Friday, June 30, 2006

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins, with Peaches!


Played hooky today, hung out with my kitten Madeline (who we call Maddie when we're not being fancy), and baked muffins. Did 20 minutes of productive stuff while they baked. Cor, I'm lazy.

I got the recipe from All, and it's nothing fancy, a basic muffin with cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter on top (I forgot to put on the nuts because it wasn't all that important to me. Crunch cinnamon stuff was my real goal).

As I was grabbing butter and milk from the fridge I spotted one of the delicious peaches from the other day, so I diced it up small, tossed it with cinnamon and a wee bit of sugar, and mixed them in at the end. TASTY.

Chicken Livers and Okra

First I need to apologize: I forgot my camera at home so there is no pictoral to join this food post. :( But I'll do my best to impart a good picture of last night's feast of fried food.

I grabbed Palmer at his house and we head out for Mad Towne Chicken. I'd originally planned a really nutritious dinner at home, some fish, broccoli and carrots, and rice noodles with a ginger garlic teriayki sauce. But as we finalized our plans he said something about being in the mood for fried chicken, and it was quickly decided, we'd head to MadTowne Chicken and watch last week's Doctor Who while we ate.

The shop is a small storefront sandwiched in between a liquor store and a check cashing place. The fried stuff menu has stuff you might expect, chicken, catfish, fries, but they also offer up okra, chicken livers and gizzards too, and they have hot dogs, polish sausage, sandwiches and other delights. I had to have some fried okra and chicken livers, so we got an order of each. I ordered the small livers ($2.19) which came with fries. It was a pretty huge order. Together we couldn't finish it. Palmer got chicken and fries (comes with a soda, I picked out a Peach Faygo, just for the experience).

We took our fragrant, greasy, paper bags back to his house, singing songs of the dinner to come. Palmer sang a song about my not getting any fried okra, and his getting it all, to which I added some lovely parts about my setting his hair on fire, there by squelching his evil plans.

Our drive was well under ten minutes, but we both needed to taste a piece of okra and a french fry or two on the way. The okra was hot, really nicely done with a crispy batter. The fries are pretty standard fare, but provided a perfect foil for the other fried goodies.

We got home and fixed ourselves heaping plates of fries, chicken, livers and okra. A big puddle of Louisiana Habanero hotsauce and ketchup completed the dinner.

Yum! Although it might seem strange, a fried chicken liver is a wonderful taste sensation (I'm looking for a link to a foodie's post on fried foie gras, but cannot locate it at the moment). The crispy batter surrounds a really rich, creamy inside. They were rather dark in appearance, and at first I thought they'd been fried too long. As I ate I I decided that they just weren't very heavily battered. The liver itself wasn't greasy or overcooked, just perfect. The liver flavour was not overpowering (as with beef liver). But they are rich and to my mind best eaten as an appetizer or a side, not a meal.

The okra, as I mentioned, was hot and crispy. They were perfectly done, not mushy, and tasted fresh as opposed to over done. The lightness of the batter was nice too, so you mostly got okra instead of breading. The chicken was good. I have to admit I focused on everything else and so didn't eat any chicken until it was fairly cool. I think it would have been even better hot. The coating was crispy and not too salty. I picked those bones clean!

I stuffed myself, ate way too much hotsauce, and between the two of us we used up all the napkins we'd grabbed and a few paper towels. It was a great dinner. Not the kind of thing I could eat often, though.

The first time I had fried chicken livers was at The Praline Connection in New Orleans. They were delicious, served with gravy and grits. I was in heaven. I had them again a few years later at my grandmother's house in Alabama. My uncle cooked some up when he was frying chicken, and they were so good. I don't deep fry, myself, but if I did, chicken livers would be on the menu.

I've been thinking about making a southern breakfast like my grandmother used to. She'd make eggs with cheese, grits, and fry up patty sausage, red hot links (spicy sausage with bright red food colouring), bacon and baloney. This would be accompanied by a cup of coffee and a pile of toasted white bread with margarine and grape jelly (or her homemade pear preserves when she had them around). Like any good grandmother, she'd tell me to eat more, and would appear hurt if you only took one plateful of food.

I think if I could have a chance to go back to spend time with her, it would be a morning where she and I talked after breakfast, the weather channel on in the background and the ceiling fan pushing the hot air around the room that still smelled of breakfast cooking. Oh, and the part before that, when I actually got to eat.

Feeling nostalgic, missing Big Mamma (she died two and half years ago), and wishing I had plans to visit New Orleans again.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Dinner excitement.

The excitement is palpable; bf and I are going to grab dinner at MadTowne Chicken on East Wash (ooh, that daily page listing says there are even chicken livers there - you haven't lived until you've had really good chopped liver and deep fried chicken livers). I hope there is fried okra! Dinner review to follow.

I was supposed to cook some teriayki-marinated fish tonight, but it's vacuum sealed, I'll do it tomorrow for lunch... It'll be delish.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Just Peachy

I took a chance and picked up some peaches at Woody's. There seemed to be two flavours available, unripe and nearly too ripe. I snagged a few of the nearly too ripe and, while not transcendent, they are pretty tasty.

A Madison Sourdough Company baguette, some thinly sliced salami, and tofu mayo (in deference to a household food allergy), makes up the sandwich. Mine has sweet hot pepper relish and a splash of vinegar from the bottle of pickled tabascos. Dinner, done in 10 minutes.

Oh, I just remembered, we saw Mr. Woodman at the airport the other night!

I'm Hungry!

And procrastinating on going to the grocery store.

I've been on a cleaning tear since this morning, so I've got a pretty clean kitchen, which I'm going to be messing up soon with a batch of these cinnamon streusel muffins (simple and delicious).

If only I had a banana. Or bread. I'd make one of these!
Carmalized Chocolate Banana Marshmallow Sandwiches (

I need to go to the Farmer's Market Saturday and pick up some country bacon, a loaf of rustic whole wheat sourdough and fresh tomatoes. I need a proper bacon sarnie (not The Ultimate Bacon Sandwich, although I have to admit to my stomach growling at the site of all that bacon).

Follow up

How does one follow up a pregnant, naked Britney Spears? With a really cute bunny.

Curse you, Cute Overload!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Standing with Candy

I'm on a roll this evening. While persusing a website just now, I saw this picture:

And I thought, for just a split second, that it said "America Stands with Candy", as in "Strangers With Candy".

The Strangers With Candy feature length film was supposed to be released a while ago - it looks like it will get a July release date, but I don't expect it'll be in theaters long...

(That picture actually linked to Gold Star Families for Peace)

H*** F****** S***

Okay, I'm torn. I LOVE pregnant women. They are so fecund and adorable, and often really vibrant and sexy. I myself LOVED being pregnant. But there is a limit to my loving on them, and I've finally found it.

Poor, stupid, well meaning Britney. I've seen pregnant lady pr0n that was less sleazy than this picture.*

I can't wait to see what the women of Go Fug Yourself have to say about it.

(more pictures at Popsugar - it really is addictive!)

* So what's my problem with it? I think it's just nasty Britney, pregnant. The thing that I find sexy about pregnant women is that when they feel good there is a strength there - they are everywoman and it's a very powerful vibe. All the pics I've seen of Britney Spears lately is her *still trying to be sexy in the same way she always is* and it's just wrong. I feel for her, but DAMN GIRL. Just, don't. I do like her hair dark, though.

[update: okay, I feel like I'm being too harsh, but DAMN GIRL!]

"People who've made bad decisions: I salute you!"

Yay for Go visit and give Ryan some lurve.

In case you are wondering, it's not just all about web news and serial killers for me, I've got Monarchy on in the background. Tonight's episode is about Medieval Monarchs. The narration sounds like a Monty Python bit, making it both educational and unintentionally funny.

Womb environment 'makes men gay'

bbc pictureactual picture of baby turning gay in the womb

Or, Yes, it's mamma's fault. I don't know why, but the headline to this article just makes me giggle.

Womb environment 'makes men gay'

A man's sexual orientation may be determined by conditions in the womb, according to a study.

Previous research had revealed the more older brothers a boy has, the more likely he is to be gay, but the reason for this phenomenon was unknown.

But a Canadian study has shown that the effect is most likely down to biological rather than social factors.

The research is published in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Professor Anthony Bogaert from Brock University in Ontario, Canada, studied 944 heterosexual and homosexual men with either 'biological' brothers, in this case those who share the same mother, or 'non-biological' brothers, that is, adopted, step or half siblings.

These results support a prenatal origin to sexual orientation development in men
Professor Anthony Bogaert

He found the link between the number of older brothers and homosexuality only existed when the siblings shared the same mother.

The amount of time the individual spent being raised with older brothers did not affect their sexual orientation."

The Airport

picture via:

Last night I had occasion to visit the Dane County Regional Airport - I wasn't flying, but seeing off an unaccompanied minor, which means I got to have an experience that is extremely rare these days: I got to go upstairs and wait for the plane, then watch it take off from the boarding area.

I remember doing this when I was a kid. What fun it was to ride to the airport, and either wait by the gate for our arriving family member, or be there to drop them off. And if it was me traveling, knowing my family would be there when I walked off the plane. These days it's goodbyes downstairs and then a trip through security, then wait by your lonesome. What fun is that?

There was a line at the ticket counter, which is highly unusual in my experience with this flight. We made it through with just a few minutes to spare, or so we thought. The woman at the counter neglected to mention that our flight was DELAYED. By two hours. So instead of running around outside for a bit, or even going to get dinner, we ended up having dinner in the terminal.

It wasn't so bad, actually.

The DCRA has several food choices on the second floor, past the security area. As is the standard, most of the eats were overpriced. A slice of pizza from the Unos will run you around $6, a sub from the Quiznos about the same. We ended up eating at The Great Dane, which was actually not too bad, nor too grotesquely priced. It was a mitzvah. Our group had the Chicken Pot Pie, Weber Street Chicken Salad and a bowl of Tomato bisque. Everyone was happy with their grub. The booth (with long, cushy benches) gave our dinner an intimacy that is hard to come by in the airport. Having a chance to eat some food off of a table with a real fork was very nice as well. And the specialty brew of the day (I forget the name, but it was very very hoppy), was refreshing.

I was happy to notice the Ancora coffee stand across the hall from the Great Dane. I'm not sure how good a deal it is for the local business to have space in the terminal; all of the food concessions (and likely the gift shops) are run by a single company, the Compass Group. Having a presence there seems a very positive thing for those business. Now we just need to replace the Ben & Jerry's with a Chocolate Shoppe, and the Unos with a Glass Nickel, and all will be well...

The terminal building, which has been under construction for several years, seemed to be done. I remember walking through construction areas with bare bulbs overhead just about a year ago, so it was pretty impressive to see everything so tidy. Although the site says Phase 3 isn't yet done (although it seems no one has bothered updating the site for over two year?!?), I do believe what I saw yesterday indicates a finished Phase 3...
Ah, further searching reveals that indeed, the $65-million project is complete.

As far as the building itself, it is quite comfortable and nice to look at. While I don't know much about Praire-style or what it really means to be Frank Lloyd Wright-y, this is what Madison Magazine had to say:
"It's hard not to notice the luxurious feel of the place -- the granite wainscoting, cherrywood trim, gleaming floor mosaics and soft leather seating. There's even a cozy "meeters and greeters" lounge with a fireplace at the bottom of the new central checkpoint. Look to the huge, vaulted ceiling as you move up or down the escalators and find classic and classy Prairie-style chandeliers, one of many odes to Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural aesthetic found throughout the remodeled Dane County Regional Airport."

You can get good coffee and good beer there, the bathrooms are really nice, and the seats are comfy enough. Like I said, not so bad.

Getting Old

I just bought a box of Bran Flakes (store brand, no less).

Now I know why.* Thanks Cat and Girl!

*beside the facts of their tastiness and thrift.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Why does he have to be such a perfect specimen? - 'Railroad Killer' faces execution
A Houston judge last week rejected claims by Resendiz's lawyers that mental delusions make him ineligible for execution. He's set to be the 13th inmate executed this year in Texas.

This is not the rarefied foodie post I'd hoped to trick myself into writing for this blog. No, instead it's a post about how I wish I were a better writer, because there is a D-Grade horror movie just waiting to be written about this man (his name is ANGEL, for bog's-sake. There are flashbacks to an insane/obsessively religious/violent grandmother that beg to be brought to life!):

"I don't believe in death," Resendiz, 46, told The Associated Press in 2000, shortly after arriving on death row. "I know the body is going to go to waste. But me, as a person, I'm eternal. I'm going to be alive forever."

Imagine it:
The night of his execution, the 13th man executed this year. Sure, that kind of superstition is for old ladies and crazy blind hobos (both of which we meet before opening credits roll), but when the spunky cub reporter from the local paper gets a chance to witness the execution, she's understandably a little spooked. After all, it's FRIDAY THE 13th and there's a terrible storm rolling in.

You get the picture.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

In progress

Comic arteest Lynda Barry had a great thing in one of her (old, pre-Ernie Pook) books about eating out of a can over the sink with a REALLY NICE SPOON. I relate to that, definitely. This weekend's eating can be boiled down to a pan of crispy rice squares and lukewarm coffee. I've got all of these random food-related things I'd like to write about here, my new French Press coffee maker, for one.

The coffee is so good - I can taste so many differences from my single-cup cone filter set up. Less bitter cup, but oddly less-strong, too. Maybe I just use too much coffee for the other method?

The coffee I'm using is mostly odds and ends from previous bags. A little Alterra Delta Mud, some Alterra Luna Negra, and the new stuff, a 'mud' blend from local brewers Dancing Grounds.

Template is in progress, as is my final word on what autonym will be.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Today we are all bacon sarnies

The Breakfast Sandwich [with bacon], Mermaid Cafe, Madison


So I've gotten that bogged-down feeling with my other blog, and I want to start fresh.
Perhaps that's a mythical state of being, but I'm gwine try!

My plan for Autonymn is to put up pictures and restaurant reviews and just more "stuff I did" kinds of posts.

I'm looking forward to the clean slate!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Looking for a new template...