Archives for August 2012

DipTacular 2012

Now I am well aware that there may not be very many of us who participate in Ye Olde DipTacular this year, primarily because I gave y’all approximately, oh, four minutes to get recipes together. But I decided that I’d go ahead and put up the post and link because the truth of the matter is that any new dip recipe has the potential to bring sunshine and joy into our lives. And if we happen to find five or maybe even ten new recipes, then that is just gravy. Or an extra cup of grated cheese goodness, as it were.

My favorite new-to-me dip is one that I mentioned here recently. It’s called Swiss Almond Dip, and it’s about sixteen kinds of delicious.

Swiss Almond Dip
from my next door neighbor

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 green onions, chopped
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg
8 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Swiss cheese, pepper, and the extremely optional nutmeg. Gently stir in chopped green onions. Transfer to small ovenproof glass dish. Sprinkle 1/2 of the almonds on top. Bake for 7 minutes. Stir, and bake for an additional 8 minutes. Sprinkle remaining almonds on top, and serve.

Blue Cheese Avocado Dip
from Come On In

2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 avocados, peeled and pitted
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

Combine onion, avocados, and lemon juice in food processor. Blend with sour cream, cheese, salt, and pepper. Chill 1 hour. Season to taste and serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

There are also a couple of dip recipes that I cannot wait to try. I found them on Pinterest, and they look absolutely delicious.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Caprese Pizza Dip

All righty, dip fans. Add a link to a blog post with your recipes (please link to the specific post, not just to your general URL). Can’t wait to see (and try) your recipes!

Anybody Interested…

…in a little impromptu DipTacular tomorrow?

It’s spur of the moment, I know, but that’s sort of the way my week has gone. I’m still trying to get back in the swing of balancing my work schedule with the little guy’s school schedule with a cooking-some-food-for-my-people schedule with an I-have-some-writing-to-do schedule with a visiting with my husband schedule with a Real Housewives of New York schedule.

I hope to have this tricky balance perfected by some time in early 2016.

ANYWAY, I would love some new dip recipes for football season, so if there are 20 or 25 of y’all who would like to pool recipe ideas, I’m all for it. I’ll put up a post in the morning with a Mr. Linky-thingie so that everybody can leave links to their own posts that chronicle all sorts of dip-related wonderfulness.

And if nobody’s interested, that is fine. I’ll just go buy several blocks of cream cheese and stir them up with some mozzarella and then cook it until it’s golden and bubbly.

Naturally I’ll serve it with some stone ground whole wheat flax crackers. Or maybe I’ll just eat it with a spoon.

Let me know if you’re interested in participating!

A List Is The Best I Can Do

1. I am officially obsessed with Isaac in all its forms (tropical storm, hurricane, whatever). I refresh the tracking graphic on weather.com about forty times a day, apparently because I MUST KNOW WHERE IT IS AT ALL TIMES.

2. If you watched The Weather Channel at all yesterday, you may have noticed that they mentioned the possibility that Isaac could hit “a land mass between Mobile and New Orleans.” Um, THAT WOULD BE MISSISSIPPI. And oh, the folks from my home state leapt into action with funny – but pointed – responses.

My favorite is a morph from this Mississippi State banner:

into this:

3. I’m still trying to eat healthier, and for the most part it’s going just fine. But tonight, for whatever reason, I really want strawberry cake. And I don’t just want a piece of cake. I want the whole cake. And also a fork.

I’m about to eat some grapes instead. I’m sure they will HIT THE SPOT.

4. Last week my book publisher sent me a rough draft of the book description that will eventually show up on Amazon. All I had to do was proof the thing and make any changes that I wanted. But I’ll have you know that seeing the book description left me completely stumped. It was less than 200 words, but I couldn’t figure out if I should change it, how I should change it – NOTHING.

By Saturday I’d decided that maybe it should just say, “Please buy this book. Or not. I don’t want to impose.”

I think it’s safe to say that I don’t really have a knack for marketing.

5. This afternoon I listened to Nichole Nordeman’s This Mystery CD. It’s every bit as good now as it was twelve years ago.

6. I have an unnatural level of excitement about Nashville, the new ABC show that starts this fall. Tami Taylor is back, y’all.

Well, kind of.

7. Be safe, Gulf Coast people. You are in our prayers.

A Few Friday Favorites – 08.24.12

– If you’ve heard that Mo Isom, the goalie for LSU’s women’s soccer team (and last year’s LSU Homecoming Queen), wants to be a kicker on the Tigers’ football team, you may have wondered why in the world she’d do such a thing. To be honest, I’ve wondered that, too. But then I read a Grantland article called “Let It Fly.” And oh my goodness. I am absolutely blown away by her courage. What a testimony.

– If you have ever lived in Alabama, you might need to order one of these dishtowels. Because they are adorable. (via)

– Sometimes I read something and then can’t get it out of my head. That’s precisely what happened with a post that Shaun wrote a couple of days ago. It’s stayed with me for sure.

– I love the trend of colored jeans, but I do not love the trend of super skinny jeans (they look darlin’ on other people, but as for me and my calves, we need ourselves a bootcut). Anyway, way back at the beginning of the summer, Melanie told me that Old Navy had some colored jeans with a flare, and I immediately ordered them. They are really comfortable, and I just saw that they’re on big-time sale. So here you go.

– As many of you probably know by now, Lysa TerKeurst has a new book out this week. It’s called Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions. I’d love to be able to say that I rarely lose my cool and therefore can’t relate to Unglued at all, but that would be a big fat lie. So if you’re looking for better ways to deal with some of the stuff that you typically don’t like to deal with (in my case: anger), you might want to check out what Lysa has to say.

– Now. How about we add some levity to these bloggy proceedings?

I know. I KNOW. You’ve heard it here before. But I still have to listen to it at least once a day. It delights me.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

A Deeply Divisive Debate

Last week a friend of mine told me about a debate that was going on over at EW.com. I initially figured that the debate had something to do with politics and TV, or maybe even something about what shows have the best chance for success during the new fall season. But as it turned out, the debate was much more serious, and I’ve found that I’ve not only become invested in the outcome – I’ve become surprisingly passionate about my opinion.

And the issue at hand?

‘N Sync vs Backstreet Boys: The great boy band debate

Now listen. I will admit from the get-go that I was in my 20s by the time both of these bands hit the music scene, and some of you might argue that I should’ve been listening to more sophisticated artists and weaning myself from MTV. However, I didn’t do either of those things. Instead I spent countless afternoons watching Carson Daly chronicle what was going on with boy bands (not to mention J-Lo, Britney, Christina, etc.) on TRL.

From the get-go, I think, I was an ‘N Sync fan. They seemed to laugh at themselves and not take the whole boy band thing too seriously, and oh my word they could dance – especially a young man named Justin Timberlake.

I present you with Exhibit A.

I remembered two things, by the way, when I watched this video earlier today. One is that back around 2001-2002, my friend Merritt was VERY adamant that the American public had relegated Lance to the back burner even though he was EVERY BIT AS TALENTED and worked EVERY BIT AS HARD as the rest of the band and deserved JUST AS MUCH ATTENTION as Justin and Joey and JC and Chris. It still cracks me up when I think about her saying, “WHAT ABOUT LANCE, Y’ALL? DOESN’T ANYBODY CARE ABOUT LANCE?”

(Of course we cared about Lance.)

(I daresay that we cared deeply.)

The second thing I remembered is that I watched and maybe even recorded the Making of the Video for “Pop.” Joey had hurt his foot or leg or ankle or something, so he couldn’t do the dance scenes, and the band’s choreographer took his place in the video. If you watch the main dance sequence closely, you can tell that it’s not Joey in most of it, and just so you know I’m a little bit embarrassed that I struggle to memorize Scripture by BY DIGGITY I can tell you the backstory of a boy band video from 2001.

Shameful.

Even though I’m partial to ‘N Sync, I know that some people feel great loyalty to Backstreet Boys. I never thought they were as relatable as the ‘N Sync guys, but Kevin and Brian seemed really sweet. I was also slightly fascinated by AJ because he seemed like such an edgy addition to a boy band – yet he sang the boy band lyrics with such conviction and sincerity.

For example. Exhibit B.

Also, please note that in the sections of the video where everyone is wearing all white (and dancing with great feeling), AJ goes with the tank top option as opposed to wearing a jacket. Because just in case you missed it: EDGY.

And to be clear, I’m sure that many of you were probably doing worthwhile things like raising families and finishing degrees and volunteering in your community while I was running home to catch the world premiere of “Jenny from the Block.” By the same token, some of you were probably in elementary school. BUT – I’m guessing that there were at least a few of you who were as deeply invested in the music of the late 90s / early 2000s as I was.

(Don’t even get me started on Jordan Knight’s solo single “Give It To You.” Or Ricky Martin singing “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” Or TLC singing “Unpretty.”)

(Those are some precious musical memories.)

Anyway – what about y’all? Who was your favorite? ‘N Sync? Or BSB?

THIS.

A friend of mine told me about this book late last week, and I really can’t think of anything that I’d rather read right now.

The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook: The Best Eats for Celebrating College Football by Southern Living

I’m gonna venture a guess and say that there are some excellent dip recipes scattered throughout those pages. Since we’re trying to eat healthier in our house, I may have to vicariously enjoy some of those dips through the pictures, but I’m also realistic enough to know that there’s no way I’ll make it through college football season without some cream cheese. It would be plain delusional to think otherwise.

So anyway. I just ordered my copy. It’ll be here in two days. And I’m just as tickled as I can be. CANNOT WAIT.

(That’s not an affiliate link, by the way.)

(Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.)

(But I just wanted you to know.)