Sunday, October 30, 2011

Recipe 36: Le Creuset Apple Crisp, guest starring the Ashalt Kitchen

The Asphalt Kitchen, working the grill at sundown.
Remember when I told you I had more recipes to post, and soon?  Probably not, because that was like...months and days and weeks and hours ago.  Oops.  October got crazy busy, and someone lost the motivation to actually take the time to write things up.  But here I am now!  It's me, snitches!  Here to learn you good how to make a delicious Dutch Oven Apple Crisp, one so good and warm and cozy you'll want to take it on the road with you to the (insert college or professional football team name here) tailgate next weekend, now that it's football season and all.

Grilled corn, roasted radishes and
peppers, caprese salad, bread, vino,
and apple crisp.  Our tailgate is
better than your tailgate!
In fact, this recipe is a mashup of blogs!  The Asphalt Kitchen and I got together and decided we wanted to do a Le Creuset recipe at a tailgate. Obvi, we needed to cook it on the grill, so we immediately ruled out Blue for his largeness.  Neither of us had done too much desert cooking, and we both are suckers for baked applely things, and, let's be honest, this one isn't rocket science.  We were sold!  We also realized that with the lid on, the apple crisp would lose its crispness due to the steaming effect, and thought it was a dish best cooked somewhat in advance, and heated to finish cooking in the moment.   Obvi again, if you don't have a tailgate to attend, you can just cook this at home and finish cooking it in the over, or toss it on a burner for the last ten minutes should you want to recreate.  In the interest of full disclosure, we have no idea where the recipe came from, except from the internets, and it may have been a combination of recipes, and we definitely also took some creative liberties.  Sorry original recipe creator!  If I were to do this again, which I probably will, I'd add in some raisins or dried cranberries.  Yum! I would also recommend this as a great breakfast treat served, with some Greek yogurt.  Double yum! And finally, as the Asphalt Kitchen notes, it's better to use an apple that won't turn entirely into mush with the cooking; aim for something crispy and slightly tart (unless you really like super sweet and mushy apple crisp).

Before I get into it, we had an abundance of farmshare veggies, so we roasted them up.  The recipe below is a bonus!

Dutch Oven Apple Crisp
Recipe after the jump:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tidbits: WTF, Hunger Games Haymitch?

Oh hey you guys.  I was all excited to find the cast promo pics of the characters in the Hunger Games (hint, they are all there, just at the links to different websites; looks like they shared the love).  I was all "Oh Rue, how I would love to snatch you."  So cute.  But then I became super distracted by Woody Harrelson as Haymitch.  Because...WTF.  Behold:


There are so many things wrong with this.  For one, Woody Harrelson with hair.  For two, WOODY HARRELSON WITH HAIR.  With a really, really, really, horrendous wig.  Who thought this was a good idea?  I would go over and feverishly search through our library copy except it is locked away in a display case about censorship (see what I did there?), but I'm pretty sure at no point is Haymitch referred to as tossing his long, silky, Fabio-like locks around.  
Again, I could be wrong.
But I think I'm feelin' pretty good about this being a case of the terribles.  And also about being right.
Woody Harrelson should not have long hair.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tidbits - Book fashion

  • So...a little book called The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo?  Maybe you were one of the one billion people on the planet not to read it.  Rebel.  You're a little like Lisbeth Salander, except maybe not as edgy.  BUT YOU CAN BE.  Because H+M is coming out with a line of clothes based on the movie.  I would look more, but don't subscribe to Women's Daily Wear.  Based on the Jezebel pic, it looks moody.  Do you think sales of eyeliner will jump?  They should include temporary dragon tattoos in this line. Then and only then will I consider a pair of pleather pants.
  • A book I am excited for got itself a dress!  Behold:

    I am reserving judgment based on material it is printed on.  If it's shiny, heck no.  The fault is in the reflection of sticky fingers on the cover.  If it's more matte, I'm in!  Also, does the cover indicate that someone is dark and stormy, someone is happy cloudy, and they cross paths and do something with chalk, perhaps involving Shakespeare?  Calling it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tidbits: Really, Highsmith? Burned Rubber Scratch and Sniff

Highsmith, you've got to be kidding me.  You guys...they have a scratch and sniff bookmark that smells of burned rubber.  I still can't believe this is an actual, real scratch and sniff bookmark.  Because...really?  Who wants to smell burned rubber??  Other things kids fixate on that I hope I don't smell as bookmarks include:
  • Garbage trucks
  • Construction vehicles
  • Dinosaurs
  • Ballerina sweat
Anything I'm missing from this list?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Recipe 37: Swiss Chard Spanakopita (but really, Spanakocheater!)

This pan is toooooo small!
Yep.  I've been really behind on my recipe posts.  No denying that.  In fact, this one, a blatant cheat (more on that in a second) was made in August.  For a trip to the beach.  I know there's a wild Indian Summer on, but seriously.  Two months.  I'm off my game!  This recipe was a direct result of having too much farm share swiss chard and green onions.  It was a cheat have no need for a Le Creuset if you actually follow the instructions, and say, have a large frying pan.  I probably could even have just used a wok.  But I'm a stinkin' cheater.  So I cheated and used Blue.  I think you can see why in the illustration to your right. 

This one is jusssst right.
And also the colors look nice together.
Always looking out for you, food porn.
I stuck to the original recipe, and the results were delicious.  I would recommend eating it relatively soon after making, and if you plan on cooling and saving for later (say for your planned picnic on the beach the next day), cool for a darn tootin' long time.  Else, the phyllo will absorb the moisture from the steamy chard and get all wilty and weird.  You can kind of fix this by popping it into the oven for a bit, but this doesn't work if, say, you are on the beach and didn't happen to put your oven in your beach bag.  I also did not follow the folding directions on the recipe.  I chose to do it more like a lasagna, making a point to make the bottom and top pieces alternatively more left or right oriented to created a burn barrier for the filling (if that makes any sense; I'm just lazy).  Using cooking spray is soooo much easier - I ran out halfway through and had to like...dip my little fingers in oil and smear it finger painting style all over the phyllo.  Not very elegant.  Either way, it's a great, healthy, tasty way to get rid of your abundance of swiss chard.  As per, I found it using and it comes from the December, 2003 issue of Cooking Light. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tidits: Guybrarians are real! Facebook friend your favorite Asian dictator!

This is a twofer tidbits day, with a bonus third! 
  • I double dog dare you to Facebook friend Kim Jong-il's grandson.  He has bleached blond hair!  And a his favorite movie is Love Actually!  Everyone knows that Facebook friends is real friends.  Not a chance you'll wind up on a watch list or anything...

  • Are you sitting down? Yes?  If not, do it.  Right now.  I'm waiting.  Okay, I have to tell you something.  You ready?  Okay.  Phew.  Okay.  THERE ARE MALE LIBRARIANS.  I'm so glad I have that off my chest.  Don't we all feel better now?  Sorry I shouted.  Some Guybrarians got together and, well, gave a gift to the world.  As they say:
    We know what people think: Dewey, glasses, shushing, books, hairbuns, Party Girl and card catalogs.  Yes, we know what people think.  We know that the American, library profession is approximately 80% White and 72% female; and we know that tens of thousands of librarians are expected to reach age 65 in the next 5 years.  We also know that this is not us.
    Logically, the solution that follows was for them to release a calendar.  Logically, I was always going to be behind this decision.  Well played, Guybrarians.  I noticed a little headline on EW when reading Fiddy's book exerpt earlier, but figured it was probably a good idea to wait until home.  It was the logical choice, you see.  Especially snap, Mister January!  I hope that is not a library book!  Someone is totally getting this for Christmas.

Tidbits: $0.50 on 50 Cent's

So, 50 Cent is writing a book.  A book about bullying.  A book titled Playground.  Yeah, you read that correctly.  EW has a three chapter preview up for your reading perusal.   I'm going to assume by the title page that he is...somewhat affiliated?  Not because he can't write.  In fact, I bet if he did more of the writing it'd sound a million times better, and I'd probably be about to make less fun of it.  But the voice?  It's a bit White lady trying to sound like a teenage Black boy.  Insert huge eye rooooollll.   I hope the book gets better in chapter 4.  Here's what you need to know:
  • It is about bullying.  I'm going to guess about how one becomes a bully.  Since that's what Fiddy tells us in his intro. 
  • It is "partially autobiographical," which leads me to wonder why they didn't use the term semi-autobiographical.  Are they different?  Is this wordplay?  Am I overthinking?
  • The protagonist is a 13-year-old boy named Butterball from Garden City, NJ.  Except I only learned that he was 13 from reading the EW preface blurbage, not the book, unless I missed something.
  • In fact, I spent a solid few minutes while reading it trying to figure out how old this Butterball character is. old could they be if they are hanging out on a playground during school, and then talking about getting invited to a coed party?  The party part pegs them at at least middle school, since there is a solid no boys at girls party (and vice versa) cootie rule from second to sixth grade.  Everyone knows that.   It's just science.  But then again, what middle school still has a playground?  Or recess?
  • Another thing has me confused in the first three chapters.  Initially, you think the bully may be Maurice.  But you'd be a fool, despite the tricksy fat-kid mislead, because what bully is named Maurice?  Maurice is Belle's dad in Disney's Beauty and the Beast.  Everyone knows that.  It's just science!  Craaaazy old Maurice!  Moreover, what kind of bully named Maurice sits on the swings by himself reading a book?  Clearly, it is Butterball, he of the rotund, Thanksgiving association.  And he of the sock filled with D-batteries that he beats the stuffing out of Maurice on the confusing playground.  See what I did there?  This book is so written by a White lady.
  • It has illustrations.  Much like The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.  Clearly Razorbill has a target audience.  
  • I should add that I like that the topic is bullying from the bully's POV; it's not something you'd expect from a celebrity author.  Snaps on that account. 
  • This is now about as long as the exerpt. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Future of Us, by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler: AIM for memory lane!

The Future of Us
by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Razorbill: New York
ARC reviewed, pub date November 21, 2011

It's 1996, the internet was accessed through the phone line, few people had computers, Jerry Maguire showed us the money, band camp hadn't yet been slandered, and Facebook wasn't even a wink in Mark Zuckerburg's prepubescent eye.  Life-long best friends and neighbors Josh and Emma have been a bit on the outs since Josh let his burgeoning feelings for Emma be known.  Emma's recently remarried dad has gifted her a computer. Josh's mom makes him bring over their AOL CD to install on her computer.  When she does, it loads to a site she's never heard of, something called Facebook, where an woman in her early thirties bears a striking resemblance to her, in addition to sharing her first name.  Even weirder, Josh has an older doppelganger with the same name too.  But every time they reload the page, things seem to change in the lives of these strange same faced and named people.  As they explore the site, Josh and Emma learn more about themselves and realize that the decisions they make change the lives of the people they will become.  This fun book may be best suited to older YA's, and especially towards twenty to thirty somethings who will nostalgically remember well the days when it took forever to log in to AOL...  

Tidbits: Chaos Walking Movies? I feel unokay.

You guys.  Thanks to Ms. Hawes, movie maven and IMDB queen,  I have been duly notified that Lionsgate has optioned Patrick Ness' fantastics Chaos Walking books.  Honestly, not sure how to feel.  Yes, I want more people to read these fabulous books.  But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I think that Hollywood may royally miss the boat and muck up this fantastic series.  As she pointed out in her email, how would they even recreate the Noise? How!?!?   I'm going to have to sleep on this one!  I am, however, reassured that they've just purchased the rights, and that there is a producer of could be years or never that the ruiners get on board their ruiny train and ruin a fantastic series!  Maybe I have made up my mind...I'm only in, and only slightly so, if like...John Malkovich is cast as Mayor Prentiss. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater: Horse whispering by the shore

Scorpio Races
by Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic: New York, 2011
Publishing date 10/18/2011

     On the small isle of Thisby, the arrival of autumn hearlds the start of training for Scorpio Races, a 5-mile slog down cliff-bound beach on the back of barely tamed man-eating horses.   Adapted from the Gaelic and Celtic legends of the kelpie, the blood thirsty water horses are known of as the capall uisce, drawn to shore every year by the November tides.  Yearly, men die in the races, either trampled or mauled by the monstrous animals they race.  Yet the races are the economic and cultural backbone of Thisby, a mid-century fictional island that reminds of a small Irish island.  Four-time race winner and pseudo-horse whisperer Sean Kendrick saw his father die in the race as a child, yet is drawn to the powerful and dangerous capail uisce.  He longs of earning enough to purchase the capall uisce on which he has successfully raced, Corr, from his horse dealer employer.  This year, though, the tides have turned.  Kate “Puck” Connelly, orphaned by the capall uisce, will be the first woman to enter the race, audacious enough to race on a regular horse.  Puck is racing both to save her home from the same horse dealer, and to stall her older brother from migrating to the mainland.  Stoic and quiet Sean is the only man on the island who gives her a chance, even helping her train.  Puck and Sean both have everything to lose and everything to gain, including a friendship that has the potential to blossom into more.  Will they make it through training?  Will Puck be allowed to race?  Will they survive the race?  Who will win?  Who will lose everything?  This book is strongly recommended to girls aged 12-15, and may hold appeal for fans of Stiefvater’s other series. 
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