Last weekend, one of my very best friends in this whole world married the love of his life – a kind, warm, funny and gorgeous lady who has grown to be (oh, who am I kidding, I thought she was great pretty much immediately) one of my friends – in a beautiful, moving ceremony that got me right in the feels on a number of occasions. It was, in short, a blast – and the fact that I was asked to be part of it (as a freakin’ GROOMSLADY, which rocked my socks mint green pumps off) continues to mean so much to me.
When I went to Tampa last spring, my coworker and I got lunch at this cute little cafe, L’Eden, while we were killing time before checking in to our hotel. I had a mozzarella, brie and goat cheese panini, and was instantly smitten. It was one of the best paninis I’d ever had…and then I made an amped-up version of it this week, thanks to having plenty of leftovers from Colin’s slightly cheesetastic birthday dinner.
Just imagine it. Creamy. Smoky. Tangy. Salty. Crispy. Just a little sweet. Buttery. In your mouth. All at the same time.
Seriously. Look at that. Look. at. that. It is the cheesiest of grilled cheeses that I have ever made. And friends, I am a grilled cheese enthusiast. I make grilled cheeses a lot. I think I’ll make one for lunch, now that I’m thinking about it. Oh well. It’s not like it’s even really summer anymore. Cue the violins and sad trombones.
As you must know, since you have a working Internet connection and are presumably not a time traveler who just arrived here in 2012 (and really, why would you want to come to 2012 if you were a time traveler? I’m digressing), you know that last month, we got sacked pretty hard by a hurricane. Or superstorm. I’m not quite sure what we’re calling it. Either way, it was pretty ridiculous. People were out of power for days/weeks — some are still waiting for their power to come back on! — and others tragically lost their possessions, homes and, in some cases, lives.
Despite living in a bayfront town, we were pretty lucky. There was no damage to our apartment or cars (though my car did almost get smashed to bits by a colossal pine tree — silly me for thinking my car would be safer at my parents’ house further inland), and while being without power or heat for a week was not even remotely fun, it could have been a lot worse. I went to the Jersey Shore to help a friend who was one of the unlucky ones. While I thought the term “devastated” and all its variants seemed overused, it’s really the only word to describe what happened down there. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen up close.
Before this gets too depressing, let me tell you about something I threw together before we got gobsmacked by a worst-case-scenario storm and alternated between living off of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches (curse you, electric stove!) and going out to eat all the time in order to escape our 50-degree living quarters and put something lukewarm in our bellies.
Laundry. I mean, since I’m leaving for scenic Hinesville, Georgia, in about 48 hours and there is a heaping pile of clothing in my laundry basket strewn about my closet in the vicinity of my laundry basket, you’d think I’d take a step toward making the whole packing endeavor a little easier tomorrow evening.
I’ll be kicking myself tomorrow as I whine, “I don’t know what to weeeaaarrrrr….”
But not tonight. For tonight, I not only ate my favorite potato chips, drank my favorite (well, one of them) beer, and listened to the new album of my favorite band (holy moly, you MUST listen to “Wasting Light.” Like, if there is one thing you take from this post, I can’t decide if it’s “make my recipe” or “listen to the new Foo Fighters album.” I am that conflicted.)…
I did my one of my fa-vo-rite thiiiings — tried out a new recipe!