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Archive for the ‘I Like It, I love It, I Want Some More of It’ Category

There are two types of people in this world:

The ones who quickly change the station when Billy Joel’s Scenes From an Italian Restaurant comes on, and the ones who give their fingers a quick stretch, in anticipation of pounding out some Steering Wheel Air Piano during the ‘Brender and Eddie’ portion of the song.

One should always strive to be the second type, and one should always strive to avoid the first type. Nobody is too cool for Air Piano and you are certainly no exception.

Image Credit

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Spring has sprung in the Portland area. Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, inexplicably pale people are sneezing and the “summer music” is back. It’s inescapable: blaring from the grocery store sound system, oozing from the speakers at the coffee shops and blasting from the radios of neighboring cars at stoplights, and, finally, making its final descent, back into the part of my brain where really bad music lives during the off-season (May-early September). Sheryl Crow, Bob Marley, Steve Miller, that Canadian who wants to ride a highway, all night long… Somebody, at some point, while high on something, decided that this would be the soundtrack of the American summer. I, for one, would like to say that I think a revote is in order. Hell, maybe even a revolt.

Here’s the trouble:

1. Sheryl Crow: In a word, she is whiny. By all means, soak up the sun. But please stop singing. Lance pedaled away from the whining, and so will I. (note to self: learn to ride bike)

2. Bob Marley: Been there, smoked that, hung a rug on the wall and pretended it was art, and now I’m a grown-up. Goodbye, Bob. Thanks for the memories (of needing to explain to one of your fans, yet again, that you did not die of “toe cancer.”)

3. Steve Miller: “I bought you a crate of papayas, they waited all night by your door.” Papayas are disgusting. Any friend of papaya is no friend of mine.

4. The Canadian who wants to ride a highway, all night long: no explanation needed

So, what do I actually want to listen to during The Warm Months? I’m not telling you. I’m weird like that when it comes to music everything.

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I have the best mom in the whole, entire world. She raised my siblings and me, on her own (for the most part), while working and going to school. Despite being short on time and money, she made healthy foods a priority in our house. While some kids opened up their lunchboxes and found a Cup O’ Noodle, a Twinkie, and a Capri Sun, I was usually met by a cashew butter sandwich, on spelt bread, and a bag of soy nuts. We had very few processed foods in our house and we dehydrated our own fruits and baked homemade bread. We used wholesome recipes, from the Tassajara Bread Book. I still remember the smell of the dough rising in the kitchen and I cherish those memories of baking with my mom. She did a good job and I love and appreciate all that she did, and still does, for us.

That said, sometimes a girl just wants the proverbial Cup O’ Noodle. Recently, at the age of 36, I made Magic Bars for the first time. I had always thought about making them, but it seemed too…wrong. And who the hell has sweetened condensed milk in their pantry? Until recently, not I. Well, let me tell you: I bought some. And I made them. And, guess what? There is magic in those bars! Sugary, fatty magic! Well, since making those Magic Bars, I have become inspired to make other formally-taboo treats. I even invented one of my own! So, without further ado, I present to you…

Mary’s Pan O’ S’more-Like Stuff

1. Acquire the following, by whatever means necessary¹: Honey Nut Cheerios, butter², sweetened condensed milk, mini marshmallows, and milk chocolate chips.

2. Take 4 or 5 cups of the Cheerios out of the box and crush those little suckers up. (I put them in a Ziploc and smashed them with a rolling pin.)  Melt a stick of butter and mix it up with the crushed Cheerios. Pat that shiznit into a glass baking dish (13×9 inches, if you are so inclined), which you have sprayed with something oily or brushed with some butter. Whatever blows your skirt up.

3. Pour a can of sweetened condensed milk on top.

4. Sprinkle a couple of cups of mini marshmallows on top of that.

5. Sprinkle a cup of milk chocolate chips on top of all that.

6. Bake at 325° until the marshmallows are lightly browned. Mine took 30 minutes.³  When it’s done, it may look something like this:

7. Take them out and let them cool. Eat them with a fork or a spoon. If you get a wild hair, you can try to cut them into squares and remove them from the pan. I wouldn’t do that if I were you. But, again, whatever.

 

Happy 2012 to all, and to all a good night!

Love,

Mary

¹Ideally, money or services should be traded for the acquisition of these items, but you can figure that shit out yourselves. What am I, Jiminy Cricket?

²None of that unsalted crap. What kind of a shitshow do you think I’m running here?

³Yours may take more time. Or less. For all I know, you have a fancy oven with a convection setting. It doesn’t make you better than me.

NUTRITIONAL DISCLAIMER: I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. If you do, wait to make these until mid-January, when you’ve thrown yours to the wind and are using your brand-spanking-new workout clothes strictly for the purposes of napping comfortably.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: I know a truly baffling number of attorneys. If you steal my recipe, and enter it into a contest, and win some kickass trip to Disneyworld or the Bahamas, I will sue you and your children and your family pet. I will also kick your ass.

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(Barista Action Figure) (Photo Credit)

I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people in the whole entire world.  I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and there are approximately 2,359,321 reasons that the Pacific Northwest kicks ass.  We have amazing terrain (mountains and rivers and islands, oh my!); amazing artists of all types; amazing food; and amazing coffee.  In Seattle or Portland (and countless cities and towns in between), it would be impossible to walk more than a few blocks in any direction without coming across a fabulous independent coffee shop.  Hipsters, hip-to-hip in funky boots and cool glasses, sip Americanos and Morning Glory chais whilst discussing politics or music or venereal warts (true story); the walls are lined with the awe-inspiring works of local artists; and the baristas are unique, well-trained and sometimes surly.  Getting a latte at one of these joints is an experience, and generally a good one at that.  But I have a confession: I have been carrying on a 20-year love affair with that place that serves their coffee in the white and green cups.  I love it.  When I see the green awning, my heart skips a beat¹ and my soul sings a happy tune.  Sure, they are suffering from a severe case of market over-saturation and their baked goods leave something to be desired² but they’re predictable and this little Virgo heart of mine can appreciate that.  In a world gone mad, I’ll always have that white and green cup.

So, you can keep your tattooed, misanthropic baristas and leave me to enjoy my venti-soy-2-pump-pumpkin-spice-no-whip latte in peace, served up fast and with a smile.³  And I won’t apologize about it.

Alright, I’m kind of sorry, but not enough to change my ways.  Starbucks, I just can’t quit you.

¹ This may or may not be my heart murmur, pleading with me to pass up the caffeine fix just. this. once.

² I’ve told Panera Bread and I will tell you: If it ain’t boiled, it ain’t a bagel.

³ Never you mind the fact that the smile is masking untold bitterness over having to remove that nose ring, cover up those tattoos with long sleeves and pretend to give two shits about how my day is going.  A smile is a smile is a smile and I’ll take it.

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Confession:  I have bought a few things from QVC.  And when I say “a few” what I really mean is “a lot.”  I have purchased makeup, skin treatments, perfume, caramel apples (This was regretted.  Where did Mrs. Prindable find these lilliputian apples?  Tiny!), jewelry, books for children, and a device that cleans lint out of your dryer.  Once, after having a few too many glasses of vino, I (apparently) even bought a crocheted poncho.  Thank GOD I never had enough glasses of vino to actually wear said poncho.  But I digress…  The point is, I love QVC.  I’m an insomniac and there is nothing like turning on the TV at 4am and finding somebody in Pennsylvania awake and trying to sell you breathable underwear.  Really, nothing.

There’s something for everyone on QVC.  You’ve got Dennis Basso trying to convince you that a shiny animal print is just as flattering on a petite 4 as it is on a plus size 24.  You’ve got Jeanne from The Quacker Factory trying to convince you that samurai-style headbands can and should be worn with holiday sweaters.  You’ve got Joan Rivers (and her ever-growing “cheekbones”) trying to convince you that a watch with 7 different detachable faces and bands will ever be fashionable or elegant.  And what to say about George Simonton?  When I first saw George I thought that I was seeing a parody of a fashion designer.  He seems like a Martin Short character.  And yet he’s real!  Or at least as real as Joan Rivers’ cheekbones.  And that’s good enough for me.

Once, many years ago, I actually heard a prank call occur on-air.  Marie Osmond was selling a West Virginia Pioneer doll.   A woman called in and said, “If it’s supposed to be from West Virginia, how come it don’t have buckteeth?”  Silence.  Marie and the host looked like they had been a ghost.  After several seconds of dead air, the host snapped back into QVC mode.  “Well…  Thanks for callin’!  Bye bye now!”  A few seconds of silence at your kitchen table?  Big deal.  A few seconds of silence on live TV?  Deafening.  It was lovely.  It was confusing.  It was like seeing a shooting star during a new moon.

And that’s why I love QVC.  Next week, maybe I’ll share my favorite Golden Girls moments.  If you’re extra lucky.

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Shop For Anissa

Last month Anissa Mayhew, a fellow mother and blogger, suffered a major stroke.  You may be familiar with Anissa’s work on Aiming Low or on her previous blog, Hope 4 Peyton.  Hope 4 Peyton chronicled her daughter’s battle with Leukemia.  On December 10th I will be donating 25% of my profits from Chirp & Tweet to the Hope for Anissa Fund.  This includes sales on my Cafepress site and also my Etsy site.  Please consider making a purchase from me or from any of the other fabulous businesses that are donating a portion of their sales to the fund.

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I don’t know if I’m getting old or just getting lame but I am elated about the Friday night that is ahead of me: Ayurvedic tea, the Sunday NYT crossword that I haven’t started yet, PLUS a brand, spankin’ new People Magazine.  And if that isn’t exciting enough, I see that People has news of Meredith Baxter’s (Please note the lack of hyphenation here…) coming out of the closet.  My heart just skipped a beat!  Lame?  Nah.  If loving to read about lesbian grandmothers is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Meredith BaxterLittle Jennifer (and her wall of bangs) look like they know what’s up.

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