A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… Peyton Manning to sign with the Broncos, Successes and Pitfalls of online dating algorithms

-o- I visited old friends in Brooklyn! -o-

Okay, so that’s not news… but it was still very funny (and fun)… details in my travel post on Thursday!

-o- Peyton Manning in talks to sign with the Broncos -o-

The waiting looks to be over and lots of people are disappointed… perhaps especially San Francisco football fans, who saw a Super Bowl title in their future with Manning on board. The biggest losers? Tim Tebow and all the Tebowmaniacs  out there. But maybe that’s a good thing considering where Lin-sanity has landed.

Here’s the news from Reuters.

(Source: Sports Illustrated.com)

-o- In-vitro and arcane survivor benefit laws -o-

A new Supreme Court case seeks to decide if a child conceived after the death of the father is entitled to survivor benefits.

In this case, after the husband was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and facing sterilization from chemotherapy, the couple decided to freeze some sperm so their already living child could grow up with siblings. Sadly, the father passed away, but true to his dying wish, the mother impregnated herself through in vitro fertilization. Once the child was born, she applied for Social Security survivor benefits.

The Social Security Administration balked and (like a true American) she sued. The case is now before the Supreme Court.

-o- Online Matchmaking:  Success?-o-

Jonah Leher of the WSJ offers an interesting piece on the nuances of online dating sites. About 20% of love birds now meet online with eharmony alone accounting for 5% of new wedding bells. (People are still unsure of where drunk in Vegas ranks.)

Despite the growth and popularity of the concept, Leher poignantly points out the many pitfalls of being matched by a computer algorithm.

What do you think? Personally, I think online dating seems like a way to meet people, if nothing else, and that is getting harder in today’s world of smaller yet ever more interconnected spheres.

-o- Spiders flee Australian flood – in pictures -o-

There were torrential rains in eastern Australia earlier this month, and large parts of New South Wales flooded. Daniel Munoz, a Reuters photographer, found an area swathed in spiderwebs. Why? How? Read the story to find out!

This is AMAZING: Gallery and story from The Atlantic.

(Source: Daniel Munoz, The Atlantic)

-o- Recipe of the Week: Goat-Cheese Stuffed Chicken Meatballs -o-

A new feature to conclude my Monday post… this week, Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Meatballs from Inspired Taste. Made this with my friend Amanda this weekend and will be making them with my man this week. Enjoy!

(Source: Inspired Taste)

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A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… the Oscars! Huge lobster found off the coast of Maine

-o- The Oscars happened! -o-

Sacha Baron Cohen stole the show, in my opinion, plugging The Dictator in costume. No surprise there! A few hours after the photo below was taken, Samantha Murphy on Mashable Entertainment writes about his “shenanigans.” The actor and comedian dumped the fake ashes of Kim Jong Il onto Ryan Seacrest… here’s Murphy’s piece.

(Jason Merritt – GETTY IMAGES)

And the winners are…

Best Picture – The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius
Best Actor – Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Director – Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography – Hugo, Martin Scorcese
Best Actress – Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Best Original Screenplay – Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen

  • Coverage from The New Yorker throughout the year of Best Picture nominees; Archive.
  • Oscars “Snubs and Omissions”, according to ForbesAccording to the piece, the failure of any of these six films to receive a nomination is to be considered a notable omission: We Need To Talk About KevinThe Girl With The Dragon TattooDrive, Bridesmaids, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. Article. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo won Best Film Editing, though…
  • By 9:30 p.m., 3 book-based films had won an award.
  • Bonus from 2011’s ceremony: CollegeHumor’s “Top Ten ‘James Franco Is Stoned’ Oscar Moments”; video.

-o-  Toddler-sized lobster found in Maine, the Titantic’s final lunch menu up for auction -o-

Bon Appetit’s food blog Friday had some great entries: the Titantic’s final lunch menu is up for auction and expected to fetch 100,000 pounds, a 27-pound lobster was found and released of the coast of Maine, and astronauts, theoretically, crave spicy foods due to a compromised sense of smell.

Here’s the Telegraph piece on the menu auction, and here’s the MSNBC article on the huge lobster.  Find the other selections and links in BA‘s blog post.

(source: Reuters)

-o- Ebook variation strategies from The Guardian -o-

Political pamphlets, serial-style novels… what other tricks of the publishing trade are ebook marketers using to get readers interested and keep them there?

Here’s the piece by Benedicte Page.

-o- Ben and Jerry’s drop fortune cookie bits from Lin-sanity ice cream -o-

And it continues… after an ESPN writer was fired and a news anchor suspended for using and then repeating the phrase “Chink in the Armor” in regard to Jeremy Lin, Ben and Jerry’s just announced they’ve replaced fortune cookie pieces with waffle cone bits in their Lin-inspired ice cream, “Taste the Lin-Sanity.”

Here’s the article on CNN.

Ben & Jerrys Apologizes for Lin Sanity Fortune Cookie Ice Cream

(Image Source: Boston Globe)

-o- 10 Movie Poster Clichés -o-

You’ll be amazed and impressed and the number of examples Christophe Courtois has found for each of his categories. Among them? Large faces above small figures on a beach, people lying in bed, and a stark blue background with an image, often a silhouette, in the foreground of the poster.

From 22 Words: List, with numerous examples.

-o- Survival Books for the Apocalypse -o-

From io9.com, “Survival Books to keep on your bookshelf in case of the apocalypse”; here’s the list.

-o- Slutty Girl Brownies on The Londoner -o-

(Source: The Londoner)

Drooling. Seriously. Recipe (click if you dare).

Another possible Thanksgiving appetizer – Crab & Asparagus Mini Quiches

Another possible appetizer for Thanksgiving or my man’s December birthday celebration: Crab and asparagus mini quiches! And because if I double or triple this the crab meat will make the cost quite high, I’m considering making just asparagus and Gruyere quiches. Also, I think I may vary the ingredients and make one tray of asparagus-Gruyere, one Fontina-Artichoke, and one Sundried Tomato-Olive-Feta. The possibilities are endless! This recipe will yield 12 muffin-sized quiches. It will work out best if you preheat the oven to 450 and broil the asparagus first, then set aside and reduce the oven heat to 35o to bake the crusts and then the quiches.

-o- Crab and Asparagus Mini Quiches -o-
Check out the source recipe by Stefani Pollack, posted on PaulaDeen.com. There are step-by-step pictures (which I do not have yet)!

Ingredients:
– Crust
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 cup flour
3 tbsps. cold water
1/4 tsp. white or black pepper
pinch of salt

– Filling
1/3 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
4 tsps. flour
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
pinch of ground mustard
1/2 cup cooked crab meat
2 pre-baked pie crusts (method below)
1/2 lb. roasted asparagus (method below)

Method:
– Crust
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper/foil liners.
Add flour and cubed butter to a mixing bowl and mix with your hands until crumbly.
Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is sticky but not yet formed into a solid mass. Careful not to over mix.
Press an even amount of batter into each lined muffin cup. Form the batter halfway up the sides of each cup.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside for filling.

-Asparagus
Preheat the oven to 450. Spread tinfoil on a baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil and salt.
Trim the tough ends off of the asparagus spears. Wash and dry, then spread on the baking sheet. Toss with the oil and salt until well-coated (add more if needed). Broil at 450 for 15 minutes until asparagus is cooked through and crisp.

-Mini Quiches
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix the cheese and flour in a small bowl. Set aside. (You will have the pre-baked crusts, roasted asparagus, and dry mixture set aside at this point).
In a larger bowl, mix/beat the eggs, cream and mustard until well-mixed.
Spread the Gruyere mixture evenly over the bottom of each crust. Spoon the crab meat into each quiche, distributing equally. Pour egg mixture over each cup, filling them no more than 3/4 full (discard extra mixture if necessary).
Chop asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces. Spread the pieces on top of each quiche (2-3 pieces per quiche).
Bake for 30 minutes.
Before serving, remove from muffin tin and place on towel or paper towels to dry any extra oil. Serve warm.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o

Cheese Muffins

As I’ve been learning more about food and cooking, I’ve been able to start thinking about how to cook economically but also efficiently in terms of time used and satisfying hunger. Two simple rules I’ve come up with: If there are leftovers that last 2 meals or 3-4 snacks, it was a good use of time, and anything that uses mostly ingredients you already have will likely be a good budget-wise decision.

I decided to make these cheese muffins because I prefer savory flavor to sweet, except at about 10 p.m., but I also love baked goods. I found the recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens compilation. I’m not sophisticated enough yet to make croissants or spanakopita, so I started with these muffins. These Especially if you double the recipe and share or refrigerate the leftovers, these muffins have proven to be a tasty breakfast or snack for 2 or 3 days. Biggest downside, at least if you’re like me with baking: the kitchen will be a very big mess when you’re finished.

-o- Cheese Muffins (24) -o-

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
4 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I use sharp cheddar)

Method:
Preheat oven to 400.
Grease 24 muffin cups or line with baking papers; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt). Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients (eggs, milk, oil). Stir until moistened. Stir in cheese; the batter will and should be lumpy.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center muffins comes out clean.

Best served warm.

So there are these two muffins, right…

My sister has already demanded public credit for the title of my blog, so I may as well make it official: she is the person to bring this most favoritest of jokes into my life. I’d really like to meet the person who first thought it up.

So these two muffins are sitting in an oven. One muffin turns to the other and says, “whew! It’s really hot in here!”
The other muffin jumps and shrieks, “ah! A talking muffin!”

And now, the follow up:

There are two nicely frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator, just chilling out.
One turns to the the other, who happens to be a bit slow, and says, “brrrr! it’s cold in here!”
The a-few-sprinkles-short-of-a-full-topping cupcakes yelps and sputters, “ah! A TALKING MUFFIN!”

I refrained from including any disclaimers. I’ll note now that some people do not think this joke is at all funny, and some don’t get it. Lots don’t think it’s funny and don’t get it. That’s fine. I think it’s hilarious and laugh every single time I tell it or hear it – which are always happening simultaneously. But that’s not what I named my blog “Two Muffins in an Oven.”  Well, it’s not the only reason. I did want to memorialize my favorite joke somewhere other than my Fruit Ninja game center name, but also, I think this joke is funny (like many others) because of the lack of successful communication between the two participants. (This argument loses all credibility if I say “muffins” so we’re going with “participants.”) They don’t inhabit the same place or “speak” the same language.

Le’t say there are three necessary components in successful communication – the sender, the message, and the receiver – and that all three need to work cohesively to transmit ideas from one person to another. Otherwise, miscommunication results. In this joke, none of the pieces are working together. The sender knows what they are trying to say, but the receiver recognizes neither the sender nor the message.

Anyway, I hope my comments and ideas get across to you, reading what I have to say. But if not, at least I’ll have the comfort of the muffin joke!