Web mistress extraordinaire! I love all things technology. Website guru, mobile maven, passionate product manager. Books, art, photography, coffee, food, I love it all!

 

Dexter is sleepy (Taken with instagram)

Dexter is sleepy (Taken with instagram)

Horticulture identification? (Taken with instagram)

Horticulture identification? (Taken with instagram)

Book of the Week: A Confederacy of Dunces

Confederacy of DuncesJohn Kennedy Toole’s, posthumous novel, A Confederacy of Dunces was almost never published. The world would be short one hell of a good book if that was the case! Set in New Orleans in the 1960’s, this book follows the misadventures of Ignatius Jacques Reilly, an interesting character, to say the least. You have to read this book to understand its genius. The book paints an interesting picture of New Orleans and the story is just so original and fascinating. Toole’s gift for character development is just amazing. I can’t believe this book was almost overlooked! Definitely one of my favorites!

Banana & Nutella crepe @ Volta in Stamford (Taken with instagram)

Banana & Nutella crepe @ Volta in Stamford (Taken with instagram)

Book of the Week: The Wind-up Bird Chronicles

The Windup Bird ChroniclesHaruki Murakami is one of Japan’s most critically acclaimed writers and after reading this book, I understand why. Imaginative, smart, quirky, and bizarre, this book has it all. While it is not the quickest read in the world, it is a mind bender that is truly worth the roller coaster ride on which it takes you. A man searches for his wife’s missing cat and then his wife goes missing. Soon after, he is sent on a wild goose chase where he meets a slew of strange characters including a psychic prostitute and an aging war veteran permanently scarred by his WWII experiences. Infused with humor, satire, history and mystery, this book is like watching a David Lynch film on acid. Yeah, it’s that bizarre but oh, so, very good!

Italian Hot Chocolate

A lovely, very rich, Italian hot chocolate! Nothing better on a cold winter day. Generally served in demitasse cups, this is a very potent alternative to supermarket bought, powdered hot cocoa. This is how you make it. Be warned, this is not for the faint of heart but it is well worth the calories. This is just what they serve in Venice and most of Italy, it is a desert in and of itself.

You will need:

1 cup whole milk, separated in 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 1/2 ounces high quality dark chocolate 70%, finely chopped
About a cup of whipped cream, optional

I use Ghirardelli, a San Francisco made chocolate that’s relatively cheap, and they make a fabulous 70% cacao bittersweet chocolate. You can use any chocolate that is at least 70% cacao or higher.

Instructions:

You want to combine 3/4 cup of milk, the cream and sugar in a saucepan on low/medium heat until the mixture stars to bubble (stir frequently please!). You want to see the bubbles around the saucepan.

While this is cooking whisk the 1/4 milk and the cornstarch (this is what makes it super thick and yummy!) until it is very smooth with no lumps.

Once the milk, cream and sugar starts bubbling a bit, add the milk and cornstarch mixture until it’s heated fully (should bubble a bit). Add the chocolate and whisk together until smooth. No need to melt the chocolate just stir and when the mix sticks to the spoon (wooden spoons work best) it’s ready to serve.

Pour into small mugs and add whipped cream if desired.

Amazing Spinach Artichoke Dip!

Amazing Spinach Artichoke DipI call this little masterpiece, Freaking Amazing Spinach Artichoke dip. Seriously, there is no other dip when this shows up at a party. Easy to make and delicious. I assure you I am a better cook than I am a food photographer (picture does not do this justice).

FREAKING Amazing Spinach and Artichoke Dip:

Preheat oven to 400° F

Ingredients:

  • Package of frozen chopped spinach
  • Can artichoke hearts
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup & 1 tbs. of mayo
  • 3/4 cup of grated cheese

Directions:

  1. Defrost and drain spinach (the less water the better)
  2. Drain artichoke hearts and chop up (small chunks are fine)
  3. Mix all ingredients in a bowl
  4. Place in a glass dish (Corning ware works nicely) with the lid on for 30 minutes.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve with crackers or tortilla chips. You will NOT be disappointed!

SOPA & PIPA

That’s great that the president doesn’t support these job killing, absurd, draconian, censorship bills. However, our government seems to have a split personality on the issues since our government BULLIED Spain into passing a similar bill called The Sinde Law. This is unacceptable, our government has no business telling other countries how to run their internet. If the roles were reversed and Europe threatened to black list the entire US internet, how would we feel about it?

This is not about copyright protection, SOPA and PIPA are about corporate control of the internet. Stop American Censorship now or we are doomed to be no longer known as the land of the free!

kateoplis:

“While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.”

— The White House, responding this morning to a petition on SOPA and online piracy (via barackobama)