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Archive for the ‘Raised by Poodles’ Category

Try this spring pick me up with ingredients you have in your pantry. Mix a little sea salt with some olive oil and scrub your hands, in between your fingers and up your arms to your elbows. Follow with a thick body creme and your skin will feel like silk! This is great for feet and the rest of your body as well but it makes a real mess in the tub, be careful as the oil will make it slippery.

You can also use it on your face but do not scrub, apply gently with your fingertips and be careful not to get near your eyes. Did I ever mention I am also a licensed aesthetician?
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Sometimes I see something and think wtf, how did I miss that? I know I am a little well you know, but I honestly completely missed this book . Here is the interview that gave me the first clue after following a link from @bittman So I just signed up, purchased the ebook to read on my iPhone and when I can get out to Barnes & Noble I will buy the 3d version. I hope it has recipes, surely it does.
I am really at the end of my rope here, I am so tired, SO tired of being unhealthy. I am overweight sure but it isn’t really about that although it would be nice to wear more fashionable clothes but mostly I just don’t want to die. And I am just so tired. There isn’t anything wrong with me, well nothing that being fat hasn’t brought on, I am just out of shape, I don’t exercise because I am too tired and I am too tired because I don’t exercise. I know I should eat better, I want to eat better but I have no motivation because I am too tired.

It isn’t like I can’t workout, I am living in a lovely building that has an amazing gym on the third floor, there is even an elevator to take me to it. I have trainers and socks an iPod and a fancy sports bra, nothing stopping me. I am just too tired. I did have a cupcake, ham sandwich and M&Ms for lunch…

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I was starting a new post and it began “When I was cooking professionally… I will make that post another time as I have now been distracted by something else, no, not a shiny object this time. Yesterday I read this post on Tigers & Strawberries explaining to us all that you are only allowed to call yourself a chef if you are an actual chef de cusine, If you do not know what that is, have no fear as the author will tell you.

Cambridge shows this entry chef -noun [C] a skilled and trained cook who works in a hotel or restaurant, especially the most important cook. I actually think the position the author is describing would be the executive chef to whom the chef de cuisine will report but to be completely fair, these titles are all just assigned by whoever makes the rules in that particular kitchen, it means whatever the person bestowing the title says it means. The man that owned my last restaurant called me the prep cook. Seriously. I in turn compared him to the manger in Waiting even though he was nothing like that.
This morning I read another What is a chef-type entry, one which was written so poorly I am not really sure what we are being told, I think in the end it is some sort of a tribute to Nigella. I guess my point here is so what? I mean I sure as hell ain’t no Alain Ducasse or Gordon Ramsay or even a Bittman or a Nigella but I went from waitress to General Manager in the corporate world where I had to do everything from cleaning shit in the toilets (gah! that merits a separate blog post, people are nasty) to assembling last minute parties of 50 church goers, the Kryptonite of every restaurant employee.
I then built several restaurant kitchens from the ground up, from the floor tile to every recipe, spoon and spatula, I purchased the goods, hired and trained the staff, tweaked and slaved, sweated and swore, cooked my ass off from 4-5am til it was done every day for over a decade to create a restaurant. The last one still puts 14-18% on the bottom line week after week and trust me if you don’t know what that means it is good. Damn good. In fact I consistenly delivered an 11 to 14% in the corporate world. Yes, I really was that good. ::blink blink::
So am I a chef? I have never been to formal cooking school other than here and there, I have never studied under a master and have never even been to New York City but I do meet all the criteria laid out in that blog post as to what makes a chef. I no longer toil away in my restaurant, when we split he dropped some cash on me and I hopped on a jet and stayed away until I stopped twitching. I am not sure I could ever bring myself to cook professionally again as it just takes so much of your soul and he took what was left of it.
Now I have a little food blog. I adore cooking and eating, I love to read blogs written by other people who cook and eat, I love to watch cooking shows on tv, if I ever met Eric Ripert, Tom Colicchio or Tony Bourdain I would probably pee my pants. I cannot cook as well as they do, or even come anywhere close but I bet I could run a kitchen as well as any of them. So am I a chef?
So what if I am or not and so what if all of these other food loving people are not, so what if they call themselves a chef or a cook or a mom or dad, who cares? They aren’t hurting anyone. I actually AM a chef and it doesn’t nbother me so why does it bother all of these supposed non-chefs? So the bottom line here is could you please refer to me as Chef Juli from now on, apparantly I have earned it.

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This is actually tomorrow but I have to work. If you are interested in cooking visit the Steamy Kitchen for some great recipes and inspiration. Me, I am headed to Dallas to a restaurant.

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I just read Nan’s Rookie Mistake which reminded me of my scariest transport mistake. Once I was shopping in Utrecht (when we lived in Doorn) and I messed around very late and it was dark by the time I went to the bus. As soon as we had been moving a few minutes I knew I got on the wrong one but I was sure Doorn was listed on the sign so I thought well eventually I get there. I sort of had that feeling as when you ride the same bus all the time you see there are a certain sort of people on it, and these people were different. At first I thought it was because it was so late. I have been on the wrong bus or train many times and it seemed that it always worked out. However this time I was getting a little scared as it was dark and very cold and I did not have a mobile back then.
After a very very long ride the bus stopped, everyone who was left got off but me and the driver turned off the lights. He is one of 2 people I have encountered that did not speak English but he did make it clear that I needed to disembark. I knew the name of the town I was in and I knew I was not too far from Doorn and according to the sign there at the stop another bus (the last one of the night) would be along. I did cross the street and look at that stop and saw a bus would be along in 15 minutes that would take me back to Utrecht. I honestly thought about taking it and staying in a hotel as I was nearly ready to cry. Then some teenagers came along and told me that indeed there was a bus coming and it would have me to Doorn in just a few minutes.
So I waited while they made out and sure enough the bus came, I got on and in maybe 5 minutes I got off right near my apartment. It all worked out but at the time it was terrifying. I have never ridden public transportation in the US other than a school bus and to get on a bus in a foreign country at night when I did not know a single word of Dutch now seems a little crazy!

The other times I have made mistakes turned out fine as well but to be honest I have never tried to go very far by myself, from Schiphol to Utrecht or to Driebergen and the bus from Utrecht to Doorn. Since we have been living in Nieuwegein I have not been on a bus as I can walk everywhere or we go in the car.

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Hating the Cold

It is so cold here today, last night I went to make a McD’s run (I know but I was exhausted and had not thawed anything for dinner) but anyway I was outside with Emma when the Blue Norther hit. You have to live in Texas or apparantly the south of France to know what that feels like. One second you are nice and balmy and literally the next second it is like a sheet of ice slices through you. I hate to be cold in Texas because it is probably going to be warm again in a day or so. I don’t mind a full on winter but here you don’t get time to get used to it.

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My Absence

I guess it was kind of weird for me to just stop posting so I reckon I could leave some details since you have all been so nice to me. I had to come back to Texas, there were some issues that needed my attention. This is going to be the first time I have said this or typed or whatever as it really has not sunk in yet but my daughter is going to have a baby. Gah. There it is, I am going to have a grandchild. Yikes, I am still a child myself, how did this happen?
I needed to come back here and see what had to be done, but she seems to have all well in hand, she is plenty old enough to have a child, stable and has a great career in place, she is happy about it and is busily planning her life. I am not sure yet what this means for me, and the Dutchman is being extremely understanding, except that he keeps calling me grandma and finds it to be quite hilarious. Me…not so much.
Anyway, that is my drama du jour, I know there is a lot that needs to be sorted but it will all work out the way it is supposed to. I am terribly homesick, I had to make some fast decisions about where to live as I had given up my flat and my belongings were all stored. I am sharing my mother’s house, not sure that is a good idea but it won’t be forever and it is a good solution for everyone now as she needs help with some things. Yesterday I went to IKEA as that is about as close as I can get to Holland from West Texas and I think it made it worse.

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