Top 5 Kisses

Do you know your top five kisses of all time?
Some of you may and some of you may not. I do. I remember the top five. I don’t know why I picked this number but I did and it seems perfect. Below are the top five kisses that I’ve had of all time. I don’t know if I’ll remember the other kisses once and if (and that’s a very big IF right now) I ever find my Risotto Man but for tonight….I’m going to skip down memory lane.


“My First Kiss”

Oh first kiss. You have no idea how much you impacted me. Until you laid your lips on mine, I had no idea how fun kissing could be. It was at summer camp…summer CHURCH camp. How saucy is that?!
Do you remember?
You asked me the one night if you could kiss me. As I look back now, your gentleman behavior was very sweet, it was the first and last time I’ve ever been asked if someone could kiss me and I really do appreciate that you let me walk away, lips untouched. I do understand the next night when young teenage hormones got the best of you and you leaned in for a smooch anyway. *sigh*
I wish that my surprise didn’t get the best of me, making me run away…I wish that as I ran over that unsteady terrain I didn’t take a final look back and think ‘Wow, so that’s what its like’…and oh how I wish that rock hadn’t been there and my foot hadn’t hit it…
Falling on your face seconds after your first lip lock is really not cool.


“Kiss in the rain at least once, its worth it…”

Your penny advice for the night? Kiss in the rain at least once.
I was in high school, I was visiting a friend whose name I can’t remember now and it was raining. I think it was spring, I’m pretty sure in fact. What I do remember is the boy. The handsome boy whom I sat with in his car in teh driveway of my friends house as we both got up the nerve to kiss.
At one point after he forced bravado and finally leaned across the way to kiss me, we decided to go inside the house.
Somehow, those same treacherous hormones got the best of us when we stepped outside the car to run inside. His mouth found mine and before we knew it, we were drenched and still kissing. What’s so great about kissing in the rain?
The sheer unashamed joy of losing your mind to a moment
It was raining, my hair was getting wet, his clothes were getting wet, we didn’t care. For a moment … all that mattered was his lips on mine and how delicious it felt. It didn’t matter that it was late, it didn’t matter that I would have to explain to my parents why I was sopping wet, it didn’t matter that he had to drip dry before he got back in his car, I couldn’t give a flying f*ck that the hair I spent an hour making straight as a board was curling into ringlets and I really really really didn’t care that his ex-girlfriend was a semi acquaintance/friend of mine…
I just wanted him to kiss me in the rain… as the thunder roared and the lighting struck.
It was the single hottest moment of my life, up until then.


“Dance under a tree”

This is a simple one. I was in college. There was a boy I was crushing on. I had thought he was so handsome for weeks. I tried so hard to be cool.
Which, let’s face it… I’m not.
Somwhow, he and I ended up at the same party one night. And then, somehow, he and I ended up across the street swinging on playground swings late at night. Somehow, he ended up pulling me into his arms and slow dancing with me under a huge elm tree. The branches far above us, he reached an arm up and picked a leaf for me as if he was presenting me with 3 dozen roses instead of a large green leaf.
I laughed off the chivalrous moment as we swayed in each others arms with a comment of “We’re dancing and there’s no music!” He leaned into my ear and whispered…
“I can hear the music. Can’t you?”
And then kissed me….

I think I still have that elm leaf someplace.


“Las Vegas”

No romance here folks but the kiss was nice. I grew up in a small town about an hour and a half from Vegas. One year, I went to Vegas with some friends the day before New Years as they had never there. We met two guys while there and they convinced us to come back the next night for New Years.
The girls got to Vegas before I did, met up with a different group of guys and totally ditched me while I was driving up to meet them. Meanwhile, the guys from the night before had gotten into a bit of trouble after we had left them. One had been jumped so he wasn’t feeling up to going out.
Snowboarder guy (which is what I’m calling my lip lock) and I were looking at a pretty dismal New Years at this point. So as I’m trying to find a parking spot … in Vegas…on New Years .. at 9pm … he’s convincing me to just come hang out with him on the strip. That since we’ve both lost our group of friends we should just hang out together.
So I did.
And man… I had fun.
At midnight as we stood across the street from the Bellagio next to another couple who had a full bottle of champagne and thousands of strangers who somehow felt like our friends, he wrapped an arm around me and we shouted out the countdown.
“5!!! 4!!! 3!!! 2!!! 1!!!!!!”

Fireworks went off! People were laughing and shouting! He leaned in and kissed me…a long soft kiss. When we pulled apart the couple next to us handed us the bottle of champagne and we each took a long drink…and then started kissing again.


“The best kiss”

I quite honestly don’t know if this is in the top five because it’s been recent or because he somehow knew exactly how to kiss me. The first time he kissed me, we had met for drinks.
We were sitting outside on this patio at a trendy bar that I normally don’t frequent. I’m so not trendy. We were off to the side and it was dusk so the bar had a fire lit. We were enjoying a beer, lightly teasing each other because we’re really good at that.
I was semi thinking that although I was having so much fun and he was so cute and he really made me laugh, I did have to get up for work the next morning. I was talking about something and suddenly, he stood up, leaned over and kissed me.
I wasn’t expecting it.
I had wanted him to so badly but since I was used to the semi awkward lean in and the moment where you both try to figure out how to kiss each other and somehow 99.9% of the time are not able to do so… this moment of unexpected lip lock self assurance completely took my breath away.
He had placed his hand on the back of my head, wrapping his fingers lightly in my hair. And placed his lips on mine. Kissing me in a rhythm that matched my own perfectly. His lips were the right amount of firmness and they had a confidence that is rarely in a first kiss. **sigh**
….and I was speechless….
If you know me, you know this is a rarity. So I said something very smooth like….
“You just kissed me… I forget what I was saying.”

Dear Cute Gym Guy….

Dear Cute Gym Guy,

I’ve been playing the “I don’t see you game” for a while now. I think you have seen me glancing in your direction as I run myself into a vicious sweat on the evil elliptical machine. I know our eyes have met at least once as I pretend to watch sports center. Admittedly, I was actually watching sports center…once. It was when they where talking about some Kardashian dating some sports guy. But all the other times, I was sneakily trying to catch you as you worked out on the thingamabob.

You know the one I mean ,CGG, the one that stands off the floor, you pull yourself up into, with your back to it and you pull your legs into it. I pretend not to watch as you flex your rather muscled arms and pull your legs to your chest. I must admit that once or twice I might have wondered how you smell. Bad? Good? Like a real man? I also have wondered, as you walk past me, whose name is it that is tattooed across your bicep. Is it your daughter’s? Your girlfriend’s? I’m hoping it’s an obscure reference to an indie band that I have yet to discover. I might work up the nerve to chat with you, I hope that you’re single.

I haven’t seen you at the gym in awhile. This has actually worked in my favor. I wasn’t working on the weight machines because I was afraid of people looking at me. Since you’ve changed your schedule, I’ve gotten over this fear and enjoy them! To coin Rachel Ray, it’s like monkey bars for adults. I can see why ,CGG, you enjoy it so much. I throw a little Lizzo on my i-pod and get to rocking out. You’ve been gone for awhile and I’ve almost found some other eye candy. But today…today CGG, I saw you outside the gym.

Whew! It was like someone threw cold water on me. We passed right by each other, so close I could smell you. And I didn’t smell anything. I much preferred the scent that I gave you in my mind. Your arms were covered up too, I much preferred the exposed flesh in which I could analyze and try to decipher your multiple tattoos. The saddest though CGG? I could see your teeth. Instead of the straight, gleaming row of pearly whites, they were small and not very straight. Your eyes didn’t seem as blue either and didn’t hold as much knowledge and cool self assurance as I had hoped.

The only fantasy that I have left ,CGG, is that of your voice. In my mind, its deep and husky. I’m glad we didn’t talk CGG.

I guess what I’m saying is, while we could take this little flirtation into the real world for dinner, I would prefer you stayed in my head. Its much better for me if we catch a glance of eyes while I pretend to watch Sports Center.

And by keeping you at bay… I can keep myself on the weight machines. Which frankly, seem much more interesting than you.

How To Be Alone

I might be a hippie at heart. I mean, like a trendy hippie. Who still likes to drink my Starbucks (Trenta, black iced tea with whole milk instead of H2O and raspberry instead of classic), still likes to get massages and facials, who prefers girls weekends to Sedona or Prescott while sleeping in uber comfy beds that envelop me like clouds, and someone who loves her pineapple bun in her hair and a mimosa at brunch on Sunday.

I am a trendy hippie. Which is probably why I like Tanya Davis and her spoken word artsy music. I was introduced to her piece “How To Be Alone” and I totally fell in love.
I first heard of this lovely little ditty on FB. Someone posted it and I clicked on it.

I watched it over and over and over again.
The words washing over me in some sort of verbal, hypnotic absolution.
A concept so simple, so pure and so freeing.
How to be alone.

How to be alone. How to move through life without the buffer of a cell phone, a friend, a book, a newspaper. How to instead to look life in the eye as you walk among the throngs of everyone. The moving, vibrating pulse of life. How to disconnect yourself enough from that overwhelming,  interwoven, living breathing, suffocating, mass of humanity to appreciate each single being that makes up the rush.
I get lost in trying to fill my mind all day. I work at trying to keep up with everything, involved with everything, a part of everything.

I am a marinater. I take something in, I let it sit in my brain, I marinate on it. Let it really soak in.

I saw this clip over a year ago. And it took root. It started slowly, I bought her cd. I liked, still like, the rhythm of her music. The way it slips into your head and reverberates around it. Its like a really comfortable sweater.

I’ve lived in LA by myself. So I assumed that I knew how to be alone, how to be comfortable in public alone. But I wasnt. I hate being alone. I’m fine running to the store or the library or a bookstore. I’m ok but uncomfortable going to the gym by myself. I guess the whole point is that right now, I am learning how to be alone.

How to be ok with walking streets by myself or perhaps (like the artist suggests) going to dinner by myself.
Looking at the families around me, the people, the dates. All that life moving forward to an unseen end.
An unknown conclusion.

I am learning how to be comfortable that there is no one next to me. No one that I can text at 3am when I wake with a bad dream. No one that will kiss my cheek before bed and tell me that they love me.

I am learning to be ok that I am almost (ahem older than you think) and have yet to experience the great adventure that great love and marriage is. And I’m getting to be ok with that. I am getting to be truly, deeply happy with a state of singlehood that I am in.

Sometimes, when I go to the market after work and I pick up my wine and some gourmet nonsense that I want for dinner and maybe a pint of that really amazing gelato, I get behind in line with a stay at home mom. She has two kids screaming in the basket and a mixture of cheap mac and cheese, milk, cheerios, and other homey family style items. I look at her and I wonder if she wishes she were me. I know that beyond that stupid gelato I have, is a desire to fill a hole. The stay at home mom will later cook dinner for two kids while they play. She will watch them and adore them and they adore her, even if they are embarrassing her by screaming about gummy bears right now. Later, she will crawl into bed with her husband and watch some news channel. And she will sleep. I am a little jealous of her. I know this sounds selfish maybe self serving and vapid. But I wonder do we all secretly wish to be on that “greener” grass?

I guess the point is, I am leaning to love where I am. The road that I am on. I will love it, no matter where it takes me. I have no idea what is in store. But I am going someplace.
Alone or with someone.

For your viewing pleasure…..

One For My Baby 

Happy Saturday! If you’re like 99.99% of the population you’re pretty jazzed that today is Saturday. Which if you work the M-F, 8-5 segment Saturday is the BEST! You get to sleep in and stay up late without any reprisals. Ugh, remember when we didn’t have to worry about “adulating”? When you could just say you were something and then you were that thing? Mine was actress. I even moved to LA to pursue it until I let some smooth talking idiot man convince me that moving to middle America and support his dream was better than what I wanted to do. That went over really well. Lesson here kids- don’t ever let someone replace your dreams with their’s. Be positively selfish in the pursuit of your goals. (btw, it worked out in my favor. He married the girl he cheated on me with but I don’t have to live in a town so small they only sell liquor in liquor stores THAT ARE CLOSED ON SUNDAYS! #winning)

Moving on…..I do miss LA though. It’s special blend of vanity, self promotion, and eye twitching insecurity.Nothing personifies Los Angeles for me than a certain song. Every time the strains of strains of the lazy piano start and Frank’s easy voice comes on with the first words “It’s a quarter to three, there’s no one in the place cept you and me..” I drift off to almost two years ago when I lived in the city of plastics and people. Where kids with stars in their eyes got off a bus with nothing but sneakers, sunglasses and reckless courage hoping to be the next big thing in film. There’s magic in the air in LA along with the pollution and loneliness. There’s something that once you breath it in, you’re hooked. That pull is greater than any drug and no matter what you tell yourself, no matter how far away you get from that world….a little voice inside your heart will always crave it. It won’t go away…those feelings you have, you’ll have forever.


I can usually stuff those cravings for something bigger than myself deep down. But every once in a while something tries to crawl up out of inside me and assert its right to dream. For me, its this song….”One for My Baby”. It reminds me of LA so much that I can taste the champagne and dreams on my tongue.

My good friend used to sing in this little steakhouse in Burbank. Some dark, classy, 1950’s place that a group of us would meet up at and listen to. My roommates and I would dress to the 9’s and head over for some cocktails in the lounge on the weekend. I would actually shop for dresses specifically for this place. Flowy fun dresses that when I would dance, I could feel the skirt shift and move like the starlets in the musicals of the 50’s. The steakhouse had a lounge where my friend would set up and do his act. It was all dim lighting, dark wooden tables with crisp white clothes and this fancy Dale Chihuly looking chandelier. Of course they had the requisite dark cherry wood bar and they served little plates of food with a lot of flavor. It was the kind of place that the last thing you wanted to order was a beer. You’d get a gin and tonic instead, or a sidecar, or a Manhattan.

A lot of really bizarre moments happened in that place. There was this really old guy that everyone called ‘Papa Joe’. This harmless, funny guy who personified 1950’s charm, came in and sat at the corner table every Friday and Saturday. Once my roommates and I started coming in, he used to hold court with us at his table, telling us fun stories of what Hollywood used to be like. You never know who you were going to run into. The mom from the Brady Bunch, a guy who worked on Leno, a villain from a popular nighttime show, and the smattering of people who made LA the diverse, colorful city that it was.

Once, a Koren General (at least that what his driver told us he was. He didn’t speak any English) tried to pay my roommate and I to go back to his hotel. I think he thought we were ..ahem…ladies of the night. Honestly I was far from being offended. There are worse things in life to be thought of than a high end escort. There was the waitress that used to give me free drinks because she had done a line of coke just before she came to work so she would forget to charge me. There was the gay waiter that made you feel like a princess every time you set a stilettoed foot into the door. My friend loved to say “Its great to see all the beautiful people come out tonight.”And Mr. Fabulous would reply  “Thank god the ugly people stayed home.”It was magical in that place.

The first time I heard One For My Baby, I fell in love. Not just the, ‘let’s go to dinner and play footsie under the table’ kind of love. The ‘I want to grow old with you and keep you on every Ipod I will ever own, please put this on my gravestone’ kind of musical love. Frank’s sinful voice caressing each word and the piano dancing it’s slow half stoned pace in the background takes me back to that place where the lights were dim, the people were colorful and my glass was half empty in my manicured hand while I sat at ‘Papa Joe’s’ table holding court with my roommates and my friend sang this song. When it comes on, I will always have such a powerful nostalgic moment that I will almost be able to smell the candles that were flickering on the table, threatening to go out.

itunes this song and have an LA kind of weekend………

F*ckin’ Hot Yoga Bitches

No, no this is not me. There is no way on God’s green earth that I could do this.  When I do yoga I get hot and sweaty and gross. But I also get some well needed clarity.

Have you ever had ‘one of those’ days?
You know the day that I mean.

It seems as if all the cosmos are against you. Everything in the world is conspiring to make you lose it? That was my day today. I swear that it felt everything in this world wanted to slap me upside the head.
I faced setback after setback today. Nothing seemed to be going my way. I was Rocky getting pummeled by Apollo Creed. I was Kristin Wiig in ‘Bridesmaids’ getting kicked out of my apartment. I was Emily in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ getting hit by a cab. I don’t know why the universe wanted to pick on me today, I was wearing yellow for pete’s sake! Yellow is a happy color! From the moment I set foot into work, I knew that it was going to be me pushing up hill. By 11:30, I had hit my limit. It took every ounce of my will power to finish out my day.
I was so frustrated. I was so over it all. I wasn’t zen. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t wanting to do anything but curl up in bed and cry. And cry.
I don’t know about you but days like that make me fill utterly and completely defeated.

The last thing I wanted was to drive halfway across town, change into gym clothes and sit in a hot room. But I did it anyway. I drug myself there.

And I found my safe space.
I found my zen, my freedom.

It was the first time that I was able to do all 26 postures.
From Pranayama all the way to Khapalbhati.
It was the first class I had taken alone. The other few times I had gone with my cousin and once with my friend. But this time I went alone.

There was a freedom in picking where I wanted to practice, I chose by the window. I wish I could tell you it was because I felt the need to stare out the big windows at the barren desert landscape beyond. But it was actually so I could watch my car. Cause I am that paranoid.

But from the moment I clasped my hands under my chin and began the first pose, I felt the day melt away. During the Savasana I found myself watching the sun streak the sky a brilliant pink and then slowly fade to purple and then black. I wasn’t concerned about anything but breathing in the hot air and breathing out the negativity that had settled someplace in my heart. Ridding myself of that anger that had snaked around my ankles and held on tight.

I left feeling like I always do, a touch shell shocked and really sweaty. But clean. Somehow refreshed. I knew that tomorrow would bring more challenges, that I could not always be happy but that if I could do 90 minutes of poses in a class all by myself I could do anything.

Life is made up of moments, some good,some bad, some sad, some happy. But just like happiness is fleeting, so is sadness and joy is right around the corner.

Nameste bitches.

Last Great Kiss…

I am totally obsessed with Art Deco. Like, I’m fucking Pinterest board, clothing, champagne pouring, one step away from committed, OBSESSED. I was honestly about to post something about food, like the apple crumble that I am mulling over right at this moment (and eating all by myself…don’t judge me. You know you’d take a spoon if I offered it to you.)  But nope! I opened up Pinterest and I fell into my little world of pictures. I then popped on The Great Gatsby soundtrack and felt myself drift into my own little word of 1920’s heaven. And don’t @ me mo one does it better than Baz Lutherman. Hello! Romeo and Juliet?! Moulin Rouge?! You are killing me with auditory pleasure! So here I sit with the Andre 3000/Beyonce version of ‘Back to Black’ on repeat. I am seriously having an affair with the whole thing. Amy Winehouse did a fab version, lets give credit where credit is due, but the smoky, sexy, drugged version in Gatsby has me inspired.
In order to truly help myself immerse myself in my own little world, I popped champagne (the cheap shit because I sadly have not overnight become a Rockefeller).
The whole album has a deliciously melancholy feeling to it. I feel like slipping on this flapper dress and throwing this party below.
Like, can we please just talk about the love that Gatsby had for Daisy for a second? Who saw the movie? Raise your hand! Unless of course you’re in a coffee shop or at work reading this. Because then you would be sitting with me in a looney bin. But honestly, you and I would be great friends I think. Sippin’ on our champs (that’s bougie talk for champagne) eating our tea sandwiches, and talking about the riff raff.


That kiss between Daisy and Gatsby….*swoon*. No but for real, when was the last time someone kissed you like that?? Oh…take a moment….think about it. I’ll tell you. I can pluck the top five kisses of my life out of my memory at any given time.

Tell me…when was your last great kiss? The one that you felt from your lips, down your spine, and through your legs? The one that lingers…that pulses in your blood. The breath shared between two people that’s so intimate, so personal.

I did a search, do you know how many cocktails have the word ‘kiss’ in them? A lot. So I have a challenge for you. Make your favorite, throw on a song that reminds your heart of an innocent time when you had a kiss that shocked your whole system. Your whole being. And drink your cocktail and think about that kiss.


Brownies Or A Boyfriend?

Code cracked. I am single because having brownies and watching Kill Bill while drinking margaritas at my house with my friends is infinitely more fun than going out. That’s true folks, I am spending my Saturday night watching tv and eating brownies….and I have no shame in that. Sitting on the couch in yoga pants, hot brownie with vanilla ice cream in one hand and my 3rd margarita in the other is pure heaven! As opposed to going out in too tall shoes, in a too tight dress, and paying for more for one margarita than the 3 I just downed. And does it get any better than a Kill Bill marathon? Helz to the NO!

I love Kill Bill!

I mean, it’s the ultimate breakup movie! Look, I know its a Tarantino film and I know that its gory gory gory, but man is it good! I don’t know how you handle breakups but I usually watch a movie over and over again when I’m going through one. I assign a film to the breakup. There was the guy I dated that I watched ‘ZombieLand’ over and over. Then there was ‘Someone Like You’. Once I watched ‘Hope Floats’ over and over. Movies fix everything. They make everything better. The last breakup, I watched ‘Sex and the City’ over and over again. The tv series, not the movie. My favorite breakup movie of all time though is always Kill Bill. Well Kill Bill 2 too (say that in your head four times fast, its a fucker) It’s timeless, its classic, it works for everything.

Look, art is open to interpretation. This I know. It’s a Rorschach test into how we feel. What we see is a reflection of how we feel. In essence we project our thoughts, feelings and desires onto the piece of art we are looking at. So I know that my views might be a little tainted by current feelings.

The poor bride. She was beaten, she was brutalized, she was shot in the head, she was left for dead. She was raped in the hospital, she got her ass kicked, she got cut by a samurai sword (that shit would hurt! I get a papercut and I’m like ‘I’m out!’, Secret Agent material I am not!)  and she was buried alive.

Her best friends turned on her.

And she kept coming.

She never gave up.

She kept going after Bill for what he did to her.

Pure revenge driving her on.

Uma Thurman is incredibly beautiful and wonderfully insane with rage. Hence why women love it.  Men can make us nuts.  I’m sure as hell not going to go on a rampage, at most I’ll cry into my pillow and run harder on the treadmill. But I can admire her anger and absolute drive for what she wants. Which just happens to be (well deserved) revenge.

Look, I could wax poetic about this movie so much.

This movie is the about your great, psychotic love. Everyone has/had one. The one that makes you crazy. That person that somehow got inside your soul and just sat there, fucking everything up because they could. A person that is seriously fucked in the head and you should probably run from as fast as your Jimmy Choo’s can carry you. Kidding. I’m broke as fuck. I can’t afford JCs. I’m running from him in Payless 75% off sneakers. You know what I’m talking about. No? Anyone? I guess the cheese stands alone?

She finally got Bill. She chased him down through two movies and countless murders and she finally caught him. She walked in on him. And she found what she had been looking for.

I find this part so incredibly sad and so true to life. Often in life we pick an end point and we focus on that. We become so laser focused on the way that we think we should be, should do, should achieve that we forget this is journey. We lose the point of the path and become so fixated on a single outcome that we miss a greater picture. A greater outcome that what we could have had.

With such a narrow view when we finally get where we though we wanted to be, it’s so different from what we had thought it should have been.

In the end. The Bride  kills Bill. She uses Pai Mei, the “Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique”. A Kung Foo thing (look, I’m not an expert on Kung Foo. I only know how to spell it cause everyone was kung foo fighting) in which you quickly strike five pressure points around the heart with the fingertips, the victim takes five steps, the heart explodes and he/she falls dead.

She does this to Bill and then he sits and just looks at her.

It’s in that moment when it’s too late, when Bill and she both know he is going to die that they both realize how far its actually gone.

I’m sure Bill realized it when he shot her in the head.

At least I hope so but he is sociopathic bastard after all.

Saturday Night Brownies  

What you need:

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1 cup) or coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into 8 pieces
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
Any sort of chocolate candy that you like. Because CANDY!

What you do:

Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Line an 8-by-8-inch metal baking pan with aluminum foil.
Combine the chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth.
Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
Combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a rubber spatula until just evenly incorporated.
Add the chocolate mixture and stir until evenly combined.
Add the flour and fold in until just incorporated, about 20 strokes (no white streaks should remain).
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, push it to the edges in an even layer, and smooth the top.
Sprinkle your choice of candy over top (and eat some of it too. Just to make sure its ok)
Bake until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. (Or just throw caution to the wind and eat those things when you feel like it! You are a grown ass woman! Or man. Or whatever your chosen pronoun is. DO IT!)
Remove to a wire rack and let the brownies cool for at least 20 minutes. (Or not but they might burn yo’ face)
To remove the brownies, grip the excess foil and pull it out of the baking pan.
Transfer to a cutting board and cut the brownies into 2-inch square (or just one giant brownie)

Serve with ice cream, chocolate syrup, and a bottle of red wine per person.

*Editor’s Note – (still just me, still too broke to afford one) The pics are from Kill Bill and Kill Bill 2, obviously. Insert some legal jargon here but they might make take them down. Damn the man! I do what I want. Unless their lawyer calls me. In which case (since you’re reading this) are you single?


Once You Find The Right Restaurant Nothing Matters.

This, my friends, is what we shall call a fable. A cautionary tale that acts as a mirror to modern dating life. This lil story actually happened several months ago and the whole metaphoric thing has been floating around my head since then. It was back when I still lived in LA for my brief foray into the movie business. I had just moved out there and my dearest chicks had come to visit me.

Something you should understand about me is that I am a planner, especially when it comes to vacations and restaurants  I will plan the restaurants  peruse the online menu and have what I want to order before I’ve even left for the vacation! I am that neurotic about my culinary adventures. So when my dearest gal pals planned a trip…I started to plan the restaurant. I googled, I yelped, I urbanspooned the hell out of my laptop until I found what looked like the perfect place. It was a Cuban restaurant that had reasonably priced fare that was well reviewed and had dancing! How could I go wrong?!

The online version of this place had a dark mahogany bar, with a wooden dance floor and happy, pretty smiling people dancing the night away. The food looked tempting and mouth watering. I called and made a reservation for all of us, congratulating myself on such a wonderful find!

The night arrived and we all primped and lotioned and perfumed ourselves. Stilettos and clutches at the ready we made our way to the heart of LA to dance and dine the night away with the perfect restaurant  Our expectations high. Our enthusiasm started to flag as we pulled into the parking lot….in a strip mall….next to the dilapidated Mexican restaurant and the apparently homeless convention.

We valet parked cautiously and made our way into the Cuban place….that had just opened for the evening.
And we were the only guests. There wasn’t even any music playing.
The menus were old and falling apart. The carpet and tables were dusty.
Talk about awkward!
The last straw for all of us was the fact that prices were double what had been printed online. Talk about misrepresentation!
We blamed our hasty retreat into the night on our friend who had “forgotten” her (imaginary) inhaler.

Once safely ensconced in my car we drove into the night. And drove. And drove. And drove. One would think that finding a place to eat in LA would be fairly easy. But for some reason, we had a devil of a time. No places looked appealing  No place was showing up. We drove and drove and drove. And started to lose hope. Would we ever find the restaurant of our dreams? A place where culinary and atmosphere collided into the night that stories are written about?

Someone finally broke out yelp, even though it had led us astray, we decided to give it another shot.

It was there that our hope was renewed. A small Italian place (within our budget) was just around the corner. We drove, tentatively hopeful, to the place. We parked across a busy street from it. We walked in high heels and cute dresses across the street, braving the traffic. And walked into a fast food Italian place. We immediately realized that we were in the wrong Italian restaurant  And that we were REALLY overdressed. Really really over dressed.  Our feet aching, our stomachs complaining, we lowered our standards and ordered a plate of bruschetta and glass of wine to hold ourselves over. The bruschetta wasn’t bad but it wasn’t anything to write home about. It was run of the mill plain tomatoes and bread. We left the place and looked to our left as we exited.

Within walking distance was some sort of Moroccan style food place. It had belly dancing. It was food. It was late. We were tired of driving and searching. I want you to understand….we had been driving for 2 and half HOURS by this point. We were ready to settle. We didn’t care. We wanted food. It was time to lower our standards. We walked the 100 feet more and walked into the place. It was old. It was dusty. We wondered if every place in LA was old and dusty. We didn’t care. It would have to do. We were ready to give up. We asked for a menu.

It was a set menu for a set price.
No substitutions.
We looked at each other, the four of us in some sort of LA restaurant hell.

My sister said she had a stomach ache and wouldn’t eat anyway. She was done. She would stay here if we wanted.
My friend with the imaginary inhaler said she just wanted a drink. She was done. She would stay here if we wanted.
My food adventuresome friend said she liked the rice. She was done. She would stay here if we wanted.
My feet hurt. My back ached. I was tired of driving. I was done. I would stay here if the group wanted.

We looked at each other one last time. We each wondered if it really was time to settle. If we should give up what we knew we wanted because maybe, just maybe we couldn’t have it.

By silent, mutual, unanimous, agreement …. we rejected settling and walked out…once again into the cool LA air. We would find the restaurant of our dreams damn it! We pulled ourselves and our standards back up where they belonged, walked back up the street, across the street and back into my car.

1.5 miles later… we found “the restaurant”. The one that we had been searching for all night. It must have been waiting for us too because there was a parking sport right up front. We walked in, the owner greeted us…
“Good evening, do you have a reservation?”
We looked scared and replied that no, we did not. Would we be accepted? Or would we be cast out into the night?
“One moment.” he said to us.

Then….he did the most lovely thing….he picked up clean, new menus and led the four of us to a table by the window. A prime table. A table that looked out onto the beautiful LA scene. A table framed by trees. A table that had been waiting for us.

The restaurant played classical music. The lighting was soft and decor made you feel as if you were eating on a terrace in Italy. We fell in love.

They gave us bread. Warm, fluffy, toasty bread and a crusty herb bread.
The owner sent us over a complimentary appetizer. Crispy, fresh, homemade calamari. We ordered drinks and food and finally dessert. The meal was perfect from start to finish. When the bill came we realized that the place was exactly what it claimed to be, delicious and well priced.

We looked at each that night and knew….we just knew…. that once you find the right restaurant, nothing else matters. We could have been content with any of the 3 places we had left that night. We could have been ok, not satisfied but ok. We could have given up.

But we never would have known true restaurant bliss if we had.

And that was worth the hunt.

Risotto Man

Ever the optimist I have currently taken stock of my list of criteria on who I will date. I spent a lot of time of it and narrowed it down. Because I love you I’ve included it below so that you may learn from me. This is how it looks….

I kid, I kid. But in truth I do have a list. I actually have some ‘most haves’. Because all the dating gurus want you to have ‘must haves’. And I have all their books so I should probably listen to them. Really it all neatly boils down to the fact that I want a guy who I like to call my ‘Risotto Man’. And just like the ever temperamental and time consuming dish, my guy has been hard to find.

Let me explain how this term came about. I lived in LA for a few years and with roommates. One girl that I lived with was always cooking with her boyfriend. Once they had a ‘Bloody Mary Challenge’, our other roommate and I were the judges. And we took our job seriously! We made them make us several drinks one right after the other, you know, ‘just to be sure’. Then we declared a tie and made them start over. Come to think of it, I forget how that day ended.

One night in spring, I came home and my roommate had made a simple mushroom risotto for her boyfriend. They took the plates of steaming cheesy goodness outside by the pool with glasses of red wine. They lit a single short fat candle and as the light bounced off the water and they softly talked, enjoying the simple pleasure of each others company, I thought …

“That’s what I want, I want a Risotto Man.”

In honor of the promise I made to myself is a delicious and simple Mushroom Risotto Recipe. Here’s hoping.

Mushroom Risotto Recipe67f02-mushroom-risotto

What You Need

4 Tbsp butter
2 cups flavorful mushrooms (I really like oyster mushrooms) cleaned, trimmed, and cut into half inch to inch pieces
2/3 cup dry white wine (but buy a bottle and make sure to drink a glass or two)
3/4 cup heavy cream 7 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup of peeled and minced shallots
1 3/4 cups arborio rice
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

How You Do It: 

  • Pour yourself a glass of the wine and make sure to drink it as you make this
  • Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add mushrooms and sauté about 5 minutes.
  • Add white wine. (Also you should pour yourself another glass of the wine to make sure that’s still good between the time that you opened it and now. You know, just in case)
  • Bring this delicious concoction to a boil, and reduce liquid by half, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Lower heat to medium, add cream, and simmer 5 minutes
  • Remove skillet from heat and set aside.
  • Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan.
  • In a deep, heavy, medium sized saucepan, heat oil and remaining butter on medium low.
  • Add shallots and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. (Fuck this smells SO GOOD! More wine)
  • Add rice and stir to coat with butter and oil.
  • Add simmering stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring enough to keep the rice from sticking to the edges of the pan.
  • Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup.
  • This is the time consuming part and will probably take you about 20 minutes. (This why you have a whole bottle of wine. No, not for the rice. For you!) The rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy.
  • Stir in the mushroom mixture and the Parmesan cheese.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve garnished with parsley

Also – NEVER COOK THIS ON CHOPPED! You don’t have time. For fuck’s sake.

Adapted from the always lovely

*Editors Note: (which is really just me because I don’t have an editor, I’m too damn poor.)  Said roommate and that guy broke up. He was fucking insane. But not to worry she’s happily married now to a guy who is not insane and they have foodie adventures that make me cream in my pants. So the the story still fits.


The New Single

IMG_3218I’m horrible at dating. Its true I really am. I can give fab advice but when it comes to my own life I absolutely lack the social skills to flirt. I used to be good and sometime after high school, I lost my mojo.
Here’s the thing. I’m not the only one. There’s a whole group of uber successful women out there and while we are boss bitches, we have a really hard time dating. And this is the new normal. This is the new single. We have to contend with unsolicited dicks pics (seriously guys??), a minefield of when to call and when to text and did I text too much? How many emojis is too many? Does he pay for the date? Do I pay for the date? Not to mention the massive amount of dating lexicon there is now! Ghosting, Zombie-ing, Stashing, Benching, Bread-Crumbing, Slow Fade, Cuffing Season, Catch and Release…UGH!! There are too many! Just send me flowers, tell me I’m pretty, and don’t send me pictures of your junk.
I have a financial planner and a 401k, can someone please explain to me why I can’t seem to navigate the the dangerous waters of dating??
The nice thing about being really bad at dating is that it makes me really good at cooking. Ok,ok, I’ll be honest. I loved cooking before this whole stunted growth in dating happened. At least it provides me with a great way to stay occupied while I wait patiently for what I lovingly call my ‘Risotto Man’. What exactly is a ‘Risotto Man’ you ask? Its all explained in the next post.
I’m almost a pro at online dating and I’m hoping that it one day it will lift my dating life up out of the primordial soup that its been languishing in.  Meanwhile, I’m going to enjoy cooking and eating and YOU are going to enjoy the exploits of my rather interesting dating life. Because while it’s a total failure for me, it does provide endless entertainment for those around me.
As long as I have my wine and my Xanax I should be fine, right?