is cheese like heroin?

This weekend I’m in another Food: Fact or Fiction on Cooking Channel.   Here is a clip where I tackle the issue of why we love cheese.  ( why would we not?)  In this clip  host Michael Mckean actually says my name!   Been a fan for years.. if only we had been in the same room..and got to be funny together.  That would be an 11.

cobb salad fun

Ever wondered where a Cobb Salad came from?  Well, check me out of Cooking Channel’s Food: Fact or Fiction and find out.  Airs this weekend.  (Jan 14th 7pm PST)

They chyron me as “Home Cook”.  Hmm, host of the previously aired Daphne Dishes too long?  I’ve taped a few of these and I enjoy doing them.  The only bummer is they are all shot in an un airconditioned loft in Downtown LA.  We shot most of them in the warm months.  Because it is a noisy area we have to shut the hip industrial windows when we we tape and I probably had sweaty pits here.

But I digress…

What’s on Hand Pasta! ( and slow jam)

Easy dinner in a dash.

Happy New Year Humans!!

New Year’s can sometimes feel almost as compulsory as Valentines day — a crime against humanity– but this year was ok.  An impromptu party at my sister-in-law’s pretty condo with her exuberant husband, one of my sisters and awesome husband (Kevin Tent who edited Downsizing and directed the hilarious Crash Pad) a couple good girlfriends, one with a date  ( btw they did not follow the dictum that couples never sit next to each  other.  We gave them a hard time but they said because they were not married it was ok.  I judged in silence). Our favorite divorced bachelor (don’t even ask for his contact, his queue is longer than Space Mountain).   My nephew Charlie– 20, handsome, smart– showed up with 10 of his closest friends for a cameo.  Nice group.  I yelled at one kid for being on his phone before greeting us.  I was so proud I knew some of their names!

Damn it 2018, you better behave

I did counsel one young man who gushed that he would marry his present girlfriend.

“No, you won’t” I said.  She gave me a little look that said, “Yeah, tell him.”

“Maybe you can break up and get back together, but you are too young.  You don’t know yourself enough. Just enjoy the moment.”

In ten minutes I tried to impart much of what I have learned about being in relationships.

“Everyone is responsible for their own orgasms.  Woman cannot just lie there and wait for fairy dust.  They need to learn about themselves, know what they want and be vocal. Men do not know what is in our minds or how our bodies work… believe me!”  I think this is when my nephew’s mother (aka my sister) almost spilled her dry martini as she wedged herself between me and the besotted youth.  What’s the matter?  They are 20.

I digress.  We had a caterer because after the last 6 weeks I’d cooked more times than Mario Batali has shoved his junk on women in his restaurants.  ( was that my outside voice?)

IF a woman looked liked that she would be arrested and certainly not be given national TV shows to host.

So, here is a regular night dinner.  No fireworks or sex ed, or unwelcome attention  Just mid week, kids avoiding homework and I’m making dinner.  I want to go to the grocery store like I want to be close to Mario Batali  (oh, the humanity) so I’m a big fan of grabbing what’s on hand and making it happen.  With food, not fatty’s junk.

I hope you enjoy the little vid.

Green Onion Pasta

no makeup.jpg

I’m back.

I felt a tad flattened for a while after “Daphne Dishes” wasn’t picked up.  Throw in some personal stuff and feeling father time was sitting on my face– and not in a good way– I got discouraged.  Lost my creative way.  Fell into “what’s the point?” and my health insurance costs a fortune.  I gotta get a job at Hertz. Plus, the 2016 election and all that followed.  America, how did we get out of bed?

But, after my Siddhartha like journey ( i.e. networking, talking to casting directors, agent, etc and most importantly my mother) I realized the parade may have kept moving, but I can jump on a float.  The hard part is I have to build my own float.

When I thought about what means the most to me it’s 1) my kids 2) comedy 3) political issues 4) food ( 2-3-4 shift positions often).  To that end in addition to this being coolmom.com it is also coolfoodmom.com and coolactivistmom.com.  Because as my kids get older they still take a shit ton of my time, however I can’t exploit them as easily.  They are on to me.  Plus, I remembered my breasts aren’t just milk bags and I do have nice curvy hips and oh, yeah, there is a woman there.

I do really miss Daphne Dish’s, so I will do my best with my limited resources and lack of production value and reboot some cooking, comedy, sass.  Here is my first attempt.

 

Angst about anxiety

I hear about a documentary and I think “damn, that sounds so interesting!  I’d love to see that.”  But, I almost never do.  I barely get to the movies unless I’m escorting my kids to an animated film…then I prefer to go to a theater that has wine.  It relaxes me when I see animals talking.

But, when I was invited to watch a documentary about teens and anxiety I did watch it.  Not on a “screener”  ( which I NEVER get unlike everyone else I know in Los Angeles), not streaming, but got in my car and drove.  Drove to Westwood no less.  I hate driving to Westwood.  Not as much as I hate driving to Glendale, but much more than driving Downtown.

Why did I go? I now have a tween.  I can see that middle school seems more challenging than elementary school.  Not academically, but socially, the vibe, the lack of play.  Schools seem to think that at 12 no one wants unstructured outdoor time.  Join a sports team!  (more anxiety.)   My husband came with me.  He has already had 3 other children go through teen years and he seemed to have less insight into the process than I have.

The movie is called “Angst“.  It’s a lot of people talking about their anxiety, so I did feel a bit anxious watching it, but the good news ( and for short attention span Brogdon this is very good) it clocks in just under an hour.  There are different teens describing what they went through, some of what made them better.  Various therapist talking about treating teens with anxiety.  Now, there were moments watching were I thought, “Gee shut up you nice looking, largely white kids who live in America and are scared to go to school.  You are not in Cambodia scared your back yard has unexploded land mines.”   But, then I am not worried about land mines either and my children’s worries are probably more like the kids in this film.  Urban, metro, educated families. Makes sense they would get anxious.. they have a mom who stresses about driving to Westwood  ( also cause it’s all crap chain restaurants, except Falafel King, thank God that is still there).

Two things really jumped out at me as take aways for parents:  1) if your kid has chronic tummy aches it is probably anxiety.  Which doesn’t mean “tough it out”, but address the underlying issue.  2) one therapist said it would help young people to process feelings if their parents did openly as well.  Example a parent might share with their youngin:  “I had a disagreement with my friend at work.  I didn’t know why she was mad at me and I ignored it, but it started to bother me, so I asked her to get a coffee with me and we worked it out.”  Remember being a teen in your darkened bedroom with headphones on listening to Pete Townsend’s solo works and thinking ” I am the ONLY ONE in the world who feels like I do”  ( on hi low carpeting as I recall).

When Mark told some friend’s of ours about it the next day he summed it up well, “It scared the shit out of me.”

I don’t want to be a spoiler, but near the end of the film a FAMOUS person surprises one of the kids and speaks frankly about their struggles with anxiety and depression  (which kinda sorta go together a lot).  It’s a real high point and I’m sure the producers high fived when they booked THIS PERSON. “woo- hoo, we have our ending”

So, check out the film.  The film makers have a comprehensive website with resources.  Also, if you want the film to be shown at your school or youth organization they will set that up for free.  They will help facilitate talking points, etc.

Happy Birthday to me

Gang,  This is the longest I’ve gone since a post.  It’s tough when you are in a mid life crisis, raising kids, family obligations, working, looking for more work, mourning your Food Network show, exercising, doing community work and resisting the worst President I’ve ever known.

It remind me of one of the my favorite signs from the women’s march. “ugh, Where Do I Start?”

I’m going to try and post something funny soon.  Right now I’ve been binge watching old videos from when my kids were super tiny.  They are now 8 and 11 and I’m already nostalgic for their younger selves.  So, I’ll leave you with one that has been on a loop here lately.  It’s something I made for Mark’s professional FB page years ago.  It’s so cute!!

Oh, and March 22nd is my birthday.  Thanks for being here!

Chef Peel cooks at home

on the rare day off Chef Mark Peel takes direction from HIS executive chef, his 6 year old daughter

Posted by Chef Mark Peel on Friday, October 7, 2011

I’ve started to write, stopped, started.. head been whacked since election.  Also, so much to say!!  Serious stuff too.

But, Don’s appointment to Secretary of Energy made me think of something funny.  We remember Rich Perry’s famous “oops” moment when in a primary debate in ’12 he forgot one of the 3 departments he would dismantle if he became president.  It was wildly made fun of and he was soon out of the race.  Oh how have things changed in 4 years!  Trump did 100 things more outrageous and said dumber things in his debate, but didn’t matter.  Now, he is appointing Perry to one of the departments he wanted to dismantle.

Well, back then I included Perry’s debate gaffe as one of my “If a mom talked like….”  So, I’m posting again.  So funny, one of the points I was making back then with this series is that women are held to a different standard than men.  Ha, ha, so true ( laughing through my tears)

Sorry Dudes, Trump is ruining it for you

I’ve always been political.  News junkie.  First professional job in broadcasting was as a news anchor for a local NPR station.  So, I can get heated. But, never before have I felt so personally traumatized.  Sure, Bush v. Gore was VERY upsetting,

But, Trumps behavior and millions condoning it has me questioning every relationship with men I have ever had.

You see,  like many women I’ve spent  my life accommodating the male persona. I’m a feminist, but I’ve still done it.  Maybe less than others, but in a world where they are often your boss, or the majority of your co workers, it’s hard not too.    From making sure my dad had the seat at the head of the table and a plate of hot food, to nodding politely when some male stranger said something condescending.  Well, he is an old guy, he doesn’t mean to demean. From “Smile honey” to  bosses who made lewd comments about me or other women I worked with.

something I pasted together

something I pasted together

The worst were several males and bosses I worked with in radio in the 90’s.  Pigs.  I worked with some great, respectful men of all ages.  But, hands down the worst were at KGO radio San Francisco.  Constant sexual comments.  I would smile, and then every few weeks go into an empty studio and cry.   I wanted to work in radio.  What was I going to do?  It was top down at that place.  I eventually learned to become like my torturer.   When they would say something gross, I’d shoot back , “Yeah, but you have a small dick.  So, can I have the AP report now?”   It hardened me.    I spoke of one incident to a woman superior.  She made excuses for the guy, “But, he never touched you, right?”  No, he never did. But, I was stuck with him and a guy engineer on a remote broadcast who made everything we spoke of into a way to bring in my body parts.  Once I wasn’t working for the station directly, but for a show taped there, it sheltered me a bit. Like an abuse victim I didn’t stand up to any of these men till I saw it being done to a younger woman who had started working there.  Unable to defend myself I did tell one guy to not talk to her like that anymore.  “I thought it was a compliment?”  He said.  “No, no woman wants two senior men to her at work to hold up a Victoria’s Secret catalogue and say, ‘Yes, it does look like her.”   I couldn’t reprimand the other guy, he was even higher up.

NOT JUST SEXUAL

As I moved onto TV I had all different type of co workers and bosses.  MANY who knew were the line was.  (Consensual sexual relationships between co workers is fine..albeit later Awkward. )  However, this taking care of the man isn’t just about letting some fat, fart think he has a chance with you.  It doesn’t have to take a sexual form to be menacing and manipulative and to keep women from freely expressing themselves and their ideas.   How many times have you been in a meeting with a male boss who mansplains you to boredom?  Who is detailing something middle management figured out months ago?  Who shows you how to do something you already know?  Who assumes you do not have what a certain task will take?   Who silences you so a man can speak? Who wants endless praise for one idea he has come with?    But, most of the time I  humor them.  Laugh, smile, rag on them later when I’m at happy hour with a co worker.  The few times I have protested, I’m alone.  So, I  back down and I needed the paycheck.

Sorry, guys I probably would have kept doing it, but now that I see this heavy, lurching manness writ large with Donald Trump I’m done.  I’m calling it and I’m not going along with it.  Trumps intense meanness to Hillary Clinton in the second debate made my stomach hurt.   I watched it with others and the men in the room were also upset.  “I have to have a drink” one said.  It was so tense.  In order to get along, Hillary rarely fired back. I get why.  It’s NOT a level playing field and she is carrying Bill’s sins on her coat tails. Though I don’t know why when a woman is cheated on and gets angry at the other woman she is an abuser?  Couldn’t a woman calling a woman she is angry with be called “locker room talk?”   No, because entitled men reserve excuses for themselves and the brotherhood.  Pat Robertson and his ilk think it’s fine.

I know there are good guys who don’t even realize their impact on woman sometimes.I  t could be from someone who otherwise I think is a lovely person.  Maybe a super liberal,don’t matter.  They stand too close. their voices are naturally deeper, louder. They think everyone wants to hear what that have to say.  I had a boyfriend years ago who was large.  6’7”, 240lbs.  He acted very contrite and respectful around women.  I was surprised at how gentle this giant was.  I asked him about it and he said, “I know my physical size is very intimidating to women and I don’t want them to be scared of me.” He did not abuse his power.  Sometimes Mark says something that startles me or Vivien.  When we say, “why are you yelling?”  He says, “I wasn’t.  I’m not even mad.”  It’s the timber.  The other day at Bombo he came in during my shift and started telling me IN FRONT OF OTHERS about the correct ice to lemonade ratio.  I just nodded as I thought screaming  “Don’t Mansplain to me”  might be bad for business.  In a private moment I said, I know this is not what you intended, but here is how that felt to me.  He understood.

OUTSIDE OF WORK

The belittling of woman is not confined to the work place.  Oh no.  It can be from dear people who don’t even know they are doing it.  Being who I am I freely express my opinions on all types of topics.  One thing both men, and some woman have said when I do this MAKES ME GO NUTS.   It’s a line that has a few variations… but it undercuts whatever the speaker has just said.  Here it is:

“Daphne, tell us what you really think?”  Followed by chuckles.   It could also be, “Daphne, go on, tell us what you really think?”   Chuckles.  Or “You never have to guess what Daphne thinks about something.”  Continued chuckles.   I have had women do this to me too, usually when we are in the company of men.

Frankly, I don’t know how it’s taken me so long to say, as I recently said to my husband when he did it too!,

When I said “That is so sexist and belittling.”  (he got it)

 

However, I have NEVER heard any gender say that to a man expressing a definite opinion.  EVER.   If you have ever said this ask yourself, why?  Were you uncomfortable with the statement?  Was it controversial?  Because if it was a hot button issue one could say instead,  “I appreciate you feel really strongly about this, I just don’t want to create any friction on a night I thought we were going to do Jager shots out of hose.”   But, if it’s not something like, oh, where does life began, but perhaps a well articulated critique of a popular author, why say it?

 

The saying is the personal is the political.  It certainly is here.   I remember in ’08 thinking, yeah I guess I’ll vote for Hillary, but I’m not getting in a later about it.  Then in a primary debate Obama dismissed her with “You are likable enough, Hillary.”  She smiled and took it.  I was a plane for Texas helping her campaign win the caucus.

Yes, I usually vote Democratic.  But, I’m pining for the days of Romney, McCain, even W.  They would have competed against Hillary Clinton strongly.  They would have made powerful arguments for their conservative vision.  They would have pointed out were they think her policies were flawed or not executed.  Good for them.  They would not have stalked her in a debate using their physique to intimidate her.  They would not have commented on faces and body parts of a female competitor.   I already abhorred Trump for his lack of intellect, his reality show pedigree, his race baiting, his hostility to anyone who doesn’t look like him, his insults to Gold Star families and POW’s. I also do not like how he has advanced the coarsening of our societies dialogue.

I have sometimes placated and tolerated men with a  sense of entitlement, humored them.  But, I’m not doing it anymore.  Thank Donald Trump.