The Old Boat Float

Hey, it’s able Rey today.  <he,he>  I made a little rhyme.  The Boss is swamped, so I’m taking over on what Lindy-Loo would call “post patrol”.

To be honest, I was a bit lost as to what the topic should be, then I remembered the last one, and our Boss’ favorite (kinda silly) expression: whatever floats your boat.  Like really?  But whatever.

So-o, I thought I’d share with you guys what floats our boats—“our” being the three of us from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency, me, Cousin Jilly, also known as JJ, and my BFF, Linda, or Lindy-Loo as I sometimes call her, much to her annoyance.  Don’t know why.  It’s cute, doncha think?

I’m gonna start with her and what, these days, does it for her.

Linda:     Lots of things float mine—blogging, reviewing wines and food, being a P.I., volunteering at the shelter . . . enjoying the day.  I’m fairly down to earth; it doesn’t take me a lot to be happy or content.  But, if I have to pick something “current” that brings me joy, given these trying times, I’d say that it’s the goodness in people—LOL, Rey just gave a big roll of those grass-green eyes and stuck her index finger in her mouth.  It’s true, though.  No matter how difficult and challenging things are right now, so many persons are still reaching out to help one another . . . like Chicago’s “Pilot Pete”, who gathered 6000 coats and gave them to the homeless—with coffee.  I love it.  Hope (lots!) abounds.

Thanks Sister Linda.  And what about you, Cous?

JJ:     Like Linda, many things float mine, but I do love animal stories with happy endings.  As such, I’m going to go with a recent one, where a young navy sailor from Thailand leapt into rough waters, and swam several grueling yards, to save four kittens from a burning ship.  Thatsaphon Saii placed three in a sack and perched one on his shoulders.  If that doesn’t bring a tear to your eye—and warm your heart—I don’t know what will.  Yes, hope does abound.    

Okay, that brought on a sniffle.  Last, but never least, me . . .

Rey:     Guess I’m what Linda and JJ might call petty-minded, not in a niggling or nagging way, but in a trivial one.  Sure, saving the monk seals brings me joy (as you may know), and I love private-eyeing—that certainly floats it, too. But I am who and what I am, and the entertainment world (still) does it for me.  I was a B-movie actress and I still do some part-time acting.  Not because I have to, because I want to.  I love being in front of a camera and on the stage.  It’s fun and it’s totally me.  So, you know, I’m going to say what really floats my boat is . . . being honest.

So, friends, what floats yours?

09392f155593c448557179f1da931d36

A Tisket A Tasket, A Tricket A Treatet

Had to get it to rhyme . . . at least a little.  <LMAO>  Hey, it’s Rey!

The Boss decided the three of us from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency—‘case you forgot or didn’t know where we work—should post during Halloween week.  Love it.  So-o, peeps (ooh, I just got a craving for those super sweet marshmallow thingies), today you’ve got me sharing our favorite All Hallows’ Day treats.  Yummmmmmm!

WPa2DreamstimeDOTcomLinda didn’t have much fun as a kid, but in her late teens, she got into the Halloween spirit with a friend of hers.  For four, maybe five, years in a row, she and Greta would do up all the fare for their annual big bash.  She wasn’t much of a baker or cook (still isn’t) but did enjoy making (and eating) skull cookies.

Make sure you have a skull cookie cutter (or an equally fun one) and piping bags on hand. 

What you need:

Cookies:  ♠ 1 stick unsalted, soft butter  ♠ 1 cup brown sugar  ♠ 1 egg  ♠ 1 tsp pistachio flavoring (or whatever you like)  ♠ ½ tsp baking powder  ♠ ¼ tsp salt  ♠ 2 cups flour

Icing:  ♠ 4 cups powdered sugar  ♠ 6 tbsp tepid water  ♠ 3 tsp egg-white powder (or egg whites mixed with cream of tartar)  ♠ food colors (black and red for sure)

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

In a bowl, whip the butter and sugar at medium speed.  Beat in the egg, flavoring, baking powder, and salt.  Slowly add the flour and mix until there is dough.  With a rolling pin, roll it out – 1/3” thick.  Use your fun cutters and place the cookies on a cookie sheet that’s lined with parchment paper.  Make sure there’s enough space between them (they will rise, folks).  Bake for no more than 8-10 minutes; keep an eye out (Linda managed to burn a few batches back when).

Prepare your icing by beating all the ingredients, except the food coloring, until you form peaks (10 minutes or thereabouts).  Given you want different colors of icing, separate it into a few bowls and then add the coloring.  Mix well. 

For a skull face, you can spread the basic/white icing all over the cookies.  Then decorate the faces by adding eyes and lips, scars, and blood—whatever you think will be frighteningly fun.

WP1TasteofHomeDOTcomJJ enjoyed Halloween as much as the next kid.  She went back further and decided to share a recipe for her favorite childhood: caramel apples.  Simple, sweet, and scrumptious.

What you need:  ♠ 1 package white-chocolate chips  ♠ 2 tablespoons margarine/butter  ♠ 2 bags of caramels (these days, she’s inclined to go for salted caramels)  ♠ ¼ cup tepid water  ♠ 8 washed and dried apples (she likes Cortland and Empire)  ♠ chopped chocolate bars of choice (she’s partial to Fifth Avenue, Clark bars, and Heath)

You can melt the chocolate chips and margarine/butter in a microwave, if you like, but over the stove is preferred (by JJ anyway).  Stir and set the mixture on the counter.  Next, melt the caramels in the water and stir.  Set this on the counter, too.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Smear oil, margarine or butter on the paper.  Pop the wooden sticks into the apples.  Dip into the caramel sauce, twisting and turning to ensure the apple is thoroughly coated.  Drizzle it with the melted chocolate and sprinkle with the crushed chocolate bars of choice.  Refrigerate.  Serve whole (for gluttons) or in slivers.

If you’re so inclined, add eyeballs, spiders or webs (or whatever creepy crawlies float your boat) to the whole apples and plate them; your imagination will dictate how “Halloweeny” to get.

Rey (me!) loved Halloween.  I got to prank people, but that’s another post.  Considering pizza is one of my favorite foods, I’d have to go with that.

WP1aDreamstimeDOTcomLike Linda, I’m not a great baker or cook (not even close).  You can buy small ready-made pizzas and decorate them, or do something simple and make your own by using English muffins or mini-sized pita, or smaller-sized Naan.

Ingredients (to place on top of base of choice):  ♠   tomato sauce  ♠ shredded cheese (you decide which one)  ♠ large black olives, some sliced both ways (lengthwise and widthwise)  ♠ large green olives (stuffed ones are good—because then you have “openings” for eyes)  ♠ peppers (orange, red)  ♠ sprouts

Prepare the base by adding the tomato sauce (on all or just some) and cheese. 

If you want to be creative, before you bake, cut the cheese into various shapes.  Long slender strips can be arranged to look like mummy wrapping.  Cut some into ghost shapes (or use a cookie cutter).  Super thin slivers can be arranged to look like spiderwebs.

Pop the black olives into the green olives (with stuffing removed) to make eyes.  Pimento-stuffed olives, sliced crosswise, also make for good eyes. 

Black olives cut lengthwise make for great spiders—a whole olive for the body and the slivers for the legs.  Play around to get the right look.  Black olives also make for fun bats.  Slice the slivers so they resemble wings.  Draw eyes on the bats (by dotting with ketchup or dip).

Orange peppers, cut into round shapes, make for cute pumpkins.  On them, draw jack-o’lantern mouths and eyes (use a condiment or dip of some sort).  Red peppers can be cut into triangles for eyes and curvy slivers for lips.

Sprouts can serve as hair for whatever monster you want to conjure up (I’d probably add these after baking, but it’s your choice).

You can even arrange pepperoni creatively: make a face, eyes, smile/frown.

There you go, a few simple ideas.  As Cousin Jilly might say: easy-peasy.

Tour Day 3 (Dec 3): www.plotmonster.wordpress.com

Yesterday, Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie? (the second Triple Threat Investigation Agency series featuring private eyes JJ, Rey and Linda) was featured on MD Walker’s blog, www.plotmonster.wordpress.com.

MD’s blog is “dedicated to the open discussion of all things literary”.  It features book reviews (with a very adorable rating system, LOL), discussions, writing tips and reading challenges, among other things.

In addition to being a blogger and author, MD is a wife and mother, sister and aunt—a woman who wears many [impressive] hats.  Please check out her outstanding blog; there’s a wealth of literary-related posts to be found.

Thank you kindly, MD, for allowing my P.I.s and I to visit.

Impending Prospects

It’s Linda on post compilation duty today.  If you’ve read the last two, you know we featured three present and three past events from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency trio (us).  Today, we’re sharing future hopes/aspirations.  They’re far from thrilling or sensational in the grand scheme of things, but they are ours.

Me (Linda):

  1. I’ve never had roots to speak of. Considering my upbringing, if you could call it that, I’ve never been much inclined to learn my family history.  But I do want to set up roots in some way.  Being married with kids isn’t really my thing, but I like the idea of “stability”.  Maybe, with time, I’ll figure it out. wplinda1
  2. I’d like to write a book. The story may not be a terribly original idea, but given our P.I. profession and my interest in wine and cooking, I’d like to do a mystery featuring a chef as an amateur sleuth. 
  3. A year traveling the world, maybe on a sailboat, is something I’ve been thinking—dreaming—about lately.  It would provide an opportunity to broaden my horizons and see a world I’ve only viewed via travel programs.

Rey:

  1. As I’ve told the gals before, I’d like to see our agency expand to Maui and Kauai.  Maybe in a couple of years, that dream will become reality.  We’ve done pretty good so far, so it’s very possible. wprey1
  2. Speaking of reality, the actress in me would love The Triple Threat Investigation Agency to have a reality show.  Dog the Bounty Hunter had a great one.  P.I.’ing can be just as exciting as bounty hunting.  . . . Hmm.  Maybe I should put that idea out there; whadya think? 
  3. I’d love to own some property—like a house with a lanai and pool.  Condo living’s fine, but there’s something about grass and flowers, and sitting outside, under a heavenly sky.  Never had that as a kid . . . never really thought about it much, either . . . until now.

JJ:

  1. Learning Hawaiian and Japanese is something I’d really like to do.  So is being taught to hula.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be here for the long haul; as such, I don’t just want to live here, I want to “be” here. wpjj3
  2. Rey’s mentioned buying property.  I think she may have something.  I enjoy condo living, but I also like the idea of having a little land, where rescue pets can roam and I/we can relax under the sun or stars after a long day at the agency.
  3. Having my mom and nephew Quincy move here would be awesome.  She could open a B&B, or something similar, and he could learn to surf.  I guess I’m kind of missing them (I never had a need to have family that nearby before). 

There you have it, friends.  As mentioned earlier, our dreams and desires are nothing sensational or outrageous, like winning a big Powerball pot, but they are near and dear to our hearts.

Here’s to ours—and yours—coming true.

4avK