Goodness me. What a week, people. It has rained non-stop in Seattle for the past – at least – seven days, but we’re not complaining in the slightest; because people were dying over East as Storm Sandy rolled on up and over clusters of islands and huge swathes of land. Unbelievable scenes of devastation and chaos – Mother Nature unleashing all her fury. A terribly sad week for so many people.
I am having my own personal perfect storm this week. Utterly trivial and completely inconsequential compared to the suffering on the other side of America, but I still have to face the waves and hope that I don’t sink on the journey. Not that any of it is bad – it’s almost all entirely wonderful – there’s just a lot of it, and it’s barreling down on me all at once.
First, stuff I made and ate and wrote about, in case you missed them. You may notice there’s not as much as usual. Let me explain once you’ve taken a gander at what I did manage to produce.
Smoked Salmon and Pea Shoot Saute – fast and furious, filling, fabulous and fun. 10 minutes to super SANEity.
Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies – because you deserve a chocolate cookie that does not make you sick, fat or diabetic.
Of course, the Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies got the most votes when I asked which recipe you had to have first. I can understand that. Who would want Hot & Nutty Cereal when you can have taste-bud defying chocolate-y cookies to scarf down with your coffee? Those deep brown little discs of deliciousness that you maybe thought you’d never have again without beating yourself up mercilessly over for days afterwards.
I have to tell you, though, the Hot & Nutty Cereal totally blew my skirt up after I made the first batch on Saturday morning. I’ve had 4 bowls already, and it’s only Sunday night. And then there were the Smoked Salmon Baked Eggs, which I made last weekend but managed a big fat fail on the photographing thereof, so I had to do a re-run. My mouth was not disappointed. I am always happy to down some smoked salmon and eggs – pretty much however they’re cooked. I also finally conjured up Creamy Peanut Butter Mousse – after the sheer frustration of major meringue fail involving 6 batches of collapsing egg whites. There’s no picture yet because it had to loll in the ‘fridge overnight so I could see if it behaves how I need it to, before I commit it to pixels. I don’t want you to get all excited if it doesn’t actually work. That would be cruel.
Life can be cruel, sometimes. A year ago today I lost my beloved bundle of soft, fluffy love: Chiko. I wasn’t ready then, and I am still not ready now. I remain heartbroken. Once again, my body’s ability to produce what feels like rivers full of tears amazes me. I am not sure how you can cry that much, not take in any extra liquid, and yet not crumble into a pile of flakes. This sad anniversary had the potential to cause other chaos for my body, aside from losing gallons of moisture. Last year, on the day he died, I must have consumed over 4000 calories in the space of 6 hours – 96% of them in the form of starchy and sugary carbohydrates. There were a dozen Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and at least too huge Salted Caramel Hot Chocolates in there. Emotional eating at it’s finest. This year was an entirely different tale. Mainly due to Bailor and his *SANEity having changed the way my body responds to stress; and partly due to Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies. Having 4 bowls of comfort-inducing Hot & Nutty Cereal worked wonders, too.
They say good stuff comes in threes. Indeed, the good stuff galloping towards me – preventing me from cooking and posting very much for you last week – is a trifecta of goodness this week.
Today the demolition of my kitchen begins. Excited? I. AM. SO. EXCITED!!!! An extra 80 sq.ft of creative workspace. More cooking, more light, more space, more time, more peace. Less frustration, less running up and down stairs, less burning stuff in the oven, less chaos. YAY!
I’ll miss all the love notes that friends started graffiti-ing on my walls a month ago though. It’s the little things. Getting ready for the big day involved rerouting all the kitchen gear stashed in The Toy Cupboard – aka the pantry – and generally creating lots of cluttery chaos across the kitchen. I can live with any amount of disruption short-term for something this exciting. I can’t wait to have my shooting and writing space opening onto my cooking and eating space.
Wednesday evening my new art show, “Color! Color! Color!” opens in downtown Seattle, when those fabulous folks at Mode throw a reception for me. There will be lots of other fun stuff going on too. If you’re in Seattle I’d love to meet you in person. I’ll be the blonde chick hiding behind the big green plant in the corner. Given that an art show requires art, Friday was consumed with matting all the images and hand-delivering them downtown. I am so very thankful for Michelle and Stu totally rocking the art hanging duties today while I smashed down walls at Marmalade HQ kitchen.
The rest of what would normally be my recipe-making, shooting and posting time was eaten up by a fabulous project that I am working on with Bailor, the deadline for which suddenly moved from January to the third week of November. Eeeek! All hands on deck. All fingers to the keyboard. Tap, tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap.
If I can navigate through the rest of this week unscathed, and with The Big Three projects intact, I’ll be back in the kitchen at the weekend, merrily whipping up some new grub to help keep you on the path to SANEity. Hurrah! In the meantime, imagine a big “UNDER CONSTRUCTION” sign at the top of this blog.
Other things that happened last week include getting my first photo-enforced speeding ticket, having the most visitors to my little blogette in a single day (thank you!), grabbing a lovely 15 minutes with a favorite ex-boss, not falling over on my a** while carrying coffee and making a big mess all over, and getting a fright at the office when I glanced at the clock on my PC to see 9:24 pm…until I realized I had my time zone set to Beijing and it was 9:24 am there. I went to the grocery store; unfortunately my shopping list decided to stay home. I reminded myself that it is not advisable to get your F’s and C’s muddled up when baking.
Once again I ran my dishwasher more times in one weekend than should be legal for a single girl to do, lost a cat to a box that arrived containing FAR. TOO. MANY. packing peanuts which proceeded to explode all over the lounge, had an awesome lunch with an awesome friend, got some huge hugs from the chaps and chapesses down at Mode, decided that from now on I only taking criticism seriously when it comes from someone that I admire, and got an extra hour of sleep when we turned our clocks back. I seriously needed an extra hour this week – THANKS Daylight Savings, you’re a life saver.
To top it all off, I dreamed big and smiled wide, despite the realization that no matter how awesome life gets, no matter how profoundly grateful I am for all the amazing people and all the goodness that surrounds me, underneath it all, the pain of some things just never ends.
Finally, as usual, The Bailinator and I were in the studio recording another fun, and informative podcast.
EPISODE 19: High-Frustose Corn Syrup is Evil
Stuff I made and ate and will write about in the coming couple weeks. You mentioned that you like a preview to the movie. I aim to please.
Hot & Nutty Cereal
Smoked Salmon Baked Eggs
Leek and Pear Soup
Cheesy Pea Shoot Scramble
Brussel Sprouts with Leek and Poppy Seeds
Spiced Cauliflower Soup
Before I head back to my crazy week, I wanted to let you know that there isn’t too much that I read online that moves me to tears. This did.
Also, I am not much of a Tweeter. I get confused with all the conversations, and abbreviations and Twitterese and usually have to run away after about 3 ¼ minutes. However, my favorite tweet of the week was from
@CatFoodBreath: “Don’t stand in the eggs. Don’t lick the toast. No tail in the coffee. Don’t steal the bacon. You people are very cranky during brunch.”