Spice of Life: Grow a Little Garden

One of my favorite tricks to liven up a meal is to play around with different spices. I love adding pepper to different foods--mac n cheese, potato chips--it gives it such a strong, distinct flavor. My Boo-Hoo Flu Soup was probably saved from banality by the heady mix of tarragon, rosemary, and thyme, and I discovered, after sampling different dishes at one of my favorite diners, that a layer of nutmeg in lasagna adds a beautifully rustic kick that distinguishes my lasagna from all the others in the world. In other words, I am a fan of herbs and spices.

But more than just their flavors, I like the idea of herbs and spices. There's something very intriguing about the fact that my little spice rack would have made me the Bill Gates of the 15th century, and it's nice to think that while our meals may have changed, my late, great, medieval ancestors probably shared a fondness for cinnamon (I mean, I assume). And herbs, with their little home garden feel, have all sorts of interesting properties and qualities that you just don't find in things like Twinkies (or I guess Twinkies probably have interesting properties, but none of them would really make you want to eat them).

This is just a long way of saying that I'll be starting a new column focusing on the herbs and spices chefs rely on every day, and even longer way of saying: I'm growing a garden!

The idea for my own herb garden came about many, many months ago, when I was frustrated at having to buy huge packets of basil and cilantro when all I really needed were a few leaves. Growing up, my dad maintained a lovely little herb garden which we regularly raided for tomato sauces and fish seasonings, but I remember it almost as much for the sheer entertainment of breaking off the leaves and smelling all the delicious fragrances.

I finally decided to start my own little garden today, with potting soil and seeds from Home Depot (observation: my local Home Depot's gardening department had been completely ransacked, with barely any seed packets left, while the Home Depot in my building in Manhattan had literally hundreds of options. Astoria beats Manhattan in the green thumb war?). My first container is now sitting outside my porch, looking adorable. While my prowess in the garden is probably about as impressive as in the kitchen (which is to say, not much), I'm hopeful I'll have cheery little shoots soon, which I can obsess over and take pictures of like I was an expectant mom (except expectant moms don't plan on eating their babies. except for hamsters).

I'll regularly update my little garden's progress, in hopes that by July-August I'll finally get to enjoy some lovely, organic, home-grown herbs. Unless I forget to water it, which happens sometimes...
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Grown-Up Mac n Cheese!

One of the first meals I learned to make for myself, aside from scrambled eggs and fried chicken, was fettuccine Alfredo. When I was little, I was wary of fettuccine Alfredo, although I have no idea why. With its copious amounts of butter, cheese, and cream, fettuccine Alfredo is kid-friendly and artery-threatening. In high school, I'd make it for myself on weekends when my parents weren't around (apparently I hadn't watched enough Saved by the Bell episodes because I never thought to throw a hilariously disastrous house party). I used this little cookbook that my mom has had since the 70s; it is, strangely enough, a "cheese" cookbook (who would have thought there were enough cheese-based recipes to fill a cookbook?), and I've only ever seen anyone in my family use the fettuccine Alfredo recipe.

My mom usually makes fettuccine Alfredo for special occasions, like our annual Christmas party (easy for quadrupling, smaller stain risk than marinara) or birthdays, when we usually pair it with lobster (a delicious holdover from one of my mom and dad's favorite chefs ever. There version is not as good as his, where lobsters would volunteer to be a part of such a good meal, but it's still pretty amazing).

I like making fettuccine Alfredo because it is one of the few meals I can make reliably without using a recipe. Since expanding my cooking repertoire, I try to adhere fairly closely to recipes, but it's hard to go wrong when you're mixing cheese, cream, butter, and pasta. It was one of the recipes I made a lot last year, when I eschewed my last few months of college-provided food to cook for myself and Dave in his little kitchen (mistake. I could write an ode to Roy and the other Cabot chefs, who would grill me hot dogs even when the dining hall was closing and regularly turn out fresh-baked cookies). Dave's roommates were intrigued, and so I taught them how to make it and Kevin said (with delight) "It's like grown-up mac and cheese!"

And for a couple reasons: aside from the obvious cheese-pasta relationship, it's also easy to make and delicious. The only real difference is that while instant mac and cheese can be life-saving, instant fettuccine Alfredo is a disaster. Thick and sticky, a rubbery paste, everything is blended together into a gummy white substance without any of the discernible flavors of butter, cream, or cheese. The best Alfredo sauces aren't the thick and white things served in most restaurants or cafeterias, but are rich and decadent, with small shavings of unmelted cheese clinging to the pasta. Each bite should be coated in the creamy sauce, and when you pick it up, little strands of melted cheese should stretch from fork to plate. Hot, rich, delicious, and so so good. Hungry yet?

1/2 pound fettuccine
4 tablespoons butter, diced
1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream
1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
black pepper

Boil water and cook fettuccine, removing while slightly al dente
Drain pasta and return to pot, putting heat on lowest setting
Add butter, cream, and 3/4 cup Parmesan, stirring until most of the cheese and butter has melted
Add pepper to taste
Serve immediately, topped with the remaining Parmesan
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Happy Moanday: No Spring!

In the fine tradition of New York weather being ri*dic*culous, it shot up past 80 degrees this weekend for the first time since last September. This, of course, after hovering in the 50s for the whole week. The warm snap is supposed to continue, hitting a high of 91 on Thursday before dropping back down to 50 for the weekend. So, apparently we're jumping straight from winter to summer? And spring is my favorite season...

Dave was in New York for the weekend and we took advantage of the lovely warm weather to picnic in Central Park, stroll through the Met, and get a double ice cream helping at Shake Shack and Pinkberry (which we both tried for the first time. Tasted good, fad-esque). We went home to soothe our sunburns and watch some 30 Rock before cooking up some lime shrimp (paired, natch, with margaritas). We got the recipe from my Cooking for Two book, but swapped shrimp for lobster after discovering (unfortunately) that neither my little fish shop nor the big Stop n Shop sell lobster (I like making lobster with Dave because, aside from the delicious taste, it's entertaining to watch Dave's moral struggle when confronted with dropping the lobster in the boiling water.).

This weekend Dave is visiting friends in Nashville (hi Nashvillians!) meaning I'll probably head to my parents' house for some home-cooked meals and 90's computer games (I always get killed by the bobcat in Oregon Trail III).

On the menu:
-Fetticine Alfredo, which Dave and I were going to make when we thought we were having lobster. It was nixed when we realized the taste would probably clash with the lime shrimp and then the next day when we fell into food comas just thinking about that much heavy cream and butter in 86-degree weather
-Shrimp, since we have extras. It might get paired tonight with my alfredo, or I might try some new recipes (throwing it on the barbie?)
-The last few meals I'll wait to see how the weather turns out. It's supposed to be fareezing later on, which could call for some soup, or, if the heat continues, something light and refreshing (salmon maybe? yogurt salad?).

In any case, I'm excited for this pseudo-spring and the meal opportunities it provides.

The new blog layout is sooo close to being done, just tweaking some final design bugs and adding the finishing touches. Barring disaster, expect it to be up by this weekend!
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Photos Good Enough to Eat

I seriously love food photography. Giant, beautiful images of perfectly-coiffed food are so drool-worthy. The most serious cookbooks tend to shun photos, offering, at most, illustrations of whatever you're making, but I love books full of glossy and hi-res pictures (Martha Stewart's wedding cake book is like a Bermuda vacation for your eyes). Even pictures of fresh, leafy salads, lipstick-bright fruits, and pillowy risottos are enough to get me--a picky and reluctant eater by nature--hungry for some healthy stuff.

Like most things I love passionately, I am completely and utterly terrible at it. Witness the few times I've hauled out my camera to try to capture the lovely meals I've prepared. My meat looks soggy and grey, soups unstable, glazes thick and unsavory. With that in mind, I thought I would take a look at the best of best, see how food photographers get those perfect shots, and answer the myths about food photography (Elmer's glue for milk?).

When I was younger, I used to read a lot of magazines, although, being a nerdy and somewhat dumpy little kid, my favorites were more sciencey scribes like Kid City and 3 2 1 Contact (I don't think I even picked up my first issue of Cosmo until well into middle school, when, mesmerized by the myriad tests and tips on lip gloss, I carried that thing around for weeks). My first exposure to the weirdness of food photography came in an issue of 321 Contact.* The article opened with a two-page spread photo of a giant hamburger, frosty glass of coke, and container of fries. Turn the page and you saw the same shot from the back, which exposed the mix of wires and mess of glue and toothpicks that held everything together in perfect place, with arrows pointing out various tricks of the trade. To this day, I still can't look at a McDonald's ad without thinking of the poor person whose job it is to individually place each and every sesame seed on the bun.

Food styling, which, Google tells me, is in fact a real job, is part cooking, part crafting, and part deceiving (two of which are my favorite things!). Your chicken looking a little limp? Inject it with some foodie Botox, a.k.a. mashed potatoes. Glycerin gives a healthy gloss to salads and fruit alike, while motor oil substitutes as a more stable chocolate sauce. Stiffen up soggy pancakes with fabric softener, go with plastic ice cubes, and forget about real milk--it goes sour under the lights and melts cereal (any white glue works better).

While I like crafts as much as the next Martha wannabe (I stripped, stained, painted, and upholstered my own furniture!), there is something about molding a chocolate-colored mound of mashed potatoes into an ice cream cone that sort of turns me off. My own photos being terrible, I turned to my friend Andrew, who is one of the most absurdly talented photographers I've ever met (witness his blog, which he updates way too infrequently. I want to get married, like, tomorrow just so I can hire him as my photographer before he gets too rich and famous for me). I wanted to get a new camera, to replace the boxy piece of junk that I now own, and I asked Andrew what he thought would be best for taking pictures of food. We were walking down the street, rushing to a subway stop, and he threw out about half a dozen names (I don't think he took a breath for three minutes...). Finally, my poor head spinning, I told him I would ask him in email form, and here was his answer:

"Yo! get a canon G10 - that camera is the bomb. but really, good food photography is about making it simple, and the lighting (not the camera). make yourself a little studio with some hot lamps ($6 at walmart) and a big sheet of white construction paper. You can change the color/mood of the scene by placing colored paper over the lights. BAM! It really can be that easy. It really isnt about the camera too much. If you want something more complex, like removable lenses, then look at the Canon Rebel series, with a macro lens."

Andrew's advice, as per usual, is great, and perusing the blogs of other prominent food bloggers, the home studio set up seems to be the best way to go. Lolo at VeganYumYum gave step-by-step instructions on how to create gorgeous food photos. They are eye-popping and beautiful, vibrantly colored, beautifully styled, and professionally edited. I love her bright photo of a stack of pancakes, set off by a cheerful yellow background--lovely. My own home studio lacking (read: nonexistent), it might be a while until I pull off such mouth-watering photos on my own. Instead, here are some photographers who take much prettier photos than me:

Michael Ray specializes in food photos and his work is suuuuper beautiful--you can almost smell these steaks on the grill

Stef, of the Cupcake Project, has an advantage over most food bloggers: her delicious images come courtesy of her photographer husband

And while not exactly a food photographer, the famous vegetable studies by Edward Henry Weston are so eerily beautiful and evocative

Steve pointed out that a good family friend, Michael Black, also takes some fantastic food photos. These are a-ma-zing. I love the stark white background, which makes even pad thai glow. (food photos in his "Edible" gallery)

*Sadly, and with no regard for my pangs of nostalgia, my parents have thrown away all my old issues. Even the Cosmo. But PBS, that great recycler, has a similar article on their website, with instructions on how to make fake burgers, roasted chicken, and ice cream. Yum.
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Happy Moanday: No Traveling!

Well, I am ex-haus-ted. After traveling for the past 6 weekends, I am very, very excited to say that I'm staying in New York this weekend! Woo hoo! The last time I was in New York for the weekend, and not getting on a plane, train, or bus, was the first weekend in March, when Dave visited me and we went to the Bronx Zoo. Sigh. That was a very, very long time ago. I feel lucky to have been able to spend so many weekends with Dave and our families, but come on people. Sometimes you just want to veg on the weekends (also not buy any more bus tickets. Also not ride on any more buses, where sometimes great big men will fall asleep next to/on top of you while your Flight of the Conchords second-season soundtrack plays not quite loudly enough to drown out his snoring.).

So, New York for the weekend! Hooray!

I feel a renewed sense of vigor, perhaps because the last of my head cold is swiftly disappearing, and my job pressures are back to normal, and it's spring! (kind of) and that generally inspires rebirth, renewal, spring cleaning, spring cooking, all that stuff.

On the menu this week:
I'm cooking up a steak tonight, since it's Monday, rainy, and lazy (oh that last part is just me).
I'm also getting hunger pains every time I leaf through Cooking for Two--delicious recipes in small servings. I'm thinking of the spaghetti carbonera, frittata with goat cheese, eggplant gratin... mmm....
And I'm probably going to try some of their delicious, small-portioned desserts.
Also, my roommates, who have decided to move out by the end of the month (anyone in need of a sublet/apartment in New York City?), will also be taking their fine collection of pots and pans, meaning I get to go kitchenware shopping! Ramekins, anyone?

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The Restaurantour: Pizza Suprema

I know I am perhaps guilty of leaning too strongly towards Boston and Cambridge, my home away from home, when giving critiques of the local eateries. Part of that is because I lived there for four years and part of it is because despite my 10 months (wow! I didn't realize it was that long!) in New York, I am too poor/cheap/lazy to eat out, and part of it is is because my favorite dining partner, who will eat my untouched salads and switch with me when I foolishly pick terrible foods (remember that lamb shank?), is a Cantab. But, whether by accident, device, or word of mouth, I have managed to discover a few gems in the great sandy mine of New York City. I've already discussed the much-touted and yuppie-beloved Shake Shack. Today: the greatest pizza in New York.

In a city with more than 20,000 places to eat, you run into "the greatest" a lot (or, of course, that other favorite, "world's best"). Everywhere is "the original," the "world-famous," the "best." While presumably this is meant to be a lure for cautious eaters, I've always been turned off by stuff like that. In my experience, the "best," "famous," and "original" are usually too busy hawking t-shirts and working up a shtick to pay attention to the food. My favorite restaurants are usually unsung heroes--tiny places with unassuming fronts that serve incredibly amazing food. Welcome, Pizza Suprema.

Pizza Suprema is a little place across the street from Madison Square Garden and the Post Office. It's also just across the street from the Megabus bus stop, which is how I discovered it in the first place. Rushing from work every Friday afternoon, I don't really have time for anything fancy--just a sandwich or a slice of pizza will do--and one day, missing my local sandwich place, I stopped in. Most pizza in New York is fairly predictable: large, thin crust slices with drippy cheese. It's hot, cheesy, and pretty cheap--fine, but nothing great. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Pizza Suprema serves slices that are hot, cheesy, pretty cheap, and absolutely delicious.

It's hard to pinpoint what's so great about the slices. The sauce, which most pizzerias foolishly ignore, is sweet and light--I could eat a slice with nothing on it but the sauce. The crust is the perfect thin crust, crispy, straight out of oven. I love their fresh ingredients, especially the tomato-basil slice, with large basil leaves that taste right from the garden. I've tried their pepperoni and sausage as well--delicious, with the delicate saltiness of the meat mixing brilliantly with the smooth cheese and sweet sauce. There's simply not a better slice of pizza to be had in New York--or at least not one that you could get for their incredibly decent prices.

What's more, the place looks like any other pizza joint in New York. You walk in, pick out your slice from behind plexiglass, they pop it in the oven, and you take a seat at one of their many booths. No "famous" nothing, although they do proudly display their intimidatingly positive reviews on Yelp. The guys that work there are friendly, fast, and efficient--and devoted to good food. When I had to run to my bus and told them not to worry about heating up the slice, the guy moved fast to stick it in the oven anyway while he rung me up, assuring me, "It'll taste better, and you'll catch your bus." Check and check.
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Happy Moanday: Busy Week!


Much apologies for the almost-week-long-delay. I promise, an absence of posts does not mean an absence of the blog, since I am busy-busy at work on the new layout. After beta-testing the new blog with a cross-section of users (aka Dave's family), I am hopeful to roll out Res-o-puh-leese 2.0 by next week! I've been holding off on some blog posts until then, in the hopes to make a nicer impression on future devoted readers, so stay tuned! (browsed?)

Anyway. I am busy this week not just with the blog but with my real life (job). I'm filling in this week for someone on vacation, meaning longer hours and more resposibility (someone asked me if this position made me the boss of anyone and I said "Yes. Me."). And, likely, less time/energy for blogging. But, I am here a full week, heading out this Friday to Boston (and Flight of the Conchords!), so cooking will, hopefully, be done.

Last weekend I whiled away the hours at the beach with the Toniattis, where we feasted on Toniatti tomato sauce (and later meatball subs) and daisy cupcakes. It was lovely to relax and cook in a big, beautiful, sunlit kitchen (not that I have anything against my stain-splattered home cookery), and I ate well.

As for this week's meals, last night Dave and I stopped to get something to eat in New York before he left for Boston, and I stopped at the Tick-Tock Diner (cute name, ok food), and I still have most of my Mac n Cheese cooling in the fridge.* I may finish it, especially since I am ex-haus-ted and cooking/shopping seem only laughable dreams. For the rest of the week, I'm thinking the chill in the air and my slightly worsening sore throat means a soup week, perhaps my famous Boo-Hoo-Flu Soup. And, I very much want to try out some recipes from my cooking for two book, although perhaps that will have to wait until this weekend.

Other news: it is the day after Easter, meaning Cadbury Creme Eggs are 50% off! I plan on handily raiding my local Rite-Aid and storing them B.J. Novak-style.

*We went to the Tick-Tock Diner after stopping into a TGI Friday's that was all bad news bears. Normally I am not too picky about service in super touristy/chain places--this being near the greatest tourist destination in the world, Times Square--but I was surprised that on Easter Sunday at 5:30 we still had to wait for a table. The wait was quick enough, but we were suprised and grossed out by the astronomical calorie counts--which New York requires restaurants to post--and the sky-high prices. For example: a strip steak clocked in at more than 1900 calories and $24--more than I eat/spend in a whole day. Even an appetizer plate of mozerella sticks was more than $10, not to mention close to 1000 calories. We sat down for roughly 30 seconds, decided we didn't want to spend so much for such bad food, and booked across the street for Tick-Tock. There it was better, but not perfect: my mac n cheese + milkshake probably came in around 1000 calories, and cost about $15. What we really should have done was gone to my guys at Pizza Suprema, which is the absolute best pizza in New York, maybe the world. There will be a post on them soon, I promise. Read more!

Counter Intelligence: Washing Dishes is Dumb

As my roommates could tell you, I hate washing dishes. Of all the things I love about cooking--researching recipes, searching for ingredients, cooking, simmering, stirring, and even the occasional smoke-filled mishaps--there is really only one thing that I hate with a passion: dirty dishes.

I don't know what exactly I dislike about it so much, except that, of course, what is there to like? You've finally completed a lovely meal, you're full, content, peaceful, and rather than enjoy the moment and maybe take a nap or watch some Planet Earth, you are forced to trudge over to the sink and spend the next 15 minutes scalding yourself as you scrub the charred remains of your dinner off of a pan. Unnnnpleasant. But while I hate dish-washing, I also feel bad leaving dirty dishes in the sink, especially when my patient but no doubt fed-up roommates finally take care of them. I try to get them right away or a little longer if there's something that needs to soak (scrubbing? oh hell no), but I admit that one of my faults as a chef is certainly my unwillingness as a dish washer.

For a while I thought I had it made, as Dave and I worked out an agreement wherein I would cook and he would clean, which was awesome, since Dave does not really cook anything except tomato sauce and smoothies (yeah, you heard me. prove me wrong, what whaaat!). Sometimes I would even scratch his back while he stood at the sink, and everyone was happy. But, sadly (for other reasons, too), Dave lives far far away and I am stuck without a washer, electric or human. In response, I've discovered certain tools and tricks of the trade to get me through those daily (or, ok, semi-daily) 15 minutes mess-, stress-, and duress-free!

I have very dry and sensitive skin, and I slather myself in lotion daily. Perhaps for this reason, dunking my hands in 115-degree water for 15 minutes is not something I look forward to. After washing dishes my hands are so dry and brittle that I can't even hold things, and turning doorknobs is a mere dream. I've experimented with different hand lotions, but the best ever, in my opinion, for post dish-washing dryness is Crabtree & Evelyn's Cooks Citrus Hand Therapy ($17). My mom got it for me for Christmas, and I love it. The lotion is a smooth mix between regular hand lotion and shea butter, and it deliciously creamy without being greasy. Just a tiny dab is enough to soothe my hands, and the scent--a blend of lemon, grapefruit, and orange--is delicate yet strong enough to overpower any lingering food smells (lemon juice simply on its own is a good way to rid cutting boards and hands of odors). I use it every time I wash dishes and even sometimes after taking a shower or coming in after a cold day. My still-functioning hands thank me.

A little more than a year ago I made a paltry college student living working at the student pub. Someday, I'm sure, I'll devote a post completely to the nuances of the college restaurant life, where I learned to cook, pour beers, and talk drunk college kids into buying rounds of sundaes, but one big part of the experience was working the industrial-sized dish washer. If I didn't like doing it for myself, getting paid to wash dishes did not much sweeten the deal. Perhaps the worst part was the completely disgusting things people left on their dishes--hamburgers drowned in beer, relish mixed with abandon and ketchup, french fries bobbing hopelessly in melted ice cream. There was nothing I could do to stop the disgusting, but at the very least I took solace in the disposable gloves we used for food prep. Aside from the added sanitary effect, it protected my hands from the hot water and made it easier to pick up and move around any leftovers. I'm not a fan of those giant rubber gloves, since they are usually huge, unwieldy, uncomfortable, and lack any fine touch, but the disposable gloves are great--form-fitting and not too hot. A giant box would last a year and be great for reluctant washers (like meeee!). $1.69 each at the WEBstaurant Store.

Everyone should have a good scrub brush with a handle that can store liquid soap. These are great, but it's surprising how so few people actually have them. First Evie had a little bristly scrubber, which Kevin saw and liked, so he bought a scrubber with soap, which Evie saw and liked, so she upgraded to a nicer model. I liked both of theirs, and when I moved into my apartment, I bought my own. It works great, especially for the caked-on stuff that sponges just can't take care of. The one I have, which is sturdy, has durable bristles, and is easy to refill with soap, is $8 at Bed, Bath, & Beyond.

Other dish-washing tips: air dry, never towel dry; don't stack hot, wet glasses on top of each other; clean blenders by blending a little soapy water; change sponges at least once a month; and water needs to get at least above 115 degrees to kill bacteria (it is silly to me that I actually know these things). While, sadly, my lovely lotion, great gloves, and super scrubber don't save me from the tired drudgery of the daily dish wash, these at least help me get through the wash as I dream of drier times and the Bosch SHX98M09UC.

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Happy Moanday: Easter Parade!

After my first five-day work week since March 2nd, it's nice to get back to working for only 4 days. I am delightedly heading beach-ward for the holiday weekend, relaxing with Dave and his family in Avalon. So far plans include fireplaces, beach runs, and the second season of Flight of the Conchords. Also, I can only imagine, many, many Cadbury Creme Eggs.

So, as usual when I only have a four-day work week, I only need to feed myself for three nights. I'm thinking of going Indian food, since I've been craving it since Dave said he was going to cook it for me for my birthday (sadly, didn't). It will keep me warm and cozy while this crazy weather works out whatever adolescent outrage is keeping it freaking freezing, and I usually make enough to keep me satisfied for a few days (plus, I can freeze it for a snack next week). I also got an amazing book from Dave's mom for my birthday about cooking meals for two people, about which I am stoked. So many of my meals end up as unappetizing leftovers, and I'm excited to try portion-appropriate dinners (I think Dave was supposed to be the intended other person, but as he said, I get to eat a good meal twice!).

After I come back from the beach I'll go back to 5-day work weeks, and the promise of spring and warm weather has me excited to try summer cooking--light fishes, delectable pastas, picnics, smoothies, and ice cream--so nice!
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Lazy Blogger

Yes, I know. My blog updates have, of late, been sporadic, with my only real achievement for the week having successfully fooled Steve into thinking I was going to be a TV stah (I should not talk, as I am the most terribly gullible person on the planet. It's something Ann Coulter and I have in common.).

But! Lest you think I've been doing nothing with my life except lazing in bed and watching Family Guy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I know! A weakness. Joss Whedon had me at hello.), I have, in fact, been a busy little bee, working hard on the new layout for the blog. And after weeks, months of design tweaking and Googling all sorts of Blogger help sites and Dave forgetting to bring me my books on CSS again, I can now say with confidence and excitement that the end is indeed in site (ooooh, punnery...).

I am super excited to have come so far, and I can't wait to reveal the new blog (and throw this lime-green monstrosity into the Recycle Bin). As a little taste of things to come, check out the new header, designed, cartooned, and watercolored by me (scanned by Dave):

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Wow!!! In a crazy, amazing twist, Top Chef has picked little ole me to appear as a contestant in the next season! I am absolutely thrilled! I got the call today and have been freaking out with excitement!! Me! On Top Chef! They said they loved my video application, wherein I designed, cooked, and modeled a pair of edible gloves (really just some stretched-out fruit roll-ups, but whatevs). The season starts taping next month so I have a lot to prepare! Do companies usually give time off for reality TV appearances? Should I get a makeover? Will America love me? These are the questions that I'm sure will be keeping me up at night. But, with every rainbow comes a little rain, meaning this blog will have to go offline for a while. Bravo is worried that I will be spilling my guts to my faithful reader(s), and so this will be the last post at least until the next season airs.

But, I can't thank everyone enough for being so supportive during these past few weeks, offering recipes, comments, and suggestions--THANK YOU! Look for me on your local Bravo TV station!!

oh you guys are so gullible. Happy April Food Day :)
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