Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Today’s adventures in self-discovery yielded three revelations:

1. I need a Mini Cooper. Oh my gorgeous.

2011 mini cooper convertible review

How have I never realized this before?

Shall I test drive one tomorrow? Just for fun?

2. Brie-proscuitto-basil-honey panini sandwiches will be the death of me.

Especially in lovely patio settings.

It’s the best sandwich I’ve had since France. (Check out Bowl Cafe in Houston if you’re interested.)

3. If I don’t go grocery shopping tomorrow, I will starve.

My refrigerator now offers nothing but 3 eggs, 1/8 carton of grapefruit juice, pinto beans, and condiments. I know. I keep checking.

7 p.m. Open door. Nothing to eat. Sigh.

8 p.m. Open door. Still nothing to eat. Grumble.

9 p.m. Open door. Really, there’s nothing to eat. Rebellion.

10 p.m. Open door. Slam door in disgust. The nerve!

I’m officially in the danger zone.

Moral of this story: My husband is out of town.


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Sounds like a bad idea, right? It helps, of course, that I’m SO not a fan of the Twilight series. I still can’t figure out why I wanted to see New Moon in the first place. Morbid curiosity? Cultural education? Staying relevant? A repressed inner teenage heart helplessly bleeding for Byronic heroes? (Please, God, no.)

Whatever the motivation, J and I snuggled on the couch last night to soak up the swirling camera angles, melodramatic music, gratuitous rippling abs, and flat affect (seriously, would it kill Bella crack a smile or shed a tear? Ever?) that is New Moon. In spite of myself, I felt a little torn by the time Bella had to choose between the vampire and the werewolf, mostly because I thought Jacob was getting a pretty raw deal. The very best part of the evening, though, was the dialogue following the movie. I present, for your entertainment, snippets of my favorite boy’s reactions:

Me: I just don’t see the attraction. Bella never smiles, and what on earth does a man who’s been maturing for 100 years find in a 17 year old?

J: Well, there’s the enigma. He can’t figure her out. Of course, she has the complexity of a Ritz cracker.

. . .

J [in an awed voice, taking it in]: I have now seen a Twilight movie.

Me: Yup, time to turn in your man card.

. . .

Me: Do you feel defiled?

-long pause, deep breath –

J: I am bigger than this movie. I can cope.

. . .

J: I’m trying to recall the plot and realizing how miniscule it was. Edward leaves. Bella gets pouty.

Me: Don’t forget the love triangle.

J: Except Bella’s as inert as Argon, so there’s no chemistry there.

. . . And finally . . .

J: I’m imagining a spoof of Twilight. Her name would be Taco Bella. And she would have a gas problem.

Me: The central conflict. . . ?

J: The central conflict would be that Edward is driven mad by her smell.

The End

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So this is what I had in mind when disaster struck the other day:

Aren’t they lovely? I just adore that ribbon! It’s from Paper Source, and it’s shiny on both sides, which is most helpful for someone unskilled in bow-tying.

They look great with our cards too:

We are distributing these to a handful of neighbors and friends as Christmas gifts, except for a couple of jars that disappeared before we could give them away.

But I wouldn’t know anything about that.

Using nice card stock that I originally bought for wedding programs that never happened, we printed a note to put on top that lists ideas for the caramel: drizzled over ice cream or cakes (it’s to-die-for on a vanilla bean cheesecake!), swirled into coffee, used as a dip for cookies or fruit, or eaten by the spoonful. You can’t go wrong.

Here’s the recipe I used, which is really just Elise’s recipe, tripled and with a tweak or two. But be forewarned. This stuff is like crack; there’s no going back.


Homemade Caramel Sauce

by Elise of Simply Recipes (This is one of my favorite food blogs. Every recipe I’ve tried from it has been wonderful.)

3 C white sugar
1 C water

18 Tbsp salted butter, cut into pieces (that’s 2 sticks, plus 2 tablespoons)
1.5 C heavy whipping cream

In a very large heavy pot (I used a 5.5 quart Le Creuset), stir together the sugar and water and place over medium-high heat. Using a wire whisk or clean wooden spoon (make sure your spoon hasn’t absorbed savory flavors from other cooking experiments; mine permanently tastes of curry), stir until the sugar completely dissolves.

When the mixture comes to a boil, brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush and DO NOT STIR anymore. First, the water must evaporate. You’ll see the liquid take on a much more viscous appearance. Then, it begins to develop some color. When it’s a nice amber, carefully add the butter (don’t splash yourself) and stir until melted. It will foam a lot.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream. Again, there will be lots of foam. Stir, stir, stir, until it’s creamy and beautiful. Allow to cool slightly before pouring into glass containers. Do not scrape off the bottom or sides of the pan while you do this or you may introduce grainy, crystallized bits into your finished product; I got the best results when I simply poured off as much as I could without using any utensils.

The mixture will becomes very thick when refrigerated, so you’ll need to warm it slightly for drizzling or dipping.

Yield: 30 oz, which fills five 8-oz jars to the 6-oz mark


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. . .which means I’m not going to write about Cairo right now. Yes, it’s in the works. Yes, my whole trip will eventually get blogged. But my head is going to explode with the millions of ideas bouncing around in it right now if I can’t get some kind of relief, and for whatever reason, blogging my trip chronologically just isn’t doing it for me right now.

So, time out.

It’s my blog, and I’ll write what I want to.

I’m talking to myself, of course. I have an outrageously overactive sense of responsibility, and that’s precisely what I’m trying to get away from at the moment (the overactive part, that is; not the healthy kind of responsibility). This blog is not about “responsibly” documenting every detail of my life. It’s not about writing about what I think I “should” be writing about. I’m here because I’m on a journey to rediscover my creativity and really explore it for the first time. Creative self-expression is at the heart of who I am, and after getting off track a decade ago when I shelved writing and art for the “responsible thing,” I’m finally ready to return to what makes my heart sing. I know my Europe trip will come out in all of that because, wow, did that trip fill my heart to the bursting point! That’s one reason I struggle to write about it: it was so meaningful for me, and so much of what happened there for me happened in my heart, that simply narrating photographs feels empty and even a bit dishonest.

So there you have it. On my honor, no more promises about blogging Cairo or Italy or Switzerland or France within any particular time frames or in any particular order. I will write what is in my head and heart, and we’ll just see where that leads.

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iPhone Agony

Is there anything more excruciating than pulling the ultimate get-it-now-never-have-to-wait-again-instant-gratification device out of its box and having to resist turning it on for hours while it charges??? Pain. Agony. Moping.

I’m especially vexed that the iPhone manual doesn’t specify exactly how long the first charge must be, and I find no general consensus online. It’s a great test of self-control, akin to that marvelous Marshmallow Test. At this point, with all my gazing, drooling, and stroking, I’m sure Dr. Mischel would predict failure.

Fortunately, J and I are about to meet for an evening out together, which aside from re-bonding us after his trip, will blessedly distract me, weak human that I am.

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