Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Drunken Spicy Shameless Shrimp - WTF and WOW Recipe Wednesday

Ahhhhhhh…cooking with beer!

Drunken Spicy Shameless Shrimp (
2 12 oz bottles of your choice of lager
½ cup cider vinegar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
2 pounds large (16-20 count) shrimp in shells
2 tablesppons garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning (see below recipe)

Pour the beer, vinegar and water into a tall gallon stockpot or turkey fryer.  Add the Old Bay seasoning, cover and blast heat to a boil.  When the blend is boiling rapidly, add the shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the shrimp turns pink.  The flesh will continue to cook in the shell, so don’t overcook.  Drain the shrimp in a colander, and cover with a layer of ice to cool them down.  Or you can dump them into a bowl, and cover them with two bottles of ice-cold lager, to stop the cooking and infuse them with even more beer flavor.  Before serving, blend the minced garlic and creole seasoning, and toss the shrimp in this spicy blend.

Creole Seasoning Blend – good to make this and have it on hand!
½ cup paprika
½ cup granulated garlic
¼ cup granulated onion
3 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons white pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
¼ cup dried oregano
¼ cup dried thyme
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons sugar

Blend well and store in tightly sealed glass jar.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gonzo and Oscar the Grouch – “True” History Tuesday

It was widely believe, based upon false information presented to us during the Muppets from Space film, that Gonzo the Great was actually an alien.  This was a complete cover up story designed to protect that illicit and long-running affair between the Muppet rocker Janice and Sesame Street’s Snuffleupagus.   Obviously, there was always intermingling between the Muppets and the Sesame Street characters, but this relationship took it to an entirely different level.  Even more shocking is that Gonzo the Great had a brother, Oscar the Grouch.  Not only did they both share a THE in their names and eerily similar ping pong ball eyes, but unbeknownst to them they also shared the same Y chromosome.

Janice met Snuffleupagus while on tour with Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem Band.  They had a benefit gig at Hooper’s Store.  Janice spotted Snuffleupagus and fell madly in love when she heard him say, “Hey Bird.”  They knew their love was forbidden and must be hidden from all the muppet puppets.  When Oscar was born they panicked and threw him in a trash can.  Amazingly, he survived and actually thrived in this environment…although his temperament was grouchy, at best.  Their reckless affair continued and yielded another baby two years later.  Again, they were consumed by panic.  They opted to launch him to space in a high powered circus canon.  Gonzo also flourished and thoroughly enjoyed being raised by his alien parents.  The Janice and Snuffleupagus affair finally ended when they discovered they just weren’t compatible.

Another Muppet scandal involved the affair between Wayne and Wanda.  This affair, of course, was not secret to anyone.  They were vomitously affectionate with each other.  What they hid from the world is they too had an illegitimate child, Pepe the King Prawn.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Low Calorie Dips and An Easy At Home Science Experiment

I am a huge fan of dips.  I’m addicted to the process of running a chip through a bowl, pan, saucer, coffee-cup, pile spilled on table, wad found on shirt, etc of dip.  My go-to dip base ingredients are sour cream or cream cheese.  I mean, I’ve even written a poem about cream cheese for God’s sake.  But…I’ve committed to eating better and less.  This shouldn’t mean that my dip addiction should suffer.  I do have to maintain my sanity in some way.  Here are a couple of lower calorie dip recipes that help me to maintain my addiction and sanity.  

Quick Mexican Dip (
About 45 calories per serving (10 servings per recipe) - this does not include chips.

8 oz block of low fat Cream Cheese
8 oz tub low fat Sour Cream
1 package Taco Seasoning Mix
Tostitos Multigrain Tortilla Chips

Top with:
Shredded lettuce
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Chopped Tomato

Beat Cream Cheese, Sour Cream and Taco Seasoning together.  (If you want a thicker dip you can use the low fat or full fat version…which sort of defeats the purpose of eating lighter).  Spread dip in shallow 8x8 or 9x9 pan and top with toppings.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Hot Pizza Dip Recipe (
About 136 calories per serving (10 servings per recipe) – this does include chips!

8 ounces light cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 ½ cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
½ cup finely chopped red pepper
½ cup pizza sauce
Tostitos Multigrain Tortilla Chips or whole-wheat Boboli pizza crust (cut into dipping bread sticks)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9-inch pie plate with canola cooking spray. 

In a medium-size bowl, combine light cream cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic powder then spread on the bottom of prepared pie plate. 

In medium-size bowl, combine the two cheeses and red pepper.  Sprinkle half of the cheese-pepper mixture over the cream cheese layer.  Spread pizza sauce over the top of this and then sprinkle with the remaining cheese-pepper mixture. 

Bake for 20 minutes and serve warm with multigrain tortilla chips or whole-wheat dipping bread sticks made from Boboli whole-wheat pizza crust.

Now that you’ve made some dip.  You can do some science while you eat.  Here is Monday’s easy-at-home science experiement!

Make Glowing Water

What You Need:
A black light (you can find them at places like Walmart and hardware stores)
Small bottle of water
Highlighter pen
A dark room

What To Do:
Carefully break open highlighter, remove the felt and soak it in a small amount of water for a few hours.  Pour soaked water in water bottle or in a bowl.  Find a dark room.  Turn on the black light near your water.

What is Going On:
The ultra violet (UV) light coming from your black light excites things called phosphors.  The dye from the highlighter pen contains phosphors that turn UV light (light we can’t see) into visible light (light we can see).  That’s why your water glows in the dark when you shine a black light on it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

New Amyisms and Post Thanksgiving Exercise Plan

Thanksgiving yielded some new Amyisms.  I also got a delightful quote from my mother while watching a Lifetime movie with her.  A deranged psycho, who had maneuvered his way into an innocent family’s life, was killing the new girlfriend’s ex-husband.  The murder included a broken vase from Tiffany’s upside his head, full-on stabbing and very dramatic music. As we watched this, my mom looked at me and said of the man stabbing the other man, “I think he might be a murderer.”  That seemed like a fair deduction.

Faucet – Facup

Breakfast – Breffust

Calcium – Calsum

The Thanksgiving eating binge needs to be over for me.  I need to eat healthier foods and  commit to more exercise.  I have to get in fighting shape for the upcoming Christmas eating binge.  This video helped put me in the mindset of making the most of my treadmill experience.  This lady is awfully graceful.  My treadmill dance moves aren’t going to really measure up to her moves, but I will bring the funk and I will bring the jive to my workouts.

The Muppets

I went to see the Muppet Movie last night.  It was really good.  Seeing that reminds me of how cool it was to grow up in the 1970s and 1980s.  Television shows, toys and clothes were just freaking weird.  People my age know exactly what is up when you hear the unmistakable sounds of a bionic jump or a Wonder Woman transformation.  You know how to position your hand when someone says, “Nano Nano.”  You know you had a Stretch Armstrong doll and you knew the proper pull on your Big Wheel's break could result in an impressive Evel Knievel style spin.  Nothing seemed odd about wearing six Swatch Watches, parachute pants and super white dance shoes to church.  You can remember things that happened before Star Wars.  You remember Pong, rotary phones and a time before we had cell phones, but you also can play a game on a PS3, Skype and are never without your iPhone or Droid.  You think immediately of Carol Burnett when you hear a Tarzan yell.  And, of course, you know all the words to this song.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I hate to get all gushy on thanksgiving, but that’s what happens when you have too much turkey, stuffing and pie.  I’m thankful for so many things.  I consider myself to be really lucky.  I have an amazing family.  I have the best nieces and nephews in the world.  You might think yours are better, but sorry you’re wrong.  My sister-in-law makes the best stuffing in the world.  My brothers are really interesting and amazing guys.  My sister is the best.  I would never want to imagine growing up without her.  My parents are adorable. My mom says the funniest stuff…made funnier by the fact she doesn’t know what she said was funny.  I have several close friends.  They make my life better.  I have a great job.  The kids I work with mean the world to me.  I have insane pets that I love so much.  But what I’m most thankful for is my partner.  We have a great little life together.  It really doesn’t take a national holiday for me to realize all this, but it just seemed appropriate to voice it today.  Happy Thanksgiving!!!  I think I’ll go eat some more pie now.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Cocktails - WTF and WOW Recipe Wednesday

Apparently in Stoneleigh Warwickshire there is an annual Poultry Club National Show.  Check out these photos from the event.

Thanksgiving is not just about Turkey and stuffing, it is also about drinking.  The pilgrims did it…so should you.  Check out these fantastic recipes.

1 part kahlua
1 part spiced pumpkin pie filling
2 parts coconut rum
4 parts cold milk
6 ice cubes
Graham crackers (crushed to fine dust)
Garnish with cinnamon

Put everything but the cinnamon and graham crackers in a blender.  Mix on high.  Line rim of high ball glass with crushed graham crackers and sprinkle top of drink with cinnamon.

Vanilla Cranberry Cape Code (

1 ½ oz vanilla flavored vodka
Cranberry juice
Lime wedge and fresh cranberries for garnish

Fill a tumbler glass with ice and add ingredients.  Spear a couple of fresh cranberries and a lime wedge with a cocktail pick to place in the glass as a garnish.

The Art of Being a Pepper Spraying Douchebag – “True” History Tuesday

There are many reasons why I love the internettes.  But I especially love thee when we come together to make fun of the bad act of an overreacting asshole.  My love is reinforced.  If a picture is worth 1,000 words than a PhotoShopped picture is worth like 2,721 words. Thank you internettes.  I promise to never pepper spray you in the face when you peacefully demonstrate.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Stuffing Muffins and Thanksgiving Craft

Our early Thanksgiving meal yesterday was amazing.  I go very simple for the turkey.  Loads of butter (on skin and as much as you can get under the skin), season with Emeril’s Original Essence and baste often.  I think when preparing your turkey it is also vital to put your hand up its butt and do a Julia Child ventriloquist routine.  I also think making a few lesbian turkey baster jokes while basting the turkey is mandatory. 

I did something new this year.  I cooked my stuffing in muffin pans.  I highly recommend it.  The stuffing was perfectly crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside.  All you do is make your favorite stuffing as usual and then spoon it in muffin pans and cook at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Good stuff. 

The last time I taught Thanksgiving week camps (2 years ago); I made these hats with the kids.  It was pretty fun and the kids really enjoyed wearing them.  This is something to do while your turkey cooks.  

First hats I made at my desk.

Campers with their finished hats.

Pilgrim hat for boys  (
What You’ll Need:
10”x13” black construction paper
9”x12” gray construction paper
Pen or pencil
Scissors glue
Large black paper plate (only if you want to stronger brim to your hat)

How to Make It:
Cut an oval out of the black construction paper the full size of the paper.  Cut a strip of paper to make a band to put around the boy’s head, tape it.  Put that circle (slightly oval) on the paper to trace the inner circle.  Then draw a circle around it.  Leave about a 2” brim on 3 sides and about 4” on the “front”.  (I just cut the center out of the black paper plate to make my brim.)  Next, draw the trapezoid, and cut out the gray parts. (see diagram)  Cut out a band and buckle out of gray paper (can use white).  Glue the hat band on the hat and then the buckle on top of the band.  Bend the hat piece up and try it on.  You may need to adjust the opening to fit.  On the underneath side, apply tape to the two points where the hat bends. 

Bonnet for girls  (

What You Need:
10”x13” piece of white construction paper
Tape or a stapler

How to Make It:
Take paper and cut like the above picture.  Then fold the edge without the cuts 2 inches.  Next fold the side with the cut.  Fold the middle piece down and bring the sides to the middle.  Staple at the top and bottom or run a piece of tape up the back.  Tape or staple a piece of ribbon underneath the fold on the front on each side, making ties.