The Friday Chef

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Monday, December 06, 2004
Spotlight On

Doom Song.  She rocks.  Shut up.

Name: Dinah Larson

Age: 29. No, really.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Where were you born? Evansville, IN

How did you end up in LA?
I took the long way in. After 14 years in E-ville (hee), Dad got a new job, moved the fam, and I lived in Denver for 10 years, where I attended high school and college. Then I moved to Seattle to be with the love of my life, where I got a job with my current company, who, after 3 years, promoted me to Regional Director and moved us both down to LA.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Magazine writer, ala Karen Catchpole from Sassy or Jim Greer from Spin. Karen because I wanted to write the articles that exposed jr. high & teenage bullshit for exactly what it was and help young women everywhere strengthen their self-esteem. Jim because in 1994 he wrote a series for Spin called, "A Year in the Life of
Rock & Roll," where he traveled all over the country going to shows, interviewing bands and waxing philosophical on the roots, the current state and the future of rock music. That sounded like a pretty cool job to me. How I ended up as a middle-management marketing flunky for a company that 95% of the world hates is truly beyond me.

What were mealtimes like for you as a child? In the movie "While You Were Sleeping" there is a great scene where the whole family is sitting around the table enjoying delicious home-cooked food and carrying on about 5 different conversations at once. There were 6 of us at home until I was 8 when my oldest sister went to college, so it was a lot like that.

What is your heritage? I call it Euro-Mutt: Norwegian, German, Irish. I identify with the Scandanavian the most, I think because of the food--we eat Aunt Olga's lefse every Christmas, you know? Plus I come from a long line of Minnesota Larsons. Yah sure you betcha.

Did you ever like any of your school photos? Absolutely.  For my second grade photo I was wearing a kelly green sweater with my name monogrammed on the front in rainbow colors, with
a rainbow stitched on next to it, over a white turtleneck with little rainbows all over it, and I had the front part of my hair pulled back and tied with a matching green ribbon that also featured my name painted on and, of course, another rainbow. It might be my very favorite picture of me of all time.

What is your favorite outfit these days? Jeans jeans jeans. I feel very stylish when I wear them with a sassy top, my new brown velvet blazer, heels and dangly earrings. I think I'm finally
starting to be assimilated by LA.

What was your first date like? Ever heard the phrase, "Sweet 16 and never been kissed"? That was me. I don't know if this was officially my first date, but it was my first real kiss so here's the story: My dear high school friends, who felt sorry for my kissless state, actually helped me coordinate an entire evening with a cute boy named Jamie who'd asked me out. Neither of us had a license, so Toya chauffeured us, complete with a black suit and cute black cap, in her white VW bug. First we went to Kim's house, where we were greeted with sparkling cider and served a delicious meal by Mandy, the chef. When we needed refills, we'd ring a little bell and Kim, dressed as an upscale waiter in black pants, white shirt, tie and long apron, would serve us. After dinner, Toya drove us to the movies where I think we saw "Other People's Money." Then we were chauffeured back to Jamie's house, where we decided to go for a walk to the nearby park. Eventually we sat on a bench (which was good, considering I'd already hit 5'10" by 16 and Jamie, well, hadn't) and did some kissing. It was totally gross. After awhile, we walked back to the house, Jamie went in and I crawled back into an expectant Toya's VW, where she'd cued up "Kiss de Girl" *just in case* we needed extra encouragement. At the end of the night, I discovered that while kissing high school boys might be overrated, good girlfriends are absolutely invaluable.

How did you meet your fiance? We met at a conference in LA when I was still living in Denver. Sparks flew, he stole forks for me, it was all very romantic, and yet neither of us made a move. It took a couple months of long-distance emailing and calling before we both gave into the fact that we are pathetic people who really should have done some kissing, so he flew out to Denver for our first date (Garbage concert). Our first kiss was at the Denver International Airport. Soooo
romantic. I knew right then I'd lost my heart forever. Three months later, I was living in Seattle. Five years later, we're gettin' hitched.
*sigh* I love that story.

Me too!

What is in your vegetable bin? Bud Light and Diet Coke

What color is your car? Black

Any pets? Nope. Love animals, though. I'd like to get a cat & name her Sheena (after the punk rocker); my man wants a bulldog he can name, like, Diesel or something. Until we're no longer apartment-dwellers w/ stoopid busy schedules, however, we'll remain pet free. I don't need any little monsters tearing all over a small apartment pooing on things because they're not getting enough attention, ya know?

Are you having a good hair day? It's okay. The woman who cuts my hair gave me such a great cut I almost always have a good hair day (SoCal residents, take note: Frenchy's Beauty Parlor in Burbank, ask for Patrina, tell her Dinah sent you). I just ran out of product this morning, though, so it's a little limp.

What is your favorite perfume? Michael Kors, "Michael"

What is your middle name? Jane. It's a family name, actually, so I'm very proud of it.

What type of books do you like to read? Favorite authors include Helen Fielding, Barbara Kingsolver, Margaret Atwood & Ann Rice. Lately I find I only have energy for easy reads, so I've put away a lot of chick lit that's about as satisfying as a Snickers Mini Bite when you could really use a sandwich. I have yet to find a series of grown-up books that are as compelling as all the stuff I loved as a kid like "The Narnia Chronicles," or anything by Madeline L'Engle. Recently I inhaled Fielding's "Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination" and highly recommend it.

Do you have any favorite websites that we may not know about?
For groovy gifts and theengs from the great Northwest -
For groovy gifts and theengs from Japan -
For all your movie review needs -
For uber-hip wall graphics for your home or office - For uber-hip wallpapers for your computer -
For a constant supply of these kinds of links, my friend Brian's blog -
For more about me -

What is your favorite type of cookie? Chocolate Chip, specifically by my sister Amy's recipe, which I posted over at Looking Good. They're amaaaaaaaaazing.

Tell us about your upcoming wedding plans! Okay! *goes bridal* We're going to do ceremony and reception at this amazing place on Hollywood Boulevard called CineSpace. We're big movie lovers so it's kind of perfect. My dress is going to be a fabulous sort of "vintage Hollywood" style gown, very simple, elegant, sexy... and pink. The guys are all in sleek black suits (my guy's wearing a tux, the rest aren't required to), the ladies get to pick their own black party dresses. Not just because I want to be nice, but I want them to feel Hot. We're carrying tulips, which my mom will do along w/ any other flowers because she is, in fact, a sensational professional florist. My future MIL is baking cupcakes for The Cake and my future FIL will officiate. Colors are black, white, hot/raspberry pink and apple green. You know how some people choose bells or flowers or pineapples for their printed materials? We traded with a graphic designer at my office to do up a suuuuuper cute logo with monkeys, because monkeys? Are awesome. Favors will be CDs of our favorite love songs (from Billie Holiday to Foo Fighters) and the programs will be the CD covers--that way, guests can keep them without wondering what the heck to do with them.  I haven't gotten much farther than that, but there's an excellent chance that I'll be walking down the aisle to  
"Dancing Queen."  You know why? Because I can. That's why.

Well, I wish you both a lifetime of happiness and love.  Thanks for a fun interview!

Posted at 12:13 am by ChefGrace
(3) Shout Outs  

Sunday, December 05, 2004
Pony Pride

     NFL Single Season TD Passes 
Player    Season    TD Passes 
Dan Marino     1984 48
Peyton Manning* 2004  44
Dan Marino 1986  44 
Kurt Warner  1999  41 
Brett Favre  1996  39 
Brettt Favre  1995  38
   *Season still in progress

As you can see, (unless your eyes glazed over at the mere mention of football),  Peyton Manning is in a great position to surpass Marino's record for touchdown passes in a single NFL season.
After another stunning win, today over the Tennessee Titans, (51-24), the Colts now have a two-win edge over the division's competition for first place in the  AFC South, and with
points, the Colts are on track to break the NFL's single-season scoring record,(um, I came up with 431 points, though I'm no math whiz.  I could be slightly off),  which is 556 points, currently held by the Minnesota Vikings, set in 1998.

Is it any wonder, then, that Peyton Manning is among the most-hated individuals around?  
Well, unless you're from Indianapolis, of course.

We love you, Man!

Posted at 08:30 pm by ChefGrace
(1) Shout Outs  

Only 20 Shopping Days Left!

Overg and I did a bit of online shopping together this weekend, so I thought it was appropriate to share some gift ideas with all of you.  Granted, some of you do not celebrate Christmas, but it's still fun to browse the list, nonetheless.

Tee Shirts to wear to Walmart, or say, work.

For the kiddies on your list.

How about some real estate?

The gift that keeps on living.

This site has something for everyone. 
Including yourself.

Posted at 12:25 am by ChefGrace
(3) Shout Outs  

Saturday, December 04, 2004
I Like It Like That

I was watching Discovery Health Channel in the wee hours of the morning yesterday, trying to lull myself to sleep, when a show came on about women who date younger men.  What was once a taboo is now becoming more widely accepted, thanks in part to women like Susan Sarandon and Demi Moore, who show that they don't have to limit themselves to men that are their own age, or older. 

Last year, AARP magazine revealed the results of a study that 34 % of women between 40 and 69 had dated younger men and 12% had married younger men. This growing trend has sparked many dating sites, chat rooms, parties, and the like, for the some of the older women, who are now becoming known as "Cougars".  This term was coined by Valerie Gibson, the author of Cougar, A Guide For Older Women Dating Younger Men, who has some experience with this type of relationship herself.   The book doesn't take itself too seriously ~ it's a light and fluffy look at the issues concerning women who are interested in persuing younger men.  This book cautions the older woman against getting too attached, or expecting much of a commitment.

So, what's it all about?   Simple. The sex.
Check out "the rules" from the book:

  1. Feel sexy, be sexy, dress sexy.
  2. Ignore anyone who says you shouldn’t.
  3. Avoid sex on first encounters.
  4. Well okay, if you absolutely must.
  5. Keep control when hunting.
  6. Well, up to the third martini anyway.
  7. Think short-term, not long-term.
  8. Okay, think long-term if the sex is amazing.
  9. Carry condoms.
  10. Use them.
There are many women who resent this term, however.  Women who take dating younger men seriously.  Some reasons for their preference are because younger men aren't as set in their ways.  They are open to new experiences, and are more adventurous.  Younger men often appreciate the level of self-confidence that older women often posess.  The women aren't as needy or as concerned with status symbols.

I have some experience with younger men, myself.  Overg is 7˝ years younger than I am, and although we sometimes joke about the age difference, it's really no big deal.   My (ex) husband was younger, (obviously not a great example), as was nearly every guy I've ever dated.  The  difference for me, though, is that I've never actively tried to attract younger men.  It just happened that way.  My mother and sister also married younger men, so perhaps it's a family trait,
but whatever it is, I'm happy to know that society is finally beginning to accept this type of relationship, and realizes that we can live happy, fulfilled lives, regardless of age difference.

Posted at 01:07 pm by ChefGrace
(8) Shout Outs  

Friday, December 03, 2004
Food Friday Files

I'm pleased to announce the arrival of my new blog ~
Food Friday Files.

There won't be much in the way of original content there, I merely started it as a way to archive all of my Food Friday recipes.  I chose BlogSpirit (loooove them!) to host the site, because they had the option of placing entries in categories.  It's not a perfect system, but I think it works pretty well.  I managed to enter all 120 (!) recipes there today, and hope that the site will help others find recipes or inspiration.  There's no need to change your links, because I'll still be posting the usual daily stuff here.  Please take a look at the new site and let me know what you think.  I'd love to enter the Food Friday recipes that several of you previously posted on your own sites, but I'll need your help in locating those entries, so please email the info to me when you have the time. 

It's been almost a year since I started Food Friday.  I'd like to thank everyone for their contributions, feedback and support.  It's been a lot of fun for me, and I hope you've enjoyed it too! 

Posted at 11:27 pm by ChefGrace
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