Because It’s Time For Kick Off

Listen. I feel like I owe y’all a little bit of an explanation.

I know that I mention “work” from time to time, but I never get too specific about it because, well, about seven years ago when I went to my boss about transitioning to part-time (I transitioned back to full-time when Alex started going to school for a full day), I very awkwardly uttered one of the most awkward sentences there is.

“I feel like I need to tell you that I have this, um, BLOG where I write some stuff sometimes.”

My boss was super supportive and enthusiastic and whatnot, and then he gave me some wise and sage advice that I think about every single day of my life:

“I don’t think you’ll ever regret having firm boundaries in terms of writing about work on your blog.”

Those words have stuck with me. In fact, when I was talking to Emma Kate this past weekend, she said, “You know, you really are very protective of your work stuff.” And I am. It’s a huge part of my life, it’s a huge part of my heart, and it’s also a huge part of my day-to-day right now. But it’s off-limits as far as the blog goes (sometimes I wish that it weren’t off-limits, because OH SWEET MERCY, THE STORIES).

SO. That’s why I’ve been a little scarce around here lately. Work has kept me hoppin’. What I know for sure, though – because it’s proven true year after year after year – is that things will start to settle down in the next month or so, and there will eventually be a morning when I wake up and don’t feel like my to-do list is screaming at me. And when that happens, the blogging switch will flip to “on” again and angels will sing (not really) and my hair will suddenly look fantastic (not really – but oh, a girl can dream).

And in truly important news, COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARTS TONIGHT. We are giddy with anticipation in our house – and equally excited about waking up Saturday morning and being able to turn on College GameDay. I don’t have any idea what kind of season Mississippi State will have, but I can’t wait to see the boys in maroon and white hit the field. I also can’t wait to hear the fight song and maybe bear witness to a little good-natured pre-game swagger (all in the spirit of competitiveness and sportsmanship, of course). It’s the very best time of year.

Plus, you know, DIPS.

I didn’t get a chance to pull together a DipTacular like we’ve done in the past (not that it requires a whole lot of organization, but it does require some forethought), but all day long I’ve felt compelled to share the tailgate foods that we’ll be having for supper tonight. I’ve never really been one for the full-fledged execution of a theme, but there’s something about the beginning of college football season that makes me crave the stuff we’d enjoy at my friend Daph’s family tailgate (fried meats, various cheese-laden delights, lots of chocolate, etc.). So it seems only fitting (at least to me) that I’d share our 2013 Kick-off Menu.

(That sounded very official, didn’t it?)

(Please keep in mind that I am feeding upwards of three whole people.)

So here’s what we’re having:

Bacon and Blue Cheeseburger Potato Skins (only I’m using cheddar instead of blue cheese, primarily because that’s what I have in the refrigerator)

Best Pasta Salad Ever (I know it’s another starch, but it’s leftover from last night, so we’re running with it)
1 pound rotini pasta
1 cup sun dried tomatoes
2 cups sliced cucumbers
1/2 cup red onion
2 small cans of sliced ripe olives
1 8 oz. bottle of Kraft Caesar salad dressing
1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cover tomatoes with water and boil for about 12 minutes or until tender. Drain, chop into small pieces, and set aside.
Cook rotini according to package directions, then drain and let cool.
Mix all ingredients together (GENTLY!), then chill in refrigerator overnight. This is even more yummy the second and third days – if you can keep it around that long.

Southwestern Tossed Salad

Symphony Brownies

It promises to be a delightful evening.

What’s on your menus, college football fans?

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  1. You have got to do a DipTacular! I totally depend on it – it’s not too late!

  2. We are heading to Destin w/ T’s parents and probably won’t be watching football. But, as far as menu items go, it will be seafood topped with seafood with a side of seafood. (I do happen to know of a place there with some slap-yo-mama crab dip. I’ll go ahead and commit to ordering that.)

  3. I am actually going to the big game at Vandy tonight so I will be eating whatever is at the tailgate I am going too! I suggested to my husband that he wear his MSU belt just to get a rise out of the ole miss fans! He laughed because he knew it was true!!! Go Dogs!!!

  4. We are on the road tonight, and so will miss our beloved Golden Hurricane (University of Tulsa) meet Bowling Green. We are desperately attempting to find a way to listen to the game. So excited! We must have Diptacular! It’s like, a tradition!!!

  5. kimberly says:

    Hey, I’m not as eloquent a writer as you, so this will sound somewhat like the ramblings of a
    madwomen…..I just got done reading your book. I LOVED it. It just made me feel so cozy and
    warm. My favorite part, although I have so many favorites, was when you talked about remembering- when you are in a situation that has you not even knowing how to pray. I can’t
    wait to get a copy of the book (mine was from the library) and tell everyone about it. Thanks

  6. Oh Mylanta…all of those sound delicious!

  7. OK- speaking bacon- you have got to check out Relevant magazine. They have a crazy bacon breakfast taco recipe today. (Here is the link, hope it OK to include:
    Now, talking football. My baby is a senior in high school this year. He got to help pick the song they come out on the field, and you, my friend influenced the decision. Months ago you mentioned Fall Out Boy’s Light Em’ Up, song being a great football song. I mentioned it to my son. He ACTUALLY agreed with me (the angels really are singing in this case). He told his coach, and tomorrow night the Panther’s take the field ready to Light Em’ Up!!! If I knew how to video it for you, I would, but lo, that is way beyond my technical know how.
    Have a great weekend. May the odds ever be in your teams favor!

  8. I rhink you are so very wise (and professional) to maintain those work/blog boundaries. What a great boss you have!
    We didn’t do anything special tonight because we didn’t get any football tonight because the cable in the DC area is so dadgum expensive we don’t have ESPN. Will really be sore about it on Saturday when we miss Gameday broadcasting from Clemson (my girl’s alma mater.) To drown my sorrows, I’m going to make a big batch of Captain Rodney’s boucan cheese bake, for which I will always be grateful to you.

  9. I don’t know how you do it. Work full time, come home and cook and clean up and whatever else needs doing, maintain lovely conversations with your menfolk, watch tv and write a blog!!! I just couldn’t do all that! But I’m glad you do cause we all LOVE reading about it! :)
    For our football celebration tonight I busted out the m and m’s! Have you seen the cute “touchdown mix” ones? They’re football shaped and have goalposts!!! I brought them home the other day and put a menacing note on them that they weren’t to be touched until there was football being broadcast on the tv! Further in to the season, I’ll get more into the dips and such, but tonight that was all I could do. Plus my 2 friends had the audacity to come drag me out of the house to walk the bridge! I guess they thought our exercise was more important than football! Hmmmph!

  10. I feel compelled to share a new dip that is awesome! Now, I warn you, it sounds awful. Trust me, it is delish. All items at Trader Joe’s: package of lentils (in fridge section), brushetta (also refrigerated) and feta. Dump the three into a bowl and stir. Could it be any easier (and healthy)? It is so popular that a friend took it to a party where three other people brought it too. Enjoy!

  11. RIBS!! Husband is putting starting them tonight so they will be perfect by the time 2:30 rolls around and we can watch my Irish trounce Temple.

  12. Debra D. says:

    I don’t know what I’ll be making, but I better get it together because my sweet husband literally burst into the kitchen last night and told me we NEED to have “football food” in abundance this weekend. He is pumped about the start of college football! Since there were a few games already last night, I am behind already and the season just started!

  13. No football fever here for us but love the food suggestions. GOT TO HAVE DIPTACULAR AGAIN. Sorry for shouting but I need to get your attention over all that Southern frenzy that is the SEC.

  14. Sounds like your boss has excellent people skills to word that sentence so well. They could easily have made it like a rule for you to follow to not blog about work, but they encouraged you to have boundaries….how nicely handled! My husband is a pastor, and I am always very, very careful to not blog or FB status about things with our church, but rather, keep things lighthearted about my family instead. That hasn’t bitten back yet. :)

  15. Dips. I love all dips. Buffalo Dips. Chicken Dip. Corn/Sausage Dip. Spinach Dip. Dips, Dips, Dips!

    There are certain types of chips that go with certain dips as well. That’s a whole ‘notha story though.

  16. Becky in 'Bama says:

    the ‘cup of sun dried tomatoes’ in today’s recipe: details please…are those in a jar, in a can? I’m not ‘up’ on my sun dried tomato facts and configurations.

  17. Brownies and symphony bars together? The angels are singing, my hips not so much!

  18. Oh, yes, my son has definitely informed me that tomorrow is the day. I’m just not a football fan, but I can sit with Hubby and enjoy our LSU Tigers when they are on. :o) I don’t really understand football.

    Good for you in keeping your work and blog separate. I think some folks need to do that same thing with Facebook. Oh, my!

    Enjoy your weekend and all that delicious tailgating food!

  19. Sitting in the Little Rock airport now headed to Houston to cheer on the dogs!

  20. Wings. Chips and Salsa. All the finger foods you can imagine! Roll Tide, SEC Pride!