Friday, February 22, 2013

Rock Candy Mountain

Ami and I invented a cocktail one night. Normally I don't like sweet drinks but it tastes like candy, no joke, and who doesn't like candy? You can present it all cute with a rock candy swizzle stick but it is simple and awesome.
You ready?
6 oz Fresca (Let's hear it for less calories!)
2 oz Pinnacle Gummy Vodka
Maraschino cherries
Optional: Lemon ice cubes, rock candy swizzles
We made ours with everclear cherries, leftover from New Year's, but you can make yours with regular maraschino cherries. Sprouts carries a really good all natural maraschino cherry, without the red dye.
Serve it up in an old fashioned, or whatever. You can add some gummy bears, or fish, it is a clear drink so it would look cool.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

How to Take a Life

I had a really great two hour conversation with a veteran hunter today. It was an amazing learning experience, and definitely gave me more inspiration to start exploring potentially trying to learn to hunt, as well as history lessons on California and Texas. For me, as someone who is terrible with plants it's potentially a way for me to connect with nature. It's also about really understanding what goes into my food, respecting the sacrifice of one animal for another, and the eternal nature of predator and prey. I can pick apples fresh in an orchard, or visit a winery and taste their wines and grapes, why not get my protein from the source?
He opened up my eyes to the ways in which the community of hunters, and those behind them, the biologists, and conservationists etc., help keep the balance of nature in areas where hunting is legal. They work to keep the balance of the animals with the environment so they are a renewable resource, as well as help them flourish. Ethical hunters do not cheat, nor do they poach. They follow all the laws and take care to make the best possible kill with the least amount of animal suffering.They use the whole animal.
To know all the small steps it takes to make a wild animal palatable, is mind boggling. There are so many factors including the sex of the animal, the age, the time of year, what you use to kill with, where you hit the animal, how you field dress/eviscerate it, and how you hang/butcher the meat. If any of these factors are wrong, then you are taking a life for no reason because you will not be able to use the meat for anything but sausage.
I plan on looking into the archery classes through the Long Beach Parks and Recreation department.
That's my spiel for the night. And since it is Thursday I want to let you guys know what's going on this weekend.
The Long Beach Comic Book and Sci Fi Convention is on Sunday, cheap and small with a few cool guests.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sci Fi Summit Summary

Today Josh and I attended Creation Entertainment's Sci Fi Summit in Burbank. It was a relatively small con, size wise and building wise. They had a great variety of actors from great shows, with a concentration on Star Trek TNG. We got the opportunity to meet some great actors, including Jeffrey Combs from a variety of awesome shows including 4400, and Deep Space 9, Rene Aberjonois from Deep Space 9 and Warehouse 13 and James Marsters from Buffy (a personal favorite).

James was cordial and sweet and everything I could have hoped for. Josh was very sweet and took some video of the experience, only missing the end when he tried to take a picture of us both in frame. Teri lent me his band's shirt which he was promoting. You see him smile at it in the video.

The real star of the con was Sir Patrick Stewart (albeit briefly because they moved the line along very quickly as they do for con run autograph lines. It made sense since we still stood in line for about an hour, but met this awesome couple Their wedding, as featured on who were great to talk to while waiting.We tried to get a picture of Patrick but that was banned, still Josh got some snuck footage which we will later share.

The panels were not anything spectacular, I prefer Creation's panels at the Star Trek Convention because they offer more interesting subject matter and more people. I did not like that they forced you to buy extra tickets to see the TNG panel at the end of the night so we didn't opt to do it. I got to wear my awesome new Star Trek tee from Geeky Hostess but I did not get the chance to share it around as much as I hoped.

After we finished getting autographs we decided to get a drink with our friend Crystal (@abbytoir on twitter) at the bar. While in the bar Levar Burton walked in. We decided to buy him a drink if the bartender walked by. He didn't so we decided to go over and ask if we could, because when do you get that opportunity? We bought him his Spicy Bloody Mary and had a short discussion on a re-airing of his NPR interview about books and such, then we went back to our seats.

We felt bad for making people realize he was someone famous from the convention because he was then descended upon by people looking for pics and autographs so he bailed. Oh well. Not everyone gets a chance to buy a drink for someone who influenced their childhood and helped set them on a path of lifetime reading and writing.
Then we returned home for some good old Skyrim adventuring.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New Kindle

Meant to post last night but got home too late after a hectic day.
My new kindle arrived yesterday. I finally broke down and got one. A paperwhite.
So far I love it. It's about two inches smaller than the other kindle I had but I love the backlit feature. You can adjust the light level for any room. I love the X-Ray feature that lets you delve into the pieces of the book, as well as the new reading time feature which lets you know how long you have left in a chapter or the book to read, based on how fast you read.
The touchscreen is easy to get used to if you have any other touch screen devices. (Meaning it might be harder for someone older to use this device over some of the older models.) To turn pages or go to the main screen you have to touch certain parts of the screen and remember where to do that. And accidentally touching things is annoying, but I'm sure I will master it soon.
I like being able to see the covers of the books, it makes it easier to remember more about the description of the books when I bought them, because I constantly download books and have ones in my cloud from years ago I haven't read yet.
I also like the locking mechanism, which after recently losing my other kindle and fearing someone using it before I deactivated it, this adds a measure of security.
I am a huge fan of the covers you can buy and I got a cute little magnetic clasp one for under 10, just like you don't leave your phone without a case, don't leave your kindle without one.
I enjoyed going back to paperbacks for awhile, I did miss the smell, but I won't miss losing my place, or the hand cramps from heavy books, nor needing a light to read by!
Ciao for now, gotta go read!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen...

If it wasn't the weekend my best friend was having her goodbye party before she moves north, I would be totally going to the Edwardian Ball. I am practically salivating because I have the perfect Edwardian dress and I can't afford to go, but truth be told the dress is probably too big for me, so yay/boo.
I am pleased to announce I am officially wearing size 12's again. Got down from 16/18's of last August. So soon I might be offering some really nice dresses on this site for a fraction of the cost for my friends who might want them.

And since I left you without a recipe this week (sorry, blame me becoming a gamer girl over Skyrim) I want to point you in the direction of this great almond flour pizza crust recipe Almond Flour Pizza Crust. I baked it on a pizza stone and it cut down the cooking of the crust to 10 and the cooking of the pizza to 10 minutes. Instead of being fancy with the oregano and basil I dumped about 1 tablespoon of italian seasoning in. I made mine a Hawaiian pizza since the Fiance hates pineapple on his pizza and he was at class.
The pizza doesn't rise, so don't expect a fluffy crust, it's more like pizza toppings on a tasty, thick, moist cracker, not quite the same as pizza, but a decent pizza substitute if you are watching your carbs.
See you at the Drive In!

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Sky Room

Last night I had the pleasure of going to The Sky Room in downtown Long Beach for the second to last night of Dine L.A. If you have never done Dine L.A. it's a great way to experience some of Los Angeles's best restaurants for less money than you would normally pay to go there and we try to hit up at least one restaurant a year on it.

The Sky Room is this amazing restaurant on the top of The Breakers Building in Long Beach, an historic hotel. The elevator even has an attendant! I was glad we dressed up as much as we did, upon seeing him. When we entered the restaurant I felt like I had stepped back in time to the 1930's and that Cliff and Jenny would be joining us for dinner.

We had a great waiter named Donald and because the restaurant was not as packed a weekend night got the best service, and had some great chats with him.
The view was breathtaking, you could see all of Long Beach, from the Queen Mary, to the ferris wheel
I started the mean with a Latin Manhattan, a Manhattan with chocolate bitters, a genius addition to my current favorite drink. Then my appetizer. I admit it was probably my favorite item. Carpaccio with baked brie and brioche with black truffles. It melted in your mouth. Toast has never melted this way better.
It was followed by short ribs and gnocchi with a sweet sauce that balanced well with the recommended tart red wine.
We took a dance break then to enjoy the piano player and the dance floor, floating in a cocoon of suspended time, as the notes to "As Time Goes By" played. And lastly my favorite dessert, creme brulee. It was a magical evening and I recommend it for anyone who wants a really romantic place to eat.