i know i suck at updating my blog recently.
so i know it's been a good few days--possibly a week--since i've posted something new. the day after my return to the left coast i was thrown right back into work and it's been a little busy in fannywood. but enough of the excuses, let's get right into the good stuff. since my last post was on the wordy side--and since i need to be preparing for bedtime soon--i'll keep this update more on the visual level.
part one is a rewind to my last few wonderful days on the "right" side:
there are only so many meals you can fit in a few days, but i managed to squeeze most of my favorites in there.
i even got to be the crabcake helper and prep and assemble these myself!
my dad also made the most homecooked, most delicious, most makes-me-feel-happy-inside meal i could possibly dream of. it's kind of his signature dish...and one i had been dreaming about since my last visit home.
i mean, is there anything more comforting than roast chicken and potatoes?
okay so the roast chicken is comforting on a homecooked level, but on an entirely different level of food-related happiness--there is bojangles.
welcome to my dream come true.
(also known as a cajun filet biscuit combo with extra seasoning on the fries and a side of honey mustard)
and for those of you who were wondering if my obsessive cholula hot sauce use had converted me....think again.
there are some things that just go together.
a meteor has hit north raleigh. it's lunch time. i have only fifteen minutes to find myself one last meal.
this is it.
there is something about boondini's that i can't really explain. you just have to know it and love it to understand. is it the homemade ranch that stands out from every other homemade ranch i've ever had? is it the sunflower bread that always gets so perfectly toasted? is it the chicken salad with those sneaky black olives in there that somehow turned me into an olive lover? (omg. i think i just realized where i got my cat's name from.)
i think it's the simple combination of all of those things that puts boondini's on my top five list of happy places. the order is the same every time. good luck trying to get me to pick something else on the menu besides this:
half a chicken salad sandwich on toasted sunflower with lettuce, tomato, light mayo and mustard, salt and vinegar chips, a side of ranch, and extra pickles.
i know that order as backwards and forwards as i can recite the intro to 30 minute meals.
and so do the people that work there.
wait. i thought i said this post wasn't going to be wordy?
the half chicken salad sandwich will always be my go-to, but on special occasions i'll get half of a grilled pimento cheese sandwich to nibble at on the ride home. i mean, i'm only in raleigh once every few months.
...when in rome, right?
(this is the part where i send out a thank you prayer for my fast metabolism)
sadly i didn't get to visit my favorite mexican restaurant, but thanks to it's location down the street from boondini's, at least i got to see it!
the night before i left i also lucked out on the location of my dad's dinner meeting and scored a takeout order of my favorite pad thai. if you live in raleigh and have a thai food craving...go to shaba shabu on wake forest road.
and then send me a thank you card.
...which will be taped to a box of pad thai with chicken.
my last homemade meal was one i made myself a few hours before taking off to the airport. this was the first breakfast my dad made me after i arrived home, so i decided to do a little repeat on my last day.
i always like when things come full circle.
speaking of things that are shaped like circles, mango was a little under the weather with an eye infection while i was home. i was upset to see him in pain, but at least we got some quality time together on the way to his vet check-up.
and then we had some ketchup.
before i knew it, it was time to get my suitcase together...
grab my traveling companion--
the bi-coastal furry friend who sara and i stuffed, bought together, and named tula who travels back and forth from california to south carolina...
kick my feet up, and head back for the other side.
no really, i got to put my feet up! somehow i snagged a front row (not first class, but front row) seat on my southwest flight and had quite the comfy ride back.
sorry the picture is a little blurry--our wheels were just leaving the ground.
meanwhile, back in california...
...hey! what are you doing here?!
a piece of bojangles made it back to los angeles with me, and every time i look at it--it feels like a giant cajun seasoned hug.
i even FINALLY had room in my suitcase to bring back my favorite soy candle from home. hazelnut coffee. mmm.
on a completely random and pointless note, someone invented a new fruit.
and on another random note...
don't worry, coors light still makes my heart flutter--but i have started branching out and trying new beers recently.
my new fav:
well, i guess i'm not allowed to make fun of skechers shape-ups anymore.
although...i bought them for back support at work so technically i don't feel like i "gave into the craze" or anything. but to tell you the truth, they're not as ridiculous looking as i thought they'd be.
and they put me at a whopping 5'3.
the other night when i had every intention of blogging after dinner, instead i made this elaborate meal and then fell asleep on the couch.
pan seared tilapia with roasted tomatoes and basil with a side of oven roasted herb potatoes.
what's better than a nice dinner?
homemade chicken salad for lunch!
smoked chicken, celery, chives, basil, tarragon, lemon, mustard, mayo, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, and shallots.
what's better than homemade chicken salad?
homemade chicken salad in a WRAP.
what's NOT better than a homemade chicken salad wrap?
homemade banana walnut muffins that tasted more like scones, needed more sugar, and failed completely as a present.
the point was to thank stella with these muffins for taking care of olive--while sticking to her dietary needs: no dairy or wheat.
can anyone answer the question of why i did not realize that flour....is wheat?
on the plus side, i used lots of delicious ingredients like vanilla coconut yogurt, brown sugar, and cinnamon applesauce--but that still doesn't make up for the fact that i'm the only one who's going to eat them. at least i learned a valuable lesson about baking...
leave that up to this girl: