Saturday, October 31, 2009

Flashback Halloween

Halloween is such a fun holiday. I had some pretty creative costumes growing up. One year I was a picnic table. Yes, a picnic table. I had a red and white checked picnic table cloth that we draped over 2 yard sticks and cut a hole in the top for my head. My mom and I hot glued plates, plastic food and even little plastic ants all over that table cloth. We made a bow out of napkins and plastic utensils. I've been a picnic table, Minnie Mouse, a Cabbage Patch doll, and a scarecrow. Those are my most memorable costumes.

Cabbage Patch
Here I am dressed as a Cabbage Patch doll. Mom made this costume for me and my sis was one also. Notice my hands.

Here I am as a scarecrow eating a Mickey Mouse ice cream. That's not face's mom's red lipstick.

Here's John as Mickey Mouse. I wonder if we dressed as Mickey and Minnie the same year?

And Zorro. swish swish swish (that's Zorro's sword making the "Z"). Notice the kid next to John with the "Bugle Boy" t-shirt. Remember those?

Happy Halloween friends!

What were some of your favorite Halloween costumes?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NaBloPoMo 2009


It's that time again.


The whole month of November.

It's a blogging marathon.

And I'm doing it again for the 2nd time.

Wanna join me?

Seriously, you should.

Yes, you.

Come on, everyone's doing it.

It starts this Sunday.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

819 miles

That's how many miles we put on the good 'ol 4 Runner last weekend. Eight hundred and nineteen miles.

Dang. That's a lot. But each mile was so worth it.

Thursday night was spent in Sugar Land surprising Patrick for his birthday. Several things (that I will not post to protect the innocent) went down to stall and keep Patrick from knowing something was up. We arrived just as they were getting in their car to head to dinner. Perfect timing!

Patrick's Birthday
We had a fabulous meal at PF Changs and then back to the Broaddus' for dessert and to watch The Office.

Patrick's Birthday
Patrick's Birthday
Patrick's Birthday
I like to think that this is Chang. P.F. Chang.
Patrick's Birthday
Patrick's Birthday

Friday night we were in Austin. John's high school choir teacher was retiring and they had a very nice, surprise concert for her. Several alumni came back and John was the keynote speaker at the concert.

Dodie's Retirement
John with a high school friend, Jessica.
Dodie's Retirement

So many times I think how fun it would have been to know John in high school and it's moments like that night that I got a glimpse.

Dodie's Retirement
Dodie's Retirement
Dodie's Retirement
Dodie's Retirement

After the concert we had another fabulous dinner at Hyde Park Bar & Grill. Out of this world good!

Saturday morning we got up not too early and headed to The Woodlands. My sweet sweet friend Ashley's precious little girl turned 1 on Saturday and we went to celebrate Miss Isabelle. It was such a treat to be part of her special day.

Isabelle's First Birthday
Isabelle's First Birthday
Isabelle got this baby doll from her grandparents and went straight for it. She loved her baby!
Isabelle's First Birthday
loving the baby
Isabelle's First Birthday
Isabelle with her sweet parents in her cake tutu!
Isabelle's First Birthday
mmm, sugar!!
Isabelle's First Birthday
Isabelle's First Birthday
Isabelle going for the gold!
Isabelle's First Birthday
What do you do after you get lots of new clothes? Try them all on together! Isabelle's mommy and Aunt Anna had so much fun dressing Izzy up in her new precious clothes!

We even got to stick around a little late and spend some more special time with Ashley and her family. I love them!

It was such a special weekend and I am so glad it worked out for us to be at each one of those events. It was a lot of driving but like I said, but all of the back and forth was worth it.

*side note: Each trip we made was quick and we were back in our own beds that same night. During dinner in Austin John asked about our trip to The Woodlands and I mentioned that we were going back to Victoria b/c it was closer to The Woodlands than Austin. Little did I know it was the exact same distance and we could have spent the night and not had as much driving. Opps.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

my bad

I'm sorry.

I was "rebuked" today by a sweet friend.

Apparently I promised to post pictures of our new house a couple months ago and I have failed to do that. Opps. My bad.

Apparently last Friday I said I would post about our weekend on Sunday or Monday. Well, it's Tuesday and I'm getting ready to get in bed and that post is nowhere close to being ready. Opps. My bad.

Maybe tomorrow, but I'm not going to promise because I don't want to have to apologize again.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

I love banana bread. I love when I have bananas that are about to go bad and I have a great excuse to make this. Sometimes I even buy bananas and wait for them to go bad so I can make this.

Banana Bread

Whether your excuse, banana bread is loved by all.

Banana Bread

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups mashed bananas, 1/2 cup diced bananas (you can mash them all if you prefer)

Mix sugar, flour, salt and baking soda. Using a pastry cutter, cut in shortening. Separately mix eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture. Stir in bananas. Pour into 2 greased and floured bread pans. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

Friday, October 16, 2009

have a lovely weekend.

last night we went to Sugar Land for Patrick's birthday. It was a total surprise and so good. more on that later.

tonight we are going to Austin. more on that later.

tomorrow we are going to The Woodlands for Isabelle's 1st birthday. more on that later.

today it sort of feels like fall and I'm wearing my favorite orange scarf. and leopard flats. 2 of my favorite things I own.

how is October already half-way over? how did that happen?

I really love my job. I mean I really love it. Great things are happening here and today we got the best news. I love my job!

I'll have a weekend update on Sunday or Monday. In the meantime, we've got some traveling to do!

Happy Friday lovely friends! Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Weird Chili

Cincinnati Chili
Chili. Seems pretty simple right? Meat, tomatoes, peppers, onions, seasonings. Oh don't forget the cinnamon, allspice, spaghetti and CHOCOLATE!

Yes, this new recipe includes those last 4 ingredients. Hence the name, Weird Chili. Technically this is called Cincinnati Turkey Chili but I like Weird Chili better.

Cincinnati Chili
I served this with Pepper Jack Corn Muffins. Oh those are good, you've gotta make them also. Super moist and so easy to throw together while the chili is simmering. Mmmmm. Perfect fall meal.

My only suggestion, don't the people you are serving this to about the chocolate until they have started eating a like it. John said that it "messed with his head."

Cincinnati Turkey Chili
adapted from Cooking Light

4 ounces uncooked spaghetti
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (Cayenne pepper)
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese (don't use pre-shredded)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; set aside.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan. Add turkey; cook 3 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add onion (reserve some for topping), bell pepper, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in chili powder and next 6 ingredients (through cayenne); cook 1 minute. Add broth, beans, tomatoes and salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Simmer another 15 minutes uncovered. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate. Serve chili over spaghetti; top with remaining onion and cheese.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pepper Jack Corn Muffins

Pepper Jack Corn Muffins
Oh these are good friends. They are so easy to throw together while your soup or chili simmers away on the stove. They are very moist and the cheese adds a little something extra.

Pepper Jack Corn Muffins
That's all I'm going to say, if you like cornbread, make these.

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 large egg
1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese
1/2 cup corn
1/3 cup skim milk

Mix all ingredients together. Lightly grease muffin tin. Fill about two-thirds full. Makes 8 muffins.

Monday, October 12, 2009

fabulous fall weekend!

Last week was so busy. Part of my job is to go to the high school and teach students all about resume writing, dressing for success, business etiquette (which includes dining, phone and email etiquette), money management and interviewing skills and last week that's where I was. At the high school all day every day. It was a busy week but also so nice to not be in my office all week. I will be doing that once a month for the whole school year. That is probably my favorite part of my job. Well one of my favorites. I really love it!

This weekend was great. It actually felt like fall all weekend. This was great for us now living in South Texas. It was in the upper 90s last week.

Anywho. After a change of plans, this weekend was our first weekend in over a month to not have company in town or an event at church. We were bummed about our change of plans, but welcomed the nothing-to-do weekend with open arms. We have absolutely loved having friends and family coming to visit and see our new place but a weekend with nothing to do was great.

Friday I left work early (read: I didn't go back to the office after school was over) and that night we made homemade pizza (recipe over at Lindsay's Kitchen) and watched Jim Gaffigan on Comedy Central. He is one of our favorite stand up comedians and we had a blast eating homemade pizza on the couch and chillaxin. It was a great night!

Pizza Night

Pizza Night
my nose looks huge here! ha! :)

Saturday morning we slept in (read: we woke up at 8:30 because we are becoming old and can't sleep late anymore...ugh!), had the best homemade waffles and relaxed in our p.j.'s for most of the morning! It was amazing. That afternoon we went to go see Love Happens and I loved it. John laughed a couple times and didn't suffer too much. On our way home from the movie we stopped and bought a perfect fairytale pumpkin. I had been meaning to buy a pumpkin for a few weeks now but never got around to it.

Fairytale Pumpkin

We spent the rest of the afternoon doing some much needed yard work! The weather was absolutely perfect and we got so much done. After a few hours of working in the yard we had burgers and sweet potato fries for dinner and of course spent the rest of the evening relaxing.


I love our hibiscus!

It was a wonderfully restful weekend...exactly what we needed!

Homemade Pizza


So there is a story behind this pizza crust recipe. A few years ago John and I decided to try a "take and bake" pizza place in Waco where we lived at the time. We got home, put our pizza in the oven and when we tried it John said it was the best crust he'd ever had. It's thin and crispy just like we like it yet it holds up to lots of toppings. Unfortunately, the pizza place closed shortly after we were there and we were unable to get more of the amazing pizza crust.

About a year later John was still talking about this pizza crust. We would drive by where the pizza place once was and he would crave that pizza. One day he got the idea to contact the Waco Chamber of Commerce to get the contact information of the people who once owned this local pizza place. He wrote them a letter explaining his love for their pizza and asking if they would share the recipe.

About 4 or 5 months passed and John received an email with the recipe. He was beyond excited and immediately forwarded me the email.

Homemade pizza is one of those things that is so much better at home. Really, you can control the quality of the ingredients, the freshness, double things if you like them a lot and you don't have to pay someone else to deliver it.

It really is amazing that homemade pizza. So good and so worth it. John and I had a lazy night at home Friday night and made pizza with our favorite toppings: Italian turkey sausage, turkey pepperoni, cremini mushrooms and caramelized onions sauteed in marsala wine and fresh mozzarella.


I dare you to try and order that at your favorite chain or local pizza place.

Homemade Pizza
adapted from Sherrie Pierce

Dough Mix
5 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup Jiffy corn muffin mix
1/8 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 cup corn starch
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons oregano

Whisk together above ingredients until well mixed, store in well sealed plastic bags. Keeps for 4 months.

To make Pizza Dough:
1 cup very warm water
1 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast
3 cups dough mix
2 Tablespoons olive oil

In large bowl, add yeast to water and mix, allow mixture to sit about 5 minutes, to allow yeast to expand. Add pizza dough mix and oil. A mixer with a dough hook is best, but this can be done by hand, mix until there is no more dry ingredients. Remove from bowl and knead about 10 times. Once dough is made, place in an oiled bowl and cover well with oiled plastic and allow to rest one hour. Deflate before proceeding. Roll dough out on a floured surface to desired thickness. Put dough on parchment paper or a pizza pan, add sauce, cheese and toppings, cook 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Pizza Sauce
Lindsay's Kitchen

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Add olive oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat, add garlic and saute quickly. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients and simmer until sauce thickens.

Marsala Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions
Lindsay's Kitchen

1/2 red onion, sliced
8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
1/2 cup dry marsala wine

Saute onions and mushrooms in olive oil until onions are caramelized, about 8 minutes. Add kosher salt to season. Add marsala wine and reduce.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

thank you!

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might not know.
5. Nominate other Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.

First things first, thanks Laura for the nomination! I started this little ol' food blog almost 1 year ago and have enjoyed sharing with you all! I love getting emails and comments from readers so keep them coming and I promise to keep the recipes coming.

So 7 things about me…
1. I love to travel. If I could travel for a living and take my husband with me everywhere I went I would. My favorite places are Santa Fe, New York (City and Western), Kenya, Aspen, Hawaii and London.
2. I love music. All kinds. My favorite band of all time is Bon Jovi. I miss their long hair.
3. Photography is a new thing that I am discovering. I love taking pictures and capturing memories.
4. Cooking and baking are therapeutic for me.
5. I have never broken a bone or had a cavity.
6. I drove a blue Volkswagen Beetle for 5 years.
7. I can't wait to be a mom.

Blogs I am nominating...
1. Lizzy @ LizzyGoesDutch. Lizzy is a high school friend and now lives in Amsterdam. She makes some yummy stuff!
2. Leslie @ The Hungry Housewife. This a new find and her recipes all look so great. I have a few saved that I am waiting to try!
3. Kelly @ Kelly's Korner Recipes. I'm sure you all know about Kelly's Korner Blog and I really like Kelly's recipes also! She has a spinach dip that is incredible!

I've been cooking lately an am just behind on posting so stay tuned! There's a bunch of stuff coming!

Happy Saturday Friends!

Monday, October 5, 2009

sick of tired!

this is funny. so funny! happy monday!

thanks to my sis-in-law for sharing this goodness.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

lovely sunday


happy sunday friends.

i'm loving these sunflowers john brought home for me yesterday.

they remind me of fall sitting next to my twig pumpkin even when the temperatures here in south texas do not.

(our highs this week are in the 90s!)

Friday, October 2, 2009

keepin' Victoria beautiful

Tuesdays are trash days. So obviously on Monday nights we need to take the trash to the curb. And by we I really mean John. I gotta be honest.

So Monday night John came home for dinner (he had to go back to church to work on a project) and on his way back he was going to take the trash to the curb.

I happend to catch a glimpse of him through the kitchen window in the back of the house and I knew I had to get to the front of the house to capture the creative genius at work.

The pictures speak for themselves...

takin out the trash

takin out the trash

takin out the trash
I've never seen him smile when he's taking out the trash.

takin out the trash

takin out the trash

takin out the trash
Around the corner...this takes mad skills.

takin out the trash
Putting it right up against the curb.

takin out the trash
NOOOOOO!!! It fell over. Bummer.

takin out the trash
Boo. He had to actually get out of his car. (Hmmm...wonder what his face is saying in this picture?)

takin out the trash

takin out the trash
Squeezing back in the car. I'd say that was a success!
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