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Monthly Archives: June 2018

Compost Cookies® Recipe Posted by Leah

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A few years ago Momofuku’s Milk Bar Compost Cookies® were taking the world by storm.  Pastry chef, Christina Tosi, took everyone’s favorite snacks and packaged them up in a simple, compact, magical treat.  EVERYONE was talking about them!  I, of course, printed out her recipe and then somehow I just never got them made.  I finally baked some up and my oh my are they worth the hype.  You scoop out 1/3 cup of dough per cookie so these things are HUGE.  They can be made smaller, and I might do that next time, but there’s something so exciting about holding a giant cookie in your hand.  Believe me when I say you want to try these.  As the LA Times® says, “You’ll never look at cookies the same way again.”©

 

Cookies2

Cookies1

 

Compost Cookies®

yield: 15 to 20 cookies

 

 

INGREDIENTS

Graham mixture

1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (3 full sheets)

1 Tbsp milk powder

1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar

1/8 tsp kosher salt

1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 Tbsp heavy cream

Cookies

1 1/3 cups bread flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp kosher salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 Tbsp light corn syrup

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

prepared graham mixture

1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

2 1/2 tsp ground coffee

2 cups potato chips (thick ones that won’t break too much when mixing)

1 cup mini pretzels

PREPARATION

Graham mixture

  1. Toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt with your hands in a medium bowl to evenly distribute your dry ingredients.
  2. Whisk the butter and heavy cream together. add to the dry ingredients and toss again to evenly distribute. The butter will act as glue, adhering to the dry ingredients and turning the mixture into a bunch of small clusters.

Cookies

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  2. Combine the butter, both sugars and corn syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and continue to beat for 7 to 8 minutes.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Still on low speed, add the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, graham mixture, oats and coffee, and mix until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the potato chips and pretzels and again, mix only until barely incorporated, 15 to 20 seconds.

  1. Using a ⅓-cup measuring cup portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans (should be about 6 cookies per sheet).
  3. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. After 18 minutes, they should be very faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center. Give them an extra minute or so if that’s not the case.
  4. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before serving or storing. The cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 1 month.

 

RECIPE NOTES:

Do not use instant coffee or espresso powder in place of the ground coffee, as it will dissolve into the cookies, which it is not intended to do.

Pretzel recommendation: Snyders® mini pretzels.

Potato chips recommendation: Cape Cod® potato chips.

This is what Christina Tosi says about her Compost Cookies®:

When I was a baker at a conference center on Star Island, twelve miles off the coast of New Hampshire, I learned to make this kind of cookie from one of the best bakers I know, Mandy Lamb. She would put different ingredients in the cookie each day or each week and have people try and guess what the random secret ingredients were. Because we were on an island in New England, when storms blew in, we were trapped. No one traveled to the island, and, more important, no boats with food on them came our way, either. We had to get creative and use what we had on hand. We might not have had enough chocolate chips to make chocolate chip cookies, but if we threw in other mix-ins as well, the seven hundred some guests would never notice the shortage of one ingredient—and the cookies would always feel brand new, because they were different every time. I found after many batches that my favorite compost cookies® had my favorite snacks in them: chocolate and butterscotch chips, potato chips, pretzels, graham crackers, and ground coffee.  Compost Cookies® always turn out great in my mother’s kitchen because she infamously has a hodgepodge of mix-ins, none in great enough quantity to make an actual single-flavored cookie on its own. My brother-in-law calls them “garbage cookies”; others call them “kitchen sink cookies.” Call them what you want, and make them as we make them at milk bar, or add your own favorite snacks to the cookie base in place of ours.

Former California Girl Hit the SL Beaches

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“I been all around this great big world
And I seen all kinds of girls
Yeah, but I couldn’t wait to get back in the states
Back to the cutest girls in the world
” © The Beach Boys

 

 

One of my favorite blogs has been using some lyrics and song names lately for their posts, and since I love Oldies and had the ocean on my mind, The Beach Boys seemed like a perfect way to follow in their footprints.  In the last round of pics from my pre-surgery beach photo shoots you’ll find them a little sexier than I usually go for.  First off, I was testing some new technology that hit the grid that totally tickled me that I discussed earlier – the water reactive tee.  Well, I also found the Sandra hair by Mina that was made in collaboration with Salt & Pepper, who did the tee, and decided to try them out.  It was during the tee shoot I learned about the clashing between applied clothing and the new wet technology, but I tried to keep it pretty modest, while showing off how brilliant the designer’s creativity is.  If I say so myself I think a couple could work in a pixel version of SI™.  *grin*  So, let’s show off this former Californian avi’s beach bod off!  (And if you follow me on Flickr, then hopefully you don’t mind the repeat viewing, since I’m finally getting things caught up and the timing is all sorts of wonky right now.  *laugh*)

 

So, I honestly just walked her right to the ocean floor and then came up to pose, to show off the reactive nature of the new Mina hair.  With time, or a handy little blow dryer packed with the hair, the hair dries into a beautiful style you can wear anytime.  **As of 6/24/18 Mina sent out an updated HUD so that you can manipulate the hair even more, such as keeping it wet, etc.**

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I decided to wander in the waves for a bit, along the coast of one of the Destination Guide’s beaches, and tried out some poses I found in my inventory.  Whoa!  I think these would make Tyra Banks proud of my avi, even.  *laugh*

 

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Now, the following are a little more daring than I would normally show on here, but after the glitching, I figured the distance, poses, and the medium dryness of the shirt would keep these acceptable.  I kept the pictures that show that the shirt goes to a really neat translucence with little spots of discoloration, as little places start to dry.  When I added the hair dryer for the Mina hair I discovered it also sped up the drying time on the shirt, so yet another multi use item.  Money well spent!  And although you can’t see in these shots unless you enlarge them, the hair and the shirt cause little water droplets to drip, too, while wet. 

 

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Seriously, I am always amazed at the creativity and ingenuity of people in SL.  This amazing mind is someone’s neighbor that they just give a head nod to if they happen to see one another, probably, yet in world they are so brilliant.  It it makes the world a little more interesting to think about the strangers behind these avatars that do such creative things and you might sit next to them tomorrow on the bus, wait in line behind them for coffee, or whatever.  It adds just a little more magic to life.  Hopefully you enjoyed my beach adventures and take a moment to appreciate the possibilities around you today.  That elbow that bumps you and the person that apologizes could be that of a wildly creative person!  They could be lost in ideas of how to add more magic to other lives.  That idea helps me be a little more patient and forgiving.  🙂

Hungry? by Sauce Box

Absolutely nothing original here from me today, folks.  However, I think this is still well worth a read, because the blogger cracked me up, especially as a bath and body product crafter.  Since you are technically following a crafter’s blog, and he’s discussing the delicious scents being used in products nowadays, I couldn’t resist sharing his post with you.  Please go to Sauce Box’s original post HERE to click like and hopefully subscribe, because he has some great posts.  Without further ado, here is Sauce Box’s Hungry? blog post from 6/19/18 (I know, I’m behind *laugh*)…

 

“Mmm, soap. Yummy.

Very stupid post here but I just wanted to express my feelings towards surface cleaner, hand soap, and really any cleaning product in general that chooses to portray itself as absolutely delicious.

I’m not gonna name brands but I just cleaned my kitchen counters with a cleaning spray that had the scent of “Pink Grapefruit Banana Kiwi”. I don’t know about any of you guys, but let me tell you, that shit smells flat out amazing. As I cleaned, I seriously considered spraying some onto my tongue or even just screwing the cap off and taking a little sip of it. (Yeah, insert Tide pod jokes here.) The stuff is even in a see through bottle and is a radiant pinkish purple color, looking like a refreshingly delectable beverage that should be going straight down the hatch. It even says, “Non-toxic”. Seriously? Are you tempting me? Do you want me to try it? Cause I will.

I went online to search up the other “flavors” and oh, it gets much better. “Minty Lemon squeeze”. “Toasted Almond”. “Rosemary Herb Butter.” Dude, am I cleaning my counters or am I spraying this on my pasta?

And that’s just surface cleaner. Let’s not even get started with the “Winter Candy Cocoa”, “Frosted French Toast”, and “Warm Apple Pie”, hand soaps. Are you kidding me? How do you even portray warmth in a scent first of all, and second, we live in a world where soap is making me hungry. I sit on my couch sniffing my freaking hands after I go to the bathroom like some kind of narcissistic psychopath.

Dude, if I was a kid, I’d be cussing my mom out on the daily.

“You’re gonna eat soap now to clean out that filthy mouth!”

“Sweet! Can it be the Chocolate Caramel Bundt Cake this time? I ate too much of the Creme Brulee yesterday and got a stomach ache. Bitch”.

Imagine being a parent and telling your five-year-old not to eat this shit.

“Now, these are chemicals, Billy. You do not, under any circumstance, put these in your mouth.”

“Then why is it called ‘Scrum-diddly-umptious Marshmallows and Skittles cleaner?’”

“Because, well— I don’t actually know, Billy. Sounds pretty damn tasty to me.”

The actual food these products are imitating doesn’t even smell or look as good as these delicious chemicals.

All in all it’s probably some kind of conspiracy to thin out the heard. Speed up Darwinism. Next thing you know they’ll have flavored lighter fluid and candy cane car exhaust.

Moral of the story: If you eat Tide pods, you’re a dumb ass. Soap and surface cleaner is where it’s at, man.”

Rocky Road Slow Cooker Cake Recipe by Leah

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Soft, gooey, chocolaty, and delicious this Rocky Road Cake is all those things!  My mother’s all-time favorite ice cream is Dreyer’s Rocky Road™ so when I saw a Rocky Road Cake at a potluck I knew I had to try making one myself.  I altered the recipe to make it more to my mother’s taste and then surprised her with it at one of our dinners.  To call it a success kind of feels like an understatement.  She not only asked for some of leftovers (which she never does), but she also asked me to bookmark the recipe to make for her birthday.  She loved it!  I was so happy!  I hope you like it too.

 

Rocky Road

 

Rocky Road Slow Cooker Cake

 

INGREDIENTS
1 (18.25 oz) package Devil’s Food Cake mix

1 (3.4 oz) package vanilla instant pudding mix

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup sour cream

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 1/4 cups milk, divided

2 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided

1 (3.4 oz) package chocolate cook & serve pudding mix

3/4 cup chopped almonds

1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

vanilla ice cream, for serving

 

PREPARATION

  1. Beat cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, butter, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups milk at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 inutes, stopping to scrape down the side as needed.  Fold in 1 cup chocolate chips.  Pour batter into lightly greased 4-quart slow cooker.
  2. Cook remaining 2 cups milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes or just until bubbles appear (do not boil); remove from heat.  Mix in chocolate cook & serve pudding mix.
  3. Slowly pour chocolate mixture over batter.  Cover and cook on LOW for 3 1/2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, heat almonds in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant.
  5. After 3 1/2 hours turn off slow cooker.  Sprinkle cake with pecans, marshmallows, and remaining chocolate chips.  Let stand 15 minutes or until marshmallows are slightly melted.

Evening Beach Retreat

Gaming Logo

 

Before my surgery I had a lot of fun hitting the beaches and on one of my adventures Luke tagged along, so I convinced him to try out some poses with me and think they came out so neat.  They’re evening shots, so I warn you, they’re a bit dark, but it kind of adds to the beauty, to me.  Not much story behind them, other than just having some fun goofing around with poses and the beautiful stormy beach at Gale Retreat.  I am having trouble picking between day shots from the other beach photo shoots, so here’s just some cute pictures to hopefully make you smile and remember a special moment you treasure from your own beach adventures.

 

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“Come on (surfin’) baby”©

Gaming Logo

 

One of my awesome friends sent me a surfboard from the latest round at Arcade (thanks Derek!!) and I decided to explore some beaches.  I found a lot of neat spots and surprisingly got what I think are some massively improved shots, so expect a few beach posts.  If you’ve been on my flickr, you’ve seen a few of the pictures, but I’m behind on everything since life came to a screeching stand still after surgery, so I have a few surprises for you still that I haven’t gotten uploaded over there yet.  Today though is all about that surfboard.  *grin*

 

 

 

I wish I could remember where this was, but I found it in the Destination Guide after going to about 8 other places and post surgery my mind is an absolute blank.  It had some neat areas though, so I’ll have more shots of it and I’ll figure out (and credit) the sim later.  I considered matching the surfboard, but honestly, I don’t know that I own a pastel bathing suit in either life.  *laugh*  The black shirt in the top left picture is from the recent Arcade also, by Salt & Pepper, and when SL water hits it, it becomes a wet tee, and then slowly dries.  I found a hair designer, Mina’s Sandra style, that worked with the shirt designer to have the same effect, which I love, because I am all about the multi style hair ever since Truth Hair created his Stylist HUD.  The shirt gets a little more focus in another post, as I tested if applied clothing would work under this mesh shirt (in case you’re wondering, nope, so if you’re modest, find a secluded beach like I did and watch for cross hairs.  *laugh*  I had my Dr. Who Tardis applier bikini from Nerdy Girl (oh how I miss that store!) on under the shirt for testing the modesty theory and it is so me I stuck with it for the rest of time at this beach.  *grin*  I mean, I’m going to utilize any moment that I can justify wearing something Tardis related.  The two poses are built right into the surfboard, which I thought was pretty awesome, although the overhead one would be very dangerous for someone as accident prone as me.  *laugh*

 

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I couldn’t resist one more with it overhead while at the other beach, while playing with the windlights and the LeLutka moods.  Whimsy had the perfect expression come up in time with that wave, in my opinion, so I had to share this, although I managed a few gorgeous shots back at my favorite, Gale Storm Retreat.  

 

The next day I hit Gale Storm Retreat and tried the different sunset WLs with the Whimsy and Natural moods, although I couldn’t resist the new Truth hair that had come out, so no more wet hair for the surf board.  *grin*  The following turned out to be some of the best shots I think I’ve taken so far and I’m not sure how I did so well, especially without filters.  *laugh*

 

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After the fact I realized I should have utilized the shine factor on the Lara HUD, but I’ve honestly never done that before, so it didn’t occur to me.  I still think they’re beautiful and actually am using them on my computer and phone for backgrounds, even without shine or droplets.  *grin* And notice, I got closer to matching this time, since I went with a mesh swimsuit this time (a good investment over at Foxes last year…wowzer!).  So, you’ll recognize a few of the details, but the other posts won’t include the surf board.  I was so touched to receive it that I wanted to dedicate a post just to the successful board pictures.  I hope your week has started off well and send best wishes while I dream of visiting the ocean.  🙂

Guacamole Recipe by Leah

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I can’t remember the first time I ate guacamole.  I’ve loved it longer than I can remember.  If I’m eating at a Mexican restaurant you can bet I’ll be ordering it.  But it’s so much more than a dip for tortilla chips!

It’s delicious in wraps, on a baked potato, with fresh veggies, as a spread in sandwiches, as a dressing in a salad, on a crispy corn tortilla and topped with an egg.  The list goes on and on.  I love guacamole and this is my preferred way to make it.

 

 

Ai

 

 

Guacamole

 

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup finely chopped white onion, rinsed under cold water

1 medium tomato, diced

2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro**

2 tsp finely chopped jalapeno chile with seeds

1/2 tsp salt

2 ripe Haas avocados, pitted and peeled

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

PREPARATION

  1. Combine onion, tomato, cilantro, jalapeno and salt in a small bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, coarsely mash the avocados with a fork or potato masher.
  3. Add the onion mixture and lime juice, stir until well mixed.

*Can be made ahead.  Cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.

**Georgia’s Nerdy Note: As noted in previous recipes, if you are unable to eat cilantro, you can swap parsley for it.  Some people have the same special genes, OR6A2, which cause the person to pick up other scents that others do not detect, causing cilantro to taste like soap.  Parsley is an easy swap, so you don’t miss out!

Second Life 15 Birthday

Gaming Logo

 

I’ve had a rough recovery from my surgery, but finally felt comfortable sitting at the laptop for a while and got on SL for a while.  I had been missing it and needed the distraction, and actually it was the perfect day, because I was able to get into Second Life’s various anniversary events yesterday.  It’s hard to believe, but SL is actually fifteen now, and after the obligatory shopping of the anniversary sales I hit the art and event installments.  The difference in just 15 years is mind blowing and kind of fun to see for anyone following that’s a second lifer (remember the old AFK Noob?), so I’m going to share some of my adventure with you.

 

First, I had to stop at KittyCats to pick up the birthday cat.  One of my current KittyCats, Niamh (pronounced Neve), is a free gift from their birthday a few years ago, and it’s about time to have a new pretty fur ball running around the house.  🙂  Plus, they always make the cutest scenes at any event they participate in or host (I have spent over an hour just admiring their shop before, I’ll admit, especially when there is a holiday *laugh*).  You can’t tell with the picture I took, because I had draw distance so low that if I showed the top you wouldn’t have seen the main activity at the bottom, but there’s a big cat behind all of these champagne glasses, with the smaller (not regular sized) ones in different poses playing in the glasses or rolling around.  I haven’t rezzed mine yet, but I think the gorgeous Kitty in the front by the cake is how this year’s gift looks.  So pretty!!  (Yep, sucker for an animal in any life I lead.  *grin*)

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A few of the artistic designs were kind of cool to me, so I thought I’d share those for that reason alone.  *laugh* I am not familiar with the designers, didn’t think to grab the names of the areas since I was panning about instead of trying to walk, and just snapped pics.

The above was an ice fortress with various particle bursts when you flew (broom provided out front, although I panned, so I wouldn’t have to push through the molasses of lag) up into the top of the fortress.  I don’t really have an explanation for why I found this neat enough for two pictures, but maybe it’s the starkness that appeals so much to me, plus it’s in with the crystal theme of this year’s event.  I might have had a little “Let it Go” streaming going on while watching the particle bursts, too.  Blame it on the complications from the surgery.  *wink*

In this mosaic the top left has a half orb in the same colors as the KittyCat.  That is actually one of the little rides you can catch to travel the event, although lag can still hit those fun little carts too unfortunately.  Usually they’re solid and more old school robotic-looking, so I couldn’t help getting a picture.  At the right top is just an example of what I find so incredibly cool about SL.  This was a medical display for Cystic Fibrosis actually, but there are areas (especially like Wellness Island and other themed lands available year round, instead of just a display) for raising awareness, finding help, and some have incredible resources or support group meetings in world.  I think it’s just awesome to have medical displays at a celebratory event that can raise awareness without making people uncomfortable, as a lot are when it comes to being faced with the hard parts of real life.  Ahem, moving on before I get all choked up…middle left is actually an area for playing D&D!  There had been players earlier, because there were stats up, but it was an American midday in the beginning of the event and laggy as all get out, so no surprise that it was empty while I was there.  I guarantee there’ll be some new friendships made over this tiny area over the duration of the event.  Beside that is an example of one of the Roleplay (RP) spots, which shouldn’t surprise you after I just posted a pic of D&D.  *laugh* There were a lot of awesome RP groups participating in the event actually, including the 1920s Berlin in the bottom picture.  I’m not good at thinking responses up on the fly in order to RP or staying in character, especially since I’m such a sarcastic person *laugh*, but I find them fascinating and was amazed by the variety of RP I ran into just in panning in one little area.  Not just your regular RP that everyone thinks nerds would be involved in.  The Roaring ’20s?  I would never have thought to put myself into a time frame and place to create an RP like that.  I just had to showcase the creativity of the Lifers across the grid.  *smile*

 

From there I spent quite a while reading the different displays designers made about the evolution of SL, with a few being a little more simple and highlighting the really big event of the year, and one that had quite detailed descriptions of that year’s changes.  I try to stay in the know for what’s coming down the pipeline in SL, since I love the innovation and especially better meshy bits for my avatar as technology improves, but had no clue that some of my favorite technical parts of it went into beta a few years before I even knew about them, like mesh and bento.  I couldn’t resist a few about the start of SL for those of you that are curious, but aren’t actually on SL, so here are some interesting little stat pics for you.

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Lots of land, gaming, and avatar enhancements occur in the brief time between these and then my rez year, which I couldn’t resist highlighting, since I’m considered an old fart in SL.  *laugh*   Just as the board describes, I saw a very fake version of SL on an episode of CSI:NY and registered that night, like so many others.  Thankfully I was interested because of the creativity they had shown and not for the relationships and adult stuff that quite a bit jumped on board for; which thankfully allowed me to get to experience this continually changing world of creativity while a lot of people left when the shine wore off of the other part (some stayed and even got married, I’m SO not knocking it, so please don’t take that wrong.  It’s just realistic that a lot of people go through relationships and adult interactions quickly in world, and if you don’t have other interests to draw you to other areas of the grid, some have no reason to stay).

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I didn’t take pictures of the other ones I read, talking about when mesh, bento, and Sansar all went into Beta, and what is currently in the works, but being me I was fascinated.  *laugh* Although the population varied quite a bit, they’re up and holding pretty darn well nowadays, thankfully, and are planning to keep a world going for users to create in (with another confirmation that Sansar is not going to cause SL to phase out; it’s just another project of Linden Labs, so you’ll be able to get your money’s worth out of the mesh head you have been eyeing if you were worried).

 

I couldn’t help but take pictures of one designer’s display demonstrating the differences of “yesteryear” and nowadays in world.  You’ve seen my usual pics, so you know how awesome SL can look, even with a video card that needs some serious upgrading.  If you haven’t been a resident for long though, you may not remember the good ole prims and standard Noob, so I had to share pictures.  *laugh*

The guy there on the left is the stereotypical Noob, bless his heart.  For those that don’t know, Noob is short for newbie, and basically you knew when you saw someone walking with that avatar they either haven’t learned how to change their avatar or get the “new resident” freebies to change into, or they created a log in just to ask for sex.  Although occasionally some have the newer version of the Noob and log in just for sex, it’s not nearly as common anymore thankfully.  (And yes, there are adult areas, animations, whatever you can think up to design can be made pretty much.  So it can be visual or just over IM or voice.  I have horrible memories of one Noob with a horrific looking detachable *ahem* that walked up, tried to open voice with me, and spammed my IM asking, many years ago.  I explore more carefully now and partnering with Luke shows in my profile, so if someone is familiar with SL and checks, they know not to ask me.  Three cheers for practical partnering!  *laugh*) Anyway, the house and the stools are prime examples of what we used to live in and use.  Things can still be made with prims, like that wood grain floor or wall you see, and I immediately carpet my mesh house floors in prims so I can rez mesh without interference (although I make them invisible or into flooring, instead of being the original wood, of course).  Back in the day everything was made in prim and it was basically like using Legos™.  They just fit together.  Mesh is built in programs outside of SL and imported, and can then be manipulated if permitted by the designer.  However, those three shots are legacy residents’ “back in my day” memories.  *grin* 

 

One last set of pictures I couldn’t resist were amusing ones involving the evolution of the avatar.  The first one that says it’s a fossil is showing that Noob I took a picture of before, in profile.  The second is a “cave drawing” showing the stooped AFK avis and “Furries”, which are avatars that are animal instead of human analogs, with some dressing or embellishing their human-like moving animal avatars.  When people leave their avatars unattended (either they leave their computer [go AFK], are looking at a web page, chatting in IM exclusively, or otherwise not involved in the world aspect of SL0, the avatar goes into “away” mode and stoops over (although thankfully there have been updates to the settings that allow us to change that and even animations that make our avatar keep moving around restlessly in place, instead of the dreaded AFK stoop.  *laugh*  There are a lot of “griefers” and “trolls” out there, who are basically just people looking to mess with other avatars, and an AFK avi is a prime target for griefing.  You can make policies and try to stop behaviors, but a world that users create will include abilities and traits of every type of user, so now it’s thankfully a little less likely that you’ll get trolled when you run to the restroom.  *grin*

 

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And just so that you remember how beautiful SL can be, after seeing some of the origin story, here’s one of my favorite reminders.  In the meantime, I wish you health and joy until I can keep my focus away from my throat for this long again.  *grin*

 

Bre 3 15 18 stoner_024

 

Blueberry and Feta Salad Recipe by Leah

Leahs New Logo

 

My friend, Stephanie, is a caterer and serves this salad frequently.  I only recently had the opportunity to try it and I immediately fell in love.  It’s light, simple, and tasty.

 

 

Af

 

 

Blueberry and Feta Salad

 

INGREDIENTS

dressing

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp honey

dash of ground thyme

1/3 cup olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

salad

almonds

olive oil

kosher salt

butter lettuce, chopped

blueberries

crumbled feta

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Chop almonds, toss in olive oil and kosher salt, and roast for 7-8 minutes.  Set aside.
  2. Blend dressing ingredients together.
  3. Toss the butter lettuce in the dressing.  Top with almonds, blueberries, and crumbled feta.

Dungeness Crab Mac and Cheese Recipe by Leah

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Dungeness Crab Mac and Cheese is decadent and delicious.  It’s one of those dishes that when people take their first bite they pause to savor it, leaving the dining room quiet with contemplation.  I know you think I’m exaggerating but I promise I’m not.  It has happened on more than one occasion!  Try this one.  You won’t regret it.

 

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Dungeness Crab Mac and Cheese

 

INGREDIENTS

1 pound dried elbow pasta

3 cups whole milk, warmed

1/2 cup + 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, separated

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

4 tsp kosher salt, separated

2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped

2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped

1 lb cooked crabmeat, picked over for shells

6 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

4 cups grated Havarti cheese

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup panko bread crumbs

2 lemons, cut into wedges

 

PREPARATION

  1. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until a little less than al dente.  Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain the pasta again.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
  1. Melt 6 Tbsp butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and bell pepper to the pan and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the crabmeat, 4 tsp of the Old Bay Seasoning, and 2 tsp salt to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat and set aside.
  1. Heat 1/2 cup butter over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.  When the butter has just melted, add the flour and whisk constantly until the mixture turns light brown, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.
  1. Slowly pour the warm milk, about 1 cup at a time, into the butter-flour mixture, whisking constantly.  It will get very thick when you first add the milk, and thinner as you slowly pour the entire 3 cups.
  2. Once all the milk has been added, set the pot back over medium-high heat, and continue to whisk constantly.  In the next 2 to 3 minutes the sauce should come together and become silky and thick.  Lower the heat to medium and add 2 tsp salt, stir.
  1. Add the Havarti cheese, cooking over medium heat.  Stir until the cheese is barely melted, about 3 minutes.  Add the crabmeat mixture and the cooked pasta, stir, and continue cooking while stirring continuously for another 5 minutes.
  1. Spoon the mixture into a large casserole dish (mine is 4.8 quarts).  Sprinkle the Parmesan on top and then the panko.  Lastly, sprinkle on the remaining 2 tsp of Old Bay Seasoning.  Bake until golden and bubbly, about 15 minutes.
  1. Spoon into serving bowls and serve with lemon wedges.

*adapted from Homeroom Restaurant in Oakland, CA

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