Sausage Balls

Things I Learned This Week I Living In The South: 

1. There is a transgendered black cat on the other side of town who was born Raj, but after a series of some cat related infections and a quick surgery, now goes by Rajine (rah-gene). 

2. The addition of mayonnaise to mashed potatoes is not as odd as it sounds. And is pretty damn good. 

3. Though no snow is on the ground you can still enjoy a Christmas parade as long as the cinnamon whiskey is flowing, the pom pom winter hat is on head, and a man dressed as a giant piece of toast is wandering the streets.  

This past week I have heard the term 'sausage balls' no less than a dozen times. Apparently the holiday season does not begin until the whole of North Carolina has their hands (and mouths) on some balls.  Naturally I had to get in on this. 

Sausage Balls


Buffalo Turkey Open Faced Sandwich

Buffalo Turkey Open Faced Sandwich

It has been two days since Thanksgiving. And after multiple trips to the treadmill, a few jaunts around downtown on foot, and the occasional visit to the bathroom I am starting to feel normal again. 

I know, I know. Eating that double wide slice of cheesecake just hours after the main event wasn't the "most smartest" thing to do. But damn I needed some emotional support as I binge watched my post-apocalyptic teen movies that night. Nothing says "being thankful" than watching a bunch of super pretty young adults try and set a new social standard while fighting off the bad guys in perfectly pressed couture.  

Which brings me to today. The Saturday after Thanksgiving. Normally I would be in the throes of creativity and despair trying to figure out how to use the remaining 10 pounds of turkey, metric ton of mashed potatoes, and the now self aware cranberry Blob like creature living on the top shelf of the ice box. 

But instead I was sent home with a (double wide) slice of cheesecake, a generous slice of Hummingbird Cake (see my post on that here), and about 1 pounds worth of white meat in a Panda Express To Go box. The hostess was able to buy 1000 of these to go boxes for $.50 at the flea market three years ago. That is not an exaggeration. 

And because I never seem to have anything worth shaking a stick at (or a desire to use my car to get to a grocery store) I fell back to the classic game of chance and used only what was in my larder. I suggest you do the same. It's amazing what one can make when pushed to the limits of laziness.  

Please note this is one of those recipes that has no exact amount. Add cautiously and then generously as you see fit. 

Buffalo Turkey Open Faced Sandwich


***Note 1. Texas Pete did not sponsor this. It is just my hot sauce of choice and is always in my swag bag. 

***Note 2. This recipe is not specific and hopefully can be used as inspiration for any of the ingredients left over from Thanksgiving. Don't like Sourdough? Use White or Wheat. Don't like Muenster Cheese? Use a nice sliced Mozzarella or Cheddar. Don't like open faced sandwiches as they openly mock everything that is SANDWICH? Put another slice on top. 

Super Bowl Party Friends, Shaped Cheese Balls, and Sitting in Dog Sh!t

Misshapen but bacon covered Super Bowl Cheese Ball

Misshapen but bacon covered Super Bowl Cheese Ball

One year ago on this national holiday that is the Super Bowl I stood at the elevator outside my apartment door debating whether or not to attend the building sponsored party being held in the pimped out lounge. I hesitated, because at my age (early to late 30s), I already have a set a friends I told myself. Making new friends isn't always easy past...well whenever. That aside, the guilt set in as I had promised my mother I would go and I had maybe told that bright eyed leasing agent the day before "oh suuuuure I'll come", wink wink. 

One year has gone by and I just wrapped up my football shaped cheese ball to bring to this year's party. You know I love a shaped cheese ball. Check out my last one here

How painful was that first Super Bowl party in the lounge? On a scale of 1 to 10 I would say I have had gas pains worse than my experience feigning interest in a sport I know nothing about while trying not to binge eat the questionable crudite that was on display.

However, in the end I met a few people. People who over the course of the subsequent year have become great friends. And even though there are days that I am convinced I live in a college dorm, I find great relief when I pull in at the end of a hard day knowing that two floors down, around the corner, or across the hall I have people I can count on.

When I think of football I instantly go back to that rainy day at Woodland Junior High playing touch football with 30 of my never to be seen again friends. That day as I, well basically moved in some direction, slipped on the wet grass and landed flat on my backside. This story only really hits home the next day when I went to go get my still damp gym clothes out of my locker and realized that what I had really slipped in was a big ol' pile of dog shit. Imagine that smell. Not my usual Gautier Le Male. 

If you had asked me anytime before I sat down to write this I would have told you team sports have done nothing to me in the way of friendships. Nobody offered me fresh clothes to wear the day I marinated in poo. I don't recall any of my badminton partners. Nor my square dance partners. And where I come from square dancing is a team sport.

All over the internet there are articles about the benefits of team sports and building friendships that last lifetimes. It may only be one year in, but I hope the friendships forged at last years Super Bowl party last a lifetime. And if I have to I will bribe them all with cheese balls. 

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Football Cheese Ball


Tomato, Toasted Cheese and Total Strangers

Now that Winter has officially set in it's safe to assume that we are all packing on the Winter Weight in order to survive. If you're like me you've sent off the extra christmas cookies with anybody that walks by the house. Or you're also like me and just unhinged your jaw and took down the whole freezer bag of them because, "if I eat them all now or spaced out over the next month it's the same amount of calories". Who are we kidding?  Eat the damn cookies. But when they are gone it's time to CLEANSE!

And what better way than by working out!  

Did you just throw up a little? I did.

Unlike my gym minded landlord and roommate, I am not going to the gym. It's just too cold out. And I do not have the stamina to wait out those resolutioners who don't have the ability to watch ESPN and use the elliptical without falling off.  

So my cleanse is starting with my food intake.

Tonight's dinner option was brought to us by my friend, Lady O of Boston. This grande Italian duchess is mother to none other than my electronic pen pal Anastasia Beaverhausen. I have never met Lady O of Boston but totally believe that she is a deity of Italian descent who wears only 3" heels, red lipstick and bathes in olive oil. A few days back Ms. Beaverhausen was telling me that she was making her mother's famous homemade tomato soup. Being a sucker for Campbell's I had ventured to ask what made it so good.  Ms. Beaverhausen simply sent me the recipe. There was nothing to it. And it was reason to use my immersion blender. Buy one (you know you want to).

So one night this week as the roommate slaved away working at the dining room table I pretended to break a sweat in the kitchen making dinner for us. As stated above the weather has turned nip hardening cold and the recipe was mind numbingly easy. Last minute I decided to pair it with some grilled cheese croutons enrobed in parmesan.  Totally light in calories.

Seriously though. The soup is not bad for you. The worst thing is this massive quantity recipe is 2T sour cream and 1T sugar.  

"She's been making it since I was a little girl. I don't know where she got the recipe, but I love it." - Anastasia Beaverhausen

Ofelia's Tomato Soup