... move along, move along
... move along, move along

I went grocery shopping this weekend and stopped by the bakery area to pick up some bread.1

I asked the clerk, “Do you have any pumpernickel bread?”

She responded, “What kind?”

“Any kind of pumpernickel of absolutely any type.”

Her answer:  “No.”

  1. Photo courtesy of jumbledpile []

Glasses, online
Glasses, online

As I mentioned about two weeks ago, I had ordered some glasses online through two different retailers.  1 At an average of $20.00 a pair, it was hard not to get carried away.

One pair of glasses had “polychromatic” lenses and cost about $35.00.  The other three pairs included a regular pair of glasses, a pair of tinted glasses for use as sunglasses, and a funky pair since they were totally free free (complete with frames and prescription lenses!?!?!)

I ordered from two different retailers because (1) $35.00 for those “transition” lenses aka “polychromatic” lenses was too good to pass up and (2) so I could compare the customer service and quality of the two companies.

Service through one company was a little better than the other.  However, I’m not qualified to judge quality.  Although I’m very happy with the look of these frames and lenses, I’d feel a lot better if I took them to my optomologist to be sure.

That said, I’m going to postpone an in-depth review until I see my eye-doc.  When I post the review I’ll include a few tips for ordering glasses online.2

  1. Photo courtesy of Morningstar Lee []
  2. You know, from my vast experience. []

Glasses, online
Glasses, online

I’ve already said I’m a big fan of NPR.  A few weeks ago they ran a story about the “Best-Kept Online Secret: Cheap Eyeglasses.”  The author, tired of paying hundreds of dollars for glasses, tried out a few different online glasses retailers. 1

This weekend I ordered glasses from two different websites. (I’m going to hold off mentioning which ones for now.  I’ll wait to find out what kind of a job they do.)

I ordered four pairs of glasses for much less than what a single pair used to cost me.  If all goes well, I’ll be getting one pair of sunglasses, one pair of color changing glasses, one pair that looks almost identical to the ones I wear now, and one pair of funky glasses (this was the free one).

The trade-off is that the glasses will take about two weeks.

See you in two weeks!2

  1. Photo courtesy of Morningstar Lee []
  2. Ha ha! []

Thumbs up!
Thumbs up!

Here’s a recipe I’ve used to make ravioli, including the filling, from scratch. 1 I found the recipe several years ago on the web, but unfortunately don’t remember where. In any case, here’s the recipe. It makes a LOT of pasta – enough for at least 6 people. The ravioli filling is my own creation – and its damn tasty.

There are essentially four steps:

  1. Make the dough
  2. Make the filling
  3. Make the ravioli
  4. Cook

Step 1: Make the Dough

Ravioli Pasta Dough Recipe2

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water

Place about 3/4 of the flour into a large bowl. Separately mix the egg, oil, salt and water. Add the wet ingredients to the flour. Mix everything thoroughly.

Kneed in the remaining flour. This takes a long time.

Wrap in plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes in the fridge. In the meantime, let’s move on to…

Step 2: Make the filling

Garlic Spinach Ricotta Ravioli Filling

  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Defrost spinach in bowl and drain. Mix in everything else. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate when not in use.

Step 3: Make the ravioli

  • When ready to make the ravioli, only remove a very small amount from the plastic to work with at a time.3 I only worked with pieces of dough about the size of a standard 6-sided-die.
  • Squish the piece of dough into a disc about the size of a silver dollar.
  • Place the dough on a plastic cutting board. I prefer the kind with the non-skid rubberized ends.
  • Roll the dough as thinly as possible. You’re going for almost translucent in the center. A heavy rolling pin helps.
  • Add about 1/2 tablespoon of the filling to the center.
  • Fold the dough in half and pinch the edges.
  • Set each piece aside on wax paper on a large plate. The wax paper is to prevent the ravioli from sticking to the plate. Don’t let the ravioli touch each other since they will stick together.
  • Cover the ravioli on the plate with plastic wrap while you work.

Step 4: Cook

  • When ready to cook, add the pasta to boiling water in a large pot and then lower to medium heat after a minute.
  • Cook for 5-7 minutes.4
  • The ravioli will tend to stick to the bottom of the pot, so stir once or twice.


  1. Photo courtesy of Dev Null []
  2. As I mentioned above, this recipe makes a lot of dough. If trying it out for the first time, consider making a 1/3 batch. []
  3. If you’re using a pasta press, you already know what you’re doing so you don’t need to read this. []
  4. 5 minutes if you have very thin ravioli, 7 minutes if your pasta was thicker []

The Grinch
The Grinch

After a short break from blogging, I off two tidbits: one full of holiday cheer… and the other about an incorrigible Grinch.1

Holiday Cheer

A few days before Christmas I received an extremely nice e-mail from David DePaolo, of WorkCompCentral fame.  He had read my blog post about my local food bank and made his own donation to his local food bank.  Thank you David!

Incorrigible Grinch

I have a loud neighbor.  They talk on the phone loud, watch TV loud, play music loud, etc.  Loud enough so that I can hear whatever it is they’re doing over my own TV with the doors and windows closed.  The night before Christmas Eve at around 8 O’clock PM they were playing something that sounded like a marching band – complete with tubas.  I couldn’t tell if it was a radio or TV or what – but it was extremely loud.  Being a good neighbor and filled with the aforementioned holiday cheer, I went out onto my patio and hollered, “Hey!  Turn it down already!”  In a few minutes their marching band music died down to a low rumble.

A few minutes later I find out that I had just yelled at a group of teenagers with instruments walking down our street… carrolling.  That’s right, I yelled at carolers – I’m the Grinch.

Ho ho ho!

  1. Photo courtesy of slworking2 []