Monday, January 28, 2013

RM: Wait, The SuperBowl is about Football?

Well my friends, it's Recipe Monday - and I promise in this long winded post to share some recipes - just be patient.  So, unless you are living under a rock - you probably are aware this weekend is host to the biggest annual sporting event by the National Football League in the continental US ~ SUPERBOWL SUNDAY! 


{Alright ladies, if football isn't your forte -I'll help you out with the key points}
      • National Football League = NFL
      • This year's game = played in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome
      • San Francisco 49ers (red/maroon) vs  Baltimore Ravens (black, purple and gold)
      • The 2 head coaches of the opposing teams are brothers - and therefore it's a big story

Super Bowl is really the one time of year all of us ladies actually get excited that the entire day revolves around football and every TV in the house is screening the highly anticipated kick-off, the big play touchdown and the ridiculous ref who actually thought that was intentional grounding and there wasn't pass interference on the play - I MEAN DOES THE ZEBRA EVEN HAVE EYES?! Because I'd be happy to buy him a pair of GLASSES (since the previous 8 million dollar commercial informed me it's BOGO time at Mr. Bizer's World! ---- Errrrr, scratch that...

Alright, time to be honest boys.  Yes, we're southern women (or northern -- just referring to the gals that will be in attendance with me), yes we love our football, and truth be told we actually DO know whether or not that was a bad call.  BUT - when it comes to Super Bowl Sunday - there are far too many other things we are interested in, to be solely focused on that game.  And the fact that we get to have a party in honor of them, and our men don't complain about going - WELL - color your ladies happy!

Aside from watching sweaty millionaire men in tight football pants prance around playing one of the manliest games alive (I say one because, have you seen those Aussie rugby players?! WHEW!) there is so much more to Super Bowl Sunday!  Let's talk about some of my faves shall we?

  • Friends
    • We get to spend an entire Sunday with our best friends standing around a table of delicious food while we talk and catch up on the latest news. Uhmmm is there anything better? No. No there is not. Plus - sometimes we get lucky enough and happen to be hanging at a home where there are numerous leather jackets and mullet wigs, and we get fun little keepsake photos like this :0) 


  • Games

    • At our annual party we always have games.  If you've followed my blog and are starting to understand some of my family dynamics you probably realize that competition is a big part of my genetic make-up therefore a party without some sort of game and/or competition does not exist to me.  We like to play the betting squares and scores game.  If you're hosting a party this year an need to spice it up - this is fun and not complicated, this includes instructions too - we just make ours on a big poster board and have everyone sign up as they arrive..

  • The National Anthem

    • After Whitney Houston's ground breaking performance (which I recently found out, thanks to Beyonce's pre-corded Inauguration anthem, was not live - BOOO!) and Christina Aguleira's word flub of a performance last year; this has become an enticing part of the show.  This year Alicia Key's will be singing the National Anthem and has stated she will not perform the song traditionally and instead will perform it as if it were a brand new song!  So, if this is not normally one of your favorite parts - I suggest arriving to your party on time - because I doubt it will be a performance you'll want to miss!

  • Half-Time Show

    • A-hem, do I need to mention the Janet Jackson/JT boob scandal "wardrobe-malfunction"?  Or can we all agree to disagree that ever since this moment, we vow to never miss another SuperBowl half-time show, regardless of who is performing?! I digress...  Not to mention this year we have Mrs. Beyonce Knowles on stage y'all!!  And collaborating in a bound to be show-stopping performance, we expect to see appearances by a reunited Destiny's Child (sayy whaaaa) and her hubby Jay-Z.  Wooot!


  • Commercials

    • SuperBowl commercials are the BEST.  I always love to see what the advertisers come up with.  And knowing they spent nearly 4-8 million dollars for :30-:60 spots COMPLETELY blows my mind.  I'm really digging Doritos stance on marketing and letting their customers really speak for the brand. Whatever marketing guru came up with this is brilliant.  If you're not up to speed on what I'm talking about, Doritos let's their customers create a commercial and then they send people to their Facebook page to vote for their favorite. Whichever commercial is chosen is the one that will air during the SuperBowl.  Voting for your favorite is open through January 29th - click here - I voted for the little girl and the dog - too cute. 

  • Celebrating/Cheering

    • Major sporting events are always a time to put on your best gear, hoot and holler like a crazy person. It's also a time to sit back and watch everyone else do this - which is just as much, if not more fun, than participating yourself.  And if your team pulls it out - I suggest stealing one of these poses to celebrate :0)


  • THE FOOD - {Seeeeeee I told you I'd get to recipes :0) ...}

    • Clearly, I've saved the best for last. Arguably one of THE BEST things about the SuperBowl.  The plethora of never ending, deliciously concocted, and beautifully arranged foods.  If I had it my way, every meal would be designed in tailgate/buffet style snacky fashion, but alas they are not.  So, I get extra excited for events in which it is MORE than acceptable, and often encouraged, to go after that cheese based dip for a FIFTH time. Of course there are always the staples: Buffalo Chicken Dip, Veggies (so something) and ranch, Queso, Laura's homemade White Castle Cheeseburgers and desserts, amongst the other bazillion delicious apps the gals bring. 
    • But this year, since it's the first Super Bowl party in the new house, I'm thinking I need to kick up a notch and try some new recipes.  Here's some website I've been scouring to come up with my top contenders:
      1. Top 20 Game Day Recipes
      2. 10 Super Dips for Bowl Games
      3. 25 Must See Appetizers
So, word to the wise fellas, if you're eager to watch the big game - but your lady friend isn't quite up for another Football Sunday.  I recommend finding a party to attend.  Mention these highlights and the fact that the SuperBowl is INDEED about much more than just chasing after a ball - and you're all set!  Have fun Sunday!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Renovations Update!

Alright gang .. time for an update of where we are on the potty status.  Last week I told you guys we had finally started on our last "BIG" renovation project.  Here's the post, if you need to catch up.

First and foremost, I am always amazed as to how quickly things happen. I swear I took a shower in my master bath this morning ... then, I get home from work and it no longer exists!  Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm certainly not complaining about anyone moving quickly!  It's just I laugh when I think how long home projects take me and the hubs when the task lies solely in our hands. So when we hire actual professionals to finish the details I'm so utterly AMAZED!!!

Anyways - short post today - but here's an update of what we're working with.  Or better stated, what we're not working with - since there is nothing left.

Get ready area (does this have a real name?) / Bathtub


Vanity/Sink


The Former Throne of the Porcelain god


And last but not least, here's the shower I was referencing above...literally - GAWWN.


I promised to share pictures and updates of the hubs as we shop around for his new porcelain toy, but no developments yet. However, I did catch him admiring a toilet with an automatic lid and heated seat on an episode of the Kardashian's the other day.  Boy oh Boy would I have loved to get inside his head for a few minutes to see what those wheels were spinning!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

strawBABIES.

BABY it's cold outside!

 I'm talking bone chilling, might as well stand in a freezer, because it'd probably be warmer, kind of cold. BUT, I was overly enthused and it warmed my heart a little when I found these magnificent marvels at Kroger last night.  


Ripe strawberries, for what seems like the first time in weeks (or stawbabies as my sweet niece Emmie calls them) make me think of Summer, warmer days, and crazy new arrivals that will be here just in time for summer.  But I mean look at these fellas would you?! They were DEEEEELICIOUS too.  Which is extra special because I've been craving strawberries like they're going out of style.

Okay, are you catching on yet? 
                                       ~ BABY it's cold outside...
                                       ~ New arrival this summer...
                                       ~ Cravings...
                                       ~ straw - BABIES.... :)

Yes, yes it's true -- we're having a BABBBBBYYYYY!!!

AHHHHH! My friends were getting on me that it was time I shared the big news on the blog, but I just couldn't decide how I wanted to announce it to you guys.  And to be honest - I still can't come up with something clever.  So instead, I'm going to recap for you how I told my closest family and friends.

The Rents:

We told our parents before anyone else.  We were nervous to tell so we wanted them to know, but wait a little while longer before announcing it to everyone to make sure everything was A-Ok.  This is our first little one and the first grand baby on my side of the family, so we knew we wanted to make it special.  I of course went straight to Pinterest to scour ideas.  SO many to choose from!  But my heart landed on the little pair of empty shoes.  Hubs and I had just recently gotten back from a big trip to Europe, so packaging up a picture was an easy segway into the delivery of the picture.  We told our parents we had our favorite picture from the trip put in a frame for them and they suspected nothing while tearing into the paper ... but when they looked at the actual photo... SURPRISE!!!


All of their reactions were SO great!  So emotional and so, so fun!  Unfortunately, I only have a picture of my parents - because Hubs recorded his parents reaction on his phone and then synced the phone the next day and lost all history of both videos (but because this is a happy post that's all I'll say about it :) ... it was a tough pill to swallow however on top of my already raging hormones, when he broke the news to me...WHEW).  I love the bottom picture of my dad .. if you know him, and can imagine it - the noise he's making is a high-pitched "Ha-Ha!" ... and yes of course... Penny is crying :)



The Immediate Family:

Next we were on to telling our siblings and closest family.  We told Shane's family at one of or our big Sunday night dinners.  His brother has 3 kids, and Brody is the youngest.  Shane snuck Bro-man downstairs and put this little shirt on him while everyone was getting seated for dinner.  (We made the shirt super easy with some iron-on letters the night before).  It was so great to watch everyone's faces as he walked into the room.  You started seeing people understand what was happening one by one. 

                 

Next we were on to telling my brothers.  We had a family trip planned to NYC for Thanksgiving and we knew that would be the perfect time, because Baby Bro would be home from college and we'd have some time with just the bros, my sis in law, and my extended brother and his wife before we had to meet up with everyone else.  Bottom line however, they're my brother's and total boys, so a simple one-liner seemed more appropriate for them than some crafty announcement.  So while we were all snuggled together on our way to NYC, hubs casually asked ... "So, what's it like to spend your first Thanksgiving as uncles?"  Their faces were awesome. Followed by the "WHAT?! Are you serious"  Once we arrived in NYC we headed to the Trump Ice Skating Rink.  Everyone else enjoyed the ice - I watched and celebrated with Hot Chocolate :)



Telling the Friends:

This one was great - talk about the element of surprise. If you guys remember, back in early December I talked about the annual Cookie Party my mom and I host. Well, this year the party became the perfect backdrop for announcing the big news.  Every year we get all the gals and mama's and pose for a big group picture to commemorate the evening. However, this year we planned a little twist :)  (My extended brother's wife, Cristina, mentioned above, was in on the plan and offered to be our "photographer" for the photo).  We usually just do a self time or something, but this year we needed a better plan.  We had everyone snuggle up and gather around ... 



and Penny said "okay, everybody say.... KATIE'S PREGNANT!"
Cris knew this was coming, so we had instructed her to just keep clicking the picture no matter the reaction.  It was so great to hear the shrieks and squeals and looking at the pictures after was even better. There were SO many and everyone's faces were so great. But here are some of my faves. Have I ever mentioned how much I love my friends? Because I DO!







Hubs took a bunch of his buddies to a bar and broke the news to them. And then one of his friends broke the news via Twitter to everyone we know ... so that was cool ... NOT!  Unfortunately, there are no pictures from that evening out (which ended up being a late one). -But, I do have a perfect Facebook post I can share from one of his friends, from the night he told the guys :) Too cute!


So that's it folks! Our newest little bundle of joy is expected 
late June - Summer 2013. 






Monday, January 21, 2013

Recipe Monday: Baked SPASAGNA!

Hubs and I have a sweet friend who just bought a house and I've been meaning to make him a housewarming dinner.  My go to "bringing over dinner" dish is my sister-in-law's baked spaghetti.  Because, let's be honest: its easy, delicious, and who doesn't love a good home cooked spaghetti?!

However, when I stumbled across this fancy versioned baked spaghetti (a friend posted a pic on Instagram, and I immediately asked she share the recipe) - I knew I had to try it out.  It combines all things great: a pseudo baked spaghetti, while adding in the creamy goodness of a lasagna. 
Hole-YYYY Toledo. Yes please! And I'll have seconds.


Now, I will caution you, this is not by any means a light meal - and my normal "you can eliminate the butter or save a few calories like this" techniques do not apply to this recipe.  It calls for A LOT MASSIVE quantities of cheese, but trust me - it's totally worth it. Another note - this recipe makes A LOT!  I had originally planned to make 2 small casseroles, 1 for dinner and the other for Mike - but I ended up being able to make 2 pretty good sized portions.  Did I hear someone say - CHEAT DAY! - why yes, yes I did.

So, here's the skinny ooey goodness... 

"Baked Spasagna"

Ingredients: (I tweaked these just a hair from the original recipe)


  • 24 oz spaghetti (I used angel hair, but that's just because that's our household preference, any thickness will do)
  • 32 oz mozzarella cheese, grated or shredded (YES - 2 lbs of CHEESE!)
  • 8 oz ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups half & half
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese - divided
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (or a little more - it's whatever :)
  • 1 jar (26 oz spaghetti sauce) - this is what the recipe called for originally -- Hubs really likes saucy pasta so I knew better and added nearly 3/4 the jar of the big plastic Prego jars - I think those are like 64 oz)
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 lb ground beef (here was another change I made - the original recipe called for only 1 lb Italian sausage or ground beef, but just like in my baked spaghetti we like meaty sauces - so I used a 1 lb of both)
  • 1/3 chopped onion - for meat sauce (again, an addition - I just feel I need onion anytime I brown beef)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook spaghetti according to package, drain. (LOTS of spaghetti and my big strainer was in the dishwasher - I was losing noodles left and right!)




In large bowl stir together sour cream, ricotta, half-and-half, mozzarella, oregano, basil, pepper, salt, garlic, and half the Parmesan. 


Add spaghetti and toss until well coated - seriously well coated. You won't have another chance to get flavor on each of those noodles!  Next, pour spaghetti mixture into a 9x13 pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray (as you can see, I was able to fill a 9x13 and a 9x6(ish) pan with EASE).  Cover dish(es) with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes.


While pasta is baking, prepare meat sauce. Brown Italian sausage, ground beef, and onion (or whatever you decide to use) in skillet. Drain and return to skillet.  Add spaghetti sauce and simmer.


Remove pasta from oven. Cut into square and top with meat sauce.  Spread sauce evenly among all noodles. 


Top with remaining Parmesan cheese. DEVOUR!



And that's it folks: Baked Spasagna ... Enjoy!

Friday, January 18, 2013

He-Man Woman Haters

In the genius words of Rebbecca Black:

It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

HA! Weren't ready for that flashback were ya? Sorry - cruel joke, if I got the song stuck your head now.  And if you're anything like me, it's stuck in your head for the rest of the day ... which makes your brain picture Stymie from Little Rascals saying, "Man, babes are like a bad song. Once you get em stuck in your head - you can't get em out again." - LOVE THAT MOVIE!



Which got me thinking .. I was a small tyke when I used to watch Little Rascal's (religiously, I might add STILL have the uncanny ability to quote just about every line from the movie. Seriously though...I loved it that much).  But my brain started to wander...

If my mom is no longer serving me yellow Gatorade and no crust sandwiches perfectly packaged in a picnic basket, while sitting bright eyed and bushy tailed on the softest sheet we owned on our living room floor (believe it - I was high maintenance even back then!) ... and instead I am actually BUYING my own sandwich ingredients, PHYSICALLY making them, and eating them WITH the crust while wasting away at my office computer ... then what in the heck are the Little Rascal's doing with themselves this day and age? Because unfortunately, as much as my 6 year old KatieBugg heart wants to believe it, I highly doubt Spanky and Alfalfa are still dressing up in pink leotards to spy on Darla.  Or are they!??! :)

Woah. Way wrong. Wish I never would have started digging in the first place. In this case, I should have let my imagination run wild and not looked to Internet to answer my questions.  Nevertheless, if I'm struggling ... it only seems right I share what I have uncovered with you too.  Alright, here goes...

The Little Rascal's - are not so Little anymore.

Alfalfa - Then:
Alfalfa - Now:
Dannnng boo. Who knew the boy with the worst cowlick in the entire world would wind up a starving catalog model.

Stymie - Then:
Stymie - Now:
It appears as though Stymie is stuck under a boat - not the best look for a He-Man woman hater.  I'm digging his dreads though.

Porky - Then:
Porky - Now:
Awwwe. Little Porkster.  I wonder if he eats pickles now? Or if he still has a 24/7 stuffy nose? And you had the best joke ever when Buckwheat's on-screen mama ended up being Whoopie Goldberg....."Whooooopie" - So clever!

Buckwheat - Then:
Buckwheat - Now:
Dang.  Buckwheat, you were one of the cutest.  And I may or may not still use your song as a comeback: "We're going to the race. We're gonna win first place and you have an ugly face!" --- 

Froggy - Then:
Froggy - Now:
Yep - definitely him.  I wonder if talking in his Froggy voice forever damaged his vocal cords?  Although I will say - you have done better with age.  And thank goodness you decided to ditch the childhood mullet.

Uh-Huh Then:
Uh-Huh Now:
Woah. Just Woah.  I didn't know guys took selfies that were this posed? I guess sticking pencils up your nose damages brain cells.

Butch - Then:
Butch - Now:
Butch, you've made improvements. Your character was always a little too redneck for my liking. So, it's good to see you're headed in a better direction.

Darla - Then:
Darla - Now:
Owww owwww. Darla! Oh my.

Spanky - Then:
Spanky - Now:
Had to save the best for last. Spanky - you're working at Wal-Mart?!  Come see the amazing 4 foot man eating chick-uhnnnnnn.

Well I guess it's true. Nothing ever stays the same *sigh*.  But we started with an insightful quote from Stymie; so it only seems right we end on an insightful quote from Stymie: "You only meet your once in a lifetime friends ... once in a lifetime!"  Such a bright child that Stymie was :)

Photo creds to http://2tfu.com/