Sunday, November 30, 2008

the last day of NaBloPoMo

Here are some fabulous pictures from last night. Like I said, we had a fantastic time with our sweet friends and always enjoy our time together.
Popcorn & Cranberries 001

Popcorn & Cranberries 006
I bought The Polar Express at Target and it came with a 3-D version and the theatrical version. We tried out the 3-D version and it was..not great! The glasses were fun, but we switched to the regular movie before the train ever pulled up to the house!

Popcorn & Cranberries 007

Popcorn & Cranberries 008

Popcorn & Cranberries 011

I got some plastic needles so that Ava could participate. She is the smartest almost 2 year-old I know.

Popcorn & Cranberries 012

Happy NaBloPoMo! See you all in a few days! :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Popcorn & Cranberries

We just had a fabulous evening with the Lockett's and the Broaddus'! We had chicken tortilla soup and salad (a nice contrast to the heavy Thanksgiving food) and then watched The Polar Express while stringing popcorn and cranberries. It was a fun and relaxing evening with good friends.

I took some very cute pictures of Ava enjoying the popcorn popping and will post those tomorrow. I don't feel like uploading those tonight and going through them. I promise they are cute though!

We have been so blessed with great friends and enjoy our time with them so much.

Tomorrow is the last day of NaBloPoMo!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Decking the Halls

Day after Thanksgiving 023

The day after Turkey Day has been fabulous for us! This morning John left to go help a friend move and I got started getting all the decorations out of the storage closet. I waited until he got home though so we could decorate together because he loves it so much..ok, so that's not true. He tolerates it because I love it.

Day after Thanksgiving 016

Anyway, first we put up the tree and then I did most of the other decorating and he did some reading for school. We also watched a couple Christmas movies to help get us in the Christmas spirit..The Holiday and Elf.

Day after Thanksgiving 018

We found 2 ornaments we left on there from last year! 2 of these little silver instruments..opps!

Day after Thanksgiving 021

We "hide" the pickle every year too. Actually, when we decorate the Christmas tree at my parents' house they actually hide a pickle ornament and all the "kids" get to find it. Since it's just me and John there's not really a point.

Day after Thanksgiving 019

Only a couple minor injuries from today. I got this new fantastic garland from my favorite store in downtown McKinney. The only problem is it is super pokey! I got a good poke on my thumb from that. Then I took nice, slow-motion fall after tripping over a box on the floor..and scrapped my leg. John tried not to laugh but he couldn't keep it in.

Day after Thanksgiving 030

Oh, and I broke an ornament.

Gingersnap Sweet Potatoes

Thanksgiving is over and many people out there are probably out shopping on this lovely Black Friday. Me..not so much. I have no desire to get a dvd on sale at Target for $9.99 when it will be $12.99 next week. No thank you. I prefer my sleep. Anyway, you're not here for me talking about Black Friday. Your here for Gingersnap Sweet Potatoes! John does not like sweet potatoes so the past few months I've been trying to make sweet potato dishes that I think he may like. A few month ago it was Jalapeno Sweet Potato Soup (trust me, it is HEAVENLY) and now this and I'm happy to report that he loves both! For Thanksgiving I was asked to bring the Sweet Potato Casserole and mashed potatoes. I'm not a fan of sweet potatoes with marshmallows. So when my mom found this recipe a few years ago we fell in love with it. It is so must try it for Christmas. This recipe is from the Southern Living Christmas book from 2003..I think. Don't quote me on the year please.
What I love about this recipe is the gingersnap streusel topping. After baking it it gets really nice and crunchy and is the perfect contrast the smooth and creamy sweet potatoes. When making this dish you must use store-bought gingersnaps. The homemade ones have too much moisture in them and do not yield for a crunchy topping. I use the Nabisco ones in the orange box. They work perfectly.

Usually for the streusel topping I would have used a large Ziploc bag and taken my stress out on the bag, but I was out. The food processor was a bad idea. It made some of the cookies too small, left others the same size as they went in and some did not stand a chance and were turned to powder. Lessons learned right?

Gingersnap Sweet Potatoes
adapted from Southern Living

6 sweet potatoes (4 pounds)
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup butter, melted
1/3 cup half-and-half
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup cold butter, cut into pieces
36 coarsely crushed gingersnap cookies

Cook sweet potatoes in a large pot in boiling water to cover over medium heat 30 minutes or until tender. Cool; peel and mash potatoes.

Combine mashed sweet potato, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and next 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. (Or mash with a potato masher until smooth.) Spoon into a greased 2 1/2-quart or 13" x 9" baking dish.

Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar and flour. Cut in 1/4 cup cold butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Stir in crushed gingersnaps. Sprinkle streusel over sweet potato. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25 minutes or until streusel is lightly browned.

Make Ahead: Prepare sweet potato filling, and spoon into a greased 2 1/2-quart microwave-safe dish. Cover and chill overnight. Microwave at HIGH 10 minutes or until hot. Prepare streusel, and sprinkle over filling. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes or until streusel is lightly browned.

1st photo credit here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

H A P P Y T H A N K S G I V I N G !

John and I are going to his aunt and uncle's house for turkey day! They live in Waco so we don't have to travel this year which I'm so thankful for. Which brings me to my next are a few things I am thankful for this year. Just a few...

*John - he is the love of my life, a support, an encourager, and a faithful and godly man that I admire so much.
*My family - my parents, siblings, in-laws..I love them all and I'm so blessed by all of them. We've been through a lot this year and the Lord has brought us through it.
*Friends - God has put so many wonderful people in our lives to support and encourage us and I'm so thankful for all of you!
*Gas prices. Duh..they are going down and for people like John and I who travel a TON to and from Hamilton we appreciate the lower gas prices.
*A job. During these hard economic times I'm so thankful that I have a job I can go to every day.
*That my husband will be finished with 2 master's degrees in May. PRAISE THE LORD!

Not thankful for today's weather though..70s on Thanksgiving..that's just not right!

Anyway, may you all have thankful hearts and full bellies today. Enjoy your time with family and friends.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Personal Days

Today is my first day off for Thanksgiving break and I don't have to be back at work until Tuesday, December 2nd! Thank you Baylor for personal days! Baylor gives their staff Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off, but I'm taking Monday also! Why you ask? Well last week I got an email from HR that said that any personal hours over 24 will be lost after December 13th. I went in to see how much I have...35! They are "forcing" me to take 11 personal hours so of course I have to take some time off. I chose the Monday after Thanksgiving and the Friday of the same week which is the day after Christmas on 5th Street. (It will be so nice to sleep in after that crazy but fun night!) So I only worked Monday and Tuesday of this week and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week!! Yay personal days!!

Today my plans are to cook (mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes for tomorrow) and do some laundry. But before I do any of that I am going to watch the last episode online of Lipstick Jungle.

We're in the home stretch of NaBloPoMo! Only 4 more days!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We've been Elfed!

Last week I got an email to my work email from OfficeMax (supplier of all Baylor office supplies) that it was that time again to Elf Yourself! Plus this year they have new dances/backgrounds. So fun! So, enjoy the elf version of John and I..oh and I'm not sure who that third elf is..let's call him Buddy. Enjoy me, John and Buddy! If only John and I could really dance like that!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

PS: I found out that next time they do rocket testing they will notify residents better! Thank goodness!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rocket Testing

Around 10:30 Saturday night John and I were just going to bed. As we were falling asleep I heard a VERY LOUD rumbling sound that sounded like thunder/a loud old car. I immediately looked out the window and John said it was probably just a car. I thought there was no way it could be a car because it lasted for so long (almost 5 minutes) and was a constant rumble. I was staring out of our bedroom window at the sky the whole time thinking of all sorts of things that it could be. My mind was even playing tricks on me because I thought the sky was changing colors. I saw a couple neighbors come out of their house and I knew something weird was going on. Then it stopped and we heard a car. So we assumed it was a car (a very strange sounding car nonetheless.)
So last night we were watching the 10:00 news and saw that they were doing ROCKET TESTING in McGregor!!!!! I knew it was more than a car and was somewhat relieved that my mind wasn't playing tricks on my eyes...the sky really was changing colors!! For more information on the rocket testing go here.
I'm glad I'm not crazy! Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

it is finished. (or is it just the beginning?)

It is finished! Tonight was absolutely wonderful. John's recital was just incredible and so much fun. So many people came to Waco and we truly appreciate all of the support from our family and friends. We love you all so much!

Everything today went very smoothly. Well, everything except for the fire alarms that went off in Truett 45 minutes before the service started. But after the fire trucks and the firemen came and made sure there wasn't any fire/smoke we were able to go back inside.

It was such a worshipful evening. I am so proud of John and all of his hard work. It truly paid off. Thank you to everyone who came.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday in a Nutshell

Here is our day in a nutshell

*John got up this morning and was out the door by 6:30am to pick up kiddos in Hamilton, bring them back to Baylor for an activity the music school was doing, take them to Peter Piper Pizza and back to Hamilton. He then drove back to Waco and was home around 5. (yes, that was a lot of driving, Waco to Hamilton, Hamilton to Waco, Waco to Hamilton, Hamilton to Waco)

*I took John's suit to the dry cleaners at 8:55am (in by 9 out by 3 on Saturdays).

*Went to HEB (my goal was to beat Thanksgiving traffic and I sure did. It was very slow and about 9:45 when I was leaving it started to pick up. Yes!

*Came home and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned! There is nothing better than a clean house.

*Went and picked up dry cleaning.

*Made dinner, tamale soup. It was very good and SUPER easy. John loved it.

Tonight John and I are going up to Truett to set up for tomorrow!

Thanksgiving is in 5 days!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Baby, it's cold outside! And we love it!! The original plan for tonight was a date night..dinner and a movie. But when I got home from work we both agreed that a night in sounded much better! So instead, John and I got take-out from one of our favorite places...Baris. We got the chicken florentine and we shared a Baris salad. So good. We enjoyed our delicious Italian food while watching last night's episode of The Office on the couch with a toasty fire. It's a beautiful night.

Thanks to the lighter fluid we had a fabulous fire. It is keeping us nice and toasty! Next on our list, Grey's from last night. Such a wonderful night at home.
Oh, and our rolls started to get a little cold so why not toast them over the fire!? I love my creative husband!

Less than 1 week until Thanksgiving! I love this cold weather because it makes it feel like the holidays outside, and we can enjoy a warm fire in the fireplace. Yay for relaxing Friday nights at home by the fire snuggled up to my honey!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


**WARNING: I may offend a lot of people when I say this, but I'm just trying to be honest here.

I don't get it. I do not see the attraction of Twilight. At first I only had the books to go off of. I had heard the premise of them so I sort of knew what they were about, sort of. The story line does not entice me at all. Not even a little bit. THEN, when I saw the preview for the much anticpated movie that comes out tomorrow evening, I was even more TURNED OFF by this story!!! I realize that Twilight was written as a tween series and it has become popular to older audiences almost the same way Harry Potter did. But I love Harry Potter and have zero desire to see/read about this story. Is there anyone else out there in blogland that agrees with me? Or if you are offended by me and love Twilight I want to hear your thoughts too. What's so great about this and do the previews of the movie (be honest here) really look good to you?

Hip Hop Seniors

My goal is to not post another video for the month of November. I promise. But this was way too good not to post! John and I were laughing so hard last night while we watched it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

wednesday january 21

LOST is back!

All Good Gifts

Sunday is John's Graduate Conducting Recital. It is a very big deal and he has been working so hard for so long on this as well as everything else he's done in grad school. I am so so so proud of all he has done these past 3 1/2 years and can't believe graduation is 6 months away. When it's all said and done, John will have two master's degrees. I am so honored to be in his choir and can't wait to see all of his hard work come to fruition. He is such an excellent conductor and music minister.

So, if you are in Waco on Sunday evening please come to Powell Chapel at Truett Seminary. You will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fifty Favorites

I had originally thought about doing my 100 favorite things on my 100th post but coming up with 100 things I like was hard! So here are fifty favorites!

These are a few of my favorite things... {Imagine Julie Andrews singing in the background while you read my list}

1. John
2. Hobby Lobby
3. blogging and reading blogs
4. Baylor
5. Mexican food
6. Coffee
7. Cupcakes
9. mason jars
10. Peanut Butter
11. Target
12. my family
13. Fresh flowers – especially when my hubby surprises me with them
14. fires in the fireplace
15. The Pioneer Woman
16. sending and receiving cards/letters via snail mail
17. surprises..except when I know there is a surprise coming..I don't do suspense well.
18. photography
19. avocados
20. my Bernardos
21. Real Simple magazine
22. candles
23. pumpkin spice lattes and cinnamon dolce lattes
24. my iPod
25. Jones Soda labels
26. Shutterfly photo books (we do one for each vacation we take)
27. flip flops
28. Return to Me (the movie)
29. New York City
30. Santa Fe
31. baking and cooking
32. laughing til it hurts
33. pedis/manis
34. clean sheets with fresh shaven legs
35. Christmas
36. Bridgett Jones
37. butternut squash
38. impressionist paintings
39. Gilmore Girls
40. reading old emails from my husband from when we were dating
41. crossing things off my to do list
42. The Office
43. coffee shops
44. magazines
45. sending and receiving love notes from my sweetie
46. Africa
47. traveling
48. shopping
49. The Square (downtown McKinney)
50. games! – they brings out my competitive side!!

What are your favorite things? Do share!!

Monday, November 17, 2008


I've been working on this for a few days..It's hard to think of some of these things!

Lauren tagged me, so here goes...

7 Things I Want To Do Before I Die...
1. be the woman, wife, and mom that I know God wants me to be. (this is what Lauren said and I couldn't agree more)
2. take a photography class
3. go back to Africa
4. teach my children how to cook and bake and love it the way I do
5. learn how to sew
6. tour Italy
7. see the Eiffel Tower

7 Things I Can Do...
1. cook
2. listen. I have a degree in psychology because I originally wanted to be a counselor.
3. drive a stick shift
4. roll my tongue
5. laugh. I laugh a lot. My husband is the funniest person I know.
6. hit the snooze button like nobody's business - John & I can both do this!
7. eat Mexican food everyday. I love it!!

7 Things I Can Not Do...
1. sew, I can put a button back on and fix a hole, but that's it. I want to learn how to sew for real!
2. keep my shoes organized in our closet. it's a huge pile of mess.
3. talk on my cell phone while pumping gas. I heard once it was bad and I never do it now.
4. say "no" to a trip to Target!
5. keep up with ironing..I'm so good at letting it pile up!
6. I can't do the crafty thing. I love crafty things and wish I could, but I don't have the patience fo it. And I'm a perfectionist when it comes to it and it takes me too long and I spend hours on something and end up not liking it.
7. eat raisins. GROSS. I love other dried fruits, cranberries, mangos, strawberries...but raisins gross me out!

7 Things That Attracted Me To My Hubby... (this was an easy one!)
1. his faith
2. his voice...he sure can sing!
3. his passion for ministry and other people
4. that nobody is a stranger to him. he can talk to anybody and strangers tell him the most random things
5. his smile
6. his sense of humor. the man can make me laugh like no one else.
7. the way he shows me he cares about me

7 Things I Say Most Often
1. I love you.
2. I love you too.
3. Student Activities, this is Lindsay.
4. John
5. Hello/Hey (when answering my phone)
6. I'm ready for the weekend.
7. you are almost done! (to encourage John that he's almost done with grad school!)

7 Celebrity Crushes ...I'm like you, Lauren..not a huge "star struck" person so I'll put celebrities I would like to meet. Sorry, I'm cheating, but it's my blog! :)
1. Jay Leno (he makes me laugh every night!)
2. Jennifer Aniston
3. Julia Roberts
4. The cast of The Office (once again, not one person..but it's my blog!)
5. Meryl Streep
6. Jack Nicholson
7. George Clooney

Wow, that one took a while!!

I tag Courtney, Autumn, Abby, and Natalie! Plus anyone else who wants to play.

real or faux

I know some of you have already started your Christmas decorating and others are starting to think about it. You already know I'll be decorating on November 28th. A few years ago, well our first married Christmas together, we got a faux tree (I don't like saying fake) and we have really liked is the perfect size for our apartment. I love real trees though, you can't get that fragrance from anything else. I do however burn the Yankee Candle "Mistletoe" so it can smell like Christmas also. The one thing, well few things, I don't like about real trees is that you have to water them, sweep them, and well, they die. Plus, I have allergies and you never know when those will act up. So, what are your thoughts..real or faux?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

this is how we feel...

**Today we took about 40 of our church kiddos to Pizza Hut and the Mayborn Museum. It ws fun, but we are TIRED! I played photographer so there isn't a picture of me anywhere on my camera, but I feel just how John looks. Oh, and there were lots of other adults so it wasn't a 40:2 ratio!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sic 'em!

I love Baylor. I love when Baylor beats A&M! 41-21 baby! That's not even a close game. I'm so proud of our Bears.

Holiday Baking

Today has been a perfect Saturday. John and I slept in, went to lunch at a new Mexican food restaurant, ran a quick errand, and I've been home baking while he's up at the library studying. So maybe it's not perfect for him, but I'm the one writing this so it's been perfect for me, ok! Anyway, this afternoon I made some molasses-spice cookies. They are fantastic!
Which brings me to my next thought. I have a new blog. It's a food blog. I started a couple months ago but wanted to see how it went before I publicly told people about it. I tried doing one of these a while back but I wasn't too successful at it but I'm trying again. So, without judging, head on over to Lindsay's Kitchen and see what I've done so far.
Ok, I'm off to meet my husband and a few other grad student friends for dinner. They all need a study break. Praise God for not being in school.

Molasses-Spice Cookies

I love ginger snaps! I love the warm spicy flavor of them and they are perfect for the holidays. Did I mention I love the holidays? Well I do. I also love holiday baking. Love it. I was "inspired" to bake this weekend by Beth who suggested I bake this weekend. This is the first of holiday baking I've done this season so be prepared for more. A lot more. Ok, back to the cookies. I've been making these cookies for a few years now. However, they are not husband-friendly, (John's not a fan) but I love them. They are old fashioned ginger cookies and they get "crinkley" when they bake and make the house smell all heavenly.

When making these cookies you really don't want huge cookies. I find that this scoop is the perfect size. I scoop the dough into my hands and then roll them around in my play-dough. I think there are certain things, like cookie dough, that make adults feel like they can still play with play-dough.

Then roll them around in sugar and place them on a cookie sheet. I love my silpats. They are life savers when it comes to cookies. And last Christmas Lady, my sis, and I made hazelnut brittle and these things made it super easy to do!

Pretty little dough balls all in a row.

Yummy. See the crinkley goodness?

A close-up. The sugar crystals on the outside make them all sparkley.
Molasses-Spice Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup sugar
Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating well. Add egg and molasses; beat well.
Combine flour and next 8 ingredients with a whisk in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture slowly to shortening mixture and beat until just combined. Do not over mix. Cover and chill 1 hour.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls, and roll in 1/4 cup sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, about 2-inches apart.
Bake at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Store in an air-tight container for about a week...if they last that long!

Friday, November 14, 2008

No More Lipstick!

I just heard Jay Leno say that NBC cancelled Lipstick Jungle!! I'm so bummed. This was one of my favorite shows. I loved the characters, clothes, story lines...all of it! So sad.


Thank goodness it's Friday!! I'm exhausted. It's been a very busy, very long week and I'm tired. Tonight was ATO Bed Races and Chi Omega Chili Cook-Off. Our department entered a pot of chili into the cook-off so a few of us were up there tonight showing off our chili! It was a ton of fun, but I'm tired after this long week.

Get ready for tomorrow...Battle of the Brazos! Go Bears! Beat Agricultural and Mechanical!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Latest Clothing Trends

Tonight when I was looking for a website of my favorite leather agenda calendar, I came across this and thought it was one of the funniest things I've seen in a while. The best one...

While I'm at it, another great website for swimware is Wholesome Wear. Here are some favorites from that site. The middle one is for the "active swimmer."
I hope you all enjoy these as much as I do!

1955 Housewife

I got this in an email and realized I probably would not make a very good housewife in the 1950s. This article has many things that are quite helpful for a modern 1955 woman like...

*Have dinner ready, plan ahead, even the night before to have a wonderful dinner hot a ready for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking of him and have been waiting all day for his homecoming.

*Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make up, put a ribbon in your hair, look your best. He has just a hard a hard day at work.

*Clean up the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before he arrives.

*Gather up schoolbooks, toys, papers etc. then run a dust cloth over the table.

*Over the cooler months you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

*Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children hands and face. Comb their hair and if necessary change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them to play the part.

*Be happy to see him.

*Greet him with a warm smile and show your desire to please him. (oh my)

*Arrange his pillows and offer to take off his shoes. (seriously, he can't take them off himself?)

*Do not ask him questions about his actions. Remember he is the master of the house and you have no right to question him.

*A good wife always knows her place. (ha!)
This article was printed in Housekeeping Monthly on May 13, 1955. Its is amazing how this could have been something that a woman might have read 50 years ago to see how to act in life and considered doing it!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

day off.

It's 11:30 pm and I almost missed my post for today! I can't let NaBloPoMo down. I had a very busy day off but it was fabulous. John and I are just now getting home from church and about to go to bed, but here's a quick run down on my day off:
  • Went to Target and got Marley and Me and Amy Grant's new Christmas cd. I haven't listened to it yet, but I'm excited about it.
  • I got our Christmas cards today. My goal is to have them ready to go out by December 1. Last year we waited until mid-December to even start looking at Christmas cards and it turned out to be way more stressful than it should have been.
  • I ran a bunch of errands that I kept putting off but I won't bore you with those.

Mainly, I'm excited about my new book and Christmas cd. And it's been a fabulous day off.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I am loving this rain right now. I slept so well last night and did not want to go to work today. Tomorrow is my day off and I'm hoping the rain will continue even though says it won't. I would love a stormy day off.


John is coming home today! He has been in Ft. Worth since Sunday at the BGCT Annual Meeting with Truett. He left on Sunday before I got home from my weekend in McKinney so we haven't seen each other since Friday morning. I've missed him these past few days and I can't wait to see him later tonight!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rigatoni with Mushrooms

Very rarely do I actually make something that is vegetarian. But this is vegetarian (note I did not say vegan.) I love mushrooms. They're fabulous! The mushrooms create a meaty element and the mascarpone and Parmesan cheeses make this slightly creamy pasta heavenly.

**Here is my disclaimer/soapbox: Use the good stuff. I'm talking about Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh garlic and mascarpone cheese. And don't ever use cooking wine. Even if you don't drink wine. Use something that you would drink if you did drink wine. Thank you.Ok on to the good stuff. Here are my thoughts on the ingredients: Vegetable stock, Rigatoni pasta (I prefer this kind..use whatever makes your skirt fly up), cremini mushrooms (also called baby portabellas or baby bellas), Parmesan (use the real stuff please! I promise it makes all the difference in the world!), shallots, garlic (I like a lot but by all means, if you can’t handle that much garlic, use what you like), mascarpone cheese (Seriously, try this stuff. It is amazing. Similar to cream cheese except not tangy. You’ll love it. I promise.), fresh chives. Oh and white wine which is not pictured. Opps! If you prefer not to use wine when cooking then use extra vegetable stock.
Rigatoni with Mushrooms
1 pound rigatoni pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound cremini mushrooms
½ cup white wine
½ cup vegetable stock
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan
chopped fresh chives
First things first, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a handful of salt (I use kosher, always) Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Please don’t over cook the pasta. There’s nothing worse than overcooked pasta…well maybe overcooked garlic. Burned garlic is just gross.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan. Cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Next, add the mushrooms to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Turn the heat to high. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan and cook for 3 minutes until almost all the liquid evaporates. Add the stock and simmer until liquid is reduced by at least half. Remove the pan from the heat and add the mascarpone cheese. Stir until the mascarpone is mixed in and it’s nice and creamy. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water, and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the mushroom mixture and the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well to coat pasta, adding the reserved pasta water, if needed, if the pasta is too thick. Garnish with the chopped chives. And gosh darnit, enjoy because it is heavenly!

Happy Birthday Beth

Today is Beth's birthday! Beth and I met our freshman year at Baylor when we were pledging our sorority. We were also "twins" in our family. Beth is one of my closest and truest friends from Baylor and I love that we talk as much as we did when she lived here. After she graduated she moved to Nashville but couldn't stay away from Baylor because she came back to do a master's degree in Spanish. She left me again last summer to move to North Carolina and is now working as a Spanish translator guru.
Beth, I hope you have a fabulous birthday! I wish I could be there with you to celebrate, but maybe sometime soon! Also, thanks for being my pen pal! ;)
PS: Beth, please don't hate me for posting these pics...I think they are the best!!

Ok,'s a precious one of her and her sweetie, Randy. Love you Beth!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Icing on the {Cup}cake

This afternoon on my way back to Waco I stopped at Sprinkles to get a pumpkin cupcake. I get Sprinkles' newsletter emails so I had seen them advertise it when this flavor came out and I thought it sounded fabulous..and it was. It did not disappoint. The cake was super moist and not too sweet and the spice cream cheese frosting amazing! I ate half of it tonight when I got home and I'm saving the other half for tomorrow.

The rest of my weekend has shaped up pretty nicely. I had a nice relaxing morning at my parents this morning and watched The Office from Thursday with my brother. It was a great weekend and Sprinkles' pumpkin cupcake was a great way to top it off!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Fun Weekend!

I'm smack dab in the middle of a super fun weekend with my family! I originally did not have any plans for the weekend. John's band was playing a Disciple Now this weekend and he also has a research paper due next week so my weekend was looking pretty relaxing just being at home by myself. And I was looking forward to it. I alway enjoy my "me time."

But Friday night when I was doing a little shopping in Waco and talking to my mom and she said that everyone (brother, sister and bro-in-law) were all going to be in town and I should come up to McKinney, well, Fairview. So in less than 15 minutes I had left Marshalls, gone home and packed and was back on the road again headed north up I-35. I met my parents and siblings at Cheesecake Factory in Frisco and we had a wonderful evening together.

Today my mom and I did some shopping at a precious jewelry boutique in McKinney and went down to the square. We've had such a fun weekend all together. I love my family and the time we get to spend together. I just wish John could have been here to join in on the fun!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sic 'em Greys!

They just said Baylor (as in Baylor College of Medicine) on Grey's Anatomy! Sic 'em Grey's!!

Cake Stencils.

How amazing are these cake stencils. I'm obsessed with them. I guess you could also make your own. But leave it to Martha to come up with selling these.

James Taylor {and other Christmas thoughts}

This cd is going to be a fave this Christmas season! John bought it on iTunes the other day and it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! James Taylor is just a stud. I've been singing his version of Jingle Bells all morning and it's putting me in the Christmas mood! Unfortunately I have a "Wait til after Thanksgiving for Christmas" policy. However, I'm not actually listening to the album yet and I'm not even thinking about decorating for Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. Which brings me to my next poll! When do you decorate for Christmas? Before Thanksgiving or after? (and once again, Google Readers come vote!) Also, leave comments and let me know your favorite Christmas albums. I believe that I should start thinking about the music before the Christmas season so I have enough time to listen to it all!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

yes please.

this picture makes me want to pack up and go on vacation.
Blogger Template By Designer Blogs