Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bacon Off Orlando: Father's Day Fun

You may have missed the best Father's Day event in Central Florida - so get on the ball and secure your plans for next year!!! 

Bacon Off Orlando pitted two of Orlando's favorite food trucks neck-to-neck in a bacon cook off.  Think Top Chef Style with the Big Wheel Truck facing the C&S Brisket Bus.

Each truck made four different bacon items:

  • Best Original Bacon
  • Best Novelty Bacon
  • Best Bacon Side
  • Best Bacon Product

So basically - you go to each truck and get the sample platter - then vote for your favorite while your in bacon coma.

First up - the Big Wheel Truck. We had some awesome bacon, a short-rib bacon, bacon dip and bacon polenta.

I've learned that it's very hard for me to judge bacon because it's all just so good.  I was surprised by how much I like the polenta.  And the bacon dip.  It could have come with a few more crackers.  But I loved it so much I spent the afternoon looking for different things I could dip into it.  The original bacon was the perfect consistency for me - not too hard, not to soft - just melts in your mouth.

Then it was time to try the Brisket Bus.

So we had original bacon - but it was infused with root beer.

Then a buffalo wing, also bacon sauced.   A bacon corn bread and bacon jelly bruschetta.

My youngest loved the buffalo wing so much he demanded more - but that wasn't possible.

The corn bread was delicious - I was really impressed also by the bruschetta.

It's simply amazing what you can do with bacon!!!

Not only was there bacon - but also beer, music and an all-you-can-eat buffet!  I have to mention I also had some of the best brownies of my life. The Batter Bowl truck was selling additional items, including a salted caramel bacon infused brownie.  Yes, it was as amazing as it sounds.

It was a perfect Father's Day event for the whole family! Next time - we need to wear some good bacon-related clothing to really blend in!!



Friday, June 8, 2012

'The Closer' spinoff is coming to a television near you!

I get way too emotional when one of my television shows comes to an end.

A series finale is like a funeral to me.  There have been many times that I just won't watch the final episode because I just don't want to say goodbye.  If I don't watch it, then it never happened...right? (Like the final Oprah show!)

So imagine my glee when I found out that one of my favorite shows will be turning a spin-off when they wrap up!

I have watched TNT's The Closer since episode one and I will be there to the end.  There is nothing like Brenda Lee Johnson and Fritz make me laugh.

The end of 'The Closer' will be a short one - only six episodes. So that's pretty depressing.

The great thing about 'The Closer' is not just

Brenda & Fritz.  The ensamble cast is one of the most amazing in television - so I'm so excited to see that they will be the stars soon of their own show!

'Major Crimes' debutes on TNT on August 13, with the focus on the also hysterical Capt. Sharon Raydor.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the show will center on how the detectives and prosecutors work together to convict criminals.

Plus, Kyra Sedgwick said she hasn't ruled out dropping by Crimes sometime down the road.  WIN!

There's not a lot of information on the TNT website yet...but there is this great picture - and I'm so excited to see Buzz!!


DVR Alert! New Summer Shows Ahead!

It used to be summer meant reruns.  Sad, boring reruns.  For a telvision junkie like me, it was the most depressing time of the year.

But tv executives finally got smart.  Well, smarter.  Now for a junkie like me, the dark days are over!

Here's a look of what's to come:

June 10:
Mob Wives Chicago - VH1, 8pm

June 11:
Bunheads - ABC Family, 9pm
Chicagolicious - Style, 9pm
*So let me get this straight - Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls) has a new show and Emily Gilmore is also in it??? Plus Cameron from Ferris Bueller? HELL TO THE YES!  Sneak peak below:

June 14:
Suits - USA, 10pm

June 20:
Baby Daddy - ABC Family, 8:30pm

June 24:
The Newsroom - HBO, 10pm
**Aaron Sorkin?  A show based on a 24-hour cable news network??  Again- HELL TO THE YES!

June 27:
The Real World: St. Thomas - MTV, 10pm
(Yes I love the real world - do not judge me.)

July 1:
Weeds - Showtime, 10pm
Episodes - Showtime, 10:30p

July 9:
Bizarre Foods America - Travel, 9pm
The Closer - TNT, 9pm

July 11:
Beverly Hills Nannies - ABC Family, 9pm

July 25:
Top Chef Masters - Bravo, 10pm

July 27:
2012 London Olympics - Opening Ceremony!!!!

August 13:
Major Crimes - TNT, 10pm
**This news is SO big that I'm going to do a whole blog just abou that!**

August 19:
The Great Food Truck Race - Food Network, 10pm


There are many more - but these are the ones I will be DVR'ing.
So what are you watching this summer?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Goodness My Guinness

It's a sad day in the Cook family, as we had to send our dear, sweat Guinness to kitty heaven today.

Guinness was my first baby.  She's been a great cat for me for the past 15 years.

I adopted her in 1997 from the Capital Area Humane Society in Lansing, Michigan when she was one-year-old.

I walked into the shelter and we just instantly bonded, I never even looked at another animal.  She came with the name Sabrina.  But seeing how I recently returned from England/Ireland, I decided she looked more like the color of Guinness beer, so it stuck.

Her story was that she at some point came from an abused home. I don't think she even came out from under my bed for the first week I brought her home.  But after time, she slowly made her way out, but for some reason, was only trustful of me.

Now with that said, I still couldn't even touch her with two hands at a time.  One hand only.

But she would climb on my chest each night and purr as I slept.

The last few months have been rough for my poor, old girl.  She has been having some kidney problems and developed a heart murmur.  On top of that, she at some point lost her hearing.  She's been a tough trooper, but you could start to see she was in pain.

I will miss her conversation - we used to talk back-and-forth often.  She had one of the most unique meows ever.  And when her stomach hurt, she made a noise like an alien was about to come out of her stomach.

She also was a big fan of a love bite.  When she really liked you, she would want to thank you for petting her, and would just bit your hand...and it would hurt like hell.  But, she loved you.

My hope is that she is now in kitty heaven with her brother, Bailey, who we lost earlier this year.  Hopefully the two of them are rolling around in catnip and getting into some good cat fights. 

RIP my sweet kitty girl.....



Thursday, May 10, 2012

Katie & Jimmy Get Married

Here are some of the photo highlights from the wedding of the year!

Chicago proved to be a great background and provided some perfect weather for the wedding.

In between the ceremony and reception we had a party trolly and drove around the city taking pictures.  It was a great idea and we had a blast! I cannot wait to see the official photographer pictures - because he was CRAZY!

One of the highlights - at least for me - were the boys.  My two boys and my two nephews were all in the wedding and wore adorable tuxedoes.  My sister bought them all Converse All Stars - and they were a hit...including trying to dance and make money from people in Millenium Park.

You know it was a good night when the bride said "it was perfect!"

And for those who haven't seen our surprise for the bride and groom.  Take a look - our family flashmob!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The amazing plastic mold machine!

One of my favorite memories of childhood is the smell of melted plastic.

Gross I know - but hear me out!

Field trips to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry always meant stopping to beg for a plastic mold! It didn't matter to me what they were shaped like - but I loved watching the machine spit out something it just made from melted plastic.

I was very excited to discover the machines at Tampa's Busch Gardens!!

Spring_Break_2012_camera_014.AVI Watch on Posterous

We got many of them in the park.  Not all, as some of the machines weren't working.

But on our recent Chicago trip, we were all excited ot find that the Museum of Science and Industry still had them!!!

Here's a look at some of our treasures.

Chicago in Pictures