Sunday, September 25, 2011

WoW: Advancing My Druid

I'm trying to advance my Druid's Enchanting skill. She's pretty advanced already, so it's becoming difficult. Here's what I had to do to advance her one notch on the professional scale.

My Hunter, Megarid, spent an hour in The Blasted Lands killing basilisks, hyenas, and boars to gather 72+ Rugged Leather. Combining the leather with some Rune Thread and Black Dye, he created 6 Wicked Leather Headbands. I mailed these off to my Druid who disenchanted them. From the resulting materials, she was able to create one enchanting scroll that bumped her skill level one point.

This is not easy, people. The latter stages of advancement are like squeezing blood from turnips.

It's a challenge, though, which is what I want.

Level 85: someday.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Grasshoppers: Pickup Number 10

In this week's basket:
  • 1 bunch lettuce
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 1 bag green beans
  • 2 sweet red peppers
  • 5 jalapeno peppers (4 red, 1 green)
  • 6 ears corn
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 4 apples
  • 1 smoked chicken

More sweet red peppers! I did get around to roasting all the red peppers that I'd gotten in the last 2 baskets. These will probably go into a vinaigrette salad dressing. The two additional sweet red peppers will go straight into a salad, as will the lettuce and radishes.

The green beans will be a part of "Meat and Two Sides" dinners, which will probably feature tuna or salmon as the "meat".

The jalapenos can go into any number of Mexican dishes--enchiladas or salsa would be the most likely recipes.

I vaguely recall browsing some recipes for roast butternut squash. This will require research.

The corn is a curveball. Given a single ear of corn in the husk, extreme oven baking makes for a yummy side. The first recipe I experimented with was one I found in a Nero Wolfe novel--no lie. However, six ears of corn is a bounty that deserves to be heard in a main dish. Some kind of stew? I do have stew meat and green peppers in the freezer as well as sweet onions and carrots in the fridge.

Smoked chicken? Wow. I guess I could slice off pieces to become part of "Meat and Two" dinners. Could also make sammiches, for that matter.

Overall, I think I'm most excited about finding a killer recipe for the butternut squash. I love food more than the law allows.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Grasshoppers: Pickup Number 9

In this week's basket:
  • 2 packages ground beef
  • Stew meat
  • 3 red peppers
  • 3 apples
  • 4 pear apples
  • 9 potatoes
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 cantaloupe

I need to do some serious thinking about sweet red peppers. I still have peppers left over from the last pickup. Maybe I should roast some in the oven--but then I'm not sure how I'd use roasted peppers. This calls for research.

I have 3 packages of ground beef in the freezer now. I always enjoy making cheeseburgers. Alternatively, I suppose I could get back into some burrito or enchilada meals. Stew meat and potatoes suggest... stew! The weather has turned unseasonable cool here. If I knew the weather would stay cool, I could go for a big pot of stew. I think we'll get another hot spell, though. I'd best save the stew meat for the more reliably cool part of the year.

As always, the tomato will go into salad.

This basket is pretty heavy on the fruit! The apples and pear apples will be snacks for work. The cantaloupe--I'll probably enjoy that during Cat Availability Time.

Truth to tell, I'm getting behind on my meat consumption. I unthawed the thick-sliced ham I'd gotten in a previous basket and I've been making ham and Swiss cheese sandwiches this week. It turned out that the ham was not trimmed, so there are scraps of fat, gristle, and bone. These rests put me in mind of a nice bean recipe--maybe Navy beans and cornbread.

So much food! So little time!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Baked Eggplant Parmesan - BETA

This is not a recipe. Rather, it is a proto-recipe. I improvised this dish last night and this is approximately how I did it. I may tweak the directions in the future. If you're adventurous, use this as a rough guideline and create your own version.

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 1 medium or large eggplant
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. bread crumbs
  • 8 oz. fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced into coins
  • 1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 14 oz. pasta sauce
  • Dried basil
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Heat olive oil in a 12" skillet over medium heat.
  3. When oil is hot, add Italian sausage. Cook thoroughly. Drain on paper towels. When cool, crumble completely.
  4. Break the egg into a bowl and beat well.
  5. Peel eggplant and cut into 1/4" slices. Dip slices in egg and arrange evenly in a lasagna tray. Sprinkle with half of the bread crumbs.
  6. Bake eggplant for 10 minutes. Turn eggplant and sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  7. Remove lasagna tray from oven and reduce temperature to 350F.
  8. Pour about a third of the pasta sauce over the eggplant slices, then turn the slices over.
  9. Distribute Mozzarella slices evenly on top of eggplant.
  10. Distribute 1/2 of Parmesan on top of eggplant.
  11. Sprinkle basil, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste on top of eggplant.
  12. Spread remainder of pasta sauce on top of eggplant.
  13. Sprinkle remainder of Parmesan cheese over all.
  14. Bake for 45-60 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings, assuming that you have a salad or bruschetta to round out the meal.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Firefly Palmer

This is a non-non-alcoholic version of the famous Arnold Palmer mocktail. For the lemonade, I like to use "Simply Lemonade", which can be found (refrigerated) near the orange juice at your grocery. Feel free to double or triple the recipe as your thirst requires! :p

  • 3/4 oz. vodka
  • 1/4 oz. Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka
  • 3 oz. lemonade
  1. Combine all ingredients in an Old Fashioned glass.
  2. Add a couple of ice cubes. Stir and serve.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Blogger is pretty cool. It's nice. It's free. But it's not... um... secure.

Everything I post here is basically visible to the whole g-d damned world. That's not a bad thing if I'm posting, say, recipes. If I'm posting personal baggage that I would prefer only be seen my my friends... this is not the soapbox I am looking for.

I could post such personal outpourings on Facebook or Google. Well, their formatting options SUCK BIG DONKEY DONGS, to put it mildly. Available options... constricting... hard... to breathe....

Since I do web stuph for a living and I've registered a few domain names in my time, I could publish a blog of my own design. I could control access to the blog via logins. This might be the only truly secure solution to my quandary. Would people want to have to enter yet another ID and password to view some dork's pop-capped spittle? Cookies--I could save the login for a while so visitors wouldn't have to log in every damned time! (What about the rights of that little girl! Give me a break--I'm brainstorming.)

Maybe. Maybe that would be okay. I'm not sure.

One thing I know is this: There are precious few people I've blocked on Facebook, Twitter, and GPlus. Precious damned few. But, for the love of Jebus, I do not want those people snooping around my blog. There are some freaky freaks out there and to the extent possible, I'd like to nip their damned stalking in the bud. Nip it in the bud, I say!

It's a little more trouble to set up a secure blog than it is to just slipstream good old Google, but the benefits might outweigh the effort.
The reader will be kept informed of my progress on this issue.