Monthly Archives: April 2007

Frozen Hot Chocolate


I am trying to keep these recipes on my knitting blog, but this one looks too good to not let you guys know about it, too. Of course, this is the no-holes-barred version, with all the extra fat and calories. I post it, as is, to keep the integrity of the recipe; but as always, you can modify it to fit your dietary needs and tastes.

In celebration of the warmer weather we’ve been having, I’ve decided to bump the recipe originally planned and post the one below. Apparently, this is a very popular drink at New York City’s Serendipity 3. It’s noted as being a celebrity hang out place on East 60th Street; so if you’re in the area, you might like to try it out… OR you can try the more economical version at home! Fred Thompson says that if you were to follow the original recipe, you’d have to go shopping in Europe. His version makes the shopping a lot easier. I really recommend this book if you love chocolate there are SO MANY creative ideas packed in this compact little book.

hot chocolate art

Summer’s Frozen Hot Chocolate

1 1/2 tsp. sweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
4 cups crushed ice
Sweetened whipped cream for garnish
Grated chocolate of your choice for garnish

  1. Place a double boiler over medium heat. Add both cocoa powders, the sugar, and the butter. Whisk until the cocoas and sugar have melted and creamed together with the butter.
  2. Add a little of the milk. Add the chocolates, whisking as they melt. Slowly pour in additional milk, reserving 1 cup milk for step 3. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  3. In a blender, make 3 servings at a time. Add 1/2 cup of the chocolate base, 1/2 cup milk, and about 2 cups crushed ice. Blend until smooth, adding more ice or liquid as needed to reach a perfect texture. (Repeat with remaining ingredients or store any unused chocolate base in the refrigerator, covered.) Pour frozen hot chocolate into large goblets and top with whipped cream and grated chocolate. Serve immediately with a straw and a long spoon.

Serves 6

Who’s More Deeply Disturbed?


My impulse is to make these words as big as this screen. Today I am deeply, deeply disturbed. I want to discuss the ban on late term partial-birth abortion that was just upheld by the Supreme Court. I’m not disturbed about that. I applaud that ruling. I never thought that I would be happy that Samuel Alito got confirmed, but today I was. Sometimes I am like a being skirting through life and do not absorb the details, but I will try my best to get the facts as I heard them. Apparently, this ban is more complicated than one might expect. There is a dispute over the wording on the ban, learned doctors say it’s vague and they’re unsure about what constitutes *”partial birth abortion”*. Quick solution: STOP DOING THE PROCEDURE. Confusion lifted. My own opinion is very simple, very blunt. If you are a woman who does not intend on giving birth to a baby, do not have sex. Period. That very specific event is what s-e-x is for in the first place. We, almighty human beings have distorted it into a tool (forgive the expression) for our own enjoyment, or lust. We are only concerned with what heights our passions will lead us to; and the sacred act, itself, is abused and it’s true meaning, it’s original purpose is obscured beyond retrieval. Looking at it this way, elevates the animals of the forest and the seas above us human beings. At least when they copulate they are fulfilling the honest purpose of the act, procreation.

UPDATE: 4/20/07 *…*= I added the word “birth” to “partial abortion”.

Let me state here that I am a Catholic and I do not believe in abortions in any way, shape or form, or in what month it’s supposedly acceptable and (healthy) to have one. My beliefs are mine alone; and I do not seek to force them upon anyone else. Oh, I will state here that I would willingly give my life so that my unborn baby might live. That is an excruciating difficult choice to make; but despite the fact that I have a husband I do not want to leave, and I have a 2 year old son that I am definitely not ready to leave, I also could not make the decision to end the life of a being inside my body, created with the love that my DH and I share. It’s hard. Even after writing that, I just know that my flesh is weak and I am balking on the inside; but the way that I see it is that God has given me the power to create, he has given me a partner to create with. How can I possibly terminate a life, a soul that God has entrusted to me?

I have to laugh because I just wrote of my personal beliefs and it was not really my intention, but how can that not come into a statement I make on this subject or any other? Though I have, indeed, stated my personal beliefs, I do not judge others. If someone makes the decision to have an abortion, it is between them and God; yet, I cannot fathom how someone can go through that. I, however, grieve.

GRAPHIC GRUESOME DESCRIPTION IN NEXT PARAGRAPH. PLEASE, IF YOU ARE A MOTHER, THINK TWICE ABOUT READING ON. OR BRAVE IT, AS I DID, BUT BE AWARE THE CONTENT IS DISTURBING. THERE ARE PICTURES, BUT I CANNOT BRING MYSELF TO LINK TO THEM. I am sorry, but I believe that a lot of women out there who had the abortion, seriously do not understand that their baby is actually being murdered. I believe that the doctors who do this procedure are leading on the women to believe that the baby doesn’t actually feel it; nay, I believe they are advising that the baby is not a baby at all, just a massive cluster of cells.

What I am truly disturbed about is what I found out about the procedure, itself. I am truly disturbed about what kind of individual, what kind of person would perform this murder under the guise of practicing medicine in the first place. I just learned today that some of these abortions are performed by dismembering the living fetus, inside the mother’s body, then removing it, piece by piece. Gruesome! Other procedures describe pulling the baby out, except for it’s head. The baby is alive, arms and legs moving about. The nurse must assist in making sure the fetus’ head stays in the birth canal. Then the baby is killed, with it’s head still inside, by stabbing him/her with surgical scissors, scissors used otherwise to save a life, then suctioning out the brains, collapsing the skull, effectively killing the baby. “Technically” the baby is not alive because the head is still inside, so it’s supposed to be okay. I want to know how the men and women of the medical profession can live with themselves, being representatives of the Healing Arts? How can they bring themselves to advise a mother to have one? How can they handle a living baby, up to 6-7 months gestation, then commit an act of homicide? Indeed, if the head slipped out, it would be considered homicide. How can they draw that line?

This is a LIFE we are talking about, an advanced life form, no longer an embryo, no longer an entity that our “learned” men (and women) are unsure, confused about whether it’s a life or not…. it’s a life! Again, women should not be getting pregnant if they are not ready to commit to rearing a child.

I do know for a fact that the women that have any type of abortion experience trauma. Though women are placed into the villain’s hat, they are really additional victims. They are victims of poor education. They are victims of a society that condones, indeed, encourages and facilitates promiscuous living. Personally, I DO know women who have had abortions and it was a traumatic experience for them, but really, did they stop having sex? The answer is no. So, what will happen should they get pregnant again? Will they go and have another abortion? When will it stop?

Women need to start taking responsibility for their own bodies, and I don’t mean claiming the right to terminate the gift inside. There was a time, not too long ago, that women knew exactly when they were ovulating. They were so attuned to their bodies that they knew everything that was going on with it. They knew when something went wrong at the slightest sign. When/Why did we become so out of tune with our own bodies? I believe that all this abuse and modern, fast medicine has alienated us from our own bodies. We no longer know ourselves, inside and out. We cannot even bring ourselves to be comfortable with our own bodies. We turn ourselves off to our bodies; we deny our bodies. What happened?

Tuesday Topic on Wednesday


Well, here I am, late again with my assignment, and can’t say that my dog ate it.

Fifth Tuesday Topic
Tuesday, 17 April 2007
When asked about the anti-war movement during Vietnam and at the time, during 2003, Kurt Vonnegut (who passed away last week) said the following:
“When it became obvious what a dumb and cruel and spiritually and financially and militarily ruinous mistake our war in Vietnam was, every artist worth a damn in this country, every serious writer, painter, stand-up comedian, musician, actor and actress, you name it, came out against the thing. We formed what might be described as a laser beam of protest, with everybody aimed in the same direction, focused and intense. This weapon proved to have the power of a banana-cream pie three feet in diameter when dropped from a stepladder five-feet high.
And so it is with anti-war protests in the present day. Then as now, TV did not like anti-war protesters, nor any other sort of protesters, unless they rioted. Now, as then, on account of TV, the right of citizens to peaceably assemble, and petition their government for a redress of grievances, ‘ain’t worth a pitcher of warm spit,’ as the saying goes.”
What do you think of this quotation?
How do you think the modern anti-war movement can rise above the value of a pitcher of warm spit?

What do I think of this quotation? I was too young to remember the details of the wars of the late 50’s and 60’s, but my first thought is, “how did government get so out of control that the people have absolutely NO recourse to do something for change?” The people of government know full well how convoluted the laws are. They know how very little the average person knows about the details of what goes on, let alone know enough to effect change… in other words know enough to play the game.  Somehow people don’t want to get involved beyond their little sphere. THEY KNOW THIS. So, life goes on. Our little bubbles get thicker and more opaque; and we continue to wear our rose colored glasses. Government officials go on their merry way, without fear of consequences. They manipulated the laws for their own benefit. They fill their pockets, put in their time, then go home to the lap of luxury with any benefits that they can grab on the way out.

IF someone from the rank and file population DOES question what goes on, they have no idea where to start, no idea how to effectively follow up. I sort of felt this way this week when elections came up in our city for the Board of Ed and the “question” resolution. I feel as if it’s all a game and that “right” person to vote for was buried underneath a pile of junk mail, smear campaigns and PR hype with the real issues buried way too deep to be recognized. One guy even had his daughter on a “letter from her” that came to our house (several times in one day) on a 8 x 10 glossy. Oooo don’t vote for the “bad people”.

Politics. Is not straightforward any more. Why do we need lobbyists? People turn their heads because politics is like the Gorgon. To look upon her invokes massive confusion and paralysis, your migraine peaking as you turn to stone and crumble into a heap of rock on the floor. Chalk one up for the White House. The people in power are ill-equipped to handle the sheer volume of this population. It’s no wonder that public opinion gets lost in the shuffle. Maybe that is just what they want. Let the numbers rise and while the crowd presses in on itself, government officials slip by unnoticed and exit stage left… or in this case, right. We wake up to, yet a new day. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and there’s a fox exiting the hen house from the left, right and back, unnoticed until we go out there to look for a couple of eggs for our breakfast only to find a slaughtered country with all it’s precious eggs either broken or contaminated by war. The hens shed their tears, the roosters maimed or dead in the aftermath.

I guess all this just runs around the fact that we, the people, are pushed out of any position of influence that we might have once enjoyed once upon a time, like 200 years ago. The truth is that the politicians enjoy knowing that they control this country, that they carry the “keys”, the mysterious American Rosetta Stone of Politics. We must go through them. Sort of reminds me of organized religion. We must go through the clergy to reach God. In America, we must prostrate ourselves before our Man-God hoping that he will smile down upon us and maybe lower our taxes a little bit, or sign a bill to save our environment…. GRRRRRR that is another hot issue. Everything is just too complicated and every time an average person tries to talk about the issues, the politicians are the first to say, “it’s too complicated of an issue to get into right now. But it’s a ‘conversation’ that should happen~ sometime.” I’m serious, I’ve heard that sort of answer on political talk shows. I hate “conversations”. That is all they are. All talk, no action. I am home more than two years now and have this radio on, tuned into public radio all day. All I hear is partial conversations, punctuated with snippets of callers who are hardly given the time of day. We listeners bring up some pretty good points and nobody seems to want to consider them.

If I had an answer to the last question, I’d be a millionaire… or more. If I get any ideas, I’ll update.

Hot Chocolate Mix


Good Day, all! Welcoome to Hot Chocolate Wednesday. Today I thought I would bring you a recipe for a “mix”. A mix is a premixed preparation of hot chocolate, like Swiss Miss and other commercial ones. Now you can take your HC with you. Isn’t that great? The BIG difference here is that YOU are in control of the ingredients that go into it. From a very young age, I dismissed those instant mixes because they were of a too thin consistency, definitely NOT chocolaty enough for me and I would use 2-3 envelopes for one cup!

If you have been following along and trying out these recipes, you will have accumulated enough experience to do some tweaking on your own. I would LOVE to hear about any variations that you come up with. Don’t be shy!

Please keep in mind that I relate the recipe, as is, from the book “Hot Chocolate~50 Heavenly Cups of Comfort”, written by Fred Thompson. These recipes are easily open to modifications needed for diet and nutritional needs. This one refers to “cinnamon chips”. I am assuming he means melting chips, like for chocolate making; but still, I have never seen that flavor. You could possibly find them in a candy making store or a craft store that sells candy making supplies. Here is this week’s recipe. It’s called:

Cinnamon Chip Hot Chocolate Mix

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup natural cocoa powder
1 cup nonfat dry powdered milk
1/2 cup cinnamon-flavored chips
2 tsp. kosher salt ~ for full flavor advantage GET kosher salt, or don’t use salt at all.
Confectioner’s sugar for serving

  1. Combine the granulated sugar, cocoa powder, powdered milk, cinnamon-flavored chips, and salt in a large bowl. Pour into a 1-quart airtight container.
  2. For a single serving, scoop 1/3 cup of the mix into a mug and pour 1 cup boiling water over it. Stir until the cinnamon chips have melted and the mixture is smooth. Dust each serving with confectioner’s sugar and serve immediately.

Now, you may have been wondering why you must serve the hot chocolate immediately, and you have every right to ask. The reason is that once the hot chocolate starts cooling off, the actual chocolate, or melted chips will start to solidify again and will no longer be fully integrated into the drink.

Enjoy!

5 Under-the-Skin Things About Me~8-6-6


Okay, Justin tagged me and as far as I can see, I must tell you 5 little or unknown things about myself in prose, so here it goes (eh eh!)

I figured out with 5-7-5 is, but as you can see, I make my OWN rules!

1. Push the veil back on mystery, and know that I love history
In the far misty past my own spirit was cast
A Dragon out of time, still finds her way to shine.

2. Sparkle and my red heart will sing, for I can’t deny I love bling.
Colors of the rainbow entrance me, eyes aglow
I do not collect bones but do collect rhinestones.

3. I love most the sand, wind and waves; this dragon misses and still craves
days and nights by the sea, I wonder if I’ll ever be
back in the warm sun and soar, to tickle my toes just once more.

4. I have a mean streak did you know? Enemy from within, my foe.
My dark side always here, apart of me I fear
All parts make up the one. Understand that, you’ve won.

5. My mind is so blank I cannot blink, yet I am not a Dink.
Where are they now, my two dink friends? Wish I could spy them with my lens
Can you guess I love new places, new scenes, new eats, new towns and faces?

[clearing mucous throat]

I tag Robert

I tag seandbe

New Dragon


Papo Dragon1

Do you see that little red dot on my Cluster Map? It’s the one alllll the way over to the left, flying just over Japan. That’s my new dragonfriend, Robert. I just read his blog today and it’s really a book… a DRAGON book with a very interesting beginning. His blog is called:

Life of a Dragon Trilogy

This is his second book. I just read the first chapter and really loved it. I thought that if you like dragons, you could give it a look.

10,000 Clicks


Wow, just noticed that I topped 10,000 hits yesterday! Whoa Whoo!

Don’t know about you, but I find that incredible. Think about that number in years, like 10,000 years ago; OR 10,000 years in the future. Both ways mind boggling. 10,000 jelly beans. 10,000 fire ants crawling all over you… on second thought, don’t. If they did, you’d probably be dead. 10,000 anything is a way big number.

A few more blog stats:
165 posts (with this one)
519 comments
1,523 spam comments blocked by Akismet

So, just want to say thank you to all my readers out there for thinking that I have something worthy to spend your precious time reading. I know what it’s like to try and prioritize my blog “reading”, let alone posting blogs and comments. It can get crazy sometimes.

So many blogs

So little time!

Spring Is In The Air


More like spring cleaning!  Recently, I’ve been somewhere between blog burnout and head fog… or are they the same thing.  Ha.  Interesting.  Not exactly blog burnout because I don’t write  every day, consistently, but I do find myself freezing, clogged somehow.  Even now, my fingers type sporadically and not in the free flowing way I am accustomed to.  Ah, I just don’t have anything to say.  “Anything?”

I just read an article by Suresh Gundappa, at Meditation Photography, called “Blogging-Burnout-a–case-of-your-deep-desire-for-acceptance”, and it really made me step back and think.   Thanks again, Suresh.  While at present, I do not feel pressured to blog, the fact that I’ve not written anything substantial for a while is  bothering me.

I realized that what is bothering me is that I also want to write a private journal on specific topics, as advice my thoughts on subjects that I might bequeath to my son and any other children we may have.  I am not being morbid here, just realistic.  It could happen.  I could leave this world before I am ready; or worse, my husband and I both could be taken away before my son is ready to be on his own.  So, I want to write down all the pearls of wisdom that I have stored up in my head so that my child(ren) will know me after I am gone.  Any ideas for topics to write to my son about?  I’d love to get input here.  This is part of the reason why I’ve put off doing it.  I can’t find a place to start… so PLEASE give me ideas for subjects.  I’d love to hear from you.

I never got to know my mom as well as I should have.  We just never communicated.  My mother, though also a Gemini, was the example for me of what a Gemini of the dark side could be like.  She was so closed mouthed about everything except what she wanted to gloat about.  Towards the end, we took steps at getting to know each other, but it was too little, too late.  Then she was gone so suddenly from my life and I feel as if I am left holding a full bag that I do not have the key to open.  My mother had the mind, but I don’t think she used it the it’s full potential.  When we’d have a discussion, she could not go past what she knew.  Very closed mind.   I know nothing of my family history and that really bothers me.  I have two maternal aunts who live very far away, who are in their nineties.   I do plan on visiting them this summer, so that is good… but will they remember the missing pieces to this puzzle of mine/ours?

Anyway, I just wanted you to know what has been going on with me.  This is not “good bye” and not really a “break”, but I don’t plan on writing unless something significant comes up.  More importantly, I want to be inspired to write; and I will continue to write here.  It’s just that I’ve not been inspired of late.  Maybe if I focus on writing the journal for my progeny, I will get inspired to share something, a bit of memory perhaps, with you… and that will be GREAT.

Also, I don’t want to dwell on complaining either, as this blog has been much more than I expected it would/could be.  I originally thought that it would be a place where I can get my thoughts together… and it HAS; but I also thought it would be the best place to vent and be witty while doing it…. and I HAVE.  LOL… but you know, if all that comes out of me is venting and complaining, THAT is the picture you guys will have of me and take with you.  Well, that is not the big picture of me.

Maybe this blog is changing… like how I had to change my mindset when I got married.  I think I have a pretty good wit, but before the Drake, it was attuned to raunchy, sex, and the bawdy.  When I cleaned myself up, I realized that I didn’t have anything to say and it took me awhile to adjust.  It made me realize that I was depending on this style of humor to project “hipness” to the public and thought I could be more easily accepted by people.  Now, I am striving to re-tune my brainy wit to something more normal, family based, rated G… you know, it’s not so easy!  The fact that I don’t get out much doesn’t help, but it’s okay.  I am learning that I do not need to be funny all the time and that is good, too.  Geez, half all the time I joke around with the Drake, it goes over his head… or maybe he is just too serious of a person to relax enough to catch the joke!  He does have a sense of humor, but sometimes “moi” does not catch it!  Amazing!

So, I see this has become a full blown post.  So you see, I am still here.  Once I start and the juices get flowing, I can’t stop.   Oh, I am still planning on participating with the One Million Blogs for Peace, so that will keep me going; and I’ll also continue to post my HC recipes.  I’ve also been devoting a lot of time to knitting and crochet.  I am in the middle of doing two baby blankets and an appliance cover… will be updating about those on my knitting blog.

Thanks to all of you who have become my online friends!  I am still lurking every day and reading your blogs.  Don’t comment as much as I once did, but I read your thoughts every day.

Nun’s Revenge


It’s Recipe Day! Today, I just flipped open to this one called “Nun’s Revenge”. It just wants to be posted because I pasted this one up last week. One of the most heavenly flavor combinations is dark chocolate and orange and though I’ve not made this recipe yet, looks pretty good. My only change would be to add a drop of orange extract into the mix and, of course, omit the sugar and put something else in there. I know that some people hate to “zest” citrus rind, so again, just add a bit of orange extract!

Again, this recipe is from the book, “Hot Chocolate~50 Heavenly Cups of Comfort”, written by: Fred Thompson.

Without further ado, here it is:

DSC02325

Nun’s Revenge~Fabulous Italian Hot Chocolate

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. half-and-half

1 tsp. Arrowroot

1 tbsp. Sugar

2 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate (at least 70% cacao), chopped

2 to 4 strips Orange Zest for garnish

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the half-and-half with the arrowroot, whisking until smooth.

Place the remaining 1/2 cup of half-and-half in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.

When the half-and-half begins to bubble around the edges, whisk in the sugar. Whisk in the arrowroot mixture until the half-and-half thickens slightly, usually less than a minute.

Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the chocolate until smooth. Pour into cups, top each with a piece of orange zest, and serve immediately.

Serves 2 in cappuccino cups OR 4 in espresso cups.

Tuesday Topic


Okay. This one I cannot bear to do. The assignment for today was to simply post a picture of the Iraq War and talk about it. Simple, right? Not so simple. I saw some images tonight that are literally still turning my stomach; yet, if I posted a picture of less impact, less GOREY, that would be avoiding the raw truth of what is happening over there.

I think I’ve already mentioned that, as a mother, I am worried sick that my 2 year old son will be recruited, or drafted in the future. After seeing these pictures, I realize how so out of touch I really am with the realities of the wider world. I wonder at how easy I’ve had it up to now and I wonder when/if the shoe will fall. I feel guilty because I have a good life and there are people out there in the world, in Iraq, who are like me, just trying to live and they live in horror, in fear of that shoe falling every day…. I am so weak.

AND the shoe falls every single day.

Time runs on in our little, private bubbles in the U.S.

How long until our time runs out?

We need to get out of the war.

Now.

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