Hot Dirty Bird

This weekend Bernard slapped me around a bit, well, more like mother nature slapped me around and then Bernard had to go get all cankterious on my ass. Friday's weather sucked it, the constant drizzling rain turn heavy once I hit Akron and I had to pull over because I couldn't see. Why couldn't I see? Oh, because Bernard's windshield wipers don't work. Most likely due to the short in the dash. And it was supposed to rain all weekend and this was the only weekend I had free to bring it to the mechanic (who is in Cleveland).

It didn't help that my dad was being a bit of an ass about the whole thing. But eventually the weather cleared and I was able to get back on the road. Only to be stuck in THREE traffic jams. THREE. WTF? Never in my life have I been stuck in so much traffic on the east side of Cleveland. It turned what should have been a 4.5 hour drive into a 6 hour odyssey.

The best part of the drive was the car full of awesome dudes who pulled up next to me on the freeway and rode along side of me giving me the thumbs up and admiring my car. They did that for about 2 miles which really cracked me up, clearly they love Bernard. I love him too, even when he's mean to me. Is that the definition of an abusive relationship?

After dinner with my dad I managed to upend the entire box of takeaway wings onto the passenger side of the midget. And since it was dark and there is no interior light I had to feel around in the dark for sticky little wings. Just a perfect sort of topper to a craptastic day. Poor Bernard probably still has wing sauce smeared all over his seats (which are thankfully black leather).

Saturday we headed out to downtown Cleveland to Hot Sauce Williams, which lived up to it's previous reviews and it was awesome. Unfortunately I must now hate myself because they didn't have any banana pudding. I was pretty damn sad about that, but I consoled myself with the pork shoulder sandwich and fried okra. I think fried okra can pretty much right any wrong and make any day better.

Since we were downtown we headed over to Gallucci's  for some fun ethnic shopping. Hello prosciutto stuffed olives, you are delicious in my belly.

Then the West Side Market, were we bought some ridiculously cheap produce and I stared at one of the cute butchers wishing like hell I had a cooler for the drive back so I would have a reason to talk to him.

Saturday night was all about Lolita. Yumi and I along with Carrie and Bill headed down to Tremont for dinner. If you live in Cleveland you must go, and go now. Make reservations. And take me with you.

First off the decor and stuff was great, the light was low but not too dim. You could see everything clearly but it was just a nice warm cozy feel. It was small and the waitstaff was awesome. Our waitress was a really cute pixish girl that awesomely could tell you about everything on the menu. She even knew where the chickens came from, which to me is one of the marks of knowledgeable waitstaff.

Yumi started off with a Loupe Loupe which was Champagne, Chambord, vodka and cherry juice. It was sweet and delicious. I had a Hot Dirty Bird which was a dirty martini that had Grey Goose, olive juice and Tabasco in it. I would actually like to have a t-shirt that said "Hot Dirty Bird", I am also going to attempt to re-create this drink at home. I suspect lots of drunkeness will follow while I attempt to get the recipe right. The presentation of the drinks was great, they brought the shakers to the table and poured them right there. Same with the wine my friend Carrie ordered.

For starters we had tomatoes with balsamic and oil, which were just ok in my book. I thought the tomato was a bit under ripe and out of season. But that was honestly my only complaint about the whole meal. We also ordered the crispy chicken livers which were soft and velvety. They weren't overly minerally or anything to me, and I ate nearly the whole serving myself since the others were huge fans of liver.

Carrie and Yumi ordered the braised pork cheeks with roasted onions and chilies. It was in some sort of reduction that had balsamic vinegar and they were very tender from the braising. Bill ordered their Soprassata pizza that was spicy sauce, fresh mozzarella and their own cured sopressata. It was very good, the crust had a great crunch and chew to it. And the sopressata melted in your mouth, it was amazing.

I had their roasted chicken on the recommendation of the waitress and she did not steer me wrong. It was entirely de-boned and so unbelievably crispy I can't even imagine how they got it that way. Not only that but the chicken was moist and not the least bit dry, plus you could really taste the under notes of lemon and rosemary. It had a small sprinkling of white beans on top with a few micro greens. I ate the whole damn thing. Half a chicken!

For sides, Yumi and I both got the escarole with lemon and salt. It was perfectly bitter but the lemon brightened the whole thing up. Carrie got their roasted cauliflower and said it was excellent.

Carrie and Bill got the chocolate pot du creme for dessert (chocolate, sea salt, candied pecans, Carmel and Chantilly creme), and it was very good. Bill wolfed it down, it was comical how fast he ate it. If someone could have injected it right into his veins he probably would have taken them up on it. Yumi and I had no room for dessert.

I am so going back there again because I just have to have the chicken livers again. Plus I want to try all the other things on their menu.

I've heard their Big Board for Two, which is their own cured meats and cheeses is amazing. You have to love a restaurant that cures their own meats.

We were supposed to head over to The Velvet Tango Lounge afterwards but we were completely full and tired (I had half a chicken in my stomach) so we headed home.

If you can possibly believe it my mother made us a huge Sunday breakfast, sweet rolls, swiss scramble, homemade corned beef hash, etc. And I ate a little bit of everything.

And in a fit of bravery I went traipsing off to the salon with Holly's photo in hand and had them lop off my hair. I'm hoping the change in hair with change my chi or mojo or whatever you want to call it and bring me all sorts of new, fantastic things. New love, new job, new home. Anything, I just feel the need for change and my hair seemed like a good place to start.

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All rise

I'm more than a bit in love with How I Met Your Mother, which, if you not seen it is awesome.

Seriously. Awesome.

Go rent the season 1 and 2 DVDs and then tune in Monday nights at 8pm. Because it is consistently the one show (besides the office) that makes me laugh so loud that I'm worried I'll wake the neighbors.

It is also eminently quote-able, such as Legen....wait for it...dary. Not only that but they also use the word 'awesome' quite a bit, and that alone is, well, awesome.

The problem is that this week the one line running around over and over in my head is "I got to go get me some strange." Which makes me want to say it, and that could be very bad. (Or good depending on your opinion of hooking up with strangers).

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October burning

Much of the last week+ has been spent thusly: me sitting on the couch knitting while yelling obscenities at the TV.

The most exciting thing I did was take a great fall drive this last weekend in Bernard. It was unseasonably warm and lovely with all the leaves just turning in to flame colored reds and golds. This one photo does the best to capture the feeling of one part of the drive- it was like going through pure gold:

The Ohio River:

And this beautiful vista, I felt like I could almost see clear across the state:

Halfway through the trip my sunglasses broke but it was unbearably hard to drive without them so I ended up looking a wanker on the way back home:

And yet, even though it's the end of October, I got a sunburn. Damn it. This was entirely my fault because I assumed that the weak sun wouldn't burn me, so on Sunday afternoon when I got home poured myself a glass of wine and took a shower. Then I promptly passed out into an hour long nap. I struggled to wake up, but knew I had to if I had any hope of getting back to sleep later in the evening. Plus the game was going to be starting and I needed to see that.

So I was up until the very end, cursing and knitting. Shaking my fist at tv and feeling bummed because I knew where it was heading. I don't know if I'll be watching the World Series, I may but then again I've been neglecting so many things because I've been totally wrapped up the series between Cleveland and Boston. Things like my laundry, which has reached a critical level and I'm about to run out of fresh undergarments. Also, I put my bed linen to soak on Sunday afternoon and then completely forgot about it. Not awesome. I must start tonight if I hope to get things done before I leave for the weekend on Friday.

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So the only silver lining I can find this morning is that I won't have to stay up late watching baseball games this week.

Cars and Cajun food: two wholly unrelated topics

Last week the weather finally broke and the heat went rushing out. In it's place came perfectly cooler temps, stews, changing leaves and sweatshirts. I finally got to bust out my favorite sweatshirt, my gray MG sweatshirt that I've had since I was 16. It's only appropriate the when the weather finally changes enough that it makes driving a convertible a little less fun that you have something else to look forward to.

Next week I'll be driving the Midget to my parents house to store it for the winter and have my mechanic take a look and see he can find that damn short the keeps the blowing the fuse for the control panel. I'm sadder than I thought I would be about storing him up for the winter as it has been an exceptional season of fun. My freckles are starting to fade and I'll miss those too, I fully believe that all that time spent going on drives brought them back full force since I've been pretty freckle free since the last time I owned a Midget.

But Bernard will be back in the spring once the snow melts and the weather turns warm again.


Yes, I finally came up with a fitting name for the Midget. It was a long and decidedly hard thing to do since one wants to choose a name for a car the really encompasses it's spirit. Bernard is a bit crotchety and persnickety but still lovable and fun. And it's pronounced in the British way, not the odd way I've heard my family pronounce it.

This last weekend was cooking club (sorry, for the abrupt transition I can't think of a gentle way to make it flow together today). It was a Cajun feast, Yumi started us off with a amazing spiced crawfish pie.

Summer hosted, and went all out and prepared rabbit. A first for all of us, and it was tender, delicate and moist. And not gamey (which seems to have been every single person's question about it).

For sides Summer made a brussel sprouts with shallot and butter and I contributed a corn souffle. The corn souffle was enough to cause me several hours of worry since it called for canned creamed corn and canned corn. Never ever in my life have I bought canned corn, I buy fresh or frozen (same as my mother). So the canned corned worried me, would it have a slightly metal taste? Be minorly mushy? Luckily it turned out just dandy and everyone loved it. Whew!

Nancy made bourbon balls, they were so alcohol infused that I actually left the room to go stand outside in the cold because I got hot. Bourbon is so warming to me, and the cool of the night air was the only thing that helped. She also brought more of her fantastic apple and thyme martinis, woo! And just like that we were all off the the races.

But her amazing Cranberry Orange Tart is what stole my heart (goddamn that rhymes). I'm quite possibly completely addicted to cranberries, and Nancy is much the same. So when she saw the bags of little red berries in the store for the first time this season she knew she had to make the tart. Thank the infant Jesus she did.
It was so good that the slice I took home didn't make it past coffee on Sunday morning.

And I'm sorry for the blurriness of the photos, I just stopped caring after I downed that first apple and thyme martini.

Crawfish Pie Recipe

6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced green and red peppers
1 cup diced celery
8 ounce bag of precooked crawfish tails
1 and 1/4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 generous shot sherry (I bet brandy or cognac will work as well)
1/2 chopped green onion
1 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons Creole spice
2 ready-made roll out pie crusts
Water or chicken stock
1 egg, for egg wash

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a skillet melt butter, add flour and whisk into a paste. Cook roux while stirring for 5 minutes or until it begins to turn lightly golden. Add onions, pepper and celery. Cook, stirring, 4 minutes, until vegetables are tender. The mixture will be thick. Splash in sherry to deglaze the pan and mix in the tomato paste. Once that is incorporated, add crawfish, green onions, parsley and seasoning. Then add either water or chicken stock until it reaches the desired texture, a smooth, slightly thick wet mix. Cook just until heated through, about 1 minute more. Let cool slightly.

Roll out pie dough and either split into individual containers or one regular 9 inch pie pan. Pour filling into pie shell and top with remaining dough. Crimp edges well and poke holes in top. Brush the top with the egg wash (this will give a golden color to the top). Bake for 40 minutes, until crust is golden and filling is bubbling hot.

Creole Seasoning:

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Makes 2/3 of a cup

Corn Souffle

1 can cream style corn
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1/4 c. milk
4 eggs, separated
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/2 c. shredded cheese (optional)

Mix everything in bowl except egg whites. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into corn mixture. Pour into greased souffle pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Mine actually took a full hour to cook but since I've not made this recipe repeatedly you might want to check after 30 minutes to make sure yours isn't done and mine was just a fluke.

Cranberry Orange Tart

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup ice water
Cooking spray

1/3 cup orange juice
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 425°.
To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Sprinkle surface with ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time; toss with a fork until moist and crumbly (do not form a ball). Gently press mixture into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap. Cover and chill for 15 minutes.

Slightly overlap 2 lengths of plastic wrap on slightly damp surface. Unwrap and place chilled dough on plastic wrap. Cover dough with 2 additional lengths of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, into a 14-inch circle. Place dough in freezer 5 minutes or until plastic wrap can be easily removed.

Remove plastic wrap; fit dough into a 10-inch round removable-bottom tart pan coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under or flute decoratively.

To prepare filling, combine juice and cornstarch in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add remaining ingredients; stir well. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

Bake at 425° for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° (do not remove tart from oven); bake an additional 35 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.

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lacking a creative title

Ok, so this post was supposed to go live last night- I still don't understand why it wasn't published. But luckily it gives me a chance to talk about the parade that is taking place outside my apartment door (this is so not an exaggeration). It's the homecoming parade for the university and holy shit, have you ever been woken up by a marching band practicing next to your bedroom window? It is all levels of un-awesomeness. Even if it is the famous Marching 110, whom I normally adore but come on 8:30am? I don't love you so much right now.

Onto the embarrassing stuff (sorry to disappoint there is nothing involving drug fueled orgies).

Over the course of last weekend I refered to Kenny Lofton as Ken Griffy Jr.

Repeatedly. In both print and verbal conversations.

I know the damn difference but for some reason Ken Griffey Jr. became crossed with Kenny Lofton and I didn't snap out of it until Sunday night. Which on the whole isn't earth shatteringly embarassing but they clearly are two different people who play for two different teams, and it is something that still completely embarasses me.

Last weekend a friend and I were making jokes about Catholic school girls and The Thornbirds and somehow it got out of hand. Before I could stop it I was about 40 shades of red and I couldn't even tell you what was said because I've blocked it from memory. Lets put it this way, my priests were never as smoldering as Richard Chamberlin (we won't touch on the freakiness of the fact that he practically raised Meggie and then sexed her up.)

In a coversation with my trainer, in response to the question: So what kind of music do you listen to?

I responded with: "I'll listen to anything. I'm a musical slut."

I also snored several times during my massage last week, loudly. I never snore, I'm definitely more of talk-in-my-sleep sort of girl.

And this one is slightly embarrassing, in reality I think it is going to be awesome. I'm going to the Ohio Smoked Meats Festival. What could be better? The dorky part is I marked it on my calender so I wouldn't forget to get my fill of smoked meats.

And lastly, while eating dinner last night I managed to fling a piece of hot sauce covered baked potato into my right eye. OW! That burned like a motherfucker and I ended up hopping around my apartment like a crazy woman trying to get my contact out of my burning eye. Ok, so this one is also not embarassing but more of a general prat fall.



I'm still on the sorority listserve, I just haven't quit it mostly because I love to hear the little tidbits of stuff about the house sliding downhill (not literally, but it could happen knowing the shitty manner in which it was built and the fact that there is a retaining wall ready to give way that no one will do anything about).

So far this year the two cleaning ladies quit, leaving them without anyone to clean the house for over a month. 36 girls are who are pretty much dirty ass bitches a good portion of the time, not at frat-house levels mind you, but still a whole month with no one to clean the toilets or the kitchen? I'm sure it was frightening.

The internet has also been broken for a while and the house mom knows squat about computers and no one has bothered to call the service in order to have them come out and fix it.

The parking is apparently a mess, people being constantly blocked in- no guest spots. All the usual hullabaloo. Except again, the house mom isn't doing anything about it.

I stopped by last week and when I asked the cook how things were going with the new house mom she rolled her eyes at me and said "She lets them get away with everything."

Oh man, that has to be bad. BAD. I had a feeling those girls would run roughshod over an 85 year old woman. I can only imagine what is going on upstairs late at night. I didn't rule with iron fist or anything but I did make sure there weren't drug fueled orgies going on upstairs (however, I did have drug fueled orgies in my room- but the girls didn't need to know that).

I guess I feel just the tiniest bit gratified that maybe someone realizes how much I actually did in order to keep that house running in an efficient manner. I doubt any of them do, but a girl can dream.

Up next: Embarrassing things I've said and done in the last two weeks.

September Cooking Club

I'll admit, I've been sitting on this post for weeks. I've got absolutely no idea why, it's been typed up and done but apparently I felt the need to regale you all with my talk of crushes and Enrique Iglesas instead. Ptttthhh.

When Yumi said she was going to make a butternut squash and prawn pasta dish for cooking club all I could think was "Wha?"

For the life of me I couldn't imagine those two items pairing together seamlessly. But, oh holy jesus, I was wrong. It was delicious, it was creamy, there were perfectly cooked shrimp waiting to be devoured atop the pasta. Sigh. I made this dish at home last weekend and it was still as delicious the second time around as it was the first (see end of post for more photos of it).

I made a starter of cheddar crisps, Yumi's husband Dan declared them "very fancy cheese nips". Which I hope was a compliment, but regardless, I loved them. This was the first of the experiement of attempting to use mostly local ingredients. Local cheddar, local eggs, etc. I'll admit I had to resort to King Arthur Flour because we don't have a mill around here, and my budget can only take so much stretching when it comes to expensive food items. But the local cheddar, which is delicious was resonably priced in my opinion and more delicious than cheddar I might find in Kroger.

Nancy made a lovely veg salad deal, part side dish/part salad. It was so fantastic that I went out and bought all the ingredients the following day and sat down to a big bowl of it for dinner. It was light and simple and not in the least bit heavy, which is a good thing since the weather has turned warm again. (Damnit).

Nancy also brought the lovely Apple and Thyme Martini. Which was perfect, and the beverage of choice for the whole evening. We didn't even bust open the other bottles of wine or lambic.

And then Summer had to go blow us all out of the water with her fantastic chocolate cake. It was layer upon layer of chocolate mouse, chocolate ganche, raspberry sauce and chocolate cake. A chocolate lovers dream really.

Cheese Crisps
Adapted from Gourmet, November 2006

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ lb sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor fitted with the shredding attachment)
1 large egg yolk
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp dried mustard
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper, coarsely cracked in a mortar and pestle
1 tsp caraway seeds

Combine the butter, cheese, and yolk in the bowl of a food processor, and blend until smooth. The mixture may seem very thick and lumpy and cement-like at first, but persevere, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides as needed; it will eventually come together into a smooth, thick paste. When it does, add the flour, dried mustard, and salt, and pulse until just combined. Transfer the dough to a sheet of wax paper, and divide it into three portions. [Do not clean the food processor yet.]

Return one portion to the food processor, add the pepper, and pulse until combined well. Or just sprinkle the pepper on top as I did (hi, I'm lazy) Transfer the dough to another sheet of parchment paper. Using the paper as an aid, shape the dough into a log roughly 7 inches in length and 1 ½ inches thick. Roll up the log in the paper, and twist the ends to seal it closed. Clean the processor and dry it well. Make another log on a separate sheet of wax paper in the same manner, using caraway seeds instead of pepper. Place the final, unseasoned portion of dough on another sheet of wax paper, and make it into a log as well. Chill the logs until firm, about 2 hours.

When you're ready to bake the crisps, put an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (or silpat).

Unwrap one log and, using a knife (or a cheese cutter), cut enough thin slices – about 1/8 inch thick – from it to cover the baking sheet, arranging the slices about 1 inch apart. Bake the crisps until their edges are golden, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer them on the parchment to a rack, and cool them slightly, about 15 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Serve crackers warm or at room temperature.

Note: The dough can be chilled, wrapped in foil or a plastic bag, for a week or frozen for up to two months. The crackers can be baked a few days ahead and cooled completely, then stored in an airtight container at room temperature. If you like, you can reheat them on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for about 5 minutes.

Yield: about 100 crackers

Apple and Thyme Martini
Giada DeLaurentiis

10 ounces vodka
6 ounces apple juice
1/4 cup thyme syrup, recipe follows
1 large apple, peeled
4 fresh thyme sprigs
Special equipment: melon baller

Chill the martini glasses.
Fill the shaker with ice. Combine the vodka, apple juice, and thyme syrup in a martini shaker. Shake for about 10 seconds. Divide between the 4 chilled martini glasses.

Use the melon baller to scoop out small balls of apple. Place 3 balls of apple and 1 sprig of thyme in each glass for garnish. Serve immediately.

Thyme Simple Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
5 large sprigs fresh thyme

In a saucepan combine sugar, water, and thyme over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and cool the syrup. Any extra cooled syrup can be saved in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Asparagus and Zucchini Crudi
Giada DeLaurentiis

2 zucchini, trimmed
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce shaved Pecorino Romano, for garnish

Using a vegetable peeler, shave the zucchini into long thin strips. Thinly slice the asparagus on a diagonal. Toss the slices together and place the salad in a serving bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and drizzle over the vegetables. Toss to coat. Garnish with the pecorino shavings. Serve.

Rigatoni with Squash and Prawns
Giada DeLaurentiis

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1 pound butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1 cup vegetable stock
1 pound rigatoni
1 pound prawns, peeled and deveined
3/4 to 1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Saute until the squash is golden and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the squash is very soft, another 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the squash mixture to a blender or food processor and puree.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, warm the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the prawns with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Add the prawns to the pan and cook until just pink, about 3 minutes.

In a large pot over low heat combine the cooked pasta, pureed squash mixture, and 3/4 cup milk. Stir to combine. Add the remaining 1/4 cup milk if the sauce needs to be moistened. Add the cooked prawns, basil, and cheese. Stir until warm and serve.

And of course the recipe for Summer's Triple Chocolate Cake is entirely too long, so I'm only going to provide a link to it.

Triple Chocolate Cake

And because I took more photos of the butternut squash when I cooked it myself last weekend:

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Bailamos, let the rhythm take you over

In honor of the fact that I was resembling Enrique Iglesias earlier this week when I had an unfortunate blemish- I am rocking out to his album Escape. Yes, I actually own Enrique Iglesias albums. Two of them. Don't you judge me.

I can't help it, I want to get up and dance around the office when I listen to his music. Especially since it is Friday afternoon and I'm leaving at 3:30 to meet Trainer Mike to work out. And then meeting everyone out for Happy Hour Euchre. Yumi and I were discussing earlier that we are feeling a bit rowdy so it could be a long night. Luckily, I've got zero plans for the rest of the weekend so if I need to spend it recovering I can.

And just in case you don't believe me about resembling Enrique:

Ok, so I don't have the face stubble and haven't quite perfected that 'smoldering' look he's giving the camera but I come close with the under-eye bags and facial mark.

Now I must get back to quietly singing Enrique's songs under my breath and hope that my coworkers don't hear me (luckily they are all wearing headphones at the moment).  

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I've got a crush...

So who was your first crush?

I think we all remember that person who first made our hearts pound and our heads feel light. Mine, was Brian Cash.

Oddly, as time has faded the particulars of this crush from head but I still remember his name and his sandy brown hair. That is about it, I couldn't tell you one substantive thing about him such as his favorite color or his middle name.

I moved away from Texas when I was in 4th grade, which effectively meant that I left my crush for him behind. And with the fickleness of a youthful heart I replaced him with another (and yet another and so on). But still I'll remember his white teeth and tanned skin (ok, it was Texas in the 80's- everyone had tanned skin), and I fully believe he was potentially horrified by the awful, awful perm I had on my short hair.

If I actually had a photo of that hair on my computer I would share it but I don't and all I've got is this pre-permed photo of myself from about the age I first developed a crush on Brian.

And this very sweet video has people talking about their first crushes: