All I've ever wanted is to make a difference in someone's life.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

My 7

New daddy Peaker did this to me. So, here goes.

7. Ray and I met in Las Vegas. I was there on vacation with my cousin, Jen, her BF and another girl, Erin. The day we met, I was sitting by myself at the bar at the ESPN Zone in NYNY. I was sitting by myself because of the events from the previous night:

Jen, BF, Erin and I decided to go out to the Hard Rock cafe Friday night. We arrived around 11pm and got drinks. We were waiting for one of our friends, a local, to join us. Brandi arrived around midnight and we all made small talk. I decided to go to the ladies room, and on the way back, stopped at the Hard Rock store. You know, the one on the corner, right by the entrance?
Anyway, I was gone maybe 20-30 minutes. When I got back to the group, they were not where I had left them. So, I walked around the round bar a few times looking for them. No luck. So, I went back to the original spot and waited. And waited. And waited. For 3 hours.

Now, the fact that I'm realizing that my cousin and friends abandoned me was sinking in. BUT, that is not the worst part. My delightful little cousin was carry the purse. THE purse. Let me explain. Oftentimes when girls go out together, they put all of their money, identification and lipsticks into ONE purse. One girl carries the purse. I was not carrying the purse that night - she was. So now, I have no purse. I'm moneyless, ID-less and have no cell phone. I'm stuck. And by this time, it's 3am. I must have been looking somewhat distressed because this guy comes up to me and asks me if everything is OK. I tell him my situation, and he lets me use his cell phone. I call my good ole cuz, and Yep, they are back at the hotel, fast asleep!

Are you F-in Kidding me?!?!?

I go out to the cab line, and get a driver to take me to my hotel, promising to run up to my room and come back to pay him. He is very, very skeptical, but agrees. I ended up tipping the guy $20 over the $7 cab fare. I then race up to my room, rant at my cousin, pack my belongings and get my own room. How could my own flesh and blood abandon me like that? In Las Vegas, no less?? She said I took too long in the bathroom. What a biotch! I have not talked to her since.

Anyway, the good part about this story is that the very next day, I met Ray. We have been inseparable ever since. So although I lost something on that trip, I also found something: the love of my life, my soul mate. I guess sometimes things happen for a reason.

6. I want children. Or a child. Ok, we'll start with one, and see how that goes.

5. I've never really been into drugs. I smoked the Marijuana once or twice, and experimented a bit with some other things once or twice, but that's it. I've never done cocaine, heroin or speed. Nothing like mushrooms or crack. Alcohol is my vice. In college I drank Boone's Farm wine and Mad Dog 20/20. They were cheep, and I was on a budget! I eventually had a beer phase, but that has passed. Now I drink mostly wine (I have advanced from the Boone's Farm, I promise!) and mixed drinks - mostly Gin & Tonics or Red Bull & Vodka.

4. I lived in Bethesda, MD, and worked in down town Washington, DC, 2 blocks from the White House, at the time of the 9-11 attacks. I was getting ready to go into work that morning, and my sister called and told me to turn on the TV. I watched as the second plane hit. I watched as the Pentagon, 2 miles from my house, was hit. I lived 1/2 mile from the Post Office that was poisoned with Anthrax. In the days that followed, I, and I'm sure many, many others, lived in constant fear. I rode the subway (Metro) to work every day, and constantly wondered if that was the next target. "America's Subway" is engraved in stone above the entrance to the downtown station, making this a prime target in my mind. But I still went to work every day, numb. Our building and the surrounding buildings were evacuated due to bomb threats on a weekly basis. I could not send mail to anyone, for fear of possibly spreading a deadly chemical weapon. It's truly a sick feeling to know you can't send your sister, mother, friend a birthday card without putting their lives in danger.

I moved back to Cleveland, OH after a year in DC, and never looked back.

3. My sister is my best friend. Although she lives in Cleveland, OH, we talk at least 5 days a week, and email almost daily. She is truly my best friend and confidant. She is always honest with me, tells me how it is, kicks my ass when it needs kicking and has been there for me every step of my wierd, funny little drama packed life. I miss her terribly and feel like I'm missing a huge part of her life by living so far away. I desperately want to move back East. And after school, God willing, that is what Ray and I plan to do.

2. I was married before. My first husband and I met in college Sophomore year. We struggled through 3 tumultuous years together, constantly fighting and breaking up. We eventually convinced ourselves that getting married seemed like a good idea. We were young, and very dumb. The marriage lasted about 7 months before our fights became physical. He hurt me physically ONE time, and I through the bastard out. I had the marriage annulled, moved to a new city and put that part of my life behind me. That was almost 12 years ago.

1. My dad died from a heart attack at 47 years of age. His heart was weakened by diabetes, as was much of the rest of his body. He worked for Ford for over 16 years, and had taken 2 weeks off for vacation, and to spend time with family. The day he went back to work, was the day he died. A massive heart attack on the floor of Ford Motor.

Although it's been about 10 years now, I'm still not over it. I will never get over it. Loosing a parent is tough. It's the toughest thing I've ever had to go through. I think of him every day. I talk to him sometimes, like praying to my own personal guardian angel. And I believe that he hears me. I know that he knew I loved him. But I will always regret not telling him more.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Little Smokkee's Birthday and Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo weekend was Little Smokkee's first birthday.
Of course, I was a huge geek and did this:

I've always told myself I would NOT be one of those girls who dresses her mutt in frilly doggy clothes, and thank God I have not gone that far. I could be a candidate for biggest spoiler though!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Dionne's out

Sorry, Wonka, but your girl Dionne has been eliminated.
The judges said she needed too much coaching....

BUT, I forgot about one Biotch that is still in the running to be America's Next Top Model!!

Introducing NeNe (Natalie):

Pretty HOT, huh?

So, it's NeNe, Jaslene, or Natasha. Who will win? I'm still voting for Natash.

A new recipe....mmmmmmm

I made this for dinner tonight:

Rosemary Vanilla Chicken Yield: 4

A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook. For that reason, this is also an account of what happens when I make this dish, so you’ll understand each step. Of course when you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don’t like.

Try substituting one ingredient for another. Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own!I often braise chicken thighs for dinner; they have infinite varieties of preparation and go well with just about any side dish. They are flavour sponges too! In this version I pair the woodsy aroma of rosemary with the subtle flavour of vanilla. Try experimenting with other seasonings for different flavours.

Rosemary Vanilla Chicken
8 x chicken thighs
4 tbsp of olive oil or vegetable oil
2 x onions, sliced
2 x carrots, chopped
1 bottle of chardonnay
1 x vanilla bean or 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
2 x large sprigs of rosemary, needles peeled off

Rosemary Vanilla Chicken
Remove the bones from the chicken thighs by slitting the back of the thigh with a sharp knife. Carefully trim the meat off of each bone. Try to leave the thigh in one piece, but it’s OK if it ends up in several pieces.

Preheat a large frying pan over medium-high heat then splash in the olive oil. Add the chicken and the bones and begin browning. As each piece browns, turn it over. Continue until each piece is golden brown then lower the temperature. This is the best time to add the rich flavours of caramelization before the liquids are added and before the meat begins braising. Take the meat and bones out and reserve while the vegetables are cooked.

Add the onions and carrots to the hot pan and cook them for a few minutes until they slightly soften. This will brighten their flavours considerably. As you stir them, loosen any brown bits that adhere to the pan’s bottom. These are caramelized juices from the meat and will add a lot of flavour to the dish.

Add the chicken meat and bones back to the pan. Pour in the wine - reserving a sip for yourself! You may also use less wine and make up the difference with homemade or canned chicken broth. For this dish I prefer the oaky vanilla-like flavours of California chardonnay.

Slit the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seed paste inside. Mince the remaining pod and add along with the seeds and rosemary to the chicken. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Place a tight-fitting lid on the pan and let braise on the stovetop over medium heat until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the lid and fish out the bones, they’ve added their flavour and can now be discarded. Turn the heat up and reduce the liquid until it thickens into a sauce. Taste; then season with salt and pepper.

Serve over any rice, pasta or grain

It was Sooooo very good!
If you try it, let me know what you think!
I love to use rosemary with chicken - it really is a great blend of flavors.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

America's Next Top Model

These are the finalists.
Tell me who you think will win.



Or, Dionne?

MY pick is Natasha. Have to love those Polish girls...