Thursday, April 29, 2010

Laura's 2010 Kentucky Derby Rundown

While I'm very depressed that I'll be working during this year's 136th Kentucky Derby (and there is no TV here at the library), I still have every intention of wearing a cute dress and ridiculously large hat.You should too. Once you have your hat, you need to be prepared to pick a winner.

So lets break down the best way for you to pick a winner. I mean, sure, you could look up the odds... Or you could do it like the rest of us and pick your bets based on 1. Looks, 2. Names or 3. Gender.

My number one reason for picking has always been Looks. Why not go with the pretty horse? For me this usually means the grey one (there is always a token grey one, just like the token black friend on sitcoms).

This years Grey One is:
Paddy O'Prado

Pulling the number 10 spot was great luck, so maybe we have a chance! Currently his odds stand at 22/1, so if you take this bet and it actually pay off, you're looking at some hefty cash!

Now, the number two method for picking a winner will always be Most Awesome Name. When in doubt, you want to be yelling something awesome for the whole 2 minutes of racing.

This years Awesome Name is:
Awesome Act

Go figure, Awesome Act is an awesome name! And he also came in as #2 Prettiest Horse. Running in the number 16 spot, his odds are 10/1, which aren't too shabby.

And finally, if nothing else will help you to decide, there is always loyalty to the underdog. There is always one or two poor fillies who get pooled in with the testosterone laden pool. 

This years Poor Filly: 
Devil May Care

She's also ridiculously pretty (well they all are!). A late addition put forward by her trainer only after the favorite, Eskendereya, was injured, Devil May Care was originally slated to run in the Kentucky Oaks (the baby sister to the Derby). I'm rather excited and hope she kicks ass. Bets currently at 16/1!

Of course, you can always do things the scientific way and pick based on real reasons. Amy is rooting for number 4 spot Super Saver based on his jockey Calvin Borel.

Borel is a two time ESPY winner for best jockey. Last year he won the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, Preakness, Haskell, and Woodward. Yeah... All of them. He's probably a good bet in and of himself.
He rode Mine that Bird to win at the '09 Derby, and then beat Bird in the '09 Preakness on a different horse (Rachel Alexandra)! Super Saver is currently at 14/1. Also... He's kinda pretty! Not Borel... although he has his own type of charm to say the least!

So there you have it folks! Get get out your bourbon and mint, find yourself a big hat, and enjoy the time honored tradition of hoping no one dies on Saturday!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Best. Chicken. Ever.

I've never made a chicken. I've made plenty of turkeys. I've made Cornish game hens... But never a chicken. Don't judge me- I just made up for my lame past in an awesome way!

Now, as everyone knows, I'm addicted to the recipes at Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy, and all I've been able to do since I caught sight of this beauty was think about making one.

I took a picture of mine, but honesty to god, it looked that good, but had worse lighting.


Here is the recipe; check out the link of you want step by step pictures.

The only amendment I'll make is that there is not nearly enough potatoes in her recipe, layer them thick, 3-4 deep, there will be plenty of delicious chicken juice to soak up! I also made Soy-Garlic Green beans and Honey Curry Carrots with dried Apricots (there's no recipe for those, I just made them up today, so I'll work on that!)

Thomas Keller’s Simple Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Onions
adapted from Bouchon

2-3 tablespoons butter
3 or 4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8-rounds
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
One 2 to 3 pound farm-raised chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced thyme (optional)
Unsalted butter
Dijon mustard


1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. 

2. Melt the butter in a large oven-proof frying pan or small roasting pan.  Layer the potatoes all around the bottom of the pan, completely covering it.  Scatter the onions over the potatoes.  Set aside and prepare the chicken.

3. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better. Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. Trussing is not difficult, and if you roast chicken often, it’s a good technique to feel comfortable with. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird. 

4. Now, salt the chicken. Rain the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it’s cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper. 

5. Place the chicken on top of the potatoes and onions in the pan and put it in the oven. Leave it alone. Don’t baste it or add butter. This creates extra steam, which you don’t want. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are golden and a little crispy, about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with any juices from the pan and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board. 

6. Remove the twine. Separate the middle wing joint and eat that immediately. Remove the legs and thighs.  Cut the breast down the middle and serve it on the bone, with one wing joint still attached to each. The preparation is not meant to be super-elegant. Slather the meat with fresh butter. Serve with the potatoes, onions and mustard on the side.  You’ll start using a knife and fork, but finish with your fingers, because it’s so good. 

Serves 2-4

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Courtesy of This is Why You're Fat, I give you... 
The Bacon Bouquet!

Monday, April 26, 2010

What to do on a Monday night.

When I got home from work I had a present waiting for me!

My friend Kat sent me the first season of Burn Notice, a show I was lucky enough to see the first few episodes of, and then tragically have missed since then.

So what to have for dinner with something that awesome? If you said booze and munchies, you win!

I'm a little burnt out on popcorn, so perusing my fully stocked pantry (did I mention I kicked a 10 for $10 sale's ass this weekend?), I noticed that I had lots and lots of cans of beans. Including chickpeas!

Now, I have yet to pin down what ethnicity fried chickpeas are supposed to be. So far I've narrowed it down to Spanish, Indian and Italian, with Mexico coming in a close call (but really, they're pretty  much Spanish anyway). The only difference appears to be the spices; to which I say, use what you have! Really, anything works. Garlic, oregano, thyme, rosemary, cumin, lemon, name it.

I had the last of last years thyme, cumin, garlic and sea salt.

The recipe goes like this.

Oh crap, we're going to iHop. I'll share the recipe later!

 Sorry about that : )

1 can chickpeas
1 cup olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of you pan about 1 cm deep)
4 springs thyme
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt

1. Drain, rinse and thuroughly dry chick peas.
2. Heat skillet with oil on medium till a pea dropped in causes bubbles.
3. Dump everything in pan toghether.
4. Cook about 10 minutes, shaking to stir, till peas start to split open.
5. Drain exess oil and let peas sit on paper towels. Sprinkle on more spices to taste.

DO NOT STOP TILL PEAS SPLIT- this is what makes them crunchy and delicious! The ones that don't split taste horrible.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Your shoes make you look like a crazy person.

No really. Your shoes are two hops away from an incestuous relationship with your siblings and declaring your horse a senator.

Now, I know people will do a lot for fashion, but some trends should just stay dead after, say, 41 AD. I refer to of course, the gladiator sandal.

Now, I can understand the urge to wear flat shoes as much as the next person. But don't you see what is happening!?

No, you probably don't, since no one's mind works quite like mine.

Let me give you a brief history of 'gladiator sandals' as a fashion trend.

Caligae (Latin; singular caliga) are heavy-soled military shoes or sandals which were worn by Roman legionary soldiers and auxiliaries throughout the history of the Roman Republic and Empire. The sandals were constructed from leather and laced up the center of the foot and onto the top of the ankle. Additionally, iron hobnails were hammered into the sole, serving three purposes: to reinforce the shoes, to provide better traction, and best of all, to allow the shoes to be used as a weapon when kicking ass and taking names.

So at what point did these very handy, very deadly shoes make the jump from weapon to fashion? It started with a little boy named Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus. His father, Germanicus was the star of the Roman war world, a military commander loved by all. While off killing us crazed Germanic peoples, young Gaius would accompany Germanicus, dressed in a cute little soldier outfit, complete with a harmless, fashionable pair of caligae, earning himself the nickname Little Boots, or Caligula.

Now you see where I'm going with this. Caligula wore his caligae throughout his life; when he became emperor they were covered in gold and jewels. Because of his visionary sense of fashion, Gwyneth Paltrow will never have to wear closed toe shoes again.

But, to get back to my original point, let me tell you all the crazy things Caligula did. Things that I believe happened as a direct result from his brain being poisoned by ugly shoes (or... you know... syphilis).

Caligula was emperor for only four years, and was well loved at the beginning of his reign. Things started to change however when he Caligula started cross-dressing in public, impregnated his own sister (he married her first of course, because... that makes it better), built a bridge of boats across the Bay of Naples (so he could take his chariot for a drive), declared war on the Greek god Poseidon (bringing back chests full of worthless seashells as booty from their 'war'), and topped it all off by declaring himself a god. Not to mention he killed lots and lots and lots of people.

And lets not forget his relationship with his horse, Incitatus. Caligula love him so well that the horse was provided with the best of the best. According to Suetonius's Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Incitatus had a stable of marble, with an ivory manger, purple blankets, and a collar of precious stones. Others have indicated that the horse was attended to by eighteen servants, and was fed oats mixed with gold flake. Caligula even procured him a wife, a mare named Penelope.

Incitatus was named not only a citizen of Rome, but a member of the Roman senate. The horse would "invite" dignitaries to dine with him in a house outfitted with servants there to entertain such events. Some say that Caligula made Incitatus a consul (the highest elected office in the whole empire).

I hope that this information will encourage you to shop responsibly when it comes to shoes.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Christina Hendricks named Esquire's sexiest woman alive...

Normally I don't pay attention to those sort of headlines, as the winners of such polls tend to be vapid, horrid little people who desperately need a brownie and some underwear.

But when I saw that Christina Hendricks had won this years Esquire Sexiest Woman Alive, I thought, "My God, someone out there has finally found their brains!"

Because Christina Hendricks, while not MY #1 Sexiest Woman Alive (Shakira will always win. Always.), is certainly up there.

Now, if you're reading my blog, you've watched Firefly. I mean, look at us, we are the Firefly type of people. So clearly you remember Saffron and her bodacious evil ways. She oooooozes sex appeal. My goal in life, from hence forth, is to be her when I grow up. True story.

Megan Fox, eat your heart out, this year someone deserving won. Perhaps you could get a tattoo of Christina Hendricks on your other arm? Just so you can remember what it is you're loosing to?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Coloring Book

I'm making my own coloring book. It's called 'Look at All That Awesome.'

It seemed unfair to keep these awesome imaged to myself. I think everyone should be able to take a break and color something awesome. It really helps boost moral!

So, here are some of the highlights, which you too can print and color. And send to me for my collection!

Samurai- Check.

 I just showed this one to a 12 year old who said "If you've lived as long as me, you'd KNOW bacon!"

It's the Apocalypse, duh.

Look, they're being so serious!

You can REALLY use your colors on this one!

Have you figured out the theme for today?

New Scrabble Rules.

For the very first time since 1948 Hasbro has gone stupid.

They plan to release a new version of Scrabble in Britain. A version that will take the game down to the intelligence level of Europe?

The new rules will allow celebrity names and other proper nouns to garner points. 

But don't they know what a disaster in the making this is?

We all know that if you ever spell Chuck Norris in Scrabble you win. Forever.


I spent all of yesterday and most of today shelfreading. A relaxing task, peaceful even. That is until you see something you never thought you would!


Now remember, technically speaking, Chuck Norris doesn't actually write books, the words just assemble themselves out of fear.

I'm afraid to open it, less a round house kick to the face erupts from the text and kills me.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yahoo Trending Now

I have a yahoo email that I use on a fairly regular basis... It was free.

When you log into their mail page, it gives you all sorts of extra little news things.

My favorite is the 'Trending Now'- The top ten things people are looking for on Yahoo at that point in time. You know what was trending now when I started this post (which is was supposed to be about how my trivia team forgot to tell Beth and I that we made the tournament, and now we can't go... bitches)? I'll tell you whats trending right now.... AWESOME is trending now!

Trending Now

Lets recap:
1. Yeti are awesome.
2. Lost freakin' rocks.
3. I released the Kraken on your mom last night.
4. The FCC are douches. Way to loose that case FCC.
5. Last time I checked Caster was a dude's name, so why is everyone confused?
6. Lollapalooza will always rock. Probably. Hippies... Awesome
7. Ok, Nicollette Sheridan is skeezy, skip number seven. (Totally ruining my trending now trend)
8. What a sacrifice.. marry the ugly prince, just because he'll be king? You betcha!
10. Yes. Nukes. Apocalypse.

The internet is AWESOME right NOW!


Now look whats trending!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

How to grill a Peep

 Step 1: Find a Peep that deserves punishment

Oh look, that one is pooping on the counter!

 Step 2: Prepare Peep for impending doom

Step 3: Enjoy aroma of roasting Peep!

 Remember to rotate to prevent charring!

 Step 4: Enjoy!

What, you want more? Well the best way to grill peeps in mass is of course the Peep-kabob!

Remember, grilled Peeps are best when shared with loved ones!