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Ugh.

I haven't updated this thing in awhile. I remember when LJ used to be a big thing... instead, everyone's now on Facebook. So am I...

You know, it's been over a year since I left the CIM. And I think I need to say this to get it off my chest:

Chef John Lakatos, and Chef Raina Streeter: I'm not going to sit here and lie to you. When you told me that I "had the heart, but didn't have the talent," and to "re-evaluate my career options," it was heartbreaking. Up to that point, I felt that I was at the CIM for a reason, and that reason was to give my wayward life purpose and meaning. Hell, when you told me that, I should have lashed out at both of you. But that wouldn't have gotten me anywhere, now would it?

But instead of sitting here for the past two years, plotting your demise, I learned that living well is the best revenge. I got my diet in check, started running again, and learned to be awesome at something. So what if I can't roll out a baguette? I've become one hell of a cookie baker and started to add sheet cakes to my repertoire. Team in Training, my church, and my friends all love what I put out and if you tasted it, you'd like it too.

As for savory food, I admit, my knife skills still suck and other than a rough chop or small or medium dice, I seem to have forgotten the other cuts. That's okay; in home cooking, there's no need for garnish cuts. And yeah, sanitation is still an issue. At least I don't drop anything on the floor and put it on the plate, nor have I bled into foods from lackadaisical knife work. But I have committed to a cleaner kitchen and it's taking time, but it will happen.

And purpose and meaning? I found it again. I found it on the Lakeshore Bike trail, running toward Pere Marquette beach. I found it in my own kitchen, going through my cookbooks and learning to improvise recipes. I found it at Faithful to Felines cat shelter, taking care of abandoned cats.

Maybe I will see you again, or I won't. I still stop by the Sweet Spot every so often for coffee and conversations with Beth Adamson, and I talk to Greg Wade all the time about booze on Facebook. Even Chef Trevor and Chef Dennis give me the time of day when I'm there. So does Jamie.

Give it time. You'll hear from me again.

Respectfully yours,

Bob

My whole wheat bread recipe...

My whole wheat bread recipe... just thought I'd share.

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tsp sea salt
1.5 cups lukewarm water
1/3 cup Demerara sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a mixing bowl, combine everything except the olive oil.. In a mixer fitted with the dough hook, knead on medium speed until it becomes a ball, about 5 minutes.
Transfer to another bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Transfer to a loaf pan, molding into a loaf shape.
Let rise in loaf pan until peeking over the edge, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450F.
Brush the top of bread with olive oil.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Remove to cool.
Slice and serve.

Sandra Lee... *shaking my head*

I noticed Cooking Channel gave Sandra Lee, old Aunt Drunky, a show called "Taverns, Lounges, and Clubs." In essence, she visits the hottest bars in the country tasting new cocktails and bar snacks. Cocktail Time gets its own show.

You would think her liver would be in tears right now, begging for her to stop the abuse. I just can't believe she keeps getting show after show... what, ruining food with "Semi-Homemade" wasn't good enough?

Hi

Hi there. Weight back to 232, still looking for work, and just hanging out. That's it.

Cake

Chocoholic Supreme:

Cake:
8 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
2/3 cup AP flour
1/3 cup almonds, finely ground
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs, separated
3 tbsp orange liqueur (since orange liqueur is expensive, turns out you can use 2T OJ and1/2 tsp orange extract)

Frosting:
8 oz dark chocolate, rough chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup orange marmalade
2 tbsp orange liqueur

...back to black...

Got back from the doctor. My dosage of Prozac has been upped, I still see the dietitian on Tuesday, and worse, my weight is up to 264. it's gotten to the point where I can't run, I can't exercise effectively, and yet, I'm finding comfort in carbohydrates. To quote Amy Winehouse...

"I tread a troubled track
My odds are stacked
I go back to black"

I know it's not the right option, but at this point, I feel like it's my only option.

Hope

No. No I will not fall victim to depression. No, no I will not stay at home and cry. I will not go back to black.

H.O.P.E= Hold On, Pain Ends

How did I get here? Save me from this.

Struggling in the baking program; I now see that I clearly got more than I bargained for. I have the feeling Chef Raina is at her wits' end with me and is ready to bash me in the face with a baguette, over and over again until I make it right.

I'm also struggling with my weight, according to the scale at my doctor's office, I now weigh 252. Terrible weight for running. I know I'm stressed out because of class and things at home, but it's no excuse. I also fear I'm bringing back Fat Bob, and I'm also dreading having to bring Bony Bob back to keep Fat Bob at bay.

It's a good thing God understands me, because I sure as hell don't.

2011: the year I woke up

When I look back on this year, I think that this is the year I finally woke up from a horrific nightmare. Granted, I'm still working in retail, but I see what's happened since January 1, and I'm still amazed.

1. my weight is back up to 225, but it's not really fat. I've bulked up and can run a lot faster now than I did last year.

2. I enrolled in the Culinary Institute of Michigan, and I'm loving it. I know I'm on the outs right now, but after a letter to Chef Luis, I should be enrolled in the baking program.

3. I discovered that I love to bake! My house is now a cookie making machine!

4. I launched Piper's House 920, and I've actually gotten some good business. Lots of orders for cookies and brittle and caramel!

5. Finally, I know who my real family is.

Financial Sanity, continued

So after cutting my tithe last Friday, I've managed to record all my transactions, prevented myself from buying useless/unnecessary stuff, and have admitted to my pastor that my finances are a mess.

Not only that, I spoke with one of the vendors at the Farmer's Market, and he THANKED me for paying cash. He said that Creswick had been burned by bounced checks before, and so cash is appreciated.

I still need to find a brother or sister in the church to hold me accountable, but it will come with time. Until then, I need to walk the straight and narrow and pay cash whenever possible.

And according to a comment, I have a friend who's willing to loan me some Dave Ramsey books on finances. I think I will take him up on that offer...