Sunday, December 31, 2006

2007

100 Things

1. I don't like milk.
2. I love cows. I think they have pretty eyes.
3. I love tequila.
4. I have a LOUD laugh, and laugh often.
5. I sneeze even louder.
6. I want to go to culinary school.I am pursuing a life-long dream by going to culinary school!!
7. I like abstract art.
8. I am left-handed.
9. I am terrible at keeping in touch.
10. I call dateable men, "Boys".
11. I own my own home. All by myself.
12. I still don't think of myself as a grown up.
13. I recently discovered that I like flamingos.I am thinking of moving away after I graduate because I don’t feel like I have anything to stay here for.
14. I worked for Walt Disney World.
15. When I don't feel emotionally strong enough, I fake it.
16. When people say, "What are you thinking?" most of the time I wasn't thinking about anything.
17. I have a terrible short term memory, but can remember almost every birthday or little insignificant detail I am told or observe.
18. I have a strong spiritual connection to God and to others.
19. I start projects and never finish them, but when I decide I want to do something, really do something, it gets done right away.
20. I do not like to sweat.
21. I am afraid of snakes.
22. My favorite smells are fresh lemon, garlic and olive oil sauteing, autumn air, clean boys after they hike and Drakkar.
23. I don't really like chocolate a lot.
24. I get headaches, and they make me zone out.
25. I used to be able to sing.
26. I love the Red Sox. Even when they lose.
27. I have Endometriosis and went through fertility treatments. I do not have any children.
28. Christmas is my favorite holiday.
29. I find joy in very small things, and that makes people look at me funny, but I don't care anymore.
30. I can play the flute and the piccolo.
31. I marched in a Civil War Reenactors parade at Old Sturbridge Village.
32. I've met Rosa Parks.
33. People say my best feature is my smile, but I think it's my eyes.
34. I can type like, a billion words a minute.
35. I am divorced.
36. I hate gardening, but am embarrassed to not have flowers in my yard, so I planted some. I now wish I didn't.
37. I sometimes hold back because I don't want people to dislike me.
38. I love wearing sweaters/sweatshirts, especially with turtlenecks under them, even though they are out of style.
39. I don't like football, but love the season and the sound of a live game in the fall.
40. I like animals but can't seem to cope with having them for pets.
41. People tell me I am caring and giving, but I often times feel shallow and cold.
42. I always thought I was uncool, but looking back at photos of college made me realize I always had a lot of cool friends, and was cool too.
43. I am afraid that my parents hate each other, even though I am an adult and live on my own.
44. I envy both of my sisters-for different reasons.
45. I write poetry that I never share with people. Especially the ones I write it for.
46. I'm a nark for someone.
47. I didn't drink until college.
48. I feel uncreative almost everyday, but feel that people expect me to be creative so I come up with something and am always surprised when people like it.
49. I am almost always too hard on myself.
50. I am impatient with some people and too patient with others.
51. I am the most loyal person most people have met.
52. I hate feet.
53. I can cook, but I can't, for the life of me, make fudge.
54. I am enthralled with deviance.
55. I've failed college level classes before. 1 time it was on purpose.
56. I love "Little House on the Prairie"
57. I could live on cheese.
58. I get frustrated when people can't speak English, but find it very hard to learn another language myself.
59. I like crunchy French fries.
60. I didn't like my dad until I moved to Florida.
61. I hate to be pruney.
62. I'm good being on my own, but want to find my lobster soon.
63. I once stole an eyeliner from Caldor in high school. I still have it.
64. I love the summer sound of those humming bugs-it reminds me of going to my Nana's house when I was little.
65. I like to look in people's windows when I drive by them at night.
66. I like to bite things. Texture is wonderful.
67. I live in my own head a lot.
68. I can clean a house in 1/2 hour if no one bothers me.
69. I like the smell of skunks. When I smell one, it reminds me of my grandfather.
70. One of my favorite things to look at is sunlight shining through trees in the woods.
71. ...Though I can't help but follow...Keep it loose, keep it tight, change girl to boy, and you've got it right...
72. I always wanted an older brother.
73. When my middle sister was born I wanted her name to be Laura after Little House. When I found out it was something else, I was mad at my mom. I was in kindergarten.
74. I over process because I don't want to make the same mistakes.
75. I'm starting to feel old. I'm 29.30.
76. I'm not afraid of failing, but I am afraid to have people see me fail.
77. I like to be a good role model. It sometimes hinders my actions.
78. I have an extra bone in my right knee.
79. This blog is a secret from the 1 person I'd really like it to impress.I started this blog in secret, and now everyone I know reads it.
80. I don't like to really use the word hate, but am starting to really hate 1 person.
81. I'm afraid of what truly hating a person means for my soul. Someone told me recently that the love I have for the person I like the least in this world is the measure of my love for God.
82. I try to live each day with a little less fear and a little more faith. It's a constant inner struggle for someone like me, who over processes things.
83. I would happily dive into a pool of whipped cream.
84. I have bungee jumped. I loved it, but would never do it again.
85. I have also mud wrestled on the green of my college. I'm pretty sure I'd do that again.
86. The weirdest place I've had sex was in a handicapped bathroom.
87. Through extensive research, I know that there are no such things as pink lemons.
88. I sometimes wish I was more memorable.
89. I regret not making more friends in high school. I also regret not keeping in touch with my old college friends.
90. I sleep with a mag light under the extra pillow on the empty side of the bed.I used to sleep with a mag light in my bed, now I’m brave enough to keep it under my nightstand.
91. I once saved someone from being raped by pushing over a man the who was the size of Alaska.
92. I owned a pencil signed original Dali for about 1/2 hour.
93. I once built a house. The only things I liked about it were the kitchen, the wall in the family room and the garage. And also the doorbell. Everything else was based on my ex-husbands ego, and it secretly embarrassed me.
94. I find just as much comfort in being alone sometimes as I find it lonely.
95. I've been hit by a man. I didn't do anything about it at first, and it cause me more pain in the end. I will never allow that to happen again, and will be sure to lose friends and family members (if need be) in order to save them if they are in the same situation.
96. I've only had 3 boyfriends-4 if you could Mr. CM now.4 boyfriends. 1 of them loved me more than life itself, 1 of them turned into my ex-husband, 1 of them was abusive, and 1 of them will probably end up being one of my best friends.
97. I have 20/400 vision and can't really see well when I drive at night.
98. I like to think I like spontaneity, but really, I like a plan.
99. I can read a map. Well.
100. Before I die, I would like to know how to play the piano.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Restaurant Quote of the Weekend

"Wait until I have my new ass...then he'll be sorry he's so rude!"

Said by me in response to one jerk face loser boy who only talks to skinny girls.

This needs no further explanation.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Back 2 Life,,,

I'm hiding.

It's easy to hide behind a holiday. Especially when you are good at hiding.

I don't know why, or what prompts it, but if I slow down for more than a day or two, it's almost impossible to pick myself up again. It's like I only have two speed-always doing something, or never doing anything.

And I don't know why. I know it exists-it's why I always say things like, "I almost wish I wasn't going on vacation." or "I want to just work straight through without any breaks." It's too hard for me to start the ball rolling again; too hard to face the world.

I have no anxiety or fears. It's not that kind of hiding. It's more hermit-like, more, no one can see me in here, I'm walled up in my own world.

And if I'm like this for more than a day or two-with no emails or calls, no doorbells ringing or prior obligations, I'll shrivel away in this little world until I can't get out without doing it forcefully.

I am at that point. Yesterday I received no phone calls. Not even from a telemarketer or bill collector. The only emails I found in my inbox were from a few of you who commented on my blog topics. I have books to read, movies to watch, dreams to dissect and dismantle, and so here I sit, writing in my PJ's once again, hoping that today I can find a way to say, "Today's the day to face the world again."

I always go through this-this sort of "post pardum" depression after holidays or major events. I like the build up, but I hate the let down, the aftermath. I try to find things to look forward to in order to preoccupy myself, but it's very hard this month to do that.

I have no plans, no prospects, no juicy gossip.

And I work the entire weekend. I volunteered to work New Year's Eve specifically so that I would not be home alone at midnight, and have found out that I am only scheduled until 10pm.

Not to fret, my friends. I am used to these feelings and know that they pass as soon as I step back into reality. I'll pinpoint something to look forward to, I'll get back into a routine, and I'll once again be always doing something.

In an effort to make myself snap out of it, I cooked myself a tasty treat for dinner last night.
Croque Monsieur sandwiches and for dessert, homemade marshmallows with toasted coconut.



I'm not a big marshmallow fan, but I can tell you, these are divine. It's a big pan to eat all by myself though.

Oh well. I will venture out later.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Truth


"What good is truth, at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney? When the lightning strikes shadows on the bedroom wall and the rain taps at the window with its long fingernails? No. When fear and cold make a statue of you in your bed, don't expect hard-boned and fleshless truth to come running to your aid. What you need are the plump comforts of a story. The soothing, rocking safety of a lie."
~Diane Setterfield, "The Thirteeth Tale

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

One of my #1 gift wishes for Christmas was a new knife bag for my Wusthof knives that I use for school. As you can see, it's quite cute compared to my old bag that was provided by the school...the huge honker on the left is the old bag. (Sadly, someone will say that about me some day)
Mostly everything fit, however there were 2 casualties...my oven thermometer and my measuring cups...I used a carabeaner to attach the cups to the outside of the bag, but the thermometer will have a new place in my backpack. I don't use it much these days anyway now that our class is only 5 people, and I can use the good ovens.


These are my fancy new knife guards that Greg bought me for Christmas. I picked them out specifically to go with my new knife bag.


I also picked up a new China Cap, pictured below...now I can make smooth sauces sans chunkage.
Also, as mentioned earlier in the week, I am selling books. I did let go some favorites as payout prices were higher...altogether I am selling 29 books for $40. As you can see, I need a bigger box. I just hope that it's not a scam. I can part with my books because I know it will pay a bill, but if I send them off and get nothing, I will be heartbroken.


Incidentally, I am also selling my pearls. They've only been worn once and are in perfect condition. I'm asking $250 and if you know anyone who needs a classy gift for a classy chick, please have them email me. The money will be used to prevent a Maggie Ice Cube. ;)

It's back to work for me tomorrow...why is it so hard for me to rebound from a big event?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Got My Goose

Christmas this year was particularly happy and joyous for me. Why this year?
*
1. I decided to be the "fun Aunt" this year and bought Rye Bread a toy. And she LOVED it.
*
2. I got (almost) every single thing on my list-and definitely every single thing I wanted on my list.
Highlights include:

The Kone, in pink. And the charger light is even pink. And yes, that just tickles me pink.

A Kitchenaid Immersion Blender, in red. I've wanted one of these since I was 12. For real. And, it's red, and that tickles me pink too.

A Kitchenaid food processor. I actually have another food processor and didn't ask for this, but it's quite the fun item to receive as a surprise gift! The only bad thing is it's black, not red. But now I have 2 food processors!!!

I also received gift cards for clothes, which I desperately need, gift cards for books from 3 people and so I had over $100 to spend! My choices included The Joy of Cooking, Tae Bo workout cd's, What to Drink with What You Eat and a classic Julia Child French cookbook. I can't wait to get them!

There were so many other nice presents-gift card to a chef store, Target gift cards and a gourmet basket...my house looks like a bomb went off!

But most of all, this Christmas was exceptional because EVERY single one of my extended family members was there on Christmas eve. Including one of my cousins who is "married" in-who never comes to holidays. Here's the true meaning of Christmas to me:

That's all 17 of us, and my Nana. The only person missing is my Papa, who died in 1999. While standing there leaning on a loveseat surrounded by all of my cousins, I couldn't help smiling to myself, knowing that he was looking down on us beaming with pride.

I'm always so sad when it's over...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

I Thought I'd Be More Naughty...



Christmas Naughty or Nice List

I am on the The Nice List

After checking the North Pole database I had :

2,482 nice entries
243 naughty entries
Check your name on the Christmas Naughty or Nice List at JokesUnlimited.com

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Restaurant Quote of the Weekend

"I'd rather be fat than stupid any day of the week."

Said by me in response to the stupidest person at work when he commented on someone being too fat to eat cookies.

Lucky for him, he wasn't talking about me-otherwise I'd pummle his ass.

I don't know why people are so rude and shallow. It really stinks. Perhaps they wouldn't act like that if they spent some time on the fatter side of life, the uglier side of life, or the not so popular side of life.

On a happier note, PRMan01 gave me a Christmas present! He said, "When you think look at this, think of me."

Which made me a little nervous before I opened it.

I also SWEAR I heard him say "I got it at the Yankee store" which would be funny b/c I hate the Yankee's and he loves them.

But, he got me a figurine of an angel.

I inspected it for a few minutes to make sure I wasn't missing something. Because it was a sweet and normal gift.

I said, "Is there a camera in here or something?"

He laughed and then said, "Yeah. Put it in your bedroom."

Which made me nervous.

It'll stay in the box for a while.

Apparently though, he didn't get anyone else gifts. Which made it awkward, because the girl who works as the pastry chef was standing right there and said, "He must really like YOU. He didn't give me shit."

Yikes.

I'm off to NY for a couple of days for Christmas, so I'll be away from blogging. I hope that everyone has a safe and joyful Christmas and that every hope you harbor in your heart is set free and answered.

Love to you all...

Friday, December 22, 2006

VACATION!

What the significance of this ordinary picture of my book shelf?

1. The resting backpack in the bottom left corner.
2. 5 of my 7 textbooks nestled neatly in their places.

I have 2 weeks off from school. It's going to be really hard to go back...

*I know someone will point it out, so I'll say this: Yes, I know I don't have any pictures in my frames. Thank you.

Milk

Oh my hell.

There's a lady who looks exactly like the breast feeding lady (Ursula Burton) on The Office that works at my company.

I knew she looked familiar.

(Sorry-it's seemingly impossible to find pictures of this woman-if you watched the show when she was on it, you know who I'm talking about.)

Cookies!


These cookies have a few steps, but they are very easy to make if you follow the directions. The bonus is that they are so good they disappeared in an hour!

Apricot Walnut Crescents

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
2-1/2 tbsp. sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
coarse sugar (for garnish)
1. In an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and butter, on medium speed, until smooth.
2. Add the sugar and flour and mix until a dough forms.
3. Scoop the dough onto a floured surface and work briefly with your hands until it forms a ball of dough.
4. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Refrigerate for an hour.

For the filling:

1 cup walnuts, finely ground
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup apricot jam (or any other jam of your choice)
1 to 2 tbsp. hot water
1. In a bowl, combine the walnuts, sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, combine the jam and the hot water and stir to loosen the jam.

To assemble the crescents:
1. Remove a ball of dough from the refrigerator.
2. On a well-floured surface, roll the dough into a 10 to 12-inch circle. Don't roll it too thin.
3. Spread 1/4 of the jam over the circle of dough. Sprinkle 1/4 of the walnut/sugar mixture over the jam.
4. With a sharp knife, divide the circle into 12 wedges. *I USE A PIZZA CUTTER
5. Starting from the outside edge, roll each wedge up towards the centre, forming a crescent.
6. Place each crescent on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
7. Repeat with the other 3 balls of dough. In total you should have 48 crescents.
8. Refrigerate the crescents for 20 minutes. This will minimize the amount of filling that oozes out when baking.
While they're in the fridge, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
9. After 20 minutes, brush the crescents with the egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
10. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crescents are golden. Don't worry if some of the filling oozes out.
11. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Menu For Hope


This year money is especially tight, so donating is a little harder for me-but with donations in $10 blocks, it makes it easier for everyone to give. The prizes are fantastic-read more to see how you can donate too.

Feeding people is my passion-whether it's gourmet cuisine, or a loaf of bread...do your part to help keep bellies full.

And, you happen to know a "foodie" so if you win, you could always bring me along! ;)

"Every year, Food Bloggers from all over the world get together for a fundraising campaign. We call it 'Menu for Hope'. Last year, we raised $17,000 to help UNICEF.This year, Menu for Hope III raises funds to support the UN World Food Programme, which provides hunger relief for needy people worldwide. To us Food Bloggers, food is a joy. On our blogs, we celebrate food as a delight or even an indulgence. Unfortunately, for many others who share our world do not share that privilege. For them, food is a matter of survival. This "Menu for Hope" is our small way to help.

On our Menu this year is a great list of amazing food related prizes. We hope that they will entice you to give whatever you can, and with some luck you can win unique and wonderful food gifts offered up by food bloggers from around the world.The rule is pretty easy. For every US$10 you donate, you may claim one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. The more you give, the better your chance to win. The campaign is scheduled to run from now until Friday 22nd, 6PM PST. So get a move on!"

Go Here to read more, and to see the fabulous prizes!

A Trio & Sad Songs-Randomivity

I love it when people close their eyes when they sing, like it's really coming from their soul, and they have to look within themselves to make it come out.

I also have a love/hate relationship with music that is so beautiful and sad that it brings tears to your eyes.

I'm wishy washy about something I made a decision about regarding my life next year. I haven't shared it with anyone yet because if I decide not to follow through, I will look like a quitter or a loser. Instead, I ponder, dream and scheme; and now possibly modify. The thing is, to know for sure, I need money, and money is something I do not have.

Only 3 of us showed up for class on Tuesday, which made for a short class. The perk, however, was not being let out early, but being able to have dinner with chef by myself. Bagpipe Willie took a nap and Frankie never eats, so it was just me and him dining, chatting and dishing. At first it was awkward for me because I am no good at starting conversations, but after that hump, we were fine. He told me about his side business and his dreams for expansion. I'm the only one of his students who knows. Yeah, yeah, I'm teachers pet, I know. But it's because I'm human and people like me. I don't see how that's a bad thing.

He also suggested a book for me to read, which I am very excited about. Hopefully they carry it at the library. Hopefully, I can remember how to use the library! (But ick-as much as I love, love, love new books, I really hate the idea of reading such a used, old book. Plus, they smell funny)

Someone rang my doorbell yesterday, which is extremely rare. There was no car in the driveway, so I didn't answer it. Later, I heard on the news that the police were looking for someone throughout my area, and I wonder...what if I answered the door and it was that guy?

It could happen. In 6th grade someone escaped from the police and he ran into our yard because it was wooded. Police dogs and cruisers were everywhere-extremely rare in our little affluent town.

Oh yeah, and did I mention I have HORRIBLE luck. He'd probably barge in and end up being my next boyfriend.

That was a joke. I'm done with the convicts.

I checked out selling a bunch of old books online, and, I have to say, it's just seems wrong. Forget my almost creepy love of the book itself, let's talk about only being given $14 for books that cost well over $100. I know, it's extra cash for things I need...but it's just wrong.

Onto bigger and hopefully better...1 more day til vaca! Happy first day of winter, by the way.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Baking

I took the day off from work today to bake, relax and clean. I baked and relaxed but didn't clean. The best part is that I had all of the ingredients except for blue cheese and pears in my house, so it was a very cheap day.

Above: Apricot cresent cookies-cream cheese cookie with apricot jam, ground walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. Yummy!

Pear &Blue Cheese Tart-for a work party on Friday.

The alien inside of a pear.

My Interview

I don't really know why I was one of the people picked, but go here and see my "interview" at Joe's...

Does this mean I'm famous??

Oyster Road

Like following your intuition (or sense of adventure) instead of a map, or moving to a new city without knowing anyone, it's the little side stories that are not in any text book that enriches our education.

Yes, my classmates sigh and slump when he starts drifting, but to me, these are the best lectures in the world.

This weeks deviation can't be told with nearly as much enthusiasm and wonder as Chef B narrated, mainly because when he told the story, his eyes danced with excitement just as they must have when he was the boy in the story.

His parents were "foodies" he said-and this was before people called themselves that. It was the mid 70's-years before most of you were born.

He paused, thought about that concept, and chuckled as only he can. A healthy, hearty, and slightly institutional laugh, almost to himself.

"They piled us into the car for like, 4 weeks, and we drove all over hell on a highway. My dad's from the deep South in Texas and when we got to Louisiana, he wanted catfish and hushpuppies-"

He turns serious and focuses on each and every one of us.

"If you go to Louisiana you have to be careful-they mass produce this stuff for tourists like you wouldn't believe. Don't fall for it-dig deep, find the real stuff."

Again, a laugh and then he continues...

"So dad asked around to find out where the locals went for catfish and hushpuppies. One night, we left the hot-MOTEL-and drove for what seemed like hours into the deep woods of Louisiana. The highway became a dirt road and then-and I'm not making this up, it became a road made of Oyster Shells! It was very narrow-only 1 car could pass at a time, and it was surrounded by the swamps you associate with the Bayou."

Now, the students who had sunk low in their chairs with their sighs and their eyes averted, sat up with smiles, chuckling to themselves at the thought.

"They have these 'islands' out there-but they are nothing more than just really thick moss in a swamp and they just float around, sometimes attached, sometimes not. So we reach the end of this oyster road and come to a shack-someone's house-on one of these islands! And there were like, 5 little old black ladies just frying up catfish and hushpuppies in cast iron skillets and walking around doling it out."

"You walked in, and paid like, $5 for all you could eat. And it was someone's house-actually their house! You found a table wherever you could-in the kitchen, their dining room-we were in the living room! But man, that was the best catfish I've ever had."

He went on to explain that farm raised catfish-which is a huge industry these days-is completely different than swamp dwelling, bayou feeding catfish, who can grow up to 6 feet long in the wild!

This is ultimately why he told the story-to paint a picture in our minds, of what a "real" catfish fry should be like.

Personally, it makes me happy to know that places like this exist, and it makes me hungry to explore the country finding little unknown spots with tasty morsels and unforgettable adventures.

"It was a big deal going home" he said laughing. "Dad had to turn that huge car around on that little strip of Oysters...it was a good trip.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Toosdae ?'s

Everyone: my readership has severely declined over the last month. I don't know how to explain it, and am not looking for an explination, but it does sort of hurt the writer's ego...show your support by answering my questions...

1. What is the one Christmas present you asked for this year that you will be disappointed if you do not receive?

2. If you could have any one talent (that you do not already posess) what would it be and why?

3. With the impending New Year, resolutions are right around the corner...what is one personal trait or personal goal you would like to work on improving in 2007?


1. I have to cheat and give 2 answers because I want them equally as bad: New chef clogs and a new knife bag. I gave specific links directly to these items and ranked their importance on my list. Hopefully, Santa got the hint...

2. I would definatly like to be a math wiz. I have trouble even adding and subtracting sometimes and always take longer than other people when figuring things out. It's a mental block that I can't get past, and being able to calculate percentages and fractions easily would be stellar.

3. I would like to work on being more proactive with regard to my finances and home ownership. I've gotten in over my head and it's made for a very emotional and stressful last half of the year for me. I'd like 2007 to be as stress/drama free as possible.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Wish


Forget everything I wrote on my Christmas list...instead, find me some Whale Barf.

I could use the $18K.

Black & Blue

In the culinary world, there's a term called "Black and Blue" which means seared on the outside but basically raw on the inside. It's most often used on Filet Mignon.

In my world, "Black and Blue" means just that-scuffs and bruises from places unknown-most of the time without even knowing it until someone gasps and begs me to confide in them "Where did you get that bruise?!"


I'm not sure if you can see it-I can, but I know where it is. Just above my eyebrow, and just under my eyebrow, there's a reddish purple mark. I didn't know it was there until this morning, when I went to wash my face and reered backwards in pain after rubbing it.

I do, however, know where I got it from...

Saturday night I bent down to adjust the radio that is under my bench at the restaurant, just as PRMan01 was doing the same. As I stood up, my right hand, which was still on my cutting board, pivoted and somehow launched said board into my forehead.

It was one of the stupidest and funniest things I've done in a kitchen to date. Thankfully, it only hurts when I push on it.

This is a picture of me before I had a run in with the cutting board. It was taken after a Christmas party for my father's company. As you can see, the cutest little girl in the world was with me...holding her little hand makes it look like I have man hands. I don't.

After my father's party, I was invited into the kitchen to meet the executive chef. It was a nice privilege and honor, however the food was not very good.

(Exception: my Red Snapper w/ Tomatoes and Capers-Yummy)

The Caesar dressing was so watery and tasteless that I didn't even bother eating more than a bite. The Lobster Raviolli were so-so, but their appearance was appalling. They were black and white striped, which, when covered in tomato sauce, made them resemble dead tropical fish covered in blood. Very un-appetizing.

The dessert was a Ricotta Cheesecake, which I was very excited for-I've only had one other cheesecake besides mine that has Ricotta in it, and this one sucked. It was gritty and dry.

So when the chef asked me how the food was...

I lied to him.

What was I to do? He is, after all, an executive chef (who touted himself as having worked at Elaine's in NYC) who invited me into his kitchen. He even cleaned up before having me come in.

He also offered me a job. I guess that's why his food isn't great-they give jobs to anyone who shows interest. ;)

Here's to a fast and festive week!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Restaurant Quote of the Weekend

"You know that means 'boobs' right?"

Said by me in response to PRMan01 affectionately calling me "bosom".

He liked the pet name better when he know the real meaning. I should have known...



Friday, December 15, 2006

Shave and a Haircut

In my ongoing quest for the best, I played a game of chance. Sounds risky, sounds a little, "living on the edge and burning my bras" doesn't it?

Relax. It was only a quiz.

"What's your physical age compared to your actual?" It asked all sorts of questions ranging from "How often do you floss your teeth?" to having me list all of my extra-curricular activities.

Well. Not ALL of them...

The results were alarming. Based on my stress level, lack of sleep, lack of exercise and the fact that I don't eat vegetables 25 times a day, my body thinks I'm 35. Good thing my soul doesn't!

The best part was the "solution" to getting back to my real age:

"Seriously consider getting a dog."

Seriously.

And that's all it said. Nothing about getting more sleep...taking more vitamins, losing weight or exercising.

Just that I should seriously consider getting a dog.

Those of you who know me, know that while I love animals and the thought of a puppy, I am not the girl to own one until I have a partner.

And also, God's trying to tell me something, as the recent past shows: My cat ran away 2 weeks ago, and never came back.

At least the quiz was good for a chuckle. That should've shaved off 6 months, no?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Nothing

Do you know how many bubbles there are in a single bottle of champagne?

It's an actual number, actually scientificially measured and tested. The number?

2500 in each bottle.

Now, we don't know if the testing was done before or after the champagne was consumed...

If I haven't mentioned it before: I love culinary school.

After our practcal we had a small lecture and then a tasting...2 different champagnes, slowly sipped while we sat around and chatted. Yes, we talked about the flavor, but mostly we just talked and got to be ourselves.

A rare occassion when we drank with our chef, laughing and chatting...lovely.

And I know I'm bragging, but I feel it's brag-worthy: 99.4 on a practical while others are points away...AND I was done first-by at least 20 minutes.

And on another subject all together...
Is it considered harassment if people call your house 15 times a day and hang up with the answering machine picks up? Even if they are bill collectors?

How about if, after my new message, the message I got was, "Hey Ms. ----, if you'd just pay your bills, we'd have no problem." in a weird voice. I wonder if they know I have caller ID.

The thing is, they are "Private Caller" and if they'd just leave me a message telling me who they are and a number to call, I'd call them back. Bitches.

I finally made a good cupcake. It's chocolate with a heavenly white frosting. They looked too plain, so I put some toffee bits on top. I just ate 2.


Two Christmas parties to go to tomorrow, and one on Sunday. I'm only popular this week. After that, I'm back to loserdom.

Today was my mother's birthday. I tried calling her twice from work but their phone doesn't take "telemarketing" calls. So I emailed her and sent an e-card, because she's always on the computer. Apparently she didn't get them b/c I had 2 messages from my little sis telling me my mom was upset.

Give a girl a break, ok? Luckily I got out of school at 9:30 so I called, but before that, I tried calling the house again from a different phone and no one answered. For the love of God...she tires me.

Thank God tomorrow is Friday, no?

Top 3, Bottoms Up

Do you ever have a moment in time where you are lingering somewhere between the "I'm so happy for you" state and the "When will it be my turn?" state?

It doesn't happen to me often. When good things happen to the people I love, my heart truly explodes with happiness for them. And rarely do I feel jealous or spiteful-in fact, the last time I remember being truly jealous of something that happened to a friend was in 2000. Sure, there are things I wish I had or could do, but they weren't jealous moments in my life.

I recently got some fantastic news from a friend on the West Coast-and I am ashamed to say, I was jealous. Perhaps it's because she lives that elusive "cool girl" city life that I've always wanted, or because we were both "equal" when she visited, and somehow, she's pulled away and made it to the final stretch.

Whatever the case, I am very happy for her. But you know me, I like lists, and goals and things to motivate me when my mind wanders and I forget that I'm supposed to be motivated.

Not knowing what exactly it was that I was searching for, I typed in the words: "How to make your life better".

And I'm pissed. You want to know why? The very first word that popped up is:

Marriage


Not only that-the 2nd and 3rd ranking results have to do with marriage too. Marriage is not the only way to make your life better. It just can't be.

Yes, I want to get married again someday and have children. But I can't see myself getting married for at least 2 years. At least-and the only way that number changes is if I step into a fairy tale and an ugly ogre (read: prince with spell over him) rings my doorbell because he needs shelter from the rain.

I know it's the American dream. I have it too. But it's disheartening for a single, 30-year old woman to see that the top 3 search results are marriage.

It's not the only way.

Instead, I've made my own list:

1. Surround yourself with people who appreciate you, who make you laugh, and who would be most likely to step in front of a bus for you.

2. Step in front of a bus for those people.

3. Laugh out loud at everything that makes you laugh. Don't stifle the giggle. The giggle doesn't like to be stifled.

4. Be whimsical whenever possible. Even if Especially if it makes you look silly.

5. Drink lots of water. I don't know why, but it helps.

6. Take pride in being the best at what you do. If you aren't the best at what you do, take pride at doing the best you can. Even if that means coming in last.

7. Take the time to notice the little things that make people wonderful-the hidden smiles, a mischievous sparkle in their eyes or the way a friend makes 3 hours seem like 5 minutes.

8. Hug a kid. Make them shower you with kisses. Make them laugh so hard you think they might need diapers again. Play Hungry, Hungry Hippos until your fingers fall off. Sing songs and paint pictures. But only do it if you know the kid. If not, you should be reading another list.

9. Do what you love. If you aren't doing what you love, take a step in that direction.

10. Thank God for the things you do have. It's nice to give thanks instead of always asking for more.

What you've done all of these things, then you can work on the marriage part. Or not. Just make sure you keep your smile.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Randomivity

2:21 and 4:44-2 specific times I remember looking at the clock this morning while I was not sleeping.

7:20-the time I got out of bed and threw on clothes to get to work.

I feel like I got hit my a truck.

No greeting throw me off.

My answering machine message worked on the company I wanted it to. After 2 days of calling with the new message, someone finally left one. She doesn't sound nice, and only said it's about a "business matter" which really means, "We're going to yell at you for not paying our bill".

One ice chip-ok. A handful-not ok.

Fresh guacamole is a great idea-as long as you don't stick your butt in my face when you're making it.

It's weird to be the confidant for a teacher. Especially when it's such a personal matter.

1 more week of school until my 2 week vacation from school. Boy do I need it.

Jumbled head=jumbled blogs. Sorry.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Toosdae ?'s

1. Have you ever bought someone a gift and liked it so much that you either bought one for yourself or kept the present instead of giving it? If so, what was it.

2. What would you rather have for breakfast: a) Ham & eggs with toast b) Grits and sausage c) Pancakes and Syrup

3. Tell me 2 lies and a truth.

1. Yes. I've bought jewelry for my friends and liked it so much I kept it. Also, Bath & Body Works lotions-one in particular I kept in college because I got into a fight with my roommate and ended up not giving her anything.

2. Ham & Eggs with toast (rye) but if I'm in the mood, nothing beats pancakes and syrup.

3.
A: Yesterday I caught my neighbor looking in one of my windows. He watches the whole neighborhood so he knows my schedule, and I came home early, obviously surprising him.

B: Once, while working at Disney, a man offered me $500 for a training pin I had on my vest. I didn't take his offer.

C: When our rental car broke down on the highway during our trip to the Mojave Desert, we were so thirsty that we had to drink our own urine. We were rescued 5 hours later and would have been severely dehydrated had we not taken that plunge.

...Know which one's real?

Monday, December 11, 2006

My Tummy Hurts. Bad

I know you all won't sympathize with me, but a downfall to culinary school is too much good food.

My tummy hurts. Bad.

We started the fish section tonight, and made lobster thermador, stuffed scallops and potato risotto.

My tummy hurts. Bad.

It's the kind of hurt where you want to curl up in a ball and lay on your bed while someone rubs your head to make you forget. 8(

Watermellon


I typed in the word "angry" under the images section of Google and this picture showed up.


Yeah, I'd be angry if that happened to me too...


The real post for today is below, this is just me blowing off steam:

I'm bored.

I want to use my brain.

I want people to care if I don't wake up in the morning.

And it is making me angry.

Surprise!

Being the type of girlfriend who wanted to make him smile so much his face hurt, I decided to forgo buying groceries for 2 1/2 weeks so I could save my money for a surprise party. I lived off of concierge leftovers and pretzels from the vending machine.

Luckily my apartment was small, and so I could only invite his closest friends-the friends that had slowly become my friends as well: Nelson, Jack, Matthew and Dan.

Because our schedules were so busy, we had one day a week that we spent together for sure, which my friend Martin dubbed "Matt day". On this day, no one else got my attention and no one else got his. Conversely, my other day off was spent with friends, running errands or studying, mainly because his other day off was the day he spent with the boys I mentioned above.

And it was rare that I was invited. This never bothered me, and therefore, I was crowned "The coolest girlfriend ever." by the boys.

I tell you this part of the story because the party was planned on friend day, not Matt day.

Secretly, I contacted all of the boys (who I called "my boys" and every year cooked Thanksgiving dinner for them) and arranged for half of them them to spend the day with Matt before his surprise party and half of them to be waiting for the big "SURPRISE!"

Getting Matt to my apartment would have been hard-like I said, it wasn't my day to be with him, and almost anything I would say would get grumbles and push back until I would give up.

That's why I called him in a panic, telling him someone had broken into my apartment.

I had just moved into this new apartment, and it was in a bad section of town. It was my first apartment alone, and it wasn't uncommon for me to be scared. It was the best excuse to get him over I could have used.

The best part of this story to me is how Matt entered my apartment-with a big LOG hidden behind his back, peering around the door like a coward with a crazy ass scared look on his face!

Granted, he knew I was in the apartment-and so I would have already been dead if someone was in there-but he grabbed anything he could find outside before coming in-in case someone was hiding in the closets.

The picture is priceless, and still makes me giggle when I see it.

With the exception of him yelling at me in front of everyone to never do that again, he was extremely happy about the party, and it went off without a hitch.

And I'm not ashamed to say that it's one of my favorite Matt stories because in it, I get the best of him. ;)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tinsel Town



My camera's dying and I don't have batteries to put in it, so these are a bit fuzzy...but, my house is officially Christmastized.

I hate my tree topper, but I can't afford a new star this year, and so, the ugly angel stays. I do like how the picture makes it look like she's holding a heart of light...and look! My deer are back. I didn't put them out last year for some reason...this picture is taken from inside my house, b/c I didn't want to look like a major geek.

And all of the presents-minus 1-is wrapped and under the tree.

Oh how I love Christmas!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Restaurant Quote of the Weekend

"I didn't see it-the shrimp was in the way!"

Said by me, in response to BigD pulling down PRMan01's pants (underwear and all) while he was standing directly in front of me.

When asked if I liked the show, I responded "I didn't see it-the shrimp was in the way!" implying his penis was so small, a shrimp blocked the view.

Really, it was a platter of shrimp, but still, it made for big laughs, and ongoing jokes all night.

Beat up, tired, hungry and thirsty...still loving every minute of it.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Blockage

I fully understand the novelists and song writers who appear in movies-jotting down passages and prose on coffee house napkins.

Words come to me, it seems, at the most inopportune times-on the way out the door, when my hands are covered in dough, or while drifting peacefully off to sleep. "I'll remember this one." I say to myself. "This one's worth remembering."

But life happens, and other thoughts come and go, and my words disappear.

What stories could I have told you, my dear readers of the friend I have never met, or the lover who is destined to find me? Could I have captured your hearts with a single sentence or perhaps it would have taken longer...

Alphabetically they dance, waving their beautiful music in my brain, simply waiting for me to remember...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Cooking Class 2

I didn't bring my camera because I thought it would be geeky, which, coincidentally, was someone else's sentiment. I think we both wish we did. The paper camera pictures will be good, but I find myself wanting something electronic to scan through today to remember my favorite moments.

Last night I conducted a cooking class for 3 Quinnipiac University students. With the exception of the fact that we ran a little late on time and the rice was overcooked, the class was a success.

In my opinion, it was because my students were amazing. Not only were they enthusiastic and attentive, but they asked questions like, "When you are eating this potato, what are you looking for?"-a question that not many adults would even care to ask. It was refreshing to be around these young, smart "kids" who were eager to soak up every little bit of information I was willing to give.

Teaching people how to cook, I've learned, is one of my favorite things to do. I like the look they get in their eyes when they see a whole mushroom turn into perfect slices, or when they "feel" the difference when slicing it. I love that I am helping someone learn how to love someone. Food is love, and by being able to make a dish that comforts, or excites, or nourishes, they are sharing that love with others.

And I helped.

I had such a good time it barely felt like I was working. I guess that's the beauty of doing what you love...

There was no traffic this morning. That surprised me. Overall, I think it's going to be a good day.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Randomivity

I hate my blog template, even though I'm the one who made it. I'm in the agonizing process of trying to piece together something I like. This one's going to be more...girly looking I think. If it ever gets done.

Weird things continue to happen in the bathrooms at work. Yesterday someone stopped me and asked what size shoe I wore, and told me they've been looking for someone to give shoes too. Normally, this would be my most favorite thing in the world but:

1. I don't know the person at all

2. They've been worn

What do I do when she comes in with these shoes and expect to see me sometime in the bathroom wearing them? Ick.

We had a luncheon at work yesterday at an off site restaurant. Upon arrival, my boss ordered several pitchers of beer and wine for us. This is definitely a different environment than my other location...

I hate it when people randomly burp in public and don't say excuse me. It's not the burp that annoys me-it's their lack of understanding or care that it is rude.

After several phone calls from unknown callers, bill collectors and other random people, I changed my answering machine to say, "You've reached 888-888-8888. If I don't know you personally, please have the courtesy to leave a message-otherwise, I will never answer the phone, and you will never get in touch with me."

I went out to get sushi with one of my classmates during our break yesterday. It was weird being at dinner with him without everyone else. Luckily, we each had a drink, and so it was less awkward.

Some said, "Be your charming self" to me. I'm charming! ;)

The same sushi boy from class ordered absinthe through the mail. For those of you who don't know, it's illegal to drink here, and it wipes out your brain.

I've made a decision about my life and put a deadline on it.

While reading the news yesterday I came across a story about a man who'd been shot 3 times. He lives 1 street away from me, and they think it may have happened there.

Putting a lavendar scented air freshener in your car is a bad idea.

I took my first "bow" as a culinary arts student on Monday. It was a good feeling.

There's not enough time in the week to do all of the things I need to before the end of the year. And I'm tired.

TLWFM. IBN.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Toosdae ?'s

Happy Toosdae everyone! It snowed here this morning, which you all know I LOVE! Happiness comes in the form of frozen water for me...have fun!

1. Do you buy yourself Christmas presents? If so, do you wrap them? Do you wait until Christmas to open them?

2. When picking out an outfit to wear for the day, do you usually choose comfort or style? Are you a spontaneous dresser (go to the closet, pick a shirt) or a planner (decide the night before)?


3. Going in the other direction...if there were no social stigmas attached (including people thinking you look bad) and no health risks involved, would you prefer to live your life nude or would you opt for clothes?

1. I don't purposely buy myself Christmas presents with the intent of wrapping them...but...well...it just happens sometimes. I justify the purchase by wrapping it and putting it under the tree telling myself I deserve to treat me well too!

2. I think most of my clothes are for style, but they are also mostly comfortable. On my best days, I pick something out the night before, on most days, I pick whatever is the least wrinkled and match it with something else.

3. I've gotta say I'd stick with clothing most of the time. Though I enjoy a naked nap (tmi?) now and then, I also enjoy sweatshirts. In the summer though, being able to skinny dip without repercussions would be awesome.

And also, being naked all of the time leaves very little to the imagination, and that's almost the best part of sexuality, IMO.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Menu

Yesterday, as you know from the post below, was mostly spent working on my menu planning project for school...I've finally finished the mock up of the menu, including loose descriptions of the dishes. Here is my menu-tell me what you think:

Starters:

Crostini Plate
prosciutto wrapped crostini with fresh melon salsa and Bruschetta with white beans, sundried tomatoes and basil.
Soffio di Calamari
Crispy calamari puffs served with a chili lime salsa.
House Salad
Spicy watercress greens tossed in a light sherry vinaigrette, topped with Maytag Blue Cheese crumbles.
Classic Caesar
Hearts of romaine, house made Caesar dressing and croutons with fresh Parmesan shavings.
Soup:
Mushroom Soup
A rich mushrooms oup with chestnuts and roasted fennel
Apricot Lentil Soup
Classic lentil soup with a sweet and tangy twist.
Entrees:
Mediterranean Short Ribs
Slow braised short rib of beef served with a citrus wine sauce over creamy mashed potatoes.
Risotto
Tender risotto with shrimp and asparagus, classically served with freshly shaved parmesan cheese.
Gnocchi with Sausage & Fennel
House made ricotta gnocchi tossed in a sausage & fennel ragu. Topped with Pecorino Romano.
Herb Crusted Veal Tenderloin
Slow roasted veal tenderloin with celery root & pear sformato & cherry sauce.
Parmesan Encrusted Chicken
With tomato basil sauce and fingerling potatoes.
Dessert:
Decadence
Flourless chocolate cake with fresh raspberry coulis, served warm with Tahitian Vanilla Gelato.
Panna Cotta
Creamy vanilla bean Panna Cotta served with fresh berries and chocolate sauce.
Apple & Cream Tart
Sweet, flaky crust filled with tart apples and topped with Calvados whipped cream.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Menu Planning-Ugh

Some of you may know that I am in the middle of the biggest project of my school career. It's for my Menu Planning class, and it involves "creating" a restaurant from start to finish as if I were really going to open it when I graduate.

Demographic research...rent and square footage information...equipment needed...style...payroll/staffing list...costing and yes, the menu.

Each menu needs:

2 Appetizers
2 Salads
2 Soups
5 Entrees
2 Desserts
Drinks

Along with accurate recipe cards, cost cards, yield cards, descriptions and an actual menu. My last 5 hours (No exaggeration) has been spent filling in my recipe cards online and creating my menu. I had to do something fun otherwise I'd go batty...you can't really see it, and the descriptions are not really there, nor are the correct prices, but it's below.

I'm beat. I still have no idea what I'm going to call my "restaurant". Any ideas? It's an Eclectic Italian place that will cater to young yuppies. I'm thinking it's gotta be one word.

Right now, I'm thinking it's gotta be "HELP".

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Restaurant Quote of the Weekend

"Now I just feel cheap..."

Said by me after I proclaimed how happy I was that people are treating me like I'm one of them.

This deserves further discussion:

Picture it...Sicily...oh, wait...I'm too tall to play that part. Picture it, an upscale Italian/Eclectic restaurant. People hug, kiss, flirt, and basically break every "rule of boundaries" there is.

But not to me. I am the new girl who was too nice, too new, and possibly working under cover. It could happen, I'm slick.

So...I blogged that I was starting to fit in because I now am greeted with a kiss and given a goodbye kiss. Now it's progressing.

Hugs are given now, which makes me feel nice. Who doesn't love the hug? I certainly love it, so bring 'em on, I say! I even got a back rub last week.

And then...today...I thought I'd crossed the ultimate barrier when someone walked into the kitchen, put their arm around me and slapped my ass.

Now, I haven't had my ass slapped (in that manner) since high school. It was a little weird, but hey-it's how they are. I wasn't as offended as I thought I'd be, which is probably wrong, but I'm not worried about it.

In any case, when said slapper walked away, I giggled (b/c that's what I do) and said, "You know you're one of the crowd when you get your ass slapped."

Everyone stopped.

Everyone.

They immediately asked who slapped my ass. When I told them, I followed it up with, "But he slaps everyone's ass-that's how he is."

Apparently not. Apparently, I'm the only one.

Insert Restaurant Quote of the Weekend: "Now I just feel cheap..."

>8-/