Friday, October 30, 2009

Bootstraps and All That

Ok, I am over myself and my mental meltdown of yesterday. See, peeps, about one--sometimes two--day(s) a month since I lost my job, I just get mentally F.U.B.A.R. Hell, before I lost my job, I gots all mentally F.U.B.A.R. at least one a month.

Anyhoodle, of recent, this state usually coicides with being told I did NOT get the last job I interviewed for and then just feeling like a hopeless loser. I tell you, losing my job certainly did not one damn thing for my already tender self-esteem and self-worth issues. And while I know I could use years and years of some therapy, I decided to self-medicate instead. Behold:

Skittles and Pinot Noir: An elixir for the soul. I topped this concoction off with a liberal dose of Real Housewives of Atlanta: The Reunion Show and repeated applications of Party in the U.S.A. by Miley Cyrus (Yes, I know. I am SO ashamed. Don't judge. But that song? Sorta rocks. Well, the beat anyway. It's like cracktastic. Esp. after your third glass of wine.). And, today? It's a miracle! Total recovery!

But, I will admit, I think a little roll up in the self-pity now and then is good for you. And I like to get ALL up in there--just wallow around it in good. Cry, wail, gnash teeth. Hell yes. Eventually, you will realize what a pathetic loser you are being and pull youself up by the proverbial bootstraps and get back at it better than ever. Am I not right?? I have been pretty productive today, PLUS I had a call for another interview. So there.

And I am SO looking forward to the weekend/week ahead: The hubs is off all weekend, we are going to dinner/trick or treating at a friend's house tomorrow, I am spending Monday with a friend, next Saturday with another friend, I have two dinner dates with two totally different friends next week, and I now have a job interview. Actually, I just remembered I have a second interview next week, too. Holy Hell. And my eye twitch is getting better I think and those assholes across the street were waylaid today because of rain. So life is good.

Be back 'atcha soon, peeps, with reports on all my nefarious doings and such. Love ya! B.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

In Which I Rant About My Sad Life

  • This day? Has sucked. Hard. I mean it. It blowed.
  • First, I have a MOTHER'EFFIN tick in my right eye that has been there for TWO DAYS. Off and on. Twitching. I am ready to stab myself in the freaking eye with a fork. It is DRIVING. ME. CRAZY.
  • Secondly, the jackass people across the street are STILL over there backhoeing their way to 'effin China. I am seriously ready to shoot myself in the head. Or stick a tater in that damn thing's tailpipe. I PRAY for more rain so IT. WILL. STOP.
  • I was turned down for yet ANOTHER job today. I am so tired of hearing about all the other TOTES candidates and how it was a HARD decision. You know what's hard? Hearing that you suck. Paying $600 a month for health insurance that will probably drop you if you really get sick. Worrying about how you will pay your mortgage after next month. Being worried, sick and sad all the time. Being exhausted because you are tired from pretending you are not worried, sick and sad all the time. That? Is hard.
And though NO ONE is even bothering to comment anymore, NONE of you better leave a note telling me how it will get better or it's God's plan or some other crazy bullshit. Because I may occassionally like your ass, but I just don't want to hear it today. Now I am going to go have a cocktail and spend the rest of the evening watching trashy television, eating crappy for me food, and feeling supremely sorry for my pitiful ass. Because I can.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hump Day Holla

Today I am.....

.....frantically needing to finish up some work under deadline, but feeling not at all motivated. In fact, it is 10:30 a.m. and I am still in my pajamas. Blogging.

.....anxiously awaiting news about a potential opportunity which I will NOT discuss because I have that abnormal/irrational fear that if I talk about things before they happen, they won't happen.

.....thinking I might need to stop eating so many Fiber One products. Fiber maybe be good for your colon, but I think it has more of a love/hate relationship with mine. And today, fiber is being a hater. Yo.

.....needing to pick up the book sitting on my nightstand that I started two weeks ago and have not finished yet. I think I overdosed on reading during vacation. On the plus side, I have read 35 books this year and am on a personal goal to read at least 40 by the end of the year. If I could make it to 50, that would be cool, but I don't think that is going to happen unless I become a hermit. Oh, wait! I think I already am.

.....considering options for branding my freelance business--anyone have ideas? I keep coming up with great ideas, then realize when I Google the name that 227 other people have had the same bright idea. It sorta blows. And "Personable Chick with Skillz & Strong Work Ethic for Cheap" seems a little long. And very lame.

.....feeling every bit my age after attending my website design "continuing education" class (another way to say "computers for old people") last night. At least the instructor was older than me.

.....wishing I could be doing this right now....and be that content....and that flexible.

Time for a shower. B. is OUT!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Food Porn! Garden Porn! Porn, Porn, Porn!

Yo, peeps, readership is down so I am pulling out all the porn stops. Just sayin.' I mean, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. And this girl is going in search of some java, because my get up and go? Got up and went. And kicked me in the ass on the way out the door. It was a LONG weekend and I didn't sleep worth a damn last night. I feel like one of those cartoon characters who take toothpicks and prop open their eyes. Hey, I wonder if that would work? That or crystal meth.

I have started my weeks of eating from the pantry, so Friday night I had to make a dish with this sauce because it "expired" 10.20. This sauce is ridiculously great, and I picked it up at the W-S outlet near my home. You can get some GREAT deals on foodstuffs there, but the "expire by" dates are usually pretty near, so you have to use quickly.

I browned up some chopped steaks, added the sauce and extra mushrooms and let it simmer on the stove while I cooked some egg noodles and steamed some veggies. Easy-peasy and super delish.

I cooked it all up in this--my new Le Creuset braiser! Hellz YES! I picked this up for a pittance at TJ Maxx about a month ago and have been hiding it from the hubs. Not my favorite color, but for the price, I can learn to embrace the royal blue. Have already used twice in three dinners. LOVE LOVE LOVE. My absolute new favorite cooking dish. Word.

Saturday morning, the hubs and I toiled cleaning out our crawl space (spiders and snakes and mice, oh my!) and then started working on prepping the yard for the coming colder months. This is what's left of my veggie garden: My sad pepper plants holding on for dear life. Bless their hearts. Everything else has done died, been ripped out and chicken shit turned into the soil to prepare for next year.

This is one of our rain barrels. See the arrow? That is how full it is. Just from the rain we have received here over the past month-ish. No shizz.

Saturday evening, we went south to my sista's for family birthday celebration. I made that pumpkin butter dip from earlier in the week. Hot damn, y'all, that shizz is crack-tastic (you will love it like crack). I mean. It's gonna be my go-to dip for the holiday season, so if you're inviting me over, that's what I'm bringin'. Word.

Yesterday, I went to the W-S cooking class which was holiday appetizers. Little Jake whipped up all kinds of goodness which shall be appearing on these pages in the coming weeks/months. Then, home to work and make dinner which was:

Chicken Masala, made from Trader Joe's Masala Sauce (again, a clean-out-the-cupboard meal) simmered with chicken thighs and served over rice, and topped with feta. Served a salad with greens, golden raisins and walnuts on the side and Naan, which I bought at Wal-Mart. Yes. Wal-Mart. And it was good! Wal-Mart's done gone global. (Yeah, I forgots to take photos. So sorry!)

Anyhoodle, that's all to tell for now. I am off to get some dinner on and, later, watch our Netflix movie we missed Saturday night. Ain't my life a riot? Be good, love ya! B.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Three for Three: My Guest Beer Blog Post

Whew! It's been an eventful Friday and it's barely 2 p.m.! In my third post of the day, I have to announce (ta-da!) that my guest beer blog post has been posted by Beer Drinker over at Daily Beer Review. Check it out:

After you read my post, comb through his backlog. I did and have made a list of about 20 beers to try. Yo. Thanks, B.D., for the opportunity to share my love of the suds!

P.S.The Bobs Addendum

Many of you who know me personally (as in have met me in real life) know that my friend Bobs (mentioned in post below) has a crazy thing about winning radio contests. Seriously crazy. I suppose one could call him a truly lucky S.O.B. But I have never been able to express quite how crazy it is. So take a gander at this:

This link is to Bobs' blog where he has chronicled his extensive winnings. Including a car. It is insane. And ridiculous. And impressive. Check it out.

Working for the Weekend

T. G. I. 'effin F. Hellz yes. Bunny is tuckered. I think I am still trying to get over vacation, plus I have been struggling with sinus issues this week. And Aunt Flo is being a particularly nasty bitch. So I am wiped. out. And this week has been busy, and it doesn't look like my schedule, work or play, is letting up the next few weeks. Not that I am complaining. I am just whining. There is a difference.

Speaking of whining, where the hell have all my peeps gone? I mean, seriously, I go on vacay and just about everyone forsakes me. I guess I just have some fickle loser busy readers. Well, they are going to be sad when I start giving stuff away. One day.

In other news, as I mentioned in my last post, it has been a sad week for cooking here at Casa Bunny. Started off with a bang but quickly slid into the crapper. Wednesday night we went to the local cantina. We had not had Mexican food in almost TWO WHOLE WEEKS. Seriously, I think I could eat Mexican food every day. Unfortunately, my ass reflects that belief. I am sure salsa runs through my veins. I could do a dissertation featuring a comparative analysis of tortilla chips--crispiness, salt content, breakage, texture. I am an expert in the "cheese dip twirl" (you know, to keep the hot dip from dripping on you and causing third degree burns?).

Last night, I had plans to go to dinner with a friend who canceled due to consumption and her desire not to pass it along to me. Thank you very much! On a tangent: what the HELL is wrong with people taking their sick selves to work, etc.??? Seriously. My hubs has a co-worker who was all up in work this week puking and coughing and spreading his pox. GO THE 'EFF HOME, you inconsiderate moron. No one wants that shizz. I was going to be PISSED if the hubs and I came down with the Miss Piggy Flu. Or any flu. But we seem to have dodged the bullet. For now.

Anyhoodle, after my friend couldn't make it, I was left searching for a dinner date since the hubs had made plans, thinking I had plans. Luckily, Bobs came to the rescue and we had a super-duper fab meal.

Bobs was making chicken Caeser salad, and I had a very stale baguette I volunteered up to make homemade croutons. Y'all. These were DIVINE. Bobs diced up the bread and then tossed it with EVOO, garlic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then toasted. YUM. I could have just had these for dinner. Hell, I practically did.

But Bobs had baked some chicken which he put on top of some romaine tossed with dressing, parm and the croutons. Goodness. It was delish. And ever the gracious host, Bobs had me some beer and sweets:

This delicious concoction was not made by Bobs' hand but rather came from my beloved Publix. They do have some awesome cheesecake. We actually split this between the two of us, just so you don't think we were total hogs.

Not a beer drinker, Bobs also bought this beer for me because he liked the bottle. Freak. Lovable freak. But anyone who buys me beer can call me a friend. Word. This black & tan was a mix of porter and pilsner, and was really quite good. Lots of chocolate/cocoa notes and little carbonation. Reminded me of Guiness. And that is never a bad thing, right?

Well, I am off to get busy getting busy. However, I have to mention that I think I may have to kill myself if these folks across the street do not finish whatever the Hell it is they are doing over there with that damn tractor/backhoe thingy. It has been rattling my walls for two days and I am SICK of hearing the "rroom-rroom-rroom" constantly, constantly going and the dogs barking at the goings-on outside. Plus, it is RIGHTOUTSIDE my office window and so distracting. Sigh.

Well, have a good weekend, loves! It's going to be a busy one for B., but I'll be back soon. Later taters! Bun

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hump Day Holla: The Mixed-Media Edition

Yo, peeps! Welcome to Hump Day! Bless, Jesus, because it has been one. long. ass. week. I recently realized that it has been a long, long time since I have mentioned any of my current media obsessions, indulgences or interests. So, I thought I would rectify that today.

Bunny is listening to......
Bunny has been getting her Lillith Fair jones on. Yes, that means lots of estrogen pouring out of my computer and car speakers. Always the lover of the interesting, talented and clever singer/songwriters, some of my current favorite songs are:
  • Indigo Girls: I Believe in Love; I recently discovered this song poking around on Rhapsody; the IG are perennially awesome favorites.
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter: Closer and Closer Apart, Here I Am; Both of these songs are on MCC's album The Calling; while I don't love her country tunes, her other work is simply sublime and both of these songs are achingly beautiful.
  • Ingrid Michaelson: Sort Of, Keep Breathing, Breakable; lovely, young songwriter with catchy, clever songs.
  • Jenny Owen Youngs: Fuck Was I; Best. Song. Ever. Wish it had been around when I was a teen.
I also am still in love with Best for Last by Adele and A Beautiful Mess by Jason Mraz. Oh, and Gold Digger by Kayne. But only when exercising. Or cruising by the mall in my truck. Yo.

Bunny is reading.....
A lot of chick lit. Hmmm....maybe there is a theme developing here. Actually, not. I am a big 'ol reader but I read for fun which usually means chick lit. I actually read three books on vaca:
  • Five Things I Can't Live Without by Holly Shumas. Meh. Good moments but underwhelming.
  • Little Pink Slips by Sally Koslow. Enjoyed this one--written by former editor of McCall's magazine and is a "fictional" tale of what happened during the whole Rosie debacle.
  • Conversations with the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer. Enjoyable, but a little slow. 
Bunny is watching.....
Have I mentioned lately how much Netflix ROCKS? Well, it does. We have been watching the last seasons of The Office and 30 Rock (awesome and awesome), Away We Go (slightly disappointing--expected it to be funnier), W. (oddly encouraging and yet frightening), and The Constant Gardener (slightly hard to follow--still not sure what happened).

For this weekend, we have Napoleon Dynamite and The Brothers Bloom. And I am stoked because Oscar movie season is upon us so hopefully there will be some decent theatrical releases in the coming months. And on the telly? It's all about Glee. And Top Chef. Don't even think about calling me on Wednesday nights. Word.

In other news, I suppose it's easy enough to see that I have reverted to my old colors. That dark background was just too hard to read on. Call me old. I don't give a shit. Oh, and I have now written a beer review for a beer blog, so when that's up, I will let you dudes know. I can't even explain, but it's a long, bastardized, complex story of Blogger incest and such.

Well, I'm off, peeps! I think the hubs and I are going to the local catina tonight. Oy. This week has not been conducive to culinary pursuits, fo' shizzle. Be back soon! B.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

For the Foodies and Fashionistas

Yo, peeps. It's only Tuesday, right? And, holy Hell, when did it get to be the middle of October? Oy. So, I have a kinda mixed up post today. I have several ideas running around in my head for posts and not nearly enough time or energy to complete them all, so there may be a mash-up of stuff going on up in BGR. Per usual.

First, the hubs and I had a younger and cuter nice couple to dinner last night in an attempt to pathetically cling to our youth be social. Bunny made the Publix chili (those peeps at Publix need to pony up for all the promo) and also made this dessert:

This is Apple Skillet Cake from Pioneer Woman. It was very good, but for the amount of butter up in the shizz, I expected to have a culinary orgasm and it didn't even blow my socks off. I actually think I should have let it bake a little longer--mine wasn't all golden-y goodness like hers. Oh well.

My wife guest tried to show Bunny up brought a really nice salad with the most awesome dressing. The salad was all walnuts, feta and Granny Smith apples. Mmm. Fruit, nuts and cheese--the perfect fall salad. B., however, outdid herself on the appetizer. Behold:

Dudes, this Pumpkin Butter Spread is some kind of fabulous. Pay attention: 8 oz. cream cheese, 6 TBSP pumpkin butter, 3 TBSP chopped cooked bacon and 2 TBSP finely diced scallions. Beat together cream cheese and pumpkin butter until smooth, stir in bacon and onions. B. also garnished hers with extra bacon and some green onion tops. Slap your mama goodness. For libations, this wine was served:

This pinot came from Trader Joe's, and maybe it's just because I've sipped some really great wine recently, but it didn't do much for me. It was ok, but not rich and wonderful like some similar priced wines I've had. But pretty label, right??

Now, we are moving onto the fashionista portion of this post. If you have a penis, you might want to bow out now. I have to admit, due to budgetary caution and my pathetic attempt to shape up, B. has been hesitant to buy many new clothes. Plus, I am not sure where I will wind up working, so I don't want to invest lots in apparel right now. But accessories? That's another story. Here's sample of some of my recent deals and steals:

These? Are the cutest shoes ever! And I gots them for $9.98 at Target! And I just ordered them in RED from Not for $9.98, but still on sale.

These shoes? Not the cutest ever, but every girl needs a little sparkle via a pair of pewter metallic and grey-green flats. But the selling point was the price--a mere $6.98 at Target.

And my last pair--yet another Target pick. So, so cute. The pleating. The rounded yet squared toe. Loves totes. And I loves Target  because they have size 11. Yes. 11. Shut up. I am like 5'10. I need big feet to hold my big self up, 'kay?

These silver beaded treasure are from Etsy. And were another steal at only $7. Yo.

I purchased this lovely art glass pendant in Virginia here. The photo does even do the colors justice. So pretty and unique. I love unique pieces.

This large tote I also purchased at Target. For the amazing price of $11.98. It is sorta the shade of baby shit gold, but I loves it because of all the intricate pleating/weaving on the front. Besides, bargain shoppers cannot really be super choosy.

And this scrumptous bit is a scarf the hubs picked up for me at the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet for a deal-eo. My hubs can spot the super deals and has awesome taste. Can't wait to take this out in public. It's all faux Burberry-ish and crinkly fun. Whee!

So, that's it peeps. I need to go get supper on the table. Frozen pizza tonight--I am tired after last night's extravaganza. Too old to entertain on a school night! Love ya, B.

In Which I Become a Guest Food Blog Poster

The dude over at Cooking for Assholes finally put up my guest Banana Bread post. Before you click through, you should know that the language is a And salty. But when you run with the big boys, you have to sack up. Regardless, his blog is a big hoot and a -nanny. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Weekend Recap

Ok, peeps, I know technically it's not the end of the weekend, however, nothing else exciting is happening today--trust me--so I thought I would go ahead and do the rundown.

Thursday night, I did make corn chowder. It has been so cold here and very soup weather. No recipe--just threw together some corn, potatoes, red peppers, bacon, onion and milk in a pot with seasonings. It was very tasty, that I wished I had noted what I did more carefully so I could recreate. Here it is, in all its yummy glory:

Friday day, I received my recently ordered books for work. See, I do a fair amount of writing by trade (no shitty comments about my writing or I will cut you!), and I decided to order some new reference books:

I bought Grammar Girl's guide (loves her! see my blog sidebar!), a new AP Stylebook (my old one was from 2001 so it was a wee bit dated) and a For Dummies book about editing/proofing (according to the Amazon reviews, it's awesome). Next, I am going to take a class on designing/managing a website. I figure every little thing to improve my skillz is not a bad thing. Because I am apparently entering "old fogey" land.

Friday night, I invited a friend over for dinner (shrimp & grits) and a movie, and another friend unexpectedly, but welcomingly, joined us. Good times were had by all. Of course, two+ bottles of wine helped with the good times. Don't judge, Judgy McJudgesalot. Last week was a ball-buster, 'kay? And we all SHARED the wine. Anyhoodle, I have two awesome wines to recommend, both DFM picks:

2007 Tilia Malbec, a lovely Argentina red. According to my Internets, this wine "offers dense black fruit aromas with a touch of sweet toast. The mouthfeel is full and rich, with ripe, concentrated black currant and cassis fruit flavors with a touch of chocolate and sweet spice from light oak aging." So, it's like drinking toast heavily spread with jam and drizzled with chocolate. I say nothin' wrong with that at all! A repurchase, fo' shizzle.

2006 Windmill Old Vine Zinfandel: This blend of 76% Zinfandel and 24% Petite Sirah features "aromas of sweet black cherries and juicy licorice with full flavors filling the mouth of cocoa, raspberry jam, and roasted coffee bean." This one had me at cherries and kept me through coffee bean. I must admit, if there is a descrip posted when I am choosing, I will 100% pick a wine on the aromas/notes if they are things I would eat in real life and love. Hasn't really steered me wrong yet.

Yesterday, I went to see my sister's sons play soccer in the cold-ass wind and rain. Y'all, seriously, it was like 45 in the GA yesterday. In October. It barely gets that cold in January. I am fully expecting to come down with the consumption any day now. But I was glad I went. They are good boys and growing up so fast.

Today, I have spent cleaning house and such, including organizing my "pantry" which is really just a huge metal shelving unit in my laundry room that provides storage for misc items including kitchen cabinet overflow. I have been couponing like mad and stocking up recently, so here is my "pantry" following organization:

Tea: check. Sweet & Low: check. Canned tomatoes: check (hey! it's soup and chili weather!). Pasta sauce: check. Cleaning supplies: check. Beer: check, and double check. I also cleaned out the kitchen cabinets and figured out I have almost three weeks worth of meals. So I have planned for us to eat out the cabinets for the next few weeks. We should save money and eat up some things about to go to Food Heaven. Word.

Well, let me go. Need to do a little work, apply for some know, fun stuff like that. Hope you all had a great weekend. See you soon. Love, B.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

  1. Something is up--AGAIN--with my analytics. I "reinstalled" the code last night, but the damn thing is saying I had NO visitors for like 10 days, to which I say bull and shit because I have had comments. I mean, don't you have to VISIT to COMMENT? Seriously, Google. Get your shit together with the analytics.
  2. I have to leave when I finish this post and go BACK to Office Max because I bought their crappy inkjet cartridges and my HP printer will not recognize them. In the cold rain. When I am trying to accomplish a pile of work. Which I need ink for. I am not happy.
  3. Can you tell Aunt Flo is about to come for a visit?
  4. It has been a crappola week so far--returning from vacay always is--but this one has been times 20.
  5. In an effort to numb the pain, I treated my hubs to dinner at the Monkey Barrel again last night. I say, if the ship's on fire and going down, all hands on deck to party! Damn skippy. Bobs joined us and great food and fun was had by all.
  6. I enjoyed two new beers at the Barrel. Beer #1: Sweetwater Brewery's Wet Dream. Oh yes. Apparently, the Barrel no longer offers Arrogant Bastard, but asking for a Wet Dream is almost as satisfying. And it was a good beer--a little hoppy for me, but a nice imperial red ale. Very drinkable with a pizza pie.
  7. For Beer #2, I enjoyed my beloved Rogue's Shakespere Stout. I don't know why I am into stouts and dark ales and porters all of a sudden, but it just seems right. This dark beauty has a nice, mellow chocolaty finish. Mmmm.
  8. Bobs ordered a mixed drink: The Jim Jones. I think it is grape vodka, raspberry liquor, cranberry juice and sweet & sour mix. Y'all, I ain't kiddin'--that shizz tasted just like grape Kool-Aid. Sick but yet fun.
  9. I had to turn on the heat today for the first time. It was 63 degrees in my house. And I was freezing ass cold. Still am.
  10. Tonight for dinner we are having soup because it is PERFECT soup weather. I am thinking corn chowder. I will report back.
  11. I made some awesome homemade banana bread the other day and wrote up my experience as a possible guest post on a cooking blog. If it makes it on, I will post the link later.
  12. Did I mention how really pissed I am that I have to leave the house again today? Yes. I am becoming a hermit.
  13. If I have to go out, maybe I should at least treat myself to a hot toddy--an Apple Cider at Starbucks. They are delish. And like 1000 calories, I am sure.
Off like a herd of turtles! Later loves, Bunch

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hump Day Holla

Yo, peeps. It's another rainy day here in the Ga. Oy. I am so over it, but it does make for good cooking weather, so take a gander at what I have been whipping up this week.

Well, you can't take a gander at it, but Sunday night, I made that awesome Publix chili. Y'all it is ri-dic-cu-lous how simple and tasty this chili is. Brown beef, throw in the beans and tomatoes, let it cook as long as you can. Loves.

Monday night, I went all healthy--Bunny and hubs and trying to bounce back from our sinful gorging of last week--so I whipped up a shrimps stir-fry:

This dish? Very easy. Saute shrimp with a bag of the Eat Smart stir-fry mix ($1 at the Publix this past week!) and a little stir-fry sauce I had languishing in the larder from W-S. Yummy.

See this? It is a gigantic jar of bruschetta topping I purchased at Sam's for .88! Yes. I don't know why. I think it must have been getting near expiring or discontinued. Anyhoodle, I had to do something with it--now--so last night I decided to make bruschetta pasta.

I cooked some ziti and added some EVOO, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil (I still have PLENTY) and a generous helping of the topping. Served with chicken breast coated in bread crumbs and Herbs 'd Provence. Very good, though I really should have had a veggie. But wait! Tomatoes count as veggies, right??

This is just a cute photo of KK who is napping indoors today to escape the wet weather. Sigh. I think I am turning into the old cat lady person.

Sorry to be so short--it's not that there isn't plenty to tell, but I have a stack of deadlines and I have to get to gettin'. See you peeps later! B.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Food Porn: The Vacation Edition

Sadly, but truly, one of my favorite parts of vacation is the food. After all, vacation means no cooking (usually) and, even better for a foodie like me, the stimulating possibility of new culinary marvels to enjoy and dream about for months afterward.

The hubs and I actually have a "rule" that when on vacay, we try to eat at local joints as much as possible. Unfortch, for this trip, we didn't necessarily abide by the rule since we were on a tight budget. Yes, there were some trips to Taco Bell and Hardee's (which, btw, have you had a Hardee's bacon, egg & cheese biscuit? Oh my. They are tas-tee. Crispy buttery on the outside. Bacony, cheesy goodness on the inside. And BOGO right now. Word.) thrown into the mix. And the local joints we dined at were the, shall we say, more low-brow places. But we still had some good eats, peeps. Here's a sampling of the week's gorge-fest:

Gaze upon the golden goodness of hush puppies from Clam Digger's in Bedford, where we had our first and next to last night meal. Not the best pups I've had, but mighty yummers. Plus, this whole basket? Like $2.

Never one to turn down a bowl of New England clam chowder, this sample, also from Clam Digger's hit the spot. The dash of Old Bay on top was a nice touch. As were the retro oyster crackers.

This gem, however, was the jewel in Clam Digger's crown--the famous Crab Muffin. I am getting the vapors just thinking about it. Fresh crab goodness topped with cheese on a toasted English muffin. That? Is some good shizz.

I was prepared when we went to Charlottesville and had our lunch spot already picked (yes, I am a total food nerd--where's the surprise? really.)--Revolutionary Soup. They were featured in an article in Southern Living about Charlottesville early this summer--they use mostly local produce, organically grown, in their soups, salads and sandwiches. This delightful concoction was the Adam's Apple with turkey, arugula, apple slices, chevre, bacon and, hold onto your panties, homemade apple butter. Shut up and slap your mama! I bought a whole huge quart of locally made apple butter later in the week for the sole purpose of recreating this masterpiece at Casa Bunny. Yo.

As far as the soups at Revolutionary Soup, gaze upon the rosemary potato and butternut squash. That butternut squash soup? Like drinking dessert.

When in Staunton, we dined at Cranberry's Grocery & Eatery, a natural and organic store/cafe. This marvel is the Mediterranean Wraptatouille with couscous, sauteed tomato, zucchini, red pepper, onion, capers & kalamata olives. Again, Bunny will be trying her hand at recreating this delightful treat.

While on vaca, I enjoyed this new beer, Dogfish Head's Theobroma, which I actually brought from home. No drinks out--too pricey--so all imbibing was courtesy of the Casa Bunny mobile liquor cabinet. The little Hop City dude really talked this one up, and it was good, but I was a little underwhelmed. Perhaps because expectations had been set so high. I mean, Hell, the name means "food of the gods." Plus, it was a little too carbonated for me. Oh well.

We also abstained from dessert and decided to purchase goodies to enjoy back at the loft in our jammies. Did you know Paula Deen is making desserts for Walmart? Hellz yes, she is! That crafty Paula. And let me tell you, this fudge pie? Will 'cause you to cut a bitch to get a piece. Just sayin'.

See this? I think this was my favorite thing I ate all week. Sublimely good Italian lentil soup from The Artisan Cafe in Bedford. I begged and cajoled for the recipe to a resounding "no." But you better believe I am going to be trying to remake this one. Cup of heaven.

Accompanying the soup was the best sandwich--so fresh, so pretty, but what made it was the homemade olive spread (beneath the cheese). Seriously good shizz.

In Roanoke, we ran across the best. shop. ever. Chocolate Paper. It's a card/stationary & high-end chocolate/candy store. Otherwise known as my idea of heaven on earth. We stayed in the store for almost an hour. I laughed at the kitschy merchandise while inhaling the vapors of cocoa from the cases and cases of treats. Loves. Just loves.

Lunch in Roanoke was our cheapest meal--Texas Tavern. Founded in 1930, T.T. is Roanoke's version of the ATL's Varsity, but older. And smaller. Ten stools. They are known for their chili, but that hot dog relish was tas-tee goodness. We had a dog, burger, chili and drinks for like $8. No lie.

And this? This is the site of my future restaurant in Staunton--an old mill beside the railroad tracks. I am going to win the lottery and turn it into a brew pub. Stacks at the Tracks. You are all invited to the grand opening.

That's just a few treats we had. There were others, but some restaurants were just too dark to get good photos. Or I simply forgot in my rush to shove some yummy goodness in my pie-hole. What I loved most about the area of Virginia we visited is it is heavily agricultural so many of the local eateries use local produce in their food, producing seasonal fare and much of it organically grown. That's an encouraging trend I hope continues to catch on.

I reckon now you can see how I managed to bloat up last week, but it was totally worth it. I will be reporting back as I try to recreate some of these dishes, so stayed tuned. Later, peeps! Bun

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bitches, Bunny is Back

PEEPS! Oh, how I have missed you. It has been a wonderful week, but with no way to express myself via written word, I was given to talking up total strangers about the most random things. And, you know, some people sorta think you are 'effin crazy when you start doing that. A little charming perhaps, but crazy.

Anyhoodle, I can now come completely clean about my past week. See, the hubs and I went on vacay. Yep. It had been TWO LONG YEARS since we last went away together. Last year, we abstained from vacay because we were remodeling. This year, of course, I lost my job, but we said "What the Hell!" I mean, I needed me a little joie de vivre, dudes. Seriously. So, we packed up the girls and headed off to the great state of Virginia. You know, 'cause Virginia is for lovers, and it was the anniversary of our nuptials and all.

Here we are, halfway through the butt-numbing 8-hour drive up. The world's cutest GPS system helped Daddy with the navigating.

The ride up was excruciatingly long because we drove part of the way up on the Blueridge Parkway. The Parkway is lovely, with lovely views (see above), however, it is slow going because of its curvy-ness. Seven hours in a car at one stretch is about my limit. Word.

We stayed in a little loft in downtown historic Bedford, between Lynchburg and Roanoke. This is a view of the town courthouse from the front of our building.

Sunday, we went to Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson's (heretofore to be called T.J.) "vacation" home. It was built as an octagon. Yes. The house has eight sides. That crazy T.J.

The part of Virginia (central/southwest) we were in was incredibly scenic. While riding through the mountains one day, we saw more deer than I have every seen in my life. Just on the side of the road. Standing there.

This is what it looks like driving down pretty much most roads. Rolling pastures, lush valleys and rippled mountains in the distance.

To envision the rolling mountains a little better, here is a photo of the James River with the Appalachians in the background. Stunning.

We tripped up to Charlottesville one day for a tour of T.J.'s main pad, Monticello. Beautiful, beautiful gardens. And the view? Priceless.

Monticello sits atop a mountain, looking down on Charlottesville. This view is of the vegetable gardens. Can I even tell you how much I wet my pants upon seeing this garden? And this photo? Is just part of it. The employees share in the spoils from the garden. So. jealous.

Later, that day, we did the tour of University of Virginia, which T.J. founded. Yep. He was a busy man. Being president and starting colleges and keeping up several large homes and all. Shown here is the view of the Rotunda, designed by T.J., from the lower lawn. This campus is simply lovely. Made me want to head straight for admissions and enroll. The tour was probably my favorite part of the trip. It was conducted by a student who was full of interesting "insider" knowledge and, even better, it was FREE.

We made the trip north another day to visit the historic (hell, everything in Virginia is historic, ok?) town of Staunton. I am so moving here. Soon. It's so full of cute houses and old churches and a cool women's college. And the future home of my brew pub (more on that in the next post). This is Trinity Church, which houses approx. a dozen Tiffany stained glass windows. Tiffany, peeps. Yo.

Here is a detail of one of my favorite windows. Incredibly breathtaking. The photo does not do it justice. I tell you, Bunny loves her a good old church. Even better is a good old church full of stained glass windows. But best is a good old church full of Tiffany stained glass windows. Word.

We also visited Appomattox, site of the end of the Civil War. So odd that such a bloody, bitter war could end so quickly, so simply. This photo is the path into the town--the same path the Southern soldiers took all those years ago to surrender.

This totally coolio building is the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke. A completely spontaneous visit on our part proved to be one of my favorite things--awe-inspiring architecture and a really nice collection, esp. the more contemporary exhibits.

I took this photo on the road from Appomattox. Breathtaking. In all, it was a wonderful week, full of new experiences, people and places. By the end though, I was worn out (1500+ miles does not feel good on a 40-year-old ass) and ready to return to Casa Bunny. But I am already planning our next visit and, out of the many places I have visited, I could completely see myself living in Virginia.

And, the food. Oh. My. I hate to say I gained four pounds this week, even with all the walking. I will have to cover all those goodies in another post. So tune back in soon! So glad to be back! B.