Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Monday, May 29, 2006

"What a love - what a miracle..." ~ Jane Eyre

I had to post photos of my sweet nephew, Jack Krikor, enjoying his first trip to the Hamptons ever! What a curly top he is. Bad days don't exist for me anymore. All I have to do is see him in a photo or in person and my day is as bright as his smile.
(He will be nine months old this week)

Friday, May 26, 2006

"I can remember..." ~ Jane Eyre

Although I celebrate the commencement of summer this weekend along with everyone else, I will take a moment to reflect on those who died protecting and serving this country. I don't support every war in our country's history, but I do support and admire our soldiers. I am thankful that both my grandfathers survived World War II, but I know many of their band of brothers did not.

Tomorrow the USMA will graduate the class of 2006. A year ago, D.R. was graduating, throwing his hat into the air.

38 graduates of West Point have died since we entered Afghanistan and Iraq. I hope and pray each day that the number remains at 38.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

"I could not forgo the delicious pleasure..." ~ Jane Eyre

Food Porn is a term I have been enjoying lately; its fairly new to me since I have only been reading food blogs for the past few months. I love the term, but of course I love the actual descriptions that constitute food porn even more.

However, I must assert that beverage porn is not as widely written about in the epicurean porn industry. So, I decided to perpetuate it a bit here in this post.

The Stars of My Beverage Porn Collection

1) Banana Coconut Frappucino (Starbucks) ~ It didnt matter that it was cold and rainy last week when I trapsed into Starbucks with splashes of water running down my umbrella onto the sacred ground that is Fourbucks. I was unaware of this new drink until I saw the tropicalesque banner for it in the shop. The barristas were enthusiastic when I asked them about the new concoction, but I ordered a "tall" just to be on the safe side. Safety was not needed; the drink is orgasmic. Nevermind the phallic symbolism of the banana. The coconut flavor makes you think of the tropics, which makes you think of the beach, which makes you think of sex on the beach.

2) Affogato ('Inoteca)~ J.Sarah and I first went to 'Inoteca on the LES two summers ago for her birthday celebration. I remember an excellent wine list and amazing Italian-style "tapas," but what stood out the most was the affogato. Affogato is creamy vanilla gelato being doused with strong and hot expresso. Though I have had it a few other times, 'Inoteca's is the best; I think it must be something to do with the gelato to expresso ratio. In any event, affogato makes you think of Italy, which makes you think of the Statue of David (or Botticelli's Birth of Venus for the gents), which makes you think of nakedness.

3) Chardonnay on the Rocks With a Shot of Peach Schnapps (Recipe courtesy of NYTimes Travel Section) ~ Years ago, a writer for the New York Times Travel Section was in Provence, France, and sat in a small countryside cafe. She ordered a glass of chardonnay, and this was how it was presented to her: in a regular white wine glass with a few bits of ice and a splash of creme de peche. The nuttiness of the Chardonnay is complimented by the fruitiness of the peach flavor. Since reading the article, this glass of wine has become a staple in my summer drink repertoire, substituted with the schnapps since many bars do not have the creme. The drink makes you think of France, which then makes you think of Belle De Jour, which makes you think of seduction.

4) Peppermint Hot Chocolate (William's Sonoma) ~ Popular during the holiday season, this hot chocolate is rich and creamy with a minty kick. I served it to Chaz this past winter and he loved it. It is prepared by heating up the milk first and then adding the pure chocolate flakes into the milk and whisking it in the saucepan. Williams' Sonoma also makes chocolate marshmallows and chocolate covered marshmallows. Pick your poison (I have both). Hot cocoa makes you think of winter night snows, which makes you think of warmth, which makes you think of kissing by a fireplace.

5) Hoegaarden Beer (Imported from Belgium) ~ I love wheatbeers. Purple Haze Abita is another favorite, but Hoegaarden remains on top for me. I enjoy it at the Belgian bistro by my apartment, Waterzooi, and at places like the Biergarten in Astoria. It is definitely more of a summer beer than a winter beer. Sometimes places outside of New York serve it with a lemon slice. Personally, I am a straight-up Ho' girl. The beer makes you think of hot summer nights, which makes you think of being sweaty, which makes you think of being sweaty with someone you are extremely attracted to.

It would be nice to hear about the collections of others.

Cheers to Beverage Porn!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"I must bring an egg at the least, to say nothing of fried ham." ~ Jane Eyre

There is something burning in the kitchen of my life.

Leftover years of teaching darken pots which were once seen as half full; now, they are half empty. There is an unpleasant residue building up of administrative, parental, and student drippings that have hardened, rendering themselves useless to the recipes constituting my daily intake of food for my soul.

These foods were palatable once, however, according to scientific and epicurean studies, taste buds change every seven years, and next year would mark my seventh year as a teacher.

I glance at the pots and the food is as burned out as I feel.

So, it is time to go food shopping. And of course we all know how much food shopping excites me. I am looking forward to traveling down the aisles of classified ads and getting more specials from my cousin off of mediabistro. I need to replenish my professional spices and add more sweets to my work week.

In the meantime, I look for any other ingredients that teaching has left for me in the cold refridgerator. I peer in and see...


When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade layer cake!

I already have the layers - the people in my life who love me and make my life rich and the experiences in my life that make it light and airy. These layers are special and never crumble.

Now, I just need the icing on the cake.

**I made this cake back in 2002 for a supper club meeting that J. Sarah invited me to. I remember it tasting fairly good considering it was from Cooking Light! Still, any dessert with lemons is delicious in my book. The photo above is one of this particular cake recipe.**

Lemonade Layer Cake
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons thawed lemonade concentrate
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
Cooking spray

2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons thawed lemonade concentrate
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cake, place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; stir well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat well after each addition.
Pour batter into 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.
To prepare frosting, place 2 tablespoons butter and the next 4 ingredients (2 tablespoons butter through cream cheese) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, and beat at low speed just until blended (do not overbeat). Chill 1 hour.
Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 servings

Friday, May 19, 2006

"And an honest and happy pride..." ~ Jane Eyre

For as long as I can remember, I have romanticized the United States. Nothing has changed since the time I was seven, standing in front of the Lincoln monument in Washington DC, Lincoln sitting behind me and my sister as we salute towards the lens of my father's camera.

I am in love with Abraham Lincoln despite the fact that he is just too tall for me. I love Teddy Roosevelt as a daughter loves her father. (His physicallity just so happens to remind me of my father.) The pledge of allegiance does not resonate as a pledge to me, but a love poem written for the American flag. The Declaration of Independence is as well written as any work in the English canon. As for the Constitution, it is a work of sheer beauty as wondrous as any text that is true and ideal. Lady Liberty is among the most beautiful of sculptures.

However, there are many things about the United States that I don't like; issues that enrage me, policies that anger me, and bureaucracy that hurts me. The course of true love never did run smooth, and this country has taught me what unconditional love is.

Perspective is important.

When I get angry, enraged, and hurt, I have a right to speak and act on my feelings. That is the beauty of living here. When I disagree with philosophies, I exercise my power to disagree every time I step into the voting booth. When I feel strong about an issue, I have the freedom of speech to discuss it on my blog.

This is the land which took care of my great-grandparents and grandparents after they survived a genocide. This is the land which gave my parents educational opportunities, which in turn they gave to me and my sisters. This is the land my grandfathers fought to protect from the Axis Powers in World War II. Their uniforms and the flags presented to my grandmothers when they died have been left to me in wills, because they are invaluable.

In the history of this nation, there has always been conflict. We are not a utopia by any means, but we are fortunate to live here. My brother-in-law is a conservative man, and although I am not a conservative by any means, I respect his politics. Why? Because he grew up in a communist country. He defected with nothing but his shirt on his back. He spent a year in a D.P. camp in Italy before coming here with nothing as a teenager with his family.

Now, close to 40 years of age, he is businessman and giving so many beautiful things to his son, my nephew, that it brings me to tears. It includes my nephew's Christening this weekend in the Armenian Church and a beautiful celebration afterwards. I admire my brother-in-law so very much, and I love my country because it has taken care of him, as it takes care of me and all of us.

This post is here for three reasons. The first, and most important, is because I have the right to say whatever I wish. The second, because love of this country came up in conversation last night and I wanted to share my beliefs - take it for what you will. Third, a friend will be deployed tomorrow to Iraq to serve as a Lieutenant in the United States Army there. I am thankful that I have freedom of speech and I am thankful that people can debate politics freely.

I am also very thankful to my friend who is leaving tomorrow. He knows this country is far from perfect, but he also knows that this country is worth love and respect of its citizens. I have nothing but respect for him since the day we met and he told me he was going to the USMA. I am fortunate to have witnessed his honorable career so far.

One of the most beautiful songs from a Broadway show is called "Anthem" from a musical called Chess. I rarely publish song lyrics because we have heard most, but this song is not well known. The song is sung by a man who knows his country is quite imperfect, but he loves his country regardless.

He is in love with it. For good and for bad. Unconditional love.

No man, no madness
Though their sad power may prevail
Can possess, conquer, my country's heart
They rise to fail
She is eternal
Long before nations' lines were drawn
When no flags flew, when no armies stood
My land was born.
And you ask me why I love her
Through wars, death and despair.
She is the constant, we who don't care
And you wonder will I leave her -- but how?
I cross over borders but I'm still there now.
How can I leave her?Where would I start?
Let man's petty nations tear themselves apart
My land's only borders lie around my heart.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

"It seems her career there was very honourable: from a pupil, she became a teacher, like yourself..." ~ Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre begins her career as a teacher, but we all know she does not end her career in the capacity of a teacher. I always knew that I would not retire a teacher and have vocalized this fact. The most influential people in my life are renaissance people who have had multi-faceted careers based on their passions.

Passion is a motif that I try to teach my students each day through characters and text; I work to ignite passion each day, whether I am working to have a student form a passionate opinion or encouraging students to choose paths that best suits their passions.

Unfortunately, someone is failing the lesson, and it is me.

It is quite easy to romanticize the life of an English teacher. Perhaps there are the visions of a woman wearing glasses with a pencil stuck in her hair, tying her bun together. Perhaps there are images of a woman who is reading Shakespeare in front of a classroom with students actively participating and caring about the plot of the play. The woman comes to work in the morning to a bright and sunny room with portraits of Steinbeck and Stein on the walls, and the students enter the classroom polite and eager to learn. Field trips are arranged to museums and theatre. Hallways are filled with positive energy and camaraderie amongst students. Conversation is active, smiles are abundant, and the teacher is met with constant support by her administrators. In her free time she reads and goes to see a play. Her summers off are spent at the beach, and she takes vacations during the school's recess for President's Week.

I invite you for a moment to take off the rose-colored glasses for a glimpse of what the truth is in my classroom. In my heart I believe that there are actual English teachers like the one I just described, but they are so few and far between; a dying breed. I am not speaking for all in this post, but I am speaking for many.

The truth is that my students are apathetic to literature. This generation is the television an video game generation; they don't know how to sit down and read because their parents handed them a remote control instead of a book. There is no camaraderie in the hallways; my district has a task force now for gang awareness. Even if there were no gangs, there would be no socializing because students have headphones in their ears from their IPODS. For those that do fraternize, their language makes one think one is in a gutter and not in a place of academia. Now that tracking has been dismantled, self-contained classes cut because of budget issues, and inclusion classrooms are not being set up properly to succeed, I spend a good deal of the period being a disciplinarian and not teaching. I don't trust my students enough to take them on a field trip. Many of the parents in this community are just as disrespectful and impolite as their children are. The physical conditions in my building are abysmal; I joined the Health and Safety committee this year in hopes to make changes, but I was met with excuses and bureaucracy. I work summers because my salary is not enough to carry me through the two months I am off.

I am not complaining. I am merely stating facts. After six years of teaching, I have a sixth sense that this profession is not making me feel professional. I teach about passion, but lately I feel as though I don't practice what I teach.

I have become dispassionate about teaching.

There are pockets here and there that I still love, but it is not enough to make me stay here for much longer. Guilt tends to surface here and there in my mind, but I know myself well enough to know that whatever path I choose, it will involve either giving to others or educating others.

I sat in Fourbucks during lunch and stirred my coffee as swirls of ideas about career paths went through my head. I have been collecting ads and addresses to send my resume to, all of which are enticing: MOMA, Random House, the AGBU, the History Channel. The best part about all of this is I have so many options because of what being a teacher entails. If I can do teach high school English for six years, I can do just about anything. I have all the time in the world to search, and the idea of the process excites me.

So I take the grave away from the "e" in resume and see the word resume.

As in, resume a path in my life that is a path filled with passion.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

"I was struck with wonder..." ~ Jane Eyre

10 Things That Remind Me of My Wonderful Mother
I am very fortunate to have a very special mother. I know there are many people without their mothers today, and my thoughts are with you. I don't take having my mother in my life for granted.

1o. The Wonder Years ~ My mother and I watched the television show together religiously each week of every season it was on. Clearing up dinner would have to wait on the nights the show was on until after it ended. My favorite character was Paul, my mother's was Kevin. One of the episodes I remember viewing with her vividly was the one where Winnie Cooper got the lead in Our Town. My mother and I cried at the end when she performed the character Emily's famous "goodbye world" scene. As much as I think my mother and I watched that show to laugh at Kevin Arnold's sweet debacles, I think we also watched it because of the hope it gave when serious issues were presented. When I hear "With a Little Help From My Friends," I think of my mother always.

9. Chocolate ~ I think my mother is to blame for my chocolate addiction. This woman fed it to me at a very tender age. She also used to have to get chocolate stains out of my shirts when I was of a tender age. I had a tendency to always get chocolate ice cream on my t-shirts in the summertime so much that it is still a joke between me and my mom.

8. Little Women ~ My mother is Marmee, hands down. Missy is Beth, the older sister who is responsible and mature. Robin is Jo, who is feisty and rebellious. Yes, I am true to my namesake, Amy: sweet and a bit bratty. The year after I graduated Wheatley, they did a production of the play version and I went with my mother. We both enjoyed it so very much.

7. Words, words, words ~ While I get my passion for reading from my father, my passion for writing comes from my mother. She is a very talented writer. A few nights before Jack was born, she wrote a letter to him. She read it the night we brought Jack home from the hospital; it was just beautiful and I know he will love reading it someday and treasure it always. My sisters and I tease my mom about her love of Hallmark cards, but I save each one she writes to me because her words mean so much.

6. Pressure Cooker ~ I know it sounds so odd, but anytime I see a pressure cooker being used on Food Network, I think of my mother. She used it all the time when I was growing up. I loved hearing the hiss sound from it because it meant she was making mashed potatoes; her mashed potatoes were delicious. Recently I saw Alton Brown do an entire Good Eats episode on pressure cooking. My mother is a brave women; I am too damn scared to even think about every owning a pressure cooker.

5. Slippers ~ My mother was and is obsessed with slippers. The minute you walked into my house, shoes came off and slippers were waiting at the door. I think my sisters and I had three pairs of slippers a piece at any given time. This past Christmas I got her a funky blue pair from Lord and Taylor since she likes to wear slippers around my sister's house when taking care of Jack. Jack loves this slippers and giggles anytime he looks at her feet.

4. The Democratic Party ~ My mother was a goody two shoes and was no hippie in the 60's, but just because she isn't ultra-liberal doesnt mean that she isn't a staunch Democrat. I remember her following politics closely in the 80's when I was a child; she especially loved Michael Dukakis and was hoping he would win the election in '88. My mother is a Kennedy lover, and my intrigue for that dynasty stems from her.

3. Mystery Novels ~ My mom loves mystery and suspense. I sometimes think she missed her calling as a detective since she can be very nosy, especially when it comes to my life and the lives of my sisters. Still, any time I pick up a mystery novel I think of her.

2. Perfume ~ My mother always had a beautiful tray with various perfumes on her bureau. My father got her a different bottle each Christmas, Mother's Day, and birthday. As a child, I remember smelling scents like Poison, Shalimar, and Giorgio Beverly Hills. Sometimes if I was sad or upset, my mother would spray a little on me to make me feel better.

1. Autumn Leaves ~ Just like her father, my mother loves the autumn. It is always her favorite time of year, and many of my best childhood memories with her involve activities in the fall, whether it was going to Hicks Nursery, taking drives up to the Catskills when my grandparents lived there, or the Renaissance Fair she and I attended at Sands Point Preserve.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

"I wanted to tease you a little..." ~ Jane Eyre

As a sophomore in high school, I played "Pat Divine" in our drama production of Stage Door.

I remember being completely mortified when I saw my name next to hers on the cast list which hung on the door of the main office.

Pat was the "hoofer" amongst the group of young women living together in a house, hoping to make it as a big star on Broadway. One of her greetings throughout the play to the other characters was "Hi Ya Baby." I was fine with all of her dancing scenes, except for one. She was a tap dancer by trade, but one of the scenes was a tad burlesque.

Trying to impress a director who visits the house, she sneaks downstairs in a bathrobe, pretending that she is looking for a book, all the while planning subterfuge. The minute she is alone in the living room with him, she takes the robe off and does a "number", hoping that the director will "discover" her and cast her in his next show on Broadway.

Thankfully, MY director changed the "provocative" burlesque dance to one that was a tap dance, complete with wings, time steps, and buffalo shuffles. It registered cute, not sexy, and during rehearsals I felt a great deal of relief when the dance was changed. The script said that the character was wearing a black sleeveless leotard and long wide pants, sort of like the style of sweats that was in this past winter. Again, I was very relieved to know that not only would I not have to show any skin to my entire community, grandparents of friends included.

Unfortunately, MY director ignored the script directions. I will never forget the week of production when the costumes arrived for our first dress rehearsal. My friend, Taya, walked in the dressing room and handed me a black garment bag with my costumes; at that time I was no more than a size two. I unzipped the bag and my eyes unzipped from their sockets.

A Sailor Costume.

Except...well, there was no skirt.

The "costume" (and I use that term loosely) was a bathing suit made into a sailor-type costume. Just blue nylon with blue sequined spaghetti straps which stretched out onto the bustline and a white nylon belt around the waist. Oh, and a hat with a bow to match. BYO fishnets and tap shoes.

Long story short, none of my protests were heard.

Each night I would muster up the courage to take off the bathrobe on stage and tap dance in my sailor costume. I smiled as big as I possible could, hoping to draw attention away from my garish bathing suit of an outfit. The audience always clapped after my routine was over, just as I dipped on the stairs to grab the bathrobe I had taken off moments before to reveal the little number I was wearing. It was like "Singing in the Rain" meets "Big Spender."

Years later, here I am flipping channels and I come across a documentary on HBO called Pretty Things. http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/prettythings/index.html

This documentary is quite intriguing. It was about a young filmmaker who was fascinated by the Burlesque of the 1940's - 1960's. The project was twofold for Linda Goldwyn: to interview and learn from the women who danced (now well into their 70's and 80's) and to finally perform her own burlesque routine. I completely understand the first part of the project.

The second part is beyond me.

Monday, May 08, 2006

"I had difficulty in believing you..." ~ Jane Eyre

Things I cannot believe this evening...

~ Not that David Blaine didn't hold his breath for nine minutes, but that I actually turned on the TV to watch him not hold his breath for nine minutes.
~ That I only had one cup of coffee this morning (the average is two, the maximum is four, ideally I could go for five, but that is unhealthy).
~ The are rumors that Al Gore may run for president in 2008. I find this terribly ironic since, in my eyes, he won the 2000 Presidential Election.
~ That my car insurance bill is the equivalent to dollar amount it took to fill up my car with gas the past two trips to the gas station.
~ That the Devils are in the NHL Playoffs and not the Islanders or Rangers. When all is said and done, I will cheer for any New York team over a Jersey one. Glad they are down two games.
~ Joe Bastianich had the audacity to tell the viewers of his mother's show, Lidia's Family Table, this evening that it is ok to chill reds and let whites be warm. Ugh.
~ I updated my resume this evening and am seriously contemplating going into a career of curating for a museum. One day I want control over a DaVinci painting.
~ One of my female colleagues, who is clearly having a mid-thirties crisis because she is so haughty that she scares all the men away, wore black leggings to work today underneath a denim skirt. Leggings, people. Leggings. Maybe that is what scares the men away.
~ Its only Monday and all I can think about is the Yankee game on Saturday with Chaz. It will be the first of the season for me and I just can't wait to be in the Bronx.
~ That I am still awake at this hour when I could be underneath my covers, snuggling beneath them and hugging a pillow...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

"What a fury to fly..." ~ Jane Eyre

In the beginning, chandeliers cast a warm glow through crystal pieces into my eyes.

I am not a jealous person, but my eyes became green with envy as the chandeliers were raised.

Raised with the chandeliers were three women, sitting elegantly on the base. To call them acrobats would be remiss. They are artists; a mixture of ballerina, painter, and actress.

Slowly the music began to go from adagio to allegro, and the chandeliers began to swirl around with more depth in the circumference. The women must be at least thirty feet up the air, if not higher, draping themselves on the chandeliers. As they were raised higher, they began to step off of the chandelier and use the chandelier as an instrument to help them fly.

As the women begin to twist, turn, hang, hold, bend, and brush through the air on these chandeliers, the more my soul began to twist, turn, hang, hold, bend and brush through feelings of envy.

I desperately wanted to be up there.

I wanted to be next to the soft glow of light illuminating from the chandeliers as these women were. Life is always calmer in candlelight and softglow lightbulbs. There are so many realities in life that are glaring that to swirl around in light no brighter than the tip of a firefly's would be soothing. The chandeliers themselves are comforting because they remind me of some favorite escapes: the period rooms at the MET, the Opera House at Lincoln Center, the film version of Phantom. I wanted to be in the chandelier as these women were, escaping the life that sat flat on the ground.

I wanted to be dangling off the chandelier as these women were, wearing thick knee-high stockings and locking my body into shapes I remember creating as a ballerina. Not just to be in touch with every muscle in my body, but to feel the air press into each muscle in my body as I circled through the air. Being so strong that letting go is never an option, and, just to prove it, nothing below me to ease a nonexistent fall. I wanted to create my own sphere around myself, a sphere that blocks distractions and blocks the critiquing eyes of others.

I wanted to feel the same kind of passion these women were not only feeling, but acting on. A passion which allows all fears to cease existing and risk taking to never cease. This passion is so strong that these women are not home for months on end so they can fly from chandelier to chandelier above strangers and smile as they glide through the heat of burning stagelights.

All the while, they make the strangers, like me, smile, too.

*Today I saw the Cirque de Soleil: Corteo with my two sisters and our two cousins. We had a lovely day. The circus is on New York's Randall's Island for a month. This is the third Cirque de Soleil show I have seen; the previous two were in Las Vegas. Honestly, the show today was my absolute favorite. It was lovely to be with my sisters, too. Even though we are all quite into adulthood, its nice to share whimsical moments with them that we associate with our entire childhood together. *

Friday, May 05, 2006

"You must share it with her to-night" ~ Jane Eyre

I pass up any chocolate dessert in a heartbeat for key lime pie. Come to think of it, I think the best part of any steak house is the Key Lime Pie, especially the one at Morton's. One of the main destination points on my trip to Key West next month is the Blond Giraffe. They make frozen key lime pie on a stick...oh, and cover it with chocolate, too! I cannot wait. This cookie recipe mentioned in my previous post was requested by Work in Progress, so I share it with her and all of you! I will not be adding the macadamia nuts, but feel free to if you make the cookies! I love any recipe that allows me to use my citrus plane zester.

Key Lime White Chocolate Coolers Recipe

Key Lime and white chocolate make an amazing combination that is refreshingly cool, no matter the season. This variation of meltaway cookies is perfect for kitchen gifts and ships well. Macadamia nuts are optional.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 teaspoon key lime juice
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts (optional)
Additional confectioners' powdered sugar for coating (about 1 cup)

PREPARATION:Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat baking pad.

In a small bowl, combine flour, corn starch, and confectioners' sugar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter, key lime juice, and key lime zest until smooth. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and begin mixing on low speed. Once mixture begins to get thick, increase speed to thoroughly mix until combined, scraping down sides. Scrape batter from beaters. Mix in white chocolate chips and optional macadamia nuts with a large spoon.

Refrigerate dough for 45 minutes to firm up. (It's important that the dough be very cold before going into the oven or they will spread.) When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1-1/2 inches apart on lined baking sheet, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until bottom edges just barely begin to turn brown. Do not over-bake. Let cool on baking sheets for at least 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool.

Pour powdered sugar into a bowl. Roll key lime cookies in powdered sugar to cover. Store in an airtight container.

Notes: You can replace the white chocolate chips with finely chopped nuts if you wish, or use half nuts and half white chocolate chips. Because these cookies retain their shape and are not crumbly, they make perfect kitchen gifts for shipping.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

"And by degrees various facts came out..." ~ Jane Eyre

Various miscellany for the evening, about the evening:

~ Tonight I heard a few of the new songs by Springsteen on WFUV. I know many critics have been skeptical about this new CD, but anything that man sings is golden. His version of "Shenandoah" is eerily beautiful. The concept of him doing American folk songs is something to be embraced. I would love to hear these songs live.

~ David Blaine creeps me out. Cassie went to see him today in his water globe. She and I discussed him via IM this evening, and I admit to morbid fascination. Whilst I appreciate his homage to Houdini-esque stunts, the thought that comes to mind first when I think of Blaine his how his skin is going to be after seven days in water. It rather makes me ill to think about such things, but nonetheless I am.

~ I am wearing Chaz's PJ bottoms to bed this evening. They are an orange plaid from Old Navy. I stole them the other night. They smell like his fabric softener. I hope I don't have to give them back. It makes me feel like he is here. There is something quite comforting about wearing these, and I am relishing in the fact that they are very soft and very long on me. Long enough to trip over. Hmmm. Better make cuffs.

~ These 100 calorie snack packs are a great invention in the history of food. I am drinking some skim milk and having a Chips Ahoy pack. I love that milk and cookies can be so guiltless. This weekend I may bake some cookies. I found a recipe for Key Lime Cookies with White Chocolate Chips. The key lime flavor itself is worth the baking experience.

~ Putting Jack to bed tonight was quite amusing. He loves changing into his pajamas and enjoys shaking his legs when on the changing table. His head is now full of hair, and now that it is getting more humid, it is getting filled curly hair. I love it. I just love it. I know many aunts say their nephews are advanced for their age, but I can truly assert that my baby nephew is, by far, quite advanced in comprehension and language skills for all of his eight months in this world.

~ I think that writers have a sense of when their best time to write is. Mine certainly is in the morning. The nighttime clouds my thoughts and the sleep that begins to weigh on my body takes away from my stream of consciousness. I care more for my pillow than I do wit and more for the dark than I do illuminating pages with words.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

"I would never think of running a hundred miles..." ~ Jane Eyre

This is my 100th Post.
Therefore, a celebration of life is in order.
At 28 years of age, there is still so much to do!

100 Things I Plan to do in my Lifetime:

1oo. Attend the New Year's Eve Gala at the Metropolitan Opera House.
99. Make snow angels, snow forts, and snowmen with Jack.
98. Visit Prince Edward Island with J. Sarah and do nothing but talk about Anne of Green Gables the entire time.
97. Obtain tickets to a Jimmy Buffett concert.
96. Meet Derek Jeter at batting practice before a game.
95. Ski the Swiss Alps.
94. Visit Pearl Harbor and Gettysburg.
93. Go bird watching.
92. Take ballet and belly dance classes again.
91. Make my own wine.
90. Do spa treatments in Reykjavik.
89. Plan an Austen tour of England and be all nerdy visiting the sites listed in her novels.
88. Audition for a community theatre that performs Shakespeare's plays.
87. Swim with dolphins.
86. Pierce my bellybutton for a belly ring.
85. Bake a seven layer cake and make fondant icing from scratch.
84. Spend a month in an Italian villa (like in Enchanted April)
83. Enter Fenway Park wearing Yankee attire. Bring it on, Sux fans.
82. Attend a Superbowl.
81. Hear Beethoven's 9th Symphony live.
80. Own a bulldog named Watson (as in elementary, my dear).
79. Publish a short story.
78. Have annual lobster bakes for friends and family.
77. Spend a summer teaching English in Armenia.
76. View the Northern Lights.
75. Attend a concert at Tanglewood.
74. Wine sip all of Napa Valley.
73. Attend a Democratic Convention.
72. Take a coffee tasting tour of South America.
71. Keep a rose garden.
70. Re-learn the French language.
69. Buy more pieces from Agent Provocateur for no one's pleasure but my own.
68. Play Chess in Washington Square Park.
67. Partake in a Pub crawl.
66. And a Pizza one, too.
65. Visit the Dead Sea in Israel and do the Spa treatments there.
64. Visit the Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem on the same trip.
63. Host a Star Wars Day/Night Marathon.
62. Audition for the Next Foodnetwork Star.
61. Go back to London with twin sis.
60. Have a saltwater fish tank.
59. Attend the Mermaid Parade in Brooklyn (perhaps even this June 24th - http://www.coneyisland.com/mermaid.shtml)
58. Do tequila shots with my dad in Key West.
57. Speaking of Florida, do a huge family vacation to Disney when Jacks is a bit older. Robin and I are already planning this. She called shotgun with him on the Peter Pan ride and I am so pissed. But, fair is fair.
56. Spend a week on a Dude Ranch and riding horses all week.
55. Dress as Scarlett O'Hara one of these Halloweens.
54. Rent a Porsche Boxter for a week and enjoy.
53. Make homemade fudge.
52. Get back on the back of John's Fatboy this summer.
51. See the statue of David in person. Oh god, how I love that statue.
50. Own a pair of Jimmy Choos.
49. Plant a fig tree.
48. Throw a Gatsby-esque party.
47. Do a tour of castles in Ireland.
46. Join an Armenian Dance Troupe.
45. Canning homemade jams.

44. Ice skate in Central Park.
43. Be an audience member on Martha Stewart Live.
42. Visit St. Petersburg.
41. Take classes on how to sail.
40. Learn how to play golf.
39. Teach a course called Parenting 101 since the parents of my students lack good parenting skills.
38. Spend an entire day in the reading room of the New York Public Library.
37. Attend a reenactment of a Civil War Battle.
36. Kiss the Blarney Stone.
35. Drink in the "Absolut Ice Bar."
34. Eat lavender honey.
33. Walk in the hills of Austria and twirl around like Frauline Maria.
32. Learn how to serve Japanese tea, geisha style.
31. Take some form of martial arts.
30. Get a letter to the editor published in the NY Times.
29. Attend a bullfight in Spain.
28. Buy Jack Crackerjacks at his first Yankee game.
27. Own a house with a fireplace.
26. Study the etymology of my favorite words.
25. Drink coffee in Seattle for a week and go hear the underground bands there.
24. Milk a cow.
23. Order another cake from Sylvia Weinstock.
22. Climb cherry trees on a spring afternoon.
21. Have ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner one day.
20. Own a muu-muu when I am in my seventies and retire to Florida with my sisters like the Golden Girls.
19. Go topless on the Cote D'Azur.
18. Attend the Kentucky Derby.
17. Write a love letter to Ralph Fiennes.
16. Wear a jewelry piece from Cartier.
15. Fly a kite; I have never done this before.
14. Enter a beach volleyball tourney.
13. Join a women's softball league.
12. Attend Jazz Fest in Nawlins.
11. Run a half marathon.
10. Volunteer for an animal rescue league.
9. Write a children's book.
8. Tour the White House.
7. Eat frog's legs in Paris.
6. Become a handywoman and do things like change sink faucets.

5. Visit Lincoln's grave with flowers.
4. Sleep in a sunflower field.
3. Canoe in the Adirondacks.

2. Spend a week meditating with Buddhist monks.
1. Visit every chocolate shop in Paris.