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