Fired on Facebook

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I ran across this gem on one of my favorite time-wasting websites, Passive-Agressive Notes. This totally cracks me up for a couple of reasons.  First, that the poster is posting from work, which seems like something you really shouldn’t be doing.  Second, that they “forgot” that their boss is one of their “friends.”  Why on earth would you make your boss your friend on Facebook?  That seems stupid on about 3 levels.  But, some of the 20-somethings have over 800 “friends” – how can you keep track?

I know someone who did something similar – but luckily figured it out before it got too far.  She was having some problems at her job and posted some giant rant about what was happening and then left it up for a couple of minutes before realizing that some of her “friends” also were co-workers. Not the person she was ranting about, but still not people that needed to see what she was thinking. Ooops.

I can’t post here about the stupid things I’ve done on FB because a lot of people from my FB read this blog as well.  Let’s just say I’ve made an ass out of myself more than once – but what it really comes down to is that there is a distinction between “real life” friends and “facebook friends” and although many do overlap, some don’t.  Just because I read your daily posts on what you had for lunch doesn’t mean I necessarily want to have lunch with you.  I guess it’s just part of the New World Order.

Passive/Aggressive Notes: http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/

Foods I Love: Croque Madame

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There is nothing better on this Earth than a really good Croque Madame.  I had my first Croque Madame via room service in the Sofitel Hotel in Chicago.  It was heavenly and I have been searching for one as good as that one in the US since.  They have since taken it off the menu at the Sofitel, so the search goes on.  (I did have a few while in France last year, and as with anything else, some were incredible and some were inedible.)  All in all, it’s a hard sandwich to screw up – as long as you use the right ingredients – since it’s basically a grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich.

The original grilled sandwich, minus the fried egg on top, is known as a Croque Monsieur – which loosely translates into “Mister Crunch.”  The Croque Madame has the fried egg, which resembles a little hat, or so the story goes.  It is not true that a Croque Madame is made with chicken instead of ham or mornay sauce instead of béchamel.  The only difference between the two is the egg – but to me it makes all the difference in the world.

  • TRADITIONAL CROQUE MADAME
    Adapted from Williams-Sonoma
    Serves 4
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 8 slices sweet batard bread, each 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 8 slices Black Forest or Jambon de Paris ham
  • 4 oz. Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 4 eggs
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is pale golden, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Simmer, continuing to whisk, until the sauce is smooth and thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the 1/2 tsp. salt plus black pepper and nutmeg, to taste. Set the béchamel sauce aside.
  2. Preheat a panini press to 375ºF or medium according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Brush one side of each bread slice with oil. Place the slices, oiled side down, on a clean work surface. Spread the mustard on 4 of the slices and top each with 2 slices of ham, folding the ham if necessary to keep it even with the edges of the bread. Spread the béchamel sauce evenly over the ham and sprinkle the cheese on top, dividing evenly. Top each with one of the remaining bread slices, oiled side up.
  4. Place the sandwiches on the preheated panini press and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 1 Tbs. butter. When the butter foams, break the eggs into the pan, spacing them about 1 inch apart. If using egg rings, spray the inside of 4 rings with nonstick cooking spray, place in the pan and break an egg into each ring. Season the eggs with salt and black pepper. Cook until the whites are firm, about 3 minutes. Remove the egg rings, if using. Flip the eggs over and continue cooking until the whites are cooked through but the yolks are still runny, about 1 minute more.
  6. Slide an egg onto each sandwich, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Craigslist: More frightening than I even imagined…

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So, I found a new favorite website yesterday, yousuckatcraigslist.com.  The library of saved Craigslist posts with accompanying snarky commentary kept me busy for way too long last night.  After reading many, many posts I have come to realize a couple of things:

  • Most people in this country are complete idiots.
  • Most people in this country have no concept of any sort of spelling and/or grammar.
  • Nobody in this country understands the phrase “French Provincial”

I used Craigslist once a few years ago to sell my stepdaughter’s car.  I have to say, it worked like a charm – we had five inquiries in less than an hour and sold it the next day.  After reading these posts, however, I’m not sure I would use it again.  There are some fucking weirdos out there!

Here are some of my other favorites from this overly entertaining site:

a

b

c

Make sure you have a lot of free time when you visit this site, I promise you will be sucked in, but good.

yousuckatcraigslist.com

Grocery Store Self-Checkouts Suck

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I think I may be in the minority that I enjoy the grocery store self-checkout aisles.  Call me a curmudgeon, but I don’t like the annoying chit-chat that constitutes the agony of the old-fashioned check-out.  “Yes, hi – I’m fine and you?  Greeeeat.  No, I don’t want to sign up for your free gas card.  No, I don’t have a club card.  No, I want paper – not plastic.  No, I don’t want to donate $5 to the American Large Iris Foundation.  No, I said paper, please.  No, I don’t want help out.  Yes, that is a nice picture of your grandchild.  Oh, his irises are too big?  That’s too bad….”  I just want my shit, pay for it and get the hell home for Real Housewives of Crack Country already.

The problem is, the self-checkouts suck.  It’s almost as if they just installed them without ever testing them outside the lab or something.  There hasn’t been one time I’ve ever gotten out of there without some sort of problem.  The most ridiculous one?  When the first thing you do is put your nice, pseudo-green, 30% post-consumer waste recycled, reusable bag on the bagging area and the machine freaks out.  “UNKNOWN ITEM IN BAGGING AREA.  PLEASE REMOVE UNKOWN ITEM.”  WTF?  They don’t give you an option to say you HAVE YOUR OWN BAG considering they SELL THE SAME FUCKING BAG two feet from the checkout?*

The other stupid problems?

  • Things that are too light to trigger the bagging area scale, like fresh herbs or a box of tissue.  PLEASE PLACE ITEM IN BAGGING AREA!
  • Having to still get “checked out” by the attendant for purchases over $50.  PLEASE WAIT FOR ASSISTANCE
  • Having barcodes on things that are supposed to be input by PLU#, like grapes.   INCORRECT ITEM NUMBER
  • The PLU Lookup System – Scallions are only called Green Onions and under O, Green Peppers are under P, no cross-referencing at all. PLEASE TYPE IN ITEM’S CODE

And don’t even get me started on what the hell you are supposed to do when you get in that never ending conundrum of the UNKNOWN ITEM IN BAGGING AREA and PLACE ITEM IN BAGGING AREA circle jerk.   I guess all in all it’s better than having to deal with the busy-body check out lady and the creepy guys who bag the groceries.  But, for God’s sake, upgrade the system already!

*Here in Chicago, it depends on where you go if you get this completely idotic problem or not.  The Jewel added a “I’m Using My Own Bag” button about three months ago.  Brilliant idea! Dominick’s have yet to be able to program this wild and crazy funtion into their system (or so the attendant/babbysitter told me the other day when I had to wait ten minutes for someone to override the Bag Conspiracy Error on my machine because she was too busy arguing with a customer over whether the coupon she was trying to use was for 23¢ or 28¢.)

Recipe: Green Goddess Chicken Salad

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I realized that it’s been awhile since I posted a real recipe!  I made this last week for dinner, and I have to say it was absolutely delicious.  It was the cover shot on this month’s Food & Wine magazine.  It’s not an every day meal, as I wouldn’t call it exactly “diet friendly” but sometimes you just gotta enjoy things that are good, regardless. (It’s especially good if you use fresh herbs from the garden, like I did.)    Don’t skip the anchovies – even if you don’t like them – it is intergral to the taste of the dressing.  Also, I couldn’t find piquillo peppers to save my life, so I used pickled cherry peppers instead.

Enjoy!

GREEN GODDESS CHICKEN SALAD

SERVES 6

Ingredients:

2 oil-packed anchovies, drained
1 garlic clove
1/2 c. packed fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
1/4 c. packed fresh basil leaves
1 TBS. fresh oregano leaves
3/4 c. mayonnaise
2 1/2 TBS  fresh lemon juice
2 TBS fresh snipped chives
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb. loaf of ciabatta, bottom crust removed, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 2 lb. rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded, meat pulled into bite size pieces
3 inner celery ribs, with leaves, thinly sliced
8 piquillo peppers from jar, drained and quartered
1/2 c. pitted kalamata olives, halved

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, pulse the anchovies, garlic, parsley, basil, and oregano until coarsely chopped. Add the mayonnaise and lemon juice and process until smooth. Fold in the chives; season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the ciabatta with the chicken, piquillo peppers, celery and olives. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Make Ahead:

The dressing can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated.

Look at these GIGANTIC Panties!

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While perusing cool clothes from the early 60s à la Mad Men, I ran across this page from the 1964 Fall Sears Catalog.  WOW – those are some LARGE PANTIES.  Was this really what they were wearing under all those beautiful clothes?  GIANT HUMUNGOUS  JUMBO GARGANTUAN UNDERWEAR?  It’s such a… let down.

(I love the Days of the Week ones – like you’re three years old and need them to remember to change your ENORMOUS UNDERPANTS.)

WTF?