Tuesday, September 22, 2009

build anyway

"What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway."
-Kent M. Keith

Apparently that little rainstorm that I was enjoying so much yesterday was more that I thought. A lot of homes, roads and schools were destroyed. Families are devastated, and all I can think about is the book Anyway by Keith M. Kent. Have you ever heard of the Paradoxical Commandments? I heard about this book from my Mom a while back and they are always in the back of my mind.

My heart goes out to all the people that have lost their homes in these floods. But all we can do is rebuild.

The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Rainy Monday

"its raining cats and dogs outside...oops I stepped in a poodle" - Uncle Bob

Today was a great day..it was in a word... LOVELY!! I woke up this morning to the soothing sound of a thunderstorm. It was one of those rainy days where its dark, and the rain is pounding down really heavily. Apparently a lot of Georgians weren't enjoying it as much as I was. Schools were canceled, mudslides, flooding and horrible traffic. Luckily I missed it. I worked a half of a day. I went in at 7am, left at noon and went to Kroger. I was actually going to drive out to Snellville for dinner but since the roads were so bad my Dad told me to stay home. So I did, but first I was craving my Dad's Jambalaya and since I wasn't going home I was going to have to make it myself. I bought all the ingredients, came home and did my prep and soon the aroma of my delicious meal filled the condo. I was so nervous that it would turn out horrible but it was delicious (and I don't have to worry about Sean picking all the smoked sausage out), now I have plenty for my dinner tomorrow too.

The rest of my day was spent lounging around, catching up on soap operas and sleep. The perfect do-nothing day.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

shoes, cars, and a dictionary

Do you remember any of those silly assignments teachers used to give you when you were in middle school? When I was in the 6th grade my teacher gave us an art project. The project was basically to trace your shoe and turn it into a vehicle of some sort. So away I go designing my shoe-car. Confident that mine will without a doubt be the most awesome car to grace Snellville Middle School.

Now let me skip to the family I come from... we are awesome. That's it.

So growing up I always looked up to my older brother Scott. Everything he did I wanted to do, every joke he told I retold and took credit. I used to think he was so cool because he had a friend who could drive. Him and his friends used to show up at the house in this bass pounding, red GMC Jimmy. The name of said vehicle... the Pimp Mobile. I thought it was great and cool and I wanted to able to hang out with him and his friends.

Now cut back to me at school.

I draw my shoe-car and name it... thats right folks.. the "Pimp" Mobile. So me and my friend are to switch drawings and present them to the class. My friend gets up and says, "this is Amanda's pimp mobile." And I just sit there and look at how awesome I am for clearly having the best car in the class, and everyone starts laughing at it.

"Why are these people laughing", I say. The teacher has a disgusted look on her face and asks my friend to sit down. Then I am presented with a dictionary and told to look up said word.

I look up the word :PIMP: - (and to this day I'll never forget the definition.) - a person who manages prostitutes. The class waits for my reaction, for the light bulb to go off. But then I start flipping frantically again through the dictionary to look up prostitute.

Apparently. a) I'm not that smart and b) I didn't grow up in a naked house.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Golden Years

When I was younger my neighbor celebrated a "golden birthday". Have you ever heard of this? Apparently a golden birthday is the birthday that corresponds with the age you are. So for instance.. my birthday is May 28th.. so on my 28th birthday I shall celebrate my "golden birthday". A golden birthday is a once in a lifetime celebration. Its supposed to be utterly fantastic. Everything gilded in gold. A piece Gold Jewelery is usually presented to the Birthday girl/boy. I never celebrated my bat mitzvah so I'm really looking forward to my "golden birthday".

For my 28th birthday I am holding high expectations. Perhaps I should get a golden retriever, eat at golden corral and watch Austin Powers in Goldmember while listening to David Bowie sing golden years. Maybe I'll win a golden globe for my performance in a movie with one of the Golden Girls. I can't wait to be 28. I'm going to make a prophecy right here, right now, that I think that 28 will be my year. The year when everything finally comes together for me.

Have you celebrated your golden birthday yet?

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Friday, September 18, 2009

coming soon.....

Let me preface this by, I know how nerdy I am. I check the yahoo movie pages every Friday just to watch the trailers of new and upcoming movies. Well look what I found! You all know my love of the "romcom" and here is a great one, filled with a lot of my favorite actors. I can't wait to see it. Enjoy! Go here to view Valentines Day.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Working Girl!

"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it."
-Julia Child

Another busy day at work. Today we had a V.I.P. luncheon at work for all the people in the wedding circuit. The ballrooms were set with beautiful linens, I decorated 100 fabulous wedding cake cookies and me and my assistant made a lovely little sacher torte for dessert. Layers of milk chocolate mousse, raspberry gelee and almond chocolate genoise, topped off with perfect dark chocolate ganache. The dessert got rave reviews. That is what I love best about my job.. instant gratification. Its nice to see when someone likes something that you have dedicated your whole day to make. That's why I do this. That's why I cook. Cooking is very personal, if someone dislikes your food its like being punched in the stomach, but if they like it.. it's an incredible feeling.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A girls rights to shoes

"The fact is, sometimes it's really hard to walk in a single woman's shoes. That's why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk a little more fun. " -sex and the city

If I had a million dollars I would own every pair of fabulous shoes I could find. I love shoes, granted flip flops, sandals and boots are what I normally wear,but I would love to own all those amazing shoes the world has to offer. I love my feet, I wear a 6 1/2, and I love that I can go into shoe stores and try on the display shoes with out having to get a sales woman to get me the shoes from the back. Unlike other clothes, shoes always fit and always look good.

This evening I went to the mall to buy a wedding shower gift for my friend, and I couldn't resist the shoe department in Macy's. What is too much to spend on a pair of boots? Oh how I wish I had that million dollars, or that my Dad (wink) would send me money for a new pair of awesome boots (perhaps as a daylight savings time gift.. I think we should all start celebrating this forgotten holiday).

Do you remember that episode of Sex and the City : a woman's right to shoes. You know, the one where Carrie goes to a baby shower and is asked to remove her shoes as to not track any germs and dirt all over her friends house. Then when Carrie goes to leave she finds her shoes have mysteriously disappeared. When Carrie asks for compensation for her shoes the host of the party says that $485 dollars is too much to spend on shoes and only offers her $200. I'm appalled just thinking about it. After watching that episode I now feel like I should spend whatever it takes to make me feel good.

Now lets get shopping!

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Monday, September 14, 2009

where did the time go...

Oh I feel like I haven't had a moment to my self in weeks ... hence the shortage of blogs. I think I need to take a mental health day. Work is picking up and this week it is and endless supply of VIP desserts and decorated cookies. But Friday I am off and I am excited.

So what has been going on lately with me .. Fall TV. Thank goodness for DVRs. Football season has started, the Vampire Diaries pilot was excellent and tonight its all about Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill. Plus we have 90210 and I do believe Grey's Anatomy is coming at the end of the month. YAY for Television!

What shows are you excited to watch? Are there any shows I'm missing out on?

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LOL Lauren!

This past weekend my friends and I got together to celebrate Lauren's Birthday. We started out at Little Azio for some pizza, and then walked back to her cute condo in midtown. Presents, cake and a dance party later... we headed back out on the town to The Whole World Theater. Its a really cool improve comedy theater. Think whose line is it anyway. I highly recommend it, but make sure to look for deals on tickets.

Happy Birthday Lauren! I hope this year lovely!

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Vivre le France!!!! Vivre Top Chef!

TGIW! Happy Hump Day People! Are you ready for some Top Chef! Oui! Oui!

Oh I'm so happy... tonight the chef-testants will pair up to create the perfect French dish for acclaimed chefs Joël Robuchon, Daniel Boulud, Hubert Keller ( a personal favorite of mine), Laurent Tourondel and Jean Joho.

Escargot! For the quickfire challenge today each chef must make a dish using this delicate protein. In a special twist.. one contestant will be eliminated after this quickfire. OHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! Some amazing dishes were produced.. but taking the win was Kevin. I can't say I'm surprised, His fricassee of snails with bacon jam made me hungry. His prize- to sit at judges table. Awesomeness ensues!

So now battling it out for the bottom three, Ashley, Jesse and Robin. I thought Robin should go home just for being such a spaz in the kitchen. She makes me nervous just watching her cut celery. So Jesse ends up going home .. ahh no big loss there. I think its pretty evident who the front runners in this competition are.

Now we are on to the elimination challenge. The chefs pull knifes, on each knife a protein and a sauce. Classic french dishes..and it was evident that once teams we set who the top 4 would be. With Jen and Michael V. on a team and Bryan and Mike "Sexy" Isabella on a team I think we know how this will turn out.

The food looked amazing and I would have given my pinky finger to sit at this table with this caliber of chefs. Seriously amazing. A deconstructed Bernaise with trout. YUM!!!! I guess thats why my Brother Volt Bryan got the win, and a prize of working with Joel himself. Kudos Bryan.. well done. Although I think the prize should have went to both on the team. Sexy Mike Isabella looked pretty pissed not to get to partake in his win.

Mattin sucked it up. He is french, therefore a Veloute should have been an easy win for him. He really should have shined in this challenge. I'm sorry to say but he should have been the one going home.

In the Bottom, Ashley and Mattin (team rainbow), and Hector and Ash. Hector butchered some meat very badly, Ash's sauce disappeared on the un-rested meat, and team rainbow just made a piss poor dish. Who is going home.. Well apparently bad cutting techniques are enough to send you home.

Hasta la vista Hector! I must say in my opinion you shouldn't be packing your knives..yet!

Après observation de cette exposition j'ai très faim! Bon Appetite!

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Monday, September 7, 2009

A Labor of Love

Today was labor day and we celebrated Missy's birthday. It was a lovely day filled with presents, Beckham and a delicious low country shrimp boil made by my big brother Scott,"the richest man in town". What a beautiful labor day, I had the top off my Jeep all weekend, ate fantastic food and was surrounded by friends and family.

Happy Birthday Mis! xoxo

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Do your worst!

Have you seen the Count of Monte Cristo?

I love love love this movie. Here is one of my favorite quotes from it.

"Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you as we know you: as Albert Mondego, the man! - the count of Monte Cristo

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Shopping & Snellville

"Everybody's somebody in Snellville" -unknown

Every time I go to see my parents in Snellville I pass by two landmarks that insure me that I am 15 minutes from home. The first is the entry sign to Snellville with a sign that reads "Welcome to Snellville, Where everybody is Somebody". The second is the State Farm Insurance Sign that every week has a new quote on it. Today it was "A smile precedes happiness." To whom ever changes this sign weekly I thank you, its nice to read something different every time I come home.

So today when I got to the parents house, I had time for a quick hello before my mom, Brandon and I went to the mall. I think I overdid it a little. In an effort to get birthday gifts, wedding shower gifts and baby shower gifts...I instead bought a necklace, a Christmas ornament, earrings and a game. All I am sad to say .. for ME!

It was as is always a lovely day in Snellville. Snellville in my opinion will always be the "Stars Hollow" of Georgia. (If you've never watched Gilmore Girls that you wont know what I'm talking about).

So now I'm home to a clean house and ready for Sunday!

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Ready for the Weekend

"its Friday night.. and the mood is right.. gonna have some fun..show you how its done.. TGIF"

Friday is finally over and now my weekend can start. I love labor day, and this year I actually have a 3 day weekend.

Today my day started out kind of interesting. My assistant was in need of a monkey cake for a party she is going to this weekend so we set out to make a quick monkey. Then I decorated what seemed like a million wedding cake cookies. So now after setting up the chocolate fountain, and rolling all the bread for the weekend. I am off. Free to enjoy what is going to be a lovely weekend, filled with family, friends and me sleeping in.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fall is in the Air

"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies."- You've Got Mail

Fall...Oh how I love thee. I walked outside this afternoon and something was different, the air I was breathing in wasn't hot and humid, it was cool and crisp. Perfect weather for taking the top off my car. It was a lovely 78 degrees outside.

I should probably bite my tongue for saying this but I am ready for summer to be over. I'm ready for all the great things that come along with fall. The trees will change colors and fall fashion will ensue. Today I went to the mall to check out what the stores have to offer for this season. So tell me ...I found these cute BCBG Cowboy boots at Macy's .. Yay or Nay. I think they are so cute but what would I wear them with. Maybe a ruffled flannel shirt? I could take the western chic route.

What are you wearing this fall? What trends should I be involved in? In other news have you checked out the accessories at urban outfitters lately. I swear if I could own everything in this store I would, but I especially love their earrings and necklaces. Since birds are the new black this season check out these adorable bird stud earrings. As soon as I can make my way to Lenox mall these bad boys are going to be mine.

Well until next time, Happy Fall Shopping.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Its Wednesday... you know what that means

Wow. I can't believe its already Wednesday again. I look forward to Wednesdays if only for the sheer joy that is Top Chef. After watching repeats of this past episode of Top Chef I can't help but be more and more in favor of "the brothers Volt". I mean seriously could they BE any cuter?!? Bryan has the most adorable brown eyes and his brother Michael with those arm tattoos. YUM! *Sexy Alert*. Well that's enough gushing until I get to Michael Isabella later in the show.

Quickfire Challenge! Secret Ingredient: the infamous Potato. What will these chefs make.. if it was me I gotta say I would probably want to work with the Yukon Gold Potatoes...my favorite.. the God of all Potatoes. YUM! Jesse was heavy handed with her cayenne pepper in her soup, Ashley with all her water drama makes a gnocci that looked great, "The Brothers Volt" both have pretty solid dishes, Jen makes steamed mussels with blue potato and lemongrass potato sauce (looked delish). My sexy friend Mr. Isabella stands in all his sexyness next to a "middle of the road dish". The winner of the quickfire who earns the right not to be eliminated...JEN...AGAIN! Go Girl... Girl Power.

Next on to Nellis Air Force base to cook for the men and women who put their lives on the line for America every day. Really a very touching challenge. Everyone has great attitudes as they try to cook for the masses. The contestants all pair off in the smaller teams. Michael of "the brothers volt" makes a delicious pork belly on a crispy romaine heart. Looks lovely and I'm sure tastes lovely as well. Bryan makes a delicious NY strip with demi while the Atlanta boys (Eli and Kevin) make a tribute to the South with a great looking potato salad served beneath pulled pork. A dish I would LOVE to sample. In my opinion the people who will most likely be on the bottom, the makers of the corn chowder (jesse and the Hatian), and Preeti with her farfalle pasta salad. The pasta salad looks like something my dog could make (and I don't have a dog). Obviously its a challenge to cook in this kitchen without proper room to work and equipment, but C'est la TOP CHEF! Jen with her immunity takes charge of the kitchen keeping everyone on track and I think she did a great job. She's one to look out for.

The chef's set up the buffet and serve the 300+ members of the Air Force.

Winner of the challenge............Michael Voltaggio. B-E-A-UTIFUL!!!!!!!!!! In another twist.. Cocky McHottie Mr. Isabella is in the top 4 and the bottom 4 (that will teach you to not go the extra mile and make a 2nd dish( but that's ok .. Still Sexy). AHHH!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously I am cowering in my living room at the thought of him going home. This competition needs him. AHHH!!!!! Please don't send him home. Also in the bottom, the makers of the Pasta salad.. I'd love to see Preeti go home.

The verdict is in...going home tonight..Preeti!! Yeah thank you judges.

Another great episode of Top Chef.. I am satisfied...until next Wednesday.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sucre avec Stephane Treand MOF

The past two evenings I attended a pastry demo at The Art Institute of Atlanta. This particular demo was Stephane Treand MOF teaching different sugar casting techniques and airbrushing. It was insane. I have never seen anyone airbrush faces, and cats so realistically. Its nice to go to these demos, to see the people you've worked with over the years, learn something new and be inspired again. Chef Treand showed us how to make a puzzle out of pastillage and then cover it in sugar to use in a showpiece. We learned how to make flowers and airbrush a pastillage mask. For those of you who don't know, Pastillage is a sugar dough made with gelatin and powdered sugar, used to make showpieces as it dries very hard. His work was flawless and exciting to watch. Here are some pictures from the demo.

You can click on the pictures to see them in their true splendor.

Stay tuned in next month when I attempt to mimic what I saw Monsieur Treand create.

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