Just in time for “The Big Game”: Chicken Wing Dip

31 01 2009

It is worth noting that for this one, it’s wicked important that you DO NOT buy the reduced fat or fat free versions of these items. Why?  Well, because the fat is part of what makes this thing so delectable.  Oh, and reduced fat thingies don’t melt/congeal as well.

Chicken Wing Dip
You need:
* 1 bottle of chunky blue cheese dressing.  If chunks make you want to blow chunks, you could use chunkless.  I guess.
* 1 bottle (reasonable sized) of Frank’s Hot Sauce.  I don’t have a substitute for Franks, so good luck with that.  If this seems ungodly hot for you, use less… about 1/4-3/4 cup, to taste. ‘member you can always add more, you can’t add less.
* 8 oz. cream cheese, softened.
* 2 cups  (about an 8oz brick) shredded cheese.  I prefer colby jack, but you can use cheddar.
* 2 small or 1 large can of chicken breast (usually found near the canned tuna).  If you’re feeling ambitious, you could probably cook and shred chicken breast.  It’s your call.  Either way, de-chunk it before you mix it into the dip.
* Dipper of your choice.  Steve likes round tortilla chips.  I prefer carrots and celery…

You Do:
* Blend cream cheese, hot sauce and blue cheese until uniform.
* Mix in shredded cheese and chicken.  You can choose to keep some extra shredded cheese if you want to put some on top afterward, but it’s not necessary.
* Put into an 9×13 dish (or 8×8, but I don’t want to be responsible for ruined ovens).  You can also put it into a crock-pot.
* Bake covered for about 20 minutes at 350 or until it’s bubbly.  If you reserved cheese, bake five minutes less, add cheese, recover and finish cooking.
* If you’ve opted for the crock-pot method, set on high for about 45 minutes.  Drop temp to warm to prevent congealing.
* Should your dip not be devoured right away, you can pop it back in the oven for a few minutes.

And taaaa daaa.
You’re the hero of the party*.

*Hero status not implied, guaranteed.  yadda yadda yadda.





Confidence OR How I Chose to Ignore the Tag and Love My Shape

30 01 2009

A while ago, in a publication I can’t recall, there was an article that kind of hit home. It was about a woman who wasn’t happy with her weight/image and decided that she would “reward” herself for reaching milestones. It then occurred to her when she hit a wall, that she would probably not ever reach her “ultimate” goal. This resulted in her accepting who she was and being happy.  I always felt a bit envious of her.

Now, does this mean that I have given up on my non-resolution? Nay.
It does however mean that I realized that I am (much to my poutingness) not a size 4, am not svelte, am not ripped, etc.  and that PERHAPS, I should embrace my um, transition, phase AND STOP LYING TO MYSELF.

Intending to just go to Barnes and Noble to deplete a gift card, I found myself at Macy’s with an exchange card that Steve would never use (his words, not mine) with $20 on it.
Scouring the racks, I found a top that is patterned (gasp!), bright (gasp!) and as the gasping alludes, Very UnStephanieLike.
Figuring that I should also look for pants/jeans as the top only took up 1/4 of my card (who’s a power shopper?  I am…) I picked a pair of jeans off the rack in the “realistic” size and not the “denial” size.
In the dressing room, a ray of light came down (probably from the halogens in the ceiling, but whatever) and as I turned to face myself, I did a double take.
Is, is, is that, me?  me in clothes that fit?  Clothes that make me look like an adult? No tugging?  No lumping? An outfit to be proud of?
And at that point, I let the size tag blur.
Gliding to the counter, my retail $88 ensemble came in at at modest $28, with $8 actually coming out of my pocket.
Sure, I care about my size (as much as I try not to) but I also know that I am taking active steps to become a size where I will not have to pretend that the tag doesn’t say what it says it says. And today, I am more confident that I’ve been in a loooonnngg time.





Feeling More Welcome in Five Months Than I did in Two Years

29 01 2009

(those of you new to the fray may not know that I have been with my current employer since mid-September after spending two+ years with a previous employer.)

My boss comes up to me, causally puts his elbows on my perch* and says, “So, are you joining us for lunch today?”
“Murah?”
“We have an extra ticket [for the Mayor’s State of the City Address].  Would you like to come?”
I look to the left, to the right, you know, in case there’s someone behind me that he’s talking to.  “Me?”
“Uh, yeah…” he says, smiling, sensing my confusion.
“Yeah, um, okay, I mean Yes!  Thank you!”

Holy crap, I mean, gosh, I’m sure it’s “nothing exciting” but someday I will find the words to express how much it means to be included.

*the top area of my desk where people leave coffee, pens, junk faxes, etc.





Tuesday

28 01 2009

635am: Wake up, get in shower
715am: Exit shower, realizing that you fell asleep in the shower. Ask husband how much shit he’s going to give you for staying home.
718am: Call into work while on your way to grocery to pick up medicine*
737am: Realize that you’ve been sitting on the floor in front of the Benedryl for 10 minutes.
759am: Take two Benedryl and some ginger ale. Retreat to bed.
130pm: Parched, go downstairs for ginger ale. Eat some ravioli. Discuss state of illness with husband. He had issues assembling condensed soup.
215pm: Pass out.
520pm: Wake up, make tacos.
615pm: Pass out.
800pm: Nightmares start.
930pm: Husband wakes you up to go to bed.
932pm: Pass out.
630am Wednesday: Wake up thankful that your body has it’s cool to go to work.

*Q:”Why don’t you just go to the doctor and get antibiotics?”
A: Because they never work and the side effects are almost as unpleasant as the infliction.





Evidence

26 01 2009
Directions are hard!

Directions are hard!

I would like to say that this photo has NOTHING to do with how/why I lost my voice this weekend.
This is, however, what happens whenever I get confused.
Notice the contorted lip… it’s like a “baroo” for the puckerer.





My Weekend: By Stephanie

26 01 2009

reward

I think my voice is best described as: A bus full of cats in heat rolling over a bagpipe.

Thing is, I feel/felt fine until Saturday morning when I couldn’t talk; much to Steve’s delight, I may add.
I physically feel okay, less the lump of snot in my chest and the squawking.





Chocolate Fix

22 01 2009

Some people (looking at you CWG) seem to think that I’ve gone completely joyless.
To prove you wrong, here are some happy things.

1) My changed lifestyle-contingency medication is “so far so good”.  Since Sunday, I have not had a headache so bad that I gave serious consideration to taking an ice pick to my temple; thus the reason for the change.

2) My friends and I went out to dinner at Melting Pot last night with $5 of each of our dinners going towards cancer research.  Plus, there were drinks.

3) Afterward, one of the girls and I went to Penny’s and I let her dress me up.  “I’m the Anthony Bourdain to your Stacy London!”, I exclaimed as we made our way toward the register.
My purchase?
Something I NEVER EVER EVER considered.

Not actully me, nor the actual vest

Not actually me, nor the actual vest (mine is grey with pin striping)

I purchased a vest.
“I feel like a project!”, I said.  “You ARE my project!”, she giggles.
And today, I have donned the vest.  Thought I don’t have a “real” photo as it’s hard to take photos of myself and I’m not going to any of my co-workers to ask them to take a photo because that sounds like a can of worms I don’t want to open.

4) With last weekend’s near-sub-zero temperatures, I thought I would give a science experiment a go.
In case you’re not familiar, when it gets to be booger-freezing cold out, bubbles are supposed to freeze.
I.E.

Seeing as we do not have any “real” bubbles in the house, I decided to concoct some.
(For the record, “catnip bubbles” suck)
Also remembering that it’s been years since I’ve done any bubbling and that it was like, 2 degrees out, I opted to practice before heading out.
Bailey was amused.

bean1

Soap is tasty!

bean2

waiting

bean3

so close!

bean4

vicious!

bean5

It is here somwhere...

bean6

look, I sparkle

(P.S. bubbles didn’t freeze but I did)

5) And this gem just came into my office.

what1