Category Archives: blogging

blogging food

Dreams and other things

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I have heard that folks aren’t all that interested in hearing about other people’s dreams, but last night I had a weird one and I am posting it here as much for myself as for public consumption.

I usually don’t recall my dreams as a whole piece. I will remember bits and pieces–the sensation of flying, the fact that I’m being followed by a vampire and WHY AM I NOT SCARED?? But this was fairly intact from beginning to end, so, here goes.

I’m on a plane. Literally. The jet is at cruising altitude, above the clouds, and I am outside, wrapped in a blanket, tethered in place, and hanging on. I think I’m nestled where the wing and body meet, but I’m not sure. I just see the endless blue overhead, the clouds beneath. I don’t feel the wind in my face, or the cold or vibration. I don’t see any windows, and have no clue whether anyone can see me or not. Someone has to be flying the jet, but I can’t see them. I’m alone.

Except for King. My dog, that passed away over two years ago. He’s lying on a dog bed, either atop the plane or gliding beside it. He seems pretty laid back, considering that he’s 35K feet above the ground with nothing holding him in place. Given that he was never the calmest dog in the world, it’s worth noting.

Time passes. Then for some reason I can’t recall, I untie the rope that’s holding me in place. I’m still wrapped in the blanket, but damn, I’m gripping whatever I can grip and holding on tight. Then I hear barking, and I look to my left and see that King has lost contact with the jet. He’s not falling, but drifting farther and farther away on his bed. He’s barking–I’m not sure if he’s afraid, or trying to get my attention, or what. I don’t know if I can find him, because I don’t know where the jet is going or when we’re going to land. I’m not panicked, though. Something in the back of my head tells me that I will be able to find him.

And that how it ends. I’ve lost my dog and my rope, but I’m still hanging on. I’m sure this somehow relates to things going on in my life right now. I’m contemplating changes and anticipating others, all of which will lead to some degree of upset. Funny, the way the brain deals with things like that.


In other news, I found I had a few overripe bananas in the fruit bowl. That could mean only one thing. BANANA BREAD. I fell back on my basic recipe, which is like the easiest thing ever. But along with being basic, it’s also incredibly forgiving and flexible, which gives me a chance to play.

This time, I was going to add chocolate chips and stop there. But then I remembered Aarón Sánchez’s Mexican Brownie recipe, which I had made before and liked. The main addition there is a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper, which adds just a touch of heat to the brownies. I decided what the heck, and gave it a try.

I didn’t stop there. In addition to the cayenne, I added about a 1/3 teaspoon ancho chili powder for smokiness. A teaspoon cinnamon because that works with just about everything. A teaspoon of espresso powder to boost the chocolate. About 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips.

As usual, I used whole wheat flour instead of all purpose. This time, I used 1 cup whole wheat + 1/2 cup white whole wheat, both King Arthur brand. I added an extra half-teaspoon baking soda to give the heavier dough a boost. And as always, more salt than was called for, about 1/3 teaspoon instead of a pinch. I’ve found that savory recipes often call for too much salt and sweet recipes for too little. You can cut back on sugar sometimes if you lean on the salt to boost flavors. Plus, you wind up with more varied flavors than simple sweetness. Plain ol’ sugar sweetness is boring at best and sickening at worst.

Anyway, I just had a piece, and it worked. A lighter crumb than you’d expect from a whole wheat quick bread. The heat is subtle–it takes a few bites to build, then hangs around until the end. The espresso boosts the chocolate, and overall there’s a nice, deep, full flavor. As usual, the banana flavor is pretty much buried, but I make this recipe so often that I need to mix it up every once in a while. Besides, I eat a banana most every morning with breakfast. I know what they taste like.

around the house blogging

A handful of things, and here’s your post

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No spam in the bucket ever since I changed settings so one needs to register in order to post. I don’t know if that makes posting impossible or not–if it does, email me. I’m pretty sure I am registered to post on other blogs because either my photo or the same WP pattern thingie pops up as my avatar. It’s not bad, and your info is good over multiple blogs.

The storm on Thursday turned out a fizzle here in far NE Illinois, but one is expected on Tuesday that is supposed to have more oomph. I’ve had it. I want Spring. Warmth, bees, flowers, greenery.

I am officially addicted to HGTV and This Old House. Garnering ideas for use in sprucing up the kitchen and bathroom over the next year or so. I’ll do as much as I can myself, and hire expert help when needed. I’ve only been staring at the same green (!) cupboards and yellow one-piece flooring (bath) for 25.5 years now. That’s a quarter-century. Think about it.

Time to get a move on.

Pups are fine. King has his monthly check-up next week. Fingers crossed that all continues well.


Fighting the spam fight

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Even though I have an Akismet plug-in installed, I wanted to see if I could whittle down the amount of spam the site’s been getting. I changed the comment setting so that users need to register and be signed in before they can comment. However, I don’t know if that inhibits non-spam folk from commenting or not–I’m used to signing in on other sites, but I know it can be a pain. I don’t get many comments, so I’m not sure how much of a barrier it is. I do know that for the first time since I don’t know when, I have had no spam for two days running. It’s kinda nice. Let’s see if it lasts.

If it’s impossible to comment here, you can let me know over on my LJ, which is where I funnel these posts.


Drive-by post is still a post

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Kuro is home from the garage. The Dodge Dart loaner was actually a nice little car, but it’s good to have my boy back again. I just asked him to please please please not get sick anymore this year.

There’s snow on the ground. Fancy that.

Pondering a smartphone. Android vs iPhone. Contract vs no contract. If a contract, which provider?

That teaser for ORPHAN BLACK on BBC-America looks interesting.