Friday, December 30, 2011

Resolutions of a 49 Year Old Muffin Top

Itty Bitty Consulting has made a little bit of progress and landed a couple of teeny tiny projects this week. Fingers crossed Team Tuna that we will have a banging successful year. That will provide me an opportunity to get out of the cul de sac and new fodder for future posts. Otherwise I will have to continue to post pictures of Penelope the faithful Labrador.

As we know, it’s always important to set goals for the upcoming year that are reasonable and attainable. I mean shit, you’d hate to get the end of December and realize that you didn’t clean the lint out of your belly button or go to Newark if it were on your to do list. I will be ringing in the new year at Bebe’s house, that way if I get too sloshed I can stumble the 5 blocks home. Maybe the Big Tuna will give me a piggy back ride. Here are my promises to keep.
  • I WILL NOT get a tramp stamp. Not only am I a bit of a chicken shit about pain, I’m afraid it will emphasize my back fat. The last thing any of us need is a tattoo on a roll like paper towels.
  • I WILL give up vodka forever. Nearly 30 years ago, minutes before I met the Big Tuna and true love, I worked as a bartender. The bonus to serving booze in a small town is all other bartenders at all other bars serve you for free. Bad, bad, bad New Year’s Eve and unrestricted Stolichnaya’s on the rocks. I seriously could not drink any liquor for about 2 years. Any whiff of vodka makes me gag to this day. Naturally I was able to ease myself back in with wine over ice instead.
  • I vow NOT to start any craft projects that I will not finish. This should be pretty easy. I am not allowed to play with art supplies according to my family. I think they are afraid I might become a huffer or crazy glue myself to something completely inappropriate.
  • I WILL continue to do wine reviews. Last week my favorite wine supplier sent me a new sample. Wheeeee!!! Free Wine!!! Ahem, I mean an opportunity to write a critical review of a fine chardonnay.

I am currently sporting a freaking inner tube around my middle so you will all have to suffer with me and low fat fare. Hopefully it won’t taste like cardboard.

Honey Ginger Sweet Potatoes
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into half inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until tender, stirring once approximately 30 minutes. Meanwhile whisk together remaining olive oil, sesame oil, honey, ginger, lime and salt in large bowl. Add hot cooked potatoes and toss gently to coat. Stir in scallions.

My final commitment? I WILL NOT spit out my wine at tasting events. I mean that’s like blasphemy right? What a waste. On the other hand asking for ice flunks me out of sommelier school for dummies too. Here’s to wishing all you in Tunaville a happy and prosperous new year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Social Tourette’s

So I know you’re all thinking, “what the heck, why only one lonely post by Mrs. Tuna this month”. For somebody on school break and unemployed I’m so ridiculously out of time.  The final grades as an Urban Planning rock star are finally in. I ended the semester with a wait for it, wait for it, 4.33 GPA. As an unemployed somebody I had lots of time to do all those stupid extra credit projects.  

Since I can’t land a full time job as an uncover recipe blogger I’ve decided to translate my mad skills into a new venture. That’s me, freelance engineer by day, blogger by night. But as you all know, I’ve got Social Tourette’s. My ability to fill vocal airspace is second to none, I can converse with the generally awkward and the smarmy sales forces.   This is similar to Verbal Diarrhea except I shout things out rather than babble endlessly.  

I’ve spent the last two weeks running around setting up an LLC, a business account and a fab webpage extorting my skill set.  

  • Itty Bitty Consultants  provides services to supplement your engineering and planning needs.(Hidden Meaning: since you’ve laid everybody who’s not upper management off, you might need someone who can actually produce work).
  • We have more than two decades in the public and private engineering industry and bring experienced staff to facilitate the success of your project. (Hidden Meaning:  Yeah, I’m old, I’ve bit at this sh*t a long ass time. I would have accurately reported it at three decades but you would have viewed me as washed up and bitter).
  • Every project is important, whether it’s small or large, and its success hinges on the “behind the scenes” efforts which are crucial to ensure that projects run smoothly. (Hidden Meaning: We’re not proud, we’ll design your tiny teeny parking lot or your 9000 lot master planned community. Shoot we’ll pick your kids up from daycare if the price is right).
Here’s a little glaze recipe to go on your Christmas Ham.

Currant-Mustard Glaze
6 ounce jar red currant jelly (this can sometimes be hard to find, I’ve been successful at Safeway)
6 ounces Golden’s mustard
1 can pineapple rings
1 jar cherries
1 Ham (this should be obvious)

Trim excess fat from ham and score. Place on rack in shallow baking dish. In small saucepan combine jelly and mustard and heat over low flame until simmering. Remove from heat. Put pineapple rings on ham and affix with cloves. Place cherry in center of each ring. Pour glaze over ham and cook according to weight. Save some of the glaze to put on the table like gravy.

I’ve organized Sheldon’s old bedroom into my corporate headquarters. If I could get the Total Gym out it would be the perfect space.  Maybe Chuck Norris will stop by and show me the proper technique so I don’t end up strangling myself by accident.  At least my new coworkers seem pretty nice and laid back.

The food orgy know as Christmas is this weekend. Me? I’ll be in Yuma, I’m sure a redneck post will follow. Have an amazing holiday everyone!!!

PS Don't forget to Like Mrs. Tuna on Facebook

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Stocking Box

Sorry, sorry, sorry, I’ve been fixating on stupid things like Public Participation Techniques and Canberra-A New Vision of Urban Form. I’ve had no time to leave witty comments on your blogs and as we all know, if you don’t give you don’t receive.  Fracking Finals are over, I’m just waiting for them to post my end of term grades to reconfirm that I too can be a card carrying smarty pants. Move over Sheldon, mommy has a 4.11 GPA. I completed my group projects with a minimum of bullying. One a-hole who missed every team meeting was snarky enough to actually say, “well some of us have jobs”. He’s lucky I didn’t give him a major wedgie and pull his tighty whiteties  over his head.  

But now it’s time to get into the holiday spirit, spending money I don’t have on crap no one really needs. As many of you may or may not know I grew up the middle of the pack of seven ruffians.  There is only an eight year distance between the oldest mal content and the itty bitty Christmas baby. There was one year that we were all teenagers at the same time. Shudder.  My parents swore they had electric shock therapy to block out the good, the bad and the ugly.  

With so many of hooligans my parents devised a system of spreading their monopoly money around to make the day special. They invested their efforts in filling our stockings with a variety of doo dads. The rule was we could not go downstairs until the parents who toiled until midnight got up. To keep us busy they loaded up boxes to hold all our treasures rather than a simple stocking.  It would hold the usually candy and underwear but it was filled with little personal things for each of us.  Books and puzzles. Gold hooped earrings and new horse brushes. Little miniature animals to add to my growing collection. 

As we got older, we passed this tradition to include our own children and spouses.  But it’s officially out of control, the Big Tuna gets things like beer and slinky nighties for me to model and some wrench that is more like a Swiss army knife.  We spend more money on filling the stocking box then we spend on actual presents. It’s a goal to fill them to the brim and bring squeals of joy . This week we have a special recipe, homemade Bailey’s. Yum!

Homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream
3 eggs
1 ½ Tablespoon chocolate syrup
1 can eagle brand evaporated milk
1 pint half and half
1 cup blended rum
½ cup dark rum

Combine ingredients and blend on high. Serve over ice. This receipe is a heck of a lot cheaper than the original and tastes just as good.

But it is a time of family, where we instantly fall back into our juvenile roles on days of our misspent youth. Playing endless games of remember when. The holidays always create flashbacks to embarrassing stories that we can trot out to various existing and potential in laws for maximum mortification.
  • Like the time 14 year old Marky Mark got busted for stealing the copper down drain off the church. Apparently, God forgives if the price of precious metals is high enough.

  • Or the time an underage brother got busted for carrying beer. When queried by the coppers he gave up an older brother pretty darn quick. This resulted in a $50 fine, my mom was so irritated for the tattling she made them split the cost.

  • Or the time an older sibling took me the movies to see Woody Allen’s “Everything you wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask”. Well apparently I was asking lots of questions, in a very loud voice,  not at all phased by desperate shushing pleadings.   I’m lucky the men dressed as swimming sperm didn’t scar me for life.

Or the recent recounting of the Tooth Fairy. When going thru my mom’s things we came across a sweet letter from my Sistah addressed to Fairy Dust Lane.

Dear Tooth Fairy, I am sorry I lost my tooth. If you don't believe me you may ask one of your closest friends Mrs. Aldorf Smith. Yours truely, Ruth

As I recalled that she was always a bit of a suck up and wondered if I too had penned a begging letter, my brother Pauly  said, “I bet it said Bitch, we need more dough” And sure enough further in the stack was mine.

 Dear Tooth Fairy, I think we should have a raise in our tooth money. I think a half a buck would be all right. Sign, Dawn

No one ever said I was very subtle.  Hopefully Santa will overlook my naughtiness and fill my Stocking Box with wine and cheese. Happy holiday Team Tuna! X0X0X0

PS Don't forget to like Mrs. Tuna on Facebook. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ladies Wine Potluck

Now that we’re almost at the end of the semester at Arizona State it’s time to take a bit of breather with the usual cast of drinking cohorts. The final birthing push for some classes included actively spitting on the young punks for group projects and writing a paper titled “Paris: The Effects of Segregation and Social Issues on Urban Form”. Ughh, yeah, makes me a little bit nauseous too. 

I need to organize a little fete Post Turkey Day and Pre Candy Cane overdose.  I have found that sending a smoke signal out for a Ladies Wine Potluck is the best way to bring out the Wine Tramp in all of us.  Last time it brought out the Adventures of Michelle Little Black Sweater one of my all time favorite blog posts. The mission is to bring an appetizer and a bottle of wine to share. 

We can tell our spousal units we’re doing Christmas shopping and surf instead for online opportunities. Since you can never ever go wrong giving wine as a gift I can recommend the ease of purchase in the UK at SerenataWines. They have a large collection of fine wines for you to partake in or even wet your whistle.  Of course it would be even better to send a little something to me, I’m on Santa’s naughty list so I’m only expecting coal from the big fat elf.  My contribution to the overeating event is below.

Sun Dried Tomato Cheese Spread
8 ounces cream chees
½ cup softened unsalted butter
½ cup grated parm cheese
½ cup drained dried tomatoes and 2 Tablespoons of the oil
1 tablespoons fresh basil

Run the whole gambit through the food processor and serve with water table crackers.

Wine goes back to 8000 BC years according to my main source of all information, Wikipedia. Who was the first caveman to realize leaving fruit fermenting would turn into nectar of the gods? Maybe we’ll spend a little time playing Wine Jeopardy, I’ll take Roman Empire wines for $200. We all know I’ve a steel trap for random facts like there are 43, 560 square feet in an acre.  I can’t retain anything like Sheldon’s social security number for the tax accountant.  Pucker up Alex Trebek, I’ m going for Double Jeopardy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanks for the Spanx

We are revving up for the holiday season. Technically, it starts with wolfing down our kid’s Halloween candy under the guise of “protecting” them from poison Snickers bars. But we know the real truth. We don’t have to count those calories, it’s like eating dessert off our significant others plate right? So break out the spanx, food gluttony is upon us.

Growing up these meals were a major female family affair.  Mommy and my sister were large and in charge of anything involving taste buds. My job was peeling potatoes and being the general kitchen wench. In our early married lives my Sistah was forced to move to Texas for her job and all Thanksgiving Day we received pathetic phone calls regarding the recipe for stuffing, how long to cook a 16 pound bird, how much lemon in the hollandaise sauce.  Oh we were having a good laugh about her skills until it came time to make the gravy. Crap she’d always made the sauce, we had to call her all humble and have her talk us through all those tricky whisking steps.

I once single handily ruined Thanksgiving for my family by naming our supermarket butterball Stephanie and cooing encouragement to it. “That’s right Stephanie, you’re going to make someone an amazing dinner, what a good girl you are, such a moist baby”. It got me permanently banned from cooking Thanksgiving by making our dinner a little too personal forever.  This has resulted in my Sistah being that holiday hostel and the Tuna’s the destination for Santa.  Below is a turkey leftover casserole for your viewing pleasure.

Sour Cream Turkey Casserole
4 cups cubed turkey
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
½ slivered almonds
½ package Pepperidge Farm Herb Dressing Mix
1-1/2 cups chicken broth

Mix turkey, soup, sour cream and almonds well and pour into casserole dish. Mix dressing and broth together and pour on top of turkey mixture. Bake at 350 degrees covered for 45 minutes.  I usually pick up a few extra bags of Pepperidge Farm dressing this time of year. That way when I get a Thanksgiving craving in July I can substitute chicken, throw in a side of cranberry sauce and tah dah!

My mom died on Thanksgiving Day 2009. The hospital calling at 5 AM to ask if I wanted her put on a ventilator, that she had slipped into a coma. No I whispered, she was terminal, no hope, no wish to suffer more.  I drove to the hospital with my brother Pauly who flew in the night before to say goodbye. My Sistah arrived several hours later.  She told us she had to get the turkey in the oven, Mom would have expected it.  We spent the day telling laughing and wildly inappropriate stories about growing up. Our animated boisterous noise had the nurse in ICU close the door in order to stop disturbing other patients.  We took a break for a feast midday, eating food we were not hungry for, toasting her with special wine we’d saved. Returning to the hospital as evening fell and surrounded by family she took her final breath.

I will forever be grateful to Bebe, she invited my entire family to her house last year to share the day in our fragile condition. Tomorrow, we will return to our time honored tradition. We will always associate Thanksgiving with the day our mom passed away, but it is fitting. Since we will always be thankful to her for making us recognize the value of family and a wicked sense of humor. As I lift my glass in a toast I will see her familiar eyes in Sheldon’s face and realize that our love of her will live on in all of us. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sheldon, A Year in Review

As most of you know, I’m the parent of a grown ass woman. My beloved Sheldon turned 22 last weekend. To find out how she got her nickname go here.   Sheldon is also going to ASU, but runs away from me on campus in order not to be embarrassed by her mommy recreating blog posts that she has been featured in. Complete with hand gestures and condor like arm flapping and snarky comments.  I continue in her eyes to give her advice to only hear myself talk.  There may be some truth, okay maybe a lot of truth, in that but mostly because I’m stuck at the end of the cul-de-sac with lack of work.  So let’s recap what our nerdy daughter has done since Blackjack, Sheldon’s 21 shall we?

Shortly after her last birthday she gave up Facebook. How was supposed to spy on her activities and monitor, I mean celebrate all her little accomplishments via tagged photos. Thankfully she has rejoined the ranks of millions a few weeks ago so I don’t have to resort to befriending her friends in order to capture an awkward glimpse of her on party boats doing body shots.

Sheldon has a bucket list that she has been working hard at completing.  My bucket list includes things like moving up from $3.99 Trader Joe’s Chardonnay and getting the dog hair out of the back seat of my truck.  Her goals included running in a marathon, which incidentally caused her toe nails to fall off (Ewwww right?) and skydiving.  What the hell, why would you jump out of a plane? Don’t you know you could be go splat like a pancake? This week is a bit of cheater, like every other week.  Surprise!

Taco Salad
1 pound ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning mix (this is why it’s a cheater, when I followed the original recipe it tasted exactly the same, why torture myself?)
Salad fixings (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado, blah, blah, blah)

Spicy Mexican Dressing
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup chili sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

In medium bowl, stir oil, sugar and vinegar until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in remaining ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Prepare ground beef and taco seasoning according to directions.  Slap salad fixings in any darn way you want, you’re all grownups, I shouldn’t have coach you through this part. 

Our little Buttercup participated in the local beauty pageant run by “the Donald”. She looked amazing with her blond good looks and long legs but the giant crown tattoo that reminds me of the Burger King slogan on her hip knocked her right off her pedestal. Maybe he’ll ask her to participate in Celebrity Apprentice where she can show him her mad math skills. 

And she has become addicted to the inked look.  I remember vividly, the first one I found out about her habit. Sitting at my friend the Bad Bunny’s house, drinking wine and feeling all cool and sophisticated with Sheldon as my designated driver. Bunny and I were lamenting one friends struggle with having her 80’s rose tat removed and it looked like a gray blob half way through the process. “What would you say momster if I told you I have a tattoo” she queried. You? I snorted. You had to be tranquilized to get your ears pierced. You’d end up with a love dot chica because you can’t take pain.  With that, she stood up, unzipped her pants and flashed a crown, still covered in saran wrap, a tattoo THE SIZE OF PERU.  Her latest one running the length of her ribcage is a bible verse, WITH ONLY ONE TYPO.  Apparently easily fixed with a poison apple or something.  I think she’s got another one but I’m too scared to ask. At least she and Jessie James aren’t going steady. Happy birthday baby girl!!! Daddy and I love you mostest!!!

PS-The big winner for our free wine review contest is Angie at Bebe and Miss Anonymous decided “Semi-pro sampler looking to go pro. Help a sister out?” was the best last night while we were getting drunk on the back patio. Congrats.  

PSS-Don’t forget to follow Mrs. Tuna’s sorry ass on Facebook. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Good Bra

I have a little secret for all of you so be sure to carefully read the end of this blog for an incentive.

If I wasn’t busy having an online affair with Sandra from I would be having a major girl crush on Alicia Florrick from the Good Wife. She is sleek and elegant, nary a hair out of place. I always arrive on the scene with what I fondly call “the Lassie look”. The hair doo that looks like I’ve been riding with my head out the driver’s car window at 50 mph.

With lack of employment, I have no reason to ensure I have pressed suits and starched shirts. My drycleaner sent me a Thinking of You card. But I find myself rationalizing that I should not save the Good Bra anymore. You know what I’m talking about. The smooth nude slightly lacey bra you bought at Victoria’s Secret. The one you wear under the chic dress with your FM (F*ck Me) black pumps. Not the formally white, now slightly blue, with frayed straps. Or maybe the gray sports bra that straps your double A’s to your boyish figure. Or the one where the seam now makes you look like you have skewed nipples.

I forget what it’s like to dig out pantyhose without runs and slap on more than mascara on my pale eyelashes. But today, I have a networking breakfast with all those awkward engineers without social skills. They only invite me because they know I can carry on a conversation that doesn’t have to use the term logarithm. Since it was early morning, let’s whip together breakfast fare today shall we.

Mexican Egg Dish
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
12 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Salsa, optional

In a large bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add the eggs, 3-1/2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, cottage cheese, tomatoes, chilies, onions, hot pepper sauce, oregano, cilantro, salt and pepper. Pour into greased 13-in. x 9-in baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining Monterey Jack cheese. Bake, uncovered at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, bake 30 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting. Serve with salsa if desired.

There was one small upside today in that the firm that continues to interview me endlessly asked me if I were free this afternoon to perform a little contract job. Sure, just let me drop everything. I got nothing but time on my hands. Went fine, wait until I send them an invoice for $43, 972.

On to my other exciting news……last week Team Tuna reached 400 followers!!!! A milestone to say the least and I love each and every one of you. So I called Stephen, you remember Stephen of Flipflop Wines. He sent me free booze as carefully documented in our all time favorite blog post, The Vino Slut. Here’s how my voice mail message went.

Mrs. Tuna:
So um Stephen um you remembers me um the Vino Slut. Well um gosh I want to run a little reward program for my um peeps you know because now I um got so many.  (Brain says, Abort! Abort!)  Sorry, not communicating very well, you know what they say about bloggers, we are so articulate writing but have no um speaking skills. (Brain says stop babbling) Anyhoo um sorry I um missed you. I’m on my way to an interview, well not really an interview, just a company that wants to pick my head of free info (Brain says, stop it, stop it, stop it, you’re oversharing) So um call me when you have a few minutes and we can um talk about more. (Brain says, say goodbye) Kay now, toodles.

Ughhh, what an idiot I sounded like, not the suave professional I really am. Fortunately, he excused my brain fart. He has offered to send one of my uber special (did you just throw up in your mouth when I used the word uber?) groupies their own sample of wine for their review. So your mission Team Tuna is to write in 10 words why you should be picked for a review of Flipflop Wines Winners to be announced based on the most creative answer. Here’s mine

Team Tuna Gift, Candy is Dandy, but Liquor is Quicker

Monday, October 31, 2011

Occupy Elm Street

Stuck at the end of the cul de sac I’m losing track of the comings and goings of the real grown up world. I have risen from my ignorance coma to watch with interest the Occupy Wall Street protests. Basically, people objecting to corporate greed and economic peril are camping in downtown areas. Am I smart enough to figure out the point or am I embracing my role as a faux domestic goddess and letting world news roll off my back?

As someone who formerly worked in downtown Phoenix and as a card carrying scaredy cat there is no way I’d leave the safety of my couch to save the world. I’ll just keep watching Judge Judy and looking for jobs at online websites. I’ve stepped over too many sleeping beggars and vomit in my time to want to actually pitch a tent at the city park. I hate camping anyway so it’s a victory anyway you look at it. I wonder if their solidary will survive the first frost and the end of Starbucks pumpkin spiced lattes. While the east coast is covered with snow, we are now congratulating ourselves on surviving another summer of Dante’s Inferno. The air conditioner only clicked on once today. In honor of the protesters here is a recipe to keep them warm and toasty with thoughts of super plums dancing in their heads.

Pumpkin Soup
¼ cup butter
½ medium onion sliced chopped fine
1 clove garlic minced
1 teaspoon curry
1/8 teaspoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups chicken broth
16 ounces solid pack pumpkin
1 cup half and half
Sour Cream
Sliced green onion for garnish

Sauté onion and garlic in butter until soft. Add curry, coriander, red pepper and salt. Cook 1 minute. Add broth and boil gently for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in pumpkin and half and half. Cook for 5 minutes. Serve with sour cream and green onions. I know you’re thinking pie right? Do I garnish with whipped cream? This doesn’t taste anything like Thanksgiving and if you like squash, you’ll love this soup.

In my personal Occupy Elm Street, I vacillate between boredom and fascination with happenings in the hood. There are strange goings-on during daylight hours. It’s not enough that one neighbor has determined that no emptied trash can should remain curbside and rushes out to return ours to its rightful place before the garbage truck has cleared the curb. Or the elderly corner neighbor who greets the mailman in his boxers and slippers every day to pass the time.

This week I was positively giddy when young lads left a landscape flyer announcing that they were in the market to buy mature palm trees. I’d been pricing having our oversized pigeon holding vegetation removed and it was going to cost a bazillion dollars. I was so happy to have them gone I stupidly tipped my hand and only got them to eradicate with no extra dough on my checking account. But pigeons are like flying rats and they have resorted to staring at me with homeless accusing beady eyes from atop our roof. Which reminds me of the creeper neighbor who has taken to smoking on his back patio when I’m doing my faux magazine workout. I’m sure he and his bare and hairy potbelly are just looking for exercise tips right? I wonder if rather than peering out my patio blinds my next home project should be adding a few rows of block to the back wall. This exercise shit is going to get me killed yet.

PS Don't forget to "like" Mrs. Tuna on Facebook, we all know what an attention seeking little tramp I am. Also, if you've been enjoying this blog, please follow, only a few more to reach the magic 400 members of Team Tuna.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Have you ever wondered why Mrs. Tuna picked a picture of a dog wearing reading glasses for my profile? Working at Giant Engineering Company I needed a disguise in order for them to think I was a serious and dedicated employee, blah, blah, blah. Interesting enough once I removed the superhero outfit I could reveal myself to a fellow employee/blogger that I’d been secretly following. Please visit Mr. Twintastic today since his wife is birthing those babies as we speak and wish them congrats. So glad Sheldon is all grown up, don’t think I could live through baby barf in my hair and the smell of poopy diapers overtaking the house again.

We got the lovely Penelope when she flunked out of guide dog school for being too timid to cross the street. I didn’t believe them until I was at a horse show with her and she balked at going up metal steps. After carrying 65 pounds of wimpiness up the stairs I pondered how this might be a tiny bit difficult if I was eyeless. She was what they called a “soft” dog, bred more for companionship then whack a doodle Labradors of old. They are happy to lie politely at your feet. The translation is she and Tonka the high functioning idiot savant mutt are all whipped up when you put your tennis shoes on for a faux run but are dragging at the leash by the time I hit the end of the cul de sac.

I’ve been doing my magazine workout in the backyard and when I start running in the yard the mongrels are convinced we’re chasing feline intruders running crazy, snarling, wrestling circles. They biffed me out yesterday by crashing into me. All of could think of is has the Big Tuna’s health insurance started covering me. Thought I broke my arm, but mostly bruised my ass. A freaking giant hawk flew down last week and snatched a pigeon off the birdbath and killed it in front of them. The little chicken shits wouldn’t even consider a romp to chase away, the hawk might have carried them off too.

But mostly I find Penelope to be passed out after those little 5 minute jaunts that seem to sap her energy. A few shots on how she spends her days, every day, every hour.

In the back yard

In the hall

Please note how the sofa cushions are turned up to prevent napping on the sofa

You little hussy

Recipe du jour? Something to celebrate the sluggish in all of us.

Lazy Dog Pot Roast
2-3 pound chuck or pot roast
1 package onion soup
1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
4 potatoes peeled and chunked
1-1/2 cups baby carrots

In large crockpot dump in onion soup mix and dilute with a few cups of water. Place beef in bottom and layer with veggies. Add enough water to cover. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours and turn down to low for an additional 2 hours. The perk on this is that leftover beef can be sliced and eaten as sandwiches with mayo and hot peppers. YUM!

But the weirdest behavior is that any stuff dog toy we bring home she immediately gnaws off their eyes in order to fulfill her destiny to help the blind. Nothing like owning a working dog.

Enjoy reading this? Well this is a double header. After leaving me an adoring comment here, run over to In the Powder Room and read “Layoffs and Stroganoffs” where I figure out that labret is not Latin for labia and leave another amazing note there.

Friday, October 14, 2011

There’s No “I” in Team Tuna

I’ve been pondering if I should change the name of my blog to Un-Working Women’s Guide to Dinner. Thoughts? Comments Team Tuna? Or perhaps Bitchy Women’s Guide would be more fitting. Been interviewing and applying for engineering jobs like crazy, but as of yet no takers for my mad skills.

But I am approaching midterms at ASU. The theme of the semester is “group” projects. I hate working in groups. I barely have patience for the little whiny thugs in class, now I’m supposed to complete hand holding projects in 3 of my classes. I’m wildly torn between taking over so I know it will get done, thus reinforcing my place as the most bossy, or watching in amusement while they flail around showing their raging emotional hormones. Somehow I’m evolving into the mom figure, well as the mommy of these dysfunctional groups anyway.

In one class, they have resorted to snarky emails presenting their opposing points of view for mediation. I told the two narcissistic queens that “perhaps if you see a different vision, you would be more suited to developing your own group approach.” Followed by tears and cyber bulling. It’s okay, as teacher’s pet I tattled on them and earned a gold star for leadership skills. You all need to man up and stop being filled with righteous indignation that we’re not using the correct color paper clips. Personally I will not be resorting to time outs, I will institute spankings and being sent to bed without Starbucks. This week is a new little ditty I tried, be warned, major dirty dishes operation.

Chicken Tetrazzini
5 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 boneless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
¾ pound mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion diced
1 teaspoon thyme
½ white wine (drink the rest of the bottle with dinner)
1/3 cup flour
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
12 ounces linguine cooked
¾ cup peas (you can leave out if they remind you of bloated ticks)
¼ fresh parsley chopped
1 cup parmesan cheese
¼ cup Italian Bread Crumbs

Grease 13”x 9” baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter. Melt 1 tablespoons butter with olive oil in frying pan with medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, add chicken to hot pan and cook until just cooked through approximately 4 minutes per side. Transfer to bowl and coarsely shred into bite size pieces. Add butter to same skillet and add mushrooms, onion, garlic and thyme. Once cooked, add wine about two minutes and add to chicken bowel. Add remaining butter to skillet. Whisk in flour for about 2 minutes. Add milk, cream, broth, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Cook over medium high heat until boil, reduce to simmer, uncovered until sauce thickens whisking often. Add pasta, sauce, peas and parsley to chicken mix and blend well. Transfer to baking dish. Stir cheese and bread crumbs in small bowl and sprinkle on top. Bake uncovered at 450 degrees until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

The zoning professor with major roots needs has also assigned groups to do a mock neighborhood meeting. The biggest challenge? We have to find our own faux neighbors. You all remember what happened during our last Public Service Message. Maybe I’ll lure them in with free cookies and beer. In closing while there is no “I” in Team, if you rearrange the letters it says look AT ME! Because we always know it’s about ME, ME, MEEEEEEEE.

PS Don’t forget to like Mrs. Tuna on Facebook.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Blogs, buddies and a whole lot of pasta

Wheeeee!!!!!! Today I am guest posting over at In The Powder Room where I discuss my online affair with my favorite little hussy Sandra from Absolutely Narcissism. Don't forget to "Like" me on Facebook because I continue to need to be validated. So head on over there and comment so they ask me again since they pay enough per post to keep me in wine!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Vagina Aisle

First, if you love me Team Tuna you will like me on Facebook? There's a little button below my profile and above my followers. It's a work in progress, don't judge.

I feel for the Big Tuna, our entire married life he has been surrounded by women. Hormone producing, emotional, weeping females. As a burly blue collar guy, it reduces him to hand wringing, throwing flowers at us and escaping to the garage. Not only did he have to feel his way through our daughter “Sheldon’s” teenage years every household pet has had girlie parts. He is swimming with his floaties in the deep end of the estrogen pool.

I keep thinking I’m on the far side of menopause but that tricky devil rears its ugly head in an erratic fashion. Like the day before I got laid off from Giant Engineering Company it paid a little visit. It could have gone either way, sad mascara stained face or condescending bitch. I’m still not sure which personality I flashed that day.

I make him get in touch with his sensitive side from time to time by strolling down the vagina aisle for tampons and pads with wings. He does it because on the good days we all know vaginas have super powers. And that PMS stands for Punish my Spouse. Thank goodness Sheldon is living in her own place, any man worth his salt knows that a gaggle of females cycle together. Since we all need a little comfort food to soothe the savage beast here is this week’s recipe.

Aunt Lenore’s Brownies
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
Dash salt
4 squares chocolate melted over hot water
1 cup flour
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and sugar well. Add eggs one at a time and stir well. Add the rest of the ingredients. Spread in a greased 9” x 13” baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cut in squares when cool. Mmmmmm...I feel less bitchy already.

I wish I could take full credit for the term Vagina Aisle, but I saw it on Rescue Me and about shot wine out my nose. I’m not technologically smart enough to copy and crop so just watch the first 3 minutes and give up. If I was able to do it I’d be an engineer, oh wait I am an engineer. You’re welcome.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Desperate Housewives

We are closing week three of forced unemployment and my house and I are becoming more intimate then I would like.  One of the major drawbacks of not working is now I have all this extra time to do fun things but no cool money to implement.  No wine socials, no horseback riding, NO cleaning woman.  So Team Tuna, lets recap how Mrs. Tuna is amusing herself.

I’ve been amazing busy for someone who doesn’t have to visit a veal fattening cubicle every day.  Urban Planning classes have been sucking up a fair amount of time.  I have this one Zoning Law class that the instructor is much more interested in showing you that she’s in charge then in teaching you anything useful. There has been a minimum 5 to 10 page paper due every freaking week, not that she’s grading any of them.  This week’s with the appendix is about 35 pages. Snarky Bitch, focus a little more time on covering your roots.  Wait until I evaluate you on

What I have discovered is that I am now that annoying student who raises their hand and shouts out answers for extra credit points. I’ve become teacher’s pet, mostly this is due to the lack of adult conversation being home alone.  I’m so starved for attention I strike up friendly conversations with 12 year olds at the grocery store about neat study methods.

I’m missing the cleaning woman, Kathy the Wonderful who been vacuuming up dog hair for almost 20 years. I was a little saddened how quickly she found a replacement gig and how I had to figure out how the washing machine works on the delicate cycle. I even braved the inner workings of the carpet shampooer for our bedroom. Gotta pace myself before doing the living room, I don’t want to run out of things to do. The Big Tuna pointed out the house is definitely tidier but he’s still waiting for the French Maid outfit.  This week we’re making faux Chinese from Rachel Ray.

Sweet and Sour Chicken
Salt and pepper
20 ounce can pineapple chunks, drained with 1/2 cup juice reserved
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 ¼ pound skinless chicken breasts cut into 2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon oil
1 red bell pepper cut into 1 inch pieces.

In small bowl combine pineapple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of corn starch, ketchup and ginger.  In separate bowl coat chicken in the remaining cornstarch, salt and pepper.   In skillet, heat oil, add chicken and cook turning occasionally until browned. About 5 minutes and transfer chicken to plate.  Add pepper to skillet and cook about two minutes. Stir in chicken and pineapple chunks.  Add the pineapple juice mixture and heat over medium heat until sauce has thickened, a few minutes. Serve over hot white rice.

One of the perks I had at Giant Engineering Company was free gym membership, not that I was that familiar with the aerobic equipment but still. But since I have no reason to continue wearing control top pantyhose I need to do something to keep that mid roll of fat in check. Flipping through a magazine I came across a home workout, a few jumping jacking, free weights and crunches, I can do this. First day out I followed the pretty colored pictures and thought,  huh I must be in better shape than I thought, I’m barely breathing hard.  I dabbed my brow, had a shower, poured a cup of coffee and examined the text a wee bit more closely.  Apparently I was supposed to do 3 reps, yeah maybe tomorrow. For now, bring on the cupcakes.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Will Blog For Food

Giant Engineering Company broke my heart, I know it’s the economy, I knew it was a business decision, I know I shouldn’t take it personally. My boss had the nerve to give me my rock star performance evaluation in the morning and then do a meet and great with HR in the afternoon.  I knew it might be coming, but I thought bought myself some time by winning a new project. They cut the middle and none of the top. F*ckers.

I had to go back and grab my four years of crap two days later. At first, security had to monitor my actions to make sure I didn’t run up and down the halls spraying graffiti and throwing computers or myself out the 30th floor window.  But they lost interest, wandered off and left me to wallow in self-pity. The survivors came by and were weepy, I spent my packing hours reassuring them that I would be fine, just fine and they should buck up and stop being big crybabies.  

Okay, I’m always about a plan, it’s the engineering brain work. First step, set up a professional  Gmail account. It’s not like mine was debbiedoesdallas@gmail. Or anything but still.   Imagine my surprise when I discovered Dawn.Tuna@gmail was taken, it’s not like I have some common name. My first reaction was to send the bitch an email demanding her to relinquish my account, but opted to add my middle name rather than get the FBI involved with identity theft. Then hours spent putting in my contacts and a generic note giving my new contact information. Got lots of feedback saying “thumbs up Buttercup, you’ll be fine” or “when one door closes another opens”.  Yeah, don’t let the door hit me in the ass.  

The Big Tuna is being supportive, he says not to worry, and we’ll be fine. I think he secretly believes I’ll greet him at the door every night in a French maid’s outfit holding a Heineken. Snort, right, it will interfere with watching Judge Judy. But I may have a little more time to cook something a little more involved than our usual fare.

Hungarian Chicken
4 chicken breasts
4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 rib celery chopped
½ bay leaf
2 sprigs parsley
½ teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup sour cream (more if you like)

In large skillet brown chicken on both sides in half the butter. Transfer to a large saucepan. Heat remaining butter in the same skillet and cook onion, garlic, celery, bay leaf parsley, thyme and paprika until onion is wilted. Stir in tomato paste and flour. Pour in broth and stir rapidly with a wire whish. Pour mixture over chicken and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and heat throughout without boiling. Sever over hot egg noodles.

If writing blogs paid real dough we’d all be on the Real Housewives of Minneapolis.  I did have a few meetings this week including a second call back interview for one place so fingers crossed.  Worse case scenario, the world on freelance consulting is calling my name. I’ll have to change my profile from working at Giant Engineering Company to Itty Bitty Consultants. Anything to get out of the house and avoid trying to figure out how to run the lawn mower without chopping off my toes or squeezing into lingerie that accents my muffin top.  Wish me luck Team Tuna!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blog Hop Pick of the Week

This week I am a guest link up at Peaches Reviews her fabulous words are below.

First off, smile with me :) You made it through another week and deserve a big smile. You've got the whole weekend ahead of you so make it a good one!

This week's featured Smiley Hopper is Mrs. Tuna from Working Woman's Guide to Dinner!!

I asked Mrs. Tuna a few questions about herself and her blog so you could get to know a little bit about her.

1) When did you first start blogging? Why?
All my life I've craved attention and the best way to find it was being funny. When you're eleventy feet tall and the most awkward thing you divert people's focus from your jolly green giant tendencies by making jokes about myself. I'd written short humor stories for friends and family and my daughter encouraged me to start a blog about 18 months ago. I tie a funny story every week to a recipe, I'm all about themes like Barbie Pink or toga parties.

2) What's your favorite part about blog hopping?
Ah the sweet adrenaline rush of a new comment.

3) What's your favorite hobby
Well prior to the break up with Giant Engineering Company last week I had be horseback riding a few days a week. Now I spend my day trying to figure out which dog snores louder.

4) Who's your role model?
In real life my role model was my mom, one of the reason's actually started blogging was to stay connected to her after she died on Thanksgiving 2009. She was an amazing cook and amazing professional writer. Many of the recipes are ones I got from her secret stash. She would have loved blogging. Miss her tons.

How it Works

* Follow Me and the Smiley Hopper of the week! (Spots 1 & 2) Leave us a comment with your blog/twitter/facebook url so that we can follow you back

* Grab the Smile With Me Saturday button then post on your blog to give your new followers a place to comment

* Add your blog/twitter/facebook to the list only once!- (NOT YOUR BLOG HOP or GIVEAWAYS PLEASE These entries will be deleted.)

* Follow as many people on blog/twitter/facebook as you would like, Make sure you leave them a comment so they know you stopped by. Then Follow Back everyone that follows you & comments.

You can link your blog every Saturday at 12am EST. Have fun!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

911!!!! 911!!!!! Emergency

Well I've had an epic end, fricking got laid off this week, not unexpected but Giant Engineering Company and I have parted ways. Fear not Team Tuna, we've been hoarding our pennies and digging change out of the sofa so we'll be fine. Sniff. Really. Fine. I'm sure I'll whip up a hilarious post about security wandering off and allowing me to paint graffiti on the walls in all my spare time next week when its a little less raw. Instead, I'm going to run my September 11th Post from last year about Bebe, tomorrow's her 50th so lets all wish her a great one.

Bebe and I met over twenty years ago, innocently at a neighbor’s baby shower. There were six pregnant neighbor women at the shower, maybe something in the water. I certainly swore off tap water after that. Who knew at the time we’d end up being the sisters we never had. Well okay I do have sisters, but not one who wouldn’t steal my clothes or my boyfriends or eat the last Popsicle without asking.

Her little kiddies are only 14 months apart and Bubba was often out of town hunting and killing to fill their freezer. The Big Tuna often stepped in as the extra parent when we took our broods out to places like the State Fair or Sesame Street Live so we weren’t outnumbered. He began to spend so much time with us he said he felt like a polygamist and started calling her Wife Number Two. And thus became our life as Siamese Twins, drinking wine with ice cubes and play dates. I can honestly say I’ve never made a major furniture purchase that she didn’t sit on prior to writing a check.

One of the first things I noticed was that her birthday was September 11th, 911, 911. She claims to have never noticed until I pointed it out. My powers of observation are stellar. At least related to mundane unimportant things like whether someone’s socks match. She is the most positive cheerleader you can have, a direct counter point to my sarcastic but charming personality. Whenever she gets into her happy bubble, it’s my job to remind her of all those “special” moments that make 9/11 the perfect date for her.

• Remember the time we had the kids at the newly finished park and I said, “some little kid is going to walk up to that unfinished bench and get his arm stuck in that unfinished hole”? And Sean ran over and put his in and we almost had to call the fire department to get him out?

• Remember the time Bubba went elk hunting on your due date and you took a long hot shower? When you wouldn’t answer the door we boost Jim over the fence to peer in your bedroom window and catch you almost naked?

• Remember the time Nash broke his arm on the EXACT same swing his older brother broke his arm on the year before?

• Remember the time we went to the bar and I didn’t have my ID and they tried carding me at 38 years old and they insisted they carded everyone? When you offered yours up they said, no that’s okay madam?

• Remember Wally?

I could go on and on and on but I have to stop so as not to ruin the birthday moment. Here’s one of my fast and furious recipes that Bebe has come to enjoy.

Spicy Fettuccine
1 Tablespoon Butter
¼ cup minced onion
1/ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can whole tomatoes (Progresso Basil)
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ cup shredded fresh basil

Melt butter in large skillet. Add onions and red pepper flakes, cook over medium heat until onion is tender. Run tomatoes through food processor and add with salt to onion mixture. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes. Stir in cream and bring to boil for 1 minute. Cook fettuccine according to package direction. Toss with sauce and garnish with basil

Bebe had a birthday this weekend. She spent it getting wild and wooly as you can get in Salt Lake City. Now that my BFF is living in BFE we satisfy ourselves with endless phone calls and Skype wine dates. She tells her family that she is flying in to see them but we both know it’s really to see me and Sheldon. So when are you coming home? I need to go shopping for new guest room furniture.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Cool Girl’s Table

Sliding into week three at Arizona State has not made me spontaneously combust…….yet. But the semester is young. As with the first day of school last year I carefully scrutinized my horoscope in What's your sign my Little Zodiac Killer on opening day.

“Your interest may be impractical, and that is part of the appeal. Claim your right to your own wonderful nonsense.” WTF kind of advice is that for a Taurus? We don’t believe in nonsense, if we did we’d be farting out rainbows and unicorns.

As someone who is 49 and ¾ years old I have never felt as uncool and unhip as I have felt in the new semester. Is it the fumbling around in my sensible backpack for my fancy Walgreen’s reading glasses that causes them to give me such a wide berth? Literally in one class every seat was taken except for a four chair gap around me. What, bad breath or body stench? Do I remind you of your GRANNY OR SOMETHING?

In last week’s post I shared I was taking five classes, but I have a tiny declaration, one of them is a cheater course. I’m earning credit for Interning at my own job, snort really. Seriously, why can’t you take a little pity on me and give me life experience credit, I’ve earned it damn it. Basically I had to get my supervisor to sign off and answer a few irksome questions. Is this a paid job……um yes. And how much does it pay? Ummm….way more then you Mr. Professor. Another demonstration of how ASU can suck every last dollar from my sad empty checking account, this had followed the $780 parking pass purchase the week before. Here’s a cheap ass meal to feed those starving college students who might trip over my blog after a rousing game of beer pong.

Beef, Beans and Dumplings
1 pound ground beef
2 envelopes mushroom gravy mix
1 ½ cups hot water
9 ounces frozen green beans
Bisquick dumplings dough

Brown ground beef in 3 quart microwave dish, approximately 6 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Drain fat. Stir in gravy mix, water and green beans. Microwave on high 8 to 10 minutes or until sauce thickens stirring occasionally. Prepare dumpling dough according to box directions. Arrange dumplings around top edge of casserole in a ring. Microwave on high 3 to 6 minutes or until dumplings are firm to the touch. The bigger question is are the frat boys smart enough to realize they need milk for the dumplings. Uh, no, I’m sure of it.

In most other circles I’m considered the hilarious fun person, life of the party, the chick who will wear the lampshade. You could learn a lot from me you young punks, maybe I’d even let you cheat off my paper, but not if you continue to call me madam. Just remember suckers, I’ve over 21 and can buy beer.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where's Waldo?

Or more importantly, where’s Mrs. Tuna. Last we heard our caped crusader was boozing it up in California with her BFF.None of you even noticed in the last post the first picture was of La Tuna Canyon Road, they rolled out the carpet for us. And grand adventures they had, they even had a surprise visit from the first live, in person, blogger Kernut the Blond. While I was seething in jealousy on Kernut’s trip to BlogHer she offered to make the 6 hour round trip drive for dinner with a view. I didn’t even hate her when she told me how the weight was pouring off since she gave up eating dairy. There is no life without cheese so fat I shall remain.

One of the major drawbacks I have is that I have a tendency to leave chargers willy nilly wherever I go. Crap, left both the laptop and phone charger. If this was the first time it had happened we’d all have a good laugh. This translated into only logging on in 5 minute increments to check my facebook and my blog stats while waiting for the return of my lifeline to the internet gods. It should be noted that apparently the term Vino Slut apparently has offended some followers and they have removed themselves from my sordid little blog.

Now I’m engrossed in becoming more smarter back at ASU with taking 5 classes for 16 credits. What is wrong with all of you, why didn’t you crawl through your monitors and bitch slap some sense into me? So please, please, please bear with me over the next few weeks while I get acclimated to not ever sleeping again. It was hard enough wading my way through condom wrappers and digging up immunization records from the stone ages.

It’s all documented in my number one viewed post of all time, New Adventures of the Naughty School Girl. Interestingly enough the Google key word searches that steered those little perverts there are naughty school girl, kill chicken, kill school girl. I’m scared, hold me. Maybe if I get laid off at the end of the month it will leave me PLENTY of time to study stupid zoning law, planning methods and basket weaving.

This week lets whip together a little something that’ll keep me at studying rather than slaving away in the kitchen especially since we are experiencing extreme heat warnings with temps approaching 120 degrees. Pantyhose is not my friend.

Mint Pesto with Pita
1 cup firmly packed fresh mint
½ cup golden raisins
½ ounce walnut halves
3 tablespoons cream cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 medium pitas cut into pieces.

In food processor combine all ingredients except pita and blend until smooth. Serve with pita. And look now I have minty fresh breath too.

One of my followers Carol at Facing50withhumour is an amazing blogger who is getting ready to have a novel, Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines, published. Color me jealous. But she is having an online launch party on September 16th, all day, all night. Lots of chances to win fabulous prizes. She promised to enter those followers who sent her pictures of themselves in miniskirts in a drawing for a Kindle. Ignore the man hands and flailing arms, it’s my attempt to distract you from my muffin top. Pick me, pick me, pick me. I need a little cheering up.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Vino Slut Rides Again

Okay, Mrs. Tuna is writing this blog after entirely way too much wine tasting in on her mini getaway with BeBe. Ignore any typos are perhaps a little too much oversharing based on her overindulgence of white wines not over ice. Actually I’m a little drunk right now so who knows what’ll come out through the magic typing fingers.

We opted to drive 10 hours to save 57 cents over airfare and have quality girl time. The Big Tuna rented Bebe and me a car. My truck has a eleventy million miles on the odometer, last thing he felt like doing was rescuing whiny/winey girls with a non starter vehicle.

I like to prepare for every possible temperature and social occasion and you can see my OCD (Overpacking Clothes Dilemma) tendencies.

Bebe is much more restrained……

The car is way smarter than me, I hate it. I couldn’t figure out how to start the little f*cker, it had a stupid button rather than a key (Apparently you have to put your foot on the brake). Had to ask the little chicky behind the counter for special instructions for remedial driving. Don’t get me started on the cruise control, it felt compelled to automatically slow down when I got too close to fellow race car drivers.

Overall, we had a pretty sedate drive until we hit LA, where we couldn’t get off because we were afraid the Bloods or Crypts would knife middle aged women for a dime. Bebe was the navigator, she should have stopped listening to my slutty stories which include Astro Glide and friction and focused on the directions. I literally had to drive across 70 lanes of traffic to make my exit. Nothing like the Big Tuna School of Nascar driving to make me understand the finer skills of cutting off peeps.

We are midway through our escape from the Dante’s inferno heat of Phoenix’s 105 degree heat to a chilly 71 degrees where we need Saint Bernard’s to arrive with caskets of wine to sustain us at Avila Beach. Not a problem, free wine tasting coupons from the resort that is within walking distance to downtown bars save us from those pesky DUI’s.

Since I’m too toasted to have my recipes at hand I’m cheating this week and figuring out how to wander into Trader Joe’s for all the ingredients.

Eggplant Roll-ups
Trader Joe’s Breaded Eggplant patties
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
One container Premade pesto

Spread pesto on top of eggplant and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. There is no guarantee on time since I’m drunk and doing from memory. Good luck.

Today we went to downtown San Luis Obispo for a little retail therapy. Bebe, who is amazing in a blue short dress she bought. I am obviously not cool enough to know the difference between what is a shirt and a dress. If I wear it as a dress all my naughty parts will hang out and we know how we feel about that! Evenings here have been spent drinking ridiculous amounts of wine with some friends who are encouraging Bebe to get in touch with her wild side, which included a Wally story, a balcony fashion show with new said dress and going to bed with all her clothes on. As her true friend I will not post those pictures on Facebook, at least until I sober up

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Most of my life I have considered myself to view the world as half full. When things are at their worst I am usually able to bring myself back to center with humor. But I am not feeling funny, only broken and sad.

Lately I feel completely worn out. The last two years have been some of the most emotional and difficult times I’ve ever felt. I am treading water, unable to make decisions, unable to move forward or back.

I never realized how much my job defines how I view myself and my worth. I have never been one to dread Monday morning, I am eager to mentor and encourage staff. Will I keep it through the next round of layoffs at the end of the month? I can only hope.

One of the things that normally help me find mental balance is the time spent on my horse. He suffered a hoof infection resulting in the last year stall bound. I’ve spent thousands of dollars I don’t really have hoping for a fix. It does not look like he will recover and will have to be put down, why does this make me weep, it’s just a stupid horse.

I’m missing my mom, her battle with cancer ending after a year long tough struggle on Thanksgiving 2009, she was my best friend. Always knowing the words to encourage me, make me shine, be the best. A trait apparently I can’t bring to my daughter, I fail her need for emotional support, something her Grandmother could give her in ways I cannot. She was a professional writer in her later life, she would have love blogging, I wish I discovered it sooner for her.

I am returning to California this weekend, to the place I scattered my mom’s ashes last summer. Perhaps that explains why my heart is feeling fragile. My life is not as hard as so many others, I feel guilty for complaining what seems insignificant by comparison.

My love stands at my side, steadfast, enduring in his place beside me. Only wanting me to be myself again. Waiting with open arms. I will recover, I will go on, I will be back.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Vino Slut

Imagine my amazement when checking my email to receive an invite to review wine. Well hells bells, where do I sign up for free liquor. But the suspicious chick I am began to wonder what could possibly be the trap. After all, I remember the days before the Tylenol safety packaging. Quickly, I did a Google search of Flip Flop Wines to ensure no wack a doodle was luring innocent bloggers to their death. No recent poisonings by people pretending to be wine merchants, whew, safe. Because besides Wikipedia, I get all my facts from Google, the Google Rapture notwithstanding.

First, a little background on Flip Flop Wines. Based in California, they produce affordable wine for approximately $7 a bottle. Certainly within Mrs. Tuna’s price range. Typically my criteria for selecting wine involves standing at Costco picking wines with more than 90 points or pretty flowered labels. The second measure is gotta be less than $10 bucks because I am a cheap date. The thing that appealed to the more noble me (no really, I can be noble sometimes without a payoff) was that for every bottle of wine sold they will donate a pair of flip flops to someone in need since they are paired with Soles4souls. This organization sends shoes to people often impacted by natural disasters or third world countries to improve quality of life. Besides, flip flops are the universal weekend shoe for those of us crammed into pointy high heels all week because they make our ankles look shapely.

The tall, dark and handsome Stephen (okay we are thinking of course he’s tall dark and handsome with amazing abs because he’s offering free booze) obviously read my blog since he knew I was only a white wine woman. I have to reject red wine, I seriously think I have some kind of weird allergy because 2 hours after drinking I wake up from a dead sleep violently ill. The same instant alert you get when you hear the dog getting ready to yack at 2 AM. Frick, I can drink gallons of white or beer so I know I’m not a pansy ass light weight. Maybe I need one of those medical ID bracelets, Do Not Administer Red Wine in Case of Emergency. Stephen, my new BFF committed to sending 3 white wine samples, how giddy was I when it turned out to be THREE WHOLE BOTTLES!

Since the Big Tuna is more of Bud Light kind of redneck beer drinker I recruited my cohort in booze fiestas Bebe to help with evaluations of Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Grigio. The bottles give descriptions of what they will taste like and food pairing recommendations along with their trademark flip flop label. This week’s recipe is seafood, always a hit with the lighter variety of wine.

Tom’s White Clam Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion minced
2 cloves garlic minced
Black pepper to taste
2-6 ounce cans chopped clams
Handful parsley chopped
1 cup heavy cream

Drain clams but reserve juice. Melt butter in sauce pan. Add onion, garlic, pepper, clam juice and parsley to butter and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chopped clams and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Add heavy cream and heat throughout. Serve over hot pasta with parmesan cheese. My Italian brother-in-law gave me this recipe after promising not to divulge it under penalty of mafia. When you don’t hear from me again it’s because I’m living in a South American Country.

All of you that know me know I’m a bit of a wine ho, hopefully I won’t come off too trite in my review. While I’m not sure I agree with the food pairings I have to honestly say I was really surprised on how tasty it really was for a table wine. Now that’s it’s been a steady 110 degrees in Phoenix, light and refreshing is the order of the day. So tasty in fact, I relinquished my standard ice cubes in order to not dilute the taste. If you are looking for a basic and affordable wine then I can certainly recommend Flip Flop wines. I wonder if since they support a Soles4souls I can get a tax deduction….if so, ship me a case.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Towering Inferno

So Team Tuna must be wondering what the hey? She took the final exam and scored an amazing 95% so why hasn’t she posted every stinking day? Because her damn building has blown a major transformer and only has back up generator power since Monday morning. Mrs. Tuna had to hike down 30 flights of stairs clutching her lunch, gym duffle, and oversize purse like a bag lady in high heels to avert potential rescue by handsome fire fighters. She was wearing a very short dress and being hoisted over their shoulders and letting her naughty parts flash to the world didn’t seem like a high enough payout.

Giant Engineering Company does not sadly pay unless you play. Trying not to be too bitter about having to use PTO for down time, isn’t it equivalent to a snow day or something? Floors 20 to 31 are down for the count. Our computer geeks were able to scurry up to the upper tombs and snag our computer towers and set up shop on the eighth floor where most of us have been sitting ass to elbows, crammed into conference rooms and around lunch tables. But being nice to the IT groups has its perks, they liked me so much they set me up in an office by myself since they know I don’t like people in my personal bubble. Gotta buy them thank you Starbucks gift cards to keep the electronic love coming.

The property management company has managed to hook up one lone elevator to serve the entire building with thousands of workers. This means waits for sardine can like rides of anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes where you incessantly push the elevator button, willing for you turn in the cage. I’ve taken to pushing both up and down buttons and getting on for either direction just to get a chance for this fun house ride. Better to park on the upper floors of the parking garage and hike up a few stair flights. The trainer, Hitler’s little girlfriend Eva Braun would be so proud of my forced exercise but its making me too tired to create a new post when I get home from work. This week’s recipe was a new fish recipe that only took about 10 minutes.

Parmesan Fish
1 pound white fish like sole
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 tablespoon mayo
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash Tabasco sauce

Spray broiler pan with Pam cooking spray. Place fillets in single layer, brush with lemon juice. Let stand 10 minutes. In small bowl combine cheese, butter, mayo, salt and Tabasco sauce. Broil fish 3-4 minutes under preheated broiler for 5 minutes. Spread with cheese mixture and broil for an additional 2-3 minutes. Watch closely!

The property management company has some balls that’s for sure. Instead of bringing us bagels and coffee to soothe the savage beasts that we have become, they send out flippant parking emails. “We have updated your garage parking passes to not allow you to exit the garage if you pull a ticket rather than swipe your badge.” Sure, right time to be parking Nazis rather than FIXING THE F*CKING ELEVATORS. As far as I can tell, elves in the Black Forest are hand crafting a new transformer, so heaven knows when I’ll return to the Crystal Penthouse. Wish me luck peeps.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dog Days of Summer

SweetbabyJesusthestatisticsclassfromhellisfinallyover. Listen, I consider myself to be a fairly decent smarty pants but man, taking this as an online class was a serious oversight on my part. Essentially it ends up being self taught because the teacher is boozing it up on her sabbatical sending only sporadic drunk emails. Sheldon, my personal math tutor, was supposed to help but opted to move in with her little wing men and avoid house rules like that pesky curfew. But……the agony is over, I have a few short weeks before I head back to ASU where I’ll be driving myself over the cliff taking 5 classes while working full time at Giant Engineering firm.

So many topics were swirling in my head while trying to determine if I should divide by the square root of “n” or the standard deviation, it was hard to decide on a subject. It seems like all everyone on Facebook and CNN can talk about is the weather. It’s hot, it’s humid, my thighs are stuck together, well man up the rest of the nation. It’s been over 100 degrees since May in Phoenix, I don’t care how much they say it’s a dry heat. Sure, we’re all high and mighty in February when you’re covered in snow and ice but it’s our reward for living in Satan’s cellar from June to October. This paired with my newfound hot flashes make Mrs. Tuna a tiny bit hostile.

Other strategies I employ are getting up at 3:45 AM (no that is not a typo) to ride two horses, take a shower to remove my helmet head before running into my office veal fattening pen by 8:30. This translates into going to bed at 8:00. I feel like a toddler, overwrought and overtired. Please, someone, anyone, put me down for a nap already. Of course I add ice to my wine to keep hydrated, I mean water is just silly.

In a former life I was a vegetarian for 7 or 8 years. It had nothing to do with feeling like it wasn’t moral to eat animals, it was all about texture. Any meat a little chewy caused instant gag reflex. That’s why ground beef is okay, because its pre chewed. Being married to Mister Meat and Potatoes causes me to create some veggie dishes to offset the clogging of my arteries.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower separated
5 cloves chopped chunky
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 teaspoons toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Parmesan Cheese to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet toss cauliflower with garlic and 3 tablespoons of olive oil and salt. Spread in single layer stirring occasionally until cauliflower is tender, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and combine with remaining oil, pine nuts, lemon and parmesan cheese.

We’ve been hit with two gigantic dust storms in last couple of weeks. The first, over 100 miles wide and over a mile tall was so thick it left a half inch of fine powder everywhere and full coverage on the weather channel. The chicken sh*t dogs clung to us like we were covered with bacon fat. Earlier this week we had phase two of operation permanent dust in our teeth. One of my coworkers caught it on tape from our 31st floor, pretty impressive. We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto.