"I've discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it."
- William Faulkner

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* That my new iPhone would hurry up and get here!

* That there were no such thing as parking tickets.

* These precious yellow pumps. I already have several outfits picked out that they would totally make.

* That Jen Lancaster and I were friends. She’d adore me.

* That the A/C in my house worked. It’s HOT, people.

What’s your wish?

Monday, June 28, 2010


Here’s another delicious dish for those of you that might have a case of the Mondays.

Sopapilla Cheesecake

2 8-oz packages cream cheese
2 8-oz packages refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract
½ cup margarine or butter, melted
½ cup cinnamon sugar (can be made by combining 1 cup sugar with 2 tablespoons cinnamon)

Using a 9x13 baking pan, unroll one package of refrigerated crescent rolls and line the bottom of the pan. Flatten. Mix together cream cheese, sugar and extract. Spread over crescent rolls. Unroll the other can crescent rolls and place on top of cream cheese mixture. Pour one stick of melted butter over the top and sprinkle with about ½ cup of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Friday, June 25, 2010

i love brunch

Love it. Nothing makes me happier than someone saying, “Hey, Mary Straton, you’re my friend, I like you, let’s do brunch!” I like to plan a brunch, go to brunch at someone’s house, make it for friends, you name it – I freaking love brunch.

So, you can imagine my excitement and happiness when I got to make brunch for Harris and Lou and Kell last weekend. It was essentially an extension of the Great Birthday Celebration of 2010, one of the best in birthday history. I have eaten more in the week of my and Kell’s birthdays than I care to admit, so why stop right before the funnest (yes) feast of the day? Well, I didn’t. I’m a giver, so I plug on. I’m a big girl like that.

Here’s my menu:

Fruit Salad (Chick-fil-A style – the best in the fast food industry)
Sister Schubert’s Sausage Rolls (I dare you to make a better pig-in-a-blanket)
Tomato Grits
Monkey Bread

Aaaand, here’s how I did it:

My Favorite Fruit Salad

1 pint strawberries
2 granny smith apples
1 lb grapes
2 cans mandarin oranges

Remove the tops of the strawberries and slice. Cut the apple into slices and then into bite size pieces (about the same size of the grapes). Rinse and drain oranges. Mix all ingredients in bowl and chill.

Tomato Grits

2 cups water
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick cooking grits
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup diced green onions
4 ounces processed cheddar cheese, cubed (Velveeta)
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (10-ounce) can Ro-Tel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a saucepan, bring the water and milk to a boil. Add the salt and slowly add the grits and return to a boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. While stirring the grits add the 1/2 cup of butter and stir until butter is melted. Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the grits are thick and creamy. Remove from heat and set aside.

Using a skillet, saute the onions in the remaining tablespoon of butter for 1 minute. Add the processed cheese, garlic powder, 1 1/2 cups cheddar, and onions to grits, and stir until the cheese is melted. Add the tomatoes and mix well. Pour the grits into a greased 8 by 11 by 2-inch casserole and bake for 40 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese over the casserole for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

(I halved the recipe for the 4 of us, and it was perfect. The whole shebang would probably serve 8-10.)

Monkey Bread (oo oo ah ah)

3 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube/Bundt® pan.
Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan.

Melt the margarine with the brown sugar over medium heat. Pour over the biscuits.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate.

Have a great weekend. Enjoy brunch! I do!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* A big, fat Snickers. The whole thing – no halfsies.

* A miracle frizz product. Haven’t we suffered long enough?

* Some of this cute new bendy flatware from Anthro.

* Another Gigi’s Cupcake. I want red velvet this time!

* That I’ll be able to get a new iPhone 4 tomorrow! Please, oh please, don’t sell out until I get one!

What’s your wish?

Monday, June 21, 2010

in the bag

First and foremost, thanks to all of my sweet friends and family that gave me well-wishes Wednesday on my birthday (and a special thank you to yaya for her sweet post about yours truly)! My blog, facebook and twitter (follow me!) were blowin’ up, and it’s all thanks to you guys! I wish I could squeeze you all. Imagine I am right now.

So I was tagged by yaya and Heather to share with all my friends what’s in my purse. Pretty boring, but here goes:

Wallet, of course – the trusty HOBO. What did I do before I had this thing? If you don’t have one, break down and spend the $90 or so to get one. It will change your life. Anywho, mine has my checkbook, receipts, cards, and some cash-ola (not much, mind you).

6 pens of various points and colors

Moleskine notebook (thanks, MK). I keep this in my bag ALWAYS. It has notes about everything from dimensions of my house, to recipes to article notes. It even has a cute little (empty) pouch in the back to hold little treasures.

A Libby Story gift card that my pups gave me for Mothers Day. I’m holding out until they get TOMS wedges in. Score!

A Diet Dr. Pepper for today. It should actually be in the fridge right now, but you have to get up to do that.

Cute little birdie bag (that Harris gave me) with about a million different MAC lip glosses and lipsticks, NARS cream blush (great for the girl on the go!), a ponytail holder, some bobbies and mirror.

Business card holder with my real job business cards and some from my freelancing.

Hand sanitizer. No diggity, no doubt.

Weight Watchers calculator. If you think I don’t pull this out in the grocery store multiple times per visit, you are dead wrong.

My sunglasses – purple Ray-Ban Wayfarers. I’ve come this close to losing them about 100 times, but they keep finding their way back to me. We love each other.

Keys. Blah.

So, that’s that! I hope you all have a great week!

Friday, June 18, 2010

the big 3-0!

Guess who's turning 30 today? If you don't know, here are 30 reasons I love him, and maybe you can figure it out...

1. He should have been a statistician. He knows everything about every college football player out there, and some pros (if they played in the SEC, of course).
2. He loves Vanity Fair magazine. I have to convince him every month when it comes in that it is not a girlie mag.
3. He is great on the grill.
4. Even though he doesn’t like it, he always mows our yard.
5. He’s a great tennis player. He’ll tell you he’s not, but trust me; he is.
6. He’s like a kid at Christmas on college football game days. Even more so when they’re Mississippi State home games.
7. He doesn’t mind washing his clothes and putting them away. He’d even rather put away my clean clothes then have them sit in the basket for days like they normally do.
8. He is a very logical thinker. He will never jump into something without studying it.
9. He calls facebook “the facebook.”
10. Speaking of social networking, he refuses to open a twitter account. Instead, he just has bookmarks for all the people he follows and clicks around.
11. He picks out really great cards for me.
12. He really likes to vacuum.
13. He will record a Christmas episode of any TV show. Ever.
14. He loves The Office and always waits to watch it until when we can watch it together.
15. He can fix (a few) things around the house.
16. He can speak intelligently about lots of subjects.
17. He loves an MSU message board.
18. Whenever I go to Greenwood, he always tries to convince me to bring him back a veal cutlet (or 2) from the Crystal Grill.
19. He has a wonderful family.
20. He makes the bed every morning and never gets mad at me for not helping.
21. He can string a tennis racket.
22. He loves our dogs just as much as I do.
23. He always fills my car up with gas.
24. He has great hair!
25. He likes (most of) the same music as I do.
26. He drinks the milk in the bottom of the bowl after he’s eaten the cereal out.
27. He LOVES tater tots.
28. I call him several times a day, and he doesn’t mind.
29. He’s great at remembering dates.
30. He’ll always be older than me!

Happy birthday to my one and only!
I love you!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

wish list wednesday - birthday edition!

What am I wishing for on this Birthday Wednesday?
(pic from that adorable youaremyfave)

* That Joy the Baker was making my birthday cake. Red Velvet, I think…

* For Paul McCartney to sing “Birthday” to me!

* That I had on some of the adorable new TOMS wedges (in yellow, no doubt!).

* A Kimmy K makeover with fake eyelashes and everything.

* For all of you to leave me a birthday comment! Come on, I don’t ask for much…
What’s your wish?

Monday, June 14, 2010

how is june halfway over?

Good morning, readers. I hope you had a great weekend. As for us, we survived babysitting 101 and the baby survived as well. Win-win! Kell and I just kept looking at each other saying, “There’s a baby in our house, and his parents aren’t here!” I changed a diaper and rocked him to sleep and everything. We did have a falling-off-the-couch incident, but other than that, it was just fine. Whew.

We also headed to Starkville for Kate’s wedding Saturday, and it was awesome. I loved getting to see all the Kappa Chis (you know who you are), and Kate was a stunning bride. Yay for weddings! I hope the wedding photog Kallie puts pics up on her blog soon.

Next on the agenda for this post, I have a couple of delicious dishes to share. Katy and Cliff hosted supper club last night, and here are the items I brought. I think everyone there enjoyed them, so I hope you will too.

Greek Pasta Salad

½ cup olive oil
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsp dried basil
1 ½ tsp oregano
¾ tsp black pepper
¾ tsp sugar
8 oz. cooked pasta (I like rotini for this recipe, but cavitappi would be good too)
3 cups mushrooms, sliced
15 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in ½
1 cup red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
¾ cup feta cheese, crumbled (I used reduced fat)
½ cup green onion, chopped
3 ½ oz black olives, whole
¾ c. pepperoni slices, cut into thin strips

Mix together oil, vinegar, garlic powder, basil, oregano, pepper and sugar (To lessen the oil/vinegar separation, put vinegar in bowl first, then pour oil in slowly while whisking. Then add the spices.). Add remaining ingredients to pasta, and pour on the sauce. Toss until well-coated. Cover and chill for 2 hours or overnight (I like to stir it a couple of times while chilling).

Nutella Gelato

2 cups whole milk (I used skim)
1 cup heavy cream (I used fat free Half & Half)
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, crushed, for garnish, if desired

In a saucepan combine the milk, cream, and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar using an electric mixer until the eggs have become thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup of the warm milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture and stir. Add this mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 to 10 minutes. Place a strainer over a medium bowl and pour the warm custard mixture through the strainer. Stir in the vanilla and hazelnut spread until it dissolves. Chill mixture completely before pouring into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions to freeze. To serve, scoop gelato into serving bowls and top with hazelnuts, if you like.

Have a great Monday. I happen to know someone who has a birthday in a couple of days.

Friday, June 11, 2010

oh baby!

No, I don't have one on the way.

Tonight Kell and I are babysitting Landon, our sweet friends Adam and Liz's son, for a few hours. Unfortunately, he and I are clueless about what to do with a baby! Any advice for the baby novices? We're terrified!

Also, Kate and Jay get married tomorrow! Yay! I love weddings, especially the cake.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* A pita pizza from Zoe’s Kitchen. I’m pretty sure I could eat one every day.

* That I’d had this Harry Potter towel at the beach this weekend.

* My own office. With a door. That I could close.

* That my sunburn would even out before Saturday – Kate’s wedding! Hooray!

* An herb garden that would plant, fertilize, maintain and harvest itself.

What’s your wish?

Monday, June 7, 2010


Things I learned while at the beach this weekend:

1. Spray sunscreen provides little other than a false sense of security. I am hurting. Bad.

2. Jen Lancaster is the perfect author for beach reads, bar none. Sorry, Eric, but I had to cut you loose.

3. There will always be people bigger than you sporting bathing suits smaller than yours. And vice versa.

4. Just because you see someone in a bar that looks just like Jennifer Nettles, and you are able to convince everyone around you that it IS Jennifer Nettles does not make said person actually Jennifer Nettles. Especially if her name is Tonya.

Hope you all had a great weekend. I’m back to the real world now with my aloe vera in a holster.

Friday, June 4, 2010

life's a beach

Hello, there. Guess where I am?

This is my second of three trips to the beach this summer, but this time I plan to actually set foot in the sand for the first time in ten years. Yay me!

Be back soon. In the meantime, I’m feeling up for some Nutella ice cream. You?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* That I could bring my ice cream maker to work. On second thought, that’s a really bad idea.

* To be able to get into the book I’m reading. Sorry, Eric, but you’re killing me here.

* A cute straw fedora to wear to the beach this weekend. Maybe like this one!

* A nap.

* Some curtains for my bedroom so maybe I could sleep past 6:00 a.m. on weekends.

What’s your wish?
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