Archive for February, 2015

Trivia in the Kitchen, Number Thirty!

February 28, 2015

I’m sure you have all heard the phrase “superfoods” when referring to those foods that one should integrate into their diets on a regular basis.  And while no “official” definition exists, superfoods are considered to be those nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals (hmm, sounds like the beginnings of a definition to me).  These are the types of foods that can help to prevent heart disease, reduce your risk of cancer, lower your cholesterol, and lift your mood.  These “superfoods” include

  • beans
  • blueberries
  • broccoli
  • oats
  • oranges
  • pumpkin
  • salmon
  • soy
  • spinach
  • green tea
  • tomatoes
  • walnuts, and
  • yogurt.

What are the most nutritious foods in your diet?

Origami Cookie Cutter Dodecahedron!

February 27, 2015

With the weekend approaching, if you are looking for a project (or something to do) here’s an interesting origami creation for a five-point star cookie cutter.  Happy folding . . . then happy baking! Let me know how the cookies turn out!


February 26, 2015

Here’s the next installment of manners and etiquette (courtesy of the Goops)?

I wonder why it is polite
In shaking hands, to give your right.
I wonder why it is refined
In passing one, to go behind.
I wonder why it is well-bred,
If you must sneeze, to turn your head.
Perhaps the reason is because
The Goops, they never have such laws!

Source: Goops and How to Be Them: a Manual of Manners for Polite Infants Inculcating Many Juvenile Virtues Both by Precept and Example by Gelett Burgess.

College Basketball 2015, Week Sixteen!

February 25, 2015

127Following two impressive road victories (at Michigan and at Illinois), the Spartans remain tied for third place (with Purdue) behind the league-leading Badgers of Wisconsin and second place Terps of Maryland (who just beat Wisconsin!) in the Big Ten conference.    The Wildcats of Kentucky remain the lone undefeated team in the AP top twenty-five (25); the Big Ten Conference only has two teams ranked in the top-25: Wisconsin (#5) and Maryland (#14).  Next up for the Spartans this week: at home against Minnesota tomorrow (Thursday) and then on the road for a huge matchup against #5 Wisconsin (Sunday).  Go Green!

The upsets among the top-25 this week included:
Wisconsin (#5) losing to Maryland (#14) by six (6) points.
Kansas (#8) losing to unranked Kansas State.
Notre Dame (#9) losing to unranked Syracuse by five (5) points.
Utah (#9) losing to unranked Oregon.
Louisville (#12) losing to unranked Syracuse.
North Carolina (#15) losing to unranked NC State.
Butler (#19) losing to unranked Xavier.
Oklahoma State (#22) losing to West Virginia (#23).
Ohio State (#24) losing to unranked Michigan.

The close calls (wins by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) among the top-25 this week included:
Duke (#4) defeating North Carolina (#15) by only two (2) points in overtime.
Louisville (#12) defeating unranked Miami by only two (2) points.
Louisville (#12) defeating unranked Georgia Tech by only one (1) point.
Iowa State (#14) defeating Oklahoma State (#22) by five (5) points.
Maryland (#16) defeating unranked Nebraska by four (4) points.
Oklahoma (#17) defeating unranked Texas Tech by four (4) points.
Arkansas (#18) defeating unranked Mississippi State by four (4) points.
Arkansas (#18) defeating unranked Texas A&M by six (6) points.
VCU (#25) defeating unranked Massachusetts by six (6) points.

The losses to higher-ranked teams among the top-25 this week included:
North Carolina (#15) losing to Duke (#4) by only two (2) points.
Oklahoma State (#22) losing to Iowa State (#14) by five (5) points.
Providence (#25) losing to Villanova (#6).

Oatmeal, It’s Not Just For Breakfast!

February 24, 2015

I’m not a big “oatmeal for breakfast” fan at all.  But, I certainly like using oatmeal when baking cookies.  Here’s a tasty recipe that is sure to please.

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

1/2 cup of butter or shortening
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon of water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of flour
1 cup of quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup toffee bits

Preheat over to 375 degrees.  Cream together the butter or shortening and the sugars.  Add the egg, water, and vanilla and mix well.  Gradually add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt.  Mix well.  Fold in the chocolate chips, cranberries, nuts, and toffee.  Drop by tablespoon on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to finish cooling.

Hate, Beyond Reason!

February 23, 2015

Have you ever experience the emotion of intense dislike?   A feeling of dislike so strong that it represses action?  Then you have experienced misology.


\mi-SOLuh-jee, mahy-\, noun;

1.  distrust or hatred of reason or reasoning.
Other definitions expand beyond the hatred of reason to include the hatred (or fear) of argument, discussion or enlightenment.  Here’s an example: Because of her misology she seldom stood up for her beliefs.

Actors & Acting!

February 22, 2015

The 87th Academy Awards will air tonight . . . so allow me to poke some fun at actors and acting.  Here are some notable quotations/definitions courtesy of The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.  Enjoy!

“Someone who can remember his briefest notice well into senescence, long after he has forgotten his phone number or where he lives.”  (Anonymous)

“A guy who if you ain’t talking about him, he ain’t listening.”  (Marlon Brando)

“A ghost looking for a body to inhabit.” (Gall Godwin)

“The only honest hypocrites.” (William Hazlitt)

“People who should be treated like cattle.”  (Alfred Hitchcock)

“People who should keep their mouths shut and hope for the best.”  (Richard Burton)

“Someone with no ability to waits to go on alimony.”  (Jackie Stallone)

“The most minor of gifts, and not a very high class way to earn a living.  After all, Shirley Temple could do it at the age of four.”  (Katharine Hepburn)

“A good training for political life.  The only problem is the speeches are harder to learn.”  (Ronald Reagan)

“A way of living out one’s insanity.”  (Isabelle Huppert)

“Standing up naked and turning around very slowly.”  (Rosalind Russell)

“Farting about in disguise.”  (Peter O’Toole)

Trivia in the Kitchen, Number Twenty-Nine!

February 21, 2015

Did you know that many of the world’s festivals are celebrations of some form of local harvest?  Some African countries hold a Yam Festival (since yams are their most important crop).  In Tuscany, they celebrate the grape harvest in September.  Germany’s main harvest festival is known as Oktoberfest.  And, the list goes on.  Here is a link to some of the world’s harvest festivals.  Is there a specific harvest festival that you or your family enjoy more than another?

Here are the top 10 harvest festivals (from the National Geographic book Sacred Places of a Lifetime):

1.  Thanksgiving, Plimoth Plantation, Massachusetts
2.  Vendimia, Mendoza, Argentina
3.  Rice Harvest, Bali, Indonesia
4.  Chanthaburi Fruit Fair, Chanthaburi, Thailand
5.  Sukkot, Jerusalem, Israel
6.  Blessing of the Sea, Greece
7.  Olivagando, Magione, Italy
8.  Lammas Festival, U.K.
9.  Madeira Flower Festival, Madeira, Portugal
10. Incwala, Swaziland

Here’s a link to more detailed information about each of the above harvests.

Black and White!

February 20, 2015

220px-Adams_The_Tetons_and_the_Snake_RiverToday marks the birthday of Ansel Adams (back in 1902), environmentalist and photographer extraordinaire.  He was most well-known and remembered for his black and white photographs, especially of the American West (and Yosemite National Park specifically).  Here is one of his more famous photographs entitled The Tetons and the Snake River (ca. 1942).   Here’s a link to the Ansel Adams Gallery documenting his many photographs, famous or otherwise. What an amazing talent . . . true artistry with a camera.

Searching Google – Tips and Tricks!

February 19, 2015

Here’s a wonderful infographic (courtesy of that gives you 13 quick and easy tips for searching google more effectively.  Enjoy!

Google Search Tricks Infographic
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