Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday, peeps! Hope you had a most excellent weekend. Mine was busy but good for several reasons. First, I really had no problem choosing what I wanted to purchase with my winning gift certificate from Bo's Bowl:

I pretty much gave it away in the last post, but I def decided on the 9x12 Le Creseut rectangular baker in Kiwi. I have the smaller 9-inch square and the pie pan and a few other small pieces, all scored at discount home goods stores, but had never seen--though I highly coveted--the large baker. Now it is mine and en route to Casa Bunny as we speak.  And since it was ON SALE with FREE SHIPPING, I used my extra $$ to purchase this gem:

A cool Caphalon ice cream scoop. It's unique design is supposed to make scooping easier. I would probably have never bought this for myself, so I thought it was a good choice, esp. since we love the ice cream here at Casa Bunny. As far as cooking, it was a weekend of repeat favorites:

Southwest Shrimp Salad with grilled shrimp, grilled corn, tomatoes, lime-ranch dressing, manchego cheese, and crushed tortilla chips. Yum. To continue the Southwest cuisine, we had Big Plate of Nachos this weekend too:

These are my spectacular BBQ chicken nachos with HOMEMADE mango-pineapple salsa. Delish, right?? Well, the hubs told me these "are not his favorite." Too much cilantro apparently. WTF? These rock it. He is a weirdo. And I am taking new application for a spouse. Bo??? ;)

Saturday ended my four out of five weekend working streak with our last Rabies & Wellness Clinic of the summer. And LOOK at this PRECIOUS little girl with her Great Dane mix who came:

Couldn't you just EAT HER UP??? I want her. She could have rode that dog like a pony. And they were so cute....he was very gentle, and she was just leading him around. Loves. While I was working Saturday, Bobs picked me up a hit of my latest addiction:

 
Chocolate covered coffee beans! Holy Hell, these things are awesome! Crack beans. They are esp. good in a Frosty. Just saying. Bobs also picked me up this little gift last week:

 
Tiny flan dishes from Le Creseut in Kiwi! He found them on Super Sale minus 75% at Dillard's so they were like $2 each. I have no idea what I am going to use them for--individual tarts? dip dishes? lemon slice holders? (no, not flan)--but they are so cute.  

Last night, the hubs and I went over to Bobs for dinner and Emmy watching (was it me or were the dresses SUPREMELY BORING this year? My fave was Jane Lynch--I thought she looked stunning...I would so go lesbian for her...her and SofĂ­a Vergara) and he made this killer Chocolate Stout milkshake. Apparently, it is a Bobby Flay recipe...maybe Bobs will post a link in comments as I could not find one it a Google search.

In other news, earlier in the day, Bobs and I had tried to have some pool time, but gots sprinkled out, only to return to my truck and find the tire flat. It was screwed, literally. A big ol' screw in the tread. One patch this morning later, and it's good as new. Lastly, puppy updates:

Here is Charlie, in his play yard in my office. I keep him behind bars because he has managed to chew up the bottoms on the arm rests on my chair. And he won't stop. But he has a cushy set-up with a nice bed and plenty of toys.  

 
Look at him, all sprawled out in his (non-chewable) bed! I bought him a nice, nice plush bed which he proceeded to eat bit by bit, so he gots this one next. He is mostly good at work...he is "office trained" (YEAH!) but he barks too much at "strange" people (BOO!). Yeah. We continue to work on that one.

In Pepsi news, we are taking her to the vet Wednesday. She just seems off. I wonder if she is having late stage grief over Savannah. I know I am. I have cried at least three times in the past week over our girl. Keep your fingers crossed and say a little canine prayer for her. I don't think we can take losing another one so soon if it was something serious. Be back soon...have a great week! B.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm A Winner!

YEAH!! This week has been sorta crappy, as noted, but I just found out I am a winner! Bo over at Bo's Bowl was having a contest and I won! I never win ANYTHING so I am beyond excited. Bo chose #27, the number of my post as well as my age (yeah, right) and I won a $40 gift card to CSN.  You know I am going to be buying me some cooking stuff like this:


I have really, really, really been wanting a Le Creuset big baking dish, and at $35.95, I could easily purchase this with my gift certificate.

Or maybe I should go square...such choices! The shapes, the color. I also need some new everyday glasses. These are nice:

Pretty apple green color! I am sure I will find LOTS more things I want. It's not hard to buy things for my house esp. when related to cooking. BTW, if you've never visited Bo, skip over to his blog (see link to left or above). Bo is a man after my culinary heart....I have cooked several of his recipes and my two faves are the Chicken & Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry and the Hot Italian Sausage Soup. Gah. Now I am thinking about that soup, but it's 90+ degrees outside. First cold snap, I am making that stuff...it's like soup crack. One day, Bo and I will meet, cook good food, sip some wine and have a grand time, I just know it. Well, I am off...I am blogging from work...BAD, BAD Bunny! :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Right Foot

What the Hell did I do to piss off my right lower appendage? I mean, first, I rebreak/severely bruise a toe on right foot, THEN yesterday, I blow out my knee. I was coming home from work, loaded down like a pack horse with Charlie, my laptop, suitcase purse, and another bag for lunch/Charlie's stuff, and as I step up onto our ONE DAMN STEP leading into the house, "POP" goes my knee.

I knew immediately I had done something wrong. Something really, really wrong. Very wrong. It wasn't sharp shooting pain, but that aching "I just did something bad" pain. I immediately wrapped it in a compression bandage, iced it, propped it up and took a double-handful of Advil. Today, I did same. I just CANNOT believe this shit. Sigh. Here it is:

I do think, however, that my fast care taking has helped. And, no, it's not that swollen. I just placed a bandanna beneath the bandage because those bandages with eat into your knee. Of course, now my right calf and hip, and my whole LEFT leg are all gimpy because I have been walking all funny. Sigh.

In other news, I cooked some new stuff this weekend, mainly this awesome peach soup from Williams-Sonoma. You may not remember, but last fall, I went with some friends to a winery that served this awesome peach soup and I have been looking for a recipe every since. This recipe wasn't the same, but was very good.

First, gather the ingredients. Tell me out there, who of you know what the hell "Tawny Port" is? Well, the redneck cashier at my local booze store did, so kudos to him! The Barefoot Riesling was on sale at the Publix, but also surprisingly GOOD. In fact, I polished off a glass or three tonight. Note: Next time I will NOT use fat free yogurt...it gave the soup a bit of a twang. It was super easy to make though....first:

Dice up peaches. All we had were white. I am thinking a traditional peach with more flavor might have  been better, those these worked.

Whip out your trusty immersion blender and puree everything up. Chill for a long time.

Swirl some heavy cream on top to take off the twang. This soup was lovely (and quite boozy) and would be a great starter for brunch. Try it. For dinner Sunday night, I made veggie supper, which I love to have in the summer:

Fresh white butter beans from the farmer's market, tomato and onion salad, fresh zucchini from the farmer's market and cornbread. Food for the soul. I also whipped up a dual raspberry cobbler:

Yellow and red. Easiest cobbler recipe EVER. 1 stick butter, 1 cup milk, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour. Mix, pour, top with fruit. Easy-peasy.

Mmmmm....crusty, golden goodness. So, so yummers. Sunday day, we went to the bro's house to celebrate my nephew's and neice's birthdays. Here are my handsome nephews:

They are all getting SO big. Makes me sad. they will still let me love on them a little though.

Wait! They still have some goofy in them. Whew. I was starting to worry. Well, that's about it peeps. Other than totally 'effin up my leg and feeling sorry for myself. Hope you all are having a better week. XO, B.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Stumbling Into Saturday

Well, peeps, I finally made it to the weekend after a LONG, LONG work week. Then, I managed to kick it off right at 3 a.m. this morning when, stumbling back from the potty to empty my bladder of the 20 oz. beer I had last night with my awesome platter of nachos and homemade pico (Yes! Again! I cannot help it....it is addictive!) I managed to badly bruise/rebreak the middle toe of my right foot.

Um, ouch. I have to admit though that I have with regularity broken most of the toes on both of my feet and broken my foot, as well. Graceful I am not. By the way, don't you like my new green polish? It is Limelight from Ulta. I know the job is a little sloppy but normally no one is looking at my feet quite THISCLOSELY. I usually don't go in for "trendy" colors but I was feeling like something different today. It makes me think of Wicked, the book, and the Wicked Witch. hehe

Today, Bobs and I went on a little jaunt. I had to go buy birthday prezzies for my nephew and then we went for lunch here. O.M.G. This place was so awesome! Bobs sent photos, but I cannot post because I cannot open (stupid, jacked up email!) but I can tell you we both were overcome with joy when eating. There are regularly LONG lines backing out of this place, and now we know why! We had the very fresh and chunky guacamole with the roasted salsa (gah!) and tacos and enchiladas. We were fighting over licking the enchilada sauce off the plate. If you live in/near the ATL, go here. Now.

After lunch, we went to the DFM which was the cluster I knew it would be. I purchased quite a few things including veggies, bread, cured meats and:

Red and gold raspberries....I see a mixed berry cobbler in our future. I also purchased the base for our dinner tonight:

Fresh spinach pasta with homemade tomatoes sauce which I jazzed up with the addition of Italian sausage, mushrooms, yellow pepper, and zucchini. Yum.

I also purchased these AWESOME cheeses from Rogue Creamery in Oregon. The Chocolate Stout cheese is made with Rogue (the brewery) Chocolate Stout!! Speaking of Rogue, my beer last night with nachos was:

Rogue's Yellow Snow IPA. As you can see, lots of head to this one! Overall, this IPA was solid, however, it did have a lingering bitterness (as the website notes) that I did not love. While I did not love it, and while IPAs are not my fave, if I had to drink an IPA for eternity, I think this one would be on a short list. Tonight, however, I decided to go white trash with my drinking:

Nothing so good as an ice cold Smirnoff Ice. If I wanted to admit to my true white trash nature, I would tell you I really, really love the grape flavor, but I have not seen it in a while which makes me wonder if they are still making it. Tastes just like grape Kool-Aid. Now, before I go to crash on the couch, I will leave you with this tidbit (since I have been slack about the Saturday song):



Whenever Bobs and I go off for the day, we both love to play the tunes SUPER DUPER loud in the car and sing along SUPER DUPER loud. Today was Prince day. I LURVES me some Prince. He may be wacka-doo but the man is a musical genius. I, mean, aren't all genuises a little wacka-doo?? Purple Rain?? Best. Album. Ever.

Hope you are all having a great weekend! Going to nurse my toe with some gin! ;) Love, B.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One Handbasket, Ready to Go to Hell

Mercy. What a week it has been. I have been like a cat covering up shit. My boss is on vacay which means I have been doing half his job and none of mine. Today I had to fight with our new phone/Internet provider over their POS service. As in we had NO ABSOLUTELY NO email ALL DAY at work. I was NOT nice. I was very frustrated as a matter of fact, and thought I was going to blow a gasket.

Yesterday, I became an ATL TV star....see we take a pet to the ATL for one of those local network morning shows each week and guess who got to be on this week since Mr. Boss was out?? Yep. Bunny. I don't care about being on TV except the whole being awfully, terribly, horribly vain, but once I got over the fact that their was no way to lose 100 pounds and ten years in two weeks, I just said "WTF!" and went for it.

Sadly, I was not paired with the super fun African-American female host, but the super uptight White male host. I mean, seriously, this dude has as much personality as a sack of potatoes. And was alarmingly orange up close. Mystic Tan gone bad. Real bad. He wouldn't even hold one of the puppies. Who were totally cute as beans until the camera turns on, then Ace lunges over and bites Bess on the ear. And Bess yelps. On air. It was fabulous. Just wonderful. Sigh. I would post the video but I look too fat AND my Southern accent is too drawly for words.

In good news, both my new DVR and my new camera arrived this week so I am happy that I can now take photos of things I love and watch the rest of Arrested Development in relative happiness. I just cannot wait for the weekend at this point. Cannot wait. For now, I am going to either have cobbler or a cocktail or both. Yeah. Both. B Out!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

24 Hours in Photos

So, after signing off last night, I realized that I had already shared a similar nacho photo with you in a previous post from a few weeks back. Meh. Them nachos are G.O.O.D. and we will be having nachos as long as there are tomatoes for fresh pico! Anyhoodle, here's my last 24 hours for you, in pics:

I forgot to lay out any food for dinner last night before I left (at the crack of dawn) yesterday morning, so we decided to have breakfast for dinner. Since I just bought Mr. Martha a brand new waffle maker recently, he made chocolate chip waffles and I made turkey bacon and these:

Fresh peach and yogurt parfaits with my homemade granola. Good eatin'. And a Hell of a lot of food. After dinner, I ordered my BRAND NEW PANASONIC DIGITAL CAMERA (thanks, fams, for the b-day money and thanks, IRS, for returning my double payment!). I know it's simple, but I just cannot justify the cost for a DSL right now PLUS I need something I can put in my purse/pocket and we've had a Panasonic Lumix and LOVED it for 5 years (until something hinky went wrong with it). So, I hope this one is just as good. It IS an award-winner.

After ordering my camera, we watched Arrested Development, end of Season 2. This morning, after breakfast and a quick clean of the house, we headed out for an old fashioned Sunday afternoon drive with the kids in our big ol' Buick with blue interior. We are such old folks.

We stopped for a frozen treat and I snapped this pic of the Charlester with both his ears flipped back. Don't know how he did this, but hubs said he looked like a vampire. Count Charlester. He certainly does love to bite.

We stopped at three different produce stands where we purchased fresh blackberries (look at the SIZE of those things!) and blueberries (the peaches are from earlier in the week) and.....

Little baby eggplants (which I sliced and sauteed for dinner and found much more flavorful than their big siblings) and.....

Fresh pink-eyed peas which I cooked tonight for dinner later in the week and.....

And a few yellow tomatoes and a giant heirloom (look at the SIZE of that thing!) since mine are sucking ass. Don't mind the thumb...I burned it on a Pop Tart earlier in the week. I mean BURNED THE HELL out of it. Like an area the size of a small paperclip. Yes, it hurts like HELL. That icing needs to come with a warning. It is effin' HOT and sticks to skin like super glue.

The kids were tuckered on the way home today...here is Charlie asleep with his head on the back of my seat (he is sitting in his doggie car seat which elevates him but, more importantly, keeps him in one place).

Here's Pepsi chillaxin' on the seat. No car seat for her because she doesn't hop all over the car.

After arriving home and while preparing to cook dinner, I enjoyed...and so did Charlie...Sierra Nevada's Kellerweis. FINALLY, a good summer beer! So sad it's almost the end of summer. I really enjoyed this one...crisp, refreshing....try it!

For dinner, I made Thomas Keller's lamb meatballs, basmati rice, and tomatoes and the eggplant topped with feta.

And then I made a fresh peach and blackberry cobbler. Which I have since sampled and it was DIVINE. Now, I am off to bed, where I hope to catch up on a little reading. Hope you all had a great weekend and have a great week! XO, B.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

O.M.G.

Has it really been TWO WEEKS since I last posted? Oy. I knew August was going to kick my ass, but I didn't know how hard. So how hard? Very. very. hard. I will try to give a recap of the goings-on then get my arse back into some kind of groove, even if it's wrong.

The first week of August was utter hell on wheels at my home because Mr. Martha was finishing his summer's Master's class--Intro to Finance. I didn't know who wanted to kill him worse--me or him. So, while his ass was getting kicked, I didn't demand too much computer time. Plus, I have felt sorta shitty the past few weeks. It has been hotter than balls here in the ATL-area and I think I have just been sapped.

This weekend also marks Weekend #3 of working of my working four out of five weekends in a row. This work is in ADDITION to the 45+ hours I am already putting in Mon.-Fri. It's just our busy time of year and, like many non-profits, we have lots to do and not enough people to do it. Actually, we have a GREAT pool of weekend volunteers...I just need me some good administrative volunteers during the week to type letters, write thank you notes, file, enter data, etc. If only we could train dogs to type. And do errands.

Then, last Sunday, guess the fuck what? My desktop went down. Again. For the THIRD time in less than two years. This time it was the mother board. Or, as I call it, the mother fucking board (sorry for all the language, but seriously, it's been that kind of week). After a consult with my Awesome Computer Dude, a "consult" with the Geek Squad and a look at my bank account, I decided to cash in on my extended warranty and have the Geek Squad try to fix it because that option = free. But is going to take forever. So now we have just the laptop, and I really hate doing stuff on the laptop rather than the nice, big screened desktop.

In garden news, my tomatoes are still putting out, but mostly just the cherries. Wait. That sounds a little porny. I meant "the cherry tomatoes are still making fruit." After a semi-shitty gardening summer, my rules for 2011 are:
  1. I buy NO ABSOLUTELY NO AND I MEAN NO heirlooms from that heirloom lady. Her heirlooms suck it.
  2. I buy all my tomatoes from Park Seed because their plants rock it.
  3. I will stop trying to be organic and use Seven Dust like it is going out of style because I am tired of busting my ass to put in and care for a garden then watch it become a buffet for bugs.
In pet news, everyone is behaving nicely. I rediscovered that pet bakery which has been sad for my wallet but a boon for the fur kids. We have to be careful, because I think Pepsi is packing on some pounds. We've become much more loosey-goosey with her diet since Savannah is no longer with us. So, yeah, Pepsi probably needs a little dietary oversight.

In entertainment news, I am FINALLY reading The Help and the hubs and I have been watching Arrested Development on Netflix. It's so freakin' funny.

In cooking news, I have been cooking a little, believe it or not. My favorite thing right now is my fancy lettuce wedge:

Half a head of romaine with topped with real bacon, fresh tomatoes, and blue cheese. Yum. The last two Fridays, I also have made Big Plate of Nachos with fresh pico:

Chicken, black beans, and pico from fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro and lime. And I enjoyed my nachos last night with this beer:

Terrapin's Rye Squared. I have talked about this beer here before (but am too lazy right now to look for the link) but suffice to say it is spectacular. Here's the Terrapin descrip: Double the malt, double the hops, and double the flavor of the original Rye Pale Ale recipe. (Hence the name Rye Squared.) With its mammoth hop aroma, bitterness and flavor, this beer is not for the faint at heart. The Rye Squared clocks in at a hefty 9.5% ABV so double your pleasure and double your fun because Terrapin went a little crazy with this one!  Try this one if you get a chance.

In general good news, it seems I overpaid my taxes last year for my consulting business, so I received a nice check from the U.S. Gov. this week. I couldn't believe it, but my poor memory means Bunny finally gets a new camera! Woot-woot!

Ok, well I am off to clean Casa Bunny. I don't want to have to do anything tomorrow but rest or something fun. I promise to be back before two weeks! Love, B.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up

Peeps! It has been a spectacularly BUSY weekend. First, Friday (we'll include it as part of the weekend) morning we work up to find our hardwood floors in the kitchen soaked. Seems our ice maker line sprung a leak. A bad one. Two phone calls + one visit from the plumber later - $100 = problem solved. Dudes, if you have kids, tell them to go into a trade. Screw college. A 2-year degree at a trade school in plumbing, HVAC or electrical and they will be set. for. life.

Anyhoodle, the day progressed with my underwire snapping in my last halfway decent bra, which necessitated the need for bra shopping. Sigh. But after a shitty-ish Friday, Saturday dawned bright and early with me rising to go to a work event, but the highlight of Saturday was that it was the Pepster's b-day....she turned 12.

Here is Pepsi's birthday bone cake from a local pet bakery. They make awesome treats for dogs that are actually edible by humans...though a little bland. The cake above is peanut butter with carob icing and yogurt embellishments. For five long years, we skipped the cakes because of Savannah's diabetes, but we decided Pepsi needed one this year.

Here she is getting ready to chow down on her treat. We actually cut the bone in half and gave the other half to Charlie. The cake was their dinner last night. I'm SUCH a good mom! For our dinner last night, I made Big Plate of Nachos:

The story here is that I made FRESH pico de gallo from tomatoes from Casa Bunny's garden! It was freakin' yummers. MMMMM. Fresh pico. Today, I gots up, bathed the fur kids, cleaned the house, then headed out to find bras and other things to spend my money on. All I can say is, "THANK GOD FOR LANE BRYANT." In a side note, it's amazing how a new bra that fits properly make the twins look awesome and you 10 pounds lighter. I also made my way to the Williams-Sonoma outlet while out and about where I loaded up:

White Truffle Oil. HOW excited am I to have and use this? I broke it open tonight. It's tasty. And it was 40% off. I wish I had bought another bottle.

The "Stem Gem." If you remember correctly, I coveted this a while back and they had them at the outlet. For 40% off. WOO-HOO. I may also use it to core and stuff some of my cherry tomatoes.

Not one, but TWO, Calphalon skillets for $49 - 30%! YEAH BABY! It was a little bit of a splurge but I haven't bought anything for me cooking wise in a while. And all of these will be well used. Trust me. I actually already used the larger skillet cooking dinner tonight:

I bought some frozen tilapia fillets at Walmart and topped them with this seasoning (also purchased at the outlet) and it was wonderful! The green is shredded zucchini (which was good but I hit it a wee bit too hard with lemon....a little zingy) and I made the pasta which wasn't really a good side dish for this meal but was what I had. I am trying this whole "eat out the cupboards" thing right now. A nice rice pilaf or couscous would have been better. In other news, the hub's brought home Savannah's box this week:

My hub's boss (who owns a high-end, handmade furniture store) offered to make a memory box for Savannah. It is simple but very lovely, made from cherry with her photo on top.

Inside are her ashes (blue box), the cards folks sent us, her favorite toy, her leash, the collar she was wearing when she died. It is a very special piece and it was incredibly generous and kind of hub's boss to make this for us. To complete speaking about all our doggies, past and present, in this post, here is a funny photo of the Charlester:

He twists all up and grunts around. So funny. He is 27+ pounds now. Mama's big baby.

Such a sweetheart. A sweetheart with HUGE feet. And for my parting photo (I gots to part because my homemade peach cobbler just came out of the oven and is waiting for me...first of the season!) I post a submission from a BGR fan:

This fan was particularly enamored of my garden porn post of last year. The one that caused an explosion of visits to BGR. The one that is probably still my all time most viewed post. Because there are some freaks out there looking for people mating with 'maters. Anyhoodle, she picked this XXX-rated piece of produce from her garden and thought it would be funny for me to post it. So here is an update for the garden porn!

Well, I am off to bed. I have new bras and cobbler...life couldn't be better, right??? Love, B.