Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Morning there guys and gals! How are you doing this morning? Its another hot and humid day here in Texas and I sit here sweating gallons in the early morning hours. But its ok, fall will be here before I know it and there will be a rebirth of spunk and vitality! LOL. So whatcha doing today? I got a tip for you today... never try cooking and eating frozen cheesesticks if you don't know how long they have been in the freezer LOL! You're tummy might not feel so great afterwards!

Alright folks, the New York Times is giving Frugal people, particularly men, a bad name! They are saying that it's not sexy, etc. I don't know about you, but I think I would find it a wee bit awesome if a man I was dating thought the same frugal thoughts I did! Do you agree? Check out this article and let me know what you think!

How to Be Frugal and Still Be Asked on Dates
The New York Times On Saturday August 21, 2010, 1:00 am EDT

Saving may be making a comeback, but it still hasn’t gotten its sexy back, particularly if you’re a man.

Earlier this month, the Commerce Department reported that the personal savings rate in June was a much-improved 6.4 percent and that the number had risen as high as 8.2 percent in the depths of the stock market doldrums in the spring of 2009.

Those who are single may not have been rewarded for their parsimony, though. Now comes some survey data from ING Direct, the people who would like you to save more money in their online savings accounts. In June, the company asked 1,000 people which words would come to mind if someone was fixing them up on a blind date with someone described as frugal.

Just 3.7 percent answered “sexy,” while 15 percent picked “boring” and 27 percent chose “stingy.”

Anyone who urges better money habits on the masses for a living ought to be gravely offended by this, though Ramit Sethi, author of “I Will Teach You to Be Rich,” tried to take it in stride. “The term frugality has been so perverted that it now means ‘No, no, no’ to everyone, whether it’s shoes or lattes or travel,” he said. “I don’t think it’s the right word.”

Yet it is a term that the online dating company eHarmony screens for in its patented compatibility test, asking people to rank themselves on a seven-point scale for frugality (along with things you would expect, like compassion and generosity).

“It makes sense, right?” asks Gian Gonzaga, 40, who has a doctorate in psychology and is eHarmony’s senior research director. “You look at the attractiveness angle, but farther down the road, money and finances are one of the biggest conflict areas couples traditionally face. And a lot of that comes down to having enough or not having enough.”

Well, maybe it makes sense and maybe it doesn’t. If your frugality has the potential to turn off nearly half of the mating pool, it raises a question: How best to broadcast your financial values and seek significant others who share your approach without coming off as a tightwad or a gold digger?

This challenge is a fairly recent one. Several generations back, personal ads could not have been more explicit about finances, since everyone knew that women generally had no income and a marriage involving a man of means was the only way to live comfortably.

This posting, from The New York Herald in 1860, was about par for the course, according to Pam Epstein, an adjunct professor at the Newark campus of Rutgers University, who wrote her history Ph.D. thesis on older ads. “A young lady, rather good looking, and of good address, desires the acquaintance of a gentleman of wealth (none other need apply), with a view to matrimony,” the ad read.

Ads from men from that period seemed custom-built to fit that bill. “The advertiser, a successful young business man of good education, polite manners and agreeable address, having recently amassed a fortune and safely invested the same, wishes to meet with a young lady or widow,” one said.

“There was this idea that men were very frugal,” said Ms. Epstein, 33, who posts copies of some of the ads she’s dug up at advertisingforlove.com. “You were going to work hard and save your money, and then by doing so, you would be able to support a wife in comfort. I do see a lot of ads saying ‘I’ve been wrapped up in business all this time and now I can support a wife comfortably.’ ”

Flash forward to today, however, and things get more complicated. Some people do put down an income range in their online dating profiles, though it’s not as if anyone is auditing the figures for honesty. Many men, meanwhile, pose peacocklike in front of their cars or boats or homes. The message here is less clear, though. Are these meant to be trophies, a sign of a fortune already amassed? Or is it the mark of a spendthrift? Or an indication that he’ll spend all of his time on the water, and you’d better be ready with the Dramamine if the relationship is going to work?
“There’s nothing admirable in frugality, because it’s invisible,” Ms. Epstein notes.
But even if you could transmit that value through an online dating profile, would you want to? It turns out that the answer to that may depend on whether you’re a man or a woman.

The ING Direct survey, which was conducted by phone and has a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, presented one more potential label for that frugal blind date: smart. And in a promising sign for the nation’s solvency, that was the term chosen most often, picked by 49 percent of respondents. EHarmony also crunched the numbers for me on 30 million matches it made in July and found that both men and women were 25 percent more likely to have a potential mate reach out to them if they identified themselves as a saver rather than a spender.

Curiously, however, 56 percent of men in the ING Direct survey gave “smart” as their favorite answer while just 42 percent of women did. (The numbers were similarly flipped on stingy: 33 percent of women labeled the potential mate that way, while just 20 percent of men did.)

What’s going on here? “My suspicion is that the value of frugality depends on whose money will presumably be spent,” said Reuben Strayer, 34, a physician in Manhattan who does not broadcast his profession or true income in online personals. He always pays for the first date and does not object to providing for a wife one day, he adds; he just doesn’t want to attract the kind of woman who is specifically looking for someone who will do so.

But even if many men still make more money than women and are wary of mates who would want them to spend it, they may not want to advertise it. “Frugality may or may not have anything to do with how much he loves you,” said BJ Gallagher, 61, an experienced online dater and author of several self-help books for women. “But for a lot of women, love looks like ‘Take care of me and give me things.’ ”

My jaw dropped listening to some of the dated stereotypes coming out of Ms. Gallagher’s mouth and I told her so. “I try not to get into right and wrong,” she replied. “I’m not a professional finger-wagger. I just hold a mirror to things. I’m descriptive, not prescriptive.” She said she’d been in relationships where she provided most of the income and had seen plenty of gay and lesbian couples where one mate provided the “masculine” energy that kept things in balance.
Fair enough, but what should you do if you want to communicate prudent financial values to a potential mate without dropping the unsexy F word?

Robert Epstein, a psychologist who has studied online dating, said he struggled with this during the seven years it took to produce a beta version of the relationship compatibility test now online at arewegoodtogether.com. He suggests that people who feel strongly about good money habits talk about how they love a great bargain.

Topher Burns, 27, a Manhattan resident who is about to move in with a man he met online, said he realized that he had it a bit easier than heterosexual men who might feel compelled to pay for dates all of the time. But he still took a subtle approach in his online profile by talking about how he loved discovering the newest cheap eats. It shows, he explained, both a love of quality and a respect for value, which seems like a fine message to send no matter who is picking up the check.

The trick, it seems, is to use such subtle codes, the same way people slip in mentions of their jogging habit rather than coming right out and saying that they’re not overweight. So rather than projecting frugality outright, try dropping a classic investing book like “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” by Burton G. Malkiel, into the list of things you’ve read recently, suggested Deborah H. Levenson, a financial planner with Braver Wealth Management in Newton, Mass. ,who recently became engaged to a man she met online.

“That might give someone a sense that you were a Vanguard investor,” she said. “I think Vanguard is sexy.”

All of that said, when reading these profiles, keep in mind that these are advertisements. They will stretch the truth or lie outright and may contain not just delusions of grandeur or wealth but ones of financial prudence, too.

You may be able to tease out any inconsistencies once you get to know a potential mate. But don’t ask about them directly. One thing that everyone I talked to this week agreed on was this: Frugality may or may not be sexy, but few people want to hear about your asset allocation on the first date.

Now if you have some new or soon-to-be mommies on your gift giving list this year, why not make them a neat and roomy diaper bag. Sturdy to handle lots of baby essentials and stylish enough (depending on your fabrics) to be "trendy" if ya know what I mean. This bag is a really long tutorial and it has great step-by-step photos and instructions to help any level crafter make this great bag!

Craft Idea of the Day: Diaper Bag or Tote Bag with center divider

Like the blog said, it was made by a mom who needed a diaper bag, but ya know, as long as you don't use baby fabrics, I think it would be a great tote bag for anyone. The center divider makes it wonderful to hold papers, books, or maybe one of those small notebooks or Ipads, while on the other side could hold makeup bags, wallet, you name it! I am a firm believer that most anything can have another purpose if you just think on it! So if you see something cute, before dismissing it, ask yourself if you can use it in any other way.

Alright folks, its time for another day of MEMORABLE MOVIE WEEK! Today is a classic pick called "The Godfather"! There are approximately 61 scenes in the film that feature people eating/drinking, or just food. "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli." is a super quote most people can identify with this movie. There is a scene where Clemenza is showing Michael how to make some gravy, because “you never know when you're gonna need to feed twenty guys”. Here is another famous transcript that even offers a "recipe" of sorts...

“Heh, come over here, kid, learn something. You never know, you might have to cook for twenty guys someday. You see, you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, you fry it; ya make sure it doesn't stick. You get it to a boil; you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs; heh?... And a little bit o' wine. An' a little bit o' sugar, and that's my trick.”

So now we are gonna make some of those famous dishes! For more great meals, grab some of your cannolis and rent "The Godfather". Eat & Enjoy!

"Spaghetti Sauce" from The Godfather

Anyone who is familiar with pasta will tell you that once cooked, pasta needs a sauce for flavouring. Otherwise, consuming what is essentially a paste of wheat flour and water tends to taste a little bland.

The following recipe for spaghetti sauce is one of the most famous, having been featured in the 1972 motion picture, The Godfather. It will yield enough sauce for 8-10 servings of pasta. Chefs may assign the resulting dish any of the following names:

Spaghetti Coppola (after the director of the film, Francis Ford Coppola)

Spaghetti Puzo (after the writer of the script, Mario Puzo)

Spaghetti Castellano (after the actor who explained how to cook the sauce, Richard S Castellano)

Spaghetti Coppolapuzo (after both the director and the writer)


2 14oz tins whole tomatoes or 12 Roma or plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped finely
2 small tins or 1 large tin tomato paste
1 teaspoon each basil and oregano (not seen in the movie, but useful nonetheless)
1lb/500g meat, either cooked sausages, sliced, or meatballs
2 tablespoons dry red table wine
1/4 cup sugar


In a large pot or metal casserole dish, heat up the oil over medium heat and cook the garlic.

Add the tomatoes. Cook until soft.

Stir in the tomato paste, basil and oregano.

Add the meat. Stir until the meat is thoroughly coated.

Stir in the wine and sugar.

Reduce heat to low to medium-low and let simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Ladle over large bowls filled with cooked spaghetti, toss in each bowl and serve.
This is a basic sauce which lends itself to a variety of personal tastes. For example, some people prefer adding a tin of chopped anchovies along with the garlic, to add body. Others may use beefsteak tomatoes (which are rounder and more acidic than Romas) and either double the sugar or add a grated carrot to cut the sourness.

Homemade Cannoli


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg white
3/4 cup red wine
1 1/2 quarts oil for deep frying
1 1/2 pounds ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons chopped candied orange peel


In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend in the shortening and egg white. Add the red wine one tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms a ball. Knead the dough enough to bring it together. Cover and let rest for half an hour.

Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide dough into 2 parts. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 4 inch long ovals. Place a cannoli tube onto the oval lengthwise and roll up with edges overlapping; seal with a dab of egg white.

Fry cannoli shells 2 or 3 at a time in the hot oil. When golden brown, remove from the oil to drain on paper towels. Remove tubes.

To make the filling: In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese and confectioners' sugar. Fold in the vanilla, chocolate chips and candied orange peel. Chill for at least half an hour before filling shells. Drain off any excess liquid. Fill cooled shells and smooth off the filling at the edges. Keep refrigerated until serving.

Ok kids that's it. I gotta get off here and tend to some business. Then maybe I can get some sewing in today. But whatever life finds you doing today, be safe, be smart, and above all... be frugal! HUGS!

1 comment:

  1. Debbie "MOM"August 25, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    Now thatsa kinda my way of cookin'. LOL Love spaghetti sauce and WOULD love to try cannolis. I saw the movie "Godfather" and there was an awful lot of food and eating scenes come to think of it. In fact there was an interview done on one of those morning talk shows with the main characters and they said after the big family scene and all the food, they didn't think they were gonna be able to get out of their chairs. LOL
    That tote bag is very cute. Wouldn't mind having one of those. HINT, HINT. It would be excellent for carrying things I buy when I shop, or hit the farmers market, or go to the mall, etc. etc. HINT, HINT. LOL
    OK. I got behind on reading the blog, so off to the next day. BYE