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I Bet My Lunch is Better than Yours

I have a confession to make.

It’s not like this confession or this confession, where my mistakes were embarrassing but innocent, yet they were just that – mistakes.

No, this is something different entirely.

This is something that could be considered a flaw of character.

I know.

I didn’t think I had any of those, either.

Well maybe this isn’t so much a character flaw, as it is a taste flaw.

I can’t believe I’m about to admit this on this blog.  My foodie friends read this blog.

But those of you who know me – like know me, know me – are already aware of this fun little fact.

One of my absolute, all-time, mouth-is-watering-right-now-just-thinking-about it foods is…

A hot dog.

Correction – a good hot dog.

But I’ll eat the bad ones, too.

Justin and I decided to go out to dinner last night because our heater is broken, it’s unseasonably cold, and refusing to conform to what most people would do in our situation, which is call someone to fix it and eat Ramen noodles in an attempt to save as much money as possible for something that could potentially do catastrophic damage to our already-dwindling savings account (more on that later), we decided to pretend that the problem didn’t exist and go try a restaurant we’ve been wanting to try for quite some time.

*This problem is much more difficult to ignore today, while I’m sitting here typing with the very real fear that the tip of my nose is going to freeze off, which, if you’ve seen my schnoz, wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen to my face aesthetically speaking, but I’m pretty positive it wouldn’t feel all too pleasant.

The restaurant is called The Steele Pig, and is located a mere 25 minutes from our house, which is remarkably close for an actual chef-owned restaurant ’round these parts.  We didn’t even know it existed until a couple of months ago.  It’s incredibly understated, hard to see from the street, minimally decorated, doesn’t have an overabundance of tables, and none of that matters because holy crap, it’s a real restaurant less than an hour away from our house!

Now, I’m not a “foodie blogger.”  Unlike my friends Steven and Matty, I can’t wax poetic about chef credentials and food names I can’t properly announce and why certain reds are better served in a tulip glass because the liquid will hit my not-so-refined palette in just the right place and are you still talking because I’m seriously trying to eat over here.

So I’m not even going to try.

All I can tell you is that while there are some things on the menu that sounded absolutely delicious (crawfish cakes or a fried green tomato BLT, anyone?), I knew my choice had been made for me when our server told us about their $12 hot dog they had on special that night.

That’s right – $12 for a hot dog.

I knew it had to be good.

I waited anxiously with my tasty $5 mojito, and we downed some fried pork wontons that were gone before I could snap a photo.

*All of these photos were taken with my crappy camera phone, by the way.  My apologies.  I tried to be discrete because I know Justin loves being seen with the girl taking pictures of her food.  I only wished I had my giant DSLR to take better photos…


But then – then – came this:

A giant, delicious, 100% beef (I think) dog on an egg bun topped with incredibly tender pulled pork and homemade coleslaw with my choice of either a traditional red barbecue sauce or a North Carolina vinegar-based sauce.

Oh. My. God.

I had to eat this with a fork.

It was also served with homemade applesauce and incredible herb and garlic fries.

Heaven.

In fact, I think I’m going to go devour the other half right now before I go in search of a warm place (maybe a bookstore?) to spend the afternoon.

Let’s hope the heater fixer guy has good – and not expensive – news, shall we?

The Steele Pig on Urbanspoon

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Indulge.

Back in what I like to call the “Golden Days,” when I could eat and eat and eat and never gain an ounce of body fat, back before I discovered wine and beer and the accompanying traces of cellulite that inevitably appear if I don’t pay a visit to Jillian within 24 hours of consumption, back when my butt stayed firm of its own accord, and back before the elves started forgetting to oil my joints at night – particularly in my left knee – which makes me feel like the oldest 28-year-old I know, I liked to bake.

A lot.

I rarely cooked, but boy did I bake.  Cookies and cakes and brownies and bars… I felt comfortable baking because everything was precise.  As long as I followed the directions, it was hard to mess up.  And even when I did mess up, I could eat the mess and it was still tasty, if not pretty.

But now that I’m old enough to consume the empty calories found in alcohol, I try to limit my baking to events and special occasions, because let’s face it – I don’t need the extra calories tempting me while I’m in the house all day long.

Then I stumbled upon this recipe.  This perfectly enticing, decadent, chocolaty recipe for double fudge Irish cream cookies that combines baking with alcohol – and not in a miniscule way – and I just had to make them on St. Patrick’s Day.

Because if a day when I’m allowed to pinch people if they aren’t wearing my favorite color isn’t a special occasion, I don’t know what is.

And I realized today that while I’ve been sitting on this recipe (and the extra layer of fat it’s undoubtedly formed on my derrière) for the past couple of weeks, I’m doing myself a disservice.

Because if I have to be fat from making and consuming ridiculously delicious desserts, so should you.

By the way, my photos of the finished product are horrible because I was too busy actually eating the cookies to worry about taking decent pictures.  Luckily, Jessica at How Sweet it Is took some amazing photos of her own recipe, and she might give you some healthy recipes and fitness tips to make up for her irresponsible posting of these muy rico delicacies.

The good news is, I bet you can eat just one – they are super rich.

To make them, you will need:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 8 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

1.  Cream the softened butter, eggs and vanilla with a wooden spoon until fluffy.  I’m pretty adamant about the wooden spoon thing.  Sure, you could pull out your fancy, schmancy industrial mixer, but we’re making cookies, people.  Cookies should be made like our mothers and grandmothers made ‘em.

With love and good old-fashioned elbow grease.

Except not real elbow grease, because that would be gross.

And who has greasy elbows, anyway?  If anything, mine tend to get quite dry.  If I’m not careful, I’ll end up with “ashy elbows” ala Tyra Banks and I don’t know anyone who wants to look like her.

2.  Add the Bailey’s and mix it in, one tablespoon at a time.

Now.  If you’re a dough-eater like me, you might think this tastes a little… strong.  But stick with me, here.  The taste of Bailey’s gets much subtler after the cookies bake.

And yes, I know eating dough with raw egg is bad.  But it’s bad in such a good way, you know?

3.  Add the flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee (I crumbled mine up in the package a bit first), baking soda, and salt to the bowl.

Mix everything (again, with a wooden spoon – it’s imperative) until combined.

Be careful with the cocoa powder if you’re an enthusiastic mixer, like me.  It’s a bitch to get out of clothes.  Especially white shorts.  Seriously?  Who cooks in white shorts?

4.  Fold in the white and milk chocolate chips, then cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for 4-6 hours (I actually refrigerated overnight, and it was still fairly sticky to work with).

5.  When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350-degrees F.  Use your hands to roll the dough into balls.  I like my balls fairly big (tee-hee).  Bake the balls on an ungreased baking sheet for 8-10 minutes.  Since my balls were fairly big (tee-hee), my first batch came out slightly under-baked.

I thought that was perfectly fine.

These cookies are moist, with almost a creamy, buttery center, ultra rich and decadent.

Jessica recommends eating these with a glass of Bailey’s, but the richness for me almost requires a glass of cold milk.

Indulgence doesn’t get much better than this.

IKEA: Quite Possibly a Domestiphobe’s Worst Nightmare

A couple of weeks ago I informed you that my friend Alaina and I were planning a day trip to Charlotte to hit up that wonder of all superstores, IKEA, for the latest in ready-to-assemble Swedish decor for her nursery and my office.

We were going to go later this week, but since her husband was planning to come over to my house to play with my husband last Saturday (wait – that doesn’t sound right, does it?), we decided to go then.

That way I wouldn’t be here to witness them do this to my walls:

Now.  If you’ve never been to an IKEA before, there are a few things you should know:

1.  Preparation – especially if you don’t live close enough to run back to the store when you realize you forgot something – is key.  That means searching online ahead of time for things you might want, writing them down, taking measurements in your home, writing those down, and then checking the availability of those items at the store you plan on visiting.  I might have forgotten that last part.

2.  IKEA is BIG.  They have it set up so that you follow these arrows that direct you through the upper level of the store, meandering through a giant maze of show rooms and displays, oohing and ahhing at the cheap prices and simplistic designs and jotting down crazy names of things like “Ekby” and “Kivik” and “Klubbo” so that, when you get downstairs to where they actually have all the stuff for you to put in your cart, you’ve already seen what it looks like set up in a room.  The problem?  If you walk past something you wanted without realizing it, you might have to trek about 1.8 miles each way to go get it.  Wear sneakers, is all I’m sayin’.

3.  They have a kiddie play area where you basically sign your kids off to play while you shop and I’m pretty sure it’s genius and designed more for childless people like me than actual parents, but who cares because the kids are corralled in one place away from the rest of us real people and stop pretending to judge me because you know I have a point.

4.  Things aren’t always as cheap as you think.  Sure, that pretty print might look chic and affordable hanging in the showroom in its shiny silver frame, but looks can be deceiving.  You might not notice that there are two tags hanging from the picture – one for the print itself, and another for the frame.  And you like those library bookshelves with the glass doors whose price seems too good to be true?  That’s because you’re looking at the tag for just the top part of the shelf.  The bottom half and cabinet doors cost extra, just so you know.  In all fairness, you can usually find the price of an entire unit listed, but if you’re a newbie shopper there, just be careful to read the tag so you know what you’re pricing and what you’re buying.  You’d hate to get something home, put it together, and then realize you didn’t actually buy everything you wanted.

5.  With the exception of their kitchens, the majority of IKEA items tend to look a lot better online than they do in person, in my humble little opinion.  But hey – it’s ready-to-assemble furniture, people.  That means everything you buy – whether it’s a sectional sofa or a wall of bookshelves – comes in flat (albeit heavy) boxes just perfect for a brawny girl like me to drag into the back of the Tracker by herself because her friend is pregnant and I’ll be damned if I’ll let anything happen to the little kumquat.

And you don’t want to mess with these.

Side note:  Back in the day, Alaina and her husband (then boyfriend) Dirk bought all of his bedroom furniture from IKEA and enticed their friends over to help put it together under the guise of a party.  Approximately 6 hours and countless beers later, I was the last man standing.

And the furniture was assembled.

And it hasn’t fallen apart.

Yet.

In all seriousness though, a truly gifted shopper like Alaina can emerge from IKEA happy, alive, and with the makings of a simply beautiful room.  Even the dresser she bought for the nursery had far superior glides to much of IKEA’s other bedroom furniture, and Alaina had the uncanny ability to breeze through the labyrinth, stocking her cart with a piece of fabric here, a lamp there, and knowing her, everything will fit together perfectly in the end.

Just don’t expect it to be as inexpensive as you thought.

Truly ungifted shoppers like me, on the other hand, tend to have problems in a place like this.  For one, there’s too much pressure.  There were too many choices and I couldn’t make up my mind and half the time I’d end up running back across the entire store just to get a sieve I missed back in housewares and where did you get that plant, Alaina because I want one, and crap I have to run back to home organization again because I forgot the hook thingies for my hanging thingies and WHAT?!  They are out of my shelf brackets?  You have got to be f*cking kidding me and will someone please just take me out to the parking lot, dose me up with tranquilizers, and shoot me now?

In case you haven’t guessed, I don’t really like shopping.

These are the things I wanted to get at IKEA:

  • File cabinet
  • Shelf brackets
  • Storage boxes
  • Desk chair
  • Hanging organizers

These are the things I did get at IKEA:

  • Storage boxes
  • Hanging organizers
  • Fake plant
  • Kitchen sieve and funnels
  • Candle

These are the things I wish I’d bought at IKEA but I’d already purchased them somewhere else:

  • Blinds (IKEA has nice, inexpensive faux wood blinds, but I’d already bought wood-looking aluminum blinds at Target that the dogs have already messed up.)
  • Wooden hangars (I just bought what I thought were pretty inexpensive wooden hangars at Bed, Bath and Beyond for the closet makeover, but IKEA’s looked better and were even cheaper.)

In person, the file cabinet I thought I wanted just looked flimsy and unsubstantial, and they were out of my shelf brackets.  OUT.

I have to say, the best part of the day by far was the plate of Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, and lingonberry sauce served cafeteria style for like $4.  To a pregnant chick and a girl who still had to drive another 2 1/2 hours on pitch black, tree-lined, winding roads in the rain just to get us home, it was pure heaven.

I would’ve taken a picture, but they were literally gone in about 4.8 seconds.  My phone doesn’t work that fast.

At the end of the day, this meager pile is my total haul (before the storage boxes have been assembled):

My indecisiveness, lack of design skills, and just plain ol’ crappy luck were no match for IKEA’s wiley ways.

So.  After 2 1/2 hours driving to get there, and approximately 3 hours and 11.72 miles of walking through the store, and a stressful, stormy, 2 1/2 hour drive home, I felt deflated.  Alaina, who spent about 10 times more than me because she has a job and a design plan and the ability to make actual decisions, felt elated.

It was totally worth the trip.

But I have to say, before you make the trek to your not-so-local IKEA, you might want to figure out which one of us is you.

If Karma’s a Bitch, then I’m a Bigger Bitch.

You know what?

I am thoroughly confused right now, because I’ve always believed in karma or at least that karma-esque things can happen, meaning if you send good vibes out into the universe, the universe will send you good vibes in return.

So imagine my surprise when I could have turned all piss ‘n vinegar this morning when my neighbor woke me up by calling me on her drive to work because she was worried she’d left her hair straightener plugged in and she’d end up burning down her house while her husband’s deployed and he’d never trust her to use hot things again and would I please, please go check and instead of getting mad, I remembered that I had told myself I’d be getting up at 7:00 from now on anyway and it was already 7:15 and it wasn’t so bad putting on a sweater and shuffling across the street because I got to see this:

and I thought it was really pretty and I wanted to steal a cup of coffee from my neighbor because her kitchen smelled so good but I didn’t because I didn’t know how to work her Keurig and oh yeah that would’ve been wrong so I was feeling pretty good about myself when I got home and started thawing out in my kitchen (and I even found an old-ish but still good container of yummy-flavored coffee her Keurig had me craving instead of my usual plain stuff and it didn’t even matter that it was decaf – although why would I have ever bought decaf? – because I’ve been trying to wean off the stuff anyway) but I felt good because I’d made the choice to be happy this morning and it worked and then it was time to let the dogs in from the yard.

Then – then – I slammed my finger in the storm door.

I’m still not sure how it happened.

Or why it happened.

And now I know where they got the term burst my bubble because that’s exactly what happened.  My happy little morning bubble popped just like that and sent soapy splatters across the kitchen as I sent every curse word imaginable – in English, German and Spanish for good measure – out into the universe, because you know what, Universe?  If you’re going to send shit my way for absolutely no reason whatsoever, I’m going to send it right. back. atcha, sista.

So check yourself.

*I will have another post for you sometime today.  But I think it’s best for everyone that I wait a bit to build up the bubble again as I try to work things out with karma, sip my flavored coffee, remember once again why I stopped drinking that stuff to begin with, and wait for the throbbing in my finger to subside.

Thank you for your patience.

More of My Messes

I seriously feel like I have a backlog of things to tell you about on here – things other than food and house projects – but these days it seems like I’ve only been inspired to write while I’m driving or while I’m drunk (which are never at the same time), but I’m fairly certain that writing while doing either is not the greatest idea.

Well, that’s not entirely true.

Sometimes I’m interesting when I drink.  At least to a point.  And then I probably just get annoying because I only think I’m interesting.

And this is why I maintain that it’s better to drink alone.

Okay, I don’t really mean that.

Mostly.

Anyway.

Is it really Monday again already?  It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been bummed about Mondays.  See, that’s what happens when you quit your 9-5.  You make up with Mondays.  In fact, you might-kind-of-a-little-bit look forward to them because you will have the house to yourself and feel motivated to get things done.

But then I introduced the idiot idea of setting weekly goals for myself to get much-needed projects done around this house and announcing them on this blog so you, dear friends, can hold me accountable.

And even though my first week was a success, I have been dreading today, Monday, all weekend.  Because it’s time to set new goals.  And I think last week – and my subsequent trip to IKEA (more on that later) – sucked up all my motivation.

And it’s cold again.

And rainy.

And right now my walls look like this:

(More on that later.)

And I want my mom.

But she has a business and a step-grandbaby and has no time to visit me.

Wah.

Wait.  Was I going somewhere with this?

Moving on.

I need a goal.

I have several small-ish “to-do’s” that I’d like to complete this week:

  • Mail out for a new social security card because there’s a possibility I may have misplaced my old one.  Possibly.
  • Book my favorite boarders for my mutts because there is a highly anticipated trip in our near future (more on that later).
  • Call my counselor for a reminder of which book she wants me to read and when my next appointment is scheduled because I may have misplaced the piece of paper she wrote it on.  Possibly.  (Counselor?  More on that later.  Maybe.)
  • Find at least 2 new healthy recipes to make this week (I think I already found one!) because, ready or not, summer IS coming.  And so is a vacation.  And both will involve bathing suits.
  • Brainstorm pitches for at least 3 freelance articles and potential publications.
  • Make a list of all of the things in this post I promised to write “more on later” so I actually remember to write more on them later.

The problem is, I don’t really think any of these things fall into my weekly goal category, because a) they’re not big enough, and b) I really have to do them anyway.

The other problem is, some of the house-related goals I had in mind either happen outside (like organizing the garage) or require me to work outside (like staining shelves for the office), and that was great when it was all 80-degrees and sunny last week, but now it’s like 45 and miserable and I just don’t wanna.

So here is my goal, which is slightly less labor intensive this week:

I, Katie, do solomly swear to try to dispose of or find permanent homes for as much of this pile of crap that came from the desks I sold on Craigslist as I can within the next week so I have room to finish the office:

And, time permitting, will do the same for all items in this office closet (brace yourself – this one is far, far worse than the last):

I know this seems like small potatoes, but getting Justin to purge things he doesn’t need can sometimes be difficult.

I mean, it’s hard to get past that mentality of, the second I throw this out, I’m going to need it for something else and you’ll be sorry you made me throw it out because then I’ll have to buy a new one.

But here’s my logical response:  You end up buying a new one anyway because a) the old one isn’t good enough, b) you can’t find the old one, or c) you didn’t even know you had the old one.  And then we end up with like 6 of these doohickys and they’re cluttering up my office and therefore my entire LIFE and why are you looking at me like I’m crazy?

So there’s that.

Fake it ‘Till We Make it

Oh, boy.

Do I have a treat for you.

Have you ever had a mild panic attack when you realize people are coming to your house – people who might expect food – people who might expect cutsie, bite-sized, appetizer-ish food – and you pretty much can’t stand the idea of going through the work of assembling a million crab-and shrimp stuffed tartlets and mini cheese quiches?

Not that you would ever do that anyway, but you get my point.

So it’s a good thing for us that we can fake it.

I’ve discovered a tasty little treat (I actually might have ripped it off from a restaurant) that is so simple and so impressive and so delicious that you might just find yourself throwing it together for lunch on a lazy, rainy, Sunday afternoon while you sip wine and watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Not that I would ever do that.

Except for maybe today and every lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon from here on out.

You only need a few ingredients to make this twist on a mozzarella caprese salad:

  • Some type of French or Italian bread
  • Butter or margarine
  • Garlic powder
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese (We’re talkin’ the ball of wet stuff – you can get it in the specialty cheese area of most grocery stores)
  • Fresh basil
  • Roma tomato
  • Balsamic glaze (this is something I found at my nicer grocery store.  I suppose you could use any brand, but I use H.T. Trader’s from Harris Teeter.  I found it where they sell the balsamic and other flavored vinaigrettes.)

1.  Slice and toast the bread.

2.  Spread a small amount of margarine or butter over the top and sprinkle with garlic powder.  (You could broil the bread with the margarine and garlic powder if you want to get all fancy, but my method works fine if you’re just making a small amount.)

3.  Place a slice of mozzarella and a slice of tomato on top of the bread.  Drizzle with the balsamic glaze, then sprinkle some chopped basil over the top.

Viola!

It’s that simple.  And it really does taste spectacular.

Anybody can make this and seriously impress some people.

Especially if you don’t show them the bottle of balsamic glaze.

I’m Finally Out of the Closet

Okay, I have yesterday’s promised closet makeover pictures for you.  I apologize that this is pretty anticlimactic because, while I’m thrilled with the new sense of peace and organization this brings me, in the end, it’s still just a closet.

Except now it’s clean and painted and oh yeah there’s no taffy stuck to the inside wall covered with scotch tape.

Don’t ask.

Before:

After (empty):

All of the scratches and general dinginess have been smoothed out and painted over.  Justin hung the new shelf using some old 2×4’s we had in the garage, and I primed and painted them to match the shelf.

The really inexpensive hangars are from Bed, Bath and Beyond:

And both types of bronze hooks are from Target:

By hanging the hooks, taking out a few of the winter coats (umm, Katie?  Do you really need 4 winter coats hanging in a main hall closet in North Carolina for 4 years?), digging out some storage baskets I had hiding in another closet, and throwing out some of the junk, I was actually able to fit more stuff in here.

The dog leashes and car harnesses came in from the garage, Justin’s baseball hats finally came down from the top of the television in the bedroom, and everything is now much more accessible.

We can even still fit the vacuum in there, and we have some extra space for guest coats.  Apparently people appreciate that as opposed to flinging them over the back of a dog-hair covered sofa.

Go figure.

In the end, it really was worth the hassle.

Even though it might not look much different to you, cleaning out this closet helped clean me out a little, too.

Not in a literal enema sort of way, but in a figurative mind clutter sort of way.

Getting rid of crap you don’t need – both physically and mentally – is therapeutic.

Who knew you could get so much from a tiny little closet?

I can’t wait to see what happens when I move on to the walk-in…

Cross My Heart and Pinky Swear

Well.

I fully intended to have a post for you by this afternoon.  I did.

But it turns out these goals actually take work and time to accomplish.

Go figure.

But, I do have great news!  I have completed the 2 goals I set for myself this week.

Let’s recap:

1.  Finish that damn closet. Yep, it’s finished!  And it actually looks awesome.  Who knew that painting the inside of a closet, replacing the wire shelf with a real shelf, and adding some hooks and organization could be so much work?  But it was totally worth it because I’m convinced this is the type of thing that’s eventually going to sell this place.

Sound crazy?

Think about it.  You can walk into a place you’re potentially interested in buying and it might appear clean, but then you open a closet and see where the mess went.  Subconsciously, this makes you wonder what else the homeowners might be hiding.

Well I’ve got news for you, judgy wudgy – we ain’t hiding nothin’ but some dog leashes and a Dyson.  No skeletons in this closet, thankyouverymuch.

The other closets in the house are another story.

2.  Sell a bunch of the “big” items taking up space in the garage and office so they can both get cleaned out.  Well, I sold almost everything I listed: 2 desks, kitchen range with hood, and a dining table with 4 chairs.  The only thing I didn’t get any bites on was an office chair, so I’ll wait a bit and try again.  I have a few other things I want to try selling, so I consider this a successful start.

Now.  Here’s the kicker.

I don’t have pictures of the garage and office for you tonight.  It’s getting too dark to get a decent picture of the closet, and I’m covered in primer and paint, and I still need to take the mutts on a walk and give them baths, and I’m so hungry and I need a beer.

So those things need to get taken care of.  Not necessarily in that order.

But I will update this post tomorrow with photos.

Pinky swear.

And I never go back on a pinky swear.

Notice that I picked the multiracial pinky swear photo from Esquire.com to emphasize the fact that I’m not racist.

Or maybe it was just one of the first photos to show up.

Potayto, Potahto.

Thank God I’m Not Alone

I think it’s high time I tell you that WordPress (the platform I use to write this blog) has a nifty little feature that allows me to see the search terms people use that lead them to Domestiphobia.

So, if someone types, “Domestiphobia” into his or her Google search box and then clicks on a link to my blog, the word “Domestiphobia” shows up on my little list of search terms.

And I have to say, while I’m sure there are many crazier/sillier/funnier search terms out there leading people to crazier/sillier/funnier blogs, I just have to share some of my favorites:

1.  “Can you use a paint key for beer?” Well.  I can only imagine this highly practical question led you to this extremely informative (yet completely unrelated) post about how to paint a room entitled, “Painting 101: Bring Your Own Beer.”

But, just in case you’re still floating around my site because you undoubtedly found it interesting regardless of the fact that it didn’t answer your question, I’m going to answer it for you, because I believe that the more you know, the better equipped you are to deal with the world.  Plus, it gives me an excuse to open (and therefore drink) a bottle of Guinness we have leftover from cooking the corned beef and cabbage on St. Patty’s Day at 3:30 in the afternoon:

For those of you who aren’t familiar, a paint key is a simple metal tool (you can usually get for free at most hardware stores) typically used to open paint cans, but yes.  Yes, you can use a paint key to open a non-twist off bottle of beer.  (I’m assuming that’s what you were asking.  Otherwise, I’m not sure how else you would “use” a paint key for beer.  And I’m not sure I’d want to know.)

Allow me to demonstrate.

This is a paint key and a bottle of beer:

Simply hold the key by the long, skinny end and use the 3 notches on the round end to pry off the top by sticking the two bottom notches underneath the bottle top and lifting in an upwards motion with your wrist.

*I’d highly recommend using 2 hands for this – one to hold the key and the other to hold the bottle.  The one-handed approach shown here is strictly for demonstration purposes.  You know, so I don’t drop the camera.  Or the beer.  At this point, I’m not sure which is more important.

I often find using a paint key is easier than the cheap-ass bottle opener I have on my key chain.   (Yes, I have a bottle opener on my key chain.  Stop judging me.)  Come to think of it, I might just go ahead and hook the paint key to my key chain.  That would make me look chic in a groovy, DIY chick sort of way, no?

Right.

And in case you were wondering, yes.  I really did open the bottle and am drinking as we speak.  As I type.  Whatever.  I can do this because I’m a stay at home writer.

At this point I see that I’ve now spent over 500 words on this post so far.  Huh.  I’m going to have to shorten these up a bit.

*Did you know that you, as internet readers, tend to have a fairly short attention span?

2.  “Does Breakfast of Champions on kindle have pictures?” This question would undoubtedly lead you to my post  entitled, “Is That A Vagina on your Kindle, or are You Just Happy to See Me?

And in case you didn’t figure it out by reading the post, yes.  Yes it most definitely does.

3.  “Kindles make you look like a pussy.” That’s more of a statement than a question, and I’m not sure why you would search for this.  That said, my answer is, no.  Your face makes you look like a pussy, but my Kindle does not make me look like one.  It might occasionally make me look at one, but not like one.  If you need an explanation for that, see the post linked in #2 above.

4.  “Stick the thermometer up my ass mom and nurse.” Huh.  I’d really not rather address that one (I do try to keep this site on the PG-13 side, after all), but I’m guessing that when this search took you to my post called, “I’m Too Sexy for My Hep Shots,” you were sorely disappointed.

5.  “Sexy hep.” Yes, you actually searched for this.  I’m not sure why.  But it probably took you to the post linked in #4.  Hope it helped!

6.  “DIY Fandelier.” What??  I thought I made that word up!  So why are you searching for it?  And, more important, why would you ever, ever want to make one of these?

Fandelier

7.  “Kinky Wrinkly.” What?!  I don’t know.  Honestly.

8.  And finally, my favorite (to date): “Phobia of opening those Pillsbury crescent roll tubes.” So HA!  I’m not the only one.

Salmon Crescent Bundles - Crescent Rolls

How’s that for SEO?

Weekly Goals and Paninigasms. You Heard Me.

My friend Leslie was kind enough this morning to point out that I neglected to fulfill a promise I made last week about keeping you posted on my weekly goals so I can finally get a bunch of projects done around this wreck of a house.

I was supposed to tell you yesterday (Monday), but instead, I was actually working on fulfilling said goal.

But Leslie made me realize – If I don’t disclose the goals on here (or to anyone, for that matter), I’ll never get them done.

Because no one would give me a hard time about it.

And that’s what friends (and blog readers, who are practically friends because there isn’t much on here I don’t disclose about myself) are for – to give you shit when you start slacking.

Because they care.

I actually have 2 goals for this week:

1. Finish that damn closet so our coats can get off the guest bed and back into the closet where they belong.  Haven’t you heard?  It’s springtime, baby!

2. Sell a bunch of the “big” items taking up space in the garage and office so they can both get cleaned out.  That’s what I was working on yesterday – putting our old dining table, range, 2 office desks, and an office chair on Craigslist in the hope of selling them sometime this week.

Because this is what the garage looks like right now:

Nope, it ain’t pretty.

So far I’ve learned 2 things:

1. I priced the dining table and range too low.  I’ve gotten about a billion responses, and now I’m kicking myself for letting people convince me I couldn’t get very much for them.

2. Craigslist folk are unreliable.  The lady who was supposed to buy the range told me she’d be here before 10:00.  It’s now after 11:00, and she still hasn’t shown.  She’s probably going to be pissed when I call the next guy in line, but sorry lady!  You snooze, you lose.  This thing has got to go.

I should’ve known, though.  Erin warned us once about the perils of Craigslist:

So, yeah.  It’s not going that great so far.

On a completely unrelated note, have you ever seen the movie Spanglish with Adam Sandler?

It’s one of those movies that wasn’t originally my cup of tea, but for whatever reason I watched it again, and then again, and then again because there’s just something about it that’s so honest about human nature and our flaws and our idiosyncrasies that it just feels raw and real and… I don’t know… imperfect.  But that’s okay, because that’s the point.

Anyway.

There’s this scene where Adam Sandler’s life is just crap.  He’s an amazing chef with a beautiful house and family, but it doesn’t matter because things are falling apart in his marriage, the kids are suffering from huge self-esteem issues inflicted by their crazy mother who can’t recognize the reasons she’s so unhappy, his mother-in-law lives with them and happens to be a raging alcoholic, and their entire family is having a negative impact on the “pure” and holistic upbringing their nanny, who is a beautiful, single, illegal immigrant from Mexico, is trying to impart on her own impressionable young daughter.

And all of these things are weighing on him.  They tear him down every day.

But in this scene he’s about to have a moment – a moment of pure bliss.  He’s fixing himself this amazing sandwich.  We’re talkin’ the mother of all BLT’s, with crispy bacon, fresh butterhead lettuce and ripe tomato slices, mayo (of course), and thick wheat bread with some Monterey jack cheese that’s been broiled to perfection, all topped off with a glorious fried egg whose yolk doesn’t break until he slices into the sandwich’s divine center belly, the golden fluids bleeding out onto the plate for a perfect dipping opportunity.

Then – then – he pours himself some kind of gourmet-looking dark beer into a tall pilsner glass (at which point I completely jizz in my pants) and the entire scene is done in silence with just the sounds of the egg being fried, the crack and fizz of the beer as it’s poured into the glass, the grate of the knife on the plate.

Perfection.

I will never forget that scene.  It’s like this moment he so desperately needs – just himself, the paper, the perfect sandwich, and a beer.

Of course, it all gets ruined for him before he can take the first mind-blowing bite, but that’s beside the point.

The point is that sometimes you don’t have to get too fancy to have a completely satisfying meal.  Sometimes a sandwich – a sandwich that you take a little care and time to prepare correctly – can be the perfect ending to an otherwise less-than-perfect day.

And I want to thank my sister, who reminded me of that last night when she encouraged me to make this:

Known henceforth as the “Orgasm Panini,” which, if executed correctly, could cause a paninigasm (thanks Jeff, for the term).

For a list of ingredients I used, check out the description of this photo on the Domestiphobia Facebook page.

Yep.  I’m sneaky like that.

***UPDATED***

Here are is the cast of characters for the Orgasm Panini (I figure it’s only fair if you stumbled across this later to not make you search for the ingredients) from bottom to top:

Some type of thickly sliced bread, mayo with lemon juice and basil, Cajun turkey from the deli, fresh tomato, freshly sliced or grated Mozzarella, cooked bacon, artichoke hearts, fresh baby spinach. Toast in panini press and enjoy.

Maybe even multiple times.