Monday, June 21, 2010

Mussels in a White Wine Garlic Butter Sauce

Last weekend was intense.  With B's birthday, it turned into a very expensive weekend for me.  We kicked off with a party Saturday night with a pre-game at my place complete with jalepeno poppers, southwest chicken egg rolls, jello shots, andre, and the like.  After that, what was supposed to be a dinner for four girls on Tuesday turned into me making fajitas, guacamole, and strawberry shortcake for 13.  Needless to say, I needed a break!

Friday night Miss Kitty came over with her adorable puppy Bernie.  He's beyond precious, and I would dognap him if B liked animals!  I cooked her dinner, crab cakes over salad and mussels in a white wine garlic butter sauce.  Whole Foods has been having a sale where you get a large bag of mussels for $5.99.  It's a fantastic deal because they are tasty, healthy, and so easy to prepare.  Just make sure you have cleaned and debearded the mussels first! 

Mussels in White Wine Garlic Butter Sauce
In a large saute pan melt four tablespoons of butter over medium heat
Add 4 cloves of garlic, minced through a garlic press
When the butter is melted, add your mussels to the pan
Add about 2 1/2 cups of white wine*, it should cover the mussels about half way
Cover and cook until all of the mussels have opened in their shells (about 7-10 minutes)
Scoop out, discarding any that don't open on their own
Serve with crusty bread and wine! 

*When I make this dish, I always use whatever wine I am drinking that night.  I used a sauvignon blanc, but you can also use a pinot grigio.  You don't want to use anything sweeter than that (a riesling would be terrible), and you know I will never recommend a chardonnay!  Some people will buy "cooking wine" but I would caution you away from that.  If you don't want to drink it, why would you put it in your food?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Sister is Turning 30!!

My beautiful (older) sister is turning 30 this year, but I should note that it won't be happening until July 11th.  K is in a very, very different place than I am in her life; she's married to E, has two beautiful, adorable, wonderful little boys, and lives in a house in the 'burbs.  I love my life, but sometimes I think it would be astounding to compare our livers.  Mine is clearly in much worse shape.

K married E, and her best friend Jen married his little brother.  E sent me a text message late in March to let me know that they were going to throw a surprise, joint 30th b-day party May 22nd for K, Jen, and E's sister Laura... to which I immediately texted back "nooooooo!  I can't go!  It's the biggest social event of the Spring, and I've had the date set since January 1st!"  - clearly it was the Preppy Pub Crawl.  I should also point out that Jen's (31st) birthday was June 12th, K's was July 11th, and Laura's March 23rd.  Hmm...  So, E came through as an awesome brother-in-law and changed the date of the party so that I can attend.  Yay!

So E called me a few weeks ago, and we had the following conversation:

E: "Hey!  I need your opinion on something.  My mom and I are discussing the party, and I want everyone to have a little take home favor of some sort.  Do you think tee-shirts or visors are better?"
Me: "Um.... honestly, neither.  It's a backyard BBQ, why don't you do koozies?"
E: "Koozies?  What are those?"  (mind you, E can drink, a lot)
Me: "Beer koozies!  They are like a snuggie for your beer, the little foam things that your beer slides into and it keeps it cold.  I order 125 of them twice a year for my pub crawls, always a big hit."
E: "Hmm... that's a good idea.  How much are they?  I mean, I still want to get t-shirts for the girls to wear that day."
Me: "Around $125 for 100, that includes shipping, and people actually can use them again.  People don't really wear t-shirts or visors.  Also, if you are getting shirts for the girls, please go to Customized Girl, it's a much better selection than any other!"

I am looking forward to the birthday, I am driving up with Gimpy and one of K and my mutual good friends, Steve.  I have a feeling the boys will be getting drunk in my backseat while I drive, and Gimpy has already planned to "Ice" Steve before they get in the car.  Should be an interesting ride.  Then when we get there I will proceed to ignore them both and play with the boys!

Just glad E listened to me and ordered the koozies!  Can you imagine if someone gave you a visor as a party favor?  Ugh.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Concert, a Tailgate, and Cocktails, Oh my!

Gimpy's birthday was back in April, and he is a huge Dave Matthew's Fan, so I got him tickets for this Memorial Day Weekend.  We were able to drum up some additional friends, and turned out a 30 person tailgate.  Yay!

We made a ton of jello shots to start the day, packed up our coolers of beer and snacks, and brought the new little grill I bought at Walmart.  It was a terrific deal!  Only $25 for a small propane grill, and then gas itself was super cheap too.  It turned out to be one of the best investments I could have made, I fully intend to use it more this summer, and next Fall during tailgate season.

I made a big batch of guacamole, turkey burgers, cheddar beef brats, and some killer jalapeno mango chicken sausages.  I am going to find the brand and add that here for you guys.  I also made some veggie skewers, which were also a surprising hit - you never expect people to want veggies at a tailgate, but they totally do!

Unfortunately we were too drunk to take pictures of the food, so I promise those for next time.  In the meantime, here are some lovely images of me grilling and people waiting hungrily for food!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Time to Throw a Pub Crawl!!

Two years ago, I was sitting at Kona Bar and Grill with my friend Bob.  It was November, and we were discussing which bars we would hit that night.  The bartender, Megan, got excited and asked us, "Are you guys doing the 12 Bars of Christmas?"  We were intrigued - she then explained that she knew some people who did a pub crawl in December and they did 12 bars in ugly Christmas sweaters.  I hate ugly Christmas sweaters, so we decided just Christmas costumes, and in December 2008 - the 1st pub crawl I ever threw was born!

The problem was, in January people starting asking when the next pub crawl was!  My roommate and I decided that we needed to keep it limited to two a year, and we needed some time off between them.  I don't like when people can't express their individuality, so the decision to get custom koozies instead of t-shirts was an easy one.

This May marked the 2nd Annual Preppy Pub Crawl!

The secret to throwing a killer pub crawl is simple - invite everyone you know, invite them to bring their friends, get people who love to express themselves, and choose a great line up of bars!

I order my koozies from Custom Ink - I get the collapsable kind, which works well for packing in to purses, pockets, etc.  I order about 100 of them, and charge $3 each.  That way, people aren't spending a ton of money, but everyone can identify each other.

My friend Tristyn got me a big bag from Vineyard Vines to keep my koozies in this year - it was a huge score!  I am totally glad it made it home for the next Preppy Pub Crawl too.  She also picked up my headband for me.  It was red with navy blue anchors, and it totally rocked with my navy blue Ralph tennis dress (from the kids section, thank goodness I am short!).

The night was a huge success.  We had about 75-80 people in total, and with the exception of a huge jerk at Bradfords (hate that bar anyway) who tried to fight a bunch of us - and told me that I need a boob job (um, are you kidding??) - the night went off without a hitch!

Gimpy even rocked an outfit that kind of matched mine, and we didn't even plan it.  Isn't he cute with his little lobster shorts?