Tag Archives: thoughts

I’m Engaged!!!

10 Oct

Engaged

Yes, ladies and gentlemen!  Can you believe it?!  I almost can’t!

Just a few months ago I was still living in my mom’s house in Miami wondering if my life was going to start.  Now, I’m living in Atlanta with the man of my dreams, making the most amazing plans together.

I know it seems a bit quick to some;  Chase and I have only been together for four months.  But I will say, that in four months, we have grown closer to each other than some couples have in four years.  We get along so well, we have a lot of the same likes and similar thought processes, we have the same goals and we don’t fight.

I have to thank fate for bringing us together when it did.  I really was lost before I met him and I couldn’t be more grateful to have him in my life.  In this short time we’ve gone through quite a bit together and he has honestly become my best friend.  There is no one else I’d rather spend the rest of my life with than him.

Chase & Emily

Hoops is no slam dunk

22 Apr

I originally wrote this review on Yelp and gave them one star:

I wanted to like Hoops soooooo bad, but it just didn’t happen!

I went to Hoops for the first time with a few of my coworkers last Thursday to have some food and drinks before the Heat game.  My first impression of this sports bar/restaurant on a decor standpoint was fantastic.  On just this alone the potential was magnificent, but then I ordered a drink.  I asked the Server for a Patron Margarita with sugar on the rim instead of salt, but when my drink came and I placed my poor lips against that glass for a sip, my mouth was invaded by an army of disgusting red salt that almost knocked me off of my chair.

I didn’t get upset because I understand that mistakes can happen, but did inform the Server of the error.  She was very apologetic and told me “Don’t worry, I’ll have them remake it.”  I thought that was nice and eagerly awaited my replacement drink, but little did I know that it was going to come back worse than before.  Not only was there still salt on the rim the second time, but they didn’t remake  my drink!  They just poured it into the new glass, transferring the red salt with the drink mixture, turning my once yellow margarita into a pink salty nightmare.

Again, I kept my cool and smiled as I asked the Server to please have my drink redone and to just forget about the sugar all together.  Again she was very apologetic and actually brought it back right on the THIRD try.

My story doesn’t end here though. I actually ordered food; or at least I attempted to.  I asked the Server for a burger with just cheese, bacon and lettuce.  I specifically told her I didn’t want onion, tomato or pickles on there, but figured if it made it onto my burger I would just pull that stuff off myself; No biggie right?

Well, when my burger came it did not have bacon and the cheese was melted OVER the onions and tomatoes so I could not pull them off without loosing all of my glorious cheese.  Once again I let the server know, and once again she was apologetic and took it back to the kitchen. Ten minutes later she comes back with my burger.  At this point I’m so damn hungry I didn’t really look carefully before I cut it in half and was about to put it in my mouth.  But right before I bit into it, I noticed that it did not have cheese, and that’s when I had finally had it!

How is it possible for an establishment to screw up my order so many times?!  There were errors on the bartender’s side, the kitchen’s side and mostly at fault here was the server for not double checking my stuff before bringing it out to me!

I ended up sending my food back and telling her to take it off of my bill.  My coworker shared her turkey club with me, which thanks to her and her alone is the only reason why I didn’t starve that night.

I really don’t think I will be returning to Hoops, which is a big shame because it had so much potential.  The only reason why I’m OK with giving this place one star is because it really was a beautiful venue.  Like I said before, I really wanted to like this place, but they failed me miserably.

Recipe: Bacon, Mushroom and Chicken Pasta Alfredo with Garlic Bread Crumbs & Italian Margaritas

23 Jan

Today I was eager to cook something simple yet full of flavor.  I decided to go the Italian route by choosing pasta Alfredo and garlic bread. I honestly could have made it easy on myself by tackling the Alfredo Sandra Lee-style (Semi Home Made) with a pre-made sauce, but wanted to challenge myself by making it from scratch for the first time.  I’ve also been watching a lot of Chopped and was inspired to use some left over hot dog buns I had in my fridge for the garlic bread instead of using more obvious choices.  I had to take the garlic bread idea one step further though.  I wanted to process the bread into crispy and flavorful crumbs.  And of course, as a Bartender, I wanted to marry this meal with the perfect cocktail.

Now, after having made dinner, sitting down and reflecting on it, I really wish there was hidden cameras in my kitchen.  I was running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off.  I burned my garlic bread crumbs so I had to create a new batch of garlic spread and start all over again in a mad dash.

Well, I’ll stop babbling now and get to the good stuff.  Below you will find photos of the finished products and the recipes (all modified by me to my liking).  The photo of the meal was indeed taken by me, but the Italian Margarita photo is not mine.  I was not able to rim the glass with sugar due to lack of counter space and the bread emergency and I forgot to buy an orange to garnish it, but the Margarita photo below is what it would have looked like had I done it right.

BACON & MUSHROOM ALFREDO SAUCE

1 Pint Half & Half
3 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Shallot, Minced
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
1/4 Cup Parsley Chopped
1/2 Pound Bacon, Cooked and Chopped
1/3 Cup Baby Bella Mushrooms, Chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil (maybe a little more)
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add 2 minced garlic cloves and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in flour until well-blended.  Add half and half.

Stir sauce over medium-low heat.  Do not allow sauce to boil or stick to bottom of pan.  Reduce heat if necessary.  Allow sauce to thicken (about 20 minutes), stirring frequently.

In a separate saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Sautee mushrooms, shallot and remaining garlic until translucent and tender.  Do not brown.

When sauce is near desired consistency, add Parmesan cheese.  Stir to melt cheese for 2 minutes.  Toss in most of the bacon and parsley (leave some to top your dish), salt and pepper to taste and mushrooms.  Stir for another 1-2 minutes.  Remove sauce from heat.

GARLIC BREAD CRUMBS

1/2 Cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, Softened
2 Large Cloves of Garlic, Smashed and Minced
1 Heaping Tablespoon of Freshly Chopped Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Splash of Olive Oil
Bread of Choice

Simply mix all ingredients together.  Ideally make this early on and refrigerate so that the flavors develop and really penetrate the butter.  Soften again before applying to bread.

To create the bread crumbs, use any bread of your choice, and make sure it’s sliced fairly thin.  Cover bread in garlic spread place on baking pan and broil.  All breads will vary in time so just keep your eye on it.  As soon as it looks toasted, pull out of the oven.  Chop the bread into smaller pieces and grind up in a food processor until chunks have become crumbs.

Place crumbs back on baking pan and put back into the oven.  This shouldn’t take more than 3 minutes.  Be careful not to burn.


FINISHING TOUCHES

The chicken was seasoned with salt and pepper and sauteed over medium heat in olive oil with fresh garlic and shallots.

I chose to marry the chicken, sauce and pasta together before plating.  Once plated I topped it with the bread crumbs, remaining bacon and a little bit more of chopped parsley for an extra burst of color.

ITALIAN MARGARITA

1 oz Amaretto (Almond Lequeur)
2 oz Sweet and Sour Mix
1/2 oz Tequila of choice
1/2 oz Tripel Sec
Sugar for Glass
Garnish with an Orange Slice

Top glass with ice, poor in ingredients, shake and serve. If you want to get fancy, rim the glass with sugar and garnish with an orange slice.

If you’ve never rimmed a glass before, the easiest way is to get a slice or lemon or lime and squeeze it around the rim of the glass. Then tip glass into a small plate with sugar. Pat the rim around on the side to make sure the sugar sticks all around the border..

So now that we’re all done, I just have to say that dinner came out sooooo incredibly delicious and I’m quite proud of myself.   And though I think these recipes are perfect as is, I’d like to know if any of you would do this a little differently?  Are any of you inspired to give this a shot for yourself??  Comment to let me know and come back and comment again with pictures if you do!

-Emily Sixx

South Florida Food Trucks; The Best of the Best

17 Jan

Anyone that knows absolutely anything about me knows that I am a foodie.  I’m not just any foodie though, I am a Food Truck fanatic!  You can often find me in the parking lot of a Church (though I’m not religious), park (though I’m not in any sports team) or auto mall (though I’m not in the market for a new car) all in the name of the mighty food lords.

That being said, I have put together a list of a few of my personal favorite food trucks (judging from the ones I have eaten from so far) and what menu items have justified me driving sometimes over 40 miles just to have them.

B.C. Tacos: The Gatherer

Many-a-nights have I dreamt of a cave man feeding me tacos atop a pile of metal and rubber.  B.C. Tacos is indeed to blame for this horrible yet awkwardly sexy fantasy of mine.  You have your choice of soft or hard shell, stuffed fried avocado, lettuce, mozzarella cheese and topped with chipotle mayo.  Though quite simple, The Gatherer is no such thing to the palate.  Do not attempt tasting such magnificence unless you are 100% ready to commit yourself to a foodlationship.

Slow Food Truck: The Green Burger

Slow food is amazing, but even better when it’s served quickly without sacrificing an ounce of quality and flavor.  The food I’ve had from Slow Food Truck is beyond Nomtastic, but I have to say that I particularly love their Green Burger.  What’s a Green Burger you ask?  Well, it’s nothing more than lean ground beef cooked to your liking, topped with bacon, avocado, grilled queso fresco, mixed greens and a cilantro-lime aioli, all housed in a wheat bun.  To die for?  You better believe it!

The Flying Saucer: El Cubanito Sliders

The Flying Saucer had to have been named in reaction to their El Cubanito Sliders because these babies are out of this world!  The sliders are topped with Swiss cheese, chorizo, potato sticks, and their Guavalicious sauce.  All this glory served on mini potato rolls.  I could be having the worst day, but my mood shifts and my happiness levels instantly shoot through the roof whenever I see this truck in a lineup.

Porkalicious: Loaded Baked Potato Cakes

This truck’s name pretty much says it all and being the bacon lover that I am, my heart skipped a beat the first time I saw it.  Though seemingly harmless, these Loaded Baked Potato Cakes can really pack a punch of incredible flavor.  Potato patties with bacon, cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onions, breaded with Panko and served with a buttermilk ranch dipping sauce.  I don’t quite know what other way to describe it to you than by using another made up adjective like “fantastical.”  Porkalicious rocks my world!

CoolHaus: Dirty Mint Ice Cream

And of course, what better way to end a meal than with dessert?  One of my absolute favorite flavor pairings is mint and chocolate, so of course Coolhaus’ Dirty Mint is what I’ve grown more than fond of.  Now, this mint chocolate ice cream is quite different from all the rest.  It’s gourmet and made with real mint leaves.  It’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted before!  But that’s not all!  It comes sandwiched in your cookie of choice and handed to you in an edible potato paper.  Who needs a man when you’ve got Coolhaus?!  Am I right?!

 

If you’re an owner or employee of a South Florida food truck and do not see yours listed above, it does not mean that I don’t like your food. It simply means that I have either yet to try yours out or you fell victim to me having to cut this list short for the sake of the average person’s attention span.

I’d like to feature South Florida food trucks on a monthly basis. What dish are you most popular for? I’d love to try it and share it with the world!  Send me a message at emilysixxrants@gmail.com if you’d like to be featured in a future entry.

It is my goal to try at least one item off of every South Florida food truck’s menu. This won’t be an easy task, meaning that I will actually have to put my gym membership to use, nor will it be cheap, but I believe each truck deserves a fair chance at impressing these magnificent taste buds!

Thanks for reading!  Make sure to subscribe so you’re always up to date with my foodventures!

-Emily Sixx

Reflecting on 2011

29 Dec

My dear blog, I have not forgotten about you!  I’ve just been so disgustingly busy this past month and have not had time to sit down and really put my heart into anything.  I literally started getting withdrawals and figured enough was enough!  It’s time to post again!

So, with New Years Eve coming up in just a few days, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting upon this past year.  I can honestly say that this year has been, hands down, the most emotional and financially challenging year of my life, yet somehow at the same time been the most exciting and gratifying one.

2011 started off with escaping the woes of unemployment and landing a great job at an entertainment firm.  I had no experience in that industry, but have learned a lot over time and feel more and more confident with each passing day.  I work with some of the most amazing people I know (each in their own right) and have learned so much from every one of them.  I have nothing but respect and admiration for them, and I’m not easily impressed or moved by anyone!

This year I was able to go to Key West and Orlando twice.  I went to Key West  for my Birthday in April and again for the Poker Run in September.  The Orlando trips were in October for Halloween Horror Nights and then at the beginning of this month for my company’s End of Year Retreat.  All four trips were pretty damn awesome, I must say!

On both trips to Key West, I made new friends and got to spend a lot of time out on the water.  The first trip out on the boat was just for fun and relaxation, but the second was for sport (Fishing for Dolphin (Mahi)).  And on both trips, I almost drowned!  True Story!

Both Orlando trips were a lot more relaxed than the trips to the Keys, but they were still a great time;  Particularly the company retreat.  We hit up both Universal and Islands of Adventure and had a great dinner at Emeril’s.  I also got to know my coworkers on a more personal level and feel like our bond has grown stronger and are now an even better team than before.

But along with all the awesomeness comes the bad.  My mom spent a good six months out of the year very sick with a mystery illness that no doctor was able to figure out.  In the end, she just rode it out until it just magically went away.  Thanks to that condition though, she lost her job and things became very difficult for us at home.

During this time I found myself in a relationship with a guy who I thought I was in love with.  Charming, attractive, and a chef, so the foodie in me was thrilled!  Things were great at first, but that quickly faded.  I will make a long story short and cut to the chase; Things did not end pretty because he had betrayed me and of course I walked out with only my clothes, pots and pans, my cat and a pretty hefty I.O.U from the dick.

At first I allowed myself to be overwhelmed with how horrible my situation was, but quickly snapped out of it.  I knew quite well that there are a lot of people out there who have had it way worse than me and were still able to rise up on top.  So, what did I do?  I started focusing my energy on things that I knew I needed to take care of and on things that made ME happy:

Writing – I started writing more and have received so much recognition for it in the last three months that I am literally speechless.  I’ve acquired a large following and I am so grateful for that.

Quitting Smoking – It’s been a little over three months now since I quit.  I do have the occasional cigarette while out drinking with other smokers, but that’s as far as it goes.  I have not bought a pack since mid September and I don’t plan on ever doing so again.

Diet and Exercise – After mustering a lot of courage I managed to change my diet and force myself to join a boot camp.  All in all I lost a total of 17lbs.

Work – I have put more focus into work than on anything else and I am seeing the results of that come back to me three-fold.  All I will say is that I LOVE the company I work for and look forward to the adventures and experience this next year will bring us!

I almost feel like a Phoenix, rising up from the ashes.  Where once I was completely lost, scared, and insecure with my hands and heart completely empty I am now focused, brave, secure and full of love.  I feel as if I’ve accomplished more in these last three months than I had in the entire year.

For the first time in my 26 years, I will finally be moving into a place of my own (Pathetic, I know).  Now I be able to say that I am living on my own and that I was able to do it all by myself.  And since I’m starting from scratch, I am buying all new furniture and decorating the place how I want and looking forward to showing it off via photo-overload!

In the end, as I had mentioned before, this year may have been incredibly challenging, but it has also been quite good to me.  I have learned more about myself than ever before and now know what I can be capable of manifesting and accomplishing if I just put my mind and heart into it.

Here’s to 2011!  Thank you for the lessons and the good times!  I welcome 2012 with open arms and wish the best for everyone!

Happy New Year!
-Emily

And the Twilight fans are barking…

13 Dec

My intern, Marjorie, is the drummer in a band called Brand Name Punk. A little over a week ago she posted up their latest music video on YouTube and started sharing it with the world on Facebook. Of course, like any other unsigned band, their goal was to somehow go viral and get as much attention as possible. Well, let me tell you, I think they nailed it!

The song is titled “Hopes and Dreams” and it’s about a guy who is so obsessed with Kristen Stewart he manages to kidnap her and in his own little fantasy world believe she’s in love with him too. In the video they act this all out with a life size cardboard cutout of said actress. The band member with the obsession ends up spending way too much time with her and his bandmates decide it’s time for the affair to end. They kidnap “Kristen” again and destroy the cutout for the sake of the band’s survival. It’s silly. It’s cute. It’s HARMLESS!!!!

Well, I’ve seen their total view count go from 300 to over 18,000 in three days and let me tell you that it’s causing quite a stir from Kristen Stewart fans! Most seem to be taking this video quite seriously and believe they actually want to kill the girl! The nasty comments are numerous! Here are a few:

“It’s amazing what people do to get views and publicity. This disgusting thing should get banned and censored. Trying to steal fame out of our Kristen, and hurting her image in that form… so shameless, so repulsive.”

“Everyone who is a true fan of Kristen would NOT think this was funny. It doesn’t matter what they were actually trying to say with this video, they fucking BURNED a cardboard cutout of her. This is like porn for her haters. And if you think you’re a Rob fan and like this video, think again, because he’d lose his shit if he ever saw his girlfriend being disrespected this way. Fucking insensitive assholes. I’m flagging the shit out of this until it’s taken down.”

“horrible. way to promote killing an actress who already has too big a share of haters just itching at the bit for some inspiration to take it further than expressing their 1st amendment rights. fuck you!”

Bottom line, it probably IS illegal to use her image in the video without her consent. I honestly can’t say for sure, because I don’t know those laws, but come on! Seriously people?!?! These Twilight fans are way too much. You should see some of the comments that were left in Spanish!

Take a look at the video for yourself and let me know what you think!

I am the .5%

27 Nov

Now that my blog has been up and running for a while and has a substantial amount of visits and followers, I figured it was time to let you all in on a little secret of mine. I mean, who would want to expose such interesting cheese if no one is around to read it? Ok, well, it’s not really a secret, but it’s not something I usually go shouting out from the rooftops. It’s something personal, debilitating, and just all-around annoying.

After many years of struggling with crazy symptoms and having no idea they had any relation to each other, I did my research and consulted with my doctor and guess what? I have a classic case of Narcolepsy! Exciting isn’t it?! No, not in the least!

Before I get into my personal experience and struggle with narcolepsy, I will explain to you what narcolepsy really is. I don’t expect you all to be too knowledgeable of this condition if you don’t suffer from it, and being that only about .5% of the population gets diagnosed, the chances that anyone would truly understand are very slim.

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness. Those with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). This means that you can fall asleep at any given moment, at any given time, for any given reason. In most cases, symptoms start to develop between the ages of 15 and 25, 25 being the age where narcolepsy hits the hardest. But like everything else in this world, narcolepsy does have its exceptions and can definitely start sooner or later on in life.

Common symptoms of narcolepsy:

Cataplexy – A sudden loss of muscle tone that leads to feelings of weakness and loss of voluntary muscle control. Symptoms can range from slurred speech to total body collapse. These attacks can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.

Sleep Paralysis – The temporary inability to move or speak while falling asleep or waking up. This too can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.

Hallucinations – Vivid and frequently frightening visions accompanying the onset of sleep (Hypnagogic) and also occurring during awakening (Hypnopompic). These hallucinations may not only be visual; any of the other senses can be involved.

Microsleep – Automatic behavior without conscious awareness. For example, driving or walking competently but ending up in a different location than was intended or not recalling the trip from point A to point B.

The list goes on, but those are all the most common symptoms of narcolepsy. Cases vary from person to person; Some individuals will fall asleep uncontrollably at any moment and can most definitely hurt themselves in the process while others are able to control these attacks and fight through it.

My personal experience has been an interesting one, to say the least. I started experiencing Hypnagogic hallucinations as a kid. I never gave it much thought because I knew what I was seeing wasn’t real. I just figured I had a crazy imagination and never really told anyone about it.

At the age of 15 I experienced my first Sleep Paralysis episode. I remember opening my eyes and trying to sit up on my bed, only I couldn’t move. I tried and I tried, but no matter how much effort I put into it, my body was frozen; I was paralyzed. I also had the inability to speak. It was one of the scariest moments of my life.

One trigger that didn’t seem that important to me while growing up is my difficulty reading. As much as I love writing, reading was always a burden for me; I could never stay awake while trying to read. It’s an instant sedative for me. I literally pass out two pages into a book and sometimes struggle to read long articles. I used to have to take Xenadrine back in high school so that I could stay awake during important tests. I always managed to have amazing grades, but it did not come easy.

Another trigger that sets me into a state of uncontrollable sleepiness is temperature. Even though I like to sleep in the cold, under a nice thick comforter, stepping into a steaming hot car can knock me out in an instant. Same thing would happen to me in when I’d go to the Sauna at the gym. I can’t explain it! Something about the heat makes me so incredibly sleepy. Maybe that’s why I’m not so fond of Miami and would do anything to move away to a colder climate.

Eating a big meal is also a tough one to deal with. After every meal I do get a little wave of tiredness, but when it’s a large meal the sleepiness is insatiable. I remember when I used to bartend full time, if I ate heavy right before a shift I would literally fall asleep standing up against the bar, on a busy night with music blasting at ungodly levels..It was bad. And the worst part was that my coworkers just thought I was an asshole for being sleepy and exhausted all the time.

Probably the most dangerous trigger of them all for me is driving and car rides. It started off as me being the worst co-pilot ever, to little by little not being able to drive at all at night. I can literally be talking to my passenger and fall asleep with my eyes open and talking somewhat coherently. I’ve been very lucky to not have caused an accident in this state, but I have had several close calls and eaten plenty-a-median. I’ve also fallen asleep in my car before even starting it…it’s crazy. I know!

I think the symptom I have the least issue with is Cataplexy, which is basically sleep paralysis while awake. I have indeed had a really strong Cataplexy attack once, but it only ever happened to me that one time, two years ago so I don’t think it’s a symptom I have to worry too much about.

The scariest thing I experience now and have been dealing with for a good 5 years is Sleep Apnea mixed in with Sleep Paralysis. If you don’t know what Sleep Apnea is, it’s when your body starts breathing irregularly in your sleep and sometimes stops breathing all together. It’s usually not really noticeable, but of course I always fall within that special percentile of the population that’s a twisted exception and gets it hardcore. So, in a nutshell, I will wake up from a deep sleep, be totally paralyzed and not be able to breathe. Now THAT is a nightmare!

I do also experience episodes of Microsleep, mostly while driving during the day where I can will lose chunks of my trip. I will literally be driving somewhere and be like, “How did I get here? I don’t remember.” That too can be extremely dangerous because I’m basically driving on Zombie Mode.

But alas, I can say that my battle with Narcolepsy is not one that I’m losing. It’s intensity comes and goes in waves and it all depend on my all-around health, stress levels and ability to get a good night’s sleep. Right now I can safely say that I’m not going through a tough phase. Though it’s still something I struggle with on a daily basis, it’s not as uncontrollable as it used to be and I will credit that to my new healthy diet and exercise routine. There are a lot of treatments and meds I could try to help me out as well, but I feel like the all-natural route is always better.

So now you’re in on my little secret. How about you share one with me? Do you have any uncommon conditions you don’t mind sharing? Do any of you happen to suffer from narcolepsy as well??