Tag Archives: food

Super Bowl, Party of One

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Vera JamsOh please, don’t think for one minute that headline is sad! That poor woman – alone on Super Bowl night… Seriously, since when is Super Bowl Sunday a romantic holiday for couples? I suppose maybe it could be if your idea of date night is crap beer and some sad nachos. If so, you might want to set the bar higher.

 

(This is a pic of the fab Vera Wang jams I wore to my own Super Bowl party. What can I say, I have innate style.)

I really didn’t mind watching the Super Bowl alone. Didn’t have to clean my house, make food for anyone, worry about people having enough to drink or too much (or drinking all my GOOD beer). These events are especially easy without “He Who No Longer Inhabits” who felt the need to reinvent chicken wings or foof up some simple appetizer. Very tiring. Not a chance. The pup got a couple extra Milk-Bones and I had a plate of Trader Joe’s frozen shrimp pot stickers w/ their bottled goyza sauce. (Highly recommend!)

Since it seems I’ve gotten away from listing GROCERY LISTS on here, I’ll share a combo of two I’ve carried around lately. A two-week work project left zero shopping time so I didn’t get to any stores until last Fri. Then I forgot to buy most things on the list except wine, of course.

Here’s the list:

  • Drain cleaner – My puppy, Shedding Sister, has the potential to clog every drain pipe in my county. This pup never shed until about 3 weeks ago and then it was insane. Fortunately, it seems to have slowed down a bit.
  • 3-way light bulbs – Is it just me or do you blow out one setting on a 3-way bulb all the time? I use the 50 watt and 100 watt settings on different lamps. I’ve had this item on a list for 2 months
  • Wine – Although my normal cold weather choice is red, I also buy whites. I just don’t want wimpy whites that I might drink in the summer. Finding interesting, full-bodied, affordable whites is tough.
  • Frozen – That’s my shorthand for “lazy-ass food” I buy so when I’m working 10/11- hour days, I just heat the oven or throw in micro.
  • Creamer – Again with the “fat-free” half and half – such a concept!

So, did you notice there’s really nothing to eat on that list except for the frozen category? That’s right. It’s why I call this “single people’s grocery lists.”

Cheers.

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Nothing Says “Happy New Year” Like Bacon Cookies

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My excellent pal Sarah and I hung out on New Year’s Eve. For food choices, the menu was simple –  steamed shrimp w/ salsa verde, bean & ham soup I made from the damn interminable ham from Xmas (“Holiday Hogs”) and maple bacon chocolate chip cookies. Yes, you heard that correctly and more on it in a minute.

For beverages, S brought some apple pie-flavored jet fuel and whipped cream-flavored vodka. I had some cheap rose brut sparkling wine, chocolate stout and some other choices. See, told you it was an easy menu and so nutritious!

Cookies From God

Back to the cookies which are the most amazing things I’ve eaten in a while. I got the recipe from Bitchin’ Kitchen on the Cooking Channel. Being mesmerized by them on Nadia G’s show, I decided it would be the NYE highlight. Here’s the link to recipe:

(I believe in citing and giving proper credit to sources – AS YOU ALL SHOULD!)

Milk Chocolate Chip Maple Glazed Bacon Cookies

S and I substituted dark chocolate chips because milk chocolate is lame. Make them your way, but be prepared to start looking at them like Gollum looks at the Ring – you’ll get really weird about them, I promise.

The Batman

After consuming some alcohol, snacks and The Cookies, we decided to watch “The Dark Knight Rises.” I’ve been a fan of this series and had high expectations. But feeling particularly dumb for not being able to follow it, I asked S if she was. Nope. I don’t want to give full credit to the pie and whipped cream booze because I think the movie was rather convoluted. We didn’t finish watching it.

The next day, I saw that TNT was running the second Batman movie, so I watched it to see if it would help me keep up. After that, I did finish the third, but wasn’t wild about it. Oh, and when did people start calling him “the” Batman?

It was a tolerable holiday thanks to the company and the wonder that is bacon…

Looks innocent, doesn't it?

Looks innocent, doesn’t it? Photo credit: Sarah: Co-conspirator

Burning the Latte

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"Medium" Starbucks Pumpkin Latte

“Medium” Starbucks Pumpkin Latte

After recently paying over $4 for a festive holiday latte at Starbucks, I’ve started making my own at home. Don’t get excited. I didn’t buy one of those insanely expensive new coffee/espresso/latte/single-serve machines. I use leftover coffee, a couple hits of Hershey’s dark chocolate syrup, cinnamon and fat-free creamer. It’s not bad. There’s no foofy foam on top or sprinkles, but it’ll do.

The other morning, I actually burned the latte. I was doing remote cooking in the style of  HWNLI (“He Who No Longer Inhabits” or the “new” Voldemort) and left the pot simmering away while I was distracted by the pup. My gas stove that goes from gentle simmer to fry the hell out of it in under 8 seconds made a boiling, sticky mess all over the burner. Lovely. I drank some of it anyway.

Carbo Load

What is it about this time of year, besides my rampant SAD (seasonal affective disorder – kind of depression “lite”), that makes me put every sugar-laden item in a five-mile radius in my mouth? Brownie bites are no longer satisfactory alone – they must have a scoop or TWO of peppermint ice cream on top!

This would be a good plan if I wanted to be a sumo wrestler. Reminds me of something a psychiatrist with whom I used to work (not as a patient, a colleague) said when I mentioned trying to lose weight. He said, “Maybe you should just revise your goals to become as big as possible.” I worry sometimes that he gave similar advice to his patients.

Fruit

In an attempt to cool it w/ the sweets, I had a clementine orange today. OK, let’s quit pretending that fruit is just as satisfying as a hunk of chocolate. Seriously. I love apples, but this time of year, they need to be baked w/ brown sugar or dipped in something.

To Ham or Not to Ham

Not unlike the masses, I think about buying one of those spiral-sliced, glazed (see brown sugar above) hams this time of year. If I do, I then have to eat 34 ham sandwiches even after splitting leftovers w/ my mother. But it’s often worth it for the bean soup I make w/ the bone. But now these suckers are like $4.99/lb. and of course the smallest you can purchase is 73 lbs. I may have to opt for another meat du jour this year.

Okay, I just proved my own point that most blogs go on and on with the most inane drivel disguised as interesting stuff. But maybe now you too are inspired to chuck the expensive latte habit and burn your own at home?

Alter Ego

When I’m not writing this blog about trips to Trader Joe’s and wine selections, I actually write for a living. I know, I know. That’s hard to believe, but I often pay my bills w/ writing income. In the interest of cross-promoting (like cross-dressing, but w/ less flair and mascara), here’s an article I wrote that was just re-posted on the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop blog. Thanks to author Tim Bete for his assist. Check it out and then stay and read about other humor writers who don’t have side jobs…

“Ahoy Matey: Pirate Parenting Eases Stress of Moving”

I Need a Wobbly Food Dispenser

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Because my pup inhales her food and then amazes me w/ loud belching, I bought her one of those treat/food dispensers that has a small hole and is weighted so it wobbles on the floor. This makes feeding time more challenging and lasts longer, so she eats slower. It’s also hysterical to watch. If I had means to make a video of her, I’d share it. She’s smart, so it didn’t take her long to figure it out and now it’s a game.

Human Food Dispenser

Watching her work for the food and realizing I must be subconsciously training to be a sumo wrestler if my recent eating habits are an indicator, I think I need one of these devices. If I had to roll something around on the floor in order to get my truffle brownie w/ peppermint ice cream on top, at least I’d get a bit of exercise. It wouldn’t be pretty and certainly not entertaining to watch, but I might be less likely to give in to a craving.

Wal-Mart Shopping List

I’m not a fan of Wal-Mart. Don’t get all righteous on me, I’m not a shopping snob (I go to Goodwill sometimes.). I don’t like their labor practices (sexist, racist, ageist, etc.), but damn, they have some good prices. Best for pet toys, drug store stuff and their food is good.

While visiting the Mother Unit this week, we ran in for a few things. I don’t know what she bought because I was distracted by the elaborate plan she laid out for us to meet up after shopping. We didn’t synchronize our watches, but there was way too much discussion.

Here’s what I bought:

  • two lemons
  • loaf of wheat bread
  • Milk-Bones (small multi-flavors version)
  • nightlight bulbs (my only concession to holiday decorating is those little electric lamps you put in the window. I do that in memory of special folks and beloved pets.)
  • gum

Still money challenged, that was it. But it kept me from having to go out amongst them in any other retail environment for a while.

I’m not going to say “Happy Holidays” because I wouldn’t mean it. But if I like you, I’ll wish you some down-time and less exposure to the dysfunctional family crap than usual.

If I get a check this week, I’m buying a case of wine and will report in later.

Cheers….

Dog Trumps Blog

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I hope there’s a support group out there for neglected blogs. Mine needs it. At group, I imagine you’d hear them say things like, “She was crazy about me at first, posting daily and then I guess the thrill wore off…”

My last post was 9/25. The only excuse I have is I got a puppy. I honestly don’t know how you human parents do it. I’ve barely had time to work or do anything not puppy related. Training, buying matching/coordinating collars and leashes, vet visits, throwing the squeaky ball 23,000 times, etc. How do you manage??

She’s doing great and at almost 9 months, needs less attention. But when I’m on deadline, there needs to be a puppy equivalent to Dora or Nemo DVDs for the busy Dog Mom.

Thanksgiving Non-Holiday Foods

My mother informed me she’d like to just hang at home this year, so I have no Thanksgiving plans. Before you feel sorry for me, it’s actually the way I like it. Too many years w/ the ex’s family –  giving each other “suggestions” while cooking and then getting stuck w/ the horrific clean-up that followed their insane food fests did me in. I could give a sh**.

But I’ll check in next week and tell you what wine I I’m choosing to go w/ the pizza or Whopper combo I’m having. And I have baby Butterfingers leftover from Halloween. Score!

Undersize Me…

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I’m sure some people still drink at lunch and maybe even hit a joint occasionally, but sitting in an empty parking lot with a quarter-pounder was my recent MO. I had just been grocery shopping and as usual there wasn’t much edible lunch stuff in my bags. And behold – a  McD’s appeared before me like a vision and I fixated on a quarter-pounder.

Meal Deal

I decided to go for a “meal,” which I never do because I don’t want fries or big drink. But I was jonesing for those fries and to save some cash, I did the meal deal and asked for a medium iced tea. The counter worker said, “the medium and large are the same price.”  I told her I knew that but just wanted a medium drink. This conversation continued longer than expected and I assured her I was fine w/ the medium drink and would forgo the amazing savings.

Ambiance

There is not much ambiance in a Walgreen’s parking lot, but I live 20 miles from this McD’s and we all know that hot fries have a 6 minute shelf life before becoming inedible. So I pulled into a nearby empty lot and ate lunch. Something about it felt creepy and sneaky – kind of like I was being bad. Oh yeah, I need another reminder to get a life…

Healthier Choices

I did buy some food at the store including fresh halibut that was $17.99/lb. The piece I chose was $6.53. I also bought some fruit to balance out the salt and fat from the fast food fest. Wine has fruit, too, right?

Are chocolate-centered peanut butter thumbprint cookies healthy?

Purple Leopards and Chemex Paraphernalia

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I posted last week about my adventure into a higher level of coffee-snobbery. As a quick follow-up before returning to foodstuffs, I had to order a new coffee grinder for the Chemex. My old one wasn’t cutting it – literally. The grind was too uneven and it caused the Chemex too much anxiety. Let’s put it this way, if you bought this coffee maker something for Valentine’s Day, it better be from Tiffany’s. It likes nice things. So, a burr coffee grinder is en route.

Creative Leftovers

I’m still on my austerity, lower-the-food-budget program and trying to be good about using up what’s in the house. I am feeling a little cheese-challenged as I’ve been out of blue and Brie for too long. But I did make another apple pizza with the last of the Gorgonzola and feta. It’s my new fave tasty.

Online Bargains

Maybe because I’m feeling deprived of gourmet cheese and treats, I’ve been shopping online for bargains. The best score so far is my Vera Wang p.j.s from Kohl’s. You have to see a visual to fully appreciate this find.

Are they not fabulous? That’s the pocket on the top. Okay, normally I wouldn’t choose purple and blue faux leopard clothing items, but it was the last color available in my size. Originally $50 (I know!), I got them for $20. The material is kind of a shag fleece.

When it warms up, I might sit out on my porch in these babies. Out here in the country, there are no fashion police so it’s cool.

Groceries in the Wild

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Today, my need for cat food and chocolate outweighed my concern about driving in the snow on bad tires. So I went to the grocery. My austerity plan is working fairly well – I’m trying to eat up everything I have on hand and spend less money on food items and luxuries like TP. But I needed a few other essentials.

Wild Kingdom

You may not believe this, but I swear I’m not making it up. I was in the drugstore part of the grocery store and walking by the adult “undergarments” area. OK, I was NOT buying them – even though they come in cool colors (like beige) now, I’m not there yet.

There on the shelves, in the midst of the diapers, were two mesh bags of pine cones. It wasn’t as though someone was in the home decor section and left these guys out of place. They had migrated to the adult diaper section. I completely lost track what I was over there to get.

 

 

 

(Pine cones behaving themselves.)

 

Today’s List

Having enough wine, frozen entrees, Brie (I’m slipping that one in because it gets lots of hits. Evidently, there are Brie cults out there in cyberspace.), hummus and pitas, I got the following:

  • Cat food – heavy on the fish flavors today
  • Fat-free creamer – this balances out the Chinese cookies…
  • TP – does anyone buy packages of single rolls any more? There’s double, mega…
  • Chocolate – I’ve discovered the most wondrous item of chocolatedom – dark chocolate w/ sea salt. Damn!
  • Elbow macaroni
  • Peppered turkey from the deli – this is another new fave
  • Some other stuff that w/ the above totaled $73.65 – I know I repeat myself, but how does that happen? Was the TP $29.95??

Are There “Staples” Other Than Wine and Brie?

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Yesterday, I went to the grocery for the first time in two weeks. As I mentioned in my last post “New Year-New Weird Cr– to Do with Food”, I’m trying to use up all the food I have on hand and stretch that budget. But honestly, how can I spend $131 ($20 was cash back) and come home w/ the only consumables being cereal, breakfast bars and hot dogs? Well it was the “toiletries” shopping day – toothpaste, Ibuprophen and moisturizing lotion (which BTW, is more $ than a bottle of decent inexpensive wine!), etc.

Pantry Staples

(I had a nice image of Brie here that someone must have eaten!)

I’ve recently realized I have nothing that you would consider a “basic” in my pantry – no tuna, spaghetti sauce (that doesn’t have a 2003 expiration date) or other stuff that might make a meal. Unless you consider Brie, white and red wine to be basics… which, of course, I do.

But then I thought about some of the stuff I have on hand right now – smoked salmon, prosciutto, pancetta, an aged cheese w/ Syrah and a frozen Newman’s Own pizza. Hey, those are my staples!

Maybe next trip I’ll shoot for some normal-people food:

  • Peanut butter
  • Bread (that isn’t bakery foo-foo stuff that gets stale in 20 mins.)
  • Pasta
  • Hey, how about some fruit and veggies? Brie is rather low on the essential nutrients and vitamins…

So, what’s in YOUR pantry? Confess, I won’t tell…

New Year-New Weird Cr– To Do with Food

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Quelles Horrors (you see my H.S. French fails me)!  I haven’t posted for over a month! Some bloggers go to jail for less. Well, I’ll try to post more often, maybe three times a week. That was NOT a New Year’s resolution, btw. That’s for suckers.

What’s New?

  • Gidgets! (Gadgets marries Widgets) – I want to add a widget for you all to post your incredibly funny, interesting and weird single people grocery lists. Figuring it out will give me an excuse to get my techie on and get some buzz going for this blog. You promise to post yours, right?
  • Recipes – No, not like Food TV. I’m talking about sharing your secret shameful food combinations w/ us. You know what I’m talking about – crap you put together to empty the fridge before serious decomp occurs, when you have no real food in the house or you’re just too lazy to pull up a recipe online. I may add a widget for you to share your creepy food combos.
  • More types of single adventures – I do NOT mean all the psychopaths you met on “Match me with someone I wouldn’t give my zip code to.com.” That stuff is for other single-related blogs.

So, I’ll start us off w/ a food creation I did recently and surprisingly actually consumed, kind of…

I combined elbow macaroni w/ the following:

  • Leftover kalamata aoli dip from Nordstrom’s Bistro. They serve this w/ with their amazing fries.
  • Leftover verde sauce I made for shrimp
  • Roasted cherry tomatoes and garlic in olive oil
  • Feta cheese
  • Some torn basil leaves
  • Mayo

Although the first two bites were good, there was too much going on. The sauces kind of fought w/ each other. I ate most of it, feeling virtuous about using up all that stuff.

Grocery Withdrawal

I’m trying to put off a grocery store run as the financial status is a bit dim. I’ll have to get cat food soon (although he likes garlic and cheese, I don’t want to think about what that will do to his gastrointestinal situation) and I’ll need to make a wine run. Those, as you know, are staples in my house. More on staples in the next entry…