Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, America!

Happy Birthday, America!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, July 2, 2009

5:00 Fridays

I bet you are expecting some red, white, and blue whiz bang fireworky cocktail as a nod to America's birthday, right? Well, though I adore birthdays, I loathe the predictable. Instead I'm bringing you a little taste of summer. Nothing says summer in the South like sweet tea. McDonald's even sells sweet tea in these parts. You get like a gallon of tea that's served in some engineering feat of a cup that holds 12 bladders worth of tea and still fits in a standard size car cupholder. For a buck.

Now the 4th of July is one of my favorite parts of summer, even though it marks the halfway mark to summer's end. I get teary listening to patriotic songs and weepy looking at all the flags and buntings hanging from crisply painted white front porches, screen doors hanging askew so they flutter ever so slightly in the passing warm breeze. July 4th is also a nod to the bounty and beauty of summer. We swim. We barbeque. We slip n slide. We bike. We entertain. We picnic. We wave at parade floats. We hum songs we learned in grade school that we pull from our cobwebbed brains. We reach into a packed cooler, perhaps one too many times. We laugh. We frolic. We catch fireflies. We drink in summer's delights.

Some cocktailing friends introduced me to this sweet summer libation. It's from a restaurant called Porter's in Raleigh. And as usual, I have no connection to the joint, nor are they paying me. I just write about what I love.

And I love a summer drink.

Here's my take on Porter's Arnold Porter:

You basically just take your classic Arnold Palmer and give it a good jolt of electroshock therapy.

Make a batch of sweet tea. Pour a couple ounces into a tall glass loaded with ice. Add a shot of Absolut Citron. Top off with some sour mix and handful of fresh mint. Squeeze in a couple lemon wedges and muddle it all up. Slap a lemon slice on the rim of the glass and you're all set. You must drink this one with a straw. Slowly.

In the words of my friend who turned me onto this taste of summer in a glass, "Oh, this is one of those really dangerous drinks!"

If you're really feeling dangerous (you cougar, you!), use Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka instead of sweet tea. And don't be a dumbass and drive, mkay?

Happy 4th of July! I'm not letting summer go without a fight.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

5 Fruits & Veggies a Day: Snap To It!

In our family we play a little game everyday that my four-year old son has dubbed "Five In." We count our fruit and vegetable intake to ensure we get five servings a day. It's quite easy to do actually. Luckily the boys are great eaters, we live in a city with an excellent farmers market, we have Farmer Tom's CSA, and I love to cook.

I swear we eat more snap peas than any household in America. I would add blueberries, anchovies, black olives, capers, smoked salmon, mangoes, and blintzes to that list. Not all mixed together, of course. But back to the snap peas. We nosh them raw, stir fry them with red onions, add them to salads, toss them into lunchboxes and picnic baskets, and now...

We have discovered a new way to jazz up snap peas, the ubiquitous green veggie to grace our crisper.

Zest a lemon and set aside. After rinsing off a colander full of fresh snap peas, toss them with some olive oil, the juice of one lemon, and sea salt. Roast at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. While they are roasting, toss a cup of bread crumbs (I combined panko with sour dough bread crumbs.) with the zest of one lemon. Spread across top of snap peas and top with goat cheese crumbles. Continue to roast another ten minutes. Serve hot. You can substitute parmesan or feta cheese too. I assure you, this will be a family hit. We snacked on the cold leftovers while we cooked dinner the next night.

Now snap to it, folks!

Reposted from its original home at Foodie Mama.
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Monday, June 29, 2009

Working 9:00-5:00

Mac Daddy is a working man. Not a work-with-his-hands-wiping-the-sweat-from-his-brow-with-a-metal-sharded-rag kind of working man. Just a 9:00-5:00 Michael Scott, Office Space type of schmuck. He works for The Man. Not The Man Bird and Deal argue about. The other one who thinks white collar crime shouldn't mean revoking someone's chi chi golf club membership and that trickle down economics really works. Mac Daddy is a corporate dude who helps keep the workplace sufficiently smug and real. His acrid sarcasm is sadly lost on most people in the South who smile politely and call him Honey and Dear. Well, they don't call him that at work anyway. Scratch that. I do think some old timers have referred to him as Sweetie. Anyhoo, Mac Daddy is the one really making the dough, winning the bread. What's with the carb overload when it comes to money talk?

That is until my writing and blogging pipe dreams pay off. Ahem. Are you listening, Penguin and Simon and Schuster?

I work too. I work for The Woman. That would be me. I am my own boss, IT department, administrative assistant, gopher, scheduler, social calendar keeper, working bee, board member, complaint department, new business developer, chief marketer, task master. I have my own consulting business so my hours are less traditional than Mac Daddy's. Plus my office is pretty close so I have a shorter commute than Mac Daddy's. Sometimes I don't wear shoes to work but I always wear proper clothes. The coffee is plentiful, strong, and hot. Um, yeah, I work from home. In a dedicated office that is the only off-limits room for the boys in our house.

So at dinner tonight we were talking about work. Bird asked Mac Daddy why it's any fun to sit in front of a computer all day and do nothing. Deal thoughtfully and gleefully added, "Don't forget that Daddy also gets to drink lattes!" What a kid, always got your back. Mac Daddy and I were cracking up but briskly stopped when we realized the kids weren't chiming in. Their smiling yet solemn faces told us that they really think he types and drinks lattes all day and saw no humor in our outburst. Addmittedly on some days the scenario is probably pretty true, but for the most part Mac Daddy is a golden child worker. I know this because we used to work together. It's much more fun being his wife than his colleague. No one here waxes on about how utterly perfect he is. Plus,he's the one Luddite in my world who's not on Facebook or Twitter so he's not wasting, er spending, his time on social media.

Then the boys went on to say that I sit in front of a computer and go to meetings all day.

Once again, my 5 and 4 year old sons left me speechless, for they were right.

We type. We meet. We sip. Sometimes all at once.
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