Category Archives: Food

If I can’t pronounce it, I probably should not try to make it

It is a well known fact that cooking is not my strong suit.  But periodically I do feel guilty about my husband always having to cook so when that happens I start searching all the recipes online to find one that appeals to me. Which means the recipe has to have listed ingredients that I am familiar with, can be cooked in a crock pot or take less than 20 minutes to make and isn’t heavy on carbs because I know my husband wouldn’t eat it.

While searching, I discovered the recipe for Beef Bourguignon.  I had no idea what I was thinking.  Where do you find pearl onions or cremini mushrooms?  I had to google what kind of red wine you use for cooking and I immediately lost interest when the recipe said to chop carrots into 1 inch cubes.  And don’t even get me started on fresh herbs. (It said one bay leaf. Did you know they come in packs of 100 and cost a lot?  First time I ever seriously thought about stealing a herb leaf from the store).

But I decided to forge ahead and make the damn thing. I knew that I always get brownie points for trying.

So here is the finished plate:

Looks good, right?  And it wasn’t horrible because both my son and husband really liked it. However, I decided I am never cooking with red wine again and went to Wendy’s and got a salad.

I have 99 bay leaves left over if anyone needs one.

Waiting on an Egg McMuffin

I love going through McDonald’s drive thru and getting my $1.00 large drink.  I am especially happy when I reach the pay window and some really smart McDonald’s worker has my drink ready so I don’t have to drive to the second window.  That is definitely some forward thinking for a fast food employee!  Those are probably the ones who get promoted to Pizza Hut.

Lately I have been on an Egg McMuffin kick.  But when I order it at 7:00 pm, they never have one ready to go.  Which, if one thinks about it, is probably a good thing, right?

So today I jump in the first drive thru lane and wait my turn.  And wait.  And wait a bit more.  You know, I think there is a fast food conspiracy going on lately.  What happens is that it is your turn and you roll up to the order speaker.  And wait.  No one says in a sweet chipper voice: “Welcome to McDonald’s!  May I take your order please?”

No, you don’t get that because all the fast food workers have banded together and said “Hey! Let’s wait and see how long a customer will sit and wait before telling us their order.” (The stupid part was implied, of course)

I don’t wait very long. Probably 3 nano-seconds. And then I’m all “HELLO!”  I guess that is all it takes to make them behave again.   As an aside, did you know that the way they can tell which car has which order is because a picture of your car shows up on the screen with your order?  I didn’t either!  So how cool would it be to get about 10 blue Rav4 Toyota SUV’s and everyone line up at the drive thru at the same time and have the exact same order with a couple of variations?  I mean, who doesn’t like messing with fast food workers, right?

At any rate, I order my drink and Egg McMuffin and invariably I am told I have to go park in DRIVE THRU SPACE #1 and they will bring out my Egg McMuffin. I am rather glad about that because at least you know you will be getting a freshly made one.

egg mcmuffin

So I park in my designated special fast food parking spot and sip on my drink.  And wait.  And wait.  Still waiting.  Finally, after one Katy and 2 Beiber songs, I am starting to get a bit pissed.  Time to take action.

I pick up my phone: “McDonald’s near me.” Up pops a McDonald’s – and it’s 11 feet away!  So I dial.  When my cheery fast food worker answers the phone, I calmly and politely ask if she has forgotten the car in drive thru spot #1 waiting on an Egg McMuffin.  There is a pause and then I hear this whole conversation in the background:

“I already gave it to her.”

“Well, she says she never got it and has been waiting  a long time.”

“I swear I did it.”

“Wait, did you give it to the other car in spot 2?”

“Well, maybe.  Probably.”

Suddenly remembering I was still on the phone, I get an apology and told my order will be out ASAP.

So I finally got my Egg McMuffin. And I wasn’t even pissy to the little girl who brought it to me (and I got a refund as well – totally didn’t expect that).  I told the girl to please keep an eye on the cars in Drive thru spots 1, 2 & 3. If any car is there longer than 3 minutes, she should follow up on their order.

And maybe, just maybe she can work at Pizza Hut one day.

Another Text Message with my Son

MPJ:   When are you gunna be home?
Me:      On our way now.  Why?  Do you need to air out the house?
MPJ:   I don’t need to but I want food
Me:      I am bringing you Panera Bread for lunch
Me:      It’s good – A Panini
MPJ:   I don’t want a Paninini
Me:      But I had a coupon!
MPJ:   So what
Me:      So you get a Panini with broccoli and cheese – YUMMY
MPJ:   That’s disgusting! (Side Note: I was SO proud of my son that he actually spelled disgusting correctly!  And on a text message no less!)
Me:      Well it isn’t like there is a JITB around
Me:      JITB
MPJ:   What are you talking about?
Me:      Jack blank blank Box
MPJ:   Okay get me a double bacon cheese burger meal
Me:      No, you get a Panini
MPJ:   I don’t want a Panini!
Me:      But I have a coupon!
MPJ:   I want JITB
Me:      They are only on the West Coast, remember?
MPJ:   No, there is one in West Chester
Me:      And you didn’t tell your father?  You know he loves JITB
MPJ:   Double Bacon Cheese Burger Meal
Me:      Okay

My $36.76 Dressing

I am in love with Wendy’s Fat Free Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing.  This dressing came with their Berry Almond Chicken Salad which was seasonally available at their restaurants over the summer.  But now that the salads are no longer available, I am having more and more trouble trying to find those specific Wendy restaurants that still have some leftover dressing.  And I now have to order the Pecan Apple Chicken Salad in which I immediately remove the apples and pecans. 

But it is all about the dressing.  That wonderful Marzetti Fat Free Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing.  That I can no longer get.  Trust me, I have complained.  I have complained to every manager of every Wendy’s.  I am really getting tired of hearing the same answer:  “It was seasonal with the Almond Berry Salad and cannot be ordered, we’ve tried.”  I even wrote a strongly worded email to Wendy’s corporate office with no response.

I tried and tried to find the dressing in my local grocery stores. Until I noticed on the dressing package from Wendy’s the statement: “Made Exclusively for Wendy’s Restaurants.” Which meant I wouldn’t be able to find it in any local store.

Not that it stopped me.  I immediately began an Internet research to fulfill my dressing obsession.  I started with googling “Wendy’s Fat Free Raspberry dressing.”  After an hour or so, I discovered a post by another passionate dressing consumer that referenced “Marzetti Fat Free Raspberry Acai Vinaigrette” as being the closest she could find to the Wendy’s brand.  

Good enough for me.  I went to the recommended website and immediately put my order in.  $4.91 per bottle, three bottle minimum – no problem.  I want my dressing.  Total charge to card: $36.76.   Damn.  My husband is going to see that.  Maybe I can tell him it was some work expense that I will get reimbursed for later.  Or that it was a book offering advice on how to get young adults out of their parent’s home.  Damn – I’ll work on an explanation later. Click to submit and I was immediately informed that my dressing would be arriving via UPS on Thursday and it needed to be immediately refrigerated upon arrival. 

On Thursday, my daughter called and said my dressing was there (Yeah!). Then she told me it was “Chunky Blue Cheese” dressing.  What??  Blue Cheese?  I didn’t order Blue Cheese.  No one in my family even likes Blue Cheese!  I immediately called the sender and complained.  How can someone in shipping mistake Chunky Blue Cheese for Raspberry Vinaigrette?  They aren’t even the same color, for heaven’s sake!  With great apology, the sender said they would immediately send out a corrected order but it wouldn’t be delivered until next Wednesday. When I asked what to do with all the Chunky Blue Cheese, they said just to keep them.  Except I don’t want them.  So if anyone wants some , Marzetti Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing please let me know.  Oh yeah, there will be a $12.25 shipping charge for each one.  So I can tell my husband the original charge was a business venture.

The Fast Food Experience

I recently went through a Hot Head Burrito drive thru to pick up lunch for kids.  (For the record I did not get lunch from Hot Head Burrito;  I went to Wendy’s for a salad.  And if they do not immediately bring back the fat free raspberry dressing I am going to write a strongly worded letter to their corporate office)

As I pulled up to their drive through speaker, it took them forever to acknowledge me.  When the male teenage voice (his name was Matt) finally came on, there were some obvious issues based on the background noise and grunting. I don’t think I have ever had so much conversation with a drive thru worker:

Matt the Drive-Thru Guy (MTDTG):  Sorry for all the noise, I am trying to adjust my headset.  You can go ahead and order but I am not going to be able to hear you so you might want to wait until I can hear you so you won’t have to repeat your order.
Me:  (waiting, waiting, waiting)
MTDTG:  OKAY!  I am all set – what can I get you?
Me: I need two burritos the same way.  Both will be chicken..
MTDTG:  Let me do these one a time.  That way I can be sure they won’t be messed up.  (Rustling noise).  Just have to open up a new package of tortillas. 
Me:  Are you ready now?
MTDTG:  Yep!  Go ahead with your first order
Me:  I need a chicken burrito with rice, beans, cheese and lettuce
MTDTG:  Is that a chicken burrito?
Me (Thinking to myself):  I swear I am going to need some Valium to finish this order…
Me:  Yes, chicken.  With rice…
MTDTG:  What kind of rice? 
Me:  I don’t care – I am reading directly from the text message from my son for his order.
MTDTG:  Okay, I’ll go with white rice.
Me:  Beans…
MTDTG:  What kind of beans?
Me:  Surprise me.  Again, no detail from the text.  Cheese…
MTDTG:  What kind of cheese?
Me: Every kind; I really don’t care and am quickly losing interest in talking to you.
MTDTG:  Okay. Do you want sour cream or jalapeno?
(Now, at this point I do realize that my son absolutely DESPISES sour cream, but the thought does cross my mind that he would deserve to take a big bite of his burrito and have sour cream come oozing out but I just can’t.  Only because I know it would be a waste of money)
Me: Nope all set.  Then make a second burrito the same way.
MTDTG:  Exactly the same?
Me:  Yes (what part did he not understand?)
MTDTG:  Okay, drive on up and I’ll get to work on your order.

So, now completely exhausted, I finally drive off with my way overpriced burritos and drinks.  The drive thru at Starbucks had better not be busy.