Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Betcha Didn't Know...

OMG, I am on TV TODAY!!!  Can you believe it, because I can't!!!!  Little old me asked to cook live for all of you.  Wow.  I never would have thought it, but I am super excited, pretty nervous, and so truly honored.  So incase you forgot the memo, tune into Fox 8, today, February 21st on New Day Cleveland at 10:00 am.  I will be cooking a favorite recipe LIVE (no mistakes or the whole world will see it- no pressure though....)  so please pray for me for a nice smooth and most importantly FUN morning.  See you then!

In the meantime I thought I would do a little different type of post then I normally write on here.  No recipe here!  But I was tagged by one of my favorite new blogging friends, Crystal of Eat*Drink*Cleveland to complete this fun questionnaire.  I have been really enjoying reading all of these wonderful posts floating all over blogland by other friends and was excited to share a little more of myself with all of you.  So here you go, my wonderful readers, a Betcha Didn't Know This about little old me.

First I need to share eleven random things about myself for all of you to read.

1.  Flying used to be one of my most favorite things in the entire world to do.  I LOVE traveling and by airplane was always my favored method.  Sure roadtrips were great and all- but oh my goodness, look how fast you get there!  No more missing at least two days of vacation time just in travel alone.  I loved the excitement I felt right before liftoff; the sound of the engine in my ears, and the beauty of the world below.  I didn't care if the plane ride would be 50 minutes or 15 hours.  I loved every second of it!  Then my children were born.  I am now terrified.  It isn't the "flying with my children" part that scares me, although that would be scary too.  But now I just have SO much more too loose.  I will never forget the way I felt the first time I flew after Jackson was born, with him happy and safe at my parents house.  I don't know that I had ever been so scared in my life. Every bump of turbulence made me think the plane was going to come crashing down with me inside.  I am sure I had white knuckles the entire flight.  

I still love to travel, and if I have to go by plane, I will.  But I may ask for a Xanax before hand.  

2.  Tomorrow is the anniversary of my 5 year headache.  Yes,  I have had a headache every single day of my life for the past 5 years.  From the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep it is there.  It never goes away, although the intensity of it fluctuates throughout my day.  I have been diagnosed with CDH (Chronic Daily Headaches), Migraine Disease and a complex neurological condition called Occipital Neuralgia.  I don't tell you this for you to feel sad- I love life!  God is so good!  I just get to live this good life with chronic pain.  I have a new physician whom I love and she is finding some wonderful ways for me to lesson and some days almost alleviate my pain.  My head pain was never something I wanted to talk about much, I don't like pity parties.  Most recently I have finally come to the reality that this is my new normal, but goodness gracious I am determined to remain happy and hopeful through it all!  

3.  I have a strange talent that allows me to remember things like lyrics and random facts.  They enter my brain and pop out at the weirdest times.  It doesn't really do me much good, it never worked for math or chemistry classes in school (bummer!!)  But it does make me a great teammate for Trivia Pursuit.  

4.  I hate, and I mean hate commercials or movies that involve babies or animals talking, singing or dancing like people.  The absolute worst is when the creators of the commercials make a fake mouth to move when the animals or babies "talk".  It seriously gives me the hebe-jebees.  Yuck. It is a freak factor that bugs me like no other.  For example those Kia dancing hip-hop hamster commercials make me never, ever want to purchase a Kia ever in my life.  Ever. I turn away and shudder whenever it comes on.  Thank goodness we dvr most our shows and have the ability to fast forward.  

5.  One of my favorite foods is Peanut Butter and Jelly on cheap white bread.  I know, I know.  But no other type of bread tastes quite the same for this sandwich!  We almost never have white bread in our home.  But if we happen to have a loaf on hand you know I will be having my PB&J. Yum!  

6.  Is there any food that you could eat every single day and not tire of it, but actually look forward to it?  I do, and it is Pad Thai.  This pasta dish is perfection in a bowl.  People could tell me, I bet if you actually did eat Pad Thai every single day I am sure eventually you would get sick of it.  To that I say, I highly doubt it but bring it on and lets find out!  Anyone want to help me see? I will be a very willing participant to the challenge.  

7. When I was in college I studied art and graduated with a degree in Art History.  I loved it and actually worked at Harvard University Art Museums for a number of years after college.  It was a fantastic experience and love that my Jackson has a talent and love already with the arts.  It is so cool!  But now, as I have grown up I am dying to go back to school for cooking.  And the more and more I learn and grow and play in the kitchen the more I feel that baking and being a pastry chef (if only in my own kitchen) is the path I should lead.  *sigh* Maybe one day once the kiddies are in school.  

8.  I love magazines.  To some I may even be considered a magazine hoarder.  They don't take over my house, I promise!  That is what those cute magazine holders from Ikea are for... I used to have loads of subscriptions (those have reduced as a means of saving our budget these days).  But I still have in my possession every single cooking, diy, gardening and home magazine I ever purchased. And yes, i still look at them and refer back to them from time to time.  

9.  I would love to live self-sufficiently, and hope that we could come close to it one day.  I blame it a lot on my parents.  They raised me right!!!  haha.  For we had a HUGE vegetable garden, a big herb garden, 13 or so chickens and an enormous rooster. Whatever they could do themselves, they did.  I am so proud of how I was raised. They did what is now called "Homesteading", and I hope to have my very own homestead soon. Currently trying to talk the hubby into chickens for the very, very early future.  Not 13 (at least not to start...) 

10.  I am addicted to white noise while I sleep.  The sound of a fan to be exact.  It all started when we lived in a duplex next to a family who shared a bedroom wall with us.  The husband next door was a VERY loud snorer.  We could hear it so clearly through the wall, I almost had to buy earplugs.  To sleep in my very own home. One summer it was hot upstairs so we went out and bought a small fan that was really loud when turned on, and guess what- no more snoring.  It was heaven!  I could finally sleep again!  Now I can't sleep without it.  Of course my trusty fan just broke in the middle of winter- not quite fan season.  Thank goodness for iphone apps is all I've got to say.  They have saved me and now I can sleep yet again.  

11.  I am a homebody through and through.  Sure I love going out to eat, in fact one of my favorite dates is diner and a movie.  It is fun to get out, see the sites and spend time with friends. But I have this huge part of me that would much rather just hole up with my little family, snuggle, play games, bake, do crafts, watch our favorite shows on the dvr, and just BE.  I don't need to go out to make myself happy.  I am happy where I am.  I also hate to talk on the phone.  I am getting much better since the majority of my time is spent with little ones, so adult conversation is very nice!  But please don't get offended if I am really bad about returning a phone call, or asking you to go out somewhere.  It isn't that I don't love you and want to spend time with you.  I just get in my groove and kinda need a little shove sometimes to get me out of it.

Now I need to answer the questions given to me by Crystal .... if this wasn't long enough already!  Sorry folks. I a making up for bad blogging as of late :)  But isn't this so fun learning all this random stuff about your favorite Amie? So anyways, here we go.....

1. What is the most adventurous thing you have ever eaten?
I would say that I am an adventurous diner.  I LOVE trying new foods and trying to figure out "how they did it".  But I am no Andrew Zimern!  I am not about to eat bugs or other gross things (even if they are a "delicacy" in another country.  No thank you.  Too many truly wonderfully delicious food out there for my belly!  I have been trying all week to figure out the answer to this question and I keep coming up in blanks.  Which is so strange, because I really am adventurous.  But maybe because of that statement and way of thinking, no food I have eaten has been thought of to me as really "adventurous?  Hmmmm.

I guess the few things that are popping up in my head are the times when my husband and I were in Italy for our Honeymoon.  We wanted to try all the wonderful foods there and often times we weren't 100% sure what we were eating due to not knowing the language all that well.  One of our ur favorite memories of the trip was in Venice where we took part in a cicchetti. This is a Venitian tradition where you hop from one bar to the next, have a glass of wine (or two or three) and enjoy the little bar snacks called cicchetti- it is a progressive dinner of sorts.  On the main canals you can find over priced bruschetta, and other common hors d'oeuvres.  But if you get lost along the inside streets and dark canals you can find the real gems.  This was my first time eating squid cooking in its own ink- careful here because it can turn your teeth black!  But boy is it yummy!  I also ate a ton of stuff I had No IDEA what it was (you just point and say how many you want), but all the locals loved them, so we figured lets give it a try!  And we were never ever disappointed.  Always take the road less traveled- especially when in Venice when on a cicchetti tour!  

2. What would your last meal be if you had a say in it?
Ok, I am going to die anyways.  I don't need to worry about getting fat OR having a tummy ache afterwards right?  So I want a little of everything I love!  This is not a time to hold back or to show restraint.  Here are a few of the highlights: definitely my grandma's Babchi Bread slathered with butter.  I want to taste that bit of heaven for the last time on Earth for sure!  Although since she is in actual Heaven right now and I would be joining her soon, I am sure she is could bake me one herself chock full of golden raisins! Better yet, I would love to bake a loaf with her.  I was a child the last time I baked with Babchi, so that is definitely something to look forward to.

On my last meal I would also need to have an authentic Lobster Roll.  I would like a perfectly cooked medium rare steak along side an entire bowl of sauteed mushrooms and onions- no one ever gives enough of them when it is a "topper".  (You all know my obsession with sauteed onions by now! lol.) Another essential would be a homemade pierogi and my mom's potato pancakes.  Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Bundles, a bowl of Pad Thai, really good BBQ- I don't care what for I love it all, Chicken Tikka Masala- (nice and spicy!) and fresh warm garlic Naan, my dad's grilled lemon and thyme shrimp scampi, and I would also love a slice of pizza with perfectly gooey, melty cheese (with as much mushrooms and onions on it as I like! pepperoni too.)  Oh, and perfectly juicy roast chicken perfectly delicious and flavorful skin that also has the best crispiness to it.  Lets be honest, the skin is the best part, right?!  lol.

And then oh boy, I have to have dessert!  Ice cream is a favorite- better yet, gelato.  Also chocolate mousse, a soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie, and anything that has peanut butter and chocolate together.  My favorite combination!

I honestly could go on and on.  And I am sure after I hit "post" I will remember 10 more things I should have added!  OK, so you asked a food lover this question.  I can't help it!

3. What is your all time guilty pleasure food?
Appetizers! I could eat an entire meal of just small plates (especially if they are Asian ones- my favorite!!!)

Also my PB&J on cheap white bread- see above....

4. What are you currently listening to?
I have this habit of when I find a song I love I listen to it over and over and never tire of it.  Like ever.  I have this playlist on the ipod of my forever favs.  Here are a few in no particular order:
Mumford and Sons "Sigh No More",
Vampire Weekend "Mansard Roof" and "Walcott",
She and Him "Sentimental Heart" and "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here",
Neko Case "I Wish I was the Moon",
The Wailin' Jennys "Long Time Traveler" "One Voice" and "Heaven When We're Home",
Belle and Sebastian "Judy and the Dream of Horses"
Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down"
Nickle Creek "Out of the Woods" and "Lighthouse Tale"
The 6ths (with Katherine Whalen) "you you you you you"
Regina Spektor "The Calculation", "Eet" and "Folding Chair"
Tori Amos "Tear in Your Hand", "Cooling" and "A Sorta Fairytale"
Rufus Wainwright "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk"

Ok, I better stop, otherwise this will go on way too long!  You get the idea....

5. What is your favorite sport (to play, watch, or both)?
ugh. I am SO NOT a sports person. I'm sorry, it is just not my "thing".  The idea of actually playing a sport that involves a ball flying at my head send me into cold sweats.  I am sure I was ruined as a child by being the last picked in gym class.  But I don't care.  I have other joys, sports doesn't need to be one of them!  haha.  But I DO love a good tailgate (umm, delicious food cooked over the grill- yes please!)  and I love going to games, as long as it is not freezing cold and I don't have to pay attention to the sport.  I am there for the food and the socialization only!

6. One thing you are dying to try (this could be anything)
I want to make my own cheese, especially stretching my own mozzarella!  It just sounds like so much fun, and from what i understand it is super easy!  This is very soon on my culinary resolution list!!!

7. Fill in the blank: Food makes me _____
EXCITED!  There is nothing like tasting that first bite of someone wonderful.  But Food also does so much more for me.  Now being a stay at home mommy it fulfills a place in me that was missing before. I have something that I can learn, accomplish, and really make me proud for a job well done!  I have a way of making those around me happy with a yummy dish I prepared from scratch that I know is not only delicious and satisfying but also full of the good stuff - nothing weird or full of additives.  I have made new friends because of it, gotten closer to other ones over it and bonded with some while preparing it together.

8. If you could have dinner with just one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
This is seriously the hardest question on the list.  I have been thinking and thinking and it is making me crazy deciding on "just one".  But I think I will have to go with Tori Amos.  She has been my most favorite musician for as long as I can remember and it would just be such an honor and so very exciting so share something as lovely as a dinner with someone that followed me through all parts of my life- at least her music has! Yep, Tori would be it.  It makes me almost a little nervous just thinking about it.  Yeah, I know I am a dork.

9. What is your "go to" restaurant for taking out of towners?
Crystal was so dead on when she said Pier W!  The view is spectacular and it hosts the best brunch in the Cleveland area imo.  But I also adore Green House Tavern, the food is not only amazing, but it also demonstrates in so many ways what the CLE is and why we all love it so!

10. What quote sums up your life right now?
I love wonderful quotes!  If you are a follower on my facebook page, or read the widget on the right hand column, you will already be used to seeing quotes that inspire me in life.  But these two are ones that I look to, read and gain strength from every day.  

"Don't be anxious about anything, but in every situation,  by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all human understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."  -Philippians 4:6-7

Also the verse I live by is Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Questions for the Tagged Bloggers
Honestly, I loved the questions that Crystal gave me, so I am going to keep them as well.  Answer all of the questions that are in bold as well and telling us random stuff about yourself.  Have fun, and i can't wait ot read your blog posts as well.  This was fun!  A lot of thinking, but still FUN!

The Rules:
  • Post these rules
  • You must post 11 random things about yourself
  • Answer the questions set for you in their post
  • Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
  • Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them

TAG!  Your it!!
Jessica of Jude and Lebe
Suzanne of Life on Mars


  1. Awesome post. Was great to learn more about you.

    Now I have Neko Case in my head :-)

    1. thanks! It always feels a bit strange opening up to the world, but good too. I loved reading yours as well!! Isn't she amazing?! I saw her the last time she came and it was a fantastic show. She rocks!

  2. Great job on the show. I am looking forward to more great recipes.

    1. Thank you Stormie! I have lots planed for the upcoming future!!

  3. Great job on New Day Cleveland!!!

  4. Thanks for sharing. Have you tried hypnosis for your headaches? I know a local guy who is a hypnotist if you are interested.

    1. HOlly, no i have never tried hypnosis. That is probably one of the only things i haven't tried.... I just may take you up on that offer, at least to look into him and see what he is all about! Please pass on his number or website to me, ok? Thanks!

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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