Archive | Rants & Raves RSS feed for this section

“Oh, I thought you were a waiter”

7 Jan

Yesterday was a big day, boys and girls! Downton Abbey finally returned to the US, and the Rosario household. You’d think that I would be the one double and triple checking the DVR…you’d think right? Only I wasn’t – my dear husband is just as obsessed with this period drama as I am. This was a huge surprise for me when I bought the first season on DVD. I finagled him into watching the first episode with me and he was hooked. We watched both seasons within a week.

So needless to say, it’s been a long wait. And there were some stellar moments in last night’s season premiere. See below for my favorites:

1. Matthew and Mary finally tie the knot! Although, in true M and M style, not without some drama thrown in. After getting into a row the night before the wedding (thanks to Lord Crawley for losing the lion’s share of Downton’s money and Matthew’s refusal to use his maybe inheritance from his dead fiance’s dad), Tom (Sybil’s commoner husband) and Anna manage to talk some sense into the couple. Matthew goes to see Mary, except it’s the night before the wedding! It’s bad luck to see each other. So they reconcile through the door and kiss with their eyes closed (Mary peeks – bad Mary). Very sweet moment.


2. Tom is pretty much hated by most of the Crawley family. I mean, how dare he think to fall in love with Lady Sybil! He’s just the chaffeur! But alas, they’ve wed and now live in Dublin – a much simpler life. They’re back in Downton for M and M’s wedding and Tom is making an ass out of himself at dinner. Come to find out (thank’s to Lord Anthony’s keen eye), he’s been drugged by one of the uppity guests at dinner. Poor Tom. Can’t catch a break. But, Matthew to the rescue! He asks Tom to be his best man and says something along the lines of “We’re brothers-in-law with high minded wives – we’ve got to stick together!”. How true Matthew. How true.


3. Can I please just take a moment to say that Michelle Dockery has the best wardrobe on television? I love each and every one of her dresses. I even loved her wedding dress, though I’m sure many didn’t.


4. Let’s be honest – I loved the addition of Martha Levinson/Shirley MacLaine (Cora’s mother), but Lady Violet always steals the show for me.


A few of her best moments from last night:

Lady Violet: Are you really that tall?
Alfred: Yes my lady.
Lady Violet: I thought you might be walking on stilts.

Lady Violet: No guest should be admitted without the date of the departure settled.
(in reference to Martha overstaying her welcome)

And my favorite on the night – thanks to the antics downstairs, Lord Crawley is wearing black tie attire to the dinner party his family is throwing. How terribly low class! Lady Violet glances over at him and asks for a drink, seems to do a double take, and says “I’m so sorry. I thought you were a waiter.” Love her!


Don’t WINE if I Do!

3 Dec

Christmas is right around the corner.  I don’t know about y’all, but December is always a busy month.  Office parties, friendly dinner parties – anything and everything to get together to celebrate the holiday and share it with friends and family.  I never go empty handed to a gathering, and being a bit of a wino I am going to share my favorite wine-related items.  You can’t go wrong with a wine type of gift for a host!  Let’s start, shall we?

1.  Meet the woozie.  Self explanatory, it’s a koozie for your wine.  Perfect for a southern hostess!  And you can get them with all kinds of cute designs.  They range from $6.49 – $7.49 here:

The Woozie

The Woozie

2. My mom actually got this next one for me when she went to a winery in the Outer Banks with some friends.  I love the idea.  Take an empty wine bottle, fill with lamp oil, place wick in, and light.  Simple.  Beautiful.  On sale for $7.99 here:

After Glow

3.  This wine bottle sleeve was a cute gift as well.  I’m Asian so it was a no brainer when my friend saw this one along with a zillion others.  Adorable.  You can find these anywhere.  World Market has a good selection.

Wine Sleeve

4. My uncle gave me this guy.  AWESOME.  Especially with my new found love for a cold glass of Pinot Grigio.  The Corkcicle.  Freeze, insert into wine bottle.  Adios, ice bucket.  Won’t water down your wine!  Estimated price is around $20.

Corkcicle5. Wine themed measuring spoons!  LOVE!  Here is a similar set for $14:>Dining_Entertaining>Giftware>Metal-_-0400659353005

Measuring Spoons

6. One of my good friends brought this to me last Christmas paired with our favorite bottle of wine.  “A wine glass?” you say, but no ordinary wine glass.  This baby holds an entire bottle of wine.  Love the idea, but I’m okay with filling up my glass as need be.  So I found this idea on Pinterest.  Fill with coffee beans, insert a vanilla scented candle, and light.  Your house will smell awesome.


7.  Cocktail napkins.  I have received a wide variety and love them all!  Pier One has a good stash.

Cocktail Napkins

8. Can’t go wrong with wine accessories in a nice wooden box.  Elegant and has everything you need to open that bottle with ease.  Here is a similar one for $42.92:

Wine SetDSC00233

9.  What’s a night of wine without some tasty treats?  Cheese is on the menu usually, but cheese spreads?  Yum!  There are so many different kinds, but I had these on hand, so I’m sharing with.  DELISH!




10.  And last but not least, my absolute favorite.  The Chillball.  This little set comes with 6 chillballs and 2 different dipping sizes according to what kind of wine glass you are using.  Simply freeze the whole box, assemble your chillball, hang off the inside of your glass, and enjoy a cold glass of wine for as long as you are sipping.  I love these, and they are a unique gift.  $21.00 here:

Chill Balls


Chill Balls



So these are some of my favorite items I have lying around the kitchen.  They are sure to please as a Christmas or hostess gift.  Pair with your favorite bottle and let the smiles commence.  Enjoy!

Rad Tech Week

14 Nov

I’m only a few days late, but happy National Radiology Technology Week for my fellow comrades!


On November 8, 1895, Mr. Wilhelm Roentgen took the first ever x-ray of his wife’s hand.


And if I ever shot one like that today, I’d get fired. And the recipient would probably lose their hand. But any who, every year rad techs around the world celebrate a week with food and imaging gear. This year we were too broke for gear, but I’ll go for food before a femur pen anyway. It was a week of pizza, Moe’s, BBQ, and lots of homemade goodies. And being 2nd shift we tend to get the leftover pickings or nothing at all. So my favorite night was Greek. We have an awesome Greek restaurant across from the hospital. Ah-mazing.


Thank you head honcho ER doc. Another day was everyone make a dessert, so it was an interesting day of rad techs bouncing off the walls. I made my mom’s classic Congo Squares. Everyone I work with has this recipe and for good reason. So pay attention.

Congo Squares

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray 9 X 11 pan with nonstick cooking spray.

1 – 1 lb. box light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 ½ sticks margarine or butter, softened
2 ½ Cups self-rising flour
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Pecans or walnuts, chopped, if desired

Mix first three ingredients until well blended. Add flour and mix well. Add chocolate chips and nuts. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

Easy. Quick. Always a good go-to recipe when you want something quick and endless compliments.


So the week before, I made the classic buffalo chicken dip and pondered, has anyone ever made a BBQ chicken dip. So I googled. And much to my disappointment it has been done. Many times. So, I looked at a bunch or recipes and came up with a mixture of them all.

BBQ Chicken Dip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2 – 12 oz cans of Swanson’s chicken
1 – 8 oz block cream cheese (softened)
3/4 cup favorite BBQ sauce
1/3 cup ranch
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese
Green onion (chopped)
Ritz crackers

Mix all ingredients except green onion. Pour into baking dish. Top with green onion. Bake 30 minutes until bubbly. Serve with crackers.


The verdict? Tasty. However, my guilty pleasure stays with buffalo chicken dip. My tastebuds crave spice. I add cayenne, jalapeños, hot sauce, and crushed red pepper to whatever I can. So the BBQ chicken dip was good, but a little on the sweet side. My
coworkers enjoyed it, especially the ones that don’t care for zesty dishes. If I ever make it again, I’ll choose a spicier BBQ. But a good snack in the end.

And to close, here is my buddy and mine’s bulletin board for the week. We would be awesome kindergarten teachers. Our boards are epic. And way better than ultrasound’s.


Is that a Poncho?

13 Nov

So the last two weeks of the Walking Dead…wowza (Did I just say that?). Last week we lost our beloved T-Dogg (one or two G’s?…questions), who was promptly replaced by another token black man (my husband’s words, not mine). We also lost Lori (or did we?). And Carol is running around the prison all by her lonesome, presumed dead by her pals. Carl rekilled his mama, so she wouldn’t turn into a zombie. And we have a new baby to add to the mix (who has nothing to eat). Rick went off the deep end. And all of that’s just at the prison…we still have the Guv’na to deal with.

This week brought us back to the prison and Woodbury. Andrea is crushing on the Guv’na (yes, I’ll be saying it like that from now on) who is keeping his zombiefied daughter in a room somewhere. Gross. See gross zombie daughter below.

Governor and Daughter Penny on The Walking Dead

Anyway, Michonne is like, what?! He cray cray. And she wants to leave. So she steals her katana back and chops some imprisoned walkers into bits, in an effort to get herself kicked out of utopia. Kinda sorta works – she does end up leaving, of our own accord though. Pretty sure she’s gonna end up being chased down by Merle and his cronies. Pretty sure she’ll chop them to bits too. Andrea is too taken with her new life in Woodbury to leave with Michonne. Honestly, I can’t blame her – food, water, people. All good things. But what doesn’t she know? She’s about to get an eyefull of some zombie MMA! Woo hoo! She was not amused.

Back at the prison, Daryl and Maggie take off looking for baby supplies – hey, kid’s gotta eat. Glenn has the fun task of digging graves for his fallen friends and also tracking down Rick (who’s taken off into the prison with an axe). Needless to say, Rick is having a meltdown. He’s hacking walkers to bits. Daryl and Maggie find some formula to feed the baby, who Daryl has christened Lil’ Asskicker. Awesome. The episode ends with Rick finding and killing the zombie who ate Lori’s body and a phone ringing. Who could be calling? I think it’s whoever Daryl stole his poncho from…


Loose Ends:

1. I don’t think Carol is dead…I’m actually questioning Lori’s death as well. We never see Carl shoot her. Never saw her dead body. I think Carol came across her, used her newly acquired surgical skills to somehow fix her up, and they’re hiding in the prison somewhere. I hope so – I really like Carol.

Carol on The Walking Dead

2. Will Andrea come to her senses and take off after Michonne? I’m betting no, as she hasn’t shown much of a brain in the past two seasons. Why start now Andrea? Consistency is key.

The Governor, Michonne and Andrea on The Walking Dead

3. Can Daryl please never die? Seeing him with Lil’ Asskicker was one of the best parts of this episode. Speaking of Lil’ Asskicker, I’m glad they found formula and all, but diapers? Blankets? Clothes? Bouncy seat? As a mother, I found myself pondering what a pain it’d be to have a baby with nothing readily available. I’m sure they’ll find a way to manage.

4. Anyone want to take bets on when Carl will do something stupid? It’s been entirely too long.

Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon

12 Nov

Tamara and I decided last year, when we ran the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon in Savannah, that we wanted to do it again this year. Last year was a bit of a trial run (or walk). We started training for it, then I got pregnant and training fell off the map. We did end up doing it anyway…we just walked most of it. And took many potty breaks. But we enjoyed the experience and thought it was worth doing again. Our Uncle Dennis did it with us – and whipped our tails. Below is a pic from last year – me (4 months pregnant), our Uncle Dennis, and Tamara.

I think UD (Uncle Dennis) finished in 2:30 last time. Pretty fast for an old guy. Just kidding! No really…pretty fast for anyone. Tamara and I took our sweet time and finished in something like 3:40. Ha. Sad. Definitely not my proudest moment, but what can I say? I had to pee like 10 times. Also, I could barely walk when we finished.

Our cheering section

Finish Line last year

So this year, we were sure we would have no problem beating that time. I’m pretty sure my 3 year old daughter could beat that time. I’ll be honest, training for me was touch and go. It was hard finding time to run 3 – 4 times per week, with 2 kids. My goal was to be under 2:40 this year. I finished in 2:39 and some change…not very fast, but also not bad for 6 months post baby! Tamara was close behind. And UD kicked our butts again and finished in 2:15ish. Below are some pics from race day.

Pre Race Potty Break at Henry’s


Us at the starting line this year


Post Race

So Tamara and I are planning to run another one (maybe two) next year…we’re thinking we’ll do the St. Patrick’s Day race in Virginia Beach and possibly the VB Rock n’ Roll Half as well. Any advice on training with two kids and cutting our times down to a 10 minute/mile pace?

Hola, Chicago

29 Oct

So a few years back, I helped my best buddy pack up and move to a bigger and better place – Chicago. Her roots. She will always be a southern belle, but she still has that Yankee twang. And we hit the road for 16 hours.

Icicles!! On a mountain side! I had about 22 pictures on my camera that she took. It just isn’t something we see in the south. And damn did it get chilly. Cold in the south is anything under 50. And here we are, bracing Chicago in January. And after getting lost and being way freaked out in the industrial area of Indianapolis, we made it.

One reason we are such awesome buds is cause like me, she likes to eat. And she will try anything once. Being half Chinese, dim sum is a treat. Like the Japanese have sushi and Caucasians have brunch, we have dim sum. Dumplings every way possible. Served table side on carts. We just point and say, “Two please.” And in Savannah, we no longer have any Chinese restaurants that have dim sum. So sad. So whenever we hit a big city, Chinatown is a must. And every turn is a place with fresh dim sum. So our first stop in Chicago, Chinatown!


We were starving. We found the biggest restaurant there. It was 3 stories. And nothing but big tables and about a thousand carts full of awesomeness. And in minutes our table was full of it all.

And we ventured out. She wanted to try chicken feet. And I am surprised that my dad has never made me try it. I’ve even downed a tiny piece of that 100 year old egg thing. A little vomit just crept up as I reminisce. So, chicken feet. We figured dousing it with hot sauce would make it go down easier. And it kind of did. But really it was like eating steamed fat. The cartilage stayed. I don’t get the whole concept of chicken feet. You are paying for nothing really. It reminds me of sucking the head of a crawfish. Which I don’t do. Gross. But I do eat that little bit of meat in the tail. This doesn’t have that little piece of meat. It is just sucking on literally a foot. Weird.

Her face says it all. We will stick to the pork dumplings and shrimp dumplings and steamed dumplings and fried dumplings. Yum. So, adios Chinatown. And chicken feet.


So her brother told us about a bar that isn’t really advertised. There isn’t a sign or anything out front. And it’s lit solely from candles. We were intrigued and found a cab driver who knew where to take us. He dropped us off in Wicker Park at these doorsteps. The Violet Hour. Intriguing name, yes?

Our senses heightened a bit as we walked through those doors. Darkness. And then through layers of velvet curtains, into a tastefully decorated lounge with a bar. Candles. Everywhere. All along the bar. All along the walls. All on the tables. Cool.

And the drink menu is definitely for liquor connoisseurs. I had to read the menu ten times before just telling the bartender what I liked and didn’t like. And this is what we got.

I couldn’t tell you what it was. But It isn’t something I would order again. Yet it was drinkable. The drink menu isn’t your typical selection. Which fits the Violet Hour. Cell phones aren’t allowed either. So this is a good place to go for a first date or just to catch up with an old pal. Nothing is more irritating than sitting and watching someone text the whole night. Touché Violet Hour. Definitely a venturous place to check out if you’re looking for something a little different.

We stopped at Avec next for a quick, good ole bottle of wine. And who did we see and not meet cause we are too chicken (No feet here)?? Rick Bayless!!!

And to call it a night, we sat waiting for the train at the station. Sipping a brew and eating our leftover dim sum. Perfect.

And then we got yelled at by security for sitting in the middle of the floor. Till next time Chicago

My Take on the Zombie Apocolypse

29 Oct

If you’ve spoken to me within the past 2 weeks, you’d know that I recently started watching The Walking Dead. In fact, I watched all of seasons 1 and 2, and caught up on season 3, all within the span of a week. (My husband thinks I’m crazy. Granted, I have been pretending to axe him in the head at least once per day. Most of the time he deserves it.) Safe to say, this is my new favorite show. I mean, come on. Zombies. The guy with the signs from Love Actually. A love triangle. A really annoying kid who should probably be better supervised (more on that later). A redneck with a crossbow. All set in my home state of Georgia? I’m in.

Anyway, a few burning questions:

1. What happened to Morgan and Duane? Weren’t they supposed to meet up with Rick in the ATL? The last we saw of them, Morgan was trying to man up and off his zombie-fied wife.

2. Who is this Governor fellow?

Why did he kill a bunch of military men? Why is he friendly with Merle? And why does he have a bunch of zombie heads in fishtanks? All burning questions.

3. Will Lori finally kick the bucket when she gives birth to her maybe zombie baby? One can only hope.

4. Can we please get more of a back story on this lady? Because of her, I’ve selected the katana as my zombie apocolypse weapon.

And a few observations:

1. Daryl. I love you. Being from the South, the “redneck” breed isn’t highly revered. We tend to chuckle at their choice of clothing, their accents (yes there are many different southern accents), their foods (have you seen Swamp People?!?). Sometimes we even take pictures of them at Walmart and post them online. However, having watched approximately 20 episodes of The Walking Dead within 7 days time, I’ve decided that should the apocolypse come, I’m finding myself a nice redneck boy (preferably one with a crossbow) to watch my back.

2. Is Lori the worst mother in the world or what? She’s always going on and on about how she must keep little Carl safe. But she loses him on a pretty consistent basis. Oh where’s Carl? He’s in the woods throwing rocks at a walker. Oh where’s Carl? He’s in the barn chatting with a prisoner. Oh where’s Carl? He’s running around the prison BY HIMSELF looking for supplies. REALLY? How hard can it be to keep up with a 10ish year old boy? Ok let me rephrase that. How hard can it be to keep up with a 10ish year old boy during an apocolypse where he should be chained to your side? DEFAX is calling lady.

3. On that note, is Carl the worst little boy in the world or what? Always taking off…have some respect for your elders kid and quit trying to get yourself eaten. Let’s just pretend my sisters and I had grown up in a similar situation (zombies, etc). If we had taken off by ourselves for any reason, you can bet your pretty little hiney that Papa Jue would’ve rained fire down on our butts. Fire I say.

4. I heart Glenn and Maggie. The end.

Savannah Day of Festivals

28 Oct

One reason I love Savannah is that every weekend there is something new to do.  Today was the Savannah Food Day Festival in Daffin Park, which is described as an earth day but for food.  The food day fest basically wants to promote healthy eating, reduce hunger, protect the environment, and support organic farms and the conditions the farmers work in.  So my parents, grandmother and I went midtown to check it out!

These guys greeted us.  No idea what they are.  Too bad my nieces weren’t with us, because one is obsessed with pink and one with purple.  They would have each had their own personal guide the whole time.

Gnin was checking out the dogs for rescue.  I was wishing I had chicken coups and fresh eggs in my backyard.  And honey tents were everywhere.

Every tent had something different.  Fresh pastas, produce, cheeses, you name it.  Like this guy.  He was cooking us eggs on a cast iron skillet heated by a solar panel.  Epic.

And all the while there was live music.  Oh, and not to mention BEAUTIFUL weather.  Savannah rocks.  While it’s flooding up north, we enjoyed the weekend outdoors.

Since it was so nice out, we decided to head to Forsyth Park downtown to see how the Shalom Y’all Jewish Food Festival was going.

Corned beef, pastrami, stuffed cabbage, chopped liver, hummus, and matzah ball soup filled the air with yummy aromas.  And after all in the indecisiveness, we went in for the dessert.  I guess Apple Strudel is their staple.

Taste test time.  Even though I caught mom with the camera at a bad moment, we all really enjoyed the strudel.

You could tell me the most disgusting things are inside this, and I’d still probably eat it.  Crispy.  Powdered sugar.  Sold.

Good end to a good day.  Shalom y’all!

So you want a puppy?

19 Oct

Just a quick one on that adorable puppy you brought home. Puppy = tornado with fur. So when they devour countless irreplaceable items, you don’t have to feel bad after a spanking. For instance, exhibit A:

Welcome home!!!

Get mad. Then amuse yourself. Like so:

Jail. Not a happy puppy. But a good photo for the books.

Southern Summers

9 Oct

There is something about a hot summer in the south coming to an end. And I for one am not a fan. Ever since I can remember, my summers have always revolved around family, salt water, aquatic life, and mud. I live here in the summers:

Oh, and so does my Lilly.

It’s hard to get bored when you can throw in a cast net and catch an unwanted bushel of mullet or a pint of good sized Georgia brown shrimp. You can literally catch your dinner. Can’t get much fresher than that. Catfish was the catch back in my young years, whether you wanted one on the end of your pole or not. But something happened over the years, and they died off in the area. Fishing isn’t a favorite of mine anyway. I’m too impatient. Plus I usually wind up with a sting ray or a persistent crab on the other end. My favorite thing to do is crab. It is easy, it is fool proof, and it is amusing watching the skeptical dogs circle around one like they’re actually going to make a move.

The blue crab. Ugly and probably terrifying to some, but a highly entertaining creature. Let a few loose on the dock and watch them scramble running into things and making the pups so intrigued you’d think their heads were permanently tilted sideways. Also, delicious little things. People pay a ridiculous amount for some of these guys. Easy to catch, easy to eat. Boil them up and dip into some butter or some of the garlicky, soy sauce concoction dad makes. Yum-o. The recipes are endless. I love crab dips and crab cakes. However, I have a new favorite. I went to the farmers market in Beaufort with a friend, and she introduced me to a little old man known for his crab cakes. But on this special day, he was making crab cake omelets with his signature remoulade-ish sauce. Words can’t even describe it. One of these days, I will master my own recipe and share with you lucky folks.

And look at this guy. Stone crab. Scary. I’m not a fan of spiders. Gross. And these guys are kind of related. Well, crabs and shrimp in general are. But shrimp and blue crab don’t freak me out. This stone crab, on the other hand, had hairy legs – like a spider. And it was freakishly strong. It’s okay though. I screamed a few times, and then cooked and ate his claw. And the world was better.

Until next summer, crabs. Better get multiplying.

Chocolate Covered Katie

The Healthy Dessert Blog

The Pioneer Woman

Plowing through Life in the Country...One Calf Nut at a Time