July 22, 2007

Dining at Home

I thought I'd follow up on my last post and let you know how my Asian Fusion dinner was.

The Szechuan Guacamole was very good. The ingredients were very interesting (toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, chinese five spice, ginger and oriental chile paste) which made the dip spicy and tangy. I served it with rice chips, cauliflower and carrots. I really wanted to have daikon instead of carrots for an all white dipping theme but there was none to be had.

The Szechuan Noodle Salad was good. This was a cold soba noodle salad with a marinade of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger and a bit of that oriental chile paste. I was hoping for more of a kick with the chile paste so will definitely add more next time. I julienned a red bell pepper, yellow squash and snow peas which was a great combination and just the right amount of "crunch".

The Asian Fritatta was excellent. I stir fried onions, garlic, asparagus, julienned carrot, shitake mushrooms and mung bean sprouts and added soy sauce. This was placed in a baking dish and then 6 eggs were beaten and poured on top. I also made a sauce of water, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, sherry and scallions which was thickened with corn starch. I had been hesitating about the sauce but was glad that I made it as it really added a nice touch.

For dessert I made a peach crumble. I got this from the Moosewood Dessert cookbook and the crumble had flour and cornmeal, sugar and butter. I used frozen peaches since they are so much cheaper. The dish was very good but I'll probably use less sugar next time. This was served with vanilla ice cream

After dinner we watched "Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock?", a documentary about a woman who purchased a painting at a thrift store and then spent the next 10 years trying to get it authenticated. This was a very interesting look at the art world.

So the evening was a success and we ate and drank too much but that's okay. The best thing is that I have lots of leftovers!!

July 19, 2007

Cooking Fool

I love to cook. I love to cook for other people. I love to make salads and casseroles and pasta dishes. I am not a fan of stir frying but will do so if push comes to shove. I really love baking. If you could see my kitchen you would say "how in the hell do you cook in this thing?". My house consists of an upstairs open space and a downstairs open space with a bathroom off the living room and a screened porch. Anyway, my kitchen has a refrigerator, a counter top convection oven, an electric burner that caterers use, a microwave and a toaster oven. I am the queen of single-burner cooking and often make four course meals for my friends with my eclectic collection of appliances.

I love to read. I love to read cookbooks. I have a large selection of vegetarian cookbooks but make only a few dishes from most of them so I have decided to create my own cookbook of favorites and dishes I'd like to try but I get so bogged down in reading the cookbook that I revert to those tried and true recipes. I'm trying to decide how I'd like to arrange the recipes and have decided, for now, that I'll group them by menus instead of by dish type. I just love those cookbooks that have menus. I don't know why since I rarely ever create an entire dinner around the menus.

Now I'll share my very first menu, which I'll be making this Saturday, from my new shiny white cookbook.

  • Szechuan Guacamole (surrounded by daikon, cauliflower and rice crackers)
  • Cold Szechuan Noodle Salad
  • Asian Frittata (this is a baked dish rather than stove-top)
  • Peach Crumble with vanilla ice cream
Hungry yet?

July 8, 2007

Put It On My Tab

I use Yahoo! Mail and they have a nice little service where you can email yourself a reminder AND view your calendar at the bottom of your mail page.

Well, today my mail consists of:
Yahoo! Reminder: SBC due 7/11
Yahoo! Reminder: Target Visa Payment Due 7/11
Yahoo! Reminder: Dell Payment Due 7/10
Yahoo! Reminder: Arkansas.net Auto Debit (that's my online service)
Yahoo! Reminder: Insurance Due 7/11
Yahoo! Reminder: ANB Card Due 7/13

And my calendar of "events" consists of these same bills due.

Jesusfuckingchrist! And that's not counting the electric bill I just paid or the Chase card I just paid! How in the hell did I get myself into this pickle? Thank goodness I don't have a house payment or I'd have to rob a bank! The one good thing about all this is that because of these reminders I am never late on my bills.

The next time I even whisper the words "I want" please slap me up side da head.

July 5, 2007

Up In Smoke

I've been thinking about fireworks and fireworks vendors lately. The fireworks themselves must be really cheap for these seasonal vendors to make any money. And then they have to sit outside all day and sweat to death. And the plethoria of stands is mind boggling. There are 3 stands from my house to where I work which is only a 15 minute drive on a fairly rural road.

And then there are the people who buy the crap. I just had a client come and and say that her kids had spent 100 bucks on fireworks which went up in smoke in less that an hour. What a waste of money. I just don't get the appeal.

That said, I do enjoy sparklers...no loud noise, nothing unpredictable. Well, I just learned that they are considered one of the more dangerous fireworks because of the heat they produce. Hmph. I used to love black cats but they are too loud now. I never liked bottle rockets or anything that shoots. I know, I'm a weenie but who cares? I'm just glad that fireworks time is only once a year.

July 3, 2007

Beverly Sills

Beverly Sills died last night and now a bright light is missing from the classical music world. I remember how exciting it was when she became the general director of the New York City Opera, the first woman to hold that position. I used to love seeing her on Carol Burnett.
I'm not a huge fan of Opera but she has always been the definition of the word to me.

July 2, 2007

Foggy Monday

Monday morning comes way too early for me. My alarm clock starts yakking at 5 AM and I listen to "Morning Edition" for about an hour before I start getting ready for work.

This morning's news was filled with the attempted car bombings in Great Britain and the amount of money raised by Obama and Clinton for their campaigns. The bombing attempts are disturbing but seem to be business as usual in the current world climate. The amount of money being raised for political campaigns is nothing short of obscene. How can candidates raise that much money and then talk about how much they connect with the "little guy"? Something has to change in the world of campaign funding yet it seems that politicians are afraid of any kind of change.

I'm too sleepy and foggy to keep this train of thought so I'd best shut up now.

July 1, 2007

White Wedding Reception

Northwest Arkansas is a melting pot of upper and lower incomes, Caucasians, Hispanics, Vietnamese, Koreans, and now African-Americans. Yesterday I went to a party with all white honkies in all income levels. There were "business men", millionaires, teachers, financial advisers, newspaper columnists, builders, artists, shoe-shine "boys", factory employees and one lone veterinary receptionist. The amount of badly dyed hair was astounding. I'm sure the dollars spent on cosmetic surgery would have solved our health care crisis. The amount of tequila and other spirits being consumed was, as usual, very high. The occasion? A wedding reception. The bride was on the road to teary eyed inebriation and the groom seemed to be holding his own. What an interesting gathering. The venue was outside of the newlywed's home with food tables in the garage and round dining tables in the driveway. The food was, in typical ozark style, a barbeque with lots of dead animal flesh, overly sweet barbeque beans, velvetta cheesy scalloped potatoes and a fairly good broccoli salad. There were appetizers inside the house and consisted of a cheese ball, cubes of cheese, fruit, crab dip and crackers. The dessert table had punch, a cake and petit fours. This was a true "southern living" style house and party.

April 5, 2007

Belly Men

Why is it okay for men to wear jeans with a belt with their shirts tucked in and their big bellies hanging over their belts? If I were to dress like that people would look at me and point and laugh (or vomit). I know that people should feel comfortable in their skin but why the double standard? It's the same standard that makes it okay for guys with huge bellies go shirtless in the summer yet fat women are supposed to hide under tent dresses.

I am no skinny girl and feel self conscience in something sleeveless when it's hot but by gawd this year things are gonna change. I am going to let it all hang out and piss on those who think it's disgusting. I'm gonna get form fitting sleeveless dresses and wear them proudly. NOT! But I am going to be cool and comfy this summer and try not to let the stares of others stop me. After all I'm cool, collected and confident and that will always shine through.

March 30, 2007

NPR Pledge Driving Me Nuts

Hello, my name is Sarah and I am an NPR news junkie. I do not give one dime to my local NPR station because...
I am sick to death of "A Prairie Home Companion", "Whad'Ya Know?", "Calling All Pets", and Classical Music all day long during the week.

Garrison Keillor's show is on twice a week here, as is "Car Talk". I'm not talking about different shows played on different days, I'm talking about friggin' repeats two days in a row. No, I take that back, when the Metropolitan Opera is not playing "Car Talk" is repeated on the same day! Gads!!! The people who call into "Calling All Pets" must NEVER listen to the show because they give the exact same animal behavior advice every week. And "Whad'Ya" is no longer funny, just annoying.

When my local station wakes up and figures out that there are other options for our listening pleasure such as "Talk of the Nation" or "Diane Rehm" of "Afro Pop" or ANYTHING else then maybe I'll cough up some moola but until then I'll dream of Sirius Radio with all of the NPR news shows I love.

March 16, 2007

American Idolization

I admit I've never seen American Idol and I never intend to but I just don't get it. I don't understand the American public's fascination with reality shows in the first place but watching a bunch of half-assed singers is like fishing for bottom feeders in my opinion. People like Carrie Underwood may be able to sing but they have no taste in music and they end up being clones of other surgically corrected "stars". And the public eats this shit up! No wonder this country is in the crapper right now. These are the same people who voted for Putch and his lackeys.

Which brings me to another point. I have an idea, for the next election let's do an Americon Idol game show. The politicians can appear on tv each week and give long speeches to con the public into voting for them and then we can vote via telephone or internet! There can be a panel that makes snide comments and has their own personal scandals. I think it might work and the voting will be just as fair as the ballot box is since half of those votes aren't counted anyway. Come one, let's get the ball rolling!

March 9, 2007

Daylight "Savings"

I guess I've had my head in the sand for the past two years because I just found out yesterday that daylight "savings" time is beginning this Sunday. What a crock. I am a morning person so I don't particularly care about having more daylight at the end of my day. Now when I get up for work on my early-to-work days it will be really, really dark and I'll have to use my flashlight to get to my car. Does this save any energy for me? Hell no! In fact, this will use up more battery power so it's a lose-lose situation.

Today on NPR they said that Benjamin Franklin came up with the cockamamie idea but isn't he the same guy who said "early to bed, early to rise..."? In truth, he didn't propose setting clocks differently so that urban legend is false. He proposed (to the French) that they get up earlier so they wouldn't have to burn so many candles in the evening. I guess the French were bitching about how many candles they had to buy in order to stay up so late and how expensive it was.

As far as saving energy goes I think the jury is still out on that one but I'd have to side with the naysayers and agree that the amount of energy saved is nil. I want my mornings well lit by gawd and I wish there was a way to ignore the whole thing without moving to Arizona.

March 2, 2007

Al Gore and His Environment

I watch the Academy Awards every year. I know, it's a silly show about something normal people shouldn't care about but it's a tradition for me. I don't have television service so I usually watch it on my tv with a rabbit ear antenna so the picture is very fuzzy. This year I was able to go to my bosses house and see it on a huge wide screen tv with satellite which was great!

What does this have to do with Al Gore and the environment? As you must be aware, Mr. Gore made a film last year, "An Inconvenient Truth" (which I have not seen) and it won the award for best documentary at the Oscars. As Al was thanking everyone and attempting to be a comedian I couldn't contain myself and was yelling at the screen "Maybe if you'd stop eating all those cows you could help save the environment!" Gads, he looks like he eats at McDonald's every day! Not that I am some sickly looking skinny vegan but good god!

Then, I hear on NPR a bit about Mr. Gore and his home in Tennessee. You can read it at http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB117271689203622916-lMyQjAxMDE3NzAyMTcwMTE2Wj.htmlwhich is an article in the Wall Street Journal. In a nutshell, Gore spends more on electricity in one month than most of us spend in a year. Come on, if he is gonna talk the talk he needs to walk the walk.
Rant over.