Erica's Blog

The Try Something New Everyday experiment

Today I tangled with a Mad Elf

Y’all should feel sorry for this Mad Elf.  He’s been locked away in the bottom drawer of the fridge for almost a month.  The bottom drawer has been used for “unclean” or “limited” foods while I have been on the Clean Eating Challenge.  He’s been face down somewhere between the 3 alarm habenero pepper cheese and some kielbasa I’m saving to make jambalaya with.

I found this beer at Whole Foods during one of my trips a few weeks ago.  The description of the beer on the sign sold me.  Cherries…Honey…Chocolate.  Yes, yes and oh yeah!!


I scooped up a pint to try one evening after the challenge ended.

Tonight is the night.

I’ve had a Christmas kinda day.  I’ve done holiday shopping, dropped some gifts off at the post office, played Santa delivering some toys to a charity and other holiday errands.  Now it’s time to settle in to crochet on my grandad’s Christmas gift and watch a holiday favorite…The Walking Dead.

Ok, so maybe the latter isn’t so “ho ho ho”…


I poured the beer in the glass.  It has a reddish brown color…quite festive!! With the first sip, I clearly tasted the cherries and chocolate.  I cannot taste the honey as much but overall it’s a sweet beer so maybe that’s the honey’ s contribution.  This beer is brewed in Hershey, PA…the chocolate capital!!

Final verdict: A delicious seasonal treat!!  Gives ya a warm tingle all over!!  I totally see Santa sipping this after a long evening on the 25th.

I’ll take this Mad Elf over some small, creepy guy hanging out on a shelf any day!

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Today I had a hangover

I never planned to drink so much that I ended up with a hangover….said every person with a hangover.

I’ve had some really, really, really bad apple pie moonshine taking up precious fridge space for several weeks now. A few weeks back, I wanted to recreate a drink I had at the Dave Matthews Band concert. At the spirit store, I had the option of getting my favorite brand or save $10 and try a new brand. I don’t shy away from trying something new and I sure do like to save a Hamilton! But this stuff is bbbaaaaaddd! Awwwwwful!! I won’t even share the brand name. It’s that bad! And it had to go!

But I cannot throw it out…

Now, I’ve had my share of moonshine and know my limits…what was left would not get me beyond my “point”. But to make it drinkable, I added cinnamon flavor whiskey which I had on hand from the re-creation attempt. I’m a whiskey newb…

So there I was drinking my concoction…and feeling good…and watching Hatfields and McCoys on Netflix. I should have realized I had too much because I couldn’t keep straight who was a Hatfield and who was a McCoy. Really…the conversation went something like “Bill Paxton…which one is he? A McCoy? Ok…so then Kevin Costner is a McCoy? No wait…he must be a Hatfield…then Bill Paxton is a Hatfield…no…wait…who is who?”

But, you know…of course more slirred…

After a while, I decide to go to bed which was when all the fun began. I laid down and the room spun. Ugh….I hate the room spin. Sometimes you can work through it by staying focused on one object and reassuring yourself over and over again that the room is connected to the house and physically cannot spin…unless you are in the Wizard of Oz or an episode of Dr. Who…but you’re not…you’re just drunk so again…it’s against physics.

But tonight I couldn’t get both eyes to focus on one object.

I was slammered!

Ugh! I’m never gonna drink again…

I tried to shut my eyes…worst idea ever! With nothing to attempt to focus on the room spin went into hyperdrive…which my tummy protested and the porcelain worship begun. Ugh…I’m never gonna drink again!

The cycle of trying to sleep and worshiping went on for about 1.5 hours…after which I finally got some sleep. I swear I’m never gonna drink again…

Now, I’m blessed with either a super strong liver or the no hangover gene. I have drunk to excess many times in my past…not a usual event but a road I’ve been down many times…and woke up the next morning with a spring in my step and a cheerful smile on my face. This morning as I stirred I felt an awful headache and queasy tummy. I tried to open my eyes but the suns extra brightness could only be explained that it was standing in my bedroom. I had to go to the bathroom but getting up was not an option. And my body ached…oh the aches! And then I realized…I have a hangover!

I mustered up the energy to head to the bathroom. As I walked in I noticed an open container of Clorox wipes. I’m a stickler for closing the container as the wipes dry out so fast so I’m not sure who would leave the open container in the middle of the floor….oh wait….now I remember…that was me. I cleaned after my incidents.

I made my way back to the bed and laid back down. I just wanted to stay in the fetal position all day but knew I had plans that morning that I couldn’t break. Ugh…I’m never gonna drink again!

I knew I’d have to start taking care of myself to return to functioning status. I got up again, which seemed like a feat all in itself, and headed to the kitchen. I’d heard bananas help with hangovers…I think. And I grabbed a zero calorie sports drinks too and headed back into the bed with them. Even though I had no desire to eat, I consumed both and then laid back down….this up and down only made my issues worse. And I promise never to drink again!

I tried to return to sleep but sleep eluded me and I was just left regretting all the moving around I did…and did I mention I have a splitting headache.

After about 15 minutes of wallowing in my misery, I knew I needed to get up to keep my plans. Once upright, I took a shower…why does water have to be so loud? The water felt like someone tapping on my head…I’m never gonna drink again!

And can I go back to bed? I guess I become whiney when I’m hungover…

I got dressed. Wait…the last I knew, my jeans were in the wash awaiting to be dried…yet they hung in my closet…and not on their designated hanger. How did that happen?! I ask the hubs and he stated I did laundry last night.

Really?! I have no recollection!!

Some people have this happenin’ life that they do all kinds of fun and daring things worth having drunk amnesia over. You know, kissing a stranger…dancing on tables…going for pancakes at 3 am…you know, fun stuff!! I on the other hand…do…laundry.

Oh yah…party girl…right here!

Anyhoo, my stomach was still pretty uneasy, the sun was literally staring me in the eyes, and the headache was relentless…but I continued to put one foot in front of the other and head out the door. I kept sipping on my sports drink but knew I needed to get some non-greasy protein in me. I decided I could stomach an Egg McMuffin.

Within an hour of eating said McSandwich from the alcohol gods, I was hangover free. I declare McMuffins miracle food!!

Ugh….what a less than enjoyable experience. I swear…I’m never gonna drink again!!!

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Today I recreated a drink

On Friday, I went to the Dave Matthews Band concert.  My dear friend and I had a little time to kill before taking our seats so we decided to have a drink at the venue’s bar.

I never know what to order at a bar but I spied the Ole Smokey Moonshine in the line up of alcohol and suggested we get that.  My friend had never had moonshine and I knew OS moonshine would be a good introduction.  When we each asked for a double, because economically it was a better deal and hey, neither one of us had to drive for a few hours.  The bartender said she would hook us up.  I thought we were just going to get a double shot of the moonshine but instead she made a mixed drink.  I took a sip of it and asked what did she add.  She rattled off the moonshine, cinnamon whiskey, triple sec and sprite.


I downed it…quite a bit faster than I should but the drink was so smooth.  I would have ordered another but I had already had my limit…bar rules…not mine.  Well, and my wallet would have groaned paying venue pricing.

I could taste my distinct, flavorful apple pie moonshine but the cinnamon added even more to the apple flavor.  The triple sec and sprite lightened the drink and gave a bit of fizz.  Pretty much it took a great base and elevated the flavor.

I figured I could make it at home easy enough too.  Today I ventured to the spirit store and acquired cinnamon whiskey and apple pie moonshine.  I already had the other ingredients at home.

The cinnamon whiskey she used was Fire Eater…I remember the distinct circusy label.  Unfortunately the store only had Fireball.  About the same, right?

And my moonshine…ugh…it’s pricy!!  So I opted for xxxxxxx brand (I will explain in a minute about the omission of the brand name) of moonshine since it was $10 cheaper.  I spent about 10 minutes agonizing over this decision.

I arrived home like a kiddo with a new toy.  I tore into the bag and started mixing my concoction.


(Special note: This picture is a RECREATION adding in the good moonshine…will be explained in a moment).

I have no idea what proportion to mix it so really I’m just adding a little of this and a little of that.


One sip….nasty!!!

I couldn’t even taste the apple flavor of the moonshine.  I added more moonshine but then the drink was too harsh.  I took a small sip of the moonshine…ugh!!  It’s gross!  It barely has any apple flavor and the alcohol is too pungent.  Apple Pie moonshine is supposed to taste like an apple juice and barely taste it’s “spirits”.

I cannot endorse bad alcohol…I’m really upset that I even paid good money for it.  As such, I’m removing the name of the brand AND changing the pictures to take it out.  If you’re going to make it…definitely use Ole Smokey!


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Today I tried a Stella Artois

I feel when I say this beer name I just want to yell “STELLAAAAAA!”

But not the Street Car named Desire version…the Over the Hedge version… I’m feeling more kiddy movie tonight…

I’m not a beer drinker…I haven’t tried many but I’ve only found one that I kinda like…Blue Moon.

Maybe it’s the light color…maybe it’s the light flavor…maybe it’s the orange slice…

For some strange reason, I wanted a beer…this is totally unusual…

Maybe it’s the snow on the ground…maybe it’s the late opening at work tomorrow…maybe it’s the full moon that will come in 10 days…

Stella Artois is the only “light” beer I have in my cupboards…I still have some dark ales left over from a party a few months back…I should throw another party just to clear them out of the house…this Stella is also a leftover beer…honestly, until I made the beer bread the other day I didn’t realize I had such a large stash…

The ABC may need to be alerted to my inventory…

Ok..we have clearly established I’m not much of a beer drinker so this upcoming struggle may not surprise you.  The neck of the bottle is covered by white pretty paper…I tried to remove the cover using the perferated line but I ended up just tearing the paper off…looks like I ravinishly tore into the bottle in true drunk fashion…

Next up…cap removal…it only took me 10 minutes of twisting and two sore, indented palms to realize it’s not a twist cap…STELLAAAAAA!  I thought I was just a weakling and had spaghetti noodles for arms.

STELLAAAAAA!   It’s 2014!  Step up to the new 1960s technology of twist caps!  STELLAAAAAA!

First sip…nasty!  It has a sour after taste…bleh!

Second sip…still nasty!  Still sour!

Maybe it needs an orange slice…I still have blood oranges from the other night…let’s give that a whirl…


Egads!  That looks horrible!!!…Looks like a brain in my beer!!!! (which will be awesome at Halloween!)…And didn’t really help the lager out…I may have made it worse…

Anyhoo, Stella Artois is not for me…

But I still will eternally think “STELLAAAAAA” each time I see this beer!!!!

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Today I made an Appletini

I’m not much of a lush…ok, I am but shhhh….don’t tell anyone else.

Today has been a dilemma about travel plans and back and forth decisions of whether I should wait to be available when the family needs me later (after my mom-in-law returns home) or take the opportunity to see her asap.  I still don’t know what the right answer is.

On my way home though, I received a call.  Probably one of the most sweetest calls I have ever received in my life.  When someone picks up the phone to call you just because they were thinking of you and it just makes your whole day…no…your whole forever kinda calls.

My mom-in-law called me.

First of all, I love my mom-in-law.  I scored in the mom-in-law department.  She is a lady who has it all together.  She is loving, intelligent, independent, God loving, nurturing, brave, strong woman.  I could go on and on with all the positive adjectives I could think of right now but I would keep you reading this for hours.  In fact (this is a huge confessional), I’ve always called her Mrs. (last name).  Ever since I met her, she insisted on me calling her by her first name but I just couldn’t.  I resorted to calling her Mrs. (last name) out of HUGE respect to her but also, I never had the bravery to ask if I could call her mom…because that’s what I really want to call her.

I don’t know if she will ever know this but that’s the depth of my love and awe for her.

She called me and I heard her voice on the other end of the phone.  My heart lit up.

Just so you can understand the epicness of this, she is at the point in this process where she is having good moments and not so good moments.  That was a good moment and she wanted to call everyone to say she loved us, while she was lucid.  I made the list. : )

By the time I came home, I felt I had been on an emotional rollercoaster all day.  At work, I try to keep it together.  I work in the elections field and there is a big election coming in less than a month.  It’s all hands and minds on deck.  I’m half of each right now.

Then I get the wonderful call and I’m left absolutely excited to see her, ready to leave to be with her at a moments notice and when I see her, give her as many hugs as she can take!  But I’m also so INFURIATED with cancer.

Cancer sucks.  I want to kick it in the shins.

Combine this with a few nights of only a few hours sleep and I could really use a distraction.  And something to relax me to ensure a good nights rest.

In my kitchen cabinet, in the process of finding the sunflower oil, I rediscovered a box of a mix for an Appletini that I received as a gift.  I’ve never had an Appletini and this mix has been sitting in the cabinet for a while…the honorable thing would be to use it, right?  Sounds like a plan to cure all that ails me today.

The mix calls for 2 tsp of the mix, 1.5 cup of cold water and 2 tbsp of vodka.  Looky there…I have all that in my kitchen : )  So I throw all the ingredients together, shake inIMG_20131009_211339_183 my snazzy shaker along with some ice and pour into a martini glass.

Sipping adult beverages remind me of Magda from There’s Something About Mary (I could only find a foreign clip but I think you get the idea)…I always remember the scene where she has cucumbers on her eyes and sips her margarita then raspily says “Mmm….good, good, good, good”.  I always feel compelled to reenact the scene whenever I sip martinis…well, without the cucumbers…unfortunately my kitchen is not as well stocked as I thought.

The Appletini wasn’t as good as I thought but I believe the issue was trying to create it from a powder mix.  It tasted like apple koolaid with alittle kick.  Also, I fully subscribe to the theory that cocktails, like massages and bill paying, are always better when someone else does them.  It works for what I need tonight (yawn) but I’m gonna have to give it another chance the next time I’m at a restaurant/bar.