Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Totally Urgent Nail Poilsh News

home row, yo, originally uploaded by houston mamacita.
I tried this nail polish, and I like the color. Sometimes it looks brown, sometimes gray. You know, greige. It's by Essie and it's called Merino Cool. Men seem to hate it, which is a sure sign of its coolness.

And no, I can't straighten my middle finger. It's crooked like that all the time.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ahoy, Y'all

I do hope you've had a beauty of a day on Talk Like a Pirate Day.  We celebrated, as ever, with a piping hot bowl of Pirate Pasta.  

Pirate Pasta  has been a favorite of the wee mateys ever since my friend Angela told me about it.  It's one of the two things they actually request for dinner (the other is Chicken Milanese). It's called Pirate Pasta because it combines small meatballs (cannonballs!) with penne (spyglasses!) and marinara sauce* (uh ... marines!).

*Okay, nitpickers, it's not technically marinara sauce if there is meat in it.  But you put it together as a marinara, then add meat to it ... whatever WALK THE PLANK.

Pirate Pasta

In a big bowl combine ground turkey and Italian sausage.  Add an egg and/or dry breadcrumbs to hold it all together.  Oh, and you'll need salt and pepper and what not.  So mix all that together with your hands and form small meatballs.  I make these in big batches and freeze them for use as necessary; if you're using them on the same day, you should at least give them an hour or so in the fridge to set up.

When the time comes, you will want to brown the meatballs in a pan without cooking them all the way through. 

I usually make marinara in a crock pot.  Turn up the heat in an empty crockpot to high and let the crock heat for a couple of minutes.  Add olive oil and let that heat for a minute or two.  Add about 1/2 of an onion, finely chopped and 2-3 cloves finely chopped garlic.  Let those heat for a minute and add a small can of tomato paste.  Stir around the tomato paste to heat it up, and you're almost there.  Add a can of tomato sauce and a can of diced tomatoes in their juices.  If you have a carrot in the fridge and no other plans for it, you could grate it and add it to the sauce for a little sweetness.  In any case, cover the crock pot and cook for at least a couple of hours.

Boil water, add salt and make some penne according to package directions, except take them off the heat a good two minutes ahead of time.  They're going to finish cooking with the rest of the ingredients.  You might want to reserve some naked penne (and finish cooking them), just in case any of the scurvy lads at the table decides not to eat anything that has touched a vegetable.

When everyone starts agitating for dinner, you should put all this stuff together.  Ideally, it's cold enough outside that you can turn on the oven to, say, 350.  Add the penne to the meatballs and marinara.  Put the whole mess into a pan (esp. this brownie pan with all the curves).  Sprinkle the top with mozzarella and a bit of Parmesan.  Bake uncovered at 350 until it's all bubbly and yummy-looking.  Don't go far--we're talking about 15 minutes or so.

When it's hot outside and you're still running the AC, you have to do all that last part in a regular pan in the microwave, which is definitely inferior.  But, you know, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This is probably the most productive use of your time today.

Amazon is running a contest for Best (Magazine) Covers of the Year.  You get to vote in several categories; you're eligible to win a Kindle just for voting.  There was some good competition, but I think that one above is my favorite entry.  [Yes, it's three covers.  I didn't make the rules, y'all.]

Monday, September 13, 2010

Double Rainbows on the Highway

My heart is cold and small, but even I was unable to resist the double rainbows on Hwy. 290 yesterday afternoon. Living in the flatlands means that you sometimes get to see the two endpoints of the rainbow. No leprechaun sightings, though.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Things You Need to be Told

#458  You can wear that sassy little romper to the PTA meeting, but you should know that you will be called "Romper" behind your back until your child graduates from college.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lemons into Lemonade; Stumps into Sculptures

In September of 2008, Hurricane Ike destroyed 40,000 trees in Galveston. The Island Tree Conservancy, instead of having everyone grind down the tree stumps, had them turned into tree sculptures. I'm sure they look better in person, but here are some photos that came to me via email.

These two are from flickr: