Monday, September 28, 2009

The Post in Which I Go Postal

I was all planning to do a recap of the delicious things I did and consumed this weekend, but then I saw this You Tube clip this morning on Huff Po, and it sent me into a tailspin:

That is Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman in a Broadway performance, during which an audience member's cell phone starts ringing. And they call the person out.

Peeps, W.T.F. is up with people and their incredibly rude usage of technology? Someone needs to write an etiquette book on proper technology usage (by which I mean cell phones/texting; I won't even get started on social media, or we will be here all day) or start handing out fines or something because it is getting. out. of. hand.

People talking on their phones during movies. People texting other people or checking emails while dining with friends. People accepting or making calls in inappropriate places (doctor's office, checkout lines, bathrooms, etc.). People carrying on loud/inappropriate conversations in public. People taking calls during job interviews. Yes. You read that right. I was told by someone who interviewed me that this happened. If I was the interviewer, I would have snatched the phone out of their hand, said "Your friend just lost this job. Because they are stupid.", and kicked them the hell out of my office.

Now, before some of you go getting your panties in a bunch, I am singling out NO ONE. I am just having a general rant. In fact, I have been guilty myself of some violations and will admit it. Just Friday, I was lunching with a friend and received a call while she was talking. I was embarrassed. Usually I turn my phone to vibrate, but had forgotten. The call was from my moms, so I quickly took it, told my mom I was having lunch with a friend and would call her back. And then I apologized to my friend. (I would have sent it to voice mail, but, um, I don't know how to do that. Because I am "technology challenged." Again, another post.)

But what about emergencies, you say? Well, I say, come the hell on! How many times in your life has someone had to contact you for a true emergency? Like life and death? Me? Once. When my grandmother died. And it was before cell phones and, miraculously, my mom managed to find me.

I do give grace to some folks. For example, I have a friend who is a surgical physician's assistant. When we meet for dinner, she occasionally receives a text or call. BECAUSE SHE JUST CUT SOMEONE OPEN A FEW HOURS EARLIER. And, you know, her surgeon bosses want to check on the patient. Or ask about the meds she prescribed. You know, life and death stuff for reals.

Society has become way too dependant on cell phone technology. I admit, cell phones are convenient when you are at the Publix and can't remember if you have sour cream and call home to ask the hubs. Or when you are sitting in traffic and need to call to let someone know you are going to be late. But, really, would it be the end of the world if we were not able to make these calls? Hell-to-the-no.

I often think that some people need technology to make them feel important or needed. Well, I can tell you that I know one thing for sure--no one is so important that they cannot take a few hours for a movie, a doctor's appointment or dinner with a friend and TURN OFF THEIR DAMN PHONE. Word.

I believe at the heart of all the bad manners with cell phones is a more horrific trend--a lack of general consideration of others. Way too many people these days have a sense of entitlement, an "all about me" attitude that seemingly precludes the ability to act courteous, much less kind, to others.

While no one is going to confuse me with Emily Post on my best day, I do try to say "please" and "thank you" with regularity. However, I see way too many yoo-hoos who think the world owes them something and they can do as they damn well please. My take? The world doesn't owe you shit, and I sure as hell don't "owe" it to you to let you carry-on a 10 minute conversation in line at Publix while trying to check out at 5 p.m. on Friday afternoon. And I don't "owe" it to you to drive an hour to see you over dinner and have you sit texting other folks throughout the meal. And the actors and other audience members of a Broadway play don't "owe" it to you to let you take your call during a live performance, jackass. Yo.

I will step down off the soapbox now and get back to the video. What Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman should have done was go all 007 and Wolverine on that person's ass. Now that? Would have been a show. Later peeps! B.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rain, Rain GO AWAY. Seriously.

Oh, peeps. It is another day of torrential downpours across North Georgia and the poor people south of me in Austell, Powder Springs, Mableton (above), etc. have yet to dry out from the floods earlier in the week.

Just about every creek and river...including Sweetwater Creek, Peachtree Creek and the Chattahoochee...overflowed. In good news, a new eco-friendly commute option was discovered....kayaking. (Um, yes, that is a residential street above, not a national forest.)

In even better news, Six Flags over Georgia has introduced several new water rides, available for a limited time only. Have a good one and send desert-y thoughts of dryness our way! Bun.

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's Your Lucky Day

You get TWO posts from B.! Yo. See the post of the girls was me being an indulgent pet parent. I was down in the floor after lunch loving on them, and snapped some cool-ish, grainy photos and wanted to post them. Then, I realized I had to give a recap of our faboo dinner last night.

Backstory: My little town has a dearth of good local eating joints. And by "good" I mean "not a meat and three or BBQ hut."It's a big enough town to support more local restaurants, but, sadly, people here are 1) cheap/tight and 2) very white. Yes, that is a Glenn Beck-yin comment. And what I mean by "very white" is "not willing to go outside their middle class conservative tastes." Like, say, ethnic foods. Heck, Italian and Mexican are considered "exotic" here. Get me? Which is why it cracks me the hell up that our town is nicknamed "G-Vegas." That has to be sarcastic. Seriously.

Anyhoodle, there is a local pizza joint which has been around and back. It was locally owned...and did gangbuster business....then was sold, and fell off a cliff. The service sucked. The food sucked. It became an all around suck fest. Then, it closed. However, in the middle of our shitty economy, the original owner decided to reopen. The hubs and I have been meaning to go, but were being Very White. As in "skeptical it was going to be any good."

Well, remember how I was pissing and moaning about going out last night? Well, I talked the hubs into taking me to the pizza joint. And we were not disappointed.

First, they have some awesome beers on tap, including Arrogant Bastard Ale, which I tried for the first time and lurved. And how cool to order...."I'll have an Arrogant Bastard, please." Watch this one though, peeps. It has 7.5% alcohol (compared to a "normal" beer of 4-5%) so it will knock you on your arse quick if you are not careful.

The Spring Salad was as good as ever....candied pecans, bacon, Gorgonzola cheese, Granny Smith apples...what's not to love? Not a damn thing.

And the pizza? This pizza will make you have dirrtty dreams of pizza. The crust alone makes me weep with joy. They have little squeezy bottles of honey on the table so you can guss up your crust remains. Like dessert. OMG. If loving this pizza is wrong, I don't want to be right. Word.

So, if you are ever up G-Vegas way, stop in at the Monkey Barrel. It rocks. Hard. Oh, and remember that Christmas is three months from today! B. Out!

My Dogters

As most of you peeps know, the hubs and I do not have human children. But, as I answer when asked if I have kids, we do have furry, four-legged children. Otherwise known as our "dogters," Savannah and Pepsi. And, no, we did NOT name them. We adopted both of our girls as adults and, as such, had to keep their names.

Savannah is def the alpha dog. I cannot even tell you how much personality this dog possesses. She will be 13 in a few months, but she acts like a puppy much of the time.

Several years ago, Savannah was diagnosed with diabetes. I cried for three days straight after we found out. But we all adapted, and she has done great, though we have had some scares.

She is definitely a daddy's girl, but since I have been home, she seems to have warmed to me some. At least she warms up to me enough to milk a tummy rub now and then. Look at that face. How can you not love that face??

Now, Pepsi, she had a hard life before she came to us. So though she really wants to be close, she pretends to be disinterested. Almost like she is warding off the potential hurt.

Oh, Pep, don't look away. We've got your number. Just please quit peeing on the bathroom rugs, ok?

See, that wasn't so hard now, was it? Who doesn't love a tummy rub? I could tell you all kinds of pet parent stories about our girls--from their Christmas stockings to their wardrobe of collars we change every two months--but I don't want you to think I am pathetic. Too late, huh? Well, I don't care. They bring us such joy....well, except for all the rug washing....and I cannot imagine our lives without them. Have a great weekend, peeps! Love, B.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

The Thursday Thirteen is a meme-of-sorts that is circling the blogsphere, so seeing as I am out of other ideas, I thought I would try it today. Holy hell, this week has been so boring I'm not sure I have 13 things to talk about. Let's see.
  1. I now have a neat, as in tidy, row of burn scars on my right hand between my pointer finger and thumb. Damn that 'effin oven rack. Oh, well, guess this means I can cross "hand model" off my list of career choices.
  2. I have been cleaning out my clothes closet today. If you call cleaning out "justifying why I need 15 black t-shirts and 3 boxes of clothes I wore 10 years and 50 pounds ago." Because I AM going to lose that 50 pounds. After all, I have lost it and found it several times already. Damn skippy.
  3. Have you read about that woman in Indonesia who birthed a 19+ pound baby? I have one word. "Motherfuck." Or "Ouch". Take your pick.
  4. I have been listening to Jason Mraz today. Jason Mraz rocks. Two folks danced to his songs last night on So You Think You Can Dance? (Shut up. I love that show. Seriously.) If you have never heard him, go download A Beautiful Mess. But the acoustic version. You will thank me later.
  5. I have been looking for clever new blogs and organizing my blog list. I am trying to come up with a manageable system. Yes, I know I am pathetic. And unemployed. So I have lots of time to be pathetic.
  6. For a very short while, I was considering starting another blog. Maybe two. You know, like a seperate book one. Or a separate cooking one. Then, I snapped out of it and said "Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. Hell-to-the-no!" I, mean, that's why I call it "bunnygoround," because it's just all sorta randomness up in here depending on the day. And my hormones.
  7. Speaking of hormones (stop reading here if you possess a penis), I think something may be up with my girly parts. Can you say "perimenopause?" Sigh.
  8. I have food thawing for dinner, but all I really want to do is go out. It's not even that I want anything specific or don't feel like cooking. I just really want to go out. I don't know why because it will require putting on makeup. And nice clothes. But I just want to GET THE HELL OUT OF THIS HOUSE.
  9. It's 5:30 now. That means it's cocktail hour. Be right back. While I am gone--wine or beer? Discuss amongst yourselves.
  10. So you can sleep tonight, I went with wine. Pinot grigio. Not my fave, but I opened a bottle the other day for a recipe and who am I to let good wine go to waste?
  11. The other day I was talking to my sis on her car phone. My nephews said "Who's that?" And I yelled out "Your favorite aunt!" To which they immediately replied, "Oh, Bunny!" I love that. And, I am NOT their only aunt, for those of you assholes who ask.
  12. I think the hubs and I should go tubing this weekend. Lord knows, with all the rain, the river will be raging. Fun times.
  13. Dayum. I guess I did have 13 things to say. Really, though, who the hell am I kiddin'? I could talk the bark off a tree. Thanks, Daddy-o, for giving me the gene of conversation. Have a good one, peeps! B is OUT!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hump Day Holla: Getting My Reflective Mood On

Today was one of those days that made me feel blessed. Lately, I have been doing a lot of feeling sorry for my unemployed self, but, at the end of the day, I still have so much more than many other people.

For several years, I have volunteered my time as a public relations consultant for my town's free clinic. Sure, I publish their newsletter, write a press release now and then, coordinate an event, but it's a paltry contribution compared to the services provided by the people who work there.

The clinic provides free medical and dental care, as well as medications, to many of the indigent, under-insured and uninsured in our community. They see approximately 1500 patients a month, and the need for their services has escalated over the past year as the economy has plunged.

Instead of the stereotypical indigent person, their new patients are, well, people much like my parents. People who have worked hard their whole lives, scrimped and saved, but have now lost their jobs and almost everything they own and have nowhere to turn. Many have chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, but can no longer afford their medications.

The most remarkable thing about the clinic is they take NO money from the state or federal government. Their funding and support comes 100% from grants, monetary and in-kind donations from local individuals, businesses and churches, and the donated time of approximately 100 local physicians, dentists and other volunteers. It is a true testament to what can happen when a community comes together to help those who are less fortunate.

Today, there was an event on the grounds of the clinic--the American Le Mans Series, Road Atlanta, Lowe's and Michelin donated a children's play area to the clinic as part of a PR effort in relation to the Petit Le Mans race this upcoming weekend. Maybe not the most needed donation, but a nice gift, no doubt, since it would have been way down a wish list of priorities. When you are a not-for-profit, you take your donations where you can get them. Word.

Anyhoodle, as I was standing there, waiting for the Very Important People to make their remarks for the media, I see a man approaching the VIP group. A very, um, grungy looking man. Who really needs the clinic's dental services, shall we say. Then, the VIPs see him too, and everyone, including me, sorta freeze. In a full-on state of judgment and middle-class panic.

"Are y'all somebody?" he says, quickly followed by nervous laughter from the group. Of course, no one wants to admit they think they are somebody. Little Man, however, quickly saves the day by saying, "I just want to shake your hands--what you do here, it's a blessing."

Wow. I bet every one of those VIPs felt like a shit head. I know I did. Here we all are, in our "nice" clothes, chatting each other up about trivial shizz, judging him and, truth be told, probably a little fearful of his intent, and all Little Man wanted to do was thank us. Thank us for helping to make his life better.

There are all kinds of "lessons" in this tale, but, as a wrap-up to my rambly story, I will first note that I haven't said anything here about the current healthcare debate, but I will say this--our country's healthcare system blows. Big time. And, sadly, very few communities have a facility like Good News Clinics.

But, most of all, I realized today that my life ain't so bad. Yeah, not having a job is scary. But, for now, I have health insurance. I have plenty of clothes. I have a kitchen full of food. I can pay my mortgage. I have wonderful friends, a great family and a husband who is my best friend. Yeah. My life ain't so bad. And I am going to keep trying to remember that when I am tempted to feel sorry for myself.

Are you there, God? It's me, Savannah. Thanks for making me so cute. Oh, yeah, and my mom forgot to mention me in her blessings, so inflict her with the plague. Amen.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autumnal Wishes & Culinary Dreams

Yo, peeps! I am TRES excited. It is officially the first day of autumn. Fall is, by far, my favorite season. Hints of the holidays in the air. Crisp days and cool evenings. And, most of all, a return to cool weather cooking.

While I loves me some fresh summer veggies and fruits, I am about tired of salads, cold soups and lighter fare. I am ready for heartier grub. And all the rain the past week and cooler temps have really started my taste buds salivating for fall flavors. So, natch, last night I started perusing the W-S site for some new recipes to try (Seriously, Chuck Williams better be calling any day now. Any day, Chuck.). And here's my "to do" recipe list. Reservations to Casa Bunny will be accepted for the small price of a bottle of wine or 6-pack of ale. Word.

Bunny's Autumnal Recipe Box of Wonders

I have a hankering to try my hand at a tart. Tarts can be savory or sweet, and B. is thinking both. Above is a classic Tarte Tatin, which will be a great recipe to try during the upcoming apple season. Word.

For a savory tart, I am thinking this Goat Cheese, Leek and Mushroom Tart served as an appetizer with a nice pinot noir (Anyone want to volunteer to bring the pinot? I'll make the tart!).

I regret I stopped working on my bread baking right when I was starting to "work it out" last year, but this recipe for No-Knead Bread seems easy-peasy and is delish (Little Jake made in W-S class and it is tas-tee).

I also have been jonesing to work with lamb, but am a little intimidated by it. Why? Don't know. Maybe guilt issues over killing Baby Ba-Ba? Nah. That's not it. Anyhoodle, I'm thinking Lamb Kabobs with Tzatziki would be an easy start. As compared to, oh like, a standing leg of lamb. Yo.

I'm always on the lookout for a great new soup, and this Leek-Potato Soup takes B. straight back to my honeymoon in Maine and the "Fisherman's Friend" restaurant where I had this dish for the first time. Ah, memories. Light the corners of my mind.

For a year, I have also been wanting to try my hand at crepes. Like tarts, crepes can be sweet or savory. Again, B. says "both!" These Ham and Gruyère Crepes look like a simple place to start. Maybe serve with the Leek and Potato Soup....hmmmm.

And these Apple Crepes with Caramel Sauce will be another good use for the bushels of fall apples I hope to soon acquire. Bunny is a fool for anything with apples and caramel. Damn skippy.

This recipe was the request of a friend who remembered eating it at a restaurant somewhere I cannot remember--Picadillo, a Cuban-inspired dish. Looks tasty! Maybe he can make it over to eat again in 2010.

And last, but not least, are croques. I frickin' missed the croques class at W-S, but you know I loves me a grilled sandwich, so I am all about trying these Croques Madame, a grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich with béchamel sauce and crowned with a fried egg. The dish takes its name from the French word croquer, which can mean either "to crackle and crunch" or "to munch." Just wanted to share that with you. Cause that's how B. rolls.

In other news, I don't know HOW THE FUCK to turn off the italics and bold shit going on in this post! ARRGGG! But I think I have plenty to keep me busy for now as far as cookery. And the rain has finally stopped, but sadly, my hunger pangs have not. So, I am off to start dinner--roast pork. Mmmm! Later taters! B.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ark Update: New Orleans 2.0

UPDATE: Several people have lost their lives today in North Georgia due to flooding including a couple of motorists who were swept away in their cars and a toddler who was swept out of his parent's arms while awaiting rescue. It's serious, peeps. And it's gonna get worse before it gets better because we have at least one more day of downpours. Call FEMA. And the Red Cross. At least W. is no longer in office. In good news, some people here will get two baths this week.

Please Send A Boat. Now.

Peeps. It has been raining every. day. for. a. week. Maybe longer. Seriously. A Facebook friend said this morning that she thinks she missed the invite for the ark. Um. Yeah. Events are actually being canceled in the area because of flooding and stuff like that. Thank God we got our gutters. And we live "up lake." I think.

Anyway, it's been a terribly soggy blah day at Casa Bunny and I just have nothing. Absolutely nothing. And my head feels so foggy and slushy and muddled that I cannot even come up with anything creative right now. For lunch, however, I did make paninis and soup. And for dinner I am planning pasta. Because, as I noted, this rain makes me hungry. So, so hungry. But first I have to go bike 10 miles. So my ass will fit on the ark we may have to build. Word. Out. B.

Area of Atlanta near the flooding Nancy Creek earlier today

Downtown Atlanta Connector earlier today

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Whip It. Word.

Y'all. It has been so dreary here this week. Rainy, cloudy, dreary. I know we need the rain. But does it have to rain every. single. day., all. week. long.? And all next week, too? Jeez, I am wrinkling up. And molding. Not to mention my frizzy hair. Oy.

So, no outside activities today. And for some reason, rain always makes me hungry. Seriously. Which is not boding well for my ass. Anyhoodle, I have been whipping up some magnificent dishes the past few days, if I do say so myself.

Thursday night, a friend came over for din, and I made this frittata recipe from W-S. I lurves me some frittata, but the hubs gets a little squeamy about eggs. WTF, I say? Just forget they're chicken embryos and suck 'em down. I served it up with some yummy grits with a little cream and cheese whipped in. Alas, I forgots to take a pic, but trust me, it was pretty.

Last night, I had some peppers and steak that needed to be whipped into something, so natch, I whipped up some pepper steak hoagies.

Mmmm...beefy. With provolone and au jus for dipping. On the side...Publix Baked Potato Salad which was BOOF this week. Yummers. Today for lunch, we had leftover frittata along with this fabulous soup:

From Sams! Yes. Sams! The hubs summed it up correctly when he said it tasted "like something you could order in a restaurant." Better still, it's not very fattening or pricey. Two thumbs up.

Tonight for dinner, I decided to make fried catfish, slaw and baked potatoes. During my last trip to the DFM, I bought a purple cabbage just for kicks and giggles and needed to get to getting on whipping it into something before it went South in the fridge.

I had no recipe for the slaw, just whipped it up. First, I chopped up the cabbage. See how pretty the purple is against my turquoise cutting pad?

To the cabbage, I added half a chopped red onion, a small chopped Gala apple and bacon bits (the REAL ones). Green onion and/or apple would have been more colorful, but I had to go with what was in the Casa Bunny kitchen. Yo. Oh, I also added celery seed (leftover from pickles), kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Next, the dressing. I mixed cider vinegar, mayo and Dijon mustard. Upon tasting, and my mouth puckering up prettily, I added a few tablespoons of sugar to counteract my overly heavy vinegar hand.

On another note, if you don't have yourself one of these flat whisky things, get one. They are faboo. I gots this one at IKEA for cheapo. So much more versatile than a regular whisk.

Next, the fish. Washed the fish and patted dry, then mixed yellow corn meal with Old Bay seasoning. Dipped fish in whipped egg, dredged in meal mix.

I use canola oil, for you know, my heart and all, and barely cover the pan. Note: Don't walk away from fish. It will burn in the blink of an eye. I know this from past experience. Word. And lock up your dogs or they will get grease splattered as they stand RIGHTUNDERTHEEYE with the fish on it. Actually, this did not happen to our girls, because I have learned to lock them up whenever I cook things that involve hot oil. Yo. Safety first.

Now that? Is some perfect 'effin catfish, if I do say so myself. I think I need to try my hand at hush puppies next. Mmm. Hush puppies. With real corn in them. Yeah. Maybe that's next.

So, I am off to continue watching Season 5 of The Office with the hubs. Hope you are having wonderful weekend, wherever you are! Hugs, B.

Friday, September 18, 2009

10 Things That are Wrong with Me

This post idea was going around on several blogs a few weeks ago, and I thought it intriguing, so I noted it for a day when I really had nothing else going on to share. And here we are. And for those of you who say "how the hell can B. limit it to 10 things?" I say, "Suck it." Onto the list.
  1. I have an abnormal fascination with lip products, esp. lipstick. At any given time, I probably have anywhere from a dozen to 20 different lip products in my purse. Just my purse. We won't talk about my cosmetic case.
  2. I cannot drink beverages from aluminum cans. Well, I can, but I really don't like it, and will go out of my way to try not to do it.
  3. Scraping the tines of a fork across my teeth--or hearing someone else do it--gives me the bad willies. Hell, writing that gives me the bad willies.
  4. Likewise, I do not like eating ice cream or other cold foods with a metal utensil. I prefer to eat cold items with plastic if possible.
  5. I sleep with four pillows--two under my head (one super flat, one poofy), one between my knees (middlin' poofy) and one hugged to my torso (super poofy). I am a side sleeper and need my support.
  6. I have a deep fear of little people. I don't know why. They just scare me.
  7. I have a deeper fear of clowns. Who in the hell would put on that garb and act all goofy? A scary person, that's who.
  8. I have never eaten a full size candy bar. Ever. I am just not a big lover of candy. Except Starburst Jelly Beans.
  9. I put ice in my milk. I like my milk cold. Ice cold.
  10. I did not start drinking coffee until about five years ago. I could probably still take it or leave it.
Yes, there is more, but let's start with that for now, shall we? Hope you all have a great weekend. We had some outdoor plans, but it looks as if they are going to be rained out. Maybe it will be a couch & good book weekend. Love ya! Bun.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chuck Williams, You Owe Me. Seriously.

So, last night I decided to flip on over to the Williams-Sonoma Web site and browse their new fall selection of items. See, I am on the W-S emailings (for both my emails, the full store and the outlet) and I have been receiving a plethora of tantalizing electronic culinary porn. Yes, I know my budget does not allow for W-S right now, but a girl can dream, can't she?

Besides, our 13th wedding anniversary is coming up and I am considering registering for gifts--would that be tacky? Hell, I reckon 13 years is practically a milestone in this day and time. And if we make it to 20?? Oh, HELLZ YES, I am registering and throwing a big ol' party with a big ol' gift table at the door. Word. After all, the hubs and I don't have offspring, so we missed out on the whole baby shower thingy, so I figure we are due another round of gifts. That's allz I'm sayin.' Anyhoodle, here are my picks:

Bunny's Williams-Sonoma Wish List

Look at this cool little pizza stick pan! How cute is this thing? And a steal at $24.95. My only concern is it only has five slots--what's up with that, Chuck? Why not six? You know people gonna be fightin' over that last stick. That's all I'm sayin.' Yo. fall finishing sauces. French black truffles, tart black currents--what's not to love? There also is a Fig Bourguignonne which sounds equally divine. And only $16-29!

This? Is a Strawberry Huller. And it WORKS. I have seen Little Jake use it in class. I hate hulling strawberries and would love to add this little gizmo to my tool drawer. A stocking stuffer steal for only $7.95.Oh, yes, baby. I lurves my Wustof Classic Knives. Mama needs a new one, and I am thinking this one may be my next pick: the 10-inch Hollow Ground Slicer. I need a great slicing knife. A wee bit more to the pricey side at $119.95, but a lifetime investment. Seriously.

Bunny loves her pepper--the pepper-ier, the better, I say. So I am all over this new paste/rub which combines a blend of hand-cracked peppercorns. Just rub the paste into your meat, then pan-fry or grill as usual. Easy-peasy French cooking for just $12.50.
For some silly reason, I have always wanted a wine carafe. It just seems....special. Fancy. Not that we have many guests....or many who drink wine. And when we do have guests that drink wine, it typically disappears quickly. But I just like it. Though it does seem a little extravagant at $69.

I have always wondered if these garlic peeler tubes work. The reviewers on W-S say "Hellz yes!" So, I guess I need one. If it works like they say, it will be worth every penny of the $9 price tag.

Look! A triple timer! It has a 30-minute, 1 hour and 2 hour dial. How ingenious! How many things could I use this for?? But the $48 sticker is slightly steep.
These are the Edwards glasses. They seem sturdy. I like a sturdy glass. One that if you threw it at someone's head, it would give them a concussion. That kind of sturdy. These better be sturdy at a cost of $64-72 for four. I know. But they are supposedly crafted by hand, by master artisans. Whatever. As long as it doesn't break when I drop my cocktail.

W-S does food gifts. And these are the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, old-fashioned delights hand made from scratch at a small Maine bakery. Chuck, you can send me over a batch of these for pimping you out on BGR. Word. 'Cause I know $49.95 is pocket change to you.

I don't know if these Potato Scrubbing Gloves would make life easier or not, but they are intriguing. I know I hate washing potatoes, and usually drench myself in the process, so maybe these are worth the $11.95 price tag.

Ah, come to Mama. With cooler weather coming on fast, my Dutch ovens will be back in heavy rotation with soups, stews, chilis and all other kinds of fabulous wintry weather cooking. I love this wider, shallower 5-qt. Le Creuset Braiser. In Flame. Because I am going to be on fire cookin'! Word. But, alas, out of my current reach at $240. Maybe Chuck will feel generous and send one of these along with the Whoopie Pies.

Well, that completes my list. Now, off the daytime dreaming and back to the daytime scheming. See you later, peeps. XO, B.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

And So The Beer Reviews Begin

Yo, peeps, it's a rainy day here in the GA. But, hey, it's all good 'cause the lakes and streams need replenishing so B. can do some more kayaking (pause while I wipe away tears of laughter from my eyes). Anyhoodle, life's been kinda quiet to start the week, which is fine by me after the chaotic whirlwind of last. And I have finally gots around to tasting a beer or two, so I thought I would share my reviews.

First, to recap, you may remember that last Hump Day, I found the Holy Grail for Beer Lovers: HopCity Craft Beers & Wine in the ATL (read more about it here). It still seems all a dream--a lovely , lovely beer-soaked dream. Anyway, over the weekend, I indulged in beer #1:

TommyKnocker Maple Nut Brown Ale

I actually mentioned this beer on BGR last year, almost a year ago to date, after I had one at Taco Mac when enjoying dinner with a friend. It blew me away. I have looked for it ever since, to no avail, until HopCity. Now, I possess a 6-pack. Well, now, a 5-pack. And when I had it Sunday night, it still blew me away. Here's the product overview from TommyKnocker:

A delicate amount of maple syrup is added to each barrel of our award winning Maple Nut Brown Ale to impart roasted sweetness. This addition balances the nut flavor produced by chocolate malts used in the brewhouse, producing a drinkable dark amber ale with a relatively low-alcohol content.

Whazz?? Low-alcohol content?? Tell me it ain't so T.K.!! Oh, well, guess that means I just need to drink more. Which is fine with me because it is a yum-o beer. Word. Onto Beer #2:

Breckenridge Avalanche Ale

This beer was recommended by the owner of HopCity, after I told him I really liked Fat Tire by New Belgium. Breckenridge Brewery is "down the road" from New Belgium, and owner man said Avalanche Ale was a slightly more refined version of Fat Tire. Here's what the company says:

Subtlety. That's what makes our Avalanche Amber Ale such a treat. We blend pale and caramel malts – and just a kiss of bittering hops – to create a refreshing-but-flavorful, any-time beer. Aromas of pale grains, a semi-sweet middle and a clean-as-Colorado-snow finish make this our best-selling beer.

This ale was quite good--and probably very, very close to Fat Tire--but hard to judge without doing a side-by-side taste test. Hmm...there's an idea! I don't know that I am going to run out and buy another one soon, but I would buy again. And onto Beer #3:

Blue Moon Honeymoon Summer Ale

I actually did not purchase this beer at HopCity--it was a hostess gift from a friend who recently came to dinner (note to friends: beer--always a good choice for a hostess gift for B.). I don't know that I would have ever bought this beer on my own, but it is lovely, esp. for warmer days. Blue Moon notes that the brew contains clover honey and orange peel. I say, chill well, add a slice of orange, and enjoy. But hurry--it's only shipped through August, so there might be a few left on the shelves.

In other news, last night I made the Publix Apron Recipe of the Week which was easy-peasy (Dump everything in a bowl and stir. Seriously.) and so delish. Two thumbs up! Well, I'm off--see you later, peeps! Bun

Monday, September 14, 2009

Catching Up in Celluloid

Yo, peeps! Hope you all had a great weekend. The Bun has been busy, so let's catch up, shall we? First, I picked up our kayaking photos Saturday and thought I would share a couple that aren't too embarrassing.

That's me. Right before I fell out of the boat. The second time. Here's a tip: Sitting sideways like that in the rapid-y areas? Not a good thing. The current pushes your ass right on over. Yes, even if you have a fat ass like me. The good news? I think all my bruises are finally gone.

Here's the hubs in calmer waters. He almost looks like he knows what he's doing. Almost. But I bet right after this photo, he started going sideways. Oy. Kayaking. The most fun you'll ever have while not knowing you are having fun.

Saturday afternoon, a friend and I decided to go out to the 2009 Atlanta Dragon Boat Races. We didn't really think it would be a big deal or there would be a big crowd. Boy-howdy, were we wrong. The traffic was a disaster, and the day was the hottest one in quite a while, but it was interesting.

Here are some teams lined up to race. I believe, overall, 50 teams from around the country, mostly north Georgia, competed. The venue is the same one where Bobs and I went kayaking--the 1996 Olympic rowing site, which is located in my hometown.

These are the breast cancer supporter/survivor teams. The monies raised from the event were being donated to breast cancer support/research. Lots of pink. Word.

Does anyone know who these costume characters are? They seemed very popular. Esp. among the many Asian attendees who obviously knew who they were. That little red guy looks like he is about to cop a feel.

The dragon dance and drummer opened the mid-day ceremonies. That damn costume had to be SO roasty warm.

Little Asian girls perform a lovely ceremonial dance. Again, they had to be sweltering in those silk dresses. And their feet on that concrete? Bless their hearts. Overall, I think the event folks might have been a wee overwhelmed with the crowds, so here's to hoping they can get their shizz together better for 2010.

Saturday night, we went to the Pet Shop Boys concert at Chastain Park Amphitheater. I WON TICKETS. Hellz, yes! I cannot 'effin believe it either. I actually called into a radio station, answered a trivia question correctly, and won tickets for me and the hubs. I am truly one of those folks who never wins anything so I was terribly surprised. Here are some photos from the evening.

Before the show, a DJ was playing. As you can see, the venue is quite lovely--everyone brings food and picnics, and wine, and candles, and more wine. It's always a fun time.

I was somewhat confused with the group's song choices, but then we always want to hear what we want to hear, no? And they were very advant garde in their staging and costumes. As you can see, the theme of the night was boxes. Not quite sure what that was all about.

More singing, more boxes. The good news is they sounded great. You know, sometimes, when artists grow older, their voices....change. But they were very good. Quite enjoyable, indeed.

In other news, The Office: Season 5 came out on DVD last week, and we spent part of the weekend watching the first two disks courtesy of Netflix. I know we are big 'ol geeks, but I loves me some of The Office. Yesterday, we went and picked up the hubs new-to-him car....a Buick Century. Now we are pimp ridin' in plush style. My bro-in-law (who works in the car trade) gots a sweet deal on this trade-in and helped a sister out. Literally. Thanks, B! You rock!

So far, the week ahead looks quiet, which is a blessing after last week, let me tell you. Hope you have a great Monday. I will be back soon. XO, Bunny.