checking in on the crap food checklist

Just a quick note-

I don’t know if you’ve ever had Chick-fil-a’s Chicken Minis, but they are truly awesome.  Here’s how my list is going so far:

Cookout- Sunday

Bear Rock Cafe- Monday

Pastabilities- Monday

Chick-fil-a- Tuesday

Krispy Kreme- today

Stamey’s and Bill’s Pizza- later today (I hope)

balancing act

It’s hard. Whenever I’m home, I have to perform this weird balancing act. I stay out all night with my friends, and wake up WAY too early (been up since 5:30 today) to hang out with my mom and walk the dog. That being said, my mother usually rattles off an insane to-do list, so it helps to be up early. Today, for example:

– drop the dog off to be bathed and have her nails clipped (we call this Audrey’s spa day)

– drive 90 minutes to Raleigh for 1 hour work meeting

– make it back by 11:30, stop at the curb market for collards

– haircut at noon

– pick up dog and deliver her home

– shop for remaining (read: ALL) thanksgiving groceries, after determinging whether my cousin and her family will be over (18 lb turkey vs. 14 lb)

– begin pie making for neighbors, mum’s friends

– make sister vacuum, dust, and make a pumpkin cheesecake

My mom has been working on our kitchen for a few years and finally gotten it almost perfect. There’s a butcher block table, a baker’s rack with the nicrowave and all the cook books, and lovely marble counters. So it is an absolute joy to cook in- not to mention that we have almost every thing you could want in a kitchen, short of a mini torch (and I’ve been working on that).

However, there are so many things I love to eat when I go home- Cheerwine, Bear Rock Cafe, Bojangles, Chick-fil-a, Stamey’s, Cook-Out, Biscuitville, Pastabilities, Bill’s Pizza, Krispy Kreme, Bruegger’s, Ghassan’s. Some of these things are available in DC (Bojangles, Krispy Kreme, Chick-fil-a, Brueggers), so they’re a little lower on the priority list.

I’ve worked out a plan. I had Cook-Out Sunday afternoon, and Bear Rock for lunch and Pastabilities with my mom for dinner. Today, I’m going to pick up some Biscuitville for breakfast, and maybe grab Ghassan’s for lunch. I have to go to the farmer’s market later today and might grab a snack there (and probably lots of other things I don’t need.) When my grandparents get in Wednesday, they’re going to want Stamey’s, so I can hold off on that, and when my aunt and the girls come in later, they’ll want Bill’s Pizza. I’m taking the girls to see Bolt on Friday, so maybe we can have lunch at Chick-fil-a.

Ugh, there’s no way I’m going to be able to fit into my birthday dress. I’m going to fast all next week.

no Rose Bowl for me :(

Sad news. Lou and I (two years ago) started a tradition of going to see Penn State’s bowl games. She went to Penn State, and I adopted them as my college football team, because 1) Duke sucks, and 2) my alma matter doesn’t have a football team.

So, two years ago, we went to the Outback Bowl, which meant a highly entertaining 12-hour drive from NC to Tampa. Last year, I had to break the tradition to go to VT’s roommate’s wedding.

Lou: hey so i have some ticket info for you… looks a little grim. you want to hear now or me send you an email?
me: go for it
i’m not surprised
Lou: ok so tickets themselves are 290 and up… there are packages starting around 850 to include hotel stays and parade tickets
me: ouch
that’s a bit pricey for me
Lou: yea plus airfare is 400-600
yea me too
me: yeah, that’s 900 for a ticket and airfare
i don’t think i can swing that, barring a lottery win in the immediate future
Lou: haha yea
it would def be tight for me
me: so here’s the next question
Lou: swingable if you were down but esp after the holidays… it would be hard
me: so, do you want to go somewhere else?
or throw a new year’s party?
or just be left to our own devices?
Lou: hmmm
i was thinking about throwing a new years party or some other party with the theme “all that glitters”
me: or throw a football watching party
Lou: and encourage sparkly clothes
me: yay!
Lou: we could watch bowls all the next day )
me: exactly what i was thinking!
also, I will volunteer to cook a bunch of awesome football watching foods
Lou: that is why you are amazing!
Lou: ok so we’ll start thinking on that
me: sounds good

Alright dear readers. Help me out. Thoughts on appropriate bowl watching foods? Now would be a good time for the chicken sweet potato chili, yes?

Sunday funday

This is how I usually spend Sundays:


Brunch at Vino, football at Solly’s, home to watch the late game.

This is how I spent this Sunday


Rented a car,


and drove home.

I made it in four hours and 15 minutes, just in time to get to my grandparent’s and watch the Cowboys defense sack Shaun Hill twice, block a punt, and score a safety. Perfect.

Then, I had the great fortune to walk in the door of my house to discover that my mom had made braised short ribs. Which of course, I avoided in favor of Cook Out.


Sometimes you just need hush puppies.

And to sit with one of your oldest friends at the dining room table and listen to your mother get drunk and tell stories about being a small child in Germany and sneaking under the table to drink gluehwein at holiday parties.


I woke up at 6 this morning. There is nothing to do at 6:00am Saturday morning. So, I called the only person I know who is awake that early- my mother. Fast forward five and a half hours, and I have talked to my mom, my aunt, my uncle, and my stylist from home (who is a family friend). Thanksgiving is a BIG deal for my family, and now my mom and I have it completely planned out- sides, grocery lists, the whole deal. In case you were wondering, our menu:

Turkey (duh) and apple stuffed pork roast

Wild Rice with Squash and Leeks, Grandmother’s sweet potatoes (she likes them COVERED in marshmellows, and no one else will eat them), Roasted Root Vegetables, Italian Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash, Cider Braised Collards, Mustard Greens, three kinds of stuffing (we have anti giblet and anti pork eaters in my family. macaroni and cheese, rice chantilly

Pumpkin Pie, Apple Cake, and Pumpkin Cheesecake with Marshmellow Sour Cream topping

Cranberry Mulled Wine

Anyway, my point is that I finally got out of bed at 11:30, feeling more than a little “eat-ish”, as my grandmother says. I realized that I had thrown out my turkey bacon, and my roommate had run out of the fixings for pumpkin oatmeal. Sad. Also, it is absolutely freezing out, so I had no desire to shower or leave the relative warmth of my house. So I scanned the kitchen and hoped for the best…

Gingerbread Scones!

My aunt loves these, and they’re super easy to make. You can alter the recipe by adding crystallized ginger, more or less of the spices (I like to add cloves and nutmeg), whatever you want. All of the ingredients are things I try ro keep on hand. They come together in under 20 minutes, bake for 12-15 (while you’re washing the dishes) and are absolutely delicious. They freeze well too- just ask my aunt

Mommy, where does the Thanksgiving turkey come from?

This is making it’s way around the interwebs. Which led to the following conversation:

me: did you know that those turkeys are so stupid that they drown in the rain
no joke
also, this is amazing
Lou: what?
that’s weird
me: yes
they’re stupid
unbelievably stupid
also, this is amazing:
Lou: how do they survive?
Lou: oh yea i did read that
me: they’re in factory farms, so it doesn’t matter
they never get to go outside
they also can’t fly
or have turkey sex
Lou: oooo ok
aw no turkey sex!
Lou: do turkeys even have sex?
Lou: i googled
apparently they do
me: hahahahah
Lou: male turkeys have a “penis equivalent”
me: hahahahaah
i’m SO glad that you googled turkey sex
Lou: and i saw some canary sex on youtube
i’m a thorough investigator

I am not linking to the the canary sex. So don’t ask.

Also, as part of my never ending love of and devotion to Charles Barkley, eat the head.
UPDATE: Serious Eats has the uncensored turkey footage.

The Performers.

Put the blog into Typealyzer, and this is what it said about me the blog:

ESFP – The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead – they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation – qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

Ha!  I am The blog is non-confrontational.  Right.

Potluck smackdown

My office had a post-election celebration potluck today (yeah, I know, we’re a little delayed). We all volunteered to make things, and I decided to go with a festive Roasted Butternut Squash and spinach salad. Lo and behold, when I got to the office, SOMEONE ELSE HAD MADE A SALAD.

Cue pissy conversation with gansie

me: yes
work potluck today
gansie: whatd you make!
me: and i roasted squash for a roasted squash and spinach salad
and some ASSHOLE brought a regular old crappy salad!
i’m so pissed!
i roasted the squash in sweet white wine, with apple cider vinegar, ancho chili powder, cloves, and ginger
and am mixing with pears, peppers, and dried cranberries
AND brought the wine and vinegar to make my own salad dressing
my salad does not belong on the same table as that crappy lettuce and cucumber shit!
gansie: damn girl
that sounds awesome
i’m sure he’s embarrassed
me: dude
whoever it was had better be
also, my boss, who is cuban, makes killer black beans and rice
and we basically decided to have a potluck so he would have to make them
gansie: wait…theres a contest
me: no
gansie: aahh
me: there’s no contest
gansie: !
me: but i just like to have the best food
sort of like i like to be the best dressed when i go somewhere
although that never happens now because i am wearing sweatpants/sweatshirts until about april
As it turns out, the salad was a recipe from my co-worker’s grandmother. And it wasn’t some crappy lettuce and cucumber shit- Tuna, tofu, sprouts, tomato, cucumbers , soy sauce and a ginger soy dressing. Pretty good actually.
Aside from the aforementioned salads and black beans and rice, we also had pumpkin soup, hoecakes, ham and biscuits, chips and salsa, pani puri, tomatoes and mozz, and mac and cheese. I’ summed up my salad in the convo above, but just in case you’d like to recreate, I peeled, and diced one butternut squash, and roasted with about a quarter cup of Moscato, pepper, ancho chili powder, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. After it cooled, I combined with a bag of baby spinach, half a pear, some sweet bell peppers and dried cranberries. The dressing was a little more moscato and vinegar, plus some olive oil, slat and pepper and a bit of mustard. Done.
Pics of the other dishes below.
Tofu and Tuna Salad
The tofu and tuna salad. Not bad. Minus the tofu. And the tomatoes. So basically, i ate sprouts and cucumbers. Still tasty!
Pani Puri
Pani Puri- On the left are moong beans. In the center are little puff things made out of flour and water and deep fried. They’re hollow, so you crack a small hole in them, fill them with the beans, and add the puri, the green sauce to the left. It’s made of tamarind, mint, dates and cilantro. Delicious!
potluck 1
Biscuits (the coworker who made them said she made them herself. They are clearly from a GRANDS can. Liar!), tomatoes and mozz/ iceberg wedges from Whole Foods, my salad, pumpkin soup in the background.
my plate
My plate- salads, hoecakes, mac and cheese, black beans and rice, etc, etc. Not shown- the red wine one of my coworkers had the prescience to bring, and that I am currently consuming at my desk. Happy Thursday to me!

fake Thanksgiving

Friends are the family you get to pick.

Didn’t someone famous once say something like that?  I have neglected my friend duties this winter, and failed to host my fake Thanksgiving party.  I’m planning on doing a post-holiday party in January sometime, since January is the August of winter- unbearable weather, no real holidays (real=involving food).  That being said, I will be making dessert for the joint birthday party I have planned with ADM at Vinoteca, so I’ll get to round up most of my friends (and my mom!) for some holiday season fun.  However, reading this made me nostalgic for last year’s “Fake Thanksgiving”