Monthly Archives: September 2012

There are quite a few things I totally stink at. I’ve tried really hard to become better at these things but most of the time my efforts remain to be just that, efforts.

For example I am terrible at loading the dishwasher. I wouldn’t even call what I do “loading”, it’s much more like “throwing” the dishes into the washer. At the end of the night when Ryan is cleaning up after dinner (I know right?!) it’s hard for him to hide his frustration as he reorganizes my mess in the dishwasher. My response to that? At least I’m good at dirtying those dishes!

I am also pretty much the worst when it comes to any kind of confrontation. I’ll walk into a conversation that might get a tad confrontational with plenty of good solid arguments in my back pocket. Unfortunately the minute I need to get tough and pull one of them out I crumble. I’ll give in, become much too agreeable, then walk away feeling defeated. I am really trying to work on this one!

When asked to come up with appetizers to serve at a party my mind will always draw a blank! I think they’re hard for me because I tend to want to over feed people and whenever I eat out I’m always much more interested in the main course! For my dear friend Shannon’s baby shower I was asked to bring some small bites. Hmmmm, small bites? That term in particular is hard for me to wrap my head around because the bites of food I take are always much too big! Determined not to embarrass Shannon by showing up with a large casserole dish full of creamy white enchiladas (those are on deck) I put my thinking cap on and focused on dainty. After a few days of racking my brain I came up with these lady-like pasta bites! While these pretty little appetizers have the look of a “small bite” they’ll still give party goers the satisfaction of a “big bite”! Bonus, they are incredibly easy to throw together!

Congratulations again to Matt and Shannon on their beautiful, growing family! I’ll save the creamy, creamy, cheesy, cheese enchiladas for your welcome home baby dinner.

You should totally invite your friends over for dinner one of these nights.

If you invite people over for dinner, you’ll have to figure out what you’re going to feed everyone.

While leafing through cookbooks and wondering what you’re going to make, you might stumble across that fried chicken recipe you’ve been wanting to try.

Reading up on how to make fried chicken will remind you that you need to go to the grocery store to shop for ingredients!

In the middle of picking up chicken, buttermilk and breadcrumbs, you’ll realize that this fried chicken would make an awesome sandwich!

Once you start throwing fried chicken dinner parties your house will become the home everyone will want to be at.

And you’ll be the boy or girl who can make the best fried chicken sandwich that anyone has ever had!

I’m pretty sure we all have a friend that we lovingly refer to as “The cute one”. You know who I’m talking about! This gal always her stuff together, she’s always wearing perfume, the cutest boots (or sandals) and on top of always looking great she also always has something positive to say. Cute friends can do one of two things, 1. She can totally inspire you and tell you where she gets all of her awesome T-shirts or, 2. She can make you feel like a big ol’ bump on a log.

My sweet friend Lisa is without a doubt “The cute one”. It doesn’t matter if it’s 8:00 in the morning at the kindergarden drop off or 4:00 in the afternoon at soccer practice, she is never under accessorized or without a smile on her face. I would be lying if I told you that she doesn’t make me feel like a bump on a log from time to time, but she has also inspired me to wear more cute sundresses instead of hanging out in my gym clothes all afternoon. A few weeks ago while Lisa and I were waiting for our kindergardeners to finish their school day we started chatting about what the heck to make for dinner that night. Somehow meatloaf came up and of course I couldn’t get that out of my head for the rest of the day. If you haven’t had the best experience with meatloaf let me invite you to try this one. With ingredients like heavy cream, dijon mustard and spinach this meatloaf is anything but a loaf of meat! To take this traditional meal even further, I skipped the good ol’ ketchup and topped it with some slowly sautéed mushrooms and onions instead. This meatloaf  won over even the pickiest eater in my house that night!

Thank goodness for cute friends that brighten our day, encourage us to wear something other than our pj’s and inspire us to whip up fancy meatloaf!

Here’s the scene: You’ve just walked into a party where you know a few people but not everybody. You make your way over to the hostess and thank her for inviting your family to such a lovely soirée. After a few minutes of catching up, she’s called into the kitchen and you are left to find a comfortable place to perch without looking super awkward in front of a bunch of people you kinda sorta know.

Where do you go?

Do you helplessly follow the hostess into the kitchen, find an apron and assume the role of sous chef for the rest of the evening? Do you tell people that you moonlight as a DJ and take on the responsibility of all music that is played that night? Do you uncomfortably introduce yourself and try to mingle with your friend’s friends or do you find the food, grab a plate and help yourself to the scrumptious party buffet?

The last one right?

That’s what I do too! A few weeks ago I found myself in this exact scenario and while I was snacking on appetizers to help avoid any awkard conversations, I discovered these amazing veggie squares. I instantly fell in love with them and made it my mission that night to find the person who made them. Turns out they were the creation of the hostess’s mother and after I got the recipe from her we ended up having a very nice conversation about this and that.

I learned two lessons that night:

1. Crescent rolls, herby cream cheese, and veggies makes one heck of a appetizer.

2. Meeting new (or newish people) isn’t so bad.