Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sloppy Seconds

Who knew that leftover rice and an extremely low-stocked pantry would turn into a delicious meal? That's exactly what happened to me tonite, and I'm here to testify that it was a creative, DIY meal the gods will speak of for years to come. Considering all the ingredients were canned or preserved in some way, I am amazed at how delish it all turned out. Make it and see for yourself:

1 large can chicken in water
1 cup cooked rice
1 can mushroom soup
splash of non-fat milk
smattering of bread crumbs
handful of French's fried onions

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a pyrex casserole dish spread out a layer of cooked rice.

3. Drain the water from the canned chicken and spread that goodness on top of the layer of rice.

4. For the third layer, spread mushroom soup over the chicken and rice layer. Smooth it out like icing on a cake.

5. Pour a little milk over the whole shebang and work into the mushroom soup layer.

6. Throw in some of the fried onions and work into the soupy layer.

7. Add your salt and pepper if you please.

8. Throw some bread crumbs on top.

9. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes - or half of a Law & Order episode.

10. Et voila! Tefi's Sloppy Seconds chicken casserole in effect. Serves about 3-4 people, or two very hungry people. Enjoy!

Added bonus: For a food pyramid-worthy meal, serve with cherry tomatoes and canned green beans simmered in their own water, dry onions, and a cube of veggie bouillon. Delish!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Pol Pot and Little Toes

I was snapping some pics on my deck yesterday just before dusk. Here's what the set-up looks like when I forget to zoom in:

Funnily enough, that one necklace, made of jasper and sterling silver, didn't take as all three shots were out of focus. I'll be reshooting it today when I get up the energy to battle the heat and mosquitos. The tomato head was a gift from Ellen and the planter is filled with lush green Wandering Jew. And my midgetine pinkie toes? Deformed from years of ballet and gymnastics, and no gold medal to show for it.

Speaking of my toes, yesterday on Radio Lab (a reairing) they were exploring time - the history and politics of time, the science of time, perspectives, etc. One segment talked about Pol Pot and the year 1975. Apparently he declared 1975 Year 1 since that's the year he began his reign of terror (aka the Khmer Rouge) in Cambodia. Basically, time started with him. I will admit that 1975 was a magical year, and I never thought I'd agree with Pol Pot on anything. So yes, I agree. 1975 is Year 1 and 2007 exists only as Year 32. And what do you know? I'm 32!

Okay, all egomania aside, if you don't know who Pol Pot is, or you aren't sure why I'm disgusted that I agreed with him on something, then you should watch The Killing Fields. It's incredible. Imagine Hotel Rwanda and Rescue Dawn. It stars Sam Waterston of TV's Law and Order (Dun! Dun!). If we know each other, ask me, and I'll let you borrow it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fiddleheads: An Introduction

My latest obsession is fiddleheads. I love the name, the color, and the natural design of these northeastern weirdos. According to Wikipedia, fiddleheads are the unfurled fronds of a young fern harvested for food consumption. I have yet to try them, and something tells me I might barf if I do. But they make for excellent design since I've always loved the curly Q look.

Here's my first encounter with fiddleheads. Jason and I were in a Whole Foods in Swampscott, Mass. We were on our way to Cape Ann to visit a lighthouse, the shores, and Rockport's famous galleries and shops.

Had Jason and I not been in our rented, fabulously sinful black Mercedes (see how I worked that in?) and on our way to Rockport, we might have been moved to buy a pound of fiddleheads and make something like this:

Again, I don't know that I would like them, but I'm willing to try anything green once. After our trip I read up on fiddleheads and ever since have been in love with the little green oddballs. Here's a shot of a family of fiddleheads in the Shawangunk Ridge in the Catskills of New York State. So adorable!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wunderhemd, Ubertute

I got the greatest tee in the mail yesterday. As is my habit, I washed it first and it is currently hanging in the sunroom drying out. It looks like it might be a little snug, but it's a Medium and I'll be damned if I was going up to a Large.

Like most of my handmade purchases, I got it on etsy from a graphic designer called Maryink. She's all sorts of great tees and it was a hard to choose just one, but I decided on Wundermap, a tee depicting a map of Hamburg. It's also got a nautical feel with the yellow and blue stripes:

Speaking of nautical, I purchased on etsy this cute sailboat purse from Theresa Smith:

(Did I mention I dream of sailboats?)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Made in Colombia

Well, not exactly. More like made in Oak Cliff, Texas via Colombia. You see, my mom just got back from a five-week visit and brought me back all sorts of great Colombian beads. So far I've made three necklaces and plan to keep each one for myself.

I call this first one Nut Job. It's made up of large seeds and round river rocks. Each bead has been polished and dyed.

This next one I call River Rocks, and that's exactly what it's made of. Like some of the beads in Nut Job, these large beads are polished and dyed rocks. The little brown ones are small seeds.

This last piece is called Wood Nugget. The lady at the bead store was so taken with my mom's numerous purchases (she loves the Tef!) that she gave my mom this large wooden bead along with a pendant (not pictured) that looks like a purple potato chip. The other beads are rutilated quartz, green Czech crystals, and a large turquoise oval bead.

In addition to beautiful emeralds and fantastic coffee, Colombia can now be known for making super cool beads out of found objects like seeds, rocks, and wood.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Bonding with Brooke

Laura says Ellen reminds her of Brooke Shields. Both have great eyebrows (with a little tweezy help), a great smile, and fabulously thick hair. And speaking of hair, I've gone mad and shaved my arms. As in, the tops and sides of my arms, not just the underneath pitty parts. I don't know why, but my arms look tan now that the wolf girl hair is gone. Madness!

Ahoy Mateys!

My whirlwind weekend in Austin was fabulous. I engaged in some much-needed retail therapy and gave my wardrobe a little nautical punch. I am sad to say that I didn't buy anything handmade this weekend. I went up and down South Congress and found a ton of great little things, but nothing to tempt me. It could be that I was coming off my shopping high and afraid of a little shopper's remorse. I did come close to buying a cute little teal t-shirt with a pirate ship on it, only they didn't have my size. Arrgh.

Among the bazillion pieces of clothing I purchased, I (surprisingly) spent most of my energy at J. Crew. Who knew I'd like the preppy look? Perhaps I'm hoping my sailboating in New England fantasy will come true if only I shop at J. Crew. I mean, I wear my Glouchester seaglass nonstop, so I suppose I'm halfway there.

Okay, so I got a grey tee with a white anchor, a block plaid skirt, some tank tops, a red sailor skirt with cute buttons, and a preppy-as-heck green linen sweater. When I wear it I feel like I should be married to a guy named Chauncy.

I also almost bought this skirt, but it is scary expensive. Man, I freakin' love lighthouses!

I also spent my mom's $100 gift card at Anthropologie and got a green lace tee and funky patterned denim skirt. The skirt was on clearance and is a miniscule size 4. It will fit me only between the hours of 7am and 12noon, for two weeks out of each month, but it's totally worth it.

Ellen and I spent some good bonding hours together and ate at the most awesomest diner ever - the Magnolia on S. Congress. We also visited Casino El Camino and I'm sad to say it's lustre has worn off. It's just not the same kind of fun for me that it was 10 years ago. But then again, wouldn't it be sort of sad if it were?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A little R&R in 78705

Yikes! My blog has gotten a bit stale. Not as bad as that stack of tostadas in my bread box, but stale enough to make me blush. Things have been crazy and whirlwindy lately, so it's time I post a blog and take a little R&R this weekend. I'm going back to my old stomping ground: Austin.

Roberts dorm
Male-only dorm until the year I got there!

78705 was my zip code for five years. For two years I lived at 21st and San Jacinto in the H.R. Roberts dorm across from the stadium. During football games, I would open my dorm room windows, let in the crisp autumn air, and listen to the game while doing my medieval lit homework. Every time the crowd roared, the window panes would shake and I'd smile. I didn't give a hoot about UT athletics, but I was happy right where I was.

The next three years I lived at 18th and Nueces in the, ahem, Penthouse Apartments. The only thing penthousey about it was that I lived on the top floor. It was small, dark, and alllll mine. Good times.

Penthouse Apts.
I used to swim in that pool!

I'm going back this weekend to visit my best girl from college, Ellen. We'll hit all the old spots: Club Deville, Casino el Camino, Waterloo. Heck, we may even catch a Spankers show. One thing I definitely plan to do is visit Parts + Labor, a great little boutique that carries all handmade goods on South Congress. Man, I remember when SoCo was nothing but a strip of three or four shops, the Continental Club, and Guerros. Now it's gone gangbusters with shops and restaurants and is my favorite place to spend an afternoon.

Not only do I like to visit Parts + Labor to browse and spend money, I think they are a great model for what Jen and I want to do right here in Dallas. Only we'll take it up a notch with crafty classes, art community happenings, and a web site (I can't believe they don't have a web site!). Give us time; we're workin' on it.