Archives for September 2009

Baby Step

There was no big overarching reason for my bloggy break. I just needed, well, a break. I’m working more right now than I have in several years, and between taking care of work stuff and going to soccer practice and getting back in the swing of church on Wednesday nights and cooking and laundry-ing and whathaveyou-ing, I was starting to feel a little bit like my eyeballs were going to jump out of their sockets so that they could take turns knocking out my teeth.

Or something like that.

The bottom line is that I felt out of balance and out of whack and out of sorts. So I decided a week away from the blog might be a very good thing indeed. And as much as I died a little bit inside when I wasn’t blogging about the season premiere of “The Office” (PARKOUR!), I’m glad I stuck with the break. Life feels much less stress-y now.

Now that the break is officially over – even though it never officially started because 1) I am not an official and 2) I rarely do anything officially except for DRIVING MYSELF CRAZY WITH THE SEMANTICS, I AM OFFICIALLY DRIVING MYSELF CRAZY WITH THE SEMANTICS – I planned to sit down tonight and tell you some of the funny-ish things that happened this past week.

(For example, Alex got a reading award and we let him pick anywhere he wanted for supper Friday night. ANYWHERE. I was all geared up for some chips and salsa and some sort of tortilla-esque substance filled with cheese – because clearly if he could pick any restaurant he wanted he would surely opt for Mexican food – and do you know where he picked? DO YOU KNOW? Arby’s. He picked Arby’s. THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE COKE PRODUCTS THERE.)

(MUCH LESS QUESO.)

(THE STUFF THEY PUT ON TOP OF THE BEEF ‘N CHEDDAR SANDWICHES DOESN’T COUNT EVEN A LITTLE BIT.)

But as it turns out I haven’t done very much “writing” tonight after all because after supper I got completely sidetracked by the Emmys, and then David and I talked about how rearranging the furniture in our bedroom (fyi: we rearranged the furniture in our bedroom this afternoon) makes it feel so much bigger, and then I remembered that I haven’t read my October Southern Living yet, and I really want to read it, and I’m going to do just that because I am always a fan of a new idea for a fall door wreath.

So there you have it. I have grazed my toe across two droplets of water that splashed up from the shallow end of the bloggy pool, and now I’m running back over to my lounge chair so that I can snuggle up with a magazine. And I think you’ll agree that using an analogy from the depths of summer when we’re mere hours away from fall reveals a staggering lack of creativity and innovation.

In other words: it’s business as usual around here! With the same level of sub-par content that you’ve grown to tolerate!

You’re welcome!

Please know that I’ve missed you terribly.

Bloggy Break

Real life beckons, so I’m gonna take a little bloggy break.

See y’all in a week or so!

p.s. There’s a delightful giveaway going on today over at AllAccess. Oh yes there is.

Pocket Man

I’ve noticed over the last couple of weeks that a certain six year-old has really developed a fondness for pockets.

Not just because he likes to put rocks and Star Wars action figures and fake money in them.

But because these days he likes to put his hands in his pockets. A lot.

Sometimes when he has his hands in his pockets he likes to rock back and forth on his heels a little bit.

Sometimes he likes to walk down the hall at a leisurely pace – no rush, no hurry, no worries.

Sometimes he just likes to stand.

And sometimes he likes to survey his surroundings.

But for whatever the reason, those long, skinny arms that seemed like they were all over the place when he was three, four, five – well, they’re more subdued. Instead of constantly being a threat to any lamp, wall hanging or breakable object within a ten foot radius, his arms sometimes stay by his side for five whole minutes in a row.

Because his hands are in his pockets.

And he looks like such a little man.

Winners. Finally.

Hiya.

If you entered the Christy Nockels “Life Light Up” CD giveaway last week, now is the time to find out whether or not you won.

That’s all.

Now do have a lovely evening.

Dogs And Rebels Living Together

Before I say anything else, I have to say this: there’s something very comforting about being the company of people who love dips as much as I do. I can’t help but feel that we should all stand in a circle and sing songs and then pass around a ginormous bag of Frito Scoops.

Which reminds me.

Our little family rang in the college football season this past weekend in Memphis at my brother’s house, where my sister-in-law kicked off the festivities (kicked off? get it? think I’m lame yet?) with some classic Rotel dip. It was so stinkin’ good, and at one point I think I actually PICKED UP THE BOWL and scraped around the edge with my chip.

You know how some people can’t bear to see a drop of water go to waste? I feel that way about cheese.

It was so fun to be able to watch the Mississippi State game with the family unit. Sister and I yelled like crazy (it is RIGHT and GOOD that we were able to be together for State’s first game), and the Bulldogs were victorious. Plus, we had a small staff of people checking the scores of other games during commercial breaks.

I know. I KNOW. Sister decided that we should call the den “the press box.” And don’t you think that the cat looks like she wants a laptop of her own? Maybe a tiny little chicken-scented one?

Anyway, considering that the Memphis branch of the family cheers for Ole Miss and the Birmingham and Nashville branches cheer for the Bulldogs, there was potential for a wee bit of SEC tension in the house. But I have to say: we did remarkably well. Even the children had a spirit of cooperation and unity.

Warms the heart, doesn’t it?

After the game we went out for a lovely dinner to celebrate Sister’s birthday, and LO AND BEHOLD our table was next to a TV that was showing the Alabama / Virginia Tech game. I didn’t watch much of it, but just knowing it was there was a soothing balm to my soul. By the time we got home from dinner the LSU game was on, and I actually fell asleep while I was watching the Tigers play.

So, you know, it was pretty much a perfect Saturday.

Now.

Pretend like there’s some sort of segue’ here.

Sometime in the next couple of days Melanie and I are going to record a podcast. And as many of you know, we like to plan our podcasts several minutes in advance and have been known to record two and sometimes even four podcasts over the course of an entire year. We like to think of ourselves as the semi-annual white sale of podcasting, only without the predictable schedule and high thread counts.

All that to say: if the eight of you who listen have any questions or topics that you’d like for us to answer or address when we record our new podcast this week, feel free to ask away in the comments. And if nobody has questions, that is totally fine. We’ll just talk about what we always talk about: college football and TV. And also our hair.

Hope y’all have a great Wednesday!

p.s. I’ll post the Christy Nockels giveaway winners later today…I haven’t forgotten!

DipTacular 2009

Well, I think we can all agree that it’s a glorious time of year. In addition to the fact that fall is just around the corner and September is blessedly, unseasonably cool so far, college football is now underway. In fact, as I’m writing this post Boise State and Oregon are playing on ESPN, and even thought I am always a wee bit puzzled by Boise State’s blue football field, I am TICKLED TO PIECES to see them on my TV screen tonight.

Because where college football leads, dips will most always follow.

Hallelujah. Give the Lord a handclap of praise.

I don’t think I’ve ever – EVER – met a dip that I didn’t like, and as far as I’m concerned there’s no more perfect gameday menu than about four or five dips and an assortment of chips. And I think it goes without saying that at least one of those bag-o-chips needs to be Fritos.

I adore a Frito.

Anyway, whenever my beloved Mississippi State Bulldogs play a televised game, you can rest assured that a couple of things will be happening in our house: 1) I will be vacuuming, because I get very, VERY nervous when the Bulldogs play and there’s something about vacuuming that soothes my nerves, not to mention that all my yelling isn’t nearly as obnoxious when the vacuum drowns it out and 2) I will be eating cheese dip. Well, and 3) I will be drinking diet Coke over ice.

And 4) I will be calling my sister at least 5 or 20 times.

We’re sort of enthusiastic about our Bulldogs around here.

So in the spirit of fall and football season and fun times with family and friends, here are a few dips that I love to make for college gamedays.

Caramelized Onion Dip
from Come On In

1 tablespoon REAL butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large red onion, quartered, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup REAL mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Saute’ onion in butter and oil until caramelized (takes about 15-20 minutes). Cool and combine with remaining ingredients. Mix well and chill for at least 1 hour. Serve with chips or crackers – or both if you’re feeling crazy. Serves 6.

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Asian Style Dip
from Epicurious

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespooon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Combine first 11 ingredients in a small bowl; whisk to blend.

Cover and refrigerate. Serve with assorted cut-up vegetables (carrots, red bell peppers, sugar snap peas, cucumber, broccoli – whatever you like). Serves 6.

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And finally, I’ve posted this recipe before, but OH MY WORD it bears repeating, mainly because it will change your life forever.

White Rotel Dip
from my sister-in-law Janie

3 packages of pork sausage (mild or spicy is fine – but use at least 1 maple-flavored)
4 packages of cream cheese
2 cans of Rotel tomatoes

Brown sausage and drain. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients and heat until cheese is melted, being careful to stir often.

Serve with tortilla chips. And as I said the first time I posted it, if you’re worried about eating cream cheese AND sausage in the same dish, don’t worry because the tomatoes are TOTALLY healthy, and therefore you’ll be just fine.

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I hope y’all have a great time looking through all the recipes today – I cannot WAIT to find some cheese-laden treasures. And remember: when you add your post to the Mr. Linky, please link to your specific post – not your general blog URL.

Happy DipTacular, y’all!