love & butter

Archive for the 'personal' Category

The Seven Days

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

The Seven Days of Leah totally began today. Well, technically they began last night with a most wonderful dinner party, but my actual birthday is today. I am 21. Or is it 26? Something.(It’s not. It rhymes with me and pee and tree and free. And it’s great.)

Also I have a feeling this will be one of those years when the Seven Days of Leah turns into the Fortnight of Leah and I ain’t complaining. More fun for ME. Or, as I like to tell people, who am I to be selfish and deny you the opportunity celebrate me?

Things are super. hearts and stars and unicorns to all of you.

xo

pooks

(Cross-posted to Oh Hey Great, and yes I promise I’ll write a real food blog soon! Been working on… work! lately, and blogging has had to take a back seat temporarily. But I miss all of you and have lots to say.)

One more thing

Friday, April 18th, 2008

I forgot! When you’re doing this whole cleanse thing? GET MOVING. Physical activity makes it so, so much easier. Even long walks will help keep you focused. Especially when you think you want to cheat. Shut the fridge, stand the hell up, and start moving. Last summer I was walking, biking, swimming, and doing pilates the whole time*. It felt great (of course, the nice sunny weather helped), and I need to be fitting more exercise in now. Remember, no matter how busy you are, make time for working out — it’ll help you feel good, it’ll decrease your stress, and it’ll help you actually get more done.

And now, enough of this cleansing business. There’s a lot of love here, but GO GET THE BUTTER. In a day or two, we’ll be back to yummy foods. But expect more of a balance going forward – sure, some sugary yummy, but also yummy and healthy, stuff everyone can enjoy. Not just boring-ass dietary monks. Mmm, saffron.

*That will be too much physical activity for some, because the three week cleanse can be a lot for your body to handle, but definitely walk. You’ll be glad you did.

A Pep Talk

Friday, April 18th, 2008

con huevos

So right.

I had this big plan, you guys. This really awesome super duper fabuloso plan to write every single day during this diet thinger. Like NaBloPoMo, only um. Not national, just me. Also not a month. So MeBloPo… nevermind. Anyway, the point is, I was TOTALLY going to do it. I had it all worked out in my head, how I’d guide you through my experience of the Standard Process Wholesome Medley Purification Cleanse (go to page 13 of the .pdf pamphlet, and no I’m not making up the name), take it day-by-day and even break down what I was eating, how I was making it through, and so forth.

THEN A GIANT ANVIL FELL ON MY HEAD LOL

OK so seriously. Somewhere in the middle of the first week it occurred to me. If I had updated you every day, this would have turned into a horrifyingly boring food and exercise diary, combined with the following commentary:

DAY 1: “Hi! I’m Leah! Read along as I enjoy torturing myself and self-righteously assert how it will be NO BIG DEAL WHATSOEVER to eat nothing but steamed vegetables, salad, fruits, and lean proteins for three weeks! Watch as I mistakenly assert it will be easier this time, since I know what I’m doing! So convinced am I of my all-mighty powers on this first day I am going to march right off to join a friend at a Thai restaurant for lunch and then hang out with Molly at the farmers’ market and a bakery in the afternoon! Okey dokey!”

DAY 2: Man. I want a snack. And chocolate. I should have been more organized. This blows already.

DAY 3: Holy crap, I am so hungry. SO HUNGRY. So goddamn hungry. And yet I am eating constantly. Plus my muscles are tingly after only 30 minutes of walking. I forgot about all of this. The first week sucks.

DAY 4: OH. MY. GOD. THE GAS. Was it this bad last time? What did I do wrong? Whatever it was, God forgive me and stop the explosions.

DAY 5: Oh, I feel better. Mmm, smoothies.

DAY 17: I do really want a cracker but I feel SO much better. Cheating sounds fun, ending this sounds fun, but… feeling better, well, feels so nice for a change.

So I realized: I should have done this daily blogging business when I did the cleanse/diet/detox/whatever the first time around. I was SO STRICT and dedicated the first time, and I was really focused on the diet. I mean I was basically living like a monk: I stuck to the prescribed supplements and foods with no deviating. Not one single cheat. Every day I wrote down what I ate, including meals, snacks, and smoothies. Every day I meditated and took notes on it. Most days I exercised and I made notes on that too. I was a model participant and the experience was almost fully documented. But as with everything, the first time was different. I was basically living alone (my roommate was not around a lot and anyway, roommates are different from significant others and/or family), I was able to work at home almost the entire time on a schedule almost entirely of my own making, and it was late summer and the weather was rather conducive to constant outside activity. I was also not in a big socializing mood, so “enjoying” my steamed kale with lemon was a lot easier. This time, I’m not as focused on the cleanse, for many reasons. So even though I knew what to expect, it’s not as easy. Even though I publicly announced I was going to, I almost wasn’t going to write about it at all, until Penny e-mailed me.

Penny’s a reader who found me while searching for information on the Standard Process three-week purification diet. She tried it once before and gave up after a few days, but she’s giving it another valiant go, starting soon. To this I say: PENNY, YOU CAN TOTALLY DO IT! I know you can. Herewith, some hints and tips to keep you on your path.

1. It is not easy. The first three to five days are the absolute hardest. Your body feels kinda whacked out, you’re hungry, you’re craving different foods (especially sugar). Just get through those first five days. Set yourself that little goal. You can do that much. Then once you’re through five days, you’ll say to yourself, I might as well go to seven, now that I’m here. And then you’ll have done a whole week!

2. Get organized before Day 1. Buy the following things: flax seed oil, juice, bananas, and frozen fruits for smoothies; eggs; frozen raw shrimp (find the recipe on my blog for an easy way to make them); at least one or two lean proteins like a steak or some chicken; lots and lots and lots of veggies and fruits. Get yourself situated.

3. When you steam your veggies, make extra so you have leftovers for lunch. Make your salads enormous so you fill up. And get creative. It’s spring! New fruit and veg are popping up all over the place! Ask if you’re allowed to use a little olive oil and vinegar; if not, use some lemon juice. Get creative. See that photo at the top? Fry an egg on high (in healthy oil) and put it on a salad like the photo below; it wilts the greens slightly and the runny yolk becomes part of the dressing.

with neighboring ingredients
4. Mix it up. DO NOT eat the same thing every day. You will want to kill everyone around you and yourself. Eat a variety of proteins (shrimp, scallops, calamari, fish, chicken, steak, etc.). Some days eat more steamed veg, some days eat more salads, some days have an extra smoothie.

5. Resign yourself to the fact that you are not going to be able to socialize as much during these three weeks, because socializing on this thing is hard. It requires an enormous amount of will-power. If you do socialize, it will not be in the way you normally do. You’ll have to drink only water (or, if you’re allowing yourself some coffee or tea, during your one coffee or tea moment of the day). You’ll have to eat whatever you can eat and not share the yummy stuff your friends are having. You can’t snack like everyone else is doing, unless there’s a fruit and veg plate out. You’ll have to be the pain in the ass person who dictates where you go because “um, that place? I don’t know if they have anything I can eat there.”

6. If it’s important for you to do it, and you feel you’re getting benefit from it, try to ignore those who want you to cheat or end early. Friends and family might think you’re crazy, or you’re not getting benefit, or you’re getting too skinny. But the thing about this “cleanse”? It’s not a crazy fast, it’s just a really strict, somewhat boring, very limited diet full of healthy, clean foods. And a lot of supplements*. If you’re following along — meaning you’re eating plenty of vegetables (especially the leafy green kind), fruits, and lean proteins — and if you’re feeling good, then stick to it. Listen to yourself and your body. You’ll know if something is wrong. And if something is wrong, then talk to whoever is monitoring your progress, and see if you should end it early.

7. Take notes! Keep daily progress reports. Not just what you’re eating, but how much physical activity you’re getting, whether you’re meditating (which I highly recommend, right after you wake up, starting with five minutes at a time), how you’re feeling. That way you can see your progress in writing and feel like you’re getting somewhere.

8. YOU CAN DO IT PENNY!

Me? I’m almost done. I don’t want sweets, except maybe a square of dark chocolate. What I want are basic carbs, like a piece of baguette. But I’m glad I did it, because I feel so much better. This time around I plan to maintain more of the “cleanse” diet in my everyday living. Unlike last time when it was a rather rapid descent back into bad habits. That way, maybe I can keep the cleanse for a once-a-year torture experience.

Healthy living, kids. Even that should be done in moderation.

*I can’t vouch for the safety of the supplements, nor do I have any scientific or clinical proof of their efficacy. I’m just going on my personal experience of this process, and I know that I feel much better, physically and mentally, after the three weeks than before. But as with anything of this nature, CONDUCT YOUR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL(S) BEFORE PROCEEDING. Seriously. Don’t be an idiot.

The hostess is a moron, and other news items

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Ok so, you guys? I am such an idiot sometimes. Like, OH MY GOD HOW DID I MAKE IT THIS FAR IN LIFE dumb. I am so drill sergeant hardcore no deviating EVER super duper strict on this diet and it turns out that, um, I don’t need to be quite such a tightass. I mean, I guess it’s good that I was all of the above the first time I went through it – so if you’re gonna, do as I did THEN, pls – because it gave me the truest sense of just how clean and lean and mean machine I could be.

But. Let’s say it’s late in the first day of your big intenso purification diet thinger, and you think O NOES am I getting that horrible flu that everyone else has gotten? What will I do? I can’t have soup! IT IS NOT ON THE OFFICIAL LIST OF FOODS. So you eat other stuff, none of which is nearly as satisfying as soup would be. Especially soup with sizzling rice in it. Or soup with wontons or soup that resembles pho. But then you’re informed, by a very smart person, that you can in fact have soup. Just no noodles. Or sizzly rice bits. And obviously no sugar or dairy. But soup, and vegetables and protein cooked in soup, which it turns out are all allowable in limited amounts.

SERIOUSLY, HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS

Somehow I transformed the diet into the most ascetic, streamlined three weeks imaginable. And while I am grateful for the ability to have soup, I am also torn: I kind of liked monkifying myself. So: What to do? I will discuss this really fascinating dilemma tomorrow. Probably while also eating soup. Right now, however, I am going to go get some rest, which will do me just as much good (more) as soup would have.

I think mostly the problem I’m having at the moment is the fact that my BRAIN is soup and I’m scattered and it’s all I can do to write this sentence, let alone somehow get it to make sense. So tomorrow’s agenda: the random assorted tidbits that made up today’s menu (and tomorrow’s), the forgotten “joys” of the SP Cleanse supplement, thoughts on artichokes, I should have eaten more Thai food, and the lovely Molly. Maybe more. Maybe not.

It’s that time again

Monday, March 31st, 2008

As some of you might remember, last year I spent three weeks on a Very Special Diet. You can call it a diet if you like, or a detox, or a total lapse of culinary sanity. You can repeat that part about THREE WEEKS, which is 21 days, which is a really long time to spend taking supplements and drinking smoothies and eating nothing but raw and steamed vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins. You can say a lot of things, and I will nod at most of them. All I remember is that at the end of those three weeks, I felt better than I’d ever felt in my life. So I’m doing it again.

Unlike last time, I’m going to keep track of what I do and how I do it this time around, to give you a better idea of how it works and whether it might work for you. That means if you’ve got any stomach or digestive problems, maybe you’ll find something in this to make it work. Or maybe you’ll decide to do just this very diet/detox/big batch of crazy yourself.

Of course, right before I started, I had my final meal (cooked by my dear friend Alan, and I think he put enough butter on my steak to not only last me three weeks but to honor this blog fully, since there won’t be any butter on this pages for many, many days). And I had to go ahead and torture myself by looking at a cookbook that I’d never bothered to peruse in depth – one of the fantastic “cuisines of the world” bargains I found at Borders, out in front, published in the UK and sold here for next to nada. I brought the Jewish cooking book with me up to Berkeley so my mom could see it, and lo and behold are there some amazing looking recipes in there – vegetarian chopped liver, bulgarian cucumber and walnut appetizer, mint and parsley tahini salad, smoky aubergine and pepper salad, and Libyan spicy pumpkin dip. And that’s just in the first few pages of recipes! Are you dying for me to try any of these?

Sadly, none of this is food I can eat for three weeks but this time I’m going about the diet and the re-entry differently: How do I want to structure my real diet when I get back to the “real” world? Which of these will work for me, and how I can incorporate them so that I stick to a healthier (for me and my restrictions) diet on a regular basis, while not feeling like I’m at steamed vegetable boot camp for the rest of my life? Can I find a routine if I don’t have strong structure like this diet going on? And how can I bring butter back without falling off my newly streamlined wagon? Chances are, you’ll see some of these recipes and others before April is over.

So tomorrow, when you see me posting about whole foods supplements and piles of steamed greens with lemon AND NO BUTTER TO BE SEEN ANYWHERE, it’s not an April Fool’s Day joke. It’s day one. And there will be 20 more to go.

Note: If you decide to follow along at home, and you’re in the Orange County/Los Angeles area, call up my friend Dr. Rudy Amicay and tell him I sent you. He’ll help you through it – I’m just here to give you my experience, and maybe some recipes along the way!

Oh my God, she lives

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Hi!!

I’m alive!

I know, it’s been rather… a while. But there have been oh so many reasons for it. And I mean many.

I’ve semi-permanently-for-the-time-being-at-least-the-next-year-maybe-more relocated to Northern California for my dissertation research. I’m staying at my parents’ house for the foreseeable future, as a broke grad student sometimes must, since I still have my apartment in Southern California. I’m away from my own kitchen, with its familiar appliances, equipment, accoutrement, and the perfect light in which to take photographs. I’m not cooking and baking only for myself nearly as much, or for me and one other person, but instead for me and my parents (as a token of my undying gratitude for their endless generosity) or for me and a very large group of friends. My routine and my own “way” have been totally thrown off. My stomach has been… well, you can guess how my stomach has been. And there have been some other, bigger, more personal changes that have kept me quieter and sadder than I might normally be.

But I’m still around, and I think it’s time to call it a comeback.

I don’t have too many photos of food for you at the moment, but I do have a few tales to tell. Of the 300+ cookies I baked for a reception for a friend’s new chamber music recital at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Of the collard greens in bacon recipe I made up for my parents. Of the eating out I’ve been doing now and again, here in the land of endless restaurants (but sadly, no sushi that compares to the sushi of Orange County). Of the “family” meals my friends and I have here, on a fairly regular basis, when we come together to cook, eat, drink, and laugh.

The other tales, the more personal and less food-related ones? I’m telling some (but not all) of those too, over at Oh Hey Great.

So let’s not waste any more time. Last night I went for dinner with my folks at a restaurant in West Berkeley my mom’s been dying to try. It’s called Maritime East and is the East Bay sister restaurant to Café Maritime in San Francisco. Like a total boob, I left my camera at home, which was a huge mistake because it was one of the better meals I’ve had in recent weeks. Not as good as, say, Riva Cucina but faultless and delectable just the same.

We shared most everything. This included what may be the single best burger I’ve ever had in my life, a cheeseburger with Neuske’s bacon and avocado and shoestring onion rings, loaded onto the ideal bun–soft but substantial enough to withstand the burger and all its juices without disintegrating, perfectly toasted, and just the right flavor to complement the burger. Which, did I mention, was cooked perfectly medium rare. The burger also came with fries (onion rings AND fries!). The onion rings were meant to be eaten as part of the burger, but my dad took them off and we shared them with the fries. By shared I mean inhaled.

We also had the “deviled” Dungeness crab linguini with a poached egg and Meyer lemon confit. The sauce was both rich and delicate, tomato-y and zesty, and had a kick of spice to it that came in at the end. It was creamy without being heavy, not coating the tongue but bewitching it with a complex layering of flavors.

Finally, we shared one of the small pizzas from the wood burning oven–a disc of chewy, blistered dough topped with artichokes, goat cheese, tomatoes, and za’atar. There may have been a few golden raisins nestled amidst the white puffs of cheese. Unfortunately, it was hard to slow down and examine it at length: TOO GOOD MUST EAT NOW. (I admit, we took half the pizza home and I had it for lunch today. It was just as good cold. Any remaining raisins had sunken in and once again, I was too entranced with the pizza to pull it apart.)

Oh. Did I mention? The side dish? That we should have gotten two or three orders of? Brussels and pea sprout hash. Please read those words again one more time: Brussels. And. Pea. Sprout. Hash. Let me explain that for you: Pea sprouts! (Or pea tips, if you prefer.) With Brussels sprouts! That have been all chopped up! And then sautéed together with maybe some garlic and I don’t know what else except maybe magic.

So in conclusion, friends and readers and anyone else here, if you live near Maritime East, you should go.

Meanwhile, I’ll be here, reading the comments you’ve left (they totally make my day, by the way, and make me wish I could go out for coffee with some of you), forcing myself back into a healthier dietary regimen (regime!), writing again, and most likely baking up some treats for my friends and neighbors along the way. If you happen to be one of those, drop me a line. Hell, drop me a line anyway.

xo

Momentum, loss of

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

Ahem.

Is this thing still on? Are you guys still there?

I know. A whole month! I was so good, for a whole month! Beyond good even – every day, two blogs, doing in my thing. And then it ended and I gave myself a day or two to catch my breath. I let myself relax and whammo, back to my bad old habits. Well, that and I had an awful lot to do, what with a million and one things to bake (handmade for the holidays, you know) and taking care of everything before I came back up to the East Bay for another ten days.

Oh, whatever, I suck, and there’s no use making excuses. BUT. I did bake an amazing amount of great stuff. I mean, wow. I made those Meyer lemon sablés, my favorite brownies, California fruit and nut bars with cocoa nibs, and marshmallows.

And pumpkin waffles.

And swiss chard with roasted poblano chiles and hominy, served atop white rice, alongside pan fried chicken.

Clearly, I have some catching up to do. And I will, I promise! First I have to finish giving a certain someone special a whirlwind tour of the East Bay, and then I’ll be back. I’ll even show you the cards I made to go with my goody bags of tastee-treets. OH THE EXCITEMENT. Can you handle it?

Assuming you’re all still here, of course!

Celebrate!

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Tomorrow is the final day of NaBloPoMo. I can’t believe I made it. I can’t believe I posted every single day this month – on TWO blogs no less – all while managing to advance to candidacy, spend time with a certain someone, candy a metric ton of orange peel, scour the stove, go up north, see a few friends, and adore the cat and both dogs in my life. I can do it all, people. I CAN DO IT ALL.

Except, apparently, get back into the healthy regimen (regime!) that was so amazing over the summer. The one where I was eating the magical Leah is happy and healthy and glowing and has perfect skin, no headaches, and no digestive trouble diet. The one where I was riding my bike and swimming and walking and jogging and going to pilates and yoga. The one where someone else was watching over me, which means apparently I have no self-discipline or will-power. I planned to start going without sugar starting today and I couldn’t make it one day. 10:00 p.m. rolls around and I gave in. I would make myself go to bed without dessert as punishment but, um.

Anyhoodle, there’s a lot to say on all of this, and I swear sometime soon (maybe even tomorrow! so exciting!) I am going to say more than “golly gee gosh, I sure am bad at sticking to being healthy, even though I have known digestive problems, oopth!” But for now, I would like to celebrate this whole posting every single day thing. Tomorrow is the last day, but I won’t end up posting until later, and you guys might not see it until later on in the weekend or even Monday, and that’s sort of anti-climactic. So, in celebration of actually doing what I set out to do – and in celebration of accepting that structure and deadlines and having someone to answer to besides myself are all good things and should be applied in other areas besides blog writing, HINT HINT LEAH – I would like to show you a cake I made a few months ago for another celebration. Because it is so friggin’ celebratory that it can do double duty. Oh I am so excited to finally post this here! I’ve been waiting for just the right time and this is so it, I can feel it. My nerd sense is tingling.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Giant Hostess Cupcake Cake.

Giant Hostess cupcake!

I made this for my darling friend Sooz’s birthday. Yes, that’s right. A giant Hostess cupcake. I found this recipe on Baking Bites and knew immediately: THIS IS IT. It is the cake I have to make. So I did. It took me the better part of the day (I had to make six layers instead of four because the first two turned out a little funny, but that was my own dumb fault*), but I was so glad I did. Not only was the cake a visual delight to everyone who saw it, it was delicious. Chocolatey and rich and moist, a light crumb but sturdy enough to stand up to the vanilla cream center. A certain someone ate a whole slice without even pausing, which is in itself a miracle, since cake doesn’t usually thrill him.

The next time someone has a thing worth celebrating, like a birthday or an advancement to candidacy or a month’s worth of high quality blog posting, make this cake. The layers seem to meld together, making it look like it really is a giant cupcake! Everyone will ask how you got the cream center** in there (and will be slightly disappointed by the layering technique – apparently they want billows filled with vanilla cream) (well, that sort of makes sense – who doesn’t want billows filled with vanilla cream?). This cake will blow everyone’s minds and make them happy.

Just like me posting every day!

*The dumb fault thing was that my cocoa was lumpy. Make sure your cocoa is not lumpy at all – sift it if you must – and that your batter is very, very smooth when you pour it into your pans.

**Nicole of Baking Bites suggests cutting a 5″ diameter hole in the layers, but I found that to be a little too big. I’d start with 4″ and work from there.

***I wish I had made the white squiggle on the top better, with fewer, bigger loops. Can someone have a birthday or something so I can make this again?

I’m A Space Cadet, Plus Some Romanesco Cauliflower

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

romanesco cauliflower

Oh my GOD, you guys. I am so out to lunch. Tonight I burned my favorite (but thankfully inexpensive) little stand-by pan, the 8″ omelet pan I use all the time, I mean all all all the time*. I got off the plane, got picked up by Mister Certain Someone and his dog, came home, and had to eat something. So I fried up some sausage and steamed some greens (that were somehow still good, after hanging around in the crisper drawer for I don’t know how long and don’t want to know and probably shouldn’t even be admitting this), while also adoring the cat, going through the mail, catching up on Internetty stuff, blogging, and watching TV. A little while – ok FINE, quite a while later – I’m on the couch, wondering why the smell of sausage is still so intense and why it’s still pretty smoky in the house and, no wait, why the house is filling up with smoke, HOLY CRAP I LEFT THE BURNER ON UNDER THE EMPTY PAN. Which meant the little cribbly bits in the pan and the wee smears of grease burnt up all nice and fused to the pan, making it a useful pan no more!

Thankfully the flame was low enough that there was no other damage besides the pan. Also, it’s good to know I am at least with-it enough to figure out what’s going on before it gets smoky enough in my house to make the smoke alarm go off. Let this be a lesson to us all: No cooking when overly tired, and less multi-tasking when cooking. See America, you need more rest and you need to SLOW DOWN. I am living proof of that. Rush, rush, rush, and all the things you don’t pay attention to burn down.

Wow, that’s deeper than I meant it to be.

romanesco cauliflower

So right, about that cauliflower! (How’s that for a totally fantastic segue?) On Saturday, my parents and I went to the Berkeley Farmers’ Market, and I was entranced by the Romanesco cauliflower. Some people like to call it fractal cauliflower, others (like my mother and apparently my grandmother) call it “alien sex organs.” If I have not totally turned you off eating it now, you should go buy some immediately, because it is beautiful and fascinating and fun and also tasty.

There are probably a million and one fancy ways to cook it. I wanted to roast it and make it all caramelly, but by the time dinner rolled around that would have taken too long, and I was hongry. So I did a quick and easy version of it one night, and it was tangy and sparkly, tender to the tooth but still firm. It’s a perfect “o noes, I have IBS and I better eat more veggies today but they take so long to cook whatever shall I do!” recipe. Go on and get some. Plus I hear alien sex organs are good for the digestive system.

cooked cauliflower

Sautéed Romanesco Cauliflower

1 large head Romanesco cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar

1. Remove the tough bottom stem from the cauliflower, and cut it vertically into four quarters. Cut the quarters into slices 1/2″ thick. The cauliflower will crumble, and you may want to cut some of the florets into smaller pieces. Cut the center core into small chunks as well.

2. Heat a pan with about 1/2″ water and place the cauliflower into a steamer basket. When the water boils, place the steamer basket into the pot and cover, steaming until the cauliflower is just tender, about 4-5 minutes.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steamed cauliflower and sauté until the cauliflower begins to brown. Add the Herbes de Provence, salt, pepper, and the vinegar (you may want to adjust the vinegar depending on how vinegary you like your food – start with less and work up, if you prefer). Sauté another minute or two more, until the cauliflower is nice and brown on the edges.

Serves 2.

*Why is it that the little cheapie items are always the ones I use the most? I have this one knife that I must have bought at a big grocery store, some really basic knife, maybe 4 or 4 1/2″? (I should measure it but that would require effort and right now I have to hurry so I can post this, so maybe I’ll be more specific later.) It’s just this basic $5 knife, larger than a paring knife but way smaller than a big serious knife, and I use it for everything. Even when I know damn well I should bust out the big guns and do some chopping, I’ll lazily slice away using my favorite one, a) because it’s always out and b) because it’s easy. Same with that little pan. Maybe I just like little utensils. I prefer teaspoons over soup spoons. Does anyone know where I’m going with this paragraph?

Today in Oh Hey Great: ok, you know what

List Making (But Not That Kind)

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

1. I have so many things to write about, you guys. SO MANY. But work! And cooking for my parents! And, uh, Nip/Tuck! And other important excuses! Suddenly it is 11:30 p.m. and I’m fiddling around, trying to figure out how to write a good long post in 30 minutes. Plus this writing every day? Is making me less able to get my creativity on, so to speak (because I am SO creative here, right? I mean, am I right or what). I think I need a little room to breathe but not too much, some pressure to write but not too much. Jesus, I’m like the Goldilocks of blogging. Good thing my bed is just right.

1a. In other words, I am so limping toward the NaBloPoMo finish. Has anyone else done NaBlahBlah before and been totally over it by the last week? Maybe I didn’t pace myself. Because, you know, I always pace myself. Very steady, this one. Year of the Rabbit, represent.

2. I have to go back on the No Fun Ever, Not For Anyone, Time To Be Boring and Sad diet again. Okay, okay. Maybe not that one. But I am like the worst New Year’s Eve resolution maker ever, and it’s not even New Year’s Eve. It was NOVEMBER, for chrissakes, and I couldn’t even stick to being all “yay! IBS diet! I’m gonna make it happen!” for more than a week or two. But I have to. Because hooo boy, it’s not good in there. Yes, I know I keep threatening it. But it will happen. The diet with the good recipes and the relatively enjoyable eating and the much happier body. Not the aforementioned Are You Kidding? I Cannot Eat Steamed Greens With Lemon One More Time, Plus What I Wouldn’t Do For A French Fry diet.

3. I love the East Bay! That’s the other reason I’ve been such a bad bad bad blogger. I arrived and whammo, my routine was off and there was a dog to play with and parents to hang out with and the Berkeley Bowl to stumble around and Thai Buddhist temple Sunday brunch and… See? Stuff to write about. It’s all excuses. I am just rotten and lazy and also probably cheat at cards.

4. That is not true. I can’t cheat at cards. I can’t cheat at almost anything. I still feel guilty for cheating on a math test in junior high. Do any of you know how long ago junior high was for me? 20 years ago. (OH MY GOD TWENTY YEARS.) I’m not a paragon of virtue by any means, yet I have weirdly high moral standards for myself and also a fabulous guilt complex (imagine what havoc those three things combined can wreak). I’m very much a “do the right thing” kind of person. OK, now I’m thinking about all the dumb things I’ve done over the years and feeling terrible about them and that’s not a road we need to go down. Not unless by terrible I mean we are laughing and also eating chocolate, listening to Wham! and watching the first season of Nip/Tuck, anyway.

5. I think this post needs to end before I end up telling you about something that does not ever need to be published on the Internet.

some cauliflower, just because
Some cauliflower, just because.

Today in Oh Hey Great: Clarification

Herlitz 111.111 Cliparts;2000 / 98 / Me / XP free | Greeting Card Creater free | Microsoft Picture It! Publishing 2001 Platinum demo | Printmaster Gold Classic 3.1 or Higher free | ClickArt 750 crack | Card and Board Games 2 free | Capture and Create-Simply Kids free | Print Artist 22 Gold buy | Formation Adobe Photoshop Elements 87 demo | Small Business Graphics and Print Studio buy | HandWriting Fonts free | Green Label Instant Calendars free | American Greetings Crafts Deluxe buy | Serif PanoramaPlus X4 crack | The Print Shop: Pro Publisher 6.0 demo | Racing Stripes EPS Vector Sign Clipart download | MGI Photosuite II free | Cosmi Perfect Digital Photo Companion download | Video Professor Learn Publisher download | Autocad LT 97 download | Fonts Pro buy | Flipalbum Professional 5 demo | Presentations 2.2 buy | 8000 Graphics Pack crack | ClickArt Fonts 2 demo | QX-Tools 4.0 for QuarkXPress 4.0 demo | Green Label Greeting Cards crack | Serif PagePlus Essentials download | Click Art Express FOOD & Beverages buy | COSMI Label Publisher with Wizards demo | Imsi Cad View crack | Draw 3 : Design & Illustration free | Flash 5 demo | Calendar Shop free | Microsoft Visio Professional 2002 buy | Imagine It Spiritual Graphics buy | Pinnacle Studio 9 buy | Slick Starter Kit buy | MyHoliday Mailing Labels crack | Nero PhotoShow Deluxe 4 demo | Masque Video Slots buy | Business Cards Plus Letterhead and Envelopes download | Easy Dvd Copy 2 Premier download | Versaclips Budget Line crack | AnyTime Organizer Deluxe 14 demo | Art Explosion Greeting Card Factory Deluxe 2 crack | Hallmark DVD Greetings "O Christmas Tree" download | SIERRA Print Attitudes with T-Shirt buy | PhotoDesigner Pro free | Party In A Printer download | Panoramamaker download | The Print Shop Select Version 11 download | Cosmi Print Perfect Label Maker DVD demo | Digital Ba demo | Nova PhotoImpact Pro 8.5 demo | Fresh Fonts 2 crack | Print Perfect Scrapbooks Deluxe buy | BRUSHSTROKES crack | Nero PhotoShow Elite buy | QuarkXPress 8 Video TrainingCourse crack | Microsoft Works 3.0 demo | Adobe PageMaker 6.5 Plus free | Clickart Christian Publishing Suite III crack | Socially Unacceptable Greeting Cards crack | AMERICAN GREETINGS CREATACARD 4 download | Art Explosion 600 demo | ProVenture Label Maker demo | Masterclips 375 buy | Home Solutions 99 3 Full Products download | COSMI Perfect Video & Photo Editor download | 3D Deck Version 3.0 free | Cosmi ROM07544 Perfect Photo Paint Studio buy | Typing/CD Fonts download | AppleWorks 6.2.9 free | Art Explosion Greeting Card Factory Deluxe 5.0 buy | Corel Linux 1.0 Deluxe OS buy | Paint Shop Pro 8 demo | Adobe Illustrator 5.5 Deluxe Edition crack | My Holiday Clipart/Screensaver Bundle buy | Newsletter Clip Art download | 4000 Fonts crack | 3D Album Picture Pro download | IdeaSoft Desktop Labels Platinum buy | Dolphin EPS Vector Sign Clipart buy | PhotoExplorer 7.0 demo | Logo Design Shop free | Dazzle OnDVD Software buy | SureThing Photo Plus download | Simply 3-D crack | Pagis Pro Millenium download | Printmaster 16 Platinum download | My Holiday Greeting Cards Screensaver Bundle buy | Print Workshop 2006 Limited Edition download | Pinup Girl EPS Vector Sign Clipart Babe demo | Snap! 2 crack | Adobe Illustrator 10.0 demo | Serif PagePlus X4 download | Visio 5.0 Professional free | SylviusPRO: 3D Dissector and Atlas of the Human Central Nervous download | Serengeti Trek: Clip Art free | Cannon Photography Workshop Gold Edition crack | coreFX Stamps Plus! buy | DVD Pictureshow 2.0 Deluxe demo | Broderbund Print Shop 21 Pro Photo crack | Corel Family Pack 2009 free | Pagis ScanWorks 1.0 free | iAnimator free | BRODERBUND ULTIMATE PRINT CRAFT SUITE download | Digital PictureFrames free | Punch Software VIACAD 2D/3D demo | Hallmark Card Studio 2004 buy | Punch! ViaCAD 2D V6 download | PictureWorks PhotoEnhancer buy | Presentation Task Force Commander - V4.0 demo | Ms. Pac-Man Quest for the Golden Maze demo | PRIMARY THEMES CLIP ART SOFTWARE TOOLS crack | SSI ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR 10 demo | Hi-Rez Illustrations: Animals free | Publisher Platinum buy | Total Training for Adobe Indesign Cs buy | Rods N Rides EPS Vector Sign Clipart Vehicle crack | Magnet Media Film Inside Editing with Final Cut Pro crack | Adobe FrameMaker 5.5 crack | Punch! ViaCAD 2D/3D V6 demo | Cosmi Deluxe Printing 10 Pack crack | 3D Composer download | Proventure Label Maker buy | Serif CraftArtist Scrapbooks buy | Learn Elements Now Cd-rom buy | Star Trek: Away Team free | AutoCAD LT 2000i download | Tribeca Labs Photobot demo | Animations & More 50 buy | TurboCAD 15 Deluxe 2D/3D buy | MacFreelance free | Cosmi ROM03533 Print Perfect Scrapbooks Deluxe demo | Adobe Illustrator CS download | Learning Photoshop 7 Bundle crack | Autodesk Mudbox 2012 free | PRINTMASTER GOLD DELUXE demo | Visual C++ 2008 crack | DesignCAD 3D MAX download | MyMemories Wedding Studio SB demo | Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe 2004 free | Turbo CAD Designer 2D/3D Version 7.0 crack | Landscapes Photo free | Corel PaintShop Pro X4 Ultimate buy | Pajama Sam - Life is rough when you lose your stuff download | iLife 1.1 free | Instant Modeler crack | Quickstart Business Card Maker Pro crack | Hallmark Christian Card Studio demo | Painter 3D free | Cosmi CDRS814 Print Perfect Clip Art free | Clip Art & Fonts download | Lionhardt WebPod Studio buy | Forms Maker buy | Ray Dream Designer 4.1 crack | ADOBE ACROBAT 4.0 demo | Incredible Image Pack 25 crack | Director 8.5 Shockwave Studiofrom 8.0 demo | Train Teasers: The Hump Yard crack | Photo Editor buy | Fly! 2 demo | American Greetings Creatacard Select 7 free | PaintShop Photo Pro X3 Limited Edition buy | Punch! ViaCAD Version 5 download | Double Vision Visual Software download | The Print Shop 2.0 demo | Desktop Labels Deluxe free | Corel Photobook download | Comic Characters buy | Microvision SureThingLabeler Deluxe 4.3 demo | Corel Photo crack | Guitar Pro 6 demo | Hallmark Comedy Card Studio crack | Nova Development US WinWay Resume Deluxe download | MacFont Library download | Jay Jay Earns His Wings crack | Quickstart: Fonts 2000 demo | Greeting Card Factory 8.0 Deluxe demo | Calendar Creator 2005 Deluxe buy | Print Master Plantinum 10 download | Adobe Type Manager 4.5 Deluxe crack | PhotoImpact 8 demo | Pinnacle Studio 9from Previous Version download | IMSI TurboCad Designer 2D/3D 9.1 crack | Professor Franklins Instant Photo Artist 1.0 Bonus Edition crack | Stick Em Up EPS Vector Sign Clipart Stick People crack | COSMI Print Perfect DVD free | The Print Shop Essentials Version 20 download | ULEAD PHOTOIMPACT 8 demo | Light Plot Deconstructed buy | Maps & Landmarks Clip Art download | Print Artist Gold 22 crack | TONKA GARAGE JC free | Nauvoo: History in the Making download | Clickart Bundle Up for the Holidays download | Fotobox Plus crack | Cinderellas Castle Designer buy | Apple iLife 11 demo | Photo to Drawing demo | Autodesk Mudbox 2009 demo | Adobe Type Manager Deluxe 4.6 crack | Stock Clips 1001 Places Photos free | iLife 04 Multi-User Family Pack free | Corel GALLERY Magic 200 crack | Daniel & Revelation Images for PowerPoint buy | Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 plus Adobe Premiere Elements demo | Arcsoft PhotoPrinter 4 download | Art Explosion 300 free | Business Cards Quick crack | Videostudio 10 Plus Box download | Ripped & Torn EPS Vector Sign Clipart download | ScanSoft PaperPort 11 crack | Men in Black IICards buy | Autodesk AutoSketch Release 6 crack | Electronic Clip-art Countryside Collection crack | Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Standard demo | Magix PhotoStory onand DVD 10 free | PowerDirector 9 Deluxe crack | Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 Plus Pinnacle Studio 10.0 download | Print Perfect Deluxe free | COSMI Stationery Maker and Brochure Magic download | Art Mania 10 free | Prime Cuts Volume 2 demo | Adobe LiveMotion 2.0 free | Total Training Photoshop Elements 3 Unleashed demo | Dance Studio crack | Autodesk REVITS 1 AMER CG-REVIT 4.5 buy | Everyday Objects Photo free | Corel Draw 10.0 demo | LEGO KINDERGARTEN free | Blackline for CorelDRAW demo | PrintMaster Platinum 12.0 free | Quickstart: Label Studio Pro download | Bollywood Dreams - Apple Loops free | Print Perfect Gold buy | Punch! Professional Home Design 8.0 free | Total Training - Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 buy | The TAB Kids crack | Autodesk Landscape: The Home Series crack | 1500 Clip Art Images free | Key Stationery free | Stock Clips 1001 Animal Photos free | Clickart Fine Art demo | Corel PaintShop Photo Express 2010 crack | Paint Shop Pro buy | complete home architect 2.0 design buy | Serif DrawPlus 4.0 download | Acad Genuine Fractals 5 1U demo | LandDesigner 3D Version 4.0 buy | Art Explosion 525 crack | Serif DrawPlus X5 download | CorelDraw 7 crack | PRINTSHOP SELECT 15 demo | 5000 Fonts & Brush Art download | Adobe InDesign CS crack | Print Perfect Platinum demo | FlipAlbum 3 demo | Corel Photo Paint 8 PC buy | Instant VideoMaker buy | BDG PUBLISHING 22 demo | EMOTION 3D Web Edition buy | Doodlin Fun buy | Hijaak Photags buy | National Geographic Calendars crack | Photoshop Elements for Photographers free | Greeting Cards For Dummies free | Microsoft Plus! XP download | Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 2011 crack | The Print Shop v.23 download | Infinity ProLabels 8.0 Express download | Masters of Art: Watercolors with Mark Sparacio free | Total Training For Creative Suite 3 Web Design Workflow download | Logo Design Shop - Jewel Case buy | Cards Crafts Calendars and More Canon Gift Pack buy | My3DAnimatorPro demo | Interact Comm. ACT! 6.0 for 2004 - 5 User free | Apple iLife 08 Family Pack buy | Print Artist Version 3.0 demo | Fin Fin - The Real Computer Creature That Respond demo | Hallmark DVD Greetings PVD 103 His Birthday Greeting Card crack | Electronic Clip Art Creations on Computer crack | Summer Tea crack | ColorVision PrintFIX crack | Final Cut Studio 2: Moving On Stills demo | 3500 Color Clip Art Images demo | Morph Studio crack | Quark Express 3.32 buy | Corel Painter 8 free | Jewel Mines! demo | Instant Engineer buy | Nero 11 free | Hallmark Scrapbook Studio crack | Suitecase 9.X buy | Sports Elements download | Masterclips 35 buy | Arthurs Kindergarten buy | Form Tool Deluxe crack | TV Tycoon download | iGraphics - Linux crack | Hi-Rez Illustrations: People free | Scrapbooking crack | Serious USA Spider-ManCardz Blister free | 500 True Type Fonts crack | Print Artist Master Clips 202 free | Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 download | HiJaak Image Manager free | Adobe Livemotion 1.0 Competitive/Companion download | The Print Shop: Photo Workshop download | Poser 2Version demo | Broderbund Print Shop 21 Deluxe buy | 3-DCover Maker crack | Photo Backup demo | High Impact 500 Fonts download | CorelDRAW X3 Training Course Level 1 and 2 download | Adobe Photoshop Version 3.0 free | Sima SED-VA Family Video Album Maker buy | Final Cut Studio 2: Chroma Keying crack | Print Explosion download | Magix Movies on& DVD 4.0 2006 demo | Cue Club crack | Instant Architect crack | Poser 3 crack | Screen Creator Deluxe 7 download | The Lord of The Rings IICards buy | Designcad 3D Max Version 18 2D & 3D Cad Solution free | SNAP! 4 crack | Adobe InDesign 1.5 crack | 2500 Toons crack | Topaz Adjust demo | Photofinish 4 buy | Total Training - Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Essentials buy | Swap Meet & Flea Market EPS Vector Sign Clipart free | Visio 2000 the Visual Language of Business Standard Edition free | Pinnacle Studio Ultimate v 15 demo | Disney Print Creations demo | TurboCAD Deluxe v5 2D/3D buy | Learning 3ds Max - Textures and UVW Mapping free | Proventure Border Art download | Picasa 3 Essential Training download | Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Designer 2.0 Deluxe buy | Spy Kids 2Cards buy | Clip Art 4 Teachersand Book buy | Das 4000 Cliparts Paket - Linux free | Key Mega Clipart buy | Adobe Live Motion Education Version Academic Id Required free | Quickstart: Letterheads & Envelopes Pro demo | Robert Trent Jones Classic Golf demo | Total Training: Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 buy | Apple iLife 08 crack | Print Artist Print Kit GoldEdition 2003 crack | Adobe Publishing Collection 8.0 crack | PRINT PAKS CALENDER KIT buy | TV SlideShow Studio demo | Delta CAD demo | Print Perfect Greeting Cards Deluxe buy | MAGIX Movie Edit Pro MX free | Professor Teaches Dreamweaver CS4 buy | Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Professional crack | Design and Print Studio download | How To Market Your Photos eCourse demo | Turbocad Designer V14 buy | 5000 COLOR PHOTOS buy | Portrait Professional 10 crack | Print Artist PhotoExpert free | Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe 2003 crack | 3D Home Interior Version 1.0 buy | American Greetings Print Premiums buy | Print Workshop 2009: Limited Edition free | 3 in 1 Bonus Pack for School demo | Instant Graphics Toolkit 1.0 demo | Sesame Street Music Maker buy | Adobe Acrobat 5.0 is Windows XP ready crack | Microsoft Word Windows 95 free | Instant Deck Design buy | Jasc After Shot Premium Edition demo | Serif PhotoPlus X3 crack | Photo Toolbox demo | Parts & Props-Fractal Design crack | Stock Clips 1001 Landscape Photos buy | Dreamweaver 3/Fireworks 3 Studio Upgradefrom Dreamweaver & Fireworks buy | Paper Art: Gift Wrapping crack | Organizer Pro 7 demo | Click Art 40 free | The Print Shop Essentials Version 21 buy | Best Home Plans: Interactive Guide to 3500 Bestselling Designs crack | The Print Shop 21 buy | ACDsee 6.0 Deluxe crack | Corel Print Office free | Print Workshop 2007 Ltd Ed - jc crack | Quickstart: Panorama Studio demo | RISE OF NATIONS: RISE OF LEGENDS buy | Fantasy EPS Vector Sign Clipart download | Art Explosion Greeting Card Factory 2 buy | The Print Shop Elements: Labels download | 3D Fonts download | Adobe Photoshop 3.0 free | Essential Office Fonts crack | PhotoSuite 4 Business Edition free | Serious USA MedabotsCardz crack | CompuWorks Publisher 2 Desktop Publisher download | CD-ROM Clip Art free | BAM - Comic Book Creator download | CalendarMaker 4.5 demo | Axeledge 1.5 3D Interactive Web Authoring Tools for Animators buy | The Print Shop 3.0 crack | Design Collection 6.0OS download | PrintMaster 2011 Platinum SB download | CoreFX Three Level Complete Drawing free | Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo Art Suite download | Art Deluxe buy | Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe 2010 free | Adobe Streamline 3.1 download | Home Improvement-CAD express 15 crack | Microsoft Publisher with Digital Imaging 2003 demo | Photo Go free | Visio Standard 5.0 Old Version demo | ClickART Incredible 65 free | Cosmi Perfect Business Fonts buy | The Print Shop Photo Projects demo | Quickstart: Print Studio Pro demo | Learning Corel Painter X with Jeremy Sutton free | The Print Shop 20 Essentials buy | Bdg Publishing Mastering Flash MX 2004: Professional Learning From The Source do | Virtus Walkthrough Pro Version 2.5 download | ProVenture Business Cards 3 buy | Punch! Super Home free | Proventure Resumes buy | SWAMP BUGGY buy | Barcode Anything Scan 97 crack | Racing & Checkered Flags EPS Vector Sign Clipart crack | Rose EPS Vector Sign Clipart Roses crack | Serif Desktop Publishing Suite download | MyHoliday Clipart / Mailing Labels Bundle 2000 buy | Maccapture demo | Carrara 1.0 free | Microsoft Proofing Tools 2003 demo | 3D Picture Frame: EZ3D Photo Print buy | Send Photos crack | Paintshop Photo Pro X3 Ultimate download | Graphics Suite 2 Enterprise Edition buy | Total Training for Adobe Acrobat 7 Professional crack | Training for Illustrator CS buy | KPT 6.0 free | Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist crack | Corel PHOTOALBUM 6 crack | Clip Art Cartoons free | Microsoft Picture It! Publishing 2002 crack | Green Label Calendars crack | Nova Development Greeting Card Factory Silver buy | Labels Unlimited 2.0 demo | Poser Debut buy | Punch! Via CAD 2D/3D buy | Symantec Suitcase 3.0 demo | Fractal Design Poser 2 free | Trains Calendar crack | Crayola Art Start buy | Pagis Pro 2.0 free | Learn Elements Now 2.0 free | 3D Topo Quad Oregon West 1.0 crack | American Greetings Creatacard Silver 5.0 demo | Funky Frames - Backgrounds download | Business Card Factory Deluxe 3.0 demo | Printable 2012 Calendars CD-ROM demo | Master Clips Holiday and Celebration crack | Broderbund: The Print Shop Essentials buy | Equilibrium Debabelizer 3 buy | SurethingHub Labeler download | Web Explosion demo | Land Desktop 2006 Essentials demo | Key ColorClipArt demo | PaperPort Deluxe 5.1 Software crack | Serif DrawPlus x4 International Version buy | Quick and easy CAD free | Bob Villas Home Design crack | Wheel of Fortune free | Stationery Store download | Spiritual Expressions 2 crack | Label Publisher crack | Macware Logo Design Studio free | Kais Photo Soap 2 download | Mountains Of America Photo crack | YM Digital Makeover Magic download | PrintMaster Deluxe 7.0 demo | Desktop Poet: Fridge Poetry download | Popular Photography free | Freddi Fish and Luthers Water Worries free | BLAST 500 3D GRAPHICS crack | Dreamweaver 4/Fireworks 4 Studio Competitive buy | Morpheus Photo Animation Suite crack | Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 demo | Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 Anniversary Edition buy | Animation Explosion crack | Adobe Production Studio Standard crack | ProVenture Label Maker v4 buy | Letterhead Envelopes and Business Cards crack | MacwareFonts download | Dungeon Siege II crack |