Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Recovery imminent. Liver function back to normal.

I love the holidays because I am naturally pig-out-ish and the only time I am completely unselfconscious about it is when everyone else is also stuffing their faces in the period between Thanksgiving and New Year's.

I am resolved to do two things in Oh-Nine. Well, no, three things.

One: I am going to stick to Weight Watchers. I am not going to eat anything different, I am just going to eat differently. Which means no more cheese pizza topped with Utz's plain potato chips. And no more Duncan Hines devils food with dark chocolate frosting. Because I can't eat either of those two things in moderation. Weight Watchers means eating less of the bad stuff and more of the good stuff. And I cannot eat an 18th of a cake for 4 points. That is torture. That would turn me into Miranda eating cake out of the trash. Swear to god, true story. But I will still eat pasta and turkey and cookies, but just in Weight Watchers sized portions. Which means that for the next two weeks or so I am going to be cranky while my stomach shrinks back from Glutton mode to Normal mode.

Two: I am going to pay more attention this here blog o'mine. I have a terrible habit of letting it get away from me. If my blogs were actual children they would be dead from neglect by now. Writing is definitely a discipline and that is just not something I have in spades. But I really ought to work on it this new year.

Three: Write my thank you Operation Baking Gals post. Let me just say one thing about myself here: I am horrendous about writing Thank You notes to people. (See resolution two, re: discipline.) One year I got sh*tfaced at a bar and wrote everyone Christmas Thank You postcards that didn't make sense at all, and if I remember correctly were mailed in April. However my one redeeming quality is that I will love and cherish a gift you give me, and if it is really useful or sentimental I think of the person who gave it whenever I use it or see it. Heck, I still have a baby blanket that a friend of my Mom gave me before I even developed a retentive memory and I STILL have it. But the post will get written in 2009 if it kills me.

So that's what I've got for resolutions for '09. As for tonight, well I am in for the night. It is far too cold to go out with out immediately developing chilblains and frostbite. And besides I have a panettone I need to eat before I start with the point counting and such.

Happy New Years to everyone who reads this little blog. I hope I can similarly amuse you in 2009!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I got nothing.

My life right now consists of writing up my OBG THANK YOU post and uh, sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie

Which is why right now I am sitting down with a bowl of pasta sauteed in garlic, salt, red pepper, parsley, and a splash of VERY fruit olive oil.

Because if I eat anymore sugar I am going to go immediately into a diabetic coma.

Blurp.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Final Days for Team Calamity Shazaam

For all the fantastic members of Team Calamity Shazaam: please be sure that you have emailed me your info so that I can post about it.

I've gotten reports back from lots of you and all I can say is WOWZA! Team Calamity Shazaam members have done the team PROUD!

For every single member who has written me saying "I can't bake but..." I would just like to say that you might want to check your pants for fire because you lie! Not one baker has failed the mission and that is going to make Kevin (and his family - because who would want to shower an absent family member with cookies) pretty excited this holiday season.

I am working to get everyone posted by Monday at the latest because I know that due to the weather and the holidays some of you are mailing out a few days late - which is perfectly ok. And if I leave you off the post, please please PLEASE let me know immediately.

Oh and THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Despite every effort to the contrary, I am STILL alive.

It is pretty remarkable to me that I have lived through this entire day.

Firstly this morning I was too lazy to go get allergy meds before starting some baking and as it turns out I REALLY have to take them before going anywhere near flour in raw form.

As a result I spent the afternoon in a lethargic, sniffling, haze. By the time I scrounged up two Benedryl from the back of the cabinet, and had a mini beer I'd already developed a few hives and something that resembled a blister on my bottom lip. HOT!

Then I tripped on the stairs and bonked my knee right in the soft spot. Not so much dramatic as frickin' painful. This is the same knee I fell on with all my weight and a three year old on my shoulders when I stepped into a pothole in the dark. I am not entirely positive how much longer Mr. Righty will put up with my abuse.

And then for dinner I made buccatini with tomato sauce. Seems harmless right? Well let me tell you - I made the sauce with roasted tomatos, onion, and garlic, throwing everything into the Cuisi just like every other time.

Only this time the onion (which I always throw in raw) was apparently old and full of sulphuric acid. Because as I am pureeing the whole stupid thing together, my eyes begin to burn. Like really, really, really burn. Streaming and burning.

Oh craaaaaaaaap.

But you know what? I ate it anyway. And I totally ate it crying the entire time. Inhaling up clouds of sulphuric acid I am sure. What the HELL is wrong with me??

I will probably have the worst heartburn ever in the universe later. Seriously. If I don't die first from all the sulphuric acid.

Perhaps I ought to cap the whole thing off with an eggplant. Yes. Perhaps an eggplant will finish me off once and for all.

On a side note - about Mincemeat

I made mincemeat back in November and it's been sitting in my fridge since then. Occasionally I drag it out and wet it down with a little brandy.

I tried it today and holy CRAPOLA is it delicious.

The beauty of mincemeat is that you can pretty much just invent the filling however you like. I chopped up some raisins and apples and possibly some prunes and who knows what else and then added some spice and brandy and left it to chill out in the fridge.

If you like your fruit to taste like alcohol, and why wouldn't you, then this is the stuff for you!

Plenty of desire, need more motivation.

I have been in my kitchen all day today trying to get sh*t organized and you know what? I am getting NO where. But the desire is certainly there.

Blurg.

Earlier today I made some cookie dough, but I forgot to take an allergy pill and now I feel like garbage.

As it would happen I've developed an allergy to flour over time. I used to work at this amazing local bakery and over time, from dumping fifty pound bags of flour into storage bins, I inhaled lots of flour and wound up becoming really allergic to flour.

Pretty ridiculous huh.

So now when I bake at home, when I am around uncooked flour, I have to take some sort of allergy pill first and keep my inhaler handy. Sounds more dramatic than it is.

However if I don't take anything and expose my bad self to raw flour I really have an ugly reaction. Right now one eye is horribly itchy and weepy and my nose is streaming. The inhaler has at least opened the airways, so I can still breath sort of. Gawd, I am a frickin' delight aren't I!?

So I figured I would pass the recovery time by reorganizing the kitchen a little. Which really is code for cleaning the kitchen and throwing out crap.

But instead I have been reading recipes and listening to music and waiting to feel better.

I was hoping to make a batch of black cake and another round of cookies, but really I am not going anywhere near the flour bin until I go out and get more meds.

And if I don't start to feel better soon, I am going to take a bottle of rum and go kip out on the couch and watch crap television until I do!

OBG Round Five: Package 3

Package three to Kevin has been sent courtesy of mpaigew at Paige's Pantry! Another fabulous member of Team Calamity Shazaam!! Thank you!!

She sent a box out on Wednesday that included: Holiday M&M Cookies, Spritz, and Polka Dot Cookie Bars.

Unfortunately she didn't get any photos :( Due to an impending winter storm, she was under the gun to get them to the post office before the roads got too bad.

I say unfortunately because I checked out her blog and all I can say is that she make AMAZING cookies.

Here are a few from her blog. Please be sure to go over and check it out for yourself because she includes recipes AND makes it sound easy!



Peanut Butter Bars

Thursday, December 11, 2008

OBG Round Five - Packages 1 & 2

Packages 1 & 2 have been sent, thanks to Evil Twin and Gazooki!

Gazooki and my sister (Evil Twin) have been friends since college. I can definitely say that I will always have a soft spot for Gazooki because she never seems to mind how our family has always butchered up her real name, occasionally on purpose. And also because she is a completely lovely person inside and out, genuinely at that. The lovely Gazooki sent: Chocolate Krackle Cookies, Coconut Macaroons, Alton Brown's Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. All of them cookies that I myself would devour in about 2.2 seconds. Add a second for a glass of milk.

The Evil Twin is my sister. We are technically not twins (some people will argue us on this point) and she is definitely NOT evil, well not until you try to take the last bite of molten chocolate cake, then watch out! ET and I have always had different strengths and weaknesses. I am barely ever lost, and she needs directions to everything. She can do long division and I constantly have to call her about percentages, and well, maths in general. I went to cooking school, she went to the yellow pages for take out. But we are completely alike in our stupid sense of humor and by our enjoyment in doing something nice for someone else.

So lately, and possibly influenced by her boyyyyyyfriend, she has been trying her hand at cooking. And so I figured this would be a great opportunity to rope her in to the wonderful world of Operation Baking GALS. Guess what? She totally took the bait and now she can make a cookie notch in her culinary belt.

Et voila! From the Evil (and getting sweeter!) Twin:









Here is to Gazooki and to the Evil Twin!!!! A couple of sweeties who I am thrilled to have as part of Team Calamity Shazaam!!!

PS: There is still time to register at www.bakinggals.com if you want to join Team Calamity Shazaam!

Why I must immediately go to Venice.

This is why.

These are Venetian gondoliers having breakfast while the piazzas flood. It would appear that they are enjoying a breakfast of croissants and Grande Dame.

Now that is what I call civilized.

The next snow day we get, it's croissants and champagne for breakfast. Please bring jam.

(Reuters photo. Click for larger)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Operation Baking GALS Round Five Is Underway

And it STILL is not too late to sign up!

I am working on an OBG surprise and when I am done I will post all about it here.

Hopefully Team Calamity Shazaam members will send me their photos and I will also post them here too.

Because I know we are all a little cookie curious!

Let it snow.

Two things are on my mind today.

One - last night I was at the Trident Bookstore & Cafe for trivia and this is the second time I've been there and have wanted the deep fried smores and they were out! What a disappointment.

But we won at trivia, so you know, slap & tickle.

Two - I went to Russo's this afternoon and I truly do not think that there is ever a good time to go to Russo's. I hate that I love it so much. I really do. And worse is that I went and was sort of distracted so I don't really even know what I was thinking with some of the stuff I bought. I keep thinking it's going to be a good day for cooking tomorrow, but then I wanted to get stuff for lunches next week. And I have chicken thighs in the freezer...

I think I am going to have a nap and then think about it.