Valentines

hebrew.jpgOctober, 1962.  Johnny Carson became the new host of “The Tonight Show”.  The Cuban Missile Crisis brought us to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union.  And I was an eleven-year-old Hebrew School student at Temple Beth Shalom on the south shore of Long Island.

Three afternoons a week I was car pooled to this house of worship ostensibly to learn about the history of my people.  My teacher was an elderly Old World gentleman named Rabbi Nathan Levitats who spoke English pretty much the same way that I spoke Chinese…not well.  Still, he taught us bible stories and because the Hebrew name for Alan is Avraham, which is also the Hebrew name for Abraham, I immediately felt a special kinship with that Old Testament figure known as the “First Jew” because of his belief that there was only one God. 

Read more ...

chinese.jpgTo me, a great date is one where you can do nothing with someone and be perfectly content. It's an easy formula: Good Company + Snacks in a Safe Environment = A+. Call me boring or slothful but it works for me. Lately though, my boyfriend really likes getting outside of the box and trying new things.

We crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and went to the flea market. We saw two Broadway shows in two consecutive weeks. We even took the train and went to his parents' house for a Japanese New Years party. All very out of the ordinary, all slightly uncomfortable. Good Company + Stress and Mobility = C-.

Two weeks ago, however, we had a bonafide A+ date. I got off of a long day at work, took a cab, and met Alex at his apartment. He opened the door, and we both had that pale, slightly purple tint that comes with working and winter. Four words came out of his mouth that reaffirmed why he is the greatest boyfriend and my greatest date: "Grand Sichuan and Lost."

Read more ...

ImageWhether you surprise her with reservations at her favorite restaurant or make a romantic dinner for two at home, you've got to make her Seductive Strawberry Zabaglione for dessert. Red, ripe strawberries, velvety custard, and sweet Italian wine are so sexy.

I developed this recipe with men in mind because it's easy to make, allows you to flex some muscle, which will impress her, and makes an elegant presentation.

Think of it as your minimal-effort dessert with maximum sex appeal. Though I wouldn't carry that thinking into the bedroom. I'm just saying.

Read more ...

palm heartline
Did you know that there is a marking on the palm's Heart Line that some palmists call the kinky kick? When found in a hand, it is said to indicate someone who enjoys perhaps the most adventurous side of love, I guess we could say.

Did you almost look at your palm thinking I wonder if I have one? I don't blame you. Most of us are very interested in finding what ours and others' palms reveal about love and romance. Especially in February, because those of us in the USA celebrate Valentines Day on Feb.14.

Traditional palmistry denotes several lines and markings associated with the emotional makeup of a person. The main one is the Heart Line. The Heart Line starts on the outside edge of the hand, is under the pinky, and runs towards the index finger area. An average Heart Line ends somewhere between the index and middle fingers. This line concerns emotional make-up, the capacity to feel, and to love. It also tells us how love is expressed and how we relate to others.

A clear, deep, gently curved line that ends in the area between the index and middle fingers shows someone who has depth of feeling and balanced emotional expression.

Read more ...

ManCatcherBrowniesWhen I was 7 my mother, Susan, met my future stepfather, Larry. They had been dating for about a month when she made him a batch of caramel nut brownies—a recipe she’d come up with herself. Larry took one bite and blurted, “Oh my gosh, I love you!” It was the first time he’d said anything like that, and it was sort of a joke—but then he followed up with, “Actually, I really do love you, and I’ve been wanting to tell you that.” After they got engaged, Larry renamed the recipe “Man-Catcher Brownies.”

Mom taught me how to bake when I was 12, and these brownies were one of the first recipes she shared with me. “Remember, Amy, whoever eats these will fall in love with you,” she said. I knew she was teasing, but the brownies still took on magical properties in my mind. My friends and I would have sleepovers and bake batches of them for boys we had crushes on. Sometimes we’d be sneaky about it and bring the brownies to the whole class, just so that a particular guy would be sure to eat one. When one of us had a steady boyfriend, we’d make up a nice little bag for him and tie it with a bow. Larry was on to our schemes. “Those man-catcher brownies work, so y’all be careful,” he’d say. “Don’t give ’em to anyone who won’t treat you right for the rest of your life.”

Read more ...