Friday, May 16, 2008

A Heart Full of Love

“Don’t worry, they’re still there.” she said with a giggle.

My head snapped up with surprise-I was stuck in a daydream again but this time I’d been looking at my boobs. Embarassed, I turned my head and looked out the window at the other cars speeding by us. Her dad drove really slowly.

It was black velvet with white lace around the collar and chest area. There were buttons that went up the front which made the top half of the dress tight and left the bottom of it puffy. It was the first fancy dress I’d ever had and I was wearing it to a Broadway show.

Most of the other kids in school were too intent on being cool to really listen to the words they were singing. They didn’t understand the songs of pain and hope and love like we did. She was my bosom friend and I’d been waiting for her my entire life. She invited me.

With heightened senses and excitement that was surly bubbling out of our fancy dresses and 8th grade smiles we sat waiting for the professional version of what we usually called 4th period. We were seeing Les Mis.

I remember closing my eyes even though the theater was pitch black and feeling like I was on the verge of one of the most memorable moments I’d ever have in my entire life. And then-the orchestra began to play. Though I can’t say that hearing those first notes being played was the best moment of my life so far, I can say that it ranks pretty highly. It was so pure and clean and cultured and because it was such an integral part of my school life, personal. That one moment would be the defining moment in the next 4 years of my life.

Though we continued singing together, my bosom friend and I grew apart. Before I knew what forgivness was she betrayed me and I could not let it go. But, like Eponine, she was the friend that brought me there and thanks to her, for that moment (and every moment I think about it) I am “one with the Gods and heaven is near.”

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Top Chef Recap: Episode ?

What episode are we on anyway?  I have no idea!  All I know is that I LOVE this show.  It's so cool to watch these chefs battle it out for the title.  The only trouble is that I get hungry when I watch the show.  Last night's episode was no exception-especially because I really love a good composed salad.  And that, my friends, was last night's QuickFire Challenge.
 
(Is it bad that when I say that I hear the music they play when they show the QuickFire logo?)
 
The contestants have 45 minutes to prepare a composed salad-specifically to bring "sexy" back into salads.  I think this is funny because if you remember back to the street food challenge one team had a "sexy drink" and the judges didn't understand why it was sexy.  (It is my opinion that food CAN be sexy.)  In any case, I had to google the guest judge Sam Talbot because I did not remember who he was.  (Yes, I know he was on the show, but I didn't remember his name after watching the show.)  As Antonia puts it, "Tall, dark and handsome AND he can cook?  Sign me up!"
 
Down girl...you've got a salad to make!  (And no, drool doesn't count as a dressing!!)
 
Bringing sexy back into salads were Spike (who said beforehand that he's going to make a salad that makes you want to say, "Let's have sex" after you eat it.") (And also-I need to find me one'a those salad recipes!!!)  Antonia and Dale.  It cracks me up when Sam judges Antonia's salad because if you saw her face, there was so much excitement behind her eyes...yup, this sure was a sexy challenge!!  Spike comes away the winner and though he is not immune from elimination like they were before he is given 10 extra minutes to shop for his ingredients for the Elimination Challenge.  Another dig is that whatever he buys the rest of the chefs can not. 
 
The challenge: To make a healthy box lunch for Chicago's police cadets.  The meals must be low in sugar, carbs and fat and must be filling enough to make the cadets want to switch over from their regular greasy meals of hamburgers and fries to a healthier one.
 
**I must stop here.  Why?  Because you all KNOW how I hate, hate, hate when people say "greaZy".  And last night-Richard was borderline with the Z.  Dude-I like you-don't screw it up by saying the word wrong!  Ok, back to the recap...
 
While shopping, Spike not only takes advantage of his 10 extra minutes, but he also takes advantage of the fact that no one else can buy the items he buys.  He says, "Try making a box lunch without bread, salad, tomato and chicken.  Good luck."  So, basically, if you didn't already think Spike was a dick-you probably do now.  The funny thing is-these are very talented chefs and if everyone made a chicken sandwich on a show like Top Chef, I'd be disappointed.  Spike didn't really sabotage his fellow chefs as much as he liked to think.  In fact, his sneaky ways didn't even land him in the top 2, but rather the bottom 3.  (Where of course he argued with the judges.  Dude-shut up!)  He made chicken salad with grapes and olives in a lettuce cup.  He wasn't going to use the tomatoes he said but then decided to put them under the chicken-as for the bread, he just cut it up and put it in the container.  Very un-imaginative.
 
In the kitchen, Lisa freaks the eff out when "someone" sabotages her rice by turning the burner up to high.  I'm sorry honey, but I really want you to go home.  You're annoying and cocky and never take ownership of what you make (except for that ugly ass cake she made last week.)  I think the only reason people aren't talking about how much they hate her is because of people like Dale who is openly cocky-while she just sits on the sidelines muttering things under her breath.  In any case-I don't think anyone sabotaged her rice, I think she did it herself by accident.  Her meal landed her in the bottom 3 also because the shrimp was undercooked (If you're not aware, shrimp cooks in like, 10 seconds) and the "stir-fry" was not a stir fry.  Oh, and it didn't taste good either.
 
Another bottom chef was Andrew.  My poor Andrew.  Such a spaz but also so passionate and exciting to watch.  I still maintain that he is one of the most realistic chefs on the show EXCEPT for the fact that most chefs I've encountered have lost the passion that he obviously has.  OK-so he's crazy. Who cares?  He's fun to watch and he doesn't seem to be that bad of a chef-although this week, he clearly missed the boat.  Not only did he not follow the rules ("I lost my rules sheet") by not using a grain, but he made RAW food for the cadets.  I have no doubt that he studied nutrition like he said he did, but dude-know the audience.  Know that these people want hearty food.  When they tell Andrew that the food wasn't very good, he replied that he had people come back for more.  To that, chef Tom says, "That's because it didn't fill them up-not because it was good."
 
To do things totally ass backwards, let me tell you about the top 2.  Stephanie and Dale.  I know, I know-most of you hate Dale because he's a little bit cocky.  Ok-more than a little bit.  But he IS talented and he DOES seem to know his stuff.  Antonia mentioned that all Dale seems to cook is Asian food and that it'll bite him in the ass eventually.  While it's true that a diverse chef could have more opportunities, I don't think her statement is actually true.  Many chefs specialize in a certain ethnicity and do very well...think Mario Batali and Giada DiLaurentis.  Or, wait for it....JULIA CHILD.  I know that Dale could probably cook anything-he's got mad skilz.  I just think he likes cooking Asian food.  Nuttin' wrong with that.
 
Stephanie also lands herself in the top 2 for her hearty meatball and mushroom soup with barley.  It must have just been me, but it looked like they had a TON of soup in that container-considering this was a health challenge I'm surprised that the portion didn't come up.  Apparently it was OK-whatever....the soup was very filling and was perfectly seasoned.  Along with that, she made a root vegetable puree with apples and yogurt.  (She uses a lot of apples in her food-anyone else notice that?).  She was very happy because she admitted that she'd never cooked with barley before and was nervous about it.
 
In the end, Dale was the winner because his dish of Mango, Bison and Brown Rice was more original.  (Bison is 30% more lean than beef. Kudos to him for using something outside of the box.)
 
Before I reveal who the loser was, let me say this: I think it's hysterical that the chefs get angry when other chefs talk up their food to the guests.  We saw this at the Tailgating challenge when pretty boy was calling people over and last night people hated that Richard was asking if people like burritos and Spike was bating people with his "only 2 plates left" scheme.  Grow up people-being charming will ALWAYS sell more and will ALWAYS get you more votes.  Being nice to the people who will be eating your food instead of just standing behind the table like a limp biscuit will get you nowhere.  Bravo (ha ha ha) for being vocal chefs-BRAVO.
 
OK...here it is.  Of the bottom 3, Spike, Lisa and Andrew...American voted-oh...sorry.  That's a different show...it is Andrew who packed his knives and went home.  I think the only reason he went home instead of Lisa is because he didn't follow the rules (as she so rudely pointed out at the judging table.  Spineless little jelly fish that she is..).  It's a shame because like I mentioned before-he's entertaining to watch.  And while I did not ever think he'd make it to the end, I would have liked a few more weeks with my spastic friend who reminded me of someone I once knew...
 
The Sox are back in town tomorrow until next Thursday-so depending on how fast they play next Wednesday I might not get to watch the show...just letting you know now. :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Randomivity



I know lots of people are angry about the weather in New England (cold/rainy) but I'm pretty psyched that it isn't crazy hot right now. Cool weather means no AC! (Less $$)

I'm not sure I'd do well in a blind taste testing pallet test. I'd like to have a friend buy somethings and have me guess what they are.

It's funny when someone says, "Let's have Mexican for breakfast one day." and you hear "Let's DO A Mexican for breakfast one day."

Conversation with Aunt on Mother's Day:
Aunt: "You put sugar over the strawberries and it creates a sweet liquid."
Me: "Yup-it's called "macerating."
*skip a beat*
Aunt: "I didn't know you could do that with strawberries...can you tell your uncle that?"

It feels good to be told that I am a nice girl.

Is it weird that I am in love with my new garbage can? I've had a round stainless steel one for years and I've always hated it b/c it doesn't hold a lot. I finally bought a square plastic cheapo and I LOVE IT!

You know you're getting a little cynical when you see an inspirational quote that says, "My love, understanding, and strength will never leave you." and you think, "At least someone will stay."

Tomorrow you can get a free iced coffee from Duncan Donuts from 10am-10pm. Oddly enough, you can also try a new chicken sandwich from McDonalds with the purchase of a medium drink tomorrow too...Hmmm....could be the perfect solution to this girls dilemma of being dirt poor.

I hurt my finger on the door the first week at the park. The wound has healed but I still can't bend my finger all of the way. I'm pretty sure something bad happened to it and that's not good.

I SOOOO need a spa day. My hair is wrecked, my feet need a pedicure and a facial would make my soul feel good. I also need a tan.

When you are poor and a chef, it really sucks to have to eat whatever is left in your pantry. Luckily I had lots of chickpeas and garlic so I made hummus.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lobster Claw


Am I the only person in the North East who has heard of this crazy lobster game? I KNOW I can't be the only one who thinks this is crazy...

First of all-how is this not being protested again? How is it that animal activists across America are not forming human chains across convenient store doors to block the people from playing this (no doubt) addicting game?

And who plays this? Who walks into a convenient store and says, "Hmmm...I think I'll pick up a lobster to go along with my tasty cake and Big Gulp." (I have to admit-I hate convenient stores because of the way they smell-so these might not be the best examples of convenience store food.) I suppose that I can see it in a low class seafood restaurant. You know, the kind that has all you can eat peel and eat shrimp and plastic salad bowls? But other than that who wants to have to catch their own lobster when they are in a restaurant?

Has anyone ever actually seen one of these?

Toosdae ?'s


1. When you shower or bathe do you wash your belly button? (Inside of it.)

2. Where is the weirdest place you've ever fallen asleep?

3. What is the weirdest thing you'd be willing to eat for $5000 cash right now?

1. I'm not gonna lie-yes, I do. I don't think I always did, to be honest, but I had surgery and they went through my belly button and I had to wash the incision. After that I just kind of thought-"Why not?" so I wash it.

2. The bathroom stall at my old job. It was when I was in culinary school and working full time as well as working at my internship. I wasn't sleeping and I went into the bathroom because I had a headache (it's darker in there) and about 45 minutes later, I woke up when someone flushed the toilet. Weird, yes...but I felt so much better when I went back to my desk!

3. I was thinking about this, and even though I need the money I don't think I'd be able to eat anything really crazy. I have a very strong sense of smell and textures can gross me out very easily if they aren't spot on...so I wouldn't be able to eat anything that squirted when you bit into it. I think it would be something like beef tongue-but only if it was paper thin and with cheese or something. Other that than, I'd just say no thank you and cry when I got home about how poor I still was!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Music of the Night ~ Peter Lockyer

Read the post below to know what this is all about-I forgot about the auto post option on YouTube. :)

Manic Monday: Doodle

Monday's are MoMoLicious-go visit Morgen and say Happy Manic Monday!!!

I am fairly certain that at one point or another on this blog I have mentioned a boy named Peter. I fell in love with him when I was in the 8th grade and I'll admit it-I still kind of get flustered when I think about him. It was such a love that when I told my sister that I saw him this weekend she gasped and said, "YOU DID!?!?" and my mother made a point to tell me that he's in town doing a play.

Peter is a professional actor.

I met Peter in the 8th grade, as I mentioned before. The middle school-which I was in-and the high school-which he was in-did a chorus concert together. Me being the romantic dreamer that I am, fell in love with Peter the minute he opened his mouth. He's got the most beautifully touching tenor voice I have ever heard in my entire life. I knew from that moment that he would one day be famous.

You think I'm kidding? I'm not. Somewhere in my mother's attic I have a notebook full of newspaper clipping about the plays he was in. I even have pieces of paper that he doodled on when we were hanging out after drama club.

Yeah-that's right. We became friends. In fact, he's the reason why I joined the drama club in the first place. He was a senior when I was a freshman and we had chorus together. I almost threw up when I realized that he was in the class. You see, I thought that he had graduated.

Oh Peter was beautiful-both inside and out. I remember how much he loved his friends and he also loved children. I only remember him being sad once and he always made a point of making sure we were all smiling. My freshman year was ironically the best year in high school, largely because of him. We were both the chorus teachers favorite so we got to hang out a lot. I would just close my eyes sometimes and let his voice wash over me. Really, it's that beautiful-and it always has been. Even in high school, his voice was so mature and powerful.

He left for college in NY and I didn't see him again until my junior year when I played Rizzo in Grease. That was the last time I've actually talked to him-though years later I discovered that he was playing Marius in Les Mis on Broadway. Again, I almost threw up when I saw his name on the marquis and my then boyfriend (ex-husband) got angry at me because of my excitement. I can't explain to you how proud I was of Peter and how excited I was to hear his voice again.

Even in a large Broadway production with the orchestra and other powerful singers, I could easily pick his voice out from everyone else's...he's something special.

Saturday when I was driving through my home town I saw him standing on the sidewalk deep in conversation with a friend. (I was also happy to see that he was still friends with this guy!) I walked into the grocery store with a big smile on my face because no matter where he goes, he's still linked to this little town in CT and to my little chorus.

Ok, I'm not gonna lie-I was also thinking about what I would say to him if he were to walk into the grocery store while I was picking out pineapples. :) On the way back home I saw him again, still talking to his friend. I really wanted to pull over so I could tell him that even though it's been all of these years, I am so very proud of him for doing what he loves. And not only that, but for bringing so much beauty to this world. He's an inspiration to me not only because he followed his dream, but also because he does it with such passion you can't help but sucked in.

The quality of these You Tube videos is not great-but I'm super excited that he's on here and I'd like to share with you this amazing man who brought me so much joy, gave me tons of butterflies in my tummy and now, inspiration to follow my dream...

(If, by some odd reason you ever come across a clear version of him in Les Mis singing "A Little Fall of Rain" I would forever be grateful and would probably kiss your feet. Or at least make you baked goods.)





Sunday, May 11, 2008