The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: innuendo

Come to Mama Sausage Dip, for most of your bartering needs

I’ve been told there’s a big football game on this weekend. Frankly, I couldn’t care less. If my Steelers aren’t playing, I’d just as soon curl up with Jamie Fraser, I mean, a good book.

But that means my husband will be going to his parents’ house for a Super Bowl Party, and hopefully taking all three of our kids with him so I can stay home alone and figure out why all my friends can’t stop gushing over Downton Abbey.

Hey, as a mother of three, I don’t get very much alone time. So Super Bowl Sunday is kind of a special day for me, and not just because it’s the grande finale of my holiday eating season.

Yes, just because I won’t be watching the big game doesn’t mean I won’t be eating like it.

Conrad Bain was mr. drummond on Diff'rent Strokes

Jim (aka “The Gatekeeper”) will undoubtedly make a huge batch of his famous hot wings, leaving me my own personal heaping tray of “the good ones.” (I only eat the wingette, never the drummette, not to be confused with the Drummond, may he rest in peace.)

And celery dipped in chunky blue cheese dressing totally counts as a vegetable, y’all.

There will be another vegetable course of bacon wrapped cheesy jalapeño peppers.

And I will be making a big ol’ vat of what I affectionately like to call my Come to Mama Sausage Dip.

I don’t make this dish very often, or I’d have to install an AED in my kitchen, but it sure is delicious and easy to make. And it’s a real crowd pleaser, let me tell you—especially with the men folk.

The Bearded Iris's Come to Mama Sausage Dip and Bartering Tool

As an added bonus, this dip makes for an excellent bartering tool.

Ladies, we all know that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. So if you want your man to be putty in your hands without having to do some bush hogging or soil your sheets, just shell out some of this dip and sit back while he moans and groans in sausage-infused ecstasy. That’s right, give him a foodgasm and your every wish will be his command.

Need a day to yourself? Sausage dip.

Want him to take down the Christmas lights? Sausage dip.

New DSLR that costs more than your first car? Sorry. That’s probably going to require a more literal sausage dip. Step away from your Amazon cart and go spruce up your downtown, Loretta.

But for the rest of you with less expensive taste…

Come to Mama Sausage Dip


  • 16 ounce roll of breakfast sausage* (don’t get that puny 12 ounce thing…this is no time to settle for a little sausage)
  • 2 bricks of cream cheese (8 oz. each)
  • 10 ounce can of RO*TEL (Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies; find it in the canned veggie aisle)

RO*TEL original tomatoes and green chilis

*If you like to spice things up a bit, and I suspect that you do, get either spicy sausage, OR spicy RO*TEL. Don’t double down on the spice unless you want to spend a lot of quality time with Bernie Bunger over the next few days.

Now let’s get cookin’, good lookin’!

Brown up the sausage. I use a big cast iron skillet for this. Break up the big chunks of sausage with a wooden spoon while it cooks. Then drain the grease off and set the crumbled sausage on a layer or two of paper towel. If your crumbles aren’t small enough, chop ’em up and set aside.

Then, heat the cream cheese on med-low until it gets all melty and slap yo’ mama good. Personally, I’m a big fan of using every single pot and pan in my kitchen whenever I cook. But you could probably do this in the same big skillet you used to brown up your sausage if you are one of those more organized people who doesn’t leave a swath of destruction every time you enter the kitchen.

Once the cream cheese is hot and melty, add the RO*TEL and crumbled sausage and heat through. Easy, peasy, muffin-top squeezie.

Please serve this dip with Frito’s Scoops on the side. Don’t get all fancy and try to shovel this slop with wafer-thin Carr’s Water Crackers. This is a white trash, man pleasin’, artery clogging bartering tool and should be paired accordingly. M’kay?

Don’t worry, you can head back to the gym on Monday. Or do like I do and just camouflage that flesh belt with bold patterns and some cleavage peek-a-boo. Or perhaps a coon-skin cap. Nobody will ask you when your food baby is due if they think you’re a hooker or a rifleman.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

Come to Mama Sausage Dip
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: The Bearded Iris
Hot, molten, cheesy, sausage dip perfect for the big game!
  • 16 ounce roll of breakfast sausage* (don’t get that puny 12 ounce thing…this is no time to settle for a little sausage)
  • 2 bricks of cream cheese (8 oz. each)
  • 10 ounce can of RO*TEL (Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies; find it in the canned veggie aisle)
  • Fritos Scoops
  1. Brown the sausage; break up the big chunks of sausage with a wooden spoon while it cooks. Then drain the grease off and set the crumbled sausage on a layer or two of paper towel. Set aside.
  2. Heat the cream cheese on med-low in a saucepan until it gets all melty and slap-yo’-mama good.
  3. Once the cream cheese is hot and melted, add the RO*TEL and crumbled sausage and heat through.
  4. Best served warm with Fritos Scoops on the side. It’s a heavy dip and requires a strong chip or you’ll be wearing it instead of eating it. (Trust me on this.)
*If you like to spice things up a bit, and I suspect that you do, get EITHER spicy sausage, OR spicy RO*TEL. Don’t double down on the spice. You can thank me later.

My husband hates my new knobs.

You guys? Can we talk about something kind of embarrassing?

I’ve been feeling really frumpy lately. Mainly, when I’m in the bathroom and I look down, I feel like my knobs just haven’t aged very well.

Back in the late 80s when they were shiny and new, they were pretty popular; I’m not going to lie.

my knobs have not aged well

But twenty+ years of regular handling have obviously taken their toll, not to mention the excess moisture and occasional banging.

I just felt like my whole look was, well, dated and worn. I wanted to swap out my tarnished, lifeless old knobs for something shiny and new, like so many other women in my neighborhood have done lately. I know I should be happy with what I have, but I was coveting knobs that were perky and fresh! Something my husband and I wouldn’t mind grabbing several times a day.

So I saved up and bought a set of the prettiest knobs I could afford!

And that was not an easy feat because there are SO MANY CHOICES. Who knew?!

Not to mention the fact that my ADD prevented me from planning ahead and doing a special order of the knobs I really wanted.

Sweet Brown aint got time to special order knobs at Home Depot

So I chose a set I thought would look good enough given my budget and time constraints, and I set to work.

As soon as they were on, I ran to show my husband. Would he like them too?

Sadly, his reaction was not at all what I expected.

“They’re bigger than I thought they would be,” he said.

“Really?” I asked. “You think they’re too big?”

“A little…yeah…they’re kind of awkward and lumpy. And they’re sort of hard to grasp too. I…I’m afraid I’ll break them.”

“Oh…well that sucks. I think they’re really pretty. You don’t like the way they feel? Seriously? Day-yum.”

“Let’s just live with them for a few days and then decide,” he suggested.

I felt shocked and crushed at the same time. In 15 years of marriage we had always managed to agree on matters of, uh…enhancements.

Honestly, I just assumed he’d like what I picked, but apparently he wanted something smaller, simpler, less showy.

A compromise was clearly in order. After all, to have and to hold, right?

So we took a few days to see if he would warm up to my new knobs.

And not only did he not come around, but over the course of those few days, I started to agree with him.

It pains me to say it, but he was right. When I looked at them with fresh eyes, those knobs were all wrong for the rest of my new look.

your knobs are too big and lumpy hon

Maybe I should back up a bit and start at the beginning.

I’m obviously talking about cabinet knobs and pulls. What did you think I meant? Geez. Get your mind out of the gutter.

I’ve been s-l-o-w-l-y renovating our master bath over the course of the last…OMG…really? FOUR YEARS? Shit. (Oh so THAT is why people pay professionals.)

It’s been a long time since my last blog update about it when I swapped out the cultured marble counter top for a granite one, but only because I didn’t want to bore you to death.

new granite

Since last June I have painted the walls (twice…because I hated the shiny satin finish the guy at the hardware store talked me into) and installed new faucets and drains (myself, thankyouverymuch), and my husband put in new light fixtures.

Then I tackled the vanity. Here is the original “before” shot just for funsies.

master bath vanity before


It’s one of those builder-grade dealios made from particle board and laminate…very shoddy quality, and very badly damaged by wear and tear.

I took all the doors and drawers off, sanded down the raised water-damaged areas, applied a primer, and then painted and waxed everything with Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint (in Chateau Grey and Graphite) and Wax (clear and dark). It was a labor of love, let me tell you.

I’m not a painting expert and I don’t want to steer you wrong with how to use Annie Sloan products, so I won’t go into it here. Frankly I’m not even sure these products were the best choice for a bathroom, but only time will tell. I’m hoping that the primer plus the multiple (4) coats of paint and wax (3) will help protect them from water damage.

But here’s how it looked after the paint and wax, and while we were “trying on” the new Victorian glass knobs that we eventually rejected. That paint color on the walls is Celery Root (flat finish) by Valspar, by the way. I’m not sure if I love it or not yet. It’s more green than I thought it was going to be…I was hoping for more of a gray-green. (Also, ignore the floor…we’re not done.)

bathroom vanity after painting

I also spray painted the cabinet door hinges with a flat black paint because the tarnished brass ones were killing my buzz.

In the end, we returned the big, lumpy, glass knobs and went with smaller chrome handles, to match the faucets and light fixtures. And here’s the big reveal (drum roll please)…

before and after of bathroom vanity makeover by The Bearded IrisYou know I’m not the best photographer, and the lighting is making the cabinet look more blue than it is in real life, so try to look past that if you can.

I think it’s pretty amazing what some primer, 4 coats of paint, 3 coats of wax, some new knobs, and bit of touch-up spray can do for a gal. Don’t you?

My husband sure likes the final look, although he did say, “Those knobs stick out kind of far, don’t you think?”

What. WHAT?!

To which I snapped, “Hey, you know what? If you don’t like the new knobs, don’t use ’em.”

And that was the end of that.

Coming soon: a new floor and a toilet. Hopefully our marriage can survive it.

6 More Things I Learned at EBWW

Have I mentioned that I attended the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in Dayton, Ohio, last weekend?

Kidding. Obviously I can’t stop talking about it. But the rules of good blogging still apply and thus I have chosen to divide and conquer with several posts instead of one so as not to overwhelm or bore you to death. See? See how much I care for you people?

So, picking up where I left off last week… here are the rest of the gems I simply must share with you about my EBWW experience.

7.) It can be a real pickle to write your truth about people you know and not be chased out of town with torches and pitchforks. But here is the best advice I heard all weekend about how to walk that fine line:

“Cut as close to the bone as you can without getting sued or divorced.” ~Adriana Trigiani

In other words, change their name and write the hell out of that sucker. Wise words indeed! (Love her!)

8.) When you declare your intentions to the universe, the universe will send you all the resources you need to stay on your path and achieve your goals.

"One of these things is not like the other..."

That photo was taken at dinner last Friday night with writers Michelle Freed and Kathy Buckworth. Earlier that day, Michelle gave me a family sized pack of my current vice of choice, York Peppermint Patties, just because. How awesome is that?! Somebody better stop me before I break into a Dionne Warwick song. And you know I will, dammit.

The next day, I met Ernie. 

Ernie and Leslie at the Erma Bombeck tree dedication.

Ernie and I hit it off right away. We both wear funky glasses, we both have a fondness for hair styling products, we’re both fluent in sarcasm, and neither of us were imbibing. We were pretty much attached at the hip from the moment we connected. Thank you Ernie! You were just what the doctor ordered.

9.) The banana phone is alive and well in Dayton, Ohio. And if you ever want to make friends real fast in between conference sessions, whip out your banana phone and call someone. It’s a real crowd pleaser, believe you-me.

Check out my sisters-of-slapstick, Julie Ott of ott mama and Stacey Hatton of Nurse Mommy Laughs, working it old school.

10.) You’re never too old for the buddy system, especially while traveling in a strange city. Plus, a travel buddy makes it safer to share your cab with a strange man in Uni-Bomber sunglasses who may indeed turn out to be not so strange after all. In fact, he might just turn out to be one of the highlights of your trip due to his incredible wit and willingness to go with the flow…even in the midst of a very invasive trip through security.

And that’s how Nicole and I met Jef, of The Cult of Jef, a blog that’s “Sporty, yet casual.” I have found myself repeatedly laughing out loud at everything I’ve read there so far. Do yourself a favor and check him out. Here’s a good place to start.

11.) Pack your dirty skivvies in a bag at the BOTTOM of your suitcase so the poor man searching your luggage for the giant metal EBWW souvenir water bottle that looks incredibly similar to a pipe bomb doesn’t have to touch every. single. filthy. garment in your bag. Oh dear God in heaven, now I know why those poor things wear gloves. Bless his heart!

"Lord Almighty, what is that smell?"

"Ma'am, is this your large metal cylindrical object?"

Not unrelated, the brand name of the EBWW souvenir water bottle is “Bullet.” Not kidding. See for yourself:

Yessiree Bob, there’s nothing quite like transporting an extra large silver bullet through airport security. Good times.

12.) Normally I don’t advocate cracking jokes about granny panties with just any TSA Agent, but I must say, this sweet man was a wonderful sport (and quite gentle with my delicates). Life lesson: asking a stranger for a hug can really make almost any embarrassing situation feel a little better.

I always enjoy a little cuddle after my full body cavity searches, don't you?

And that concludes my list of all the wonderful things I learned last weekend thanks to the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop. Please tune in tomorrow to read about all the qualities I look for in a good roommate! (Don’t worry Nicole, your secrets are safe with me.)

your travel buddy,


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