September 17, 2013

The Bad Boy's Bible & Devilish Dark Chocolate Zeppole

In Light there is Dark, and in Dark there is Light.”
Kami GarciaBeautiful Darkness

I know, I know; I’ve been MIA for months! And I obviously owe you an explanation.

Already on it.

See, at the start of every summer, I ready myself for an annual ritual; a couple of quiet months of meditation. Sneaking off to a secret destination, I settle down for some deep soul-searching. The idea is intense introspection; some down-time to deal with demons and drama. I chant and chart my chakras, I learn to live on lettuce, and water becomes my wine.  And as I step in my sanctuary of solitude and serenity, I surrender to silence.

That’s right; on the path to inner peace and purification, I vow not to verbalize any venom. Talk about a tough time on tricky terrain, huh? But it’s cool. Call it a cathartic spiritual cleanse.

All in all, it’s a rough retreat, but a girl’s gotta recharge the ol’ batteries, right?

I imagine you’re insanely impressed with my discipline and determination. Allow me to bask and bathe in the glorious glow of your adoration! Ahhhhh! Dare I take a moment to dance like a delirious deer in a meadow? Indeed, I shall! *prance* *prance* *shake-dance*

Totally kidding.

As much as I’d love to live the lie, you and I both know I’m not cut out for yoga!

Summer is supposed to be about endless afternoons spent lazing and lounging and soaking up the sun. So, from May through the monsoons, it’s customary that I commit myself completely to being footloose and fancy-free; my days dedicated solely to sun-kissed leisure and loosening up.

This year, because I’m a fatally flawed being, maker of monumental mistakes and debilitating-ly dumb decisions, I flipped this philosophy on its head. The consequences of turning turbo were brutal; crash and burn.

Honestly, it was unintentional and unexpected. I suppose I should also add that it un-exciting and uneventful, but I have a feeling you frown upon fibs.

Rest assured, though, there was no relaxation involved; only rude awakenings.

Frankly, I don’t have a flowery excuse for disappearing; I do, however, have unstoppable 1 year old and a husband who’s home all day, every day.

On the bright side, the beauty of being around my boys is that accounting for age is absolutely unnecessary. Almost everything works across the board. Fresh food, clean clothes, periodic play-time; cake-walk!

But then there’s the terrible truth.

Take it from me: toddlers are tireless! They’re jacked up on some juice adults just aren’t equipped to compete with.

Trust me, I’ve tried.

In the process of trying to poop my puppy out, I’ve become a master multi-tasker with an incredibly impressive repertoire of rhymes and riddles. Also, I’m fairly fluent in six sorts of gibberish and I can eat a meal in under a minute.

I am still, however, incapable of exhausting an excited infant.

Oh, did I mention the husband’s hiatus?

He’s got grad school on his mind so, he’s taken time off to tackle the green-eyed monster of all entrance exams; the GMAT.

It’s been interesting so far. A real revelation.

Okay, it’s like an alien invasion. It’s unnerving having him hanging around the house so much.

I create my own complications, though.

Call me crazy, but despite the fact that T is far from conventional, I feel compelled to cater to him when he’s home. I swear there’s no slavery or servitude. I’m just oddly old-fashioned…and a sucker for his smile.

Anyways, the bottom line is, I blame my boys for my absence. If it weren’t for men, there wouldn’t have been any need for this mea culpa!

There also wouldn’t have been such an amazeballs opportunity to observe the opposite sex.

Listen up, ladies and gentlepeople; there are lessons to be learned.

Now, not to be nostalgic, but I like to believe the husband and I are a heady love story, riddled with romance, happiness and humor. He makes all the marks on my checklist - chilled out, charming, champion of cheesy –picking up extra points for being polite, passionate and progressive. He also happens to be hilarious.

What can I say? We have a winner!

FYI, though; letting love light the way is one thing, but being in each other’s face 24/7 can breed a sort of fury that, I’m certain, is fueled by the fires of hell. It’s in these heated moments of too much togetherness that the husband morphs from man to maniac

Repeat after me; distance is divine!

Between you and me, I’ve never been aboard the bad-boy bandwagon. I’m not shy about admitting that chivalry gives me the shivers and when it comes to boy vs. beast, there’s no denying I dig dorks. Aggression doesn’t amuse me. Trivia, however, is a total turn on. In other words, I’d pick “periodically funny” over “perpetual fire-breather” any day of the week.

But I feel a little lonely in my battle against badly behaved brutes.

Of course, because I don’t like to base my complaints on conjecture, I took to Twitter to get a general opinion about the Average Joe.

First, the bad news; damsels denounce this dude for being bland, blah and boring. All flicker, no flame; incapable of a blood pumping, heart thumping rager of a romance. 

On the flipside, consider the gazillions of groupies fired up by the Fifty Shades of Christian Grey - millions of men and women mesmerized by a masochistic maniac – and I think it’s obvious which of these lads is luckier with the ladies.

Basically, boys and girls, the badmaash gets the bachi. Nice guys, on the other hand, get a polite nod for participation.

I need to add a disclaimer here; I don’t endorse doormats. Yes-men make me yawn. Advice from the Oracle: grow up and grow a pair!

Also, I’m not interested in the nuances of falling for a Neanderthal. Mostly because I’m married and because one maniac per relationship is a perfectly reasonable ratio.

Jokes aside, though, I’m generally a lot harder on the ladies so, I’m going to lay off lamenting their love interests.

To each, her own, I say!

And let’s not lie; I love the ladies! The sisterhood that saves my sanity. Much love, my lovelies!

I’ll also save the men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus speech because, really, that bit’s barely rocket science. I’ll even admit that what women want may be mankind’s most mind-boggling mysteries - an eternal and undying debate - but as I said before, this isn’t about whacky women.

It’s about being a ganda bacha with your girl!

Anyways, according to my absolutely unscientific evidence, there’s a thread of good news; granted, good guys might not have the glam and game bad boys seem to be born with, but there’s a bit of a bad-ass in even the best behaved boys.

That’s right. Every dude’s got a dark side.

Even my otherwise easy-going other half has the ability to transform from tickle-bunny to tyrant. To be fair, it takes a ton of S*** for it to transpire, but for real, it’s frickin’ fascinating!

Anyways, my theory is that even the most sensational man has a minimum of three sides. And depending on the day, you’ll meet the Man, the Myth or the Maniac.

Of course, as the title of this tirade implies, I’m incredibly intrigued by the last lunatic on that list, And, I assure you, in case you’re curious or interested in joining the jackass-ery, you won’t be disappointed. I intend to divulge every dirty detail.

After all, this is the Bad Boy’s Bible.

It’s just that I can’t jump to the juice yet.

See, before I throw the bad-boy brotherhood under the bus, I feel compelled to convince you that the man  I married is nowhere near a monster and that I’m  far from cynical about the opposite sex, which is why I think it’s important to introduce you to the saner side of the psycho,

Compare and contrast, compadres!

Besides, I’d like to save the beast…er…I mean best, for last.

Honestly speaking, psychological and self-esteem issues make the first – The Man- my favorite. I’m paralyzed by perfectionism; I need to believe that I picked a primo partner.

To be fair, it isn’t far-fetched.

The Man I married is marvelously mellow. He’s also a closet cat-fiend and the disco dancer I’ve always dreamed of. He finds my crass sense of humor hysterical and captivating. He insists I have stars in my eyes. And regardless of how stupid or senseless my schemes, he stands by my side.

But hold the sighs and swoons because this husband is the same hobo who habitually holds my bathroom hostage. He also has this inexplicable ability to assign me a totally mundane, thus supremely annoying, task the same second I’ve cleared myself for touchdown on the couch. And I’m pretty damn sure he’s partially deaf.

Gripes aside, though, he’s a good guy.

But the Myth, mind you, is magical.

This gentleman looks like George Clooney and JFK Jr.’s love-child and makes me weak the way Tom Cruise did before he went weird. And just like Justin, the boy brings sexy back.

Together, we frolic in flower fields, cuddle constantly, and very publicly refer to each other very with private pet-names. He’s the sort of guy who seeks spontaneous opportunities to overindulge and spoil this girl silly. He’s mastered writing love letters that could, in my opinion, rival Brangelina’s romance. And he’s so smart, he makes Stephen Hawking seem stupid. Might I mention this couple’s kick-butt communication and completely cosmic connection? Plus, he absolutely agrees that puppies are people.

Perfection on a goddamn plate, girlfriends!

Depressing news, though; this dude does not exist.

Okay, that’s kind of cruel: he does make occasional appearances -birthdays, our anniversary, and when we travel together- but on an average day this magnificent marvel is nothing more than a fantastical Facebook rendition of my Romeo; a fake wonder worthy of flaunting in the face of other females, but, for real, more mannequin than man.

However, I’m a weak woman and this hunk of handsome hotness gives me fever so; he will forever have a hold over my heart and my head.

Yes, I realize he’s not real. But I don’t want a reality check; I want romance!

Anyways, enough about the ordinary and extraordinary dimensions of my darling. This isn’t supposed to be an expose on the amazingness of the opposite sex. This is about insight into the inner idiocy and insipid intellect of the badtameez boy.

So, put your paws together for the pièce de résistance, the bad egg with the big ego; meet The Maniac.

Now, trust me when I tell you every Tom, Dick and Harry has an evil twin; I’m talking Tarzan-meets-Mike-Tyson tendencies, but before you kick your man to the curb, I should add that all maniacs are not created equal.

There are countless kinds of crazy!

Take the husband, for example; when he’s in the zone he’s like a Xanax popping zombie; his absurd antics hardly induce a headache, but at his worst, the ridiculously pig-headed playa rears his ugly head. Luckily, this lunatic has been AWOL for a while. And in case this stooge considers staging a comeback, I plan to purchase a pistol.

Okay, pause; up until this point I’ve been completely candid in profiling my partner, but it’s probably time to pull the plug and end that analysis. I have no desire to disturb his inner demon because, let’s face it; I have to live with him…FOR-EV-ER. And because even in times of absolute insanity, he is nowhere near as fantastically foolish as a full-blown, fired up macho-man.

What I’m saying is when it comes to the crazies, The Maniac is a misogynistic masterpiece; the gold-standard of godawful!

Anyways, down to the deal with definitively demented dudes; despite the fact that he’s part devil, part demon, part dumbass, this chump checks out as charming chick-magnet. A talented talker with a bazillion variations of “babe” and “beautiful" in his vocabulary, he’s seven types of sexy and can see straight into your soul. But as quick as he is to cozy up, there’s a catch -something incredibly unsettling about this smooth, suave stud- the Maniac is the mastermind of a million mind-games.

For ladies who like the he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not merry go round, look no further, but if, like me, you’re faint of heart; flee as fast as you can.  

Really; run!

But since I chose not to chastise the chicas, let’s break straight to the bad boy basics.

Side-note: boys hell-bent on becoming hellions, sing Hallelujah, for what follows is a great little guidebook for aspiring a-holes and maniacs in the making.

Fortunately, the philosophy is fairly simple; suck her in and smack her down.

First things first; ladies love an Alpha Ape so, pump up the pimp juice. That’s right; really tank up on the testosterone. You’re a masculine marvel. Let that chauvinism shine, you champion; the chicks are here to cheer you on. Now, pound those pecs and make mama proud!

You’re a winner. And winners know only a wuss needs a woman; objectifying the opposite sex is where it’s at. It’s a meat market, men, and there’s no need to mind your manners. You’ve got some serious game and lurking, leering, and being beyond lecherous is your birthright.

Lick those lips and lay it on thick.

Now, some naysayers speculate that your secret stash of super-slick one-liners from when you were 16 is outdated and obsolete, but they’re just jealous because you’re a baller.

Who cares if it’s been beyond ten or twenty years since you qualified as a teenager; you’re the king of killer conversations and timeless classics like, “Babe, you are the beautifullest,” and “Mera baap bureaucrat hai,” guarantee you’re going to bag the girl. So does driving like a drunk demon.

Smooth-operator stunts such as staring a couple of seconds too long and salivating while you size her up are neither creepy, nor sleazy; that kind of stuff is crazy, sexy cool and can quickly seal your status as the stud who never strikes out.

By the by, if none of this works on the woman you’re trying to woo, proceed to playground politics. Bullying the girl you’re gaga over isn’t grade-school; it’s gutsy. Volatility is very va-va-voom and your flip-a-switch-in-a-flash skills are likely to leave the ladies swooning.  

Remember, girls are gullible and blind to your B.S so, ready yourself for some remarkable results.

Interested in upping the ante and adding some fuel to the fire? Flirt with other girls in her face. It’s an absolutely fool-proof plan that’ll have her falling for you in four seconds flat. No fear, no failure.

Anyways, once your honey’s hooked, it’s a time-honored tradition to take a u-turn and expertly execute a total transformation.

No more Mr. Nice Guy!

Forget the flowers and phone calls. Cut the candles and the candy. Step away from the sappy sweetness and initiate the ignore-all-advances sequence.  

It’s crucial to categorically cut a cutie down to size and kill her confidence; cruel comments about appearance and aspirations are customary and, for the extra mile, make fun of her family and friends. If you’re not into humor, hurl insults.

For more material on how to make her feel horrible, expend seventy percent of your energy stalking her and then lash out like a loon; that “Live and Let Live” litany is for losers.

And finally, in the event that she attempts a breakup, bust out the big guns; blatant blackmail. The professionally pig-headed prefer entrapment; pretending you’re about to plunge to your premature death is pretty popular. Or you could carry a weapon to keep your woman under control, but that goes beyond the bad-boy basics and you’re a beginner.

Baby steps, brother.

The terrific thing is these top-notch tips and tricks are tried and tested. They haul in the babes like bees to honey and to boys who are tempted to buy a ticket and board the bad boy bus; I don’t blame you.

But before you dive into becoming a beacon of badtameezi, a word to the wise; unless you look exactly like Adam Levine or are this dude’s doppelganger, I recommend resisting the urge to pretend you’re a playa.

Sure, that’s shockingly shallow, but we all have our weaknesses, right?

For the record, if you happen to be as hot as either of these hunks, I’d like to serve you up to some of my fabulous lady friends.

Also, this program is only appropriate for the part-time lover types; anyone looking for long-term lovin’ need not apply. And finally, unless you’re intent on signing up for eternal embarrassment, step aside and save yourself from falling flat on your face.

This is the thing; at 18 a little anger is understandable -we all know hormones can wreak havoc- and, hopefully, as a man in his mid-twenties that part of your personality will have peaked and the boorish behavior will begin to take a backseat.

But if you still don’t know the difference between confidence and cockiness, or just can’t tell a gentleman from a jackass, you can count on a couple of complications.

Basically, if you haven’t thrown in that testosterone soaked towel and made maturity your middle name by the time you’re a thirty-something, there’s a pretty high probability that your glory days are about to come to a grinding halt.

Channeling the charmer takes several scotches; your bloated belly can’t be camouflaged, and there’s no masking those moobs either. You’re a photo-bombing fool and there’s nothing funnier than your dash to the dance-floor to bust your dreaded Bollywood masala moves.  

Needless to say, you’re old news and past your predatory prime.

Even sixteen year-olds see straight through the asinine act and the reality is that by the time you’re ready to settle down, it’s pretty slim pickings, partner.

Anyways, just so you know, the jokes on you because you know where the nice guy is? He’s having the last laugh; he might’ve finished last, but once he finally landed his lady he vowed to love her forever and now they’re living happily ever after.

To be honest, when I took to putting this post together I was pretty pissed and completely convinced I’d collapse if I didn’t complain and crib about the horrors of a housebound husband.

I mean the man texted while I was talking and worked while I was whining. He lolled and lazed and laid down ludicrous laws such as the ‘Deep Fried on Demand Declaration,” stipulating that the freezer be fully stocked with fry-able food for all eternity. And may I mention his masterful money-saving scheme? The boy switched a total of six light-bulbs over to energy savers in a bid not to blow our budget. I’d tell you about the temper tantrums too, but, seriously, that’s TMI territory and I’ve already said too much.

So, he went back to work this Thursday and, now that he’s not in my face 24/7, I can finally put things into perspective; being surgically attached to my spouse sucked and he certainly isn’t a saint, but, frankly, he’s far from psychotic.

Truthfully, he couldn’t make the cut for cuckoo crazy even if he tried.

Annoying, irritating, occasionally obnoxious? Absolutely! But a badtameez bad boy? Barely.

Personally, after putting all the pieces together, I’d like to think I lucked out; I managed not to marry a maniac…and I haven’t inflicted any bodily harm on the husband for being a butthead.

By the way, before we bid adieu to the bad boy bashing, I should tell you that I’m terrified of my toddler turning out to be a chauvinistic man-monster and there are a million things I want to tell him to make sure that doesn’t happen, but I’m afraid it might sound like a mouthful of awkward to my son. Thankfully, RobinThicke’s recent raunchiness and one angry dad’s dynamite reaction to Thicke’s thurki-ness have saved me some trouble and I won’t have to worry about words; I’ll just slip Walsh’s lovely little letter of life lessons to my son when he turns sixteen. 

I’ve been pretty harsh on the husband these past few weeks and I’m getting the sense that I’ve got some serious sucking up to do. So, in an attempt to do something special for my sweetie, I decided to dig up a mouthwatering recipe for a dessert no dude in his right mind could refuse and it doesn’t get better than beautiful, deep-fried dough.

Zeppole are Italy’s incarnation of a doughnut-like dessert. Burnished to a gorgeous golden-brown, this puffy pastry is traditionally tossed in some sugar and served up served up, but the dark chocolate dipping sauce makes this rendition of the recipe romantic and decadent.

And goddamn is it good!

Also, I’ve added a little zip to my zeppole with orange zest, but it’s an entirely optional ingredient.

Devilish Dark Chocolate Zeppole (makes approx. 24 zeppole)                               Adapted from Orange & Chocolate Zeppole, by Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients Zeppole:
4 ounces butter
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar + ½ cup for coating
½ cup water
2 cups flour
2-4 eggs
1 tablespoon orange zest
Vegetable oil ,for frying

Ingredients Dark Chocolate Dipping Sauce
¾ cup cream
8 ounces dark chocolate

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, water, salt and sugar. Heat the  mixture over a medium flame and  bring it to a boil.

Once the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir the flour in.

Place the pan back over a low flame and keep stirring the mixture until it forms into a doughy ball, approximately 3 minutes.

Transfer the ball into a medium sized bow and let it cool for about 10 minutes. 

CORRECTION: One of my fabulous readers pointed out that the quantity of the flour in the recipe is confusing so I've edited the recipe to clarify. The original recipe by Giada De Laurentiis asks for only 1 cup of flour, but my batter turned out far too runny. The trick is to keep an eye on the batter while you're combining it with the eggs. Incorporate the eggs one at a time until you hit a consistency that's a little thicker than pancake batter

Use an electric mixer to incorporate the eggs, one at a time, into the dough, until the batter is thick and smooth.

Add the orange zest and beat until it's mixed in.

In a large pan, heat about 2 inches of oil over a medium flame. To check if the oil is hot 
enough, drop a small spoonful of dough into the pan. If the dough immediately begins to puff and expand, you’re oil is the perfect temperature.

Using two spoons (or a small ice cream scoop) drop about a tablespoon of the batter into the hot oil. Make sure to flip the zeppole over once or twice, frying until golden and puffed up, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the cooked zeppole to a dish with the remaining sugar and toss to coat.

Until next time, bachon, behave yourselves and be nice to the bachis!


  1. omg I found these a tad bit too late...SIGH, but these look ah-mazinggg! An oh what an insightful post :) was nodding my head with a smile all the way through.
    Better go try them out now.

    1. Would you believe I just discovered your blog yesterday and there's a comment from you here today! Psychic bloggers :) I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Ganda Bachas drive me crazy lol Let me know how the zeppole turn out. I'm planning on making your lemon ricotta cake soon, so I'll keep you posted. You have some lovely photos on your blog, btw xoxo

  2. This was one orgamic post to read! I think im going to follow the recipe and make them for sure!!


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