August 30, 2010

Cheese is My Life


Ah'm a Suh-thern belle.

Try not to be jealous.

I didn't actually know that Pimento Cheese was a Southern thang. Apparently it is. My mom always bought the little jars of pimento cheese spread and Chicken-in-a Biscuit crackers as a snack. Pimento cheese came in a small glass juice cup sized jar with a blue lid, right?

Then pimento cheese exited my life when I moved out of the house. They most certainly didn't serve it in the cafeteria and I never saw it at the store. Therefore, pimento cheese just did not exist in my life.

Until I went to my favorite place in Durham. That's right, the P&O, #1 on my list of places to be in the dirty-D: Parker and Otis. They have a grilled pimento cheese, it's delish. I think it's one of their top sellers. It makes my heart beat with the pitter-patter of happiness.
I decided on Friday night as I drove home from work that I wanted to pimento cheese. And I decided that I was going to make it. From blocks of cheese. Cream cheese. Pimentos. Spices. And jalapenos.
I loosely based my pimento cheese spread on this recipe from Tasty Kitchen. If you don't know or use Tasty Kitchen and you enjoy cooking, you should totally check it out. It's one of my favorite websites to find new recipes because often you find both a recipe and a blog post about it, so you can also find fascinating new people to put on your RSS feed. You don't have an RSS feed? Whaaa?!?! That's like living in this era without facebook. It just isn't done people. It's just not right.

Back to the cheese. I love cheese. I like it at room temperature much to the dismay of my SIL. She thinks it should be cold. But the true flavors of the cheese present themselves when it's room temperature. The pimento cheese spread has been consumed numerous times this week. Let's see, I had it on bread; I had it with tomatoes; I had it on a bagel with a scrambled egg; I ate it with crackers; I scooped it up with celery sticks; and I grilled it for my faux-P&O sammich. 

The changes I made to the original recipe: I didn't measure anything. Try not to be surprised. I looked at the ingredients and I put different quantities of those ingredients in until it tasted good. Really good. Then I added some diced jalapenos for a little zip. Except they weren't very zippy. I didn't use any of the seeds or membranes so they just added some fresh crunch which I found very enjoyable. I also like the green with the red of the pimentos and the golden color of the cheese.

If you make some pimento cheese, grate your own cheese (I used a combo of a mild yellow cheddar and a medium white cheddar), buy your pimentos next to the roasted red peppers, mix up your batch in your mixer, use mayonaise not Miracle Whip, and enjoy it! Let me know what you think!

August 26, 2010


I tried out a new place today. It was tough, but someone had to do it.
Scratch is a new Durham business, yet old because it's been around for awhile (apparently, I mean, I've only been in Durham for two years) selling pies and goodies at the Farmer's Market and starting a pie CSA.

They have a website called it's not done yet, but hopefully it will be chock-full of details soon. Pie Fantasy. Doesn't that sounds amazing? What's your pie fantasy? For me it's all about the crust. Flaky, buttery, salty crust. I haven't tried their pie yet, but I will. They also have a Facebook page

On Saturday, I finally made it to the Durham Farmer's Market where I tried a buttermilk donut muffin. Yes, they spell it d-o-n-u-t. I don't approve of that spelling, but since doughnuts are basically the best food in the entire world and I haven't had one since around August 4th, I decided it would be worth my while to get one. And I devoured it.

Oh, it was good. Moist, dense, buttery, tangy, covered in granulated sugar it made the 30 seconds it lasted the best 30 seconds of my last week. THE BEST.
When my friend Christina g-chatted me up to see if we could meet for coffee--which I always give a resounding "YES!!!" to that invitation--and then said "How about Scratch?" I believe I said "YES! YES! YES!"
I really wanted to go after walking by a few weeks ago and checking out the space. Unfortunately, they're only open until 4pm Monday-Friday and I don't go anywhere besides work on Saturdays, so for some reason, I haven't been. I need more evening hours! With my 1:30pm coffee date planned, the only thing left to do was find a parking space.
I got this latte. Just a hot, skim latte. With perfectly steamed milk and a beautiful pour. (Is there a different word for that?) It's absolutely lovely isn't it? Delicious. I'm going to go ahead and say it: Scratch's latte is top three in Durham.

I know these things.

Then I tried the chocolate donut muffin.


It didn't suck. As a matter of fact it was deeeee-licious!

The small restaurant/cafe is sweet and intimate. With exposed brick walls and bench seating all along one side of the seating area you can stop by for a quick lunch or settle in for a long chat over coffee. My favorite feature are the green stained wood topped tables.

I loved Scratch, so if you're in the Durham area you should definitely stop by.

August 16, 2010

Out of Order

YOU'RE out of order!

( :

OK, for reals, these are my random thoughts right now:

1a. I'm trying to be a better blogger. And I'm attempting to verbalize my struggles with daily postings. The truth is: my life is not very exciting right now. It just isn't. How am I supposed to be witty and charming and funny when nothing that elicits wit, charm or fun is happening to me?
1b. I love the Y chromosome. Just stating it for the record. If you have doubts you can go back and read the many, many, many, many previous posts about that.
2. I will never inject my lips with anything to make them look fuller. They always look fake. Are there people in this world who have had their lips done and it looks real?
3. I'm doing a project with a bookshelf. It's very exciting and I'm getting ready to go to the Scrap Exchange. This is what you have to do when you get the bookshelf for $29 vs the one for $119 at Target.
4. I want to do this: Anyone want to be my date?
5. I need a new job. I'm just sayin'. If you know of anyone looking for a kooky, creative, anal-rentive, people lovin', detail oriented, massage therapist, bakin' fool let me know. It's out there, I'm open to possibility. Deep breaths.
6. Someday I'm going to tell you about these desserts. And what they were for. And good times. Today is not that day. Maybe tomorrow?

7. I need to stop reading romance novels where people fall in love in 5 minutes. That is not real life. But they're just so full of nothing! I like thinking about nothing sometimes. Then I forget what's real and what's fake and then I live in a world of false-ality.
8. I want a new lens for my camera. Now to figure out what I want....
9. I still haven't gotten Matt a birthday present. His birthday was in April.
10. I do not like my phone.
11. Hank is so happy I'm home. He keeps shoving me closer to the edge of the bed so he can sleep right in my side. I love him.
12. Is #11 one of the many reasons why I'm single?
13. I am SO EXCITED for the DPAC season. Billy Elliot, Young Frankenstein, Blue Man Group, The Lion King, In the Heights, Shrek the Musical, and HAIR!!!! EEEEeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeee!!!!!!!
14. Durham has an inordinate amount of good looking police officers. Just an observation.
15. Arrested Development. Hilarious.

August 15, 2010

Being a Pansy

The trouble with blogging is that you want to post things as they happen. Keep it all in chronological order. Tell you the stories about what happened first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, thirty-first, etc. If I get behind (and I am BEHIND) then I can't decide what to do.

Indecision wracks my brain.

Then I read a smutty romance novel and pretend that I'm not debating over what to blog about. Then three days pass and I still haven't done anything. Then a week passes. Then a month.

OK, not a month.

But you never know just how bad things could get! Remember back when I was blogging every day? Sometimes twice a day? Those were the good times.

Now, I am a blogging bum.

So I shall tell you a story.

One time my younger brother, Matt, wanted me to take his picture skiing. Why? Because his friend, Bart, had an awesome picture of himself skiing on Facebook. He was slaloming (one ski) and making a hard cut and the photographer had caught the perfection of the water spray and Bart's awesomeness. Matt needed to top that picture. Multiple times. And tag Bart in at least one of them so Bart could reciprocate Matt's jealousy.

Boys. Yes, boys, because he is not quite yet a man. Even though he's 25. And married. And owns his own stuff. And has investments.

He's still a boy because I said so.

That was a good story, eh?

I'll tell you what though, taking pictures of people skiing was fun.
When your goal is to cut as hard as possible to create as large of a spray as possible it's a good time.
And it didn't hurt that the water was perfection. Glass. Smooth, calm, reflecting everything.

Then the older brother wanted to get in on the action.

Oh, and my father.


Man-boys. What are you going to do with them?

What's that? Show them how it's done? OK, Abby (favorite sister-in-law) you do that.

(She's Daisy's favorite SIL too.)
WHEW! That was a tough one.

(In a side note I will take this moment to clearly point out that I did NOT ski this year. And full of excuses like "I have a bad back." I am a pansy. And I really do have a bad back, thank you years of throwing heavy objects in college. Track & Field [emphasis on the field] anyone?)

Clearly there's a winner here...
...and it wasn't this guy.

August 9, 2010


I went to a wedding.
It happened to be my cousin's wedding. Therefore, my official title was: Cousin of the Bride. I know, I'm very special. I think there were about 18 people with that awesome title. So I was also unique.

For this wedding, I baked a cake for the groom. It looked like this:
I didn't even taste it, but I heard nice things.
And even if it had tasted like poo, the happy couple would still be married which was the point of the whole day. I'm glad it didn't though because no one wants to eat a cake that tastes like poo.
Jessica and Steve!

August 4, 2010


It's America's favorite pastime.
It's all-American!
There's no crying in baseball!!!

It's not exactly my favorite sport. Not because of the no crying either. We all know that rules were made to be broken, so if I want to cry, I probably will. Because I tend to be overly emotional. It's who I am. Take it or leave it.
Mostly, I just think baseball is a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long game. Nine "longs" for nine innings. However, instead of being a Negative Nancy I will tell you the things I enjoy about baseball.
I like being outside. It doesn't matter if it's hot and I'm sweating or dripping in the rain or chilly in a jacket (OK, so baseball season in North Carolina doesn't exactly bode well for chilly weather) or in the glaring sun or shady clouds. It's just being outside with friends to people watch and enjoy the weather.


I love the grass. It's pretty and plaid and mowed so nicely.
I like veggie dogs. Except, I like to say a "w" sound for the "v" sound, so I call them weggie dogs. I swear they taste exactly like the real thing. Exactly. Although, it's been probably over 3 years since I had a real hot dog, so you should definitely believe me. And I don't think real hot dogs are Pepto Bismal pink, are they?
I love the players. OK, not love. I lust after the men in their sexy, baseball pants. There's just something about an athlete that I looooove. Confidence? Skills? Legs? Whatever. So if you could find me one of those, I'd take one. Please and thank you.

Speaking of baseball, we went to a baseball themed restaurant for dinner. The restrooms (according to my favorite sister-in-law) were labeled "Catchers" and "Pitchers" instead of "Men" and "Women." I'll let you guess which was which.

Good luck.

August 3, 2010


What happened to July? Where did it go? Why does my calendar say August 3, 2010??


I'll tell you what happened in July according to my iCalendar:
1. I drove home from Indiana at the beginning of the month and stayed the night with my good friends, Jessica and Jake, on my way back to North Carolina. I love friends. I don't know if you knew.
2. Megan came down to Durham (she's in Baltimore for the summer) and we went to watch fireworks. We sat in the lawn for about an hour, then they were set off behind a building. As you can tell from the pictures, it was awesome.

3. I worked.
4. I went to Wrightsville Beach.
5. I worked.
6. I went to a Durham Bulls baseball game.
7. I applied and heard back from a potential new job.
8. I went to Baltimore to hang out with Megan because if I did get the job I would be starting soon, which meant leaving soon and I wanted some QT (quality time) just in case.
9. I had a phone interview for the job. At the end of my phone call Megan started yelling "MAP!!!!" because she had been driving us home in Baltimore and got a little lost since we couldn't take the underwater tunnel because that would have lost my cell phone connection. The thing is, I hadn't hung up the phone yet. A magical moment. I'll never know if they heard it or not because four days later, I got an email saying I didn't get the job. It was sad and yet, probably not the right time/place/situation/location/etc. It would have been insanely stressful to move. At least that's what I'm telling myself. 
10. I worked.
11. I drove to Indiana. In 11 1/2 hours. I am a maniac.

And now it is apparently August.
Bye, bye July.