Saturday, December 24, 2011

Long Time No See

Howdy Masterminds,

I have not been updating my blog as I like to, but that doesn't mean that I haven't been domestic. This year has been intense, Dan and I bought a house and I have started working.

As I ponder this past year, on the eve of zombie Jesus' birth, I feel thankful for my family and friends.

I also feel pretty psyched I don't have to look for a house to buy.

So that's good.

I hope everyone has a great holiday, and can look back on their year with as much satisfaction. Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, and or Kwanzaa.


Jo :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kim’s Chicken Tortilla Soup and What I Learned from It

Gentle Masterminds,

The weather has turned cold here, and as the stark white sky glares down at this innocent little Mastermind, my mind turns to warmer pursuits. I find myself making food, or nestling in at coffee shops to write.

So here I am in Berkeley; I just ate a vegan doughnut.

As you can imagine, I’ve been remiss in many of my duties, not least this blog. Lately I’ve been so busy writing that dinners, and cuisine in general, have fallen to the wayside. I thought it was high time for some hot comfort food to be waiting for Dan when he got home.

Of course that’s when my shit goes horribly wrong.

Kim’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 pre-cooked rotisserie chicken

2 cartons reduced sodium chicken stock

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 gloves garlic, minced

1 medium shallot, minced

2 teaspoons cumin

1 pinch crushed red pepper

1 large carrot, chopped

½ cup green onion chopped

1 cup chopped celery

4 small Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

¾ cup corn

Fresh lime


Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup cilantro, chopped

1 medium jalapeño

Grated cheese

Crushed tortilla chips

In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté garlic, shallot, cumin and crushed red pepper until translucent. Add carrot, green onion, celery, potatoes and stock. Bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat, add tomatoes, black beans, chicken and corn. Simmer covered for 30-45 minutes*. Add cilantro, lime, salt and pepper to taste. If you want a spicier soup, add chopped jalapeno. Serve immediately garnished with grated cheese, tortilla chips and sliced avocado.

Makes: a shit ton.

* I am unsure if this is necessary, but it makes me feel like I didn’t cheat so much. It probably gets everything all mixed up and melds flavors and shit. If you don’t have the time just heat through and nom nom nom.

Now, this is a great soup. Dan and I thoroughly enjoyed dinner. After dinner, I got up and went to the bathroom. I am currently menstruating. I washed my hands, did my business and inserted, too much information warning, my o.b. tampon with my finger.

I stood up, too late, I already knew what I did. I cut up the goddamn jalapeno barehanded like a complete dumbass.

Meanwhile, Dan had run to the back of the house because he couldn’t tell what was going on in the bathroom from all the whining, moaning, groaning and whimpers. I ripped the tampon out and danced from foot to foot holding my crotch.

Quotes of note from last night:

“My pussy hurts!”

“Pepper spray is inhumane.”

“Oh my God Dan, what the fuck!?!?!”

He assured me that a warm shower with some soapy action should do the trick. Gladly it did, but I will never, EVER, cut peppers without gloves again.

This was too embarrassing to not share. Remember: I fuck things up and tell you all about it so you can rock it. Now you know the new definition of “fire crotch.” I’m going to update right now.

Until next time, I salute you.

Thursday, April 29, 2010



It's finally Thursday. I don't have much to say. There are some things that will be going down today:

-We bought a new mattress, it's being delivered today.

-I made some rye bread for my Ma. It's being delivered today, by me. I hope she's there.

-I've got to clean the hell out of our place because Dan's Aunt Mary is coming for dinner tomorrow. Fish tacos. Nom nom nom. :)

-I'm going to make cookies for Dan's coworker. He hooked me up on TouchPets Dogs. It's a game Dan's company ( ngmoco:) ) makes. Yea duder!

P.S. If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or an iPad you might want to check out their games. I'm pretty sure all are free. :)

or check them out at the Apple's App store.

So, the delivery guys just called. They are in the area and will be delivering my mattress EARLY! I'm fully buying a lottery ticket, this is just too good to be true. It's not even raining!

All right kids, I hope you're Thursday is getting off to a rad start too.

Hasta luego, Masterminds!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I HEART Urban Ore

Good Morning Dear Masterminds,

Spring has definitely sprung over here in Richmond. And though I passionately hate the term, I've gotten all springtime crafty.

I've been knitting, so I thought I'd raid Goodwill and other second hand stores looking for yarn. Dan has been a total sweetheart (big surprise, huh?) and has taken me all over. We even made a special trip over to Urban Ore.

Urban Ore is a giant magical place. On their website they say that their "purpose is to end the age of waste by advocating and developing total recycling." So Berkeley. They go on to say, "We receive unwanted things and sell them as-is for reuse." I like to describe it as a gigantic, industrial second-hand store where you may find red high heels and a vintage toilet in the same visit.

Urban Ore, Inc.
900 Murray Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 841-7283

Rated 5.0 out of 5.0

13 reviews
Open Mon-Sat 8:30am-7pm; Sun 10am-7pm
More information »

Doors, doors, doors!
Lots of magical stuff you can get crazy with.

This particular visit, while I did manage to find their yarn selection (which was far less fantastic than I'd hoped), Dan and I found a cool spice rack from the 80's still in its box with all the spices.

Here is the spice rack just after I started sanding it. Dan luckily reminded me to record the momentous occasion with a photo. Yea Baby!

See? See your hostess sanding away?

I quite literally slopped on a coat of primer.

The old school spice jars complete with their antique spices. The antique spices got tossed sadly.

The first pass with spray paint.

Voila! And now I have a rad new spice rack that I will love forever. :)

To me, this is just a good excuse to make a mess and have an art project. I'm pretty stoked with how it came out. I also love those old glass jars.

Masterminds, as long as you don't call me crafty, I salute you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Die Mold, Die!

Hiya Masterminds! I hope that it's not as crappy and rainy wherever you may be...

So, I've been teasing you endlessly about my moldy bathroom (quite possibly the strangest thing I've ever typed).

The two photos above are what the grody mold looked like before.

Here's what I did:

First, I got nekked. When dealing with caustic chemicals, it's better to do so in your defenseless, unclothed state.

Next, I moved all things that could be bleached. Ie. towels, rugs, wigs, cats.

Then, I hoisted my particularly juicy posterior up onto the bathtub ledge.

I proceeded to spray the shit out of the mold on my bathroom ceiling. I may have been screaming something like, "Die you shitty mold, fucking DIE!" But I breathed in a lot of chlorine bleach fumes, so it's a little fuzzy.

Not much was happening except my panting and cussing, because it's not easy to use the old elbow grease over one's own head. So, I busted out the industrial cleaning rag.


The shit was barely coming off.

"Hey, that's fine. I dig. I waiting too long." So I rinsed all the bleach off of myself as best as I could and wandered off to create chaos elsewhere.

Later, taking a mid-afternoon tinkle, I looked up and saw that a lot of the fucking mold had actually listened. It was GONE. Okay, well, LEAVING.


A few more treatments, and that shiznit is freaking GONE. (For realsies gone, yo!)

Still totally too lazy to figure out how to reorient the photo. Oops.

So, the moral of this Domestic Losthermind's, I mean Mastermind's story is: embrace your bleach.

Until tomorrow!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Iced Tea

Dear Masterminds,

I feel that I owe you all an apology. I exist on a special kind of crack that fuels my tightly wound insanity. This crack is called: iced tea. It's really rude that I haven't thought to share this with you.

Long ago, when I was only a bright eyed junior-transfer student I found a young lady who, like me chainsmoked and had love for cheap beer. I insisted that we become friends immediatedly. Poor girl, she hasn't shaken me yet.

Both of us have since evolved from crazy college students into crazier college graduates. And, one of the best things I've picked up from her, though there are many, is her iced tea.

HB Iced Tea


Twinings English Breakfast teabags
Twinings Earl Grey teabags


Brew tea. Pour over ice. Proceed to go insane.. with flavor.

I have an iced tea maker (yay Ma!), I bought my lovely friend one two when she moved, but she used to just make it in a regular teapot (boiling water over teabags). If you're going low-tech, let the tea seep until its strength suits your taste. The key to this reproduction of her "recipe" is equal portions of teas. I usually use three Earl Grey and three English Breakfast in my iced tea maker. There's just something magical about the fruity, perfuminess of the Earl Grey and the strength of the English Breakfast.

I love to drink this. Twinings also carries a "naturally decaffeinated" variety of both. In my opinion, they aren't as robust as the fully caffeinated kind. PS, so far, I've found the most cost effective way to buy these is at Target in the big, square box (I think it's a 45 or 50 count).

:) Until next time Masterminds!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ranger Cookies

Hey Masterminds,

Last week I sent Dan to work with some chocolate chip cookies. They came out great, and apparently people hearted them. I thought I'd continue the tradition by sending him with some Ranger Cookies today.

Ranger Cookies
From Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup coconut
1 cup raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries or mixed dried fruit bits.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Stir in rolled oats, coconut, and fruit.

2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown and centers are set. Cool on cookie sheet 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

So, I have to be honest here: I was super bummed as I started to get this blog ready to post I realized that the photos (and batch of cookies I made for the Danimal) were lacking a key ingredient. No, not sugar (though that would be classic me); I forgotted the coconut. I'm fully making another batch after the last keystroke. HOW EMBARRASSING. I'm a asshat.

I'm going to crawl back into the kitchen and make this right. Mutter, mutter, mutter, frazzin, razzin, mutter.

Happy Friday Masterminds.