Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowed in

This city shuts down when there's snow, even the times there's less than three inches, although yesterday, we probably got 6-8 or so, with wind and drifts. It's a little ridiculous, made even more so by the fact that I think OKC even owns about three snowplows. No sanding or salting, either.

I won't complain too much, though, because having yesterday off was lovely. I did nothing but play my shadow priest and watch episodes of "The Office" and make food, like these put-everything-in-them-muffins, and amazing veggie meat/bean burritos with spicy guacamole for dinner.

Oh, and these from Monday night:

Spinach feta pockets. Or something. But I had some leftover phyllo dough, so I blanched about a pound of spinach (I'd do more, if you have it, as it cooks down so quickly) until it's slightly softened/wilted (but not soggy!), and make sure the water is good and wrung out. Saute an onion and lots of garlic, and combine with an egg, thyme, parsley, parmesan, and feta. Last, chop the spinach and add to mixture, then wrap in phyllo dough. I baked mine about twenty minutes on 350. Twenty-five might be better, so the outside is thoroughly browned. Comfort food (and slightly trashy), but good.

They were good the next day, too. I ate two of them cold for lunch. Hurray for cold leftovers!

For breakfast, there were fiberlicious muffins, which I think you can really add anything to, once you get the flour/liquid/soda combo down. The actual recipe is something like 1 cup whole wheat flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 cup milk/water, 1 tsp vanilla (naturally, I was out), 1 tsps cinnamon (I put probably 3 in) 1/4 cup flax seeds, 1/2 cup oatmeal, and shredded carrots, apples and chocolate chips. I took all of that, but there wasn't nearly enough sweetness for me, so I added probably 3-4 Tbsp of agave nectar, more chocolate chips, more oatmeal (3/4 cup?), flax seeds (3/4 cup), and shredded the rest of the apple & carrot. (Raisins, especially golden ones, would be great if you have them!) Oh, and water, because you don't want the batter too thick and chunky, although not watery, either. Bake fifteen minutes at 350 - any longer and they'll lose their moist texture.

They were really good. Fresh from the oven, with butter = crack. That's why there's only one left today (the batch above makes twelve or so).They're supposed to be just as tasty after freezing, too - just pop one in the microwave and nuke it for forty-five seconds.

I was going to take some pictures of the huge snow drifts outside, too, and of Nellie jumping in them (her first snow!) but it's so damn cold out that my eyes just water (apparently, I've become soft) and even the dogs don't want to be outside. So that's that.

Crits to do for friends, today, and maybe a few short stories to submit. Happy February!

Monday, January 31, 2011


A friend on facebook posted "I'm actually going to turn green and throw people today." That sounds very appealing to me, too, this morning.

I finally finished Hyperion, which I enjoyed a great deal. It was extraordinarily clever, with some lovely writing, and I got lost in the story in a way I haven't since VanderMeer's Shriek which I read last year, or maybe Kiernan's The Red Tree. I've read a lot of brilliant books since then, but not many that make me lose track of time, in which I don't consciously think "oh, this is good, but I think I'll put it down to play WoW." The only two stories that didn't do much for me were the last two, the private investigator and the Consul's. I'm not sure why - perhaps because they didn't have as much Shrike-ness as the previous ones did.

The best thing about Hyperion is that nothing is solved. I feel I've read only part 1 of the book (which is essentially the same thing that happens in all the VanderMeer Ambergris books. You never really know the truth of what happened in that city. Perhaps because most of the residents don't, either. Or because the massacres keep happening.), and now must find out the rest.

After the sequel, I'll need more novels. There are a few Datlow anthologies gathering dust on the floor, and an Interzone issue to read, but I really would rather read books right now, especially as I try to figure out how to write Harvester the book.

Went to my first hockey game on Saturday - OKC versus Chicago, and I rooted for Chicago all the way. They lost pretty badly; I think they were just smaller and less aggressive than OKC. I was a little surprised by the show of masculinity when a few of the players got into fistfights. John assures me it's normal, which makes sense if they're fighting over some bear one of them just killed that's supposed to feed their wife and five kids for the entire winter, asthey're trapped in due to five foot snow drifts. Okay, I can see that. But in an actual sporting match where you're shooting a puck back and forth? Come on. And then the crowd cheering them on? It was ridiculous, and seemed a little egotistical for my taste. But overall, the game was fun, and then we went to the Prohibition Room, where I had my first Sazerac. There was also delicious olive dip, an amazing vegetable sandwich, and a margherita pizza.

Last night I made a few things from my new vegetarian cookbook, including a fantastic mushroom-shallot soup. Very easy - saute shallots, garlic, then lots of mushrooms, and add milk, veggie broth and cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Blend together, then put back in the pan with some sour cream. I didn't have any, so I put in a little more milk, and that was that. Just fantastic.

I also made spicy carrot gnocchi with mint cream sauce, which was amazing. I halved the recipe, which is a pound of carrots (steam/boil/bake, whatever, until soft), a half cup of feta (yep, that's a lot, I know) and process together. I had to mush them, since a food processor is next on my list to buy. Then sift in nutmeg, salt and pepper, garam masala, and 3/4 cup of flour. Oh, and half an egg.

I refrigerated the teaspoon sized gnocchi (mine were more like giant spoon-sized) for awhile, then boiled them later until they floated to the top of a pan of salted water. For the sauce, I sauteed green onions, garlic, and shredded mint in a little cream. It was amazing.

I'm hoping for a snow day tomorrow - 5-10 inches expected here, although the OKC weathermen seem to be very dramatic and also somewhat unreliable. I also have a new story idea, which could be a welcome break from Harvester.