Tag: Cooking (Page 1 of 2)

Seven Things I Love (5-2-2022)

Hoping all those who celebrate had a blessed Eid al-Fitr

1. This Method for Poaching Eggs – I’m an egg junkie (also a toast and salmon junkie.) One of my favorite things to make – smoked salmon and cream cheese on toast with capers and an egg on top – YUM!

I used to fry the egg even though I always knew that poached would be the better option. But I didn’t think I could do poached eggs – didn’t even try. Then I found this trick. It’s so flippin’ easy!

You will probably need to test this out to see how it works with your microwave. Microwaves can vary depending upon wattage or how old they are. It may work better to start with room temp water if the egg doesn’t cook through enough. Or you may need to cook it longer. You can try out different tweaks.

  1. Fill a mug or a small bowl with about 8 ounces of cold water. Make sure to leave about an inch at the top so it doesn’t boil over.
  2. Take the egg, crack it open, and carefully slide the egg into the water. Make sure you don’t break the yolk. Toss the shells into the compost bin.
  3. Using a toothpick, poke a small hole in the egg yolk. You really won’t be able to see the hole. Make sure that the yolk stays intact and doesn’t “bleed” into the water.
  4. Cover the cup/bowl with a small plate (or one of these handy-dandy silicone lids from Food52) and microwave it for 60 seconds.
  5. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon.
  6. If it is overcooked or undercooked reduce or increase cooking time in 10 second increments.

My preference is a slightly runny egg so 60 seconds works perfectly for me. Also, just as an FYI, this won’t look like the typical poached eggs you get in restaurants (or that your Mom makes.) They are more spherical. Still, they taste the same and no pans to wash.

[Found on Well + Good]

2. This Twitter Account – It’s the Count’s Twitter account. I’ve removed myself from Twitter but that doesn’t mean I still won’t be snooping around. Frankly, I think it’s going to turn into an even bigger shit show soon but I (and many others) may be proven wrong. Only time will tell.

I will say, it’s nice not getting all those notices.

Anyway, this made me smile (and also brought me the warm fuzzies.)

3. This Chemistry Teacher – Bill Nye, the Science Guy, Magic School Bus, Beakman’s World, Emily’s Wonder Lab, and Chem Teacher Phil! I could watch his video shorts all day. Hooray for Science! GO STEM!!!

4. This Book about Women Over Fifty – Ellen Warner, the photographer responsible for this publication, started it all the way back in 2003! Filled with inspiring photographic portraits of women, aged 53 to 107.

Available at Bookshop.org.

[Found on Hyperallergic]

5. This Deodorant – Last year I decided to switch to a natural deodorant. I have been using Secret deodorant since college but then I saw this video. Although I didn’t verify her information, I knew it couldn’t hurt to switch so I tried a few out. I have a lot of friends who use natural deodorants and they said I should make sure I use one that doesn’t cause rashes.

So I read about a dozen articles. I ended up trying four:

ALL of them caused me to have a terrible red rash under my arms. As you can see, one of them is Native, Cotton & Lily scent.

After the fourth I decided to give up. It was getting expensive and frankly painful. I went back to my Secret.

THEN I watched the documentary limited series, Not So Pretty on HBO. If you haven’t seen it yet, you absolutely should. (Besides this show there are many others on HBO including Julia, Starstruck, Minx, and Our Flag Means Death, just to name a few. It would be worth subscribing IMHO.)

That’s how I found out about all the crap in our beauty products. YIKES! I already knew that the U.S. allows manufacturers to use thousands of ingredients and additives that are banned in the EU and other countries but I guess I didn’t know how bad it really was. (Seriously, you should watch ‘Not So Pretty.’)

One ingredient that is truly problematic is talc. You may have heard about the Johnson & Johnson lawsuits regarding their talcum powder – I never realized how many other products contain talc, like D-E-O-D-O-R-A-N-T. Guess what deodorant contains talc….. Secret. Ugh.

I stopped using it the next day. But then I had to find a natural deodorant, and fast, and on a weekend. In desperation I picked up Native Sensitive at Target. I figured I’d try it again (not realizing I hadn’t tried the sensitive version the first time) Bam, it works! No redness, and it last pretty much all day unless I work out.

I went back and looked at the original articles and see now that they recommended the sensitive version of Native. Sigh. Guess I didn’t notice the little purple stripe (they should really make the regular and sensitive packages look more different) and none of the articles made it clear that there were two different types of Cotton & Lily. At least I finally figured it out.

6. This Online Trivia Game – If you think that the ultimate trivia game is Jeopardy, than you will definitely love this well maintained site of the archive of all the Jeopardy games. Enjoy.

[Found on AVClub.com]

7. This Woman’s Rules for Her Funeral – If only we all could be this lighthearted about funerals.

[Found on Modern Met]

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week


Song of the Week

Seven Things that I Love (1-31-22)

I’ve been on a decluttering binge the past few weeks so right now my FAVORITE thing is my HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477 series, which has a kick-ass scanner. I’ve been scanning and recycling, scanning and recycling, scanning and recycling. It’s true what they say – decluttering your house does declutter your brain. Such a good feeling.

Coincidentally, one of my favorite illustrator/cartoonists posted this tonight…

Ran across these things recently…

1. This Website Where You Can Generate Your Own Song Lyric Hand Washing PostersWash Your Lyrics is the best way to make sure you wash your hands for that full 20 seconds. Google the lyrics to your favorite song, paste them into the text box on the website, hit the “generate” button, and either print your poster or save it as a graphic file.

My dentist has it in a small frame right above the sink in her office loo. I tape mine onto the mirror in my bathroom because I switch it a lot.

‘Feelin’ Good’ by Nina Simone

[Yet another cool thing found at my dentist’s office]

2. This Lion Who Lived in the Milwaukee Public Library – The building that is now the Milwaukee Public Library’s Central Library was built in 1895, but back then then it didn’t just house the library. The building was designed to be a shared facility that housed both the Milwaukee Public Library and the Milwaukee Public Museum.

The staffs from both the library and the museum often worked together and in 1928, a group from both the library and the museum made a cultural trip to Africa and to bring items back for the museum.

While there a local Maasai tribe gifted the group a rescued lion cub named Simba (Swahili for lion.) The group traveled with the lion cub and became attached to him so at the end of their trip they had him shipped home.

He lived for a while in the library/museum – even roaming free on occasion – until he got a such a bad tooth abscess that it required a veterinarian. At that point he was moved to the Milwaukee Zoo. Simba lived until he was 14 years old, which is not bad considering the lifespan for a lion in the wild is 10 to 15 years.
(Still, animals are always better off in their natural habitats than zoos.)

Samuel Barrett with Simba on the Milwaukee Public Museum Roof | Photo: Milwaukee Public Museum

3. This Dolly Party Cake Mix – I can’t tell you the last time I made a cake from a mix but I damn well will be buying some of this!

Unfortunately, they are already SOLD OUT but you can sign up here to be notified when they are back in stock. “Duncan Hines says the cake mixes and frostings will hit grocery stores and mass retailers starting in March and sell for about $2 each.”

[Found via Tom and Lorenzo – they are my gurus]

4. This Tweet that’s Simply Oozing with Sarcasm – who doesn’t love good satire?

The responses are equally as good – this one caught my eye for obvious reasons…

5. This Chess Set Ring – By Joe Turner, 2015. Both ridiculous and astonishing at the same time. I mean, who thinks to do this? Fossil ivory and ebony chessboard set in a silver ring. The pieces are cast in silver and fit snugly into a leather case inside a hinged compartment.

6. This Autograph – I posted this on Facebook but I’m putting it on here for those who aren’t my FB friend or who don’t look at FB anymore.

I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with Louie Anderson. I have been a fan for years. But actually, I really became more aware of him / a huge fan after he wrote his book ‘Dear Dad: Letters from an Adult Child.’ It’s about growing up the child of an abusive alcoholic father. The book is excellent. Neither of my parents were alcoholics or physically abusive but I still connected with the book.

Louie passed away ten days ago. He was only 68 years old. It felt like losing a friend I haven’t seen in a while. You know, the ones you feel guilty you haven’t tried calling or texting or emailing. That’s what it felt like.

I met Louie Anderson at a library conference. It was around 1990. He was signing copies of his book “Dear Dad” so I bought a copy and stood in line. When I finally got to the front of the line he looked at my name tag (it said Jennie) and asked if my name was pronounced “Jenny” or “Jeanie”. I told him it was “Jenny” and then told him the story of my name .

I explained that it had at one time been J-E-N-N-Y but that in 3rd grade I looked up Jenny in the dictionary and it said, “female jackass” so I promptly changed the spelling to J-E-N-N-I-E. I also told him that my Mom refused to accept the new spelling, despite this discovery, and always spelled it with a “y.” She’d say, “I gave birth to you, I can spell it whatever way I want.” He must have enjoyed this story because he signed my book with a very sweet message and he signed the promotional card for the event like this:

I had it framed and it has been hanging on my wall for, jeez, over 30 years. Pardon about the funky blemish on his photo – I couldn’t avoid the glare from the glass of the photo.

7. This Embroidered Tablecloth – Her other tablecloths are equally gorgeous and pretty much all sold out, despite being fantastically expensive.

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things That I Love (1-17-22)

1. These KN95 Masks – I’m sure you’ve heard all the new recommendations saying cloth masks aren’t very good anymore and that we should all be wearing N95 or KN95 masks now. Still, I’ve hesitated to purchase new masks for a couple of reasons.

After all, I already own about two dozen beautiful cloth masks. (I particularly love the embroidered ones I found). You can’t really get N95 or KN95 masks that look nice. Another reason – there are too many masks to choose from and the ones that I know are good (not counterfeit) have been sold out – argh! A third reason (and the one that is the most important) all these disposable masks are ending up in landfills and that’s making me catatonic. I’m trying very hard not to make my footprint any larger than it already is.

That’s why, when I read about how VIDA masks includes a prepaid shipping label so that you can return your used masks so they can properly recycle them, I promptly placed an order.

Full disclosure, they haven’t arrived yet, but since ordering them I’ve seen the VIDA masks show up on many different recommended masks lists so I’m thinking they must be pretty good.

2. This Piece of Art by Argentinian-American Artist Cecilia Lueza – a friend of mine reposted this along with the poem below.

“Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple
understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the
the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten. that the world is meant to be celebrated.

From ‘When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
by Terry Tempest Williams

[Thanks Edell (I think it was Edell!)]

3. This Online Game – Last week I started seeing loads of people posting images of these grey, gold, and green blocks:

Initially, I thought the pictures were of some sort of flag or social awareness campaign (obviously I didn’t look at them very carefully.) But then I noticed on one friends post the hashtag WORDLE. After a quick Google search I found out it is an online word game! LOVE me a good word game. Sooooo now I’m completely addicted. The great thing about this online game though is there is only one posted per day so you won’t end up wasting hours playing it.

My best score to date has been the game above on the right – got it in three tries!

If you want to know more about Wordle you can read this article.

From The New Yorker

[Thanks Ann]

4. This GENIUS List of “100 Ways to Slightly Improve Your Life Without Really Trying – Modified from a list originally published in January of 2000 (that’s 22 years ago, can you believe it?!?) this contains simple suggstions such as “Mute or leave a WhatsApp group chat” (I’ve been turning off notifications for group texts, kind of the same thing) or “Don’t have Twitter on your phone.”

This is from a British newspaper so you’ll need to Americanize a few of the items. For example, #51 says to write politely to your MP, in America you will want to write politely to your legislator. Another, #63 says “Volunteer” and then lists a UK URL which provides many opportunities for civic engagement. There isn’t a comparable site in the US but I found this article about civic engagement from 2020 that is excellent.

[Found on The Guardian]

5. This Graphic Illustrator – Cassandra Calin draws cartoons that show the trials and tribulations that women face in their day-to-day life and she’s a hoot!

6. This Video on the Four Levels of Omelets – Fantastic! It turns out this “4 Levels” thing is a series. I plan on watching the lobster roll one once I have omelets mastered. I learned SO MUCH from watching this one video. After the amateur cook, the amateur chef, and the professional chef make their omelets, a person from Epicurious explains what was was done right and what was done wrong and tells you how to make a fourth level (perfect) omelet.

7. These Islands – the Faroe Islands are an autonomous territory of Denmark located about 200 miles northwest of Scotland.

You can see more photos HERE.

[Found on The Modern Met]

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BETTY WHITE!
She would be 100 today.

Seven Things I Love (7-20-2021)

  1. 1. This Reaction to a Young Fan’s Gift – If you’re not a fan of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo already (or if you haven’t heard of him), you will be after watching this. THIS is the kind of athlete we want kids to have posters of on their bedroom walls and who they should hope to be like someday and try to emulate.

Here’s more… when asked by a reporter, who taught him about keeping his ego in check, this was Antetokounmpo’s answer:

“When you focus on the past, that’s your ego: ‘I did this. We were able to beat this team 4-0. I did this in the past. I won that in the past.’ When I focus on the future, it’s my pride: ‘Yeah, next game, Game 5, I do this and this and this. I’m going to dominate.’ That’s your pride talking. It doesn’t happen. You’re right here.

“I kind of try to focus on the moment, in the present. That’s humility. That’s being humble. That’s not setting no expectation. That’s going out there, enjoying the game, competing at a high level. I think I’ve had people throughout my life that helped me with that. But that is a skill that I’ve tried to, like, kind of — how do you say it, perfect it, master it. And it’s been working so far. So I’m not going to stop.”

‘NBA Finals: Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo backs up viral ‘humility’ speech with unselfish Game 5 performance’ by Colin Ward-Henninger; July 18, 2021; CBSSports.com

You can watch the exchange below…

By the way, I love Giannis full name – it’s Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo. How gorgeous is that?!?!

[Found the second tweet via CBSSports.com – you should read the full story, the guy who wrote it is very good]

2. This Auction of Sylvia Plath’s Recipe Cards and Rolling Pin at Sotheby’s – Sadly, when someone’s life ends so tragically, one tends to make assumptions about what their life must have been like or how they lived. Myself, being someone who lives with depression (albeit moderate depression), I think that if a person is so depressed that they are driven to take their own life they must be miserable all the time. I don’t know why I think that. It’s certainly not that way for me. But then, I’m not suicidal.

When I get depressed all I want to do is build a cocoon around myself and not let anyone in. I don’t want to talk to people, I don’t want to go anywhere, I don’t want to do much of anything. I just want to pass the time with things that will distract and take very little mental effort. For me that generally means watching mystery television series from the 80s, 90s or 2000s and doing puzzles.

But I know other people who have depression and their way of dealing with it is much different. Some like to throw themselves into their work. Some like to surround themselves with friends and family. Some like to clean their house or do gardening or repairs they’ve put off. No one deals with depression exactly the same way. Everyone is unique.

My point is, there is a lot more to Sylvia Plath’s life than her being depressed and having committed suicide but unfortunately, that is mostly what people learn about and remember. But it’s really lovely to see these recipe cards with Plath’s handwritten notes and the names/ nicknames included in the recipes titles, which for me always is indicative of affection and sentimentality.

[Found on MessyNessyChic]

3. This Movie (This Beautiful Fantastic), Which is Currently Available to Stream FOR FREE on YouTube – A friend of mine suggested this movie to me a while back and I was lucky enough to catch it while it was streaming (can’t remember where) but shortly after I watched it, it was removed. For months it hasn’t been available anywhere. Now it looks like in addition to being available on YouTube it’s available on Amazon Prime. But I’m never sure when I see something that says it’s available on Prime (for free) whether it’s because I have the Masterpiece & PBS memberships or if it just is generally free.

Either way, whether you try watching it at the link below or watch it via Prime, I highly recommend this movie. It stars Jessica Brown Findlay (Lady Sybil in Downton Abbey, Charlotte Wells in Harlots and Elizabeth McKenna in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) as Bella, Andrew Scott (John Parry in His Dark Materials, The Priest in Fleabag, and Moriarty in Sherlock) as Vernon, and Tom Wilkinson (Author in Grand Budapest Hotel, Graham Dashwood in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Gerard in The Full Monty) as Alfie Stephenson.

The premise of the story is that Bella lives alone in a small house which she rents. She’s a unique person, a bit compulsive, who likes to keep to herself. Now I’ll tell you, she works in a library, but that is only one of several reasons why I love this film so much. Many reviews call it a modern fairytale and it truly is.

Bella has a small garden behind her house and part of the rental agreement was that she needed to tend to the garden but she has let it go. She meets her neighbor, who is an ornery SOB, and not long after that happens, a representative for the owner of the house comes by for an inspection an discovers she has not kept her side of the deal. He tells her he’s going to have to evict her but she persuades him to let her have a month to fix the garden up.

I don’t want to tell you anything more but the characters are wonderful, the film is visually beautiful, and it has a magical quality to it.

4. This HISTORIC News from Chile – I mean, it’s actually rather pathetic that the first time a constitution is being written by an equal number of men and women is in 2021 but, well, it’s still commendable. (And there are negative nellies out there.)

5. These New Emojis – Turns out it was “World Emoji Day” on Saturday. I am excited about the disco ball! Though does it seem like these are a little male-heavy to anyone else? It could just be my mental state right now. These are awaiting approving and will become available in September.

6. This Airship of the Future – The airline industry is responsible for about 5% of global warming and these ships will “operate with 75% fewer emissions than a conventional airplane.” It may take longer (but look at how comfortable it will be.) Yes please!

[Found on MyModernMet]

7. This Incredible Pencil Shop in Tehran – There are a lot of bazaars in Tehran. I don’t think that this is in the Grand Bazaar. The video below says it is in the “Traditional Market” which I believe is also called Tajrish Bazaar. One person describes it as being “located in a corner of the bazaar between the two mosques in Tehran.” I can hear the call to prayer.

And here’s a video (pre-pandemic). You don’t need to speak arabic to be impressed or to find the owner, Mr. Rafieh, completely darling. Anyone so passionate and knowledgeable, how can you not love them?

[Found on the Present & Correct blog]

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things I Love (5-10-2010)

  1. 1. This Little Girl Who Got To Meet Her Hero, Rey from Star Wars – This shows how important it is that we have more strong, female lead characters in films. I LOVE Rey. I wish we had role models like her when I was a kid. “Younger” Leia was okay but nothing like some of the women girls have today, even “older” Leia. Still, it’s only a start.

2. This Essay by George Orwell on How to Make a “Nice Cup of Tea” – Originally published in The London Evening Standard on January 12, 1946, the essay includes eleven rules that Orwells says you need to be follow to make a good cuppa. The text below is rather small so if you click on the graphic it will take you to the Orwell Foundation website and the full text (which is owned by the Orwell Estate and Penguin Books and why I’m not reprinting it here.)

3. This Swedish Street Food: Tunnbrödsrulle – Tunnbrödsrulle is mashed potatoes, sausage or hot dogs, lettuce, shrimp salad, mayonnaise dressing, onions, ketchup and mustard all wrapped up in a thin piece of flatbread. Anthony Bourdain once said that one particular Swedish street food was, “…the most disgusting thing ever…and I love it.” I know that I want to try it! I May give it a go this summer if a few other people are game to try it with me…

(By the way, I found out about Tunnbrödsrulle from Beryl Shereshewsky who is one of my most recent obsessions. She did a video on how people [around the world] eat hot dogs. Here it is.)

4. This Image that Shows How the Athenian acropolis may have looked with its original paintwork back in the 5th century BCE – I LOVE these sort of then and now images. I wish there were more of them.

5. This NYC Ballerina with Alzheimer’s Listening to Swan Lake – no explanation necessary.

6. These Virtual Origami Classes through the Japanese Culture Center in Chicago – Lasting only 30 minutes, they are held every Wednesday and Saturday. It’s just the right amount of time to do one project. Loads of fun and by doing it every week you can improve your skills.

The classes on Wednesday and Saturday are the same so choose which day works better for you; the class is at 1 pm on both days. The cost is a donation – recommended amount is between $5-10 per class. You can sign up for a free trial class here.

I made this on Saturday (my first class.) In case you can’t tell, it’s a table and chair. The thing I think is great about these items is the first several folds for these are used for many other origami pieces.

7. This Photo of LeVar Burton and Patrick Stewart – Two of my most favorite people on the planet. (By the way, Levar did a new ad for Ryan Reynold’s Aviation Gin and not surprisingly it was a hoot!)

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Three good friends went for a swim.
The one who was fat wished she was thin.
The one who was curvy wished she was clever.
The one who was clever wished she swam better.
The really great swimmer wished she was witty.
The one who was witty wished she was pretty.
All three friends thought the other two were just fine.
If only they could let their own bright light shine.
So throw on your swimsuit if you’re fat or you’re thin.
Enjoy fun and friendship …. love the skin that you’re in!


Seven Things I Love (4-26-2021)

WOO HOO! Received my second Pfizer shot two weeks ago so I am fully ….

I hope you are too! Be sure to get your vaccination if you haven’t.

1. This Lebanese Artist Who Turned the Tables on These Sexist Vintage Ads – I love this guy. His name is Eli Rezkallah and he’s done much more than this series, but I’m highlighting this because it delights me so. His intent is to shock and I think he’s done a good job. I wonder if there are any sexist men though that will get it. Sigh.

Here’s one more he did that I loved. So sassy!

2. This Food Vlogger – I am OBSESSED with Beryl Shereshewsky! This woman is my soul sister (she includes links to the sites where her earrings are from!) Beryl is actually a television producer. She was making micro-documentaries but then, well, you know. So she decided to use her time during isolation to try something that combined her love of cooking (and eating) with film making. Thus her YouTube Channel was born. It primarily covers her cooking and trying out a certain disk/item made several different ways from around the world. For example, she recently did this one on instant noodles… (this one made me a little verklempt when they started to all eat together.)

What I love about Beryl is how much information she shares about everything, the history, the culture, etc. She really seems to know her stuff – she clearly has traveled a lot (I think from her previous gig.) And there is a true sense of community on her channel. She even has a book club and shares “other stuff” as the tagline of her channel indicates.

I must admit though, she had me at toast recipes… (and she’s done THREE episodes on toast!)

3. This Hand & Nail Treatment – yowzah! For most of my life I had fabulous nails and then, boom, around the time I turned 45 they started getting brittle and breaking and the drop of a hat. I couldn’t grow them long anymore and my manicures were lucky if they lasted more than a couple days.

Eventually I discovered shellac manis and that helped a little but even those were lucky to last a week and I had to keep my nails short. It didn’t bother me, I told myself, this is how women wore their nails in movies in the 40s – short and red. But it was expensive getting a shellac mani every week (and not good for my nails I’m sure)!

During the pandemic I thought that maybe not wearing polish would give my nails a break and they might get better. I even tried all sorts of products – creams, oils, lotions – in the hopes they might help. But nothing.

Around two weeks ago I started using this product and my nails are already longer than they’ve been in years. I wish I had thought to take some before and after photos.

4. This Artwork by SNL Actor Melissa Villaseñor – I’ve said this a million times, it’s SO WRONG when someone is incredibly talented in one artistic field (acting/comedy) and then ends up being incredibly talented in a second area (art/illustrations.) But for once, I actually am okay with it. Melissa is someone that I love so much and I’m good with her being so blessed. Plus, we get to enjoy her art! (And if you hang out on her IG you’ll soon discover that she’s a bit of a depressive.)

5. This Tweet – At the bottom from ‘The Lone Apple.’

6. This Toast Art – Japanese Artist Manami Sasak uses TOAST for her canvas. PINCH ME!

7. This Remake of One of the Most Famous Musicals in History – HOLY SHIT, STEVEN SPIELBERG REMADE WEST SIDE STORY!!! I was watching the Academy Awards last night and they showed this trailer and I almost DIED! And Rita Moreno is in this version TOO!

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Have you seen The Miniaturist?


Seven Things I Love (2-15-2021)

  1. 1. These Magnifying Monocles by LUKA – am I advertising that I’m getting old? Yep. Am I doing it in an incredibly cool and stylish way, damn straight. There are many more styles. They are a tad expensive but I can’t tell you the number of times I had to go find my magnifying glass before I got this. Now I always have one with me. And when I actually start leaving the house I bet it’ll come in even more handy.

2. This Short Film, Mobile – no words necessary really, just as cute and funny as can be.

3. This New Series on CNN ‘Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy’ – this show will make you want to hang out with Stanley Tucci, long for delicious Italian food, and kick your wanderlust into high gear. It’s a three-fer.

4. This Game from the Creator of The Oatmeal – it’s crazy addictive, mostly because the guy who created The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman, is so damned funny so you’ll keep wanting to play just so you can see more of his hilarious cartoons in between the game play. What a riot!

5. This New Version of ‘Biko’ by Peter Gabriel – this one makes me even more emotional than the original.

In honor of Black History Month, we are proud to bring the message of Peter Gabriel’s “Biko” back to the forefront, 40 years after its initial release. Inspired by the death of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko while in police custody, this song’s relevance still holds true with the unfortunate police brutality that continues to take place in the USA, Nigeria and many places around the world. More than 25 musicians from seven countries join Gabriel for this global rendition to share a message of unity, peace, and hope, including Beninese vocalist and activist Angélique Kidjo, Silkroad’s Yo-Yo Ma, and bass legend Meshell Ndegeocello.

6. This Enchanting Mexican Songstress singing Una Vida (here’s the English translation of the lyrics) – not only is her music beautiful but her videos are wonderfully artistic. Frida Kahlo would definitely have approved.

7. This Lawyer’s Technological Snafu – it makes me giggle every time I see it! (At this point everyone has seen this, unfortunately it’s a drawback of only sending out a blog post once a week.)


Word of the Day


Quote of the Day


Seven Things I Love (12-21-2020): Christmas Edition

It’s almost Christmas, YIPPEE!!!!

I want to thank my friend Ann who was the person
who shared a few of this week’s ‘Things I Love’ with me. Thanks Ann!

1. This Suffragettes’ Christmas Card – Savvy Twitter users who could read music noticed that the music at the bottom of the card was actually for ‘La Marseillaise,’ the French national anthem. One Twitterer pointed out the song was indeed used by the movement.

In fact it was called “The Women’s Marseillaise‘ and it was the official anthem of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU.) With words written by Florence Macaulay, the song was sung by suffragettes both in the United Kingdom and in the United States. I don’t think women today can truly grasp how much we owe to the Suffragettes of the early twentieth century.

2. This Netflix Series, ‘The Holiday Movies That Made Us’ – a holiday version of the popular ‘The Movies That Made Us,’ the series covers two films: ‘Elf‘ and “Nightmare Before Christmas.’ (Personally, I enjoyed the ‘Elf‘ one better, even though “Nightmare Before Christmas‘ is one of my Mom’s favorite movies of all-time.)

3. This Excerpt from a Letter from Virginia Woolf to Violet Dickinson. – This excerpt of the letter is from the site ‘Letters of Note (LoN).’ I’m rather obsessed with ‘LoN.’ ‘LoN’ started as a book (I have a personalized copy) and eventually turned into this incredible online museum, all the brainchild of one person named Shaun Usher. Now there are multiple volumes with more on the way. I suggest signing up for the newsletter so you get a handful of letters delivered straight to your inbox daily.

So you know, Violet Dickinson was an old family friend of Virginia Woolf. Here is some information about her from Ellen Moers NYT review of “The Letters of Virginia Woolf, Volume I: 1888-1912“:

“Violet Dickinson gave far more than affection. She nursed Virginia at her Welwyn home through her suicidal depression in the summer of 1904, and then introduced her to the women’s editor of The Guardian and to Nellie Cecil. The Guardian assigned Virginia books to review and published her first writing; with Nellie Cecil (a professional critic, as will as daughter and wife of peers – her nephew is Lord David Cecil) she collaborated on a literary column for The Cornhill. From then until her marriage, Virginia Woolf was a hard-working literary journalist; she adored it.”

It is Christmas evening, and we are all soporific from the effects of a Christmas tea eaten on top of a Christmas turkey. Sophie never lets us off on Christmas day at all, and when this letter is finished, I shall have to go down and attack the turkeys legs which were left intact. Thoby had such a large helping that another plate had to receive the overflow, and he ate impartially from both. They spent the afternoon in making Rum Punch, which is made half of rum half of brandy, with sugar and lemon and hot water thrown in: the house smells like a public house in consequence, and we shall have a very merry evening. Isn’t this better than your high and dry aristocrats? We all talk at once, and make such brilliant jokes as never were seen.

Virginia Woolf | Letter to Violet Dickinson, Christmas Day 1904

4. This Scatelogical Celebration in Catalonia – I actually wish this was a thing here. These are called “caganers” and they are meant to bring luck. They need to be placed in a Nativity and the idea is that the defecating (caganer supposedly loosely translates to “the defecator”) figure is fertilizing the soil and therefore will bring good crops – basically it’s a symbol of fertility and good fortune. This explains why there are more figures of beloved people/things taking a poop than of ones that are disliked.

People buy a new one every year and they amass quite large collections apparently. I know I would be one of those people.

5. This Map Showing the Favorite Christmas Treat for Each State – if you’d like to see a larger version you can click on this link. Not sure if you agree with the map. I grew up in Iowa and we never had oreo balls. But we were right on the border of Wisconsin & Illinois so we weren’t really typical Iowa. I’ve lived in Wisconsin for the majority of my life (about 37 years,) and I don’t particularly recall seeing a lot of Andes Peppermints around during the holidays.

6. This Special Reading by Neil Gaiman of ‘A Christmas Carol’ – Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors and it’s not just because he’s an amazing writer but it’s also because he’s a HUGE advocate for public libraries. There are many Gaiman quotes to choose from about public libraries but his most “famous” in the library world is this one:

“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” ~ Neil Gaiman

7. This Collection of Rankin/Bass Christmas Specials that includes the “Vintage” Commercials

https://youtu.be/-2C5B5DpcJg

Another vintage show with original commercials…

https://youtu.be/WzCL3FM9dDc

[Bonus] 8. These Vintage Ceramic Christmas Trees – one of my favorite things about Christmas is decorating and the reason I love it so much is because it takes me back to my childhood. Every year, right after Thanksgiving, when I start to open up the boxes that store all my Christmas decorations I find myself mostly thinking about my Mom. Which is the best part.

I inherited a lot of her Christmas decorations and as I look at them, every one of them makes me think of her and the Christmases we spent together. The memories have become hazy but the feelings haven’t.

We actually never had one of these trees when I was a kid, not that I remember (as I said, hazy) but there is still something very familiar about this tree and I now own one. They are absolutely delightful. There’s a wonderful history of the trees written up here. And here is an article from Taste of Home with advice on how to find a ceramic tree if you are interested in having one for yourself.

via Amazon

Christmas collectibles have great sentimental value. Nowadays there isn’t a lot that gets passed down from generation to generation anymore. Mothers don’t give/leave their children china or silver or antiques. But that treasured tree topper or those favorite Christmas ornaments, well, that is something that any kid of any generation will appreciate.

[Bonus] 9. This Christmas Playlist – and don’t forget to check out the Menopausal Broad Playlist: Christmas Edition. I’ve added some new tunes and I’m sure that I’ll be adding even more music as the week goes on…


Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

(We’ve been at the threshold of hell most of this year but we’re close to being saved!)


Wishing You All a Very Merry & Healthy Christmas

Seven Things I Love (12-7-2020)

How is it already DECEMBER????

1. This Tea Party – Truly amazing. I belong to the Facebook group called ‘The Gilded Age Society.’ The Edwardian Era has always been my favorite time period, even before ‘Downton Abbey’ was a thing. Recently a young person name Paul Ryan T. Co, who is also a member of the group, posted these photos. He recreated a most magnificent Edwardian Era tea. I wrote to him immediately and asked if I could share the photos and he said yes so here they are.

An Edwardian Tea created by Paul Ryan T. Co

Here are some of the details included in Paul’s description:

The menu includes fresh fruits, dried fruit with nuts, chicken truffle quiche, scones with clotted cream and jam, and the pièce de résistance is a Lady Baltimore cake, which is a white cake filled with nuts and figs and then frosted with a fluffy marshmallow meringue icing. THAT sounds divine!

Paul used the original 1906 recipe which was copied in several newspapers, including Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s Daily Gazette and BulletinThe Columbus Journal, and The Washington Times.

There is a fascinating history of the cake on this site.

I myself might try a more modern recipe and am thinking of giving Martha’s version a try.

Additionally, the service is traditional to the period. It’s made up of an American sterling tea set by Gorham from the 1880s, a set of monogrammed sterling cutlery by Watson from 1902, a silver cake server by Whiting (from their King Edward pattern introduced in 1900 to commemorate Edward’s accession to the throne, which makes it rare), a Ridgeway dessert service, a Minton cake pedestal, a double-handled, molded Prussian cake plate, and a trio of Coalport tea cups (all produced from the late 1800s to early 1900s.) This guy needs to be hired by a production company, STAT! He’s a true artist.

Tell me you wouldn’t pay beaucoup bucks to attend a tea at this place!

2. This Governmental Body – The Irish Parliament discussed the “Santa Claus Issue” and formally announced that Santa is exempt from their national quarantine, that he will indeed still be visiting homes in Ireland, but social distancing should still be practiced and people should remain 2 meters away from him. Gotta LOVE THIS!

3. This Xfinity Short Film – It’s not really an advertisement. I saw a brief clip of this on television and it was so intriguing I wanted to watch the entire thing. Steve Carrell is a fine Santa Claus!

4. This Video on Mourning a Relationship You Never Had – I love Anna Akana so much and I really wish that she could time travel back to the early 80s and tell me exactly what she says in the video. Course I’m not sure if I would have been smart enough back then to listen to her.

5. This IG of Chris Evans Playing the Piano! – just when you think he can’t get any more adorable/perfect/wonderful….

and then watch Jimmy Fallon’s response to Chris’s piano playing viral video, it’s HILARIOUS.

6. These Recipes and Tips for Roasting Chestnuts – unless you live in a pretty large city (with lots of pedestrian traffic) you probably don’t run across many places selling roasted chestnuts during the Christmas season (despite what Hallmark movies makes Christmas look like). Myself, I’d actually never had them until well into my 50s.

I don’t have a gas stove so I have two options – one is two use my gas grill and the other is to roast them in the oven. I prefer them on the grill because they’re on an open flame but when it’s too cold (doesn’t happen much anymore with climate change) or when I’m visiting family and it’s too much of a hassle, the oven method works just fine. Especially when I use them in recipes, with, oh, for example, Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon.

In fact, last Christmas I tried to make the above recipe at my sister-in-law/brother’s house. In the notes it says, “If you prefer to roast fresh chestnuts instead of using vacuum-packed ones, cut a slit in the shell of each chestnut with a serrated knife.” I’m going to tell you something – a freaking serrated knife will not slit the shell of a chestnut. I mean, it will, but it’s like trying to saw wood with a butter knife.

Recently I ran across this nifty gadget and now I know that next year I will be completely prepared! It will score the chestnut so that it doesn’t explode while roasting (after all, that’s the primary reason why you’re cutting it.) Once you roast it, it should be easy to peel.

Bring it on Christmas 2021! I’m ready for you…

Chestnut Nutcracker

7. This Search Result When You Google Alex Trebek – SO sweet!

Before I get to the Word and Quote of the Week I strongly recommend that you watch these two movies before the end of the month. They are very different films but there’s one major similarity – you will figure it out quickly.

What I couldn’t help but think while watching both of them is how much better the world would be if people weren’t so judgmental and how so much bad behavior – masculine toxicity, repressed emotions, abusive tendencies, the list is endless – are passed on from generation to generation.

The first movie is Uncle Frank – amazing cast.

The second is The Happiest Season and it’s on Hulu (Dan Levy not surprisingly steals every scene he’s in.)


Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Never Forget…

Seven (+2) Things I Love (11-30-2020)

1. This Discovery of the Fountain of YouthScientists in Israel claim they have been able to reverse the aging process simply using oxygen. GIMME SOME OF THAT!

2. These Cardamom Cookies from Unna Bakery in New York – I found these locally a while back but couldn’t remember where I bought them. Damned menopausal brain fog. I checked to see if I could order them online and yay, I could! LOVE these cookies. They are my favorite treat to have with a cup of tea in the afternoon. A box contains five packets of two, all individually wrapped, so you don’t have to feel obligated to eat the whole package just to keep them from going stale (which is what I tell myself when I do that.) They are just the right amount of spice and sweet. In my opinion, the perfect cookie. The Swedes do so many things right and baking is on that list to be sure.

There are other flavors to choose from too. I ordered some Coconut Oat Cookies to try and they were different but equally good.

3. This Recipe for Sweet & Sour Brussels Sprouts – thanks to my brother Chuck for sending this to me. I’m a big fan of Camila Styles and I’m subscribed to her e-newsletter, but lately my inbox has been inundated so I’m missing a lot.

This girl (me) can’t get enough Brussels sprouts. Sadly, this girl also is on a blood thinner which means she has to pace herself. Well, you know what Julia Child says, “Everything in moderation.” (FYI, the full quote is, “Everything in moderation… including moderation.”) You can find the recipe by clicking on the photo or here.

4. This Book Review (and Interview) of Henry Winkler’s Newest Book by Master Crocheter Jonah Larson – they are all so damned adorable! Note Henry Winkler’s pillow behind him – love it! And Jonah Larson is a wunderkind! You can read more about him here and here.

5. This Cookware from GreenPan – I’ve bought all my GreenPan Cookware from Food52 but it’s available in many places including World Market, Kohl’s, and Amazon. One of my favorite pieces, which I use ALL the time, is the 12-Inch GreenPan Venice Pro Nonstick Ceramic Everyday Pan (pictured right). It’s no longer available at Food52 but they still have it at World Market. And there is a slightly smaller 11-Inch version called the Chatham Nonstick Ceramic Everyday Pan at Kohl’s for significantly less.

From the GreenPan website:

GreenPan is a Belgian brand with an international reputation. It’s the brainchild of two school friends: Jan Helskens and Wim De Veirman.

Upon discovering that traditional non-stick pans released toxins when overheated and used PFOA during the manufacture of the coating, they set out to create a new alternative.

After a long search, they found the perfect material for their range: a ceramic coating called Thermolon™.

With the biggest challenge out of the way, the duo put an expert team together and had a lot of pleasure in designing cookware that looked beautiful, performed brilliantly and made cooking even more of a joy.

10 years later their pans are loved around the world.

6. This Test Flight – I may not be a fan of Elon Musk (I think he ‘s batshit crazy) BUT I cannot deny he has vision and his company is achieving astonishing things. Besides, my nephew works at SpaceX so as long as he’s there I know that they they must be cool!

7. This Music Video (and tweet) – Daniel Stewart is Patrick Stewart’s son. The music video is awesome!

8. This Virtual Chess Game Against Beth Harmon (at four different ages!) – I ADORED ‘Queen’s Gambit’ (along with everyone else) and now I’m obsessed. Chess.com has developed this clever online experience tied in to the hit Netflix series. I finally got brave enough to try to play 8 year-old Beth. It was a draw because we ran out of moves. I thought my brain was going to explode though it was working so hard.

9. These Edible Christmas Ornaments for Outdoor Trees – I’m a Hallmark (and now Lifetime too) Christmas movie junkie. This year Hallmark has an incredible number of new movies. One of my favorites is called, Christmas with the Darlings. In addition to the usual christmas cookie making/baking scene that occurs in every Hallmark movie, in this one they made animal-friendly ornaments and I thought it was brilliant. I will definitely be doing this next year! There are two different links. The link on the photo below will take you to a recipe for the birdseed ornaments pictured. The link at the beginning in bold takes you to an article with a variety of ideas and links.


Word of the Day
(is actually the Merriam-Webster Word of the Year for 2020)

If you click on the graphic below it will take you to an analysis of the use and significance of the word pandemic for the year.

Quote of the Day

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and stayed safe!

And I don’t want to rub it in so I’ll let Charlie say for me what I can’t say myself….

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