For Just A Night

 

Never before have I gotten so emotionally involved in the world’s problems as I have been these past few months. Sometimes, I read The New York Times, other times I watch the news on television. Now, I panic.

I used to live with my head buried in the sand, not knowing what was going on in the world and that was a delightfully safe place; an artificial place but a comfortable one. On the other hand I have worked myself into such a frenzy now that all I imagine and see are horrible images and bombs and in my mind I’m questioning “but what if….?” That is not healthy for me either.

Thank heavens for The Food Network Channel, my go to place when I need to unwind or if I have watched too much news and can’t settle down. The cheery shows on The

English: Logo for Food Network

English: Logo for Food Network (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cooking channel as well bring me entertainment, not that I have learned to cook from either one of them. The only show I refuse to watch is Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown and its element of nastiness and unmasked sarcasm. (See my blog “Cutthroat Kitchen” for that review.)

Today, I am starting off with a smile. I know what is happening in the world, I know there is sadness everywhere but I am trying to focus on my tiny corner of space. My daughter is home, safe from Spain, where she had a wonderful time. My husband is as happy as he can be without being employed but he is healthy and so am I. Tonight, our son is coming home so our family will be together for a few nights.

I really can’t ask for more than that. I appreciate it and I am grateful for it. It happens less and less these days as they are both in their early twenties. It was hard to get used to but even I, mother hen, have grown accustomed to the separation, they know I cry whenever somebody leaves. I have always cried when somebody leaves me. It’s who I am.

Tonight, at dinner, I will watch my family and try to soak up every detail, every single exchange in our own tiny part of the world, for every second it lasts.

For that, I am deeply grateful. I can’t ask for more.


 

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Food. GASP!


When I have NO food cravings I know there must be something wrong with me. I live for food, I think about food, write about food and I talk about food. I also fantasize about food and now I watch food porn on The Cooking Channel, The Food Network and more. My favorite shows include Master Chef when Chef Ramsay is nice and Hell’s Kitchen where I practically hide under my bed with all his screaming.

I also love, LOVE Junior Master Chef and the new (but not improved) Supermarket Sweep (Supermarket Games?)

My fantasy is to eat food, write about food and eat Phish food (Thank you, Ben & Jerry’s) maybe one day get paid for eating food. Yeah, right.

 

 

 

 

I inherited my love for food from my dad who loved food dearly. I remember one winter when I was a teenager my mom sent him out shopping for bread and milk. He came back two hours later with blackberries, he forgot the bread and milk. He couldn’t resist, he just had to have them and he knew we would all love them.  I can still hear my mother yelling about how much money it cost him. He didn’t care. I don’t care either.

 

 

 

The only difference between my father and I was that I can eat only eat small portions during the day and my appetite revs up at around 9:30 pm. My father never felt full. Ever.  He could keep eating and eating…. There’s a word for it called appestat, he had no appestat or barometer to ever feel full, he was constantly hungry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have the anti-appestat for the last four days. Thus, I have no appetite. What is wrong with me? No food cravings, no food fantasies, no planning of what I want to eat for dinner tonight (even though it’s only 9:00am.) This is not me. I’m not even planning what I want to eat tomorrow night or the day after. Mind you, I do not even pretend to be a good cook.

 

 

 

The lack of appetite must be leftover (no pun intended) from the horrific migraine I had on Thursday night (see: Thursday, While I Was In The Emergency Room) because I am still forcing myself to eat.

 

 

 

I bet my friends would even prefer if I was eating pizza with grape jelly (or banana slices!! as I just saw photographed.)

 

 

 

 

 

Also, and this seems tragic, I can’t even play the food fantasy game. One of my all-time favorites:

 

 

 

You are seated in an expensive restaurant with a person of your choice. The restaurant is known for it’s superb dining skills, everything from scrambled eggs to the highest quality beef wellington and exquisite sea food. What do you order” Three meals minimum:

 

 

 

Usually my answer would be something like this: Warm, Just Baked Bread with Butter, Room Temperature, I hate cold butter, (Shrimp Cocktail, Deviled Eggs, Beef Wellington/ Filet Mignon with sauteed Mushrooms and Brussell Sprouts AND the berry pie that explodes in your mouth with a slice of chocolate layer cake that has raspberry jam in between the layers. An Americanized version of a Sachertorte. Home made whipped cream or as we know it, Schlaag,(no Reddi-Whip) is essential on the side.

 

 

 

I play this game often and with ease and sometimes just with myself but today, the closest thing I can come up with is a graham cracker. That is pretty pathetic. I know, now you are jumping up and down in your seats screaming “NO D ???”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I would have to shake my head, lower my eyes and sadly say “No, I don’t even want dessert.” This is the strongest indicator that something is wrong wiith me that I can come up with. I am so sorry. I have no doubt that my appetite will come back any day now with relish (eew not that kind)

 

 

 

 

 

 

and I will be sure to write about the very first meal I get ridiculously excited about. I don’t want to let you down. I think I have, forgive me. Maybe if you give me your fantasy meals I’ll get some inspiration?

PS  And, Judith, dear, Judith ice cream for all three is cheating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank You, Erica

Candlelit Table for One

Image by ecstaticist via FlickrI

I am not a paid restaurant reviewer so I am writing about my love of eating good food (not making it.)  I also have great admiration for those who cook incredibly well. Our friends, Mike and Erica, hosted a reunion a few weeks ago and old friends from the East Coast and the West Coast gathered together.  Erica made a divine appetizer of stuffed mushrooms based on Ina Garten’s recipe. It was one of the best things I have ever eaten and this is NOT the Food or Cooking Channel. We ate those amazing stuffed mushrooms with our eager fingers and never have I eaten such different tastes and textures in one appetizer. The sausage, olive oil, cheese, bread crumbs and mushroom appetizer combined with seeing old friends, talking, hugging and laughing, was a highlight of 2010 for me.

It felt like the kitchen scene from the movie, The Big Chill,  except no one died (although one person did leave the dinner table, head to the living room, wrapped himself up in a blanket, appropriated two pillows and apparently fell asleep on the couch for 3 hours.) I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

Presently I fantasize about eating my favorite things in an expensive restaurant.  My husband and I would be seated inside a small dining room near a beautiful fireplace. A small bouquet of red and purple flowers sit prettily on the thickly starched white tablecloth where a soft candle would be burning.

To start, I would have jumbo prawns with cocktail sauce and a wedge of lemon (that had a paper coverlet on it to protect it from seeds.) In some circles the prawns would be the delicacy but in our family we have named the shrimp as the vehicle to which we get to eat the cocktail sauce. Another example of this would be that lobster is the vehicle to get to the melted butter sauce. You get the idea.

After that I would order a salad made with a lemon/olive oil, vinagrette salad dressing (the words truffle and champagne could be added although I don’t know exactly what they do.) Ripe cherry tomatoes, julienned carrots, red cabbage, and chopped parsley and chives would be on top. I love adding sweetness to things so for me, some craisins would be tossed in there as well.

The table is laden with “everything” flat crackers and warm, soft, dinner rolls with butter, room temperature (I hate hard, freezing cold butter)  shaped like sea shells. My entrée would either be the outstanding chateaubriand, like it is prepared at the  restaurant X2O or the divine filet mignon served at the Crabtree Kittle House, both amazing restaurants are located in New York. Rice pilaf or mashed potatoes would work nicely with this meal, but nothing fried and undignified as french fries and ketchup (those go with cheeseburgers only.)  Grilled brussel sprouts paired with a hint of maple syrup glaze and slivered almonds would be our vegetable.

Blood orange or lemon sorbet served in martini glass would be our palate cleanser. It would be served to help settle our wonderful meal and to leave room (not that this has ever been a problem for me) for dessert.  I am a sugar junkie and I like a variety of things so because it is my fantasy I am picking two desserts: a fresh fruit tart served in a marzipan shortbread crust with vanilla custard and a fluffy (never flourless) milk and dark chocolate mousse cake with real vanilla bean ice cream.

Thanks for joining me in my food fantasy. Here’s to 2011, with good friends and great food.  Wishing all of you a Happy, Healthy and delicious New Year.

I’m In Love: FoodCrafters (A Foodie Blog)

Aida Mollenkamp Ask Aida TV Host

Image via Wikipedia

Hello Aida Mollenkamp,

You are adorable as the host of this new (to me) show! I just found this delightful show while I was innocently flipping through the channels. How long has this magnificent show been on the air? I accidentally, I mean blessedly, stumbled upon it this very morning. The show is called FoodCrafters on The Cooking Channel. Today’s episode: candy/sweets: serious, beautiful, artisinal candy made by loving, professional, hands. There are no huge, corporate factories on this show.

First up were beautiful candies made at Papabubbles in NY.  Honestly, for a moment I thought that this FoodCrafters segment was featuring an art show, the different colored candies were so incredibly beautiful. They showed us the intricate detail with which they made their  lime candies. Ladies and gentlemen, we are not talking life savers anymore. This is the real thing, I could practically taste the flavor through the television, so intense and vibrant, so beautiful, so artistic. I made need to take the train to get to this amazing store some day.

Next up was a company called Whimsicals in Chicago. Their claim to fame are beautiful nougat, (I so love nougat) chocolate and caramel candies called The La Dee Dahs. It honestly looks like a swirl of perfection. I would be more than happy to try these if you would like me to. Seriously? My day of heaven would consist of being on the Oprah show (or happily sitting in the audience) while eating these delicious treats.  I promise to share…..at least with Oprah and her best friend Gayle.

We are now visiting the Zen baking company for zen cake balls in Dallas, Texas.  This is a southern specialty but could easily become a national specialty if you ask me. Mini bites (balls) of cake are made, covered in  frosting. They are molded by hand and then dipped in frosting. They showed mini bites of red velvet cake. Did you know that red velvet has chocolate in it?  I had no idea, I just know I love it. The red velvet balls are covered with a cream cheese frosting. (I would have preferred vanilla frosting but no one asked me.) Other varieties are the happy birthday cake (this has my name on it), sunshine lemon (ok, this has my name on it too), cookie dough ( I would be happy to try this too) and I think, one other flavor that I can’t remember because I was salivating so much that I started to drool all over the keyboard.

The last segment featured a store in Los Angeles, California called Milk and Krunchies.  My sweet tooth and basically all my teeth were aching for a taste. This segment featured marshmallow treats and not your ordinary, make- at -home krispie treats (so you feel like an ace mother) either. These are gourmet; a new twist on an old favorite. This place (hey, I travel)  makes krispie treats with flavors like:  cookies and cream, a toffee mix, peanut butter and jelly and peanut butter cup among others. This had my mouth watering with nostalgia and it is definitely reason enough to schedule a trip to the West Coast.

If any of the above stores would like to send me samples so I can REALLY review them, I would be happy to provide you with my address. Please, I beg of you. However, if that is not in your budget or if that does not appeal to you I did hear that you can get some of these delicious delights by going to:  cookingchanneltv.com. Excuse me for the short post but in case I don’t get my samples I may need to run and find my credit card to order……now this is what I call quality television. You rock!

Love from your new adoring fan.

“Master Chef” and FOOD Shows

Gordon Ramsey

Image by jo-h via Flickr

Last night, after watching Master Chef on Hulu, I dreamt that I had sex with Gordon Ramsey (or was about to). Really, I don’t know why but he was all loving and tentative and whispering sweet things into my neck and not yelling at me at all. Let’s set the record straight, the Gordon Ramsey of Hell’s Kitchen would not be invited to my bed, lips, house, town, ever. Master Chef, Gordon Ramsey, was sweet and nurturing, tentative and very thoughtful. I was kind of disappointed when I woke up (no offense to my real life husband).

I have become more and more addicted to the Food shows on television. It started out just with the Food Network but I have branched out with Bravo, Discovery and The Cooking Channel or Food Channel, whatever it is called. I would like to star in Food 101, a show for us real people who have trouble making meatballs but we love to eat; except for odd things like goat and escargot and sushi, and rabbit.  I can still remember the time I tried a tiny piece of goat and gagged. I enjoy lobster in a restaurant but cannot kill one. The one time my husband bought lobster, I went upstairs. I refused to watch him drop the poor lobster in boiling water and I thought that if I didn’t see it I could eat it. Couldn’t do it, the kitchen smelled like the beach and I ate a cream cheese and jelly sandwich, quite happily,  upstairs in our bedroom, alone.

As many of you know, I have a love-hate relationship with Adam Richman host of Man vs. Food and some other show with Pig Out in the title. I would share a SMALL sandwich with him but he will not be in my dreams.  Top Chef, with  Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio is another kind of fantasy. In this fantasy, I become Padma, I am Padma. I want to look like her, dress like her, basically I want to become her.

I am tired of cupcakes, I can’t stand the sight of another one so Cupcake Wars, which was a slight favorite at one point in my life is gone from my viewing schedule. All those 9,ooo pretty, silly cupcakes; I know I’m exaggerating but it’s getting annoying. The trend is really just about over, stop the cupcakes, turn off the oven, man up and eat a damn slice of cake or two.

The other show that I have turned people on to is Cake Boss. I want to BE a part of their family. No, seriously, I mean it. I love Buddy, his mother, his sisters, his wife, his guys in the kitchen, his bakery. Not only do I want to go there and buy one of everything but I would like to be invited to dinner every Sunday. Seriously. What a lovely man and a great family, sigh. I would NEVER fantasize about Buddy, because he would be like a brother to me, the brother I always wanted.

I was addicted to The Ace of Cakes but as much as I wanted to party at their place (because it always looks like a lot of fun at Duff’s bakery) I got bored with the introduction to the show, the cackling laugh, the same ‘ol, same ‘ol (just my opinion, ladies and gentlemen) and basically tired of the same, fantasy cakes: an airplane, a dog, baseball stadium, fire-crackers and way too much celebrity time. I think I really liked this show when it first started. Would I hang out with Duff and Mary Ellen? Anytime. Watch the show again? Not so much.

Some of you may be thinking that I watch too much television. You’re probably right although most are DVD’d. I spend a good amount of time in bed with a chronic illness so these shows, to me, are upbeat and entertaining, not to mention I love to eat. I’m a foodie, I am just not a great cook (okay, not even a good cook). I make a mean Banana Bread though, but make sure you don’t tell Bobby Flay.