29 June 2010

Norpro, You Owe Me a Steak.

So, last week I decided that I needed a new meat thermometer.  We already had one that we'd registered for, but it's digital, and the battery is beginning to die, and it's hard to read.  I decided that I wanted one with a dial, because then I wouldn't have to keep replacing meat thermometers every few years.  Simple enough.

When we were downtown last week celebrating our anniversary, we stopped in this super cute little kitchen store.  Great store. Love it.  The store carried meat thermometers, so we got this one, the Norpro Instant Read Meat Thermometer.

Easy enough.

And then later that day we went to Fresh Market and spent $30 on two gigantic ribeyes (guess we should have been a little more choosy about weight), because that's our go-to celebration meal.  Mmmmmmmmm. 

Now, the steaks were enormous, so big that we only ate one that night.  It was almost like I put half a cow on a cast iron skillet (moooooooooooo!), so I knew that they'd take longer to cook than a steak that was portioned for a normal human.  We saw this as a perfect opportunity to use the new meat thermometer.

And we checked it several times and the steak was taking forever to cook.  WTF?  But we chocked that up to the steak being so big.  We never thought that our brand new pretty thermometer would be defective, or that it would say the steak was at 90 degrees when really it was at 180. 

But it was, and our steak ended up being super well done, and now Norpro owes me a $15 Hereford ribeye from Fresh Market.  Is there a number I can call to get that?

So this week I took back the thermometer and suddenly had $8 to spend in the store.  Could I have just taken the eight dollars and put it back in my wallet?  Yeah.  But then it wouldn't have been as fun, and what was I going to get with $8?  Buy gas?  Soda? 

Neither gas nor soda come close to being as fun as what I bought: awesome cookie cutters for making dog treats (or human treats, I suppose) and cat treats.  I actually bought the dinosaurs to give to Cassie, but decided to use them first before giving them to her, because that's what Emily Post says you should do.

Are you kidding me right now? 

A mouse??


And  how can I forget my old favorite, the squirrel?

Hell yeah!

But, seriously.  Norpro owes me a $15 steak.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

I wax nostalgic about my days at JMU, if you haven't noticed already.  Because my family was, oh, CRAZY, I didn't return home during the summers after sophomore year.  Instead, I would stay in Harrisonburg in my big empty house, and I would do things like paint kitchen cabinets (orange and yellow!) and try to quilt (one patch!) and watch Family Ties.  I couldn't cook anything but oatmeal and pasta at that point in my life, so I was a frequent visitor of the eateries around town.  And because "being healthy" wasn't terribly high on my to-do list when I was twenty-one, sometimes I would just go to Kline's.

Ohmahgod, Kline's.

Kline's is a staple of life in Harrisonburg.  It's just this old-fashioned little ice cream stand, but it's so good and so fun, and for that reason it's one of the first things you hear that you must do when you go to JMU.  I don't know if it's changed or not, but Kline's always had three flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and the flavor of the week.  The ice cream was f'ing amazing.  Hell, there were times that Caitie and I would roller skate to Kline's to get some ice cream.  (How very 1950's of us.  Also, is there anything more fun than roller skating?)  And when I worked at BW3 during the summer, if the shift was slow, then we would allow a server to get off early, only if they agreed to take Kline's orders for the entire staff, wait in the long line, and deliver them to us.  It was basically win/win.

And we'd all go apeshit for Kline's on the weeks that Chocolate Peanut Butter was the flavor of the week.  (Also, imagine how difficult it is to carry and drive with six ice cream cones.  It's hard.)

So when I saw this recipe on Annie's Eats for Chocolate Peanut Butter (a flavor combination sent down to earth from the gods) ice cream, I knew it was something I absolutely had to try.

And I'm happy I did.  It takes me back to those lazy summer days where I had nothing better to do than to sit on my porch and drink gin and tonics and talk to crazy Tex across the street.  (Tex = old crank across the street who had a terrible life.  He and his twin brother, Rex, had been in the rodeo but then his brother got killed in the rodeo when he got smushed by a cow or something.  His life only got worse from that point, and he was more than willing to tell you about it when he was yelling at you for parking on the street in front of his house.)

Now, I'm  not as happy about the fact that I might need to go invest in an entire new wardrobe because of how much of this stuff I'll be eating.  Did I have it for breakfast today?  Yep.  Sure did.  Will I have it for lunch?  Perhaps.

Anyway, here it is.  The only change I made was that I used two cups of heavy cream instead of two cups of half and half, because that's what I had in the house and because I, apparently, want to die young. (I'm sure that half and half is fine, if not better.)


Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream (Adapted from Annie's Eats, who adapted it from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop)


2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ cup sugar
pinch of salt
½ cup creamy peanut butter


Whisk together the cream, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a large saucepan. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full, rolling boil (it will start to foam up). Remove from the heat and whisk in the peanut butter, stirring until thoroughly blended.

Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

(Note: This ice cream is very peanut buttery, which I like because I like peanut butter more than I like chocolate.  If you're more of a chocolate lover, than you may want to use less peanut butter.)

27 June 2010

Carport of Danger

Matt's a little frustrated with my decorating choices for the carport.  See, I love paper lanterns.  But, apparently, so do bees. 

Matt keeps knocking his head on the lanterns, only to have a swarm of angry bees come after him.  (I say it's a small price to pay for carport beauty.)

And then there's our little spider buddy.

Hope that's a mosquito in there.  Matt hopes it's a bee.

25 June 2010

This and That

  1. First things first.  Our internet connection has been restored!  Many kudos to Jason from Comcast who knew what he was doing and did it quickly.  At 10:40 this morning I was cussing Comcast again when I saw a Comcast truck at our neighbor's house directly across the street (but still not at ours).  And then at 10:45 Jason called, and saved our lives.  No more Panera outings, unless, of course, I'm in the mood to have someone stand right next to me (like RIGHT next to me) and spank their kid a few times.
  2. Since it's summertime and I begin to purge money when I have too much time off, I've been picking up extra shifts waiting tables.  I forgot how much I hate the public--particularly those who get their kids all hopped up on sweet tea and then encourage them to smash up food and throw it on the ground.  Maybe I don't hate kids as much as I hate parents?
  3. Speaking of parents, I almost became a dog mother for the second time when Matt and I were out celebrating our anniversary.  We'd gone to Wild Wings to use their wifi (crack addicts), and next to us were two twenty-something girls and their 8-week old tiny little puppy.  Oh, and what was the puppy doing?  Chewing on chicken bones.  Seriously.  So I almost stole the puppy, but Matt wouldn't let me.  After I stared at the puppy for two hours, one of the girls asked if I wanted to hold it.  Of course I did, and I asked if I could just have it.  The owner said that I could, but apparently she was joking, because she seemed really angry when I darted off toward my car.  Jokes.  I didn't steal the puppy, but in hindsight I'm thinking that I should have.
  4. New favorite blog, that I got from an old favorite blog.  It's Catalog Living, where a hilarious girl writes captions for pictures of overly-decorated rooms in catalogs.  It's great fun.
  5. Mitch is the cutest thing on the planet.
  6. I bought more raspberries to make more raspberry sorbet, because it's my favorite new dessert.
  7. Question.  I need you, readers and social etiquette experts, to settle a dispute. Are you supposed to go visit people at the hospital when they have a baby?  Or is that just for family?
  8. I'm a little obsessed with our 10x10 canopy that we got for beach trips.  No more sunburns that make my face swell up and my eyes look squinty!
  9. In a lapse of judgment last night, I bought Sally Hansen's insta-dri nail polish--color, Mint Sprint.  Now my feet look like they belong to a dead person.  Also, that is not my hand.  You were thinking it was a little too late for the canopy at the beach, huh?  Nope, I'm still pasty as can be.
  10. Fuck you, BP.

Mandy's Famous Blackberry Sorbet

I'm at it again.  I guess that without the internet, there's just not that much to do around the house other than to make sorbet.  That, and I'm addicted to frozen treats.

This one's good.  I personally like the raspberry a little better, but that's because I like raspberries more than I like blackberries. 

And what's even more fun is that the blackberries are such a deep red color that they look like blood, and I like to pretend that I'm eating humans a la Tara and Eggs in season two of True Blood.

So here it is.

 Mandy's Famous Blackberry Sorbet (famous because I invented the recipe, which I almost never do, because I lack originality.  I think it's because my parents sent me to Baptist school when I was a kid.)


24 ounces of blackberries (I used fresh, but you could use frozen if you let them thaw first)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Juice from 3 lemons

1. In a small saucepan, boil the half cup of water. When the water is boiling, add the half cup of sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.

2. Meanwhile, puree blackberries and lemon juice in a food processor.

3. In a large bowl, combine the blackberry puree with the simple syrup. Chill in refrigerator for 2-4 hours.

4. Place mixture in ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions.

5. You can enjoy the sorbet immediately, or freeze it to achieve a more solid texture.
Happy Friday eating to you!

24 June 2010

Comcast, You Suck.

Yes, Comcast, you suck.  A lot. 

Our internet has been out since Monday night, and Matt and I have been going through withdrawal.  I called Comcast to try to troubleshoot and/or fix the problem, but to no avail.  So the dipshit employee I was speaking with set us up an appointment with a technician--on Friday.  That was Tuesday.  He said that if they could fit us in earlier, then they would call us and let us know so that we could be home for it.  Of course, he didn't call, and someone came out when we were out celebrating our anniversary (and choosing to celebrate at places that had free wifi, passing the laptop back and forth as though it was some kind of drug).  But it's okay, because he set up an appointment for us--at the exact time that I told him we would NOT be available.  Fantastic.  It's cool. 

We pay more money for our cable and internet than we do for electricity, so it's really neat that it's not working and that the incompetence of others will keep us without internet for almost a week.  I'll get to spend lots of time here at Panera, eating mediocre food and listening to little kids scream.  A mom just stood two feet from me and spanked her kid.  He's screaming some more.

Thanks again, Comcast.  Maybe I'll use Panera's internet to find the number of a doctor who will tie my tubes for me.


23 June 2010

Mandy's Famous Raspberry Sorbet

It's no secret that I've gone a little apeshit with my ice cream maker.  I've made a lot of really great stuff, and some not as great stuff.  After making three types of sorbet, I decided that it was high time that I invent my own recipe.  I mean, I'd been reading other peoples' recipes, and decided that I could do it better.

And I did.

Because this might just be the best recipe in the history of the world.  Like of all time.  Like, I've had to muster up all of my self-control to keep from eating all of it. 

The good news is that I could eat all of it, and it probably wouldn't be all that bad for me. 

Even Matt likes it, and he's not a fan of the fruity.

So here it is, a recipe for raspberry sorbet that I don't have to attribute to anyone but myself.  (Seriously, it's only like the second thing I've ever made without a recipe.  Guess I'm not all that original, huh?)

Raspberry Sorbet (from Mandy's brain)

12 oz fresh raspberries (could use frozen, too, but you'd need to let them thaw first)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
juice from one lemon

1. In a small saucepan, boil the half cup of water. When the water is boiling, add the half cup of sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
2. Meanwhile, puree raspberries and lemon juice in a food processor.
3. In a large bowl, combine the raspberry puree with the simple syrup. Chill in refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
4. Place mixture in ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions.
5. You can enjoy the sorbet immediately, or freeze it to achieve a more solid texture.

I'm sure, too, that you could double this recipe with no problem.

21 June 2010

Late at Night, While You're Sleeping. . .

. . .Poison Ivy comes a creepin' around.  (And she's a bitch.)

Last Friday I thought I would keep myself busy all day without spending any money.  I was super productive around the house, and even took on a task that is supposed to be Matt's: I mowed the lawn.  Easy enough.  Just push the thing around the yard in lines.  I wore shorts and a tank top and flip-flops.  I did run over some plastic thing that shredded to bits and hit my leg and made me start to bleed, but aside from that, there seemed to be no other casualties.

After mowing the lawn, I took Mitch for a walk/jog to the park.  We didn't get far, though, because gigantic black storm clouds came rolling in, and lightning began to strike kind of close to us.  I kept having this awful vision of my little Mitchy getting struck by lightning in front of my face, so we went home before that would become reality. 

I was sweaty and gross, but then I was afraid to get into the shower because I had recently read this post by The Bloggess and I was afraid that I would get struck by lightning if I got in the shower and then Matt would come home to a fried wife and he would be sad.  So I fell asleep instead.  And then I woke up and Matt was home and we ate dinner and I drank too much wine.

There was no shower.  And what good timing, since apparently I had walked through some poison ivy during my lawn-mowing endeavor (because, regardless of how many times I look at a picture of poison ivy, I can never recognize it in real life), and had opted out of the shower on the day that my body was covered in poison ivy oil.  Fantastic.  So it spread around, and instead of just having poison ivy on my feet, for example, I would scratch the back side of my knee, thus spreading the poison.  Again, fantastic. 

So now I'm covered in little patches of itchy hell, and I'm mad about it. 

It's a good thing that I went to the beach today, so that I could have some healing salt water to help out. (I thought that was just some myth that my grandma would tell me, but today I talked to my biologist friend Jen who told me that salt water does, indeed, help out poison ivy because it's a hypertonic.  She explained what that meant, but I forgot.) 

Between today's healing salt water, and the healing dog kisses that I'm sure Mitch will be providing (since I saved his life during Friday's walk/jog), I'll be better in no time. 

I hear that margaritas have that special healing power, too.

The Lady in the Pink Is Stealing Napkins!

I know it's kind of cruel to give you an 8-minute video of David Letterman on a Monday morning when you're likely at work.  Sorry about that.  It's just that Matt and I both watched Letterman religiously when we were teenagers, and this was a clip that we both remembered vividly.  Maybe you'll remember it, too?

Here's eight minutes of what was, to thirteen-year old Mandy and fourteen-year old Matt, one of the funniest jokes ever. 

So, do you remember it?

20 June 2010

What We're Watching

Since we're TV junkies, and because we love to share and/or spit out our opinions about anything and everything, I wanted to let you know what we've been watching lately and how we feel about it.

1.  Top Chef Season 8.  This season is set in Washington, D.C., and the contestants seem pretty fun (but maybe not as strong as those in previous seasons).  In keeping with our game of picking our favorites (two guys and one girl each--and we've picked the winner every year since we started our game) during the season premiere, we picked three chefs each to root for.  I can't even remember the names of the contestants we chose right now, but I know who we didn't choose, and that's Angelo.  I'm sure he's good, but he's a tool and a half.  I'd like to see him wear a little less seersucker and a little more humility, and I can't wait to see him crash and burn during the team challenges.  ("Crashed and burned, eh, Mav?"  "Slider. . ." [sniff, sniff] ". . .You stink."  Oh, Top Gun, how I love thee.)

2.  Breaking Bad.  Technically we're not watching this currently because the season finale was last week, but I feel like I should take every opportunity that I can to shout from the rooftops about how everyone and their mom should be watching this show (unless your mom doesn't like drug dealers and brutal violence).  You can get it on Netflix and catch up on AMC during the summer, bitch.

3.  True Blood.  Vampire porn just gets more and more fun, doesn't it?  And this season boasts a lot more pups, which means that Mitch is more into the show than he was before.  Is it just me, or is Eric getting sexier by the episode?

4.  Friday Night Lights.  Eric the Vampire may be getting sexier, but he's got nothing on Coach Eric Taylor or Tim Riggins.  (Or on Tammy or Black Tyra, if you're reading this and aren't as into the sexy men.)  The show seems to be getting a little more raw, and I still haven't made it through an episode without crying.  Also, a short scene where Matt and Julie play Scrabble has helped my phone Scrabble scores tremendously; za is a word.  Thanks, Matt Sarasen!

Are we missing out on anything great?

That Baby Gives Me the Creeps.

When I first heard about Toy Story, oh, fifteen years ago, I thought it'd be dumb.  And then one night I was babysitting one of my two-hundred thousand cousins, and we popped it into the ol' VCR, and I was hooked.  And why wouldn't I be?  It was funny, and endearing, and appealed to my baby sister, to me, to my grandparents.  What's not to love?

And then Toy Story 2 came out while I was in college, and my friends and I--including tough Becky--went to see it at our school's cheap movie theater.  It was fun, cute, and oh-my-god-so-sad when this part came on.

I've always been a big sissy when it comes to sentimental stuff like this (I completely lost it during the episode of Boy Meets World when Corey and Topanga got married, and I can't get through a cotton commercial without some lip quivers), so I sat there, true to form, sobbing like a little baby.  But then I looked over at tough "I'm-an-athlete-who-has-no-human-emotion-other-than-rage" Becky and saw her whole body shaking while she wept about Jessie's misfortune (Jessie's owner, Emily, put her in the donation bin).  Years later, I'll still call up Becky and just start singing the song (that I've memorized because I downloaded it), just to see if I can get her to cry.  I know, I know, I'm the greatest friend that has ever been.

I loved Toy Story 2 so much, and wanted so much to share it, that I bought a Cowgirl Jessie doll for Chloe that year (when she was 3 1/2) and took her to see the movie.  (She was much better behaved during this film than she had been when we took her to see Prince of Egypt when she was a couple of years younger [what the hell were we thinking?], shortly after I'd taught her the phrase "sexy man."  My adorable little [not at all bratty] sister yelled through most of that movie, "Moses is a sexy man!")

I texted that adorable little darling the other day (that adorable darling will be going to high school next year--EEK!) to ask her if she still had her Cowgirl Jessie doll.  "No, I got rid of that a long time ago," she texted back.  DID SHE UNDERSTAND THE MOVIE BUT AT ALL?

My sister's heartlessness aside, you can only imagine how excited I was when, month and months ago, we saw the trailer for Toy Story 3.  So many great characters, so many fun memories, so many tears in store.  Andy's going to college?  WTF?

So Matt and Collin and I went to see it today, strategically deciding to go to the 11:40 show that was not in 3D, thinking that this way we would have the fewest number of kids in the theater.  Foiled.  Foiled because we neglected to think about the fact that we would end up in the theater with a smaller number of children, perhaps, but that they would be the smaller children, the children who wouldn't give a rat's ass about 3D.  Fantastic.  I mean, I guess it could have been worse, and what were we to expect when going to see a movie aimed at small children?  But, seriously, would it be so hard to set aside a child-free theater for Toy Story 3 viewers?  Yeah, I heard it, too.  That was a stupid and selfish idea.  Fine.

The movie, by the way, is wonderful.  It's perfection, like I knew that it would be, even if it does have what I believe is the creepiest character ever to grace the screen: Big Baby.

That droopy eye is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

19 June 2010

Love and Marriage

[while listening to the Toy Story soundtrack

Me:  Do you want to dance?

Matt:  No, I'm good.

Me: This is why we won't be married for much longer.

Matt:  Matt Sarasen and Julie danced, and they broke up the next day.  I'm just pointing to the evidence.  You know who never dances?  My mom and dad.

17 June 2010

Banana Puddin' Ice Cream

There's plenty to hate about the South: the proud ignorance, the humidity, Mark Sanford, palmetto bugs, people who insist on flying the Confederate flag, the idea that it's sinful to sell alcohol on Sundays.  I could go on and on.

But there's lots to love, too: the accents (to an extent), gardenias, mild winters, Bill Clinton, the fact that we wear flip-flops all year long, the slow pace of life, the hospitality.

I'd say that the greatest contribution from the South, though, is banana puddin'. 

Why is it so good? 

Banana puddin' is one of those things that I forbid myself from making because I know that if I do, then I will sit in front of the TV, watch Steel Magnolias, and inhale the entire batch.

You can imagine my simultaneous delight and fear, then, when I came across this recipe for Banana Pudding Ice Cream.  As soon as I read the recipe, I was completely fixated.  I knew, though, that I'd have to share it with others, lest I devour the entire half gallon in one sitting.  So last night, knowing that today would be my last day at school before summer, I set to the task of making this recipe so that I could share it with my coworkers.

And what a task it was!  There's was lots of multitasking and chemistry-lab type measuring and timing.  Had Matt not been there reading me the directions and telling me what to do when, it would have been a complete disaster.  Fortunately, he's Mr. Anal when it comes to directions and rules, and he kept me on task, making sure that I followed each instruction to a tee.

I'm so happy that he did, because the finished product was one of the best desserts that I've ever made.  Ever.  In my entire life.  I just kept tasting it, yelling, "I MADE THIS!"  Mitch was also a fan.  Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures of it (too busy yelling and patting myself on the back), but here's the one from the page where I found it:

It might not look like much, but believe me on this one.  It's out of control delicious.  It's like how people describe desserts as being sinful.  Now, I don't think that this ice cream is itself sinful, but I know that I would commit any number of sins to get my hands on a bowl of it (i.e., beating a hobo with a hammer**).  Maybe that's what people mean?

Anyway, here's the recipe.  If you find yourself with some extra time, and if you share my affection for banana puddin', you should try it out.

Banana Puddin' Ice Cream
Makes about 2 quarts
Adapted from Mac & Cheese, who got it from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook by Matt and Ted Lee

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
2 ripe bananas, sliced in half crosswise and lengthwise
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 large egg yolks
⅓ cup sugar
1 ½ cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
14 2-inch vanilla wafers, coarsely chopped

  • Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until frothy. Add brown sugar and sauté the sugar until it bubbles, abut 1 ½ minutes. Add bananas, stir and turn in sugar for about 1 ½ minutes until softened.
  • Pour vanilla over bananas in skillet, and let cook for a couple of minutes. Place contents of the skillet in a blender or processor.
  • Beat the egg yolks with a whisk, then add the sugar and beat until the mixture is a light yellow color, about 1 ½ minutes.
  • Warm the milk over medium heat in a saucepan, stirring occasionally, until a thermometer reads 150° (6-8 minutes). Pour ½ cup of the hot milk in the blender with the banana mixture, and puree for 1 minute.
  • Add the remaining hot milk slowly to the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the thermometer reads 170° (8-10 minutes or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spoon). Turn off the heat.
  • Add the banana mixture to the custard and whisk for 1 ½ minutes. Let the custard cool to room temperature, then whisk in the cream.
  • Refrigerate for 4 hours or until the custard is cold. (I skipped this part with no resulting problems.)
  • Pour mixture into the ice cream maker and churn. A few minutes before the ice cream is done, add the cookie bits and churn for a few more minutes.
  • Eat right away for instant, soft ice cream gratification. Freeze ice cream in the freezer to harden.
Happy Friday to you!

**I wouldn't really beat a hobo with a hammer.  Forgive the hyperbole.  Also, I learned today that hobos were real people who ate beans from cans.  It's neat to talk to people who are older and have more life experience.  They'll tell you all about hobos.

Hey, Sneezers!

I'm getting Mitch a bear cub brother.

Should make for an interesting summer. Can I buy a bear cub at the Bass Pro Shop?

Thanks for sharing, Andrew Sullivan.

You Suck!!!

So, as you have probably already read, Mandy and I went to the Sand Gnats game on Monday night. The Sand Gnats were victorious, winning 10-4. They batted around in the first inning, scoring 5 runs, including a two-run homer from the second batter. Good times, although sweating out all of the water in my body and replacing it with dollar Natural Lights was probably not the best strategy for a great Tuesday morning.

Anyway, we sat about five rows up on the first base line. Two rows below us and a little to the left was a man who had perhaps the greatest disparity between energy level and signifigance of the event that I have ever seen. My only theory is that he recently moved from either Boston or the Bronx and had simply not adjusted his approach from a Yankees-Red Sox game in October to a single A baseball game on a Monday evening in 100 degree weather. I'm all right with that. I'm all for enthusiasm and can't falut anyone for rooting for our Savannah Sand Gnats. I even enjoy the occasional creative heckling.

But this guy was a giant douche. He would sit quietly for several seconds, maybe taking a sip of his beer, the whole time shaking with the kind of destructive energy that gets people kicked off The Real World, and then he would cup his hands around his mouth and yell something to the effect of "You walked the first guy? You suck, 34! You suck!!!." "They're warming up the bullpen, 34. It's only the first inning. You suck!!! You SUCK!!!" After about 10 minutes Mandy and I were making jokes like, "I wonder if that guy thinks the pitcher sucks? It wouldn't be so bad if he changed it up a little, showed some originality."

So the next day I went into work and the bartender said that a couple of guys from the opposing team had gone to Chili's after the game. Apparently they had been annoyed by a heckler. They said it wouldn't have been so bad if the guy had just had some originality and hadn't kept yelling the same thing. So my question to the heckler would be this. Yes, the pitcher was bad, but pitching is hard. You were terrible at heckling the pitcher, which really isn't that difficult. So, who really sucks?

Bienvenido a Miami

Today, after I took a 5-hour nap (fuck yeah!), and made banana pudding ice cream (double fuck yeah!), and cooked dinner with Matt (delicious cashew chicken made to perfection!), and watched Top Chef (go Alex!), I logged into Facebook [for the 30th time] and saw this recommendation.

Wow.  I mean, I was at first offended.  Do Will Smith and Barack Obama really have that much in common?  The Office and 30 Rock I get.  But Will Smith and Barack Obama?  I'm only really seeing one thing they have in common--being black.  Okay, two--being black and having awesome wives.  Okay, three--being black and having awesome wives and liking basketball (". . .shootin' some b-ball outside of the school. . .").  But that's where it ends.  Last I heard, President Obam' hadn't written what is possibly the best song in the history of music: "Miami." 

"Party in the city where the heat is on, all night on the beach 'til the break of dawn. . ."

Okay, Facebook.  Fine.  You were right.  I do love Will Smith.  Thanks for the recommendation.  But maybe try not to be so racist next time?

16 June 2010

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

On Monday, Matt and I spent our evening watching a Sand Gnats game at Historic Grayson Stadium.  For those of you who don't know, the Sand Gnats are Savannah's minor league baseball team, and they're a feeder team for the Mets, which makes Matt happy.  Historic Grayson Stadium is the oldest minor league stadium in the country, and a bunch of old famous players like Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron and Jackie Robinson played there, which means that it's important.

And in case you don't know what a sand gnat is, well, it's a gnat that will bite the shit out of you.  They're evil, but a pretty cool name for a team.  The mascot used to be awesome, when it was Gnic the Gnat, but then Gnic was scaring all of the little kids, so they changed the mascot to Gnate the Gnat, and Gnate is lame.  Matt always talks about how he wants Gnic to come back, and to beat Gnate to a bloody pulp on the pitcher's mound.  I'm sure that wouldn't scare children.


And Gnate:

See what I mean?  Don't you kind of want to punch Gnate in the face?

The stadium is part of Daffin Park, the badass park that's only blocks away from our house.  Daffin is where Mitch and I go for our walk/jogs (something that needs to start happening again soon, lest my skin explode because it can no longer hold in all the fat), and it's one of those places that makes me happy to be living in Savannah. 

So, on Monday we made the trek to the stadium, in 97 degree heat.  I had a stroke of brilliance (one that may or may not have saved my life) when I decided to wet two wash cloths and put them in a big ziploc bag of ice.  Monday was one of the hottest nights that has ever happened in the history of the world.  I felt like my body might, at any moment, just burst into flames.  So it was nice to pull out an iced-down washcloth and pat my sweaty, disgusting face.

One of the reasons we'd decided to go on Monday was because the stadium is having a Dollar Mondays promotion, which meant that admission, hot dogs, small sodas, and Gnatty Light beers were all $1 each.  So the night was great fun, and super cheap to boot!  Three cheers for fun and cheap!

Some highlights:
  • A little girl sang a terrible rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner."  Now, I love this song as much as the next patriot (I started to love it even more when I learned that F. Scott Fitzgerald is a direct descendent of Francis Scott Key--what a family of writers!), and I tear up when I'm standing there with my hand on my heart.  I just wish that the singers of the anthem would lay off of the rifts.  "And the roo--ahh-aahhh--keeh-eeets reee-ahh-addd glah-aire."  Seriously.  It's a pretty song the way it is, and we don't need the star of the high school chorus fucking it up.
  • Heckler guy.  Matt's going to tell you more about him.
  • Random proposal between innings.  Kind of cute, but I think I'd have killed Matt if he'd proposed to me during a minor leage baseball game on a Dollar Monday.

Anyway, it was a hellafun night, and we laughed and joked and I provided my really insightful commentary about sports (being a sportscaster is basically my backup job) like "Run faster all the way around!" and "You know what the Sand Gnats are good at?  Throwing and catching."  Turns out that they're also good at the hitting, because they won that night, and they're currently in first place in their division, or in the world, or something.  Go Gnats!

So if you're in Savannah, don't forget to go to a few games this summer.  If you're not, come visit us and we'll take you.  The guest room awaits.

15 June 2010

Strawberry Lemon Sorbet

Some back story. . .

I have a little history of being a lush.  Well, maybe not so much a lush as a drunk.  But probably a lush.  What can you do?

So, the first time that I met Maureen's husband, Brian, was when they came to visit me at JMU during the summer between junior and senior year.  It was a fun night full of libations and spirits, highlighted by my moronic moves such as 1.) blending a straw in the blender with my daquiris and, 2.) deciding that I would just drink the straw, because I was too cheap--and too lazy--to pick out all of the little bits of plastic.

I blacked out.  I remember falling asleep on the kitchen floor, beating my fists against the hard wood.  I remember waking up in my bed.  HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?  Blackouts are awful, but let's all admit that they're kind of neat.

Where was I?

Oh yeah.  Strawberry lemon sorbet.

So you know that I've been on a frozen-treats-making kick, and you know that I love strawberries (I mean, who doesn't?).  And I was eating that pink grapefruit sorbet like a mofo until Becky [Shecky] told me that it would make my birth control less effective, at which point I was all, "WTF!!!" and researching the shit out of the internet, finally deciding that the internet was a sham and had nothing credible to offer.  And Becky was all, "I mean, it wouldn't affect you unless you drank like half gallon per day" and I was all "I DO THAT!" and then I was all "IF I HAVE A SURPRISE BABY I'M GIVING IT TO YOU!" and she was all, "No."  Shit.  Apparently, you can't just pass off a baby on the person who told you why your birth control might not have been working.

 So I called my pharmicist at Target (best pharmacy in Savannah, by the way), and he calmed me down.  Note: if you are on the NuvaRing (a.k.a. "best birth control ever"), then you do not have to worry about over-indulging on grapefruit.  You're GTG.  Eat away.  Come over and enjoy some sorbet.

But back to the other sorbet.  It was pretty, but it sucked.  I wish it hadn't, because I spent $6 on the ingredients.  Six dollars for 1/3 gallon of gross sorbet is too expensive.  I could have a pack of Pilot Precise V Rolling Ball pens for that, plus a Diet Dr. Pepper.  So, yeah, $6 is too much for sorbet that will give me Type II diabetes with every bite.

And, let's be honest, I should have known.  Two cups of sugar?  That's a shitload of sugar.  What the fuck was I thinking?

I liked the flavor combinations, overall.  The strawberry and the lemon flavors were great, except that they were dwarfed by the ridiculous sweetness brought on by the pound of sugar.  Seriously.  A POUND of sugar.

At least it's pretty, though, right?

Here's the original recipe. (But next time I'd put in 1/2 cup of sugar instead of 2 cups.  Someone try it out and let me know how it is.)

Strawberry Sorbet (from The Way the Cookie Crumbles, who stole it from Smitten Kitchen, who reports the original source as the London River Cafe Cook Book)

Makes 1½ quarts

1 lemon, seeded and roughly chopped
2 cups sugar  (Use 1/2 cup, unless you want to have a toe amputated)
2 pounds strawberries, hulled
Juice of 1 to 2 lemons

1. Place the chopped lemon and sugar in a food processor, and pulse until combined. Transfer to a bowl.

2. Puree the strawberries in a food processor, and add to the lemon mixture, along with the juice of 1 lemon. Taste and add more juice as desired. The lemon flavor should be intense but should not overpower the strawberries. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn until frozen.

Ten Things

I have a lot to say.

  1. You should read Caitie's latest post, because it has pictures and video footage of Mitch as a puppy.  I'm in it, too.  Caitie's the best.
  2. You should read Cassie's latest post about her adventures in her back yard.  I was laughing so hard that I cried--while waiting in line at the post office.  It was embarrassing, but it was worth it.
  3. I would make out with President Obama, if given the chance, and if Michelle condoned the act.
  4. Am I the only person in the world who doesn't give a rat's ass about the World Cup?
  5. Victoria Secret's semi-annual sale started today.  Did I go there at 9:00 a.m. today?  Did I realize that I've been wearing the wrong bra size and that I do, indeed, have "fat girl" boobs now?  Um, no?  Because I was at work, working diligently, during that time? 
  6. Today I discovered the solution to Mitch's thunderstorm neuroses: a Kong filled with high-quality American cheese.  It soothes the soul--both human and dog.
  7. Matt is the best griller that I've ever known in real life.
  8. I only have two more days of work.  This is that part where you are consumed with envy.
  9. John Beohner looks like an Oompa Loompa.  Also, Oompa Loompas are creepy.  I tried to convince my family to dress all of my cousins (when the cousins were about 3 years old) as Oompa Loompas for Halloween, because I thought that would be the creepiest costume of all.  They didn't, and I unfriended all of them on Facebook.  Seriously.  Don't be friends with your family on Facebook.  It's dangerous.
  10. Fuck you, BP.  Even though I don't believe in hell, I sometimes wish that there was a hell, so that I could imagine you burning in it eternally. 

Monet Toes

The last couple of days at work have been very low-key, low-stress.  The days have been so quiet and peaceful, and, dare I say, boring.  I was in a fit of productivity last week, and this week I'm finding myself with nothing to do.  So today, I put my feet up, and I painted my toes.

And when I say that I painted my toes, that wasn't really an exaggeration.  I have what you might call "Monet Toes," toes that, from far off, look decent.  It's only when you get up close that you realize just what a hot mess they are.  I have the tiniest toenails in the world, and I just slap polish all over them.  I'm lazy, and there's no excuse.

Maybe that's what I'll do tomorrow at work?

14 June 2010

Pink Grapefruit Sorbet

I'm a grapefruit fiend.  As a teenager, I remember hearing that grapefruit would speed up my metabolism and make me skinny, and wishing that to be true because I would eat grapefruit--like four at a time--for entire meals.  (Did I ever mention that my mom wasn't so much into "the cooking"?)  And when I lived in Florida, we had our own ruby red grapefruit tree.  Our friends, though, had an enormous, so-big-that-if-it-fell-your-house-would-be-a-goner pink grapefruit tree, and it had the best grapefruit--sweet and juicy and a little bit tart.  When the fruit would ripen, my dad would go over to their house with clothesbaskets to take some of the fruit off of their hands, and he and I would together eat them all.  This is probably a reason that we didn't have a problem with scurvy in our household.

And my obsession has continued.  One of my favorite lunches at school is just two grapefruit, and I peel them and eat them like oranges.  I always end up dripping juice down my face, and getting it all over my desk, and I usually close the door while I feed, because it's just not ladylike. 

The second I begin to feel even the slightest bit of sickness, I run to the store for a big jug of Simply Grapefruit, and I drink it all, in about an hour in a half, from a wine glass.  That, my friends, is ladylike.

Nothing's more fun than combining obsessions, so you can imagine my delight when Cassie told me about a recipe for Pink Grapefruit Sorbet in a recent issue of Cooking Light.  A marriage between my favorite citrus obsession and my ice cream maker?  Yes, please.

And it's really good, and really smooth, and really grapefruity, and really refreshing.

So, if you're a fan of the grapefruit as I am, or if you're trying to fight off a cold or scurvy, or if you find yourself sweating like a whore in church during this heat wave, I'd suggest whipping up a batch of this sorbet.

Pink Grapefruit Sorbet, from Cooking Light
3 cups fresh pink grapefruit juice (about 4 grapefruits), divided  (I just used the Simply Grapefruit juice)
3/4 cup sugar

1. Combine 1/2 cup grapefruit juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently.

2. Combine the sugar mixture and the remaining 2 1/2 cups grapefruit juice in a medium bowl; cover and refrigerate until chilled.

3. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze the mixture according to manufacturer's instructions. Spoon the sorbet into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze for 1 hour or until the sorbet is firm.

And did I mention that it's from Cooking Light?  So maybe grapefruit will make me skinny? 

True Blood Post Mortem

Mitch is really excited about the new directions the story is taking in True Blood.

He's going to be a werewolf for Halloween.  Either that, or a dalmation.

13 June 2010

Father of the Year

So, as part of our Sunday Funday, Matt and Collin and I went to the movies (read: I joined them on their weekly movie date) to see Get Him to the Greek, starring the British guy from Forgetting Sarah Marshall as the same character he played in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.  Now, I wanted to see the movie as soon as I heard that he'd be Aldous Snow again, but I wanted to even more when Matt pointed out that the reason that the preview probably didn't make the movie seem that great was because of how offensive and crass the movie was going to be.  Sold I was.

 We got there early, bought our tickets, got our bucket-sized drinks, and headed to the theater.  And there we sat for a while, bitching about how stupid people are, and mocking the ridiculous previews.  There were previews for Prince of Persia, and for a bunch of other awful looking science fiction stuff.  So we sat there, confused, until Matt had the inspired idea to check his ticket to make sure we were in the right theater.  We were not.  Instead, we were in the theater for Just Wright, Queen Latifah's new flick. This one.

Fortunately, we caught our mistake in time, and made it over to the correct theater across the hall before Get Him to the Greek started.  And it was funny.  Really funny.  Really inappropriately and offensively funny.  And I was loving it. . .until I realized that there were three kids--about nine years old--sitting two rows in front of us.  Collin and I noticed it at the same time, when there was some [very inappropriate for a nine-year old child] banter about mind fucking, and we heard a child's laughter break out.  From that point on, all I could think about was the three kids in front of us, and their piece of shit dad who was sitting with them, looking at his Blackberry and ignoring the fact that this was--next to porn itself--the most inappropriate film he could have taken his three young children to see today.

At some point, I left the theater to use the bathroom, and when I returned I saw that the signs for the two movies had been switched, which accounted for our original confusion.  Matt was happy to hear this, since Collin and I had been laughing for over an hour about how Matt had lead us astray and tried to make us watch some crappy basketball movie.

After the movie was over--and after the asshole dad left his drink in its cupholder; I guess he was just too busy with the Blackberry to think to be courteous and throw it away--we saw the kids out in the hallway pointing out that the signs had been put back where they belonged.  It seemed that they'd made the same mistake that we had, except that their dad wasn't paying enough attention, or didn't care enough, to fix it.  Stellar.  Mom's going to have a fun time explaining to the kids all about fellatio, and the clap, and why people but heroin up their butt.  Father of the year, I tell you. 

Anyway, you (if you're over 18 and are not named Chloe) should go see Get Him to the Greek.  It's hilarious, and it's awful, and I want to go to an Aldous Snow show.  Just don't take the kids, unless you want them to one day be putting heroin up their own butt.**

**Today's episode reminded me a little bit of the time my mom was out of town for the weekend, and my dad went to Blockbuster to rent movies.  I was about 11 and Jordan was 7, and my dad got Boyz in the Hood and Silence of the Lambs.  He, at least, had to good sense to make us leave the room for Silence of the Lambs.  To date, neither Jordan nor I have put heroin up our butt, which is even more remarkable because we went to a high school that was nicknamed "Heroin High."  More on that later.

12 June 2010

Does This Mean That I'm a Cannibal?

Every time I watch this part of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I start to crave blueberries. . .

. . .which may mean that I don't understand what I'm watching.  Or maybe it means that I love to eat fruit, and that I'm also a cannibal?  I'm sure we can extrapolate plenty from my desire to eat blueberries after witnessing human suffering (or from the fact that I still, as an adult, watch and enjoy Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and then have bad dreams about it), but I don't care. 

Because today I made blueberry frozen yogurt, and it was delicious. 

It also afforded me the opportunity to use the ice cream maker for the third time in a week. 

And it's also pretty.

Blueberry frozen yogurt, stolen from this recipe on Tasty Kitchen

It tastes like it's bad for you when it's not, and hopefully it'll keep me from having to eat children (a la "A Modest Proposal"). 

Here's the recipe, adapted from Tasty Kitchen's:


Two cups of Greek yogurt
Two cups of blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


Add yogurt, sugar and blueberries to your blender and blend until smooth. If you’re using frozen berries, it may take a little coaxing to get them all blended. If it doesn’t “want” to blend, shut off the blender and move the contents around a little with a wooden spoon or spatula. Remove the spoon, pour in the vanilla, replace the lid and blend again.
If a smooth product is desired, pour and force the yogurt base through a stainless steel, fine mesh strainer. It will take a while, so be prepared! If you like a more rustic yogurt with bits of blueberry and seeds throughout, skip the straining. Either way, you need to refrigerate the base for 2-4 hours prior to freezing.

Pour the yogurt base into your ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. (In my Cuisinart ice cream maker, it took 25 minutes and was ready to serve immediately.) Transfer to a freezer-safe container with a lid. This makes about two quarts.

If you have any yogurt left over, store it tightly packed in the freezer with a piece of plastic wrap laid directly on the surface of the frozen yogurt.

Enjoy!  And don't take chewing gum from strange men. 

Gear up. . .

. . .for a guest post written by Brad and Best Friend.  They'll tell you more, but here's a preview:

I believe that the tshirts are there to give them special powers and, of course, to attract the ladies. 

So stay tuned for what I can only imagine will be a hilarious and bizarre guest post written by two of the funniest boys I know.


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