Saturday, November 18, 2006

Restaurant Quote of the Weekend & Also: Why Do I Torcher Myself?

"That's what your girl said last night."

Said by me to PRMan01 in response to him saying, "It's not big enough."

This is funny because, well, it's funny.

But also because PRMan01 ALWAYS says "That's what my girl said last night." to things that can mean he's got a big penis.

So it was the perfect opportunity for me to turn it around on him, and he took it pretty well. In fact, I'm pretty sure he respects me more for it for some lame reason.

Line tonight-for almost 5 hours! I'm exhausted, but it was really a great night. Serial Killer and I work pretty well together, except when he starts feeling like I'm taking over completely and people are noticing-that's the key...if no one pays attention to how well I'm doing, he's ok with me doing it all...jerk.

I also am starting to realize why people in industry are alcoholics and drug addicts. After you get off of work, you are so geared up and either you go party or go home and drink to relax. I myself am enjoying a nice glass of red wine as I write this, and I'm thinking that perhaps I should dump it out....

And also...why do I torcher myself?

There will always be certain people or certain types of people that you just can't compete with.

And, certain people will never like you because of your weight, your height, your nature-whatever, and no matter what you do, you just can't change the fact that they don't like you. There will always be someone prettier, someone smarter, wittier and funnier.

Sometimes you never had a chance even before you started, even if it seemed like you did at times. Sometimes, you had the chance and blew it.

All of the time, it ends the same.

So how do you get from this point to that point where both hearts are right side up and to them, YOU are the prettiest, smartest, wittiest and funniest?

So that you are no longer the girl in the other room waiting, while the man you love is wishing you were someone else...

See? Torcher. Sometimes I just can't help it.

I think I need to get sloppy drunk. Anyone wanna come play?

Friday, November 17, 2006

In My Dreams

I hate bad dreams. It is rare that I remember them, but when I do, I'm left feeling shaken and discombobulated (add that to the list of cool words to say). This one was particularly odd, but I woke up feeling scared and afraid of being caught. (So much so that I thought I still heard someone calling for me when I woke up and walked around my house)

I was over at my parents house and my friend Brian was over. This is weird, because he's my friend, not my families-in fact, none of them have ever met him, because he lives in Florida.

So I hugged him and immediately got his email address-which was only 2 letters and the @ stuff. His email address, just so you know, used to be 18 letters plus the @ stuff. I commented on this and went to see my sisters and to tell them I had his email.

They were playing cards in my youngest sisters room. They pulled a (non existent) major piece of furniture out of the dining room to do so. Also, an old dresser that used to be mine, and has since been burned in a bonfire was there. The room should have been cramped but it wasn't. I mentioned that I had Brian's email and that I was excited because now we could talk more, and they said, "Yeah-we've got it too." in mean voices.

They were drinking and having fun and I said, "I want to go out tonight." and they both looked at each other and laughed. I said, "What?" and they ignored me. So I left feeling angry and sad.

I then called my old job and asked someone for help. She was an old employee of mine who was actually a good friend until she got married. Then she disappeared. She put me on hold for a long time-to the point where I almost hung up. Just as I was about to do so, she came on the line and told me that she couldn't help me because people were in the office. I was hurt and confused because (though I don't know what I was asking for) it was apparently very easy.

So, I made lavender macaroons (something I've been researching for a while) and was driving them over to someone-who I can't remember and who never appeared in the dream-when I saw a beautiful purple sunset with brilliant God rays (sun spilling from the clouds) I pulled over and jumped out to take the picture, but my camera wouldn't work. I noticed that cars were backing up in the lanes on the highway. It was because instead of pulling over, I just stopped were I was.

A man in a big John Deere tractor (the kind with the yellow inside of the big honkin wheels) and a cowboy hat on drove past from behind a fence and yelled at me. I saw flashing lights, and, oddly enough, one of those big orange Gatorade pitchers that baseball players drink from.

I ran to get into my car, went to drive away and couldn't. The car's accelerator wouldn't push the car forward and I was moving very slow-it felt like I was moving through molasses. I almost got hit by a big truck, but managed to swerve just in time. Meanwhile, the man on the tractor was following...

The I roused myself and woke up.

There are some obvious correlations that I can pick out, and then other no-so-obvious ones. The thing that sucks the most? I came home early from work today to take a nice nap and this is what I got.

Off to find better days...

Week In Review

1 comment overheard about a woman being a "moose"

2 men that chuckled

12 inches away from hitting a car on the highway

1 bone in my neck that hurts again because of it

36 hours

1 time I officially gave up dating

1 time I avoided someone because their behavior was childish

3 times I wondered if standing up to people who treat me bad is worth it because it ultimately means I remain lonely

2 empty bottles of wine sitting near my garbage

1 glass I had

0 times I enjoyed it

1 time I stripped completely naked while changing for school in the bathroom at work because I was daydreaming instead of paying attention

1000 times I want to beg

0 times I will

10 recipes needed

5 written

7 times I thought about leaving

1 comment made by a chef that my jambalaya was the best he's ever had

2 times I couldn't hide my smile

1 Christmas list being written

11 things on it

17 days escaped...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Creamy Not Dreamy


Let it be known:
*
I have officially given up dating.
*
My searching is over. I am laying down to the wolves and giving up. If "he" exists, he will have to find me.
*
The next 30 years may very well be spent cooking risotto for one, but at least I won't have to deal with idiots.
*
Mark it: Time of death, 7:42pm, November 15, 2006.

Marginal

As I sit in the classroom, my mind hanging on their every word, soaking up the idiosyncrasies that radiate from my chef instructors, I write in the margins.

The phrases that catch me as funny, words they say differently so they sounds musical, or stories they've told that I do not want to forget.

I write in the margins so that years from now when I am searching frantically through my notes for the definition of Caul Fat, I will be reminded of Chef Valle's love of wine, or Chef Brummett's animated stories.

What I did not count on, was that these scribbles would make me smile, even now, when it is in my present.

For some, I simply do not remember why they've made their homes in my notes-others I remember fondly and grin as I think of my smile that caught the instructors eye, making them question what they said...

Grapes have to suffer for good wine. Like me, a good year.

No Lazy Wine!

You want it-

Kill in head

Tap that (pee)

I never cooked in a hospital but I did a lot of institutional stuff. (Still cracks me up that no one even snickered!)

Eats nicely (I love this. I will use this phrase until I die.)

Young Culiniarian (ME!)

Cumin and Salt

Whisky and OJ

Do pigs really like shit?

Turkey thru dishwasher

Tuna Pizzelli-giggles!

No oven for cream pies!!!

There is one notebook missing. That one would surely make me laugh out loud, as that was my nutrition class with the chef who wouldn't say Anus.

It's a good thing I have a 3.9, otherwise you all would think I'm a slacker. ;)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Spectacular Smooshed Spuds

The following post was written on 11/14/07 and has been archived to condense the Mo Show Recap post...

Here is the secret to perfect mashed potatoes:

1. The Potato: Use Russets or Yukon Gold Potatoes-or, for best results, use both!
Russet potatoes are high in starch and make a less gluey dish.
Yukon Golds are an all purpose potato with a yellow flesh and a buttery flavor
*Use 2 pounds of potatoes to yield 4-6 servings.

2. Cooking Method Counts: For best results, cook your spuds WITH THE SKINS ON!
This method allows the potatoes to retain their starch and nutrients
It also prevents the potatoes from being waterlogged
*Scrub and wash the taters, cook them in salted water, peel & chop them while hot.

3. The Mixers: Melted butter & Warm 1/2 & 1/2
Use 8 Tablespoons of MELTED butter for every 2 #'s of potatoes used
Use WARM 1/2 & 1/2-not milk, not cream. 1 Cup for every 2#'s should do ya

4. The Execution: Ricers, Food Mills, No-No's and when to add the stuff
A. To make the smoothest mashed potatoes, use a potato ricer or a food mill. As a chef, my preference is a Food Mill. They are a bit pricey, however, and a ricer produces a similar product for less money. I recommend OXO brand for both. Squish your spuds in either device while hot.
*Using a potato masher is not recommended...this produces what you call "home-style" potatoes-which is a nice way to say: Lumpy. Also, using a masher may overwork the starch in said potatoes therefore creating...glue. NEVER use an electric mixer of any kind when working with potatoes. Unless of course, you are wallpapering your kitchen, and need something to hang it with. :)

B. Add the melted butter first. This will coat the starch molecules which will help prevent a gloopy mess. Yes, that is a professional culinary term. After you've added the melted butter, slowly add the warm 1/2&1/2 by folding it in gently. Season as you like after this step. I recommend salt & white pepper.

Click HERE to return to The Mo Show Recap Page

Sweet Corn Pudding

The following post was written on 11/14/07 and was archived to streamline The Mo Show Recap Post.

Lots of people are looking for new ways to serve traditional vegetables. This recipe for Sweet Corn Pudding takes a classic-corn-and brings it triumphantly into 2007.

4 C. frozen Corn, thawed
4 Eggs
1 C. whipping cream
1/2 C. Whole Milk
3-6 T. Sugar*
1/4 C. (1/2 stick) Butter, room temperature
2 T. Flour
2 t. Baking Powder
1 t. Salt

Method: Preheat oven to 350°F.
1. Butter 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish.
2. Blend all ingredients in processor until almost smooth. A little bit of lumps gives it character!
3. Pour batter into prepared dish.
4. Bake pudding until brown and center is just set, about 45 minutes.
5. Cool 10 minutes; serve.

*I prefer to use less sugar, as most corn is already sweet. Decreasing the sugar also makes it more believable as a side dish for a savory meal as opposed to a dessert.

Click HERE to return to The Mo Show Recap Page

Mushroom Bread Pudding

The following post was written on 11/14/07 & was archived in order to streamline The Mo Show Recap post.

Believe it or not, there are people out there who don't like stuffing! (GASP!) A while back, I found this recipe and found that it's unique make up was close enough to stuffing to replace it, but different enough to satisfy the haters.

Mushroom Bread Pudding


1 1/3 C. Heavy Cream
4 eggs
1/2 t. Salt
1/2 t. Black Pepper, freshly ground if possible
1 Loaf Crusty Italian Bread, cubed
3 T. Unsalted Butter, plus more for buttering baking dish
2 Shallots, sliced
4 Pounds Mixed Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3 Tablespoons Chives, chopped
3 T. Fresh Thyme
3 T. Fresh Rosemary
4 T. Grated Parmesan, plus more to top

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. On a sheet pan put cubed bread. Toast it in the oven until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
3. In a large sauté pan melt the butter and sauté the shallots until just wilted. Add the mushrooms and sauté until browned, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.
4. In a large bowl make custard; whisk together the cream with the eggs and season with the salt and pepper.
5. Add toasted bread cubes along with the chives, thyme and rosemary to the egg mixture. Stir in the sauteed mushrooms and mix in the grated Parmesan.
6. Transfer the mixture to a 9 by 13-inch baking dish, top with more grated Parmesan, to taste.
7. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the custard is set.
8. Allow to sit 5 minutes before serving.

*I don't care for Thyme very much, and so I decrease this amount when I cook this for myself. Make the dish your own by adding or subtracting the herbs you and your family like better.

Click HERE to return to The Mo Show Recap page

Orange Rosemary Turkey

The following post was written on 11/14/07 but was archived to streamline the Mo Show Recap Post.

Adding any flavor under the skin of a bird will always result in better seasoning. Adding butter under the skin will yield a crispy, golden brown skin that no one will want to pass up. Try this Orange Rosemary Butter under your next Turkey for a fresh twist on an old bird...

1/2 C. Unsalted Butter, room temperature
2 T. Orange Zest
4 t. Fresh Rosemary, Minced
TT Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method:
1. Combine all ingredients
2. Working from tail end of turkey, gently slide your fingers between skin and flesh on breast, legs and as much of the thighs as you can.
3. Next, slide your fingers between skin and breast of turkey from neck end. Spread about half the rosemary-orange butter underneath skin and over meat on turkey breast, legs and thighs. 4. Spread remaining butter over outside of skin.
5. Roast turkey as usual

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Crantini

The following post was written on 11/14/07 and was archived to streamline The Mo Show Recap page.

Crantinis


Ice cubes
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) vodka
1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) dry vermouth
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) cranberry juice
8 cranberries, frozen
4 lemon zest twists

Virgin Cosmopolitans
Ice cubes
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) cranberry juice
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) fresh tangerine juice
1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) fresh lime juice
4 lime zest twists

Yields 8 Cocktails

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How Much & For How Long?

The following post was written on 11/14/07 and was archived to streamline The Mo Show Recap Post.

How much turkey do I need to cook?
Typically, you should plan for 1 pound of turkey for every guest. This can change however, if your family are particularly big eaters, or if you want more leftovers. If that is the case, increase your estimate to 1.5 pounds of turkey per person.

How long do I have to defrost this turkey for?!
The rule is that every 5 pounds of turkey needs 24 hours to defrost in the fridge. It is very dangerous to defrost a turkey any other way-regardless of who told to otherwise.

What temperature to I have to cook the bird to?
Everything that ever had wings must be cooked to 165 degrees. Period. Do not rely on the pop up thingy that comes with your bird. Invest in a meat thermometer and use it. Calibrate the thermometer before testing the bird by setting it in ice water for a few minutes and making sure it reads 32 degrees.

How long do I cook the turkey for?
This question is very hard to answer, because cooking temperatures vary greatly based on ovens and location. However, use the following as a general rule, and modify it to your needs accordingly.

Stuffed
6 to 8 pounds 2½ to 3½ hours
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3½ hours
12 to 14 pounds 3½ to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4¾ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4¾ to 5¼ hours


Cooking your turkey at 325 degrees is ideal.

Click HERE to return to The Mo Show Recap page.

Pumpkin Delights

The following was written on 11/14/07 and was archived to streamline The Mo Show Reacp post.


Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust:
2 Packages Honey Graham Crackers (about 20 rectangles)
1 Cup Pecans
1 1/2 Sticks Butter, melted

Method:
1. Put Graham crackers in a food processor and process until they look like sand.
2. Add the nuts and pulse until combined.

*Do not add the nuts with the crackers first-you will end up with Pecan Butter!
3. Slowly pour the butter into the processor while pulsing until combined.
4. Press the crust into a 9 inch spring form pan and set aside.

**Alternate crust: Use Gingersnaps instead of graham crackers & eliminate the nuts.

Filling:
4, 8-ounce Pkgs Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 C. Sugar
3 Eggs
1 15-ounce can Pumpkin-NOT Pumpin Pie Filling!
1 C. Cream
2 t. Vanilla Extract
2 t. Ground Cinnamon
1 t. Ground Ginger
1/2 t. Ground Nutmeg
1/2 t. Ground Allspice
1/4 t. Ground Cloves

Method:
1. Cream together cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
2. Beat in eggs 1 at a time.
3. Add pumpkin and remaining 7 ingredients. Beat just until blended.
4. Pour filling into prepared crust. Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Add enough water to come halfway up sides of springform pan.
5. Bake cheesecake until slightly puffed and softly set and top is golden, about 1 1/2 hours.
*Don't open the oven! If you must peek, use the oven light-opening the oven will make your cake crack and deflate!
6. Transfer springform pan to rack and cool 15 minutes. Using knife, cut around sides of pan to loosen cake. Release pan sides.
7. Cover and refrigerate cake overnight.


Pumpkin Creme Brulee


1 1/2 C. Heavy Cream
1/2 C. Whole Milk
1/2 t. Cinnamon
2 pinches Nutmeg
1 pinch ground Ginger
1 pinch ground Cloves
4 Egg Yolks
1/2 C. granulated Sugar
1/2 C. Canned Pumpkin Puree
For Sugar Topping:
1/3 Cup Coarse Sugar
1/2 t. ground Ginger

Preheat oven to 300
Yield 4

Method:
1. Heat the cream, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until it comes to a boil. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse at least 15 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the granulated sugar. Whisking constantly, gradually pour in the hot cream mixture.
3. Whisk in the pumpkin puree.
4. Pour the mixture into 4 ovenproof ramekins and arrange in a hot water bath. Bake in the center of the oven until almost set but still a bit soft in the center, 30 to 40 minutes.

*The custard should "shimmy" a bit when you shake the pan; it will firm up more as it cools.

5. Remove from the water bath and let cool 15 minutes. Tightly cover each ramekin with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic does not touch the surface of the custard. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours.
6. When ready to serve, preheat a broiler to very hot (or fire up your kitchen torch).
7. Uncover the chilled custards. Combine the 1/3 C. of sugar with the 1/2 t. ginger & pour as much of the mixture as will fit onto the top of 1 of the custards.
8. Pour off the remaining sugar onto the next custard. Repeat until all the custards are coated. Discard any remaining sugar.
9. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan and broil until the sugar is melted and well browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool 1 minute before serving.

*It's better to use a torch-that way you get the cold creme brulee with the hot crunchy sugar. The broiler is a 2nd choice option.

Click HERE to return to The Mo Show Recap page.

Squash: The Other Casserole

**This recipe will be posted shortly. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Please check back on Friday 11/17/07.

Click HERE to return to The Mo Show Recap page

Toosdae ?'s

What's up team Mags? How are my faithful readers and all of the rest of you who come in and out when they can? I hope you are all splendid and sitting on the edge of your seats waiting to answer these questions!

Fire away dear ones, fire away...

1. Dorothy was confronted by the Wicked Witch on several occassions. Her little dog was stolen from her and all Dot had to do was give up the shoes. If you were Dorothy, would you have sacrificed Toto for the good of Oz, or would you have surrendered the Rubies and high tailed it outta there with the mut?

2. Which of the following in your home is more full: your dishwasher, your washing machine, your dryer, your sink or your hamper? If you don't have some of these items physically in your house, think about what goes in them and use that as your answer.

3. Winter is fast approaching (for most of us). If you were a bird, where would you fly to? It doesn't have to be South, and it doesn't have to be anywhere. (You could stay put)

1. I could never just give up and give in. Though I'd be scared, I would push on, ruby reds clicking on that yellow brick road, hoping that everything would be ok in the end.

2. My hamper is most full right now. But it's full of clean clothes waiting to be folder, ironed and put away. I don't get to that much these days...

3. I wouldn't fly anywhere. I love the snow and am quite excited to catch my first glimpse of the white stuff-the way it sparkles like diamonds in the moonlight-the perfectness of it's crust before it's walked on...the smell of cold in the air and the flush you get on your cheeks. Ah...it's coming soon!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Open Letter 2 the Hairy Naked Guy

Why?
Whenever you get the urge to ask me why I'm single because I'm "so great and wonderful and blah, blah, blah...", please refer to the picture above.
*
He is why.
*
Mean to post this picture? Maybe. But I figure if he's dumb enough to put it online, then it's fair game...
*
Dear Mr. Hairy Naked Guy,
*
Ick.
*
Your picture does not leave me yearning to know your name. It doesn't make me want to feel your skin against mine or snuggle with you on the couch while we watch a movie.
*
In fact, all it does is make me wonder why you are naked in what looks to be your mother's dining room.
*
I recognize that dating is hard and that finding the right one seems impossible at times. But haven't you ever heard of leaving something to the imagination? (Not that I could dream all that up...) But seriously, put on a shirt-your buldgy shoulders do not impress me.
*
And, oh- Kid called...he wants his haircut back.
*
Forever scarred by your epidermis,
*
Mags

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Pretty Much Sums It Up

This picture speaks a thousand words to me.


It's a picture of pouring chocolate into a bowl during my test cooking class, and my mother pointing out to everyone that I splattered some on my pristine white coat.

After my party, I feel sad. Instead of feeling proud of what I'm doing, I feel scattered. I feel like my guests did not get anything out of the class, and even though I've been planning for weeks, I feel like I just threw it together in 5 minutes because of how chaotic it was.

And it's not all her fault. I should know how to handle her by now. I should expect that she won't take anything seriously, and that she will make me feel like a bad person when I snap at her because she's being inconsiderate.

But God, why does she have to be that way? Why does she have to make me feel bad, steal attention, make comments and say hurtful things?

And why is she so happy when I splatter chocolate on my whites?

It's like she wants people to know when I fail or mess up. And thinking back, she's always been that way.

And people wonder why it's so important to me to be liked or included in a group. It's because I've never fit in at home.

The pieces come together in adulthood, but it still makes you feel like you're 3.

I learned a lot today. About the gaps in my class, the things I can and can't do, and also that my mother will never be who I want or need her to be.