cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
Last week was the end of my "catching up on email and socializing and house-cleaning" two week break after finishing a huge project. I dealt with some critical and overdue emails, I definitely got out of the house and saw people, and Phil claims the house looks better even though I can't see a difference, so I guess I'll call it a success. Time to write novels again, which is somewhat intimidating since I've been working on other projects for the last few months. Back to the grind!

Other good things...

I did the second Women in Sci-Fi and Writing Female Characters panel. There was pretty art (it took place in an art gallery in Lowertown) and cupcakes! I said some things that I hope sounded smart, sold two copies of my book, collected a couple of new email addresses for my newsletter, and was gifted with a batcat hat (okay, fine, it's a pussy hat, but I dislike that term even though I understand the reasoning) made by my dear Alis. I thought the event went pretty well.


New microwave! This one doesn't turn itself on and off at random intervals, so I am less worried that an electrical fault will make it burst into flames in the middle of the night when we are all sleeping. It displays actual numbers in the timer instead of weird dancing bars that look like the countdown on a Predator bomb. And it's black and silver, which Cassius thought was really awesome.

I realized that I had missed a deadline (a month ago!) and instead of giving up and being sad because I couldn't do a thing, I emailed people and asked if I could apply late, and they said yes! So I did!

I went to a living room concert and listened to awesome steampunk music, played with my camera and took photos, caught up with friends, made new acquaintances, and heard new jokes. It was good times. And seeing people appreciate my photos later is a nice egoboo.


Diabolical Plots (by David Steffen of the Submission Grinder) included my story in his recommendations for Hugo/Nebulas this year. Eeeee! I've never had someone recommend one of my stories for an award before, so this is a pretty exciting first.

Phil's award bonus from work came through, so I gave him a full grocery list without worrying about whether we had enough to cover the cost. Sometimes it's the small things.

Learned about bubble paragraphs and skipping stone backstory intro scene structure stuff. (Yup, Ginger, your name-coining has stuck!)

I cooked tater tot hotdish for the first time because Steph was posting looking for recipes and gave me a craving. It was delicious gloppy comfort food even if I'm the only one in the house who likes that kind of thing. Also, something about the tater tots makes my brain think it's acceptable eating for breakfast too. Ooookay, silly brain.

I have sparkly red fingernails, and they make me very happy. I don't have a lot of time for frivolous self-care stuff, so this is a special treat.


###

Bonus good things from the previous week, which I didn't post on time:

Making origami flowers and paper "rain" for Theia, and seeing how much she enjoyed playing gardener. (She was a gardener and I was the botanist telling her how flowers grow in this scenario, apparently.)

Insisting on taking the boy to see a healthcare professional, and having it be the right parental decision. This is not a good thing because he has strep (boo!), but because I never feel confident making this kind of call, so I'm glad I didn't waste our time and money.

Chatting with the spouse about publishing industry stuff, specifically novellas and how the markets for them are changing and why.

Writing a quick piece of micro-fic and submitting it minutes later. Fifteen words long!
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
When one's spouse is essentially absent for three days in a row, and one has two very small mess-creators, it's a lot more difficult to get that post-vacation decompression/unpacking/cleaning done. Yeah. A LOT. By which I mean, it's still not all done. All our laundry tubs are overflowing with freshly washed but not yet folded laundry. I finally got around to unpacking my backpack only because I needed to pack it again with writing supplies for my coffee shop work-date. I'm still not sure how the dirty dishes managed to multiply so fast.

A week ago, we were out in Kansas for my widowed father's wedding. That is a post I need to make separately, because of all the little details I want to remember. And I have a ton of photos. We got back late Sunday night. Phil took Monday off as well, and on Tuesday he worked from home. Monday, we went to the Minnesota Zoo and had a pretty great "still on vacation" day. We brought our own ham bagel sandwiches, since I really couldn't purchase any food there and avoid dairy and soy. I still tried, since I had a blood sugar crash, but I ended up with a bag of chips and an apple and grateful for them.





Can you tell they're related?

Read more... )
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
For my own future reference, in case I decide to try vegan bean fudge again, this is not good.

http://wholenewmom.com/recipes/silky-smooth-bean-fudge/

It does not set up. It makes a soft, squishy spread that tastes mostly like beans. That said, Cassius still thinks it's a treat, so it's not all bad--he's getting beans! It's just so very far from an adequate chocolate fudge for me.

* I have been reading China Mieville's Railsea, so when I say that fudge is my philosophy, I mean that it is like a leviathan of a mole rat that burrows & flees & took something important from me & that only by pursuing will I discover something important. It pays homage to Moby Dick & Robinson Crusoe & Kidnapped. Good book & very fond of ampersands.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (tea ring)
Right. For future reference, this is the amazingly delicious chocolate wine Phil got me for Valentine's Day: http://www.chocolatrougewine.com/

It's fantastic. Don't think it's a chocolate liqueur or anything like that--it's really not. Instead, it's a sweet but not too sweet red wine with a strong chocolatey flavor. Tastes a lot like a good port, plus chocolate.

The rest of the v-day stuff, so I can remember how good it was. )
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (tender)
Right, so I'm going to say Phil beats all y'all on the Valentine's Day front. He assembled a four-course dinner: blue cheese, cherry, almond, and spinach salad*, paired with a Crispin cider; pesto-parmesan artisan bread with a balsamic vinegar dipping sauce; pan-fried steaks** with mushrooms and onions, and a side of Italian vegetables, paired with a malbec; and chocolate mini-eclairs.

He also gave me roses, an Amazon gift certificate for a large amount that is about a quarter of what he's been awarded in attaboy gift certificates from work***, and a bottle of _chocolate wine_.

That's right, boys and girls. It exists, and it is AMAZING.

* Salad kits are awesome. I did not know they existed, but now I'm a big fan.
** He called his mother to find out how to make steak indoors. Now he won't tell me how to duplicate his success. I'll just have to talk him into making me steak every so often. Oh noes.
*** Now I have to decide if I should spend it on one large thing that would otherwise be out of reach, or six smaller things that are more basic necessity type things but which money has been too tight to get.

People have been talking about their V-Day "traditions." I never though of creating traditions before, but I think I could get behind this....
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (manatee)
Why are there suddenly posts here? Well, I don't currently have a work-from-home project (though I did over this weekend and a tiny bit of yesterday), so I've been having more than an hour of writing time (which is what daily posting comes out of most of the time). And I've been wanting to post more than tidbits, so--voila!

I finally made it to physical therapy for the sacroiliac joint/pubic bone pain that I've been having. The pubic bone pain started 3-4 months ago, the sacroiliac joint pain more recently. Now I'm kind of cranky that I didn't push the issue with my doctor and get the referral until now. Turns out my hips are misaligned due to basic uselessness of ligaments in pregnancy, and that's putting stress on everything. So I now have a list of exercises to strengthen related muscles, and one exercise to realign things, and a belt designed to hold my hips in place. Hopefully some of it will work, and this won't get worse, and it takes care of itself once my ligaments firm up again. If not, further intervention will be necessary.

Also, I've started having sporadic painful contractions. This is normal and means nothing at this point.

In more mundane and happy news, I potted some of the miscellaneous spider plants I've had in water/starter pots for the last couple of months, and I picked 5 cups of raspberries from the raspberry bushes in our backyard. Both spider plants and raspberries are producing ridiculously much. I plan on adapting this blueberry tart recipe to use many of the raspberries, but I'm going to have a dozen or so unclaimed spider plant babies. Anybody want some spider plants?

Oh, and I sold a story!

Circus of Brass and Bone Writing Log

Total


Episode 13


New words: 441
Total words: 75,648
Overused word: Lacey
Gratuitous word: nails
Type of scene: Time to go.
Challenge(s): Linking between previously seen/written scenes.
Which line is it anyways?"You said add a warning. I ain't no hand with writing, but I figure that'll do. Cook said we couldn't use it, so I ain't wasting food."
Notes: This girl sharpshooter character is kind of developing her own subplot.
Other writingy stuff:
* Posted writing log
* Submitted “Passings” to The Washington Pastime. I caught up! All 14 of my previously unpublished, ready-to-submit stories are out! Next up, submission status queries. Then edits (*shudder*) and attempts to sell reprints.
* And I sold a story! Which is good reinforcement for the whole “need to remember to actually submit things” thing. Processed acceptance of “Good Help is Hard to Find” by Bosley Gravel’s Cavalcade of Terror.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (bite)
This was a slow cooker recipe, but because I (literally) broke my slow cooker with a frozen chicken breast, I just let the soup simmer on the lowest setting of the back burner on the stove for about 8 hours. It was stealth cooking. Phil got very confused and asked plaintively why the house smelled like food.

This was also part of my "cook beans to save money" strategy, but because it uses meat, it kind of defeats the purpose....

Pork and Black Bean Soup with Mojo

The recipe )
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (eyebrow)
I had one of the most bizarre health insurance customer service interactions I've ever been a part of yesterday. I was calling to find out what, if any, pre-natal classes are covered by my health insurance or are considered eligible to be paid with our FSA/HRA. Allina Hospital offers a dozen of them: baby CPR, baby sign language, preparing for labor, all about babies, etc. The insurance website had Lamaze classes listed as covered, but it wasn't clear about childbirth classes in general. So I call in and I talk to this lady, and it's like I'm actually talking to an automated system that's looking at the same sheet I am and doesn't have any independent judgment.

"So are general childbirth classes covered?"

"We judge by whether it is considered a medical necessity."

"Right. So is it considered a medical necessity?"

"We judge by whether it is considered a medical necessity."

"I'm looking at the list on the website--"

"That is the same list that I am looking at."

"So you can't answer my question?"

"No. Just that we judge by whether it is considered a medical necessity."

Commence banging of head. In the end, I think it comes out to childbirth classes might be, but childcare classes aren't. I'm still taking the "All About Babies" class. I last babysat babies when I was a teenager, and that was a long time ago. I mean, I know that you don't shake 'em, don't drop 'em, don't let their heads hang loose, and don't put 'em to sleep on their stomachs, but there's gotta be more to it, right?

I also started looking into refinancing under the HARP program (thanks for the recommendation, Laura!). A lower interest rate and smaller monthly payment would be good soon. Looks like we're eligible, and they've got free federal counselors to walk us through all the options and responses, so that goes on my to-do list.

Mostly, I spent yesterday writing. Given how annoyingly bureaucrat-infested the other things I dealt with were, I'm glad of it.

2/23/11, Wednesday

Circus of Brass and Bone Writing Log

Total


Episode 10


New words: 1,091
Total words: 59,138
Overused word: street
Gratuitous word: fly-bit
Type of scene: The city as it is.
Challenge(s): Balancing dialog and description. I've got a lot of explanatory dialog here. Hrm.
Which line is it anyways?A light dusting of snow gilded the wrought iron balconies and fire escapes.
Researched: Mostly I used the research I'd already done.
Notes: I didn't realize I was that close to my preferred episode length (5,000 words = 30 minutes). So far, it's more of a Point A to Point B, with interesting setting details. I wouldn't call it a "stuff happens" episode. Still, I could stick a hook on the end and call it done soon. Hrm. Also, I think that is a tracking thing I should keep track of.
Other writingy stuff:
* Posted freewriting and writing log.

And there was delicious and easy black bean soup for dinner. I'm trying to make something cheap with beans weekly as a cost-saving measure, but one bag of beans cooks so many--I've made beans and rice, black bean soup...and there's still beans left over.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (friendly)
We are not horribly screwed by taxes, for a change! I finished doing them yesterday, and it comes out about even between what we get back from the feds and what we have to pay out to state, with a little left over. This is fantastic! For the last couple of years, we have usually ended up owing $800+. That would be ++ungood right now. Special thanks to Schedules C, A, and M.

Aside from that, I finished going through the CDs Phil gave me to clear out. Most aren't worth anything and will go to Cheapo, but a few were worth putting up on Amazon. I now have a "storefront" there: Minneapolis Miscellaneous. I'm going to be putting more stuff up on Amazon and Ebay, now that I've had a chance to look at the terms and conditions and listing fees. They're reasonable.

And I cleaned a bunch, including the ohmigod-it's-making-its-own-chemical-warfare-weapons bathroom. Which is still horrifying.

For dinner, I tried quinoa for the first time. It's basically a bland, couscous-like grain. It gets bonus points for being a complete protein and for one cup (after being mixed with carrots and walnuts/pine nuts) feeding both Phil and I with leftovers.

There was also writing, although most of my writing time went to annoying research (there is fun research, and there is annoying research--this was the latter).

2/22/11, Tuesday

Circus of Brass and Bone Writing Log



New words: 371
Total words: 58,047
Overused word: Bronx
Gratuitous word: farmfolk
Type of scene: Working a better sense of place in. Mostly going back and adding bits.
Challenge(s): Islands. It's all frickin' islands. Even the bits considered to be mainland? Blocked off by rivers. And the Bronx? Was countryside at that time, and so is not a logical outer point for fortifications. Razzerfrazzer geography! And I'll need to rewrite the previous episode some.
Which line is it anyways?She would have felt much better if she'd been astride a fast horse, instead of stumbling along on foot, but Ginger had pointed out that horses would be seen as valuable and maybe worth ambushing a small group of travelers for.
Researched: New York geography, New York bridges, New York borough history, New York girl gangs, New York street scenes in the late 1800s, New York transit. I researched for a couple of rather annoying hours.
Notes: I guess I'm more accustomed to dealing with landlocked cities.
Other writingy stuff:
* Posted freewriting and writing log.

Also, my computer restarted itself for no damn reason while I was writing this post. 1. Thank you, LJ, for your backup feature. 2. What the hell? Don't do that, computer. You're lucky I didn't lose any actual writing.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (bite)
From my mother-in-law's kitchen, a pretty tasty Thanksgiving stuffing recipe that is cooked in the slow cooker. (Yes, I am finally going through the monstrous stack of accumulated papers and stuff that's been building up for the last two months.)

14-15 c. bread cubes or stuffing mix (not StoveTop)
3 c. chopped celery
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
2 1/2 tsp. sage
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2+ cups chicken broth
1/2-3/4 c. butter
2 eggs, beaten

Combine butter, onion, and celery. Cook until tender. Add seasonings. Stir in bread cubes. Stir in chicken broth and beaten eggs. Pour into slow cooker and bake on high 1 hr and low 3 additional hours.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
I've told enough people face-to-face now, I suppose I should make a proper announcement: I'm pregnant!

How pregnant? 12 weeks.

When will there be a baby? If all goes well, August 2nd.

Is it a boy or a girl? Too early to tell. And yes, we will find out early, because I am sooo not good at delayed gratification. My parents always let me open my presents Christmas Eve.

Was it planned? Yes! My husband and I have been trying for about a year (as soon as I was off the narcotic painkillers after knee surgery). After one misfire, hopefully this one will be sticking around.

Uh, what can't you eat/drink again? It's a long list. Soft cheeses, including goat cheese etc. Cold cuts. Caffeine. Booze (duh). Chamomile tea. Tofu. Runny eggs. Sushi. More than minimal amounts of properly cooked fish. Buffet food. I'm avoiding canned foods because of the BPA thing. And I have particularly severe food aversions for garlic and red sauce.

Are you showing yet? Not really. My girth has widened, but I don't have a noticeable bump. I'm still wearing pre-pregnancy jeans, though I can't fit in one pair anymore and another pair is more comfortable unbuttoned. This despite me actually having lost a couple of pounds.

Are you going to keep working afterward? It's not a good financial option for us. Quality childcare in Minnesota is expensive, and my irregular work hours mean that I don't make much more money than it would cost. Since neither Phil nor I have family in the area, "Grandma daycare" isn't an option. But hopefully I will still be able to get the occasional work-from-home project to do, and some weekend hours if needed. Money will be very tight, but we should be able to scrape by.

How is the baby? Although I had an early ultrasound to make sure it was not ectopic, all you could see is a dot. Next week, we're getting the first "it looks like a proto-human" ultrasound done (this is also where they test for Trisomy 18 and Down's Syndrome, so fingers crossed for a healthy result). Yesterday, I had my first "normal" doctor's appointment, and there was listening to the heartbeat, which was small and fast like a bird's.

How are you? Feeling semi-human for the first time in two months. In the beginning, I was puking up to three times a day and was basically constantly nauseous. (For reference, usually if you're puking four times a day, they hospitalize you.) Then the doctor got me on extra B-6, I figured I needed to eat every 1 1/2 - 2 hours, and it got better. I was only puking once or twice a day, with a couple of spells of extreme nausea, all-day background queasiness, and extreme fatigue. I want to smack whoever called it "morning" sickness. They should have called it "evil, debilitating all-day vomiting and exhaustion." I still have pretty extreme food aversions, but the nausea is receding.

It's only in the last couple of days, as I reach the timing milestone where the nausea usually eases off, that I've felt well enough to do basic things like cooking dinner (while wearing nose-plugs), folding laundry, and sitting at my computer desk.

I've been doing nothing for the last couple of months. The morning sickness laid me out flat, especially when combined with a nasty and prolonged cold that my weakened immune system couldn't fight off. Fortunately, there wasn't work at my day job during this time--I don't think I could have gone. Though it means we're stony-broke. Most of my time has been spent on the couch. My house is entirely trashed. I haven't gotten any writing done (Sorry, Circus of Brass and Bone readers!). I didn't get my market list out last month. I haven't finished my writing group critiques from last month. My Christmas letter is written, but none of the Christmas cards have been sent out yet. I did absolutely zero Christmas decorating this year (this makes me honestly very sad--I love celebrating seasonal changes and holidays). I haven't been socializing, and if I did, I probably looked quite ill. I am sorry if I missed your social event, but, well, that's why. Especially if food was involved.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (beware of cyclist)
(Post 4 of 30 NaBloMo posts--and this is when you see the grim everyday boredom that is my life.)

I finally got the equipment to night-bike safely: a blinky red light that attaches to my backpack, a blinky white headlight, and two (optionally blinky) green spoke lights. Along with my red blinky taillight, this makes me the most visible thing for three blocks around, and the safest, unless I happen to pass an epileptic who's thrown into spasms because of my Christmas-tree blinky lights. Seriously. I see "No Parking" signs strobing a block ahead of me. Three cheers for LED headlights!

Even drunk/stoned individuals will slow down as they think, "What the fu---." It is possible that traffic accidents in my vicinity will increase, but they will be of the "running into trees while staring at blinky thing" variety, so I should be fine.

Which was crucial today, since I finished a work project and decided that my reward must be Taco Bell! Do not mock me for my choice of fast-food restaurants. I understand that they are not a fine dining establishment, and that they are not Mexican food, but...yum. The Baja-style steak chalupa? Perfection. (Even if I did need to ask what it meant, and really, the counter guy was so nice to answer nicely, especially since he'd just spent 10 minutes counting the small change [nothing larger than a dime] with which the previous customer paid.)

Because of the cold weather, I constructed a taco-warming pouch in my backpack, made from tin foil and a hand-towel. It did the job well. Tacos were still hot when I brought them home, so I'll call that a success.

And there were celebrations all around! Especially in my belly!
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (bite)
Finding appealing slow-cooker recipes (because it's too hot to cook indoors) that use cucumbers (because I have a CSA share full of 'em) is harder than you might expect. And you might logically expect it to be difficult. I make a thpppbbbbing sound in the general direction of refrigerator pickles.

This, though, sounds delicious:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/slow-cooked-korean-style-short-rib-soup-recipe2/index.html

Even if it is not remotely Korean, which apparently one can tell because of the use of lime and cilantro. Limes are not very available in Korea, and most Koreans have a predisposition to hate cilantro. People of good taste.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
Oz Cake

I'm calling this Oz Cake because it's golden and green and magically delicious, and making it involves whirling things around like a tornado. I don't usually like fennel's licorice taste, but in this cake, it doesn't really have that flavor. This makes a sweet, moist, dense cake.

Ingredients:
2 c. flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. yogurt
1/4-1/2 c. milk
2 overripe bananas
1 fennel, bulb and fronds
3 Tbsp. lime juice
3 tsp. vanilla
powdered sugar for dusting on top

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 13x9 metal baking pan.

In food processor, blend fennel, bananas, yogurt, and milk.

In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In small bowl, mix sugar, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and lime juice. Add this to the dry ingredients, along with the blended fennel/banana mixture. Beat until well-blended.

Bake cake until top is golden and tester comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Dust top with powdered sugar.

Notes:
* This is good with a lemony cream cheese frosting, but works just fine on it's own, too.
* Sometimes you can substitute celery and fennel seed for fennel bulb and fronds. This is not one of those times. Trying that made the cake way too moist and thick.


CSA Delivery #15

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons lemon juice (possibly decrease to 1 1/2 Tbsp.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar, add more if you want it thicker

Directions

Beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar. Beat until creamy. Add more icing sugar or water as needed for easy spreading. Makes more than is needed for the cake recipe--probably 1/2 recipe would be a bit on the thin side.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (alas)
Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] cvalenti* opened up my computer and prepared to install the new power source to make my computer capable of booting up again.

Alas, it turns out that the problem was not the power source, but the CPU fan. So we ordered the part and it should be here by UPS soonish. Unfortunately, then my computer decided to stop staying on or booting up.

Laptop docking station to the rescue! My laptop is now hooked up to the docking station balanced on top of my defunct desktop computer, all surrounded by a nest of cords that must be seen to be believed. I'd take pictures, but the place where I organize my photos away to is currently out of it.

All this so that I can continue to work from home on a day job project, and also so that I can do writingy stuff. (The amount of typing I do, working at my desk with a real keyboard that's at the right height and a real monitor likewise is pretty essential.)

* On the entertaining side, I did feed cvalenti a meal in which everything had vegetables in it: broccoli and onions in the chicken divan; zucchini, squash, cucumber, and green beans in the "seasonal vegetable"; and fennel in the cake**.

** Which was very tasty, being a banana-fennel cake the documentation of which will occur eventually (with pictures).
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (bite)
"No need to head to the Farmer's Market! Head to Cub Foods, to fill your basket with fresh produce picked at the peak of the season!" - Pandora ad that just played at me.

I find it very interesting that Cub is trying to lure back the people who shop at farmer's markets. I wonder if the group is actually large enough to hurt their bottom line these days? I was listening to a Splendid Table episode that was discussing the impact of the recession on food purchasing habits, and one of the more interesting bits was that farmer's markets and producers of organic foods have not really been impacted.

I hope it's significant. I hope it's an enduring trend.

This may also say something about Pandora's ability to target demographics based on song taste--seems a little far-fetched, but possible, given how good they are at targeting songs I may like.

Ingredients

Jul. 5th, 2010 12:49 pm
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (bite)
So, at one point recently I was desperate for some quick food, so I grabbed a Cliff energy bar. It was pretty tasty, chewy and chocolate-coated and all, so I was rather surprised when I turned it over and read the nutrition facts.

This bar had percentages of my daily allowance of things I didn't know there were daily allowances for:
* Biotin (10%)
* Phosphorus (20%)
* Magnesium (25%)
* Selenium (20%)
* Copper (15%)
* Manganese (35%)
* Chromium (10%)
* ....and, last but not least....Molybdenum (15%)

Apparently, all this time, I should have been eating my way through the periodic table...and I never even knew it.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (eyebrow)
Apparently, the tea I'm drinking is "wide awake to the ancient juju of the continent where life began."

ORLY?

I think the copywriter was getting a bit loopy. OTOH, the tea's not bad, and it does indeed have a faint honey flavor.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (bite)
Strawberry Poke Cake

Strawberry Poke Cake, original recipe from Cook's Country (duplicated here).

Notes: Do not try to use frozen whipped cream for the topping and microwave it to soften it. It works--sort of--but it's a pain in the neck. Do measure approximately how deep you want to have the pokes go and mark the toothpick you're using to get it right. My pokes did not go very far. Also, the cake wasn't perfectly flat and so some of the strawberry mixture went off the sides. Note also that the recipe calls for strawberries twice, so don't just go by the amount needed for the first part.

I liked this--it was more like a coffee cake in terms of sturdiness and buttery vanilla flavor, but the whipped cream and strawberries added a strawberry-shortcake kinda vibe. Though next time, I'll just make strawberry shortcake.

Saturday

May. 22nd, 2010 11:43 am
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
Mission: Sleep Ridiculous Hours was a success. Really, it was only the thunderstorms that woke me up. And I feel much more human. Now it is the time to make pflinson (Russian pancakes--really more like crepes) for brunch, and then to get critiques done for the writer's meeting tomorrow while simultaneously following along in the CoyoteCon.com panels online. And later there is friend's birthday grilling, which I even bought a present for lo these many months ago.

...There's also a scary mound of dishes to be done in there somewhere.

I am so happy I'm not working the day job today.

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