by Kitch Coquette
It was the summer of 1998. I was nineteen years old, and I had just finished my first year at college. For financial reasons, I was spending the summer months waiting tables and living with my parents. After finding free-will in college and wisely putting it to good use (aka debauchery), this return home was tortuous.
Funny how I rarely go to the gym these days, but then, if it meant I could escape my parents’ watchful eyes, I would spend at least two hours a day exercising at the gym. One afternoon, I was on the elliptical machine when I caught a glimpse of two incredibly hot looking 20-year-old guys. Each of them were running on treadmills, and there was an empty treadmill right between them. I decided to make my move.
Now, don’t kid yourself. I’m not a runner. My boobs are way too big to effectively run. I’m more liable to put my eye out with the inevitable bouncing than I am to actually cross a finish line. But for some reason, my desire to impress those two hotties made me think I should try running.
I got on the treadmill, flashed a brilliant smile to each of the two guys (who were clearly checking me out by the way), and then I started a slow jog. I quickly realized, however, that the two hotties were running at a pretty high speed. To avoid looking like a weakling, I increased my speed. I caught at least one of the checking me out as I bounced along next to him.
Still, I wasn’t going fast enough to keep up with them. I jacked up the speed one more time. I was running faster than I had ever run before (which isn’t really that fast). And then it happened. I came down wrong on my left ankle, and my leg buckled under me. I uncontrollably lunged forward as my legs were quickly carried behind me. I grabbed the frame of the treadmill, and for a few seconds, I held my upper body off the track while my legs dragged along. I tried to pull my legs upwards, but it was no use. My arms gave way, my body hit the track with a giant thud, and the treadmill carried me like a crumpled rag doll to the floor.
The two men jumped off their machines to come to my rescue. Perhaps I could have used this to my advantage, but I couldn’t even make eye contact them. My legs were killing me, I was aching all over, and my pride was utterly destroyed. I got away from them as quickly as possible, limped to the locker room, and cried in a bathroom stall for at least 15 minutes.
How does this have anything to do with cooking? Not much. But if you ever have a flirting disaster, just remember it can’t possibly be as epically embarrassing as this. The other thing to remember is the best way to flirt is to be yourself. If I had just remembered that I do much better flirting in the kitchen, I might have just baked those two beautiful men some of my famous Kahlua chocolate pecan pie bars. I’m pretty sure I could have won them over that way.
Kahlua Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
What you need
3 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
PECAN PIE TOP
6 large eggs
4 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. kahlua
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp vanilla extract (I use double strength vanilla extract)
4 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3/4 tsp salt
4 cups pecan halves
1/3 cup chocolate chips
What you do
FOR SHORTBREAD BOTTOM
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12 by 17-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Using a mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter for one minute on medium speed. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix on lower speed until fully incorporated but still crumbly.
FOR PECAN PIE TOP
4. Bake until set, about 25-30 minutes.
5. Leave on counter to cool to room temperature.