Sunday, January 31, 2010

Here She Is, Miss America!

Dear Reader,

Last night America crowned a new queen, and our new Miss America is a lovely lady from Virginia.  The pageant last night offered many entertainments, particularly in the talent portion of the competition.  Miss Nebraska memorably jazz-danced to Legally Blonde in underpants that matched her purse, and you're never going to guess what Miss Hawaii did for her talent.  Hula dancing!  For real!  Seriously, is there any way to determine good hula dancing from average hula dancing?  I can't tell.  My five year old daughter could do what Miss Hawaii did last night, if I allowed her to watch it.

We all remember the controversy surrounding the question and answer portion of the Miss USA pageant, so I thought I would offer my answers for the questions put to our country's "brightest" young ladies.

1)  Sports stars like Tiger Woods can get millions of dollars for endorsements.  Do we have a right to expect them to be positive role models?
     No.  I think a big problem in society right now, particularly with kids, is that they put way too much emphasis on fame and celebrity, to the point that the pursuit of fame is a viable career path regardless of perceivable talent.  I think the Tiger Woods saga offers the perfect opportunity to say to our children, "You see? That guy is really good at golf, but he's a total loser when it comes to everything else."  I would rather my children look up to people like this as their heroes.

2)  We live in an age where we are not only U.S. citizens, but members of the international community.  Should learning foreign languages be emphasized in our schools?
     Absolutely.  Beginning in kindergarten children should learn Spanish, as it is much easier for kids to learn new languages than adults.  Also learning languages improves math ability and we all know that most American kids could use some help in that area.  Then in middle school kids should be able to choose a third language to master.  Only a moron would not want their kids to be multi-lingual.

3)  The Miss America Organization promotes healthy choices and fitness, yet teen obesity has become a growing health problem for our nation.  What should be done to get our young people back on track?
   This is a huge issue and very complicated, as the cheapest food choices are also the most unhealthy.  But I think Miss Virginia had the right idea by telling parents to turn off the TV and video games, but more importantly don't feed your kids junk food.  Duh.  Anyway it's not just American youth that have an obesity problem.  We are basically a country of lardasses.

4)  Are social networks like Facebook a safe and healthy way for our young kids to engage socially?
     Sort of.  It's a great way to keep in touch with people that are far away, but it's also a great way for someone to post a photo of you doing naked keg stands and get you kicked off the track team.

5) Simon Cowell is leaving American Idol.  Even when he's right his criticism can be very mean.  When you're trying to help someone what's better - tough love or being gentle?
     I don't particularly like it when Simon is mean to the kids that are on leave from the psych ward.  But not everyone is good at everything, and sometimes, when I go to the theater for example, I wish that I could BOO.

6)  The U.S. leads the international community in sending emergency aid to Haiti, why should we send money abroad when we're facing so many problems at home?
     Because there are kids having their legs amputated with no anesthesia, you selfish woman.  Donate here.

7)  Mark McGuire and other athletes have admitted to using performance enhancing drugs.  Should athelets who use drugs be banned from sports for life?
     Yes. That's cheating, and a fine or suspension is clearly no deterrent.  On the other hand, I think that kid, Shaun White, aka The Flying Tomato, should have been given an extra medal for kicking ass in snowboarding even though he was stoned out of his mind.

So that's it.  Did I win? Oh my god!  Oh my god!  Thank you Jesus!  This is NUTS!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Loooove Cookies

Dear Reader,

In my ongoing crusade to not be a total lardass, I recently purchased a copy of Shape Magazine.  Not to read, mind you, but to place on the little treadmill tray thingie and serve as inspiration.  I couldn't help but notice this piece of flawed advice screaming at me from the cover over Mandy Moore's face:


I will agree that you cannot find love in most cookies.  But then again, you can't find love in most people, either.  Today I offer you a cookie that won't exactly make out with you, but it will feel like a nice groping.  Enjoy.
Loooove Cookies

You will need:

1 1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
chocolate chips
malt balls

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Instead of creaming your jeans over your latest ex, how about creaming some butter with brown sugar, baking soda and sea salt instead?  When that's done, crack in a large, round egg to represent the chance you have of getting laid anytime soon, and mix that up, too.  Pour in the vanilla to match your personality.  Stir it all together and dump in the flour.  

Place chocolate chips, toffee and malt balls in a food processor and pulse a few times, keeping time to your own pulse just to make sure you still have one.  Mix this into the dough and drop in tiny spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. 

Bake for seven minutes or until as delicious and gooey as the scuba instructor you met in Barbados last year.  Click on the video below, and eat cookies either very, very slowly and tenderly or with total abandon, as desired.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

People of the world!

Dear Reader,

I would like to take the time to welcome citizens of six additional countries that have read this blog.  This week reached readers in Vietnam, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Bulgaria, Greece and my personal favorite - as it was home to my great-grandparents - Ukraine!  Welcome!  Send me recipes for the food that you find most comforting when feeling bad or sad or terribly hungover.  I will make it!

Alternatively I have noticed that I have not yet had a single reader from Switzerland, which hurts me deeply as fondue is my most favorite food in the world.  Surely one of you knows someone in perhaps Basel or Bern or Vals or Zurich!  Send them a link to this blog and I will be most thankful!

Also a quick note to let you know that, in North America, Starbucks has teamed up with the Red Cross so now you can donate to relief effort in Haiti when you get your coffee.  You can even donate the remainder of your Starbucks gift card.  Wyclef will tell you all about it.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hey! Look who is on Epicurious! Me!

Dear Reader, is a website I visit daily.  Actually many times per day, so it is with great joy that I announce their recommendation of my book, Eat Your Feelings: Recipes for Self-Loathing.  Hurrah!

Read all about it here!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Exciting New Development For Humankind.

Dear Reader,

Occasionally throughout the course of human history, mankind had produced an innovation that truly changes not only the way we live, but the shape of future life in total.  I am happy to report that we are lucky enough to be experiencing one of these exciting crossroads.  Introducing... the Pajama Jean.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Confounded technology and stuff.

Dear Reader,

I was hoping to provide you with a helpful and high definition video today with my brand new camera, but the stinking thing wouldn't work!  Then all my internets were down and so I had to sit on the couch for a few minutes and figure out what I was going to do with my life.  That didn't last long, and I turned on CNN and watched the coverage of the horror happening in Haiti, and I didn't really care about the stupid camera, or the cake I was going to make anymore.

To donate money to Save the Children, click here.

To donate money to Doctors Without Boarders, click here.

To donate $5 to Yele Haiti text the word "Yele" to 501501.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rice Pudding For American Idol Rejects

Dear Reader,

It's that time of year again!  Time for American Idol!  This year finds new faces, more excitement and the same painful performances by contestants seemingly culled from homes for the disturbed, degenerate and delusional.  If your dreams have just been shattered to the amusement and delight of twenty-five million people, this velvety treat is sure to soothe your broken ego.  Enjoy!

Rice Pudding for American Idol Rejects

You will need:

New look
1 cup white rice
1 cup sugar
2 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
New dreams
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Begin by taking a long hard look in a full-length mirror.  It is time to rethink the body glitter, lace up gloves, purple cape and giant red Smurf boots.  Sorry.  None of these clothing items are salvageable, so just throw them in the garbage.  Also place in garbage capes that you wear on other days.  In a medium saucepan, bring to a boil milk, rice, sugar, vanilla, butter and salt.  Reduce heat the way that Kara reduced you to tears with her cavalier, "Thorry thweetie, you theem like a nithe kid.  Thith ith jutht not for you." Simmer the pudding for an hour while you fire all of your vocal coaches.  ALL OF THEM.  Even the one that drives from the big city to meet you at the rest area near Exit 22 and lets you pay him just by sitting in his lap.

Go to front lawn to retrieve any eggs that were unbroken when the neighbors threw them at your house.  Crack two of them into a bowl and whisk.  Mix a small amount of rice, perhaps equal to the size of Simon's balls, the outline of which are clearly visible through his European jeans (they don't show that on TV!) into the eggs.  Then mix eggs into the rest of the pudding and add the cream.  Wonder if Kara ever eats rice pudding.  Probably not.

Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Place in refrigerator and recall with glee how cold Victoria Beckham was to Kara.  Ha! Kara was trying so hard to make friends and Posh was having none of it!  Decide to sing Wannabe for next year's audition.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Year's Resolution Help!

Dear Reader,

Was your New Year's resolution to quit being such a lardass?  Mine was.  Or one of them was, anyway.  To help you along I offer you some choice music that I like to listen to on the treadmill.  Enjoy!

This one is from a movie I have never seen, nor indeed have I ever heard of it!  I probably won't see it as Robin Williams gives me the creeps.  Fast forward to the 1 minute mark to get an approximation of what I look like at the gym.

This one is a great song for the treadmill because it is in French which makes me think of thin French women, thereby making me run longer.  This video does not have the whole song which is Cannibale by Stereo Total, but what it does have is so much better - cucumbers and a disjointed thumb.

This video is great for so many reasons.  First is the performance of Andrew Ridgely, who recently accepted my friend request on Facebook!  Second is George Michael's rapping.  Third, his aggressive dancing style.  And specifically it is good for the treadmill as it reminds me of when I thought I would  look like Bananarama when I grew up.  Go for it!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Snow Day Sloppy Joes

Dear Reader,

I don't need to tell you how cold it is.  It's freaking freezing outside.  Many of us have been suffering with not only this bitter cold, but also the bitter reality that our children are home when they should be at school and out of our hair.  Here is something for snow days.  Enjoy!

Snow Day Sloppy Joes

You will need:

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 ribs celery, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3 Tbs. brown sugar
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 lbs. ground beef
2 cups tomato sauce
Board game
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
3 Tbs. tomato paste
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. tabasco

Everyone put on your warmest slippers and stoke the fire, it's a snow day!  Gather the children round the kitchen and teach them how to make the comfiest of comfort foods:  The Sloppy Joe.  Let Timmy do the chopping because he is seven and should be practicing his knife skills if he hopes to have a prayer of making you proud by winning Top Chef one day.  Have Debbie pour the olive oil into a pan.  Tell children stories of snow days past.  Like the time you had four feet of snow in April and didn't have school for a week!  You and your brother made a giant snow fort out back, and put down a blanket inside, and your mother brought you hot chocolate.  Fun! 

When they ask if they can go outside to build a snow fort explain that when you were a kid, parents were lackadaisical and irresponsible and let their children roam free, but today's parents are more vigilant against kidnappers, coyotes and frostbite.  Toss onions, celery and green pepper into pan and saute until they soften.  Add garlic and cook until Debbie starts to complain that Timmy is doing all the work, and Timmy in turn tries to shove Debbie off the chair on which she is standing to reach the counter, or about two minutes.

Turn up the heat on the thermostat and on the stove.  Add the beef and saute to the sound of what appears to be a knock knock joke competition.  When Debbie says, "Banana who?" for the fifteenth time, the beef should be browned and you can dump in the sauce and the rest of the ingredients.

Put another log on the fire.  The walk across floor has produced lesions on feet due to proliferation of Legos strewn about.  Demand, using stern mother voice, that Timmy pick them up or they will go in the garbage.  Respond to Timmy's explanation that Debbie put them there with the simple yet effective combination eye-squint, pursed lip "Do it now."  When Debbie walks through Legos, kicking them far and wide, put her in time out.  To the sound of her screams pour yourself a brandy.

Remember the sloppy joes and give them a stir.  Suggest a game of Life with the kids.  Solve argument about who gets to be the orange car by saying that nobody gets to be the orange car.  Do not miss opportunity to demonstrate that if they choose to begin the game in college, they may get to be a doctor, earning $100,000, whereas a non-college player may be a mechanic earning $30,000.  Show them the cards to reinforce the idea.  Become frustrated with the amount of math you are doing and also how the little pegs will not stay in the stupid car and also how Debbie keeps spinning too hard and knocking the spinner out of the board.  Have another brandy to tide you over till lunch. 

Toast buns in oven - not your buns, although standing with your rear to the oven does feel nice.  Serve sloppy joes on buttered buns and get the Swiffers ready.  Clean floors, tables and walls then then put children in shower.  Pour one more brandy and tell kids they can watch television for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Linguine alla Lindsay Lohan

Dear Reader,

Yesterday an article in the news was brought to my attention:

Never mind that the girl is still skinny, if Lindsay wants to eat her feelings - I'm the gal to help her!  So, Linds, have some more linguine!  Enjoy!

Linguine alla Lindsay Lohan

You will need:

AA sponsor
lip gloss
35 ounce can plum tomatoes
Matt Bernson KM Gladiator Sandals
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano

Come inside, out of the sun for crying out loud!  Don't you have enough freckles?  You're like twenty-two years old and you look about thirty-five.  Slather on the sunscreen girlfriend!  Pour yourself a vodka to relax.  Phone AA sponsor and tell her you're doing just fine, but if she wants to stay on your payroll, she's going to have to do some light housework for you.

Don't try to cook the pasta in the hot tub again - it will clog the jets.  Do it on the stove.  While it is cooking, pour the olive oil into a large pan and toss in the garlic.  Open the can of tomatoes and squeeze them between your hands - wait! Wash your hands first or the whole thing will taste like sunscreen, cocaine and Marlboro Lights!  Then squeeze in the tomatoes and their juice to break them up.  Season with salt and crushed red pepper and leave it on the stove to simmer while you reapply the lip gloss.  Make sure paparazzi are outside.  If they are not, call AA sponsor again and tell her to get her act together and call some.  When photographers arrive, puff up lips and put on your Matt Bernson KM Gladiator sandals.

Matt Bernson KM Gladiator sandals.


And... again.  Super cute!

Go outside and take off your clothes or enjoy a walk on the beach with one of those dudes that have been hanging around since November.

Go back inside - the sun!!! Pour two glasses of vodka - one for yourself just to calm your nerves, and one for the sauce.  Next add the cream to the sauce and drain the pasta.  The strands of linguine will bring to mind your scraggy ex-girlfriend so have a nervous breakdown right there on the kitchen floor.  When you're done, have another vodka and dump the pasta into the sauce.  Put it all into a large tureen and top with Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Take tureen into closet, sauna or other dark place and eat entirety.  Wonder where it all went wrong.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sex and Food Night at the In The Flesh Erotic Reading Series (bow chicka bow wow)

Dear Reader,

You may not know this about me, but I am absurdly prudish when it comes to discussing matters of the flesh.  I do not talk about sex often, and I especially don't want to hear about yours.  Mind you I'm not a total prude - I read the Anne Rice books with all the spanking, and once wrote an actual porn story to try and sell for money, which was a lot more fun than the three months I spent as a telemarketer selling skin care products over the phone, and significantly less demoralizing than waiting tables.  I just don't like to talk about the real stuff.  So it is with some irony that I have been asked to participate in the Sex and Food night for the In The Flesh Erotic Reading Series.  At first the prospect terrified me.  But now, with a little perspective and the whole "New Year New Me" thing, I am good to go, so to speak.  And truth be told, I have a lot of good stories in that genre.  I hope to see you on January 21st!

No, that's not me.

January 21 at 8:00 PM (doors at 7)
(B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey or F/V to 2nd Avenue,
Between Forsyth & Eldridge. Look for the hot pink awning that says "XIE HE Health Club."
Admission: Free
Happy Ending Lounge: 212-334-9676

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to Work Lunch

Dear Reader,

I have had a letter to which many of you will relate.  See for yourself:

I had to go back to work today after almost two weeks off, spent at home, with my family.  I couldn't be happier!  My office is cramped, I share it with Julia who breathes really loudly and wears too much perfume, but anything is better than the exhaustion - both emotional and physical that I have from too much family time.  What should I have for lunch to celebrate this fine, if frigid, day?
Yours in Chicago,

Well Ted, congratulations on surviving the holidays.  I am also suffering from the kind of deep-seated exhaustion on which four cups of coffee have apparently no effect.  What we need are some B vitamins!  Enjoy!

Back to Work Lunch

You will need:

lunch hour
barbecue sauce
turkey or other burger

Grab your office mate, cause for this lunch you need a partner.  Head to local establishment that provides the most tasty burger and get two, to go.  Head back to the office and nonchalantly pour bourbon into a cup and drink.  Pour additional bourbon into a separate cup for office mate to drink.  Do not share cup as it is flu season and you stupidly used up all of your sick days to spend time with parents over holidays.  Pour more bourbon into cups and mix with barbecue sauce.  Slather over burger and enjoy with enough additional bourbon to lull you into the deep sleep which is essential to not only your productivity but also your health!  Take turns napping for rest of afternoon, then return to blissfully empty home where you may watch television in underpants or as desired.