Chocolate Covered Oreos with Sea Salt

29 November 2012 | 0 Comments

The first time my sister saw these Oreos dipped in chocolate and topped with a sprinkle of sea salt, she turned up her nose.  She’s not an adventurous eater, that Elise.  We finally convinced her to try one and a single salty, chocolatey bite later she was hooked.   This is by far, the recipe I get requests for.  Luckily, it’s also the easiest thing to throw together.  Anyone can do these. 

Almost three years ago, I was looking for a quick and easy Valentine’s Day treat and decided to make these Oreos.  That first batch had little red chocolate hearts on them, but what put them over the edge was the slight sprinkling of sea salt, it kicks up the chocolate flavor a notch and a half.  My mom fell in love with these and they are her favorite guilty pleasure.  I usually make them without the extras, but if you’d like, you can add pretty sprinkles like Emily at Jelly Toast did.  I make them at least once a month for everything from birthdays, to shipping them off to my sister Elise at college, to holidays, to just a batch for us to enjoy.  They are pretty enough and ‘fancy’ enough to put them in a little box and give them as a hostess gift or a little something for Christmas too.

And they taste really, really good.

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Chocolate Covered Oreos with Sea Salt

The first time my sister Elise saw these Oreos, she turned up her nose until Lyndsey convinced her to try them.  She’s not an adventurous eater, that Elise.  One bite later, she was convincing me box them up and ship a batch to her.   This is by far, the recipe I get asked to bring the most when we have get togethers.  Luckily, it’s also the easiest thing to throw together.  I can literally do an entire tray full in 15 minutes. 

Almost three years ago, I was looking for a quick and easy Valentine’s Day treat and decided to make these Oreos.  That first batch had little red chocolate hearts on them, but what put them over the edge was the slight sprinkling of sea salt, it kicks up the chocolate flavor a notch and a half.  My mom fell in love with them and they are her favorite guilty pleasure.  Now I make them without the extras, but if you’d like, you can add pretty sprinkles like Emily at Jelly Toast did.  Since that first time, I have made them at least once a month for everything from birthdays, to shipping them off to my sister Elise at college, to holidays, to just a batch for us to enjoy.  They are pretty enough and ‘fancy’ enough to put them in a little box and give them as a hostess gift or a little something for Christmas too.

They are really, really good.

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27 November 2012 | 7 Comments

Finn:  I’m like really really really hungry.

Michelle:  Well, if you’re really really really hungry, you can go get a Clementine, a banana, a Babybel, or a yogurt.  We’re going to eat lunch in an hour.

Finn:  How many hours?

Michelle:  In an hour.

Finn:  How many hours is that?

Michelle:  An hour is one hour.

Finn:  UGH.  Mom!  That is like THREE minutes.  It’s too long.


*Homework in our house.*

Dave:  If the word rain began with the letter T, it would change the word.  Listen.  T T T T T T-rain.

Finn:  Yeah, terrain. 

Dave:  No, listen.  T T T T T T-rain.

Finn:  I know, terrain.

Dave:  T T T T T T-rain.

Finn:  Terrain.

Dave:  TRAIN.  It makes TRAIN.

Finn:  Or terrain.



26 November 2012 | 10 Comments

I’m ready for these thankful posts to be done on Facebook.  I think people were supposed to go the whole month, but most of mine are already over it.  It’s a reach when you’re saying you are thankful for apple pie and coffee and naps and that your kids didn’t kill one another because of a 15 hour car trip.  I mean, duh we all know that.  It’s also too much when you write an essay each day, it makes me think you’re trying to talk yourself into feeling thankful about making beds or doing laundry.  I am not thankful for those things to be honest, if you didn’t have to do those things, THEN you should feel thankful.

I think the whole thing is bullshit and you should be happy and thankful for the good in your life most days without clogging up my Facebook feed. 

One thing I am thankful for?  My Buckeyes beat that school up north. The best thing about this is, I can finally go back to road tripping to Ann Arbor for shopping now that football season is over. It’s the end to my own little embargo.

Photo: Best day of football has arrived!  Let's go Bucks!

Thanksgiving was typical.

By three o’clock I was googling how to remove gravy from my gravy covered boobs, Tate had sweet potatoes in her hair, and we were rock paper scissoring who would tell Finn he needed to take a nap. 

The kids had a bottle of sparkling apple juice and real wine glasses so they were big time.  The food was great as usual except I think I screwed up my Meme’s stuffing, I blamed the old lady though so it’s fine.  Let’s all pray she doesn’t kick the bucket before next year because I can not be responsible for doing it on my own.  Finnegan got up on a chair in front of all sixteen of us to deliver the prayer, he called everyone to order with his duck call.  This is apparently how we do it in crazy town. 

Round two at Dave’s peeps’, we didn’t even make it to dessert before mutiny was declared and we packed up the car to put the beasts in bed.  Too much excitement and too little sleep.


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I went out on Black Friday, my cousins were here from Chicago and went with us… Morgan was dancing in H&M and I made her pose in her pajama pants with the half naked Abercrombie model just so I could send the pic to my aunt. Ah to be twelve again and out at two in the morning hopped up on soda.

I would like it noted that we waited until midnight to go because seriously, it’s crap this opening on Thanksgiving thing. The fun is being sucked out. The ads now come out a month in advance, the secret and mystery of opening that paper on Thursday morning and circling all of the deals before you with a sharpie. Now we’re opening ON Thanksgiving. The deals are even better for cyber Monday, so why trek out in the cold to shop? It makes me sad because black Friday is tradition and now I just feel eh about doing it next year.

Speaking of shopping there are oodles of stocking stuffers just waiting for you on my Pinterest board if you’re looking for the funnest ideas evah. 

What are you hoping for in your stocking?

Thankful It’s Over.

25 November 2012 | 2 Comments

Trust me when I tell you the secret to great leftover turkey sammies.  Cranberry sauce and Havarti cheese. 


We had a great weekend, but I’m ready for some quiet.  It was jam packed fun, mixed in with some epic kid meltdowns just in case that holiday spirit tried to make an early appearance.  We can’t have that, you know.   

A whole packed post filled week awaits you.

I hope you and yours had a great one too!  Who is ready for some quiet time?


20 November 2012 | 21 Comments

Two years ago, I was seven and a half weeks pregnant with Tate after a whole crazy fertility journey that took more out of Dave and I than I care to admit.  We had told a handful of people.  We were planning on telling our families on Thanksgiving.

I took my Meme to the store to shop for her famous stuffing ingredients.  I was happily making plans to put together the tables.  I couldn’t wait to hit the stores for Black Friday. 

The morning before Thanksgiving, I woke up and things didn’t feel right.  I thought it was pregnancy nausea.  Finn had crawled into bed with me that morning when Dave left for work and had fallen back asleep.  I made it ten steps to the bathroom before figuring out that something was very very wrong. 

I was on the floor seconds after having that thought.

A lot of the details are fuzzy after that and it is just now gotten to the point that Dave and I can talk about it.  Before, when I’d ask, he’d get that uncomfortable tone that meant he’d curtly answer my questions and he didn’t want to re-live any of it.

I screamed for Finn.  He was three at the time, he stayed really calm even though I could tell he was upset.  He brought me the phone and I managed to dial Dave. 

In hindsight, I should have just dialed 9-1-1, but I remember thinking they would have had to breakdown the door because Finn didn’t know how to open the lock and I didn’t know what they would do with Finn.  I don’t remember any of what I said to Dave on the phone, but he said that he knew something was wrong as soon as I started talking.  He left work and sped home, calling my mom and then my RE {fertility doc} on the way.

I either passed out on the phone with him or right after.  Then, I managed to crawl into the shower.  Again, hindsight that was the stupidest thing I could have done, but I thought icy water would prevent me from passing out again.  That wasn’t the case apparently because when Dave got home, that is where he found me.  The doctor’s office told him to get me to the hospital immediately.

Cranberry Sauced, Thanksgiving Drinks.

16 November 2012 | 5 Comments

My sister Lyndsey used to be a bartender.  I asked her to come up with a few fun Thanksgiving drinks, she also gave them fun drunken theme names because that is how we do it around these parts.  Believe me when I say that the testing has been fun.  Drunk in mid-afternoon?  A little bit.

The first is called Cranberry Sauced and I could see after two of these, hanging out with your mother in law might be a little less painful… of course, I mean your mother in law and not my mother in law.  Hi, Sue!


Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

15 November 2012 | 9 Comments

Dave will eat anything.  Anything.  I once saw him order and eat an appetizer of beef carpaccio.  Do you know what that is?  That right there is raw freaking meat, peeps.  Barf.  My point is, there are few things he won’t eat, but that doesn’t mean that he likes everything either. 

Vegetables are a sore subject because anything mushy he hates.  That part is fine, I hate mushy, stewed, overcooked anything too.  The part that is hard, is convincing him to try something he ‘hates’ prepared differently.  It happened with zucchini until we grilled it.  It happened with carrots until we roasted them.  It happened with mushrooms until we sautéed them into a caramelized masterpiece. 

Oh hi, Brussels sprouts, you’re next… I am going to cook you and make you delicious just to convince him that he doesn’t hate you.


Pear Salad with Pistachios, Bacon, + Maple Red Onion Vinaigrette

14 November 2012 | 2 Comments

I get put on salad duty a lot for family dinners.  It might be the homemade dressings, it might be the crunch of some kind of nut, and it might be the fact that I own a bowl big enough to accommodate salad enough for twenty.

It’s probably the bowl.

I try to make it match the season as much as possible.  Strawberries + sunflower seeds in the spring, grilled peach + pecan for summer, anything with apples or pears for the fall and a wedge or a cobb thrown in here and there to mix it up.

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For this one, I coupled my mom’s love of pistachios with fall pears, and crumbled bacon.  Then, I topped it all off with a red onion, maple vinaigrette… if you haven’t ever made your own salad dressing, this one has the blender do all of the work.


13 November 2012 | 4 Comments

Pucker up, it’s cranberry time.  I absolutely love cranberry relish with turkey.  Psssst… I also love canned shaped jellied cranberry sauce, make fun if you will.   It is even better on the ultimate leftovers sandwich.  Mmmmm.  Turkey sandwiches are almost better than actual thanksgiving. 

I always thought it was something super complicated to make, but it turns out it isn’t at all.  Everything gets thrown in the food processor and it takes care of everything.  It also keeps for a surprisingly long time in the fridge and the flavors just get better the longer it sits, so make this a day or two in advance.


Oma’s Corn Casserole

12 November 2012 | 7 Comments

Dave and I started dating the night before Thanksgiving.  If we’re being honest here it wasn’t so much as ‘dating’ {how he felt} as hooking up {how I felt}, but I digress.  This isn’t about us, it’s about food.  So, the first time he took me home to meet his family was a month later on Christmas. 

Yeah… no pressure there.

I described it to my friends thusly, Norman Rockwell.

Not kidding.

Oma sets the table with her china, everything looks like something out of a painting, we have a family prayer, everyone makes polite conversation, and the food is just as delicious as you might imagine it would be.

My family is loud and obnoxious and we have things buffet style because it’s too damn hard to do it family style with twenty people, there is usually loud boisterous talk and if we are being honest, probably an f bomb or twelve.  We also have had drag queens at dinner. 

First impressions and all.

Here is the thing, I’ve asked Oma for lots of recipes over the last ten years.  My favorites are all scribbled out on index cards, tucked away, because I think she still believes everyone has a recipe box.  The best is when I was looking for a great mac n cheese recipe and I asked for hers.  She looked at me with her twinkly smile, laughed, and said, “Here is my secret to great macaroni, don’t tell anyone.  I just buy Stouffers.”

It was then that I knew she was my kindred cooking spirit.  Mix things that are more complicated with simple, great dishes.

Corn casserole is one of my favorites.  I love the corner piece the best.  I like it so much that I’ve started making it at my family’s dinner too.  It could not be easier to make either, three minutes tops.

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Talking Turkey.

All this week, we’re talking Thanksgiving.  It’s seriously my very favorite time of the year.  Except that one whole almost dying thing.

Over on Facebook a whole mess of you shared your love for the sweet potato… I feel like I’m missing out, so I’m giving them a go again.

I have recipes for you!  We’re going to talk wine and cocktails!  We’re going to talk table setting and my ridiculous love for a pretty place card.  And FAMILY, of course.  The bigger and weirder, the better over here.

What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving?


Oh, Hi. People READ Your Blog.

08 November 2012 | 16 Comments

It is weird to find out that people read your blog. 

When someone mentions it in person, I kind of get that uncomfortable, sixth grade feeling that screams SOCIALLY AWKWARD.  I have zero idea why this happens.  This is pretty much akin to my online home and I’m having you all over to drink coffee and stay in your pajamas all day. 

I’m proud of it.

I just don’t want to talk about it. 

It’s like Fight Club.

A million years ago, I wrote a post about how we conceived Finnegan using Clomid.  My mother in law mentioned something to Dave about that post and I walked around for two days flabbergasted that she read my blog.  Like flat on the floor stupefied.  I didn’t even know she knew that I had a blog.   There were lots of “Oh my God, your mother reads my blog,” comments from me and nervous laughter from Dave.  I’m sure she loves when I talk about our sex life.


06 November 2012 | 4 Comments

I am thankful that I live in a place where voting is such a right that people actually take it for granted.

I am also thankful that the deluge of political ads and phone calls will come to a halt.  Ohioans are really over it.

Vote, peeps. 

{Tate and I did last week.}


05 November 2012 | 5 Comments

Our house is nearly a hundred years old.  If you ask Dave, he’ll generally mumble something to the effect of rooms not being square and something always needing work.  I, on the other hand, see the gorgeous real wood moldings on every window and door, the wood floors, the charm.  Of course, when something goes wrong, it is generally not me doing the fixing.  That’s neither here nor there.  Ahem.  We just had this discussion the other day {while painting, painting, oh and yet more painting} about whether our next house would be old or new.  I’m spoiled by the high ceilings, the huge windows, and gorgeous French doors that you just don’t find in new houses unless you have a shitton of cash. 

Oh, hi.  I don’t have a shitton of cash.

Where was I?  Oh, yes.  Because the house is ancient, there are some weirdo quirky things.  CHARM, damn it.  One is our bedroom closet.  Now, if I ever get around to showing you our bedroom in its after state from the debacle that caused us to rip out walls in our bedroom when I was a million months pregnant, you will see that they put an addition onto our room.  God knows when this happened, I’m guessing sometime in the late 50s or early 60s, but they also added a closet, so we have the existing tiny closet that was sort of closed off, but attached to a normal closet.  So it makes for a normal closet, only you can actually walk into it on the left and there are shelves built in all the way to the ceiling and a little alcove where we keep our shoes.

When we re-configured our closet, we removed an ill placed extra clothing bar.  It freed up just enough space for the Davester to install two of these cheapie belt and tie racks for the necklaces, bracelets, and scarves I wear the most.  {He has one on the opposite wall for his belts.}  I am able to grab things quickly and I find myself wearing things that I love more often.  Who knew that a whole $10 purchase would be the favorite part of our closet?  Well, that and the blue wall.



Little Monsters.

01 November 2012 | 1 Comments

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It is so hard to plan Halloween costumes in Ohio, there are some years it is snowing and some years that you’re walking around in a t-shirt. Last week it was eighty degrees, this week it was forty. FORTY. Finn had planned to be Hawkeye for Trick or Treating, but it was so cold I gave him the option of being Spidey or wearing a coat over his Hawkeye costume. He chose Spidey. Tate wore two long sleeve shirts, pants under her tights, and a sweater, scarf, and gloves. It was cold.

Dave took them trick or treating with friends while my sister and I sat on the porch bundled up under blankets with Thriller and Purple People Eater playing on Pandora. Lyndsey requires music accompaniment for the serious business of costume watching and candy passing out, I’m pretty sure it’s because we owned the Monster Mash record as kids, we’d play Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini a million times and dance around the living room.

Tate spent most of the time bundled under a blanket in her stroller just people watching, but he did let her go to just a couple houses, our close neighbors and a few friends in the neighborhood. He said she was so excited walking up to trick or treat with her brother, carrying her little bucket with a huge smile on her face. She thought she was very grown up.

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