Surreal Winners
[caption id="attachment_4899" align="alignnone" width="427" caption="Bob Blumer, the Surreal Gourmet at The Drake."][/caption]   Normally, I sit back and let technology do the dirty work for me. I rely on Random.org because it's neutral, easy to use and absolves me of any bias. But this time, I asked you to sway me with your words, and you did. I gotta say, you are a good-natured bunch. I was expecting horror stories of water balloon bombings or tacks on chairs. The worst gag was a toothpaste tube stuffed with mayo -- but it must have been effective. After I stopped laughing, I spent hours wondering how the heck he'd managed to do it. And Melissa? She dropped by to share a lovely story about Bob Blumer's graciousness. She already owns the book I'm giving away, so wasn't even entering the contest . So, here I am left smiling at your stories and acts of kindness, and kicking myself for volunteering to sit in the judge's chair. But I've no one else to blame, so here goes. The winners of  Glutton for Pleasure: Signature Recipes, Epic Stories and Surreal Etiquette by Bob Blumer are:
National Toast Day Winner

Who knew so many of you were toast fans? And with such diverse tastes. Some like their toast light, others call anything short of dark brown "wimpy." You gobble it slathered with butter of all kinds. -- plain, maple and peanut. While sweet jam go...

Rouxbe Video Links
When Staples finally wakes up and realizes there's a fortune to be made with a "Harder Than It Looks" button, I'm buying a couple and mailing them out to the west coast. One's for Joe, co-founder of Rouxbe Online Cooking School, who came up with the video widget idea pictured above. The other is for Marcelo, the magician programmer who wrote the code that makes it work. As for me? For once, I'm smacking the Easy Button. My part in all this was a cinch. I just loaded up the final product. I won't get technical on you, but instead of drinking green beer on St. Patrick's Day, Marcelo ended up spending a lot of time getting the magic code into a format I could upload. Let me be clear. I don't mean a format "even I could upload." I mean a format I, me, Charmian, this blogger here, could upload on her specific site -- i.e: Christie's Corner. Yeah, that's right. Rouxbe wanted to test their widget before rolling it out to other affiliates. And they asked me. Someone should have warned them. The Christie curse followed that little widget around for a few days, but Marcelo managed to wrestle it into submission. As a result, after a lot of work on their end and very little on mine, the Magic Rouxbe Video Widget is up and running. (Joe calls it the Rouxbe Cooking Skill Widget, but it's pure magic to me.) So, what's this mean to you? Potentially a lot.
Wordless Wednesday: My newest obsession

Golden beets are a bit of a curiosity to me. With a dark, orange-toned skin and bright gold inside, they remind me of a peach. Raw, they taste a bit like carrots. Cooked? Haven't a clue. I'm easing into beets and don't want to push...

Procrastination Equation and Junk Food

I am a world class procrastinator. My pantry is bursting with odd ingredients I keep meaning to try but know will expire before I open them. There are two shelves of cookbooks in my office waiting to be read, and I once let my filing go unattended for eight straight months. As for this post? I've had a rough draft sitting on my computer for over a month.

To get to the source of my dilly-dallying, I have read quite a few books on procrastination. You might be shocked to hear that I've finished them all. But I assure you, reading them was just putting off another less palatable task, like filing tax returns or researching ways to code recipes for Google. Several books and hundreds of pages later I had a few theories but was still putting the pro in procrastination. I just had a better understanding of how I was making life harder. What did I learn? Well, some experts say I'm a perfectionist. If I can't do it right I won't do it at all. Have they seen my ricotta gnocchi? Next theory...
Wordless Wednesday – Canary? Eaten.

At first glance you'll think this post (again, deliberately not wordless to please the Google gods) is not food related. But you're wrong. First of all, this is the orange tabby who inspired the header image. Because of him, I now cover butter with plastic...

Wordless Wednesday – Learning Curve

To prevent the duplicate content issue, I'm writing words. Today's question: What major photography gaff did I make in this photo? I have one specific issue in mind (and this time the photo name has NOTHING to do with the answer) but I'm sure you'll come up...

Wordless Wednesday: Old Spice

I know this is supposed to be Wordless Wednesday, but Google is viewing my text-free posts as duplicate content, which is a bad thing for a blogger. So I'm turning this into a game. The photo is wordless, but do you know what spice is...

Where do you draw the line?
I don't care what studies you cite, culinary authorities you quote or Michelin-starred chefs you hold up as iridescent examples. In my kitchen, roast chicken is a simple stuff-and-shove-in-the-oven affair. String is reserved for recycling newspapers, not trussing poultry. And I am not about to expend the time or mental energy to brine a bird for what should be a casual, no-fuss Sunday supper. Heck, you're lucky if I remember to remove the giblets and that little metal "approved" tag.

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