Archive for December, 2011

And the answer is that goals are a good thing. I don’t believe in making resolutions so much as having goals for yourself.  There should always be things you want to accomplish. Resolutions to me seem negative. I want to stop this or stop that or not be this or that. Goals seem much more positive. I made none last year and didn’t really accomplish much until year end which is not the best way to get through a year. So, I’m resolving to make some goals. Heh, see what I did there?

Seriously, now. While this a food blog, and will remain a food blog…I am also going to use this space note my goals for the upcoming year.  Some will be food related, some won’t. Bear with me…it is a once a year thing for the most part.

1. I want to continue to get healthier. My goal is to continue on Weight Watchers, continue to lose weight and exercise and take good care of myself and mostly eat delicious, healthy food….with forays into food porn.

2. In the kitchen, I want to continue to challenge myself and my goal is to try at LEAST one new, fun, scary hard to make dish per month. I am getting a stand mixer and I plan to use the hell out of it.

3. Move. Seriously. My landlord’s son called and just seeing his name gave me an anxiety attack. No way to live. It’s time. So, this is the year I want to make it happen.  By the way, the call was nothing bad…he was making sure I wanted the tenancy at will agreement and to apologize for not alerting me to the new neighbors.

4. Once this play is over and I’ve determined that I actually do like doing this, continue to audition for more things. Maybe take some classes.  We’ll see.

5. Read more

6. Not stress about making jewelery and do some of the other crafts I enjoy. Also, I am going to tackle my sewing machine and make it my slave.

7. Take the second  part of the baking class at Culinary School. And maybe another class or two

8, Did I mention move? Ok, I did…awesome. Once again…move.

9. Try and move ahead in my career..probably tough. Need to add it because it should be there but I realize it could be beyond my control.

10. Be more patient and maybe a little nicer. OK…I’ll try anyway.

11. Try and keep my closet neater on a more regular basis.

12. See more of my friends.

13. Not be so hard on myself.

14. MOVE

15. Clean up my finances…again. I did it once. I didn’t learn my lesson. I have now learned it and I can do it again.  This is going to be tough with the moving thing because I am going to have to make magic happen. But the Cohen women are known for this kind of magic.

15 things are good and probably too much…but the invisible #16 is that if these things don’t all happen, to realize I am human and fallible and that is ok. There’s always 2013.  I am going to have prioritize some of these. MOVING is pretty essential to me not being in a constant state of anxiety so that’s a priority, which means I have the face the thing that freaks me out the most and that’s money.

So, there you have it…my running list for 2012.  The hope for myself and mine is a much better year than 2011 was. And I hope for you all, the same. A healthy, prosperous, peaceful 2012!



You know people, I put a lot of thought into these titles….so, I hope you appreciate them.

I love cookbooks…I collect them. When I travel, I try and pick up a local cookbook if I can. It’s a reminder of where I’ve been, the food I’ve eaten and the people I was with.  They are also something I don’t feel translate well to a Kindle. That may change with the purchase (one day maybe) of an iPad, but I doubt it. I think cookbook pages need to be flipped through and used and they need to get stained.  For Christmas, my best friend got me this:

I love Anne Burrell. She makes cooking like fun. She dresses in great colors and has awesome hair. How can you not love her? And it seems most people do. I grew to respect her a lot on The Next Iron Chef: Superstars because she did get nervous and worry about things, but she always put her heart on the plate and you can’t ask for more than that. She’s also great on “Worst Cooks in America” and it’s hard not to root for her team.

So, I am pretty excited about this book and will be trying recipes from it…and will post a review of the book itself soon.

Onto the holidays. I did a little more baking than usual. I hit sugar cookies, a chocolate chip cheesecake, raspberry squares, lemon souffle (or mousse if you’d rather either…which by the way, until I get a standmixer, I am not making this again. There is a HUGE amount of beating [heh] going on here) and the thing I was the most excited about; dark chocolate peppermint bark. I love bark. I love it because in general, I think I am the only one in the house that eats it, much like Peppermint stick ice cream. So, I used this recipe that my friend Christine posted from Bethenny Frankel. I love dark chocolate too so yay for this. I decided to try it. Here’s one thing that annoys me whenever I see one of Frankel’s recipes…she’s all about healthful eating and such, Skinnygirl…blah blah. Yeah, try and find nutritional info on her recipes on her site? Yeah…go ahead. I can’t find it…am I looking in the wrong place? I can’t even track her SkinnyGirl drinks because there’s no nutritional info. I gather it can’t be a lot…not the point. I don’t expect her to go all Hungry Girl and give us the points, but some info so I can figure it out would be nice. Bethenny, do a sister a solid and post some nutritional info every once in a blue moon.

Anyway…the bark is freaking delicious. Next year…I’m going to do it with white chocolate.  But, some photos of the process!

Crushing Candy Canes

It’s 10 candy canes in total…5 mixed in, 5 crushed on top…you can do them all at once or in 2 batches. However works best for yo

I melted some chocolate….I only had 10 ounces of dark chocolate chips, so I supplemented with 2 oz of semi-sweet morsels, because it’s what I had.

Before the melting

After the melting, but before the candy canes get mixed in

mixing in of the candy canes

It took me several minutes to figure this one out. It’s not on the stove and the bowl is floating in mid air?! Really?  I must be holding it in one and taking the snap with my phone with the other hand. It’s weird. But that’s multi-tasking for you.

And the finished product…trumpets sound!  Actually, they sound in my head whenever I finish something that turns out ok. I lead a very rich inner life.

Becoming Bark

FYI, this is totally a picture of the inside of my fridge.

Anyhoodles, it was a great deal of baking and with Christmas dinner to make…I’ve done practically NO cooking this week, save heating up some ham and potatoes and sauteeing some mushrooms.  I think next year, a smaller ham will do.   Of course, I am going to take the big ole  bone and make some split pea soup with it. Soon. Really. Soon.

Has Top Chef jumped the Mahi Mahi?

I have a confession to make. A deep, dark confession. I’ve not been watching the most recent season of Top Chef: Texas! Or rather, I’ve been DVRing and watching later, but honestly not really paying attention to it. I tend to play games on Facebook while it’s on and then I mostly listen. Sort of.  I do forget to fast forward through the commercials though.

I am finding it boring. Or maybe it’s finding me lacking as a viewer, I’m not sure which. The people are kind of boring. When the biggest attitude is from judge Hugh Acheson (this season’s Anthony Bourdain and that’s a compliment by the way. I like Hugh), then you have a problem. I thought we might get some entertainment from this season’s Hall and Oates bromance of Chris (Hall) Jones and Richie (Oh, so very Oates) Farina, it was not to be. Richie left us early…we hardly knew ye Richie!  He also cried like a baby when he was eliminated. There’s no crying in cooking shows, Richie.  Hopefully Chris brings home the prize for you.

I was also hoping for strong women this time and while we get two (Grayson Schmidt and Heather Terhune), once again I am left wondering if strong=bitchy when it comes to women. And why we are so quick to label women as bitches if they are tough in the kitchen. I am tough in my own kitchen and I’m….ok, bad example. Season 1’s Tiffany Faisson even came back to All Stars as a kinder, gentler chef and she got eliminated. What does that tell you?  Mind, I don’t find either Grayson or Heather (who I prefer, mostly because she is named after an orchard that does AWESOME wine) particularly bitchy, but then again…it’s me so you may want to take that with a grain of salt. The week before last’s episode  (episode 6) saw both of them win, one the Quickfire, one the elimination challenge. It also saw another woman, Whitney (You aren’t Grayson?) Otawka go home.  A bad gratin will get you every damned time.  And apparently two women went home last week. I don’t know…I’m behind an episode.

I am kind of perpetually behind 2 episodes. I can’t help it. BBCAmerica’s Dramaville is infinitely more entertaining than these people. At least in Episode 6, we saw Tom Colicchio get mad.  That’s always fun. But he’s right. There is nothing to commend these chefs and maybe you all did pick the wrong ones with your dumb method of getting to the top 16. The cooking has been ok, but no one has been bowled over. And personality wise, eh. You want good chefs but you also have to want good tv. And if you say you don’t, think back to any season of any reality show where there wasn’t a strong set of people personality wise. What do you remember? Nothing. You remember nothing. Trust me on this.

Maybe it’s overkill. We went from last season’s TC, to TC: Just Desserts, to this season. And while I like Johnny Iuzzini and his hair, I am generally left cold by TC:JD. TC needs to go away for awhile and let us miss it.

Project Runway did that (well, it had no choice, PR and Bravo parted company) and remember when it came back? We missed it. We were glad it came back. Even if it was short lived (and do NOT get me started on the borefest of PR: Accessories!  How do you take something awesome and make them dull as dishwater).  The good thing about Runway is that it needs Fashion Week to do its thing. TC only needs a kitchen.  I mean even Padma looks bored. Well, more bored than usual.  So Top Chef, before you decided to do another season…go away for a bit. Let us miss you and then we will welcome you with open arms and a well cooked gratin.