"I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick note to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah for those of my Jewish friends.

I have to also wish my parents a happy 50th wedding anniversary. Due to my father's call to serve in the Navy and be in California three days after Christmas, my parents were married Christmas Day and are still so very in love. They are my inspiration and some day I hope that I will have that same happiness. I am working towards it daily. And, yes, I know that it is work, it does not just "happen".

I also want to share these three images....

This is the front of the first card from SF. What a thoughtful gesture to search for a card with red rose buds on it knowing how much they mean to me....

Inside the gift bag, was this blue box...... and this was inside....SF took the time to listen to what was important and when she was certain, she set out to find the perfect gift. I was so surprised to open it and I was so nervous that I couldn't even put it on myself.

That's all for now...I'm off to get everything gathered up and ready to head to dinner with SF and our friends and their family....look out boys, I bet you got toys that I might like....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday Temptations

I missed posting this weekend. So, first I will catch you up....

Saturday the mattresses for the bed were delivered at 9:00 AM. I spent the morning washing all my clothes so that I could get it all done in preparation for this week. I also had three weeks worth of ironing that was overtaking the apartment. I worked up to 3:00 PM and got myself ready for the Christmas Party.

The host couple's house was beautiful. They had won their subdivision's award for best lights. They also had two trees. One was a cream and gold theme and the other was flamingos. The food was fabulous and the company was even better. We had a White Elephant exchange and it was so much fun. There were 14 of us and I had number 5. My first pick was two silver bags tied together. One contained Asti and the second contained edible underthings. One for each partner (male and female)...and they were the candy on a string type. My face turned about sixteen shades of red. Needless to say, they did not remain in my possession for long. I ultimately brought home a tool kit. It has all kinds of nifty tools that I needed but had not purchased.

Sunday was laid back. I finished the remaining ironing and worked on afghan squares for the Pine Ridge Reservation project. I also snuck out and picked up part of SF's present. I got her a piece of the Comets floor from the Summit when it was damaged by Tropical Storm Allison. It comes complete with a certificate of authenticity and I am so excited. Part two of the gift will be getting it framed in a shadow box once she tells me what color the rest of her frames are in the memorabilia room. No, I still have not seen or been to her place. Not time yet for the waltz to increase. No rush on my part and if it is to be it will be. I also have a mechanic shirt from Hellanbach. MEOW! I also have Lisa Leslie's book for her.

I managed to get all of the gifts wrapped and under the tree. I am looking forward to this first Christmas on my own. New traditions and no pressure to get the perfect gift for a couple that has no real need for anything from us common folk.... Instead, I will be having a wonderful dinner Christmas Eve with SF and exchanging gifts with her. Christmas Day, I plan on getting together with Trouble and Jack first. If Munchkin can squeeze me in since she is starting with someone else other than her mother, I'll see her as well. If not, she and I will need to have Christmas another day. I am looking forward to Christmas dinner with SF at the same house as Thanksgiving Day dinner and then a movie in the afternoon. I think we are going to see that new Brad Pitt movie...

In lieu of my normal temptations, I wanted to take this time and forum to thank everyone for their love and support this past six months. I will not name each of you here, as you know who you are and what part you have played, and continue to play. I owe three of you packages and I plan to get them in the mail over then next two weeks. I wanted to avoid the holiday mailing frenzy and make sure that you each receive them after the new year begins. I also want to thank melaswell for the awesome music mix she sent me! I think I am totally in love with you woman! You ROCK! Talk to that landlord about getting that hole in your ceiling and let me know when I can "drop" in... ;) Boston here I come!

I also want to take this time to wish each of you the best holiday season possible. I hope that you enjoy your family and friends, your children/grandchildren/nephews/nieces, and the joys that sharing yourself with each of them brings. There is a song I am reminded of that reminds us that everyday should be Christmas, not because of the gift frenzy but the love that we share with everyone. How fortunate I am to have learned to look within myself for strength and happiness. I am stronger and more self-confident and looking forward to all that lies ahead of me in the coming new year.

I am looking forward to closing out this year and ringing in the new one. I am enrolled in college and I will be taking a history class and a web design class the first semester. I am also scheduled to take two CLEP tests within the next thirty days. If I pass them, will have four classes left and I will have my degree. For the first time in my life, I am doing this because I want to control my destiny. I no longer feel compelled to finish in order to meet the measure of anyone. I know how intelligent I am and it is a shame that I need a degree to be accepted, but it is a price that I am now excited to pay. No longer will ANYONE be able to hold the fact that they have a degree and therefore are superior to me over my head!

Helen Ready said it best, "I am woman hear me roar in numbers to strong to ignore"!

Happy Holidays to each of you and may all that God and your fellow man/woman share with you enrich you beyond words!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Five

Not my normal Friday Fill-Ins, but these five things crossed my mind today...

How fortunate I am to have friends that knit and are scattered all around this big place we call the world! Special shouts to Megan, Amy, AHJ, Mel, Katie, and Lesley!

How blessed I am to have two beautiful daughters and all the pains and joys that come with mother hood. And yes, I thank my own mother every time I talk to her for all that she taught me, and for all that she let me discover on my own without protecting me from myself.

How lucky I am to have my "big sister". She is the best non-relative that I could ever have in my life and I am truly a better person for having her in mine. Together, we are invincible!

How wonderful it is to meet a person that accepts you for all your faults/warts and wants to know more about you in spite of everything that they know. Developing a friendship that doesn't judge the differences between my family and hers. A woman that accepts me for all the reasons that I have never been comfortable with myself and encourages me to develop and use them to gain the self-confidence I deserve. A woman that accepts me as an equal on all levels of the playing field. Thank you SF.

How happy that I am at this point in my life to have accepted my own short-comings and instead of running from them, I have challenged them to a head on duel. Accepting the fact that I have things that I must conquer and things that I must let die. It is quite liberating and allows me to continue to gain self-confidence.

What five things are important to you right now? I could list more, but these five seemed enough to get the point across eloquently.

More later this weekend...I have a White Elephant gift to get wrapped and deviled eggs to finish....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tuesday Temptations

Yes, I am well aware that it is Thursday. I warned you that this week had the potential to be over before I could blink.

I wish that the website showed you how awesome this shirt really looks. It is a Christmas present for SF. and I am so excited. I also know that SF likes, no loves, watches. If I knew that this one would be acceptable, I would have ordered it as well. Perhaps when I am more attuned to what is the favorite style I can add that to the gift list.

While I was trolling the Internets looking for something else, I saw this, this, and this. Okay, yes, I have the ability to wear any of these. That had me looking at the other holiday choices. And then I saw these road signs...and I couldn't narrow it down to any one favorite. There were just so many that could be acceptable....Of course no self-respecting motorcycle owner could exclude looking at the Skull/Cross/Motorcycle category and I saw this one. Of course, knowing that I have now officially declared the Open Rose (Full-Blown) as my trade-mark, I saw this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this was my favorite. I also found this category but did not investigate it as much as I should have.

Thinking ahead to road trips in the summer, I was also on the look out for any deals on this, or something like it. I am also very much in love with the aux input jack in my car. it allows me to listen to my iPOD through the car's speaker system. I may need this to enable me to have all of my music with me on my next road trip. My only "challenge" would be what color....

Okay...that's enough for this edition....my next one will be food related again, as I have been pouring through sites again....you have been warned. I will also be adding several posts tomorrow about the House of Blues show and Hurly Knitting.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Final Thoughts from the weekend

I should be in bed at the moment, but I wanted to get a few thoughts in my journal and here before I call it a night. All in all I had an amazing weekend. I am quite surprised at all of the things that I feel comfortable doing now that I have allowed myself to be in control.

It has been one full month without the meds and I am doing really well. I have had two small "attacks" but in general, I am calm and upbeat. It feels good to be in control of that part of my life again. That is not to say that I can remain off of them forever, but I am doing fine so far. Training for the 10K has had a very positive impact on my mental state of well being too. Not to mention the obvious physical changes. I am quite pleased with my progress and when I am in a little better physical shape, I will post some of the before and after shots for your viewing "pleasure".

Saturday, S.F. and I spent the entire day together. We met at 9:30 AM and didn't part company until 11:40 PM. We did some errands together and then we headed to the Lone Star Rally in Galveston. It is the largest sanctioned AMA event in the US. It was hard to see Galveston in the state of disarray that was evident in some parts of town. They have done an amazing job but they still have so much more to accomplish. The Rally was amazing. Since I have been going to motorcycle shops and sitting on bikes, I was much more comfortable climbing on those that were available at the Rally. Every type of bike and every type of rider was there. The food was wonderful, the weather was amazing, and the company was stellar. I have added some pictures to my Flickr slide show. Shopping was good too. I got some Christmas presents, so I cannot post about them here. I did get this in blue for an amazing price. S.F. got a shirt to match. We needed them for a party that we have been invited to and Hawaiian attire is the mandatory dress code. I also got this for myself. The owner of the booth is from the same hometown as S.F. and we had a wonderful time talking with he and his daughter. Their products are amazing! S.F thinks that I should get these to match. All kinds of thoughts came to mind with that suggestion and we both had a pretty good chuckle as a result. That made me think I should have this to match as well.

It seems that the open rose (full blown) is my trade-mark. I have a tattoo, a necklace, a pin for my blazers, and now the vest. It will be something that I pay attention to in the future. And, when the situation presents itself, I will make certain that it is one of the patches that I get to have sewn on the vest that I will wear to show my affiliations as a rider.

Sunday was a laid back day. I slept in and got caught up on sleep. I also managed to finish one of the catghans that I was making for a new friend. She has five cats and one of them is older and has some challenges associated with aging. I will post a picture of it later this week and add it to Ravelry. I made the first one this week and delivered it to her. We spent some quality time sharing a bottle of wine and some dinner while we talked about a variety of subjects. I will make the remaining four catghans the next two weeks and get them to her the Saturday after Christmas.

This could be another low post week due to the social calendar. I have tickets with S.F. to see Aaron Neville at the House of Blues on Tuesday, Hurly Heights Knitters at Waldo's on Wednesday, dinner with Alex (Posse) Thursday, dinner with Melissa (Comets) Friday and the High School Division 1 5A playoffs and a White Elephant party to attend with S.F. on Saturday. I have the Temptations post in draft already so that I can add to it and get it posted on time this week.

I hope that your weekends were all that you expected. Special thanks to Amy, as I know she laid wreaths this weekend. Special thoughts, hugs, and prayers for Megan, she needs them.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tuesday Temptations

I know that these are late...but I have had that kind of week.... ENJOY!

First, I recently acquired this at a GREAT price!

I have added the Moroccan pieces from the original twin size bed I was sleeping in to the canopy rails and the effect remained the same. I need to get a dust ruffle to complete the look. It was really easy for me to assemble and I only broke one finger nail in the whole process. I really like the head board. It has a lower bar to keep the pillows from slipping down behind the mattress and is high enough to support you when you do sit up in bed. The foot board is high enough so you can drape the extra blankets over it and they will not fall to the floor. I'll post a more personal picture when I get the rest of the accessories "installed".

Okay, I have been contemplating a Holiday Party at my place. I was looking at several drinks and I saw this recipe and this recipe. The second one has dual benefits. It makes a great syrup over French Vanilla ice cream to give it a special flair to end a meal. I was also thinking of a punch that could be set out and be self-serve. Any favorites you have would be welcome as suggestions.

As part of a party, you need appetizers. This dip, as well as this one look really delicious. This is more of a spread, but it sounds yummy! While I don't care for spicy things, this snack does sound pretty good as well.

I know that I also need food, but I skipped that part and stated looking at the end of the meal....I found this and almost couldn't concentrate on anything else. I also liked this as a second one to have available. I like this, but I think it may be a better "breakfast bar" than a dessert. I also want to make this I think for Christmas dinner with Trouble, Munchkin, Jack, S.F., and whomever else might attend. I have made one before and it was a huge favorite!

I did see this as a possibility for the main entree meat. I also saw this as a possibility for an entree meat selection. I want the meal to be simple and a little on the non-traditional side since I am wanting to create some new traditions.

One tradition that I will not be forgetting is the Mimosa. This is very similar to what I make every Christmas morning. After our showers and coffee, I mix up a batch, put on the Christmas music and serve my own version of breakfast food. This year, I think I will make breakfast tacos. Or something like a frittata. I like this one a lot.

I am curious. Please tell me what some of your traditions are. Share some of the recipes too if you can....I understand that you might have to kill me if you pass on Great-grandma's super secret ones.... ;)

Full Moon Focus

Now I know that many of you will see the full moon tonight and think nothing of it. Perhaps you should read this article first before you make that decision. I also know that this article may be true, but I still maintain that the Full Moon has direct bearing on the Zodiac sign of Cancer.

Cancer, the Cardinal Water Sign, is ruled by the Moon. And all good scientists will tell you that the tides are directly attached to the moon. So, it makes perfect sense that the Full Moon actually does have a huge impact on those born under that sign.



This is the Talisman of the Moon. The Moon is the strongest of the celestial bodies. It is the source of the enigmatic feminine power and the creation of life itself.

All I can say is that I certainly feel the pull of the Moon today and it has been causing quite a few ups and downs. I have been feeling a bit more emotional than normal and I am trying not to make any "crucial" decisions while I feel like this.... And, Tuesday Temptations will get posted today....

Friday Fill-Ins

1. Friends are the one constant you can have in your life.
2. Make your health a priority; it’s the one thing that will keep you going strong into older life and prevent you from needing assisted living longer.
3. I’m ready for new holiday traditions!
4. Swiss Army is one of my favorite colognes to smell.
5. The oldest ornament I have is one that my parents gave me 28 years ago.
6. Take some yarn, a good movie, a glass of wine, and special person, mix it all together and you have the perfect night at home.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to finishing sweater number 2 for ZoĆ« and weaving ends on a Pay-It-Forward gift, tomorrow my plans include attending the Lone Star Rally in Galveston and Sunday, I want to finally finish all my ironing and get the gifts I have purchased wrapped and under the tree.

Bettie Page has left the building....

I have a lot more posts saved as drafts from the week, but this article caught my attention and I had to share it. I have long been a fan of Bettie Page and wished I was half as self-confident with myself as she was. Trouble has also been a long standing fan of hers and is quite skilled in applying her makeup like Bettie did.

This late in the year, I always take a moment to think about all the great talents we have lost during the year. I saw this on the MSN site and wanted to share it as well. I know that the year is not quite over, but we can all fondly recall memories from the contributions of most, if not all, of the people we have lost.

This is not a sad post, as much as it is a celebration of the lives that these wonderful individuals led and the accomplishments that they left as their legacies. I will be trying to see if I can watch/look/listen to any of their contributions the next couple of weeks as my own tribute to them.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What a week!

Okay, I am seriously behind on my posts. I have no one to blame but myself. I will attempt to catch you up from last week.

Last week we had the Board of Directors visit us and announce our new CEO. Tuesday was the longest day. There was breakfast for them and then hurry to clean that up and get everything set up for their lunch. They stayed until 6:00 PM and then I had to clean up the dishes and food. Wednesday was a blur getting them done and out to the airport. Thursday I don't even remember. Friday was not much better. In all I worked WAY to many hours and I was exhausted. I didn't even have the energy to go out with the Posse like I normally do. I was in bed well before 10:00 PM....

Saturday was a great break! S.F. and I had a full day of fun scheduled. Our first event was to attend the 5A Division 1 High School Football Playoffs. The Pearland Oilers were playing the Hightower Hurricanes. I wish I could say that Pearland won, but Hightower was too big (those boys are TALL) and too strong. Both teams were 11 - 0 going into the game. The final score was 38 to 21. This was our second weekend in a row that we watched them play and I have to admit that it was so much fun. The bands were great and the fans were wonderful. We had tee-shirts to support the team and you would never known that neither of us had a child attending the high school the way we cheered. We are planning to attend the Finals which will be held at Reliant Stadium on December 20th.

After the game ended, we had dinner and headed to Edwards Greenway Palace to see Twilight. For the record, I am not fond of horror movies. I agreed to see this with S.F. because it did not look too bad and we had already seen two movies together that I wanted to see. All is fair so far, right? The movie was really more of a chick flick than I imagined it would be. I liked Robert Pattinson as the lead male love interest. Oddly enough, he was born the same year as Munchkin, so it sounds a bit like a perv comment to find him attractive, but he is quite striking.

From there, we called it a day, as we had been out and about since noon and it was 10:00 PM, and ten hours was a long day.... ;). As I was leaving the cinema, Trouble called and asked me to join her, Jack, Munchkin and several others at The Big Easy. It is a Blues bar that was just a few blocks away from where I was. I was tired but they usually don't ask "mom" to hang out, so I went. John McVey was the featured performer and the show was great. The company was wonderful and I even danced with Bill (one of Trouble's friends). He is a great dancer and I can't remember the last time I danced to swing music. Beer was cheap too. My Guinness was $4.50 a glass and it was draft.

Trouble and Jack spent the night with me and after we all showered and ate, we went shopping. Our first stop was The Magick Cauldron. I am a fairly open-minded person, so this shop was a true experience. I enjoyed meeting the two ladies that own and operate the store, their dogs, and one of their friends that helps out during the holidays. All three ladies were very nice and helpful. I made a catghan (cat afghan) for their friend's aging cat and I will be taking it to her on Sunday. If it is a good size for her, I will also make her other feline babies their own catghans as well so no one is left out. It was fun to meet her and spread the love. I know that Sassy and Eraser are quite spoiled by their catghans, and they both believe that all cats should have one.

Our final destination of the day was a huge antique store. I have always loved this place, and I knew that they had some furniture that I wanted to share with Trouble and Jack to see if it was acceptable for Zoe. The place is so big that we didn't finish and will return this Sunday. At least that was the last plan we had set up.

All in all it was the best possible way to end the weekend and I was quite content when I went to bed.

Yes Virginia....That is snow you see in Houston??!!

Yes folks, Houston did actually have snow yesterday and last night into about 4:00 AM this morning. Most of the trouble is on the East side of the city. Dayton TX received at least 4 inches of the stuff.....

Needless to say, all the ramps of the freeways on that side of town are loaded with accidents and snow and ice. And I live in the South to stay warm? Oh well, this really only happens about every four or five years, so I should be thankful for that. Thank goodness the Haruha scarf I knitted is really warm!

Taken at 5:15 PM as I was headed home from work. That is the hood of the car you see.

Taken at the apartment around 8:45 PM before I went to bed.

Taken at the apartment around 8:45 PM before I went to bed.

Taken at the apartment around 8:45 PM before I went to bed.

Taken at the apartment around 8:45 PM before I went to bed.

So to all my friends and family that live in snow prone areas.....HELP.....no one really remembers how to handle this stuff. It is 29 degrees outside and the wind chill makes it feel like 20. Needless to say, I did not run this morning. I slept in and stayed warm.

More posts later today.....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day Without a Gay

I am radio silent today for the most part. I just want to share this link with each of you and let you know that Thursday will have a multitude of posts from me. I owe you Tuesday Temptations and a few other updates.

Also, thank you all for the karma....it has been spread and acknowledged....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lighting a candle...

I am at a loss for words today. How do you eloquently state feelings that run so deep for a person that you get choked up and teary eyed just trying to compose this post?

All I will say is please say a prayer for a woman many of you will never meet or never have the fortune to be blessed with her smile and friendship. She is the closest thing to a big sister I will ever have and I love her as if she was just that.

She has been the wind beneath my newly opened wings, the crutches I needed in the beginning of this evolution, and the voice of love and encouragement when I doubted myself. She has also been the little voice that reminds me when I have slipped into thought patterns that defeat the growth. Most of all, she has never failed to believe in me, even when I lacked the confidence to believe her.

She is strong, but she needs all the love and prayers she can get and that starts with me. So, I ask you to take a moment and send her all the positive karma you can muster. Not for me, but for her.

While you send the karma, I will hum along to "When I Need You" by Leo Sayer. It means nothing special to any of you, but I know she knows what it means to us.

All my love, prayers, and thoughts to you my "Big Sister".....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tuesday Temptations

Yes, it is Tuesday once again.

Before I get to the temptations, I was looking over my stats. I don't know how many of you use a stat tracker, but I love SiteMeter. I have noticed an odd follower....



Now, at first glance it may not be anything to be concerned with; however, it is quite interesting to me. I know a certain couple that utilize SBC/AT&T as their carrier as does another person I know. Am I worried that I may know the person? No, not really, as I am always pleased to see the daily traffic. What amuses me more is the the fact that All Saint's Day is quite an obvious date for me and if you want to stalk me....or lurk to gain information on me and my activities, don't choose an entry page that will cause undo attention when I do the in depth analysis of the site traffic...I'm just sayin...are ya STUPID or just too dumb to know how to bookmark the main blog entry page, OR BOTH?

Now I know that Thanksgiving has passed; however, many people fix the same things for Christmas. I stumbled across this but did not have time to post about it. There are some wonderful things that can be learned and shared!

Trouble needs furniture that will grow with Zoe, and I am starting to think that a crib like this is the best call. For those of you that are "current" moms, please share other sites that you like/use that have convertible furniture! I want to make sure that they are taken care of and I am SO out of the loop on what all is available. I could research but I hope that my friends will also lend their experiences and expertise!

I'm not sure how many of you will like this recipe, but I am dying to make it!

Port Wine and Cranberry Braised Beef Short Ribs

6 12-14 oz. boneless beef short ribs
3 cups port wine
2 pounds cranberries, frozen or fresh
2 medium yellow onions, diced
4 celery, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
6 cups beef broth or water
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons tomato paste
See cooking instructions.

Apricot and Walnut Chutney

1 cup apricots, dried and reconstituted
2 cups walnuts
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
See cooking instructions.

There is no way for me to share this other than like this:


Dear Social Diary,

With the holidays nearing, I’ve penciled a LOT into my schedule. I’m going to start preparations early – there are outfits to choose, but more importantly, some necessities to stock up on. Here’s what I’m gathering in my clutch in order to avoid a festive faux paux. The Tidbits gals told me all about it, so I’m armed and ready with my Holiday Party Survival Kit.

xoxo,
Party Girl

Clearly, you can’t abstain from red wine altogether, but it’s downright embarrassing what it does to your pearly whites. Carry a teeny tiny tube and rub it on your teeth after indulging.
Flashlites get rid of that telling grayish-purple stain so you’re all the more kissable under the mistletoe. (Kuhl-Linscomb and Sephora)

This is Houston, so when it drops to 60 degrees outside, people pump up the heat and stoke the fire. It’s hot in here, so avoid perspiration – it’s the pits – with Garment Guards. Apply these adhesive, breathable cotton pads to the inside of your shirt, and you’ll never sweat through silk again. (
Nordstrom and drugstore.com)

Nothing ruins cocktail hour like flat hair. You spent hours on that look-like-you-didn’t-try ‘do, so maintain it as the night grows longer with a handy
Hairspray Pen. Just sneak to the loo, freshen up your lips and locks, and be photo-ready in a flash. (Blue Mambo Hair Salon)

There are two things everyone should notice when you stride into a room… and that’s your dress and shoes. Say no to nippin’ out with
Low Beams. They cover up the headlights, no matter how super-thin your bra is. Leave perky to your personality… (Intimacy)

This article caught my attention as well. No hostess or host should plan a party without reading the article. Even if you have your guests bring libations, you should be prepared for those that do not plan ahead for the ingredients needed to imbibe.

A certain friend in Boston will love this article I found. I think I can manage numbers 10, 8, 3, and 1 with no problem. I will have to work on numbers 6 and 5 but not until later next year. This article goes hand-in-hand with the last one.

I was doing research for work when I stumbled upon this site. Most states have a similar site. I was amazed at how many places in the US grow wine. Not to turn my nose up at California, but there are some AMAZING wines in many of our 50 states! Check out yours and please share!

I love this and you should try it!

Chocolate Marble Bread with Ganache

Ingredients

1. 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
2. 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
4. 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
5. 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
6. 2/3 cup sugar
7. 2 tablespoons sugar
8. 4 large eggs
9. 1/2 cup whole milk
10. 1/4 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 1/2-by-4-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder into a medium bowl.
2. Melt 5 ounces chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
3. Put butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add sugar; raise speed to medium. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Mix in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two batches of milk. Mix until just combined.
4. Pour half of batter into melted chocolate; stir well. Alternating between remaining plain batter and the chocolate batter, drop large spoonfuls of batter into the prepared pan. When pan is filled, use a table knife to cut through mixture with a swirling motion.
5. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. (If bread browns too quickly, tent with foil.) Let bread cool slightly in pan on a wire rack, about 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around edges of bread to loosen; unmold. Let cool completely on rack.
6. Make ganache: Put the remaining 3 ounces chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until just about to simmer. Pour cream over chocolate; stir until mixture is smooth. Let stand 10 minutes to thicken slightly. Using a small offset spatula, spread ganache over cooled cake; let stand until set, about 1 hour. Bread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.
Yield: 12 servings
Nutrition Info: Per Serving: Calories: 373 kcal/Carbohydrates: 34 g/Dietary Fiber: 1 g/Fat: 25 g/Protein: 5 g/Sugars: 23 g

Okay gang! It is late and the Board of Directors are in town and they are a needy group! Gotta love 'em! I hope your week is going well and that you are all healthy!