Everyone loves bacon!!

What would you do if you had a nice big slab of bacon?  What if one of your friends who just turned the big 3-0 loves bacon???  Well… Since it’s Sunday… which means you’re already going to want bacon with breakfast…

The bacon, of course… with fried tomatoes, fried eggs and a slice of Pamela’s bread

You should be a real pal and make some bacon fudge for your aging friend…. 

Yah… She’s getting old… Probably needs the chemical rush of chocolate to go with the bacon…

Yah… those lumps… nice thick cut bacon pieces…

Recipe — I want to add that the sifting part of this recipe sucks… I mean it takes forever… but you end up with lumpless fudge… so it’s totally worth it!!

 Microwave Bacon Fudge
Ingredients:
1 lb powdered sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 stick butter
8 slices of bacon, cooked

  1. Sift together powdered sugar, cocoa and salt.
  2. Add milk and vanilla, stir.
  3. Cut stick of butter into pats, place on top of mixture.
  4. Cook in microwave on high power for 2 minutes.  While that is cooking crumble bacon.
  5. Remove from microwave, stir.
  6. After completed homogenized, add bacon.
  7. Pour onto parchment paper and allow to cool.
  8. Cut into 16 pieces.

Serving size: 1 piece
Calories: 173 Cal
Fat: 6.3 g
 Saturated Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 16 mg
Sodium: 78 mg
Carbohydrates: 30.5 g
  Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
  Sugar: 28.1 g
Protein: 0.8 g

I mean, that should take the sting out of just passing another decade mark right? 🙂  Happy 30th Ashley!!  (Not the Ashley from yesterday, another one…  Apparently I collect Ashley’s)

While I waited for the fudge to harden…We had a rockstar summer lunch!!

Nothin wrong with some GMCR Wild Mountain Blueberry to help you face the afternoon… and the Smores…

Mozzaball all torn up, tossed with cut up tomates, basil from the garden…  Tossed with garlic salt and evoo.  And green beans… Which my handsome man grilled with a mix of 1 tbsp evoo, 2 tbsp balsamic, a dash of garlic salt and red pepper flakes… Theron even wanted in (that blur in the left bottom corner of the picture is him)!!!

Gotta get back to cleaning house now… the dictator Smores orders it…. 

Roanoke Valley Wine Shop Tour

Once upon a time Mindy got a facebook message alerting her to a gluten free beer tasting… She was so excited.  Her friend Ashley saw this message, and said she’d like to meet Mindy at the beer tasting!! 

But alas, and alack, it was not to be… Roanoke Railhouse had previously booked themselves, and the gluten was flowing freely.

When the two girls heard of this sad event… They decided to still go to the Wine Gourmet, but to go the day after the beer tasting, when the Wine Gourmet had their Saturday wine tastings! 

Mindy decided she and the Hubs would pick Ashley up and they would go to the Wine Gourmet…. but then Ashley, in her infinite wisdom, remembered that the Kroger right near her house, right on their way to the Wine Gourmet also did Saturday wine tastings!!!

So off they drove to Kroger…  This wine vixen was there to try to woo our palates!!  Hubs and I enjoyed the Zin, whilst Ashley, the sweet thing she is, was suckered in with the red muscato!!

Wine Vixen – With a Fellah who wanted to woo her!
Wines to Taste…

It’s no lie… He is a fun guy!!

Ashley with the cheese sampler

Off to our primary destination…  The Wine Gourmet.

Mike and me!

There we were greeted with the dashing Mike, Matre d’ store!!  Roanoke Valley Wine Company was in the house pouring out… Ashley was again suckered into the sweet stuff…  A pink muscato this time…. Anyone else noticing a trend???  Nothing hit our taste buds today… but we’re hopeful for next time. 

RVWC Rep Stan and his wares

Me, bugging Aaron.  🙂  I forced him to take a picture with me

As we were leaving, we discovered Ashley had never been to Mr. Bill’s Wine Shop… which is surprising as it’s located between her house and ours….  So we had to stop in.  West Wind Wineries (a “local”, well… Virginia based winery).  No surprise that they had a sweet red that made its way into Ashley’s sweet little heart…. and her wine collection for the day!

West Wind’s offerings

We convinced her to swing by for a full glass of wine and some tasty treats with her best bud T!!!

Theron and his girl….
Our wine feast… also known to some as lunch.

Quite a tour of the Roanoke Valley wine shops! 

Another Shot of Italy

Although I’m a little worried about developing an afternoon caffeine habit…  I’m having another afternoon pick me up today!  Double the instant coffee, half the regular water amount and it’s almost an espresso… right???  Come on, back me up!!  I need to convince myself it doesn’t taste foul! 🙂

Also, this is a really stretched thin excuse to post more Italy pictures before I have a chance to do a full on Italy post. 🙂  (There you go Aunt Mindy!)

Gate into Assisi

St. Frances and Theron’s Twin

Streets of Assisi

Assisi from afar

Early morning at the Beatification of Pope JP2

Beatification of Pope JP2

Hope everyone else’s Friday is buzzing by, mine is draggin. 😦

Blogs of Note

This week I’ve read two blog postings that hit home for me.

http://paulatraynor.blogspot.com/2011/07/bon-appetite-w-planning.html
This one summarizes a lot of my feelings about pictures from my wedding, or pictures from Italy, or any other small or big moment in my life.  I’m sick of hating the pictures I’m in.  I’m sick of not wanting to document myself in the places we go, and the events we attend.  Thanks Paula for putting into words some of the feelings deep in my heart!

On the flip side…  This post also spoke to me:

  http://greenmountainrunner.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/our-deepest-fear/

I have that very same issue.  The very core of Mindy-ness is so similar… and I so often find that I am apologetic for it.  And that I have to live at half capacity so I’m not pulling ahead or so I’m not losing out on friends.  Living less than authentic for me, so I can fit into the mold.  Thanks Mel!  This was a perfect reminder to let that fire inside me burn bright!

What’s speaking to everyone else this week??

Italy in the Office

You know what two things I love about the afternoons in Italy??? 

The worker-bees get to stop a-buzzin and instead take a nice long leisurely 2-3 hour lunch… with a nap… A NAP I TELL YOU!!!

The other thing…  post lunch espressos… or cappuccinos… or even cafe americano!  Afternoon caffeine to combat that natural lull in energy in the mid afternoon… and to get the bees fueled to buzz, buzz, buzz!

You know what doesn’t happen over here in “the states”?

Long lunches involving naps and followed up by the delicious jolt of insanely rich and delicioso espresso shots.

Instead of sipping my delicious brew and looking around at this….

I’m trying to bring a little Italy to my office like this…

I know… I don’t see much difference between the two either!!!  🙂 
But yes, that’s instant coffee, Kroger brand to be exact.  And it’s god-awful.  That’s my work cup, and my work water bottle… My work cup is filled with water and instant coffee, and by no means resembles that warming, and invigorating shot I wanted…  Oh to go back to Italy!

Eat, Sleep and Exercise — The Trifecta of Happiness!

For me, these are the three things that make the biggest difference in my personal happiness.
While I totally need all three to keep the boat at an nice even keel and clipping along… The biggest element of them is sleep.

When I get adequate sleep… I can get up and have the energy to exercise. 
When I get adequate sleep… I am not as snacky, nor as prone to emotional eating. 

When I exercise…. I eat better.  Also, my body is happy because it feels used, but not abused.
When I eat healthier… I am not sluggish so I have energy to exercise, and don’t use junk food to attempt to artificially create a non-tired state.

I’ve noticed a marked increase in my happiness and ability to handle day to day stresses already… With just 2 days of solid sleep under my belt.  Hip Hip Hooray!!!