Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Do I Have To?

Yes, I have to. I gave Jay subtle hints.... I gave Jay pretty freakin' obvious hints... finally, I just had my brother turn to Jay and tell him, "Karli wants a gym membership for Hanukkah."
And so, here I sit. All curled up in my bed, broccoli butter cream soup simmerin' in my belly, having just set the alarm for 6am. I asked for it, and I'm getting it. I'm going to the gym. Ick.

As I dread what the dark morning will bring, allow me to reminisce about some of the good times this holiday season and try to figure out if I will have developed diabetes by the New Year:

1. Working down the hall from a preschool. I could have gone nearly the whole month of December without ever having packed a lunch and I could have lived off baked goodness with no problem! These parents are FANTASTIC. Hell, one of them is a PROFESSIONAL BAKER (www.creamandsugarbakery.com) who makes raspberry frosting I want to bathe in!

2. Adam and his mom. Bless heaven, earth, butter, and chocolate. Dear Birt Family - I dedicate my first insulin shot to you. Your chocolate-toffee bars are well worth the cavities. Your chocolate peanut butter balls are better than therapy. And your fudge makes me believe in G-d. That all being said - I plan on cursing your entire family as I face the Stair Master O'Death tomorrow morning.

3. Birthdays! Be it family, friends, or co-workers - I feel birthday cakes and I have developed a relationship on par with being lovers. No, we did not consumate our relationship... but I do feel as though I may have cheated on Jay with the amount of birthday cake I've managed to consume in the past month.

4. Hanukkah = Oily, Slow, Delicious Death. For those of you UNCHOSEN types, here's the quick and dirty behind Hanukkah. The Jews kicked ass, but in trying to rebuild - didn't have enough oil to last more than one night. Wouldn't you know it... a MIRACLE occured! (No, it had nothing to do with a baby in a manger). The oil lasted 8 nights - so Hallmark found itself an excuse to cash in on Jews during Christmas and created the holy time of Hanukkah. And everything you eat is somehow associated with oil.
There are two traditional Hanukkah foods - Latkes and Sufganyot.
Latkes involve potato, egg, onion, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of oil to fry those f*ckers in. NO, it is not the same as McDonald's potato hash browns and shame on you for thinking so. This year, I kicked some sweet latke ass and made regular potato latkes, gluten free latkes, AND red plaid latkes (these involved potato, egg, onion, beets, carrots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of oil... it was beautiful).
Sufganyot translates to Jelly Donuts. I figured, "Hey, I'm a Jew who likes Jelly Donuts. Why not try and make some?" My computer is currently behaving like a dirty, dirty, pilgrim whore and won't upload the photos of the Sufganyot adventures - but I'll get them up here eventually. They were actually pretty fun to make... and Jay did an excellent job covering them in powdered sugar. It was when the time came to stuff them with jelly he got a little squeamish and left me to do the dirty work.
Ever wonder how Dunkin Donuts gets the jelly into their Munchkins? Ever watch the gritty, prison HBO series "Oz"? Well, that's sort of how DD does it. You have to sneak up on the fried blob - and penetrate it in a totally invasive way. Then, once it's submitted - you inject it with fruity goodness. I almost called the cops on myself when the whole thing was over. I felt very sinister and evil.

On the upside... they were DELICIOUS!

So, there you have it folks! The reasons I dread what's coming to me tomorrow. On the upside, the Prophet Sadiekins has provided me incentive to go to the gym. If I work out and behave in a healthier manner, I can bake as much as I flippin' want. And while baking, I get to wear my BRAND SPANKIN' NEW HANDMADE APRON!!!!!! Again, dirty whore of a computer won't upload the photo... but I have the coolest apron the on the planet I get to wear now when I bake and I'm so, so, so, so, so excited!!!!

Oh, before I forget.... there is a follower of this blog who I owe cookies to. Karla, for making the excellent suggestion of cookies shaped like Edward Scissorhand's creations - you will have a gift for New Years! Congrats! And I promise:
1. I will not violently penetrate these cookies with jelly.
2. I will not fry them extensively in peanut oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil (all such oils were used this Hanukkah season)
3. I will not schmear these cookies with the free flow of snot the above mentioned preschoolers all seemed to be infected with.

Another Strong Cupcake thought... if you come to the baker after a workout, you get one chocolate chip cookie free. Call it a contradiction, but if I knew I had a warm, gooey, melt-in-my-mouth handful of awesomeness to eat after going to the gym - I'd work out all the time! Who's with me???

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Life is like a batch of biscuits...

...best when hot out of the oven, but still delicious with the aid of a toaster or microwave. And best made with Shipyard's Pumpkin Head.

Today's weather sucks a hard one. It's Maine's first real snow storm, and though my office was officially "closed" at 11am, I stuck around and did my social worker's finest for a few more hours. Fortune was smiling on me, because my fan-frikkin-tastic co-worker shared some chopped liver with me for lunch and it kept a smile on my face all the way through the slushy-ick-crap shoveling experience I had when I got home.
For those curious about chopped liver. I do not recommend Google Imaging this Jewish culinary masterpiece. You will puke. No, seriously - this stuff looks like vomit. Vomit eaten by a cat. Then, said vomit is pooped out. A dog comes along and eats the vomit-poop, and then vomits all on his own.
But it is DELICIOUS!

So, now that I've grossed you out - allow me to share my new favorite baking cheat. ANYTHING FROM TRADER JOE'S!!!!!!!! Seriously, I cry every night when I think of the huge loss the Portland community is experiencing by not having a Trader Joe's market attached to my house. The best food at the best prices - and their quick bread mixes make me want to kiss the dirty, pot smoking, lecherous, kinda-skeevy bagger that seems to be a universal character located at all Trader Joe's establishments. My newest discovery there - Beer Bread!!!

Jay is a good man. He works hard, saves his pennies, and is incredibly sweet and supportive. And he NEVER gives me flack about my physical health as he heads off to the gym and I hunker down in my pjs to watch Law and Order: SVU re-runs. (PS - Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni... I will lick the sweat off your gun holsters if you'd be my friend!!).
Last night, Jay got all decked out in his shorts and t-shirt (and heavy winter jacket) and headed off to the gym while I contemplated dinner. After I decided to give in to my egg salad and baked bean craving (who wants to guess what the bedroom smelled like last night?), I remembered having purchased some Trader Joe's Beer Bread Quick Mix and figured I would give it a whirl. Considering the same 3 bottles of beer have been sitting in our fridge for well over a year (Woot! Woot! Halloween Masquerade 2008!), I figured it was time to put them out of their misery.

Let me tell you - popping one of those beer biscuits in the microwave while trying to thaw out my feet has been ECSTACY! In fact, I'm off to have another.... and to continue to provide moral support to my favorite fictional NYC detectives. I especially love when Det. Stabler busts out his big, bulgy armguns and his tattoo does a little dance. (Really, guys, be my friend! I won't let you down - I'm WAY wittier than Richard Belzer!)