Grown Up Temper Tantrums

“There is no such thing” you might think.  But even I am prone to those.  Actually, I just calmed myself down from one of them to be perfectly honest.  I will share with you the reason of my temper tantrum today and how you could have a temper tantrum in a productive way.

The place, work.  The time, 11:30am.  The feeling, sheer happiness at the fact that I just ordered my lunch and will get to eat it in about 30 min.  12:00pm comes and goes and now I am staring down at 12:30 with a growling stomach an unfocused mind and rage nearly bursting out of my ears.  At 12:39 I’ve had enough, I will complain and the world will hear me.  I draft the following email:

“I have a complaint to make.  I find it a bit sad and insulting that on your website you ask me to specify the time frame in which I would like my meal to be delivered and not have it delivered on that time frame.  Then I call the hale and hearty from where I ordered my meal, as instructed, and spoke to someone who told me that the website states that the time frame for delivery is an hour.  I suppose that hale and hearty employees think that customers are not bright enough to go back and check the website.  Newsflash: We are smart enough!.  I will be sincere, I hate ordering from your website. The majority of the time my meal arrives later than stated on the website.

I’m sorry that this email is so harsh, but you see, I’m still hungry. ‘Why?’ you may ask. Because I have yet to receive my meal!!!

Sincerely,

Hungry costumer.”

Why the temper tantrum? Because I was hungry and dieting and you better believe that when I want to eat my lunch 12:00pm, I will be eating my lunch at said time.  I know you are thinking I’m not over the issue, but I assure you, I am just fine.  I received my lunch at 12:39.  Not happy about that at all.  But right now I’m not hungry anymore so I feel much better.

How to deal with the feeling of throwing a tantrum? Take action.  Zero in on what is bothering you and do something about it.  Coworker in the next cubicle gets on your nerves?  Find a straw take a piece of tissue and a generous amount of your saliva… I don’t need to tell you what to do next, do I?

Keep yourself satisfied (food wise anyways)

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GENETICS

According to Wikipedia, genetics is a discipline of biology, is the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms.

I was looking at my reflection in the mirror. My hair was up and away from my face. As I stared at the familiar face, I noticed something that I’ve never noticed before. To each side of my head there were ear, nothing new there, but what caught my attention was the fact that my ears were not the same. They differ from each other and not in the one-is-bigger-than-the-other way. Nope, they were really different from each other.

I jolted out of my room towards the living room where my dad was watching TV.

“Dad, my ears are different. Look, look! one has a crease in it and the other doesn’t”
“Huh?, what are you talking about?” said my dad uninterested while squinting at each side of my head.
“Each one of my ears is different; look closely” I repeated in a frenzy.
“Oh, yeah” said my dad.
“Let me look at your ears.” I said.

I examined both his ears and they were similar to each other. No anomaly there. Both of them are creased like my right ear. I told him that both his ears are the same and he gave me a look like “so what?”, so I turned to my mom for more attention on the matter.

“Mom my ears are different from each other. Look!”
“Huh?, oh yeah”
“Let me look at yours” I said

I looked at both of my mother’s ears and they are similar to each other as well. They don’t have a crease and come out a bit from my mom’s head. As I look at her ears I realize that her ears are like my left ear.

“Oh my goodness, one of my ears is like dad’s and the other is like yours!”
“Now you can’t deny you are my daughter” Said my mom as she walked away from me.

I stood there thinking I’m a hybrid of my parents!

If you are thinking that I was a very smart little girl to think of the word hybrid, you would be mistaken. This happened last night.

Enjoy self discovery. 😉

“What You Say About My Bagels?”

I know I should first address the fact that I haven’t shown myself here in months, but I will not.  I will also not apologize for it because, lets face it, you guys have not been checking my blog anyways.

I have a friend, Lisa, she spends a lot of time talking about food.  Her most recent obsession has been bagels.  She was trying to find the perfect bagel recipe.  She worked on many recipes to try to find it.  I usually wouldn’t notice the difference between bagels from one place to another; I just know that I don’t like bagels from Dunkin’ Donuts.

From my constant exposure to bagelmania I decided to look up a bagel recipe myself.  It was very much by accident, as I am the type of person that eats for fuel (might be the reason I don’t enjoy beer.  Yeah, yeah I know “How can she not like beer?”) and not the through enjoyment of flavors, colors and such.  In any case, I found myself at my public library and saw “Jewish Holiday Cookbook” by Joan Nathan on the shelf and thought, certainly there must be a good bagel recipe in a Jewish cookbook. Indeed there was!  On pages 184-186.  I decided to make the bagels on Saturday.

As I am boiling the bagels I hear “Eww, that is gross”.  My response?, “huh?”.  I hear nothing back.  Then I say “What you say about my bagels?” My brother then rectified his statement “The dough for the bagels looks gross”.  What nerves of that boy (soon to be married).  Then we proceeded to have a funny conversation that I can not remember for the life of me.

Anyways, bagels are not very difficult to make.  You mix your dry ingredients into you wet ones making a dough you can knead.  Then you put it in a greased bowl for an hour (I was not that patient, 45 min for me.  Shhhh)  to let it rise.  Then you knead it again, at least in the recipe I had.

Then you shape them like bagels.  Let them rise for 10 min.

Bagel-shaped dough waiting to "rise to the occasion"

Throw them in boiling water.  Once you put it in, the boiling will subside, once it comes to a boil, turn the bagel to the other side until the water begins to boil again.

Gross bagel? Me thinks not!

Place them in cookie sheet (make sure to grease it!), add seeds of your liking.

Not the best looking bagel

Throw them in the oven for 30min or until golden.

In the oven 🙂

And there you have it beautiful bagels.

Move over Mr. Bagels, there is a new sheriff in town!

I was disappointed with the outcome of my bagels.  They weren’t the best.  But considering that it was my first time, I didn’t do too bad.  My mom had one of my bagels and thought it was good.  “We should open a business together because anything you do tastes amazing” says my mother.  She is all about business.

Bread making is not my thing, but one should always try to new things.  The full recipe for these bagels is below.

Keep yourselves adventurous.

Adapted from Joan Nathan’s “Jewish Holiday Cookbook” (Schocken Books)

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk, scalded
2 scant tablespoons (2 packages) active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar (for yeast)
2 cups warm water
8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (approximately)
1 tablespoon salt
3 quarts water>2 tablespoons kosher salt>Sesame, poppy or caraway seeds>1 cup chopped scallions

  1. Melt the butter in the scalded milk.
  2. Dissolve the yeast with a pinch of sugar in the warm water.
  3. After allowing the milk to cool somewhat so that it doesn’t kill the yeast, combine the two liquid mixtures in a large bowl and gradually blend in the flour and the salt and scallions until a soft, sticky dough is formed. (A food processor is fine to start this.) Knead well and place in a bowl greased with the olive oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Boil the 3 quarts water with the kosher salt.
  5. Knead the dough again on a floured board. Break off a piece about the size of a plum and roll out into a 5 1/2-inch-long snakelike shape, tapering the dough at each end. Twist into a circle and press the ends together. Place on a floured board. Continue until all the dough is used up. Let stand, uncovered, until the dough begins to rise, about 10 minutes. If at this point your hole has closed due to rising, feel free to poke a new one.
  6. Drop the bagels one by one into the boiling salted water, boiling a few at a time. Cover and wait until the water boils again. With a slotted spoon, turn the bagels, cover again and wait until the water boils, about 2 minutes. (The water gives the bagels a crunchy crust.) Remove to a greased cookie sheet.
  7. Sprinkle with sesame, poppy or caraway seeds and more salt and bake about 30 minutes, or until golden. These bagels freeze well.

Read more: http://www.forward.com/articles/13450/#ixzz1MNsymXUd

Childhood Memmories

How do I start?  Today I was thinking about how much I’ve changed over the years.  That thought sent through memory lane.  I must have been nine or ten years-old.  My aunt Suze came to visit us in Venezuela all the way from the United States.  She gave me a $1 bill.  I showed my dad my dollar as though I had just gotten a load of money.

Then a more serious conversation ensued in their native language, Kreyòl.  It must have been really serious but I couldn’t understand it all.  I did understand a few words.  They were going out!  And I loved that idea.  I ran to my room, got dress quietly and quickly.  Carefully I made my way to my dad’s green car in the driveway.  Got in the backseat and hid there.

My dad and my aunt got in the car and got on their way, still speaking in Kreyòl.  I thought that whatever it was must have been serious since they couldn’t speak in the house.  Later on I would learn that they couldn’t talk in the house because they had a nosy child, me.  While in the back of the car, I calculated enough time for my dad to drive a long enough distance that he would be annoyed to have to turn back to drop me off (the plotting never ends!)

When I thought I had the right time I popped out from the back (while my dad is driving) and said “¿A donde vamos?”  They were both startled.  My aunt had an amazed expression on her face.  As the little insolent child I probably was I said “¿Podemos ir a comer a Burger Master?”

The next thing I remember was sitting at my favorite restaurant eating my fried chicken and french fries as my dad and my aunt handled their grown-up business.  I brought up the memory to my dad and he immediately remembered and chuckled.

Right now I’m not much of a going out person but my mom says that I was always paying attention to know when I can just dash to my room and get changed to go out.  One thing that hasn’t changed is my curiosity!

If you have a childhood memory you want to share… please do!

Keep yourselves young at heart 😉

Cake Insanity

I made this cake twice in the span of 5 days.  I made a Coffee Pecan Cake with Coffee Mascarpone Cream as a filling and Swiss Meringue Frosting.  I haven’t had it yet, but I think it will taste awesome.  The first one I made was the cake the Coffee Mascarpone cream as the filling and the frosting and that was good.

The cake was adapted from Bon Appetite’s Jan 2007 (Coffee Walnut Cake with Coffee Mascarpone Cream).  I did this twice today to make four cakes.

Cake

  • 1 cup walnuts (about 4 ounces), toasted, chopped, divided
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Coffee-Walnut-Cake-with-Coffee-Mascarpone-Cream-236891#ixzz19MHWT2ro

Macarpone filling

1 8-ounce container mascarpone
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy (Deb note: I used brandy)
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, or about 1/2 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips (I forgot to add this to the cake :))

For the espresso extract:
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons boiling water

For the espresso syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy (Note: I used Kahlua)

Swiss Butter Cream

For a 9-inch cake (plus filling, or some to spare)
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
26 tablespoons butter, softened (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Here are some pictures of what I did.

First cake with mascarpone filling and frosting.

Second cake. Isn't she pretty?

The mascarpone and swiss meringue recipe I got from http://smittenkitchen.com/.  I think she is amazing.  I’ve only read her blog a couple of times but what I’ve had so far is making me want to make more of  the recipes she has posted.

I know I seem very short today and the reason is because I finished the cake above about three hours ago, which means I can go eat it in a couple of minutes.

Well Keep yourselves…. mmmm… I can’t think of anything. 😉

P.S.  Maybe I’ll post a picture of a slice of it.

Exactly 1 hour and 10 minutes later:

Yumm!

Everyone at home thought it was a really good cake.  I’ve never made buttercream with egg whites, but I have to say that it was really sturdy and light.  Lisa was right!

Overload

It seems that I’ve dropped everything.  I don’t know exactly what is going on.  I’ve been very distracted.  My brother is getting married in the summer and a friend is getting married in the spring and my cousin just got engaged and who knows when that wedding will be.  I guess my mind hasn’t been focused on the things that I like.  But I do have a long list of things that I would like to do.

I want to get back to my clarinet practice.  I’ve even purchased a music stand. (Sorry for the noise that is to come Flora)

I want to bake a wedding cake.  Not a mini like I’ve done before.  This one will be a real size wedding cake.  I guess I will have a dessert party to go with it; can’t eat all that cake on my own.

I want to crochet a jacket.  I should say that I want to finish crocheting the one jacket I already started.

I want to work out regularly.

I want to become a beauty know-it-all :).

I want to become a hair know-it-all.

I want to get into photography.  This will not be happening anytime soon because it would be way over the budget.  Darn you Ulysses S. Grant!

I’m interested in serving a 21 course meal.  (I’m thinking in the spring).

I want to be a fixture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I haven’t been there in a long time.

I want to sew a beautiful dress that I will rock with a super nice afro. LOL.

I want to plan and execute an Eastern US road trip.

I want to take over the world.

I have to make myself a very tight schedule to be able to reach all these goals.  I think all of them a within reach.  The last one will take a lot more work but I think I can do it.

 Keep yourselves overachieving.

The End of an Obsession and the Beginning of a New One.

Obsession is a persistent preoccupation, idea, or feeling.  In my case it was the idea part of it.  My brother proposed to his fiancé over the weekend.  It was going to be a pretty busy weekend to say the least.  He proposed on Saturday and were decided to have a family dinner to introduce her to rest of the family and I was asked to make dessert.  Then on Sunday we were going to have friends over, for which I was asked to make dessert as well. 

My obsession at the time was with that apple spiced cake.  But I thought that I should make something that my brother’s girlfriend would like.  I was told that she loved chocolate so I made a chocolate fudge cake covered with ganache. 

The recipe for the cake is from Toba Garrett’s, The Well-Decorated Cake.  Making thee batter was easy enough, but they were delicate after they were cooked.  Both of them broke.   The only thing that held them together was the ganache which hardens when cold. 

The chocolate ganache recipe came from a book I own from a bakery I used to work for in Manhattan.  Bruce’s bakery.  They have very yummy treats.  This was my first time making ganache.  It is amazingly simple.  It only has three ingredients; semisweet chocolate, heavy cream and sugar. 

Pretty batter right? I filled the pans with too much batter.  I was holding my breath the whole time. 

All dress up with ganache. 

 

How did the cake do on Saturday?  Not too well.  I sadly have to report that most of the people didn’t like it.  The main complaint: too much chocolate!  How can anyone complain about too much chocolate?  I’m not even going to get into that. 

The chocolate fudge cake is not the new obsession, if that is what you thought. 

For Sunday I decided to make something more my speed.  I took the recipe of a Chocolate Melt-Away Coffee Cake and decided to make it into a layer cake and cover it with coffee buttercream.  It was a drier cake but inside the cake was filled with pieces of chocolate, pecans and light brown sugar.  It was delicious or at least I thought so.  I didn’t take pictures of it before I cut it.  Here is the picture of one slice. 

:p

 

It doesn’t look great there but it was really good.   Good enough that people didn’t even miss the ice cream. 

Ever since I ate a slice of this cake, all I want to do is eat more of it.  I’m saving a slice for a friend, I’m just not quite sure if it will make it to her. 

And there it is my new obsession.  I will most likely make this cake again… soon, very soon. 

Keep it slim , Jim

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