Archive for February, 2015

QUINQuinoa is having its moment. A few years ago very few people in the U.S. were aware of the ancient grain. Today, you can’t get away from it… Quinoa is everywhere.

I enjoy quinoa and have used in in many dishes – some even featured here on Lost Cowboy.

However, today I have found the absolutely best use for quinoa yet…

…the Quinoa Whiskey I found from Corsair Distillery.

About Quinoa Whiskey: “American whiskey pot distilled from quinoa and malted barley. Quinoa is a South American grain crop grown for its seeds. Quinoa adds an earthy and nutty flavor to the whiskey. Quinoa seeds comes in red, white, and black varieties. This whiskey uses red and white quinoa grains.”

Learn more about Quinoa Whiskey and where to find it near you here.

Learn more about Corsair Distillery here.

Sato2There are many worthy charitable organizations out there. But it seems that ones that are dedicated to saving children and animals are the ones that tug hardest on the heart strings. Today’s Way to Give back is about the latter – The Sato Project – a group dedicated to rescuing abused and abandoned dogs from Puerto Rico.

About The Sato Project: “The Sato Project primarily works in a place known as Dead Dog Beach on the southeastern coast of the island. As its name states, it is usually a last resting place for dogs, and it is not a happy one. No dog walks to Dead Dog Beach – it is at the end of a long road with no residences – they are dumped there. There is no food or fresh water on the beach. We are the dogs’ only source of food, fresh water, and most importantly, love, on a daily basis. We take our rescue mission very seriously. Rescuing dogs means more than just pulling them off a beach or the streets. We are dedicated to each and every one of our dogs and we want to give them the greatest chance in life. After what they have been through, what they have witnessed, we never want them to suffer again. The Sato Project is making permanent change in Puerto Rico. We encourage you to join us.”

Learn more about The Sato Project and how you can help here.

VDAY

FF: Twizzlers Lip Balm

TWIZZOK, this is like my favorite all-time find – the Twizzlers flavored Lip Balm I found from the fine folks at Perpetual Kid.

About Twizzlers Lip Balm: “Ever have a craving for Twizzlers and you’re not at the movie theater to grab a bag? We have a solution for you! Our Twizzlers Strawberry Flavored Lip Balm… Yummy! Make sure you put this on your lips and not in your mouth! Ah… recapturing youth in a moisturizing lip balm! Strawberry flavored.”

Find the Twizzlers Lip Balm from Perpetual Kid here.

See all the really cool, funky and fun products of Perpetual Kid here.

FF: The Shrine Sneaker Duffel

SHRINEI have a ton of overnight bags and other luggage. I pride myself on having the perfect piece for whatever the trip requires. However, one of the greatest challenges I have is how to best pack my footwear. Seriously, this is a problem. I think I may have found the prefect bag for me – the Sneaker Duffel from the fine folks at The Shrine – which includes special compartments for shoes.

About the Shrine Sneaker Duffel: “The Shrine Sneaker Duffel is a travel bag designed with two large dedicated sneaker compartments for your limited edition kicks. It also has a large middle compartment for your clothing. Underneath the main lid opening there is a mesh pocket for your chargers, cables and other essentials. There is also one watch pocket to for your favorite timepiece.”

See all the great products from The Shrine here.

Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.  Back in the day it was a national holiday in its own right, before it was combined with George Washington’s birthday to become Presidents’ Day – which honors Lincoln, Washington and indeed all U.S. Presidents.

Anyway, to honor the day here is a picture of these great bookends I spotted last summer at Jules Besch Stationers in Wellfleet, MA.

Lincoln

MSPI can’t believe I have been living out in the greater Kansas City area for a whole year already. It’s just crazy how fast time passes. However, I am still enjoying getting to know the area, there is so much to do and explore.

I recently discovered one of the more unique attractions in the area – the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City, MO. The Missouri State Penitentiary is exactly what comes to mind when you think of the iconic prison. Think Shawshank.

The Missouri State Penitentiary offers tours that bring you through the history of the place which is really a social history of crime and punishment in the United States – and it is fascinating.

About Missouri State Penitentiary tours: “This original Missouri State Penitentiary tour discusses the 168-year history of the Missouri State Penitentiary and covers both the prison’s history itself and the history of penal eras in the United States. During this tour, guests are guided through Housing Unit 1 (Control Center) and A-Hall – the oldest building still standing on the Missouri State Penitentiary site (built in 1868), dungeon cells, The Upper Yard, Housing Unit 3 and the Gas Chamber. Guests hear the history of the Missouri State Penitentiary including information on infamous inmates, the Riot of 1954, escape attempts and much more.”

If a tour of the actual Missouri State Penitentiary is not your speed, but you are still interested in the history, you can visit the Missouri State Penitentiary Museum – a great take on its own.

About The Missouri State Penitentiary Museum“The Missouri State Penitentiary Museum is now open at 100 E. High St. Located on the second floor of the Jefferson City Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) offices, the idea for the MSP Museum was conceived several years ago after the popularity of the prison tours continued to grow. When taking a prison tour, visitors hear a verbal background of MSP and many stories about the two-century history, but the CVB staff felt it would be beneficial to provide even more historical details and images. And so the plan for a Museum was born.”

Missouri State Penitentiary is located at 115 Lafayette St in Jefferson City, MO.

The Missouri State Penitentiary Museum is located at 100 E. High St in Jefferson City, MO.

CONVOWhen most people think of classic Valentine’s candy, they think of the good old heart-shaped box of chocolates. Not me. I think of the classic “Conversation Hearts” – you know those chalky candy with cute little love notes written on them? Well there are many varieties out there, but the fine folks at Old Time Candy still sells the Conversation Hearts with the old school sayings on them.

About the Classic Conversation Hearts from Old Time Candy: “A Valentine’s Day favorite any time of year. These hearts are larger than the regular ones, measuring 7/8 of an inch across. The regular ones are 1/2 inch. A 2 lb bag contains about 365 pieces. Orders placed by midnight usually ship on the next business day.”

Check out all the old school treats available from Old Time Candy here.

NATThere is nothing more important for us to do than to preserve nature.  As caretakers of the earth as long as we are here, we can all do something to ensure future generations reap the benefits from as much nature as possible.

It is a daunting task as individuals to help preserve things like coral reefs, but by banding together and supporting groups like The Nature Conservancy, we can make a difference.

About The Nature Conservancy “The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. We address the most pressing conservation threats at the largest scale. Thanks to the support of our more than 1 million members, we’ve built a tremendous record of success since our founding in 1951.”

Learn more about The Nature Conservancy here.

See the different ways you can support The Nature Conservancy here.

FF: Frankies Extra Virgin Olive Oil

457First up is Frankies Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Brooklyn’s very own Frankies Spuntino.

About Frankies Extra Virgin Olive Oil: “Frankies Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made from organically grown olives in Trapani, Sicily in the DOP certified valley of Nocellara del Belice. This area is consistently rated in the top 5 DOP’s in all of Italy. DOP stands for Denominazione di Origine Protetta (Protected Destination of Origin). Our trees are between 300 and 400 years old and each is hand-pruned and each olive hand-picked. The warm Sicilian sun, the rich volcanic soil, and the steady saline breeze from the Mediterranean come together to make this extra virgin olive oil one of the best in Italy every year. Our producers own almost all of the acreage in this DOP, which gives us a veritable exclusive on the quantity of this product from this region.”

Learn more about Frankies Extra Virgin Olive Oil and find how to purchase it here.

Learn more about Frankies Spuntino here.

FF: LA Organic Cuisine Extra Virgin Olive Oil

LANext up is LA Organic Cuisine Extra Virgin Olive Oil, from the fine folks at LA Organic, producers of fine olive oils and related products.

About LA Organic Cuisine Extra Virgin Olive Oil: “LA Organic Cuisine is an extra virgin olive oil of extraordinary quality, produced using the Picual, White-leaved and Marteno varieties, the most valuable in Andalucia. It is one of the first organic extra virgin olive oils, specially formulated for its use in high cuisine – as in any kitchen – it is also extremely rich in polyphenols.”

Find LA Organic Cuisine Extra Virgin Olive Oil here.

Learn more about LA Organic and all their products here.

FF: The Traditional Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil from McEvoy Ranch

MCEFinally today, some of the best olive oils today are coming from the Napa region of California, like the Traditional Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Petaluma’s McEvoy Ranch.

About the Traditional Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil from McEvoy Ranch: “In a marriage of traditional methods and modern engineering, we produce boldly Californian oil with distinctly Italian roots. Estate-grown and produced from select Italian olive varieties, our certified organic and certified extra virgin Traditional blend is a medium-bodied oil with aromas of fresh olive fruit, newly-mown grass and robust garden greens. Emerald at harvest and mellowing to a greenish gold, the flavors are richly complex with hints of artichoke and almond, a touch of savory bitterness and a mildly peppery finish.”

Learn more about McEvoy Ranch here.

GRIELI have this strange thing about books about music. I love them, but think it is weird to read about music. However, in his new book, The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs, noted music writer Greil Marcus manages to write a compelling history of modern music that transcends the medium.

In Mr. Greil’s competent hands, The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs, presents us with an interesting distillation of 50 years of music. The premise is hard to imagine, ten songs out of the thousands of songs written and recorded over the years, but Mr. Greil makes a strong case and gives us a very entertaining read.

About The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs by Greil Marcus: “Unlike all previous versions of rock ’n’ roll history, this book omits almost every iconic performer and ignores the storied events and turning points that everyone knows. Instead, in a daring stroke, Greil Marcus selects ten songs recorded between 1956 and 2008, then proceeds to dramatize how each embodies rock ’n’ roll as a thing in itself, in the story it tells, inhabits, and acts out—a new language, something new under the sun. ‘Transmission’ by Joy Division. ‘All I Could Do Was Cry’ by Etta James and then Beyoncé. ‘To Know Him Is to Love Him,’ first by the Teddy Bears and almost half a century later by Amy Winehouse. In Marcus’s hands these and other songs tell the story of the music, which is, at bottom, the story of the desire for freedom in all its unruly and liberating glory. Slipping the constraints of chronology, Marcus braids together past and present, holding up to the light the ways that these striking songs fall through time and circumstance, gaining momentum and meaning, astonishing us by upending our presumptions and prejudices. This book, by a founder of contemporary rock criticism—and its most gifted and incisive practitioner—is destined to become an enduring classic.”

The best part is the ten songs used to tell this History are easily accessible and by listening to them before during and after reading about them – you can really have a rewarding experience – whether or not you agree with Mr. Greil’s assessment.

The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs by Greil Marcus is available from Amazon and other fine book retailers.