It might be a lot like yours (or not at all)

Archive for December, 2008|Monthly archive page

Recipe Anxiety…

In Apartment Cooking on December 25, 2008 at 6:51 am

Definition: Recipe Anxiety is when you cannot stop thinking about the meal you are about to prepare.

Causes: Its onset is most likely to occur the day or night before a major feast you are preparing and hosting, commonly on a holiday. Situations such as trying out a new recipe(s) for the first time for your guests, preparing your menu last-minute, shopping at the last minute, not reading through your recipes in advance, trying overly complex recipes, cooking on a day when stores might be closed preventing you from getting items you may have forgotten, or an intimidating crowd you want to impress, are all known to heighten the occurrence into all-out stress.

Symptoms: Can’t stop thinking about your recipes, can’t sleep because you are thinking about your recipes and preparing them, waking in the middle of the night to read through your recipes, a general uncertaintly about how the meal might turn out and what your guests will think of it.

Treatment: There really is no cure other than to get through the cooking experience, get the meal on the table, and see what your guests reactions are. Only then can you either rest easy, or admit defeat. Allowing yourself plenty of prep time will help. Enlisting a helper may also help. But most likely, you will still have a case of Recipe Anxiety until the event is over.

Prevention: Only cook dishes you’ve prepared before. Don’t try to do “too much” or attempt recipes that are above your experience level. Read through your recipes in advance. Create your menu, shop, and prepare well in advance.

Case Study: Lana was extremely excited to prepare Christmas dinner for her family and boyfriend, a reasonable guestcount of 5 people. Normally on Thanksgiving she keeps things traditional, but likes to experiment with the Christmas meal. Lana knew she had to do grocery shopping on Christmas Eve, and finally found the time and focus to find great recipes and combine them into a menu the (late) night prior to Christmas Eve. She was happy with her menu. Shopping on Christmas day went well, she felt confident she had everything. Lana went to bed around 11:30am and found herself awake at 3:30am, thinking about her meal. She was envisioning and tasting the various dishes in her head, with satisfaction yet curiousity of the unkown. At 4:15am, Lana still could not sleep and decided to get up and read through her recipes carefully, something she’d not yet done.  In doing so, she realized one of the dishes needed to be refridgerated overnight. She contemplated preparing it first thing in the morning, but realized she couldn’t sleep anyway and especially now knowing she was already behind. Lana went into the kitchen and spent about 40min preparing a casserole, it went perfectly. Lana then went back to the bed, but still couldn’t sleep, again envisioning the processesand final products of her recipes. Stay tuned to find out how this meal turns out.

Lana’s Christmas Menu:

Honey Baked Ham w/ Brown Sugar Glaze

Sausage & Leek Casserole

Potato, Zucchini, & Rosemary Latkes w/ Lemon Cream Cheese Topping

Black-eyed Peas & Rice (aka Hoppin’ John)

Carrot, Orange, & Apple Coleslaw (aka Christmas Coleslaw)

Dessert: Lana’s Sweet Potato Pie (already made!), Cheesecake, & Mom’s Xmas Treats

I Now Hate "Gift Stealing" aka "White Elephant" Work Holiday Party Games

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2008 at 6:58 pm

The reason I hate this is because of my recent experience. I went out and bought a beautiful candle made by Voluspa. They make quite possibly the most fabulous and diverse smelling candles I’ve come across. Every time I step into my favorite beauty store, Larchmont Beauty, I take the time to smell every candle on their wall of Voluspa candles. Seriously, they are amazing and I’ve been into candles since I was probably 13yrs old.

So I buy one of these candles for our Gift Stealing game for our Holiday party, knowing it would mostly be women attending. Well in this group of women there were about 4 men. One older man got some hot-pads for the kitchen, which he was polite about. Another guy, my bf, didn’t participate (thank goodness). A third man got a We-Moon Calendar/Planner for women who want to track their moon cycles (?!) and his confusion and lack of desire for the gift was made very obvious and became an ongoing joke of the game. Then the fouth man opened my gift. He was not at all happy about receiving a candle and tried to “get rid of it” by convincing others to steal the candle, though no one did.

Now, I realize it’s just a game. But I spend about $20 on the candle, $20 extra dollars that I don’t have. To see someone be way less than thrilled about a gift you give is annoying to say the least. I could understand if it’s an 8yr old, but not an adult. Given it’s guys, and they are moreso trying to start their own stand-up routine and make the ladies laugh than anything else. I just feel like the point of giving a gift is to that giving is fun becuaase of the receiving reaction and knowing someone loves your gift. Perhaps I shouldn’t have bought a candle, sure. But still–I just find a bit tactless. Poor lady who bought and gave the We-Moon calendar, hopefully she wasn’t as sensitive to this as I was.

Luckily–I stole a fabulous gift…a Mac lipgloss set of 5 different colors! This is fantastic because Mac is my favorite lipgloss (and shadow), and I’ve not been able to purchase something like that as quite an “extra”. However, I still wouldn’t have purchased it, thus not spending the $20 to get anything in return. Stupid unappreciative candle-getter. I shoulda told him I’ll take it back or stole it from him. Grr.

Wait…so this is real?

In I'm a Baby Mama! on December 12, 2008 at 11:31 am

Ok so the fact that I’ll be having a baby just became very real upon receiving a sex-neutral onsie from Reggie’s Aunt! Just looking at it and realizing there will be a baby in there soon is CRAZY I tell you. CRAZZZZY. And then I did some calculations and realized that this will all happen in about 6months!?!??! That’s not very long! Don’t get me wrong, I’m still ready and way excited but wow…it’s really real.

8 Reasons This Apt is Better Than the Last

In Uncategorized on December 7, 2008 at 10:32 am

(in no particular order)

1. covered parking

2. wayyyy more space

3. new appliances including in-wall oven

4. no kids circling wildly around the pool courtyard playing and making noise when i’m trying to nap, sleep in, or focus

5. no annoying property manager who i had beef with since day 1

6. a balcony!

7. massive amounts of storage space

8. no one blasting latino jams all weekend long

What pregnancy has done to me…

In I'm a Baby Mama! on December 7, 2008 at 10:04 am

Pregnancy has created one new thing in me already, besides the growing life in my womb. It has created patience and calm. My mother said my eyes look calmer than they ever have. I feel calm. I feel as though I’m floating through the day, through the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. My tolerance for wastes of time or bad vibes are at their all-time low due to my level of exhaustion–I’m saying no to things to protect my well-being for probably the first time ever. I have quickly mastered patience. Why? Because I have to wait 7 more months to meet this child. I’ve embraced the unknown because life is now very unknown and every turn of the way this is all new for me–the only way to deal without being neurotic is to embrace the unknown. My new role as a mother has already created a profound sense of worth, responsibility, and strength–all of this is now ampliphied because I need to be this for someone else. I feel important, like I have the most important job in the world now. I feel sober, clear-headed, and focused on creating the best life for me and my family. Once a bundle of what in comparison seems like nervous-energy…I am now a calm-energy, but no less vibrant, free-spirited, and wild–those are things I hope to pass down to my little one.