Friday, May 4, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I was putting make-up on in Montreal two days ago in front of one of those fancy close-up lit-up mirrors that make you see each pore of your skin when I realized something about myself and about love. How I act in front of the mirror is entirely unrelated to how loved I feel and how beautiful my loved ones make me believe I am.
What I do every single day in front of the mirror is me, who I am, what pleases me, what makes me feel good - not beautiful, just good and normal, like my daily ritual is complete, like my routine has been fulfilled and I can move on to the next activity. It is not a trick to make me feel more beautiful or to make someone see me that way- far from it, actually.
That process is just me: I put make up on every morning in the same way: I line the lower part of my eye right at the root of my eyelashes with black eyeliner, gently touch up my upper eyelid with some version of a sheer eye shadow and finish with mascara, a fancy one I bought with my best friend on a trip to California. I love every second of this process and I love what it does to my eyes. I put perfume on- for me- because I love it. And I make sure my nails are clean and freshly painted - because I love to see them that way.
Do I need to do all that? Who’s asking? I think I need to. For me. As for those who love me...I hope not. I hope love means that I look good without any make up on, sweaty and with ragged nails. I hope it means I look stunning in my sweat pants, bleary eyed after a night of not sleeping enough, with my hair in a scrappy pony tail after a yoga class. But for me, yes I need it. No matter how beautiful those who love me make me feel, I still want my makeup, my perfume, my nail polish, and sometimes my high heels - that is me, and I love it that way.
Whether you love me or not, with my make up on or not, I know you’ll love this recipe. I made it with love and much thought for Valentine’s day. The only way to get what I wanted from it was to make it up myself, ingredient by ingredient, step by step, defying commercial Valentine’s day clichees that make my head hurt - no hearts, no chocolate, no overly sweet things- just a stunning combination of all the things that can mean love: kumquats for their perfection, rosewater for its perfume, vanilla, for the beauty of simple things, cardamom because it may make your pants fall off, honey for the sweetness in life, and bubbly for celebrating finding love.
Kumquat Compote, a Love Potion
Ingredients: 2 cups kumquats, sliced; 2 tablespoons rose water; 1 + 1/2 cups prosecco; 1 cup honey; 1 vanilla bean, split; 10 cardamom pods, crushed.
Combine the prosecco, honey, split vanilla bean, and crushed cardamon pods in a small pot and bring to a boil on medium-high. Lower the heat to medium and reduce the liquid by about one third. This will allow some of the alcohol to evaporate too.
Remove the cardamom pod shells but don't worry about the little seeds- they add outstanding texture and flavor. Add the sliced kumquats and the rose water and continue to simmer for about 30 minutes or until it reaches the desires thickness.
Serve however your heart desires. I can just eat it with a spoon.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I am not a fan of resolutions. I find it highly unrealistic to make sudden drastic changes, so I won't 'resolve.' I did, however, make a list of goals- one that I can look at on my vanity mirror every day to remind myself of the path I am hoping to walk on in 2012. And I wanted to share them with you.
Ditch the Jesus complex.
There is a weird trend in my head that urges me to perpetually try to save and change people. I can’t, I know that. But somehow I still try under the pretense that I need to know that I did all I could. No mas. I may love you and support you unconditionally, but I cannot save you- not this year.
Practice saying no more.
Compulsive volunteering, giving, accepting has been a lifestyle choice for me for as long as I can remember. Under the umbrella of Ask and you shall receive I always said yes whenever a helping hand was desired. 2012 is the time I tone that down to allow myself a new lifestyle, one where saying no is not a rare occurrence but just a rational decision.
Honor my priorities: my family.
It is easy to take the things you have for granted, to treat them like obligations, chores, things you have committed to and now must do. At the end of it all, the most important thing for me is my family and I know I have failed to treat my family with the joy and excitement it deserves. I want to be present, engaged, happy to have them in my life- even when I am down, hormonal, exhausted, or anything in between.
Last year, Dining Out Magazine, the Denver County Fair Cookbook, and the Gabby Gourmet replaced my previous writing life in the Colorado Lawyer and citable judicial opinions. In 2012, I am ready to face the pitch game again and submit my ideas with more focus, more intensity, without floundering around throwing stuff against the wall in hopes it sticks. I will pitch with intent and purpose after extensive research. Fingers crossed!
Allow myself to fail.
Whatever I do, I do 100% and until and unless I am ready to give it 120% I just don’t try. Unless I know I’ll make it, I won’t risk failure. So, this is the year in which I will pursue those projects that I have built in my head - the granola, some teaching, the new blog. And if they fail, I will be ok.
Take the leap to learn.
Nothing freaks me out more than new stuff, especially if it has buttons or any technology involved. The conundrum is that there is a good load of new stuff I’d like to know- SEO, photography, all the bells and whistles that I want on my website and blog. I need to plunge - take the leap and do it- learn it no matter how much my older-stuck-in-my-ways mind tries to hold me back.
Have a better relationship with my mother.
You know that typical let’s talk about your mother question? I thought that question was a joke until I thought about it myself and realized that there are issues, breaks, problems that I avoided for a while in that relationship. This year, I will make them better. Love you mama!
If you asked me what is the one thing I wish I could do more of, I’d say read. It gives me the biggest joy. It is mine- just mine and I read just for me. Nothing is like it, but physical time and lack of energy keep me from it. I declare 2012 the year of 12 books to read. I know I can and I know I will love it. I just have to commit to it.
Forgive myself. No one is harder on myself than I am. I beat myself down, cast tremendous amounts of guilt onto my actions, and dwell on every misstep with great skill. Also, no one can hold a grudge against me better that I can. I can’t promise to do a 180 on all of this but I will do my best to give myself a break this year.
Go to Montreal and the French Laundry.
Montreal has been on our radar for a long time for its urban edginess, Pied du Cochon, Joe Beef, and French culture. We have talked and talked about going and the time has come. We're booked to go in February! As for the French Laundry, after cooking nearly every dish from the book, some many times, I really just have to go and see the place for myself. Soon...
Return to the professional kitchen for more. In the late summer, I started working in a professional kitchen a couple of days a week. I did this to practice, to learn, to get a feeling of how food is made in that setting, how it feels to be on your feet for that many hours, how it feels to have to do things a certain way, in a certain time-frame, while working in a busy environment. I loved it but stopped as my schedule got busy.
I did not get enough and no matter how much motivation it takes to go back, I want to do it.
Santa, aka the husband, decided I was ready for the immersion circulator, and not just any one but the PolyScience. I have lots of work to do. I am intimidated and excited by the process but I started already - and I can't wait to share those experiences and the learning process with you.
What's your goal or resolution?