Archive for the ‘Vanity’ Category

I really think Jeff Buckley sets the mood for just about anything, including a coffee syrup raffle. “Last Goodbye” ain’t no “Everybody Here Wants You”, but really, what is?

Congrats to the winner.

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Bawstin and Lem

Bawstin and Lem

Yesterday was my 28th birthday. Something about that seems really…adult.

I don’t really know how grown-ups are supposed to act, but I am working on it. That meant drinking water all throughout Saturday night as I celebrated.  Also, I didn’t fall even one time.  I am a lady.

What I do know is this: I looked around the crowded bar Saturday night and I felt incredibly lucky to have so many amazing friends. I was throwing the party with Cindarella, one of the best friends anyone could ever ask for, and everyone was having a great time. I felt really loved. Life? It isn’t so bad.


Irish Lebowski and Lem

Then I snapped the hell out of it and continued drinking…birthday are not for self reflection, but mindless drunkening.

Yesterday, I spent the day with three of my most favorite people and doing what I do best…eating. The day started with brunch at Ardeo with Irish Lebowski. They’ve recently revamped the brunch menu and they seem a bit off balance. While my butternut crostini was delicious, everything else was subpar. The custard toast was soggy and burnt (a tough combination to pull off) and our food took ages to arrive. I was a bit let down–Ardeo is usually better than what I experienced yesterday–but I enjoyed the company and harnessed my chi about the whole ordeal.

Dinner was with Aunt LifeSaver and SuperBoy at the always tasty Comet. God, I cannot get enough of those melted onions…all I really need is some pizza and a wheat beer and I am a happy little clam.

dscn1044Finally, Cindarella picked me up for a late night treat at Buzz and I had the best carrot cake cupcake…ever.  Nutty and full of raisins, it was perfectly moist with just the right amount of cream cheese froting.  Also, isn’t that carrot on top just adorable?  I was in heaven.

If the next 28 years are like this weekend, I think I can handle being an adult.

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…and Exhale

Thanks to everyone. Yesterday was a huge leap of faith and I cannot thank you enough for holding me close to your collective bosoms and telling me it is okay. Also, snaps to everyone who shared so honestly and openly; I know it isn’t easy. By the way, your bosoms are lovely and you smell like peonies.

I am taking a bit of a breather today, but will be back tomorrow with a new recipe.

Don’t forget to check out what I am eating at So Good. The things I do for you.

If you still miss me, please pop over to Capital Spice and check out the”foodie resolutions” for the new year contributed by DC gourmands. I never thought I would be on a list with Spike Mendelson (owner of Good Stuff Eatery and reviled Top Chef contestant) or Teddy Folkman (chef at Granville Moore’s and winner of Bobby Flay’s mussels “Throwdown”) that didn’t involve a restraining order.  Feel free to kick in any foodie resolutions you may have for the year below.  I’d be interested in hearing.  I am nosy like that.

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Seven with a Twist

Ever since the movie “Seven”, I have found anything tied to the number seven a bit creepy. (PS–I would totally take the pills…) Yet, I have been hit 7,777 times with this “Seven Things about You” tag. So, since it is Friday and none of you are reading, I am going to take it on. This being a food blog and all, here are seven things about me relating to food:

1. My favorite food as a baby was carrots. I went through a stage where that was all I would eat. I turned a light shade of yellow due to all the beta carotene.

2. I love black licorice. In fact, I adore black licorice. I always pick out the black jelly beans and those bastard child Twizzlers are my favorite.

3. My mother used to make this weird version of Spanish rice and, sweet baby Jesus, I really hated that crap. I think as an adult I could eat it, but the thought of it does not thrill me. Sorry, Mom.

4. I have eaten horse and I liked it. It freaks people out, but please keep in mind: many feel about your hamburger the same way you feel about eating horse.

5. When I think about what it would be like to have kids, I always think about food. I am desperately afraid of having fat children, not because I don’t think I would love them (I know I would), but because I know how painfully difficult it is to be an overweight child and adolescent. I also wonder how I could reassure a child about “loving themselves” and “it is what inside that matters”…when I know that is not the truth. I am scared I am not capable of instilling a healthy relationship with food in a child, as my relationship with food is tenuous at best and volatile at worst.

6. My best friend in elementary school and I used to eat dog biscuits just to prove we were badasses.

7. Anyone who has spent about 2 minutes on this blog knows how I feel about coconut. The only other thing that I hate with even half the fervor I reserve for coconut is Hawaiian pizza. In college, I had an unfortunate incident with vodka, pineapple pizza and my nasal passage. I have never quite recovered.

And my Halloween gift is I am not tagging any of you…

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Looking Glass

One of my weird little foibles is I am obsessed with the song “Brandy“. This is something my family or close friends don’t even know, but it is the most played song on my iPod. When I am having a bad day, I will put it on a loop and it never fails to cheer me up. It is not the sign of a good day when I have to listen to it three times before I even get to the office.

I love sharing little nuggets about myself on the internet. Sure, I know that you could care less that I adore “Brandy”, but it’s how my mind works and how it weaves; I throw these little strands of the tapestry out for consumption. I’ve been accused of being a narcissist and egocentric and I am sure there is probably some truth to that. I have taken a cooking blog and made it all about me! Pay attention to my life and my personal turmoil! I am so funny! I am drunk! I heart bad boys and scars and tattoos! I am an incredible jackass with a huge mouth..whee!!!

The thing is, I love this little corner of the internet I occupy and I adore all of you who stop by. The comments, the haikus you write for me, and those of you who email me directly with cooking questions…every one of you makes my day a little brighter. There are some of you that come here every single day and visit; I don’t know who you are, but knowing that you stop by, that you care…it amazes me. Even the mean comments and occasional cruel emails serve as a reminder to remain true to myself and that not everyone likes me…and that is ok. We all know my feelings scare the ever living fuck out of me, but I do feel compelled to say it again: thanks so much for reading.

The meglomaniacal part of me likes to think you get something from this, too. Whether I make you laugh (dude, self-destruction is hilarious), cook, or think a little bit, I am glad to know it resonates. I have been fat, I have been thin(er). I have had my heart broken and I have been deeply in love. I have made amazing strides in my life, but I am continually confronted with how much I have to learn, and how much better I can do. Things have happened in my life that I am not proud of, but every single day I try my best to be the best me I can be. With every day and every lesson, my head is held a little higher and I accept myself a little more. I know you feel the same way. At the end of the day, we are all very different, but very much the same. I think that’s why we get along so swell.

But me is not Lemmonex. Nothing I have ever said here is a lie; I have witnesses to every story and my memories are written to my best recollection of the truth. That said, there is a whole lot here I choose not to share. My life is sometimes complicated and messy, but also pretty damn fantastic. So many triumphs and disappointments are never discussed here and I like it that way. Lemmonex, a braver, funnier, bolder version of me, is great, but I am also a person with feelings who sits at her computer every night and decides to share a small piece with you. These are words on a virtual page that are a part of life of a woman who is just trying to do her best in a sometimes confusing and complicated world.

Yesterday, the real me, the person sitting at this desk, living and breathing, felt real fear for the first time. Partially due to my own naivety, several people tried to uncover who I am…and were successful. Personal, private information was lorded over me and it was extremely unpleasant. It was a hard day, with some really frightening mail in my inbox. I considered not addressing this, fearing it would seem a cry for attention, or a tad hysterical…or I even feared that it would validate such a breach of my privacy. But, my relationship with my readers is important to me. You’re part of this experience, too, and I feel I would be remiss to NOT mention this situation. Because it’s easy to sit behind a keyboard, and hunt down semi-anonymous people whose lives you follow from the comfort of your living room or read from your desk at work. It would take a ton more cajones to walk up to someone on the street, or standing next to you on the metro, or in the next cube over, or in the checkout at the grocery store, or your mother and tell them that you violated something that they clearly hold dear. In my case, it’s my (relative) anonymity. Also, kindly remember that this blog is exactly as anonymous as I want it to be. I’ve mentioned before that – ironically – having a blog sometimes means NOT being able to write about the things I’d like to, which means that there is ever so much more of me that you don’t see. So, with that said, I would just, for the first time, like to point out to you that I am a person with a life. A job. A family. A heart beats under this blog, and that heart belongs to someone who was very scared yesterday.

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When I was contacted by the Washingtonian for one of their blogger profiles, I was, of course, extremely flattered.

However, when I learned a picture was involved, it sent me in to a tailspin. A call was quickly made to Bitchy McSnarkster, where I sincerely inquired, “How much cleavage is too much cleavage for the Washingtonian?”

We decided it was time for me to behave like the classy lady I was raised to be…so go check out the profile and see one of about 4 pictures of me that, for a change, doesn’t look like a “Got Milk?” ad.

And thanks for humoring me…if you kids didn’t sympathize, relate, pity, or indulge me in my antics, I don’t know what I would do with myself. It really was swell to be asked to participate in “Blogger Beat”.


While I am at it, don’t forget it’s Wednesday. Make sure you check out the weekly column at So Good to see what I am eating this week.

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Today marks one year of writing Culinary Couture…202 posts of life affirming validation received through Stat Counter.

It started not with a bang, but a whimper. Of course, Mama Bear was the first comment. (And let’s take a brief moment to commend my mother for hanging in there during my more, erm, colorful posts. You raised me to be a free spirit and I am glad for it.)

I sometimes cringe when I read some of the old entries, having yet found my voice. For instance, in my second entry, I alluded to an unfortunate incident. All pretense has been dropped since those early days and now I simply proclaim: I once sent a naked picture of myself to the wrong recipient. Quite a classy atmosphere has been established in this joint.

I have used this forum to write love notes to friends, to say things I have a hard time saying in real life but desperately hope they know. My birthday has ticked by, as well as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a road trip gone awry. Uh, and I was told I attended Shamrockfest…thank God for the photos or I never would have believed it.

Of course, there has been some moments of extreme narcissism and internet flirtation, but isn’t this what you have come to expect?

Oh, right…this is a food blog! I’ve had a chance to make some great stuff over the past year, some of the best being the pecan pie bars, key lime pie, filet mignon in Merlot reduction, and chicken with 40 cloves of garlic.

I often say to people that it seems you folks like me best when I am drunk and slutty. Thankfully, this happens a lot. There have been two posts–A Letter to My Body and Little Black Dress–where I was paralyzingly frightened to push “publish”, knowing they were a departure from my snark and cynicism. They have turned out to be the two posts of which I am most proud. The response over email and in comments regarding those two posts was overwhelmingly supportive and brought me to tears.

So, thank you for stopping by here, for humoring me and allowing me to be part of your lives for about 30 seconds a day. I have met so many great people through this blog–in real life, in comments and over email–and I appreciate all of you. To another year of measured vulnerability, gastronomic delights and general jackassery.

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Go Big or Go Home*

Someone needs a Xanax.

There may have been tears last night…and some fist shaking at the heavens.

I woke up this morning feeling much more optimistic. This may be one impulse I am glad I followed through on. The shock is still wearing off, but I think…I like it.

Ask me tomorrow, though; it is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind.

For indulging me in my hair drama, tomorrow one of my best recipes in months will go up…today, I just didn’t have the strength.

*The video isn’t just vanity, but surely that is an element. I am toying with the idea of short instructional videos here and wanted to take the camera/youtube for a spin. Let me know what you think and if there is anything you’d like to see a video on…that isn’t me naked.

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