I’m not shy about saying that I’m an Oprah Winfrey watcher. In fact, I used to watch religiously until she got so ethereal and started doing what seems like endless shows on “The Secret” and “A New Earth.” The final straw was when she recently featured a woman who had a long standing affair with her own father. I was so appalled at this one that I did something I never thought I’d do, I wrote in and scolded her. I find scandal just as entertaining as the next person, but this just went too far. Over the years, I have enjoyed watching makeovers of men, women, kitchens and bathrooms, sex changes, botched plastic surgeries, great weight loss stories and anything with Nate Burkus. My very favorite show of all time was when the winner of the 41st Pillsbury Bake-Off was featured and they showed my face and mentioned my recipe as one of the final four for the million dollars. For 1.2 seconds, I was the star of the Oprah Winfrey Show. Five years later I’m still trying to figure out how to word that on my CV. Now, with 18 months of shows left it seems like she’s coming around to my way of thinking, let’s entertain them instead of educating them. That’s my girl.
Somewhere during one of her thousands of shows, I remember Oprah speaking about what she knows for sure. I can’t remember what her things were, but she got me thinking about what I know for sure. My interpretation of this statement is what I would feel confident about writing down, signing my name to and putting on a billboard in Times Square for all to see. When I thought about it that way, my list seemed pretty small if almost non-existent. Then I sat down and pondered this subject awhile longer, put my fingers on the keyboard, and finally managed to come up with a few things. So, without further ado, here are some of the things that I know for sure:
1. I know for sure that I didn’t start that grass fire at my grandmother’s farm when I was eight like my sister and cousin said I did (those bitches have told that lie so long they believe it).
2. If you put washing up liquid in an automatic dishwasher, bubbles WILL flood the kitchen (my cousin was present during this mishap as well; you can draw your own conclusion).
3. If you chop more than 5 jalapenos without protecting your hands, you will spend the better part of a day soaking your fingers in water while writhing in pain.
4. There are two types of people, those who HAVE tripped and fallen in front of a crowd of people, and those who WILL trip and fall in front of a crowd of people.
5. My family loves me no matter what, and I will love them no matter what (yes, this includes my sister and my cousin).
6. My dog loves me no matter what, and I will still love him even if he pees on my sofa (I know this one for a fact).
7. On any given day, at any given time, there is nothing on any of the 300 cable channels on my TV.
8. No matter where we live, there will always be a barking dog living next door to us.
9. What goes around does indeed come around; i.e. even if we aren’t around to see it, our enemies will get it in the end.
10. I will be finding socks under my son’s bed when he is 30.
11. Wedding rings are fattening.
12. I will die before I get caught up on my laundry.
I know that my list is pretty simple but I have never claimed to be a deep thinker. I believe that sometimes we have a tendency to over think things until the simplicity in it is lost, and what a shame that is, because it is the simple things in life that keep us grounded. In celebration of all that is simple and good, I am sharing one of my favorite simply good recipes. This brings us to one more thing I know for sure, you’re gonna love it.
Stuffed Cinnamon Toast
Cream cheese, softened to room temperature
Sliced sandwich bread
Blackberry, strawberry, apricot or your favorite flavor of jam
Preheat a waffle iron while you assemble the sandwiches.
Place a couple of tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl. Add half to one teaspoon or so of ground cinnamon and stir well; set aside.
In another small bowl combine a couple of ounces of softened cream cheese with a couple of teaspoons or so of sugar and a splash of vanilla extract; stir well and set aside.
Spread two slices of the bread generously with the cream cheese mixture. Spread two more slices generously with the jam. Pairing one of the cream cheese slices with one of the jam covered slices, close to form a sandwich.
Spread butter on the outside of one side of each sandwich. Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar. Turn the sandwich over and repeat the butter and cinnamon sugar step.
Place on the hot waffle iron and close the lid. Cook until the ready light comes on and the sandwich is golden brown and crispy.
Remove sandwiches and cool for a couple of minutes. Be careful as the cheese and jam may be very hot. Trim crusts. Repeat to make additional sandwiches.