Halloween Hullabaloo

I have a favorite holiday. It features warm weather, fireworks, grilled meats, cocktails on the beach…. and maybe my ideal color palette consists exclusively of red, white, and blue.

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That said, and unfortunately for us all, Independence Day is just that…. a day. So while I have zero qualms chanting “U-S-A” in mid-February, the rest of the country may not be as prone to shout it back (this could mean they hate America, but that’s neither here nor there). Luckily, come autumn, while I mourn for the end of my favorite season, I can rejoice that another season is on the horizon.

A season that is the Holy Grail for every semi-professional theme partier. A chance to pull out all the stops. Where the cream based makeup flows like water…

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NoLibs Zombie Crawl 2013

Where visits to Joann Fabrics are not only frequent but fruitful.

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Togas totally come in teal

The hair is molded like clay.

Walking into spiderwebs...

Walking into spiderwebs…

And just about any interpretation of a costume is tolerated… dare I say, embraced?

I'm a zebra.  Duh.

I’m a zebra. Duh.

Halloween tends to last anywhere from 1-3 weeks, and this year should entail 3-4 costumes. Potential Halloweek(ish) plans range from Yelp Events to house parties to theme parties to handing out candy to sick children. And this is the kind of time that I train all year for…. Now the real question is, do I shake my tail feather while Making Time? Do I whiskey-a-go-go to Trestle Inn to viva Brazil? You KNOW I’ll be Zombie Crawling through Northern Liberties the night before Halloween… But the next night, should I geek out at Tattooed Mom’s while getting Emojional?

Decisions, decisions

Decisions, decisions

The world is my oyster. Or at least Philly is my clam rocking an oyster costume….

Time to get shucking.

Halloween Recipe and a Flavor Blasted Burger

It’s November, already, but it feels like January. I’m freezing cold every morning (primarily because I’m a cheapskate who hates turning on the heat when I have a Slanket as an option) and I wasn’t expecting these types of temperatures for at least another month.

Oh, weather, you tempestuous mistress.

As I mentioned yesterday, I celebrated my Halloweekend at UNC on Friday and Saturday.  But yesterday, I had some treats of my own in store.  We had a Paranormal Potluck at my office and it featured such tasty treats as: Heart-attack-a-roni, True Blood Salsa, Sleepy Hollow Haystacks, Pumpkin Cupcakes, Jack-o-Lantern Jambon Sammies, and my own addition.

Sorting Hat Pizza Puffs!

Voila!

I adapted this recipe from an old book of Halloween treats my beau’s step-mother offered up, so unfortunately, I don’t have it to give credit where credit’s due.  Mine didn’t have the crescents on top, and I made vegetarian and meat-eater versions so I went with pepperoni slices instead of salami sticks.  Either way, they were tasty niblets, along with an easy parmesan pizza dipping sauce (take parmesan cheese + pizza sauce + microwave!! )

I know this is hardly a real “recipe” but I figured I’d share the picture so that someone can benefit from it all!!

Here’s my finished product:

Fun for the Whole Funky Bunch!

Weird Cat proffers up the goods!

After work, I decided to burn off the calories I consumed off with a killer cardio session at BodyCombat.  I also managed to blast the heck out of my shoulders with all those jabs and hooks, so I decided to keep the blast party going with a truly flavor blasted burger.

Takes a lot of punches to get these bad boys!

Since Laura’s Foodie Pen Pal package to me contained awesome ingredients meant to jam as much flavor into my food as possible, I decided to combine a few and see how it turned out.

Habanero Ketchup + Pumpkin Beer added to the mix!

I took about 1/3 lb of 93% lean beef and formed a patty.  On this patty, I added only two seasonings: wood smoked salt and pepper (wish I had fresh to grind, but oh well.)

While cooking it in a cast iron skillet, flipping it rather often, I toasted a bun with some cheddar and caramelized some red onion, and topped it all off with some avocado.  On the side, Habanero Ketchup for dipping (I prefer to dip my burgers/hot dogs, not cover it in ketchup, keeps things less soggy.)

This was, without question, the best burger I’ve ever made myself.  Ever. That’s 24 years on this earth (though I probably haven’t been making burgers all 24) and this one just blows the rest out of the water.

I savored every bite knowing, with total certainty, that I’d be repeating the burger base tonight.  We’ll see if I decide to get more creative with the toppings….  Then again, it’s hard to improve on perfection.

What would your dream burger (or turkey burger or veggie burger) be topped with?

What’s your favorite seasoning or sauce to spice up your foods?

Halloweekend at UNC

Sometimes, when you’re a grown-up, you choose to celebrate Halloween on the weekend prior to the Monday date.

Gwen Stefani + Zombie Prom Queen

That, inevitably, will lead you to be one of the few humans dressed up in fine, Franklin Street establishments on Homecoming weekend at UNC.

Establishments like the Crunkleton, where the ice is in giant, perfect cubes and the cocktails are the freshest, best made I’ve had in North Carolina.  I’ll take a Tom Collins, thank you.

Oh, no worries weirdy dude in the back. We can't afford to be here long.

Or He’s Not Here, home of the infamous 32 oz blue cups.

Oh, hey Kinsley. Cute costume. What are you, well-dressed?

Don’t worry, though.  If you follow your heart, you will wind up at the promised land.

In this case, the promised land was a little costume party at one of my personal favorite bars in Chapel Hill, Kildare’s.

Ok, maybe it was a little more than a little dance party

You’ll reunite with friends, both old

HEY Austin!

And new.

Kelsi (Marvin the Martian), Claire and... Speedy Gonzalez?

And end up dancing on a table, which was apparently the thing to do (sweet Hallo-rhyme, Jordan).

It's what Gwen would've wanted.

And, even when you’re sitting in your living room full of burger and pumpkin beer, and you haven’t gotten one trick-or-treater (WHATEVER, more candy for me!), you’ll be glad that you celebrated Halloween exactly the way you wanted to.

Merry Halloween, folks.

Did you celebrate Halloween (or Halloweekend) this year?  

What was your costume?

PS big thanks to Gwen Stefani and No Doubt for Halloween-spiration this year!

What You (or maybe I) Missed Thursday

Whoah, jam.  Sometimes, everything in life seems to hit you at once.

Between volleyball, beer events, exercise, work, personal care, meals, and sleep, my plate feels pretty full at the moment.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s overflowing, but I think I see a bit peeking over the edge of that plate.

I loved hearing what you all had to think about the Dr. Pepper Ten advertising campaign. While I still haven’t tried it, Serious Eats: Serious Drinks reviewed the three Doctors together, and Dr. Pepper Ten apparently tastes more like Dr. Pepper.  So, my personal jury is still out, at least until I try it, but I still don’t feel too fond of the campaign.  Oh well.

In other news, here’s what you’ve missed in my life (or, conversely, what I missed blogging about).

Girls' Pint Out repping it so hard!

NCGPO  rocked a table at the Casks for a Cure event hosted by Rockfish, and the event raised $2400 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure!!

Pink beer by Mystery Brewing!

HUGE crowd chomping at the bit for some Cask Beer!

My friends over at NC Brewing did a great job of covering this event, so I won’t bore you with my recap, but it was a blast to spend time with my favorite beer friends, drink new (to me) beers, andddd win some goodies.

This is probably when I won $30 to TJs.... or a brewery tour.

Winnings included:

  • Tour and Pint Glasses from Red Oak
  • $30 gift card to TJs in Carrboro!!

Not too shabby, eh?  The perks of buying raffle tickets…

In other news, No Pants Wednesday has, at least temporarily, been replaced with Giant Warm Pants Wednesday.  Adjust your calendars accordingly, it’s chilly out there!

Ole Miss on Top, UNC on the bottom, school spirit abounds!

I’ve also been eating a steady stream of spaghetti squash without getting sick of it one bit.  I’ve been adding different mix-ins including, but not limited to: cauliflower, broccoli, steamed carrots, pizza sauce, cheese, red pepper, oregano, spinach, pepperoni.

Variety is the spice of squash.

Fourth bowl in four days? Yup.

As far as what else I’ve been up to…. well, it mostly centers around Halloween prep.

Remember when I was brainstorming not too long ago?

I think I settled on something.

Hmmmm. Pretty easy.

Any guesses? I’ll give you a hint, this is the easiest game ever.

What are you being for Halloween?  

Since it seems to be THE weekend to celebrate, are you going out once, twice, thrice?  

I have the costume I’m making, as well as a backup, just in case.

You never know when you gotta throw on a full Santa suit.

Halloween Brainstorming

Happy No-Pants Wednesday, folks!

Thanks so much for your feedback on Group Fitness Etiquette, loved hearing your rules and habits!

However, I’m being a bit blasphemous today.  It’s just too cold.

No shame in that game.

Some pants are okay on No Pants Wednesday. If they’re comfy, cozy, and bought from Considering this chilly weather (I know, I’m being a bit of a pansy, but the mornings are freezing for this summer girl!), I wanted something hot hot hot for lunch.

Steamy... just how I like it.

Grilled buffalo chicken sammy!! Sharp provolone cheese on a sandwich thin with Frank’s drenched chicken. Perfectly paired with some steamed veggies. Just what my belly needed.

In other news, quite possibly my favorite holiday is right around the corner.

HALLOWEEN!!

Honestly, any real reason to dress up in a costume, and I’m 110% down.

Pirate-ina!

I have an entire GIANT bag of costumes that takes up more room in my closet than anything else.

Psychadelic fairy!

Wings, glitter, feather boas, cat ears…. the list goes on.

Wooooootini!

Last year, for a theme party, I was even a (sexy) Ewok.  I am probably not going to post EVERY picture of a costume I’ve been recently (there was that year I was a “superman’d ho” – my personal step back for all feminist progress, but hilarious in my eyes).

Jersey Girl: We Pump Fists, Not Gas

My senior year, I embodied my all-time favorite film, Dazed and Confused, trying to match the badassery of the Senior Girls.

AIR RAID!

And the ever popular Toga Party.

Just call me Artemis.

Or that time I dressed up as a Zebra for the Lady Gaga concert.

Little Monster

Last year, I was Patty O’Green from Rainbow Brite, my first time wearing a fancy store-bought costume (since I was a little girl, at least).

Luck of the Irish

This year, though, I’m trying to figure out what to be. I don’t even know what my plans are (other than UNC’s homecoming weekend with ClaireB) but I’d love to make a funky costume.

Here’s what I’ve thought of so far:

1. Hop Cone

This is an ingredient in beer. It is NOT a pot plant.

2. Redfoo from the Sexy and I Know It video

Animal print pants rocking outta control.

3. Bubbly

Pop champagne wooooahhhh

(I know this is a rerun from New Belgium’s Tour de Fat Durham visit…. But reuse-recycle, right? Green’s the new orange and black.)

4. Big Boss’ Angry Angel

My favorite Kolsch = my favorite costume inspiration?

Basically, since there’s no real character, I’d just take some creative liberty.

5. No Doubt Gwen Stefani

Remember the video for I’m just a girl?

I might not have the abs (yet!) but she’s such a rockstar. I’d just need a tank top, put some Old English letters on there saying GWEN, curl my hair, VOILA!

What’re you being this year for Halloween?

What’s your best Halloween costume of all time?