Please vote for me in a recipe contest!

I entered my carrot-coriander-cardamom soup recipe in a recipe contest. If you're on Facebook, please consider voting for me here. If I make the top 5 in the voting, I'll get to make my recipe at a cook-off fundraiser for Gleaner's Food Bank in Detroit. My recipe is #4 - 3-C Soup by Tammy C. If you want to check out all the recipes, they are here.


The resolution of my IE issue

It was a Drupal setting in the website backend. Why it would only affect IE7 on Vista, I don't know. But I made the change neoliminal recommended in his comment to my last post, and it totally fixed the problem.

Thank you, you Drupal Guru, you.

More on my IE problem

(original post here)

Here's the form of the url that it objects to going to:

If you back out the url to it gives you a "page not found" error, but from within the site.

If you append "files" to the url (i.e. it gives the same error (which includes popping up a download box in the background, then the "Internet Explorer was not able to open this website" popup). Even though you've not actually told it to download a specific file.

Weird IE error - anybody have any ideas?

I have a website designed in Drupal. Files attached to a page have a unique url. If I click on a file attachment from the page, it opens no problem. If I click the link from an email, or cut and paste the url into the address bar, I get an "IE cannot open this website" error.

If you'd like to test it out for yourself, here's the page:

The links seem to work when clicked, but not when cut and paste. In IE7. Works fine in Firefox.

Any brilliant ideas? I've left the post public in case you want to refer someone you know to try to figure it out!


(more musings on the problem here)

Today's Zing Warehouse Sale Haul

8 oz block of Grafton 1-year cheddar - $5
Tube of anchovy paste - $5
Chocolate covered cocoa nibs - $5

Not bad. It was mostly chocolate day, and well, I have plenty of chocolate already. But these little nibs will be a nice crunchy garnish for something.

Things I didn't buy, but that you might want to: They have their 6-yr balsamic vinegar for $14, but I already have a bottle at home. Nice olive oil, but I'm not in the market for more olive oil. Lots of great cheese, but I just don't need a 1-lb block of cheese. Pig shaped versions of Mo's Bacon Bark (dark milk chocolate, bacon, smoked salt) were adoreable, but at $12 (or two for $20) still more than I wanted to spend. Could be a nice Father's Day present, though... Oh, and there was a really delicious chocolate hazelnut spread very dark chocolatey. But $18, so spendy.


I had some dental work done last year - an "overlay" to fix a tooth with a crack in in that wasn't bad enough to need a crown. That tooth was never quite right after - my bite wasn't quite right and the tooth has been very sensitive to heat and cold. And later, pressure sensitive as well.

Starting about 3 weeks ago I've had a constant little nagging headache. At first I didn't associate it with my tooth, but later I decided it really did seem to be emanating from that. At first it wasn't bad, and I figured it could wait until an appointment I had scheduled for next week. But this week I've been in constant pain, all the time. Not in my tooth directly, but in my jaw and head and neck on that side. So yesterday I "broke" and called the dentist - I couldn't bear the thought of being like this for another week.

They were able to get me in for a check up today, and it looks like the root on that tooth is dying and I need a root canal. So I've got a prescription for antibiotics to treat the abscess, Tylenol 3 for pain, and an appointment for a root canal at 7 am tomorrow morning. Oh joy, oh bliss. But if it will make this headache go away, then I'm all for it, really.

Thoughts on history and the future

Liam was sitting next to me on the couch as I watch Obama's victory speech. He was mostly paying attention to the Dora episode on the other computer, but occasionally he would hop over to look at my screen when the cheers got particularly loud.

"Is that the government?" he asks.

I tell him that this our new president. As Obama's speech concludes and the crowd waves their flags in unison, he asks me why they're doing that. Choking up, tears in my eyes, I tell them it's because they are all so very happy that he has won.

I feel, but don't say, the history of the moment. That maybe some day Liam will remember watching this particular victory speech, the milestone it marks, the barrier it crossed. But I don't say anything to him about it now, because I don't want him to know that this country might ever have thought that someone couldn't be "the government" because of the color of his skin.

I hope, I believe, that the Obama presidency will be notable for far more than his race. A friend said to me that he was afraid people were going to be deeply disappointed in Obama. "They're all expecting him to change the world," he said. But I think the power he has already shown to motivate and inspire the people, to move them and get them moving, means we don't have to wait for St. Obama to save the world. If we all get motivated and inspired, maybe we can do it ourselves.

My voting story

Canadian. Can't vote. But when I stopped by Eric's this morning to pick something up, Liam wanted me to take him to school. When I said no, it was Daddy's turn, he wasn't willing to accept that as an answer, and insisted that we go outside and have a "bote" on it (Liam says his v's as b's).

"Okay," he says, "If you bote for mommy, put your finger on your nose."

He does.

Eric says "What about if you vote for daddy, do we put our fingers on our noses now?"

Eric and I put our fingers on our noses.

"Oh, see, Daddy wins."

"No, no," says Liam, "that's not how boting works!" We repeated it a couple times, putting hands in the air this time, and counting them. "2 for daddy, 1 for mommy. See?"

Eventually we compromised on me walking out to Eric's car with the two of them.

Halloween Candy for Grownups

My Halloween order message is below. Website is live and accepting orders, but I haven't sent this out to my full mailing list yet. So I'd appreciate any commentary on the text below or on the site, and also on button functionality. I've tried to make the ordering process as simple as possible, but what's simple to do manually (apply a discount for a set number of items) is harder to program a paypal button to do. I'll be adding pictures once I get home - they're on my other computer.

tanac, you win a free Smoky Joe for coming up with the name - let me know if you'd like to order anything to go with it.

Open House Invitation
Did you know that there's a place in Ann Arbor that's an incubator for new artisanal food businesses? Well, there is, and it's the kitchen I rent to make my creations - Main Dish Kitchen. It was launched by two entreprenureual women, and since I started using the kitchen in February of 2007, several additional businesses have made their homes in that location as well. We mostly hang out in the back, but on October 18 we'll all be up front, showing (and sampling) our stuff. Stop by Main Dish Kitchen on October 18 between 4 pm and 7 pm for treats from Tammy's Tastings, cupcakes from Hey Cupcake, cakes from Cakes by Rubina, spinach pies from Specialty Wholesale Foods, cookies from Among Friends Organic Cookie Mixes, and samples from Main Dish Kitchen too. Main Dish Kitchen is located at 5060 Jackson Rd in Ann Arbor, just east of Zeeb Rd.

Halloween Sale
As hot days turn to cool nights and the leaves start to fall, it's time for me to brush off my chocolate making equipment and get back to business. This Halloween I've decided to take my annual Halloween Candy for Grownups sale in a new direction. Stock up on these gourmet candy bars from Tammy's Tastings for yourself, and then you won't have to scrounge through your kid's loot bags or raid the office leftover pile!

Sweet Salty Crunchy - Indulge yourself with this combination of crunchy pretzels, salty chewy caramel, and amazingly peanuty Koeze peanut butter, dipped in dark chocolate.

Pick Me Up - A shot of espresso you can throw in your bag for later, this bar combines coffee nougat with chewy espresso caramel and crunchy roasted espresso beans, all dipped in dark chocolate.

Smoky Joe - The devil's in the details, and what details they are... an all butter shortbread cookie topped with a smoky and spicy chipotle caramel and dipped in creamy milk chocolate.

$4.50/bar, $13 for a 3-pack, or $24 for a 6-pack. Orders must be received by October 17 for guaranteed order fulfillment, although I'll continue to fill orders as long as I have stock. Bars will be available for pick up/ delivery/ shipping beginning October 20th. I should have a limited number of bars available at the Open House, so if you're coming and would like to pick up there, let me know and I'll set some aside for you. Place your order on my website.

Wishing you good tastes and happy hauntings,
Liam's daycare/preschool has openings, and they're encouraging us to refer friends. They've got two buildlings, one for babies and toddlers, and one for pre-schoolers. And a dynamite young new teacher who is really doing great things in the preschool program. Part time and full time openings are available, and they're really flexible about hours and days of the week. The core staff has been really consistent over the years, and while there have certainly been kids Liam didn't get along with, we've been mostly quite pleased with the care he's receieved there.

If you (or someone you know) wants more information, let me know. They're having an open house on Sunday, October 5.

Web Development

Help me oh web developer type folks...

I need to create an online toolkit. It's mostly a series of static narrative webpages with links to documents. Sometimes it will link to groups of documents, where those groups should be determined by tags attached to the documents, where individual documents could have multiple tags. It needs to be password protected. I need some sort of WYISIWIG development platform so that I can design and populate the pages easily.

We might have a little money to have someone create a framework for us, or if there's something just easy enough for me to set up, that would be great. We have a webserver and could host it ourselves.


Last call for chocolates

Excerpt from my previous post:

There are four flavors:
Raspberry - I usually use frozen organic raspberries for the puree that gives my dark chocolate raspberry combo its distinctive tang. This time I'll be use fresh local fruit from the Farmer's Market.

Fresh Mint - One of my all time favorite flavors, this combines dark chocolate with mint picked straight from the garden.

Cherry-Thai Basil - Sour cherry preserves from Michigan Spoon Fruit are paired with a dark chocolate ganache infused with leaves from the Thai Basil plants growing outside my front door. I think Thai Basil is a heavenly combination with chocolate, and the cherries provide a sweet & sour counterpoint that brings it back down to earth.

Lavender Caramel - Another Tammy's Tastings classic flavor, but also garden fresh, infused with just picked lavender buds and flowers from my community's herb garden.

A beautiful gift box of 12 pieces is available for $22, and a round of 5 pieces is $10. Comment or email to place your order.
Summer is a rough time to be a chocolatier! Chocolate is temperamental stuff, and it's happiest when it's about 68 degrees with low humidity. Which is not a common occurrence in Michigan in July and August! So rather than fight the heat, I usually just take the summer off.

But that can be a hard choice to make when the market is filled with juicy, fresh and *local* fruit, and my garden is overflowing with fresh herbs just waiting to be infused into a ganache or caramel.

So when the Huron Valley chapter of Slow Food International [] invited me to participate in their special "Slow Food Dinner in the Vineyard" fundraising dinner on August 10, I was thrilled at the opportunity to present some of Michigan's bounty. And I feel especially honored to be invited to serve my creations alongside those of some of our great local food luminaries, like Eve Aranoff from Eve The Restaurant and Craig Common from The Common Grill.

Tickets are still available for this event, and you can read all about it at But even if you can't attend, you can still get a taste of summer, Tammy's Tastings style, because I'm offering up a special summer sale.

There are four flavors:
Raspberry - I usually use frozen organic raspberries for the puree that gives my dark chocolate raspberry combo its distinctive tang. This time I'll be use fresh local fruit from the Farmer's Market.

Fresh Mint - One of my all time favorite flavors, this combines dark chocolate with mint picked straight from the garden.

Cherry-Thai Basil - Sour cherry preserves from Michigan Spoon Fruit are paired with a dark chocolate ganache infused with leaves from the Thai Basil plants growing outside my front door. I think Thai Basil is a heavenly combination with chocolate, and the cherries provide a sweet & sour counterpoint that brings it back down to earth.

Lavender Caramel - Another Tammy's Tastings classic flavor, but also garden fresh, infused with just picked lavender buds and flowers from my community's herb garden.

A beautiful gift box of 12 pieces is available for $22, and a round of 5 pieces is $10. Please email me directly to place your order. Orders must be received by noon on Friday, August 1st for guaranteed fulfillment, although I'll continue to accept orders after that based on availability. Chocolates will be ready for pick up early next week.

A word about shipping... Remember how I mentioned that chocolate really doesn't like the heat? In order to ensure that you don't end up with chocolate soup, I can only ship orders that will be received within a day, and there will be an additional charge for ice packs and/or insulated packaging. Fortunately, Michigan is centrally located, so there are a number of cities FedEx Ground will reach in a day. This is the most reasonably priced option. But if you don't live in one of those cities, I will have to ship your chocolates via overnight mail (USPS Express or FedEx Express). I will send you pricing options when you place your order so you have all the information before purchasing.

Enjoy your summer, and all the great tastes it brings! And look for me in October, when I'll be bringing you a great line of gourmet candy bars just in time for Halloween.

Wishing you good tastes,

Stock photography

Man oh man oh man, there's some really bad stock photography out there.

Post inspired by this one, but there are many more I've seen today.


Got lots of calls and emails about the condo. I'm going over there between 4:30 and 6 pm today to run a little open house. If half the people who've called show up, and half of them turn in applications, we should still end up with at least a couple/few people to choose between, so I'm really hoping we'll have the place rented by the end of the week!

Knock on wood, not counting chickens before hatching, and all that.


Big Yard Sale tomorrow

As long as it's not storming all day long...

All three cohousing communities on Litte Lake Dr are having yard sales tomorrow. So there will be a lot browsing available in a concentrated amount of space. Come check us out if you're in need of anything!

Condo for Rent

1 bedroom, 1 bath condo in the Village.

About the condo: High ceilings, hardwood floors, deck, air conditioning and full basement with washer/dryer. New gas stove in kitchen. Big windows, lots of natural light. Garden. Pets welcome. $800/month, includes water, but not gas or electric. Available July 1. Pictures here.

About the neighborhood: The Village is a great neighborhood in East Ann Arbor near Arborland Mall. It has big mature trees and lots of grassy open areas. Grocery store or other shopping is a quick walk away. It's conveniently located for using public transit (catch multiple buses at Arborland) and also has very easy access to the highway for Metro Detroit commuters.

Email to tammylc at pobox dot com or call Tammy at 734-276-3215.

Please pass on to anyone you know!


It's a small world, after all

Morgan Valley
Morgan Valley

Traveled to Pennsylvania yesterday for work. Second time in two weeks. We were attending a "Lessons Learned" meeting for a project we're evaluating. It was held at a retreat center located way up on the top of a mountain. Getting there was a challenge, because when the road turns into a private road, there's nothing to tell you to keep going. But eventually someone else came up behind us and told us that we were on the right track, and after going up up up the gravel road, we came to the retreat center on top. And were rewarded with this incredible view! (2 more pictures are in my Scrapbook Gallery.)

But the title of this post actually comes from what happened on the way home. Flying from Harrisburg to Pennsylvania I struck up a conversation with my seat mate. The usual where are you going, where have you been. What do you do for work? He works in solar, so we start talking about that, I'm asking about some things I learned at Green Industrialization conference I attended. And I mention cohousing, as a preamble to telling him about the solar hot water heaters we have installed.

"Cohousing?" he says. "No way." Turns out that he was part of a group for 5 years, but they never found land and then things happened. It was in Vermont, he says. "You wouldn't by any chance know folkmew and her husband Ed?" I ask. And of course, he does - they were members of the same cohousing group, Wild Onion Cohousing.

So then we spent the rest of the trip talking about cohousing, as he was very curious about how it was actually working out for us. Very cool, and certainly made the (already short) flight time fly by!

So folkmew - Tom says Hi!

Major life changes ahead

Eric and I have decided to get a divorce. This is very new, so there's no timeline yet. Our plan/hope is for me to find a place to rent at Great Oak or Touchstone, so that it will be easy for us both to stay active and committed coparents to Liam. I'm looking at several options in the two communities and should have a better idea of what that looks like soon.

We're trying move through this amicably and reasonably. We hope to remain friends and with Liam in our lives, we will always be family, so we appreciate your support in not pointing fingers or placing blame.

We haven't told Liam anything yet. He's too young to understand it on an abstract basis. We figure he'll be able to understand "Mommy and Daddy are going to live in different houses and you'll spend time with each of us." But he doesn't have a good understanding of time, so we don't want to tell him that until a move is more imminent. So if you happen to be around us when Liam is with us, understand that we won't be talking about it much. Other than those times, I'm certainly open to answering questions, and suspect Eric is too.

Thanks for listening.

GO Wine Club Third Anniversary Dinner

I'm the pseudo leader of a wine club here at Great Oak, and last night we celebrated our third year of gathering together with a northern Italian feast.

details and pictures behind the cutCollapse )

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April 2010


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