Sunday, January 25, 2009

Black and White

My friend Daniella took some pictures of me last week when we were out to lunch after church.  She used an old Canon SLR her mom bought her dad when they were engaged and developed them in the film lab at her school.  I don't mean to be narcissistic, but I can't stop staring.  
(At her talent- not mine)

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Hippie

I saw him from across the street, standing waiting for red to become green, the sunshine warming his face and his white linen pants pooling quietly around the leather sandals on his feet. "Hippie," like a wasp flew from one side of my brain to the other, and then it was gone as I turned my attention to the basket full of kitchen supplies the lady in front of me wanted to buy. A few minutes later I looked up from my task and saw him standing there, his long dark hair pulled into a soft ponytail that lay against his back, looking expectantly at me with his soft brown eyes. There was something elegant about him, a sort of refined peacefulness. He asked if we sold barbecue skewers.

When we found them he seemed satisfied and took them to the front to pay where he glanced at the back of the package. Suddenly his face clouded over and he set them down. "I'm sorry," he said, "I didn't realize..." He pointed to three little silver letters: Made in China.

First I thought, How dumb. What's wrong with you, just get them you stupid tree-hugger! But then the thought rushed in, No, he's right. He's a man taking a stand for his convictions. That's honorable.

"It's all right. I understand." I replied.

"It's just that, with all you hear about unsafe products coming from China these days..."

"And all the things you hear about child labor... I understand."

He looked at me with this pure look of peace and understanding. Admiration, even. "Thank you, my lady."

There was something about the way he said "my lady" that instantly brought my focus. I don't know when I've ever seen kinder eyes. Soft and warm, like spicy tea or the fur on a chocolate lab's tummy. Looking into those eyes was like taking a breath of warm, rich air-- there was something deeply satisfying about them.

He left and I watched him stride back across the street, linen tunic billowing in the breeze, golden skin illuminated by the sun. "He called me 'my lady'," I thought. And I felt better for having known him.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

You've sure got powerful thumbs!

This made me laugh until I drooled while I was sick. Seriously.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year, New Recipe

I wish I could say I spent this glorious new day of 2009 frolicking in the Los Angeles sun, but alas I've been cooped up all day with a pounding sinus headache, running to the bathroom every 15 minutes to blow my nose over the sink.  Happy new year, indeed!

It's moments like these as I sit with nary a coherent thought, that the prospect of writing an interesting, intriguing, fun-filled recount of my Christmas seems a bit daunting.  Thus, I'm going to give you a recipe for the KILLER breakfast I made on Christmas morning.  Every year for as long as I can remember my mom had cinnamon rolls baking as we opened our presents each December 25th.  I've taken the torch the last two years, but this year I felt emboldened to try a new recipe in the spirit of new traditions and lots and lots of butter, courtesy Paula Deen.

Imagine biting into an oozing ball of dough, still warm from the oven and dripping in buttery cinnamon sugar goo, only to find a bit of sweetened cream cheese tucked in the middle.  Every bite tastes like the middle of a cinnamon roll.  Yeah.

I know you're probably already feeling the squeeze as you put on your jeans in the morning, and yet ANOTHER recipe dripping with butter and brown sugar is the last thing your New Years resolutioned-self is wanting, but this is one such recipe.  Deal with it.

Gorilla Bread
Adapted from Paula Deen

1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
2 cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (12 oz., 10 count)
1 cup toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9" round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon and set aside. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside. Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes, and set THAT aside. 

Now press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar (no need to measure, just sprinkle a little). Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese. Now sprinkle half the pecans onto the bottom of the pan, and begin placing the prepared biscuits around the perimeter of the pan. Keep adding the balls of dough in circles until the pan is full.  Place the remaining pecans in between the balls of dough.  Pour the melted butter and sugar over everything, and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar over that.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.  Eat immediately with a tall glass of milk.