Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blast The Bah Humbugs!

Well, thank God! I've successfully pushed away my bah humbuggeries by getting off my ass, baking homemade peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, blasting Ella Fitzgerald holiday tunes and putting up some additional Christmas decorations. I've been craving fresh baked cookies for weeks now, and I'm even cooking dinner for the first time since Monday. EEEEE!

Granted, I went up and down the stairs too many times (made me feel a bit weak and dizzy) getting out decorations, but overall? I feel so much better. Much of this is due to waking up and feeling like a real, non-sick human being this morning and having it last all day long. I didn't even have to take a nap!

Alright, maybe I went overboard with the cookies. But how was I supposed to know the recipe was going to make a million of them?

Listen to Ella, y'all, and make your yuletide gay!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Citygirl Bites! Smoking Joe's BBQ

My lovelies, it's time for another installment of Citygirl Bites! On December 3 HUBS and I finally went to Smoking Joe's BBQ, a joint downtown that we'd been meaning to go to for a few weeks.

Despite the cold and the late hour that we finally got our asses out of the house, I was excited. I luuuuuuuuuuvre BBQ! If would be fair to say it's one of the few foods I really crave on occasion. Unfortunately, after our jaunt to this place, my craving is still intact.

My first objection with the place is that it's freakin' hard to spot on a dark night when you haven't been there before. SJ BBQ! Invest in a large sign, please!

There is a nice atmosphere inside, though. The place is moodily lit for romance, dressed up for Christmas and they even have live music and a bar area. It's more of a BBQ nightclub than a straight-up stuff-your-face joint. They've kicked your standard BBQ place up a notch.

That would be excellent if I didn't think they did it to divert attention away from the food. It's not horrible, but it's not good enough to deal with driving all the way downtown, either.

The meal started off pretty good. We ordered BBQ chicken nachos for an appetizer and they were large and good (though it did take a while for them to get to us). SJ BBQ has three different sauces: sweet, mild and hot, and all were tasty.

I ordered the ribs with beans and cole slaw. Let me start by saying that the sides were excellent. The main course, on the other hand, arrived almost cold. If you don't already know, cold ribs aren't much fun. That wasn't the worst part, though.

My ribs were also incredibly fatty. So much so that I couldn't take a bite without getting gobs of fat. I had to cut around the ribs and remove the fatty bits before eating. Also? Not much fun and kinda irritating. I kept the leftovers but ended up giving them to the stray cats because I knew I wouldn't feel like doing all the work involved to eat around the fat. I'm glad someone was able to enjoy them.

HUBS wanted their small combo platter, but he wanted to sub its chicken and ribs for pork and turkey. They wouldn't let him. Usually BBQ places have a general combo platter where you can get set portions of any of their meats, but not here. And there was nothing on the menu that said No Substitutions, either. That's another strike for them, as far as we're concerned.

After that disappointment, HUBS settled on their pulled pork platter with potato salad and green beans. This time, at least, the main dish was as good as the sides. The pork was tender and flavorful and those green beans were a definite stand-out.

All in all the main attraction for this place is the price. Most of their menu items cost $8.99 or less. Be aware of the live music times, too. It got really loud in there once the band started and having to shout across the table at each other was a bit maddening. (I know, we sound like old fogies. Oh, wait, we kinda are!) If you're already in the area, I'd give them a shot. But stay away from the ribs.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday Tipday: Longing For The Days Of A Sore Throat

Well, well, well...Looks like my body decided that an intermittent sore throat wasn't punishment enough. As of last night I've got a full blown cold: running nose, congestion, tired, fuzzy-headedness and all. Yay!

On the plus side this cold is nothing compared to what one of my cousins has been going through. He's been battling pneumonia since August; the doctors put him in a drug induced coma for a while and then on life support. Each time they tried to dial down the life support, though, his organs stopped working on their own.

On Friday my mom told me my uncle had decided to fully take him off life support. We were all expecting that Saturday would be his last day, but we got an actual Christmas miracle when all of his bodily functions kicked in and he woke up. That? That's some unbelievable God Magic right there. Can we all say a little prayer that he'll continue to get better? Thanks.

Now, on to the fun stuff. Do you see that video up there? Friends, it just happens to be the music video for my all-time favorite modern Christmas song, Wham's Last Christmas. I figured since a large portion of the country is in the grips of winter weather advisories and such my music offerings could stand to get in the spirit of the season.

I ,myself, am having trouble getting into that same spirit. My lack of holiday enthusiasm started before I got sick, and now that I think about it I might see what the problem is: everything is the same every year. Mom and I cook the same stuff (We did talk about that and she's bored with what we cook, too! And totally game to make something different.), and HUBS and I run around on Thanksgiving and Christmas days to PT's and his parents, who are two hours away.

I suppose I'm just a little tired of the routine, though I've got no idea what we could do differently. Remember when you were a kid and the holidays seemed so magical and mysterious and full of fun? I suppose it'll never feel like that again, but I wish I could get some of that tingly feeling back.

So, today's tip: Don't get so bogged down in feeling the holiday spirit that you can't have any fun. I think it's natural to have a "blah, it's the holidays again" feeling every now and then.

How are you 'feeling' your holiday of choice this year?


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