Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Who doesn't want to be a piece of IKEA Furniture?

Apparently in IKEA Land I'm a bed:

Find out what you are here.

Love to all,
~the Good Lord I need to make an IKEA trip in my near future if I'm making myself furniture girl, Jess

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Time= Salad Time

With the long days I've been pulling at my Bench to Bedside program the last 2 weeks I've had to eat out for most of my dinners (I bring my lunch, to off set costs). Lucky for me it's summer time and all I'm craving are nice cold salads (well and Tijuana Flats' Chicken Flautas, but really who's keeping track? heheh.)

So, when the whole crew trooped off to The Swamp for dinner the other night I was really excited, because A-Everything on the Swamp's Menu is fresh and local(ish) and B-they rock the salads!

Southwest Shrimp Salad Fresh gulf shrimp dusted with southwest seasonings, grilled and served over crisp romaine lettuce with tomatoes, avocado, roasted red peppers, black bean and corn salsa, crispy tortilla chips, salsa verde and avocado-ranch dressing.

This salad was delicious but HUGE I ended up picking through this bad boy and eating the goodies like shrimp, tomatoes and avocado. Well, and I may have shared a basket of seasoned fries with the table too. hehe. So tasty with that avocado ranch dressing! :)

Love to all,
~the salad picker-througher, Jess

Country Mouse Exercise Plan.....

A few years ago my grandmother participated in a UF study on obesity in rural women (side note: my grandmother is not clinically obese, but she is overweight per her BMI-I think she's pleasantly plump!). At the time I didn't get the concept, because I was living in WPB with 24hr fitness center right in my apartment complex and lit sidewalks as far as the eye could see.

Well, this city mouse returned to the country has been in for a real rural awakening this year (since August 2009 I mean).  I have been struggling to get into some kind of consistent workout regiment ever since I turned in my keys to my sweet little St. Pete Condo.....le sigh.  I went from 2-3 days of yoga every week plus walking/running with the puppster everyday to...well, much less than that.

When you live in the world of no street lights, no paved streets (hello twisted ankle in my driveway if you zone out!), 45 minute drive to the gym, hour trek to the yoga studio AND no bike lanes, effective workouts get really rough. Especially when Standard Time aka, why the freak is it dark at 5pm?, starts up again in the fall.

The lucky news is while I haven't technically gained any weight, lets just say my clothes don't fit so cute any more. (And yes, I know muscle weights more than fat....I'm not unaware of what happened here. Naive and innocent just sounds so much better right? Moving on....)

Anyways, while I'm still optimizing getting my monies worth out of the gym in the summer time I do have a new little project to start working on in July (that's only 2 days away loves!)

As I mentioned, my soul sister is encouraging me to pick up running again (or really for the first time, since I never broke the one mile marker last year!) and was so kind as to send me a beginning runner 5k training program from the book Run Less, Run Faster which helped her recover from an injury from her last marathon.

I know I'm being stupid and starting a running program in the middle of the freaking summer, again, but I have my eye on some fun Disney races in October and figured no time better than the present, right? I hope so RIGHT.

Love to all,
~the chubby little country mouse, Jess

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Parental Units Take on Stubbies

So, my undying love for Stubbies is well know by any and all of my friends, family members and even strangers I chat with in the grocery store. And I'd been begging my Mom and Dad to come glory in the wonders of 400+ beers and amazing German Food for quite some time. Mom was game, naturally...she's usually adventurous if it makes me happy but, Dad. Well, Dad was another story.

See, Dad has been getting pressure not only from me to visit Stubbies, but also Ryan, one of his now graduated students (Dad is a college professor), who I met at Stubbies only to learn we had a very close "mutual friend" if you will.  But Dad is very brand loyal when it comes to beer: He's a Budweiser man through and through and it's hard to get him to budge. He usually sips my beer and then makes some rude comment (he thinks it's funny, but hey, I'm a beer snob....don't knock my beverage literally or figuratively, thank you very much!)

But finally after 6 months of nagging coercing he finally caved...that and I offered to pick up the tab.

So off we trucked to downtown Gville and after settling into one of my favorite hightops (not the one in the window, aka the hell table!) we ordered round one of the night.

Honestly, I don't remember what my first draft was (I'm about a month behind on this post!): It was something off the draft board, maybe something by Collins? Anyways, it was "odd" according to Max, but very smokey. I LOVED it.... and I do recall it went down quickly!
[I will check my list next time I'm in and update you! ]

EDITED TO ADD: I was right: Fort Collin's Scotch Ale

My 2nd brew was a copy of my Mom's first. She wanted (per my suggestion) the Golden Pheasant, but they were out, so Max brought her his next best guess. We both loved this lovely, crispy yet creamy Burgerbrau Pil. Yum.

Dinner was a lovely sausage platter served up with the cold cucumber salad (so refreshing!) and potato pancakes with dilled mayo of course! Plus 'kraut and rye bread. I actually ended up eating everything but the sausage. Shrugs. The "I could never go vegetarian because I love sausage" girl didn't finish her sausage? What is wrong with me!?!

Dessert was a beautiful friend: dear old St. Bernardus knocked my socks off with his Abt 12, even if it was in the bottle (this is one of Stubbies regulars on draft-they just have a bunch of summer seasonal stuff right now.)

So, what was Mom and Dad's thoughts? Mom loved it and can't wait to go back! [Side note: I should have taken a picture of her Jaeger Schnitzel-it was devine!] Dad is Dad and nursed a Genesse Cream Ale all night. Le sigh. I told him just to tell Max what he likes (Amberbock) and they would get him something similar, but no.....he drank Genny Cream Ale. Oh well, at least he was a cheap night out, Genny Cream Ale and PBR are the cheapest beers at Stubbies- $2.50!

You just can't teach an old dog to drink new beer I guess. 

Love to all,
~the glad at least 1/2 of my parent's like my favorite hangout, Jess

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Abarnment Update and my very first Vlog!

I fought with YouTube and I won! Whoot. I finally was able to upload that video I was talking about from my last Abarnment Update and here it is:

This was filmed over a month ago, so the progress is actually much further along. I'll do another update before we paint (which is very VERY soon now! Yay.) since we now have all the drywall hung and nearly all the mudding finished, just checking for any spots that need a touch up here and there.

Now the Countdown until Finished List looks more like this:
  • Finish mudding details
  • Paint Ceiling
  • Install Fans/Lighting/woodtrim (that's all Dad's Department)
  • Paint walls, etc (Mom and I can do this while Dad tackles the ceiling details)
  • Install plumbing/run water lines/install septic tank and drain field/gray water system (yay green technology!)
  • Install Flooring
  • Install Kitchen-appliances and cabinetry.
  • MOVE IN.
Dad hopes to be done in July....I do too, but that to do list is still pretty damn daunting. I bought some cute placemats yesterday that match my dinning room set and the material that I'm doing the curtains out of so, obviously I'm itching to get in there and decorate! yay! 

Love to all,
~the sometimes I do get my way with technology gal, Jess

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hey Soul Sister.....

Ain't that mister mister on the radio, stereo  
Of course I want to join your Mom and you for dinner
The way you move ain't fair you know         
The way ya'll cook is so good you know....

So, I've been putting off this post for a few days now....and for a totally lame reason: I'm having a hard time putting into words what my new found soul sister Becca means to me without sounding like a crazy, sappy, stalker; this condition is commonly known as CSS, if you were wondering.

But CSS be damned, I can't put this one off any longer! So, long story short(ish), while Bec and I both write blogs, we didn't really met because of our blogs- I actually work with Becca's wonderful mother, who became my informal mentor this year. Us teachers ate lunch together everyday and she kept saying "Oh my gosh- you sound like Becca" or "Becca would die...." AND then the long distance book club started.

See, Becca and her mom are avid readers and started pushing books on me suggesting some of the best reads I've had in my whole life (Seriously, THANK YOU for Edgar! Le sigh.) So we started chatting books, but with "Mumsy" as the middle woman....and THEN Becca started her blog- and duh we started emailing each other and well, the rest is history! (Was that enough "ands" for you? sheesh.) [Oh, gosh and with another random twist of fate, Bec's dad was one of my favorite high school science teachers! He still teaches at my alma mater and now we "work together" on our district curriculum...he will always be my teacher though!]

Anyways, Becca is an amazing woman, who is such a supportive friend, not to mention she cracks me up! She pushes me to expand my reading choices (which makes me a better writer- I hope!) and is bribing me with food and wine related races encouraging me to pick up my running game (or lack there of!) again too.

That being said, can you believe we had never met in person until this month? Becca lives and works in D.C., but when she planned a visit to spend time with family we knew a meeting was a must! Enter Mother/Daughter night! Becca and Mumsy cooked my Mum and I a wonderful vegetarian dinner of veggie lasagna and a beautiful goat cheese salad.

(that is a avocado caprese salad bite on the side-from our lovely spread of appetizers-that I forgot to photograph!)

I know the photo quality isn't fabulous....I was having some lighting issues and was far more interested in spending time with 3 of my favorite women, not fussing with my camera. Mea culpa. Something I'm not sorry for (or guilty of, whichever translation you use!) is randomly choosing the tasty Malbec in the background of the salad shot. (Not to be confused with a salad shooter!). I wanted to bring Boom-Boom Shiraz, but Publix doesn't carry it and ABC isn't open on I went with my favorite wine: Malbec and choose this one because I liked the purple label. See? being random is so worth it!

You know what else is worth it? Worth every little calorie? This tasty after dinner treat:

Fresh-from-the backyard blackberries marinated in red wine and sugar, served a top a short-cake cup,  and Almond D'lites. Oh my word. Heaven!

As amazing as the food and drink was, the best part about this night was gabbing until early morning (!) with my soul sister and our wonderful moms! I can't say how much I LOVE these women!

Love to all,
~the proud to have CSS because my soul sister is worthy of cause a disorder gal, Jess

PS. Can't wait to visit D.C. later this summer....stay tuned for details!

Friday, June 25, 2010

My Kind of Love Song......

Turn on the radio....pick any station and any genre....what is the most common topic being sung about?

Go ahead...try my little experiment.....I'll wait!

How did it go?  I'll bet that if you listened to the radio for just 10ish minutes you heard mostly love songs, no matter the genre: pop, rock (even hardcore rock), country, hip-hop, folk, big band, you name it....they sing about IT- "it" being love. (well, maybe not electronica....does that even have words? Whatever, if it did, they would compose songs about love, too.)

This girl is not so mushy-gushy, lovey-dovey though, so a lot of the "typical" love songs make me want to yak a little a lot.  Not cute.

Thank God for Max Bemis, the front-man for one of my favorite bands: Say Anything.

  Now that is what I call a love song! In case you didn't catch the wonderfully catchy lyrics:

When I was eight years old,
Before puberty took hold,
I thought I'd end up beside a princess bride
And love was indivisible.
Never mind how my taste reflects
A disturbing oedipal complex,
It's not awkward girl,
The compliments are coming next.
You're no witch,
You're no wench,
You're like Bjork with better fashion sense,
So I phone 50-Cents
And I'm building up my confidence.
Respect to your work,
You're an artist, I'm a silly jerk.
I think that dynamic could work.

So work it.

I have a total crush on you, baby
And I can't let it go, oh no.
I have a total crush on you, baby
Baby, if only I could let you know.

When we spoke, no joke
I started shedding slutty girls like snakeskin,
My collection acquired through shallow misdirection
And as I drive tonight,
West coast sky daring me to try,
I feel alive tonight,
The possibility that I'm your guy.

Though I suffer from dyslexia
And mild manorexia,
My hair cannot commit to one popular genre of music
And though they all claim
That a girl can't take her boy's last name
Or end up divorced and estranged.
I'm counting on you.


Your other suitors are no poets
They're only actors who can play guitar
Have I won your heart?
They're not students or screenwriters
They're only models that they taught to read
Love, would you agree?


Quite sure you love me, Sherri
Quite sure I love you too
We'll each should make a verbal agreement
To only kiss each other
Because one time, beneath the sky
Outside my New York pigsty
I saw a vision of you and I

Ha ha!

Did it hurt?
Did it hurt?
Did it hurt when you fell from heaven, girl?

(Repeat bridge)

Love to all,
~your not so typical love song listener, Jess 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I LOVE this....

What can I say, Gatorland is growing on me.......and this is just the cherry on top!

Just had to share....what do you all think about smoking in public places? Should it become even stricter? To many restrictions? Sound off! (Please! I mean....if you want to.....mkthanks!)

Love to all,
~the healthy living loving gal, Jess

Monday, June 21, 2010

Science Time at the Gator Nation

As I mentioned yesterday I had to rush off and miss out on the delicious Father's Day dinner of chicken enchiladas (which is probably my favorite meal-I eat the leftovers for breakfast, lunch and dinner) because I was starting my summer program at UF. The program is a new opportunity for science teachers around the state to learn more about biotechnology and how to apply it in the high school classroom.

The Bench to Bedside program (BtoB) is a year long initiative that supplies the participating teachers with the support and materials (and graduate credit!) to establish a biotechnology program in their classrooms used to educate students on the process of drug discovery at the bench through the clinical trials process and finally treatment at the bedside.

It's only the end of the second day, but I'm equally excited and exhausted! 

All of the teachers come from different backgrounds, so our first "lab" today was to practice working with the micro-pipetters, or "pipette-men by pipetting colored water into the 96 well plates. 

From all my work in the developmental and immunology labs I can do this in my sleep....and I'm modest about my skills too! hehe.
Our "protocol" only instructed us to pipette certain volumes in to what seemed like random wells.

When we were done, a "magic picture" appeared! My benchmate and I got the DNA base pairing rules, but it wasn't all science-y stuff around the lab......

We are in Gator Country after all!

I'll save the rest of my science adventures at UF reporting to you until the program ends the first week of July! Stay tuned!

Love to all,
~the science teacher who believes in learning everyday, Jess

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dippy-do-dah Dads!

It's Father's Day....and since my summer program at UF starts in T-minus 3 hours (more on that later, Gators!) I've been in the kitchen since I awoke this morning, making the dinner and dessert I won't be present to enjoy. I'm a pretty ok daughter.

In addition to the chopping, boiling, shredding and shouting of obscenities as I burnt myself with chicken stock I also had time to make Daddy-dearest a snack of dips.

Well, ok, "make" is taking things a bit far....I doctored up some guac in a tub (so shameful when my homemade version is divine and this was...well, edible by my father's garage disposal eating habits), put out an new container of Sabra's Jalapeno hummus with some pretzel crackers, pita chips and multigrain tortilla chips (the little stinker got into the hummus before I could snap my picture!)

While my Dad and I often buttheads and bruise each other's egos (because we are really the same stubborn yet sensitive slobs in different packaging) I love my Daddy with all my might and cherish all the lessons he has taught me and how much he supports all most of my crazy endeavors.

My Daddy and I (plus Mom-I didn't have any of just Dad and I???) at my undergrad graduation in 2008.

So, whether you have the pleasure of living with your dip- I mean Dad!- like me, or if you are separated by many miles, call your Daddy and show him some love.....or at least mail him a coupon for Sabra Jalapeno Hummus, since it's "the manly flavor" according to my Dippy-Dad!

Love to all,
~The equally dippy-darling-daughter, Jess

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Spin the soundtrack to bad decisions? Check.

So with the risk of sounding like a granny I need to spout off on the quality of some of the pop music in the world. Well, or really just the most recent single by The White Tie Affair.

Yes, we have all had those nights where the beer goggles got the best of us and we have a drunken bar make-out sheesh that would put most Jersey Girls to shame (or you have a friend who has done this....hi, I'm the friend. Ok, so now we all know what's going on here, right? Good.)

BUT said alcohol infused lip-lock, or heaven forbid hook-up, is not worthy of a song. Especially a song that just repeats "You look better when I'm drunk" twenty-six times, give or take a drunk. Not that I took the time to count or anything. The lyrics "A little less thinkin' and a lot more drinkin/That'll work for me tonight" and "Hey DJ spin the soundtrack to bad decisions/And these drinks, make me, lose my self control" the only other gems in the whole damn song.

I'm not a music snob, really. Yes, I listen to mostly hardcore rock and many people of that "genre" (if such a thing really even exists anymore....I'm over labels really, but you have to explain it somehow, right? Stupid catch twenty-two!) are pretty damn snobby about what they consider "mainstream music"...I'm not one of those people. I LOVE the top 40 and club music scene. I'm currently beyond obsessed with all things Gaga, Your Love is my Drug by Kesha (or is it Keshramous?) and Bulletproof by La Roux.

This is just a plea to the radio stations....please don't play crappy-crap, ok? And that includes song that aren't historically accurate. Yes, Taylor, I'm taking to you, girl.

Love to all,
~the this is why I usually just listen to my ipod gal, Jess

PS. Even if I've accidentally peaked your interest about this song, please-PLEASE do not go listen to it. It does not need any more "hits"! mmkthanks.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Crazy (Good) Cuban!

In the theme of continuing the Charlotte Vacay reminiscing (does 3 days ago even count as reminiscing? Oh well, I say it does, so here we go!) I have a very special meal to share with you.

I mentioned that we went to a Cuban Restaurant for dinner one night, but what I didn't tell you was George is Cuban, so we went to a very authentic Cuban place in Uptown called A Piece of Havana.  And since it was really a late lunch/early dinner we were the only patrons. AND it turns out George is a frequent customer, so the server greeted us like long lost family.

I honestly wasn't super hungry and most of the menu was serious meals, so I got the "standard":
A Media Noche- or Cuban Sandwich. The bread was crisp, flaky and buttery and I loved the long cut in the sandwich and the cute "hanging off the edge" presentation. For not being hungry I sure devoured every crunchy bite!

I was a little jealous of Abigail's meal:

Ropa Vieja or Stewed Shredded Beef- Boiled in its natural juices, shredded, marinated and cooked to perfection with our house sauce.
  I'm not the biggest beef eater these days, but the bite I snitched was mighty tasty....I wish I knew what all was in the "house sauce" because it was a great flavor profile! The side of rice and beans was perfection. 

When the waiter came back around to see if we wanted dessert I declined, because the only thing on the menu was flan. I don't really like flan. I used to date a Cuban boy myself back in college and we always had to go have flan at his Abuela's house.....and I smiled and choked it down, because I'm a good girl like that and there was already plenty of tension in the family since he was dating a "white girl"....imagine if I had stated I didn't like flan! And you think Italians are obsessive over food, you haven't been force fed by Cuban women! ha. 

Well, imagine my surprise when the waiter comes back with not only a coffee for George but TWO flans, one for Ab and one for myself. 

I took a small, polite and very reluctant bite. And proceeded to die and go to heaven. Oh My Cuban GODS! So amazing. This was more like a custard than the watery flan I had experienced all my life and the bottom (which would be the top during the baking process) was packed with toasted coconut.  I moaned and groaned and licked the plate clean. Which would have been really inappropriate had I not been in an empty restaurarant with 2 of my best friends who know how crazy I am over food.  Havana's I'm coming back for the flan....wait a few months and it's ON!

Man-it's a good thing that my ex's grandmother didn't make flan like that, I would have had to have dated him longer. Phew!

Love to all,
~the Cuban dessert convert, Jess

Monday, June 14, 2010

Long Lunches are Lovely

If you have been reading closely, or even just reading at all, the last few posts you probably picked up on the fact that I've been outside the Sunshine State for a couple of days. Four fabulous days to be exact, enwhich I hoped a rather turbulent, but direct, flight up to Charlotte, NC to visit one of my dearest friends, Abigail and her wonderful hubby George (we were all college roomies, way back when). And even though we are all 2-3 years post college now, we still live on what seems like college budgets, so my vacation time with them was simple and oh so sweet.

We explored Uptown Charlotte and had dinner at a fabulous Cuban restaurant (stay tuned for details on those),  and caught a late night showing of Russel Crowe's Robin Hood (if you like epic war movies than you will love this. I happen to be a fan, so I was very entertained, even if a two hour plus film is a bit excessive, no matter the theme).

But mostly we just chilled together: by the pool, on the couch, lounging in bed with Miss Shadow (Ab's Pomeranian, whom I adore and missed seeing all the time. Love you Sha-Sha!), oh and did I mention over food? Yep, us girlies love some food and we found ourselves having wonderful conversations over breakfast, dinner and you guessed it, LUNCH!

And honestly, if you had this spread out before you, to enjoy with your best girlfriend you would take an accidental two and a half hour lunch, too. Don't believe me? Check it out:

"Stinky cheese and sausage" (said by the hostess with the mostess, Abigail, not this crazy gal- the stinkier the better in my book!), tomatoes and avocado drizzled in olive oil and spices, black olives, the best cantaloupe of the season, whole wheat saltines and oh-my-orgasm homemade chocolate truffle balls. So divine. Washed down with a glass (or three) of strawberry spiked white zinfandel- usually I prefer dry white or spicy red, so I was a little hesitant when Ab pulled this out of the fridge, but it was perfect for a summer lunch.

A lunch which lasted until George walked in the door from work at 5:15pm! Whoops. Now that is what I call a "lunch break!"

Love to all,
~the extended summer luncher, Jess

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Simply Satisfying Summer Snackage

Hi Lovelies,

There is no point in me telling you that summer has arrived, cause hell-I've been telling you that for weeks now. What really has arrived though is my summer appetite. I always feel like I eat more in the summer, and yet lose weight (ok, a tiny bit of's all relevant to the ratio of volume of beer and margaritas to activity, blah, blah, blah).

The real appetite I'm talking about it the one for fresh and/or cold foods. And my $85 Publix "oh just let me stop in to buy a bottle of wine and some flowers for my dinner date later tonight" trip proves my crazy cravings.

The Unpictured Goods:
  • Organic Spring Mix
  • 2 tubs of grape tomatoes
  • A pound of cherries
  • Hummus
  • Pretzel Chips
  • BOGO Publix Deli Red Potato Salad (so good, don't knock the mayo!)
  • Publix Fishmonger Seafood Salad (this is very light on the mayo surprising and that's why I LOVE IT)
  • Roasted Garlic Salsa
  • Avocado in a Tub (cheaper than whole 'cados right now, sniff-sniff)
  • Multigrain Tortilla Chips
  • BOGO Deli Turkey (Black Pepper and Mesquite)
  • Munster Cheese
  • Raspberry/Cranberry Juice
  • Sam Adams Blackberry Witbeer
  • And the intented Wine and Flowers
So of course I was starving by the time I got home and made this monstrous snack/lunch plate:

(Don't worry Virgina- I didn't eat all the cherries at once-I share!)

And a little while later attacked the fridge for a turkey/munster/Grey Poupon roll up:

And am currently proceeding to destroy one of the tubs of grape tomatoes. Oh man, these are sooooo much better than candy! Now I know why they were 4 tubs for $5. And I only got 2...stupid, stupid, I'll have to just get more!

Love to all,
~the summer snack monster, Jess

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pimp my Blog

Hi all,

Just a quick post before I board my flight back to the Sunshine State....I've been enjoying a fabulous time with one of my college roomies and her fabulous hubby up in the Queen City.

Abigial is a blog and HTML whiz, so she helped me spruce up my blog BIG TIME. Check out my new blogroll, layout and "About Me" pages!

Let me know what you think!

Love to all,
~the it's about damn time I did something with my white walls gal, Jess

Thursday, June 10, 2010


In keeping with the theme of fresh, simple foods for the steamy summer time, my family was lucky enough to score some HUGE jumbo shrimp from a local fisherman- he flash freezes them on the boat-it doesn't get much better than than people since Gville isn't coastal :(

As you can see, they were not peeled or deveined, but no worries, shelling uncooked shrimp is no different from peeling cooked "boil n eat" shrimp...well, ok, so you have to pop off their heads and remove their guts. No biggie. (actually I think this is really fun, but I'm kind of a sicko, so go figure!)
No, don't peel me....I'm so cute! And yes, I was doing the dance around the kitchen singing to the shrimp skit too. Ok, that isn't a skit, I just made it up because it sounded good. I warned you I was a dork.
Seriously Jumbo:
Before peeling

After peeling:
Still massive!

Skewered up and grilled with garlic butter and some Cajun seasoning.

Served upon a bed of grits, with a few steamed crab claws and an ear of corn. Ok, so it was a night of seafood and corn, but it's summer people. Yum!

And trust me my loves, I'm going to enjoy as much gulf seafood as I can, before the entire ecosystem is totally destroyed by this on going oil spill. So, so sad.

Love to all,
~the seriously in favor of green energy because I love the gulf coast gal, Jess

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thai Treats

One of the "gems" of Gville is Lake Alice....but I think the real prize here is Chopstix, an amazing Pan Asian/Fusion restaurant that sits on its shores.

My lovely dinner date and I enjoyed an great evening out on the patio, watching the gators swarm around, gossiping and munching on some of the best Thai food in "gator city."

I started the night off with 2 small sushi rolls. Honestly, these were nothing to rave about, a common side-effect I've found about ordering sushi at primarily Thai restaurants. And yet I keep doing it. Silly I only explanation is my love of sushi began when I worked at a Pan Asain restaurant called Tai Sui, which sadly is now out of business. So I know it IS possible. Anyways, the rest of my meal more than made up for it.

I got a spin on the classic noodle dish: Pad Thai but with tofu and veggies, instead of the traditional chicken or shrimp. (Chopstix has tons of great other dishes, I was just really craving pad thai that night) You can see Steph's amazing sweet and sour chicken in the background. I snitched a few peppers of her plate and it was very tasty!
All mixed up so you can see the goods!

Speaking of goods, Steph talked me into splurging this lovely thing with her:
I don't know what I thought fried ice cream was going to be, but this was a chewy, doughy, cinnamon spiked bowl of deliciousness! Such a treat!

Love to all,
~the I wish I was Thai sometimes gal, Jess

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Steamy Summertime

It's hot, humid and beyond steamy down here in the Sunshine State, and all I am craving is fresh, fresh, unadulterated and beyond all else cool foods. While most people wouldn't consider pizza to be just the thing to satisfy that need, California Pizza Kitchen (and myself) beg to differ.

Enter CPK's Greek Pizza-vegetarian style: Mediterranean spiced grilled chicken and Mozzarella cheese topped with a chilled Greek salad of cucumbers, red onions, fresh tomatoes, Greek olives, Feta cheese and a lemon-herb vinaigrette. Served with our homemade Tzatziki sauce and chopped Italian parsley. Vegetarian Option - Substitute avocado for grilled chicken.

Or in other words, divine. Check it out!

I love the cool, crisp chopped cucumbers, onions and olives, paired with tangy feta cheese and the healthy satisfying fat of the avocado atop the warm, chew crust. I use the Tzatiki sauce for dipping and never leave disappointed.

Now that is what I call a summer pizza. I think I'll be trying to create this at home ASAP.

Love to all,
~the in-need of cool summer snacks gal, Jess

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Anatomy of a S'more

So, it was that time of the year, the school year that is. Summer's looming, alongside final exams; and if you think the kids are getting wacky, well the teachers are even wackier. Or this crazy nut teacher is anyways.

So, when one of my darling 9th grade Biology Students asked if they could make S'mores with the bunsen burners, well I actually said yes, and made it into an anatomy lesson. Well, and with the condition that they supply the supplies....I'm getting smart here in my "old age"...have the kids spend the money, not me! Horray.

Check out the successful "lab"The set up (I really should be a caterer....maybe my next profession)

Some of my Biology I students making their "dissection specimens" (I don't have a media agreement on file with them, so please excuse the blurred faces-privacy is key in 2010!)

Of course I couldn't let the kids have all the chocolate, errrr, I mean fun, so I made one too. Delicious success!

And with that snack-y goodness documented I can now say I have sucessfully completed my first year as a high school science teacher. And I'm only a tad bit crazier for it. Give or take the tad. hehe.

Love to all,
~the soaking up the summer school teacher, Jess

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Who doesn't love a good BJ for lunch?

Now that I have you attention...I obviously meant who doesn't love going to BJ's Brewhouse for a good lunch? (No I will never stop with the raunchy jokes about BJ's, and considering I frequent it at least once a month, just grin a bare with me, ok?)

Seriously though, hitting up BJ's for lunch is great....let me show you why:Jerimah Red, shocking I know. But hey, this is my fave, especially while they have that "Brewhouse Lite" crap as the "seasonal", might as well have two glasses of water with lemon!

Garlic and Parmesan Kettle Chips- honestly don't waste your time or calories on these. I was really hungry when we got there and had dreams of the amazing Black n Blue Chips at Stonewood Grill. Not so.
Pros: came out fast (but so did our whole lunch!), the dipping sauce was good, and they are cheap ($2.89? whatev).
Cons: they are just chips. period.

My actual lunch- the 1/2 and 1/2 dealio:

Cup of Clam Chowder (OMG so good, so rich I couldn't finish it....totally loaded-LOADED-with clams, drool!) with 1/2 a California Chicken Sandwich AND potato wedges (I took them home to the pups-well most of them ;] )

Now if that isn't an overindulgent American Lunch to, ahem, "treat you right" on I don't know what is. hehe.

Love to all,
~the naughty little American Girl, Jess