Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cell Phone Hickey, With Lemon Tart

Independence Day is upon us - and how is that, I ask? How is it already almost July? For those lovely readers who reside outside of the U.S., Independence Day (commonly known as the 4th of July) is a patriotic holiday where we celebrate our Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Sound grand? It's really not; it's actually just a day of barbecues, fireworks, parades, and family gatherings. Mostly, it's a day where folks want to hang outside, eat food, drink spirits and be merry.

But here in Phoenix, where the outdoor temperature lately is about 475 degrees - or so it feels - it's a bit uncomfortable outside. As of late, my efforts to be outside have been heroic, to me, but not successful. I look out my window and gaze upon the sunny gloriousness and I'm seduced - totally convinced that I must be out there with a trashy book or a magazine about shrinking Hollywood women or soaking up enough rays to warrant requisite later-in-life botox treatments, because who WILL I be without them? So, under this obligatory oppression - I get my lily-ass out there and try to be one with the weather...and I try for as long as I can to pretend that I'm not fecking out of my mind miserable out here in the sun.

I take a little dip in the pool, telling my scorched skin that it'll feel all refreshed in just a wet-second - and afterall we're outside and it's so lovely out here in nature isn't it? Meanwhile, my epidermis is folding inward, trying to reach my organs for a system-wide protest - or at the very least, some shade. By the time I reach my lounge chair, and get settled again - ready to read or luxuriate or internally-wax-poetic about being outside in this gloriousness - I'm ALREADY dry again.

So, I have about 3 minutes for internal-poetic-waxing before it all begins again. In the meantime, I decide to call someone from the Midwest to complain about all of this drama. So, I grab my cellphone from the nearby side-table and dial - then press the phone to my ear. Then, I let out a little SCREAM. Because the cellphone that was baking in the sun for 30 minutes now had an external temperature of 475 degrees and had just scorched my ear and my neck - so now I have a CELLPHONE HICKIE. Attractive. Enough already. I can't even make friends with the cacti.

The cellphone hickie convinced me that it was clearly time to bake something other than my skin. Baking always makes me feel better and I wanted to try a recipe that would be light and fresh for the summer, and GREAT for the upcoming holiday. So, onward...

French Lemon Cream Tart

This is just superb! Way better than my epidermis! I recently purchased Dorie Greenspan's Baking:From My Home To Yours and I ADORE this cookbook to no living end. It's not only great for straight-up food porn, but the writing is excellent, the details are spot-on, and the glossary is invaluable. And this tart? Fun to make, a treat for the senses (the zest is divine) and a learning experience that is guided by Dorie's well placed instructions. The Lemon Cream is adapted from none other than Pierre Herme himself and could be used in a million ways - pastry, toast, cakes, pies, cupcakes, tartlets - you name it. It's creamy and light - yet rich and decadent too - and balances sweetness and tartness just right, as far as I can tell. And the crust is crisp with just enough "give" - and sweet enough to be a shortbread all on its own. Delicious.

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
9 T. unsalted cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put flour, sugar, and salt in processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture has pieces the size of peas and smaller. Break up the yolk and add a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. After the egg is added, pulse for 10 seconds at a time until the dough forms clumps. Then, turn the dough out onto a surface and very lightly knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients.

Butter a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and press the dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides, saving a bit of leftover dough for any patching of cracks that may occur during baking (optional). Freeze the dough for at least 30 minutes before baking (can be longer). Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 375F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and place the buttered side tightly against the dough. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press down those areas with the back of a spoon. Bake for another 8 minutes or until crust is firm and golden brown. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to come to room temperature.

Lemon Cream
1 c. sugar
grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
3/4 c. fresh lemon juice (4-5 lemons)
2 sticks + 5 T unsalted butter, cut into T size, room temperature

Needed: blender, instant read temperature, strainer

Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan. In a large heatproof bowl (off the heat, at this point), combine sugar and zest between your fingers until grainy. Whisk in eggs, then lemon juice. Set bowl over pan and whisk once the mixture becomes tepid. Cook mixture until it becomes 180F. You must whisk continuously to prevent the eggs from scrambling. The mixture will become foamy, then thicken as it gets closer to 180F - and be warned, it takes at least 10 minutes.

When it reaches 180F, strain the cream into the blender and discard the zest. Let the cream cool, stirring occasionally, to 140F, about 10 minutes. Turn blender to high and add butter, 5 pieces at a time, scraping down sides as needed. Once all the butter is in, blend for 3 more minutes. Pour the cream into a container and place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the cream; refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Then, loosen cream with a whisk and spoon into tart shell. Serve immediately or refrigerate. ENJOY!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Would You Bite This Face?

Okay, well, maybe a nibble - but I digress already.

I've been waging a war in my own backyard. The other morning, my furlicious love muffin, Marcel Verdel Purcell, came in from the yard in some kind of terrible distress. So, I scooped his shaking little body up into my arms - and hello - some ants crawled from his beard onto my hand. FIRE ANTS. Otherwise known as little fuckers. I'm sorry for the language, but please, in this case - it applies in no uncertain terms. A small army of these militants invaded my Marcel and were biting him! He is okay - the ants were removed, liquid benadryl given, and many kisses were doled out to his deliciousness. But let me tell you - the reason they're called fire ants? Yeah, because the bite feels like FIRE. Probably didn't need to point that out, but I'm driving it home.

But Mama Bear? OH. Mama Bear is PISSED. Normally, I don't kill insects - the creaturist in me just feels bad about it - so I bring them outside and tell them to please stay there next time, go find your own mortgage. But the fire ants? They are GOIN' DOWN, people. It'd be one thing if they had bitten me - because I'm sure I have some karma to pay. I'm sure I even have some insect-specific karma to pay - there are probably plenty of insects who want to stick it to me, and that's fine. Take the karma, just take it already.

But Marcel? This little 3.4-pound creature who spends his days spreading joy, blasting out love, and licking nostrils? I am quite sure he has no real karma to pay - at least not in the form of these bastard fire ants. These war mongers. And nobody, and I mean nobody, messes with my dogs. Mama.Bear.Grows.Fangs.

So, I don't care what it takes - but if I have to wear a Hazmat Suit and some night vision goggles - and crawl amidst the cacti and the geckos and the spiders in my backyard: I WILL end the colonization that has taken over my backyard. And the Queen Ant of all these little bastards? I don't know where that bitch is, but I'll find her. I'm sure she's sitting on some little poof of special queen sand while her male underlings bring her food and MORE FOOD and she orders them to bite bite MORE BITE. Well I just cannot get on board with that level of gluttony and servitude - and I AM COMIN' for you, princess.

That is all.

[Update 4 hrs. later: Phew! That felt good. Now that it's off my chest: isn't he just the cutest widdle nookie wookie wub dub? Don't you just wanna get up in there and smushie wooshie cushie fooshie? Oh shut up, self.]

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Niece Stole My Headline

I wasn't even quite sure what I wanted to write about today, then I received an email from my sister - it's always interesting what might or might not inspire me to write. Today, my sister emailed me and described how my younger niece was watching a cartoon where they were naming all of the U.S. presidents. At the end of this list she apparently said "Mom, they forgot to name the GIRL PRESIDENTS". They forgot to name the girl presidents.

I was stunned. And hopeful. And intrigued. I wonder if her assumption was because of this year's nomination process, with Hilary Clinton in the mix. Or, was her assumption merely because there would be no inherent reason for her to think there would not be girl presidents. Why not, of course? I guess for whatever reason she feels this assumed equality, I can only hope that it lasts for as long as possible. It does give me hope that some day, there will be a world where children of both sexes and all races will grow up where they can not only assume anything is possible - but also see others like them who've gone before them to prove it so.

Maybe America is finally growing up a little. Dare we hope? We watched a woman run for the Democratic ticket. We have a man of African American descent running for President. We have people of the same sex getting married in California. While it seems so late in the game for all of this to be happening, I'm no less grateful for it. They are small steps in the right direction - and I hesitate to say more without going into a mile-long tirade about all that I think is wrong with our society.

I think my niece says it best with "They forgot to name the Girl Presidents" - indeed, my dear, INDEED.

Chocolate Carmelicious Shortbread Bars

I'll admit, I was really mad about these bars when I finished them - mostly because of the poorly written recipe, which contained outright mistakes - so, I won't be naming the book from which it was adapted (not a well known book). I nearly tossed out the whole lot, I was so filled with spite! Mature, I know. But, I warmed up to them - we had a rather enjoyable photo shoot, they gave me some coy poses, they put their best flirt on - and a spell was cast. Upon tasting them again, I finally realized they were actually frickin' delicious. If you took the concept of a Twix bar and multiplied it by the homemade factor - this is the result - and it is exponential, my dears. I took about 25 of the bars to work on a Friday; only, it was a Friday when there were only about 5 people in the office - and they were almost all gone by 3 pm - little scavengers. So, I guess they don't suck. Update: work people told me to say that they rocked - well, okay then.

2 1/2 c. all purpose flour, sifted
1/4 c. cornstarch
2 c. unsalted butter, diced
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. light brown sugar
2 14-oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
8 oz. semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 325F. In a food processer, pulse the flour, cornstarch, 1 cup butter and sugar until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Turn it into a 13x9x1.5-in. pan, using fingers or back of a spoon to pack down and smooth the surface; prick the bottom of dough with a fork and bake for 35-40 minutes until pale golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Place remaining 1 cup butter and brown sugar in saucepan over low hear until melted. Add condensed milk and bring slowly to a boil, stirring continuously until the mixture turns pale caramel color, about 3-4 minutes. Pour over top of cooled shortbread - taking care that this layer measures about 1/2-inch and doesn't spill over the sides; if this layer becomes overly thick, the middle proves too mushy and the bars are unwieldy. Chill in fridge for 1 hour or until set.

Once set, melt the chocolate in double boiler - allow to cool as you do not want to spread hot chocolate on cold caramel, right? So, allow the chocolate to cool enough so that it won't melt the caramel - but you want the chocolate to still be spreadable; just keep an eye on the chocolate's consistency and feel the temperature - and you'll know when the time is right. Spread over the caramel topping and chill in the fridge until set. Cutting these bars is tricky - you need to allow them to come toward room temperature - otherwise, the knife will crack the chocolate when you cut them straight out of the fridge (I tried the hot, dry knife method and it didn't work so well). So, bring toward room temp., cut to desired size, and store in fridge for serving. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Presidential Pardons

As we approach the end of the current presidential term, we will likely begin to hear of some late-term presidential pardons that will have all of us rolling our eyes and passing around I-told-you-so's. I thought I'd kick start the process, instead of being fashionably late. Plus, in case the Bushinator, the Dubya himself was secretly pining for my prowess in pardon recommendations - well, here they are, being the good 'Merican that I am:

-- I pardon Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for continuing to breed, produce gorgeous spawn, adopt needy children, maintain a perfect marriage, save New Orleans, save the WORLD - all the while making the rest of us feel like shitpiles. If it weren't for those last 2 things, the whole world would be forced to despise you with the venom of a thousand jellyfish stings. Do jellyfish have venom? Details. I pardon thees.

-- I pardon my dog, Wylie, for pissing on both our living room and master bedroom carpets to such an extent during his first year here at the new casa, that we were forced to spend thousands to replace his perceived indoor yard with new floors this year. Because of this, we can never properly amortize the cost of this dog - he has now become priceless in both the worst and best ways. We're giving him a tour of the pound later this week.

-- I pardon my PMS, every frickin' month, for jacking my mood around to the point where I kinda want to rip my skin open and crawl out of the person I've suddenly become - I mean, who is the capital B with the fuming pores? And does she need a colonic irrigation or what is her problem? She barely deserves a pardon.

-- I pardon the Winter of My Discontent, for being 4 years long; sayonara old friend and may the past stay in the past. And if not, I must introduce you to my middle digit.

-- I pardon the planet Pluto, for making us think it was a planet all this time. And, for making all the Moms out there now have to explain to their kids what-the-deal-with-Pluto-is. Who has time for that?

-- I pardon George Bush for _____ and _____ and _____ and _____ and _____ ...

-- I pardon the sun for not shining on February 17th of this year. The excuse it had? Pick one.

-- I pardon Powerball for cheating me out of my inheritance, every Wednesday and Saturday.

-- I pardon the South of France for being halfway across the world from me. Now, that's just plain rude.

-- I pardon that cloud from the other day that wouldn't form into the cute shape that I thought would serve it best. I know! Could I BE any more generous here? Benevolence incarnate.

-- I pardon Tony for all those times that he was all "uh huh, uh huh, yeah, yeah" while not hearing a dang syllable coming out of my pie hole - because he has yet to fully understand all he agreed to during those knock-off, imitation conversations. Ann 12, Tony 0.

I feel cleansed, purified. I think I understand why the ruler of the free world digs the Pardonez Vous - it's just good clean fun. I pardon thee. I pardon thou. I'm all about forgiveness, but this pardon thing? It's like forgiveness with a redbull-vodka and a few drips of absinthe. Beat that with a stick.

Go on...pardon something...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What The Heck?

Once again, this has been one of those weeks where I pause...and wonder...what the heck? Is it the moon? The stars? The barometric pressure? Did we lose another planet? Are my chakras in-fighting?

Not that it's been a bad week - no. Just one of those weeks where I go hmmmm, well that's interesting. For example:

- My younger dog, Marcel Verdel Purcell, smelled like cumin, CUMIN, all week long. Distracting, really, because 1) there was no reason for him to smell like cumin as I haven't used the spice recently and 2) I couldn't wait to get home every day to scoop him up and give him a whole bunch of whiffs - being the cumin lover that I am. Damn, he smelled good - as well as inexplicable.

- I drove my car with patience - and found myself thinking "who is this woman driving this car". It was an out-of-car experience, yet I was still driving. Bizarre.

- I agreed with something Bill O'Reilly said on the television. WHAT DID I JUST WRITE? Yeah, I know. I assure you, after I agreed with whatever-it-was - I slapped myself 7 times, donated to the ACLU, showered with an SOS pad, and sent Rosie O'Donnell some flowers.

- I received an anonymous text message stating "Rawh it's the boogy man and i'm gonna eat you :)" - now, personally, given how long the Boogy man has been around - I would have thought he could spell by now AND would know that "I" should be capitalized. I don't mean to split hairs, Boogy, but really - you should also check Wikipedia, where your correct spelling is listed as "Bogeyman", mmkay?

- Someone sat in my lap in a waiting room. I was minding my own business, while guessing at everyone else's, of course - and a gal walks in - walks toward me - angles her ass toward me and proceeds to sit on me. At the same moment that I suck in my breath - she realizes that the chair she chose doesn't exactly feel like a chair - so she squeals and skyrockets off of my lap. She finally whips off her sunglasses (MIGHT have been helpful EARLIER), puts her hand over her mouth in sheer horror, apologizes profusely, and slithers away. You know when someone farts and you're not supposed to laugh? That's how I felt for the next 10 minutes. Tortuous.

So, I thought we needed something reassuring to eat in the household - just to balance all the what-the-heckness. Of course, chocolate always makes our brain cells feel like the rest of the world can just go screw itself - and then couple that with the retro happiness of peanut butter frosting, and well, we're drinkin' the kool-aid of perfect happiness, if only for a just a few stolen moments.

Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

Now, these are really about the frosting - more than anything. You want to taste the chocolate - but of course - but the real star here is the topper. I'll warn you, these are rather dangerous to keep around - because they are tasty and creamy and seductive. And, somewhere in your mind - you convince yourself that they're clearly more "healthy" because they contain peanut butter - yes, I know that game, and this little harlot of a brownie will try that number on you - I assure you. So, beware. You can use any old brownie recipe you have in your collection. If you use my brownie recipe, substitute the chocolate chips tossed in at the end of the batter for a cup or two of peanut butter chips (or, just do a plain batter, with no chips at all). Then again, some would say - "never enough chocolate" - so use the chocolate chips if you like, whatever floats your boat, right? Here is the recipe for the frosting:

1 1/3 c. powdered sugar
1 c. creamy peanut butter (not natural peanut butter)
6 T unsalted butter, room temperature
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 t salt
1/3 c. heavy cream

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt. Beat on medium low speed until creamy, making sure to scrape down the sides as needed. Add the cream and beat at high speed until mixture is creamy and light. Spread on cooled brownies.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Overheard In Our Household

T: I'll turn off the lights up here.
A: My god, it's a miracle.

A (loudly, to dog): Wylie, don't look at me like that about your father!
[Me, always trying to hint that I'm favored by the dogs. So dumb.]

T: Goodnight, honey.
A: What's that supposed to mean?
[It really just meant that I HAD to stop my incessant insomniac drone]

T: You wanna go along on this trip with me?
A: At the last minute? What about the dogs?
T: We can figure it out.
A: You mean I can figure it out, make 8 zillion calls and totally stress about it, last minute?
T: Yeah, that. But...
A: No, I'll stay here and stress instead.

During a recent total shut-in weekend:
A: Wanna go get Chipotle?
T: We'd have to leave the house?
A: Yeah.
T: Oh. Hmmm. Then, no.
A: Yeah, seems like too much, doesn't it?
[Wow, huh? Think we stayed in our pajamas the entire weekend, livin' LARGE.]

A: Let's move to Amsterdam.
T: What would we do for a living?
A: Smoke pot, of course! [right, we barely drink]
T: Oh, okay - and how would we pay for that?
A: We could charge people to look at our dogs.
T: Why would people pay for that?
A: Because they're THAT cute, duh!
T: [Exhales, shakes head, walks away...]

A: Do you think I'm generally overall weird?
T: Yes.
A: Do you think other people think I'm weird?
T: Well, yeah, but it's a good weird.
A: A good weird? Well what does that mean, exactly?
T: Just a good weird, like an eclectic weird.
A: Hmmm. Well, then - what would a bad weird be?
A: Uh huh.

Any good "Overheards" in your household lately?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dear Chocolate, It's Me

Dear White Chocolate:

Though I know technically you're not actually chocolate, I also know that technically the blond hairs on my head are not actually all blond. Perhaps they were born blond, but somewhere along the way - it all became too much for them and they required coaxing to be light and buttery. So, white chocolate - I refuse to snub you, even though some purists consider you the white trash of chocolates. You are cloying, to be sure, but sometimes - I need over-the-top sweet - I crave give-me-a-cavity-now sugariness, I want that singular and simple taste. I think you're creamy and naughty and simple and I'm not ashamed to say I love you. Or, to call you chocolate - chocolate chocolate CHOCOLATE. WHITE.

Dear Milk Chocolate:

I know, I know. I don't eat you plain, ever. Do not despair, my darling - it's not you, it's me. Or rather, it's my childhood. You see, my Mom went through this nutball phase where she fed us powdered milk. I KNOW! For years, we drank this thin, almost blue-tinted liquid that was supposed to be milk - but it was more like milk water. Ever since, I cannot drink milk straight up - or even on the rocks. Also? Milk chocolate tastes too milky, too melty, too soft. It's too much like a cow. Make sense? No? Well, listen - go in peace and let's call it even because I still serve you to others and I DO still delight in you every now and then. I just really wish you'd take Milk out of your name, but I get the feeling it's too late. Is it?

Dear Dark Chocolate:

Where do I begin? If I could write a sonnet, I would. J'adore you. I think Adam Sandler should write a song about you like he did with "Red Hooded Sweatshirt" - but call it "Dark Chocolate Pantry Bar" or something. If I was stranded on an island, you'd be on the shortlist of provisions I'd want with me as I slowly lost my gourd. Also, I want to publicly beg - that if I ever end up in a prison situation where I need to choose a last meal - please, someone out there educate the guards on how to choose a quality dark chocolate for my last meal. Anyway, dark chocolate, where do I love thee? I love thee simply on your very own, in ganache, in frosting, in cookies, brownies, truffles, flourless cakes, lava cakes, mousses, tartlets, pies - I love you everywhere except out-of-stock. You are nuanced and interesting and sweet and complex and almost as necessary as oxygen. You just don't suck at all.

Love The One You're With,
Ann to combine ALL on...

Triple Chocolate Gianduja

Recently, I encountered double-chocolate Gianduja in a little gourmet shop - and it was delicious - rich, chocolate-y, just a tad nutty - but not overly. I'm not a big fan of nuts with chocolate - so I was so delighted to be delighted by this delightful little darling! I was told it was made with hazelnuts - but after searching 4 stores, without finding any hazelnuts - I went ahead with almonds and some cursing. A bit scary, I know - but who knew hazelnuts where so scarce? Well, finding a recipe was just as daunting - most were in Italian, or used hazelnuts, or just did not make sense to me - technically. So, I sort of winged this after finding a singular-chocolate gianduja (zhiahn-DOO-ya) recipe - but I decided to go for the trifecta, and am glad that I did. Beware: these do NOT last long - we couldn't keep our paws off of them. They are REALLY delicious, rich, creamy, thick - and are not cloyingly sweet - they are just right, as far as we could tell.

5 oz. white chocolate (the type w/ cocoa butter)
5 oz. milk chocolate
5 oz. unsweetened chocolate
9 oz. almonds
2/3 c. powdered sugar
3 T. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 325F. Spread nuts on cookie tray in even layer and toast in heated oven until brown, about 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly. In food processor, pulse nuts until almost fine - add powdered sugar; pulse until mixture is fine. Add oil and pulse until paste forms. Divide mixture into 1/3 c. portions.

Over double boiler, melt unsweetened chocolate, then transfer to medium bowl and allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, prepare 9-inch square pan by lining with aluminum foil; allow foil to overhang the sides. Take 1/3 c. of the almond mixture and add to the chocolate - mix with fork until combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. Place in refrigerator and allow mixture to harden - about 30 minutes to an hour. Repeat the above process with the milk chocolate, and spread the mixture on top of the dark chocolate, allowing it to harden in the refrigerator. Repeat again with the white chocolate. Use foil to lift out of pan. Can be served cold or room temperature. Cut into whatever size suits you and enjoy!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Winner of the Pimpettes!

Random Integer Generator:

Timestamp: 2008-06-08 00:44:09 UTC

After omitting some duplicate entries and counting all of the wonderful comments, "Tabbiewolf" was the winner! Congrats Tabbiewolf! Please click my profile and drop me an email so I can get these babies into your loving arms for some steamy cooking!

The comments for this contest were incredible - it's fascinating how these small kitchen tools might have such meaning as we create food, preparing something for sustenance or indulgence. Whether the coveted accoutrement was handed down through generations or newly purchased - it seemed no less cherished, though I did love hearing of those tools handed down through families - loaded with memories and patina.

And, I'm so very glad to hear I'm not the only crazy who caresses her kitchen tools a little, when no one is looking - because wow, if you read the comments - I am SO not alone there.

[By the way - entrant "SteveibCanyon" - yes, I'd love a copy of your Lava Cake recipe, but I see no way to contact you - so shoot me an email if you see this!]

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Please Excuse The Mess

Let's see, hopped on my blog a few minutes ago to find the layout/formatting on EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY post altered. And then I keeled over and died for a while. When I miraculously came to - I noticed that Blogger performed a little "update" on June 5th - today. Well, that update, Blogger, effed up my entire blog. What am I gonna do? First, I'm gonna go sop up the blood that just boiled out of my ears, then I think I'll knock on the neighbor's door and ask for a cup of sugar and perhaps a spare valium or ten, and then I'll hope against hope that Blogger will fix the bug because I already tried to fix just one post, to no avail. Cocktails anyone? GOOD TIMES.

[Update: think I might have just fixed it. If so, I just keeled over and lived.]

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pimpettes Of The Kitchen, A Giveaway

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know about my obsession with kitchen accoutrements. Well, and, admittedly - my obsessiveness in general, I suppose. Clearly, it seeps through - whether I try to caulk it or not - there IT is. Bah! Who cares, right? I'm here, I'm weird, get used it. Although - speaking of weirdness, I do spend a rather ridiculous amount of time in Sur la Table - so much so - there are times when I almost want to pretend that I'm NOT me - as in "Oh no, I'm Ann's twin's sister! You didn't know she had one? HOW funny! Now, where did you say the cooking tools or whatever they're called were? Over there? Oh, thanks. This is my first time here, so I'll probably be awhile. An espresso? Oh I couldn't, to be sure. Well, if you insist. Yes, I'll give my sister your regards!"

Not to mention the various other cooking stores I must frequent to stock my shelves and stuff my kitchen - I have EYES to feed, don't they understand? At times, I walk in these stores for the gazillionth time, with love in my eyes - the store clerks probably taking bets behind my back over which tartlet pan I'll obsess over today - and I want to proclaim, victoriously, in a stage-whisper - "It's a GIFT". And then nod judgmentally at their prejudgment of me. Spritz myself with some holy-and-some-haughty and proceed. Okay, I don't own that spritz - plus, I'm usually wearing a baseball hat and therefore, could not rock The Haughty and Holy, but it is fun to consider. Carrying on...

Well, this time it was a gift. FOR YOU, dear readers. I was in line, with my GIFTS, having them rung up by the cashier. I'm gazing at the cashier, at those standing in line behind me - and I'm nodding approvingly at myself as I whisper, almost
imperceptibly and conspiratorially, to those around me "It's a GIFT!" - and they all look at me like "We don't care anything about it, crazy gift lady! Move along!". Well, they just didn't understand my excitement about these particular accoutrements, now did they? Fork buyers.

You remember the spoons and the mug (celebrities of my accoutrements)? Oh swoon! Well, a few readers have emailed to ask where-oh-where can I obtain those spoons for my very own?
Since they are the darlings, the pimpettes of my kitchen, I decided to give them to you. Well, to one of you, that is. I am giving away the measuring cups, the spoons, and the liquid measuring pitcher. [Okay, I confess - when I went to purchase these - there were literally TWO sets of measuring spoons left, PERIOD. Well, damn if I didn't buy that very last set of spoons as a back-up to my set. THAT'S RIGHT. All I need now is a back-up for my back-up and I'm SET.]

How to win these Pimpettes of the kitchen? Just leave a comment -> in the comment, tell me what your favorite kitchen accoutrement is - I would love to hear that I am not alone in my j'adorement of the little things in life. Please enter no later than 5:00 pm MST Saturday, June 7th - I'll announce the winner Saturday evening. I was going to restrict this to U.S. residents only, but because so many of my readers are international - that just didn't sit right with me. SO, if you're an international reader, I'll pay up to $20 in shipping - beyond that - you're on your own, darlin', but we'll figure something out.
One entry per person please.