Friday, September 23, 2016

Horror Night #4

I'm supposed to be fasting tonight because I have some blood work being done in the morning.  I want you all to know that my nephew and I are going to be making some Halloween pasta very soon - so stay tuned for that.

I am planning on making pumpkin curry tomorrow.  Here is the recipe I plan on using.  I got it from Table For Two.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Coconut Curry

  • 1 15-ounce can of unsweetened coconut milk (full fat, not light)
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon tumeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cups 1-inch cubed sweet potatoes or pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Juice of 1 lime
  1. In the insert of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker , add the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, chicken stock, curry powder, tumeric powder, garam masala, salt, and pepper. Whisk together to make sure it is all combined and spices are evenly distributed.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, sweet potatoes, chicken breasts, and lime juice to the mixture. Stir to coat and incorporate.
  3. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  4. Serve over rice!   or cauliflower rice
  5. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to seven days.

Tonight's theme, since my nephew is coming over, is "Spooky Films For Kids".  My nephew is a big chicken and he is 8 years old.  These are all approved by him.

1. Witches (1990)
I loved the book and I loved the film.  The book was written by Roald Dahl, so it has some weird stuff in it.  Angelica Houston is fabulous in this film.  It's sure to give you a little bit of the creeps, but all in all, it has a happy ending.

2. Ernest Scared Stupid (1991)
If you grew up in the late-80s/early-90s, then you probably remember all of the Ernest films.  This is the Halloween one.  My nephew thinks that this is funny as hell!  I'd go as far to say that if you have a young boy or two around, put this on and let them laugh.

3. Hocus Pocus (1993)
This is one of Thora Birch's first movies, it's Disney, and it has an all-star cast.  Witches of old come back in modern times.  Three things I learned from this movie: 1. Don't let a virgin light a black flame candle, 2. Don't give anyone a reason to say your "costume" is a little leaguer, and 3. Witches can totally sing.

4. Casper (1995)
After 'Addams Family' Christina Ricci went to do this film.  Pre-teens all across the country were head-over-heels for her co-star, Devon Sawa.  This is actually a pretty cute film.

5. Monster Squad (1987)
Tonight's film.  This is a great film for those kids who don't want "little kid movies".  It has kid humor, but it's more of a pre-teen film.  This is a film about a group of kids who team up with Van Helsing to fight the classic horror creatures like Dracula and Wolfman.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Horror Night #3

It's been a busy Saturday.  I spent a whole hour processing a medium sugar pie pumpkin.

How to Process a Pumpkin
This involves chopping the pumpkin into pieces that could fit into a heavy duty plastic container.  After  cutting the pumpkin into these pieces (roughly hand-size), I put all of the seeds into a bowl.  The key to this is to NOT include the stringy stuff.  Once the seeds are separated, I scraped the stringy parts from the pumpkin flesh - tossed it away.  The flesh needs to be steamed, so I placed a chunk or two at a time into the heavy duty plastic container with an inch or so of water.  Microwaved it for 5 minutes.  Do this until all the pumpkin pieces are steamed.  Carefully remove the outer skin from the steamed pieces.  Careful, it's all steamy hot.  You can chop up the pumpkin, puree it in a blender, and save the puree for later.  I use it in pies, soups, chili, smoothies, etc.  It's WAY better than canned pumpkin. 

I wanted sweetened pumpkin spice pumpkin seeds.

The seeds, I put into a bag with cinnamon, ginger, ground clove, some sea salt, and 1/4 cup coconut sugar; shake it to mix everything up.  I baked at 400F for 15 minutes - the seeds spread out on a piece of aluminum foil.  Once it's done, turn the oven down to 250F and remove the seeds from the foil.  You might want to wait for it to cool a little bit.  After the seeds are off the foil, put them into a bag with 2 TBSP almond flour and 1 TBSP coconut flour, then shake it.  Spread this out on a piece of waxed paper and get it in the oven for 15 minutes.  A healthy snack for watching horror films.


5 Horror Movies
Movies to creep you out.

1. Babadook
This is a creepy film about a folkloric ghost called the Babadook.

2. Insidious
This comes off as a film involving a demon, but it also comes off as film about the experience of sleep paralysis.  It was good for a fright.   Tip-toe through the tulips with me....

3. The Amityville Horror
It's based on actual events.  It doesn't matter if you watch the new version or the old version.  Both are excellent.  Both are spooky.

4. The Possession
This film is about the Jewish legend of the dybbuk box.  A lot of the things that go on in the film are based on things that happen to people who have incidents with dybbuk boxes.

5. The Exorcist
Yet another "based on true events" film.  This is a classic and is known to have some psychological effects for those who are watching it for the first time.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Horror Night #2

Today one of the dogs was put down and I feel terrible.  It's also the 13th of the month which means that it's Labyrinth Watching Day for all of us Labyrinth-dorks.  Despite this, I'm posting another horror night post.

RIP Neit.  You were a good dog.  He passed at 13 years old.

Since I can't have pie crust...#paleo

Makes 1 10oz ramekin serving

3 Egg Yolks
1 Egg White
1/4 cup Coconut Milk, canned
1 TBSP Honey or Agave
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1.33 oz box Raisins
1-2 TBSP Walnuts, chopped
Spices: Ginger, Cinnamon, Clove, Allspice

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, egg white, coconut milk, honey, and vanilla.  Add in your Raisins, Walnuts, and spices.  Your spices should equal approximately 1/2 to 1 tsp of total spice.
3. Pour your mixture into a 10oz ramekin.
4. Bake for 30 minutes.

This isn't a very sweet custard because the raisins give you a burst of sweetness.  Eat it hot.  Goes well with strong tea or coffee.

5 Horror Movies

1. Bram Stoker's Dracula
When I wrote my history thesis (on Vlad Dracula) I watched this film SOOOOO many times.  I love it.  If you want a sexy Dracula film with a killer score, awesome actors (with a "good try" for Keanu), and incredible costumes, this is it.  Hands down.  Romantic horror.

2. The Fog
This is a great film about a haunted fog.  I recommend the original version, but the newer version is just as good.  I guess it just depends on which actors you prefer.  A little coastal town with a black spot in the town history gets a little payback from some spooky fog.

3. The Wolfman (2010)
I love it when the classics are remade well.  This film got lost in the theaters when it was released, but it is a gem! Benicio del Toro as Lawrence Talbot and Anthony Hopkins as his father.  If you have passed this film over, give it a watch.

4. The Last Man on Earth (1964)
The handsome Vincent Price stars in this film.  A virus infects humanity, changing people into...something else.  Not a zombie film.  This has been remade a bunch of times with titles like 'Omega Man' and 'I Am Legend' (which is the title of the novel by Richard Matheson).

5. Crimson Peak
Okay Hiddle-boners, this one is for you.  Crimson Peak is a delightful horror film set in the Victorian era.  It involves a psychic girl, some ghosts, and even some cold blooded murder.  The design work for this film is excellent!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Horror Night #1

It's the season for freaky films and pumpkin spice!  I'm going to share some of my favorite horror films and the food I'm eating.  Why not, right?  Get yourself into the season.

Bison-Pumpkin Chili

1 can Pumpkin
1 can Tomatoes, diced
1 tsp Cumin
2-3 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Garlic
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (more or less for spiciness)
1lb Ground Bison
1/2 Yellow Onion, small

1. Turn your crockpot onto high and add in the pumpkin, tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.  Let this warm up as you get your meat ready.
2. In a frying pan, break up your ground bison into small pieces and begin to brown the meat.
3. Dice up the onion and add this to your meat.  Also, add in the garlic.  Occasionally stir until the meat is browned.
4. When the meat is fully cooked, add it to the crockpot.  Let this cook for 2-4 hours.

Note: Want to add something else to it?  Try adding beans, leeks, turnip cubes, carrot rounds, diced bell pepper, or diced chilis.  I make this chili all the time, but I can't have sweet potato or beans.

5 Movies

1. In The Mouth of Madness
This is a Lovecraft-inspired movie starring Sam Neill.  Need I say more?  Sure.  Remember "Ghostbusters 2" and the bad guy Viggo?  He makes an appearance in the film too.  This is a twisted story about an insurance fraud agent looking for a missing author.  I love this film and I just can't bring myself to really spoil it for anyone.

2. 28 Days Later
A zombie movie that doesn't use the term zombie.  I remember that being a big deal when the film came out.  It's a virus called "rage".  I like the tension in the film and the cast.

3. Mary Reilly
If you like horror-dramas and Victorian settings, then this is a film for you.  It's a Jekyll and Hyde story, but from the housemaid's perspective.  Stars Julia Roberts and John Malkovich.  It's based on the novel of the same title.

4. Invasion of The Body Snatchers (1978)
 Space seeds come to Earth and end up taking over the planet - in a nutshell.  This version of this film stars Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, Brooke Adams, Veronica Cartwright, and Leonard Nimoy.  It's way better than the cheesier 1950s version.

5.  A Stir of Echoes
Did you know that this is based on a novel written by Richard Matheson from 1958?  Yeah.  I haven't read the novel yet, but I have it in my library.  I'm finishing some books right now, then I'll get to it.  This film stars Kevin Bacon.  Basically, an average guy is hypnotized by his sister-in-law at a party and is told to "have an open mind".  He starts seeing this ghost in his house.  What does he do?  Ends up trying to figure out what the heck this ghost is doing there.  It's really good and the film was absolutely made in the 90s.  LOL  Seriously, some of the clothes *face palm*

Monday, September 5, 2016

Projects & The Supernatural

My logo design, but not official yet
My new business that I started with my friend Krista is the Alaska Supernatural Institute.  We're dedicated paranormal investigators and researchers.  We are beyond the "hobbyist level"; we are professionals.  I've been doing this since 1999.    I'm sure there's someone out there who has a dumb question for me so let me give you the top three answers. Yes, I've see ghosts.  No, I don't just do "ghost stuff", I do a bit of everything.  Yes, I have seen UFOs.

We're not officially open yet.  Our open date is at the beginning of October.  If you live in Fairbanks, you can stop by the Co-Op Plaze, suite 211 to visit.  We are generally there in the afternoon/evening.

As a way to bring in money, I'm nearly done with a manual that will be published for the ASI.  If you are into paranormal investigation and/or research, you will want to check it out.

We have so much going on.....right now it's intensely stressful.

On top of this, I've been doing a lot of journaling - usually while I'm in bed.  I should turn something into a short story and submit to a few writing competitions.  It would be nice to have some recognition for my writing.

I know I'm always mentioning losing weight on here.  I'm still working on it.  It seems like I drop almost a pant size and then I get off track, put the weight back on. I feel like I need a support group to help stay on track.  It's those times like weekend mornings where my neighbors, my parents, make pancakes and waffles and French toast...I'm not supposed to eat that stuff.  My mom will make banana bread.  It's hard to resist fresh baked banana bread!

Last night I tried out a new recipe.  It's a paleo chocolate cake.  I didn't even try it, just put it in the fridge.  My sister and her boyfriend were over and brought a chocolate pudding cake.

What's wrong with me?

I have been doing so-so with running in the morning.  I run for 30 minutes.  Wednesday, after my run, I use the hydromassage table for 10 minutes (thank you Planet Fitness).  I stopped boxing.  It was just conflicting with my new office time.  When I get home from running, I do a quick 10 minute yoga routine.  I like to have a protein smoothie in the morning.  I use frozen fruit, a banana, almond-coconut milk, whey protein, and sometimes applesauce (no sugar added) or berries or broccoli.  I also like to have my apple cider vinegar in the morning, but AFTER my smoothie so I don't puke.  I mix 2 TBSP of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar with a 6oz can of pineapple juice.  Pineapple juice, btw, is supposed to help burn fat.  On top of all this, I take a fistful of vitamins.  Once I have my vitamins, I try to drink a half gallon of water before 1pm.

I pencil myself in for a mid-morning snack.  Lately it's been a small box of raisins because I was given a ton of raisins.  I should divide up a bag of turkey jerky and get some of those mustard packets.  That can be my mid-morning snack.

For lunch and dinner, I tend to have homemade stuff or salad.  We're going into fall, so I've been doing crockpot meals.  If you have never made a crockpot meal, let me tell you - you're missing out on simple meal making.  I use a small crockpot.  You just plug it in and add stuff.  One super easy thing to do (in the morning) is to toss in some meat (frozen or fresh, doesn't matter), add in a sauce or water/bouillon/herbs, and veggies.  Turn on the crockpot to high for lunchtime meal or low for dinner meal.  A good combination is frozen chicken, teriyaki sauce, and sesame seeds.  I tend to put this over broccoli.   Crockpots are great for making stew and chili and soup.

Seriously, if you are new to cooking or if you have never used a crockpot, definitely try it out with a small crockpot - like a 3 quart crockpot (the size I have).  This is the exact model I have and use.

When it comes to after dinner, I tend to allow myself to have dessert of some kind.  It can be a paleo dessert, coconut milk ice cream like Coconut Bliss, jello, or fruit.  I also need to start having a lemon-cayenne hot drink every night, not just every once in a while.  This is supposed to help burn fat.  To make it, you mix lemon juice (for a strong lemon flavor), cayenne pepper, and a little honey together.  Add in hot water.  Stir until smooth.  It doesn't have the best flavor.

The bad thing about eating this way is that nearly all of my food items have to be cooked before they can be consumed.  With two jobs now and a typical work day of 14-15 hours, that can be grating.

On top of this, I am still working on writing projects that I am hoping to have published sooner than later!  I had a little writers block going on with my children's novel, but once I get things settled with the new office I plan on finishing it up.  Looking for an artist who would be interested in doing a few drawings for the story.  It's middle grade fantasy with kids and knights and fae folk, etc.  I'm willing to pay for art.  Send me a message if you're interested.  I'm thinking a few small drawings scattered throughout the book, but I'm down for a full page illustration or two.  When this gets published, it will be my first fiction book, my first novel.