Coconut Sugar Cookies and What I Learned From The Oscars

Wow, my last post was popular. But to be politically correct, it wasn’t really mine. But I’m glad many of you enjoyed it and none of you said something mean in response. I feel that my pathetic guest post didn’t stand up to the abby’s swap. But reading your comments certainly made my weekend! I love it when other people get discussions going

I was going to write something pertaining to the Oscars today. I was thinking of writing up an acceptance speech I would use should I ever win (yea, for like best craft service!). I was considering giving out “blog awards” but I realize thats silly because a) why compare blogs? and b) I honestly have not had much time to read very many….

Instead, I realized I learned a few things. So I’ll briefly tell you about them:

1) Watching the Oscar Pre-Show is painful: um…..no one looks like crap! Lame!

2) Don’t Follow James Franco on Twitter: Like my blog reading, I only “follow” a few people. Actually, only 20 and it will always be like that. I “un-follow ” people when there is someone new I want to follow. My cut off is twenty. Otherwise, it gets stressful. But I digress….I started following James last week when he JUST got a twitter account. He only had like one tweet (PS, I hate that term, “tweet”….gag!). I’ve had a crush on James ever since he was on that show “Freaks and Geeks”. Since every other celebrity has over a million followers, at the time, he only had like 100,000 so I figured…why not? Turns out, on EVERYONE ON THE PLANET retweets whatever James Franco tweets on Oscar night!!! My twitter timeline exploded. Plus, we posts some strange ass photos of the pee in his toilet. Gross.

3) The New Oscar Envelopes Suck: I heard on NPR that this year, the envelops this year were serious business. They got pimped out! They custom-designed the envelopes to be handcrafted from a high-gloss, iridescent metallic gold paper stock, with a red-lacquered lining featuring the Oscar statuette hand-stamped in satin gold leaf! Snazzy, but when the presenters tried to open them, they seemed to be stuck in there. Next year, I think we should use manilla envelopes.

4) A Million Dollars Isn’t Cool: Apparently, a billion dollars is. (Not really learned from the Oscar, but learned from Oscar favorite, The Social Network.

5) Anne Hathaway’s Orthodontist Should Win Something! And as annoying as she might seem, there is something human about her that makes me feel she’s genuinely down to earth and un-diva. She’s ok in my book.

6) Too Much Facial Hair Can Be Skevy! Case in point: Christian Bale looked like he was ready to slay Grendel!

7) Gwyneth needs an Ensure: maybe thirty!

8) Don’t Do Yoga on Oscar Sunday: My dad’s friend from out of town came to visit him and went to a yoga studio not too far away from the Oscars. He borrowed my dad’s car and after his zen yoga experience, found the car gone! Yep, not stolen, but towed by the Oscar nazis. Namaste my ass.

What have you learned this weekend? Favorite Oscar moment? I liked Kirk Douglas’ bit hitting on Anne Hathaway.

And its feel like forever since I’ve posted a recipe! So hears a coconut sugar cookie recipe to hold you over:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (or use a cup if your omitting the flour to make it gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients together.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream butter until soft, then add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add in egg, and then add vanilla.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients into a soft dough. Roll into about 1 1/2 inch balls and flatten slightly in a bowl filled with the sprinkles so they stick.
  5. Place dough slices onto baking sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes until edges are golden. Cool completely and enjoy the sugar rush.

Guest Post: Sure Fire Ways to Be a Superstar “Health” Blogger!

Sometimes, I get sick of my blog. So invite someone brilliant to take over and provide something a little more stimulating.  Hence once again, I let Abby take the reins. Be sure to check out my guest post on her turf. So without further ado, I give you my fabulous friend, Abby:

Hello again!

I was hesitant to do another post swap because the focus of my blog has changed in the past few months. I still have issues, but just a whole bunch more random ones that don’t always involve food or exercise.

See, I am not a healthy living blogger, nor am I a food blogger or a chef like dear Eden.

When I first started blogging almost two years ago, I thought that I could be just that (a healthy living blogger, not a chef. Lord knows that’s a lost cause.) Most of my posts were focused on those food and exercise issues. While I live a lifestyle that is healthy for me—eat more, move less—and I do read a variety of health-ish blogs (and have a love of oatmeal and green vegetables,) writing about that all the time got boring.

But I know that a lot of Eden’s readers are into recipes and whatnot and I didn’t want to bore her readers any more than necessary. So even though I follow none of these tips myself, here are a few things you can do if you want to have a popular “healthy” blog and get a lot of comments:

  • Take lots of pictures of food, even if it’s a piece of fruit or a bowl of cereal. People like food porn.
  • Focus on something that has been around for decades—oatmeal, Nutella, a certain vegetable—and act as if you not only discovered it, but reinvented it.
  • Train for a marathon—the kind you run in, not the kind you DVR to watch on a snowy Saturday afternoon—or do some sort of short-term challenge. Ex. 30 Days of Minimal Oxygen or 100 Days of Foods with Three Ingredients or Less
  • People will sell their soul for free stuff, so host lots of giveaways that require people to comment, Tweet, “like” you on Facebook and recommend your blog to at least a dozen other people. Then instruct them to tell you about each and every step.
  • Come up with nicknames for things, as healthy living bloggers have a language that includes words like nooch, bloobs, etc.
  • Review products, as people will often base their own purchasing decisions on the opinion of a semi-anonymous person with great pictures (see above.)
  • Pose a question at the end of each post that includes something about oatmeal preferences, smoothies or body image. You will get comments.
  • Become very interested in finding new things that “taste just like the real thing” instead the actual real thing (ex. spaghetti squash is not spaghetti, peanut flour is not peanut butter, flax eggs are not eggs, etc.)
  • Apologize often if you miss a day of posting or haven’t been commenting much on other blogs. Your sincerity will be appreciated, as others often do put their lives on hold in anticipation of your posts.
  • Spend copious amounts of time reading the “big” blogs and leaving insightful comments in hopes that the “big” blogger will in turn read your blog, declare it genius and refer their thousands of readers to your page. Good luck with that.
  • Adopt some sort of “ism”  or extreme behavior, whether it’s veganism or a love of meat, excessive exercise or a hatred of activity. You get the idea. Either way you go, your posts will justify the behavior of some readers who were in doubt as to whether butter is wonderful, butter is the devil, etc. You will get comments.
  • Never really take a definitive stance on anything and remain vague when asked about a hot button topic—unless it’s oatmeal or kale, as every time someone says they dislike either item, a baby bunny gets run over by a lawnmower. Remember that.
  • Claim to only write for yourself and declare time after time that you would continue to spend six hours a day taking pictures of all your food and logging every gram of trans fat you eliminated from your day even if nobody read.

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However, keep open the possibility of a book deal.

Disclaimer: There is nothing wrong with blogs that do any or all of the above mentioned things. To each their own, as my views and observations don’t necessarily reflect those of Ms. Eden or a majority of the blog population. Just me. Sorry.

Did I miss anything?

EDENS NOTE: although Abby warned about these observations not necessarily reflecting my views, they kinda do, so you can hate on me too.



 

Spaghetti “Nests” and Open Letter to Lady Gaga

Before I begin, I just wanted to say that I was not trying to fish for comments on my last post. I almost took the post down for fear I’d sound like a whiner fishing for compliments but believe me, I don’t take compliments well, so I never try to seek them. Anyhow, thanks for all the kind words. Truly, you guys keep me going!

But moving on….

I love writing “open letters”. I wrote an open letter to whole foods last year and I think its time for a new one. This time to the all time attention whore: Lady Gaga.

Dear Lady Gaga (or should I say Stefani Germanotta),

First off… Lets start off with the positive stuff. I have to say, your music is kind of catchy and I can’t help but sing along to your songs sometimes.  I can’t tell you how embarrassing it is getting caught, stopped at a stop light, belting out… RAH RAH OUGHT OUGHT ATTA!

But I am here to say, you are officially too much… you need a weekend with Jesus, Dr. Phil, or hell, maybe Tim Tebow. Or maybe you need something structured, try Buddhism, Tiger swears by it. Every time I see you I think to myself “Damn girl, put on a damn pair of jeans and a tank top!” Maybe take it a step further… try sweats. Oh my God GaGa, sweats and flip flops will change your life! Look, everyone is no longer “shocked” by you, so shock us with some sweats and or yoga pants, puh-lease!!!

After seeing you at the Grammy Awards I felt kind of bad for you. I mean, you were in an egg for crying out loud! What effed up hen laid you! Does this make you not a mammal anymore?

In the end, I probably could have forgiven you for all this. I could have blamed all of it on bad influences, bad stylist, or you just needing attention, maybe more hugs as a child. But you came out with something we can not forgive you for, the dreaded meat dress. Now I don’t have enough time to write down all the jokes that pop up in my head so I will just go with what I think are the best ones. First off, when I first saw it I couldn’t help but realize how much that looked like another one of the notorious crotch shots while Lindsay, Britney or Paris are getting out of a car (probably smelt similar too). For all I know that could have just been pictures of their crotches stitched together to resemble a meat dress. I don’t know if I can ever look at beef the same. But enough with that, you are lucky you weren’t wearing that steak on your head walking in, who knows what a bum in L.A. will do for a fresh steak. You obviously give all your love to the gays and not to the homeless. You could have dressed and fed them all for a month!

Also… I need to address your kermit outfit. The meat dress (although hilarious) didn’t offend me, what did was the kermit….thing you wore! How many poor kermits did you have to murder for that!? I guess its really not that easy being green….sigh.

I also would like you to stop being a philosopher. Whenever I read an article about you, you always try to regurgitate some made up proverbs but you end up sounding like a moron. ““I have this weird thing that if I sleep with someone they’re going to take my creativity from me through my vagina.” Hmm, I have a suspicion kermit was trying to sleep with you….

Anyways, not all hope is lost… There is always Oprah. Dear Oprah, please save GaGa, because there is so much gagging I can take!

Sincerely,

Eden

So here’s a recipe for her egg, a nest! A nice carby nest!

  • 1 package ounces spaghetti (or gluten free option)
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup greek yogurt or cottage cheese
  • olive oil
  • pinch garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • shaved Parmesan for garnish
  1. Cook pasta according to directions, reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Be sure not to break spaghetti while cooking so you can twirl it into nests.
  2. Pre heat oven to 425˚F with the rack in the center of the oven.
  3. Lightly spray Muffin tins.
  4. Combine cottage cheese/or greek yogurt and cheddar cheese in a bowl.
  5. Toss cooked pasta with a splash of olive oil, peas all spices and seasonings. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid if you need to. Mix with cheese mixture. Reserve a bit of cheese to top each nest.
  6. Twirl spaghetti with a fork and add to muffin tins, create nest shapes. Top each nest with a bit of the cottage cheese/yogurt mixture.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes. The tops of your nests will be lightly browned and a bit crispy.
  8. Let cool for a few minutes. Gently loosen spaghetti nests from muffin tins with a spatula and serve.

Candy Studded Protein Bars and Why My Blog Ain’t Popular

Let’s face it — you never really leave high school.

Long after college, there are the same hierarchies, name-calling and “cliques”. The internet is no different.

And I’m not denying the fact that I’am and will probably always remain “unpopular”. Do you have any idea how many blogs there are? Over 126 million!  That’s a big class to climb to the top of. I’m sure most of you aren’t even having your hearts set on being head cheerleader, but I’m sure most of you feel it would be nice to be noticed among the digital masses.

Although I do think my blog can be fun and witty, I’ve gotta face the fact that my blog is that pathetic kid who skulks under the jungle gym at recess and reads Lois Lowry books in the bathroom during lunchtime. Not that I did that in high school…..

Why is it that some blogs are so interesting/funny/original yet end up sulking under the jungle gym? Because like high school (and life in general), the blogosphere is unfair.

Anyhow, I’ve decided to analyze why my blog is the “unpopular kid”:

I have no clique:

If you notice, all the “popular” blogs have a clearly defined niche. Whether it be running, making fun of what white people like, fashion, baking, playing chess…They all have a theme or “clique” and they stick to it. Me? I have none of that. I care about health, but I’m not a “health” blogger. I cook and I’m a chef even, but I just post recipes and never go into too much detail about the food. I’m sort of an “everything blog”. I have no problem with this. I never had a “clique” in high school and I’m not expecting to form on on the blogosphere.

I’m not “blog social”:

Lets face it, most people get new readers or commenters by reading other blogs. Frankly, I just have no time. I do read a handful of blogs of friends of mine, but I don’t seek out new blogs to read very often. Maybe this is akin to staying home on a saturday night but I’m not a social blog butterfly. I’m more of a snail. But a very cute snail.

I’m a Bitch:

Not beating around the bush on this one, I’m kind of snarky and rude. Not that anyone likes to read a blog all about unicorns and rainbows, but most people are very “hear no evil, speak not evil…”. Or maybe I’m just honest and the truth hurts. Whatever it may be, the head cheerleader is most certainly always a bitch, but not to anyone’s face. I’m pretty much all up in your face!

I’m not “pretty”:

I think I’ve referenced in a previous post about how high traffic blogs are “shiny”. I’m rather lack luster. Lets face it, beauty has some part to play in that whole “high school” hiarchy and its no different with blogs. Good photography and a nice layout play in your popularity favor. But I am but a poor chef with a simple “point and shoot” and lets face it, my header with me pretending like I’m eating a wedding cake is kind of freakish and annoying (PS, that header will change very soon). We shouldn’t judge books by their cover, but we do. I truly beleive that my content is far more beautiful than the “look” or “cover” of my blog.

Alright, enough rambles (PS, I ramble and often write super long posts, also a reason I’m unpopular).

Time for some food! I’ve been having a lot of trouble feeding the kids of the family I work for. They are beyond picky. So I tried to incorporate their favorite foods into a protien bar. Although often I find myself unimpressed with my protein bar attemps, this one might be a winner. For 8 bars, you will need:

1 1/2 cup oatmeal

1/4 c peanut butter

2 scoops of protein powder or choice

3 tbs flaxseeds

1 1/2 c water

1 regular size package of reese peanut butter cups (or whatever candy you want to throw in there)

Cook you oatmeal according to the directions. I find every oatmeal has a different cooking time or water ratio. But since you making bars, make sure the water is not as much as if you were to make a regular bowl of oatmeal. Anyhow, I used 1 1/2 cups of water. So make your oatmeal. When its ready and still hot, stir in the protein powder, flaxseeds, and peanut butter. Pour on to a lined pan and top with the cheerios or cereal of choice (PS, I think this would work wonderfully with captain crunch!). Break up your candy pieces and smush them on top. Place in the freezer for about four hours. Then slice up into eight bars. They freeze well but you can also keep them in the fridge. 

Cinnamon Raisin Challah and “Yes, I’m Aware”

Facebook, twitter, and blogs are all pimping out ED-awarness week. “Get aware people! Eating Disorders exist and they kill!”

Tell me something I don’t know.

And before I begin my little ED awareness spiel, please note cynicism is my middle name and if you can’t handle that, go read the dictionary or something.

Anyhow, here are my issues with “Eating Disorders Awareness Week”.

My first issue is:

Why a week?

Although the clinical diagnoses were only defined in the 1970′s. Deadly eating disorder have been around since the beginning of time! You know that whole Adam and Eve with the apple thing? I’m willing to bet money that snake offered Eve some chocolate but she probably declined (I mean, being naked 24/7, I’m sure she cared about her thighs). So he then chose to temp her with an apple thinking its less calories. My point is, eating disorders are not a new phenomena. They have been killing people for years. Why do we only get a week to recognize how serious they are? Can’t we always care about them?

My second issue:

Aware of what???

I tried to think back to when I was in grade school. Pre-disorder. I for sure knew what “anorexia” and “bulimia” were, but I thought they were silly diseases that I would never get since I loved good so much. Most adults know what eating disorders are just from reading tabloids and watching “Access Hollywood”. Having a vague understanding of what an eating disorder might be isn’t the same understanding what an eating disorder is.  My problem is that I’m not always sure that the information being published this week really makes any of this clearer. Even on “NEDA” websites, I don’t think they really give a good sense. Most people think ED’s are a “choice”. Like “choosing” to diet. Why dont need “awareness”. We are well aware. We need “understanding”. We need for employers to understand why we might need time off for treatment. We need insurance companies that aren’t a** holes for denying to help cover our treatment.

My Third Issue:

Does “awareness” = prevention???

As I’ve mentioned, eating disorder must have a good publicist. They might as well have  a twitter account. Its obvious “awareness” has increased in the past couple of decades, yet the numbers of eating disorder cases seem to be on the rise. Clearly, “awareness” does not equal prevention. Just like knowing what being an alcoholic is doesn’t mean you wont become one. All eating disorders are different; kind of like finger prints. Everyone one has a different issues, a different root cause, a different “fear food” or “trigger food”. And there isn’t a “cure” or a vaccine. What CAN help in prevention? How about teaching people to be honest? Providing coverage for treatment? Making it less about “celebrity” and trying to be more understanding than “aware”.

Look, I don’t really have any answers as far as how “cure” eating disorders. These are just my opinions and observations. I just had to write this because it was flooding the blogosphere and I just couldn’t take it anymore.

I’m beginning to think my questions in the end are lame, but I really care about what you say about this. What do you think? Am I totally off base?

Ok, now here are some carbs to get you by……..

2 tsp. granulated sugar
1  cup warm water
1 package  instant yeast or bread yeast
4-5 flour (or a mix of rice flour and tapioca flour for a gluten free version)
2 tbs cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
3 cup butter or margarine, melted (or 1/2 cup vegetable oil)
3 whole eggs
1/2 cup raisins

In a large mixing bowl, stir the  sugar into the warm water. Sprinkle in yeast and stir well; let stand until frothy or foamy, about 10 minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour and cinnamon Add honey, and melted butter (or vegetable oil or melted margarine, if using), and eggs; stir until dough forms.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding enough of the remaining 1 cup flour as necessary to prevent sticking (you may need to add more flour if your dough is still too sticky. Add in a little at a time until the dough is cohesive). Place dough in a greased glass or ceramic bowl, turning to grease dough all over. Cover bowl with greased plastic wrap or a warm damp kitchen towel and let it rise in warm  place until doubled in size Punch down dough, transfer dough to work surface, let rest for 10 minutes, then knead in raisins. Divide into eight pieces and roll out into logs. Then, swirl them in and tuck the end (it will kind of look like a snail). Bake a 350 degrees for about 20 minuets.

Homemade Ranch Dip and Queen of Klutz

As I sit here typing this, I’m smelling the evidence to me being the biggest klutz in the world.

The reason why I’m “smelling” the evidence is that today at work, I opened a jar of peanut butter (a new one, with all the peanut oil floating on the top) and managed to spill all that peanut juice all down my shirt and little cleavage I posses.

So now, I smell like a 5 year old. Good thing I’m about seven in spirit.

But the biggest klutz in the WORLD?! Yes, that is me, my friends.

Don’t believe me?  Do you doubt my status as the most tremendous klutz in
the world?  Well, I’ll just have to convince you.  Let’s review some of
the klutzy-ass things that I have done:

1) Fallen flat on my ass right before receiving my college diploma:

Oh, this sounds tame, you say?  Well, actually, “fallen” is not really descriptive
enough.  Let’s go for “tumbled.”  “Rolled” would also work.  As would
“somersaulted,” as in “I somersaulted down the auditorium stairs all the way to the
bottom, where I lay, dazed, for about one tenth of a second, when the eyes and cameras were on me. Right before I even got the diploma! Bonus points, I wore a dress (at least I wasn’t going commando, and thanks to this incident, I never will). I got up and waved that I’m ok because I heard the whole auditorium hold their breath when I hit the floor. Anyhow, I have it on tape, and its a good thing VCRs are extinct.

2) Electrocuting myself

I was trying to set up my dorm room when I moved in to college. Some of the outlets seemed busted, so I called electrician.  When he came over I was trying to test different outlets  to see if they worked.  But this one outlet was kind of clogged with paint, and I couldn’t get the prongs of the computer in there, so instead I just start ROOTING AROUND with MY FINGER.  And so I was shocked.  And it hurt.  But I tried to play it off all cool, like nothing had happened, despite the audible “BZZZT” that had accompanied my electrocution.  But it didn’t work, because immediately the electrician was like, “Hey – all the hair on your left arm is standing straight up!”   And so it was.  And now that I think about it, that is less klutzy and more just flat-out stupid.

3) Ruining the neatly packed supermarket shelves:

I was in the grocery store shopping for my usual suspect. I was looking at a variety of teas…reading the ingredients…enjoying all the variety…then, I took a box of peppermint tea off the shelf…and (I am not kidding) a bunch of other tea boxes came flying off the shelf.  They didn’t just fall off the shelf…they FLEW off the shelf.  Not just one box….not just two boxes…but a gazillion boxes!  And worst of all…there were witnesses and very angry store clerks morning their hard re-stocking work. I’m believed to be blacklisted at this supermarket.

But stupidity aside, I really am an enormous klutz.  Falling down stairs, falling up stairs, falling out of beds, falling out of the shower, stepping in the toilet (oh, do not ask) – it’s all happened to me, and it happens all the damn time.  Which is why I prefer using plastic bowls and wearing smocks when I cook. Because trust me, I really don’t like having my chest smell like peanuts.

Do you have an incident to rival mine?

And here’s a way to use yogurt, other than in the blogger beloved, “yogurt mess”.

  • 1/3 cup nonfat Greek style yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/3 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons mayo
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley (I used dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • Salt to taste

This recipe is super complicated. Mix it all up and dips with your favorite veggies. Just wear a bib if your as klutzy as me ;)

Would You Rather….

I’ve written and re-written a post for today.

And I still didn’t post it. Sorry, my creative have been sucked out of some vampire.

So instead, I bring you a popular ice-breaker game, “would you rather”.

Would you rather find true love or 10 million dollars?

Love don’t the the bills ;)

French kiss a dog or have a baby spit up drool into your open mouth?

why either one? First I punch the baby knocking it across the room, them I stomp on the dogs neck, bouncing off of it and exiting the room. thats my way out of it.

Would you rather be with someone who is smart but ugly, or someone who is hot, but kind of stupid?

Smart but ugly… because a smart person can make money while a stupid person will end up on a reality tv show.

Would you rather be constantly mistaken for Adolf Hitler or have pug puppies for feet?

Are you mad?! Pug puppies for feet! I mean, whats cooler than feet that bark.

Which gift would you rather get?

Its a toss up, can I just get the dog?

Would you rather have to eat all of Lady Gaga’s outfits or wear Liberace’s?

Although, I bet her dress is very delicious, the fact that it was on her body and sweat make me want gag a bit.

Would you rather end hatred or hunger?

Well, I dont know about you, but I’m pretty bitchy and full of hatred when I’m hungry. And suppose I rather have people hated on than dead.

Get free chocolate for one year or free potatoes forever?

As much as I’m a chocoholic and half Belgian, forever is a long time, thats a lot of money I’m saving (and I’m a jew, so penny pinching is important).

Always get first dibs or the last laugh?

Last laugh….I think it proves you’ve won the fight.

 


Cornmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and “The Parent Trap”

What I love about weekends is listening to a new episode of This American Life. Laugh all you want, I find the radio more entertaining that reality TV and I find Ira Glass more attractive than Johnny Depp.

Told ya I’m weird.

Anyhow, today’s post is inspired by the latest episode. The episode was called “The Parent Trap”. Stories about parents setting accidental traps for their children, and sometimes for themselves. It talked a little about the things parents make us do which we hate and loathe, but learn to appreciate it twenty or more years later.

I thought I would share with you some of the things my parents did that I’m now grateful for:

1) The spoke to me in any language but English: Unless of course, there were guests around. My parents figure  I since I was born and living in the US, I was bound to learn English at school and from the TV. So they spoke to me in other languages so I’d learn them. Its always easier to learn a language when you are a child. So thanks to that, I know Hebrew fluently (and without an accent!) and I understand and can read French. This actually used to bother me. I wanted to be like everyone else, I wanted to be spoken to in English dammit! But when I tried, they didn’t respond to me. Nowadays, my father relaxed this “no English” rule, and we often find ourselves speaking in English, but I’m older now and I wont forget the languages they instilled in me.

The made me listen to classical music and National Public Radio: Although I did mange a way to be a Spice Girls and Ace of Base fan as a kid, radio in the car was always either classical music or NPR. Maybe this is why I love NPR so much now! But I think it actually groomed me intellectually. I know, that sounds really pretentious, but it kept me informed about current events and made me appreciate classical music. I knew about Bosnia and the OJ trial when all the other kids at school were talking about their  “puppy surprise” or their new shiny pogs. Not that round cardboard isn’t intellectually stimulating…..

They gave me cars to play with: Being a “girl” (yes, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m indeed female), one would expect me to play with dolls and pink things. While I did have a few dolls, I had a massive toy car collection. No, I don’t know how to fix a transmission or even change a flat tire these days, but what this taught me was just because I’m a girl, shouldn’t mean I need to play with certain things. They also encourage me to have friends that are boys and I think even as an adult, its important to have friendships with the opposite gender (without a romantic relationship!).

What did your parents do that you didn’t quite understand as a kid but appreciate now that you are an adult?

I like a good chocolate chip cookie, but its fun to switch it up and try a new spin on it! These are worth trying for a change!

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose or rice flour
1 cup corn meal (aka polenta)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, about one minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, beating until incorporated.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, polenta, baking powder, and salt.

4. Mix the dry ingredients into the beaten butter mixture until incorporated, than stir in the chocolate chips.

5. pinch of pieces of dough about the size of a small golf, and roll into balls. Place them evenly spaced on the prepared baking sheet and press them down gently with your hands to flatten them a little.

6.  bake the cookies, in a 325 degree F oven. Bake the cookies for about 12-15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets midway during baking, until the cookies are very light brown on top. Remove the oven and let cool completely.

Chips Ahoy has got nothing on these!

Orange Glazed Carrots and Analyzing my A**

Having a sketchy history with my relationship with my body, you would think I’d try to avoid any judgement on my body.

But lets face it, we are all human, we all judge one another an ourselves. I know, life stinks.

Anyhow, instead of listing all the wonderful thing about my body (because lets face it, being all unicorns and rainbows about something is plain BS) and instead of berating myself I thought why not just do a fun pro/con on a specific body part. Today, I’m gonna zero in on my butt or as us poles call it, dupa!

sorry, this is the best "rear view" view of my booty I could find

Lets get the bad stuff out of the way first!

Cons

I’ll admit it, its got some cellulite. Dont ask me why, I’ve always had a little, even when I was an emaciated ass-less mess. Cellulite happens to everyone, and I’m only human and in no way apologizing for it.

Its still an “butt”. I know some people are “ass” people, but I personally don’t get it. I think the fact that they call them “cheeks makes me want to gag a little. I think its a body part thats hard to take seriously. I mean….its a butt!!! I mean it doesnt really serve for anything major like the heart or kidneys, and it can’t get cancer like your breasts or prostate. I can’t exactly skip work and say, “sorry, I broke my ass”.

Its white


Pros

Its not flat or teeny, but yet doesnt need its own zipcode. I think its perfectly proportioned!

This might be TMI, but its “firm” yet not rock solid (I really credit the “firmness” to my “chair” yoga poses). Its got just enough “squish” to make sitting comfy!

It looks good in lululemon yoga pants (but all butts do!) and lets face it, when it comes to butts, looks are everything

Alright, lets not be prude….Do you have any  pro/cons about you butt? Stay tuned , next week, I’ll analyze a different body part!

 

Ok, I’ve been looking at my last couple of posts and realized I had a ton of desserts! So I bring some vegetable today, but they are slightly sweet…thats my compromise!

  • 4 large carrots peeled and chopped (I made my “star” cutouts but trust me, they take time, feel free to use baby carrots as well!)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (I used fresh squeezed)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. Place carrots in a shallow saucepan, and cover with water. Boil until tender. Drain, and return carrots to pan.
  2. Pour orange juice over carrots, and mix well. Simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in brown sugar, butter, and salt. Heat until butter and sugar melt. Tada! Spectacular carrots! 

 

Apricot Chocolate Biscotti and Lessons From Jury Duty

If your my friend on facebook, you probably know I was excused from jury duty today.

I was called for the first time when I was in treatment, about three years ago. I was in treatment for my eating disorder, so my doctor there gladly signed for me to be excused.

phew!

A year later, I was out of treatment and they got me again! But my therapist (who had the Dr. title) signed for me again.

Phew, again!

This time, I’m not as emaciated and I don’t have a fancy Doctor to clear me. So I had to drag myself to downtown LA (which is not the safest place on earth) and actually serve.

I was trying to think of a creative way to tell you about my experience, but I failed to do so. Hence you will have to deal with my usual, “lessons learned”. (Like my “Lessons Learned from Treatment” and “Lessons Learned from Culinary School“).

Lesson #1:  You cannot visit locations related to the case: Thankfully, the snack bar was unrelated.

Lesson #2: The Snack Bar Sucks: Nothing says lunch like shrimp flavored Cup n Noodles and brown bananas.

Lesson #3: “Lunch” is an hour and a half: I have no complaint for breaks, but having to drive all the way downtown only to have nearly two hours to eat lunch!? Why can’t they just have us start later or end earlier and take 30 min for lunch?!

Lesson #4: It hot under those judges’ robes: I was actually blessed with a fairly cool judge. She was young and this was only her sixth jury trial. She was very considerate towards the jury and kept asking us if the temperature was ok in the courtroom. Because according to her, “I’m always hot under this robe and I haven’t even gone through menopause!”. Cool lady.

Lesson #5: Celebrities Do Jury Duty Too! Well, at least in the Los Angeles Court, they have these posters throughout the jury holding room with pictures of celebrities and an “I SERVED!” written beneath their headshot. (spotted in my holding room, posters of Jamie Lee Curtis, Ed Asner, Camren Manheyim, basically, celebrites that aren’t divas).

Lesson #6: They tell you not to be partial, but the orientation video is anything but! In the orientation video, they have people saying how rewarding the experience was and how they feel like a proud citizen. Thing is, I was summond to a TRAFFIC court, which somehow feels less rewarding than a murder or big lawsuit. Basically lots of parking tickets and DUIs.

And speaking of DUIs…….

Lesson #7: If you really dont want to serve, be partial: I was called for a DUI case and the judge informed me it could take about a week to two weeks. I was a little unprepared to not go to work for so long and leave my dad hanging incase he needed anything. So we were asked if we drank (I dont) and why and if a we could be a fair juror for a DUI case. Simply said that I’m all too familiar with drunk drivers since my roommate is a bartender and that I feel I may be partial. It was enough for them to dismiss me!

Lesson #8: DONT SAY YOU A CHEF! When i told them my occupation the Judge asked me if I would bring treats. I just smirked and didn’t answer!

I’m beginning to think I’m asked silly questions and wondering why I even have “questions” in my blog, but I’m actually curious about this. Have you ever gone through the jury selection process? or served? lets hear stories!

 

And although I didnt cook today, I cook nearly everyday for work, so I do have a recipe on file for you!
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour or for a gluten free version do 1 c almond meal and 1 cup brown rice flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 c chopped dried apricots
1 cup white and semi sweet chocolate chips and another extre half cup of melted chocolate for dipping!

-Preheat oven to 375º.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, and baking powder.
-In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and lemon zest on low to medium speed until well blended.
-Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla.
-Gradually add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.  Stir in apricots and chocolate chips.
-On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough in half.-Lightly flour each piece and, using your hands, shape it into a log about 9 inches long, 3/4 inch thick and 3 inches wide.
-Transfer to a parchment or foil lined baking sheet, placing the logs at least 3 inches apart. 
-Bake until puffed and lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes.  Allow to cool 10 minutes on pan, then transfer to work surface.
-Using a long, sharp knife, cut each log crosswise into 3/4 inch thick slices.  Make each cut with a single cut of the blade, as a sawing motion will break the biscotti.
-Place the cookies, cut side down, back on the baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven, turn each cookie over and bake an additional 10 minutes or until biscotti are golden.  Transfer to wire racks to cool. Dip cooled cookies in melted chocolate.