The little black dress.
An iconic piece that no fashion-minded girl should be without. The LBD strikes a lovely balance between elegance and allure, chic and worldly, fascinating and charming. When I slip into my little black dress and head out to join friends for the evening, knowing that I turn heads when I enter the room makes me feel elegant, classy, and a tad bit sophisticated.
Oh, who the hell am I kidding? I look utterly ridiculous in an LBD. I've never been the kind of girl who can pull off sophistication and class with her wardrobe. And with my lily white skin, I look downright pasty all swathed in black. Just forget all that stuff about being the life of the party and pour me a nice chilled glass of LBD, would you please?
Way back when I lived in Charlotte before, it was common practice for me to pick up a new and different bottle of wine each week at the Harris Teeter while shopping for my groceries. Me, being the wine connoisseur that I am, would always go for the bottle with the flashiest label or most unique name and it was always fun to pretend Captain Sturm and I were experts - swirling, sniffing, swishing the wine and offering opinions about its bouquet. After my move to Arkansas, the "Wine of the Week" quickly fell by the wayside because wine, with the exception of Arkansas produced varieties, were not available for purchase in a grocery store. I could have easily made a trip to the package store and picked up a bottle, but it just didn't have quite the same appeal as picking out the wine and planning the menu around the bottle with one stop shopping.
But now that I'm back in the Queen City, I see no reason that my little sommelier game can't start again. Well, I can think of one reason - as a newly single girl it's hard to consume a bottle of wine a week and not have a glass in my hand at all times and a headache in the morning. People might start talking about me
more than they already do. So, I'll make a deal with you...I'll review a bottle every great once in awhile and we'll still call it the "Wine of the Week", how's that?
I ran across this Little Black Dress Pinot Grigio while shopping for wine to cook with (wait until you see the recipe...it's yummy!). Based on the name and the looks of the bottle (can you see the little red high heels??) I just had to have it. On sale for $10.99, regularly $12.99, your friends won't think of you as totally cheap if you bring this to a party and it's not terribly expensive for something that you may not like in the first place. I would have taken a nice photo of myself swirling and sipping out of a fluted wine glass, but considering I only have access to plastic cups at the moment, I figured you'd wonder exactly what kind of crack-pot wine reviewer was I anyway???
My review: I liked it. It wasn't too dry and I didn't make the Renee Zeilweger face - you know, the one where you look like you just sucked on a lemon - when I took the first drink.
I may not look elegant in an LBD but at least I can be an elegant drunk! :)
The little black dress.
'Tis the season that most of my fellow food bloggers are talking about their holiday dinners, cookie baking, candy making, and tree trimmings. But not me. No sir. My blog will not be filled with holiday musings nor will my kitchen smell of gingerbread this year. There will be no cookie swaps and no cocktail parties. Nope. None of the above. Just call me The Grinch.
Now, don't go seriously thinking I've gone all Ebeneezer on you as I am very much a conformist when it comes to participating in the holiday hub-bub and there's nothing I'd like more than to tell you all about the party invitations I have and about all the Christmas goodies I've baked and consumed. But sadly, it's just not going to happen this year. At the very moment that I type this, every single item that I possess in this world is
crammed stacked neatly from floor to ceiling in a 26' Penske truck and if the weather cooperates over these next two days, my belongings will complete the final leg of the 900+ mile journey and be unloaded into my new home in Charlotte, NC.
My transition has been a smooth one for the most part and I am so excited that I will be settled once and for all but it hasn't been without a lot stress and a few bumps along the way. I'm so thankful that my friends and family have circled the wagons around me and given so unselfishly of themselves to help me. But even with their sympathy and support, there comes a time when you feel yourself giving under all the pressure and you know what's coming next.....the inevitable crack in your calm, cool exterior facade. And that's exactly what happened last week while planning a cross-country move and dealing with mortgage brokers and attorneys. I spent a few hours wallowing in salty tears and misery and when I finally pulled myself up by my bootstraps, I decided it was time to soothe the soul with some good ole' home cooking.
Nothing cures the mental melt-down blues like this Pork Chop and Potato Bake...thick, juicy pork chops nestled in warm cheesy hashbrown potatoes. Throw in a handful of french fried onions for the topping and you've got an instant remedy for whatever ails you. The world will be right once again.
* Exported from MasterCook *
Pork Chop & Potato Bake
Serving Size : 6
Categories : Casseroles/ Pork
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
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6 each pork chops
1 can cream of celery soup
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
24 ounces hashed brown potatoes -- thawed
1 cup cheese -- shredded
1 cup french fried onions
Brown pork chops in greased skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside. Combine soup, milk, sour cream, more pepper & salt, to taste. Stir in potatoes, cheese and diced onions. Spoon mixture into a 9x13 pan. Arrange pork chops over potatoes. Bake, covered, at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Remove cover and top with french fried onions and bake an additional 5 minutes, uncovered.
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