blogger of the month

Firsts and Lasts with Rachel from Rachel’s Table

Food — damn, how I love food. Cooking — damn, how I suck at cooking. But I don’t have to worry, I simply have to visit the red hot food blog, Rachel’s Table and steal all of her recipes.

Like this divine bacon and garlic scapes one. If only I could convince her to become my personal chef.
Like this divine bacon and garlic scapes one. If only I could convince her to become my personal chef.

Rachel, or Rachey-Pooh, or RP — as I affectionately call her — is the master of not only cooking, but good writing (she was Freshly Pressed). Her recipes showcase locally grown, healthy whole foods.

And she managed to scarf down the world’s hottest peppers without blinking an eye. Well, she did tear up a bit. Okay, she might have exploded into flames at one point. But she is the self-proclaimed winner of the Peppermeister Roulette challenge. You owe it to yourself to watch this vlog because she dropped it like it’s hot.

Now it’s time to interrogate one of my fave bloggers with some heavy questions about her personal life. I like to dig deep, exposing any and all flaws so I’ll feel better about myself.

For example, after a little investigating, I unearthed this gem…


So please give a spicy, red hot July welcome to my Blogger of the Month,

Rachel of Rachel’s Table!

Blog Post: I started my blog, Rachel’s Table, in order to learn more about local food options in my area – I try to eat foods grown or raised within 100 miles of my front door (or at least from the Mid-Atlantic region). I’m not always successful, because I haven’t figured out how to grow an avocado in this climate and the deed restrictions in my townhouse community prohibit backyard distilleries.

Kiss: The year was 1986, the boy was Neil. He had blond, buzzed hair and dreamy brown eyes. I modeled this kiss after all the soap opera kisses and movie kisses I’d ever seen – which means I just moved my head around a lot and closed my eyes. He said, “Why are you moving your head like that?” It was magical.

As magical as THIS kiss, Rachel?
As magical as THIS kiss, Rachel?

Love: When I was fourteen, I fell hard for one of my older brother’s friends – Mark. He was a senior and I was a freshman, so you can imagine my surprise when he asked me to Prom. I wore a peach dress covered in lace, had a bowl haircut, and was the happiest girl alive. About a month later, he broke up with me to date Tammy, a senior with the biggest, most magnificent hair around. I cried so hard my eye lids swelled shut and covered my face with a notebook every time I saw him at school. Somehow I still think about him with fondness – I loved him with everything that was in my fourteen-year-old heart.

Childhood Memory: On the first day of kindergarten, I hid from my parents by climbing into the oven of my kitchen play set. I was SURE I would never have to go to school if no one could find me. My parents were not outwitted, so off to school I went where I played Dukes of Hazzard underneath the tables with Timmy Morgan.

Moment I met my significant other: I met Mr. Rache when I was 12 and he was 6. He was my little brother’s best friend and would come to our house to play video games while wearing basketball shorts and no shirt. I had no tolerance for him in my tween years.

Who wouldn't love a kid in aviators?
Mr. Rache in kindergarten – who wouldn’t love a kid in aviators?

Fast forward twenty years and I’m back in my childhood hometown, where he still lived. We connected on Facebook first and exchanged witty banter via private message. When we finally met (again) for the first time, we saw a movie, stayed up all night talking, went to breakfast, and walked in the park. We got married exactly one year later.

Possession I would take if my house were on fire: My cats Willow and Zuzu, of course.

Job I had: My first “real” job was at my college library. I answered questions, helped students with the card catalog (I’m old) and counted stacks, which means I went down rows making sure all the Dewey decimals were in the right order. There’s no greater thrill than finding a book out of order and putting it in its rightful place.


Time I got pulled over by a cop: So one of the first times I had dealings with a cop was because I hit a drunk guy. Not with my fists – with my car. Let me set the scene: Eight lanes of traffic, divided in half by a median. I’m making a U-turn, drunk guy walks out of Hooter’s and stands on the median. He looks like he’s staying put (and at the time, I didn’t know he was drunk) so I continue my U-turn. Just as I’m speeding up, he starts walking. I slam on my breaks too late. The car slides, drunk guy bounces off the front bumper, and I grip the steering wheel in horrified disbelief. I get out of the car, someone calls 911, two salesmen from a nearby car dealership comfort me by saying, “Don’t be upset. He’s just an old drunk guy. This happens all the time on this road. I think he’s homeless.” That did NOT make me feel better as drunk guy attempted to stand up, then fell down – several times. Later that night, the cop taking care of the incident called me to report that drunk guy was unscathed, because he was “drunk out of his mind” when I hit him. “He went down like he didn’t have any bones.”

Blog Post: In Food Snobs Anonymous, I wrote about boring a friend to death while talking about cubing meat, and how in that conversation I realized I’m a food snob. While the masses may call me a food snob, I say I have food values. I’m starting a club. Food Snobs. Named and Known. Click here if you want to join!

Thing I cooked: Shrimp and Fava Beans – both local, of course.


Song I listened to: That would be all the songs Counting Crows and The Wallflowers performed at a concert in Atlantic City last night. (90’s music rocks!)

Book I read: I would like to say it was something classy and academic like War and Peace, but it was Anthony Bourdain’s Medium Raw. I love me some Tony. [editor’s note: She does. See above photo.]

Reality TV show I watched: Chopped. It’s the only food competition I really appreciate. I tried to watch The Taste, because Tony was a host. I can’t believe he put his name on that drivel. It was horrifying.

Person I kissed: That would be Mr. Rache.


Time I laughed hysterically: Yesterday when Mr. Rache got dressed, he asked if he should wear plaid shorts with a certain shirt and then put a hat on, too. I said, “Sure. If you want to look stupid.” For some reason, we both laughed hysterically. [editor’s note: I would have laughed, too.]

Time I swore like a sailor: Yesterday afternoon while doing Insanity. Damn you, Shaun T!

Embarrassing moment: Yesterday while doing Insanity. Do I need to explain? [editor’s note: Maybe I can help.]


Good deed I did: I picked my friend up and gave her a ride to work today, if that counts. She bought me coffee, so it wasn’t completely selfless.

Indulgence: I probably indulge too much, but right now I’m doing this Insanity thing and eating only lean proteins and veggies. I just ate sautéed rainbow chard and two eggs for breakfast. So I’m due for an indulgence, but I’m saving it for this weekend when I will eat all the seafood and all the pizza while on a mini-vacation to my home state of Massachusetts.


Thanks, Rache! Be sure to visit her blog and all the other fantastic bloggers I’ve interviewed for my Bloggers of the Month.

blogger of the month

Firsts and Lasts with Go Jules Go

Today I woke up and realized, holy guacamole, it’s May? But I still haven’t cleaned up all the confetti and empty gin bottles from New Year’s Day! Someone really ought to do something about this relentless passage of time because it’s getting to be a huge buzzkill.

But then I realized something else…

It’s Blogger of the Month time again!

So I can introduce you all to:

Jules from the beloved and most mustachiest blog:

Go Jules Go

Her blog has chipmunks, Uncle Jesse, giveaways, dreams of polygamy and epic vlogs. She’s been Freshly Pressed numerous times and is a WordPress Featured Humor Blogger. Plus she’s warm, witty, and probably the sweetest blogger I’ve ever met (we’ve had many marathon phone convos, so you can trust me on that one).

So put on your mustache glasses, raise a glass of pink champagne and indulge in another juicy Firsts and Lasts Interview with Jules!


Don't you carve your dog playing Uno on a pumpkin for Halloween?
Didn’t you carve your dog playing Uno on a pumpkin for Halloween?

Blog Post: Have Mercy, a post about my Australian Labradoodle, Uncle Jesse, in whom I have a mild interest.

Kiss: Evan. I was 7, and we hid under a table in a YMCA playroom, while our moms Jazzercized their troubles away. We held our breath and pushed our mouths together for as long as we could stand to. His lips were like sandpaper.

Pretty sure Evan’s gay now. Surprisingly, I’m not.

Can you blame me?
Oh, Doogie. You make suspension of disbelief look so cute.

Love: Doogie Howser. I’ve always liked gay smart guys.

Psst: FINE. You can read about my real first love here.

Childhood Memory: I was 2, and at my grandparents’ house. I was left upstairs in a crib with pastel-colored bars. I was very upset and felt abadoned. Everyone else was downstairs.

Sure. Just leave me here. I'll be fine.
Sure. Leave me here. I’ll be just fine.

The only reason I remember something from that age is because I saw a picture of the crib years later, and the memory came flooding back.

I’ve done my best to wipe out my abandonment issues memory since then. Cheers!

Moment I met my significant other: Which one? Heh.

Behind every great blogger, there's a chili-head.
Behind every great blogger, there’s a chile-head.

I actually first laid eyes on Husband #1, Peppermeister, when I was 18, in an Intro to Radio class that I dropped shortly thereafter. A year and a half later, we worked together at a school for kids with autism – I recognized him right away.

It took another year and a half, and precisely 5 gin and tonics, for me to molest him make a move.

Possession I would take with me if my house were on fire: Anything Uncle Jesse asks for. Also Uncle Jesse.

In all seriousness, my first thought always goes to “photo albums.”

Time I was pulled over by a cop: Are you mocking me, Darla? [Editor’s note: Never.] You know I just got pulled over recently because my headlights were out…both…of them. The first time (out of 3 times, for those of you keeping score) was shortly after I got my license, and was sitting in a busy intersection, waiting to make a left turn. I had to wait until the light was nearly red before the oncoming traffic stopped and I could make my left – a common occurence, at least here in New Jersey.

My sister may look nice, but she's a real bitch.
My sister may look nice, but she’s a real bitch.

A cop -in an unmarked car and business suit, I might add- pulled me over for that! Bullcrap! I was in tears; didn’t get a ticket (1 ticket out of 3 times being pulled over, thankyouverymuch), but my sister saw me and mocked me mercilessly.

Job I had: Informally: Babysitting. My neighbors trusted me with 3 girls under the age of 5, including an infant, when I was 11. Because that’s how I roll.

You say "You dressed like Amelia Bedelia for a book signing" like it's a bad thing...
You say “You dressed like Amelia Bedelia for a book signing” like it’s a bad thing…

Formally: An indepedent bookstore, when I was 16. It was awesome. I got to open the store by myself and everything. Never got to read on the job, though, which is what everyone thought.

Thing I think God will say to me at the pearly gates: “Are you sure you wouldn’t feel more comfortable downstairs?”


Blog Post: A Birthday Serenade.

Chyeah. I know.
Chyeah. I know.

Meal I cooked: Spicy turkey bacon meatloaf.

Movie I saw: Zero Dark Thirty. FINALLY. I guess it was okay. (I’m kidding. It was very good. Did they really waterboard that actor? They must have. I’m kind of obsessed with how actors get booked for torture scenes now.)

Song I listened to: “Too Close” by Alex Clare. Peppermeister and I recorded a cover for my blog, which is totally a piece of cake and not at all scary and I really recommend it. Maybe next I’ll try Whitney Houston or opera.

Reality TV show I watched: The Voice. Two words: Adam. Levine.


Time I cried: Yesterday. I realized I was 31. 

Time I laughed hysterically: Today. My friends know how to make some funny-ass memes.

Time I told a little white lie: This morning, to myself in the mirror: “No one’s going to be looking at you from the back.”

Time I did something really scary: April was riddled with scary things and the doing of said things. I was in the midst of an intense job interview process, working on the aforementioned song to post on my blog, flying to Texas (Texas!) for a wedding, and more (oh my!)!

Unbelievable things always happen at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Unbelievable things happen to me at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Click for more evidence.

Time I swore like a sailor: Every time I talk to my girlfriends on Facebook. It’s like a f*cking disease.

Good deed I did: I let two nuns give me their coupons at Bed, Bath & Beyond the other day. It made them really happy. Amen.

Indulgence: RIGHT NOW, reading comments about how much you loved this interview.