Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Neeeeeeeeew Microplane Grater!!!

If you have a flair for the mathematic, you might have noticed that I told you before that CSN Stores gave me $65, but I only spent $50 on the toaster.  No doubt you have spent the ensuing nights, sleepless, tossing and turning wondering, "What the heck did she do with the other $15?!?"  Well now you can rest easy, because what I did is get a new Microplane grater, that's what.

The grater was longer than I had expected, but that's okay.  It has a nice, cushy handle, so I won't hurt my delicate hand on a stubborn block of Parmigiana.

As you see, my hand is not really as delicate as I would like to think.  I was making an omelette, and wanted to include some sauteed spinach.  I broke in the grater with a clove of garlic.  

I wound up with a nice garlic paste, but had to scrape it off with my finger.  That was unfortunate.

Next, my very best friend, Gruyere.  The grater created lovely, soft peels of cheese.

Even though the cheese was hanging off the underside, it was fine because a swift tap on the side of the pan and they unfurled into the eggs.

The best part of the grater experience was that I was able to shred the cheese all the way down to the rind, leaving no edible Gruyere behind.

All in all, this grater is GREAT.  Get it?  It's GREAT.  A great grater... Yeah, you get it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Neeeeeeeeeew Toaster!

The excellent people at CSN Stores gave me $65 to spend on their merchandise.  I thought and thought about what I might like, and then my toaster gave out.  We received two toasters as wedding gifts and they both broke almost immediately.  In the ensuing years we had one toaster, purchased at Rite Aid for $12, that had it's own special button for Pop Tarts, and this one:

The main problem with this toaster is that it doesn't toast enough, which is a pretty big problem for a toaster.  Also, once the toast pops up, you have to wait like two minutes before you can push the little thing down to toast again, and by that time, you're sick of toast.

Also it is filthy.

I ordered a nice, sleek looking Cuisinart toaster from CSN Stores, and it arrived today.  I unpacked it and gathered the children round to make some toast.

Clearly much of the  idiot population of Australia, the UK, US and France purchase Cuisinart toasters.

Enough people must have become entangled in the toaster cord to warrant this warning.  That is something I would like to see.

Until now I was unaware that "overtoast" was a real word.

I intend to fill this page with toaster notes, or perhaps a log book.  "January 22, 2011, 10:34 AM  Inserted two slices whole wheat bread, set dial on three, toasted.  Result:  toast."

Shiny, sleek, clean toaster with slots so wide you could fit your hamster in them.

Bread, ready for toasting.

...and toasting... the thing you push down was very smooth and required no extra force or jiggling to get it to stay down.

Premature ejection!  This was no problem as the Cuisinart Metal Classic 2-Slice Toaster can retoast immediately.

My daughter preferred her toast cinnamon style.

The result:  two thumbs up.  I would recommend the Cuisinart Metal Classic 2-Slice Toaster for anyone who is looking to make two slices of toast!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Little ol'lady.

Having failed so completely miserably at my "detox," I shouldn't have been at all surprised by my yearly physical, which I underwent last week, and which revealed that I can't have any more pasta, bread, rice or fun.  My doctor is wonderful, really a smart man who is not at all an alarmist, which is what I want in a doctor.  But I also had a consultation with another doctor who told me that I needed "weight bearing exercise" and that I could find this by getting off the bus one stop early and walking the extra two blocks.  Then she warned me that if I break my hip, I could develop sepsis in the hospital and drown in my pneumonia.  Clearly she had not read my chart to indicate my age, or maybe I had just gone into the wrong room.  Or maybe this was my doctor's way of telling me that I am aging prematurely.  I mean, can't they at least wait until I am forty for this shit?  Jeez!  But, if I am aging prematurely, maybe I can have a second career in the videos of Die Antwoord.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bloody Marys For Hurling Insults At Celebrities On Television

Dear Reader,

The Golden Globes are tonight which always make me want Bloody Marys.  Many years ago, before we had children, my husband and I arrived in Los Angeles the night of the Golden Globes.  We were staying in a bungalow at the Sunset Marquis, next door to Jennifer Lopez.  We sat in the room all night, ordering Bloody Marys from room service.  The poor waiter was making so many trips that eventually I just ordered six at a time.  Like I said, this was a long time ago.  Nowadays, I have to make the damn things myself.

Bloody Marys For Hurling Insults At Celebrities on Television

You will need:

A television
20 oz. tomato juice
1 clove garlic
6 + oz. Absolut Peppar vodka
Splash Worcestershire sauce
Celery Salt
1 lemon, halved
Pickled green beans
1 chile pepper
Smug and false sense of superiority

Rub garlic around the container you are making the Bloody Marys in.  Pour in tomato juice, Worcestershire Sauce, and celery salt.  Squeeze in the juice of one lemon.  Chop chile pepper and toss that in, too.  Pour in vodka, tasting to make sure that you achieve the perfect balance between booze and cocktail mix, which should make the drink just barely potable without needing a chaser.  Pour over ice and plunk in some pickled green beans.  Drink five or six while making disparaging remarks about Angelina Jolie.  Honestly, watching an entire Angelina Jolie movie is like listening to the Van Morrison song Moondance all the way through.  You already know how it's going to turn out.  Let's get rid of her already.  And while we're at it... toss out Cameron Diaz as well.  Can't we collectively decide we are done with her already?  And don't get me started on Drew Barrymore.  Puh-lease!  Oh hi Geoffrey Rush, you creepy old slob who looks like you'd keep me in a basement dungeon.  Cheers.

Friday, January 14, 2011

World's Best Curry For Friday Night

Dear Reader,

If you are anything like me, you got exactly what you wanted for Christmas this year, and that was a really great curry powder.  Of course you can make your own curry, but it is certainly handy to have one around that doesn't have too much turmeric, which I can't stand.  Curry can be used on many, many foods, like nachos for example.  Yes, nachos!  Mix a little curry, cumin, Old Bay and chili powder together, and lightly dust chips covered with a combination of monterey jack and white cheddar.  TRUST ME.

I wrote a while back about the world's best curry that I was craving, and here it is.  It is the perfect food for when you've had a long week.  Which I assuredly have!


You will need:

Feel-good music
Wooly socks
Large sweatshirt
Olive oil
Tomato Paste
Chicken stock

Come home from whatever you do all week.  If you are a person like myself who works at home, then just stay where you are.  Turn off the phone, put away your Blackberry/iPhone/Walkie-Talkie, lock the door.  Play some music that makes you feel good.  This is at your discretion, but something along the lines of this:

Remove work clothes and put on sweatpants, wooly socks, and large sweatshirt, unless you work at home like me, in which case don't change anything.  Pour yourself a large cocktail.  How about a nice vodka with soda and a splash of LimeAid?  Easy!  

Chop the onion, potato, really whatever vegetables you like.  Pour oil into a hot pan and add butter and some curry powder.  Add some minced ginger and garlic.  Again, I'm not giving you measurements because it is Friday and I'm not going to boss you around.  Add a squeeze, or a spoonful of tomato paste, depending on whether you have a tube or a can.  Stir it around.  Put in cubed chicken breasts - if you want to use something else, fine!  Make it all veggie, use lamb, use Quorn Tenders, use the hamster you accidentally bought the kids for Christmas.  Everything is good in this curry.  Put the chicken into the pan to brown, add onions and potatoes.  If you like a lot of onions, use a lot.  If you hate them, throw them out the window.  When the onions are soft, add a glug or two of chicken stock.  Season with salt and pepper.  Throw in some frozen peas, unless you are a masochist, and then by all means shell your own damn peas!  Now add prunes.  You can just add a few, or a lot.  You can chop them small, but I like them whole and little less than one fourth the amount of prunes as chicken.  Simmer everything until you are confident it is all cooked, and the potatoes are soft, and the prunes are kind of falling apart.  Add a swig of cream.  Stir it around.  Simmer again for a bit.  Serve over rice.

Park yourself in front of the television and watch whatever you like to watch.  For me that would be the best show on television, I Shouldn't Be Alive, which makes me feel less guilty that I am sitting in front of the tv in my comfy pants eating curry, and not out trying to sail around the world with my children or trek through the Amazon by myself, followed by Intervention which reminds me that even though I may be on my third vodka with LimeAid, at least I'm not drinking the Listerine.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I'm back at the Apple Store.  Somehow I feel vindicated by writing how much I HATE THE APPLE STORE, while using one of their sleek and speedy new computers. Having a very Eponine moment.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Have any of you been on a PTA?  Is it always a nightmare?  Have to tell myself... it could be worse...

...Actually... If I am totally honest... I would rather work with Sarah Palin on the PTA than some of the people I actually do.  And I think Sarah Palin is evil.  And stupid.  But at least she puts the interests of her kids first.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday, January 10th

CSN Stores has offered me $65 to purchase something on their site to review.  What should I get?  I was thinking of something for our hamster and came across this disturbing photo.

I decided that I do not need to overindulge the rodent in my home.  Maybe some ramekins?  For individual pot pies and lasagnas?  Ice cream maker?  Do I really want to allow myself access to so much ice cream?  Can't decide!

Sunday, January 9th

Today was the benefit.  I ran around all day, then held the benefit last night, which was awesome.  Didn't really eat anything until I got home with the remains of a donated cheese platter and a large vodka.  Exhaustion.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Saturday, January 8

12:30 PM
My son had a soccer game this morning.  They actually scored four goals, so it was a big deal.  Of course the other team scored about twelve before I stopped counting.  As my son says, he has the best soccer team that has never won a game.  After the game we went to lunch and I "shared" a grilled vegetable and mozzarella sandwich with my daughter.  Also had a coffee.  Seem to have totally forgotten about the whole detox business.  When did that happen?

8:15 PM
Detox Shmetox Spaghetti Bolognese.  Also garlic bread and arugula salad.  And a glass of wine while I was making the sauce, and one while I was eating the sauce.  I still have work to do for the benefit tomorrow night, so will be up for a while and anticipate additional wine.  I will most likely drink several bottles of wine when that is over, so perhaps the day to begin a detox is Monday.  Perhaps.  My daughter is reading this over my shoulder and wants me to say "My daughter is the BEST girl ever."  She's like that.  Here is what I am listening to right now:

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday, January 7

12:45 AM
Went to the theater and saw Blood From A Stone tonight.  If you are in NYC, or anywhere nearby, you should see this play.  I loved it.  Stayed out way too late, and was starving, and then accidentally ate two pieces of pizza.  Two, incidentally, is the same number of times that my daughter kicked the babysitter.

Snowing.  Big, fat flakes of snow and I am mortally exhausted.  Took a cab home from dropping the kids at school and went right to the diner and had two eggs over medium, rye toast, hash browns, orange juice and coffee.

8:00 PM
It was actually a good thing that I had that huge breakfast, because I didn't get another chance to eat all day, what with all the running around I was doing.   We got take out for dinner.  Thai.  I had something called "Green Noodles" which was like a pesto made with thai herbs, also spring rolls and papaya salad.  I tossed the leftovers because you can't eat Thai two days in a row unless you are in Thailand.  Now I am sitting in front of a fire, and the kids are watching Pippi Longstocking.  I am so glad my kids aren't friends with Pippi Longstocking.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thursday, January 6

7:55 AM
I had no money, so I borrowed a dollar from my six year old daughter to buy a cup of coffee.  Shame.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday, January 5

8:00 AM
Had a large coffee.  Very tired.  Haven't eaten anything yet because on Wednesdays I see my therapist.  Just wait... this will make sense.  Sometimes I don't have anything to talk to my therapist about, so we talk about what we've watched on television, or books we are reading, or how annoying we find Sarah Palin.  His office is on the Upper West Side, and afterward I walk a few blocks downtown to this place.  I get a salad with falafel and put many many many things on top, such as chickpea salad, beet salad, red cabbage salad, and cole slaw.  I could go on.  Many Wednesdays, while my therapist and I are talking about the opera (he goes, I do not), or William and Kate (he's fed up already), I am thinking about the salad.  I know it is about fifty thousand calories, but I'm going to eat it anyway.

12:35 PM
Half way through.

7:00 PM
Cauliflower, veggie burger and salad.  Too tired and busy today to make the WORLD'S MOST DELICIOUS CURRY that I had wanted to make.  Will try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Paperback Out Today!

The paperback of my book is out today!  You can order it HERE!  Buy one for yourself, and one for your friend, and one for your neighbor, and one for that nice lady at the grocery store who always asks about your kids when you're checking out!

Tuesday, January 4

8:24 AM
The hamster was unusually active this morning.  My son was watching her and screamed, "The top is open!!!"  Her little sky dome, where she spends most of her time, is in two pieces which screw together with a chunky red screw.  Well, this morning that screw was missing!
The thing is, she spends so much time up there that she could have gotten out at any point if it were off.  And yesterday, after I cleaned the cage, it would have been hard to put the sky dome back on without the screw.  So either it was left off all night, someone removed it during the night, one of the kids took it out (probably the girl) and lied about it (although I can usually tell when she's lying), OR this hamster is a genius.  Flowers for Algernon, anyone?  I had a coffee, removed the sky dome, and am heading to the gym, and then I guess to the pet store for a new play area for her.  Maybe it is for the best, as the cage seems too small for her big personality and I'd like to get her one of these:

1:00 PM
Today is one of those days where I don't stop running around all day long.  Kind of like the hamster. And that is enough about the hamster.  Could only manage a quick two miles at the gym and had to go to the kids' school because I do a book club with my son's class.  We are reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, so it's awesome.  My husband and I have also organized a benefit for the school, so I have been soliciting donations from people, AND was almost, just barely not, in a car accident.  The cab driver started yelling at the other driver, who had run through a stop sign.  He actually said, "I got the right of way Toothless!" which was pretty great.  Am home for ten minutes and ate an egg.  I know, I know.  And surprise surprise - the rest of Bittman's salad, now gone very limp in the bowl.

Almost forgot... The paperback of my book is out today!  Buy one for yourself, and one for your friend HERE!

4:00 PM
Had one of those lil cottage cheese guys.

7:00 PM
Had a salad.  Arugula.  Also some cheese.  Emmentaler.

Sisters!  Ha ha!  Sisters are the best, and if you have them you know what I mean.  I saw my sister Lindsay tonight, and we had some wine, and some very welcome chit chat.  I admired her new decor, and flat screen tv, and super cute sneakers made out of sweatshirts that she bought in San Francisco.  Cote du Rhone.

9:50 PM
Home.  Famished.  A little tipsy.  Foraged in the fridge and came up with only leftover lentil soup which was even better than yesterday, but sadly, not enough, and am still hungry.  What should I eat?  More cheese?  Nuts?  Ugh.

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3

8:45 AM
Woke up this morning at the ungodly hour of 5:30 for no reason at all, and totally convinced myself that someone was breaking into my house.  Turned out to be the stupid hamster tossing her food down the tube thing.  Had a tall skim cappuccino with one pump of sugar free caramel.  Now I'm at the Apple Store listening to a big fight at the Genius Bar - he says her kid broke the iPad by using inferior German headphones, but she says that is bullshit!

I'm going home.

10:30 AM
Had an egg and more of Bittman's salad, as well a nice cup of Constant Comment because it is so fuddy duddy delicious.  I'm eating a lot of eggs.  The thought of eating a lot of eggs makes me never want to eat an egg again.  Eggs are really revolting when you think about it.  Even the word "egg" sounds awful, like it should mean "phlegm," as in, "When I had pneumonia I coughed up a huge egg."  Once I saw a photo of a premature egg - they eat them in places like France.  Made me want to puke.  If you want to see that, and more, click here.

12:07 PM
Sometimes cashews taste like chocolate, and sometimes they taste like bark.

3:00 PM
Spent 45 minutes on the elliptical reading The Passage.  Came home and had one of those cottage cheese cups.

7:15 PM
Made a delicious red lentil soup for dinner, very spicy and fragrant with cumin and lemon, without any rice or potatoes.  Also had an arugula salad.

9:06 PM
I'm trying to get the hamster to like me, so every night I put a little treat on my hand and try to get her to eat off of it.  Tonight I had a pecan in my palm, and lo and behold, she climbed right up with her soft little feet, picked it up and ate it.  She didn't even run away with it to her sky dome like she did last week.   She just sat there eating her nut.  She made it look so tasty... So now I'm eating some nuts.  Stealing the hamster treats...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday, January 2

So maybe "detox" is too strong a word.  Okay, so I had a little cocktail last night.  BUT I used only the faintest splash of sugar free cranberry, and I didn't eat any of the chips or dip on hand, nor did I go for the rest of the fudge.  I'm thinking that perhaps instead of defining this as a "detox" I should just imagine that I am pulling my chair back from the trough on a permanent basis.

11 AM
I made apple pancakes for the kids, and for myself a scrambled egg.  Off to the gym.

3:30 PM
Ran four miles, listening to this, which made the slog on the treadmill almost enjoyable:

After the run, went for a swim with my kids, and took them for a snack.  The boy had a Cliff Bar, the girl had a muffin and potato salad, and I had only the merest nibble of the potato salad.  I wasn't going to have any of it, but potato salad is one of the great foods available to mankind.  I had a spinach, ginger, cucumber, apple, lemon juice, and an apple when I got home.

7:00 PM
For dinner had beet greens sauteed with cannellini beans which were surprisingly decadent and creamy.  Also made Mark Bittman's cole slaw from today's NY Times, which needed more vinegar than was called for.

9:15 PM
Having more of Bittman's salad.  Oh yeah, and a cocktail.  Here's the thing.  I eat pretty healthy on a regular basis, the gallon of cheese fondue I consumed at Christmas dinner notwithstanding.  I don't smoke, don't do drugs, I don't even smoke pot, for those of you who don't consider that a drug.  The one thing I do is have a cocktail or glass of wine after my kids are in bed.  It makes me feel human and reminds me that, in spite of the fact that my day was mostly taken up with American Girl dolls and this (totally OCD) hamster we have, I am a grown up.  Screw it.  I'm not giving it up.

Also I weighed myself at the gym (which I never do) and haven't done as much damage as I had thought.  Maybe I'll have two.

Sunday, January 2

12:03 AM:

Detox FAIL

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Saturday, January 1, 7:30 PM

I knew dinner was going to be tricky.  It was my intention, and my desire to make some sort of vegetable stew, but I had to return something to Bloomingdale's, and they were having this insane sale, so I spent a long time browsing around, and then didn't have time to get to the store for all my vegetables.  So I had a veggie burger instead.  No bun, but still, a veggie burger isn't really the purest of foods, as it comes from a factory.  But I'm doing my best.  I also had some lovely things on the side, so there's that.

7:30 PM:

1 Vegan Original Boca Burger
Green salad
Brussel sprouts sauteed lightly in olive oil, then cooked in a vegetable broth with cumin seeds and finished with a squeeze of lemon - delicious.
And this:
Cherry tomatoes, avocado, cucumbers, and shallots in white wine vinegar and olive oil with oregano.

Making several salads as opposed to tossing all the veggies together is something I do frequently, as it seems like you're eating different dishes, and there is more on your plate.

I realized that I have organized this in a really stupid way, so I think that tomorrow I will just edit the breakfast post to include lunch once I have eaten it.  So if you really are interested in what I am eating and when, you can just keep reading that post, or you can wait till the end of the day and read the whole thing, OR, and I am not so egomaniacal to rule this out as a very definite and probable option, you can read something else entirely.  I'm reading The Passage right now, which my friend Luke gave me, and it is really good.

...Already getting bummed out about not having a glass of wine (or three).  And I've got a whole case.  Such a waste.

Saturday, January 1 1:45 PM

My husband made grilled cheese sandwiches for everyone, but I just had an apple.

Saturday, January 1

11:30 AM
2 hard boiled eggs, cut into quarters, sprinkled with salt and pepper
Green tea
3 raisins
One lousy walnut

New Year's Day Sucks

Dear Reader,

In the spirit of utter predictability, I have decided to begin this new year with a little bit of a detox for my poor, abused body.  Nothing too serious, I shall steer clear of any Master Cleanse-style regimen which inspires raging diarrhea and hallucinations.  For me it will be the time tested avoidance of all things that are worth living for - booze, sugar, potatoes, pasta, rice, bread, etc.  Ugh, dreading it already.

I've been planning this for a while, like since October, so as you can imagine, I've been gorging myself pretty well.  For example, yesterday I consumed the following:

10 AM:
Whole wheat bagel with sausage and egg
Double espresso
Large orange juice

1 PM:
Ham and Cheese on a big, fluffy roll with mayo, mustard and Peppadew peppers
Large Diet Coke
Potato Chips

3 PM:

7 PM:
Singapore Mai-Fan
Lettuce Wraps
Spring Rolls
Spinach and cheese fried won ton things
Fried Mushroom things
Sweet and Sour something or other
Coconut Rice
Sauvignon Blanc
Raspberry Napoleon
Mango Pudding

9 PM- 12 AM:
Fudge (3 varieties, chocolate, walnut, chocolate-walnut)
Minty Petit Fours
One bottle champagne

1:30 AM:
Just before bed realized that I wouldn't be eating for a while, so obviously ate a meatball sandwich on a big, fluffy roll, with Peppadew peppers.
Out of champagne, so had several glasses of wine.

I woke up this morning, remarkably chipper, perhaps because it was 10:30, but I am ready for my detox, fattened up like a bear ready for hibernation.  This week I shall attempt to log here all the food I have eaten, in effort to keep me on track.  Wish me luck.