Saturday, April 28, 2007

Restaurant Quote of the Weekend

"If you ever need a reference, use my name in a New York minute."

Said to me by Cos, the GM of the restaurant I worked for when I picked up my last check yesterday.

So...that's nice. >:0)

Update on the country club: I will not be working as a supervisor for the snack bar as we once thought. They said that had my schedule been more open, I would have been their first choice, however, because of school I wouldn't be able to work the hours they needed me to.

I think it's better this way anyway. I was a little apprehensive about taking a job that would take me farther away from actual food production-especially this early in my career. I will work for the executive chef working in the kitchen, doing garde manger work, and various other stations on the banquet line. It's very exciting. I start on Wednesday.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Absence of Fear

Last night I went to see Lewis Black with Greg. It was extremely fun and enjoyable, and I laughed harder than I have in a while. In fact, Greg mentioned that he'd never heard me laugh that hard ever. My response was, "I don't feel like I have to hold back anymore."

After I got home I thought about how that statement was inaccurate. I never really "felt" like I needed to hold back-I just kind of....did.

Then this morning I woke up and I wasn't refreshed at all. I have been sleeping a lot better this week than I had before, but last night I tossed and turned a lot. I had a dream where I was explaining to strangers in an airport why I was traveling alone-that I was single and had no one to go with. An old lady was giving me a hard time about it and I walked away, only to get lost in a maze of one way streets. In the dream, I was sad.

When I woke up, I wasn't.

I didn't feel the melancholy lump in my heart, and didn't feel like I needed to cry, like I usually did when I woke up from dreams like that. They always seemed so real to me and it was hard for me to shake off the sadness I dreamed about.

The melancholy I knew about-because it was ever present-welling up when I least expected it, hanging around like a heavy rain cloud ready to open up at any minute. But everything else-the anxiety, the over processing, the holding back-I never really saw how much I did it until it was gone.

And it seems that it has gone.

I'm over 2 weeks into my medicine and the jitters are gone. The stomachaches and hyper feelings have subsided and my sleep seems to be leveling out, at least a little. And what it's done so far has provided me with a quiet brain, the ability to NOT worry about things in my head, and the ability to laugh out loud.

Sometimes, it's the absence of something that makes you realize just how happy you are.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Parade

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It was a bright, sunny day and the trees were swaying in the breeze. We were lined up along the street in clusters of families and friends, sharing colorful blankets and plums. The parade was about to start.

As the mayor drove by, we waved flags, clapped and cheered-some jumped up and down allowing their excitement to spill over them without abandon. "What a nice day." I thought to myself.

And then came the midgets.

Being that one of my sisters seems to really love little people, I was at first excited to see them driving down the street. But then I realized that they were not part of the parade, but instead, were driving miniature motorcycles, weaving in and out of the marching bands, the Girl Scouts and the ancient Rotary Club members.

They were clad in studded leather, and were yelling at the crowd.

As they neared, I drew my niece in closer, fearful that she'd be frightened by the noise of the motorcycles, but also that the midgets would target her and try scaring her. Just as I suspected, as they passed me, one of them, a woman, saw my niece cowering by my side and slowed down. She sneered and screamed and threatened to scoop her up and take her away on her bike.

And that's when I kicked her in the face.

Hard.

So hard, in fact, that I broke her nose and knocked out her 2 front teeth.

In between her BLOODY cries, she vowed revenge, and sped away with her pack of leather clad midgets.

Quickly, we packed up and went home. We were shaken, yes, but happy to be safe. We thought little of the little person and her thirst for revenge. After all, she didn't know where we lived.

The next day, I received a package in the mail. Excited at the prospect of a box of fun stuff, I hurriedly brought the box into my office and opened it. As I did, it began jiggling around and spewing thick, pink goo all over me and my room. Just when I thought it was done, it jumped and burped up more goo, which got into my eyes and stung.

I was covered. I was burning. I was pissed.

The door bell rang again...

...And that's when I woke up..

*No midgets were hurt during the writing of this post.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Randomivity

I've always disliked Bobby Flay, but now that I know he has a show called "Throw Down" I hate him even more. Why would you purposely go to the best restaurants etc and publicly try to out do the chef? Ridiculous. Seems like someones got a very tiny penis...

"The Asians run everywhere" is funny.

I don't have very much money in my bank account at the moment, but I was very tempted to buy Red Sox tickets for yesterday. It's wicked rare to find 2 seats together at face value, and also...I was SO close to Boston.

Even though Flipper is a Spankme fan I think she would have had fun. ;)

I am starting to worry about myself and my recent fascination of the underworld.

I typed "Underoos" at first.

Sometimes, when you fake a stomach ache, you leave work and really end up having one. It's Karma and it's poopy. Literally.

Being off from school is really, really fantastic. It's been good for my soul.

Just because you are poor, doesn't mean you have to be dirty.

Doing cool things for friends is fun-especially when you know they'll like it.

If you work in a clothing store, you shouldn't be eating a greasy pretzel wrapped hot dog at the counter. Don't touch my new pants with those greasy paws!

I bet you are surprised I am complaining that someone is eating a pretzel wrapped hot dog. Especially because those are 2 of my favorite things.

Putting on my new pants this morning to find that the security button wasn't taken off because the lady was pre-occupied with her Wetzel Dog makes me very angry.

Team building with co-workers doesn't sound fun, but because it is at a culinary school nearby, it rocks. Especially because I get to leave at noon!!!

I wonder if he knew that the guy's real name is Paul.

YSGWD

That wasn't for you this time. You know who you are.

I don't want Charlie to die. But it appears like at some point, he may.

Wordless Wednesday-Wish I Was Here


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Toosdae ?'s

Happy Toosdae everyone!! Is it nice out where you are? It's going to be another pretty day here in CT and I'm sad to be stuck in this here cube! Have fun answering the following questions:

1. What is the weirdest thing you have ever done for money? (A job, a dare, a bet...)

2. Which personal item would you be most willing to share with someone else?
(A)Underwear (B) Toothbrush (C) Deodorant (D) Toenail Clippers (E) A Tissue

3. Do you have anything fun or special planned for this summer?


1. I would have to say that the weirdest thing I've done for money was to dive into an Olympic sized pool for an old couple when I was little. We were in the Catskills and it was freezing and rainy and they said that it wasn't right that no one was swimming. They offered me money to dive in, and I did. I've also sold knives for a summer job. That was pretty weird.

2. I would be most willing to share deodorant. Even though it's mildly gross, it's not as bad as the possibility of toe fungus (ick) or snots. And the underwear is just gross.

3. My parents are going to have a graduation party for me this summer, so that'll be fun. I think I will also go to the beach a lot in August after I'm done. But I anticipate being very busy.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Interview With A Magpire

I was so eager to participate in this game that I received 2 sets of questions. One from Skittles and the other from Asara! Instead of dropping one, I decided to answer 'em all!

Skittles asked:

1. Let's start out with some basics like where you were born, how many siblings you have, etc.
I was born in Tarrytown, NY on July 28, 1976. I have 2 younger sisters, C-Unit who's 24 and Flipper who's 18. I don't know what etc. encompasses, so I'll throw in a random fact-I really like hot dogs.

2. What made you decide on culinary school and what do you hope to do once you've graduated?
I've always wanted to go to culinary school, and in fact, tried to attend at least 2 other times prior to being able to go. Parents and $$ prevented me from going before, but finally, I'm able to realize my dream. When I graduate, I hope to hook up with a catering company so I can suck them dry of all their knowledge. Then I'll open a catering company of my own and become sinfully famous. Or just successful.

3. You must have a very busy schedule so what do you do to relax? Any hobbies?
I drink heavily. Just kidding. To relax I often read a non-school related book, take walks or blog. My hobby, surprise, surprise, is cooking! On my days off I'm often looking a menus, reading food magazines or blogs or cooking something new.

4. What astrological sign are you and how well do you think its description fits you?
I'm a Leo. We are: Generous and warmhearted, Creative and enthusiastic, Broad-minded and expansive, Faithful and loving and Pompous and patronizing, Bossy and interfering, Dogmatic and intolerant. I would say that yes, I am all of these things at times, hopefully more of the good ones!!

5. You get to invite five bloggers to lunch. Who would you pick and why?
Only 5?! No way. Can't be done. There's no way I can choose just 5. I'd want to invite everyone on my Blogroll for sure. With the exception of 1 or 2 that are on there, everyone I link to is a friend and someone I respect. Having us all together for lunch would be tres fabu.

Asara asked:

1. In your opinion, what's the most tasty dish you've ever prepared?
Since it's my opinion, I would say the Tuna with White Bean dish. It has a balsamic reduction with a cilantro pesto-and white beans. In my opinion, it's a fantastic dish and very easy to make. Every time I taste it, it's like a symphony in my mouth.

2. If someone wanted to cook you your absolute favorite meal, what would they make for you?
Ooo....this is hard. I don't think I have an absolute favorite meal. I love food and love lots of things. I go through stages where I'll eat one thing for a month and then not again for a year...I can tell you I love cheese, crunchy things and hot dogs. Also, Mexican food is my favorite, so probably something from that...Pollo a la Crema sounds good.

3. Why do you live where you live now? Would you ever relocate, if you did, where would you go, and why?
I live where I do now because real estate is less expensive than my home town, and after my divorce I needed to find a cheaper house. It's a nice town with quiet neighborhoods and it seemed like a good move. I would relocate and am actually seriously contemplating it after graduation. I am thinking of Boston because it's a city of culture, food and the Red Sox. All things I love. 8)

4. What is it with the Peanut Butter and Jelly crackers?
You obviously have never tried them. Take 2 Ritz crackers and smear peanut butter on one side and grape jelly on the other. Squish them together until some of the stuff inside oozes into the cracker's holes. Put the whole thing in your mouth and get lost in it's simplicity and it's texture. Wash it down with a swig of ice cold milk. Repeat until you feel sick. ;)

5. A genie pops out of a bottle of EVOO and offers you a wish. What do you wish for?
Great question! I wish for true love to find me-the fairytale of love is something that has eluded me for most of my life, and I truly don't want to lose hope in it. It's my romantic theory that with true love, everything else in your life will fall into place. And if not, it's OK, because someone is there to help you through it.

Pre-Occupied

My mind is elsewhere today...

This weekend's weather was straight out of a dream-warm but not hot with a slight breeze, crystal clear blue skies and lemony yellow sun. It was the kind of weather that makes you wish you were a kitty cat or a teenager-so you could lay around basking in the wonderful glow of spring.

This week I am on vacation from school. Because I did not have to study or rush to do laundry (Uniforms) I was able to get outside and feel the air circle around me-bringing the much needed pink back into my cheeks.

I even did yard work. Those of you who know me well know that I would rather scrub toilets than do yard work.

It was a lovely weekend and I even got to talk to my neighbors. Nosey McGee talked to me for at least a half hour, which was nice. He lives across the street and often averts his eyes when I wave, pretending not to see me. Other times, he stares as if waiting for me to talk.

New neighbors moved into the house next door-a young couple who seem to be very nice. While raking, I noticed that the man was outside cutting down trees and so I stopped working to say hello. His girlfriend then came out and we had a nice chat. It ended with them inviting me to a party they are having next week with a bunch of their friends.

I'm not sure I'll go, but I was thinking of making an appetizer for them and bringing it over beforehand. I will invite them over for dinner soon too, once the weather is more predictable. A nice barbecue I think, with beer marinated pork loin, roasted potatoes and perhaps a lemon tart for dessert.

I'll suck 'em in with food. ;)

I also have lots planned this week-tonight I get to play with menus and Megan, tomorrow I am going to see my little sister Flipper at school, Wednesday is LOST and Thursday is a comedy show with Greg.

So...as you can see, I have lots to look forward to, and lots to keep my mind in other places...oh to be wealthy. I'd so totally love to be on my deck right now, reading my book with bare feet, listening to the tree rustle and the birds chirping...

Dreaming....

Sunday, April 22, 2007

What's Cookin? Butterscotch Bread Pudding

I'm not sure what about this warm sunny day screamed "Make bread pudding", but it did. I craved the creamy sweet bready yumminess in only a way that people who understand the word Umami know...this is a quick and easy recipe that anyone can make. And here's a tip-it's great for breakfast!


Butterscotch Bread Pudding


White Bread, Cubed 3 C.
Half & Half 3 3/4 C.
Vanilla 1 T.
Dark Brown Sugar 3/4 C. Packed, plus more for sprinkling
Egg Yolks 3
Whole Eggs 3

Method:
1. Cube the bread into 1/2" dice. Spread the cubes in 9 x 13 rectangle baking dish.
2. Heat the sugar, half & half and vanilla in a saucepan until hot and sugar is dissolved.
3. Whisk eggs together.
4. When sugar mixture is hot, temper it into the eggs-pour hot mixture in a steady stream into the eggs while whisking until they are the same temperature as the sugar mixture.
5. Pour the liquid over the bread, being sure to soak all of the pieces. There will extra liquid which will evaporate during cooking.
6. Sprinkle with extra brown sugar and using a spoon, push the clumps just under the surface. This will give you nice pockets of "butterscotch" flavor without burning the sugar.

Bake in a 350 oven for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.