Tuesday, November 29, 2011


This year we went to Grampy's (my mom's dad) farm close to Temple for Thanksgiving.  We had a smaller holiday than usual because my brother and his new wife (sounds so weird to say 'wife'!) were on a cruise on their honeymoon, and my Uncle Gary, Aunt Lisa, and their two boys stayed in Abilene.  With just my mom, dad, sister, Aunt Cindy, Jeffrey, and me, we had a rather quiet break.  Don't worry, though, we didn't let the meager showing keep us from cooking like we were trying to feed a small army. 

My mom cooked the most incredible feast for turkey day, including (of course) an entire turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and her famous stuffing.  The next day we thought that the seven of us could just munch on the ample leftovers, but Grampy insisted that we cook an entire ham.  A whole turkey...an entire ham...seven people.  Yeah, we had some leftovers.

Proof that we had fun:

Dixie dog got to come to Thanksgiving this year at Grampy's.  Her favorite holiday activity?  Sprinting as quickly as possible from one side of the farm to the other.  She is the only one who lost weight over the break.
Grampy is pretty great in the kitchen, but all the ingredients in his recipes are measured in "dashes" and "little bits" and "about so much-es," so it's difficult to emulate.

Dad and Leslie shelling pecans.  The weather was perfect for porch-sitting!

Remember what I said about sprinting?  I had to use the motion capture feature on my camera to catch this shot.

Family photo

Big red barn

Big red barn remix

This is the magazine's version of the Chocolate Gingerbread Toffee Cake.

This is me trying to make said cake.  I was planning on showing an "after" shot of the cake, but let's just say that it looked like the opposite of the magazine's cake.  Instead of three layers, it was more like 19 layers since every bit of the cake stuck to the bottom of the pans and had to be peeled off in layers.  I made the ganache too thin, so it ran all over the serving dish instead of neatly separating the cake layers.  Oh yeah, and I added the sugar to the whipping cream too early, so the cream never whipped, and thus, we had no icing on our cake.  The up side?  Chocolate, gingerbread, and toffee are STILL delicious together, regardless of the presentation!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I have sooooo many things to blog about--my brother getting married, the Thanksgiving holiday, taking my board exam, and friends having babies.  For now, though, those stories will have to wait, because I'm tired.  Fear not, faithful readers, I leave you with this gem of a story brought to you by my very funny honey.

Jeffrey and I were debating about which recipe from the Christmas issue of Southern Living magazine we should try out at Thanksgiving dinner.  It was a tough choice, but the final two contenders were the Chocolate Gingerbread Toffee Cake and the Peppermint Cheesecake.

Lauren:  Mmmm....I love toffee.  And chocolate.  And gingerbread.
Jeffrey:  What's toffee?
Lauren:  It's like caramel...kind of.  It's what's in a Skor bar.
Jeffrey:  What's a Skor bar?  Did you just make that up?
Lauren:  Yes, I make up toffee-flavored candy bars in my spare time.
Jeffrey:  Hmm.
Lauren:  I think I might just do the cheesecake.  Cheesecake is a lot easier to make.
Jeffrey:  No, don't do that.  You don't like cheesecake so you won't eat it.  And you should get to eat the fruits of your labor.
Lauren:  True.
Jeffrey:  Except your kids.  You shouldn't eat your kids.
Lauren:  So true.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Don't Forget to Remember

It's commonly known that women who have just had a baby can often become forgetful in the months of insomnia, worry, and adjusting that occur after parturition; however, if you are so forgetful that you need this bumper sticker on your van to remind you that you have a baby, you might want to consider hiring help.  Professional help.
*My friend pointed out that this could be a message to first responders if the driver got in an accident, lost consciousness, and wanted to make sure the baby was cared for, but it's funnier my way, so just go with it, ok?
I spotted this sticker on a car in the parking lot of a continuing education lecture series I went to on Friday entitled "Street drugs and their effect on your dental practice."  (Yes, I really did hear 6 hours of lecture on street drugs...and yes, I really did want to do drugs after listening to that many hours of rambling about the number of household products that can be huffed, sniffed, smoked, puffed, swallowed, and injected for a high.  After that lecture, I give the teens of America two thumbs up for creativity in finding substances that create a high, but only one thumb up on not getting caught...then again, if they're already high they probably have some double vision going on and see two thumbs up either way.)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Identity Crisis

I'm beginning to have an identity crisis because of situations that continue to arise in my life. 

Several months ago I began receiving material in the mail from AARP.  This program is meant for people over 55 years of age, so I assumed there had been a mix up and the pamphlet was sent to me by accident.  Since then, I've gotten about 20 additional informational packets and offers from the group, each time addressed to me.  These old codgers are persistent!  I think I may have to call and tell them that I was BORN in '86--I'm not 86 years old.

Secondly, Jeffrey and I worked in the nursery at church yesterday and one of the kids wasn't feeling well so I took her out to the hallway for a little fresh air and quiet.  When I came back to the room with the other kids, Jeffrey was laughing hard.  He told me that while I was gone one of the kids said, "Hey, Jeffrey, where did your mommy go?"

Suddenly I feel very old.  Haha.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

myPhone, iPhone

**Disclaimer:  The following is a true story related to me by my friend, Maegan.  All parties are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Last week at school there was a patient (we'll call her Melissa) who came into the dental clinic for emergency care.  She was assigned to one of our fourth year dental students (we'll call her Sarah).  Sarah began her initial exam as per usual, but at one point needed to return to the dispensary to get some supplies for the treatment.  She knew that she had left her cell phone on the counter next to her computer, however, when she returned a few minutes later, it was gone. 

Naturally, she suspected that the patient might have taken it, but trying to give Melissa the benefit of the doubt, she asked, "Did someone come in here while I was gone?"

Melissa quickly responded, "Nope.  It's just been me in here."  (*Side note:  Melissa, this is where you could really have improved your situation.  You could have said that a man in a ski mask ran in and stole the phone.  You could have said that another patient took it.  Instead, you basically said, "Nope.  I'm the only suspect in the lineup!")

Now even more suspicious, but trying to cover her bases, Sarah asked some students nearby if they had moved or seen her phone.  All said that they hadn't, so Sarah came back to Melissa.  She gave her one more chance, asking if Melissa had "moved" the phone rather than asking if she had "stolen" it.  Melissa again denied any knowledge of the phone's whereabouts.

Frustrated, Sarah said, "Alright, then.  I'm going to call security because they need to search and I need to file a report.  I'll be right back."

As she turned to call the campus police, Melissa suddenly said, "Oh, I don't know where your phone is, but I do remember that there were two phones on the counter.  I didn't pick up yours, but I picked up the other one."

At this point, Melissa pulled Sarah's phone out of her pocket.  It no longer had the case on it, but it was her phone.  Sarah looked at it and said, "Hey, that's my phone!"

Melissa (clearly with the IQ of a rock) said, "No it isn't, it's the other phone."  (*Again, Melissa, this was a misstep.  Putting aside the fact that this is a lame excuse, even if it had been the truth, you STILL would be guilty of stealing because neither phone was YOUR phone.)

Sarah took her phone back...and Melissa got escorted to the police station.

Just another day in paradise.