Beth and I met 2 years ago after my last extensive knee surgery. She was my physical therapist and I was there so much, we hit it off and became fast and close friends. I absolutely adore everything about her...she is truly amazing...my long lost sister that I find myself asking, where in the heck have YOU been all my life?? Her husband, Kody, is no exception to that either. He is just as incredible and we absolutely love nothing more than being with them or having them over...always a great time! B spent the day finding random little things that he knew would make Kody laugh...things that only a picture can kind of explain. They're dorks...and you may see these things and think...ummmm, seriously?!? So...I'll leave it to your imagination, but it may or may not have involved a life size Tony Stewart stand-up and a large plastic stand up cooler that B somehow obtained from a gas station a few years ago.
I do have to pause for a moment and toot my mother-in-law's horn. She and Dan (B's dad - my F.I.L.) live in Indianapolis and are season ticket holders for the Colts games. Since the Colts did not exactly have the best season this year, the next best thing was for her to get involved with all the festivities...and boy did she EVER! She got to be on the sound crew for the halftime show and other pre and post game festivities! She knew who Madonna's guest performers were far before the rest of the world, and she had seen the performances days before we laid our eyes upon it too. She practiced for days beforehand and had many scheduled responsibilities for making it the fantastic show it was! It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and she had a blast! We loved getting text messages through the night from her and enjoyed every minute of searching the screen to get a glimpse of her in action. Being the foul-minded friend I can tend to be, I was trying to get her to play a little "grab ass" with the players who WERE that close that she could literally touch...well, or an ahhh hemmm..."accidental" fall with coincidental grab ass?!? Bahahahahaha, but anyway, we really are so, so proud of her - she goes through life with such zest, charisma, and character and lives by the mantra of "enjoying every last minute to the fullest". I just love her for who she is and who she inspires us all to be and the grandmother she already is to Spencer and Jillian and will be to Jack!!! Here's to you, Melva...you da bomb dot com!!!
We non-entertainment business folk spent the day preparing. Like I said, B was finding randomness to delight Kody, but I spent the day preparing some deliciousness...or so I think it is! Did you know the ENTIRE city of Lexington was out of Lil' Smokies?!? Or at least they were when we were at the several different stores multiple times...booooo...this preggo REALLY wanted a few piggies n' blankets!! Maybe it was better I didn't since all that isn't too sensational for little homey. Thus, I improvised and made my first batch of sausage pinwheels. We also had: Bacon-Jalapeno dip; BBQ baked potatoes; chocolate chip dip; and mini Oreo Cheesecakes. Kody and Beth brought over the old faithful: cheesy buffalo chicken ranch dip! Yummmmmmooooo!
People are always asking me for some of my recipes, so are some that I thought I'd share from our treats for you to make and try out on your own1 Hope you like 'em!
YOU WILL NEED: 8 ounces cream cheese, 2 cups shredded cheddar (or 1 cup shredded cheddar and 1 cup shredded pepper-jack), 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup milk, 4 slices chopped bacon, 1 tablespoon bacon drippings, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1 cup crushed Ritz cracker crumbs mixed with butter, and 2 thinly sliced jalapenos or 1/4 cup diced.
TO MAKE: Preheat oven to 350. Cook bacon over skillet and reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings. Mix all ingredients together and spread into 8" x 8" baking dish. Top with crushed Ritz crackers mixed slightly with melted butter. Bake at 350 for 30 min., until golden and bubbly.
BBQ Baked Potatoes:
This is the first thing B and I make a literal beeline for once we get into Commonwealth every UK game - they're the BEST!
YOU WILL NEED: large baking potatoes, butter, shredded cheese, shredded cheddar, chives, pre-made/ pre-packaged BBQ (we like Jack Daniel's or Curly's), and sour cream.
TO MAKE: bake potatoes until done. Heat up BBQ over stovetop (I add some more BBQ sauce and apple cider vinegar). Fix potato according to liking, but we make them loaded: butter, cheese, sour cream, chives, etc. Then, top with BBQ and additional sauce according to preference. Voila! YUM, YUM, YUMMMMY!!!
Chocolate Chip Dip:
YOU WILL NEED: 8 ounces cream cheese; 8 tablespoons butter; 3/4 cup powdered sugar; 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; and 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips.
TO MAKE: mix all ingredients together, except chocolate chips. Fold in chocolate chips. Chill for 1-2 hours and serve with graham cracker sticks. Enjoy!
YOU WILL NEED: 12 "Double-Stuf Oreo" Cookies; 2-8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened; 1/2 cup sugar; 1 teaspoon vanilla; 2 eggs.
*Line twelve tin-foil baking cups in muffin tins. Split each cookie, keeping filling intact on one cookie half. *Place a cookie half with filling in each cup, filling side up.
*In a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until smooth. Add eggs. Beat on low speed just until combined. Spoon mixture into cups. Crush remaining cookies; sprinkle on top of cream cheese mixture.
*Bake in a 325 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until set (tops may indent slightly). Cool. Cover and chill for 1 to 24 hours. To serve, remove bake cups.