Thursday, September 22, 2011


According to the New Collegiate Edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the second meaning of frazzle (found right before F.R.B. for Federal Reserve Board and right after Frazer, as in Sir James George) is: to wear out the nerves of.  And according to me (and Skitch), this is what it looks like--
This is how I am feeling right now.  No, I am not having a bad hair day.  It actually looks pretty good considering the humid, rainy weather we are having today.  Mousse and hairspray help.  I am feeling very frazzled inside.  My nerves are about worn out.  I have too much to do.  I feel pulled in too many directions.  There aren't enough hours in the day.  My thyroid medication is not properly adjusted. 
So, the only thing to do is focus on solutions. 
For starters, I am listening to Tony Bennett's Duets II.  (It is my free period, but I do make my advisees listen to some of my music before school and during lunch!  I consider it a valuable part of their education.)

I downloaded it a couple of days ago from iTunes.  He croons with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Michael Bublé, Willie Nelson, Natalie Cole, and Sheryl Crow.  It's lovely. 
I am also trying hard to cut out sugar.  Pioneer Woman decided to do it, so I thought, well, if she can do it, so can I.  I have fallen off the wagon a couple of times in the past week, but I've stuck to it, for the most part.   How on earth could I resist this beautiful raisin and chocolate chip brioche made by one of my 8th grade girlies?

She found the recipe in this book--

I stop often to squeeze and sniff one of the many lavender sachets I surround myself with (in my purse, in the car, on my desk, in my desk drawer, in my bookbag- you get the picture).
If that doesn't help, I rub the oil on my temples. 
I just sit and stare at this little fellow I found in a gift shop near Notre Dame de Paris.
Or I look to the left of my computer at the postcards from Provence of lavender fields or French cowboys and bulls.
Hmmm... maybe the Eiffel Tower wall wipe-off calendar given to me today by one of my advisees will do the trick.  I need to fill in the days with some fun stuff.
Okay, I feel better.  Take deep breaths and just keep on breathing.  Maybe that's the secret. Keep on breathing.
So, as Tony and Josh Groban sing This Is All I Ask  to me, I will leave you with the brioche recipe.

Chocolate Chip and Raisin Brioches
makes 1 dozen

1/2 Tbsp. dry active yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1/4 c. superfine sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 c. (1 stick) sweet butter, softened
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 beaten egg

Combine the yeast, water, and the teaspoon of sugar in a large bowl.  Stir well and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the flour until the mixture become a smooth paste.  Beat the eggs and add them to the yeast mixture.  Add the sugar and salt.  Stir in the remaining flour, and mix until the sough is soft and slightly sticky.  Leave in a warm place, covered with plastic wrap, for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.  Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C).  Grease 12 mini brioche or muffin molds.  Beat in the butter, raisins, and chocolate chips.  Fill the molds halfway.  Leave in a warm place to rise for about 20 minutes, until the dough has risen to fill about two-thirds each mold.
Brush each brioche with a little of the beaten egg and bake for 20 minutes.  Cool in the molds for 5 minutes, remove, and cool on a rack.  Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Bon appétit et au revoir, frazzled nerves!

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