Monday, April 21, 2008

Half Birthdays are Important (very important)

And so I celebrate mine today. Eat a cupcake for me if you have a chance. Cupcakes are important, too.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Peace Offering: Strawberries & Nutella

I wanted to tell you that I might be a bit scarce the next couple of weeks. I'm sorry. I offer you this delicious treat of strawberries and nutella as a peace offering. We leaving for Vegas at the crack of dawn tomorrow for a shoot and an anniversary celebration (3 years on Wednesday), then we come back on Thursday only to turn around and leave on Friday. Yes, the Paris strip is finally upon us. I am taking my laptop to both Vegas and Paris, and I will do my very, very best. I want so much to share this trip with you. Hopefully I will be able to drop you a note or two (or a whole bunch) while I am there. I will still try to get you a Drink of the Week this Friday (I know you are a lush and you need excitement). I may not get to the twenty bucks post this week. We'll see. That's all for now. I should be asleep. I think I kind of am asleep. Sorry if this makes no sense. Goodnight (or Good Morning - - depending on when you are reading this).

Friday, April 18, 2008

Honey, Drink This!

Hello and welcome to my Drink of the Week. First question. Is it wrong to concoct a Drink of the Week at 8:15 Friday morning? I hope not, because that is what I just did. Last night after my shoot I took myself on a field trip over to BevMo. Drink of the Week heaven. I didn't even bother with their awesome 5 cent wine sale. I just b-lined it over to the liquor aisle (actually liquor aisles - - there's lots of them). I was talking to my friend Bobbi at the time and she mentioned a great liqueur called Aperol. She said it was quite similar to Campari, but a bit more flavorful and fragrant. I just so happened to be standing in front of the last bottle of Aperol as she was telling me this, so I grabbed it. A touch of fate in the liquor store. I read the label, "based on an infusion of orange, rhubarb, china and gentian." Which means very little to me (how is something based on an infusion of china?), but I was intrigued. Just a hop, skip and a jump (and no, i didn't hop, skip or jump in there . . . it's for storytelling purposes) down from the Apertol was the sweetest bottle of booze I have ever seen, Barenjager honey liqueur. Outfitted in it's own little woven jumpsuit, it was too irresistible to pass up. So I bought that, too, thinking it may take care of some of my "honey not dissolving in cold alcoholic beverage" problems. I also grabbed some simple syrup. My last bottle went bad. Apparently you are supposed to refrigerate after opening. If not, bad, bad things happen. And then I found the missing link, in the form of the cutest little soda bottles you have ever seen (even cuter than that damn sanbitter). Tart Cranberry Soda comes in a four pack of little glass bottles with solid red caps. It's all natural cocktail soda with cranberry essences and "champagne" bubbles. How good does that sound? I got some bitter lemon flavor as well (and they have cute solid yellow tops). I paid for my things and rushed home, but by the time I got back I was just too tired to concoct. My usual tasters were nowhere to be found, so I just went to bed instead. I woke up early this morning with my Drink of the Week juices flowing (literally and figuratively) and produced this little gem of a cocktail. . .

Honey, Drink This!

1 6.3 oz bottle of Tart Cranberry Soda

Ok. Before I go any further, I know you may not be able to get this stuff, so be creative. Use club soda or tonic water, cranberry juice and maybe a splash of Champagne (if you are sophisticated enough to have splashes of Champagne just laying around). Oh, and please, please let me know if you do get creative and in the process come up with something amazing. I'll be sure to post it.

1 oz Barenjager Honey Liqueur
2 oz Aperol
2 oz white wine ( i used some pinot grigio i had open, try whatever you like and let me know).

Combine ingredients in a glass, stir and fill with ice. Garnish with a blood orange slice (not because it's relevant, but because you can. remember, you are a foodie)
drink and enjoy.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

$13.14 - - The Review

Okay, so I got home from prepping a job yesterday with my taste buds all geared up for chocolate. I ran inside and went to grab the hi milk chocolate bar and it was nowhere to be found. I knew right away that it had met it's demise at the hands of my favorite chocoholic (Andrew). When I asked him about it, he didn't even bother denying it.

I said, "Um, honey. Did you eat all of the chocolate bar in the red wrapper?"

and he said, "Yes. Yes I did. But do you want to know why I ate it? I ate it because you left it sitting in the sun and it had turned into a big melty blob."

I thought for a second and then said, "So you didn't even eat a candy bar. You just ate a big melty blog of chocolate?"

"Yes, " he said (with an enormous amount of pride).

"So you basically did not eat it, because you can't resist chocolate? You ate it to save it from an untimely, melty chocolate death?"


"I was going to do a taste test on that, honey. Great! Well can you at least tell me how it tasted?"

"Good. Milky. Chocolate-y"

I mean do you really need any more of a review than that? I don't think so. In fact his simple review of the chocolate inspired me to create my own simple review. Here it is:

All of the 3 chocolate bars: Good. Milky. Chocolate-y (the white chocolate reminded us both about our childhood. i remember feeling very sophisticated when i ate white chocolate. Oh, and I guess that one wasn't chocolate-y, but it was creamy)
Hello Kitty Soda: Looked like coconut milk, tasted like sprite.
Hello Kitty Apple Marshmallows: Better seen, not tasted.
Corn Dog: My brother was in charge of that review. "I think it was the best corn dog I ever had."
Pocky Almond Crush: Good. Milky. Chocolate-y. Nutty. Addictive!
Lollipop shaped like kids faces: Couldn't bare to eat it. Too darn cute.
Pirate's Booty: Yum. Always, Yum.

Off to a shoot. Be back tomorrow with a Drink of the week.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I know. I know. I have some explaining to do. I have a couple of reasons for the low number that sits above this entry. Actually, I have three.

1. I was feeling guilty for going over the last couple of weeks.
2. I had a stomach ache and didn't much feel like buying food.
3. Paris is just around the corner - - I'm hoarding.

That being said, I still managed to get some good stuff over at Famima. A very cool convenience store that stocks some interesting things (unless, of course, you don't find hello kitty soda interesting). Although I had that stomach ache I was telling you about, I still managed to pick up 3 different chocolate bars, a corn dog (that was for my brother. he had been craving corn dogs.), pirate's booty (that was all I felt like eating), hello kitty apple flavored marshmallows, some cute little chocolate lolly pops in the shape of kids faces (one melted on the way home, because it was too close to the corn dog. I knew that was going to happen. poor little guy. at least one survived. she's in the photo above), and Pocky almond crush. Now I just need to find the strength to eat it all. I'll be back tomorrow with a review. Well, a partial review, I already ate some of each of the chocolate bars. Yum, yum and yum.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Can you think of a problem that some radishes and avocado can't solve? I can't. Off to spend twenty bucks somewhere today. I'll let you know where I end up. Totally open to your suggestions.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Determined not to be beat by the semi-failure of last week's Drink of the Week, I experimented with perfecting it. Molly (and Brandon) - - THANK YOU! Brandon suggested to Molly that I don't need to juice the cucumber (which I was absolutely dreading), but instead I should just muddle the cucumbers with the other ingredients and it would work fine. Fine? It was Perfect! I got out one of my nicest pitchers (I just knew this drink was going to deserve to be in a fancy pitcher) and filled it with cucumber slices, mint leaves and a little bit of sugar (I thought maybe the grit of the sugar would help with the muddling. No idea if that is true. I often do stuff like that) and muddled away. And then muddled some more, and some more. Then I squeezed half of a lemon over the muddled mess and poured tonic over the top almost filling the pitcher. I used tonic rather than club soda, since it has sweetness and bitterness - - just like me. A splash of rose's sweetened lime juice and a big hearty stir and we were ready to go. I took a test sip (uh - yum!) and popped it in the fridge. Now I was giddy with excitement. This was good. So much better. Dumb Mr. Q Cumber soda trying to screw up my Drink of the Week. I'll show you. Lisa and Jeff arrived about an hour later (plenty of time for the drink to chill to perfection) and I quickly served up a round of elixirs. Andrew said that he didn't want one quite yet, but I poured him one anyway. I was just that confident. For it is quite possibly the drink of the summer (I know it's not summer yet, but it was 92 degrees yesterday so that must count for something). We drank the whole pitcher quite quickly and then mourned the fact that I was out of tonic and cucumbers so we would have to switch to somethin boring like beer. I'll definitely be running out to the store today for more cucumbers, and you, my friend, should do the same.

New and Improved Cucumber Lemon Elixir

1 medium cucumber (not the fancy kind, the old school kind)- peeled and sliced
1 lemon
1 big handful of mint leaves
1/4 cup sugar (any kind will do, just don't use powdered sugar, silly)
1 liter tonic water
gin or vodka (tried 'em both and they both taste great)
rose's sweetened lime juice

In a large pitcher muddle the cucumber slices (make sure not to slice them too, too thin), mint leaves and sugar. Then add the juice of half a lemon (slice the other half for garnishes). Top off with tonic water and a splaaaaaaaaash (that's a bigger than normal splash) of rose's lime juice. Stir and chill.

To serve: Add one ounce of vodka or gin to an ice filled glass. Fill glasses with the cucumber mint mixture. Stir. Garnish with mint and lemon. Drink. Enjoy. And don't forget to eat the cucumber pieces - - they are delicious.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cucumber Lemon Elixir

Oh my God, I know. What a boring name. At least it will help you remember the ingredients. Also, this drink comes with a proviso. You can only drink it if you promise not to hate me when you discover it is not the most awesome Drink of the Week you have had. Ok? Because it could be better. Aaaaaaaand, I'm gonna fix it. I'm gonna make it better, but you might not like how I do that. I'll explain. After the soda tasting I decided I had to use Mr. Q Cumber soda for a Drink of the Week, which was a brilliant idea (sort of). Mr. Q Cucumber soda has one fatal flaw: it's just too sweet. So the drink, although good, is not great or awesome or any other adjective that implies above average. The entire time I was making it I felt a little unsure, but I knew I had to see it through, and hey, maybe you like sweet. Maybe it will be just perfect for you. I don't know. My usual taste tester (my brother, Jason) informed me (after I slaved over this drink) that he does not like cucumbers. I think he gets it from our Dad, who also doesn't like cucumbers, except he would never admit that. He would always say that he was allergic to cucumbers and I remember thinking there must be something seriously wrong with him because cucumbers are a very funny thing to be allergic to. I once had a boyfriend in college that gave me some horrible smelling perfume for my birthday. Old lady perfume, I mean, come on. I told him that it gave me an allergic reaction and I would not be able to wear it, but assured him that I am heartbroken over it, since I loved it so much. So I guess we all have our "allergies." Fortunately for me, my other taster (Andrew) has no cucumber allergies and was able to sample the drink. "Mmmmmmmm. Honey, this is good. Buuuuuuuuuut. I think it is a bit too sweet for my taste." This comes from a man that can eat all of the candy in his Easter basket (yes, he still gets an Easter basket) in one sitting. So, I knew at that point it was definitely too sweet. Well my plan is to (this is the part that you aren't going to like, because it will make this drink a total pain in the ass) juice some cucumbers, add club soda, a bit of simple syrup and all of the rest of the ingredients. This way I can control the sweetness. I can't imagine you will want to do this, too, but I feel like I have to. I will let you know how it goes. For now, try to enjoy this, and if this isn't your thing or you are allergic to cucumbers (wink, wink), try this or this.

Cucumber Lemon Elixir

6 oz Mr. Q Cumber Soda
1 oz Vodka
1/2 Tbl Robert Lambert Meyer Lemon Syrup (who am I kidding?)
Juice of one Lemon
6 - 10 mint leaves
Cucumber slices for garnish

In the bottom of a sturdy glass, muddle the mint leaves. Add soda, vodka, syrup, lemon juice and stir. Pour over ice. Garnish with cucumber and try to enjoy.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Official 2008 Spring Soda Tasting: Part Two

Okay, so before I go any further I have to tell you that Andrew decided to partake in the soda tasting. When I woke up the morning after the tasting I found the sodas arranged quite methodically on dining room table (photo above). Since he didn't have an Official 2008 Spring Soda Tasting ballot he created his own ranking system. The sodas in the front row were his favorites, the second row he liked but didn't love and the back row he either hated or refused to even try (He hates root beer for example, so rat bastard was out of the question. I actually thought the name might draw him in.). He also mentioned that he loved the cucumber soda, the mint julep reminded him of his childhood (although he had never had a mint julep or mint soda before . . . hmmmm?)and the rose petal soda, although pink (not very manly) was good, too.

Now back to the results . . .

Faygo Vanilla Cream Soda: I thought it smelled like bazooka bubble gum and Lisa agreed. We both thought it tasted good, had a bit of a bite, but frankly, I really like IBC Cream Soda better.

Blenheim Ginger Ale: It lived up to it's name. I just wanted to say that. I don't know what it's name means, but when you read it, don't you think it's gonna pack a punch? It did. It made Lisa cough and sneeze and she said it tasted like "black pepper ginger ale." It made me crave a corned beef sandwich on rye and a kosher pickle.

Sweet Blossom Rose Petal Soda: It's pink! What's not to like? It was actually delicious. It smells like tuberose perfume, which my aunt used to wear, so it made me think of my aunt. That's the first time a soda has made me think of a relative. Strange. It was yummy, subtle. I was kind of scared to taste it after I smelled it because the scent was so strong. I thought it was going to taste the way perfume does if you accidentally get it in your mouth (or even if you get it in your mouth on purpose, although I don't know why you would want to do that). Perfect for a bridal shower with those little cucumber tea sandwiches. Yum.

San Pellegrino Chinotto: "YUCK!" (Jen) "Disgusting!" (Lisa)

San Bitter: Just the cutest little bottle of soda you have ever seen. Better seen not tasted. I just read Lisa's tasting notes and they say, "sickening bitch!" Need I say more?

and finally

Dry Lavender Soda: As good as I remember it. So subtle, not very sweet. Like a little aromatherapy treatment in a soda. We both wanted to get massages after drinking it, because it put us in a "spa" mood.

So that's it. That's the tasting. Oh yeah, we revisited our favorites in order to award first, second and third prize. Mr. Q Cumber soda was a shoe in for third place, but it was a heated battle between Rose Petal and Lavender for the title. Rose petal won, but I think that was because it was pink.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Official 2008 Spring Soda Tasting

That is what I named our little soda tasting. I even made official tasting sheets with room for comments. It was going to be a couples tasting (Andrew and I and Jeff and Lisa), but the boys had to bail for personal reasons. That's fine. Lisa and I were happy to do it on our own. I set up the dining table with all of the sodas, some napkins, little tasting glasses, our tasting sheets and pens, and my favorite bottle opener from Vegas (I bought it the first time Andrew and I went to Vegas - - we fell in love). I felt very organized, but then realized when Lisa arrived that I was missing something. Something very important! FOOD. Yikes. We had nothing. At least nothing that wouldn't disturb our palates. No crackers, no flatbread, not even tortilla chips . . . and then it came to me . . . STRING CHEESE. Ah string cheese. So mild, so soothing, so perfect for our tasting. So we were ready and both a bit nervous. We had a lot of soda ahead of us.

We kind of treated it a bit like a wine tasting. We like to do that with things, since we went on a really fun wine tasting adventure last year and now we are experts (insert sarcasm). So we sniffed and sniffed (no swirling) and then drank, thought about it, and drank again. It quickly occurred to me that we would need a soda receptacle for what was left in the glass (just like at a real tasting), so I grabbed a mixing bowl and put it on the table - - then told Lisa at the end of the night we each have to drink from it. She didn't like the idea, but I thought it would be fun. Kind of reminded me of a drink called Suicide that we used to make as kids where you would take everything out of the fridge (soda, milk, juice, pickle juice . . .) and fill a glass and then drink it (to prove how cool you were). I was always happy to do it (I love proving I am cool), and last night proved no different. It actually wasn't half bad. But I digress. Here's our tasting notes:

Izze Blueberry Soda: We both thought it smelled like blueberry. As it turns out, most of the sodas had a very strong bouquet (lisa remembered that term from wine tasting; made me think of a bunch of flowers). She thought it tasted like grape juice and I said, "No, No it's cranberry." I am always so confident, and I am often wrong. Just as I was in this case. Grape was the first flavor on the list of ingredients. A curious thing for blueberry soda. All in all. Not bad soda. If you like grapes.

Mint Julep: Hmmmm. Smells like gum. Lisa said it tasted like "gum juice." Need I say more?

Mr. Q Cucumber Soda: Yum. Although we both agreed it was too sweet. It still tasted great. Very refreshing and serious mixer potential for Drink of the Week. We also decided it would be fun to make our own cucumber soda using the juicer. I'll let you know how that goes.

Rat Bastard Root Beer: It says on the label that it tastes like "a son of a bitch." I wasn't impressed. It had no bite. Wouldn't you think that Rat Bastard soda would have bite. Wouldn't a son of a bitch have bite? Still good root beer, but definitely not the best. Probably not even in the top 5. I might go back to Galco's and buy up all of their different root beers and get to the bottom of this once and for all. If there are any you want to put on the tasting list, please let me know.

Jeff's Chocolate Soda: Ok, Lisa absolutely hated this one. Direct quote, "didn't agree with my palate, tastes like battery acid with a hint of stomach bile." I actually kind of liked it, but I think that was because it reminded me of the egg creams my dad used to make me with seltzer (out of the cool old seltzer bottles), milk and Fox's Ubet Chocolate syrup. The best! So I wouldn't recommend this, but I would recommend getting the ingredients for a real egg cream and making one (although egg cream really is a horrible name for anything, I assure you, the drink is great).

Yikes, It's 6:30am. This is taking me longer than I thought. I don't want to leave out any details. I have to get ready to leave for work. I guess this is going to be a two-parter. I'll try and post the rest tonight when I get home, including our top 3 sodas. Plus, I'll tell you which soda evoked this quote, "YUCK! It just assaulted my tongue!"

Have a great day.

PS. I don't even have time to proof read, so I apologize in advance for any errors.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Look. I only went over budget by $1.73 (plus I bought a Charleston Chew for 85 cents, so I really only went over by 88 cents - - I was having a bad day. I needed chocolate) Soooooo, Galco's. Such an amazing place. I could have spent my twenty bucks several times over and still wouldn't have bought everything I wanted. I didn't even think of venturing into their huge beer section (which is not a section filled with enormous beers, but a section with a huge assortment of normal sized beers); figured I'd save that for another time. This time I just diligently stuck to the plan. Get in, get soda, get out. And that is exactly what I did. I made sure to buy only sodas that I have never tried before. Ok, Ok I cheated. But only once. I bought this amazing lavender soda. It is just beautiful, and I wanted to make sure I told you about so I bought it. So really I did cheat, but I did it for you. Trust me on that (that is if you can trust a cheat). So here's the list. I'll be back Wednesday with a review. I will be holding a formal tasting on Tuesday night. Should be interesting.

Izze Sparkling Blueberry Soda
Plantation Style Mint Julep
Mr. Q Cucumber Soda
Rat Bastard Root Beer
Jeff's Chocolate Soda
Faygo Vanilla Cream Soda
Blenheim Ginger Ale
Sweet Blossom Rose Petal Soda
San Pellegrino Chinotto
Dry Lavender Soda (yum).

No food today.

Hi. I just wanted to tell you that there would be no food talk today. I give you flowers instead. I wanted to describe to you the delicious pesto I made last night ( I love pesto, don't you?), but I can't. I can't bear to think about food today.
At about 3:30 am Andrew woke up not feeling well and at about 3:31 am I was frantically trying to find something for him to puke into. He had to settle for the bathroom sink, which I offered to clean when he was through as part of that old "in sickness and in health" promise I made. Photos of partially digested pasta. . . not fun to look at. Actually, hearing about it probably isn't that fun to read. Sorry. Should I delete that? No, you can handle it. Be back tomorrow. For now, I just sit and wait to see if I, too will be struck down. I don't want to be struck down, but it would be great to lose a couple of pounds before Paris.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Don't let the name fool you. There is nothing salacious about this drink. Plus, it is actually half good for you.

So I was desperately trying to come up with a Drink of the Week last night. Yes, I procrastinated until the last minute, AGAIN. I quickly realized that I needed to go out into the world and get some new ingredients, because one more gin based drink with cointreau or campari will probably make you hate me forever. That said, bear with me (at first i thought it was bare with me, then i looked it up and that would mean get naked, which kind of works with the triple x theme), I have one more drink to offer you with the same old, same old. For the record, I did try to make a drink called "The Dirty White Girl" (how amazing is that name?), but the results were unappetizing to say the least. Apparently if you mix cream soda and bailey's it coagulates like spoiled milk. Oh, and I did try to make a drink using Pernod. I had a bottle someone gave me from a cookbook shoot. I took one sip and then immediately spit it out into the sink - - "Black licorice, eech, yuck, gross, gross, GROSS! I need something to get the taste out of my mouth", I screamed in Andrew's direction, "Help, help, yuck, Oh my god." He was kind enough to give me a spoonful of tomato sauce he was making for some lasagna. It totally neutralized the awful taste in my mouth, so if that ever happens to you, go for the jar of tomato sauce.

Back to the drink. I really wanted to make a drink that Andrew would like. He has been a bit left out the last couple of weeks, since he doesn't like champagne or juice, and then it hit me - - XXX Vitamin water. Yes! Let me warn you, this is not a sophisticated drink. This is not a drink you try to impress people with, or even drink with grown ups. This is a "down and dirty, get drunk, cause you can't stop drinking it, because you can't taste the alcohol and it feels like you are in college again." kind of drink. So the next time you need something like that, here it is.

6 oz XXX Vitamin Water
1 oz Vodka
1 oz Chambord
1 oz Cointreau
A splash of Rose's sweetened lime juice.

Shake with ice, pour into a plastic cup filled with ice(cause a glass just seems too sophisticated - -i only used one for photographic purposes), drink, enjoy, repeat.

PS. How gorgeous is my new cocktail shaker? I bought it at this fine establishment.

PSS. Andrew liked it!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

$24.03 - - The Review

So as you saw yesterday, I made a really pretty little tasting plate for Andrew and I. Unfortunately, Andrew couldn't join me. I think it is because he saw the olives on the plate (file olives under "Food Andrew Hates."), but he said he was just really busy with work. Fine, so I guess I'll just have to drink both glasses of wine, and eat all of the olives. So I brought everything into the dining room and put the plate on the floor by the window to take a polaroid. After I took the polaroid, I sat down in front of the plate to wait for it to develop. I was planning on waiting to make sure that the photo came out ok, but then I started smelling all of the food and just dove right in. So there I sat on the floor, facing the wall, like a scolded little child, hovering over this plate of food worth $24.03. I'm sure it was a strange site.

The first thing that I realized about tasting stuff is that I seem to be much more critical about the food when I am serving it to myself. Make sense? Probably not. I'll explain. My first bite was a piece of cheese. I smelled it (hmmmmm? not wonderful) and then put a little piece on my tongue, and just let it sit there. I have absolutely no idea why I did that. But that is what I did. It didn't taste great, it was okay, nothing more, nothing less. It was creamy, yes, but a bit too tangy for my taste (kind of the "old shoe" cheese syndrome -- i just made that up ... that's not a real syndrome, but you know what I mean). I thought to myself, "I wouldn't buy that again. Would I? No, nope." Then it occurred to me; If I was at someone else's house, having a tasting or even at a fancy restaurant and this was part of a cheese plate, I may not diagnose it with "old shoe" syndrome. In fact, I would probably say something like, "Ooooooh. Uh huh. Now this is interesting." And I would proceed to eat several pieces of it, liking it more and more with each bite. So I guess I mean that it is somehow more difficult to be objective about the taste of food when you are serving it to yourself. Merely just something for you to think about if you decide to do something like this at home.

Now the olives were good. I especially liked the giant green cerignola olives. They were like eating a tiny piece of fruit. Really meaty and salty, but in a good way, because meaty and salty- - - not always good. The funny thing about olives is that they are a food I hated for as far back as I can remember. Maybe it's because I thought there were only two types; the green ones in the jar with the little red dot and the black ones that come in a can and were served on pizza (which i would pick off, removing half of the cheese in the process). In recent years, my eyes have been opened to a variety of olives, all of which have pits and none of which are served in cans. And now, I am happy to add picholine and cerignola to the list.

Oh. I guess I kind of skipped the crackers. Well, they're not just crackers, are they? They are crisps - - a highly evolved form of the cracker that always comes with a higher price tag. I would buy these again and again. So delicious. So flavorful, and damn if they didn't make the old shoe cheese taste good.

The wine. The mystery wine (sorry about that). I am new to wine tasting. I have been wine drinking for quite some time, and never realized that I was supposed to taste it, too. I still find the whole process quite intimidating. All of those "wine words", it's like an elite club I cannot join. I'm not actually sure that I want to join, because honestly, those "wine people" really bug the crap out of me. Nonetheless, the system does have it's value, and it is fun to appreciate what you drink. That being said, I can tell you that the wine was a really easy drink. Kind of like Bud Light or something (not sure that I am complimenting the wine). A bit watery, very light in flavor, but I still managed to finish both glasses in a record amount of time. Next time I am at whole foods, I'll make note of the wine, so that you can try it, too.

And now, the grand finale. The chocolate. The sweet, sweet little salty butter caramel filled butterflies. Oh, how I have patiently waited to eat you. And now. The time has come. And within seconds I will know how wonderful you are... Uh oh. I was wrong. The little butterfly was not what I thought. It was not delicious and the caramel that I thought would be buttery and salty and creamy (I kind of envisioned myself taking a bite and the caramel would fall out of my mouth onto my chin and I would carefully wipe it off with my finger and then put my finger in my mouth and ingest every last molecule of it). Well this was not the case. It was GELATINOUS. And it somehow reminded me of chocolate covered cherries. I hate chocolate covered cherries. Now don't get me wrong. I ate the whole thing and gave Andrew his (which he devoured in one bite, as I screamed "Wait, wait. No. Oh honey, you're supposed to taste it, not just inhale it). I just wouldn't recommend it. But I won't leave you empty handed. If you want amazing caramel chocolate truffles go here.

Now, I'm off to work on a new Drink of the Week, and laundry. Lots and lots of laundry.

PS. The photo is of my new tasting notebook and today's breakfast (melty ham, swiss and tomato on sourdough).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Ok, well as I am sure that you figured out from the title, I went a bit over budget. You were totally right. Twenty bucks at Whole Foods. What was I thinking? So let me start by saying, "Wow. That was tougher than I thought." I probably spent an hour in there sipping on my juice, aimlessly wandering the aisles; searching for inspiration. At first I thought that I should get a bunch of healthy, organic stuff. And then I thought "Healthy and organic stuff just doesn't look that pretty," and I wanted to give you a pretty picture. Then I started craving cheese, and the decision was made. Because once I start craving cheese, I then start craving crackers, and then wine, and then chocolate. So I head on over to the cheese section. Cheese is expensive, and overwhelming. I thought rather than let it slow me down, I would just reach in and try and find a piece under five dollars. I came up with a small sliver of Haystack Mountain Dairy Sunlight (what a nice name). Described as "A washed-rind semi-hard raw-milk cheese that’s aged at our farm for 60 days. It has a mildly piquant, somewhat sweet flavor." I'll let you know my thoughts on that in tomorrow's post. I'm not there yet. Oh yeah, I also tasted some amazing parmesan reggiano, and noticed they were selling a bunch of the rinds. Apparently it is great for stews. Who new? Well, you probably did; I didn't. Now some crackers - - I need something exciting. Something flavorful. Something cheap. Well, two out of three ain't bad. $7.99 for a 6oz box or crackers. Yikes. I bit the bullet, because they looked amazing (and they were). Lesley Stowe's Raincoast Crisps in rosemary raisin pecan. Fortunately for me the crisps were within arms reach of the olive bar. Every kind of olive you can imagine, and only $10.49 a pound. Ha! I bought 4. That was all I could afford. Two picholines and two large green cerignola olives. But these were not just any four olives. These were the most beautiful of the bunch. Trust me, I checked. Now my biggest challenge thus far. Cheap wine at Whole Foods. I knew I wanted red wine and I found only one that fit the bill (on sale for $6.99). Here's the problem. I can't remember what kind of wine it was or even what the exact name was. Andrew and I took the wine to Houston's last night and left the bottle there. Oooops. The receipt says "Carignan Old Vine" (it also says "Cashier Confirmed - - Age Over 21" in big bold letters. She didn't even ask for i.d. I guess at 36 I should expect that. Still, it's disheartening. Back to the wine.) I think it was French. There were a lot of words on the bottle that were strange to me. It was a 2006 and was described as "delicate and harmonious . . .a rich, promising wine with a divine finish." And finally, off to the chocolate section I go. Run, don't walk. Chocolate . . .Yum! Chocolate . . .Expensive! I splurged on two of the cutest little chocolate butterfly truffles you have ever seen (I had to get two, because I knew Andrew would get jealous if I only had one. He knows that I don't share chocolate.). And that was all. I headed downstairs (yes, it's a two story Whole Foods)and tentatively walked to the checkout. I was nervous about going over budget. I wanted so much to impress you with my frugality (is that a word?). $4.03 over budget. Not bad. I'll try harder next week. I promise.

Check back tomorrow for a review of the purchases.

Next week I head to Galco's soda pop shop.

Oh, I almost forgot. The butterflies were salty butter caramel milk chocolate.