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Pithy and memorable quotes from some of the Fashion World’s Best Known Who’s Who!  A big thank you goes out to my chief sorcerer – Gail for sharing these words from the wise, fashion-wise that is.

  1. “One is never over-dressed or under-dressed with a Little Black Dress.” —Karl Lagerfeld
  2. Français : Signature/autographe du kaiser Karl...

    Karl Lagerfeld (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” —Coco Chanel

  3. “I like my money right where I can see it…hanging in my closet.” —Carrie Bradshaw
  4. “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” —Kate Moss
  5. “I don’t do fashion. I am fashion.” —Coco Chanel
  6. “Walk like you have three men walking behind you.” —Oscar de la Renta
  7. “When in doubt, wear red.” —Bill Blass
  8. “I don’t design clothes. I design dreams.” —Ralph Lauren
  9. Fashions fade, style is eternal.” —Yves Saint Laurent
  10. “Men tell me that I’ve saved their marriages. It costs them a fortune in shoes, but it’s cheaper than a divorce. So I’m still useful, you see” —Manolo Blahnik
English: Logo of Yves Saint Laurent

Logo of Yves Saint Laurent (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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So last night was in fact a food fest and we ate and drank according to tradition.  There were the required 4 cups of wine which in reality can be 4 sips and the Schmurra matzo, the bitter herbs, the Charoset, and the egg in salt water.  Briefly just in case I have some readers who up to this point have no clue as to what I’m talking about let me clarify.  There is a traditional Seder plate and on it there’s Charoset which is a mixture of apples, cinnamon, sugar and walnuts all processed to symbolize the mortar and brick the Jews made as slaves for the Pharaoh.  Maror is the bitter herbs (horseradish) which symbolizes the bitter life of the Israelites during the time of their enslavement, Zeroa, a shank bone as a reminder of the Paschal lamb offered as a Passover sacrifice. Bytzah, a hard-boiled egg symbolic of the loss to the two temples (and also ecumenically symbol of  Spring and new life) which was served in Chazeret , salt water which represents the tears of the people and also the bitterness.  So much for that lesson on some of the Seder meal.

I brought my asparagus dish and it was a big hit.  I’ve made this dish for many years for Easter dinner as a perfect Spring side dish with some symbolism of its own.  First of all, asparagus are associated with Spring and that’s when they are most  plentiful and fresh in the markets. The egg sauce symbolizes what the egg has always represented – new life, rebirth and isn’t that what Spring is all about?  There’s also mustard (the seed of which is a Christian symbol of belief and faith) and vinegar which can be interpreted to mean the bitterness and sorrow of the Jews before being freed.

Asparagus w/ Egg Sauce*

Asparagus w/ Egg Sauce*

** This photo depicts an egg sauce with mayonnaise in it which is why it appears white.  Your sauce will be yellow and only chopped egg whites will garnish the sauce. More like a Hollandaise with chopped egg whites on top.

Ingredients:

1 # fresh asparagus 

1 hard boiled egg

1 raw egg yolk

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp white pepper

1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1 1/2 TBS white vinegar

1 tsp salt

Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water to cover  till crisp tender and bright green – 5-7 minutes.  I used an asparagus steamer.  Immediately immerse in a large bowl of ice water with ice cubes to stop the cooking.  Drain on paper towels and refrigerate covered.

Mash the hard cooked egg yolk in small bowl with the raw yolk and mustard till smooth.  Gradually add the olive oil whisking till smooth.  Combine the vinegar, pepper and salt and add to oil mixture.  Whisk thoroughly.

To serve:  Lay asparagus on a platter, spoon the egg sauce over and garnish with chopped egg white.  It makes a lovely presentation and is served at room temperature so if you are bringing a side dish, this is perfect to travel.

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English: "Holyland" brand matzah, ma...

“Holyland” brand matzah, machine-made in Jerusalem and purchased at Trader Joes in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight which as you know is unlike any other night or if you don’t, you can check out a previous blog of mine http://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/why-is-this-night-different-from-all-other-nights/.  Anyway tonight we are going to my sister-in-law’s home for a Seder dinner.  It will of course be a feast, and being the balabusta  she is, she is cooking a very traditional meal as well as adding vegetarian dishes for the one or two non-meat eaters in the group.  And by group I mean she is seating and serving 11 people tonight!

I asked what I could bring and was assigned an asparagus dish.  I’m going to make a room temperature asparagus platter with an egg sauce on top.  If I haven’t already posted this recipe previously, I will tomorrow.  It was a traditional Easter Sunday dinner side in my family for years.

And then if I can organize myself, I plan to make some Matzo Crack!  This is a surprise addition to the meal.  Naturally Stacey, our hostess, who is size 2 is planning on serving strawberries and cream for dessert, something light and moderately healthy.  I, on the other hand, am hoping for the taste of chocolate and in keeping with the holiday tradition of no leavened bread, I’m going to make chocolate toffee matzoh! 

So simple to do (they say) and since I’m posting this prior to actually making it, I can’t attest to that but I do believe this is not going to be difficult at all.

4-5 pieces of matzo

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 cup ( 2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup bittersweet chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate bits

Toppings as desired

Preheat oven to 375º

Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and/or parchment paper.  Place matzo in one layer on baking sheet, breaking it when necessary to fill pan complexly.

In large sauce pan, melt the butter and brown sugar together over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Once mixture reaches a boil, continue to cook for additional 3 minutes, still stirring, until thickened and just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Remove from heat and pour over matzo, spreading evenly with a heat proof spatula.

Put the pan in the oven, then immediately turn the heat down to 350 degrees.  Bake for 15 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn’t burn.  If it looks like it is starting to burn, turn heat down to 325 degrees.

After 15 minutes, the toffee should have  bubbled up and turned a rich golden brown.  Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the chocolate over the pan.  Let sit for 5 minutes and then spread the now-melted chocolate evenly with a spatula.

You can leave as it is or add a topping such as sea salt or toasted nuts.  Let cool completely, then break into smaller pieces and store in airtight container.

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(A swedish diagram showing the effect on a fre...

(A swedish diagram showing the effect on a frequency of a behavior when under positive reinforcement) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU CATCH A SPOUSE OR CHILD DOING SOMETHING GOOD?  Seems like it should be a simple answer but ….not always!  Read what Dr. Barry Lubetkin has to offer in the way of good communication and parenting skills:

“The research is unambiguous and definitive…….Positive reinforcement is far superior to negative reinforcement (punishment), when the goal is to influence and strengthen another’s behavior. And yet despite this fact,we human beings continue to yell,humiliate,undercut and generally disparage others when they engage in a behavior or habit that we find undesirable or annoying.

Witness the mother who continues to yell at the child who curses out loud. The child continues to curse and is often reacting to the mothers attention even though it is negative. Witness the wife who continuously shames her husband each time he leaves his dirty clothing out without bringing it to the laundry. More often then not her negative reaction does not diminish the sloppy behavior at all, but simply leads to anger and passive aggressive behavior.

But what would the results be if that same mother chose to hug and praise the child when 10 minutes elapse without cursing……..and do it again 10 more minutes later! And what if the wife thanked the husband immediately after he picked up his socks and repeated that praise whenever he attempted (even if not completely successful) behaving in a less slovenly manner. If positive reinforcement is given immediately and consistently after a desired behavior is demonstrated, it will strengthen the probability of that behavior occurring again.

“Catching a child being good” has been a mainstay of child behavior therapy for many years,so it is surprising how few parents practice it. Here’s an assignment…..choose one behavior or bad habit that your child or partner continues to do and wait 10 minutes for it not to occur and then immediately thank and praise them for not doing it. Repeat every 10 to 30 minutes or when appropriate, and watch that bad habit begin to diminish! ”  Email me at IBT104@aol.com with your results!

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Well, last night was quite an evening….I started at 8:00PM insisting we watch the 2 hour special of Kitchen Nightmares.  I love Gordon Ramsey and make no apologies for saying so!  I watch Hell’s Kitchen, Master Chef and Kitchen Nightmares.  Last night my husband watched it with me and whether he did so out of love or reluctance to get up off the couch is up for debate.  Actually he wanted to see this episode because we had seen the original show of Amy’s Bakery and we, like apparently hundreds of other watchers were both fascinated and appalled by the goings on in Scottsdale!  If you didn’t see the show and are at all curious I understand that YouTube has many clips.  Amy  and her husband George (aka The Gangster) run a restaurant and while they are at it, they run a lot of their customers out of the dining room and run all of their wait staff out the door!  This morning, Peter wanted to discuss just how fascinating a personality Amy is and I sort of dismissed her by remarking “I don’t find narcissism and neurotic behavior all that fascinating”.  Probably the rigid Germanic side of my ancestry!

Anyway this blog was not intended to go on and on about that show but seriously I could….Which makes those two characters and Gordon Ramsey interesting and fascinating after all!

Next I checked out my DVR to find what else I may have recorded for my own personal viewing;  I say that because Peter hates to watch commercial TV and usually only watched movies (the black and white kind of course) so I tape many of the “dumb” shows I want to see and I watch them way into the wee hours of the night.  I told him I was going to watch The Millionaire Matchmaker which I thought would surely drive him into the bedroom but no, he stayed.  This particular episode was about this shallow, disgusting and fat (yes I said fat) NY publicist and I figured if he was going to watch one of these shows, he would find this one interesting.  NOTE: the word interesting doesn’t alway connote something clever or good.  She was so disgusting I refuse to give her any more verbiage in my blog!

I think Peter left the room after that because I announced I was going to watch Grey’s Anatomy.  I knew he would scoot out of the den before that was on.  He hates doctor/hospital shows and this one is a soap too.  I’ve been watching Grey’s Anatomy since its beginning but wonder if it is readying itself for a swan song ending.  I read somewhere that Sandra Oh is leaving and now it looks like Karev will be off making some real money in private practice!  Peter just loves it when I talk about these characters as if they were real people lol.

English: Logo for the US television show Grey'...

 Grey’s Anatomy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been under A LOT OF STRESS lately and sitting alone on the couch last night, remote firmly in my hand  was lovely!  After my Grey’s fix, I watched the last Hell’s Kitchen episode that I missed this week.  Yes, it was time for Mike to go.  Nobody on the blue team liked him and they would never let him help out so he always ended up looking inept.  

It was now about 1:00 AM and too late to watch the scary episode of CSI since even the commercials warned you to be prepared.  I couldn’t watch anything that might involve cannibalism and then go to bed.  Luckily for me, The Millionaire Matchmaker  is running re-runs as well as new episodes and they seem to  be back to back.  I stayed up until 2:00 AM watching more mindless matchmaking.  Well, let me say that Patti isn’t doing her job mindlessly lol, it’s me watching her show mindlessly.

And that’s how it took me 6 hours to unwind from a week of terrible stress.  None of the issues and problems that are causing the stress are resolved but by 2 AM, I couldn’t care less!

Gordon Ramsey

Gordon Ramsey (Photo credit: jo-marshall (was Jo-h))

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Did you know that there was an Easter Egg Hunt going on right now in New York City?  You didn’t?  Well where have you been?  Fabergé  is sponsoring this Big Egg Hunt.  Now you may think when I say BIG, I mean that there are lots of eggs and in fact there are LOTS!  In fact spread out through the 5 Boroughs there are 260 eggs.  But really, how could anyone find an egg in the middle of Manhattan, no matter how many there were?  Easily because….first of all these eggs are GINORMOUS and that’s what I meant by BIG.

The Fauxbergé Eggs have been created by the likes of Caroline Herrera, D*D*Face, Naeem Khan, and Ralph Lauren.  To quote: 

“The initiative will see over 260 large egg sculptures, each designed by globally renowned artists, designers, architects, photographers and brands placed throughout the five boroughs from April 1st to 17th, 2014. The Hunt will benefit conservation organization, Elephant Family and Studio in a School, a program that brings visual arts to New York City’s public schools.”

My dear friend, Gail who as you all know is the best Sourcerer I know, turned me onto the eggs.  And lucky Gail, there are three of those Eggs right in the Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum where she works.  Now I actually was at the Museum last week and did NOT see these Eggs; 

EGG MASTERPIECES

EGG MASTERPIECES

photo by Gail Kramer

Seriously you have to wonder what else I must have missed!

Of course there’s the great fun in just hunting them down and you have until April 17th to find them all AND to make the hunt really enticing,you can download an app which will map out the locations of the eggs and when you check in at each Egg location, your name will be entered into a sweepstakes and 3 lucky winners will receive an extraordinary gem-encrusted pendant created by Fabergé, as if you were a Russian Czar!

It was really difficult to pick out the Top Ten Easter Eggs but somebody had to do it so here are my subjective choices! And since I didn’t download the app I don’t really know where these particular Eggs are but I’m guess on a few.  And if you have seen them or have a good guess, send in your comment!

Follow The Signs to where?  Maybe Downtown!

Follow The Signs to where? Maybe Downtown!

I'm Still Thinking About This One

I’m Still Thinking About This One

Where's The Motherboard?

Where’s The Motherboard?

Most Likely To Be In Dumbo

Most Likely To Be In Dumbo

A Fabricge Egg? The Garment District?

A Fabricge Egg? The Garment District?

 

Brooks Brothers? Ralph Lauren?

Brooks Brothers? Ralph Lauren?

The Plaza?

The Ritz (of course)

Find the Clock, Find the Egg

Find the Clock, Find the Egg

It May Be Spring But It's Still Chilly-Dress Warm

It May Be Spring But It’s Still Chilly-Dress Warm

Looks Like Leather but where is it?

Looks Like Leather but where is it?

All egg photos by Scott Lynch (The Gothamist)

Well there you have my Top Ten Easter Eggs and perhaps I’ll be inspired this year to go a bit beyond the two-tone Paas egg!

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English: An orange candle burning in a dark en...

An orange candle burning in a dark environment with a bright flame. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I saw the usual signs; She was pale, haggard-looking and yet still animated. I tried to get her to listen knowing full well she wouldn’t. Yesterday she was so anxious to go out. Not home even an hour and she was jonesing to leave. Meeting her friends at the mall and then out to a movie. The night before she went to a party and even though she made it home by her midnight curfew, she was still up for hours on the phone. It’s no wonder she was feeling sick.  She was always burning the candle at both ends.

  BURN is the word in this week’s 100 Word Challenge through Velvet Verbosity.  You can read more at http://www.velvetverbosity.com/

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