Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A man and his castle and when pigs fly.

After being married for thirty years, a wife asked her husband to describe her. He looked at her for a while ... Then said, "You're A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K." She asks ... "What does that mean?" He said, "Adorable, Beautiful, Cute, Delightful, Elegant, Foxy, Gorgeous, Hot. She smiled happily and said ... "Oh, that's so lovely ... What about I, J, K? He said, "I'm Just Kidding!" The swelling in his eye is going down and the doctor is fairly optimistic about saving his testicles.
< Fred's pride and joy has been installed. His long awaited kegerator. We will have to get the half keg of Miller Lite before this weekend. We need to get it chilled for the big game! He is happy. He has a recliner chair, a new HDTV LED LCD 46 inch TV and beer on tap. Now, let's see if he can awake for the game this year. I'm betting he will be asleep by halftime. He is the only man in America who hates chicken wings. I will have to make up some goodies for his Gametime munchies. Delicious and easy dip! I love kielbasa. Most times we slice and dice and pan fry, but this makes a great dip and I eat it with celery stick and cucumber rounds.
Serves/Yields: 6 8 oz Cream Cheese 1/3 C. Sour Cream 1 T. Mayo 1/4 C. Parmesan Cheese 1/2 t. Worcestershire 8 oz. Kielbasa, peeled & chopped 1/2 C. Scallion, chopped In a food processor, blend the cream cheese, sour cream, mayo and parmesan. In a bowl, fold in kielbasa & scallion. Pour into a 9" pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 min. Serve hot as a dip or spread.
Once the back porch is rearranged and cleaned up well. He will get the dart board and pool table. I have chosen the best light fixture for over the pool table. I'm going to get Wilbur wired with lights and mount him over the table. Yep, you'll see pigs fly at our house.

Florida Primary Day, Vote!

With the non-stop barrage of negative commercials, I'm very happy that today has finally arrived. Please use your right to vote and chose the candidate that you want. I'm disappointed in the PAC special interest ads for candidates. Disappointment breeds discontent.
Good Grief, the Donald is still talking about running as an Independent once his show the Apprentice is over? Are you kidding me? Why do people care what he thinks? Honestly, how did he become a voice for someone like me?
This is the best we can do? Liars, cheats, imbeciles, conservative religious values that attack women. Honestly, do you trust any of them?
Trying to impeach Clinton while fooling around on your current wife? Hypocrite!
Mitt, Bain Capitol, decimated the company I work for and slashed 1/3 of our staff and left us in bankruptcy court. Can you say bitter? 420 million in two years, you've got to be kidding me.
Vote!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Oh So Casual Clam Visit

Busy day of shopping and grumbling tummies led the hubby and me to a quick stop at the Casual Clam restaurant. It was a lovely midafternoon stop and the weather was fine so we sat outside.
There was a lively crowd of regulars gathered at the bar enjoying their beer and friendship. It was a pleasant sight to see. We were swiftly served our beer and ordered a bowl each of clam chowder and spicy gumbo. The waitress was quick to point out that the gumbo is very spicy and "could I handle it?" Oh, yes, that is the whole reason for our visit. My gumbo fixation.Casual Clam on Urbanspoon
Had to fight for a taste of the creamy bowl of clam chowder. The Mister was shoveling it in so fast. My taste was a little bit floury in my opinion, but it did not stop him from enjoying his bowl.
My initial taste of my beloved spicy seafood gumbo assaulted me with a heavy dose of salt. Then the heat began to creep and I got the flavor that I love so much. It was a nice bowl of heat and sweet shrimp and crab.
Instead of moving on to an entree, we decided to share a dozen of oysters on the half shell, after all, we still had more errands to run. The oysters were icy cold, briny, and plump. The experience was not pleasant however because they were so poorly shucked. There were large shards of shell hidden as shrapnel under the oyster. It was fraught with danger. Hubby was spitting out bits of shell with each oyster. We had to eat a few extra crackers to coat our throats in case we ingested yet another piece of shell. I wish that the oyster shucker had taken more care in our dozen and not created such a hazardous eating experience. They aren't kidding with the eat at your own risk warning printed on the back of the menu.
Casual Clam on Urbanspoon We have previously enjoyed full dinners, from chowder to dessert at the Casual Clam. We have taken our out-of-town guests to the establishment to have a good seafood supper at a very economical price. I won't let this unfortunate oyster issue color my opinion of the Casual Clam. I will be back when I can't resist the lure of the spicy seafood gumbo and a plate full of crispy plump fried clams with onion rings.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Bathroom Project

John and Roberta were touring their brand new house. It was a house that Roberta had paid for with her money, a fact of which she constantly reminded John. In each room of the house she said to her husband: "John, if it were not for my money, we would not be here." John didn't say a word. That afternoon a truck delivered a load of new furniture... furniture which Roberta paid for with her money. After the furniture was in its place, they toured the house again. As they observed each room, beautifully appointed and magnificently decorated, Roberta reminded her husband: "John, if it were not for my money, this furniture would not be here." Again, John was silent. Late in the afternoon another truck came with a special piece of furniture which was to be the focal point of the family room. It was a combination stereo-television-computer center all wrapped into one gorgeous piece of furniture. Roberta paid for it with her money. When it was in place, Roberta again said: "John, if it were not for my money, that beautiful electronics system would not be here." Finally, John spoke: "Honey, I don't want to make you feel bad, but... if it were not for your money, I wouldn't be here either!"
Ummm, that would be the role reversal in this house. Fred says, "If it weren't for my Aunt Ruth.....this wouldn't be here" True. Thank you Aunt Ruth and Grossmom Naomi for the blessings we have received.
Note the lovely window propped open with a can of hair spray. Classy, huh?
Green laminate, original floor and toilet from 1974 when the house was built. Can you say water guzzler? Silver and brass fixture upgrade from the 80's. Dang, Fred could you have at least flushed the toilet before you snapped the before picture????
Yeah, vessel sink. O.co purchase! A steal of a deal.
Flooring was an issue. I ordered the wrong color online and could not be returned. Major issue. It was supposed to be darker. It is a wood look tile and we had it set on the diagonal and it looks like basket weave. Kenny did a great job. I wish I could find his invoice to give his business a shout out. He deserves the recognition.
Next up, wallpaper. Ordered my gorgeous scrubbable prepasted paper from Steve's Wallpaper and Blinds. They were awesome and helped me figure the square footage. Found a wallpaper genius through Service Magic. McGowen Enterprises. He did an awesome job with the wallpaper in 3 hours.
Justin Pierce did the granite work and built the custom niche in the where the old rusty medicine cabinet was previously installed.
New window with low-e argon and easy slide. Bamboo shade from O.co, decorative accessories from Walmart, HomeGoods and Marshalls. Refaced cabinetry, oil stained bronze bath accessories from O.co, black granite with gold fleck installed and it is almost done. Majestic new low-flow throne from American Standard. Easy to clean and a water saver. We are missing the baseboards. I might never see them if left up to Fred's time frame. I'll see the baseboards when pigs fly, I suppose.
Trying to figure out a towel color. Taupe is too grey, yellow is too light, orange is...objectionable to hubby and child. Who will win this battle?
Please tell me what do you think? I love the result and am so happy with the way it came together. And to think the bath inspiration came from a visit to a restaurant, Habana Cafe!!! Gotta love a hubby who drags you into a men's room to take a look.
"Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation." ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Release your Inner Pirate Day in Tampa Bay

Time for the annual Gasparilla marauding of Tampa. Gorgeous weather for a Pirate invasion, hope all is well on the water for the Mystic Krewe's.
Best synopsis I've found on the web: Jose Gaspar, self-proclaimed “Gasparilla”, was a lieutenant in the Royal Spanish Navy until 1783 when he created a mutiny, seized command of a ship and sailed to Florida. As a pirate, Gasparilla was the last of the buccaneers, and terrorized the coastal waters off West Florida during the early 19th century. In fact, excerpts from his diary boast the capture and burning of 36 ships! The ships' crews could either join him or walk the plank… ARGH! Gaparilla ravaged the waters off Florida until December 1821. The crew then decided to divvy up their fortunes and retire as pirates, when they caught a glimpse of what they determined would be their final conquest – a merchant ship sailing to Orleans. But, alas, it was a U.S. Navy warship in disguise! Here is how the story is told, “just as the commanding officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise was boarding the defeated ship, Gasparilla seized a heavy chain, wrapped it around his waist and neck and leaped into the water, brandishing his sword in a final gesture of defiance as he sank into the sea.” This was the basis for the festival that started in 1904. It was dreamt up by Miss Louise Frances Dodge, the society editor of the Tampa Tribune and during a series of secret meetings, the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla planned the first mock invasion! Above from the Datz Deli website. In honor of the day long party, might I offer a libation worthy of a pillaging pirate. 1 bottle of imported ginger beer (or home brewed if you're lucky) Captain Morgan's spiced rum Pineapple soda (cuban section of the grocers' shelves) wedge of lime ice In a tall glass, fill with ice and add one and half jiggers of spiced rum, add 2/3 of the glass with pineapple soda float til glass is full with ginger beer squeeze a generous squeeze of lime add straw stir gently drink slowly and enjoy!

Friday, January 27, 2012

South St. Pete NEW EATS-Brewburgers

Hooray! We have a winner winner winner in the burger wars. You must try Brewburgers, south St. Petersburg. 8 days old and already knocking them out of the park. Still missing the signs outside and if you don't pay attention, you will drive right past and that would be your loss. Brewburgers is a new venture in the old Wow Wings spot nestled between the IHOP and Subway at the entrance to the Broadwater neighborhood. It has been remodeled with an open grill and viewing bar. The colors are toned down and updated. There are comfy bar seats, a few tall tables and booths. There are numerous large screen TV's, video game and music. Brewburgers (727) 866-2414 South St Petersburg 4195 34th St S St Petersburg, FL 33711 Brewburgers on Urbanspoon
We were greeted warmly and seated promptly. There is a "promotion" that is unique, "Buy a beer, Get a Burger" Well, the mister did that one better, he ordered a pitcher of his favorite Miller Lite. There were 12 beers on tap as well as cans. I ordered a Franzishaner pint.
Of course we have to have the glamour shot of the Mister and the menu! He needs a shave badly. I digress.
We were happily encouraged to order the Fried Green tomatoes with cajun remoulade to share as we debate our burger choices. The hot crispy tomatoes arrived after a short wait. There was a nice cornmeal batter with good crunch for the tart green tomato. The Cajun remoulade was not short on flavor, but was also not too spicy for the spice shy mister. There were nice bits of capers and onion snap to the dipping sauce.
Please note some nice specials that will be sure to bring in the college student demographic. Everyday, 20 wings and a pitcher of Bud, or Bud Light for $20.00 Plus, Tuesday look to be a bargain hunters dream. Burgers for $2.00 after 6 p.m. Nice deal, Lucille. There are some nice slider choices that sounded great as well as onion rings, curly fries, chips and salsa and chicken tenders to round out the appetizer menu. Wings are offered in a variety of sauces. I want to try the Sweet Thai, please. A number of different salad preparations are listed. Variations include an Asian, Santa Fe, Caesar, Greek, Cobb, Veggie and Texican. The most unusual was the Brewburgers Famous Bacon Cheeseburger salad, now tell me, you want to try that now, don't you? We settled on a couple of the specialty burgers for our entrees. I had the "World Renowned Brewburger" a nice portion of fine Guinness burger topped with sauteed portabella mushrooms, roasted red peppers and pepper jack cheese. Wowser.
It was so good. Moist flavorful. The roasted peppers were a delicious change of pace. But wait for it, my side order of tater tots are SWEET POTATO TOTS! So good, so unexpected and yummy, yummy, yummy. I would just gild the lily of those little orange tots by offering a garlic aoili and a shot of sweet Thai sauce for dipping.
Mister ordered the "Piggy Back Burger". The grown up version of the Guinni pig slider verion as an appetizer. The Piggyback features a burger topped with pulled pork, bourbon bbq sauce and cole slaw. He was in HEAVEN. A mess to eat but oh so delicious.
The Mister was very happy with his juicy medium rare burger and tasty fresh hot onion rings. He would happily eat a burger just like this once a week. I have to say after eating our way through a number of establishments offering "gourmet" and upscale burgers, our money is on Brewburgers. The prices were most reasonable. The burgers were hot, fresh, well cooked and seasoned beautifully. Definitely a wonderful addition to the Pinellas Point are of St. Petersburg. Go visit, say hi to Dan and the staff. It is a fine new place to spend some time with a brew and a burg! Brewburgers on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Real Price of Children

The Price of Children This is just too good not to pass on to all. Something absolutely positive for a change. I have repeatedly seen the breakdown of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards listed this way. It's nice. The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition. But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into: $8,896.66 a year, $741.30 a month, or $171.08 a week. That's a mere $24.24 a day. Just over a dollar an hour. Still, you might think the best financial advice is don't have children if you want to be "rich." Actually, it is just the opposite. What do you get for your $160,140? Naming rights. First, middle, and last! Glimpses of God every day. Giggles under the covers every night. More love than your heart can hold. Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs. Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies. A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate. A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day. For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to: finger-paint, carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, catch lightning bugs, and never stop believing in Santa Claus. You have an excuse to: keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh, watching Saturday morning cartoons, going to Disney movies, and wishing on stars. You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day. For $160,140, there is not greater bang for your buck. You get to be the hero just for: retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off a bike, removing a splinter, filling a wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless. You get a front row seat to history to witness the: . first step, . first word, . first bra, . first date, and . first time behind the wheel. You get to the immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you are lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications and human sexuality that no college can match. In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever and love them without limits.
So . . one day they will like you, love without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!! Love & enjoy your children & grandchildren!!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Talk about a couple of broads....

So, what do you think of Paula Deen announcing she has type II diabetes and has been diagnosed for years and kept it secret. She is only just announcing her disease after she is getting paid oodles and oodles of money to promote a diabetes drug according to Tony Bourdain. He called her the worst thing to ever happen to the cooking public and some other not so nice things. She said, "I never told anyone to eat my cooking 365 days a year." She is a millionaire many times over and has truly become a "brand" instead of her own true self. I'm a recovered Paula fan. The constant promotion and empire building aspect made me crazy. I love her early older shows, before the cackle and mania became a caricature of the lovely Southern woman. And, excuse me Tony, before you call the kettle black, let's investigate some of the swoon worthy orgasmic food, you have eaten....duck fat, foie gras etc. No better for you than a Southern biscuit and butter.
Did anyone watch Betty White's 90 Birthday bash and her old people punking young people last week? She had me in hysterics. So funny. She is a funny broad, in the finest sense of the word. I would love to have that sense of humor and delightful sharp twinkle in my eye as she does. She certainly does not take herself so seriously as to forget who she is. Betty keeps it real. I applaud her spunky and slightly naughty self.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Perils of homeownership!

Well, we woke to a flood. A water heater that had lived long past it's working date. Water poured out of the laundry through the wall and into the garage. Thank goodness, we had cleaned out the garage or we would have had boxes and boxes of soaking wet junque! My resident hoarder is happy, he didn't have to clean up that kind of mess.
We had a couple of boards in Fred's room suffer the consequence of the flood and the threshold popped off from the influx of water. We need to get that part of the floor fixed. I'm scared to see what might be in his closet and have yet to venture in there to inspect for damage. A million thanks to Johnnie Jones Plumbing for getting here quickly with a new water heater. Yes, it is expensive and unexpected, but then this entire remodel has been fraught with over-runs, unexpected add-ons and budgeting issues. All in all, we virtually have a new house. I did point to the water heater the other day and told Fred, "that is the only thing we have not replaced in this house?" Do you think the house gremlins heard me and responded to my jest with this flood? ">

Monday, January 16, 2012

The SOG City Oracle: On This Day...

The SOG City Oracle: On This Day...

It is truly sad that blind partisanship on the part of Jennifer Carrol deludes her to the real meaning and glory of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She has sold her soul to Lord Voldemort, aka Gov. Scott if she believes he
embodies the true spirit of Dr. King. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr. Amen!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fabulous Gem of a Restaurant ~ 9 Bangkok

I have witnessed a miracle. The Mister tried a sushi roll from 9 Bangkok and declared it good. In twenty eight years, he has devoutly refused all things Thai or Sushi and today, he tried some and he liked it. The Mister liked it. I'm so happy.
9 Bangkok (727) 894-5990 Downtown St Petersburg 571 Central Ave St Petersburg, FL 33701 We have tried to entice him before and he has refused all entreaties and manners of lovely preparations with a sneer. Today, I brought home take-out from 9 Bangkok. The Universe shifted, you know what froze over and all is well in our household. 9 Bangkok on Urbanspoon By far, even in a white styrofoam container, this was superior food. Every bite exhibited care and perfect execution. I love the perfect pleats on the tops of the crab rangoon. The filling was flavorful and quite good.
The order of Kanom Jeep, dumplings stuffed with chicken and shrimp was very yummy. The Mister liked them very much.
Next up was the satay with a peanut sauce and a crisp sweet pretty cucumber salad. I had to fight to get a taste.
My personal favorite was the Lab Neua Thai Salad. I didn't share any of this with the Mister. A lovely cooked ground beef with lime juice, chili, and scallion over a bed of romaine and chopped red peppers. The tart pungent sauce with the warmed beef over the crispy romaine was delicious. It had enough heat to make me very happy.
I over ordered and the bowl of Tom Kha Gai is in the refrigerator for tomorrow's lunch. We were staring down two sushi rolls and were getting full. The soup of chicken, galanga, mushroom, lime juice in a coconut milk broth will a perfect lunch for tomorrow's painting project.
Finally, the piece de resistance of the evening. Two perfectly presented rolls in a disposable box. Still done with care and lovely to look at and even more lovely to eat. The Red Dragon is fried shrimp, with scallion, tuna, avocado on top with spicy mayo. The Futomaki is Krab, tomago, carrot, asparagus, radish and avocado. I loved the crunchy pretty veggie mosaic in the Futomaki. The fried shrimp tail extended from each end of the Red Dragon roll was superb. My dear dear husband could not resist trying a bite of each and went back for a second bite. Nothing could have surprised me more. I won't have to fight to go eat Thai any more as long as we go to 9 Bangkok. Thank you dearly for such care and lovely food. It was a true pleasure to eat and very enjoyable. The prices were phenomenal for the portions and I highly recommend their food.
9 Bangkok on Urbanspoon Support your local independent restaurants. Support the downtown St. Petersburg business community! 9 Bangkok on Urbanspoon