Thursday, October 30, 2014

What May Seem LIke Love Will Soon Fall Apart

Sometimes you wake up and you just want to eat all day.  These are the days when I used to indulge in a giant plate of buttered pasta with various tomato sauces.  The satisfaction of a large amount of hot noodles does something to a girl.  I could never quite pin it down exactly but it felt like a really good trusted friend saying over and over while giving you gentle pats on the back for reassurance, 'it's okay, everything is okay, you're going to be alright now, just eat it all up and then relax awhile.'
There was a slight feeling of sedation.  Because I wasn't badly overweight, I didn't see it as a problem.  But a little voice in my head always whispered, 'you might wanna look into this'.  And I'd say 'shut up little one and pass the cheese!'
I changed my diet a whole lot and now to satisfy those urges I put more color on the plate, I try to make it look prettier and use foods that will help me, not knock me out or depress me.
That's a theme in my life right now, if it doesn't have a positive purpose than I need to decide to get rid of it or repurpose it, whether it be food, friends or objects.  I loved pasta but it left me bloated, feeling uncomfortably full, lethargic and blank.  But yes, the flavors are amazing so I'll have it sometimes in smaller portions but mostly I'll keep the sauce and put it over Veggetti or corn meal, healthier options that leave me feeling lighter and not sluggish.

For breakfast I made soft boiled eggs over cannellini beans and tomatillo sauce with a couple of herb and flax seed crusted chicken tenders.
I can't say I'm all energetic and jumping around over here thanks to my dietary changes in recent years.  I still get stuck in ruts and in my own head, can't get my giddy-up going and maybe this is just who I am but at least I'm no longer feeding the machine that makes it so.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

If You See Me Walking Down the Street, Walk on By

Much ado about nothing in the news today.  A video of a woman walking in the city and getting lots of attention.  She's looks ethnic, has a pleasing ass, boobs and waistline and everyone is shocked that she got lots of comments on the New York sidewalks??  Really?  

So many social media rants about how there should be a law.  Men do not have the right, blah, blah, blah.

Has society now evolved to say collectively, this is not acceptable?  In New York where we have so many different classes and cultures (thank God!), it would almost be impossible to ask this of men. Don’t we just have to accept this NYC behavior like we do spitting on the sidewalks of Chinatown or Russians speaking comically loud or tourists walking in the bike lane of the Brooklyn Bridge?  What about freedom of speech?

Sure they're assholes. But hell the guy talking on his cellphone barreling unaware through life is just as annoying to me. I do separate the favorable polite acknowledgements from the lewd.  These are not the same and they do not come from the same place.  I don’t think we should lump all these men in the same category either.  

I’m of the opinion that this is a class, societal and culturally driven situation.  I don’t say problem because for a lot of women, it’s not, at least in my observations.
I live in Fort Greene around a lot of strong gorgeous African-American women and I see men giving these 'compliments' regularly and the women are not threatened or many times even bothered.  Same goes for the youth here and at my work. I've seen it work a lot of times!  But from the outside, I see the men so blatantly shopping, if you will, the backsides of these women.  To me, it's a little shameless and not sweet at all.  But then again, it's also not a problem for me.
My flat ass can't get arrested in this town but back in SF, it was all the rage in the Mission district where the Central and Mexican American imports would comment with 'psssts' and 'hey mommy's' that felt like a wet tongue in my ear.  I was the right body type, Latin, and child-bearing age.  Seemed very animal to me but it also made some type of weird sense.  Like I could see the majority of these guys were actually making an honest effort, albeit so off base. And I probably looked a little more hot to trot with my fishnets and boots, so giving off the wrong scent on my end. I actually stopped going to the neighborhood by myself though because there was a real fear, lots of criminals and drunks. But my final advice; Keep walking and 99% of the time, the problem simply goes away. And by the way girls, male attention does have an expiration date. Trust me, at 52 the fan mail is not exactly pouring in.

This is an interesting topic to observe but I don’t know that anyone could control it. And I have no desire to try.

However, I did try to mix ground flax seed, corn meal flour, herbs, and seasonings to coat these chicken tenders.  I baked them on a cookie sheet until crisp and crunchy but still moist on the inside.  I served over a tomatillo-green apple raw sauce and fresh peas.  Hot damn girl, nice (chicken) breasts!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Puts You There Where Things Are Hollow

I love full veggie burgers so I'm not sure why I always feel the need to keep a bit of real meat in the mixture when I experiment with new flavors.  Back up perhaps, security?  This time I was trying out a version using my seasonal favorite sweet potato with spinach and black bean.  These ingredients would of course stand on their own especially with added onion, oatmeal and garlic and fresh herbs.  
I would never call myself overly confident but it's not like I have no spine. I can and have handled quite a bit in my life but I've never understood the reasoning for advertising one's own qualities. To me that only points to potential weakness.  Or worse, arrogance. On TV anyway, Americans are portrayed as unduly confident and super competitive.  This is where I feel like I come from a different ape.  I know this tenacity is what the good 'ole USofA is built on and what people seem to admire so dang much but is it the only road to travel?  And are we raising a bunch of self important little shits?
 Just because you think you rock, doesn't necessarily make it so.  I had to stay home the other day so I watched a marathon of the show Chopped on Netflix and loved it.  But what struck me was how smug people either feel they need to be or are coaxed to be from the producers of all these programs, even the good ones.  We have a whole country of peacocks.
 I do my own mental surveys all the time and it turns out people are writing checks all over town (and the tube) that their ass can NOT cash.  They do not back up their bullshit with the goods.  I remember when Paris Hilton was about the only celebrity that was famous just for being famous.  Now we have a stadium full of stars that achieved their status by being waved in by the bouncer.   And it seems as though people do not demand talent anymore.  How could that become irrelevant?  Even well dressed commoners reporting on these craftless wonders have deemed themselves notable personalities.  There is an epidemic of inflated sense of importance.
At least we can see further than our small towns or neighborhoods now with the internet. It's wonderful to see and read that just because it appears everyone thinks one way, there are huge amounts of free thinkers and people that are living against the grain, driving their own thoughtful paths.  Living more humbly, learning, listening, exercising modesty instead of showboating or taking pics of their duck lips or big round asses and then crying about it. But you can forget sometimes this is not at all how a good portion of real people live their lives here in America.
 These burgers ended up sorta special and so was my savoy cabbage just wok sauteed in garlic and a few slices of turkey bacon, a little black pepper and salt.  Simple and yet exceptional.
 But you don't hear me boasting all over town about them.  They were good though.

Sweet Potato Spinach Black Bean Burgers

Can of black beans drained and smashed
1 large sweet potato shredded raw or cooked
1 package of drained and squeezed frozen spinach
1 lb ground chicken
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion minced
fresh herbs
1 egg
1/2 cup of whole oats
1/4 cup of flax seeds
s & p

Mix all ingredients, form into patties, cook on hot grill about 5-7 minutes on one side, then flip and 3-4 minutes on second side.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We're All Sensitive People, With So Much Love to Give

I had a flash of the future at work yesterday and it occurred to me that a new day is dawning.  I'm speaking of customers trying to record employees during confrontations.  I work in retail selling kitchen cabinets and we have meltdowns and yelling, people crying, couples arguing daily. Redoing a kitchen is a major project and it comes with inconvenience and shoddy contractors and time delays. I'm sure it wears on you.  It is not unusual for someone to be in the department insisting to speak with a manager or having a complete yuppie tantrum because they can't get their way.  As a salesperson, I have quite a bit of control because there are not managers that are brave enough to stay on the floor.  Normally I handle the situation as my mood and patience allows.  But this day as a customer was working my very last nerve, I looked down and realized she seemed to have her phone posed directly at me.  This little bit*# was either voice recording or filming me!  My tone changed quickly and I did a complete rethink of all my phrasing.  Afterall, I am a professional.
Her questions were posed to me in such a definite way. It was apparent she was looking to frame my ass.  But lucky for me I'm super paranoid and on guard always, so I shut that shit down quickly and as fake nice as I could.  The whole time my eyes were screaming, I know you're filming me girl and I better never see you in the parking lot, smiley face, LOL, have a nice day!.  Then I spent my 15 minute break checking with security to get my legal rights.  Turns out I can refuse to be filmed or recorded and if I feel uncomfortable I can just walk away.
This is powerful.  And it's not new.  You remember the taping of that crazy lady ranting at the Apple Store. These little gems, trending money makers happen all day long at retail, especially at stores that screw up a lot like the one I work at.  That's a financial opportunity.  Recording your experiences is also a natural progression of all this selfie phenomenon.  Going from images to recorded film and then using it to gain internet interest. It's like the perfect weather conditions for a shit storm. Everyday people have been given the power to become their own celebrity.  And I envisioned it today and it was not good.
This also ties into people wanting to put cameras on cops bodies, which I was all in favor of until I realized I could be next in line as a retail schlep.  What if everything I did and said needed to be by the book?  Eeeesh. That's the only reason I like retail.   The interaction with other humans that you can experiment with and change, be creative, even screw with. It's fun!  Like sometimes I feel its better to teach the person a lesson in manners than to just suck it up and help them continue to be a deek.  They get a service but just not the one they came in seeking.  You're welcome.  Afterall, I'm a human too, not some corporate robot.
But you know what?  Now if the camera's are rolling that just makes me work harder at my performance. Ms Jerk-off-filming-me-without-permission, Let's Get it On!

You CAN have it both ways, like this grilled chicken breast with tomatillo sauce and homemade chicken vegetable soup.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

And It's All Over Now Baby Blue

Improvements usually mean higher rents and our asses getting moved further down the road. As I approached Fulton Mall walking I saw the changes right around my corner regarding all these new high rises going up.  Construction is funny like that, it just creeps up on you and all the sudden there is this huge building taking up half the sky.  This particular corner was not long for this world anyway due to the bad shenanigans going on around the empty buildings that needed constant police attention.

 But then I get to Fulton Mall, something that has changed very little since we moved to New York over 18 years ago.  It's cleaner for one.  They installed loads of small trees and benches to sit.  It seems safe.  And maybe it was early but it was also missing all the shoppers.
 Many of the little shops that sell nasty looking plastic toys or cheap clothes, cologne, sneakers are still there but it's as if someone shined a giant light on them.
 But whole stretches are going away too making way for more high end stores.
H&M, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, Armani Exchange to name a few were already in place.  When did this happen?
 They tried to start this years ago with a Forever 21 anchored mini mall but it went over like a lead brick.  They even tore down the whole dang building afterwards and things went back to normal.

 There's even a super cute little food trailer with a nice eating area around it amid more and more new construction.

The old Fulton Mall was not cool, pretty or even that useful but it's always shocking to see a huge iconic area just transformed so quickly after remaining the same for years.  Brooklyn is changing at a vigorous pace.  
I have perfected my Veggetti noodle preparation.  The key is to use the small to medium green zucchini to get the best longest strands.  In a hot wok with garlic, shallots or onions, and only a touch of oil you need cook the 'noodles' for a few minutes before they are wilted and ready but not mushy.  The vibrant green color stays and paired so nicely with my bolognese sauce.

Staring up at this new hideous monstrosity I feel a little sad and excited.  Perhaps the same last emotions of the thousand rats they had to kill to put this thing up.  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Baked Polenta Parmesan

Baked Polenta Parmesan
Experimented with corn meal.
I would need to rework this in small ways but it was so damn dreamy.
It was layered like lasagna with meat sauce, mozzarella and polenta, parmesan.
Something tells me I came close to an authentic italian dish that some sweet lady makes in a tiny village.
I might never know for sure.  Whatever this was, it was really good.