Friday, April 17, 2009

Coming Soon 2 a Tummy Near U least to your eyes. This is what I'm working on this morning-I'm delivering the final product this afternoon to the cutest 7 year old in the world, my niece Rye Bread! Happy Birthday Rye!! Actual pictures coming soon...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Awkward

I'm going into day 3 of my part time personal chef job and hopefully today will be less awkward. Day one was very uncomfortable for me. The family wants me to eat dinner with them, which most people think is very nice-and I suppose it is. But it's also very weird. I didn't grow up at a kitchen table where small talk was involved-in fact, I grew up scarfing my meals down as fast as I could so I could get away from that table because I had to be near my father. Though I've grown up since then and have sat at more tables, it's still weird to me to sit at a kitchen table and talk. Especially with strangers.

No-strike that-not with strangers. Complete strangers I can deal with-I'm good with strangers. It's when there is potential for us to have a relationship-whatever that may be-that's when I freeze. I know this and yet I can't really stop it. In any case, day one was awkward for me.

Day two was a bit better. The mom seemed to try to make conversation a little bit more than the first day (I can imagine it's weird for her too) and I also tried to start some conversation. Of course, the kids provide a good distraction. They're very cute and silly. After I cook, I spend an hour reading to the oldest girl while the baby is being put to sleep. (This won't be the case on some weeks when the dad is home.)

So I'm hoping that things fall into a rhythm and that the awkward goes away.

Last nights dinner was especially good-even the 2 year old scarfed it down. I made Korean Beef with Broccoli in Sweet Garlic Sauce. I served it over white rice. Since it was so good, I thought I'd share it you all. It's super easy and tastes delicious.

Broccoli w/ Sweet Garlic Sauce

2 C. Beef Stock
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/4 C. Soy Sauce
1 t. Ginger, Minced
1/2 t. Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 C. Sugar
2 Bunches of Broccoli, Chopped
2 T. Olive Oil
1 1/2 T. Cornstarch

1. Boil the beef stock. Add the garlic, soy sauce, ginger, red pepper flakes and sugar.
2. In a separate pan, saute the broccoli in the olive oil. Add it to the broth.
3. Using a little of the hot stock mixture, create a slurry with the cornstarch and add it into the entire stock mixture.
4. Allow to simmer for 6-8 minutes until the mixture thickens and serve over rice.

Korean Beef

1# Skirt Steak
1/2 C. Soy Sauce
1/4 C. Rice Vinegar
1/3 C. Scallions, chopped
2 T. Sugar
2 T. Garlic, Minced
2 T. Ginger, Minced
1 T. Sesame Oil
1 1/2 t. Chili Sauce

1. Combine all ingredients. Marinate steak for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour.
2. Grill or broil the steak 2-3 minutes on each side. Allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Parking Wars

I know I've vented about the parking in my neighborhood on more than one occasion, but it's really starting to get me even more angry lately. Perhaps it's because for over a year I had a parking spot and now that I can't afford it, I'm left fighting for the limited number of spaces on our streets.

I've told you that the street right out front of my apartment is not "Resident Only" parking like it is in other areas. This is mainly because of a few businesses in my building and I suspect the bar that's here too. As you can imagine, it's wicked frustrating when someone you KNOW doesn't live here parks along the curb instead of at a metered spot. I almost want to walk up the them and give them the 2 quarters needed for the meter so that I can have a spot where I LIVE. Instead, I just drive by (secretly giving them the finger) and begin my (usually) 20-30 minute hunt.

This is to be expected in a city, I know. (Though I am very pissed about the lack of resident parking on my block.) Though I grumble about it, I know it's the price I pay for living here and overall, I'm OK with that for now.


Why is it that street cleaning causes people to park super far away from each other? There are at least 3 spaces lost on at least 2 streets because people park not inches away from each other, but feet away! Why is this not a ticketable offense? Why is taking up more than one spot in a city with limited parking OK? It really ticks me off when I have to drive past these assholes who don't know (or care) enough to just pull up.



I might have some good news in the next couple of weeks. Then again, I might not.

Last night was my first night cooking-I'm not 100% sure that I'm going to like it. It's very awkward to me that I eat dinner with them. I'm not shy but I am if that makes sense at all and eating dinner with them is just weird to me. I feel uncomfortable.

People become fans of the weirdest most random things on Facebook.

It feels great helping someone who needs it. Even when it involves lost of dust and folding 500 T-shirts. :)

I get cranky after 3 days of intense cleaning.

I am going to Florida in one month and 3 days. Don't worry-the tickets were already bought before I got laid off and I didn't buy them myself. (Because I know at least 2 of you will email me to say, "How can you afford that?") I am excited.

I won't renew my lease in November. It makes me sad to say that b/c I don't want to move but I won't be able to afford the rent increase plus parking-and I can not live here without parking.

Why is it that an outfit can make you feel good about yourself until you see a picture of yourself wearing it. And then you want to burn it.

Sometimes it's hard to not be jealous. Even though it's an incredibly bad quality to posses.

I set up an event to watch a Sox game. I hope people RSVP.

I'd hate for my epitaph to read: "I was scared."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Toosdae ?'s

1. What five words would you use to describe yourself?

2. What's the oldest thing you own?

3. You are ordering a hot fudge sundae. What's in/on it?

1. Loyal, independent, trustworthy, creative, lonely.

2. I think the oldest thing I own is my Christmas stocking hanger. It's a little elf with green stockings holding an upside down candy cane. I love it, even though it's seen better days.

3. Vanilla ice cream, peanut butter sauce (just a little), hot fudge (just a little and on the bottom), lots of whipped cream and a cherry on top. Alternately I love vanilla ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream.

Monday, April 13, 2009

7th Birthday Cake

As you might recall, I make my niece Rye Bread a special cake each year for her birthday. She gets to choose the theme and I, somehow, try to recreate her wishes the best I can. The first year was a Sponge Bob cake, next a Care Bear, then a Nemo cake and a Little Mermaid cake and last year was a High School Musical Cake (which I hated). I seem to be missing one-I think I actually started doing this on her 2nd birthday...

Sadly, I can't find the Nemo cake pictures and the Sponge Bob is missing too. :(

This year Rye Bread requested a dolphin cake. Actually, she first requested a shark cake but then decided that sharks are too scary (last year she actually had a bad dream that one ate my legs off while we were swimming in the ocean.) so she called me up and told me to switch it to a dolphin. What I envision is a layer cake (round) with a dolphin jumping out of the top. If I am successful, I might even put a second one skimming the surface. The rest of the cake will be decorated to seem like it is underwater. It'll have fish swimming, seaweed and a few more smaller dolphins swimming in a pod. There may even be buried treasure. Rye asked that a shark be present (at the last minute) and so on the back, I might add one but I'm not sure. We'll see how it goes.

Here is the first step in the dolphin cake, which will be completed on Friday in time for her Saturday birthday. The big dolphin is sculpted out of cereal bars. I'll frost it later and cover it in fondant and then put a stick in its body so that it can be inserted into the cake the day of.

The cake, naturally, will be chocolate. In a (Rye Bread's) perfect world, it would have chocolate buttercream but because I need to make it look like the ocean, it'll be vanilla.