Saturday, July 31, 2010

Baked French Toast

Thank you Pioneer Woman for another amazing dish! I made this amazing meal last weekend when my dad came in town for a visit.

Baked French Toast
It was so easy to throw together the night before. In the morning I threw the topping on and let it bubble away in the oven. So good!

Baked French Toast
This is easy, delicious and a crowd pleaser.

Notice I didn't say low fat.

Pioneer Woman's Baked French Toast

1 loaf sourdough bread
8 eggs
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

For the topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, cut into pieces

Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter. Tear bread into chunks (or cut into cubes) and evenly distribute in the pan.

Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, in a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add butter pieces and cut into the dry mixture until mixture is all crumbly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the topping over the french toast. Bake for 1 hour.
Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with maple syrup.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Shaving the Beard

Like I've said many times, our yard is in need of a landscapping overhaul. We pretty much want to change everything except for the big trees. Only we needed to take care of Bearded Tree first. That's what I named him.

Front Yard
this picture is from when the previous owners lived here. 

We realy thought "shaving" Bearded Tree would take maybe 2-3 hours to complete. Remove the "ivy/ground covering." Simple right? At least John's mom was in town.

yard work

Wrong. This project took almost 9 hours. Holy cow people. I started using the hedge trimmers and was easily taking pieces off of the trunk. Easy part.

Then we moved onto the ground. Oh my goodness. This was the thickest stuff ever.

bearded tree

Did I mention that John was sick this weekend? He helped out so much more than he should have. We kept on the project because his mom was in town and she enjoys the yardwork.
bearded tree

So back to the thick stuff. I'm talking about "ivy/ground covering" that has been taking over a poor harmless tree for almost 50 years. It wasn't going to put up an easy fight.
bearded tree

Once we really got into the thick stuff we realized we were tearing down the home to many critters. Critters in the form of HUGE ROACHES. Oh sick.

And a frog.

I tried thinking about how in the heck he got in there but I have no idea. He was big and this thick stuff was so tight. No clue.

So around 7:30 we decided to call it a day. We had a wonderfully relaxing evening and we were all in bed by 9:30!
yard work

And I woke up Sunday so sore to say the least. Every single muscle in my body hurt.

But we shaved Bearded Tree.
Bearded Tree

But what should we call him now?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fruit Salad with Blackberry-Basil Vinaigrette

Fruit Salad

This is our absolute favorite summer salad recipe. Oh it is so delicious. All of the yummy fresh fruit with tender salad greens, red onion and creamy avocado makes for a perfect combination.

Fruit Salad with Blackberry-Basil Vinaigrette
8 cups salad greens
2 mangos, sliced
1 1/2 cups strawberries, sliced
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 large avocado, sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 (10-ounce) jar seedless blackberry preserves
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
6 fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper
3/4 cup canola oil

Combine salad greens, mango, strawberries, blackberries, avocado and red onion in a large salad bowl. Using a blend, combine blackberry preserves, vinegar, basil, garlic, salt and seasoned pepper. Then slowly stream in the canola oil.

Toss the dressing with the salad and serve. Perfect!


Last month (yes, I'm sort of behind) my dad came in town for a visit.

It was his first time to see our new house and we had a great time relaxing.

Saturday we made up an excuse as to why we needed to go to Home Depot. We ended up not needing our excuse because of course, we actually needed things.

While John was outside getting a few new hoses and a citronella candle, my dad and I were scheming inside to get John a new grill.

We picked out the grill that John had seen months ago and loved. Dad paid for it (it was an early birthday present to John/housewarming gift for us) and we loaded it up in the car.

We hurried back into Home Depot met John and headed back out to the car. Again.

When we got to the car, John opened the back and was so surprised to see that there wasn't much room for his purchases!



There really wasn't a whole lot of room, but John didn't mind!


Dad and John

Putting the first piece of meat on the grill

Perfect chicken!

We have really enjoyed this new toy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dry Ice

So earlier today I realized that it had been over a week since my last post.

Not intentional. John was actually out of town last week. He went to Waco for Baylor's Alleluia Conference.

All week he would text me or call me to tell me where he was heading for lunch or dinner. It was pure torture.

After all, we lived in Waco for 8 years and one of our very favorite things about that city was all of the amazing hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

Oh and I was home sick for 3 days. Not fun at all when you don't have anyone to take care of you. I went to the doctor Wednesday and I had a pretty bad sinus infection so she loaded me up with antibiotics and I'm feeling much better, but still sound like a man.

Anyway, not the story I was planning to share. John got home Friday night with an ice chest holding something he was very excited about.

And he pulled out 2 peanut butter milkshakes from Health Camp. Glory!!!

The man went to Waco Carbonic to purchase DRY ICE to bring peanut butter milkshakes 3 1/2 hours to South Texas.

No....I'M NOT PREGGERS! Just a super sweet husband!

Anyway, he was more excited about the dry ice than the peanut butter milkshake.

dry ice

He played with that block of dry ice for about 30 minutes...and then some more the next day when it was still left.

And you may have already noticed, but in the picture he served it with Dr Pepper. His reason, "You know I'm always looking for the coldest Dr Pepper!"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

thursday's thoughts

  • i have been labeling all of my posts. i actually started working on it months ago but it takes so stinking long to go back over almost 500 posts and label them. i'm getting close though. sort of.
  • john has had music camp this week. he has over 110 kids signed up and this is the first year for our church. this is one of his favorite things out of the whole year. i can't wait for the performance tomorrow night.
  • this weekend we are "shaving" the bearded tree. while other landscaping projects will have to wait until the fall, this needs to be done STAT. i'm really hoping that the tree bark is not damaged.
  • Front Yard
  • we have been watching mad men on netflix. we have really enjoyed this show, not because of the amazing story lines or crazy excitement (like lost) but because of how the show takes place in the 1950s and how the lifestyle was then and how they treated women. it's so interesting.
  • i'm thinking that i need to start a cleaning schedule. working full time and then trying to get it all done on the weekends just isn't cutting it anymore. i hate spending a whole day on sunday trying to clean and not even getting it done. i'm thinking a little bit each night.
  • last night i was doing a little yard work in the backyard. nothing major but i was out there for about an hour. i put on bug spray like normal. we have monster-sized mosquitos down here. the normal bug spray wasn't working so i had to cover myself in our africa bugspray...100% deet. i felt like i was poisoning myself but it worked.
do any of you have a cleaning schedule that you like? what works best for you?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

happy birthday Sis!

The Boiling Pot

Happy birthday Whit! I hope you have a fabulous day!!!  xo

PS: we need to take an updated picture...this is from September!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

because it is his birthday...

I won't ask him to rip up floors in the hallway,


or watch while he tries to remove 50 year old tile (that is laid into the foundation),


or cringe when he tears up nasty carpet,



or pass him a screw while he rewires the light switches,


or hand him wet rags to wipe putty off of his fingers,


or hold a storm door while he takes it off the hinges,


take pictures while he holds a heavy {and ugly} chandelier,


or pass him a paint brush,


Because it is his birthday I will try to spoil him with a yummy dinner, presents and a fun evening of surprises.

I love you babe and I am so thankful that you can do all of the above things and so much more!

Happy 27th Birthday John!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Flank Steak Crostini with Chimichurri

While my dad was in town last weekend we made this AMAZING meal. We served this with the Layered Cornbread Salad and grilled corn on the cob. It was the perfect meal.

Flank Steak Crostini

This flank steak is marinated in red wine and garlic overnight. The acidity in the wine really made the steak tender and so delicious.

Flank Steak Crostini

The chimichurri sauce and the Vidalia onion relish topped the steak which sat on top of a grilled crostini. This meal was absolutely incredible and I cannot wait to make it again.

Flank Steak Crostini with Chimichurri and Vidalia Onion Relish

For the steak:
2 cups red wine
1/4 cup canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (2 to 3-pound) flank steak
Kosher salt

For the Chimichurri Sauce:
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 to 1 cup olive oil
1/4 to 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Vidalia Relish:
3 Vidalia or other sweet onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Canola oil
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 green onions, sliced
1 serrano chile, minced with the seeds (warning, these chiles are so much spicier than jalapenos)
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

To serve:
1 baguette
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix the wine, oil and black pepper in a pyrex dish. Add the steak, turn to coat, and marinate overnight or at room temperature 1 hour.

Pulse the herbs and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add 3/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup vinegar and salt and pepper, to taste, and pulse to make a soupy vinaigrette — it will look a bit creamy until it settles. Add more oil and/or vinegar if too thick. Set aside.

Preheat the grill to high. Remove the steak from the marinade and season with salt and more pepper. Grill, covered, until nicely charred and medium rare, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing across the grain.

Brush the onions with some canola oil and season with rub, salt and pepper. Grill the onions, turning, until charred and soft. Remove from the grill and chop coarsely. Chop again with the green onions and then stir them together with the chile, oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.

Slice the baguette on a diagonal 1/4-inch thick. Brush with oil, season with salt and pepper and grill briefly, until just starting to crisp. Top each piece with some sauce, a slice or 2 of steak, more sauce and some relish.

Adapted from Bobby Flay

Thursday, July 1, 2010

blogging day of silence for Cohen

day of blogging silence to honor Megan & Brent & to remember baby Cohen. Click picture for cohen's story.
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