New Year, New You? “Fat” Chance!

Resolutions mean essentially one thing: change.

Ah yes. Many blogs today are probably writing up their goals for the year. Things they would like to change. But if only it were so simple for me.

Changing some things is easy. Changing your shoes, tire, hell even an ingredient in a recipe is relatively easy. But changing the way we do things is oh so tricky….

Although I’m not that old, I’m old enough to know what makes me change and what doesn’t. I know that changes take time with me. Letting go of exercising for 3 plus hour everyday took a few good years. And I cannot honestly say that I still have some of those demons yelling in my head. 

I also know that I dont handle instant change very well. Like with what happened to my father. He was totally normal one day, and the next day, couldn’t remember the name of his own mother. Since I get impatient waiting for water to boil, I wanted him to “change back” to the father I knew when he was healthy the minuet he got out of the hospital.

I’m still uneasy about him, but he’s slowly but surly recovering, and I’m slowly but surly beginning to accept that he will never be 100%. Well, at least no tomorrow.

So I’m not writing resolutions or goals for next year. I suppose my goal is simply to not have one. To let my life unfold, let changes that happen slowly happen at their own pace, and accept those changes that come instantly.

Oh, and maybe lose 10 pounds.

(TOTALLY KIDDING)

I suppose most of you have been asked on other blogs what your goals for next year are, so instead I’ll be random and ask what the best that this year was for you? For me, I think the whole foodbuzz experience was awesome and proabably my favorite moment of the year.

In other news, I got a new job as a personal chef so in addition to the cooking and yoga class I teach, I’ll be cooking for a family. Juggling the extra work and making sure things with my dad are running smoothly leaves me little time to comment of some of you guys’ blogs. I apologize, but life happens and thats a good thing.

Anyhow, I actually had a fantastic recipe but I left my camera at work! I promise, your in for a real “treat” tomorrow!

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Almond Berry Crumble and 2010 Blog Current Events

A few significant things happened this year on the blogosphere. I thought now that 2011 is inching closer and closer, its appropriate to recall some of these blog “current events”:

“The Article”: Who can forget the infamous Marie Claire article about the healthy living summit (and I desperatly want to write “healthy” because that terms is controversial). When all of it went down, I made the decision not to mention it on my own blog. I just didn’t think it needed the extra attention. But this girl and this one covered it nicely. But your probably dying to know whatI thought about it, right? well, in short, it was annoying. On both ends. Blogs that tout themselves “healthy” can be annoying and the article written in a rather biased view is annoying. I’m not defending or opposing anyone in this debate. But boy did it stir up a lot of hoopla in the blogosphere.

Operation Beautiful: Ok, before I say this, I have no disrespect to any blogger that endorses Operation Beautiful. But here is what I think: I don’t see why this is effective. I don’t doubt the sincerity of what is trying to be accomplished here, but some random stranger who probably has never seen me leaving a note telling me I am beautiful is never going to do anything for me. Yes, I understand that beauty is subjective, and yes, the majority of people will be beautiful to at least one or two people. But at the same time, I reject the idea that beauty is an ideal that people should consider the be-all and end-all to their self worth. In the same way that if I were an obese person, I don’t want notes on bathroom mirrors telling me “You are skinny!” Sure, it may make a few people who are feeling slightly down about their weight feel better, but it just masks the problem. Beauty, when most people talk about it, has little to do what is inside. Anyhow, I suppose my note would read this:  “You may be beautiful, you may not be. Just be who you are and own it.” -Eden”

Bloggers got knocked up: It was a very “fruitful” year in the blogosphere. This chick and this one. But this girl made me feel a little better that I don’t want a bun in my oven, and that furry babies

Bloggers got hitched: A few of my favorite bloggers got married and made me insanely jealous of their exotic honeymoons and I had to get used to calling them something different (I was very used to Janetha b, now she’s Janetha g!).

Some bloggers hung up their….keyboards?: By, hung up their keyboards, I mean they stopped blogging. Its sad but eventually, we’ll all do it. Goodbye those of you who stopped this year, some of you will be dearly missed.

I debuted on TV: No, I wasn’t on the today show about a book deal or anything like that (although I would have liked that to be the case!). Nope, I was on Millionaire Matchmaker on Bravo. You can read about my experience here and see shots from my episode here.

Any major events for you this year you want to share?

I realized I havent done a recipe in a while, so here’s a good one that tastes better than the crummy photography.

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 package of frozen berries (about 3 cups)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup oat bran  (or oatmeal
  • 1/2tsp teaspoon salt

 

Lay out your frozen fruit in a shallow pan. Combine the oat bran (0r oatmeal), almond flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon and cut the butter into the nut flour with a pastry cutter and finish by rubbing in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles bread crumbs, then stir in the sugar and other ingredients. Crumble the mixture of the fruit and bake at 350 degrees for 3o min. Done!

 

Lessons Learned from 2010

As 2011 is inching, I decided to reflect upon what I learned this year.

Now that I ponder upon this, I’m realizing that I actaully learned a lot (good, bad, funny, and maybe even slightly humiliating).

1) Not everyone is going to like you: This was probably the most important and the hardest lesson I learned. There are plenty of people I don’t care for, some for very good reasons, others just rub me the wrong way. I try to be professional and courteous to everyone but I’m sure at some point these people have felt slighted by me. Of course, I certainly don’t like everyone, and hence I  can’t expect everyone to like me (or my blog for that matter). And you know what? I don’t want them to. I’ve always believe that if I’m not rocking at least a few boats I’m doing something wrong. Boat rocking is my thing, no?

2) If in doubt, freaking ask! When I first started blogging this year, I was VERY unfamiliar with how to publish on wordpress. I had no idea how to link site, put up my foodbuzz badge, have a recipe tab, etc. This speaks for itself. Talk less, listen more, and NEVER be afraid to ask questions. It’s not a sign of weakness. I repeat, it is NOT a sign of weakness. It’s time to throw your pride out the window and admit you’re not a know it all. Ask questions until the cows come home, then ask some more. It’s the only way to LEARN.

3) silent company is often more healing than words of advice:Ironically, I’m miss chit chat, but sometimes, I just need someone to listen.

4) I have some body image bruises, but I know how to heal them: too much to write, just read this

5) Friendships formed online aren’t creepy: That old idea of meeting people on the Internet being “creepy” is long gone (in most cases – there are still the “To Catch a Predator” people out there). The Internet is a GREAT way to meet people. Full disclosure, I wouldn’t know 60 % of my friends if it weren’t for my blog. I would have NEVER found my job if I wasn’t networking like a maniac before I moved here. Use the Internet to your advantage.

Sophia is silly, but in NO way creepy. Unless you find radishes as eyes creppy...I personally dont

6) “Stuff” happens, so be prepared for anything: My dad is a firm believer in being prepared.  With what happened to him, I realized how wise he really is.  Always try to learn to think ahead and anticipate–what might happen in the future and what you might need to have when it happens, whether it’s tangible stuff like a house or money, or intangible stuff like knowledge or experience.

7) “Safe” foods (and “safe” anything) won’t get you far: Routines feel secure and comforting, but they don’t allow much room for growth. Playing it safe, be it food or simply by doing things the conventional way, might feel secure on the surface. But I’ve learned you feel so much more confident when you live a little on the edge (and by edge I mean letting your self rest and eating plenty of fried carbs).

8. Yes, I’m a semi-good looking (even after drastic hair cuts):

9. However, we cannot be defined by the way we look but rather by the depth of the collective wisdom we gain through life experiences: need I say more?

10) I still have many lessons to learn

What have you learned this year??? It doesn’t have to be deep. I forgot to mention I also learned that even though I’ve gotten out of tickets from cops, parking enforcement officers have no mercy on me

Earl Grey Molasses Cupcakes with Orange Honey Buttercream and Life and Death of Blogs

I think it’s that time of the week for: what bloggers think but don’t say.

Today, I thought I’d touch on the life and death of blogs.

Lets face it, blogs are kind of like people. They are born, they go through infancy and awkward embarrassing stages. They have their days of glory and some rock bottoms. They get makeovers, they “move”, they mature, and they even get sick. I hate to bring up death, but they die. I suppose their advantage over us mortals is that they can be brought back to life. Come to think of it….maybe they dont “die”, sometime’s they’ll got on vacation or they will hybernate. Ok, so maybe blogs are more like bears.

Anyhow, most blogs when they first start out tend to be “cute” and naive, like children. And like children and babies, they can also be annoying as hell. This is why I cringe at my first few posts (dont you dare go hunting in my archives!). They seem to get overly excited over new kitchen creations or happened to them at work or something. Or, they do what a lot of kids do. They’ll be “clingy” to their “parents”. What I mean by “parents” is other, more popular blogs that those newbies got inspired by or follow religiously. They’ll comment on every single post in hopes that the big blogger will give them the light of day and take a peek at their new blog. If they are especially lucky, maybe those big bloggers will drop them a comment or two.

They go through “puberty” and start develop better posts, followed by some “what were they thinking” posts.

And eventually, blogs mature. Bloggers find their voice and they become “parents” to readers that start to toy with the idea of starting a blog themselves. I guess they are like “sperms” at this point (yes, grin at this “sperm” reference). Sperm in the sense that they are almost blogs…or a fetus I guess…..

Anyhow, after some time of lots of comments and blog chatter, blogs begin to “age”. The blogger behind them have other things going on in their, gasp, real life and may even begin to feel like they are running out of blogging ideas. Posts become less frequent or lack luster. They turn “grey” and are no longer as attractive to readers as they once were.

And like all people, all blogs eventually end. Maybe not today, or even next year. But one day, that blogger will move on and loose interest in the upkeep of the blog.

(que the funeral procession)

Alas, they post a final post, readers comment, “oooo noooo!!!!! I’ll miss you!!!!!! dont go!!!!”

But at this point, the blogger has already made up their mind and the idea of not constantly checking for comments or replying to comments is too tempting. And so, the blog “dies”.

As I mentioned, blogs are sometimes brought back to life. This actually happened with me, twice! Who knows, maybe I’ll be like a cat and collect nine lives. For now, number three is doing alright. Right????

What do you think about the life and death of a blog? Where do you think your blog is on the “lifetime” spectrum? I’m gonna say mine is having a quarter or half life crisis. Unsure about the future, but still alive and kicking.

O yes, and a recipe!

I didn’t disclose this with a lot of people, but ever since my dad came back from the hospital, I’ve been trying to tame my anxiety by focusing on something completely different. Hence I decided to enter a cupcake competition. I might enter more cupcakes but this is my first entry.

  • 1.5 cups flour (I used 1 cup AP and 1/2 cake flour)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2  earl grey tea (brew it in 1/2c water)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

First (and this is IMPORTANT!) take out all your ingredients so they are all room temperature! Begin by sifting the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda into a bowl, and then mix salt into that. Set it aside.

In a second bowl, mix the buttermilk, brewed tea (make sure its not boiling hot) and molasses. Set this aside.

Cream the butter and add in the sugar, mixing until the sugar has dissolved into the butter. Then, add in the eggs one at a time, mixing until fully integrated before moving on to the next one, and then finally, mix in the vanilla.  At this point, you want to bring it all together. Add a third of the dry mix into the butter bowl and mix just until fully incorporated. Then add a third of the buttermilk/tea/molasses bowl, mixing until incorporated. Repeat until done, mixing only as much as is required.

So with the batter ready, pour it into paper linings in a muffin pan. I got about 18 cupcakes from this, so plan accordingly. Transfer to a 325°F oven for 20-25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

For the frosting you will need:

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 3 c. powdered or confectioners sugar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp orange extract

 

Cream the butter until soft.  Start to mix in the powdered sugar and continue adding until you read a stiff consistency.  Add the lemon zest, orange extract and honey – this will thin the frosting out slightly.  Correct consistency with more powdered sugar.

 

 

Best of 2010: Quotes

You may remember yesterday’s post on my reflections on the food trends amidst the blogosphere in 2010.

Today, I thought I’d indulge you with some of my favorite quotes of the year:

1) “I thought it was gum.” — Paris Hilton, denying responsibility for packet of cocaine Las Vegas police found in her bag.

2) “I don’t smoke, I hardly drink, I’m a nice girl, I’m a good mum. I’m not having wild sex parties with strangers, so part of me feels entitled to have some trifle.” — British TV presenter, Vanessa Feltz, explains why she is 260 lbs.

3) “This is a big fucking deal.” — US vice-president Joe Biden to Barack Obama at signing into law of the historic US healthcare program. Don’t ask me why, but this makes me feel safer about the future healthcare.

4) Eden is a French macaron—and not just  because she’s got amazingly exquisite features. The girl is one smart cookie. She’s so special that she’s extremely finicky to make and freaking expensive, but so worth every effort and time.– The witty, wise, and wonderful Sophia from burp and slurp. Hear that? This frugal jew is “expensive”.

5) ”I was also going to give a graduation speech in Arizona this weekend. But with my accent, I was afraid they would try to deport me.”  — Soon to be ex-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

6) “So, food will always be a weird thing, but those with food ‘issues’ aren’t weird. In fact, I think we’re rather great, don’t you?”– The AB-solutly fabulous Abby. And yes, we are rather great (and weird 😉 )

7) “Can we go back to using Facebook for what it was originally for – looking up exes to see how fat they got?”– Tweet from Bill Maher

8) “Dating you is like dating a stair-master”–Erica Albright to Mark Zuckerberg from the movie, “The Social Network”.

9) “Few children of famous people succeed. Most of them are little shits.” — Jamie Oliver, TV chef and celebrity childcare guru.

10) “I don’t believe you can ever really cook unless you love eating.” — Nigella Lawson

 

Got any “best of 2010” quotes of your own?


A Look Back at 2010: Popular Blog Foods

With all this Christmas hoopla, I’ve totally been blind-sighted to the fact that 2010 is gonna be over in a mere week!

So I thought this is a good time to reflect upon the year. I’ll do a little “mini-series” of posts on my reflections for the past year.

So…..today I thought I’d start with something dear to everyone’s hearts, food.

Since I no longer work in the restaurant biz, I thought I’d cover what was “trendy” in the blog world. I think I’ve come to the realization that I want to be the Joan Rivers of food (kind of like “fashion police”, I’ll call it “food police”, anybody wanna sponsor me to start a broadcast????). So like Joan does on her show, I thought I’d do something similar and give my take on the trends I’ve seen in the foodie blogoshere (and I suppose of my foodbuzz experience too). Anyhow, heres what was popular and my little take on it:

Food Trucks: Ok, I get it. Tts kind of cool that trucks line up and churn out “gourmet” tacos, curry, or even cupcakes. But in all honesty, I’m tired of it and I might have to blame Food Network. Maybe where you live, its not as common, but this food truck obsession has possessed Los Angeles in 2010. I went down to an area with a lot of  food trucks in LA one night and there was this endless line of food trucks offering “gourmet” versions of street food, cheesy novelty “miniature” baked goods and really annoying LA hipsters asking for “a tiny bit of ketchup and mayo” on their burgers. Put them on TV and suddenly people are paying $10 for a mediocre hamburger. Foodbuzz gave food trucks a whole event at our first meet and greet. With all honesty, it was kind of annoying standing in line waiting for a teeny taco or whatever. Anyhow, I’m rather tired of it. 

Coconut…..Everything: I don’t know which “nut” decided to praise the gospel of all things coconut, but this trend as left a big mark in the food blog world. Me? I never loved coconut. I was kind of “meh” towards it. But apparently some scientist (probably paid by some coconut company like “Zico”) spread the word that coconuts provide invaluable health benefits and everyone started to get in line at the palm trees (or wherever coconuts are grown). I admit, I fell prey to this too. I tried some new coconut recipes and used it to make pretty fantastic ice cream. But all in all, I don’t get what all the fuss is about (and after some people noted it reminds them of suntan lotion, I also started to cringe at it). So, like I said, “meh”!

Peanut Flour: Since Trader Joe’s made peanut flour available to the average “joe” for about three bucks, bloggers have been buying and hoarding them in fear there will be a worldwide peanut flour shortage. But after a while, people started to run out of ideas on what to do with them. Well, at least this is what happened to me. I bought a bag the day I first saw it there, ran home excited about all the concoctions I could make. I only ended up making some cookies and maybe in some pancakes. But look in my pantry now (about six months later), and there is 3/4 of a bag of peanut flour just kind of sitting there. And I am semi uneasy about the fact that people replace them for peanut butter. They are good if you need a peanuty flavor or for a sauce (since it blends well with liquids), but you can’t have a “low fat” peanut butter. Its like fat free oil or vegetarian lard. Somehow, its not right.

I will say this, my peanut flour meringues were addictive

Balls: Once again, I blame foodbuzz. A little stand at their tasting pavilion had everyone making their own version of cookie dough balls. All I’m saying why balls? Maybe we need to grab life by them…..

Larabars: Disclaimer! Dont hate me, this will be harsh. When something is packed and says this on the label “”Organic – No added sugar – 90% raw – Non-GMO – Gluten free – Dairy free – Soy free – Vegan”  I cant help but be a little put off (especially with flavors like “apple pie” and “cookie dough”. Its too teeny for me and I rather dont even get me started on thier “jocolat bar”! Who is this “Lara” anyway? what makes her the “bar” authority?! Regardless, her bar need to be raised (I know, bad joke).

Yes, a lot was left out. But remember, this is stuff that became popular this year. Oatmeal and Kombucha were popular before. Stay tuned as a I give you more trend I’ve noticed this year.

Any trends in the blog world you noticed? (as far as food goes, I’m getting into other things non-food related in a future post 😉 )



“Jewish” Christmas Turkey Meatloaf and Top 10 Things Jews Do on Christmas

What do Jews do for Christmas???

This is a seemingly age-old question.

Well, I can’t speak for Muslims, atheists, or other groups that don’t celebrate the holiday, but I can speak for [some] Jewish people, since I am one.

Sure, the rest of the world, or at least our world, celebrates this holiday, and we are bombarded by the media so we don’t forget that fact. What DO jews do? I thought I’d write a list (not a naughty/nice list, although some things are naughty…)

1. Buy next year’s Hanukkah cards at a discount (and we Jews LOVE our discounts!)

2. Think of non-Jewish versions of their last names (mine already sounds non-jewish, so I skip this step)

3. Say “Ya know, he’s Jewish!” about someone famous (Natalie Portman, Jon Stewart, Jason Segel, Chelsea Handler, Alicia Silverstone, Seth Green….just to name a few)

4. On that note, wonder if the dog is Jewish

5. Offer more food while simultaneously telling your kids how fat they are.

6. Ask relatives/parents where your gifts are insisting that underwear and pens don’t count

7.  Go with “tradition” and eat chinese. If 75% percent of the body is made up of water, for Jews at least, the other 25% is made up of lo mein, egg rolls, and duck sauce.

8. Stay in and save money 😉

9. Feel especially guilty

10. Meet other Jewish singles  (seriously, there is a Jewish mixer called the “Matzah Ball” in Manhattan on the 25th!). I’m assuming this leads to a few “silent one night stands”.

So since they were out of turkey at the store, I made turkey meatloaf. And since my dad’s pantry was barren of traditional turkey meatload essentials, I made do with what we had (and irnoically enough, it had an asian flair, you know, for us jews):

-1.25 lbs of ground turkey

-chopped green onion

-about 2tbs grated ginger

-1 tbs garlic or garlic powder

-1/2c oatmeal

-2 eggs

-1 tbs chinese five spice

-2 tbs soy sauce

Grate the ginger using the back of a spoon. Chop green onions.Ad the seasonings and the egg and mix it up with your hands.  

place in a loaf pan and bake at 350 for 35 min. Once its ready, let it rest for another ten and then proceed to slice and serve, to all faiths 😉

not a beautiful picture given that I wasnt at home and not in total control of the lighting....forgive me.