A Decade, Two Babies, and Pretzels

Oh, where does one begin?

First things first.  Suzi took over the blog last week, I’ll take over this week all for this very reason — The Gent and I were busy party planning.  Party for what?

Read on, if you wish.

This past weekend, The Dashing Gent and I celebrated, with about 50 of our family and friends, a decade of marriage.

Wait. What?

Ten years.

Of marriage.

That still hasn’t sunk in.

In February, we are expecting baby number 2.  That baby is due on the day of our first date or around there, which when that time arrives, will have been 13 years ago.

13 years.

Of life together.

That still hasn’t sunk in either.

Check out our a couple of our engagement pictures, or as we like to call them, seniorgagement pictures, you know, because they look more like we got our senior pictures taken together.  I guess that’s inevitable at 18.  We looked much older at 19 and 20 as you can see in our wedding pictures.



What a babe.  Not like a hunky babe, but like a baby. A baby face.  A hunky baby face.  Er, nevermind. cake



And, yes, those were braces, every blushing bride’s best accessory. Blang, blang!

Anyway, this is a little bit of what the party looked like  — setup and party in full swing.  At our wedding reception, we had a big white tent, so we said way back then, once we’re married for ten years, we’re either going to Europe or throwing a massive party.  Well, we bought a new house, so there went Europe, as if it ever stood a chance anyway, so party it was!

A tent, smoked meats, salads, live music, Breckenridge beer on tap, more smoked meats, pretzels, and cupcakes.

Simple, ridiculous pretzels.  The beer and the pretzels almost made a happier pair than us…almost.

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From those pictures, it looks like I sat in the same spot all night while The Gent set up.  Oh, wait, I did. And sipped O’Douls Amber, which for not having beer in over four months, tasted pretty darn okay.  To all you breweries out there, let’s team up and brew a few more non-alcoholics out there.  It’s an untapped market. Maybe.  We don’t really know.

The band, Mississippi Jake graced us with their presence!  They were fantastic!  Check out The Spoon and Pint on Instagram for a quick rendition of what our ears were blessed with.

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Oh, yeah, then there were these massive sparklers that came out of nowhere, which I thought our toddler would be deathly afraid of, but nope.  She loved them.  I snatched her away from her fire-wielding father right after I took this picture.  Priorities, you know.IMG_2769

But what you must really know all the details about is that beer.  And those pretzels.

And the sad fact I didn’t capture any pictures of any of the outstanding food, not a single one.  Smoked meats, four different HOMEMADE BBQ sauces from a jerk sauce to an Asian sauce and everything in between, a sweet potato salad, a classic potato salad, coleslaw, even the buns for the meat were homemade, the wedding cupcakes with butter cream frosting, the fresh fruit, the cucumber vodka refreshers, the Breckenridge beer, the crazy s’mores.

Anyway, we’re here for the pretzels.  Plain ol’ pretzels.  However, plain they are not!  They are Fiesta Ranch Pretzels!  This recipe hails from Shelly’s mama’s kitchen. Not only did she make these, but her and her dad also smoked a pile of meat, made sides that were out of this world, and, oh, those cupcakes!  Never enough thanks for those two.  Cheers to parents.

Grocery List:
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 envelope fiesta ranch mix
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 16oz bag pretzel sticks

Combine oil, dressing mix, garlic powder ,and cayenne pepper.

Divide pretzels on 2 small cookie sheets or 1 large one.Pour oil mixture over pretzels and stir. Bake at 200 degrees for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hrs. Or until golden. Stir frequently! They are simple, but mighty and pair well with a brew of your taste bud’s desire.

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Oh, and if you don’t already know, Breckenridge Brewery brews some mighty fine beer, so when we went to our local watering hole, The Cellar Peanut Pub, we knew just what we were looking for.  Now, let’s side track for a moment.  We have a few thank yous to pass out, and we give credit where credit is due.

We know we’ve written about why you need to visit Iowa before, but Oskaloosa, Iowa best be added to your list!  Remember these four words:  The Cellar Peanut Pub.

Coming from a small town where our fine capital city is an hour away, having to drive 35 minutes for some great craft beer is amazing!  Not only do they have a large selection of beer on tap, cans, and bottles — 337 to be exact — but they’ve graced Food Network with their amazing Bloody Mary’s.  I mean look at that thing, it’s beautiful.  And that beef stick?  That’s a straw. It’s a beef straw.
Thanks, Cellar Peanut Pub, for being awesome.  And thanks for parting with one of your delicious kegs of beer for our party! It was thoroughly enjoyed by all those who appreciate a good beer, and a dark one in the middle of summer no less!  Click here to like them on Facebook and follow their latest beer-shenanigans!

And while we’re on the topic of Iowa, our dear friend, Mike Wedeking, owns the Flying Mango in Des Moines, Iowa.  He surprised us with piles of smoked meat, we were swimming in made-from-scratch BBQ sauces, and a sweet potato salad that my taste buds had never met the likings of ever before. So fresh. So perfect for a hot summer Iowa night.  Click here to browse his Web site, work up an appetite, and find directions. Go now.  Go right now.

This post is starting to get out of hand!  There’s just so much to write about, so many to thank, and so little time to read such a long post!  However, don’t abandon ship quite yet.  Back to Breckenridge Brewery!  The Peanut Pub sent us home with a  keg filled with Breckenridge 72 Imperial Chocolate Cream Stout.  My ‘lanta.  Sweet. Thick. Creamy. Strong. Darn near perfection. It’s a 7.2% ABV, leaves a little pretty lace on your cup, cocoa-y, a touch of vanilla, maybe a little toffee?  I mean, what more of our favorite things can you cram into one beer?!  Click here to see the rest of their brews! Picking a favorite beer from them would be like picking your favorite child, but we’ll give it a whirl.  Okay, we thought about it.  We can’t choose, but we will say, the Oatmeal Stout and Vanilla Porter would be first on our list to try from them if you’re in a dark beer mood!  Oh, but then their seasonals!  The Fall Ale is right up there!  Keep up the good work.  Maybe we’ll get to shake your hands one day.

Oh, and don’t forget, they have a restaurant too, The Breckenridge Brew Pub! That is on our list for the next time we visit Colorado, our home away from home.

What’s that?  The mountains are calling?  We must go.Love your Mountain Mama Wanna-bes


Again, thank you to everyone who made this wonderful night another great memory for the books!  Thanks for all who ventured out.  We couldn’t have done it without you.  Thanks for celebrating with us and supporting us through the years and all that other sappy love stuff.

3 thoughts on “A Decade, Two Babies, and Pretzels

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