Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Something to try after a day stumping for the Plastic Bag Ban, again

You may have heard that after California legislators passed a landmark plastic bag ban last year, the industry went on red alert and got their lackeys and paid hacks out to collect signatures for a referendum on the ban.  So soon, legions of environmentalists and people who care about protecting the earth from plastic bags that blow in the breeze, crowd landfills for decades if not forever, harm the environment and wildlife will hit the streets to convince people to vote "No" on the referendum and "No" to plastic bags.

For you creative types with a sweet tooth, here's a plastic recipe to try after a hard day on the campaign trail. And while you're at it, download and watch a copy of "The Graduate." Watch for the famous "Plastics!" line and yell a collective NO to that too.

Chocolate Plastic
Chocolate plastic is a delicious, versatile chocolate paste that can be used to decorate cakes, petit fours, and many other pastries. Use chocolate plastic to wrap cakes like packages, create ribbons and bows, and make cut-out decorations.

This recipe can also be made with milk or dark chocolate. The procedure for milk chocolate is the same, but if you are using dark chocolate, increase the amount of corn syrup to 2/3 cup. Note that you cannot achieve the same coloring effects when using milk or dark chocolate, and that you should roll out milk or dark chocolate plastic in cocoa powder instead of powdered sugar.

  • 1 lb white chocolate
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • food coloring (optional)
1. Chop the chocolate, and place it in a large microwave-safe bowl.

2. Microwave the chocolate until melted, stirring after every 45 seconds to avoid overheating the chocolate.
3. Remove the melted chocolate from the microwave, and stir until smooth. Add the corn syrup and stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
4. Spoon the chocolate onto a large sheet of plastic wrap, and wrap it securely. Allow the chocolate to cool and solidify at room temperature, for at least 6 hours or overnight.
5. Soften the hardened chocolate by kneading it with glove-covered hands, or microwave it in short 10-second intervals until it becomes soft enough to work with. Continue to knead until it is smooth and pliable. Do not worry if your chocolate plastic has lumps--these can be worked out through the kneading process. Dust your hands with powdered sugar if the chocolate begins to stick. At this point, you can divide it and knead different food colorings into the chocolate, if desired. Be sure to change your gloves between batches to avoid muddying the colors.
6. Dust your work surface with a thin layer of powdered sugar. Roll out the chocolate plastic until it is very thin (about 1/8-inch). Alternately, you can use a pasta roller to make thin ribbons or strips.
7. Now you’re ready to decorate with your chocolate plastic! You can cut out shapes or letters with cookie cutters or a knife, or form the chocolate plastic into ribbons and bows, or use large sheets of plastic to wrap entire cakes or petit fours.
8. Gather remaining scraps of chocolate plastic and wrap tightly. Store in a cool cupboard and use within 2-3 weeks. To re-use, repeat the softening instructions in step 5.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Pie in the Face for Neil Patrick Harris

I'm sure you all watched the Oscars. I ate a delicious frittata I made myself with eggs right from under the chickens my friend keeps on her mini-farm nearby. Here's what it looked like on my plate, complete with asparagus, cheese, green onions, sausage and the good jack cheese.You kind of just mix it all up in a skillet, then pop it under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Yum!

The best part of the Oscars? Moving acceptances speeches about issues like women's rights, immigration, gender equality by Patricia Arquette, Graham Moore and Alejandro González Iñárritu and of course the song Glory from Selma.

I personally love it when politics, especially progressive politics, gets into the mix. Use the moment to make a point that needs to be made.

And I was so glad to see Citizen Four get best documentary. And to see Glenn Greenwald right up on stage with the director to accept.

So it was a slap in the face to him, to Edward Snowden, to whistleblowers everywhere, not to mention true patriots who believe in freedom and democracy all over this country and the world, to have Neil Patrick Harris make his lame non-joke that Snowden couldn't attend for "some treason." Not. Funny.

A pie in the face for NPH. Make that a moose turd pie.