Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saturday Supper

Peeps, I thought I would do a short cooking post. I have tons to do today because basically all I did yesterday was nap. And cruise the Internets. And nap. Anyhoodle, since it was Saturday--and I was going to be home all day--I pulled out the Crock Pot and decided to make Italian Pot Roast:

This photo is actually the entire dinner plated. I really like this recipe. It is, of course, from Williams-Sonoma. It is super easy, company worthy, and very savory. It is a good "warm weather" roast...you could even use fresh tomatoes if you wanted. I did use fresh basil since it is still growing in my garden. A few tips, if you decide to make this recipe: 1) the plum tomatoes are MESSY when you squish them, but make a more rustic looking sauce; use already diced tomatoes if you want to avoid the mess; and 2) those little single serve bottles of wine work great for recipes...I used the Sutter Home Cab for this roast.

I served last night with steamed broccoli, but green beans or even a Caesar salad would be nice. I also served Parmesan smashed potatoes....Parmesan and/or garlic mashed potatoes or a small pasta such as orzo tossed with Parmesan and butter would be good, as well. Crusty is bread is a "must" to sop up the "gravy" which is basically a wine/tomato herb-infused stoup. I haven't tried this yet, but I think the roast leftovers would make a wonderful "Italian Dip" hoagie, too! And let me share with you my new kitchen toy which I am in LOVE with:

My new deluxe rice cooker/steamer! I have been using this for a few weeks, several times a week, and all I can say is I wish I had jumped on this bandwagon long ago. So easy. I was a HORRIBLE rice cooker, but with this, you just throw in the water and rice and 20 minutes later, perfect rice! LOVE! Seriously, you just walk away and when it is done, it beeps. That's all. Even keeps it warm until you are ready to serve. MAGIC! Last night, I cooked rice AND steamed the broccoli at the same time! My only complaint is that it is sorta bulky, but I have used it so much, I have found a semi-permanent space for it on the countertop now. My only sadness is that I recently saw a more deluxe version that is also a mini slow cooker! I know. If I continue to use this one as much, maybe I will "trade up" one day.

Well, I am off like a herd of turtles. Really, I am just trying to procrastinate because I don't want to do what I have to do which is write three articles. Sigh. Later taters! B.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Laid Low

Peeps, I have been laid low by this chronic sinus infection that finally came to its summit. I broke down and went to the doctor this week and gots all kinds of strong drugs. Now I cannot sleep because I am pumped up on steroids. It's so fabulous. Not. I am exhausted and tired and sleepy but I cannot sleep. And my head hurts. And I want to cry because I cannot sleep. There. I think that is sufficient whining.

So, I spent most of the week sitting on the couch and/or going to bed early and not doing much else. I watched the first episode of Glee. Meh. I am not sure about Glee anymore. The novelty seems to have worn off. I also am watching Ringer. As noted, I love me some Sarah Michelle Geller. It's pretty good, and I will probably keep watching for now. I also, though I did not intend to, allowed myself to get sucked into the X-Factor. I do love watching me some singing. This was my favorite performance of the week:



I admit I am a sucker for the sad story. I actually really like this song....I think he has talent. I hope he holds onto his new life and stays focused on the future and never looks back. I esp. love what he says during his interview: "There's always a chance and there's always a choice." Word.

I totally missed the Emmy's....I went to a friend's for dinner and the pre-show, but then went home and went to bed early because I felt like crap. The best part is the fashions anyway. My favorite of the night was Colbie Smoulders from How I Met Your Mother:

I love the pleating, the drape, the fit, and, mostly, the COLOR. FABULOUS. So bold, beautiful, different. I just love turquoise anyway. Her hair is perfect. Her jewelry is perfect. She looks beautiful. My only complaint is she could have stood up a WEE bit straighter. Posture, ladies, posture.

I also wanted to share this video. It is about one of the Michael Vick dogs and is a true testament to the notion that love and time and patience can overcome many ills in the world.



I will admit when all the Michael Vick controversy first happened, I thought people were probably overreacting. Even though I work for a humane organization, I eat meat, wear leather and would probably wear fur. On the "Crazy Animal People" scale, I am on opposite end from the PETA/throw blood on people folks. But then I read a detailed article about a year ago about what Vick and his homies did to those dogs (and he KNEW, ok, so let's not go there). The worst thing I read was that they would put dogs in a pool and would drop in electrical wires and watch while the dogs struggled to get out while being electrocuted. That's so sick I can barely write it. What kind of person can watch something like that? Seriously. All I can say is I hope there are LOTS of dog-loving NFL players who make it their mission in life this year to inflict as much pain as possible on Vick every time he gets out on the field. Last week was a good start. Word.

Well, I am off to try to take a nap. I will try to be back sooner rather than later. XO, Bun.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saturday Supper

So, since I have been working again, my cooking has taken somewhat of a back seat. During the week, it has to be (mostly) food that can be cooked in 30 minutes or less. You know the drill...hit the front door, settle the dogs, change your clothes, cook dinner, do after dinner chores, add in freelance work some nights for me, school work for the hubs and, before you know it, it is time to go to bed.

So if I do any more time-consuming recipes, they have to usually be attempted on Saturday or Sunday nights. Last night, I didn't really do anything time consuming...this actually could have been a week-night meal....but I did try a new recipe. I was craving red meat and Bobs and I went to Costco yesterday (yes, I have become a Costco bitch) and I bought this:

I have a confession:  I cannot cook red meat. Well, ground beef. And I can cook a roast in a Crock Pot. But I am not a good steak cooker. So I was all about this baby. And it was yummy.

There was enough here for about 3 meals of generous servings. In hindsight, I should have cut it in half and frozen one half, but, oh well. It was tender and delicious and only took about 7 minutes in the microwave. Score! With it I served my favorite side dish...roasted baby potatoes....sprinkled with this:

I bought this Black Truffle sea salt in Charleston at this huge spice store. It was pricey but a little goes a long way. Very pungent in the bag, but the flavor was not nearly as pronounced on the potatoes. I also made a new dish which was really good:

Stuffed Baby Peppers. You halve mini bell peppers, then stuff them with a mixture of ricotta, Parmesan and feta (the recipe says goat cheese, but I have a current aversion to goat, so I used feta and it was very, very good!) then dip them panko crumbs and bake. So easy and tasty. This dish is one of those that would be a good company dish because it looks harder and more impressive than it is and it's colorful. Click HERE for the recipe. Here it all is plated:

Mmmmm! I could eat some more right now. Here is my other take on meals....If you have one great, homemade, awesome thing (in this case, the peppers) then everything else is elevated a notch or two. So I don't feel bad about cheater meat. At all.

Another thing I have started doing is cooking ahead on Sunday when I can. Right now, I am roasting butternut squash (which I will serve tomorrow night with leftover London broil and broccoli) and cooking rice in the rick cooker and Provencal chicken in the slow cooker (which will be Tuesday night's meal). Cooking ahead is great because it just means warming up when you come home from work. When it gets a wee bit cooler, I am going to cook giant pots of soups and chilis and stews each weekend to eat on all week. It will be awesome.

Hope you all are having a good week. I am off to wash about 10 more loads of clothes, finish up my cooking, and then off to a friends for dinner and the Emmy's! Love, B.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Randomness

  • Bleh. I am O.V.E.R. this sinus infection. I need to schedule me an appointment to go see the allergist but I am deathly afraid he is going to say that I am allergic to dogs, wheat, pork and dairy. Then my life will not be worth living. Because I cannot live without my babies, beer, bread, bacon and butter.
  • I was being all smart (I thought) and ordered some jewelry wholesale for the upcoming female birthdays in my family. See, since the hubs works retail, he has connections at the ATL apparel mart. Well, the order came in today and wouldn't you just fucking know it but one set was missing earrings, one this, one that. Seriously. So much for planning ahead and trying to be smart.
  • Oh, yeah, and I HAVE NOT HAD A DRINK all week because I am sick. And of all weeks to be stone cold sober. BIG event at work next Monday...our biggest fundraiser of the year. And I love my boss but he drives me crazy before events. Cuckoo. Batty. Insane. And booze is the only way I can deal.
  • Have you seen the new Gaga video?? It is so fucked up, it's not even funny. But the song?? The song is great. And I swear if I did not know it was Gaga, I would think it was the latest country chanteuse du jour. And it really showcases her voice. I mean, she is a great singer, but she is becoming a caricature of herself at this point. Its sorta sad when you have to outweird your own weirdness. I will say, as well, that the riff in this song harkens Shania Twain's Honey, I'm Home. Anyway, here's the video. Avert your eyes and just listen. Trust me.
  • In other news, I have a new notion to go ginger for the colder months. Yes, I am thinking about dying my curly locks dark auburn a la Emma Stone:
I love Emma Stone and have a girl crush on her. I love her hair. Her style. Her goofy laugh. Yes, I think I may try this look if my hairdresser agrees.
  • Finally, since I did not have booze this week, I had to have Puppy Intervention.
SQUEEEEE! This is me, cradling the cutest cuddle bug bear puppy ever today. Nothing soothes my soul better than puppy breath and a good dose of neck nuzzling and whimpering. Oh, my. I wish I had him now. I could use another fix.

Well, peeps, my meds are wearing thin and I am starting to hack up a lung, so I am off for some good drugs and a good night's sleep. Later taters! B.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Mumblings

Well, peeps, I was going to write a longer post today....I have so many things to cover....kitchen/cooking things, dog things, garden things. But, alas, late yesterday I started feeling poorly. Head hurting, throat hurting. Woke up this morning feeling like a cold turd. I went to work for a bit only because we have our biggest fundraiser a week from today (SO not a good time to be sick) then came home to spend the rest of the day in bed resting. I do feel better, so let's hope my prompt attention will help me ward off becoming worse. Anyhoodle, I thought I would just post some quick photos of more things I have recently enjoyed for you to, well, enjoy. Hopefully.

Last night, I tremendously enjoyed this meal, scratchy throat and all. Not so colorful, but it was a yummy marinated pork tenderloin I cooked all day in the Crock Pot with roasted cauliflower (my fave!) and Kraft's new Homestyle Mac & Cheese (which is fabulous!). On another note, I am always gobsmacked at how many people coo and drool over my food when I post photos on Facebook. I guess most people just don't cook which is so ridiculous. This meal was so seriously not hard, but so good.

I also enjoyed this beer yesterday....Sierra Nevada Tumbler, an autumn brown ale. Very tasty. I also agree with my fried Jeffy B. that Sierra Nevada has some of the prettiest bottle art. If that kind of thing matters to you. I will admit it coordinates nicely with my decor. Also a good thing, right, to have your beer and couch match?!? :)

I enjoyed this today. I have developed a love of red tea via Publix's red tea with pomegranate and orange. So good. The great thing about red tea, besides it being tasty, is it is naturally caffeine free and more full of antioxidants and other good things than green tea. I made up a batch to ice. I have already had three large Solo cups this afternoon. I figure more is better, right?!?

For some reason, I recently got a jones for Pimm's No. 1. It is a gin-tasting liquor that is very British. And quite tasty. It is usually mixed with lemonade or ginger ale and fruit. It brings back a very specific good memory from college which makes drinking it even better.

Behold my latest piece of folk art from biLly FRed heLlams of South Carolina. Love it. Yes, it is cross covered in beer caps. No, I am not sure what that says about me. Well, I could guess.

 
I also love Mat Kearney's new album....maybe my favorite of his to date. This ditty is the opener and quite a catchy tune:




Well, that's it for now. On another note, I just had a thought....how is it that RIGHT after I start exercising, I become ill? Just sayin'. Hope you had a great weekend and are having a glorious start to your week. Love and germy kisses, Bun.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Really, WalMart?

Oh, peeps, I wasn't going to blog this weekend. I had to work today and thought I would just take the weekend off. Then, I had to go to WalMart and, well, that's all I need to say isn't it?!?

Anyhoodle, some quick back story. Being as I work for a human organization, I have learned the hard way that you wear wash-n-wear clothes to work. Yep. Fur is the best thing I get on me at work. When I first started, I was wearing nice, professional pants and tops. What a fool. It just takes one muddy dog jumping on your dry clean only wool pants (happened!) or a puppy peeing on your suede shoes (happened!) for you to learn really quickly that  wearing "nice" clothes in just plain stupid.

So, over the months, I have invested in some dark jeans and washable chinos, and a slew of embroidered short-sleeve work shirts which is a neat, clean look but very washable. In the winter, I layer my work shirts with basic long-sleeve t-shirts, which is how I found myself in WalMart today...I went in to buy some long-sleeve t-shirts. And, wow, just imagine my.....I cannot even find an adjective....when I saw this t-shirt in the women's section:

Stunning, right?!? An elfin fairy (yes, she has pointed ears!) on a crescent moon. With tie-dye background. Lovely. And then, I saw this:

GASP! Another elfin fairy. A WOODLAND elfin fairy. Who apparently attracts butterflies. And the sticker proudly pronounces that this shirt is PRINTED IN THE USA. Made in China, but printed in the USA. Oh, you can only imagine my American pride. But, wait, there is more.

Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! This one would fit right in at work, no?!? And it too is PRINTED IN THE USA. And next to this gem, was another beauty to behold:

It's a dog eat dog world, bro, so be a fucking wolf. The only way this shirt could be better is if that slogan was screened on the back. But my absolute favorite...the best for last....was this one:

A dove with a dream catcher!! And a rainbow!! Sigh. It's so pretty. I just cannot stand it. And the BEST part?? All these gems can be had for only $9 each!!! I think my fall wardrobe is pretty much set now.

WalMart, us fat ladies really appreciate your keen insight in knowing our love for large wild animals, mystical sexy beings, and Native American folklore. It's like I just had my mind read. I can only hope that spring will bring a whole line of new shirts with clowns. Love, B.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Guilty Pleasure

Well, peeps, it is an evening for confessions, I believe. My first confession is that a few weeks back, I went for my annual physical. The health check-up thingy responsible adults are supposed to do yearly. I was not looking forward to it. At all. Let's just say that getting older sucks hard and, since I started my job last year, I have gained even more weight. And not exercised at all. Seriously bad living on my part. With alcohol. And stress. And such.

I just knew my numbers would be awful. But thank the Lord for good genes is all I can say because the only thing that was not good was my sugar. Yep. I am bordering on diabetes land. So my doc said, "Bitch, you need to get off your fat ass and lose some weight or you gonna be sadder than ScarJo after she dumped Ryan Reynolds." (I, mean, she had to be sad, right?!?! I, mean, LOOK AT HIM. Ok, let's:

Hell, I would be sad. Ok, back to my story.) So, I was like, "Ok, Dr. Tony, I understand. Thanks for the pep talk." Then I went on vacation and ate my way through the South Carolina coast including a meal in Charleston that had to be like 3,000 calories. But it was VACATION, ok?!? So, last week, I got it all straight, and have started to modify my eats by not licking the butter container making better choices and blew the inches of dust off my stationary bike. Yes, I began to trudge through workouts even though I think I would rather give labor on a daily basis than exercise. But then yesterday, my salvation came to me. Horns blew. Angels appeared. It was wonderful. I rediscovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix.

And that, my friends, is my other confession. I am a not-so-closeted addict lover of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I watched every episode for all seven seasons. And cherished each and every one. And, yesterday, I had the thought, "I wonder if Netflix streams Buffy?" Why, yes, yes they do.

So, bitches, I turned my bike in the direction of the computer, launched season 1, episode 1 and 45 minutes flew by. It was magical. And today was episode 2. Still in love. Takes my right back to 1997, when I was still a girl, newly married, living in our crappy cozy little apartment. **SIGH**

I started counting after my session today. 142 more episodes. Divided by 4 exercise days per week = 33 weeks of exercise. That's 8+ months. So I now have a reason to exercise for 8 more months. Because I have made a vow I can only watch an episode if my ass is on my bike seat. Word.

Angel v. Spike: I was a Spike man, all the way. I like my boys bad.

Can I tell you that I practically SKIPPED into the house today to exercise?!? SKIPPED. I couldn't wait to start pedaling. And I actually look forward to tomorrow. At this rate, I may begin exercising every day. Well, sorry to cut it short, but it's time to go, peeps. The hubs is home and it's Miller dinner time. And then I may exercise again. See you later, taters! Bun.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Hump Day Holla

It 'tis a momentous occasion....the first Hump Day Holla since my return to blogging. Yes, I know this blog is my third in a row, but don't get used to this shit. I just have a lot stored up to say. And the time right now to say it.

And, by the way, my ass is NOT going to be doing the kind of maniacal editing I used to do on this blog. I just ain't. So get over it. I work professionally as a writer/editor/PR/marketing person and have to edit all. the. time. I have decided blogging is off time and, therefore, does not demand my rigorous editing. Just like farting and belching at home, I also can have poor grammar, misspellings and the sort. I figure that I know what I am capable of when I am "on" and when I am not "on," I probably am still better than 80% of most of the idiots out there who don't know the difference between there and their. Or your and you're. Or lose and loose. You get the picture, right?!?

Anyhoodle, I had to drive into the ATL today to go to a seminar and traffic which, as usual and with the added dose of drizzle, was like Hell on asphalt. About two stops from my exit, this young man whips in front of me, then across the lane beside me. As I cursed him not so silently, I noticed he was pulling to the side of the road with his hazards on. He jumped out, ran around the front of his vehicle, and started puking his guts out. Here are my next 6 seconds of thoughts:
  1. Serves the little bastard right for cutting me off.
  2. Ok, maybe I should cut him some slack since he is obviously sick and needed to puke and probably did not want to do so on himself.
  3. Hell, the little bastard is probably hungover from partying.
  4. Ok, maybe he has food poisoning.
  5. Or a nasty stomach virus.
  6. And, by God, isn't it embarrassing enough to be puking your little bastard guts out on the side of 400 in rush hour traffic.
 I guess the only other MORE embarrassing thing would be having to drop your drawers and poop on the side of 400 in rush hour traffic. And speaking of Hump Day, Roxie had to get all "cut a motherfucker" today at doggie daycare. When I walked in, Miss Mary says "So Roxie gots into a fight today." And I am all "Oh, fuck!" And Miss Mary was all "Well she didn't start it but she ended it."

Seems some recently neutered male dog was getting all jiggy with all the doggies, going around humping everyone. Well, Mr. Humpsalot, you picked the wrong bitch to hump. When Miss Mary told me the story, I was all like "Oh Hell to the no...is he alive?!?" See Rox don't take no guff. She is a scrapper. And, yep, she turned on Mr. Humpsalot and was like "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, compadre?" and let loose (or is that lose? or loses? hehe) and that? Well, that was the end of hump day for Mr. Humpsalot.

I may look sweet, but I will take you down! Knock, knock, motherfucker!
(that reference solely for JOTE in honor of her 20th wedding anniversary)

Well, that is all for today. It is time for bed and a little reading before sleep. Remember, balance, peeps, balance. With love and good wishes for you all, B.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Sweet Things of Summer

As I write, it is like 60 degrees outside here in the G of A. Sixty. effin. degrees. Now, don't get me wrong. I am NOT complaining. In fact, I am so giddy with happiness that I can barely type. I hope beyond hope that we have seen the last of the 90s for this year.

That said, as we (please, Lord, please) say goodbye (and good riddance) to summer, I was thinking back over the good things of summer. And, in between the sweating, the bugs, the horrible heat, etc. etc. etc., yes, there were some good things. Little things. But sometimes I find that the little things are the best things. So here are a few of my favorite little things.

My magical plastic cup! Screw on top with permanent plastic straw. Great for iced coffees in the car. Because I love ice coffees. In the car. In the summer.

My Williams Sonoma cherry pitter. I am always a little skeptical about kitchen gadgets. Will they REALLY do what they are supposed to do? And do it well? Well, the answer to this one is "HELLZ YES." This little gem made my summer cherry consumption so much better.

My Tiffany blue polish. See, I put my toe by a bag so you could see it just matched! I actually purchased this shade at ULTA. It was one of their summer colors....Island-something-another. I lurves it though. Very summery.

My Williams Sonoma pasta bowl. I have coveted this bowl for a while. And my sister's gift of a W-S gift certificate for my birthday finally made this purchase possible. I used it all summer for pastas and big salads. It is wide yet shallow and oh-so-fabulous. Love it.

My folk art from my super talented friend and folk artist Suzy Sue. Suzy rocks and her art rocks harder. She is so extremely talented and such a good person. Actually, I have found that most folk artists are terribly good people. Anyhoodle, Suzy gave this piece to me for my birthday. It is so cool....the background is shredded fabric/yarn. I think it is simply lovely and it now hangs in my bedroom and I see it every morning and it makes me happy.

So there you go. A few of my favorite things from summer. With that, I sign off because I must get up at the crack o' dawn in the morning to go into the ATL. If you find this post a little boring, my apologies. Getting back into the swing of being all bloggy after seven months is....well....not necessarily like riding a bike. It may take some time for this bunny to get her groove back. Bear with me. Love you all, B.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Bitches, the Bunny is Back

Wow. It's been SEVEN WHOLE MONTHS since I last posted. That's craziness. I hate to admit that my mo-in-law is right, but time does fly faster and faster as you age.

That said, the past year-and-a-half+ has kicked my ass. The new job just really consumed me. All of me. And I finally, in the past month, have realized that I absolutely MUST achieve some kind of work-life balance (God, I hate phrases like that but they are handy) in order to survive and thrive.

While being unemployed was super scary for financial reasons, emotionally, mentally and physically, 2009 was the best year of my adult life. I read. Lots. I cooked. Lots. I spent time with family and friends. Lots. I actually went on TWO vacations (and I only managed one this year). Yep. I had lots of time for sure and I tried to spend that time well. And I did. But just because I am now working doesn't mean I should stop doing all those things. But I did.

I stopped exercising. My cooking went to hell. My reading went to hell. My blogging went to hell. My personal relationships (in general) went to hell. My life in general went to hell. But I am here today to say NO MORE. I am setting boundaries. I am reclaiming my life. Today I am reclaiming bunnygoround.

Now, peeps, you will have to bear with me. I cannot promise any schedule of posts but I will try my best to be here on a regular basis. And that is all I can ask of myself right now. And regular may just be once a week. But here I will be.

That said, since January, a few things have happened in my life, but perhaps the most notable things is that we adopted another dog...Roxie, who happens to be Charlie's sister. Her story is long and complicated and another blog for another day, but she is now ours.

Yes, she looks very much like Charlie, but she is more petite, the markings a little different. She is a HAND. FULL. Again, more on my baby girl in the future.

So, if any of you are still around and willing to listen to my swill about cooking, reading, drinking, bargin shopping, and dogs, then keep an eye out as more new posts will follow. Sometimes. Hopefully soon. With love to my peeps, Bun.