0 Time to Bake the Hamantaschen—It's Purim!

Hamantaschen cookies, Purim
Hamantaschen cookies—the traditional Purim treat. [Photo Credit: NetGlimse.com]
Sound your graggers, it's time to celebrate Purim! The Jewish holiday officially began at sunset on Saturday and ends at sunset on Monday, March 1. Like most people, my favorite aspect of Purim is, of course, the delicious hamantaschen cookies.

Traditionally, hamantaschen are made with prune or poppy seed filling (though I much prefer the ones with apricot preserves or apple filling). In fact, the word hamantaschen is derived from two German words: mohn (poppy seed) and taschen (pockets). The most popular explanation of why Jews eat this three-cornered pastry is that Haman, the antagonist of the Purim story, wore a three-cornered hat; eating hamantaschen is essentially a way to symbolically destroy the memory of his evil.

Here's a simple recipe for hamantaschen so you can try this tasty Purim treat for yourself.
Easy Hamantaschen (yields 24 cookies)

3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup orange juice
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup fruit preserves, any flavor

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until lightly and fluffy. Stir in the oil, vanilla and orange juice. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter to form a stiff dough. If dough is not stiff enough to roll out, stir in more flour. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut into circles using a cookie cutter or the rim or a drinking glass. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of preserves into the center of each one. Pinch the edges to form three corners.
3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

[Source: AllRecipes.com]

0 The Evolution of Olympic Pictograms

Mexico City, Summer Games, Olympic pictograms, Lance Wyman
The Olympic pictograms designed by Lance Wyman for the 1968 Summer Games in Mexico City. Hey, isn't that the Target logo? [Image Credit: Olympic Games Museum]
Since they were first introduced for the 1936 Summer Olympics in Germany, over the years, designers have tried to update the sports pictograms—some more successfully than others.

Nothing against the 2010 Vancouver pictograms, but I happen to like the sort of Op Art, Minimalist style of the icons for the 1968 Summer Games in Mexico City, designed by Lance Wyman.

(Preview the pictograms for London 2012 here—what do you think of the new designs?)

In the following video, Olympic Icons: An Animated Appraisal (courtesy of The New York Times), designer Steven Heller traces the evolution of the Olympic pictograms.

0 Best. Craigslist Ad. Ever. UP IN HERE!

I just about fell off the couch laughing when I read this Craigslist ad...

Craigslist ad, roommate wanted
[Image Credit: Craigslist.org via The Consumerist]

0 The New Friskies Cat Ad-ventureland

There are plenty of times—days like Monday when Michigan gets 6 inches of snow and I'd rather not slide drive into work—that I envy my kittens. After seeing this new Friskies commercial the other day I pretty much wanted to become one. Have you seen this cat Narnia? Turkeys dancing in a field, a ride on a fish-shaped sailboat and and a salute by bouncing chicks as kitty walks the red carpet to her delicious meal...I want to "journey to delicious and beyond!"

0 One Million Dollars—No Steal for the Man of Steel

Action Comics 1, Superman
Action Comics #1 marked the 1938 comic book debut of Superman. [Image Credit: ComicConnect.com]
"Faster than a speeding bullet," on Monday a collector swiped up an extremely rare top-condition copy of Action Comics #1—the 1938 comic book debut of Superman—for the bargain price of $1 million. I knew I had a reason for tolerating my boyfriend's comic-filled boxes bogarting our closet space!

According to a statement on ComicConnect.com, the online auction/consignment site which sold the book, only about 100 copies remain in existence, and of those, only two have received a comparable "very fine" condition grading.

Seventy-two years ago Action Comics #1 sold for just 10 cents.

“It’s the single most important event in comic book history,” said Vincent Zurzolo, the company's co-owner and COO. In fact, ComicConnect.com says they received so much traffic following the record-breaking sale that their website crashed.

Spring will be here soon enough, it's about time I clean out our closets. (My bf won't notice one or two missing comic books...right?)

0 Oprah's Incredible! World's Tallest Dog on a Chocolate Set

Guinness World Record, Giant George, tallest dog
Meet Giant George! Standing 3'7" tall, this Great Dane is the official "Tallest Living Dog" and "Tallest Dog Ever".
The Oprah Winfrey Show, Godiva chocolate
The Oprah Winfrey Show set made entirely of Godiva.
[Photo Credit: Oprah.com]
I must confess that I DVR The Oprah Winfrey Show every day so I can watch it after work—she's fantastic and I wish that I could hang out/go to lunch with her and Gayle.

Monday's episode was entitled "That's Incredible!" and certainly presented a few, "OMG Did you see Oprah today-worthy" segments.

First of all, Oprah's set was built entirely out of Godiva chocolate. Done. Just end it there. From the fireplace and the chandeliers, to the table, chairs and even paintings on the walls, the whole thing was edible and built of sweet chocolate-y goodness. It's like the woman reads my mind before I think the thoughts. Ingenious.

Then came Giant George—the "Tallest Dog Ever" and "Tallest Living Dog" according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The four-year-old Great Dane weighs in at a whopping 245 pounds and measures an astounding 7'3" lengthwise. George sleeps on his own queen size bed and every month he chows down on $250-300 worth of dog food and treats (but not Oprah's chocolate set). You can follow the big pooch on Twitter @GiantGeorgeAZ.

Finally, there were the talented guest artists. Speed-painter Rob Surette created an entire portrait in under 2 minutes. And artist George Vlosich spends up to eighty hours creating portraits on his Etch A Sketch (I wonder what happens if the screen shakes while he's still working? Or if he screws up, how does he fix it?). As an artist I was completely wowed by these talented gentlemen.

Here's a video of George (the artist, not the dog) in action:

Oprah, please don't retire—you're incredible!

0 What Ever Happened to Richard "Boner" Stabone?

Andrew Koenig, Growing Pains, Boner Stabone
Actor Andrew Koenig, best-known for his role as "Boner" Stabone on Growing Pains, has been reported missing by his friends and family. [Photo credit: MaximumFun.org]
Updated February 25, 2010*

Once a television series comes to an end, we tend to forget about certain young stars—especially those who played minor supporting characters on our favorite childhood sitcoms. Years pass and one day you randomly ask yourself, what ever happened to that guy? Today I was reminded of one such actor because according to media reports, nobody knows where he is.

Since his days as Richard Milhous "Boner" Stabone—Mike Seaver's best friend on 80s sitcom Growing Pains—actor Andrew Koenig had some other minor roles, became an activist, and most recently was a video producer for the podcast Never Not Funny. Those who remember him as that dorky "Boner" kid may not even recognize the now 41-year-old Andrew with his long wavy hair (it took me a minute).

On Sunday, Andrew's parents, Judy and Walter Koenig (who played Pavel Chekov in the Star Trek series), told TMZ that the last time they heard from their son was on February 9. According to reports, nobody has seen him since February 14.

The Koenig's described Andrew as "suffering from depression" and "not doing good" in the days leading up to his disappearance. And producer Lance Miccio was told by Andrew two weeks ago that he was "not going to work anymore."

Koenig was last seen at a bakery in the Stanley Park area of Vancouver, Canada and thereafter missed his February 16 return flight to the United States. Authorities are asking anyone with information about Koenig's disappearance to contact Detective Raymond Payette of the Vancouver PD at 604-717-2534.

Comedienne Sarah Silverman, actress Alyssa Milano and MTV host Dave Holmes immediately jumped on Twitter to spread the word about their missing friend. Please help do the same by sharing this story.
*UPDATE (Feb. 25, 2010)—Very sad news: CNN.com is reporting that the body of Andrew Koenig was found in a Vancouver park on Thursday. "My son took his own life," Walter Koenig told the press.

0 Own the 'Beverly Hills 90210' Beach House

The Beverly Hills 90210 beach house located at 3500 The Strand in Hermosa Beach, California. [Photo Credit: Vintage Properties]

After "Donna Martin graduates!" in season 3 of Beverly Hills 90210, she and her BFF Kelly Taylor move to the beach (along with her BF David Silver—just don't tell her mother Felice). According to Shelterpop, the famous blue-awninged 90210 beach house is back on the market and can be yours for the affordable price of $10.5 million.

Here is the property listing for 3500 The Strand:

"Quite simply, the most unique and spectacular location on The Strand. Featuring an unsurpassed 78' of beach frontage to the west and 58' of beach frontage to the north for a staggering, unmatched total 136' of beach frontage, this property is known internationally as the 90210 house after the television program of the same name. The property features an owner's 2 bedroom, 2 bath remodeled beach bungalow and two 2 bedroom, 2 bath guest suites. Unmatched panoramic views! Short walk to downtown Manhattan. Live now, build later. Biggest yard/patio on the beach."
Vintage Properties
The property was only used for exterior shots of the gang's apartment. Still, it would be pretty great to live in the place where Ray Pruit smashed Donna's Halloween pumpkins on the porch, and overlooking the beach where David etched his "I Love Don" proposal into the sand.

By the way, all new episodes of 90210 return on March 9. Am I the only one who feels obligated to keep watching the new series, no matter how inferior?

0 Welcome to Jenny's Noodle!

Jenny's Noodle
Photo credit: Ghetti Images Wikipedia
Welcome to Jenny's Noodle!
In case you're wondering, this blog won't actually be all about pasta (although that wouldn't be so terrible). This blog will, however, entertain you with very honest, opinionated humor on various topics including: pop culture, celebrities, movies, television, food, art, travel... and whatever else inspires Jenny on any particular day. Thanks for visiting!

About Jenny
Jennifer Tashman
View my LinkedIn profile
Jenny is a thirty-something gal, currently residing in Royal Oak, Michigan, with her husband and two kittens.

As a Digital Media Director and permanent resident of the internet, Jenny maintains so many blogs and social media profiles that she needs an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of them all. Okay, not really. But she does spend entirely too much time online, professionally and personally.

On rare occasions, Jenny breaks away from her computer to wear other hats, as a contemporary artist, baker of delicious treats and avid puzzler. In fact, you will never beat Jenny at any games, especially Jeopardy, Scrabble and/or Boggle.

Please keep grating or just go ahead and leave the shaker at the table—Jenny will never "say when" to parmesan cheese.

Need help with digital marketing, social media, blogging, SEO, copywriting, copy editing or crisis communications? Jenny is willing to share her years of expertise! For a small fee, of course. Email Jenny

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