Blog Archives

Guilty Pleasure and Christmas Fun

The amount of time my brain spends thinking of random things is immeasurable.  One day a couple weeks ago, I just out of the blue wondered if anyone had developed a recipe for edible chocolate chip cookie dough.  Now, when I was growing up, there was none of this DON’T EAT THAT…IT HAS RAW EGGS IN IT crap.  Mom didn’t want us to eat the dough because it meant fewer cookies…not that it would give us a stomach ache.  So, I Googled “edible chocolate chip cookie dough.”  And this is what I found:

Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Since the fear of raw eggs and the risk of salmonella, I haven’t eaten any raw dough or allowed my children to do this either. I have definitely missed the yummy taste of uncooked cookie dough. I got the idea for a dough that’s safe to eat raw from one of my daughter’s friend’s moms. The eggs have been substituted with milk, so there is nothing in there to hurt little tummies (or big ones :o). This recipe is definitely not designed to be cooked, just eaten with several big spoons.

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter — softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a small bowl, mix flour, soda and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter with sugars; mix in milk and vanilla. Gradually blend in flour mixture; stir in chocolate chips.  Now grab a spoon and dig in! Store remainder in refrigerator or freeze in blobs for a fun treat later.

Of course this recipe was designed for people like me who like the straight dough, but if you were to freeze it in small pieces, you could stir the pieces into homemade ice cream and make homemade chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.  Just a thought.  Also, this may work with just about any cookie dough if you just replace the eggs with milk.

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I found this little questionnaire on my friend Tiffany’s blog, and thought I’d pass it along.  Feel free to add it to your blog as well or, if you don’t have a blog, copy it into the comments on this post and answer the questions.

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper…with pretty bows.

2. Real tree or artificial? Unfortunately…Artificial. I’m allergic to real trees.  But I put a fresh wreath in the front window.  Shh…don’t tell my allergist.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the afternoon of Thanksgiving.  Usually not later than the first week of December, but I got a bit busy when I returned from Thanksgiving this year.

4. When do you take the tree down? When I feel like it.  I’m still trying to find a reasonable argument for leaving it up all year.  I just love the glow of the lights.

5. Do you like eggnog? nope.  Apple Cider and Hot Chocolate

6. Favorite gift received as a child? These questions are always difficult for me to answer.  I like all presents because people went to the trouble to think of me.  I do like handmade gifts a lot because that’s even more time and thought.  My secret santa at school one year, who was/is a fantastic artist, made me a flip storybook out of a pack of post it notes.  I still have it.  I think he knew how much I loved his artwork, so it was an easy gift that he knew I’d like.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My brother because he already has too many clothes  🙂

8. Easiest person to buy for? My mom.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yep…several actually.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Gosh…I don’t know if I can answer this one either.  I really do love everything I receive.  I can find a use for just about anything.  Oh wait…my boss one year pulled my name for Secret Santa and she ordered me a Peyton Manning poster.  When she thought that it wasn’t going to come in on time, she went out and bought me this singing reindeer on a tractor that played “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.”  It’s tacky…I still have it…it’s in the basement.  🙂  P.S.  The poster came in on time, but she gave me both gifts anyway.   

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It’s A Wonderful Life (drama); A Christmas Story, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (comedy).

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? All year long.  You never know what you’ll find on sale.  That’s what closets are for…to put presents away until Christmas.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not sure.

16. Lights on the tree? I have two trees.  Downstairs tree: red, green, white.  Upstairs tree: white

17. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night (traditional) White Christmas (carol)

18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? For the last several years I’ve stayed home.  We used to travel to North Carolina all the time when I was a kid, and still I didn’t see snow until I was 14.   

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Yes

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Downstairs: Angel; Upstairs: bow

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We always got to open one present on Christmas Eve and the others Christmas morning.  Now since I’m usually by myself, I keep them all until Christmas.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year. Traffic around the stores.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I love the reds and greens.  Always have.  The Upstairs tree is all cooking/baking/food ornaments because it’s in the living room next to the kitchen.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? My dad always makes us Belgian waffles, strawberries, whipped cream, smoked sausage, grits, country ham for breakfast.  Then for Christmas lunch/dinner we always do a repeat of Thanksgiving…turkey and all the trimmings.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Unlimited time with my nephew Lincoln…but that’s not gonna happen.  So, I’ll settle for all my family and friends being happy and healthy.

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WWIR: Double Issue

After a much needed 9 day vacation to Florida, I’m back in the swing of things.  As promised, here’s the WWIR Double Issue for last week and this week.

  • Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving was so much fun.  I ate too much, shopped too much, but never came any where close to spending too much time with my nephew.  I got to babysit him on Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving while Andy and Janet were at work.  We went on a stroll to the park.  Hit up the swings, which he loves.  We found a rock outside that was just the right size for his hand.  We giggled.  We hugged.  We rocked.  We napped.  It was the very definition of perfection.
  • Black Friday: Per tradition, Black Friday was no match for me.  I very nearly got all my Christmas shopping done that day, and the only reason I didn’t was because I didn’t want to have to bring stuff back on the plane that I could buy when I got home.  I love Christmas.  It’s the entire atmosphere of people just being nicer.  People are just happier at Christmas, I think.
  • Football: Along with March Madness, the NFL Draft, and the last and first weeks of a year (Bowl weeks), Thanksgiving weekend is one of my favorite sports weekends all year.  It starts on Thursday with the Lions and Cowboys games and shoots straight into rivalry weekend in college football.  To say the least, it was a great weekend for me as Alabama finally knocked off Auburn after 6 years of losing.  My co-worker who graduated from Auburn unhappily has my singing/dancing Big Al on display in his office as his penance for losing the bet this year.  It’s obnoxious, but I’m making up for 6 years here people.  I considered calling the University and finding out if the real Big Al could just come and sit in his office for a week, but I decided to be nice.
  • GO TARPONS: The Friday after Thanksgiving, my high school football team played in the Regional Semifinals of the 5A playoffs.  And they WON!!  The best part though was that they played against arguably the best 5A team in the state AND that team was the only team to beat my high school during the regular season.  So, all in all it was a sweet victory that was capped by a punt return for a TD and an interception to close out the game.  Now they move on to the Regional Finals.  It’s very strange to read the articles about the games because a lot of the kids on the team now are the children of some teachers I knew.  Very weird!
  • Stupid Criminals: Every now and then they have this list of the stupidest criminals.  I’ve decided that Plaxico Burress should be tops on that list.  From what I understand the boy got all dressed up in all his bling and then put on gray sweatpants in the pocket of which he placed his gun.  He then went clubbing.  Upon deciding to move to a different part of the club the gun fell out of his pocket.  Plaxico effectively fumbled it and eventually it went off, shooting him in the thigh.  Personally, I think a guy who has been in the league 9 years and only fumbled the football 9 times should be able to hold on to a gun.  Now the gun and shooting part is not the stupidest part…but gray sweatpants with diamonds???  COME ON!
  • Tar Heels in Paradise: North Carolina played in the Maui Invitational the days leading up to Thanksgiving.  In the first game against host school Chaminade, Tyler didn’t play, but that didn’t seem to matter.  However, the most important thing that happened in the game was when Danny Green put the entire NCAA on notice.  During the first half, one of the Chaminade players jumped up to block one of Danny Green’s dunks and did so successfully.  Following the block the Chaminade player, saluted the audience.  This sparked what ended up being the best run of Danny’s career (to that point), which Danny culminated with a successful dunk shot followed by a salute.  Word to the NCAA: Don’t piss off Danny Green.  Tyler did play in the game against Oregon and Notre Dame and chipped the rest of the rust off from his stint of sitting out practice and North Carolina won the tournament.  After the Oregon game, Tyler was quoted as saying that he was out of shape, but that he would get back in shape the more he played.  Now, I discovered this picture of him from Maui.  If he’s out of shape, I’m not sure there’s a word that’s been invented for what I am:
  • tyler-in-maui

  • De Plane, De Plane: On the plane ride home from Hawaii, the Tar Heel basketball team was called on to do something very unbasketball like.  They were asked to carry an unconscious man to the galley of the airplane so that doctors on board could help stabilize the individual.  It’s moments like this when I’m the most proud of these guys and the men they are off the court.  You get the feeling like they’re the kind of guys who would stop and change your tire for you if you were stranded on the side of the road.  You can read the whole story here.
  • No Brainer: Sports Illustrated chose its Sportsman of the Year, and it is none other than Michael Phelps.  (Yes, he’s still relevant…he’s teaching kids to swim.)  Really, sit back and think about this…who else would you pick that did anything this year more remarkable than what Michael Phelps did in the 2008 Olympics.  Go ahead…I’ll wait.  (singing Jeopardy music in head)  That’s what I thought.  Enjoy the picture:
  • sismoty

Well that’s all I’ve got.  This weekend holds some fun times with a friend visiting and the SEC Championship game.  Here’s hoping I’m still smiling next week.  Happy December!

WWIR: Vacation Stop

My apologies for not providing this note earlier.  Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday, WWIR will be postponed until next Wednesday when I will bring you WWIR: The Double Issue.

Until then…

thanksgiving

WWIR: Hodgepodge

Everything but the kitchen sink…

  • Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town: I decided to sit down the other day and actually write out my Christmas List.  Now this would be the list of things I’m buying for other people, not what I want.  It’s incredibly difficult for me to write a Christmas List for the things I want since I never really know what I want.  Anyway…I discovered that I’ve got most of the list filled out.  Not bought, mind you, but I definitely know what I want to get people.  And really…isn’t that half the battle?
  • Crafty Ashley: On Saturday, my friend Ashley and I went to the local craft fair.  We missed getting to go together last year because I left early for Thanksgiving.  This year I’m, again, leaving early for Thanksgiving, but Ashley also is going to Europe with her husband.  So, when we found out that they had moved the craft fair up to this past weekend instead of this coming weekend, we were so excited.  We have a lot of fun just seeing all the things that people take copious amounts of time to perfect.  I bought a couple Christmas gifts there, too.
  • Mail from a Psycho: A couple weeks ago, I was buying some cards at Hallmark and found the perfect Get Well Soon card for Tyler Hansbrough, Psycho-T, since he’s been sitting out practice and games with his stress reaction.  It actually said, “Get Well Soon from one of your biggest fans.”  No joke.  Anyway, I had to buy it and send it.  Surprisingly enough, on Monday, I received a response from Tyler.  Someone in the Carolina Basketball office kindly drafted a sweet thank you note to me with words that made it obvious SOMEONE had read my card, and Tyler personally signed it.  It was a shock to me because I never really expect them to respond to me.  I mean really…who am I that they need to take the time to do that?  But I really did appreciate it.  It made my otherwise horrid day much more pleasant.
  • Horsepower: For the first time this NFL season, I actually looked at the standings.  If the season ended today, the Colts would get a wild card spot in the playoffs.  I can hardly believe it.  I guess hope really can spring up when you least expect it.  I was really happy with the way they played against the Texans in the second half.  You could see from the stats that Peyton was patient in dissecting the Texans’ defense in the first half and then just let ’em have it in the second.  Now that, my friends, is REAL Colts Ball.  Of course I reserve the right to be highly annoyed with them after this Sunday night when we play the Chargers…a team we apparently have some kind of mental block on.
  • The Enemy Within: NBC cancelled the new series My Own Worst Enemy this past week, and after seeing Monday’s episode, I’m incredibly hacked off at them for it.  It was getting so good and a whole new can of worms was opened.  Now, we’ll never know the outcome.  Thanks a lot viewing public…yeah…that’s you I’m talking to.  🙂
  • Lynch Mob: John Lynch, whom I’ve spoken about on this blog before, announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday afternoon in Tampa, FL.  While I completely understand and support his decision, I’m still very sad to see him go.  He’s going to start broadcasting games, so that should be fun if I ever get to see one of the games he does.  But his undying devotion to his teammates is rarely, if ever, matched in the league.  Thanks for the memories, John.

Ok.  That’s all I got for now.  In the next couple days, I’m going to put up my solution to the overtime problem in college football and the NFL.  It’s kind of a mix of both worlds.  We’ll see how you like it.  Stay tuned…

WWIR: Progress

  • 2008 Election: History was made last night. History was going to be made regardless of who became the next President of the United States. Because of the nature of my job, I cannot public express my political views, of which I have plenty. If you really want to know how I felt about last night’s results, leave me a comment or email me and I’ll be happy to tell you.
  • Lincoln’s Latest: Lincoln dressed as a pirate for Halloween this year. Two days after Halloween he celebrated what would have been his birthdate if he had made it to his due date. Here are some pictures from both.
  • Trick or Treat: I think I’m turning into an old fuddy duddy. Friday night when I was handing out candy to the trick or treaters, I had one boy who looked to be late elementary/early middle school age. He asked if he could have extra candy for his brother who wasn’t allowed to go trick or treating because he is failing Spanish. So, I tell the kid that I don’t think it’s fair to give his brother candy if his brother is being punished for failing Spanish and the punishment for such is to have his trick or treating privileges taken away. The kid didn’t see it my way and proceeded to look inside my house where I had a box of Canada Dry sitting just inside the door. He then told me that I could at least spare some Canada Dry. To that I said, “Happy Halloween” and shut the door. Believe me, I fully expected to wake up to a toilet papered and/or egged house on Saturday morning, but I didn’t. Seriously, do kids really not understand what punishment is? And furthermore, why couldn’t that kid share HIS candy with his brother instead of asking for extra? Yeah..I’m a fuddy duddy.
  • Baby Boom: Congratulations to several of my friends who recently had babies. The wives of two guys I went to high school with each recently gave birth to baby girls. Congrats to Joe and Tara and Michael and Schuyler (I went to high school with Schuyler, too). Also, my friends Laura and Brent and Kelli and Brent are the proud parents of baby boys.
  • #1 Ranking For Sale: I am incredibly proud of the way Alabama has played this season. I am equally proud of the #1 ranking they received from the AP, USA Today, and BCS rankings on Sunday. And as proud as I am of those two things, I am also scared out of my freaking mind. So, I’m selling our #1 ranking to the highest bidder any time between now and 3:29pm ET on Saturday. Really I’ll give it to you free of charge. You just have to promise to give it back after the SEC championship game. I love being ranked #1 in the regular season for the first time since 1980, but I don’t like the pressure that comes with it. I’ve pretty much felt the entire season like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, but at the same time if anyone can pull them through the pressure, I think it’s Nick Saban.
  • Rocky Top: This week Phillip Fulmer announced that he would step down after his 17th season as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers based on a request from the school’s athletic department. As much as I am an Alabama fan, I was kind of sad about this. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t wholeheartedly hated this man during football season or because of the way he weaseled his way out of NCAA sanctions by ratting out everyone else in the SEC. But it’s just that the SEC will not be the same without him. I also have a little bit of a place in my heart for him because he was Peyton’s college coach. This was the man who managed to get Peyton Manning to skirt an offer from his father’s alma mater and play for a rival SEC school. He is responsible for creating a good bit of the quarterback we see today, and for that I’m thankful. Best of luck to the Great Pumpkin.
  • Incredible Crabtree: Saturday night I watched the Texas/Texas Tech game. I have some friends who graduated from Tech, so I tend to pay attention. Plus with Texas being #1 at the time, I’m always curious to see how they play. Amazed doesn’t even begin to describe what I saw in the last minute and a half of that game. After Texas had scored their last touchdown, I vehemently announced to my bedroom walls that I hated all teams who wore orange regardless of the shade. Then Harrell marched Tech right down the field to this amazing catch by Michael Crabtree. I am stunned that he was able to stay in bounds, on his toes no less, to score the final touchdown. Kudos to Texas for mounting a really great comeback, but Tech was just too determined. After that final Tech TD, I found myself wondering if Harrell and Crabtree were available for the Colts/Pats game the following Sunday night.
  • Taking What We Can Get: That’s basically where we are as Colts fans. We’ll take a win…no matter how we get it or by how many points. We’re down to a depth chart of three cornerbacks to fill two positions. The Patriots should have lit up our secondary during that game like no tomorrow. They tried that once to Gaffney, but he dropped it right through his hands. But, when your running game is busy lighting up the D-line for 140 yards on 32 carries why try something else. The biggest thing I noticed was the 3rd down conversions that the Colts defense continues to give up. We can’t seem to get them off the field. I looked at the stats afterwards because when you’re watching, it seems like they give up every 3rd down, but actually the Pats were 8 of 14. I figured out that of the 6 they didn’t convert, 3 were converted into field goals on 4th down, 2 resulted in punts, and 1 led to a 4th down interception. I had been begging for that interception all night and finally got it. But, in the end, Peyton managed to execute a near perfect QB performance by spreading his passing around to 7 different receivers and handing off to both Addai and Rhodes. That first scoring drive in the first half gave me the biggest smile I’ve had all season watching the Colts. Peyton did not throw an incompletion and the O-line was phenomenal. Now I’m going to say something that is completely unfounded and likely false, but I think Adam Vinatieri is on steroids. The man is 9 of 20 on 50+ yard field goals in his career. The last time he made one from that distance was in a game against Chicago on November 10, 2002 when he was playing for New England, but he makes a 52 yarder Sunday night. Plus, he already has 8 touchbacks on kickoffs this season. He had 9 total the entire season last year. I’m just saying…something’s fishy for a man who will be 36 years old next month to be kicking that well, but I’ll take it cause he looks fabulous doing it! Like I’ve said before, when the Colts play Colts Ball, it’s a beautiful thing to watch. The Steelers are next and coming off a huge win over the Skins on Monday night. Yep…I’m scared.

Happy Wednesday. And to those whose candidate won last night congratulations. To those whose candidate didn’t win last night, it’s gonna be ok.