Recipie Monday: Squash Casserole

Alternatively titled: I didn’t write anything over the weekend, so have a copy of my lunch for the next few days.

I’m pretending you don’t know how to cook, so work with me here.

What you will need:

  • 3-5 large-ish yellow squash
  • 1 onion
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 packages of shredded mild cheddar cheese (~4 cups if you want to shred your own, cause you have a dairy farm for that reason.)
  • Large pan (fit for baking)
  • Steamer basket
  • Italian Bread crumbs
  • A sharp knife

How it goes:

  1. Clean squash by running hot water over them
  2. Cut all the squash into even-ish pieces, removing the ends from both…ends; I cut round pieces, you can cut however you want. (I don’t judge.)
  3. Place all squashy bits in the steamer basket.
  4. Remove flaky bits off the onion and toss em away.
  5. CUT THE ENDS OFF THE ONION FROM UNDER RUNNING WATER, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. THIS WILL PREVENT YOU FROM CRYING, I’M SAVING YOU FROM THE PAIN.
  6. DON’T TURN THE WATER OFF, YOU’RE NOT DONE.
  7. Slice the onion in half UNDER THE WATER.
  8. Now you can turn the water off.
  9. Slice your onion halves into tinier bits and place them in the steamer basket.
  • Note: if not all of the squash or onions fit into the basket, you can steam a second batch separately.
  1. Steam the veggies until you can see the steam escaping from underneath the lid.
  • If you needed to steam a second batch, this would be the time to steam it now.
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. We probably should have done that first, but fuck the rules.
  2. Dump the steamed squashy bits and tiny onion slices into your large pan.
  3. Season with salt and pepper (to taste)
  4. Add package of cheese, mix generously.
  • If you needed to steam a second batch, add only half the package. Add the other half when the veggies are done and mix again
  1. Mix in some of the bread crumbs while you’re at it. (~1/4 of a cup? I dunno, I eyeballed it.) The squash should look beaten all to hell at this point, which is a good thing.
  2. Once throughly mixed, open the second package of cheese and add all of it on top.
  3. I SAID ALL OF IT. DON’T YOU SKIMP OUT ON ANYTHING.
  4. All added? Are you sure? Maybe you should check…
  5. Okay, it’s all been added.
  6. BREAD CRUMB LAYER TIME.
  7. Once the oven indicates that it’s ready, BAKE IT. About 20 minutes should do it, or until the top is a golden brown color. Unless it’s my oven, in which case it’ll NEVER be ready.
  8. EAT IT. (after it’s cool, of course.)

Om nom nom nom, it’s very delicious, I promise. You can use Vegan cheese in place of actual cheese, but vegan cheese does not like to melt properly, or at least the one time I tried it didn’t.

Enjoy, you crazy kids.

A bit of a dilemma

I find myself in a bit of a quandary, which is why there was no post on Monday. It’s not the lack of ideas, but rather what feels like a lack of originality on my part.

I feel as if the stories that I come up with are all eventually turning in the same direction, with the same ending, and its a cut and paste protagonist from a different story. I think I just need a refresher; do a sprint using a prompt rather than an idea straight from my head.

Or maybe talking it out helps. And by talking, I mean spilling my soul/troubles on you guys & gals. I think that’s the best form of therapy sometimes.

Sorry its a short post today, but this took forever to write. (At least an hour! That’s ridiculous!) I kept wandering away to do other things that I shouldn’t be doing. Like looking at tumblr; god damn you tumblr, you are so distracting. Expect a better post on Friday.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for sticking with me.

Musings on a Facebook status

Facebook post from a friend of mine: “Let’s just go back to college and stay there”

No.

No, let’s not go back to college. In fact, let’s not go back to high school. Let’s also avoid middle school and elementary school too. (except for the naps thing. I like naps.)

Let’s grow up instead. Let’s take charge of the world and change it for the better. Let’s grow up and grow old, make some decisions that will affect the rest of our lives, or even coast through life.

Let’s go on an adventure. Have a mid life crisis at age 27, quit our jobs, sell all of our possessions and move to Europe. or South America, or go where ever the wind may take us. Let’s live like kings, or scrap by on the kindness of strangers.

Let’s get married! Let’s have kids, buy a mini van, and start scouting out soccer fields to plant our lawn chairs for the next couple of Saturday mornings. Let’s get up early and watch Saturday morning cartoons with the kids.

Let’s also worry. Let’s worry about our 401k plans, the stock market, and our investments. Let’s call our mom around the holidays and tell her that it might not be in the budget to see the whole family.

Let’s live, love, laugh, and lament. Let’s do everything we’ve ever wanted to, and somethings we may regret later. Break out the bucket list, and start checking things off early, or start a bucket list.

The future will come by itself, progress will not. So why not progress through the world? Let’s move forward; grow up and grow old.

Let’s not go back to college.

Beastiary of Sorts

So, the next few posts coming up (and possibly a few previous posts) are going to be a little bit confusing unless you have an idea of what’s going on in my mind. Or can picture what I’m picturing.

Moving right along!

Anya’s main transportation through out her adventures across Europa is Hidalgo. When this whole thing started as a small idea in my head, Hidalgo was a simple horse; nothing fancy. As Anya’s adventures expanded and started going cross continent, a simple horse wasn’t going to cut it, but I couldn’t exactly give her a car to go tearing across the empty plains.

Then, I found the wonderful artist Makani and this drawing. Suddenly, everything was clear; Anya need a badass horse. Not a fanciful unicorn or Pegasus, but a horse that inspired fear. The whole idea behind Hidalgo was a companion that could hold its own they ran into trouble, or hell, even make the enemy retreat in fear.

Hadesus are hunters (obviously; I mean, look at those jaws!) and don’t take no sass from no pony body. They would be hard to tame, and even harder to breed out the inherent nasty streak, which is why that job was handed over to the serlael.  They’ve found it easier to ride normal horses after their breeding efforts have failed (even the half breeds are still too vicious), and usually reserve the “honor” of riding a hadesus to the “elite” officers (i.e. those with a death wish).

That’s not to say that the hadesus can’t be tamed; those that are found in the army stables have developed a “working relationship” with the squishy blue people. The hadesus don’t go hungry during the winter months or have to migrate, and the serlael get an magnificent beast that inspires fear. It’s a win-win situation!

But, since the serlael army guys really aren’t into “scientific research” or any of those namby-pamby disciplines (Pfft, who does art?), they didn’t really bother to try and discover more about the hadesus, so they missed a very big oversight on their part: the polymorph ability. Polymorph allows the hadesus to change its shape, yet retain its own mind and function in this new shape.

There are limitations on the polymorph function, like a limited number of transformations a day and a limited capacity to hold the new shape. It is possible to hold on to one shape for a long period of time, but that takes years of practice and skill. If a hadesus is feeling generous, they can pass on known transformations to one another through a gentle nose bump and horn touch.

Smarter serlael who have done field research on the wild hadesus have theorized that the horn is the center of the beasts power, and not only just used for practical applications like defense and killing.. They’ve noticed that in the wild species, once the horn has broken off, the hadesus is rendered useless to the other members of its species and promptly devoured by the next one that crosses its path. The animals kept in captivity seem to have a better chance at keeping their horn until death, but those hadesus seem to be lacking something that the wild hadesus have.

Going to back to our main characters, Anya and Hidalgo hit it off almost immediately, but they really develop their connection to each other over the course of the series. The best analolgy I can come up with is the difference between dating and living together; yeah, they’re great when they live apart, but living together AND going on a road trip is how you really develop a respect for each other and your little quirks. Like Hidalgo’s tendency to bite through the bit when a bridle is placed on him. (Anya’s switched to a hackamore after the first time.)

Hidalgo prefers his dog form over horse for the heightened sense of smell, and Anya doesn’t much mind either form, so long as he pees away from their campsites. Hidalgo will usually do his own hunting while they are out on a delivery, and Anya will try to buy him fresh meat when they can afford it; otherwise, its hay and oats. The pair have also learned to have Hidalgo hide his beastly nature when they enter into a town, as the local human populace is usually not very fond of the hadesus.

Another interesting note is this: no one is really quite sure where the hadesus have come from. Since the genocide of a lot of the local population, the origin stories of the hadesus have been lost. Perhaps Anya can discover those at some point. (Adventuuuuuure!)

Any ways, I’ll leave you with two more links. A reference picture for height (Anya would start out as the girl’s height, and would eventually end up at the boy’s height) and a link to Makani’s professional site. If you click on the animatic link, you can see the hadesus in action.

Shipping, but not with ships

I wanted to take a break for a moment and end the week with a reflective post. A definitive post, you could say. I mentioned the word “Shipping” last week (or the week before, I can’t remember) [It was Wednesday] and I wanted to sort of define it for the people that don’t run around on my parts of the internet.

“Shipping” can be defined as such: the romantic pairing or parings of two characters within a fandom, be they a cannon supported relationship or non-cannon. The term is derived from the word “relationSHIP”, and if you run around on fanfiction.net long enough, you’ll find some very good examples of this style of pairings from different fandoms. My roommate, who happens to be deeply deeply in love with the Avengers movie, ships Tony Stark and Loki. This can be denoted in two ways: either through a simple notation of “LokixTony” (or any variation there of) or through cute nicknames like Iron Frost (because Loki is a Frost Giant, and Tony Stark is obviously Iron Man).

Now keep in mind that shipping isn’t just limited to ONE fandom; fans will sometimes cross ship characters from completely different fandoms, or even related ones, because the characters might work well together (in their heads).

Now me personally, I don’t take a HUGE part of shipping characters together. Well, at least not OUT LOUD anyways. I do vocalize my disagreements with some canon parings (Korra and Mako, I’m looking at you…), but all in all, I generally like to leave the shipping to people with more time on their hands.

Besides, I have my own characters to ship. And that’s hard enough because they won’t sit still long enough and I’m running out of duct tape and chairs.

And I will leave you with one last thing that can be found here. Enjoy!

Reader Appreciation Award

Oh hey, I got this award earlier this week from Bob Othman.

Go me! Thanks Bob! So I guess I’ll follow along. Mostly. Partly.

I’ma do my best.

As with awards, there are things to be done and rules to follow when you are a recipient:

The rules of this award are as follows:

1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog.

2. Answer the 10 questions below for fun, if you want to.

3. Nominate 10 to 12 blogs that you enjoy, or you pick the number.

5. Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you.

The Questions

What is my favorite color? Blue! I love blue! Its so calming some times.

What is my favorite animal? Birds, kitty cats, dogs, and horses. Birds have flight, which is like ultimate freedom to me; cats are very graceful and beautiful; dogs are a symbol of loyalty and undying love; and horses are powerful.

What is your favorite non- alcoholic drink? AriZona Green Tea! That’s my crack right there.

What do you prefer Twitter or Facebook? I like both. Facebook is for close friends, twitter is for things I can’t say on Facebook.

What is your favorite pattern? um… Solid colors? I’m very picky about patterns.

Would you rather receive or give presentsBOTH.

Favorite number? 10, because that’s what you are in my eyes. (POUR ON THE SUGAR.)

Favorite day? Friday, because that’s the end of the normal work week.

Favorite flower? Roses; they’re like the ultimate symbol of romanticism to me.

Passion? Music and writing! Music fuels my writing, and my writing fuels my musical desire.

And according to WordPress, this is my 175th blog. I suppose they’ll mail me my award for participation soon.

Some questions

You know that question people always ask? I usually get, “Why are you in my garden wearing a viking outfit and passing out peanuts?” to which I usually reply, “FOR THE GLORY OF ODIN, FIGHT ME FOR VALHALLA!” then the darts hit and I pass out.

What were we talking about again? Continue reading