June 3, 2011

Drop Cupcakes, Not Bombs

“Make Love, Not War”,  “War is expensive, Peace is priceless”, Drop Beats, Not Bombs”, “Go Solar, not Ballistic”…..As clever has these anti-war slogans are, I think they’ve been trumped….

Hackers working for U.K. intelligence agency MI6 recently modified an online al-Qaeda magazine and replaced the bomb recipes inside with cake recipes.When followers went to download 67 pages of instructions for how to “Make a bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom” from Inspire Magazine, al-Qaeda’s first English-language magazine, the terrorists were instead greeted with garbled code that was a page of recipes from the Ellen Degeneres Show’s Best Cupcakes in America. MI6 dubbed the cyberattack operation “Operation Cupcake”. – Source

 

I may not have been interested before, but knowing that file is loaded with delicious cupcake recipes makes me want to go download it right this instant. Unfortunately for me the file is no longer available, but fortunately for you I took the time to scour the net for some of the most “Yuuummm” inducing cupcake recipes.

You can thank me later:

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May 26, 2011

Tasty Politics = DC Dining

Sorry for the Hiatus! I am moving to DC For the summer for an internship at WUSA9 News, so what better time to come back to Tasty Politics? A friend has given me a wonderful list of restaurants and dives to try in Washington DC. I doubt I’ll get to all of them but my goal is to visit as many as possible while in the Capitol and then report back to you.

This list courtesy of Aubrey at Politigirl:

Cupcakes: Baked + Wired in Georgetown is my fave. It’s really close to Georgetown cupcakes, but I like it so much better. Other good options? Red Velvet in Chinatown and Sprinkles in Gtown.

Asian: Chinatown Express in Chinatown. get a noodle dish, the noodles are freshly homemade and delicious.

Mexican: Cactus Cantina in Cleveland park. It was George bush’s favorite restaurant while he was prez. i’d recommend a chicken fajita and swirled margarita…sooo good.

American: Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street.

Ethiopian: Dukem on U St.’s food is wonderful, and you get to eat with your hands. Cool cultural experience.

French: Monmartre in Eastern Market. they have an amazing brunch, and the crepes are to die for.

Italian: 2 Amy’s in Cleveland park (amaaaaazing neapolitan style pizza) or Toscana’s on Capitol Hill (homemade pasta, gelato, tiramisu, etc.)

Ice cream: Dolcezza Gelato in Dupont circle. literally tastes just like gelato in Italy

Bars/happy hours: I think my favorite is Hawk & Dove on Capitol Hill, but some other good ones are McFadden’s in Foggy Bottom, Union Pub on Capitol Hill, and Capital City Brewing downtown.

I hope you stick with me as I eat my way through DC!

April 7, 2011

House Passes One-Week Stop Gap Bill

The House of Representatives has once again passed a temporary funding bill to ward off a government shut down. The bill includes $12 billion worth of cuts, and was supported mostly by Republicans.

Most House Democrats oppose the bill and President Obama has stated he would veto the bill if it reached his desk.

An agreement must be reached by midnight Friday to avoid a government shutdown.

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March 23, 2011

Health Care Law Anniversary

To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans
and reduce the growth in health care spending, and
for other purposes. ~ H.R. 3962

The saying “Time heals all wounds” isn’t really ringing true today. A year after the Affordable Health Care for America Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama, debate continues.

While Health Insurance companies seem to be doing just fine, and talk of Death Panels has mostly died out, there are still concerns about affordability and constitutionality.

In early March the Obama administration issued an appeals notice to a Federal court in Pensacola, Florida, after Judge Roger Vinson ruled against the health care law on grounds that Congress went beyond its authority in requiring individuals to purchase health insurance. Twenty six out of the 50 states have challenged the law.

If you’re interested in some light bedtime reading – to the tune of nearly 2,000 pages – you can read the entire Health Care bill here at OpenCongress.com.

And if 1,990 pages isn’t really your style, you can muddle through some of the confusion with the help of Politifact.com’s Greatest Hits on Healthcare.

March 22, 2011

The Chili That Almost Caused Me to Get A Face Transplant…

I couldn’t wait to post this. I wanted to wait. I wanted to go to sleep. But my mind wouldn’t let me be until I shared the flavor nirvana that is the Chili and Platano Fritos I had for dinner.

But first: Never, I repeat, NEVER, touch your eyes after handling Habanero peppers. Even if 30 minutes have passed and you’ve washed your hands 6 times since.

It will just cause you crippling, seemingly unendurable pain. It will cause you to run through your house half-blind as you trip over your mess until you reach the bathroom sink. It will cause you to question whether you will ever see again as you try to rip your contacts out of your burning, watering eyes with your Habanero contaminated fingers. It will cause you to stand over your sink for 10 minutes blinking into a handful of cold water that seems to be doing nothing to ease your pain.

This is all hypothetical of course. Someone told me this could, y’know, possibly happen if you weren’t careful.  I obviously am always careful when I cook.

This would never happen to me.

Nope.

Anyway…..

Spicy Chili with Goat Cheese & Avocado

2 cans spicy chili beans

1 can black beans

1  can (28 oz) tomato sauce

1 can (6 oz?) tomato paste

4 cloves garlic (roasted)

2 Habanero peppers (roasted and chopped)

1/4 (or so) onion

Spices of your choosing. MY choosing: Cumin, paprika, black pepper, salt (of course), oregano, and 2 bay leaves

OPTIONAL (but highly recommended):

1 avocado, sliced

goat cheese

In a pot add your beans, onions, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and roasted garlic and habenero peppers. I had every intention of posting a picture of the preparation stage with all of my beautiful and colorful ingredients, but I got really excited about this chili and completely forgot. Here’s a picture of some beans.

 

Beans, Beans, they're good for the heart....

Add your spices to taste. I added what I thought I would like, then after letting simmer for a bit came back to taste how it was melding together. I then adjusted accordingly. Set your pot of chili on low, cover, and let simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Don’t forget to walk to the kitchen every 15 minutes to eat a spoonful (or 2 or 3) of the delicious chili as it cooks. This part is crucial. Because I said so.

When it’s done slice up some avocado and crumble some goat cheese on top to garnish. The goat cheese adds a depth and richness that I haven’t experienced with regular ol’ chedda. While Cheddar is a chili go to topping, I would definitely encourage you to forgo the obvious and go for the goat!

 

I want this in my belly.

Now for the Platanos….

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March 21, 2011

TSA, Tea, & Kimchi

Last week representatives from the Transportation Security Administration – more commonly known as the TSA – testified in front of a House Oversight subcommittee hearing on body imaging technology. Other witnesses included health and security experts, and first-hand accounts from travelers. The goal of the hearing was to help lawmakers assess the effectiveness, health risks, and privacy issues involved with the full body scanners, which have caused quite a stir from travelers. (source)(source)

While some travelers were testifying about their less than comfortable experiences with the TSA, I was gallivanting about Philadelphia and Boston, having left my full body scan on some unknown computer at the Orlando International Airport (my philosophy being I just won’t think about the fact that a picture of me is out there floating around in some computer and rather I’ll just act like I’m going through a regular ol’ metal detector. Whatever helps me sleep at night, man).

I had delicious vegetarian food and flavor packed Korean cuisine, and of course I documented every last bite. Along the way I also ran into some political signs and statements….Here you go!

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March 10, 2011

Veggie Planet Galaxy Universe

The past week has been such a whirlwind – for me, and for the country.

I flew up to Boston Friday night to visit my friend Bailey.

She’s a strict vegetarian turned Vegan, who has mad skills in the kitchen. So the food I’ve been eating has been meatless but delicious. We went to a hole in the wall vegetarian restaurant the first day I was in town called Veggie Planet (interestingly, a new vegetarian restaurant just opened in another part of town called Veggie Galaxy…sounds like a copy cat to me!). They offer vegetarian or vegan options that you can have on pizza dough, rice, or brown rice. Everything was delicious, and I even indulged in a non-diet Root Beer soda. Mmm-mm! I ordered the Unsafe & Sound. mozzarella, Basil, and spicy pepper sauce. Delicious!

After long discussions with Bailey and reading the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Foer, I’ve decided to give up meat and poultry for Lent. So here at Tasty Politics we’re going to be embarking on a whole new taste adventure!

Also, we met an adorable dog. His name was Wallace:

Now, onto the state of our Nation!

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March 3, 2011

Autotune the News and the 2012 Presidential Election

Analysts are still trying to figure out which Republican candidates are going to run in the 2012 Presidential election. We’ve heard speculation about the big names such as Pawlenty, Gingrich, & Palin, but nobody has come out for sure quite yet. Even so, I’m already excited. Election season is my favorite sports season.

As much as I love election season, I also appreciate its special quirks. The business of Politics is serious, but also hilarious – and Charlie Brooker points out just that. It’s from a British perspective, but it rings just as true here in the states.

And while we’re on the topic of Political Parties and their unique brand of strange, without further adieu, the standout in last fall’s New York Gubernatorial race – The Rent is Too Damn High Party. Courtesy of Autotune the News.

Excited yet? 😉

March 2, 2011

City Commissioner Tom Hawkins

Earlier this month I sat down with Gainesville City Commissioner Tom Hawkins to chat about local pocourtesy of http://cityofgainesville.orglitical issues and, my favorite topic, food. I met him at a downtown Starbucks and conversation commenced over Tea, Coffee, and Starbucks pastries.

Top Political Issue Right now: More economic development in city. New businesses bring new jobs and new tax rolls.Bring in commuters so they become Gainesville residents. Make Gainesville a competitive place to live.
Make sure we have great public services.

#1 Goal: Transportation. . No longer underfund road maintenance!

Strategies: Bus rapid transit (higher capacity bus, own dedicated lane). Build bus stations. Broaden desirability of the bus system to reach a larger demographic.

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Favorite food?: Burritos. Favorite place in Gainesville is Burrito Brothers. Favorite all time place is called Willy’s in Atlanta. “Imagine if Moe’s burritos didn’t suck!”

Favorite local restaurant?: Tim’s Thai on 23rd avenue. Chicken coconut lemongrass soup. Really good duck. Best pad thai I’ve ever had. The service isn’t great, though.

If you could cook anything without worrying about your skill level what would it be?: Barbecue….I’ve never smoked anything.

Current favorite thing to make?: Lately I’ve been doing a lot of baking – particularly banana bread!

February 16, 2011

Rick Scott Budget

President Obama has announced his 2012 Budget Proposal just after Governor Rick Scott of Florida announced his own budget cutting plans.

Here is a nifty spending graph of the President’s budget proposal

As for Florida, I had the opportunity to rush on down to Eustis, Fl, last Monday to cover a Tea Party rally where Rick Scott chose to reveal his own budget proposal. I flew down I-75 and arrived back in the studio just in time to put together a piece for the 6:30 news. Here’s the final product:

 

And speaking of budgets…. Continue reading