Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Blast from the past

A few months ago, I was at a friend's house for dinner and suddenly a song from a TV show popped into my head from out of nowhere. I couldn't quite remember what it was from, just that it went '3-2-1 Contact.'

Of course, with the internet being what it is today, I was able to find what I was looking for immediately. If you were a kid in the 80s, perhaps you'll remember this song, too.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Restaurant in the Sky

Someone sent me an email with all of these pics and asked if I would eat here...my answer? NO! Ok, more like hell NO.

This place hauls up a table and chairs (that swivel 180 degrees) by a crane and serves dinner. Go check out the other crazy photos at their website.


Also, go check out Forbes' Most Unusual Restaurants in the World slide show. (click on the spot where it says "In Pictures.")

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cute Websites

I know that some people know about these websites, but just in case...

These are my 2 favorite cute websites to look at. Stuff On My Cat. The name says it all. And Cute Overload. Again, appropriate name! Go check them out. New stuff every day to make your day a little brighter.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mini Food

I'm always like a big kid when it comes to mini stuff. I love huge food, too, anything that is good enough to get into the Guiness World Book of Records. But I've got a real soft spot in my heart for mini food.

This was something made by hercuteness over at craftster.org. Here is a link to her project.

It was inspired by an article in the Martha Stewart magazine. Of course, I think that the things that I frequently see in the Martha Stewart magazine are impossible to make at home (at least it won't look half as good!). So, it was nice to see these pics...the real thing.

Isn't is amazing?

2 Million Minutes

I found this on YouTube. I think that this would be a very interesting documentary to watch. It compares and contrasts American high school students to students in India and China.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mio fratello ti chiama Giovanni.

I've been having fun lately listening to podcasts designed to teach you Italian at Learn Italian Pod.

They have a beginner's section, which is definitely where I am skill-wise, and the recordings are about 10 minutes long each (some are a little shorter). I go in and listen while I work, absorbing as much as I can and sometimes listening to the same recordings a few times.

I am trying to stretch this brain of mine! I've also found that it is fun to go to Italian food blogs and try to figure out what they are saying. And I've also found a good online dictionary to help with my interpretations.

Here are a few Italian food blogs (lots of transplants to Italy from other European countries it seems, I keep finding Italian food blogs where the owners are Swedes, Germans, etc.):

Un Tocco di Zenzero (A Touch of Ginger)
Il cavoletto di bruxelles
Cuoche dell'altro mondo (A Cook From Another World)

I find it very entertaining to see Italians cooking Asian food and how many other Italians reply with enthusiasm to those types of recipes.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Creamy Potato Soup

I tried this recipe from Recipezaar this weekend. I think that I should've boiled my potatoes a little bit longer, but overall the flavor was good. Next time, I'm going to add a sprig of fresh rosemary and some parsley for extra flavor.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What if...

What if you could take a big risk in your life, without the risk? What if I told you that you could try doing something that up until now you were afraid to do because of the possibility of failure but that it would be a success...guaranteed?

I guess that is the crux of risk, that there are no guarantees. But I think that it's an interesting way to free your mind to start really dreaming big, if only to see what your big dreams truly are.

If I could try something without the fear of failure...I think that I would change jobs and do something completely different from what I've been doing. Maybe interior design or criminal forensics. Something that holds the promise of excitement and new experiences.

I've always been drawn to color and shape, the joy of beauty for the sake of beauty. I also really thrive in cold, hard scientific facts. Things that can be relied upon, researched and referenced. Somewhere in this mix of art, criticism and detail is a joyous career awaiting to be discovered.

I think that a lot of problems in the world come from the paralysis that some of us suffer from. We get locked into our little lives, our little problems and forget how much of a difference our efforts can make. I was watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition last week and the family that was selected made an incredible difference in the lives of so many people in their community. They had 7 people living in a house that was less than 600 square feet. Yet, they made a difference to other people, even having so little. With no promise of reward, they contribute to others because that's what they believe in.

If I had nothing to fear, not only would I dream of living a great life for myself, I would also pursue a purpose driven life.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Recipe that I must try!

My sister blogged about picking up some yummy pepper shooters at a hoagie shop in Philadelphia. Pepper shooters are cherry peppers (hot) stuffed with a hunk of sharp provolone cheese wrapped in prosciutto. They also had salamancinis, which are pepperoncinis stuffed with a hunk of sharp provolone wrapped with salami.

Her boyfriend asked her to try to recreate the peppers at home. So, of course, my sister tried to meet the challenge and moved forward. Her shooters looked like this. However, she did say that they didn't turn out quite how they were at the store, so I started looking online for a recipe to try.

Here is what I found:

16 cherry peppers
1/3 pound grated provolone cheese
3 to 4 ounces prosciutto
Salt and white pepper to taste

For the marinade:
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
\ cup red wine vinegar (don't know what this measurement was supposed to be, so I figure just add to taste)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
{ cup chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme, marjoram, oregano, etc.)

Whisk marinade ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl and set aside.

Remove the stems and cores (with seeds) from the peppers using a sharp paring knife. Quickly blanch if desired, and then dry the peppers well with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix the cheese and prosciutto with the salt and pepper. Carefully fill each pepper with the cheese mixture and place in jars or a shallow non-reactive casserole dish. Refrigerate.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Late New Year's Resolutions

I'm like many people. I resolve not to make resolutions each New Year's Day. I think that people should have an ongoing desire to improve themselves.

But regardless of what I say, I find that the beginning of a calendar year is a good time to look back and decide what needs to be changed as I move forward. Even without meaning to, I find that I give myself goals every year.

So what is it this year? Well, oddly enough, it's not too different than every year before this one.

(in no particular order)

1. Spend meaningful time with my son.
2. Get regular exercise, to improve my shape and feel better, stronger.
3. Eat better...same reasons as above.
4. Find happiness and joy in a relationship with a great guy.
5. Work in a fulfilling and rewarding job.
6. Save towards buying a "home" of my own.
7. Learn more Italian.

and last, but not least, and possibly the most important

8. Take more risks to get what I want out of life.