Cookiefying Snoopy, my all-time favourite cartoon character
Born in the 60's, I grew up with the Peanuts gang, in an era when the pleasures of life were small and simple. My Sunday dose of good cheer was pulling the Sunday Funnies out of the newspaper after returning from Mass and chuckling over Peanuts. The following day, I would cut out the comic strip and glue it to my scrap book. I named it my Happy Book. Over the years, whenever I was in a funk, I could count on my Happy Book to turn my frown upside down. It was an instant pick-me-up.
When I was in Form Three (lower secondary school), a very dear friend gave me this cute Peppermint Patty trophy and it kept me company when I went to college and throughout a large part of my adult life. I can still find it on my nightstand in my childhood bedroom whenever I visit my parents.
When Charles Schulz died in 2000, I felt like I had lost a lifetime companion. But thankfully, the Peanuts gang lives on and they always will have a special place in my heart. PEANUTS are forever!
My favourite Peanuts moment
I love you Snoopy and thanks for the many happy childhood memories.
Dec 4th is National Cookie Day in the US. It’s not like we need a day to tell us to eat cookies, but hey, I gladly applaud it. Wish we had a National Cookie Day too. Then, I would invite my friends over for a cookie swap.
Interestingly, did you know that the English word "cookie" is derived from the Dutch word "koekje," which means "little cake"? Dutch bakers used to test oven temperatures on small amounts of batter so that the entire cake mix would not be wasted if the temperature wasn't right. It wasn't long before they discovered that these miniature test cakes were actually quite tasty!
According to Muppet Wiki, National Cookie Day is a minor holiday, celebrating cookies in all their sugary glory. It occurs on December 4th of every year, but is not widely observed.
Cookie Monster proclaimed his own National Cookie Day in the 1980 book The Sesame Street Dictionary.
National Cookie Day was established in 1987 by one of the founders of San Francisco-based Blue Chip Cookie Company, an American gourmet cookie bakery chain. Now Cookie Day is celebrated around the world, sometimes as Bake Cookie Day and Oatmeal Cookie Day.
Each country has its own word for cookie. What we know as cookies in America are called “biscuits” in England and Australia, “galletas” in Spain, “keks” or “Plätzchen” (Christmas cookies) in Germany and “amaretti” or “biscotti” (among others) in Italy.
Nestle's Infographic - The Most Popular Cookies by State
Sometime back, Rodney's university mate from Korea gave him a tub of Gochujang paste knowing my son's love for Korean food. I had completely forgotten about its existence until I cleared my kitchen cabinets yesterday! As the unopened tub is good until 31st December 2017, I thought to attempt at least one recipe using this red chili paste before it ends up in the trash can.
I did a Korean pork stir fry and it turned out pretty good.
1. Cut pork into thin slices.
2. Marinate pork with gochujang, sesame oil and sugar for about an hour, preferably overnight.
3. Heat oil in a non-stick pan over high heat. Add onion, cook for 2 minutes until translucent. Add pork and cook for 5 minutes or until caramelised, and just cooked through.
Serve with rice.
Speaking of Korean food, have you tried the fire noodle challenge that blazed Youtube with videos of people challenging one another to eat 'Booldalkbokkeummyun' or 'Fire Noodles' as quickly as possible?
Interestingly, Booldalkbokkeummyun is Korea’s spiciest instant noodle. This evil looking red noodle clocks in at around 8,000 on the Scoville scale and is reputed to be the spiciest instant noodle on the market. Nasty!
As a Malaysian who's worth her salt, I can do spicy but my pungency level registers only between 1,000-3,500 units on the Scoville scale. I couldn't possibly brave the challenge but curiosity got the better of me. I had to know what the noodle tasted like. Just like the proverbial cat, curiosity did almost kill me or rather, my tastebuds. Regretting after only the first bite, my tongue, lips and throat were on fire and I was crying MURDER! My tongue would never be the same! The noodles have zero flavour, just insanely HOT, HOT, HOT! I most certainly would not eat them again, EVER!
Hubby and the boys fared better but by the time they wolfed down the entire bowl, they were sweating big time, their noses watering and eyes tearing up like cry babies! Yayyy! Now their talented tongues can chalk up the spiciness meter to the next level on the Scoville chart! Congratulations, boys!
One of the many videos found on YouTube
I still have 4 packets of Booldalkbokkeummyun left that came in a pack of 5. Nobody wants to eat them. Any takers? Not for the faint-hearted, I caution you! The effects are long lasting. Your butt is going to be on fire the next day when you go!
Way back in another life before the internet existed, I used to be a voracious reader. I could happily devour a book in a day. But digital distractions had messed up my brain and for the past decade, I read a grand total of 2 books! I couldn't stay focused on anything longer than 140 characters!
It's not that I didn't want to, but my mind would wander off after reading just a single sentence. I had to read and re-read a page several times before actually grasping it. I have a stack of books lying around somewhere that I had won in giveaways but I never got past the first page whenever I attempted to read......... until Tail & Trouble. I couldn't put the book down and finished reading it while I was on a 6 hour road trip to Singapore. The author had me from page one!
I won Tail & Trouble in the For The Love of Books Valentine's Day giveaway and the author Victor Catano had kindly mailed a signed copy of his book to me all the way from the US. Thanks, Victor, for taking the trouble and for rekindling my passion for reading.
Note: This is NOT a review but a shoutout for the author for being awesome and for his book I had a TON of fun reading!
"When Gabriel’s witch girlfriend doesn’t return from her latest trip, he gets on the road and heads out to find her. Sheila’s coven is secretive and distrustful of Gabriel, so the only help he has is Sheila’s familiar, a bulldog named Orson, who is psychically linked to both of them. In Florida, they walk right into an elaborate plan to steal Orson. A mysterious wizard named Yareth is behind the plot, and he may also know where Sheila is. Gabriel and Orson will have to fight for their lives as they navigate around all the magical roadblocks to force Yareth’s hand. They won’t give up until Sheila is safe."
Tail & Trouble is a melange of magic, paranormal, fun, humour, mystery, fantasy and adventure with a super adorable psychic "talking" bulldog to boot! OK, Orson doesn't really talk but Gabriel and a couple of others can hear his thoughts! The banter between Gabriel and Orson gives you lots of LOL moments.
Catano's style of writing is fresh and funny:
Orson drooled happily. You'd never give me away, would you? She hugged him close. “Never! Even when you left a dead rat in my slipper.” You didn't like my present? He whined and gave her sad eyes. “I'm more of a Tiffany's girl.”
The book is perfect for those days when you're in a mood for a light, easy read even if you are not a dog lover.
Cookifying Orson, the gaseous taquito-loving bulldog.
Once again, Thank You, Victor, for reaffirming my belief that magic exists between the pages of a book.
Victor Catano lives in New York City with his wonderful wife, Kim. When not writing, he works in live theater as a stage manager, light designer, and technical director, working mainly with dance companies.
His hobbies include coffee, Broadway musicals, and complaining about the NY Mets and Philadelphia Eagles.