Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Diane's Waste Not Pumpkin Bread - DG Speaks

PictureGolden brown perfection! :)
This past weekend at the hostel, we carved pumpkins and that meant we had a great deal of pumpkin flesh left behind. Rather than discard it all, as is normally recommended (because this is not the ideal type of pumpkin for cooking), I decided to try and salvage it. My bright idea, purée the flesh, cook it down, and make a Pumpkin Bread. I don't actually care much for pumpkin and I have never cooked with it, but I thought why not give it a shot. To my surprise it turned out to be great!

PictureThe pumpkin purée after being cooked.
  • 1 lb fresh pumpkin, puréed
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour

This is what the final batter should look like.
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2/3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

PictureReady to go in the oven.
Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a blender, put pumpkin left over from carving and purée until smooth. In a large steel heavy pot pour in purée along with white sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. Cook over low heat until pumpkin mixture is golden and thick in texture. the fresh pumpkin will have plenty of its own water so there is no need to add any. When finished let sit until cool.

Then, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder.

In a separate bowl mix together the pumpkin purée, the melted butter, olive oil, beaten eggs, milk, water, and honey. Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until you have a smooth batter. Do not over mix!

Pour the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan. Be sure to smooth off the top. Put pan in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for about 45 to 60 minutes. Test to see if the bread is done by sticking a fork in it. If it comes out clean then the bread is done. Remove from oven, apply a final thin coating of butter while it is still warm and sprinkle powdered sugar, then let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Enjoy! (^‿^)

Finished project with butter and sugar topping.
The texture of this should be a little squishy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sabotaging Love

Sleepless night thinking about love!

After returning back to DC, one of the first things I had on my to-do list was to find a boyfriend. I know priorities, priorities, but honestly being alone has never been my thing and I have been alone for quite some time. Moving around for the past two years and not being in any one place long enough to form a lasting connection with anyone has been my biggest obstacle. Since I now had made the decision to stay put, I figured why not. I tried my hand at the normal dating scene, bars, parties, events, but anyone who knows anything about DC life knows it’s always politics here and that makes it very difficult to make honest connections with people. One night while I’m out with friends I meet this girl who found the guy she was with on OK Cupid. She seemed happy and he seemed cool, so I figured I’d try my hand and it and see where it leads.

Immediately upon joining OK Cupid, I get an inbox filled with guys who are beyond tacky. This only added to my frustration! Just when I was about to delete my account I was contacted by this guy who was like “we have a lot in common.” I looked and, indeed, according to our Q&As we were a 91% match. This seemed promising but he didn’t have any good pics where I could tell if he was hot or not. I was a bit hesitant but, being that I’ve never been the girl to put looks first in dating I thought, “Oh well why not.” I returned his message and after chatting a bit we soon set a date to meet at one of my favorite dive bars, Red Derby. It was an instant connection and yes he was a cutie which was icing. What really got me was that he was a huge Sci-Fi nerd like me, he was secular, and we had similar politics and tastes. Plus, he even drove my dream car (Bumblebee). We saw each other the next day, and the next. Before we knew it we had practically spent an entire 3 days together, neglecting everything else we had going on.

Everything was going well until I he put on the brakes and was like hold on I have stuff to do. Now, of course, I had stuff to do too but I didn’t care I was head over heels in like. I was on a high and I didn’t want to come down. This disappointment led to insecurity, insecurity led to frustration, frustration led to fear…the path to the dark side had begun. Winter was coming!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Yellow fever and being Gaysian - DG Speaks

Last night, I attended a special LGBT Showcase at the DC Shorts Film Festival, playing at E Street Cinema in Washington, DC. It was a very eclectic line up that featured a range of topics  from polyamorism, transsexualism, even  pedophilia. However, one of the films that stuck  out most to me was "Gaysian."

In this film, "a gay Asian man has difficulty  accepting who is and isn’t attracted to him." This particular film stood  out to me because recently I have been having a great deal of  conversations with one of my female friends, who is part Filipino, about "yellow fever" and how it's always looming over her head that a great deal of men will only want her because they want to fulfill their fetishist lust for Asian women.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The morning after - DG Speaks

Ever had a random hookup with someone you least expected? I know I have! I know, I know, good girls don't have random hookups!...LOL Well, that might be what they say but we all know better. Besides, who wants to be a good girl anyway? As Mae West famously said, “Good girls go to  heaven, bad girls go everywhere.”

In the modern era, sex is par for the course of any meaningful connection between men and women looking for love and no one is playing by the antiquated rules that say marriage first. As has normally been the case with me, this random hookup might have very well been with someone you actually liked. And, when this happens the morning after can be a real doozie. You wake up in a fog of disbelief, awkwardness, regret, doubt, fear, and anticipation.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Looking inward at abuse - DG Speaks

Domestic violence is caused by a myriad of systemic factors and in order to address domestic violence in a way that will promote sustainable change there must be attention paid to all factors.

Recently, I made a post to Facebook that stated:

"My momma always said, "There is no way I could lay next to a man who just hit me and he wake up the next day!" I have always lived by the hit me and die code. Maybe that's why I've never been hit. Guys have a sick sense about who is prone to be prey and who isn't. Ladies demand better and you will get better. Stop the cycle!"

This post received a great deal of backlash without people paying any attention to the subsequent commentary. Now, I was not literally suggesting that a woman in an abusive relationship retaliate with further violence. However, the post was perceived that way. Rather, the post was intended to highlight a mentality whereby tolerating abuse is not an option and showing how this is the first step to breaking the cycle of violence. In my family, this epidemic has taken lives and ruined others. It has psychologically damaged members of my family in ways that have led to violence, criminal activity, and an inability to formulate any semblance of a healthy lifestyle. For me, this is unacceptable and I take a zero tolerance approach to enabling abusers but I also recognize that victimization starts before the first blow is ever struck.