Monday, August 31, 2009

In Which I Gets Back Up in the Game

Peeps! It's been a FULL weekend. And Monday. So far, anyways. So let's jump in, 'cause there's lots to be discussed.

First, since a couple of you have asked, click HERE for the recipe for the Chicken & Tomato Stacks. That's a Publix Apron Meal and it was easy-peasy but oh-so-fancy looking. My fave kinda meal. And perfect for a no-cook summer evening. Go gets the recipe. Now. Go on. But come back.

Secondly, the nachos were "Kitchen Sink" nachos because I sorta just threw in what I had. Poured a bag of chips on a big 'ol platter, covered them with Mexican cheese and stuck them under the broiler. While the chips and cheese were doin' their melty thing, I browned ground beef with taco seasoning, and grilled some sliced bell pepper and onions. I layered all that on top of the chips with a drained, rinsed can of black beans and topped it all with salsa. They were yummers. I am thinking of repeating tonight with grilled chicken. One of the hubs and mines fa-vo-rite things is chicken nachos. I will report back.

Now, onto the weekend. Saturday, Bobs and I decided to go kayaking, something neither one of us has ever done. To disasterous (at first) and hysterical (at the end) results. We went out to the local rowing venue on our hometown lake, and they basically gave us a kayak, two paddles and said "Go." O-kaaaaay. The first hour, we literally went in circles. And ran into a bridge support. And a boat ramp. And God know what else. Oy. Can you say W.T.F.were we thinking? Well, I tell you. We thought it would be SO easy. And it was for the 8-year-olds zipping by us.

As I panicked about being stranded in the middle of this huge lake overnight, we got our shizz together and figured out what to do. Basically, Bobs made me suck it up and keep at it and, in the end, it was actually pretty fun. Then, all these peeps tell me how much easier it is to kayak on a river rather than a lake. Like, why the HELL didn't you tell me that BEFORE I went to the lake? Anyway, here is photo proof:

That's me from behind. So you can't see the tears streaming down my face. But you CAN see the Bunny tail--see the poof beneath my hat brim? Anyway, Bobs and I have made a vow to go back again, because we figure if we master the lake, we can paddle one of those damn things anywhere.

So, yesterday, I went with some friends for a birthday brunch celebration at Wolf Mountain Vineyards, a mountain winery near my home. Pretty much all of the food was fabulous, but the highlight of the day for me was this:

Y'all. THIS is peach soup. Oh. My. God. It's the best thing I have put into my mouth in a long, long time. Seriously. It was like eating a chunky peach smoothy but 1000x better. I am already researching recipes. I had a bowl to start. And I had a second bowl for dessert. I could have bathed in it.

August was Artisan Cheese month at the winery (their brunches are themed to seasonal/local foods) so there was lots of stinky cheeses from Southeast dairies. So good.

The grapes were full and lush and on their way to harvest.

The views were spectacular. That building is the wedding pavilion, photographed from the main house.

This is the main house, photographed from the wedding pavilion. We were seated along the side, at one of those large portrait windows. Lovely, lovely afternoon.

Today, I had to jaunt to the ATL for an appointment and just happened to be near the office of a favorite person of mine, so we arranged to lunch together. He suggested Ethiopian food. Why, hellz yes, I was all in. After all, I am continuing on my quest for new experiences in my 40th year on this earth, so I figured it would be another thing to add to the list.

Photo taken by one of those cheapo IPhones, hence the poor quality. Ok, and it was 'effin dark as a tomb in there too. Which sorta scared me. What would they be serving us? Let me tell you. They served us some of the most delish food. Why did no one TELL me how TASTY Ethiopian food is? Spicy, but tres tasty. And you eat it with your hands, which I was all about. Well, you eat it with this spongy sourdoughy bread, but they give you no utensils. I will be going back for more of that. Fo' shizzle.

Then I came home to a treat for me. I ordered these earring from Etsy. If you don't know what Etsy is, then pull your head out of your lame-o arse and get over there right away. Basically, it is a website full of beautifully crafted artsy finds for you and your home. These earrings? $8. And one-of-a-kind beauties. I esp. lurved that they are called "Silver Lining." So sparkly. So pretty.

Well, I am off to go do some non-fun things. But that's life. Later taters! Bunch

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bunny is Back, Bitches: The Sabbatical Recap

Well. Here I am. After a much needed little break, I am (almost) back to form. And ready to rock. and. roll. So, I thought I would provide a quick recap to the past week-ish. Tomorrow, I will get back to a more regular schedule. Maybe not daily. But regular.

Day 1: Bless Jesus, I don't have to blog. One less thing on my plate to worry over. So I head off to dinner with a beloved friend. And proceed to spill a full glass of beer all over him. Why, oh, why me? Have I pissed off the Blogger Gods? And such a waste of perfectly good Sweetwater Georgia Brown. Oy.

Day 2: I head over to Bobs to go "pooling" (what we call sitting by the pool talking about pop culture and sex). I have a wonderful bottle of Prosecco to take Bobs, which I proceed to drop on my driveway and watch as it shatters. Into a million pieces. Such a waste of perfectly good sparkling wine. Oy. In the afternoon, I rip everything dead out of my garden. Sigh. Summer veggies are almost over. For dinner, I win the undying love of the hubs by making killer nachos.

Day 3 (Which is really DAY 2, if you know what I mean): Clean house. Look for work. Go look at possible new-to-us vehicle (since the hub's wheels have been road hard and put up wet and I have been holding my breath will not break down until I find a job). Look for work. Cook dinner. Look for work. Find some really great new music online. Consider having a cocktail. Figure I will spill it the way my week is going. Wonder how I can make money blogging. Go to bed instead.

Day 4: Water what's left in the garden. Marvel at how mild the weather has been for August. Follow-up on work leads. Check my blog analytics. Up to 94 unique visitors because of garden porn. Contemplate starting a website focusing on garden porn to make money. Share this idea with a friend. Contemplate possible videos and photos. May never be able to eat a cucumber again. Make a fabulous dinner of chicken and tomato stack salad.

Day 5: Wake up with a screaming headache due to staying up too late the night before. Work. Work. Decide to wreck some havoc. Work some more. Make the hubs take me out for cheap Mexican just so I can have a margarita. Ah, Jose Cuervo. I luvs you.

Day 6: Decide not to water the garden because I think I hate it now. The love affair has officially ended. Spend the morning working. Spend the afternoon storing up vitamin D at the pool with Bobs. Girl has to have a little downtime. Meet friend for dinner. More margaritas. Talk for 3 hours. Life is good for today.

Day 7: It's been a week without my Internets and I am starting to miss them. But I am slammed with shizz to do. I tell you, how can I be so unemployed yet oh so busy?

Day 8: It's raining. I go meet with my accountant. Fun times. The good news is, when you don't make any money, you don't pay any taxes! Who knew?!?! Lunch with my ex-boss (job BEFORE the one I lost) goes well. Resist the urge to start crying and beg for my job back. She treats for lunch. Seems like an even trade.

Day 9 : Oy. I will report on the weekend tomorrow. Lots to tell and I have to go get ready for my girls' birthday brunch today. And thank you all for the lovely notes. I have missed you all, too. Love, B.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Internets, I'm Taking a Sabbatical

Yes, my dear loyal readers of BGR (yeah, um, not you garden porn seeking pervs--just the lovelies), after much consideration, consternation, confusion and a whole bunch of other words that begin with con-, I have decided to take a short blogging break.

Wha-wha, you say? But Bunny, how can you take a sabbatical when you are not even working? Precisely. Peeps, I am just worn down in every way. As you can possibly tell from recent posts--such as, So Far, This Week Blows--I need a mental health day or five. I need some time to refresh. Refocus. Reorganize. Rejeuvenate. And a whole bunch of other words that begin with re-.

Since I have been blogging 'bout every day, I just wanted to lets you know that I haven't stopped loving you, appreciating you or being thankful for your visits. I just need a little time for Bunny, that's all. I promise, cross my heart and hope to die, that I will come back. It may be a few days, or a week. I'm not sure. But please check back and, in the immortal words of Jim Kerr, "Don't you forget about me." B. Out!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hump Day Holla

Yo, peeps, it's the Hump Day Holla. Which means we are on a slow slide into the weekend. Thank the LORD. This week? Well, you saw yesterday's post, right?? Oy.

Steering away from my imminent nervous breakdown, in other news, my kitchen looks like a produce stand exploded in it. I have been whipping up all kinds of yumminess made from fresh fruit and veggies--gazpacho, tomato salads, cucumber soup (more!), peach cobbler, blackberry crumbles--and, let me tell you, my stomach, while loving the eats, does not love all the fiber. Word. I, mean, look at these peaches:

They are insanely large--the size of baseballs. Fo' reals. And look at this scrumptious (though not necessarily light) tomato pie I made last night:

Oh, it was tas-tee! Thank you to the kind folks at Southern Living for sharing that gem which you can find here. I will admit that my creation was riddled with flaws and problems (like my current life) but it was still yummers.

Tonight, I am starting my new commitment to "serial socializing" (see article on HuffPo here which discussed how people are becoming less and less social and recommends reaching out and touching someone) by having dinner guests over for olive tapanade, chicken piccata and peaches in balsamic vinegar. It's going to be a humdinger, fo' shizzle. It's hard to be that decadent on your own, after all.

And this? SCARES. THE. SHIZZ. out of me. Savannah loves to lay under my desk, at my feet, with her little head right next to the power strip. She esp. love to do this when it is stormy outside, as it has been this afternoon. I just know she is going to get fried one day. But getting her to relocate is tortuous and can result in blood shed. Mine, that is.

I have been working on perfecting an at-home recipe for low-cal iced coffee. So far, this is what I have: 3 packs Sweet & Low, 2 tablespoons liquid creamer (I've been using chocolate for a mocha hint), 1 cup skim milk, 2 cups brewed cooled coffee and a shit load of ice. Pretty good, I must say, and it comes in around 180 calories, in case you are wondering.

I also am tres excited because Top Chef Las Vegas starts tonight! From what I have seen, it promises a lot of "gender neutral" chefs this go-round, but I hope there is at least one Fabio-type hottie who is appropriately swoon-worthy. Men + food = very good. Men + accent + food = excellent. Have a good one peeps! Love, B.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

So Far, This Week Blows

Ever had one of those weeks where it's just one piece of shit flung at you after another and, to top it off, you are knee deep in PMS and you start to cry every time you answer the phone and all you really want to do is crawl into bed in your softest knit pjs with a bottle of wine and some Tylenol PM, but, NO, you have to keep looking for work and working on work and, you know, breathing and showering and pretending like you are happy and everything is right in the world, but yet you know if one more person tells you to be positive and that everything is going to work out and happy days are just around the corner, you will scream or punch them or scream then punch them and, at the same time, the forces of evil are plotting against you because while you try to summon the will to be strong and positive and like just live one more day, all around you everyone is talking about puppies and flowers and butterflies and babies and smiling and laughing and loving life like every three seconds? Yeah. It blows, doesn't it? Word.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Because I Love the Drink

Truth be told, Bunny loves her beverages. Yes, I am a big drinker. And I don't mean that in an alcohol sense only. No, I love to consume liquids. Many kinds. From iced tea to soda to beer to, well, just about anything liquidy. In fact, my only criteria for good service in an eating establishment is pretty much that the waiter keeps my glass filled. Woe and heartache if my glass is empty! Likewise, I don't understand people who can eat a whole meal and barely take a sip. So, when I saw this meem, I knew it was for me and brazenly stole it from blackbird at say la vee. Bottoms up!

My five favorite beverages:
unsweetened brewed iced tea
a lovely pinot noir
a nice amber/brown ale
iced coffee

My five least favorite beverages:
Dr. Pepper/Mr. Pibb
sweet, white wines
cheap beer (i.e. Budwiser/Bud Light)
flavored liquors
root beer

Beverages I can take or leave:
herbal tea
sodas, regular and diet
flavored water
mineral water

Beverages I miss:
cream soda

What I shun:
white zinfandel

Noticeably absent from this list:
mixed cocktails

Beverage preferences that baffle me:
Red Bull
Sodas with "boosters"
Crystal Light

Recent beverage disappointment:
I went out to eat last night and, because it was Sunday and I live in a backwards town, they couldn't serve me a beer, #*%(&%&($!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Randomness. That's All I Gots.

  • Yesterday, I did a whole bunch of nothin'. All I can say is I needed a mental break after last week. Plus, I was up late Friday attending a fundraising event for the local non-profit I support, and, y'all, I have found I am just too damn old to be up past midnight. Sigh. It blows to feel your age.
  • HO. LY. SHIT. Look at what I gots out of the garden yesterday morning. I am seriously up to my eyeballs in 'maters and cukes. BUT I AM NOT COMPLAINING. Not. OK?
  • I am, however, making anything and everything I can that uses either one of these vegetables. Last night, I again made cuke soup. I think I have the recipe almost perfected. I reckon I better writes it down at some point. And immersion blenders? Rock. Get you one. Seriously. Does everything a big blender can but with less storage space and easier cleaning. Word.
  • I also made bread salad again. Yes, I know you may be tired of seeing this, but I am not tired of eating it. And, really, can you ever get tired of gazing on such scrumptiousness? This has been THE summer dish at Casa Bunny. It may be the PERFECT summer dish. What's not to love, I say? No cooking, fresh, yummy.
  • A co-worker of the hubs drew this lovely print of the girls. From a photo.
  • I likes it. Pepsi's eyes are a little wonky, but overall, it is quite nice. Quite nice.
  • And this? This I NEVER gets tired of. It always makes me smile.
  • I hate Bobs. He planted Saturday Night by the Bay City Rollers in my head yesterday, and I cannot get. it. the. eff. out. S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT!
  • Hope you are having a good weekend, peeps! Check you later! B.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Well, Last Night was Interesting...or Disturbing....

Interesting/Disturbing Thing Said to Me Last Night #1:
"I didn't recognize you with your clothes on."

Interesting/Disturbing Thing Said to Me Last Night #2:
"Are you the girl with the porn site?"

And This is Just Disturbing Period:

Makes me want to reconsider being a vegetarian.

Friday, August 14, 2009

An Evening in the Kitchen with Bunny

Don't get all excited now....I ain't inviting you all over. But I do enjoy entertaining, so anytime any of you want to drop by, just give me a few hours heads up, then show up with some booze and I will welcome you with open arms! But back to the topic at hand. Last night, I (somewhat) tracked my cooking process via pictures, just for kicks and giggles. Step One: Preparation.

These are my new W-S towels I gots for a STEAL. They look loverly in my pumpkin-colored kitchen. I am trying to use more dish towels and less paper towels. Both for budget and for the environment. If only I could break the hubs, who is a terrible PT junkie. And, after ruining countless t-shirts and other pieces of apparel, I recently started wearing an apron. And, guess what? It works! What an ingenious invention! And, no, there are no photos of Bunny IN her apron because I have decided aprons are universally unflattering. At least on me.

Step 2: Decide what the hell to cook. Suited up and ready to go, I decide to use this sauce I bought at W-S for a STEAL. See the splatters? Well, you wouldn't believe it, but it seems that if you don't twist the lid on tight before you shake the jar, stuff comes out! Wow! I decide at this point I may need fortification. No, not forNication (hehe--that's for the porn seekers!), fortIFication.

Oh, yes! Come to me, baby. Mmmmm. Cold. Mmmmm. Limey. Mmmmm. Do I really need to cook? Maybe I can just have liquid dinner. Well, I suppose the hubs needs to eat.....

Step 3: Start the entree. The night before, I boiled some chicken, so I shredded it up, poured the sauce over it, and set it to simmer. Easy-peasy. But I have to serve this shizz with something. So I decided to make a mix of brown rice, black beans and whatever I can find in my fridge.

Step 4: Start the rice. Ah, my little $1 Tar-jay kitchen timer. How did I ever live without you? I loathe setting the timer on the stove. What a pain in the arse. But I love this little timer. It's the simple things, peeps, the simple things.

While waiting for the rice to cook, I admire my toenail polish. I mean, wouldn't you rather see my loverly red polish than rice boiling? I LURVES this color--London Bridge is Falling Brown. I bought it off the Ulta clearance table. It is a perfect red. I wish they made it in a lip stain to match. Word.

Step 5: Work out the side dish. Rice is done. Beans are drained. What next? EVOO is always a good place to start. This option from Trader Joe's is my current fave. TJ's used to have a wonderful unfiltered oil but they discontinued it. So I bought this option when there last. The label says "Fruity flavor. Smooth and buttery. Distinctive peppery finish." Oh, TJ....You had me at "buttery." You hooked me at "peppery."

Step 6: Mix the beans and rice with fresh salsa, parsley, a splash of EVOO, salt, pepper. Damn! I should have added some freshly squeezed lime juice! Ah, well.

Step 7: Pile it up on a plate and top with the chicken and a dollop of sour cream. For a meal I pulled out of my arse, this turned out to be pretty tasty. And fairly healthy to boot! And it took less than 30 minutes. You gots to love that now, right??

Anyhoodle, I better get busy. I have several things to accomplish this afternoon, and I am heading out for a fundraising concert tonight for a local charity I support, so I need to polish my halo. I keed! If the weather holds for the weekend, I have plans both days. If it rains, I am not sure what I will be doing. Check back later for deets! Love, Bun

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Guest Review, Take Two

My friend, E., has posted my guest review of The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper on her blog. Check it out if you wish:

Holy Shit, I Need to Change My Damn Dishes

Yo, peeps. I was just preparing my post and I realized that you all have been seeing my Old British Castles Pink dishware for MONTHS now. That ain't right. I am gonna have to start being more creative with my plating so as to make my culinary creations more visually appealing.

In a moment of confession, Bunny will admit that she is a certified dish junkie. I have at least five sets of dishes, including a Christmas set and an heirloom set that is for "looks" only. And plastic dishes including bowls, plates and various serving platters and such. And enough glasses to start my own version of Crate & Barrel. All kinds of glasses, from various mugs to martini glasses to liquor glasses to beer pilsners to plastic wine glasses (safety first when drinking on the deck!).

And bowls. Tons of bowls. A cherished metal one from my grandmother, a set of glass Pyrex from my moms, ones that match my five sets of china, wooden ones for salad. And all other kinds of vintage and modern serveware. It is a serious sickness. One in my gene pool. If only you could have seen my grandmother's kitchen. Mercy. However, it is a sickness that nicely complements my love of cooking. And speaking of cooking......

Last night, I whipped up the shizz! Yo! If you have been lurking here anytime at all at BGR, you know Bunny is all about the sandwich, the salad and the soup. Oh, why, you say? Because you can do almost anything with these three items with whatever you gots on hand. Behold, my take on the chicken pesto panini:

Multi-grain bread, spread with a tablespoon of prepared pesto. Pesto, like zesty cheeses, gives you a ton of flavor bang for your buck, so you don't need but a schmere.

Next, I piled on spinach and "cheater chicken," the pre-cooked, grilled stuff from Sam's I have raved about here in the past.

Finally, shaved parm slices. Then, grill until all melty and goldeny.

Mmmm. As good as anything you would get at one of those fancy-schmancy sandwich places, fo' shizzle.

I served the sandwich with my own bastardized version of gazpacho which was day-um good. And pretty! How pretty is that 'effin soup?? I pureed up about 6 or 7 tomatoes (red and a few yellow, left the skins on), added two diced cukes, red wine vinegar, onion, a smidgen of garlic and a dash of EVOO. Topped with a dollop of sour cream and fresh ground peppa. I rock the kitchen. Damn skippy.

Well, I am off to work on several things I have going on. You all be good! XO, B.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hump Day Holla

  • Really, peeps, I gots nada today. This week at Casa Bunny has been a slow slog so far. I cannot even think of anything to make up. Well, that's not true, but I don't want to shock anyone too badly.
  • The highlight of my day so far was lunch at Panera with Bobs. When the hell did Panera get so chintzy with the servings? That seems to be a trend in restaurants--less food for more money. The collective super-sized focused American is going to start freaking out.
  • The second highlight of my day was a trip to Walmart to purchase insulin syringes and cat food. Oh, and a baby shower gift. See, I have nothing.
  • I did also purchase some new "unmentionables." But being "endowed," I don't really love purchasing those--it is usually more of a chore than a joy.
  • I finished my latest read today--The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper. It was a slow start for me, but once I read the first 100 pages, I was into the characters. Great characters, with lots of depth. It reminded me of Richard Russo, but lighter. Some great LOL moments, too. And tears. Several teary moments.
  • Last night for dinner I whipped up a great panini, but neglected to take photos. It was tomato, provolone cheese and prosciutto on multigrain spread with pesto. It was very, very good. Tonight, I think I am going to make gazpacho. Tomatoes, peeps. I gots lots of them.
  • So, I am off like a herd of turtles. At least I can maybe get my shit together enough to have a productive afternoon. Later taters! Love, B.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

T is for Tomato. And Tuesday.

Oh, peeps. Remember back a month ago when I was pissing and whining about the state of my tomatoes? And remember how I said I would probably regret pissing and whining so much when the tomatoes finally did come in? Well. Yeah. I am there now. Behold:

Somehow, in the past week, the tomatoes have taken off. However, I will say that they are not as large or tasty as last year. And while this is quite a haul, it pales to 2008. Seriously. The freaky weather and, now, the mother-'effin white flies have decimated most of my plants, including my prized heirlooms. My romas and cherries are hanging in there, and I am desperately trying to save them with insecticide soap. You know. Organically. It ain't working too hot though, so I'm ready to throw Seven dust on it all and call it a day.

Anyhoodle, with the harvest comes lots of tomato recipes--I see gazpacho and tomato pie in our near future. But, hands down, this is my favorite way to eat ripe, fresh tomatoes:

Slice 'em up on a plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with some good EVOO and balsamic or other vinegar of choice, then top with some fresh parm (blue cheese or feta also work well). A sprinkle of fresh basil and/or oregano also is nice, but I was in a rush last night. Seriously, give me a crusty baguette and this plate and I could make it a meal. It's like a fancy, deconstructed tomato sandwich.

I also made yet another batch of cucumber soup last night. My cukes are basically played out, but I still have plenty sitting on the counter. This batch? Was perfect. Golly, I cannot wait to have it for lunch today. I served the tomato salad and soup with burgers on those awesome Publix buns. Hearty, healthy and, most of all, delish.

Otherwise, things are pretty quiet around Casa Bunny. I may have to go out and create some drama just to have something to write about. Or you could ask me questions and I could answer them. Just an idea. I am an open book--so hit me with your best shot.

Hope you are having a wonderful week so far! Smooches! Bun

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Garden Porn Keeps on Giving: Update

Well, peeps, it seems BGR is up to 80--yes, that would be eight-zero--unique visitors. Yep. Yes, siree. The Garden Porn post keeps reeling them in. The latest lovers looking for a little zing are from Germany, Mexico and the Netherlands. Seriously. Other than that, today has been a total drag. I did make a delicious dinner, but you will have to wait until tomorrow to hear all about it because it's movie time. Then, bedtime. So, later taters. Love, B.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

O-La-La: The Weekend Wrap-Up

Peeps! It's been a full weekend, fo' shizzle. Starting from 5 p.m. on Friday. Why what happened at 5 p.m., you say? Well, I had dinner guests....that were confirmed at noon the same day. Yeah. But the Bunny is always prepared, being the good Southern girl that she is. So, after a quick run to the Publix and to have a pedicure (groomed feet are a must for a good hostess, right?!?), I was ready to roll.

The guests? Well, my dear friend J., who I've known since I was 14. Um, yes. That would be a long time. Shut your piehole, okey-dokey? And Sam. Yes, Sam from Monday Sam. See, J. and Sam had invited Bunny to go kayaking with them Friday night. Um, hell to the no. I mean 1) I have never been in a watercraft which required my effort to propel it, 2) I cannot swim (I don't want to hear it. Seriously.) and 3) the event was happening after dark. It was just a series of horrific embarrassments waiting to happen.

Anyhoodle, since I was depriving them of my company for the kayak trip, I invited them over for wine and nosh beforehand instead. Now, feeding people? That's something in which Bunny excels. So, I whipped up some wonderful bruschetta:

Topping made with fresh tomatoes--purple, yellow and red--and basil from Jardin de Bunny....

And olive tapenade a la Ina Garten (recipe here), which was SO delish. I had never made it, but Bunny is always up for a challenge. It was surprisingly easy; however, I did cut the anchovies in half. (Sorry these photos are messy--we had already delved in before I remembered to take photos).

Layering both on a nicely toasted baguette = simply fabulous. Even more fabulous was this wine, which I served:

I mentioned this wine before when my friend E. served it for my b-day dinner. And it deserves another mention. It is a sublime sparkling red. Which I really hated to share, but since it's sparkling and the hubs don't drink, it has to be consumed quickly, hence, a guest wine. For the main course, I made the ridiculously easy Chicken & Orzo salad from Williams-Sonoma. Good friends, good food--what can be better??

Yesterday was errands and work all day. I know, not fun, but necessary so I could have fun today. Today, was my first W-S class since for'eva--Vinegars. It was super. We tasted an assortment of different vinegars--champagne, sherry, white wine, red wine, balsamic. Who knew they were so different? I had never taste tasted vinegars, but sampled side-by-side, the differences are remarkable. Try it. Seriously. And I cannot wait to try some of the recipes!

Of course, while perusing the store before class, I managed to purchase a few items--all on sale, natch. Some dish towels ($4!), chili sauce ($3!) and real Meyer lemon juice ($4!). I also ran up on these mixing bowls, which I covet with all my heart:

SO pretty. And a steal at only $159 for the set. So, anyone who wants to purchase a little gift for Bunny can just snatch these up.

This afternoon, we went to see Julie & Julia which pretty much lived up to the hype. Meryl Streep is simply fabulous. In general and in this role. And the wonderful Stanley Tucci is sexy, sexy as Paul Child.

In other news, I also finished The Time Traveler's Wife this weekend and was underwhelmed. And disappointed. Because that is 500 pages and two weeks I will never get back. But I have found a new song to love--Best for Last by Adele. I am a late comer to the Adele train, but a friend recently lent me her CD, and this song? Well, it's unique. And speaks to my memories.

And here we are at bedtime, another weekend gone. The week ahead is looking a little crazy, but I hope more positive. Hope you all had a great one and be good 'til I'm back! B.

Friday, August 07, 2009

RIP John Hughes

Today, tons of folks who were teens in the 80s are mouring the passing of John Hughes yesterday. I decided rather than write my own post, I would post links to two of the best I have read--one more funny, one more poignant--should you wish to indulge:

And I couldn't figure out how to imbed this video, but it is a highlight of Pretty in Pink, one of my all time favorite movies. I wanted to be Molly Ringwald in this movie. And the soundtrack rocks.

Yet another part of my youth, gone forever, but never forgotten. RIP John Hughes, and thanks for leaving the memories.

Random Thoughts for Friday: A Quick & Dirty Dozen

  1. Yesterday afternoon sucked. Hard. Found out I was passed over for two more jobs. Crying and drinking and general feeling sorry for myself ensued.
  2. In good news, my hubs treated me to dinner out. A cheap dinner out, but dinner out, nevertheless. He's a good little hubs.
  3. I feel better today. I am trying to keep faith that there is something out there for me, somewhere. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.
  4. One reason I feel better is because I have dinner guests coming tonight. Impromptu guests, but fabulous, fun ones and needed distractions.
  5. I also am happy that Julie & Julia is finally out this weekend and am making plans to see it Sunday.
  6. I finally am going back to the Williams-Sonoma classes Sunday, after months of being away. So, I am happy about that, as well.
  7. I am thisclose to finishing The Time Traveler's Wife. Finally. It's has been a challenging read, in various ways.
  8. I have a shitload of work to get done this weekend. Yuck.
  9. I am still loving Broken by Lifehouse. LOVE. ING. IT.
  10. My little moms is treating me to a pedicure this afternoon. I loves her.
  11. I have given up on my garden. My tomatoes are INFESTED with white flies. Sigh. What a shitty gardening year this one has been.
  12. This photo cracks me the hell up. She sorta looks dead, in a rigor mortis way. Or like she is hugging an invisible lover.
Be back over the weekend with lots to tell. I hope. Love, B.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Hump Day Holla: The Semiquincentennial Edition

Yes, peeps. That is a big ol' word up there. What does it mean, you ask? Why, the 250th of something. Because today is the 250th post here at BGR. And I gots to get to celebrating, so let's get to it, shall we?

In a furry creature update, KK's new favorite spot to reside outside in the hellishy hot weather we have been having is behind the big planter on the front stoop. It is a lovely, shady corner and, I assume, the natural stone retains some coolness.

Of course, she would rather be inside, in the air conditioning. Can you blame her? Here she is looking expectantly at the front door. Look at how she is laying, with her lower body all twisty and that tail at a 90 degree angle. Crazy cute.

I love this photo. She is so pretty. Seriously. I know I wax on about her, but I have never had such an awesome cat. She has made me rethink the fabulousness of felines. And speaking of fabulous, I whipped up a fabulous fig dish last night.

Toasted whole-grain baguette, spread generously with fresh goat cheese.....

Layered with halved, slightly mashed figs (I used one half gold, one half black, just to kick it up a notch and all).....

Then, accented with prosciutto and drizzled with honey.

Mercy, it was indescribably yummy. Actually, several of these wound up being my dinner. I figured it was well-rounded--grain, dairy, fruit, protein. I enjoyed them with a few glasses of this.....

Now, this was a nice rose. I picked this bottle up at the Dekalb Farmer's Market, after my friend found it on the shelf. Here's the review:

Pink Knot 2005 McLaren Vale Rose Wine: This Australian rose (they don't use the accented French "rosé") pours out a clear, bright pink, literally the color of a rose. Fresh and floral aromas mingle juicy strawberries and the heady scents of summer garden flowers. Juicy and fresh on the palate, it offers light strawberry flavors, and its gentle sweetness is well balanced by crisp acidity.

It is slightly sweeter than a traditional French rose, but I like a little sweet in my rose. To me, they are supposed to be fruity and fresh, a nice summer wine.

Well, that's all for today, peeps. I think I am going to indulge in generating a little Vitamin D this afternoon. Hope you are all having a great week! Bun