Savory, Sequined, and Sequential: the Weird Valentines Gift List of 2019

It’s time again to round up a few doses of strange, and list some of the weird Valentines Day gifts I’ve spotted in and around the interWebs.

I’ve ended up with three food-items this year on a list of four, but also saw a disturbingly high quantity of Nicolas Cage.

So, if Nic Cage be the food of your love, read on…

Your Love is My Drug

For the health-conscious (or relatively unhealthy) partner in your life, might I suggest the Jelly Belly pill case, which can be reused later for more candy, vitamins, or life-saving drugs. Spotted at: OffTheWagonShop.com.

Heinz Makes a Ballsy Move

A product after my foodie heart, Heinz entered the V-Day marketing game this year with limited-edition jars of ketchup caviar. Very limited edition…there were only a handful of samples up for grabs. Something about this suggests that if the reviews are positive, though, we might be seeing the little balls of condiment joy bounce up again. Spotted at: Nexter.org

Face on, Face off

What might be most notable about this item is how many different versions there actually are when shopping for ‘Nic Cage Pillows.’ Also, imagine just casually leaving this on the couch for the babysitter. Spotted at: Nexter.org

Dill the End of Time

Thanks in large part to Boston — home of Grillo’s Pickles — pickle bouquets are now a thing. Grillo’s will make and deliver one to those who live in Greater Boston, but will also show those who don’t how to make one via their website. Sweet of them, really, since pickles are their bread and butter. Spotted at: Rare

24-hours in New Hampshire with a Cold

It’s rare, of late, that I go anywhere without at least one member of my immediate fam in tow. This is not a complaint so much as a reality.

That said, I took off for a 24-hour solo stint to New Hampshire this month to check out the University of New Hampshire’s production of If/Then, much to my glee. Again, reality dictated my fate: this is an adult-only show that young-un cannot attend, and her Dad stayed at home with her, because parenting. And laws.

But this all lead to an opportunity to blog travel again, with a bent toward solo-chick! So let’s go:

Never underestimate a Motel 6 when it comes to a quick, solo trip. Not only will they leave the light on for you, the turquoise, IKEA-esque decor is just right for when you just want to sleep, already. Wait, I just got here. Why am I sleepy? Crap. I think I’m getting sick.

Great lighting, too. But those under-eye circles…

I had dinner at the Tuscan Market with my sister and BiL — all three of us went with the prosciutto, mozzarella, fig jam sandwich. Amazing, even throughout the sniffles.

The UNH campus is super cool! Love this lighthouse of concert flyers. Also my eyes are watering and I can’t feel my nose.

My baby niece in poster form! I’m so proud. I’m breathing through my mouth at this point, but so damn proud.

The theatahhh…ah…ahHHHHCHOO

Again, props to Motel 6 … it was unnervingly quiet all night for an economy stay in a college town. My extended Ragusenson family also lives in New Hampshire, so we met for brekkies! I almost tasted my Benedict!

My niece… in past posts on this blog, she’s been referred to as “DQ” (Drama Queen). Her reign continues… with an honored performance as Elizabeth in If/Then.

I drove home to the dulcet tones of Angry Mancave…

…did I mention I saw my sister?

Weird October Food 2018: The DIY Edition

Here we go — my favorite post of the year! The annual round-up of all the weird things I can find happening in the culinary scene during the witching season.

This post always takes a different turn, and this year, it’s a decidedly do-it-your-damn-self kind of list.

Bone In

Take, for instance, the Skeleton Table trend. A few years ago, it was all about Meatheads, but this takes the undead party-platter idea a few femurs further by filling a skeleton’s rib cage with delicious fixin’s. In my research, I found appetizer corpses, dinner bladders, and gut-busting desserts, all laid out in situ.

Thanks for sticking with me through the puns there.

Noodle Nocturne

Squid ink ramen

The trend of black or blackened foods has come up here before, but never before have I stumbled on something so beautiful as Daniel Gritzer’s Halloween Ramen Bowl.

It’s right in the pocket of what I love to write about this time of year — not kitsch, but pure yumminess of the season. Plus, his post lead me to a few otherHalloween Ramenrecipes, including a pumpkin ramen, Hell Ramen, and Dracula Ramen.

Patient Churro

Another hot take on party food I’ve seen recently are Zombie Nachos — especially of the dessert variety. A little cinnamon, a little sugar, a drizzle of raspberry pie filling, and bwa-ha-ha-la.

Of course, if you’re more a fan of the savory undead, there are several more appetizer-centric versions of the zombie nacho platter.

Sleepy Swallows

There’s never a shortage of creepy cocktail ideas this time of year, and it can be hard to pick just one out of the endless recipes for embalming fluid, witches brew, and pumpkin punch.

I thought this sipper looked pretty smokin’, though (sorry, sorry), with a dash of gothic literary charm: the Sleepy Hollow Cocktail, featuring absinthe, Angostura bitters, and a sprig of rosemary set to smudge. This (frankly delightful) blog also has a Raven cocktail and another called Nosferatu’s Blood, for those looking to make a night of it. But I also found a few other Sleepy Hollow drink recipes, plus an Ichabod Crane, so I this may be a head-start on a great themed party.

2018 October Food Trends Spotted at:

In Katrina’s Kitchen

SeriousEats

Jewels of New York

Shaken Together Life