Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Updates & A Recipe!

In chocolate news, my vegan truffles recently had their debut at Chocolate & Vines, a lovely restaurant in Rochester, NY. I was so excited to be featured in this place- their menu is so tempting and the entire concept of the restaurant could not be more perfect! Also, the owner of the restaurant whom I've been dealing with, is such a warm hearted lady and the fact that she had confidence enough to take a leap of faith in a small little chocolatier like me meant the world to me. They already had a main chocolatier before I came along: Norman Love. So I provide them with their vegan chocolates. It is a little bit intimidating to be presenting my truffles alongside one of the top chocolatiers of all time, I won't lie. In fact, it was recently announced that Norman Love will be the head jury member in the World Chocolate Masters Competition being held this Fall in Paris. And my truffles are sharing a counter top with his?! Anyway, from what I hear the customers are raving about my vegan truffles, and the owner of the restaurant places a standing order with me today, so I am pretty ecstatic about that.

Poetry-wise, I am desperately trying not to fall behind too badly. I am currently 3 poems behind and trying to catch up. I was a lot more behind than that, but last night I celebrated Earth Day (one of my favorite holidays) by shutting off every light in the house and writing by candlelight, so I dug myself out a bit. Some of my poems this month have been so dark. Worse than dark, they have been melodramatic! But such is the custom for 30 poems in 30 days. Poetry therapy, my friend Megan called it. I never think I will make it to the end, but I always do...

I went to a spin class and ran a few miles at the gym tonight, so when I got home I was absolutely ravenous. I made one of my favorite salads for dinner. It is such a nourishing and satisfying dish. Here is the recipe:

Smoked Salmon & Beet Salad 

1/4 cucumber thinly sliced
3 baby beets baked, peeled and halved (when I am lazy I buy a pre-cooked package of them that is sold in the produce aisle) [be careful to use gloves when handling the beets or else you will end up with scarlet fingertips!]
1 tomato cut into wedges
1 slice of onion minced
1-2 oz smoked salmon
4-5 spanish olives halved
1 oz. goat cheese crumbled
juice of 1 lemon
sea salt to taste

Love,
Jennifer


Friday, April 19, 2013

Flightless Bird American Mouth

I can't stop listening to this song (Flightless Bird American Mouth by Iron & Wine): 


I am also enjoying interpreting the lyrics, and relating it to a situation in my own life.

"I was a quick-wit boy, diving too deep for coins
All of your street light eyes wide on my plastic toys
Then when the cops closed the fair, I cut my long baby hair
Stole me a dog-eared map and called for you everywhere
Have I found you
Flightless bird, jealous, weeping or lost you, american mouth
Big pill looming

Now I'm a fat house cat
Nursing my sore blunt tongue
Watching the warm poison rats curl through the wide fence cracks
Pissing on magazine photos
Those fishing lures thrown in the cold
And clean blood of Christ mountain stream

Have I found you
Flightless bird, grounded, bleeding or lost you, american mouth
Big pill stuck going down."

I adore waltzes... there is something about that rhythm that just fits perfectly with me.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

National Poetry Month

In honor of National Poetry Month I am doing the 30 poems in 30 days project this April. I have curated an amazing group with 10 other amazing poets who will also be posting daily. It can often be an emotional experience, which can manifest itself in your personal life, but it is a necessary one. The first night I had to sit down and write was extremely painful, as it requires dealing with emotions that are sometimes easier to ignore. Last night was pretty difficult as well. I am just happy that I have 10 other poets who are on this journey with me, so I'm not completely alone! I adore them and am so grateful for their company & support & inspiration.

Here is a link to my poem from yesterday: A Daily Dose Of Spring Poems

Gallop, my fellow sweet poets!

Love,
Jennifer

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

On Running

On Sunday I ran the Spring Fling 5k on Roosevelt Island. It was perfectly sunny, and the marshy smell of the water surrounding the island made me feel like I was many more miles from New York City than I actually was. Rooster and I took the tram over and being inside this huge glass walled contraption that went high above the city reminded me of being in the elevator that takes you to the top of the Eiffel Tower. 
Rooster & moi post race

I finished the race in 32 minute and 38 seconds. The last 5k I did I had to stop to walk midway through because I could not keep on running, so my goal this time was to run the entire thing without stopping, and I did it! Here is the proof! Now perhaps you may not consider finishing in 65th place out of 99 runners in my division a great success, but I am so unbelievably proud of that! 5 years ago I started running, and could barely go a minute without wanting to die. I never considered myself a runner (and still don't) and the thought of running a race was the most ridiculous thing, and if someone were to tell me that I'd be doing that someday I would have laughed in their face! I still am surely a beginner though, it is very uncomfortable and painful for me to run and I haven't gotten to that place yet where I enjoy it, but I do enjoy that blissful moment when I'm done, and the hours of feeling accomplished that follow. I guess that is the same way I feel about writing though. 

Here are some quotes on the topic from one of my favorite writers alive:

“In certain areas of my life, I actively seek out solitude. Especially for someone in my line of work, solitude is, more or less, an inevitable circumstance. Sometimes, however, this sense of isolation, like acid spilling out of a bottle, can unconsciously eat away at a person's heart and dissolve it. You could see it, too, as a kind of double-edged sword. It protects me, but at the same time steadily cuts away at me from the inside.” 
 Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

“All I do is keep on running in my own cozy, homemade void, my own nostalgic silence. And this is a pretty wonderful thing. No matter what anybody else says.”
― Haruki MurakamiWhat I Talk About When I Talk About Running


“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re running and you think, ‘Man, this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The ‘hurt’ part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand anymore is up to the runner himself.”
― Haruki MurakamiWhat I Talk About When I Talk About Running


“When you see runners in town is easy to distinguish beginners from veterans. The ones panting are beginners; the ones with quiet, measured breathing are the veterans. Their hearts, lost in thought, slowly tick away time. When we pass each other on the road, we listen to the rhythm of each other's breathing, and sense the way the other person is ticking away the moments.”
― Haruki MurakamiWhat I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Redecorating & Photo Shoot


Last week Zaarly.com sent a photographer to my house for an editorial style shoot, to profile me as a chocolatier and to showcase how I make my truffles. 

There are step by step photos of my process, which I thought was a nice & more personal look inside my business: Coquette Chocolatier on Zaarly

I was pretty nervous for the shoot as I've never done something like that before. I cleaned every visible inch of my kitchen (which proved futile since once I started truffling it became quite messy almost instantly). I even reupholstered my dining room chairs with a satiny dark plum fabric:


I love it, and since the things that tend to spill on the chairs are dark (chocolate, wine, and coffee being the main culprits) it will be a sneaky way to hide my less than graceful moments. My mother told me to choose a dark color when I was reupholstering them the last time, but I did not listen and now I realize she was right. That must be the most infuriating part of motherhood, to look at your sweet little girls doing things (wrong) and you tell them hundreds of times your (correct) advice and they don't listen, and one day after learning the hard way they realize you were right all along. Hmm.. that's why I have goldfish.

I have much more to talk about but I'm very hungry so will make some fish for dinner and write more later. 

Love,
Jennifer