Showing posts from May, 2012

Friday—The Art Gallery

My latest Photoshop artwork from my online texture class with Kim Klassen

Thursday's Mini-Post: Critter BFFs

Animals have BFF's, too!  This vid was taken at Busch Gardens, Tampa, posted 23 December 2011 — Enjoy!  

Wednesday—Good For You, Good For the Home: Graduation Etiquette

Graduation Gift Etiquette

It's graduation time!  Whether it is from high school or from college, graduation is an important time in anyone's life.  Little kid graduations are special, too, but they represent childhood accomplishments, and let's face it, those tend to add up.  Growing up is not the same as graduating.  

High school graduation represents a formal transition from childhood.  College graduation represents an achievement at an adult level.  Advanced degrees not only represent the next stage in someone's career, but they signify that the graduate intends to make a serious contribution at a professional level.  All are worthy personal achievements and deserve the proper recogition.

When my kids were graduating from high school, I was pretty clear on graduation etiquette:

A.)  Send out announcements;
B.)  Friends and relatives send back graduation cards and small monetary gifts;
C.)  Thank you notes are returned

Easy-peasy!  But, after a while, things start…

Tuesday's Cupboard—Retro Pies

A summer's worth of retro pies!  

#1 — Easy Key Lime Pie 

An oldie, but a goodie!  I got this recipe from my gramma Pearle when I was living with her in Boulder City during the blistering hot summers I spent lifeguarding while I was in college.

It is a delicious, no-bake, frozen dessert that goes together super-fast!  These also make nifty little tarts.  If you have any leftover pie filling, use it as a fruit dip for fresh strawberries.
Serves 8
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Refrigerate for 1 - 2 hours before serving

•  1 (10 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
•  1 (14 oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk
•  1/2 c. key lime juice (bottled regular lime juice is fine or use a bag of fresh key limes (about 15, juiced)
•  1 (16 oz.) container of frozen whipped topping, thawed

Make It
1.  Mix together condensed milk & lime juice in a large mixing bowl.

2.  Fold in whipped topping and mix until smooth.

3.  Pour into graham cracker crust.  Freeze for 1 to 2 hours before serving.  If d…

Monday—The Movie Corner

★  ★  ★  ★ ★
(2010) Written & Directed by Christopher Nolan

This reality-bending, psychological thriller is even more fun after the movie is over!  

I loved this movie when I saw it.  I loved it even more an hour afterwards!  Now, I'm kind of obsessed with it.    
Man, it is DEEP.  Like a deep, dreamless sleep.  Like washing up on the shores of your subconcious—deep.  Like a shot of Propofol—deep.  In the movie, they call this level of unconsciousness "limbo."  And, it's even more fun when you watch it with someone else.  
The discussion that will erupt afterwards (and it will, so plan on it) is totally worth having because this movie grabs you by the prefrontal cortex—the part of your brain that tries to make sense of things—and spins it like a top.  It makes you think, and after it's all over, the movie slowly begins to make sense, in excrutiating increments of understanding as details start to emerge, and your mind gleefully stitches them together.


Tuesday's Cupboard—It's Grilling Season!

Grilled sweet corn in the husk with crumbled Queso Cotija & sirloin burgers over mesquite coals

First, some background...

With the national employment rate for young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 at an all-time low (at 54 percent), a lot of GenYs are moving back home.

According to a recent survey released in March by the Pew Research Center (a non-partisan, independent public opinion research group based in Washington, D.C.), boomers and their adult kids are, nevertheless, making it a positive experience.  While 12 percent of the GenY respondents said that it has hurt their relationship with their parents, 41 percent said that it has had a positive effect.  I think that's interesting, don't you?

Having said that, our 24-year old son moved back from New York City last month.  He's back, now a trained French chef, and he's cooking for us.  He's been preparing some of the incredible foods that he made in NYC, and today's post is about one of them.


Monday—The Movie Corner: The Avengers in 3D

This film set a new record for the biggest opening weekend in North America.  It's REALLY GOOD!  

Get your large, lightly-buttered popcorn and your bottle of water.  Napkins...check.  3D glasses...check.  Find a good seat, preferably in the middle of the theater, sit back and get ready for 143 minutes of Superfun!!!

All I can say is...IT'S AWESOME!  Based on Stan Lee's Marvel Comics series, this movie has not one, but 5 super-heroes.

Chris Evans is Captain America.  What's not to love?  If you're not up to speed on his long comic book history, he was an average, scrawny, comic book illustrator who submits to secret military medical experimentation and becomes the perfect human specimen.  In this movie, Captain America assumes a leadership role on the Avengers team.

Robert Downey, Jr., is Iron Man.  Downey plays it as sharp and irascible as he did in the IRON MAN movie (2008).  For anyone who grooves on really neat special…

Tuesday's Cupboard—Zucchini & Corn Latkes

Fresh & easy menus for delicious summer suppers!


★  Zucchini - Corn Pancakes (Latkes) on Greens with Store-Bought Fresh Salsa
★  Fresh cut-up fruit
★  Sliced avocados with cilantro, lime & sour cream sauce
★  Sparkling Lime Water

Makes 10 to 12 three-inch pancakes — 4 servings (2 - 3 pancakes each)
Adapted from Weight Watchers Magazine © 1998

•  2 small zucchini, shredded
•  1 c. fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernals
•  2 eggs, lightly beaten (or 1/2 c. egg substitute)
•  1/4 c. nonfat milk
•  1 small bunch of green onions, cleaned & chopped

•  1/2 c. all-purpose white flour
•  1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
•  2 T. chopped fresh oregano
•  1 tsp. baking powder
•  1/2 tsp. kosher salt
•  1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
•  1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
•  1/8 tsp. cayenne

•  2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

•  1 c. nonfat sour cream or 1 small container of Fage nonfat Greek yogurt
•  1 lime, juic…

Monday—The Reading Corner

And he sailed off through night and day and in and out of weeks and almost over a year to where the wild things are.

The Wild Things...we all know who they are.  They're the kids in class who don't quite fit in, the ones who wail in the corridor when they're having a bad day.  The ones who would rather play in the mud than go inside for circle time.

They gnash their teeth, clench their jaws, and spit at the computer screen when it doesn't do what it's supposed to do.  They cause a wild rumpus, and they run in packs.  The Wild Things find one another because they do not fit in with the successful, well-behaved children.

They spend a lot of time mouthing apologies in the principal's office.  They go off-script at assemblies.  They wear their favorite jackets on hot days.  Other parents secretly hope that their children won't swing with the Wild Things, especially as the children grow older.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak was written for these kids.…

Wednesday—Good4 You, Good4 the Home

How to take out the trash...

When I came back from my sister visit in Florida last week, I decided to tackle a home improvement project that we've been putting off since last Fall.  The 23-year old trash masher had to go!  It was grody, and the door no longer closed all the way.  It still worked, but it groaned and complained so much every time we tried to use it that it was no longer worth the trouble of turning it on.

I knew that it was in there tight because I had watched the contractor who installed it scratch the Hartco wood floor when he shoved it into place underneath the kitchen counter.  I managed to pull it  halfway out before it refused to budge another centimeter.

Long story short, it came out, but it took a 4-inch piece of laminated particle board along with it.  The contractor had secured the trash compactor into place by driving several screws into the particle board skirting on each side.  The screws were not visible from the outside, so when the piece broke, it …

Tuesday's Cupboard—My Best Cornbread

Mrs. Cushing's Cornbread ~ Recipe from Steve's grandma, Ethel Mills

This recipe is (hold on a sec...I'm counting)...32 years old!  At least, since Ethel gave it to me in 1980.  I'm not sure how long Ethel had the recipe, but she told me that she got it from her neighbor, Mrs. Cushing.  Who knows where Mrs. Cushing got it, but I like Ethel's note about letting the butter melt in the pan while the oven is preheating.  Practical Midwestern kitchen sense, if you ask me.  ;o)

It takes about 20-25 minutes to bake in a metal pan, 15-18 mins. in a glass pan.  Figure about 10 minutes for prep time.

Last week, I posted Heidi's wonderful taco soup recipe.  It's SO EASY and GOOD!  After I got back from our sister visit in Florida last week, I made her taco soup and whipped up a quick batch of this cornbread.  They're a perfect match!  They're both easy, hearty & delicious.

I like a little kick with my cornbread (heh, you know what I mean), so I sprinkled c…