Sunday, December 26, 2010

WHY?! I'LL TELL YOU WHY


When you're laying across the bed, real quiet like, you can sometimes make sense of things.  This is how this one began: I was appalled at something someone had said, they were not talking to me but I  astonished at their callous words. Ok, I was lurking/eavesdropping on Twitter.  It couldn't be helped.

There have been occasions that people have said things to me that stopped me like a deer in headlights.  As a mother, I've seen this happen to my children, I've seen it happen to friends.  I've personally been both perpetrator and victim and seen generally the same reaction: it hurts.  

This matter followed me around in my mind recently, waiting patiently for it's turn in my busy day and when I sprawled out on the bed it insisted on being heard.  As a writer, I am very accustomed to listening to the voices in my head but for a few years now I've been drawn towards sharing more than fictional words.  This is no different, I have to tell you this.  I'm really only reminding you what you already know on some level:

"DON'T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY 

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering."

This is the second agreement from a book a friend recommended by Don Miguel Ruiz called THE FOUR AGREEMENTS.  I wish I had read this book when I was 5 which is unrealistic but it would have saved me a lot of trouble.  I can not tell you how many times I've reacted and struggled with wondering how someone could be so hurtful towards me.  I've wondered how celebrities could be unfaithful, kids so mean, PTO moms so back biting, co-workers so rude... 

My own children have come to me puzzled when they were tots, saying things like "Luke was so mean today."  Initially I'd ask "What did you do to Luke that made him respond to you like that?" and the answer was "Nothing. I didn't do anything to him.".  

I had to get to the bottom of these little mysteries once and for all.  When I pursued each, more often than not, it turned out that the other person was coming from a place of personal pain or struggle and the affront was not based on the receiver being a jerk but the giver was hurt.  Yes hurt: 

"Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath."~ Eckhart Tolle

So, the next time someone blows your hair back with a dis(respect) that seems bigger than need be, please remember not to take it personally.  When the time is right, and if you care to know what's really going on, perhaps you can request that they help you to understand why they responded to you in that manner.  Your overture should bring an opportunity for healing and understanding for all parties concerned.

Can you relate to this?  I know you can! Leave me a comment.


Namaste,
~Olive






Wednesday, December 22, 2010

LET'S TALK





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You've been "grazing" for weeks, blame it on the holidays... but you  still need a delicious plan for cutting that crap out. You know you've got to switch to lower fat, calories, carbs but your taste buds are still delighting in the naughty, carefree catastrophe you've been indulging in and bland fare won't satisfy at this point.  That's ok, we can fool a taste bud just like your mother did when you were 4: with a condiment!  Yes, adult palate condiments and not something silly like catsup or ranch dressing.

Image  source: Mark Reigelman’s ‘Bite’ silverware collection  

First, you're going to grill or bake lean proteins, add plenty of vegetables: roasted or grilled, decrease your carbs by half and then a CONDIMENT with (top or on the side) your protein (seafood, meat/tofu/veggie burger) to quiet your spoiled taste buds which crave excitement formerly known as fat and calories and carbohydrates.  A great one to try is:


SALSA VERDE
You know, the green salsa.  It has a great flavor pop from the zing of the tomatillo (think green tomato) and comes in heat options like mild to put the bathroom tissue in the cooler.  Most condiment makers carry a version of salsa verde or you can make your own with a recipe like this one from CLOSET COOKING, but where you're going to get tomatillo's from I just don't know.  Good luck with that!


PICO DE GALLO
Since we're already in the Latino state of mind.  You can purchase this but it's excellent freshly made and easy to prepare if you have a sharp knife handy.  CLOSET COOKING also has a simple pico de gallo recipe because pico de gallo is merely tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, lime and jalepenos if you're not faint of heart (+salt & pepper).


FLAVOR
Other big flavors to try with your boring baked or roasted  protein, salad and the other dull healthy foods are: dijon mustards, balsamic vinaigrette, squeeze of lime, soy sauce, or Sriracha which was recently Bon Appetit magazine's condiment of the year.  Oh, that Sriracha (rooster sauce), a chili sauce,  will gladly burn your face off if you are a spicy heat virgin but you can stir it into a plain, low fat yogurt and have a sour heat experience which is enjoyable with seafood such a crab cakes, shrimp and or fish.


Other *OR shared/found recipe "blasts from the past" are the Criminal Crab cake found here(scroll down) and the Pesto sauce which can serve as a condiment (substitute basil or other leafy green like spinach if basil is not available to you).


Do you have a reasonably healthy condiment that I didn't mention? Just leave a comment with your great idea!  Thanks for reading and let me know if you found inspiration in any of the condiment options.
~Olive


*OR=Olive Rosehips


Saturday, November 13, 2010

PASSWORD MANAGERS























I forgot my password!!!   Not to worry though, nor to swear (unless you like that sort of thing)... there are always ways to work around this little pause in your day.


PASSWORD MANAGERS

I know you are going to say: I thought we were not supposed to write our passwords down... read on you ninny. Of course you shouldn't write down: Account Password - blah343blah... Come on, don't be silly, be something more sophisticated.  Think encryption. Even if your device or wallet is stolen you passwords remain safe with these managers.

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There's and APP for that! Agile Web Solutions makes one and it's available to Mac, Windows, iPhone and iPad users.  The product is 1Password and the offer is peace of mind and safe web browsing.

SplashID promises a secure password manager that runs on your mobile device (phone).  They do this for an unlimited number of record categories and store other types of personal and sensitive information, boasting unbreakable portable protection.

PasswordCard is a credit card sized printout that is generated with various colors for separate accounts, the password is encrypted within other letters and numbers, read in the direction (left to right or vice versa) you decide... click link for more information, answers to your questions and to print yours.

If you're just a cheap so-and-so, that PasswordCard is free, as is this solution from KeePass which also offers encryption algorithms.  Need to spend money to feel safe, ok money-bags, consider RoboForm which allows you to log into websites automatically as well as encrypts your passwords, all for around $30 American dollars.  Your logins are in one place, you can access from anywhere and this also fills in forms for you utilizing your safely stored data.

All these solutions to your memory problem are peanut and elephant free! I hope you enjoyed this article.

Do you have a favorite password manager? Please share in the comments area.  Found this informative or helpful? FaceBook this link!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

COOKING

Cooking snobs
two of these chefs are smug and then there's that other smiling one who apparently cooks with wine...

They are snobs because they know their way around a recipe, a cook book and a kitchen.  I know you don't aspire to be a snob but do you ever look at a recipe and wonder what is al dente, antipasto, ceviche, béchamel, papillote, sauté ...


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Today I came upon at a recipe called Lamb Tagine ... what I saw was a bowl  of roasted dark meat and vegetables nestled cosily besides a length of couscous and guessed that perhaps it was the tangy taste that gave the dish it's "tagine" name. A little research taught me that I was not even close, a tagine is a type of Morrocan dish or the heavy clay, domed pot used in food preparation. My inner smart-ass wondered why all the mystery, just call it slow cooked lamb, but really, I can appreciate the history lesson here.  Every cooking term contains a little story of style and or region of the world deserving of appreciation as well as the opportunity to be a tiny bit of a cooking snob worthy of your salt, even if only in conversation.  Once while watching ol' what's her name ,  I found myself consorting with the tv over what a snot I thought she was when she spoke of crystal bobeches.   Not really a cooking term, bobeches, but she was setting her table for a meal and for a few minutes I didn't have a clue what she was talking about I looked them up and discovered that bobeche really is the a fabulous term to describe a bobeche.  Otherwise you'd have to refer to it as that candle ring that catches melting candle wax and keeps it from dripping on your heirloom table cloth. So, ok, I would rather say bobeche, and touché Martha, but I still think you're kinda ické.

Culinary Terms
Lamb Tagine Recipe
You want to be worth your cooking salt, so look up culinary terms (this link offers a pretty extensive and alphabetized resource)  when following recipes and you'll not only have an interesting conversational tidbit, but when you're deciding on whether to make that chicken florentine you will already know that this dish calls for spinach because any recipe speaking of florentine is speaking of spinach.

This Lamb Tagine Recipe is from Woman's Day magazine, <~link you can make it in a slow cooker.  This recipe calls for dried fruit, I'm not a fan so I leave it out and continue on in my inauthentic way. Do what you like and know that when you see "tagine" you are slow cooking.

(click paragraph as link)

Monday, September 6, 2010

APPLICATIONS





Not sure if I mentioned it but I am an APPLE technology nerd. I mention this because I've been having the nerdiest fun this past week with my toy.  First, I wanted to show this little dock because it works for other technologies like BLACKBERRIES. It's nice to have a dock to use your toy hands-free and not have to purchase something for your work and home.

DOCK
Since I'm sharing nerd-inal delights, I'll show you this little solution for when you want to watch your iToy showing a movie. These are two geeky ways to make a dock that work for iPhone and iPod, both quick, easy, cheap - the way you like it, no further comment. =)
The cardboard iStand is cut from a sturdy piece of cardboard, folded, includes little compartment for your  and enjoyed. Find the pattern, full instructions and quick video at Geeky Gadgets.com as well as other needful nerd delights and enjoy~~> cardboard iStand or you want to print the PDF? Right here my friend: iPhone Dock.



PENCIL STAND
You don't feel up to the origami of the cardboard stand but you do happen to have 5 pencils and 4 rubber bands, well then, have I have just the thing for you! Ok, well, really Geeky Gadgets.com to the rescue again with this Pencil iPhone or iPod stand .   
Geeky Gadgets.com found inspiration from this little number from Cult of Mac, who used a couple of bull nose clips for a stand/dock. You can use this with your Blackberry, too, it seems but I haven't the foggiest idea why you would because I don't have a Blackberry.


Diba Babs and iPhone Apps
Flash forward to the mall, there was a pair of outrageous boots by Diba called Babs, that I just had to have and they were in the clearance section, 2 sizes too small.  I whipped out my handy-dandy RedLaser app and scanned the barcode on the shoe box.  Instantly I had a list of where I could find this boot and at what cost in each venue. They arrived by mail 3 business days later at a great price = BAM! I'm keeping this app! I hope you download it and use it when you see that overpriced item that you really want.  I used the app again while shopping for a sexy kitchen faucet and found great prices in town and online.




Clever Nerd?
In this edition of OLIVE ROSEHIPS, you'll find this make-able cork craft which holds a flash drive. Also, directions for making this in a key chain version.

You know you have something to say about all this so please leave a comment below.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

PANKO

No, this is not a casino game, a dance step or a martial arts maneuver.  It is a cooking ingredient and you should know about it.  Why? Because Panko is so upper crust. In fact, Panko [PAHN-koh] is a large, coarsely ground, crustless bread crumb which gives foods a light, airy taste because they don't absorb as much grease. making your meal lower in fat. Also noteworthy, Panko comes Gluten Free. I'm not usually a fan of fried (tan) food but Panko has me rethinking fried for those times when I would like something with breading but prefer not to have a greasy coating on my tongue not to mention in my belly.

  


You can find this captivating crumb in most grocery stores in the Asian section of your local grocery store as well as in Asian markets and international food stores.  In Japanese cooking Panko is traditionally used as a coating for deep-fried foods and is a great substitute in your recipes calling for breadcrumbs. I want to share some ideas that are just as side step away from the beaten path. 


Criminal Crab Cakes (adapted from this source)
1/2 red onion, diced
1 Tbsp Smart Balance buttery spread
1/4 cup Egg Beaters (or 1 egg)
1/4 cup mayo or Miracle Whip
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 shakes Worcestershire sauce
3 shakes Frank's Red Hot sauce or other hot sauce, or to taste
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning, or to taste
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1-1/4 cups panko or be boring and use breadcrumbs
1 lb fresh lump crab meat, picked over to remove any bits of shell (can substitute packaged)
Spray Olive oil for frying
In a small frying pan, sauté onion in Smart Balance until translucent. Remove from pan to a large bowl, and let the onions cool. Then, beat in the egg, mayo, mustard, Worcestershire, hot sauce, Old Bay, black pepper and panko. Fold in the crab meat. Form into 8 large patties, and place on a plate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spray oil the bottom of a large (12-inch) frying pan, and heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the crab cakes and cook, without moving, 5 minutes or until the bottoms are brown. Then turn and cook the second side, 5 minutes or until brown. Remove from the pan and let drain on a plate covered with a paper towel, to remove excess oil. Serve hot, with tartar sauce if you like.
panko-pea-fritters2
Pea and Potato Panko

This little vegetable pan cake or fritter, presented on a leafy salad green next to seafood, could serve as both carb and vegetable options but it's origin is snack food in India. The lovely Sala at VeggieBelly.com shares this  appetizer also called aloo mutter tikki . Find the recipe here and try this simple, almost homey, with it's mashed potato and pea ingredients, that is cooked it a very shallow layer of oil. I really think you could get kids to eat this if you adjusted the seasonings by removing the cumin and red chili powder. 



Panko 

Stuffed Mushrooms




These morsels are not your usual Italian stuffed shrooms. No no! They are Asian inspired with ingredients like sesame, soy sauce (mirin) and scallions  Our Panko serves to make them crispier with a lighter finish. This recipe, from the POST PUNK KITCHEN calls for baking 20 minutes in a 350 oven, but if it is super hot where you live (yes, we have international friends) I would still make this stove top in a pan with a lid over medium heat. Watch this though, cooking time may vary because the lid will hold in moisture.  When you think your shrooms are nearly done in about 15 minutes or so, remove the lid and cook off condensation. This recipe makes 22 large mushrooms, uh, yeah, feel free to cut it in half unless you're having guests over. Panko Stuffed Mushroom recipe.





Panko Wiener Schnitzel










Admittedly, I find Wiener Schnitzel, a German and Austrian dish, funny to say because of the way it gives a mouth a work out. I also thought it sounded like a hot dog dish when I first heard it. Traditionally it is a 1/2 inch (pounded evenly) thickness of veal or pork but I make it with chicken breast. Cover your choice of meat with plastic wrap to prevent spattering and pound away from you.  Prepare this as you would any pan fried schnitzel, substituting Panko crumbs for the bread crumbs. I'll share the recipe I tried from Group Recipes for Panko Wiener Schnitzel.  The lemon wedges are not just a cute picture accessorie, they really compliment the meal in this case, so include them - they matter.






Thursday, August 5, 2010

ICE CREAM

Ice CreaM by SwEeTcHy This ice cream makes a stunning picture but you wouldn't want to eat it. No worries! I'm bringing you several real mouth watering delights along with some tools and tips that I hope you'll try.  Taste life, begin here:

This:  
This thick handled ice cream scooper, with action end created for precision, will make perfect rounds of ice cream, pretty as you please for about  $15 from fitzsu.com.  If you are hosting, place these lovely spheres on a lined (wax paper, parchment paper, plastic wrap) cookie sheet about 24 hours (4 is fine)  before you plan to serve. Once frozen you can stack the balls of ice cream in a bowl and use tongs to serve with no waiting for your birthday party or other guests.  While you're at it, make your own ice cream drumsticks: just scoop, plop on cone, freeze, add toppings, re-freeze like this.
It's a good idea to remove your delish ice balls 15 minutes or more before serving so they're more than pretty rocks.


Ice Cream LollipopsWatching calories? Eat same thing just much less. Using a small cookie scooper, scoop your delish ice cream, add lollipop stick or sturdy tooth pick and freeze. After freezing either size, dip the scoop of ice cream into melted confectioners chocolate, then roll or dip into bowls of toppings like thinly sliced strawberry, banana, mango... those chocolate covered pretzels, chopped nuts, malted milk powder, yogurt chips, shredded coconut, nonpareil balls, marsh mallow creme, butter scotch or peanut butter chips, crumbled brownie bits... 


Thinking Small
You've seen the small, pint sized containers of ice cream that Haagen -Daazs, Ben & Jerry and even Starbucks now puts out, right? What could be more fun than making a batch of mini ice cream sandwiches with small cookies like Nilla Wafer's or even Oreo's without the middles.  The beauty of this is that you can purchase a few varieties of ice cream and fill cookies differently.  Why? Because variety is the spice of life and don't you just want to taste what someone else is having sometimes?  You can control how much dessert you have this way, also. Ok, well, the opportunity for control is there, that's probably more honest. This little recipe (see picture) uses a slice of banana, a scoop of ice cream, here check it out~~Ice Cream Sundae Bites.  



Product ImageThinking Bigger
 I know what you're thinking, piggy, you're thinking you'd just as soon have one of those pints all to yourself.  I had thoughts like that once too, had a thing with Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey pint.  Seemed like a relationship replacement at the time. I don't recommend it but you will do as you please I'm sure so, do it with this Prepara ice cream pint sleeve, you can find them at your local Target store for about $10. I believe the lid is for transporting, to keep the product cold but we all really know that you're going to finish the pint and won't need to store any remaining iced delight. The sleeve is just to keep your hands from freezing. 


Some People Fry Everything
One of my favorite Mexican restaurants serves fried ice cream. I've tried it, of course. It was ok. Most fascinating to me was the recipe, I had to have it! You too?! Well, I rounded up a video because I wanted to see this, it's fun to watch, right? I watched several videos, basically you scoop ice cream, wrap in bread or cake, re-freeze until hardened and then fry. Some videos rolled in tempura batter before the fry.  Curiosity satisfied, now I can move on with my life.





YOUR COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOMED... feel free to include a link to your site.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

JEWELRY TANGLE


DIY-Tom-Binns-rhinestone-chains-pearl-chunky-choker-collar-necklace-13
HOW TO MAKE A
JEWELRY TANGLE CHIC NECKLACE:  


Photo source www.lovemaegan.com. 
As I looked at jeweler Tom Binn inspired necklaces in a few tutorials for research, I wondered how in the world I was going to find all of that bling to pull this project off. Undaunted, I made a version of this decadent design myself and found that for me, the other tutorials did not completely prepare and explain key details that could make this project easily successful.  Here's what worked and how you, too can make one of your own for much less time, money and trouble. Firstly: Most craft stores carry beading supplies and all manner of needful things for this conGLAMeration: varieties of chains from chunky to demure and  faux-bulous shades of pearls matching a variety of direction you may take with your desired "of-the-moment" master piece. I found the most delightful pearls in a pewter, graphite color and I almost did a little dance.




... FOLLOW THIS LIFESTYLE BLOG-A-ZINE ...


Here's what worked:

1. Inventory your necklaces, deciding what tone (silver/gold) you want. I went for the silver in my collection, then supplemented with the craft store chains and bling, mall costume jewelry, re-sale shops, yard sale fodder are also good sources.  My own finished design contained about 30% from my unused necklaces.
2. Tools you'll need can include scissors or nail clippers, jewelry pliers x2 if possible.
Fireline or other beading thread, not fishing line, for stringing pearls. Use the fishing line as invisible support for key pieces which I'll explain later. Super glue or other clear glue for gluing tied fishing line.
    Lay out your necklaces, findings and tools:
    It was tricky and colorful-word-annoying trying to weave my necklaces into something gorgeous and I had to put it on my unamused son in order to design easier.  This really works best if you can use an elevated surface. If you don't have a statue/bust at your disposal, you may wish to construct this little necklace display tool in order to easily arrange, twist and tangle your pieces.  Using a sheet of extra thick craft foam, roll into a tube similar to picture and staple where necessary to hold.  
    Create:
    Your design will fasten on one clasp in the back, so determine a sturdy chain ingredient because you will likely attach key pieces to it here and there. Mine was a 24" silver chain from the bead store which included a clasp closure.  I removed links from both sides in the end, reattaching the clasp to shorten. I used it to wrap/reign/weave, also. If this sounds vague, don't worry, it will all make sense as you create.  
    • Study your inventory of necklaces, the Binns inspiration  and others in this blog. Make some portions drapey, put rhinestones off to one side, create a tangled layer, weave portions of chain or pearls throughout to develop a cohesive look. 
    • Use the fireline if you buy pearls, do not think you can avoid restringing them, you risk having the cheap plastic line they come on breaking and scattering your little pretties... 
    • Use the fishing line to attach key pieces by tieing ends here and there to other sections of your design.  The fireline offers most security here (comes in different jewel tones) but if you want invisible attachment, go for the fishing line and glue the knots carefully, allowing to dry before trimming the ends. 
    You should end up with something which is more beautiful once you put it on. I rearrange mine some each time I wear it. It's a little wee bit heavy but I love it! It lends a cohesive, fabulosity to dressy outfits and jeans that I live in. 












    If you enjoy making DIY necklace projects, this blog post link has a less involved jewelry design projects that are also fun! This one uses ribbon and existing necklace to make re-invent. See the pictures below.


    Comments are always welcome =)







    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    5 WAYS TO ROLL




    Can a supple and curvy chaise such as this have a place on a bucket list or are bucket lists limited to adventures?  If so, I'll figure a way to work this chaise into that format... until then I can certainly make that neck roll pillow shown. Neck roll pillows, also called bolsters, are fa-bu neck support. Find pattern for one here add a couple of unique tassels at each end which speak of travels or drip with some other sentiment. 



    ...sometimes it's ok to be a follower - like when you follow my entertaining & inspiring blog-a-zine full of recipes & general cures for boredom.
    Vietnamese Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

    1. Vietnamese rol
    ls shown above (recipe Cooking Light) Have you ever had these? Light and full of flavor, I make these every chance I get and have always replaced the peanut oil with  vegetable oil, omitted the peanuts because of nut allergies and still find it tastes authentic and satisfying.  The rice paper may intimidate you so I will let you know that I purchase it at Asian markets and even international markets. It is tricky to work without a demo so maybe you'll enjoy this valuable video because while the rice paper isn't expensive it is fragile if not handled correctly.  Gratuitous stuffed shrimp recipe which hasn't a darn thing to do with this article, just a squirrel which distracted me, heheh.


    Mango Spring Roll by dapan
    2. Mango Spring Roll <~recipe. Had lunch at an Indian Curry type of restaurant and discovered whilst making only necessary slurpy noises with a mango soup, that in India there are more than 50 varieties of mango's... heaven?  That thought tied up my salivary glands for quite a while as did this little recipe. I hope you'll give this a try when mangoes are plentiful where you live. How on earth does one slice mangoes into fingers? Ask no more, here's how in 1:37 seconds (omit cutting into cubes).








    3. Breakfast Rolls, easy fast enough that it's child's play, decadent enough that adults will want more. Don't believe me? Using purchased puff pastry (one of my favorite things in life) or even refrigerated crescent rolls, do this: Combine a fair amount of sugar with a couple drops of vanilla because vanilla is potent. Set aside and unroll and seam together pastry using a pastry roller if necessary, creating a rectangular sheet much longer than wide.  When vanilla sugar has become one, spread onto the dough leaving a half inch margin all around.  Roll, beginning at the widest part, until you have a log. Then cut/slice into 6 logs and bake according to pastry directions.




    4. Ginger (and ground meat) Lettuce Wrap recipe from Food People Want (recipe) ok, they do theirs with ground pork but mmm, I like ground turkey or even tofu. My reason purely silly, I don't eat pork because well, pigs are fat and I can't get beyond that in my brain housing group. And they smell funny when you cook them, except bacon and pancetta.  I always order these at PF Chang's restaurant and one day decided to make my own and these were every bit as divine. 


    Sushi hand rolls




    5. Sushi hand rolls (Temaki-zushi) cooked shrimp and smoked salmon here, (RECIPE) so cringing not necessary from all the squeamish never-try-anything-new types. This recipe has fresh cucumber, carrots, avocados and scallions, it's light and can be as spicy as you like with wasabi paste. I discovered that my local grocery store carries wasabi and ginger in a tube as well as garlic and pesto sauce, the latter tasting too much of citric acid to even smack of worthy, though. 







    Bonus Roll: Strawberry Swiss Roll, pumpkin log roll...
    are two others I've blogged which you may find delicious here in this previous edition of ORH.


    Now roll on down to the comment section and share your thoughts and your URL!! Thanks for showing some love. ~Olive