Thursday, September 24, 2009

Its Raining, Its Pouring!

Coco absolutely despises rain. Well, thats not exactly true. She despises getting hit with rain drops. And she doesn't really like wet grass. And well, she doesn't like being outside when its damp. Ok, ok - she doesn't like rain. So, the perfect solution to keep her warm and dry when its raining? Her very own raincoat! A friend of mine sent Coco a package a month or so ago, and we were finally able to get it out this week. As yucky and nasty as it has been the last week or so, its hard to remember how hard we prayed for rain, just a few short weeks ago. I just wish we had some golashes to go with this little coat. It's just so cute!

As cute as she looks, she wasn't very impressed.

She DID NOT like the hood!

Little ladybugs on her back. Aren't they cute?
She was not, at all, impressed with the raincoat. She wouldn't move - at all. When I wanted to get a picture of the ladybugs, I had to pick her up and turn her around. She never moved, until I took it off. Then she ran and hid from me!
The girl has got to learn - sometimes - you must sacrifice comfort, for beauty.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Show Us Your Life - Dinner Recipes

I was looking for a recipe to cook for dinner last night. Lately, I feel like I've been in a rut. I don't feel like cooking and if I do - its the same thing over and over. So, with the weather getting cooler this week (its starting to feel like fall). I asked Darren if he would mind soup for dinner and of course - he said go for it (he could eat soup every day of his life). So, I searched and came up with the following soup.
Italian Sausage & Tortellini Soup
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • ½ tablespoon packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1½ cups sliced zucchini
  • 8 ounces fresh tortellini pasta
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a 5 quart Dutch oven, brown sausage.
  2. Remove sausage and drain.
  3. Sauté onions and garlic in drippings.
  4. Stir in beef broth, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce, and sausage.
  5. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  6. Skim fat from the soup. Stir in zucchini and parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes.
  7. Add tortellini during the last 10 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.
I changed it just a tad. I ran by the store and got everything on my way home and was so hungry when I got there, that I started making this right away. I didn't exactly follow the directions - after I cooked the sausage, onions and garlic, I just kind of threw everything in the pot! I mean, isn't that how soup making goes? Oh, and it was delicious. I got a little carried away and I think I added way more than what the recipe called for because I had 5 QUARTS of piping hot soup on my stove last night. I topped it with some freshly grated parmesan cheese and it was wonderful. Next time, I will make sure I have a loaf of crusty bread to soak up some of that broth! Enjoy!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


In case y'all haven't suspected - Coco likes attention. She is pretty much an attention whore. I am trying to get her out of the habit of expecting 100% of everyone's attention all the time, but thats not working all that well.

Every evening, when I work on Darren's laptop, she gets right next to me and stretches in front of me to block my view, or tries to crawl in my lap with the computer, or just stands on the laptop. So, I am constantly pushing her or scooting her and trying to get her to lay down next to me so we can cuddle and I can use the computer. Sometimes that works, a lot of times it doesn't.

This morning was a prime example.

This is how most of my computer time was spent this morning:

Let me just tell you how hard it is to see what you are doing on the computer with a furry little head in your way.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Furry Friends

Last week, while Darren was outside playing with Coco, he said that the dog in that yard behind us finally realized that Coco was her neighbor. We brought Coco home in December and both Coco and Lacy just realized each other last week! Attentive, huh? Ever since they realized each other, they spend most of their evenings, harrassing each other through the fence. Let me re-phrase that. Coco spends most of her evening harrassing Lacy and Lacy spends her evening barking at Coco. Lacy runs up and down the fence, trying to get to Coco and Coco runs up and down the fence away from Lacy. Every so often she will lay down and press up against the fence, just to torment her. She never barks or growls, she just jumps around and keeps running up and down the fence. She hops around and you can tell that she is completely amusing herself, by picking on Lacy.

Here is Lacy, trying to find Coco. See that little nose?

Coco realizes that Lacy is there, and then proceeds to tease her!

You can see some of the things that we have put up, trying to block some of the holes that they have made, trying to get to each other.

Coco will put her little nose up against the fence, and just hold it there. She won't move or make noise.

She will sit there forever and Lacy barks and barks and barks! When I open the door and call for her, she turns around and tilts her head as to say "she is making all this noise mom, and I don't know why - I'm not doing anything"

Needless to say, Coco is very excited about her new furry little friend.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Diptacular 2009

Yesterday when BooMama blogged about getting ready for college football and all of the fun and food (especially dip) that comes with it, I got about as giddy as a kid on Christmas. I'm serious, y'all. The start of college football means a lot of different things. It means that fall is fast approaching, which is my very favorite time of year. It means that pretty soon, we are going to be pulling out the long sleeve shirts and blankets and pumpkin decorations! We'll get to have fires and drink cider and go on hay rides. Oh, I just can't wait! But, before we get to all that...we get to college football. And all the tailgating, screaming, cheering, and eating that comes with it! Oh, the eating.

I have searched high and low for some of my favorite dip recipes to share with y'all and believe me - you and your guests will thank me. These are some great ones. If you haven't tried them, you really are missing out. If you have already tried them, make them again - you know how good they are!
Sausage Cheese Dip
  • 1 box of velveeta
  • 1 roll of Jimmy Dean sausage
  • 1 can of Ro-Tel tomatoes


  1. Brown sausage in a skillet and drain the grease off.
  2. Cut up the Velveeta cheese into small cubes.
  3. Put sausage, cheese and can of ro-tel tomatoes (undrained) into your crockpot on low.
  4. After the cheese is completely melted, stir to incorporate.
  5. Then, I turn the crockpot on “keep warm” and just keep an eye on it.

I normally use mild sausage and regular ro-tel. It has a little kick, but its not so hot you can’t enjoy it. Serve with tortilla chips.

This is my favorite dip! We have it for every occasion in our house. We make it on game/race day. We make it for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays or just because. It's easy and delicious and if you've never made it - you have to now!
Touchdown Taco Dip
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp Pampered Chef Southwestern Seasoning Mix (red pepper, onion, garlic)
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese Optional toppings such as diced tomatoes, thinly sliced green onions, sliced pitted ripe olives, snipped fresh cilantro or additional sour cream.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread refried beans over bottom of a casserole dish.
  3. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, seasoning mix and garlic; mix well.
  4. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over beans.
  5. Grate cheddar cheese over top.
  6. Bake 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  7. If desired, sprinkle diced tomatoes, thinly slice green onions, sliced olives, and cilantro over the dip. Garnish with additional sour cream, if desired.
  8. Remove from oven; serve with Tortilla Chips.

Hot Pizza Dip


  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 ounces pepperoni sausage, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sliced black olives


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, oregano, parsley, and basil.
  2. Spread mixture in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate, or a shallow microwave-safe dish.
  3. Sprinkle ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese and ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese on top of the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Spread the pizza sauce over all.
  5. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, then top with green pepper, pepperoni and olive slices.
  6. Cover, and microwave for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

I like to serve this dip with some toasted french bread. Or if you don't want to go through all that trouble, just put out some triscuit crackers. And if you really don't want to go through the trouble, just set out a box of triscuit crackers because honestly - when people have the opportunity to eat this dip, they don't care what crackers or bread was served on. They probably won't even care if its served with something. Give them a spoon and tell them to dig in.

Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip


  • 2 packages cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup Franks Red-Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 1 cup ranch salad dressing
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese and hot pepper sauce until well blended.
  • Mix in the Ranch dressing, chicken and Cheddar cheese.
  • Spread into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  • Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven.
  • If oil collects on the top, dab it off using a paper towel.
  • Serve with tortilla chips.
If y'all have the time, I completely recommend that you make your own ranch dressing. You just take one of those little packages of Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix, and mix it with 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of mayonnaise. It is so much creamier and more delicious than anything you can buy pre-made. It is definitely worth the 3 minutes that it will take you to make it. Seriously.
Chili Cheese Dip
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can chili without beans
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup diced green chilies, drained
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Grease a 9-inch pie plate.
  3. Spread cream cheese into the prepared pie plate.
  4. Top the cream cheese with chili, onions, chilies, and cheese.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Serve with Fritos.

Just for the record, I use Bush's Original Homestyle Chili. For God know's what reason, you cannot buy it at Wal-Mart. You have to go to Kroger or HEB or some place and get it. And I will be the first to tell y'all that if I need/want chili for something I will leave Wal-Mart with all of my loot and drive across the street and stop at Kroger to get this Chili. Yes, it really is that good!

Ok, I might have a breakdown. I just went to the Bush website, to get the link for the chili so that I could share it with y'all and this is what I found:

"Thank you for visiting on our Homestyle Chili page but we regret to inform you that we are no longer manufacturing our Homestyle Chili products. We apologize for any disappointment this may have caused. Although our Homestyle Chili products are no longer available, it is our hope you will enjoy our other great Bush’s products highlighted on this website".

Let me tell you this, I will have a hard time enjoying other Bush's products knowing that I will no longer be enjoying any chili. And I don't like the grilling beans! Take that Bush Brothers!

Ok, back to the dips. I hope you make one, or all of them and I hope that you enjoy them. In fact, I know that you will. And if you need anyone to enjoy them with, you just give me a call. I'm already on my way.

And because they play the University of Louisiana at Monroe Warhawks tomorrow....


Y'all have a safe, happy and dip filled weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

She's a Little Vain!

My mom had this big, beautiful mirror that she used to have hanging in her dining room and when we moved, she didn’t have room for it anymore so she gave it to me. I have it hanging above the buffet in our dining room and it looks great. Since I am finally starting to do a few things to the house, I decided that I would re-finish the frame around the mirror so that it would go with the new curtains and the picture that I bought. Anyhow, I took the mirror down, night before last and taped it off so that I wouldn’t get any paint on the mirror itself. It was already late, so I decided that I would wait until a different day to start spraying it. I propped it up against another piece of furniture and left it there. Yesterday, when I was in the kitchen, I turned around and in the dining room, laying in front of the mirror, staring at herself is … Coco! I said “Coco baby, what are you doing” and she jumped up really quick like she was going to get in trouble. After awhile, I went back into the kitchen to get a drink and realized that she was over there lying in front of it again. When she saw me, she got up and came to me. I went in there, and turned the mirror on its side, so she wouldn’t knock it over. Everytime she got quiet last night, I went to look for her and guess where she was?

The Mirror

This is when she realized there was something there, she hadn't seen before.

And realizing that she could see herself.

Staring at herself.

She got to where she wouldn't even look AT me. She would look at me, through the mirror!
She never barked or whined or anything. I thought she might think it was another dog, but she never acted like it. At one point, she even went and got her purple toy and layed it down beside her, so she could stare at herself and her friend. She's a little vain! I think she thought I put that mirror there, just for her enjoyment.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

52. Try a New Recipe Once a Month

BooMama mentioned on her blog a few weeks ago that she made Big Mama's recipe for Chicken Cakes. I was interested and they looked good, so we tried them out at my house last night. I was lazy and hot and busy repremanding Coco (she was a handful last night), and so I didn't take any pictures. Just take a fat girl's word for it - they were good! Here's the recipe:
Chicken Cakes with Remoulade Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ medium size red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard (or stoneground mustard if you can’t find Creole)
  • 1 tsp. Creole seasoning (like Tony Chachere’s)
  • vegetable oil


  1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add bell pepper, green onions and garlic.
  3. Saute 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  4. Stir together bell pepper mixture, chicken, bread crumbs, egg, mayo, mustard and creole seasoning.
  5. Shape into patties.
  6. Fry in a small amount of vegetable oil and drain on a paper towel.
  7. Serve with remoulade sauce.

Remoulade Sauce


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons creole mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼-½ tsp. ground red pepper


  1. Stir together until well-blended.
These were very well received in my house. I served them with fresh corn on the cob and chili beans, which is just pinto beans in chili sauce. It was a yummy dinner. We'll be enjoying these again! I hope you try them out!