Sunflower Seeds are Little Drops of Sunshine

I get on these strange food kicks, where I only want one type of food all the time. It happened with baked potatoes, Greek salad, chicken sausage pita sandwiches, soup, Golden Spoon frozen yogurt, Ruffles potato chips dipped in cottage cheese, and so on. Today it’s sunflower seeds. I feel like I’m supposed to be on a tractor when I eat these, either that or watching a drag race. There’s all this cracking and spitting, and it’s not very lady like. But I keep coming back for more salty goodness. I eat them until my lips get wrinkly and my fingers get little salty blisters, that’s when I know I’m all done.

This morning I opened a fresh bag of sunflower seeds and started cracking. Oh the joy! Sunflower seeds in the morning! My husband looked at me like I was loosing my mind a little bit because I was so gleeful while I cracked and spit. I should have been eating a bowl of nutritious cereal and a halved grapefruit with mild sprinkling of flax seed–but no, I opted for sunflower seeds instead.
This seed obsession started way back when I was just a little girl. I watched my dad crack sunflower seeds while nestled comfortably in his famed barcalounger watching some 2-star movie on HBO. I would grab a mug from the kitchen and sit with him, and together we’d crack sunflower seeds while watching Weekend at Bernie’s 2.
I also remember taking a generous handful of sunflower seeds and retreating to my room as a little girl to make the most amazing drawings you’ll never see on my chalk board. I placed the seeds in a heap next to my chalk and began cracking as I drew elephants roller skating. I accidently took a piece of chalk in my hand and threw it into my mouth as if it were a seed. I munched it hard and was disheartened when I realized instead of a salty little seed, I got a mouthful of dust.

So this morning I poured myself a cup of coffee and had another cup to spit my empty seed carcasses into. I was extra careful not to mix the cups up, as I was known to do: the one on the right is for drinking, the one on the left is for throwing your regurgitated shells into–easy, no?. But sure enough, I went to take a sip from my coffee mug, and found little seed shells floating on the top–I just fished them out and took a nice long sip…yum.

A Sordid Love

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Dear Sugar,

I’m breaking up with you.

I realized that our relationship has to end, when I ate my third bowl of pudding today, on top of the 5 chocolate covered strawberries I already had for breakfast. Shhh…please don’t try to change my mind with your shimmery glazes and your sparkley sprinkles–the decision’s been made, we are over.

I’ll remember you fondly; you’ve been there when times were tough. Like when I found out my high school boyfriend cheated on me with that ugly girl in my math class. I ate a whole bag of Fun-Sized Snickers, and you just let me cry while comforting me gently with a warmth in my belly and a small case of diarrhea, and I thank you for that.

I can’t forget all the good times too–like my wedding night, when our hotel brought us a complementary chocolate sculpture of a fish, and I ate the entire thing, mainly because I had been starving myself in the weeks leading up to my wedding day, and in my mind, it was a fish, and fish is good for you.

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But no more! I am quitting you! Today I will embark on a journey without the sweet taste of sugar. It might be weird for a while, because I know where you hang out, and we’ll defiantly see each other. Oh, and then there’s the parties, the countless parties I attend– I know you’ll be at each and every one of them. It’s going to be awkward, I’m not going to lie. You’ll be with someone else and I’ll try to act all cool and nonchalant, and flip my hair around like I don’t need you, like I’m totally over you, like I don’t want to lick your face, and swim naked in a vat of you, but inside I do.

ACK, who am I kidding? I can’t break up with you! I love you too much. You bring me joy in the form of chocolate fondue, creme brulee and peanut butter M&Ms. But we do need to make some changes in our relationship. I have noticed some, ahem, cellulite accumulating around my thighs and ass, so we may need to cut back on how much we see each other. We can work through this, every relationship has its problems.

Please don’t ever leave me.

I love you,

Beckey

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Cookies in the Morning

I woke up this morning feeling like I needed a crunchy snack, just like last night I needed to eat fried chicken pieces from this Koren Boba Tea place by my school at 10 o’ clock at night, and when I got home I needed to shove a fist full of Oreos in my mouth. And subsequently, I am going to be needing to buy a bigger pant size…

My snack of choice: Chocolate-Orange Espresso Thins.

Oh, and it begs to be said, Espresso is pronounced esss-press-ooh. Not Egg-spess-ooh. Apparently, I am a fool, and have said it wrong the past 1,100 times I’ve said it, and my husband finds that to be an amusing time to mock and jeer me–which I totally understand, and would do the same thing in his position. On with the cookies!

Here’s the recipe (thank you very much Martha Stewart), if you’re so inclined to be baking these for yourself, and I deeply suggest you do, because they’re good:

1 and a half cups of flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 and a half teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup of confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon of finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
coarse sanding sugar for sprinkling

1. Sift together flour, cocoa powered, espresso powder, and salt into a medium bowl, set aside.
2. Put butter, confectioners’ sugar, orange zest, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

As the mixer was doing its thing, I turned around and realized that my toddler had opened a bag of Trader Jo’s freeze dried bananas and was eating them off the floor:

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And since her most favorite thing to do is put things on her feet, naturally, she put a bowl on her foot:

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…and then a sippy cup:

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…and lastly, the bag of Trader Jo’s freeze dried bananas:

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Reduce speed to medium-low, and gradually add flour mixture until just combined.
3. Transfer dough to a big piece of parchment; shape into a log. Roll in parchment to 1 and a half inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of paper at each turn to narrow, transfer parchment to a paper towel tube; chill at least 2 hours or over night.

This is the sucky part of this recipe, because who wants to wait 2 hours for yummy-tasty cookies? Well, it’s totally worth it, so paint your toe nails, walk the dog, deep condition your hair, and go clean up that mess you made in the kitchen.

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4. preheat the oven to 350. cut log into 1/4 inch thick slices; transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Brush tops with water; sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until set, 15-17 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to a week.

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They should look just like this, I know mine do.

I like root beer.

I usually just order water, but lately I have been wanting root beer when I visit restaurants. Problem is: restaurants don’t have root beer, or they have Barq’s, and Barq’s sorta sucks. It’s way too carbonated, and it isn’t smooth enough for my highly trained palate.

I was at the mall today, and in the food court with 12 different restaurants, there was only Barq’s. I was sad. I had no root beer, and I said a bad word. The end.

Catalogs, Potatoes, and Such

I love when I get catalogs in the mail. Most of the time they are relevant to my age and shopping preferences. For instance, I regularly get:

Anthropolgie
Urban Outfitters
J Crew
Bloomingdales
Pottery Barn Kids
Williams Sonoma

I’m sure there are more, but that’s all I can think of right now.

But every once in a while my mail person likes to sneak in a few crazy ones just to see if I’m paying attention. Like “California Country” whose mission is “celebrating the best of California.” Intriguing, no? I am especially excited about reading the several varieties of potatoes on page 16.

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The article is called “Totally Tubular-new varieties turn a staple into one hot potato”

I am turned off a little by their eighties reference, but as I read further I learn that the edible part of the potato plant is called a tuber. Stay with me, this might get more interesting…
Turns out, there are like 9 different types of potatoes!

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So, I lied, it doesn’t get more interesting.

Sorry.

Favorite Foods

I was looking back at my old posts, and realized that I write about food often. This is probably due to the fact that I like food. Most of my favorite types of food have sugar in them. Sugar is my favorite. I adore sweet things, but strangely, I don’t like it if things are too sweet. I am picky that way.
Here are some of my favorite things to eat:

Frosted Doughnettes by Hostess. I like them refrigerated and soaked in milk. Oddly enough I don’t like bakery doughnets (uck).

things wrapped in bacon

cheese: feta, brie, goat, camembert, gruyere, cheddar, monterey jack, mozzarella

homemade chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven with walnuts, and if they’re not fresh out of the oven, I like to microwave them until they get all gooey and sizzle a little bit… but not too much sizzling, because then you’ll scorch them-and no one wants a scorched cookie. I find that half a minute usually does the trick for three cookies.

Bread. I love the bread restaurants give you while you wait for food. This is good for several reasons. 1) you get hungry 2) Bread tastes nice 3) boredom.

I like multigrain rolls and sourdough the best.

I like chocolate, and no Russel Stover from crap from CVS, I like the classy stuff. There is a little shop in Paris called Laduree that has amazing chocolate (I went to like 5 different chocolate shops, and diligently whittled my preference down to this one amazing shop).

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And there is a chocolate shop in the Wynn Hotel in Vegas that was pretty good. And there is a place in Fashion Island that’s called Teuscher. They have a champaign truffle that made Oprah do inappropriate things on her show while she ate it.

I really like hot chocolate–especially the real hot chocolate, which is melted chocolate poured over a tiny bit of hot milk.

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And I love myself some cupcakes, or any types of cake for that matter. But I’m not too big a fan of frosting. I find it’s too sweet. I don’t scrape it off or anything crazy like that, but if there is too much, I generally leave it on the plate, and after 5 minutes I mush it around with the cake crumbs and zone out while I make interesting shapes–kinda like a zen garden, but for someone with a brain of a 6 year-old.

I like salads and healthy food too–I swear.

Give me Some Cookies!

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I’m waiting. I am waiting very patiently. For my shipment of girl scout cookies. Are they here yet? I’m waiting for the sweet-faced little girls and their over-bearing moms to be standing outside of Albertson’s with a wagon filled with Tagalongs. Except they’re not called Tagalongs anymore. They changed all the names. Yeah, Tagalongs are called Peanut Butter Patties, and Somoas are called Caramel deLites. Lame. Or maybe I bought knock-off cookies. Whatever, I just hope they are as delectable as they were last year.

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