Artichokes, A Spicy Bloody Mary, A Needed Title, and so much more…….

Hi Everyone!

 

Well, life is a bit humdrum right now! I am still on the ZONE Diet and so I thought I would share some yummy meals with you!

 

I took a piece of salmon and stabbed it a dozen times with a fork. This is a great stress reliever. I can think of better stress relievers, but Clooney is engaged! And I hate his personality. Hot but I think I would have to say, “You sit there and look pretty because you should NOT talk!

 

I then drizzled olive oil, honey, sprinkled a pinch of salt and pepper on the salmon and then squirted a quarter of one of those ridiculously small limes on it. I flash fried it in a skillet of olive oil for about 3-5 minutes on each side. The outside was crispy the inside perfect. It was yummy.

 

I then made a Ratatouille with diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, zucchini, salt pepper and the usual spices that accompany it. It was yummy! The key, at least for me, is to sauté the veggies first in the olive oil before adding the tomatoes. I am a weird one. I don’t like my veggies firm. I like them soggy. Sad, but true. Here is my Ratatouille with a clump of tuna fish salad.

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The other veggie I made was stir-frying broccoli with onion and garlic.

 

I went to the Burlington Flea Market down in Kentucky. I remember in college my mom waking me up real early to go and I loved it. It was a real high point for coming back to Cincy. It is the third Sunday, April through October. It is at the Burlington Fair Grounds and you can get some great antiques along with many other things, but I predominantly go for the antiques. Heck, I go just to look! I have bought stuff there over the years!

 

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I came home and I had a hankering for a recipe I heard about in New York at a place called Sant Ambroeus. It is where the beautiful, elegant, Europeans and models go and your friend Erin. My friend Kristen and I went in February and the bartender was talking about one of her favorite dishes, which is artichokes, arugula and Parmesan cheese. I thought the flavors combined would be yummy.

 

As a child, my mom would boil, steam an artichoke and we would pull off the leaves and dip them in melted butter and the heart at the bottom was the treat. I still do it, but I wanted to try this! Having no idea how to do it. So, I winged it and the next time I will do it differently, but I loved it this time!

 

I boiled/steamed the artichoke till the leaves could easily be pulled off. Then I pulled them apart with a pair of tongs. Gosh those suckers get hot! I put oil, salt and pepper in the stir-fry pan and tossed those leaves in it and then tossed in the arugula and the parm cheese. I couldn’t eat it fast enough. It was so good. In retrospect, I probably should have stir-fried the artichoke leaves and thrown it in a bowl and tossed the arugula and parm in it so the arugula didn’t get so wilted. Doesn’t matter, it was finger lickin’ good regardless of the method.

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I can’t believe I ate the same breakfast for umpteen years and I change it a month ago to eggs and I am already bored. I have now resorted to soft-boiled eggs. The only problem is once it is in the little egg caddy and you ding it to open it. It is bloody hot and the tips of your fingers get burnt but you have to eat it fast and then I never have enough yolk for all the egg white. I sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher, don’t I? Blah, blah, blah.

 

Last night, I found a Barefoot Contessa recipe that I altered but used this morning. I did scrambled eggs with parsley and dill in it. That was good.

 

This afternoon for lunch, I ate tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper, a basil leaf and a small bite of mozzarella cheese. It is so good!

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Over the weekend, I was craving the NOHO STAR Bloody Mary and I have all the ingredients, but not the portions. So, I played with it till I got it where I wanted it. My tongue was quite numb, a little hot, but delicious.

 

You take good tomato juice (or like me use, V-8, Hot & Spicy), add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, a few squirts of Worcestershire sauce, a few drops of Tabasco, salt, pepper, two shakes of celery salt, a small dollop of horseradish, then here is the key. One tablespoon each of finely diced green peppers, red onion, and a few (ONLY a few) pinches of diced jalapenos, and I used the juice of half a lime.

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I love it! For me, I think it is the balsamic vinegar that gives it that Je ne sais quo! (I don’t know what!)

 

My mom and the wonderful Sylvie took the dogs for a walk on the beach. Sylvie sent me a pic of them and ALL the dogs! Sylvie heads back to Germany till the fall soon. She will be missed!

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I wrote a book about cancer for kids and my mother has been working on the illustrations for a LONG, LONG time. It was so hard for her to do it. I am happy to say it is finished. It has been edited and it is ready to go to market. I told you I have a group of gals in the building and we are sewing the accompanying stuffed animal for the book. I have sewed more prototypes of this character than I have fingers and toes and let me tell you. I am not an artist! So, this lovely gal June in the building took the bird I was most fond of home and she is replicating it to the way I want it. I am so excited. She is then going to have a sewing template. I am going to use it to cut out pieces for the assembly line to get ready to go! I have sewers, stuffers, and cutters. It will be a lot of fun!

 

My hallway looks like a bombed out building in Beirut.

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They are redoing pipes, I don’t know, something, updating and they had to gut the ceiling in the hall in front of my front door. It looks like a war zone. Guys are nice, sometimes hard to work with them blaring music, although they seem to have turned it down quite a bit since the first day. Good music, but hard to work with it loud.

 

I showed you the cute coconut South African Sue’s friend/neighbor had done turning it into a fish. Well, I finally did it and it is hanging in my bedroom. It isn’t as cute as hers but I like it.

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My friend Trouble has seven children. For Christmas, one of them gave her and her hubby a really darling gift. They were picked up last night and driven to The Precinct for a yummy steak. It used to be the best steak in Cincy, many moons ago, but I am not sure if that is still true or not. Then they were driven to Music Hall to see the music of Glenn Miller, and were able to dance to it, and then driven home. They have been married for over 50 years! I can’t wait to hear how her hot date went last night. She was so excited to go!

 

I went to sit with my friend Mare for her chemo appointment. Her doc moved to a more spacious and spiffy office. There is enough room now that I can actually sit in a proper chair as opposed to a stool, the floor or a tight windowsill.

 

I haven’t been in awhile because she was gone all winter, then I was gone, then I mixed up the dates, she wouldn’t tell me where the new office was because she felt guilty that I went and sat with her, I had to figure it out. So, I decide that I am going to wait in the chemo room so when she comes out of the doc’s office into the chemo room she will see me. I wait. I wait. I did get a bit anxious. I think I had a baby panic attack. Flash flood of memories from my chemo days. When she is there I can focus on her. When she isn’t my mind wanders to days past of my own experiences. I leaved through a Good Housekeeping and then a PEOPLE. No Mare. I started to get REALLY worried. I went to the front desk. She was still back there….she “assumed.” Now, I am worried, scared, nausea, but completely capable of flirting with the guy in the next seat who is doing chemo. I kid, kinda. I wasn’t interested and he was married but it was nice to have the distraction so we began to talk. An HOUR later, one of the chemo nurses goes to talk to Mare’s doctor, who has come out into the chemo room, he’s hot! (I know, I know, but it is spring, give me a break! Everything blooms in spring including me.) And they giggle; she walks over and says, “She is not here! She left AGES ago! Now, my surprise is wasted. I am bummed. I can’t say bye to the guy next to me fast enough. My brain is saying RUN FOR THE HILLS!!! I got out of there. I was sad to miss Mare. Glad she got a break. I think/hope I may have cheered up that poor fella who was having a rough time. It is hard. No two ways about it.

Poor Mare felt terrible. It wasn’t her fault! So, I left there and went to Graeter’s with my dad.

 

I needed to get an oil change yesterday for my car so my dad met me at the place and we went to Graeter’s to kill time. I had a $5 off coupon so I could treat him. You get $5 off when you get 100 points. I have done that a few times over the years! It was the first REAL bad cheat of my diet. Every single and solitary bite tasted like a little bit of heaven. So, after my dad almost drove over me when he returned me to the car place. I am not kidding. He leaned his head out the window and said, “Oh my gosh, Erin Moss! I almost drove over you!” Yeah, I noticed that! I went home and the sugar hit me hard!!! Remember, I have cut most of the sugar out of my life! Well, here I am hopped up on Graeter’s ice cream probably reacting like someone who drank a pot of coffee when they usually drink a cup or two (that’s me!) and I was WIRED!!!!

 

I moved furniture! I painted my fish! I painted a sign! I used this wood stuff my friend Roy gave me on 4 chairs and a table. I cleaned the shelves in my pantry! I went through three cookbooks looking for veggie recipes. I was INSANE!!! Then, I got into bed and my brain wouldn’t stop! Holy moly, it was awful! Great because I got a lot done. Great because the fit bit said even after eating the ice cream that I didn’t consume enough calories on the day because I kept burning them up.

 

And you know on my way to St. Vincent de Paul’s to donate a trunk full of stuff; I saw a Graeter’s sign and wanted to go back! Some people drink, some smoke, some do hard drugs and I do Graeter’s! I think mine is the lesser of evils, but that is debatable!

 

This morning, I went to walk before the thunderstorms. On my way home, I stopped in an empty field and picked wildflowers. When I was living in Baltimore, one of my closest friends there who I called Faby Baby, she and her hubby, then boyfriend lived in horse country. We went for a run and stopped in a field and picked up two ears of corn for dinner. I got this horrible bug bite, which I thought was of course from stealing an ear of corn. And I didn’t do anything like that till today, but I am sure that field was not owned by anyone and would you be furious if a lady came and picked a few weeds? I sure hope not, but I did have déjà vu of the bug bite. I came home and showered.

 

Okay, my mom just called and she does this to me ALL the time and I think I have her “disease” or I am going to call it that! It must be a disease and I can’t stand it! She and I are talking about the weather and she says, “The Johnsons have not cut their grass in a month.” We go back to talking about the weather and she says, “You should see the cars lined up in front of Bailey’s.” I say okay! Then she says, “And did I tell you I bought a piece of fish last night for dinner and it was so good.” So, the weather story, Mom….I say.” She says, “Yes, the lawn is long! OH MY GOSH! There are five cop cars at the Smith’s house.” I could say, “So, I went out on my balcony and stripped naked and did a dance.” She would NOT hear me and she would continue to talk about the cops in front of the Smith house! Then she talks to my 4-legged sister. “Hold on Er,” she says. “Your sister is not listening to me. You will not believe what she is doing.”

            “That’s great mom!” I say. “So, what is she doing?”

            “Er, hold on! Your sister is taking her fox toy and tossing it in the air. It is so cute. I can’t remember where I put those blue paints I used when you were here last. Do you remember seeing them?”

            “That was over a month ago, Mom!” I say. “Are you going to finish the weather story?”

            “Yes,” said mom. “Hold on, let me get another cup of coffee.”

            She does this and it drives me crazy and it scares the crap out of me that I do this or will. Oh well…I guess I can try to fight it. I just keep on laughing. For now…

 

So, I need your help here. First let me say this! I have a friend in the building who is an artist and he as trying to come up with a title for a piece of his art. He put it out there that he needed a name. He got one. The person that came up with the name thought she should either: A) get that piece of art B) win a trip for two to the Bahamas C) get a commission on the art sold. So, I want to make it perfectly clear, ALL you are going to get is a great big thank you and some good old fashion admiration!

 

I started a novel many, many moons ago when I was at a Writer’s Conference down in Key West, FL. I came home, back to my B & B late one night and I sat up till 2am jotting down an outline for the story. It was initially going to be my first trashy novel. I had the main character modeled VERY vaguely after a man I knew and really liked. After trying to write the story on and off for years from his standpoint, I realized I am not a man, I need to write it from the woman’s standpoint. A professor in grad school, had told me this years ago, but I was hell bent to not do it. Well, I finally changed the course of the story in a variety of ways! I am almost halfway through the story. Think; a good old fashioned love story! I still can’t find a title for it. It is driving me crazy! I originally titled it TWISTED, because it is such a convoluted love story, but since I have found a small handful of stories called TWISTED and I want something more original. I used the main character’s name for a while. HATE THAT! I now have it in a folder called EAST COAST LOVE. That is so blah! Plus, it leaves the East coast (which is my comfort zone) and progresses to California.  I can’t call it East Coast Love! Isn’t that discrimination? So, if any of you have any clever title ideas…please pass them along! Thanks.

 

 

Until we meet again…

 

Enjoy! Eat, travel, laugh…often….

 

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