Not bad for the price, were paying about 166 a wee...        
Not bad for the price, were paying about 166 a week for a double bed with a mini fridge and microwave it's a pretty decent size room too. Their is burn marks on the tub though but their … Not bad for the price, were paying about 166 a week for a double bed with a mini fridge and microwave it's a pretty decent size room too. Their is burn marks on the tub though but their cleaning the lot up. Parking is terrible if you come in late cause their always packed. The girls in the office are really sweet and the security guard is very nice and helpful. I wish they had Wi-Fi but they do have cable and a small laundromat with four washers. Their elevator is always breaking down but one always works. You can't beat it for the price. Most of the time it's pretty quiet you can't hear much from the other rooms unless their screaming (which I've experienced, but they kicked them out very fast) all in all not a bad place for the cheapest in town.
          Resistance at Standing Rock: Dispatches from the Front Lines        

UPDATES:





  • Water Protector Legal Collective Files Suit for Excessive Force against Peaceful Protesters


  • Veterans to Serve as ‘Human Shields’ for Dakota Pipeline Protesters



  • Oceti Sakowin encampment on Oct. 6, 2016. The proper name for the people commonly known as the Sioux is Oceti Sakowin, (Och-et-eeshak-oh-win) meaning Seven Council Fires.








    Story and Photos by John Briggs

    Cool Justice Editor's Note: OK to repost, courtesy of John Briggs and The Cool Justice Report.







    Corporate – Government Alliance Versus the American People

    Native Americans from tribes across the country have gathered on the windswept plains of North Dakota to pray with Mother Earth to keep the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from pumping 500,000 gallons of oil a day beneath the Missouri River. The natives know the pipeline will most certainly leak or break, as have most U.S. pipelines, fouling the water for the Great Sioux Nation and 18 million non-Natives downstream.

    The standoff -- which began in April -- continues as a new U.S. administration ascends to power with a president-elect who campaigned denying human-caused climate change and threatening the Paris Climate accords. This remains the overriding reality despite a mini walk back by Donald Trump pledging an open mind to The New York Times this week.

    Standing Rock illuminates the brazen alliance that has developed between corporate and government interests. Viewed from the front lines, the law has been turned into a fig leaf for repression and suppression. Only the discipline and spiritual clarity of the water protectors and the native elders has kept people from being killed or seriously injured since April when the movement began.

    The fused police-DAPL force is doing everything it can to incite a violent reaction from the resisters so as to crack down, clear the camps, imprison, or even gun down the natives. More than one commentator has found the atmosphere at Standing Rock similar to what led to the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890 when 300 Sioux were murdered by government troops who mistook their prayerful Ghost Dance for a war dance.

    A great deal is at issue at Standing Rock. The Sioux and their numerous native and non-native allies face a militarized force whose composition tells us something dark about the complex façade that U.S. democracy has become and suggests the proto-fascist zombi lurking beneath. More deeply, Standing Rock also emblemizes a struggle that is taking place at this moment in human history between two distinct modes of human consciousness.

    One mode is the familiar anthropocentric (human-centered) consciousness that the dominant culture most of us were born into favors—a consciousness that assumes reality is a collection of objects to be extracted, owned, and branded. Humans are the focus of this consciousness, meaning that our concerns about climate change focus primarily on the fate of our own species.

    Distinct from this anthropocentric mind-set is a second, ancient and spiritual mode of awareness that understands that the earth and its landscapes are not objects; they are relationships, including the tangle of relationships that gave us birth. This ancient mode of consciousness is potential in everyone, but for most it has been buried beneath the piles of conceptual objects that we have come to believe constitute our reality.

    The Indigenous Peoples gathered at Standing Rock are guided by this ancient, holistic, earth-mind consciousness, and so they understand that humans are not the most valuable living objects on the planet: we are not in control of the planet; it is not our job to manage nature; rather, our sacred task is to work with Mother Earth and other beings as members of Earth’s family. If we don’t, Mother Earth will make us face this spiritual truth one way or another.

    Guided by their ancient, earth-mind awareness, Native Americans have taken up a role as “water protectors.” “Mni Wiconi, Water is Life” is the slogan of the Standing Rock movement.

    Every day scores of Sioux from North Dakota, South Dakota and nearby states, along with Paiute, Shoshoni, Diné, and a sampling of other Natives from the 300 or so tribes whose flags fly at the Standing Rock encampments set out to pipeline construction sites in a convoy to engage in “actions” on the “front lines.”

    There the protectors sing and pray in the face of physical harassment and arrests by heavily armed police fused with a corporate security force.

    DAPL and their overlord company, Energy Transfer Partners, have lavished campaign contributions on politicians in North Dakota and the U.S. Congress so that they could use the state’s eminent domain powers to force purchase of land for the pipeline all across North Dakota, beginning in the Bakken fields in the northwest corner of the state where the fracked crude oil is extracted. Similar eminent domain arrangements were achieved in other states through which the 1,200-mile line traverses before reaching a river port in Illinois. The company promised Congress and the public that the pipeline would carry oil for 100 percent domestic use only, but it is clear from reporting done by the website The Intercept that the oil will be sold on international markets.

  • Though Promised for Domestic Use, Dakota Access Pipeline May Fuel Oil Exports


  • The DAPL line, now virtually complete except for permission from the Army Corps of Engineers to fill in the link that crosses under the Missouri River, passes just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The DAPL construction runs through sacred burial and archeological grounds that the Lakota people were given free access to by treaties with the U.S. Government in the 19th Century. In mounting their resistance to the pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux have been turned into “trespassers on their own land.”

    In late August, the tribe’s lawyers filed a stop work petition in federal court detailing areas where sacred sites would be disturbed if construction continued on its planned trajectory. The federal judge routinely forwarded a copy of the filing to DAPL. Over Labor Day weekend, when the company would not have been expected to work, pipeline crews leapfrogged to the disputed sacred and preemptively bulldozed them under. Too late, the judge granted the Sioux an emergency restraining order, but, then in a curious move, allowed construction in some areas where sacred sites have been discovered. DAPL has ignored a request from the Obama administration not to work in buffer areas on either side of the river. No fines have been imposed for intentionally bulldozing the disputed sacred sites.

  • The Legal Case for Blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline


  • Burial ground at center of police confrontations is known historical site


  • In recent live-stream videos from the front lines, DAPL-police snipers can be seen perched on top of a sacred mound called Turtle Island, their high-powered rifle crosshairs trained on the water protectors who are standing in prayer in the frigid lake below.

    North Dakota wants the federal government to pick up the tab for the massive expenditures required to keep the Native Americans under their guns. Alternatively, the CEO of Energy Transfers, Kelcy Warren, has offered to pick up the millions-of-dollars tab.

  • ETP CEO Kelcy Warren Says They Have Offered to Pay Protest Related Expenses


  • Native media have documented that DAPL has already been supplying military-style equipment, drones, armored vehicles, riot gear, water canons, concussion grenades and other armaments. The tax-payer-funded and corporate-sponsored front lines phalanx is led by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, which has local jurisdiction, reinforced by North Dakota State Troopers, North Dakota National Guard units, sheriffs and police from six nearby states—all interpenetrated by DAPL security (while the FBI lurks in the background). A contingent of Hennepin County, Minnesota, Sheriffs’ Deputies were recalled following protests back home. Residents in the state of Ohio are writing letters and calling legislators to express their distress that their law enforcement has been enlisted into this repressive force.

  • Hennepin Co. sheriff's deputies leave Standing Rock protest


  • Native media’s live stream videos show DAPL security teams in mirror-visor helmets and black ops body armor with no identification, mingling with the police, sometimes directing them when and who to mace or pepper spray. They point out media making video for arrest. The big fossil fuel company evidently has plenty of experience dealing with protestors around the world. In their blank, reflecting visors we can see the soulless Darth Vader face of the government-corporate proto-fascist state the U.S. is becoming.

    Of course, this struggle with the Wasi’chu (Lakota word for the white man, meaning literally “takes too much”) is an old story for Native-Americans. In the 18th and 19th centuries it took the form of the Sioux nations trying to hold back the tsunami of colonizers flooding into their ancestral lands, occupying and despoiling them. The big difference now is that the fire-power of the state (think Custer’s 7th Cavalry or present day militarized police) has been fused with vast profit centers dependent for their existence on plundering the earth in the name of energy-squandering lifestyle survival.

    The provocations the water protectors endure take many forms. There is the psychological pressure of constant surveillance: the heavy police presence on the roads around tribal and reservation lands, the DPLA helicopter and a small plane that circle constantly above the encampments; there is the Bureau of Indian Affairs station set up on a knoll to suck out data from the cell phones of anyone in the area. There is the pepper spraying and tasing of water protectors who are praying. There is the more recent blasting of the protectors with freezing water canons in sub zero weather. There is the constant threat of weapons pointed at them. One twitching trigger finger could set off a slaughter.

    The water protectors are unarmed. The resistance movement does not allow guns in the encampments. One day, at one of the front line actions, an armed man showed up with a pistol and began firing. Possibly he was paid by DAPL to create an incident. The Natives are aware of paid provocateurs or agitators passing through the camps, pulling dirty tricks, looking to start something. Antimedia reported about the man with the gun: “According to an official statement from the tribe, the man fired several shots from his gun before being peacefully apprehended by tribal police. Witnesses at the scene say he pointed his gun at several protesters. The man was clearly trying to provoke violence that could later be used to demonize protesters who have so far remained peaceful.”

    The news site added, “The Morton County Sheriff’s Department circulated a false report claiming the man was shot, presumably by protesters… [As images show], the man was not harmed. The Sheriff’s Department has since retracted that report. Anti-Media’s attempts to obtain clarifying comments from Morton County Sheriffs were ignored.”

  • Dakota Access Caught Infiltrating Protests to Incite Violence, Funding Trolls Online


  • On a hill overlooking Oceti Sakowin, the largest of the Standing Rock encampments, an old army tent houses the field office of the rotating teams of lawyers who come to Standing Rock to help out. They use donations made to the resistance to bail out protectors who have been arrested; they try to negotiate with the police so the protectors can be allowed to pray. The constant arrests on trumped-up charges are an ongoing harassment—people maced or beaten, violently thrown to the ground and zip-tied. Often activists are charged with trespass and “riot” on the Morton County Sheriff’s novel legal theory that if several people are arrested for trespass that must signify that they were engaged in a riot.

    All this naturally requires court time and money to defend, incarceration in usually unpleasant conditions, including dog kennels. (Though the white allies who are arrested seem to get better treatment.)

    Arrests are to be expected as a consequence of civil disobedience. But some arrests are directed at chilling speech. One lawyer who came to Standing Rock from the Oregon-based Civil Liberties Defense Center, an activist defense nonprofit primarily involved in climate protests, https://cldc.org/ told Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network that often after the day’s action was over, police would stop the last cars in the caravan. They would then make “snatch and grab” arrests, impounding the cars of people who had come to support the water protectors but had no expectation that they’d be arrested when the action was over and the police told them to leave. They have to pay heavy fines ($900) to get their cars back. She said the arrests and impoundment fines for their cars are unlawful. “The intention with those types of actions is to scare out-of-towners from being comfortable coming to these actions. So they’re trying to chill the rights of others to come and participate in these protests.”

  • Environmental Lawyer Explains Standing Rock Legal Issues




  • The authorities regularly characterize the natives as terrorists, and local radio spreads false rumors of farm animals being slaughtered and stolen, reported vandalism—the kind of thing you would expect from psychologically projected homesteader fears about savage Indians of earlier centuries.

    Yes, Magazine on Oct. 31 reported: “The county sheriff is claiming the water protectors were violent and that police were stopping a riot. But hours of live video feed from people caught in the confrontation showed instead a military-style assault on unarmed people: police beating people with batons, police with assault rifles, chemical mace, guns firing rubber bullets and beanbag rounds, tasers.”

  • Why Police From 7 Different States Invaded a Standing Rock Camp—and Other Questions


  • The UN has sent human rights observers. According to Salon, Nov. 16, 2016: “The U.N. special rapporteur said that American law enforcement officials, private security firms and the North Dakota National Guard have used unjustified force against protesters.

    “ ‘This is a troubling response to people who are taking action to protect natural resources and ancestral territory in the face of profit-seeking activity,’ [Maina] Kiai [U.N. special rapporteur] said in his statement, which was issued by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and was endorsed by several other U.N. experts.

  • Native Americans facing excessive force in North Dakota pipeline protests – UN expert


  • “At least 400 activists have been detained and often have been held in ‘inhuman and degrading conditions in detention,’ Kiai added. Some indigenous protesters have said they were treated like animals and even held in dog kennels.

  • Dakota pipeline protesters say they were detained in dog kennels; 268 arrested in week of police crackdown


  • “ ‘Marking people with numbers and detaining them in overcrowded cages, on the bare concrete floor, without being provided with medical care, amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment,’ the U.N. expert said.

    “ ‘The excessive use of State security apparatus to suppress protest against corporate activities that are alleged to violate human rights is wrong,’ he continued, noting that it violates U.N. guidelines on business and human rights.

    “Amnesty International USA, which has repeatedly criticized authorities for not respecting the rights of protesters, issued another statement on Tuesday noting that U.S. authorities had put up roadblocks to prevent journalists and human rights observers from documenting the protests and the official response.”

  • U.N. experts call for halt in Dakota Access pipeline, blast “excessive force” against protesters


  • Living on Earth reporter Sandy Tolan reflected: “You know, at times I felt I was back reporting in the West Bank, and not the Northern Plains…”

  • Standing With the Standing Rock Sioux


  • The Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians

    Compare the government response at Standing Rock with the response occasioned by Ammon Bundy and his gang of armed militants when they occupied Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for over a month in January 2016. Imagine if the Bundy gang had been pepper sprayed, beaten, hit with water cannon, tased. But the Bundy crew were taking over the refuge to proclaim their belief that public lands should be given free to the profit-making private ranching business. In other words, the Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians.

    The mainstream corporate media has largely ignored the stand-off at Standing Rock. Rallies have taken place around the world at places like Tokyo, Stockholm, and Auckland, but the sad truth is many foreigners have heard more about Standing Rock than Americans have. Not surprising. The news editors, working for corporate media conglomerates, choose what they believe we should know and what fits the larger corporate agenda, and so they devote massively more play to Brad Pitt, to the gossipy politics of who’s-on-first, and to whatever the latest glittering consumer thing is than they do to climate change and issues highlighted by the poor and the powerless, like Standing Rock. What coverage that does exist is usually cursory and misleading.

    Fortunately, alternative media have been on the scene and active at Standing Rock. As someone who taught journalism for more nearly 20 years, it has been refreshing for me to see what the alternative press is accomplishing.

    Amy Goodman of the webcast Democracy Now brought the prayer-resistance movement to national attention over the summer. She was arrested and charged with riot in absentia for her live reports of water protectors being set upon by dogs. The charge was later dismissed in court.

    Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network has done searching interviews and incisive commentary from the scene.

    But my absolute favorite news source at Standing Rock is Myron Dewey’s Digital Smoke Signals. Dewey does updates every day, which he posts on Facebook. I highly recommend anyone who has a Facebook account to “follow” him. I went to Standing Rock on Oct. 4-11 with two friends and I have since been able to keep up with developments on the ground through Dewey’s Facebook broadcasts. He posts live stream unedited clips that constitute what he calls an ongoing “documentation” of what is happening day-to-day at the movement.

    Here is Dewey at night standing on a hillside next to the Oceti Sakowin encampment. His face appears in the glow of his screen. Then he’s panning and zooming in on a large grassfire as he’s telling us about it. His finger appears in the screen and points out where the fire started. He says the helicopter which constantly circulates over the camp suddenly disappeared 20 minutes before they saw the first flames. He zooms to the area where he and the person he is with first spotted the fire. He says, “It looked like someone using a drip torch.” He says they called 911, but it’s been over an hour and the Morton County Fire Department hasn’t shown up. He tells the people in the camp, his audience, not to worry, though. It looks like the fire was started by DAPL employees to scare them or hurt them. But the Oceti Sakowin is full of Indians who supplement their income by wild-land firefighting, work that also benefits Mother Earth; he mentions that he is himself a “hotshot” firefighter [one of the elite crews]. He and his fellow firefighters can tell by the wind direction that the fire won’t harm the camp.

    Now here’s Dewey on a bright morning walking along the road by Oceti Sakowin. A young man appears on screen, and Dewey asks him who he is and why he’s here. He’s from the Paiute nation. “I’m here to protect the water,” he says. Dewey asks him to sing a Paiute song. The young man closes his eyes and sings.

    In another nighttime broadcast find we ourselves looking through a car windshield, headlights illuminating the highway, centerlines whizzing by. We hear voices talking in the backseat. The car drives on and on. We’re just watching the road. Then ahead is a police roadblock. The police van looms. Dewey gets out with his camera and calls over to the officers, asks them where they’re from, inquires about where the road blocks are, what are the open routes. At one level it’s a mundane exchange between a citizen and police, but you experience the edginess of the situation. More deeply, you feel the riskiness and pathos that is involved any human interaction. Dewey firmly exercises his right to have these protect-and-serve police respond to him civilly; he is cordial and respectful in a way that reinforces to them and to his viewers that he is after all not their enemy but a fellow human being. Dewey asks more questions and the lead officer says he doesn’t want to be filmed; Dewey offers to turn his camera away from them and onto himself. The distant officers disappear from the screen and Dewey’s face fills it. The contact officer walks nearer; we can hear his voice. Dewey can’t resist a joke, though. He asks the officer if he’s sure he doesn’t want to become famous by putting his face on Dewey’s screen? You realize these are just guys doing their job. Dewey understands that, but he also wants to educate them about the water protectors’ mission. He never misses an opportunity to educate his adversary, as well as his own people about the larger dimensions of the Standing Rock resistance. When he gets back in the car, someone in the back seat says “Let’s get out of here; this is enemy territory.” Dewey laughs, turning the car around, “It’s not enemy territory.”

    I believe you learn more about Standing Rock by watching Dewey’s unedited video than you ever could from watching any number of dramatically produced, commercially constricted reports on CNN, complete with the drumb-drumb latest crisis theme music.

    Dewey explains to his viewers that what they’re seeing is a “documentation” that’s not edited. “It’s not scripted. It’s not acted out.”

    After a month of watching Dewey’s daily reports I realize more fully than I ever have before how ghastly and vacuous mainstream news reporting is: a production where facts have been emptied of the humanity of real encounters, replaced by the shallow performances of reporters and news sources, slick, clichéd phrasing, behavior slotted into ready made categories, events analyzed and even predigested. The news about reality comes to us compartmentalized in trays like tasteless microwave dinners. Rarely is the reader or viewer allowed to simply experience the event unfolding through the reporter’s eyes or camera. The stories are crafted and slickly packaged. Their very polish and stimulating presentation sabotages their meaning and replaces it with a meaningless, artificial understanding.

    Note that I am not saying that the news these days is politically biased. Some obviously is, but the left or right bias charge is a serious red herring, a mis-direction. In fact, in mainstream media’s very effort to appear neutral and unbiased means events are chopped up and pieced together to fit the templates of a few hackneyed forms of storytelling: the winner-loser story, the conflict story, the individual overcoming obstacles story, the facing bad choices stories, he-said, she-said stories, scandal stories, hypocrisy stories. You’ve seen them all, repeatedly.

    Most of these templates come plated with a cynicism, skepticism, superiority, or sentimentality that grabs our attention by adding a dash of disgust. The current journalistic manner of telling stories reduces and dismisses the story in a way that sometimes makes the commercials and pop-up ads come as a relief. None of the common journalistic templates or attitude has much to do with real life as it’s lived in the moment. It’s not what people really experience in their lives. Instead, it’s how they’ve been conditioned to wrap up experience afterward in a dramatized way that leaches out the nuance, that leaves out the moment-to-moment uncertainty, or as the Lakota call it, the Wakan, the deep mystery of relationships that permeates every event. And that’s what Dewey’s broadcasts have in abundance. You get to see him interacting with the people who show up on his screen. You get to feel his humanity and the mystery of everyday relationships taking place at Standing Rock that he brings to light. It’s certainly not dramatic or melodramatic. It’s not interesting or stimulating in the usual way. It does seem really important.

    So when Dewey sits in his parked car and does an update video on “10 things to know about DAPL” (Nov. 18, 2016), there’s no editing and no script, meaning that you get to see him thinking through what those top 10 things might be. Some points he makes are incisive and comic, others not so much. But the not-so-much ones can lead you to thinking about gray areas, the imprecise observations we all make. He asks a guy who just got in the car to help out with his list and the guy, William Hawk Birdshead, goes immediately serious on him until Dewey says, “I was trying to keep it light.” So the Birdshead says, “Laughter is good medicine.” Suddenly they’re off. Dewey mimics the shifty-eyed look of the FBI guys lurking around the area and denying they are FBI, the DAPL security characters trying to look all steely and tough. We learn that in the encampments they say that “DAPL dresses up like Ninja Turtles.” You can tell that it’s DAPL undercover because those guys never drive rez cars, which are rusted and dented. Nobody is spared. Dewey describes the water protectors just arriving from California as dudes who’ve “got their animal spirits on… They’re all furred up. They’re coming in all mystical and crystals.” He and his buddy laugh, which Dewey says is laughter “in a good way,” because the whole thing going on at Standing Rock is deadly serious but you need laughter, because that’s good medicine for healing. And healing and praying are about “getting reconnected with the Earth.”

    This points to a major difference between anthropocentric prayer as most of us know it and earth-mind prayer. In the prayer that most people are familiar with, an individual seeks intercession for human needs with a transcendent being. The Native prayer is about healing not getting. The prayer is a community ceremony or song or ritual to maintain or restore the balance between and among beings, both animate and inanimate. Prayer is to all my relatives, all my relations, the birds, the water, the wind, the buffalo, my family, even those who oppose me as enemies. Mitakuye Oyasin is an important Lakota phrase that means “all my relations.” When you’re watching a Dewey update from Standing Rock you’re experiencing Mitakuye Oyasin in action. It’s newscasting as a kind of prayer, in the earth-mind sense. Whether he’s engaging in laughter or educating about the spiritual importance of water, you can see that what he’s getting at is healing relationships. Watching and listening, you get to be part of that healing.

    What Dewey does goes way beyond advocacy journalism.

    Our traveling companion for our visit to Standing Rock, Lakota elder Tiokasin Ghosthorse, also provides a good way to keep up with developments through the interviews he conducts for his weekly syndicated broadcast from WPKN in Bridgeport Conn. and WBAI in New York City. On Oct. 31, 2016, Tiokasin interviewed a young man who was seized on Oct. 27 when a frontline camp was destroyed by police. Trenton Joseph Castillas Bakeberg, in the bloodline of Crazy Horse, was praying in a sweat lodge when the militarized police swept through the camp. They yanked him out of the sweat lodge and arrested him. The young water protector told Tiokasin:

    “I pray that we’ll be able to keep a state of prayer and peace, as we have been… Although there’s some people on our side are more likely to tend toward violence. But there’s also people on our side to stop them. Don’t start a fight. That’s what it’s all about, keeping it peaceful because the elders told us in the beginning that all it takes is one single act of violence, one person attacking a police officer and they’ll unleash the fear on all of us. This wrath that we have with our military overseas, we’re beginning to see it now in the heart of our own country. All for the greed and the corporate interests of this government. They say we’re a democracy but it’s not showing anymore. The people didn’t want this pipeline, but this foreign entity that they call a corporation, Energy Transfers, is saying, we don’t care. We want this money. We need this for economic stability of the country and that somehow trumps the interests of our communities and our nation as a whole….We’re standing up to this corporate machine with prayer and love.”

  • Forcibly removed from prayer at Standing Rock


  • Against a heavily armed, corporatized democracy designed to ensure that only powerful business and political elites rule the land and possess the wealth of its objects, the Native-American people at Standing Rock stand in defense of Mother Earth armed with songs, prayers, and an understanding that Earth’s objects are us, and we are them. They are our relatives. It seems better armament than most of us Wasi’shu possess. Webster defines fascism as “a political system headed by a dictator in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted.” It’s an incendiary word, and readers might think ill of me for introducing it here. Certainly we are not a fascist state yet. But for the prayer-resistance at Standing Rock, the clear alliance between corporate and government interests to quell their opposition under color of the law has a fascist flavor.

    It should not surprise anyone that the new US president reportedly holds stocks that directly fund the Dakota Access Pipeline and that the DAPL CEO Kelcy Warren gave the Trump campaign a substantial donation.

  • Trump's Personal Investments Ride on Completion of Dakota Access Pipeline


  • This is how the proto-fascism works. Ironically (or perhaps absurdly), Trump may have been elected by people hoping he would somehow counter the tightening grip of multinational corporations on their lives. One might wish for that to happen.

    At a deep level, Standing Rock may suggest that such absurdities as a Trump presidency occur because our mode of consciousness is impaired or inadequate to the situation it has created on our planet at this historical time. Too many of us have gone dead to the natural world we come from. Our obsessive anthropocentric mode of consciousness has reduced nature and reality at large to a bunch of things we have names for—things that feed our greed. Fortunately, many Indigenous people have retained an acute and ancient consciousness that we are those rocks and trees and clouds, and birds and water that we see outside our windows, and that restoring our relationships with them is incumbent on us.

    John Briggs is emeritus distinguished Professor of Writing and Aesthetics from Western Connecticut State University. He was the English Department’s journalism coordinator for 18 years and was one of the founders of Western’s Department of Writing, Linguistics, and Creative Process. He is the author of several well-known books on chaos theory, fractals and creativity. He lives in the hilltown of Granville, Mass., where served as a Selectman for five years and as reserve police officer for 10 years.


    When people at Standing Rock talk about the black snake they mean the pipeline, referring to an old Sioux legend about a black snake that will threaten the end of the world. The Lakota prophet Black Elk said that in the seventh generation, the Sioux tribes would unite to save the world.

    Media covering the Standing Rock resistance movement:

  • Digital Smoke Signals


  • Myron Dewey, Facebook


  • The Antimedia


  • Democracy Now


  • The Intercept


  • The Guardian


  • Censored News


  • Unicorn Riot


  • Living on Earth


  • The Indigenous Environmental Network


  • Status of Standing Rock court claim



  •           A week of maxis...        

    We had a lovely Christmas. Why wouldn't we? Lots of nice food, drink and presents, but most of all family.
    We always have fun at Christmas especially when we play charades after dinner. This year even the youngest grandson joined in - and loved playing it - he wasn't half bad either!


    My daughter made a delicious salmon in pastry dish. She usually makes us a Beef Wellington but wanted to do something different this year. We also had turkey and all the trimmings. It was all very good.


    Here we all are mid dinner. Some of us have finished; I've only just sat down. Just can't get everything on the table at the same time... OH is missing because he's putting his dinner in the microwave; he likes everything at nuclear temperature! Daughter is taking the photo. All three grandsons and two of my three brothers. My third brother in London was having a bachelor's 'open house' Christmas!

    I got such lovely presents. A new Paperwhite kindle, new ankle boots, perfume and a Persephone book from my daughter. New long black boots; two 'Furrowed Middlebrow' books and 2 CDs from OH. Eldest grandson bought me another Persephone book and my brothers gave me money. Didn't I do well?

    I drank Sherry, Prosecco, Canadian Club and Ginger Ale and sampled an Amaretto Sour ; courtesy of eldest grandson who mixes a mean cocktail - very moreish...


    This is what I wore on Christmas Day. Dress from the Hospice shop in Kempston; waistcoat from Zara also charity shopped. Boots; Christmas present from OH.



    All jewellery charity shopped.

    Day 1 - Maxi Challenge


    This is the skirt I bought in Barnardo's, Great Denham for £1.00.


    Cardigan and boots charity shopped.


    Green top Primarni; headscarf present from my friend in Cambridge.


    All jewellery charity shopped.

    By Tuesday I was going stir crazy. I hadn't been out of the house on Christmas Day or Boxing Day; only to drop middle grandson home so I took youngest grandson to Sainsbury's. One of the Great Uncles had given the youngest grandsons a bag of coins; when we changed it up in the coin machine it gave them £15.00 each to spend! Another Christmas present and Christmas is already over. Lucky kids!

    Day 2 - Maxi Challenge



     I tried wearing a belt with this maxi.


    Everything is charity shopped except the boots which are light brown with metal bits round the toe; a Christmas present from my daughter this year. The skirt is by Country Casuals; t shirt M&S 50p in a Donegal charity shop;  cable pattern cardigan; Red Cross shop probably, but really can't remember. Belt charity shopped about 10 years ago.


    Necklace charity shopped in the Oxfam shop; Bedford. The earrings are 99p from e bay.

    Day 3 - Maxi Challenge

    On Wednesday OH and I went rummaging. I hoped the charity shops would all be open but I guessed some wouldn't reopen until after the New Year.  We went to Hitchin, Hertfordshire, a market town, and also to Ampthill; a small market town in Bedfordshire.

    My goodness wasn't it cold! I woke up to frost everywhere and the water in the bird's' bowl had frozen. I feed the birds everyday. I'm even more vigilant during the cold weather months and always leave out drinking water. I really should have worn trousers! The temperature was -05 degrees when we set off for a rummage around the charity shops. It warmed up to 2 degrees and then dropped again by the time we got home. Out of seven charity shops in Hitchin only two were closed.

    It's hard to put outerwear over maxi skirts. I'd planned to wear my brown leather jacket but it was too cold. I wish I still  had my brown corduroy maxi coat that I bought in 1970 from Bus Stop. It would have been perfect to wear over this skirt!


    Jacket, River Island from Red Cross, £1.99; scarf, Save the Children; £1.00, beret; can't remember where.



    I've had this navy jersey type M&S skirt for about 9 or 10 years. I used to have a bottle green one, too, but ruined it by getting it caught in the wheel of my bike when I used to ride my bike to work. I also have a similar black skirt, but from BHS. All were charity shopped.

    Top by Canda - an old C & A brand; charity shopped in Save the Children, recently. Wool jacket by Gilbert; from Barnardo's, Great Denham. Boots - DDB (daughter donated boots).


    All jewellery charity shopped.


    About two weeks ago I bought yet another strand of orange beads for £1.00;  now I like to wear the three strands together!

    In Hitchin, I bought 4 pairs of earrings for £3.50 in the Hospice shop and Cancer Research; three balls of wool at 50p each; also in the Hospice shop and an animal print top for £1.50 and a knitted angel boiled egg cosy for 30p - everyone needs a boiled egg cosy, don't you know!  In Age UK, I bought a ring for £1.99. In an antique/curio shop I bought some black beads for £1.50.  Total  spend in Hitchin, £10.29 . In Ampthill; the sale was still on at Barnardo's. In fact, they had reduced quite a lot of the stuff to 49p! I bought two double sized duvet sets with matching pillowcases, each for 49p. One set was brand new - it still had the stiffening product in it that they use in new bed linen. I also bought a pair of orange and black loose trousers for 49p; a pale grey Next top for 99p; a black Next jacket - never worn, 49p; a black and white striped blouse for 99p and a pair of bootcut jeans for 49p. Total spend here £4.45. Then I spent another £1.50 in the RSPCA on two books and a new make up bag. Total day's spend £16.24.


    Go on - you know you want one!

    Day 4 - Maxi Challenge

    On Thursday I finally got out for a walk and did 6.3 miles. I hadn't walked for two weeks and was feeling both lazy and guilty. Once I started walking I was fine and realised how much I'd missed my regular walks. On Friday, there is a nine mile bus walk; I'm up for it but it is an earlyish start, and one of the things I enjoy about the holidays is there is no need to get up early. I'll just have to see how I feel on Friday morning...


    This black Next corduroy skirt is about 5 or 6 years old and was charity shopped. The striped blouse by Peepers was bought in Wednesday's rummage at Barnardo's (99p) as was the light grey Next top (99p). Boots, old; Christmas present from my daughter. Middle grandson is on the sofa with his trusty laptop - hence the trailing flex.


    All jewellery charity shopped.

    I did the usual food shopping on Thursday and the bargain of the day was a £4.00 box of Christmas crackers for 40p in Sainsbury's! They're going up  in the loft ready for next year. Sainsbury's also had lots of packs of Christmas gift tags for 10p a packet, but we still have two large unopened packs of gift tags bought in the sales last year. I also bought  a reduced tin of shortbread biscuits (£1.50) and mince pies (40p) per packet.

    Day 5 - Maxi challenge

    Friday was such a miserable, cold and foggy day. I didn't go walking but am determined to go on Saturday afternoon as there is a 6.5 mile walk in Houghton Conquest which is about 6 miles outside of Bedford.

    What I did do was to go to Bedford and spend my Christmas money. I'd already spent some of it on a fur coat on line. It's not my perfect coat; I am still looking for that one, but I needed a warm short coat. I have a Parka coat but that is a bit too casual sometimes. In Bedford I bought some perfume and soap in TK Maxx - I do love scented soap and prefer to use soap rather than shower gel. I also bought myself a new watch from New Look. Christmas money spent; I returned home to make soup and read one of my Christmas books.


    In today's maxi and long cape I felt like a Victorian governess! The pure wool cape is from Ist Avenue bought for £1.99 in the Red Cross shop. Leather gloves charity shopped.


    Maxi skirt; part of a cardigan suit charity shopped in Carrick on Shannon, Ireland. I've worn the matching cardigan separately, last seen here. Shirt and cardigan both from Red Cross shop. Boots, Christmas present from OH this year.


    All jewellery charity shopped. The earrings were bought on Wednesday in Hitchin in the Cancer Research shop.

    I'm glad the week of maxi's is finished; I can't wait to wear a pair of trousers.
    So far with these challenges, I have worn a week each of; skirts, cardigans, shirts, dresses, trousers and maxis. I don't have enough maxi dresses to do a week of those so I think I might go for a week of stripes, spots and checks for next week. In fact, I've edited this to say that I'll do a week of patterns next week and the stripes, spots and checks for the week after.

     The challenges keep me thinking of different outfits to create and helps give little worn items a wear. That in turn, helps me assess whether or not, I want to keep it and if I don't means more space in my wardrobe. I have also got rid of several clothing items this week so I'm not feeling too guilty about those I've purchased.

    What are you all doing for New Year's Eve? I've got both grandsons New Year's Eve so we'll see the New Year in with them. I'll see you all in 2017!


    I'll leave you with a look at all my lovely Christmas book presents...



              Troubling Meaty 'Estrogen'        

    High temperature cooking can imbue meats with a chemical that acts like a hormone

    Food for Thought

    Women take note. Researchers find that a chemical that forms in overcooked meat, especially charred portions, is a potent mimic of estrogen, the primary female sex hormone. That's anything but appetizing, since studies have linked a higher lifetime cumulative exposure to estrogen in women with an elevated risk of breast cancer.

    Indeed, the new finding offers a "biologically plausible" explanation for why diets rich in red meats might elevate breast-cancer risk, notes Nigel J. Gooderham of Imperial College London.

    At the very high temperatures reached during frying and charbroiling, natural constituents of meats can undergo chemical reactions that generate carcinogens known as heterocyclic amines (see Carcinogens in the Diet). Because these compounds all have very long, unwieldy chemical monikers, most scientists refer to them by their abbreviations, such as IQ, MeIQ, MeIQx, and PhIP.

    Of the nearly two dozen different heterocyclic amines that can form, PhIP dominates. It sometimes accumulates in amounts 10 to 50 times higher than that of any other member of this toxic chemical family, Gooderham says. Moreover, he adds, although heterocyclic amines normally cause liver tumors in exposed animals, PhIP is different: "It causes breast cancer in female rats, prostate cancer in male rats, and colon cancer in both." These are the same cancers that in people are associated with eating a lot of cooked meats.

    However, the means by which such foods might induce cancer has remained somewhat elusive. So, building on his team's earlier work, Gooderham decided to probe what the heterocyclic amine did in rat pituitary cells. These cells make prolactin—another female sex hormone—but only when triggered by the presence of estrogen. Prolactin, like estrogen, fuels the growth of many breast cancers.

    In their new test-tube study, Gooderham and coauthor Saundra N. Lauber show that upon exposure to PhIP, pituitary cells not only make progesterone, but also secrete it. If these cells do the same thing when they're part of the body, those secretions would circulate to other organs—including the breast.

    But "what was startling," Gooderham told Science News Online, is that it took just trace quantities of the heterocyclic amine to spur prolactin production. "PhIP was incredibly potent," he says, able to trigger progesterone production at concentrations comparable to what might be found circulating in the blood of people who had eaten a couple of well-done burgers.

    The toxicologist cautions that there's a big gap between observing an effect in isolated cells growing in a test-tube and showing that the same holds true in people.

    However, even if PhIP does operate similarly in people, he says that's no reason to give up grilled meat. Certain cooking techniques, such as flipping hamburgers frequently, can limit the formation of heterocyclic amines. Moreover, earlier work by the Imperial College team showed that dining on certain members of the mustard family appear to detoxify much of the PhIP that might have inadvertently been consumed as part of a meal.

    The human link

    Three recent epidemiological studies support concerns about the consumption of grilled meats.

    In the first, Harvard Medical School researchers compared the diets of more than 90,000 premenopausal U.S. nurses. Over a 12-year period, 1,021 of the relatively young women developed invasive breast cancers. The more red meat a woman ate, the higher was her risk of developing invasive breast cancer, Eunyoung Cho and her colleagues reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine last November. The increased risk was restricted, however, only to those types of breast cancers that are fueled by estrogen or progesterone.

    Overall, women who ate the most red meat—typically 1.5 servings or more per day—faced nearly double the invasive breast-cancer risk of those eating little red meat each week.

    Related findings emerged in the April 10 British Journal of Cancer. There, researchers at the University of Leeds reported data from a long-running study of more than 35,000 women in the United Kingdom who ranged in age from roughly 35 to 70. Regardless of the volunteers' age, Janet E. Cade's team found, those who consumed the most meat had the highest risk of breast cancer.

    Shortly thereafter, Susan E. Steck of the University of South Carolina's school of public health and her colleagues linked meat consumption yet again with increased cancer risk, but only in the older segment of the women they investigated. By comparing the diets of 1,500 women with breast cancer to those of 1,550 cancerfree women, the scientists showed that postmenopausal women consuming the most grilled, barbecued, and smoked meats faced the highest breast-cancer risk.

    These data support accumulating evidence that a penchant for well-done meats can hike a woman's breast-cancer risk, Steck and her colleagues concluded in the May Epidemiology.

    PhIP fighters

    Such findings have been percolating out of the epidemiology community for years. Nearly a decade ago, for instance, National Cancer Institute scientists reported finding that women who consistently ate their meat very well done—with a crispy, blackened crust—faced a substantially elevated breast-cancer risk when compared to those who routinely ate rare- or medium-cooked meats.

    However, even well-done meats without char can contain heterocyclic amines, chemical analyses by others later showed. The compounds' presence appears to correlate best with how meat is cooked, not merely with how brown its interior ended up (SN: 11/28/98, p. 341).

    At high temperatures, the simple sugar glucose, together with creatinine—a muscle-breakdown product, and additional free amino acids, can all interact within beef, chicken, and other meats to form heterocyclic amines. In contrast, low-temperature cooking or a quick searing may generate none of the carcinogens.

    Because there's no way to tell visually, by taste, or by smell whether PhIP and its toxic kin lace cooked meat, food chemists have been lobbying commercial and home chefs to reduce the heat they use to cook meats—or to turn meats frequently to keep the surfaces closest to the heat source from getting too hot.

    The significance of this was driven home to Gooderham several years ago when just such tactics spoiled an experiment he was launching to test whether Brussels sprouts and broccoli could help detoxify PhIP. "I bought 30 kilograms of prime Aberdeen angus lean beef," he recalls. "Then we ground it up and I gave it to a professional cook to turn into burgers and cook." Professional cooks tend to move meats around quite a bit, he found. The result: His expensive, chef-prepared meat contained almost no PhIP.

    In the end, he says, "I sacked the cook, bought another 30 kilos of meat and prepared the burgers myself. It was a costly lesson."

    Once restarted, however, that study yielded encouraging data.

    One way the body detoxifies and sheds toxic chemicals is to link them to what amounts to a sugar molecule. Consumption of certain members of the mustard (Brassica) family, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts (both members of the B. oleracea species)—can encourage this process. So Gooderham's team fed 250 grams (roughly half a pound) each of broccoli and Brussels sprouts each day to 20 men for almost 2 weeks. On the 12th day, the men each got a cooked-meat meal containing 4.9 micrograms of PhIP.

    Compared to similar trial periods when their diets had been Brassica-free, the volunteers excreted up to 40 percent more PhIP in urine, the researchers reported in Carcinogenesis.

    Experimental data suggest that two brews may also help detoxify heterocyclic amines. In test-tube studies, white tea largely prevented DNA damage from the heterocyclic amine IQ (SN: 4/15/00, p. 251), and in mice, extracts of beer tackled MeIQx and Trp-P-2 (see Beer's Well Done Benefit).

    The best strategy of all, most toxicologists say, is to prevent formation of heterocyclic amines in the first place. In addition to frequently turning meat on the grill or fry pan, partially cooking meats in a microwave prior to grilling will limit the toxic chemicals' formation. So will mixing in a little potato starch to ground beef before grilling (see How Carbs Can Make Burgers Safer) or marinating meats with a heavily sugared oil-and-vinegar sauce (SN: 4/24/99, p. 264).


    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.

    Citations

    Janet E. Cade

    UK Women's Cohort Study

    Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics

    30/32 Hyde Terrace

    The University of Leeds

    Leeds LS2 9LN

    United Kingdom


    Eunyoung Cho

    Channing Laboratory

    Department of Medicine

    Harvard Medical School

    181 Longwood Avenue

    Boston, MA 02115

    Nigel J. Gooderham

    Biomolecular Medicine

    Imperial College London

    Sir Alexander Fleming Building

    London SW7 2AZ

    United Kingdom

    Susan Elizabeth Steck

    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

    Statewide Cancer Prevention and Control Program

    Arnold School of Public Health

    University of South Carolina

    2221 Devine Street, Room 231

    Columbia, SC 29208
    Further Reading

    Raloff, J. 2007. Concerns over genistein, part II—Beyond the heart. Science News Online (July 7). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2007. Concerns over genistein, part I—The heart of the issue. Science News Online (June 16). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. Pesticides mimic estrogen in shellfish. Science News 170(Dec. 16):397. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. No-stick chemicals can mimic estrogen. Science News 170(Dec. 2):366. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. Meat poses exaggerated cancer risk for some people. Science News Online (March 25). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Beer's well done benefit. Science News Online (March 5). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Carcinogens in the diet. Science News Online (Feb. 19). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. How carbs can make burgers safer. Science News Online (Dec. 4). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Uranium, the newest 'hormone'. Science News 166(Nov. 13):318. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

    ______. 2001. Fire retardant catfish? Science News Online (Dec. 8). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1999. Well-done research. Science News 155(April 24):264-266. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1998. Very hot grills may inflame cancer risks. Science News 154(Nov. 28):341. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1996. Another meaty link to cancer. Science News 149(June 8):365. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1996. 'Estrogen' pairings can increase potency. Science News 149(June 8):356. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1995. Beyond estrogens: Why unmasking hormone-mimicking pollutants proves so challenging. Science News 148(July 15):44. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1994. Meaty carcinogens: A risk to the cook? Science News 146(Aug. 13):103.

    ______. 1994. Not so hot hot dogs? Science News 145(April 23):264-269.

    ______. 1994. How cooked meat may inflame the heart. Science News 145(March 12):165.

    ______. 1994. The gender benders. Science News 145(Jan. 8):24. Available at [Go to].

    Smith-Roe, S.L., et al. 2006. Induction of aberrant crypt foci in DNA mismatch repair-deficient mice by the food-borne carcinogen 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b] pyridine (PhIP). Cancer Letters. 244(Nov. 28):79-85. Abstract available at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. Mlh1-dependent responses to 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b] pyridine (PhIP), a food-borne carcinogen. (Abstract # 514). Toxicologist 90(March):105.

    ______. 2006. Mlh1-dependent suppression of specific mutations induced in vivo by the food-borne carcinogen 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b] pyridine (PhIP). Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 594(Feb. 22):101-112. Abstract available at [Go to].

              Luke Van Hook Paintings Now at Brand Library Galleries "Circle in the Square" Yesung Kim, Barbara Kolo, Susan Sironi, Cheryl Walker thru Sept 5th 2008        
    The Entrance to the Brand Library Art Galleries in Glendale, California hosts a prominent postcard of the show "Circle in the Square" now exhibiting through September 5th, 2008


    PHOTO-JOURNAL BY GINGER VAN HOOK


    Photo above: 
    Cathy Billings, Art Librarian and Gallery Manager of the 
    Brand Library Art Galleries and Co-Curator of 
    "Circle in the Square" selected Luke Van Hook 
    as one of the artists to show his circle paintings 
    which explore Giotto's fabled "perfect circle.
    Photo below: 
    Alyssa Resnick, Senior Library Supervisor, Gallery Director 
    and Co-curator pictured with Luke Van Hook.
    Both ladies made studio visits all over Los Angeles and surrounding communities in search of the "perfect circle" of artists to represent the illusive qualities of the circle.
    It takes over a year to prepare for a large show at the Brand Library Art Galleries and no one will have a better story to tell you about the waiting process than Galleries Manager and Curator, Cathy Billings or Alyssa Resnick, Senior Library Supervisor and Gallery Director. These ladies traveled to Inglewood, California for a studio visit to see Luke Van Hook's circle paintings some time in the early summer of 2007. They told Luke that they were preparing to curate a show of artists working on the motif of the 'circle'.  They had already reviewed a number of artists and found making the final decision difficult, first because there were a number of artists who worked with this subject and secondly, the talent was very competitive. The subject of the circle and how each artist approaches this topic is worth dedicated study in and of itself.  These lovely ladies, Cathy and Alyssa, with a keen eye for artistic talent, selected a total of five talented artists to show together this summer.   
    Here you will find photos of how each artist expressed their obsession with the circular form.  I'll begin my blog entry with a brief history of what I believe may have led Luke Van Hook to painting the circle and continue with the photos and biographical information of the additional four artists each selected for working with the motif of circles, independently of each other, with their own unique and individual interpretations of the circle: Yesung Kim, Barbara Kolo, Susan Sironi, and Cheryl Walker.
    Luke Van Hook began his present study of the circle in 2005. He first discovered the legend of Giotto's "Perfect Circle" in a class about ancient history; but the idea didn't sink in at first. He needed time to reason with his quest. While Luke approached the specific task of painting the circle with thin paintbrushes and applying layer upon layer of color to a raw naked canvas, I set about trying to understand what the hell prompted my husband to go circle crazy in the first place.  I started researching what the circle meant and I found a lot of literature in the realm of magic, rituals, mathematics, secret societies and romance. But my first impression was that the circle was a way to get back to the beginning of things.  Then I delved deeper.  Was Luke trying to say that he was going in circles?  Were we at this artistic point in our lives as a result of a past life?  Was our circular existence referencing our cycle of birth, death and rebirth?  Or was the answer more basic than that, like "the earth is round and it's an orbital thing.' There were other issues on the table I was urged to deal with also.  Were these circle paintings partly influenced by the school we had attended?  Once we leave school we are expected to make works of art that have fresh meaning and to blow out the cobwebs of old thinking.  While at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, Luke Van Hook studied all the required areas to excel in his chosen profession as a fine arts painter including the figure, landscapes and abstracts. But the abstract visual image is what finally drew Luke back in.  Could it be the understated obvious fact that the big 'O' (which formed a circle on every memo, syllabus and brochure in the name of Otis College) was influencing him subconsciously?  
    Luke's earlier work involved intricately small hatch marks that evolved into large abstract images full of vibrant colors.  This work was very reminiscent of Jasper Johns.  So where did this circle idea really emanate from?  Did his hatch marks get married or what?  Observers of Luke Van Hook's work have stated that it raises the question, 'Is it a painting or a drawing?  Is it text or writing?'  Luke will often begin a row of circles that reads from left to right just as western literature is expressed.  But sometimes he changes his mind, and the direction of his technique, and he starts to paint his rows from right to left. At other times, he completes a horizontal column of circles which refers more to ancient Asian forms of writing going from the top, down.
    During his graduating year at Otis College in 2004, Luke went on a mission to explore machine technology as it pertained to replacing humans.  He painted large canvases with a number of faces and shapes that represented cyborgs expressing the fear, uncertainty and ambivalence that humans have toward our technological future.  But once out of school, a full year later, in 2005 Luke seem to have turned a corner.  He seemed to have replaced his fear of technology with a competitive defiance that defied all reason.  Luke started working with his father-in-law, in his machine shop, where he started to observe how everything around him involved the circle in one way or another.  He watched the machines (Fadal CNC's- numerical control production machines) in action. The tool would spin in circles, plunging in and out of aluminum, stainless steel and plastic materials. The space left behind was almost always a perfect circle.  Perhaps, this was Luke's starting point. It was the first time he'd really seen a machine make simple circles and Luke probably said something to himself like 'I can do this! Just watch me!' then promptly, decided to take on his destiny. To compete with a machine, may have been the early impulse that drew Luke to paint the circle, but the legend of Giotto's 'perfect circle' was what has kept Luke going full steam ahead into production of abstract works of art.  The initial pieces he created were prototypes. These were the experiments he and his father-in-law Luis Ingels, worked on before moving into the hand made pieces. As his first experiment, Luke inserted a paint brush into the collet of the machine and programmed the coordinates to match the canvas. He overshot his calculations and the brush came crashing down upon the canvas; the collet smashed the brush right through the canvas and even broke the frame. Perhaps, Luke might have thought as he and my father, Luis, looked at each other, 'it was time to go back to the drawing board'. Undaunted by initial failure, Luke did complete an entire series of machine made circles before he went on to the main event, the competition of drawing the circles, one by one, by hand.  
    Each piece of artwork created since his first attempts, is meticulously reinvented into creative visual landscapes layering circles upon circles of color schemes in gradations of complementary hues.  The colors reveal very subtle changes.  The circles pull the eye in.  The images seem to have a life of their own, a vibrant quality of pushing the viewer to look for patterns while pulling the eyes into fishers, crevices, or 'wormholes' as one collector observed. I have witnessed the intimate evolution of Luke's circles only because I have the honor and privilege of being Luke's wife.  The fact that I am discussing my husband's art work is of significance only in the sense that it is somewhat rare, although not unheard of, for the artist's loved one to interject a provocative discussion of the artwork publicly in a blog; however, this is a sign of the times we live in today and I feel blessed as a writer to have this open forum to share with you the joys and struggles inherent in Luke's artistic process.
    The way I see it, Luke has taken on  the impossible task of creating the perfect circle, where no perfect circle has ever existed before, despite Giotto's legend.  All mathematical equations to date reveal that there is no perfect circle. It is a myth. So why Luke has persisted in this impossible feat only reminds me of the story of Don Quixote. Here is where I see Luke chasing his windmills. This is where in my imagination, I view the circles on the canvas as Luke's quest for the impossible dream and his circles are his windmills.  His paintbrush is his sword.  Thus Luke 
    Van Hook's paintings, for me, exhibit all the romantic qualities innate in a love story.  Seeking to please his beloved Lucia, these references emerging from raw canvas could be read practically like text.  Some art collectors saw the circles as Braille text or some secret code or language.  The secret, I think, lies in Luke's love of sports!  Sometimes I interpret this circle code to reflect images of the sports activities I see Luke enjoy daily;  I make visual connections to the circles on the wheels of his bicycles which hang in his studio or his skate boards that decorate the rafters of the painting bays or even the wheels that drive his car which sits resting on almost perfect circles on the driveway.
    For a while, I was convinced that Luke's enthusiasm for cycling was directly influencing the subjects of his paintings because one day, I was staring at one of his earlier images, (which is hung lovingly on the wall of the dining room right over the microwave oven); I saw it hanging next to a photograph of Luke participating in the 'Death Race 1999', a bicycle ride that cycle enthusiasts pursue along the most dangerous mountainous roads known as the California Alps in Northern California at the edge of the Northern Nevada border where Markleeville meets the Carson Valley.   The image Luke had painted in 1998, while recovering, ironically, from a broken ankle suffered in a bicycle race in Minden; was the image of three bicycles in a dead heat on the gray pavement with the yellow dividing line providing a ground for what appears as three large helmets (representative of the riders) in red, green and yellow.  The eventual emergence of Luke's hatch marks from work created in 2000, can be seen on the helmets and if you are really looking for this, (with your microscope) you may even find, the very beginnings of the influences which have eventually led to this mad case of circle paintings!  The circle imagery you might be searching for could have started at the base of the bicycle's anatomy with the wheels spinning along the highway to Kingsbury Grade, somewhere near Genoa, along the bottom of the hill leading to Lake Tahoe.  I comfort myself as painter's wife, that even Picasso had his periods, as did Rembrandt, Vincent Van Gogh, Monet and Gauguin and so long as Luke Van Hook doesn't try to cut off his ear we are doing just fine with these circles.


    But don't take my word for it. Luke Van Hook's circle paintings are something you should see for yourself.  The subtlety of the work is difficult to capture on film, although I tried my best to create a video after struggling with photographing the stills for three years.  But even the video work fails to reveal the whole story.  You've got to stand in front of one of these pieces to involve yourself in the novella of Luke's life.  Although I can decode a small portion of what I see through his work, the rest of the circles on the canvas are still a vague mystery to me as well.  Every relationship has its secrets.  Thus Luke and I, as artists, are no different.  Even when we know each other, there are elements of surprise and adventure that we have yet to tell each other.  The mystery in his canvases is what really thrills me to see Luke's work on display under gallery lighting! (Sales don't hurt my enthusiasm either!)





    When I think of Luke Van Hook's circle paintings, today, in 2008, I often think of Luke riding a skateboard doing 'ollies' and then trying for a loop-de-loop in mid-air.  This is because in January of 2008, Luke begged for a skateboard for his birthday and little did I know what would happen when I wrapped it up for him!  He has returned to the love of his youth.  Luke Van Hook has come full circle to his beginnings to land on his home base. The skateboard has also flown in mid-air, in harmony with gravity, and both land as one in a perfect execution of a move I would never dare try to do myself.  I see each circle on the canvas as Luke's attempt to catapult his work into the mainstream of the art-world with each rotation of the paintbrush on the surface of the canvas.  This is where I see Luke Van Hook in mid catapult, surfing on the air, light in transition, from youth to inspired maturity; from student to master, with paintbrush in hand landing and continuing to roll on four wheels with a great big shit-eating grin on his face. ('four' being the lucky number of his numerology charts). I see the ordered struggle, the innate joy in the success of one loop-de-loop after another. And once in a while, I also see the crash landing and the bloody injuries.  What is more important is that Luke gets up and does it again each and every time.  Luke has to begin again with each new circle, every circle becoming a part of a larger layer of community, thus his canvases vibrate with activity, mystery, romance and adventure.  I find my own meanings in each image  as it develops day by day and I am privileged to stand beside him, admire and witness the struggle of our Don Quixote in the new millennium, first hand.
    There is still time to see these painting up close and personal. The Brand Library Art Galleries is part of the Glendale Public Library, located at 1601 West Mountain Street in the City of Glendale, 91201  Telephone:  818-548-2051/ fax 818-548-2713 ;  visit the Brand Library Art Galleries online at   www.brandlibrary.org    to  check for Library hours.
    Cookie Gallegos, Ana Porras and Martha Ingels attend the opening of "Circle in the Square" to support Luke Van Hook. Brand Art Library Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008 Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    (From left to right) Margo Payne, Lynn Nantana-Green and Angela Williams attend the exhibition "Circle in the Square" in support of Luke Van Hook.
    Lynn Lantana-Green came to support Artist, Luke Van Hook at the opening reception of "Circle in the Square" an art exhibition held at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008.  Photos by Ginger Van Hook
    Kevin Powell came to support Luke Van Hook and enjoy the paintings at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California, August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Artist Luke Van Hook brought home-made pies to his reception of the exhibition "Circle in the Square". In addition to painting, Luke Van Hook has a reputation for making awesome pies from scratch. Photographed milling around the Double Fudge Pican Pie and the Sweet Berry Pie were the grandchildren of Hector Sticker. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    (From left to right) Claudio Sticker, Hector Sticker, Peter Bolten, Martha Ingels, Luke Van Hook and Luis Ingels attend the reception of  "Circle in the Square". Luke Van Hook and Luis Ingels worked together to create circles on canvas with the use of robotic CNC machines. After creating a little over a dozen machine-made paintings, Luke went on to compete with the machine and do the circles on his own by hand, one by one. Each circle is represented as being one breath and Luke Van Hook states that these are the marks he is leaving behind which define his existence during this lifetime as he continues to pursue the legend of "Giotto's Perfect Circle". Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    From left to right, Ohannes Berberian, his daughter Melanie, Luke Van Hook and Rouzanna Berberian attend the opening reception of "Circle in the Square" at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008.  Ohannes Berberian owns DigiTECH Camera Repair in Monrovia, California (www.digitechcamerarepair.com). Luke Van Hook and Rouzanna Berberian are both fine art painters and members of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (M.A.F.A.). Rouzanna Berberian is a teacher in the after-school arts programs supported by M.A.F.A.  which promotes the goal of enhancing the lives of those within the community through interaction with the arts and to increase the opportunities of children through art education. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    From left to right, Kathleen Zgonc, photographer Frank Zgonc and artist Luke Van Hook attend the opening reception of 'Circle in the Square' at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008. Frank Zgonc is a an executive member of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts in Monrovia, California. Frank Zgonc is the vice-president and official curator of Monrovia's yearly October Art Festival. This year the October Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday October 11th and 12th, 2008 at the Monrovia Community Center located at 119 W. Palm Avenue in Monrovia. Free and open to the public, this art event will feature work by photographer Frank Zgonc; (Scheduled from 10 am to 6pm both days).  There will also be an Opening Night Celebration Saturday, October 11th from 7-9:30 pm where the special Renaissance Award will be presented to a worthy individual who has made significant contributions to the arts. 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Mr. and Mrs. Luke and Ginger Van Hook attend the opening reception of 'Circle in the Square' at the Brand Libraries Art Galleries, August 2, 2008 in Glendale, California.  Luke Van Hook an artist working from Inglewood, California earned a BFA  at Otis College of ARt and Design.  For several years, Van Hook has been exploring in his work, Giotto's fabled "perfect circle".  Over time the single-minded focus on the perfection of the circle has been subsumed by the artist's interest in the aesthetic and expressive qualities of the circle. New works depict ritualistically repeated circular brushstrokes on canvas, hemp, and other materials. Van Hook states that he began " as a challenge to myself to see if a perfect circle was possible; these circles have now morphed into a challenge to myself to see if a perfect circle is  possible. These circles have now morphed into a study in patience. The sense of time and the marking of time is inherent in the meticulous application of paint. The viewer can appreciate these temporal qualities but is also compelled to bring their own  interpretation to the work. Are these circles pure abstraction? Combined do they conceal deliberate shapes and forms? or are they perhaps a secret code or language? Van Hook has exhibited at TAG Gallery, Focus One Gallery, and the Bolsky Gallery in  Westchester. Luke Van Hook's painting may also be viewed on his website: www.lukevanhook.com
    Photo courtesy of Peter Bolten


    Kevin Powell comes to support Luke Van Hook for his opening reception. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008.  Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Jason Porras attends the opening reception to support Luke Van Hook in his endeavors to pursue Giotto's legend of the 'Perfect Circle'. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008. Photo By Ginger Van Hook.


    Zoe Hengst, Ginger Van Hook and Martha Ingels attend the opening of "Circle in the Square" to support Luke Van Hook. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008. Photo courtesy of Peter Bolten.
    Zoe and Jopie Hengst walk through the center of the exhibition "Circle in the Square" to support Luke Van Hook at the opening night, August 2, 2008. Paintings by Susan Sironi in the background. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.

    Cookie Gallegos, Ginger Van Hook and Luke Van Hook pose for photographs in front of Luke Van Hook's painting at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008 Glendale, California. Photo courtesy of Peter Bolten.

    Cookie Gallegos and Ana Porras watch the dance performance choreographed by Cheryl Walker, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008, Glendale, California.
    Paintings by Yesung Kim, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008, Glendale, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.
    Paintings by Yesung Kim, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008, Glendale, California.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Yesung Kim poses for a photograph in front of her paintings at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 02, 2008, Glendale, California. Yesung Kim from Upland, California, was born in Seoul, South Korea and holds MFA degrees from Chung-Ang University and Claremont Graduate University. Kim's mixed media pieces are seductively simple. Ordinary brown packing string is deftly applied to a painted canvas creating organic shapes that shimmer and reflect light. At times these shapes appear to be on the brink of an amoeba-like division as they spread and expand, dropping off the edge of one canvas and continuing on to another. Kim  cites the natural world and light and color as the underlying themes that both inspire and permeate her work.  Following solo shows at the Seoul Museum of Art and the Seoul Arts Center, Kim's work was most recently exhibited at the San Bernardino County Museum's Multi Media Mini Show. More information about Kim's work can be found on her website: www.yesungkim.com
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Painting by Susan Sironi, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008 Glendale, California.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook
    Glass curtain by Susan Sironi, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008,Glendale, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.
    Cheryl Walker designed a curtain of vinyl layers of color called 'Waterfall IV' that became the backdrop for a beautiful dance performance using the 'circle in the square' theme exhibited at the Brand Library Art Galleries in Glendale California, August 2, 2008. Cheryl Walker holds in her hand some of the vinyl circles that were placed upon the windows at the exhibition hall. Her vinyl circles upon the windows created an illusion of  the stained glass effects. The dance piece entertained a large audience on opening night as artists, collectors, art appreciators and family and friends celebrated the mythologies, geometries, magical and mystical qualities of the circle.   Dance Performers Liz  Curtis, and Martha Carrascosa performed a dance which included participation from members of the audience.  
    Members of the audience interacted with the dancers Martha Carrascosa and Liz Curtis at the Brand Library Art Galleries participated in creating a colorful cascade of window art on August 2, 2008 in Glendale, California.
    Audience watches dancers Liz Curtis and Martha Carrascosa from Glendale Community College as they perform a choreographed piece by Cheryl Walker, artist. "Circle in the Square", Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California, August 2, 2008.  Photo By Ginger Van Hook
    Dancers Liz Curtis and Martha Carrascosa performing dance choreographed by artist Cheryl Walker, (within the green curtain), Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook.
    Cheryl Walker engaged in performance art intersecting with window art using the artistic theme of 'Circle in the Square'. Brand Library Art Gallery, Glendale, CAlifornia August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.

    Cheryl Walker smiles happily on opening night, Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California. August 2, 2008. Cheryl Walker, a Los Angeles artist, earned her BA in art in her home state of Minnesota, and her MFA from California State University, Long Beach. In this exhibition Walker created two large site-specific installations of vinyl, oil pastel and natural and artificial light.  Walker explains that the driving force behind her work is "human interaction and improvisation in response to a natural phenomenon or situation." Trained as painter, Walker's installations have some of the qualities of painting; when viewed head-on the suspended layers of vinyl can appear to be two-dimensional because of their transparency and the cut shapes and forms applied to the vinyl are reminiscent of brushstrokes--but removed from the wall these works are thrust into what she calls an "interactive field of play." The fluidity of the material she works with and her interest in collaboration between the artist and the viewer have inspired Walker to create works that can be transformed into performance pieces by dance, music and in-situ art-making. In this exhibition, a dance performance captivates the audience on opening night at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. August 2, 2008.  Photos By Ginger Van Hook




    Barbara Kolo, Artist from "Circle in the Square" poses for a photograph in front of her painting with her husband Mr. Kolo. Barbara Kolo, a Santa Monica Artist, earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Kolo Participated in a successful two-person show at the Brand Library Art Galleries in 1999. The Brand Library Art Galleries are pleased to present (nearly ten years later) a new body of work by Barbara Kolo that connects to that which was here before. In those works and these, her focus is on representing organic materials. The current large scale acrylic on canvas works are saturated with color; the stippled application of paint creates organic shapes and patterns representative of the natural world.  The subject matter is open to each viewers interpretation, where one may see a birch forest at dusk, others may see the  bold aesthetic of pure color and abstraction. Kolo has had recent solo shows at Topanga Canyon Gallery and the Off Rose Gallery in Venice, California. More information about Kolo's work can be found on her website: www.barbarakolo.com Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook






    Barbara Kolo poses for a photograph during opening night celebrations for the exhibition, "Circle in the Square" at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Augusts 2, 2008. Glendale, California.


    Susan Sironi,  an artist living in Altadena, California posed for her photograph in front of her paintings at  the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. August 2, 2008.  Susan Sironi earned her BFA at California Sate University, Long Beach. This exhibition will showcase Sironi's recent paintings as well as her Glass Curtain installation which is comprised of conjoined antique optometric lenses. Her paintings are about texture, color and process. Small dabs of oil paint are painstakingly applied to aluminum, building up an intricate, thorny surface. Highly textured and multihued when viewed up close, this surface belies the color play minimalist color-field appearance of the work at a distance . In the artist's own words "texture and color play equal roles in these works. They ... set up contradictions within each piece. Painitings  that seem to invite touch and intimacy are also reserved and automomous. Time and process are weighed against a static and minimal structure. Sironi's work was most recently seen in the Brea Art Gallery's Made in California exhibition, at the Chouinard School of Art Gallery, and the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.  More information about Sironi's work can be found on her website: web.mac.com/susansironi/susan/sironi/Welcome.html.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook.  

    Yesung Kim, Brand Library Art Gallery, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008.



    The Entrance to the Brand Library Art Galleries in Glendale, California hosts a prominent postcard of the show "Circle in the Square" now exhibiting through September 5th, 2008

                       Luke Van Hook paintings are now showing at the Brand Library Art Galleries in
              PD VISIT 2016 : BEACH, MUZIUM LUKUT, UPSIDE DOWN HOUSE, OSTRICH FARM        
    Date : 28th October  - 30th October 2016

    Bismillah..
    Salam Alaik
    Lama tak bersiaran kat blog ni.
    banyak benda nak cerita, banyak kerja juga hari - hari.
    Cerita jalan - jalan ke Port Dickson ni tahun lepas lagi.
    Baru ada kelapangan sikit nak bercerita.


    1. Kami stay di Adelia Homestay Port Dickson. Tak jauh dari Pusat Latihan Tentera Darat.Di Taman Almai 2.  Jumlah menginap selama 3H2M dalam RM400 - RM500. Lokasi Adelia Homestay ni ada 2 unit. So, yang dalam gambar ni lokasi yang kitaorang dah menginap selama 2 kali. Kali pertama tahun sebelumnya dan yang terbaru pada tarikh di atas. Sesuai untuk family yang ramai atau bercuti dengan adik - beradik. Ada 1 masterbedroom dengan bilik air di dalam, kemudian ada 2 bilik lain tuk kelamin. bilik air lain di luar di bahagian dapur. Dapur pun lengkap dengan peti ais, periuk masak elektrik dan microwave. Siap ade mesin basuh di bahagian belakang. Oh ye, rumah ni hanya untuk penyewa muslim sahaja. Dan arah kiblat pun terdapat dengan mudah dalam rumah ni.Ruang tamu pun lengkap dengan meja makan, sofa dan saluran astro.
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    2. Tempat kitaorg satu family include family lain, mula - mula adalah Muzium Lukut. Muzium ni masuk percuma je. Jadi tak perlu nak pening kepala mahal ke murah. Lokasi muzium ni dekat:
     Lot 730, Jalan Besar, Taman Pd Jaya, 71010 Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia

    Tarikan muzium lebih kepada sejarah penubuhan Kota Lukut, Sungai Ujong, and mosty like tentang sejarah penubuhan Negeri Sembilan dan Selangor. Ada juga pameran peninggalan atau harta karun dari beberapa kapal laut yang tenggelam di sekitar perairan di sepanjang Negeri Sembilan pada kurun tertentu.

    Aqil Al Islam seperti biasa ambil gambar dan ambil gambar. Seronok dapat berjalan - jalan katanya.




    3. Lokasi lain yang kitaorg pergi jugak adalah Rumah Terbalik : Upside Down Gallery Art 
    Di bawah ni senarai tiket masuk.. Jadi, berjalan - jalan puas korang kat dalam tu ye. Alang - alang dah bayarkan..
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    Aqil dan Ara gigih betul ambil gambar tu, sunggguh - sungguh. Macam - macam aksi diaorg buat. Menggekek kami gelak..



    4. Lokasi terakhir kitaorg pergi sebelum balik adalah Ostrich Farm Port Dickson



     Agak mahal la tiket sebab macam tak berapa well maintenance. Ladang ni sebenarnya ladang persendirian dibuat jadi taman kunjungan. So janganlah assume cantik sangat ye.



    Anak - anak layan naik kuda la and keldai. Ara sampai 2 kali naik kuda tu. So yang tukang bayar tu sape lagi kalau bukan Babahnya..


    Maka..tamatlah ceriat jalan - jalan port dickson kitaorg. Moga ada rezeki dapat jalan lagi. Insyaa Allah.

              The finest ingredients makes for fine food....        
    As you can imagine with summer is in full swing the restaurant at the Bradley Inn is serving lots of food to lots of guests. Deliveries come rolling in, dairy, produce, seafood, duck, ground lamb, liquor and as fast as it arrives it is stowed away neatly in its proper place and then whipped into fantastic creations and gobbled up by happy diners.

    Even Keel's peas and tomatoes
    Yesterday I was anxiously awaiting the dairy delivery. We were out of heavy cream and crème brulee is nothing if not made with heavy cream, neither is homemade vanilla bean ice cream. The green truck pulled into the drive and in came the cartons, heavy cream, half and half and the glorious butter. I hadn't noticed before, but the butter was from Cabot Creamery in Vermont. It isn't a generic lowest cost butter and while it may not seem like a big deal, it makes all the difference.

    Pemaquid Oysters
    Beth & Warren's philosophy of the best ingredients and local whenever possible sets a level of quality that resonates through the staff, into the food and onto the plates of our guests. Using local ingredients which change with the season and harvesting means adapting and refining menu items or featuring a special focusing on what's in at the moment. Watching and listening to the discussions of how to use each ingredient to elevate it to its highest potential is an insight into culinary genius.

    There is no microwave in the kitchen, there is no Crisco. We go through a case of eggs each week from Bowden farm in Waldoboro Maine and if we've had a run on the crème brulee or ice cream we'll need more. Smokey from Pemaquid Oysters shows up with bags of briny delights.
    Sarah of Even Keel Farm comes on Fridays with bags of mixed greens in which she has edible flower petals (we LOVE edible flowers!) fresh basil, carrots, beans - all from her organic farm just a few miles away. And who could not mention the lobsters that come from Pemaquid Lobster Co-op? Nothing wows the tourists at The Contented Sole more than watching Warren or Bytza take the boat across the harbor to buy lobsters bring them back and haul them up the dock. No questioning freshness there!
    Pemaquid Lobster Co-op

    The best, freshest, local ingredients result in a standard of food integrity that is unmatched. We invite you to experience a delicious meal that will have you closing your eyes in delight with each bite.

              Daring Cooks Challenge June 2013 Meatballs         
    This month's challenge was MEATBALLS my favourite recipe of all time I have so so so many great recipes here a couple of personal fav's enjoy the colour and flavours.

    This month's hosts were  Shelley and Ruth and here their introduction to the challenge

    Hi there! We are Shelley from C Mom Cook and Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood. We are twin sisters who share a love of food, but who have very different cooking styles. Ruth keeps a vegetarian home while Shelley is a carnivore through and through.  Despite our differences, we both love all aspects of food – eating it, preparing it, and sharing it with the people we love.

    For this month's challenge, we wanted to do something a little bit different.

    So many of the challenges this year have helped us learn skills or techniques that are pretty specialized - and that have proven to be very challenging. And while the big challenges absolutely bring big rewards (not to mention yummy results), this month we thought we would go a bit more creative.

    There are many foods that appear across a variety of cultures, with only slight differences or variations.  This month we wanted to test out one food across many cultures to see how many variations we can bring to the blogosphere.  So this month we challenge the community to bring us meatballs from around the world.

    A meatball, at the most basic level, is some kind of ground meat that has been rolled into a ball and cooked.  But that is where the basics end.  Usually other ingredients are involved – generally breadcrumbs and eggs, to give the ball body and bind it together, and a variety of spices for flavor.  The type or types of meat used, the method of preparing the balls and especially the way the meat is served can vary so greatly that it is sometimes amazing to think that they are all the “same” kind of basic food.

    It is these differences that we are looking to celebrate this month – to create more meatball dishes than anyone ever would have thought possible, and to show the world just how versatile the “simple” meatball can be.

    Recipe Source:  Basic meatball recipes or based on recipes from cooks.com and Mark Bittman, with additional inspiration recipes provided from various online sources.

    Blog-checking lines:  The June Daring Cooks’ challenge sure kept us rolling – meatballs, that is! Shelley from C Mom Cook and Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to try meatballs from around the world and to create our own meatball meal celebrating a culture or cuisine of our own choice.

    Here follows my meatball recipes please enjoy them as much as I and my friends and family did!!!


    Kangaroo and beetroot meatballs in red wine sauce


    I LOVE meatballs and I KNOW how to make them after doing them many 1000s of times and I never get tired of them. This is one of my personal best meatball recipes made with kangaroo steak minced, the ready-made mince is easily available in major supermarkets in Australia (Coles/Woolworths $8.75/kg). I combine it with the other classic Australian taste that is beetroot. It always surprises foreigners how much beetroot is eaten in Australia, in fact it is a standard addition in hamburgers in most takeaways. So how couldn't I combine kangaroo and beetroot into a humble meatball. I use very strongly flavour rye crisp bread combined with robust sun-dried tomato pesto to favour the meatball mixture this combination seems to produce a mellow flavour simmered meatball. This is always a winner at parties and BBQs especially if I have let the meatballs soak in the red wine sauce overnight. The biggest tips for light, moist and fluffy meatballs - use the best ingredients you can afford, freshly minced meat is best, sauté your aromatics, all ingredients must be cold when mixing, freshly made bread crumbs, a gentle touch, make a test meatball check seasoning and simmer the meatballs.
    Kangaroo is a very 'soft' meat; especially lean, tender, and soft-textured well suited for children's palate and also it cooks at a very low temperature and very fast which makes it excellent for simmered meatballs.
    My standard roo and beetroot recipe (roo is Australian slang for kangaroo) is below, this makes the lightest most tender meatballs. I like making a batch and letting it cool in the red wine sauce overnight and then reheating until just hot super tasty.
    It is a very easy recipe.
    Kangaroo and beetroot meatballs simmered in red wine sauce
    Makes a lot, 4 dozen meatballs
    1 kg kangaroo mince, (best if used cold)
    2 large beetroot, finely grated
    1 carrot, finely grated
    2 onions, finely chopped and pan-fried until caramelised
    1/2 cup of cottage cheese (fetta cheese works well, reduce salt if using)
    3-4 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
    3 rye crisp-bread soaked in 3 tablespoons of cream or milk
    1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs from wholemeal pita bread
    1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto (basil pesto is fine also)
    1 large egg
    2 small hot chillies, finely chopped
    2-3 teaspoons salt (if in Australia use vegemite (1/2-1 tablespoon) instead of salt)
    3 teaspoons pepper
    1 large tin of cherry tomatoes
    1 cup of red wine, good quality (or if using for children cranberry jelly or beef stock)
    Instructions
    1. In a sauce pan combine the cherry tomatoes (smash them with wooden spoon) and red wine bring to a simmer and let simmer while making the meatballs.
    2. In a bowl combine all the other ingredients except meat until well mixed.
    3. Place meat in large bowl add the mixture gently combine until almost mixed. Make a very small meatball, add to simmering sauce, cook, taste, adjust seasoning of the meatball mixture. Finish combining the mixture.
    3. Using 1-1/2 tablespoons of mixture form meatballs, drop immediately into the simmering red wine sauce. Cook for 10-15 mins.
    4. Enjoy!
    Kangaroo Mince - easily available in supermarkets in Australia (cheap & super healthy) I usually mince my own meat but the market was out of kangaroo meat so I used pre-packed mince.



    Ingredients for meatballs (L to R caramelised onion, carrot, beetroot, parsley, in front cream soaked rye crispbread)
     photo 03a_zps758d7357.jpg
    The mixture that is added to the kangaroo mince (beetroot, carrot, caramelised onion, parsley, cottage cheese, cream soaked crisp bread, bread crumbs, whole egg, sun-dried tomato pesto) which is great on toast by itself.
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    The mixture all ready to made into meatballs
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    I did a fried test batch just to see how these worked out (not my usual procedure)
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    The interior of the fried meatball, nice, soft and fluffy
     photo 07a_zps566f3b91.jpg
    My normal simmered meatballs
     photo 08a_zps7777aa20.jpg

    The interior of the meatball
     photo 09a_zps118277c4.jpg
    I have to say the fried ones were interesting not has tender as the simmered one but well worth eating. I have road-tested this recipe over many years to get the most tender simmered meatballs (especially made for children and fussy adults) so that is why the fried meatballs were well above average but not as good as the simmered ones.
    Lamb, mint and beetroot meatballs
     photo 11a_zpscd11875f.jpg
    Isn't the colour gorgeous on these bright pink lamb meatballs. This is one of the reasons I love this recipe and it goes so well with cucumber/mint/yoghurt dip. I like making tiny 2 teaspoon-sized meatballs for the kids just one bite for their tiny mouths. The caramelised beetroot and onion really adds to and intensifies the natural sweetness of lamb. This meatball recipe has been developed by me over a couple of years. As the butcher was explaining to me a long time ago the fat in lamb is "funny" it doesn't take too well being mixed with pork or veal or beef. That is why I like adding gelatine to the lamb mixture which adds a lovely tender moist mouth feel to the cooked meat balls. Also I like how the meatballs when fried have a "black" crust the characteristic brown-black colour of the crust results from the browned beetroot it doesn't taste burnt or bitter. If you bake the meatballs you can control the colour of the balls to suit your visual liking.

    A couple of years ago I was researching on the internet about meatball making and discovered a trick professionals use - adding gelatine to the soaking liquid which adds an unctuous mouth feel to the meatball (which is why a lot of meatball recipes add veal which is gelatine-rich). So I tried it in my standard lamb, mint and beetroot meatball recipe. I have to say the gelatine really adds a lot of moistness and a soft tender mouth feel to the interior of the meatballs. I do this gelatine trick to all my recipes now. Several people who had my lamb meatballs before the change commented after I added the gelatine about the tenderness and moistness of them now. (If anything I thought almost too tender and moist the first time I tasted them but that is my opinion.)
     photo 10a_zpsae4a6c1a.jpg

    Lamb, mint and beetroot meatballs based on this recipe
    500 gm (1 lb) lamb mince, freshly ground, best if used cold
    250 gm (1 very large) beetroot, grated and fried until caramelised
    2 onions, grated and fried until caramelised (do the onion and beetroot together)
    1/2 cup of cottage cheese, drained
    2 teaspoons salt
    2 teaspoons pepper
    1/2 teaspoon of gelatine bloomed in 1/2 cup of warm wine for 5 mins
    3 slices of white bread, torn into small pieces, then soaked in the cooled wine/gelatine liquid for 5 mins then squeezed dry and chopped
    1 bunch mint, finely chopped
    1 large egg if frying the meatballs, 2 large eggs if simmering
    (optional toasted sesame seeds for garnishing the cooked meatballs)

    Method
    1. Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl except for the meat. Mix until well combined.
    2. Add meat and gently mix until almost combined. Make a very small test meatball and cook, taste, adjust seasoning then continue combining mixture until just mixed. Make medium meatballs using 1-1/2 tablespoons of mixture or large meatballs using 3-4 tablespoons of mixture. Let rest in fridge for at least one hour and up to one day. Fry or simmer gently. I find it best to fry them first and then simmer (the frying adds a nice crust to the meatballs).
    3. Best served with yoghurt/mint/cucumber dip.
    4. Garnish with the optional toasted sesame seeds.

    The baked meatballs garnished in black and white toasted sesame seeds
     photo 12a_zps17689ada.jpg
    Spicy Tom Yum Asian Meatballs


    This is the recipe I have when I'm trying to impress at dinner parties. They are made with beef/veal (and the gelatine trick) and the same ingredients as TOM YUM soup. The colour for them is so golden and when fried the meatballs form a beautiful tasty crust. These are so beautiful piled high on a party platter. I know I know this soup is meant for prawns (shrimp) but it seems to work excellently for these meatballs, maybe the saffron, coconut cream and fried tomato paste does the trick.



    Tom Yum Soup Ingredients
    4 lime leaves,finely chopped
    2 lemongrass stalks, chopped into tiny pieces
    4 slices galangal, finely chopped
    2 thumbs of ginger, finely chopped
    4-8 bird's eyes chillies, finely sliced
    1 tbsp palm sugar
    Juice of 1-2 limes
    2 tbsp fish sauce (a good Thailand brand)
    3 large pinches of saffron infused in the lime juice and fish sauce
    2 green onions, thinly sliced
    1 small tomato de-fleshed seeded and chopped finely
    20 gm dried mushroom reconstituted in warm coconut cream with 1 tsp of gelatine
    1 tbsp of tomato paste fried until brown
    1/2 cup reconstituted glass rice noodles (or bread crumbs) soaked in the mushroom/coconut cream/gelatine liquid
    Meatballs
    1/2 kg of beef/pork belly (freshly ground)
    the above ingredients plus 1 large egg combined. Form 1-1/2 tablespoon-sized meatballs then fry gently.
     photo 20A_zps9165aa86.jpg

    Lentil and Spinach balls with blueberry sage glaze


    This is an intriguing recipe! It tastes so GOOD yet it is the weirdest combination of ingredients but it's always a winner at parties and surprise pot-lucks and it's easy to cook also (only a couple of mins in a mircowave and if you want an optional light browning in a fry pan.) It always STUNS guests when I tell them what these tasty entrées are made of - lentils, spinach, a couple of eggs and some seasoned bread crumbs served with a sticky blueberry sage glaze. This combination is so delicious and so stimulating to the palate, the different tastes oscillate on your tongue which is exactly what you want an entrée to do to stimulate the appetite for what-is-to-come. The lentil and spinach balls are delicious alone but teamed with the sticky blueberry sage glaze they really seem to switch the taste receptors to the "pleasure" setting. A good recipe to have and their freeze well also.
    I always get so many different answers when I ask what they tasted like, but universally they do say they liked them.
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    The cooked balls (after microwaving for 2 mins in my very old microwave oven)
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    Lentil and Spinach balls with blueberry sage glaze
    Lentil and Spinach Balls (adapted from this recipe)
    2 cups of cooked green lentils (these lentils hold their shape when cooked)
    250 gm packet of frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry and chopped (you can use watercress or collard greens make sure that the greens are squeezed dry and chopped finely)
    2 large eggs
    1/2 - 3/4 cup heavily seasoned dry breadcrumbs (Italian-seasoned is fine)
    2 teaspoons of freshly cracked pepper
    Method
    1. If you want a very fine texture and even colour in the interior of your vegetarian balls, you can machine-process the spinach and eggs (not the lentils) together to form a bright green purée. (see here for a picture of a puréed lentil/spinach ball)
    2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, form 3 tablespoon-sized balls. Refrigerate for at least one hour up to one day.
    3. Microwave on high for 2 mins (check at 1 min). Serve with a simple tomato sauce or the blueberry sage glaze.
    4. If you want you can lightly fry the microwaved balls to form a crisp thin eggshell crust the balls will brown slightly if fried.
    Blueberry sage glaze (based on this recipe)
    500 gm frozen blueberries (can use a mixture of red/purple berries) (cranberries or pomegranate molasses work well also but will need more sugar) (you can use 1/2 cup red wine but reduce the blueberries by half)
    1 tablespoons white vinegar (to taste)
    2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1/4 teaspoon hot chilli powder (optional)
    1 thumb of ginger, grated (optional)
    1 spring (green) onion, finely chopped (optional)
    1-2 garlic clove(s), crushed (optional)
    4 sage leaves
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or butter)
    Method
    1. Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan reduce gently, taste and adjust vinegar or sugar until slightly sweet with a light sour after-taste. Use the optional ingredients if you are serving a meat (or strong tasting) main course.
    2. Remove sage leaves before serving.
    Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls








    Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls
    These ricotta based balls are simple to make and only contain a few ingredients; ricotta & blue-veined cheese, eggs, watercress (or spinach), and seasoned breadcrumbs (or flour). I included some puréed beetroot in the mixture (I had some left over) that is why this batch is pinkish in colour usually they are white. They fry up nicely but I like them simmered in soups and stews. If you use flour in the recipe you get "gnudi" a dumping, these are much lighter.
    Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls1 cup (250 gm) fresh ricotta cheese, broken up into small pieces (I use low fat)
    1 large bunch watercress (or spinach), blanched (1 min), squeezed dried & chopped finely
    1 bunch mint (or basil if using spinach), finely chopped
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (or flour if you want gundi), seasoned (may need more)
    1/3-1/4 cup blue-veined cheese, finely crumbed (1/2 cup finely grated parmesan if using spinach)
    (optional 1/4 cup root veggie purée (beetroot, carrot or pumpkin) best if you are using spinach)

    Method
    Combine in large bowl all the ingredients mix until almost combined, make small test ball, cook, taste adjust seasoning, finish combining, form small (2 teaspoons), medium (1-1/2 tablespoons) or large (1/4 cup) sized balls, place into simmering soup or stews until cooked (small 3 mins, med 6 mins, large 10 mins)

    Hearty Winter Soup with Ricotta balls and Spinach Balls



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    Ballsy Hearty Winter Soup with Ricotta balls and Spinach Balls
    I made up a warm filling pearl barley, red and green lentil, split pea, tomato and beetroot winter soup I served it with my spinach/lentil balls and blue-veined watercress ricotta balls, (each 4 tablespoons-sized). (The spinach and lentil balls recipe has already been posted and the blue-veined water ricotta ball recipe is above). Perfect on a cold winter's day especially with buttered sourdoug rye bread.
    Ballsy Hearty Winter Soup
    1 onion, chopped, fried
    1 carrot, grated, fried
    optional 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 piece celery, chopped, fried (fry (3 tablespoons olive oil) celery, carrot & onion (& optional garlic) together until onion goes translucent then add tomato paste)
    3 tablespoons tomato paste, fried (until brown), then add
    2 cups - 4 cups of good vegetable stock
    1-3 teaspoon salt & 2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
    1 cup pearl barley, soaked and washed
    1/2 cup green lentil, soaked and washed
    1/4 cup split pea, soaked and washed
    2 tablespoon red lentil, soaked and washed
    1 cup of finely chopped (or grated) beetroot
    Method
    Add in a large saucepan the fried ingredients, stock, barley and legumes. Simmer for 1-1/4 hrs adding extra stock as needed. Add the beetroot simmer of extra 1/2 hr. Add plenty of spinach/lentils balls and blue-veined watercress balls in the last 15 mins. Serve the balls covered in the thickened soup or stew.

    Super Duper Surf and Turf Meatballs
    These are so so so GOOD I scoffed the entire first whole batch down myself there is something about adding umami (the savoury taste sensation) to food especially to meatballs that really intensifies and accents the taste of all the ingredients. These tasted like something from a super fancy restaurant I even impressed myself, since it was an impromptu recipe just using leftovers and a couple of pantry staples, usually you aren't this lucky with "spur-of-the-moment" recipes. Deeply and profoundly satisfying and so exquisitely tasty. I will be making these again and again.


    I opened the fridge and this is what I had leftover from the night before:-
    1. a half packet (250 gm or 1/4 lb) of good quality hamburger mince (ground beef),
    2. a tin of smoked oysters in oil,
    3. a 1/4 packet of powdered mushroom, nori sheets and sesame (the blue plastic packet),
    4. vegemite,
    5. wasabi powder,
    6. some fresh bread crumbs (not shown), and
    7. 1 large egg (not shown)
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    I noticed immediately that many of the ingredients were rich in umami. After sweet and salty, sour and bitter, there is umami—the fifth taste. Discovered at the beginning of the last century by the Japanese, the word umami translates roughly to mean "deliciousness" or "deliciously savour" — an understatement if ever there was one. Rich, deep and intensely savoury, umami exists in a number of foods and I had a gold mine of them.
    So I decided to make a surf and turf meatball (technically an umami-rich wasabi beef meatball stuffed with smoked oysters). The powdered mushrooms, nori, vegemite, smoked oysters and beef are all rich sources of umami (the savoury taste in foods). Also roasting, caramelizing, browning and grilling all boost the umami taste sensation in foods. Which is why this is a FABULOUS little entrée super rich in umami literally drenching in "deliciousness". I would serve with blue-vein cheese (rich in umami) or shaved parmesan cheese (one of the richest sources of umami), black olives (rich in umami) with some fried tomato paste (rich in umami) or fresh ripe tomatoes (rich in umami), tabasco sauce or hot chilli sauce, fish sauce (rich in umami), balsamic vinegar (rich in umami) and freshly minced garlic and a some finely chopped herbs parsley or mint, with a little of the reserved oyster oil. YUM YUM YUM. These tasted so good I'm calling them super duper surf and turf meatballs.
    This is the best one so far on my meatball making challenge!. On reflection and making two other batches for my friends who LOVED these, I'm entering these in the college's (that I'm attending) cooking competition next week so tasty and satisfying hummmmmm.
    How to make the meatballs
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    The finished meatballs waiting to be cooked (all the same size)
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    Super Duper Surf and Turf Meatballs
    250 gm (1/4 lb) minced beef, best if used cold
    100 gm (3-1/2 oz) tin of smoked oysters, drained, reserve oil
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1/2 cup of fresh breadcrumbs, heavily seasoned
    2 teaspoons of vegemite, mixed into the beaten egg (or 1 tablespoon fish sauce)
    1 teaspoon pepper
    1/4-1/2 teaspoon of wasabi powder, to taste
    1/4 cup of dried mushroom, shredded (or 2 tablespoons of mushroom powder)
    1 sheet of nori, finely shredded
    1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
    Method
    1. Combine in a large bowl all the ingredients except the oysters until almost combined. Make a very small test ball, cook, taste, adjust seasoning. Place 1 tablespoon of mixture into a semicircular spoon, poke finger into mixture to form a hole stuff with 3 smoked oysters cover the stuffing with the displaced beef mixture to form a complete meatball, repeat until all the mixture and oysters are used up, makes about 16-18 meatballs (See pictures above).
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    Chicken balls

    I made two sorts of chicken balls; a sun-dried tomato, olive and ricotta chickenball and a sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chickenball
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    Sun-dried tomato, olive and ricotta chicken-ball
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    Sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chickenball
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    Sun-dried tomato, black olive and ricotta chicken-ball
    300 gm chicken, mince
    300 gm ricotta, finely crumbed
    1/4 cup sun-dried tomato, finely chopped
    28 black olives, stoned, (use 2 black olives per 1-1/2 tablespoon meatball)
    1 large egg
    2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1/4-1/2 cup of fresh bread crumbs, heavily seasoned

    Sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chicken ball
    500 gm chicken, mince
    3 tablespoons coconut cream
    1 tablespoon fish sauce
    1 packet of Hot and Spicy Thai noodle soup (any spicy Asian style is fine)
    2 lime leaves, finely shredded
    1/4 cup of fresh bread crumbs, heavily seasoned
    1/4 cup of peanuts, pieces
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1 red chilli, finely chopped
    4 tablespoons sesame seeds, for coating

              July 2012 Daring Bakers' Challenge - Crackers        
    Blog-checking lines: Our July 2012 Daring Bakers’ Host was Dana McFarland and she challenged us to make homemade crackers! Dana showed us some techniques for making crackers and encouraged to use our creativity to make each cracker our own by using ingredients we love.

    Recipe Source: A few recipes from the pile of books I own:
    • Brown, Alton (2011). Good Eats 3:The Early Years, “Seedy Crisps”. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, New York, NY.
    • The American Culinary Institute. (2008). Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen (3rd ed.) “Pepper Jack and Oregano Crackers”. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Hoboken, NJ.
    • The American Culinary Institute. (2008). Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen (3rd ed.). “Cheddar and Walnut Icebox Crackers”. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Hoboken, NJ.
    • Smith, Sandy (2000). Kootenay Country Kitchens Cookbook: A Collection of Kootenay Favourites. “Health Crackers” Kootenay Kitchens Publishing, Nakusp, BC.

    See here for a PDF of the challenge recipes.

    Rolled five grain rye crisp bread
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    I'm Finnish born so I grew up eating rye crisp bread even now it is my main source of whole grains in my diet I really adore crisp bread. I'm so happy that this month's challenge is crackers, it allows me to indulge in my favourite food, I will be making many different sorts of Finnish crisp breads during the month. My first offering is a rye crisp bread made with rye flour and five types of rolled grain (rice, barley, triticale, oat and rye) and ground oat bran and chia seeds topped with four types of flavoured-sesame seeds (wasabi (green), charred bamboo (light red), BBQ (beige), seaweed (black). These are so tasty and sweet tasting (rye flour naturally is sweeter than wheat flour) as a a friend mentioned you can feel the goodness with each bite. Easy and quick and so so tasty a wonderful challenge.

    Rye crisp bread is actually bread made with yeast, water, rye flour with a touch of salt it is fermented so making the dough slightly sour and then it is rolled very thin and baked it will keep for many months in a dry cool place.
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    Rolled five grain rye crisp bread
    Ingredients:
    1 cup (250 ml) warm water
    2 teaspoons (10 ml) (5 gm) dried instant yeast
    1 cup (140 gm/5 oz) whole meal rye flour
    1 cup (85 gm) (3 oz) five mixed rolled grains (rice, barley, triticale, oat and rye)
    2 tablespoons (25 gm) (1 oz) flax seeds, ground or cracked
    1 tablespoon (15 gm) (1/2 oz) chia seeds, ground or cracked
    1 tablespoon (15 gm) (1/2 oz) oat bran
    4 tablespoons (50 gm) (2 oz) various flavoured sesame seeds, for topping
    1 teaspoon (3 gm) coarse sea salt, optional, for topping
    Method:
    0. Preheat oven to hot 220C/425F/gas mark 7.
    1. In a large bowl mix the yeast and the warm water, rest until it becomes foamy (about 5 mins). 
    2. Mix the rest of the dough ingredients together and add to the water mixture.
    3. Knead for two minutes then rest covered for a minimum of 30 minutes in a warm place, the longer you rest the dough the stronger the tangy sour taste will become (overnight is best, you can add some vinegar (1 teaspoon) if you wish to increase the tangy taste if you wish). The mixture will be very stiff and will not rise.
    4. Divide the dough into two.
    5. Place one piece of dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll until 2 mm thick try to keep the shape the same shape as your baking sheet.
    6. Sprinkle half of the sesame seeds onto the rolled dough, roll gently to press the seeds into the dough.
    7. Cut the dough into pieces using a sharp knife. I did nine pieces per baking sheet (about 3"x4" (7cmx10m)). (Do not separate the pieces.)
    8. Bake in a hot oven for 10 mins, rotate and bake for another 10 mins. Check to make sure the crisp bread is not browning too much. Take out and cool, the bread will "crisp-up" more when cooled. Repeat for the other piece of dough. (If you have rolled the dough thickly about 4 mm then it will take about 20 mins each side to bake.)
    9. If the bread is not crisp enough return to moderate 359F/180C/gas mark 4 oven until it is done, checking carefully to stop burning or over-browning.

    Hapanleipä - Finnish Sour Rye Crisp Bread
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    For my second offering on the theme of Finnish crisp breads is hapanleipä a fermented rye crisp bread in the traditional wheel shape. The ring form was once quite functional: in western Finland, crisp bread was baked only twice a year, and families strung hundreds of loaves on poles suspended from their rafters. It is still common practice in Finland to give a small hapanleipä on a stick (usually with a small bag of salt) as a present when you move into a new home. The hapanleipä will last for many years in a cool dry place, I still have some rings left which I eat from 2002 when my mum made 1200 for a wedding. These crisp cracker-like breads are; hard, have a tangy fermented faintly buttery mildly sweet taste, they are often slathered in butter and garnished with salt, or eaten with meats, cheeses or herring the stronger the taste of the garnish the better. These crisp breads have a strong robust flavour that can stand up to the strongest smelling cheeses or the most pungent gravlax (ferment fish) etc.
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    Hapanleipä - Finnish Sour Rye Crisp Bread
    makes 4 large crisp bread wheels about 8" (20 cm) across
    Ingredients:
    2 cups dark rye flour
    1 cup barley or rye or oat bran (OR 1 cup barley or spelt or oat flour) See note
    2 tablespoon butter, softened
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    1 teaspoon sugar or 1/2 teaspoon honey
    1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed (optional)
    2 teaspoons dried yeast
    1/2 cup plus 2 - 3 tablespoons warm water 
    Method:
    0. Preheat oven to hot 450F/230C/ gas mark 8.
    1. In a small bowl dissolve the yeast into the warm water rest until it becomes foamy about 5 minutes.
    2. Place the rye flour, sugar and salt in a bowl, mix together and add the butter.
    3. Rub the butter into the flour with your hands until it is fully integrated it should appear sandy and clump together when it's done.
    4. Add the yeast to the rye flour and mix it together with your hands or a wooden spoon.
    5. Add the bran (or the additional flour or the caraway seeds if using) and knead for about 5 minutes until it is well mixed. It will be a firm dough.
    6. Set the dough aside in a sealed bag or covered for a minimum of 8 hours or up to 3 days in a warm place. When opened the dough should have a tangy sourish smell.
    7. Separate the dough into roughly 115 g balls (or just divide in 4). Take one and cover the rest again.
    8. Roll the ball between two sheets of parchment paper into a circular shape about 8" (20 cm) across. It should be about 1/5" (5mm) thick don't roll it too thinly.
    9. Take a small cutter or use a knife to cut out a hole directly in the middle. then take a fork and prick ("dock") the dough all over to prevent it from warping while baking. Save the holes and bake them also.
    10. Bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes rotating half way through baking time. Let them cool a bit before moving or they will crack. Repeat for the other balls.
    Note: If you want your crisp bread to be sweeter use oat flour or oat bran it is naturally sweeter than rye. Oat flour/bran is best when you are pairing the crisp bread with blue cheese or soured herring where a touch of sweetness goes down well.

    The dough after kneading notice how stiff it is
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    The dough rolled shaped and the centre cut out ready to be "docked" with a fork and baked
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    The baked crisp breads
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    I'm extremely pleased with the results, they exactly like I remember them from my childhood, I will be making these a lot more. 

    Brown rice and seaweed crackers
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    These crackers are made with finely ground microwave brown rice, I had a packet of microwave brown rice in the cupboard for ages not doing anything so I decided to use it to make some crispy crackers. I ground the rice in my coffee grinder until it was very very fine making sure to cool the rice flour down between grounding (coffee grinders can heat up the material being ground up to very high temperatures) added some baking soda and baking powder and some finely shredded seaweed and just enough water to hold the dough together. Then it is baked in a slow oven until the crackers are dry and crispy. Incredibly crisp and light crackers with a hint of umami "savoury" taste from the seaweed. I used my new cracker stamp to cut out the crackers worked like a charm.
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    Brown rice and seaweed crackers
    Ingredients:
    1 cup (140 gm/5 oz) finely ground microwave brown rice
    6 tablespoons (90 ml) water, approximately
    1 tablespoon of soy sauce, optional, (reduced water by 1 tablespoon if using)
    1 tablespoon shredded seaweed
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    Coarse sea salt for topping, optional, don't add if using soy sauce
    Method:
    0. Preheat oven to slow 150C/300F/gas mark 2.
    1. Just combine all the cracker ingredients in a medium bowl, adding most of the water all at once, do not over-mix or the crackers will be chewy instead of crispy.
    2. Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment as thinly as possible about 1 or 2 mm thick. Best to roll out the dough on the baking sheet to ensure that it is the same size as the baking sheet.
    3. Cut with a knife or stamp out using a cutter individual pieces (do not separate).
    4. Bake in a slow oven 150C/300F/gas mark 2 for 40 minutes until dry and crisp.

      

              March 2012 Daring Cooks' - Braving the braise        
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    This month's Daring Cooks' challenge was to braise we had complete freedom to do any sort of braise we wanted. What a fun challenge and so much freedom and from the superb responses from the other forum members this challenge went down really well, so many braise using all sorts of ingredients such as chicken, duck, pork, beef short ribs, fennel, root vegetables, tofu even moose!

    Recipe Source: Michael Ruhlman – Ruhlman’s Twenty

    Blog-checking lines: The March, 2012 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Carol, a/k/a Poisonive – and she challenged us all to learn the art of Braising! Carol focused on Michael Ruhlman’s technique and shared with us some of his expertise from his book “Ruhlman’s Twenty”.

    See the PDF of the challenge recipes with hints and tips here.

    Balsamic vinegar and honey beef short ribs
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    I have been wanting to do a short rib recipe for a little while now so this challenge was perfect. Braising is such a great technique because:-
    1. the searing gives you great colour and add lots of flavour to the final dish
    2. as the connective tissues break down, they dissolve and form gelatin, which thickens the cooking liquid and gives it body and shine, meanwhile
    3. the braising causes the muscle fibers to absorb moisture from the cooking liquid and steam. Which gives you a juicy piece of meat. Braising also melds flavours from the stock, vegetables and any herbs and seasonings.

    So it is important to pay attention to searing the meat correctly (including the bones), and the flavouring ingredients in the braising liquid. Take careful note of all the wonderful tips and hints that our lovely hostess Carol has included in the challenge write up they really do work. I like a longer slower braising time at the lowest temperature 140°F/60°C to cook meat safely I think it really adds a lot more flavour into the meat.    

    This recipe uses an initial eight hour marinade of fried tomato paste for acidity, onions and garlic which is cleaned off then the ribs are seared, and then they are braised for 14 hours at 140°F/60°C (in a cool oven) in a mixture of ironbark honey and aged balsamic vinegar, a little red wine, smoked paprika, chilli flakes, bay leaf, a mirepoix, lots of pepper and the marinade. I used two bush tomatoes (an Australia native herb that is a strongly flavoured of tomato and eggplant even one is enough to perfume a whole room!) in the braising broth also, I was very lucky and got 3 kgs (6.6 lbs) of short ribs for only $10 (they were on special in the Asian butcher shop usually $15/kg) which consisted of two enormous slabs of meat studded with ribs. After the ribs were cooked and cooled the fat is taken off and the sauce is reduced to a thick shiny sticky consistency it has a super concentrated flavour. I was very impressed with the colour and flavour of the ribs a small amount of sauce goes a long long way in this recipe. Enough for many many meals I got almost 12 cups of braised meat and liquid.  I will make a meal using the ribs in the next of couple of days since I want maximum flavour infused into the meat. Incidentally I got a new camera so that's the reason for all the close-up shots of the ribs I was experimenting it is an Aldi Traveller brand $56 point and shoot.

    The butcher told me that oxtail will be on special soon maybe I will try that next, since all braises freeze well.

    The two humongous slabs of beef ribs they are about 1.5 kgs (3-1/3 lbs) each!
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    Seared beef ribs
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    The braised ribs cooled overnight in the refrigerator
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    The braised ribs before they were covered in the reduced sauce, even these are delicious
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    Caramel miso duck nibbles
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    I just had to do the caramel miso sauce it sounds so tasty, I got some duck pieces from my favourite gourmet butcher, I seared them to crisp up the duck skin and then oven braised them in the caramel miso sauce. Then I rested the braised meat in the fridge overnight then I removed a voluminous amount of duck fat (almost 1-1/2 cups) and strained the braising liquid and reduced it until it was thick and shiny. I used my new chopper to cut the cold braised duck pieces into bite sized nibbles (I find it is much easier to cut cooked poultry when it is cold). I coated the nibbles with the reduced caramel miso sauce and broiled (grilled) them until well coloured. I don't make duck that often since most of my friends dislike it (bad experiences at restaurants, greasy and tasteless) even my friend Cherie liked these nibbles, not greasy at all. The caramel miso sauce is to-die-for and can be used for meat and veggies a great recipe.
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    Slow braised sweet chilli squid
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    This is one of my favourite summer seafood dishes it is embarrassingly easy to make and it's a real crowd pleaser. When squid is slow braised it becomes extra soft (melt in your mouth) and sweet and in combination with sweet chilli sauce and a tomato/onion based pasta sauce produces an unctuous amalgam that emphasises the taste of the squid. The squid sauce is sweet and mild and perfect as a sauce for a seafood pasta dish. I seared the squid pieces and braised them for six hours on the lowest simmer.

    Slow braised sweet chilli squid
    (1-1/4 kg)(2-3/4 lb) 3 large squid (or you can use baby octopus about a dozen or so)
    3 cups pasta sauce (the kind that uses mainly tomato and onions, I use a good store bought kind, you can make you own if you wish, the sauce must be thick)
    3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
    optional 2 cloves of garlic crushed
    fresh lemon or lime juice, to taste if the sauce becomes too sweet

    Directions
    1. Clean the squid (remove the beak, the central clear cartilage, the fins, ink sack, the innards and scrap off most of the 'coloured' outer skin and scrap the tentacles to make sure that all of the sucker cartilage is removed). Cut the flesh into 2 cm (1 inch) pieces, cut the tentacles into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths. The pieces reduce in size by about 75% when braised so remember to cut the pieces much larger than the final cooked size. You can sear the pieces if you wish this adds a lot more flavour and colour to the pieces but increases the braising time by twice. Place the pieces into a medium stew pot.
    2. Add the pasta sauce, the sweet chilli sauce and the optional garlic.
    3. Slow braise uncovered in a very slow (90C/195F) oven or on the stove top just below a bare simmer for about 3 hours (check at 1 hour to see how much squid liquid is given off if there is a lot leave the pot uncovered, if the sauce is already thick cover the pot and add some water as needed during the braise) until the squid is soft to the tooth and the sauce has thicken and turned a brownish red colour, I have found you can simmer the sauce all day all that happens is the squid flesh becomes softer and softer and the sauce becomes more and more mellow. Makes 4 cups of squid pasta sauce suitable for about 8 servings.
    4. The squid pasta sauce is much better the next day, store in the fridge up to 5 days.
    5. Add fresh lime or lemon juice at the end of the cooking process to counter excessive sweetness if desired. Gremolata would be an excellent addition to the pasta dish.
    Notes:- try to get small-sized squid or baby octopus since their cooking time is about 2-3 hours, while one large (1-1/3 kg/3 lb) octopus can take 6+ hours!
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    A couple of questions about the squid from the challenge host
    1) You said searing increases the braising time...why? Do you have to the sear? Does the squid turn brown?
    2) How do you serve it - pasta, polenta, by itself?
    My answers
    Thank you so much for the kind kinds. Yes squid/octopus is perfect for long slow braising unlike some other seafood.
    Answer 1) There are two ways to cook squid one) fast and furious in a fry pan or a BBQ or two) a long slow bare simmer. So if you sear the squid first basically it is cooked therefore if you braise it after searing you need a lot more time to make the squid tender again. No you do not need to sear I usually just throw in the freshly cleaned and cut squid pieces into the sweet chilli tomato/onion sauce and braised it just like that with no problems. For special occasions I like to sear the squid first since it adds an additional flavour dimension to the final sauce but there is no real need to sear first if you do not want to. The sweet chilli tomato/onion sauce colours the squid flesh a light brown/red hue, if you sear first then the squid gets a very light brown colouring in addition to the brown/red hue that the sauce imparts to it.
    Answer 2) I just cook up some dry packet pasta and heat up some of the sauce and just add that to the pasta. I like to use black squid ink pasta to show off the colour of the squid and sauce. I think polenta (or sweet potato gnocchi) would be wonderful with the squid sauce though I never have had it that way. The squid sauce is great on pizza as well especially if you add some extra seafood like oysters or clams etc to the topping.

    Double squid pasta with gremolata
    Slowed braised sweet chilli squid served on squid ink pasta with gremolata
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    I had surprise lunch guests over so I thought that I would serve up the braised sweet chilli squid I made a few days ago I love this sauce since it takes no time to made up a restaurant quality dish (in appearance and flavour) literally 5 minutes. The use of squid ink pasta really adds a lovely base seafood flavour to the dish which enhances the braised squid sauce taste while the germolata adds a lovely "fresh" zing to the dish I never used germolata before now it is a must for me. For this recipe I cooked some squid ink pasta (5 mins), made the gremolata (4 mins) while heating the sweet chilli squid (3 mins in the microwave) then finally I added some sliced marinated sweet chillies as a garnish. The final dish looks stunning the contrast of colours and textures makes its very visually appealing. This was a smashing dish I thought there is something about the texture contrast of the squid and the pasta that is delightful. And I have half of the sauce left! I liked this dish so much I'm having it for dinner tonight with some guests. Serve with crunchy bread and a green salad. I think you can see why this is my all-time favourite summer seafood pasta recipe, it's simple fast and always gives a spectacular looking result.
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    The gremolata recipe
    Anchovy dill gremolata
    A gremolata is a quickly made condiment used to finish savoury dishes with bright fresh citrus-herb flavours.
    Ingredients:
    2 anchovy fillets, chopped fine
    1 lemon peel, zested fine
    1 garlic clove, minced fine
    1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine
    1 tablespoon dill fronds, chopped fine
    1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
    1 teaspoon anchovy oil
    Optional 1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped

    Directions:
    In a mortar and pestle mash and pound all the ingredients until a paste is formed. Dab or sprinkle sparingly over the pasta.

    If you like you can make orange fennel gremolata replace the lemon zest with orange zest and replace the dill with fennel fronds. Instead of the shallot use fennel.

    Sticky Sweet Braised Tofu Steaks with Asian Germolata
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    I wanted to braise at least one non-meat ingredient for this challenge I just had to make a braised tofu recipe (I love tofu and am always looking for ways to enjoy it). I have been wanting to make sticky sweet tofu (tau hu kho) for a while now so this was the perfect challenge for this dish. And since I'm in love with germolata at the moment I made an Asian germolata to serve with the braised tofu it consisted of coriander, lime zest, garlic, Thai basil, mint, lemongrass, crispy fried chilli pawn (shrimp), salt and dark roasted sesame seed oil. I seared the sliced bite-sized firm tofu pieces until lightly brown then I braised them in a mixture of kacap manis, honey, rice wine vinegar, ginger powder, onion powder, chilli paste and vegetable stock. During the simmering the braising liquid reduces to a thick shiny sauce which coat the pieces with sticky sweet deliciousness. I really like this cooking method for tofu it adds so much flavour and colour to the bean curb. These taste great at room temperature great for dinner parties. I just love how the bean curd absorbs the braising liquid and the sweet sticky coating is to die for, and I think the Asian germolata is a great addition to the original basic braised tofu.

    Sear the tofu pieces until brown
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    When seared transfer to a shallow saucepan and braise until the pieces expand about 15% (about 30 minutes to an hour), I fried the tofu in two batches you can see the difference before (the light coloured pieces) and after (the dark pieces) braising
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    The tofu after braising
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    The tofu topped with Asian germolata
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    Sticky Sweet Braised Tofu Steaks
    makes 12 mini-steaks
    500 gm (1 lb) extra firm tofu block
    3 tablespoons vegetable stock (or water)
    2 tablespoons soy sauce, salt-reduced
    3 tablespoons kacap manis
    2 tablespoons rice wine vingear
    juice from one lemon or two limes (use the zest for the Asian gremolata)
    2 tablespoons honey
    2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
    2 teaspoons ginger powder
    2 teaspoons onion powder
    1 teaspoon chilli paste
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    dash of salt
    2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying)

    Directions
    1. Combine all the braising ingredients in a small bowl mix well check for taste it should be slightly sweet with a salty sour after-taste adjust seasoning as needed, set aside.
    2. Drain tofu, slice into 1-1/2 inch (4 cm) square pieces about 1/2 inch (1-1/4 cm) thick, pat dry with paper towels. Squares work best for searing and braising.
    3. Add oil to a frying pan heat on medium heat until the oil shimmers.
    4. Fry the tofu until browned (about 3-5 minutes each side). Do not overcrowd the frying pan, it is best to fry the tofu in small batches. Remove browned pieces set aside. Clean the fry pan if needed.
    5. Add the braising liquid into the frying pan gently heat until barely simmering, add the browned tofu pieces in one layer braise (turning once or twice) until the pieces expand about 15% (about 30 minutes to one hour) and the braising liquid is thick and coats the tofu (add more water as needed). Check for sweetness add lemon juice as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature, braised tofu reheats wonderfully. It tastes even better the next day. Stores for 5 days in the fridge.

    Asian Gremolata
    Provides a generous topping for 12 sticky sweet tofu steaks
    A herb-citrus gremolata made with traditional Asian ingredients

    Ingredients:
    2 tablespoon crispy fried pawn (shrimp) flakes or crispy fried shallots, chopped fine
    2 lime peels (or 1 lemon peel), zested fine
    2 garlic cloves, minced fine
    1/4 cup coriander (cilantro), chopped fine
    1 tablespoon lemon grass, chopped fine
    1 tablespoon Thai basil, chopped fine
    1 tablespoon mint, chopped fine
    2 to 3 teaspoons sesame oil
    1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped
    1 teaspoon chilli paste (mild or hot as to taste)
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    Directions:
    In a mortar and pestle mash and pound all the ingredients while adding teaspoons of sesame oil until a paste is formed. Dab or sprinkle generously over the braised tofu pieces.
              January, 2012 Daring Baker Challenge: Back to Basics:Scones (Biscuits)        
    Introduction:  Hi my name is Audax from Audax Artifex (yes this web site). Whenever I visit my sister and her family in S.E. Queensland Australia she always welcomes me with a fresh batch of my favourite baked treat which we devour gleefully with cups of tea while we chat and catch up with the events in our lives.

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    The treat that I'm talking about is the basic scone (also know as baking powder biscuits in North America) my sister really knows how to make them, they are wondrously light with soft sides and a lovely airy crumb – superb with jam and cream. This month I want the Daring Bakers' to share my delight and I invite you to bake a batch of scones to enjoy with friends and family.

    For our North American members I wish to clarify what this challenge is all about and try to avoid any confusions. Scones in North American are nearly always triangular in shape have a slightly crisp crust usually covered in sugar and have a soft interior crumb and sometimes are laced with dried fruit (these baked goods in Australia and England are called “rock cakes” since they are usually made to look like “rocky” cakes not wedges), meanwhile biscuits in North American are a round shaped buttery slightly flaky baked good usually eaten with meals (these items in Australia and England are called “scones” and are eaten with butter and jam usually with cups of tea or coffee as a sweet snack). So this challenge (using the North American name) is to make biscuits. Or using the Australian or English name this challenge is to make scones.

    To further clarify for our North American bakers this month's challenge is to make biscuits (also called baking powder biscuits) if you choose to make your biscuits using buttermilk as the liquid you are making what are known as “Southern” Biscuits which are one of the most famous examples of home cooking in the Southern States of America (that is they are a baking powder biscuit made with buttermilk). In Australia and England “Southern” Biscuits would be called buttermilk scones. So restating the above, the challenge is to make scones (using the Australian/English name) or to make  biscuits (using the North American name). Incidentally if you use cream as your liquid in the challenge recipe the final baked good would be called a cream biscuit in North America or a cream scone in Australia and England.  

    Scones (biscuits) contain only a small number of ingredients they are fast to make, quick to bake, only cost cents per batch and most importantly are super FUN to eat. In England and Australia scones are eaten with jam and butter usually with cups of tea or coffee mostly as a sweet snack, while in North America they are usually eaten with meals as a savoury side.

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    Of course scones (biscuits) have a notorious reputation as being difficult for some people to make  comments like “hockey pucks”, “These made great door-stops ” and the like fill the comment sections of most recipe websites. You see scones (can be said as a rhyme with cone and also can be said as a rhyme with gone) are a type of quick bread that is a white flour dough that is raised using chemical agents usually baking powder and/or baking soda. Basic scones contain flour, raising agent(s), butter (or shortening or lard), salt, and milk (or buttermilk or soured milk or cream). Most recipes just say to “rub the fat into the flour” then combine the dry and wet ingredients until “gathered together” and then “lightly knead” the gathered mixture until a soft dough forms, then “roll or pat” out this dough and then “cut” out rounds and bake them in a hot oven. Well how hard could it really be I thought uh-mm as you can see below my first batch wasn't the greatest success … they didn't raise at all and the texture was barely OK I thought … I was left wondered what I had done wrong …   

    My first attempt at scones (really pretty terrible I thought, no height no tenderness and no flakiness)

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    So after studying many many (288 websites bookmarked) scone/biscuit recipes and the bakers' comments about these recipes and after doing 16 batches! myself I have acquired a lot of information to help you master the techniques involved I hope that at the end of this challenge that you will be able to make a good if not great scone (biscuit).

    After much research and many attempts …  finally some scones (the 14th, 15th and 16th batches) that I wouldn't mind sharing with my sister.

    The Classic Australian scone ring (Aussie Damper) – the crumb is very similar to bread
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    Cheese and chives scones – a “sky-high” light and tender scone flavoured with cheese and chives
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    The classic Southern Biscuit (buttermilk scone) – a superbly flaky scone made with buttermilk and laminated to form distinct layers when baked
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    Fairy Ring
    As I mentioned in the challenge posting in Australia and England scones are usually eaten as a sweet treat (with butter and jam) with cups of tea on that theme while doing my research for this challenge I thought I would do a variation on the sweet side of the scone. Here is one recipe that is suitable for kids and adults when you want something special and sweet yet can be made at a moment's notice.

    In Australia one of the most popular children's party food item is fairy bread. This is a variation of fairy bread called Fairy Ring made with an Aussie Scone (Damper) ring laced with 100s and 1000s then iced (with some icing sugar and a touch of lemon juice made into a sticky paste) then sprinkled with more 100s and 1000s (coloured sprinkles). My 9 year old niece went crazy with delight and literally squealed with glee when I showed her this Fairy Ring and say I made it especially for her.

    Normal (Damper) Scone Ring
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    Fairy Ring straight from the oven
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    Completed Fairy Ring
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    Hot Dog Buns
    Here is a savoury variation, I made hot dog buns using the basic scone recipe. They worked out great I couldn't believe the crumb and they tasted great with the hot dog and relishes and I made them in under 15 minutes (once the oven was hot enough). I was very surprised how well the basic scone dough complimented savoury food.  
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    Touch of Grace Scones
    (Click on the title to go to a great posting about this recipe)
    Here is the answer to dry biscuits this recipe is called "touch of grace" biscuits which uses a few simple techniques to create a super moist crumb. These scones are all about tenderness everything is designed to obtain the softest and most tender crumb possible. These are very different from the normal bread-like scones that Australians like with jam and cream. These would be perfect with a savoury meal. They were so buttery with a soft creamy crumb that literally melts in your mouth, the mouth feel is like clouds. As one reviewer lovingly opined "They're squat little puffs you'll want to grab, steaming, from a basket passed over fried chicken or bacon and eggs". The way I make them is slightly adapted from the original recipe,  I use a lot of very large pieces of butter and all buttermilk with very low gluten cake flour and some resting time in the fridge. Resting the dough after the buttermilk is stirred into the dry ingredients is essential you would never be able to form the soft balls of dough coated in flour that are the "rounds" in this case and keeping everything cold helps the baking process. While baking the large pieces of butter melt into the flour causing large air holes to form in the baked dough and since we use soft flour (6%) which cannot form flaky layers we thus obtain a feather-light creamy tender crumb infused with the maximum amount of butter that the dough can hold.
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    These scones are made entirely from cake flour (6% gluten), I used 1 cup of flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 cup very large-sized butter pieces, about 1/2 cup buttermilk and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. I rubbed in butter making sure most of the fat/flour where large pea sized pieces. I rested the dough after I mixed in the wet ingredients for 10 minutes until cold, during this time the dough "firms" up making it possible to turn it out in one cohesive dough ball onto a lightly floured board. I formed a rectangle of the soft dough floured the top lightly then I stamped out rounds. You could feel the pieces of butter in the formed round The rounds are very soft but can be picked up and placed into the baking dish. Then I place the baking dish with all the formed rounds back in the fridge for 10 minutes until cold then bake. (This procedure is much easier than the original recipe's method and it gives as good results I think). As you can see the crumb is saturated with butter and has masses of large airy pockets to trap your favourite topping. Absolutely delicious.
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    Raisin Scones
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    I wanted to make one batch of flavoured scones I went with sweet raisins and some molasses in the dough. I rubbed in the butter until it was like fine sand and I used "OO" cake flour about 7% protein and some cornflour (cornstarch), I was very happy with the look of the baked scones and the crumb was very tender very much like bread which is what I wanted. These were very cute looking but to be honest I like plain scones much better.
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    The bread like crumb of the scone so so tasty and soft.
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    As you can see scones (biscuits) are all about technique since the scones pictured above used the same basic recipe. 

    Recipe Source:  The challenge scone (biscuit) recipe has been especially formulated by Audax Artifex after a large amount of research and experimentation. It is designed to help you master the techniques involved in making scones (biscuits) exactly the way you like them. 

    Blog-checking lines: Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

    Posting Date:  January 27, 2012

    Challenge Notes:
    The Ingredients – since scones contain only a small number of ingredients each should be of the highest quality
    Flour – lower gluten (i.e. soft) flours (about 9% or less protein) produce taller and lighter scones than normal plain (all-purpose) flour (about 10%+ protein). But to be honest it wasn't that great a difference so long you sifted the dry ingredients thoroughly at least three times. That is always triple sift the dry ingredients this will ensure that the flour is well aerated and the raising agents are evenly distributed so resulting in light scones. I found that finely milled soft “OO” flour gave the best results but don't worry you can get excellent results with sifted plain (all-purpose) flour. You can use self-raising flour if you wish (remember to leave out the raising agents and salt) in the recipe below it is important to triple sift the self-raising flour as well I like to add about ½ teaspoon of extra fresh baking powder per cup of self-raising flour to ensure a good lift in my scones. In the northern states of America and most of Canada all-purpose flour is generally very hard (high in protein) you can replace for each cup 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with cake flour  OR for each cup replace 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with cornflour (cornstarch). Or you can let the scones rest (20 mins) in the fridge before baking. 
    Fat – unsalted butter gives the best flavour while lard gives the flakiest texture since it has a much higher melting point than butter so promoting a flaky texture in the final scones. The best compromise is to use a combination of the two in equal measure. I usually use all (unsalted) butter for flavour and health reasons. In most recipes the fat is rubbed into the flour using fingers or a pastry cutter (don't use two knives or forks since it takes too long to cut in the fat using this method). It is best to grate the butter using the coarse side of a box-grater and then freeze it until you need it. Freezing the butter prevents the fat from melting into the flour. The idea is to coat the fat particles with the flour. You are looking for a fat/flour combination that looks like very coarse bread crumbs with a few pieces of butter about the size of peas, the finer you make your fat pieces the more tender the crumb of your final scones. If you want very flaky scones then make the fat pieces large like Lima beans and only lightly coat them in the flour. If your kitchen is very hot you can refrigerate your flour so helping to keep the fat from melting. Don't freeze your flour as this will make it too difficult to rub the fat into the flour. (Typical usage about 1 to 8 tablespoons of fat per cup of flour).
    Chemical raising agents – always use fresh raising agents, baking powder deteriorates within two months once the jar is opened, typical usage 1 to 2 teaspoons per cup. Baking powder nowadays is double action – there is an initial release of gas once the dry and wet ingredients are combined and there is another release of gas from the high heat of the oven. If you are using acidic ingredients (such as buttermilk, soured milk, honey, citrus juice, yoghurt, tomato sauce etc) then use an additional ¼ teaspoon of baking soda per cup of liquid to help neutralise the acid and make the final baked product raise correctly. Baking soda is much stronger (x4) in raising power than baking powder. You can make you own single action baking powder by triple sifting together one part baking soda and two parts cream of tartar store in an airtight container. To check if your double action baking powder is fresh place 1/4 teaspoon in 1/2 cup of water it should bubble a lot, then microwave it for 30 secs it should bubble it again. To check your baking soda place 1/8 teaspoon into 1 tablespoon of vinegar (or lemon juice) it should bubble a lot. 
    Liquid – you can use milk (any sort), buttermilk, soured milk, yoghurt, half-and-half, cream, coconut cream, soda water, even lemon-flavoured soda pop (soft drink) or a combination of these as the liquid in your scones. You can sour regular milk with a tablespoon of cider vinegar or lemon juice for every cup. Just stir it in and let it sit for 10 minutes or so to curdle. Typical usage is 1/3 to 1/2 cup of liquid per cup of flour.
    Salt – a small amount of salt (about ¼ teaspoon per cup of flour)  helps improve the action of the raising agents and enhances the flavour of the scones.

    The Equipment
    Baking pans – use dark coloured heavy weight baking pans as these have the best heat distribution and really give a great raise to your baked goods. Many people like to use cast iron skillets for best results.
    Measuring cups and spoons – try to accurately measure all ingredients especially if this is your first attempt at making scones (biscuits) remember to scoop the ingredient into the measure and level with a knife. If you can weigh the flour using scales even better.
    Scone (biscuit) cutters – use a cutter that is made of sharp thin metal with straight sides and is open at both ends this ensures that the scone will raise straight and evenly and ensures the cut scone is easy to remove from the cutter without compressing the dough. Try to avoid using cutters with wavy sides, thick walled cups, glasses, metal lids, small jars or any cutter with only one opening since it is difficult to remove the cut scones from these without compressing the dough therefore leading to 'tougher' scones. If you cannot get a good cutter you can cut out squares or wedges etc using a sharp knife if you wish.
    Rolling pins – most scone doughs are very soft (and wet) so can be easily patted out using your fingers. For a large amount of dough you can use a rolling pin remember to use light pressure from the centre outwards to form an even thickness of dough ready to be cut into scones. Avoid rolling back and forth over the same area as this can overwork the dough.    

    The Techniques
    Triple sift the dry ingredients – sift your dry ingredients from a height this permits plenty of air to be incorporated into the mixture which allows for maximum lightness in your scones and ensures even distribution of all the raising agents and other ingredients.
    Rubbing in the fat – this is the stage where you can control how tender or flaky your final scone crumb will be. The more you coat your fat with flour and the smaller the particles of the final mixture, the more tender the end product because you’re retarding gluten formation in the flour (unfortunately the price you pay for this tenderness is that the final dough will be soft and might not raise very well since the gluten isn't developed enough to form a stable structure to trap the gases that are released when the dough is baked). Conversely the larger you leave the pieces of fat (the infamous "pea-sized" direction you always see in scone/biscuit recipes), the flakier the final scones will be (that is the gluten in this case is more developed but you might find that the final baked product is dry and the mouth feel of crumb could be too firm i.e. tough). So summarising the tenderness/flakiness of your scone is achieved in this stage by manipulating the size of the fat particles and how much of the flour is used to coat the fat (the more flour used to coat the fat promotes more tenderness while larger fat pieces promote more flakiness).  Either way quickly rub in the grated frozen fat into the dry ingredients using
    1)your finger tips – as you lightly rub and pinch the fat into the flour, lift it up high and let it fall back down into the bowl, this means that air is being incorporated all the time, and air is what makes scones light, continue this until you have the desired sized flour/fat particles in the mixture, or
    2)a cold pastry cutter – begin by rocking the pastry cutter into the fat and flour mixture continue rocking until all the fat is coated in flour and the desired sized flour/fat particles are obtained.
    Moistening and bringing the dough together -  add nearly all of the liquid at once to the rubbed-in dry ingredients.  When mixing the dough (I use a soft plastic spatula, my sister uses a knife), stir with some vigour from the bottom to the top and mix just until the dough is well-moistened and begins to just come together it will be wet (and sticky). And remember the old saying – the wetter the dough the lighter the scones (biscuits)!  
    Handling the dough – as most people know it is important not to overwork the dough but what isn't appreciated is that under-working is almost as common a mistake as overworking. Look at my first attempt (the first photo in this article) at making the challenge recipe it is crumbly and a bit leaden and the crumb isn't flaky at all this is due to under-working the dough and making the flour/fat particles too small, it took me about six batches to understand this and not be afraid to handle the dough so the scone (biscuit) would raise correctly. Under-working causes as many problems as overworking. Overworking leads to tough, dry and heavy scones while under-working leads to crumbly leaden ones. If you are not happy with your baked goods look carefully at your final scones (biscuits) and decide if you have under- or over-worked your dough.
    Kneading or folding/turning the dough – this is the stage where you can control whether or not your scone has distinct layers by 1) only kneading the dough (for no layering effect) or 2) only turning and folding the dough (for a layering effect).  As mentioned above given the same amounts of flour and fat, leaving larger pieces of fat equals more gluten formation and, therefore, flakiness. Leaving smaller pieces of fat equals less gluten formation and, therefore, tenderness. Your dough at this stage of the recipe will be a mixture of different gluten strengths since it is almost impossible to make a totally homogeneous dough at home. The major idea at this stage of the process is to exploit these gluten differences to achieve a desired degree of lamination (layering) in the final baked good. That is at this stage your dough (after you have added the liquid and mixed it until it just holds together), will have different layers of relatively gluten-rich (tougher) dough (the more floury parts of the dough), and layers of relatively gluten-free (tender-er) dough with small pieces of fat (the more fatty parts of the dough). So at this point if we only lightly knead the dough these layers will become less distinct which means the dough will become more homogeneous so producing a more even and more tender crumb when baked. But if at this stage you only fold and turn the dough (as shown below in pictures) over itself, these different layers will remain intact but will get thinner and thinner with each fold and turn, so when the fat melts and the liquid turns to steam in the oven, this steam pushes the tougher layers apart, leading to an overall flakiness and a layering effect in the scone crumb (see picture of the buttermilk biscuit above). So if you want an even more tender crumb just lightly knead (much like you would knead bread but with a very very light touch) the turned-out dough a few times until it looks smooth. If you want to form layers (laminations) in your final baked goods do a few folds and turns until it looks smooth. Always do at least one light knead to make the final dough structurally strong enough to raise and hold its shape whether you are aiming for a smooth tender crumb or a flaky layered crumb.
    Pat or roll out the dough – since most scone (biscuit) doughs are soft (and sticky) it is best to use your fingers to gently pat out the dough once it has been kneaded or folded and turned. Use a very light touch with little pressure while forming the dough rectangle to be cut into rounds for the scones. If you want tall scones then pat out the dough tall, about 3/4 inch to 1 inch (2 cm to 2½ cm) thick is about right.
    Cutting out your scones – use a well-floured scone (biscuit) cutter for each round that you stamp out from the dough. That is dip your cleaned cutter into fresh plain flour before each separate cut. Do not twist the cutter while stamping out the scone, push down firmly until you can feel the board then lift the cutter the round should stay inside the cutter then gently remove it from the cutter  and place the round onto the baking dish. You can use a sharp knife to cut out other shapes if you wish from the dough, also the knife should be floured before each cut as well. 
    Baking your scones – always preheat your oven when baking scones. Place each scone almost touching onto the baking dish this encourages the scones to raise and also keeps the sides soft and moist. If you want crisp sides widely space your scones on the baking dish. Don’t over-bake your scones. Over-baking for even a minute or two will dry your scones out. As soon as the sides begin to turn brown and are set, remove them from the oven. Immediately, place the scones on a wire rack—the hot pan will continue to dry the scones.
    Extra comments about resting the dough – I found in my researches that a number of respected sources mentioned resting the dough in various stages in the recipe. Surprisingly this advice is sound. I found that if you rested the just mixed dough (in the fridge) for 20 minutes there was a huge improvement in the dough's handling qualities and the final scones height, lightness and crumb were outstanding. Also I found that if you rest your patted out dough covered in plastic for 10 minutes in the fridge that the rounds are easier to stamp out and the final baked goods raise higher and have a better crumb. Also you can rest your stamped out rounds in the fridge for a couple of hours without harm so you can make your scones place them into the fridge and then at your leisure bake them later great for dinner parties etc. This is possible because modern baking powder is double action, i.e. there is another release of gas when you bake the rounds in the heat of the oven.

    Troubleshooting  
    Problems with bitter after-taste or dry chalky mouth-feel

    The biggest problem that scone/biscuits can sometimes have is an after-taste (sometimes described as metallic or a salty chemical taste) or the mouthfeel is dry and chalky (i.e. the crumb is tough and doesn't have enough moisture).

    If the problem is the after-taste try these tips
    • use freshly opened raising agents, many people claim old baking powder has a stronger taste
    • look for a single action baking powder (that only uses baking soda and cream of tar tar with a little cornflour) or make your own, since some double action baking powders can have metallic salts in them which some people can taste even in small quantities. Also keep in mind that homemade baking powder works faster and at a lower temperature, so put your recipe together quickly
    • look for a double action baking powder that uses non-metallic ingredients in it, check the ingredients listing on the packet.
    • use less baking powder
    • if you used an acidic liquid (buttermilk etc) and did not use some baking soda with the normal baking powder then some of the acid in the liquid wouldn't have been neutralised so leaving some salts behind causing the salty aftertase, that is make sure you are using the correct combination of agents for the liquids that you use, see the link below for full details about this. 
    • use only baking soda and an acidic liquid (buttermilk) like in the famous Irish Soda bread which very few people complain about having an aftertaste
    • use bakers' ammonium (available from King Arthur's flour) it was one of the most common chemical raising agents in the old days before modern baking powder, it smells like ammonia when baking but the ammonia smell totally dissipates and this chemical leaves nothing behind. I use it a lot in my baking it really gives baked goods that old-fashioned taste that people really can pick up on also it gives cookies extra crispness when baked.   

    See here for a comprehensive posting on baking powder/baking soda and how to use them in recipes.
    See here for the most interesting discussion on the use of baking soda and baking powder

    If the problem is the mouthfeel try these tips
    • try smaller sized scones and bake them quickly in a very hot oven and make the dough wetter since large sized scones using a drier dough baked in a moderate oven will give you a dryer crumb therefore a dry chalky mouthfeel
    • over-handled dough will lead to a dry mouth
    • eat them immediately fresh out of the oven, scones do really suffer (they become dry and tough) when stored for any length of time
    • try using more fat about 1/4 cup+ per cup of flour - more fat gives moister crumb. Also try using all shortening, since shortening contains no water or milk solids it gives a very tender crumb.
    • use this great recipe they are called "a touch of grace" biscuits they are the most tender and moist biscuits (scones) that I have had.
    • some people claim that a very hot oven is best to start the baking process then lower the temperature to moderate to finish baking the scones

    The problem lopsided scones
    About lop-sided scones this is usually caused by uneven cutting out of the scone. Some hints
    1. Clean and flour the scone cutter (by rubbing off any wet dough and then dipping the cutter into fresh flour the entire height of the cutter) every time you stamp out each round. Remember not to twist when you are stamping out the scones. If you are using a knife remember to clean and flour it for each cut.
    2. Try to pat out or roll out the dough as evenly as possible.
    3. Did you sift the dry ingredients three times? (uneven distribution of ingredients can lead to uneven scones).
    4. Try to get the scone out of the cutter by applying gentle even pressure on the entire scone circumference that way you do not compress just one place so making that area less tender so raising less when cooked.
    5. Turn the cut scone upside down onto the baking dish, since this side will be flatter than the patted out top surface.
    6. Only glaze the tops of the scone, a small amount of liquid on the sides will inhibit raise in that area.
    7. Some people like to use a fork and prick some holes in the top of the unbaked scones supposedly this helps the scone raise evenly.
    8. Also some people like to use their thumb and press a small hollow into the top of the scone supposedly this helps the scone raise evenly.
    9. A good article about "making the perfect scone" see here it goes through a lot of the best scone recipes by master bakers.
    10. Try this recipe and its method from Bakers' 911 which seems to make straight-sided scones even from wavy-sided cutters

    How to test baking soda
    1. Place a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda into a tablespoon of vinegar it should bubble a lot.

    How to test your single action baking powder
    1. Place a teaspoon of baking powder into a cup, add 1/4 cup room temperature water it should bubble a lot.

    How to test your double action baking powder
    1. Place a teaspoon of baking powder into a cup, add 1/4 cup room temperature water it should bubble a lot.
    2. Wait 30 secs and then place your cup into the microwave heat for about 30 secs until about 180F it should bubble again.
    3. If it doesn't then discard and buy a new jar.

    How to test your self-raising flour - add one tablespoon of S.R. flour into some hot water it should bubble a bit. Or try adding some vinegar and see if it bubbles. Usually SR flour is only good for about three months.

    The problem an unreliable oven
    1. Try and use heavy grade dark metal baking dishes which give the best heat distribution.
    2. If your oven heating cycle is unreliable (varies the temperature a lot) lower the temperature to hot 220C (430F), preheat the oven along with a heavy metal baking dish for a good 20 mins then bake the scones on the baking dish which acts as a heat sink helping to bake the scones more evenly. Try to bake smaller sized scones which helps with a constantly varying temperature.
    3. If your oven has hot spots which mine does just rotate the dish at about 3/4 of the total baking time.

    The problem my dairy-free margarine doesn't do a good job of cutting in
    1. Just melt the margarine and add it to the liquid and proceed as normal (this is the best you can do if the margarine is "bad for cutting-in or just bad for scones" in the first place).

    Mandatory Items: You must make one batch of basic scones (i.e. basic biscuits using the North American name). The challenge recipe has been designed to be fast, very cheap and easy to follow so allowing for multiple attempts to be made until you can achieve your desired result. I encourage you to make a couple of batches to see how small changes in technique can obtain vastly different final baked products. I estimate all of my 16 experimental batches cost less than $4 and took about four hours, so please do take this opportunity to explore the possibilities of the different techniques and advice that have been presented here in this challenge. I have included a number of links to the most popular scone (biscuit) recipes (and variations) in a number of countries feel free to use these if you can make a good basic scone (biscuit) already.  

    Variations allowed:  A number of variations (cheese and chives, herb, etc) on the basic challenge recipe are included use them if you wish.  

    Preparation time: Scones: Preparation time less than 10 minutes. Baking time about 10 minutes.

    Equipment required:
    Large mixing bowl
    Baking dish
    Measuring cups and  spoons (optional)
    Flour Sifter (optional)
    Board (optional)
    Scone (biscuit) cutter (optional) or knife (optional)
    Dough scraper (optional)
    Spatula (optional)
    Weighing scale (optional)
    Cooling rack (optional)
    Pastry brush (optional)

    Basic Scones (a.k.a. Basic Biscuits)
    Servings: about eight 2-inch (5 cm) scones or five 3-inch (7½ cm) scones
    Recipe can be doubled

    Ingredients:
    1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
    2 teaspoons (10 ml) (10 gm) (⅓ oz) fresh baking powder
    ¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) salt
    2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz) frozen grated butter (or a combination of lard and butter)
    approximately ½ cup (120 ml) cold milk
    optional 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing the tops of the scones

    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9. 
    2. Triple sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. (If your room temperature is very hot refrigerate the sifted ingredients until cold.)
    3. Rub the frozen grated butter (or combination of fats) into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse bread crumbs with some pea-sized pieces if you want flaky scones or until it resembles coarse beach sand if you want tender scones.
    4. Add nearly all of the liquid at once into the rubbed-in flour/fat mixture and mix until it just forms a sticky dough (add the remaining liquid if needed). The wetter the dough the lighter the scones (biscuits) will be!
    5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, lightly flour the top of the dough. To achieve an even homogeneous crumb to your scones knead very gently about 4 or 5 times (do not press too firmly) the dough until it is smooth. To achieve a layered effect in your scones knead very gently once (do not press too firmly) then fold and turn the kneaded dough about 3 or 4 times until the dough has formed a smooth texture. (Use a floured plastic scraper to help you knead and/or fold and turn the dough if you wish.)
    6. Pat or roll out the dough into a 6 inch by 4 inch rectangle by about ¾ inch thick (15¼ cm by 10 cm by 2 cm thick). Using a well-floured 2-inch (5 cm) scone cutter (biscuit cutter), stamp out without twisting six 2-inch (5 cm) rounds, gently reform the scraps into another ¾ inch (2 cm) layer and cut two more scones (these two scones will not raise as well as the others since the extra handling will slightly toughen the dough).  Or use a well-floured sharp knife to form squares or wedges as you desire.
    7. Place the rounds just touching on a baking dish if you wish to have soft-sided scones or place the rounds spaced widely apart on the baking dish if you wish to have crisp-sided scones. Glaze the tops with milk if you want a golden colour on your scones or lightly flour if you want a more traditional look to your scones.
    8. Bake in the preheated very hot oven for about 10 minutes  (check at 8 minutes since home ovens at these high temperatures are very unreliable) until the scones are well risen and are lightly coloured on the tops. The scones are ready when the sides are set.
    9. Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm.

    Variations on the Basic recipe
    Buttermilk – follow the Basic recipe above but replace the milk with buttermilk, add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, increase the fat to 4 tablespoons, in Step 3 aim of pea-sized pieces of fat coated in flour, in Step 5 fold and turn the dough, rounds are just touching in the baking dish, glaze with buttermilk.
    Australian Scone Ring (Damper Ring) – follow the Basic recipe above but decrease the fat to 1 tablespoon, in Step 3 aim of fine beach sand sized pieces of fat coated in flour, in Step 5 knead the dough, in Step 7 form seven rounds into a ring shape with the eighth round as the centre, glaze with milk.
    Cream – follow the Basic recipe above but replace the milk with cream, add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, in Step 3 aim of beach sand sized pieces of fat coated in flour, in Step 5 knead the dough, rounds are just touching in the baking dish, glaze with cream.
    Cheese and Chive – follow the Basic recipe above but add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, after Step 2 add ½ teaspoon sifted mustard powder, ¼ teaspoon sifted cayenne pepper (optional), ½ cup (60 gm/2 oz) grated cheese and 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives into the sifted ingredients, in Step 3 aim of beach sand sized pieces of fat coated in flour, in Step 5 knead the dough, rounds are widely spaced in the baking dish, sprinkle the rounds with cracked pepper.
    Fresh Herb – follow the Basic recipe above but after Step 3 add 3 tablespoons finely chopped herbs (such as parsley, dill, chives etc).
    Sweet Fruit – follow the Basic recipe above but after Step 3 add ¼ cup (45 gm) dried fruit (e.g. sultanas, raisins, currents, cranberries, cherries etc) and 1 tablespoon (15 gm) sugar.
    Wholemeal –  follow the Basic recipe above but replace half of the plain flour with wholemeal flour.
    Wholemeal and date – follow the Basic recipe above but replace half of the plain flour with wholemeal flour and after Step 3 add ¼ cup (45 gm) chopped dates and 1 tablespoon (15 gm) sugar.     
       
    Pictorial guide to the challenge recipe
    I was at my brother's house and we had a hankering for a baked treat so I decided to make the challenge recipe also I needed some photos of the challenge recipe being made for this posting. My brother isn't a cook, all he had to hand as equipment was concerned was a mixing bowl,a thin walled 20 cm (8 inch) cake tin and a knife, he didn't even have a cup measure only mugs so I improvised.

    As you can see in the collage below I roughly chopped some butter (I eye-balled about 2 tablespoons) and froze it. Then I throw the frozen cubed butter onto one mug of cold self-raising flour I couldn't sift the flour since my brother doesn't own a sifter. Then I proceeded to rub in the butter with my fingers until I got pea-sized fat pieces coated in flour.
    Photobucket

    I added the liquid (½ mug of cold lite-milk) to the rubbed-in fat/flour mixture until I got a sticky dough I turned this out onto a floured board, I lightly floured the top of the sticky dough then I kneaded it once  then I patted it out into a rectangular shape then I proceeded to fold and turn the dough. Notice that you fold 1/3 of the dough over itself then the other 1/3 over that and turn it 90° degrees. Notice the lines on the broad this will help you understand how to do the folding and the turning.
    Photobucket

    I did a couple more folds and turns and used a well-floured knife to cut out squares of prepared dough.
    Photobucket

    Here is a close-up of the finish patted-out dough notice how you can see the fat particles in the dough this is what causes flakiness in the final baked scone.
    Photobucket

    I used the inverted cake tin as my baking dish and baked the scones in a very hot oven for 10 minutes they worked out really well I thought. Notice the nice central lamination in the scone and the great crumb and how well they rose in height.
    Photobucket

    I placed two unbaked scones in the fridge to test whether resting them for 20 minutes helped improve the raise of the final baked product. As you can see the left scone and the middle scone are taller than the right scone which was baked immediately after it was cut out from the dough. So don't worry if you cannot bake the scones straight away they do better with a little resting time. 
    Photobucket

    Videos of my sister making scones (baking powder biscuits) – using a very popular Australian recipe
    (http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/8163/basic+scones) 
    Part 1 – my sister making the scones (baking powder biscuits)
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF9YJiHZ1K0)
    Part 2 – my sister showing off her scones (baking powder biscuits)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GorStLKSoMo)
    Pictures of my sister's scones
    Photobucket

    Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:
    Scones are best eaten warm. Scones (biscuits) are really easy to store – bag the cooked and cooled scones and freeze until needed then reheat in a moderate hot for a few minutes.


    Additional Information: 
    Australia’s most popular scone recipe uses lemon-flavoured soda pop and cream as the liquid
    (http://figjamandlimecordial.com/2010/08/08/lemonade-scones/)
    A great English scone recipe this uses more sugar and fat and has an egg
    (http://www.instructables.com/id/Perfect-English-Scones/)
    Classic Southern Buttermilk Biscuits recipe by Alton Brown
    (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/southern-biscuits-recipe/index.html)
    An index of North American recipes
    (http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Bread/Biscuits-and-Scones/Biscuits/Top.aspx)
    Another index of North American recipes
    (http://www.breadexperience.com/biscuit-recipes.html)
    Three great Australian recipes
    (http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/homestyle/blogs/tried-and-tasted/how-to-bake-the-perfect-scone-20110504-1e7xn.html)
    An index of Irish recipes
    (http://www.littleshamrocks.com/Irish-Bread-Scone-Recipes.html)
    An interesting discussion on “what makes a scone a scone”
    (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810928)  
    Videos of Alton Brown making biscuits (scones) with his granny (super cute to watch)
    Episode one ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3QuQSdjMVE)
    Episode two (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qcz4JQUwY9Q)
    Links to advice about chemical raising agents
    http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/06/what-is-the-difference-between-baking-powder-and-baking-soda-in-pancakes.html
    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/tips/quick-bread-primer.html 

    Disclaimer:
    The Daring Kitchen and its members in no way suggest we are medical professionals and therefore are NOT responsible for any error in reporting of “alternate baking/cooking”.  If you have issues with digesting gluten, then it is YOUR responsibility to research the ingredient before using it.  If you have allergies, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are lactose intolerant, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure any ingredient in a recipe will not adversely affect you. The responsibility is YOURS regardless of what health issue you’re dealing with. Please consult your physician with any questions before using an ingredient you are not familiar with.  Thank you! :)[/quote]
              Silkworm Chow - USD 15.95        
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              Home Sweet Home        
    After a hiatus on my travelogue, I decided to share a post on my new house which I have dedicated most of my time during the weekends in 2015.

    We have gotten our 4 room built-to-order (BTO) flat keys in July 2015 but I started my renovation research way back in February 2015. Deciding the theme for the house is important and the foremost thing to do before any research is done. It's akin to choosing the travel destination before researching on airfare, accommodation etc. I have research from the below websites before deciding which theme suits us:

    - http://www.homeanddecor.com.sg
    - https://qanvast.com
    - http://www.renonation.sg
    - http://renopedia.sg
    - http://www.renotalk.com/forum

    We first visited interior designer firm (ID) as ID is able to provide quotation based on the floor plan whereas contractor prefers to quote based on the physical state of the house. We meet up with at least 5 ID which we picked up ideas and knowledge from them. We also have a gauge of how much budget we would need to set aside for our renovation.

    Hubby and I decided that we do not require an ID because:
    - We intend to do minimal and simple renovation. We can also visualize the outcome of our renovation. Most who engage an ID is because ID provides the 3D images. I have tried few software on the Internet doing up a 3D image for our new house. It's time consuming and of cos it's not as presentable as an ID 3D image but it's sufficient for us.
    - We can monitor the renovation progress ourselves. We are lucky that hubby job is flexible and our new house is near my parent's house so we went to our new house almost everyday during the renovation period.
    - We want to save cost. ID will charge a premium as they provide 3D image and help to monitor and co-ordinate with the contractors. They can't be doing these for free.

    After we have collected our keys, we meet up with at least 10 contractors. We compared their quotations (I did this in MS excel for easy comparison) and visited their client house to look at their workmanship. When comparing the quotations, I have to keep asking them to revise their quotation as it's inevitably that they missed out items here and there. In the end, we engaged Steven who has renovated ~50 houses in our BTO project and his price is very competitive.

    Renovation work
    - Hacking of kitchen wall
    - Dismantle service yard door & lourve windows
    - Kitchen cabinet base and cement sink base
    - Labour & tiles & skirting for living room, dining area, walkway (750sqf) + 2 in 1 cement
    - 5 ft top & 14 ft bottom Kitchen cabinets
    - 14 ft Kitchen quartz top
    6.5ft Master bedroom wardrobe
    L 3.5ft x H 4ft shoe cabinet
    - Sliding window at service yard
    - Window grills at living room, 3 bedrooms & service yard
    - Plumbing works
    - Electrical works
    - Disposal of debris
    - General cleaning

    As we did not opt in for HDB flooring, we have to factor the flooring cost in our renovation. There are few types of flooring such as tiles, parquet, laminate, vinyl. We decided with wood grain tiles as tiles are more durable and we do not have to worry about the floor getting too wet. We didn't know that there are different sizes of wood grain tiles i.e. 60cm, 90cm and 120cm until we meet up with one contractor. We went to Hafary, Lian Seng Hin & Soon Bee Huat to take a look at the tiles and we can asked for samples to bring home. The samples given are ~ 8x8cm which is not easy to visualise. We took more than 20 samples and compare it under day light and at night, repeat the process again and again before deciding the final one. As HDB no longer provides prepacked cement, this adds on to our renovation cost too.

    The wall between kitchen and dining area is hacked away to create a larger space. As I seldom cook and we bought a good hood, open concept kitchen does not pose a problem to us. The window and door dividing the kitchen and service yard are also removed to create a larger space and easier maintenance.

    I don't understand why the HDB did not install windows at the service yard. We have to include window installation as our service yard is prone to get drenched during raining days. We also added the installation of window grills for the whole house.

    There is minimal carpentry for our house as I feel that the more cabinets you have, there is a higher tenancy to buy and keep more things. The carpentry in our house only consist of a half height shoe cabinet, kitchen cabinet and MBR wardrobe. We opt for a half height shoe cabinet as I do not have so many shoes and most of the time, the upper level of a full height cabinet is usually made redundant. We did not have a TV feature wall too as we prefer the white wall in the background. In the kitchen, we have a lower cabinet for the stove and sink and a lower and upper cabinet at the opposite. The rationale for not having both lower and upper cabinet on both sides is to prevent the kitchen from being seen as too cramped. I have requested the contractor to build a cement base at the sink area to minimise wood corrosion. We had quartz kitchen top as it is durable and has a range of colours to chose from. We have a simple 8 doors wardrobe instead of walk in wardrobe as I find that over time, clothes become very dusty. I have requested my contractor to split the upper and lower wardrobe into separate doors to minimise opening the upper wardrobe where I kept the winter clothes.

    We did not engage our contractor to paint our house as the painting quotation I received from various contractors range from $1,100 to $1,400. We bought our own paints and engaged the Bangladesh painters. The Bangladesh painters are professional painters as they painted the interior and exterior of flats for HDB. We bought our paints and painting tools from Chye Seng Paints & Hardware Co (Add: Blk 452 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 #01-1767 Singapore 560452). It's cheaper here as a tin of Vanilex 5000 cost $47 and a tin of Odouless cost ~$70. The boss from Chye Seng Paints advised us to buy Vanilex paints since we are not moving in immediately and the odour will fade away in few days time. In the end, we bought Vanilex 5000 Sail White for living and dining room and Vanilex 5000 Snow Flakes for bedrooms.

    The renovation sequence is usually in this sequence: Dismantling -> Tiling -> Electrical work -> Painting -> Light installation -> Carpentry and there are a few milestones where owner presence are important: electrical wiring, aircon installation, gas piping installation, plumbing, carpentry installation. 

    After selecting the contractor, we have to source for lighting, furniture and appliances. We decided to be more adventurous and bought lighting from Taobao. We spent about $450 on lighting (inclusive of shipping and GST charges) which is ~50% saving compared to buying locally. All the lighting are received in good condition except the walkway lamp casing which cracked. I have informed the seller and the seller agreed to send a replacement FOC. However I have to arrange my own shipment from China to Singapore which I have consolidated with my 2nd batch of Taobao purchase.

    Lighting
    Living room: 1.5米黑色导轨5W 暖白 铝黑壳5W 正白 铝黑壳
    Dining area: æœ¨çº¹B款(送3W暖光LED) (we changed the light bulb as the original Taobao bulb is too dim)
    Kitchen: 90cm*20cm 26W LED白光,银色
    Household shelter, MBR bathroom, Common bathroom: æ–¹åž‹ 18W白光
    Entrance, Service Yard, MBR entrance: æ–¹åž‹ 12W白光
    Walkway: ç»¿è‰²C款(送3W暖光LED) 
    Bedroom 2 & 3: å°å·-白-LED-白光-16W (without remote)
    Lights purchased from Taobao

    Another alternative is to buy from Malaysia. Below are Johor Bahru lighting shops visited by Singaporeans:

    -Tampoi Lighting Centre Sdn Bhd
    Add: No 2 Jalan Titiwangsa 3/1, Taman Tampoi Indah, 81200 Johor Bahru
    Tel:607-2418999
    - e Mart
    Add: No 23 Jalan Bestari 12/2,Taman Nusa Bestari, 81300 Skudai, Johor Bahru
    Tel:607-5569037
    - Starworld Lighting
    Add: 28 Jalan Titiwangsa 3/1, Taman Tampoi Indah, 81200 Johor Bahru
    Tel:607-2358860

    At first instance, I feel loss when surfing Taobao website but after I joined several Taobao Facebook page, read a lot and learn from there. I also save the links of those items which the renotalk forumer bought for reference. It's better to buy lights from Tmall which is more expensive but more reputable (Tmall is operating on B2C system (business-to-consumer) whereas Taobao is operating on a C2C system (consumer-to-consumer). I have inform the seller that the purchase are to be ship overseas hence they will usually take extra steps in the packaging. As I'm buying many big items, renotalk forumers recommend shipping agent Peeka or Amcon and I used Amcon for my shipment. The charge is RMB550 for 1st cbm (rounded to nearest 2 decimal places), S$35 shipping document, S$40 local delivery and 7% of the item value purchase. Amcon provided me their Guangzhou warehouse address which I have keyed in when checking out my items. They provide 14 days free storage from the day the 1st item is received. I have to provide Amcon the list of items which I have bought and I will ask for update on the items and the volume received at Guangzhou warehouse. After all the items have reached Guangzhou warehouse, I will ask Amcon to proceed to ship the items to Singapore which takes about 7-10 days. Then Amcon will call me to arrange delivery to my house. 

    We visited furniture stores almost every weekend and below are the list of Scandinavian theme furniture stores which we have visited:

    Affordable
    - Star Living
    Various location
    - Comfort Furniture
    Add: 110 Eunos Avenue 7
    Tel:67474809
    - Home's Harmony
    Ad: 978 Toa Payoh North #01-01
    Tel:67104568
    - Nook & Cranny
    Add: BLK 514 Chai Chee Lane #02-07
    Tel:93831176
    - Tan Boon Liat Building
    - Prestige Affairs
    Add: 9 Tagore Lane #03-08
    Tel:65521333
    - Born In Colours
    Add: 1024 Yishun Industrial Park A #02-37
    Tel:90093586 (by appointment)
    - Castlery
    Add: 2 Alexandra Road, #01-03A Delta House
    Tel:67445333
    - Ikea
    Add: 317 Alexandra Road or 60 Tampines North Drive 2

    Expensive
    - Commune
    Add: 9 Raffles Boulevard #02-52 Millenia Walk 
    Tel:63383823
    - Danish Design
    Add: 100E Pasir Panjang Road #08-01
    Tel:62708483
    - Teak Avenue
    Add: 9 Tagore Lane #02-05
    Tel:62202667
    - Grafunkt
    Add: 9 Raffles Boulevard #02-34 Millenia Walk
    Tel:63366046
    - We Love Air
    Add: 29 Tai Seng Avenue #01-02
    Tel:62969272
    - Lush Lush
    Add: 134 Joo Seng Road Level 2
    Tel:62879096
    - OM Home
    Add: 16 Tai Seng Street Level 8
    Tel:62350777
    - Scan Teak
    Various location
    - Pickle and Rail
    Various location

    After visiting so many furniture stores, we bought sofa, TV console, dining table and bench from Star Living. Our bed frame is purchased from Prestige Affairs and we also bought the glass cabinet and dining chairs from Ikea. I have read that there are many people who bought furniture from Taobao nowadays but we decide to buy locally as we prefer to see the physical sample before buying. We did purchased smaller items such as coffee table and bedside cabinet from Taobao. It's better to start from the big items follow by the smaller items e.g buy sofa follow by TV console and coffee table as the smaller items can be omitted if there is not enough space. 

    We did not major haul our bathroom as we do not see the necessity in spending on the bathroom. We only change the basin in the MBR bathroom as we find the basin provided by HDB too small. We went to a sanitary shop in JB which was recommended by hubby friend and bought rain shower, 2 bidets and a kitchen mixer. These only cost us $230 which I don't think we can get such price for Johnson Suisse product in Singapore. Do note that if you travel out of Singapore for less than 48 hours, the GST relief is for goods valued up to $150 per person.

    - The Best Sanitaryware Trading 
    Add: No.37, Jalan Setia 12/3, Taman Setia Indah, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor 
    Tel:07-355 5020

    Below are 2 sanitaryware shops frequent by Singaporeans. We bought our kitchen hob and hood from Universal Union as we find that Hoe Kee pricing is slightly more expensive. We decided to invest in a better hob and hood and have chosen the Fujioh brand.

    - Universal Union
    Add: 710 Geylang Road
    Tel:67490007
    - Hoe Kee
    Add: 8 Genting Lane
    Tel:67494521

    We opt for gas heater instead of electric heater because the gas heater has inner storage tank and is able to support the rain shower system. We do not want to install the water tank in our toilet as we find it ugly. In addition, gas is also cheaper than electricity.

    We purchased most of our appliances from our neighbour as he's working in LG. We got a good discount for our TV, fridge and washing machine. We purchased Mitsubishi Starmex System 3 from AJ Aircon where we enjoyed bulk BTO purchase price. The aircon specs research are done by hubby. We got our ceiling fan from JB e-mart which is half of the price in Singapore. We bought a Mayer 3.5L air fryer for the price of 2.2L during the SG50 promotion. We also bought discounted food blender, rice cooker, iron and hair dryer during the Philip warehouse sales. We decided to do without a built-in oven and microwave as our kitchen is relatively small and I seldom bake.

    Below are list of appliances shops which offer competitive pricing and most accept cash or NETS, there is extra charges for payment by credit card. 

    - Maximum Credit Co Pte Ltd
    Add: BLK 121 Bukit Merah Lane 1 #01-02
    Tel:62233575
    - Aik Leong Enterprise
    Add: BLK 121 Bukit Merah Lane 1 #01-16
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    Add: Blk 210 Hougang St 21 #01-247
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    I choose curtains over blinds for easier maintenance. Instead of engaging those curtains makers who charge at least $700 for four rooms flat, I decided to DIY which only cost half of it. We bought curtain rods from Ikea and asked our contractor to install for us. For the curtains, I purchased them from Qoo10 and the quality is good.

    Floor plan
    Living room under day light
    Living room with lights switch on
    Close up view of living room
    Walkway


    Ah yes, Aunt Sandy's infamous Kwanzaa cake video. You didn’t think I’d end the blog without slipping that in one more time, did you?

    I am incredibly lucky to have undergone this experiment, and I thank everyone who has been a fan these past 6 ½ years, and the hardworking people who make and serve the food I’ve talked about.

    So what does the future hold for me?  Danged if I know.  Work, family, hopefully some romance here and there, definitely some food.  I will say this: I am heading to New Orleans for a conference in May and getting some delicious food there, and hopefully in my down time seeing the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (particularly their Maryland exhibit - they do indeed have one).  Plus I’ll be eating locally and growing locally more often than I have in the past.  Most exciting, however, is a trip to Dublin for my birthday (the one in Ireland).  I normally would not do this or even bother to scrounge up the money, but it’s one of those "big" birthdays and I wanted to do something special.  Again, I’m incredibly thankful and lucky that I even get to do this.

    Apart from all that, I will just continue cooking food, growing food, investigating recipes from my own backyard and from around the world, but without telling cyberspace about it (alright, I might mention a few of these things on Twitter, but not on here).  Before I decided to finish the blog, I got a hold of my Great Great Aunt Florence’s old recipe book.  I had thought of working through each recipe and seeing how it turned out (there are two crab cake recipes in there, plus one for a Dream Whip Cake).  Maybe I should write a blog about it?

    Nah, done that already ;)

     

    And so, this is John, signing off for the last time.  Don't worry - I'm not taking the blog down. It's staying up for the foreseeable future, and probably longer than that. I will check and moderate the comments for a while and maybe add a few jump breaks to some of the longer posts (now that they've bothered to add that capability when I need it the least). Oh, and I should direct you to the newly-indexed State-by-State page to the right.  But I’m not posting anymore.  Seriously, I’m done.  I am pooped. I will miss this blog, but I’m really looking forward to missing it. And finishing it.  Really.

    Now what better way to finish than with one of those crazy food haiku?

    Time to close up shop.
    Bawlmer Snacker is complete.
    Now, what’s for dinner? :)

    (No the smiley face doesn’t count as an extra syllable!  It’s still a haiku.  Sheesh.)

              Revisiting: My First Blogged-About Recipe        
    Waaaaay back in 2006, not long after this blog, I was mostly writing about restaurant visits and festivals around town (again, the original reason for starting the Charm-City-cum-Baltimore Snacker blog.  It look a few months for me to get around to attempting a recipe.  This surprises me now, since the blog has lately evolved into an almost completely review-free blog, now a mostly educational blog on American cuisine.  But it took me until December of '06 to post my first attempted recipe (note: I did write about my grandmother's Thanksgiving dressing, but I didn't actually write about my attempt at making it, so it doesn't count).  I finally did this for a cookie swap, when trying to make one of my favorite fudges: penuche, or brown sugar fudge.  But I wanted to take advantage of all the modern conveniences available to me, so I found a microwave recipe (which has long since vanished from the internet).

    I got microwave toffee, not fudge.

    So I thought it would be apropos for one of my final recipes to try this again, 6 1/2 years after first doing so.  The results were much better, as you will see below.

    This time I used a recipe from the Eagle Brand website. No, I'm not shilling for them (and if I was starting to do that now, I'd be starting kind of late, no?), but it is a good recipe.  And the best part: it worked!


    For this recipe you only need three ingredients (exact measurements in the recipe):

    * sweetened condensed milk (which makes me want tres leches cake now)
    * butter
    * brown sugar (two cups, either light or dark.  They never specify which)

    It is also a good idea to have enough parchment paper to line the 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 square pan that you will pour the molten fudge into.


    Combine the ingredients in a bowl.  As you can see, I added a few things: a dash of nutmeg, a smidge of cinnamon...


    ...and a few drops of vanilla extract.


    Next, you need to microwave it for ten minutes.  You have to be careful here, because you must stop it every two minutes and stir.  Boiling it continuously for ten minutes will... well, I don't really want to think about that.  This is after two minutes, by the way.


    This photo is what it will look like after six minutes.


    And here it is after the full ten minutes, a-boilin' fiercely.  Please don't splash this on yourself.  Ouchie.


    Next, you must take a mixer and beat it for about five minutes on a low to low-medium speed (I used the  #1 setting on mine).


    Spread it in your parchment-lined square pan...


    ...and place in the fridge until hard.


    In the end, I got actual fudge!  Not toffee, but fudge.  In retrospect, I can't say for certain what went wrong that first time.  Did I just not follow the directions?  Or perhaps I was following woefully inadequate directions?  The first recipe is gone, so I will never know.  But microwave penuche can be done.  You just have to make sure you have the right recipe, and are following it the way it's written!


              State-by-State Redux: IX of X - Americanized Chinese Cuisine Revisited - Tso many dishes, Tso little time...        
    Chinese food in the United States is typically, at best, "Chinese" food.  This is changing, of course, as more Chinese immigrants are opening more restaurants with authentic Chinese cuisine (or maybe they've been here all along, but everyone else is now patronizing them more often).  But "Chinese" food has evolved into something uniquely American, shaped by the first immigrants to the West Coast in the 19th century, and to points all over America today (mostly from Fujian province).  And different communities from the Chinese diaspora master different food feats in different parts of the world - shredded beef in the UK, for example, or ma po tofu in Japan [Lee 2008].  In the US of A, that Chinese dish that's gripped the nation is named after General Tso.

    Snacking State-by-State Redux IX of X: Americanized Chinese Cuisine

    What is it? Traditionally, a unique mix of Chinese cooking techniques and American ingredients, here since the 1840's.  Since then it has evolved into something not terribly recognizable in China, but instead is peculiarly American.  More recently, actual "Chinese" Chinese food has crossed the Pacific in the form of dim sum and other dishes that a Chinese tourist would actually recognize.
    Where did it come from? See above


    General Tso's chicken is not a real thing in China, but that doesn't stop Jennifer 8. Lee from seeking it out.  In her book The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food [2008], Lee analyzes the origins and state of Chinese food in America, from fortune cookies (actually based on a Japanese cookie) to chop suey to the ubiquitous General Tso's chicken.  Lee's quest to find this last dish took her all the way to a remote village in Hunan Province to find the origins of this dish, one which few Chinese chefs - scratch that, no Chinese chefs - had actually heard of.  As Lee notes:
    The refrain was consistent: "We don't have General Tso's chicken here" or "We've never heard of it."  Even after I showed them pictures of the dish on my digital camera, they would frown and look at me blankly, then helpfully suggest another chicken dish, often  the local specialty, mala or kung pao.  One waitress at a three-hundred-year-old restaurant pressed me to try another dish associated with a famous Hunan personage: "This is what Mao Zedong and his circle ate when they used to come here."
    But nothing they offered ever resembled our crispy General Tso's, nor his American cousins: sesame chicken, lemon chicken, sweet-and-sour chicken.  In fact, any batter-dipped, stir-fried chicken dish was hard to come by in this urban corner of Hunan. [Lee 2008: 68-69]
    The closest Lee ever got was the home village of Zuo Zongtang, the 19th century local leader and statesman for whom this dish - the same one that has nothing to do with him whatsoever - is related.  There a distant modern relative to Zuo was befuddled by the photos Lee had of General Tso's - Zuo's - chicken on her phone.  Her informant did offer to cook dog, however - the kind "raised for eating" and not for pets.  Lee was, of course, taken aback: "I pictured how Americans would react to General Tso's puppy on their take-out menus" [2008: 73].

    Lee never finds what we call General Tso's chicken, but that hasn't stopped Chinese-American chefs from trying to recreate this uniquely American dish.  How "American" is it?  Lee's schoolmate from Beijing University, Wang Wei, tells her why it's so American:
    "It has broccoli.  Americans looove broccoli.  They add broccoli with everything."  She continued: "Americans like chicken.  You can go to a supermarket and you buy chicken breast, chicken legs, chicken drumsticks, chicken wings, boneless chicken.  All different types of chicken," she said, gesturing to various parts of her body..."It's very American.  It's all-American: very big pieces of chicken, fried and sweet." [Lee 2008: 74]
    Since Lee can find no recipe for General Tso's chicken, I had to look elsewhere.  After finding many much healthier and more typically Chinese-style General Tso's chicken (Ching-He Huang's recipe being the most notable), I wanted something more typical of the Chinese fast food takeouts that Jennifer 8. Lee and myself are more familiar with.  I found that in Diana Kuan's Appetite for China blog (which she just turned into a cookbook).  Kuan is also familiar with Lee's aforementioned book, and tried to find out more about it herself.  Kuan tries out various versions of the dish before perfecting one that is as authentic as she can get it, deep-frying those chicken pieces with a whole lot of cornstarch.

    It is Kuan's version of the General's chicken that I interpret below.  Unlike most recipes I have done, this time I am pretty much following this one to the letter, save for the addition of broccoli, which she doesn't specifically mention in her recipe.

    The Recipe: General Tso's Chicken

    To make Kuan's version of Zuo's chicken, assemble the following:


    * chicken (Kuan calls for a pound of chicken thighs, boneless; I went for 1.5 lbs of chicken thighs, bone-in, and went from there.  I don't buy a lot of chicken, so I justified the expense of the less expensive thighs at the Whole Foods.  Actually I don't think they had boneless)
    * cornstarch (I bought a new canister, about $1.50, because I needed a lot of it - about  a cup and a half, instead of the usual one or two teaspoons)
    * sugar, salt & pepper (had them all)
    * dried chiles (had this too)
    * garlic (this too)
    * sesame seeds (yup)
    * green onions (getting pricier these days, about $1.50 a bunch)
    * oil for frying (I had some of that high heat point rice bran oil from H-Mart)
    * Though not pictured, I also added broccoli, as Jennifer 8. Lee's friend mentioned.  Because Americans LOVE broccoli!  Okay we don't all love it, but I am used to broccoli in my General Tso's chicken, so in it goes.

    You will also need to marinade the chicken.  For that, assemble:
    * sesame oil (had it in the fridge)
    * soy sauce (I had this too)
    * egg whites (discard those yolks, folks)

    And for that famous sauce, assemble:
    * chicken stock (I used that Better Than Boullion in the fridge)
    * soy sauce
    * hoisin sauce (got a new jar for about $2)
    * rice vinegar (same)
    * chile paste (I used the garlic chile paste from that Washington Dungeness crab recipe)
    * more sugar, more soy sauce, and more cornstarch


    It takes about six chicken thighs to yield one pound of meat.  Remember that when shopping.


    Mix the marinade ingredients - the sesame oil, the egg whites and the soy sauce.


    Marinade the meat for at least ten minutes.


    Next, assemble the sauce ingredients.


    Mix together in a bowl and set aside.


    And mix salt and pepper into the massive amount of cornstarch.  You will coat the chicken in this.,


    Heat your oil in a wok until at deep frying temperature


    To prepare your marinated chicken for frying, plop each piece in the cornstarch mixture...


    ...and shake off the excess.


    Fry several at a time for about five minutes, turning once.


    Drain on a paper towel.


    When done frying, reserve the oil (okay, dump it somewhere to cool down until you can just dispose of it), wipe out the wok and quickly fry your chiles and garlic in oil.


    Add your sauce for a minute or so...


    ...and then your chicken to coat.


    I added the broccoli bits until no longer frozen (I did also nuke it in the microwave to expedite the process).  Serve with scallions and rice.



    Granted, the next time I may just be lazy and buy it ready-made.  Still, now I can make General Tso's tasty chicken at home.  It wasn't as sweet as I'm used to, but I've actually found orange chicken to be the really sweet one.  When I order Chinese I usually go back and forth between orange and General Tso's chicken.  What's good about this one is that it isn't stringy and all "mystery meat"-ish like the kind you sometimes buy at a Chinese take-out place.  It's tender, somewhat crispy (less so when you reheat it - pop it in the oven and not the microwave if you are concerned about that), and just sweet enough.  Plus, it's satisfying to know that you made it yourself without opening a packet of seasoning or a big-ass can labeled "Chun King".

    - - - - -

    Well, this feels pretty strange, y'all, but the next State-by-State post is it - THE LAST one!  I thought for a while about how to sum this up.  Unlike my Beltway Snacking series a few years ago, where I wrote a long summary, for this I'm just making an all-American meal instead.  Next week you will find out what it is, but more importantly who wrote the recipe: the most quintessentially American of chefs herself.

    Also: as noted yesterday, look at the blog on Tuesday morning (February 26).  I have a big announcement to make about what I'm up to next, now that this State-by-State series is fast approaching its end.

    Sources:

    Kuan, Diana.  "General Tso's Chicken".  Appetite for China, posted August 30, 2011.

    Lee, Jennifer 8.  The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food.  Twelve Books: New York, 2008.

    Some information also obtained from the Food Timeline State Foods webpage.

              State-by-State Redux: V of X - The Midwestern States Revisited - I'm Forever Frying Fritters...        
    In our final foray into the Midwest, I try to wed some of the Midwest's most quintessential foods together: corn, flour, wild rice and frying (it's not just for the South anymore).  I was, at first, at a loss, but Marcia Adams and her Heartland cookbook came to my rescue once more.

    Snacking State-by-State Redux V of X: The Midwestern and Prairie States

    What are the Midwestern States?: always includes: Missouri, the Great Lakes States (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota) and the Prairie States (Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas); sometimes includes: Oklahoma, West Virginia and (western) Pennsylvania.
    Important Cities: Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Des Moines, Detroit, Fargo, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Omaha, Pierre, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Topeka, Tulsa
    Regions and Subregions: The Great Lakes; The Prairie States
    RAFT Nationsbison (most of North & South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, northern Missouri, southern Minnestoa, southern Manitoba), chestnut (parts of southern Ohio, West Virginia), corn bread & BBQ (Missouri, Illinois, southern Indiana, parts of southern Ohio & eastern Iowa), maple syrup (Ohio, western Pennsylvania, northern Indiana & West Virginia), pinyon nut (western South Dakota, Nebraska), wild rice (Michigan, southern Ontario, eastern North Dakota, southern Manitoba, northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Illinois & Indiana, parts of northern Ohio & Pennsylvania)
    Foods the Region is Best Known For: hearty "heartland" fare; pioneer and Native American dishes; Eastern European, Scandinavian, Southern European, German and Amish fare; sauerkraut; corn, wheat, soy, beef; BBQ (Missouri) & chili (Ohio)

    For the Midwest, I wanted to find a recipe that could encompass as much of this vast region as possible.  Midwestern foods that pop in my mind after the last two years of this project include corn, wheat and wild rice.  I found the perfect recipe early on in Heartland: a dessert corn fritter, eaten with powdered sugar and maple syrup (in the Illinois section of her cookbook, page 14).  Her cakey and light "Bishop Hill Corn Fritters" are named for the small utopian community in northwestern Illinois:
    The Bishop Hill Colony, a communal Utopian community close to Galesburg, began disintegrating in 1861, when the colonists started dividing up the common property into individual holdings.  The town declined but is now in the process of being restored by its 166 citizens, mostly descendents [sic] of the original settlers. [Adams 1991: 14]
    The project continues today.

    Of course, I did not follow Adams' recipe to a tee.  I threw in some wild rice just for variety

    The Recipe: Bishop Hill (Illinois) Corn Fritters, with Wild Rice

    To make these fritters, exact measurements on page 14 of Heartland, assemble these ingredients, most of which you probably have on hand:


    * corn (the original recipe does call for canned corn, though frozen or fresh can be substituted.  This organic can from Wegman's was really not too much more expensive than a regular one, so I bought this one instead)
    * flour (had it)
    * sugar (same)
    * baking powder (yup)
    * butter (uh huh)
    * salt and pepper (that too)
    * eggs (same)
    * equal amounts of milk (just a quart for about $1ish) and water
    * oil (for frying - I used a combination of peanut oil and rice bran oil)
    * wild rice (this I had on hand; leave it out if you don't have it.  I added about 1/2 cup)
    * maple syrup and powdered sugar (had both)


    Boil some wild rice according to package directions.


    While that's going, beat some eggs.  That's one of those old-fashioned egg beaters. Bet you haven't seen one of those things in a while, have you?


    Add your water, butter and milk...


    And stir in the corn.  Make sure you've drained the corn.


    Add the dry ingredients and wild rice, and stir enough to moisten.


    Heat your oil to deep frying temperature (about 350°F to 375°F) and drop in your fritters in spoonfuls, and fry about two to three minutes a side.


    Drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Serve hot with maple syrup.  Reheat in the oven if you need to.  It's just not the same in the microwave.


    Adams meant it when she said "delicate and cakelike" [1991: 14].  These things are just absolutely luscious.  Plus, I felt guilty eating them.  Come on: fried fritters doused in powdered sugar and maple syrup?  Who wouldn't feel guilty eating this?

    - - - - -

    The next region we will visit is the South.  First, we take a detour into African-American cuisine, an integral part of the Southern food landscape, by looking at one historic, home grown recipe from George Washington Carver himself.

    Sources:


    Adams, Marcia. Heartland: The Best of the Old and the New from Midwest Kitchens. Clarkson Potter: New York, 1991.


    Some information also obtained from Wikipedia and from the Food Timeline State Foods webpage.

              EFEK TERAPI MICROWAVE DIATERMI        
    MWD (Micro Wave Diatermy)
    Micro Wave Diatermy merupakan seatu pengobatan mengguanakan stressor fisis berupa energi elektromagnetik yang dihasilkan oleh arus bolak balik frekwensi 2450 MHz dengan panjang gelombang 12,25 cm.

    1) Produksi dan Penerapan
    Prinsip produksi gelombang mekro pada dasarnya sama untuk arus listrik bolak-balik frekwensi tinggi yang lain, hanya untuk
    memperoleh frekwensi yang lebih tinggi lagi diperlukan seatu tabung khusus yang dsebut magnetron. Magnetron ini memerlukan waktu
    untuk pemanasan, sehingga output belum diperoleh segera setelah mesin dioperasikan.

    Untuk itu mesin dilengkapi dengan
    tombol pemanasan agar mesin tetap dalam posisi dosis nol antara pengobatan satu dengan yang berikutnya. Pada posisi dosis nol
    antara pengobatan satu dengan yang berikutnya. Pada posisi tersebut tabung tetap
    mendapatkan arus listrik, tetapi dosis ke pasien nol, sehingga terhindar dari seringnya perubahan panas.

    Arus dari mesin mengalir ke electrode melalui co-axial cable, yaitu suatu kabel yang terdiri dari serangkaian kawat di tengah yang
    diselubungi oleh selubung logam yang dikelilingi suatu benda isolator, kawat dan selubung logam tadi berjalan sejajar dan
    membentuk sebagai kabel output dan kabel bolak-balik dari mesin/. Konstuksi kabel semacam ini diperlukan untuk arus frekwensi
    tertentu pula. Co-axial cable ini menghantarkan arus listrik ke sebuah area dimana gelombang mikro dipancarkan. Area ini dipasang suatu reflector yang
    dibungkus dengan bahan yangdapat meneruskan gelombang elektromagnetik. Konstruksi tubuh yang disebut emitter, director atau applicator atau sebagai electrode.

    2) Penerapan pada Jaringan
    Emitter yang sering juga disebut electrode atau magnetode terdiri dari serial, reflector, dan pembungkus. Emitter ini
    bermacam-macam bentuk dan ukurannya serta sifat energi elektromagnetik yang dipancarkan. Antara emitter dan kulit di dalam tekhnik aplikasi terdapat jarak udara. Pada emitter yang berbentuk bulat sedang maka medan elektromagnetik yang
    dipancarkan berbentuk sirkuler dan paling padat di daerah tepi.

    Pada bentuk segiempat medan elektromagnetik yang dipancarkan berbentuk oval dan paling padat di daerah daerah tengah.

    3) Efek Fisiologi
    1. Perubahan temperature
    a. Reaksi lokal jaringan
    · Meningkatkan metabolisme, sel-sel local
    ± 13 % tiap kenaikan temperature 1o C.
    · Meningkatkan vasomotiom sphincter
    sehingga timbul homeostatic local dan
    akhirnya terjadi vasodilatasi local.
    b. Reaksi general
    Mungkin dapat terjadi kenaikan
    temperature, tetapi perlu dipertimbangkan karena penetrasinya dangkal ± 3
    cm dan aplikasinya local.
    c. Consensual efek
    Timbulnya respon panas pada sisi
    kontralateral dari segmen yang sama. Dengan
    penerapan Micro Wave Diatermy, penetrasi dan perubahan temperature
    lebih terkonsentrasi pada jaringan otot, sebab
    jaringan otot lebih banyak mengndung cairan dan darah.
    2. Jaringan Ikat
    Meningkatkan elastisitas jaringan ikat lebih baik seperti jaringan collagen kulit, otot,
    tendon, ligament dan kapsul sendi akibat menurunya viskositas matriks jaringan
    tanpa menambah panjang matriks, tetapi terbatas pada jaringan ikat yang letak
    kedalamannya ± 3 cm
    3. Jaringan otot
    Meningkatkan elastisitas jaringan otot dan menurunkan tonus melalui normalissi
    nocisensorik.
    4. Jaringan Saraf
    Meningkatkan elastisitas pembungkus jaringan saraf, meningkatkan konduktivitas
    saraf ambang rangsang saraf.


    4) Efek Terapeutik
    1. Penyembuhan luka pada jaringan lunak Meningkatkan proses perbaikan atau reparasi jaringan secara fisiologi
    2. Nyeri, hipertonus dan gangguan vaskularissi Menurunkan nyeri, normalitas
    tonus otot melalui efek sedative, serta perbaikan metabolisma.

    1. Kontraktur jaringan lemak
    Dengan peningkatan elastisitas jaringn lemak, maka dapat mengurangi proses
    kontraktur jaringan. Ini dimasukkan sebagai persiapan sebelum pemberian latihan.
    2. Gangguan konduktifitas dan threshold jaringan saraf Apabila elastisitas dan
    threshold jaringan saraf semakin membaik, maka conduktifitas jaringan saraf akan membaik pula. Proses ini melalui efek fisiologi.
    5) Indikasi
    1. Kondisi inflamasi subkutaneus dan kronik
    2. Spasme otot, jaringan collagen.
    3. Kelainan tulang, sendi, otot.
    4. Kelainan saraf perifer (neuritis)


    6) Kontra Indikasi
    1. Pemakaian Implant pacemaker
    2. Metal di dalam jaringan dan permukaan jaringan
    3. Gangguan sensasi panas dan adanya perdarahan
    4. Malignant Tumor
    5. Pasien dengan gangguan control gerakan atau tidak bisa bekerja sama.

              EFEK FISIOLOGIS dan EFEK TERAPI MICROWAVE DIATERMI        
    MWD (Micro Wave Diatermy)
    Micro Wave Diatermy merupakan seatu pengobatan mengguanakan stressor fisis berupa energi elektromagnetik yang dihasilkan oleh arus bolak balik frekwensi 2450 MHz dengan panjang gelombang 12,25 cm.

    1) Produksi dan Penerapan
    Prinsip produksi gelombang mekro pada dasarnya sama untuk arus listrik bolak-balik frekwensi tinggi yang lain, hanya untuk
    memperoleh frekwensi yang lebih tinggi lagi diperlukan seatu tabung khusus yang dsebut magnetron. Magnetron ini memerlukan waktu
    untuk pemanasan, sehingga output belum diperoleh segera setelah mesin dioperasikan.

    Untuk itu mesin dilengkapi dengan
    tombol pemanasan agar mesin tetap dalam posisi dosis nol antara pengobatan satu dengan yang berikutnya. Pada posisi dosis nol
    antara pengobatan satu dengan yang berikutnya. Pada posisi tersebut tabung tetap
    mendapatkan arus listrik, tetapi dosis ke pasien nol, sehingga terhindar dari seringnya perubahan panas.

    Arus dari mesin mengalir ke electrode melalui co-axial cable, yaitu suatu kabel yang terdiri dari serangkaian kawat di tengah yang
    diselubungi oleh selubung logam yang dikelilingi suatu benda isolator, kawat dan selubung logam tadi berjalan sejajar dan
    membentuk sebagai kabel output dan kabel bolak-balik dari mesin/. Konstuksi kabel semacam ini diperlukan untuk arus frekwensi
    tertentu pula. Co-axial cable ini menghantarkan arus listrik ke sebuah area dimana gelombang mikro dipancarkan. Area ini dipasang suatu reflector yang
    dibungkus dengan bahan yangdapat meneruskan gelombang elektromagnetik. Konstruksi tubuh yang disebut emitter, director atau applicator atau sebagai electrode.

    2) Penerapan pada Jaringan
    Emitter yang sering juga disebut electrode atau magnetode terdiri dari serial, reflector, dan pembungkus. Emitter ini
    bermacam-macam bentuk dan ukurannya serta sifat energi elektromagnetik yang dipancarkan. Antara emitter dan kulit di dalam tekhnik aplikasi terdapat jarak udara. Pada emitter yang berbentuk bulat sedang maka medan elektromagnetik yang
    dipancarkan berbentuk sirkuler dan paling padat di daerah tepi.

    Pada bentuk segiempat medan elektromagnetik yang dipancarkan berbentuk oval dan paling padat di daerah daerah tengah.

    3) Efek Fisiologi
    1. Perubahan temperature
    a. Reaksi lokal jaringan
    · Meningkatkan metabolisme, sel-sel local
    ± 13 % tiap kenaikan temperature 1o C.
    · Meningkatkan vasomotiom sphincter
    sehingga timbul homeostatic local dan
    akhirnya terjadi vasodilatasi local.
    b. Reaksi general
    Mungkin dapat terjadi kenaikan
    temperature, tetapi perlu dipertimbangkan karena penetrasinya dangkal ± 3
    cm dan aplikasinya local.
    c. Consensual efek
    Timbulnya respon panas pada sisi
    kontralateral dari segmen yang sama. Dengan
    penerapan Micro Wave Diatermy, penetrasi dan perubahan temperature
    lebih terkonsentrasi pada jaringan otot, sebab
    jaringan otot lebih banyak mengndung cairan dan darah.
    2. Jaringan Ikat
    Meningkatkan elastisitas jaringan ikat lebih baik seperti jaringan collagen kulit, otot,
    tendon, ligament dan kapsul sendi akibat menurunya viskositas matriks jaringan
    tanpa menambah panjang matriks, tetapi terbatas pada jaringan ikat yang letak
    kedalamannya ± 3 cm
    3. Jaringan otot
    Meningkatkan elastisitas jaringan otot dan menurunkan tonus melalui normalissi
    nocisensorik.
    4. Jaringan Saraf
    Meningkatkan elastisitas pembungkus jaringan saraf, meningkatkan konduktivitas
    saraf ambang rangsang saraf.


    4) Efek Terapeutik
    1. Penyembuhan luka pada jaringan lunak Meningkatkan proses perbaikan atau reparasi jaringan secara fisiologi
    2. Nyeri, hipertonus dan gangguan vaskularissi Menurunkan nyeri, normalitas
    tonus otot melalui efek sedative, serta perbaikan metabolisma.

    1. Kontraktur jaringan lemak
    Dengan peningkatan elastisitas jaringn lemak, maka dapat mengurangi proses
    kontraktur jaringan. Ini dimasukkan sebagai persiapan sebelum pemberian latihan.
    2. Gangguan konduktifitas dan threshold jaringan saraf Apabila elastisitas dan
    threshold jaringan saraf semakin membaik, maka conduktifitas jaringan saraf akan membaik pula. Proses ini melalui efek fisiologi.
    5) Indikasi
    1. Kondisi inflamasi subkutaneus dan kronik
    2. Spasme otot, jaringan collagen.
    3. Kelainan tulang, sendi, otot.
    4. Kelainan saraf perifer (neuritis)


    6) Kontra Indikasi
    1. Pemakaian Implant pacemaker
    2. Metal di dalam jaringan dan permukaan jaringan
    3. Gangguan sensasi panas dan adanya perdarahan
    4. Malignant Tumor
    5. Pasien dengan gangguan control gerakan atau tidak bisa bekerja sama.

              Layered Fiesta Dip        
    This delicious Mexican dip is very similar to 7-Layer Dip... except for it only has 5 layers :). I like this recipe because it's quick to throw together and doesn't involve any chopping of the tomatoes, olives, and green onions like the traditional 7-layer bean dip does. This is what we snacked on this evening during our little Academy Awards family party/get together. It's pretty addicting!


    1 can refried beans
    guacamole
    sour cream
    salsa
    2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese {or plain cheddar cheese will work just fine too}

    Heat up the refried beans for 2 minutes in the microwave. Spread them evenly in an 8x8 baking dish. Spread guacamole on top of the beans, then the sour cream, then the salsa, and top with the shredded cheese. Cover with foil and put it in the refrigerator to let it "set." Serve with tortilla chips.
              What are the results of microwave therapy?        

    The post What are the results of microwave therapy? appeared first on Health tips.

    Outcomes after microwave treatment are both subjective and function. Subjective outcomes use affected person signs rating sheets the place the sufferers report their notion of their voiding traits. Purpose outcomes, comparable to measurements of...


              Snow Puffy Paint Recipe        

    Make some glorious Winter art with this sparkly, snow puffy paint recipe! Using shaving cream and white glue, this paint dries thick and puffy without needing to be heated in a microwave, and looks really effective in art projects! Add in some vanilla essence for a beautiful scent too! We’ve been exploring texture and form...

    Read More »

    The post Snow Puffy Paint Recipe appeared first on The Imagination Tree.


              Telepon Genggam Vs Kesehatan        

    KOMPAS.com. Penggunaan telepon genggam di dunia terus meluas. Menurut International Telecommunication Union, pemakai telepon genggam tahun ini diperkirakan mencapai lima miliar. Manusia semakin sulit lepas dari genggaman telepon genggam di kesehariannya.

    Kenyataan ini memicu kekhawatiran akan dampak jangka panjang radiasi akibat penggunaan telepon genggam terhadap kesehatan. Dugaan dampak radiasi telepon genggam terhadap kesehatan ini dimunculkan banyak peneliti dari sejumlah negara. Penelitian yang luas dilakukan menyebutkan, penyakit yang diduga berkaitan dengan penggunaan telepon genggam antara lain kanker, terutama kanker otak, serta penyakit yang berhubungan dengan saraf, tumor mata, hingga alzheimer.

    Namun, penelitian seputar dampak penggunaan telepon genggam terhadap kesehatan, terutama peningkatan angka kejadian kanker, masih pro-kontra. Kesimpulan akan dampak radiasi gelombang mikro dari telepon genggam itu dinilai sumir karena teknologi telepon genggam ke depan masih terus berkembang.

    Studi lainnya adalah kaitan antara penggunaan telepon genggam dan peningkatan kasus kecelakaan bermotor. Penggunaan telepon genggam saat menyetir dapat mengganggu konsentrasi yang mengakibatkan mudahnya terjadi kecelakaan yang merenggut jiwa.

    Penelitian itu kemudian didukung dengan pelarangan penggunaan telepon genggam di jalan raya. Di Indonesia, pelarangan juga sudah diberlakukan meskipun pada kenyataannya tanpa pengawasan yang ketat.

    Tetapi dalam kaitan kesehatan, seperti tumor otak, kanker kulit, atau penyakit-penyakit yang berkaitan dengan saraf masih belum ada titik temu meskipun dampak kesehatan itu dilihat dari penggunaan telepon genggam yang memperhitungkan lamanya seseorang menggunakan telepon genggam.

    Di tengah upaya untuk memecahkan misteri dampak penggunaan telepon genggam dengan kesehatan jangka panjang, peneliti Inggris meluncurkan program penelitian terbesar di dunia pada akhir April lalu. Penelitian yang memakan waktu 20-30 tahun ke depan itu diyakini bisa jadi studi yang semakin obyektif untuk menganalisis dampak penggunaan telepon genggam pada kesehatan penggunanya akibat radiasi.

    Studi terbesar di dunia tentang keamanan penggunaan telepon genggam itu bakal merekrut 250.000 pengguna telepon genggam di lima negara di Eropa. Pengguna yang diteliti dari Inggris, Finlandia, Denmark, Swedia, dan Belanda.

    Prof Lawrie Challis, anggota peneliti, mengatakan, studi ini penting. ”Kami belum bisa mengatakan dengan pasti bahwa telepon genggam memicu kanker. Bukti-bukti yang ada belum kuat,” kata Challis.

    Dalam silang pendapat di antara ilmuwan tersebut, dari sekarang perlu diambil langkah untuk memonitor pengaruh telepon genggam pada kesehatan. Hasilnya akan dinilai obyektif karena pengguna yang dipantau jumlahnya besar dan diamati dalam jangka waktu lama.

    Mireille Toledano dari Imperial College London menjelaskan, studi ini bukan cuma diarahkan untuk kanker otak. Sebab, penggunaan telepon genggam amat beragam termasuk berselancar di situs internet, yang berarti telepon tidak selalu di kepala.

    Yang akan dilihat juga adalah kaitannya pada masalah kesehatan yang lebih luas, termasuk bentuk lain dari kanker, seperti kanker kulit, dan penyakit otak lainnya, seperti penyakit neurodegenerative.

    Dalam kaitan penelitian ini, yang dimasalahkan adalah biasanya tergantung pada berapa banyak penggunaan telepon genggam. Penggunaan telepon genggam akan dicatat detail.

    Peneliti juga akan memonitor WIFI, telepon tanpa kabel dan penggunaan monitor bayi oleh peserta sebaik dengan penggunaan teknologi yang bergerak, untuk mendapatkan gambaran yang lengkap tentang terpaan pada semua radiasi tipe elektromagnetik.

    Beberapa penelitian

    Sejumlah penelitian yang berlangsung antara lain tentang pengaruh penggunaan telepon genggam pada tumor otak, yang dilakukan selama empat tahun oleh Universitas Leeds, Nottingham, dan Universitas Manchester and Institute of Cancer Research, London. Tahun 2006, peneliti Inggris mengatakan, tidak ada kaitan antara penggunaan telepon genggam dan meningkatnya angka kejadian tumor otak glioma yang biasa terjadi di otak atau tulang belakang.

    Andreas Stang dari Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg di Jerman dan koleganya melakukan percobaan menguji hubungan antara penggunaan telepon genggam dan risiko uveal melanoma pada 459 pasien dan 1.194 pengontrol.

    Mereka dikelompokkan menurut jumlah penggunaan waktu menelepon, tidak pernah menggunakan, pengguna sporadis, dan pengguna reguler. Tidak ada data signifikan antara penggunaan telepon sampai 10 tahun. ”Kami mengamati tidak ada peningkatan angka kejadian uveal melanoma di antara pengguna telepon genggam atau peralatan radio di Jerman, di mana teknologi telepon digital dikenalkan awal 1990-an,” katanya.

    Peneliti lain menemukan ada banyak anak muda yang mengeluhkan sakit di ibu jari, leher, dan tangan saat mengetik pesan layanan pesan singkat (SMS). Studi itu dilakukan Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Swedia. Untuk mengatasi, perlu dilihat penyebabnya seberapa sering pengguna memakai keypad telepon yang kecil. Juga perlu diperhatikan postur tubuh dan jangan mengetik dengan satu ibu jari.

    Bagi mereka yang gemar ber-SMS dalam waktu lama, disarankan jangan duduk dengan posisi sama dalam waktu lama. Perlu juga meregangkan jemari dan menggunakan dua ibu jari.

    Memang belum ditemukan bukti kuat pengaruh kesehatan pada pengguna telepon genggam anak-anak dan orang dewasa. Para ahli menyarankan penggunaan telepon genggam untuk anak-anak mesti dibatasi. Anak-anak dalam pandangan sejumlah peneliti mudah diserang radiasi microwave karena saraf-saraf mereka masih berkembang, sementara tengkorak mereka masih tipis dibandingkan dengan orang dewasa.

    Radiasi yang ditransmisikan telepon genggam bukan radiasi sinar-X, tetapi radiasi microwave. Sebagian ilmuwan khawatir akibat radiasi itu bisa menghancurkan sel-sel otak karena telepon dipakai dekat ke kepala.

    Dari studi oleh Pusat Studi Pendidikan Universitas Sheffield Hallam, Inggris, ditemukan 90 persen anak di bawah usia 16 tahun memiliki telepon genggam pribadi dan satu dari 10 menghabiskan waktu lebih dari 45 menit memakainya. Penggunaan SMS di kalangan anak-anak juga tinggi.

    Dalam situasi tak pasti disarankan setiap orang berupaya meminimalkan terpaan radiasi dari telepon genggam.

    Penggunaan telepon genggam sebisa mungkin jangan sampai membuat ketergantungan yang berlebihan karena bisa memicu stres yang suatu saat juga bisa juga memicu kanker. Disarankan penggunaan hands free saat bercakap-cakap guna meminimalkan radiasi ke otak.

    Sumber: Ester Lince Napitupulu


              Chicken Money Saving Tip        
    When chicken breast is on sale I buy a lot of it.  I will cube it and spread it out on a greased cookie sheet and then freeze it over night.  Then I put it in a gallon freezer bag.  This way I can just pour what I need into my pan, crock pot, casserole dish or whatever I need cubed raw chicken for, which seems to be a lot of things.  It's a nice time saver and it saves money when you buy it on sale.

    Please note in the picture below there isn't much chicken on the pan, I normally put more on.  However in the case below I had bought a big pack and cooked some of it that night for dinner so what was left I cubed and threw it on a greased cookie sheet to freeze.

    I love not having to wait to thaw my frozen chicken breast, then cutting it up to use it.  This works so well straight from the freezer, with it being already cut up it cooks quick and by freezing it on a pan it doesn't all clump together when you put it in the freezer bag, making it nice to get just the portion you want.

    I will also boil some chicken, shred it and then spread that out on a pan, freeze it and then place it in a gallon freezer bag.  For the shredded chicken I don't normally spray the pan.  But for the raw cubed chicken I've found that it needs to be sprayed.



    The pre-cooked shredded chicken I use for my salad and I have some recipes that call for pre-cooked chicken.  Or I can shorten some cooking time in some recipes by already having the chicken cooked. 

    It's real nice for my salads, I just put some in a small microwave safe bowl, put a lid on it and zap it in the microwave for about 40 seconds and throw it on my salad.


    And you can trim the fat off the chicken breast, leave it whole and place it on a greased cookie sheet and freeze it that way.  If chicken breasts aren't on sale I normally just buy the forzen chicken breasts from BJ's.  However unless I'm grilling it, I usually cut it up to cook it, so I don't just trim it and freeze it whole.

    I normally buy and freeze enough to have until the next time Chicken breasts is on sale again.  I don't get the paper with the sale ads, I just always walk past the chicken breasts and look to see if they are on sale when I go grocery shopping, which is at least once a week for milk and veggies.

              Chocolate cake         

    Ingredients :

    200 grs of good quality dark chocolate 
    200grs butter
    1 tbsp coffee granules
    85g self-raising flour
    85g plain flour
    1⁄4 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
    200g light muscovado sugar
    200g golden caster sugar
    25g cocoa powder
    3 medium eggs
    75 ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)
    grated chocolate or curls, for decoration

    For the ganache :

    200 grs good quality dark chocolate
    284 ml carton double cream
    2 tbsp golden caster sugar

    Preparation : 

    Butter a 20cm round cake tin and line the base. 

    Preheat the oven to fan 140C/conventional 160C/ gas 3. 

    Break 200g good quality dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based pan. 

    Cut 200g butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate, then mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into 125 ml cold water and pour into the pan. 

    Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted,don't overheat. 

    Or melt in the microwave on medium for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through.

    While the chocolate is melting, mix 85g self-raising flour, 85g plain flour, ¼ bicarbonate of soda, 200g light muscovado sugar, 200g golden caster sugar and 25g cocoa powder in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. 

    Beat 3 medium eggs in a bowl and stir in 75ml (5 tbsp) buttermilk.

    Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency. 

    Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25- 1 hour 30 minutes,if you push a skewer in the centre it should come out clean and the top should feel firm (don't worry if it cracks a bit). 

    Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    After the cake is cold, cut it horizontally into three. 

    Ganache preparation : chop 200 grs of good quality dark chocolate into small pieces and tip into a bowl. 

    Pour a 284 ml carton of double cream into a pan, add 2 tbsp golden caster sugar, and heat until it is about to boil. 

    Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. 

    Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.

    Sandwich the layers together with just a little of the ganache. 

    Pour the rest over the cake letting it fall down the sides and smoothing to cover with a palette knife. 

    Decorate with grated chocolate or a pile of chocolate curls. 

    The cake keeps moist and gooey for 3 or 4 days.

              Crepes with chocolate candy        

    Ingredients :

    3  eggs
    1 cup flour
    2 table spoons cocoa
    2 table spoons sugar
    1-1/4 cups buttermilk
    3 table spoons butter , melted
    No sugar added cherry pie filling
    Frozen fat free whipped topping ,

    Preparation :

    Beat the eggs in a medium bowl.

    Stir together the flour, the cocoa and sugar; add to the eggs alternately with buttermilk, beating until smooth.

    Beat in 3 table spoons melted butter; refrigerate batter 1 hour.

    Heat small skillet or crepe pan  over medium heat; brush lightly with melted butter.

    Pour about 2 table spoons batter in pan; immediately rotate pan to evenly cover bottom.

    Cook until crepe surface begins to dry; about one minute, turn and cook other side.

    Invert pan over paper towels; remove crepe from pan.

    Repeat with remaining batter, greasing skillet occasionally, if necessary.

    3 stack crepes, placing wax paper between each crepe.

    Refrigerate or freeze for later use, if desired.

    Just before serving, place 2 table spoons pie filling in center of each crepe; fold edges over filling.

    Place in shallow oven proof dish; heat in 225 F. , theoven 15 minutes.

    Drizzle with chocolate sauce; top with whipped topping.

    Place the filled crepes in the microwave-safe dish.

    Microwave at  (100%) high1 to 1-1/2 minutes or just until crepes are warm.

    Chocolate sauce :

    Unwrap and chop 12 sugar free chocolate candies; place in medium microwave-safe bowl.

    Stir in 3/4 cup whipping cream.

    Microwave  (100%) 1 minute high; stir.

    Microwave an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolates are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Stir in 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

    Cool slightly.

    About 1 cup sauce.

    1/3 cup light cream may be used for whipping cream.

    Yield will be about 2/3 cup sauce.
              Tiramisu cake with chocolate        

    Ingredients : 

    For the cake preparation : 

    50grs of butter , plus extra for the tins
    4 large eggs
    140grs of caster sugar
    1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
    100grs of plain flour
    25grs of cocoa
    ½ tablespoons of baking powder

    For the filling :

    1 tablespoon of demerara sugar
    75ml hot espresso or strong rich coffee
    4 large egg yolks
    75g caster sugar
    125ml Marsala
    200g white chocolate , half chopped, half grated
    500grs tub of mascarpone
    200grs of dark chocolate , grated
    1 tablespoon of cocoa

    Directions : 

    For the cakes, heat oven to 180C/ 160C fan/gas. 

    Butter and line 2 x 20cm sandwich tins. Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly. 

    Put the eggs, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and whisk for about 8 mins or until the mixture is pale, thick and has trebled in volume.

    Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and a pinch of salt over the egg mixture, then gently fold together. 

    Pour the cooled butter around the edge of the bowl and fold in until fully incorporated. 

    Divide the batter between the prepared tins and bake for 10-12 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. 

    Allow to cool in the tins for a few mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Meanwhile, make the filling. 

    Dissolve the sugar in the coffee and set aside. 

    Put the egg yolks, sugar and Marsala into a heatproof bowl, then set over a large pan of simmering water. 

    Whisk for 5 mins until the mixture is thick and has trebled in volume,make sure the mixture is really thick. 

    Remove from the heat and take the bowl off the pan. Keep whisking until the mixture is cool.

    Melt the chopped white chocolate in the microwave on Low and allow to cool slightly. 

    Meanwhile, beat the mascarpone until smooth, then fold into the egg mixture with the cooled white chocolate.

    Slice the cakes in half horizontally. 

    Place one layer in the bottom of a 20cm springform tin. 

    Brush with the coffee syrup and spread with 3 tbsp of the mascarpone mixture. 

    Scatter with one table spoon of grated dark chocolate, then repeat until you end with the fourth layer of cake. 

    Cover with cling film and chill for at least 2 hrs along with the remaining mascarpone mixture.

    Remove the tin and put the cake on a serving plate, then cover with the remaining mascarpone mixture. 

    Mix the remaining dark chocolate with the grated white chocolate and press carefully onto the sides of the cake. 

    Dust the top with cocoa.

              Chocolate Pudding        

    Ingredients :

    2/3 cup sugar 
    1/4 cup Cocoa 
    3 tablespoons cornstarch 
    1/4 teaspoon salt 
    2-1/4 cups milk 
    2 tablespoons butter or margarine 
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract   
    Whipped topping 

    Directions :

    Stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in medium saucepan; gradually stir in milk. 

    Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils; boil and stir 1 minute. 

    Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. 

    Pour into individual dessert dishes. 

    To avoid a skin from forming on top, press plastic wrap directly onto surface; serve warm or refrigerate at least 2 hours. 

    Garnish with whipped topping, if desired. 4 to 5 servings.

    Microwave directions :

    Stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in large microwave-safe bowl; gradually stir in milk.

    Microwave at high (100%) 10 minutes or until mixture comes to full boil, stirring every
    2 minutes. 

    Stir in butter and vanilla. 

    Pour into dishes and serve as directed above.

              Chocolate coconut delight        

    Ingredients :

    1 package of cream cheese, softened
    1 package of oreo's
    1 package of flaked coconut
    2 cups of sliced almonds
    2 tea spoons of vanilla extract
    3 and a half cups of semi sweet chocolate chips
    2 table spoons plus 1-1/2 tea spoons of shortening

    Directions :

    In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.

    Beat in cookie crumbs.

    Add the coconut, almonds and vanilla; mix well.

    Shape into 1-in. balls.

    Place on baking sheets; cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

    In a microwave bowl, combine chocolate chips and shortening.

    Microwave on high until melted, stirring every 15 seconds; stir until smooth.

    Dip balls into melted chocolate; shake off excess.

    Place on waxed paper until set.

    Store  in the refrigerator for a few hours.
              Saffron Road New Vegan Frozen Entrees        
    Saffron Road contacted me about their new line of Vegan frozen entrees and offered to send me a few to sample. Uh, heck yeah, send them all! They sent Bibimbop with Tofu & Brown Rice, Thai Basil Chili Tofu with Basmati Rice and Manchurian Dumplings with Basmati Rice. Let's microwave these bad boys and chow.



    Bibimbop with Tofu was easily my favorite of the three. The tofu is some of the best I've had in a frozen dinner. The sweet and sour flavor is perfect, not too far one way or the other. I would have liked to have more food in the bowl, but that's a good thing. I'll buy two. If you've never had bibimbob and can't get to a Korean restaurant, this would be a good introduction.



    The Thai Basil Chili Tofu was a nice stir-fry meal. Nothing too amazing but it's a solid meal. Love the little baby corns. One thing I'd like to point out is how spicy it is. Or I should really say I'm not a spice fan. If you like a little kick with you food, then this meal is PERFECT.



    Manchurian Dumplings was probably my least favorite of the meals. I wasn't really feeling the consistency and taste of the dumplings. A little too mushy and the flavor (ginger?) just wasn't my cup of tea. Hope you have better luck than me.

    All in all I'm happy to see these new frozen dinners on the market. The Tofu Bibimbop is a must, the other two are so-so depending on your personal preference. Hope to see them in the store soon!



              Gardein Golden Fishless Filet        
    The first time I had a Gardein Golden Fishless Filet was at Expo West in Anaheim over the Spring. It was my favorite product of the show, and I've been eagerly waiting its arrival in Omaha. Well it's finally here! I found it at my local Natural Grocers of all places. I was delightfully surprised and super excited to relive the delicious experience. So the question is, were they as good as the ones I had at Expo West? The answer is YES, YES, YES!

    To me, the filets taste like Long John Silver's fish filets. Tons of batter, a little greasy and very filling. I've had food like this in a Vegan restaurant, but never from the frozen food aisle at the grocery store. It's really game-changing (to me anyway) that you can have a frozen Vegan fish filet that is decadent and better that the real thing. I have a feeling that meat eaters (or fish eaters, whatever) will really take to what Gardein has done here. The filets are not revamped Crispy Tenders, they really look and taste like battered fish!

    The batter is divine, nice and crispy. The toaster oven or regular oven is recommended for cooking and I totally agree. Don't even mess with the microwave on this one. The inside is juicy and tangy, it will really take you back. How they got the texture and flavors down, I have no idea, but I'm happy they did!

    As you can see, I made up my little version of Vegan Long John Silver's. It's got balsamic vinegar, ketchup, fries and the filets. I died! It was soooo good. Now let's be honest, this isn't low fat food. It's greasy, but that's what makes it so wonderful. Sometimes I wanna' splurge and this is the perfect food to do so.

    Gardein has become the king of Veganizing food experiences from my non-Vegan past. Chicken Fingers? Check. Beef Cutlet? Check. Chicken Patties? Check. So far, this is my favorite new product of the year and I don't know what could possible top it, but I'd sure love to see someone try.
       


              Tofurky Pepperoni Pizza Pockets        
    If you were alive in the 90's, you know what a Hot Pocket is..... a microwavable bun stuffed with assorted fillings. I was more of a Totino's pizza guy myself, but I've had my fair share of Hot Pockets. They were super convenient and perfect to eat on the go. Last year, Tofurky introduced three different kinds of Vegan Pockets: Turk'y Broccoli Cheddar, BBQ Chick'n and Pepperoni Pizza. Tofurky was gracious enough to send me all three Pockets to try. My favorite, of course, was the Pepperoni Pizza and that is the one I'm reviewing today.

    OMG! These are seriously addicting. With two in a box, I dare you to just eat one. The Pepperoni Pocket filling is straight up old school. It actually reminded me of a pepperoni pizza from my childhood neighborhood arcade. Super flavorful with a sweet zing and perfectly melted cheese. The dough was a surprise, because it isn't the traditional white bread you would get in an a Hot Pocket. Thankfully, I thought the whole wheat pocket complemented the filling perfectly. One word of warning though, the pocket gets HOT! After you microwave it, let it cool for a couple minutes. Better yet, cut it open to let some of the heat out. I might have burned my mouth a couple time because of my lack of patience, wink wink.

    So if you love pizza, you're gonna go gaga over these. The only problem is that they are a little hard to find right now. Do yourself a favor and contact your grocery store and request them. You'll be so happy you did!



              Beyond Meat Feisty Beef-Free Crumble        
    Growing up in the McDevitt household, tacos were a weekly dinner item: simple to make and always amazing tasting. As I got older and started "cooking" on my own, tacos continued to be a mainstay. That is until I gave up on tacos and went 100% nachos, 'cause I'm lazy. When I stopped eating meat, I tried all of the popular meatless crumbles of the day. Everything from Morningstar to Boca. After a couple years, I decided the crumbles were not that great, and actually unnecessary when you have a quality refried bean. That is until now! The new Beyond Meat Feisty Beef-Free Crumbles are a revelation. I got to try them at Expo West and I recently gave them the true test, on my nachos.  

    Let me start off with the flavor. Holy smokes! Straight up Taco Bell meat. Spicy, but not burningly so. This stuff is gold! I'm serious when I say that if Taco Bell replaced their taco meat with Beyond Meat, very few people would notice. And honestly, most people would prefer Beyond Meat once they see the nutritional and ethical differences.

    Also the Beef-Free Crumbles are super easy to prepare. You can use the microwave or a skillet. I've been using a cast-iron skillet and the Crumbles warm up perfectly. The instructions say to warm them up, but if you like your beef crispy, you can cook them a little bit longer with some oil. I'm seriously on my fourth bag of crumbles since Expo West and I'm still hooked. If you're not convinced, please print this free coupon for a bag of Beef-Free Crumbles and try them for yourself. I think you'll love them as much as me.
              Amy's Vegan Veggie Loaf        
    Ok, let's go back to the year 2000. I was on the verge of going Vegetarian, I was trying new foods like meat-analogs and dairy-free milks and I was getting tempeh and hummus mixed up (I'm from Nebraska, cut me some slack.) Tofu seemed like this wonderful protein that I had no idea what to do with. Organic produce had more flavor and I consumed more veggies than I ever had before.

    But one thing I really appreciated was Amy's frozen dinners. They were on the natural side of things, with great ingredients, but the food didn't seem super alien to me. I could relate to a frozen dinner, it wasn't intimidating. Anyway, my first Amy's frozen dinner was the Veggie Loaf. I was blown away by the flavor and the texture and I knew I was on the right path. It was my favorite frozen dinner up until I went Vegan in 2003. You see, the Veggie Loaf had honey and all these years I've been upset that honey was the only thing keeping me from eating it. Like, change the one ingredient and so many more people can enjoy the dinner. Well, to my surprise, Amy's finally got rid of the honey and now I can once again enjoy some delicious Veggie Loaf!

    So after all these years, I finally have a Vegan Amy's Veggie Loaf in front my face. I'm trying to remember what the old Veggie Loaf was like. As I recall, the loaf itself was denser and the tray had separate compartments for the sides. I kinda remember a dessert of some type? Also, I'm pretty sure the original wasn't gluten-free. Anyway, this is a totally different meal and I'm ok with that.

    The new loaf is tasty, something that would be an excellent gateway food for a veg interested person. It's familiar enough while still having some of the characteristics of meat. The veggies, mashed potatoes and gravy were good as well. Everything cooked evenly in the microwave and was delicious. My only complaint would be that it seems like less food than it used to be. I know it's not the year 2000 anymore, so that's just wishful thinking. But you know me, I could easily eat two of these dinners.

    I'm happy Amy's finally made their Veggie Loaf Vegan, and it's definitely back on my list of favorites. Thinking about the old Veggie Loaf made me nostalgic and it really got me to think about my long and windy road to Veganism. I'm glad Amy's was there at that transitional time in my life and it's exciting to relive that again.  



              Veestro Vegan Frozen Dinners        
    Veestro is a company that delivers frozen Vegan meals to you home. I didn't realize there was such a service until Mark, the co-owner, contacted me about reviewing some of Veestro's products. Of course I said yes! About a week later I got this huge box full of goodies. There was quite a variety, with all kinds of Vegan goodness. Everything from soups, entrees, salads and even cookies. Best yet, every meal is Organic and GMO-free!     

    Savory Croquettes with Veggie Hash. Probably my favorite meal of the bunch! Yummy tofu croquettes, veggies and sauce.  

    Mediterranean Skillet. Loved the bacon tempeh on this one. And plenty of veggies to keep you feeling healthy.

    Red Curry with Tofu and Vegetables. I'm not a big fan of curry, but I was loving this tofu curry! I also dug the rounds of brown rice.

    Enchilada Casserole. Not the prettiest frozen dinner I've ever seen, but the great flavor makes up for it.

    Risotto with Butternut Squash and Kale. You don't typically see risotto in a frozen dinner. Not bad!

    Roasted Beet & Kale Salad. The yummy dressing came on the side, not pictured here. A well rounded salad.

    Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce. This was pretty gingery. All I had to do was microwave the noodles, sauce and throw it all together.

    Tortilla Soup. This soup came in a packet that you microwave, and poof, Spicy Tortilla Soup!

    Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. I was loving these cookies! And I didn't have to do anything, just had to thaw them out.

    Overall, I was very impressed with the quality and the flavors or Veestro's food. Looking at their prices, they do cost more than your typical frozen dinner. But with that said, the premium is more than worth it. The meals are chef-created using the highest quality Organic non-GMO ingredients. Give 'em a try and let me know what you think! You can buy any of these items individually, by pack or build your own pack. Bon appetit!


              The Laziest Vegans Top Ten Asks Ginny Messina        

    Ginny Messina is a registered dietitian and is the creator of the website, The Vegan R.D., where she talks about Veganism and how it relates to your health. She is also an author, co-authoring the books Vegan For Life, Vegan For Her and Never Too Late To Go Vegan. I've followed her on Twitter for a while and I like that's she very informative and knows her stuff but still knows how to party. Also, Ginny is a cat lover and volunteers at her local animal shelter and is involved in feral/spay/neutering programs.

    So I've always been curious about what kind of Vegan goodies Ginny likes. And now we finally get to know!    

    What is your favorite store-bought veggie burger?
    I just tried the Gardein sliders (chicken variety) and they are pretty great. But my favorite vegan meat is actually a sausage product—Field Roast Apple and Sage Sausage.

    What is you favorite frozen dinner?
    Tofurky Chik’n Pot Pies. Comfort food at its best!

    What is your favorite ice cream?
    I’ve been a Tofutti Cutie fan for a long time and I especially love the mint chocolate chip variety. I like that they are mini ice cream sandwiches, so I can have one for a treat without too much guilt. And they are really good!

    What is your favorite chip or cracker?
    Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips. Talk about hyper-palatability. I can’t have them around but buy them once or twice a year for parties.

    What is your favorite cereal?
    I’ve never been a fan of cold cereals, although I occasionally eat them as a snack—never for breakfast. I do eat rolled oats in soy yogurt every day, so guess that’s my current favorite.

    What is your favorite candy?
    Go Max Go brand Mahalo bars. A decadent, but compassionate alternative to Almond Joy.

    What is your favorite cookie?
    I love the accidently-vegan Maple Leaf Cookies from Trader Joe’s.

    What three pre-packaged food items would you take to a desert island?
    Tasty Bite brand Chunky Chickpeas (I buy them at Costco); Trader Joe’s Rice Medley, made with brown rice, red rice, and black barley, and cooks up in 3 minutes in the microwave; Peanut Butter and Company’s Dark Chocolate Dreams.

    Name a product you would like Veganized?
    It’s been wonderful to see the selection of vegan cheeses growing and improving, through both commercial products and great recipes. But we still don’t have a good vegan brie. I can’t say I actually ate brie that much in my pre-vegan days, so it’s not as though I especially miss it. But it would be great to serve one up for omnivores at a party.

    What are your favorite local and/or online stores for Vegan products?
    My local food co-op has a reasonable selection of vegan foods even though their philosophy tends toward the “happy meat” perspective. I also find good vegan choices at the local Safeway and at Costco and Trader Joe’s. For harder to find items, I am very grateful for online vegan stores like Pangea and Vegan Essentials.

    And that concludes The Laziest Vegans Top Ten. Thanks Ginny!


              Comment on Heat Pack or Cold Pack: Which works best in Trigger Point Therapy? by safeint        
    Just for info, I have been using those dry, material covered (like hot-water bottle in shape and sold as a dry hot water bottle) and are placed in a microwave for about 2 minutes and are just as warm and as good as the small little stuffed pads that were heated in a special heater that the Chinese therapists use after therapy. Easy to use and can be washed - Stephen
              Arugula Corn Salad with Bacon        
    This is a salad of bold flavors, but somehow they all manage to work together well. Sweet corn tossed with peppery arugula, bacon, onion, cumin, and wine vinegar to balance the sweet corn, and you have stimulated all the major tastes your tongue can perceive. If you have a grill, and the time, I highly recommend grilling the corn (in their husks) for this recipe; the smokey flavor just can't be beat.


    Arugula Corn Salad with Bacon Recipe
    INGREDIENTS
    4 large ears of corn
    2 cups of chopped arugula (about one bunch)
    4 strips of bacon, cooked, chopped
    1/3 cup chopped green onions
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
    1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    METHOD
    1 Cook the corn ears, in their husks, either on the grill for a smokey flavor, or by steaming in a large covered stock pot with an inch of boiling water at the bottom of the pot, for 12-15 minutes. Let the corn cool (can run under cold water to speed up the cooling), remove the husks and silk. I recommend cooking the corn in the husks for the added flavor that the husks impart. If you boil or steam the corn ears after you've already husked them, or if you cook them in the microwave, reduce the cooking time by a few minutes.

    2 To remove the kernels from the cobs, stand a corn cob vertically over a large, shallow bowl. Use a sharp knife to make long, downward strokes, removing the kernels from the cob, as you work your way around the cob. Note: it may help to work over a low table, to be in a better ergonomic position to cut the cobs this way.
    3 In a medium sized bowl, mix together the corn, chopped arugula, bacon, and onions. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and cumin. Mix dressing into salad just before serving. Taste and add more vinegar if necessary to balance the sweetness of the corn.
    Yield: Serves 4.
              The Class of '61        

    On a recent weekend, the Ursuline High School Class of 1961 gathered at a reunion to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of our graduation. During four events – a social Friday night, a tour of the school Saturday afternoon, a banquet Saturday night, and a brunch Sunday - we got reacquainted with one another, we reminisced, and, of course, we gauged the impact of the years on one another. If I had to pick one word to characterize the weekend, it would be change.

    The change in us was obvious. With few exceptions, our thin bodies were gone. In fact, one plump gentleman, whom I did not recognize across the room, waved a photo of a stick of a boy as he approached people. It was his picture from the year book. Further, dozens of heads sported white hair or none at all. A blind person could tell our ages by simply eavesdropping on our conversations. All of them led inexorably to two topics – our grandchildren and our health afflictions.

    Similarly, our school had changed a lot. The nuns and priests who taught us and ran the school were largely gone, replaced by laity. The classroom where many of us learned an invaluable skill – how to type – was now a computer lab. Further, the enrollment had gone down over the half century, from over 1,200 students in 1961 to just over 400 today, while the tuition had gone up, from $110 a year to $6,500 a year.

    During the weekend my classmates and I talked a lot about other changes, for good or ill, since we graduated. Here's a partial list of what arrived and what departed.

    1. The arrivals since 1961 include CD's, the Super Bowl, AIDS, satellite radio and TV, cruise control, bar codes, cell phones, caller-ID, computers, the internet, Google, Microsoft, kindles, iPods and iPads, YouTube, Facebook, HD TV, the GPS, Wal-Mart, the ubiquitous "Made in China" label, microwaves, MRI's, telemarketers, right-turn-on-red, the Youngstown freeway, malls, international terrorists, drug trafficking, reality TV, a decline in marriage, an explosion in cohabitation, GM Lordstown, the Exal Corporation, V&M Star, Turning Technologies, the Covelli Center, Botox, and Viagra.
    2. The departures since 1961 include Idora Park, the Toddle House, the Broadway Diner, the 20th Century Restaurant, the Mural Room, the Ringside, the Brass Rail, Strouss-Hirschberg's, McKelvey's, Livingston's, General Fireproofing, Youngstown Sheet & Tube, U.S. Steel, Republic Steel, the car dealerships called "The Wick Six," the Ohio and Tod Hotels, the Warner, Palace, State, Paramount, Strand, and Regent theaters and the Park burlesque, nearly all the drive-in theaters, a single digit divorce rate, a busy airport, and the car bombing known as the "Youngstown tune-up." (1)

    Finally, I want to mention the classmate who was the undisputed center of attention at the reunion. At 67 years of age, he is the father of six-year old triplets. He transports them and their young mother in a stretch limousine which he bought on e-bay. Although his new family has reenergized him, there is a downside. His retirement is on indefinite hold.


    1. The "Youngstown tune-up" refers to an explosion due to a bomb planted inside a car, usually under the hood. In the war between two factions of organized crime between 1955 and 1963, there were 75 Youngstown tune-ups. This prompted a cover story on Youngstown in The Saturday Evening Post in 1963 entitled Murdertown USA.

    © 2012 Tom Shipka


              Interview of Martin A. Pomerantz by Brian Shoemaker        
    Interview of Martin A. Pomerantz by Brian Shoemaker Pomerantz, Martin A., 1916- Dr. Martin Pomerantz, a physicist who specialized in cosmic ray research, had a long and distinguished career in polar studies. As a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania he took a challenging course in 1938 at the Bartol Research Foundation of the Franklin Institute, a course called Cosmic Rays and Nuclear Physics. At the time researchers were using balloons and ships to determine how the intensity of cosmic rays, which came into the Earth’s outer atmosphere from space, varied according to geomagnetic latitude and the location of the Earth. There were only two locations on Earth –the geomagnetic pole in Antarctica, and a second one in northern Canada – where cosmic rays were not impeded by the earth’s magnetic field. Pomerantz found the graduate course at Bartol fascinating, decided to pursue a Ph.D. in physics, and started a long career that took him both to Antarctica and the Arctic region. It was the International Geophysical Year (IGY), from July 1, 1957 to December 31, 1958, that inspired Pomerantz to concentrate on the polar regions. He and a Canadian colleague built a neutron monitor (something like a nuclear reactor in reverse) to detect sensitive cosmic rays. The Pomerantz monitor was placed on a Swedish ship that went from Gottinberg to Cape Town and back. The experiment was very successful, lasted for some years, and got definitive results on the question of the location of the geomagnetic equator, the point on Earth where cosmic ray intensity would be lowest. Conversely, the geomagnetic pole is the place where the geomagnetic intensity is highest. With a growing reputation, Pomerantz was invited by the Navy Hydrographic Office to put equipment in Project Magnet, an aircraft which produced definitive geomagnetic measurements in fairly close-spaced grids all over the Earth. These advances opened the door for him to participate in the IGY to undertake further cosmic ray research. Concurrently, Pomerantz also loaded an experiment in 1958 aboard Explorer VII, the first satellite to be launched under IGY auspices. James Van Allen, the noted physicist, also loaded some different experiments of his own on Explorer VII, which employed, in part, a Geiger counter. In 1959, encouraged by the progress made on various scientific fronts under the IGY, which ended December 31, 1958, the National Science Foundation established the Office of Polar Programs. In the spring of 1959, Pomerantz received a grant from the National Science Foundation to put a cosmic ray detector in the Antarctic. This was the beginning of his long association with Antarctica. Pomerantz started immediately on his new assignment. A Terry building, a modular unit built with copper shielding inside the whole building, was constructed at the Coast Guard Station at Baltimore, Maryland. Hugo Newberg, a friend from Bartol, joined the project, left immediately in mid-1959 for Antarctica, and oversaw installation of the building at McMurdo Sound in Antarctica. Data was transmitted by teletype using punched paper tape. Pomerantz did not join Newberg in Antarctica until November, 1960. As he arrived at McMurdo, a major solar flare was underway, and, for the first time, data on a solar cosmic ray event was observed at both ends of the earth. McMurdo was considered a 100% Navy base. Pomerantz and the other civilians were considered “visitors,” and stayed at a separate Jamesway hut. In addition to the two centers at Thule and McMurdo, two others were added later, at Swarthmore and the South Pole for a total in time of four neutron detector stations. Once this worldwide network was functioning exciting new discoveries were made. Studies were done on the way the solar wind interacted with cosmic rays, and how it changed with time. Eventually data was collected on three solar cycles. After two very successful years at McMurdo, the Navy decided to build a nuclear reactor there, and within 100 yards of the Cosmic Ray Station. Since such a plant would cause massive interference with the neutron detector, the Cosmic Ray Station was relocated to a completely new, larger, building three miles from the main base. The old building was moved to the South Pole in 1964, and so there were then two Cosmic Ray Detector Stations in Antarctica. That year – 1964 – was designated as the International Quiet Sun Year (IQSY). Pomerantz was the US Chairman of that event. This was envisioned as a successor to the IGY of 1957-58, but it had better funding and a much greater participation. Over 50 nations took part. The South Pole was seen as the best location worldwide for cosmic ray research, and Pomerantz relocated to the South Pole to set up the new station. Over time, Pomerantz spent 26 different summers in Antarctica. Pomerantz and others saw an opportunity to do significant astronomical research at the South Pole. Arnie Wyler, a solar astronomer from Sweden, and Brad Wood, an astronomer from the University of Pennsylvania, joined Pomerantz. The location was ideal for astronomy since there is a constant background – nothing but snow – and any object in the sky is always at the same altitude, and is always there, day after day. Because of the extremely dry atmosphere it seemed particularly well suited to do infrared astronomy. Unfortunately their seven or eight proposals were all turned down. Finally, in 1978, using some surplus equipment from a Swedish observatory, Pomerantz and friends built a solar telescope that was specifically designed for use at the South Pole. Officially it was presented as a part of the cosmic ray program. For the first time anywhere a continuous solar flare patrol was achieved. New pictures were taken every ten minutes for over a week. There was no other place on Earth where this could be done. The results were so impressive that Eric Fossat, a French astronomer, an expert on helio-seismology, secured additional funding so that the new field of solar seismology could also be studied at the Pole. The National Science Foundation (NSF) approved a proposal and this resulted, among other findings, in the best observations ever made of solar oscillations of the sun’s vibrations. It’s the only technique that exists for studying the sun’s interior. One of the telescope pictures appeared on the cover of Nature in January, 1979. That same year a new building was constructed for this project. The outstanding results led to additional funding and support from the National Solar Observatory. Studies of solar oscillations and helio-seismology continued at the South Pole until 1974. In that year the program was shut down since everything had been accomplished that could be done at the time with available technology. In 1975 a new base, “New Pole,” was constructed, and the first one, “Old Pole,” was shut down. Initially no provision was made for cosmic ray facilities at “New Pole, but eventually Pomerantz also secured space there. So there continued to be two cosmic ray stations in Antarctica, one at McMurdo and one at New Pole. This second base at the South Pole became known as Skylab. Through the years equipment was expanded and modernized at both stations. Research on astronomy at the South Pole turned out to be “a spectacular success.” The program was expanded to include infrared or millimeter or sub-millimeter astronomy. In 1984 there was a joint research program with a French team, but the difficulty of getting adequate supplies of liquid helium (needed to cool the detectors) limited its success. Even so enough was accomplished to prove that Skylab was an excellent place to do microwave astronomy. By the time of Pomerantz’s last visit to the South Pole, 38 astronomers were working there, of which 4 or 5 would overwinter. It was decided to build a new observatory. The new AMANDA observatory built at the Pole was named the Martin A. Pomerantz Observatory. Leading Themes Distinguished career of Pomerantz for many years at South Pole & elsewhere Director of Bartol at the Franklin Institute Major innovations in the field of cosmic ray research Emergence of the South Pole as a major center for astronomy Founding of the Martin A. Pomerantz Observatory Research at the South Pole in helio-seismology International Geophysical Year Baird, George, physicist, pp. 42, 45 Bentley, Charlie, geophysicist, pp. 70-71 Fossat, Eric, French astronomer, pp. 51-52 Friedman, Herbert, nuclear physicist, p. 14 Holsrichter, Harry, Navy physician, p. 37 Jackson, Bernie, astronomer, p. 52 Jezek, Ken, Director of the Byrd Polar Institute, pp. 69-70 Jones, Tom, Haverford College, first Director, Office of Polar Programs, p. 21 Merrifield, Bill, theorist in helio-seismology, pp. 70-71 Newberg, Hugo, cosmic ray physicist, p. 24 Ramsey, Norman, nuclear physicist at Harvard, pp. 11-12 Simpson, John, nuclear physicist, University of Chicago, pp. 8, 14, 18 Stark, Tony, astronomer, p. 62 Van Allen, James, nuclear physicist, pp. 9, 13-14, 18 Wilson, Bob, Noble Prize astronomer (microwave background radiation), pp. 61-2 Wood, Brad, astronomer, p. 46 Wyller, Arnie, Swedish astronomer, p. 46
              Smore's on a stick        
    It's no shocker that my family loves Smore's. We make them in the winter in our microwave. We have a Smore microwave maker that looks something like this....

    It actually works quite well.

    Here are the pictures to prove how yummy they were....



    In the spring, summer and early fall we love to roast them outside around the fire pit. This picture is my all time favorite......

    Today on Skip to My Lou she featured Smore's on a stick......and i fell in love with the idea! This project looks so fun and it is in the plans for our family this weekend. All you need is some sucker sticks, marshmallows, graham crackers and some melting chocolate and your good to go. Click HERE for complete instructions and a few more pictures.


              State of the Union (Enterprise): Fun Easter contest        
    By: 
    Daniel Pepper, Staff Writer

    With Easter approaching, we came up with a way to share with our readers something inspired partly by how my dad (or mom, neither would confirm or deny) thought the toilet boat was funny.

    It goes back to when I was a kid and the dyeing, hiding and finding of Easter eggs was big fun for everyone.

    My folks would spread out through the house while we were asleep and hide eggs here, there and everywhere. And they delighted in finding an ingenious spot to baffle the children by hiding them.

    I remember getting in trouble for standing on the table to check an overhead light and feeling like my defense of “You guys would totally put an egg in there!” was unfairly ruled as not justifying putting my feet where we ate dinner.

    Inside the cover of the record player, behind the windup clock, under the couch; you had to check all sorts of places. In the microwave? No. Under the sink? No. But in the dishwater? Better check.

    I’m gonna say the craziest was probably when I went into the bathroom to check the medicine cabinet and saw my toy cabin cruiser had put to sea in the toilet bowl and had two Easter eggs aboard.

    So I want to share that joy and ask all readers of our papers that partake of the hiding Easter eggs tradition to join us and share your best egg-hiding spots.

    Find the Union Enterprise on Facebook (www.facebook.com/plainwellotsegoue) where we’ll put up a post for the contest. Post a picture of your best hiding spot—or the silliest, or the funniest, or the most memorable—in the comments. then get your friends to like your picture (or whichever one they like most).

    We’ll tote up the likes on Monday at 5 p.m. and put the winner in the paper. They'lla also get a free year’s subscription to the paper, your choice of e-edition via email or a paper paper via the U.S. Postal Service.

    This is an excerpt of Mr. Pepper's column in the April 13 issue of The Union Enterprise. Read it in full on newstands throughout the Otsego and Plainwell area on online through our e-edition.


              Spinach Sourdough Flat Loaves with Amaranth Flour        

    I submit the Spinach Loaves to Yeastspotting.


    445 g cut spinach leaves, frozen
    6 spring onions, chopped
    1 teaspoon sweet paprika powder
    15 g salt
    505 g whole wheat flour
    Defrost the spinach in a microwave, add onions, salt and sweet paprika powder. Combine all in a food processor. In a large mixing bowl knead a  dough from the spinach and whole wheat flour.

    Cover and let sit at room temperature for 8 hours.
    Then add:
    500 g  mature whole wheat sourdough starter
    230 g rye  mature sourdough starter
    192 g whole amaranth flour
    Knead the dough, cover and let ferment for 5-6 hours.
    Turn on the oven and shape two large flat loaves.

    Bake for 15 minutes at 500F at a baking stone, turn the loaves on the other side and bake for another 5-10 minutes.



              Godrej Home Appliances, Kitchen Appliances Online Store - Rs. 39,510        
    Buy home appliances online and kitchen appliances online, Godrej refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners,microwave ovens, the official online store of...
              Scrapbook 2013        
    Photobucket

    Think about the year that has passed. All the memories, the entries and posts that made the year special. Think about all your past layouts, default icons, mood themes. How about all those conversations you had via comments, or the huge post in ONTD that you spent all night commenting on. The 2013 Scrapbook Post is a way to help you remember all of that, in a single post.




    ❤ Headers

    • From ColourLovers: here




    ❤ Blog Titles

    • We end up dreaming instead of sleeping (LJ)
    • Oh, who am I to beg for difference? (Tumblr)
    • Darkness is a harsh term, don't you think? (LJ)




    ❤ Layouts

    Blue Swirls by daemon
    Iso by fruitstyle




    ❤ Mood Themes

    • Donna Noble animated mood by wickedgrdn




    ❤ Default Icons

    Photobucket by dark_jackal32





    ❤ Desktops

    Photobucket not mine
     photo 426782_10150571679892001_92809692000_9533598_1295167402_n_zps7c7a7548.jpgnot mine
     photo tyler_hoechlin_wallpaper_01_by_iheartbellamy-d5mmcr9_zps3406b75b.jpg not mine
     photo io_zps08dc3c59.jpg by me




    ❤ University

    Techniques of Computational Physics: 30
    Nuclear and Subnuclear Physics: 26
    Lab of Astrophysics: 30
    Physics of the Magnetosphere II: 30+
    Space Physics Lab: 30+





    ❤ Events

    • Lunch @ Aunt Ginevra's with the whole family (1/01/2013)
    • Candy Shopping with Mama (4/01/2013)
    • Watching Merlin finale T___T (7/01/2013)
    Soundcloud account (11/01/2013)
    • Starting MyFitnessPal (17/01/2013)
    • 13,70€ for six makeup items (instahaul) (/01/2013)
    • Sick with fever & nausea (29/01/2013)
    • IBS package ordered 02/02/2013 (18/02/2013)
    Winning a giveaway for the first time! (22/02/2013)
    • Red Karaoke album dowloaded (24/02/2013)
    • @ Rome with Marta - not the day I wanted and expected, could have been better (2/03/2013)
    • Dinner @ Marta&Paolo's with Fife&Giuanni (3/03/2013)
    • Chiara (&Eleonora&Paolo) gets her PhD in Physics. Congrats, girl! (20/03/2013)
    • Various people (Alessia, Simone, Pietro, Danila, Dante) get a degree(27/03/2013)
    • Ottavio's birthday dinner with Giuliani, Otto, Svale, Ruggi, Cecchini, Fede, Mariangela, Zufi, ? @ Oro Rosso (30/03/2013)
    • Dream about Taylor Swift (31/03/2013)
    • Easter lunch at Marta&Paolo's (31/03/2013)
    • Dinner with Jessica @ Porca Vacca (3/04/2013)
    • Singing constest @ Onna singin "Notturno" (7/04/2013)
    • Officially started my thesis (10/04/2013)
    • @ home with Marta&Paolo for roasted chicken and gelato (18/04/2013)
    • Giuliani's bday dinner (27/04/2013)
    • My sis trims my hair (12/05/2013)
    • Robs is back from Dublin (27/05/2013)
    • Last day of lectures ever!!! (12/06/2013)
    • My very first dessert: microwaved brownies - not a success (14/06/2013)
    • In Gagliano Aterno for the TOEFL study program (3/07-2/08 2013)
    • @Luigi's for dinner with the american pals (24/01/2013)
    • Birthday dinner with Otto, Vale, Zufi, Giuliani & (Jessica & Cch) (7/08/2013)
    • Visiting for the first time the new homeplace of my Uncle Felix (8/08/2013)
    • 30th birthday of my sis @ her place with the whole family (11/08/2013)
    • Maquillalia order (8-14/08/2013)
    • @Pescocostanzo with the whole family: take out lunch @ home (15/08/2013)
    • Second attempt of microwave brownies (25/08/2013)
    Winning a giveaway and Nicole's blog! (22/08/2013)
    • TOEFL @ Rome with Mom and sis 115/120: R29, L29, S27, W30 (7/09/2013)
    • Cooking & eating pizza at my sister's (8/09/2013)
    • Uncle Carlo's 50th birthday celebration @ Passaparola (10/09/2013)
    • GRE Physics @ John Cabot University in Rome (27-28/09/2013)
    • Flu's worst timing ever (15/10/2013)
    • GRE General test @ Rome (18/10/2013)
    • GRE Subject in Physics @ Rome (19/10/2013)
    • Receiving the BellezaKisses giveaway prize (28/10/2013)
    • Romina's graduation dinner @ Mordi&Fuggi (05/12/2013)
    • Moving furniture to the new old house (05-06/12/2013)
    • Christmas Eve dinner @ home with Marta & Paolo + watching the Vicotria's Sectret fashion show (24/12/2013)
    • Christmas lunch with Sciarretta&Colangelo + playing&winning at Pictionary @ Marta's (25/15/2013)
    • New kitchen (30/12/2013)
    • NY's Eve @ Otto's (31/12/2013)






    ❤ Quotes

    • "They say that people teach what they need to learn." (The Happiness Project)
    • "All these thoughts flooded through my mind, and as I sat on that crowded bus, I grasped two things: I wasn’t as happy as I could be, and my life wasn’t going to change unless I made it change. In that single moment, with that realization, I decided to dedicate a year to trying to be happier." (The Happiness Project)
    • "If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough." (The Happiness Project)
    • "No! Try not! Do, or do not. There is no try!" (Yoda from "Star Wars")
    • Mary Margareth: "I'm the worst person in the world" Emma: "Really, the whole world?" (from Once Upon a Time)
    • "That's a relief." (Kili from The Hobbit)
    • "You're a musician, so it's important that you suffer." (Lanny from Rock of Ages)
    • "Pipe the fuck down!" (Jenna Marbles)
    • "I'd watch your back. Just to make sure there's no target drawn on it" (from Smash)
    • " “You are the piece of the puzzle of someone else’s life. You may never know where you fit, but others will fill the holes in their lives with pieces of you. So if you run out of reasons to live, remember that someone else’s life may never be complete without you in it." (Bonnie Arbon)
    • "I talk, therefore I am." (Michelle from Bunheads)
    • "This is what I believe to be true: You have to do everything you can and if you stay positive you have a shot at a silver lining." (Pat from Silver Linings Playbook)
    • "I didn’t believe in love at first sight till I met Ginnifer." (Josh Dallas)
    • "You guys need to stop being such asses and start being bad asses." (Jesse St. James from Glee)
    • "There comes a time when you have to see what life looks like from the dance floor" (Charlie in "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky)
    • "Either you say too much or you don't say enough and they're gone" (Peyton Sawyer from One Tree Hill)
    • "And all you want is to always feel happy for them because you know that if you do, then it means that you're happy too" (Charlie in "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky)
    • "There’s a special place in hell for women that don’t help other women." (Katie Couric)
    • "That's why they had plagues, you know. To kill dumb guys like Ben." (Milly Stone from Bunheads)
    • "Dreaming about being an actress is more exciting than being one." (Marilyn Monroe)
    • "Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know." (Pema Chodron)
    • "Life sucks when you are ordinary" (Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries)
    • "I don't trust fish! They breathe water, that's crazy!" (Nick Miller from New Girl)
    • "I do not respond to threats. I make them." (Jessica Pearson from Suits)
    • "It portrays death truthfully. You die in the middle of your life, in the middle of a sentence." (Hazel from "The Fault in Our Stars")
    • "If something was wrong, I'd find out soon enough. Nothing to be gained by worriyng between now and then." (Hazel from "The Fault in Our Stars")
    • "That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt." (Augustus from "The Fault in Our Stars")
    • "I was thinking about the word handle, and all the unholdable things that get handled" (Hazel from "The Fault in Our Stars")
    • "I take quite a lot of pride in not knowing what's cool." (Hazel from "The Fault in Our Stars")
    • "The existence of broccoli does not in any way affect the taste of chocolate." (Hazel from "The Fault in Our Stars")
    • "Please believe that things are good with me, and even when they're not, they will be soon enough." (Charlie from "The Perks of Being a Wallflower")
    • "And how different her facelooked the first time she really liked a boy who was not on a poster on her wall." (Charlie from "The Perks of Being a Wallflower")
    • "And all you want is to always feel happy for them because you know that if you do, then it means that you're happy,too." (Charlie from "The Perks of Being a Wallflower")
    • "I decided then that when I meet someone I though was as beautiful as the song, I should give it to that person." (Charlie from "The Perks of Being a Wallflower")
    • "I just thought to myself that in the palm of my hand, there was this one tape that had all of these memories and feelings and great joy and sadness." (Charlie from "The Perks of Being a Wallflower")
    • "You're a wallflower. You see things. You keep quite about them. And you understand." (Patrick from "The Perks of Being a Wallflower")
    • "Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve." (Bill from "The Perks of Being a Wallflower")
    • "Life is one fucking beauty contest after another." (from Little Miss Sunshine)
    • "Are you really that dumb, or just naturally blonde?" (Katherine Pierce from The Vampire Diaries)
    • "What a slut time it. She screws everybody." (Peter Van Houten from The Fault In Our Stars)
    • "I fell in love the way you fell asleep: slowly, and then all at once" (Hazel Grace from The Fault In Our Stars)
    • "To become a god, you must first become a man. When a man is a man, the man will become a god, and then the goddess will reveal herself." (Kvasir from The Almighty Johnsons)
    • "Man up to god up." (Colin/Loki from The Almighty Johnsons)
    • "All men must die. But we are not men." (Daenerys from Game fo Thrones)
    • "Everyday may not be good, bet there's something good in everyday day." (Ingrid - missglamorazzi)
    • "Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing." (Hunter S. Thompson)
    • "'Yes' can mean 'no'." (Dean in Gagliano Aterno)
    • "What difference could two people make? - You were one person, and you changed the world" (Dor & the Old Man from The Time Keeper)
    • "But a man who can take anything will find most things unsatisfying. And a man without memories is just a shell." (from The Time Keeper)
    • "He wonderer how it was fair that your dying should depend so much on when you were born." (from The Time Keeper)
    • "Sitting high above the city, Father Time realized that knowing something and understanding it were not the same thing." (from The Time Keeper)
    • "And when hope is gone, time is punishment" (from The Time Keeper)
    • "Ends are for yesterdays, not tomorrows" (from The Time Keeper)
    • "With endless time, nothing is special. With no loss or sacrifice, we can't appreciate what we have." (from The Time Keeper)
    • "There is a reason God limits our days - To make each one precious." (from The Time Keeper)
    • "The trick is to not see the bars, but rather what lies beyond them." (Cyrus from Once Upon a Time in Wonderland)




    ❤ Books read

    • "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin (02/01/2012- suspended)
    • "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky (20/02/2012 - 13/03/2013)
    • "The Fault In Our Stars" by John Green (19/03/2013 - 19/08/2013)
    • "The Time Keeper" by Mitch Albom (22/08/2013 - 11/09/2013)
    • "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flyn (16/09/2013 - )




    ❤ Songs loved

    • "Cry" - Cassadee Pope's cover (Faith Hill)
    • "Over You" - Cassadee Pope's cover (Miranda Lambert)
    • "Stupid Boy" - Cassadee Pope's cover (Keith Urban)
    • "Just a fool" - Christina Aguilera & Blake Shelton
    • "Good in Goodbye" - Carrie Underwood
    • "Blank Page" - Christina Aguilera
    • "La notte" - Arisa
    • "Everything has changed" - Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran
    • "Give me love" - Ed Sheeran
    • "Kiss Me" - Ed Sheeran
    • "Done." - The Band Perry
    • "Good Girl" - Carrie Underwood
    • "Poison & Wine" - The Civil Wars
    • "Shouldn't Come Back" - Demi Lovato
    • "In Case" - Demi Lovato
    • "Really don't care" - Demi Lovato (ft. Cher Lloyd)
    • "Wrecking Ball" - Miley Cyrus
    • "Love like mine" - Hayden Panettiere
    • "When the right one comes along" - Sam Palladio & Clare Bowen
    • "Faultline" - Katharine McPhee
    • "Almost is never enough" - Ariana Grande & Nathan Skykes
    • "Tatooed Heart" - Ariana Grande
    • "Counting Stars" - One Republic
    • "I see fire" - Ed Sheeran




    ❤ Movies seen

    Lo Hobbit 3D: Un Viaggio Inaspettato | 9/10 *
    Rock of Ages | 8/10 (ENG)
    The Words | 8/10 (ENG)
    Premium Rush | 7/10 (ENG)
    Nights in Rodanthe | 6/10 (ENG)
    Tanner Hall | 8/10 (ENG)
    Wild Child | 6/10 (ENG)
    Silver Linings Playbook | 7/10 (ENG)
    The Impossible | 8/10 (ENG)
    The Dark Knight Rises | 9/10 (ENG)
    10 Things I Hate About You | 10/10 (ENG)
    Argo | 9/10 (ENG)
    Notre-Dame de Paris Ballet by Roland Petit | 7.5/10 (First Act)
    Iron Man 2 | 4/10
    Zodiac | 10/10
    Anna Karenina | 7/10 (ENG)
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower | 8/10 (ENG)
    The Avengers | 6/10 (ENG)
    Pitch Perfect | 7/10 (ENG)
    The Oranges | 7/10 (ENG)
    Oz: the Great and Powerful | 7/10 (ENG)
    Back to the Future | 10/10 (ENG)
    La finestra di fronte | 7.5/10
    Remember Sunday | 8/10 (ENG)
    The Big Wedding | 8/10 (ENG)
    Safe Haven | 7/10 (ENG)
    Les Miserables | 6/10 (ENG)
    Star Trek | 8/10 (ENG)
    The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey | 9/10 (ENG)
    Now is good | 7/10 (ENG)
    The Heat | 10/10 (ENG)
    The Bling Ring | 7/10 (ENG)
    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D | 8/10 *
    Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters | 7/10 (ENG)
    21 Jump Street | 6/10 (ENG)


    *at the cinema




    ❤ TV Shows

    The Big Bang Theory (Season 6)
    Glee (Season 4 | Season 5)
    Friends (Season 7)
    Supernatural (Season 8 | Season 9)
    The Vampire Diaries (Season 4 | Season 5)
    C.S.I.: NY (Season 8 | Season 9)
    White Collar (Season 4 | Season 5)
    Gilmore Girls (Season 5 | Season 6)
    New Girl (Season 2 | Season 3)
    Revenge (Season 2 | Season 3)
    Once Upon a Time (Season 2 | Season 3)
    Merlin (Season 5)
    Grey's Anatomy (Season 8 | Season 9)
    C.S.I.: Miami (Season 10)
    Smash (Season 2)
    Bunheads (Season 1)
    Suits (Season 2 | Season 3)
    The Almighty Johnsons (Season 1 | Season 2)
    Un Medico in Famiglia (Serie 8)
    The Voice (Season 4 | Season 5)
    Doctor Who (Season 7)
    Game of Thrones (Season 3)
    Nashville (Season 1 | Season 2)
    Teen Wolf (Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3)
    The Originals (Season 1)
    Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (Season 1)
    The Voice (Season 4 | Season 5)
    The X Factor USA (Season 3)
    People's Choice Awards (2013)
    Amici (11th edition)
    Golden Globe Awards Arrivals and Main Show (2013)
    Sanremo (2013)
    Grammy Awards (2013)
    Oscars - Academy Awards (Red Carpet & Main Show) (2013)
    The Voice of Italy (Season 1)
    American Country Music Awards (ACMs) (2013)
    Billboard Music Awards (2013)
    MTV Movie Awards (2013) Pre-Show & Main Event
    CMT Music Awards (2013)
    MTV Video Music Awards (2013)
    Emmy Awards (2013)
    The X Factor ITA (2013)
    American Music Awards (2013)




    ❤ Best Episodes

    New Girl 2x14 "Pepperwood"
    Gilmore Girls 5x10 "But not as cute as Pushkin"
    Bunheads 1x14 "The Astronaut and the Ballerina"
    The Big Bang Theory 6x14 "The Cooper/Kripke Inversion"
    Suits 2x14 He's Back""
    Bunheads 1x16 "There's nothing worse than a pantsuit"
    New Girl 2x17 "Parking Spot"
    The Big Bang Theory 6x21 "The Closure Alternative"
    New Girl 2x23 "Virgins"
    Smash 2x12 "Opening Night"
    Smash 2x16 "The Nominations"
    Smash 2x17 "The Tonys"
    Supernatural 8x08 "Hunteri Heroici"
    Supernatural 8x11 "LARP and the Real Girl"
    Supernatural 8x20 "PacMan Fever"
    Nashville 1x14 "Dear Brother"
    The Big Bang Theory 7x03 "The Scavenger Vortex"
    The Big Bang Theory 7x06 "The Romance Resonance"
    Glee 5x05 "The end of twerk"




    ❤ Ships

    Gilmore Girls | Lorelai/Luke
    YouTube | Carrie/Alex Day
    The Hobbit | Kili/Fili/Thorin *iz ashamed*
    RL | Aidan Turner/Dean O'Gorman
    The Voice | Blake/Adam
    Game of Thrones | Dany/Jorah Mormont
    Smash | Karen/Derek
    Game of Thrones | Brienne of Tarth/Jamie Lannister
    The Vampire Diaries | Caroline/Klaus
    Nashville | Scarlett/Gunnar
    Grey's Anatomy | April Kepner/Jackson Avery
    Once Upon a Time | Emma/Hook




    ❤ Random Crushes

    • Sir Leon the Great | Merlin
    Danisnotonfire | YouTube
    • Aidan Turner
    • Dean O'Gorman
    • Honey, honey with everything
    • Twinings Blackcurrant tea
    • Louis Litt | Suits
    • Emily Thorne | Revenge
    • Margaery Tyrell | Game of Thrones
    • Chocolate Milkshakes
    • Jaime Lannister | Game of Thrones
    • James Franco
    • Scarlett O'Connor | Nashville
    • Zoella | YouTube
    • Essiebutton | YouTube
    • Derek Hale | Teen Wolf
    • Tyler Hoechlin
    • Styles Stilinski | Teen Wolf




    ❤ Fashion loved

    Jackets
    Tops
    Bottoms
    Accessories
    Dresses
    Shoes
    Bags
    Beauty





    ❤ Shopping

    Kate Moss for Rimmel Lipstick in #010
    Supercolour Mascara by Kiko (Sabbia #10)
    Supercolor Mascara by Kiko (Fucsia #09)
    Lipstick Rouge A' Levres by Kiko (#11)
    Nail Polish Sense Tech 100% Mat by Deborah (#10)
    Magnetic Nail Polish Shine Tech by Deborah (#65)
    Bottega Verde eyeshadow (Beige)
    NYC Lipstain 16H (#498 Berry Long Time)
    Polka dots blue shirt by Terranova
    Blouse by H&M
    Maybelline Super Stay Lipstick 14h (#180 Ultimate Blush)
    Rimmel Apocalips Lip Laquer (#303 Apocaliptic)
    "The Time Keeper" by Mitch Albom
    "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky
    "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn
    "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin
    "Looking for Alaska" by John Green
    "Before I Fall" by Lauren Olivier
    "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green
    Essie nail polish in Mint Candy Apple
    Benefit TropiCoral kit
    Ownl necklace by Tally Weijl
    MAC Face & Body foundation in White
    Acqua di Sole by Lush
    Nonsimangia! by Lush
    Brufolo Bill by Lush
    Radici sample by Lush
    Conosci la Terra sample by Lush
    Chartreuse Pigment sample by MAC
    Jar 10ml by Kiko
    Mirror Lacquer (Nail polish) in #624 Azzurro by Kiko
    Mirror Lacquer (Nail polish) in #627 Verde Lime by Kiko
    Natural Concealer in #01 by Kiko
    Natural Concealer in #04 by Kiko
    Nail Polish Corrector Pen by Kiko
    Nail Polish Remover Fast&Easy by Kiko
    White purse by Marina Galanti
    Essence MySkin Deeply Moisturizing Paper Mask
    Essence Peel-off base coat
    Essence MySkin Tinted Moisturizer in Light
    Essence PureSkin Anti-spot 4in1 Cream Wash
    Beige Loafers
    Kiko nail polish #355
    Perfume L'Eau D'Issey Florale by Issey Miyake
    Essie Nail Polish in Laquered Up (#62)
    Essie Nail Polish in Lilacism (#37)
    Essie Nail Polish Top Coat
    Lace Oxfords by H&M
    • "Il grand Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Newton Compton Editori)
    • "Racconti del Terrore" by E.A. Poe (Newton Compton Editori)
    Gel tint by Essence (#01 Hot Red)
    Stay Matt Lip Cream by Essence (#01 Velvet Rose)
    Mid-lenghts blue navy pants by OVS
    Top with lace details by Terranova
    Light blue sweater by Terranova
    Coconut Oil by Khadì
    Makeup sponge by H&M
    Mint sheer shirt by H&M
    Black dress by H&M
    Peach dress by H&M
    Light blue cardigan by H&M
    White cardigan by H&M
    Running shoes by Decathlon
    • Magnetic Board with markers
    • NYC nail polish in Pinstripe White #134
    Blending brush #200 by Kiko
    Body Splash - Sunny Island by Kiko
    Glow Touch (lips&cheeks) #01 Biller Margarita by Kiko
    Dark jeans by H&M
    White dress with lace details by H&M
    Black shorts by H&M
    Expert Face Brush by Real Techniques
    Undress Me Too palette by MUA
    Montagne Jeunesse various masks
    Sleek blush trio in Flame
    Sleek blush trio in Lace
    Lipstick by MUA in shade 16 Nectar
    Lipstick by MUA in shade 15 Juicy
    Essence nail polish from the limited edition Snow Jam in #04 Top of the Ice Stream
    Soft Matte Lip Cream in Istanbul by NYX
    Babyliss rotating brush
    Mary Lou Manizer (highlighter) by The Balm
    Batiste Dry Shampoo XXL volumen
    Powder blush in Angel by NYX
    Sleek lipstick in Smother
    Nail Polish from the collection "On Safari" by Cgina Glaze in Purr-fect Plum
    • Roots by Lush
    Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me
    Omia body cream with Jojoba Oil
    Black Ballerina flats by Bata
    Brown booties by H&M
    • Jogging pants by Decathlon
    Long sleeved t-shirt by H&M
    Striped sweater by H&M
    Green sweater by H&M
    Lasting Color Gel Nail Polish by Pupa (#18)
    Stay with me in #08 Deep Rose by Essence
    Stay all day concealer in #20 Soft Beige by Essence
    Nail art magnetic nail polish in #06 Spell Bound! by Essence
    Extra moisturizing nail balm by Essence
    Cleansing wipes in Fresh Cotton by Shaka
    Body Wash in Strawberry by Shaka
    • Sweater by H&M
    • Long sleeved blue t-shirt by H&M
    • Three quarted sleeved black t-shirt by H&M
    Intensive softening Hand Cream by Yes To Carrots
    Moisturizing Eye Cream by Yes To Carrots
    Repairing Night Cream by Yes To Carrots
    Instant moisturizer by Sephora
    Hair elastics by Sephora
    Nourishing Kit (gel exfoliator & body butter) by Yes To Carrots
    Mini eyelash curler by e.l.f.
    HD blush in Headliner by e.l.f.
    HD blush in Superstar by e.l.f.
    Lipstick in Charming by e.l.f.
    Lipstick in Gypsy by e.l.f.
    Eyelash & brow wand by e.l.f.
    Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick in Movie Stare by e.l.f.
    Studio Matte Lip Colour in Natural by e.l.f.
    Lip exfoliator by e.l.f.
    Daily brush cleaner by e.l.f.
    Custom eyes eyeshadow in Ivory by e.l.f.
    Powder puffs by e.l.f.
    Lip Balm SPF 15 in Plum by e.l.f.
    Powder brush by e.l.f.
    Kiko Smart Lipstick in #912
    Kiko Smart Lipstick in #903
    Invisible Lipliner by Kiko
    Nail art magnet by Kiko
    • Cien cleanser
    • Cien Toner




    ❤ Presents

    Ireland gifts by Robs
    Flowy music scarf by my sis
    • Birthday money
    Poland necklace by my sis
    Kiko Strawberry Kiss Lipbalm by my parents (birthday gift)
    • Ardell Lashes, MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick and Storm Sleek Palette (Nicholea giveaway)
    • Jack Black lip balm and Lorac PRO palette (BellezaKisses giveaway)
    Creme de Rose lip balm by Dior (birthday present from my friends)
    • Christmas money from family members




    ❤ Links

    Some of The Hobbit cast videobombing a music video (video)
    Quizzing The Hobbit Dwarves (video)
    Interviewing dwarves (video)
    The Hobbit crak vid 2 (video)
    ModCloth (online shopping website)
    My First Kiss Story by HelloKatyxo (video)
    Taylor Swift - Live on the Seine (video)
    iSnuggle with Matt Bomer & Tim DeKay (video)
    7 ways of using MAC pigments (video)
    Finn Jonest interview about his role on Game of Thrones (video)
    KissFM TSwift interview (video)
    Taylor Swift met Richard Gere at the Golden Globes (video)
    The Grunchies Awards 2013 (video)
    The red carpet of the "Amazings" (video)
    Guillermo at the Oscars (video)
    Colin Farrel, horses & thongs (video)
    How to have easier life (video)
    Bride & Bridesmaid dresses (Online shop)
    Richard Feynman, you are awesome (video)
    What Makes You Beautiful (5Guys and 1 Piano) (video)
    Viggo & the horses of The Lord of the Rings (video)
    Leaping into the Unknown of Life (video)
    Prakns @ The Ellen Show (video)
    Aidan&Dean&Sarah (video)
    Melanie&Adam on The Voice (video)
    Meghan's How NOT to hit on a girl (video)
    Most funny moments of filming/interviews The Hobbit (video)
    Dean O'Gorman and the Mail Box Story (video)
    The Band Perry live with "Done." @ ACMs 2013 (video)
    Celebrity Tweets - A music video by Shane Dawson (video)
    Dan's "Draw my life" (video)
    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (official trailer)
    Two fans watch The Hobbit trailer (video)
    Elves reaction to the two girls' reaction (video)
    Picking up girls with One Direction lyrics (video)
    Red acoustic version by Fifth Harmony (video)
    Dean O'Gorman & Aidan Turner's panel @ Boston Comic Con (video)
    Lip Sync Battle @ Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (video)
    Thanksgiving in songs @ Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (video)
    I knew Victoria's Secret models were trouble (video)
    Virginio's Hallelujah (video)




              Comment on Who Couldn't Use a Faraday Cage? (Plus How to Make One) by Dave        
    A couple of notes: For metal containers, weld a bolt to each piece (e.g. can and lid) to attach a ground wire for a more secure ground path. Attach the other end to a cheap ground rod. If you don't weld it on, at least make sure you sand off any paint and get the bolt attached to bare metal for an adequate connection. Also, old microwave ovens are not good for wide spectrum. If any doubt, put your cell phone in one then call your number. If it rings it is electrically vulnerable. 55 Gal. drums can work well, but remember the gasket on the lid as a leak. Cardboard can also hold moisture which can corrode things and aid in conductivity. I wouldn't use that. My $ .02
              With New Video, Grandaddy Finds Humor In Grief        
    Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle has always been more comfortable with machines than people. It's a dynamic he's well-documented, and even romanticized, in his work, with tales of misfit characters and their troubled relationships with everything from robots to appliances. Perhaps it's because mechanical friendships don't require much of an emotional investment — they're not built on a lot of open and earnest discussions. Lytle has always been a private and often guarded person who finds comfort knowing he never has to listen to a microwave talk about its feelings or, more importantly, talk about his own. "I kind of have this unhealthy fondness for inanimate objects," says Lytle. "I find myself talking to a frying pan. Or, like, I found this rock in Grand Junction, Colorado and I brought it with me [on a] road trip and I've gotten really close to this rock. And, like, certain pens and writing utensils and my gear." Grandaddy takes this kind of kinship to absurdist levels in a new video
              The Best Night of the Week        
    Haiku Friday

    Friday night’s white wine:
    The best tasting of the week.
    Sofa, here I come.

    Longest work week yet,
    my neck and shoulders aching,
    I'm glad to be home.

    Too tired to cook much,
    Microwave my bestest friend,
    Last night's food looks great.

              The Next Scalability Hurdle: Massively Multiplayer Mobile AR        

     

    Many moons ago, in Building Super Scalable Systems: Blade Runner Meets Autonomic Computing In The Ambient Cloud, I said we still had scaling challenges ahead, that we've not yet begun to scale, that we still don't know how to scale at a planetary level.

    That was 7 years ago. Now Facebook has 2 billion monthly users. There's no reason to think they can't scale an unimpressive 3.5x to handle the rest of the planet. WhatsApp is at one billion daily users. YouTube is at 1.5 billion monthly users.

    So it appears we do know how to service a whole planet full of people (and bots). At least a select few companies with vast resources know how. We are still no closer to your average developer being able to field a planet scale service. The winner take all nature of the Internet seems to fend off decentralization like it's a plague. Maybe efforts like Filecoin will change the tide. 

    There's another area we have scaling challenges: Massively Multiplayer Mobile AR (Augmented Reality). While AR has threatened to be the future for quite some time, it now looks like the future may be just around the virtual corner.

    Apple Introducing ARKit, a hit with developers, means that future will be sooner rather than later. One billion iPhone users make it so. Remember when the iPhone was introduced, how the increased data usage melted AT&Ts' network? This will be worse. 

    Pokémon Go had a little event recently that shows what incredible stress such systems will put on our infrastructure. No need to repeat the story, iMore has it all: Pokémon Go Fest: What happened and whyPokémon Go Fest's big flop shows Niantic needs to think biggerPokémon Go Fest Chicago: The fun, the failure, and the legendaryUPDATED: Are AT&T's iPhone Problems Due to Network Configuration Errors?

    It's true, Pokémon Go has been well known for its scaling problems, but this was a planned event, shouldn't it have been handled better? No doubt. Still, a concentration of 20,000 players in a single shard, in such a small "kill zone" like a park, is a challenge. Should they have brought in Cell on Wheels, use high density WiFi, maybe put up microwave links to increase the backhaul? Yep, that seems reasonable. EM spectrum is a terrible thing to waste.

    But what happens when Pokémon Go Fest is just what we call Tuesday? When everyone is using mobile AR? Every product in every store, every building, every sign, everything will have some sort of data driven overlay. There will be no chance to build special infrastructure. Infrastructure must be improved to handle the new loads. Hopefully 5G will come to the rescue.

    Spectrum isn't the only problem. Compute resources are also a problem. Pokémon Go isn't a particularly data intensive game. It doesn't require a lot interaction between users or constant communication with backend servers. What happens we we have multiple games like that all operating at once?

    Pokémon Go seems like a poster child for edge computing. The entire shard could have been handled by a portable onsite datacenter with its own local communication infrastructure. An onsite datacenter combines low latency compute with enough scale to handle the load. My guess is the thundering herd problem that blocked players connecting to the game would have disappeared. Players would have connected quickly to the local game servers and started playing the game with little muss or fuss. Same with game state.

    Perhaps in the future we'll have datacenter handoff protocols just like we have cell network handoff protocols today. And if we really do it right, the big scheduler in the sky that will coordinate all these moving parts, might consider distributed compute resources like smartphones as part of the compute fabric.

    We have not yet begun to scale Massively Multiplayer Mobile AR. 

     


              Japanese Husewife Used Her Broken Microwave As An Excuse To Lure Her Young Neighbor To Her Apartment        
    Watch Japanese Husewife Used Her Broken Microwave As An Excuse To Lure Her Young Neighbor To Her Apartment on rnoPo.com - free hardcore porn videos and amateur sex tapes.
              Mathematics for Chemistry        
    Mathematics for ChemistryThis interactive electronic textbook in the form of Maple worksheets comprises two parts.

    Part I, mathematics for chemistry, is supposed to cover all mathematics that an instructor of chemistry might hope and expect that his students would learn, understand and be able to apply as a result of sufficient courses typically, but not exclusively, presented in departments of mathematics. Its nine chapters include (0) a summary and illustration of useful Maple commands, (1) arithmetic, algebra and elementary functions, (2) plotting, descriptive geometry, trigonometry, series, complex functions, (3) differential calculus of one variable, (4) integral calculus of one variable, (5) multivariate calculus, (6) linear algebra including matrix, vector, eigenvector, vector calculus, tensor, spreadsheet, (7) differential and integral equations, and (8) probability, distribution, treatment of laboratory data, linear and non-linear regression and optimization.

    Part II presents mathematical topics typically taught within chemistry courses, including (9) chemical equilibrium, (10) group theory, (11) graph theory, (12a) introduction to quantum mechanics and quantum chemistry, (14) applications of Fourier transforms in chemistry including electron diffraction, x-ray diffraction, microwave spectra, infrared and Raman spectra and nuclear-magnetic-resonance spectra, and (18) dielectric and magnetic properties of chemical matter.

    Other chapters are in preparation and will be released in due course.
              How to Make Artisan Soap        
    I just tried a new technique when making one of my last batches of soap. It was just a simple one. I had fun with it. I think its cute too.

    Fresh cut. It was a pineapple cilantro scent. 

    I think it is very cute and it was just the way I tilted the log mold. I'll show you want I did. Who says lye soap has to be so plain. Here is the recipe I used for this soap.

    3 Layer Log Recipe

    5.5 oz of olive oil
    5.5 oz of coconut oil
    5.5 oz of palm oil
    5.5 ox of soybean oil

    3.11 oz of lye
    7.3 oz of water

    Only make one batch at a time or it will firm up on you. Then you wont be able to get the look.


    1. Line your log mold.

    2. Gather your supplies and weigh out your oils.
    I microwaved the oils to get the to around 90*.
    I have my log mold tilted with a stapler. lol It 
    works. 

    3. Added my lye and mixed it all in. Then got my
    stick blender to finish the job. I couldn't make soap
    without my stick blender. Be sure you only use the
    stick blender for about 2 mins at a time then stir by
    hand for 30 seconds or you will get a false trace.

    4. Once it reached race (see the small lines left in the 
    mixture from lifting the beater) add color and scent.

    5. Pour it into the mold and it should fill up one side.
    You can use a spatula to smooth out the top if you 
    want an even line. I didn't because I like the more
    natural lines it gives. Let sit for about 30 mins to 
    firm up a little.

    6. Turn the mold around and tilt it on the opposite
    side. 

    7. Prepare your soap the same way you did for the 
    yellow making it a different color. I wanted it white
    so I left it natural. Let sit for 30 mins to firm up some.

    8. Put the mold down flat now for the last layer.

    9. Prepare you last batch of soap for the last color.
    I used green for the cilantro part of the scent. To keep
    from damaging the bottom layers I pour the green 
    onto a spoon that was held close to the mold.
    Just let it run off the spoon.

    You are finished. :) Let set over night and then
    remove from the log and cut. Then let cure for a 
    few weeks. The longer it cures the better the bar.

    How cute!!! 

    If you make some be sure to send us pictures!! We would all love to see.

    Happy Soaping!!




              Simple Lye Soap Tutorial        
    Hello everyone!!!

    While we were at the Art Fair we made a simple soap tutorial with pics. This is our simplest soap recipe but it makes a great soap! Makes you feel squeaky clean and naturally soft. This one is my favorite recipe out of them all. All of these can be picked up at Wal-mart.




    Ingredients:

    6.3 oz of Olive Oil
    6.3 oz of Coconut Oil
    12.6 oz of Crisco

    Lye solutions:
    3.5 oz of Sodium Hydroxide(lye)
    8.3 oz of water


    Direction:

    Mix your lye solution together. Be sure to follow all the safety precautions. Safety glasses, gloves and aprons. Add the lye to the water and not the other way around. In an open area so you don't breath the fumes. They can be deadly. Be sure to be safe around the lye solution. It can burn you severely. Let it sit and cool down to about 90* before adding it to the oils. I use a plastic measuring cup to mix my lye solution in. Glass will bust some times.

    Weigh all of your oils on a digital scale and heat them 
    to around 100*. I stay between 89* to 100*. I love
    to use those large candy bowls you get at Halloween 
    and heat my oils in the microwave for 1 1/2 mins.
    If your oils gets over 100* wait until they cool before
    adding the lye.

    Now pour your lye solution into the oils. Be careful
    and wear all your safety gear. 

    About half way through mixing it should look like this.

    The stick blender is the best tool for modern soap making.
     Use it for 2 - 3 mins then turn it off to mix the soap
    by hand with a spoon or whisk. Then turn on the blender
    for another 2 - 3 mins. Use it that way until it is done.



    Once it gets to trace its done.

    You can tell you reached trace when you raise
    the blender out of the mix and it leaves lines
    that doesn't fade away quickly. It will leave
    faint lines for a few seconds before it fades.


    Stir it a little then its done. You can
    add your scent in at this stage. Or if you an all natural
    soap add a spice. Cinnamon or mustard is great for
    the skin.

    Pour it into your mold. It can be a wooden log
    mold lined with wax paper or any silicone mold.
    Let set until hard and unmold. Then let sit to cure
    for 4 weeks. 

    All done. :) You have just made soap. There are lots of great things you can add to your soap that is great for your skin. My favorite 3 are milk, honey, and pumpkin puree. They feel so wonderful!!

    I share this on Homestead Revival: Barn Hop! Stop on by and check out all the links!




              88 Unexpected Snacks Under 100 Calories        

    We’ve all been there: hunger striking before dinnertime, a sudden craving for something sweet, the need for a quick energy boost before working out. The solution? A small and satisfying snack that won't tip that calorie count over the edge—after all, a quick nibble can easily turn into the calorie equivalent of a full-blown meal. These flavorful, low-calorie treats can please any palate while still leaving room for dinner.

    Sweet Snacks

    1. Chocolate Banana

    100-Calorie Snacks

    1/2 frozen banana dipped in 2 teaspoons dark chocolate chips, melted

    2. Frozen Grapes

    28 grapes (about 1 scant cup), placed in the freezer for 2+ hours

    3. Honeyed Yogurt

    1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt with 1 dash cinnamon and 1 teaspoon honey

    4. Mini PB&F

    1 Fig Newton with 1 teaspoon peanut butter

    5. Spiced Orange

    1 medium orange, sprinkled with cinnamon

    6. Grilled Pineapple

    2 1/4-inch thick pineapple rounds (3 1/2-inch diameter), grilled (or sautéed) for 2 minutes or until golden

    7. Berries 'n’ Cream

    1 cup blueberries with 2 tablespoons whipped topping

    8. Stuffed Figs

    3 small dried figs stuffed with 1 tablespoon part-skim ricotta and sprinkled with cinnamon

    9. Nuts 'n’ Berries

    2/3 cup blueberries sprinkled with 1 tablespoon slivered almonds

    10. Dark Chocolate

    1/2 ounce (about 1 block or 3 squares)

    11. Nut-Stuffed Date

    1 medjool date filled with 1 teaspoon natural unsalted almond butter

    12. Chocolate Milk

    6 ounces skim milk mixed with 2 teaspoons chocolate syrup

    13. Cinnamon Applesauce

    1 cup unsweetened applesauce, sprinkled with cinnamon

    14. Citrus-Berry Salad

    1 cup mixed berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries) tossed with 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

    15. Maple-Pumpkin Yogurt

    1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt (go Greek for extra protein) mixed with 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree and 1 teaspoon maple syrup

    16. Chocolate Pudding

    1 4-ounce container fat-free pudding

    17. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

    7 strawberries dipped in 1 tablespoon dark chocolate, melted

    18. Tropical Juice Smoothie

    100-Calorie Snacks

    1/4 cup each 100-percent pineapple juice, orange juice, and apple juice, blended with ice

    19. Vanilla and Banana Smoothie

    1/3 cup sliced banana, 1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt, and 1 handful ice, blended until smooth

    20. M.Y.O. Banana Chips

    1 sliced small banana dipped in lemon juice and baked

    21. Baked Apple

    1 small apple, cored, filled with 1 teaspoon brown sugar and 1 sprinkle cinnamon, baked until tender

    22. Fruity Waffles

    1 toasted Kashi 7-Grain Waffle topped with 1/4 cup mixed berries

    23. Skinny S’more

    2 graham cracker squares with 8 roasted miniature marshmallows and 1 teaspoon dark chocolate chips

    24. Cinnamon Graham Crackers and Peanut Butter

    2 graham cracker squares with 1 teaspoon peanut butter, sprinkled with cinnamon

    25. Cereal and Milk

    2/3 cup crisped rice cereal with 1/3 cup skim milk

    26. Milk and Cookies

    5 animal crackers with 1/2 cup skim milk

    27. Warm Spiced Cider

    6 ounces apple cider, sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg, warmed

    28. Fruity Soft Serve

    Purée 1 small frozen banana into ice cream

    29. Café Latte

    8 ounces steamed skim milk with 1 shot espresso

    30. Fruit Leather

    2 no-sugar-added strips, like Stretch Island Fruit Co.

    31. Maple-Cashew Pear

    1/2 medium sliced pear dipped into a mix of 1 teaspoon each maple syrup and cashew butter

    32. Protein Chai

    1 1/2 tablespoons hemp protein powder, 1/2 small frozen banana, and 1/2 teaspoon chai tea mix (from a tea bag) blended with 6 ounces water

    33. M.Y.O. Popsicle

    6 ounces bottled lemonade, frozen in an ice pop mold or small paper cup

    34. Apple Chips

    1/2 cup unsweetened, such as Bare Snacks

    Savory Snacks

    35. Cucumber Salad

    100-Calorie Snacks

    1 sliced large cucumber tossed with 2 tablespoons chopped red onion and 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

    36. Pistachios

    25 kernels

    37. Cheese and Crackers

    5 Kashi Original 7 Grain crackers with 1 part-skim mozzarella cheese stick

    38. Spicy Scramble Egg

    2 scrambled egg whites on 1/2 slice whole-wheat toast, drizzled with 1 teaspoon sriracha

    39. Cheesy Breaded Tomatoes

    2 roasted plum tomatoes sliced and topped with 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese

    40. Curried Sweet Potato

    1 small sweet potato microwaved for 6 minutes and mashed with 1 teaspoon curry and salt and pepper to taste

    41. “Cheesy” Popcorn

    2 cups air-popped popcorn with 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

    42. Guacamole-Stuffed Egg Whites

    1 halved hard-boiled egg, yolk removed, stuffed with 2 tablespoons guacamole

    43. Grilled Spinach and Feta Polenta

    2 slices precooked polenta (look for the tubes in the grocery store) topped with 1 teaspoon feta cheese and 1 handful spinach

    44. Soy Edamame

    1/3 cup boiled shelled edamame with 1 teaspoon soy sauce

    45. Dijon Pretzels

    2 pretzel rods with 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

    46. Crunchy Curried Tuna Salad

    2 ounces (about 1/4 cup) canned white tuna with 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1 tablespoon chopped red onion, and 2 chopped ribs celery

    47. Greek Tomatoes

    2 medium tomatoes chopped and mixed with 2 tablespoons feta and 1 squeeze lemon juice

    48. Shrimp Cocktail

    8 large shrimp with 2 tablespoons classic cocktail sauce

    49. Smoked Beef Jerky

    1 ounce

    50. Cheddar and Tomato Soup

    1 cup tomato soup with 1 tablespoon shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

    51. Kale Chips

    2 cups raw kale (stems removed), tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil and baked at 400 degrees until crisp

    52. Sweet Potato Fries

    1 light bulb-sized sweet potato, sliced, tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil, and baked at 400 degrees for 10 minutes

    53. Cucumber Sandwich

    1/2 English muffin with 2 tablespoons cottage cheese and 3 slices cucumber

    54. Turkey Roll-Ups

    2 slices smoked turkey rolled up and dipped in 2 teaspoons honey mustard

    55. Wasabi Peas

    100-Calorie Snacks

    1/4 cup

    56. Antipasto Plate

    3 pepperoncini, 1/2-inch cube cheddar cheese, 2 slices pepperoni, 2 extra-large olives

    57. Pumpkin Seeds

    2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, spritzed with oil, and baked at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until brown, sprinkled with kosher salt

    58. Choco-Soy Nuts

    3 tablespoons soy nuts with 1 teaspoon cocoa nibs

    59. Mixed Olives

    8 large olives

    60. Balsamic Veggies

    3 cups raw peppers, sliced, dipped in 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction

    61. Cheesy Roasted Asparagus

    6 spears, spritzed with olive-oil spray, sprinkled with 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, and baked at 400 degrees for 10 minutes

    62. Carrots and Hummus

    12 medium baby carrots with 2 tablespoons hummus

    63. Spinach and Feta Egg White Scramble

    3 scrambled egg whites mixed with 1/2 cup raw spinach and 1 tablespoon feta cheese, cooked over the stove or in the microwave until egg whites are no longer runny

    64. Crunchy Kale Salad

    2 cups chopped kale leaves tossed with 1 teaspoon honey and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

    65. Chickpea Salad

    1/3 cup chickpeas tossed with 1 tablespoon sliced scallions, 1 squeeze lemon juice, and 1/4 cup diced tomatoes

    66. Grilled Garlic Corn on the Cob

    1 small corn cob brushed with 1 teaspoon sautéed minced garlic and 1 teaspoon olive oil, grilled until tender

    67. Pretzels and Cream Cheese

    15 mini pretzel sticks with 2 tablespoons fat-free cream cheese

    68. Bacon Brussels Salad

    7 thinly sliced Brussels spouts mixed with 1 crumbled piece turkey bacon

    69. Rosemary Potatoes

    1/3 cup thinly sliced potato tossed with 1 teaspoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

    70. Spicy Black Beans

    1/3 cup black beans with 1 tablespoon salsa and 1 tablespoon nonfat Greek yogurt

    71. Caprese Salad

    1 ounce (about 1 hockey puck) fresh mozzarella with 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes and 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

    72. Goldfish Crackers

    38 crackers

    73. Chips and Salsa

    10 baked tortilla chips with 1/4 cup salsa

    74. Mini Ham Sandwich

    2 slices honey-baked ham with 2 teaspoons honey mustard, rolled in 1 lettuce leaf

    75. Lox Bagel

    1/2 whole-wheat mini bagel with 1 ounce (2 thin slices) lox

    Sweet and Salty Snacks

    76. Apples and Peanut Butter

    100-Calorie Snacks

    1/2 slice apple dipped into 1/2 tablespoon natural peanut butter

    77. Apples and Cheese

    1 light mozzarella cheese stick with 1/2 sliced medium apple

    78. PB & Celery

    1 medium (about 6 inches long) celery stalk with 1 tablespoon peanut butter

    79. Cottage Cheese Melon Boat

    3/4 cup melon balls with 1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese

    80. Carrot and Raisin Salad

    1 cup shaved carrots with 1 1/2 tablespoons raisins and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

    81. Tropical Cottage Cheese

    1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese with 1/4 cup each chopped mango and pineapple

    82. Blue Cheese-Stuffed Apricots

    3 dried apricots with 1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese

    83. Rice Cake and Almond Butter

    1 rice cake (try brown rice!) with 2 teaspoons almond butter

    84. Sweet 'n’ Spicy Pecans

    5 pecans roasted with 2 teaspoons maple syrup and 1 teaspoon cinnamon

    85. Chocolate Trail Mix

    8 almonds, 1/2 tablespoon chocolate chips, and 1 tablespoon raisins

    86. Chocolate-Hazelnut Crackers

    5 Wheat Thins dipped in 1/2 tablespoon Nutella or other hazelnut spread

    87. Strawberry Salad

    2 cups raw spinach with 1 cup sliced strawberries and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

    88. Cacao-Roasted Almonds

    8 nuts

    Originally posted December 2012. Updated July 2015.

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              Lowongan Kerja Staff Demo Produk        
    Laki-laki dan/atau Perempuan usia maksimal 30 tahunMemiliki pengalaman sebagai trainer min. 1 tahunMengikuti perkembangan terbaru yang berkaitan dengan produk kecantikan Hairdyer Hair Styling dll dan produk kitchen Microwave Bread Maker dllPendidikan SMU/D3/S1Dapat mengoperasikan Ms. Powerpoint ...

              Happy Halloween...and a Little Treat Too        
    Hi everyone! I found this little pumpkin pretzel treat idea on Pinterest and made them a couple weeks ago for the kids. My didn't turn out as great as some of the pictures on Pinterest, but they sure were yummy. That salty sweet combination can't be beat! I thought I would share them today in honor of Halloween.

    Pumpkin Pretzels...

    pumpkin pretzels
     
    You will need...

    • small pretzels (traditional shape)
    • orange melting chocolate
    • green M&M's (you can use a skinny pretzel stick dipped in green chocolate if you had them)


    pumpkin pretzels

    Easy steps...

    • melt the chocolate in the microwave
    • dip pretzels
    • place on cookie sheet with waxed paper 
    • stick on M&M before chocolate hardens
    • place in refrigerator until chocolate sets (only a few minutes)
    Mine look a little rough, lol. The chocolate wasn't as smooth as I liked, but they were literally eaten seconds after they hardened so looks didn't matter much!!


    pumpkin pretzels

    Enjoy!!

    pumpkin pretzels


    Happy Halloween!
    ~Karen~

    Pin It
              Resepi Kek Kukus Yang Sedap Dan Mudah        
    Cara Buat Kek Kukus Yang Sedap Dan Mudah. Cara buat kek kukus?Terdapat banyak kek kukus yang digemari oleh rakyat Malaysia. Diantara resepi yang popular adalah kek kukus coklat, pandan dan milo. Kek kukus adalah sejenis kek yang mudah disediakan, jadi inilah peluang buat anda untuk mencuba. Berikut dikongsikan Resepi Kek Kukus Yang Sedap Dan Mudah

    cara buat Kek Kukus

    Resepi Kek Kukus Coklat

    Kek kukus adalah kek yang sangat popular. Berikut adalah resepinya untuk panduan semua peminat kek.

    BAHAN-BAHAN

    • 3 biji telur
    • 1 cawan serbuk koko
    • 1 cawan gula pasir
    • 1 cawan susu cair
    • 1 cawan minyak masak
    • 1/2 cawan susu pekat manis
    • 1 1/4 cawan tepung gandum
    • 1tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp soda bicarbonate
    • 1 tsp perasa vanilla (tidak perlu jika tak mahu menggunakannnya)

    CARA-CARA

    Berikut dikongsikan cara membuat kek kukus coklat :-
    1. Campur koko, gula, susu cair, susu manis dan minyak ke dalam periuk dan masak sebentar atas api kecil sehingga semua larut
    2. Tepung, soda dan baking powder diayak satu. 
    3. Telur dipukul kembang bersama dengan perasa vanilla dan dicampur dengan campuran koko tadi.
    4. Gaul rata dan campur tepung sedikit demi sedikit. 
    5. Gaul sebati dan tuang dalam acuan dan jangan sampai penuh sebab nanti adunan naik.
    6. Tutup acuan dengan aluminium foil agar tidak masuk wap.
    7. Kukus selama 1 jam baru angkat dan sejukkan

    CARA-CARA MEMBUAT KRIM COKLAT 

    • 1/2 cawan susu pekat manis
    • 1/2 serbuk koko
    • 1 sudu minyak masak

    Gaul semua bahan ini sehingga rata kemudian masak sebentar dia atas api yang sederhana kecil sehingga sebati. Sumber FB Coklat Kukus.

    Resepi Kek Kukus Milo

    Kek Kukus Milo juga merupakan salah satu kek kukus yang popular. Berikut dikongsikan resepi car membuat kek kukus Milo.

    Bahan A

    • 1 cawan milo
    • 1 cawan susu cair
    • 1 cawan minyak masak
    • 1/2 cawan susu pekat

    Bahan B

    • 1 1/2 cawan tepung gandum ( di ayak )
    • 1 sk serbuk bikarbonat
    • 1 sk serbuk penaik

    Bahan C

    • 3 biji telur
    • 1 sk esen vanilla

    Langkah- langkah Membuat Kek Kukus Milo

    • 1) campurkan semua bahan A dalam periuk dan kacau sehingga sebati dengan keadaan api sederhana. Bila dah sebati tutup api dan biarkan sejuk seketika.
    • 2) sementara menunggu bahan A sejuk sedikit, dalam bekas lain pecahkan 3 biji telur dan letak esen vanilla ( sepert di bahan C ). Kepuk sehingga kembang. Selepas selesai kepuk, campurkan kedalam bahan A yang telah disejukkan tadi dan kacau.
    • 3) Selepas itu, masukkan pula bahan B ke dalam acuan bahan A dan bahan C tadi. Kemudian kacau sehingga sebati. Kalau rajin boleh kacau sehingga tiada gelembung-gelembung tepung itu. Asalkan sebati semua tepung itu dalam acuan coklat dah memadai.
    • 4) Kemudian sapu loyang (letak dalam bekas plastik microwave) dengan marjerin sebab tak nak nanti acuan melekat. Lagipun senang sikit nak tanggalkan bila dah masak.
    • 5) Selepas dah sapu dengan marjerin, tuang acuan tadi ke dalam bekas / loyang tersebut. Jangan lupa sebelum buat semua ini, anda panaskan dulu air untuk kukus ya. So senang lah nanti air dah tersedia bila acuan kek dah siap.
    • 6) Bila air dah menggelegak, bolehlah letakkan acuan kek tadi ke dalam bekas pengukus tu dan kukus paling lama sejam. Kalau nak tahu kek tu dah masak ke belum, anda try cucuk dengan garfu. Kalau tak melekat tu maknanya dah masak lah.
    • Tips ; sila tutup bekas loyang tu dengan aluminium foil ya senan tak nak bagi air wap tu masuk dalam kek, Nanti kek anda tak menjadi ler..ni tips penting ya, jangan abaikan.

    Sementara menunggu kek masak jom kita buat topping dia plak.
    Resepi Kek Kukus milo

    Topping

    • 1 cawan milo
    • 2 sb minyak masak
    • 3 sb air
    • 1/2 cawan susu pekat

    Campur semua bahan diatas dan masak secara double boiler yer. Agak-agak dah berkilat boleh lah tutup api.

    • Bila dah masak kek milo kukus tu sejukkan terlebih dahulu. Bila dah sejuk sikit, terbalikkan kek tersebut lepas tu baru letak topping ya. Lepas tu boleh la hias nak letak coklat rice ke apa ker. Sumber Resepi Sedap

    Selamat mencuba Resepi Kek Kukus Yang Sedap Dan Mudah. Semoga ianya sedap hasil buatan tangan sendiri.
              Kitchen Paint Color Selected: Kitchen Painted        
    I thank you all for your input into our kitchen color selection process. It turns out that Tranquility was the winner by popular vote! However, we picked Pirate Coast in the end.


    This room probably gets the most light in the house, so we could have gone with a slightly darker shade, but I wanted this room to be as bright as possible.We might bring in some darker color down the road if/when we decide to either repaint or refinish the cabinets.


    Isn't is lovely?

    Excuse the fact that the table and chairs are shifted slightly to the right of the rug and look like they are about to fall off the edge. Kids. I'll blame it on the kids. People should hire them to move furniture, because they do a great job! And I totally didn't catch the lopsidedness until now...


    I can't wait until we get around the stage in our kitchen re-do when we get to rip our the backsplash. And replace counters. And swap out appliances. And replace that microwave hood that no longer works, causing a "ceiling tan" on the drywall above the stove. Yum.


    But look at that beautiful DIY island!

    And for comparison sake, this was a picture of the kitchen on move in day. Excuse Oaken's big head and the blurry iPhone pic. Look at those dark green walls!


    When we first put the new paint on the walls, we kept thinking...It's white. Like almost completely white. In comparison to the dark green, it felt completely devoid of color. And, for a little while, I regretted our decision. However, after a few coats of the new color, we decided we really really liked it. It's amazing how much bigger the kitchen feels now! It's a much happier color and so much more "us". Yay!


    Next on the kitchen list is to do something with that big blank wall behind the table. Plank wall? Big black and white photos? A banquette bench? The wheels are churning!




              Goderich Festival of Arts & Crafts: Day One Discoveries        
    At 10am this morning I went to work on the Square, and upon witnessing all the ongoing commotion out the window as I scooped icecream and made lattes, I decided that I would go ahead and take a wander through the Festival of Arts & Crafts, which is lining the inside of our quaint little Courthouse Square, a little later in the evening when the sun started going down and things got a little more slower.

    The phenomenal colours, patterns, and textures of the Japanese Shino Pottery of Chica Pottery really caught my eye. As I regarded these beautiful pieces, Erin Grace Harder of Sparta, Ontario came forward to tell me a little bit about them. She creates the rectangular trays, while her mother helps her with the bowls and cups. They are cone 10 reduction gas fired and are oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe and each set is completed with a pair of chopsticks. It always brings a smile on my face to see young artists that are eager to tell others about their work, and she has even more reason to be excited about it as the money she raises by selling her work at the festival this weekend is going towards a missions trip to Malawi, Africa at the end of July. So make sure to check out her booth this weekend!

    Goderich Town Square has been bustling and busy since early this morning. Just ask Betty Nelson-Daniel of Mocking Bird from Midland, Ontario. When speaking to her late this evening, she told me that they started setting up around 6am this morning. Mocking Bird was one of the first few booths to really catch my eye, that's for sure. The dolls that she creates are theatrical and graceful, and their feet suggest a definite ballet inspiration. Their heads and beaks are built layer upon layer with paper and are hard to the touch. Their bodies start as metal armatures and dimension is built with layers of fabrics, leather, branches, ribbons, trimmings, and all sorts of found objects. Don't be afraid to touch them, though, she says - they may look delicate, but when you hold them up close you can really see all the detail that goes into them. She has been creating these dolls for over thirty years and she has really honed her skill - the detail in each piece is astonishing, and they are definitely something you need to see up close, this weekend!

    I was infatuated with the earthy scents wafting from Jennifer Jansen's booth - From The Blue House. Located in Creemore, Ontario, she creates handcrafted soap from natural ingredients, and even features Creemore Springs Lager in some of these body products. When I asked her about it, she says that the Lager creates a wonderful lather, which is especially great in her shaving soaps. Warm chai spices like cinnamon and cloves as well as patchouli and lavender filled my nose - I told her that I'd be back. And I certainly will be, with scents like that.

    If you guys are in Goderich, Ontario this weekend, make sure to stop by the Square and take in all the wonderful sights at the Goderich Festival of Arts & Crafts. There are many talented artisans, including the ones I spoke about above, showcasing their various talents. They'll be open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

              Comment on Lazy Caramel Corn {A No Bake Recipe!} by Stacey        
    I don't think so. There's something to boiling the caramel mixture that I'm not sure would work well in a microwave. But let us know if you try it and it works!
              Comment on Lazy Caramel Corn {A No Bake Recipe!} by Misty        
    Can u do this in a microwave safe bowl
              Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole        
    In our house we get a  rotisserie chicken about every other week. We love them! And I love the convenience of making up a couple sides, and dinner's ready. Not to mention the leftovers and all the possibilities. Last week I cut up the last of the chicken and threw together this quick and tasty casserole.







    Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole

    2 cups chicken, cooked & chopped 
    2 broccoli crowns, cut up (about 3 - 4 cups)
    2 - 3 tsp Original Mrs. Dash (or to taste)
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    4 cups cooked rice (I used leftover.)
    3 cups cheese, grated - Set aside 1 cup for topping.
    •  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 9x13 baking dish. 
    • Place the broccoli in a microwave safe bowl with a few tablespoons of water and cook on high for about 3 - 4 minutes. Just until barely tender. It will cook the rest of the way in the oven.
    • Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Remember to set aside 1 cup of the cheese for the top!!! 
    • Dump into baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. 
    • Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. 
    Does it get much easier than that? I don't think so! The whole family loved this. I especially loved how quick it was to throw together. And it was a complete meal in a bowl. Bonus!


    I know the pictures aren't the best. Sorry! It smelled soo good baking, by the time it came out of the oven we were starving.  ; )  The leftovers were great for lunch the next day. I just added a little bit of milk when I reheated it. That made it just as saucy as the night before. Mmm!

    Do you have a favorite way to use up leftover chicken? Please share. 
    Sharing With:


              A couple of posts behind.        
    I wanted to post to my blog every two weeks but I have already failed. :) It's been a busy couple of months but really no excuse for not posting here. All I can do is try to do better.

    I've been busy knitting on my sock. Yes it is still a sock not a pair quite yet. Here's a photo of the progress.

    smsock01

    I'm doing a diagonal type thing for the cuff. I still have a ways to go on it but eventually it will be completed.

    I've been busy doing some sewing. My niece's birthday is coming soon and my sister wants her to have a pettiskirt. So I've been busy working on it. The first one I made was for my eldest daughter. I wanted to make sure I didn't have any problems with it. This is what it looks like.

    smskirt01

    I'll be making two or three more of these (maybe more). I've got a silver, turquoise, purple and pink ones ready to be made. I just have to do the tedious task of cutting all the tulle and satin. OH FUN! :)

    Today, I spent the day making 60 something cupcakes for the Father/Daughter Dance that hubby and Frey went to tonight. They have another dance they will be attending on Sunday as well. I was in too big of a rush trying to get all their stuff together to take to the dance that I forgot to take their photo. Hopefully some pictures of cupcakes will do.

    smcupcake01

    Miss V checking out the cupcakes. They were moved just in time.

    smcupcake04

    Ahhh, I love cupcakes. I'm glad I don't have any left at the house.

    Last but not least, I would love to recommend the purchase of a Magic Bullet. It is a blender type contraption. It works great! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo much better than any blender I have ever owned. I bought it last night to grind my coffee beans. But I've made margaritas two nights in a row. Last night I made regular margaritas. Tonight I made strawberry margaritas (fresh strawberries of course). They were delicious. This morning after I ground my coffee beans. I made my cup of coffee. Then frothed milk in the Magic Bullet. I put the milk in the microwave for 45 seconds. I poured the milk in the coffee with some french vanilla and sugar. OMG! It was the best Latte that I've made in my home. Anyway, the user's manual had a ton of other crazy recipes like muffin batters, drinks, etc. So I'll be busy experimenting with it. Come on over and I'll make you a delicious beverage either alcoholic or non-alcoholic. ;)

    After I do some quick swatching, I'll be off to bed to prepare myself for Hat Attack! Wish me luck. I think I'm toast.
              Time Investments        
    When *someone* asked if I could whip up a golden, bulky, knit skirt from All The Fleeces just before Christmas, I laughed.  I'd just finished spinning up some of the Fleece blended with alpaca to make mitten liners, so I was distinctly aware of spending a lot of time combing and carding before spinning, let alone knitting.  Actually, the spinning and knitting were perhaps the least of the time. Fibre prep for a bulky yarn would take even more time.

    Recently, I decided to actually time the processes and here is what I found:

    Time to comb and card fleece into a rolag: 10 minutes.
    (I prepared 20 rolags = 200min)
    This does not account for the previous time spent skirting, washing, scouring, and drying the fleece. Why comb AND card? Because I'm still working with dirty, VM-y, dusty fleece. "All The Fleeces" are from meat sheep and have been stored for I don't know how long. They are a down breed common to Manitoba, Canada.  Once cleaned, combed and carded they spin into a lovely yarn I have discovered, but it is a lot of work. OTOH, I have a huge sack of free fleeces and it turns out they're not garbage.

    Time to spin 20 rolags onto one very full bobbin: 50min
    (I learned that 16 rolags is probably ideal for my wheel/bobbins or 8+8 if I want to ply onto one of my bobbins. Maybe 18.)

    Time to make an "Andean armwarmer" because I only have 1 bobbin available and I needed to ply: 12min

    Time to ply onto my wheel quill because I knew I'd never get the 2ply onto one bobbin: 30min (plying onto a bobbin may have been a bit faster; plying from 2 bobbins certainly would have been faster that working from an Andean bracelet as I did have a few snags)

    Time to skein: 4 min

    Total time to create 67.5m/74yds of medium weight 2-ply: 296 min or about 5 hours.

    If I imagine using 2 bobbins and spinning on to 1 bobbin rather than the quill, I could eliminate the 12min of Andean bracelet wrapping and probably cut 5 min from plying (to half the spinning -singles time or 25min) 296min-17min = 279min or 4hours 40min.
    That's about 4min per meter of yarn.
    (If I were to imagine needing about 600m of yarn for a skirt, that's about 40hrs of yarn-making. Yikes.)

    Then I dyed the yarn using food colouring, vinegar, and the microwave since it's the fastest & easiest method and I'd have to wash to set the yarn anyhow. Microwave does most of the work, but of course there is some more time required here.

    I made two skeins of yarn with 20 rolags each, so they took about the same amount of time. 10 hours or so of yarn.  I quickly whipped up some knit legwarmers (a few more hours), and gifted them immediately to said someone.  All that remains for me to photograph today is some yarn leftovers.  The colour is just what she was looking for. Eventually I'll prep more rolags and spin more and maybe next Yule there will be a skirt. (Uh, right after I finish that blanket...)


              Dying (some of) All the Fleeces        
    While some folks might like the yellowed colour of these fleeces, I'm planning to dye most of it.
    I've not had much luck in the past (once) with dying fleece (was white romni), so I've avoided dying it. Mostly, of course, I've been purchasing lovely roving/batts dyed by other talented fleece artists. This won't change.
    However, I'm going to have to take my dying skills up a notch. I don't expect myself to spin all the yellowed fleeces into yarn and THEN dye it. That would be far too boring.
    Plus, I might want to needle felt some of it.

    Dying the fleece is a skill I need to learn.

    I'm starting simple with what I know and what I have the tools for - food colouring and vinegar dying.  I'm going to need to collect other kitchen tools if I want to use not-food-safe methods. I'm sure I'll get there by the time I'm done with All The Fleeces.

    I prepped a bucket of Fleece 1 - the fluffy fleece - by combing it. As usual, the middle where I hold the fleece locks remains quite sticky with lanolin, so I gave it all another hot wash along with some combed black fleece locks.
    The black fleece has not been in hot water or soap yet and I found that when I combed this batch it definitely needs a hot wash if I want to spin this lace easily.

    Ready for a bath.
     After a rinse, it was time to prep the dye water. A little orange Wiltons paste in a glass bowl with vinegar added goes a long way.  This is a large and deep bowl. Fortunately, we have a very large microwave. Yes, I chose the fastest heat-set method for this test.

    Fluffy! Even when wet.

    All soaked.
    After several 2 minute rounds in the microwave (and then another set of rounds with more vinegar added because the dye didn't seem to be taking as well as I would like) it was time to spin dry. Oh, first I drained the dye water and rinsed the orange fleece back in the first rinse bath - which was clean enough.  I don't have  a salad spinner and I'm pretty certain it would be a bad idea to toss a recently dyed fleece into my washing machine to spin dry (orange spots on DH's white shirts?). Plus, that sounded like a waste of electricity for such a small amount of fluff.
    I did it the manual way! Spin it in the sack!


     The "black" fleece locks are looking lovely. (I should stop calling them that, even if they were labelled as such.)

    The orange fleece is looking scrumptious!


    Ooops, a couple of small sections were hiding in the wash bags. They'll find their way into the next dye bath once I have confirmed that I didn't create a matted mess. So far it looks fine. I'm excited for it to dry. Right now.

    JULY 4 UPDATE:
    Spun up as 120m of squishy, worsted-weight-ish yarn. About 15m of it is a beaded 3-ply using a very finely spun portion of the wool to hold the size 8/0 beads.  The first 22m section was plied with some of the natural yarn (same fleece) that was sitting around on a bobbin.





              Egg Pie Recipe        
    I was craving for Egg Pie so i searched for recipe online and tried it myself. It turned out really good. The only hard part is making the dough because it requires a pastry mixer which i do not have so i just used any available tool that i have in which i think would help me do the mixing. You will find out what pastry mixer i am talking about on the procedure and i will provide a photo of it too.


    A slice of the egg pie i made.
    this is the pastry mixer.


    Ingredients:

    Pie Crust:

    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    1 teaspoon salt

    1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes

    1/4 to 1/2 cup cold water

    2 tablespoon granulated sugar

    Filling:

    1 3/4 cups evaporated milk

    3 pieces raw eggs

    1 piece egg, white separated from the yolk

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1 cup granulated sugar

    Cooking procedure:

    1. Create the crust

    1.1 Combine the flour, sugar, and salt then mix well.

    1.2 Add the butter in the middle and mix using a pastry mixer.

    1.3 Gradually pour the cold water while mixing the ingredients. Continue mixing until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

    1.4 Gather the dough and mold it into a ball-shaped figure.

    1.5 Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes to harden the butter.

    1.6 Sprinkle flour on a clean flat surface and flatten the refrigerated dough using a rolling pin. The flattened dough should be wide enough to cover a 9 inch circular baking pan.

    1.7 Arrange the flattened dough on top of the baking pan and cut the extra edge using a pair of scissors.

    1.8 Refrigerate while doing the filling.

    2. Make the filling

    2.1 Scald the evaporated milk by heating it in the microwave oven for 2 minutes.

    2.2 In a large mixing bowl, combine the 3 raw eggs and the separated egg yolk then whisk.

    2.3 Gradually add the granulated sugar while whisking.

    2.4 Put-in the vanilla extract then whisk until every ingredient is properly distributed.
    2.5 Pour-in the scalded milk then mix thoroughly.

    2.6 Beat the separated egg white using an electric mixer until it forms soft peaks.

    2.7 Fold the processed egg white in the milk-eggs-sugar mixture.

    3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

    4. Pour the filling mixture on the refrigerated pie crust.

    5. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit then lower the heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes.

    6. Remove the egg pie from the oven and let cool.

    7. Serve for dessert. Share and enjoy!
              Lowongan Kerja Engineer BTS        
    Laki - LakiPendidikan D3.T.Elekotro / T. InformatikaSMK T.Elektro / T.Listrik Dipersilahkan Melamar dengan pengalaman Min. 2 Th di Telekomunikasi dengan posisi yang samaDapat menggunakan: Site Master Ber Test dllPengalaman Dibidang pekerjaan instalasi BTS dan Microwave ...

              Eco Friendly BPA Free Sports Water Bottle Review        

    Eco Friendly BPA Free Sports Water Bottle Review



    These water bottles are really cool because they not only come in fun bright colors but they roll up when empty! They also have a handy hook on the side which can be attached to your bag or belt! I am taking 2 of these on my honeymoon because we can hook them onto our bags during the day and roll them up for easy storage when we are done with them. 

    Everyone knows that drinking water is healthy and that's why you try to get your daily 8 glasses of H20. You carry a water bottle around or worse yet you buy water bottles every day! Stop wasting money on plastic bottles you lose all the time and feeling guilty about throwing your empty plastic bottles into the environment. Whether you're running, jogging, cycling, hiking, snowboarding, skiing, mountain climbing, camping or working out hard in the gym, the Mindbody Active bottle won't get in the way and you'll have peace of mind knowing that you're treating your body right! Our portable bottles are more compact and easier to transport than any other water bottle! When empty the Mindbody Active 20 oz bottle can be folded, rolled, or flattened to 1/4 its original size for convenient travel transportation. Simply refill and watch as this durable bottle stands straight up retaining its original shape.

    - BPA Free
    - Phthalate Free
    - FDA Approved
    - Eco Friendly
    - Reusable
    - Leak Free
    - Recyclable
    - Lightweight
    - Dishwasher Safe
    - Microwave Safe
    - Freezer Safe
    - 100% Food Grade Silicon
    Did You Know? 
    Most plastic water bottles are made with harmful chemicals such as BPA and Phthalate. Researchers have proven these toxic chemicals can seep into your water from your plastic bottle, causing long term health effects such as cancer. Equip yourself and your loved ones with a BPA / Phthalate FREE 100% food grade silicon water bottle. Stay hydrated with peace of mind knowing your water is chemical free. 

    Why Mind Body Active (MBA)? 
    MindBody Active's goal is to help you live an active, healthy and environmentally clean life. 
    All our products are environmentally safe and promote an active and balanced lifestyle.

              QualityStocksNewsBreaks – Patriot One Technologies’ (TSX.V: PAT) (OTCQB: PTOTF) PATSCAN CMR Attains Milestone in Certification Pathway        
    Patriot One Technologies, Inc. (TSX.V: PAT) (OTCQB: PTOTF) this morning announced that its award-winning PATSCAN CMR™ (Cognitive Microwave Radar) concealed weapons detection system has met Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Industry Canada (IC) regulatory requirements, as verified through a series of tests by an accredited third party laboratory. “This is significant news for our Company,” […]
              Hal yang Dapat Memicu Kanker        
    Di kehidupan yang serba mudah seperti sekarang, banyak orang yang akhirnya lebih memilih cara instan tanpa perlu harus repot. Hal itu kemudian menjadi kebiasaan yang dilakukan berulang-ulang. Contohnya saja makanan dan gaya hidup. Namun segala kemudahan yang ada belum tentu sehat, dan justru menjadi pemicu masalah kesehatan, salah satunya kanker. Berikut adalah 5 hal yang bisa memicu kanker seperti yang dilansir dari Buzzfeed.com!

    Daging Olahan
    Memakan daging olahan secara rutin dapat meningkatkan risiko kematian karena kanker. Selain itu, daging olahan diproses melalui serangkaian cara dan bahan pengawet sehingga mengakibatkan penyakit yang berhubungan dengan kardiovascular. Disarankan mengkonsumsi maksimal 20 gram daging olahan untuk konsumsi per hari.

    Popcorn Instan
    Jika suka mengkonsumsi popcorn instan yang dimasak sekaligus dengan kantongnya dalam microwave, lebih baik sekarang dihindari. Karena ternyata, kantong popcorn tersebut mengandung PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid). Jika terbakar, bahan ini dapat menyebabkan kanker dan menghambat kesuburan.

    Salmon
    Salmon yang dipelihara diduga mengandung pestisida, antibiotik dan serangkaian bahan kimia pemicu karsinogenik. Salmon yang ditangkap langsung dari perairan lebih segar dan sehat karena tidak mengandung bahan kimia.

    Keripik Kentang
    Keripik kentang digoreng dalam temperatur tinggi untuk membuatnya renyah. Namun ini justru mengakibatkan terbentuknya acrylamide, yaitu karsinogen serupa yang ditemukan pada pembakaran rokok.

    Radiasi Sinar Ultraviolet
    Paparan sinar ultraviolet berpotensi mengakibatkan kanker kulit. Maka jangan lupa untuk memakai sunblock jika harus beraktivitas di bawah paparan sinar matahari.

    sumber: http://www.dreamersradio.com/article/32163/simak-5-hal-yang-dapat-memicu-kanker

              Spring Forward        
    Spring forward this Sunday, March 12, 2017. Clocks are set forward one hour at 2:00 a.m. Many people set their clocks Saturday before bed. Check if you need to reset the computer, microwave, phone, digital camera and other devices. Daylight Saving Time begins 2:00 a.m. on the Second Sunday in March and lasts until 2:00 […]
              32ltr Microwave        
    32ltr Microwave

    32ltr Microwave

    Panasonic 32Ltr Microwave Model Number: NN-ST452WBPQ Cavity Capacity (l) - 32 Cavity Material - Acrylic Grey Turntable - Yes Control - Touch Door Opening - Push Button FUNCTIONS Defrost - Auto Weight Chaos Auto Weight Cook - Yes Auto Weight Reheat - Yes PERFORMANCE Number of Power Levels - 6 Maximum Microwave Power (W) - 900 CAVITY DIMENSIONS Height (mm) - 251 Width (mm) - 355 Depth (mm) - 365 DIMENSIONS Height (mm) - 310 Width (mm) - 525 Depth (mm) - 388


              4.8L Ceramic Bowl, Matte Black        
    4.8L Ceramic Bowl, Matte Black

    4.8L Ceramic Bowl, Matte Black

    Classically elegant, this versatile 4.8L ceramic bowl has a handle and pour spout to comfortably transfer ingredients in large batches. Tough enough to handle everyday mixing tasks, the ceramic won’t stain, chip, crack or crackle. It’s non-porous, so won’t absorb odours, flavours or bacteria and is completely microwave-, oven-, freezer- and top-rack dishwasher-safe. Please note: There’s a specially designed polymer thread ring that fits between the ceramic bowl and the stand mixer clamping plate to ensure a proper fit: this must be removed before putting the bowl in the oven. For use with 4.8L KitchenAid stand mixers.


              4.8L Glass Bowl        
    4.8L Glass Bowl

    4.8L Glass Bowl

    Made of durable sturdy glass. Easy to read ingredient quantity marks moulded into the side of the bowl. Silicone lid – can be placed on bowl when proofing dough, such as pizza crusts and rolls. Also helps keep bowl clean when stand mixer is not in use. The moulded pouring spout makes pouring batters easy, minimizing spills and drips. The special bowl base secures the bowl to the stand mixer. Mixing bowl is dishwasher, freezer and microwave safe. For use with 4.8L KitchenAid stand mixers.


              5 piece Microwave Set        
    5 piece Microwave Set

    5 piece Microwave Set

    Maximise your microwavable cooking creations with this Tower Microwave 5 Piece Set in an eye-catching red design. The set includes; a 880ml microwave plate, a 1.48L steamer, a 656ml soup cup, a 940ml noodle bowl and a 2.6L rice steamer. Complete with five essential items for your kitchen, this set includes a microwave plate, steamer, soup cup, soup bowl and a rice steamer, covering all aspects of meal times for your microwave. Created from durable, lead-free material, you can ensure that each item from this set will withstand high heating temperatures and repeated use, delivering high quality results time and time again. Eliminate the hassle of cleaning by simply inserting the set onto the top rack of your dishwasher. Create a whole variety of delicious and nutritious meals, ranging from steamed fish, homemade soups and rice dishes for all the family. Ideal equipment for busy lifestyles and Ideal for lunch on the go.


              element Seaport Hotel        

    Hi guys! Hope you all had a fantastic long weekend. Memorial Day Weekend is always one of my favorites! I am here today with a little staycation action from the Friday before last, where we checked into the Seaport District's element Hotel. Although we only checked in for one night - a fun night out in the neighborhood at that; element by Westin prides itself on being an extended stay hotel catering to guests who are in town for a few days to a few weeks or longer. Of course, it worked out for one evening just as nicely! We relaxed in our light filled executive suite before heading across the street to meet friends at The Lawn on D. A few beers + cornhole games later we took a five minute Uber ride into Fort Point for dinner at the always excellent Sportello





    The element by Westin is a clean + modern hotel. It's eco friendly, dog friendly, a 10 minute drive from Logan Airport and in the center of the booming Seaport District. Although some of the views from our room present more industrial / parking lot areas, rest assured the scene is not far. The rooms are sharp + spacious. Our one bedroom suite felt minimalist as opposed to cozy - sparse on decor with just a few pieces of abstract wall art and muted gray tones throughout. 




    What I loved:


    That Kitchen! The earth-toned glass backsplash literally saves the day. It is awesome to know that a fully equipped kitchen exists here even thought we didn't put it to use. There's a refrigerator, dishwasher, range top, microwave + it's stocked with cookware, dishware and utensils so you could easily prepare a full meal. 

    The Bathroom - So much room to spread out in this spa inspired space with a rainfall shower head and Phamacopia Natural products. The one thing missing?! Bathrobes! I love when hotels give them, and most mornings at home I always cozy up in my bathrobe first thing.


    Complimentary Breakfast Bar - That egg sandwich was so key and took the standard breakfast buffet up a notch in my book. I also treated myself to a bowl of Lucky Charms from the cereal bar. Bob had scrambled eggs, bacon + a waffle. 


    Additional Features (we didn't have enough time to take advantage of): indoor pool, fitness center, a grill on the patio + bikes to borrow. If we didn't have a somewhere to be the next morning I would have loved to hit up the pool and gym.


    I'm now thinking more staycations are in order. Boston has so much to explore and I really enjoy being in-the-know about all the hotels be them new or old and what they have to offer. Thanks so much to element by Westin for the inspiring and restful Seaport staycation!


    element Seaport Hotel
    391-395 D Street
    Boston, MA 02210

    Our stay was complimentary, all opinions are my own

              800W Retro Microwave, 20L, Cream        
    800W Retro Microwave, 20L, Cream

    800W Retro Microwave, 20L, Cream

    Daewoo microwaves have a variety of power levels, so you can make a variety of meals. This 20 litre 800W microwave is the perfect size for defrosting chicken, quickly heating a ready meal in a hurry or preparing a tasty sponge pudding for dessert. Everyday cooking is easy thanks to the auto cook setting. It works out the temperature and cooking time according to your food. And, with 5 power levels, you can choose how much heat is needed. Key Features Bright, colourful retro design Zero standby function reduces energy consumption Ensures even cooking results with concave reflex system Automatic programmes take the guess work out of cooking Automatically defrosts your food hygienically


              800W Retro Microwave, 20L, Red        
    800W Retro Microwave, 20L, Red

    800W Retro Microwave, 20L, Red

    Daewoo microwaves have a variety of power levels, so you can make a variety of meals. This 20 litre 800W microwave is the perfect size for defrosting chicken, quickly heating a ready meal in a hurry or preparing a tasty sponge pudding for dessert. Everyday cooking is easy thanks to the auto cook setting. It works out the temperature and cooking time according to your food. And, with 5 power levels, you can choose how much heat is needed. Key Features Bright, colourful retro design Zero standby function reduces energy consumption Ensures even cooking results with concave reflex system Automatic programmes take the guess work out of cooking Automatically defrosts your food hygienically


              Identification of snow cover regimes through spatial and temporal clustering of satellite microwave brightness temperatures        
    none
              Snow cover variability across central Canada (1978–2002) derived from satellite passive microwave data        
    none
              Application of the Getis statistic to hemispheric and regional scale passive microwave derived snow water equivalent imagery        
    none
              How STEM tools on Chromebooks turn students into makers and inventors        

    Editor's note: Over the last year, we’ve introduced new ways for students to develop important future skills with Chromebook tools, including active listening and creativity. Yesterday at ISTE we announced our latest bundles in this series, curated in collaboration with educators. In this post, we dive into the STEM tools on Chromebooks bundle, designed to help students become makers and inventors. Follow our updates on Twitter, and if you’re at ISTE in San Antonio, visit us at booth #1718 to learn more and demo these tools for yourself.

    Students everywhere are exploring important concepts in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), with a level of sophistication that’s rising every year. They’re also developing skills like problem solving and collaboration that they’ll need in higher education and, eventually, in their careers, while being exposed to real-world opportunities to be makers.

    “If we want a nation where our future leaders, neighbors and workers have the ability to understand and solve some of the complex challenges of today and tomorrow, building students’ skills, content knowledge and fluency in STEM fields is essential,” the Office of Innovation & Improvement, U.S. Department of Education noted in a statement in January, 2017.

    To help school districts provide more STEM opportunities to students, we’re now offering a bundle of STEM tools on Chromebooks, designed to to help students become inventors and makers. These tools are available at a special discounted price and may be purchased alongside Chromebooks or independently from U.S. Chromebooks resellers.

    littleBits-DremelDigilab.png

    Let’s take a deeper look at the tools in the STEM bundle.

    The Dremel 3D40 3D Printer was developed by Bosch, a company that has made reliable tools for builders and hobbyists for over 80 years. About the size of a microwave oven, a 3D printer “prints” solid objects, layer by layer. The 3D40 3D Printer supports design tools such as Tinkercad and BlocksCAD, that help students create three-dimensional versions of just about anything they can dream up.

    Michael Miller is a K-5 technology teacher and high-school computer science teacher for Otsego Public Schools in Otsego, MI. “Students are being exposed to technology that’s now used in a lot of fields. Medical, dental, the food industry—they’re all using 3D printers,” he says. “It will definitely make students more future ready.”

    Miller uses a 3D40 3D Printer with Chromebooks in his elementary and high school classes. Depending on the class, students use the tools to create anything from a light saber to a miniature model of a Wright brothers’ airplane. From components for robots to mouthpieces for flutes, his students bring a range of personal interests to the design and printing process.

    It brings what they imagine in their head into their lives. Michael Miller Technology teacher, Otsego Public School

    Although students often work on individual projects, Miller encourages them to solve problems together as a team. “If they need help, I expect them to look to their neighbor first before coming come to me.” Miller also sees how 3D printing can be a way to engage female students, who are often underrepresented in STEM fields today, as well as students who are less likely to speak up in class. “I had a high school student—a very reserved student—and it helped him feel more ownership in the class. It gave him a greater sense of belonging when he could make something.”

    The littleBits Code Kit combines block-based visual coding, powered by Google’s Blockly, with programmable physical “bits” that are electronic color-coded building blocks that snap together with magnets. Using the Code Kit, which is designed to be accessible to a wide range of grades, students have fun building and coding games, all while learning the foundations of computer science. The kit also comes with lessons, video tutorials, getting started guides and other resources for educators and students.

    Rob Troke, a computer science teacher at James Denman Middle School in San Francisco recently took a sixth-grade class to I/O Youth at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA. There, his students used the littleBits Code Kit to program light and sound patterns on a physical Bit. They quickly learned about programming logic such as loops and variables.

    “I was happy to see how engaged the kids were,” he says. “It maintained their interest the entire hour, whereas with other apps and tools, I’ve seen the novelty wear off after 15 minutes.”

    For some students, having a physical object linked to a coding activity helps bring additional context to computer science. It also brings electrical and mechanical engineering, often overlooked subjects in K-12, into the classroom. “Having things to play with, to figure out what they are, what they do, is extremely helpful… it’s like robotics, but without the robot,” Troke says.

    Dremel’s 3D40 3D printer and littleBits Code Kit, along with free programs created by Google—like CS First and Applied Digital Skills—help bring STEM concepts to life in creative and tangible ways. To learn more about these and other educational tools, please visit g.co/educhromebookapps, check out the websites, or contact your school’s Chromebook reseller. And follow @GoogleForEdu on Twitter to see all that's launching at ISTE.


              C17MR02N0B Compact Oven with Microwave, Stainless Steel        
    C17MR02N0B Compact Oven with Microwave, Stainless Steel

    C17MR02N0B Compact Oven with Microwave, Stainless Steel

    Compact built-in oven with integral microwave - even more ways to cook quickly and conveniently in a very small space Compact oven with microwave - even more ways to cook quickly and conveniently. ShiftControl - fast navigation through menus and simple operation with the TFT display. Modern LED lighting for bright, even illumination Hinged door with cushioned opening and closing.


              Forum Round Casserole with Lid, 3Lt        
    Forum Round Casserole with Lid, 3Lt

    Forum Round Casserole with Lid, 3Lt

    Made from heat resistant glass The casserole set is microwave safe Conventional oven safe Freezer safe Dishwasher safe The capacity of the casserole is 3 Litre


              Fresh Glass Rectangular 1.3L        
    Fresh Glass Rectangular 1.3L

    Fresh Glass Rectangular 1.3L

    Zyliss fresh storage keeps food up to two times longer than when it is in its original packaging. The clip and close lids feature an integrated seal to ensure no gaps or food traps. The patented, unique seal is 100% leak proof and airtight, keeping food fresher for longer. Stackable lids, freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe, make storage efficient and secure. Oven safe borosilicate glass base is oven safe to 420°C. Lid is not to be used in the oven.


              Fresh Glass Rectangular 2L        
    Fresh Glass Rectangular 2L

    Fresh Glass Rectangular 2L

    Zyliss fresh storage keeps food up to two times longer than when it is in its original packaging. The clip and close lids feature an integrated seal to ensure no gaps or food traps. The patented, unique seal is 100% leak proof and airtight, keeping food fresher for longer. Stackable lids, freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe, make storage efficient and secure. Oven safe borosilicate glass base is oven safe to 420°C. Lid is not to be used in the oven.


              Fresh Glass Rectangular 3L        
    Fresh Glass Rectangular 3L

    Fresh Glass Rectangular 3L

    Zyliss fresh storage keeps food up to two times longer than when it is in its original packaging. The clip and close lids feature an integrated seal to ensure no gaps or food traps. The patented, unique seal is 100% leak proof and airtight, keeping food fresher for longer. Stackable lids, freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe, make storage efficient and secure. Oven safe borosilicate glass base is oven safe to 420°C. Lid is not to be used in the oven.


              Fresh Glass Square 0.95L        
    Fresh Glass Square 0.95L

    Fresh Glass Square 0.95L

    Zyliss fresh storage keeps food up to two times longer than when it is in its original packaging. The clip and close lids feature an integrated seal to ensure no gaps or food traps. The patented, unique seal is 100% leak proof and airtight, keeping food fresher for longer. Stackable lids, freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe, make storage efficient and secure. Oven safe borosilicate glass base is oven safe to 420°C. Lid is not to be used in the oven.


              Fresh Rectangular 0.55L        
    Fresh Rectangular 0.55L

    Fresh Rectangular 0.55L

    Zyliss fresh storage keeps food up to two times longer than when it is in its original packaging. The clip and close lids feature an integrated seal to ensure no gaps or food traps. The patented, unique seal is 100% leak proof and airtight, keeping food fresher for longer. Stackable lids, freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe, make storage efficient and secure.


              Fresh Rectangular 1.6L        
    Fresh Rectangular 1.6L

    Fresh Rectangular 1.6L

    Zyliss fresh storage keeps food up to two times longer than when it is in its original packaging. The clip and close lids feature an integrated seal to ensure no gaps or food traps. The patented, unique seal is 100% leak proof and airtight, keeping food fresher for longer. Stackable lids, freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe, make storage efficient and secure.


              Fresh Rectangular 1L        
    Fresh Rectangular 1L

    Fresh Rectangular 1L

    Zyliss fresh storage keeps food up to two times longer than when it is in its original packaging. The clip and close lids feature an integrated seal to ensure no gaps or food traps. The patented, unique seal is 100% leak proof and airtight, keeping food fresher for longer. Stackable lids, freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe, make storage efficient and secure.


              Fresh Rectangular 2.3L        
    Fresh Rectangular 2.3L

    Fresh Rectangular 2.3L

    Zyliss fresh storage keeps food up to two times longer than when it is in its original packaging. The clip and close lids feature an integrated seal to ensure no gaps or food traps. The patented, unique seal is 100% leak proof and airtight, keeping food fresher for longer. Stackable lids, freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe, make storage efficient and secure.


              Fresh Rectangular 2.6L        
    Fresh Rectangular 2.6L

    Fresh Rectangular 2.6L

    Zyliss fresh storage keeps food up to two times longer than when it is in its original packaging. The clip and close lids feature an integrated seal to ensure no gaps or food traps. The patented, unique seal is 100% leak proof and airtight, keeping food fresher for longer. Stackable lids, freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe, make storage efficient and secure.


              Fresh Rectangular with Drain Plate 3.7L        
    Fresh Rectangular with Drain Plate 3.7L

    Fresh Rectangular with Drain Plate 3.7L

    Zyliss fresh storage keeps food up to two times longer than when it is in its original packaging. The clip and close lids feature an integrated seal to ensure no gaps or food traps. The patented, unique seal is 100% leak proof and airtight, keeping food fresher for longer. Stackable lids, freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe, make storage efficient and secure.


              Fresh Rectangular with Inserts 1.2L        
    Fresh Rectangular with Inserts 1.2L

    Fresh Rectangular with Inserts 1.2L

    Zyliss fresh storage keeps food up to two times longer than when it is in its original packaging. The clip and close lids feature an integrated seal to ensure no gaps or food traps. The patented, unique seal is 100% leak proof and airtight, keeping food fresher for longer. Stackable lids, freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe, make storage efficient and secure.


              Fresh Round 0.15L        
    Fresh Round 0.15L

    Fresh Round 0.15L

    Zyliss fresh storage keeps food up to two times longer than when it is in its original packaging. The clip and close lids feature an integrated seal to ensure no gaps or food traps. The patented, unique seal is 100% leak proof and airtight, keeping food fresher for longer. Stackable lids, freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe, make storage efficient and secure.


              Fresh Round 0.85L        
    Fresh Round 0.85L

    Fresh Round 0.85L

    Zyliss fresh storage keeps food up to two times longer than when it is in its original packaging. The clip and close lids feature an integrated seal to ensure no gaps or food traps. The patented, unique seal is 100% leak proof and airtight, keeping food fresher for longer. Stackable lids, freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe, make storage efficient and secure.


              Fresh Square 0.25L        
    Fresh Square 0.25L

    Fresh Square 0.25L

    Zyliss fresh storage keeps food up to two times longer than when it is in its original packaging. The clip and close lids feature an integrated seal to ensure no gaps or food traps. The patented, unique seal is 100% leak proof and airtight, keeping food fresher for longer. Stackable lids, freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe, make storage efficient and secure.


              Fresh Square 0.85L        
    Fresh Square 0.85L

    Fresh Square 0.85L

    Zyliss fresh storage keeps food up to two times longer than when it is in its original packaging. The clip and close lids feature an integrated seal to ensure no gaps or food traps. The patented, unique seal is 100% leak proof and airtight, keeping food fresher for longer. Stackable lids, freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe, make storage efficient and secure.


              H12GE60N0G Built-in Microwave with Grill, Stainless Steel        
    H12GE60N0G Built-in Microwave with Grill, Stainless Steel

    H12GE60N0G Built-in Microwave with Grill, Stainless Steel

    Enjoy delicious cooked meals thanks to the Neff H12GE60N0G Built-in Microwave with Grill. Sleek and modern design This microwave will look flawless in your kitchen design. Easy to install, this microwave can be placed above another oven in a tall cabinet or even integrated separately into a wall cabinet. The choice is all yours. Easy operation The side-opening, left hinged door makes your cooking process that little bit easier. One push of the button and the door opens instantly. The dial and touch controls are also very simple to master and make for easy operation so you can get cooking straight away. Reliable results With eight automatic programmes, four defrost programmes and a 25 litre capacity, you'll be able to cook a variety of your favourite meals, all at the perfect temperature and with flawless precision. And featuring a 1200 W quartz grill, you can even prepare your cheese on toast or even grill your favourite meats in healthier way such as steak, sausages and bacon. This Neff has everything you need in an all-in-one appliance. Designed for more convenient cooking so you can prepare delicious meals to keep you and the whole family happy. Delivering outstandingly quick results, you'll wonder how you ever lived without this Neff H12GE60N0G Built-in Microwave with Grill.


              H53W50N3GB Microwave Oven, Stainless Steel        
    H53W50N3GB Microwave Oven, Stainless Steel

    H53W50N3GB Microwave Oven, Stainless Steel

    24 hour LED clock Interior light Stainless steel interior Glass turntable 5 power level microwave 90-180-360-600-800 Watts Retractable control Push button controls Left hinged side opening door


              HBC84H501B Built-in Compact Combi Microwave Oven with Grill, Brushed Steel        
    HBC84H501B Built-in Compact Combi Microwave Oven with Grill, Brushed Steel

    HBC84H501B Built-in Compact Combi Microwave Oven with Grill, Brushed Steel

    A great partner for the kitchen, the built-in compact microwave defrosts, heats and cooks helping you prepare food in the kitchen. AutoPilot 15: every dish is a perfect success thanks to 15 pre-set automatic programmes. Automatic weight option: choose the programme and enter the weight and the microwave oven will do the rest. Grill function: perfect grilling results are quickly and easily achieved thanks to a powerful grill.


              Freecycle to the Rescue!        
    So a few days ago, the microwave in our office broke. *This is a dramatic reenactment using an image from the interwebs and NOT what actually happened to our microwave. Naturally we were all pretty upset. We all bring lunch from home and many of us like to heat up our soups, casseroles, and other […]
              Unplugged        
    Well, we've been really busy these past few weeks... we moved our house-full of stuff into our new house out in the country (a whole ordeal in itself), and we have been working diligently on getting our old home ready to sell and listed (another massive ordeal), driving back and forth each day to drop the kids off for their last few weeks of day care for the month of July. It has been busy indeed!

    In our new home we currently have:
    1) No Internet
    2) No Home Phone
    3) I lost my smart phone before the move so no Internet Phone Access, using a prepaid dumb phone
    4) No Cable Television (I don't watch TV, but my husband is catching a few stations on his rabbit ears)
    5) No Clothes Dryer (ours started smoking...) been drying them outside on a makeshift clothesline and wherever I can.
    6) No Oven (I've been using a crock pot and microwave to cook family meals).
    7) No Dishwasher (We've been doing it the old fashioned way!)

    We are also a good 10 miles away from all the fast food places and convenience stores that we were so accustomed to hitting up and we have a big 'ole gravel driveway with an old rusty gate that we keep locked up now to prevent strangers driving down looking for things to run off with... (apparently this can happen occasionally out where we live if you invite it, so we keep the gate closed, which is what the neighbor we share our driveway with tells us we should do) It is a pain in the butt to unlock, so we've been spending our evenings at home unpacking boxes, cooking at home, and trying to get settled in and organized - it is kind of a deterrent from driving anywhere you don't really have to go. But I truly feel "unplugged"... no Internet, no phone. I realize how much I have missed being able to surf the Internet, google interesting things, get on Blogger, and read and respond to email, or drive a mile down the street to go to Starbucks, Panera, or Goodwill. I'm checking email right now in our vacant old house, which still has our access temporarily... It feels so good to be able to do this right now because it has been so long! It's going to take me a while to catch up with everyone.

    All in all, we are so blessed, even though still stressed and maxed out financially, hoping that our old home will sell quickly, but very very thankful to be in our new home and looking forward to a simpler lifestyle, more privacy, more nature, and more time with my kids. I want this move to bring me closer to my husband, my family, and to God, and lately, I think we have been in over drive mode, it's been having the opposite affect, but today, my husband and I got to go to confession together alone, (only 2 more days before full time kids = crazy mode :-) and a nice relaxing lunch and walk downtown. It's an amazingly beautiful day today. Going to catch up on my email now... while I have a chance to do it!
              The sad state of my soul today        
    I hate writing this post. But I'm just being completely honest about the fact that I haven't gone to church in the past 3 weeks. (No, I am not recommending this to anyone). We have been completely consumed with trying to close on our house which is 1 hour away in the country and 1 hour away from work in the city, so it's been one continuous commuting triangle - driving between 3 different far away cities trying to get the kids to school and get to work on time and meeting contractors and loan officers and Realtors and notaries and going to Lowe's to buy locks to secure the house so the painters don't come back to steal the copper  pipes or the microwave - the weekends being the only real time to accomplish anything of substance. A lame excuse, and I feel guilty about this. I know it is a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sunday. That sounds severe if you are a non-Catholic, but this "rule" ensures that we are putting God first in our life. There is a natural flow and order and a "glue" so to speak, that holds our family and our marriage together when we are obedient to the Church. No matter how bad things get - we have that constant, that we go to Church together as a family on Sunday (or in our case, usually Saturday evening.) And that is missing right now, or being replaced by worrying about getting our new house in order. I realize without God we really have nothing. A few days ago I had cleaned out my car and stuck some of my work papers and my new leather bound Bible in an empty diaper box in the front seat of my car. It has been over a week since I cracked open my Bible. (Again, not exactly a recommendation here...) I went to retrieve it last night, and the way it was leaning over, it had fallen over and bent back the leather/paper cover and now has a huge ugly unforgiving crease across the front cover that will never come out. I just thought this was so depressing. I need to get my butt to confession and back to Mass.
              Gadgets To Monitor Your Electricity Usage        
    How many appliances are running in your house right now? Remember that just because a device is “off�, it does not necessarily mean it isn’t drawing on electricity. Televisions, DVD players, refrigerators, microwaves, computers, cell phone chargers, etc. are all constantly drawing power when they are plugged in. This could be leading to unnecessarily high [...]
              Consider Airstream RV Travel        

    I travel with my hotel room behind my SUV. Actually, it’s not a hotel room; it’s an Airstream, and I camp with it. Well, that is if you consider traveling with everything, including a microwave and a flat-screen TV, actually camping.

    The post Consider Airstream RV Travel appeared first on New Mobility.


              List of Citrus Fruits        
    If you buy and cook the same things over and over again is a list of recommended citrus. The list is in a position, not like the knew existed, exists and gives you the idea to substitute another citrus fruit.

    Citrus fruits have much in common. All are acid and rich in vitamin C. This makes it a good antioxidant and anti-toxins door. They add a little spark for most meals and keep bananas, apples and other fruit go brown when cut.

    The list of common Citrus

    Grapefruit


    Spicy Grapefruit is a citrus fruit is often eaten at breakfast, of course. The flesh is white to red depending on variety. The red varieties are sweeter than the white variety.

    Grapefruit can be used in any other citrus fruit used to be the judge.

    Kumquats

    Kumquat is a small citrus fruit with edible skin. They are generally eaten whole in salads and side dishes. It is also used in jams and jellies.

    The crust is very soft and the meat is tough. This represents a sharp contrast when you eat of the fruit.

    Lemon
    Lemon is one of the most popular items in the list of citrus. This is a small oval fruit with a slightly spicy flavor. Ok beverages, meats, baked goods, and is essential for the fish. Meyer lemons are less acidic become very popular in recent years.

    Lime


    Cal is a relative of the lemon. This can often be used interchangeably in many dishes with lemon. The meat has a little "shell of sugar, lemon and use as a floral fragrance that increases the complexity and sensitivity of each plate is used in

    Limes are often used in Mexican cuisine and South America for its unique taste. Key Lime Lemon is a very small selection, which grows in the Florida Keys. E "is only for a short period each year. Even if the lemon juice instead of lime will be different than most of the finished product.

    Minneola

    The Minneola is a cross between a grapefruit and tangerine.

    Oranges

    Orange is one of the most popular of all citrus. Sweet and sour orange is a great snack or an ingredient at any time. Orange and orange when it's cold. In warm climates, green, yellow to orange.

    The best oranges are heavy for their size and has a sweet aroma. Save it for a week at room temperature or refrigerated for longer storage.

    Oranges are a type of blood orange, which is purple. They are sweet and a little more acidic than other oranges. Blood Oranges in the U.S. are grown in Texas and California.

    Mandarin


    The Mandarin is a relative of sweet oranges. Clementine, particularly prized for its sweet flesh and intense flavor of tangerine. Mandarins are very easy to peel and can be used where there is a sweet, fresh citrus fruit on each plate.

    Tangelo

    The tangelo is a cross between a tangerine and grapefruit. Ugli is a type of tangelo.

    Each list of citrus fruit is useful, if used, creativity, add to your meals. Replace the lemon juice in your favorite recipe for lemon bars lemon, tangerine and lemon cake to your favorites.

    Citrus juices provide more than pressing at room temperature or slightly warm "in the microwave.

    The addition of lemon zest, sugar tastes like sugar, tastes like a delicious variety in everything from cereals to tea.

    Citrus fruits are healthy and tasty addition to your experience with them menus.n until you know what I like.

              Biografy JKT48 Team J        



     

     

    Fakta-fakta unik Sonia

    1. Lahir 17 Desember 1997
    2. Dipanggil Wawa setelah tampil di Bukan 4 Mata
    3. Suka doraemon
    4. Penakut tapi suka nonton (Masih) Dunia Lain
    5. Suka di troll sendiri ama cici nya sendiri (cek wae di twitt Stella ngtroll ade e mulu) -w-”
    6. Orang Semarang seperti cici nya
    7. Suka ayam goreng sepeti cicinya
    8. sonia bisa bahasa cina

    Sonia JKT48 Complete Profile and Biodata

    Birth Name : Sonia Natalia
    Nick Name : Sonda, Sonia
    D.O.B. : December 17, 1997
    Birth Place : Semarang
    Height : 151 cm
    Horoscope : Sagitarius
    Blood Type : O
    Jikoushokai [Introductory Greetings] : “hi! though I’m whining, but I always smile ~ ~ my name is Sonia”
    About Her : JKT48′s crybaby. Young lady who love sushi. Hey, it’s rhyme :D
    Meet sonia, she is a girl who cries easily, but who can deny she has a strong eagerness to become a true star and JKT48 help her to pursue her biggest dream.
    Religion : Christian
    Favorite Color : Blue
    Favorite Food : Sushi
    Favorite Cartoon : Doraemon
    ~ Like to hear or read horror story
    ~ Her older sister is Stella JKT48

     

     

     

    Fakta-fakta unik Stella

    1. Lahir 3 November 1994
    2. Orang Semarang
    3. Dia Milanisti dan pemain kesukaannya Zlatan Ibrahimovic
    4. Suka warna Pink dan Black
    5. Oshimennya di AKB48 Adalah Haruka Nakagawa dan Takahashi Minami
    6. Suka Fashion Clasic (Vintage)
    7. Hobinya Membaca dan Menyanyi
    8. Suka Lagu Beginner
    9. Kalau Di Set List B3 dia suka Boku No Sakura
    10. Sebelum masuk di JKT48 dulunya cici adalah Model
    11. Suka film bergenre romance, drama
    12. Paling suka makanan yang berbau Jawa
    13. Dapat masak sedikit-sedikit
    14. Makanan kesukaan ny ayam goreng homenade
    15. jago banget suffle dance
    16. Ci stella merasa aneh kenapa ia bisa di panggil cici padahal ia keturunan tionghoa
    17. Pas Ci stella final audisi dapat nomor 48
    18. Ci stella paling cerewet
    19. Suka banget film barat Stella juga pecinta pakaian jadul, gaya Ci Stella tuh simple
    20. kalo maen game, stella paling maen the sims
    21. Olahraga yg d’sukain cici itu basket,badminton,futsal.
    22. Novel kesukaan cici itu yg ceritanya romantis.

    Stella JKT48 Complete Profile and Biodata

    Birth Name : Stella Cornelia
    Nick Name : Stella
    D.O.B. : November 3, 1994
    Birth Place : Semarang
    Height : 155 cm
    Horoscope : Scorpio
    Blood Type : O
    Jikoushokai [Introductory Greetings] : “With a smile, I will conquer the world! my name is Stella”
    About Her : Classy member of JKT48. Interested in fashion design. I love story telling.
    Although being a model and a singer is not a new thing for Stella, but still, she never imagined that someday she could be joined as one of the JKT48 member. She always smile, it’s actually because of her friendly character.
    Religion : Christian
    Favorite Color : Pink, Black
    Favorite Singer : Adele, Taylor Swift
    Hobby and Likes : Singing, Modelling, Watching Movie
    ~ Her younger sister is Sonia JKT48

     

     

    Fakta-fakta unik Sonya (Panda)

    1. Lahir 18 Mei 1996
    2. Sonya pernah main di status update yg tayang di globaltv dulu
    3. Sonya juga pernah main d Sitkom Keluarga Minus d Trans TV
    4. Pernah menjadi bintang iklan pembersih muka
    5. Penyuka boneka panda
    6. Doyan makan seperti sohibnya, Jeje
    7. Pernah d tantangin lomba makan sama Dhike
    8. Sonya bisa berbahasa Mandarin

    Sonya JKT48 Complete Profile and Biodata

    Birth Name : Sonya Pandarmawan
    Nick Name : Panda
    D.O.B. : May 18, 1996
    Birth Place : Jakarta
    Height : 152 cm
    Horoscope : Taurus
    Blood Type : A
    Jikoushokai [Introductory Greetings] : “Haii!! always trying to be better ~ I am Sonya”
    About Her : I called Miss hungry of JKT48 Hahaha. But I like to do sports daily. Move towards quality.
    She’s lively and talk-active. This cheerful girl can easily smile in every situation. With her strong effort and positiveness trying to grasp every dream she have with JKT48
    Religion : Christian
    Favorite Color : Red
    Favorite Food : Indonesian Dish
    Favorite Doll : Panda
    Favorite Sport : Volley Ball
    Language : English, Chinese, Indonesia
    Hobby and Likes : Eating, Sports

     

     

     

    Foto-Foto Shania JKT48 (^,^)

    Hai Hai Hai..!!! Konbanwa minna! lagi pada ngapain nih? kebetulan MinCent mw nge-share foto-fotonya si Shania ^^
    yok yok pada melek
    387008_523075277737279_89312535_n
    309874_510299825679732_327090104_n
    149461_464413370295283_722536081_n
    16585_511830262195114_834227528_n
    196498_445134932192535_1097840089_n
    182228_521184681259672_308441422_n
    603890_466850140021014_1617364867_n

    Yap, segitu dulu yya, lanjut besok-besok lagi… Mimin mw ngerjain PR dulu, hehe, udah pada numpuk soalnya >.<
    Konbanwa minna..!!!

    Fakta-fakta unik Shania

    1. Lahir 27 Juni 1998
    2. Makanan Favoritenya adalah bakso
    3. Takut sama Barongsai
    4. Lagu favorite Shania di AKB48 itu lagu “Sakura no kini narou”
    5. Shania itu asli wong Jowo, lebih tepatnya lahir di kota Solo / Surakarta
    6. Shania dari kecil sudah Syuting di FTV,Sinetron n iklan
    7. Shania Matanya punya Minus(-) 2.5
    8. Shania suka komik Haii Miiko, tokoh favoritnya di komik itu si “Eguchi Tappei”
    9. Shania katanya sering trauma klo ada orng yg ngomongin soal gempa
    10. kalo gak di JKT48, Oshinya Shania itu Ve
    11. Waktu kecil, pernah jadi Presenter di salah satu acara TV di Space Toon
    12. Dijuluki si “Pemburu Bakso”

    Shania JKT48 Complete Profile and Biodata

    Birth Name : Shania Junianatha
    Nick Name : San-ju
    D.O.B. : June 27, 1998
    Birth Place : Solo
    Height : 163 cm
    Horoscope : Cancer
    Blood Type : B
    Jikoushokai [Introductory Greetings] : “Haaii! sweet and always disciplined, my name is Shania”
    About Her : Proud member of JKT48. Discipline come first, add a lot of hardwork, and you’ll get the world
    Watch and listen to shania’s sincere story about her first experience as JKT48′s member.
    Religion : Catholic
    Favorite Color : Yellow, Blue
    Favorite Cartoon : Spongebob Squarepant
    Favorite Comic : Hai, Miiko!
    Favorite Food : Meat Ball
    Favorite Idol : Agnes Monica, Taylor Swift, AKB48
    Favorite Sport : Swimming
    Favorite Subject : Math
    Hobby and Likes : Singing, Acting, Talking

     

     

     

    Jeje JKT48 Complete Profile and Biodata

    Birth Name : Jessica Vania Widjaja
    Nick Name : Jeje
    D.O.B. : January 22, 1996
    Birth Place : Jakarta
    Height : 154 cm
    Horoscope : Aquarius
    Blood Type : O
    Jikoushokai [Introductory Greetings] : “Haii! Always cheerful and tried to make everyone happy, called me, Jeje”
    About Her : Happy JKT48 member. A true mood maker, Piano evangelist, Agent of happiness.
    We call this cheerful girl Jeje, to differentiate her with the other Jessica. This spunky girl have a lot to share about her new family JKT48. And this video here is just a piece of her mind about her adventure becoming a member of JKT48.
    Religion : Christian
    Favorite Color : Black, White, Grey
    Favorite Doll : Angry Bird, Teddy Bear, Smurfette
    Favorite Food : Sushi, Noodle
    Hobby and Likes : Basket Ball, Eating
    ~ She is really Expert with Piano. She is Piano evangelist





    Akicha Complete Profile and Biodata


    Birth Name : Aki Takajo
    Nick Name : Akicha, Aki
    D.O.B. : October 3, 1991
    Birth Place : Fukuoka, Japan
    Agency : Watanabe Entertainment
    Height : 164 cm
    Bust : 82.5 cm
    Waist : 56 cm
    Hips : 88 cm
    Horoscope : Libra
    Blood Type : B
    Generation : Third Kenkyusei Audition [6th Generation]
    Team and Unit : Team B [October-December 2008], Team A [December 2008-2012], French Kiss and JKT48 [2012 - Now]
    Debut : October, 2009
    Catchphrase, Jikoushokai [Introductory Greetings] :
    Ryokucha, mugicha, uroncha, demo yappari? Akicha! Koukou sannensei, juuhassai no Takajo Aki desu
    (Green tea, barley tea, oolong tea, but after all? Akicha! I’m Takajo Aki, high school third year, 18 years old)

    ~ Akicha is member who most often take trips abroad with AKB
    ~ She can sleep fast and not often to dream
    ~ Akicha is the fastest member to be promoted just 71 days as official member
    ~ As puppy lover, she got one chihuahua with name “Win-kun”
    ~ She was born in Fukuoka, but raised in Tokyo
    ~ She likes eating umeboshi (dried plum) every morning and evening
    ~ She joined with Art Club and Driving Club
    ~ Aki likes cooking small cakes that cooked with oven / microwave
    ~ She can impersonate Togepi (from Pokemon) and also the dog sniff
    ~ If she has a chance out of the country, she wanted to go to Switzerland
    ~ She’s got a speaking part in the opening of PV Oogoe Diamond.
    ~ She really close as friend with Kitahara Rie
    ~ Aki was very fond of (deceased) grandfather. When her grandfather died, her grandfather told that she had to smile in any condition
    ~ She’s good at Tennis, and the coach assess if she is good about the way she hits the ball
    ~ There is a question for her “may I change my oshi to Win-kun?”, she answered “If you feel changed, then there is nothing I can do to stop it, is not it?”
    ~ Aki ever feel down when she knew that she was not good in academics. But Ooya Shizuka gives a word that makes her rise again. “You have a talent in baking. This cake can make people happy as well”




    Mengenai Alissa Galliamova

    Mova telah lulus dari JKT48 karena dia ingin fokus terhadap pendidikan…

    “Teman-teman sekalian,
    Alissa Galliamova telah mengajukan permohonan pengunduran diri dari semua kegiatan JKT48 karena ingin lebih memfokuskan diri ke pendidikan.
    JKT48 Operation Team menghormati keputusan tersebut dan mengumumkan bahwa Alissa Galliamova telah lulus dari JKT48.
    Demikian pemberitahuan dari kami dan terima kasih atas pengertiannya.
    JKT48 Operation Team”
    posting’an dari JKT48.com 21 Januari 2013 lalu…
    mari kita tetap dukung Mova ^^

    Mova Resign??

    LAGI…. salah satu member Idol kita menyusul Ochi dan Cleo,, ya, Allisa Galliamova resign dari JKT48…. “Tonight, I decided to resign from JKT48. apologize for my decision is disappointing when you all. thanks a lot once again..” kicau Mova melalui Twitter. Namun beberapa saat kemudian, tweet tersebut dihapus.


    soal alasannya masih belum jelas, ini pilihannya sendiri, jadi mari kita tetap dukung Mova dimanapun, kapanpun :)

    Fakta- fakta unik Mova

    1. Lahir 28 Agustus 1993
    2. Sebelum menjadi member,mova pernah menjadi model pemotretan di Bandung
    3. Penyuka Hello Kitty
    4. Suka sekali nonton DVD bahkan bisa sampai Subuh
    5. Mova punya banyak koleksi DVD mulai dari horor sampai drama romantic
    6. Mova salah 1 Fans “The Reds”, karena dia suka bgt sama warna merah~
    7. kalo gak di JKT48, Oshinya Mova itu Dhike
    8. Kalo olahraga, Mova suka bgt sama jogging dan renang. Malah bisa dilakuin barengan. Abis jogging, baru renang.
    9. Mova kuliah di jurusan Public Relation
    10. Jika Mova harus perform disaat mood nya jelek, cara ngatasinya, Mova bertindak profesional. Sampai Penonton tau kalo happy2 aja
    11. Anime kesukaannya Sailormoon dan Chibi Marukochan
    12. Lebih Suka tempat yg bernuansa alam, apalagi sejuk dan hijau, plus ada bunyi air nya
    13. Mova ga suka sama Bawang Goreng
    14. Makanan wajib Bulan puasa itu Gorengan,, Cengek=Cabe Rawit
    15. mova pernah ikut ardan school, belajar buat jadi announcer radio

    Mova JKT48 Complete Profile and Biodata


    Birth Name : Allisa Galliomova
    Nick Name : Mova
    D.O.B. : August 28, 1993
    Birth Place : Bandung
    Height : 167 cm
    Horoscope : Virgo
    Blood Type : O
    Jikoushokai [Introductory Greetings] : “Hi, I love red and teddy bear, my name is Mova!”
    About Her : JKT48 member who heart red, adore mister bear. A bit geek. A bit moody. That’s me ;) A simple girl from bandung who really loves the color red and teddy bears. Starts her journey with the rest of JKT48 whom she called a new ‘family’. With sweat and tears she fights her way to make a dream as an idol come true.
    Religion : Islam
    Education : University in Bandung [on going]
    Favorite Musician : Depapepe
    Favorite Color : Red
    Favorite Number : 1
    Likes : Teddy Bear, Teenager Novel
    Ancestry : Sumatra and Sunda



    Achan JKT48 Complete Profile and Biodata


    Birth Name : Ayana Shahab
    Nick Name : Ayana, Achan
    D.O.B. : June 3, 1997
    Birth Place : Osaka
    Height : 154 cm
    Horoscope : Gemini
    Blood Type : O
    Jikoushokai [Introductory Greetings] : “Hi!! enthusiasm for learning, I’m also enthusiasm to entertain you, my name is Ayana, called Achan”
    About Her : Sleepyhead who strive for perfection, proud member of JKT48 :D
    Some call her achan. Ayana is energetic and full of passion, she always try her best to fulfill her target. She maybe small, but she have a huge dream. And together with the rest of JKT48 members she fights for it.
    Religion : Islam
    Favorite Color : Light Blue
    Likes : Sleeping
    Doll : Doraemon, Stitch

    Fakta- Fakya unik A-chan


    1. Lahir di Osaka, 3 Juni 1997
    2. “Menurut pengamatan” : di G+ akun achan bagaikan Kamus Bahasa Jepang yang selalu update
    3. Ayahnya keturunan Timur Tengah dan Ibunya Keturunan Jepang
    4. Bisa Bahasa Jepang dan Indonesia tapi tidak bisa bahasa Arab
    5. Memiliki hewan peliharaan kucing yang bernama Camuju
    6. Suka boneka Stich dan My Melody
    7. Seorang Interisti
    8. Si mata sayu
    9. Dapat tidur dimana saja
    10. Jika update di twtter maupun G+ sering Typo
    11. Anak ke-3 dari 3 bersaudara
    12. Kakak pertama laki-laki dan yang kedua perempuan
    13. Kakaknya yang laki-laki tinggal di Jepang dan namanya Zaki
    14. Ketika audisi memakai nomor 005
    15. kalo gak di JKT48, oshi achan itu rena




    Achan JKT48 Complete Profile and Biodata


    Birth Name : Ayana Shahab
    Nick Name : Ayana, Achan
    D.O.B. : June 3, 1997
    Birth Place : Osaka
    Height : 154 cm
    Horoscope : Gemini
    Blood Type : O
    Jikoushokai [Introductory Greetings] : “Hi!! enthusiasm for learning, I’m also enthusiasm to entertain you, my name is Ayana, called Achan”
    About Her : Sleepyhead who strive for perfection, proud member of JKT48 :D
    Some call her achan. Ayana is energetic and full of passion, she always try her best to fulfill her target. She maybe small, but she have a huge dream. And together with the rest of JKT48 members she fights for it.
    Religion : Islam
    Favorite Color : Light Blue
    Likes : Sleeping
    Doll : Doraemon, Stitch

    Fakta- Fakya unik A-chan


    1. Lahir di Osaka, 3 Juni 1997
    2. “Menurut pengamatan” : di G+ akun achan bagaikan Kamus Bahasa Jepang yang selalu update
    3. Ayahnya keturunan Timur Tengah dan Ibunya Keturunan Jepang
    4. Bisa Bahasa Jepang dan Indonesia tapi tidak bisa bahasa Arab
    5. Memiliki hewan peliharaan kucing yang bernama Camuju
    6. Suka boneka Stich dan My Melody
    7. Seorang Interisti
    8. Si mata sayu
    9. Dapat tidur dimana saja
    10. Jika update di twtter maupun G+ sering Typo
    11. Anak ke-3 dari 3 bersaudara
    12. Kakak pertama laki-laki dan yang kedua perempuan
    13. Kakaknya yang laki-laki tinggal di Jepang dan namanya Zaki
    14. Ketika audisi memakai nomor 005
    15. kalo gak di JKT48, oshi achan itu rena



     

    Fakta-fakta unik Cindy

    1. Lahir 29 Mei 1997
    2. Member paling “loli” :-D
    3. Suka Angry Birds dan SpongeBob
    4. Suka Barcelona dan Real Madrid
    5. Suka Coklat & Udang
    6. Cindy suka dipanggil cindy teguh karena ngefans mario teguh.
    7. Cindy ternyata seorang gamers, dia suka bermain Counter Strike : Condition Zero   o_O”
    8. Cindy bercita-cita ingin menjadi seorang Dokter

    Cindy JKT48 Complete Profile and Biodata

    Birth Name : Cindy Gulla
    Nick Name : Candy
    D.O.B. : May 29, 1997
    Birth Place : Jakarta
    Height : 149 cm
    Horoscope : Gemini
    Blood Type : O
    Jikoushokai [Introductory Greetings] : “Hi my name is Cindy ~ such as sugar, brighten your day ~ my name CindyGulla!”
    About Her : I’m one of JKT48 members, I pack up trouble, throw it in a bag, and SMILE!!
    This baby faced sweet girl is really lovable and talk-active. Making new friends, experience and knowledge, she fights her way to become an idol asJKT48 member
    Religion : Christian
    Favorite Color : Red
    Favorite Food : Shrimp
    Favorite Sport : Running, Swimming
    Favorite Subject : Math, English Language
    Hobby and Likes : Dancing, Smile, Hang out, Swimming, Singing
    Instrument : Guitar, Piano
    Doll : Angry Birds, Mickey and Minnie Mouse
    Cartoon : Spongebob Squarepants
    ~ Her ambition is to become doctor
    ~ She is fluent in mandarin
    ~ She had attended extracurricular Drum Band as cabaret
    ~ She was the first child of 2 kids
    ~ Cindy did not like it at Petai and Tomatoes
    ~ If fruit, Cindy did not like it at Soursop fruit and Avocados





    Foto-Foto Cleo Ex-JKT48 part 2

    Konbanwa..!! belum pada ngantuk kan? MinCent mau nge-share foto-foto-nya si Cleo. tiba-tiba keinget dia pas dulu di JKT48_-”. yuk, kita “Nostalgia” bersama
    557807_156688927809371_973639688_n
    Ini nih, Foto pertama yang bikin MinCent nge-Oshi’in Cleo
    Cleo''
    Ini foto yang dulu jadi wallpaper HP-nya MinCent selama 1 Bulan XD
    cleopatra
    Inget kan? JKT48 School?
    Cleopatra Djapri
    >.< Kawaii Cleo!! :3
    7807092194_1d3981fb12_z
    Ini dulu saat acara BukBer Trans7
    66 - cleo close-up solo
    Saat pembuatan iklan Pocari Sweat :D
    1797 - cleo
    JKT48 School lagi :)
    American Pop
    Dulu Cleo pake Seifuku American Pop >.< rambutnya itu lho, :D Kawaii
    216302_486291901390981_589761359_n
    Ponyshu :D
    293882_297837106989708_1714423546_n
    Sekarang foto ini udah enggak dipasang lagi di jkt48.com
    (T.T)

    Nah! ini nih yang bikin MinCent kaget. pagi itu tiba-tiba MinCent di-SMS sama temen. katanya “Cleo udah keluar dari JKT48!”  awalnya gak percaya, tapi, habis liat Tweet ini…. MinCent sempet nangis (T.T)
    536348_303166499790102_529433289_n
    Tuh, dikasih “Love” dari Cleo, diterima yaa XD
    Cleo'
    Nah lho, Cleo udah tidur, kalian juga pada tidur sana, besok masih sekolah lho :D

    Sekian dulu ya, foto-foto kenagannya, Konbanwa!




    Foto Cleo Exs.JKT48 member :(

    Hallo, selamat malam, hehehe minAndre begadang nih, sempet sempetin aja buat ngeshare ke kalian semua, ngeshare fotonya Cleo nih, masih ingat gak? Siapa yang dulu oahinya cleo? Ini, aku punya fotonya cleo, silahkan disedot ..
    image
    image
    Hehehe, cuma sedikit yakk.. udah malem nih ayo pada bobok, oyasumi all … keep calm and support JKT48




    Pesan Cleo untuk para Cleovers :)

    Cleo kedaannya sekarang baik , dan udah sehat
    Cleo Sekarang g gunain jejaring sosial dulu karena udh diambil alih JOT tapi dia msh memantau mention ke @cleoJKT48 menggunakan twitter temannya
    Cleo sekarang Fokus Untuk kuliahnya , dan mengambil beberapa Less utk mengisi kesibukannya
    Ibunya cleo ingin Membuka Cafe utk tempat berkumpulnya cleovers (belum Fix )
    Dan Motto cleo : Dimanapun Berlian Diletakkan , Sinar berlian itu tak akn hilang dan terus bersinar…

    Alasan mengapa Cleo Grad

    Cleo itu adalah bintang JKT48 , saat audisi dia mendapat 2 bintang SEDANGKAN melody dan shania mendapat satu bintang,, Selain mereka bertiga tidak ada yg mendapat bintang ! Sudah jelas kan yg sebenarnya bintang di JKT48 itu siapa ?! CleoJKT48:’)….Cleo mau grade ? Sebenarnya darijkt48 sebesar ini pun dia mau grade karena kelakuan JOT ! Tapi:( dia lakukan semuanya untuk siapa ? FANS ! Cleo itu sudah menjalani aktifitas di depan kamera sejak dia masih kecil :) diamenghasilkan uang yg cukup sehngga mmbantu kehidupan nya :) Ortu cleo tau kalo dia itu punya bakat untuk entertain sehingga sejak kecil sudah di salurkan bakat nya :) Bahkan selalu di tawarin aktif di iklan” produk yg punya nama besar :) tapi kenapa JOT menghalangi nya ? Hah ? Suatu waktu cleo mendapatkan tawaran iklan produk ternama loh buat iklan di dalam negri Iklanmerk barang elektronik SHARP ! Tau kan ? Jadi tuh gini ..Ketika SHARP menyuruh kak cleo hunting baju untuk iklan barang elektronik nya mereka suruh kak cleo hunting hari rabu, karena saat itu cleo sudah di bawah manajemen jkt48 jadi apa yg dia lakukan akan selalu sama apa yg disuruh manajemen….Tapi kok aneh nya manajemen menyuruh kak cleo untuk hunting baju di hari sabtu yaa ? 4hari sebelum yg disuruh oleh SHARP .Dan pada akhir nya hari rabu pun datang , SHARP pun telfon kek cleo langsung , “cleo hari ini kamu hunting baju untuk iklan ya” …… Cleo pun kaget “loh tapi kok aku di suruh manajemen jkt48 hari sabtu dan itu sudah di lakukan pemotretan”SHARP : “loh kok bisa begitu kan yg kami ingin kan kamu hunting di hari rabu dan di lakukan pemotretan di perusahaan kami”SHARP “ada apa ini ? Kenapa bisa begini? Dimana manajemen jkt48 itu ? Kamu itu artis kami jadi apa yg kami lakukan tanpa campur tangan mereka…Pada akhir nya pun SHARP tidak mempersalahkan apa yg di lakukan JOT karena JOT merayu dengan memasukan nama melody untuk iklan mereka ! Suatu malam cleo mandapatkan telfon dari salah satu official jkt48 apasih yg dia bicarakan… ?Ofc “malam cleo :) , cleo bisa di foto gak kaki kamu dari lutut hingga ujung jari kaki kamu ?”Cleo “loh ? Untuk apa ?” Ofc “iyaa jadi kaki kamu mau di ambil gambarnya dan di edit” Cleo “edit? Maksud nya gimana ?”Ofc “jadi nanti pada saat pengambilan gambar dari jari kaki sampai lutut kaki kamu dan dari lutut sampai ujung rambut itu melody” ! *inget*cleo pun langsung menangis danmerasa tersayat hati nya dan memeluk mamah nya :’( pada akhir nya mama cleo said “Kami tidak akan datang saat iklan itu !Hari dimana pengambilan gambardan streaming nya pun telah tiba dan cleo harus sudah tiba di manajemen jkt48 jam 4 pagi ! Otomatis manajemen jkt48 jam 3 pagi telfon kembali cleo agar tepat waktu tetapi cleo berada diposisi tertekan dan tersakiti oleh sikap JOT,,Ortu cleo tidak mau memenuhi permintaan JOT karena kondisi cleo yg sangat down seperti itu tetapi masih saja terus di paksa untuk datangSampai jam 6 pagi pun cleo belumberangkat ke JOT padahal jam 4 subuh harus sudah ada di JOT ! Pada akhir nya cleo said “yaudah mah kita berangkat gapapa aku di foto kaki nya saja :’(” ya اَللّهُ mulia banget hatinya:’( ….Ketika sudah sampai SHARP pun membatalkan iklan nya , karena ketidap profesionalan JOT karena sharp meminta cleo bukan melody !Kalian tau kan iklan mesin cuci yggoyang itik sama inul itu ? Nah itulah pengganti nya
    Ada apa ini,mana kata2 om Yashushi Akimoto,yang kata nya IdolGrup d bangun untuk mengembangkan talent para member,kenapa (OFC/JOT) ini malah menghalangi perkembangan talent member nya,seakan akan pilihkasih,.

    sumber: http://tiktiktuktuktaktak.blogspot.com/
    hari Jumat malam, Cleo  mengatakan bukan lagi member JKT48 di Twitternya @cleoJKT48. “Mohon maaf para fans JKT48 dan terutama Cleovers. mulai malam ini. Cleo bukan lagi member JKT48″, selang beberapa menit, semua twitt tadi langsung dihapus. dan… langsung saja, kabar itu menjadi topik pembicaraan dan membuat “Galau” para fans JKT48 terutama para Cleovers (Termasuk Admin T.T). sebenarnya, apa sih alasan Si “garing” keluar dari JKT48,, belum lama setelah Twitt tadi dikirim, dia mengirim tulisan lagi. “Karna Cleo sudah sangat tertekan dengan perlakuan beberapa staff official JKT48″. dan juga dia mengirim seperti ini “Aku menyerah bukan
    karna dunia peridolan.Tapi aku lelah dengan semua penekanan.”, berarti dapat disimpulkan, Cleo Out karena dia mendapat tekanan dari staff JOT..  â€œDetailnya tanya manajemen aja. Kami nggak tahu, kalau yang resmi diumumin sih masih si Ochi.” kata Sonya.“Ini rahasia cewek, jadi nggak mungkin kami umbar,” sambung Sonya. “Soal hengkang biar nanti dari official aja yang kabarin. Mereka pasti punya alasan sendiri untuk keluar dari JKT48.” JKT48 Operation Team memang belum membocorkan alasan keluarnya Cleo secara resmi.
    Penulis: Vincent Cahya B (Admin)

    Fakta-Fakta unik Cleo

    1. Lahir 20 Desember 1993
    2. “Menurut pengamatan” Cleo adalah member yang paling sering hunting foto. dan tentunya di share
    3. Di sela-sela penampilannya ternyata cleo pernah memakai Koyo Cabe di kakinya (wow…)
    4. Cleo suka kucing tapi gak berani megang kucing , tapi berani megang ular (“-__-)a
    5. Sekarang Cleo sudah berani megang kucing, bahkan sudah punya kucing yang diberi nama Celo
    6. Cleo sempat main disejumlah film layar lebar dan FTV
    7. Memiliki banyak julukan, salah satunya “Jenong”
    8. Pernah ikut jadi peserta “Abang-None” Jakarta
    9. Cleo sekarang punya kucing yang diberi nama celo
    10. Cleo ternyata juga seorang gamers yang cukup update, terutama game petualangan. http://www.hai-online.com/Hai2/Music/News/CleoJKT48-Cewek-Gamers-Yang-Dijuluki-Si-Garing
    11. Cleo diberikan julukan “Si Garing” karena setiap kali Cleo mencoba
      untuk melucu, lawakannya garing, dan kadang klo ngomong suka ga nyambung

    Cleo JKT48 Complete Profile and Biodata


    Birth Name : Cleopatra Djapri
    Nick Name : Cleo, Tata
    D.O.B. : December 20, 1993
    Birth Place : Jakarta
    Height : 170 cm
    Horoscope : Sagitarius
    Blood Type : O
    Jikoushokai [Introductory Greetings] : “Haaiii! beautiful like my name, I, Cleopatra!”
    About Her : As a member of JKT48, Failure is not an option. I learn, therefore I succeeded.
    Cleopatra’s proud and thankful story on her journey becoming a member of JKT48, share her happiness as her story goes.
    Religion : Islam
    Favorite Color : Red Rose
    Favorite Sport : Swimming
    Favorite Animal : Cat, Snake
    Favorite Food : Choco Chips
    Hobby and Likes : Swimming
    Doll : Teddy Bear, Chibi Maruko Chan, Hello Kitty
    ~ Tata is the nickname of affection from her mommy and daddy





    Fakta- fakta unik Delima

    1. Nama panggilannya Pilong
    2. Pernah main sinetron “Senyuman Ananda” di Indosiar tahun 2008
    3. Suka sekali ayam kate
    4. Pernah tenggelam di kolam berenang
    This entry was posted on Agustus 22, 2012, in Delima Rizky

    Delima JKT48 Complete Profile and Biodata

    Birth Name : Delima Rizky
    Nick Name : Delima, Pilong
    D.O.B. : October 25, 1997
    Birth Place : Bogor
    Height : 158 cm
    Horoscope : Scorpio
    Blood Type : B
    Jikoushokai [Introductory Greetings] : “Haaaii ~ cheer you with a smile as sweet as honey. My name is Delima”
    About Her : As a curious JKT48 member for me curiosity above all!! I love to hear, see, and feel new :)
    This always smiling cute girl have a very strong will. Alongside with her friends at JKT48 patiently learning to be an idol. Always spreading her sweet smiles and never whines she go through the training and practices.
    Religion : Islam
    Favorite Color : Purple
    Likes : Hello Kitty
    ~ Good at imitating accents madura




    Fakta-Fakta Unik Kinal

    1. Lahir 2 Januari 1996
    2. Melody dan Kinal adalah pendukung Manchester United alias Manchunian Angel
    3. Kinal pernah bilang dia hampir terpeleset waktu perform di 100% Ampuh
    4. Kinal jarang telat sekolah, paling cuma 1 kali, soalnya jam dirumah nya dipercepat 40 menit jadi jarang telat
    5. Salah satu finalis Gadis Sampul 2011 di majalah Gadis, sama seperti Beby
    6. Saudara kandung nya memiliki ‘Kinal’ di nama mereka juga, tapi dia satu-satunya yang disebut Kinal
    7. Seringkali tidak menyadari bahwa mengetik sering salah ketik
    8. Dia mendaftar sekolah dasar ketika ia berumur lima tahun
    9. Setiap hidup atau konser, matanya seperti itu membesar-besarkan dan yang membuat kawaii
    10. Salah satu anggota tomboi dengan Ghaida
    11. Kiyeon adalah salah satu nama panggilan nya
    12. Dia lebih suka dipanggil Kinal ke Devi karena dia dibesarkan di
      Bandung, yang sebagian besar orang Sunda dan cenderung mengucapkan V / F
      sebagai P, sehingga akan menjadi Depi bukan Devi.
    13. Teman pertama Kinal waktu audisi yaitu Beby, soalnya sama-sama berasal dari Bandung, pas final audisi baru ngobrol sama Ve
    14. Rambut Kinal gak pernah panjang, jadi gak punya foto edisi panjang
    15. Gak suka sama buah jeruk
    16. Pernah nyasar di Gelora Bung Karno ketika pertama kali ikut audisi di Jakarta
    17. Hobinya nonton dorama,dan biasanya dia download *ups* aktor Jepang
      favorite nya Kamenashi Kazuya dan dorama favorite nya (kalo ga salah)
      Hotaru no Hikari…
    18. Teman se SD Ilham SM*SH
    19. Kalo bisa main dorama di Jepang,Kinal pengennya main dorama sama Yamapi (Yamashita Tomohisa) ato kalo ga Sho (Sakurai Sho)
    20. Sebelum Masuk JKT48, Kinal adalah Seorang Cover Dancer di Grupnya “Queen A (Miss A Cover Dance)” Sebagai Wang Fei Fei
    21. Dijuluki “Bu Jenderal”
    22. Suka Makanan yang Pedas-pedas

    Kinal JKT48 Complete Profile and Biodata

    Birth Name : Devi Kinal Putri
    Nick Name : Kinal
    D.O.B. : January 2, 1996
    Birth Place : Bandung
    Height : 162 cm
    Horoscope : Capricorn
    Blood Type : A
    Jikoushokai [Introductory Greetings] : “My name is Kinal, I love to dance ~ Let’s dance, dance, dance!”
    About Her : C’mon all JKT48…Step on 1.. 2.. 3.. Play the groove!! Dance Dance Dance!! Kinal was ignorant pe
              Raynaud Divers Ashtray 5.7 X 5.1 In        
    Raynaud Divers Ashtray 5.7 X 5.1 In
    Divers from Raynaud is a collection of Limoges porcelain dishware and serving dishes. Pure white porcelain is a clean, modern look for the table. These coordinate beautifully with any white or patterned dinnerware. Material: Limoges porcelain. Care: Dishwasher and microwave safe. Made in France. 2..

    Price: $75.60


              Sand Dunes        
    Last stop on our tour was somewhere we have managed to not visit on several occasions, due to it being a bit out of the way: Great Sand Dunes National Park. We arrived in the afternoon and stayed at the nearby lodge, which was excellent with lovely views of the dunes.


    sanddunes-4

    The existence of the dunes is very interesting; a source of sand in the hills, plus wind blowing and water flowing in the right directions. One might wonder why there are not more dunes about, but these seem to be the only ones in the vicinity, apart, of course, from the ancient ones like those we saw at Canyonlands.
    sanddunes-1

    It was fairly quiet and there was no evening meal available at the lodge, but the rooms had microwave cookers, so we had shopped in a supermarket along the way. Before dinner, we went to have a closer look at the dunes.
    sanddunes-2

              A cute and bright little kitchen        
    I've wanted to post this for ages, but for the past year I've had a gross vinyl floor in my kitchen, and it just made everything look dirty.
    But the landlords finally put in a new one and we're good to go!

    I rent a 1-bedroom apartment in a converted house in Ontario, Canada that I share with my kitty, Seth.

    P8230060

    So that^^ is the view from the living room doorway. The door opens up to the backyard and a cement deck the size of a postage stamp.

    P8230061
    P8230069
    Because the room is so small, I didnt want to overpower it with colour, so I painted an accent wall. The colour is Bongo Jazz by Dulux. It has a bit more of a coral tone IRL.
    The wooden cart is from Ikea and is my bakin' station. It also houses an "I love you because..." picture from my love that he updates with inside jokes when he visits. The microwave cart doubles as a pantry. Yep, thats how small the kitchen is. But I love it.

    P8230062
    Despite living alone, my fridge is covered in stuff. Pictures and letters from my sponsored kids, a menu from my favourite Chinese place, notes to self, shopping list... Yikes.

    P8230063
    Right side of the kitchen. I love having a dishwasher. Its so handy after lots of cooking and baking.

    P8230070
    That paper puffer fish was the prize in a Kinder egg. You inflate it by blowing into the peach-coloured ring. I decided to rest the shelf on the back of the stove instead of trying to find studs without a stud finder. I like how it looks either way. Bought the decals at the dollar store; theres some on the opposite cupboards too.

    P8230064
    My mom made me the stained glass panel years ago. Its 2 of my old cats, Oliver (orange) and Dave (grey). He did actually have blue eyes.

    P8230068
    Annnnnnd exposed brick on the way to the living room. Love.


    Thanks for stopping in!
              Usain Bolt ‘Always’ Eats Fast Food After Winning a Race        

    Usain Bolt‘s diet is not exactly what you’d expect from an Olympic gold-winning athlete.

    The Jamaican sprinter made headlines in 2013 after admitting he ate 1,000 chicken nuggets during the Beijing Olympics, but his massive consumption of processed food does not appear to have been a one time thing.

    In an interview with the Huffington Post, Bolt says his victory meal tends to be the same after every race. “As long as it’s fast food, I’m fine. I think that’s the only time I get , because most of the time it’s always late so we always stop at a fast food place,” he says.

    FROM PEN: Poach a Perfect Egg Everytime With a Foolproof Microwave Hack

    The fastest man alive recounted his famous Beijing binge in his autobiography, Faster Than Lightening. “At first, I ate a box of 20 for lunch, then another for dinner,” he writes. “The next day I had two boxes for breakfast, one for lunch and then another couple in the evening. I even grabbed some fries and an apple pie to go with it.”

    Want the ultimate dish on the latest celebrity food news, plus exclusive recipes, videos and more? Click here to subscribe to the People Food newsletter. 

    Eating in large quantities also happens to be the G.H. Mumm Chief Entertainment Officer‘s tactic for curing a hangover.

    “Just eat as much food as possible,” he says, adding that he doesn’t get hangovers as much as he did when he was younger. “That’s what somebody told me to help soak up that alcohol, so when I was younger that’s what I usually did. As soon as you wake up, just keep having food and drinking water.”



              No-Knead Bread: Variations And Improvements        
    From a comment in my previous post:
    Unfortunately, Jim Lahey's no-knead bread recipe is pretty flawed; it works for some, but a lot of us followed it to the letter and produced flat, gummy discs. Cook's Illustrated recently published a corrected version that is total perfection--*that's* the one you should use.
    I found the following comments re: the Cook's Illustrated variations/fixes for Lahey's No-Knead Bread recipe (The CI site requires a subscription):

    Cook's Illustrated does their thing with No Knead Bread

    Looks like they made some minor changes that resulted in a better-tasting loaf. A little vinegar, a little beer, and a quick knead (which also reduced the rise time from 12 to 8 hours).

    Cook's Illustrated this month has an article on No-Knead Bread. Instead of 1-1/2 c. water, they used 3/4 c. plus 2 T. water. Then they added white vinegar (1 T.) and a little beer (1/4 c. plus 2 T.) to add a little more taste.

    It was great, probably the best I've made. I used Bud Light, since that was the only mild-flavored lager I had. CI suggested mild lager and we usually have ales or porters on hand.

    A great suggestion from Cook's Illustrated is to let the dough do its second rising after shaping on a 12 x 18 piece of parchment paper sprayed with Pam and placed inside a 10" skillet. Let it rise there for 2 hours lightly covered with plastic wrap. The skillet keeps it from spreading out too much. Then when your cooking pot is hot (this time I used a 5qt. Mario Batali Dutch Oven) lift up the parchment paper and set the whole thing, dough and parchment, in the pot. Cover and bake, 30 minutes covered, and 20-30 uncovered. When the loaf is done, just lift out the parchment and the bread comes out easily.

    I tried the basic "New" recipe from CI about a week and a half ago and I did think the beer and vinegar added to the flavor. CI has you doing minimal kneading - I still did the one bowl, fold the dough in the bowl method with no kneading. I have plans to try their WW and rye variations, too. Here are variations that CI mentioned:

    Olive, Rosemary and Parm
    Add 4 ounces (about 2 cups) grated Parm and 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves to the flour mixture in step 1.
    Add 1/2 c chopped green olives with the water.

    Seeded Rye
    Replace 1-3/8 cups (7 ounces) AP flour with rye flour and add 2 T caraway seeds in step 1.

    WW Bread
    Replace 1 cup (5 ounces) AP flour with WW flour. Stir 2T honey into the water in step 1.

    Cranberry Pecan Bread
    Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 c toasted pecan halves to the flour in step 1.

    Because of my dry climate I used 4 ounces of beer (Samuel Adams Boston Lager here) and a little more water. My loaf got a quite dark crust (tasted great but not so photogenic) so I didn't take a photo, but it was good.

    Just this past weekend I made a No Knead bread. I was in a time crunch, if I had waited the 12 hrs for the first rise, then allow 2 more hrs. for the 2nd rise, I would have had to bake it off @2am. I didn't schedule it correctly, for sure.

    Here's what I did & it worked for me. In a 2 cup glass measuring cup with 1-1/4 cups of water & placed in the microwave to boil, then placed the hot cup in the corner of the microwave. The "NKD" was in a plastic bowl w/its cover, I then placed the bowl as far away to the opposite corner of the MW as possible, there was approx 6" between the two. I did not open the "MW" door until I saw that it had risen.

    An additional factor was, the oven was on for a good part of the afternoon. With the "MW" sitting above the stove, it may have been getting radiant heat to some extent, as well. If the oven wasn't on, then I probably would have reheated the water after 1.5 hrs., of course removing the bowl of dough.

    In approx. 3 hrs. it was doubled, then placed the dough in the pot for the second rise. It all worked just fine for me. Saving a lot of time that I didn't have that particular day.
              How To Make The Best Steak You Can - At Home        
    Now that the Nativity Fast is over...

    From The Dallas Morning News: How to make the best steak you can - at home

    FWIW, we tried the skillet steak instructions with some New York Strip steaks. They were good, but not great - and indeed tasted better the second day with a brief reheating in the microwave - so I would go straight for the grill instead. Maybe Ribeyes - said to be the most flavorful steak - would fare better when using the skillet and oven.

    Watch the accompanying videos:
    1. Selection and seasoning
    2. On the grill
    3. Is it ready?
    From the December 2007 issue of Texas Monthly magazine (the cover story is on the best steakhouses in Texas, and you can read it all here):
    How Now Brown Cow

    A little over a year ago I started receiving annoying press releases on some kind of unpronounceable Texas-raised cattle called Akaushi. Say what? The stuff was ex-pen-sive, and you had to order it days in advance, even in restaurants. It sounded like a bunch of hype. I thought of the