Monday, August 29, 2011

Wedges.

Have you eaten a wedge salad?  I used to think that they were so strange.  You are basically ordering a chunk of a head of iceburg lettuce that you have to chop up and mix up yourself.  That's a lot of work for a salad.
And then I ordered one.
I cut it and chopped it up.
Mixed it and ate it.
I loved it.
Dang, wedge salad!  Your deliciousness caused me to love you!

The first time I made a wedge salad, the dressing I used was way to blue-cheesey.  To me, a little blue cheese goes a long way.  A very long way.  After eating a few more while out to eat, I was convinced that the dressing was not a blue cheese dressing.

After searching, I found a recipe for Morton's Steakhouse Wedge Salad.  I made it apart of my meal planning and whipped it up.  The first night we had it at home, Benjamin ate his entire salad.  There was not a scrap of anything left.  And this is big news because Benjamin has never finished eating his salads at home as long as we have been married.  And this night, because of this dressing, he did.
Ingredients
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup of sour cream
2 Tbs of buttermilk
1/2 tsp of Durkee Famous Sauce
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 cup of blue cheese crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

Now, you may be like me and have no clue what Durkee Famous Sauce is.  According to the manufacturer, it's a tangy mustard - mayo mix and it comes in a bottle that looks like this:
I found mine at Kroger between the mustards and the mayos.  It only comes in 10oz jars and you only need a 1/2 tsp of it... so you can make hoards and hoards of dressing or create something else using this condiment. 

Directions
Mix together the mayo and sour cream.  Add buttermilk, Durkee sauce and seasoned salt.  Mix together.  Add salt 'n' peppa.  Mix.  Using a spatula, fold in the blue cheese crumbs.
Refrigerate.  The dressing will last up to 6 days.

When you prepare your salad you can sprinkle the following toppings over your lettuce wedge: crumbled bacon, chopped tomatoes, hard boiled egg, and blue cheese crumbs.

Enjoy!
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

The House that Beer Cans Covered.

As you very well may know, dear reader, Benjamin and I are always up for a good adventure and for us there is no adventure too small.  We have been very blessed with great friends who, for better or worse, are game for joining us.  When Groupon ran a deal for admission and guided tour for two for the price of one to an off the beaten path tourist site in Houston, we couldn't pass it up.  Our friends Jeff and Jessica were coming from Dallas to spend the weekend with us and it was going to be a quirky thing for us to do.

The Beer Can House.  Yes, out of everything to do in Houston - Kemah, Galveston, NASA, Galleria, etc, etc... we took our friends to The Beer Can House.
From our guided tour we learned that the house was built in the 1940's and the project of converting the house to the work it is today started in 1967 by John Milkovisch.  Yes, he was married to a very understanding wife from my point of view!  She is to have been quoted saying that John could have the outside of the house as long as she could have the inside.  On the property there are over 20,000 marbles cemented into the walk ways, drive way, and random art piles in the yard.  The house number, 222, is on the property at least 5 times.
There is not a square inch of the outside of the house that isn't covered in some piece of a can.  Be it the body of the can or the tops and bottoms, they were everywhere!
Jeff and Jessica are in front of one of the many fences that are on the property constructed out of bottles, tabs, and cans.
In the front of the house, there is a ladder with a black rung.  John said that the ladder was a symbol for life and in life we all come across a point in our lives where we face opposition, the black rung.  Each person either perseveres and continues on to their Final Reward, or stays right stuck on that rung.  
In a short video we watched about the house, John said that if he himself didn't live next door to the place, he wouldn't have gone out of his way to see the house and the accidental art piece he created it to be.
All I can say is I am glad that we went out of our way and encourage you to do the same if you are looking for some quick, cheap entertainment on a Saturday afternoon in Houston!
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Project 52: Week 32 and 33

Backyard fun with Lulu puppy.  This house does not have a sprinkler system, so the evenings that we water, Lulu enjoys running around trying to outsmart the water and rolling in the grass.
Beer Can House in Houston with our friends Jeff and Jessica.  Sweet Lulu puppy happy on her new rug!  Benjamin and I on a Thursday night - ole!
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Monday, August 22, 2011

First Year Fiesta!

The new house was broken in last Thursday with it's inaugural Crazy Cozad's party.  We hosted what I lovingly call the First Year Fiesta!  There have been a few events that most of us have been able to attend but nothing yet for just the first year residents and their significant others.  Throwing a party for the entire class is a little easier than it was in dental school with there only being 7 of them!

Since I am able to be home still, I decided to try my hand at some extra touches for the party.  I made the poms and attached them to the light fixtures in the house.
I crafted a "Fiesta" sign using the font Taco Modern.  And yes, those are a maracas and a burro on each end of the sign.  Thanks to Google Images and a handy search for "Mexican coloring pages" I was able to put my mad coloring skills to use!  No party is complete without a vase full of mustaches, duh.  My now very famous with the ortho residency soapapilla cheesecake bars and festive take home bags.

I bet you're wondering what take home bags are for.  No, they are not for food.  They were to take home the surprises inside of this guy.
How could you even think that a fiesta would be a fiesta without a pinata?  Benjamin picked this one out of a plethora of choices on Amazon.  It was down to this and Justin Bieber.  Pedro the Shark won out because he had teeth.  When you are married to a dentist turning orthodontist, everything is about teeth.  Truth.
No matter what age you are, pinatas are fun!  Wielding a bat at a swinging object while being blindfolded never gets old.  Especially when you are spectating while others take a whack at connecting with the pinata for the hopes of showering it's contents in the grass!  All of the girls got to have a go at smacking the pinata as well as Juan and Peter who landed the fatal blow.  Afterwards, Casey showed off his awesome baseball skills.
We had a photo shoot with the mustaches that proved to be as equally entertaining as bludgeoning Pedro the Shark to bits.
Meet our mustached friends.  Clockwise:  You know us.  Shawna and Casey.  Tamara and Jason. Luke, Kala and Dexter.  Blake and Daniel.  Monica and Juan.  Leslie and Peter.  Here are the ones that are the first years in the UT program:
Classy group, right?  Well...maybe that's not the word that's coming to your mind, but at least they know how to have fun!  One scary thought is that all of seven of these people are bona fide doctors.  Makes you think about what your doctors do on a regular Thursday night...
The night ended in everyone having a go at Sambre de Amigo - our rockin' maraca shaking game for the Wii.  Again, it's as much fun watching the participants as it is participating!  
Thanks to the this group of 14 people, the Fiesta was a success!!  I will leave you with my favorite photo of the night...
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pom Poms Up!

I have seen fabulous tissue poms all over pinterest, in magazines, and at parties on the blogosphere.  Every time I look at them I think how amazing they look and how they add that something extra to wherever they are scattered or hung.  An extra pop of celebration!  I thought I'd try my hand at making a few and here is how I did it:

The fabulous thing about this project is that you can make the poms any size and any color!  Whatever color or pattern you choose, have about 8-10 sheets of tissue.  Also get a ruler, a pair of scissors and some floral wire.
Lay out the tissue paper on a flat surface and place the ruler beside it.  Fold the tissue paper up about 1.5" from the bottom.  You can make choose to make the fold somewhere in the 1 inch to 3 inch range.
Continue folding the tissue paper accordion style a consistent width creasing as you go.  Once this is complete, measure out 16 - 24 inches of floral wire depending where you are going to use your poms.  If you are going to sit them on a table, cut your wire 16 inches or so.  If you are going to hang them, cut the wire 24 inches or longer.  Fold the wire in half and place around the tissue paper.  Twist wire so that it is snug against the tissue.
Once your wire is around the tissue, you can take your scissors and cut the ends of the tissue to a point, or a curve or you can leave it straight edged depending on what look you desire to create.  The rounded edges give the poms a more floral look and feel.  The blue and red ones in the last photo are examples of this.
Next, separate each layer of tissue pulling away from the center one at a time.  I alternated sides and once the front half was fluffed, I worked from the back.  Use your fingers to separate each layer in the center. 
Also, don't worry if the tissue tears a little while you are separating the layers.  No one will know but you!
Once all of your layers are separated, fluff the layers to get the pom looking exactly as you want it.  
Scatter around the house and enjoy the pizzaz that they give to the party!
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Right now...

I'm sitting at my desk looking out on the backyard listening to Architecture in Helsinki while chomping down on Bagel Bites with Lulu curled up in her bed by my feet.

I'm surrounded by recipes and books getting ready for a gathering we are hosting tomorrow night and for our friends arriving on Friday.

I'm writing this post as to give myself a break from the job search.

I'm thankful that I am able to have days like this and am treasuring the time I have being at home knowing that they will have to come to an end.  For a little while.

I'm excited to open the box that just arrived from Amazon!

Whatever you are doing right now, I hope that you are enjoying the moment and having a wonderful Wednesday!
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Officially, of course.

Benjamin has been in the Orthodontic clinic for a few months now.  He is in full swing of putting braces on patients, fitting them with appliances and treating TMJ.  With over 20 patients walking around with brackets on their teeth that he has bonded up, each week brings new patients as well as managing the progress of those whose teeth are moving and grooving, so to speak.  His goal is to have 50 patients treatment planned by Christmas.

Last week was the graduating class' last week in clinic.  This means that there are only 13 residents left and the whole recruiting cycle has started over for the next first year class.  It's hard to believe that it was a year ago that Benjamin was applying for residencies...  With the seniors on their way out, I received this picture from the hubs last week:
They put out his name plate!  My little heart swelled with pride and joy!  There's something about seeing your name on your work space that makes being there a little more official.  
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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Project 52: Weeks 29, 30, 31

It happened.  I dreaded thinking that it would...but it did.  At least I got to week 29 before it did!
And there's Week 30.  At least it was redemptive!!
There was Lulu's birthday - she turned 3!  I stayed at Mom and Dad's for a few nights while Benjamin was in St. Louis for an annual orthodontic conference with the other residents in his group.  The photo at the top right are the first year residents.  Some of the guys went to support the Astros the first night.  They went site-seeing and enjoyed some team building activities! 
Mom and I traveled to Virginia for my cousin's wedding and did some site seeing in Leesburg and Alexandria.
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Friday, August 12, 2011

Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream Slice

I tried this recipe for the first time a few weeks ago and have added it to my arsenal of summertime desserts!  It's so super yummy and easy, hopefully you'll have time to try it before the cool weather comes... whenever that's supposed to be.
Ingredients
5 cups of chocolate ice cream, slightly softened
14 or so Chips Ahoy! cookies crushed
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 Cool Whip
1 square of semi-sweet chocolate

Directions
Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with foil leaving the ends of the foil long enough to drape over the sides of the pan.  Spread the ice cream into the pan.  
Take 14 or so of the cookies and crush them up.  Mix the crumbs with the butter.  Take the cookie mixture and spread it on top of the ice cream.  Gently press the crumbs into the ice cream as you spread.  Cover the pan with the foil that is draped over the sides of the pan.  Put this into the freezer for 6 hours or until frozen.
An hour or so before you are ready to serve, uncover the bottom of the dessert and place onto a tray.  Using the foil, remove the pan and foil from the ice cream cookie block.  Frost the dessert with the Cool Whip.  Grate the chocolate square and sprinkle on top of the Cool Whip for a finished look.  Return to freezer until ready to serve!

For a printer friendly version, click here.
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