Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Interesting" Recipes to Make

Here’s a couple fun/funny recipes to try (BTW, none are my own creations):

1 bag Oreos, crushed
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
½ stick softened margarine
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 pkgs. instant chocolate pudding
3 ½ cups milk
1 (12 oz.) container Cool Whip

Cream together cream cheese, margarine, and sugar. Mix together pudding, milk, and Cool Whip. Combine chocolate mixture with creamed mixture. Stir well.

In flower pot, layer mixture with crushed Oreo cookies, ending with cookies on top. Add silk flowers and plastic shovel for serving.

-- The PTA Pantry
(can’t remember which cookbook I got this from, but I’ve probably see in it elsewhere too, like the Family Fun magazine).

Kitty Litter Cake for Halloween
By Cheri Sicard
(copied from this website)

This clever Halloween cake recipe, that frightfully resembles a well used kitty litter box, is actually delicious, despite its appearance. For the proper presentation, use a brand new (and definitely unused) plastic cat litter box and spoon it onto plates with a new (NEVER used) pooper scooper.

Be warned, generally this cake will not get eaten much. People just can't seem to get back the appearance, no matter how good it may taste. Go figure.

1 spice or German chocolate cake mix
1 white cake mix
2 large packages vanilla instant pudding mix, prepared
1 large package vanilla sandwich cookies
green food coloring
12 small Tootsie Roll candies

1 new kitty litter pan
1 new kitty litter pan liner
1 new pooper scooper

Prepare cake mixes and bake according to directions (any size pans). Prepare pudding mix and chill until ready to assemble. Crumble white sandwich cookies in small batches in food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but about 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup cookie crumbs, add a few drops of green food coloring and mix until completely colored.

When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble into a large bowl. Toss with half the remaining white cookie crumbs and the chilled pudding. Important: mix in just enough of the pudding to moisten it. You don't want it too soggy. Combine gently.
Line a new, clean kitty litter box. Put the cake/pudding/cookie mixture into the litter box.

Put 3 unwrapped Tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until soft and pliable. Shape ends so they are no longer blunt, curving slightly. Repeat with 3 more Tootsie rolls bury them in the mixture. Sprinkle the other half of cookie crumbs over top. Scatter the green cookie crumbs lightly on top of everything -- this is supposed to look like the chlorophyll in kitty litter.

Heat 3 Tootsie Rolls in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake; sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Spread remaining Tootsie Rolls over the top. For the coup de gras take one Tootsie Roll and heat until pliable, hang it over the side of the kitty litter box, sprinkling it lightly with cookie crumbs. Place the box on a newspaper and sprinkle a few of the cookie crumbs around for a truly disgusting effect!

Further notes:

I had a reader write in saying this recipe only needed half the amount of pudding. I personally liked the cake with the amount given in this recipe. But feel free to use this as a loose guideline, use more or less as you see the need. Also, since the layer of cookies (with the chloropyll green specks, covers the top, you could really use any flavor or flavors or cakes underneath.

Last but not least, you can also opt not to crumble the cakes, but rather layer them in the pan with the layers of pudding in between (much like you would layer a trifle into a trifle dish), sprinkle the top layer of pudding with a heavy layer of crumbled cookies. Same effect, different texture entirely to the dessert.

Friday, May 21, 2010

helping me type...

helping me type..., originally uploaded by authorwannabe.

Tamsin likes to surf the web too : ) Actually, she just likes to follow the cursor around the screen and then try to catch it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Invention of the Internet

I just came across an interesting item on one of my favorite websites. The article is entitled, “Life Without the Web” If You Grow Up on the Internet, Are You Better Equipped To Use It Responsibly? By James Sturm

It’s not actually an article. Instead, it’s a series of cartoons people have drawn to illustrate their feelings about the internet. Since I can’t draw, I’ll have to use words instead, so here goes –

I belong to the majority of those who didn’t grow up with the internet, but am part of the mass of people who had computers for at least part of their childhood (high school for me). The internet didn’t really come in to use until I was in college, towards the end of my academia actually. By the time I graduated in 1994, I was occasionally looking things up on the web, but usually not for very long. After all, these were the days before Broadband. If you were on the internet, your phone line would be tied up. Since I lived at home for several years after graduation, I certainly didn’t want my parents to get angry because their line was busy while I was on the computer.

Having use of the internet was a God-send in the days before international phone calls came down in price, or at least before I could afford my own calling plan. My future husband and I would go into a private chat room and maybe talk for up to an hour at a time for nothing more than the cost of a local call (I think).

It was also nice to have the internet as an information source. I remember my best friend and I once looking up information on Toyota Rav4s, since she was dreaming about purchasing one.

The World Wide Web being an almost bottomless pit of information is definitely one of the main benefits I receive from it. At least once a week or more I will grab our Netbook to look up something as it spontaneously crosses my mind. This has made phone books pretty much redundant in our house, because most of the time I prefer to look up a phone number on the internet, rather than bend down and grab a phone book out of the cupboard. It would probably take the same amount of time, but nevertheless, that’s what I do!

The other thing I really like about the World Wide Web is the way it sort of brings us all together as global citizens who have more in common than one might think. I think photo sharing websites are particularly demonstrative of this since people from all over the world will post pictures of their kids, as well as the places they live and visit, as well as pictures of the food they eat, books they read, etc. I definitely enjoy contributing my own photos, as well as seeing what others post (on flickr particularly).

The World Wide Web would definitely be in my top three list of best inventions of the Twentieth Century.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Having subscribed to this blog: (MWF Seeking BFF) has made me think about what I would want in a new friend, so I came up with this ad:


Looking for someone in which to share a casual friendship. Must live within about a 10-15 mile radius. Must share at least some of the same likes and hobbies (see below). Must not have children.* Must be a good listener and must not always insist on solving every one of my problems. Must be available for the occasional lunch or dinner or other social activity (of which I will call well in advance whenever possible).

* Not wishing to sound selfish, but it’s hard enough to coordinate schedules without having to compete with family members as well. Plus, I want to hear about you, not your children, which tends not to be the case with those who are parents.


Must like to take photos or be patient while I do so. Must like animals (having your own pets optional). Must like to read. Must like some of the same TV programs (no reality TV please!), and must like to see movies. Must like chocolate and the occasional glass of wine. Must like to go shopping, or not mind being dragged around the mall. Must like to travel.

Am I being too rigid here? I figure it doesn’t hurt to shoot for the moon, and hope for the best!

Friday, May 7, 2010

My Philosophy of Packing vs. Rick Steves

As my husband and I prepare to undergo yet another vacation, the age-old quandary looms – what to pack???

Thanks to Rick Steves’ “Essential Packing Checklist” included in our Italy (and probably all) guidebook, I don’t have to face that dilemma. However, I do beg to differ about some points. Being a man, I don’t expect he could/should tell a woman what to pack.

5 shirts – depending on how long I am travelling, I might pack more or less, but if I had to, I’m sure I could survive on that many. I try to mix it up with different sleeve lengths, usually plain, or at least nothing offensive or anything that screams, “I’m just a hick from the Midwest!” I also try to select shirts that I may not have been previously photographed in so that it looks like I have a diverse (or at least well-packed) wardrobe.

1 sweater or lightweight fleece jacket – again, I might pack more than that, but could probably survive on one or the other. I prefer zip-up sweatshirts, but that’s just me.

2 pairs pants (or trousers if you’re European) – I would probably choose two pairs of jeans, and maybe one pair of “dressy pants,” but he’s pretty much right on the money here.

1 pair shorts – Depending on how hot it is wherever I’m travelling, might want more than that (and we found out the hard way a couple times).

1 swimsuit (for women only since he suggests men can get by with shorts) – I usually end up packing it to use in the hotel pool, but then never end up actually using it, so it stays home.

5 pairs underwear and socks – he doesn’t seem to mind washing things out or going to a Laundromat, but since these are relatively small items, I usually bring at least one pair for each day we’re on vacation.

1 pair of shoes – I almost always end up bringing at least 3 pair. I pack two pair of walking shoes, and then a pair that can be worn with a dress or skirt. I also have a pair of water proof shoes (that I wouldn’t wear at any other time since they make my feet sweat) I sometimes throw in for soggy days.

1 rain proof jacket – a definite necessity!

tie or scarf – I wear neither and we usually don’t go places requiring that strict a dress code, so both would be left out for us.

Everything else on the list is non-clothing related, and fairly sensible.