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I want to be eloquent.
To use words that not just inspire, but confound, confuse, and cause you to question.
To speak with such conviction that you nod in agreement, before you realize what you are doing.
But stop.
And then question both your action and the thoughts that followed it.

I want to be elegant.
To dress in styles not-quite in fashion, but recognizable from there.
To be polite without obsequiousness.
To be welcoming without fawning.
To be welcomed without faking.

I want to be graceful.
Nary a stumble, mis-step, mis-word or mis-deed done in place of what should be.
To float, rather than walk.
To dance, instead of run.
To know what to do and how to do it in every situation that presents itself.

I want to create art in everything I do.
To lay a table of food before you so good it makes you weep to see it destroyed, and laugh as you taste it.
To draw what I see and through it show you a point of view you’ve never understood before.
To write with such clarity that there is no misunderstandings between me and my critics.

I do not want to be judged.
But we are all judges and so we are all judged.
When you see me, you recognize me.
But remember that you do not know me.
And I.
I will try to remember that I do not know you either.

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When life gives you a fridge full of leftovers (and a long-distance call) — make an egg casserole.

Dig into the leftovers to come up with  cheese (shredded), vegetables you can roast (tomatoes, asparagus  green onions), fry (mushrooms, more onions, kale), and something green (spinach, cabbage, …). Inform your caller about your day.

Roast what you have to (dice the tomatoes to help them dry out, and trim off the ends of the asperagus & green onions before) and give it time to cool before you give it a rough chop. This also lets you do things like make dinner or tell your caller about your week (depending on what you’re roasting. I enjoy Ambitious Kitchen’s recipe for Sesame Garlic Roasted Asperagus; but I often add more vegetables to roast the same way).

Fry what you need to (mushrooms should be dry with a touch of color, onions should be translucent – or your could go for caramelized — depends on how good the conversation is), and slice the green medium-fine. If you have any meat in the leftovers, fry it up again-drain it well and dice it fine. Bacon’s always good, but so too is chicken or leftover beef ribs, tofu – whatever. Listen to how their week went while they giggle at only seeing you from the backside as you dig into that crisper to find the meat.

Crack  eggs into a bowl. Add an equal amount of egg whites, and about half that amount of milk (or soy). When well mixed, add some thyme, nutmeg, and dry mustard. (Feel free to show your caller the mess you’re making, expect hunger). Season liberally with black pepper. Mix again then add the diced vegetables and a small handful of shredded cheese. If it’s too dry, add more eggs and egg whites. If it’s too wet, add more vegetables, meat or cheese. Ask your caller’s opinion; admit to yourself you’re showing off, but laugh at it with the caller when they call you on it.

Butter a baking dish (do it the old fashioned way with a piece of paper towel and actual butter – you’ll thank me later when it comes time to cleaning), then pour in your mess. Sprinkle with more grated cheese. Bake it for 30-50 minutes at 400 F. If, when you pierce the top, liquid bubbles up – it’s not done. Cook it some more. Finish up your call and wish them well.

When it’s done cooking, let it cool and slice it. Store it portioned for upcoming breakfasts, brunches, or whenever time gets away from you. Post the recipe and promise pictures.

Leftover egg casserole

Inspired by the Kitchn’s ham and cheese egg casserole.

  • 10 spears of asparagus, trimmed & roasted
  • 4 green onions, trimmed & roasted
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • sessame oil, drizzle
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced & roasted
  • 6 button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced and fried
  • 1/2 cup leftover meat, diced and fried
  • 2 cups spinach, sliced
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup milk (or milk substitute)
  • 1/2 cup cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1/4 tsp each: nutmeg, thyme, and dry mustard
  • black pepper, freshly ground to taste

Directions

  1. Trim the asparagus and green onions and dice the cherry tomatoes On a parchment-paper covered flat pan add the asparagus  green onions and cherry tomatoes. Mix in minced garlic and drizzle liberally with sesame oil. Roast at 350 for about 15 minutes.
  2. Take out the pan and allow to cool.
  3. Find meat. De-fat if necessary, dice, and fry it up again to gain a bit of a crust.
  4. Set the meat aside and remove all but a tiny trace of the oil. Add the sliced mushrooms to the oil and fry until they are dry and have a touch of color on both sides.
  5. Slice the spinach. Dice the asparagus and green onions.
  6. In a bowl mix the eggs, egg whites, milk, spices, vegetables, meat and half the cheese.
  7. Butter a baking dish, and add the mix. Top with the remaining half of the cheese.
  8. Bake at 400 F for 50 minutes.
  • Republican senator: “video games is a bigger problem than guns, because video games affect people” What? I’m sorry. I can’t have read that right. … no wait, I did. Still don’t understand. I’m not a US citizen but the second part of the quote  (“But the First Amendment limits what we can do about video games and the Second Amendment to the Constitution limits what we can do about guns.”) to me champions the better aspects of the US constitution. Since The First Amendment addresses the rights of freedom of religionfreedom of speechfreedom of the pressfreedom of assembly, and freedom of petition; I’m going to assume he meant the freedom of speech part. Video games aren’t quite a religion, aren’t considered part of the press, are the opposite (typically) of assembly and … petition-oriented just doesn’t fit.  The second amendment (right to keep and bear arms against the government) is the only amendment to state a purpose.  (Originating Article  is from Boing Boing by Rob Beschizza). BTW – US Constitution and their Bill of Rights  is fascinating stuff.
  • I fully admit Consumerist is an odd place to find the perfect Christmas present for … a friend, but this watch just might be the gift I need to give. It’s also a great example of how the powers of Reddit can be used for good (instead of you know, everyday evil). Great advice from  “Here’s a pro-tip, guys: If a project has a bunch of what look like stock photos from an online catalog, drag one into Google Image Search and see what pops up.”
  • Tales from the Con  from Evil Inc. by Guigar has some bad news about Emerald city comic-con. Seems their site’s been not just hacked, but wiped! Conventions rely heavily on pre-registrations; so they’re desperate to let the interested know that  you can still buy tickets here.
    The Emerald City Comicon site is down, but you can get updates at their Facebook page.
    Media interested in badges/celebrity interviews at Emerald City Comicon write Joe Parrington directly at joep(@ symbol) emeraldcitycomicon.com
  • Shame and guilt. I am, by my nature, very much against public shaming because I feel embarrassed whenever I see it (regardless whoever it is given too). Tobacco use has developed a new level of public shaming through law and society’s changes; should there be a similar movement against obesity? If so, you would be shaming me–and I’d probably become a recluse rather than deal with my problems. I have only anecdotal evidence for my opinions on this matter (namely me)–and I am getting help; but if I don’t like it and it’s never motivated me towards a positive outcome, I cannot condone its use.  That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist though. This is a topic for further exploration and discussion.

Another day, another list of oddities, irregularities and banalities I found interesting on the intertubes.

  • Turn any browser window into a text editor. I didn’t know you could do this. Naturally, I use web versions of WordPress and Evernote for such, but in a pinch this would be really handy. Is it ironic that I want to save this to Evernote?
    data:text/html, <html contenteditable>
  • Five security holes almost everyone is vulnerable to. I tend to follow the advice from such articles; and at least check my network settings against their recommendations. I also keep track of what I changed for about 2-6 months (again, put it in Evernote and tag it appropriately); so when I have to undo something (because something that use to work has now stopped) — I have the steps I need. Of course Slashdot has the scarier article. And so does Ars Techica.
  • New recipe added to Evernote: 3 layer hummus. Looks yummy.
  • Wow! Where I work. Want to see the workplaces of (some of) the Influencers in Linkedin? This is an interesting grouping of links – worth following to see the details and how they differ one from another.
  • More info about the flood in Montreal this week. The Montreal Gazette offers a nice (tiny) graphic showing more info about the water filtration system for downtown Montreal.
  • Book Indexing part 1. Is the computer the right tool for the job. Link taken from the CopyEditing-L posting. An interesting article, and one that made me subscribe to the Linga Franca RSS feed. This first article covers the basics (the difference between a concordance and an index). I’ve never written a full index; instead, due to time constraints, I’m often limited to editing a concordance to make it more “index like”.  The article makes me wonder if I could.
  • How to reclaim space in GMail. This is something I should probably do on a regular basis. I use IMAP with GMail; but even so – my online repository could be slimmed down consderably. I’m starting to think I should keep a list of various electronic “spring cleaning” tasks like the security tasks I’ve tagged for doing later (like updating facebook security settings, cleaning out my Google cache, …)
  • Photography’s Three Basic Tenets in Eight Bits and Nine Minutes. A video (9m42s – hosted on Vimeo, found on Gizmodo) that might just help improve my photography.  Must remember to watch this sometime soon(ish).
  • How to join the dark side. A link to an article that includes a link that eventually takes you to the steps a willing costumer took to join the 501st legion. There is, surprisingly a jawa group (ok Tusken Raiders and Jawas group); as well as a costume maker’s (rough) guide.

It’s the second most common question every GM ever hears (the most common being – so what are you running now?). For me, it’s always a tricky question. I’m far more interested in backgrounds than in systems, which does absolutely nothing in reducing the possibilities.

  • HarnWorld / HarnMaster – HarnGold. My old favorites. With Rethem now published, I’m tempted to run a campaign in the “evil” kingdom. Or perhaps in Kanday (the “good” kingdom) which lies right next door.
  • Golorian / Pathfinder. There’s the new adventure path: Jade Regent. It’s a getting-there-is-half-the-fun type of adventure that ends up in the far east.
  • Thieve’s World / d20-ish. I loved the books and like the background almost as much. Not sure I could run a full-length campaign in Sanctuary, but the Tales of the Vulgar Unicorn adventure I have looks really good.
  • DragonAge / DARP. The game has an incredible background; dark, gritty and low-fantasy. I know nothing of their system, but it’s received good reviews.
  • Steampunk RPG. A free system/background that lends itself to my current twists of f antsy.

I’d like to run one or two really good mysteries set in an interesting background.  Using Ellis Peters (Brother Cadfael) and Michael Jecks as guides, I have a lot of potential plots that I could flesh out and present as adventures … assuming, of course, that I can pick a background and a rule system.

I just picked up my first CSA basket from Lufa farms.

I went to my local eco-cartier and picked up the basket. It came in a nifty reusable box (with a handle) and included a neat reusable bag.

My small basket contained a small box of tomatoes (cherry & cocktails), a small box of pickling cucumbers, 2 medium-sized eggplants, a head of bib lettuce (along with some argulara and water cress), a small bouquet of basil and sage. They included 2 organic red potatoes (because the number of tomatoes was pretty small).

Storage

  • The herbs – I wrapped in damp paper towel and put in a plastic bag in the fridge.
  • The tomatoes I left out on my counter.
  • The eggplants I put in a paper bag in the refrigerator.
  • The cucumbers, lettuce, argulara and cress I left in plastic bags and put in my crisper.

Usage

What would you do with this bounty?

It’s going to be a quiet week. I’ve started going back to the gym, which means I have to eat breakfast at home. Thank goodness for steel-cut oats. It also means that I have to be careful to prepare dinner before leaving the house; I get home later and don’t want to start eating dinner at 7-8 instead of 6. The change in my schedule’s not been so easy to deal with. I’m more tired at night, and thus have less energy to make interesting meals.

With food prices rising, I find myself going back to traditional meals – designed to be made in bulk and stored and eaten over time, like the Morrocan Lentil soup, homemade pizza, and gallo pinto: all three can be cheaply made and makes more than enough for 6-8 people. In my case, these will make up a few lunches throughout the week.

Saturday Breakfast: Out
Lunch: Chicken & rice soup
Dinner: Homemade pizza
Sunday Breakfast: Pancakes, bacon, pb
Lunch: Smoked meat sandwich on whole wheat bread
Dinner: Morrocan Lentil soup (crockpot) & Cinnamon Leaves
Monday Breakfast: Steel-cut oatmeal
Lunch: Homemade pizza
Dinner: Fish sticks, salad and ravioli
Tuesday Breakfast: Steel-cut oatmeal
Lunch: Fish & white bean salad sandwich, lentil soup
Dinner: Gallo Pinto and salad

MAKE: Steel-cut oatmeal; store for the week.

Wednesday Breakfast: Steel-cut oatmeal
Lunch: Gallo pinto & salad
Dinner: BBQ oil & red wine marinated steak, baked potatoes & salad
Thursday Breakfast: Steel-cut oatmeal
Lunch: Fish & white bean salad sandwich, lentil soup
Dinner: BBQ Hosin Chicken breasts, baked sweet potatoes & salad
Friday Breakfast: Steel-cut oatmeal
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Leftover buffet

Snacks

  • Cottage cheese
  • Spice muffins
  • Broccoli, zucchini, celery & dip
  • Apples, bananas

Life is what happens when you make other plans.

When I made the original menu (on Thursday), I wasn’t expecting to either (a) go to Cosco or (b) get a lift. Typically one requires the other. Me going to Costo (since we lost the car) always means I gather ingredients in bulk; and my menu plan gets quickly put aside as I shop according to price and availability.

Sandwich bread: 3 loaves per pack. Pork loin: 4-5 per pack. Chicken breasts: 8 per pack. This poses several logistical problems, for while I do occasionally feed a ravenous bunch of gamers; that only happens about twice a week (in the best of times). Without a chest freezer, my fridge becomes so full that finding things becomes difficult; and necessitates me to recast the planned menu almost on the spot. Fortunately there are cuts (and various bits of meat) that we always enjoy and with Menu Plan Monday and Food Blog Search – I can find menus for meals that match what I have in my (over-full) fridge and freezer.

At least it means I don’t have as much to buy in the coming weeks. I’ve started dividing the meat and storing it in containers in the freezer (instead of just wrapping it in plastic on styrofoam trays). Unfortunately, if I keep doing this, I’m going to need more containers…and possibly a larger freezer.

Saturday:
Breakfast: Out/Shopping
Lunch: Falafel sandwich (Chickpea balls with hummus, pickled turnips, diced baby tomatoes, romaine, flat bread)
Dinner: Roast 2 chickens, serve with jus & chipolte bread, side salad with chipolte cheese dressing
2nd Roast chicken for leftovers; bones for stock.
Sunday:
Breakfast:  Pancakes
Lunch:  falafel sandwich
Feeding a crowd in the afternoon: Cheese plate (brie, oka), vegetable platter with ranch dip, spinach dip in sourdough, and fresh-baked spanikopita
Dinner:  Hamburgers & crudité
The Crudité come  from leftover vegetable platter.
Make and store brown rice (for lunch leftovers)
Monday:
Breakfast: Oatmeal + fruit
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner: Sweet and sour pork stirfry over brown rice

Tuesday:
Breakfast: Breakfast bread + fruit
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner: Chili topped twice-baked potatoes (the chili is from last week), spinach salad in vinaigrette
Wednesday:
Breakfast: Breakfast bread + fruit
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner: Chicken with Provencal Sauce,  brown rice & salad (using chicken thighs; brown well)
Thursday:
Breakfast: Breakfast bread + fruit
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Chicken fried rice & steamed vegetables
Prep Beef stew with red wine in the crockpot for tomorrow night.
Make Banana Blondies for tomorrow night (Of course, the batch must be tested…)
Friday:
Breakfast: Breakfast bread + fruit
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Beef stew with red wine with potatoes & additional vegetables. Side of cornmeal biscuits (wheat-free).

Another week, another menu. Enjoy.

Saturday:
Breakfast: Out/Shopping
Lunch: Shawarma sandwich
Dinner: Martedi

Sunday:
Breakfast: Pancakes
Dinner:   hotdogs
Monday:
Breakfast: Grandma’s Grains + fruit
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner: Just Chili
Tuesday:
Breakfast: Grandma’s Grains + fruit
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner: Montreal steak subs & salad
Wednesday:
Breakfast: Grandma’s Grains + fruit
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner: Chicken with Provencal Sauce,  brown rice & salad
Thursday:
Breakfast: Grandma’s Grains + fruit
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner: Sloppy Joes & salad for a crowd.
Friday:
Breakfast: ToGo
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Slim Chicken Parmesan & salad

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