Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hump Day Holla: Randomness

  • I forgot in my last post to mention the mayo at FLIP....it was homemade smoothness and SMOKED. Yes! Smoked mayo. I have never been one for dipping my fries in mayo, but I could have dipped just about anything in this spread. Cracktastic.
  • I bought this the other day and it has me longing for the beach:
In the winter, I like things that smell warm and spicy. In the summer, I like things that smell fresh and clean. This simply reminds me of a pina colada. And that's never a bad thing, right??
  • Someone please stop me before I buy Charlie another toy. Please.
  • I really, really, really need to get my spare bedroom cleaned up and my summer clothes out. Though it has turned remarkably chilly here this week.
  • This version of Bad Romance rocks:   


Have a good one peeps! Be back soon! B.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up

Yo, peeps, it's been a GOOD weekend. Yesterday morning, I ran some errands and then went to Bobs for a puppy play date between Charlie and Scooby (Bobs' dog). They get along like a house on fire, those two. While I was there, Bobs and I tried our hand at the aforementioned cheesemaking. Oh boy, did we and how.

Let's just say that cheesemaking looks deceptively simple. Just heat up some milk, add some citric acid and rennent, and (supposedly) voila! Cheese!

Um, I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but while the process is easy to DO, it's by no means simple. The milk has to be the right milk. The water has to be the right water. The pot has to be the right pot. There are way too many variable that have to be right. So, we gots the above....cottage cheese-like, ricottay-looking cheese-type stuff, not solid curd.

However, you can use the above to make a soft cheese spread--we added in herbs and such and it was pretty good. We tried a second batch which did better, but still did not come out correctly. Overall, first cheesemaking experience = FAIL. I will try again though. After all, I gots enough kit to make 30 batches or some such shizz.

After cheesemaking, I came home and our dog trainer came over for a house visit to work on us integrating the girls with the Charlester. It went better than I expected. They all co-existed in the same room for about an hour, believe it or not. Trainer lady also gave us lots of other tips, including how to possibly deal with Charlie's new penchant for shredding up his puppy pee pads. Sigh. Seriously. Makes a mess and makes me mad. He better be glad I am getting a dealeo on those suckers!

Then, it was nap time. Woo-hoo! It rained all day yesterday and I just couldn't let such a good opportunity go to waste. After that, I headed out for some more errand running, between the rounds of storms, including some cool new earrings, a great new hand lotion and a new bone for the Charlester. I will report back on all later. Then, for dinner, I made pork steaks, mac-n-cheese and lima beans. And corn bread sticks. I took a photo but forgot to download it. Yum. Good comfort food for a wet day.

Today, the hubs and I went to our last ASO (ATL Symphony) concert--Verdi's Requiem. It was lovely but we were both terrible sleepy heads (late afternoon naps = late bedtimes) and kept having to poke each other to stay awake. There was, however, drama in front of us. This gay couple came and sat next to this very prim lady and were all kiss on the mouth (well, one peck) and putting arms around each other. I thought prim lady was going to have a stroke. She slid so far over in her seat, it was hysterical. I wanted to tap her on the shoulder and say "Lady, you can't catch gay." People are so stupid. I applaud the couple for having the balls, literally and figuratively, to be very open. I wanted to stand up and applaud them.

After the concert, we went to FLIP Burger Boutique. FLIP's creative director is Richard Blais (who I LOVES!) from Top Chef: Chicago. The interior is very hip, very modern. The music is VERY, VERY LOUD. Don't go there on a date, fo' shizzle. I had the Southern burger (southern country fried beef patty, house-made pimento cheese, b&b pickles, green tomato ketchup) which was so good I almost wept. The french fries were awesome (hand-cut and coarsely salted) and Mr. Martha and I agreed that the onion rings were some of the best we'd every had in our life. But the crowing jewel was the Krispy Kreme milkshake which includes a blended up (or two) K.K. doughnut. Holy Hell. It was crackalicious. Seriously. Just like drinking a Krispy Kreme.

The hubs and I did agree though that the staff was lacking. They were all very pretty and thin and pretty. And they knew it. Our waiter was quite handsome, but less than helpful. I am sure he thought we were not nearly cool enough to be there. He needs to remember that non-cool people can be great tippers if their pretty-boy waiters aren't horses asses. Word.

Tonight has been laundry, and dog time, and laundry. Whee. Lots to do this week--dog training, GLEE, dinner with a friend. Hope you all have a great one! XO, B.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Good Life

Ok, peeps, I promised myself I would not make this another post about how tired/worn out/sad I am. Seriously. I have a job. And fams and friends (though I don't see them much anymore). And dogs. And Mr. Martha. So, tonight I am focusing on the GOOD things. Things I loves right now.

Yes, I know this photo is not very clear, but Mr. Martha gave me this bunny for Easter. It is made of ironwood which, as it sounds, it an incredibly heavy wood. Loves.

Believe it or not, the Trader Joe's near my sis' house was open Easter and Mr. Martha and I went by and STOCKED. UP. on the java. Word. This blend was a new try. Medium dark roast with sweet, caramel flavors. Yeah. You all know I is a fool for anything that says "sweet" and "caramel." This rocks. It rocks even harder because it is all organic and fair trade. Yo.

I am all about making homemade hummus and delving into it with Stacy's Simply Naked Pita Chips. Or just eating them plain. FYI, Sam's has five gallon bags. Damn skippy.

Another for crap photo (damns, do I need a new camera!) but I am so pleased my sage is making a comeback. Though I am at a loss as to what to do with sage in summer.

Remember my new blue necklace?? Well, I went back for more. See my new lemon drop and orange necklaces. I love the yellow...truly like candy. And the orange is vivid and faceted so it catches the light. And orange is the new red, you know. Seriously. I am already wearing the hellz out of these.

I love tonight that I made Bo's stir-fry recipe with shrimp.

I love it better with shrimp. And with less chili garlic sauce. 
And so does my acid reflux. And my colon. I also love all these things:
  1. This recipe, also from Bo, which I made Sunday. Hot damn, is it good! The hubs REALLY loved it. Even commented on how much he loved it. TWICE. Bobs, by coincidence, also made the same recipe this week. You can see his blog about it here. (Yes, I forgots to take photos)
  2. Puppy training. It's da' bomb. Charlie has "sit" down but, unfortch, the whole "come" thing is spotty and the "sit" doesn't really work without the "come." We are having a house visit by the trainer tomorrow. Holy God, I think it's going to be a hot mess. When she sees the cluster we call "dinnertime," she may call Animal Control.
  3. Hellz yes, GLEE is back! At least the rest of April and May, I have something to live for.
  4. I pre-ordered this book this week. In paperback. With my Swagbucks gift card. Loves her. Cannot wait.
  5. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE that tonight I was tinkering around on Rhapsody and found one of my all-time favorite teen songs: Burning Flame by Vitamin Z. O.M.G. I almost had a stroke. I screamed like a school girl for ten minutes, then proceeded to download it and play it 13 14 times in a row. As well as the extended dance mix. O.M.G. Very underknown song but oh-so-dramatic lyrics. And SO 80s. 1985 to be exact. I know I am weird, but I loved my tunes, peeps. Esp. my 80s tunes.
Well, it's gonna be a busy weekend. Bobs and I are making cheese tomorrow so tune back in for that. Could be a cluster, could be cool. Doggy training lessons. Verdi concert Sunday. Maybe a nap. That would be lovely. For now, I am off to watch a movie with Mr. Martha--The Goodbye Girl. We are trying some modern classics. Have a good one! B.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Oy.

Peeps. My arse is draggin' so low, there are skidmarks on it. Skidmarks, I tell you. Today was my first fundraising event for my new job which was a 5K Run & 1 Mile Walk. No, I did NOT run or walk the EVENT, but I did enough walking over a four hour period to probably equal two 5Ks. And I is tuck.erd.

Backtracking, Thursday night, as you know, is grocery night at Casa Bunny. No surprises there. No surprises either that we enjoyed a lovely Publix sub for dinner. Friday evening, I went to a fundraising concert for a non-profit I volunteer for and....well....let's just say I gots a teensy-weensy bit shitty faced.

While I did start out the evening with the grand notion of getting my drink on and feeling good, I did NOT mean to get sloshed. But after two beers, a martini, and a margarita (don't judged! USUALLY I can hold my booze. Word.), I started drinking cheap red wine. Oh. God. No. Since I basically have not drank any booze since Christmas to speak of, it was not good. Not. Good. At. All. And it was one of those drunks that hits you all of a sudden. A sneak shitty-face attack. And, by God, I will tell you, I am too damn old to be shitty-faced drunk.

So, I gots home and sorta made myself barf just to get that nasty wine O.U.T. Sorry, if that is TMI. Anyhoodle, I felt much better after Ralph and I became friends, but the first half of Saturday? Was rough. Shout out to Mr. Martha for stepping up to take care of the pups while I slept in. In all, a good reminder as to why I never let myself get shitty-face drunk. Here's some other stuff going on at Casa Bunny:

I gots my cheesemaking kit this week. Guess what I am going to be doing next weekend?? I will be reporting back on this, don't you worry.

My basil is so far surviving the onslaught of pollen we are having. See all that yellow dust EVERYWHERE in this photo?? That would be pollen.

My tomatoes I bought just last weekend are doing great but are getting a bit leggy. I don't know if they can wait three more weeks to go in the ground. Mr. Martha also bought me some cukes. Love him.

This azalea is on the edge of our woods. Beautiful. Even with our ratty old wheelbarrow in the pic.

These two azaleas are off our deck. In the middle there is the trumpet vine that drives me crazy.

Cooking the end of the week was a little spotty, though I did make hamburger steaks, twice-baked potatoes and salad last night, but, OOPS, forgot to take a photo. Tonight, was Big Ol' Plate of Nachos with chicken, red beans and avocado. I also whipped up another dish for dinner tomorrow night (cooking ahead since Monday is Charlie Training Class Day--I will also have to report on that later!) which I will rate in my next post. For now, however, it is ibuprofen and bed! Later taters, B.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hump Day Holla: I Am So 'Effin Tired....

1) of my poorly mannered older dogs mistreating Charlie--they need to get over their bitchy little selves.
2) of taking Charlie outside to poop, him walking around for 15 minutes, then him coming back inside and pooping.
3) of stupid jack-ass people calling my work saying they have "the best dog in the world, a really great dog" but, oh yeah, I need to find a new home for it.
4) of feeling oh-so-bloated and fat.
5) of having worse acne than a 16-year-old.
6) of throwing together half-assed dinners.
7) of spending tons of money eating mostly mediocre food out.
8) of asshat men cheating on their wives and being stupid enough to think they will get away with it during this day and time of fame whores and cell phones with video cameras and texting.
9) of dumbass movies like "Saw 45" when "Date  Night" obviously proves that Americans want to see funny rom-coms.
10) of not having time to read.
11) of not having time to blog.
12) of being tired all. the. time.
13) of so-called "friends" trying to use my good nature....NOTE: I was born at night, but not last night. I know what you are doing and I ain't gonna buy what you're trying to sell me.

Can you tell it's Aunt Flo's week to visit?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

One Singularly Sensational Week-ish

Yo, peeps! It's been a great couple of days. Damn skippy. I have lots to share, so let's get to it.

Thursday, we took Savannah back to the vet and, woo-hoo!, her sugar was back to more "normal" levels. As in below 200 rather than above 400. So that? Was good news. It also rained here Thursday which was incredibly good news since everything was coated in a thick layer of yellow pollen, so YEAH! for the sinuses!

Thursday night was grocery night, and I sent the hubs off to forage for our food while I wrote a freelance article. Nothing exciting for dins--just some Publix subs, but let me tell you, those are some of the BEST subs you will ever have! MMM! Thursday night I was terribly excited because I managed to FINALLY finish Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

The book is her family's story to only eat local food--whatever they could grow, make or purchase within a limited radius of their home. The tale was very interesting but her writing was very DENSE, as in fact laden and not easy to skim unless you wanted to miss something. I did enjoy the book, however, and now have talked Bobs into making our own mozzarella (stay tuned for that fun!) but I am glad to be done with it and will now have to supplement my life with about 3-4 chick lit books before I can read another non-fict tome.

Last night, I made Big ol' Plate of Nachos with ground beef, black beans and corn salsa. MMMM! I forgots to take a photo but they were tas-tee. And I had a Big ol' Beer with it. This morning, we gots up and went to the local Garden Expo and took Charlie with us. Boy howdy, was he the hit of the show! We were stopped every. two. seconds. by people saying "What a cute puppy!" "What is he?" "Can I pet him?" "He is precious!" "Look at that face!" Sigh. It's so exhausting having a cute dog! :)

And, being the marketing whore that I am, I made sure I told every. single. person. I adopted him at the Humane Society. And you too can have a cute dog if you just come out to the shelter! hehe In good news, my devious plan of taking him with us to wear him out worked because we came home and he slept for like 7 hours. In BAD CHARLIE news, I found out today he had bitten a hole in my new favorite shirt from Land's End. New. favorite. shirt. Bitten. A hole. In the collar. Where you can see. Sigh.

As far as my take at the Expo, I purchased 8 heirloom tomato plants and 18 "regular" tomatoes (Better Boy, Best Boy, Rutgers) along with 4 pots of basil. I have about made an executive decision that I am just going to plant tomatoes and cukes this year. I am worried about having a garden and working so I want to keep it simple. And, really, I could live off tomatoes and cukes, anyway.

The hubs and I came home and worked in the yard all afternoon cleaning up from winter and what was left from last fall and made really good progress. And, then, for dinner, I really outdid myself peeps. Behold:

I made Thomas Keller's lamb meatballs and served over couscous with homemade tzaziki and balsamic tomatoes. Touch me. I don't think I shared this, but Thomas Keller was in the ATL last month signing his cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home, at a Williams Sonoma. Little Jake, my W-S hook-up, was able to have Mr. Keller autograph me a copy (!!!!!!) to me personally (!!!!!!!). Yeah, Little Jake rocks. So, here's how it went down.

Saute grated zucchini, onion and garlic in a pan until soft.

Mix with 1 lb. ground lamb (purchased on last DFM trip), lemon zest, an egg yolk, bread crumbs, S&P, and finely diced rosemary (Mr. Keller used mint, but I didn't have mint, and I though rosemary would be better).

Make 1-inchish balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheet to cook about 15 minutes.

Voila! Meatballs! These were SO yummers. To think I used to be scared of cooking with lamb! I loves it now. I had made the sauce earlier in the day out of Fage Greek yogurt, grated cucumbers, garlic and lemon juice. It was a nice side and the couscous and tomatoes rounded everything out nicely. In other news, I received a letter today from my Kenyan child

Oh, how I loved this! And I felt so guilty for not writing him yet that I sat right down and sent him a letter with a photo of the hubs and I with the girls. Bless his heart. He asked me to pray for his mother because she is not doing well. How sweet and sad is that. I MUST do better about being a good sponsor, I tell you. We can send them anything flat--coloring book pages, photos, bookmarks--if anyone has any good ideas, let me know!

In other news, I have been listening to old school INXS this week. Like really old school Shabooh Shoobah and The Swing. Don't Change is one of my all time favorite songs, and other standouts are I Send A Message, Burn for You and Spy of Love. Good stuff, I tell ya', good stuff. Here's one for you:

Hot damn, Michael Hutchance was SO EFFIN' SEXY and had a voice like no one else. He is missed. (Sorry for quality of video--best they had on You Tube!).

Well, I think that is quite enough. A drink, the couch and a movie is calling me. Tomorrow, we are going to see Date Night (loves me some Steve Carrell!!) so I will report back soon! Out! B.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Hump Day Holla: The 12-Inch Mix

First, those of you who know what a 12-inch mix is, go straight to the fridge and congrats yourself with a beer! Yessiree, some of my best memories of young adulthood were Georgia State University's 12-Inch Show on Sunday (for those of you that are total music 'tards or younger than 35, 1) get your mind out of the gutter and 2) get a clue or I may have to ban you from BGR...I keed, of course!).

Anyhoodle, it's been a quick week. I, mean, they are just whizzing by these days. Can you believe we are halfway through April? WTH? In good news, I have been on a cooking tear this week....here's some things I have been whipping up:

 
Saturday night, I made Bo's at Bo's Bowl Chicken & Sugar Snap Pea Stir-Fry with Chili Garlic Sauce. I bought all the ingredients for this dish when I went to the DFM a few weeks ago, and with the exception of purchasing up the ingredients, it was exceptionally easy to make and very yummers.

I will say I gots a TAD bit heavy-handed with the chili-garlic sauce (man, that shit could strip wallpaper in larger doses! And I can only imagine the fire in the cornhole if you ate too much!) so it was a TAD warm but still quite, quite good. This one will be made again, maybe with shrimps.

Sunday we went to my sis' for Easter lunch and to celebrate my nephew's b-day, so we didn't want a super heavy meal so I made Big Plate o' Nachos which chicken, red beans and avocado. MMMMMM! B.P.O.N. is quickly becoming a wonderful tradition here at Casa Bunny. With a cold beer, natch. Word.

Monday night, I made pork steaks and served it with roasted Brussel sprouts and boxed mac & cheese (shut up! I like it, 'kay? In fact, I will eat just about any mac & cheese that is set in front of me). Ground pork is becoming another fave here at Casa Bunny. It's very lean and so cheap (a pound at the Publix was $1.66!!). I just mix in some Everyday Seasoning from Trader Joe's and grill it in a pan. Viola! Easy-peasy.

Last night, I had to work late due to a work event, so we dined at my favorite indulgence--Taco Bell. Oh, Hell, yes, I am always up for a run to the border. Tonight, I gots back into the groove and made a yummy dinner of roasted asparagus and frittata:

Asparagus......

 Frittata with sausage, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and gorgonzola cheese.

I lurves frittata but Mr. Martha sorta has a "thing" about eggs so he barely choked down half his helping before calling it a day. Oh, well, more for me! I love omelets and frittatas...in fact, when I was working from home (then unemployed) I would often make an omelet for lunch when I did not have leftovers. Easy, quick, filling.

Other than that, not much going on. Allergies are driving me crazy (the pollen count was like 5,733 today in Atlanta....120 is extremely high), Charlie is driving my crazy (bite, bite, bite until he bites my cute shoes then it is ON LIKE DONKEY KONG PUPPY! But we start training next Monday) and I have more to do that I can possibly accomplish in this lifetime. Sigh. All I really want to do is go sit on the couch with a beer but I have an article to write, a newsletter to layout, work on my brother's resume (he lost his job...AGAIN...another story). Did I say "Sigh"? Okay, then, so I am off! Love ya, B.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Photo Fever

A few weekends ago, I went to visit my sis and borrowed her super-nice Canon Rebel SLR. See, I wanted to take photos of the girls because, well, they are getting older by the minute and I just wanted to have some nice photos of them....you know....just in case.

Well, that really has NOT worked out the way I planned. See, for some reason, Savannah sorta loses her shit goes a little loco around cameras. I don't know if it's the flash, the beeping noises or a combination of those and other things but she Does. Not. Like. having her photo taken. So , this:

Is one of the two fairly decent photos I have been able to snap of her in two weeks without her snapping my head off. And even the look on her face here says "WTF??" Pepsi, it seems, has gotten almost as bad:

Again, I think this may be the one of two semi-decent shots I have been able to take of Pepsi. Oy. Oh well, we have some great shots from about three years ago I took and I guess we will just have to cling to those. Charlie, on the other hand, is all about the photos. Well, he doesn't know what's going on and we are like those pathetic loving parents who want to take a gazillion photos of our new baby:

Being loved on by Daddy. PS, note the new collar (shown in previous post)

Cuddling with Daddy (all Daddy because Daddy cannot work the camera).

Look at those legs....he does this all the time....I have been told it is the cocker in him.

Again, with the legs.

One of those you just catch at a right funny time!

In other funny puppy news, Charlie took a big ol' crap right in the middle of my passenger side floorboard on the way home the other day....what a treat! Puppy training cannot come soon enough.

I was going to work in the yard today, but I have done something terrible to my left leg and it hurts like a mother. Instead, I guess I will be inside, working, and maybe pulling out my summer togs. Whee. Can we have MORE fun? Tomorrow, for Easter, we are going to my sista's for lunch and birthday celebration for M., her youngest son. At least that should be fun. Be back soon, peeps! Love, B.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

A Few of My (New) Favorite Things

I recently indulged in this Cycles Gladiator California 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (yes, that's right, E.!) and the wine was as lovely as the label. The website says "brooding mocha, raspberry and black cherry notes are immediately revealed, and then supported by dusty tannins and well-balanced acidity. Broad on the palate, this multifaceted wine is very approachable when consumed." I say "smooth like butta'." Even better, it's around $10 a bottle. Interesting sidenote: This wine was BANNED in Alabama because the label was deemed as being "pornographic." And that ain't no April Fool's joke. Thanks, AL, for continuing to make the South a laughing stock. Kisses.

I am all about strawberry ice cream right now for some reason. Tuesday, I bought Bruster's Strawberry Tuxedo (strawberry ice cream with white chocolate swirls and chocolate flakes) and tonight I bought this delish treat at the Publix...buttercream ice cream with strawberry swirls and shortcake chunks. The Bruster's was more "strawberry-ee" but this was tasty, as well.

I have a deep, deep love affair with liquid coffee creamer. In fact, I could skip the coffee and just drink the creamer. Or bathe in it. Or dab it behind my ears. But I digress. International Delight has come out with all these new flavas' and I am in hog heaven. I recently tried two of the Coffeehouse line of flavors--one being the white chocolate mocha--and they were very yums. These are their two new Limited Edition flavors--Sweet Buttercream and Chocolate Chip Creme Brulee. I think I cannot wait to get up in the morning. Damn skippy.

Ok, I HATE V-8 juice but LOVES the V-Fusion juice. My friend E. told me about these and they have been on BOGO sale at the Publix several times now so I have stocked up. And I feel virtuous knowing I am drinking 1 serving of fruit AND 1 serving of veggies in each glass. Because my fruit and veggie eating really sucks hard these days.



This song has haunted me for weeks. Listen, remember those who you love, go tell them.

Big weekend planned--supposed to be bee-you-tee-full here Saturday so I will be working in the yard, and Sunday we have family Easter & Birthday. Whoo-wee! Later, taters! B.