Saturday, October 30, 2010

Be a Feminist and Vote this Tuesday!!

It would be hard not to know, with the incessant pleas and accusations of campaigning politicians across all forms of media these past few days, but this Tuesday, November 2nd, is Election Day! This is our opportunity for civic engagement, to hold government accountable, and feel smugly superior for the low cost of standing in line and exercising the right to vote! There is usually even some free coffee, and very nice volunteers to usher you through the process pain-free.

File:Feminist Suffrage Parade in New York City, 1912.jpeg

First of all, you must be registered to vote. Usually this has to be done at least a month before Election Day, but this varies from state to state. In Georgia, I was registered when I got my driver's license, so that was super convenient.

To figure out who all of the eligible candidates are, I started by Googling "Georgia election commission." This type of search will generally lead to your state's Secretary of State office, which is responsible for overseeing elections. If your state is up-to-speed on internet technology, you should be able to learn where your polling place is, which districts you can vote for, what all of the open seats are, and even have links to the candidates' campaign websites.

There should be a sample ballot available online, which you can print out to mark down your choices. It can be hard to remember what you researched when there are a lot of candidates and issues, so I recommend working through this ballot or taking a cheat sheet in with you.

What You'll Need
  • Form of identification
  • Sample ballot or cheat sheet (optional)
  • Patience (occasionally the lines are long)
What You'll Get
  • A voice in the political process
  • Sense of satisfaction for doing the right thing
  • Complaining rights if the other guy wins
  • Coffee, and maybe even donuts (if you're lucky)
Remind your friends, family, and coworkers to get out to their polling places on Tuesday!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Recipe Fridays: Asian Turkey Meatballs

Thanks to the newest issue of Everyday Food magazine for this delicious recipe. I modified it slightly since I don't like things too spicy and had no rice on hand. These were a great meal to stretch over a few days, and, always a plus, it's easy to make.

coarse salt
1 cup long-grain white rice (i didn't have rice so i used whole wheat orzo)
1 carrot, shredded
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 1/2 pounds ground dark meat turkey or ground pork (i used a combo!)
3 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 tsp fish sauce
4 tsp hot-pepper sauce (i thought that was too much so i used 2 tsp)
4 tsp sugar
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tsp veggie oil
lime wedges, for serving

1. preheat oven to 450. cook rice (or orzo!). remove from heat and top with carrot. let stand, covered, 5 minutes, then stir in carrot (and i put the scallion greens in at the same time, but you can also put them on right before serving).
2. meanwhile, combine breadcrumbs and 3 tbp water. let stand for 5 minutes. add meat, scallion whites, cilantro, fish sauce, hot pepper sauce, sugar, garlic, and 1 1/2 tsp salt. gently mix to combine and form into about 12 meatballs.
3. in large nonstick skillet heat 1 tsp oil over medium-high. in batches brown meatballs on all sides, about 10 minutes (add up to 1 tsp oil as needed). transfer to rimmed baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes. serve meatballs with rice and lime wedges.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Recipe Fridays: Baked Mac and Cheese

As temperatures drop and the seasons change, it's time for warm comfort foods. I recently tried my hand at Ina Garten's Mac & Cheese (she's always got great recipes). I made some modifications (took out the tomato and added in bacon and mozzarella cheese). Feel free to experiment!

1 tablespoon salt+enough to salt the water
veggie oil
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 quart milk (aka 4 cups)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
0.6 pounds) Gruyere cheese, grated
0.4 pounds mozarella, grated
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (made from 5 slices white bread, crusts removed and grated)

1. Grate cheeses.
2. Grate bread.
3. Preheat oven to 375. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drizzle veggie oil into the boiling water (a couple tablespoons). Add the macaroni and cook according to package instructions, 6-8 minutes. Drain well.
4. While the noodles boil, begin to heat the milk in a small saucepan...but DO NOT allow it to boil. 5. (I waited for my noodles to drain so I could use the same big pot for this step) In a large pot melt 6 tablespoons of butter along with the flour. Cook over low heat fpr 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk (or spoon if you don't have a whisk).
6. Then whisk in the hot milk and cook for 1-2 more minutes, stirring/whisking until smooth and slightly thicker.
7. Turn off the heat under large pot.
8. Stir in 1 tablespoon of salt, the pepper, and the nutmeg.
9. Stir in the grated cheeses.
10. Add in the cooked macaroni and stir well.
11. Pour into a 9x13 (or 3-quart) baking dish.
12. Put the strips of bacon (uncooked!) on top--remember bacon shrinks as it cooks so feel free to use a lot!
13. In a small saucepan (or a microwave-safe bowl) melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Toss with the bread crumbs to coat evenly.
14. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top of the macaroni caserole.
15. Bake for 30-35 minutes (cheese should be bubbly and bacon baked).