Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Seaweed is Always Greener...

On somebody else's cake...Every year my niece puts in a special (specific) request for her birthday cake...



Under the Sea


Chocolate Cake with Sweetened Strawberries & Cream

Friday, April 13, 2007

Black Sugar

There's a woman at work who keeps 2 candy jars on her desk. She works in a very high profile area where people walk by multiple times a day. She is in the center of the office universe, if you will.

She freely brings in the candy. No one asks her to do this. It is her choice.

But she has a "Tip" jar next to the dish. And if you don't pay, she says, "Did you leave a contribution?"

Is it me, or is this just tacky? Let me be clear and say that this is not a community/office candy jar in which everyone agreed to have candy and they pay as they go. It's completely her doing-her candy-her choice to "share" her candy.

But not unless you pay.

That's a little weird, no? Why even bring it in if there are going to be conditions placed on it? OR if you need to have conditions placed on it, start a candy club-like they do for water clubs...

I feel sorry for the next bastard that walks up to her desk thinking they can have a tasty treat.

And on another random note, why is it that I always wear lip gloss on the windiest days of the year? Hair blows, sticks to lips...not fun. It totally goes against the "I'm a sexy bitch" look when you've got a mouthful of hair.

Maggie, By Numbers

I admit it. I stole this from one of my hot MN boys...click here to find out which one.

NINE Things on my mind
1. Should I move?
2. Is it just running away?
3. When will my dress get here?
4. When should I put my house up for sale?
5. Will the fondant be OK?
6. Is that freaking ulcer on my cornea coming back?
7. Where is love? (As in the song from Oliver)
8. Why?
9. Why not?

EIGHT Things I touch every day
1. My hair
2. My alarm clock
3. My coochie...hey-no one likes a dirty girl! On second thought...
4. My car keys
5. My computer keyboard
6. A book
7. Toilet Paper
8. My house alarm

SEVEN Things I Shouldn't Do
1. Love too much
2. Touch my face
3. Bite my nails
4. Eat at school
5. Over wear my contacts
4. Be impatient with my Mom
5. Take all of my vacation time just because I'm bored
6. Go shopping when I have no money
7. Ignore the "check engine" light

SIX Things I want to do before I die (Only six??!!?!)
1. Get remarried
2. Have a baby
3. Get and keep a best friend
4. Learn to play the piano
5. Open a successful catering business
6. Find inner peace
Honorable mentions: Open a non-profit community center, write a book, publish a picture book of food, travel to Italy, Greece, Spain, Ireland and France, make Greg a good cake.

FIVE Things I wish I could teach the world
1. Everyone deserves to be fed
2. How to make one meal their family will request for years.
3. How to provide food for themselves even when they think they can't.
4. That I'm really lovable
5. That holding a door for people is the right thing to do, and saying Thank you when it's held for you is even more right.

FOUR Things I am wearing
1. Black underwear
2. Lip gloss
3. Red Shoes
4. A smile

THREE People I would like to trade places with for a week
1. My niece Mariah
2. Ina Garten
3. A man with a really big penis....just kidding...that's kind of an inside joke.
3. My future self

TWO People I miss
1. Nelson
2. My Papa

ONE Thing that makes me sick
1. People who lie to you because it's easier than telling the truth.

Friday's Feast

Appetizer
When you were a child, which crayon color was your favorite?
I don't remember-but I've always loved colors, so I'm sure it was more than one...teal, purple, green, pink...

Soup
On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being highest), how likely would you be to change jobs if it required you to move?
Right now, a 1 but in August, an 8.

Salad
Take all the numbers in your birthday and your phone number and add them up, one by one. What’s the total?
97

Main Course
Have you ever “re-gifted” anything? If so, what was it and who did you pass it on to?
Yes-I re-gifted a wedding present because I got 3 of them-it was a utensil set and I gave it to a girl who was getting married from work.

Dessert
Name something you need from the store.
A jacket to go over the dress I want for the wedding I'm going to in May, laundry detergent and cake ingredients: Butter, shortening, cocoa, milk, strawberries and confectioners sugar.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Mole People

I've always been enthralled with communities and seeing how people "really" live, when they aren't aware they are being watched, or when they are so comfortable with their surroundings that they forget to hide the little quirks that make up the wonderment and dysfunction that we all have.

I've always been more of an off the beaten path kind of kid-would rather drive around neighborhoods or eat in places only the locals know about-simply so I can watch with sponge-like eyes, soaking up all the human behavior.

On a trip to Pennsylvania as a child, I remember flopping down on a bench, exasperated and sad about the "Model" Amish Village they had set up. An uncle of mine asked around and ended up driving us through Amish Country, following wagons and waving at the locals. It was, to date, one of my favorite vacations.

I studied Criminal Justice in college because I am also enamored with deviance. I thought about working with troubled yutes and studied gangs and graffiti. When I transferred to UCF in Florida, my focus shifted to the Mafia. I love the mafia. Their brotherhood-loyalty-their secret society and their power.

Yes. I love communities-normal or dysfunctional, I love sitting back and watching them unfold.

As mentioned in yesterday's post, I love the Mole People. They are the homeless men, women and children who have taken to living underground in the subway and train tunnels in NYC.
The Mole People is a book by Jennifer Toth. Though it's not as much as a story as I would like, I am finding it fascinating to read about the way communities form, relationships evolve and lives are lived-all underground.

It amazes me that these people-said to be 5000 strong and growing-live sight unseen for the most part, surviving with nothing more than a box or a blanket and a hole in the wall. Others, however, create homes in their cubbies, filling them with furniture, pictures and beds. In some cases, they even have clean water from broken pipes and light to read in.

In the book, the author goes underground as an outsider-that is, she did not try to pretend to be homeless. She interviews members of the community, trying to find out who they are. Throughout the book, it's very clear that they appreciate the fact that she is not trying to rehabilitate them or make them leave their homes-she simply wants to understand who they are and why they are there.

The Mole People fascinate me and they make me think about how lucky I am to have my small little house in the burbs, living free of addiction and mental illness. It also makes me realize how weak and pampered I am-that one day in the tunnels would probably be my undoing...I'm not sure I could bounce back after tunnel life.

I'd Like To Thank The Academy


Thank you to my friend Tish over at CrAzy Working Mom for nominating me for the "Thinking Blogger Award". I am thrilled to be recognized by such a wonderful woman as someone who makes her smile.
Though I know that there was a mild controversy among my other blog friends regarding this award, I am still going to wear this badge proudly. To me, it's not about the actual award itself, but the fact that someone thought of me when looking for someone to give it to...
This award requires that I pass it on to 5 other bloggers. Based on said controversy, I am not going to do that. I am, however, going to say that every person on my Blogroll to the right makes me think almost daily. They make me laugh, make me ponder my beliefs and some even make me cry. The circle of friends that I have made from my Blogroll is priceless, and they all deserve awards.
So, in honor of my award, please pick a few new people to visit, and tell them I sent you...
Thanks again, CrAzy Working Mom! Acadamey

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Randomivity

*UPDATED*
*It's good to know that when you Google "Taped his penis" that I come up at the 6th link down.

*You know you've become friends with someone when they reach for the stray hair on your shirt-and it's located on your boob. And they're a boy.

*You're all going to ask me if he's single.

*It seems that everyone in my state is getting a haircut today, and I therefore, can not. I've got to get this frizzy mess under control! *Update...new fancy pants hair cut to be givin today at 5pm! Head massage...here I come!!

*The Mole People fascinate me, and if I didn't hate dirt so much and didn't have an oversensitive sniffer, I'd totally go underground for a day.

*You're all laughing at me because I was afraid of Randy the Ratfaced Mouse-let alone disgusting dog-sized attack rats.

*Speaking of dogs, you know you're in a rancid mood when you flip one off because you thought he was going to run into the road.

*Yes, I really gave a dog the bird.

*No animals were hurt during the writing of this blog.

*It is weird to have a dream about ducks flying over you-especially when one of them is the scored duck breast you prepared in school the night before-and it's telling you it doesn't have wings. How absurd. It doesn't even have a head!

*You remind me of the kid in that Cher movie "The Mask" and you're not attractive. On top of that, your red hair makes you look a little freakish, and when you dance in the dark, I am a little bit scared for my life. So, no-I do not find you funny.

*When 6 exits are closed on a major highway at 10:30 at night, it's probably best to LET ME INTO THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC (you hairy bitch). As you can see...I was being pushed into your lane by POLICE OFFICERS with FLAIRS. Get off of your cell phone (illegal in CT, by the way) and PAY ATTENTION!

*Getting pushed off of the highway in the ghettos of Hartford is scary at 10:30 at night. Especially when there are cop cars flying by and especially when your "check engine" light is on..

Wordless Wednesday

Boston

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Toosdae ?'s

Top of the mornin' to ya happy readers! In light of the fact that I wish I were rich, here are a few questions about what you would do for money...I am definitely looking forward to reading your answers today, as I think a few of you will come up with some doozies!!

1. For $1000 would you allow a stranger to slather your entire body with Mayonnaise in a busy downtown area? The stranger is of average looks and will be fully clothed*. You would be allowed to wear a bathing suit and flip flops, and could shower immediately afterwards. If not, how much would it take for you to do this? Would another condiment be better?

2. For $500 would you rather have to convince 10 strangers of the opposite sex to kiss you on the lips (just a peck) or rub lotion on your back? If this isn't enough-how much would your request?

3. For $250 would you call a respected but manipulating family member and tell them what you really think of them? You would not be able to preface the call with "I'm getting paid to do this" and you wouldn't be able to clarify it for 24 hours. If not-how much would it take?

1. I don't think I would do this for $1000. I'm not a tremendous fan of Mayo unless it's in Tuna or Potato Salad and having it's greasy, smelly mayonnaisey stench on me is making me sick right now. I would however, allow someone to put mustard on me-even though I'd probably be yellow for a couple of days, the $1000 would pacify me.

2. Yeah. I do the kissing for $500. I'm not sure I'd succeed in getting 10 men to agree to kiss me on the lips, but it might be pretty fun trying!

3. No. I wouldn't do this. Though I tend to me on the mean side to my mom sometimes, that's out of frustration. I couldn't call my Nana (who is that family member) and be disrespectful to her, no matter what I thought. I just respect her too much and wasn't raised that way.



*(This comment is mainly for Brian and Tommy who'll no doubt say "If she's hot enough" or something like that!!!"

Official Thank You

I've discovered the true nominator, and would like to say a special thank you to my friend Asara for nominating me for Best Food Blog.

It's quite an honor to be nominated, but especially nice because it has to do with the love of my life: Cooking! (Yeah, I know...sad)

So...what are you waiting for!? Go on over and VOTE would ya? The top site already has 36 votes, but you know me...I can't go down without a good fight!

If I win, I'll send you all a little sumthin' scrumptious. ;)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Food Blog?

I don't know when it happened, or who nominated me, or what it even means, but at some point I was somehow nominated for an award in a Blogger Choice Award in the Food Blog category, which in my opinion, is a little weird. But, none the less, whoever nominated me-THANK YOU!

So, now I have another fun award banner on my sidebar!

Tomorrow's Gate

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At tomorrows gate they all walk past
not knowing what's in store.
But onto bigger-better-things
their hearts ready for more.

Upon the downy green grass lies
a tale that's not been told.
And at any minute the fireflies
may spin their fiery gold.

The tale begins and spreads its wings
and magical things ensue.
Surprised? Indeed! That mystical
girl inside the tale is you!

The story now is off the grass
and in the wind, you know.
And wherever it blows, wherever it lands
those are the places you can go.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

What's Cookin? Herb Roasted Veal

This is an excellent dish to serve on a special occasion or when you want to impress someone special. The skill level needed is just a tad bit higher than "easy", but only because it takes some patience and time.

Herb Roasted Veal Tenderloin with Cherry Sauce & Celery Root & Pear Sformato


Butter
1/2 C. Bread Crumbs
1 # Celery Root, blanched & diced into 1/4 in. pieces
Salt
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
Thyme, 1 Sprig
2 T. Extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 Onion, minced
2 large eggs
1 Pear, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 T. Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 C. Mashed potatoes
4 3/4-inch cubes Fontina Cheese
1 medium shallot, finely minced
3/4 C fresh Cherries, pitted and quartered
2 T. Molasses

For Sauce & Veal:
1/2 C. Port Wine
3 C. veal stock
2 T. unsalted butter
2 (3/4 pound) veal tenderloin
1 T. Dijon mustard
Mixed herbs (sage, rosemary and thyme) finely chopped

Method: Oven 375
Sauce:
1. Heat olive oil in a medium pan. Add shallots and cook until golden.
2. Add 1/2 C. of the cherries, molasses, port and stock. Reduce to 1 C.
3. Strain sauce through a chinois or a sieve into a clean bowl or pan and finish by swirling butter in at the last minutes. Season to taste. To serve, add remaining cherries and spoon over veal.

Sformato:
1. Brush 4 ramekins with butter and coat with bread crumbs, tapping out the excess.
2. Blanch celery root in salted water with garlic and thyme for 5 minutes.
3. In a large skillet, heat 1 T. olive oil. Add minced onions & celery root until golden. Season with s&p.
4. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and pear, parsley and mashed potatoes. Fold in Celery Root mixture.
5. Fill ramekins 1/2 way full, add a cube of fontina in the center and cover with more potato mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake for 15 minutes until golden.

Veal:
1. Brush veal with mustard. Season with Salt & Pepper and roll in mixed herbs.
2. In a large pan heat olive oil over medium high heat. Sear the veal on all sides.
3. Finish in the oven until medium rare-about 5-10 more minutes. Allow to rest prior to slicing.

To plate, turn sformato out of ramekins off center on the plate. Ladle sauce on the bottom half of dish and fan 3 thin slices of veal over sformato. Drizzle more sauce and cherries over veal.

Notes:
*I substituted pork loin for veal-just adjust the cooking times accordingly.