Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I must warn this is a long one. Today is my first day back at work this week and its Wednesday!  I would like to thank Mother Nature for for giving me 2 unexpected days off from work.  This past weekend, the Southeast experienced  Snowpocalypse 2011. The weathermen were predicting 5-8" of accumulation in the Birmingham area but we only got between 2-3" and it was mostly ice.  I was completely ok with this because ice is the stuff they will shut entire cities down for and I think I have established the fact that I am not a fan of cold weather so I'm not one to go build snowmen or make snow angels. No thanks, I'll stay inside in front of the fireplace and enjoy the scenery from my window.  Before the winter weather hit, we had a relaxing and fun weekend.

Friday night, we had dinner with Patrick and Megan at our favorite little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant, La Bamba in Homewood.  Saturday morning we got up early to run the usual weekend errands.  We had a lunch date at 1 at a local restaurant, Baumhower's.  Ben had written a story on Friday for the BBJ that this restaurant was featuring "Smothered Duck" in honor of Auburn playing in the BCS National Championship game. The owner was so pleased with the story that he invited Ben and I for lunch on Saturday to try out the duck.  Ben got the duck while I stuck with a salad.  The duck must have been delicious because there wasn't a morsel left on his plate.  The manager informed us that the previous night, the local Fox station had come in to do a story on the duck plate because they had seen Ben's story online and saw how many positive comments it had received.  Also, while we were there eating the local ABC station showed up to do feature on you guessed it, the duck plate.  Only in Alabama, could a story about food that represents the opposing team have so much popularity.  However, I am very proud of Ben for realizing that it actually was a story.  While we were out farting around on Saturday we decided to stop in IO-Metro to browse.  Well browsing turned into purchasing.  I am a furniture lover, it comes with my obsession of bedding.  Clearly, we live in an apartment with limited space and have no need for furniture BUT Ben spotted it first.  A beautiful dresser.  We have a dresser in each of our bedrooms, both of which were purchased when we moved away for college. You know, you find something you sorta like that is reasonably priced so you have somewhere to store your clothes.  We saw the dresser and I was immediately in love.  We did talk it over during lunch and decided we would walk back to IO Metro and measure it to make sure it would work in our bedroom.  We told the nice little salesman that if it would fit we would call him back to order it.  The first thing we did when we got home was measure and by golly it fit!  We get it tomorrow and we are so excited!  We put the dresser we liked the least on Craiglist and have someone coming tonight to pick it up.  Oh happy day!  Saturday night we went over to Patrick and Megans to watch the Ole Miss basketball game which we lost but it was a very close and back and forth game.

 Sunday was super lazy.  The inclement weather was arriving later that afternoon so we had to prepare.  We went to Home Depot to stock up on firewood and we got the last 2 bundles.  Our next stop was Publix so we could pick up the stuff to make s'mores.  And that's all we did that day. It was lovely.  I did do some studying but it was mostly all R&R.  That night we built a fire and then made s'mores.  I must say that s'mores are one of my favorite foods.  They are so simple and the fact that I only get them once in a blue moon makes them taste that much better.  Monday we thoroughly enjoyed the city being shut down and stayed in bed until almost noon.  We had big plans to watch the BCS title game with the Werners that night and we had food preperation to complete.  We mustered up the energy to make Buffalo Chicken Dip and Stuffed Pizza bites, both of which were big hits.  Our little group wasn't as big as we expected due to the icy roads but we still had a blast with just  the 4 of us.  Of course we were cheering for Auburn to support the SEC.  I must say I thought the game was not as exciting as I expected since both teams are strong offensively but it was still exciting since it came down to the last 2 seconds of the game.  Also, I must say that Oregon's uniforms were TERRIBLE.  They looked like legitimate ducks running around.  Anyways, we were thrilled that Auburn ending up winning and giving the SEC a 5-0 record in the BCS! Monday night, my supervisor informed me not to come in until 1 on Tuesday which was awesome news.  I got up early on Tuesday to study before I had to get ready for work.  As I was making my lunch to eat before I left, I got a text message from my supervisor advising me to just stay home because all of our afternoon patients had cancelled due to the "icy" roads.  So yes, I thoroughly enjoyed my unexpected 4-day weekend.  We have a really short work week and then another 3-day weekend thanks to Martin Luther King Day!  I have a huge test on Saturday morning so I would love all of your prayers.  It is for national boards and I have to pass to graduate in May and to get my license to practice Audiology, no pressure right?  I've been working hard studying and have confidence but I still need prayers!  Since the Super Bowl is right around the corner, I am going to share the Buffalo Chicken dip & Stuffed Pizza bites recipes.  They are both super easy & delicious!

Buffalo Chicken Dip
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 c. cooked chicken, shredded
Frank's hot sauce
Ranch dressing
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Boil your chicken and shred.  In a mixing bowl, beat your cream cheese with a mixer until smooth and creamy.  Add ranch dressing and Frank's.  Now taste. Too ranchy? Add more Frank's. Too spicy? Add a tad more ranch.  Remember you will be adding bland chicken that will soak up all of those flavors so keep that in mind.  The color should be pretty awful but thats ok, its the taste that matters. Don't forget your salt & pepper. Once you get the orange mixture to the correct taste, add your shredded cheese and mix.  Finally, add in your chicken.  Give it one final taste and make adjustments accordingly.  Place in greased 8x8 dish and bake for 30-35 minutes.  Serve with bagel crisps.

Stuffed Pizza Rolls
1 roll refrigerated pizza dough
marinara/pizza sauce
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 T olive oil or melted butter
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t dried Italian seasoning
mozzerella cheese
Pizza toppings of your choice: ie, ham and pineapple, pepperoni slices, sausage, etc.

Preheat oven to heat specified on pizza dough package. Usually it's 400 degrees. Unroll your pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll the dough so it's about 12" by 8". You're going to want to cut it into 24 squares, so just eyeball it if you need to. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 24 squares Place cheese and desired toppings on each square. (Note that you're not putting the marinara sauce on the dough- it's for dipping after) . You just need to be able to enclose the toppings in the dough so keep that in mind.
When all of your dough squares have cheese and toppings on them, carefully lift up each square and wrap the dough around the toppings. Pinch to make sure each ball is sealed shut and then place them seam side down in a lightly sprayed pie pan (or similar sized dish).Brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil or melted butter (I've used both and there's not much difference in result) and then sprinkle with the garlic and Italian seasoning and top with Parmesan cheese.   Cook them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Keep an eye on them! Doughs vary, so I'd check them after even 10 minutes. Serve warm with warmed marinara sauce on the side for dipping.

the boys making their s'mores. How sweet.

Ben's awesome fire he built for us.

Best part of the weekend!

New kitchen gadget. Megan had one of these & I just had to have one.

Our new dresser!


  1. Love the new dresser and I always wondered about that pot clip thing. I see it in our Sur La Table catalogs all the time and now I might just buy one. Glad you had a relaxing long weekend. I'm excited about another 3-day weekend coming up too!

  2. I love the dresser! And I love S'mores! :) And I agree with Hilary, I have seen that pot clip thing a bunch- but now I want one! How cool! I hate having to dirty up the spoon rest while cooking!!