Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wish List

I assumed it was only because of the hurricane or maybe just a HUGE oversight that I did not get the ONE thing I wanted for my birthday. Upon further review, it turns our Ben & Jerry is sold out at the moment.

I guess I can wait till Nov 29th....for now......


Monday, November 12, 2012

Soul For Sale

Friday is a day I'd rather erase from my memory forever, but that can't happen. I have December 28th to do it over again, so I guess I only have to relive the agony of Friday for another 50 days or so. Anyway, I got a random text from a guy a know about a bakery space for rent in a building. Apparently, he bought a gym in the same building and just noticed the sign go up. I thought it was kinda cool he thought to text me out of the blue since we haven't spoken in almost 2 years, but I guess that's why some people are better at networking than others. I was thinking about it and was surprised how interested I really was in this possibility. It's a great location, and I don't know how much rent we're talking about, but it's a great neighborhood for a bakery. Obviously, this throws a wrench in my plans to blow this fucking state. As you have all probably heart, Colorado and Washington have both decided to do away with illegal marijuana. Not that it really makes a huge impact in my life, but it would make a big impact on my business, as it would open up a whole new demographic for my "other" baked goods. My ultimate goal is to move out West and open my own spot. However, I still feel that I am poorly lacking in business operating experience. On the other hand, I can't just stick around here for another year to tinker on a business and then cut ties and run West. I had to weight the realistic options I'm working with. I'm realistically still swimming in about grand of plastic debt. This includes various credit cards and two personal loans that technically are not even mine. I'm not even going to go off and rant about it because I'm only gonna end up upsetting myself again. I've also got those two fucking timeshares that I will have no hope of selling due to this fucking hurricane. With all the destruction I see today in various parts of NY and NJ, I will hold off on feeling sorry for myself because there are people who lost EVERYTHING. Debt can get paid and money will be made because I am a worker. And it doesn't matter who is elected in office- the bottom line is that I can take care of myself. (Just between you and me, I'm really happy those Republican pieces of shit are off playing crazy golf to blow off some steam!) So, now that I am really considering sticking around at least a little while to get my shit together, I'm wondering how awkward it would be to hit up all those people who have offered me start up money. "So, remember that 20 grand you said you had laying around to help get Queenie Cakes in to an actual store...." Someone playfully told me I could do 20 paid escort nights to earn that kind of money, and I said that I wouldn't want to wear out the equipment before the doors even opened. Seriously, I'm about to be another year older. I'm already aged out of that sort of game. I feel like a sell out for setting up roots here. I'm not happy living here. I've been aching to move out West for years and years, and have been sitting quietly on the sideline as I watch other people do it one after another. How fucked up is it to take this dude's tip as an actual option to snap up? I've been thinking about it for 2 days now, and I've been researching business plans. I'm cautiously optimistic about my success rate. Besides Buttercooky, there's not really an awesome American bakery in this area anymore. I don't know... There's a lot on the line in terms of my life, but honestly, there's nothing much to lose.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Banana Brownies

Do you know what makes people feel better when they're stuck inside due to inclement weather? Junk food. My house, unfortunately, is void of junk food. I was eating a mint Klondike bar last night, and I set it down on my nightstand so I could finish my zombie make up. Well, more than half of my uneaten Klondike slipped off the tilted cover of an open book and landed straight inside my little garbage pail, which was full of snotty, phlegmy tissues. Gross.

Well, what I do have on hand is eggs (lots of them), chocolate (I always have that on hand). flour, and over-ripe bananas. The bananas were bought on some crazy sale and my mom stocked up thinking I was still doing my smoothie diet. I can't do a smoothie diet while ill because the natural sugars in the fruit only makes a phlegmy throat a lot worse.

I decided to make banana brownies with Nutella. Weird? Yeah. Certainly. But, I love chocolate brownies, I love banana, and dammit, who doesn't love Nutella?

I was a little skeptical because I read that some people substitute bananas in place of eggs in baking recipes. I, myself, don't have any experience doing this, but I did worry it would effect my overall finished product. Eggs serve different purposes depending on the recipe. For cookies or quick breads like pancakes, waffles, muffins or brownies- the eggs are more of a binder -adding thick moisture, but won't make your baked good light and fluffy. If you're going to use a banana or 1/4 applesauce in place of an egg, be sure to to add a little baking powder or soda to give you the rise you're looking for.

But, I'm not looking for rise. I wanted flavor. I like bananas. I like bananas and chocolate. My diet smoothie is made up a frozen banana, chocolate diet shake powder, ice, and a couple of swishes of a low-fat yogurt drink. I think chocolate and bananas are one of those classic flavors that should forever remain together forever!

So, I made a double recipe of brownies and added two large, overripe bananas and a 1/4 cup of Nutella, as well as a couple of handful of butterscotch chips. I'm stuck inside of a cold house with limited access to the outter world. Why not add more sugar in the form of butterscotch chips? Just to see what would happen, I also added half a cup of Bailey's buttercream I had left over from my cake order last weekend. The buttercream is made up of a cooked meringue (egg whites and sugar), melted chocolate, vanilla, and at least a 1/3 cup of Bailey's caramel flavored liquor, and of course a LOT of butter.

What I got was a very fluffy brownie, instead of a dense ooey-gooey one. Which is fine. (Still phlegmy, you know?) The banana flavor is strong and cuts right through the chocolate. I can't taste the Nutella which makes me feel like I wasted a quarter cup of Nutella that could have been used for something else. I can't taste the buttercream at all, but I cut back on the regular butter called for in my recipe in substitute of the buttercream. Do you think I saved any calories doing this?

The butterscotch chips sank to the bottom of the brownies and really doesn't add to the overall flavor or texture. I know people usually put nuts, but I'm not a walnut fan at all and I didn't have any other nuts on hand.

I got a thick, quarter sheet tray sized portion out of my recipe. Each brownies is about 2 1/2 inches think and it is quite thick and fluffy. It's just what I needed!

I've been working at home since Sandy hit. While I'm lucky enough to say that my neighborhood made out fairly unscathed, lots of bordering neighborhoods are still without power. That means the grocery stores we rely on for our food is still closed and the traffic lights are still out, which makes driving dangerous. I live in a neighborhood of douchebag drivers. Just to give you an idea, I think about 75% of NYC cab drivers live in MY neighborhood. Take that as you will!

Sometimes it just takes a little bit of sweetness to get your mind off some really shitty circumstances.

While NY is not exactly an impoverished area, there are still many neighborhoods that need a lot of help. I'm not in a position to write a huge check but I have several bags of practically new clothing that my friend picked up earlier today on her way to a Red Cross drop off location. My cousin is coming in from Boston and we're doing our blood donation if we can find an open blood center. They did put out a call for blood, and we're more than happy to answer it.

I'm seeing so many ugly things on television this past week, but sometimes it's that one little sliver of human kindness that can set it all right. Someone I haven't spoken to in YEARS because we had a tremendous fight called me from California to make sure me and my family were okay. He heard parts of Queens was devastated and he thought about me. Of course, I've had the same number for the last 15 years or so, and he lucked out and reached me. I've had friends and family calling all week to see if I'm fine and it really does warm the heart. I never thought I would ever exchange a kind word with this person ever again, but like he said, "I heard Queens and I was terrified something happened to you. I know we left off hating each other. I guess I didn't realize how much I still care about you until the prospect of you being gone for good hit me."

And we didn't even have a romantic relationship!!! Needless to say, we buried the hatched and I'm happier for it.

In the immortal words of Bill and Ted: Be excellent to each other.