The Cheesecake Addiction

My Life in Food

Archive for the category “desserts”

Medals for our Twenties

There aren’t enough chocolate peanut-butter swirl brownies in the world right now. This whole “twenty-something” trend sweeping the nation is pretty dead-on balls accurate and I’m moments away from buying the book that tells me how to survive them because DAYUM SHIT BE CRAY.

A personal message to the person currently blowing up my phone and email and won’t leave me alone: SORRY I’M NOT HOME RIGHT NOW I’M WALKING INTO SPIDER WEBS.

But I digress. A little. A new career with no money is super stressful, did you know? I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love real estate and I continue to be fascinated with it, and I love everything I’m learning, but how do I get through this without a paycheck?

Emotionally, I’m a fiercely independent woman who never dreamed that this would ever be my financial situation.The reality is that I have to get by on maybe $400/month and rely on the support of CDR and my family, which of course they don’t mind and have been amazingly supportive, but my inability to support myself has meant that my self esteem has taken a huge hit.

Yes, cyberspace, this is a twenty-something melt-down. You are smack-dab in the middle of a melt-down. I’m not even sure what is stopping me from getting a fork and attacking the near-full pan of brownies right now.

I want to hear from other kids in their twenties. Do your goals also change daily? Are you lost in Dreamland, fantasizing about how unbelievably awesome your thirties are going to be?

My current fantasy life includes a part-time successful real estate business and a New York Times best-seller. If we survive our twenties, I vote that we get medals. Medals all around. Or maybe a little badge for each year we survive.

I know, I know. The living is all in the getting there. My getting there just involves a lot of stress baking. Oh yeah…ABOUT that.

Don't act like you're not impressed...

Don’t act like you’re not impressed…

I finally found an awesome from-scratch brownie recipe. Surprise, surprise…it’s Alton Brown’s. Hooray Alton Brown. I ran out of eggs, though, so I used ground flaxseed and water (2 1/2 tsp of ground flax seed plus 3 TBS of water equals one egg) and just had to add a little time to the baking time. OH. And I swirled about 1/4 cup of peanut butter into the batter before putting it in the oven. Can’t go wrong.

Guys, really–I’m fine. Just throwing a bit of a temper tantrum.


Appetizers, More Truffles, Parties, CHRISTMAS OH MY!!!

Greetings and a very Merry and Happy Holidays to you–

have you all also been hard at work shopping, baking, and cleaning? I have been absolutely swamped. BUT– I am done shopping and having made The Christmas Eve cheesecake just a few hours ago, I am done baking for a while too. I am so exhausted from the last few days, I don’t even have the energy to muse about the glory of the solstice and end of the Mayan calendar and all of the stuff I’d typically go wild about.

Two nights ago, the group FINALLY reunited for a holiday party a la casa de Anna. I made three appetizers and let the other kids handle the booze.

Advance apologies for a lack of photos.

I made some Asian BBQ chicken nuggets: marinate sliced boneless, skinless breasts in whatever you like (we stuck to Asian flavors: soy sauce, garlic, ginger, mustard, etc) for several hours. Mix up some flour and bread crumbs and some additional seasoning and coat the chicken pieces. Drizzle with cooking oil and Bake at 375 for 20 min or so, turning once half way. While it bakes, add some chicken stock to the marinade and bring to a boil. Pour it over the chicken when it comes out of the oven. De-fucking-licious!

I also made vegetarian pinwheels. Roll outa sheet of puff pastry just slightly. Smear with cream cheese, and top with a mushroom-shallot sauté, chopped asparagus, and red pepper (or any veggies you like). Roll it up, brush it with an egg wash, slice it into pinwheels, and bake at 375 for 8-10 min until golden brown. Also received rave reviews. I made something very similar here.

I also made a pizza. Easiest thing in the world. I bought a pizza dough (the cooked ones you find in a bakery) and covered it with sauce, garlic, mozzarella cheese, and lots of veggies. It baked 10 min at 400 degrees and came out crispy and perfect.

Remember a few weeks ago when I blogged about truffles? Well, since then I have made over 200 truffles in various flavors (mint, peanut butter, merlot, and Mexican spiced). What is so great about them is just how versatile they really are. You just make a basic chocolate ganache and stir in whatever combination of flavors you want. They’ve been given as gifts and have gotten great reviews. So many, in fact, that people have told me that I should be selling them. So, ladies and gentleman, I think I’ll give it a shot. More details coming, but basically, I now sell pint jars full of truffles and if you’re interested, you can hit me up. They make great gifts for friends and self!

What? You want a musing about the solstice? Really quick, though, ok? Because my hands kinda hurt from typing. Obviously, we all survived the apocalypse. But let us not forget these things: the end of the Mayan calendar coincided with the winter solstice (a time of rebirth and renewal) and that we are in an age of Aquarius. THAT’S magical. That’s something to consider. I believe that we are in a new age of humanity. A time of love. As previously stated: Peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars! This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius…

Peace out, kids. Have a wonderful, happy, and blessed few days.

Fancy Fish and Cookies

Hey guys!

I’m kind of in a hurry to clean my room for the cleaning lady tomorrow (oh come on, we all know that chestnut) SO, I’ll try to make this as brief as possible–with little heart-felt yammerings.

Yammerings: This week I started my new job as a nanny, and it was a little rough, but mostly pretty great. The paycheck was nice too. Still looking to fill five more hours of childcare and/or personal assistant work on Thursdays…so please feel free to hit me up (I know, not so heartfelt). I had a wonderful girl’s lunch with Gabs and Em on Thursday and it was exactlt what all of us needed. Two whole hours of laughter. And yesterday, I saw A Christmas Carol and Paul was my date for the evening. He even accompanied me for late night tacos. Thanks, bud. A little bit each day, I feel like I’m a little less on the crazy train. A little bit. Please note that as I say this, I have six GIANT sheets of blank paper strewn about my room that I have to turn into backdrops for the Christmas pageant. There’s a million canvases and articles of clothing thrown around and between me and the computer screen I have: a toiletry bag, a Victoria’s Secret perfume box, a journal, Nine Kinds of Naked, two pill bottles (left over from the pneumonia), an inhaler, sheet music, a notebook, an old mp3 player, insurance papers, a necklace, a hair clip, Pier 1 reed diffuser fragrance, and about $8.50 in change (dimes and pennies). So. A while still on the crazy train.

BUT. On Friday night, I decided that I would make CDR a fancy date-night dinner. I decided that the menu would be grilled salmon, orzo-stuffed tomatoes, and a kale, spinach, and red pepper saute. All in all, pretty fantabulous. We paired it with a delightful pinot grigio (but keep in mind that with salmon, you could really go either way–white or red) and enjoyed ourselves on a makeshift indoor picnic blanket.

Oooh la la, que bueno!

Oooh la la, que bueno!

To make these dreamy little balls of heaven (pretend I came up with something better to say), you simply hollow out tomatoes and sprinkle them with a little S&P. Reserve the liquid from the tomatoes, because you can use it to cook the orzo (or rice, or cous cous, or whatever). In a small saucepan, toast two tabelspoons of butter, 1 sliced shallot, and 1 clove of garlic. When the butter has melted, add 1 1/2 cups of orzo and lightly toast. Pour in the tomato liquid and chicken stock and cook orzo until done (about 8 min). Make a breadcrumb topping by combining breadcrumbs and a variety of herbs (I used parsley, basil, and rosemary) with salt, pepper, and olive oil (HINT: also add some parm. I was out of cheese, so I couldn’t do that part). When the orzo is done, stir in half of the breadcrumb mixture and fill the tomatoes (you’ll have orzo left over for later). Sprinkle the tops of the ‘maters with the rest of the bread crumb mixture, drizzle with a little bit more olive oil, and throw them under a low broiler for a few minutes. Delish, is really all that I can say.

It didn't even taste healthy!

It didn’t even taste healthy!

For the kale and spinach mixture, first chop a shallot and a clove of garlic and bring it to temperature with a bit of olive oil and butter (1 1/2 TBL total). Also, if you’d like (and I liked) add 1/2 tsp of red chili flake. Then add 1 sliced red bell pepper at saute 2 min. Add one bunch of kale and one bunch of spinach (this stuff wilts down to almost nothing, so if you’re cooking for more than 2, be sure account for that), and saute until it wilts, but still has a bit of a bite to it. Sprinkle in a dash of nutmeg, too. It brings out the flavor of greens.Now, for this salmon–I went a little outside my fish comfort zone. Usually, I just like to drizzle with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper it and be done with it, because I like to keep the fish as pure and as simple as possible. BUT, I thought, what the hell? Make it herbacious, right? So, about ten minutes before I threw it on the grill, I slathered it with some honey mustard, basil, parsley, rosemary, salt, pepper, and a little bit of lemon juice. Slathered may not be the right word…because I definitely just lightly coated it. Threw it on the grill 4 min a side (I took it a little far. 3 min a side would have been better) The flavor was unbelievable and the skin was crispy.

Look how yumy!!

Look how yumy!!

This has CDR's stamp of approval!

This has CDR’s stamp of approval!

Now, with Friday night’s successful dinner, I thought I’d make fancy Christmas cookies on Saturday morning. They really aren’t that fancy. They’re sugar cookies with some chopped rosemary. Couldn’t be easier. Everyone has their own favorite sugar cookie recipe, so just use that and add about 1 tablespoon of chopped FRESH rosemary, and it gives your cookies a wonderful pine, Christmas flavor.

I wish YOU a Merry Christmas!

I wish YOU a Merry Christmas!

So maybe this year we give Santa a little sophistication and leave him some nice rosemary-sugar cookies. They’re delectable, and quite perfect for those of us that want to feel a little grown-up this Christmas.

Make enough for reindeer!

Make enough for reindeer!

Ciao, guys. I have a room to clean.

Honest Energy and Honestly Good Truffles

Hi guys! I missed you!

Hi guys! I missed you!

Hey Blogstalkers!

Long has it been since I’ve posted to the blogosphere! And as always, much has happened. and I have no idea where to begin. Cliffnotes? Ok, cliffnote version. I started rehearsals for two shows, started working at a gym, made pasta, struggled through my shows, made chocolate cake (of the flourless variety), got pneumonia, closed a show, was offered a new job as a nanny, went to California for Thanksgiving, gave notice at the gym, closed another show, and made truffles (more on that a few paragraphs down). All within this time, of course, were several meltdowns, laugh riots, significant revelations and decisions made, belted a few rounds of “Just You Wait” from My Fair Lady, and most recently there were several successful shopping sprees.

In this time, I came to two big realizations. One, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Two, I’m not really enjoying theater. SO. What’s an anxiety-ridden thrill seeker to do? Well, I made a lot of changes. First, I realized how exhausted, stressed, and unhappy I’ve become and realized it was partly because of my go-go schedule (aside, be sure to wake me up before you go-go), but mostly–it was because of theater and the negative associations with it that I acquired over the summer. I am exhausted and I think it is wisest to take a break from theater now so that I have energy to return to it later. This way, if I realize theater isn’t for me–it will have been a decisions, rather than a bitter reaction. However, in the spirit of bitterness, I will say that I’m confident that had the events of the summer not transpired, I’d be able to get through a little bit longer.

I have backed out of all theater commitment until May. This was a big decision, a leap of faith, and I am scared shitless. This is a brave new world (in which life without theater is the stand-in for test tube babies) and I’m trying to figure it all out. So, to recap: I’m quitting my job at FFC to take another job that will give me more time to focus on my writing (with two projects that have long been in the works) and my painting (stay tunes for a possible website in which I try to sell shit). I’ll be taking six months off from theater and I’m terrified. So there you have it. Another day in the life.

AND, I made truffles, which were called “divine” by Columbia College Chicago faculty and they make great holiday gifts.

In a double boiler, melt 12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/4 c of mint chips, and 1/2 cup heavy cream.  Stir in 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Set in freezer to harden two hours and then scoop out chocolate by thea teaspoon and form little balls.

In a double boiler, melt 12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/4 c of mint chips, and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Stir in 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Set in freezer to harden two hours and then scoop out chocolate by thea teaspoon and form little balls.

Coat truffles in cocoa powder. Dust off excess powder.

Coat truffles in cocoa powder.

Store in an airtight container. I kept mine in the fridge. Yummy!

Store in an airtight container. I kept mine in the fridge. Yummy!

So, stay tuned as I smear my heart all over cyberspace. This is a scary new adventure for me and frankly, I don’t have the energy to be anything but honest. I invite you to join me in this slow “putting the pieces back together” process. It won’t be all tears and fears (second aside, totally want to be listening to Tears for Fears right now)–it’ll just be honest. And there’ll be some honestly good recipes along the way.

We’ll see where this road goes. Today at church, someone asked what I do and I said, “I’m a stage manager.” Hm.

Finger Food!

Hey Everyone. It seems I am up to my ears in applications. Trying to get some work for my new stint in the “real world.” And thanks so much to HG, by the way.

But anyway. I made lots of good food this week. I’ll start you off with this amazing cupcake! The recipe is from an old Joy of Cooking cookbook and is really special. It has sort of an angel-food texture, making it light, airy, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The trick is the whipped egg whites that are folded in to the batter. This time around, I actually over cooked them by about two minutes, so they weren’t as moist as they usually are, but they were definitely passable. CDR even said they the “best cupcakes [he] ever had.” 

And last night, we decided to nom on some wings (courtesy of me) and some…well it’s hard to name. We’ll call them “Bun-less Sliders” (courtesy of CDR). Now, I’m not one to brag…but these wings (or drumettes) were off the wow charts. And I wasn’t even expecting them to be. First, I trimmed up the little chicken pieces and threw them in a BBQ marinade (honey, Worcestershire sauce, 5-spice, smoked Spanish paprika, cayenne, brown sugar, a little olive oil, ketchup, chipotle powder and oregano) for two or three hours. Then I just coated them lightly in a flour, salt, and chili powder mixture. Bake those babies at 425 for about 30 minutes, turning and basting once. And put the marinade into a saucepan and bring to a boil to create a delicious sauce. Garnish with parsley and basil.

Also Boyfriend-Approved.

Now, CDR’s bun-less sliders were just as delicious. He just seared some hamburger patties on the grill (seasoned with 5-spice, salt, and pepper) and then skewered them with some frizzled hard chorizo and cherry tomato. He baked them in a bed of red onion and tomato sauce. Out came perfection!

I am a very lucky lady, because he also made a fennel and red onion slaw. See his step-by-step guide here, but basically he just threw some fennel on the grill then chopped it up with some thinly sliced red onion and dressed it with lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper and served over mixed greens.

And here was the dinner plate.

You know you want it!

We topped it all of with a new red wine I found at Trader Joe’s. It’s called Dearly Beloved. It was actually pretty perfect for our dinner. It had notes of cinnamon and a hint of pepper. Warm, sweet, and jam-y (or “jammy” to appease CDR, who is obnoxiously reading over my shoulder as I type this…love you). At first taste, I wasn’t in love. It was delicious on the sip, but it didn’t finish very nicely. But when paired with the meal…damn good wine. And it was even better today.

Dearly Beloved, we gather to say our goodbyes…

Dessert? Ice cream sandwiches!! I took some cookies that I made earlier and spread the bottoms with a bit of nutella and put a scoop of ice cream (or in this case–soy ice cream) between the cookies. Um. So good. Probably had something to do with the fact that these cookies were chocolate with mint chips. Holler.

open wide…

That’s all folks! Food you can eat with your hands (mostly) never tasted so good! See you back here tomorrow.

It’s a photo blog!

Hey everyone!
It’s been a few days. Tonight, I will attempt to roast a chicken (and I will succeed).
But it has certainly been a food-filled couple of days. Yesterday, while baby sitting I made kale quesadillas…and got little Janine to eat them. We also made really yummy vegan brownies. Lots of fun.

And a couple days earlier, I made a Mexican feast! Marinated flank steak, lemon-cilantro rice, peppers and onions, and mango avocado salsa. I won’t lie to you. I rocked the shit out of that night’s dinner. See below.

So, a more heartfelt blog post is coming at you either tonight or tomorrow. Tomorrow morning I have an interview for a part time teaching position at a preschool. I’m wildly excited and horribly nervous, but hopefully I’ll have good things to report. Last night was a wonderfully therapeutic night out with friends. We caught up and laughed and seethed about the happenings of Summer 2012. I hope you enjoyed the photos, people. Back soon.







Something Magical This Way Comes…

“Sometimes you can’t  go back, but why’d you have to go and make a mess like that?

I just have to say before I let go…Have you ever been low?”

Absolutely I was playing my old CDs again. It isn’t my fault Kelly Clarkson, Five for Fighting, and Julie Roberts all had relevant things to say. Well, it’s been quite the whirlwind. Wizard of Oz closes tomorrow (and you all will miss out if you don’t come) and life is starting to calm down. I’m starting to…just starting to…feel like myself again. Now, I’m not without my tears, but slowly and surely…I’m coming back. I can even listen to that ridiculous song by the Fray without crying now. Accomplishment? Yes.

But I’m looking for a little more. A little magic. And maybe I just need to get back to Woods Hole (two weeks and three days!)  and sit on the beach or go sailing or have drinks at the Kydd or late night pie at Pie in the Sky and it will all just go away and feel much better. Sunny with a chance. It is the place I feel most myself, so maybe…that’s all the magic I need.

“Fifteen, there’s still time for you.

Twenty-two I feel her too.

Thirty-three you’re on your way…

Every day’s a new day.”

But in my search for magic and in the event that life slowed down a bit, I had the chance last week (was it Tuesday?) to cook something a little more decadent than usual. Salmon with a blueberry sauce. OH MY GOODNESS. So delicious. Found the recipe here. I followed it exactly with the exception of using fresh rosemary instead of fresh thyme. I served it with some grains and a salad. It was really unbelievable. And I had more pictures for you, but now I can’t find my camera cord…so this will have to do.

Tell me you don’t want to bite into this…

For dessert, I made peanut butter cups. Also magically decadent. I mixed a cup of peanut butter with a cup (give or take) each of powdered sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Then I mixed in a bit of vanilla extract and a stick of melted butter. Press firmly into a small pan and cover with melted semi-sweet chocolate. Couldn’t be easier. See?

I’ll try to find that camera cord asap, so that I can show you process photos of making the salmon and sauce. But really, give this one a shot. It’s completely worth it.

So, to recap: I’m a bit better, I just keep swimming. I need a little magic–and I’m finding it in my food, my theater, love, family, books, and as always–water. Just reaching out into the cyber infinite, hoping these words find someone who is also a little stuck. Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret. Ha.

Eat well.

“I’m in trouble if these wheels stop rolling.

So god help me keep moving somehow,

don’t let me start wishing…

I’d sure hate to break down here.”


Dear Russia and Fancy Dinner

Dear Russian Reader,

I thank you immensely for your frequent visits to my blog. It truly means the world to me. I have noticed, however, that with nearly every visit you go to my pumpkin risotto recipe (found here). I’m just curious as to why. Show yourself reader in the Russian Federation! Please? Do you like this recipe? Do you need help with this recipe? Would you like me to refine it?  I keep imagining someone slaving over this recipe day after day, only to throw it out because it still isn’t right. Gladly, when pumpkins come back into season, I’ll work on perfecting, it. But please, since I depend upon my readers, tell me what I can do for you. I’m only too happy to help.

And that goes for all the readers out there. Thanks so much for your support. Now: Food. Because my show on Sunday was at 2, I had the rest of my night free. I decided that I FINALLY had time to make a fancy dinner. The menu? Steak, creamed corn, a salad, and individual peach-blackberry cobblers for dessert.

The steaks? Chuck steak. Not the most tender cut, and they came out a little over-done (though still pink in the middle, not quite enough pink for me), but they still got the job done. I just seasoned with salt, pepper, and butter. Grilled each side for five minutes (probably should have just done 3 to 4).

Creamed Corn? This was by far the tastiest thing on the menu. First, I crisped up some bacon and took it out of the pan. Then I cooked up some corn (it was already cooked because it was leftover) in the bacon grease. Yep. I added some salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and the end-all, be-all of the evenings flavor: Smoked Hickory powder. Yep. It made for some damn fine smokey creamed corn. I also added about 1/4 cup of cream. I stirred in the bacon and voila. Delicious.

Salad. Simple. Just lettuce, tomato, and goat cheese. Balsamic dressing.


Pretty Salad

The wine? A red from Epicuro. Delicious, smokey, a little murky, and delectably sexy.

Mmm, girl. Please.

Individual Cobblers? First, I peeled some peaches, sliced them up, and put them in a bowl with some blackberries, vanilla extract, a little sugar, some cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg. I poured the fruit mixture into two small ramekins and then topped them with a crumble mixture. Bake and serve.

Cobbler Pre-Bake

So tasty!

It was the perfect reward for an opening weekend. The shows went very well, though not without their hiccups. But the hiccups are what makes my job fun.

Also, in the last week I finally finished the spice rack I made for CDR:

But still, I keep telling myself to stay afloat. To keep breathing. I’m just looking for a little magic.

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Rehearsal Cupcake!

It just takes some time but, little girl, in the middle of the ride–everything, everything will be just fine. Everything, everything will be alright…

Damn, people! I’m really not one to brag, but not only did I knock these cupcakes out of the park…I did it with a broiler–again. Good news–oven’s getting fixed today. Yesterday, I was really at a point where I needed a “win” so the fact that I had to broil these cupcakes and still managed to make them tasty and all around successful—well, it was really good for me. So allow me to celebrate: HELL YES!

They were actually pretty easy to make. First, I just made a small batch of chocolate chip cookie dough (use mini chocolate chips), and then scooped them out by the small teaspoonful and plopped them onto a cookie sheet and I froze them for about an hour.

For the cake mixture–I just used a yellow cake mix. It was fine, foodies. Calm down. Get the oven as close to 350 as the broiler can (or if your oven isn’t ridiculous–preheat it to 350). Fill your cupcake liners 1/2 way and plop a little ball of frozen cookie dough right on top. Bake until done (tough to say when using a broiler…it took about 15 minutes). Note: You’ll be baking just until the cake is done (an inserted toothpick should come out clean). The cookie dough will not cook all the way. When they were cool, they were slathered with chocolate frosting and flower sprinkles (we were celebrating 4 cast birthdays). You can find the full recipe here. And oh my gosh–so worth it. Look how yummy:


So, Wednesday was tough. It involved a very tough (though temporary) goodbye–which we all know, I am just terrible at. Two days later, I feel a bit more stable–but certainly, I’m still riding the Heartbreak Rollercoaster. Before rehearsal that on Wednesday, Geoff took me into the school’s chapel, and we did a bit of meditation and he said some things that really stuck with me–and helped me get through the day. Meditation is all about the breath–clearing your head and just focusing on the breath. Well, obviously there wasn’t any head clearing that happened–but there were several moments of peace–so, good!

I learned: The heart is so important; it pumps blood–it is vital–but the breath is just as important. In fact, right now, I need to let my breath be in control. It is so easy to let the heartache get stuck in your chest (we all know that physical pain I’m talking about), so for now, I just need to keep breathing. In particularly difficult moments, deepen the breath. Also, laughter is the most explosive–and most powerful–form of breath. I need to keep breathing, and try to laugh. I need to take my own stage management advice: laugh when I want to cry.

Lastly, I learned to take a mantra of love. If there’s a lot of heartache, there’s gotta be a lot of love, right? So, what if I picture that love emanating from me and channel it into other, more positive–more plausible–things and people. Don’t stop loving. Love more. And as always, bake through the pain.

I had one other win last night:

Yeah. I drove AND ate sushi at the same time. Champ? Me.

This isn’t easy, kids. But I’m trying to be positive. And I’m going to keep breathing. And I won’t stop loving.

I have this breath, and I hold it tight.

And I keep it in my chest, with all my might.

And pray to God this breath will last

As it pushes past my lips as I…GASP.


Cupcakes for Paul

Oh boy, when it rains–it freakin’ pours amiright?

You know it’s bad when you trade Adele for Mumford and Son’s.

Don’t forget me, I beg…how fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes.

Yesterday was definitely one of those rock-bottom kind of days for a myriad of reasons. I coined a new phrase that I think we should all adopt into our lexicons: Cry-Eye Fatigue Syndrome (n). Self explanatory and funny in a sad kind of way. But no matter, I found solace in music. Post rehearsal, Paul and I drove around blasting Mumford and Sons and earlier in the day, the Crash Kings reverberated against the bathroom walls during my forever shower.

Why can’t we be happy now and lay this all to rest, I know we’re sick of all the games and all the stupid tests…

Plant your hope with good seeds, don’t cover yourself with Thistle and Weeds…

Anywho, today is Paul’s 20th birthday and to celebrate, I made dark chocolate cupcakes for one my nearest and dearest friends. Again, it’s my standard recipe–just the one on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa Powder box (I used Special Dark–same recipe). I added a teaspoon of instant espresso powder (I meant chocolate business yesterday) and instead of regular milk, I used almond milk.

They went quickly!

The result? SO GOOD. Perfectly moist (sorry for use of that word) and oh so decadent.

And I’m not one to brag, but one actress said, “Anna, these are crack cupcakes!”

And another said, “Anna, you are a GODDESS.” Yes I am. And I’ve got a bitchin’ kitchen to prove it.

Up next? Actress Gina gave me a recipe for granola bars. Looks delicious so I thought I’d give them a shot!

In other news, I’ve booked my hotel room for Sunday. I’m taking a much needed 24 hour getaway to Beach State Park in Zion. I’ll clear my head and start writing again.

I leave you with some favorite words by Tony Vigorito’s book Just a Couple of Days:

“Faith is not blind optimism, it is honest determination. And yet faith is not the proof required by reason. Faith is the genuine trust of intuition…making the leap of trust requires opening your door, shedding your pretensions, your self-consciousness, and presenting your soul unabashed to the world. This is a leap of faith. Faith is not belief in God. Faith is the awareness that you are God. Namaste.”

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