Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Vodka for Derby Pads: Improved!

I first tried using vodka on my derby pads in June 2011. Holy crap, that was more than a year ago!
Cooking on Skates: Derby Pad Disinfectant

A few weeks later, I even followed up on the progress of using vodka to disinfect pads between washings and wearings.
Cooking on Skates: Vodka Update

Honestly, the vodka seemed to work great. What was not great? That no amount of duct tape could keep spray bottles from leaking my bag. Horrifying! Every so often, I'd look for small spray bottles in Walmart or Target and not be happy with what I found.

Then last week, I was picking up some things at Target, wandering around in a semi-sick daze. Near the cough drops, I saw travel-size products out of the corner of my eye. In those bins, there were various empty travel-size bottles. GENIUS! How had I never thought of that?

And guess what? It's the perfect size! It doesn't leak! It sprays the most fantastic fine mist! I'm the happiest less-stinky derby skater!

So I was going to show you guys exactly which little spray bottle I bought and love, but it's not online. Well, crap. If you live near a Target, go get one of the little 2 oz empty spray bottles out of the travel-size section. Or this one is less than $1, so you might as well buy a few to justify shipping.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa

Cheesy broccoli rice casserole is one of my favorite foods. If someone makes it as a side to a meat dish, I happily make a meal out of it. There's little that can go wrong with cheese, broccoli, rice, or canned cream of mushroom soup. Fortunately, today's recipe is a tad healthier than that.

I liked the idea of a spin on a classic with quinoa instead. All hail quinoa! The original recipe was for zucchini, which people usually beg me to take off their hands this time of year. The Kansas summer was so dry, no one has done that this year. Sadness.

This cooked up so creamy with cheddar, I wasn't even sad that I didn't use Velveeta. And my experiment of throwing a tiny bag of frozen broccoli into my food processor? Violent and noisy, but successful!

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa
modified from Closet Cooking
(serves up to 8)

2 cups quinoa
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups frozen broccoli, pulsed in food processor
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Pepper to taste

1. Bring the quinoa and broth to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat and simmer covered until most of the broth has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 20-30 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and mix in the broccoli, cheese, and pepper
3. Allow to set up about five minutes before serving .

This reheats perfectly as well!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Pizza is one of the very hardest foods for me to avoid. Seriously, what isn't great about pizza? The cheese, the carbs, the very way you hold it. Pizza = love.

I bookmarked this recipe for a cauliflower-crust pizza a while back and finally got around to making it over the weekend. And guess what? It looks like pizza! My mother-in-law took one bite, looked at me, and said, "Now, tell me exactly what is in this." I was afraid there was an offensive ingredient or something. Nope. It was a hit!

This is great for anyone following a low-carbohydrate diet, and I believe it may be gluten-free as well. It's vegetarian as directed below, but not vegan. You could of course add meat to it! I decreased the amount of cheese in the original recipe, but you could certainly ramp it back up for gooey deliciousness.

Roasted Veggie Cauliflower Crust Pizza
adapted from Eat. Drink. Smile.
(serves 4)

For Crust
2 cups cooked, riced cauliflower
1 cup shredded provolone cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic salt

To "Rice" the Cauliflower
1. Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain.
2. Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes.
3. One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower.

To Make the Pizza Crust
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups cauliflower, eggs and provolone. Add oregano and garlic salt, and stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out to about 1/2" thick.
3. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.

For Pizza Toppings
Pizza or pasta sauce
Parmesan cheese
1/2 can black olives, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
Olive oil  
To Roast the Veggies
1. Coat sliced pepper and mushrooms with olive oil, and spread on a baking sheet. Roast while the pizza crust is baking.

To Assemble Pizza
1. To the crust, add sauce, roasted veggies and cover with Parmesan.
2. Return to oven until all toppings are heated and browned as desired, about 5 minutes.
3. Serve, and eat with forks!

Friday, September 21, 2012

By the Way: I Love Dresses!

Bought this second-hand, new with tags!

Lent this to a friend and forgot about it. So happy to have it back!

This was too big for a while, but I'm not terribly sad it fits again.

Snagged this cheap secondhand. Love!

Not my most flattering, but got the cardigan from a friend, and the dress is actually a really long skirt hiked up.

Dress from a friend. Yay, purple! And pockets!

My mom got this for me. She knows my style too well!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Words to Live By: "F*** Those Guys"

This could totally be anyone with a pointy chin and fluffy arms.
This post was born in one of my not-exactly-finer moments. However, the sentiments have come to sum up how I feel about a lot of things. In short, I was at a Cowtown Butchers after party with derby friends and Shocktop draft beers. As the night grew on, I noticed that I had the same response to most things in most conversations.

For example:

Me: "You should play roller derby!"
Some Woman: "But I'm too aggressive."
Me: "That's why you should play roller derby!"
Some Woman: "My friends say I might hurt somebody."
Me: "You want to play derby? But other people say you shouldn't? F*** those guys!"

This applies to how I feel about how excuses, as well as negative pressure from other people. Sadly, sometimes that negative pressure comes from friends and family. I've been fortunate to have the best support anyone could ask for. Others have not been so lucky.

So here's what I say to people who are thinking about skating:

Other people think you're too short? F*** those guys.
Other people think you're too tall? F*** those guys.
Other people say you're too tiny? F*** those guys.
Other people say you're too fat? F*** those guys.
People say, "But you're too nice"? F*** those guys.
People tell you that you're too mean? F*** those guys.
Someone told you you're too old? F*** those guys.
Someone made fun of your hearing/vision loss? F*** those guys.

Now look at all of those statements. Are any of them derby-specific? Not really! Let's branch out further.

Your friends make fun of your clothing choices? F*** those guys.
Someone tells you to eat more/less/differently? F*** those guys.
You're happy with your job but someone tells you to get a different one? F*** those guys.
Someone calls you fat/stupid/worthless/any other insult? F*** those guys.
People look at you funny for your hair or tattoos? F*** those guys.

What it boils down to, I guess, is that any time anyone leads you to believe that you are not good enough, repeat after me: "F*** those guys."

I realize this isn't polite conversation. On one hand, I'm a little horrified knowing that my younger siblings might be reading this. (Hey, kiddos!) But much more so, I feel too strongly about this to keep quiet.

What in your life makes you want to say "F*** those guys!"?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Feel Better: Chicken Noodle Soup

When I'm sick, I just want to sleep, drink water and tea, and sleep some more until I feel better.

When Mr. Breakdown is sick, I make him chicken noodle soup. Because it's just the broth that is chickeny, you could use veggie broth to make this a vegetarian noodle soup. It's easy and delicious!

Silly me, I didn't think to take photos of the process. I'm still recovering from being under the weather myself, and I didn't want to juggle my cell phone with flour-covered hands. Really, this just looks like chicken noodle soup. Others have asked how to make this in the past, though, so I thought I'd write it up. Plus, it's scary how many of us are getting sick, being sick, or recovering from sickness right now!

First, make half a batch of Egg Noodles. I left out the butter, so it was:
1 1/4 cup flour
1 pinch salt
1 egg
1/4 cup milk

Start a pan with about 6 cups water on high on the stove.

Mix all the ingredients with a fork until it comes together. Knead a few times on a floured surface. Roll out with a rolling pin. Cut into desired noodle shapes with a pizza cutter. This sounds like it takes a long time, but it really doesn't.

By the time the noodles are ready, the water should be boiling. Drop the noodles in. Add about 3 tbp chicken stock (or veggie stick) to the water.

Open and drain whatever canned veggies you'd like. I used miniature cans of corn, peas, and green beans this time because that's what I had. Add the drained veggies to the boiling noodle-stock water. Keep cooking until noodles are done (bite one to check) and veggies are warmed through.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fresh Meat Advice: Mel's Top 5

Dead Girl Derby has a fabulous batch of recruits right now, aka "fresh meat." While I so very strongly want to be helpful, I don't want to overload new skaters with unsolicited advice. So I've been thinking about what I'd want to tell people in a nutshell, and gave myself a Twitter-character-limit goal of 140 characters.

Sadly, some items that I find important had to go. For example: fishnets are cute, but tights prevent rink rash. Don't eat pizza or Chinese for dinner before a practice. Hit up all the open skates you can for extra rink time.

The good thing is that I was able to sum up the key elements succinctly, and the points are pretty self-explanatory. So here it goes.

Mel Breakdown's Rules for Fresh Meat

#1: Don't be a douche.
#2: Fall small.
#3: Get lower.
#4: Invest in good knee pads.
#5: Quit smoking.

What rules would you add or subtract from this list?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Best of Pitch: Cooking On Skates?

Mr. KC Carr over at KC Derby Digest so kindly informed me that he voted for little ol' Cooking On Skates as the Best Food Blog in this year's Pitch 2012 Best of KC Reader's Poll.

Now that the seed has been planted in my brain, I'd be awfully flattered if others of you readers would do the same. I mean, it must be an awfully powerful seed to take root among all the derby thoughts. It probably gained sustenance from coffee and protein shakes.

If you do take the time to vote (and you should, even if you're not voting for me), please note that you need to vote in a total of 20 categories before your vote can be successfully submitted. Also, voting ends September 25.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Derby Girl Clinic: Unexpected Lessons

As a friend so kindly informed me this weekend: I'm a little crazy. Specifically, derby-obsessed. But you already knew that, didn't you? Sometimes I forget just how in love I am with this sport.

This past weekend, I skated 8 hours in 2 days in Junction City, Kansas. The Stone Cold Foxes of Junction City and the Masters of Mayhem from Abilene put on a clinic for vets and fresh meat. Siouxsie of the Orange County Roller Girls traveled to teach us.

What a great group of ladies!

Working on basic skills was especially helpful, and I had the opportunity to work on skating backwards in the pack. I feel like my footwork improved in those two days as well. But the biggest takeaway was that I found out that I love helping brand-new skaters.

As Siouxsie put it: "I'm a total carnivore. I love fresh meat."

My vegetarian heart cringes a little, but I can see myself seeing that after a little more experience. I'm still new enough to derby that it's weird to be able to all myself a veteran yet, but I really want to teach the things I have learned so far to others.

Dead Girl Derby just got a huge batch of recruits this week, and I hope to be a good teacher and role model for the newbies!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Game 7: Firebranded Photos

I'm happy and sad to post the last bout photos of the 2012 Dead Girl Derby season. Thanks to Brandi Wilson of Firebranded Photography for all her hard work. She's been a DGD photographer since 2010!

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Modeling Shots: Color Me Gone

Thanks to Color Me Gone for these photos! I'm just in awe of what a fantastic job he did.

FYI, my underpants are not visible here. It's just the skirt. Totally PG, IMO.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Gameday Makeup Lessons Learned

The mission to have fantastic, smudge-proof gameday makeup started back in February with Operation Gameday Makeup. After the first bout, I proclaimed Gameday Makeup: A Success.

At the time, I posed the question (mostly to myself):
Now my only question is whether to change it up from game to game or make this kind of a "signature" look!

Basically, my makeup application skills are fairly limited. So although I have modified the look slightly from bout to bout, the general concept is the same. After 7 home games, 3 in St. Joe, and a handful of other scrimmages, I think I've finally got this down.

Here's how my makeup looked before our last game.

Here it is in action.

And finally, what was left afterward.

So here's the updated run-down if you'd like to replicate or modify the look. The brands aren't super-important, but they give you an idea of what I like. The exact shape and coloring takes practice and depends on your skin tone, face shape, eye shape, etc. If someone would have told me this process a long time ago, that would have been helpful.

Warning: It takes me up to an hour to do all of this.


Face Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish
Foundation: MAC Face and Body Foundation and Tarte mineral powder
Concealer: Cargo OneBase
Blush: Korres
Finishing Powder: Make Up For Ever HD Microfinishing Powder

Rub a little primer all over clean skin. Apply foundation. Touch up with concealer. Cover with powder. Apply light blush. Finish with finishing powder.


Eye Primer: Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candlelight
Eye Shadow: MAC paint pots, Bare Escentuals in Queen Phyllis, and LORAC 3D Liquid Lustre
Waterproof Mascara: Urban Decay Cannonball
Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 in Perversion
Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner: Sephora Waterproof Smoky Gel Liner

Do eye primer first. Then line top and bottom lids with pencil eyeliner. Then do eye shadows. Dab liquid lustre over color for extra glitter. Then go back over the liner on the top with liquid eyeliner, and touch up the bottom if necessary.


Lipstick: MAC Viva Glam I or NARS Cruella
Lipliner: MAC Pro Longwear lip pencil in Kiss Me Quick

Line lips with lipliner. Apply just enough lipstick to cover evenly. Do not use lipgloss.

When you're all done, finish with Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix.