Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Give Jay Your Gayest Look

Jay Leno just keeps making friends:

So, here's my gayest look for you, Jay.

What an asshole. Also? Not funny.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Flu Sucks

This might be the first time in several years I've come down with the actual flu, as in high fever, fake-sounding cough, horrible headache, and general all-over "owwwww, unghhhh" feeling.

But soon, I will update you on the latest salvo on America's War on Pancakes.

Here's a preview:

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fettucine with Green Pea Pesto and Spring Herb Salad

I've been watching Jamie Oliver's new series on FoodTV and getting inspiration from some of the things he makes. Not so much lately, though, as the latest few episodes have been about game and lamb, and I do my best to be a pescatarian, if that's a word.

A couple of weeks ago, a salad he made inspired me to try to recreate it, and for some reason, I thought it would go nicely with a green pea pesto and pasta dish. I'm not going to write out a recipe, because I used a recipe from Gourmet magazine for the pesto (with the addition of a little tarragon and parsley), and the salad was just arugula, Belgian endive, Italian parsley, and raddicchio tossed with a lemon-tarragon vinaigrette. The point is, it was really good, and I remembered to take a picture of it.

Actually, there's more: My son LOVED the pasta. In his little mind, pesto now means the pea mixure that was on that pasta, so I have finally found a way to get him to eat vegetables. As long as I puree cooked veggies with garlic and parmesan and call it pesto, he seems to be willing to eat them. (I recently tried this with roasted cauliflower and called it "white pesto" and it worked.)

Aside: The plates in my house reflect my mom's taste, not mine so much.


If you are a fan of Lost and a fan of funny, you will like this. I command you.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Food: It's What's for Dinner

I just noticed that my friend Gumbeaux Gal has linked to my blog as one of her favorite food blogs, so I'd better post about food again right quicklike.

Last night, I didn't think I had anything in the house to make for dinner, but I definitely did not want to go anywhere, so I opened the fridge and looked for inspiration. There it was, in the form of a bag of cleaned, sliced crimini mushrooms from Trader Joe's that if I didn't use right now, would probably convert to something unrecognizable overnight. Well, maybe they weren't that bad, but let's just say I had a bag of mushrooms I needed to take care of.

I've always got pasta on hand, and lately, I've been buying bags of Trader Joe's mini ravioli to feed my little boy. So, with the mushroom mini ravioli, sliced mushrooms, some fresh thyme and sage, and some onion and garlic, I created:

Carmelized Double-Mushroom Ravioli in a Pinch

1/2 bag of Trader Joe's mini mushroom ravioli
1 bag Trader Joe's sliced crimini mushrooms (about two cups sliced mushrooms)
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh thyme leaves
1 T fresh sage leaves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
olive oil
grated parmigiano-reggiano

In a stock pot or large sauce pan, bring a whole bunch of water to a boil, and then add salt. Cook ravioli according to package directions, and drain.

Meanwhile, In a hot saute pan, add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Add mushrooms and cook over high heat until mushrooms give off their liquid and begin to brown (about ten to fifteen minutes*). Add onions, and season with salt. Cook until onions and mushrooms begin to caramelize (about ten more minutes*). Add garlic and herbs and cook until garlic turns golden and mushrooms and onions are nice and brown (about five more minutes*). Deglaze the pan with the wine, and cook until wine reduces by half. Season with pepper and more salt, if necessary.

Throw the cooked ravioli in with the mushroom mixture and toss. Top with grated cheese and enjoy.


I seriously considered adding about 1/4 cup of cream once the wine was reduced. Also, I think rosemary would be nice in place of the sage. If I'd had spinach on hand, I would have added that too, as well as some crushed red pepper.

*All times are approximate and reflect the crappiness of my stove.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It's National Grammar Day!

Because I am a writer and editor, several coworkers and acquaintances have alerted me to the fact that today is National Grammar Day.

Imagine my delight! A whole day devoted to picking on people's grammatical and spelling foibles!

Okay, okay. I get that it's sort of all in fun, and, sure, I make fun of some of the grammatical errors I see in the wild. But, and here's the important part, not to the faces of the people who made them.

It's not really "celebrating good grammar" that bugs me, and if this holiday can result in editors getting presents, I'm all for that. This is what I object to:
If you see a sign with a catastrophic apostrophe, send a kind note to the
storekeeper. If your local newscaster says "Between you and I," set him straight
with a friendly e-mail.

That's not a celebration of good grammar; it's a celebration of bad manners. I mean, it's sort of what I do for a living, except I'm doing it for professional writers who are well aware of the standards they need to follow, and who also understand that it's impossible to be perfectly precise, consistent, and accurate without that "second pair of eyes." They get that it's not personal (well, most of them do). They also have a set of published guidelines reflecting industry-standard usage. Nonetheless, sometimes when they speak off the cuff, they say things like "between you and I" or "I don't feel good," or "Fuck this bullshit," though that's not technically incorrect. My point is, you wouldn't find it in one of their manuals.

Guess what? I do that too. And I write conversationally in places like this blog. And I've noticed people think I sound friendlier when I say "I'm good," rather than "I'm well" in response to "How are you?"

And I haven't even gotten to things like regionalisms, colloquialisms, dialects, accents, and lolcats. All of which I totally love. Did you understand that? Because it wasn't grammatically correct.

Which brings me to this from the National Grammar Day site:
If we don't respect and honor the rules of English, we lose our ability to
communicate clearly and well. In short, we invite mayhem, misery, madness, and
inevitably even more bad things that start with letters other than M.

This is simply retarded.

Other than a very new English speaker, who doesn't understand that a pet store sign reading "Cat's: 50% Off!" means there's a sale on cats? Or that the newscaster who said "Between you and I" means -- well, to be honest, I have no idea what that means, since newscasters talk to huge audiences, and so can't really keep secrets. So maybe that was just a bad example. Should I send a "friendly" e-mail to the National Grammar Day people pointing out their huge fucking mistake?

Speaking of which, again from the site:
Seriously—sort of.

Not a grammatically correct construction, people. So, I guess I must not be able to understand it.

So, I'll just go back to picking the nits I'm paid to pick, and not obsessing over misspellings on Italian menus or worrying about how many people pronounce err as "air" instead of "er" (betcha didn't know that one -- thanks, Mr. High School English teacher for that unnecessary little bugaboo), or whatever the newest thing is that's Killing the English Language.

In the meantime, I am grateful for all the coworkers who sent me and the other editor pats on the back about the job we do for them. And I promise, I am not really that uptight about this, and now that I've ranted, I can go back to remembering it's all in fun. 'Cuz I totalleh lurves teh lnguaj.

This post is especially for phibetakitten, who LOVES SHIT LIKE THIS. In case you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I've had a big crush on Tilda Swinton since I first saw her in Orlando. I just now realized it's because she's been David Bowie the entire time.

Congratulations on that Oscar, Tilda!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Tyler Florence Does Not Understand the Concept of "Buddy"

On Saturday mornings when I have nothing to do before a play date at 1:30, I do not tidy up my room or go for a walk or write my best-selling novel. No I do not. Instead, I park myself in front of Food Network programming for, like, five hours. I watch all the shows, whether I like them or not. In fact, I think I like the shows I don't like more than the shows I like. I mean, Jamie Oliver just makes me hungry, but Paula Deen provokes deep, philosophical questions like "What were you mainlining when you thought Velveeta should be an ingredient in fudge?"

Today, I watched Tyler's Ultimate with Tyler Florence, which I don't find particularly interesting in either respect, but what am I going to do -- laundry? He was making something out of a beef shoulder, and in trying to describe where on the animal the cut comes from, he said, "You see, our cow buddy here . . . " and pointed at the beef.

Pssst! Tyler! When you have an animal killed so you can eat it? It stops being your buddy pretty much right away. It probably questions whether you were ever really friends at all.

I guess this didn't bug me as much as when the Cuban lady kept saying "shrimpies," but . . . sheesh. One Rachel Ray is way more than enough.

Kitten Lessons

I'm having to relearn what I've forgotten about having a young kitten in the house. Mish-Mish has been teaching me the following kitten lessons:

  • Toilet Paper Is Kitten Crack
  • Kleenex Is Also Kitten Crack
  • If You Sleep with Your Feet Outside the Blankets, Your Toes Are Fair Game
  • Do Not Leave Your Beverage Unattended, Even if You Think It's Implausible That a Kitten Would Drink a Greyhound
  • Cats Are Nocturnal, You Know
  • There Is No Barrier So High a Three-Pound Kitten Can't Jump Over It
  • You Are not the Boss of Me
  • People Legs in Pants Are a Convenient Mode of Transportation
  • Your Hair Is Also Kitten Crack, Especially at 2:00 A.M.