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Sacrebleu Cheese Summer Salad

It has been freakin’ hot here.

Like, 100-degrees+ day after day after day for the past couple of months.  We maybe get a breather in the 90’s every now and then, but those days seem few and far between.

It’s a muggy, sweat-inducing wall of solar energy out there, and I’m loving it.  I’ll take these sweltering, b.o.-urging summer soggers over bulky sweaters and frost any day.  I can take the heat, as long as you can take the smell.

But if there’s one thing to complain about during these crazy hot days, it’s the fact that it’s damn-near impossible to turn on the oven without raising the temperature of my entire house by at least 20-degrees.

Sweat?  I don’t mind it.  Excruciatingly high a/c bill?  I mind it.

So when I get home from work, I’ve had to force my vino or cold beer-influenced mind (do I sound like an alcoholic?) to get a little creative.

Lucky for anyone who depends on my cooking for survival, my sister sent me a recipe a few weeks ago that she’s been insisting – incessantly – that I try.  She calls it, “The Best Salad Ever,” though I still think I dig this one just a tad more.  But, considering hers takes a bit less work (store-bought dressing and no slicing of mangos, which is a huge pain-in-the-ass by the way), I will highly recommend it after finally caving and making it last night.

Say hi, Kelly.

It didn’t take too much convincing for me to try it since it requires very little work (score!) and the use of avocados (double-score!).

Here’s what you need:

  • Chicken (You could use breasts or whatever you have – I used tenderloins since they cook very quickly and are great for salads)
  • Seasonings for the chicken (I’m deliberately vague here because you really can use whatever your little heart desires.  Upon Kel’s recommendation, I used dried basil and garlic powder)
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Golden Raisins (Whatever you do, do not leave these out!  I don’t even like raisins as a general rule – they’re all wrinkly and have a weird texture, but these completely complimented this salad so deliciously, it just would not have been as special without them.)
  • Avocado (yum, yummy, yum yum yum)
  • Bleu Cheese Crumbles
  • Red Onion
  • Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette  (Don’t pass on this, either.  I’d never had it, but it’s wonderful.  Not as heavy as that cream-laden stuff.  I found this next to the bagged lettuce at the grocery store.)
  • Mandarin Oranges (I didn’t use these because again, they’re weird and wrinkly, but like the golden raisins, I bet they’d be really good in this)
  • Croûtons (Didn’t use because I forgot.  And you know what?  I didn’t miss them.)
Bleu cheese chicken salad

Here’s How to Put it Together:

1.  Heat up some olive oil in a sauté or grill pan over medium-high heat.

2.  Season your chicken with your choice of seasonings (I used dried basil and garlic powder – plenty of it).

3.  Cook your chicken until it’s no longer pink and the juices run clear.  I look for the purty grill marks and then slice open a piece to make sure the pink is gone.

4.  While the chicken is cooking, dice up some read onion – or leave it in rings if you prefer – and dice up your avocado.  I only used half the onion, by the way, and still had plenty leftover.  Red onion can be pretty potent.  If you’re going to let your diced avocado sit out for awhile, sprinkle some lemon juice on top to keep it from turning brown.

5.  Just like the Honey Lime Grilled Chicken Salad, I like to serve this up assembly-style.  Throw all of the ingredients into a bowl per your preferred ratio.  Everybody’s happy!

Look at that – romaine, avocado, finely diced red onion. bleu cheese, magnificent golden raisins, and grilled chicken – all partyin’ together under a kinky drizzle of bleu cheese vinaigrette.  Mmmmmm.

Stay cool out there.



I almost forgot to mention it because my brain is already hard at work purging any recollection whatsoever of that chapter of my life.

Anyhoo, it’s going to be a busy day getting packed and ready to drive up to Cape Cod to visit Chuckles’ folks tomorrow, but I felt this news was worth at least a quick post.

I’ve got to say, when I woke up this morning with the realization that I didn’t have to go to work today, things just felt different somehow…

View outside my apartment window (yesterday)

View outside my apartment window (today)

I can’t quite put my finger on it…

But I have a feeling it’s going to be a good day.

I Heart Infomercials (Pt. 3)

Continuing this highly uncharacteristic strain of integrity and mental fortitude (don’t worry, I’m seeing a doctor about it later today), here’s the next batch of infomercial reviews, served piping hot and fresh from my lil’ noggin to yours.

And because my brain is much like a runaway train in that any derailing whatsoever could result in mass destruction and devastating casualties, rather than trying to back up to explain what this is all about, I’m just going to refer anyone out of the loop to this and this.

All right, (clap) let’s do this!

Simplicity Compact Fabric Shaver (, $7.99)

According to the product description, this little contraption is designed to remove pills and fuzzies from sweaters, blankets, carpet, Andy Garcia’s back, etc.  So I decided to test this theory out on a favorite sweater I’d worn since the mid-90s that had developed some pesky fuzz-nubs in some rather “titillating” locations.  (Let’s just say I looked cold all the time.)  Anyway, because of this, I hadn’t been able to wear it since back in ‘ought-3, so I was delighted to find that such a device existed to remedy my problem.  However, after the shaver had its way with my poor sweater, the pills had become mangled, raggedy tassels.  (Which, also, were not a good look for this particular location.)

I’ll be honest, I was pretty bummed out.  This sweater had been with me through bad haircuts and good times and all the unholy awkwardness of my teenage years.  We’d seen things together.  Done things together.  Horrible, unspeakable things.  And, frankly, I wasn’t ready to let go of that bond just yet.  But, after the shaver did its dirty work, it was clear there would be no miraculous recovery for my sweater so, with a quivering chin, I took it outside to the garbage can, cradled it lovingly in my arms and told it that it was a good sweater, and then put it out of its misery.

By shooting it.

Kind of spooked the neighbors a bit, I think.

Verdict: Granted, it was my fault for not testing the shaver out beforehand, but you live and learn.  Maybe it’d work better (or at all) on some different kind of fabric, but I’m too bitter and resentful to ever try again.  Fool me once, shaver. That being said, if you’re prone to developing sentimental attachments to garments or despised the movie Old Yeller for robbing you of your sweet childhood innocence, I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this device.

Next up…

VuPoint Digital Film and Slide Converter FC-C520-VP-BX2 (, $102)

I bought this as a gift for my parents last Christmas.  I distinctly remember standing in the checkout line, congratulating myself on being such a thoughtful daughter as I imagined the hours of nostalgic joy they’d derive from poring over our old family slides, digitizing the treasured photos of our youth for future generations to cherish.

Unfortunately, we’ll never know how well the slide converter actually works because, as it turns out, my parents have zero interest in that scenario.  Apparently, they’d much rather spend their free time (and children’s inheritance, might I add) jet-setting off to exotic locales, braving the great outdoors, hosting lively parties, and generally being total parental deadbeats.  Kidding, Mom and Dad! (Hah, like you guys read this blog anyway…)

Verdict: This is a great gift for sentimental, loving parents who actually cherish reflecting on their family’s precious memories.  Or, if you’re just a bitter child with an axe to grind.  (How come you never went to any of my school plays, huh, Mom and Dad??)

Whoops, sorry about that.  Moving on!

Swiffer WetJet (available at most retail stores, $8 for starter kit)

In the beginning, there was darkness and disorder.  Muddy shoe prints, dried coffee stains and mysterious sticky spots commiserated conspiratorially out in the open.  Stale crumbs lurked in the shadows, menacing passersby.  Roving rival gangs of cat hair rioted in the streets.  The broom crouched in the corner, quaking in its bristles.

Who could save this lawless land?

And then, just as nearly all hope had vanished, the Swiffer WetJet moseyed into town.  Bringing with it its long, righteous arm handle of justice.

And peace and order were restored to the kitchen.

The end.

Verdict: The Swiffer WetJet is the only reason our apartment hasn’t been condemned for major Public Health and Safety code violations.  So I recommend.

Up next on the chopping block…

Fling-ama-String Cat Toy

My oldest brother put me onto this cat toy, which hangs on a doorknob and whips a string around via a battery-powered elastic conveyor belt.  He’d bought one and raved about the hours of endless entertainment it provided (I’m assuming for his cat) — and, since I’m all about neglectful parenting, I jumped at the prospect of wearing out Roxy and Talula’s fluffy little backsides without having to actually interact with them in any meaningful way.

And it worked great for the first few weeks.  Every time they started getting unruly or obnoxious, I just turned that sucker on and—bam!—they’d gravitate to it like pod people to the mothership, fully prepared to trip their tiny cat minds until either the battery died or they collapsed from exhaustion.  But now, much like Pokemon, slap bracelets and leg warmers, the fad has apparently passed and my cats are so over it.

Verdict: This thing has gotten rave reviews all over the Web and won awards by people who apparently give out awards for that sort of thing, so I’m going to assume my cats are just finicky jerks and heartily recommend this item to any and all cat owners.  However, one word of caution:  Prior to purchasing, you will need to come to terms with the fact that owning this item means that you are, in no uncertain terms, a cat person.

That was a hard step for me to take because it’s generally viewed as being about as cool as wearing a fannypack or collecting commemorative plates.  And, especially unfortunate for Chuckles and me, we didn’t have any other serviceable door in our apartment to attach it to except our front door — which means, this convoluted contraption shrieks “WE’RE CAT PEOPLE!” to every poor sucker who enters our home.  The only thing more obvious would be if we had a six-foot-tall cat tower in lieu of a sofa in our living room or matching T-shirts with their faces screen-printed against a rainbow backdrop.

Anyhoo, that’s enough reviews for a while.  There’s still plenty more where that came from, but even I’m sick of this project by now, so I can only imagine how spiteful and vindictive you guys must be at the prospect of another infomercial post.

Maybe we’ll pick it back up again sometime down the road, but I think we could all use a “break”.

You know, just to kind of clear our heads.  See where we want this to go.

Maybe date other blogs.

Kidding. Katie and I will hunt you down if we find out you’re cheating on us.

I Don’t Know Where There Is

I mentioned way back here that I’ve been getting a lot of questions about this upcoming trip to Costa Rica.  Since then, some people have been acting a little… timid… around me.  Like they’re afraid to say or ask anything lest I bite their heads off with my self-righteous wailing.

Let me clarify by saying that these – well most of them – are not bad questions.  If I seem annoyed when they’re asked, it’s only because I’m irritated with the fact that they force me – repeatedly – to face the fact that I don’t really know what I’m doing.

I do, however, know that when I force myself to answer them, I don’t doubt for a second that this trip will be a worthwhile experience.

And don’t worry – we’ll be sharing our packing list and trip blunders along the way.

But it’s the after questions – the, “What are you going to do when you get back?” and, “How long can you sustain your finances without a real job?” questions that, as much as I hate to admit it, make my pits turn damp and stop me cold.

For these, I really have no answer.  Right now I only know my way out of what I don’t want in this life.  Stagnancy.  Politics.  Achievements in the form of framed certificates I can hang on my cubicle wall.

Slowly, after literally years of questioning the career path that found me, I eventually realized that all I can do is take my exit, as gracefully as possible, and hope it leads me not just somewhere else, but somewhere better.

I picked up on another Avett Brothers line the other day (I’m sorry if you’re sick of the mentions here – but their lyrical wisdom is far superior to anything I could write myself), that translated the plea in my head to real words:

“I’m as nowhere as I can be / Could you add some somewhere to me?”

There’s that word again.  Somewhere

When it dawned on me that I’m only where I’m “supposed” to be and doing what I’m “supposed” to be doing, I wondered why I’m not doing what I want to be doing.  I can’t explain it.  It’s pure selfishness in all its glory.  And I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.

All I knew was that I needed a new experience.  Any experience.

So that’s what I’m after.

(That, and figuring out how to make my thoughts work without ending them in prepositions.  Because like Winston Churchill, “Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.”)

After that?  Who knows.  But I’m sure it will be great.

And even if it’s not, at least it will be me.

*The internet is a veritable soup of hauntingly beautiful imagery mixed in among the muck and grime of other less inspiring, mundane frivolities (like this here blog).  Although we’d like to get to the point where most of the images found here are our own, all of the ones you see in this post were acquired from, which, in turn, compiled the images from other places across the web.  If you happen to find your image here and want it credited or removed, just contact us and we will comply pronto.  Thanks!

I Heart Infomercials (Pt. 2)

Well whaddaya know?

I guess I am going to continue this whole “infomercial bidness” I started way back when after all.

I fully intended to let this topic fade into obscurity like so many of my other empty promises (I mean, why start making good on those suckers now, right?) — but, lo and behold, here we are.

I’m just as surprised as you are about this sudden, uncharacteristic bout of tenacity.

So, where were we when I last posted?  Ah yes.  As I mentioned before, I’m a flaming infomercial addict who… yadda, yadda…

You know what?  Just go back and read it here.

All caught up?  Good. 

So let’s begin…

AAA 42-Piece Emergency Road Assistance Kit  (, $16.27)

Every Christmas since I turned 16, my Dad has gotten me some sort of emergency car kit complete with jumper cables, orange traffic triangles, battery chargers, flux capacitors, etc.  Every Christmas.  I get the feeling my Dad thinks I’m some sort of pathetic, dim-witted female who regularly finds herself stranded helplessly on deserted roads in the middle of the night. 

Which I am

Which is, of course, precisely the reason it’s more probable I’ll choose to accept a ride from a twitchy-eyed stranger with a hook for a hand than waste my time bothering to figure out how to actually use anything in this kit.  But, hey, thanks for thinking of me, Dad! 

Verdict:  Basically, the only time I even remember I own this kit is when I take a corner too fast and hear a vague dull thud from the trunk.  So it’d probably be useful only for those who (a) are sensible, resourceful, capable adults who are vigilant about their personal safety, or (b) morons like me who think it’s comedy gold to to tell passengers that the thud they heard was just a drugged homeless guy in the trunk.   

Next up…


My Lil’ Reminder Keychain* (, $8.95 for 2) 

Technically, I didn’t buy this item.  This was a thoughtful gift given to me by my oldest brother as a way to conveniently record quick notes to myself when paper and pen (or, you know, blood and walls) weren’t handy.  And it probably would’ve simplified my life in miraculous ways if I weren’t entirely creeped out to the very core of my being by it. 

Ok, so maybe my reaction’s a little extreme.  But, the way I see it, considering how often I engage in weird, strange, quirky, and/or bizzare behaviors, it’s only by the grace of the Lord Almighty that I have managed to avoid becoming a hapless, slack-jawed victim of YouTube.  So choosing to use a recording device seems a little too much like thumbing my nose at Fate.  And that prospect alone might’ve been reason enough for me to steer clear, but then add to that the time I was 13 and went on vacation to Fort Fisher with a girlfriend and her family and her Dad got a call from the hotel manager a few weeks after the trip saying that he had us on video surveillance doing cartwheels in the hallway in our bras and underwear in the middle of the night.  

It’s just a bit traumatic to have to carry around for 15 years the knowledge that your friend’s Dad knows that, on occasion, you willfully engage in half-naked cartwheels, you know?    

Verdict:  I recommend this handy gadget for those of you without crippling media phobias or proclivities toward “double rainbows”-style freakouts.  And for those who do, well, God help us.

* Ok, I lied a bit.  This isn’t the exact same brand I own, but I couldn’t find mine online.  I know it’ll be hard to trust me again.  I’m willing to go to couples counseling if it’ll help us get past this.

Moving on…

Debbie Meyer Green Bags (, $9.95 for 20 bags) 

These bags, which are designed to naturally extend the life of your fruits and veggies, are the holy grail for anyone like me who decides, in a guilty, post-weekend-long-S’more-bender, to spend a small fortune on leafy greens, only to sentence said produce to a lonely, smelly, agonizing death in the bowels of the crisper before finally being tossed out a month later. 

Mind you, these bags don’t work miracles — it won’t keep fruits and vegetables fresh forever and it sure as heck won’t make them taste any better than what they are — but it prolongs the shelf-life by about a week to a week-and-a-half.  And that’s usually just enough time for me to have Hoovered up everything else in the fridge (including condiments) and, in a hungry rage, grudgingly resort to those celery sticks and alfalfa sprouts I bought three weeks ago.  

Verdict:  The downside is these bags are a little flimsy (it’d be great to have this technology in Tupperware), need twist-ties, and wear out after about 15-20 uses, but if you’re a regular produce-eater — or just prone to random bouts of guilt-driven produce purchasing — they’re definitely worth the money.

Next on the list…

Braun Silk-epil SoftPerfection Epilator  (, $41.49)

Whether or not to buy this device is perhaps one of the most personal decisions you will make in your life.  It’s the Sophie’s Choice of hair removal.  See, on the one hand, the Epilator works — and, unless you are some sort of Yetti, you will enjoy blissfully hair-free legs, armpits, etc., for up to two weeks.   On the other hand, there is a good chance that, during the initial hair removal process, you will pass out on your bathroom floor and not be found for several days, thus significantly reducing your appreciation for smooth legs during that time. 

Basically, it comes down to what lengths you are willing to go to in order to be hair-free.  Because the way the Epilator works is by ripping out your hair follicles by their roots.  And that is not merely advertising jargon like “Blasts through soapscum!” or “Destroys odors!”  This device quite literally RIPS YOUR HAIR OUT.  Right in front of its wailing follicle family.  And the process can take up to an hour if you’ve got really hairy legs or a lot of surface area to cover. 

I’ll admit I’m probably not the typical consumer here.  I absolutely loathe shaving because it takes me up to 30 minutes, I always somehow mangle my shins while leaving random patches around my knees, and then I have to do the whole convoluted process all over again the next day.  So, for me, the up-front cost is worth the long-term reward.  Also, it helps that (a) I have a pretty high pain tolerance in general, and (b) years of using this gadget have deadened all sensation in my lower extremities. 

Verdict:  If you’re thinking about buying this, I recommend you do some serious soul-searching.  Go for a walk on a beach.  Watch a sunset.  Then take a pair of tweezers and tweeze a few choice hairs as a test.  If you start swearing and punching things at random, you’re probably not an ideal candidate.

Ok, that’s it for now!  Stay tuned for the next installment… which, at this pace, will be around Fall 2011.

The Last of the Mondays

Today is my last Monday.

Hopefully it’s not my absolute last monday ever, but maybe I’ll be lucky enough for it to be my last Monday ever.

You know, my last somebody’s got a case of the Mondays, Monday.

It’s my last Monday Starbucks corrugated coffee sleeve.

It’s my last Monday feeling sorry for this plant.

And, hope-of-all-hopes, it’s the last Monday that will ever, ever inspire something like this.

I will, however, miss Mondays with her.

And them.

And him.

And them.

And many, many, many more.

But I’m pretty sure I won’t miss this.

And if I ever have to use one of these again, it will be too soon.

So here’s to Monday – that poor, undervalued and often misunderstood day of the week that for me, until now, was frequently viewed with apprehension and disdain.

But no more.

Today, Monday, we have reached a turning point in our relationship.  Today it’s just you, me and a little thing I like to call hope.

And tonight, my new friend, we will celebrate.

Great Expectations

So my soon-to-be ex co-worker Stacy (remember her?) recently brought my attention to this little article.

Before I go into my analysis, I just want to say that I’m proud of the fact that we have male and female readers.  Even though Erin and I are a couple of chicks, I like to think we’re throwing something out there for everyone.  So please don’t take the following rant as guy-bashing.  It’s not.  I love guys.  Some of my favorite people are guys.  Truly.

What follows is stupid-article bashing.  And while I don’t think Erin and I intend to frequently use this blog as a forum for debate, I’d love to get your take at the end – male or female.  Just don’t be too mean.  Oh, and please excuse my overzealous use of quotation marks.


First, I’d just like to say how much I love the fact that Fox News decided to write an article called, “Romantic Comedies Can Damage Your Relationship, Study Says” and then file it in the “Sexual Health” section of its website.  Now I don’t tend to frequent the Fox News website, but if I did, I think I would head on over to the “Sexual Health” section to look for articles about how often I should get a mammogram, or how to get rid of the crabs that happened in Vegas but did not, in fact, stay in Vegas as promised.

What I would not expect to find is a whiny fluff piece about how romantic comedies (aka. “rom-coms”) are horrible for relationships because they provide a “warm and fuzzy feeling [that] can adversely influence our [womens’] view of real relationships.”


So are they saying our view relationships should be cold and abrasive?

I’m already confused.

Dr. Gabrielle Morrissey, director of the so-called study and apparently a “relationship expert” states, “It seems our love of rom-coms is turning us into a nation of ‘happy-ever-after addicts’.”

What’s this, Dr. Morrissey?  We shouldn’t hope for happiness in our relationships?  And if we do, then they must not be real?  Then why are we wasting our time with them?  If we didn’t expect relationships to be happy, we’d probably never seek them out.  Picture it: women wandering listlessly through the streets looking for a bit of chocolate or a pint of Ben and Jerry’s while men casually stroll by asking them to step into an alleyway every now-and-then.

Never expecting happiness in a relationship?  Sounds pretty miserable to me.

The article explains that the study shows these rom-coms lead women to have unrealistic expectations of their partners – outrageous things like wanting their partners to buy them flowers or get down on one knee to propose.

Okay, Fox.  I totally could’ve bought your argument if the study showed women were suddenly expecting their men to learn guitar, write them a love song, and serenade them in a courtyard in front of a bunch of strangers ala “A Lot Like Love.”  (Great rom-com, by the way.)

But chiding women for expecting a couple of nice gestures along the way?  Are these seriously high expectations?  Come on.  We don’t need to watch romantic comedies to want our partners to do something nice for us.  Geez, I’d hate to think what would happen if women asked men to swallow.

Suddenly a little boom box action isn’t looking so tough, is it?

In all fairness, Dr. Morrissey goes on to state, “Real relationships take work, and true love requires more than fireworks.”  Really.  Because it took an “expert” to tell us that.  Of course relationships take work.  Maybe work like… I don’t know… thoughtful gestures?  But wait.  They already said those were unrealistic expectations.

The thing that irks me most of all is her use of the term “true love”.  It seems to me that someone who believes “real” relationships should not be “warm and fuzzy” has no business using a term as goopy as “true love”.

That phrase is a little much even for me, and I’m a known sucker for romantic comedies.


There is a key argument missing from this entire story.  So, in order to make sure Fox can stay on top of its whole “fair and balanced” motto, I’ve decided to write the second half:

Forget how rom-coms will make us silly, impressionable, doe-eyed women unrealistically expect our horrendously lazy and selfish bastardly man-children to occasionally buy us flowers or get down on one knee while proposing.  The nerve.

Most women understand what’s realistic and what is not.

Unrealistic expectation?  Probably.

Unrealistic expectation?  I hope not.

And in this day-and-age, this works too:

But the other argument this study didn’t reveal is the unrealistic expectations these movies give men about women.  Here are just a few:

  • We don’t sleep in our makeup.
  • If we do, we don’t wake up with it still looking as fresh and perfect as it did when we first applied it.  Instead, it would be smeared all over our face and our pillow.  Oh, and our hair doesn’t curl itself in the middle of the night.
  • We don’t discuss men while sitting around together in our bras and panties.  (And if we did, we certainly wouldn’t tell you about it.)
  • Sometimes we fart.
  • We’re not going to freak out if you talk to us like grown-ups.  Avoiding confrontation isn’t “cute” or “charming” and in the end, lying about something is going to tick us off way more than you telling us you just want a night out with the guys.
  • Many of us talk about sex more often than we talk about relationships.
  • We have hair.  Hair that social norms require us to shave, wax, chemically burn, or pull out by the roots much more thoroughly and frequently than you.  It’s a pain, and sometimes we’re going to get a little lazy.
  • I can’t think of a single one of us who would mistake you-know-what for hair gel.  And if you run across a woman who does, you might want to run the other way.

So that’s that.  Guys, just because we’re out there watching these movies doesn’t mean we expect our relationships to be full of grand public gestures of your undying adoration.  But do we appreciate thoughtful gifts or kind words?  Sure, probably as much as you!

Relationships are work and they do require open communication.  And to that effect, maybe the rom-coms are on to something.  I think most men and women understand that.  Problems arise when we get lazy and start taking our partners for granted – when we stop doing nice things for each other just because we don’t want to take the time, spend the money, do the work.

I am certainly not a relationship expert.  The hubs could attest to that.  But some things are pretty straightforward.

The bottom line? Guys, no matter how many romantic comedies we watch, women won’t expect you to base-jump off the top of the Empire State Building to prove your love – as long as you don’t expect us to wake up in the morning with fresh breath and flawless eyeliner.

And that, my friends, is compromise.

Mini Hammy Sammies

Okay, folks.  This is the easiest recipe I’ve shown you thus far.  And some of the (very few) ingredients might seem a little strange to you, especially when mixed together and spread onto a bun of deliciousness.

But you want to make these.  Trust me.

These mini hammy sammies are perfect for dinner in front of a movie with a cold beer.  Or munchin’ on while watching a favorite sporting event with a cold beer.  Or enjoying out on the deck on a balmy night with a cold beer.

Catch my drift?

They’re pretty casual, very quick, and, since they’re easy to make in bulk, would work really great for a party appetizer.

The original Mini Ham and Cheese Roll recipe is found here.  I hardly change a thing.  (Except, you’ll see in this one particular instance, I thought I had poppy seeds when I did not, in fact, have poppy seeds.  Please excuse this horrible lapse in judgement and don’t make the same mistake.)

*You definitely want to halve this recipe if you’re just making it for a couple people.  The full recipe below makes 24 mini sammies.


  • 2 Tbsp. dried minced onion
  • 1 Tbsp. prepared mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds (Don’t forget these – they’re great.)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 24 dinner rolls
  • 1/2 pound chopped ham (I just use sliced deli ham)
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese
Mini Ham and Cheese Rolls

Missing from the family photo:  Butter (he was getting nuked) and Poppy Seeds (they’re probably off at a bar somewhere tossing shots and hitting on wildly inappropriate women – it’s like pulling teeth to get them to come to these reunions).


1.  Preheat oven to 325-degrees F (more like 315 in our case – our oven cooks hot).

2.  Melt the butter in a bowl.  Just a lil’ tip:  If you use a microwave, it’s easier to cut the butter up and cover it with a paper towel so it doesn’t splatter.

Melt Butter

3.  Add your minced onion, mustard, and poppy seeds (IF they’d bothered to show up) to the melted butter and give it a good stir.

4.  Line a baking sheet with foil, then split the dinner rolls.  It’s easier if you leave them attached to each other in groups of 2, 4, or even all 8.  That way you can spread everything on ’em and it doesn’t drip through while they’re baking.  Just cut them apart when you’re done.

5.  Here’s where we deviate from the original directions a bit.  The original directions say to spread our butter mixture over the top of the buns, but we like to be sneaky and put some inside the buns as well.  Let’s be honest – these aren’t exactly healthy.  So why not just go all-out?

6.  Assemble the sandwiches by adding the ham and cheese.  (I’m sure you could’ve figured out where this is going by now, but I like to spell things out.  You know, just in case…)

7.  Close ’em up and spread or drizzle more of the butter mixture on top.  This is necessary so your buns don’t dry out in the oven.  Nobody likes dry buns!

Pretend there are lovely little black poppy seeds adorning the tops as well.  It just feels like something is missing without them.

8.  Bake them for about 20 minutes until the cheese is ooey, gooey, melty and delicious.

9.  Pop ’em on a plate and enjoy!  And don’t forget the beer.

Redemption Is Tasty Like Cupcakes

So I know the Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run is so last week’s news and right now you guys are probably rolling your eyes, wondering how much longer I plan to trot out that little anecdote every chance I get. 

Well, I’m here to tell you:  Not only am I trotting it out one more time, but I’m saddling it up and riding it off into the sunset, pardner.

‘Cause Chuckles just e-mailed me this:

That’s right, folks — the missing money shot has surfaced! 

Wait, there are more photos!  And despite the fact that they capture my stomach in all its pale translucent, deep-sea jellyfish-like glory, I must say I’m damn proud to show ’em off…

Seriously.  Wasn’t kidding about the mud in the mouth-hole.

Ha-HA!  I said.  That race was laughably easy for my superior skills!

My sneaky husband is being extremely coy about how he procured these shots but, judging by their low resolution, I’m going to go ahead and assume it was by nefarious, illegitimate means.  He does that sometimes, the lil’ scamp.

Nevertheless, I am finally able to prove to you all (and myself) that I ran it! 

My conscience is clear. 

My sins have been absolved. 

I have attained sweet, sweet redemption.

And now that I have closure, I am  ready to move on with my life and find other interesting topics to post about.  


Well, Hello There.

I couldn’t help but notice you from across the room.  Looking lonely.

Want a little company?  Don’t worry, I don’t bite.  Ha-ha.

Sooo, what brings a sweet little thing like you to a place like this? 

Really?  That’s fascinating

Tell me more…

I have to say, you’re amazing and I dig getting to know you and all…. 

But you look a little tense. 

Confined, even.

Maybe you should try to loosen up a bit…?

There.  Now doesn’t that feel better?

Yeah, that’s more like it…

Man, you’re really coming out of your shell, aren’t you?  Wild thing!

So, uh… yeah.  (cough)

Well, (checks watch) I guess I’d better get going. 

Got a busy day ahead of me.  And whatnot. 

You know how it is. 

Um, look, you’re sweet and all. 

I’m just not really looking for anything long-term right now.  You know?

Plus, you’re candy.  I’m a girl.  It’d never last between us.

But you’ll remain in my heart (and teeth) for a long time to come.

You stay classy, you hear?