Tuesday, February 28, 2012

feta and spinach themed recipes

1) I've made two delicious dishes going on instinct this week. I'm going to try to tell you how to make them, too. Please bear with me. Most of the measurements are approximations from my memory, use your judgement about how much of one thing or the other you might like to eat.

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Portobello Mushroom 
(this is essentially the filling for spanikopita, but put in a mushroom and baked)
Serves: 1
1 Tblspoon Olive Oil
1 Small to Medium Onion, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, diced
About 2 Large Handfuls of fresh baby spinach (cooks down to about a cup)
1 Beaten Egg
As much feta as you want
1 large portobello mushroom cap, stem and gills removed

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Add onion to a heated skillet with olive oil, cook on low-medium heat until onion is translucent.
3. Add garlic and spinach. You may have to add the spinach in batches, but it will cook down significantly. 
4. Once spinach is fully cooked (all soggy and so so much less than you thought it would be), stir in the beaten egg and cook on low until egg is no longer clear. 
5. Add feta. I used about two tablespoons, but it's up to you how cheesy you want it. 
6. Place the mushroom on a baking sheet with the bottom facing up, spoon the spinach mixture onto it. 
7. Bake about 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the mushroom underneath is tender (use fork or knife to poke it). 
Note: I didn't add any salt in this recipe, because the feta is so salty. You may want to add some - taste the spinach mixture before using it. 

Greek Polenta Bake
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small to medium onion, sliced in strips
  • 1 cup canned whole tomatoes, sliced as you add them*
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Teaspoon oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (either canned or precooked)
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
  • 2 Generous handfuls of fresh baby spinach (cooks down to about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup mixed Greek olives, chopped roughly
  • As much feta cheese as you want

  • 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 inch baking dish.
  • 2.Place the water, milk, and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cornmeal and stir with a wooden spoon until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to the baking dish.
  • 3. Bake the polenta until bubbly and beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  • 4. While the polenta is baking, saute the onions in olive oil on medium-low heat, until tender.
  • 5. Add tomatoes, spices, and chickpeas. Cook on low heat until the onions are fully cooked and the spices have ad a chance to mix in (about 5 minutes). 
  • 6. Add spinach and garlic (again, maybe in batches) and stir until spinach is fully cooked.
  • 7. Add olives and cheese, stir until evenly distributed.
  • 8. Spoon the mixture over the baked polenta, spreading it evenly.
  • 9. Bake until the mixture is bubbling and the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. 
  • *My host mother in NI told me to always use whole canned tomatoes, never crushed or diced. So I do what she said. 

2. This panel discussing the movie "the Help."

3. They just keep coming. 

4. Today these mini-daffodils were on sale at Wegmans for ninety nine cents! And they fit in my car's cupholder!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

If You Wubba Me, Then I Will Wubba You

I've slacked a little this week on updating, here is a super-post to make up for it!

1. We had another concert at my house on Thursday, with the Stray Birds. There's nothing like rolling back the rug in your living room and filling it up with music and people. Having dinner with the band before hand and watching them while holding Baby in my lap are additional bonuses. I love live music and banjos and ballads and not having to leave my house for any of these things is the best.

2. 48 Pictures that Perfectly Capture the 1990's (in the USA). What an age to be alive.
Kurt and I have nearly identical sunglasses.
3. Thinking about the 90's inspired me to look up this Sesame Street song. Remember this? I was not aware, in my youth, of who many of the celebrities were, but now it's like a time capsule. 

4. I spent my Friday night skyping with the wonderful Isa. Our conversation covered many topics, including our gratitude that we're not prostitutes. 
Isa: And you know, it's just always something to be grateful for...
Hel: At least you're not a hooker.
Isa: Right, and even if you are, maybe you'll meet the right man.

5. This guy put a lot of time and effort into photoshopping pictures of celebrities into his party pictures.

6.  Switcheroos by Hana Pesut.

7. Loving this song/this band lately. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

No wonder it took them until now to find that chameleon...

1. It's PANCAKE TUESDAY! The most wonderful Tuesday of the year! Tonight I made chocolate chip banana pancakes with friends and ate them for dinner and it was great.


3. Miniature chameleon discovered! It fits on a match tip! That is so tiny! How does it hydrate itself without drowning?!?!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Gene Wilder is judging us all.


My 90-year-old Grandma Dances to The Black Keys... by My90YearOldGrandma

2. This guy leads urban kids on nature hikes and write down the things he overhears.
The one that made me laugh the hardest: "Rebecca say she didn't sneak no food? Musta been some amphibian crinklin a cheeto bag outside my tent then."

3. I know I already posted this on facebook but it is so great that I didn't want to deprive any of you who are not on facebook:

5. Have you watched Girl Walk All Day yet? If you have internet that lets you watch videos, then you have NO EXCUSE for not watching this. Seriously.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

(100-legged bug)

1. Latia, pretty much the only person I know who still sends chain joke e-mails, sent me this gem (my favorite bits are where it explains that a centipede is a 100-legged bug, and then "YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS" right before the punch line):
The Talking Centipede
   A single guy decided life would be more fun if he had a pet. So he went to the pet store and told the owner
that he wanted to buy an unusual pet. After some discussion, he finally bought a talking centipede, (100-legged bug), which came in a little white box to use for his house. 

He took the box back home, found a good spot for the box, and decided he would start off by taking his new pet to church with him. So he asked the centipede in the box, "Would you like to go to church with me today? We will have a good time." But there was no answer from his new pet. This bothered him a bit, but he waited a few minutes and then asked again, "How about going to church with me and receive blessings?" But again, there was no answer from his new friend and pet. So he waited a few minutes more, thinking about the situation.
The guy decided to invite the centipede one last time. This time he put his face up against the centipede ' s house and shouted, "Hey, in there! Would you like to go to church with me and learn about God?"
This time, a little voice came out of the box, "I heard you the first time! I'm putting my shoes on!"

2. X-Files. Did you know that the entire series is on Netflix Watch Instantly? I've seen a number of episodes before, but I'm watching it straight through with some friends and we're coming up with a drinking game (we don't actually drink while watching, we just shout "shot!" when something from our list comes up). So far we have:
- Every time someone mentions Africa.
- Every time there is rape subtext.
- Every time Mulder touches someone inappropriately or glances at someone's chest.
- Every time Mulder and Scully get too close. 
- Every time there is a human nest. 

3. I often post poetry by Mary Oliver on this here blog, she is one of my favorite poets. I found out today that she is seriously ill. These folks have made a blog for fans to write notes to Mary about what her work has meant to them. 

4. A wonderful mom's thoughts on her seven year old son telling her that he's gay.

5. On a related note to #4, say gay.

FCKH8.com: The "Teachers Can't Talk About Homos" Law from FCKH8.com on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day to us all!

1. I like Valentines Day. It is sometimes corrupted by peoples' needs to prove things (like love for another person, or that they're happy being single, etc), but I choose to see it as a holiday celebrating love. Ain't nothing wrong with that. I love my friends, my family, my job, my home, myself, and chocolate. Bring it, Valentines Day. 


Of Love

I have been in love more times than one,
thank the Lord. Sometimes it was lasting
whether active or not. Sometimes
it was all but ephemeral, maybe only
an afternoon, but not less real for that.
They stay in my mind, these beautiful people,
or anyway beautiful people to me, of which
there are so many. You, and you, and you,
whom I had the fortune to meet, or maybe
missed. Love, love, love, it was the
core of my life, from which, of course, comes
the word for the heart. And, oh, have I mentioned
that some of them were men and some were women
and some—now carry my revelation with you—
were trees. Or places. Or music flying above
the names of their makers. Or clouds, or the sun
which was the first, and the best, the most
loyal for certain, who looked so faithfully into
my eyes, every morning. So I imagine
such love of the world—its fervency, its shining, its
innocence and hunger to give of itself—I imagine
this is how it began.

- Mary Oliver 


Heart Felt by Sarah Mandell

Monday, February 13, 2012

that's not a real problem

1. If you like this song, you should consider buying their four track album. It's name your price, which seems like a pretty good way to get your music out there. (You can also download the individual tracks for free, but the fact that they have the name your price option compelled me to give them a couple of bucks).



 I use my parents' netflix account for watch instantly. So does one of my sisters. The effect is that netflix attempts to combine four different people's movie tastes to provide recommendations. Hilarious insights into our family result. The best sub-categories created so far:
- Dysfunctional Family Dramas with Strong Female Lead
- Exciting Independent Crime Movies
- Emotionally Independent Father-Daughter Movies
- Coming of Age 20th Century Period Pieces

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

peanut butter jelly cookies

1) Finally figured out that blogspot thought I was on Pacific time! For the past year and four months that I've had this blog! That's why it never had the right time stamp!

2) I am of the opinion that this is the best Wilco song. This may not be a popular opinion, but that's a risk I'm willing to take. Runner-ups: Radio Cure, Reservations, and I Must Be High. This message is brought to you by my recent decision to re-listen to my favorite music of my High School and early college years. It's a fun nostalgic and sometimes horrifying experience. You should try it!

3) No more Prop 8! 

4) Easiest cookie recipe ever (and it's gluten-free):
1 Cup Peanut Butter (chunky or creamy, your choice, I like chunky)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Pinch of salt
Some jam or jelly of your choice
Preheat oven to 375. Combine everything but the jelly in a bowl, mix until it reaches the same consistency throughout. Spoon dough onto cookie sheet (I roll the dough into about 1 inch diameter balls, but you can do bigger). Flatten slightly - you can use the bottom of a glass, or the back of a tablespoon. I use the bottom of a small spice jar, because it makes a shallow well for the jam. Spoon jam into center of each cookie. Bake for around 12 minutes, turning the trays halfway through. Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from cookie sheet, and cool completely before eating (or else they will crumble and fall apart. They may crumble a little bit anyway).


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Videos and Other Content

1. I am of the opinion that this is one of the best five minutes in music history. The blending of You Never Give Me Your Money and Carry That Weight is my favorite bit.

2. A while back, I considered talking about the recently coined term "manic pixie dream girl." I was pleased to see that others had recognized this pattern in female characters in film (it bothered me the most in "500 Days of Summer"), and were talking about it.  I don't think I ever did though, because I wasn't sure how to share it. Well, now there is this lovely video making fun of this phenomena. Imagine that Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character had married Zooey Deschanel's. (Also see: 4 Pieces of Relationship Advice Movies Need to Stop Giving and Four Lies Movie Taught Us About Dating). 

3. Staff person for the Ellen show inspired "Ellen's Dance Dare," challenging people to film themselves dancing behind unsuspecting people. I love it. 

Wooden Heart by Dimitri Tsykalov
Though I am young, and cannot tell
    Either what Death or Love is well,
Yet I have heard they both bear darts,
    And both do aim at human hearts.
And then again, I have been told
    Love wounds with heat, as Death with cold;
So that I fear they do but bring
    Extremes to touch, and mean one thing.

As in a ruin we it call
    One thing to be blown up, or fall;
Or to our end like way may have
    By a flash of lightning, or a wave;
So Love’s inflamed shaft or brand
    May kill as soon as Death’s cold hand;
Except Love’s fires the virtue have
    To fight the frost out of the grave.
- Ben Jonson

Thursday, February 2, 2012

February Picture Day

1. I'm kind of obsessed with this picture recently posted on Look at This Fucking Earlham. That's my alma mater. You're goddamn right that's my alma mater. I just made this picture my desktop.

More amazing artwork by Gabriella Barouch

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, 1960s
By Mary Oliver
(I know this is tricky of me, because it is really a poem not a picture, but I wanted to post this poem.  So there.)