the gregarious homebody

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The kids and I just spent a coupla days on LBI with some dear friends at their beach house. It's so wonderful to be with people who are so easy to be with. Audrey's younger son has the same interests as my son and the two oldest kids are much older than mine but at the age when they are patient and interested in my guys. They ask them questions and make them feel good because they're talking to them and they're cool. In fact, it is now even more of a dream that my beautiful little girl should marry Audrey's oldest son who happens to be 20 years old. He's such a nice guy. Cute, smart, kind, funny. And when M's 24 and he's 35 it'll be perfect. I would be lying if I said I didn't dream of having such a cool in-law experience (perhaps because of my own--see last post) for M AND me. Love them!

Anyhoo, I know I've talked about this before, but one of the things I love about my good good friends is the range of conversation we have. This visit's ranged from buying couches (and toilets!) for our houses to our and other women's, ahem, grooming habits (see, Jozette??). I can feel myself relaxing when I'm with my best girls and when I see who it is I'm friends with, I like who I am. Cool.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I'm feeling an urge to rant. Please, join me if you like by commenting on your own list of...

Things that make me HOMICIDAL

  1. People who have an opinion about things which have no affect on their own life. Everyone knows people who belong to this group. Maybe it's something "political" like becoming hysterical about the idea of two loving people who are the same sex and hey, by the way, are not them, getting married. This baffles me. How could something like that make their world rock? Or maybe it's something benign like they think someone wanting to have two dogs is odd.
  2. People with no sense of humor. Sure, they think they have one, but in reality fail to see the humor and absurdity of life. LIFE IS SERIOUS, people. This is no time for funnin'.
  3. People who orate. Now, I know it's considered rude by some to interrupt someone when they are speaking, but I think it's also rude to steal the stage, thereby dominating the conversation. And it is supposed to be a conversation, isn't it?
  4. People who mask controlling behavior by calling it "caretaking." Do they really really want to help or is it that they actually think you have no fucking idea how to do anything "correctly" (aka THEIR WAY).

THANKS. I feel much better. Now I think my yin is crying out for some yang, so here is a kinder, gentler list:

Things that make me feel Happy I have This Life

  1. Receiving a totally unsolicited hug or kiss from my kids. Those of you with little ones probably can't imagine a day when a spontaneous hug or kiss is rare. You may, in fact, sometimes find it aggravating when they cling and the hug lasts FOREVER or they grab your face and kiss-kiss-kiss-kiss you. Savor every annoying moment. Someday he will be 12 years old. Someday she will think you're dumb.
  2. Seeing and talking with my friends who interrupt me constantly when I talk and laugh at my foibles. My friends love to talk and to laugh and to laugh at themselves AND me. People who don't get how great this is are missing something. Sometimes my stomach hurts I laugh so much. I love that.
  3. Seeing the man in my life who had to be taught to hug hold his daughter's hand while they watch tv. Nothing, NOTHING is sexier or more smile-provoking than seeing a man be a good dad.
  4. Being married to a man who thinks I rock. Even when I say things like "Okay. Get it over with." That, my friends, is love.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Goodbye to the sweetiest, most neurotic and loving dog a girl could have. I wonder if anyone will ever love me as much as she did.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm a Joiner

I've stumbled across this cool baking blog and decided to join the Daring Bakers! I will now have an official REASON to bake. Each month a "challenge" is posted to all the Bakers in the form of one recipe that we all make. Then we all post our results on the same exact day and give you all the wisdom of our experience (and your part of this is calorie-free!).

I miss testing recipes for the cookbook author I helped out. It was fun to be given an assignment and I often found something so mind-bogglingly delicious that I wouldn't have made without being told to. It's just plain old fun and I hope you check it out! My kids are going to be soooo happy that, for once, I'm making something for them.

Friday, July 11, 2008

*"Homeos"--WHY? Because they ROCK!

So I'm reading Alexis' blog and, shockingly, (not so if you've read it) develop an the itch to bake. AND I've got the perfect excuse (and a place to take all said baking instead of eating it ALL BY MYSELF--another tip from Alexis)--Audrey's annual 4th of July Crab Party. Since my local orchard stand has a sign up for sour cherries, of course I'm going to make something with them. The season is oh-so-short and I think they're my second favorite fruit for desserts. But something else caught my eye on the blog and a good Jewish girl always brings something chocolate, so I tried a recipe for--

Homemade Oreos!

Now I know you're all "WHAAA??" and "Why the hell would you MAKE THEM when you can buy a pack for $3.99 AND get double-stuffed?" but I love the idea of making something homey (read: all-natural) and I LOVE Oreos and I was bored after being locked in a house for almost 2 weeks with a kid with a summer cold.

adding softened butter to the chocolatey goodness

And they were really really worth it. OY. Crispy but a little chewier than *real* Oreos, with a more buttery filling (with no trans fats, thank you very much, thanks to this), and THANK THE LORD, they were so rich that even I couldn't eat more than two at a sitting (and this from a girl who once ate an entire package of the store-bought over the course of an hour. Yuck.).

Dutched cocoa is key to the almost black dough. No fancy kind here for *authenticity*

Are they a tad fussy? NO! Honest to g-d. The only special piece of equipment I would suggest you definitely use is a pastry bag because if you use it, the filling looks so good--you know, like it's squashed down perfectly even all around. If you're either a) a retard like me with a spatula or b)a somewhat type A person like me when it comes to stuff like this, you'll thank me for the suggestion.
balls of dough ready for the oven after flattening them with the bottom of a glass sprayed with Pam

finished cookie discs (cracky tops) awaiting their creamy filling

Two things I did that the recipe didn't specify are refrigerating the panned balls of dough (so that they were easier to flatten) and I also flipped the baked cookies and filled them so that the outside was on the inside. Huh?! Just bake your cookies and you'll see--the tops of the cookies are a teeny bit puffy and cracky. I simply put that part on the inside of the sandwich cookie so that the outside of the finished cookie was flat like the real thing. Check out the recipe here. Smitten Kitchen is an awesome site for fab food pics and recipes that deliver.

*I know this name sounds like some kind of homosexual/urban lingo derivative, but my 12 year old son thought of it all by himself without a hint of irony.


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