Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Embarrassment: 3 Easy Candy Recipes

White Chocolate Cherries
Isn’t it funny how the most mortifying moments of your life are some of the most vivid images your memory conjures? I haven’t been able to pick up Easter candy for the last 40 years without recalling one of the earliest times I embarrassed the heck out of myself (I wish I could say it was the last time I did it. Unfortunately, there have been many opportunities since then to top myself). I was young (really young) – and it was the first time I got to go into a store by myself. READ MORE

Recipe: 3 Easy Easter Candies

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bo Peep’s Revenge: Braised Lamb Shank Minestra

I hate coffee (I know, it’s me and three other people over the age of 12 in the United States). I don’t have anything against coffee; I just don’t care for it. I also don’t like licorice or bell peppers. I’ve learned to work around all three when I am eating someone else’s cooking. I don’t make a big deal out of it, but I pass on coffee with dessert, and I always leave the green pepper chunks discreetly on my plate.

Everyone has something that they don’t care to eat. I use to ask people coming over for dinner “what do you like?” They invariably said, “Oh, I’ll eat anything,” and I end up making the one thing they absolutely detest. So now I ask, “What do you hate?” - and they tell me. It makes preparing a menu much easier, believe me.

We used to have a friend (who is no longer in the picture) that had this absolutely childish aversion to seafood. Wouldn’t eat it; wouldn’t consider eating it; and made unnecessary comments if someone else was eating it. In fact, his wife told me she had to throw out the Worcestershire sauce after he found out it contained anchovies. Like I said, a completely immature attitude about it. READ MORE

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Karmic Celebration: Strawberry Almond Ice Cream

Don’t you hate it when life gets in the way of the things you really want to do? It has been six months since I was last able to play with my food and tell you about it. That’s far too long, but three jobs and writing regular blog entries just became a little too much to do all at the same time. Something had to be postponed for a little while. Unfortunately, the blog lost out. Sigh.

Well, now Job #3 is gone and it looks like Job #2 could be a fond memory in the near future. I said I wouldn’t pick the blog back up until I escaped from The Land of the Eternal Blue Light, but sometimes Karma hands you something that makes you want to celebrate. I won’t bore you with all the details, but here is the quick, self-indulgent rundown:

I belong to a volunteer organization. About a year ago, we were on the hunt for a paid staffer to run the show. The headhunter committee brought us their final candidate, who proceeded to set off every warning bell and siren I have installed in my body: self-importance, duplicity, passive-aggressiveness (in short, I thought he was a creep and a jerk). Being the person that I am, I forcefully voiced those concerns. I was in the extreme minority. In the end, the person was hired by a vote of 64-2 (yes, I was one of the two). The two dissenters were then ostracized, vilified, and our emotional stability was even questioned. I didn’t quit, but I faded away from the organization.

Fast forward 11 ½ months. The staffer ended up being let go and escorted out of the building for doing exactly what we said he would. Oh yeah, he then lobbed a grenade to try and inflict as much damage on the volunteer organization as he could while he was being let go.

I know it’s childish and petty, but I laughed out loud when the news reached me. It was that hearty, superior kind of laugh that comes when you know you’ve been vindicated. Actually, I think I did a little “I told you so” dance too (OK, maybe they were right to question my emotional stability afterall). Even though I feel bad for the organization, I couldn’t help it. Now the people who were doing the vilifying are dumbfounded as to how it could have turned out this way. All I can say is that Karma can be a real bitch – unless it works in your favor, then it’s kind of cool.

Being in such a festive mood, I decided it was time to break the seal and get back to blogging. If you are a food blogger, you know that there is no such thing as just running to the kitchen and whipping something up. Nope. Plans have to be laid out; notes must be made; stages must be set; and photos must be taken. It’s an undertaking requiring precision and planning. This entry didn’t go that way. Once you get out of the habit, it’s amazing what you forget. It may take an entry or two before I get my sea legs again, so forgive the errors and omissions.

So what does all of this have to do with Ice Cream? Why, what else would you celebrate with? I mean, one part-time job was shed, the other is quickly fading, I have time to blog again, and (best of all) Karma really is the great equalizer…