Sunday, May 31, 2009

Quinoa salads

I've been reading and hearing about quinoa for years, but never actually tasted it until last week. I saw a bag of organic quinoa at the grocery store and bought it on a whim. I like couscous, so I figured I would like this, too. I like it even more!

For my first foray into quinoa, I decided to make a cold salad. It was light and summery and a perfect accompaniment to our meat main course -- although it could certainly stand alone as a main course in and of itself. I pulled this together from ingredients I had on hand, and I'm sure would taste just as good with whatever summer vegetables you have around. This would probably be even more delicious with roasted red peppers!

The organic quinoa I purchased was already pre-rinsed and ready to go, but if yours is not, be sure to rinse, drain, repeat several times until the bitter outer skin washes off. The "one cup" referred to in the recipe below is the uncooked amount. 

Summer Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa, prepared according to package instructions
1 green bell pepper, minced
1 red bell pepper, minced
1 can cooked black beans, well rinsed
2-4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste

Prepare quinoa according to package directions; set aside. Saute green and red peppers in 2 tbsp or less olive oil. When peppers are soft, add black beans and combine. Heat until warmed through. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, bean and pepper mixture, lemon juice, remaining olive oil, salt and pepper; mix until combined. Refrigerate until cold. Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

A note on the olive oil: You probably do not need an additional 2 tbsp when mixing the salad, but I didn't measure when I made it. One glug from the bottle was fine  : ) 

Ooh, and regarding the pork chops... I do love a good pork chop, and they can often be had at a bargain when you buy those big packages of them. Since it's just me and my husband, I freeze them in packages of two. Although the chops in the photo above look fried, they are not. I bread them, spray them with olive oil (I love my Misto!) and stick them under the broiler. Flip, spray again, broil a few more minutes. Delicious and much healthier than pan frying!

Friday, May 29, 2009


I think you should treat yourself today. Go to iTunes and download the album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix by the French band Phoenix. Go ahead, I'll wait.


Awesome, right?

Okay, so that track Lisztomania? Phoenix shot an official video for it, and it was pretty cool, and they were happy. But then this girl thought how much better the song would be set to dance scenes from 80's movies. So she did it. We're talking perfect shots from The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Footloose and Mannequin (yes that is Kim Cattrall).

I know, right?!?!

P.S. - Cameron's dad's house is for sale.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Image copyright Alan Welner/AP Images.

Does this photo scare the crap out of you or what? Imagine yourself up there on that wire, stretched between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, over 1300 feet high. Higher than the Empire State Building in the background. No net. Unbelievable winds. Quite the act of daring.

But Philippe Petit was not a man who simply woke up one day and said to himself, "I am going to be very daring and walk a tightrope between the Twin Towers today." That sort of daring is more colloquially referred to as "a death wish." Petit prepared for his walk for over six years, starting long before the buildings were completed. He spent years sneaking into the buildings, sometimes disguised as a construction worker, to gain information on security, the layout of the roof and various other design and safety details. Meanwhile, he was becoming well-known for his other high-wire stunts, including crossing the towers of Notre Dame Cathedral in France and the towers of Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia.

His daring took years of preparation.

In the end, Petit (along with a team of secret helpers) shot his wire across the chasm with a bow and arrow and danced upon it for nearly 45 minutes, at one point laying on the wire and having a conversation with a bird above him. He only came down when it began to rain.

Although he was arrested, all charges were dropped when it became obvious his stunt was bringing good publicity to the once-maligned towers.

When asked why he did something so wildly dangerous, Petit said, "When I see three oranges, I juggle; when I see two towers, I walk."

Every day we hear people -- including ourselves -- say they wish they could do something, but it's too much of a risk. Quitting your job and starting your own business, auditioning for that perfect role but for the rejection, running that marathon, submitting that book proposal, kissing him. Too risky, we say.

Next time you catch yourself thinking "Too risky," remember Philippe Petit. Prepare, then dare.

(If you'd like to learn more about Philippe Petit, check out the Academy Award-winning documentary "Man on Wire.")

Friday, May 22, 2009


Artwork copyright Steven Ehre 2009. All Rights Reserved.

I recently had the pleasure of becoming an artist's muse for an evening... Steven Ehre is a multimedia artist in Scottsdale, Arizona who, among other things, creates these otherworldly images based on photographs. Super cool, no? These will be hanging on my wall soon...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pure Packaging

This is not a post about bottled water. I think bottled water is ridiculous in theory and incredibly wasteful in practice - from the waste generated by all that plastic or glass, and the energy needed to produce and transport it all, then to recycle the bottles if they are not just tossed in the trash, which they usually are. Quite frankly, most bottled water is from municipal water sources - the same place your tap water comes from. So suck it up and buy a Brita filter and some stainless steel bottles. Save yourself some money.

Now I will step off my soapbox and talk about this beautiful bottle. It reminds me a lot of the the packaging used by Philosophy bath and beauty products; if I'm not mistaken, the font is the same. Simple, classic, pure. It reminds me of old fashioned seltzer bottles. How lovely it would be to repurpose these as vases, filled with clear glass marbles and a single large bloom?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Shorts Emergency

Do yourself a favor: go buy these shorts in every color in your size immediately.

I had a bit of a crisis last weekend. While getting ready to head up to Lake Pleasant to spend the night on a good and generous friend's boat, I discovered that out of a drawer full of shorts only one pair fit me without looking completely obscene or giving me the dreaded muffin top. This, of course, promptly lead to a complete and total emotional breakdown cured only by many glasses of sangria. 

I later realized that the cause of this was not that I had become obese overnight (although try convincing me of that at the time), but that most of the drawer had been bought when I was what a pesky (and let's face it: envious) doctor may have called "underweight." After all, I watch what I eat and spend lots of time at the gym.

Nevertheless, this lady needed some shorts. Woe is me, I have to go shopping? Only one of my favorite activities ever. And I'm going to let you in on a dirty little secret: I love Forever 21.

I'm not sure how old is too old to shop at Forever 21. I guess it depends on the outfit. I won't be prancing about in a hot pink satin strapless mini-dress with a tulle-lined bubble skirt (although don't think I'm not tempted). I love their sundresses and many of their tops, and have fallen in love with these shorts, which have completely and utterly restored my formerly fragile emotional state.

They are made of a substantial linen that doesn't wrinkle when breathed upon and have pockets and the cutest little self-tie belt. I got them a size larger than I normally would so they hang down on my hips a bit, which gives them some extra length without appearing to be about to fall off me. I bought the white and the brick - actually a lot closer to coral in person, FYI.

I didn't get the black because my black shorts were the one pair in the drawer that fit.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ask me about my homepage

Auto Tuning from Casey Donahue on Vimeo.

Man, I wish I had an autotuner.

My husband and I currently share an office, and we've both been doing a lot of work in it over the past few weeks. This is great except I like to work totally uninterrupted and become surly after the eighth time being asked something he could totally just Google OMG.

I'm thinking autotuned R&B answers would quickly nip that in the bud.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Greatest Show on Earth

I was stood up by the New Kids on the Block yesterday. Pathetic, right? Sadly, this is not the first time this has happened. The first time I was supposed to interview them was last September. They didn't even call and cancel; I was totally stood up. And they did it again! I am totally removing them from my Twitter feed. No one cares about that tink business anyway.

After my grave disappointment (seriously, what keeps NKOTB so busy that they can't spare a half hour on the phone?) I was super stoked to come across this stellar concert footage of the supergroup to end all supergroups: Rick Astley, Debbie Gibson, Tiffany and Samantha Fox! It's like 7th grade came back from the dead and ate the brains of NKOTB in retribution. 

And I was even more stoked to see this footage was not old, not vintage, but just recorded live a few weeks ago! Which means they may be coming soon to a city near you - and me!

Maybe I can get an interview.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Last Day Dream

Director Chris Milk is best known for creating powerful videos for the likes of Kanye West, U2 and Green Day, but I think this is his best work yet. A life in 42 seconds, "Last Day Dream" was Milk's entry in the Bejing 42x42 film festival. 

What do you think this guy did to get Pauly Shore so pissed?

Spring Cleaning

Been in the midst of a website redesign over at Bloom Creatives, my main business site. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Autumn Story

Check out this absolutely amazing video by the Firekites:

Firekites - AUTUMN STORY - chalk animation from Lucinda Schreiber on Vimeo.

The song is called "Autumn Story." The entire thing is chalkboard illustrations; no computer animation was used. You can see the hundreds of little erased sketches in each shot used to get an old fashioned moving cartoon look. Beautiful song, delightful and original video.