Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hey there fans!

(A terrifying dollop.  I think the artist's name is Nouav, but I am not sure.)

I just wanted to drop you all a note to let you know why I haven't been blogging for a while.

I am finishing up a narrative, non-fiction manuscript all about the Flaming Chef's glorious trip through cooking school way back at the turn of the century.  It's a story chock full of glamor, food, kitchen disasters and culinary triumphs and I'll keep you posted as soon as my editor thinks we're ready to find a publisher.

Wish me luck and all my best wishes to my billions of adoring fans.


The Flaming Chef

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More Comfort Food

Well, the nasty, nasty cold hit me a few days after Dr. Snickerdoodle but I am on the mend.

I baked an apple pie yesterday with a streussel topping.

I still have a wracking cough, but I am feeling better.

Matzoh ball soup tonight...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chicken and Pie!

(This photo of pumpkin pie is not my handy work. This is courtesy of Jonathunder.)

Dr. Snickerdoodle is under the weather so I made comfort food yesterday.

Plain braised chicken with herbs and whole garlic cloves and a side dish of yellow squash, Brussels sprouts and sun dried tomatoes.

Pumpkin pie for dessert.

My crust from scratch came out light, flaky and sweet.  I even made pie crust cookies for us to snack on while I prepared dinner.

I plan to make soup with the stock and turn the white meat into chicken salad.

My powers are limited, but I hope he's feeling better soon.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Braised Pork Shoulder

I rubbed a 3lb pork shoulder with salt and pepper, then seared it in olive oil and butter. Then I threw in a dozen whole, peeled garlic cloves, a sliced red bell pepper and three nectarines. I poured in enough beef and chicken stock to submerge the roast 3/4 of the way in liquid. Tossed in large pinches of oregano, thyme, rosemary and sage, a very tiny pinch of clove, a minuscule dusting of curry powder, two bay leaves and a generous splash of dry sake.

I brought the whole thing to a boil, covered it then set it in my preheated 350 degree oven for two hours.

It came out buttery, fragrant and ever so subtly spiced.

Accompanied by a puree of sweet potatoes, and a divine salad prepared by our dinner guest who also brought a lovely bottle of Edmunds St. John's Parmelee Hill 2005 Sonoma Valley Syrah.

Ooh! What a wonderful dinner...

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I baked a lemon cake and made lemon curd to fill it with. I iced it with raspberry butter cream and the whole thing came out really pretty.

I might try to make chocolate mousse today, but I haven't decided.

Probably roast pork for dinner, but who knows what I'll find at the store today?

It's nice to be back in the kitchen.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Up Yours, News Cycle! 9/17/10

(These are not my scones. This is a photo of a pile of scones from Wikimedia Commons courtesy of OctopusHat. They look like my scones though.)

Following the advice of my editor, I'm going to work on my manuscript and get back into the kitchen for a while.

In fact rather than checking the news, I baked scones this morning.

Here's the recipe adapted from the Joy of Cooking:

Whisk together in a large bowl:

2 Cups all purpose flour
1/3 Cup granulated Sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder

Cut in 3/4 stick of butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add 1/2 cup heavy cream, a single egg and a few drops of pure almond extract.  (I also like to take a half cup of currants and soak them in Amaretto for an hour. Drain the currents and add them instead of the almond extract.)

Stir everything together with a rubber spatula until it comes together, then knead it a few times against the side of the bowl.  Shape the ball into a six to seven inch wide disc (about 3/4 of an inch thick) and cut into six pie-shaped wedges.

Arrange the wedges on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with melted butter.  Sprinkle a little granulated sugar on each top and bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

Let them cool on a rack for a few minutes before you pounce and devour the whole damn batch.  Great with butter, jam, clotted cream or just plain.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

News 9/15/10

(Mr. T. and Nancy Reagan share a tender moment at the White House.
God I miss the 80's.)

  • Christine O'Donnell who opposes gays and masturbation defeated Mike Castle in the Delaware GOP Senate primary. National Republican Senatorial Committee not interested in funding her general election fight against Democrat Chris Coons.

  • Someone else who hates gays and masturbation, Pappa Ratzi XVI, visits the UK amid great annoyance over his international pedophilia ring. Via the Telegraph UK: “Saying sorry is easy, offensive and inadequate, what he needs to do is make amends.” 

  • Senator Reid schedules vote on Defense Authorization Bill, assures everyone he doesn't take his marching orders from Lady Gaga.

  • Billy Lucas's tragic suicide provides backdrop for discussion of how pervasive and destructive anti-gay bullying remains in schools.

  • Sam Roberts over at the New York Times talks about increasing acceptance of gay families in American society. Inexplicably, Roberts quotes totally discredited, incompetent hatenozzle, David Blankenhorn.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

News 9/14/10

("Good Penguin! Mommy's got a herring for you."
I grabbed this photo over at FFFFOUND! a great place to hunt for weird things. Check it out.)

  • Acting Governor of California does not file an appeal in the Prop 8 case as deadline passes.

  • American hiker released from Iranian jail.

  • Castro set to fire half of all Cuban government employees and make the private sector less restrictive.

  • US Federal Government takes incremental step towards extending some benefits to gay federal employees. This is a good thing and I'm very glad to see it. However, this represents only a fraction of the rights heterosexual families enjoy.

  • Harry Reid schedules Senate vote on Defense Authorization Bill which contains language allowing consideration of possible repeal of DADT "some day." (Via Joe My God)

Monday, September 13, 2010

News 9/13/10

(Is my lipstick even?)

  • Lady Gaga does some DADT related fierce advocacy at the MTV Music awards, wins eight of fifteen categories. Imagine what the President could do if he used his spotlight to highlight injustice? (Via Joe My God.)

  • Meanwhile, ABC News wonders "if" DADT should be repealed, cites Obama's duty to defend existing law rather than his duty to defend the Constitution.

  • NBC News Online has a summary sketch of upcoming races and primaries, including an interesting warning to Delaware Republican Mike Castle. The Tea Party is out for his blood.

  • Bishop of Antwerp does not announce a new investigation into massive child sex abuse by priests. Belgian government taking the matter seriously, much to the chagrin of Pope Asshole XVI.

  • Also, Pope Asshole XVI has gone out of his way to condemn equality for gays ahead of his visit to the UK. The man who enables pedophiles on a massive scale is simply furious that marriage rights for gays "cause confusion" about society's values. Wow. What an asshole.

  • Gay Florida Governor Charlie Crist changes his tune on Gay rights. Now he supports ENDA, DADT repeal, UAFA, Civil Unions. He's still a scuzzy little closet case. (Via AmericaBlog Gay)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

News 9/12/10

(17th Century Illustration of everyone's favorite extinct bird. The Dodo.)

  • Yvonne Addis has written a short and nifty letter to the editor over at the Mason City Globe Gazette about persecution of gays by the church. Says Addis: "ignorance from the pulpit is harming many of our young people by teaching them to hate themselves rather than to accept themselves for who they are." Thanks Yvonne, whoever you are.

  • Lesbian couple from Vonroe, Tennessee have their house burned down with the word "Queer" spray painted on the side of their garage. Community rallies to provide safety, shelter and supplies to the women. Here's the PFLAG Marysville site where you can go to help the couple and their college age daughter.

  • High ranking Saudi Diplomat seeks asylum in the US. He has criticized his government, is friends with a Jewish woman and he's gay.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

News 9/11/10

(For no good reason: Here's a Rhinoceros!)

  • The Democrats hold the House, the Senate and the Presidency and repeal of DADT is favored by at least 75% of the public, including a majority of Republicans; and we now have a federal judge ruling that the ban is unconstitutional. But the Dems aren't sure they can pass such "controversial" legislation.

  • It's Saturday and a little cloudy in Portland. I need to buy a new pair of jeans today and maybe some shoes. I may even have time to bake some bittersweet chocolate brownies with walnuts. I think it's going to be a good day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

News 9/10/10

(Earl Warren. Nice robe and nice ruling on that "separate but equal" thing.)

  • Federal Judge rules Don't Ask Don't Tell unconstitutional violation of the rights of gay and lesbian service members. Obama's justice department continues to defend this disgusting and inexcusable stain on the ideals of equality and human dignity.

  • GetEqual plans protest for Speaker Pelosi's appearance at the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. Nancy won't do anything about ENDA until Don't Ask Don't Tell is taken care of, which leaves the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, the Uniting American Families Act and repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act way off on some future agenda that we all need to sit around and wait patiently for.

  • Candace Chellew Hodge over at Religion Dispatches criticizes recently-out, phobe-for-pay Ken Mehlman who suggested that gays should share the republican value of hating Muslims. Right on Candace. Kenny may not be a professional homophobe any more, but it looks like hate for a living is a hard habit to break. As I said back when Kenny first came out: "No thanks."

  • The Holy Month of Ramadan is coming to an end as that idiot pastor from Florida decides not to stage a mass burning of the Holy Q'uran. Unfortunately the hatewads from Westboro Baptist Church have offered to leap in and burn a big stack sacred books, just to make sure that the fires of hatred and anger stay stoked. It's what Jesus would have wanted.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

News 9/09/10

(An Orangutan laughing. Photo by Malene Thyssen.)

Regarding the Pacific Justice Institute's attempt to force CA state officials to appeal judge Walker's decision overturning Prop 8:

  • The California Supreme Court asked the Governator and AG to explain their positions in the matter:

  • California Attorney General Jerry Brown to California Supreme Court: "I am not a potted plant." Brown went on to explain that part of his oath of office is to defend the US Constitution and that his refusal to defend an unconstitutional law honors that oath. (Are you listening President Obama?)

  • The California Supremes have refused to order Schwarzy and Brownie to defend Prop 8.

Suck on that Pacific Justice Institute.

  • ...And it looks like we might be out of luck on passing the Defense Authorization Bill which includes the Don't Ask Don't Tell "compromise."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

News 9/08/10

("If what I did helped gay people, then I'm glad."
Photo of Seymour Pine by Josh Weiner originally appeared in the New Jersey Jewish News July 28th, 2010 in an article on the Stonewall uprising. No copyright infringement intended.)

  • The cop who lead the raid on the Stonewall Inn on June 28th 1969 has died at 91. The New York Times reports at a 2004 talk at the New York Historical Society Seymour Pine apologized for the raids and said, "If what I did helped gay people, then I'm glad."

  • Terminally ill Roi Whaley can't sponsor his partner Aurelio Tolentino for citizenship in the US. Their story is just one of over 36,000 gay binational couples whose problems would vanish if marriage equality was the law of the land.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

News 9/07/10

(Dame Anne Rankin's 1954 photograph of HRH Queen Elizabeth II and Australian Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies, on their way to throw another shrimp on the barbie and perhaps hoist a few brewskies.)

  • Australia has its first minority government in seventy years. Balance of power held by four independent MPs who are not in a formal coalition with Prime Minister Gillard's Government. This means she's going to have to get their backing for almost everything she wants to do.

  • Twenty five year old documentary about gay parents, Choosing Children, to play in San Francisco. Madonna! Shoulder Pads! Turkey basters! Ronald Reagan!

  • Democrats are having trouble articulating a "clear set of policy goals" as midterms loom. One example Nate Silver of 538 mentions is Don't Ask Don't Tell, which overwhelming majorities favor repealing. Democrats could use this as a popular rallying cry, "(b)ut perhaps hamstrung by Mr. Obama, who has taken a series of half-steps on the issue, few of these Democrats have chosen to do so." Nice analysis from Silver about the contrast in messaging between Democrats and GOP on a host of issues including health care reform, immigration and the economy.

Friday, September 3, 2010

News 9/03/10

(Wow. Just, wow...)

  • Jan Brewer's disastrously awful debate performance sparks much tittering schadenfreude. Here's Rachel Maddow's take via Joe My God.

  • Speaking of schadenfreude... The Pacific Justice Institute's attempt to force CA Governor Schwarzenegger to defend Prop 8 has been denied. Right wing hate-o-philes are simply livid as they tearfully stamp their little feet. Their next stop is the California Supreme Court where they hope to find relief for their painful itching and swelling. PS: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  • Leslie J. Gabel-Brett from Lambda legal offers a concise description over at Bloomberg of the terrible problem Obama has with the gay community. There's no such thing as "a little bit equal."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

News 9/02/10

(Corrado Giaquinto's painting of God and the Devil having a little chat):

Satan: "Where do you want to eat tonight?"
The Lord: "Oh, I don't know..."
Satan: "We could go to that little Italian place near my house."
The Lord: "They've got a great wine list but the service sucks. Besides, we ate in Hell last night."
Satan: "Fine. Where do YOU want to eat?"

(And so on unto eternity...)

  • Yet another reason Obama's opposition to marriage equality is so very galling: California GOP senate candidate Carly Fiorina explains that she opposes gay marriage, just like the President. Her opponent, senator Barbara Boxer supports marriage equality and narrowly leads in recent polling. Mr. President, your refusal to speak out for equal protection and due process gives comfort to the forces of evil. Shame on you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

News 9/01/10

(AP Photo of Lisa Murkowski by Rob Stapleton.)

  • Oddly-named Pacific Justice Institute sues to force Governor, AG to defend Prop 8. I think it is slowly dawning on the "defenders of traditional marriage" that they're totally screwed. Also, they're a bunch of assholes.

  • Texas appeals court rules that legally married gay couple cannot get a divorce in Texas in keeping with that state's long tradition of ignoring due process and equal protection. Congratulations Lone Star State!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

News 8/31/10

(Sweet and suckable: Fabulous photo of hard candy by Adam Zivner.)

  • The Tasmanian Parliament has joined the ever growing list of governments that recognize valid gay marriages performed in other jurisdictions. Ted Olsen, Dick Cheney, Ken Mehlman, Stacey McCain, Laura Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the American Bar Association: Who else is to the left of President Obama on this issue? HEY DEMOCRATS, ARE YOU EVEN PAYING ATTENTION?

Monday, August 30, 2010

News 8/30/10

(Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovski at the Frankfurt Airport in 1978. Photo by Herbert Rusche.)

  • Gay Florida Governor Charlie Crist believes a "live and let live attitude" calls for the constitutional banning of gay marriage. This is what happens when closeted scumbags "speak from the heart" and seek power at any cost.

  • indiemcemopants over at Firedoglake has written a marvelous open letter to President Obama, asking him to end his opposition to marriage equality. It's not just about money, but $$$ seems to get people's attention. Here's an example. Best case scenario: without access to social security, health care, employment protections & etc... being gay costs us an extra $41,196 over a life time. Worst case: $467,562. This according to the New York Times.