Saturday, December 31, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
I think this may be my most inspired Christmas decorating feat ever. Now, if you know me and know my feelings about the holidays, you know that it wouldn't take much to best any of my previous non-efforts. This Christmas is different.
Last year, my mom got this iced tea ornament (seen at the top of the tree--who needs angels when there's caffeine?). But, I didn't have a tree last year, so it sat in its box unused. This year, though, the bf and I got a tree and the first and, for a week, only ornament was the aforementioned iced tea bobble. Last night, I was struck with inspiration and today I completed my Xmas T(r)ea masterpiece. I combined red ball ornaments, white lights, and a variety of tea bags to form the ultimate Yule Totem to Iced Tea. Baby Jesus and his father Santa will be so proud. I'm assured of LOTS of presents now.
Merry Todd Xmas!
Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Taken at Brannan Muni Metro Station
I couldn't resist snapping this photo on Muni tonight. My apologies to the anonymous Louboutin wearing woman headed to South Beach, but this shot was too tempting. The shoes juxtaposed with the quotidian nature of public transit. The eroticism of the stockings punctuated by the slash of the red sole. It was all too much.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Just because you’ve never used something correctly Farhad, doesn’t mean it’s broken. “Fresh oranges are cultish compared to frozen orange juice because I have to eat the bitter outside to get to the sweet inside.” No, you don’t. You are doing it wrong.
Kudos to you, Mr. Blogger. You've hit the nail on the head. I could not agree more. Mr. Manjoo has no idea what bookstores are, what they mean, and how they work. Please, dear readers, go read the whole essay and share it widely.
Watch as the sea and cold claim the lives of the poor starfish. Now, as I'm walking around the city, I intend to look up and check for brinicles. Oh, I know you're saying, "But Todd, we don't live underwater. There's no such thing as brinicles on dry land." Look, don't you think these starfish thought the same thing. Air. Water. It's all the same thing when you're living in it day after day. Then, when you least expect it, BAM! Here comes a brinicle to encase you in ice. Oh, it can happen, but it won't be me. I'll be the spry little starfish scrambling over the frozen corpses of the ones who kept saying, "Stupid Starfish X., the sky's not falling!" So there.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
A diver swims alongside a Greenland shark, a rarely-seen species that looks like it has been etched from stone. They can survive for more than 200 years at depths of up to 600 metres under Arctic ice. They grow to 23-feet long and are so fearsome they have even been known to eat polar bears.
They can live for 200 years AND eat polar bears. I'm feeling okay about Mother Nature.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
It is violation of human rights when people are beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to cultural norms about how men and women should look or behave. It is a violation of human rights when governments declare it illegal to be gay, or allow those who harm gay people to go unpunished. It is a violation of human rights when lesbian or transgendered women are subjected to so-called corrective rape, or forcibly subjected to hormone treatments, or when people are murdered after public calls for violence toward gays, or when they are forced to flee their nations and seek asylum in other lands to save their lives. And it is a violation of human rights when life-saving care is withheld from people because they are gay, or equal access to justice is denied to people because they are gay, or public spaces are out of bounds to people because they are gay. No matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we are, we are all equally entitled to our human rights and dignity.I may post this every day for the next month. Oh Hillary, what could you have done had you won?
Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking, using Food Network’s pudding recipe
Yield: 10-12 servings
There are no words for how delicious this dessert is. Buttery toffee sauce cascades over smooshy, date-filled sticky toffee pudding on top of a creamy cheesecake. The recipe can be made over several days and made in advance, making it convenient in addition to delectable. You can even serve slices warmed for 30-40 seconds in the microwave and with a drizzle of extra toffee sauce. A scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream would be a lovely addition.
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 heaping cups cookie crumbs (Or try a 50/50 mixture of graham cracker and gingersnap crumbs)
6 tablespoons butter
Sticky Toffee Pudding Ingredients:
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup pitted dates, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Toffee Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup packed light brown sugar
Notes: Cheesecakes are simple and super customizable. New to cheesecake making? Watch this 6 minute Cheesecake Video Tutorial for visual assistance! This recipe can be divided up over several days — you can make and refrigerate both the cheesecake and pudding in advance. Simply make the toffee sauce and assemble the day you’re serving the cake.
Make the cheesecake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a springform cheesecake pan. Combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs. Using a flat-sided glass, press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides (you want it to be tall — try to get to about 2.5-3 inches high and not too thick in any one spot) of your cheesecake pan. Bake the crust for about 6 minutes and let it cool as you make your cheesecake filling.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until well blended. Beat in the flour. Add in the vanilla and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Pour the filling into your crust.
Bake until the top is lightly browned, puffed and cracked at the edges, and the center moves only very slightly when the pan is lightly shaken (about 40 minutes). Check while baking periodically and put a pie shield (or strips of foil) around the top of your pan to protect the crust edges if they’re getting too dark. Just don’t let the shield/foil touch the crust — it’s delicate and might crumble. Let cheesecake cool before chilling it in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
Make Sticky Toffee Pudding: In the meantime, grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Place a parchment paper round in it to line the bottom, and grease the paper as well. You don’t want your pudding stuck in your pan!
Sift the flour and baking powder onto a sheet of waxed paper (Doing this with dry ingredients is good because then the paper becomes a funnel for easy transport of your dry ingredients and you aren’t using an extra bowl). In a separate small bowl, gently mix the dates, boiling water, baking soda. Set this aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine. Gradually mix in the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Fold in the date mixture with a spatula. Pour your batter into your prepared pan and bake until the pudding is set up and firm, about 35 minutes (jiggle the pan and watch the middle). Let the pudding cool completely on a wire rack before inverting it onto a wax paper lined plate and popping it in the freezer to firm up for easy handling (or leave it in the fridge overnight).
Make the Toffee Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the butter, heavy cream and brown sugar. Bring this to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil gently for about 8 minutes over medium low heat, or until the mixture is thickened.
Assemble the cake: Preheat the broiler. Spoon about 1/3 cup of toffee sauce onto the surface of your cheesecake to serve as a “glue” and gently place your sticky toffee pudding layer on top, pressing to adhere. Top this layer with about 1/3 cup of the toffee sauce and spread this around evenly on top. Place the cake under the broiler until the topping is bubbly, about 1 minute (keep a close watch! I rotated mine carefully every few seconds for even bubbling). Carefully remove the springform pan and using a sturdy spatula or two, place cheesecake on serving platter (if you’re nervous, just remove the sides of the springform pan and serve it straight from the base — no worries). Serve slices with extra toffee sauce and whipped cream or ice cream.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
My mom’s friend adopted this lovely dog after he was abandoned by his previous family. His name is Shaun. Shaun had always been very good at eating all his food. Every last bit that was, he ate it. One day he started leaving a little bit behind. He wouldn’t eat everything, no matter what. He always left a little behind. Every morning when my mom’s friend checked Shaun’s bowl, the food was gone. That was very strange, because Shaun always spent the night by her side. One night she decided to investigate the food situation. She waited quietly by the food bowl and then, in the middle of the night, a cat came through the window and ate the remaining food. She noticed the cat was actually pregnant. A week or so later the cat came into her house and gave birth to 6 little kittens. Shaun took care of them as if they were his own babies. My mom’s friend adopted the cat too (her name is Meow) and they took care of the kittens until they all found a loving home. Nowadays Meow and Shaun live happily together as a family and they each have their little bowl of food.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Sarcasm seems to exercise the brain more than sincere statements do. Scientists who have monitored the electrical activity of the brains of test subjects exposed to sarcastic statements have found that brains have to work harder to understand sarcasm