Archive for the 'fan' Category


Girls just wanna see 80’s icons


Yeah, that’s Cyndi Lauper.  Yeah, we got to see her on September 1, 2010.  And, yeah, she can still rock the house.  Well, in this case, she rocked the Oregon Zoo here in Portland.  My only regret is that I never saw her perform live during the 80’s.  But I’m really glad I got to see her this week.  The fact that she is 7 months older than me and bouncing around like a little kid up on that stage was totally inspiring.  Her most recent song styling is the blues, and baby, she can sing the blues.  I believe she can sing anything.  Her range is phenomenal.  A couple times she apologised to the elephants (the open lawn amphitheater was near the elephant habitat) because she would hit these amazing notes and hold ’em for a crazy long time.  

She still uses some of her old moves from the 80's

We were camped a bit far from the stage, but thanks to Katie and her trusty Nikon D70s and a fancy pants zoom lens, she was able to capture some pretty good shots of the diva.  Actually, it was probably a blessing that we were a bit farther away with our camera.  There was one woman who actually caught the rath of Ms. Cyndi Lauper.  Apparently the woman was videoing the show instead of appreciating the fact that she had a perfect spot to watch all of the action live, up close and personal.  Cyndi wasn’t havin’ it.  She told the woman to get the camera out of her face.  She told her that she was up there singing for her and that she should have the courtesy to watch and enjoy the show, because she was there now.   Later, I guess the woman continued to tape, because Cyndi looked at her in disgust again and said “You’re really pissing me off, girly!”  Tell her how you really feel, Cyndi.  

As I mentioned, the venue was an amphitheater lawn affair.  That means people drag blankets, lawn chairs and food to these concerts.  Thankfully the zoo allows outside food.  The only thing you are forced to purchase (besides the tickets to the show) are beverages.  I saw A LOT of wine bottles being purchased.  And, the sight of A LOT of staggering zombies at the end of the night tells us that the zoo made A LOT of money off the sale of booze and semi expensive concert tickets.  

Of course, Vampire Gran dragged a blanket, lawn chairs and food for the evening.  Our picnic consisted of Spicy Veggie “Chicken” Wraps, watermelon cubes, grapes, bagel chips, hummus and Molasses Ginger cookies.  I had left over ingredients so I made the wraps again for dinner last night.  Here’s how I made ’em: 

First I make a sauce using equal portions of frozen orange juice concentrate and Veganaise.  Then add habenero powder to your desired heat preference. 

three ingredients, could not be easier


mix it up, there's your sauce

I sauteed Trader Joe’s chickenless strips with garlic and onion powder, dried oregano, kosher salt and cracked pepper. 

tastes just like.........

Then I mixed it with the sauce to keep it moist. 

The strips soak up more flavor and keeps it from drying out

While the strips are soaking, I thinly sliced some green cabbage, julianned red and yellow bells pepper, small diced some red onion and rough chopped cilantro.  Mix it all together ala salad. 

Ooooo, purty!

Then, in individual shallow bowls, I prepared the innards for these spicy wraps.  I made two wraps hence I used two bowls. 

almost ready to toss

You could actually serve this as a salad at this point.  I tossed it, then added cubed avocado. 

this is making me hungry

Ok, now heat up a wrap on a griddle or wide saute pan.  I used Trader Joe’s 100% whole wheat wraps – mighty good.  Heat until soft and pliable. 

Nice and pliable? Lets get ready to wrap it up!

Now we're cookin'

Mound the filling in the center of the wrap…… 

Step 2....

Fold the bottom up and away from you, sorta burrito style, but only the bottom gets folded. 

Almost done

Fold one side over and then tightly roll until the whole shebang is encased with the top open, showing off the delicious, mouth-watering contents.  This may take some practice, but if you are familiar with making burritos, you will have no problem. 

Mmmmmm.......wanna bite?


Oh, brain fart!  I forgot one very important SPICY ingredient.  Jalapenos.  You can use fresh or jarred.  I opted for the jarred in this case.  We do like our food spicy and hot, so I get a little heavy handed sometimes. 

Now we're talkin' spicy

Right, now wrap that all up again.  These wraps make great road food.  Since we didn’t want to haul an ice chest to the zoo, I just wrapped them in plastic wrap and popped ’em into my backpack along with all the other food.  If you’re not going to devour them within, say an hour and a half, I would keep ’em cool in the refrigerator or an ice chest. 

I mentioned Molasses Ginger cookies up there, didn’t I?  These are, hands down, my favorite cookie.  But, guess what?  I’m gonna leave you hanging like a season finale.  And I, like Cyndi Lauper and her band here, am going to take a bow and hopefully leave you wanting more.  Good Night!!!!!! 





Ask and It Is Given

Thank you, blessed Universe, for giving me what I desired, as you always do.  Last night I had the thrill of meeting my foodie idol,  Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, Ruth Reichl.  As I wrote in my May 8th blog entry, I want to meet Ruth Reichl, have her sign my books and have my picture taken with her.  My three wishes were granted.

My wife and I went to the Bagdad Theatre last evening to hear Ruth speak about her latest book, “Not Becoming my Mother.”  She shared her thoughts about how she was raised and her discoveries about her mother after the woman had passed away.  Her first book, “Tender at the Bone” was pretty funny, mostly at her mother’s expense.  Her mom was notorious for making 26 people sick after attending one of her dinner parties.  The author explained that she felt she owed it to her mother to write another book painting her in a better light.  I have not yet read the book, but I can’t wait.  We were each given a signed copy with our paid admission to the theatre.

After the lecture and a Q & A period, Ruth was ushered out into the lobby and set up at a table to personalize the books for those of us who wanted that.  I was excited to get my chance to actually talk to her.  When we arrived at the table, I asked Ruth if she minded if I sat next to her and have our picture taken.  She said “of course not” and snuggled in next to me.  She sat so close to me I could feel her fantastically wild hair brush against my face.  Chills, what can I say?  I know I gushed the silly words “You’re my hero” because I couldn’t help it.  She is my food hero.

She signed my copy of “Tender at the Bone”  “For Patty Cakes, Ruth Reichl”.  Then she said that she had not seen that that cover before.  She turned it over and exclaimed “Why, this is the British Edition!”  Pretty cool, Universe, for me to have a signed copy of a more rare edition here in the U.S.  Thanks for the extra bonus!

My burning desire to write a cookbook  has once again been ignited, the flames fanned by being in the presence of Ms. Foodie herself – Ruth Reichl.

Ruth at the Bagdad Theatre, Portland Oregon May 13, 2009

Ruth at the Bagdad Theatre, Portland Oregon May 13, 2009

Ruth and Vampiregran

Ruth and Vampiregran


A Wish Granted from the Universe

Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl

I am so stoked! I just found out that one of my food idols is coming to town next week. She’s not a celebrity chef, but she is definitely a cook extraordinaire. Ruth Reichl is the editor-in-chief of Gourmet Magazine. She has written several books, and her latest, “Not Becoming my Mother” just came out. I have read all of her books and was planning on buying this newest one, but to own an autographed copy is a living dream. I love the way she writes. Witty and chatty, like visiting with a good chum, I can tune the world out when I am soaking up her words.

I have a strong belief in the law of attraction and I was just saying last week that I would really, really like to meet Ruth Reichl. I know the Universe heard my request and is only giving me what I asked for. It all happened pretty fast. I never read the newspaper, but for some reason today at my lunch break, I picked up the entertainment page of the Oregonian and was looking to see what movies were playing at the Kennedy School. Nothing of interest to me, but the ad below the Kennedy School was for the Bagdad Theatre and I saw her name – RUTH REICHL. I felt chills. I got extremely excited. I started talking about how much a admire Ruth to anyone within earshot. Only two people knew who I was referring to, but they could all tell how important this was to me. I was even told “You’re so cute” like I was a little kid or something. I felt as excited as a little kid on Christmas morning, because I am getting what I asked Santa (aka the Universe) for.

So, now, dear Universe I want to meet Ruth, get her to sign my book(s) and have my picture taken with her. And I can feel that all of this is going to happen, just like I intend it to.

The Ruth I admire, wild hair and big grin

The Ruth I admire, wild hair and big grin



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