Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Shoo...Go On...Git On Outta Here, Ya Hear?

2013 sucked. There, I said it. I typically don't like using that particular verb in public, but I can't think of another way to describe the horribleness that was last year. Well, technically I can think of another way, but I don't want to get flagged as an X-rated blog.

It started out okay. I mean, yeah, I was unemployed, but I had job prospects, savings, and UI, so I figured I was good for 6 months or so before the panic stage. So, in the beginning I enjoyed my time off - exercised, traveled, relaxed, etc. I went to Florida, San Francisco, Honolulu, Big Bear, DC, Scottsdale, San Diego, Santa Barbara - pretty much the usual fun and frivolity that we do each year. Then I got hired for some random freelance contracts, so I figured all was well. Not so much. You know that phrase about people planning and God laughing? Yeah, that happened. Actually, I think God was laughing at my lack of planning. My contracts got cancelled/delayed to the point of being non-existent...and then the UI ran out...and then the savings ran out...and next thing you know, I'm attached to my couch in a depressed coma. Because that always helps, right?

Forgive me, 2013, for blaming you for everything that went wrong in my life last year, but I have to take it out on someone. It might not be you, it might be me, but I definitely need my space from you right now, so let's take a break. Oh, who am I kidding...I'm kicking you to the curb and never want to see you again. Get the ***** away from me and just go ***** yourself. Wow. I guess that's been bottled up in me for a while.

2014, let's do this.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Words on Wednesday

Guess what day it is?!

National Punctuation Day! Click on the camel to take you to the lesson for the day. Yup, I'm that lazy.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pro-cras-tin-aaayyy-ay-tion.....Is Makin' Me Late

Since it's my first week back at work, I don't want to break away from my finely-honed habits right away. Today I will be playing the role of The Panicker, The Sidetracker, and obviously The Social Sharer. I'm pretty sure I'll be The Perpetuator in another couple of hours. That is all.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Foodie Friday: The Best Broccoli of Your Life

I haven't always been a fan of green. As in vegetables. However, as I get older and fatter, I've been strongly encouraged mandated to check my 'tude about a healthy lifestyle. You know those doctors - they go to school for a million years, learn all about health stuff, and think they can tell you what to do. Now I eat veggies for dinner several times a week, which gets a little humdrum. After all, I'm new at this and there's only so much I know how to do. So of course a recipe named "The Best Broccoli of Your Life" excited much as I can get excited about broccoli, that is. Thank you, Amateur Gourmet and Barefoot Contessa.

4-5 lbs of broccoli, cut into large florets (Note: Dry them thoroughly!)
6 1/2 T Olive oil
1 1/2 t Kosher salt
1/2 t Fresh ground pepper
4 Garlic cloves (peeled and sliced)
1 Lemon
3 T Toasted pine nuts (optional)
1/3 c Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 T Julienned fresh basil (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the broccoli on a cookie sheet. Toss with 5 T olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic cloves. Roast in the oven 20 to 25 minutes, until “crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.” When it’s done, take it out of the oven and zest a lemon over it; then squeeze the lemon juice on top. Add 1 1/2 T more olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and basil. Eat your veggies, kids!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Words on Wednesday

Heighth is not a word.

That was going to be the basis of today's WoW lesson and I was prepared to rant on and on about how it absolutely drives me crazy to hear people say, "the heighth of the building" when they should be saying, "the height of the building". However, in my compulsive need to research everything, lo and behold, guess what I found out? You guessed it - I was wr...wrrr...wrrrrr...wrong.  

Heighth is a colloquial variant of height, even though no dictionaries list it as a living word. According to my source, its use is a common peeve among people who consider themselves careful users of English the Grammar Police. Ya think? I have to tell you, it grates on my last nerve, especially when I hear newscasters and sports commentators using it. But then I found this... 
  • From JD Salinger's Catcher in the Rye: "I can usually get them on account of my heighth." 
  • From Charles Dickens' Great Expectations: “Pip, I wish you ever well and ever prospering to a greater and a greater heighth.” 
  • From John Milton's Paradise Lost: "This essence to incarnate and imbrute that to the highth of Deity aspired." 
Seriously?! Okay, so they get a pass because they're old and it really was a word up until about the 19th century. However, we are now in the 21st century and it's time to evolve! If I hear heighth, I'd better hear thou and doth right along with it; ya know, just so there's no mixed-century-colloquialism going on. As for me, I'm going to stand by my crazy and cringe, but I'll change my proclamation:

Heighth is not a word you should use as standard English.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The DMB Cult

Remember how I was a Deadhead for Andre Agassi? Well, The Husband is like that with the Dave Matthews Band. So we go to a lot of DMB concerts. A lot. Sometimes several nights in a row. Yeahhhh, I don't get the multiple-night thing. It's a bit much for me, so he goes with other cult members sometimes. He thinks that someday he's going to convince me into camping at this place called the Gorge Amphitheatre somewhere near the Columbia River in Washington out in the middle of nowhere for a multi-night thing. I think it's sweet that he has such faith in something that WILL. NEVER. HAPPEN.

This was a cult weekend so The Husband went to the concert in San Diego Friday night and then we went to Irvine together with our DMB-virgin friend on Saturday. Then, just because occasionally I am a good wife, we had a DMB night at home. That's actually my favorite because we spread out the DMB blanket on the living room floor, wear DMB t-shirts, have a picnic basket dinner with snacks and wine, and then watch hours of DMB videos. Now, I say this is my favorite even though I hate watching music videos, but Dave is sexy so I suffer through it. Plus, I'm in my living room. With wine. Here's a little taste of the cult be the judge:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Karma May Be A B****, But Football Karma Is Much Worse

Remember this? I should know better! Shame, shame on me. See, my whole football mantra is to cheer on SEC teams first, Florida teams next, and most importantly, cheer FOR someone, not AGAINST someone else. I've always found the Gator Haters to be so silly and they're usually people who have never even attended the college they rabidly cheer on, which seems kinda weird to me. We are a proud nation, though, and that probably annoys people. It's true, we Gators love any and all things UF, win or lose. We weren't that great back in my day (the late 70s/early 80s), but we were still loud and proud, sticking together in all kinds of weather. But I digress. The bottom line is, I broke the rules and cheered against an SEC team just out of pettiness, and now look - the Gators lost to an unranked Miami team. Are you kidding me?!

My sentiments exactly...

The only bright side is that it wasn't an SEC team, so if we can use the bye week to shape up, I have no doubt that we'll be on our way to a winning season and maybe near the top of the SEC. And if not, hey - been there, done that. It's still GREAT...TO BE...A FLORIDA GATOR!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Foodie Friday: Bacon Explosion

This pretty much sums up how I feel about today's recipe...

...and I'm not even ashamed to admit that I am one-with-dogs in regard to bacon. I actually posted a link to this recipe many moons ago, when I first discovered it at (I think) Computer Colonics when she discovered it from BBQ Addicts. Regardless of its origins, I'll happily repeat myself in claiming that this creation transcends all bacon love. Here goes...

Bacon Explosion

2 pounds thick cut bacon
2 pounds Italian sausage
1 jar of barbeque sauce
1 jar of barbeque seasoning

First, create a 5×5 bacon weave. Make sure the bacon weave is tight and square, and then add some barbecue seasoning on top. Next, take two pounds of Italian sausage and layer it directly on top of the weave. Be sure to press the sausage to the outer edges of the bacon creating a patty that is the same thickness all the way across. Fry the remaining bacon slices, crumble or chop into bite size pieces, and place on top of the sausage layer. Drizzle barbeque sauce all over the top of the bacon pieces and then sprinkle with more barbeque seasoning.

Here's the hard part: Very carefully separate the front edge of the sausage layer from the bacon weave and begin rolling backwards. Roll all layers EXCEPT the bacon weave and keep the sausage as tight as possible. Once the sausage is fully rolled up, pinch together the seams and ends to seal in all of the bacon deliciousness. It should look like this:

Kinda hard, but a little easier: Roll the sausage forward, completely wrapping it in the bacon weave. Make sure the seam is on the bottom so everything stays sealed inside. Now it should look like this:

Sprinkle more barbeque seasoning on the outside and then put it in the smoker. I have no idea what a smoker is, so you're on your own here. Cook at 225 degrees in a constant cloud of hickory smoke until it gets to an internal temp of 165 degrees. Supposedly this will take 1 hour for each inch of thickness, but it depends on that smoker thingee and the fire and how often you peek. Again, no clue. Just use a meat thermometer and you'll be fine, I'm sure (says the person who doesn't cook). After it's fully cooked, add more barbeque sauce for a glaze by using a basting brush to coat the entire surface. Slice and serve!

Since I "borrowed" this recipe from BBQ Addicts, of course I'm going to plug their sauces and seasonings. Oh, and btw, you can buy one fully cooked, so you just have to heat 'n eat (my favorite kind of food), plus they have different versions with jalapeños and cheese. Now my big question is, do I pre-call 911 or skip the wait and just eat it in the ER waiting room?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Words on Wednesday

I have no lesson plan for today's WoW edition, but I do have a funny to share. Apparently I have a Grammar Po-Po rep, so people tend to share these things with me. Not sure if that's a good thing, but it makes me smile.

Who, me?!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

10-S NE1?

Yesterday I was flipping channels (looking for football, of course) and stopped on the U.S. Open Capriati/Henin-Hardenne match. Yes, as in Jennifer, the 14-year old tennis phenom of the early 90s. My immediate reaction was.....Ummm, Capriati is still playing tennis? Isn't she almost 40 or something (which is 80 in tennis years)? She still looks like she's 20-something. Didn't she retire? And she's ranked #6? Have I been out of the tennis loop for that long? I'm so confused! But alas, I hadn't entered a time-machine; it was just a rain-delay filler.  Darn! However, it must've rained all day because I ended up watching lots of my old pals. 

See, I used to be a tennis groupie, kinda like a Deadhead. I would travel around to different cities to watch my tennis boyfriend, Andre Agassi, and some of my other secondary boyfriends, Stefan Edberg, Aaron Krickstein, and so many others. I have thousands of tennis-related pictures and hundreds of hours of Andre's matches on VHS tapes. My students used to give me Andre posters and calendars for Christmas presents and one year they even started a "We hate Brooke Shields" fan club. Ya know, since he married her instead of me. I was very happy when he married Steffi, though, because she was my tennis girlfriend. I may have some stalker issues. Not sure, but maybe.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Merry Football Season!

The first weekend of college football season is basically like Christmas for me. Of course the Gators won, because we always play St. Mary's Nun's College for our opening game. It gives us the warm fuzzy rah-rah we need before embarking on our #1 SOS season each year. (BTW, Alabama is #40 and FSU is #64. Wimps.) In other football news, Johnny Football kinda bugs me. I haven't totally decided because I remember that I was very well-behaved when I was his age. So well-behaved, or the exact opposite, that I thank God every day that social media hadn't been invented to document my every move back then; on the other hand, I wasn't getting a free ride to college. And then the biggest football news of the week.....Clemson over Georgia. Let me start by saying that I've held a grudge against Georgia since the Herschel Walker days. I know it's bad karma and I could single-handedly cause them to beat us this year just by saying this, but I'm so glad Georgia lost! Shame on me, I know.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Lifetime Motivation

Sometimes inspiration comes from the weirdest places. In this case, I was watching Julie & Julia on Lifetime and was inspired to write. Long-story-short, it's about this wanna-be writer who never finishes anything she starts (sound familiar?) and then decides to cook 524 recipes in 365 days and blog about it every day. And I thought, hey - I wonder if I could write about something (anything?) for 365 days? What, you thought I was going to cook?

So instead of boring you with a long diatribe about how I've hit rock bottom in my life and now I'm going to turn it around, I'm just going to dive right in. I'm not sure what I'm going to write about, but I need a goal and structure and accountability and...and...and... Like I said, I've hit rock bottom, so I pretty much need a lot of something. As I sit here on the couch watching my third Lifetime movie of the day.

Forewarning: I won't be entertaining every day, maybe just some days. Admittedly, I'm going for quantity over quality for now. Baby steps, right?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Foodie Friday: Strawberry Honey Butter

Today's recipe is not so much about product placement as it is about me trying to experiment with my new favorite honey. And by honey, I mean the food product, not a new boy-toy. Sheesh, people - c'mon!

Fortunately, due to the miracle of crack Pinterest, I found this delightful little tidbit from Half Baked and it is definitely the bees knees! Yeah, I just wanted to work "bees knees" into a conversation.

Strawberry Honey Butter 

1 pint strawberries, hulled
3 T honey (I suggest using Bertossa Honey Farm honey)
2 t fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c) unsalted butter, softened

In a food processor, purée the strawberries and force the purée through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Add the honey and the lemon juice and boil the mixture, stirring for 3 minutes or until it is thickened. Let the strawberry mixture cool to room temperature. In a bowl cream together the butter and the strawberry mixture. Let the butter stand, covered, in a cool place for 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop.

Wouldn't this be a cute Christmas, Valentine's Day, or 4th of July hostess gift? For those of you who do that sort of thing, that is, and don't just stop at BevMo for a bottle of wine on the way to the party.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Foodie Friday: Knock You Naked Margarita

Technically limes are food and since margaritas include limes, they must be food, right? I'm trying to dust off my deeply submerged algebra brain cells and come up with some transitive theory thingee to prove my point. You know that "if a=b and b=c, then a=c" theory? So just plug in the following variables...a=food, b=limes, c=margarita...and voila! I stand corrected, Mr. Junior High Math Teacher; I did use algebra again! But we're not here to talk about math - we're here for a margarita recipe. Although, if I had to do math on a regular basis, I would drink a lot more margaritas. I bet there's a formula for that, too. However, here's the kind of math I like...

And before you start in with the ewwwwws, I must tell you that this recipe has been tried and true manymanymanymany times in my household and I can guarantee you that it is quite possibly the best.thing.ever. I know it seems weird to mix beer and tequila, especially when they've had a shot/chaser relationship all these years, but joining them together in a civil union is pure magic. BTW, I first discovered this magic from the Sweet Potato Queens and if you haven't discovered their fabulousness, you need to stop reading now and click on over there. I'll give you a few minutes...

...Back? Okay, now on to the "recipe", which is pretty much just remembering 4 ingredients: frozen limeade, tequila, 7-Up, Corona. Use equal parts of each, mix together in a big pitcher and pour over ice. Or stick a straw into the pitcher, if you prefer. Oh, and please heed these words of warning: 1) This is an "on the rocks" drink, not a "frozen" drink. For most people this might go without saying, what with the carbonated beverage and all, but don't put this in the blender. I went ahead and tested it for you and you're welcome. 2) There's a reason it's called "Knock You Naked" so beware of its tasty goodness and the overwhelming mind-trick that you're just drinking a soda. Drink responsibly and stay clothed!