Monthly Archives: September 2007

The beginning of baking season??

Be a Better Baker

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Does the picture look all that good?

Going Bananas Over Baking

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Chillicothe, Missouri

City adopting official slogan: The Home of Sliced Bread

I don’t know about you, but I’m particularly excited about that giant loaf of bread as a roadside attraction…

And the city’s website ain’t bad either.

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He Bakes

My friend who looks like Jesus (and who is getting a PhD in Physics and who was *almost* on Beauty and the Geek) has a girlfriend now. He met her in Germany (ironically, she is a youth minister).

And…for her birthday, he decided to give her a taste of home: that is, an authentic Junior’s cheesecake. (Although, ironically again, perhaps, he cannot remember when exactly that birthday is anymore…)

However…I couldn’t be prouder of him as he made it entirely from scratch. He even had to buy a springform pan at a local housewares shop. (I am curious how one would say, “springform pan” in German. Babelfish wasn’t much help…it did, however, tell me that “cheesecake pan” is “käsekuchenwanne.” I spent a *little* time in Germany when I was living in England…and I had an gift certificate to use up, so I ordered a German phrasebook. Of course, the phrasebook didn’t arrive in time for my trip…but Big J and I particularly enjoyed the love and romance section of the book [after I got back] and so I still say it was money well spent.)

I asked Jesus/Physics/Geek to send me the recipe he used…and like a typical mad scientist, he failed to comply. Luckily, however, Good Morning America has the recipe.

I’m not sure about the sponge cake layer though – whatever happened to graham cracker crusts??

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One of my favorite lines…

I’m writing up a story for my old job…and have the TV on in the background (it’s muted *most* of the time…otherwise I wouldn’t get any work done…I don’t know – something about the warm glow makes me feel like there are people around. Or something).

Anyway…TBS is back to the very first episodes of Friends…during the beginning of Ross and Rachel. And Rachel went to the airport to surprise Ross (pre-9/11, so she could go to the gate)…but he came back from China with Julie…and when they all got back to the apartment and were explaining how they ran into each other at an archaeological dig, an out-of-breath, visibly flustered, smart alecky Rachel says, “I mean, isn’t that just kick-you-in-the-crotch, spit-on-your-neck fantastic?”

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Happy 60th, Brian!

I couldn’t do flamingos…so how about a bear??

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It seems the Food Network schedule was a bit screwy.

So…I don’t really have any idea when the pie contest will actually air.

An eagle-eyed reader pointed out that the times I posted were dated 2006 (oops)…

Does anyone out there know when it will actually be on??

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I kinda wish I had a figurine myself.

So…I had brunch with an old friend this weekend. He happens to be a playwright at heart and we haven’t talked in ages so we had a lot to catch up on – including his latest play.

He said that when he started writing, his boyfriend gave him a Ganesh figurine because Ganesh is the lord of success and the destroyer of obstacles…and he is also worshipped as the god of wisdom and wealth.

…and the mouse at his feet is supposed to be the mind running all over the place?

(I don’t know much about Hinduism…but a quick Google search just now seems to confirm as much…)

Long story short, my friend just had a reading for his new play…so he’s certainly moving right along. And it seems like if I, too, had a Ganesh to watch over me (and destroy my obstacles), perhaps I, too, would find success and wisdom and wealth (or at least just actually be motivated to write on a more regular basis).

Perhaps I’m oversimplifying…and I certainly don’t mean to offend any Hindus…I just thought it was a nice idea, that’s all.

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Speaking of Italian Food…

I went to Grimaldi’s Pizzeria last night (even though when it was first suggested I thought it would be utterly and completely impossible to get a table there on a Saturday night). Much to my surprise and delight, however, the wait wasn’t that bad. (I took a friend from California [who wanted to be known as “Big J” when we were in junior high] on her birthday this year…but we hadn’t eaten much all day and so we got there around 4:00 on a Tuesday…and we got a table right away!)

So…we had some pizza…and decided the meal wouldn’t be complete without spumoni. (It reminds me of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk because I used to go there with my mother and grandmother when I was a kid…and we used to go to the same Italian restaurant and my mom would order Beafeeter on the rocks with a twist and my grandmother would order bourbon on the rocks with a twist and I’d get a Shirley Temple…and I don’t remember what they’d get to eat, but I’d get fried shrimp and my grandmother would always let me trade her red sauce for more tartar sauce…and then we’d all get spumoni…)

However, at Grimaldi’s last night, the old guy who waits by the door came over and said to me, “When you hit white, it’s the dish” as if I am some sort of ravenous fiend!

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Oh, Rachael Ray…

I had a friend in town last week who really likes brownies. I wanted to do something for her…but I didn’t want to make just any ol‘ brownies, so I was trying to look for something a little more exciting. It’s tricky though because she hates nuts…

Finally I came across a recipe for “fluffernutter brownies” and decided I could just put nuts on half (so that we could still see how the recipe is supposed to turn out…but we’d *also* still have a BB-friendly half).

I had to buy marshmallows for the first time in I don’t even remember how long…and so even though the recipe only called for a cup of marshmallows on top, I decided to throw on a whole bunch more…just because I have no idea when I’m going to use up a whole bag of marshmallows (unless I suddenly start camping a lot and making s’mores ’til the cows come home?).

However, when I tried to remove them from the pan and cut them up into delicate bite-sized pieces, I realized I had *actually* created a horribly sticky mess…and those brownies weren’t budging from the pan.

My friend was very gracious and sampled them…but said they kinda glued her mouth shut!

I also tried my hand at Rachael Ray’s calzones this weekend. She says to cut the dough in half…but the last time I made this recipe, I literally ended up with football-shaped calzones that took about a week to eat (a piece)…so this time I cut the dough into fourths to create more manageable meals. It worked *pretty* well…except that some sorta exploded in the oven (and so there’s spinach-and-cheese guts all over the pan).

I have to give Ms. Ray props for coming up with so many 30-minute meals…but – constructive criticism alert! – I find some of the recipes are a little, well, bland. The pasta I made last weekend seemed like it had so much potential…but it just fell a little flat. (And I kind of felt like I might as well have just bought a bottle of Ragu.) I guess you’re compromising zing for speed. I suppose next time I should be a little braver and try to experiment with the recipes a bit more…or just fall back on

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