gnocchi with morels and sage shrimp tatsuta-age sweet and sour beef short ribs almond cake with blood oranges (gluten-free)


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blue by choice

I love Peabody. She’s got the right attitude about life as far as I’m concerned and that earns my respect (along with the fact that she generally kicks ass). I’ve thought a lot about life and the lemons and how some make lemonade and others just turn into sniveling messes as if a giant lemon has fallen from the sky and pinned them to the ground. In times of crisis, the true nature of an individual emerges. Sometimes it will surprise you for the better, and many times it will disappoint you. I pride myself in rolling with the punches through shitty times, and I do mean shitty times.

I have seen people wallow in self-pity or let their tragedies define who they are and dictate their lives. Not my cuppa, kids. My friend’s mother has a terrific saying: If you look up, there is no limit, and if you look down, there also is no limit. Life always could be better, or worse. Get over yourself and make the best of what you’ve got.

It’s very likely I will be losing my hair in the next several weeks. My surgeon delivered this news with what I detected was a hint of sympathy last month. I neither need nor want pity. It’s just hair and it will grow back. I understand it’s not the hair, but the condition that elicits this response in people. I am a rock and I am so gonna own this. Rather than feel blue, I went and lopped my hair off and dyed it blue.


grab life by the hojos



Okay, so the blue isn’t quite the punkass shocking blue I wanted. They are more like highlights, but I am told that with subsequent washes, the color will lighten and become more apparent. I’ve never had my hair bleached or dyed before! Jeremy tells me it’s very blue in sunlight and florescent light. I’ve donated my hair to Locks of Love five times now. It takes 2-3 years for me to grow a ponytail long enough (minimum 10 inches, but I try for 16+ inches) to send in. This incredible organization makes prosthetic hairpieces for children with medical hair loss who cannot afford them. I barely eeked out 11 inches on the ponytail, but I wasn’t going to let this opportunity go to waste. I don’t want to make this about me. I want to make it about living life the right way. Just remember: blue by choice. I am referring to color, not outlook. My choice.

Recall the zebra torte I posted about yesterday? There was an extra layer of vanilla chiffon cake and I had some extra whipped cream and extra raspberries…


bunch of scraps or a tidy dessert – your choice



It was unbelievably simple to slap together and I presented it to Jeremy just as he sat down to sip on a nice steaming cup of coffee. Basically, I biscuit-cuttered a round of chiffon cake. Mashed a handful of raspberries to a pulp and spread a layer over the cake. Then I folded some of the mashed berries into the sweetened whipped cream and dropped a big dollop on top of the berry layer, and garnished with a fresh berry. It could have benefited from a little soaking syrup in the cake. I’ll have to try that next time.

Many of you are no doubt familiar with Deb. She’s one of my favorites and I’ve been inspired by many a recipe off that lovely blog of hers. Recently she wrote about making truffles. I was planning on a batch anyway, but thought I’d try this new twist with the thin chocolate shell (without the need to temper – THANK YOU!). This batch of truffles was intended for some very special recipients, so I went to my cupboard of chocolate and selected:


valrhona 64%



It was messy. There was swearing. In the end the chocolate and I came to an understanding and there was something Zen in the way it all came together.

for the chocolate lovers

sending this package of handmade goods to my pal, sam



Make lemonade.

29 nibbles at “blue by choice”

  1. peabody says:

    Good for you Jen!!! I bet your blue hair was like my red hair. I had black cherry highlights once that only showed up in sunlight and florescent lighting…then you saw lots of red.
    When my mom lost her hair she lost a light brown Auburn hair color. When it grew back it was the most gorgeous shade of dark brown and so shiny. I was truly jealous. Now she has gone back to the Auburn as most of it turned to grey. Hers also grew back super soft…so maybe something to look forward to.
    Excellent use of your left overs and swoon at your truffles. Valrhona is in a tie for my all time favorite chocolate(Lenotre being the other).

  2. Cathy says:

    Hey there Jen, beautiful blog. Just wanted to let you know that I am a fellow food blogger living with an astrophysicist. How many of us do you think there are? ;-)

  3. kathryn says:

    ((((Jen)))). Your strength and resiliance are inspirational. Truly. Wishing you all the best.
    Your food is amazing. I wanna be like you when I grow up!! That Zebra torte! That mushroom yule log! The fried chicken. Good Lord, woman…you make me drool.

  4. Coffee & Vanilla says:

    I like you blue highlights! I always wanted to have blue hair and I used some kind of hair mascara to make blue highlights on my blond hair, but they were coming out usually before the end of the evening…

    Your truffles looks very tasty!!

    Margot

  5. Meeta says:

    You are inspiring and you rock!

  6. Graeme says:

    You’re so awesome, Jen.
    And everyone who’s already said it is right; The blue is cool.

  7. Lewis says:

    Jen you’re wonderful! Just think of your hair like one of those beta fish – you know the ones that can’t be in a tank with other ‘boring’ fish or they will kill them :)

  8. Danielle says:

    That is an awesome photo of you! The blue looks great – it’s subtle, but there.

  9. Bridget says:

    Your short hair looks great! Best of luck to you with the new challenges that life is throwing your direction!

  10. deb says:

    You did such a great job with those truffles. I could learn a thing or two from your technique… Love the blue.

  11. Nicisme says:

    I agree, great photo – blue is cool!
    And the truffles are packaged beautifully.

  12. Lucy says:

    Loving the blue hair! And the truffles! And your attitude!

  13. Christine says:

    Jen- is the blue any indication of which way you’ll swing in the nov. elections? :)
    I envy your stash of Valrhona! I am actually having a difficult time reconciling the reading your blog and keeping up with my ALP (ass lifting plan) – it’s not easy!

  14. Sheryl says:

    Love the hair, Jen, but I am partial to short hair! I’ve been reading your wonderful blog, but it makes me want to eat desserts!

  15. Chuck says:

    I love your attitude on life, the blue on you, your chocolate stash, but most of all, your spunk!

  16. Julie O'Hara says:

    It’s a fabulously punky blue! It sounds like you’ve got no shortage of positive attitude, but I’m sending some good vibes your way nonetheless. When life hands me lemons, I like to make Valrhona truffles, but, you know, that’s just me:)
    Julie

  17. Maryann says:

    Hi Jen,
    Stay strong and be well.

  18. felecia says:

    I love your pictures!
    Sending you Happy thoughts!

  19. StickyGooeyCreamyChewy says:

    Blue suits you. It is strong and vibrant and beautiful – just like you are. Take care of yourself.

  20. Michelle says:

    What an inspiring post, Jen. Take life by the horns!

  21. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Beautiful post. So moving.
    There are some Brazilian fingers crossed here for you, you bet!

  22. Gabi says:

    Hey Jen- I think of losing your hair as a physical letting go of what is past- after all the part that is now long was made in the past and the part that is growing right now will be the new hair that reemerges. It is usually more beautiful and deeper than what it replaces.

    So Black Hair, Blue hair
    No hair, new hair….Yu hair- you’re beautiful and strong no matter what comes along!

    Love and best wishes for a happy healthy strong and vital new year!
    xoxo
    Gabi

  23. Sam says:

    Ok, those truffles are so ridiculously seriously good. And the blue in the background? Two new beautiful scarves from Jen too! You’re ridiculous! :)

    xoxo,
    Sam

  24. jenyu says:

    Peabody – Valrhona is my favorite, but I’ve never gotten my hands on Lenotre! The blue is gradually becoming more noticeable :)

    Cathy – I bet there are just two of us, eh? Is your astrophysicist at the AAS in Austin now?

    Kathryn – Thanks for you’re very sweet thoughts, I especially appreciate them coming from you. xxoo

    Coffee & Vanilla – when I was in high school, I tried to dye my hair blue. I didn’t know that I had to bleach it first – so you were at least a step ahead of me :)

    Meeta – Lady, YOU are inspiring and you totally rock!!

    Graeme – I’d be a miserable curmudgeon without all of these wonderful people who make me laugh, and that includes you, silly.

    Lewis – this made me laugh so hard! thanks xxoo

    Danielle – keeping fingers crossed that it gets a little brighter before the hair gets shaved off :)

    Bridget – thank you!

    deb – only because of your great instructions and a smidge of my ocd ;)

    Nicisme – thanks.

    Lucy – yay!!!

    Christine – hee hee. My political leanings are green, but seeing as our country has stepped into the red/purple realm, I cannae deny my love for blue right now :) Just read it – you’re not eating the pictures are you? ha ha ha!

    Sheryl – hey hon, I know you love short hair. I’ve never known you with long hair! Sorry about the food porn, it does make for bad timing when you’re hungry :)

    Chuck – that’s so sweet of you, thanks.

    Julie – thanks for the good vibes! Hell, I’ll hand you lemons if you’ll produce Valrhona truffles! :) You must be everybody’s best friend where you live!

    Maryann – you betchya.

    Felecia – thanks :)

    SGCC – you are such a sweetheart. Thanks for the kind words. xxoo

    Michelle – woohoo!

    Patricia – awww, that means a lot to me. thanks xxoo

    Gabi – that is a great way of looking at it :) I like that and appreciate your positive thoughts. I wish you the very best for the year too! xxoo

    Sam – girlfriend, I hope you read this post AFTER you got the package ;) You’re the best. BEST :) love you.

  25. Anita says:

    Jen,
    Late to the post but I have to add my best wishes and good thoughts! Your attitude is really inspiring and I have to say I love the blue hair! My little sister was “rebel” of the family and the only one to dye her hair (purple streaks). I keep thinking one day I’ll do it…:)

    Thanks for the reminder that we can choose our outlook on life:) I’ll be thinking about you!

  26. jenyu says:

    Anita – thanks love. I never had the guts to dye my hair until I found out I was gonna lose it ;) It’s fun!! Ha ha, I’m the little sister in my family (well, now I’m the only sister, but I still consider myself the little sister!) and yes, we are rebels. If you do dye your hair, be sure to post a pic on your blog!! :)

  27. Tartelette says:

    Jen,I would not expect any less of you…meaning you kick ass too. The highlights look awesome. I donated my hair to locks of love last October and now letting it grow back for another round. The zebra torte (same concept,different flavors) was the first dessert I made to impress my husband …I think it worked!

  28. Cathy says:

    Jen – my astrophysicist is currently in Saigon, Vietnam doing very little science. He will be at Cal Tech later this year though ;-)

    NERDS RULE!

  29. jenyu says:

    Tartelette – so glad that someone else also donates their hair! Wow, your husband must have thought he found the secret to happiness :) I think he probably did!

    Cathy – I know tech well… we were both undergrads there and I worked there after graduate school. If you like nerds, that place has no shortage.

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