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.