Tuesday, September 2, 2008


So, the emails I receive from readers often contain similar questions, so I'll soon be creating an "About" page that will answer some of these queries. For now, I thought I'd answer THE most frequently asked questions I receive via email:

Why in creation did you
name this place Velvet Lava Cafe? It's so lame.

I know, isn't it? It's because I really couldn't think of a damn thing at the time and just wanted to start writing. So, I took my two favorite desserts - Red Velvet Cake and Molten Lava Cake - and combined them into the disaster you now see before you. I flog myself daily for it.

Seriously, are you the size of a house? With all these desserts?

Well, like which house are you talking about? A doll house? Okay, no. See, I don't eat all the stuff I bake. We eat some individual portions at home - and then I bring the rest in for my co-workers, who now despise me to no living end. Also, I have a treadmill at home - and I get my ass ON IT and run like hell. Also, we go for runs, walks, hikes, and I burn a lot of calories just from complaining about shit. And, I eat pretty well; as in, lots of protein, fiber, and some veggies. If we eat out, it's mainly sushi.

Okay, give it UP. What DO you eat for breakfast and lunch from that ONE post?

Come on, MAN, let it GO! Why are people still on that? It's a good breakfast, but it's a dumb lunch - dumb! Fine. Call me out - caller outer! Breakfast is Light Vanilla Yogurt mixed with PB2 powder (thus, creating heavenly peanut butter yogurt beyond description), then toss in a cup of Kashi GoLean Cereal: consume. Okay? For the DUMB lunch: first, I have about 3/4 cup of low-fat cottage cheese so I get my OCD-protein allotment (sprinkled with Mrs. Dash Table Blend for you hair-splitters); after that, I have a cup of Fiber One cereal (the plain kind, otherwise known as rabbit food). Why? Because I'm scarred.

And all you other runners out there? You know you're just as neurotic as me about protein and complex carbs - so don't even try to hide behind your protein drinks out there, because I've got your number - you OCD nutballs, you. I better hear your support in comments. Yeah, I'm lookin' at you, Manager Mom and Kspinning!

Why do you use the [ - ] dash all the time?

You noticed that? Well, I'm just not satisfied with the current state of acceptable and more ubiquitous forms of punctuation - and the pauses they spawn, or don't spawn, in my writing. So, I often feel I need the dash for the proper break that I'm looking for in my head, as I'm writing. In other words, I have 2 realities going on and this [-] is my little bridge. You should try it. Because the semi-colon, period, colon, and all that? So last millennium.

What kind of camera do you use? And, do you shave or wax your legs?

Isn't that kinda personal, about my camera? Well, as far as the legs go - I shave. I tried waxing and holy hell - remember The 40 Year Old Virgin when he's getting his chest waxed and he screams out "NIPPLEFUCK!" in pain? That's how I feel about ripping hairs out of their follicles, pretty much.

As for the camera, I use the Nikon D40 - which I chose for its small size (it was between the D40, D80, and D200). For lenses, I use the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, Nikon 50mm f/1.8 (doesn't AF on the D40, btw, which is why I bought the Sigma), and my new baby - the Nikon 60mm f/2.8 Micro. The camera came with a 17-55mm kit lens, which I don't use for food photography - but would use for a few other things. I mostly use natural light, but sometimes have to use a flash. Don't let anyone tell you that you cannot use a flash - you just don't want a flash that points directly at the object. Buy a flash that has "tilt" or "bounce" capabilities - play around with it, and you can basically mimic daylight, when needed.

Why is there is no recipe for Lava Cakes?

Yeah, you caught that. Well, you see - I have about 10 different recipes for lava cakes and, therefore, [and this should be no surprise to anyone reading this blog for a while] am paralyzed as to which one to post here. So, the answer - clearly - is to post none at all, because that's how I roll. In other words, I don't roll - I just freeze instead.

You're obsessed with kitchen tools, but what is your all time favorite?

Oh, wow. I feel like I've just been punched. I'm not even sure how to answer this - i.e., favorite aesthetically? Utilitarian? Frequency? Okay, I will have to go with my Global Knives. I JUST love them to no end. They are heaven to use and are simply gorgeous as well - I love their design. I have the Santoku, a paring knife, and a serrated knife. But, it's the Santoku I have the real affair with and often stroke lovingly.

Well, that's all for now folks. If you have any other burning questions, drop me an email - because you guys are damn funny.


Lisa said...

Ha, so fantastic that you finally spilled about the breakfast and lunch! :) I kind of have to agree with you - the b-fast sound heavenly, and the lunch, well . . . That said, I GET it that we need protein - I just can't pull myself away from the carb trough . . . .

Anonymous said...

Bwah! You finally gave us the down low on the breakfast and lunch! How funny that people were still emailing you about that. I was intrigued, I must say. And that breakfast sounds delish. And while the lunch is a bit OCD, yes, I won't call it dumb. ;)

Unknown said...

You really are a hot mess :)

Real Live Lesbian said...

Off to figure out what PB2 powder is. I never get enough protein. As for the Kashi GoLean...I own stock at this point!

I wanna come to your house and get skinny!

Brittany said...

Stop the flogging! I love your blog name! It would be interesting to do a poll of bloggers out there who still like their blog name. I kind of hate mine.

"I burn a lot of calories just from complaining about shit"

You crack me up.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I like the turkey baster.

Anonymous said...

Lava, lava! You really must unfreeze and post a lava cake recipe, you must.

Okay, the lunch is kind of lame, but is does fulfill the right requirements, plus it clearly allows you to indulge elsewhere, smart girl.

As for waxing. Nipplefuck!

And btw, I like the name of this blog, love the pictures and your use of the dash, and now need to know what PB2 is and if I need it.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I really wish I could burn calories from complaining about shit. I'm a compulsive complainer but that does not make me skinnier. Do you think that it's becauuse I eat when I complain? Uhmmm...
About the legs... I machine mine!

Sugar Jones said...

That last FAQ just reminded me how it was that my fascination with Velvet Lava started... it was a contest to win some little measuring cups. I've had so much fun coming to your blog, I clear forgot that I didn't win. I finally broke down and bought a new measuring cup two days ago. The last one had lost a handle and accidentally ended up under my wedge sandals. Hey! They were really nice sandals!

Anonymous said...

Have I mentioned before how much I LOVE your lists?! Ok, good.

Dude, my food choices? I'm a total carb adict who usually only gets her protien eating pb right off a spoon... My breakfast is usually ten grain hot cereal or yogurt with granola on top. I'm just thinking that the pb powder might be a much lower-fat way to get my protien. I'm also thinking I'll start using dashes so I can be cool like you.

Love the name. Love your writing. Love that you included me. Thanks! :)

NV said...

LOVE the blog name and the writing style. Of course, in my newspaper days, I had a copyeditor who used to call me "MRs. Dash" because of my prolific use of that punctuation. ;-)

Jennifer S said...

OHHHH...I'm supposed to get on the treadmill. That clears up a big question I've had for quite some.

I'll have to check out those knives.

Also, you gave me a good laugh!

grace said...

so you like a routine too, eh? repeated meals, daily flogging, ritual complaining. sounds a lot like me, except for the flogging. :)
oh, and how appropriate that you enjoy a sprinkle of mrs dash on your cottage cheese. :)

Manager Mom said...

You can burn calories from COMPLAINING?!?

Rock and Roll. THAT must be how I have maintained my girlish figure.

Yep, I am totally with you on the protein/carbs thing. My breakfast is very similar to yours, except insert "Cherry" before the "Vanilla," leave out the powder, and subsititute Heartland Raisin Cinnamon Granola.

And every day for lunch I eat a veggie salad with grilled chicken and a cup of wheatberries.

I'm practically superstitious about my meals.

OCD Nutball = I'm sorry, but I totally resemble that remark!

Ann said...

Lisa: I know, I finally caved. So embarrassed about that dumb lunch, but oh well.

Meagan: The breakfast is SO good, I swear. The lunch: nutritious, but dumb. But people were *still* wondering about it, isn't that funny?

Kimberly: I KNOW, girl! I know. :)

RLL: Come on over! PB2 rocks, I love it w/ yogurt. And GoLean? I think I go through 2 boxes a week, it's ridiculous.

Brittany: I now wish I just would've named my blog one word, nice and easy - you know? Like "Food", period.

Morton: Oh, you. I so teed you up for that, didn't I???

Sarah: I really will post a lava cake recipe as soon as I pull my head out of my arse. And yes, I think the other healthy eating allows me to indulge otherwise. And the PB2? Rockin'.

CC: Oh, yes! Except the questions are usually wrapped in "I have a question about a recipe and I love the blog, but what the heck does Velvet Lava mean anyhow". I think you just need to complain more. :)

Sugar: Oh, funny! I'm so glad you found me, bc then I found your blog too, girl!

Kspinning: See? Complex carbs, you runner YOU.

NV: Mrs. Dash! Sistas from anotha motha!

Jennifer H: I know, isn't just rude that you have to actually get ON those things? For a girl who covets design too, I think those knives might hook you...

Grace: I'm glad I'm not the only one who repeats meals, bc I really thought it was just ME and now I don't feel like such a mess. And I totally didn't realize how appropriate Mrs. DASH was, WOW. That's funny, man.

Manager Mom: UH HUH. I knew it. Completely and Totally. PEGGED. I knew you resembled that remark!!!!

John D. said...

I like "Velvet Lava Cafe," and there's nothing LAME about your blog. Now let's put those kitchen tools to work and make a little SUM'EM SUM'EM! (yum!)

Do you mail food? ; )

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you kind of did. I have to say, I'm kind of confused about the lunch thing.

Anonymous said...

I kind of love knowing that I'm not the only weird-nutritional-food freak out there. Thank God I live alone, so no one can mock me about my bizarro eating habits. But hey! At least I'm eating my veggies, right?

Ann said...

John: Comin' right up! I could totally mail food. Chocolate though? That could be fussy...and chocolate is so damn fine.

Morton: I know - the lunch is so...DUMB. It's just my obsessive way of getting loads of protein, fiber, plus I gotta have that sweet factor. It's really an embarrassing lunch - which is why in the original post I said I wanted to eat it in the closet (hence, I think why everyone was wanting to know what the hell I was eating!). Plus it takes me 2 seconds to pack and I don't have to think about. But it's STILL DUMB. Sigh...

The New CC: I so thank you for being a freak like me and just coming clean about it. See? I am NOT ALONE PEOPLE!

Anonymous said...

Your blog name is great and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. As for the dashes, Emily Dickinson used them incessantly. Granted, she confused the hell out of all of us with all her dashes, but damn it, you're in good company. Besides, your dashes aren't confusing in the least. Your lunch sounds absolutely terrible, though, my dear. How about some carrot-ginger soup with hummus, cucumbers and kalamata olives on the side, all washed down with some creamy 2% milk. What do you think?

flutter said...

You SO crack my ass up

Anonymous said...

Okay - I have to ask the delicate question - with all that fiber from the Kashi and the Fiber One, are you simply farting your way from room to room??

I would be!! You are a gas, girl!!

Love the blog name. Love the fact that you are a little bit OCD. Keep on cooking:)

Anonymous said...

Well, Ann, my darling -- I just have to tell you that given the chance to ask you a ton of questions those would NEVER have made the list. Not ever. Those were not fun. Example:

What's the most interesting place you've thrown up?

Mine? Umm... besides the Waffle House parking lot... an Irish Pub in Seattle on a first date. Yep.


Now that's a good question.

Missed ya. My family was visiting and I've been doing slave labor until just now.


Adam said...

Wow, this post was great. My first time reading your blog, and I love your sense of humor. You're a runner too and nutrition-head too, which is awesome.

People actually email you those questions? You have some hilarious readers. Feel free to send them my way too... I won't answer any questions about hair removal though... :)

Tootsie Farklepants said...

I like your advice on the [-] punctuation. Punctuation police can suck it. It's a blog for crying out loud, not Hemingway.

Anonymous said...

where are you? I'm getting hungry...

YD, sometimes with ♥June and ♥Angel Samantha said...

Hey funny lady! I missed this post last week. Just came back from our camping trip late last week and I'm tryin to catch-up.