Saturday, February 28, 2009

Today.

1. Gym (it's now significantly more than one inch that I can pinch)
2. New skinny jeans (to inspire me to get to the gym every day)
3. Slumdog Millionaire (finally)
4. Martini (i'll cut my own arm off to lose ten pounds before I give these up)
5. Bed

What are you doing on this last Saturday of February?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Winter, Summer...Whatever.

It's truly inhumane today in New York with a windchill in the single digits, but I can feel spring in the air nonetheless. The light has changed; the sun is higher up in the sky and now it peeks up a bit earlier in the a.m. and tucks down just a smidge later in the p.m. Just as the day starts, I now hear the familiar sound of the spring birds sing-songing outside my bedroom window, which needless to say gives me great joy. The thaw is coming, friends.

Of course winter has not stopped me from summering; I've been barbecuing each and every weekend + a little windchill isn't about to hold me back now. Last weekend it was baby back ribs with the homemade BBQ sauce from my book + a delicious sweet corn pudding on the side. This Saturday night I'm planning on coating two plump chickens with a spice rub, perching both of those bad boys over beer cans, and cooking them for about an hour over a low heat. If you've never had beer can chicken, I suggest you get busy this weekend because it's simply the best BBQed chicken ever.

Winter, summer...it's just a state of mind. Just don't forget your hat and mittens.

BEER CAN CHICKEN (PRINT RECIPE CARD)
From my book: Summer: A User's Guide

Ingredients - Spice Rub:
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1-teaspoon garlic powder

1 whole chicken, 4 to 5 pounds, giblets removed
2 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil
1 can of beer

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine spice rub ingredients and set aside.

Rinse chicken with cold water, pat dry with paper towels

Lightly coat chicken with oil, then season, inside and out, with the spice rub mixture.

Open the beer can and pour out ¼ of the beer. Carefully place the can on a flat surface, then lower the chicken onto the beer can so the can fits snugly inside the cavity of the bird. Be careful not to spill the beer.

The chicken will need to cook upright, so carefully place it on the grill and balance it on its two legs and the can – like a tripod.

Close the lid to the grill and cook over indirect medium heat until the juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 170°F in the breast and 180°F in the thickest part of the thigh (Approximately 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours).

When done, carefully remove the chicken from the grill, being careful not to spill the hot beer.

Allow bird to rest for approximately 10 minutes before lifting it from the can.

Discard beer, carve chicken and serve.

Serves 3-4

Saturday, February 14, 2009

34 days left until spring arrives


The countdown to warm weather officially begins. Prepare yourself at summerology.

A Word on February 14th



Well, here we are, gang--the oft dreaded, much ballyhooed, nauseatingly over-hyped Valentine's Day. I'm not sure what you guys are doing this evening, but me--I'm here eating wonton soup out of a plastic container, drinking a glass of cold pinot grigio, and trying to figure out if I want to tackle work projects or my book tonight, before popping a Tylenol PM at approximately 9:15 pm, and sliding into bed for a sweet eight hours of solid Zzz's.

Exactly one year ago yesterday I posted an entry called Tonight I Dream in Pink, and in that posting I wrote about the idea of being good to yourself on Valentine's Day, taking control of your own happiness + owning your life. Of course I had no idea at that time where my own life would take me; no one can predict the future, and I'm no exception. Last February I was married, and lived in a big home, in a town where I had put down roots, and where my closest friends were just up the street, and right around the corner. Little did I know that seven months later I would be living alone--away from that familiar town, and my friends, and my home, and my possessions--in a tiny cottage in a town where I probably know four people by name. And, while I realize that to many who are reading this, what I just wrote might seem very pitiful and sad, it's truly and honestly not. Because I set out on this journey to become not only the person I want to be, but the person I need to be + was destined to be. I am owning my life.

Tonight I own my life by not freaking out at the fact that I am eating wonton soup out of a plastic container on Valentine's Day. Instead I am celebrating the fact that I have chosen to spend this evening doing just that.

What I want to do.

When I want to do it.

And how I want to do it.

I'll take independence, and autonomy, and confidence, and spontaneity over chocolates and roses any day.

Happy Saturday Night,
Suzanne

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ohman Do I Hate Yoga


I tried to love yoga, really I did. After years of deluding myself that a women in her 40's with three ripe, herniated discs could kickbox regularly without becoming a morphine addict, I reluctantly decided to hang up my gloves, and try something completely different. Hey, if Madonna can get biceps like Mike Tyson from doing a few stretchy moves, I thought, then why did I need to kill myself endlessly trying to perfect my right hook?

So, late last year I set out to transform myself from the bloodthirsty girl who wears the tshirt that reads "Get out of my way, or I will eat your heart for breakfast," into one of those serene "Yoga People" I've always seen at the gym--the ones who seem so calm, and earthy, and who I imagine buy all their groceries at stores like Whole Foods and Mrs. Greens, then pack them up in unbleached canvas totes, carry them out to their hybrid cars, bring them back to their solar-paneled homes. To get psyched up for this new me, I invested in several comfy, not-too-sexy, organic cotton yoga outfits. And I bought a colorful yoga mat, and Indian-inspired carrier for toting it to and from the studio, as well. On the nights before my classes I drank plenty of water and hit the hay early so I'd be well-rested + nicely hydrated in the morning. And, to start my yoga practice off without getting into fisticuffs stress-free, I'd make sure to arrive ten minutes prior to class in order to claim my spot on the precious slice of real estate that is the yoga studio floor.

In the past two months, I've tried my hand at Vinyassa, Hatha, and Power Yoga.

I've bent to Downward Facing Dog, dropped to Chataranga, lifted to Cobra, reached to Tadasana, twisted to Vakrasana.

Despite my Catholic upbringing and the resulting deep-rooted fear of being whacked on my hand with a wooden ruler by Sister Ann for doing so, I've said Ohm, rather than Amen.

I've placed my hands over my heart Chakra and solemnly whispered, "Namaste" even though I have no idea whatsoever what Namaste means, nor do I really care.

And through it all--the twisting, the bending, the chanting, the Namasteing--the only thing my mind honestly focused on during the entire sixty minute class was not my breathing, or my 'center' or finding peace within, but rather, "What the Hell am I doing here, and how can I possibly put an end to it?" Because really, dear reader, I would rather stick a red hot poker in my own eye, cut my right arm off with a rusty chainsaw, than sit in that stupid yoga class, minute after painful minute, day after mind-numbing day, week after boring week.

Is it bad to want to drink a cocktail before yoga class?

Is it wrong to hate the annoyingly cheery nice, peaceful people who actually enjoy chanting Ohm?

Is it horrible to want to want to screech like a demon at the yoga instructor, "Do you really expect me to hold that stupid pose for thirty seconds without passing out, you freak!!??" or, throw a roundhouse kick at her head when she says "Breeeeeathhhhhe" for the 6,000th time?!?

Because if those are feelings you are not supposed to be feeling in yoga class, then maybe yoga is not for me. Perhaps I am too Type A, too wound up, too impatient, too in need of something edgy, and gritty, and sweaty, and unpleasant to keep me mindful that life is often that way, too.

Personally--traditionalist that I am--I've always preferred to relax at the end of the day the old fashioned way--by taking a good long soak in a really hot bath, then later wrapping myself up in a soft bathrobe, and sipping on an ice cold martini. It may not be as healthy, or as fashionable as twisting up like a human cruller, but I've found it to be the perfect remedy for a bad day at the office, or--in my case--a tough workout in the boxing ring. Which is of course, where you'll be able to find me working out once again; cursing like a sailor, beating up my poor, aged, broken body, and loving every miserable, grimy, ugly minute of it.


OLD FASHIONED BATH SALTS (Print Instructions)
Salt (Your choice of Epsom, Sea or Kosher. I personally like Epsom.)
Baking soda
Essential oil of your choice (I have a soft spot for Eucalyptus.)

Mix the salt, baking soda, and a few drops of essential oil together in a clean, dry jar, and seal. When you are ready to use, add about a half to a full cup of the salt mixture to your running bath.

Enter tub. Soak away your troubles. Say ahhhh... (not to be confused with Ohm).

THE PERFECT MARTINI
Recipe here

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Let Us Pray

Dear Lord,
I pray for Wisdom to understand my man;
Love to forgive him;
And Patience for his moods.
Because, Lord, if I pray for Strength, I'll beat him to death.
Amen.