My kids love caramels. When we go to the store they have caramels that cost about a dollar each by the register. They are lovely and tasty and expensive. I decided we needed to make our own. Time consuming, this recipe is worth the work. You don't need to stand over the stove and stir the whole time but you do need to be in the kitchen for a few hours so you can make other things when the caramel are cooking.
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Scribbles and Bits writing Challenge #4′ picture challenge
This weeks challenge is a picture challenge. A tribute to the dark, if you will. But as well a tribute to a man who has long been considered a literary icon Mr. Clive Barker.
This week I would like Clive to inspire all of you. I want you to use this image as the basis for….. something. Write something that is somehow based around or inspired by this image. Any genre, any length. Then come back and post the link here so that we can all enjoy what Clive has inspired and awakened within yourself.
Now get scribbling.
and make us proud.. write on!
So this is challenge number 4 set up by the creator of the scribbles and bits challenge… I will do my best…
The guttural screams and gnashing of teeth surrounded me… the stench of bile and acidic spittle fills my nostrils as their taunts consumed my thoughts.
“no one loves you”
“she will never care for you”
Each demon taking a bite out of my soul with every bullet of hate flying from its forked tongue… one festering mouthful at a time. Each trying to top the last to see who could cut the deepest…
“just die and give up no one cares”
“your never going to be anything special to anyone”
“Your own mother wanted you to be dead”
Slowly they started to fade… the feelings lingered though as they always did, most people dreamed of good places and of loved ones. But as I slept, I wrestled demons. Turning off my alarm… the one sound that always chased them away I walk to my shower feeling as if I had been beaten with a stick as I slept, stopping to look in the mirror expecting to see cuts and bruises I only saw myself looking back at me, for a moment I imagine my reflection looking at me in disgust.
Just another day… each night the teeth seem sharper and much more real, each morning looking for the proof and finding only my own disapproving self staring back at me. If life is only what we make it… I want to know how I made this and how I can unmake it.
Just another day at the office… clock in… check email… set up the day… trudge through the dim lights and fight the urge to just walk out. But walk out to what I always ask myself… what do “you” have to go to? The answer is always the same… nothing. But today was a little different… today I had not know it then, but this day my life would change.
Going to the coffee shop the folks behind the counter start making my drink as I walk through the door, so regular is my life that even strangers can predict what I want. Making small talk and thanking them with an outward smile I make my way to my truck when my life changed… at first I thought it might be a figment of my imagination, the shadow we think we see out of the corner of our eyes but when we look it is never really there. But no… when I looked it was there… it looked as shocked as I did when I looked right at it… one of the demons from my sleep, one of the creatures that waits for me to rob me of my rest and leave me weary each day.
It’s eye blinked twice once top to bottom like ours, then once side to side, then they narrowed and it charged at me. Almost blending in with its surroundings it leaped at me I attempted to duck down then sharply I fell forward, my feet being pulled out from under me, rolling to my back I could see another one under my truck. Clawing at my legs as I kicked to get free… another started to jump from the bed of my truck as I felt the teeth of the first I saw sink into my shoulder… I screamed for help… for anyone… but no car stopped no one seemed to even see me and then they started to fade away.
I jumped up quickly trying to get away but it was dark and with a hard smash I hit my knee on something. I reached out and tuned on the light as I stared back at myself in my own bathroom… I looked at my self in the mirror and saw no outward damage… just myself but this time I could really see the look of contempt as my reflection look back and I heard a whisper… “its only a matter of time…”
not the best thing I have written… but just something I threw together for the challenge…
Wine and Design
So Thursday night I had my second experience with a wine and design group… it was a great time. There is just something about sitting down with a bottle of wine… some friends… and the threat that at any moment someone may take a swipe at you with a brush full of paint because of a smart ass comment you make. OK maybe that last part is something only I worry about because yeah I am a bit of a smart ass, but the people that know and love me would not have me any other way… or maybe that is just what I tell myself.
So I had heard about this from a friend in mine you will see in one of the pictures and thought… hummm worst case it really really stinks, and I get to blame it on the wine… OK I am in!
The first painting from the picture looked simple enough… some wine bottles and corks… at a wine and design class… how fitting is that! Man I had the best time… really, great company the instructor was easy to work with and helped us without laughing to much. Everyone joked and talked and half of the class sang along with with music.
No your going to see my picture in this blog and I need to get something out first… when you get to the class you pay your 30-35 dollars… they supply everything except the wine. The canvas already has what ever your painting lightly sketched… I will try to ummm burrow a pic from their face book to give you an example. So the instructor helps you pic out your colors or they are already ready. And basically the who class step by step works on the painting together. After two hours of laughter and wine and more laughter you end up with a painting worth hanging up in your house. These instructors are good too… I really have not been in a class yet and seen a bad painting.
The second class I went to with a friend of mine who was also in the first class with me… this time we did a beach scene, this class was much smaller only 5 of us, but we still had a great time talking to each other and with the instructor… I tend to be a bit of a class clown so I either have people laughing with me… or at me… either way I am OK with that.
Here are some links to the wine & Design web page you should see if there is one in your area…. if not find something like it… it is an awesome time I am actually thinking about doing a couple as fund raisers and for my birthday… I am hooked for sure
http://www.wineanddesignus.com/Home.html here it their home page from there you can find the closest locations to you… its a ton of fun…
Smile… even if it is only the wine
I’ll take this opportunity to introduce you to one of the original Scribbles Challenge’s most diabolical inventions.. the “word salad.”
You’ll be given a list of totally unconnected words and be asked to work them into a story, poem, etc. If you’re really feeling like pushing yourself you can try to do them in the order given.. I always did.. or in reverse order. you can italicize them or put them in color if you wish so we can admire how cleverly you used them.
Ready? we’ll start with 6 words.. a little later we’ll have as many as 10 or 12. here’s your first six words..
Yogurt, volunteer, clawhammer, synchronize, Goddess, Canada.
As usual.. when you’ve posted your answer, copy your address bar and paste it here as a comment so we can all find your work and check it out. Make me proud, Scribblers.. write on!
Ok folks… this time I will attempt to do this in order but with a twist… in under 4 sentenses…
Yuck, I hate Yogurt! The Volunteer thought as he swung the claw hammer fixing the window to the pool house. The synchronize swimming team was working out and the Goddess from Canada was their instructor today pushing them hard as she ate that nasty stuff in the sun.
Haha that was fun… lol Bring on the next challenge
welcome back scribblers! todays challenge requires you to answer 3 questions. you must choose one of the alternatives.. pick the one that you are more of the time. don’t proceed till you’ve answered the 3 questions.
1) are you happy.. or are you melancholy?
2)are you terse.. or are you wordy?
3) are you a poem person.. or a prose person?
got your 3 answers? good.. now write something just opposite.
if you are a happy terse poet.. Write some melancholy wordy prose. if you are a melancholy wordy prose person write a happy terse poem. Got it?
yes, this will take you out of your comfort zone.. but creative writing is about growing.. trying new things. you can do this.
Ugh so I have to write a happy terse poem….
Oh this is defiantly going to be a stretch for me, and just because of that I will lay it on thick!
Soft breeze enveloping you…
Spring time blooming…
Kisses soft and new…
A new day dawns…
Giving birth to fawns…
Mother Nature at her best…
New Love spawns…
A child yawns…
As he lays down to rest.
Yeah yeah I know… it has no real point except being happy but I pushed through lol
Scribbles and Bits writing Challenge #1
There is this challenge on a conversation site… it’s a place I first started my first blog. Through many growing pains and issues on my end I drifted away from the site. I made many what I would consider life long friends there, people that not only tickled my mind, but touched my heart.
While I was there something was born called a scribbles challenge, it was basically a random challenge once a week that got your mind going and tempted you to write something. I have missed that, so many times I have looked at a blank screen wanting to write something… anything… feeling like there is so much inside me that needs to come out. That weekly challenge gave me a change to be creative and be challenged all at the same time.
The Scribbles challenge has gone through many changes, different people have picked it up and carried the flag at different points and it have been through many reincarnations… currently a great man has it, he called it, “Scribbles and Bits Challenge” I will link his blog at the bottom of this one… currently it is #29 but I am going to start at #1… my plan is to work my way through them and share them as I do them with all of you… please please please if you would like do the challenge with me post your own scribble according to what it is for the week… I will do several a week until I catch up.
So here we go… Scribbles and Bits writing Challenge #1:
“ SO your first Challenge: write a story, poem, essay, memoir.. whatever you like.. that includes the phrase “And that’s when I made my big mistake.” it can be fact or fiction, short or long.. but when you post your answer copy your address bar and paste here as a comment so we can all read what you’ve written. Make me proud and good scribbling! “
Surrounded by doubt… weighed down by guilt… chained down by a life time of self loathing, unsureness, and hate. I stood up and began my day, just like any other day, get out clothes, get in shower, dry off, brush teeth, get dressed, eat, go to work… feeling like an old record with a scratch that kept skipping the same line of the same song over and over and over… until STOMP! You put your foot down and the needle jumps. You never know where it will land and what part of the album it will go to. You only know that it can not keep playing the same line over and over or you will lose your mind.
And that’s when I made my big mistake… I went to work… I quit. Emptied my desk and took everything that was mine… just walked out. No idea where I was going, or what I was doing but I just closed my eyes and jumped… but that was not enough. Rushing to the airport buying a ticket for the first flight out I headed to another place… stepping off that plane I had never felt so scared and so free in my life. No one knew me, no one cared for me, no one expected anything out of me, I was alone and I was no one. As good as it felt, the gravity of what I had done come crashing in over me like a tidal wave, with it all the broken bits of my life crashing into me like debris in the sea waters.
As I woke up my chest hurt, I looked around, and I noticed I was in my bed. My clothes were drenched I had been sweating like I had broken a fever, I looked at my phone and seeing the date and time I knew it was all just a dream… but deep inside a part of me wished it had been real… wished that the sea had taken me because for that small moment I felt more free that I had ever been in my life… for that one moment I was no one.
Ok ok don’t ask I am in an odd mood lol…. but here is a fiction short… and here is the link to the blog I got the challenge from… feel free to do this your self and if you do please let me know so I can read it. Thank you…
Smile… sometimes you have to… just to keep up the front.
I have to start off by saying holy crap!!! I was skimming through this cook book and I am in way over my head here… I am cooking with stuff I have never heard of or even know how to get. The thing I chose tonight was something that has the simplest ingredients eventhough there were a few I had never heard of and had no idea how to find…
OK for starters at some point I am going to end up making something called…
Tandoori Poussins with mango relish… ummm OK half of you can pretend all you want that you knew exactly what a Poussin was… but I had no idea and I was scared. Lol so I called the local butcher (and I am in a small city) and he was clueless… so I am not sure what I am going to do lol evidently it is the chickens equivalent to veil, it’s a teenage chicken… won’t that be fun?
But onto tonight’s great adventure… Fish cakes with anchovy dressing… now take into consideration anchovies were something my uncle teased me with as a child to gross us kids out… I never really liked them much and hated them even more when I worked in a pizza place and they stunk the joint up… but the recipe was simple enough… or at least so I thought…
- 14oz waxy potatoes
- 2 tsp olive oil
- finely grated rind of 1 large lemon
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
- sea salt
- black pepper
- few thyme sprigs
- ½ lemon, sliced
- 10oz salmon fillet
- 10oz smoked haddock fillet
- handful of Italian parsley chopped
- handful of chervil, chopped
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp capers
- 2 shallots
- Italian parsley
- 4 marinated anchovies
- 4 tbsp olive oil
OK first… I did not know what a “waxy” potato was… I had never heard of chervil or how to find it… and I had heard “capers” before but only on cooking shows and had no idea what they really were.
I get to the store and all they have is the salmon and no haddock so I just doubled the salmon. After spending an hour in the store… because I am a guy… looking for stuff and not asking anyone what or where some things might be, it was almost like a scavenger hunt. My wife is on her phone looking up the things we had never heard of… while I was choosing the fish and trying to get the other stuff.
After some time passes in the store we finally find everything… except the chervil was dry and not fresh but at this point I did not care I was ready to be out of there and get home to cook. Well let me tell you another rookie mistake I made… I did not read the recipe all the way through before I started and I will get to why that was a problem in a bit.
So peel the potatoes and get them on the stove that was easy enough even for a guy like me…
while that was going I take care of the lemon and get it ready and put it in dishes to be used once the potatoes are finished… that was when the evil person in me decides to find out if our puppy likes lemon lol… and sure enough he loved it hahaha that was a great thing to watch for a little while…
next it was time to poach the fish with the thyme and a little olive oil and salt…
with that finished and the potatoes done I mash them… add the lemon and the parsley as directed…
then it was cool enough to separate the skin from the salmon and chunk it up a bit… the recipe calls for you to remove the bones but I did not see any…
mixing up the potato and the fish and the rest of the spices… you form them into patties… this is where I did not read ahead. At this point you should put them in the fridge for a couple hours to get them to hold their shape while you dip them in egg and put them in the panko bread crumbs, I did not do that so they were falling apart in my hands… but through several curse words and such I got it done…
time for the “dressing” I think I did something wrong here because the picture shows a “sauce” but mine was pretty dry even after trying to thin it out some… maybe I should have used wine instead of drinking it… it had just been one of those days I am sure you understand… with the shallots cut I move on to the rest…
I bounce back and forth from the “dressing the the browning of the cakes… with the cakes browned I put them on a sheet to go into the oven where I finish the rest…
Parsley… capers… oil… anchovies… simmer
finished product…. served with peas… yeah of they are the steam able microwave kind… sue me… paired with the wine it was actually really good everyone in the house who ate it loved it… I may do it again sometime.
So this was my first adventure into the Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Appetite cookbook… I hope you enjoyed reading my adventure… the next ones will be really interesting I mean I have to clean a squid…. not sure sure I will like that… or that anyone else in my family will even attempt to try it haha…
Smile… cooking is a new adventure every time you try something new!
I know I do not have a lot or readers… or followers… I mean come on, is this a cult?? If it is I guess I forgot to make the cool-aid… ooohhh maybe I should have made brownies, ok I digress… I have a question for the masses…
If you could sum up your life in one line from a movie… what would that line be?
So It’s only fair that I share mine right? And do not ask me what got me thinking about this… but mine is…
“Welcome to the land of misfit toys…” hahaha I mean how perfect is that.
Thank you for reading and please share your ummm Life Line lol below I would love to hear it.
Smile… you are the only real person that can ever measure you own self worth
Cooking with Gordon
I bought this book lat last year with the plans on cooking a few things out of it each week starting in January. But with the hectic holiday I had, then the crazy January, I honestly just forgot about it. As I was moving things around in my house trying to make room for things that came from a grandparent that had passed I found the book again, and with it my goals for the book came back.
OK OK don’t laugh, yes the movie Julie and Julia gave me a bit of inspiration because I truly love most of the work that Ramsay does on TV. I love to watch him go in and turn over complicated menus into simple works of art. But I am no chef or even an aspiring chef.. heck I really can’t even consider myself a foodie or a food snob… there is very little that I do not enjoy, and I love to cook for people with my limited abilities. So with the movie as my inspiration I wanted to try something new. Not just new but I also needed to get more healthy so instead of the butter and lard rich French foods in the movie from their cook book. I sot out and found a healthy living cookbook from my favorite person.
Maybe the idea is played out… maybe I will make a mockery of this food… but maybe I will get a few things right. I will honestly tell you that if I end up doing this all the way through from cover to cover and get 75% of it right than anyone reading this who knows how to boil water will be able to do the same.
My game plan is to attempt to cook two things a week… I may be able to work in a few more, I might even attempt a few videos and or at very least tons of pictures to show you what I use and how I do it. I will not be nearly as fast as the chefs you see on TV, my kitchen is very plain and I will probably have to buy many things to do this because I doubt I have the tools to take on such a book… but I will do my best and you guys can laugh with me as I make a mess of things.
Thank you for reading and I hope to have the first thing cooked in a few days… I have yet to decide in what order I will go but once I figure it out I will post a schedule of sorts. Thanks again and enjoy…
Smile… The food cooked and given to you out of love beats any material thing bought with spite…