Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Lace Up for RAINN 5k - May 21, 2016

On Saturday, May 21st, RAINN invites you to join hundreds of supporters for the 3rd annual Lace Up for RAINN Virtual 5K. Grab your friends and run, walk, or bike your 3.1 miles from wherever you are in the country, and be part of a national show of support for survivors of sexual assault.
  1. Visit the Lace Up for RAINN registration page
  2. Select whether you'd like to participate as an individual or a team
  3. Select the "Virtual 5K" ticket option ($30)
Thank you for your incredible support for survivors. We look forward to joining you for #LaceUp4 RAINN on Saturday, May 21st!
Kay Ericson
Race Director
P.S. Check out RAINN's "Why I Run" series throughout April and May, a three-part series featuring survivors who have found hope, healing, and support through the act of running. Join the conversation online using #LaceUp4, tweet your support, and let us know why you Lace Up. 
I would like to try to participate in this, or at least to try to see if we can get something going for Youth Voice Initiative to start being able to do things. But, I cannot do this by myself, and always need people to attend regularly and often. So, if we participate for another organization or for our own on a separate day, Sheri, do you think you would be able to take your group to help pass out the flyers? That would be great. Tricia, Heidi, Courtney, David, Rayshugga Kimato, Shawn, Mike, and David, do you think you could get people to donate, whether it’s $1.00 for the whole thing, or say, $0.50/K? Then post it around social media so we can get as many people to come into this as possible? Hoping to see you all at the next meeting, just to plan something. It’s not easy to get anything done, granted, and I also know people are busy. But, the bigger group we can get to meet 1x/mo, the more we can get done in a shorter amount of time. These efforts for protecting children is a group effort. If there is a different day/time that is better than the 3rd Saturday @ 3pm, maybe we can do that? Also, we could plan to do some sort of potluck so we can eat a meal while discussing things? Just suggestions on what could help us come together as a group better. What can I do to make that possible? I am open to suggestions, to get us launched for tomorrow’s generation and beyond.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Homemade Semolina Pasta & Japanese Eggrolls

I am such a foodie whore.  Seriously.  My kitchen is not a kitchen.  It's a science lab.  No, not a test kitchen.  It's really a science lab.  My new creation, was to make semolina pasta, wrap the eggroll mixture, and deep fry them.  Here is how they came out.

The texture of the pasta dough was perfect, though once cooked, was a little thick for the eggrolls, but seriously?  It really wasn't bad.  My guinea pigs even ate it up, and liked it.  Isn't that great?  I just love the stuff I came up with, and my barbecue sauces even are awesome.  Maybe this ought to get served with Tonkatsu sauce to dip in, as opposed to using soy sauce.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Japanese Egg-Roll “Lasagna”

I am a mad scientist. It isn’t so much that I am good at usual types of science. I did not fare very well in high school biology. I couldn’t even dissect a fish properly to show the brain well. It could have been used as a commercial about a fish brain on drugs. Chemistry wasn’t much better, and after 2 lab station fires and a threat to be kicked out, I switched to my sister’s class. The crazy thing? She was a freshman. I was a senior. And I needed her as a lab partner to get my grade in chemistry. 
Sorry... I digress... But yes. My kitchen isn’t a kitchen. It isn’t even a test kitchen. No. My kitchen is a science lab, and I am the mad scientist. I am no doctor. I just love to cook, and come up with some crazy stuff.
A while back, I made Italian Egg-rolls. I made the usual meatball mixture, and wrapped it in egg-roll wraps, deep fried them, and put my awesome spaghetti sauce on it. Those were delicious. So, anyway, I went to make my egg-rolls. I didn’t have wraps, and the store was out. So, I decided to make lasagna noodles with some more of the semolina flour, and this time? Perfecto! So here is the deal....
Eggroll ingredients: 1# ground pork; 6 cups shredded cabbage (I like Napa, but it’s your choice); 1/4 cup shredded carrot; 3/4 cup minced dry shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted; 1/2 bag of fresh bean sprouts, minced; 3 tsp sesame oil; 2 tsp soy sauce; 1 tsp fresh squeezed ginger juice; 1/2 tsp salt; 1/2 tsp Accent; a drizzle of chili oil. Blend, let rest.
Roll out your fresh dough, after chilling for 30 minutes. Make them thin, and layer them in. between each layer of dough, place your egg-roll mixture. Make a sauce with soy sauce, the water from the mushrooms, shredded pickled ginger, some Dashi, and a splash of teriyaki sauce. Bring to a boil, simmer 10 minutes. Pour into baking pan with lasagna, bake 45 minutes. Serve with a side of soy sauce to dip each biteful in, and rice with pickles.
It wasn’t bad. It actually worked, in a weird sort of way, even though the egg-roll taste was spot on, the flavor is different from when we deep fry it. Next time, I will make the pasta to use as the wrap to fry. With what is left, I will use with other flour to bake a loaf of bread. I even used a little hemp seeds in with the flour. I come up with weird things, but, they are interesting. You can never be bored with the food here. It’s always a game, and a scientific experiment, and I have 3 willing guinea pigs willing to be my taste testers. Welcome aboard to the place where people are encouraged to play with their food.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Accepting the Call: Your Civic Duty

Here in the United States, we are lucky in many ways, even if we are not in other ways. How often were we told as children that we could grow up to be anything we wanted? And often, when we are young, we pick silly things. But, I remember as an 8 and 9 year old that I wanted to become the president of the United States. As a tween and young teen, I wanted to be a baseball player. As a high school student, I was thinking about being an attorney. 
Though, during college, I wanted to be able to work with various legislators in hopes that eventually, I would have a name enough for myself to become an ambassador after reaching retirement age, just because I inherently understand people of other cultures. Because of that, I chose to major in International Relations with a minor in Political Science. Throughout my college years, I had been active in many different organizations such as the International Student Organization, Adult Student Alliance, Women’s Center, Gay-Lesbian Organization, and more. But, when I was asked to sit in for the Multi Cultural Committee for the Student Government Association asked me to stand in for me during the summer, I discovered advocacy. 
Eventually, I ended up on the Women’s Issues Committee, I helped get Act 177 passed for equal pay; the “Mini-Skirt” Bill, a state bill that would render the attire of the rape victim could not be used as evidence against the victim (only for biological evidence against the perpetrator), and purposefully gender neutral; and the Violence Against Women Act, to make various situations safer and to combat domestic violence. So, that is when the bug hit me, that advocacy is what I wanted to do. My first official job after graduating was with the Women’s Resource Center as a crisis counselor, where I started off as a volunteer counselor. Currently, I serve as an advocate with the Sexual Abuse Services along with the fact that I am the founder of Youth Voice Initiative to combat child abuse by speaking to area legislators to stiffen up on those who abuse our children. Of course, I do not get paid for these activities, but, it is my calling, and I am quite good at it.
So, speaking of being called to step up into a civic position, I want to point out Mr. Terry Gerin, who is better known for being a professional wrestler named Rhyno - The Man Beast. He is quite an accomplished wrestler, being that he has wrestled under WCW, TNA, ECW, and WWE, and has had several championships won during his over 2 decade run as a wrestler. Terry is lucky to have been able to live his dream out so far, and is still in good health enough to keep wrestling, but, another calling has been whispering in his ear, and is running for State Representative in Dearborn, Michigan, which is in the greater Detroit area. He is centrist, with a good work ethic, and to support him on facebook, please come to this page to like his page, and encourage your friends who vote in the Dearborn area to also like the page, make posts, and pass around his page to get his name out into the votersphere.
Rhyno's full name: Terrance (Terry) Guido Gerin
For those of you who are not on facebook, please support Terry’s efforts to win the office on Twitter: https://twitter.com/vote_for_rhino
If you prefer Instagram, please go here: https://www.instagram.com/voteforrh...
Like with any campaign, a successful run for office depends on people like you and I to promote the candidate for the office they are running for. So, please, check him out, share his page, get more people to come in, like and share posts, give encouragement for his run, and most of all, please target people you know in the Detroit area to support Mr. Terrance Guido Gerin for 15th District State Representative. The more we share the posts, the better he will fare in the upcoming elections. The slogan is, “Vote for Rhino, he will fight for you”.
Of course, before we go endorsing and voting for someone, we want even MORE information, and here is an interview to listen to, so you can get a feel for who he is as a person and candidate, as opposed to a professional wrestler. I haven’t had time to listen, because it is 1+3/4 hours long. But, figured it is worth putting it out there for the fans to listen to. I am sure he will appreciate your support.
Interviewing Terrance Guido Gerin, for Michigan State Rep

To find out more information about Mr. Terry Gerin’s run for office, please visit his website, and please consider making a donation at - http://www.terranceguidogerin.com/
You can get more information on Terry Gerin and Rhyno’s run for office at these other links... He is running as a Republican, though his stances are very centrist and reasonable, like most of us in the regular population.
I personally think that for a professional athlete, he is a lot more knowledgeable, smart, and in tune with the political arena than the average guy. As a people pleaser, I also relate with him wanting the good people of his home town to be proud. So, we need YOU - to help by growing his likes, sharing his posts, and getting his name out there in the Detroit area.
Thank you in advance, your loyal advocate for the betterment for our children, the future leaders of our country.
Your Patron Saint of Miss Demeanor,

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Life, Love, and Eat - A Celebration and Mourning

Life can be strange.  But, as social beings, there is a certain level of need to love and be loved, to be accepted by someone, hopefully more than just one person, and how we seem to use food, you know, that glorious stuff that has our taste buds wanting to taste, that mouth watering, honest to goodness food, the way it was meant to be eaten...

Anyway, though.  I went and picked up my friend Nancy, who is right about my mom's age, and is a really neat woman.  She is legally blind, and has end stage renal failure (her kidneys are on the fritz).  She is always so appreciative of anything I do for or with her, that she considers herself blessed that we are friends.

Now, mind you.  Nancy is one of these people who has a sense of humor, and she is gritty, witty, and definitely can keep you on your toes.  I love the fact that she is a bit grainy, and has broken social rules of other women who are of her peers.  So, of course being me, I actually enjoy her company, and I really think that honestly, I am the one who is blessed to have her, as opposed to the other way around.  I know, I know...  It means a lot for those who otherwise can't get out.  But, of course, I am good at loving other people.  I'm not always good at accepting it from others.

Anyway, we went to this place called Honey Bees II for lunch, and she treated.  The food there is good.  Mostly it's American comfort food.  But it's GOOD comfort food.  It's one of the spots we like to go to, since it's affordable as well.  We went to Goodwill to shop afterwards, and we both found a few things, so that was good.  We had fun, and will be making plans again soon.  Life is precious, so it's important to spend it with the people who mean something to you.  I recently lost another friend, who was only 34, and has a young son who is fatherless.  Aaron was the type of guy who truly loved people.  I hurt for his little boy.  The fact that someone who is healthy can be taken away from you suddenly is reason to make sure you stay connected.

Ever wonder how it seems as if we celebrate life with food, and we mourn life with food, also?  Meal time is the time that we can get people sitting around the table together.  No matter who the other people are, when you're sitting around the table together with a meal or a snack or even just tea time, you are family during that time.  So, we should serve good food, right?  Absolutely.  And the fact that weight issues are affecting health conditions, we need to make it healthy, as well.

So, of course, I came home, to do my lasagna...  It came out good.  But, I definitely do not have the skills needed to do pasta dough correctly.  The flavor was good, the color was right, but the texture?  Oh, no.  but no worries.  I used it anyway, figuring that the semolina flour wasn't exactly cheap.  So it was more like pasta dumplings that got layered in between the layers of meat and cheese.  Good cheese.  The cheese filling consisted of fresh and made at the store, feta cheese (yes, I realize it's Greek, not Italian), and also provolone cheese, and a little each of Asiago and Romano cheeses, which were grated together, with an egg, garlic and parsley mixed in.  The 93% lean ground meat had Asiago and Romano cheeses as well as oregano, basil, parsley, pepper, and an egg to keep it together.

So, while the texture was all off, I used it anyway, and made kind of like a pasta dumpling crust along the sides, and the lasagna is perfect, don't you think?  It's delicious!  I think this is by far, the best lasagna that I have ever made, and this could be served, as is, as long as there is a statement saying that the pasta is a little doughy like dumplings.

Of course, because I had all of these different ingredients, I also made sarma, a Serbian style stuffed cabbage rolls.  Because the cabbage leaves have to be fermented, like sauerkraut, but not shredded, I make my own.  In the past, I was simmering a whole head of cabbage in the pickling kettle, then removing the leaves.  I found that the outer leaves, which are used to line the bottom of the pan for the rolls to go on were more like kraut, and the leaves near the center was still mostly like cabbage.  So, I removed the leaves first, and pickled in batches to get it all in.  It was a 2 day process, because you have to salt them, first.  

Sarma is ground pork, and the seasonings include mild paprika, garlic powder, salt, seasonings, and other spices such as tumeric if you wish, and I usually just use the seasoning packets, that I will keep a secret...  ;)  You also need to put rice in there, to help the mixture stick together and hold up.  I also put a little extra of the pickling juices at the bottom, so the steam can cook the rice.  Here they are, and serve with rice pilaf or corn, for a full meal.

Don't forget to put a layer of the leaves across the top, so it keeps the moisture in, and doesn't get the rolls dark or crispy.  This is something that is better the next day.  Feel free to use some sour cream to go with this.  We will be having this tomorrow for dinner, and probably Friday's lunch.  Of course, visitors will be offered food, because feeding people is the same as showing them the love.

Because not all leaves are meant for rolling, since I was on a roll (sorry, bad pun), I also pickled the rest as Korean kimchee, which uses the sriracha to spice up the fermented cabbage.  Just remember, fermented foods can help your digestive tract.  It's good for you.  So, here is my end result...  My very home made kimchee, where the cabbage heads were turned into sauerkraut leaves first, after sitting in salt overnight, and then cooked, and rolled around the sarma, and then the kimchee...

Isn't that beautiful?  Yes, I did all of this today.  Well, the suku (Italian for spaghetti sauce) was made yesterday, but the rest, including the pasta dumpling noodles, were done today.  Then the pickling of the cabbage, making the mix, and cooking the cabbage rolls, and the Korean pickled cabbage...  

I know, I am strange, because my cooking is from 3 different parts of the world, sort of, with Western Europe being represented with Italian, Eastern Europe with Serbian, and the Far East with Korea...  but, it's all good.  I was having an okay back day, though I hope I didn't over do it, in which case, I may be paying dearly for this the next day or three...  I hope not, but, glad I got this done.

So, if you are at my house, or I invite you, this means I want to love you by feeding you...  No need for anything back, just let me love you by cooking for you, and you can love me back by eating what I made for you.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Kitchen Lab Experiment 20162703.14 - Healthy Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole:

2# bag of frozen cut green beans
1 - 8oz package white button mushrooms, chopped
1 - 12oz can of fat free evaporated milk
12 oz water, divided
3 TBS powdered tapioca
3 TBS Maggi Super Veg soup/seasoning mix (or to taste)
French's Fried Onion

Preheat oven to 350F

In a large baking pan, place the green beans, mushrooms and evaporated milk.

Using the milk can, put about 6oz water, and the tapioca and blend well with a fork.  Pour into the pan.

Place another 6 oz water into the can, and blend the seasoning mix, and pour with the rest of the ingredients.

Bake for 90 minutes (longer for a softer bite), stirring every 20-30 minutes.  Leave uncovered the last 10-20 minutes.  Add onions on top, place back in oven, close door, shut the heat, let the latent heat brown the onions into a golden color.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Lika's Kitchen Lab: Italian Egg Rolls

For anyone new to my blog, yes, I do blog about various things, but there are two categories you'll see most, maybe three.  My passions in life to blog about:

1) Child Advocacy - There is  HUGE difference between disciplining your children and abusing them.  A swat on the hand or back side to get their attention or to let them know the seriousness of the action is one thing.  But to lock them into closets for literally hours, just to beat them for messing themselves; or to repeatedly hit, kick, punch, throw, etc. for basic offenses is overkill.  Sex abuse as well as psychological/emotional abuse are two of the most hurtful types of abuse, because you're violating their inner most person to the core.  Gross neglect can lead to nutrition and other physical problems due to lack of hygiene and skin conditions.

2) Food,  Glorious Food - Different things call for the gathering of our friends and family, and we all celebrate (or mourn) with food, to make any situation a festivity.  I love to cook.  People love to eat.  I love to feed people.  It's a perfect situation.  Which leads me to say unto you, I play with my food.  No, it's not one of those gross things.  My kitchen is a lab, to see what new things can be invented to make traditional favorites into something new and different, or, maybe it's an ethnic thing that gets made healthier (or sometimes worse but tastier) eats, while still preserving the flavors of what is considered comfort foods, which we all have those unique flavors that we are used to eating.

3) I am politically activated.  I know, duh, right?  Most people who know me know that already.  And while yes, many of my views and stances are liberal, but, I do break form and take a more conservative stance on some issues, while not taking one due to the fact that I do not have the knowledge necessary to say something about it.  The crazy thing about how I got started...  I came to the fine city of Racine, WI as an 8 year old in 1977.  The next year, I started helping with the political campaigns with my aunt, who is also my God-Mother.  I didn't learn much about the whole entire political system and how government worked, yet, but, thought it was pretty neat, that, as a citizen, even if not of voting age, could be as involved as much as I was...

Then, there was my American Government class...  Mr. Doug Lockrem taught that in high school...  Learning and reciting the Preamble of the Constitution was what got me hooked...  Here it is:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Signed in convention September 17, 1787. Ratified June 21, 1788

The first three words is what says it all.  "We the People..."  So, from the murky waters of the swamps, through the upper crust of the perfect apple Americana, we are all able to take part in this process.  Maybe I'm just weird...  But, I use this as my inspiration to advocate for abused children, and to feed those who are hungry.

Yes, I know, I know....  I am being a tease.  You're here about the Italian egg rolls...   NOT to hear about why or how I came to be who I am...  Why I do things, and what drives you crazy with my teasers before I get to the point...  Okay, okay, you know I love you all, right?  Why do I love you so much?  Because I do, and I want to make you happy, so you can pay it forward.  So, finally, yes.  Here you go.

Italian Egg Rolls:
2# of 90% or leaner ground beef, pork, or poultry*  **
2 raw large eggs**
2/3 - 1 cup of your favorite dry cheese - Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, or any combo, depending on how stiff you want your balls.
1/4 - 1/3 cup garlic powder
2/3 - 3/4 cup parsley
2-3 TBS Basil
3-4 TBS Oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)

Mix all ingredients together, and place  in refrigerator while you prepare the sauce.

Lika's pasta sauce (batched specifically for these eggrolls):
3 heaping TBS of minced garlic
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 bell pepper, minced
8 oz fresh mushrooms (No shiitake, flavor clash), minced
8oz fresh spinach, chopped
18 oz tomato paste
5TBS basil
6-7TBS oregano
Red pepper flakes to taste.

In a large kettle, saute the garlic and onion until aromatic.  
Add remaining minced/chopped veggies, and saute until spinach leaves start wilting a little bit.
Put in 18 oz tomato paste, and reconstitute with 3 cans worth of cold water.
Turn up heat. Add spices.  Mix well.  When it comes to a boil, turn heat down to simmer at least 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Turn on your deep fryer, using peanut or canola oil.
Bring out meat mix and 15-20 egg roll wraps.
Place wrap so it looks like a diamond in front of you.
About 1/3 way in, put about 3oz meat mix (going across).
Dip finger in a water dish, wet a dot in your corner, wet sides from the opposite corner going out toward the outer corners.
Roll up, place on baking sheet.

Deep fat fry, let them drip dry on rack, place on baking sheet with paper towel, place sheet in oven on warm, until ready to serve within 45 minutes.

Plate the Italian egg rolls onto plate, serve with the sauce on top or in a small dish on the side.  Enjoy!

* For a vegetarian twist, use two (3) - eight (8)oz packages of cream cheese, softened (Ricotta works, too).
1+1/2 cups dry grated cheese
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup garlic powder
3/4 cup parsley  
(Yes, use the 2 eggs), mix well, stuff into egg roll wraps, and savor.

** For a vegan twist, use 1# of Tempeh and 1# portobello mushrooms, processed through your food processor.
In place of the cheese, use raw/plain oatmeal, coarsely ground.
** In place of eggs, use 2-3TBS ground flax seeds with 3TBS water for one egg, and a plain pumpkin or squash puree for the other egg.