Showing posts from October, 2011

Friday's Art Gallery — Street Art

street art (n.)  Works of art that are developed in the street 

I would expand on Wikipedia's definition a little bit by adding art that is either thrown away or given away, then acquired by someone else who appreciates the artistic expression of the artist.  I'm thinking that this should be a separate category of art, altogether.  The open source version of the art world.  
This first piece was purchased for $2 by my son at the Berkeley Goodwill.  It is acrylic on canvas, and I love the colors and the elemental shapes.  I call this unsigned, untitled piece the gray painting on my living room wall, but for the sake of giving it an actual name, let's call it, "Goodwill."

The second piece is real street art that started out as graffiti in the parking lot across the street from my husband's old office building in Berkeley.  It stayed on the wall of the Indian restaurant for quite a while and was appreciated daily by customers and employees who parked in the lot unt…

Wednesday: Good for You, Good for the Home—Neat hair thingies!

Simple & sophisticated ways to make long hair look good!

I'm wearing my new incoming gray in a messy twist these days.  Take a look at my favorite big hair clip by Ficcare!

Ficcare "Maximas" hair clip   $40 for the large size — available at Nordstrom's

As long as you're at the Nordstrom website, check out this pretty blue fasincator!  It's more than a hair clip, and it'll look great when you're on the town during the holidays.  $58 at Nordstrom, plus free shipping!

Check out these cool beaded hair combs  Super affordable and cute!  $1 - $10 on Ebay

Tuesday's Cupboard—Holiday Special: 2011 Halloween Candy

Halloween candy at our house this year — Behold the stash!

Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut Butter M&M's Fun Size

Snack Size Kit Kats

Tuesday's Cupboard—Hearty Tomato & Swiss Chard Soup with Hummus Toast

Soup, salad and bread—elegant and satisfying after a complicated day.

Easy, fast & absolutely delicious!  

TO PRINT THIS RECIPE:  Copy the url; go toprintfriendly; paste the url, edit & print.

Simplify the Recipe
•  Use pre-sliced French bread.  I used Colombo sour French.

•  Use store-bought hummus instead of homemade.  I like Sabra sun-dried tomato or red pepper hummus.  Safeway, Albertson's, and Whole Foods all carry this brand.  If you can't find the sun-dried or red pepper varieties, get plain hummus and sprinkle the top with either paprika or chili powder and grind some fresh black pepper on top.  Yum!

•  Use pre-cleaned, pre-chopped chard.  Talk about easy!  I added a whole 12 oz. bag to the soup.  

Tomato & Swiss Chard Soup with Hummus Toast

Adapted from Weight Watchers, Super Foods Cookbook © 2006
Prep Time:  25 minutes or less
Serves 4 - 6

•  2 tsp. olive oil
•  3 tsp. jarred chopped garlic in water
•  3 - 14 oz. cans of chopped Italian-style tomatoes

Friday: The Art Gallery—21katz2011

Okay, it's not exactlly the New York Times Arts section, but I am starting a new Friday feature:  The Art Gallery.  We're getting cultured here in Troiland.

Every week, I will be exhibiting original art that is either my own or the original work of someone I know.  In the spirit of Warhol and all that is good about commercial art, my stuff is for sale, too.  Watch for price tags on the finished pieces.  What I am showing in today's slideshow are the online proofs.

Like music, art lifts the spirit, inspires, creates, comforts, reveals, disturbs, and renews.  And, it's important to share our creations.  A cave wall to a Cro-Magnon with a handful of soot was the Paleolithic equivalent of sharing art on the Internet.  It must be done.

My cat series was inspired by Andy Warhol's colorful 1955 lithographic series of 25 Cats Named Sam and 1 Blue Pussy.
Here is a slideshow of my 4 little monsters:  21katz2011

Tuesday's Cupboard—Crockpot Thanksgiving

An easy & delicious alternative to slaving in the kitchen all day!

BOoOoo!  The holidays are almost here, and in the spirit of empty nesthood and cooking in the 21st Century, I've decided to go for the easiest Thanksgiving I've ever planned.

I've always made turkey and stuffing because it really isn't Thanksgiving without the heavenly aromas of rosemary, thyme, and sage combined with the warm and cozy flavor of a roasting turkey.  I've streamlined my menu every year so that I'm not stuck in the kitchen all day, but even the easiest dishes require a lot of planning and time spent peeling, chopping, seasoning, measuring, and pouring.

Enough of that!  I plan to sit around smelling all of this good food and find out what Thanksgiving is like on the other side of the stove top.

Here is my favorite turkey & stuffing crockpot recipe that is guaranteed to be delicious, fast, easy to make, and low cal compared to a traditional turkey dinner.  And, it will make …

Mini-Post Thursday—One Who Moved the Dial

He began the struggle for gay rights by challenging the system from the inside—Franklin Kameny: 1925 - 2011

I've never been one for ululation.  When it comes to civil rights, though, I usually pay attention when someone who has spent the majority of his lifetime fighting for equality passes away.  Frank Kameny left an indelible mark on history by working his way through the interminably slow system of law and bureaucratic process and by never flinching in the face of cruel adversity.   
I usually don't like people who agitate.  They're abrasive, loud, and generally annoying.  I really don't like it when they block traffic or keep people from attending to everyday, ordinary business like jury duty or getting to the bank.  But, it makes no difference what they're like as individuals when their clear and coherent message is one that affects us all.   
Permanent change happens slowly and at great personal cost to those who lead the cause.  It's never easy, and at most…

Friday Bonus—Cool WordPress Retro MacOS Theme

An online salute to the man who launched a universe of change  
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As a cool tribute to Steve Jobs, the webmasters at put together a super-neat original MacOS theme page for WordPress blogs.  I love it, and it so reminds me of the early, clunky, start-up days of personal computing, especially the little computer icon.  There was always something exciting hiding behind that little guy, and the possibilities were endless.

You can switch your current WordPress theme directly from the Theme Showcase by selecting the "activate" button, and Voilà!  Your WordPress blog will seamlessly transition to the old look of the early Mac computers.  And, in the spirit of what has always been the best thing about creative thinking and technological progress—it's also free.  

Classy, clever, clean, and inspired.  Steve Jobs would have liked this. ;o)

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tysteve  on Twitpic

Wednesday—Good For You, Good For The Home: Fall Projects!

Momentum!  Day 1 of painting the living room...

Tuesday's Cupboard—Rainy Day Supper: Zucchini, Sausage & Rice Casserole

I'll  eat anything with Italian turkey sausage and pepper jack in it!  This dish is basically a classic risotto, but lighter and less complicated to make.  It's a lovely (but time-consuming) dish to make during a long, cold, rainy afternoon.

If you have 4-1/2 cups of leftover brown rice, then you'll save 90 minutes of cooking time at the beginning.  Just sauté the vegetables in a nonstick pan until tender and add them to the pre-cooked rice.  

TO PRINT THIS RECIPE:  Copy the url; go toprintfriendly; paste the url, edit & print.

This recipe basically has 4 parts:

1.  Prepare the rice & vegetable mixture (allow 90 minutes if you start with uncooked rice);
2.  Make the cheese sauce;
3.  Brown the turkey sausage 
4.  Put it all together

Total prep + cooking time: Approximately 2 hrs. 45 mins.

Adapted from  Original recipe from Eating Well Magazine
SERVES 12 (1 cup servings)

•  1 -1/2 c. long-grain brown rice
•  3 c. r…

Monday—The Reading Corner: Tickering Away Your Authenticity

For those of you who don't know much about the new facebook ticker, here's a good article written by my spousal unit, Steve Nelson, for the AP42 blog (September 27, 2011):

Why Facebook Is Counting on Backlash Fatigue

This post talks about the timing of the most recent facebook changes, including those announced at last month's f8 developer conference. It is entirely appropriate, btw, that the conference began with SNL's, Andy Samberg, strutting around on stage pumping his fists to hip hip DJ Khaled's, All I Do Is Win.  

All I do is win • no matter what • got money on my mind • can never get enough
Every time I step up in the building • Everybody hands go up 
And they stay there • and they say yeah • and they stay there


In case you're wondering what these changes are, Steve specs them out in his September 23 post:  New at Facebook: Timeline, Open Graph, Much More

Pay attention to the last paragraph, "What wasn't there?"

"...the 800 million pe…

Wednesday—Good For You, Good For The Home: Cool Baskets!

Two kinds of eco-friendly baskets!

It's that time again...the holidays are just around the corner, and it's time to think about crafts and gifts.  I was at Michael's in Henderson (Nevada) a couple of weeks ago, and I was totally impressed with their shopping baskets!  
Yay!  Some smart shopping cart designer has finally come up with a really neat, sturdy, in-store shopping tote that takes the weight off of your elbow, doesn't dig into your forearm, and is easy to navigate around narrow aisles.  I charged all over the store with it, avoiding squirrelly kids rolling around on the floor, stuck-up teenagers who wouldn't move the hell out of the way, female friends shopping in pairs, and elderly folks in wheel chairs.  
The totes are wide enough and tall enough to fit awkwardly-sized craft items, and the basket grid is intelligently designed so that skinny items (e.g. paintbrushes or silk flowers) won't slide out or get stuck.  Like wheeled luggage in the airport, thes…

Tuesday's Cupboard — Fit or Fat Country Pork Stew

An oldie, but a goodie!  Easy, healthy, cheap & delicious!

This is my all-time favorite stew recipe.  I love this dish served with Cholula chipotle hot sauce &/or Tabasco green jalepeño hot sauce!

TO PRINT THIS RECIPE:  Copy the url; go toprintfriendly; paste the url, edit & print.


Adapted from Covert Bailey's original Fit or Fat Target Recipes © 1985

•  1 lb. lean pork, cut into 1" pieces
•  3 medium-sized Russet potatoes, cleaned & unpeeled, cut into 1-1/2" pieces
•  Half of a small bag of whole baby carrots
•  1 green, yellow or red bell pepper, cut up into strips
•  1 medium onion, sliced into rings, then halved (I use Vidalia or Maui sweet onions)
•  1 medium tomato, sliced & halved
•  2 beef bullion cubes or envelopes
•  1 c. water
•  1 T. whole wheat flour

Trim the excess fat from the pork pieces.  Combine all of the ingredients, except the flour in a 3-quart casserole.  Sprinkle the top of the mixture evenly with the…