State Fairrrr Yo!

18 08 2010

On Sunday and Tuesday, I had two wonderful, insane, tiring, delicious Indiana State Fair experiences. We went with our friends Lydia and Aaron both days. Lydia and I started off Sunday with a Lemon Shake-Up…

We focused more on fun than food on Sunday, but I did get some delicious CORN! AKA my favorite.

I got weird and slightly suggestive… at which point it quickly became time to shut up and eat.

The fair was the perfect amount of crowded on Sunday. Maybe because it was 2938734 degrees?

(I’ve had the “pigs in mud” and it’s gross because they keep it all COLD. I didn’t get to try fried butter at all, but I’ll fill you in on the rest soon.)

We also did some typical fair things, like mullet-spotting…

Avoiding cow-pee…

View some cheese sculptures…

Maybe… see a dog being neutered live?

Awesome. Yea B’s reaction was felt by us all as they literally showed the testicle popping out like a zit.

Luckily we were able to recover with a trip to the Midway and a few more bottles of water.

After this was the Papa John’s debacle. Which, by the way, they finally responded to. I’ll fill you all in after this BS is over with.

Monday I had to work Old Navy and my day job, but Tuesday night we went back for $2 Tuesday. Admission is only $2 and many eateries have $2 specials. I didn’t take as many pictures, but I will let you know what I ate, in order (it’s kind of gross)

  • A small slice of pepperoni pizza for “dinner”
  • A portion of a huge order of curly cheese fries
  • One and 1/3 fried cookie dough balls (I split the four-ball order with Lydia and her sister Ashley)
  • A Wisconsin Cheese sampler (one mozzarella stick, one fried cheddar cheese curd, and one fried jalapeno cheese curd)
  • A small ice cream cone with sub-standard sprinkles

So yes, I came home full. No pizza necessary.

We did more fair sight-seeing on Tuesday. The lines were intense. Because of the bargains it was a lot of moms and kids, and a LOT of ghetto people. A LOT. We found some relief from the lines in the livestock buildings. There were cows, horses, chickens, rabbits, pigs…

Babies.

Yea we have no idea who just left their baby there.

There were also really tall horses…

Hairy sheep balls…

Baby lambies…

The latest fashion trends in sheep-wear…

Tired baby piggies…

(Which was great til a dad next to me pointed them out as the delicious dinner they just had to his son…)

We also saw the World’s Largest Boar and his large set…

Our final stop was the rabbit & poultry barn. They had some cute baby chickens, turkeys, and quails (or is it just quail?) which delighted me until I saw this sign:

First I noticed that the display was furnished by my least favorite college, Purdue (aka PurDON’T if you are an IU fan.) Then I noticed the unnecessary apostrophe in turkeys. FAIL.

The baby birds were cute though. They were really calm most of the time, but at one point, the quail freakedddddd OUT.

I really liked visiting the chickens and rabbits. In fact, I got a bit artsy with them. This first pic is one of my favorite OF ALL TIME.

This one is B’s favorite:

And this one? This one is GANGSTA.

I got a little overly artsy when I saw this tiny lone egg, too.

And last but not least… I had to take one of this super angry little bunnie. I wonder who farted in his bunny food?

It was a blast, but was also a tiring two days. Any of you guys have good state fairs? (True Life: NJ has one, and I’ve NEVER been!)





kjpugs Pampering

8 08 2010

I was having an off day yesterday so Big Daddy promised a kjpugs pampering day for today (Saturday. Although I think this will post in the wee hours of Sunday.) Pampering, of course, means food and beer.

When I got off work at Old Navy at 2:00, I came home to a sweet card from my man and my pugs!

My non-artist husband drew the pugs. I was on the floor laughing.

Sophie’s hanging teats, Harles’ scowl, and Dixie’s confused Bugg look, asking for a belly rub. Perfection!

After I had gotten over the cuteness of the card, we went up to Mellow Mushroom in Carmel, Indiana. It’s a chain (but not like Applebee’s or something… a smaller chain) that I became addicted to in college.

The place is really trippy looking:

Their ingredient list is extensive and a lot of their menu items are organic, gluten-free, etc. They’re pretty accessible, I guess. I just remember there was some crazy spinach shortage due to infected spinach (back in 2006) and they had it still available- when no one else did- because their controlled growing conditions kept theirs safe. Or something.

We had some pretzels to start. Their dough (both for pretzels and pizza dough) is a honey-wheat type flavor and absolutely IRRESISTIBLE. On both the crust and the pretzels, they top it with Parmesan and you then die from happiness.

Then our pizzas arrived. Mine was a red sauce base with red onions, bacon, and pesto. I would’ve added goat cheese if they had it. B had a BBQ style pizza with BBQ base, regular onions, bacon, cheddar, and chicken.

Pesto as a topping? I HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Buy a jar if you’re not familiar, and just experiment. You will be happy.

When we got home, I got a wonderful surprise… my alma mater’s magazine (Elon University) came and our wedding announcement was featured in the little catching up section! (That’s where promotions, marriages, births, and deaths are announced.)

It makes me a little pooped out that they listed ’07 since I technically graduated in December 2006. But Elon doesn’t have a December graduation so I had to walk in May 2007. I love that our pugs made the magazine! There was also then a little blurb saying when and where we were married, what I do, and where we live. If any Elon grads were in attendance you list them too but none came to our wedding.

We purchased a few items at Fresh Market this afternoon for dinner and future meals. It’s expensive, but amazing. B cooked these ridiculously good potatoes on the grill – they were 2 yellow and 2 red ones (the small ones) cut up into smaller pieces, with white onion bits, and sprinkled with salt, pepper, sugar, cayenne, parsley, butter, and olive oil. Talk about flavor! We are definitely making these again. We also had grilled sweet corn and B had some flank steak. I had leftover pizza (that I was so full from potatoes and corn I forgot to eat!) so I told B to pick a protein he really liked and not worried about me.

I also got a great beer recommendation at Kahn’s, an alcohol super-store near us. We have tried many Three Floyds beers before, but never their Pride & Joy Mild Ale. It’s like a really drinkable IPA. Amazing. I went in there not really knowing what I wanted, yet someone… THEY knew. Creeeeppppyyyy!

So tonight… we’ve been partying, if partying means just the two of us drinking beers with full bellies and mindless TV.

And it’s awesome.





Microwbrewers Festival!

17 07 2010

A real life beer fest! Today, Big Daddy and I worked for my cousin at the 15th Annual Microwbrewers Festival here in Indy.

My cousin John Holl is writing a book about Indiana Beer. Well, as he better put it in a bio of his on one of the many websites he contributes to, “A frequent contributor to the New York Times, John Holl travels the country chronicling American craft beer and the culture of drinking. A journalist since 1996, he has worked for the Star-Ledger of Newark, The Indianapolis Star and regularly writes for a number of magazines, newspapers and web sites. Holl lives in New Jersey and is co-author of a soon-to-be published book on Indiana breweries.”

(Don’t worry, you will ALL be hearing about the book when it comes out!)

Cousin John (who is actually my mom’s cousin’s son, so I don’t know what that makes him… we’re just a close family) wrote a wonderful article recently in Beer Connoisseur Magazine. He was in town a little this week for more research on his book, but had to go home due to the death of a family member. He had planned to man a table for Beer Connoisseur to sell their magazine subscriptions, but had to fly home yesterday for the funeral. So cousin kjpugs (and Big Daddy) stepped in.

It was actually a cool deal- the magazine rocks, we got into the festival for free (saving us the cost of two $35 tickets) and got to taste awesome beers and meet awesome people!

Oh and we got free tasting glasses.

(That was my attempt at an artsy shot)

They were actually really small. Here it is, with me, actual size…

This picture was supposed to properly showcase my sweaty-ness for all of you. It does not.

B took manly little sips…

We had a great time telling people about Beer Connoisseur Magazine, and of course, sampling the beers around us. A favorite was right behind us- Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant. They’re in a lot of states (find out where here) although not Indiana quite yet. I really liked their Czech Pilsner and Hefeweizen, while B was INSANE over their Schwarzbier, aka literally “black beer” in German. So if you’re near them, TRY IT!

While the drinking and company were good, the heat was baddddd. We are currently exhausted. This guy told me to take a picture of his sweat stains:

It was no joke!

We had a lovely t-shirt place next door to our booth, Yesterbeer. The guy was awesome and really nice. You can find them online as well. Their shirts feature vintage logos from real historic breweries. I ordered this one (he didn’t have it there in my size) since dogs are AWESOME.

This was inspired from a 1940’s Frankenmuth beer label. They were out of Frankenmuth, MI and open for more than 100 years.

Big Daddy got an Indianapolis one (I took this picture when we got home, obviously.)

This is from the Indianapolis Brewing Company, and was inspired by a 1930’s bottle and includes part of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in downtown Indy where we did our engagement and wedding pictures.

We also saw a ton of just insanely wasted people. One slutty looking girl came up to Big Daddy and first asked him if the Yesterbeer table guy was giving away the shirts. B was like “Uhhhh no. They’re like $15-17 bucks.” Then she stuck out her fake boobs some more and asked if we were giving away our shirts for free (they came with a two year subscription.) Sorry Slutty McDrunkerson, no one is giving out free shit (besides BEER) at a festival that people will pay $35 to come to. Not even if you stick your boobs out at my husband. Sucks!

Or then, there were the kilts. I don’t know what the deal is with kilts and beer but apparently there is some correlation.

To add insult to kilt-injury, this dude’s shirt said “Free Hugs.” No thanks!

We also saw one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever witnessed. This creepy looking drunk guy was walking around the end of the event with this Joker-like, serial-killer style closed-lip grin. We noticed him later against the fence with his friends and discussed that he’d likely be on the news post-killing spree soon. He then began to pee on the fence. And then turned around and tried to pee on his friend. With this junk OUT. And then walked around and tried to smack his neighbors… with HIS JUNK OUT.

Natch I took out my camera. This is while he was trying to pee on his friend. I saw way too much peen today.

And on the peen note… I’m outta here! Hope you’ll all check out these beer things… trust me, there is a beer out there for EVERYONE. kjpugs SAY SO.





My Fourth Festivities

5 07 2010

The Fourth of July was forever my favorite holiday. My sisters, parents and I would spend the whole summer down the shore (DTS if you will) and we’d sit on the sand, watching the fireworks far off down the beach in another town.

Then in high school when I finally went and saw a real (read: close-by) fireworks I nearly stroked out. They’re loud. And amazing. I love red and blue together. I love fireworks. It’s really the best holiday. (PS- fireworks that aren’t red, white, and/or blue make me ANGRY. Pink and green are NOT patriotic.)

This year, I didn’t get all decked out in red white & blue like I normally do, but we still had a nice time for the holiday.

Big Daddy and I met a bunch of our friends at the Rathskeller, a German Restaurant downtown. They have a huge biergarten with live music, and a great view of the building that fireworks were shot off of downtown.

(See that building behind us? That’s it.)

(Also, see how sweaty and DISGUSTING I am? Big Daddy told me I had back sweat. Ok, understandable… I wore a really thin shirt. And it was like 98 degrees. I asked how big the sweat spot was. He raised his hands as if he were holding a basketball. I’m really lucky I snagged him before he realized what a sweaty mess I was.)

The beers were German and HUGE. Like, two-handers.

Unfortunately, that was pretty much the extent of my beer drinking since I had to work today, unlike 92% of America. Damn you all.

The fireworks were pretty awesome! None of the omg-my-body-hurts-from-these-loud-fireworks-AWESOME like back in small town Jersey, but still, impressive.

After the fireworks, shit went downhill, and I had one of those crappy nights that just makes me miss everything about Jersey. I love living here, I triple-LOVE my husband, and I love the people we know, but nights like last night remind me that I’ve only lived here for three and a half years and don’t know or trust people here like I do my buddies at home. And I miss ’em. Every once in a while I get a little flash of feeling very, very far from home.

Anyone else out there miss their hometown? Or have to deal with being the “transplant?” Or… have to WORK today? (Ew!)





Pizzology & Mancala

26 06 2010

I had wonderful day yesterday! Big Daddy and I are really poor (obvs) and I think that keeps us from going out and doing a lot of things we’d love to do – concerts, partying, travel, new restaurants, museums, etc. Fun things tend to cost money. We decided a day or so ago that we can find cheaper ways to have fun – or at least better than just sitting in front of the TV. When you’re just coming home and turning on the TV- you are boring. So yesterday we decided to not be boring.

We went to one of our favorite places for dinner, Pizzology. It’s AMAZING pizza and Italian-esque fare. It’s in Carmel, a suburb just north of Indianapolis. The only place that’s been smaller with a longer wait was a Chinese food place in NYC that I lovingly called China Wine, partly because I forget the generic, typical Chinese-Place name, and partly because they serve you free boxed wine the whole meal. It’s within walking distance of the American Museum of Natural History. Just saying. I can give anyone in NYC directions if you’d like.

We’d been to Pizzology twice before, and it’s surprisingly affordable. The pizzas are cooked in an 800 degree oven and are so authentically good. When I was in Sicily, the pizzas were like this. (And I’d eat one a day, obv.) Their appetizers are great as well.

Last night we had to wait about 15 minutes for seating. If we arrived later, it could have been longer! Although this might be the ONE PLACE that’s 100% worth it. They sat us next to the chalkboard that listed our favorite pizza:

That’s what we got on our first visit, and it’s oh-so-good.

Yesterday, we started with some beers. I got whatever Sun King they had on draft. Big Daddy got some lager from Lafayette. (We were so excited about our meal we forgot the beer specifics.) While we’ve loved the grilled romaine appetizer, yesterday was a zucchini fritter kind of day. It comes with parmesan reggiano and truffle oil… it’s such a wonderful flavor. We’ve made them at home before, but they’re too time-consuming to be worth it, so we just have to have them at Pizzology!

We told our server we wanted the Mortadella pizza as our entree. It is a sauceless pizza, with olive oil, mozzarella, and arugula, topped with capicola and served with a garlic spread on the side. Amazing. Our server, Brooke, said that that used to be her favorite, before she tried the Lombardy. That pizza is smoked mozzarella, arugula, and parmesan, with prosciutto on top. I love when servers make recommendations, and it sounded amazing, so we said “why not!?”

I forgot to take a picture of the fritters. Trust me, they were good.

We inhaled them! The appetizer comes with two small fritters. Then we got our pizza…

AMAZING! It’s so thin, and crispy, and chewy, with sharp flavors that blend together artfully. The Lombardy had a wonderful smokey flavor from the mozzarella. I think we missed the spiciness of the Mortadella, but we’d still give both pizzas a 10 out of 10.

Then comes the gelato. Which is much smoother and creamier than any ice cream you’ve ever had. I have always gotten the pistachio (my favorite!) but they were out. So we got the triple chocolate.

It had real chocolate flavor and was not at all overly sweet. Brooke scooped it right from the top too, where there were tons of the dark chocolate chips. It was a wonderful finish to our meal.

I think you can tell that I’d recommend Pizzology to anyone. If any of you lovely blog friends come visit Indiana, I will take you here! It was a great, affordable date night for us.

We also decided to start spending more time playing games instead of watching TV. You know, active instead of passive. We went to Target to buy Scrabble, but then I saw this too…

MANCALA! My childhood favorite! My sisters and I would always play this down the shore on rainy days (since our shore house didn’t have cable ever, not even a TV for a few years!) I texted them this picture and my youngest sister Rosh said “Awww how nostalgic! I cheated so much playing that!” Nice, Rosh. Best part of buying this game? It was $4.99!!! I made Big Daddy play a few games last night.

My Friday was proof that you can have a lot of fun on a small budget. Now who’s coming to Indiana to play mancala and eat pizzology with me?!





Treats from Big Daddy

1 06 2010

The one photo I could recover from friends thus far… partying it up at the race with our friends Jeff & Heather.

Check out Heather’s real life fanny pack!

I was pretty tame at the race on Sunday, but mostly because it was too hot to get fucked up. We were chugging water more than beers. Although you will notice our beers of choice in that photo! MILLER BOTTLE CANS! It’s like a freakin’ ad.

However, the day before, at the hog roast, I got a weeeee bit too drunk. When I drink too much, 9 out of 10 times, I fall asleep. Maybe 19 out of 20. Big Daddy will have to snap me awake as I “rest my eyes” at the table in a bar. But that tiny other percentage of times… I get mean. Angry and mean. And Saturday, I took it out on Big Daddy. I was an ugly brat. Luckily he knows the magic fix by this point. He took me home (at oh, 8 pm, what a trooper) and ordered me pizza. Nothing better to fix a foul-mooded cuss-tastic KJ.

I brag about him a lot, but seriously, after all that BS on Saturday, you’d think Big Daddy would tell me to piss off or something. But no. He SPOILED me. We went to Scotty’s Lakehouse, a local burger joint, where we ate so fast I forgot to take pictures. I did manage to capture the lovely mason jar glasses for our sodas.

Then today, he brought me these lovely flowers at work…

It was wonderful to see him in my office!

Then, we had a seriously delicious feast for dinner. We made polenta (a garlic basil one) and meatballs.

I had never had polenta before, and was nervous. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised with the slightly sweet taste and crisp from pan grilling them. Polenta is actually pretty low calorie and was a great substitute for pasta with our meatballs. We finished the meal with DELICIOUS Blue Bell ice cream.

Seriously… it has pie crust bits in it. FIND BLUE BELL AND BUY IT. (It made me think of you, Steph! KENTUCKY DERBY PIE!)

It’s always pretty depressing to finish a holiday weekend, so it was great to have my four-day week start off so well! How did you all celebrate Memorial Day weekend?

ps- biatches, I am far too lazy to draw pictures of my weekend as suggested a la Hyperbole and a Half. Just believe me that I have a bruised fist (from hitting the table when I was angry KJ), I earned some flip-flop tan lines, I saw Kim Kardashian (sort of), and as previously mentioned, my first bonged beer was at 9:30 am. I know because I checked my phone and was like… “you’re not 21 anymore, KJ.”

True. 21 I am not. But I can still bong a beer with the best of ’em.





Things that are capital-A Awesome

23 05 2010

I hope you guys are as random as me. It’s Sunday and here’s my patchouli mix of random awesome things…

First of all, my friend (aka person I’ve never met who could be a 45 year old man except I’ve seen some wedding pictures and *think* she’s legit) Em from Burning River Bride got married yesterday!!!!!! She had the same wedding colors as me and I’m obsessed with her. Em has guest posts going up during her honeymoon, including mine, TODAY. So check that out. Cause it’s awesome.

Also awesome? PRETZEL M&Ms!

Ashley from Wife on a Budget recommended them when she got a super-secret-early-advance sample a while back on her twitter and facebook. I talked about them incessantly until my boss brought some in. Big Daddy and I bought some this weekend. They’re amazing. Salty, sweet, crunchy… oh and 30% less fat. Don’t worry though, you’ll eat 30% more. At least.

Speaking of the lovely Ashley, she recently posted some cleaning schedules. With a visitor coming this weekend, we realized we REALLY had to clean. Big Daddy nailed the bathroom… literally it was calling him daddy by the end of the cleaning. Sparkly. I’ll spare you the shots of our pug-hair filled Dyson. We ended up with this much pure trash:

We discussed and think we should do one of the cleaning schedules like Ashley has, except tailored to us. Wish us luck. Cleaning makes me grumpy and insatiable.

The visitor coming this weekend would be Big Daddy’s brother Steveo. He’s amazing, and really the brother I never had. I am so lucky that we are great friends, and he’s a wonderful houseguest. Never having had a brother, I am really glad to be this close with one of Big Daddy’s three brothers. This weekend will be insane- it’s Race Weekend here in Indy, which means a party Friday, a Hog Roast Saturday, and THE INDIANAPOLIS 500 on Sunday. One week people!!! Our bus crew (yes we are taking a chartered bus) are all dressing like white trash to get in the spirit. At Meijer today I picked up this beauty for $2.49… RACE DAY HERE I COME!

Yep, someone’s excited!

Wait until you see Big Daddy’s outfit. He’s showing off his tattoo and patriotic spirit. I cannot wait.

Last but not least, an IPA PSA!

Ranger IPA. By New Belgian Brewing out of Fort Collins, CO. Best IPA we’ve had to date. Hoppy yet drinkable. Something I could *maybe* funnel. Perhaps.