One of my favorite things to be gifted with personally creative expressions from friends.
I am not talking “art” in the sense that it has to perfectly executed (although thats never a bad thing to get either and I have many professional artist friends whose work I love 😉).
But rather, art that reflects the creators unique imagination, personality, growth, spirit, feelings and emerging style. I have kept all of them over the last 30 years and always smile when each new one arrives.
Keep in mind, I define art widely, as any expressive form someone puts energy into. From handmade holiday and bday cards to sketches, music “tapes”, movies, jewelry and paintings etc.
This week, just when I needed a smile during a rough one , Mike sent me this sketch. Which is framed and up already!
Thank you Mike for thinking of me! Another one for my “Dorian Gray Collection” here at home. ❤️❤️
Sometimes my mind recalls the oddest and most arcane things. Such as this shipwreck of a musical, of which less than a handfull of my friends every recall seeing but I did (and own a early bookleg copy vhs of it). One song often came to mind; Speed with was a odd to the future and our fascination with meth use.
At 40 years old, its extreme camp with its also “tanked siblings” that rolled out including Can’t Stop the Music, Xanadu, Popeye and Neil Diamond’s The Jazz Singer all released within six months of each. One writer on its 40th birthday described it as “Trying to be The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Tommy all at once (with a disco flavor, even though disco was for all intents and purposes dead by the end of 1980) https://thespool.net/anniversaries/the-apple-review/ currently.
And yes, you too can have it stuck in your grey matter as its currently out on Amazon Prime
When it comes to cooking, it can get easy to fall into a routine. When you buy the same things every week and cook the same things every week, you can start to feel a need to switch things up. Switching things up doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you make a few small changes to your eating habits.
Try New Spices
One of the best ways to immediately add new flavors to your regular meal rotation is by adding new spices to your meals. Even if you still plan on having chicken and veggies, you can season them with Cajun seasoning to pack a punch and totally shift the flavor palette.
Figuring out which spices will be good options for you to start out with, think about the different flavor profiles you are drawn to or are curious about. Maybe you’ve never had Haitian food or maybe you’re curious about Colombian spices. Identify some of these flavor profiles and then make spice blends accordingly. That way you can just use those spices on your food and you’ll be ready to go.
Cook with a Different Oil
Another way to switch up your eating experience is by using different oils. Most people use vegetable oil or olive oil in their cooking. And while these oils have benefits, switching it up can be good. For example, try coconut oil to have a slightly sweet taste to your food. You can also use hemp oil for cooking to provide your food with a nutty flavor.
Try a New Recipe Altogether
When you want to switch up your eating experience, it can be overwhelming to try new recipes all the time. And when it’s hard to try new recipes often, it can become hard to try new recipes at all. Consider choosing one day a week when you’ll try a new recipe—maybe Friday night.
Then, if you only plan to make one foreign dish a week, you’ll be able to look forward to it as a fun change from the normal and you’ll also be able to be less overwhelmed by the process of making new things.
Enhancing your everyday eating experience can seem challenging at first. When you have established a comfortable routine, it can seem unmotivating to break it. But even making simple small changes to your everyday eating habits can help you try new flavor profiles.
I do not have affiliate agreements with any of these vendors – I just like the products.
Buying coffee gift cards to help feed folks – you can see yesterdays post on how Joe Coffee Provincetown is using its gift card campaign to raise money for the local Soup Kitchen in Provincetown (SKIP) here: November 27, 2020
These I also have affiliate agreements with – so for transparency, I am noting that:
Some of you know I am a fan of @PlexusWorldwide and use the #slim and #collagencomplex powders daily. Well, they have a preferred customer discount of 20% through Monday; https://plexusworldwide.com/MentorSF/home use the code# GIVE2U .
Hey Everyone, I hope you are recovering from however you choose to celebrate on Thursday. I know some of you have jumped on the Black Friday bandwagon. Like, may of you, this year more than ever I will be shopping more online. But while I will still use some of the “big-box stores” I also am making an effort to use local and small businesses when I can.
Several recommendations I have I will list below as well.
Drinking Coffee For Good at Joe Coffee Provincetown
Hanging out at a coffee shop is usually part of my morning ritual when I travel, as Paul usually sleeps in. It gets me out of bed and catching up with local pals or out walking. Not to mention they often serve as part of my mobile office on more than one occasion. Now – it is no secret that a part of my heart is always in Provincetown and I have posted about my trips back a number of times. Well, my old college pal, Glenn, and two friends of his took over ownership of Joe’s Coffee in February of 2019. They even managed to make it into my last summer’s TikToks about the new app they had rolled out while I was working on the COVID19 response instead of vacationing this year.
Joe Coffee is running my favorite type of promotion this season. For every purchase you make, they are giving back money to Provincetown’s Soup Kitchen. SKIP as it is known in town prepares upwards of 150 hot lunches a day from Nov – April each year and with so many people not working as much leading into the winter – supporting these programs is more important than ever.
You can also purchase a SKIP GUEST CUP OF COFFEE either online from anywhere across the USA or In-Cafe at the register. Each of these sold, will be added to the 150 FREE COFFEE COUPONS they already plan to include in the SKIP GUEST lunch bags on the day that Joe Coffee sponsors lunches. These coupons come in handy when someone wants a reason to hit the coffeeshop and money is tight. Sure – will it save the world? No. But can help someone have some reason to get out (masks and all) without worrying does that money need to be spent elsewhere.
I am a huge biscotti fan and I have hate paying the price for them in the store when they are super each to make. I do a bunch of flavors, but one of my “go to’s” is a recipe for mini M&M Chocolate Marble Biscotti that I found some time back. But with friends and family members eating more Keto or gluten-free I have started to play around with recipes and this one got a remake this week.
So I went from this version with all the sugar and flour:
To a new version that uses almond four, sugar substituted ingredients:
With a few minor tweaks, I was able to get it working to rave reviews. But first, you have to have the ingredients. So I used these alternative brands (I don’t have a relationship or affiliate with any of them) but they are all easily available at both Safeway and Luckys grocery stores. in my test batches, I found I liked the chocolate bars chopped up better than using the Lily’s chips.
Here is the recipe:
1/2 cup of margarine softened (You could use butter but it will affect the softness of the biscuit – but add more flavor)
1 cup granulated sugar substitute – I used the Monkfruit version
Two large eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
2 -3/4 cups Almond Flour ( with up to an additional 1/4 cup if needed on the side)
1 teaspoon baking powder (you may find you can use less)
1 teaspoon baking soda (you may find you can use less)
1 -3/4 cups sugar-free chips or chocolate bars chopped up
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
1 cup slivered almonds (optional)
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract (optional)
Preheat over to 325°F.
Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper ( if your sheet are large you can do two bars at once but they will spread some)
Note- this batter is soft enough to do by hand or hand mixer if you do not want to use a stand mixer
In a large bowl, cream margarine and sugar substitute until light and fluffy;
Mix in eggs and vanilla.
In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda;
blend into creamed mixture. Note: The dough will be much softer than the traditional version.
you may want to add in some extra almond flour here if needed.
Stir in 1 1/4 cups of chocolate pieces, mix well
Layout plastic wrap on your counter and scoop out the dough and shape into a ball with your damp hands.
Divide dough ball in half. Put one half back in the bowl, and leave one on the counter.
Add the cocoa powder and coffee granules to one half of the dough in the bowl. Work together until the dough and powders are mixed. The cocoa powder will make the dough stiffer as well.
Making the marbled look
On the plastic-covered counter ( you can also use almond flour on the counter if you prefer not to use plastic). Gently knead the “white” dough and shape it into a wide log. Put aside.
Do the same with the “chocolate” dough and gently knead into a similar shape
Place the two logs together, one on top of the other, and knead them three times together to form a marbled effect.
Divide the dough into two pieces again and roll out as two similar shaped logs about 2 inches wide
Place each log on a cookie sheet, (leave room around the log as they will spread in baking).
Bake for 20-25 minutes ( Almond flour burns faster than regular flour – so keep a close eye on it. In my oven 20 min was perfect)
Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes
Carefully remove from the pan to a cutting board (They will be soft! )
Using a serrated knife, slice logs into 1/2 inch slices (it may yield anywhere from 12 to 15 slices per log depending on how you cut them)
Rearrange them back on the cookie sheet cut sides down.
Bake an additional 10 minutes, Turning the over halfway through is optional
Turn the oven off and let them sit in the oven for another 5-10 min
Then remove from the pan and let them cool on a rack. store tightly covered
Wrap each log in plastic and place in the refrigerator fo 15 min – 30 min before baking to chill helps to slow the spread when baking.
You can freeze the logs until ready to bake in the future, just let thaw 10 -15 min before baking.
Adding the coffee granules is optional. If I don’t have any, I don’t use them. Don’t use ground coffee.. it will be too bitter
I had posted this over on Mentorsf.com/Engage this morning and figured I would share here as well.
Unlike when I talk about cable these days – “I have nothing to read” are words you will rarely hear come out of my mouth.
Whats makes that even better has been my Amazon Prime membership. It’s been a constant companion since I was back in school. From Summer and winter “disconnect trips” to my commutes between San Francisco and DC/Atlanta. Having the ability to download groups of books has meant I always have something to read.
With COVID19 keeping so many of us indoors, in addition to many bookstores closing up, many of us have not been able to get to our fav bookstores. So while I still advocate using independent bookstores when you can. It may be time for you to try #Amazon Prime. I’ve been a fan of it for several years.
They currently have a discount promo being offered with 50% off the regular monthly subscription; https://amzn.to/3llLOAp