don’t multi-task me

Dear Mom, I have a friend who calls me and I know that she is always doing something else while we are having a conversation. It’s annoying and I don’t know why she calls if she has something else to do. I like her but I want her to stop doing this. What should I do?
As soon as you suspect that she is not paying attention and doing something else while she should be talking to you say. “gotta go, bye”. If you do this every time, she should get the message or you can tell her that you know that she is doing other things when she calls you and ask her not to call until she can give you her undivided attention…multi-tasking is annoying if it includes you.

soup’s on

Delicious cold soups that aren’t gazpacho…

Puréed Carrot

Sauté 1 1/2 pounds trimmed and chopped carrots and 1 peeled and chopped onion in 2 tablespoons butter to soften, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups stock or water; boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly, purée and refrigerate. Garnish: Chopped parsley.

Avocado Vichyssoise

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot. Add 3 peeled and cubed potatoes and 3 trimmed and chopped leeks. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring, until softened. Add 4 cups stock. Boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Purée, then let cool. Stir in coarsely chopped flesh of 1 or 2 avocados before serving. Garnish: Chopped cilantro.

Strawberry-Orange Soup

In a bowl, whisk together 2 cups yogurt, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 cup chopped mint leaves and 1 tablespoon sugar until mint is fragrant; strain and discard solids. In another bowl, combine 2 cups sliced strawberries , 2 tablespoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon chili powder; refrigerate bowls for 2 hours, stirring once. To serve, spoon yogurt onto strawberries and stir. Garnish: Whipped cream and mint.

don’t diet

Dear ask mom- I have tried to diet so many times and I fail. I feel terrible, what should I do?
Don’t diet, just lose weight. There’s a difference. When you diet you usually think about everything that you can’t eat, if you want to lose weight make lists of everything you can eat and stick to it. You’ll be more successful…good luck!

make good choices

Dear Mom, I have to get dressed up every day for work so on the weekends I dress very casually, mostly jeans, no matter where I am going. My friends say that I should dress more appropriately if we are going somewhere. Do I have to listen to them?
No. We all spend enough time doing what other people think we should do, when we have no choice. When you do have a choice do whatever you want to do…but remember they have a choice not to include you, also.

change of plans

Dear Mom, My best friend and I made plans to go on a trip. We made hotel reservations, plane reservations and trip plans. My friend inherited money and upgraded all of her reservations so we are really not going to be together. Now I don’t even want to go. What should I do?
Have you tried to talk about it? Maybe your friend doesn’t know that you’re upset about her change of plans. It’s not so terrible if you don’t fly next to each other, but you should be able to work out a way to be together on the rest of the trip.

don’t get too close

Dear Ask Mom, I am surprised at how many men and women try to give me a little hug or kiss on the cheek when I meet them socially instead of shaking my hand. I would rather just smile and say hello or shake hands. What should I do without looking like I’m being rude?
I also want to choose who I hug or kiss and it’s usually not someone that I just met. If someone tries to give you a small hug or kiss on the cheek take a little step back so that you’re not within reach and at the same time stick out your hand. If that’s not enough to give them the message, smile and walk away.

drink to it

If you have left over tequila from cinco de Mayo and even if you don’t go get some and find something to celebrate with any kind of margarita that you want to concoct…
Classic Margarita (adapted from Salvatore Calabrese’s Classic Cocktails)
1 ounce good quality silver tequila
2/3 ounce triple sec
1 ounce fresh lime juice
Kosher salt for rimming the glass (optional)
Salt the rim of a cocktail glass. Combine the tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into the cocktail glass.
Perfect Orangey Margarita Recipe
Serves 1
1 1/2 ounces Patron Reposade
1/2 ounce Patron Citronge
2 ounces sweet and sour mix (homemade, if you have)
Juice from half lime
Juice from half an orange
Lime wheel for garnish
In a shaker filled with ice, combine Patron Reposado, Citronge, sweet and sour mix, orange juice and lime juice.
Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Margaritas Made with Beer
serves 4
6 ounces frozen limeade, undiluted
6 ounces tequila
6 ounces light beer
Combine limeade, tequila, and beer in a blender, fill with ice, and blend until smooth.
Strawberry Basil Margaritas
Make a pitcher
1 can (12 ounces) frozen limeade concentrate
10 strawberries (or 12 if you’re using smaller ones from the farmer’s market or your backyard.)
8 basil leaves
2 to 2 1/2 cups tequila (gold or silver)
Empty the limeade concentrate into a pitcher. Add 2 1/2 cans of water and 1 1/2 (18 ounces, or 2 1/4 cups) cans of tequila (or a bit less, if you don’t want your drinks to be quite as strong).
Hull the strawberries, slice lengthwise, and add to the pitcher. Crumple the basil a little in your hands (this will help the basil flavor release into the drink) and add it to the pitcher, too. Place the pitcher, covered, in the fridge overnight, or for at least four hours.


My assistant and I wish all commencers a very happy commencement…

do anything

Dear Mom, I just graduated and I don’t know what I want to do. I feel a lot of pressure to figure it out fast and get a job. I’m getting totally stressed out. What should I do?
You can’t make yourself know what you want, but don’t just sit there waiting for it to find you. While you’re trying to figure out what you are good at and what you want to do, do something. Travel, volunteer, take some job and talk to as many people as possible and while you’re out there pay attention, something will sound like a good idea…

to answer or not to answer?

Dear Ask mom, Sometimes I email or text a friend just to ask a yes or no question. Should I respond with ok or thank you when I just asked a question with a one word answer?
Most people expect you to respond so that they will know you got the response and that you are acknowledging the answer. I think it’s a waste of time!