what up wednesdays

Just a few things I’ve been up to lately………
sunflowers
1. Our sunflowers are starting to bloom! I planted these waaaay late and just kind of threw some seeds around and now they are taller than me and getting ready to go into full bloom. I can’t wait! I love sunfowers.
2. Let’s talk TV- There’s a new show called Too Close to Home and I was talking to Elaine who turned 40 about it earlier today. We both agreed on several things- WTF is this show??? There’s some pretty bad acting going on. We like looking at the super hot brooding long haired guy. Heather Locklear looks soooo awful! OMG I will not get botox if this is what can happen.
We watched a portion of the VMA’s. I have no idea why. It’s been probably 20 years since either one of us has watched the VMA’s and now we remember why we haven’t.
Can I just mention a really bad reality TV show that I talked about a few months ago. In case we haven’t met, Hi my name is Lisa and I like really trashy reality TV. Like Married at First Sight. Well, there’s a new season and by the second episode I wanted to punch everybody in the face. Which is probably how I’m going to feel when I watch The Real Housewives of New York reunion.
3. Books- I need some good ones. I have over 40 to chose from but I’m in a reading slump. Oh oh I just saw that the book The Girl on a Train was made into a movie and is coming out October 7 and has a killer cast. My one problem when I read the book is that I couldn’t picture the main character in a good way. Do you know what I mean? It almost ruined the book for me because I didn’t like her and couldn’t picture her in a likeable way. Maybe that’s what the author wanted. BUT in the movie, Emily Blunt plays the main character and now I’m all excited to see the movie because I really like her so maybe it will change my perception of the character.
wine
4. We went to the Seven Springs wine festival over the weekend and had an absolute blast. This is not the first time we went but it was the first time on a Friday night and I think that’s one of the reasons why we had so much fun. There were a lot of people but nothing compared to a Saturday or Sunday. No waiting in lines forever to try samples from 30 different Pennsylvania wineries or to order any other food or drinks. And the parking was close by so you didn’t have to walk forever or ride a shuttlebus. Our absolute favorite wine was the one pictured in the middle above. It’s called Raven’s Roast from Seven Mountain’s Wine Cellars. It’s a red wine with natural coffee flavors and 20.2% alcohol. It is delicious. It’s like a port and is just the most perfect sipping wine. Mikey and I are going to try and save it for this winter and for a special occasion. Who am I kidding. We’ll probably break it out over Labor Day weekend and get drunk while we catch up on a few episodes of Ray Donovan and Animal Kingdom.
5. Speaking of Labor Day weekend- Any fun plans?????

what up wednesdays

Just a few things I’ve been up to lately……
1. This is my 50th What up Wednesdays post!!! Let’s have a drink and celebrate!!
2. Elvira kittypants had to go to the vets last week. She was drooling everywhere and it turns out, she had a bad tooth and an abscess. Poor little girl got her tooth pulled and got 3 shots and was down for the count the whole next day. Now she is eating like a lil piggy and running around doing little cat things and she’s all better.
elvira kittypants
3. This past Friday was my mom and Mikey’s mom’s birthday. Yes, the exact same day. Kind of freaky. Mikey went to breakfast with his mom and sister and later in the day we went to visit my parents. We had a happy hour even though my mom is still not drinking. So we had a few without her.
4. We had a small crop of banana peppers from our garden. I bought a few more at the farmers market and got my amish girl on and canned some hot peppers in red sauce. I shared the recipe here last year. Seriously, you should try this stuff. So, so, so good on sausages or chicken. And with football season rolling around, it doesn’t get any better or simpler than grilling some sausage links (my favorite is turkey sausages stuffed with cheese) and to have a jar of these pepper rings to go on top. Love it!!
hot pepper rings
hot pepper rings
hot pepper rings
hot pepper rings
peppers
5. Speaking of grilling- we still don’t have one. I thought for sure this was going to be the summer we bought a grill. Well, it’s almost the end of August and no grill.
6. Check back later this week for a post (FINALLY) on my dining room table and chairs makeover! The post is a long one, but you just gotta see the before and after.

chocolate covered pretzel milkshake

This is an alcoholic milkshake. A very alcoholic milkshake. And very, very good!!!
chocolate covered pretzel milkshake
It’s so good that I crave it on a daily basis. We have been having some extremely hot and humid weather for like all summer(I’m not complaining, I’m just stating) and this milkshake just screams “drink me!”
chocolate covered pretzel milkshake
The inspiration for this milkshake comes from the chocolate covered pretzel shot. It was a very popular shot ordered on friday nights at the club where I bartend. I no longer bartend on Friday nights but I always remember making this shot. It’s one of those shots where people who quote “don’t normally do shots” look at it and say “What is this? Am I going to like it? Is it going to make me sick?” And then you tell them it’s a chocolate covered pretzel shot and you do it similar to a tequila shot and lick salt off your hand and then shoot it back. And it’s delicious. Then everyone looks at you like you’re crazy and asks “How is this going to taste like a chocolate covered pretzel?” When you finally get them to do the shot, they say “Oh my god, that’s so good! It really does taste like a chocolate covered pretzel!” Oh the joys of bartending.
chocolate covered pretzel shake
So instead of making this a shot and telling you that you just HAVE to try it, I blended in some vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup and now I’m telling you that you absolutely HAVE to try it.
chocolate covered pretzel shake
Chocolate covered pretzel shake
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
2 oz whipped vodka
1 1/2 oz hazelnut liquer
chocolate syrup
margarita salt
In a blender add 1 cup of ice, ice cream, whipped vodka and hazelnut liquer. Blend well. Salt the rim of the glass with margarita salt. This is what helps give the “pretzel taste.” Drizzle chocolate syrup around the inside of the glass. This step is optional. Pour in the milkshake and enjoy! Garnish with actual chocolate covered pretzels also optional but highly recommended because it looks really cool.
chocolate covered pretzel shake
Even if it’s not hot and humid out, you still just Have to try this shake!

jalepeno goat cheese queso

It’s a snack! It’s an appetizer! It’s party food! And it was my dinner one night.
jalepeno goat cheese queso
The jalepenos from my garden were in full swing and I had previously made a goat cheese sauce for nachos several months ago so…..I made a jalepeno goat cheese queso. And I dipped all my chips in the gooey cheesy spicy goodness and before I knew it, it was all gone. And that was my dinner and I was happily stuffed full. The end. Haha.
jalepeno goat chees queso
I’m also going to apologize to my girl Lori, who is a faithful reader(1 of 2 haha) who just loathes goat cheese. I’m sorry! I’ll make a different queso dip to share soon so you don’t have to cringe or puke when you read the title. But for everyone else that loves goat cheese, you’re gonna love this dip.
It’s so easy to make too. Except for the first batch I made. I burned the roux. Boy did that piss me off. Until I realized I had enough ingredients for another recipe and then all was right with the world.

Don't burn your roux!
Don’t burn your roux!

A roux is just a mixture of melted butter and flour whisked together on medium/low heat. Or in this case- butter, jalepenos, and flour.

a good looking roux
a good looking roux

Next, whisk in your goat cheese and milk. Remove from heat and stir in the salsa.
jalepeno goat cheese queso
Jalepeno goat cheese queso
3 TBl butter
1 jalepeno, diced with seeds removed
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 TBl flour
3/4 cup milk (I used original flavored almond milk)
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup salsa
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and saute jalepenos, about 3 minutes. Turn heat to medium/low and whisk in flour. Continue whisking until sauce starts to thicken. Add garlic and goat cheese and whisk until combined. Then add milk and whisk until combined and heated through. Remove from heat and stir in salsa. If serving a large crowd or you have no self control, such as myself, recipe can be doubled.
jalepeno goat cheese salsa
Just look at that gooey, cheesy goodness!
jalepeno goat cheese queso

what up wednesdays

just a few things I’ve been up to lately……
1. Watching the Olympics! Gymnastics is my all time favorite ever and I barely got to watch any of it because I either fall asleep before it comes on or I’m bartending and have it on the tv at the bar but don’t actually get to watch it.
2. Last week, Mikey and I had a “day date.” We were both off work last Wednesday and went to a local winery/berry farm in the afternoon. It was awesome. We bought a bottle of wine and sat in their garden area and just relaxed and chilled. Then we ordered lunch from their cabin cafĂ© and it was really really good. Then we went into the farm store and bought the most delicious chocolate cookies with raspberries and white chocolate chips. Then we went to a driving range and hit some golf balls. It was such a fun day! It’s like a 1 day vacation because we’re not actually going on a vacation this year so fun little days like this one are extra special.
3. My little boy Nero never came home. We put a pic of him on our local lost pets facebook page and had a few people contact us. One person said she saw him on her porch during a thunderstorm a few weeks ago and that her Aunt who lives near her feeds stray cats. It’s actually in a neighborhood right over the hill from us so we have been driving around periodically to look for him but so far no luck.
4. So I’ve always hated school with an utmost passion but I always miss back to school shopping. Brand new clothes and shoes and school supplies! I want to make it a frivolous adult thing for people without kids or with kids that are all grown up. Let’s buy a new wardrobe and new tablets and pens for ourselves. I know, I know, adults can do that kind of shit any day they want. But we could make it like an adult holiday. Kind of like how adults took over Halloween. Third most popular drinking day of the year. Or is it fourth? Day before Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s day, Halloween, and New year’s Eve. I think that’s the order. I’m too lazy to “google” it right now. Plus I totally just got side tracked. I turned back to school shopping into a drinking day for adults. Probably the best idea ever but I’m not a parent and according to the universe, not entitled to an opinion on the subject. Humph.
5. Any recommendations on getting my shit together? Staying focused? I’m feeling like I’m burning the candle at both ends lately and getting absolutely nothing accomplished. Way too many things going on in my brain with not enough hours or motivation to get anything done? Anyone with me on this?