Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sad for my Eldest -- A David Hernandez Fan

Alas, DH is the first Idol to be cut. My son will be so disappointed. And no, he knows nothing of David's racy past!

I say, if anything, having worked as a burlesque waiter should earn you points. This is Hollywood, people, who are you kidding?

Monday, January 14, 2008

It Came from the Tub...

I received an obviously quite effective letter recently, as a new homeowner. The company provides sterilizing services for bathtubs. (Without using brand names, suffice to say the ones with jets.)

We didn't even have a bathtub in our last master bathroom -- just a shower. And frankly it didn't really bother me, as I'm not much of a bath person. That said, my husband did purchase candles to make our new bathtub quite relaxing. The stress of moving brought to light something else -- two bulging discs in my back -- so having this awesome tub to soak in really made me feel good about our choice of house.

Then I got this letter. And I started contemplating the previous occupants and how many baths they may have taken in it. Did they clean it properly? What hidden bacteria were potentially lurking in my luxury tub?

Well, today, I got my answer. The wonderful, grandfatherly technician (I knew in advance they'd be "gray-haired" so apparently this company only uses retirees) asked, sheepishly, whether I was a customer who did or did not want to know exactly what they might find in my tub.

I should pause here to say that I did not clear this somewhat unnecessary, ex-budget expense with my husband ahead of time. But as we get older, I do become more like him in the anti-germ department. So I knew that the asking of forgiveness instead of permission tactic would, in fact, work to my advantage.

What I saw, if one believes these two grandpas weren't planting matter into the tub while I was downstairs with my daughter, looked a bit like this:

If oregano were brown, and I'm guessing after some years it is, and you added say a cupful to our tub when filled one inch over the valves, that would be it.

I called my friend Kelly (a/k/a "I can't stand human stains") to relay what I was going through. She happens to be my neighbor now.

The grandpas stopped by her house on their way out of the 'hood, and got themselves another sale.

Oh, and if you're wondering how to clean your tub -- every two months or so you should take 1/3 cup of Cascade powder, and run the jets for 20 minutes or so. Drain, wipe out. Refill water, run clear through jets for 2-3 minutes. Wipe out with a clean cloth.

And, once a year, bring in the experts.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Too Late for Christmas Cheesecake Recipe

I made this for Christmas this year and it was yumm-y. Maybe you can put it down for 2008!

From Bon Appetit Christmas, 1994

8 to 10 servings (we cut this up to 16, it's rich of course!)

Begin preparing this one day before you plan to serve it.

9 whole graham crackers
2 T sugar
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 T dark rum
1 T brandy
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 ground nutmeg
3 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 T sugar
1/4 t vanilla extract

1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
Cinnamon sticks

FOR CRUST: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375F. Grind graham crackers, sugar and ground cinnamon in processor. Transfer crumb mixture to medium bowl. Add butter and toss until evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture over bottom and 1 3/4" up sides of a 9" diameter springform pan with 2 3/4" sides.

Freeze crust until cold, about 10 minutes. Bake crust until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer crust to rack and cool.

FOR FILLING: Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer until very smooth. Add dark rum, brandy, vanilla and ground nutmeg and beat to blend. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just blended. Spoon filling into crust. Bake until filling is puffed, very light brown and softly set in center, about 45 minutes. Transfer cheesecake to rack and cool 30 minutes. (Center may fall slightly.) Increase oven temperature to 400F.

FOR TOPPING: In medium bowl whisk sour cream, sugar and vanilla to blend. Pour mixture gently over cheesecake, filling center depression, and spread evenly to edges. Bake until set, about 8 minutes. Transfer cheesecake to rack and cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Cut around sides of pan to loosen. Release pan sides. Sift ground cinnamon and nutmeg over cheesecake. Arrange cinnamon sticks in center of cheesecake and serve.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


It seems like yesterday I was lamenting the, well, un-Frenchness of this law. Here we are, with an official AP account of the reaction in Paris.

My favorite is this section:

"Others saw the ban as attack on their rights.

"Jean-Pierre Aiglement, a 55-year-old waiter at the Cafe Au Depart in northern Paris, vowed not to be 'chased out onto the pavement' by the 'stupid law.'

" 'I'll smoke where I please,' he said, lighting a cigarette with his morning coffee."

That pretty much sums up how I'd imagined many Parisians would react. But apparently the health wave has already been successful elsewhere in Europe.

Maybe it's for the best. And maybe that French surgeon who examined me (during an appendicitis attack), at a Paris hospital, with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, will balk at the $93 fine and be huddling under the awnings outside like the rest of them.

Justice for all.

I'm so glad Blogger is Free (and Easy)

... cause if I were compensated like this, I'd owe them money. ;-)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Because It Can't End Soon Enough...

... in case you want their health care positions, check out your candidate's views at:

I've had this on my radar for some time, even before working in "the biz." There are few other issues that matter as much in the upcoming election -- so read up, people!

(Incredibly unoriginal steal of the Diet Pepsi commercial.)

If You Leave Your Kids With a Sitter

This is a great template to use/have posted inside your kitchen cabinet.

Eat, Pray, Love?

So my very dear friend Jenny mentioned this book to me today and thought I'd like it. Said it's reminiscent of this blog, when I remember to post.

Comments? Thoughts? Reviews?

PS: Erica, please note that I posted today. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Because I Can't Leave My Upstairs

We are doing some flooring installation (okay, I'm not, but the Empire Today guys are) so I am sequestered upstairs. At least my crabby daughter is napping. (It's tough when you start the day at 5:30am.)

On various breaks from my newsletter editing, there were these:

Hollywood story #1 -- Creepy.
Hollywood story (and I use the term "story" quite loosely) #2 -- Hilarious.

(Who knew you could survive all day on a granola bar and chocolate, along with a heaven-sent latte from a friend who knows what you need? Thanks, Kel!)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Hung Over

He won Top Chef. Oh, the humanity!

I am convinced his foams and powders were a direct result of his rapport with Marceau (a/k/a Elias Big Boy).