Parenthetical like whoa

[The original title of this post was to be “Rods ‘n’ balls.”  Just shake your head and keep reading.]
I’ve got parentheses up the wazoo in this post, probably due to how scattered my thoughts are at the moment…I’m sooo tired.  I’ve been working on these for the past 4 hours:


I’ve got to finish the cake pops tomorrow…they’re going to miraculously turn into trees – cantcha tell?  At least I had some help on the pretzel rods.  Catherine came over for dinner and debauchery domestication.  My ginormous family is having our annual Christmas get-together at our lakehouse this weekend, so I’m making the pretzel rods for snacking and the cake pop trees for place cards.  Stay tuned for how they turn out when they’re all decorated and stuff…

Last night I made a pretty darned good dinner, something I’ve already got plans to tweak for the future.  I took boneless pork chops and pounded them thinner, then topped them with some pepper, some garlic, a bunch of baby spinach, and some brie.  Then I rolled it up (as best I could) and baked it.  I also made butternut squash “fries” with salt and cinnamon, but I don’t think the oven was hot enough…they just turned out soft, which is fine by me.


This morning I woke up semi-early and headed out to go Christmas shopping.  For four and a half hours.  I’m looking for a very specific thing for a very good bargain, and – surprise, surprise – can’t find what I’m looking for.  I’m having one helluva time this year trying to think of things to get my parents…Dad is THE WORST person to shop for.  Seriously, the consensus usually is that our fathers are difficult to shop for, but my dad doesn’t like anything.  Clothes are hit or miss, he already has every tool imaginable, I get him DVDs and they are left unopened, even when he watches the shows or movies over and over again on TV (I’m stealing back the SNL seasons 1-2 DVD I gave him last year…he won’t miss it)…I have no idea what to do.  I can’t make him stuff like I can my mom (knitting, jewelry, stationery, etc.).  For Father’s Day I used my trusty Dremel tool and made him a neato plaque with his monogram cut out of it, and I stained it and everything.  For what?  Who knows.  Where would he put it?  No clue.  But I made it and it took a long time, and, truth be told, it’s stupid.  But I’m at a loss as to what to try next!!!

[End whining]

Although my usual shopping hot spots were crazy busy this morning, everyone was fairly pleasant.  I smiled at people walking by and they smiled back, and most of the cashiers I encountered were cheerful and polite.  It put me in a jolly mood.     However, jolly or no, at hour 4, I got HANGRY.  I stopped by Publix looking for the Celestial Seasonings holiday teas (which I JUST discovered you can search for on the website…I’ve found my nearest store and will visit tomorrow!!) and picked up a sorry-ass salad.  I shouldn’t have paid 6 bucks for it, but I was desperate for something interesting.  It was a “buffalo chicken” salad and had buffalo chicken (yes, fried, though there wasn’t much chicken anyway), blue cheese crumbles, celery, and carrots (which I ditched – not on the plan.  Why is butternut squash (while infrequent) ok but carrots aren’t?  Dunno.)  I added more veggies in the way of cucumbers and red peppers, then added like 3x the greens as a base.  Plus some of my yogurt ranch dressing and green Tobasco sauce.  (Someone asked about my yogurt ranch dressing the other day – Laura, mayhaps?  It’s by Bolthouse Farms and it’s flippin’ sweet.  You find it in the refrigerated section, usually right next to the bagged salads.  They also make some AMAZING fresh smoothies/juices.)  Where was I?  Oh yeah, Hugh Jass…


There was a bit of chicken down in there, I promise!


This afternoon, I was hungry and knew I’d want “cocoa” (a shake) after dinner for “dessert,” so I had some leftover butternut squash as a snack.


This stuff was so amazing – no added sugar, but it was so sweet all by itself! 

One last funny thing before I PTFO.  My intention is to make tree-shaped cake pops a la Bakerella:

(her image, her expertise, her talent)

…so I got white cake mix and white frosting and tinted both green.  Well, the batter was a pretty minty green color (took pictures after the fact, so we’ve only got traces as proof)…


…but baked up looking like the Grinch after a vacay in Cabo.


…interesting, eh?

 Catherine’s a damned good sprinkle-er.



  1. Those pretzels look yummy! You are super creative and crafty. I wish I had a bit of those qualities!

    Fathers (and brother-in-laws) are the worst to shop for! I get my dad either socks or golfballs every year! And my brother-in-law doesn't like anything. So, I've started getting my sister things for their house and putting 'to: jodi and garret' on the label.

  2. you always make the most amazing things. and they look amazing too. i'm so impressed!

    your posts always make me so hungry!! :-)

  3. The cake pop are a cool idea. Also love the preztel rods. I actually made my own chocolate covered pretzels before I would have to agree it is a huge pain in the butt. So much easier to buy!! lol

  4. That's exactly what I wanted to make for Christmas, to give out to friends. Choco covered pretzel!Omg,I love buffolo chicken salads. I haven't had one in a long time too.

  5. I want to come be your friend and make crafts and food together-hell even crafty food-I love your posts~

  6. Lily - I'm of the "fake it till you make it" philosophy when it comes to creativeness. ;) I've done that cop-out a few times, getting something generic and slapping the "To Mom and Dad" label on it. It sucks because Mom's got like 5 presents under the tree from me already and Dad's only got one so far. :(

    Laura - Thanks! If I've made your stomach churn (for better or worse), my day is complete. :D

    Amanda - I can't take credit for those cake pops. Have you seen Bakerella's website? ( - she's the brains behind it and comes up with SUCH cute ideas! Dude, check out the Sesame Street pops. For realz. And I can totally understand about the chocolate covered pretzels - my grandparents made homemade peanut butter ritz sandwiches dipped in chocolate one Christmas and HATED that they were so good we'd ask for them every year. It's a pain dipping something completely in chocolate!! At least with the rods, you've got a built-in handle!

    Nicci - I'm kicking myself because I wanted to crunch up some candy canes to sprinkle on some and I totally forgot!! I made these last year for our family Christmas weekend and they were literally gone by early Saturday afternoon. And one of my vices (even when I wasn't eating meat) was a Buffarella wrap at Wild Wing Cafe (do y'all have those?) It is THE BEST buffalo chicken fingers in a wrap with cheese and ranch and lettuce and HOLYGOD.

    Candace - I would like that very much!! It's always fun being crafty with a friend! I'm going to try a new undertaking in the next week or two. I've never done it before (the recipient might read, so I'm being sneaky), and I really hope it turns out! I'll share my results! Thanks for the compliment! :D


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