April 30, 2012

Exclusive Recipe: Easy Rainbow Bonbons

This is the second installment in my series of original recipes by Cordon Bleu Chef James Morgan. View the first recipe here. Enjoy! -Kim

Chef Morgan: These simple-to-make treats are my colorful versions of the Brazilian Brigadeiro. They are very popular at birthday parties.

Time: 30 minutes of active preparation

Number of bonbons: About 16

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Rainbow sprinkles
  1. Spray a plate with cooking spray.
  2. Mix the milk, cocoa, and butter in a nonstick sauce pan.
  3. Stir constantly over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture thickens (becomes like soft fudge). To tell if it’s ready, when you tilt the pan, the mixture will fall easily away from the side of the pan.
  4. Pour the mixture onto the sprayed plate. Allow to cool completely to room temperature. It should be taffy-like after cooling.
  5. Pour a nice pile of the sprinkles into a bowl. 
  6. Lightly moisten the palms of your hands (to keep the candy from sticking to them).
  7. Place a tablespoon of the fudge into the palm of your hand.
  8. Roll it into a ball between the palms of your hands.
  9. Roll the candy ball in the sprinkles.
  10. Put the resulting bonbon onto a clean plate.
  11. Repeat until all the fudge is used up. Chill the candies to set their shape.

Chef James Morgan is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy. He has appeared on the TV programs Bobby Flay’s Food Nation, MasterChef USA, and Taste of Louisiana. 

Chef Morgan has served as chef at several restaurants, including: The Pointe Tapatio, Phoenix, Arizona; White Oak Plantation, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and LaFitte’s Landing, Donaldsonville, Louisiana.

He is the author of the textbook Culinary Creation: An Introduction to Foodservice and World Cuisine, available at Amazon.com. Spanish version also available.

April 21, 2012

Men's Rights Movement


The men's rights activists on Reddit don't want to talk to me. I made the mistake of identifying myself as a "feminist" when I first started posting and it's gone downhill from there. For some bizarre reason they seem to think feminists are a single organized group of man-hating psychos.

All feminists

In my ignorance I was going by the Merriam Webster definition:
The advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
Forgive me if I sound bitter, but I wasn't exactly welcomed into the fold. In fact I was eventually told:
"We don't want you, we don't need you, fuck off."
Well, sir, I happen to be raising a man and I care a lot more about him than I do about you. If our society promotes injustice against men it will affect him so, with all due respect, you fuck off.

The men's rights movement, like any other group, is filled with humans. Some are assholes, some aren't, and even some of the assholes have valid points.

My favorite comment sums up many of the men's rights issues beautifully:

"We are vulnerable because we are expected to be invulnerable."

Here are a few points I can sink my teeth into.

Nobody cares about domestic violence against men. 

Women (and gay men) can be abusive, too, but society doesn't provide any protection for men in dangerous relationships.

Consider the case of Katherine Knight, the Australian murderer who carved up her partner with her own professional butcher knives, then cooked him into steaks. 

Prior to becoming dinner the victim contacted Katherine's ex-husband in terror and attempted to learn how he escaped the marriage. On the day of his murder the victim told co-workers that she was going to kill him, but he had to return home for the sake of his children.

Men have nowhere to hide when they are victims of abuse.

We assume men are always receptive to sexual advances. 

I did it myself in this post.
"Let's face it, the best possible outcome of every conversation for a man is a blow job."
I apologize.

I won't go into detail about the implications of unwanted sexual advances because they are the same for men as they are for women.

Men are consistently screwed when it comes to child custody. 

I'll be honest, as a mom I hate this one. I know a woman who had custody taken away from her by a judge who wanted to win one for Team Dad. She's a great mom and there was no good reason for the kids to be removed from her custody.

Think about this, though: that happens to dads constantly. Dads don't get custody unless mom is dead or a junkie (usually). What happened to my friend wasn't fair, but what happens to dads isn't fair either. Instead of the joy of parenting, dads are saddled with the enormous financial burden of child support.

We need a better system. On the topic of dads...

Dads aren't considered real parents.

I've already written about this. It's my top post of all time (look at the sidebar). My article was published at The Good Men Project. The subject obviously resonates with many people.

Women are trying to have their cake and eat it, too. 

If we claim to want equality we need to behave as equals. Here's a great illustration of the problem (click to enlarge):

I don't agree with everything they have to say, but the Men's Rights Movement has validity and deserves respect. 

By the way, a person who seeks equality for everyone is called an egalitarian. I guess that's how I should have introduced myself.   -Kim (an egalitarian)


Additional reading:
What We Stand For

Wikipedia Men's Rights

April 13, 2012

The Obesity Boogeyman


Some New York parents want to ban ice cream trucks near parks where children play.
"Mom Sarah Schenck shared with the Post: 'Nobody wants to be a crank, but one in three kids are going to be obese or diabetic by high school,' she said. 'When my kids see other kids get ice cream, they just start begging me. I just don’t think these are the fights we should be having.'"
Have these people never read a parenting book? (Parenting With Love & Logic, my personal fave).

Very simple solution:
"Roger's mommy is in charge of Roger and it's none of your business. You had a lollipop at the bank today and I think that's enough sugar. I've got some snacks in my purse for you if you'd like."
"NOOOOO I WANT ICE CREAM WAH!" (My daughter actually says the word "Wah").
"You have three choices: You may go play, you may have a snack, or we can go home. Which would you like to do?"
The ice cream seller is not a drug dealer. Obesity is not a ravenous child-eating demon poised to devour your daughter the moment you relent.

Children must be exposed to temptation in order to understand the benefits to healthy eating choices. They must be taught the difference between "treats" and just pigging out on junk all the time.

I have a dear friend who chooses to feed her family mostly home grown produce and organic treats. She steers the kids away from high fructose corn syrup and makes an effort to provide nutritional snacks for the kids.

She does not, however, forbid her children from ever having candy. Instead she focuses on communicating with the kids after they eat sweets. She asks them to describe how they feel after devouring that fistful of Peeps. Because, of course, we all feel like ass after overindulging in sweets. We just try to ignore it.

I think this is a great approach!

A recent study from the University Of Louisiana actually indicates that children who are given sweets on a fairly regular basis are 22% less likely to become overweight or obese.

I'm obese. I've gone up and down my entire life. Right now, I'm up. What metabolically endowed folks don't seem to understand, however, is that we fat folks are very attuned to our children's health. Many of us are working to keep our children active (in fact teach them to enjoy exercise). We also do a lot of reading on the subject and consult with our pediatricians.

We understand, more intimately than many, the psychology of fat.

  • Teach your child to love an active lifestyle; 
  • Don't forbid sweets; 
  • Help them understand from an early age what good nutrition can mean for them throughout their lives. 
Or, you know, just ban ice cream trucks. That'll take care of the problem. -Kim