Craving Cheeseburgers, Part 2: My Love Affair With Dessert

When we last spoke in “Craving All Cheeseburgers” my husband and I really DID go out for the delicious, juicy cheeseburger and I kept my promise (to you) to look at the dessert menu. Did you think I would disappointed you, my friends? Of course not.

On the dessert menu: Creme Brulé, Ice Cream, Sorbet, flourless chocolate cake (No other pastries) and a special Banana-Chocolate bread pudding. That definitely interested my husband, since he loves bananas and chocolate. I was trying to be nice, so I said I would share it with him. I had my doubts.

Big Mistake.

It tasted like the banana bread that I bake except much drier.  I

Monique's Banana & Raisin Cake

Monique’s Banana & Raisin Cake (Photo credit: Great British Chefs)

make banana bread several ways. Plain, with raisins. Plain with chocolate chips and lastly banana bread with both chocolate chips and raisins.

I’m a huge fan of raisins, so give me an oatmeal raisin cookie and I’m in heaven. I will eat chocolate chip cookies but I prefer oatmeal raisin, I might have to try to make them this week. I’m an oddball I know, I like molasses cookies and cinnamon cookies ginger cookies and vanilla cookies, that’s why my nickname, years ago, was “Vanilla Girl.” I like chocolate too as a pre-dessert, dark chocolate I consider medicinal in a heart healthy kind of way.

The bread pudding was too hard to resemble anything pudding like. It had the consistency of a very dry sponge.  My husband ate some of it and we

Description unavailable

Description unavailable (Photo credit: rob.knight)

brought the rest home which is still sitting in our over crowded refrigerator. I scrounged around our cabinet and came up with some cinnamon cookies and a (large) spoon of Nutella for my dessert. Not bad at all.

Tonight, I am looking forward to the Greek diner’s rice pudding that my mother lovingly bought me after we shared the best tuna sandwich in the world. There are only a few places that are known to us for tuna approved edibility.

Our main course tonight will probably be scrambled eggs and English muffins but as long as I am happy with my dessert nothing else matters. I have to put raisins in the rice pudding now, before I forget.

Rice pudding bowl

Rice pudding bowl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I haven’t told anyone this but I just ordered home-baked molasses cookies on-line and I am waiting for them to arrive any day now. (They were expensive.)

My friend Judith really does eat dessert first when she is home, I need the anticipation. I have a Pre-D and then a  real-D. Same kind of concept mine just has a base of protein.

Tomato, TomAto.

PS Those were the best cookies I have EVER had. Worth every dollar. They also come in a “Snickerdoodle” variety which the company says is the Molasses cookies with raisins. Does anyone know? I looked up Snickerdoodles and there are many versions.

Please help.

That is going straight on my birthday list. I’m drooling.

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Sweet Pleasures

Three rubber ducks in foam bath

Three rubber ducks in foam bath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow, I will take a long, hot vanilla-sugar bubble bath and soak until my fingers look like large raisins. Afterwards, I will put body lotion on so my skin feels silky soft, maybe I’ll clip my toenails and paint them pink without rushing. I will do everything today at my pace.

I will drive to the diner in the next town to order the best tuna sandwich on multi-grain bread to-go. I have exceedingly high standards for tuna fish sandwiches and this is the only place that I will eat it in.

I will clean the clutter in my room just enough that I feel I have accomplished something, I am no neat freak but mountains of clean laundry (3 baskets) makes me feel uneasy. I will sort them and put them away. I hope. The worst case scenario is that I hide them, once again, which is a guilty compromise.

Maybe I will take myself to a movie, in the early afternoon. There just so happens to be a bakery on the same street that sells only cupcakes, yes, just cupcakes. I will stop in to buy a vanilla, pumpkin spice or banana cupcake with vanilla icing. The key is the vanilla icing.

I can’t decide which book to read next, there are two hardback books grinning in front of me. “Pick me” says one, “pick me” says the other and yet I have opened up both books, read a few pages of each and have stopped. Tomorrow, I will read the first fifty pages of both books and then decide. The rule, when I was growing up was to read twenty pages, but now, that I am older, I have changed the rules to fifty pages. How can you judge a book by a mere twenty pages?

When I am cold, in the afternoon, I will make myself a cup of hot chocolate and not the instant mix packages that are hidden in the pantry. Real hot chocolate made lovingly with milk that I stir slowly, and add melted chocolate or chocolate syrup, I am not that fussy. I will put many marshmallows on top. I will drink it out of my big, bright, yellow mug that my best friend gave me for my birthday, she knows that yellow is my favorite color.

Maybe I will take a nap, or meet my mother for lunch and if I can’t sleep I will cuddle with my dog on my bed, her body closely aligned to mine so we both feel safe and warm. Tomorrow will me “my” day and I will go to my local shops and browse. If I see something I love and can afford I will buy it as a gift for myself. Who says gifts have to come from other people? Who knows me best? Yes, I do.

More importantly I have a secret plan to do a good deed or as many as I possibly can, I will do some anonymous acts of kindness knowing in my heart that is the biggest gift of all.

*Where MY Wild Things Are

mischievious max

mischievious max (Photo credit: massdistraction)

Just call me Max, because tonight I live in my own storybook. I’m in a cranky, bad mood and while no one sent me to my room, I almost wished they had. It started off with not knowing where my husband was, he was missing. He didn’t leave a note but he could have left one word on a napkin and that would have been fine. He also left our whining dog, prowling around the house while I was trying to rest and get a little sleep because I felt extra crummy. It wasn’t fair.

It was a bad day for Fibromyalgia and chronic pain, my jaw hurt so much, I had ear pain and TMJ and a headache and no one cared. I wasn’t able to sleep because my dog was annoying me. She wouldn’t even settle down on the bed, up and down, up and down she jumped and I was too tired and achy to get out of bed to put her in the crate. Friends tell me I’m in a Fibro Flare but all I know is that I feel worse, much worse. The weather gets damp and now it’s pouring buckets like my expectations and mood, dumping down on the roof, bypassing the dirty, leaf-filled gutters and ending up in big, thick, muddy puddles. I don’t have rain boots and I can’t play anyway anymore.

I ended up eating a tuna sandwich standing up, alone, in the kitchen, with one foot crossed over the other and I ate it so fast that I didn’t enjoy it one bit. I even gave the dog, “the whining one” some of it. Just as I am shoveling down the sandwich, Mr. Last Minute Ambulance Aider comes strolling in with his fake, perky voice and I feel even angrier. I march up the stairs with the rest of my crappy dinner and the dog follows me for food, not for compassion. My only hope at feeling better is getting to eat the two last bites of the brownies that we saved and I am NOT going to share.

The last two weeks haven’t been good at all, okay, they sucked.  I had the hospital procedure and the horrific mammogram both done this week and I know it’s over but maybe not over one hundred percent because now I’m fuming inside like a chimney with an angry orange fire.  A new friend that I met over the summer,” sisters in spirit,” never sent me a birthday card when I thought for sure she would and I miss not having a dad. I believe in the good in people and then they disappoint me. At the same time a new friend thinks I should self-publish my blogs into a book with photographs. What? It came out of left field for me too. I guess we need to learn about balance sometimes.

My daughter is away at college and is sick again and I hate that. I offer to come up there or asks if she wants to come home but she says “No” and I worry, no matter how old they are and then I say out loud ” I wish you weren’t in college so far away.” I probably should have kept my mouth shut too but I couldn’t.

I am going to sneak down to the kitchen and at the end, I do announce taking the two brownie bites because after all, my husband wasn’t exactly doing a bad thing. They didn’t even taste good. I know that this stupid, horrible, unjust day will look much brighter in the morning when the sun shines, when my jaw stops hurting, after a good night’s sleep. All I’ve been doing is whining, I guess my dog and I have a lot in common.

*Based on the enchanting book:Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

The Tuna Test

What is your criteria for checking out a new lunch spot? Decor? Waitstaff? Cleanliness? Prices?  All of the above? Mine is how good their tuna sandwich is. I’m very fussy about tuna. I only want solid white, nothing even remotely looking or smelling like cat food.Usually I make my mom try it out first, maybe take a small bite. Looking at it is important; texture imperative. Is it in chunks or all mushed up together?  Does it taste fishy (hello? waitress, this smells old, can i please have a grilled cheese instead?) The grilled cheese, one of the safest foods you can order from a coffee shop or  diner.We literally pick places to eat by whether their tuna is acceptable, even admirable when we need a tuna fix. My friend, Susie, poisoned my mind  years ago, by telling me that you cannot save a half eaten tuna sandwich in the refrigerator overnight. You can never have the other half the next day. According to her one date with a Pharmacist there is something about the tuna and the mayonnaise that take some compounds of one and minerals in the other to make it unacceptable for her pharmacy friend’s private FDA. For months I went along with this, being the highly suggestible hypochondriac that I am. Later, I decided it was “Kvatch” translation, crap or made up. What could happen, I say now? So I get food poisoning and I lose a pound, nothing gained, nothing lost.

Another thing to be aware of is coffee and this is tough but also optional. The weak brown water coffee or the thick as mud coffee is not necessarily a deal breaker providing there is a Starbucks nearby ( or a Dunkin Donuts if you were my sister.)

The last item on our coffee shop/diner inspection is the distinctive 3+ layered  revolving dessert case. WHAT? no   revolving dessert carousel? That one gives us pause to think. If you don’t have the option to buy a g0od dessert, and one that is revolving  has many tantalizing choices how good can it really be?  I’m not saying you Have to have dessert but you definitely should have the option. Dessert requirements include: a rainbow cake or rainbow cookies, a chocolate cake, cheesecake with fake strawberries, rice pudding with raisins and cinnamon and something oozing with honey and gooey with nuts like the ever so delicious backlava to which I am a self proclaimed slave.

By all means, wrap up the leftovers, proudly tag them in your refrigerator. Resolve NOT to go out to eat for a month; dine on Lean Cuisine’s and Weight Watcher’s dinners for only 6 points. But, next time you do decide to go out, think carefully. We all are short of money these days, order carefully, let the good times roll,weigh the options, enjoy your meals, and always leave a tip. The waitstaff thanks you.