Monday, January 21, 2008

Condiment of the Week: Hershey's Chocolate Syrup

This weeks condiment, brought to you from my fridge, is inspired by an old duffer who lurks around my pastures from time to time. A few of us were discussing the assets of a certain celebrity, and his wonderful performance in Chocolat. Therefore, I selected Hershey's Chocolate Syrup as Condiment of the Week.

Some people might think that chocolate really doesn't qualify as a condiment, but more of a food group in itself. (Whenever Aunt Flo makes her monthly visit to my ranch, chocolate-covered anything is a staple of my diet.) However, chocolate syrup is more of a condiment because it accents the main dish. Chocolate syrup doesn't make the meal--it simply makes the meal better.

Consider the humble glass of milk. It is creamy and delicious, and definitely nutritious. But adding a few teaspoons (or 17) of chocolate syrup, and it is more than a wholesome beverage, it is an experience worth savoring. Warm that milk a bit, add some of that syrup and a dash of cinnamon on top and it is an incredible taste sensation that should be repeated again and again. The essence of the drink (both hot and cold) is the milk. Chocolate syrup simply enhances milk's succulent creaminess.

I drown vanilla ice cream with syrup and peanuts. I dip strawberries and bananas in it. I add it to brownie mix for extra-gooey yumminess. I even squirt in a little syrup in my red chili--no kidding.

There are very few desserts that don't benefit with a little chocolate syrup drizzled on top. Strangely enough, I don't like chocolate syrup on apple crisp a-la-mode. I prefer caramel sauce instead.

Hershey's Chocolate Syrup also bring memories of childhood. I remember my mother made chocolate milk for me on hot summer days. I remember my father and I pigged out on sundaes, drowned in syrup and peanuts, while watching made-for-TV movies at night. I even remember when Hershey's Chocolate Syrup was sold in a can. (Of course, not 8 lb cans as pictured to the right. Just tiny little pint-size ones.)

Plus, who could forget Messy Marvin?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Some Overdue Resolutions

Howdy y'all. As most of you know, I have been promising for the past couple of weeks to resolutely write a list of resolutions for 2008. Now that we are well within January, my list has ripened past fashionably late to procrastination purgatory. (In other words, I am turning the corner of "better late than never" and rapidly stampeding ahead to "why even bother".) So without further ado, I bring you the much anticipated (well . . . not really) list:

(1) I resolve to be more kind to myself. This means I also need to start taking better care of myself as well. For instance, I will be taking daily vitamins, not eat so much candy at work and eat lunch instead, attend regularly scheduled dental checkups and physicals. (I really can't say eat out less because, well, we rarely order pizza.) I will also *shudder* exercise for 10 minutes per day and work my way up. When the weather isn't unbearably cold and slippery, I will jog around the block. When it is too cold, or I am feeling too lazy, I will do simple things like pop in an exercise DVD for a few minutes and do some stomach crunches. I will also participate in an exercise activity at least once per week. If I skip a day of not working out, or eating too much candy, I will not beat myself up. I also will be able to learn the joys of the word "no".

(2) I resolve to explore more. This could mean more traveling up and down the East Coast while I'm here. It also means exploring Albany and Upstate New York more. Hun and I discovered a climbing gym. I hope to find some climbing buddies to help us explore the Gunks. I also want to be able to hike more in the Adirondacks to escape the heat in the summer. Hun and I already discovered the joys of apple picking, small towns, gardening, etc. I plan on trying my hand at snowboarding on the East Coast and definitely Hun and I will continue to cross-country ski. It's all out there, I just need to invest the time in finding stuff to do. Hun and I are planning a trip to Washington DC, and are totally stoked.

(3) I resolve to be a better housekeeper. This means I put things away after I am done with them, and keeping my surroundings other than my kitchen immaculate. (Hun is generally the more tidy of the two of us.) I will also go through my belongings every six months and purge anything we didn't use, view, or wear. I also resolve to be a better cyber-housekeeper to my blog, such as keeping my blogs tidy and regularly post. I also resolve to post on my other blog at least once per week and continue with Condiment of the Week. I will also post one personal list per week and start editing some of my video for youtube superstardom once per month.

Well, that is that. I didn't resolve this year to be more kind to others. I figure, if I take better care of myself and the time to spend with those who I care for, kindness will certainly follow suit. I'm used to usually placing my needs after others, and I should practice being selfish for a change. Overall, my life is pretty darn good--and I need to take more advantage of it. This might mean I might not be on Santa's Good Cowgirls list this year, but then again the old boy is a bit out of touch with the times. (I can't believe PETA hasn't gotten their claws in the jolly elf for reindeer cruelty, not to mention elf labor laws.)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I am such a groupy

. . . Inspired by the amazing band of fracas, I created my own music album. Interestingly enough, following strictly to the rules of the meme, my album was created by a solo artist with political leanings. The photo is by fetching, entitled @ the sharks.

Not quite as fun as 70s, but it's pretty startling how everything fit!

Rules of the meme issued by the Honorable Fracas:

The first article title on the page is the name of your band.
The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.
The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
4. Use your graphics program of choice to throw them together and make your band’s album cover.

Don't tell Hun I fracced around.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Condiment of the Week: Huy Fong Chili Paste

I spent New Year's Eve away from Hun, and I had a lot of time on my hands to wallow in singleton habits: namely watch really cheesy horror movies, eat junk food, and drink champagne. I noticed two startling aspects in my life in fuzzy, champagne-induced, relief: (1) I should figure out something to regularly blog about other than the crappy Upstate weather, (2) we had a shitload of condiments in our fridge.

I vowed that night to feature one condiment "chilling out" in our kitchen each week. Thus, Condiment of the Week was born.

This week I am choosing a PMS fave of mine: Huy Fong (or Rooster) Chili Paste. To say that I've used three jars of this since I've graduated college is saying something for a cowgirl like me. It's ground chilis marinated in oil, (sometimes garlic), and vinegar. It is finame without setting fire to your tongue (well, not if you add too much). From soup to salmon, I love to use it on almost anything.

I usually add it with soups and with dips. I love it in pho, a dirt-cheep and amazingly delicious Vietnamese noodle soup. I love to add it with soy sauce, along with a little sugar, to dip dumplings in. I use it on stir fry.

But my number one favorite use is with Ramen and sesame oil as a PMS-craving delight. I boil up some Ramen (I prefer the oriental flavor), and leave a little bit of water and all the noodles in a soup mug. I add the high-sodium packet of flavoring, toss in a couple of drops of sesame oil, and a few teaspoons of the chili paste. I got my roommates hooked on it while I was attending grad school.

I swear, if you are on the cusp of aunt Flo coming to town, the above combination could save your relationship with your significant other, hankies, and wasted bitchiness that could be set to more productive uses. At the minimum, it will help clear out your sinuses.

This week, I give a shout out to Huy Fong and his (her?) culinary contribution to condiment world.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Technical Difficulties

I am experiencing some technical difficulties at the moment. I am trying to change around my new look, but am having some issues with customizing things. Hence, the haphazard disarray of my blog layout.

Blogs to come:

(1) My (overdue) 2008 resolutions

(2) Condiment of the Week

(3) Show and Tell (very innocent)

(4) Plenty of griping and complaining

If ya don't like it, then hitch yer horse somewheres else.

Enough, already! I will be folding laundry and painting my toes for the remainder of the evening.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Just returned from a mandatory pep rally, featuring our fearless leader. He wanted to encourage the troops about all the great work we do in "touching children" (ewwwww!) He said he used to touch many children, but now, he rarely does. He has to rely on folks like me to touch as many children as we can. YEAH BABY!!

He talked about all the great work the agency has done, including the foster-care program growing in leaps and bounds. (Due to work of by our office. However, he forgot to mention that--spank you very much.) He didn't get around to naming my boss, or any of my coworkers . . . but he did single out some of them . . .

. . . for not paying proper attention to him. One of my coworkers received playful looks by others in my office because tomorrow is her last day (she accepted a position for a county agency--yeehaw for her). Our fearless leader was discussing employment retention at the time.

"Is there some kind of joke I'm not getting? Would someone like to share?" barked our fearless leader from the podium. All the sudden, MAs and clinicians were reduced to the age of 10-year-olds. Wide-eyed, silent questions of Did he just say that? flashed across the room.

He continued to talk about touching children, how our agency was a great place to work, and really, even though some of us from the audience were looking at him like he was fake and didn't care--he really did. (I vote for fake, myself.)

So, in case our fearless leader is worried that no one was paying enough attention to him, I want to assure him I was listening to every word . . . YEAH BABY!!

I agree on his view that our agency has done great work. I am proud of doing what I do--as much as I bitch about the system. I disagree with the whole touching children and families--that's just creepy.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Holy Cow!!

Wow, I had quite a weekend! Hun and I postponed date night on Friday. (Hun has a big test tomorrow.) I perused various blogs listed on FuelMyBlog, an online blogging community filled with wit and support I joined in December.

As a reward for Hun's studying, we ate Chinese food and watched a couple of DVD episodes of Forever Night, a show about a sexy vampire cop. Unfortunately, the main character, Nicholas Knight, fails on all three counts. He is neither sexy, a powerful vampire, or a descent cop. However the show's cheese factor--something I greatly value--is so high it offsets the character's inadequacies as well as the overacting, horrid writing, and "special effects" and amplifies the entertainment factor tenfold. Think of the show as a late night version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Dr. Who. I also place Big Trouble in Little China and Kolchak: the Night Stalker in the same glorious (or--more precisely--horribly horrible) category.

On Saturday, I ran errands and Hun and I cooked some food, and fed Dog, the ball python that lives with us and shares our life. I also looked at other blogs, such as Fracas, Daddypapersurfer, Sylvie Dixie, and onknees. I posted my two cents in the comments section. I also noticed a fellow named Kimchihead who even posted an anecdote to my neglected second blog, What is the nature of true love? (Alright, enough name dropping.) I started messing around with my inadequate photo editor, and made up a new flag for my True Love blog as well.

I also neglected to post anything regarding New Year resolutions. (Yes, I am procrastinating that list as well . . . I suppose I need to get back on the wagon, as it were.) I guess you could say I got a bit distracted.

This afternoon, Hun and I went cross-country skiing. Along the drive up, I bitched and moaned about Hun inadvertently killing me by overestimating my abilities on the trail. Hun attempts to use empathy, bargaining, and even reason to coerce me out of my anxiety. I continue to berate him as we are putting on our skis.

Hun told me he was not a cold-blooded bastard and he would never place me in danger. He also said I could stop anytime I felt over my head and take off my skis--but no, I continued to berate him. He said he wanted us to enjoy the afternoon, not for me to be miserable--and making him miserable as a result. He scooted off and I was left on my own.

I put on my skis and shifted around. I was being overly dramatic about the situation. At the same time, I don't like losing any argument, and I could just pack up the car and leave him be--that would show him.

I huffed as he was winding his way up the steep trail.

I had no right to snap at him. This activity was supposed to be fun. Fine then, I would crawl up the slope and see how well I did--if I did break my neck and die, at least I could prove I wasn't being histrionic.

I inched my way up the slope as Hun was sliding back down, asking me if I was coming. We climbed the hill and I didn't fall, or even side-stepped up the slope. I mumbled I was sorry about snapping at him--it was just he sometimes overestimated what I could do.

No, Hun replied. Not really. You usually underestimate yourself.

We slid up the trail and slid back down. I fell a couple of time, and Hun gave me some pointers. I even smiled a few times--despite Hun telling me it wasn't allowed and having fun would ruin the dark cloud over my head I was strongly trying to maintain.

I concluded that I did underestimate myself--more often than not.

We returned home and I checked my computer. Sylvie sent me an e-mail and I opened the attachment. I was awarded blog of the day.

Who'd a thunk? Hun was right.

Thank you Sylvie, DP, Fracas, Kevin, and everyone else out there in the FuelMyBlog cybervillage. I am honored. I even added the widget to my sidebar.

Next stop--Hollywood?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

To be continued . . .

I have a great New Year Resolution list being created. On the list is to stop procrastinating. Therefore, I am shutting down my computer and starting up a DVD episode of 24, Heroes, or Forever Knight. I will post my list later . . .

What was that sound? Did I break something?

Hippo Gnu Deer to Ewe and Yarns!!