Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Date with Virginia

She said I was adorable and then she fed me! 

This kind of thing just doesn't happen every day - being called adorable and then having a fabulous chef prepare a delicious meal....all for me!

FOR. ME.  
This is a big deal, my peeps. 

Back in July of 2011 I rediscovered BlogHer and opened myself up to a whole bucketload of friendships. I've come to know, and adore, a great number of bloggers that truly inspire me to keep writing in the hopes of achieving their level of brilliance. I also have a list of bloggers that I'd love to meet, in the flesh, so they can tell me their stories over a glass (a.k.a. bottle) of wine. (don't worry, I'll bring a bottle for them too).
Well yesterday it happened. 
I met Virginia, of HomeRearedChef, at her home ( a mere 15ish minutes via freeway). Did I mention that she also creates recipes for The Examiner? Uh-huh...she do and boy howdy, can this woman toss a salad!

Now, Virginia and I have a mutual bloggy friend named Melanie (of IsThisTheMiddle), who expressed a desire to tag along, but there was this little issue of her being a whole continent away.

How does one solve that dilemma?

You may be wondering why my stick Melanie is wearing a pink sweater? That's because of a blog post she wrote, which I thought would be easier to find and link to, but I can't find it. Anyhow, the sweater story stuck in my memory. At least, I hope it was Melanie that wrote the post. Boy, that would be embarrassing if were someone else.

And you may be wondering why she is nekkid from the sweater down.

That's because when I asked Stick Melanie if she preferred pants or skirts she wouldn't answer me...probably because she's a paper stick, nekkid it was.

Anyway, sticks are very hard to fit properly. And, well...if we can't run around half nekkid to visit friends in our real lives, we should at least let our virtual stick selves do it - living vicariously, if you will. Plus, it's just cooler. I'm typing this half nekkid right now (not really)(but I wish I was)(you're welcome family).
So, Stick Melanie and I went to visit Virginia!

We arrived to an extremely warm greeting! Virginia gives good hug. Stick Melanie declined as she feared being crumpled.

Then Virginia did something that will forever cement her friendship in my heart...she poured me a glass of wine. It was past noon, people...s'o.k.

Guess who was Johnny On The Spot when the wine started to flow?

Stick Melanie wasn't so worried about wine droplets apparently...

I got a tour of the garden, which lead to tomato envy - Virginia has lovely tomatoes. (you, with the gutter mind...stop it).

Speaking of tomatoes...lunch was a salad that, had y'all been there with us, would have sent you into  gastronomical ecstasy.

Here...look for yourself!

(I know, it's blurry...I might have been a little anxious to get eatin')

There is no possible way to do this salad justice, I'll tell you what's in it and then you can proceed to bubble with envy. It had:
 homegrown lettuce (yes, you heard me right)
 hard boiled egg
 BBQ'd shrimp (oh...the've no idea, like yum on steroids kind of yum)
 a crumbly Mexican cheese
 other stuff crumbled on top
and then a citrus dressing that I refrained from drinking out of the container
because, you just don't do that sort of thing the first time you go to some one's house
I'm not THAT uncouth
 (yes I am)
(I waited until her back was turned)
(nah, I'm kidding)

I learned something about myself that afternoon - I do NOT have the power of mental manipulation! Because, after finishing my meal I tried a little mind control to make Virgina excuse herself to go to the bathroom,so that I could lick the plate.

It didn't work.


I only have so much self control in me, so all bets are off next visit (don't tell Virginia, or she might not invite me's our little secret).

There was much chewing and chatting - it was an absolutely wonderful experience to connect with someone that I've read so much about (via her blog). Every great thing you imagine about her is amplified in person: she has nothing but kind words, she's an attentive host, she has a radiant smile and her home felt like...well...home. If I promise NOT to lick the plates, will you invite me back? I swear I'll behave (that's a lie, I probably won't).

Fear not! Our visit isn't over yet...there's more!

Hey, you! Wipe your're drooling! 
Oh, wait...that's me. have NO idea, like none...on how awesome this was.

Orange cream floats. With. Frangelico.

I know, right!?!?!?!

The hooch hits the table and then *BAM*, like lightening, look who shows up....

I can't say I blame Melanie...this was an impossible dessert to pass up. I was this close to asking her to just pour the Frangelico right into the ice cream carton and pass me a spoon....but again, not first lunch date type of behavior (rules are stupid).

As with all good things, our date had to end. Virginia said her good-bye to Stick Melanie by pointing out that she should really consider some pants...and perhaps to shave her legs.

(for realsies, would have been awesome to have you there...regardless of personal hygiene habits)

And I said my good bye with a hug...

And then all my chins and I left. 

I really cannot thank her enough for opening her home to me and making my visit so wonderful. She is such a nice lady, a great friend, and I hope that she finishes her projects and comes back to BlogHer again soon to regal us with her wit and wisdom!

We all love you, Virgina!

So...who's next? 

p.s. The idea for Stick Melanie belongs to Melanie herself! I merely drew it.


  1. What an awesome day for you ladies! I love the picture of you two! So sweet. BlogHer's rule! :)

    1. BlogHer bloggers are just awesome! It was such a lovely date. ;-)

  2. WOOO HOOO! How fun is that?! And yes, I'm now drooling over those orange cream floats.

    Also, so very cool that you thought to include Ms. Melanie on your visit.

    1. I was so surprised at how well the Frangelico worked with the orange cream...surprisingly well! I must confess that the stick Melanie was all her idea! I should post a disclaimer and credit her!

  3. This. Is. Awesome. I am jealous. Very jealous.

  4. That is a beautiful photo of the two of you! And I am so jealous you got to devour one of her delicious meals! It is all very awesome!

    1. Thank you! I really feel that a true chef, one with talent, can throw together a collection of food items and have it turn out delicious. The toppings she put on there were not things I would have thought to do, but wow...I'm not all worked so very well. I'm still savoring it!

  5. Very funny, witty and QUIRKY (remember, I love quirky people.)
    VERY hard to read when your name is melanie as well AND you want to be there too.

    My pressing question is did it seem like you already knew Virginia . Were you both who you expected or was a "in the flesh" meeting strange at first

    1. I bet that is awkward! Hahaha...well, you can always imagine it is you. ;-)

      And, yes. Virginia is Virginia...she is who she seems to be on-line. I'm probably guilty of talking too much, which I don't always do...but her home is so comfortable and she is so welcoming, that you just don't feel as if there is a "get acquainted" period. It may have been her, but I felt comfortable right away. She's great, really.

  6. Anonymous12:36 PM

    Melissa was the perfect guest: friendly, bubbly, absolutely ADORABLE(!), and an unbelievable conversationalist. There was never an awkward moment or gaps to fill in, just because! She was not what I expected, however. And what did I expect, well, I don't know, but the person I met I can now call my REAL Amiga!

    By the way, that crumbly cheese was Cotija. And the homemade vinaigrette was made with a 20-year-old balsamic vinegar and orange marmalade made with oranges from Seville, Spain.

    Is it improper for me to say that my salad was delish? Well, it was! :)

    Thank you for giving me some of your time, Melissa, because I would love to spend more time with you. Next time, we are having fresh pasta with crab, and a cream sherry and brandy sauce. And perhaps a Grand Marnier souffle for a grand finish!

    Love, hugs, and blessings to you!

    1. Proper women rarely make history! ;-) Thank you for your kind words...and I can already taste the pasta and sauce and crab and dessert. Mmmm

  7. Awesome!!!! Looks delish and oh so fun! :)