Archive for the ‘Food’ Category


Bake Mouth at 450 Degrees

April 26, 2016


I’m sure I’m not the only one who has burned the tongue from a hot cup of coffee, or a bite of burger hot off the grill, or maybe a bit of overdone potato. But have you ever scalded your mouth from something steaming hot? I mean fresh outta the oven at 450 degrees?  So hot you can even see the steam rising? Scorched to the point of dripping, ruined flesh?

Uh, me neither.

Oh alright…I did it.

One major problem of extreme hunger is impatience. Any 5pm on a weekday is happy hour somewhere. We had intel that a great new little restaurant just opened up and had a fabulous happy hour prices on delicious food. I’m all about cheap and delicious, so off we went.

I’m a sucker for a delicious dip, so I had to order the cream cheese artichoke heart dip. Prepared fresh and baked at 450 degrees, it went straight from the oven to the table right in front of my hungry, impatient mouth. Ah, dinner time! I knew it was hot, sure. So I blew on it a little, and shoved a chip-full of it right in.

The attempted caress of air used as a stop-gap cooling method didn’t work. Nope. Not at all. With extremely poor etiquette that would cause Miss Manners to blush and glare, I expelled the offensive scorching fragment of hell right back onto my plate. But it was too late. The damage was done. At once I felt hanging chads of flesh clinging to the roof of my mouth. My tongue felt like a summer day on the Sahara. And only mass quantities of ice water soothed the burn.

Dinner wasn’t nearly as delicious after that. But it didn’t stop me from eating it after an appropriate cooling period. I learned my lesson: when the directions say ‘let sit for 5 minutes before eating’, it’s for your own damn protection.

So if this happens to you, feel free to adopt my impromptu methods below to assuage the incinerating oven that is now your mouth.

After the burn:

  1. Let Someone Know

It is important to inform the fellow diners and restaurant employees of the emergency. Do like me and with an open scorching mouth yell, “AAAAAHHH!!! GAHHH DAAANG!!! ‘AAASSS HAAAAAWWWT!!!!”

  1. Apply Ice Water

To begin immediate relief, use copious amounts of ice water. Splash the remaining 10-12 ounces of ice water from your glass inside your gaping mouth. Don’t worry about getting water on your outfit. It will dry. If possible, perhaps through the aid of your dining partner since you now cannot speak, request a trough of ice water be placed in front of you.

  1. Avoid Crunchy Foods

After the burn, it is wise to avoid crunchy foods. Do not eat that tortilla chip that came with your scalding artichoke dip. It is now a shard for which to pierce your sensitive pie hole.

  1. Eat Plenty of Ice Cream

As a form of recompense, ask the restaurant for a dish of delicious, sweet ice cream for desert. At least three scoops. Eat more when you get home. And be sure to stock up because ice cream will be your only meal for the next few days.


Why I Work at the Coffee Shop

July 3, 2008

Currently I’m a freelancer.  Why do I choose to work at the local coffee shop?

Reason #5

My desk is a mess!  If I were only a little less lazy I could spend five minutes and organize my computer desk.  Everything is stacked in piles including mail, pens & pencils, sticky notes, post-it flags, CD’s, photos, and a microphone.  I could clean it up, but why when I have a perfectly clean coffee shop to use as my office?

Reason #4

They make better coffee than I do.  I’m a cheapskate on coffee.  I purchase the generic brand coffee from the local grocer.  The ‘shop makes it much better and they make a little leafy design in my lattes.  Plus, the poppyseed scones are to-die-for!

Reason #3

Saves gas.  I don’t have to drive to work.  I can walk about a block to my favorite coffee shop.  Sometimes I’ll choose to drive a short distance to partake and sample other coffee shops.

Reason #2

Fewer distractions.  When at home I’ve got other things I could do than work on the computer:

  • Look at all those books on the shelf that need to be read!
  • Oh, I’m behind on my laundry!
  • Doggone it, the dishes are piled up again.
  • Cool!  I could watch a Batman movie marathon today!

Reason #1

The barista chicks are HOT!


Where A Dad Can Be A Kid

June 17, 2008

Tonight I did what most parents dread: I took my kids to Chuck E. Cheese’s. Just mention the name and hear the unanimous and synchronous groans of all parents within earshot. Every mom and dad knows that a couple of hours spent at C.E.C. means loud screaming kids running between your legs, bright, blinding flashing lights, and horrible arrangements of your musical favs performed by Chuck & his gang. Not to mention the necessity to eat pizza with the consistency of a greasy tire. At least they give us all the soda we can guzzle to wash down the chunky bits.

No, parents dread the thought of an adventure at Chuck’s.


Once the decision to embark has been made, a parent undergoes a change as we pass through the doors. Especially the fathers. We revert to little kids. The lights! The sounds! The games!! I noticed tonight dads who played air hockey with the enthusiasm of a dog chasing a stick. A beer-bellied 30-something with a long blonde mullet shot Skee Ball and collected tickets in a bucket which I’m sure he would redeem for a nice Nerf frisbee or something. Another dad was dropping tokens by the dollar in a Galaga game with the same intensity and frequency as dollars dropped at the local go-go girls wiggle tavern.

So regardless of the moans and groans when prodded by our kids, “Daddy! Let’s go to Chuck E. Cheese’s!” we secretly enjoy the experience and look forward to when we can go be a kid, too!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some Galaga alien ass to kick….


I’m Hungry – I’m Full

May 13, 2008

Goonie gets smarter every day. She has learned the artful dance of negotiation, she reads like a 12th grader, and she even composes improv songs on hilarious subjects such as excrement and throw up. She gets her smarts (and humor) from me. However, sometimes logic floats away like a helium balloon and becomes an airhead. She gets that from her mother.

Last night after a meal of two forkfulls of Mac & Cheese she proceeded to ransack my kitchen in search of snack booty.

“I’m hungry”

“Then eat your dinner”

“But I’m full”


Even after six and a half years of parenting I’m still trying to plug in to kid logic. They obviously understand that to get out of eating any more of the ca-ca that is set before them all they have to do is feign fullness. But their strategy to get up from their dinner and go straight for the kitchen pantry, well, I’m on to that scheme like Pooh Bear to hunny trees.

But I take the cue and run with the ball and say, “I’d be happy to get you a popsicle – as soon as you finish your meal.”

“But I don’t want any more.”

“Then obviously you don’t want any popsicles.”

“Then can I have potato chips?”





“Uh uh.”

So off she goes to play and dance, forgetting that she’s hungry. But near bed time she can’t stand the hunger any longer and eats her cold cheesy noodles. And after reading stories and hugs and kisses, and getting her cups of water and milk for her bedside, she walks into the living room 10 minutes later…

“Can I have a popsicle now?”


Sausage Monster

August 1, 2007

My little Bobo is a true born carnivore. Takes after her dad. That’s me! Yes, Bobo the Klingon has a craving for animal products. She and I can enjoy a heaping stack of babyback ribs, a plateful of greasy bacon, or extra raw horsemeat burger if we ever travel to Hungary.

Goonie, however, takes after her mother. She’s a self-taught vegetarian and prefers to dine on fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Ok, I know I can’t get that one past you. She actually prefers deep fried okra, fruit roll-ups and Kraft Mac & Cheese, and please do not make it the Sponge Bob shape!

I took my girls to eat at kid-friendly Dennys, where they offer delicious and nutritious meals for kids consisting of rocket shaped chicken planks, happy face pancakes, and colored sugar additive that turn water blue, red or green, as well as providing one hell of a sugar rush lasting the entire meal. Not to mention kids eat free on Sunday! SCORE!

The girls decided to order identical meals: cheesy pasta noodles (c’mon it’s mac & cheese!) and a side of grapes. I ordered the meat lovers scramble. Goonie’s quick vegetarian response was, “eeewwwwww!!!” To which little Bobo mimicked and cried, “eeewwwwww!!!” Goonie is so proud to be training little Bobo to become a vegetarian just like her.

Our server placed our food before us on the table about 10 minutes later. By that time the sugar squad duo was in high gear. Goonie stuffed grapes in her mouth, creating chipmunk cheeks. Of course, little sis had to do the same. Yup, you guessed it…one laugh and the grapes flew all over the table.

I noticed, however, that Bobo seemed indifferent to her cheesy mac and was eyeing my plate as I shoved gobs of meat-filled scrambled eggs into my mouth. I knew her secret desire for salty bacon so I offered her a piece. Bobo tasted the bacon, shoved it into her mouth, dropped her fork and walked around to my side of the corner booth and sat very snuggly next to me, looking closer at my plate.

“Do you want some more bacon, Bobo?”

“Mmm hmmm” She says ‘mm hmm’ to just about everything. You could ask her, “are you an alien from Mars,” and she would respond in the affirmative, “mmm hmmm.”

So I give her an entire slice of bacon. Gone.

I’ve only been provided two slices of bacon and the same amount of sausage. I’m already running low on meat products.

“How about a sausage, Bobo?”

“Mmm hmmm.” She took the sausage link, savored a small morsel just to be sure, then I kid you not, she shoved the rest on the link into her mouth, grabed the other link with both hands and gobbled it just like Cookie Monster, “mmmaaarrrhhgghhhmuaahharrrghgghgh!”

After a few chews she swallowed the Tyrannosaurus size bite and said, “Uuuuuurrrrrppp! ‘Coo me!” Which, of course, is ‘excuse me’ in Klingon dialect.

Well, Goonie got a big kick out of Bobo’s production and laughed and giggled with delight. Then did it herself. “Uuuuuurrrrrrrppp!! ‘Scuse me!”

“Uuuuuuurrrrpp!!! “Coo me!!” repeated the Klingon

“Urrrrrrpppp!!!! ‘Scuse me!!!” parroted Goonie.

Oh boy. Despite my attempts to subdue the belching chorus of these two rugrats fueled by a super sugar high, they continued a crescendo of stomach noises until we left, which was pretty promptly after the beginning of the impromptu performance. Meantime, the nice older couple nearby attempting to enjoy a plate of grits & a bowl of prunes gave me the double stink eye. But as we departed said, “they’re so cute.”

“Thanks,” said I. “I taught them everything I know.”

Then without hesitation I provided the coda to the chorus with my signature Daddy fake belch, “UUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRPPPPPPPPPPP!!! Oh!! ‘Scuse me!”


Shyaddup and Eat Your Poop

February 13, 2007

Photo by Jocelyn McCuley

First, I can’t wait to find out what Google searches end up on this entry. (You sickos!)

Little Goonie is 5 (“and a half”) and has reached the stage where all things Poop releated are the funniest jokes on the planet. Simply mentioning the word ‘Poop’ gets her rolling hysterically on the floor.

Bobo the Klingon had her #2 birthday this week. She adores her big sister and anything funny to Goonie is worthy of being funny for her. Goonie has lured Bobo into the fold of “poop is funny”. When she has soiled her diaper she makes no hesitation to run up to a parental unit and shout “POOP!” ‘Course, in her little Klingon accent it comes out more like ‘pyooooop’ making her embarrassing moments in public a little more cute and endurable.

But Bobo only knows the shape, color texture of her own poop and the little tiny poop droppings from the Chihuahua. Stay with me…

On Bobo’s birthday we went with my in-laws to dine at Sweet Tomatoes. If you’re not familiar with Sweet Tomatoes, it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet style restaurant except the buffet line is about a quarter mile long stocked with all varieties of salads, noodle salads, toppings & dressings, creating a sweet sensation of ‘I’m gorging on healthy food so it’s ok to overeat’.

After devouring two mountainous plates of salad there was still room for desert. So I headed for the desert bar and found a delicious variety of chocolate pudding and chocolate mousse. (Review my addiction here) I piled about three servings full onto a plate and sat back down. Bobo sat across from me and when she saw the giant glop of brown gelatinous pudding she all but screamed, “POOOP!! Poop, Dada!”

All eyes in the crowded restaurant flashed our direction to see what the poop commotion was about. I’m sure they didn’t want to step in anything as they left in disgust. I grabbed a spoon, hunched over my plate of ‘poop’, looked at Bobo and said, “shyaddup, kid. Here, eat some poop.”

Goonie witnessed the entire ordeal and could not contain herself after I offered poop to her younger sister. “Poop! You’re eating poop! Ha ha!” For the rest of the meal and the entire ride home it was a “POOP!”-fest for the girls. Songs about poop. Farting noises. Uncontainable laughter. Then when the laughter subsided a little, Bobo would say, “pyoooop” and hysterics started again.

I guess Bobo’s subconscious worked overtime with the topic of the day, ‘cause when we got home…you guessed it! A very large token of appreciation awaited us in her diaper.

Whew! I’m pooped.