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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Same Old Same Old,and the Blood Type Diet

Precious Blood!
Originally uploaded by mliebenberg
Not much has been going on with me. Except on the work front. There have been a lot of travails and sagas at the office that I wont bore you with. Lets just say the sate of my company is not doing well,but I persevere and try to function amidst all the adversity. Certain Someone has been busy as usual as well. In my free time you know Ive been preoccupied with my cooking and reading about it. So much that I have assessed myself in the mirror. Since Certain Someone and I have been together I have gained 'nesting weight'. I wasn't a small girl to begin with , but I had and still for the most part have a nice shape. The fat seems to go straight to my legs. As I cant afford to replace the superior designer duds I gave in a size or two smaller, I'm determined to loose the weight. Also I'm approaching that 40 mark in a few, and my clock is ticking. I don't want to be a lard ass gaining an additional 20 pounds giving birth.So I plan to loose at least 20 pounds. Certain Someone has mentioned his desire to so as well, but I see no plans on his part. After surgery last winter I found out my blood type in order to follow the blood type diet. Certain Someone and I are both Type A's( natural vegetarians). I found out I was to avoid gluten, all meats with the exception of turkey and some fishes, vinegar, and my favorite fruits etc. Certain Someone said no to doing this with me at all. So Ive just returned from Whole Foods,where Ive loaded up on weird spelt, amaranth, quionas, and rice based flours, noodles, etc. Ive purchased new soy based products ( tofus and milks), tamuri soy sauces, sanctioned fruit and nut spreads , butters, and juices. It shouldn't be hard as Im a good and creative cook. In fact Ive just had a nice salmon with a soy/ honey/ brown sugar/mustard seed glaze along with a simple salad dressed with just lemon and garlic. Did I mention my approved beverages are red and white wines, tons of green teas, coffee , and sanctioned fruit juices. I will still cook Certain Someones meals, but will try to sneak in and incorporate some of the new type A stuff. He wont know whats what until I tell him. He'll never give up his red meat and pork( which Type A's store as fat because we cant digest it). I plan to partake of it occasionally as well , like when we go to Germany for Christmas. Who can turn down "Mama Certain Someones "food? And that's what I like about this diet. You can occasionally fall off. Its more about lifestyle changes and health. Eventually the weight will fall off because your eating like nature intended.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

I'm a Foodie At Heart

It seems lately all my thoughts turn to food. Not eating it so much,as the creation of it. I have been slowly making my way through a excellent book when time permits, called Appetite For Life, The Biography of Julia Child. This had lead me to to want to purchase more cookbooks in my already expansive library. The other day when in Powell's Books,I picked up the English edition of Le Corden Bleu at Home.Julia Child was initiated in the food world at this very institution. I already told Certain Someone I want a copy of Larousse Gastronome for my birthday as well as Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volumes 1 and 2. Its not as if I have time to make all this stuff, but I love reading and studying the techniques. Not quite finished with the first book, I picked up a copy of Alice Waters and Chez Panisse,a juicy read about another icon of American cookery and the whole organic, slow food movement.There's a whole lot of drinking and sex in the story which takes place in liberal Berkley California.My catering sideline makes me even more obsessed. I love passing the Hors D'Ouerves so I can talk to the chefs and watch them in action. Not to mention taste.
So yesterday I put theory in practice. My Certain Someone and I have had delicious schedules these past two weeks, and we have barely seen each other. He comes home late and he leaves early.I haven't cooked a meal for us in ages. So I planned a elaborate , yet casual meal for a Saturday evening. We started with cracked Dungeness crabs with he viewed with trepidation. But sine they were big and meaty he got the hang of getting the meat out and enjoyed it with a beer. While he occupied himself with that I continued to work on my Fraises Margot( a delicious strawberry mousse with strawberry coulis), courtesy of the Cordon Bleu cook book. When all was assembled and placed to chill, I fired up the grill. I put on the huge sirloins I found in Costco with some marinated veggies and assorted mushroom types from the Farmers Market at Daley Plaza. I also made a instant Shitake Risotto( yes instant!) that was pretty damn good. Charcoal Grilling is scary but the results were worth it. The meat was nicely seared on the outside , but still way underdone. I finished it off in the broiler as to not not char it to much. The results were perfect. We drank some nice Red Zinfandel along with our meal and were content. Around midnight with the Mousse all set, I served it up as a nice rich yet light treat. We cant eat like that all the time, but its nice to create a special meal every now and then.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Haves and Have Nots

Yesterday my catering sideline took me to a beautiful event. The Chairman of a major global financial institutions Chicago base threw a surprise party for his wife. The estate was on a breathtaking parcel of land on the North Shore with a private beach. The heat was intense and it was hard work. But the final result was a touching, loving affair for this lucky woman. The husband flew in a songwriter artist I have not heard of before. However upon hearing her sing her trademark song over and over during rehearsal sound check, it sounded eerily familiar. I found out later on during the husbands speech to his guests that she's a Oscar nominated songwriter ( that's why I know the song) and has appeared on several well know television series. The party was warm and intimate. We had to dress in our bistro costumes consisting of Tuxedo shirts,bow ties, and long aprons. The guests were dressy casual as they dined under the tents. The chefs and all of us were sweating it out in the outdoor kitchens. I felt sorry for some of the staff as a few seemed to drop some drinks trays on the terrace early one. Those trays get heavy. The girls and I I always had to rotate and twist our wrists when we came to the kitchen for more rounds. The guest were very nice to us which was surprising. Sometimes they can act as if you don't exist.Not that I'm expecting conversation, but at least say yey or nay if you want a hors d' oeuvres I didn't glean much from conversations, just talk of travels past and future. They seem a real loving, close knit family which is touching considering the amount of wealth, etc. They don't strike me as the types to "chase the cameras and constantly be in the papers". Just hard working, mid western, self made people. As always I love to observe this type of stuff.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Since When Did I Become The Bartender For All?

Originally uploaded by duncandavidson
This holiday was a little annoying.In the past when I was flush with funds,energy, and generosity I would always bring some Liquor ,wines,etc and make cocktails for the family get togethers. I even underwrote the booze portion of a cousins Bridal shower , and kind of regret it now due to her attitude. I'm inherently a giver. In my main line of work I get annoyed when people try to lure me into giving freebie advice on makeup and style. Who wants to talk shop in their precious free moments? It's like a doctor being bugged all the time.Now that I'm in the food industry as well , I would like to relax and just be a guest for once with no responsibilities. So you can imagined how annoyed I was when over the course of two days I was called and approached by lots of family members as to what cocktail I was bringing this year. I was instructed by my hosts that I didn't need to bring anything except what I would consume with Certain Someone. So I just planned on wine,that I get as a perk. I even planned to bring a few bottles to the gatherings. Well at the first gathering ( firework night at Auntie Mames)I got roped into bar tending with the existing ingredients for my cousins friends. She never made it to the event at my aunts. The friends ended up eating up our chicken ,etc as we we watched the fireworks and wondered where she was.Seems she was stuck in traffic because her stubborn Boyfriend wouldn't take the train . Everyone knows you don't drive in the city on the night of Fireworks. I tried not to be rude as Auntie Mame was watching, but it was odd. I figure you invite your friends ,you tell them to BYOB. At 7:00 am the next morning I was called my another aunt about what I was bringing and what to serve it in. I reminded her that I'm not a bartender and just planned on bringing some wine. She doesn't drink, therefore doesn't buy alcohol. Now we've been doing this for years,and everyone knows she has a 'dry' house. So if they wanted booze wouldn't it occur to them to bring it? I couldn't even cross the door before the 'Wheres my drinks ' started. The AWOL cousin offered up her Apple Martini Mix to me that she would have brought the night before. Mix , not Vodka.Auntie Mame brought her Vodka from the night before.I told my cousin she was grown and could make her own. She said she liked my touch. I tried to show her how to make a batch because 'I wont always be there'. She ignored my instruction and just wanted the drink. Another relation called another cousin and asked what I had made, and did I have 'bitters'. I told him to tell her if she wanted something she could make it herself and she had better pick up her bitters and anything else along the way. I didn't see anyone bring a beer ,etc. except Auntie Mame who brought the vodka from the night before.Do these people realize how expensive alcohol is and why should I carry the burden. Even if they brought their own, why should I be the bartender , when all I want to to do is relax and enjoy being a guest. I'm just crabby but hate being taken advantage of. My aunt says I should be flattered that people like my drinks. That's fine , but not when it becomes a expectation.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Warning : Brief Nudity

Originally uploaded by gecko_matrix
Certain Someone and I like to think of ourselves as boring people. We've left our player days and wild side long behind. Well more I've left them behind. So this holiday weekend we haven't been able to do much as he has work demands( that he's handling from the home base). But we managed to break away from the comfy confines of home to look at some real estate across the street. These fabulous units were priced at just under $1,000,000 and right across the street where we live. A girl can dream cant she? We then we decided to to do our ritual walk along the lake. We always find great secret spots that aren't congested like the lake path up north. We crossed over a field to get closer to the lake and found what we were looking for. There were only a few people with their bikes resting. We noticed a couple laying on the grass covered by the sheet. At first I thought they were just resting. But then the wind from the hovering helicopters blew their cover,shall we say.The person on tops bare ass was exposed for us to see. I couldn't make out if they were two women or a man and woman. The hair was too long and blond. Nevertheless the love fest continued as Certain Someone and I turned our heads occasionally to watch. The person on top seemed to like looking up at us and then proceed to go at it . I didn't notice any thrusting action so I assumed they were two lesbians, Certain Someone swore it was man. We couldn't see anything for proof other than the bare ass that the wind uncovered periodically. We decided to get up and walk a bit . Some police cars were searching the area and we assumed they were coming to arrest the indecent pair. But it seems they were looking for other things. We walked back towards the couple and by now we could see that thrusting action under the sheets. Another police car came driving by and they seemed to slow down. But the police were oblivious to them . Certain someone debated if we should walk past the couple who knew we were onto them or walk lower and closer to the lake on the concrete wall. We decided not to change our course. You could say they were freaks that got off on public sex and being discovered. I just wondered aloud how they would find the energy to ride their bicycles back home. Certain Someone and I continued with our usual routine. We decided on Harold's fried chicken for dinner. That white boy loves his Harold's chicken and has become a connoisseur of the delicacy. After dinner I made some cocktails. We intend to get a little tipsy this holiday weekend . But don't count on us doing anything crazy like that.

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Glamah-rous cook and baker. Thanks for visiting. I love to receive comments.

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