Tasty Tuesday: Memorial Madness

megstermeter:

Before there was Pinterest, there was foodgawker (well, it still exists, but is less important). Back in 2009 when I posted this post, just after Memorial Day, I had no idea that the photo of my M&M Pretzels would go nuts. I got it on foodgawker, and years later, it spread out over Pinterest. Because of these social media pushes, this post has been viewed more than any other post – even my homepage!!! – with over 58,000 views. Heyo!

Originally posted on Megoirs:

It was an all-in-all successful Memorial Day. I realized that we had a cookout last Memorial Day, just after we moved into the house. Hard to believe it’s been over a year! Anyway, take a look at the goodies we enjoyed…

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Want to make these little delicious treats? Just melt Hershey’s kisses onto tiny twist pretzels (275 degrees, 3 minutes), remove, and immediately press a single m&m on each. Refrigerate until eating to make sure they are deliciously solid!

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See the iced tea I brewed? To try this flavored, yet unsweetened tea, just brew orange spice, orange pekoe, and lemon teas (4:4:2) in 1 gallon of hot water. Allow to cool and serve over ice!

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My dad’s famous pasta salad. Sorry, can’t give out this recipe…but with pepperoni, pepper jack cheese, and green chilies, it definitely has a little kick :)

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Chicken kabobs! A summer favorite. We also had burgers…

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A Bit of Bloggers Block

I still laugh at myself when I remember that when I began this blog, I FULLY intended to produce incredibly deep and well-planned prose about life, faith, relationships, and even a few pieces of poetry from time to time. There were a few fundamental issues with this:

1. There are a bazillion blogs out there. Very few become successful without photographs and other visually-pleasing touches.

2. Not only am I not an entrancing writer, but I quickly discovered I actually didn’t have all that much to say.

3. No one cares.

And so, the blog became a personal journal of crafts, food, photos, and my life. Sorry I’m not sorry?

But still, like everyone, I find that I have periods of time where I have nothing creative bubbling in my brain. No fresh stories to tell. No new projects or pretty food. Draughts. And then what? Well, this is probably one reason that I have a mighty but small following.

This week is one of those weeks. The season is changing, and the cold, rainy nights have made us hunker down with football and our puppy and I admit, I have not been terribly creative! I hope to remedy this soon, but in the meantime, I plan to spend the rest of the week re-posting a few of my most popular posts over the last six years. If you’re new, hopefully it seems new to you! If you’re not new, sorry, but at least you will have something pretty to look at!!

What do you do when you get block? Writers block, bloggers block, dinner block, etc…tricks of the trade?

A Sweet Family Wedding

I just have to share a few photos and words about the sweetest family wedding that the hubs and I attended in Nashville last weekend. Jonathan’s aunt Kathy (sister to his mama) got married over the weekend, to a wonderful man and family. It was just about 25 people or so – immediate family – at the newlyweds new gorgeous home in Murfreesboro.

Everything was so perfect! God is good, and it was so clear on Saturday that He brings people together precisely when they need to be put together. It’s a beautiful thing!

Puppy Sleeps

Puppy sleeps are the best sleeps. I swear, our pup Ryman has two modes – hyper crazy and sound alseep. She sleeps A LOT. And my husband informs me that she is currently a “teenager” in dog years which totally makes sense. She would honestly sleep until noon if we let her.

Here she was this morning when my hubster tried to get her up to go outside…

"Are you serious, bro?"

“Are you serious, bro?”

She spends every night under the covers, curled up by our feet or against our chests/backs. And to get her to go out in the morning, we literally have to carry her all the way downstairs and force her out the backdoor, or she would just run back to the bed. The minute she comes in, she runs straight to her bed in her crate rather than even bothering to go back upstairs to the bedroom.

I seriously can’t handle the cuteness, which is why I don’t mind too much.

And don’t think she doesn’t sleep all day or something – most evenings, as we are watching TV or working on our computers, she is curled up asleep in our laps. Bedtime is really just carrying her outside, making her go to the bathroom, and then putting her in bed. Moral of the story here is I LOVE OUR PUPSTER!!

She’s a cuddler forever and ever – and seems to have been made just for us…

Snuggles for life.

The Lady and Sons {a.k.a. find Paula}

Last week, I got to travel to Savannah for work. Having never been there before, I made sure to research and plan out my free time in advance. I knew I wanted some of that good southern cooking, and I really wanted to see all the weeping willows and old buildings and all that good stuff! And what better place to start than Paula Deen’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons?

Honestly, I sort of expected it to be only so-so. I mean, don’t you think that somehwere as hyped up as “Paula Deen’s Restaurant” can’t really live up to expectations? Well, let’s just say my inner southern fat kid was NOT disappointed. I got the buffet (partly because I was indecisive and partly because it was one of the cheapest menu choices, and I’m on a limited per diem over here), which included, among other things, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn bread, greens, green beans, and mac & cheese. First plate was as follows: chicken, greens, a little pork, and a little cornbread. I told myself, “This isn’t SO unhealthy.” And when I finished, I was full. And I sat a little while longer. Thinking about mac and cheese.

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And so I may or may not have gone back to the buffet to make a small “dessert” plate of mac & cheese and sweet potatoes.

At that point, I became uncomfortably full. But whatever, it was worth it.

The restaurant itself was really pretty, and much bigger than it looked. Being a loner, I asked for bar seating which was all the way up on the third floor, down a random hallway, to it’s own little room. It was cozy, however as the photo below implies, I was definitely alone at the bar. Thankfully, with all the traveling I do, I don’t really mind riding solo. It makes me, like, mysterious or something, right?

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ALL of this to say, if you find yourself in Savannah, GA, do not be intimidated by the Paula. Go there! I didn’t get to see Paula herself, but the food definitely lived up to her reputation. Cheers!

 

On Guilty Pleasure Reading

I have pretty vast interests when it comes to my reading style. I LOVE non-fictions, like Wild  and Unbroken. But I also love the suspense of Gone Girl and the intricacies of Game of Thrones. 

But I also love the easy, thoughtless pleasure of reading cheesy love stories and tasteless tales. Most recently, this includes Courtney Robertson’s book, I Didn’t Come Here To Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain.

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Obviously, by admitting that I read this book, I also must admit that I watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows. Well, I guess half-watch with my girlfriends while we drink wine and talk over much of it. But still, I most definitely watched Ben’s season, when we all loved to hate Courtney. I cheered for Kacie from Nashville, even though she turned out to be a hot mess in the end, and the whole time I thought Ben was a little, well, boring.

Okay, back to the book. I actually seriously, really enjoyed it. It had a lot of inside looks into what it’s really like to be on a show like this (regardless of if you’re the villain or not), and the aftermath of the show airing. She definitely digs on Ben a bit, but I also felt like she is pretty forthcoming about her errors and flaws along the way too. Gotta give it to the girl – she’s brutally honest. And it really goes to show how much you don’t know about these contestants’ lives BEFORE coming on a show like the bachelor.

All in all, read it if you want something fun and easy. And now that that’s done, it’s time for me to dive into the next Game of Thrones book…

Some People Get To Travel For Work

Have you seen those commercials? The ones that are like “Some people have to travel for work – other people GET to travel for work.” Well, they are advertising for Courtyard Marriotts, which happens to be my work travel hotel of choice, and has been for quite a while. I know it seems kind of random, but let me tell you about my love for the good old Courtyards.

(Here is the commercial if you care.)

Obviously, loyalty = rewards. But I could stay at any Marriott and reap the same rewards. The thing about Courtyards is that they are all laid out the same (they all have a courtyard – duh – and a fitness center and a super casual lobby restaurant area with delicious breakfast and dinner options. They have snacks for sale 24/7. They have balconies. And every room has a sofa and coffee table and tons of space.

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This all probably sounds silly, I know, but I don’t always appreciate these things until I am forced to stay in a different hotel and realize that not everyone has this. Seriously, I feel like I’m in a house at these places. The lobbies are like big living rooms. Here’s a view as I write this blog:

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That’s the lobby. Where I am sitting on a couch in a corner nook with a remote control, watching the crossfit games on ESPN.

And last night I watched TV on my computer in the courtyard while drinking wine.

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Really, as much as traveling for work does get SUPER OLD, it’s really nice to know what to expect at the end of a long day. And I find a lot of comfort in the routine of the Courtyard Marriott.

Are you loyal to a chain or a hotel? Tell me why!