A little quesadilla with my jalapeño

Who’s a happy girl at the airport?

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New Orleans – Day 3

It was a soft start to the conference. Our VIPs, some senior execs and about 110 of the 900 expected guests checked in.
Here’s what went down today:
– the ballroom/staging was set. Before and after below.
– our security operatives arrived (don’t ask).
– I yelled at approximately 3 people before 8am. Pretty good for a Sunday.
– we had birthday cake for one of the planners and I decided to pass on a piece and have some fruit. Or! I had a delicious hearty piece. Which one of these scenarios is more likely you think?
– we took our guests to a beautiful historic building called The Chicory for some live jazz and dinner. It was a perfect evening – complete with the largest piece of meat I’ve ever seen being served. A 65 pound roast called a Steamboat something or other. I spoke to the chef – he said it took 7 hours at 350 degrees. Have you ever? I know this sounds awkward but I’m obsessed with this piece of meat. Pictures below. Ofcourse.
– official kick-off tomorrow! Say a prayer to all the gods that you know and love for me.
– peace out

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New Orleans. Day 1

I’m going to one of our biggest conferences of the year and I thought you should come along. Whether you want to or not.
So the next few days I’ll be posting some pics and some stories about my time in New Orleans (pronounced NuOrlins, not New. Or-Leans).
I left a rainy, humid airport and headed south.
2.40 hours and mucho turbulence later – I was here!
My first time post Katrina.
Here’s a few pics of today. The rainy terminal back home. The beautiful blue skies when we landed. And then of my view for the majority of the time here. A war room. If you don’t like a lot of clutter, this place isn’t for you. It’s computer cords gone wild here.
But there are plenty of snacks to take your mind off the fire hazards.
Ok, let’s do this!

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Ladysitter

I was chatting with one of the smart young women I work with yesterday. She’s getting married in less than a week and seemed so calm and relaxed. She told me her secret. She has what she calls her ladysitter.
Never heard of such a thing? Same. Apparently a ladysitter comes in, organizes her house while she works, puts up the art she’s been meaning to hang for weeks – that kinda stuff. She’s no housekeeper, no no no. She does the things that make this gal feel put together. Thank you note envelopes written out. Registry gifts sorted and tagged. Duplicates returned to the store they came from. Reminders to refresh the pantry and buy household needs. The men reading this won’t understand because you already have a mansitter. That would be your wife. Or your mother. Or your girlfriend.
If you’re gay – one of you understands this. The other thinks birthday cards get magically sent to your loved ones.
Sigh.
A ladysitter.
I want one.

3 Dessert Afternoon

This is what happened.

I needed a pick-me-up and went to the company cafeteria for some frozen yogurt. They had plain old chocolate, my favorite.

But then I saw that they had bread pudding. Warm bread pudding with warm caramel sauce. And it’s cold out. So I thought,”that’s a better option than cold frozen yogurt.”

But then I thought again,”how would this cafeteria know how to make a good bread pudding? It’s not possible.”

What’s a girl to do? To hedge my dessert bets – I got both.

Then, as I was heading to the register I noticed a big pile of sugar cookies. Simple, unassuming sugar cookies.

I got one of them too.

Don’t judge me. Or do. I don’t care. I had 3 desserts.

 

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Poor me

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My conference ended today. I have a few more hours of work and then I’m on the red-eye home. But I did get to sleep in and enjoy my room for the first time all week. And I ordered room service. Look at the size of this French toast. And the size of the butter on top. Toasted coconut and a caramelized banana? Check. Although I miss my family a ton – this isn’t all that bad. Just sayin’ (the newspaper came with the breakfast. Bless their hearts)

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One more pic. Just to show off.

 

Domo Arigato NYC

Maybe it’s because I love it so very much that I have guilt. Yesterday’s post about how NYC can sometimes stink has me feeling bad. And because some folks reminded me that I sounded like a spoiled baby…waaaa….it smells bad. They said,” You know what smells bad? War torn Africa! Crime riddled Mexico! And small American towns with no good bagel shops. So chin-up! Get over it!”
So – like a cheap suit I’m folding today and telling you the good parts of my commute.

There’s this ridiculous view at the front of my building. Beautiful.

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Across from the pee block (ahem) is a little place called Underground Pizza. It completes me. Know why? Because it makes this…

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It’s the most amazing slice ever. On a side note, in college, my friend Maureen and I would go to this kick-ass pizza place called Broadway Joe’s. It was the best pizza in the city (they burned down and rose from the ashes in Upstate NY, but that’s another story for another day) We’d always get the same thing – a Sicilian slice. Then we’d ask the very Italian dude to scrape off the cheese and add more sauce. He’d do it – but he wasn’t happy about it. Then we’d load it up with red pepper and black pepper. Sigh. Good times. My college memories are of pizza not keg parties. I know you’re not surprised. (Tell me you remember this Maureen?!)
What was I talking about?

Last but not least – this is the Geisha that rides the subway with me every morning. We’re on the same schedule. She gets off at Fulton Street to go about her Geisha day. The first time I saw her I snapped a pic. Now I just pretend it’s normal like everyone else.

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Year of the Horse

Happy New Year friends. Hope you did exactly what you wanted last night.  We went to a grown-up party – I slapped on some make-up and everything. It was loads of fun.  In fact, fun is what we’ve been having since Thanksgiving. Eating, drinking, merriment making fun *burp*.

This was the sky when we finally headed out of the house today. Well…this was the sky after a couple of filters but you get the point. 

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2013 was a year of change for our family – and we rocked it.  In the moment the changes seemed scary and jarring – but looking back they were exactly what we needed. We shook off the negative to make room for the positive. Was it perfect? No. But that’s how we like it. Perfectly imperfect.

I have no idea what this new year will hold for me or my family. I’m sure there will be successes, failures, laughter, tears, music and fun. There will be a 16th birthday, an 11-year-old boy in the house,  a new driver’s license, family gatherings, an 18th wedding anniversary and two adults sinking deeper into their 40s. How will it all go down? I dunno. But I promise you one thing. I promise you that I’ll blog every step of the way.

Thank you so much for the year behind us and here’s a toast to our year ahead! Together. Whether you like it or not. Ahem.

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I love secrets

I got a lot of great gifts this year – I’m a lucky girl. Last night we did the final gift exchange with my family – there is absolutely no more gift giving and receiving after this. It’s over. Done. No more I tell you!

My little bitty sister gave me this really cool book I thought I’d share with you. It’s less of a cookbook and more of a nonfiction book about chefs. Right up my alley!

It’s full of beautiful photos and recipes, but it’s really storytelling about the chefs. What they do, why they do it and how they do it.

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It’s written with a sharp biting wit and doesn’t take itself too seriously, look at these hilarious quotes…

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The other cool thing about this book is all the wacky food the chefs make. In the world of Instagram and 24/7 food trucks – where everyone’s a foodie and Harissa and truffle oil are almost old school – I love reading about unusual food. Lebnah… Tasso … This is no everyday kimchi cookbook. There’s actually a line on page 267 that reads, “This is not a traditional baba au rhum, so purists, stand back!” Wtf?

Will I ever make it? Probably not. But I will sleep better knowing that there are people out there that do.

Ok – gotta go source some Kajmak cheese.

Good Pain

What would be your last meal? Steak? Lobster? Caviar? Nope. Not me. This would be my last meal.

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Cheese. Bread. And a long, hot, pepper! It’s very ethnic of me. I can’t help it. It’s in my blood. It’s of my people. I went out shopping this morning and rewarded myself with this beauty for lunch. Do you know how happy I get when I see a pepper like this? The kind that’s so big it doesn’t even fit in the frame. The kind you find in a pizzeria, laying on top of a pile of garlic knots and waiting for a lunatic like me.  Waiting to be sprinkled with sea salt. Waiting to be devoured.

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I’m hard pressed to find something that I love more than this combo.

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Happiness is a slow, salty burn after your meal. Really.

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