Anticipation

I recently stumbled upon a random stash of childhood slides and had them digitized. It reminded me of just how much things have changed between when I was a kid and the instant gratification of today where you can snap a pic and share it with the world in an instant.

For a long time, my parents had a camera that produced slides and, every now and then, they would haul out the projector and show us the memories of our youth. Anyone else remember those flash bulbs?

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I guess the next step in the process was dropping the film off somewhere for development, like a Fotomat. However long it actually took to develop film was excruciatingly drawn out by my parents’ lackadaisical response time for picking them up. I suppose the modern-day equivalent would be when I drop off something at the tailor to get hemmed or fixed and have to be reminded a month later to come pick it up. Throw in the further hindsight of being a parent, and realizing that it was always a crap shoot that ANY of the images would be worth keeping, and it’s a wonder that my parents ever took any pictures, much less paid for the privilege to see them later.

Then Polaroids came on the scene and changed everything! The film itself was crazy expensive, so at first, only the most important events could be documented, but I have several “action” shots that prove the novelty and importance soon wore off. Kind of like a reverse SnapChat, where the picture appears out of nowhere as opposed to showing up and then disappearing once opened like a Mission Impossible message.

In college, someone had the ingenious idea of having a photographer at our various sorority and fraternity parties. Ingenious because the drunker people got, the more photos they tended to be in (likely precursors to today’s photobombers) and subsequently buy. A few days after a party, a big print sheet with tiny thumbnail shots would appear and we would all pore over them in our pjs before class. Not as much of an unknown as slides, but you still couldn’t always tell from such a small image how good the picture would be when printed to 4 x 6  dimensions. By my senior year, I was convinced that being the party pic guy was about the worst job you could have, maybe only tied with the late shift delivery guy at Pizza Shuttle who was forever getting stiffed on tips and harassed by drunks in need of pizza (as I typed this, I sang their phone number jingle to myself while looking them up on google, delighted that the # is also their IP address!).

In my 20s and 30s, disposable cameras were all the rage, especially at weddings, where the bride and groom hoped to add candid shots to those they paid a professional photographer to take. It usually ended up with any nieces and nephews under the age of 5 in attendance making off with most of the cameras and the newlyweds paying to develop a ton of pix taken at knee height. Disposable cameras that worked underwater were also a super cool invention of that time, but I soon learned that if I can’t take particularly good pix on land, taking them underwater is not really in the cards, either. Cue lots of blurry pix of fish, goggles, and flippers.

So, while there is something to be said for both the old school way of taking pictures, (waiting for the film to be developed, and then selecting the very best one for the perfect frame and the perfect place in your home or office) and the modern day equivalent (of, say, a digital frame with scrolling images akin to a “best of you” montage as no one posts bad pictures of themselves), I’ll leave you with this picture from my cache of slides. In today’s world, it would immediately be deleted, but all these years later it made me laugh to come across it and wonder: How on earth could blowing out candles on my birthday cake drive me to make a face like that? And why was I still wearing shirts with ironed-on cuties like a koala when clearly all of my cooler friends were already into the button-down oxford shirt fashion?

bday

Date Night

Last week, I got a text about a sleepover birthday party for one of Jack’s friends on Saturday night. A night to ourselves without having to pay a babysitter? Hellz yes he would be there! Tyler and I quickly conspired about what we would do. Check out the Wyld Dock Bar? Chow down on crab legs at Love’s Seafood? Maybe zip over to Hilton Head or Bluffton for the eve (just because we could!)? The possibilities were vast and exciting (clearly, we don’t get out much off-island, except for work!).

Saturday arrived and my idiot light for low oil came on (side note, I have had an oil change appointment for about 3 weeks that I had to cancel, then he had to switch, and so on…I swear I’m going this Thursday), so Ty said he would do it before we left to take Jack to his friend’s house. Great teaching moment for Jack on the importance and how-to of car maintenance!

So we popped the hood and Ty put me in charge of holding it up (just in case) while Jack assisted him. He unscrewed the oil cap and poured in the first bottle, noting that a funnel would be handy but he was talented enough to not need one. Halfway through the second bottle, a neighbor pulled up and we all got distracted. Tyler dropped the cap into the sandy soil, cussing and getting oil on his pants; I turned away and the hood came crashing down. Luckily, no one’s fingers were involved, but my car keys had been resting on the edge of the engine. I panicked, trying to get the hood open again from the front, and Ty reassured me that I would need to pull the lever inside the car again. Of course, he was right. No one seemed worse for the wear and we finished our maintenance and were on our way.

I stopped to check the mail on our way off-island and realized that my house key had borne the brunt of the force from the hood slamming down. Ruh-roh. That wasn’t going to work anymore.

20160209_062108   20160209_062120

Of course, since I was driving, Tyler had left his keys at home. Once upon a time, we had a hide-a-key in the back, but apparently needed it one too many times and forgot to put it back. The empty case was sitting on the table outside the back door!

I called my mom to see if she still had a spare key (chances are, she still has keys to our house in KC and we haven’t lived there in almost a decade!). I could hear her rooting around in her desk and she said she had found some that she wasn’t sure what they went to. I told her we’d be back for them and she promised to keep looking and offer up any other orphan keys.

We dropped Jack at his friend’s house and decided to return to get the house unlocked as it was starting to rain and get dark. We swung by my mom’s place and my stepdad greeted us with two keys that I was 90% sure wouldn’t work. We tried comparing them against my mangled key, but it was a tough call. We got home and sure enough, they were not the right keys.

Fortunately, we found an unlocked window on the first floor* and, with the help of a kayak paddle, were able to get it open about 18″. I grabbed a wrought iron bar stool from the back yard and shimmied up, wondering whether to go in head first or try to go in one leg first. There wasn’t enough room to put one leg in first, so I lurched in head first like a graceful worm (anyone who knows me knows that the word “grace” will never be used to describe anything I do). Mission accomplished!

Once we retrieved Ty’s keys, it was still only about 5:00, so plenty of time to enjoy the night ahead. We decided to go to the mall to get Ty some new shoes (I know, right, so romantic!) and then eat somewhere on that side of town. Driving downtown on auto-pilot, Ty completely missed the turn onto the Truman south, so we decided to jump on 16 and go to the outlet mall in Pooler.

When we arrived and parked, I was impressed that Pooler was getting an Apple store–how had I missed that news? But upon closer inspection, I realized it was just the white apple outline of the stylized new logo for Applebee’s.

We stopped in at Brooks Brothers, a staple in Ty’s sartorial selections, but were quickly turned off by the young hipster sporting head-to-toe BB attire paired with a messy man bun and scruffy beard. The horror!

Our next stop, at the Johnston & Murphy store, we clearly showed our age (and lameness) by commenting on how delightful the service was (someone still gets the shoes for you and does the laces up!**), how hip the music was (70s soft rock that we knew all the words to), and talk of previous (we’re talking decades) J&M shoe styles.

After checking out a few more stores (obligatory visit to Clarks–their shoes are so comfortable!), we decided we were hungry. There’s a ton of “fast casual” places like Panera, Wild Wings, and Cheddars in Pooler, but there’s also a Panda Express right there on the outskirts of the parking lot, and it waaas almost Chinese New Year, so we caved for the sake of convenience (and because we were spoiled by BoLing’s in KC and there is nothing remotely comparable in Savannah). It was a new restaurant, clean and well lit, with an attentive staff and the food presentation made everything look great. They even offered a sample for anything you wanted to try. After gorging ourselves on orange chicken, kung pao chicken, fried rice, and egg rolls, we rolled out and belly-ached about how our bellies literally ached from having eaten so much.

Drinks at a hip bar en route home? No way…the couch was definitely calling our names. We queued up San Andreas on-demand and snuggled in. Around 10 pm, Jack called to say he wanted to come home, so we headed out again, happy to have skipped a crazy night and been available for him when he needed us most.

*It’s locked now, so don’t think you can come break in or anything.

**My mom said she was in an Atlanta mall before Christmas and the department store shoe department actually gave you a pager to let you know when someone was free to help you.

 

 

A Lifetime of Bedding

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Recently, as I was blow drying my hair in the living room (victory over the great hair-clogging-the-bathroom-sink debate!), I looked around at the framed pics of me, Tyler, and Jack along with various other little mementos of our life together (the silver M, the shell with Jack’s collection of colored beach glass from our trip to Rhode Island, candlesticks, etc.) and my eye fell on a sky blue and gold vase that my mom found years ago to (perfectly) match my prized Pottery Barn guest bedroom duvet. The fancy matching silk throw pillows and bedding are long gone (after a guest’s run-in with a not-entirely closed can of tan paint managed to spill all over it), but I still have the vase.

And it occurred to me at that moment how big a role bedding has always played in my life. When I was a little girl, I had the most fabulous room–with the word “Rainbow” repeated over and over again in bright hues on one wall and then a colored landscape scene on the other three walls that was a cross between the Wizard of Oz and Willy Wonka. I had a queen size bed with coordinated bedding and a big metal footer and headboard with intricate perforated holes that my mom had painted white. Throw in my white desk and dresser (complete with puffy sticker collection scattered about) and stuffed animal collection, and I never wanted to leave my little haven.

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When I was in high school, I moved across the hall to the room vacated by my oldest brother going to college. It had a walk-in closet, which was my main reason for the change. Well, that and it was on the front side of the house with a view of the driveway, so I could see my friends coming and dash out the door without having to engage in parental pleasantries. On a trip to NY to visit my dad, I shopped at Bloomingdale’s for the first time and found the most fabulous Ralph Lauren sheets on sale: I was drawn to vibrant blue sheets and bright yellow pillow cases. When I got home, my mom painted the walls the very same yellow and rolled a blue zig-zag line across the three main walls. I felt so artistic and contemporary! I loved my high school bedroom, complete with my Conair make-up mirror with 4 light settings.

When it came time to head off to college, I picked out an innocuous cornflower blue and navy twin-sized comforter, but when I went home for Christmas, I selected a fabulous Laura Ashley set complete with pink, mattress ticking striped sheets and a reversible comforter with pink and green roses on one side and stripes on the other. It was affectionately known by all who knew me (my love of napping was pretty legendary) as “stripes and roses” (with no affiliation to Guns N’ Roses). This bedding stayed with me all the way through my senior year (moving every semester was a pain–keeping to a minimum of clothes and bedding was a necessity). From playing “comforter ghost” games in my sorority to the numerous off-campus apartments I shared with fellow sisters-in-the-bond, this bedding was well-loved and I obviously got my money’s worth!

After college, I discovered the wonders of electric blankets (affectionately known as EBs), down comforters, and feather beds. On chilly winter weekend mornings, my roommate and I would talk to each other from across the apartment, never wanting to leave the comfort of our respective bed nests. At that point, I had inherited an extra bed and bedding from my dad…muted watercolor tones reminiscent of a Monet painting. I had to draw the line at the  fuzzy “hotel” velour blankets  he so loved, though.

In the 90s, I moved to the south for the first time and discovered linen sheets for summer–divine! My bedding was mostly the (blah) standard greys and bieges of that era, and when I moved back to Kansas City, I found a fabulous block printed duvet cover, probably subconsciously purchased because the blue matched the color of my sweet Husky’s eyes. My ex kept the bedding, so I loved it so much that I purchased it again for myself in a different color palette.

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I’m back in the south now and find quilts and cotton blankets preferable for the climate…we’ve even gone through a couple of the above from when Krypto was a puppy and liked to chew on them. I replaced them with some cute dog-decorated flannel sheets to outfit Jack’s bed and for the time being, am happy with all of the bedding and numerous snuggle-worthy blankets in our home, although if I had won the Powerball this week, you can bet there would have been some upgrades made!

krypto on dog sheets

 

 

 

 

Why I hate Daylight Savings Time

I love to sleep. Having the time and freedom to sleep in on the weekends and maybe even squeeze in a catnap are the ultimate luxury for me. Getting up for work in the dark at 6 am is my bête noire and I’ve been known to whine and wheedle with Tyler over a few extra minutes of shuteye like an expert negotiator (pleeassee…just five more minutes and I promise I’ll even walk the dog…).

Even though my cell phone serves as my weekday alarm, there are times when I forget to charge it or am simply so tired that I dismiss it and fall soundly back to sleep, so the role of household-waker-upper oftentimes falls to Tyler.

This morning, I awoke to Tyler holding my phone with its singsong alarm tone ringing, telling me it was time to get up. Fighting the urge to stay snuggled up, I sat up, fumbled for my glasses, and headed into the bathroom. I put in my contacts, brushed my teeth, and hopped in the shower. After showering, I headed back upstairs and flipped on the lights, surprised that Tyler was sound asleep (how dare he wake me up and then go back to sleep!). I pulled together my outfit du jour and shook his ankle as I passed the bed, telling him it was time for him to get up.

He squinted against the bright overhead lights, looked from me to the alarm clock on the nightstand that clearly showed it was 2 am, double checked his watch and then looked at me and said, “Bren, it’s 2 o’clock in the morning. What are you doing?”

So naturally, I took out my contacts and went back to bed for 4 more hours. Krypto’s whining woke me a few minutes before my alarm actually went off, so I even managed to squeeze in a quick dog walk (since I was already showered and all). It was still pitch dark, but there was a lovely ring around the moon.

 

Attending an Art Fair in my 40s vs 20s

It’s fall in Savannah, which means on any given weekend there are approximately 43 events overlapping and luring you outdoors to enjoy the fall weather. Fall festivals, corn mazes, hay rides, pumpkin farm tours, art festivals, music festivals, food festivals, film festivals…I could go on and on and on.

So on a recent Saturday, we decided to get off-island and take in some of the mainland cultural activities going on, one of which was the Isle of Hope Art Festival. When we lived in KC, I loved going to the annual Plaza Art Fair. We would make a day (and sometimes night) of it, taking in all of the wonderful artwork in a multitude of media, while stuffing ourselves at the food booths of favorite local restaurants to the background sounds of various musical acts on stage. It was the place to see and be seen. I even got to help on the artist selection panel one year as a result of my roles at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Sprint World HQ private art collection. It was such fun flitting from booth to booth, cooly sipping our Boulevard craft beers before craft beer was cool. I once had the opportunity to judge the Brookside Art Fair and was so delighted with the funny photographs of one artist that I bought a piece which still hangs in our house so many years later (and still delights me). The Plaza Art Fair was usually the weekend closest to my birthday, so I frequently indulged in a little “to me, for me, from me” purchase as well.

Going to an art fair with a 10 year-old in tow was vastly different than my golden memories of years past. Pretty much all he wanted to do was buy cookies from the one booth selling them. He lit up at the food trucks, especially Kona Ice, but since we had literally just come from eating breakfast out, there was no “need” for a snow cone at 11 am. We zipped through the fair which was laid out over several blocks between the marina and a small park, visiting with the few artists we knew exhibiting like Kurtis Schumm, Jill Ferree, and Jim Marsh. There were quite a few marsh landscapes that I loved the way the artist captured the light, and one mixed media that had a great low country boil piece with metal cut-outs from Old Bay and Coca-Cola cans among other things. But paying hundreds (if not thousands!) for a piece of artwork when we don’t even have any wall space available to hang something new was just not meant to be. We stopped to listen to the band just long enough for Tyler to get a quick video clip of them before Jack starting dragging us on.

From Jack’s perspective, there were a ton of people with dogs (and puppies!) in tow, so he was happy to work his way through the crowd politely asking strangers if he could pet their dogs. If our mission was to get out the house for a little while and soak up some culture and fresh air, I guess we accomplished it after all.

duncan Duncan Takes A Break by Kip Holm

Stepping Back in Time on Daufuskie Island

At the start of 2015, I made a list of things I wanted to do and see as my resolutions. I’ve achieved about 75% of them to date, the latest of which was our trip to Daufuskie Island, SC.

It’s actually a bigger island than Tybee, but with about 200 full-time residents and accessible only by boat, it’s a whole ‘nother world over there. The weekend we planned to go, hurricane Joaquin was starting to look like it might glance our area of the coast. My sweet sister-in-law texted me to offer their Charlotte-area home as a haven in the storm if we needed to evacuate. I responded that we were headed to an island completely cut off from the mainland with no grocery store, so I was sure we’d be fine (sarcasm implied).

If you don’t have a boat (we don’t, but if you’re reading this post and you do, I’d love to be friends and go for a boat ride!), getting to Daufuskie is actually kinda hard. I had heard that the Westin Hotel had a ferry service, but after speaking to the concierge, realized it was a reciprocal hotel service offered only to people staying at the Bloody Point resort. She suggested that I call the resort directly but their response was also that the ferry was limited to their guests. There is a ferry service out of Hilton Head, but driving all the way there to catch a boat seemed crazy. The closest charter I found was out of Bluffton, SC, and he quoted me $150 for the three of us to go over on Friday and pick us up again on Sunday. Again, driving there seemed to defeat the purpose of needing a boat ride! Luckily, some friends who happen to own a marina said they’d give us a lift.

That Friday dawned as the first real cool day we’d had, so we bundled up for the boat ride over, which would take between 45 minutes and an hour.

ready to go Jack is always up for an adventure!

krypto on the boat   As usual, Krypto not so much into adventure.

It was cloudy and threatening to rain, but we made it over without any precipitation. We were staying at a house on the back of the island with its own dock, just behind Marshside Mama’s and the public dock. Our captain expertly tied up and helped us disembark with our stuff, the majority of which was food b/c there is no grocery store so we had to pack 3 days’ worth of booze meals. Fortunately, one of my brothers had just sent me a selection from Omaha Steaks for my birthday, so we had plenty of meaty deliciousness for the trip. Of course our captain knew the home’s owner and showed us right to it. It was a charming cottage that at one point had been the island’s post office!

hightide Looking out at the dock.

It was still pretty early when we got settled in…a perfect opportunity for a nap while the rain finally started in earnest. We enjoyed a lazy day of watching dvds, playing cards, and exploring our immediate surroundings (with the added bonus of day drinking because we walked everywhere!), including the little playground next door at Marshside Mama’s. Much to Jack’s (ok, and mine) delight, they had an old-school, metal merry-go-round like those from the days of my youth that I thought had more or less been outlawed by the playground safety police.                              zipline_merry-go-round                                                          (image found online, not a pic of actual one we played on)

Vacationing with Tyler Rule # 31, if you see a historical sign, pose with it for picture:

abercrombie

Jack looks like he is practicing his Abercrombie & Fitch catalog pose

This was a little raised oyster shell area just off the boat launch. If you look closely, you can see two horseshoe crabs mating in the surf, so technically, Jack was still getting some maritime education despite skipping a school day.

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On Saturday, Tyler called around to rent a golf cart. One place answered that they didn’t have any left and suggested (who else?) Bloody Point. The gal, Brandy, was even nice enough to offer to pick Tyler up when she was out and about later (Tyler did not take my advice to thank her by saying she was a “fine girl.”). That’s on par with Tybee randomium levels in my book. Since she wasn’t really an ax murderer, Tyler returned a little later and we had the afternoon to explore the island by golf cart.

golfcart                                                                         Added to the list of modes of transportation that Krypto doesn’t like: golf carts. 

Despite the numerous signs posted prohibiting non-licensed drivers of golf carts, we let Jack take a turn driving and he loved it.

In addition to the island’s natural beauty, there is really quite a bit to see, from cemeteries and tabby ruins to a winery and a surprisingly large community garden with cows, chickens, goats, and more. 

The winery did not appear to be open.

winery3    winery2

We stopped at the main stretch of beach, with seafoam spray and huge homes reminiscent of the California coastline (except these millionaires also have minions to grocery shop by boat to Hilton Head!).

beach   cali

We popped into the Freeport Marina for cokes and poked around at the general store. I discovered that they do have a liquor store on the island, so I was relieved on behalf of the residents. It’s a tiny little cottage with steps, which made me think perhaps an ADA-compliance lawsuit would be in order and I could retire rich and get some grocery-shopping minions of my own.

abc                                                          ABC (Liquor) Store, also apparently not open.

The Old Daufuskie Crab Company is in the same vicinity and we decided to stop for a bite to eat. There were a bunch of fraternity brahs playing beer pong in the rain by the tiki hut bar and a big sign saying “no dogs allowed inside,” but because no one else was eating there Krypto is so cute, the manager allowed us to sit inside.

crab co Brahs to the left, outside camera view.

krypto2   krypto

They had some cool artifacts on display from Daufuskie’s hey dey as an oyster harvesting community.

oysters

I’m pretty sure every state in the US has a city named Marion…Daufuskie even has streets named after us!

marion

Saturday night, Tyler and I ducked out to Marshside Mama’s for a beer. Good times!

mm  marshside mamas

dock Enjoying the view from the dock.

20151004_113507 The road near our cottage.

This sign just made me laugh.

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All in all, it was a great weekend. When you live somewhere that throws a parade almost every other weekend, sometimes it’s nice to go somewhere super laid back. Getting away helped me better appreciate what we do have, like an amazing elementary school, a bridge (albeit prone to accidents and closures), a grocery store, and ADA-accessible liquor stores.

I’ve had quinoa in my pantry for almost a year and finally used it!

So, about a year ago, I decided to be super-efficient and organized and attacked monthly meal planning with a vengeance (by which I mean I dedicated a Pinterest board to recipes, made detailed grocery lists broken down by week, and was feeling so good about myself that I even created a 2nd Pinterest board for recipes I tried and liked because that’s way easier than just deleting pins that sucked, right?).

I had been reading so much about kale, quinoa, and their other super hero food friends, that I felt I must be missing out on something by not immediately adding them into our dinner rotation. The first week of meal plan implementation had several hiccups in that one or both of us had a meeting or event to attend that conflicted with dinner so the grand meal was foregone in favor of leftovers or pizza or something not on the insanely detailed master menu (in my case, usually a bowl of cereal). And then when I never got around to leaving the island on the weekend to go grocery shopping for week 2, well, it all just went to hell rather quickly from there as many of my pet projects tend to do.

So here we are almost a year later and I still had an unopened bag of quinoa in the pantry that I, in a moment of couponing-be-damned freedom spent $7 on (in my defense, I wasn’t fiscally reckless enough to justify the cost of organic quinoa). I decided to go back to my original Pinterest recipe for quinoa enchilada casserole (compliments of damndelicious.net) and give it a try. Although the cooking directions on the package suggested that I wash and strain the quinoa before cooking, I was having none of that busy work and just tossed a cup into a pot with 2 cups of water. Quinoa cooks pretty much like couscous and rice, with a 2:1 water to grain ratio and you let it all boil and then simmer covered and fluff. Super easy!

20151007_174540_HDR Ta-da! Cooked and fluffed. 

I harvested the last of our amazing chili pepper crop from the back yard, in a variety of shades from green to yellow to red and substituted them for the canned chiles in the original recipe. 

20151007_174544_HDR Paper plates make great cutting boards!

I added some garlic salt, chopped onions, and the rest of the suggested ingredients. Because Ty is a smart man and would quickly realize that this is a vegetarian recipe and immediately protest, I went ahead and added some shredded chicken to the mix.

When Tyler and I lived in KC many moons ago and were not yet parents but just a couple of carefree kids with plenty of disposable income and free time, we used to do things like go to the symphony, art fundraisers, the opera (ok, the opera was my 31st bday present to myself but we all got so hammered at the Young Friends of the Opera pre-party that we never made it to the performance-yes, even dressed the nines, we were classy like that), and book signings (yes, I also used to buy books as opposed to just checking them out from the library, life is funny like that).

On one particular occasion, my mom was visiting from out of town and I had purchased tickets for a book signing event with Anne Byrn, the so-called “Cake-Mix Doctor,” whose cook book for doctoring boxed cake mixes literally changed my mom’s life. Growing up, we never had a single homemade baked good in my home. Birthdays were a time for Pepperidge Farm cakes from the store (and usually a giant taper candle from the mantle to blow out–why waste money on cake-sized candles? It’s not like you had a year to plan for the occasion or anything).

pepperidge farm cake

Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas meant French Silk and Banana Cream pies from Baker’s Square (admittedly, not a bad thing. I wish we had a similar place in Savannah). Mom’s specialties were fudge and rosettes (most of which were given away; again, not a bad thing. Rosettes are like fried dough with powdered sugar, which in the case of beignets is a good thing, but in the case of rosettes, not so much) but never did we enjoy a home-baked cake within the walls of 1531 King George Court. Imagine my surprise decades later when my mom proceeded to detail all of the cakes she had baked for any and every excuse under the sun based on her new cake bible. But I digress. Anne Byrn wrote a second cook book called the Dinner Doctor, which is the book signing mom and I went to. This book taught me how to poach and shred chicken for a plethora of recipes and it changed my life (or at least the way I cook chicken most of the time). So, long story long, I poached and shredded some chicken and added it to this otherwise vegetarian dish.

20151007_180450_HDR Mixin’ it all together…

20151007_182718_HDR  Puttin’ it in the pan…

Then I gratuitously sprinkled way more cheese than the recipe called for and baked it…I skipped the suggested mozzarella and stuck with just cheddar plus a liberal sprinkling of parmesan on top.

20151007_192211_HDR  mmm…cheesy goodness!

Final verdict? It was really delicious (and even better as leftovers for lunch today!), but after cooking and serving it up, I realized that I forgot to include the chopped cilantro (I blame the distraction of cooking/adding chicken), which I do think would have added a unique zip to the dish.

Tyler pronounced it a winner, noting that the “one thing that would really complement the flavors is diced avocado.” Because of course I forgot the frickin’ avocado (along with the cilantro, both of which were still on the counter). No Kitchen MacGyver points awarded but I highly recommend the recipe nonetheless.