Smalls Sunday: Still Not a Snow Dog

It’s been snowing for about 24 hours, which I am loving for many reasons: (1) It’s the first big snow of the season, and therefore I am enchanted by the prettiness rather than being tired of snow and angry about the cold; (2) Thanksgiving is over, which means it’s officially acceptable to get into Christmas mode, and the snow is definitely putting me in the mood to sip hot chocolate with a candy cane in it and listen to jazzy Christmas music; and (3) Ben loves the snow, and maybe, just maybe, Smalls will have gotten over her previous dislike for that cold, white stuff and will romp adorably alongside her brother across the snow-covered yard.

Or maybe she’ll run straight to the dryest, least-snowiest, most-sheltered area of the yard and hang out there while Ben romps around adorably all by his lonesome.

Are Kaya, Rufus, Bailey, and Daisy snow lovers or snow haters? Check in with them to find out!

The Art of the Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich

Did you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving? I did. Tim’s parents came to town and we had a very relaxing holiday filled with family, fun, and delicious food.

And now, there are leftovers. I think we can all agree that Thanksgiving leftovers are some of the best leftovers in the history of leftovers. Everyone has their favorite way of munching on leftover turkey and mashed potatoes, and today I’m going to share with you my favorite: The Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich.

Start by gathering your ingredients, which in this case would be all the thanksgiving leftovers (minus dessert), bread, butter, and cheese (I prefer pepperjack).

Butter one side of a slice of bread and place it butter-side-down in a pan. Then start assembling your sandwich (or your two sandwiches, since there’s no way your husband is going to pass up an opportunity to have one of the best sandwiches he’ll eat all year):

Follow along, starting at the top left corner and working left-to-right, top-to-bottom.

  1. Start with a slice of cheese, to stick the filling to the bread.
  2. Then slather on some mashed potatoes.
  3. Plop a couple slices of turkey on there, and season with pepper if desired.
  4. Another slice of cheese, for adhesive purposes.
  5. Spoon on some green bean casserole. Mmmmmm….green bean casserole is my favorite.
  6. Then add a little stuffing (if you’re like me and like stuffing)…
  7. …and/or some cranberries (if you’re like Tim and like cranberries).
  8. One last layer of cheese.
  9. And another slice of buttered bread, butter-side-up.

Congratulations! Your sandwich is assembled! Now, that is one thick sandwich, and if you want to have any prayer of heating it all the way through without burning the bread, you’re going to need to grill it very slooowwwwlllyyyyyy on very low heat. I cannot emphasize this enough. You may even want to cover the pan with foil to make a little heat bubble and help the heat work its way through all those delicious layers of leftover goodness.

The other trick to this sandwich is flipping it. Since we are working with such a deliciously thick sandwich, we can’t just go flipping it all willy-nilly and expect it not to fall apart all over the place. To successfully flip The Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich, you’re going to need a little technique I like to call The Two-Spatula Flip.

The secret of this technique is — you guessed it! — using two spatulas. Slide one under the sandwich as you normally would, then place the other, face-down, on top of the sandwich. Grasping the sandwich  between the two spatulas, carefully turn it over and place it back on the pan, sliding what is now the bottom spatula out from underneath the sandwich. And there you have it — a beautifully flipped sandwich without a drop of filing spilled. It’s all about the Two-Spatula Flip, my friends.

Cover the pan with foil again and let the sandwich finish grilling. When it’s done, both sides will be a beautiful golden brown and the layers will have all melted together and combined into what promises to be a delicious mouthful of flavorful goodness.

When the sandwich is done, transfer it to a plate, slice it in half, and serve with a side of gravy for dipping.

Then eat, enjoy, and don’t be ashamed to go make yourself another because you just can’t get enough of that goodness in you.

Smalls Sunday: Sun Bather

When we’re home on the weekends, Smalls takes advantage of being free to soak up the sun to her heart’s content.

Watching Smalls seek out the sunny spots of the house all day makes me feel kinda bad for locking her in a corner where there is no direct sunlight all day when we are gone. She’s generally a well-behaved dog when we’re around, which sometimes makes me think maybe she’s ready for the responsibility of not being gated in the corner all day.

But then I leave her unattended for 10  minutes while I take a shower, and I come downstairs to find she’s stolen something off the coffee table and shredded it all over the floor, and I know she is not to be trusted. It seems Smalls’s understanding of the rules is that it’s okay to break the them as long as you don’t get caught. Sadly for Smalls, this is not the case.

If she wants to be free to bask in the sun all day, every day, she’s going to have to learn that all the same rules apply even when no one is around to catch you in the act.

Don’t forget to check in with Kaya, Rufus, Bailey, and Daisy for your daily dose of puppy cuteness.

Portraits of a 5th Grade Teacher

I give you Mr. Tim, as seen through the eyes of his students:

I call this one “Afro-Tim” because instead of having thinning hair, this interpretation of Mr. Tim has grown a full, glorious afro. The artist has skillfully captured Mr. Tim’s beard, but, in an unexpectd twist, has reduced the otherwise thick beard to a smattering of stubble on the tip of Mr. Tim’s chin. This choice speaks volumes about the artist’s world view. The last notable detail is the spectacles, perched upon Mr. Tim’s nose without the aide of that part of the glasses that would normally hook around the wearer’s ear. It’s possible the artist had a premonition Mr. Tim’s eventual switch to contacts and decided to capture Mr. Tim at a transitional stage between glasses and contacts. In this portrait, Mr. Tim’s glasses are disappearing . . . perhaps along with Mr. Tim’s desire to continue wearing them. How very symbolic.

Our next portrait might appropriately be titled “The Greatness of Mr. Tim.” Here we see the much-loved Mr. Tim, confident in his greatness, being praised by his students. Notice not only how happy both teacher and students are, but also the way in which Mr. Tim is drawn on a much grander scale than his admiring students. This is clearly symbolic of the artist’s deep-rooted respect for her teacher. Not only is Mr. Tim the head of the class, but he is almost floating above them, like a teacher sent from the heavens to guide his students to greatness.

This final installment in the Mr. Tim series could be called, simply, “Mr. Tim.” This is a more serious take on the authority figure that is Mr. Tim. He is not gleeful, but not angry either. His tongue pokes out of the corner of his mouth, leading one to believe that he is working on a solution to a problem or developing an innovative new lesson plan. Mr. Tim’s sleeves are pushed up above his elbows, indicating that he’s ready to get to work, and he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. Mr. Tim is serious about his job, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get his students the best education possible.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of the Mr. Tim Portrait Gallery. Please help yourselves to the complimentary wine and cheese.

Wednesday-Bensday! Special Wine Edition

It’s been a long week. Work is busy, it’s only Wednesday, but it feels like Thursday because i was at the office on Sunday because . . . well. Work is busy. And a little stressful. But still 1000 times better than my last job. Anyway, as a result of the business and the stress, I’ve had some wine. Enough said.

Here’s a picture of Ben being terrified of a wine bottle:

I’m sorry all I can seem to write about is dogs these days. That is all.

Don’t forget to check in with Kaya, Rufus, Bailey, and Daisy for your daily dose of puppy cuteness.

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