I’m famous!

Now, not only am  I related (if only in name) to the Broadway actress, but I can also claim name-fame for this whimsical commercial:

(I hope I have that much spunk when I’m old!)



19 October 2010. Tags: , , , . travel. Leave a comment.

The Friendly Ghost

Meet Casper! The newest addition to my FoCo family:




He’s only a temporary addition–I am watching him for a Libyan friend who is going home for a month– but he is already filling the much appreciated positions of comedian and snuggle-buddy. He presented his first act of buffoonery as he attempted to hop his fat butt onto my bed. He failed his first attempt, but mastered the bouncing technique on try number two!




18 October 2010. Tags: , . Social Commentary. Leave a comment.

Blueberry Hill

I think I remember a dirty joke from my elementary years that had something to do with blueberry hill…

Moving on.

The point of today’s lesson is not, in fact, vulgar in nature– it is that blueberries can easily turn an already delicious biscuit into something ambrosial. Case in point:

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits with

Warm Blueberry Compote

It even looks like something the gods would eat…

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits



11/2     cup all-purpose flour
2           tsp baking powder
1/2       tsp salt
1/4       tsp baking soda
1 1/2    cups cake flour (or pastry flour)
9           Tbs cold vegetable margarine, cubed (or 1/2 cup + 1 tbs)
1 1/2    cups vegan buttermilk (I made my own by mixing  1 1/3 cup almond milk with 3 tsp of apple cider vinegar)
2           Tbs Earth Balance, melted
WHISK together all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
PULSE together (in a blender) cake flour (or pastry flour), margarine, and butter. Blend just until the fats are mixed with the flour and form pea-sized flakes. Add the all-purpose flour mixture and blend until barely mixed. DO NOT OVER MIX!
ADD the buttermilk to the butter/flour mixture and slowly pulse just until mixed. Again, do NOT over mix.
TURN the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until the dough starts to hold together. Pat (don’t roll) the dough into a 1 inch thick circle. Using a SHARP knife or biscuit cutter, cut the dough into ten or twelve pieces. (I cut them into squares and a few triangles…)
BAKE the biscuits on a prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes. Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter during the last few minutes of baking.
Once again, do NOT over mix the dough! This will make the biscuits tough by breaking down the wheat flour and forming gluten strings (what makes dough stretchy). You want light and fluffy! 🙂
Make sure you use a SHARP knife or cutter to cut the dough. If not, the dough will be compressed, will not rise properly, and will be too dense. Also, don’t twist the cutter if you’re using a round cutter.

Blueberry Compote


2         cups frozen blueberries
1/2     cup turbinado sugar
1         Tbs margarine (unsalted, or if salted, omit the rest of the salt)
pinch of salt
ON MEDIUM HIGH HEAT, mix together blueberries, sugar, butter, and salt in a small pot. Stir until the blueberries become soft and dark blue. Using a masher, mash the berries into a pulp, leaving a few for texture. Bring to a simmer and continue stirring until the sauce thickens and sticks to the spoon.
Serve immediately over fresh, hot biscuits!

14 October 2010. Tags: , , , . Food and Recipes. Leave a comment.

I’m Just the Dog…

Side note: The past few weeks have been busy! I am now tutoring a woman who is getting her MA in apparel and merchandising (as well as tutoring Naema on occasion), working full time, and still volunteering at the IEP at CSU… and… I have decided to go back to school. So add GRE prep to the mix and this girl has few spare hours in the day… Anyway, enough excuses. On to the post:

Few things are as exciting as stumbling upon the Estes Park treasure known as Elk Fest. Yes, Ruth, Jess, and I travelled to Estes/Rocky Mountain National Park to view the beautiful fall foliage and we greeted by the enormous occasion dedicated to the wapiti of Rocky Mounts.

A quick decision was made to change our initial plans and go “elk hunting.”

…but we quickly became distracted by a few more-fierce inhabitants of the hills:

The stunning (and sleepy) Willow the Wolf.


The terrifyingly agile Beaky Bill.*




The slightly more whimsical (and cute!) Rudy the Owl.*

After animal hour, it was time to venture to the Stanley. They tried to make us pay, but we showed them! A 10 minute hike from downtown Estes was definitely worth the $1.66 we each saved. After all we would have never discovered this gem:

I would likely maim a moose for views like these:



Oh, Dear Stanley! How I’ve missed your pretensions and general horror…



Well, we couldn’t leave without at least one (or 37) creepy picture(s). I think we freaked out a few of the guests with these shots.


And speaking of shots, no, we did not kill any elk. Or moosen for that matter. But we did enjoy shooting the beautiful outdoor wilderness know as RMNP. My camera died almost immediately upon entrance, but I feel it’s better to observe with your naked eye as opposed to through a viewfinder. At least occasionally.

I can’t complain. The day was a marvelous 12 hours of fun, food, friends, illegal hiking, bandana stealing, and elk hunting. And wolf petting. And barefoot tramping… and picture opps like this:


God bless you, Enos Mills.





*I won’t lie, I made up names. I couldn’t resist. The birds were presented by Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, but I was to enthralled by Bill’s 180 degree head turn to pay attention to his monitor. Hey, the names could be right for all I know…

9 October 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . colorado, My Girls, travel. 1 comment.

Miso Full!

Okay, that is quite the vapid/pathetic/dopey title, but it is true! I lead a conversation group and tonight, at our first official meet-up, we decided to share foods from our countries. Miho, Hiroe, and Anna are from Japan and made bean paste pancakes, miso soup, and sushi! YoonJeong is from South Korea and made a beef and mushroom dish as well as fried rice. Neama (from Libya) made some falafel and we enjoyed some arabic treats left over from the post Ramadan celebration known as Eid. And I made brownies. I know, not the most exotic or traditional American fare, but it was the unanimous choice when I asked what food the girls would like to try.

YoonJeong and Miho prepared the bean paste pancakes…

…while Hiroe and Anna (not pictured) made the sushi! There were only a few technically difficulties in the process… most due to the fact that I do not own a microwave.

But all worked out in the end.

We had quite the spread when we sat down to eat. Complete with chopsticks for eating utensils…

The falafel was a bit tricky to pick up…

But Neama mastered it with the stab-and-eat method.

16 September 2010. Food and Recipes, Social Commentary. Leave a comment.

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