Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Dear Cute Gym Guy,

I've been playing the "I don't see you game" for a while now. I think you have seen me glancing in your direction as I run myself into a vicious sweat on the evil elliptical machine. I know our eyes have met at least once as I pretend to watch sports center. Admittedly, I was actually watching sports center…once. It was when Betty White was making a plea to LeBron James to stay in Cleveland. But all the other times, I was sneakily trying to catch you as you worked out on the thingamabob.

You know the one I mean ,CGG, the one that stands off the floor, you pull yourself up into, with your back to it and you pull your legs into it. I pretend not to watch as you flex your rather muscled arms and pull your legs to your chest. I must admit that once or twice I might have wondered how you smell. Bad? Good? Like a real man? I also have wondered, as you walk past me, whose name is it that is tattooed across your bicep. Is it your daughter’s? Your girlfriend’s? I’m hoping it’s an obscure reference to an indie band that I have yet to discover. Even though I would not work up the nerve to chat with you, I hope that you are single.

I haven’t seen you at the gym in awhile. This has actually worked in my favor. I wasn’t working on the weight machines because I was afraid of people looking at me. Since you’ve changed your schedule, I’ve gotten over this fear and enjoy them! To coin Rachel Ray, it’s like monkey bars for adults. I can see why ,CGG, you enjoy it so much. I throw a little ‘gLee’ on my i-pod and get to rocking out. You’ve been gone for awhile and I’ve almost found some other eye candy. But CGG, I saw you outside the gym.

Whew! It was like someone threw cold water on me. We passed right by each other, so close I could smell you. And I didn’t smell anything. I much preferred the scent that I gave you in my mind. Your arms were covered up too, I much preferred the exposed flesh in which I could analyze and try to decipher your multiple tattoos. The saddest though CGG? I could see your teeth. Instead of the straight, gleaming row of pearly whites, they were small and not very straight. Your eyes didnt seem as blue either and didnt hold as much knowledge and cool self assurance as I had hoped.

The only fantasy that I have left ,CGG, is that of your voice. In my mind, its deep and husky. I’m glad we didn’t talk CGG.

I guess what I’m saying is, while we could take this little flirtation into the real world for dinner, I would prefer you stayed in my head. Its much better for me if we catch a glance of eyes while I pretend to watch Sports Center.

And by keeping you at bay… I can keep myself on the weight machines. Which frankly, seem much more interesting than you.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Today, this is my theme song.

I may never ever find an answer
I may never ever find the cure
I may never risk another lover
Oh, believe me

I may never ever walk on water
I may never ever walk away
I may never get the chance to tell you
Oh, believe me

Oh my heart, I want you to be strong
I need you to be all I believe in
Oh my heart, I want you to be strong
I need you to be all I believe in

I may never wait to see tomorrow
I may never learn to seize today
I may never ever ask forgiveness
Oh, believe me

I may never ever rise above it
I may stumble as I lose my way
I may never find the words to tell you
Oh, believe me

Oh my heart, I want you to be strong
I need you to be all I believe in
Oh my heart, I want you to be strong
I need you to be all I believe in

-The Magic Numbers

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Friday!!

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
~George Bernard Shaw

This cake is wonderful! Its pretty time consuming but so worth it in the end. If you can find a really good desert red wine, a slice of this and a glass of that will help you get ready for your weekend. If you can get your hands on a bottle of Pacific Rim Framboise ,which is a dessert red, I suggest you pair the two together. The wine is sweet and has wonderful notes of raspberry.

Holy hell...that sounds so pretentious!! Let me try again ... get a bottle of Pacific Rim Framboise, throw a straw in and go to town while you eat the whole cake. Hee-hee.

6 cups cake flour
5 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups Hershey.'s Cocoa
2 tablespoons baking soda
4 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup butter
12 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Butter Cream
2/3 cup water
4 tablespoons meringue powder
12 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 1/4 cup shortening
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon clear almond extract
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1 teaspoon colorless butter flavor


Cake: Heat oven to 350 F. Grease three 10-inch springform pans. In mixing bowl, stir together sifted cake flour, sugar, Hershey.'s Cocoa and baking soda. Add butter and mix well. Add milk, eggs and vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Pour about 5 cups of the cake batter into each prepared pan. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before you remove the cake from the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Butter Cream: Combine water and meringue powder; whip at high speed until peaks form. Add 4 cups of sugar, one cup at a time, beating after each addition at low speed. Alternately add shortening and remainder of sugar. Add salt and flavorings; beat at low speed until smooth. Thin out 1/2 of the frosting with a little extra water. The thinned frosting is used as the filling between layers.

To Assemble: Place one 10 inch cake on a large round plate or a large round cake platter. Spread 1/2 of the thinned frosting on top. (Only frost the top of the cake) Sprinkle very lightly with semi-sweet chocolate chips. (There are very few chips on this layer, usually only 1 or 2 per wedge, so sprinkle very very lightly). Place the second cake on top of the first. Frost the top with the remaining thinned frosting. Sprinkle with semi-sweet chocolate chips. (You can be a bit more generous with this layer). Place the third layer on top of the second. Frost the top with all of the Butter Cream that was not thinned. This is a thick layer of frosting so pile it on. Try to get the top as smooth as you can. Sprinkle with semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Cut the cake into wedges, as you would cut a pizza. Using Hershey.'s chocolate syrup, create a design on your dessert plate. Place the wedge of chocolate lasagna at the 11 o'clock position on your dessert plate with the point facing down. (So that you can see some of the syrup design. Serve.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Risotto Man

Ever the optimist. I am currently revamping my list of criteria for men I shall date. I've redone it and now this is how it looks....

I kid, I kid. Since its back to the chalkboard after the ill fated Cowboy fiasco, I'm back to looking for my 'Risotto Man'. Let me explain. I lived in LA for a few years and with roommates. One girl that I lived with was always cooking with her boyfriend. Once they had a 'Bloody Mary Challenge', our other roommate and I were the judges. And boy did we take our job seriously! One night in spring, I came home and the two of them had made a simple mushroom risotto. They took the plates of steaming cheesy goodness outside by the pool with glasses of red wine. They lit a single short fat candle and as the light bounced off the water and they softly talked, enjoying the simple pleasure of each others company, I thought ...

"That's what I want, I want a Risotto Man."

In honor of the promise I made to myself is a delicious and simple Mushroom Risotto Recipe. Here's hoping. Mushroom Risotto Recipe

Ingredients 4 Tbsp butter 2 cups flavorful mushrooms such as shiitake, chanterelle, or oyster mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into half inch to inch pieces 2/3 cup cognac, vermouth, or dry white wine 3/4 cup heavy cream 7 cups chicken stock* (use vegetable stock for vegetarian option) 1 Tbsp olive oil 1/3 cup of peeled and minced shallots (OR 1/3 cup of yellow or white onion, finely chopped) 1 3/4 cups arborio rice 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese Salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté about 5 minutes (if using chanterelles, dry sauté first for a minute or two and let the mushrooms cook in their own juices before adding the butter). Add cognac, bring to a boil, and reduce liquid by half, about 3-4 minutes. Lower heat to medium, add cream, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and set aside. Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan. In a deep, heavy, medium sized saucepan, heat oil and remaining butter on medium low. Add shallots or onions and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat with butter and oil. Add simmering stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring enough to keep the rice from sticking to the edges of the pan. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. This process will take about 20 minutes. The rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy. Stir in the mushroom mixture and the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve garnished with parsley. link for original recipe

Words for today ...

Peace ...
it does not mean to be in a place where there is not noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and be calm in your heart.

Work is hard. Life is much more difficult than I thought it would be. I wish that the adults in High School had taken a more honest approach to how life was going to go when I was going through their class rooms. I had a drama teacher for example who personified the fact that life just won't turn out like we plan. As they say "Man plans, God laughs'. Said drama teacher had an edge to her. A piece of herself that was hard. She never really talked about it but I think that life had chopped down the free spirit that she had once been. I didn't realize when I was going through school. I was so involved in my own life and the 'sky's the limit' propaganda that I was being fed.

I was lucky I guess, some people have the joy in their hearts taken from them at an early age. How do we go about capturing that joy again? How do we find the freedom that we once had?

Do you remember driving along on a Friday night after school got out? The windows down and the radio up? Your friends riding along with you? I want that again. I want to be joyful for a slice of pizza and not counting calories. I want to be happy for a green chili burrito in the dead of summer. I want to find that inner joy that life tries to stamp out. That's my goal.

Not that my life is that hard. I am very lucky and very blessed with a wonderful group of friends. One of my favorite things to do is drink a glass of wine, throw my feet in the pool and enjoy the moon. (Thanks to 'Moonstruck' for that) But you cant tell me that this..... not beautiful.

For a while now, the hard things about growing up have been weighing me down. Like small weights being tied on my body, the fears that come naturally have started to overtake who I am. I'm really really going to try to stop them from taking over my life. Really, I am! First on the list ... I am going to be 31 in December. There are several things I have to do before I turn 31. Things that will help me reclaim my childhood joy in life.

1-Sing karaoke. Always wanted to do to.
2-Ride a mechanical bull. Looks like fun.
3-Eat dinner .. in a resturant .. by myself. I don't know why I have this fear.
4-Go indoor rock climbing.I have no idea why I'm putting this off.

So..the countdown begins....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spicy + Zombies = Feeling Better

If there’s one thing I know, it’s how to pick myself up and dust off my ego. The easiest way to do this is to make jambalaya. Now, I’m not a fan of fish or seafood or anything that comes from a body of water. I’m working on over coming that. So this is purely a chicken and sausage dish. The gentle heat that comes from the seasoning works to keep away the blues. I promise that even if your bummed out, this is a magical dish to keep away those blues. From the chopping up the veggies (gets out aggression) to the sautéing of the onions and garlic (which chase away the blues) to chowing down on heaping spoonfuls of spicy goodness (burns away tears). I ate mine with crusty French bread and butter, homemade coleslaw and a cold beer. If blood and guts don't bother you while you eat, watch ‘Zombieland’. Always makes me feel a hell of a lot better.

2 lb. Chicken (boneless, skinless)
6 oz. Sausage, cut in 1/2 inch dice (I used Fresh and Easy brand mild sausage)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 medium green bell peppers, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Creole Seasoning (I used Fresh and Easy brand)
3 cup3 uncooked, short grain rice
14 oz. canned tomatoes
3 cups chicken stock
1 small can Tomato paste
3 Bay leaves
Chopped parsley to garnish.


Saute the chicken in olive oil. Remove from pan DON'T wash the pan out, you want the flavor from the juices. Saute the Sausage. Again, leave the yummy juices as they add depth of flavor.

If needed add more olive oil and saute the bell pepper, onion and garlic until the onion turns transparent, then add the celery and saute breifly.

Add the chicken, tomatoes, bay leaves and sausage and continue stirring. Season and add the chicken broth. Bring the stock to a boil then add the rice. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 or 25 minutes until the chicken is done and the rice is tender. The rice should have absorbed most of the liquid. If needed, add a little more stock. Keep in mind that there should be more liquid than desired when you turn off the heat. The rice will absorb all the liquid while it is cooling.

Dish yourself a heaping portion, throw on some sweatpants and turn on Zombieland.
All will right itself in this world.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Well...that was short

I know, I know, I didn't finish the date story. To steal the phrase that I was told this past week “things have been out of control”.
Since I’m a ‘True Blood’ addict I spent yesterday prepping for the dinner party that I had, which was able to get my mind off the fact that I wasn’t so much as dumped by the Cowboy, he just disappeared. Which was kind of surprising to be frank. All was fine, the night we had dinner, we were up until 3am. We had dinner, we went to a bar and then we sat in his car and just hung out. At one point he had put his arm around me and said that I was a perfect fit. I should have documented this better so that you can feel the sting of rejection that I’ve had for the last few weeks. We had several dates, I went to his house, he came to mine, we kissed, we laughed, I thought we had fun.
Over a week ago, we again had dinner on a Friday night. I thought we had fun. After dinner, he came inside for about ten minutes, kissed me goodnight and I haven’t heard anything since.

Silence, crickets, not even a wrestle in the bushes.

I was pretty shocked. The whole thing was surprising and made me think, why couldn’t he have the balls to call and let me know he just wasn’t feeling it.
I ,of course, have sent two single text messages and that’s it. That might make me a coward but isn’t he a coward for not calling. I mean, what am I supposed to say

“Hey, so…why did you stop calling?”

Makes me feel like I’m a teenager and we have math together. Well I’m not a teenager and I sure as hell deserve a lot better. I thought that we had fun and it kind of sucks that I didn’t warrant a call saying that he in fact not had as much fun as I did. Which to be frank, hurts my feelings.

Why don’t I warrant a call?

Not that I would now call him and ask him. I do have some pride. For goodness sake. The really bleechy (yes, I made that word up) part of this is that it makes me want to give less of myself next time, to maybe keep those walls up a little bit more. This is how those walls are built you know. Each time something happens, another layer of bricks are added. I try really had to not do that, to keep myself accessible.

But its tough

Its especially hard when I hear all the stories my guy friends have about these girls that they are “in love” with. This is an appropriate use of quotations by the way. Some girls are super freakin crazy! The crap that some guys deal with is nuts. Now, I don't think I am that nuts, I do have a few cashews in there someplace but over all I'm pretty cool. So what the hell gives? Where is my Risotto man? Is some crazy broad truly keeping him in limbo? Bitch, let go! I'm tired of dating these morons!

Ugghh... I know, I know.

Its not all gals, guys are equally as heinous.
I know because I’m pretty sure I dated them all. The guy before the Cowboy called to tell me that not only had he knocked up another girl…but…she was still in High School. That was a kick in the face. The point is…how do you keep picking yourself up and dusting yourself off? Why is it that everyone is so sure that you won’t be alone? It just might happen. For right now, I think I’ll nurse my bruised ego and forget that he didn’t call and how much fun the two weeks were.
At least we ended on a high note…right?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

He's cute

I have very strong opinions on dating and sex. Dating I'll discuss now, sex we'll save for later. Now, I'm as much a feminist as the next gal, I've had a job since I was 13, I've lived on my own and I've lived with roommates, I can figure out my own taxes, I can pay my own bills, I can change my oil and I can change my tire, I can drive a stick shift and I can argue with the best of them, I believe in a woman's right to choose and I rock the vote....but I believe a man should pay for dinner. I may be a feminist but that doesn’t mean I'm not a lady. I can be a feminist who celebrates her ladylike side. Also, I think coffee is a cop out and happy hour is an excuse to try and get in my pants. If you’re a man and a gentleman at that, commit to a dinner. Don't try and tell me that you’re broke and can't afford it. If we going to do a price comparison I can easily whip out some receipts that will tell you exactly how much I spent to get ready for our date and I'm willing to bet apples to oranges we're close to even. It takes a lot of work to look pretty for you; I just don't emerge from the water a'la Venus style. I spend at least an hour and a half. And it's not just skin assured that I'm going to be turning on all your senses, sight, scent, touch ... all of them. It really upsets me when I go to all this work and he puts little to no effort into it.

I had googled the little Italian place that he had asked me to dinner at and I had realized that 1)It was romantic in an innocent sweet first date high school way and
2) It was semi pricey thus I needed a dress, a new dress.

Now, I don't wear dresses on dates. I can literally count on one hand the number of times I've worn a dress on a date. Once to a Broadway play and once because I had worn one to work and met him right after. But this handsome caramel voiced man who had immediately jumped to asking me to dinner, I felt, deserved a dress. A flirty fun dress that showed off my gams and made him want to run a hand along my calf. So, after my mani/pedi (and feeling deliciously relaxed after an hour in those chairs) I ran to a store and somehow found the perfect dress within 10 minutes of walking in. I think that someone wanted to bless me that day. It was the perfect shade of purple and hit my leg in just the right spot, making my on any other day semi normal...ok short... legs look beautiful. I showed off my ample bosom in a tasteful not whorish way. I was ready to rock it! I didn't look just pretty; I was the version of myself that I always wished for when I started getting ready. I knew I was running a few minutes late so I threw my pretty legs into gear and ran out the door.

Let me explain a few of my rules while I am on a date. I do believe a man should pay but that doesn’t mean I expect, so I always carry cash. I carry $20 in the form of a ten, a five and five ones. I can offer to pay for dinner, when refused (as I should be) I can then offer to pay the tip. Which should also be rebuked. He should pay for din din. I know it’s not the 50's but it’s a lovely gesture on his part. I believe he should open my car door, the restaurant door and touch the back of my chair as I sit down. I in turn think it’s nice to lean over to unlock his car door. It shows the same concern that he is showing me. Don't go getting all huffy over all this if you think that I'm trying to put women back several years in women's lib. What I'm referring to with all this is simply the enjoyment of a female being a lady and all that implies and a man being a gentleman and all that implies. I celebrate that. And anyone of you who disagrees, who has been in love, I want you to think back to that if it’s past or think of him (or her...I'm pro-gay marriage. Remember what it was like on a Sunday morning relaxing in bed together? Not having to go anywhere or do anything except lay next to each other feeling the stillness of the moment, the calmness in your soul, the way that life just felt right. Did you feel anything other than just 'you'? Just the person who you are without any agenda? That’s what I mean; there is something so beautifully simplistic in relishing my inner femininity. I choose to carry that through to how a man should treat me. Now, this doesn’t mean I've always been that way. I have my bruises. It took some time to realize that I deserved to be treated wonderfully.

So, I'm running three minutes late (which I hate!) I send him a quick text
(at a stop light, that’s for you Uncle Police Officer)
screech around the corner and catch a quick glimpse, hope that this doesn’t turn out like the last 5 dates I've had from online, jump out of my car and pretty much sprint around the building to where he is standing and I can see him for the first time.
And ...boy...he is really good looking... and tall....
and the heat that fills me isn’t just from the Arizona summer....
I promptly forgot all the good dating habits I had simply by looking into his adorable hazel eyes.