Monday, December 24, 2012

Music Mondays: Christmas Eve Edition

It's Christmas Eve Day and I've got butter softening in preparation for a pie crust. The ham's in the fridge. There's brie and crackers for later this evening and Original Sin (I so love that name) hard cider for sipping. And right now, we're in the middle of another Bones marathon. It's a good evening. And here's my playlist for this week.

1.God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 
- Loreena McKennitt

Happy Xmas (War is Over)
- John Lennon

Christmas Even in Sarajevo [Timeless Version]
- Trans Siberian Orchestra

I'll Be Home for Christmas 
- Sarah McLachlan

Christmas Canon Rock
- Trans Siberian orchestra

Friday, December 21, 2012

Liebster Award (or Someone Out There Knows About This Blog)

I've been given (by Deana at My Thoughts on the Subject Are As Follows) a Leibster Award which is a little Blogosphere recognition for those of us who have under 200 followers.

(I actually think this is the second time someone's done this for me...and I'm pretty sure I failed at responding last time. I'm terrible, I know. In my defense, I was right (or even write) in the middle of the A to Z Challenge when that happened, among other things.)

Anyway. I digress. Because I can. I'm normally not a chain letter woman (and this whole thing does read like a chain letter), but since this is both writing and blog related (and I didn't answer the first one), I'm going to give it a go.

But I'm not tagging anyone else (though I will suggest that you click on some of the names under "Members" on the right hand side of this site and check out their blogs, if you haven't).

Because I can.

1. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Would you think me terrible if I said that I didn't know? I've been pulling the cotton out of my brain for the last few minutes and, honestly, there's not a piece of advice in there that isn't something I don't feel isn't a.) so trite and well known I could have picked it up from a Disney movie or b.) I've learned myself through trial and error.

2. If tomorrow was your last day, what would you do?

Type faster.

And call my mom.

3. How old were you when you first truly felt love?

If we're talking fictional characters, I was 15 and he was Erik in Susan Kay's Phantom.

If we're talking real life, I was somewhere in my 21st year.

4. What is your favorite holiday and why?

It used to be Halloween, back in the halcyon days of my later childhood, when everyone and their father still dressed in costumes and on the night of October 31st the streets teemed with people.

But once you age out of trick-or-treating and find that the only thing adults really do is go to parties - and though you play at being an adult, you're not really that fond of most parties - it rather loses its thrill.

These days I'd say Yuletide. The Solstice. Christmas. I like the chill. I love the beauty of a world encased in ice. The reflection of a thousand fairy lights in the darkened windows of a room. This time of year eases my desire for sparkly, shiny things.

5. Do you believe in karma and why?

Not as such, no. There are a lot of terrible things that happen to people in this world (assault, rape, kidnapping, molestation, etc.) for no other reason than that the world is a random and sometime very shitty place. A true karmic ideal would suggest that they did something to bring that on themselves - whether now or in a past existence - and that doesn't sit right with me.

I do believe in cause and effect. That like can attract like. But that's really more common sense than anything. If you do something good for someone, you may very well get something good in return, though it's not a guarantee. Alternatively, if you harm someone, expect harm back, though that's also not a guarantee. Because the world doesn't work in black and white absolutes.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Music Mondays: Mental Funk Edition

This morning, I find myself, at least partially, still in the funk that took me over this weekend.

I'm not going to waste time complaining about it. I'm tired of hearing my complaints. And I have to live with me, so... At any rate, it's just a full fledged combination of things that are making me feel blah from lack of paying work to lack of holiday spirit to the weather.

It's just too bloody warm here. It's 9:45 in the morning and 52 degrees. The high for today is 65. It's December!

Now, I don't live in the tundra. But the average history of temperatures at this time of year is mid 40s to low 50s (Fahrenheit) during the day. And so far we've been above that. And after the long, hot, hellish summer we had, I'm just sick of it. (Oops. I'm complaining.)

When I moved to Knoxville from Middle Tennessee, I expected a slight increase in cooler winter weather. So far, I've been disappointed.

And due to all this, I really only have one song on my holiday music list this week....

Monday, December 10, 2012

Music Mondays: Where the Hell Is Winter? Edition

My plan for Music Mondays in December had been to post some of my favorite holiday tunes. But I'm having real trouble getting into the proper mindset of songs about winter cold and hushed, snow covered forests with the near 70 degree weather we've been having the last few days.

Though we've had a change up today - it's depressingly grey, dreary, and wet outside - the weather's really been putting a damper on my enthusiasm. It simply doesn't feel like the winter solstice is right around the corner.

Perhaps I just need to trudge forth, throw on some of my favorite tunes, and see if that helps change my outlook.

So, here's this week's playlist. It's McKennitt heavy.

1. Seeds of Love - Loreena McKennitt
2. Song for a Winter's Night - Sarah McLachlan
3. Coventry Carol - Loreena McKennitt
4. Snow - Loreena McKennitt





Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sausage and Cranberry Stuffed Squash

So, here it is, my confession: when I can't wrap my brain around more cerebral topics, I post recipes. (Or confessional pictures. Or both.)

Anyway, this is a really great seasonal recipe (cranberries, yum). And not a bad way to introduce yourself to acorn squash if you've never eaten it before.


2 med acorn squash
1 lb of sausage
1 large onion
2 cups of soft breadcrumbs
2 eggs
2-3 cups of dried cranberries

Step 1. 
Pre-heat the oven to 350. Wash and then cut each squash in half.
You'll need a very sharp knife and some decent arm strength (because the squash will get stuck on the knife).

Try not to cut yourself....

Step 2. 
Gut the squash halves. 
Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to pull out the seeds and stringy innards. 

Step 3.
Place the squash halves meat side down in a pan or on a tray. (I spray the pan with a no-stick spray before use.)

Cook the squash for about 40 minutes or until tender. (By tender, I mean when it's easy to poke a fork through the green flesh. Once they're tender, remove them from the oven and set them aside. Leave the oven on.)

Step 4.
As the squash is cooking, chop your onion and get your other ingredients ready.

Step 5.
Crumble your sausage, along with your onions, in a skillet. Cook until the sausage is done.

Remove from heat. Add the breadcrumbs, cranberries and eggs and stir until the eggs are well distributed.

Step 6.
(I hope you've been keeping an eye on your cooking squash.)

Spoon the sausage mixture into each cooked squash half and then pop back in the oven for about 20 minutes/until the sausage and breadcrumbs are lightly browned.

(To get a more thorough incorporation of sausage mixture and squash, scoop out the squash insides with a fork and combine them with the squash mix after it's been removed from the heat.)

Step 7.

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