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Curry Coconut Beef

Blinky doll

Originally published at Please leave any comments there.

This is a slow cooker recipe. But I start off by browning the beef, which gives much more flavour! This dish has the perfect amount of curry spice. Really delicious!

Curry Coconut Beef by Angela

Curry Coconut Beef by Angela

Slow Cooker Curry Coconut Beef

1.5-2# chuck roast cut into 6-8 chunks
1 large yellow bell pepper or 4-5 minis, large dice
1 large onion, large dice
1 med carrot, sliced very thin on the bias
1 small box cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 Tbl garlic paste (or 4-5 cloves, pasted)
1 Tbl ginger paste (or 2 large chunks, minced – but I highly recommend buying paste from the Indian store)
2 Tbl red “all purpose” curry paste (or whatever type you like)
1 Tbl fish sauce
1 Tbl brown sugar
.5 tsp salt
.5 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dry cilantro
1 tsp dry mustard
.5 tsp coriander
.5 tsp red pepper flakes
1 14 oz can coconut milk (not light)
juice and zest of one lime
2-3 scallions sliced on the bias
1 lime cut into wedges
2-4 Tbl fresh cilantro, chopped

Brown beef in oil in a hot skillet. While that is browning, cut up the veg. Turn the beef to brown on all sides and season with salt and pepper. Turn on slow cooker to HI and spray with nonstick spray. Put about a tsp of olive oil in the bottom. Put half the veg in the bottom of the cooker. Mix together all sauce ingredients until curry paste is dissolved. Pour about 1/3 of the sauce over the veg in the cooker. When beef is browned, dump all of it in the cooker with pan drippings. Add in the rest of the veg then pour over the remaining sauce.

Let cook on HI for 3-4 hours, until beef is fork tender. Serve over basmati rice with scallions, cilantro and limes for garnish.

Angela’s EASY Almond Madeleines

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Originally published at Please leave any comments there.

I started with Julia Child’s recipe for madeleines and decided it was too fussy. However, if you want to make the typical madeleine, just use Julia’s ingredients with my method. It’ll work fine. NOTE: When I ordered madeleine pans, I got MINI Madeleine pans, so I had to fix the temp and cook times as well. This recipe is for MINI Madeleine pans. If you use regular pans, the cook time will be longer and the yield fewer. Also, I have a shitty electric oven that doesn’t hold temp well, so overall your mileage may vary. Don’t leave them unattended or they’ll burn.

Mini Madeleines by Angela

Mini Madeleines by Angela

Angela’s Easy Almond Madeleines
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
one bag slivered almonds (2.25 oz), ground very fine in a processor or blender; about 2/3 cup
1 stick (4 oz) melted butter (I use salted, if you don’t, add pinch salt)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
powdered (icing) sugar for topping

Melt butter in microwave, stir and set aside to cool a bit. Beat eggs in a bowl and add extracts. Stir together flour, almonds and sugar in a medium bowl. When butter has cooled so you can touch it, add it to the dry ingredients and beat in. Add eggs to butter flour mix and beat in thoroughly. The mix should be very thick and sticky, but still pourable. If it’s too dry, add a little water half a teaspoon at a time to make it gooey. If it’s too loose, add flour a tablespoon at a time until it’s gooey. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set up.

When the mix is chilled, preheat the oven to 375F. Spray the pans (you should have TWO) with nonstick spray and put about a TEASPOON of dough in each divot in ONE pan. The dough should not fill the divot, only about 2/3 of the way. They rise A LOT. This recipe will fill two pans, more or less. I fill and bake one pan at a time and keep the dough in the fridge until the first pan is done. Cold dough helps with making them crispy and rising in the center.

I bake one pan at a time in the center rack for about 10-12 minutes. My oven sucks and will not cook both pans at once and I have to babysit them to avoid burning. They are done when the hump forms in the middle and starts to look dry, and the edges are medium brown. I’d advise keeping a close watch until you know how your oven will cook.

Pull from oven, let sit a minute, then turn out onto cooling racks. Sift icing sugar over both sides while warm.

Yield: about 36 mini madeleines

SBDC Class

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Originally published at Please leave any comments there.

So, that class we attended last night was put on by the University of GA Small Business Development Center. Sounds great, but it was just so-so. Of course we were the only white people there, which did not surprise me. It’s odd how white people won’t use the public resources available – although we got this lead via some hipsters, so I guess it’s generational. The class was half black, one quarter Hispanic and one quarter white. I’m sure we screwed up their usual ratios! LOL

The dude that did the class was an old white man who is apparently unaware of the internet and/or social media and how you can use that to promote yourself these days. He was also kind of an apologist for the banking industry, which of course pisses me off. He droned on about how important biz plans are, the banks won’t lend to you unless you have stellar credit (but it’s not the bank’s fault!), you should use LLC, blah blah. He did give us a couple of leads for SBA loans and a microloan organization.

But when it came to marketing and research, he actually suggested that for a restaurant, you should have focus groups and go door to door polling whether they’d like your type of restaurant. ?? WTF is he on about? He owned fucking dry cleaning stores, what does he know about the food business? Precious little, apparently. He didn’t seem to think the quality of food was very relevant. Gods.

He was annoyed with me because I was giving the 3 restaurant people in the room tips as we went along and even answering questions that he could not. Too bad, old man, I happen to have more knowledge than you in certain areas. I think he is used to being the only person in the room with a clue. To be sure, there was one old lady in there that was an IDIOT. An absolute luddite who was financing her son’s (grandson, probably) business but didn’t know what the internet was. Um. ? The kid is doing clothing rental via instagram and is doing pretty well for a 17 year old! Hope he doesn’t spend all of granny’s money. But he probably will.

Anyway, it was a long powerpoint presentation with the pp slides printed out for us to make notes next to the slide image. Exciting. I guess I remembered more than I thought about the business classes I took long ago. Or maybe I just know this shit via osmosis from Rob. In any case, other than the SBA bank connection and the templates for the various documents, the class was very VERY basic.

I would recommend taking this SBDC class if you are totally new to business. The info is solid, just not very up to date as far as internet marketing goes. It’s run by old white people, so, keep that in mind.

On starting a business

Blinky doll

Originally published at Please leave any comments there.

As you all know, we’ve been working on ideas for earning money once NVG bites it. An arcade pub is at the top of the list of these occupations, simply because it’s a business that encompasses pretty much everything we know.

Arcade pubs are starting to pick up steam as a ‘thing’, so this could work for us or against us depending on when we get in. I’m thinking sooner = better.

We’ve spoken to a group of dudes who want to do a comic shop pub – that got exactly nowhere. Last week I was contacted by a guy that does vintage arcade game rental and repair around town. He has an amazing selection of games and he wants to open a place. First off, it took him over a week to get back to me after his initial email. And his contact was via text. Not very professional, IMO. So after 20 mins of texting last night, I told him that I’d prefer he put his info in an email and then set up an appointment to chat on the phone today. He agreed. The appointed time came and went. No email, no phone call. I called him, got VM.

I find this flakiness offputting and unprofessional. You can’t do business via text and you MUST honour your appointments, phone or otherwise. I get this a LOT these days. Does no one know how to do business any more? What’s wrong with people? Anyway…

This guy has no idea what he wants. He said he’s looking at a “soda fountain” in Tucker and wants it to be a tourist spot. [If it is the Old Tucker Soda Fountain, that place is a shit hole!] Sounds like he really believes that having an original Tron game will bring people from all over the South. Um. No. Tucker is a shitty spot for an arcade bar. Why? Well, because the demographics of Tucker are 40+, over 50% female and mostly white. Not really an arcade type crowd, yo. I live in this godforsaken area, I can tell you it’s old white people, white families and little else. These people weren’t even interested when we moved eight games into this house! They could play for free! But all they wanted to know was if we played golf or rooted for UGA. EWW.

Am I crazy to think that an arcade bar concept needs to attract hipsters and/or the younger bar set? Seems that Joystick has the right idea. The games are the draw, but you’ve got to have good food and a great bar to keep people coming back and spending enough to support all that square footage. Having a great selection of games is fine, but it’s not enough.

You can’t expect an arcade with a soda fountain to work. Unless the rent is hella cheap, then you might break even but you won’t make a good living, that’s for sure. I think this guy is wanting a place to display his hobby, which is arcade games. I don’t think that making money is really high on his list.

I’ve got the business acumen for running a place. I can hire the rest. You can’t run a business on what you think, you run it on what is. It’s a numbers game. And we’ll be in it to make money, not as a hobby.

I got all excited when he initially contacted me, but now? Not so much. We have a Small Business Development Center class on writing a biz plan and finding financing tomorrow night that I am looking forward to. We’ve done SO MUCH research on what works and what doesn’t work, I can’t help but feel that we are better prepared than 95% of people out there.

I think we should get on the stick and get moving with the plan. I’d LOVE to be the first arcade/comics themed place in NE Atlanta. That would be RAD!! I hope we can make it happen.

The Problem with Cord Cutting

Blinky doll

Originally published at Please leave any comments there.

I hate DirecTV’s bullshit and I hate paying those assholes $79/mo for TV that goes out every time it rains. YES I know I can cut the cord (or the SIGNAL as the case may be) but here’s the problem: we watch lots of shows and we can’t get most of them via Hulu or NetFlix. We might be able to get some via HD antenna (like SHIELD), I have to check on that.

But even if we manage to get most stuff, Nick would still spend a LOT of his time downloading the more obscure stuff – mostly from Food Network or Cooking Channel. Restaurant Impossible, Bar Rescue, Bite This and myriad other things we watch for research purposes would have to be hunted down. That equals LOTS of time.

So, we stay with DirecTV and its bullshit because it’s saving us time.

I know it’s lame, but that’s the bottom line: time. DirecTV and other providers know this, which is why they are uber douchey. Oligobble, baby.

Comcast is our internet provider because it’s our ONLY choice for true broadband and those assholes charge us $45/mo. Of course you can’t SEE any of the various speeds and prices online, oh NO that is supah secret, but I can tell you that I have 50mbs for the price of the 25mbs service. Here is my bill (that does not say anywhere on it what I’m actually paying for):

Oligobble w/ Comcast!

Oligobble w/ Comcast!

The “Blast” special is, I think, why I get the 50mbs for the price of the 25mbs. Who the fuck knows, since they are as obscure as possible on the site and on the bill. OLIGOBBLE OUR BALLS! YOU’LL TAKE WHAT WE GIVE YOU.

Anyhoo, we pay a combined $125/mo for tv and internet. It’s fucking insane. But if we want service, VE VILL PAY.

At least our cell phones are reasonable. We use Virgin Mobile and have for over a decade. GREAT service, great coverage, minimum bullshit. Nick is on the $30/mo dealie and I’m on the $40/mo. Unlimited data (there’s a cap, I’ve never reached it) and Nick gets 300mins talk; I get 1200mins talk. I have to use the phone a lot more than Nick for my job. No contract, either, just good service. The only downside of Virgin Mobile is that we have to buy our phones and they MUST be from VM. We are currently waiting for the price of the 5 series to come down, then we’ll upgrade.

The only provider I actually endorse on this post is Virgin Mobile. They rock. Interested? Please use my VM referral link and get $25 free credit! :)

Just a short note!

Blinky doll

Originally published at Please leave any comments there.

I cannot believe it’s October. This part of the year always seems to fly by. And as usual, this time of year also gives me bouts of fear and loathing. It’s my birthday coming up, I’m sure. I hate being middle aged and my birthday exacerbates that. Ugh. But, as they say, it’s better than the alternative, right? Harumph.

I’m working very hard to get right with my place in life and find ways to have more fun. I got those hair pieces at con and they lifted my spirits considerably. I know it sounds weird, but sometimes it’s the small stuff that can help.

I’m getting back into walking every day – I even got us LifeTrak watches to help with that. Mine is not very reliable, but it’s ok for $40. If I can keep my knee from going out, I’ll be good.

All in all, I like my job, I have a wonderful partner and things are good. I really have no business whining. So I’ll stop. :)

Thanks for reading (all 5 of you) and happy autumn!

Roasted Cauliflower with Spicy Yogurt

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Originally published at Please leave any comments there.

Someone posted a roasted cauliflower recipe to FB, but the recipe was flawed. It took much longer to cook than stated (unless you like raw cauliflower), 400 will burn (use 375) and the end product was dry (I added butter). Here is the photo linked to the original recipe:

photo: Erin McDowell

photo: Erin McDowell

Here is my version that cooks in half the time, has all the flavour and is not dry! Not as photogenic, but tastier!

Roasted Cauliflower with Spicy Yogurt

.75 cup greek yogurt (I use full fat; nonfat may brown faster!)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ancho powder
.5 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp cumin
.5 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
.5 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar (to help browning)
zest and juice of one lime
1 tsp garlic paste (or paste one clove fresh)
1 tsp olive oil
1 head cauliflower, sliced into thick 1.5″ steaks (or chunks if it refuses to slice!)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk together first 12 ingredients. Prepare a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper. Slather yogurt sauce on cauliflower steaks and place on sheet pan in single layer. Bake for about 15 mins then pull from oven (if sauce is not dark enough for you, leave in a bit longer), add 2 tbl water to the sheet pan and tent foil over it tightly. Pop back into oven for another 5-10 mins. I like my cauliflower fairly soft; if you like it a bit al dente, stick with 5 mins or skip water step all together.

Serve with steaks!

And just like that…

Blinky doll

Originally published at Please leave any comments there.

it’s September. I’ve seen others mention the creep of summer far into the months that used to be fall and I agree. It doesn’t cool down here until mid-October. Bleh.

So another DragonCon down. I had a lot of fun this year! That is mostly because we avoided being run ragged by the artists we wrangle. We didn’t stay late, we did what we wanted and even managed to catch 2 good panels and the Miss Trek Universe Pageant. We’d missed this the last coupla years for some reason, but never again! It was a BLAST! I have to say, Garrett Wang is such a great asset to this track. We got to speak to him about it and I’m going to write the Powers That Be at Dragoncon to let them know that we love him and they should pony up and pay ALL his expenses. He does this for FREE! They could at least pay for his plane fare as well as the room.

I did not catch Jeri Ryan at her table, sadly. She was an excellent guest. I did say HI to Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh the Borg), tho, and he is a sweetie. I also briefly met Peter Williams (Apophis, SG-1) and I got him to say Sho’va! and Insolence! Made my day!! I missed Chris Judge (Teal’c) very much. He and Peter would have made a great panel!

The artists were disorganised, as usual and panicked, as usual, so I just ignored all of that. I did not do any load in or load out this year, and I’m grateful for that. As usual, DragonCon simply canNOT manage getting the vendors in and out in a timely fashion. I’m sure it’s partly the venue’s fault for insisting that the dock be kept free for the (closed on the weekend/holiday) in house businesses to use (they aren’t even THERE), but it’s mostly the con. They need to hire a company to manage the load in/out procedures so the vendors don’t have to waste a whole day on simply loading in/out. They waited 5 hours to load in and 5-6 hours to load out. Nick got back here at almost 11pm last night – the show closed at 5, with people loading out starting at 4. Do the math. It’s ridiculous that DragonCon treats its vendors this way.

Sunday was our big day this year. We brought donuts for all around 11am then did panels and cruised around the rest of the day. I drank lots of wine and we spent WAY too much at dinner with Ted at Ray’s In The City. Pricey, but totally worth it. I got a small print done by Jasmine Becket-Griffith ( and Michael Banks (Sugar Fueled). SO CUTE!

I also got a couple of clip in hair falls for $10 each! W00t! They are actually good quality and can be heat styled!
clipin hair falls

Sunday night after we got back from carousing with Ted, I had some nasty edema (swelling) in my ankles. I noticed they felt kind of stiff and I looked down to find HUGE cankles at the ends of my legs! GAH! I collapsed into bed and did not feel well when I got up yesterday, which is why I didn’t participate in load out. I’m glad I didn’t! I put my feet up and rested all day and started to feel a bit better by mid afternoon. The Star Trek movie marathon helped, as did plenty of fluids.

All in all, I’d say this was one of the most pleasant DragonCons we’ve had in several years. I think we’re getting the hang of this old age thing. ;)

I hope everyone got back to their homes safely! Shout out to our new E TN buds Cristy and Lindsey (sp?)!

Now it’s back to reality. Time to get the bills!

Low Carb “Potato” Salad

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Originally published at Please leave any comments there.

When cooking out, I like to have summery sides like coleslaw, potato salad, etc. I got the bright idea to make potato salad with cauliflower instead. It worked!!

Low Carb "Potato" Salad

Low Carb “Potato” Salad

Low Carb “Potato” Salad

1 head cauliflower (any colour)
4 scallions, sliced diagonally
4 dill spears, diced small
5-6 stems of parsley, stemmed and minced
1/2 cup mayo (use vegan if you want)
2 Tbl seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 Tbl dijon mustard (whole grain would be excellent)
S/P to taste

Put a large pot 2/3 full of water on to boil. Cut up the cauliflower into small bite sized pieces and toss into the water. Add 1tbl salt to the boiling water and boil cauliflower for about 8 mins until tender.

While that is cooking, make the dressing in the bottom of a large bowl or a sealable plastic. Add next 6 ingredients and stir together.

When cauliflower is done, drain it in a colander and rinse with cold water to bring down the temp. Toss in with the dressing (put the lid on and shake if you use a plastic container). Add S/P to taste. Chill before serving or eat at room temp. Whatever you like.

August already!

Blinky doll

Originally published at Please leave any comments there.

This year has been a big one. And bit of a bitch of one, as well.

We finally got up and moved out of the ‘hood, which is good for the most part. We pay too much rent. But we love the house. Nick is happy, so that makes it worth it.

I’ve come into another patch of insomnia. It’s been three weeks since I had a normal night’s sleep. I went to the Dr, who is being cooperative with trying to find something that works. The first one didn’t. The one I’m trying now (trazodone) doesn’t seem to be working, either. I’m SO TIRED. And SO cranky. I’m impaired for sure. I really have a hard time doing any sort of complicated thinking. I can’t remember anything, either.

So I’ve got Heather coming for a visit in September. Everyone is pushing their own agendas for Heather’s time, which is fine, but what is not fine is that when I am left to try to fix a fucked up reservation and a certain individual decides I’m not doing it right, it kinda honks me off. I’m tired, cranky and really would rather not waste my time fixing a fucked up reservation, only to be told I’m a “childish asshole” for getting pissy when my efforts are deemed in adequate. I want Heather to have a good time, so I’m backing out of any and all planning for this. If this person doesn’t like my planning techniques, then HE can do it. I’m OUT. I’ll let all those people fight over Heather and I’ll just take what I can get. Whatever. It’s not about me (or the jerkwad in question), it’s about HEATHER. So she can pick what she wants to do and I’ll do what I can to assist in making it happen. But I really don’t need the abuse of one asshole, thanks. I’ve got enough on my plate.

I hope Heather gets to do all the things she wants to do while she’s here in September. I just want her to have a great time and to see everyone she’s not seen in three years. Hopefully the disorganised mess of people vying for her time will get it worked out.

Ugh. I hate that insomnia sucks away my days, my creativity, my LIFE. I feel like every day is just a slog to get through so I can have yet another sleepless night. IT SUCKS. If you’ve not had extended bouts of insomnia, then you just don’t know how much it ruins EVERYTHING. Every. Fucking. Thing.

I hope the drugs will start working so I’ll have enough energy to get through DragonCon. Conventions SUCK when you are tired at the start and it just gets worse, trust me.

So that’s what’s up. I’m tired. I’m cranky. And I am doing the best I can. If that’s not good enough, then FUCK OFF.



Blinky doll

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