Sunday, August 23, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies

For the potluck at work tomorrow. Stole the recipe from this message board.

Here's the recipe:

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Get out a 9" square baking pan.

Cream together butter and peanutbutter, gradually adding sugar and beating until fluffy. Blend in vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together, then add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spread in pan and bake approximately 30 minutes. Cool completely. If desired, sift some icing sugar over the brownies. Cut into 24 squares.

I've made these before and there's no way to get 24 squares out of a 9" pan. 16 squares, maybe. Normally, I try to substitute some of the butter for applesauce or one of the eggs for mashed banana and use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, but this time I said, screw it and stuck with the recipe. No point in getting my proportions/substitutions wrong and starting all over again.

Ron-Ron Is Angry!

Ron-Ron, I thought you liked us!

Instead of using his twitter for the forces of good, like smack talking about Andrew Bynum's ability to get into foul trouble, Ron Artest, new small forward for the Lakers, is now using it to trash his former team, the Houston Rockets.

According to his twitter, this is why he's so upset
"Houston did me dirty. I can't wait til next year when we go to Houston. I'm not shooting. All defense. Somebody getting locked da f**k up."

"I still feel blessed but they messed up my bird rights. So it's on as long as I'm in the league."

I'm not going to address the second item (the author is in the article does it better than I could), but the first? Who are you going to lock up, Ron? The offensive powerhouse that is Shane Battier? Trevor Ariza? LOL. (All kidding aside, I love Battier, but he's not exactly a scoring machine.) Maybe Ron's going to concentrate on Aaron Brooks? Derek Fisher can't keep up with him, anyway. Or one of the rookies? Ron loved to play 1-5 on offense when he was on the Rockets, so maybe he'll play 1-5 on defense now and just guard everyone?

Oh well. I hope this "feud" hits the mainstream media. Why? Because maybe they'll actually televise one of the Rockets-Lakers games!

Ron Artest, planning to hand the Rockets their collective asses.
Er, maybe I should've found a pic of him in a Laker uniform.

Slightly OT, but my uterus is angry with me. This is the second time I've gotten my period this month. Maybe the flu is screwing my cycle up?

Friday, August 21, 2009

I like my men the same way I like my coffee...

Covered in bees! Now, that never gets old. But doesn't that Vietnamese iced coffee below look delicious? If I was at work right now, I would be drinking some.

C'mon, baby, come to mama. Now don't be shy. I just wanna take you out and show you a good time.

It's no secret to my friends, family and co-workers that I enjoy my coffee. I wouldn't say it's my crack (because crack is whack, yo), especially since the euphoria I feel after a good cup of coffee lasts so long, it would be more appropriate to call it my meth.

When I was going to school in Italy, I, like the rest of my classmates, was downing the stuff like no tomorrow. Shot of espresso before morning class, another shot during morning break, a third after lunch, a fourth during afternoon break and if I had to stay up late studying, a fifth after dinner.

Wow. Just looking at that list makes me wonder how I ever got any sleep during grad school. I tried switching to green tea, but it was a poor substitute.

This reminds of a talk a GP gave to us last year on chronic disease and nutrition. Because of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), people with HIV/AIDS are living many, many years and now the focus is caring for them when why have chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease.

Of course, once the GP finished, we used the time to pepper her with questions on basic nutrition. Main points: cut down on meat as much as possible, eat fruit and vegetables often and coffee is poison. We all groaned at them and shook our heads knowingly, like we would give that up.

Then someone asked her about wine.
"Why do you need to drink wine?"
"Well, what about the anitoxidants, the flavanoids?"
"Just eat some grapes with the skin on them. You don't need wine."

And that's the point where she officially lost all of us.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tea bagging… up close and personal

Ha, not that, perverts.

Last week I attended a town hall meeting on Obama’s plan for health care reform. Another agency urged me attend, saying that as an employee of a notable non-profit in the area, I should speak up for my community. Great idea, except public speaking is my kryptonite. So I went there to be a warm body and show my support and also to gawk at the guaranteed car-wreck quality of the event.

Now the town hall was very well organized. Hundreds of people showed up and it was moved outside. But there was a lot of anger. I was warned to show up early because the so-called tea baggers would be extremely loud and present, and I wasn’t disappointed. Their chant was, “Read the bill! Read the bill!” The pro-reform side countered with, “Health care for all! Health care for all!” Eh, FAIL on both sides.

I was surprised by the number of people who attended and also by the passion showed by those who do not want health care reform. It just boggles me how much people are freaked out by it. Every time someone says to me that the government shouldn’t run health care, I always say back, “What about Medicare? And Medicaid?” That said, I wouldn’t trust the U.S. government to do a huge overhaul of the current system, i.e., a single payer model like they have in Italy. There are so many simpler things that the government has screwed up/is currently screwing up now. I am in favor of broadening the scope of Medicaid (as in offering the coverage to more people) or the government offering subsidies to individuals to assist them in buying private insurance.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of a chance for dialogue during the event. People kept interrupting the congressman who organized it all and having a feeling that would be the ways things would roll for the rest of the evening, I ducked out early.