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What I read in 2015 (plus some video selections)

Oof, late, late! But before half this year rolls over, I’ve collated what I’ve read from 2015. As usual, 💡 (lightbulb icon) indicates a recommendation on my part, with the exception of the shorts section.

To jump to a section:

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Saag paneer: Indian greens curry with farmer’s cheese

One of my favorite desi dishes is saag paneer: Spicy greens with chunks of farmer’s cheese. It’s very similar to palak paneer which, if I understand the names properly, is made primarily with spinach as the leafy green. I enjoy a mix of several greens, including fenugreek leaves and mustard greens to add some oomph to the spinach.

Food52’s “The Quest for the Easiest, Tastiest Palak Paneer” provides great tips. I hadn’t realized the importance of tomatoes, so don’t omit them.

Saag paneer bubbling in pot

Saag paneer over brown basmati (Continued)

Turned off gallery access

I’ve disabled access to my Zenphoto gallery for the time being. Alas, I haven’t had the time to keep the gallery software properly maintained. Hope to switch to another gallery tool that’s easier to use and well integrated into WordPress, but that likely won’t happen until late this year at the earliest.

Spiced chicken apple “sausage” patties

To my sadness, our local Whole Foods no longer carries (at least not regularly) delicious chicken apple-spice sausages. I found a good reference for poultry sausage recipes, and decided to make some patty-style “sausages” — in quotes since I don’t have casings. These patties work nicely for the toad in the hole dish! Also, the spices are warming, not hot, since there isn’t any pepper or chile — although those might be a future option. 🙂

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Chômeur, or maple pudding

Chômeurs referred to the unemployed in Canada, and this was originally a quick dessert made by and for them. I think of it as a quebecois version of treacle pudding, but using maple syrup.

Warning: It ain’t a pretty pudding, but it is so, so good! Especially for cold winter nights.

chômeur

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Copyright toolkit

I developed a copyright toolkit for my Digital Copyright course (Info 281) this semester: http://lis.iwaruna.com/copyright-toolkit

It includes resources for determining copyright and public domain status, managing risks and seeking permissions (e.g., Copyright Clearance Center) — as well as places to find public domain, Creative Commons, and DRM-free media, and more!

Suggestions and corrections welcomed! I’d like to keep it up to date, dependent on scheduling and the usual weather conditions. 🙂

I’ve been warned about some of the anti-gaming sentiments that Common Sense Media might hold, so if you have educational resources for learning and understanding copyright, fair use, privacy — for any age group or background — I’d love to hear about it. Thanks!

Review of Susan Cain’s Quiet

Oh hai! As with previous fall semesters, I’ve been busy with graduate school. I’m currently taking two amazing courses, an intensive on digital copyright and another on the Hyperlinked Library (a.k.a., Library 2.0). For the latter, I wrote a book report on Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Taking, which I found insightful and engaging.

The original blog post for this book review is at the Info 287 course site, but it will disappear at the end of this year (2015) — the student blogs are reborn afresh for next iteration of the class in 2016, and beyond. However, I’m very honored that my instructor, Dr. Michael Stephens, has published a copy on his site, Tame the Web.

Creativity, personalities, librarianship, and Susan Cain’s Quiet – A TTW guest post by Sarah Liberman. Comments closed here, but are open at TTW.

Homemade skin toner

I needed something to help with cleaning and refreshing my sensitive combination skin. This skin toner is made with essential oils from (mostly) Mountain Rose Herbs. I measure everything in a dual-scale (metric+imperial) glass beaker. Drops are via reducers attached to the bottles of oil, or by tiny 1/8 ounce glass dropper. (Sorry about the mix of metrics, but, ah well, that’s how things are sold in the U.S.) Although I’m not a fan of strong scents, I’ve added quite a bit of bold floral and herbal oil to counter the very earthy smell of the calendula (like artichokes), carrot seed, and camomile (like garden soil). The rose and neroli oils lend a sweeter note, so they’re optional.

Usual Disclaimer: Test on a small patch of skin several times to see if you react negatively, etc. My experiences and the ingredients have not been blessed by the FDA, etc. YMMV etc.

unmixed skin tonerSkin toner, unmixed. The deep blue chamomile oil lends a pale aquamarine hue to the toner.

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Hazelnut & date bars, with a touch of chocolate

I’m rather picky about what goes into snack bars: What kind of nuts? (No walnuts or pecans, if I can avoid them.) And I’d prefer the absence of dried coconut. Not too sweet, as I don’t want a sugar rush that results in a headachey crash — dried fruits are good, as long as they don’t have additional sugar or honey. I don’t want a bar so chunky the nuts become a struggle to chew, or too pasty like…well, a uniform, unremarkable paste.

I didn’t realize how easy snack bars are to make, until I saw a recipe for peanut butter and chocolate energy bars. Dates are the perfect “adhesive” agent, as well as pleasantly sweet (but not too sweet). Why not use my ever-favorite hazelnut?

hazelnut date bars

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Gluten-free flour mixes

Need a substitute for wheat or gluten-based flours? Look no further! Shauna the Gluten-Free Girl provides an excellent tutorial: Just weight out the ingredients, then toss to mix.

These are just a collection of gluten-free flour mixes that I’ve liked using in baking and thickening sauces. Recipes can be completely gluten-free, including brownies, financiers, and cornbread.

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