Like I said yesterday, today’s January Blog a Day challenge topic is meatloaf.

See, meatloaf.

Well, I guess it’s really Meat Loaf.

Okay, okay, technically it’s I would do anything for love . . . but I won’t do that.

Which is sung by Meat Loaf.  But since I run a “food blog” here (like so many other things, I use that term loosely) I chose to make this post about actual meatloaf.

So I cooked up some meatloaf for dinner Monday night. On Tuesday I topped spaghetti squash with roasted garlic spaghetti sauce, crumbled a slice of meatloaf on top and sprinkled the whole thing with cheese.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it every dang day till the end of the month, I am totally rocking (pun intended) this blog challenge.

This recipe comes from “The Food You Crave” by Ellie Krieger (page 216 – buy the book, it’s a good investment) with just a few alterations.

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Today is Day 14 in the January Blog a Day Challenge which means I’ve almost made it halfway through.  It’s also finally a topic about food, which is what I claim to blog about.

That’s right, I don’t normally share stories of sitting on wasps or The Husband painting the stairwell naked.  Although I do sometimes talk about all the things our Labrador Retriever has destroyed and how not only is the poodle an animal lover, but she actually has her very own pets.  But mostly it’s food.

For my “food” post to make sense to you today you first need to check out Ann over at Cooking Dangerously.  Ann finds bizarre foods at the market, cooks them and blogs about it.  She is currently hosting a contest where contestants create their own “dangerous” version of Shepherd’s Pie.

By dangerous, I think she means you either have to cook with lobster testicles or alcohol.  That’s my guess.  I picked the alcohol.  Ann does like lobster so maybe I’d be a shoe in if I chose the lobster.  Still picking the alcohol.

I decided on a recipe fairly quickly, sparked from a slew of holiday leftovers and a thin after-Christmas pocketbook.  Besides, Ann’s own Shepherd’s Pie recipe touted clearing out the fridge and who am I to poo-poo the contest hostess.  Note to self: I should probably not use the term poo-poo in a food post.

Thus Holiday Leftover Pie was born.

My concept is to take all of your holiday leftovers and make them into one pie, or casserole.  That’s dangerous right?  It is with the Crown Royal I added.

Here’s the haps.

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Do any of you watch Parks and Recreation?  If you are fans of The Office, Parks and Recreation is an absolute must.  The last season just appeared on Netflix so I’ve been rewatching it for some laughs.

If you do watch Parks and Recreation, then the title of this post might mean something to you.  If you don’t, well, it’s still pretty obvious as to what I’m trying to convey here.

In my last post I revealed some shocking paint color choices and a shockinglier giant sweet potato.

I am absolutely painting my new master bedroom tango and rhinestone.

I may have embellished on the size of the sweet potato.

It was big.

Real big.

Just maybe not record setting county fair big.

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Hi Tuesday.  Welcome to the week, albeit a bit late.

I hope everyone had a chance to check out my submission to the 23 Paws party over the weekend.  Yup, still shamelessly promoting my post in which I prove to you The Snoops is a human.  For the record I think the virtual 23 Paws party is better than an actual 23 Paws Party.  For one, 23 is an odd number of paws which means there would be at least one sad little pooch.  For two, I’ve been to a dog’s birthday party before and, well, let’s just say The Snoops left an unwanted present in the corner of a basement.  We left early.  Sigh.  Can’t take the kiddos anywhere nice.

Some random things that are going on here in my Midwest.  We are still moving forward with the move forward.  Or sideways.  We are moving in more of an Easterly direction.  We are scheduled to get the keys to the new place in less than a week so let the packing and painting begin!

Fortunately the move lined up with a 40% off paint sale at Sherwin Williams so I dropped almost $300 on paint for four rooms yesterday.  I’m a paint snob – I admit it.  It’s Sherwin Williams for me or bust.  We are purchasing the home from an elderly couple who have lived there for the past 15 years so the house needs a spruce.

Sherwin Williams has this great online tool called the Color Visualizer that helps you choose colors for your home.  It’s kinda fabulous.  I love all things home repair and remodeling so I‘m planning to blog about the transformation.  Maybe I can be Sherwin Williams new poster child?  Or rather Sweetey Petey could be since I’m not a child.  The Snoops falls into that category since she acts like a child sometimes, at least at birthday parties.

Here is a sneak peak of what I’m planning for the master bedroom.

While this is is no way my future bedroom, this IS my bed and dresser (minus the mirror).  Crazy.

I adore accent walls so I’m going with a bright orange, Tango, for the wall behind the bed and Rhinestone, which is a very light but bright grey for all other walls.  I have curtains already purchased and a few photography prints I still need to purchase online from an artist I found at a craft fair earlier this month.

I’m excited and I hope you are too.  I know I lean more towards food satire here, but hey, it’s my blog and I can remodel if I want to.

While we are on the subject of food satire, I posted this gem on Sunday asking what it was and why was it wearing a hat?

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If I start off every Foodie Pen Pals post with “the end of the month sure sneaks up on a challenger” would any of you notice?

Well it does, it sneaks up.  It sneaks up like The Snoops sneaks up on an opened peanut butter jar and pounces.  But we’ll get to peanut butter later.

First, let me remind you all what it is I do here.  Foodie Pen Pals is my thing, my schtick, my bag baby.  I take the box, the whole box, and amaze you all with my culinary creation.  I do this by ripping off the Food Network show Chopped.

Except there are no other challengers to battle, it’s just me fighting against myself.  I can be very competitive so it’s not as easy a win as you might think.  Don’t get me wrong, I win.  Every time.

Round 1: The Chopped Challenge

Round 2: Mini Meals

Round 3: The Copy Cat Challenge

Round 4: Big Balls

That brings us to Round 5 and Carma.  Yes, Carma not Karma.  Carma is a lovely reader from Ashland, Ohio – Midwest in the house – and she sent me my Foodie Pen Pals Box, my mystery ingredients, my inspiration.

Based on the post card she included I had kinda hoped for cheese, but cheese probably doesn’t travel well in a Midwestern summer.  I don’t know where you all hail from but it gets flippin’ hot here.

Instead I received a bag of sweet potato chips.

Gluten Free Lucy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Seed and Fruit Mix.

Brown Rice Marshmallow Treats and Mango Pineapple Iced Green Tea Mix.

All gluten free.  All delicious.  All opened up and enjoyed well before the competition ever started.  I like to know my ingredients, really know them.  By the time the end of the month snuck up on me I had about a half cup of each left over.  No problem.  I can work with that.

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A few weekends ago The Husband and I took The Pete to the Zoo for his very first viewing of animals you can’t purchase from the pet store or see at the local dairy farm.

He’s seen animals before.  Dogs, clearly.  Goats.  Bunnies in the backyard.  Butterflies at the park exhibit.  Fish and lizards and birds at the pet store.  Please somebody tell me I’m not the only one that takes their kid to the pet store for some cheap entertainment.  What.  There’s no entrance fee and the snacks are infinitely cheaper.  Plus you can run errands while you’re there and get The Snoops her bacon snacks.  The Snoops LOVES her bacon snacks.

Do you see how I can successfully incorporate “food blogging” into every post?  I’m quite proud, really.  Quite proud.

Speaking of food blogging and the Zoo, did you know that turtles eat healthy too?  Yup.  We walked in on them during lunchtime and they were munching away on some salad, sans dressing.

I know I’m not exactly a motivational healthy living food blogger here to guilt you all into clean eating and over exercising . . . so I’ll just let the turtles do it for me.  The clean eating part that is, not the over exercising.  Turtles are not exactly the poster child for movement.

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I harvested sweet potatoes.  From my garden.

You read me right.  Sweet Potatoes.  From my garden.  My garden.  Well, our garden.  The Husband helped.  A little.

Let me warn you now . . . this post will be heavy on the pictures and light on my usual sarcasm.  How can I be sarcastic about sweet potatoes.  From my garden.  My garden.  Well, our garden.  The Husband helped.  A little.

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How was your Independence Day? With a mid week holiday, it begs the question did you celebrate the weekend before, the day of, or are you celebrating this coming weekend? We celebrated the day of – going the traditional route and all.

Having any day off is never a bad thing in my blog, but it does unbalance the rest of the week. Resets it, if you will. Oh, and to all my Twitter friends who tweeted that Thursday felt like Sunday . . . YOU’RE WRONG! It felt like Monday, cursors down. So get your facts straight before you tweet.

Right then, back to it. Did you celebrate your freedom by reading the Declaration of Independence and eating good food with good people? We did. Supermom invited us over for dinner and prepared classic picnic fare of grilled burgers and corn on the cob. She did let me bring a side dish though (she throws me a bone every now and then).

I decided to go with a non-traditional, traditional dish.

So I made potato salad.

With sweet potatoes.

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I hope you all enjoyed your Mushroomday (sorry Erika, I wasn’t aware you weren’t a mushroom fan and I am pretty sure my gray sauce didn’t convert you).  If Wednesday was Mushroomday then the rest of the week might have been Sweetpotatoday.

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