Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cheese Wafers

Criminy.  It's time to start thinking of New Years Resolutions, y'all.  Or as I like to call them, goals.  I feel like framing it as a New Years resolution makes it less likely to happen.  I do think that the beginning of a year is good time to set goals, though.  These are some ideas I'm tossing around:

  • Run a 5k.  I know I can do it if I keep working on it.  
  • Bake more bread.  I know most people try to limit their carbs in the new year, but I plan to fully embrace them.  And a healthy dose of cardio.  Carbio if you will.  
  • Use all the salts my sister gave me for Christmas.  Yeah, she gave me this sampler pack of different sea salts that I can't wait to bust out.  They're really pretty and come in these test tubes in a handy display rack.
There are more that I can't think of at the moment.  But that seems like a pretty good list to start!
I have a feeling these cheese wafers are probably not a part of anyone's goals for the new year.  Unless that goal is to eat more cheese.  That should totally be one of my goals...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas in Carolina

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Lovely Kwanzaa/generally good weekend!  We survived our first Christmas and my first birthday without my grand-daddy and only had one sentimental spell.

This was also Grady's first Christmas.
He gave us lots of smiles this weekend.  He loved when Aunt Mandy talked to him.  He'd just start grinning and getting close to a little baby giggle.
At one point I had both Grady and Puddin hangin' out on me.  Forgive my hair.  It's also worth noting Puddin sat on my lap the entire time we opened presents.  He ended up with glitter all over him.
Our Christmas morning breakfast was the usual mountain of food.  Egg casserole, sausage balls, sticky buns, fruit salad, country ham and biscuits, and the best cheese ball I've ever had.  And let me tell you something, I would sell my soul for sausage balls.  It's just sausage, cheese, and Bisquick, but we'd rather eat sawdust than not have sausage balls Christmas morning.
After all the presents were opened, Daisy decided she'd finally sit down.
Rich liked reading to Grady.  I gave him his first Christmas book with his Christmas jammies.
James was really proud of his sausage and cheese tray.  I told him I'd blog about it.  The sausage was a venison summer sausage.  Sooo yummy.

Grady got a giraffe pillow that's supposed to be good for tummy time because it's really soft.  Puddin figured that since there was a pillow in the middle of the floor, it must be for him.  I think this is after he fell in the pool.  Poor guy, he just walked right in.  Usually he's good about walking around it, but he just walked right in.  He's still a good swimmer though.

We had a good Christmas.  It had the usual wackiness that comes along with any of our family gatherings, and of course the food was good.  Now it's time to get ready for the New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Swedish Wedding Cookies

I don't like to brag or toot my own horn.  I like to be self-deprecating because...well it's funnier.  But, y'all, I got all my Christmas shopping done in about an hour yesterday.  We're not talking online either.  To be fair, I stayed at one shopping center.  But really, I kicked ass.  'Scuse my language.  I didn't get random crapola either.  Each gift was exactly what I wanted to give each person.  I even got myself a birthday outfit.  Boom.
What do you call these cookies?  We call them wedding cookies or Russian tea cakes depending on our moods.  Some of my friends call them pecan sands.  I've been making them my whole life practically, and they're one of those cookies that instantly brings up holiday memories.  Speaking of holidays, my birthday is tomorrow, so this will be the last post until after Christmas.  I hope y'all all have happy holidays, no matter what you celebrate.  This is a beautiful time of year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Apple Bourbon Balls

Bourbon balls: The classy way to get schnockered around the holidays.  I kid of course.  There's no way to be classy and get schnockered.  There are sneaky ways to get schnockered, and bourbon balls might be at the top of the list.  Let's be honest.  You're probably not going to eat bourbon balls and sip on seltzer.  You're probably going to have a glass of whatever floats your boat and toss a couple of bourbon balls in your mouth.  And the alcohol doesn't get a chance to cook out because this is a raw cookie.  So.  There you go.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Peppermint Mocha Krinkles

Y'all.  It's crunch time.  Gifts need to be wrapped.  Actually, gifts need to be bought.  Whomp whomp.  I'm going to get to it, promise!  Speaking of gifts, have y'all seen the trend of people making payments on other people's layaways?  I think that's pretty awesome.  It's one of the things I love about this season.  People doing good things for other people.  No recognition needed.  Doing it just because it'll make someone's life a little easier.   I'm a big believer in karma.  That's why I let cars in ahead of me in traffic (safely of course).
These cookies will totally get you some good karma if you make them for other people.  They'll also just make you happy if you eat them yourself.  So it's a win-win.  I got the idea for this cookie when I had a similar cookie from Panera.  My sister and I like to split a chocolate chip cookie now and then, and one time they were out of our usual; so I picked out a peppermint chocolate cookie for us instead.  I also wanted it to have a bit of a coffee flavor, like a peppermint mocha from Starbucks.  P.S.  I have no idea why I'm spelling krinkles with a "k" when I know good and well the word is crinkles.  It's a mystery.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Spicy Lentil Soup

Tonight is going to be full of magic.  A celebration of one dear heart's completion of his degree and reuniting with another who's been off at med school.  And I'm going to eat my weight in Chinese food.  Holla.

But right now, I'm here to give you the antidote to those sticky buns I made.  Because while decadent and completely delish, they're...well decadent and completely delish.  And we all need balance in our lives.  The answer is a filling soup/stew that couldn't be healthier if I tried.  Lentils, greens, the healing power of ginger.  It'll let you eat at least two more of those sticky buns.
A nice hunk of crusty bread never hurt either.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gooey Overnight Sticky Buns

I'm happy to report the tree is still standing.  It's even straight I think.  Of course, I didn't realize it was leaning before, so maybe I'm not the best judge.

So...I ran 30 minutes today.  For most of you, that's probably not a huge deal.  But for me, it's a mega-huge deal.  I'm not sure I've ever run 30 minutes in my life.  That's not to say I've never exercised more than 30 minutes in my life.  I used to do Zumba for an hour on the reg.  But running and enjoying it always eluded me.  I've been following the Couch to 5k plan loosely, and today I finally did 30 minutes!

In honor of that achievement, I give you these sticky buns.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened Last Night

Ohh mah goodness, y'all.  Our tree completely toppled over at 3am last night.  I was dead asleep until I heard a thud and the sound of glass breaking.  It scared the bejesus out of me.  At first I'd thought my mom had fallen in her bathroom, so when I saw the tree lying prostrate I was a little relieved.  We lost a few ornaments in the fall but we've seen worse damage.  I think this little ornament sums everything up perfectly:
Hah!  Do you know the Maxine cartoons?  It's the dog from those.  I made a joke that he didn't look like that until the "incident."  And then I proceeded to laugh hysterically because I had not enough sleep and thought I was waaaay hilarious.

On a completely unrelated note, check this business out:
"What is that freaky looking object in the produce section?" you ask.  It's a Buddha's hand.  I Googled it after I saw what it was called.  It's in the citron family, and we Westerners commonly use the zest.  There's really not much to the flesh or pulp, but the pith is far less bitter than other citrus fruits; so you can use more of it.  Other peoples use it to perfume things.  I did smell it, and it had a lovely fragrance. You can also candy it.  Cray-cray.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Peppermint Marshmallows with Peppermint Hot Chocolate

My sister has a critter.  I'm not talking about Grady either.  There's something in her attic that makes little noises that can only be heard when the TV is off and no one else is with you.  She had suspected something was up there for a while, then she got confirmation when they went to get Christmas decorations out of the attic and ornaments were strewn about.  Also up there was an empty bag of jerky treats that had been torn apart.  That's how we ruled out a ghost.  Ghosts don't need jerky.  So we're thinking a raccoon.

I really hope it doesn't decide to take a walk downstairs.

Y'know what you need?  Marshmallows.  Legit homemade marshmallows.  Because guess what?  They're incredibly easy to make.  I know what you're thinking.  "I can buy marshmallows at the store.  Why on God's green earth would I take the time to make them?"  Because they're way freakin' better if you do them yourself.  You may quote me on that.  My only qualification is that you need either a stand mixer (preferable) or at least a hand mixer because this business has to go 12 minutes straight.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Whomp Whomp

So I had this totally awesome post in my head about the peppermint marshmallows and hot chocolate I made last night.  I was gonna rock your world.  So I set off to find the little cord that connects my camera to my computer to edit the pictures's nowhere to be found.  I searched.  I even cleaned my car and unloaded my suitcase.  That's how desperate I was.

What's a girl to do?  I'm 90% sure it's in Columbia.  For about half an hour now, I've been thinking "Ugh, I don't want to go to Best Buy tomorrow to get a replacement cord" because BB is 45 minutes away.  And then my brilliant self reminded me that Wal-Mart is 5 minutes up the road.  Um, duh-sies.

So with a little hope in my heart and a marshmallow in my coffee, I leave you with this:
My very favorite present under the tree :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Things That Were and Things To Come

Do you ever have those days where you just feel kind of...bleh?  Today is one of those days.  I'm hoping with a little sleep and Nyquil, I'll be up to no good in no time!  In the meantime, let me tell you a little bit about the lunch my sister and I had yesterday.  Oh and don't worry, I'm back at the beach, so no worries about my wee little Grady getting any of my blehs.

There's a little bakery just down the street from my sister called Sweet Cake House.  For you Columbia folks, it's on St. Andrews Road.  We'd noticed it before but never stopped in.  She grabbed us lunch yesterday on her way back to the house, and it was delightful.
We each had a more-than-generous portion of chicken pot pie.  It was a double crust pie, which I love, and was yummy to boot!  Each lunch came with a side salad and a petit four.  The pasta salad (bottom) was creamy with a nice injection of onion, and the potato salad (top) had the consistency of chunky mashed potatoes while tasting like the potato salad you expect.  We split the petit fours, tiramisu and carrot cake.  Usually I'm not a tiramisu fan (I know, there's something very wrong with me), but I loved the little bite of it.  The carrot cake was cream cheese-y and sweet.  A nice cap to the meal.  The best part is that each of the meals was less than $6, which is kind of a bargain considering how much food we ate.

I've been seriously contemplating my Christmas/holiday treats.  I have major plans for cookies, cakes, and even marshmallows!  I'm so excited about the marshmallows, y'all.  I've never made them before, but they're not that complicated...I think.  I even have plans for...wait for bourbon!  The kitchen is about to be a magical land of powdered sugar and smiles.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Risotto-style Coconut Rice Pudding

Thanks to my sister, I've become obsessed with these:
If you see these little Dove holiday chocolates, snatch them up with a quickness.  And don't blame me when you eat the whole bag.  I warned you, but I'm totally encouraging you to get them.  At first I thought "Well these are probably okay so I'll try one."  Then it melted in my mouth and was wonderfully full of peppermint and chocolate and Christmas spirit.

Speaking of obsessed because of my sister...
He's like "'Sup, y'all."  He is not okay with those pants by the way.  He definitely prefers to be pantsless.  I've been in Columbia for the past week and a half helping my sister out.  Her company gave her an extra six weeks to basically work from home, so I've been baby wrangling while she works.  From the blogging perspective, I have an incredible amount of respect for mommy bloggers. On the reals, I'm more or less lying completely flat while G-man sleeps on me right now.  Serious business.

I have no pretty segue into this rice pudding.  So let's just go at it.  I'd never had rice pudding until I made it.  I'd been planning this recipe for weeks until I finally made it.  It's got a serious coconut flavor and wonderfully sweet.  Using arborio rice makes it extra thick and creamy.  Let's get on this!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Green Bean Casserole, With Love

This post feels like it's a little late, but it's not really.  I made this green bean casserole for Thanksgiving, but let's be real.  T-Day is not the only day green bean casserole gets made or eaten.  It's totally apropos for a holiday potluck or Christmas dinner.  It's a make-ahead meal for the most part and so much better than slapping some canned green beans and cream of mushroom soup together.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pineapple Souffle

One of my favorite things about the holiday season, and there are many, is the music! I love Christmas music with all my heart. Will doesn't share this enthusiasm, though I do know he likes the Mariah Carey classic "All I Want For Christmas Is You." Don't tell him I told you.  I'm kidding, he's totally going to read this.

Anyhow, I have my favorite versions of just about every song. For instance, I have a special place in my heart for Barry Manilow's rendition of "Jingle Bells." I can hear the judgment already. Whatevs, Manilow makes my heart go pitter patter. Part of it stems from this Christmas tape my sister had that we listened to religiously during Christmas season. Yes, I said tape.  This was when every car still came with a tape player. We loved that tape.  f you want a laugh, check this out. It gets me every time.

Did you know Justin Bieber has a Christmas album? I previewed it on iTunes for a lark. Normally I'm okay with the Biebs. I'm not a huge fan, but I'll dance to that one song. But this Christmas album is a travesty. I can't even deal. The tonic to this album illness is Michael Buble's Christmas album. In fact, I'm going to Target this week just so I can get the extended version. It's got the vibe I want when I listen to holiday music. I don't like when pop artists do holiday songs; it just sounds weird to me.  I like the old school Rat Pack sound. And Barry Manilow.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Thanksgiving Recap

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend!  I also hope nobody got pepper sprayed by crazy people...!  What is with the world we live in that somebody would disable another person over a Christmas present?  Doesn't that kind of go against the spirit of Christmas?  Well we're not going to worry about that here.  This blog is a place of love and laughter.  Not pepper spray.  Unless I happen to spray pepper onto a dish that will make you supremely happy.

I know what made my T-giving weekend awesome.  A 34-13 win over our arch-rival, Clemson, gave us the Palmetto Bowl for the third year in a row.  To make it even better, I saw it in person.  Like my own eyes were gazing at the crowd of 80,000+ people and the glowing lights of the scoreboard.  Love love love it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving, yo!

Mercy, I went to Wal-mart, the Pig, and Fresh Market.  Everywhere was bustling and busy in preparation for T-Day.  I tried to get everything we'll need to make our dishes, but we'll probably be making a last-minute run to Wally World anyway.  It's just the way the world works, y'know?

Since I like to share, I thought I'd give you a taste of our Thanksgiving menu.  Maybe you'll get some ideas for your own meal!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Spaghetti Squash Gratin

I promised you a recipe for that leftover spaghetti squash, and you're gonna get it.  You're also going to see how I eat when I'm cooking for just myself.  Things rarely make sense, and I really just indulge my cravings.  PB&J with truffle fries?  Why not?  Actually, I haven't done that yet, but now I'm seriously considering it.  Squash gratin and rosemary bread topped with pepperoni, chopped olives, and peppadews?  It's so, so right.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash with Crispy Shallots

Last night I went to dinner and a play with my mom and my grandmother.  Let's talk about this food for a sec, k?  I'll confess, I've been thinking about the dish I ordered for a while.  A fried polenta cake topped with shrimp and lobster in a cream sauce.  It was everything I ever wanted.  Georgetown proper has a couple of nicer restaurants, and Portofino's is sort of the local casual upscale Italian joint.  Casual upscale?  What planet am I on?  Whatevs, you can dress up or dress down.  I mean, it's Georgetown.  Let's not get pretentious.  At any rate, I genuinely enjoy their food.  I'd heard about this fried polenta and lobster dish a few months ago but hadn't had occasion to go there.  Of course, I forgot my phone, so I couldn't take a picture.  Bad, foodblogger, bad!  Ugh, enough self-flagellating.  The polenta was crispy and the lobster just plain made me happy.   And well, you don't really have to twist my arm to get me to eat shrimp or cream sauce.

Let me tell you about a dish I do have pictures of.  Do you like spaghetti squash?  Well you should.  It does a darn good job of being better-for-you noodles and soaking up awesome flavors.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bootleg Thanksgiving

How have I gotten away without talking about Thanksgiving yet?!  It's kind of my favorite holiday.  Well, tied with Christmas for favorite.  See, I love the whole season from Thanksgiving to New Years because there's tons of good food and good cheer.  When the weather gets colder, we remind ourselves to love others and sing songs about playing in the snow.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful day for me.  Think:  Golden brown turkey (baked and/or fried, we have both at our meals), lots of luscious sides, soul-warming desserts, good spirits, good spirits (hard cider anybody?), and the grand-daddy of all parades.  Every year I watch the Macy's parade.  I even tried to watch it in the airport the one year I flew home Thanksgiving morning.

My sister and her little family will be at her mother-in-law's this year, so we had a mini-Thanksgiving last weekend with her father-in-law, Bob, who was also in town.  Um, it was kind of bootleg.  I mean that in the best way possible.  She definitely thought she had a gravy boat, but she didn't.  That's what measuring cups are for, duh!  Also, Rich couldn't find a regular turkey breast at the commissary, so we had a Cajun turkey.  Did I mention it comes with a gravy packet?  Ha!  I will say that I wholly condone the gravy packet if your other option is the powder stuff.  Um, gravy should not start out as a powder.  Just sayin'.

I made these mashed potatoes:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Feta Squares

Do you remember that show Cybill?  Maybe not, but I do.  It's one of those shows I used to watch with my mom when I was little.  It introduced me to Cybill Shepherd and Christine Baranski, who continues to be one of my favorite actresses.  I loved her as the jaded best friend in Cybill and now as a badass lawyer in The Good Wife.  Seriously, her filmography is massive.  And she's done theatre.  So there's that.  I'm totally bringing this up because the TV Guide channel shows reruns of Cybill.  My mom and I also used to watch Murder, She Wrote.  Who doesn't love Angela Lansbury (aka Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast)?!?!  We also watched Murphy Brown and basically any show with heavy topical sarcasm or a criminal procedural.

Sorry I've been a little slack in posting lately.  Between travelling and footballing and hanging with my sister, I lost the energy for photo editing and posting.  Whomp whomp.  But I'm back, and I've got a ton of stuff to share.  Starting with feta squares.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Peanut Festival

Y'all, I'm here to give you a full report on our day at the Peanut Festival.  It was a magical day full of fried food and carnival rides.  Okay that's kind of a lie.  Will and I only rode two rides because we're wussies.  The first one we rode went a bit faster than we expected, which completely terrified Will.  The second one was called The Himalaya, and Will almost crushed me with his body weight.  To be fair, I didn't think it was going to be that bad...until I was pinned between him and the seat.  Oops.  A suggestion to fair-goers: Obey the signs that say the bigger person should be on the outside.  They mean it. At one point we thought it was over, but it was just gearing up to go backwards.  So we didn't ride anymore rides after that.

The day was full of food, though.  Our first stop was the Corndog Man of course!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Molasses Spice Cookies and Pumpkin Dip

Confession:  I probably most likely definitely watch too much TV.  No, it doesn't keep me from exercising or doing other things.  But I keep it on constantly as background noise, and I have about 1,000 shows I watch regularly.  Sundays are a big night.  Once Upon A Time, The Walking Dead, Pan Am, and I catch The Good Wife on Hulu the next day.  The Walking Dead is by far my favorite.  I'm way into creepy shows (American Horror Story anyone?!), and zombies totally freak me out.  And last night had potentially the grossest zombie kill of the season.  Gah.  I'm also into Glee and I die for Modern Family.  Modern Family might be my favorite show out of all of them.  We're pretty sure Phil is Will in 10 years.

I feel like I have to say that I like to read, too.  When I read a book, I tend to read it all at once.  I might not finish it in a day, depending on how long it it and what else I have to do, but I'll read for hours at a time.  I think I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in less than 36 hours.  I'm sure other people finished it a lot sooner than I did, but I was in grad school at the time.  Will's mom likes to read too, and there's always a book here that I pick up and read.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cranberry-Cinnamon Goat Cheese Spread

A big congratulations to my dear friends Jeremy and Emily on their precious little boy, Benjamin!  I can't wait to meet the little guy!

I'm super excited for the National Peanut Festival tomorrow.  I'mma get me a corndog and about 15 other fried foods.  Maybe not 15.  But it's a fair, so I have to indulge.  I'm pretty sure it's illegal not to.  Obvi I had to run today to even think about gettin' my fair on tomorrow.  Word.  We might even ride the Scrambler!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Goat Cheese and Pancetta Orecchiette

I hope everyone had a lovely Halloween!  I drove up to Columbia to see my Grady-bear.  He was Darth Grady, Sith Lord.  Yeah, not a pumpkin or a sweet pea or any other vegetable.  Villain from Star Wars.  Totes appropriate.  In any event, I made chili per our Halloween tradition.  Nom.

We had a few trick or treaters and started watching a couple of horror movies.  Like TrollHunter.  Oh yeah.  A Blair Witch-style movie, Norwegian of course, about these college kids finding out trolls are real.  Did you know trolls turn to stone?  Well some explode, but I don't remember specifically a story where trolls turn to stone.  Did you know the Norwegian word for troll is troll?  According to Wikipedia the Scandinavians have trolls on lock.  So there you go, all you wanted to ever hear about trolls.

This pasta is the antithesis of a trolls.  It's creamy, comforting, and incapable of becoming a statue.  It's got goat cheese, pancetta, Parmigiano, and tomatoes that come together in a risotto-style pasta to make your life complete.  Complete, people.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Warm Apple Crisp

Goodness gracious, y'all.  I've been cookin' up a storm today in preparation for the game against Tennessee.  We've got cookies, fancy peanuts, feta cheese squares, pumpkin dip, and more to come.  Last night I made this fancy goat cheese spread and ate it while I watched Bridesmaids.  Um, can we talk about that movie for a sec?  I laughed.  I almost cried (what?!).  I wholly admire Kristen Wiig for committing to a role.  Because the scene where she goes berserk at the bridal shower and tackles the giant cookie, rolling around on the ground with it...I have no words.  And kudos to Melissa McCarthy for being a total scene stealer.  I know I'm like a year behind in finally watching this movie.  And Kristen Wiig's character is a baker in the movie.  So ta-da.

Speaking of baking, you have to make this apple crisp.  Martha Stewart never fails me.  I make her food, and it turns out how it's supposed to.  Buh-bam.  This crisp so simple to put together.  Some butter, oats, spices, and apples come together to make a warm bowl of happiness.  Apples are kind of my favorite fruit too.  Especially honeycrisps.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are super Americana right?  Do other countries eat Sloppy Joes?  Perhaps by another name?  Truth be told, they're not my favorite dinner.  I like them well enough, but I'm never like "Man, I could really go for some Sloppy Joes."  Nevertheless, they're a genius way to get in vegetables, especially if you have kids who aren't wild about them.  They're also pretty easy to put together if you have a food processor.  I highly recommend a food processor for this.  I mean, you could open a can of Manwich if you want it to be super easy, but this has got to taste way better than meat from a can.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Creole Kale Chips

I'm back from my too-brief visit to Columbia.  It was hard to leave that sweet little baby behind, but I have things to take care of from my home base.  I think Puddin was happy to have me back this morning since it gave him a bed to sleep in after my mom went to work.  He's also super stoked to have access to my brown blanket again.

So I promised you kale chips and kale chips you will get.  You should give these a shot even if you're not a big fan of greens.  I've been trying for years to like collards without success, and I wolfed down these kale chips in two days.  Something about making them super crispy and paper thin takes away any reluctance I have to eat greens.  Note: Greens, not green food.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sweet Things

What's as sweet as milk and cookies?

My sweet little nephew, James Grady Donaldson.  He came in 8 pounds 14 ounces and 21 inches long.  As you can see, he's got a lot of hair that's oddly my color.
Little baby foot!  Actually, it's not that little for a baby foot.  He's got big hands and feet and a kung fu grip to match.
Look at his little coming home outfit!
He has two very proud parents.  And a proud auntie.
I mean, look at that face.  How could you help but love him?

I'll be back to my regular blogging soon, but I thought I'd show y'all what I've been busy with!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Super Awesome Chocolate Chip Cookies. Make Them Now.

I want a corn dog.  It's State Fair time, which means fried foods of all kinds.  And delicious corn dogs.  At no other time in my life do I say "A corn dog is the only thing that will cure my hunger!" than at State Fair time.  I don't know if I'll get to go this year, but I do plan on going to the Peanut Festival in Dothan.  Oh, you didn't know Dothan, Alabama is the peanut capital?  Well it is, and they have a festival to celebrate the glorious creation that is the peanut.  And apparently the Corn Dog Man there makes the best corn dogs.  So there you go.  Or maybe I'll make my own?  That sounds like a project for another day.

Dessert Alert:  I made the best chocolate chips cookies of my life.  The edges were lightly crispy, the middle was chewy, and the chocolate was perfectly melty.  I died.  And then I came back to life and ate another one.  I wouldn't let Will hear the end of it.