This is just…so awesome.
In case anyone was wondering when the frick we’re sending something to the moon again, NASA is sending some smaller lifeforms up in 2015 to grow (and hopefully thrive!) in helpful ways in the low-gravity atmosphere:
- 10 basil seeds
- 10 turnip seeds
- 10 arabidopsis seeds
I know what you’re thinking: “Of course, arabidopsis; what do you take me for?” But I had to look it up and it rocks my world: arabidopsis is the lab rat of the botany world, and is very easy to monitor change in. It was also the very first plant to have its entire genome sequenced, and is related to cabbage and mustard.
So excited for this. Basil is my favorite.
They’re doing this to find out whether plants can:
- survive radiation
- flourish in partial gravity
- thrive in a small, controlled environment
The seeds will go into a 3D-printed “plant habitat” model which will have cameras, sensors, a micro fluidics system, and a seed module needed to sustain life on another world.
In a brilliant mix of creativity and frugality, NASA will send schools their own set of habitats so they can grow the same plants that are being sent to the Moon. The reasons for this are two fold.
First, every experiment needs a control, and instead of spending the money to duplicate the experiment multiple times, they can crowdsource it… Second, it allows children to be part of the moment – to not just watch from afar, but to gain experience and knowledge by actively participating.
The team plans to hitchhike on the robotic spacecraft of whichever private company wins the Google Lunar X Prize, saving millions of dollars in travel costs. According to one expert’s estimates, this mission would have cost about $300 million twenty years ago; the current price tag rings up at a mere $2 million. Not bad for an experiment that could help us figure out how to sustain life on other planets—or in a future version of our own.
If the seeds successfully germinate, they will be the first Earth plant life transported to another planetary body.
DOGS. They make me so happy every time they hang out.
This is furriest sweetheart, basenji-terrier-chihuahua-mutt-puppy amazing-food-smell-appreciator Sammy and her pit-bull sweetest-absolute-best-friend-adoptive-mom Fay. They roughhouse like mad for hours, then lie on the bean bag chair giving each other kisses.
My heart = so joyful with their playfulness. Instant good mood no matter what after seeing them play for a few minutes.
Thanksgiving was lovely. Perfectly arranged plans were changed at the last minute due to no one’s fault, resulting in momentary drama that was resolved and culminated in sating voracious appetites.
Family gathered to discuss politics, food, snacks, pets, issues of the day, and other family. I brought roasted garlic mashed potatoes…leaving the skin, because awesomely, a whole delicious potato in its skin has more vitamin C than an orange!
We sat at a table with settings out of a Pottery Barn catalog, beautiful with woodland critter and his gatherings, but leaving one with the distinct impression that were there an actual squirrel storing nuts out and about, the cuteness level would be much lower and more dramatic.
I discovered that:
- No matter how many years pass, no one forgets the lyrics to “We Are Siamese if You Please” from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp.
- One of the greatest no-need-to-lift-a-finger snacks is chive cream cheese, rosemary crackers, and smoked salmon.
- My uncle Robert is an unbelievable badass for bringing just-home-smoked-salmon as an appetizer for Thanksgiving dinner.
- I desperately need leaf-shaped cookie cutters because they make any pie look elegant. Last year I cut my own out with scissors and these look much cuter.
These photos were all taken with my new graduation present: my Nikon Coolpix S9500 with 22X zoom and GPS! This silly blogger has already snapped many goofy pictures and is mad gleeful about improving her photography skills with a real camera vs. my iPhone. :)
"The plot is thickening…much like my gravy."
-Raj Koothrappali (The Big Bang Theory)
The LOOK on Raj’s face at the end. He wants to feast upon the gossip as well as the gravy, and he intends to.
Happy Thanksgiving - may your gravy be thick and flavorful!
This is one of my favorite easy desserts: S’mores Brownies.
Bake a graham cracker crust for 10 minutes as if you were preparing one for a cheesecake, but when it comes out add brownie batter and bake until the brownies are finished.
Top with marshmallows. Broil until the marshmallows are light and dark golden in patches. Let cool and cut into squares.
SO DELICIOUS. Campfire experience in my mouth.
My Halloween pumpkins were mashed into pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin ganache truffles (and one unfortunate rotting) and snarfed up long ago, but I’m so happy this little family next door is still up.
Kid Cat Vampire who just snarfed a human kid, Spooky Cartoon Snake-Eyes gnawing a wailing gnarly-nosed baby pumpkin, and the beautiful Seattle skyline.
With everything pumpkin under the sun appearing in recipes all over the interwebs, it’s so funny to ponder how that we use pumpkins for multiple purposes: savory/sweet sustenance and silly, flickering, temporary art. What a whimsical species we are.
This is the most beautiful animated portrayal of two people making raisin bread that I’ve ever seen.
And OH! The impromptu colander disco ball…cooking can be so romantic.
Well, I can blanch or I can talk, but I can’t do both!
Homemade pumpkin cheesecake while watching Leslie Knope: a passionate advocate of whipped cream on breakfast and desserts, of which pumpkin cheesecake is both.
The trick is:
- mixing everything in gradually so there are no lumps
- grating your own nutmeg
- toasting finely chopped nuts for the graham cracker crust
- whipping your own cream on the side with a little cinnamon sugar
- using real pumpkin, steamed or roasted and mashed
I don’t care how trendy or played out pumpkin gets this season, I’m always going to love it. I think maybe pumpkin pie empanadas and pull-apart breakfast bread later. And pumpkin seed granola.
Review: 8 Oz. Burgers in Capitol Hill
My partner in budgeting for amazing meals out and I have been saving well enough to spend a little scratch to render our taste buds speechless, and we chose the sweet new burger place down the street…which ended up curling my toes with the essence of flavor:
8 Oz. Burgers
East Union & Broadway
Capitol Hill, Seattle
A well-constructed burger is a gorgeous beast. My favorites thus far have been the Double-Double at In-N-Out Burger in San Francisco, the Juicy Lucy at Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis, and the Toyko Classic at Katsu Burger in Seattle…not in order, just all especially amazing in different ways.
But this was a whole different animal. A horse of a different color. I can’t even talk about how much of a food flavor trip this burger was without a major Pavlovian response.
Next excursion here I plan to try the Durham Ranch wild boar burger with roasted poblano. But this first time we both went for the signature burger.
Classic 8 Oz. Burger: one thick slab of hormone-free, humanely raised, incredibly flavored and textured beef patty with a subtle house blend of spices had a party in my mouth co-starring…
- melted and nutty Beecher’s flagship cheese
- exquisitely earthy truffle aioli
- thickly cut Hempler’s bacon
fresh and peppery wild baby arugula
- juicy onions simmered in balsamic
- a 100% certified organic brioche bun…with completely excellent crumb
Making kettle corn with my sister for my dad’s birthday was equal parts easy, cheap and fun! Which is useful for students.
You just heat 1/4 cup oil in a heavy pot on the stovetop, stir in 1/2 cup dried popcorn kernels & 1/3 cup brown sugar & a pinch of salt. Cover and heat on medium, shaking every ten seconds or so. Stop when the corn pops are 4 seconds apart.
Spread out on parchment or wax paper to cool. Pick out any un-popped kernels. Commence snacking on randomly candy-coated fluffy popcorn!
Possibly add peanuts next time.