or less) of good quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (I buy this in bulk)
1/2 TBS unsalted butter
a splash or two of 1/2 and 1/2

Directions:




1. This is all about preparation. If you prep properly, the actual time to make the strawberries is about 5 minutes, max. So, first, place berries in a colander and wash them thoroughly. Place a piece of parchment paper over a baking sheet. Chop up about 2 - 3 oz. of chocolate (it can be big chunks, it doesn't have to be chopped fine. Now you're ready to go!




2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan at medium low heat.

3. Add the chocolate. Stir with whisk.





4. When the chocolate is about 2/3 of the way melted, splash in the 1/2 and 1/2 until everything is somewhat creamy (don't add more 1/2 and 1/2 than this, or the chocolate won't set as well).

5. Take the chocolate off the burner and keep stirring until all is melted, but don't overwork it. You want it smooth, not grainy.

6. With a clean dish towel, dry each berry and then swirl it in the chocolate and place it on the parchment-lined baking sheet.




7. When all your berries have been dipped, put the sheet in the fridge to have the chocolate set. The berries will be ready in about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Serves 4 - 6

Monday, March 17, 2008

Music Monday - "Stop! In the Name of Love" - Diana Ross and the Supremes



For other tales of musical adventure, please visit Soccer Mom in Denial.

I spent some time this weekend putting together a long overdue Michigan mix CD. I'd had a friend, a former Michigander ask me - "What music would be from Michigan?"

Whoa.

To start with, and maybe to end with, Motown. Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and both the original and latter members of the Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations and the inimitable Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, to name just few.

Okay, and then there's a great punk rock history - The Stooges, arguably the first punk band, formed in my adopted home town. That legacy carries up to The White Stripes today.

Want some harder rock? Try Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, Mitch Ryder and Bob Seger.

Folkies? Michael Cooney and Catie Curtis both got their starts here, and the Ark, in Ann Arbor, is one of the most venerable folk venues in the country.

When I was in college, blues bars ruled the roost, and given our proximity to Chicago, we had big name blues acts almost every weekend.

Yup, we've done okay.

So, for my ode to Michigan on this Monday, I chose "Stop! In the Name of Love." It's not my favorite. My favorite Motown pick would have been "Respect" or "My Girl." But it brings back fond memories. It resurrects pre-karaoke days when I would play Diana to my bf and his best friend, and we had an "act" that we might pull off in a bar after one too many beers. And from what I've heard, we were funny.

For those who see me as staid and oh-so-nice, another piece of the puzzle...

And darn it, youtube is being a pain again, so if the video doesn't appear (or appears three days late like last week), here's a link to enjoy Miss Ross and her wonderful Supremes.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Well, I'm off...

To NYC to celebrate my Mom's b'day with her. I may be scarce in reading and/or writing in the next couple of days.

I hope everyone has a joyful/busy/lazy/whatever-suits-you time!

Music Monday - "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" - Traffic



For other tales of musical adventure, please visit Soccer Mom in Denial.



There is nothing more evocative from my high school years than "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys".

I switched from a very alternative, small school that I had attended from pre-school through 8th grade, to a power prep school for high school.

My old school was in Harlem; my new school was in Riverdale (what was really a suburb and extremely nice area). At my old school, we called most of our teachers by their first names; at my new school, everyone was Mr. or Ms. or even Dr. At my old school we did term projects on topics of interest - we built African villages in Central Park, we created a speakeasy for our studies on the 20s, we passed petitions on Hudson River clean-up, we participated in moratoriums against the war. At my new school, we wrote essays, we read Beowulf in the original, we wrote out mathematical equations, we carried masses of textbooks. At my old school, the school song was "Make New Friends, but Keep the Old;" at my new school, it was a theme in Latin that took me until Senior year to get through without a hitch (and I never did understand what all the lyrics meant).

I was, in my own small way, in culture shock.

My parents tried to help by "fixing me up" with a couple of their friends' kids who went to that new school before I entered. And the interesting thing I found out, was that no matter whom I met, when our talk turned to music, as it generally did in those days, Traffic was a constant. And I almost always found the familiar sky blue album cover with the checkered floor somewhere in a new companion's collection.

I got over my culture shock eventually and made many good friends. I was always a "floater" - rather than having a particular group, I had friends in several. The one common denominator continued to be "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys." I could listen to this album in an apartment on Park Avenue with a bunch of preppies, or with my hippie friend, Jose, in his apartment in the South Bronx, with my partying Irish friends in Yonkers, or with my theater crowd on the Upper West Side. It didn't matter. We all liked Traffic, apparently.

And to this day, I can not understand the connection. But maybe you can. If you have some time, listen to the track below. Or maybe you already know it. What do you think is the magic that brought together so many diverse kids of the early, NYC 70s?

PS. For some reason the video isn't posting, so if it doesn't get here, you can find the piece here

Saturday, March 8, 2008

What Happened to the Content of Their Character?

I'm angry.

And if you're a citizen of the United States, you should be angry, too.

Our electoral system is irreparably broken, and our elected officials don't seem to care.

This current presidential contest in no way reflects Democracy or a healthy Democratic system, so when Mr. Village Idiot spouts that he would like to spread the American version of Democracy to other, less politically fortunate countries, he's doing his usual head-in-the-sand thing.

I live in Michigan. And I've been a card-carrying Democrat as long as my state's Democratic Governor has been a U.S. citizen, and she is doing everything she can to ensure that my voice won't be heard. She wants her candidate to have the nomination, and she's trying to block the idea of a do-over. (For more on this, see this post).

I read the blog of a wonderful writer from Los Angeles. She's been documenting, beautifully, the racial divide that's getting wider as the Democratic campaign continues.

I have someone I love very much in New York. She's been like a second mother to me over the years. And yet, I'm not sure she's speaking to me right now, because in her eyes I've betrayed my gender with my choice of candidates.

We are lucky to be able to vote for our elected officials. But make no mistake - we are NOT voting directly. And there's tons of party politics between what happens between you and yourself in that voting booth and whether your vote actually counts.

Carville and Dean were on Good Morning America on Thursday spouting about the fact that this election is wonderful for the Democratic party because there's real debate and people are so excited that they just can't decide between two excellent front runners.

Just one question for them: are they on crack?

We all have to vote our conscience. And that should entail looking at the issues and looking at the, yes, as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it, "the content of their characters." Those should be the reasons that we choose our candidates.

Not because of what they have between their legs. Not because of the color of their skin.

I would no more vote for Hilary Clinton because she's a white woman than I would vote for Barack Obama because he's a black man. Nor would I vote for John McCain because he's a white man. I mean, let's face it - there have been some good, white male Presidents. So, that should mean we should all vote for McCain, right?

Sure.

We are already a nation divided by race, economics and religion. We are in crap shape economically, our young people are dying in droves overseas in conflicts that the majority of us do not believe in, our health care system is a mess and our children are failing educationally compared to almost every other industrialized nation.

We are still one of the wealthiest nations in the world and we can't fix these problems?

Well, we sure can't if we are all off in separate camps and refusing to work together. We can't if we don't truly have votes. If our voices can't be heard by Washington. If our majority of votes never rule once the Super Delegates, Electoral College and, yes, some pissant Secretary of State from Florida get involved.

We need majority rule. We need better education so that when we vote we are looking at issues, not categories. We need a Congress of brave human beings who will work for good, rather than for Pork and the next election.

Our system is broken and America is failing.

This needs to be our only priority.

Singular Saturday: The Way Our Current Primary System Is Run Is

DIVISIVE




Join Jenn in Holland for other singularly wordy individuals...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

One Love for Liv Blog Tour and What's Cooking "Wednesday: "Salmon a la Liv"

Today, we have Marianne Arkins visiting with us. She's the author of One Love for Liv, published by Samhain Publishing. At the moment, One Love for Liv is only available as an e-book, and you can buy it here. I've written about Liv in this post already, and it's a wonderful read.

I asked Marianne some questions about the book, which she graciously answered, and since it's also a What's Cooking Wednesday, I decided to tie that in as well. There's a wonderful scene where Liv, a pampered member of Boston society, is left to cook dinner as part of a cleaning/cooking gig that she's pretending to need (long story, and very funny, and you'll just have to get One Love for Liv and read it yourself to understand what led to these circumstances). The recipe is for salmon poached in a dishwasher (yes, you read that right), and the recipe can be found here. Marianne challenged me to make this for What's Cooking Wednesday, and I was planning to take her up on her challenge, but the flu reared its ugly head, so I made up my own recipe, "Salmon a la Liv," which is posted below. Enjoy the following literary and culinary delights!

1. Frank is a neighbor where Liv has her cleaning/cooking gig, and Frank spends the book trying to break bizarre Guinness world records, which is only one of his many quirks. He's absolutely hysterical. Where on earth did you come up with Frank? Was he someone you knew on any level?

Heavens no! LOL… while I was writing One Love For Liv for NaNoWriMo, I got about a third of the way through and was bored. So I took a trip through the NaNo "dares" forum and found a dare that mentioned having a character trying to break a Guinness Book World Record. I took the dare and twisted it around a little because, of course, my character couldn't be trying to break something as basic as… say… longest time jumping rope.


2. If this hits mega-sales will you open up a posh spa in the Boston area, like the one Liv owns, or will you keep writing? And why?


If I opened up a posh spa, it wouldn't be in Boston. Maybe Calistoga in the Napa Valley of California (possibly one of the most beautiful places in the nation), but not Boston. Why would I want to live in or drive to a big, ugly city every day? *G*



I don't think I could stop writing if I tried. But my DH would sure be glad to retire and spend his days fishing. In fact, he asks me if he can retire with every release I have! LOL…



3. Have you ever lived with a ferret? How did you come up with/research Rett (Rett is the pet of Mike, who mistakenly hires Liv for a cooking/cleaning job)?


I wanted to use an unusual pet in the story, and since I already hat a rat in another WIP, I opted for a different rodent. I had a good friend when I lived in California who had two ferrets named Rosencrantz & Guildenstern (despite ownership of them being illegal there and then) and was endlessly amused by them. They're little thieves who only have two speeds, nuclear and sleep, and are always into everything. Cats' curiosity has nothing on a ferret's.

Well... okay, but ferrets smell! Let me put in a plug for guinea pigs in your next one! Or maybe not, since I have guinea pigs in my mystery.


4. Did you know from the outset what the ending would be, or did your characters "tell" you over time? And no, this doesn't have to be a spoiler.

I always know the ending before I write the book. I'd actually written the ending of this story first, based on a writing prompt I'd stumbled across in a writing group at WVU (Writers Village University). For all intents, it really stayed pretty much the same from the moment I wrote it. I love to write my ending first. Yes, I'm weird.


5. I know you're a huge fan of chocolate. Chocolate and romance novels go together naturally - what chocolate would you pick for One Love for Liv?

I actually have a bar of it right now: Lindt 85% dark chocolate…so bitter your lips pucker when you eat it. It's just short of straight cocoa. And, oh yeah, really yummy. Seriously, for chocolate, the darker the better. In my opinion, white "chocolate" should be outlawed. Or, at the very least, renamed.


6. If you could have any parts of Liv's life, which one would you pick?

Hmmm… can I have Mike (the romantic protag)? LOL… Seriously, I'd really love the ability to have an entire health spa at my beck and call. Massages and pedicures and facials, oh my! I could learn to live that way.

Her condo is pretty nice, too.


Well, folks, there you have it. Marianne has also published a variety of heart warming short stories, and you can find out more about her writing at www.mariannearkins.com or her blog, Reading, Writing and Stuff That Makes Me Crazy. In the meantime, as I've said before, I'd highly recommend Liv - it's a lovely confection of humor, great characters and a nicely-charged love story.

And now for "Salmon a la Liv":



This recipe is based on a recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. Mr. Bittman is a food writer for the New York Times and How to Cook Everything, is the closest I have to a cooking bible. He's written several books that are riffs on this theme, and I've often bought How to Cook Everything: The Basics for former students, young relatives, etc., who are starting out in their first taste of adulthood.

I figured this was the perfect recipe for Liv, because it's so easy, even she can't manage to mess it up! The salmon is Bittman's; the sauce is mine.

"Salmon a la Liv"




Ingredients:

for the salmon:
1 1/4 lb. piece of salmon fillet
water
2 heaping TBS salt

for the sauce:
1 large handful of chopped, fresh dill
juice from 1 lime
pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
1/4 cup lowfat yogurt
a pinch of sea salt

Accompaniments:
whole wheat couscous, made with water, 1 TBS olive oil and a pinch of sea salt (according to package directions)
frozen (or fresh) spinach as a bed for the salmon

Directions:



1. Place salmon fillet in a saucepan that is large enough for the salmon to lie flat. Cover the salmon with cold water. Add 2 heaping TBS sea salt.




Bring to a boil. Take off the heat. Cover. Let sit for 10 minutes - 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon. Remove cover and enjoy. You can chill this first, if you wish to.

2. Wash and chop dill. Put in mixing bowl along with other ingredients. Whisk together. Serve over salmon. Note: You can make this SO many ways - with sour cream instead of yogurt. With lemon juice instead of lime. Cumin instead of cayenne. A bit of soy sauce instead of the spices. This is a sauce that is meant to be played with, so play!

3. While the salmon is still sitting, make couscous according to directions (usually a five-minute process) and cook the spinach, again, according to directions.

4. Plate everything together nicely, and you're done! This dinner can be made, start to finish, in as little as 15 minutes, if you have a thin piece of salmon.

So... Marianne, d'ya think Liv can handle this one?

And now please go to Shan's place for more What's Cooking Wednesday participants.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Music Monday - "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" - the Beatles and William Shatner



For other tales of musical adventure, please visit Soccer Mom in Denial.

Okay, so week two of pure silliness for Music Monday.

My sister was eleven years older than I. When I was very little, none of that made a difference, and I just worshiped her like the puppy dog I was. She was actually my half sister - my father's daughter - and I didn't get to see her as often as I would have liked (which would have been 30 hours out of 24), so when she did come and stay with us, I would trail her in a way that probably drove her crazy.

But as I grew older, jealousy reared its ugly head around Christmas and birthdays. Oh, we were equally loved, and my parents were inherently fair, but darn it, for some reason they felt that a seven-year-old and an 18-year-old might have different needs in terms of presents, and I decided that my sister got all the cool stuff.

I coveted.

And the coveting started with my sister receiving Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I mean, come on, I loved The Beatles, too!

But my sister was a sweetie, and she shared when she was home. And we both loved the record. And even my dad would go around the house whistling "When I'm 64." I loved drawing and painting, though, and by far, my favorite song was "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." I had no idea what the actual context/meaning was, of course, but I sure loved those images and had a great time drawing tangerine trees and kaleidoscope eyes.

And my friend showed me this absolutely hysterical version this weekend, so I just had to share it. See it below and let your 60s groove come flying back!

William shatner in Lucy in the sky with diamonds

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Singular Saturday: I'd Really Rather Be

READING




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