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Vegas Part 2!

7 Nov

I visited two other Walgreens in Vegas.  One was further south on the strip — across from the Monte Carlo.  It was really similar to the one next to the Venetian, only older and slightly shabbier.  But like the other one on the strip it had a BUNCH of clothes.  No luggage or cute hats though.  But it did have sushi.  So 2 Walgreens that carry sushi so far.

I also visited the one on Fremont Street was just like every other store on Fremont Street.  It was mostly souvenir shot glasses and t-shirts, though it also had Tylenol and Imodium.  No sushi at the Fremont store.  It did have more pantry type foods than the stores on the strip, like pasta and rice and Stove Top stuffing.  I guess maybe there are more people that live near Fremont Street?  It’d be sad if many people lived actually at one of the really cheap hotels near there and just had a hot plate and lived off pasta from the Walgreens.  Wow.  That’s a really depressing thought.  I totally just bummed myself out. 😦

Also went to a Walgreens in Flagstaff that I think was fairly close to NAU (maybe not.  There’s no particular reason to trust my Flagstaff geography knowledge) and it was as worn and dingy as the store that’s right next to UNM.  So at least Walgreens doesn’t play favorites with its student-ghetto stores.  Louie the Lumberjack gets the same treatment as Louie the Lobo.  But weird that they’re both named Louie, right?

Finally, unrelated to Walgreens, but a tip from me to my readers: Halloween on the Las Vegas Strip was kinda lame.  Nobody was into it.  Like only 10 percent of the people there were dressed up and everybody was taking themselves very seriously. Who knew?  But Halloween on Fremont Street was AMAZING! People were in super fun, crazy costumes and it was just all one big party.  So, if you find yourself in Las Vegas on Halloween go to Fremont Street.



Things I’m Gonna Do When I’m Done With This Project

17 Oct

1. Make French onion soup.  From scratch for reals. Like even making the beef stock from some cow bones, water, and mirepoix.

2.  Take, like, I dunno, $40 into a thrift store and just spend it all on random stuff. (I guess I haven’t kicked the stuff-buying habit completely.)

3.  Buy new Joshilyn Jackson novel.

4. Buy pre-1950 Nancy Drew novel.

5. Buy Adam Carolla’s book.  Or at least go to the bookstore and decide if it’s a book I need to own.

6. Buy a good Hermione wand.  I like dressing up as Hermione for Halloween, but I need a wand. And the wands they sell at the costume shops are lame, so hopefully the bookstores will be selling Hermione wands with the new Harry Potter movie coming out. And it’ll be convenient since I’m already going to be at a bookstore for the aforementioned purchases.

7.  Buy some new pants.  I need pants.  I suppose I could take care of this as a part of item #2.

8. Go to the grocery store everyday just to buy some sort of perishable produce-type foods and consume them.  And by the way, the gas station near my house sells bananas and apples individually for snacks.  Why can’t Walgreens do that?

One thing I don’t need to buy?  Egg Nog!  Because my awesome mom bought me some of that Creamland Halloween Goblin Nog this week!  Awesome!  So I’ve been drinking Mandy’s Holiday Cocktail* regularly.  By the way, my mom will be annoyed that I’ve been using the egg nog she bought me as a mixer with bourbon.


*Mandy’s Holiday Cocktail Recipe

Egg Nog



Ratios to be determined by viscosity/sweetness/drunkeness preferences at the time.  Note: beware of curdling.


10 Oct

I’ve made a point over the past few months to make real food with ingredients from Walgreens.  Breakfast was the easiest.  They have eggs, bacon, and English muffins.  What more do you need?  (Answer: Hash browns–but I guess you can live without them).  I’ve also been doing pasta with either some sundried tomatoes I had, or with garlic and the fresh tomatoes and basil I was growing.  And then there was those really good BLT’s I was making a few weeks ago.  Oh, and this, like, Thai-inspired peanut sauce on pasta that I used the leftover peanuts from McDonald’s sundaes on.  Because I don’t want peanuts on my sundae, but it seems wasteful to throw perfectly good food away.  Anyway, all this real food I’ve been making?  I am so tired of all of it.  All Of It.  I’m so glad to be done in 5 weeks.

I’m really looking forward to buying good bread.  And King Arthur Flour.  And cake flour.  Oh, and good cheese.  They have a cheddar cheese at Walgreens but, well, it has a plastic-y, Velveeta quality to it.  I mean, it’s definitely cheddar cheese but it’s definitely not some kind of artisanal mammoth cheddar.

I think I’m gonna cook for myself far more often after the project is over than I did before it began.  Because it’s one thing to get to go food and to eat at work because it’s easy and it’s what I wanna do.  It’s quite another when I don’t cook because I can’t buy real groceries.  I guess “can’t” isn’t really the word, but you know what I mean.

What I Don’t Eat at Walgreens

20 Sep

The past few times I mentioned this project to any male person, the response I’ve  received is “you must be eating a lot of frozen pizza.”  I’ve actually yet to have any frozen pizza since this began. The DiGirono frozen pizza costs six bucks. Domino’s has been running a $5.99 for a carryout order of a two-topping, medium pizza most of the summer.  Why would I eat frozen pizza if I can get a hot pizza that was baked in an oven that probably gets to 600 degrees or better?  Yeah, the frozen pizza is probably bigger for the same price, but I live alone.  I don’t want to eat 2-day old frozen pizza, so I don’t need a pizza that big.

I also haven’t eaten any frozen Stouffer’s or Marie Callender’s dinners either.  And I certainly haven’t had any of the P.F. Chang’s frozen dinners.  Why pay $8 bucks for a P.F. Chang’s frozen dinner when I can get a cooked dinner at Pei Wei for $7.50?  And it’s the same company.  Also no frozen burritos, shrimp bowls, Hot Pockets, Lean Pockets, White Castle Burgers, pot pies, or Lean Cuisine meals. Surprisingly, I also don’t really eat that much tuna.

I’ve been loving making sandwiches using an English muffin as the bread.  Like a breakfast sandwich with an egg and bacon and cheese.  It’s kinda like an Egg McMuffin but more delicious.  And I made this fantastic BLT the other day.  SO good.

I was pretty proud of myself for that sandwich.

My Defeat

18 Sep

I didn’t win anything in the pie contest.  I’d never entered before, and it turns out that the judges are obsessed with crusts that are a golden brown color.  Even the part of the crust that is underneath the pie filling is supposed to be golden brown.  And oddly, delicious didn’t seem to enter anywhere in to their judging.  See, they’d give an explanation of why pies placed where they did, and not once did I hear the word “delicious.”  I myself believe delicious to be the whole very point of pie.  And I could certainly get a crust golden brown using some Alton Brown-esque kitchen shenanigans, but it has never occurred to me at any point in the whole of my life to want a uniformly golden brown pie crust.  I myself love when the crust and filling kinda are melding together on that last piece of chocolate cream pie in the pie plate. Mmmmmm.  I mean, the top and sides could be brown-ish, sure, but the bottom? And it’s funny because in the two very recently published pie crust recipes that I looked at, it was clear that the goal was to get the crust, even the top of the crust (the one that ends up inside the pie) golden brown, and I thought to myself “Man!  These ladies have flat lost their goddamn minds!” But I guess they haven’t; it’s just the new trend in pie baking.  Weird.

BUT!  I did get an honorable mention for presentation!  I baked my pie in a cute little skillet.  Not on purpose.  I had run out of pie tins and noticed that my medium-sized iron skillet that I had bought in a pack of three skillets about a million ( or maybe 8 ) years ago was almost the exact same size as a pie tin!  The skillet pie was actually my backup pie, and it was good that I had a backup.  Because I burned the crap out of the first pie.  See, in my life, once a year I have to learn the lesson of “don’t get distracted when you’ve got something under the broiler”.  I suppose it’s good that I relearned this lesson now instead of on Thanksgiving like how I did last year.

So I might enter the contest next year because I know the criteria for a New Mexico State Fair Award Winning Pie, but I’m not sure I want to.  I’m not terribly interested in a pie contest that’s not about delicious.  It’d be like entering a writing contest where the judging was based mainly on interesting use of semi-colons.  What the hell kind of contest is that?  I think next year I’ll make sure to enter a pie at the Pietown Pie Festival.  Their judging seemed to be more subjective and less technical.

Oh yeah, and I entered a pie contest where everything I bought*** for the pies came from Walgreens!

The cute pie and the burned pie


*** My mom gave me some Karo syrup, and Zanney gave me some dark brown sugar, but the things that I myself purchased were from Walgreens  😉

Walgreens actually does carry stuff like Karo syrup around the holidays.  Just not in the middle of September.

Pie Update!

2 Sep

So I was super excited today when I checked the Walgreens website and I was able to search for which stores were carrying the pumpkin pies!

Hurray Walgreens!

Then I checked those stores.  No pies.


Ok, actually it’s not that big a deal because the craving for pumpkin pie subsided substantially.  But still, I checked like 3 stores that were supposed to carry them.  Now, I didn’t really do that much driving because they were all either close to, or on the way home from, the restaurant where I had dinner.  Because Walgreens locations are as omnipresent as Starbucks locations were a few years ago.  But none of the locations that were supposed to have them did.  And I finally asked about them at the last store, and the employee asked his manager, and she said they’d been discontinued.  Boo!

I kinda wouldn’t be surprised though if they were just a seasonal item that either is about to be received by the stores that were listed, or has been received and just hasn’t been put on the shelves yet.  Who knows?  I guess we’ll find out.  And by that time I will be totally over it.

And this morning I was so sure I’d be writing a blog about the great Walgreens triumph, and how they really do carry everything you might ever need.  Alas.


2 Sep

So everything was going along great, and this project was getting easy, but then I had this crazy craving for pumpkin pie today.  It’s too early for pumpkin pie to be sold at any bakery or whatever.  And it’s too early for Walgreens to carry the stuff to make pumpkin pie.  I have seen pumpkin pie stuff around the holidays, but not this early.  Apparently September 1st doesn’t make everybody start craving fall foods.  It’s been quite a dilemma.  I want pumpkin pie way more than I’ve wanted to buy some new shoes or fresh produce.


Oh my gosh!  I just checked and searched for pumpkin, and it said that they do carry Mrs. Smith’s frozen pumpkin pie!  Oh heavenly!

Unfortunately there was a system error so I can’t find out which locations are carrying it.  Blast!  So tomorrow I know what I’ll be doing all day.

Also, the search for “pumpkin” found this too:How cute is that?  It’s a super cute costume, but I also love how the dog looks embarrassed and irritated to be wearing it.  Dogs are the best!

Oh, and I’ll post an update tomorrow about how the great pumpkin pie search went.

The Beautiful Dream

16 Aug

I had this fantastic dream last night that I went to a Walgreens that I hadn’t been to before, and it had a high-end deli section.  One section that was chock full of imported cheeses and dry-cured meats.  I was super excited.  I think I had this dream because my friend Cheryl told me (or actually told my parents to tell me) of an NPR story she heard about Walgreens and the city of Chicago coming up with a plan for the drug store to carry fresh produce and stuff.  It’s part of an effort to eliminate food deserts in inner-city areas.  And I think it’s funny that some part of my subconscious mind thinks that Chicago politicians would be worried about low-income families that don’t have a reliable source of gruyere and pecorino romano.

P.S.  Dear Walgreens, FYI there are a couple of Walgreens locations in Albuquerque neighborhoods that don’t have a  grocery store super close-by.  So, ya know, feel free to start carrying produce at one of those. Or, better yet, fly me to Chicago to shop at one of the perishable-food carrying stores there!  😀