Saturday, February 28, 2009
I needed music that wouldn't have me distracted and singing along. I typed in Brandi Carlile (I have a thing for her voice) & the Brandi Carlile station (that plays all sorts of artists in the same mood, including her) has been a constant background while I'm working. Finally, music I can work to!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
- 1 pkg. "JIFFY" Corn Muffin Mix (Don't judge, people. 2 boxes for $1 at Stop&Shop)
- 3 eggs, separated
- 3/4 C buttermilk (I used what we had - 2%)
- 1/2 C sour cream
- 4 jalapeno peppers - cored, seeded & diced
- 1 small red pepper, diced (skipped this)
- 4 T margarine or butter, diced
This was a great dish. My only complaint was that it had too much moisture in the center of the bread. I'm guessing I could have baked it longer, or using buttermilk instead of 2% would've made the mix more thick (and easier to set). Or maybe it was not being able to whip the egg whites stiff enough. I was overruled by 2 people & told not to change a thing, but I'd change it up anyway. I'm stubborn like that.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
RI promises streamlined food stamp program, Mon, Feb 23, 2009, By Paul Davis.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- State officials will soon make it easier to get food stamps. The changes, announced today, include hiring nine more workers to help with a surge in demand. Other changes include a streamlined application process with a one-year service span. Currently, recipients must reapply every six months.
Also, the state Department of Health and Human Services will reach out to workers who have recently lost jobs. About 20,000 people receiving unemployment benefits will get notices of the program. More than 90,000 people now get help through the food stamp program.
The measures will help individuals and families obtain nutritional meals and increase federal dollars coming into Rhode Island's economy, acting Secretary Gary D. Alexander said."Rhode Island is working hard to ease access to food assistance for recently unemployed individuals, elderly populations, and individuals with disabilities," he said. "Program simplification is the quickest way to serve those most in need."
Monday, February 23, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
My favorite (left) seems to be out of print or missing from the listing, but you can see it in her 5x7 sale ad - soft lights strung through the street. I'm guessing...created with a heart shaped lens cover to make the heart bokeh.
Update: My fav (Looking for Love) is once again in-print. I just love the tones in it. But, to be fair, they're all gorgeous.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
from About.com's Southern food site.
- 1 C grated Parmesan
- 1 C mayonnaise (less & the light mayo work fine)
- 12-14 oz. artichoke hearts, drained, not marinated (I used a giant jar from BJs)
- 1/8 t. garlic powder
- 1/8 t. onion powder
- 1/4 C minced roasted red pepper (I doubled the peppers)
Next week: Chris' go at Asparagus, Artichoke, & Shiitake Risotto.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Also, the February issue of Street Sights, including our first report on the tent city in Providence, is now available online. You can find it here (be patient, it takes a while to fully load) or at the main website for Street Sights.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Foot update: Late last night I smashed my foot on the corner of the couch. Ouch. No, really, ouch! Today, after the whole foot turned purple, I had it x-rayed. Diagnosis: broken toe - fracture at the metatarsal-phalangeal joint. Ugh. "Don't bend your foot or you will re-fracture it with every step...elevate, use ice to reduce swelling, and don't go back to yoga for 6 weeks." Are you kidding me? Once again, I am reminded of my relationship to Mr. Glass.
Latest on the toe.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
I haven't seen Danielle in over a year, but I know we'll pick up this weekend right where we left off, without any pretenses. Given the daily (minor, but exhausting) dramas that have been stalking both Chris & I, as of late, I'm looking forward to a break--where I get to catch up with an old friend and neither Chris nor I have to meet anyone's expectations.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness stout
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for garnish
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
[ For the frosting: 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened;1/3 C. heavy cream; 1 lbs. confectioners’ sugar;Cocoa powder, for dusting]
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the Guinness, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the sour cream.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, and baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet Guinness mixture.
- Butter 24 muffin tins and divide the batter among the muffin tins.
- Bake 25 minutes, until risen and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out of the tins.
** For more recipes: RedPepperFlakes Recipe Archives.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
The paper is distributed through local libraries, coffee shops, meal sites, shelters, churches, government buildings, and mailed out to subscribers. Street Sights reaches all kinds of people, who may or may not have ties to homelessness. The paper covers news, offers opinions, and space for advocates to promote change, while other parts of the paper give homeless individuals room for expression and artistic creations, without judgment. People are doing great work, everywhere I turn. My favorite part of the paper is "Faces of Homelessness," where individuals describe their experiences in shelters, or their snippets from their life-stories, and successes or talents are celebrated. I see this section as an active form of respect, but also as breaking through vicious stereotypes about homelessness and homeless people.
But as you might know, movers can be pricey, especially when charging by the hour. So, we made an effort to cut back on hours of the big move, by hauling boxes over in Baby Yaris the day prior. Sure enough, Chris bulldozed 1/2 the house and definitely saved us a few hundred dollars. On moving day, the movers themselves were great, hustling those heavy wooden dressers right up to the top floor of the new place. Mind you, two of them were twenty-somethings.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
- 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 cups (4 oz) crisp rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies®
1. Sprinkle a large baking sheet with drops of water, then cover with wax paper. Set aside.
2. ...Place half the chocolate in a large glass bowl and microwave on high in 15-second increments, stirring after each, until melted. [A]dd the remaining chips to the melted chocolate and stir until all is fully melted.
3. Stir in the cereal until evenly coated, then pour onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading the mixture a little thicker than 1/4 inch with an offset metal spatula or a rubber spatula. Set aside to cool at room temperature until crispy, about 4 to 6 hours (or leave covered with parchment paper on the counter over night). Slice the bark into small rectangles.I'm not a big sweet tooth, so these are perfect for me - crispy & not too sweet!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Externalizing Costs: We could talk about the impact companies like Walmart have on local businesses, or the ethical problem of price gouging, or even the effect a corporation's size has on our choices (products barred or products carried). Instead, the behind-the-scenes process of "externalizing costs" seems to be the real problem, partially because we claim no responsibility for the damage it might do, but we support the process in our buying practices. When a company "externalizes the cost of a product," it means that the company does not charge us for the materials and labor that goes into the production of the product. Instead, we are charged less because the company passes the costs off to others, while passing the savings on to us. The company externalizes the costs by pursing cheap labor at the manufacturing level or in-store through its employees, denying benefits to employees or factory workers, or prioritizing the pursuit of profit over considerations of impact on the consumer, the workers, the environment, etc). While there's more to the story, of course, this is one of the points raised in the video, The Story of Stuff. I found it to be worth watching.
The video isn't offering easy answers or conspiracy theories about the government (if you listen closely), but it is describing a process and marketplace invisible to us as consumers. So, regardless of the ethical imperative one might draw from this description -- that we ought to consume less and more thoughtfully -- at the very least, we should consider the impact our buying has on something as simple as our own happiness, or on the lives of workers who make and sell the products we consume. Watch the entire video here, at http://www.storyofstuff.com
Consuming Less: For those who do see an ethical imperative here or believe that consuming less is a better and more socially responsible way of living, you are in great company. The topic of consumption & stuff has been on my mind a lot lately, because we've spent the last month packing our things (into an absurd # of boxes) and now are slowly unpacking. The questions for us are 1) what can I get rid of, 2) where have I fallen into the trap of getting rid of things that work fine, only to unnecessarily replace them with new things, and 3) how can I stop this cycle?
Chris and I have been regularly making trips to the local Salvation Army, where our sellable donations are offered at discounted prices in their family stores. Profits from the sales contribute to social services and employment opportunities they offer to the community. Donations that cannot be sold because of wear or age, should be donated to churches or shelters that can pass on the donations quickly and directly to those in need.
There are other options as well (suggestions from my friend Rich):
Monday, February 2, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
The people who I have met in the past few weeks, at Street Sights, at Tent City, at St. John's, and at the Coalition, are continually giving their possessions, food, time, and mental focus, to the people around them. I have repeatedly had homeless individuals sharing and giving me food, offering full meals, and offering chairs to sit or time to chat. Everyone I have met has been talented and kind. Not people who have talents but hoard them, trying to figure out how to make the most money possible with their skills, but people who are good at something or have something to give, simply give of themselves. I keep running into people who are not trying to change the world or appear socially progressive, but people giving out of impulse and fighting to improve the concrete conditions of their neighbors' lives. And across the board, the people who I have met in the last two weeks have been some of the least self-involved people I've met since in Providence.
On top of this, the friends we have here, and in some cases, people I barely know, couldn't have been more supportive and generous about our move to a new apartment. Chris' colleagues, and many of our friends, offered to help move boxes or heavy furniture and even help with packing (after driving up from Newport!). We were offered a break with extra tickets to a basketball game, a wonderful friend (also my new yoga partner) made food for us while our kitchen is packed up, and the well-wishes have been non-stop.
To be honest, I've found these last few weeks overwhelming because of the generosity I've seen and received. This kindness is the inspiring kind and it changes your day-to-day lives. Out of nowhere, overwhelming, and drawing forth gratitude. Thank you.