Sunday, November 23, 2008

Down with Tollhouse, long live Torres...

It's true.

The tollhouse recipe has been toppled.

Which is a shame, because I know that one by heart. And now I have to learn a new one. Which has more ingredients. And takes more time. But... and it's a significant but... which makes a better cookie.

This past summer, The New York Times ran an article on the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Maury Rubin, Jacques Torres, Shirley O. Corriher and Dorie Greenspan all weighed in. Two types of flour. Sifted. Baking soda and baking powder. Light brown sugar, not dark. 36 hours of rest time. Okay, to be honest, I skipped that part (we couldn't wait). Point is, they were way better than the "original recipe."

They say love makes the world go round...that's possible, but I think it might be chocolate. Then again, maybe love is chocolate.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Oscar, shmoscar.

Everyone knows the Cookie Monster is where it's at.

I mean sure, Oscar gets the best lines. But the Cookie Monster gets the cookies! No contest.

Today, I found a new cookie—a little wafer, a little hazelnut creme (shades of Nutella), and a layer of dark chocolate. Wham! And what's it called? "First Class." Does that have my name written all over it or what?

Go on, try one. You know you want to.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Four peaks and a shopping bag

I don't ordinarily discuss (my) life events here (this just isn't that sort of blog), but as the song says, it's my party, and I'll write what I want to.

Lest this has escaped your notice, I am not what you'd call Miss Pro Athlete, Miss Marathon, or even Miss Athlete or Miss Half-Marathon.

I am, however, Miss "Sure, I'll Try That." Which is how I ended up doing the Summit Challenge in Phoenix, AZ this past weekend with my friend, LW, who will forever more be known as Little Goat.

The Challenge kicked off for us, who were doing the Four Peak Challenge, not the Seven Peak Challenge (are they crazy?), at 8:00am Saturday morning. Luckily, the Challenge was a challenge not a race—at least for us—because Little Goat and I left the house a tad late, then noticed we were low on gas, and then the low-air-in-tyre (my car is German, so, yeah, tYre) alarm went off. Would you believe, not one, not two, but THREE tyres were low? I kid you not. $1.50 worth of air later (and some gas)—we were finally on our way.

We were only perhaps 10, okay maybe 15, minutes late to the starting line, but we didn't let a little thing like that deter us from recognizing that we really couldn't begin our climb before partaking of the complimentary coffee and pastries provided. Breakfast was had. We did truly want to start, however, so we also recognized that walking all the way back to our car to stash the fancy bag of samples and pamphlets we'd been given wasn't the best use of time. We kept the bags and off we went to hike Papago Butte, looking for all the world like we were about to stroll down Fifth Avenue, shopping bags in hand.

We strolled, I mean hiked, around the base of the butte, up the back and down its front. One down, three to go. Turns out navigation is part of the challenge—we had to make our own way to the next peak. Auto GPS, bada-bing, bada-bang, and we were there. And making up for lost time too.

But then, oh dear. Somehow between the second and third peaks, bada-bing, bada-bang, we got lost—we were at the bottom of Phoenix (South Mountain) instead of the top of Phoenix (North Mountain), which sounds like a much dumber move than it was, because we did input the correct intersection into the Auto GPS—but, as it turns out, there are TWO places in Phoenix where 7th Street and Thunderbird Road cross. Who knew? That little boo-boo cost us about 45 minutes of drive time. Still, even with all that, we started at 8:30am and were done at 1:45pm. And the allotted time is from 8:00am to 4:00pm, so Little Goat and I feel pretty good about that.

And Miss "Sure, I'll Try That?"—she's agreed to do all seven next year. What was she smoking?!

Laughter really is good medicine

You know, JT has some moves.

And he's funny. No, really.

The whole damn skit from SNL is hilarious. Sadly, NBC has been doing a systemic sweep and purge of the WWW, so although I think I posted it here, it may be gone. In which case, I'm sorry.

(oh, and Paul Rudd? He's kinda funny too.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Seven hours flies by when... have the weight of the world on your shoulders. Well that, or your own and your friend's life and romantic travails to solve.

In that case, seven hours seems like barely enough. We were still fighting for air time when we pulled into the driveway. It was a good drive.

There's nothing like spending hours upon hours driving through nothing to bring out the inner philosopher, sage, counselor and magi in all of us.

Here's to auto-therapy—Henry Ford style.

“One’s destination is never a place,
but a new way of seeing things.”
- Henry Miller

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Where o' where have all the cowboys gone?

You're supposed to be able to count on certain things. Not on all things, and not on other things. But definitely on certain things.

This year, not so much.

You're supposed to be able to count on the Yankees making it to the playoffs—but no, all that money and they still can't get the job done? On Spielberg and Indiana Jones—but, aliens? Really? You're going with that? On Starbucks—except, automated espresso machines that don't smell like coffee? Whose brilliant idea was that?

And seriously, you're supposed to be able to count on a warhorse steakhouse knowing how to cook you a steak. "Pittsburgh." "Black & blue." I didn't make these terms up. They should mean something to the kitchen. I mean, other than a city and a mouse.

I know most of you will be shocked, shocked!, to learn I had a five minute confab with the waiter regarding the temperature of the steak we ordered. Five minutes is a long time to discuss a steak. Nonetheless, after all that, and despite being at The Palm in WeHo, an establishment boasting 33 years continuous operations (don't ask me why), our steak arrived over-done. Back it went and came back, I kid you not, frozen in the middle. Honestly, what restaurant takes their meat straight from the icebox and puts it on the grill?

So, from me to you, skip The Palm and head over to Wolfgang's (not Puck) on Canon, or Boa on Ocean. Better yet, hop a plane to NYC...Keens anyone?

Monday, November 03, 2008

This is how you get from A to someplace that's just not B

So, I start to blog about mint chocolate chip ice cream because, well, because.

And I go searching for the right image, which you may or may not realize is something into which I put a fair amount of time and energy. I want that image to sing to you, fair reader. To catch your eye and speak to you, even before my well chosen and witty words. And lo and behold, I find the perfect image—a marriage of my favorite ice cream flavor with my favorite ice cream brand (see fig. A at left).

But, when I go to source the image, I stumble on something even better—a blog post entitled "Forget Milk—Got Xanax?" It reads as follows:

(Scene: SC, MW, and JS are lunching at a restuarant with an outdoor patio)

JS: Do you know what I wanna do?

(SC and MW are afraid to ask)

JS: I want to get a whole bunch of Xanax and crush it all up and put it in people's drinks so that they can calm the f* down.
Forget the milk—let's just dump it in the water supply.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sometimes life just gets you

"The blues are because you're getting fat or it's been raining too long. You're just sad, that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid, and you don't know what you're afraid of."

The thing about the mean reds—you can't talk them away. You can't even cry them away. You just have to wait them out.

Sometimes you think they're going to beat you, but they never do. You'll always win. You just have to wait long enough.