Mr Pink Hates Legos

Let’s talk about smart, shall we?

It’s such a loaded word, smart. When you’re little, it’s the word your loving parents throw at you like candy every time you do something remotely clever, like sitting up alone or avoiding bodily harm by dodging legos on the floor as though they’re land mines. –Which, they fucking are. To everyone who says “blah blah blah, when I have kids I’m never going to yell!” Sure. Until you step on a lego while barefoot, and then you will rival Mr Pink for number of expletives exploding from your mouth like so much ash from Vesuvius.

Moving on! Smart. My WHOLE DAMNED CHILDHOOD I was smart, not pretty. I was good to cheat from on all of your reading tests, and I began to RESENT SMART. I wanted to be popular and pretty and all of those things that my odd personality quirks and chubby childhood prevented me from being. I remember trying to gain friends in fourth and fifth grade by writing my weekly “writer” on topics like why “Beavis and Butthead” shouldn’t be banned, and why gay people should be permitted to serve in the military openly. I did this, at a school, in the nineties, in the midwest, in a school with a strong Christian influence. I had no foresight as to how this would go over. I lacked the social skills necessary to see these papers wouldn’t culminate in the culling of new friends, but instead add to my already precarious tally of unadvisable social decisions.

Much of the way through my middle and high school years, this was the way of things. By then, I’d moved into very strict, very religious parochial schools. This proved to exacerbate my insecurities by punishing my uniqueness and personal views by an onslaught of brainwashing and bullying. I was never able to camouflage my personality and opinions enough to fit inside their cookie-cutter image of what I should be like, and that never ends well for anyone. I was an opinionated, emo nerd, with a deep love of theatre, movies and books, and the ones I read so rarely were considered acceptable. Again, when I was alone, birthday after birthday, I began to resent “smart.” I hated “unique.” and I detested “nerd.”

It wasn’t until I reached my twenties, and found myself surrounded by the types of people with whom I was always meant to be surrounded, that I embraced my nerd. I was living in Brooklyn and made friends with all manner of academic, theatre geek, chem lab assistant, writer, and artist.  All of us smart, most of us unique, definitely emo, and complete nerds. We all failed social finishing school.The lot of us as likely to ignore outings in favor for staying at home. We know this is ok, because we are all like this. Pajamas FTW.

We all grew up resenting “smart.” Yet, somehow, “smart,” and later, “nerd” became less synonymous  with insecurity, and completely synonymous with “community.” It’s the community that birthed nerd culture, and will continue to thrive long after it’s lost its cache. We are a passionate lot responsible for comic books, epic works of literature, sweeping orchestrations, and nuclear fission. We may not many of us be able to throw a ball 20 meters, (though, some of us can) and we may not know enough about fashion to be on-trend, but who needs trends when you have a closet full of comic book and band tee shirts? (ok, so they’re not always appropriate, but they CAN.BE.BEDAZZLED.)

The exposure to this community is a reason the internet is wonderful. Why blogging is wonderful. Why it is that Twitter, *when not used for bullying or showing penis pictures* is wonderful. Do you have any idea how many bloggers are gigantic nerds? How many have advanced degrees in science or obscure Nordic literature? somany. justsomany. At least within my circle of blogging friends. Even in the health and fitness/wellness community of bloggers, the amount of them who have obtained their RD or who frequently cite evolutionary changes as harbingers of what’s to come? Incredible.

Thank fuck for all of you. Seriously.

And now? citing the evolutionary changes that has started to increase our resistance to gluten, and the driving need to be environmentally friendly by not eating animal products all the damn time…

Gluten and Grain Free Vegan Almond Crackers

Gluten and Grain Free Vegan Almond Crackers Gluten and Grain Free Vegan Almond Crackers

Gluten and Grain Free Vegan Almond Crackers

by Cat Bowen

Keywords: bake snack side bread breakfast appetizer vegan gluten-free kosher paleo

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond meal (grind almonds to a coarse meal texture in food pro)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp garam marsala (I like spicier blends)
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper

Instructions

preheat oven to 350F

combine chia and water and set aside for ten minutes

combine chia mixture and all other ingredients

stir until combined

on a silpat-lined cookie sheet, spread mixture to 1/8″-1/10″ inch thickness

This is easiest to do by covering it with a sheet of plastic wrap and using a rolling pin

bake 15 minutes, cut into crackers with pizza cutter, bake five more minutes, flip, bake 5-10 more minutes, or until edges turn brown.

cool completely and store in airtight container.

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No External Genitalia Required

I hate Barbie. I come from a long line of Barbie haters. My mom never bought me Barbies. I don’t buy Barbies for the Peanut. I find her/it/they a vapid waste of plastic that does nothing but perpetuate stereotypes, over-sexualize young girls, and re-iterate the notions of generations of women who try to force their bodies into the shape of some unattainable ideal.

The only people I give a by for idolizing Barbie are drag queens whose hair and boobs are faker than the dolls, and whose man-bits are realer than Ken’s. (I used to help my friend get into costume, even tucked up with duct tape and hope, it’s still a real ween…also? duct tape is some impressive stuffs.)

Somehow, Barbie has slipped past some of my best Betty Friedan/Audre Lorde defenses. People have gifted my daughter the blonde wastes of space. She loves them. Every time she screams for Barbie, a little part of my soul burns its bra. She begs for Barbie socks, Barbie parties, Barbie themed adult beverages. (or I do, whatever)

On a whim, the Gaysian and I turned on the “Barbie” cartoon on Netflix, mainly so that we could concentrate on our project and the Peanut would be quiet(er). Yes, I totally gave up all of my ardor in favor of relative peace. SHUT UP THERE WAS A DEADLINE.

Anyway, we were glued to the screen. First of all, Ken is just as effeminate as you’d expect from his appearance. (totally making massive assumptions based on appearance and lack of external genitalia and I don’t care) he shrieks, he squeals, he checks himself out in the mirror more than John Boehner. (all that orange requires frequent re-touching)

That wasn’t even the best part. The BEST part was Ken trying to build the Barbie-mobile, which is much like the Pope mobile, only slightly less-pious, and the conspicuous religiosity was more capital-as-G-d instead of G-d is my Capitol, but I digress. In building this convertible, he fucked up the tailpipe. A tailpipe named “The Golden Schlonpoofa.”

Ken kept yelling “OH NO! THE GOLDEN SCHLONPOOFA!!” “THE GOLDEN SCHLONPOOFA IS MALFUNCTIONING.” Did the writers put this in just as a phallus joke for the adult viewers, or are the gaysian and I just sick in the head? Because, really, it could be either. If anyone had a golden schlonpoofa, it’s Barbie, and it’s not on the end of her car…it’s in her drawer.

I still hate Barbie, but am grateful for the laugh at her expense.

MOVING ON.

I made donuts. They’re supposed to be “grown-up donuts” but it seems Peanuts like them as well.

Baked Bacon Peanut Butter Cup Donuts

Seriously, I’ve given vegan instructions as well, and with the chocolate, the vegan bacon still tastes damn fine. It’s all about the smokey-chewy goodness.

Peanut Baked Bacon Peanut Butter Cup Donuts Baked Bacon Peanut Butter Cup Donuts Baked Bacon Peanut Butter Cup Donuts

Baked Bacon Peanut Butter Cup Donuts

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 13 minutes

Keywords: bake bread breakfast dessert side snack vegan

Ingredients (2 dozen donuts)

    for donuts

    • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 6 tbsp liquid egg whites or 2 eggs or 2 flax eggs
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp coconut milk
    • 1 tsp baking powder

    for topping

    • 3/4 cup chopped extra-dark chocolate
    • 3/4 cup chopped nuts
    • 8 (yes, 8) slices bacon, chopped, diced, and fried or 8 slices veggie bacon diced seriously, Trader Joe’s veggie bacon is best for this

    Instructions

    Preheat oven to 350F

    Grease donut pan well with coconut oil

    cream peanut butter and sugar in a mixer on high

    add eggs and vanilla, mix one minute

    slowly add milk

    sift in flour and baking powder

    pour into donut indentations 3/4 full for a fluffy donut effect

    bake 13 minutes or until just golden at the edges and sexy puffy. (only time puffy is ever sexy)

    toss out onto cooling rack

    melt chocolate and drizzle over cooled donuts

    top with bacon and nuts

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    Most Annoying

    I’m a writer. I put words on pages. I love to write. I love to weave stories and spin tales of grandeur or poverty, fantasy or realism. I love my little online pseudo0-memoir here on this tiny space of interwebs. I like the freedom of the chase of the characters as they run freely out from my imagination into my readers’ consciousness.

    I have never, however, aspired to pen the Great American Novel. For many years, I assumed this plateau of Pulitzer-worthy aspiration was silly enough as to be idiomatic. It’s not that we as writers don’t set out to write something captivating and wonderful, but to say there’s one “Great American Novel” is akin to saying there’s one “Most Annoying Kardashian.” It simply cannot be accomplished.

    Back to my point which you had no idea I was making–your medium doesn’t determine your worth as a writer. Yes, I am a “published” author. (academia) I am also a blogger. One in an army of thousands of men and women driven to spill their brains like so much milk into wordpress or blogger or HuffPo or Salon or NPR, etc. We are a legion the likes of which cannot be measured by our dot com address, nor should we be.

    We began as town criers. Pamphlets. Stories by the fire. We began by writing thoughts in leather-bound journals  we were never able to publish. We were the creators of correspondence. We were the playwrights and the players. We were the gumshoeing reporter on the sidelines of history. We are the Emily Dickinsons. We were Bartolome De La Casas and Margaret Fuller we were Chekov and Atwood. Writers. All of us.

    When people initially stopped buying papers it was because of us. This is neither good nor bad. It is simply change. Like everything in history save procreation and my love of fruity candy, things change. They have to. (because I now have several crowns in my mouth. fecking skittles)

    Now we are Joe My G-d and Carla Birnberg, we are Arianna Huffington and Sherman Alexie. We are across all mediums. We are YouTube and YA, books and blogs, artists and academics.

    Remember, writers, people may give you side-eye when you tell them you’re a blogger or a youtuber, but we, the creators, are the writers of history. We tell the stories. Tell yours.

    And because of the crowns…soft fudge recipe. Because, well, damn! This is my blog and I will blog a recipe after a serious post if I wanna!

    This recipe is deep and dark, much like my shame. (jk..I have no shame! You know this, you’ve read my blog!) On the surface it’s light and fluffy!! (like my bra)

     

    Micrwave Dark Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

    Micrwave Dark Chocolate Peppermint Fudge Micrwave Dark Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

     

    Microwave Dark Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

    Microwave Dark Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

    Ingredients

    • 6 oz UNSWEETENED chocolate, chopped into small chunks
    • 6 oz dark chocolate chunks or chips
    • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
    • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
    • 1/2 bag peppermint marshmallows
    • 1/2 cup crushed candy canes

    Instructions

    1. melt the chocolate with the milk in a microwave-safe bowl in 25 second intervals on high
    2. stir in extract
    3. pour into greased 8"-8" square pan, lined with parchment, also greased
    4. push mallows and canes into top of batter
    5. chill for one hour
    6. pull out of pan to cut into squares
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    Safe Word: Will Smith

    This time of year is typically spent with me grading 94379384769384 papers, watching “Love, Actually” all day, every day, and spending entirely too much in Jeff Bezos’ love den. This year, I’ve been busier than ever, and haven’t seen my lovey Liam’s movie ONCE. The tragedy of this falls somewhere on the scale between Old Yeller being shot for going rabid, and a bad cappuccino at Starbucks. (I said ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY DEGREES. THIS IS CLEARLY ON FIRE!!!)

    Shut up, you know you have a peculiar order now and again as well, miss “do you have any butter I can add to my coffee? Can you maybe just keep shaking that whip cream until it becomes butter? I’m bullet-proofing it this month.” –I am not making this up. People are drinking greasy coffee. It’s a “DIET” thing. Meanwhile, I put bourbon in my morning coffee and it’s a “problem” thing. double standard if you ask me.

    (just kidding. I hate bourbon. It’s vodka)

    I haven’t even compiled my best books of 2013 list for the blog, yet. I am behind Time Magazine, NPR, Goodreads, Entertainment.com, and that weird guy who works at the Strand bookstore who’s always trying to convince me that I’ll like sci-fi BDSM erotica. Not just aliens invading the Earth, but aliens with safe words and now ever-larger anal probes.  There’s probably no need for whips if you’re rocking tentacles. Just a guess.

    “Small Wonders” meets “50 Shades” and suddenly Anastasia is fighting back.

    I am, however, trying to do my best to take at least an hour every night to just zone-out. I don’t read, I don’t write, I don’t grade or work on my own graduate school work. I just chill. I walk, or I hit the gym. During the rest of the year, I am a social beastie a few times a week at the gym, mostly for motivation…not at the end of term! This time of year I can fully sink into my introverted nature, and say “sorry freeeeands, you’ll just have to know I love you, but Eff off a bit, k?” Ok, I may be nicer than all that.

    The solitude feeds me. It nurtures me somewhere deep in my being that cannot be reached when I’m around people. I can think about recipes or next semester’s syllabi, or just the sound of my own breath. The demons don’t get to me as much when I’m in motion. It’s like they can’t catch up to me. I am apparently a really fast walker. Much like Jason Vorhees or Michael Meyers. Keep running, bitches. I’ll catch up to you at a leisurely pace.

    As I said, I brainstormed recipes while running. Today’s is PERFECT as hell for this season. I’m kindofalittlebit obsessed with Swedish glögg, aka mulled wine (only drunkier) and I wanted to put a bit of a spin on the classic. The Swedes are pretty boss at the imports, read: Ikea, actors, rye bread. The original Swedish warming bevvie calls for nuts (which have no place in wine) and raisins (which terrify my sister) along with honey, brandy, and cab sav. I ditched the raisins and nuts, added cointreau, and POACHED PERSIMMONS IN IT. BOOM!

    mike drop. minds blown.

    Persimmon Mulled Wine or Swanky Swedish Glögg

    Persimmon Mulled Wine Persimmon Mulled Wine

    Persimmon Mulled Wine

    Persimmon Mulled Wine

    Ingredients

    • one bottle deep red wine (cab, shiraz, malbec)
    • 1/2 cup brandy
    • 1/3 cup cointreau
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1 vanilla bean pod
    • zest of one orange
    • 3 sticks of cinnamon
    • 2 cloves
    • 3 persimmons, sliced

    Instructions

    1. bring all ingredients together on the stove on LOW heat
    2. let heat until just simmering
    3. strain all but persimmons and orange
    4. put in warmer/crock pot for serving
    5. drink.responsibly. (keep your phone turned off so you don't take any naked selfies in front of the julgran--Christmas Tree)
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    Petit Mort (Not the Good Kind)

    I have a terrifying, crippling fear of spiders.

    I can barely tolerate the plastic sort.

    When I belonged to a large, chain gym in NYC, I stopped going to one of the locations because it was beside a pet store that had a tarantula display in the front window. I avoid the entomology lab on campus like it houses the Governor from the “Walking Dead”. I have made my five year old kill one for me. (I’m not proud) I suffer from hypnogogia; otherwise known as “near-sleep hallucinations,” wherein I see spiders everywhere. 

    I wake the man up and demand he remove the spiders from my ceiling and our bed. I used to charge into my sister’s or parents’ bedrooms and do the same. Thank all of the gods they’re accustomed to my very strange behaviors.

    So, that’s why when I woke up to this story about black-widow spiders being found in bags of grapes, I determined that the only grapes I would be eating for the rest of my life would be highly fermented. At least that way, if I eventually see a spider in that bottle of grapes, I won’t give a damn.

    You know how when you watch a horror movie that’s particularly gruesome, you immediately decide to watch a Disney Movie, or something featuring a topless Michael Fassbender so as to mitigate the effects of the horror movie on your psyche? That.

    I went full-on happy feel-please G-d-get-that-thing-out-of-my-brain-and-produce on my Netflix queue.

    I have never been happier working with a company on my blog. Why? because black widow spiders. Because arachnophobia. Because sometimes, books-to-film need to act like RAID on your medulla. (like after watching congress on C-Span) 

    So I buzzed on the ol’ Netflix and instead of falling into an “Orange is the New Black” k-hole (because my daughter is sitting RIGHT here, and she’s not quite ready for a trip to women’s prison, yet….baby jail…aka her crib, is where it’s at for her) I decided to watch possibly the best book-to-movie-for-brain-cleaning, ever. I may be partial….”The Little Prince.” Because it’s the anti-black widow. You know what little princes on asteroids don’t have? venomous creatures. Have you seen? Have you READ? You need to do both. Seriously, people. The book came out in 1943. Get on that, already. This version is visually stunning. Absolutely brilliant…even if every time the fox appears on screen, your daughter sings “tchuff, tchuff, tchuff, ta chuff ta chuff.”

    I’m not going to lie. “The Little Prince” also kept little hands in their little lap, and well-occupied for the 8.5 minutes I spent staging my petit fours. Petit Fours befitting a Petit Prince.

    Peppermint Mocha Petit Fours

    peppermint-mocha petit fours peppermint-mocha petit fours peppermint-mocha petit fours peppermint-mocha petit fours peppermint-mocha petit fours

     

    These could not be simpler. I used this recipe for peppermint mocha brownies, doubled it and baked until done in a jelly-roll pan, cubed, froze, dipped in melted white chocolate, and topped with crushed candy canes. It’s very easy to keep the white chocolate pliable if you melt in small increments and keep the bowl on a heating pad, hot water bottle, or warming plate set to LOW. Yes, you WILL get covered in white chocolate…but I am sure you can come up with new and interesting ways of cleaning it up while your child is otherwise occupied with Netflix.

    Disclaimer: Netflix has compensated me for these posts, but all opinions (even if I think a movie is total crap) are my own.