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Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Haze

Above; Punchy and Ms. Warren at school. Ms. Warren is a wonder.

Well, I wasn't able to take the detour around the Halloween candy. Hence, some mood spikes and an unhealthful haze. Definitely not worth it for chemicals and crap and bright orange wrappers. [We handed out foil-wrapped dark and milk Chocolate Coins from Lake Champlain Chocolates, which were, at least, real.]

But my teeth are brushed and flossed and tomorrow is a new day.

1. Boot camp in the park. Pats even had us do a relay race in which we ran carrying heavy pumpkins.
2. Walked Sug around the block.
3. Salon blowout and glossy orange pedicure. The latter long overdue.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Good Night

Stardust dreams for us all.

1. Walked w Sug to get Punch from religion class. Then the 3 of us walked home, getting groceries on the way. It was nearly an hour total walking.
2. Read and napped.
3. For dinner, Punch and I made Ina Garten's frittatas from the bkfast chapter. Punch cracked all 8 eggs--eggspertly. No shell fragments!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

November Newsstand Frenzy

It's holiday time! And having worked in the women's magazine business for decades, I learned that November and December were the fattest issues of the year. [At Vogue, that would be the September "telephone book" fall fashion issue.]

As a shopper--at CVS, Whole Foods, Kings and ShopRite--I am not immune to those holiday cover lines and cover photos, which compel me and everyone else to buy the issues.

I better stop for November now, because I've already bought these and haven't read them all:

Smitten with: Blue cover, hot pink accents, yellow that pops and CHOCOLATE--the idea that it can be delicious and light.

In my area, the magazine tested a cover with
buttery mashed potatoes front and center--which sold me.
Since I worked @ GH for 10 years and have continued to write for them since 1999 [whenever I get an assignment], I often must buy--out of loyalty, curiosity, tradition.
How about you? Are you succumbing at the newsstands? Are you reading your favorites on your iPad? I'm not there yet. I still like holding them in my hand, tearing out recipes, etc.

Good night to you.

  1. Boot camp in the park.
  2. Worked hard at editing, and liked it.

Ina Garten @ Barnes & Noble in Union Square!

Ina drew a crowd of mostly women--ranging from young, single NYC apartment dwellers to grandmas, and some children, too.
I love this book and can't wait to try the recipes.
I love Ina Garten. Love her recipes, love her style. As of tonight, I own six of her nine cookbooks, the newest shown above. My friend Kim and I met at B&N on East 17th Street to get signed copies and see the Barefoot Contessa in person at a store event.

We arrived about 4:30 for the 7 p.m. talk, raced to the registers to buy the presigned books*, had green paper entry bracelets placed on our wrists [like a day at some Jersey Shore beaches], waited in line, saved our seats with the cookbooks once we were ushered into the event space. It was filled to capacity. When I called ahead, I was told it seats 300 [the tiny chairs were pressed together to make that happen].

Once we had our seats, we headed to the cafe for beverages and a long chat. It was great having 2 hours to talk to Kim and catch up, and we both enjoyed seeing Ina.

A few tidbits from the talk:
  • Nobody's perfect. When someone asked in the Q&A part if Ina ever gets cranky, she said I'm generally a happy person, and what you see [on TV] is really me. But sometimes I get exhausted and I eat chocolate chip cookies like everybody else, she added.
  • Sunday lunch. A young woman who lives in a NYC apartment asked for advice on how best to entertain--have friends over for hors d'oeuvres or dinner? Ina said Sunday lunch is a great time to entertain, since most people do their chores on Saturday and are energetic in the middle of the day on Sunday. Also, they don't have to stay late at your home. They can leave by 3. 
  • Butter up. Butter makes everything better, Ina said at one point. And if you've made her Raspberry Corn Muffins, as I have many times, you know that to be true. But I have found you can cut the butter back by about one-quarter in those muffins and still get great results. That recipe is pretty forgiving.
  • Culinary roots. The host, Julia Turshen, asked about Ina's favorite meal as a child. Answer: Broiled lamb chops and spaghetti with marinara sauce from a jar. That, Ina said, is what she loved to have for her birthday meal.
So many recipes I can't wait to make! I even went to the Whole Foods in Union Square after the event to get the Bob's Red Mill yellow cornmeal** Ina recommends for the Sour Cream Corn Bread recipe.

And remember, all of these recipes in the new book are do-ahead. So you bake this corn bread in loaf pans and when ready to serve, slice and toast it. Yum. Nice for warm schoolday breakfasts or snacks for Punch. Wish for Fig too, but it contains butter and eggs [though wait a minute, I have successfully made Ina's corn muffins deliciously vegan, using coconut oil for the butter and a small snack cup of applesauce for the eggs].

Also have my eye on the Maple Vanilla Cream of Wheat, Mini Italian Frittatas, Chocolate Banana Crumb Cake, Tri-Berry Crumbles, Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting--and some entrees and sides. I do like to cook for Figgy, but most [if not all] of these recipes are not vegan....I'll see if I can adjust some.

I have to get some rest. Good night to you.

  1. Did a lot of stairs taking the N train from Port Authority to Union Square and back.
  2. Caught up with my pals Celia and Kim--both have been in my life since way back, before all of us were even married.
*Celia let them swipe her B&N member card and the price with tax for my cookbook [$35 cover price, and that's what you'd pay at Williams-Sonoma] was $22.86. Thanks, Celia!
**Well, the recipe calls for Bob's Red Mill medium-grind cornmeal but the store only had the coarse grind tonight. It should work fine, especially since there's a corn bread recipe right on the sack. The bread may be a bit grainier than Ina's, but that's fine.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Guest Blog Post by Punchy--Dictated at Her Request

Baby photo chosen by Punch from Google search. Here is the LINK.
  For all of you people who are pregnant, don't be scared to breastfeed. They were talking about it at the baby shower I went to on Saturday with my grandma.
Love, Punch

Color Pop!

I love Bergdorf's signature lavender color. Tonight I wrote about how the two stylish sisters who run Whitepop Design put a little purple in a gorgeous home design.
It's kind of lonely to work in my office late on a Sunday night, when the neighborhood is coal-black and the rest of my family is sleeping. But alas, a promise is a promise, and my editor at Aspire needed my stories.

So write I did, about an orange Moroccan pouf [ottoman] in a lucky young boy's country-house bedroom and of the power of purple as a hip accent color in a home owned by two successful young doctors with three little children.

Must get off to sleep.

Good night.

  1. Support group.
  2. Mass.
  3. Messed up big time by opening sack of Halloween candy that H. bought at Party Fair and left in car. I had resisted it for weeks. But what's done is done. I moved on, brushed my teeth, washed my face, had some raw peppers with dinner, drank lots of ice water.
  4. Read Lena Dunham book [laughing out loud, she's so funny] and took nap.
  5. Liked the sunset in the sky when I drove Punchy home on Garden State Parkway.