Wordy Wednesday: Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou

My mom gave me Letter to My Daughter, by Maya Angelou, for my birthday.  It was very sweet and very short.  I read it in about 2 hours.

In honor of Maya Angelou’s distinguished poetry career, here are some crappy haikus that express my feelings about this little book:

 

Reading short vignettes

Chillin in a bubble bath

Both are relaxing

 

Dr. Angelou tells

Demonstrative anecdotes

She knows more than me

 

Awful things happen

Hilarious things happen

That’s life: don’t give up.

 

That should give you an idea.  If you like Maya Angelou, you will like this.   If you don’t like Maya Angelou, (a) what’s wrong with you, and (b) you will probably like this too.  It’s very likeable.

 

 

 

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Tasty Tuesday: Vegan Hummus Nachos, Inspired by the Seabirds Truck

This past Saturday, Yo Soy Liz and I were lucky to attend the Los Angeles Vegan Beer Fest at the Roxy, courtesy of the good people at Tony’s Darts Away and QuarryGirl. It was absolutely #1 on my list of “Best Beer Festivals of All Time,” and probably around #26 or #27 on my list of “Best Days of All Time.”

Besides all the great brew, there was tons of delicious vegan food to choose from: Doomie’s and Frankenstand, plus tasty truck fare from Seabirds, Mandoline Grill, Fresh Fries, and the Halla Truck.  My favorite treat that day was by far the jalapeno poppers from Doomies, with the hummus nachos from Seabirds coming in a close second.

Because I have no desire to do my own deep frying, I decided to recreate Seabirds’ hummus nachos as best I could.  This is a tasty recipe to have on handy if you don’t live anywhere near the O.C., which is where the Seabirds truck typically hangs out.  I love Seabirds, but the O.C. is not my favorite place in the whole wide world.  So until they venture up to L.A. more often, here you have it: hummus nachos right in your kitchen!

Vegan Hummus Nachos

Ingredients

– 1 wheat pita, sliced and separated

– sea salt

– extra virgin olive oil spray

– 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced

– a dash of extra virgin olive oil

– 3 Tbsp hummus

– 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk

– 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast

– 2 Tbsp pico de gallo

– a few sliced pickled jalapenos

–  1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

– dash of lime juice

Directions

Here is a tip: never buy pita chips because they are the easiest thing in the world to make, and the homemade version is loads cheaper and tastier than store-bought.  Here’s what you do: slice and separate a wheat pita and lay the pieces on a foil-covered cooking tray.  Spritz with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.  Cook in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 7-9 minutes, until crispy.

In a pan, saute sliced bell pepper in a little olive oil for about 608 minutes, and set aside.

Mix hummus with almond milk and a dash of nutritional yeast (the yeast is not super important– I just like the little cheesy kick it provides).

Remove pita chips from the oven.  Arrange evenly on a plate, and pour hummus sauce over the chips, topping with peppers, pico, jalapenos, and cilantro.  Squeeze a tiny splash of lime juice over everything and CHOW DOWN.

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Music Monday: Broken Bells Makes Me Fall Even Harder In Love With Joan Holloway

I have a huge girl crush on Christina Hendricks.  So imagine my delight at seeing this totally incredible Broken Bells video for “The Ghost Inside.”  Now I can’t figure out whether or not I like Joan more as a bitchy office vamp or a disintegrating intergalactic fembot.

Plus, I love this song’s “Private Eyes”-esque clapping loop.  Good work!!

(Call me, Christina!! xoxo)

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Feline Friday: Work hard, play hard

Oh me gah.  I had a really intense week– work was crazy, and I went out too much and too late at night…  I am not a huge fan of “I am getting so old” conversations; but I really cannot go out on weeknights anymore without feeling like I’ve been hit by truck when I wake up the next morning at 7 a.m.  I also spent a lot of time practicing guitar and keyboard for my band.

Anyway, I’m pooped.  Fiona knows what I’m talking about: she did the same thing this week!

 

 

WORK HARD!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PARTY HARD!!!

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

ROCK OUT!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what I want to do this weekend:

 

 

 

VEG OUT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SLEEP

 

 

 

 

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Wordy Wednesday: ABANDONED: There is Power in a Union by Philip Dray

It is very rare that I will abandon a book.  In fact, I can’t remember giving up on any books in the past 5 years, irregardless of how much I disliked them.  I am loyal to my reading material for two reasons: (1) sometimes I will hate something at the beginning, but grow to like it as I read more; and (2) I read a lot.  It’s not like I only read five books a year and have to make them count, or something like that.

However, I abandoned There is a Power in a Union by Philip Dray–not because I hated it.  I gave up because there’s just too much damn information.  I felt like I was reading it for a dissertation.

In October, I saw Dray on the Daily Show promoting the book, and it sounded really interesting.  Plus, I think I realized recently that I don’t know very much about unions.  Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention that week in 11th grade AP U.S. History or what, but I’m lacking a good deal of basic knowledge of the history and politics of unionization.

I was sort of looking for a general overview, and what I got was an epic.  I suppose I should have gathered as such from the subtitle: The Epic Story of Labor in America. The book is a whopping 772 pages, which didn’t initially throw me off.  I mean, Harry Potter 7 was over 700 pages too.  I’m not saying that I was expecting this to be Harry Potter, it’s just– jeez, where am I going with this….

There was just so much detail.  I only read the first 200 pages, and it covered pretty much every single rally, strike, speech, meeting, person, and factory in labor history.  I will say that it was not boring or dry– I actually really loved reading excerpts of the speeches, and I got all excited reading about how the women at the Lowell mills in the early 19th century really kick-started the labor movement in the U.S.

But after a while, I just got tired of reading it.  It was a little repetitive.  Again, it felt like I was reading something for a class– and I loved school, but even I am not down for reading 500 more pages of minutiae on the grievances of New England cobblers– ie. Should they get 12  cents or 15 cents a day?  I think I was looking for something a little more thematic or analytical in nature, not simply an exhaustive historical record.

Again, this was not a bad book, just not really what I signed up for.  I guess I’ll just have to wait for the Cliffs Notes.

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Tasty Tuesday: Blackberry Quinoa with Feta, Artichokes, and Greens… It’s Good, I Swear!

I feel like all my recipes thus far have been along the lines of, “This is delicious, I promise!  You can’t tell from the picture/name/ingredient list, but this is totally good.  For real.”

Well, here’s another one of those for you!

No, this dish does not look that great.  I’m not into photography.  Sorry.  For three years, I had a food blog that I took pretty seriously –painstakingly photographing food as best I could with my little Canon handheld– but I’m only taking this blog semi-seriously, or “not seriously” if you want to get really technical.  So the photos are no good.

But honestly, this little quinoa salad is really tasty, and you should try it if you are intrigued by the ingredient list.

I have had this recipe from Lucullian Delights on my “to make” list for over a year.  Now, I don’t eat fish, but I still wanted to give it a try.  Here’s what I came up with, and it is dern good:

Blackberry Quinoa with Feta, Artichokes, and Greens

Ingredients

– 1 cup uncooked quinoa

– 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

– salt and pepper

– a big handful of chopped mustard greens

– 1 cup canned artichoke hearts

– about 1/3 cup of crumbled feta

Dressing (sorry, don’t remember the measurements)

– Blackberry jam

– honey

– a teeny bit of water

– salt

– lemon juice

– extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Prepare quinoa according to package directions.

While it’s cooking, heat olive oil in a pan, and saute chopped greens.  When they start to wilt, add artichokes, salt and pepper, and cook until the greens are completely cooked and wilted (about 10 minutes?  I like mine to be more chewy, so maybe longer if you’re not into that).  Add the mixture to the cooked quinoa and stir in feta.

Prepare dressing by whisking all the ingredients together and add to the pot.  Go easy on the dressing!  A little bit goes a long way, so add a spoonful or two, then taste it before you add more.

Sprinkle a little bit of extra feta on the top and enjoy!

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Music Monday: Kurt Vile All Up in Ya Earhole

If you are not familiar with the brilliant and mind-bending work of Kurt Vile, you best check yoself before you wreck yoself.  When I first heard Childish Prodigy, I just played it over and over again for days.  Then, I discovered Constant Hitmaker and the Square Shells EP, and my brain exploded.  And then, I saw him live at the Woodsist Festival at the Echo, and I melted into a Kirby pudding.  And THEN, I got him to sign a record and nearly died of joy when I saw that he dots the “i” in his name with a star.

Dreams really DO come true!

Right now on the Matador website, you can download Kurt’s new single from his upcoming LP for free!  Here it is.

“In My Time” by Kurt Vile

Also, he is playing at the Echoplex with his band, the Violators, next Thursday, November 11.  Buy tickets here!

Not sure if you’re into Kurt Vile yet?  Watch this shiz.  If you can’t dig that, I don’t know if we can be friends.  I’m sorry.  It’s just not going to work out.

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