Happy New Year I am gonna be 42

What's a new year's resolution?  I told myself that I was going to lose ten pounds by year's end and now I have 13 to go!  Just in the last five years, I have started to feel really old.  I don't know what happened.  My grandmother turned 100 this summer and my dad turned 70.  I don't know why I am complaining.  I have good genes!  

I had to wake my husband up at midnight in order to say happy new year.  We didn't even care.  No more obligatory nights out to say that I did something fun on new year's eve.  I remember going bar hopping, being in NYC, staying up until 5 am, drinking my face off and getting up and doing it all over again.  Youth is wasted on the young.

I am a teacher and my students no longer understand the quote, "Bueller, Bueller," or "no soup for you," or "I want my two dollars."  Kids have never heard of the Breakfast Club and they think because there were no cell phones when I was a kid that I was born in the 1800s.

I get excited by the idea of buying an appliance.  You know you're old when buying your own new dish washer with your own money is the highlight.  I want to open a savings account to save for a new car and one for a new kitchen but then shouldn't I be saving that money for retirement?  These are the things I think about.

I was a competitive swimmer my entire life and never gave a thought to what I ate.  I thought I was fat then and found out that my friends thought I looked like a Playboy model.  Hello?  Who knew?  I certainly didn't and I hated my body.  Oh what I would give to look like that again.  If I tried to swim now, I just know it would feel like I had a huge elephant on my back.

Tomorrow, I have to go to a comedy show with my husband and his friends.  After the major snow storm today, I have to contemplate what shoewear is the best.  I never wear heels anymore and flats are my favorite thing.  I long for the days when could fit my calves into a sexy pair of riding boots.  

I still feel like a teenager inside.  I mean, is it wrong to still feel all crazy inside at the thought of C. Thomas Howell?  I think I saw him on an episode of Sons of Anarchy and it sure did bring back memories of my friends and watching The Outsiders a million times.  But, he didn't look the same.  My new crush is Henry Cavill and I am pretty sure it is not a healthy one but I LOVE the guy.  

I don't want to talk to my neighbors for fear that they will want to borrow my stuff and then never give it back.  Is it wrong to pretend I am not home when someone rings the doorbell?  I don't want to drive my neighbor's kid to work ever again especially when he has to be there at 11:00 and it is already 11:15. 

I keep noticing moles that I intend to get checked out at the dermatologist.  Why do I have hairs growing out of my chin?  My great-grandmother had those and they scared me.  Who is gonna pluck my gross chin hairs when I get old?  

I think I am going deaf but I still blast the music in the car.  When I get to work and some 80s song is playing, I sit in the car in the parking lot just to hear the end of it.  I secretly enjoy and know every word to Rick Springfield.  I have tons of concert ticket stubs that I keep meaning to have framed.  I cannot even remember the last time I went to a concert.  Prince, I think.

Too many of my friends are dying.  I have known way too many friends who are gone and it is scary and sad.  

The thought of going to a bar or club is not appealing in the least.  I would rather go to dinner or a movie and go home.  My husband and I always say that "we eat with the blue hairs" because we like to dine before the crowds and that is usually at about 4:30 or 5:00.  Bedtime on a work night is 9:00.

Sleep over at a friend's house?  No way.  I want to be in my home in my own bed with my own sheets, my own pillow, my own bathroom and shower.  I remember the days of sleeping on my friend's couch all summer at the NJ shore.  No idea how I did that.

My friends are doing the Toughest Mudder and triathalons and Cross Fit.  I made fun of one of them the other day for making lentil burgers.  I should really be eating more healthy.  I should become a vegan, eat organic, drink more water, take my vitamins every day, try to eat less processed foods, cut down on my saturated fat intake, eat less sugar, drink less alcohol.  Speaking of which, I cannot drink all night long anymore.  I am lucky if a few glasses of wine doesn't make me fall asleep.

Why do some of my friends cry at the thought of me never being a mom?  Am I obligated by society to give life to another human being just so they can die when the next pandemic happens?  If it isn't disease then it will be global warming, a civil war,  WW3. Who says I am a pessimist? I like to think of myself as a realist.

I want to hire a cleaning lady but I don't want a stranger in my house.  So, I just don't clean.  In turn, when we want to have friends over, we have to scrub down every surface at once but that usually happens once or twice a year so it's not that big a deal.

My husband watches his DirecTV NFL package in the man cave and I stay upstairs watching General Hospital, seasons of Downton Abbey, Scandal and White Collar.  I am happy to be alone so I can go on Facebook, Twitter, Olioboard, Pinterest, Wanelo, Amazon.com and whatever else floats my boat.  It's quality not quantity right?

I had 20/20 vision my entire life and now I have reading glasses.  I wouldn't admit that I needed them but once I was holding the pill bottle more than one foot away, I had to find an eye doctor.  I like my glasses though so it's been okay.

I am turning 42 and it feels just like yesterday that I was a middle school kid.  I sound like my mom now.  She always said, "when you have kids you'll understand."  I do not have any kids but I do understand.  

Happy new year!


 Makes 2 servings


Duck breast (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Kosher salt and black pepper
Blueberry & green peppercorn chutney (recipe below)
ovenproof skillet

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Score the duck breast on the fat side with a sharp knife in a criss-cross pattern.
Season the duck with salt and pepper
Heat up the skillet
Test the pan to see if it is hot enough by touching the tip of the duck to the pan.
If it makes a sound, then it is probably hot enough.
Place duck fat side down to render the fat (about 6 minutes)
Remove the fat from the pan and set aside.
Turn the duck over and sear on that side for one minute.
Place duck in the pan (make sure it is oven proof) in the oven for another 7-9 minutes.
Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes so that the juices do not run out.

Fat side of the duck scored in criss-cross pattern

Duck searing on fat side

Duck fat set aside- you can cook potatoes in this if desired.  If not, discard.

Potatoes go well with the duck and chutney

Be sure to allow the duck to rest.


2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
4 cups blueberries (fresh are better in my opinion but you can use frozen
1 cup minced onion
1/4 cup green peppercorns
1 lemon juiced
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

Combine the vinegars with the brown sugar and stir over medium heat until dissolved.
Simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add blueberries, onion, peppercorns, lemon juice and ginger.  Stir to combine.
Simmer for 45 minutes on low so it will not burn.  Continue to stir.

Makes for great gifts and goes well with Thanksgiving turkey.  Store in Mason jars and share!  Chutney is even delicious as a jam or with cheese.

Banh Mi Hot Dogs

"Banh Mi" is Vietnamese for all kinds of bread.
This hot dog calls for a freshly baked baguette, which mixes the French with the Vietnamese flavors
at the same time.
I sort of came up with this hot dog after seeing Tyler Florence and that food truck TV show he used to host.  There was a Vietnamese food truck that made some sort of banh mi sandwich that looked super good.  Then, I saw Daphne Oz on The Chew make something very similar so I kind of combined the ideas to create this hot dog.  You can customize it however you like.  For example, I love cilantro so that is a definite for my dog but my husband hates cilantro so he does not use it.  

hot dogs - high quality (I use organic)
fresh french bread (rolls)
scallions diced
cucumbers sliced length-wise
radishes (daikon if you can find them)
white wine vinegar
granulated sugar
kosher salt

Slice hot dogs so they are butterflied or cut in half but still connected 
Sear hot dogs in skillet on each side- don't burn
At the same time, peel carrots so they are thin and cut up the radish thinly.
Mix white wine vinegar, sugar and salt and pour over the carrots and radishes to pickle them.
Combine ketchup, srirahcha and mayo together - more ketchup and mayo will make it less spicy.
Cut the cucumber into strips and cut up the cilantro and scallion.
Once the carrots and radish have spent time in the vinegar mixture, drain the liquid.
Once the hot dogs are finished, add everything to your baguette as preferred.
Obviously, if you can add mustard or relish or any other topings you like if something does not appeal to you.



Sriracha sauce




Final dogs


Recipe from The Chew on ABC- Clinton Kelly

I did not make the sandwich Clinton made but I made the pretzels and they came out a tad deformed because I did not buy enough pizza dough.  However, they were really good and I will make them again (with the recommended amount of dough next time).

Here is the link to the Chew and to the pastrami sandwich that Clinton Kelly made in case you want more than just the pretzel.

No Melt Ice Cream Sandwiches

Haven't tried this yet but plan to try it tomorrow.  Looks yummy in the photo by Danielle from Let's Dish Recipes.

Here are my sandwiches right before freezing


Use a Vitamix blender for smoothest results.
Use this code at checkout in order to get free shipping and handling: 
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8 ounces frozen organic raspberries
8 ounces frozen organic blueberries
1 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Blend until blender noise changes (only a minute or so)

Serve immediately.
You can change the fruit to any type you prefer.


2 orange peels quartered
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
4 1/2 cups ice cubes 
Place in Vitamix in this order and in about 1 minute, the motor sound will change.
Stop machine and serve immediately.

Vitamix Blender Broccoli Soup


1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli steamed
1-2 teaspoons diced onion
1/2 chicken or beef bouillon cube

I cook my onions a bit while the broccoli is steaming.
Add all ingredients to Vitamix blender.
Select low speed.
Turn machine on and then switch to high speed.
Blend for 6 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from the vented lid.
When removing the lid be very careful- steam is HOT.
Salt and pepper to taste.