Archive | January, 2013

Ice Carving

9 Jan

Anchorage has a town square (downtown), where they have an annual ice carving competition. We popped down to see it this evening. I have to say, I wasn’t hugely impressed. I’ll need to go back in the daytime and perhaps I’ll have a different opinion. I appreciate this takes a lot of skill, and I would have a hard time carving a simple square. Once again the poor-quality pictures were taken on my outdated iPhone, I’ll need to start carrying a camera. That said, we have….

Monkey Pointing at Cactus on Mermaid Fin Ice Sculpture

ImageAnd….

Bubble People Playing With Bubbles Ice Sculpture

ImageAnd finally that classic winter theme of….

Knight Rider Ice Sculpture

ImageI just noticed that they spelled “Knight” without the “i”. I guess it is hard to correct those kind of mistakes (unless you have access to a hair dryer).

They have also iced down a large part of the park so that it’s a big skating rink, which is really cool. We didn’t see anyone skating but were looking for puddles of frozen vomit given it’s location.  Just joking.

There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute….

8 Jan

…because who else would buy this shit from that insanely judgmental (and untalented knitter of acrylics) Dr. Laura? Note the price.

Image

 

Chili Deliciousness

6 Jan

Eating plant-based has been great for encouraging creativity in my cooking, as you can’t rely on an animal protein for a main course. Recently I was looking at Mark Bittman’s blog, and found a great recipe that was vegan and could easily have zero added oil. I made a couple of modifiers to his original recipe, although I imagine as is this Espresso Black Bean Chili would be just as delicious. It was, after all, developed by a genius. 🙂

My changes are:
1. In place of oil, sautee onions and garlic in a little water, adding tablespoon by tablespoon to keep the onion/garlic from sticking.
2. Add one medium size dried mulato chili, soaked and finely chopped. These are not spicy, but just have a great rich and smoky flavor to add some depth. If you can’t find these, I think you could also add a teaspoon or two of cocoa, which will pair nicely with the coffee.
3. I used 2 very strongly brewed cups of coffee as I don’t have an espresso maker and wanted to refrain from using instant.
4. I used 2 tablespoons of sucanat and 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses. Next time I might use grade B maple syrup in place of the sucanat.
5. I soaked my beans overnight (actually 2 nights as I didn’t get around to making this yesterday). Next time I might not soak them as he says in the recipe it’s not necessary. By soaking you lose a lot of that deep black color which I think would make the chili even more gorgeous – but am wondering about the gas factor. 🙂

The flavor of this chili is deep, smoky, spicy and really has that “umami” flavor that everyone seems to love to talk about.

I’m making some spelt flour tortillas to go with, and topping with salsa and fresh cilantro. If you are eating dairy, I can’t imagine how awesome this would be with cheese and sour cream. Avocado would also make a great addition. Pair with a stout!

The picture does not do justice but here you go:
espresso chili

Makes about 6 servings
Nutritional Info for 1 serving (based on my changes):
330 calories/ 9 WW points
1.3 g fat (0 cholesterol)
65 carbs
13 g fiber
15 g sugars
17.6 g protein
35% RDA iron
24% RDA vitamin C
12% RDA vitamin A
12% RDA calcium

Link

Stealing from the Homeless

2 Jan

Stealing from the Homeless

Goodwill reigning during the season of peace and love….

This City is Filthy!

2 Jan

Took the dog for a long walk this morning, which included traversing straight through downtown. After New Years and the lack of new snow, this city is disgusting. I bypassed piles of barf and poo, the ice is black, and it is just YUCK. 

And it would be really nice if people could control their alcohol to the point that they didn’t barf in public.

As for the poo, I don’t even know what to say.

Time For A Pay Raise!

1 Jan

Yes, with the “fiscal cliff”, let’s give ourselves a little raise, shall we? http://www.opm.gov/oca/compmemo/2012/2013PAY_Attach.pdf

Seriously, I really don’t get the thinking behind this. Gotta love the government.