Cocktail Friday(on a Monday): Raspberry Beret

Like many people, I’ve had Prince playing on a constant loop in my house and car since Thursday. He was an artist I always enjoyed and admired, and I don’t think we’ll ever see someone like him again, sadly.

I encourage you to tip this one back in his honor.

The Raspberry Beret

  • 2 oz Raspberry Vodka
  • 1 oz. Chambord blackberry liqueur
  • 1 oz. St. Germaine Elderflower liqueur
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • raspberries for garnish

Add vodka, liqueurs, and lemon juice to a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with raspberries. Play “Let’s Go Crazy” and dance like a lunatic.

 

“What Do You Mean, You’re Not on Facebook Anymore?”

About two months ago, I was sitting at home scrolling through my Facebook feed, and I just thought, “Ugh. I hate this. Why am I here?” I clicked off the page, started looking at something else, and not five minutes later found myself back on Facebook, looking at the same crap I had just looked at (and chided myself for doing so) again. That’s when it hit me: I’m kind of over Facebook. Like, totally. Over it. All of it –  the fake bragging. The passive aggressive posts. The potty training updates. The rage-inducing politics. The duck-faced selfies. The “Doesn’t-This-Recipe-Look-Amazing-OMG” posts that TOTALLY BELONG ON PINTEREST HOLY CRAP PEOPLE GET YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STRAIGHT BEFORE I SMACK YOU.

So I went to my settings page, I found the button that said ‘deactivate profile’, I took a deep breath, and I clicked it.

And I never looked back. And then I braced myself for the inquisition.

“Wait, you just deleted it? Just like that?”

No, I didn’t delete my profile. I deactivated it. It’s still there, somewhere, with all my pictures and oh-so-witty-status updates and such, it’s just not active. People that I was friends with on Facebook can no longer see me. If I choose to reactivate it at any time, all I have to do is log in, and I’ll show back up in everyone’s newsfeed again. (Shrewd, Zuckerberg). I don’t think I’ll ever delete the profile, I just won’t be active on Facebook for a while.

“Woah. But…why? What made you do it?”

Eh, I realized I was spending too much time on a site that just truly annoyed me more than anything, and WHY would anyone do that to themselves? There’s more to it than that, but it’s a little personal and I don’t want to get into it here.

“Oh. Was it me? Did I post something that annoyed you?”

No. Absolutely not. It wasn’t any one thing that made me do it, just a myriad of annoyances.

“Well, you know you *can* block people from your feed, and block certain people from seeing everything you post…”

Yes, I do know this. I have taken advantage of those functions on more than one occasion, believe me. But like I said, it wasn’t just one post, or one person. It was the whole experience. Plus I’m really not a fan of how integrated Facebook has gotten into everyday life. There’s just SOME things I shouldn’t need to “Connect to Facebook” for. Believe me, no one on Facebook cares what I’m buying from Old Navy, or what I’m looking at on BuzzFeed.

“You’re much stronger than me! Have you ‘cheated’ at all?”

Twice. Once about a week or so after I deactivated the account, to see if Facebook wasn’t as annoying as I thought it was and if I made too hasty of a decision (nope, still annoying). The second was about two weeks ago, I wanted an old picture that was on there. I still didn’t miss it.

“Do you think you’ll come back?”

Some day, probably. Maybe around the holidays. Maybe sometime next year. I’m not sure. I am sure, however, that I’ll do it differently next time around. Less lingering, less profile creeping, less…everything. I needed to go cold turkey first, then I can think about occasional use.

“Okay. But I miss you.”

And I miss you, too! I know not everyone posts everything everywhere and I know I miss stuff and I’m sorry. I’m hoping in the long run this will only serve to make my real life interactions with friends more meaningful. It’s not like I’ve deleted myself from the internet. You can follow me on Twitter and tumblr and my Pinterest is kind of amazing, not gonna lie. Plus there’s  my blog and Flickr and Instagram and I’m still on Google+!

“Wait, Google+? What’s THAT??” 

Um…

What I’m Loving Right Now

Things:

  1. This freakin’ fabulous coat that I will own before the snow flies.
  2.  This High Definition Powder (Translucent) By E.L.F. Cosmetics. Sets your makeup with a dewy yet matte finish. Gorgeous.
  3. This Givenchy bag. At almost five times my mortgage, however? Not likely.
  4. This beautiful ombre sapphire necklace from Etsy. Shame it’s too short for my chubby neck.
  5. These fierce-as-all-hell leopard wedges from Anthropologie.
  6. Essie nail polish in For the Twill of it. Perfect fun fall color.

Foodstuffs:

  1. Pork Carnitas. Mmmm, meat.
  2. This sounds like the greatest turkey burger ever created.
  3. I’m a sucker for a casserole, and chicken cordon bleu casserole is right up my alley.
  4. Caramel Banana Cake Roll. Are. You. Kidding. Me.
  5. Salted Caramel Apple Tartlets are almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
  6. Proscuitto & Gruyere Croissants are pretty much the fanciest sandwiches ever.
  7. Blueberry Marscapone Tartlets. Are tartlets a thing now? Because I gotta say, I’m fully on board.
  8. Oh look, it’s all of my favorite things in one cookie.

Entertainment: 

  1. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC. Yeah, like I haven’t been waiting for this since it was announced last sumer. Marvel + Joss Whedon + Not-Silver-Fox Clark Gregg = Uh, hells yes.
  2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Fox. Super fun, and proof that Andy Samberg actually can do something besides SNL. (Side note: If you haven’t seen Jesse and Celeste Forever with him & Rashida Jones, I highly recommend it.
  3. Don Jon, in theaters now. A comedy about a porn addicted Jersey guido looking for a “dime” and ending up getting..something a little different.
  4. New Jam: Brave, by Sara Bareilles
  5. Other New Jam: Royals, by Lorde. Not linking, because if you turn on the radio you’ll hear it in like twenty seconds.
  6. Other Other New Jam: Let Her Go, by Passenger.
  7. Anything and everything on Netflix. Orange is the New Black. House of Cards. The Walking Dead. The New Girl. Parks and Rec. Catch up, people.

I’ll wait.

 

Tunes

Getting Day 5 out of the way early, there’s Cinco de Mayo party prep to do!

Ten songs I’m (somewhat shamelessly) loving tight now, in no particular order, from the “Recently Played” list on my iPhone:

1. Christina Perri, Jar of Hearts

2. The Wanted – Glad You Came

3. Adele – I’ll Be Waiting

4. Kanye West – Love Lockdown

5. Bruno Mars – Runaway Baby

6. The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army

7. The Rolling Stones – Miss Amanda Jones

8. How You Like Me Now – The Heavy

9. Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye feat. Kimbra (Yes, I know, EVERYONE loves [or hates] this song, whatever.)

10. Somewhere Only We Know – Keane (This is actually one of my very favorite songs, and I listen to it a few times a week.)

Apologies for the link-heavy post, I have absolutely no music on my little netbook.

What are some of your favorite songs right now? Join in!

Or You Could Keep Listening to The Jonas Brothers. I Won’t Judge.

It’s not often that I find a new band or album that I fall in love with instantly. I’m a habitual music fan, I guess you could say — I listen to the same stuff I’ve always listened to, with a few songs from new or different artists here and there. So when I say I found a new band that I’m really into, for me, it’s kind of a big deal.

Them Crooked Vultures
is a ‘Supergroup’ (that’s what they’re being called, anyway) comprised of Dave Grohl (from Nirvana and the Foo Fighters), Josh Homme (from Queens of the Stone Age), and John Paul Jones, the bassist from Led fahreeking Zepplin. You might have seen them on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago. If not, here’s what you missed:

http://widgets.nbc.com/o/4727a250e66f9723/4b8da3702f172428/4741e3c5156499a7/c60586a0/-cpid/926fa8e545c362a2

Now, I’m an admitted Dave Grohl fan girl, I would watch him play the drums in an ABBA tribute band, but every time he comes out with something new I fall in love with him a little more.

For serious, though. Check them out. Or don’t.

Tomato Crostini

One of my favorite movies to watch when I need a good Ugly Cry is the classic 80’s chick flick Steel Magnolias. It’s got everything, Julia Roberts with big hair and even bigger teeth, Olympia Dukakis in the last decent role she ever had, Daryll Hannah in terrible eyewear, Dolly Parton and her breasts, Sally Field chewing scenery left and right, and Shirley Maclaine.

Have I ever told you how much I love Shirley Maclaine? It’s mostly because of Steel Magnolias. She plays Ouizer (pronounced wheezer) Boudreaux, who is one of the snarkiest, meanest old southern ladies you’ll ever meet. Ouizer keeps it real. She calls you on your shit. She used to dress up as a nun to go bar-hopping. She’ll tell you to take your bible and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. And then she’ll buy you crotchless lingerie for your bridal shower.

I want to be Ouizer Boudreax when I grow up.
Anyway, there’s a scene in Steel Magnolias where Ouizer brings all the ladies tomatoes. Because she doesn’t eat them, you see, she just grows them.
Unfortunately, I’ll never be like Ouizer, because I have a brown thumb, and as many times as I’ve tried, I haven’t been able to grow anything besides weeds in my yard or on my patio. Which is why, when I have a craving for a good home grown tomato, I have to rely on the kindness of co-workers and patients who want to unload theirs. Thankfully, that’s happened a few times this summer, and I was able to get some fantastic meals out of them, like the gazpacho I made last week that still haunts my dreams, and my favorite Panzanella salad. And this recipe, which is kind of a take off on the Panzanella, but more of a portable version.
I got the inspiration for this recipe while I watched Julie and Julia in the theater, during the scene where Julie and her husband discussed what kind of project she could embark on to get her writing career started, the characters seemed to be eating some sort of tomato mixture on grilled italian bread, and I said, “Oh, hell yes. Crostini.”
And then I made it the next day.
This is super simple, and can totally pass for a meal on those ‘too hot to cook’ kind of nights. I’ve made it at least four times since 4th of July.

Tomato Crostini

2-4 tomatoes, 1/2 inch dice
1/4 of a large red onion, finely diced
5-6 leaves of basil chiffonade
1 large clove of garlic cut in half
salt
pepper
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
1/2 loaf good crusty italian bread
butter

Instructions:

First, take a look at my big juicy tomatoes! (Sorry. Am twelve.)

100_1264 by you.

I had found some Heirloom tomatoes at the store this time around and decided to try them. They’re so funky and interesting looking, not like your usual boring mass-produced ‘maters.

100_1265 by you.

They’re also delicious, and unfortunately…um…a tadmore expensive than regular tomatoes. So these were a rare treat.

100_1266 by you.

Dice them up and toss them in a bowl.

100_1268 by you.

This was a pretty good sized onion, if I remember correctly, so I ended up only using a quarter. Red onion is pretty strong when it’s raw.

Now for the basil.

100_1270 by you.

Grab 5-6 good sized leaves and stack them, one on top of the other.

100_1271 by you.

Roll the stacked leaves up like a cigar. Or whatever else you might smoke that’s rolled up. (Not that I’d know anything about that.) Apologies for the crap picture, apparently it’s hard to be in focus when you’re rolling basil, and there’s only so much that flickr picnik mode can fix.

100_1272 by you.

And…chiffonade! Slice down the rolled leaves thinly, leaving little ribbons of basil.

100_1275 by you.

Toss the basil in a bowl with the tomatoes and onions, add a couple teaspoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil, a couple teaspoons of balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Heat a saute pan over medium high heat, and add about 2 TB of butter, and 2 TB of olive oil. While waiting for the butter to melt, slice the bread about 1-1 1/2 inches thick.

100_1280 by you.

Who’s got pretty counter tops? I do!

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Toast bread in butter and oil until browned and crispy. Will smell pretty darn good, too.

100_1283 by you.

Who’s got a crappy camera? I do!

Rub half of the fresh garlic over the warmed bread, just to get the flavor of the garlic but not the raw taste…trust me, you’ll taste it, this is a great tip (Thanks, Rachel Ray! Suck it, food snobs!)

Top the warm toasty bread with the tomato mixture.

And eat the hell out of it.

Even Ouizer would approve of this one.

In Defense of the Mainstream

I’m not particularly musical. I like music, especially if “it’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it”, but I’m not musically gifted. I can’t read music, can’t play music, and I can’t hold a tune to save my life. As far as what I listen to, my taste is…varied, to say the least. I listen to anything from Frank Sinatra to Metallica, Jay-Z and Notorious B.I.G. to Bob Marley and Jack Johnson. I even like a little country music. Very little. Like just the Dixie Chicks. But, country all the same.

I was raised on The Beatles, Clapton, Hendrix, Dylan, Crosby Stills and Nash, Led Zepplin, the Stones, The Police, Billy Joel, Elton John, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, The Tempations, and The Jackson Five. I remember the cover of Big Brother and the Holding Company’s ‘Cheap Thrills‘ LP vividly (It was vaguely suggestive and an eensy bit graphic for my 7 year old mind. I thought it was porn.). I recall my mother having Ricki Lee Jones’ ‘Chuck Es’ in Love‘ and ‘Danny’s All-Star Joint’ on repeat, singing along over and over again while she cleaned or did laundry. My dad would blast Cream’s ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ in his Subaru Brat to help wake him up on the way to McMichael’s Creek on the first day of trout season. I’d sing along to the chorus.

I grew up listening to Top 40 radio and watching MTV in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, and Bon Jovi were the soundtrack of my adolesence. I fawned over New Kids on the Block for the better part of three or four years. I was one of the first white girls (well, semi-white) in my rural school district to watch Yo! MTV Raps. I loved Bell Biv DeVoe, MC Hammer, Young MC, TLC, Queen Latifah and MC Lyte. I was obsessed with Janet Jackson, to the point where I did that stupid teenage thing where you watch an artist’s videos over and over to learn the dance movies. I found an urban radio station in Philly and listened to them all the time. Drove my parents crazy.

When Nirvana broke out, I was a senior in high school, still deep in the throes of my hip hop and dance/club music obsession. I had doorknocker earrings, and wore baggy pants with black lace up patent leather shoes. I could do the Running Man, the Roger Rabbit, and the Kid N’ Play like nobody’s business. Word to yo’ mutha. Many of the ‘cool kids’ in my class were big into a pseudo-retro-70’s music thing at this point – they would smoke weed, dig up their parents’ old Grateful Dead and Steve Miller Band albums and play them at parties. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I knew all the words to ‘The Joker’ in sixth grade, when they were still whacking it to Samantha Fox.

After high school, my tastes grew more and more varied. I was introduced to Bob Marley (no weed necessary), joined the Hootie and the Blowfish/Dave Matthews bandwagon, and ultimately fell head over heels for the Gallagher brothers. From then on it was more of the same, listening mainly to Top 40, some mainstream hard rock (Foo Fighters, Breaking Benjamin, Audioslave, and yes, God help me, even some Nickelback), and popular hip hop, with a healthy dose of classic rock and motown mixed it. The past few years I’ve listened to less and less ‘popular’ music, straying away from Top 40 radio and just sticking with artists I like. Along the way I’ve gained new appreciation for Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, and recently have discovered a love of musicals and showtunes.

If you couldn’t already tell, my music taste is pretty mainstream – I’m definitely not a music snob, and I make no excuses for it. I only know one Radiohead song. I have no idea who Wilco is. I don’t ‘get’ Tom Waits. I could not name one indie music lable to save my life. And I make no excuses for it. Sure, I’ve discovered new artists here and there that I’ve really enjoyed (most recently, the excellent she&him featuring Zooey Deschanel), but for the most part I stick with what I know. I’ll never be labelled a ‘hipster’ by any means, but I think I’m alright with that.