Category Archives: Food

Valentine’s Day at the Awful House

These are places I hate to go – listed in order of least to most hated.

  1. The flea market
  2. The state fair
  3. Waffle House
  4. Chuck-E-Cheese
  5. Golden Corral

The common denominators? Pickup trucks and dirty fingernails.

My husband loooooooooves Waffle House.

(He actually loves all of the places listed above.)

He likes the cheap coffee, the single-ply napkins, and Patty the waitress with only two teeth.

I don’t have anything against food that’s been smothered or chunked, it’s just not my first choice. Or my fifteenth.

But I really love my husband. And sometimes I am an awesome wife.


Oh, yes I did.

On Valentine’s Day, certain Waffle Houses serve a reservation-only, candle-lit dinner.

Complete with black plastic table-clothes, faux flower centerpieces and purple napkin roses.

Not a fruit or vegetable in sight.

Colt had grilled chicken, hash browns and root beer.

(Somewhere a bra-less vegan Earth Mama just passed out reading this.)

The happiness on my boys’ faces was worth all the grease.

And how great is the commemorative Waffle House picture frame?!!

However you celebrate it – Happy Love Day!


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We Go All Out for Groundhog Day


Because I believe that holidays that mean absolutely nothing should be celebrated with all of the exuberance and creativity of Christmas morning.

Really, I’m just looking for an excuse to eat more desserts.

“I’m sorry [insert personal trainer name], but you know how it is around Groundhog Day.

There are sweets everywhere. Cookies, fruit cakes, figgy pudding…

And with all the stress of the family in town, and the uncertainty surrounding the weather….

I just eat and eat and eat….”

To celebrate, Colt and I read about groundhogs (a titillating subject), watched a YouTube video of a groundhog emerging from his burrow (30,000 times until I finally pried the phone from his 5-year-old fingers), and went outside to see our shadows.

And we made cupcakes.

My Pinterest search yielded 13,000 recipes for “Groundhog Day desserts.”

Seriously people?

The first photo was of a homemade dark chocolate cupcake with a tiny groundhog whittled from a Milano cookie.

It’s buck teeth were made from white chiclets – adhered with some kind of organic groundhog denture cream.

Our version (seen here) uses a Betty Crocker box mix and teddy Graham’s (which are not ground hogs at all, rather bears.) Sitting atop “dirt piles” of brown sugar.

Also, the “groundhog” in the front (and one in the back) is missing an ear.

They may not be pretty, but they sure did taste delicious!


By the way, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning.

Which is great because I am SICK and TIRED of these blustery 75-degree days, here in Florida.

Thanks to a small beaver-like rodent’s keen sense of meteorology, I look forward to packing up my lightweight cardigans, and busting out my 24-hour clinical protection deodorant.

Happy Groundhog Day!

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BMI and Cheddar Bay Biscuits

I was delivering letterhead to a little medical clinic when the marketing director offered to give me a free body scan on their new fancy schmancy BMI machine.

Awesome, I thought! Definitely a perk of the job!

(I had done this before at Publix waiting for a prescription, but this machine was different. Fancier…)

Classical music flowed from its speakers. It was probably pumping out pure oxygen.

I stepped onto the machine and a few moments later, the machine spit out a summary of its findings. Pastel-colored infographics illustrated my physical make up – it looked like a work of art.

The report!

The report!

The nurse explained in a comforting voice that everything looked great!

It’s just that…

I need to lose 16 pounds of body fat?

Oh, is that all.

And right down here it gives you the weight of each of your appendages, she explained.

My right leg, for example, weighed 13.34 pounds.

“So what you’re telling me,” I asked…

“Is that I could literally REMOVE my right leg… and still need to lose 3 pounds?”

And instead of doing the logical thing. The thing that every good South Tampa gal would do (literally RUN directly to Whole Foods. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. In fact, throw up on your way there…)

Do you know what I did?

I met my friends for lunch at the Red Lobster and ordered the Captain’s Platter.

Thirty minutes later, one lone shrimp floated in the scampi-dish of drawn butter.

I killed it.

And now I was having trouble breathing.

I Sea Food differently

I Sea Food differently

Had I taken the BMI test AFTER lunch, the machine probably would have burst into flames.

In my defense it was my 30th birthday meal, so I was allowed to splurge, right?

At any rate, this test proved to me what I already knew – I need to make a change in my thirties.

The decade when my metabolism will supposedly come to a screeching halt.

So I started a food journal to document every processed, pasteurized, cancer-causing calorie that I consume.

I’m hoping that seeing my diet on paper will disgust me enough to change my eating habits.

The alternative, of course, is just to cut off my leg, and call it a day.

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6 Reasons I Can’t Wait for Fall

1. Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Fivebucks.

I mean Starbucks. It’s not my favorite time of year until I’m spending half my paycheck and one-fourth of my daily-calorie-intake on a 12 oz. cup of pie-flavored steamed milk.

2. Pants.

Camel Toes die in the winter

Camel Toes die in the winter

Let’s hope the high-waisted-shorts trend dies before the spring flowers bloom again.

When I was in college, the trend was LOW-rise shorts. So low, that girls’ pubic bones were protruding above the zipper. Now they’re so HIGH-waisted, their vaginas are hanging out underneath.

‘Tis the season to veto the vajayjay, and break out the Long Johns, girls!

3. Flu Shots.

Have you ever had the flu? I mean, REALLY had the flu? Not just the “flu” where your throat is sore and your nose is stuffy, blah blah blah.

But the one where you’re freezing to death and then burning alive. And you feel like a Mack truck has run over your body, and you fear you may never emerge from your bedchamber? If you’ve (really) had the flu, you know what I’m talking about.

And so I cheerfully celebrate my opportunity to pay Walgreens $25 each fall to avoid this inconvenience.

4. Football.

I actually hate football. Except for college football, specifically the SEC. I love watching these games mostly because I grew up watching the Gators.  So many warm-fuzzy memories of dad cheering wildly, mom making various-and-sundry chips and dips, and many, many drunken Saturdays at the Swamp.

(And because I like watching football 10,000 times better than baseball. If I have to sit through ONE MORE seven-hour long Shuffling-Sliding-Butt Patting-At Batting-Tobacco Chewing-Sliding-Loogy Hocking-Spit Fest, I’m going to give up TV all together and join the FLDS.)

5. Gravy.

Starting in September, it’s perfectly acceptable to start smothering things in gravy and topping things with marshmallows. And eating foods described as “hearty”, creamy”, “cozy” and “rib-sticking.”  Nevermind that it’s 90-degrees here in Florida until January.

6. The End of Bathing Suit Season.

No elaboration required.

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Grilled Cheese. Not Rocket Science

It wasn’t Burger King, so I’m not sure why I expected to have it my way.

But on a recent lunch outing to a popular deli chain (cough, Jason’s Deli, cough), I had a hankering for a grilled cheese and cup of tomato soup.

Me: Do you have a grilled cheese on the menu?

Deli Kid: No, unfortunately we don’t.

Me: Oh, bummer, well is there any way you could make one?

We’re talking about grilling… cheese, I thought.

Deli Kid: Um, sure I guess we could do that.

He said it with an uncomfortable amount of uncertainty.

Deli Kid: What would you like on it?

Me: Oh, just the cheese.

He scribbled some stuff on a little note pad.

Deli Kid: And what else?

Me:…just the cheese. Nothing else. Whatever kind of yellow cheese you have is fine. I’m not picky.

Deli Kid: If you could you just choose your cheese and bread from this list here please.

He hands over a list of 45 different artisan cheeses and breads.

Dammit Kid.

Me: Just cheddar and white bread, please. Or Italian. (Or whatever the hell you people call white bread around here.)

Deli Kid: Would you like it toasted?

The line behind me was growing. I could feel the collective breath of a dozen frustrated customers behind me.

I smiled, but the voice inside me was screaming.

In my head, I was grabbing at his collar and whisper-yelling in his pimply face. Have you never had a F@&KING GRILLED CHEESE BEFORE?!!!!

Maybe you were raised by wolves and your mother wolf never made you America’s iconic sandwich!!!????

Maybe JASON turned you into a BUMBLING DELI-BOT that can only follow protocol but can’t use your human BRAIN!!????

Let me help you out. There are two ingredients.

Processed yellow cheese. And buttered white bread.


Later, I realized this was just God’s way of telling me I should have ordered the salad bar. That if I was going to order a 750 calorie lunch, He was going to make it really, really. freaking. difficult.

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Eating out has gone to shit

I like to eat out. I don’t like to cook. I hate doing dishes. And I don’t like leftovers.

For years, friends and family have been advising me not to eat out so often. It’s too expensive. It’s not healthy. Pesticides. Portions. Etcetera.

Well tonight, I take your advice Dad.  But not because the portions are too big, or because I could spend half my paycheck on Aussie cheese fries and Molten Lava Explosion cake, but because, to put it bluntly…. eating out has gone to shit.

I live about a quarter of a mile from a Golden Corral.  My mother likes to refer to it as the “feedin’ trough.” My husband, who can eat a small chicken in one sitting, has been begging me to go there for months. Finally, I gave in. Let’s go, I said. Let’s go to the trough.

I expected a sour-carpet smelling dirt fest with grimy attendants and sub-par food. But to my astonishment, it was clean. Sparkling. Our attendant was also fairly tidy, friendly and had her entire top row of teeth in tact. I was shocked. The meatloaf was delicious, the mashed potatoes homemade. I was just about to apologize to my husband for making such a BIG DEAL out of going there when….it happened…

It began with the distant cry of a baby, no wait, that’s a 4-year-old being carried like a baby into the restaurant by his mother to the table. right. next. to. us.

The man-baby is sobbing incomprehensible man-baby words and the mother is…high? Does she not notice that everyone in the entire dining room is staring at her? Her husband, also oblivious, grabs a plate and heads to the salad bar.

The next moment, a teenage boy is flailing his arms at the waiter. It distracts me. “SCUSE ME! SCUUUUUUUSE ME!” He yells. The waiter walks over hesitantly.

“I can get a spoon?” he scoffs. The waiter nods and rushes away. I can get a spoon. It is not a statement. Rather, a question. Had I asked my father this at age 13, he would have looked at me and said “I don’t know, can you?” This would have been followed by groundation for slaughtering the English language in his presence.

Suddenly, I am completely distracted from my heaping portion of mac n’ cheese (and it takes a lot to do that).

In walks the largest family, cumulatively, that I have ever seen in my entire life.

I’m not one to pass judgment on genetics. But if you are so huge that bras do not come in your size, so you just don’t wear one, that is a problem.

I have two words for this braless mother and brainless father. Child Abuse. If you want to live like hippos, fine. But at least help your kids strive for something more. Or in this case less. A lot less.

I know it sounds like I’m ripping on Golden Corral. But it’s not just buffet bargain bins that have these kinds of patrons. They are everywhere. The rude, the selfish, the gluttonous. They are in Applebees and Outback and Berns. Oblivious parents with screaming children come in all socioeconomic sizes. As do teenagers with no manners and children with no limits. It’s as if parents have given up.

And so I won’t. I won’t pay my money to hear your man-baby scream, or your teenager yell or to watch your son eat an entire plate of yeast rolls. I will make my own dinner (ok, so I’ll make Todd cook, or at the very least, order take-out).

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