Saturday, February 02, 2008

What's Cookin? Penne Gorgonzola!

All of this talk about Home and Mothers and Daughters (You can still help-click the link!!) is making me think about comfort food...and for me, that revolves around CHEESE! For my catering event last week I cooked lunch for 25 architects-who did not have a kitchen! (And remember, I was driving from Boston!!) One of the dishes I prepared was Penne Gorgonzola-a richer, more grown up version of Macaroni and Cheese. Despite what I charge to make it-it's very easy to prepare, and I highly suggest you try it. :)

Penne Gorgonzola
Serves 4

2 T. Butter
1/4 C. Olive Oil
2 t. Honey
1.5 t. Lemon Juice
2 C. Gorgonzola Cheese
1 t. Pepper
1 # Penne

1. Combine butter and olive oil and heat over medium heat until butter is melted.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the penne. Stir frequently until cheese is melted and oil is combined with it.
3. Season to taste.
4. Toss 1 # of cooked penne and enjoy!

*I added a lot more honey-I do not know how much more because I didn't measure. I used my tastebuds. The honey, I feel, cuts the gorgonzola and balances it out.
**I also added more black pepper. Again-no idea how much more, but just know that your buds might require more. :)

Home Update

Remember my "Home" post? You can get there by clicking HERE. If you click HERE you might help Jamie come home...

My origianal post has spread across the blogosphere and several of you have already donated. For that, I thank you a thousand times. You will never know how much this means to me-but you may get an idea once you see Jamie's smile when she is home...

I recently received more information about the father-after kicking Linda's other daughter out of his house and sending her back to CT-AND not talking to her for several years...he's mentioned that he wants her to come back.

This man needs to be stopped. Really, I've met Amanda in person and she is a vibrant young woman who's creativity amazes me. She is silly and bubbly-despite what she wants you to think. :) And it is clear that she and Linda have a great relationship.

It's my hope that if we succeed in getting Jamie home, a judge will realize that BOTH daughters are better off with Linda and they will forever live with her. Forever.

My point? PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE talk this thing up. Take my post below and post it EVERYWHERE! Talk to strangers, pimp your blog....whatever it takes. :) But please, help...

Friday, February 01, 2008

Sleep Walking

Good Morning everyone-
I'm not in good shape this morning as I didn't get home until the wee hours of the morning and am VERY tired....I had a catering event in CT yesterday and then spent some time visiting and so now I am paying for it....I did want to make sure I said THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by for the HOME post and for all of you who have donated and re-posted Jamie's story.
You are truly great people-thank you, you ROCK.
Now, I'm off to sleep walk through my day...


Thursday, January 31, 2008


***If you haven't yet read my post "HOME" below, please scroll down and do so. And if you can't donate, please consider posting it on your blog. Thank you.***

When eating at a tapas restaurant, you should always wait for a big table instead of accepting the smallest on simply because it’s ready right now. Why? Because you typically order 2-3 each and that’s 6 small plates, plus a pitcher of sangria, plus water glasses, PLUS the plates you eat off of…makes for a pretty crowded table…

It’s hysterical when a 5 year old tells her teacher that her aunt has “an itching disease”. (I’m not the aunt she was talking about, and the itching disease was really just an itchy back.)

It’s also hysterical when a 5 year old fondles a strangers coat buttons on the T.

Not to be repetitive, it’s also funny when someone says, “He’s Asian” and a 5 year old says, “Does he know he’s Asian?”

You do not even know how wonderful it is to have a parking space…a whole new world has opened up and it mostly involves groceries.

It’s always nice to get an unexpected present in the mail.

Some risks are worth taking-others not so much. Trouble is, you never know which one is which until the end…

When bringing an expensive item to the dry cleaners (chef coat) it’s never a good feeling when they can’t find the shirt of the person in front of you.

If you ever get a chance to smell me you are lucky because I smell good.

Spending the entire day with your legs in the air sounds like it would be a lot of fun, until you find out it is because you are trying to avoid a pesky mouse that ran under your desk at work.

Standing in an elevator for 3 floors with a man who smells like McDonalds fries and rancid butt is not fun.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008



She tries to sleep, but she can’t-the noises coming from the only bedroom in the trailer are too loud, too embarrassing. Rolling over she faces the wall and hopes that her father will finish what he’s doing and that her step-mother won’t make any more noise.

She’s living every teenage girl’s nightmare.

It’s bad enough that she was torn from her friends in Kentucky-but living here, in this cramped, dirty trailer with no privacy and no indoor shower is the icing on the cake. Fitting in at school was out of the question-her father made sure of that by not allowing her to socialize outside of class & eventually, she woke up one morning knowing that she would no longer walk the halls of freedom, but instead would be taught in the very trailer she slept in.

It’s probably for the best, she thinks-if anyone ever found out that they make me wear hand me down underwear I’d be the laughing stock of the state anyway…

She wishes she could move home-to her real home-with her mother and sister in Connecticut. There she would be nurtured and cared for, and allowed to be a teenager…allowed to have opinions and ideas and to cut her hair the way she likes it.

But she knows she can’t. He’s making sure of that too…

Jamie wants to come home.

Many of you know Linda from Are We There Yet? And perhaps you know that she has two daughters, Amanda and Jamie. Amanda lives with Linda here in CT and Jamie lives in Florida with her father and his wife.

Life for Jamie is not going well.

Jamie is living a lonely life in a cramped, dirty trailer with guardians who won’t allow her to be an individual. She is not allowed to have friends. She can’t choose her own music or movies and she can’t even cut her hair. She has to shower in a common area of a camp ground because her “home” doesn’t have a shower.

She is homeschooled by her stepmother-a woman who is not qualified to take on such a task and Jamie is, for sure, behind other kids her age academically. No doubt, she will also fall behind socially as well.

Though Jamie has expressed to her father that she wants to move to Connecticut to live with her mother, he will not allow it. His reasoning is that Linda is not a good mother.

His reasoning is bull shit.

When Jamie visits, it is easy to see that she flourishes. Her smile is bright and it’s clear that being allowed to smile and laugh and to be a little quirky is the reason. Anyone who reads Linda’s blog knows that she is a caring and attentive mother who strives to give both of her children what they deserve.

The man that Jamie and Amanda call Dad is not a good man. He remarried and is completely wrapped up in his new marriage and does not care what happens to Jamie. If he believes that Linda is a bad mother because Amanda has blue hair, then I wonder what he would say if she were to cast her daughter out of her life simply because she was a little different…

Of course, Linda would never do that-but he did. Amanda lived with her father at one time, and was sent back to live with Linda because she didn’t “fit in” to the family he wanted to create. He no longer speaks to her. Now tell me, how can a man who disowns one daughter ever be a better parent than one who loves unconditionally?

He can’t.

And that’s why Jamie needs to come home.

Being a single mother who makes “too much money” (read: she makes over the poverty level) Linda does not qualify for financial assistance for legal aid, and therefore is having trouble getting a lawyer’s attention. In CT, courts consider a custody award as subject to change until the child involved grows up, and in most states proof of a "change in circumstances" may overturn an earlier award. This flexibility is intended to allow for the correction of poor or outdated decisions.

Jamie has vocalized to both parents that she wishes to move. Her dad has vocalized that it will never happen. Linda made a promise to Jamie that she would do anything in her power to get here home.

But she needs our help.

On my sidebar I have posted a magic button-this magic button allows you to donate to the Get Jamie Home Legal Fund. The faster you click, the faster you will help change the life of one little girl who very much needs a new life.

Please help. We’ve seen in the past that every penny helps…even if you can only donate $5, please consider doing it.

Jamie needs to come home.
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Wordless Wednesday: Jamie, At Home...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Toosdae ?'s

You know, I'm fairly curious how many Toosdae's I've actually done but I don't think all of them are labeled (I went back and labeled some of them, but not all) and I just don't want to count them all. But still-there's got to be a lot. I'm thrilled that so many of you participate each week, and enjoy reading your comments-in fact, it's one of my favorite days on my blog simply because of you! So, thank you...and without further ado, here are this week's questions. (They're not as 'heavy" this week Frigga Frigga!)

1. What one item in your kitchen best describes your personality and why?

2. Do you like to eat bagels from top to bottom (bottom and then top, each dressed in spread of choice) or 1/2 and 1/2 (top and bottom together, sharing spread but cut in half)?

3. If you could set a national speed limit for all highways what would it be? What is the speed limit of your highways where you live now?

1. This is hard and I didn't have an answer in mind when I thought of this question-I was curious about your answers. So, I would say my pasta maker. Because it takes nothing (flour, water, eggs) and it makes something pretty special (fettuccine, ravioli). I guess that could be like me...

2. I usually eat bagels from bottom to top simply because I don't like my spread of choice (cream cheese) to ooze out during the bite. However, my favorite bagel place cuts the bagels in half, and it's my new favorite way...even though the warm melty cream cheese gets on my fingers and I have to lick it off later, I get all of the yummy flavors in my mouth at one.

3. I would set it at 75. I think it's a fairly safe speed limit and people drive that fast here anyway. Anything over that I think is a bit dangerous-especially for older cars and older drivers. Anything slower than that and you feel like you are crawling. The speed limit is 65 here on the highways.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Manic Monday: Wish

Does everyone else have the "life alert" commercials? The one where senior citizens talk about how they feel so much better that they have that little beeper in case they fall? If not, ignore this-Is it me, or does that first lady seem REALLY pissed...

"When you have a heart attack like I did and no one was there....Life alert was there."

It's really her intonation-and it really reminds me of my mother when she's being resentful!!

Moving on...

Last week I was supposed to start working at the cafe but it didn't quite pan out. I knew that it would be a little bit unorganized in the beginning, but I also thought that things were going to start happening. No matter, as today I am officially on the payroll...well, under the table payroll, but still, I am being paid.

Last night the wife half of team cafe called me to give me an update. That's when she told me that she would start paying me today and also that she still had no idea what we were going to do in terms of baking. This doesn't concern me much though, because she told me about a private party they booked for the cafe. It's a party for a professor (not sure which school) and his adult students-3 hours at dinnertime-appetizers only.

And they have no idea what to serve. So...I will be running the party. This was my secret WISH-that I would fall into a traditional chef role along with the pastry chef stuff on the side. I hope that these things keep happening and I can help them grow their business. How cool would it be if they ended up being a catering cafe? I could cook and make my menus with their money and their equipment. Wow...

I'm getting ahead of myself, I know. But this excites me. I'm very excited about the opportunities that this job might present. How cool is it that I am their professional? j

Someone pinch, no-wait. If this is a dream, I don't want to wake up. :)

Sunday, January 27, 2008


C-Unit & Rye Bread (and Smooshy Dog from Aunt Mags) waiting for the T.

The cutest girl EVER on the T. (With a New York City hat on!!)
Bake Shop... Above: Rye n Me Below: The loot & the lure...

What's Cookin? Panzanella!

I typically make this recipe in the summertime because the tomatoes are better and the basil can be clipped right from the garden, but as I look out the window of my fifth floor apartment and see downy while snow blanketing the city, I find myself wanting a taste of the sun. It's an easy-peasy recipe that anyone can make...

Panzanella Salad

8 Slices French or Italian Bread in 2 inches thick cubes
3 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or more to taste
2 T. Red Wine Vinegar or more to taste
4 C. Tomatoes, as ripe and fresh as possible, cubed
2/3 C. Bermuda onion, thinly sliced
1/2 C. Lightly packed fresh Basil leaves, Chiffonade (Rolled up and Sliced into shreds)
Salt To Taste
Pepper To Taste

1. Toast bread cubes just until crisp
2. Combine bread, tomatoes & onions and basil and toss.
3. Whisk oil and vinegar together and drizzle over the salad. Toss lightly and season with salt and pepper.


*This salad should be made no earlier than 1/2 hour before serving to avoid making the bread soggy.
*For individual servings, try serving the salad in a bread bowl.