The Nannerpuss

When I was a child, I was obssessed with It, the cheesetastic 1980s miniseries based on the Stephen King novel.  We had videotaped it (remember videotaping, kids?) when it originally ran on CBS — we even hit pause during the commercials! — and the VHS cassette soon became one of my fondest friends.

I would eagerly pop It into the VCR when I got home from school in the afternoons and early on Saturday mornings when most other children were watching G.I. Joe and The Smurfs.  I knew every line of dialogue and nursed an enormous crush on a young Jonathan Brandis before his Seaquest DSV days.  There was only one problem: the movie terrified me.  For every day I watched it, I would have horrific nightmares when I went to bed that evening.

My mother eventually solved the problem by breaking the VHS cassette and throwing it into the trash (thanks, Mom!).  But I fear that I’m now developing the same type of relationship with the new Denny’s commercial starring The Nannerpuss.

I can’t quit watching it, yet it’s obviously terrifying.

They should have just called that banana thing Pennywise and been done with it.


“It’s Fine In Moderation”

You know you’ve got a bad reputation when you have to make commercials begging people to believe you’re really not all that terrible.  “It’s fine in moderation…REALLY!!!”  Sad and desperate.

High-fructose corn syrup, this is the equivalent of bribing the popular kids to let you sit with them at lunch.  Proud of yourself?

The Weekend In Food


6:30pm:  At Fu Fu Cafe for dinner with Richard and dad.  No luck, as it has unceremoniously closed for the summer.

6:40pm:  Eating at QQ Cuisine instead.  You can read all about it here.

8:30pm:  Stuffed!  So stuffed!

9:15pm:  Laying prostrate on couch like beached whale while watching Top Gear.  Too much Chinese food for one night…but Richard Hammond’s sunny little face will always make a girl feel better.


8:00am:  Contemplating making breakfast.

8:05am:  We have no eggs.

8:10am:  Or bread.

8:15am:  Or juice.

8:20am:  Oh, sod it.  I’ll eat these Oreos I found in the back of the pantry and make Richard an extra big cup of tea instead.

8:25am:  Mmm…Oreos.

9:00am:  Richard at the gym.  I can play Bioshock!

9:05am to 10:30am:  Lots of running around, shooting zombies and scaring the dog with the loud noise of grenade launchers and plasma cannons.

11:00am:  Getting dressed.

11:30am:  Leftover Chinese food from QQ for lunch.  Chinese is even better the second time around.

1:00pm:  Heading out to Richmond for a birthday party.  Doo-dee-doo.  Just a leisurely drive…


2:30pm:  Seriously.  I had no idea people could live this far away from the city and commute to work every day without killing someone out of sheer longevity-induced road rage.

2:45pm:  Finally arrive, after quick pit stop for birthday present and card.

3:00pm to 7:30pm:  Gorge ourselves on party food and cupcakes.  OM-NOM-NOM-NOM.

9:00pm:  Arrive home to starving dog who desperately needs a pee.  We are bad canine parents tonight.  😦


8:00am:  Breakfast items have not magically appeared in refrigerator overnight.  Very disappointing.

8:30am:  Head to McDonald’s for — go on, judge me, I’ve brought it on myself too many times — one dollar sausage biscuits and hashbrowns with a vanilla iced coffee for me and a milk for Richard.  *sigh*

9:30am:  Getting dressed.

10:00am:  Work on articles for Houstonist.  Someone please read the godforsaken site!  Please?!?

11:45am:  Head over to newly-opened Raia’s for lunch with Ruthie from Great Food Houston.

12:00pm:  Raia’s is quite difficult to find.  Perhaps they should invest in a sign as part of this whole “restaurant” thing?

12:30pm:  Luckily, food is quite good and it’s pretty cute inside.  Full writeup soon.

1:45pm:  Heading home again to have “date afternoon” with Richard.

2:30pm:  Head out to movie theatre to see The Dark Knight.

3:00pm:  Parking lot at Memorial City Mall is COMPLETELY full.  WTF, people?  It’s not like it’s tax-free weekend, for God’s sake.

3:30pm:  At Marq*E (or whatever ridiculous spelling) instead; parking lot slightly less full.

3:45pm:  All shows sold out for The Dark Knight except for one.  Snag those tickets!

4:00pm:  Killing time in Cafe Adobe with two Tecates and some queso before the movie.  This is way better than popcorn.

4:20pm:  Until I spill the cheese dip down the front of my shirt, that is.  Aaargh.

4:45pm:  In the theatre.  Previews starting!!!

5:00pm to 7:30pm:  Woman to my right talks the entire time.  Taking all my willpower NOT to slap her.  She is sounding out words on the screen as if it’s a Hooked On Phonics movie.  “Cat-AS-trop-hic?”  NOOOOOOO.  SHUT UP!!!!!!!

8:00pm:  Despite mongrel idiot woman beside me, The Dark Knight was awesome.  Richard is stunned into silence the entire ride home by just how good it was.

9:00pm:  Back home, watching trashy BBC documentary called “My Small Breasts and I.”  Despite lurid subject matter and grammatical farce of a title, it’s incredibly boring.  Women with small breasts, you are lucky!  Quit your complaining before I dispatch someone to slap some sense into you!

10:00pm:  Oh, God.  Do I really have to go back to work tomorrow?  Already???

You Cantu Please Everyone

I was barely watching The Early Show this morning as I got dressed for work.  I say “barely,” not only because it was just kind of on the background to provide some morning-type ambient noise, but also because The Early Show manages to do some of the dumbest segments on morning TV and I try to avoid watching them too closely for fear of rotting my brain.

Example: this morning, we saw their weatherman participating in a Red Bull Flugtag team event, which sounds fun except that the weatherman had worked himself up into a panicked frenzy that one would normally reserve for base jumping off the Petronas Towers, not for hopping about 15 feet into Tampa Bay.  It’s just exhausting.  Not even poor Harry Smith and his distinguished demeanor can maintain any semblance of mature news journalism on this show*.

This morning, however, I perked up when I heard that Homaro Cantu would be guest cheffing on the show.  How interesting!  Oh, but wait…  Maggie Rodriguez will be doing the segment?  Crap.

Maggie breathlessly expositioned before Cantu was introduced that he’s the reigning “king” of this baffling new technique called “molecular gastronomy.”  Oy vey.  The rest of the segment consisted of Maggie Rodriguez reticently trying Cantu’s liquid nitrogen sushi balls, barbeque-flavored edible paper and a “charcoal briquet” made of bread while attempting to smile politely throughout.

It was a hilarious contrast in temperaments: the “mad scientist” chef (I didn’t call him that, Maggie did) enthusiastically presenting his creations, while the fake-as-Lee-Press-On-nails anchor weaseled her way through each course with a wan smile, her attitude managing to whittle away Cantu’s enthusiasm in record time.  By the end of the segment, you could tell that each wanted nothing more than to just get the hell away from the other.

Hey.  Not everyone’s a foodie.  That’s okay.  But maybe next time, Cantu’s people and The Early Show people can both do better jobs of finding better fits for their prospective clients.  Banal morning TV programs catering to stay-at-home moms and retired Floridians really are no place for progressive chefs.

*Why do I watch this show if I clearly dislike it so much?  Because I’m too lazy to change the channel.  If it’s on, it’s on.

Tuesday Trivia

Don’t you ever just feel like a little snack sometimes?  Something that you know is bad for you, that sends you on a shameful guilt trip after you’ve eaten it, that holds no nutritional value, and that is probably made of “parts” or some form of partially-hydrogenated substances?  Then today’s Tuesday Trivia is for you.

This Tuesday’s round of questions is brought to you by this super-creepy original-recipe McDonald’s commercial:

I wouldn’t have bought a burger from that clown.


  1. What popular fast food chain, with locations throughout Houston, was founded in a small coastal town in Sinaloa, Mexico in 1975?
  2. Which fast food restaurant introduced the drive-through window in 1970, allowing you to gorge yourself on burgers without ever leaving the comfort of your wood-paneled station wagon?
  3. Which ancient civilization literally invented fast food, selling ready-to-eat meals from stalls in streets and markets?
  4. One out of every eight American workers has received a paycheck from which fast food restaurant?
  5. How much money do Americans spend on fast food every year?
  6. BONUS:  Which nation is the second-largest consumer of fast food after America?

Good luck, Fry Kids!  And watch out for the Hamburgler…  Answers on Thursday.

Batali and Bastianiches!

Attention Houston-area fans of Italian cuisine!

In case you weren’t already lining up outside Central Market, pup tent under one arm and dog-eared copies of Molto Italiano and The Babbo Cookbook under the other, Mario Batali, the great lion himself, and Joseph Bastianich (restauranteur, Batali’s partner in crime and son of the sainted Lidia Bastianich) will be greeting fans and autographing books this Thursday, May 1st from 2:30pm to 4:00pm at the Central Market at Westheimer and Weslayan.  For more information, check out Central Market’s website here.  Tickets can be picked up at the Guest Services desk, one per person.  Your ticket is good for you and one friend, so choose wisely.  According to Alison Cook, there are only a few tickets left, so hustle on over there!

If you’re in Dallas or Austin, and also want your chance to meet some Italian culinary legends, take heart: Joseph Bastianich and the patron saint of Italian food, Lidia Bastianich, (squee!!!) will also be at the Dallas Central Market on Friday, May 2nd for a meet-and-greet and book signing (contact store for more details on tickets and times at 214-509-9215).  Dallas foodies: I am so jealous of you right now.  That might be the only time you ever hear me say that, too, so note this for posterity.

Austinites won’t be able to meet Mario or Lidia, but will be treated to an event that I think is just as special: a wine class with Joseph Bastianich at the North Lamar location this Wednesday, April 30th from 6:30pm to 7:30pm.  Tickets are $20.00 per person, and I imagine the class will fill up pretty quickly (if it hasn’t already).  More details can be found here.  Bastianich will also be signing books that afternoon in the wine department, from 2:00pm to 4:00 pm.

Images courtesy of Wine Spectator and New York Magazine.