Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Immersive Culture



Monday, September 24, 2012

New Book: Latina Girls and Sexual Identity by Lorena Garcia

If you've ever wondered if Latina girls are doomed to a sexually stigmatized life, you might want to read this new study, Protect Yourself, Respect Yourself: Latina Girls and Sexual Identity, from Lorena Garcia, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

While Latina girls have high teen birth rates and are at increasing risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections, their sexual lives are much more complex than the negative stereotypes of them as “helpless” or “risky” (or worse) suggest. 


In Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself, Lorena Garcia examines how Latina girls negotiate their emerging sexual identities and attempt to create positive sexual experiences for themselves. Through a focus on their sexual agency, Garcia demonstrates that Latina girls’ experiences with sexism, racism, homophobia and socioeconomic marginality inform how they engage and begin to rework their meanings and processes of gender and sexuality, emphasizing how Latina youth themselves understand their sexuality, particularly how they conceptualize and approach sexual safety and pleasure. 


At a time of controversy over the appropriate role of sex education in schools, Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself, provides a rare look and an important understanding of the sexual lives of a traditionally marginalized group.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Prettiest Teabag for Creatives

I've been on a herbal tea kick for a while. Brewing green tea or mint tea to both cleanse/detox, activate my metabolism and curb my snack-appetite. A couple of weeks ago, I received a trio of Mighty Leaf Teas from BirchBox and I was taken aback by their... Beauty.

I know it might sound weird but these might well be the prettiest tea bags I have ever come across. Their artisanal teas are packaged in specially handcraften SILKEN tea bags that are 100% compostable. Inside are whole leaf teas, herbs fruits, blossoms and spices. They also have a social responsibility section on their website where they demonstrate their initiatives and discuss their human (artist)-based philosophy. One that has garnered them innovation awards and my advocacy.

I hope you have a chance to experience this tea for yourself.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Lit Links & Scoops

Where I post the most interesting things I've observed all week:

- Laying down the tracks for you: Guest DJ: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Junot Diaz via NPR

- Back to School: I've signed up for 4 fall online courses: Understanding Modern Marketing Madness, Explain an Idea: A Creative Workout For Your Mind, A Crash Course on Creativity, and Finance.

- I thought it was just me, apparently, I'm not the only one thinking this: What’s Up With Mormons and Design Blogs? via Designmom and Why I can’t stop reading Mormon housewife blogs via Salon.

- Bravo! HBO Options Guillermo Del Toro Series via Vulture.

- I am buying this book mentioned here, just to read this essay on How to Be Creative: “There is only one way to be creative--and that is to have the courage to examine all our secret convolutions, hopes, and jokes and transform them into art. To hell with what the other guy thinks! The odder and more personal we get, the more everyone identifies. It’s magic.”

- “If a story is in you, it has to come out.” ― William Faulkner

- Geek Foodie Alton Brown protests Twitter with Analog Tweets. Nicely done.

- Your Book/Blog needs to prove that you are an interesting or attractive storyteller with relevant ideas. Read why here.

- I was so ecstatic about Revolution," NBC's new sci-fi drama but it failed to capture me. It was a wannabe Walking Dead, without grit and zombies, with too-pretty scenery and actors, what a loss - it had so much potential.

- How Being Bicultural Makes You More Creative, yes!

- The end of "Man" - it's not what you think. Worthwhile read here.

- Time's annual 50 Best Websites 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Free Access to Research on Five Historic Hispanic Authors This Month

In honor of Hispanic heritage monthQuestia, an online research and paper-writing tool for students, is paying homage to Hispanic authors who have made significant contributions to literature throughout history.  For the entire month, enjoy free access to reference works on five of history’s most researched Hispanic authors:

  • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra:  Spanish-born Cervantes is widely regarded as an influential playwright, novelist and poet in history, penning infamous works such as Don Quixote during his lifetime.  As a student under the direction of Juan Lopez de Hoyos, Cervantes published his first works, a collection of four poems.  For a portion of his life, Cervantes lived a military-lifestyle, eventually being held prisoner in Algiers for many years.  Upon his release from captivity, Cervantes solidified his reputation as an author and authored many more novels.  [Mancing, Howard.  The Cervantes Encyclopedia, Vol. 1 A-K.  Greenwood Press: 2004]
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez:  Marquez is among the most recognized Spanish American authors of the 20th Century and is primarily associated with his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.  At the age of 12, the Colombian-born Marquez obtained a scholarship to study at Colegio Nacional, a national secondary school, and eventually went on to study law.  While working as a journalist for a newspaper, Marquez began to publish his first works, many of which were short stories.  As his works gained notoriety throughout his life, Marquez found fame and came to make many famous and powerful friends.  [Pelayo, Ruben.  Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Critical Companion.  Greenwood Press: 2001]
Federico García Lorca
 Federico García Lorca
  • Federico Garcia Lorca:  Internationally recognized as a poet and playwright, Lorca’s tumultuous personal life and anguish was visible in many of his works.  Born in Spain, Lorca collaborated with many artists throughout Spain on various plays.  However, strained relationships with friends such as Salvador Dali led Lorca to make his way over to theUnited States where he enrolled at Colombia University and authored the poem Poet in New York.  Lorca eventually returned to Spain and was murdered in the Spanish Civil War. [Nandorfy, Martha J.  The Poetics of Apocalypse:  Federico Garcia Lorca’s Poet in New York.  Bucknell University Press: 2003]
  • Pablo Neruda:  Born as Ricardo Eliecer Neftali Reyes Basoalto in Chile, he often used the pen name Pablo Neruda for his politically-charged prose and poems and eventually took the alias as his legal name.  Throughout his life, Neruda became an internationally recognized figure for his involvement in politics, however in his youth he authored many poems such as the erotically-fueled Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair.  [Belitt, Ben.  The Forged Feature: Towards a Poetics of Uncertainty: New and Selected Essays.  Fordham University Press: 1995]
  • Jorge Luis Borges:  An Argentinean poet and short-story writer, Borges was a master of the written word with his writing first beginning in Europe where he received a baccalaureat from the College de Geneve in Switzerland.  In hisAutobiographical Essay Borges reminisces about how his involvement in literary tertulia while living in Madrid and how participating in conversations about different essays became a pivotal point within his writing career.  Borges is most remembered for his poetry and fictional essays that contained fantasy and magical realism themes.  [De Quevedo, Francisco.  Six Masters of the Spanish Sonnet: Essays and Translations.  Southern Illinois University Press: 1997]

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My New Twitter Header

is literally a piece of art.

Canvas print by Jon Solid, at Domeasolid.com


Have you changed yours yet?  Mashable explains how to do it here.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Si Se Puede - Rock the Vote - Hispanic Heritage Draft

It's Hispanic Heritage Month and what better to celebrate your Latinidad than by flexing our political and civic muscles this election year. In partnership with Voto Latino, you can register to vote right here, right now. (Then get ready to hit the polling booths on Election Day, and don't forget to bring Mami, Abuela and the rest of the registered voters in your family along with you). Together we make a major impact on the future of America.

Through both Voto Latino and National Voter Registration Day’s online voter registration tool, users that complete the online form will receive an emailed PDF with their information filled in. The registrant then simply signs, stamps, and sends the completed form to the address included in their form. That’s it -- the whole process takes less than 5 minutes.
About Voto Latino

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 05:  Taboo of the Bl...
 Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas at Voto Latino's Purple Carpet Bash on Sept 5, 2012. (Getty Images)
Founded in 2004 by actor Rosario Dawson and political analyst Maria Teresa Kumar, Voto Latino is a dynamic and growing organization whose civic engagement campaigns have reached 55 million Latino households.

Rosario Dawson
Rosario Dawson
Driven by the belief that Latino issues and American issues are one and the same, Voto Latino has effectively used volunteers, celebrities, media, and the latest technology to register 120,000 young Latino voters, galvanize Latino youth and their families to be counted in the 2010 Census, and mobilize them to speak out and take action on policies impacting their lives.

* Our regularly scheduled edition of Lit Link & Scoops, will return next week following the PSA.

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Book: Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World by Sabina Berman

English: Close up of Sabina Berman Español: Cl...
Sabina Berman (Photo: Wikipedia)

A transporting and brilliant novel narrated by an unforgettable woman: Karen Nieto, an autistic savant whose idiosyncrasies prove her greatest gifts.

As intimate as it is profound, and as clear-eyed as it is warmhearted, Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World marks an extraordinary debut by the award-winning Mexican playwright, journalist, and poet Sabina Berman.

Karen Nieto passed her earliest years as a feral child, left alone to wander the vast beach property near her family's failing tuna cannery. But when her aunt Isabelle comes to Mexico to take over the family business, she discovers a real girl amidst the squalor. 

So begins a miraculous journey for autistic savant Karen, who finds freedom not only in the love and patient instruction of her aunt but eventually at the bottom of the ocean swimming among the creatures of the sea. Despite how far she's come, Karen remains defined by the things she can't do—until her gifts with animals are finally put to good use at the family's fishery. 

Sabina Berman, translated by Lisa Dillman
Her plan is brilliant: Consolation Tuna will be the first humane tuna fishery on the planet. Greenpeace approves, fame and fortune follow, and Karen is swept on a global journey that explores how we live, what we eat, and how our lives can defy even our own wildest expectations.

Sabina Berman is a four-time winner of the Mexican National Theatre Prize for her plays; she also writes filmscripts, poetry, prose, and journalism, and has published several novellas. Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World, which will be published in twenty-five territories, is her first novel. She lives in Mexico.

Lisa Dillman teaches in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Emory University and has translated numerous works of fiction by Argentine, Mexican, Catalan, and Spanish writers. She lives in Decatur, Georgia.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Free eBook: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket By: Edgar Allan Poe

In celebration of the Map of Time's sequel, The Map of the Sky: A Novel by Felix J Palma this month, Atria Books is offering free eBooks of the books that inspired the novels.
Edgar Allan Poe
 Edgar Allan Poe

Visit their website (it's very clunky, you will have to search and then sign up to "purchase" the books. You will get a link via email) to receive a free digital copy of The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, and The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket By: H.G. Wells and Edgar Allan Poe.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Healthy Eats: Lemon Chicken & Soba Noodles in Peanut Butter Sauce

This past weekend I moved in with my boyfriend of over a year. We're both food enthusiasts and in the time we've been dating we invented a game called Broke-A$$ Chopped. As fans of the Food Network's Chopped, our own iteration came about from my skills in the kitchen and his previously unstocked, sad (read: Frat House-ish) pantry. I had fun devising up good foods with meager accouterments and a lack of (proper) pots and pans but those days are NOW over.

My Lemon Chicken & Soba Noodles in Peanut Butter Sauce
We have begun a health kick together and in spite of the hectic Labor Day weekend move, I managed to cook on Saturday. Inspired by Pinterest too, I want to share this Lemon Chicken & Soba Noodles in Peanut Butter Sauce recipe that I put together with you.

I've taken to cleaning, seasoning and bagging my meats right after I get back from the market. I usually then freeze them and they taste so amazing after they have had time to absorb and the flavors of the rubs/marinades. I usually do different batches so we can have some variety.

Lemon Chicken & Soba Noodles in Peanut Butter Sauce

Chicken

For this healthy recipe for two, I used 3-4 pieces of organic chicken cutlets, which I seasoned with 1/2 teaspoon of Mrs. Dash's lemon pepper, 1 teaspoon of white wine and 1 of olive oil, half a packet of Sazon, a dusting of Goya Adobo Light and garlic powder.

After seasoning, I froze the cutlets in a Ziploc and then defrosted them in the refrigerator when I was ready to cook them on Saturday. I simply seared them in a non-stick frying pan, misted lightly with canola oil and once golden, I covered them and lowered the flame to continue the slow cook until the chicken was cooked thoroughly. I usually just peek inside the thickest cut of the meat with a fork every 5-10 minutes until the chicken is completely white, keep watch, because you don't want dry chicken or pink, raw, inedible chicken.

Noodles

If you've aren't familiar with Soba Noodles, they hail from Japan and can be eaten cold or hot. They are made with  buckwheat (most brands are Gluten-free but please read the label) and have almost less than half the calories and carbs of white flour pasta. I found some in my local dollar store and stocked up.

They were very easy to cook. I just added them to boiling hot water, stirred and removed after three minutes. I went online to look for an easy peanut butter sauce to make because the last time I attempted to make this sauce, the recipe I used had a bazillion Asian ingredients that I had to go out and buy and the sauce still didn't taste authentic.

Sauce

This is the Peanut Butter Sauce recipe I found that I slightly altered:

1/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbs cider or rice vinegar, or fresh lime juice
4 tsps sugar 
Optional: 2 tsp red pepper flakes
              1 tbs finely grated/minced ginger

I added 2 tabls of red balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon of Siracha, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, skipped the pepper flakes, and warmed this sauce over the stove with a piece of fresh ginger, which I removed once the sauce was completely melted/mixed together. It was really easy to make and tasted like the real thing.

Update: I also added some 1 chopped clove of garlic.

I let the sauce cool down and mixed it in with the noodles. They weren't exactly beautiful - I messed them up on the first try. In fact, they looked a little bit like brown mush (his puddy ugly brown plates didn't help - ergo, we're donating those) but once served with the chicken, which I butterflied for faster cooking (look at that perfect heart shape), the whole dish was scrumptious and the perfect meal for ravenous and exhausted movers & shakers.

This was His portion so it's a bigger ration. (Yes, I gave him my heart.)

My Lemon Chicken & Soba Noodles in Peanut Butter Sauce
My recommendations: Use low sodium, fresh, organic ingredients when you can otherwise this dish will be really, really salty, don't overcook the noodles or they will turn to mush. For color, top off with chopped scallions or chives. This flavorful dish can be served hot or cold paired with a sweet/dry white wine.

Monday, September 03, 2012

New Book: Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Maricel E. Presilla

I can remember a conversation I had a few years back with my then mentor, Michael Pietsch, Executive Vice President and Publisher of Little, Brown and Company, about cookbooks. I had expressed my concerns that the web was changing consumers' needs for buying cookbooks since it was so easy to just get them online. I remember him furrowing his brow and internally cringing at the thought that that perhaps I had been too frank. I don't think publishers need to be worried anymore though.

Lately, however, I've noticed a trend toward the objectification of things and especially vintage items, like books and vinyl. I think cookbooks, especially the most eye pleasing will fall into this category and they will always have a place on a shelf or a coffee table.

During my early twenties, I collected cookbooks, which I dreamed I would one day display in my kitchen, in the home of my future. When I came across Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Maricel E. Presilla, I felt that old knee jerk shopaholic/collector pull: have-to-have-it!

I think you might feel this way too...

How to cook everything Latin American. 

W. W. Norton & Company (October 1, 2012)
Gran Cocina Latina unifies the vast culinary landscape of the Latin world, from Mexico to Argentina and all the Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean. In one volume it gives home cooks, armchair travelers, and curious chefs the first comprehensive collection of recipes from this region. 


An inquisitive historian and a successful restaurateur, Maricel E. Presilla has spent more than thirty years visiting each country personally. She’s gathered more than 500 recipes for the full range of dishes, from the foundational adobos and sofritos to empanadas and tamales to ceviches and moles to sancocho and desserts such as flan and tres leches cake


Detailed equipment notes, drink and serving suggestions, and color photographs of finished dishes are also included. This is a one-of-a-kind cookbook to be savored and read as much for the writing and information as for its introduction to heretofore unrevealed recipes. Two-color; 32 pages of color photographs; 75 line drawings.


Maricel E. Presilla is the co-owner of Zafra and Cucharamama, two Latin restaurants in Hoboken, New Jersey. She holds a doctorate in medieval Spanish history from New York University and lives in Weehawken, New Jersey.




 
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