Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

I haven't done this one for awhile. This weeks Ten on Tuesday - Ten Guilty Pleasures on TV. I don't watch much regular TV - lots of sports but I have a view guilty pleasure shows...

1. Extreme Home Makeover - this show makes me cry every time- I love it!

2. What Not to Wear - I TiVo this show and have been known to watch the really good episodes several times - example Christina and her "girls". It's on the TiVo now awaiting a visit from Nico's Mom & Miss Lillie B in a couple of weeks. We crack open the wine and watch this show until the wee hours.

3. Biography - I tend to be snobby about all the Hollywood gossip and won't read People (unless I'm at the hairdresser) but put those same people on Biography and I am all over it.

4. Oprah - I TiVo her show so I can pick through them. I used to be a very faithful viewer when I worked from home but not so much anymore.

5. The Today Show - which really isn't much better than the entertainment shows - although I will start to boycott if they turn into The Micheal Jackson show because quite frankly - I am so over it. He was a child molester - 'nuff said.

6. NFL football - my favorite team is the Miami Dolphins but I would sit in front of the TV all day Sunday and pretty much watch any game.

7. Project Runway - so snarky and so fun.

8. Top Chef - so snarky and so fun but with food.

9. Dinner Impossible - more fun with food - Robert Irvine is wound up!

10. The Barefoot Contessa - because really, Ina is soooooooo the Hamptons.

That's about all I can think of - other than sports I don't watch that much TV. How about you - what are your TV guilty pleasures?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Friday Fill - Ins, Saturday morning addition and It's Cocktail Time!

I like the option of doing Friday Fill Ins on Saturday morning - usually on Friday nights I just want to chill away from a computer. And I can taste the proposed cocktail - just to make sure I'd want to share. So here we go!

1. She had a great idea to make cocktails from St. Germain, that Nico's Mom did - it's my new favorite mixer!

2. My guardian angel is by my side, always.

3. I know this: I need some time to just chill this weekend.

4. still.

5. These words apply to me: happy it's the weekend and we don't have any major, big productions going on.

6. When I woke up this morning the sun was shining - YEA!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight (last night) I'm looking forward to my Friday night martini and fish on the grill and Saturday my plans include getting my hair cut and going to a Rock cats baseball game and Sunday, I want to sleep in!

And now - my new favorite mixer and surely the best summer drink since lemonade. And as much as I love me a good mojito - they are too trendy so I'm sticking to this one. We had to order it from the local packy( thanks gang at Moodus Package!) but they are very nice about ordering me special stuff. This is another french liquor - St. Germian, made from elderflower blossoms. It is so nice, a little cirtusy but not too sweet or strong. The bottle we got came with a very fancy mixing glass and a great recipe book. I can't wait to try some of this with champagne - maybe tonight after the baseball game! This stuff is good, really really really good- so run out and get some and let me know if you enjoy it as much as I did! And definately check out the recipe section of their web site - it is very funny along with some great recipes. The recipe below (copied word for word) was in our little recipe book & it is awesome!

St. Tropez

1 shot Citron vodka

1 shot St. Germain

1/2 shot fresh lemon juice

top with tonic or soda water

Method: Shake first three ingredients with ice and strain into an ice filled Collins glass.Top with tonic or soda water, garnish with a lemon twist, a white bikini , and an azure pool heated to preciously 82 degrees F.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New cat toys

I have ordered a couple of rugs for the house - one came today and I also received the books I won from Chris - thanks so much! Nelson & Casey were also very happy!

Nelson - "Oh My God - look at all my new toys!"

I'll post more maybe on Friday - Thursday is volunteer night at the hospice unit.

Casey - "Whatever weirdo cat - haven't you ever seen a few books?"

Sunday, June 21, 2009

More vaca photos

Because - I haven't shown you anything other than Santiago.

This fountain is in the Parque de Las Esculuras. It is beautiful during the day but at night they have a light show and the fountain has different configurations - I guess sort of like in Vegas at the Bellagio, only not so big, no music and in South America. It was another popular make out part of town . Our hotel was about a 2 minute block away and the subway stop was right across the street - very convenient.

This is me shopping at the craft market in Santa Lucia - see Shana - I really was in Santiago! I don't look very happy but I really loved this place. A lot of local artisans and very reasonable prices for most things. Plus they had security guards in here so there were no pick pockets. There were probably 200 vendors in this market - we went back at least 3 times. the photo to the right is the outside of the market from the Santa Lucia park. As you can see our visit was the same time of the release of Angels and Demons.

To the right is about half way up to the top of the Santa Lucia park. It was a beautiful hike and you could go all the way to the top (we did) or stop at any number of terraces on the way up (which we also did).

We felt very safe wandering around and really did not have much of a problem - except for the Pepcid lift. We were walking around with a backpack (translation = tourist who has something in the backpack I can rip off). Several vendors told us to watch out & wear the pack in the front but did we listen? No. We wondered around quite confident until we came into the Central Market for lunch. Some locals pointed at our back pack & we noticed the small pocket was unzipped. I panicked because I had our iPod charger, camera UBS cord, Pepcid & Advil in that pocket. All that was missing - the Pepcid. Which concerned me because we were in the land of pisco sours & much red wine. But then I thought why the hell did I need to carry all that crap around? in a backpack? My purse (yes the whole purse, not just my wallet) was in the big pocket and fine but Hubby & I both felt pretty stupid - we both know better than to be such an obvious target. So we ate our lunch at Donde Augusto in the Mercado Central. We had some very nummy fresh fish - the place was loud and lively. We wanted to wander around some more and with the pack in front - we headed out on the street. It was very strange because all of a sudden I stopped - I could "feel" 3 guys watching us - sure enough they were following us and I am sure hoping to rip us off again. I had our camera dangling from my wrist (duh -obvious target again) and we both looked a little freaked. I did not know what to do so we ducked into a yarn store to re-group. 2 different locals came in and in broken English told us were were being followed and to be careful, hide the camera, watch our money, etc. I nervously picked out a couple of skeins of yarn, paid for them and tried to figure out what to do next. We wanted to go to a coffee place - they have cafes called "coffee with legs" and I was intrigued. Basically they are like strip clubs but with coffee(no booze), the girls don't have much clothes on to start with and they leave on what they have. So we found one and went inside (the guys were still following us). It was the best coffee we had our entire trip (the norm is instant Nescafe - yuk!) but it felt strange to have a very scantily clad young girl, maybe 18, make us a couple of cappachinos then do a little dance in front of us under the black light. She was a very sweet girl but I wanted to leave. We went back out & I wanted to get a picture of the front of the cafe and my camera battery died! I looked around and sure enough saw two of our stalkers. I decided right then - damn it I would dig in my back pack and get new batteries, I would take my picture and stare them down the whole time. Which is what we did. I did not want to show them we were intimidated. We walked a few blocks and they dropped off. So to the left is the picture we took of our cafes con piernas (coffee with legs).
That's it for today. While unpacking I found two post cards we did not send so popped them in the mail to the Scaleys' and Miss Lillie B - I hope you noticed the stamp !

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Preparing for the big 5-0

No - not me, Hubby is going to be the big 5-0 on Friday. And his birthday wish meal? Meatloaf and potato salad - really. But we had a good time in NYC and ate well there. It's easy for me! I'll try to post a good cocktail tomarrow - I will be volunteering at hospice tonight..

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Fill - Ins and It's Cocktail Time!

I am having problems cutting and pasting from Friday Fill ins - damn you Blogger! So manually ( yuk) here we go!

1. I grew up thinking I could be anything I wanted to be (thanks Mom!)

2. Yahoo was the last website I was at before I came here.

3. Why don't you make me a martini, Hubby?

4. Meditating helps me relax.

5. Thanks for the dent in my truck to whoever hit me last night in the Goodspeed parking lot.

6. All the Jon & Kate stuff and Miss California getting fired is very off putting, because quite frankly the J&K stuff is so sad for the kids and anyone who has been through a divorce doesn't want to watch a marriage die in front of them and Miss CA who really cares?!

7. And for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a martini and watching the Sox - Yankees game, tomorrow my plans include taking Hubby to NYC for a birthday trip & hanging out with Mr. & Mrs. Training Buddy who are celebrating their anniversary and Sunday I want to sleep in at the Algonquin Hotel and then go have a great breakfast in NYC!

So after we get the cat/house sitter all set up, we may go ahead and have a Manhattan - get it?! We are going to NYC! Ha - that humor is not even martini enhanced! I am not much of a whiskey drinker anymore - thanks to my friend Tim who used to buy my shots of whiskey all the time. But here is the recipe - a classic.

Manhattan Perfect

11/2 oz. Canadian whisky

3/4 oz dry vermouth

1/4 vermouth rosso

dashed Angostura bitters

stemmed cherry

Stir well in a mixing glass filled with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with cherry.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Allan Corduner

That is the actor who narrates the audio version of The Book Thief. I must give the man credit - he was fabulous! You can go to the link and hear an audio clip.

The Book Thief

This weeks Ten on Tuesday was Your Ten Favorite Things to do with Me Time. I don't need ten things to do - my favorite, very favorite thing to do is curl up with a good book and read for oh, 4-8 hours. Really - I love it! A friend of mine from work who is on the road a lot has also turned me on to audio books - a great distraction from the regular radio, negative news, same old music BS. And right now, my heart is breaking listening to the most beautiful, haunting, wonderful, sad book The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I am sure the regular book is a great read, but the audio book is narrated by a wonderful stage actor (can't find his name now). I have read several reviews and this is supposedly a teenage book, but in places it is very sad (why I love it) but always balances that with hope. It is narrated by Death and takes place in Nazi Germany, but really - if you only listen to one book this summer - let it be this one. Here is the NY Times review if you don't believe me......

Saturday, June 6, 2009

More vaca photos

I wasn't going to post twice today but Hubby made me a martini, then started watching a documentary on Chinese war tactics...BORING!

This is a beautiful park in Santiago called Santa Lucia. It is as lovely as this photo suggests. We went there several times - you can hike up some old stone stairs to the top of the mountain and look over Santiago. We did that later in the trip - this day we were on the 1/2 day city tour. Our guide was great - I think his name was Roberto and I'm sad to say I did not take his photos - he turned us on to some great bars in Belle Vista neighborhood and some pretty decent local micro brew. But first they had a "special surprise" for us. We soon learned that "special sup rises usually meant something either very hokey or a stop at a store that we could buy special souvenirs. This tour had both. First - the re-enactment of the taking of Santiago - artfully (sort of ) done by this troupe of actors. It was pretty dramatic and we went with the flow by watching, although all the locals that were there were snickering at us tourists.

This park is where the locals go to make out - and there are couples EVERYWHERE kissing away. We figured it was because they wouldn't be allowed to behave that way at their parent's house - but it was Ok in public. I managed to sneak a quick kiss with Hubby - quite begrudgingly I might add. But I didn't marry him for his romance.. The guy in the orange shirt was the story teller - he used his cell phone as a microphone which was curious. We also saw several groups of college kids practicing some sword play stuff here - it was a little strange, Darwin also visited this hill so it's pretty significant.

This fountain is sort of in the middle of the park and is very beautiful. We fell in love with all the architecture.

This is the view of Santiago from another park - their main park in the city, Parque Metropolitano. It was pretty smoggy - normal for the city as it is surrounded by mountains but we thought it was beautiful. In the summer it is "unbearable" whatever that means to them, we did not find it to be a problem but it was late fall for Santiago - temps in the 70's during the day; 50's at night - perfect!

More tomorrow!

Friday Fill - Ins, Saturday morning addition and It's Cocktail Time!

I must give credit for this wonderful post idea to Shana - it's never too late for Friday Fill Ins! Since I started this entry I have done two loads of laundry (hung one up on the clothes line to dry), cleaned out a junk drawer, commented on three of Shana's posts (she's running a half mary tomorrow - go wish her luck!), helped Hubby find batteries, tried to help Hubby find his pneumatic nailer, made reservations for a trip to Block Island, RI on July with friends from Florida, made our hotel reservations for NYC next weekend, ate a bowl of cereal and drank two cups of coffee. To say I am easily distracted is stating the obvious. Let me get finish this post before it's next Friday!

And...here we go!

1. I love my home.

2. My favorite thing for dinner lately has been anything homemade.

3. My cat's go meow meow meow not bark! bark! bark!

4. A nice long walk is relaxing and helps center me.

5. I'm always happy to hear some good news.

6. When all is said and done, I'm very lucky and thankful for the gifts in my life.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight (last night) I'm looking forward to dinner with Hubby, tomorrow my plans include finally packing away the winter clothes and Sunday, I want to sleep in and chill!

And now the cocktail - you'll need to find a liquor called falernum. To quote a most amazing cookbook we own ( Original Tortuga Rum Fever & Caribbean Party Cookbook), falernum is a a sweet liquor that originated in the 18th century in Barbados. It's used to flavor rum drinks. Our friend from the local packy gave me a sample of theirs as it is hard to find - I'm sure we'll find some next weekend when we go to NYC. Any how - this drink is simple, tasty and worth the search for falernum - you really can't substitute anything else that will taste the same.

Port Maria

This old Jamaican cocktail is supposed to be a favorite of Noel Coward & his celebrity guests.

1 1/2 ounces light rum

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 T. pineapple juice

1 t. falernum

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and shake well. Strain into a cordial glass ( we doubled the recipe and used a martini glass) and add ice as desired. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.