Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tzatziki Bites on New Year's Eve

New Year's Meat

In Romney's America, everyone will work


Unfortunately, we will all be employed as his chair holders. All hail the oligarchy. 

party.


I hope you all have a reasonably happy and measured New Year's Eve. Party on (quietly).

Monday, December 19, 2011

Want: Picnic Table sur l'herbe


Now this is a picnic table that's perfect for the city. No yard? No matter. You've got grass whenever you want. Spill with abandon, but don't forget to spray for ants. Check it out here and here

Pascal's Wager Deconstructed


Sunday, December 18, 2011

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas T(r)ea: Caffeinated Holiday Decorations

Photo

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!

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Gift Ideas for the Book Lovers

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Every book lover I know is a lush. Buy them one of these. Or click through the rest of the list and get something tamer and lamer. xxoo

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sex on Heels


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. 

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My blog defined


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Farhad Manjoo pisses off booksellers everywhere

Out of this entire essay about Mr. Manjoo's recent article, I found this part to be the most amazing:
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.

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My latest fear: The Brinicle of death, or "I will survive" (Starfish Remix)

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.

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Melting Snowman Cookies: Put a little sarcasm in your Xmas


I don't bake, but I'd definitely buy these and take them to a party. I could run in and scream, "Is there room in the freezer?! They're DYING!!!!!" Now that would set the tone for a par-tay. My only criticism of these cookies is that the snowmen need more horrified looks on their faces. If I start melting, you can bet your bippy that I'll be sporting a look of terror. Silly snowmen. Check out the recipe here

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nature Wins: Greenland sharks are cooler than you

Picture: Doug Perrine/Seapics.com/solent

Check this out:

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. 

Feelings and how to destroy them


This was my favorite book as a kid. It served me well. Now get off my lawn. 

Awwwww Moment Alert: Puppy in a cast


It's just SO cute! But, I had to tell it to stay off the sofa one too many times. 

Yet again, I work for the coolest place: Happy Holiday from Chronicle Books

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Get Big Dick: Vintage Ads Really Confuse Me

When today's advertisers make the feminist argument that men's toys are just overt phallic symbols, I just assume they're trying to be funny and ham-handedly homoerotic. When I see vintage ads from nearly a hundred years ago inadvertently making the same argument, I start thinking that they've been in on the joke the whole time. I mean "Big Dick"? Who's kidding whom? Someone knew what he was doing. Being "envied by every boy in town" for only $3.50 seems like a bargain, though. Just ask anyone who has purchased Enzyte or Viagra. Or so I've been told....

Who wants to go to Diabetes for brunch? The 10 Worst Breakfast Cereals


Read more here

Now you know why it's organic


Friday, December 9, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Toxic Lulu: You can't look away

A million and one thanks to my Twitter pal @NubianOR who brought this to my attention. I am in awe. Shock and awe. Horror and shivers. I'm having a stroke for Toxic Lulu. Art will never be the same for me again. Just give up, you wannabe artistes.

Hillary Clinton: Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights


From the speech:
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?

The Dessert War is over: Sticky Toffee Pudding Cheesecake wins


As you spend the upcoming holidays gorging yourself and re-gaining all your "Biggest Loser" weight, I want you to take a minute to say some words of thanks to the goddesses who created this recipe. Toffee sauce meets cheesecake in a glorious melding of fat, calories, and transcendent deliciousness. You're welcome. 


Sticky Toffee Pudding Cheesecake



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.

Cheesecake Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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

When did washing our feet become so difficult? Easy Feet

I can understand people with back problems or arthritis using this product (sort of), but most of the people in this commercial just seem lazy to me. My biggest fear, though, is that we're going to start seeing people wear these as everyday shoes. My gods, the horror. 

Abandoned lip balm


Taken at Church Muni Metro Station

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