Provence de la Californie

French comfort cooking under the California sun

DragonCon Costuming Rules of Thumb

sheliesshattered:

Since I’ve seen it come up on the cosplay and costuming tags a few times, I thought I’d throw my rules of thumb for costuming at DragonCon out there:

-Costume as characters from fandoms you love, not just what you think will be popular. People at DragonCon love to talk about shared fandoms and wearing yours on as your sleeve is a great way to make new friends.

-There will always be someone fatter/thinner/younger/older/prettier/uglier/with better construction/with worse construction than you, especially if it’s a popular character or fandom. In 2011 I was one of 20 Daenerys variations at the Game of Thrones meetup. And you know what? It was a blast, in spite of the above list being true. So let go of the stress of not being The Fairest Of Them All and just bond with other people who love what you love as much as you do. It’s a fan convention, not a beauty contest.

-Cleavage will forgive a plethora of costuming woes.

-Just about any costume can have a corset incorporated into it, whether it had one originally or not. And a well-made corset will give you much better shaping than shapewear will.

-Make sure your costume will allow you to eat, drink, use the bathroom, wash your hands, and sit down unassisted. Even if you have to change the design slightly, it’s worth it. Hidden zippers can go a long way.

-Always include pockets and a place to hide your badge for pictures.

-Save the really racy and skin-bearing costumes for after 8pm.

-Have fun.

sheliesshattered:

jezunya:

sheliesshattered:

jezunya:

sheliesshattered:

Live feed of the Texas senate, as Senator Wendy Davis’s filibuster heads into hour 10.  If she can continue standing and speaking about the bill in question until midnight central time, the bill cannot be passed this during this legislative session.  Currently there are 50,000+ people watching the youtube live feed.

I left Texas almost a decade ago, but holy crap this is amazing.  This is how filibusters are supposed to be done — federal senate take note.  If women’s rights and reproductive rights are of any interest to you, watch this live, now.  This is history in the making.

53k watching now and climbing fast!

90,000 92,000 people watching now!

102,000!

105,000

106,000

108,000

109,000!!! It keeps going up just while I’m tagging!!!

121,000+ watching live, 40 minutes to go!  

The opposition is trying to shut it down by (intentionally) misusing parliamentary rules, but the senators supporting the filibuster are having none of it.  The single most exciting but boring-looking thing I’ve ever watched.

NOW NOW NOW WATCH IT NOW!  THE GALLERY IS SCREAMING!  WE DID IT!

Potatoes, ham, olive oil, and lots of seasoning baked in petite cocottes.

Potatoes, ham, olive oil, and lots of seasoning baked in petite cocottes.

Mac and cheese, one of our favorite comfort foods, complete with homemade sauce, bread crumbles, and extra cheese baked on top.

After another iteration or two, we have finally perfected our croque monsieur recipe: Melt butter in a sauce pan, then brush each side of both pieces of bread with the melted butter.  Spread a small amount of Dijon mustard on one side of one piece of bread, then layer thinly sliced Gruyere on top of the mustard.  On top of that, add a layer of ham (one slice if thickly cut, two to three slices if thinly cut) and then another layer of thinly sliced Gruyere and the final slice of bread.  Brown in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat (4) until toasted on one side, then flip.  On the toasted side (now facing up), add another layer of thinly sliced Gruyere and top it with grated Gruyere.  Put the sandwich and skillet both into a pre-heated 350° oven for 10 minutes, until the topping cheese has melted and the bread facing the skillet is nicely browned.  Slice and serve.  Perfection.

After another iteration or two, we have finally perfected our croque monsieur recipe: Melt butter in a sauce pan, then brush each side of both pieces of bread with the melted butter.  Spread a small amount of Dijon mustard on one side of one piece of bread, then layer thinly sliced Gruyere on top of the mustard.  On top of that, add a layer of ham (one slice if thickly cut, two to three slices if thinly cut) and then another layer of thinly sliced Gruyere and the final slice of bread.  Brown in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat (4) until toasted on one side, then flip.  On the toasted side (now facing up), add another layer of thinly sliced Gruyere and top it with grated Gruyere.  Put the sandwich and skillet both into a pre-heated 350° oven for 10 minutes, until the topping cheese has melted and the bread facing the skillet is nicely browned.  Slice and serve.  Perfection.

With our month-long experiment living gluten-free coming to an end, I was more than thrilled to say a hearty hello to bread again and celebrate with a couple of sandwiches.  To start, Jonathan roasted several shallots in olive oil, salt, pepper, and (garlic-free) Italian seasonings, as inspired by our previous meal with shallots, and purposefully left them in for an extra 15 minutes to really caramelize them.  Once roasted, he used the shallots as a garlic replacement in the Aïoli recipe on page 219 of The Country Cooking of France, producing a tangy, rich sauce, which Jonathan used as a spread for a hearty ham and cheese sandwich.

My own return to bread could only be properly celebrated with a revisit of my favorite sandwich, the croque monsieur (The Country Cooking of France, page 56).  Based on my notes from last time, we added a touch of Dijon mustard to the inside buttered surface of the sandwich, and grated an extra layer of Gruyere onto the top of the sandwich while it baked.  The two sandwiches shared mostly identical ingredients, but in different proportions, vastly changing the experience of each. 

Sweet potato fingers seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, and butter, with a shallot tossed in for flavoring.  Jonathan pan fried these, then baked them to crispy perfection in the oven, while we snacked on a pretty little fruit bowl.  The sweet potato fingers turned perfect, and were amazing with blue cheese and with crème fraîche.  The shallot caramelized into something very crispy and tasty, with enough similarity to roasted garlic to inspire us to experiment with it as a garlic substitute.

We were out of town this past weekend and so took a break from cooking for a few days, but on the Friday before we left I whipped up an easy potato leek soup: five leeks, two Yukon Gold potatoes, one sweet potato, about two cups of turkey stock, and a bouquet garni.  I skinned the potatoes and chopped all the veggies, sauteed them briefly in butter, then let them simmer with the bouquet in the turkey stock for a few hours until Jonathan got home from work.  At that point, he pulled the bouquet garni out, pureed the rest of the soup, then added a good helping of cream and butter.  We served it with a bit of crème fraîche and lava salt.  Delicious.

We were out of town this past weekend and so took a break from cooking for a few days, but on the Friday before we left I whipped up an easy potato leek soup: five leeks, two Yukon Gold potatoes, one sweet potato, about two cups of turkey stock, and a bouquet garni.  I skinned the potatoes and chopped all the veggies, sauteed them briefly in butter, then let them simmer with the bouquet in the turkey stock for a few hours until Jonathan got home from work.  At that point, he pulled the bouquet garni out, pureed the rest of the soup, then added a good helping of cream and butter.  We served it with a bit of crème fraîche and lava salt.  Delicious.

For dinner last night we wanted complete comfort food, so we whipped up a little macaroni and cheese, then topped it with grated Gruyere and baked the individual servings in petite cocottes.

For dinner last night we wanted complete comfort food, so we whipped up a little macaroni and cheese, then topped it with grated Gruyere and baked the individual servings in petite cocottes.