Monday, February 28, 2011


Winter is made for lovers.

(Yes, that is all I have to say today.)

Friday, February 25, 2011

24 Hour Chicken Channel

Feeling hot and saucy.

According to the CBC, starting Monday, Swiss Chalet will fire up a constant televised loop of 12 roasters turning on a spit to promote the chain. Talk about mesmerizing. Twelve saucy, golden, barbecued chickens going round and round and round and round.  

*grumble goes the tummy monster.

*"why?" goes the goes the rational monster.

Happy Friday everyone...

(yes, this is my post for today. I not feeling 100% -totally fighting a cold- so brain is dead and I'm just totally fatigued. So end result, post about a chicken channel.)

[Hat Tip to the CBC for the original article]

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Confession: I Eat Floor Food

First Question: Did it bounce when it hit the floor?

This morning, as I was walking back from Second Cup with my steamed milk and carb-o-licious treats, I dropped my perfectly toasted Cinnamon raisin bagel. It landed on the ground and slid out of it's sleeve stopping, fully exposed on the ground. I looked at my friend, Edith and looked back at the bagel then looked back at her and bent down and picked up the bagel, "5 minute rule" and took a bite out of it.

I know that it's not really a 5 minute rule. I also know that Mythbusters busted the 5 second rule but really... it's not that bad. I've done worse- waaaaaaay worse.

My most famous story takes place in a small Mom and Pop grocery near where my parents live. I was there one hot summer afternoon looking to buy some Battenberg Cake. As it turned out, I got distracted by the ice cream. I'm not a huge fan of ice cream- sometimes I crave it but I get kind of board of eating it. I like a few bites here and there but really- I just like the cone with the ice cream shoved into it. I also like fruity Popsicles, ice cream sandwiches and old school Fudgesicles. I'm not sure what I picked up, I picked up something from the freezer. I wasn't going to buy it, I just wanted to read what was in it but lo and behold, the package was open and it slid out as smoothly and landed square on the floor. I panicked for a moment, looking around to see if anyone saw. I started to weigh my options instantly:

Person behind the counter didn't see what just happened so I could just leave it and no one would be the wiser. But then, what if they did see... plus, I want Ice Cream. I don't want to stand here and try to figure out what kind of ice cream I want with that offending floor ice cream just a few feet away from me. So, I could pick it up and give it to the person behind the counter. Tell them what happened. Or I could put it back in the package and put it back in the freezer- but then... what if someone else buys it. I personally wouldn't want to be that someone who ate something that had been on the floor and not know it.Maybe that's what already happened, maybe that is why the package was open and the ice cream fell out. Oooh poor ice cream, all it wants is to be eaten and no one is going to eat it. Maybe I should buy it. I did drop it, it's kind of like "you break you buy" even though I didn't break anything. Or I could just buck up and be honest with the clerk.

So I go up to the front, look that clerk in the eye and buy that floor ice cream right there and then.

And then I ate it.

I just couldn't see that little ice cream go to waste. Poor little ice cream, it's purpose in life is to be eaten and I wasn't going to be the one to take that away from it.

So yes, it's not uncommon for me to eat things I've dropped on the ground. Of course, if it's wet and lands wet side down- I won't eat it. Like jam on toast or part of a banana, yes.. that would be gross. Unless I'm in my own home then I might eat it. I know how clean my floors are and I don't have animals. The only hairy thing in my place is me and my hairs are long and create tumble weeds that roll across the floor no matter how much I vacuum. They don't usually get caught up in floor food. I guess you could say I have a bounce test- if it bounces when it hit the floor it's safe to eat.

How about you? If something lands on the ground will you still eat it? Does it depend on if it's a wet food or a dry food? Come on, confess!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Because how hard is it to poach a god damn egg properly? Seriously, that's like eggs 101 Woodhouse.

I can't remember when I learnt about eggs. I think I might have been with John and he had picked up a book all about eggs or perhaps it was someone whom a conversation had been had. A chef who had said "the true test of a chefs talent is shown in how they poach eggs". Doesn't matter, all I know is I learnt about eggs. I learnt how to hard cook a proper egg and all the variables from how to ensure the shell comes of as cleanly as a glove to preventing the oxidization of the yolk (you know what I mean, when the yellow part gets that unpleasant black discoloration). I learnt how to make the perfect omelet and of course, I know the tell tale marks of a perfect poached egg so it keeps it's shape, isn't rubbery and has a nice yolk perfect for dipping toast.

How to Poach an Egg:
To poach one or more eggs, bring an inch or two of water to a gentle boil in a skillet big enough to accommodate the number of eggs you’re cooking. (It’s best to do no more than 3 at a time – too many eggs will crowd the pan and cool down the water.) Ensure that there is enough water to fully cover the egg. Add a a teaspoon of vinegar, which isn’t necessary  but will lower the PH of the water helping the egg to hold its shape by causing the outer layer of the egg white to congeal faster. Without it, the eggs will become skeins of protein tangling up in the water. Reduce the heat to a simmer – the point at which the water barely bubbles – a rough, rolling boil will make your eggs go all over the place when you crack them in. If the water is too cool, the egg will separate apart before it cooks; if your water is too hot, you will end up with tough whites and an over-cooked yolk. You will want to bring the water to a temperature of about 160 to 180ºF (71-82ºC). 

Gently break your eggs into the water and as they start to set, spoon the water over the tops of the yolks to help them cook. Do not drop the egg into boiling water (212ºF or 100ºC). This will negatively affect the taste and texture of your eggs. If they stick to the bottom of the pan, loosen them with a thin spatula. Poach your eggs for 3-4 minutes, until the whites are firm and the yolks have filmed over. Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer them to buttered toast or onto a paper towel to drain.

If you’re having company and need to cook poached eggs for a crowd: you can poach eggs in advance, and keep them in a bowl of cold water in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat them by dipping them into a saucepan of simmering water for about 30 seconds.

A poached egg makes a quick meal of sautéed greens or leftover grains (rice, barley, quinoa) or try a poached egg on top of a burger or pizza. They aren't just for toast anymore!

Image of Archer borrowed with love from Google Images. Archer, as you might already know, looks an awful lot like an aged Xander Crews.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

These Feet

Walking the beach: natures pedicure.

These size 5 ladies shoe feet of mine. They have been jammed into point shoes, dragged across balance beams and spun on for floor routines. I've walk miles in heals and even further in slippers. I've stood on them for days and sat on them for hours. They are oddly shaped and my pointer toe is longer than any other toe on my foot. My pinky is so small that I swear that it doesn't even grow a real nail and I've had a grand total of 4 pedicures in my life. Maybe 5. I've had people come up to me off the street or even at the opera and comment on the size of my feet. How small they are; how dainty. I've dated people who have loved my feet, hated my feet and never really looked at them. I've spent many a' summer never wearing shoes, developing nice, firm calluses on the bottom only to find I can't get my feet perfectly clean in September. My mum has a tendency to always step on them. With shoes so I have a thing about my toes getting crushed. I have to wear slippers when I am inside. Or at least socks. The closest I come to ever looking after my feet is trimming the nails and putting cream on them every night.

The worst thing I have ever gotten on my feet was tree sap. A few summers ago I was climbing a pine tree with a friend of mine late one July night. I ended up with sap all over my feet and it took weeks to get it off. I have since discovered that oil and salt mixed together does the trick (this summer I was playing in the trees again, collecting pine cones and ended up with sap all over me AGAIN. I should have worn gloves but since when do I think ahead? My hands were a mass of sap, pine needles and bits of pine cones and dirt. Then a bird pooped on my head and I couldn't do a thing about it because of the condition of my hands). At least the sap had a nice earthy smell.

Or maybe it's all the times that I take my shoes off for dancing. My feet have stepped in a lot.

The best thing I have ever felt on my feet was the soft sand in the warm tidal pools of a low tide beach. Digging my toes into the sand.

I have memories of a time when I would spend New Years at the Barrett household. They have a tradition of running through the back door and in the front right at the strike of midnight (out with the old and in with the new). Here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada  it is common for New Years eve to be well below freezing with icy, crusty snow covering the ground. I have picture of ice red feet, sore from embarking on a drunken British tradition.

I treat my feet as if they were tanks. Sure, I give them soft cozy wool socks to rest in but really, they take a lot of abuse. But they never retaliate (unless, I've made them angry by standing on marble floors in 6' stilettos). They are always there, keeping me going, Keeping me standing and keeping me grounded. As I look at them I see that I need to give them a little attention. They have the remnants of an old pedicure chipping off the nails. They could also use a little exfoliation and maybe a little yoga.

Love your feet.

I know a girl who wanted to be a registered massage therapist but refused to go through the schooling because she didn't want to touch feet. Actually, I know a guy who is the former offencive linemen for the Calgary Stampeders who hates feet so much that he obsesses over them while on holidays. Often getting so upset that he has to leave the pool area. He makes his wife get a pedicure once a week.

Do you love your feet or do you think they are disgusting. What about other peoples feet?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Corn Dust Woman

Taste the milky rainbow- if you dare.

I never ate sugar cereal growing up. Never. Sugar cereal to me was Shredded Wheat and Bran with a banana sliced into it. Or, on really lucky days (like when we were on holidays) I might be allowed Rice Crispies. I didn't mind, sure.. I guess I would sometimes whine about wanting to count my Lucky Charms or battle the soggies with Captain Crunch but really, that never happened so I went all through my life until recently never really having sugar cereal. Even now, I can stand the sweet off color of the left over milk at the end of a bowl. *shudders

As I've gotten older and more aware of healthy eating and nutritional information I often joke that many “kids’ cereals” (an euphemism for neon-colored sugar puffs) are the nutritional equivalent of candy and a multivitamin. A really bad multivitamin (don't get me started on how I feel about multivitamins) like those chewable ones for kids.

Here are the facts...

Let’s begin with Trix, which somehow managed to dethrone carrots and lettuce as the official food of the bunny community

A 1-cup, 30 gram (just slightly over 1 ounce) serving provides:
  • 120 calories
  • 1.5 grams fat
  • 180 milligrams sodium
  • 10 grams sugar (2.5 teaspoons)
  • 1 gram fiber
  • 1 gram protein
Here is what an ounce of Twizzlers (mmmmm...) provides:
  • 95 calories
  • 0.6 grams fat
  • 74 milligrams sodium
  • 0 grams fiber
  • 13.25 grams sugar (3.25 teaspoons)
  • 0.6 grams protein
Pretty close to Trix!  Just a tiny bit more sugar and a smidgen less of protein.  The missing gram of fiber is barely noticed and, hey, look at that — half the sodium and a third of the calories!

Let’s now look at the fortified nutrients in Trix.  The following vitamins and minerals are supplemented (listed with their respective contributions, expressed as a percentage, to the Daily Value):
Vitamin A (10%), Vitamin C (10%), Calcium (10%), Iron (25%), Vitamin D (10%), Thiamin (25%), Riboflavin (25%), Niacin (25%), Vitamin B6 (25%), Folic Acid (25%), Vitamin B12 (25%), Zinc (25%)
Let’s now analyze Fred Flintstone’s contribution to the candy breakfast.  That chewable vitamin provides the following vitamins and minerals (again, listed with their respective percentage of the Daily Value)

Vitamin A (60%), Vitamin C (100%), Vitamin D (100%), Vitamin E (100%), Thiamin (100%), Riboflavin (100%), Niacin (75%), Vitamin B6 (100%), Folic Acid (100%), Vitamin B12 (100%), Biotin (13%), Pantothenic Acid (100%), Calcium (10%), Iron (100%), Phosphorus (10%), Iodine (100%), Magnesium (5%), Zinc (80%), Copper (100%)
Oh, snap!  Fred Flintstone’s  vitamins deliver higher amounts of nutrients — and a wider variety — than what Trix offers.

And, now, for our final comparison — ingredient lists.  First up, Trix:
Whole grain corn, sugar, corn meal, corn syrup, carnola/rice bran oil, salt, trisodium phosphate, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Other Color Added, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Citric Acid, Malic Acid
Fred Flintstone’s multivitamin is, of course, composed of vitamins and minerals.  However, it shares a few common ingredients with Trix, mainly the presence of three artificial dyes — Yellow 5, Red 40, and Blue 2.

Multivitamins are not the same as food because foods contain healthful compounds like phytonutrients and antioxidants. That's why a multivitamin can not even dream of matching the nutritional contributions of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds to a diet.  But, we’re talking about sugar cereal here.  Yes, there is some whole grain corn, but a) it’s undergone a bit of processing, and b) you’re talking about roughly a half-ounce of it.

The takeaway message here is not “Twizzlers and a multivitamin are a nutritious breakfast”, but rather “Trix is basically fortified candy with a sprinkling of corn dust.”

This is why

Trix = Twizzlers (or Fruit Twisty Ropes if you wish to use the generic name) + Flinstone Vitamin + magical Corn Dust.

Now isn't that just all kinds of gross? I write this ALL after having a slice of birthday cake for breakfast. Mmm mmm good.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday: Gross Flyer Day

Every week has a new, meaty, cover girl.

Today is Gross Flyer Day; a big day in the Lunchroom at work. No one else really calls it Gross Flyer Day, they just call it Flyer Day. The Calgary Herald comes to our front reception desk busting at the seams with all the best flyers of the week. We pour over them at lunch, reading aloud the different descriptions and deals available. I however take the grocery store flyers and rave like a lunatic about all the raw meat on the cover of each one (there are three main ones, all which are offenders).

The worst is the ground whatever (beef, turkey, pork), it just always looks like a pile of worms and if (God forbid) the colors are off in from the printing process that sparks a whole new rant about how nasty yellowish or greenish meat looks. There is always raw meat on the cover (thank goodness, I already checked out the cover of Co-op's flyer today. They have a nice, esthetically clean picture of raw ribs being sliced by some fancy looking knives.) and there is always a center fold spread of more raw meat from chicken thighs to rump roast. All raw, all bloody and all seeming disgusting to me. Plus, as part of the fun. Reading out all the descriptions of the meat in a hill-billy accent does cause for some laugh till you cry fun. At least it does for me.

The boys in the lunchroom are so patient with me. They truly are.

Not all pictures of the meat look disgusting, some are actually rather attractive (for raw meat) with bright cool red tones and stark contrasting white in the marbling of a Tenderloin Steak or the playfully rosy pink hue of raw chicken breast. There is something to be said about a well thought out spread of raw meat.

So, on that awlward note, as a suggestion to the graphic artists creating these flyers, maybe try a little harder to get the colors right, at least. I mean, the girls in the beauty magazines get photoshopped and they look appealing before hand so why not use a little of that Photoshop magic on the raw stuff.

I'm just saying...

and that ladies and gentlemen is my rant about Gross Flyer Day.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I hope that Cadbury balloon is cream filled.

There is a faint smell of latex in my office this morning. Not mine in particular but it's wafting down the hall way from one of my co-workers office. His name is Tim and he turned 50. We flooded his office with around 250 balloons and his reaction is exactly what it should be- surprised and annoyed (SCORE!).

So that was good.

but now...

Now I have to put up with the sound of popping balloons. All day. Never know when it's going to happen but it's gonna happen and keep happening all through the day.

Can't work, balloons will get me.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day vs. Pancake Day

You may love Pancakes now Timmy but just you wait till you hit puberty

I can't decided which is better?
A celebration of love, candy and sex OR a celebration of sugar, fat and eggs.

Both are pretty awesome if you ask me.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hungry World, It's a Funeral

Paper Lamps, Canopy tents, Barefeet, and Wildflowers

Funeral's are funny things. Strange things. Never really a pleasant thing regardless of how hard the family tries to make it a celebration of life. Everyone tries so hard to be strong but really, what does that really get you? A headache and a need to have a shot of something strong and hard.

I don't really consider myself a morbid person by any sense of the word. I don't have a strange fascination with death or sickness. My taste is far from Gothic and tainted. I can honestly say that I've thought more about what my funeral should be like then my actual wedding. A funeral is something that basically everyone will have, a wedding however, not so much. Though, I can't really dance at my own funeral. That might be frowned upon.

This summer, at Folk Fest,  one of the bands that Laura and I were stalking for the weekend played a fantastic song called Funeral. The song is originally done by JT and The Clouds but Po' Girl was the band that had collaborated with JT to create this gem of a jam. As mentioned in a previous post, as soon as I heard the song I turned to her and told her that I wanted this song played at my funeral to which she agreed. I wasn't done though, I told her that she also had to dance and without hesitation my dance less best friend agreed that she would also dance. At my Funeral. To this song. She has to hold up her end of the bargain, I have it here in writing. Twice actually.

Hey pretty baby let’s shake it like
Somebody died
Hey mama it’s a funeral
Whole green world is a funeral
The whiskey and ginger is fine
Ice cream man never lied to you
Every beautiful thing is true

I see the black cars in a line
Like a dream of black swans drifting by
Under dim stars there’s no time no time
Then I see the sweat on the back of your neck
- silver -
ooh you’re so slender child
who’s my solid sender baby doll?

Hey pretty baby let’s shake it like
Somebody died….

Raindrops on the car tops
Count them remember them
‘til the sun comes back and takes them away
forget them forget them forget them forget them
and the stars too they were for you
and you loved them and they loved you
‘til the dawn came ‘cause it had to
now you’re standing there struck dumb
in the bright blue

Hey pretty baby let’s shake it like
Somebody died…

No one can wear black, I won't allow it. We wear enough black; I wear enough black. Hats and sunglasses are totally acceptable. So are gloves if you wish. The food has to be good and the bar has to be open. I want it to feel as much like summer as possible. Actually, as I think about it. I want my wedding to be the same way but I want to be alive for that one. I'm not sure if you have ever seen the movie Rachel Getting Married but that is the type of celebration I like. Music, food, dancing, movement, passion, authentic and connection.

So on that strange note, I wish you a happy Friday and a wonderful weekend.

~w/ respects to D. Entz 1991-2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011


My words ran away from me
Now I'm lost and they're out at sea
Sailing away

They come and go, like the breeze
Whisper sweet, burn like disease
They change with the day


Words have always been a struggle for me. Taking the swirl of thoughts, feelings, images and reactions out of my mind and blowing them into a bubble easily identified by another person, it's hard. At least, I find it hard. Maybe talking to me you may not know that there are times when so much tries to come out at once that I pull back and freeze, muttering the phrase "I don't know" under my breath. I do know, I always know but often I just don't want you to know that I know. My "I don't knows" are the armor to my vulnerabilities.

This is an on going pattern in my life, I remember a woman who had touched my life dearly when I was younger, Joanne, she told me not to worry about getting the words out perfect. That it doesn't matter how they come out but that they just come out. It's the listeners job to try and make sure they understand. That I often make more sense then I think I do. She also told me to listen to my hands, when I am talking my hands take on a life of their own, saying the things I can't seem to say. I'm never really aware of it.

Over time, I have become messier with my words, allowing mispronunciations, improper usage and uncensored remakes to come pouring out of my mouth. It's not in anyway thoughtless but it's just uninhibited, which I like. I dream of being an articulate speaker and maybe one day I'll be there. Sometimes, when my emotions are in the right position and I can tap into some underlying muse, I can say something good. I can say something real. I can say something vulnerable.


My words came back to me
They stayed awhile, we had some tea
While time whiled away

I said, "please be kind and please don't go"
They said, "we'll try, but you never know"
Depends on the day

-'Words' by Sonya Kitchell

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sore Little Fingers

ouch. it feels like burning.  

Tonight, I learnt how to play one of the most beautifully written songs on the guitar. It's butchered and raw; much like how my little fingers feel. But I have the melody down. This is the second song out of 5 that I was able to pluck my way though crudely tonight. It's all starting to take shape.

Slowly and with a little persistence I am starting to grasp the concept.

It's hard to type right now.


I was lost in the lakes

And the shape that your body makes
That your body makes

And the mountains said I could find you here
They whisper the snow and the leaves in my ear
I traced my finger along your trails
Your body was the map
I was lost in there

Floating over your rocky spine
The glaciers made you and now you're mine

I was moving across your frozen veneer
The sky was dark
But you were clear
Could you feel my footsteps?
And would you shatter, would you shatter?
Would you?

Your soft fingers between my claws
Like purity against resolve
I could tell then there that we were formed from the clay
And came from the rocks for earth to display

They told me to be careful up there
Where the wind rages through your hair

Great Lake Swimmers - Your Rocky Spine
Uploaded by epb21. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

Wanted: Reckless

I'm ready to go down this street, are you?

I'm searching for Reckless. I have that usual burning in my tummy that I need to flip everything upside down and mash it all around. I need to jump off a cliff into some unknown waters and see if I really can get myself out of it. The only problem with that is... I can't swim. Literally and metaphorically speaking. That's never stopped me in the past. I've jumped off cliffs fully clothed into the depths of the cold pacific ocean, never really thinking about a way out. Never really that concerned that I couldn't swim. I've always made it out even at the risk of making hamburger meat out of my hands and knees.

So I sit here, restless and needing something intense to happen. I could just up and quit my job and move somewhere far away. I could plan a trip to some crazy country where I don't speak the language and where the food would upset my tummy immensely. I could buy an RV and become an urban gypsy, making the ocean my backyard.

I could do this all now; I could do this all alone. And with that thought I feel a tug on my heart and my tummy drops a little. Who wants to do that? Though it's not the end of the world there is just something to be said for sharing reckless, impulsive behavior and letting it inspire the life of both you and a partner.

So for now, I am looking for recklessness to do on my own because I crave an interesting life.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Force

I've been geeking out all afternoon so this just kind of goes with the theme (even though, I haven't ever really seen Starwars).

May the force be with you this Friday and all through the weekend:

The Force: VW Commercial (it's cute)

Hot Cross Buns

They are hot and they are cross

When I was little, my Mum used to get these amazing hot cross buns from a bakery in the Braeside area of Calgary. I've mentioned this bakery before and the more I ravenously lust  think about it, this was an epic bakery. Now these hot cross buns were filled with dried fruits, rich in spice with a fluffy, airy texture. The crosses were made out of pastry as apposed to that nasty spray cheese icing stuff ( I have no idea what it is so all I can do is describe it.) you find on the grocery brand ones. My favorite thing to do was to to slather the insides with butter and then throw them in an over till everything was melted and toasty. I could comfortably eat a dozen in one sitting. Amazing.

But, as with many things, the bakery closed down in the early 90's and I was left with nothing. Since then, I've been searching for a the perfect Hot Cross Bun. I'm sad to say (and partly this might have to do with the science of memory- seriously... the is a reason why nothing ever tastes as good as it did when you were younger) that nothing comes close to those buns I had over 20 years ago.

So, as of today... I find myself with a bunch of baking yeast that will be going bad in June. I have about 6 recipes worth so I need to get started using it up. I usually bake bread, especially if I am going out to my families cabin (why buy when you can make?) but I want to make fun things, exciting things, things like an epic batch of Hot Cross Buns.

I started doing research on recipes about a month ago but kind of like Fruit Cake, there are such a variety of of methods and ingredients that I can't seem to find a solid foundation to start at. I want traditional, I want light and fluffy, I want spiced and flavourful. I want quality. I realise that Hot Cross Buns are old fashion and traditional- apparently pies are the "it" food for 2011 (Mmmm pie). I don't even know if anyone other than me and my Dad still like them. So, this is where I ask you, my lovely loyal readers, for help. Is there anything that you might have that you can share with me? A recipe that was passed down through your family, a suggestion of a site that never fails to give you the best methods for cooking. Anything, any place where I can start... I just need a tip, I can do the rest and take the pictures to prove it.

So with that being said, this is the beginning of my Hot Cross journey as well as a baking adventure. With all that baking yeast I have sitting in my baking cupboard I plan to make a lot. Other things on my list include pain au chocolate, hearty bird seed bread (that's what I call whole grain break with nuts and seeds in it), pizza dough (hey, who doesn't love a good pizza crust- you can freeze it before the second rise for future home made dinners), and perhaps some gooey cinnamon bread.


picture borrowed from Monnonite Girls Can Cook

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chocolate School 101

Whatever you do, don't eat the wrappers. Unless it's a cupcake.

I kind of like chocolate. The good stuff. I like it mixed or included with other stuff. Recently though, I've been staying away from it. With my stomach issues I don't really think that chocolate is being that helpful. But I still like it, sometimes even love it. I miss it in my morning vanilla bean steamer. I've always thought that the caffeine in chocolate was what did me in because it's no lie that caffeine and I don't get along. Already being a spinning top of energy, putting extra in me just spins me out of control to a point of panic attacks and paranoia (and you think I'm exaggerating).

But as it turns out, it doesn't really have that much caffeine in it anyway. You would have to eat more than a dozen chocolate bars to get the same amount of caffeine from a cup of coffee? There are about 5 to 10 mg's of caffeine in one ounce of bitter chocolate, 5 mg's in milk chocolate and 10 mg's in a six-ounce cup of cocoa.

Other facts about Chocolate, in case you were interested:
  • Chocolate is actually a valuable energy source. A single chocolate chip can provide enough energy for an adult human to walk 150 feet.
  • Chocolate has great health benefits. It helps with depression, high blood pressure, tumours and pre-menstrual syndrome.
  • Chocolate does not cause or aggravate acne. This is a myth.
  • One ounce of baking chocolate or cocoa contains 10% of the daily-recommended intake of iron.
  • Chocolate can be deadly for dogs. Chocolate contains an ingredient called "theobromine" which can be toxic to a dog's central nervous system and cardiac muscles.
  • People spend more than $7 billion dollars a year on chocolate.
  • The per capita consumption of chocolate indicates that each person consumes 12 pounds of chocolate per year.
  • Milk chocolate is the most preferred type of chocolate. However, dark chocolate is especially popular with men.
  • In Alfred Hitchcock's classic movie "Psycho", chocolate syrup was used to indicate blood in the famous shower scene.
Do you like Chocolate or can you live without it? If there was a bag of Chocolate Chips sitting in front of you waiting to be consumed, could you resist?

Chocolate info borrowed with love from the Hotel Arts Group monthly email.

Dear Sweet Potato

nasty little buggers

Dear Sweet Potato,

I'm sorry to have to break this to you but I really don't like you. Or anyone in your family. You make me gag a little. Okay, a lot. I try, I honestly do but ever since I was a child, you were always the last thing left on my plate after Christmas dinner. I'd eat Brussel Sprouts instead of you. Now that I am an adult and have eaten other nasty things like Sweet Bread, Lamb Brain, Goose Liver, Jellyfish, KFC... I still would vote that you are by far the nastiest thing in that list. Well, maybe I'd eat you over KFC (sorry Steve).

So, if you don't mind... please try to respect my boundaries and keep our contact to a minimum.

Thank you for understanding,