Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Puppy Chow Cookies

 Have you had these babies yet??  Holy smokes.  Talk about heaven!  This recipe first came up in discussion a couple of weeks ago when a friend said her daughter made them.  We were like...whoa...what??  The next night, my friend Jen brought over a platter she made.  I then made a platter the next day for family coming for dinner. Kind of like a domino of puppy chow goodness! 

Super easy.  Super delish.  You should totally try these.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ranch Tortillas

This is the easiest appy recipe evaaaa.  It's a huge hit when I bring it places.  I can seriously eat an entire batch of these if nobody is looking!  Stop looking at me so I can finish these off.  :)

1 pkg. flour tortillas.  It doesn't matter what size, but I use the regular size.
1/2 c. butter (1 stick) - softened
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix
Sesame Seeds

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Combine ranch dip mix with softened butter.
  • Spread ranch butter on tortilla.
  • Cut into triangles.  I used a pizza cutter. 
  • Arrange on baking sheet.  I use pre-cut parchment sheets for less clean-up.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake for 5-7 min or just until they begin to turn a golden color.  Let cool or you will burn your tongue.  Trust me, I know.

Bacon Avocado Salad. Yes, it's as good as it sounds!

This one was a keeper!  I mean, bacon anything is a keeper, no?  Another Pinterest find.  Sorry, I only have one pic.  While I can drool all I want at those bloggers who take a photo of every single step of a recipe, I don't have that kind of patience.  Who am I kidding?  I have the short term memory/attention span of a goldfish.  I'm 3/4 of the way through the recipe before I even remember that I wanted to do a step-by-step picture to begin with.

Bacon Avocado Cucumber Salad with Bacon Dripping Dressing

Above is the recipe, but it's basically tomatoes, cukes, bacon, avocado, cilantro mixed together with a couple of tablespoons of bacon drippings. Add some salt & pepper and you've gone to heaven!


Happy July 4th!

I adore July 4th!  It was my mom's favorite holiday.  Every July 4th morning at 6AM, my mom would put our big, giant speakers in the windows and put on her John Philip Sousa album as loud as it would go.  "Stars and Stripes Forever" echoed throughout our neighborhood and while I was mortified at the time, it's one of my favorite childhood memories.  Growing up in Dolton, we had a huge...HUGE, I tell you parade, carnival, fireworks extravaganza every year and it was all within a block of my house.  We had a big, honkin' party each year and those memories are near and dear to my heart. 

Growing up, The Carnival was THE social event of the season.  We would flock to good ole' River Oaks mall and carefully choose a new outfit for each night.  We were so BA in our new parachute pants and Def Lepard t-shirts and fresh perms (remember...this was the mid-80's).  It was so awesome.  I miss those days.

The last couple of years, Homewood Baseball & Softball has had a float in the Homewood July 4th parade.  Move over Disney...I'm thinking a parade float may be my "happiest place on earth"!  My friend Andrea and I run the show for anything social/PR for Homewood Baseball, so the float was our gig. Super fun!
Our super-fab July 4th float!

And since we're talking about 4th of July, check out these cuties I made!  Pinterest, of course!

Estherfest 2012 - Best Summer Highlight!

Great-Grandma Esther
If you know me, you've heard me refer to Estherfest.  Estherfest is the annual Calomino Family reunion, named after my husband's great grandma Esther.  When she passed away 27 or so years ago, the family decided to honor her legacy by continuing to gather each year in her name.  This year was our 26th year!  Even though I am not one of Esther's direct descendants, I have been to at least 20 Estherfests. 

Like all families, we have our traditions.  Each year there is a king and a queen.  Trust me, it's a highly coveted honor to be named King or Queen of the Estherfest.  When it began, the "elders" (Esther's children) all decided in advance on a king and queen.  They would have t-shirts made and the lucky person's name would be on the back (hidden until the last moment).  Someone would begin chanting..."We want a king...we want a king...we want a king".  Before you knew it, all of us are gathered 'round and are wildly chanting.  After fake drum roll, one of the aunts would flip the t-shirt around and reveal who the king was.  Madness ensues and everyone goes nuts.  Then the queen chants begin..."We want a queen...we want a queen".  You get it...

So after the king and queen are announced, they are crowned and given a whole pile of tacky fake flowers and a sash.  They promenade around the pavilion and the whole family follows in line.  It's too much fun!

The elders are getting "more elder" these days and now the names are basically picked out of a paper bag on-site.  However, it's still a pretty big deal for us older "kids" who have watched the crown pass from family member to family member each year to wait in anticipation for our name to be called.

You know where this is going..right????


Cousin Bobby was the king and to be honest, if I could pick any family member to be my Esterfest King, it would totally be Bobby!  It was our year!!!!  We were so freaking excited!  Neither of us would give up our crown/tiara.  I wore it proudly all day and night. Hell, I even considered wearing it to bed!
Royalty :)

Summer Fun!

What a summer!  It's been so much fun! While we are winding down, I thought I would just touch on some of the fun things we've done this summer!  It breaks my heart to head back to school two weeks from today.  However, I am blessed to have a job, let alone one that I love.  No complaints from me!  I plan to pack every last minute of my last two weeks off with non-stop fun!