Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Noshing with Bunny & Oops-A-Daisy

Well, it seems I forgot to blog on Sunday AND Monday! :( Well, let's see if I can make it up to you.

Sunday, the hubs and I didn't feel like staying a home and cleaning house. It was a beautiful day so we headed for the mountains for a hike along a river. Lordy, were the fur kids hot and pooped. And pooped out. Nothing like fresh air to cause some bowel movements among our dogs! lol At the end, we let them wade in the river a bit and Roxie just did a belly flop in the shallow part and laid there.

I have been cooking up a storm because I went to the Farmer's Market this weekend and loaded up on the fresh veggies. Saturday night I made the best salad:

.
I was trying to replicate the salad I had at The National. This salad is fresh red lettuce with shaved radishes and red onion with chopped mint and lemon vinaigrette. It was good, not great. Not enough mint. Too heavy handed with the lemon. But I still enjoyed it.

Monday night, I made this scrumptious fish dish ..... chili-lime panko crusted tilapia served on a bed of basmati rice with lime zest and cilantro, topped with a "salsa" of corn, black beans and red pepper. And a big ol' dollop of homemade guac! I think I am finally getting into a groove with tasty, fresh, healthy recipes.

Last night, I made a Mediterranean-inspired "Big Salad" with romaine, plum tomatoes, cucumbers, tuna, feta, chopped mint, toasted pita "croutons" and kalamata olives. SO GOOD! You know we love our big salads in warm weather at Casa Bunny.

Tonight (sorry for the crap photo!) I made polenta and topped it with this amazing "sauce" of Italian sausage, kale and diced tomatoes topped with some fresh grated Parm and served with a side of steamed yellow squash tossed with chopped, fresh basil. My first time cooking with kale and I was a little worried but it was DELICIOUS. I spiced it up with some garlic and red pepper flakes. Really good.

I am so happy that I have just been able to pull together some great dishes this week without a plan or any recipes. I relied on inspiration from my reading and Pinterest! lol As noted above, I feel like I am really starting to "get" the whole cooking for a better Bunny. My one guilty indulgence has been these:

MMMMM! The sweet. The salty. It's a wonderful, wonderful thing. I swear I think I would marry this pretzel if I could. And only 100 calories a pack. So, guilty because processed. Not because lots of calories. Unless you eat two packs. Or three. Not that I have not that or anything.

Well, peeps, I am off. Sorry for dropping the ball. Hope you are all doing well. Be back soon! B.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Noshing with Bunny: To Meat or Not To Meat

Friends, this post is going to be an incredibly short one because 1) I had a HORRIBLE night of sleeping last night (or, should I say, NOT sleeping last night!) and 2) I am exhausted and 3) I have a shit ton of freelance work to do before I can lay my head on a pillow tonight.

That said, I have two recipes I have cooked this week to present....one very, very meaty, the other very, very veggie. They do have one thing in common, however.....they are both from Cooking Light's Website. Here's the meaty one:


Nom, nom, nom....these were DE-LISH-US. And simple. Make a pocket in a thick chop, stuff it full of yummy blue cheese and grill/"fry" in a skillet with a heavy hand of pepper. After taking the chops out to rest, I braised the pears in the pan leftovers until they were warm and wee bit brown. As you can see, I served with steamed cauliflower/broccoli mix and the fancy Kraft mac & cheese. This dish was excellent and, believe it or not, very good calorie wise...if I put it all into the calculator correctly, about 435 calories for a 6 oz. chop which is a plenty generous portion. Sadly, it was later that night we watched Forks Over Knives. But, gladly, having just had this dish, I couldn't imagine totally giving up meat. At least little piggies. Speaking of Forks Over Knives, tonight I started my goal of having 2-3 meatless meals per week. Tonight we had these:


First, right off, let me say that I omitted the bacon. Because this was a VEGGIE ONLY meal. And I didn't have any bacon in the larder anyways. But these were still just as yummers. The sauce is cream cheese and chicken broth but I herbed and garlicked it up. You could really go in many directions with this recipe. Feta would be great. Or "Mexicaning" it up with salsa. Or swirling in a little pesto. Not super great calorie wise (mainly because I gorged myself out on them!) but very tasty. I served with a side of flash sauteed zucchini ribbons. Very good for my first conscious veggie meal.

Well, that's all peeps! Hope you are all having a great week! I am going to go ahead and tell you that I WILL NOT be hear Friday because I will be out indulging in pop culture instead of just writing about it. I am going to a fundraising concert for another local non-profit. So have a good weekend! Kisses, Bun.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Building a Better Bunny: Weighing Vegan

Hello, peeps! Today, I took a "mental health" day from work and have been busy, busy. I did some freelance paperwork this morning, have completed an interview for my freelance work, FINALLY finished rightening my clothes closet for the warmer months (which sadly results in returns....I HATE returning stuff!), finished a few chores, and it's barely lunchtime! Anyhoodle, I thought I would make a quick post before I headed into a busy afternoon.

Yesterday, when I visited Wally World, I also picked up a food scale. I have read again and again that if you are serious about weight loss, you should have a scale. It is especially helpful, I understand, for measuring proteins. WalMart did not have a big selection, but I chose The Biggest Loser brand:

Here it is measuring some yogurt last night (I was making "ice cream" sandwiches....check back Wednesday for the results!). I like this scale because it has quite a few functions (many I may never use), and it is very compact so it will be easy to store out of the way in our tiny kitchen. It also came with its own batteries which was a plus. I see this becoming a very well used and functional tool in my kitchen.

Last night, the hubs and I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives. If you have never seen it, I highly recommend watching it. It made me rethink non-plant protein like Super Size Me made me rethink fast food.

From the documentary Website: "Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. The idea of food as medicine is put to the test. Cameras follow patients who have chronic conditions from heart disease to diabetes. Doctors teach these patients how to adopt a whole foods plant-based diet as the primary approach to treat their ailments while the challenges and triumphs of their journeys are revealed."

Wow, was this approach an eye-opener. Like most Americans, I usually drink the Kool-Aid handed to me, but this film will make you reexamine your food choices. In fact, the hubs and I have already had a few conversations about modifying our diet to reduce animal-based proteins. I ordered a few vegan cookbooks this morning to start investigating options for plant-based, whole-food eating. Especially after I looked at my menus for this week and realized I had us down to eat meat EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Big meat. Hamburgers. Pork chops. BIG. MEAT.

I would really be willing to greatly reduce my intake of animal-based protein but there are some items (CHEESE!) I would have a hard time eliminating. Regardless, I think any significant reduction in your intake would have a health benefit, so for our health, I am willing to go down the road a ways, especially since the hub's fams has a history of high cholesterol and cancer, and my fams has a history of cancer, as well. I promise to report back on the journey. I see possibly cutting our days of meat-eating in half to start. The good thing is that, going into summer, fresh fruits and veggies are abundant and easy to come by so that will make this experiment easier.

Well, that is all for today, folks. I have another interview later, need to exercise, and need to go run some errands (returning some of those items I found in my closet!). Oh, and I need to take a shower. That might be important. Come back Wednesday for Noshing with Bunny! XO, B.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wheel of Random: What's Growing On?

Today has been a wonderful day weather wise. Simply beautiful....70, sunny and somewhat windy. The hubs and I had decided earlier in the week to take the day to work in the yard. We are really behind on working in the yard this Spring because of the hub's school, but he finished Friday and has eight weeks off before his next class.

First, I headed off to WalMart to buy some potting soil and plants for the garden. Unfortunately, the weather is still a wee bit chilly at night (we discovered when looking at the forecast) so my plan to plant a little today went by the wayside. Instead, my plants are now residing in my master bath...in the GARDEN tub (ironic, no?!?).

What you see is two yellow Romas, five pickling cukes, two red bell peppers, one orange bell peppers, one Thai basil, three Italian basil, and one parsley. I didn't want to pass some of these plants by and wait until later because I was worried they would be sold out. The tub is really great...it receives ambient daylight and make them super easy to water. FINALLY, something good out of that tub (which we never use).

We spent about four hours weeding, cleaning and raking leaves. For sure, there is still much to do, but what I love about working in the yard is that even in a half a day, you can see so much progress. Here's a peek at the back yard:


Our peonies also are in bloom. Here is a beautiful one I picked and put in our kitchen window to enjoy.


Other than that, it's been a regular weekend....chores, errands, etc. Roxie wishes to tell all of you, "HELLO!" So, here she is:

Hope you all are having a great weekend! Be back tomorrow with a Building a Better Bunny post! Later taters! B.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Oh, Crap!

Well, I TOTALLY forgot to post yesterday, peeps. I am really busy today....haircut this morning, some chores I need to get out of the way this afternoon, and then off to a dinner party later this evening, so I will need to make this a quickie. But everyone likes a quickie, right?!?! :)

Last weekend, we received The Descendants through Netflix and the hubs and I both really enjoyed it. It wasn't really what I expected, but in a good way. The girl who played the older daughter was great. George Clooney was good, but when is he not good? Or at least good to look at? I would recommend it highly.



My current guilty pleasure/ear wig song is We Found Love by Rihanna. I am loving exercising to it. And I sing it all day. Just about every day. And have been for weeks.



The next book I think I am going to read is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skoolt. This book has literally been sitting on my bedside table for years. I don't know why I keep passing it over, but I am going to make myself finally pick it up.


From Amazon: "From a single, abbreviated life grew a seemingly immortal line of cells that made some of the most crucial innovations in modern science possible. And from that same life, and those cells, Rebecca Skloot has fashioned in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks a fascinating and moving story of medicine and family, of how life is sustained in laboratories and in memory. Henrietta Lacks was a mother of five in Baltimore, a poor African American migrant from the tobacco farms of Virginia, who died from a cruelly aggressive cancer at the age of 30 in 1951. A sample of her cancerous tissue, taken without her knowledge or consent, as was the custom then, turned out to provide one of the holy grails of mid-century biology: human cells that could survive--even thrive--in the lab. Known as HeLa cells, their stunning potency gave scientists a building block for countless breakthroughs, beginning with the cure for polio. Meanwhile, Henrietta's family continued to live in poverty and frequently poor health, and their discovery decades later of her unknowing contribution--and her cells' strange survival--left them full of pride, anger, and suspicion. For a decade, Skloot doggedly but compassionately gathered the threads of these stories, slowly gaining the trust of the family while helping them learn the truth about Henrietta, and with their aid she tells a rich and haunting story that asks the questions, Who owns our bodies? And who carries our memories?"

Compelling, no?? I think I am ready for a compelling read. I will report back after I finish it and let you know what I think.

Well, that's all folks! I am off to scrub toilets and wash doggie stuff. Have a great weekend! B.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Noshing with Bunny: Making the Grade

I promise that ALL my posts from here on out won't be about healthy shizz, BUT I have been trying to modify my culinary skills to trim down my recipes and to include some new items in rotation that are delish AND healthy. So, I thought I would share a few of my successes...and failures...with ya'll.

First up...I made this one up. Black beans & corn nachos. A can of corn (low sodium, rinsed), a can of black beans (rinsed), a can of Rotel (I was out of fresh tomatoes), red onions, cilantro, a squeeze of line, and a sprinkle of Mexican cheese served with baked chips. Yummy Mexican fix. GRADE: A-

Shells with ricotta, mushrooms and spinach. I found this recipe on Pinterest. I used jarred sauce (Prego Heart Healthy) with part-skim ricotta and low-fat mozzarella, but found the filling could have used a wee bit more seasoning. GRADE: B+

These are those diet Coke brownies....you mix a box of brownie mix with a can of diet Coke. These were, well, sorta gross. The top had a weird "crust" and the texture was weirdly rubbery. Even the hubs, who will eat about anything sweet, threw out after trying to eat them twice. It just took me once. BLEH. I would rather make the real thing and just suck up the calories. GRADE: D


Oh, a cocktail! I call this one the "Mocklada" as in mock pina colada. I found the inspiration HERE. Basically, you use the pineapple flavored coconut water (GREAT new discovery!), dark rum (I used Kraken...mmmmm!), but instead of plain seltzer, I used pineapple coconut seltzer (zero calories!) I found at WalMart. You can have one of these for about 120 calories. So refreshing and tasty! GRADE: A

Then, I made these yummy fish tacos. I baked frozen tilapia sprinkled with chipotle seasoning. But the best part of this was the underpinnings.....I shredded romaine then heavily coated it with lime juice and a heavy hand of cilantro. I used to coat it with Spicy Ranch dressing. This option was definitely more ass-friendly and very filling. GRADE: A-

If any of you have any delish but healthy recipes to share, but give me a shout. I hope you are enjoying the new structure of the blog. Again, I promise this isn't going turn into a weight loss blog. But it will be SOME of the focus. :) Have a great week! B.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Building A Better Bunny: My Fitness Toy

So, who knew that fitness had gotten so...fancy?!? I have learned that there are all kinds of technology-based gadgets out there that can measure just about anything up to and including evaluating your sleep quality. Wow. It can be a little overwhelming. There are HRMs (heart rate monitors) and Body Buggs and BodyFit and, the one I have purchased, the fitbit:

The fitbit is like a pedometer on steroids. It is no bigger than your thumb and easily clips on your clothing. Many women apparently wear it on the middle of their bra. I have been wearing mine on my waistband or clipped to my front pocket near the waistband. No reason to get all fancy. The fitbit also is not cheap....it retails for $99. I, however, decided it was worth the investment for me and would give me a reason to be serious about my new healthier lifestyle. Because I would use it if I invested in it.

The fitbit tracks all kinds of data....steps taken, miles traveled, calories burned, and it also is one of the gadgets that will track your sleep. I have not used it to track my sleep....yet. But I will in the future. When you receive your fitbit, you log onto their Website (membership is free if you own the device) and sign up with your stats and such so it can most accurately track your daily movements.

The best part? The fitbit syncs with My Fitness Pal (see last Monday's post) so that all the data captured is turned over to MFP (you don't have to use MFP though; you can track your calories and such on the fitbit site, but I already used and loved MFP so I stuck with it). Your data on MFP also is shared to the fitbit site. Here is what the fitbit dashboard looks like (this is NOT mine):


Colorful, no?!? I am still learning all this gadget can and will do, and I will admit that I am still not 100% sure I LOVE it. But it is pretty neato. And motivating. Today, I walked 7,806 steps or 3.56 miles. That equaled 495 EXTRA calories on MFP to indulge in should I so choose. Not bad. Not bad at all.

I chose the fitbit over the BodyFit because it didn't make my butt look bigger you don't have to wear it on your arm (the BodyFit fits on your upper arm like an armband....I thought it would fit weird under clothes and invite too many questions); however, the BodyFit tracks your metabolism which is probably a better indicator of your daily calorie burn. Further down the fitness road, I may consider one of those, as well. I don't have a gym membership so I figure this is another way to invest in my fitness future. Hope you all are doing well! Be back Wednesday with some cooking! Love, B.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wheel of Random: The Exhaustion Edition

I was a LONG day. Today was our shelter's 5K fundraiser and I was on my feet for FIVE. EFFIN'. HOURS. straight. My ample ass did not touch a chair from 11:30 until 4:30. I literally took 8,436 steps (calculated on my fitbit...tune back tomorrow!) and I am tired. And too old for this shizz. So, I am dialing it in today.

Twice a week, I take Charlie and Roxie to doggie day care. The place they go is called Tailwaggers. I am friendly with the owner and, in exchange for a few days of daycare, I do some marketing for her. It is a good deal.

Charlie and Roxie love playing all day and it's good for their socialization with other dogs. Charlie esp. loves to dig and regularly comes home with clumps of Georgia clay hanging from his beard. This photo shows one of the worst days, back during the torrential rain season we also called "February":

I, mean, seriously!??!  Really, Charlie?!?! He can get nasty. But the end result is this:

Charlie, unable to keep his eyes open last week on the way home from the Tail. After all, tired dogs = good dogs. (BTW, don't you LOVE my boy's brows?!?!) But, this video, is the best....the kids just love going to daycare and show they are ready for a howling good time (PS, this one gets loud at the end....be warned and ready to turn down the volume!):


They so funny! What's even funnier?!?! While I was loading and replaying this video, they came running in the office when they heard themselves howling to howl. Oy. Well, I am off to overdose on Advil and watch the Real Housewives of Atlanta: The Reunion Special. These bitches are gettin' nasty tonight! Later! B.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pop Goes Bunny: Friday the 13th Edition

It's the first install of Pop Goes Bunny, my take on anything and everything pop culture from movies to TV to books to music. But no worries! Just because it IS Friday the 13th, I am NOT reviewing any of THOSE movies. I don't do slasher.

First up, for my booky peeps, I recently finished an incredible book: Before I Wake by Robert Wiersema. Here is the synopsis from Amazon:

"After an unthinkable tragedy happens, an unbelievable miracle begins. . . Three-year-old Sherry is the adored only child of Simon and Karen Barrett. But when Sherry is critically injured in a hit-and-run accident, the fault lines in the Barretts's marriage begin to show. As her parents' marriage falls apart, it is discovered that Sherry has miraculous healing powers. As word of Sherry’s powers spread, her parents must decide how best to shelter their daughter and help the many sick and dying who are drawn to her side."

It's been quite a while since I stayed up at night reading a book. The story was different and compelling. Some say "supernatural" but I guess that depends on your beliefs. You do have to be able to let your mind go. So good. I was trying to think of another book to compare it to, but I cannot. Maybe not for everyone, but I really did enjoy it.

Last week, my hubs and I decided to go to the movies. On a school night. I cannot tell you the last time we went to see a movie at night. Or in the middle of the week. Or paid full price. (Speaking of which, can you BELIEVE how much movies are now days?!?!). Anyhoodle, we decided to see Mirror, Mirror:

We enjoyed it. It was charming and entertaining and there were a few chuckles. Julia Roberts was great as the wicked queen. But, honestly, I could have waited for the DVD. But we just wanted to go out. I am MORE excited for Snow White and the Huntsman this June:



It is right up my alley....all Lord of the Ringish dark and lovely. Can't wait. Hope you all have a great weekend. I have a big fundraiser this weekend and a raging headache trying to take me down so I am off to an early bed. XO, B.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Noshing With Bunny: Hugh & Berries

It's my first Noshing with Bunny post, and hold onto your panties because it's gonna be awesome! I have two tales to tell today. First, dining out with Hugh.

I borrowed this photo from Hugh's Website; please don't sue me!

Saturday, I had the distinct pleasure of dining in one of chef Hugh Acheson's restaurants. I have a culinary crush on Hugh. I lurved him on Top Chef Masters. And on Top Chef Texas as a judge. He is irreverently witty (in that Canadian way) and awkwardly handsome. He will join my crush list along with Sean Brock of Husk and my ginger-haired bear Kevin Gillespie of Woodfire Grill. But, back to Hugh.

Hugh actually lives in Athens, Ga., home to the University of Georgia (a huge college/academic town) which is only 45 minutes from where I live. And he has not one, but two restaurants there: 5&10 and The National.

We dined at The National, the more casual of the two which has an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients with a Mediterranean flair. The decor was lovely. The food was spectacular. The service was excellent. It was a wonderful experience. My friend had the seasonal Pizzette which was incredible:

It was served on a wood block and featured asparagus, ramps, mint, fontina, pecorino, and argula. I had the lamb pita with kefte meatballs, horseradish cream, tomato jam, and caramelized onion. What was that? Angels singing? Why, yes, it was. We also had two yummy cocktails: Cucumber Cooler and The National, a mix of bourbon, ginger ale and grapefruit juice. While The National was lovely (the signature drink, that is), we fell in love with the Cooler and, guess what? The bartender gave. us. the. recipe! Wrote that shit out on a little card! How awesome is THAT? And it is SO simple....vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice, cucumber and thyme. I will be making that this summer and reporting back on the result. In all, the meal was a tremendously satisfying experience that will have to be repeated.

After lunch, we went driving to a nearby strawberry field to pick fresh strawberries. I have never picked fresh strawberries before, and I will tell you, it is surprisingly fast and easy.

Sing with me...."Strawberry fields forever....." We gots a gallon bucket of strawberries and the hubs and I have been rolling up in ruby fruit since then. I have made sugared strawberries twice and served with a modest slice of Sara Lee chocolate pound cake and light whipped topping (only 275 calories, bitches!) and I made balsamic marinated strawberries last night and served over sugar free ice cream (200 calories, bitches!). We also have enjoyed strawberries and fat free yogurt the past several mornings. We will continue to gorge on strawberries until none remain. And then I may have to go back. I do love me some strawberries.

Well, that is all for this week. I will be back Friday with my first Pop Goes Bunny post. I will be reporting on some recently watched movies and a recently read book. Until then, I will be eating strawberries. Love, B.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Building a Better Bunny: MFP & Orange Gingham Shirts

So, it's my first Building a Better Bunny post. This "theme" will focus on anything and everything that makes me a better person....mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It could be a review of my latest skin care product, or eyeliner, or my favorite new shirt. Which I will talk about later.

First, I am here to confess.....I am a fat ass. I have known I was a fat ass for a long time, but now I am owning my fat ass-ness. Owning it and doing something about it. Because I am a fat ass and am NOT going to weigh a number that has a "3" in front of it. And I was headed down that slippery slope.

In fact, last year when I went for my annual physical, I was 1 POINT away from being pre-diabetic. But, even then, I could not be persuaded to get off my fat ass. I just had a little wake-up call recently and decided I was done with being unhealthy and it was time to get on track. Permanently. So, I started my journey on myfitnesspal.

MFP is an online journal that allows you to track your calories and activity so that you can lose weight safely and realistically. You can track sodium, sugar, carbs, proteins and about every other nutrient if those things are important to you. There are community forums to ask questions and gain support. You can make "friends" for additional support. There also is an app for smart phones so you can track on the go. Best of all, the app allows you to "scan" barcodes on food items to add to your daily diary. How cool is that?!?


I have had good success with journaling in the past. I lost 40 lbs. several years ago using My Food Diary, a very similar tool; however, MFD was $9/month. MFP is FREE and, I think, easier to use because it has more functionality and a cleaner interface (wow, doesn't that sound fancy and impressive!). :) (PS, that is NOT my log above but a generic log I pulled from the internets!)

I am looking to lose 75 pounds. I have 69 to go. That's a lot, I know. But I am determined. Now, don't worry....I ain't gonna go all obsessing about weight loss all the time. But I will update from time to time on my progress and anything comical or sad or interesting I find along the way. 

And I ain't gonna stop cooking and drinking. But I AM starting to look at ways I can pare down my recipes to make them leaner, look at healthy cooking blogs for inspiration (two great ones I have found--Eat Yourself Skinny and Skinnytaste), and trying to cook with more fresh ingredients. You will see updates on those endeavors on Wednesdays (Noshing with Bunny). 

For now, I am focusing on making better choices, controlling my portions, and adding in exercise. If any of you would like to give MFP a try, send me a message and let me know your user name and we can be friends. I will be on there for a while, so don't feel rushed. 

Now, to the shirt. I said that I was not going to buy any new clothes until I lost some weight. Who the Hell was a kidding?!? Actually, one of the things that prompted me to start being healthier was that all my 2X clothes were straining at the seams. But, for Spring, and Easter, I wanted something new. So I bought this:

I lurve it. Yes, it looks slightly like a picnic table cloth. But I don't give a shit. I lurve it. I lurve gingham. And two-shades-of-orange gingham is even better. I am wearing it today. As we speak. Or I type. And I wore it to Easter lunch yesterday too. And I lurve it. It's Land's End (whose blouses I lurve) and, I hate to admit, I paid full price for it. Which I never do. But there were no sales. And I waited and waited and was afraid it would be gone. And, oh, I lurved it. It makes my happy which = Better Bunny.

Well, that's all for today. I will be back Wednesday with my first noshing post. I already have it planned. I think I like this theme idea. Thanks, sis! :) B. Out!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

The Verdict is In.....

OK, so I am ending this feedback process a little early because I have decided to forge ahead with bunnygoround! Thank you to those of you who weighed in....your feedback did help me reach my decision and I appreciate each and every one of you for your visits!

Now, my sis gave me a (what I think may be a) great idea today: Theme blogging. See, one thing I have struggled with is coming up with fresh posts. Posts just used to seem to roll off my fingers like nothing. The longer I have blogged though, the harder it seems to come up with ideas. Anyhoodle, sis suggested a different (broad) topic each day or week. I cannot do week, but I could try a few days a week. So, I thought about what I enjoy the most, and here is what I have come up with for a "schedule":

MONDAY:                Building a Better Bunny….Fitness, Beauty, Fashion, Etc.
WEDNESDAY:        Noshing with Bunny....Recipes, Eats, Drinks, Restaurants, W-S, Etc.
FRIDAY:                   Pop Goes Bunny….Pop Culture like Music, Movies, Books, Etc.
SUNDAY:                 Wheel of Random with Bunny….Everything Else (Home, Garden, Dogs, Etc.)

I think this type of schedule may work for me because I can bank up some posts when I have time. Plus I don't have the pressure of picking and choosing what to write about each post. So, today would be Wheel of Random with Bunny and today's topic is ....... DOGS!

I haven't written much about the furkids recently. Since Pepsi died, things have been sorta quiet. It's been weird having two healthy, young dogs in the house. Less drama. Roxie is still a handful and we have to work with her everyday to keep her in check. Charlie is still, well, Charlie:

 
A big ol' baby. Here he is sulking with daddy last Saturday because Mama had been loving on another boy:

Tyler (with me) at an off-site adoption event for the shelter last Saturday. I LOVED this dog. He was such a sweet boy. He had this pitty face with scruffy fur. So unusual looking. And beautiful green eyes with a liver colored nose. He was adopted Thursday and I am so happy he has a good home. That is not mine. I have sort of informally started choosing one dog at a time to attach to and promote until I find them a home. I have had pretty good success, I must say.

I may or may not have expressed this sentiment here before but the #1 thing people say about my job that irritates me is "Oh, I could never work/volunteer at a shelter...I'd want to take them all home." Well, no, that's a serious bullshit cop-out thing to say. First, I guess that makes me a serious cold-hearted bitch because I don't take them all home?!?! Secondly, you wouldn't and you couldn't. 

But what you CAN do is quit being a lazy ass if you really "love" animals because shelter animals need love and exercise and socializing to prepare them for their new home.You can walk, train, take photos, promote them on your Facebook page, go to off-site adoptions. So my answer to that remark?!? "No, you wouldn't. You couldn't. But what you CAN do is HELP them find a home." Word. PS, Don't ever say that to me. Seriously.

OK, off the soapbox and signing out. Time to go cook some dinner for the hubs then watch the finale to Real Housewives of the ATL. WOOT! Later, and Happy Easter! B.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

To Be or Not To Be

Ok, peeps, here's the deal. Ever since I started back up the blog, my heart just hasn't been in it. And my comments and views, while never plentiful, have definitely dropped off. Which, I know, was to be expected since I took a 7 month sabbatical. But I have been struggling to find things to say and time to say them and inspiration in general.

What I want to know is: 1) Who is out there reading and 2) Will you be super sad if I pull the plug on BGR? If you are lurking, now is the time to make yourself known! If you don't feel comfortable posting on the blog comments, then email me at bunny6269@yahoo.com.

Bottom Line: If I will be missed and enough of you want me to stick around, I will find some inspiration....HECK, that may even be inspiration enough!....and keep going. If not, I will end BGR and move onto other things.

I will leave this post up through April 15 with no new posts in case you don't stop by often. Thank you for weighing in. Peace and love, B.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's Going On

Well, things have been a little quiet around Casa Bunny the past few weeks. Just more of the same old, same old. But there have been a few bright spots. Here is a short list of some of those stellar moments from the past few weeks.

Have you seen the new Kraft Fresh Takes? It is panko/bread crumbs, cheeses and herbs all mixed up which you use to coat chicken, pork, or fish. They have been on sale at the Publix for FREE with coupons. I would not have bought them unless they were free (because they are not cheapy), but the one I have used (Italian Herb) was really good and I look forward to using (and will report back on) the other options.

Here are some of my recent culinary purchases. The two tiny colanders are GREAT. The tiny red one I bought at Williams-Sonoma and it is perfect for draining/rinsing just one can of something. The small yellow colander I bought at Target on clearance and it actually will hold (barely) a whole box of pasta. These are both so much easier to store than a big colander.

The tool "on top" is my muddler which works awesome when muddling the things I need to muddle for my cocktails. The tool in the front is an avocado pitter/slicer which I bought on clearance at Target. EPIC FAIL. The avocado won't come out of the slicer. Ugg. This one may go in the trash.
 
My new makeup passion is Pixi's Endless Silky Eye Pencil. I have been searching for a pencil that will NOT RUN. And this one is great. It goes on smoothly and stays put all day. I have been very impressed. Best of all, they are moderately priced ($14 at Target) which is great.

Finally, last Friday, I went to my nephews' school family day. The above is a picture my nephew drew of me. Wow. I have a damn melon head. Actually, I DO have a damn melon head. The hair, however, should be bigger. Much bigger. But I loves it.

Well, I am off like a herd of turtles. Hope you all are getting on like peas and carrots. XO, Bun.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Very Good Daughter

Well, peeps, I did it and am reporting back, as promised! I made me a Farmer's Daughter cocktail and, I have to say, it was pretty damn good.

I followed the You Tube recipe exactly, however, there was no guide on the amount of ginger beer to add so I added about 6-8 oz. It was very tasty, but I think just a TAD heavy on the ginger beer. Or the ginger beer I have may be just a TAD more potent than the one they used at Woodfire because it was a little more gingery than I remember.

I will say, however, that anything you make yourself never tastes the same as the original. Like dishes my mom and Grandmother made. Maybe it's the little extra this or that. Maybe it is a different brand ingredient that's a little more or less intense. Maybe it's the love (esp. when it is a family dish). It's just never QUITE the same. But my version was quite good, and I think this drink will be quite the refresher on a hot summer's eve. It's sorta like a gingery Mojito. PS, the little green specks floating in it? Crushed mint leaves.

In other news, it may be March 17 today but it's more like May 5 up in my house! We have been on a Mexican kick this week and are having Mexican again tonight. Last night, we had the BEST nachos:

I roasted a can of whole kernel corn in a little olive oil then added a can of rinsed black beans to warm in the pan. On the sidelines, I diced up three small tomatoes, 1/3 a ginormous red onion (why does it seem red onions are always ginormous?!?!) and a handful of cilantro then mixed it all with a generous squeeze of lime (about half a lime), a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Then I mixed in the corn and beans then GENTLY folded in two diced avocados. I did use cheese on the chips, but the hubs and I agreed we didn't need it because the other topping was SO. GOOD.

I had started marinating some chicken for these same nachos, then decided I didn't need it, so tonight we are going to have chicken tacos and I will probably make some more of the corn-bean-tomato mixture, as well.

In other news, I am craving EGGS for some reasons--omelets, frittatas, egg salad, poached eggs--but, alas, my hubs does no longer love eggs which greatly impacts my culinary egg creations. He also does not like olives (craziness!). I, on the other hand, could (and may have) eat(en) a whole jar of olives. It's the only reason to order martinis. Tapanade with fresh brushchetta in the summer makes me want to live. Guess I will have to get a sister hubs who loves egg and olive dishes.

Well, I am off to start that dinner soon. Hope you all are having a great weekend. Poured like mad here this morning; now it's sunny and beautiful. Crazy spring weather. Later! B.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Lesson in Shrubbing

I is **SO** excited. Today, I received my box full of shrubs in the mail. No, not the green things you plant in the ground but the culinary shrubs that you can use as drink mixers and for other foodie delights.

Specifically, I purchased ginger shrub, which is grated ginger that has been steeped in apple cider vinegar. You can make it yourself but the thought of grating ginger made my head hurt. And I found it online for a great price. But, let me back the story up to the beginning.

When we went to Woodfire Grill, you may remember I had THE. BEST. cocktail called The Farmer's Daughter. The bartender at Woodfire created it--and has won numerous awards for it. It is a sublime mix of muddled cukes and mint with vodka and ginger beer with a secret ingredient--ginger shrub. And the BEST part?? There is a video on YouTube where the bartender shows how to make. the. drink. Seriously. So, bitches, it in on like Donkey Kong. I have my shrub, my muddler is in the mail and I WILL be mastering that bitch.

BUT, when I first saw the video, I was like "W.T.F. is GINGER SHRUB?!?!" So I started searching on the Internets and read up on fruit shrubs and their uses. Then I found Tait Farm Foods who has a whole line of fruit shrubs!! BOO-YA!! I ordered three bottles of the ginger. That's how sure I am I will LOVES it.

Apparently, you can add shrubs to tea, sparking water, wine, and a whole host of drinks and dishes. You can basically make your own ginger ale with ginger shrub. And (read here LMSS!) the ginger, at least, is low in sugar. BOO-YA!

So, this weekend, I will be setting up shrub shop and making me up a Farmer's Daughter. Of course, I will be reporting back on how it goes. If it goes well, it's a spring cocktail party at Casa Bunny for all! You bitches bring the appetizers, I will supply a bathtub full of booze. Cheers! B.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Looks Like We Made It

Whew! I made it to the weekend peeps. And there are no bodies. Nor was there any alcohol poisoning. But I will admit that I had a drink every. single. night. last week. Not drunk. But a smooth-the-edges-of-my-frayed-nerves cocktail. And it was lovely. And kept me sane.

I also did a wee bit of new cooking this past week. The following meal contains two recipes I found on Pinterest: Slow Cooker Cube Steak with Gravy and Butter Dip Biscuits.

Let me just say upfront that both of these dishes were a semi-fail, but only because I did not follow the recipe. First, the steak, while very tender, was slightly overcooked and salty. I could not find the low-salt versions she calls for in the recipe and I amped up the Crock Pot because I gots a late start, but apparently I didn't need to because it gots all dark crusty around the edges. As far as the biscuits, I did not have buttermilk but proceeded without it which made the biscuits a wee bit dense. But they were tasty-ish. I will be remaking both of these recipes, properly, and will report back about what happens when you follow the recipe rules.

Today, since it was Daylight Savings Sunday, and I thought we could use a treat for losing a WHOLE HOUR of sleep (ridiculous! the whole thing is ridiculous!), I made cream cheese stuffed French toast, which I made up in my head. First, I bought some of this at the Publix recently:

It is Philadelphia Cream Cheese's new Indulgence line which is chocolate cream cheese. They have dark, milk and white chocolate flavors. It was on sale at the Publix and I had a coupon so I thought I would give it a whirl. Folks (no, I don't know who, just folks) are saying it is the "American Nutella." So, anyways, I had a shit ton of loaf bread, so I pulled out a few pieces and schmered one side fairly heavily with Milk Chocolate Indulgence and I schmered the other half with whipped (read: spreadable) regular cream cheese and smooshed the pieces together.

Next, I melted a few tablespoons of butter in my All Clad skillet, and whipped three eggs, two tablespoons of sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of milk in a pie plate. I soaked the cream cheese sandwich in the egg mixture, both sides, and placed in the hot skillet, cooking on both sides until golden brown.

Here it is plated, topped with sugared strawberries, and it was DEE-LISH-US. If you don't know what sugared strawberries are, basically you dice up fresh strawberries, toss them with granulated sugar, and let them sit. The sugar draws out the juice, and makes a syrupy liquid. Great over waffles, French toast, angel food cake, pound cake, ice cream, etc.

Other than that, this week was mostly about keeping my sanity so not a whole lot else to report. I am off to try to get the rest of my chores done so I can head to bed early and make back up some of that lost sleep. Hope you all are doing super-duper. Love and kisses, B.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Whiskey. Tango. Tuesday.

Good, Lord, you know what a BITCH of a day this was. I mean a we-overbooked-spay-neuters-and-didn't-finish-and-lost-a-public-dog-and-our-vet-tech-quit kinda bitch of a day. A my-boss-wasn't-there-so-I-had-to-handle-it-and-I-didn't-get-home-until-7-pm kind day. And I-am-on-my-second-but-not-last-cocktail kinda day.

Luckily, I am still clinging with both hands to the great memory of Saturday night when my wonderful hubs treated me to my Valentine's Day gift of dinner at Woodfire Grill in the ATL. I have been wanting to go to Woodfire every since Top Chef 2009 when Kevin Gillespie, Woodfire's executive chef, was on the show. He was wonderful. A big ol' ginger-beard, bacon loving, teddy bear.

2009, you may remember if you have been visiting BGR for a while, was the unfortunate year I was unemployed. Always a home cook, Kevin inspired me to up my game to home chef of sorts. Cooking classes. Better equipment. Trying new recipes and techniques. Not that I would even BEGIN to compare myself to KG, but he showed me that good cooking did not have to be fancy, just flavorful. It was about putting your heart into it.

So my hubs gave me the best gift because I have been wanting to go to Woodfire for 2+ years. And I was not disappointed. First, the signature cocktail....the Farmer's Daughter, a sublime mix of muddled cukes and mint with vodka and ginger beer. Must figure out how to duplicate. Then, the brussell sprout salad with prosciutto and pork belly. The salad was great; the pork belly I was glad I tried, but it was just like fancy, fatty bacon.

For entree, I chose the pork tenderloin, which was from happy, free-roaming piggies, served over smoked collards (slap your mother, good!) and grits. The hubs had fish which was cooked perfectly and served on a fennel-celery root slaw. Also fabulous. For dessert, we had the make-your-toes-curl Toffee Sticky Pudding. SO GOOD. 

Though the meal was not cheap, and I felt a wee bit guilty, I realized it's not about the meal itself, but the memory, which will be with me a long time. A good meal with a wonderful husband who choose an extremely thoughtful gift he knew I would love. And I did. The only thing that could have made it better would have been to meet KG proper.

PS, I took photos, but they were on my phone and not terribly good, so sorry I can't share those with you. For now, I am off to bed, and hope I will have good dreams after a bad day. Hope you all are well. XO, B.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lawd, I Survived Leap Month

Y'all. February about broke me. So here we are, on the last day of the month. Well, for leap year, anyway. And I have made it. So much for March being the most cruel month. But I will tell you, if March is half the raging bitch February was, sign me up for AA now. Because I will be curled in a fetal position, drooling and clutching my vodka bottle by March 30.

First, right after my last post, I gots the flu. And, holy mother of pearl, was it NOT fun. I am not sure I have ever had the flu, but let me tell you, it is NOT fun. And I didn't even have a full-fledged flu. I had a like mini-flu. But I was still out of work three days and felt bad for another week.

Then, right on the heels of my flu, I rushed headlong into our shelter's (now) second biggest fundraiser of the year, which I had been working on for months. The good news is we raised $19K+, more than doubling last year's take. The bad news is I am too damn old for 19 hour days. I felt like a Mac truck had hit me for about three days.

THEN, right after that, I started getting a cyst. In a VERY sensitive place. I won't go all TMI, but let's say I finally went to have it lanced today and it was, by far, one of the top three most painful things I've ever experienced. I was freakin' keening, for God's sake. My lack of control was somewhat embarrassing, but it was excruciating.

So, you can see, NOT a fun February on the health and wellness side. But on the "count my blessings" side, there are some highlights from the month. First, I made several new recipes including:




All of these were dee-lish-us. Sorry the photos are crapola quality....I took them all on my phone. I also finished the final two books of the Hunger Games trilogy. I wish the ending had been a wee bit happier, but my sis and I have already made plans to see the movie opening weekend, and I am excited about seeing the movie.

Valentine's Day also was a great day....the hubs got me a beautiful set of costume jewelry and reservations to FINALLY go to Woodfire Grill, which we are doing this Saturday. SO excited. I gave the hubs two pieces of artwork:

I took this photo of a peony in our garden last year and my local folk artist friend Suzy Smith made the frame and did this special mounting/treatment to the photo. LOVE how it turned out.

And my folk art friend from Alabama made this custom piece for me...it's a bunny and monkey and has other special details to it, as well, that relate to our romance. Also LOVE how it turned out.

Well, peeps, that's all my catching up for now. I apologize for being gone so long and will try to do better now that February is behind me. I hope you all had a good month and are doing well. Peace and Bunny Love, B.