Tag Archives: summer

Summertime Livin’

Sorry, folks, for the long hiatus from writing, but — it’s summer.  #sorrynotsorry

Days are long (and sometimes hot). There are books to be read, games to be played, people to be seen, and (most importantly) fresh produce to be consumed — made a cobbler today; cannot WAIT till all those fresh tomatoes roll in!

(Bonus: My favorite quick peach  cobbler recipe.)

Discovered a new author – Octavia Butler. One of her book collections was on sale last week in the iBooks store, so I picked it up after reading that one of her short stories won a Hugo back in the 1980s. Found that book on Kindle and rolled through it rapidly in the last couple days — Bloodchild and Other Stories.

Turns out, Butler was probably the first African-American woman science fiction author, and one of the only black writers in the genre, period.  Bloodchild included a couple of fantastic personal essays by her on becoming a writer – you can find them online here (I’ll link to the first as a PDF) and I recommend reading both:

Positive Obsession
“Furor Scribendi”

If you happen to pick up the story collection, don’t miss the short story “Speech Sounds,” which won her a Hugo award.  It’s an outstanding piece.

Been also wasting some good time playing games. Was given a tip by a coworker to enjoy the typographic gem Type:Rider (desktop; also for iOS or Android), a 2D platformer built totally around typefaces and fonts. The art is gorgeous and every level imparts tons of historical and artistic information about how various font families and printing developed. Definitely two thumbs up as a learning experience, as an interactive work of art, and as a solid game in its own right.

Type:Rider – TRAILER – EN from Cosmografik on Vimeo.

I might get around to some more writing in the next few weeks, but my day job is stealing most of my creative juices right now, leaving me with plenty of seeds and thoughts but little energy to get them all into words by the time I come home. I’ve done some more thinking on “Careers as Verbs”– I think that could develop into useful prompts for discussing calling and vocation, especially with young people who are trying to figure out what to study or what to do after graduation.  We make college students choose from a list of nouns when they’re picking a major when most of our lives are spent in action.

Along the way, we hope to tidy up a couple home improvement projects, do a little organizing, and see some friends. And eat good food.  Must enjoy the heck out of summer! (Looking for some good eats? Try these pork carnitas.)

I hope your summer is swimmingly awesome too.

 

Recipe: Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Awesomeness

Definitely our favorite recipe from this week. 

Adapted from something I saw somewhere in Martha Stewart land.

Lori’s Sundried Tomato, Grilled Chicken, & Bacon Pasta, with Sweet Tomato & Onion Topping

tomatoes3 strips bacon (I used Hormel–maple)– diced (The “maple” sweetness works nicely.)
1/2 onion chopped (and more onion sliced)
half jar sundried tomatoes (in oil) — chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
pinch red pepper
1/2 cup sherry
1-2 cups of cooked chicken, diced (I used leftover)
1/2-3/4 cup heavy cream or half & half
1/4 cup grated parmasean cheese (I used the cheap stuff)
1 bag egg noodles or wide noodles

For the topping:
2-3 very ripe tomatoes (double if serving 4)
1 sweet vidalia onion, sliced thinly into rounds
Italian seasonings or fresh herbs (basil, oregano, etc)
olive oil & balsamic vinegar & sugar & salt

DIRECTIONS
Put water on to boil & cook noodles according to directions, but make sure they are al dente (use the shortest recommended cooking time).

Make the topping first:  Slice the tomatoes and vidalia/sweet onion into rounds and into a small bowl. Separately in a mixing cup (or just dump it all in and work it out), combine 3T balsamic vinegar, 1T white sugar, 1tsp salt, and 1-2T olive oil (a basic dressing). Add the dressing to the tomatoes & onions and toss.  Set aside…. [I had a roasted garlic balsamic vinegar & olive oil “dipping oil” and I used that instead (with sugar, salt, pepper) — it was delightful.]

Meanwhile
Saute bacon over medium heat — after it releases a little fat, add the chopped onion & saute for several minutes.

When onion/bacon are about halfway cooked, add the sundried tomatoes and cook until bacon & onion are mostly cooked through. Add garlic & red pepper, cook until garlic is fragrant (about 1 min).

Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup sherry or wine. Add the cooked chicken. Cook for about a minute or until the sherry has begun to reduce and the chicken is beginning to heat through (assuming you pulled it from the frig).

Add the cream, dried Italian seasonings, and a little grated Parmasean … and stir, cooking over med-hi heat to form a sauce. If it gets too thick, add some of the pasta water to the sauce to thin it.

After a couple minutes, add the al dente egg noodles & toss to coat. If the sauce still isn’t thin enough, use pasta water to thin.  Pull the pan off the heat.

Dish the pasta into servings. Top each with a portion of the tomato salad — make sure you put some of the extra dressing over the pasta as well.

Top with fresh ground pepper & some fresh basil (if you have it).

Paired nicely with Camino del Toro Malbec (2009)

Iced Coffee recipe….Ramey-style

Try this, folks. It’s seriously AWESOME. And really, really EASY.

Measure 3 standard cups of cold, fresh water (24oz) into your coffeepot and
put 1 cup of ground coffee in the bucket (8 dry oz, measured).  Brew. Or follow any method you prefer, just make sure it’s 3x stronger than usual.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan stir together about 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and whisk for about 30 seconds until all the sugar is totally dissolved. (“Simple Syrup”)
If you use Splenda or Truvia or whatever, those probably don’t need to be pre-dissolved.

In a large pitcher, pour in the Simple Syrup,
several tablespoons of any flavoring you’d like (I prefer high-quality caramel, but Hershey’s syrup or any of the standard coffee syrups would work),
the freshly brewed coffee,
a couple cups of fresh milk (to your liking)
and 3 cups of ice.

Stir well (I like to combine the sugar-syrup and flavorings first, then whisk in the coffee and milk, then add the ice.)
You can serve immediately in a glass full of more ice, or chill in the frig for iced coffee on the go!

I got the brewing ratio from Starbucks.  The rest of the concoction is mine. 

from http://www.123rf.com/photo_14797373_iced-coffee.html
from http://www.123rf.com/photo_14797373_iced-coffee.html