Sunday, June 29, 2008

Good News Everybody...

It's that time of year, once again. Every year, same bat time, same bat channel: My Birthday.

It's odd, as I get older, how I'm less preoccupied with getting stuff and much more interested in getting a free-pass on a few days of excess. Caffeine, Sugar, Fatty Foods, Alcohol, Cigars, staying up a little late, sleeping in a little late... All those things I set aside as "once-in-a-while" expenditures, I tried to cram into one action-packed weekend.

As soon as I got home Friday from work, I was ready to roll. I had two beautiful Flat Iron Steaks marinating, which were just begging for some face time with sweet lady Grill...

When Kerrie got home, she treated me to my birthday presents. Let me be the first to say that she is the coolest frikken' woman ever born. Why? THIS:

Yeah, that's right, she wrapped my presents up into a package made to look like Bender Bending Rodriguez himself. I was so in awe that I was hesitant to ever touch it. Yeah, it was that awesome...

Inside, however, were two gifts that thoroughly pleased me: Futurama- The Beast with a Billion Backs and the first season of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations on DVD.

Back to the steaks... I had two Flat Irons marinating in a Bourbon sauce, so I threw those on the grill and whipped up some Garlic Smashed Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables.

After dinner, Kerrie again amused me with my favorite birthday treat: Yellow Cake with Chocolate frosting. Yeah, I know... It's pretty plain and unoriginal, but it's my thing. I Love Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting.

On Saturday, we made a trip to Cinnabon. I may not be a fan of chain restaurants, but I loves me sum Cinnabon.

Before heading over to Jungle Jims for groceries, we stopped at the Tinderbox and I picked up a nice CAO Criollo.

After our grocery run, Kerrie and I went up to West Chester for lunch and Jay's First Annual Ikea Challenge. For lunch we stopped at a nice little coffee shop called Tazza Mia. At first glance, this place screams franchise. It's clean and polished and everything is refined, but when you get down to it, it's a local establishment and -to tell the truth- downright amazing. I had their Pot Roast panini and a cappuccino. Kerrie had the Chipotle Turkey Bacon panini, and as we ate I couldn't help but think of Professor Farnsworth's immortal words: You know you really don't cook enough roasts Leela!

After lunch we made our way to Ikea. Now, before we go to far, let me explain the challenge. My grandmother sent me a gift of $25 for my birthday, and I immediately thought of some stuff I wanted to get at Ikea. I have come to truly love Ikea, but really want to have an affair with their prices. So the challenge was simple: See how much stuff we could get for $25 without going over. In the words of the PiKea Bot: Enjoy yer afferrdable Svedish crahp!

On our way home, we got caught in an impressive thunderstorm/downpour. Still not as bad as that one day in B.G., but it was a little tense on the way home.

Just like that, though, the rain let up as the skies cleared and the rest of the afternoon was extremely pleasant.

For dinner I made a beautiful Neapolitan pizza. Homemade dough, and sweet and tangy sauce, provolone and parmesan cheese, and plenty of fresh chopped basil. Bellissimo!

Kerrie and I ended the evening on the porch, where I enjoyed my cigar and glass of Cutty & Lime.

Sunday, my actual birthday, was much more low-key. After church I made a delectable Ragu of Port, Italian Sausage and Short Ribs. A thick, rich, intense sauce of epic proportions that I had been longing for recently, taking me back to those cold winter nights with a roaring fire and lots of people gathered around a tiny table...

And, as quickly as it appeared it then disappeared. 33 and still going strong. It's a celebration bitches...

Thanks to Gramma, My brother, Mom & Dad Fassett, Sue, and my Mom... Who refuses to let me forget that my birth took 48 hours.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Why say something nice when you can tell the truth?

I realized, recently, that it's been almost a month since I last posted.

There is no excuse. I used to be able to go to Howard's, get loaded, and spout off some truly inspirational crap. Now? Well, now I get sleepy real early and need to go nighty-night.

That is, without a doubt, pretty freekin' weak.

It's made me realize I miss a lot of things from BG. A night out at Cohen & Cooke, a Brown Jug at Trotters, or a heap of waffle fries from Mr. Spots... One of the things I may never have actually revealed from my former life on the inside, was my love of the French Onion Steak Sandwich from Easy Street.

I miss it so much, I felt compelled to make it for dinner last night. There is nothing quite as comforting as a fuck-huge sammich of Steak and Provolone with some perfectly caramelized onions.

Served up with a simple au jus and a pile of potato chips, this and a bottle of some cheap red wine made for a damn fine meal.