28 February 2010

Funny Talented Dancing Traffic Cop

From Denny: You are going to enjoy this talented guy. He finds ways to chase away the boredom of the job - and stays in shape doing it!

This video comes from CBS Sunday Morning show. They had profiled the Rhode Island, USA, traffic officer back last summer. CBS followed up with comedian Mo Rocca interviewing him this past Christmas season.

Here I am in February - and still laughing!

Watch CBS News Videos Online

*** For more funnies, please visit:

Dennys Funny Quotes

Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd

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27 February 2010

Funny Best of the Week Political Cartoons 27 Feb 2010

From Denny: Every week I collect the best political cartoons and roll them into one funny post. To best enjoy them on a wider blog template that displays well, go here:

Funny Political Cartoons: Political Olympics, Broken Government, Lampooning Toyota - 27 Feb 2010

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26 February 2010

New Orleans Recipes: Crawfish Etouffee, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Jambalaya, Sazerac Cocktail

From Denny: Can I tell you there were so many network specials on Mardi Gras this year I'm still trying to catch up on their offerings? CBS brought in Marian Cairns from Southern Living Magazine, a favorite read at our house. What I like about this video is Cairns introduces people to Cajun food by explaining the differences among the recipes and properly defines and demonstrates the terms used.

If you have yet to visit New Orleans, this is your chance to familiarize yourself with some of the foods and try making them at home. This kind of comfort food is perfect for the cold weather we are experiencing across the country.

Though Mardi Gras is enjoyed in several places in the world like France and Spain, well, no one is as crazy as we are in New Orleans, Louisiana! Tourists come from all over the world just to experience the wild atmosphere and take in some tummy warming Cajun and Creole good food.

This year the festivities were kicked off early with the Cinderella football team, the New Orleans Saints, winning the Super Bowl. They partied and danced in the French Quarter as soon as the win was announced. The French Quarter is the gathering place for events much like St. Peter's Square is for the citizens of Rome, Italy where they gather.

Normal Mardi Gras is a week of festivities that ends at midnight on Fat Tuesday. Then Ash Wednesday begins the Lenten season of dialing back on the excess and frivolity, exchanging partying for sacrifice and sobriety. South Louisiana is predominantly Catholic while the northern half of the state is Protestant Baptist. New Orleans has clung to its European culture, still celebrating 300 years later after they arrived in the 1700's.

Just know, like here in Louisiana, feel free to substitute when you can't get an ingredient. We use shrimp for etoufee when we it isn't crawfish season. We make chicken and sausage gumbo all year long, even in the heat of summer as it is an economical dish. We make jambalaya like other people make hamburgers: often! :) ...

Louisiana Seafood Women's Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Check out awesome Louisiana eating: oysters, shrimp, crawfish, gumbo, jambalaya from Louisiana artist Denny Lyon

25 February 2010

Stop That Cold in Its Tracks: Illness Fighting Foods

From Denny: Want to know some great foods as medicine to deal with life's issues like colds, stomach pains and headaches? Check out this easy to eat and enjoy list!


* Mushrooms - boost your immune system. Mushrooms also are considered like a leafy green vegetable and help the liver process toxins easier.

* Salmon - contains high amounts of vitamin D and you need vitamin D to ward off colds.

* Sunflower seeds - contain lots of vitamin E

* Curry spice - helps lower stress levels

* Milk - all that calcium eases muscle aches and pains and soothes you psychologically

* Red bell pepper - high in vitamin C and vitamin A, easy low acid source of vitamin C, the vitamin that lowers and soothes our stress

* Pistachios - loaded with vitamin E, great for lowering cholesterol too, lowers blood pressure and is calming


* Red snapper and salmon - high in Omega 3 fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory. To help fight inflammation - the reason for most diseases like heart disease, diabetes, migraines and asthma.

* Quinoa, an ancient grain, anti-inflammatory full of protein and minerals

* Black beans, anti-inflammatory and aids the liver in digesting toxins better than other beans.

* Cayenne pepper - great anti-inflammatory for lung, sinus and intestional issues, fights cancer too.

Stomach Pain:

* Ginger - proven great for nausea

* Fennel - a digestive aid

* Peppermint oil - a digestive aid

* Fiber - digestive

* Yogurt - helps digest food faster and avoid bloating

* Berries - act like yogurt as ultimate digestive aid

From Fitness Magazine, Pam O'Brien informs us of the focus foods for getting back on our feet when we have been feeling under the weather:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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24 February 2010

8 Funny Advice Quotes About Sleeping

Sleeping lion Photo by travlinman43 @ flickr

From Denny: Here's a sampling of the funny quotes about the subject of sleep for you to get a chuckle of the moment. For the full huge post of funnies with great photos over at The Social Poets for Cheeky Quote Day, go here.

The best Life advice:

Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night. - William Blake

Never work just for money or for power. They won't save your soul or help you sleep at night. - Marian Wright Edelman

Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian. - Herman Melville

Sleeping boy at the table where sometimes sleep wins out over food Photo by indi.ca @ flickr

Best Interesting Observations:

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone. - Anthony Burgess

From time immemorial artistic insights have been revealed to artists in their sleep and in dreams, so that at all times they ardently desired them. – Paracelsus

We are not hypocrites in our sleep. - William Hazlitt

Each day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death. - Arthur Schopenhauer

There is only one thing people like that is good for them - a good night's sleep. - Edgar Watson Howe

*** For the full huge post of funnies with great photos over at The Social Poets for Cheeky Quote Day, go here.

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers - and if you are new to this daily posting blog, please subscribe!

23 February 2010

6 Big Easy New Orleans Chef Recipes: Jambalaya, King Cake, Praline Candy

From Denny: There were so many great food stories during Mardi Gras and the Olympics that I couldn't get to them all! What I like about this video is it gives anyone living outside of New Orleans a feel for the culture going on during the Mardi Gras parades. Featured here is the typical food we eat in Louisiana but it is also sold on the streets on the parade route which is pretty cool, especially since most of it is slow food.

King Cake is another favorite enjoyed in Louisiana leading up to Mardi Gras, during and even through the Easter season. It's so popular that hundreds of bakeries and groceries across the state ship it air freight everywhere to hungry displaced Louisianians and other gourmands!

*** To purchase, go here

Chef David Guas is the author of "Dam Good Sweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth New Orleans Style." Here are his takes on the classic Louisiana recipes: chicken and sausage jambalaya, traditional king cake, pecan pralines candy and New Orleans drinks.

Recipes Featured:

Chicken and sausage jambalaya
King Cake
Caramel peanut popcorn
Brandy milk punch
New Orleans Hurricane drink

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Chef David Guas

Serves: 6 to 8


• 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
• 1 teaspoon salt, divided
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 pounds andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
• 2 each medium onions, chopped
• 1 each large green or red bell pepper
• 1 cup finely chopped green onions, divided
• 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 3 cups long grain rice
• 8 cups chicken stock
• 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
• 8-12 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and cook about 5 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Remove from pan and brown remaining chicken. Add sausage and cooked chicken to the Dutch oven. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until browned.

Remove contents of pan with slotted spoon. Add onions, bell pepper, 3/4 cup green onions, and 1/2 cup chopped parsley. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add garlic and rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes on medium high. Add chicken stock, chicken, sausage, remaining salt, and ground red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 18 minutes, or until rice is tender and all liquid has been absorbed.

Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup green onions and 1/2 cup chopped parsley. Garnish with sprigs of flat-leaf parsley and serve hot.

King Cake

From: Chef David Guas

Makes: 1 cake, 8-10 servings


For the cake

• 1 (quarter ounce) packet dry-active yeast
• .25 cup warm milk (105°F–115°F or warm to the touch)
• 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons bread flour plus extra for rolling
• 1 tablespoon honey
• .75 cup cake flour
• 2 large eggs
• 1 large egg yolk
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• .50 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• .50 teaspoon vanilla extract
• .25 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 plastic baby figurine (to hide in the cake), optional

For the egg wash

• 1 large egg
• 1 tablespoon milk

For the icing and decoration

• 2 cups confectioners’sugar, sifted
• 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
• 3 tablespoons milk
• .25 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 cups sugar
• Green food coloring
• Gold or yellow food coloring Purple or red and blue food coloring


Whisk the yeast with the warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer until dissolved. Add the 6 tablespoons of bread flour and the honey and, using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until fairly smooth (there will still be a few lumps), 30 seconds to 1 minute, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.

Once the dough has doubled, add 3/4 cup of the remaining bread flour, the cake flour, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and almond extracts, and salt. Mix on low speed until combined, then switch to a dough hook, increase the speed to medium, and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Increase the speed to medium-high and begin adding 4 tablespoons of the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well between additions. Continue to knead until the dough forms a slack ball (it will ride the dough hook, be tacky, and not slap the bottom of the bowl, but it should generally come together into a loose mass), 2 to 3 minutes. If the dough doesn’t come together, continue kneading while adding up to 1/4 cup of the reserved bread flour, until it does.

Grease a large bowl with 1/2 tablespoon of the remaining butter and transfer the dough to the bowl, turning it over in the bowl to coat with butter. Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap or damp kitchen towel and place the bowl in a draft-free spot until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper with the remaining butter. Generously flour your work surface using the remaining 1/4 cup of bread flour (if you used the bread flour in the dough, dust your work surface with more bread flour). Turn the dough out onto the work surface and sprinkle the top with some flour.

Use your hands to press and flatten it into a rectangle. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 1/4-inch-thick strip that is about 24 inches long by about 6 inches wide. Starting with one of the long sides, roll the dough on top of itself, making a long, thin baguette-shaped length.

Pinch the edge to the body of the dough to seal, turn the dough so it lies horizontally on your work surface, and gently roll it on your work surface to even out any bulges and create a somewhat consistent 11/2-inch-wide rope. Bring the two ends of the dough together and pinch them into one another to seal. Carefully transfer the dough oval or circle to the prepared sheet pan. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set in a warm, dry spot to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 375°F. To make the egg wash, whisk the egg and the milk together in a small bowl. Brush the egg wash over the top and sides of the dough, and bake the king cake until golden and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, make a small slit in the bottom of the cake and insert the baby figurine (if using). Set on a rack to cool completely.

To make the icing

While the cake cools, make the icing. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, milk, and vanilla together in the bowl of a stand mixer on low speed until smooth and completely incorporated. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel until you are ready to glaze the cake.

To make the colored sugar, measure 1 cup of the sugar into each of 3 resealable quart-size plastic bags. Add 4 drops of green food coloring to one bag, 4 drops of gold or yellow food coloring to another bag, and 4 drops of purple food coloring to the last bag (if you don’t have purple, make it yourself: measure 2 drops of red and 2 drops of blue food coloring onto a spoon and mix with a cake tester or toothpick until combined). Seal each bag and then vigorously shake to combine the sugar and food coloring.

Spoon the icing over the cooled cake. Immediately after icing, decorate with the tinted sugar. I like to alternate colors every 21/2 inches, but you can also divide the cake into 3 sections and apply one color to each section. Slice and serve immediately or store in a cake box or on a baking sheet placed within a large plastic bag (unscented trash bags work well) for up to 2 days.


Chef David Guas

Makes: about 3 dozen


• 4 tablespoons (.5 stick) unsalted butter
• .5 cup plus 4 tablespoons heavy cream
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1.25 cups packed light brown sugar
• 2 cups pecan pieces


Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the 1/2 cup of cream and both sugars until they are dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and simmer until the mixture reaches 240°F to 250°F, using a heatproof rubber spatula to gently push the mixture back and forth in the middle and around the edges occasionally. (If the mixture begins to crystallize, add 2 tablespoons of the cream and continue to cook until it loosens up.)

Stir in the pecans, turn off the heat, and give the mixture a final gentle stir, making sure to get into the bottom and corners of the pan. Using a wooden spoon, portion about 2 tablespoons of the praline mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 1 inch between each praline. Usually by the time I portion out about half of the mixture, what’s left in the pan begins to crystallize and stiffen. When this happens, add the last 2 tablespoons of cream and place the saucepan back onto medium heat until the mixture looks creamy and saucy, and then continue portioning out the rest of the pralines. Cool for 30 minutes and then transfer to an airtight container. Pralines stored properly last for up to 3 days before they begin to crystallize.


Chocolate pralines:
Gently stir 1/2 cup of chopped bittersweet chocolate (preferably 66%–72% cacao) into the mixture when you add the pecans.

Coffee and chicory pralines: Bring 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of ground coffee and chicory (preferably Community Coffee, French Market® coffee, or Café du Monde® brands) to a boil. Turn off the heat and steep for 5 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside. Proceed with the praline recipe above, using the coffee-infused cream in place of plain heavy cream.


Make ahead: Store the cooled pralines in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days before they begin to crystallize.

Caramel peanut popcorn

From: Chef David Guas

Makes: 10 cups


• 1 (3.5-ounce) package plain (unbuttered natural flavor) microwave popcorn
• 1 cup packed light brown sugar
• .25 cup light corn syrup
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• .25 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• .5 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup lightly salted peanuts (extra large, if available), roughly chopped


Heat the oven to 250°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Pop the popcorn according to the package instructions. Coat a large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray and transfer the popcorn from the bag to the bowl, then set the bowl aside.

Whisk the sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt, and 2 tablespoons of water in a pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer, stirring often, until the mixture reads 250°F on a digital thermometer, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and whisk in the vanilla and the baking soda. Immediately pour the hot mixture over the popcorn. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the caramel into the popcorn until all of the popcorn is coated. Gently stir in the peanuts and transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 20 minutes. Gently break up the popcorn and serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days (less if it’s hot and humid).

Brandy milk punch

From: Chef David Guas

Serves: one


• 2 ounces E&J Brandy
• 3 ounces half & half
• 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
• 1 teaspoon egg white
• .5 teaspoon vanilla extract
• .5 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Build drink in a highball glass. Add ice (filled to the top), and combine E&J Brandy, half and half, powdered sugar, egg white, vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Shake all ingredients and pour into a highball glass, top off with a dust of nutmeg.

New Orleans Hurricane

From: Chef David Guas/Made famous at Pat O’Briens in the French Quarter

Serves: one


• 1 ounce white rum
• 1 ounce Jamaican dark rum
• 1 ounce Bacardi® 151 rum
• 3 ounce orange juice
• 3 ounce unsweetened pineapple juice
• 1/2 ounce grenadine syrup
• Crushed ice


Combine all ingredients, mix well (shake or stir). Pour over crushed ice in hurricane glass or tall 8 ozunce glass. Garnish with an orange fruit wedge if desired.

*** To purchase, go here

Chef David Guas is the author of "Dam Good Sweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth New Orleans Style."

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe!

20 February 2010

42 Funny Cartoons: Olympics, Obama, Obstructionists, Obesity and You - 20 Feb 2010

From Denny: Lots of funny cartoons this week by cartoonists using the Olympic theme as a metaphor for politics and more. Plenty of grins!

Unfortunately, on this blog's template these very wide cartoons don't display well, cutting off about 20% on the right - often where the joke line is depicted. Since you don't want to miss out on all the fun from the best of this week's political humor from some of the best cartoonists in the world, I'm providing a link to those blogs with wider templates to view these cartoons properly.

Yeah, I know, why don't I just shrink them? Can't. You aren't allowed to change the original embed code. One of these days these guys will realize they need to offer two sizes for bloggers. Until then you can enjoy them over at The Social Poets every Saturday! :) (I do keep a regular link on this blog over to The Social Poets in case you forget.)

The Social Poets - 42 Funny Cartoons: Olympics, Obama, Obstructionists, Obesity and You - 20 Feb 2010

Additional blogs where the cartoons are featured for this week:

Dennys Funny Quotes

Visual Insights photo blog

Unusual 2 Tasty food blog

Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd

Take a look at two of this week's offerings:

Obama meeting with the Dalai Lama enraged the control freak Chinese:


42 Funny Cartoons: Olympics, Obama, Obstructionists, Obesity and You - 20 Feb 2010

Additional blogs where the cartoons are featured for this week:

Dennys Funny Quotes

Visual Insights photo blog

Unusual 2 Tasty food blog

Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, a huge shout out to awesome current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe!

19 February 2010

10 Perfect Hot Drinks to Warm Us in Cold Weather

From Denny: It's cold outside and you still feel cold inside. What to do? Make a hot drink to warm you from the inside out. Make sure it is a drink you can linger over and savor the moment, enjoying the goodness. After all, a hot drink to warm you is more than raising your body temperature. It's about ambiance and style! :) OK, did I mention it has to taste really good? Anyway you look at it, a warming drink will keep your spirits up throughout the day or at the end of a long day. Make the drink spicy and it will warm your soul too.

Gary Regan, of The Bartender's Bible, says "the secret to making good hot drinks is a simple one: Don’t skimp. Don’t use canned whipped cream and when the drink is made, spend some time enjoying the aroma; savor the whole experience of the drink. It will warm the cockles of your heart.”

Sounds like a good idea to me!

Let's take a look at your choices:

Hot Coffee Drinks:

Café au Lait
Irish Coffee

Hot Milk Drinks:

Williamsburg Hot Chocolate
Hot Taffy Milk

Hot Rum Drinks:

Hot Buttered Rum
Orange Toddy

Hot Cider Drinks:

Warm Fruit Cider
Honey Spiced Cider
Spiced Mulled Cider
Maple Mulled Cider

Hot Coffee Drinks

Photo by David Humphreys @ Junior League of Baton Rouge

Want a rich and creamy hot beverage? Café au Lait is the answer. It has a smooth velvety taste and is a Louisiana favorite every morning at our house! We make it with Community Coffee brand's New Orleans Blend (with chicory). Chicory is great for reducing the acidity in coffee that can bother your stomach. It's also a wonderful herb to aid liver function. Drinking hot milk in your coffee is a great way to replace the calcium that coffee can leach from your body so it all balances out.

Café au Lait

“River Road Recipes IV: Warm Welcomes” cookbook published by the Junior League of Baton Rouge

Serves: 6


4-1/2 cups milk
4-1/2 cups freshly brewed coffee or espresso


1. Heat milk in a saucepan over low heat just until barely boiling and whisk until foamy.

2. Pour the warm foamed milk and hot freshly brewed coffee into a heated carafe. If possible, warm each person’s coffee cup before serving.

Photo by Richard Alan Hannon @ 2TheAdvocate.com

Houmas House Plantation executive chef Jeremy Langlois often prepares Irish Coffee to conclude dinners in the plantation’s Latil’s Landing Restaurant. Part of the presentation of the classic beverage is carefully pouring the cream over the back of a teaspoon into the hot coffee so that the cream floats on top of the coffee.

Irish Coffee

From: Jeremy Langlois, executive chef at Houmas House Plantation and Latil’s Landing Restaurant

Makes: 1 cup


1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
1 tbl. brown sugar
1 jigger Irish whiskey (1-1/2 ozs. or 3 tbls.)
Heavy cream, slightly whipped
Pinch of nutmeg for finish


1. Pour hot coffee into warmed cup until it is about 3/4 full.

2. Add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Blend in Irish whiskey.

3. Top with whipped heavy cream and sprinkle nutmeg on the cream for garnish. Serve hot.

Editor’s note: According to “Food Lover’s Companion” by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst, “Irish whiskey is a distilled liquor made primarily from barley (malted or unmalted) as well as corn, rye, wheat and oats. Irish whiskeys are triple-distilled for extra smoothness and are aged in casks for a minimum of 4 (usually 7 to 8) years. The aging casks have typically been used previously for aging bourbon, sherry or rum, the flavors of which contribute unique nuances to the whiskey.”

Hot Milk Drinks

Williamsburg Hot Chocolate

From: Grand Marnier

Serves: 1


1 cup milk
Grated zest from 1/2 orange
1 stick cinnamon
1 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted
2 tsps. Grand Marnier
Whipped cream for garnish, if desired


1. In a small saucepan, over low heat, slowly scald the milk with the orange zest and cinnamon stick.

2. In a blender, combine the hot milk with the chocolate and Grand Marnier. Blend on slow speed until very smooth.

3. Pour immediately and top with whipped cream, if desired.

Hot Taffy Milk

From: Tommy Simmons, Food Editor @ 2theadvocate.com

Serves: 2


1 cup low-fat milk
3 tbls. cane syrup (if not available use a favorite thinned molasses)
Dash of cinnamon


1. Pour milk and cane syrup into glass measuring cup. Mix to dissolve cane syrup.

2. Microwave on High in 1-minute intervals until desired temperature is reached. (Takes about 2-1/2 minutes.)

3. Pour into mug. Dust top with cinnamon, if desired.

Hot Rum Drinks

Hot Buttered Rum

From: “The Bartender’s Bible” by Gary Regan

Serves: 1


1 tsp. brown sugar
4 ozs. boiling water
1 whole clove
2 ozs. dark rum
1 tsp. unsalted butter
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg


1. In an Irish coffee glass, combine the brown sugar with the boiling water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

2. Add the clove and the rum. Float the butter on the top and dust with the nutmeg.

Orange Toddy

From: David Simmons

Serves: 2

1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
2 tbls. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. butter (a tiny pat)
1 to 2 tbls. rum


1. Mix orange juice, water, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and butter in a large glass measuring cup. Microwave on High for 2 minutes or until just beginning to boil.

2. Remove from microwave, stir in rum and serve in mugs.

Hot Cider Drinks

Warm Fruit Cider

From: “Slow Cookin’ in the Fast Lane” by Julie Kay

Serves: 10 to 12


1 (64-oz.) bottle apple cider
2 oranges, cut into quarters, peeled
2 lemons, cut into slices, with peel
6 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks


1. Pour apple cider in slow cooker and add all remaining ingredients.

2. Cook on Low for 3 to 4 hours. When ready to serve, remove orange quarters, lemons, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks.

3. Pour into individual mugs or punch cups and serve.

Honey Spiced Cider

From: National Honey Board

Makes: 8 (6-ounce) servings


5 cups apple cider
3/4 cup honey
24 whole cloves
2 small navel oranges, quartered
7 (4-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 (4-inch) strip lemon zest
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg


1. Combine cider and honey in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the honey dissolves.

2. Push 3 cloves into the rind of each orange quarter. Add to the cider along with the cinnamon sticks, lemon zest and nutmeg.

3. Bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer at the merest bubble for 20 minutes. Remove the fruit and spices with a slotted spoon and discard. Serve hot.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 178 calories, 0 grams fat, 0 grams protein, 46 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 0 milligrams cholesterol and 7 milligrams sodium.

Spiced Mulled Cider

From: Tabasco

Serves: 2


2 cups apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tbls. honey
1 tbl. Tabasco brand green pepper sauce
1/4 cup rum
Apple slices for garnish


1. In 1-quart saucepan over high heat, heat apple cider, cinnamon stick, honey and Tabasco green sauce to boiling. Reduce heat to low, remove cinnamon sticks and set aside, and continue simmering cider for 5 minutes.

2. Remove from heat; add rum. Pour into glasses or mugs; garnish with apple slices. If desired, use the reserved cinnamon sticks as stirrers.

Maple Mulled Cider

From: “Fix-it and Forget-it Diabetic Cookbook”

Serves: 10


1/2 gallon cider
3 to 4 cinnamon sticks
2 tsps. whole cloves
2 tsps. whole allspice
1 to 2 tbls. orange juice concentrate
1 tbl. maple syrup

1. Combine ingredients in slow cooker.

2. Cover. Heat on Low 2 hours. Serve warm.

Testing note: The original recipe listed the orange juice concentrate and maple syrup as optional ingredients. However, both used together make for an enjoyable boost of flavor.

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe!

18 February 2010

Check Out Funny Fat Tuesday Afterglow Photos and Quotes

*** Mardi Gras and New Orleans is a quick tutorial in the Four D's: Debauchery, Decadence, Denial and Diets!

*** This is an excerpt from the full post over at my blog called The Social Poets. Be sure to check out the many great videos of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and more hilarious photos and great quotes: Funny Fat Tuesday Afterglow - Cheeky Quote Day 17 Feb 2010

From Denny: New Orleans has a particular fondness for lampooning the politically incorrect taboo subjects of sexuality, religion and death. This year they went at it full tilt and certainly did not disappoint.

These tacky photos will definitely make you laugh out loud. If you suffer from sexual prudishness you probably don't read my blogs but just in case, look away. Actually, it's pretty tame - but tacky stuff, not good taste - which is what New Orleans Mardi Gras is all about.

Anyway, I was doing that "wondering thing" about how to follow up the big party blowout of Fat Tuesday the day after when the thrill is gone. Of course, the Christian Lenten season has officially begun, a time to think of dialing it back on the excess meter and tuning ourselves to more inner reflection.

What better bridge than to laugh at the Four D's to get folks over their embarrassments from Mardi Gras that even their grandchildren will never hear the tales? The Four D's are Debauchery, Decadence, Denial and Diets. Enjoy the funny quotes, laugh 'til you fall off your chair Mardi Gras photos and news videos about the festival!

To keep your game face on, remember there is hope for the perpetual party person because this is the progression:

Debauchery is what you climb out of to get up to the next level of Decadence. You know, it's called graduating college and leaving behind your partying ways. So, you enter the oh, so adult life of Decadence known as credit cards, mortgages, shiny new cars, deep in debt and a few children dotting the backyard suburban landscape.

Before you know it you are done with Decadence after a decade or so and step up into the new house of Denial. Denial is when you experience Empty Nest Syndrome, hoping those screaming kids you so wanted to leave a few years earlier decide to come home to roost and make the house interesting again. Denial is also about figuring you might one day actually get to afford to retire. In those hopes you begin the process of trimming down your debt as your employer trims down your salary.

Eventually, you wake up and figure out you have to leave it all behind and go on a Diet to purge yourself of so much happy excess in order to function in life. What do you do? You retire, picking out your favorite destination and then go on perpetual holiday in New Orleans to begin the partying life all over again. And that, my friends, is why they call it the fast track Life Cycle... Oh, where did all the time go? :)

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Debauchery Quotes

* May you - Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, dance like no-one is watching, screw like its being filmed, and drink like a true Irishman. - Anonymous

* To call war the soil of courage and virtue is like calling debauchery the soil of love. - George Santayana

Green makeup almost nude by Infrogmation @ flickr

* My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income. - Errol Flynn

Decadence Quotes

* Decadence Definition: America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between. - Oscar Wilde

* Decadence is wonderful. - Jack L. Chalker

Mardi Gras feathers by Infrogmation @ flickr

* A decadent civilization compromises with its disease, cherishes the virus infecting it, loses its self-respect. - E. M. Cioran

Decadence Quotes

Unique grocery - I'll say! - photo by sfmission.com @ flickr

* I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it. - Garrison Keillor

Denial Quotes

Mardi Gras alien by Infrogmation @ flickr

* Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. - Mark Twain

Funny Diet Quotes

Gorilla and woman photo by sfmission.com @ flickr - Well, I'm on the gorilla diet of "eat all the bananas you want and it seems to be working for me... don't you think?"

* I've been on a constant diet for the last two decades. I've lost a total of 789 pounds. By all accounts, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet. – Erma Bombeck

Some Serious Quotes about Denial to help us happily slide into the reflective mood of the new Lenten season:

* Evil, what is evil? There is only one evil, to deny life. – D. H. Lawrence

*** This is an excerpt from the full post over at my blog called The Social Poets. Be sure to check out the many great videos of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and more hilarious photos and great quotes: Funny Fat Tuesday Afterglow - Cheeky Quote Day 17 Feb 2010

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe!

17 February 2010

23 Funny Total Debauchery Mardi Gras Photos

From Denny: Fun, frolic and general silly debauchery is what it's all about at the New Orleans Mardi Gras. Take a look at this year's craziness.

Green makeup almost nude by Infrogmation @ flickr

Mardi Gras alien by Infrogmation @ flickr

How 'Bout 'Dem Beads, woman? photo by Infrogmation @ flickr

Coffinmobile three wheeler by Infrogmation @ flickr

Mardi Gras feathers by Infrogmation @ flickr

Jackson Square New Orleans Mardi Gras by Infrogmation @ flickr - someone is in need of a push-up bra or corset...

Photo by Infrogmation @ flickr - Only in New Orleans at Mardi Gras can you walk into a coffee shop without your shirt on if you are female.

Big Chicken parade by Infrogmation @ flickr

Leopard drummers by Infrogmation @ flickr

Blonde Beth photo by Infrogmation @ flickr

Pink bunny and friend photo by sfmission.com @ flickr

Unique grocery - I'll say! - photo by sfmission.com @ flickr

Santas in the house photo by sfmission.com @ flickr - Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. - VICTOR BORGE

Bike riding lion photo by sfmission.com @ flickr

Stimulus check costume photo by sfmission.com @ flickr - The Human Race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. - MARK TWAIN

Welcome to Viagra Falls photo by sfmission.com @ flickr

I have no idea photo by sfmission.com @ flickr

Men wearing fake female photo by sfmission.com @ flickr - I wonder what PETA would have to say about this? :)

The whole costumed cast photo by sfmission.com @ flickr

Gorilla and woman photo by sfmission.com @ flickr

Funny white hairs photo by sfmission.com @ flickr

Funny Mardi Gras stripes photo by sfmission.com @ flickr

Big Melon Babe Watermelon costume photo by sfmission.com @ flickr

*** Be sure to check out Comfort Food From Louisiana for great Mardi Gras recipes and Mardi Gras funny quotes!

*** THANKS for visiting, come back often, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email!

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