SoCal Burrito and Fit Mama Eats.

I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE food and right now, I am seriously fighting the munchies. Bacon, does anybody have any bacon?

I don’t buy junk food (or sodas) which makes me a horrible mother, I know. My children sneak candybars, jelly beans and M&Ms and hoard them in their rooms. Mini-Me is at work and The Weez just left for the Pumpkin Patch. Maybe I’ll raid their rooms. I can be stealth so they’ll never know.  Besides, I can always blame the dogs. They won’t be home for hours. I can totally get away with this. I’m just that desperate. The problem is that I allowed The Weez to convince me to order Chinese food last night. Sweet & Sour Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Fu Man Chu (wait, that’s a mustache) might as well be crack. My body does not do well with fast-prep, MSG laden fake fuel and now it’s rebelling. I’m seriously jonesing for some for junk food. Please, oh please, someone give me sour cream & onion chips!

I know exactly what will satisfy my craving and put me back onto the path of enlightenment – Thai Peanut Chicken Burritos. Yep, that is the cure-all. In 2005, I stumbled upon a little southern-Cali-Mex restaurant tucked away in a converted gas station (which was the last full-service gas station in my little town). The restaurant was called SoCal Burritos. I very quickly became addicted to their Thai Peanut Chicken Burritos. It got to the point that I would go every single day for lunch. I’d call ahead and say in my shady, back-alley voice, “hey, its me” and then hung up. Within minutes, my burrito was ready and I was well on my way to having an afternoon delight.

Sadly, SoCal lasted about 18 mos. They were always packed, got great reviews, but one day, SoCal closed. Forever. Such a mystery. My heart broke. I quickly sank into a depression. A month or so into my mourning, I noticed a “For Sale” sign on the property. I had to find out what happened to my beloved SoCal. Maybe I could even figure out a way to get the recipe. I called the realtor and pretended to be an interested buyer. “Yes, hello. I’m calling about SoCal Burritos.” “Oh hi. Would you like to come by and see the property?,” he said. “Not necessary,” I said. “I was a loyal customer and am looking into re-opening the restaurant.” After a good 30 minutes into the conversation, I learned that the owners left the restaurant in the incapable hands of the manager. The restaurant would not survive the financial drain of his mismanagement. I was not able to obtain the recipe. My depression deepened.

I went on a mission; this depression must come to an end. Only a Thai Peanut Chicken Burrito can fix this. Six years. Six  l l l l o o o o o n n n n n g g g g  years, I searched and tested recipes. I manipulated and tweaked but failed at every turn. Then, one blessed April day in 2012, I stumbled upon FitMamaEats.squarespace.com. The heavens parted and the angelic choir sang, “HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hall-e-lu-jah!”

Just a few tweaks here and there and OH MY GOSH!!! I found the recipe! “Girls! Girls!” I called. “Girls, we will never go hungry again. God is my witness, we will never go hungry again!” They stared at me blankly and then returned to the glow of their laptop screens. Have I mentioned that they are little snots?

OK y’all. Time for me to go. I’m starving and about to flit away in the breeze. I need some serious calories. Good fuel. Fuel that won’t send my body into shock. If you want some good fuel too, then go to FitMamaEats and get the recipe.  **I substitute the broccoli and carrots for cucumbers and black beans.

Thai Peanut Chicken Burrito

Jello Hello.

[This post is not really about Mini-Me but she thinks all my posts should be about her. You can either (a) skip to the 4th paragraph to get to the real story behind this post or (b) carry on and read all about Princess Mini-Me. Just know that if you chose option (b), you’re helping me to score brownie points with her, to which I will use to my advantage at a later date when I need to open a can of whoop-a** on her for breaking one of my many laws.]

Mini-Me recently enjoyed a long weekend in Chicago at my sister’s. Before leaving she complained that her allergies were pretty bad and she was worried that she might be getting sick. Of course, the night she arrived in Chicago she texted me that she was sick. She muddled through her weekend and made it back home. She had a super early return flight and I knew that when I picked her up from the airport, she was not going to be her normal perky, bubbly self. Yep, she looked terrible. Poor kid – she had to suffer through two flights with what we later found out was an ear infection.

I called her pediatrician on the ride home from the airport to get her an appointment for that afternoon. They could only see her if we could come right then. We were 2 hours away from home. Neither of us worried because she could just go to the urgent care facility instead. We like going to the urgent care near our house since The Weez, Mini-Me and I have developed a crush on Dr. Brian. He’s our own personal Dr. Dreamy McSteamy. I don’t know how we’ve managed it, but he tends to treat the girls more often than any of the other doctors on staff. Maybe that’s just God giving me a little blessing wrapped in a lab coat. Thank you, God. You are so good.

On this visit, Dr. Dreamy McSteamy was nowhere to be found. Oh well, can’t win ‘em all. Today’s doctor was a very pleasant, polite, gray-haired and slightly round man. As he walked into the room, he greeted me first, as he should because it’s my insurance and I’m the mom. He clearly understood this personal rule of mine, made direct eye contact with me and outstretched his hand to shake mine and said “Hi mom. What seems to be the trouble?” I could barely answer his question because his super-girly-weak-limp-wrist-princess-handshake left me speechless. How could a grown-a**, educated, medical professional allow his first impression to be so effeminate?

The jello hello handshake is epidemic. I believe in firm handshakes. Is it because my dad raised his daughters to be as strong and independent as men? Is it because manners were a priority in my child-rearing? Is it because I’m a slightly aggressive personality? I halfway expect a princess handshake from a woman, but I am utterly shocked every time a man does it. Actually, it kinda grosses me out. When someone offers their limp wrist to me, it forces me to reciprocate in fear that I’ll snatch their hand off otherwise. That really ticks me off.

I conducted extensive research (by extensive I mean that I clicked on the first 3 links of my Google search) in hopes of getting real answers to this jello hello. Every article I found supports the firm handshake. Forbes Magazine rates a weak handshake as the 3rd worst body language mistake.  Askmen.com hit the nail on the head. “Have a weak shake? Don’t be surprised if she quickly loses interest and waves you away.” TAKE NOTE, MEN.  The third article was from everydaypyschology.com.  In their study for the perfect handshake, they came up with 8 characteristics that make the best handshake. I learned that firm handshakes are more important to women than men.  Hhmm? Maybe that explains why Dr. NOT Dreamy McSteamy didn’t care to offer a firm handshake.

Since Forbes and Askmen and Everyday Psychology all agree that a firm handshake is very presentable, I wondered what Ms. Emily Post had to say. She is the premier expert on all things etiquette, after all.

Emily Post says,

Do the next five things with everyone you meet and you are well on your way to success!

    • Look them in the eye.
    • Give a firm handshake.
    • Greet them – “How do you do?” or “How do you do, Mrs. ________”
    • When saying your name, say it slowly and clearly.
    • Smile!

So, there you go. Next time some one offers me a jello hello, I’m going to grab their hand with both my hands and squeeze with all get-out. It’s a public service really.  Don’t tell the world that you’re a limp biscuit. Give a firm handshake and then you’re “well on your way to success!”

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Bottomless What?

Every once in a while (AND only on a Friday), I treat myself to a bagel.  I’m a carb-o-whorevore.  Bread is my thing.  Today, I stopped at Bruegger’s Bagels on the Crosstown.  This is not my first choice for bagels, but it’s on my way to work, therefore, convenient.  I usually go inside because 1) I think drive-thrus are for lazy people and 2) the drive-thru is always soooooo looooooong. Today, I went through the drive-thru as there were no cars and was feeling a bit lazy.

How convenient!  Brueggers Bagels was so gracious to paste this oxymoronic flyer to the speaker for my viewing pleasure. Please, please forgive me that I did not get a better photo, but hopefully, you can make out the contradiction.

bottomless