Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Favorite: Get in the kitchen and bake me a pie!

It's here and I'm so excited!

Love at first sight: Breville pie maker from Williams-Sonoma

I suspected my lust for the Breville pie maker from Williams-Sonoma was a passing fancy. After all, I am no kitchen goddess. What do I need with an expensive cooking toy? 

But each time I saw it in the catalog, my heart flipped in excitement. Oh, the things I could do!

The seasons passed and it went on sale. I considered it.   My subconscious whispered to me in the middle of the night. Brandi...Brandi.... you have a killer crust recipe...when you measure the ingredients correctly...and bake it long enough.

By the time I mustered the courage to purchase it, the sale was off and I was not going to pay $150 for something I may or may not use. When it went on sale again--with free shipping!--I was sold. 

And it's here!

What shall I do first?

Since the 4th of July is right around the corner, maybe I should break out the Americana like the rustic patriotic party featured on Celebrations at Home...

...or throw a vintage pie party as shown over at Moore Minutes.

March 14 is over for this year, so International Pi Day is out, but I totally love this cute idea from EventTagious.

Maybe the pies would make a great snack if we had a playgroup inspired by this pie fight party over at Craftzine.

Before I get too carried away with the possibilities, I should probably buy flour. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Does Marcellus Wallace shop at Target?

Failing to ensure all of the doors were closed, we locked the car and went shopping. Upon our return, the back door was still ajar.

No, not ajar. Wide open.

In addition to many other kid related items--we really need to clean the car--the following objects were as we left them:
  • Starbucks gift card in front cup holder
  • iPad in driver's side door 
  • Assorted DVDs in back floor board
  • DVD player attached to back of front passenger's seat

The door touched the cart return, so everyone who parked in our row and were good citizens who didn't leave the shopping carts in the middle of the parking lot witnessed the vulnerability of our car. But no sticky fingers took anything.

I'd like to think the lack of theft is a commentary on society.

(insert rainbows and sunshine here)

Listen up! There really are good people in the world who don't take easy opportunities.

And they shop at Target.

Of course... could be a commentary that people suspected no one could be stupid enough to leave their doors open with valuables inside unless he or she was Pulp Fiction crazy and not to be messed with.

Either way, I'm grateful.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Channeling Andy Rooney on Technology

Warning: I'm going to get all Andy Rooney grumpy pants here.

What is the deal with these codes I have to type in on the internet to prove I'm not a self-actualized robot?

They used to be a jumbled word.  Then they became upper and lower case. Next, it became two words. NOW, it's numbers and words.

Confession: I have been unable to comment on blogs simply because I can not type in the proper code. After four times--yes, FOUR--I give up.

My failure makes me feel...old. And I'm NOT old.

Read in the appropriately curmudgeon voice:
  • "Back in my day, we didn't have email. We wrote letters."
  • "When I was a kid, we didn't have smart phones. We had to look things up in encyclopedias."
  • "We didn't have Pinterest to plan our childhood parties. We had McDonald's Playland and a birthday cake."
  •  "When I was in the third grade we moved to a small town where you didn't even have to dial a prefix. Just four numbers.  Most times I dial now, it requires more numbers than I have fingers and toes."

How on this green earth am I going to manage by the time I qualify for senior citizen discounts? It will probably be an eye scan. Of course,  I'll probably develop cataracts and it will misread.

Maybe, by then, I can buy a computer program to figure out those darned codes for me.

Follow up: My husband told me this makes me sound much older than I really am--especially because of the phone number thing. It was a very small town. 

And I'm not old.  Not yet.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Friends or Seinfeld?

 You can tell a lot about a person of a certain generation based on one simple question:

Do you prefer Friends...

or Seinfeld?

The characters of Friends met in a coffee shop. They lounged on the arms of sofas, practically inviting the other customers to join them.  With the exception of Ross's place, the group came and went freely and comfortably in their apartments.They knew they were always welcome. They were inclusive. What's theirs is yours and what's yours is theirs. It's the whole bff/roomie/family/gonnaget marriedorhaveababytogether concept.

The characters of Seinfeld made fun of people. A LOT. They didn't allow people into their inner circle.  My friends who prefer Seinfeld have a little harder edge to them. They mock the love fest. They are a little zany. They covet their alone time. They respect space and expect you to do the same, but if you make a Kramer entrance into their day, that's cool. After all, you may be flawed, but you're friends.

I would love to watch a show where the two sets of characters interact. Anyone write fanfic out there?

No matter what show my friends prefer, they remind me most of...
...with their sassy hair cuts, great shoes, and ability to save the day.

So, dear reader, what show do you prefer?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Tiffany's Chicken

Families who have healthy, home-cooked meals are marvels. Perhaps they possess some gene I lack. More likely...they know magic.

So, today's entry is my second attempt at helping other mere humans prepare a super easy entree. Don't forget to read my Magical Meal Suggestion for rounding out the meal. If you're like me, you don't have time to let something like cooking sap your creative juices.

My friend's recipe is known as "Tiffany's Chicken" at our house. As a mom of four and first lady of People's Church in OKC, Tiffany Cooper knows about feeding a family on the run.

Tiffany's Chicken
chicken breasts
can (or 2) of black beans
jar of salsa

Dump can of black beans over chicken breasts. Pour jar of salsa on top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.
I used two cans of beans in this picture because we like the extra.
Complete Magical Meal Suggestion
Serve with twist of lime, brown rice, and avocado slices. Good with mixed berries on the side. Add tortilla chips or cornbread if you feel like it.

If you don't think it looks good, don't worry! My husband claims that some of my ugliest entrees taste the best.  That's a compliment, right?

This meal is so easy, I always think I forgot something.

Maybe it's the margarita?


If you missed the first Tasty Tuesday, check out the recipe for Pinterest Chicken.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Alexandra's World vs. Christina's World

Alexandra experience grass for the first time recently. After luxuriating in the texture, she looked longingly at her brother, scampering about the lawn.

 Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World immediately came to mind.

Christina's World is in the style of magic realism. Something about my kids that day made me feel they were, too.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Inklings Retreat 2012

L-R: Dee Dee Chumley, Kelly Bristow, Sonia Gensler, Lisa Marotta, Martha Bryant

Fellow Inkling Lisa Marotta led our 2012 summer Inklings retreat by guiding us through a series of exercises designed to help us identify our own passions, how those passions appear in our writing, and how we can nurture an audience and develop a relationship with others by letting them get to know our passions.  

Sonia, Lisa, and Martha during a session

I learned A LOT.

The weather felt like fall, so we didn't get to swim. Mostly we had workshops, critiqued pieces, and took walks.

Appreciating the scenery during a walk with Lisa and Dee Dee. (Photo courtesy of Sonia Gensler)

Since the focus was on "platform," we thought we'd build one for Lisa.  Okay, I STRONGLY encouraged the others to do it, but it gets the point across, right? Note: I am not bossy. I just have good ideas.:)

Lisa on platform
Glamour was about fairies.  Lucky Charm, the novel I just completed, has fantasy creatures in it, too. I accept that unicorns don't exist, but I still believe in the fairy tale. Perhaps that's why I love how our group wears tiaras at conferences--and at the lake.

If you can't play princess with your friends, then I don't want to grow up.

Inklings lake tiaras

Lisa Marotta conducted the weekend workshops in such a way that when it was over, I announced, "I would pay a lot of money for this experience."

So...other authors, take note and contact her! You won't be sorry.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Magic Monday: Mermaids are Real?!

The Little Mermaid is one of my all-time favorite movies.  Confession: my favorite sing-in-the-shower-song is Part of That World.

When I heard about the mermaid "documentary," I was a tad excited.

Read here.
See pictures here.  And here.

Yes, I wrote a book about fairies. Some may think I'm one of those people who have rooms decorated completely in unicorn themes. I don't. 

Although...this lovely picture hangs on a wall.

Wouldn't you like to think that maybe, just maybe,  a real mer-girl like Ariel wants to find herself and break free from what's expected?

I don't know about you, but I like to believe in the possibility of fairy tales.