So here’s the thing, I am weird. That’s it.

No, that’s not really it. The thing is I really can’t STAND driving near where I work. I work in Irvine, CA at a private college. Work is great; cool students, gorgeous campus, a legit boss, and an office with not 1, but 2 windows. It’s okay, you can be a little jealous.

I try not to leave work for lunch very often. Most of the time it’s because I bring my own lunch. I bring the same lunch to work everyday: salad. Either spinach, romaine, green leaf or arugula topped with TONS of veggies. My faves are: zucchini, tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, carrots, basil, green onion and parsley. I throw ANYTHING I have in my fridge on salads. Yesterday it was romaine with dried cranberries, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, carrots and canned tuna with a pomegranate vinaigrette. I have no rhyme or reason to what goes into that little plastic box. Anyway, even when I don’t bring lunch, I try and just eat at our school cafeteria, I can get salads there too.

But today I ventured out. I went to a local health food store to get some sandwiches for my boss and I. Immediately I regretted it. OH MY WORD. People. Wake. UP. I can’t even begin to explain how many DIFFERENT idiotic maneuvers were done, in a car, in an unsafe manner. And not by teenagers showing off, or just learning. But by average age people being IDIOTS. And by idiot, the nicer way to say it is: people not paying attention to ANYTHING going on around them

If you read this and live in Irvine, don’t take this personal. Unless of course you are ONE OF THEM. Then take it personal and figure out some of the basic rules of driving: dotted white line means we have a division of lanes. AND if you don’t live in Irvine, DON’T move there. It’s a safety hazard.

I like to go on rants. And this was a very mild one. :)

Chocolate Sorbet
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop
Servings: Makes 1 quart (enough for 6 people to eat a BIG bowl full)
2 1/4 cups water
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extra

In a large saucepan, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the water with the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Let it boil, continuing to whisk, for 45 seconds.

Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it’s melted.

Then stir in the vanilla extract and the remaining 3/4 cup water. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend for 15 seconds.

Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the mixture has become too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out.

Pavlova
6 servings
Adapted from Ina Garten
4 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees F. Place a sheet of parchment paper or baking mat on a sheet pan.

Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high speed until firm. With the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes firm, shiny peaks.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, sift the cornstarch onto the beaten egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly with a rubber spatula. Pile the meringue into 6 circle shaped mound and smooth out the top, making a rough disk. You can even make a little well in the middle of each disk, like what you do with your mashed potatoes before you add the gravy. This ‘well’ will hold the sorbet.


*I also made a couple little meringue cookies. I used a piping bag to make my pavlovas, it worked well and was easy.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about 1 hour. It will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

*A note form my step mom: she bakes them for an hour then turns off the oven and let’s them sit in the oven all night or at least for a few hours. Next time I may try that because these were still a tiny bit on the ‘wet’ not ‘dry’ side. Not bad, just a tiny bit.