Friday, February 26, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Here's a pile of the hearts I made.
Here's the garland I made in "Valentiny" colors. I don't think I'd ever made a garland of any sort before, and this one was for a swap on Swap-bot. I ended up making several more and giving them away to others, too. I can see myself making different sorts of garlands in the future, as they are fun and not too tedious to make, and fabulously decorative (lots of bang for the buck).
The citrus-toned garland
And the Indianapolis Colts garland
I also found some nice quotes and printed them onto little slips of paper to put inside some of the hearts, kind of like a fortune cookie.
Then, for a couple of days before Valentine's, I would leave one or more hearts in miscellaeous places wherever I would go -- stores, church, doctor's office, etc. It was great fun!
The quotes I used in these "fortune cookie hearts" are the following:
Love is like wildflowers: it is often found in the most unlikely places.
We cannot do great things; only small things with great love.
~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta
To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart, and to sing it to them when they have forgotten.
The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
Forever will little opportunities to love daily drop into our hands to abundantly satisfy the question, "Lord, what will you have me do?"
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Below is a zentangle bookmark I created for another swap, and which I will have to mail out in a couple of days. I really, really like this and am loathe to give it up, but I know it is good for me to do so. I guess I'll have to make more!
One side of bookmark:
Other side of bookmark:
If you are unfamiliar with Zentangles, this site will tell you about them.
And I recommend this video regardless of whether or not you are interested in zentangles; it's just delightful to watch and listen to.
Saturday, January 09, 2010
It tells the tale of a supposed 4th member of the magi, one who was never quite able to make it to the manger to adore the new king. He continues to search for Him for many years and ... well, I won't say any more so as not to spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet, but suffice it to say that it holds one's interest.
I don't remember the first time I saw this movie, but I do know that it was on Mexican television and dubbed into Spanish. Mush have been sometime in the 90s. I've seen it again a few times since then, stumbling across it on television around Christmastime or Epiphany, which is still celebrated in Latin America. I'd always yearned to watch the film commercial-free, and since the local library did not have it available, about a month ago I broke down and just bought my own copy off Amazon. Now it's one movie in our slowly-growing set of "keeper" dvds.
This story never fails to move me all the way to blubbery tears. Each time I see it, I notice more details, more references to other Bible characters and ideas. Yes, the sets and wardrobe -- and even the acting, sometimes, despite the stellar cast -- can be awfully cheesy. Oddly, though, even the unplanned comic relief provided by the cheesiness doesn't take away from the depth of the story. Here is a man with his eye always on his mission (actually, his vocation) who, nevertheless, is compassionate enough to take a detour from what he thinks is his path in order to help others who need him. While it seems quite obvious to those of us already steeped in New Testament thought, the protaganist does not realize that it is precisely by taking these detours that he is actually accomplishing his mission.
Martin Sheen's last line in this movie is one that I'd love to be able to say one day: at the end of his character's lift, he turns to his faithful friend and says,
Friday, March 20, 2009
Last summer we planted three little jalapeno plants outside our apartment window. The landlady had given me permission to cultivate a little patch of neglected ground out there, and while my own mind went toward flowers, foliage plants, and herbs, Eddie (those are his hands in the picture) decided he wanted to try hot peppers. For some reason I had my doubts as to how they would do, but they turned out hearty, hardy, and prolific! This year we're hoping to plant some lesser-known Peruvian peppers. I hope they do as well as Eddie's jalapenos.
Monday, February 02, 2009
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
More specifically: brownies.
I am on a quest to discover new horizons in brownies. I have been Googling recipes and reading ideas about different kinds of brownies on forums and blogs as well as in old fashioned print cookbooks, and I am ready to begin.
But before I try some new recipes, allow me to post an old one. This is my starting point, my "standard," so to speak.
I associate cream cheese brownies with the seventies, which is when we started making them in my family, but it's anyone's guess as to where and when they were born. I love them because of the creamy aspect of this recipe, which makes it less stick-to-your-mouth-and-make-you-pucker-from-the-sweetness rich and yet no less delicious.
These have been a huge hit when I've taken them in to work, and plenty of folks have asked me what the "white part" is, which kind of surprises me. Hm. I guess not everyone has had cream cheese brownies before. Who knew? Maybe they just weren't there in the seventies.
By the way, brownies tend to be difficult to cut neatly into bars. I've found the best way to do this is to completely line your baking pan with alumninum foil (leaving an inch or so hanging over the edges), then grease the foil before you pour in the batter. Once your brownies have been baked and cooled, you can just lift the whole thing out of the baking pan, peel away the foil, and cut with a large chef's knife on a cutting board. This sure beats trying to pry baked-on brownie out of the corners of the pan!
Okay, so my "classic" recipe is the following:
** Those Seventies Brownies **
one box of your favorite brownie mix, plus the ingredients it calls for (typically, an egg, a little oil, and some water)
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Prepare brownie mix according to the directions on the box and pour it into a greased baking pan. (See foil tip, above recipe.) Blend the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Pour this mixture over the brownie batter, then drag a spatula or knife through both the chocolate and the white layers of batter until it looks "marbled." Bake it at 350F for anywhere from 40 - 60 minutes. The time will vary according to the size pan you are using, but due to the addition of the white "layer," it will take longer than the times given on the brownie mix package. Be careful not to overbake them, though; the surest way to ruin brownies is by baking them too long. Slightly underbaked is best if you like gooey, rich, fudgy brownie goodness.