Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What mamacita is...

Oh, haaaaay.  Did you know I had a blog?  Because I kinda forgot.


I liked this much more than I thought I would.  It's a good thing to watch (late) on Sunday nights to keep the existential doom at bay.  Can't decide if I like Jason Schwartzman in it, but Zach Galifanakis is funny in a subdued way, and Ted Danson, y'all! 

I'm not proud.  Pretty much what you'd expect: superlative bimbos.

My favorite is Josie Stevens.  I have no idea who her husband, Steve Stevens, is, but Josie has "worked on Cinemax film projects."  
photo via E!Online 

Decorno posted three times yesterday.  Shhh!  Don't startle her or she might not post any more.  But doesn't she look nice in this outfit? 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What Santa and Scrooge Can Agree On

photo: Wikipedia
Firefox/Chrome nerdiness ahead:

The Camelizer is my new favorite Firefox extension.*  You can use it to track price changes in items at Amazon.  Let's say, for example, that you are interested in purchasing one Rapunzel Fairytale Tower.  You need it in time for Christmas, but you still have a little time to wait for the best price.  With CamelCamelCamel** you can 1) see the price history of the item, and 2) sign up to receive an email notice when the price drops by a certain amount or percent (you set the parameters).   You could also use it for mundane things like diapers: take advantage of sales by pouncing when the price drops below a certain level.  Cool, huh?   

An even cooler feature with CamelCamelCamel is that you can import your entire Amazon wish list to the site and track price changes for all of the items on it.  The people behind CamelCamelCamel also have extensions that work for Back Country, Best Buy, New Egg and zZounds.

*There is a Chrome extension, too, but I haven't tried it.  Much as I wanted to like Chrome, my Firefox is so pimped out that I just couldn't make the switch.

**If you don't want to download The Camelizer as an extension, you can still go through their website for the same services.

FYI: These sites are all free to use, and I'm not getting paid to use or blog about them.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Danny McBride movie!

The internet was all excited about some .gif with Natalie Portman's butt today.  [Least exciting butt EVER.]  Anyway, it's in the new Danny McBride movie!  This is going to be awesome.  And awesomely NSFW.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

More than a Room Mom; Be a Room NINJA

My friend Cayce just found this, and it is genius: an online sign-up sheet.  Click on that bad boy to see it in its full glory.  Never again have five versions of Taco Soup at your soup swap!  Never again chase down parents to paint faces at the fall festival!  And I think my favorite part is that you don't have to log-in or even register in order to use it.  

Yo, it's a free service; nobody's getting paid to pimp it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Funeral Food

My grandmother passed away last Thursday.  She hadn't been well, and I'm glad she's not suffering any more.  Of course, I still miss her very much.  She was a great lady.

The funeral was yesterday afternoon, and all weekend long people brought food over to my parents' house.  My Lord how we ate.  Ham, potato salad, fried chicken, heros, ham, rolls, cole slaw, pork roast, ham, gumbo, smoked chicken (OMG so good), meatballs, ham, chili, pasta, dirty rice (the best I've ever had) ... not to mention chocolate cake, brownies, molasses cookies, tea cakes, hummingbird cake, pumpkin spice cake...  If grief can be cured with food, or even just ham, we are well on our way.

Friday, November 5, 2010

My New Chili Recipe

[Posted in response to Sarah, with apologies in advice: this turned out to be a damn dissertation.]

Usually I'm put off by bloggers who post recipes saying, "OMG this thing I made was the best thing EVER!"  So I won't claim that this chili was spectacular, but I can tell you that I tried a new method this year and was pretty encouraged by the results.

I had always used ground beef for chili, because that's what my mom used, because that's really the easiest thing.  But lately I've converted to the Church of Chunked Beef, and I'm not looking back.  I also added a secret ingredient this year, which will be revealed below.

Since you didn't ask: I am unfamiliar with the use of any kind of produce in the making of chili.  Fresh onions, tomatoes, etc. have no place here.  And I will not even discuss beans.  If you want to move to Russia and pledge allegiance to Stalin, that's your business.

So yeah, the recipe:
2 lbs. pot roast (i.e. chuck roast)
1/2 cup chili powder
4 tsp. cumin
1 Tablespoon dried onion
2 tsp. paprika 
1 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
one (3.3 oz) tablet of Ibarra hot chocolate, grated
1.5 cups beer
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup tap water
2 Tablespoons masa harina*
1/2 cup hot water

Cut the roast into 1-inch pieces and put these in a Dutch oven.  Add the spices (including the chocolate) and toss to coat the beef.  Brown the meat (in batches, if needed), then add the beer, tomato sauce and tap water. Cook this for a looooong time, at a looooow temperature.  [If you have one of those crockpots that you can use to saute on the stovetop, more power to you.]  I cooked mine in the oven at 200 degrees for about 9 hours.

20 minutes before you're ready to serve, heat up the 1/2 cup of water, and add the masa to it, whisking vigorously with a fork.  Add this masa mixture to the chili.  While you're there, you might want to shred the meat a bit; that's how I like mine.  Let the chili cook a little while longer.  Then it's done.

*I have heard that, if you don't have any masa handy, you can just pop in a corn tortilla and leave it in the chili for the last bit of cooking.  I've never tried that, but it sounds reasonable.

Since I was serving kids and adults at the party, I split the difference between queso and Frito pie:  I set out the chili along with Fritos, tortilla chips and Ro-Tel dip (and of course sour cream).  I can't see how Ro-Tel dip is not an improvement on grated Longhorn cheddar cheese in this application, especially since the latter tends to get tacky when it's left out on the buffet.  But if you feel differently, knock yourself out.

And since you also didn't ask: if I'm just making chili for dinner at home, I skip all those other accoutrements and eat it with white rice and Saltines.  I'm not at all clear on the evolution of that particular combo, but I promise it's how lots of people eat it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dog and Beth

My parents' Halloween costumes.  You should know that 1) my dad is an engineer, and 2) my mom has never worn nail polish, ever, in her entire life.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sick Day Cinema

I'm home with a sore throat.  Yesterday I watched Gangs of New York.  I've wanted to see it since at least a year before it came out; the history of New York is one of my little mental hobbies.  But, yeah, GORY.  I only saw about half of it; the other half I watched from behind my hands.  Not ideal sick-day viewing.  [Still, holy cow, Daniel Day-Lewis is something else, isn't he?]

Today I was looking for an old black-and-white comedy, possibly with William Powell.  Ta-da: My Man Godfrey.  Now that's more like it.

public domain