Everything’s a little better (a lot better) when it’s cooked with butter.
I’m positive that butter is very, very good for you. It tastes so good, it comes out of a cow – what could be bad?
Here I’m offering two different and great uses for butter.
Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies, right off the package.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
(1 cup chopped nuts) <– I leave those out.
PREHEAT oven to 375° F. COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
If you really follow the directions, it’s super super easy to make these guys, and they’re way more delicious than the break-and-bake variety. I used to make them for bake sales in high school and we would make tons of money with these super buttery treats.
Wilted Spinach, Pine Nuts and Raisins
A handful of pine nuts
A small handful of raisins
A large bag of spinach – much more than you think you’ll need, it really cooks down.
Start by toasting pine nuts in a toaster oven or a small pan. Coat them with some olive oil and then watch until they’re brown. Don’t let them burn, or they’ll be gross. It should just take a few minutes.
Take a shallow saucepan and pour in spinach. Sprinkle a bit of water over the leaves. Cover the pan with a lid and allow spinach to wilt over low heat. This should also take a few minutes.
Once spinach is wilted, drain the water out of the pan. Put spinach, toasted pine nuts and raisins in a bowl with a tablespoon or two of butter. Toss so the butter melts and coats all ingredients. Eat.
This is a great side dish or small lunch. I love spinach in any form (creamed, fresh, wilted), so I’ll eat it with anything.
My friend Michelle pointed out to me recently that sardines come in (nearly) rectangular cases.
Sardines is also a popular kids’ game.
My ex-boyfriend used to like eating sardines because it made him feel like a giant, eating tiny tiny fish.
Anchovies also come tinned.
And here’s some kippered herring.
Are these fishy rectangles really made of tin?
History of the Lego
The Lego Group began in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter from Billund, Denmark, who began making wooden toys in 1932. In 1934 his company came to be called Lego. It expanded to producing plastic toys in 1940. In 1949 Lego began producing the now famous interlocking bricks, calling them “Automatic Binding Bricks”. … The bricks, manufactured from cellulose acetate, were a development of traditional stackable wooden blocks that locked together by means of several round studs on top and a hollow rectangular bottom. The blocks snapped together, but not so tightly that they required extraordinary effort to be separated.
The company name Lego was coined by Christiansen from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means “play well”. The name could also be interpreted as “I put together” and “I assemble” in Latin, though this would be a somewhat forced application of the general sense “I collect; I gather; I learn”; the word is most used in the derived sense “I read”.
The Lego Group’s motto is kun det bedste er godt nok which means ‘only the best is good enough’.
Read and Enjoy –
The Lego Bible
or rather, The Brick Testament
Check These Great Legos Out!
Ricki says, Legoland rocks!
Laura says: It was so fun, you can just let your imagination fly and build whatever you want.
Daniel says: It was so beautiful, seeing all the germs in one place. Apparently you can build entire rooms (rectan.gu.lar).
Lego Ipod Speakers
The Lego’s older, larger sister, the Duplo, is also a rectangle.
My friend Andrea, always thinking, sent me a message saying she just got a Rubik’s Cube. And what’s a Rubik’s Cube? Rectangles upon rectangles upon rectangles! I asked Andrea if she wanted to guest-write an article for TTAR on the elusive Cube. Here’s her response:
“I don’t know how to write articles. But I did find some fun facts about cubes. They were discovered in 1974 by a Hungarian named Erno Rubik. He was a sculptor and architect. Originally, they were 3x3x3, but they come in sizes 2x2x2 all the way up to 7x7x7.
There are competitions involving Rubik’s cubes called speed cubing and include things like solving them blindfolded, solving them with one’s feet, one handed, team blindfolded solving, and underwater Rubik’s cube solving. There are also promo cubes, and spherical Rubik’s cubes.
That is all. Oh, but other things in my room that are rectangles include a box of lucky charms, my windows, my notebooks and school stuffs, a one dollar bill, a metal box with little bees on it, my bulletin board, and some bumper stickers that I stuck on my wall.
Yep. So that was probably not that interesting, but by far a better spent 20 minutes than the homework (also rectangular) that I should be doing.”
Thank you, Andrea. That was interesting, and now let’s explore the Rubik’s Cube some more.
So, who is Erno Rubik?
Erno Rubik (born July 13, 1944) is a Hungarian inventor, sculptor and professor of architecture. He is best known for the invention of mechanical puzzles including Rubik’s Cube, Rubik’s Magic, Rubik’s Snake and Rubik’s 360.
Wait, what are those things?
Rubik’s Cube, Rubik’s Magic, Rubik’s Snake and Rubik’s 360, you mean? Well. Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say.
“In a classic Rubik’s Cube, each of the six faces is covered by nine stickers, among six solid colours (traditionally white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow). A pivot mechanism enables each face to turn independently, thus mixing up the colours. For the puzzle to be solved, each face must be a solid colour. Similar puzzles have now been produced with various numbers of stickers, not all of them by Rubik. The original 3×3×3 version celebrates its thirtieth anniversary in 2010.”
Here are pictures of the other three “mechanical puzzles.”
What, you want more? Okay. Here:
Super sweet blog about Rubik’s Cube gadgets (seriously).
Example: Rubik’s Cube Coffee Table
One man’s alleged solution to the Cube.
A whole site devoted to Rubik and his Cubes here.
This is my good friend Fidget the Chinchilla eating. She got lucky and she’s being presented in a rectangular format. I’m hoping she gets very famous. Check out her cute lil hands.
Up Close and Personal with Fidget
Q: Fidget, how old are you?
A: Ten or eleven years old.
Q: Name a few of your favorite things.
A: Well, apple chips are definitely one. And dust baths. Dandelion drops and naps in cleavage probably round out the list.
Some Quality Chinchilla-Related Web Resources:
What makes a Graham cracker different from all other crackers? Read and learn:
“The graham cracker was developed in 1829 in Bound Brook, New Jersey, by Presbyterian minister Rev. Sylvester Graham. Though called a cracker, it is sweet rather than salty and so bears some resemblance to a cookie —digestive biscuits are the closest approximation. The true graham cracker is made with graham flour, a combination of fine-ground white flour and coarse-ground wheat bran and germ.”
For some of us, graham crackers bring back memories of pre-school snacktime.
Or sitting around a campfire, chomping down S’mores (of which the graham cracker is an integral part).
Here’s one nice S’mores recipe. Try it out!
“Ingredients: Graham Crackers, Chocolate, Marshmallows
Preparation: Place graham crackers on baking sheet. Put 1 square of chocolate on each cracker. Place a marshmallow on each piece of chocolate. Put in a 350° oven for 4 to 6 minutes, just long enough to melt marshmallow and soften the chocolate. Remove from oven and put another graham cracker on top to make a sandwich.”
Some people have crafted gourmet graham crackers. PollyStyle, run by chef Polly Brown, offers really good Grahams in the DC area. These go for $6 a bunch.
Here’s The Nibble‘s take on some more gourmet Grahams (notice that it was written on my birthday, January 17th). Tiny Trapeze Grahams are available at Whole Foods at $6.50 for a twelve ounce container.
And for those who don’t want to spend the big bucks – there’s always Nabisco. I, personally, love the texture of the traditional Honey Graham. No teeth required! You can just gum them on up. And anything I can gum is good enough for me.