Friday, December 26, 2008

Becoming a Southern Cook!

This isn't hard. I want everyone to put down your Weight Watchers Points Calculators, your South Beach books and pause the Biggest Loser on DVR. The key to every southern dish is listed below...don't tell my grandmother that I let the secret out.

Casserole - choose your own adventure...

Pick a favorite vegetable (or choose chicken) NOTE** if you have a favorite vegetable, then you are not from the south because true southerners don't actually know what vegetables taste like.

Cook down to mush (takes an hour even though every cookbook says it takes 20 minutes)

Drain into a tea towel and squeeze all the moisture out.

Mix with a cup of sour cream or a can of cream of mushroom soup.

Add a stick of butter and a cup of sharp cheddar cheese.

Cover with crushed RITZ crackers and bake.

If you bite into the casserole and it still tastes like either the original vegetable or the chicken, you have done it wrong. It should taste like cheese, butter and ritz.

Happy Holidays,
Chef Sam's Mom

Monday, December 22, 2008

Deck the Halls with Things for Sam to Pull On, Explore and Put in His Mouth.

It's Christmas with a one year old!

This year is filled with the excitement of a child in the house for Christmas, thus the beginning of traditions that will take us through our adult lives, and the exhaustion of a holiday spent cooking, buying, wrapping and chasing...yes, I said chasing.

We are blessed with a ball of never-ending energy (wait, did I say blessed?). Sam is busier than ever. Busy for someone who has no responsibility, no required chores and no need to accomplish anything during his day. Oh, to remember what it's like to meet each day with excited wonder, boundless energy and the thrill that each day will be filled with some new discovery.

Yes, Sam and Sam's mommy have been absent from blog-world. This is due to the fact that mommy's camera broke and I have no pictures to post. I get a little bit anxious when I think there might be a 30 day period of Sam's life that is not documented...I have asked Santa for a new camera, so perhaps, if I've been good, January will resume picture central.

How's mommyhood? It's exciting. I have a toddler now. It's hard to believe. I used to think the "baby phase" went on for years. It doesn't. That is good and bad. It's hard to fold up infant clothes and think back to when your darling used no less than 10 infant diapers a day and would stay put on the changing table. When you didn't grunt as you lifted the precious up to put him in the crib. When you didn't watch him standing in his bed and think how dangerously close he's getting to figuring out how to jump out of that thing. Those were good times, but these are better. Back then, he didn't play hide and seek with you in the hallway. He didn't run and give hugs when you put your arms out to him and asked for one. He didn't crack himself up by doing something 20 times that you thought was hysterical maybe five times. God knows best. Saying goodbye to a baby is hard...but saying hello to a toddler makes the transition well worth it.

So to recap, we have had our first birthday, we have had our one year check up (let's just say he's healthy in the growth department) and we are about to embark on our first Christmas. I have to say...this year, feels like Christmas. I haven't gone nuts buying gifts...but its only the 22nd so who knows. I did think the other day, as I was wrapping some gifts for Sam, how silly it was to be wrapping gifts for Sam. I put the negativity away quickly and thought, "Nope...I'm enjoying this. I won't stop my fun by the realization that he still has no concept of presents. This is a fun parenting thing." so I finished all the wrapping.

We did not do the traditional Santa visit. If you know my child, you know he stands still for four seconds. A line at the mall would have done me in. My dad just happens to work for the North Pole at times when Santa needs him. He's got a suit and mom decided to surprise us with a picture on one of her days with him. By the way, if you haven't checked out Baby Zog's santa pictures, please do. You will laugh til you cry. To avoid the trauma of sitting on a creepy old bearded man's lap, my parents decided that Sam should watch Papa as he put on his Santa hat, hair, jacket and beard. For sure, Sam would realize that this was his Papa wanting to hold him for a photo opportunity. Well folks, it all fell apart when Santa put on the beard. Sam couldn't figure out where his Papa went and lost his mind.

So, here are our Santa pics.




Happy Holidays,

Sam and Sam's Parents.