June 29, 2010

Wizards are the Shizzzz


Guess it's time to start re-reading the entire series. I'm a dork, it's fine.

Classic Benedictine

Benedictine is yet another delicious local creation.  It was created by a woman named Judy Benedict and it is a spread that consists of cucumbers, onions, and cream cheese.  How can you go wrong?

2 large cucumbers
1 small yellow onion
1 8oz. block of cream cheese
Mustard Powder
Chopped fresh dill

Peel and remove the seeds from the cucumbers and then grate them using a box grater.  I actually chopped them and I don't think I like the chunky texture as much.  I am also going to try making it all in the food processor, but that might make it too smooth.  Set the grated/diced/chopped cucumbers in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let drain for a few hours.  Stud and I only did about twenty minutes and now our benedictine is soupy.  A shocking amount of moisture will come out of the cucumbers.

Once they have drained, throw the cucumbers, finely chopped onions, cream cheese, dill, and pinch of mustard powder into a bowl and combine.  Add salt to taste.  Easy!

Now, you can serve benedictine in many ways.  The easiest is a basic benedictine sandwich.  It is often paired with bacon (better, duh).  So a benedictine and bacon sandwich or wrap is common as well.  I like to throw some tomato on the sandwich as well.  I have also had benedictine as a dip, with crumbled bacon on top.  That was pretty aaamazing.  You can also just eat it with a spoon.

I would like to credit Haudge with the basis for this recipe.  I made a few changes.  Obviously my recipe is an improvement.  He also wanted his picture on the blog.  So here he is. 

Oh and I finally made more Benedictine using my Cuisinart and actually letting the cucumbers drain for a few hours and I like it even more.  I prefer the smooth texture, but it's a personal choice.  Others (ahem Haudge) might prefer chunkies.

June 26, 2010

June 25, 2010

Heyo Jeopardy

I love Jeopardy, but this might be a little too far.  How could the contestants not laugh?!?

Back to School

This is where I will be spending time come this fall and in the future! I have been accepted into the UofL Professional MBA program and for the next two years, I will be spending Tuesday and Thursday evenings brushing up on my finance, marketing, accounting, and all that jazz. It's perfect because I can keep working while taking class. Someone needs to support Stud. The mooch. Should be fun?

June 23, 2010

Daily Fluff

I think Beau is finally on the mend!  After spending the weekend with my parents, he was doing much better after his bout of deathly illness.  But then, as soon as he came home, right back to it.  He wouldn't even eat his breakfast.  And this is a dog that eats everything in sight.  So then Stud is outside watching him and hears him eating something.  He goes to check on him and he is eating a chunk of wood and paint off the side of the garage.  Good.  Beau has lead poisoning.  Stud took him back to the vet to make sure, and since he had barfed up a huge chunk of plastic (who knows where he got that), he got some x-rays.  Along with a blood test, a lead test, and a barium feed in case they needed to do more x-rays.  We are not sure if it's actually lead poisoning, but since Stud put up some chicken wire and kept Beau from eating the garage, Beau has been back to his normal wild man self.  AKA eating my legs while I am walking, biting me, running around growling, etc... And hopefully there will be no permanent damage to his little brain.  He's a smart one, and so far, he is showing no sign of neurological damage.  He was a little loopy while high on lead, but much better now.  Also - note to dog owners.  Lead apparently has a sweet taste, so once they have some, they will keep going back for more.

And as a get well present I made him the bed in the picture.  He's a prepster - it's seersucker. 

June 22, 2010

Pizza Night - BBQ Chicken

So with the success of the Potato Pizza, Stud and I have decided to add Pizza Night to the week.  They are so quick, they really only take 10-30 mins to make depending on the pizza and therefore are a quick and delicious dinner!  So this week was another attempt at BBQ Chicken Pizza.  We made it for our families last week and it did not go so well.  Apparently BBQ Chicken does not need the 30 minutes in the oven the potato pizza takes.  Whoopsies.  And there was not nearly enough cheese.  But I like to think Stud and learn quickly from our mistakes.  And this pizza was REALLY easy.

BBQ Chicken Pizza
1 Dough Ball
2 Chicken Breasts
BBQ Sauce of your choice
2 c. mozzarella cheese
1/2 red onion chopped into thin slices
Fresh cilantro

First, cook the chicken breasts in a shallow dish with BBQ sauce in the oven for about 25 mins.  Once they are done, slice into thin strips, and I tossed the strips with the BBQ sauce left in the pan.  Can't hurt to have too much BBQ sauce....

For the pizza, stretch the dough out to cover a cookie sheet (first put down a thin layer of olive oil) and then cover with a generous layer of BBQ sauce.  Stud actually has an obsession with BBQ sauce, so we were using homemade sauce.  I have no idea what he put in it or I would tell you.  Sounds like he is working his way up to a super secret recipe.  Then cover with a thick layer of cheese and add the red onions and pop in the oven for about 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, remove the pizza and add the chicken.  Put back in the oven for 5-7 minutes until the edges are nice and toasty brown.  When you take the pizza out of the oven, sprinkle with fresh cilantro and you're ready to eat!!  Pretty quick and easy if I do say so myself.  Each pizza makes 12 slices, so it also makes enough for lunch the next day.  And this got major thumbs up from Stud. 

Next week is my choice and we are making breakfast pizza!

June 21, 2010

Burlington, VT

Stud and I had a great weekend visiting my brother in Burlington.  He is taking summer classes and will be a senior this fall and graduate in December.  I need to remember to remind him how OLD that makes him.  Over the four days we were there, we got a great taste of life up there.  A little hiking, an afternoon by the lake with a beer, mornings on the waterfront with coffee.  Very relaxing weekend.

But what we did most of the time was EAT.  Really good food.  The pic is from Shelburne Farms which has only food grown in their garden or at local Vermont farms.  And I had the steak with blue cheese butter.  OK delicious (along with the steak was kale, fingerling potatoes and mushrooms.  Stud and Broski had salad with fresh strawberries and feta and for dessert there was a shared lava cake).  There was also Sneakers (breakfast burrito with home fries) which is the Broski's favorite breakfast place, but Penny Cluse (chorizo and egg tacos with black beans and guacamole) was pretty amazing as well.  We pretty much only had two meals a day so one day we opted for lunch instead of breakfast and went to the Red Onion and devoured huge sandwiches (turkey, bacon, local cheddar cheese, red onion, and sun dried tomato aioli).  Stud actually ate there twice, and I had Ben and Jerry's for lunch one day.  We also had dinner at the Vermont Pub and Brew (the Rachel - a Reuben with turkey) as well as Piecasso which is an AMAZING pizza place in Stowe (BBQ chicken and white with pesto, broccoli, and chicken).  It's actually where Broski goes after every ski trip for a snack and a beer.  Speaking of beer - great microbrews in Burlington.  The obvious favorite was Switchback which is not even bottled, only available on draft.  Did you know that Burlington ranks first nationally in craft breweries per capita?  So it was a weekend of delicious food and amazing drink.  The wedding diet is going swimmingly if you are curious.

We did do other things besides eat and drink.  We hiked to Sterling Pond on Mt. Mansfield and visited the Magic Hat Brewery.  Stud and I also spent many hours wandering around Church Street in downtown Burlington taking in the shops and sights of the town.  Overall, well worth a long weekend trip.

Oh and to top it off, the hottest day was 85 with minimal humidity.  Nice perk.


So on our way to Burlington, Stud and I had a layover in Newark.  And therefore the best people watching EVER.  Best character:

The purple dog with a lei as a collar.  The owner of said dog was even more amazing, but I felt too stalkerish trying to take a picture of her.  Love it.

June 16, 2010

Daily Fluff

This baby boy is sick today.  I will spare you all the details, but Stud is home with him and taking him to the vet to hopefully get some medicine to help him out.

To top it all off, Stud and I are heading out of town tonight to visit the Broski in Burlington, VT.  Thankfully, my parents had already offered to watch the little monster, so I know he is in good hands.

Update - Beau Man has a nasty stomach bug and is on about seven different medications.  Hopefully my parents will have him cured by the time Stud and I get home!  I'm just glad his intestines aren't blocked by a chunk of Stud's Rainbow's which he ate last week.

June 15, 2010

Stalking Anthro

Potato Pizza

Something you should know about me - I LOVE to cook. It's genetic, my mom is amazing in the kitchen and I have luckily inherited her passion for cooking.  I was raised stirring and adding ingredients for my mom, so when I went to college, I had a basic knowledge of food. But my freshman and sophomore years involved a lot of Easy Mac and cheese grits. And pasta. Basically I survived on starch for four years. But now that I have my own kitchen, I finally have the ability to experiment and Stud is very willing to be my taste tester and he is honest with me. There have been some major flops, but some delicious successes as well. I thank him for his palate patience. Stud and I eat out a fair share, and I love to come home and attempt to recreate meals. My mom is better at recreating them, I tend to find recipes for what I had, make it once and then seventeen more times making little changes each time until I like it. Not very efficient, but it's how I roll.

So we come to pizza. I love pizza, who doesn't? And I have an obsession with gourmet pizzas. Don't get me wrong, I love the classics. But throw some funky things on there and I'm sold. We'll get more into that later. We have a local pizza place called Tony Boombozz that has some superb gourmet pizzas, my personal favorite being the Pollotate which is a pizza with chicken and potatoes. So when my mom told me there was a recipe for potato pizza in her new cookbook - My Bread - I immediately tried it out. With a few tweaks over time. Biggest perk is that I do not have to have a pizza stone to make the pizza - it cooks on a jellyroll pan! Now I have not been brave enough to make homemade pizza dough, that is the next step. I buy frozen dough balls from a local food shop, Lotsa Pasta. Anyways, here is the tweaked version of potato pizza.

5 Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 qt. warm water
2 T. salt
1 Small Yellow Onion
2 T. Fresh Rosemary
1 T. Fresh Thyme
2 Cloves Garlic
Ground Black Pepper
Olive Oil
2 c. Mozzarella Cheese
Pizza Dough

Put the warm water and salt into a large bowl and stir until the salt is dissolved. Slice the potatoes into 1/16" slices using a mandoline (and have Stud help you if your arm gets tired) and add them to the warm water. They need to sit for two hours. So go watch some DVR. Maybe Next Food Network Star.

While the potatoes are sitting, pour about four tablespoons of olive oil into a small skillet and add the chopped thyme and garlic. Let simmer for a minute until the flavors are combined, but the garlic has not burned. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Once the potatoes are ready, drain them in a colander and press down to get as much moisture out as possible. Combine the potatoes, a chopped small onion, 1/3 c. olive oil, the chopped rosemary, and some fresh ground black pepper in a large bowl. It's really fun to get in there with your hands and mix it all up.

To assemble the pizza, drizzle olive oil on a cookie sheet and spread out so there is an even coating. Take the pizza dough and stretch it out so it covers the entire base of the sheet. Take the olive oil that has been simmered with thyme and garlic and pour it onto the dough and spread out evenly over the pizza. Then add an even layer of mozzarella cheese. Finally, add the potatoes to the top. Bake for 30 minutes. Then enjoy! The way I slice it, it makes twelve pieces.

June 14, 2010


Stud and I spent the weekend (well, most of it) at a quarry about 40 mins away.  We were completing our check-out dive to become certified scuba divers!  It's one of those things I would have never done if I had not met Stud, but now I am very glad to have it.  It's a lot of hours and work.  I even had to take a test.  I got 100%.  But, you never have to take another test, it's good forever.  Whew.

Anyways, now that we are certified, we can go scuba diving in St. Lucia!  Should be amazing, can't wait.  I thought the murky freezing quarry was pretty cool.  Can't wait to see the fishies and coral in the Caribbean!

June 11, 2010

The Fireplace

First of all, sorry for the ever-changing look here at the bloggy blog.  I am trying to settle on one I like.  This is a pretty good one. 

But back to the Homefront.  One of the biggest perks of owning a home is the ability to do as you choose with the space.  There is no one else (ahem parents) telling you don't hang that there, you can't paint that....you are free to decorate as you see fit.  But wallpaper and paint are easy fixes.  It might be a pain, but there is no huge financial out associated with choosing a bad paint color, just re-paint it.  But every once in a while, something will get to me.  As in, if I change this, everyone that ever lives in this house after me will have to deal with it.  FOREVER.  So permanent.  The first place I encountered this was my little fireplace.  When I moved in, it had a cover over it since it had major smoking problems.  Our chimney sweep told us it would be best if we never used it.  That was not going to be OK.  I love fires in the winter time.  So I had to find a fix.  And a few bids (with very scary price tags) later, Stud and I were thinking, maybe that chimney sweep was right.... Enter brilliant parentals.  The problem is our firebox is too large and can't draw, hence smoke spewing into the living room.  So my parentals suggest raising the grate up on bricks so the fire is closer to the flue.  BRILLIANT.  We still have minor smoke problems before the fire gets really hot, but we can use it and at zero cost!

Anyways, once the cover was off and we could enjoy fires, Stud and I were left with a rather unattractive brick fireplace with major smoke stains from years of use.  So I go out, but a quart of glossy black paint and sit down to paint the brick black.  Then it hits me.  The fireplace will be black (or another color) forever.  Unless someone wants to get a sandblaster in here, what I was about to do would be the same forever.  The paint can sat there for a few days while I pondered if this was really something I wanted to do.  The brick wasn't bad, it was just cheap bricks.  It wasn't something I could un-do.  Did I really want to?  How would it look??  I googled images, looked in magazines, and finally decided I did want to paint the brick black.  And you know what, I love it!  I think it displays the mantle better as well as all the brass fireplace goo gah.  The brick was distracting and now that it is painted black, it not only looks better, but also cleans up the whole look of the fireplace.  Whew.

June 10, 2010

Daily Fluff

I think I might have a problem.  And by problem I obviously mean obsession.

June 9, 2010

Glee + Full House = AMAZING

I mean, he better sing.

John Stamos will be playing Emma's dentist lover in the next season.  Good choices Fox....Good choices.

June 8, 2010

Stud has RETURNED!

No, he was not on vacation nor was he hiding from me.

On Monday, Stud finally took his Step 1 exam for medical school.  It's a long convoluted process to become a doctor and I am so impressed with Stud's ability to stare at a book for 10 hours a day for 40 days.  Basically, should he pass (he should, the boy is brilliant if I do say so myself), he is now able to work in hospitals.  And perform actual doctor-y procedures.  Scary.

Anyways, since Derby weekend, Stud has been hitting various study spots all over the city doing his best to memorize every little fact required of doctors.  And since his mind was so full of medical jargon, there really hasn't been much non-doctor related conversation around the house.  Therefore, I think I have been diagnosed with about seven different diseases in the past 40 days.  I think the worst was when I wondered if my brain was exploding and if I would wake up the following morning.  Oh and I also have an obsessive compulsive personality.  I am pretty sure he is dead on with that one...  He will get his score in three to six weeks so that will be fun slash I really hope he did well so he isn't angry and grouchy because we all know how fun Stud Grouchy Pants can be.  But despite the results, it will be good to have him around again.  He has a full month off - he starts rotations on July 6th - and I already have him planning my dinners and cleaning and doing laundry. HAHA yeah, right.  He went to the pool.  Evil.

So CONGRATULATIONS Stud - one big step (haha) closer to becoming a real doctor.  And to anyone admitted to any hospital for anything for the next two years - should you see this face staring down at you, don't worry, you are in good hands.

Such a handsome fellow.

The Living Room

The continuation of the changes made to our little abode.  A year ago today I was probably sweating waiting to hear if the sellers had accepted my offer....

The day I closed, I rushed to the house, walked in, and immediately ripped up a corner of the carpet to see the floors underneath.  I found beautiful hardwood floors in decent shape.  The more carpet I pulled up, the more excited I became.  The floors were amazing, I can't believe they had them covered.  There was also evidence that yellow shag was the carpeting for a while.  Thank goodness that was gone.  Ew.  And I discovered that I find carpet removal oddly therapeutic.  All the little staples....  And when you are finished, it looks so much better!  We ended up getting the floors refinished because there were quite a few rotten boards and it had been so long, the floors still had wax instead of polyurethane.  The floor guy is a story for another day...

Stud immediately came in and ripped the window treatments down, he has this weird thing about sunlight.  He needs it or he is very cranky.  The night I closed is one of my favorites of all time.  My parents showed up with drinks, all my friends came over, and we all sat around the dining room table - the only piece of furniture in the house.  The next few weeks were going to be brutal, but Stud and I have made major progress on our little Cape Cod.

This is actually one of the only rooms we did not/plan not to paint.  And there are still little things I want to do in this room (like actually hang the mirror above the fireplace and make the TV table prettier), but for the most part, this room is finished.  The room is a really long rectangle and therefore, it was really hard to arrange without having to put the TV above the fireplace which I DID NOT want to do.  I think we should just get a bigger TV and then you won't notice your distance from the screen!  But I love the front door, I love the fireplace, and I love my newly refinished hardwood floors!  So in conclusion, we didn't really do anything to this room, but here are the before and afters:

Oh and notice the new, lovely crown molding??  That was done my Clak the Handyman.  He did a most wonderful job and now I have crown molding everywhere on the first floor!

June 7, 2010

Wedding Practice

These here are two of my good friends.  The blond gentleman is my soon to be cousin-in-law.  The lovely brunette is one of my good friends from college.  Two people from different parts of my life.  And now, they are friends thanks to ME.  I make the world a better place.

So over the weekend they were attending Taste of the South in DC (I have a theory that everyone under the age of 26 lives in DC).  They sent me this little photo.  I asked what they were up to (knowing full well they were having fun without me) and Caro redeemed herself with the response "practicing for the wedding."  GOOD ANSWER.

June 4, 2010

On the Homefront

It was one year ago today that I put in my first offer on what became my lovely little abode that Stud and I share with our fluffer.  So I thought to honor the occasion, I would give you all a virtual tour of what the house looked like when I purchased it, and then, if you're lucky (and you haven't already been to visit....) I'll share the changes Stud and I have made.  We think it looks better.

So some background before I share.  My house was built in 1941 and was purchased in 1943 by the people that sold it to me.  They lived in that house for 66 years.  Crazy.  The house was listed as a 4 bedroom, 1.5 bath.  So there was one shower.  And the family that lived there for 66 years??  Oh yeah, they had SIX kids.  So there were eight people, and one shower.  Not ok.  Maybe that is why when we removed the wallpaper in the bathroom, we found cement board underneath!  The dad of this family also thought of himself as quite the handyman.  So there are still wires every where.  For instance, in order to turn the light on in the hall closet, I need to make sure it's plugged in - that would be in the closet in the guest bedroom.  The wiring runs through three different rooms.  Cool.

So where to begin.  This is the dining room and living room the day we looked at the house with all the previous owner's furniture (that's why it's a little old lady).

I love white wall-to-wall carpeting, don't you??  Oh, and those window treatments, stunning!  And you can't even see the lazy boy or the TV circa 1955.

But Stud and I saw the potential in this lovely little charmer....

June 3, 2010

Google is funny

So I was listening to Bob and Tom on my way into work this morning, like I always do and they were talking about Google.  They pointed out that if you typed "Where is" in the search bar, the first automatic completion response that pops up is "where does justin beiber live."  So I thought I would check this out and see what else Google has to offer.  And this is what I found:

Oh Google, why can't I own a canadian???  There are 14,400,000 results.  Get cracking.

Swimmies Crisis

When I went to the beach, I came home knowing I needed some new swimmies. Most of mine that still fit (I think I have gotten one or two since high school and they don't fit so well with the college/not playing three sports all the time weight gain) are now getting little see-through spots. Not OK.

So I have been on the hunt. I went to the mall last week and found nothing. It was rather overwhelming and exhausting. I had hoped to find a suit at a store where I could try it on before committing and that does not look promising. I have yet to try Target though so there is still some hope. I was also hoping to find a suit for cheaper (not cheap - cheaper) than $100 for a little swatch of fabric. And the mall was not much cheaper than J.Crew which is what I was trying to avoid. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE J.Crew swimmies, but they are so hard to justify when they are not on sale. I might get a one piece there to hide the tummy on days when I need it (ahem days when I want a patty melt and I want to eat the whole thing and not share a single bite). But again J.Crew, I apparently have a long torso and have zero selection. I find it hard to believe that midget size is the average torso size for America. Get on that please so I have more choices. Stop discriminating against people taller than 5'5". This is MY ONLY CHOICE at J.Crew for a one piece. And it's still $84. Ugh.

So I ordered a two piece strapless from Delia's since I really need a strapless suit (tan lines for wedding is not a good idea) and I hope it fits.  The two piece suits from J.Crew would run me $54 PER PIECE and that I can't justify yet.  I'll wait out the sale.

But I will need at least one more before the honeymoon and I don't know where else to look! My few and far between readers out there, do you have any suggestions??

June 2, 2010

TOMS Update!

I just got this in my inbox...!!!!

Daily Fluff

Handsome boyyyy.  His fetch skills have improved drastically over the past few months.

June 1, 2010

Good weekend

This past weekend was great - three days long and full of great activites.  Remember when I talked about the backside of Churchill Downs being the best place?  I went on Sunday to enjoy some crawfish, and it was amazing.  There was tons of food, beer, and horses.

And I offically can eat a crawfish like a professional now.  There was a stable guy who was rather skilled at eating crawfish.  I now know how to get all the meat out of the body without "fighting" with it as I was doing before.  All you do it twist the body off, pinch the end of the tail, bite the meat and pull.  Voila!  I also am not quite comfortable with eating the brains.  A little too National Geographic for me.  But the crawfish were big enough that you could eat the claw meat.  That I did do.  So good, such a relaxing way to spend part of my Memorial Day weekend.  And we were such good eaters we have a standing invitation to all crawfish boils at this barn.  The Maids and I can really put away some food.

Soon I am going to learn how to have a crawfish boil myself since I love them so.  All I need is a turkey frier, some spices from Louisana, and crawfish!  Who wants to come??


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