December 2014 archive

Marco Polo (TV Series)

I have obsessed over many a Netflix Originals, but only one got eye gulped in two days. Two days, only because I had to run errands on my weekend. I cannot believe this sat on “My List” that long. Released on December 12, 2014, there was not one out of the 10 episodes that was lacking.

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Marco Polo played by Lorenzo Richelmy, is not bad to look at. I can’t say if he bares any resemblance to the character but I didn’t and still am yet to know much about the character myself. Let me add that I never thought much about the name Marco Polo, except for the swimming pool game. Now, completely intrigued about his historical link with the Mongolian culture, I am so wowed! Yes, this is far from an accurate depiction of history, but whatever sparks the curious minds to do further research and reading…yes, my nerdom.

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And Kublai Khan?! I was so ever impressed about the stories of Ghengis, but who is this Kublai Khan, and why did they pick an actor (Benedict Wong) who mimics my father’s mannerisms so perfectly. Every time he made a scolding look or a scoff I couldn’t stop thinking, “Yep, I’ve seen that.”

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And oh, the wonderment of sword fights, and even kung fu. It was fantastic. Yes, lots of nudity, for those looking for such things. Not really my style, unless it’s Olivia Cheng and her dance-like nude fight scene. I could have replayed that scene for hours, I still might.

I have been ranting and raving about this TV series since I started watching it, and I will continue to do so because I think I’m watching it all over again. I know. Dedication. I just hope they release another season before I wear out the pixels on my phone.

Loony Bin Wichita or Live at 215 – Still Unsure

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Loony Bin has reopened in downtown Wichita at 215 St Francis. I got to visit the new venue the first time, and even though it’s new, some things are still, meh.

The location is smaller, tighter space, but in a way better, since there is no bad view of the stage. Also, it doesn’t seem as empty and people are sort of forced to gather around, making it a more intimate and personal night. (Some people, I wish not so personal, but there will always be someone turning to your table to say “Yeah, right, that joke? So me! Ha!” “Turn back around!”) They also have a bar in the waiting area. Waiting to get in or waiting to get out, you don’t have to go to “the next bar” anymore. And it’s cleaner. The service though, still just as slow. The food, still just bar food. Why did I use to go, and why do I want to keep going? Because people are hilarious!

The night I was there the headlining comedian was Skip Clark. I didn’t get an FB page or a bio, please follow him on Twitter @Skip_Clark and ask him questions about him yourself. Thanks. He was funny! He was so funny! I wish I could replay the whole night more vividly in my head. Perhaps this is why they sell DVDs at the end of the night. Why do I never bring cash? Gah!

Definitely going back to check out more acts. BTW, the schedule is on the same URL http://www.loonybincomedy.com/Wichita/. Let me know if you plan to go and invite me, ok? And they also had this rewards card keychain deal. I haven’t looked it up, and the guy at the door didn’t really explain it, even when I said “What’s this?” But I think it’s for something good. I’ll test it out and let you guys know.

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Homemade Croutons

Growing up my family wasn’t big on eating sandwiches. I buy bread mainly for toast or french toast for breakfast. With my work schedule, I rarely get to eat breakfast, at least not at home. So, I end up wasting a lot of bread. At my parents’ house, Mom uses her bread to make biscotti to dunk in their morning coffee, but like I mentioned, I’m not usually home in the mornings, so no good for me. What I did find useful is making my own croutons. Also, easily packed for when I decide to bring a salad to work.

Basic ingredients: Bread, olive oil (I use extra virgin), salt, pepper and whatever herbs or cheeses you want to use to flavor it.

I don’t have exact measurements because this is all based off of how much bread I haven’t used.

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I cube my bread, some people tear them, who cares, no one is measuring your croutons individually. I mix everything in a mixing bowl. Try not to overdo the olive oil and make your bread soggy.

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Then I place them evenly on a baking sheet with parchment paper and let the oven do it’s thing while I wander off to other tasks. I do 300 degrees for about 20 minutes. Usually, I use the frozen pizza rule: “or until brown.”

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Then I store. And I make awesome salads with “real” bacon bits, because I’m a starving child who grew up to be a starving adult.

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Bubbling Bath Salts

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Ingredients:

6 Cups Epsom Salt
¾ Cup Lavender Scented Body Wash
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2-3 Drops Lavender Essential Oil (Optional)
Purple Food Coloring (Optional)

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine salt and body wash, and mix until well combined.
Add in your oil, essential oil and food coloring and mix well.
On a lined baking sheet, spread the salt mixture out into a thin layer. Allow to dry for 24 hours.
Once dry, break up any large clumps, and spoon into a sealable jar.

To Use:

Add ¼ Cup of Bubbly Bath Salts under running water.

Of course, minor mishaps. First, I’m no artist but I thought blue and red makes purple. It was green. Might be something in the mix that reacted but next time I’ll just buy purple. Also, I wanted to make all my Epsom salt bubbly so I doubled the ingredients, therefore it took double the time to dry. My kitchen looked like an experiment gone wrong for two days. That bath after though, so worth it.

Candy Cane Vodka

DSC_0069Supplies:

2x 32 fl oz mason jars

2x 30 mini candy canes (4.2 oz)

1.75L Smirnoff Vodka

 

Instructions:

Pretty simple y’all. I placed each box of mini candy canes in each jar. Of course, washed the jars first and unwrapped the candy canes. (Some people will argue that washing the jars is unnecessary because “alcohol will kill the germs” and I say, “ew!”) I split the whole bottle between the two jars and it was a good split and just enough.

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Infusing vodka can take anywhere from two days to a week, depending on taste and how much flavor you want. It’s not an exact science. With peppermint candy canes though your jar will eventually start to look like the picture below. No fear, I just checked on it daily in the fridge and gave it a shake. The first couple of days I could still hear the candy in the jars.

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The best part about using candy to infuse your vodka is that it dissolves as opposed to fruit which you have to filter. So after enough time I just funneled it back in to the original bottle.

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Be prepared for spillage. I forgot that by adding the dissolved candy canes I added to the volume. (Gah, Science!)

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Good enough to drink straight, and this means a lot since I don’t usually like vodka. For Christmas though, I plan on mixing it with eggnog or some Hershey’s chocolate syrup.

*Drink responsibly.

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