Warning: This post contains excessive amounts of food porn and puppy porn. Not for anyone on a diet or who hates puppies.


You know what happens when you grow up with an older brother? You wind up watching shows like The A-Team which means as a 34yo and a half woman I can still quote Col. John "Hannibal" Smith: "I love it when a plan comes together." Seriously - this weekend was like the perfect confluence of events from the two tix I snagged to Duke v. Maryland on Saturday (don't ask me how I got them otherwise I might have to kill you) to the fact that Dr. Diva was going to be in town with her boyfriend visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Amazing. And even though Mother Nature tried to screw things up for us, I totally one-upped the bitch. It's about time.

If it's Friday in NC that must mean there is some kind of weather issue and this past Friday was no different: forecasters called for several inches of snow to start falling in the afternoon.  I was fortunate to get an early start and managed to avoid both the rush hour traffic out of town and the weather which is good because Mr. and Mrs. Amazing live in a lovely little house IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.  We're talking windy backroads, streetsigns that are hard to read and a steep driveway which as I drove up I thought to myself: thank god it's not dark or snowing because Holy Hell I'd probably be lost and/or stranded and while yes, I always have my trusty crackberry glued to my hands, it only works if you have a signal.

So I arrived in 1 piece and thanked the universe for small favors (like not snowing on me) and then I thanked the universe for larger favors, like this:


Do you want to know why I call him Mr. Amazing? He built this. And I don't just mean the fire. He built the actual fireplace with his own 2 hands. In fact, It's a dual-fireplace (there's an identical one on the other side in another room that feeds up the same chimney). Also? He bakes homemade bread. Also? He'll bend over backwards for you and he'll do it with a smile. Also? He's like the nicest man ever. Seriously - I've said it before: If anything happens to my parents (which I sincerely hope is not the case) then I want Dr. Diva's parents to adopt me.

Anyways, I walked in to a roaring fire and a giant cheese plate full of yummy, cheesy deliciousness that Dr. Diva and her boyfriend, Private Equity Guy, had schlepped down all the way from NY and while the boys went into the other room to watch a sailing race on DVR the girls sat around the fire, catching up, drinking Vouvray and eating our weight in cheese.

Eventually, we could eat no more cheese, and so Dr. Diva and her folks got to work on dinner while for once in my life I acted the role of guest, kept my cheese-laden ass on the couch, accepted another generous glass of white wine from Mr. Amazing, and caught up with Private Equity Guy who in fact, is someone I went to high school with and have known for - gasp - about 20 years. Holy shit.

So I don't know exactly where Minnetonka is but Holy Hell - I'd like to thank them for their genius cuisine which involves butter, bacon, beef, and more butter followed by a shot of Lipitor. 

Garlic Butter I.JPG

This my friends, is Step 1 of a Minnetonka Hot Dog. 

(I'll pause while you get a napkin to wipe the drool from your chin.)


Steaks in Action.JPG

This is Step 2 of a Minnetonka Hot Dog.


Garlic Butter 2.JPG

This is Step 3.


The Dip and Soak.JPG

This is Step 4, which I call the Dip & Soak.  Now, you can either dip one half of the roll and daintily blot it on the other half for a nice, light coating of garlic butter. Or you can go whole hog and submerge both halves of your roll and dribble garlicky, buttery lusciousness down your chin when you bite into this:


Minnetonka Hot Dog.JPG 

This my friends, is a Minnetonka Hot Dog. And it is nothing short of awesome. Also? You can totally tell which path of Dip & Soak I chose to take. 


You know what you eat with a Minnetonka Hot Dog? Minnetonka Rice (or Minnetonka Groats as was the case with us).  Basically fry up some bacon, remove from the pan and then sautee some diced onion in the bacon grease.  Mix the bacon and the onion with brown rice (or groats), add 2 cups of beef consomme, 2 cups of water and bake until it's all golden brown and bubbly, like so:

Rice Full.JPG


I am ashamed to even tell you how many helpings of this I had, but this is what the dish looked like when we were done with dinner:

Rice Empty.JPG

If I thought I could have gotten away with it, I probably would have licked the bowl clean.


For the record, there was salad:


And for the record, you can never have too much cheese. Ever.


This whole incredible meal was prepared with these 2 underfoot:

Scout and Murray in the kitchen.JPG

Scout is the placid looking Retriever on the left. Murray is "In-Your-Face-I'm-All-Puppy" Labradoodle on the right.


And we washed it all down with the 2007 Gundlach Bundschu Cabernet Franc which was exceptionally fitting seeing as Dr. Diva was the one to introduce me to Gun Bun last year. 

After dinner, we sat around playing Catchphrase and drinking more wine and OMG I have never laughed so hard and I forgot how much fun it is to play games. Seriously. I grew up in a big game playing family but I haven't done it in ages and so this was especially enjoyable. Also? I nearly suffered a minor injury when Private Equity Guy hurled the Catchphrase machine at me with incredible force. Don't worry - it wasn't malicious. But you don't want to get stuck holding it when the timer goes off. Also? Points to anyone who can tell me how you'd get your teamates to guess Busta Rhymes without  using "Sounds like Dusta Chimes" because "sounds like" is a no-no in Catchphrase.

The evening ended with giant scoops of Ben and Jerry's ice cream and double-stuff Oreos at 11:30 because really - how else would you end such a fantastic evening? 

I woke up Saturday morning to this:

Snowy trees.JPG


For about 2 seconds I thought to myself, "How lovely" and then I thought "Fuckety fuck fuck fuck" because OMG I have to be on the road by 10am to pick up Lilsaej to head to Duke for a basketball game and Holy Hell HOW AM I GOING TO GET OUT OF HERE?

I came downstairs and found this:

Scout on sofa.JPG


There was also a fire in the fireplace, fresh coffee on the table, and Mr. Amazing was outside cleaning off my snow-covered car. I joined him outside to do a little recon on the driveway situation and was greeted by this:

Murray Snow.JPG  

Seriously: Murray is rambunctious as all get out but he is the sweetest dog ever and watching him frolick in the snow almost made me forget how stressed out I was.  Also? It kind of made me want to get a dog.

Murray and I ventured down the driveway together and this is what we saw:

Snowy Road.JPG


So yeah.  I pretty much fretted all morning about the snow and getting down the driveway and once I got down the driveway what would all those twisty, back roads be like before I could get to a major thoroughfare and even if I didn't run myself off the road or get stuck what about all the other asshat drivers out there who don't know what they're doing and OMG I have tickets to a Duke basketball game and that happens like, NEVER, and damn you Mother Nature for once again trying to screw up my awesome weekends. And for the record I was also worried about my pump not working, my basement flooding, my furnace breaking, and finding Psycho Kitty frozen and dead in the bathtub. No - I'm not dramatic. Not at all.

Eventually, after a mid-morning gab fest with Dr. Diva, I pulled myself together, packed, and fortified myself with a Diet Coke, a clementine, yet even more cheese (shut up), and a piece of Mr. Amazing's homemade sourdough bread toasted and slathered with butter (shut up again) and sprinkled with coarse sea salt.

Mr. Amazing walked me to my car, loaded me up, and gave me the paternal pep talk I needed.

Me: So I should put the car in a lower gear, right?

Mr. A: Yes, for going downhill - but not up.

Me: Do you think second is ok?

Mr. A: Absolutely.

Me: And you're confident I'll be ok getting down the driveway.

Mr. A: Yes. It's gravel underneath the snow. Not like asphalt. Your tires will grab and hold onto it.

Me: Ok. I can do this.

Mr. A: Just one thing. Don't use your brakes.

And that was the point that all color drained from my face and I nearly vomited because OMG: drive down a snowy, icy driveway WITHOUT MY BRAKES? ARE YOU INSANE?

Long story long, Mr. Amazing further lived up to his name and drove me down the driveway. In first gear. And for the record, he had to use the brakes.


What an awesome weekend. Your food pics made my cereal breakfast woefully inadequate!

Minnetonka Hot Dog is a perfect name for it! (Minnetonka is a "cute" suburb outside of Minneapolis)

OMG, the dogs are so adorable!! You should definitely get one. And no brakes???? I don't f'in think so. Glad you had such a great weekend!!

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