Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reality Checking

You know, sometimes I feel like I'm still a kid. OK, well, maybe not a "kid," but a teenager, to be sure.  It's mostly when I'm staying up too late, or watching my favorite 80's flicks (a certain Boom Box Serenade comes to mind), or jamming to some classic Michael Jackson. I just wrap myself in a little bit of denial and pretend I'm 30 or so years younger, and 50 pounds lighter, and sans any obnoxiously wiry gray hairs. No judgment, please. It's not like I'm hiding in my room, smoking a joint, and trying to disguise the odor with air freshener or something! Not like I ever did that anyway.

Boombox Serenade Say Anything


Other times, I feel like I'm exactly my age. F-O-R-T-Y + F-O-U-R. That's mostly when I'm paying bills, or cooking dinner while trying to wash some dishes and sort through the day's mail all at the same time, or jamming to some classic Michael Jackson (what can I say, his music spans the ages). It's not so bad being 44, right? I mean, there are worse things I could be. Like 84. And I like what my 44-year-old brain knows. There's some  occasionally-whacked wisdom up there. There's knowledge. And there's that whole "knowledge-is-power-thing." I wouldn't trade all that for all the big hair and leg warmers of my youth, or for all the vampires named Edward in the world.

[Um, well, maybe that's taking it a bit too far there.  One can't be too hasty where Edward is concerned.]

Robert Pattinson Twilight


But there also times when I feel O.L.D. And you know, not in the good way. Yesterday was a perfect example. I had gone to the bank to open a new checking account. Naturally, one of my former students was helping me, which automatically  makes me feel old.  Unfortunately, it didn't stop there.

I was debating which kind of checking account to open. Apparently, there are like seven different kinds, all with different requirements, and as "Annie" rattled the requirements off to me I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.  So "Annie" was trying to help me narrow it down, but she kept pushing for the Merit Plus Checking. She mentioned it several times, so I was thinking it must be good and thought I might go with it. But being as that I am a visual person, I wanted to see the requirements on paper, so "Annie" gave me a brochure to help me in making a visual comparison, again suggesting that Merit Plus would be a great choice for me.

And then there it was. The moment I felt older than I've ever felt in my forty-four-year-old life. Right there in black and white...the second requirement for the Merit Plus Checking:

Must be age 50 or better.

WTH? This girl thinks I'm 50? Or "better?"

I am so not kidding when I tell you that I had to choke back at least one tear right there in the chair of that glass-enclosed cubicle that apparently has the heinous power to make banking customers look older than they are.  I. Was. Mortified.  Do I really look 50 years old? Is this girl for real?

Me Tinalicious

That photo was taken about 6 months ago. And trust me. I can't have aged that much in six months. That's how I looked then. And that's how I look now. I know I don't look 20 or anything. But 50? Really?

And to make matters even worse, when I told her I wasn't yet 50, it didn't phase her at all. There were no outwardly signs of embarrassment for having aged me six years right in front of her. No apology for the arrow through my heart. Nothing. Unbelievable.

You know, I don't really have a major problem with getting older. I don't welcome it with open arms. I don't celebrate every new gray hair. I don't worship my ever-increasing wrinkle count or the skin that now sags in places that are more and more difficult to conceal. But, I don't obsess about the aging process either. I'm getting older. I can't stop that. Time marches on. And as Miss Truvy (a.ka. Dolly Parton) said in Steel Magnolias, "eventually you realize it's marchin' all over your face!"

Amen, Truvy. Amen.

But that being said, I certainly don't want to be 50...before I am actually 50. Lord o'mercy. Let's not freaking rush it.

So that was my dose of reality checking for yesterday. 50 for a day. What an F'd up interesting way to bring 2010 to a close, eh?  Should be interesting to see what 2011 brings. ;)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

House Calls

Can I have Stupid People for $1,000, Alex?

Stupid People...and the answer is:
Not a question you expect to get from a customer of your husband when your husband is a plumber.

And in the form of a question, "Does your husband make house calls?"

I mean. Seriously. WTF?! This is an actual question I got on the phone today from someone calling my husband, who happens to be a plumber. I actually had to pause to stifle the laughter and collect my thoughts before I could respond to this potential customer. What I really wanted to say was:

"Why no, no he doesn't...my husband actually diagnoses your plumbing problem using mental telepathy,  and then fixes it via tele-freaking-kinesis."

But all I could really say was:

"Um yes, I believe he does, and if you give me your name and number I'll have him call you as soon as he gets in."

That really has got to be the dumbest question I've been asked to date from one of my husband's customers.  Though it was as amusing as the time one of his customer's needed me to acknowledge that Yes, I Know my Husband's Phone Number.

At first I thought it was a trick question, a joke, perhaps. But they were dead serious. And after I hung up, I spent several minutes just trying to ponder the logic of asking that kind of question. Is this even possible? Are there plumbers who don't make house calls and still get paid? If there are, I think the Hubs would love to have a chat with them, because he could work more and yet never even leave the house! Hell, maybe I'll be become a plumber too.

Ahem.

Gotta hand it to these customers though, they do keep me entertained while I'm playing the role of plumber's secretary and honing my ever-necessary customer service skills.

Plumbing Can Be Fun meme

Have a good Wednesday, y'all.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Easy English Trifle

Now this is the ideal recipe to post this week, since I'll be making this dessert on Friday for my in-laws. I make this almost every Christmas time, but since it's so easy to make and feeds quite a few peeps, I make it any time I need a big dessert that's totally yummy! This is my Easy English Trifle.

Easy English Trifle Recipe

I'm quite sure the folks across the pond, where this dish originated centuries ago, would likely be mortified at my take on an English Trifle.  A true Trifle would have some sort of ladyfingers, raspberry jam, custard, spirits (yay!) and whipped cream. But I'm a simple gal, and simple gals like simple recipes, don'tcha know. So while my ingredients do pay homage to the traditional English Trifle, the whole dessert has a bit more of an American flair. But hey, at least I didn't pull a Rachel (from FRIENDS, that is).  You won't find any beef in my Trifle!


Gawd, I love that episode...and I sure do miss FRIENDS! But hey, back to the recipe.

Ingredients

2 Boxes of Twinkies
1 Large Box Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 Large Box Strawberry Jello (or Cherry or Raspberry)
1 Large Container of Cool Whip

Directions
Cut up all of your Twinkies width-wise into pieces about 1/2" thick. Layer them around the bottom 1/3 of a clear bowl--on the sides and all across the bottom so that you have a nice, thick layer of Twinkies.  Then follow the directions on the Jello box and after mixing, pour the Jello liquid over all the Twinkies. Be sure to cover them all so they turn a nice, bright red. Put this in the frig for at least one hour (maybe two!) until it there is no more liquid when you jiggle the bowl. Once the Jello is set, make the Pudding according to package directions and pour over the top of the Jello and Twinkies. Refrigerate that for another 30 minutes to an hour, until Pudding is set. Once the Pudding has set then spread over the entire carton of Whip Cream. You can garnish with fruit, or sprinkles, or whatever you like, or leave it plain.  Serve cold and be sure to get down through all the layers when dishing it up.

I used to make this in a punch bowl, since it was the only clear bowl I had at the time. Whatever bowl you use, a clear bowl is best, just because it looks prettiest that way. This dessert is all about showing off the layers.  And it really is super simple, and Tinaliciously delicious!

Chip, chip, cheerio, and Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

You Owe It to Your Marriage

This week's WTF Wednesday post is the result of stumbling on this video while surfing earlier this evening. And just so there's no confusion, as I'm sure some of you might wonder, when I say "surfing," I mean web-surfing...not on-a-surfboard-riding-waves-kind-of-surfing.  Apparently, this product is the key to a happy marriage. Watch the video below to see for yourself.



WTF?!
And just so there's no confusion, I'm not saying "WTF?!" because of the product itself, which is real, BTW, and available at BuyBetterMarriageBlanket.com. I'm saying "WTF?!" because, I mean, why the hell did it take them so long to invent this? They can put men on the moon (if we are to believe the stories), make cars that start remotely, and even make toilets that flush themselves! But it takes them this long to create a blanket that sucks up the odors of nocturnal gaseous eruptions generated by sleeping husbands?! [Yes, I realize that women fart too, but I guarantee you that in my bedroom, my husband holds the record for not only most farts per night, but also stinkiest farts per night...and he wears that distinct honor quite proudly.] I mean, sheesh, they don't call it "Silent But Deadly" for nothing!

Silent Bud Deadly Better Marriage Blanket

The website proclaims that "you owe it to your marriage" to buy their blanket, which, BTW, "contains the same type of fabric used by the military to protect against chemical weapons." I should hope so. But the funny thing is that they are completely sold out "due to overwhelming demand." Maybe Santa was feeling sorry for all of us housewives and snatched up a bunch of these to give to husbands around the world on Christmas Eve! One can only hope.

The website also says that the blanket makes a great wedding or anniversary gift. You really gotta love the marketing spin of this product...playing up the love and marriage thing. Because really, nothing says love like activated carbon with odor-absorbing microscopic pores for overly-flatulent hubbies.

Ladies, I see new blankets in your future.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Baked Rigatoni

Nothing says carbs, fat, and calories comfort food to me quite like pasta. I'm a total pasta freak aficionado, to be sure. I could really probably eat pasta five days a week and never tire of it...though the Hubs would probably be begging for some meat and potatoes after day two. Go figure.

So as I was watching the so-called 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray on the Food Network the other day, I was totally jazzed to see a pasta recipe that looked delicious. I knew I had to try it. I also knew that it would take far more than 30 minutes to make it, because even though Rachel magically completes all these meals in a half an hour, I don't know anyone else who can. But when I see a good looking pasta dish, I won't let an extra 30 minutes or so stand in my way of making it.

The dish Rachael made is called Chicken Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Pasta Fake-Bake. And yes, I'm serious about that name. I think Rachael must have lost a bet or something and had to call it that. ;) It looked great just as she made it, but being the crafty-cooking gal that I am, I had to make a few changes to really call it my own. Feel free to click on the link above to get her original recipe. But if you want mine, called Baked Rigatoni (short and sweet, no?), then keep reading.

Baked Rigatoni Recipe

Ingredients

1 LB Rigatoni
Kosher Salt
2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 LB Ground Italian Sausage
1 Green Pepper, Chopped
1 Large Onion, Diced
3-5 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
Ground Black Pepper
3/4 Cup Chicken Stock
1 (28oz) Can Crushed Tomatoes
2 TSP Dried Basil (1 TSP for Sauce and 1 for Pasta/Cheese Mixture)
1-2 TSP Italian Seasoning (to taste)
1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
2 Cups Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to boil on stove for the pasta. When it boils, add the Kosher Salt and drop the pasta and cook to al dente.

Preheat oven to 350.

In a deep skillet over medium heat, add the Olive Oil and heat, then add the Italian Sausage to brown. Add the peppers, onions, and garlic and cook a few minutes more, until peppers and onions are tender. Season with Salt & Pepper. Add the Chicken Stock and then stir in the Crushed Tomatoes. Season with Basil and Italian Seasoning, and more salt, if desired. Heat just until bubbly then reduce heat to low.

When the rigatoni is al dente drain the pasta and return it to the warm pot. Add the Ricotta Cheese, Salt & Pepper, 1 TSP of Basil, and half of the Parmesan Cheese. Stir to combine the ingredients.

In a 9x13 baking dish, pour in half the sauce mixture. Top with all of the rigatoni/cheese mixture, then cover with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan Cheese. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes, until the cheesy pasta has set and all is heated through.

I think this ended up taking me about an hour to make from start to finish. But now that I've made it once, it should go at least a little faster next time...maybe I can get it down to 45 minutes.  It may never be a 30 Minute Meal like Rachael's, but hey, as long as it tastes good, I don't really care. And at least my recipe has a name that takes less than 30 minutes to say! That's something.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

MJ KFC Memes

Since Michael Jackson loved KFC, I thought it was high time I dedicated one of my MJ Mondays to memes featuring KFC giggles. After all, nothing screams the holidays like Michael Jackson and a bucket of fried chicken! I didn't make any of these this week...but they each made me smile when I found them, so I had to share.

Michael Jackson KFC Backstage Meme

Steal Michael Jackson KFC Meme

Michael Jackson Give Back My KFC Meme

Michael Jackson KFC Closed Meme

Strangely, I'm somehow in the mood for chicken all of a sudden.

Have a great Monday!

The Day Our Cat Ate Christmas

I have a lot of holiday memories...some sweet and sentimental...some silly...and some just so outrageous, they almost seem too strange to be true, even though they totally did happen. Like, for real. What I'm about to share with you is just such a memory...of  the year our cat ate Christmas. OK, well, she didn't exactly eat Christmas, per se.  But she did eat a bunch of Christmas tinsel off the tree. That counts, right?

Siamese Cat Christmas Tree

So anyhoots, this is the amazing true story of our cat's penchant for  eating the silver sparkling spaghetti-like strands we call tinsel off the tree. Patra had eaten tinsel before, as I recall, and without incident. In one hole and out the other, more or less. But 20 years ago on Christmas day, I think she must have eaten way too much. And it didn't take my parents' long to realize that something was terribly wrong with her. So naturally, they had to call a Vet. On Christmas Day. And you know, that's a lot like the feeling you get if you have to call a plumber on Christmas Day. [Lucky me though, I married a plumber!]

They finally got a hold of one and he confirmed that Patra had an intestinal blockage. She had eaten so much tinsel and her body just couldn't digest it. So the only option presented by the Vet was surgery. To the less-than-cheery-holiday-tune of $450. Even today that's a LOT of Scrooge McBucks, but we're talking 20 years ago. And my folks just didn't have that kind of money, which they told the Vet.

His reply was so completely devoid of the true spirit of Christmas and good will toward men, that in true, Scrooge-like fashion he just said, matter-of-factly, "No money, no cat."

And to understand my mom's reply to the Vet, you must also understand that she, uh, didn't exactly love Patra. You can read all about their semi-peaceful co-existence in my Time To Get a Cat post. My dad fawned all over that cat like he'd given birth to it himself or something. But Mom? Yeah, not so much. So her reply to the Vet came as no surprise. "So keep the cat" was all she could say.

I guess at that point the Vet realized Mom was dead serious. So in the tiny ounce of Christmas Spirit he could muster, he agreed to let them make payments. But when the payments didn't come fast enough for them (naturally), they turned my folks over to a collection agency.  So then of course my mom called the Vet's office and told them she'd been making regular payments, and would continue to do so until her account was paid in full, but ONLY if they called off the collection agency. Which, they promptly did. And mom continued to make her payments until they were paid off, and they never returned to that Vet again.

Patra survived the intestinally-tangled-tinsel ordeal, which thrilled my dad to no end. But considering that Patra had just cost them $450--which, I'm sure, was more than Mom had even spent on Christmas presents for the entire family, she wasn't exactly throwing a New Year's party in Patra's honor.

We never saw tinsel on the tree again after that year either. Yeah, mom just said it was too expensive.

Mistletoe, Meet Edward

OK, so I just had this hankering [and I can't tell you how often I endeavor to use the word "hankering" in a blog post] to create an RPatz/Edward-themed meme to post here on the blog for the holidays. It would have been so much easier to post graphics that I've seen on the web, but for an uptight perfectionist like myself, that would just never do.  So I created one myself for all you Twihards out there.

And since last year, RPatz was voted as the number one star we'd most like to kiss under the mistletoe, that served as my inspiration for the image below. Hope you like it. Feel free to snag it, if you want--but right-click and save it to your computer to do so. Please don't hotlink to it, or sadly, I'll have to delete this lovely face from the post all together. And that would be a real shame, no?

Edward Mistletoe Meme

Team Edward. Probably goes without saying at this point.

If by some chance RPatz appears under your mistletoe this year, do send him over here when you're through with him. ;)


Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Truth About Santa

I was just thinking back to that day in my past...that dark, dreadful day when my childhood was robbed from me and I was thrown headfirst into the abyss of holiday reality.  You know what day I'm talking about, right? Yep, it was the day I learned The Truth About Santa.

Santa Holidaze

I believe I was in third grade. And up until that dark, dreadful day I was living blissfully unaware in my Santa Claus fantasy land, where all the sugar plums were free to roam. I regularly put out the obligatory plate of cookies and milk for the jolly old elf, and was only too happy to do it. After all, he was bringing me all sorts of Christmas goodies, and he had to get tired lugging gifts all over the world in his sleigh in one night, right? I would also occasionally leave out my autograph book for him, along with a thank you note, in which I asked him to sign the book, which he always did. And I always felt so special and lucky to have gotten his actual signature.

I was quite content in my Kris Kringle-filled world. Never mind that many of my friends no longer believed in Santa. Never mind that I often got teased for still believing.  I still believed, and that's all that mattered to me. Until that dark, dreadful day.

I remember crying when my mom gave me the cold, hard reality check about my beloved St. Nick. I was in shock. Utterly stunned. And completely pissed off! If my 8-year-old brain could have rendered a coherent thought, (and if I thought I could have gotten away with it) I'm sure I would have turned to my mom and said without hesitation,

"Are you shitting me right now, Mom? WTH?!"

But I don't really remember saying a whole lot as I processed my newly acquired wisdom.

The cookies? The Milk? The Autograph Book?
Faked. Faked. And Faked.

Honestly, I felt so betrayed. So misled. So lied to! But as it was threatening to crush my heart of hearts, and whatever was left of my tattered and torn Christmas spirit, my mom gave me a pep talk, as only mothers can. I don't remember it word-for-word, but it went a little something like this...

Santa Claus was a real person, somewhere, long, long ago. And he cared so much about other people, especially children, that he would bring them gifts and candy and such to fill their stockings, which they'd hang by the fire, on Christmas Eve. But at some point, Santa got very old and he passed away, threatening to end his generous Christmas traditions. But parents all over the world decided that the true spirit of Christmas wasn't Santa Claus himself, rather it was his spirit of giving. So, to keep that spirit of giving alive for children every year at Christmas, parents would continue Santa's Christmas traditions in his place. Thus, the spirit of Christmas would never really die. Mom also said that if I always believed in the spirit of Christmas, then Santa would always be part of Christmas...that he'd never die, unless we stopped believing.

As I said, that may not be word-for-word, but that was the  basic story I remember. And it's the story I told my daughter when it was time for her to learn The Truth About Santa as well. My 7-year-old grandson still believes for now, and I hope he will for awhile longer. But I'm sure I'll share that same story with him when it's his time to learn the truth.

That pep talk really did help me recover--at least a bit--from the trauma inflicted upon me on that dark, dreadful day in my childhood. I was still pissed. But at least I knew that Santa had been real. At some point. But after I had calmed down and had time to think more clearly, an alarming thought penetrated my young brain...and I just had to ask my mom...

"What about the Tooth Fairy?"

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WTF Wednesday

OK, so I've decided to take a walk on the wild side and change up my usual (semi) Wordless Wednesday routine by adding a new category: WTF Wednesday. Just trying to keep things exciting, if only for my own personal amusement. ;) And after all...

WTF Wednesday

Sometimes my posts for WTF Wednesday will be photos, and sometimes they will be textual posts, and sometimes a combination of the two. But the posts will always have one thing in common: they'll always make me (and hopefully you), think, WTF?!

For our first WTFW, I've got photos to share...and since it's holiday time, lets call these WTF Xmas Gifts. Would YOU (or your kids) want any of these for Christmas?

Pee & Poo Plush Toys?

Yes, really, nothing typifies the season of perpetual hope and the true spirit of giving than a set of plush Pee and Poo Toys. What kid, or perhaps freakazoid crackhead, wouldn't love these?  I wonder if they have a plush Vomit friend to go with?

Baby...in Plastic
Baby Toy in Plastic
 
Now we're talking. This is the perfect gift for the little girl on your Christmas list: a screaming plastic "Lovely Baby" in what appears to be a hermetically sealed plastic tomb. Can someone please explain to me the definition of "Lovely" though? Because I think I define that differently than the doll-makers do.

Choir Boy Candles

Choir Boy Candles Gift

I'll leave it up to you to decide the appropriate recipients of these Choir Boy Candles.
All I can say is, WTF?!

Have a great Wednesday.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Michael's Magic in Memes

Tis the season for some magic, as they say, so why not a little Michael Jackson Magic for your Monday. The following memes represent just one of Michael's magical gifts...better known as...his sex appeal. To a lot of his fans, he oozes that special brand of magic as only Michael can. So these memes I've made are just funny little moments with that in mind.

Michael Jackson PYT Meme

Michael Jackson Naked Twister Meme

Michael Jackson Fedora Magic Meme


Have a magical Michaelicious Monday!

Tucker the Turtle

Here it is, a not quite lovely way too cold feels-like-winter-but-it's-Autumn kind of day, and at the moment, I have the entire house to myself. I could be doing something seriously productive, or meaningful, or even profound (no seriously, I do have my moments). But instead, what am I doing? Yep. Blogging. But is there anything wrong with that? I'm an adult, no? Free to ramble in virtual space if I feel it, right?

So to fill up some prime Tinalicious blog space, I'm going to tell you...in the least babble-filled way possible (Gawd...the pressure), about Tucker.  And who is Tucker, you ask? Let's meet him, shall we?

Tucker the Turtle Plush

And why am I sharing with you this adorable and yet presumably insignificant plush toy that is decked out in his finest winter attire (yes, it's just a hat, but it's a damn cute hat!)?

Well, it's because the Hubs bought it for me when we went Christmas shopping recently. And why oh why did he do that? Because I asked for it [she says with a wry smile].  Natch. Which then, of course, begs the question: why would I--an educated, intellectual, creative, and seemingly mature woman--ask for a stuffed animal in the midst of holiday shopping?

Well, there's really only one answer I can give you. Because. Because I felt like it. Because he was cute. Because I knew that turtle's name the moment I eyes laid on him [and no, the voices in my head didn't tell it to me]. Because he looked up at me with those big brown plastic eyes and asked me to take him home, in the way that only inanimate winter-dressed plush objects possibly can. And very probably because I'm just a giant goofball, who is just weird enough to walk into a kids' toy and candy store at Christmas time and come out with something not for either of my grandchildren, but just for me.

And the Hubs, being the awesomely accepting and raised-eyebrow-sporting-but-giving guy that he is, bought Tucker the Turtle for me. No. Questions. Asked.

That's love, my friends, all wrapped up in little yellow plush turtle with his dapper winter cap.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Captain Kirk WTF Wednesday

Captain Kirk WTF Wednesday

WTF?

This photo is seriously begging to be meme'd. What could the caption be? Any ideas?

Beam me up, Scotty, and have a good Hump Day!

Monday, November 29, 2010

White Chili

What could be better on a cold, almost-Winter day than a steaming cup of chili? Well, if you're like my picky Hubs some people, you don't care so much for chili. So what's a gal to do? And the answer, for not quite $1,000, is: White Chili.

It's true, the Hubs is not a major fan of chili of the red tomato variety. So I took it upon myself to scour the Internet find a suitable and tasty alternative for his  particularly picky palate. [Say that 3 times fast!] And after much trial and error and a combination of several recipes, I've finally created the perfect--at least in my own mind--bowl of White Chili. So for this Tasty Tuesday (and just a wee bit earlier than Tuesday) I'm gonna share my recipe with you. No applause, no applause. Really just throw money. So here it is.

White Chili Recipe

Ingredients

1-1/2 TBSP Oil
1 Medium Onion, Diced
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1  Cup Celery, Diced
1 Cup Green Pepper, Diced
1 Lb Boneless Chicken Breast, Cubed
2-14oz Cans Great Northern Beans (Rinsing & Draining is optional)
4 oz Chopped Green Chiles (Optional)
1-1/2 TSP Ground Cumin
1 TSP Oregano
1 Can 14.5oz Chicken Broth
1 Can of Water (use the broth can)
Kosher Salt (or regular salt), and Pepper, to taste
6 oz Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1/2 Cup Sour Cream

Directions

Heat the oil in a Dutch Oven over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, green peppers, and garlic, stirring frequently, until veggies are tender and onions  are translucent. Add the chicken and cook until it's no longer pink. Add the remaining ingredients, EXCEPT the cheese and sour cream. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. Then add the cheese and sour cream and heat until all the cheese has melted. If you like a thicker chili (I do!), you can thicken with a little corn starch mixed with cold water just before serving. That will thicken it up nicely.

The Hubs loves this chili, as do I. He will even eat the leftovers, and that's saying a lot, my friends. I defy you to make it and not love it too! OK, well, maybe "defy" is too strong a word. But I do think you'll like it. It's definitely a nice change from regular chili. Whip up a batch and see for yourself. And maybe make some of our new favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies to have for dessert while you're at it. :)

Oh, and just as a side note...you can substitute leftover turkey in place of the chicken in this recipe. It is a great way to use your Thanksgiving leftovers and it's still Tinaliciously delicious!

Enjoy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

MJ and Madonna Memes

This week's Michael Jackson memes feature the King of Pop and the woman who could arguably possibly claim the title of Queen of Pop, Madonna. They knew each other and were photographed together numerous times over the years. So I challenged myself to come up with brand new memes for 3 photos that I found of them together.

So on with the Madge and MJ show for your MJ Monday...

Michael Jackson Madonna Boobies Meme

MJ Madonna Dangerous Meme

Michael Jackson Madonna Likes Meme


Enjoy your Monday!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Destiny's Hanger

You know, babies never cease to amaze me. I went through babydom with my daughter, Jennifer, and again with my grandson, Dylan. And now that I baby-sit my granddaughter, Destiny four days per week, I get to experience it all over again.

Aside from the predictable downsides, like changing poopy diapers (that sh*t literally never gets old, eh?), the joys of teething, and struggling to keep up with a crawling baby who seems to have more energy than the Energizer Bunny, it's all a fabulous experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. And it produces some wonderful little moments as I see the world anew through Destiny's eyes.

Case in point: I was doing some Christmas shopping the other day and picked up what is unlikely to be the last of Destiny's Christmas gifts.  And since babies grow at a rate far faster than seems humanly possible--even putting aside the fashionista factor-- she always needs clothes. So, being my cheap frugal and thrift-minded self, I decided to look through the clearance rack for some bargains. I found a couple of really cute jumpers for only $3 apiece. Perfect! So I snatched them up and decided I'd give  the pink one to her now and save the brown one for Christmas.

I stopped by my daughter's house on the way home, to drop off the jumper. Destiny sees me and comes crawling toward me at her usual bionic speed, and wearing her pretty-as-a-princess smile. So I pulled out the pink jumper as she gains momentum and she seems truly excited by her trendy new outfit. Then I handed it to her. And what does she do? She proceeds to wiggle the jumper off its plastic hanger...and drops the jumper on the ground...so she can play with the hanger. Apparently that was her plaything of choice for the next half hour or so. And now that hanger is part of her little living room toy stash.

You just gotta love a baby's view on what's important in the world, don'tcha? Plastic hangers? Yes.  Cute little pink jumpers? Not so much. And I definitely love the face that looks up at me from the baby who truly appreciates her prized plastic hanger. She is truly my Treasure.

Destiny Brag Book

Beat It (Semi) Wordless Wednesday

In trying to find a good picture for this week's (semi) Wordless Wednesday, I found one that was oh so cute. It made me smile. Hope it makes you smile too.

Beat It Puppy

Surely MJ would be proud. ;)

Now Beat It and enjoy your hump day!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Adventures in the Air Freshener Aisle

The story I'm about to tell you is real and true. No names will be changed to protect the innocent, because the Hubs is anything but innocent.

So The Hubs and I were shopping at Wally World on Friday, as per our usual Friday night routine. We had our 7-year-old grandson, Dylan with us, as we do every other Friday. You would think that a grown man would use the quality shopping time we share with Dylan to set a good example and behave as any good grandpa would. But does he? Um, no.

Part of the shopping routine for the Hubs and his pint-sized cohort in crime is to find appropriate sized grocery items that they can use to play catch with. And once they find a good item they proceed to toss said item back and forth to each other as we make our way up and down the aisles. Never mind the fact that the person pushing the cart [yes, me] often ends up in the line of fire, turning their all-for-the-sake-of-fun-so-lighten-up-grandma-game into a game of dodge the deodorant...but they also often come just this shy of pelting complete strangers with rogue projectiles in the form of cereal boxes or packages of paper towels.

OK, so I'm used to their little game of catch. And I've become fairly adept at ignoring their juvenile carefree behavior, or pretending that I don't know them, as the need arises. And I guess it could be worse, right? I'm sure there are much more embarrassing things that they--or the Hubs--could do, no? Well, of course there are,  or else there would be nothing to serve as fodder for my blog on this fine Sunday afternoon.

So you just need to picture me, pushing my cart, turning to look for Dylan behind me, and then navigating the turn into the air freshener aisle to find the Hubs. He's standing there, smiling. And he sort of looks like the Cheshire Cat the way he's grinning.

No, not this one...

Cheshire Cat Smile

More like this...

Cheshire Cat Man Costume

I think we can all agree that a guy does not stand in a grocery store aisle, leaning his arm on a shelf full of air fresheners, wearing a big Cheshire-Cat-Grin for no reason. Of course there is a reason, and before I even had time to ponder what that reason might be, the Hubs enlightens me.

"Good thing this aisle is full of air fresheners."

In appraising his stance, with hiss ass up against the shelves, it takes me less than a second to realize that the Hubs has indeed just farted. In the grocery store. Right up against the vast array of air fresheners.

Yes, a very fine example to be set for the grandson, and the perfect lesson  in anal emission etiquette at the same time (you gotta love a double-duty-tooty): if you're going to fart in the grocery section at Wally World, at least have the decency to do it in the air freshener aisle. And be sure your ass is right up against the shelves, so as to look as inconspicuous as possible while your gaseous expulsion permeates the shelves.

So that was my Friday, and now it's your Sunday.

Enjoy!




Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Beer Baby (Semi) Wordless Wednesday

Baby with Beer Can

Nothing says good parenting like weaning the baby off the bottle...by replacing it with a good ole can o' beer. ;)

Happy (Semi) Wordless Wednesday, y'all.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Yes, you read that title right, folks.  You haven't gone crazy and you are in the right blog. And this is indeed a recipe post!  I wasn't quite sure how to post this since I don't generally do recipe-related posts. And since I'm not posting the actual recipe (since it's not mine), that made it even a bit more challenging. I was clueless as to what category to post this in, but I totally want to share it, so I'm creating a new category. Are you ready for it?

Are you sure?

Well OK then.

It's Tasty Tuesday. ;)

That'll work, I think. And so for the rare occasion when I decide I might like to post a recipe, or post a link to one, as the case may be, at least I'll have the proper forum for doing so. So off we go into the Tinaliciously tasty world of cookies! [That IS my kind of world, I must say.]

Now I got this recipe link from one of my favorite blogs, Kludgy Mom. If you haven't read the Kludgy Mom, you really should. I mean, Gigi is funny and clever and everything you could want in a fabulous blogger--and no, she didn't even pay me to say that. And if that ain't enough, she also posts fabulous recipes, or links thereto. So grab her feed pronto!

But the cookie recipe itself originated from another blog, Popcorn Served Daily. And good gracious, that blog title alone makes her blog worth a visit. But it was the recipe that was calling my name, so I was thrilled to visit Lisa's blog to snag it. And even more thrilled to test it out this weekend. This was the result.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies Recipe

What? How were they, you ask? Hold on a sec while I stop chewing long enough to find the right words...oh yeah...

Freaking AWESOME!

And being the cookie-loving gal that I am, when I find a cookie that is freaking awesome, I want to share the fat and calories the recipe with everyone! So, click below to:


When you try this recipe...and you will...be sure to tell Lisa that Tinalicious sent you...via the Kludgy Mom.  Now I've got to go make some more cookies. That's the only problem with making freaking awesome cookies: they don't last long. I blame the Hubs. He ate most of them!

Yeah, that's my story. And I'm sticking to it.

Have a Happy What?

So the Hubs and I were eating dinner awhile ago.  And it's Monday, which means I don't usually cook, because it's "My Day;" meaning that I usually work in my studio on Mondays and don't want to be bothered with the menial tasks of wifedom that obligate me the rest of the week, especially when I could be hiding going crazy creative in my studio instead. So, we had frozen pizza. And it wasn't even half bad, which is saying a lot for frozen pizza, considering how much I generally despise it.

Anyhoots, I'm minding my own pepperoni and sausage business when a commercial comes on the boobietubie. It's for Always. You know. Sanitary napkins, a.k.a. feminine hygiene products, a.k.a. MFR's (monthly flow receptacles). And guess what their slogan is:

Have a Happy Period Always

Now I have been out of the loop for awhile, considering I'm "lucky" enough to have needed a hysterectomy several years ago, so I no longer have to deal with the monthly descent into hell that was my regular period. But I just have to say to Procter & Gamble:  um,  WTH?!

Happy + Period = Does Not Compute

Granted, I had abnormal menstrual issues, so my monthly descent into hell was probably worse than a lot of other women. But even though I was not a stereotypical "bitch" when good old Aunt Flo came to town, I was anything but the happy hostess to that messy and painful house guest. I dreaded my period and all the maintenance and hormonal mayhem it entailed. I hated it almost as much as I hate The Freak Next Door, and golly, girls, that's saying a lot!

So what gives, P & G? After some Googling in-depth research, I've learned that this slogan of yours has been active for quite some time. Clearly I've overlooked it since I no longer have to purchase your overpriced things with wings. But I just don't get it.  Blood flow, cramping, migraines, mood swings, bloating, breast tenderness...what exactly about all that spells H-A-P-P-Y to you? It's not like women are gonna put on one of your pads and suddenly the theme song from The Partridge Family starts playing all around us or something.

Listen up, P & G, it's time for a new slogan. For a slogan to work, it's got to be authentic. Valid. You know...for real. So let's cut the crap and just say it like it is for many women:

Have a Happy Monthly Descent into Hell. Period.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

WTH (Semi) Wordless Wednesday

I'm gonna keep this (Semi) Wordless Wednesday post as wordless as possible. It pretty much speaks for itself, don't you think?

Leather Tan Skin

But I do think the kid's expression echos the 2 thoughts in my own head:

  1. WTH?

  2. EW. EW. And EWWWW!
And if that photo isn't the best argument for the use of sunscreen on the planet, then I don't know what is.

Happy Hump Day, y'all.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

MJ Monday Memes 11/1

This week's MJ Monday Memes feature Michael Jackson images with other people in them. Naomi Campbell is in the first one (though you can't quite see her), which is from MJ's In the Closet short film. The second one isn't anyone famous, so I can't tell you his name. But the third one you should recognize: Donald Trump.

Michael Jackson Love My Job Meme

Michael Jackson Loafers Meme

Michael Jackson Donald Trump Meme

Have an Michaelicious kind of day, folks!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween

I'm just sitting here on the evening before Halloween, thinking about all the Happy Halloweens past, and decided to wax nostalgic blog about some of them. It has everything to do with all the great memories I have of my daughter, Jennifer dressing up at Halloween and taking her Trick-or-Treating. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that writing this post gets me an entry into a contest to win a fantabulous Canon Rebel T2i camera via the SITS Halloween Party Giveway. OK, well, maybe it has a little something to do with the camera giveaway. But as I do enjoy thinking about happy memories of my daughter's childhood, I may as well blog about it. And if it also gives me the chance to win a camera, is there really anything wrong with that? I think not.

One of Jennifer's first Halloweens that she dressed up for was when she was 2. Money was really tight, so even buying a costume was asking a lot of us that year. So I improvised a bit.  She already had a new pink footy-sleeper, so I just bought some bunny ears and a tail, and sewed the tail onto the sleeper. And voila: instant bunny. She was darn cute too, if I do say so myself.

Jennifer Bunny Halloween

Sorry for the less than quality photos here...these were taken back in the day. You know, PD (Pre-Digital). So these are scan and post pics that were originally taken with whatever sort of crappy camera I could afford at the time. If nothing else, at least they present a snapshot of my costume-clad daughter through the years, grainy as they  might be, along with the state of photographic technology during her childhood.

Another Happy Halloween memory was the year that Jennifer wanted to be Cat Woman. This was the same year the Batman movie came out that featured Michelle Pfeiffer as the sex kitten feline villain who was hot and bothered for the caped crusader. And Holy Bimbos, Batman! She was hot, even to me (but lets just keep that between us, shall we?)  Cat Woman costumes were not cheap, but since I was (and still am), I figured I'd just buy the Cat Woman mask and make the rest of the costume for Jennifer myself. I think it turned out pretty good. With some black clothes and some mock-leather fabric and a little white dimensional fabric paint, Jennifer was the spitting image of Cat Woman, yeah, even if I do say so myself.

Jennifer Cat Woman Halloween

Please be sure to note the loud carpet in the above photo. The house we lived in at the time was our first home, and I believe that carpet was original to the house. I like roses as much as the next gal, but I'm sorry, they do not belong on living room carpet.  You might also spy the VCR behind Jennifer on the entertainment center.  And on the left, what do we have? Oh yes, it's a stereo...with cassette players. Show that pic to anyone under 10 who lives in your house and you can have some fun while they try to figure out exactly what they're seeing. ;)

And finally, there was the year that Jennifer wanted to be transported to the 50's and wear a poodle skirt. And yes, being the cheap crafty gal that I am, I once again made her costume. Well, I made the skirt anyway. And even though the 50's was actually before my time, I think Jennifer made the picture-perfect-poodle-skirted girl of the 50's. Yes, if I do say so myself.

Jennifer Poodle Skirt Halloween

I'll also point out that in this photo, Jennifer is standing in the same living room as the Cat Woman photo. We managed to jump in to the then-20th Century and get new carpet by that time. We even put wainscoting and wallpaper on the walls by then. And yet we still managed to keep the tired entertainment center, the VCR, and even the stereo with cassette players.

But hey, I just want everyone to know that I had one of the first DVD players on my block...one that holds 3 DVD's at one time instead of just one. And, um, yeah, I still have it too. It's gotta be over 10 years old by now, but it's still kicking! Blu Ray, you say? Ha! Who needs it?! I couldn't care less about Blu Ray. OK, well, maybe I would like a Blu Ray player, almost as much as I'd like the new refrigerator I keep lobbying the Hubs for. But it can wait. I've got time, and I'm not running low on my finely-tuned nagging abilities either.

So anyhoots, these are my memories of some of my favorite Halloweens with my favorite daughter, Jennifer. [Relax, I'm not really playing favorites. She's an only child.] Hope you enjoyed my waltz down Trick-or-Treat Memory Lane. It was definitely a fun waltz...even if I do say so myself.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Friday Flip Offs 10/29

Friday Flip Offs Logo

Well, it's been awhile since I've felt the need to visit the Friday Flip Offs feature, and since I'm well-armed with some random rants for this Friday, off we go...

To the local pizza joint: FLIP OFF! Being that it was Trick-or-Treat night in our town tonight, I decided to order out so the Hubs and I would have time to visit the grandkids to steal some candy and see them in their costumes. Seeing that I am fully aware that many other folks in our town order out on TOT night too, I decided to call in the order quite early, around 4:25pm. My thinking was that the food would get here around 5-5:15pm, which would be perfect. So, fast forward to 5:52pm, and guess what? Still. No. Food!

So I called to check on the ETA of our long overdue meal, only to get told first that they had no record of my order; and second,  after they found my order, that they got "slammed" and a couple drivers didn't show up and blah, blah, blah. That's all fine and dandy, I told the guy, but then I gave him the what-for. Cuz, you know, that's just what I do.

"I'm not trying to be a bitch or anything," (well, OK, maybe I was) but if you were aware when my order was placed that delivery was going to take over an hour and a half, then you should at least have the balls courtesy to inform me of this fact. Making starving people wait over an hour and a half for food just isn't cool. I mean, I like your food, (but I don't like it that much, dude), but that's just not good business, if you ask me. And you might want to pass that little tidbit onto your manager as well for all the good it will do since he gets my money even if my food is late and cold."

And all I got from that well-articulated but disgruntled customer review was an apology for the delay. I mean, seriously, what good is an apology? Our food arrived as I was hanging up the phone with that pizza joint gumba and it was barely lukewarm. Where's the freaking discount for slow service and cold food? Where's the coupon for at least $5 off a future order? Where is the justice?!

So yeah, FLIP OFF, pizza joint.

To Political Commercials: FLIP OFF! Does anyone actually watch this crapola at election time? Nothing like twisted spin and mud-slinging in between episodes of The Real Housewives to make for a fabulous night of television. One has to wonder how much money gets spent on those commercials too. Seems to me they could better use that money on, I dunno, cleaning up the environment, or hey, how about a cure for cancer? Now THAT would win some elections.

To Google Reader: FLIP OFF! I check my GR about twice per week. And since I subscribe to a lot of feeds, there are usually over 100 posts to read each time I check in. But for some reason, when I checked in today, there were 498 unread posts. WTH? Now either my favorite bloggers have been incredibly inspired and gone psycho-prolific with their blogging habits (which would make me feel even less of a true blogger than I already do), or something was seriously stanky in state of Denmark.

So I'm going through all the posts, alternately reading and skimming to get myself caught up, and I wasn't finding anything amiss. Until I got to the  very bottom of the list. And what do I find? A new feed subscription to...wait...for...it...Discovery News.

Now I don't want to send a shock to anyone's delicate sensibilities with regard to the world and world events, but um, I do not watch the news, Discovery brand or otherwise. And I sure as hell wouldn't subscribe to the blog feed for  Discovery News.  So I don't know how on earth I got subscribed to that feed in Google Reader. Is Google trying to tell me something? Or maybe this is just a random glitch that is also a colossally funny joke, considering my blog-reading profile.  Who knows. But Flip Off anyway, Google. Keep your nefarious news-feed subscriptions to yourself!

Enjoy your Friday, gang.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Barnes and Noble Book Smeller

I just have to say right off the bat that it takes a lot to shock me anymore. And I mean A LOT. What with TV and the Internet these days, we have access to a lot of shocking stuff and at lightening speed. And this stuff just happens to become less and shocking the more we see it. We become desensitized in a lot of ways, know what I mean?

So you just have to bear this in mind when I tell you about the break that the Hubs and I were taking in the coffee shoppe at Barnes & Noble over the weekend. It started off simply enough...after doing some early Christmas shopping (yes, I am that girl, who does Christmas shopping in October) and feeling a bit parched, we decided to park our butts and have a beverage while we rested our weary bones for a bit.

So I'm sipping my IBC Cream Soda, which, btw, is some of the best cream soda I've ever tasted.  And since I seldom drink pop (why waste perfectly good calories on pop when I could throw them away on pasta...or biscuits...or mashed potatoes--all of which I'd had just an hour earlier at Red Lobster...but I digress) I was just sort of savoring it as I did a little people-watching, natch.

As I was scanning the store, my eyes landed on a person sitting on the opposite side of the coffee shoppe's glass-partition wall. I could only see the back of the person's head (a rather greasy-haired looking head, as I recall), and it seemed to be a man from that vantage point. I noticed he had a book in his hand and was kind of flipping the pages. No big deal. Perhaps he was waiting for someone?

But as my eyes bounced around they kept landing on the greasy-haired man, and as I let my eyes watch him for a longer period, I soon became perplexed. Then befuddled. Then, wait for it...SHOCKED. Yes, shocked. And then seriously, the ick factor actually began to set in. And why, you ask (and I don't blame you since I'm kind of dragging it out for you)? What could possibly have shocked me into the ick factor at Barnes & Noble?

It was because the greasy-haired man was not just mindlessly flipping the pages of a book. No. No. And NO! He was flipping the pages of the book...repeatedly...very close to his face...so he could smell the book. He was visibly and quite deliberately smelling the book, people...and pausing only occasionally to also...sniff...his...fingers.

WTH?! And in this case, I think a WTF is also in order!

Why? I mean, seriously, WHY? Is there something about books I don't know? Or does this dude have a fetish I've just never heard of until now (and dammit I wish I'd been left in the dark about!). Granted, there are worse things the guy could have been sniffing, but still. It's. Just. Icky.

So of course I had to whisper to the Hubs what I had witnessed so that he could gawk and stare like an idiot take a casual glance just as I had. And yeah, we sort of laughed it off, but we were both rather taken aback by the whole scene. So of course we made sure to walk past this man on the way out of the coffee shoppe.

While I personally was too far into the ick factor to let my eyes linger too long as we passed, I looked just long enough to realize that maybe the greasy-haired man was actually a greasy-haired woman. He/She appeared to have boobs, but hey, they could have been man-boobs for all I know.  The hair was short, but the clothing was ambiguous. And I sure wasn't gonna turn back for another look once we'd gotten clear of him/her. I asked the Hubs what he thought, and he couldn't decide if it was a man or a woman either.

But one thing is certain, and I shit you not, people: I was sitting less than 6 feet away from the greasy-haired, androgynous Barnes & Noble Book Smeller!

Barnes and Noble Book Smeller

And how was your weekend?

MJ Monday King of the World

Today's memes all feature Michael and his arms. Now don't read anything into this folks. Sometimes I look for a theme and if I see an obvious one I run with it. I never said it would always make sense. ;) But as you'll see, MJ's arms feature prominently into each photo, and the rest will speak for itself on your Michael Jackson Monday.

Michael Jackson King of the World Meme

Michael Jackson Plane Meme

Michael Jackson Marlon Meme

Happy Monday, gang.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Peter Pan MJ Meme Monday

Time for another mixed bag of fun MJ Memes for your Michael Jackson Monday. Sometimes I like macros with a theme...sometimes they're just kind of random (if I'm too mentally fried to find a common thread on any given Monday). So today's deal with Peter Pan, potty breaks, and whoopie cushions. Enjoy!

Michael Jackson Shadow Oprah Meme

Michael Jackson Pee Meme

Michael Jackson Whoopie Cushion Meme


Enjoy your Monday, peeps!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

30 Minute Meals My Ass

For you folks that don't know, I'm kind of addicted to the Food Network. I can watch that almost any day or time and find something I want to watch. I also get a lot of recipes from watching it too.  I baby-sit my granddaughter all day four days per week, and I have that channel on literally all day long. I'm thinking that maybe she'll absorb it all by osmosis or something and then one day she'll want to become a chef and name her restaurant after me. Tinalicious could be a great eatery name, could it not? ;)

I have some favorite and not-so-favorite chefs and cooks on the FN for various reasons.

Bobby Flay ~ Fave

Chef Bobby Flay


It's because he's a redhead mostly. The Hubs is a redhead, and it dawned on me at some point in the last few years that this must be the reason I am drawn to redheaded celebrity men.  [David Caruso anyone? Yowza.]

Actor David Caruso

But also, Bobby is a kick-ass cook. I mean look at him with his big kitchen power tool up there! Power tools in the kitchen? Um, he had me at Hello.

Tyler Florence ~ Not a Fave

Chef Tyler Florence

His show is called Tyler's Ultimate, and clearly, everything he makes is the ultimate anything, in his mind at least.  He's just a little too full of himself, in my opinion. And if I had a dollar for every time he said something he just made was "absolutely fabulous," well, I could probably afford to hire a private chef and not have to watch these shows anymore. Let's face it: there's a fine line between confidence and arrogance. One of those is an attractive quality. The other? Not so much.

Paula Deen ~ Fave

Cook Paula Deen

What is not to like about a fun-loving southern gal who says y'all every minute or two, has dogs that follow her around the kitchen, and whose sons come and cook with her and call her, Mama?  And I also love the way she says oil...with one syllable, like ole instead of oyuhl. She makes cooking fun and she's just as humble as pie, y'all. She takes a lot of flack for cooking like a true southern lady, with lots of butter and fat (the flavor lives there, don'tcha know). She's not exactly the most health-minded of cooks, but she doesn't pretend to be either. And I'll never forget her response to that issue that she gave on one of her shows. She said, "Honey, I ain't your doctor...I'm your cook!" You tell 'em, Paula! I just love that lady and would absolutely love to cook with her, which I can now do in my Paula Deen signature cookware. ;)

Giada De Laurentiis ~ Not a Fave

Chef Giada

While I do like a lot of the food that The Boob Lady Giada prepares, I'm not a big fan of the cleavage that is staring me in the face at all times while she prepares it. I get it. She's hot. And yeah, she's clearly the eye candy for the Food Network. But damn, does she not own any shirts at all that don't show off her ample boobage? Considering that it's probably mostly women who watch her show, what is the point of it anyway? She's supposed to be a talented and highly skilled chef, but it seems like she really just wants to be the queen of culinary cleavage on television. Have some class, Giada, and put the girls away. When we say, "show us what you got," we're talking about F-O-O-D.

Rachael Ray ~ Fave

Cook Rachael Ray

I think that with Rachael, you either love her or hate her. I happen to love her. She's funny and enthusiastic, and she's just a real person who doesn't talk to her viewers like they are idiots. And she's not a chef, she's a self-proclaimed cook, so she doesn't have to put on airs. She is just herself, and I like that.

I get tons of recipes off of Rachael's Food Network show, 30 Minute Meals. But I have one major complaint: I've tried several of her recipes and all of them have taken me longer than 30 minutes. Every. Single. One. I tried her Steakhouse Shepherd's Pie recipe over the weekend, and while it was "delish" (as Rachael would say), I set a new record for how long one of her 30 Minute Meals could take: an hour and twenty minutes!

So, Rachael, I love ya, girl. And I'll always keep watching and trying your recipes. But I think your show needs a new title.

30 Minute Meals, My Ass!

Bon Appetit, y'all.