Monday, December 29, 2008

.....Barracuda!!!!

So Morimoto was crazy. The entrance to the restaurant looks like this:

Inside, it's like a giant old warehouse or something - kind of like a very modern and clean Iron Chef set, except you see at least a dozen sushi chefs working at the bar when you go in.

We had this waiter "host" us all night throughout our 10 or so different courses. He gave Poker Chick some sake, which she liked so much she actually wanted more sake instead of dessert. If you know Poker Chick and her love of all things dessert, that must have been some damn good sake.

He also had to explain the menu, particularly some of the weirder items like "blowfish: prepared three ways" (minus the killer poison), etc. And though she steered clear of that one, after a lengthy conversation as to whether or not they have fins and scales or not, she had a go at some Barracuda sashimi, fully expecting to wince and think it was weird. Shockingly, it was good.

Actually, everything was amazing. This was the first appetizer:
In case you missed it, that's tuna tartare with seven different toppings you "roll" it into. Tasty and fun! We would have taken more pictures, but we didn't want to be labeled as "hey!" "look at those cheesy tourists over there! never been to a celebrity/chef restaurant before!" Nuh-uh, we don't think so. Poker Chick likes to play it cool.

To top off a royally bizarre eating experience, Poker Chick was driven home by this guy, who proceeded to tell her the day she was born, followed by a joke, in Hebrew.

The oddest part of the day? We got a reservation the same day at this place. And another New York tradition bites the recession dust.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

And Today's Secret Ingredient Is.........


A while ago, we wrote about how Poker Chick would make a crappy judge on Iron Chef. Well, tonight's as close as it gets. She's taking the husband to dinner at Morimoto's NYC restaurant.

Let's see if this guy can really cook or what. More tomorrow.

Rare Moments of Domestic Inspiration

For anyone who knows Poker Chick in real life, these pictures are necessary or else we know you won't believe it. What everyone will believe, no doubt, is that the pictures have been taken eons ago and just recently uploaded. Also, she clearly has a bit more learning to do on how to design a blog post with images.


Eggless "Challah". At least it tasted good.

Pink egg and nut-free cupcakes ( a little sad, yes, but 100% homemade)




Lemon Blueberry Cake. Mistaken for store-bought.







Closet. And before you judge, know that Poker Chick keeps summer and winter items all together. So it's not as many clothes as it looks like.

The pics above are the results of events so rare they are noteworthy. Who knew? Somewhere in there is a teency domestic gene after all. It just takes giant feats of strength to smoke it out. Thanks for letting a girl share. No one else will appreciate this.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Joy of Giving is Enough

It was great to hear the mini's squeal "YAY!" when she opened her new dolly last night. Of course, that was immediately followed by "hey! Do her clothes come off?" as she rips off the pants, and later, a whole leg.

Kids.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What You're Not Watching

Tonight kicks off the annual 24-hours of "A Christmas Story" on TBS, a Poker Chick family tradition. If you haven't seen it, you must. It is hilarious, even for members of the tribe. When you're done with that, you can check out "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", a movie that never stops being funny. It's on some cable channel tonight.

This is the "ad"-y party where we say something legal like "check your local station for listings".

Happy Christmas.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

On the Other Hand....

There are peeps out there we love. It's Chanukah, and instead of the usual food stress surrounding holidays, Poker Chick is most grateful to those who have helped make a happy holiday even more special. In particular, a friend who not only checked in advance before inviting mini to a party, but re-configured the entire menu around the kid. We're talking making latkes and donuts with that "egg relacer" powder stuff, swapping ingredients in brisket sauce, and nixing the jelly beans her kid wanted. Every thing at this party will be safe for mini to eat.

Oh, and did she mention they are scrubbing and cleaning the whole kitchen before preparing any of this food?

It's so great to have friends like this. As long as mini keeps getting two of these experiences for every one miserable party, the balance will be on her side. So thanks, A. And thanks to all the friends reading this who Poker Chick knows would do the same. We couldn't do it without you.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Why Poker Chick Hates Your Kids' Birthday Parties

"You're lucky you're not here. You'd be livid".

This is what Poker husband said while he called Poker Chick from his first solo birthday party. She heard her kid screaming in the background, and, after all the conversations that had happened, was floored.

So now we're asking you all: is it too much to ask for a parent to at least consider food allergies when planning a birthday party for their kid? *

At the very least, tell Poker Chick if "make your own cupcake" is an integral part of the event. Perhaps before she has called the place twice to verify the safety of the "make your own pizza" and emailed with you about it as well?

Is it too much to ask you to let her know that even though the "make your own pizza" is safe, and everyone assumes the kids will eat it, you've decided not to cook it and to serve "real" pizza for food instead, which is not. And is it too much to ask that if you do let her know this, you might want to let her know before the event, so that you are not calling the pizza place on the fly with a patient and sensitive child eagerly waiting the "it's ok!" and then watching her explode into tears when she can't have the food everyone else is having and there is no backup because you called the place ahead of time to check what food would be there and determined it was going to be okay to eat?

Seriously, any feedback would be appreciated here. Maybe asking for consideration is too much. If a kid makes a kid cry that's life. But if a grownup makes a kid cry, it's maddening.

So while mini does ABCs, Poker Chick is learning some lessons of her own in school: parenting a food-allergic child is hard. Because the real challenge isn't keeping them safe. It's making sure they don't feel "different" so it doesn't affect social development either. This is the greatest challenge by far. It's made infinitely easier with a supportive school and teachers, and many parents are thoughtful and considerate and concerned and Poker Chick is beyond grateful to them.

Sadly, others are simply not. Others are full-on resentful of the annoyance her child has added to their lunchbox-making. Shocking and sad but true. Unfortunately, it's these people that create the unnecessary social consequences that the kid has to face on top of an already overwhelming condition.

So whether you think it's too much or not, hear this: Your insensitivity can do major damage. So please act like a grownup here. ONE minute of thoughtfulness on your part can help a kid feel like a normal kid. So think about that. And pass it on, will ya?

*It's a rhetorical question, peeps. The answer is "no".

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's Better Than Chocolate

What event sells out in two hours and is the talk of New York?

Worry Free Dinners, of course! Check it out. A meal at a real restaurant where mini can safely eat anything she wants. Anything. In a restaurant. Did we mention it was a safe meal in a restaurant? Did we mention it's an asian restaurant, and she's never been able to eat at an asian restaurant before. Do you have any idea how big this is?

If that's not enough, this weekend Poker Chick discovered her heroes at Cherrybrook Kitchen now make frosting in a tub.
The dream of a normal food life is in reach....getting closer one day at a time.

Decisions, decisions

Poker Chick is debating whether or not to eat the white-chocolate chunk chocolate brownie in the fridge, or go to sleep.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Breaking News!!!!

Poker Chick invites readers to "pay it forward".

Paying it Forward

Since so many of you are online, PC is guessing you're doing some shopping online too. So if you are engaging in some unavoidable holiday consumerism, please to consider using this link.

This is a portal her friend Miranda set up. Well, she didn't create the site, but you get the point.
You go to a vendor you were going to anyway, get a few points towards your next purchase on a participating site, and she builds her network too, which then enables her to give goodies to her extra special clients....

You see where this is going. Check it out, peeps.

Breaking News: A real world sample

A sample of the top stories from today's news alone:

1. Cars are not selling well this holiday season. Duh.
2. Lebanon could be in the Guinness book of World records of a giant potato. Well, that's one way to get there.
3. The Irish have bad pork. Mental note: no more traif.
4. "Man vs. Wild" host injured in Antarctica. Great. Thanks for the 2009 season spoiler, news people!
5. Laid-off workers seek pay. No kidding.
6. Amy Poehler is back doing news at SNL after just a few weeks. Really?

What happened to, like, real news?

Breaking News!!!!

Poker chick has officially had writer's block for over a week now.

Writer's Block

Poker Chick has nothing to write about.

She's suffering from an attack of inspiration, energy, confidence, whatever. Everything she considers writing about lately seems pitiful and she's left with no ideas.

She could write about the "breaking news alert" she received that we've been in a recession since 2007. She could do a whole blog about how f*cked up it is that the authorities couldn't figure that one out before we'd already passed the mark for longest one on record since who knows when - and pontificate about what consititutes "Breaking news".

She could talk about the plight of the working mom, and ask for help deciding between a business trip and parent-teacher conferences, not to mention how to deal with snarky and judgemental stay-at-home moms who make things unnecessarily harder (not all of them, just a select precious bunch).

She could talk about complete exhaustion, the kind that happens when you're running a fever, your husband's been out of town for four days, and the mini is up coughing at night so much so that you and the pediatrician decide you must give her an inhaler for the first time.

She could lament about what to do with two weeks off in December, stay at home, go to Vegas, go to LA, do something else, etc, etc. The problems of a New York Ad Girl, indeed.

She could b*tch about the ridiculous expense, chaos and politics that is planning a winter birthday party in New York.

She could whine about the realization that despite many years and good medicine, farm animals still render her nose, eyes and mouth useless in an instant.

She could vent about the food thing, and how exhausting it is to always decline cake, call for pizza ingredients, say no to birthday parties with make your own food, want to scream when the mini is left out of social ocassions/food just because a parent didn't take a minute to be more inclusive. She could tell you about the mini's sad plea at a birthday party ("now can I have my cupcake"?) that is so loud it stops everyone in the room in their tracks and you have to endure horrible looks of pity.

She could talk about the fact that it was a "good" weekend when we only had two time-outs each day and how especially proud she was of mini who not only did a mitzvah by helping her sort and organize books at the synagogue, but also called to her classmate when she came in "Hi, E! Come and play with me and my new friends" (code: kids she just met). The same week, mini had asked Poker Chick to actually stop giving her so much mac and cheese so that there would be enough left to share with her friends. Today she also petted an iguana (technically some kind of "dragon" species) a second time to show a scared classmate that it was friendly and gentle. She could look at these moments and begin to think that maybe she is actually doing something right after all.

Yes, Poker Chick could tell you all this. But none of this will be interesting to you peeps.

So for now, we'll just whine. Being sick sucks, it's freezing outside, and PC is exhausted. Yes, we know. Call a f*cking "waambulance". Will do. In the meantime, can you peeps think of what the hell else you might actually want to read?