Saturday, February 13, 2010

Housewarming Party!

We're moving to Wordpress. Please join us over there, and don't forget to update your links.

The all new Chocolate Covered Xanax

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Licking the bowl

My last post may have been just a tad bit morose. The morning after writing it I sat down at the computer and found myself completely embarrassed. Why, oh why, can't I simply write sometimes and not push the publish button? Disgusted, I closed the lid and haven't been able to write anything since.

Then I opened the new book I'd just started reading. "A Homemade Life" by Molly Wizenberg, who is also the author of the fabulous food blog orangette, is a memoir about life with food in the middle. As I became thoroughly engrossed in the stories and recipes, I ran across this paragraph:

I guess you could say that having a blog is a little like the windows of a house I used to live in during my sophomore year of college. I loved opening them wide during the day, so that the smell of the eucalyptus trees outside could drift in and sweep out the rooms. But occasionally I would come home and find a squirrel on my desk. A live squirrel. He would have climbed up the tree outside and jumped in through the window, and now here he was, rifling with his tiny, scratchy claws through whatever he found, tearing up every paper and scrap. Blogging is a little like that. It's an incredible pleasure to open the window, to put yourself out in the world that way. It's even better than the scent of eucalyptus. But occasionally you come home and find a squirrel on the desk, so to speak; a nasty comment, maybe, or even worse, something you wrote yourself, probably late at night, when you should have been sleeping, something that makes your cheeks hot.

Oh, happy day. It's not just me. Molly's had publish button regret too. I'm not alone in the world.

And with that epiphany, there was only one thing to do. Make Molly's chocolate cake.

This cake, a French melting chocolate cake, only uses five ingredients. And only one tiny tablespoon of flour. Do you know what that means? That means the majority of the cake is made from butter and chocolate. This is not a cake for the weak.

The ingredients: 7 ounces good quality chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids - I used an extra dark semi-sweet), 1 and 3/4 sticks of butter, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, 5 eggs and 1 tablespoon flour.

Chop the chocolate into little pieces, cut the butter into small cubes and put them in a bowl. Microwave them for 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst. Pretty soon the chocolate and butter will melt together and turn into smooth, sultry liquid velvet, just perfect for smearing on an inner thigh.

Stir in the sugar, mix well, and let the batter cool for about five minutes. Then add the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each egg. And then the one tiny tablespoon of flour. Mix that in too.

Pour the batter into a buttered cake pan. (Molly says to also line it with parchment, but I never do. It worked just fine without it.)

If you can restrain yourself from licking the bowl and spoon, you have a lot more discipline than me, although that's really not saying much.

Bake it in a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes. You'll know it's done when it's not jiggly in the middle, and when it's a bit puffed up and crackly. Scientific, no? You'll want to cool it in the pan on a rack for about 15 minutes. Then flip it out onto a plate upside down. Use another plate on top and then flip them both over so the cake is right side up. This is a bit complicated, but you can do it. Trust me.

Despite its humble appearance, this cake is absolutely delicious. Tasting like a brownie mixed with the inside of a truffle topped with a thirty-minute orgasm, it's deep, rich and totally decadent. I served it with lightly sweetened fresh whipped cream.

Molly calls this the "Winning Hearts and Minds Cake." I think it could win over a few other body parts as well.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Have you ever had one of those days

when you wake up at 3 a.m. with your bed so full of regrets and resentments that there's no room for you anymore so you force yourself to just get up?

Have you ever realized that you're holding onto your anger for no good reason like it's your Great Aunt Inez's fine crystal vase, and if you happen to take just one finger off it then the whole thing might crash to the floor beneath and break into a million tiny little pieces, and you'll be left standing there naked and vulnerable for the whole world to see?

Have you ever wandered around Old Town wondering why you're in such a horrible mood and wanting to blame it on PMS but realizing that would be betraying all your feminist principles as well as allowing your first ex-husband to have been right about something. And then you plop down painfully on the sidewalk because you dropped your keys in the gutter and stumbled trying to pick them up with the sudden realization that you now have to embarrassingly specify between your first and your second ex-husbands?

Have you ever become disgusted at your own self-absorbed melodrama and told yourself - For Fuck's Sake Look at Haiti and Shut the Hell Up- but then still shed a tear when the girl at Los Bagels rolls her eyes at you because she made your bagel for here and you need it to go, and you wonder if you told her the wrong thing to begin with by mistake because you just turned 40 and senility is waiting right there around the corner?

Yeah, me neither.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Country Waving

I'm sure you remember my film making friend Kristin and her amazing movie about Blocksburg.

Here's her latest. It's a totally charming as well as useful film about the ins and outs of waving in the country. It'll be shown at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada next week.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Did You Hear That?

Date: January 18, 2010
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Place: Bayshore Mall, Eureka

Two women and a man are eating bad Chinese food in the Cafe Court of the Bayshore Mall and talking about their online dating adventures.

Woman 1: Every man who I think might be the slightest bit interesting turns out to be a complete freak. The last one I was talking to made some crack about drowning me.

Woman 2: Not really the kind of joke you should make if you want someone to actually meet you.

Woman 1: No kidding!

Man: Meanwhile, I met a guy online who's a real estate developer in Fort Bragg and owns two houses. He sounds really great.

Woman 1: Why couldn't I have just been born a gay man?

Man: A gay man without a gag reflex. It helps.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Monday Wishes

Wishes are a funny thing. They seem to be an innate act for some of us, while for others, they're a struggle. I went to a birthday party yesterday for twins who were turning 3. When we told them to blow out their candles and make a wish they did just that. No questioning or wondering what to wish for. They knew exactly what they wanted.

I'm one of those who hope that my wish was good enough. I wonder, should it have been made just for me or should I have made it for those who have less? Would I be shallow if I wished for material possessions or should I stick with strengthening my soul and hoping for good health? I don't want to waste a perfectly good wish on silly things.

Today, my wish comes less burdened by extraneous thoughts because it's truly and only for someone else. It's for one person who is beautifully articulate in her deeds and words. Who makes me giggle and snort and laugh like I haven't in a long time. It's the one person who knows that underneath my thick exterior there is imperfection and insecurities. She doesn't care though. She loves me just the same, and I reciprocate.

My wish for her today is that she feels loved, appreciated and needed (because she is). I wish for her eternal happiness that is tempered with just a touch of bittersweet (because nobody likes sugar all the time). And lastly, I wish...
that Kristabel has the most.................well, I can't tell you because it won't come true.

Happy Birthday beautiful! I love and miss you. Wish I could be there on this super special occasion.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Top 10 Joys of '09

It's a new year, and unlike some of the more industrious people I know, I just don't do resolutions. But a new year is a good time to take a look at the previous one, and that's what I've been doing today. Here's a list of the top 10 joys of 2009 in my little world.

10. Oatmeal and beets
I've never liked either one of these foods. Then suddenly this year I began, with reckless abandon, eating oatmeal with almond butter and bananas, and roasted beets with goat cheese. Yummy (pay attention to this adjective. It will resurface later.)

9. Art
I am so fortunate that I am surrounded by amazing art and artists every day - even on the dumpsters in the alley on the walk to Ramone's.

8. Old friends
Man, I love you guys.

7. New friends
Joining a book club was something I never thought I'd do, but when a friend told me that not only was it not required that you even read the book, but that the meetings revolved mainly around the food, which was always thematic, I figured I'd have to at least give it a try. The last book we read was "When You Are Engulfed in Flames" by David Sedaris. Since it was set in France and a wacky neighbor made strange Italian-sounding dishes, the food for the meeting included lasagna, croissants, cheese and wine. One woman also announced that she would be bringing Bananas Foster. I didn't really get how that went along with the theme, but who's going to turn down Bananas Foster? At the meeting, she cooked the brown sugar, butter and bananas together until they formed a delectable smelling sauce. She then poured in rum, lit it on fire, and as the flames began shooting up out of the pan threatening to set the kitchen on fire, she threw her own arms up in the air and started shouting, "When you are engulfed in flames! When you are engulfed in flames! I win!!!" God, I love this book club.

6. Old family
Man, I love you guys.

5. New family
Okay, I know you're not exactly officially or legally or anything my new family. And I know it's a little embarrassing that you probably know a lot more about me than you probably want to and more than most of my old family because of this blog, but...well...I like you a bunch.

4. Blogs
I swear I would have no idea what was going on in our community or the rest of the world without blogs. Plus I've met the smartest, wittiest, sexiest, most interesting people in Humboldt through them. You know who you are.

3. Champipple, limoncello and Saturday Night
Bomp chicka bow wow....hic....chicka bomp....hic....chicka bow bow. Yeah.

2. That guy with the big hands
A new year has never looked sweeter.

1. Beautiful, beautiful Humboldt County
Are those of us who live here the luckiest people on the planet? Why yes we are.

Lest you think it's all sweetness and light around here, coming up next will be my top ten irks and irritations of '09.

Happy New Year!