..but I "won't" do that. (CtBF: Midori Babas with Pineapple & Apricot Kernel Ice Cream)

"Whatever is dirty, it is women's job to clean up, or drive some man to clean up, and that goes for everything from cellar to senate." Agnes Macphail
Now, there are many things in my life that I don't love doing but don't mind doing: folding laundry, pulling weeds, cleaning bathrooms. On the flip side, there are a much fewer number of things that I don't love doing but I mind doing.

Washing dishes is pretty high on that list.

Gone to the Dogs (CtBF: Duck Fat Cookies)

"I've never met an animal I didn't like, and I can't say the same thing about people." - Doris Day "An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language." - Martin Buber I am not a clingy person by nature. The running joke with my direct reports is to make sure that a 24 inch minimum space bubble is left around me at all times. (This does not offend me - I fully endorse the idea). Hugs are reserved for 1) family or people who have made the short list, 2) life events (funerals, baby births, weddings, etc) or 3) young children. Now, I understand that this makes me a genetic oddity within my family and can project a stand-offish vibe to those who don't know me well.

Sorry, not sorry (CtBF: Baba Ganoush)

"You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." - Abraham Lincoln"Sometimes you have to do what you don't like to get to where you want to be." - Tori Amos In the never-ending list of foods that are or are not generally acceptable for consumption in Chez Cher, it can be very challenging to get a meal on the table depending who is sitting at the table...

Hamburgers on the grill - two yays, one nay
Duck - one nay, two yays
Pancakes for dinner - two yays, one nay
Grilled fish - two yays, one nay
Eggplant (other than in Eggplant Parm form) - three nays

Duck duck, goose... Or not. (CtBF: Duck Terrine with Figs)

I believe that if you don't derive a deep sense of purpose from what you do, if you don't come radiantly alive several times a day, if you don't feel deeply grateful at the tremendous good fortune that has been bestowed on you, then you are wasting your life. And life is too short to waste. - Srikumar Rao
After completing school and jumping back on the Cook the Book Fridays wagon, I knew my return to "French Fridays" would not be complete without an epic ingredient recipe. Some rites of passage can not be ignored.

Duck terrine with figs certainly filled many squares on the cookbook bingo:

Obscure ingredient - check Questionable ingredient - check Unappealing presentation - checkMulti-town/ store ingredient scavenger hunt - checkOpportunity to use inane baking vessel - double checkDubious combination of ingredients - BINGO

Skin Deep (CtBF: French Cheesecake)

“Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.” - Dorothy Parker

"People often say that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves." - Salma Hayek

Getting My Groove Back (CTBF: Smoky BBQ Style Pork)

"The river is constantly turning and bending and you never know where it's going to go and where you'll wind up. Following the bend in the river and staying on your own path means that you are on the right track. Don't let anyone deter you from that." - Eartha Kitt "And my only rule being if when I wake in the morning I'm looking forward to the things that I have to do that day, then I'm on the right track." - Demetri Martin Now, at a certain stage in life one has to come to terms with the fact that things are just not the way they were. You know where you've been but do not always have insight into where you are and where you are headed.

Still alive...

I know its been a long time (like really long), but just dropped in to say all is well.

When we last left off, Runner Girl had just graduated from college and I had gone back to school. Yeah, that.

There is a light at the end of my tunnel (next spring, fingers crossed) and Runner Girl is headed back to school in a couple of weeks. Culinary Kid and The Dude are well and busy.

Oh, somewhere along the way we adopted this guy (if you've been on my IG feed, you can see he's taken over our lives - completely).

To my FF and TWD friends, I hope to see you all again on the interwebs sometime next spring. Until then, Instagram is where I'm at!