Saturday, February 21, 2009

Interview with...

Moi! I loved reading Angie's interview with Lula, and I love to answer questions/take surveys/be asked for my opinion, so am excited to participate in this! I'll try not to talk your ears off ;-)

Angie sent me the following questions. I'm not quite as creative as my BFF on the studio interview framing, as she did an amazing job, so I hope you won't be disappointed. But let's get straight to the questions. Here we go!

1. If you had to lose one of your five senses, which one would you give up?

Hearing. For several reasons - first, I would rather be able to see and not hear, than be blind but hearing. I love colors, scenery, the smiling faces of friends, family and strangers, and seeing this world in living technicolor. So sight wouldn't be something I'd give up. Touch, likewise, is invaluable, for what person can survive long without the love and reassurance communicated by touching, hugging, holding (platonic and romantic) and being touched, hugged and held by others? Couldn't give that up... then, if you've been reading this blog very long, you know that food is a major source of happiness and pleasure to me. Without taste AND smell, you can't really enjoy food, and since we must eat to live (and eat often), that lets those two out. Lastly, I grew up watching Angie's mom live, love and laugh her way through life seemingly almost unaffected by being deaf. I know it is not that simple, and I am sure she would say there are definitely limitations involved, but I have seen firsthand that life can be thoroughly enjoyed even if you can't hear. So... while I would hate to give it up, as I also love music - that's my final answer, LOL!

2. If you were to be recognized by posterity for one thing, what would you like to be known for?

I love this question, because it reminds me how far I've still got to go in this life to accomplish what I really want to do. I'd like to be known for serving Christ as well and as thoroughly as I can in this lifetime. I believe that is the first and highest purpose for which He put me (and all of us) here - and while I am DEFINITELY not very good at this and will never be, in my own strength, I believe He's working on that, a day at a time in my life. A lot of my focus this year so far has been on priorities - what mine usually are, as opposed to what they should be. I'm struggling a good bit with getting them to where they should be, which is another thing I'll never manage to do in my own strength. But I'm willing to put my hand in His and let Him handle it! Working on that, anyway ;-) There is a beautiful Nichole Nordeman song that sums this philosophy up for me, and if interested you can read the lyrics here.

3. If you could, in retrospect, change one thing about your childhood, what would it be?

This is an interesting question, because in retrospect, if anything in my past changed, I would not be where or who I am today. So I guess I have to qualify my answer and say that, if I could change just one thing without it affecting anything else, I would change the fact that my parents divorced. It affected me in ways that continue to this day. But if (for purposes of the question) my changing something would cause a ripple-down affect, then the only thing I would change is what a bratty kid I was for too many years, LOL! Not for my parents' sake, but for my friends'! Thankfully, a few of them stuck around and are still putting up with me today! MWAH!

4. If you could dine alone with anyone from any period in history, which person would it be?

Don't even have to think about this one. Jesus Christ.

5. If you could be the personal assistant to any famous person alive in the world today, who would you choose and why?

Oh, this is a fun one because so many options are running through my head. Would I want something just plain fun? Intellectually challenging? Physically challenging? Something that provides a lot of perks? Somewhere I can EAT ALL DAY? Oh, the possibilities are endless! But let's see... Angie said I have to pick one. So I'm going to say...Giada de Laurentiis. And hope she would let me have whatever she's cooking for lunch every day! (and Giada, if you are reading this... I can start tomorrow!!)

That concludes today's interview! If you'd like to be interviewed too, here's how it works:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me!"
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will post to your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
So come on--let's get to know each other better. And do not fear potential questions--I promise to play very nice!

Love you guys and happy weekend!

Dahrlin'

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Snufflepuppy Chronicles: Fx4 Edition

Well, once again it has been ages since I blogged. What else is new!? We've been busy and I have lots to show for my time offline these last couple weeks, but first, a quick hi from Miss Pixie. I am starting to think of her as Snufflepuppy, first because she is ALL about the nose (even more than our first Beagle), and secondly because she is just so cute, and I have a bad habit of giving my dogs silly, goofy names. (I can't help it, they make me laugh so much that I think silly things when I look at them!) For instance, my beloved Rottweiler went by a variety of names, but Rottapottamus is one of my all time favorites. That name wasn't one that I came up with (it's popular among Rottie lovers) but it just seemed to fit my silly, goofy girl so well.

So meanwhile, our newest pup has got a lot of silly names to look forward to. She is simply one of the cutest dogs I've ever known, and she brings it on herself, LOL!



Here, she is suffering through bathtime. As an aside, she would like you to know that Daddy's elbows aren't really this pale and scary. I tried everything I know how to do on Photoshop (read: not a whole lot), but could not figure out how to get rid of the emphasis on hubby's elbow in this photo. So, please ignore... the focus of this post is actually the sad and pitiful, woebegone wet puppy in the background. Doesn't she look suitably piteous? (But it's all an act...as we shall see).

After her spa treatments, we turned her loose to run like crazy in the yard (which she did) and and roll around in dead worms and other things to get dirty again IMMEDIATELY (which she did) ... so we also covered her bed with towels to protect it from wet dog. When she curled up in front of the fireplace to dry off, she had this to say for herself:



"Nanny-nanny-boo-BOO!"

For more Friday Foto Finish Fiesta, head on over to Candid Carrie's!

Love and happy weekend!

Dahrlin'

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I Heart Costco

Okay, I know I will hardly be the only one to say this. But let me just say, for the record -

Costco, I love ya!

When I was a teenager, they came out with this great new thing in our town called Sam's Club (y'all know it :-). At the time, we thought that going there was pretty much the coolest thing, as you could get what seemed like a lifetime supply of any of your favorite things - things like cheerios that I used to run out of but maybe, now that we were buying a forty-gallon tub of whatever it was, I would not run out of until my stepmom went to the store next time. Throw in the zillion samples that were always out, and it was like Disneyland for food!

I never joined on my own - instead taking advantage while in college of an office membership my Dad had. Once that petered out, I battled with myself over whether it was silly to spend the money (and drive out of the way) to join a Costco or Sam's here in Atlanta...but that battle has now ended. They won; I can admit it. Actually, in exchange for the many deli pinwheels and plate of deelish-ous carrot cake I ate when they came (so kindly) right to our office the other day, I was more than happy to sell out and become a joiner. They even gave us a deal - which was enough for me - but the crown jewel of my Costco signup day was THIS:



(Have I mentioned how much I HEART Costco?)

This beautiful cookbook has TONS of awesome-looking recipes that I can't wait to try. They'll have to get in line behind all the wonderful recipes I'm collecting from fellow bloggers, but still - they're going on the list! They seem to use few, if any, processed ingredients, and almost all the recipes are easy or at least simpler. Yum!!! I can't wait to dive in there! As you can see I've already been tagging things...on every page, just about! I'm not done tagging yet, but it seemed like I was collecting an obscene number of tags for one cookbook. When I began tagging every page, I decided this will be one I just have to work my way through ;-)

(Help, I need a cooking intervention, LOL!!)


So we went last weekend for our inaugural (hee hee) visit to Costco. And yep, it's still pretty much Disneyland for food. Wait. No, that's Whole Foods. Costco is like Six Flags for food, then. Soooooo much fun!

We came home and compared costs with Publix for most of the items we bought at Costco. Our savings ranged from around 10% on a couple items (like pasta sauce - buy three at a time, but in the same jars as at the grocery, so I expected minimal savings there) to upward of 50% on many items (wahoooooooo!) Like vanilla extract (same stuff as McCormick - I compared ingredients!), hubby's favorite Tabasco (he puts it on freaking everything), laundry detergent, Ziplocs (good thing since I use them for freezer meal kits), etc. etc. I am all about saving $ right now, so I was very excited about that. I think even hubby was surprised.

So, we're now set in terms of most of our paper products and grocery type stuff for a while. And since the frugal freezer plan continues, we're set for food for a while. So look for some fun new recipes as I use up what we've got on hand before we buy more.

Oh - and Costco - don't worry, I'll be back soon!

Love, Dahrlin'

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's HER Fault!*

So, I know I have been away from blogging when not one, not two, not three, but FOUR of my lovely bloggy friends (as well as assorted friends and family!) start asking if I am alive. It's very nice to be missed, and I can report that we are definitely here. It has just been a little nuts around here. Where in the world did I get the idea that things would slow down after the holidays?

I intended to write individual posts about most of the photos I'm posting today. However, time just would not allow, so you're going to get caught up on what's been going on around here - in a hurry, LOL!! Mostly, it's been life-as-usual with a lot of work (I'm glad to have a job!) and a lot of spring cleaning - we've been working on various household projects that are not very exciting to post about. But, I will post a couple photos of the Great American Closet Cleanup - the "after" photos, at least. Posting the "before" photos would have resulted in an immediate call from my mother, a call from the Goodwill people wanting to know if perhaps we have a few things we could donate, and possibly a call from the National Guard, wanting to know if there were any survivors in there, LOL. So I will just show you a couple "after" photos -



...this was AFTER I cleaned out a zillion things I never wear anymore, AFTER I put away the (way too many) pairs of L.L. Bean flip flops I've collected the last few years, and AFTER I cleaned up every last thing that had been thrown into the closet that didn't belong there (ask me where that stuff is now!**)...



Meanwhile, like most folks, we made some yummy food for the Superbowl, and it seemed like a good excuse time to try a couple Pioneer Woman recipes we've been meaning to try.

*Which brings me to a side note regarding the title of this post. I hereby, officially and formally, blame every single calorie I've consumed in the last five days on PW. I don't think she'll mind, since she's not here to defend herself forever putting incredible-looking food in front of us. I mean, really, we can't be expected to resist eating food like this ALL the time, right?

So, for our Superbowl feast, we made some of this cheesy olive bread (run, run, RUN and make this. NOW, even if you don't like olives... I promise, it's AWESOME...) and we ate almost all of it right off the baking sheet.



Later in the week, because man does not live by bread alone, we tried her recipe for this:



It was every bit as awesome as she promised, and hubby and I agree - it's better than any restaurant guac we've ever found.

Of course, we needed something to go with the guac...besides chips, even though hubby (guy that he is) declared that just fine for dinner (ha!)... so we made some of these - ummmm...yummm... steak quesadillas! This is my recipe, and never fear, I'll post recipes for all this stuff very soon. I just wanted to show you, for now, what we've been up to.



Now, normally I would be concerned that I might not burn off the 4,503,624 calories contained in the food I've eaten this week. But, when I get up and see this:



and this...



and this... (and no, that's not the same picture from a few weeks ago - promise! This one was taken this afternoon) ...



I start to shiver so hard that I'm pretty sure I'm not storing many calories these days.

We've made a few other yummy things - some that I have mentioned and just remembered to take pics of as I have made them recently. This is the Atkins Park Pork Tenderloin that I mention endlessly - a favorite that makes a great freezer kit -



And this is my new favorite - an Appletini - a sour-apple treat that's not too sweet (like many recipes I've had in restaurants)...



Here's the Cod with Lima Beans recipe that you've heard me rave about (a favorite from Giada)...



And then, of course, last but certainly not least, here are a few pics of the Munchkin. She really keeps me on my toes - in just the last 24 hours, she has eaten half of an invitation (sorry JW and Ashley!), Lord-knows-what from the fireplace (I only found the soot marks on her face and some disturbed "rocks" from the gas logs), and a bunch of other things that she snatches out of the yard before I can get to them... but we really do encourage her to chew on her toys - and as long as we're sitting right there with her, she's pretty good about that (see this look of mischief? You'll see that again soon, I'm sure!)



And occasionally I'm able to get a pic of her sitting - mostly - still. She's such a cutie.



So that's a quick sum-up of what's been going on around here. As promised, I will post the recipes to go with very soon. Meanwhile, to make this more of an interactive post - let me know if you can identify this freaky pic - you'll see why it's freaky when I post the "answer" next week!



Happy weekend! For more photo fun head over to Candid Carrie's!

Love, Dahrlin'

**(would you believe it's actually been sorted and put away where it goes? Nah, I didn't think you would...)
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