Here is what I've been making, watching and reading, reading, reading.
CLEANING OUT MY PHONE
A few weeks ago I went to my friend D-Rock's wedding, the ceremony was in Leif Erickson Park on what might have been the nicest day of the entire summer. They also had this amazing singer in the dauntingest of high heels perform before during and after. She had this great voice, like Frente, kind of. Our group popped a squat right on the grass. It was all lovely.
Then FScotty and I made off with my friend Dude's son Eli. (Both wondering what we look like holding a child. Answer: FScotty got huge props from his boyfriend, I looked like Rebecca De Mornay from "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.")
Red and White Cauliflower Bake: This is a little bit like lasagna, but made out of cauliflower that is on this really moist and flavor-y layer of seasoned tofu and awesome. Chuck made it and he reports low difficulty level, high pot count.
Wasabi Pea Crusted Tofu with Hoisin Glazed Broccoli: Tofu is marinated in first soy sauce, then dragged through a dust of wasabi peas and nutritional yeast and then fried up. We had it with sauteed broccoli that was doused in a mix of hoisin and water. Zoiks! So good. Status two hours later: Hungry. I just dumped the wasabi dust straight into my face.
Once again: Not a plater or food photographer. Obvs.
Steamed Vegetable Dumplings: For those of you who like to use your imagination, these looked a bit like Gremlins. Particularly Spike. First I food processed a carrots, garlic and broccoli, then mixed in some red miso and soy sauce. Stop here! This blend is whoa. I couldn't stop eating gobs of this as I was making the rest. Continue: Wrap these in wanton wrappers and then steam them. They are best served hot out of the steamer. We dipped them in a mix of soy sauce and wasabi mustard. GO, MAKE, EAT!
Warm Kale Salad: This is what I ordered for my birthday dinner. It's an easy mix of Kale, Onions and Tofu. I sprinkled in some hot sauce, because I'm really into hot sauce like big time. It's very fast and easy and good.
And it was a nice preface for the real treat: The Dairy Queen Heath Bar Blizzard Cake.
Good Hair: This is a documentary starring Chris Rock in which he studies African American hair, wandering around the world to the root of weaves and the importing business. It's all focused around an annual hair competition that requires more than just scissors and a plan: Winning requires a schtick -- and in one case a marching band. This is really super duper interesting, and of course funny with Chris Rock at the helm.
In Bruges: This movie has been recommended by about 150 people and it is fantastic. A newbie hitman makes an error during his first gig that lands him in Bruges with his mentor. It's funny. It's bloody. It's twisted. Loved it.
Another Year: Admittedly I was only half-assedly watching this. It's a lot of talk -- plenty of it uncomfortable -- and little action. But it's good in retrospect. Long, though. And hardly satisfying. A little depressing. But good. I swear. It's good. It's about a woman who works as a councilor, that maternally huggish person you wanna spill your guts to. It follows a year in the life of her and the fuck ups in her circle.
Sucker Punch: The opening scene in this movie is super intense. And then it is like watching someone play a video game. I lasted about a half hour before turning it off.
I'm going to be brief here. This list is a monster. As always all reviews are either posted to, or soon to be posted to, Minnesota Reads.
The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter by Mark Seal: Aside from a few annoying little ticks and a bit of repetition in the first part of the book, this non-fiction tale of a man who travels through the United States reinventing himself with recognizable last names is pretty fast-paced and gripping. I can't wait to suck it up and download Lifetime's movie about Clark Rockefeller. I'd read it.
The Glass Castle: A Memoirby Jeannette Walls: Unbelievably wicked coming of age story told by a woman with the ultimate in free spirited parents with some lax ideas about addressing when the kiddies are molested. Recommended.
Half a Life: A Memoir by Darin Strauss: When he was 18, Strauss killed a schoolmate in a car accident. This is about how this has affected his life for the next 18 years. It's a doozy. Recommended.
Paying for Itby Chester Brown: When his last girlfriend broke up with him, Chester Brown decided to never have another and to stick to prostitutes for covering his sexual needs. This graphic memoir tells the story. Take it or leave it.
Kiss & Tellby MariNaomi: In this graphic memoir, sexual prodigy Mari writes about the men and women she has rolled around with between the ages of 0-22. Take it or leave it, but leaning toward take it.
Shortcomings Adrian Tomine: This graphic novel is about Ben, a sort of prickly fellow, the bust-up of his relationship with a girl who is way too good for him and his weird issues about race. Recommended.
Lola, California: A Novelby Edie Meivad: Two girls run wild in the streets of Berkeley, one's father is a guru with hordes of followers. Their story is told while he sits on death row with brain cancer. This might be the best book of 2011 (That I've read). Beautifully written.
Brooklyn: A Novel by Colm Toibin: Eilis Lacey gets a ticket out of her small Irish town and into Brooklyn, where she starts a new life for herself. This one is meh.