Saturday, December 24, 2005

Xmas Nuts

Some people can't stand cardamom. Leave it out if it pleases you. These nuts taste good on salads or alone as a treat.

1/2 c. brown sugar packed
1/2 c. white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2 tbsps Yogurt (the kind with the cream on top)
2 tbsps milk
1/2 c. sliverd almonds
1 c. walnut pieces

Prepare a cookie sheet by greasing it lightly. In a heavy bottomed frying pan combine the sugar, spices and salt. Mix in the milk and yogurt and cook over high heat until the mixture forms a soft ball when dropped into a bowl of cold water. Lower the heat to medium low. While still over the burner, pour the nuts into the caramel mixture and stir until well coated. Pour the candy over the cookie sheet and allow to cool. Break apart and serve.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Fabulous Birthday Prizes

Yesterday was my Birthday... and I had a very nice one thank you! Dinner at Jakes Famous Crawfish... as I am a big fan of Oysters (the small flavorful ones). But more importantly it's nice to just be with your family and loved ones on your Birthday.

  • A fancy whipped cream dispenser
  • Season One of the Muppet Show on DVD
  • The 25th Anniversary Muppet Show CD
  • DVD Set of I Claudius The PBS Series
  • An antique copy of Dante's Major Opus in Italian with English translation
  • Various Green Tea Soaps and Bath products

One of the best Brithdays ever I must say.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

My one Christmas wish

It pains me and deeply frightens me... the developing state of paranoia and fear we live under. I feel that sooner or later unless people confront what is happening with conviction and belief, we will no longer live in a truly Free society. What frightens me the most is the side which normally takes the moral high ground on things is now pulling whatever dirty stunts they can to make their point or drive it home into the skulls of the opposition. I've spoken to a number of seemingly educated individuals who really do believe that it's necessary to sacrifice our civil liberties in order to be safe. Perhaps I would be inclined to agree with them if I were assured that once there was no longer a "State of Emergency" our rights would be reinstated. However I'm not entirely convinced that the powers that be are likely to relenquish power over our rights once the need has died down. More, I'm note convinced that they will take the morally correct path when it comes to being truthful about the existance of a "State of Emergency." If History has taught us anything it is that parties or individuals who want to achieve power will pull out whatever stops necessary in order to do so. More they will also take advantage of a "State of Emergency" perceived or "real" in order to do so, because it is a strategically good time to take greater powers during such times.

Though on the bright side, no government or person has ever been able to maintain a complete hold over a free society in the Modern World over a long period of time. Any reign based entirely upon the suppression of rights of the people for the purposes of a very few or group of people will be challenged, as long as there is a large and well-informed enough body of people who will rise up or speak out. I can only be hopeful.

If I had a wish right now, it would be for all Americans to be vigilant and protective over as well as thankful for the amount of 'freedom' we currently do possess.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Tis the Season...

Sort of makes me wish I asked for that beebee gun for Christmas

Monday, December 12, 2005

You are Emma Woodhouse from Emma. A classic
only child personality, you are constantly
trying to rearrange the world (and society) to
suit your personal world-view. Mostly, you
succeed at that! You are persuasive and
charming, and almost always manage to get your
way-- which is good, because, as we all know,
your way is the right way.

Which Jane Austen Character Are You?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Biscuit Nazi shares her recipe for scalloped potatoes

Was over at a friend's house for a party last night... some people rifle through people's medicine cabinets (for curiousity's sake only of course). I look through their pantry and refrigerator. And I had an episode that night that might rival the "Wire Hanger" incident depicted in the Joan Crawford bio-pic Mommie Dearest.

"Whoa... what's this?!" I exclaim. "Canned refrigerator biscuits!!! No, no, no, no, no, no, no!"
He explained that the biscuits belonged to his soon to be ex-girlfriend.
"I should hope so!" I noted on both accounts. One, that the biscuits did not belong to him. Two, that he was ridding himself of that ridiculously uneducated (food-wise) harlot. Canned biscuits indeed!!

Biscuits are sacred, I say. It's not too hard to make biscuits. . Why they're just a bit of flour, shortening, salt, soda and perhaps some buttermilk... all lovingly folded together. I personally use the Fannie Farmer cookbook recipe and depending on my mood add a handful of shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese. Maybe it's just me but the canned variety taste tinny or seem loaded with preservatives.

But when it comes to potatoes, I know nothing. I've never really liked potatoes, having been brought up mainly on rice. Though I did find a recipe that I could actually deal with. I actually added a few things still trying to maintain a healthy balance while still achieving the simplicity of home-cooked goodness.

2 lbs russet potatoes peeled and sliced 1/8" thick then parboiled in salted water
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 c. unbleached flour
2-3 dashes of white pepper
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. milk
2 tbsp poppy seeds
1/2 c. chopped scallions
1 1/2 c. extra sharp cheddar shredded
Chopped parsley

Drain the potatoes and rinse with very cold water. Toss in a collander to dry. Butter a glass baking dish. Melt the butter on moderate heat and add the flour, pepper and salt and continue stirring to cook up a roux. Stir continuously over moderate heat for 3 minutes and start adding the broth in a stream as you stir. After all of the broth is incorporated add the milk in the same fashion, taking care to whist continually to make sure that the sauce doesn't form lumps.

Keep sauce on burner over low heat.

Lay the potato slices on the bottom of the dish. Drizzle with sauce and add a layer of the cheese and some of the scallions and sprinkle some of the poppy seeds. Continue to layer the ingredients in this fashion until they are used up. Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Turn the heat up to broil and broil for 3-5 minutes or just enough to get top of the casserole lighly browned.

Sprinkle tops with freshly chopped curly leafed parsley. Serve immediately with a dish of quality lowfat yogurt (Pavel's Russian Yogurt is excellent)substituted for sour cream.