"This is all I have learned: God made us plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated." -Ecclesiastes 7:29-

I've moved!

The Articulate{1} blog has moved to articulate1.tumblr.com. Please stop by for a visit!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Momma Nanc' vs. Weeds

Well, I still need to fully transition into the new Tumblr blog, but I have some Momma Nanc' quotes to share in the meantime...

It was Father's Day yesterday (Happy Dad's Day!), but Momma Nanc' stole the show from my Pops as we sat on the deck at our cabin overlooking the lake Sunday morning while drinking Bloody Marys.  We had quite the interesting convo regarding weeds.  I was flanked by my parental unit, Momma Nanc' was seated to my left and my Pops to my right.  Momma Nanc' vehemently discussed her dislike of weeds, saying they were worse than mosquitoes.  I disagreed since a weed isn't going to suck my blood, but I just let Momma Nanc' go off on her little rant.  The best part was my Pops just responded to her in this quiet, calm, nonchalant way.
Momma Nanc':  "I pulled a weed out the other day and it was the size of a shrub!"
Pops:  "Yup."
Momma Nanc':  "And I laid it out on the table and said, 'Dry out you piece of crap!'"  (She may or may not have said 'crap'.)
Pops:  "She's the only one I know who has a conversation with weeds."
Momma Nanc':  "When I get to heaven that might be the first question I ask God!  'Why in the hell did you create weeds?!'"
Pops:  "To test your fortitude Nancy Erickson Langseth."
Oh, bless her...AND him!  I love my parents.  They consistently entertain me and constantly love me.  What more could I ask for?!

Friday, May 27, 2011

New Blog Location

Dear Avid Blog Followers of Mine (all two of you):

I am slowly transitioning into a new blog location...  www.articulate1.tumblr.com  I have posted a number of quotes already and some other randomness, but plan on officially switching to Tumblr soon.  I don't quite know what makes the move "official" per say, but you know...it sounded good.  I also need to update my website like mad because I know you two have been eager for that.

Who are you two blog/web followers anyway?  Oh, maybe there are more than two of you.  And perhaps there aren't even two of you...

Well, to whom it may concern...  Again, the Articulate1 blog is moving to Tumblr.  So mosey on over there if you'd like and check 'er out.  I thank you kindly.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Have your cake and eat it too...

Recently I took on the delicious task of baking a Guinness Chocolate Cake from scratch.  In fact, it was my first baking-a-cake-from-scratch endeavor...ever.  I do enjoy baking, but don't do it particularly often because: 1) I live by myself B) Baked goods are my weakness C) Because they are my weakness, I'm not good at sharing baked goods 4) This means I eat too much if not all of the baked goods E) This then leads to guilt and potentially an extra pound or two added straight to my belly.  This Guinness Chocolate Cake business is a perfect example of that, but in all honesty, I enjoyed the cake sooo freaking much that I didn't particularly care about possible weight gain due to eating a piece of cake a day for pretty much a week.

I found this uh-may-zing cake thanks to a delightful little website called Pinterest, where you can catalog a variety of things on an online pinboard.  It's fantastic!  One of the "curators" for a food pinboard I follow "pinned" a photo of an exquisite Guinness Chocolate Cake, which linked me to Katie Quinn Davies' recipe for it featured on Design*Sponge.  

I immediately knew that I had to try to make this cake for a Sunday Night Supper my mom was hosting; these suppers entail my parents and their dear friends getting together at one another's homes to eat darn good food and drink, what I'll call, a fair amount of wine.  I regularly attend them as well enjoying the laughs and stories and their lovely friendship;  they're like family and my parents are blessed to have such tremendous people in their lives--as am I.  Additionally, I make notes for a potential book/movie that the other children and I will one day write...  But that's a whole different story!

Anywho, you can't just bring some untested dish to Sunday Night Supper.  Nope, this is some serious stuff.  So my mom had me bake a trial run cake.  This was helpful for me because I had to make some adjustments, but it also meant that I ate an extreme amount of cake...  

My first cake did taste awesome, but looked hysterical because I frosted it entirely too soon.  I blame it on the fact that myself and a couple of my eager taste-testers wanted to dig in pronto...

My second attempt, served at the prestigious Sunday Night Supper, went much better.  Thank goodness, or I may have never been invited again!  Phew. 

This cake is a definite must try.  Again, I had to make some adjustments to Katie Quinn Davies' original recipe.  The biggest change is due to the fact that I could not find the called for Dutch process cocoa anywhere where I live, so thanks to the powers of Google I was able to find a substitute using unsweetened natural cocoa and baking powder.  

Baking is a science, afterall, and since the recipe uses baking soda you have to add the baking powder to the unsweetened natural cocoa because, unlike Dutch process cocoa, it has not been treated with an alkali to neutralize its natural acidity.  Yeah...it's over my head too.  Anywho, this substitute called for math skillz that I'm not so sure I possess, but I think I must have worked it all out okay because the cake turned out fantastic!  (Seriously, multiplying fractions and stuff...  Cripes, I sweat merely thinking about it.)

Perhaps because of the change in cocoa, I found that I needed more liquid to melt down the cocoa...  "More liquid" means "more beer".  Hooray!  For those of you who may fear that the beer will overpower the cake you can add some water instead.  (I did this my first time around because I had already drank the rest of my Guinness...  Oops.)  However, I thought the additional Guinness was just fine, thank you very much; it makes the cake super moist.    Aside from that, I added vanilla to the cream when whipping it (whip it real good) because I la-la-love vanilla and to the frosting itself I added caramel Bailey's Irish Cream.  My thoughts are, the more booze the better...when it comes to baking.  (Please remember to drink responsibly, folks.)

So see my revised recipe below (click on it to enlarge) and enjoy the goodness of this cake.  I recommend a milk chaser!  Cheers!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Name Game

I love America.  Truly.  How could I not?  It's my homeland.  It's the land of the free and the home of the brave.  It's full of loving, brilliant, humble, hardworking, capable people.  That said, it has its flaws and Americans are far from perfect.  Just as there are good people roaming from the Lakes of Minnesota to the Hills of Tennessee, there are also bad people doing bad things.  Simply put.

And then there are people who are completely mind blowing...  Perhaps they aren't bad and they aren't doing bad.  No, maybe they're just naive or for whatever reason have a skewed view on life or are spoiled.  Yeah, spoiled.  It seems to me that reality television is a flaw America loves and that particular flaw showcases some pretty ridiculously spoiled folks. 

I'm not gonna lie, I do watch some reality TV shows from time to time.  Usually with my mouth gaping and my brow furrowed in disbelief.  It is a darn good thing that I only have about twenty channels of cable, otherwise I would likely be sucked into this faux real world depicted on TV.  I loved The Osbournes, Made, Little People Big World, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I love Project Runway, My Life on the D-List, and The Deadliest Catch.  (Are some of these shows still running?  I don't even know, aside from Deadliest Catch.)  But c'mon...  The Real Housewives franchise?  Sister WivesJersey Shore?!  And the equally perplexing Teen Mom?!

One such reality show that I am at this very moment sucked into, despite my better judgment, is Bravo's Pregnant in Heels.  I've never seen this show before and don't plan on watching it again, but I am sitting here dumbfounded by a pregnant couple, who are already parents of two girls, as they try to decide on a name for their unborn son.  They have hired a maternity concierge (say what?!) to help them in the naming process, which includes having a focus group and think tank to discuss potential baby names. 

Are you freakin' kidding me?  You need to bring together a language specialist, poet, business exec, and a bunch of other random people/supposed specialists you don't even know to help you name your own child?  Seriously?!  And how much money did you pay them? 

Yup, there's some'n wrong...some'n wrong 'dat, America.

For the love of Pete, here's how you name a baby:
  1. Talk to your husband or wife.
  2. Choose a name.
  3. The end.
Okay, okay, I realize it may be more complicated than that.  But honestly, when it comes down to it don't you just have to talk with one another?  I mean, you can refer to a book of baby names if necessary or chat with family and friends, but ultimately the decision should be yours because, after all, the baby is yours.  And unless you're trying to name your child, oh I don't know, Hitler or Bertha or Branch people should just keep their opinions to their selves.  Wait, I'll add to that Hamilton Charles because had I been a boy that would have been my name, after a great uncle.  Here's the deal, I am one hundred percent positive that I would have been nicknamed Ham Chuck the Fat Kid.  Seriously.  That, dear friends, would have been an appropriate name for my parents' family and friends to help them reconsider.  Just sayin'...

Hiring a group of strangers to tell you the pros and cons of the name Tucker seems silly.  Especially when in the end this particular couple chose a name no one seemed to like but them.  Bowen Asher.  I mean, it's not a name I'd choose, but again, he's not my son so they should care less about my opinion.

Should this couple have another child down the road I will offer my services to them.  Yes indeed, they can pay me a large sum of money and I will help them name their baby using a method my grandma's family utilized to name her.  My grandma, an afterthought, was named Carol Shirley after each member of the family put their favorite names in a hat and then drew out her first name followed by her middle name.  She always said her name didn't have a ring to it, but the "hat" had spoken and that was that.

Family stories like that, well, I think they are what is right with America.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I saw this amazing quote today and had to share it...

"All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on."  
-Henry Havelock Ellis-

The former quote is quite amazing in its own right and is the reason why I started reading The Secret Life of Bees, which thus far is a such a beautiful read.  It's poetic and raw and moving.  I loved the movie and the book is proving to be even better--as is typically the case.  Anyway, here is a quote pulled from The Secret Life of Bees:
"It's something everybody wants--for someone to see the hurt done to them and set it down like it matters." 
-Sue Monk Kidd-