Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Better in a Cupcake

This weekend I attempted pumpkin pie filled cupcakes, a la Bakeitinacake.com.

I didn't bother with the crusts. Crust in the middle of a cupcake feels like a waste to me.

I also made pumpkin muffins with cream cheese filling. I messed with the recipe and came up with this:
(Ingredients are listed in the order used. I pretty much just mixed them in the mixer)

8 oz pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup barley malt
(This was my contribution, the original recipe called for boiled cider or dark corn syrup. Any dark thick sweet syrupy substance would probably work, like molasses)
1/3 cup skim milk
3 eggs
2 teaspoons (to 1 tablespoon to taste) of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour

preheat oven to 350.

You'll notice that there's no added fat in the recipe. That's fine. The pumpkin is plenty moist, the barley malt is moist, and the eggs have fat in them.

Mix the pumpkin with the sugar. Add the barley malt and mix. Add the milk, mix. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the spice, salt, and powders, mix.
Mix the flour in carefully, so as not to make a mess, I did it in 3 batches.

Cream cheese filling (optional)
1/2 package cream cheese, microwaved for 30 seconds or so
1/4 cup sugar

Grease a muffin pan, or use cupcake papers, or both, I guess. Drop a heaping tablespoonful of batter into the well/paper. Drop a scant teaspoon of filling carefully on top. Cover with more batter (skip the fussy measuring if you're skipping the filling). Bake for 18-20 minutes, until they look good and solid on the top.

These are fantastic warm. I made mine in my fancy new pumpkin muffin pan. Here they are, posing in front of my pan of tiny pumpkin pie fillings:

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I've just heard that there's a plan to put a cafe in the current periodicals reading room at the Alexander Library at Rutgers.

Whomever came up with this plan loves $2 of latte profit more than they love KEEPING FOOD AND DRINKS OFF OF LIBRARY MATERIALS.

Idiots. Replacing the destroyed reading materials will cost more than a cafe could ever bring in.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Facing East

Give it a couple of more years, everyone will understand that China owns the US, and that they have for a long time.

G 20 Issues

Lucky thing for me I like that kind of lifestyle.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Backbones Are Still Invisible

Today I read that "Older Americans" are the backbone of the Tea Party. Maybe they are, but that doesn't change the fact that "Batshit Crazy Americans" are the public face.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Attention All Casting Directors

Someone needs to hire Randy Quaid right now. The man will bring the viewers in to your comedy like lemmings to a cliff.

In case you didn't notice, Quaid and his wife, Evi, are giving interviews, talking about how there's a group of people who exploit and murder movie stars in order to take their money.

There is no such thing as bad publicity.

Monday, September 20, 2010

More Pointless Facts

I had an *awesome* weekend.

Friday night I went out with work friends to The Melting Pot. I got to dip raw meat in boiling oil, then dip the cooked meat in sauce, and then eat that. There was chocolate. I drank an Algonquin, which is my new favorite cocktail.

Saturday I went to the gym, then headed to a farm store to see what the produce of the week was. It turned out to be acorn squash, 2 pears, and a pint of raspberries. I splurged on a half gallon of local cider. Delicious, but pricey.

When I got home, I mashed the raspberries up on the bottom of a pitcher, and poured the cider over them. I then drank raspberry cider all day. That's yummy, in case you wondered.

Then I relaxed a while. I read a book, played with the plants a little, watched a TV show, just regular lazy stuff. I put the acorn squash in the oven to roast, because that takes a long damn time.

In the late afternoon, I finally tried the sage pesto experiment that I've been threatening ever since the sage plant went insane and took over the planter. I took sage, walnuts, garlic, and olive oil for a spin in the trusty ancestral Cuisinart, and then salted to taste. I sliced open some chicken breasts, and smeared the pesto inside and out, and then baked them. So dinner was sage pesto stuffed chicken breasts and roasted acorn squash. That was nice. I ate it while watching "Race to Witch Mountain" on Netflix, and drinking an Algonquin.

Sunday morning, after putting in the laundry, I realized that I had a bunch of squished up raspberries in the bottom of a pitcher, and instead of wasting them, I made raspberry chocolate chip muffins. They were really wet, so I added extra flour after the raspberries, and it all worked out just fine. I ate some while drinking coffee and watching "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" on Netflix. Yay, Netflix! Then I went and hung out with my dad for the rest of the day.


Sage Pesto (all measurements are approximate)
about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of sage leaves,including green stems
about 1/2 cup salted shelled walnuts
about 4 T minced garlic
unmeasured olive oil

Put 2 T of garlic in the food processor bowl, add sage leaves. Pulse to process into a paste. Add walnuts, pulse until reasonably smooth. Add olive oil in a stream to the mixture while the FP is running, until desired pesto texture is achieved. Check this quickly, it goes fast. Taste. Add salt to taste.

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
2 cups flour, plus more to adjust batter consistency
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, depending how sweet you want this (I used 1/2 cup)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoons melted butter or canola oil (any mild oil will work)
1 egg
1 cup milk (maybe more, depends on how wet your raspberries are)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used extra bittersweet)
random amount of raspberries, whatever you have. I had a cup and a half of mashed raspberries that had been soaking in apple cider

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Put dry ingredients (except the chips) in a mixing bowl and mix slowly to combine.

Whisk together the butter, egg, and milk in a separate bowl.

Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix to combine. Add raspberries, then chocolate chips. The batter should be thick, not smooth liquid. If it's too wet, add 2-3 Tablespoons of flour and mix, repeating until the batter is the desired consistency. I added at least a half cup of extra flour until I was happy with the results.

Bake in a greased (or papered and greased) muffin pan for 20-30 minutes, or until the muffins are slightly brown around the edges, and the tops spring back when touched.

Friday, August 27, 2010

American Freed!

Carter gains freedom for American held in N. Korea

... Carter haters heads explode across America.
I don't know how Carter got this guy out, but I bet he's really grateful.

Really, I read the article, but do I trust the press to present me all the facts? No, I don't. My point here is that it looks like President Carter did something nice for another human, and I expect angry articles to pop up about why it was the Wrong thing to do.

People are like that.

Monday, August 9, 2010

This Weekend In Success

I bought sequined platform heels with magenta skulls on them. The main sequin area is black, and yes, the skulls are also done in sequins.

I made something called "5 o'clock biscuits" which are canned biscuits folded over smoked oysters.

What'd *you* do?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On

This morning, as I often do, I was driving to work. The last leg of my commute is up a winding mountain road with a state route number. It's one lane each way, or a two lane road, however you think of it, my point is that it's a winding mountain road that goes through a residential neighborhood.

As I traversed this part of my route, I noticed a deer running hell-for-leather diagonally across the lawn to my right, headed - headed for a collision course with my car. I slammed on the brakes. I wasn't fast enough, or it was too late, because BAM! I hit the deer and it went down. Pretty sure I was yelling something like "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" while that happened. My heart beating a mile a minute, I watched the deer flounder, then stand up, shake itself off (minus some huge tufts of fur) and RUN AWAY. Jesus, deer are tough. I slowly hit the gas on my car, and everything seemed OK, driving-wise. I noticed that the car in front of me had slowed, but it took off when it saw me moving.

Shaking like a leaf, I continued the approximate 3 more miles in to my office. I looked at my car, and the frame for my license plate is broken. The plate itself is still riveted to the car, so, OK. A seriously small amount of damage, considering what could have happened.

Still shaking, I walked in to the office, headed to the ladies' room, went to the fridge to put my lunch in, and started thinking about how the car in front of me had slowed down...

The car in *front* of me.

I am now so, so glad that there wasn't a car behind me.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Economic Recovery

Today in the mail I got:

  • A letter explaining that a certain Corporate Bank can help me if I'm having trouble making my payments
  • 2 Debt reduction/debt forgiveness solicitations
  • A letter explaining that the limit on my Macy's card, which has a zero balance, has been reduced
  • An offer for a new credit card that will give me airline miles

In my email, I received a notice that, since I'm such a good customer, the limit on one of my credit cards has been increased.

This gives me the impression that, as a nation, we don't know what the f**k we're doing.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Smuggling Golf Balls

"My throat feels like it's closing up," he said.

I offered him tea or coffee.

Why didn't I put on a surgical mask and keep 20 feet back?

My throat feels like it's closing up. Bah.

Monday, June 7, 2010

...And Then I Went Soft

Seriously, when did I start liking babies?

I wasn't even washing her off as dinner preparation or nothin'! In fact, it was her mother washing her off in my sink, but man, that's just cute.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Proud to Have Known Her

My cousin (1st, once, removed) Lila Weinberg passed away last weekend, this is her obituary from the Chicago Tribune.

I am proud to have known her, and lucky to have been her relative.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Random Update

1) Haven't even thought about working on my template until I looked at my last post.

2) Actually moved my friend's web site. Thank goodness.

3) BNL are playing at Jenk's on 5/28 at some unspecified hour between 6 and 10am. Do I dare even try to fight that crowd? I think I might be too broken for that one, and it's crushing.

4) Climate change exists. Do people cause it, or would it have happened anyway? I believe people cause it. I can see arguments for natural patterns. I cannot see arguments against trying to make the world a better place as anything but selfish and short-sighted. Basically, I have no hard proof that trying to do the right thing will succeed, but I have evidence that things at least suck less when we try.

I also believe that people who make jokes about global warming being a hoax whenever they get chilly weather between May and September are just doing that to annoy me.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Still Haven't Figured Out

I still have not figured out how to fix my template so that it stops looking so stupid. In related news, my friend wants me to help her figure out how to keep her blog going after 5/1, when Blogger stops offering FTP uploads. I am well and truly screwed, here. There's a post about switching it to Blogger hosting by pointing the DNS file at Google-hosted servers WHICH I DO NOT WANT. Her blog isn't the only thing at that URL, and her account at pair.com doesn't have a database, or a way for me to specify subdomains, or ANY of the advanced crap I'd have to do to make this work without changing her URL. Plus, all the "free" hosting services that include their name in the URL (e.g. blogger, wordpress), her domain name is ALREADY TAKEN,. so changing her URL went out the window, anyway.

I'm right f*cked as far as helping her out, here, I've been trying for days. I do not know what to do. Anyone at all have any ideas? Anyone?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Is the New New

I have a new microwave. I am very happy about it. It's all stainless steel, and pretty, and installed above my range, and it has a button on it that says "Reheat", so I don't even have to think.

I know you're all happy for me, too.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Surprise for April

Now that everything is thawed and the torrential rains have ended, I notice that my sage plant survived all of it, and so did the thyme. I love you, herb plants!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Guest Post!

Today, a post by Barbara O'Brien, from Mahablog:

Health Care Reform: The Morning After

Many politicians and pundits warned us that the health care reform (HCR) legislation that just became law will destroy America. Government bureaucrats will take over health care decisions, we were told. The old and infirm would be hauled away by death panels. Everything about the way we receive our medical care will change, and change drastically, they said.

Medicare recipients have been frightened by stories that their benefits will be cut. Middle-age people are worried they will lose their jobs when the law’s dreaded regulations, or taxes, or maybe regulations with taxes, would destroy their employers’ businesses.

The truth is, very little will change for most people. If you were insured by employee benefits before HCR, you will be insured by exactly the same policy in exactly the same way after HCR. You will have access to the same doctors on the same terms. “Government bureaucrats” will no more be involved in your health care than they were before.

And the same is true of Medicare, which of course is a government program, although many of the people who opposed the HCR bill don’t seem to know that.

Here are the “cataclysmic” changes to health care that are now in effect, or which will go into effect within the next six months for people who are already in group insurance plans:

  • The law says you can’t lose your insurance coverage because you get sick. Before, in many states, if you were stricken with a severe illness such as mesothelioma cancer that would be expensive to treat, your insurer could use just about any excuse to cancel your coverage. That is over.

  • HCR has ended lifetime limits on coverage. As long as you are receiving medical care, your insurer pays the bills.

  • Your children can be covered on your existing policy until they are 26 years old.

  • In six months,
    insurers cannot refuse to insure people under the age of 19 because of "pre-existing conditions." This provision will go into effect for everyone in 2014.
And if you are on Medicare, you will be asked to struggle with the following:

  • You get a free annual checkup.

  • The co-pays and deductibles on many preventive care services are eliminated.

  • If you are in the Medicare D "doughnut hole," you will get a $250 rebate check in a few weeks. The hole itself will be closed gradually and will be gone by 2020.

But what about all those terrible regulations and taxes that are about to drive businesses out of business? Um, there really isn't much to report. Oh, wait, here's one — a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services that use ultraviolet lamps will go into effect July 1. That's about it.

However, beginning this year a tax credit will be available for some small businesses to help provide insurance coverage for employees.

Soon the politicians and pundits will start trying to frighten you about the provisions that will go into effect after this year. I assure you they are about as scary as the provisions that go into effect this year, but I will discuss them in a follow-up post.
Barbara O’Brien

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Two Faced

Saying that you're in favor of women's reproductive rights, but not if the government has to shell out money for them is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
"We regret that a pro-choice president of a pro-choice nation was forced to sign an Executive Order that further codifies the proposed anti-choice language in the health-care reform bill, originally proposed by Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska," said Cecile Richards, president of PPFA (the Planned Parenthood Federation of America). She also said her group is "grateful" that the executive order does not "include the complete and total ban on private health insurance coverage for abortion that Congressman Bart Stupak had insisted upon."
OK, so she's glad that we didn't get screwed as badly as we could have? We should continue to push against those who would hold us down. Under water. Until we stop breathing. Yeah, we should push against those people as hard as we can.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hey, It's My Forum, Right?

Note to the SCA world:

I have a day job, and so does everyone that lives in my house. We are not home to sign for your reservation form that you sent "Priority Mail". In fact, sometimes, we're on vacation. Do NOT send things we have to sign for, it's just silly. For goodness sake, it's not like you've sent us cash.

And don't get angry if your letter got returned because we weren't there. If you'd sent it regular mail, that never would have happened.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Out Of My Own Pocket

Any English tutors out there need some extra cash? I'm willing to pay someone if they can fix the way that Sara Palin speaks. It hurts my heart to listen to the way she puts sentences together.
PALIN: Well, one, you don't take away their First Amendment rights. And we say you cannot speak about those things or ask those questions that you want answers to. That's part of democracy at work is those…
Oh, and of course, the fact that she isn't paying attention to the people she's supporting at ALL, that bothers me, too.

"That's part of democracy at work is those...". Please, help her, before she speaks again.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I haven't had time to watch ONE MINUTE of the Olympics. I like the Olympics!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Personal Usage

Why I own technology: To make extra money, to keep in touch with my friends, and to play. I want to watch TV, work with images, and play games.

A lot of the games that I play in my free time are in Flash. I want to play them on the technological devices I buy. Apple is making this an issue for me.

Why doesn't Apple want more of my money? Just sayin'.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Luckily, I have this forum where I can express my opinion of the MTV show "Jersey Shore". No link, if you don't know of it, you're VERY LUCKY and shouldn't try to find it.

Anyway, I wanted to express my opinion about the show: I don't like it. I turned it on, and made it through 10 whole minutes before turning it off. Yup, those people are real, and are not putting the country on. Yup, those people can be found in many different areas of the Jersey Shore. I have known those people, and I do not like those people. It has been a bit of an effort - an effort that I did indeed make - to be able to go to the beach in New Jersey without encountering people like that on purpose. Having spent so much time trying to avoid them in real life, I am absolutely not about to watch them on TV.

Thanks, people who read my blog, I feel better now.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Everybody Knows

Yesterday I pre-ordered "A Singer Must Die" by Steven Page and The Art of Time. I don't think I could have helped myself - I mean, come on, Leonard Cohen.

I hope it's good. The Vanity Project was hard to listen to in one sitting, the tracks need breaking up.