Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yeah... I wish I can DANCE!!!!

I absolutely love So You Think You Can Dance. I wait for it each year and love every minute of it. I secretly wish that I could dance as well as these ladies and I try to prove it when I am alone in my living room :). The top 6 show was tonight, and I think that all of the dancers deserve to be there. I won't give anything away... but I know who is in the top 4. I really can't figure out who will win, all dancers have good and bad aspects.
So, the So You Think You Can Dance tour is FINALLY coming through Austin this year... and guess what.... I AM OUT OF FUCKING TOWN. I am happy that I will be in San Francisco with my family(which will be a fantastic time), but I am terribly upset that I will miss the tour. My husband is totally disappointed in me that I actually wanted to go. He is nowhere near the fan of the show that I am. He can stand watching about 5 minutes before he gets bored.
I still have to break it to my husband that I will not be going to his softball game next week, because of the So You Think You Can Dance finale. I love going to his games and hanging out with the ladies... but I only get my dance show a limited time each year!!! :)
Giada makin' me happy

I saw a recipe the other night and I knew I had to try it. Lisha, Shay and I had a discussion while painting our pottery about Giada. The consensus was that you either love her or hate her. Lisha and my hubby share the same opinion..... Giada has a freakin organism every time she tries her food. She does moan quite a bit with a far away look in her eye but I can over look the moaning as long as she continues to give me recipes like this. I will say this recipe requires more time and effort than I would like to do after a day of work, but this was worth it. The little "roasted chicken purses" were so damn tasty and tender. The butter and Parmesan cheese was the perfect way to top the dish, no heavy sauces were needed. I paired these purses full of joy with a salad... perfect summer dish!

So ladies and gentlemen.... go grab your wonton wrappers, your left over chicken, and your best food moan and make this wonderful dish!!!

Roasted Chicken Purses
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

1 1/4 cup shredded roasted chicken (or any leftover chicken, light and/or dark meat) ( I used one breast, but you could easily add more)

3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1/2 lemon, zested

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves ( I used a dash of dried thyme)

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for sprinkling

32 small, square wonton wrappers

1 large egg, lightly beaten

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

In a small bowl combine the chicken, ricotta cheese, lemon zest, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.On a dry work surface place 8 wonton wrappers. Place a rounded teaspoon of the chicken mixture in the center of each wrapper. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash around the chicken mixture. Bring four corners of the wonton square together over the filling to form a purse. Press the edges together tightly to form a seal. Wipe the board with a towel until dry and continue making batches of 8 with the remaining wonton skins. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the purses and cook until they float to the surface, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the ravioli.Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet. Turn off the heat, add the cooked pyramids and gently toss. Transfer the pyramids to 4 serving plates. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Right after this step where you put a spoonful of cheese/chicken mixture in the middle of the wonton, you take a brush and go around the edges to make a "pocket purse". I'm not really sure if I did this right because my little purses didn't look like Giada's. Out of about 32 wonton purses, 3 had blowouts (where the cheese got loose and made a mess in my boiling water). I thought that was a good percentage. I would put the four corners of the wonton together then I made sure to also pinch the edges all around.
Dana's little pocket full of goodness
Damn steam got in the way of the photo

Once they were done boiling, put them on a plate to soak up excess water. Then I melted the butter to fry up a bit. A couple sides were slightly crisp and I loved the texture difference.

The final product..... YUM!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Chipotle-rubbed pork tenderloin with peach salsa

I have been wanting to try a fruit and a meat dish. It was a little scary because honsetly meat and fruit doesn't sound that great together, but I keep seeing really good sounding recipes. This was a good recipe,but not great. I think a problem was the peaches weren't ripe enough. I hate that most of the fruit at the grocery store needs a few days to become perfect. The pork had a nice smokey and spicy flavor that we enjoyed.

For the Salsa:
3 ripe peaches, pitted, diced (about 4 cups)
1 medium tomato, seeded, diced
3 green onions, white and pale green parts, thinly sliced
1 medium fresh jalapeno chile, stemmed, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon sugar
For the Pork:
2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of garlic powder
dash of pepper
2 pork tenderloins (about 2 1/4 pounds total)

FOR THE SALSA: Gently mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt. Let stand at room temperature, stirring once or twice, while preparing pork.

FOR THE PORK: Light a charcoal fire and let it burn down to medium-high or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Position the rack about 6 inches above heat source. Stir chipotle powder, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Sprinkle chipotle mixture on all sides of pork tenderloins, patting firmly to adhere.
When the grill is ready, lightly oil grilling rack. Lay tenderloins on rack. Cover and grill 5 minutes, rearranging pork on rack to create attractive markings. Turn and grill another 5 minutes, again rearranging tenderloins to create a crosshatch pattern. Continue to grill pork, turning it twice more, about 16 minutes total for medium doneness. Transfer pork to cutting board; let rest for 5 minutes. -- here is where I totally went a different direction... I baked my pork tenderloin. Follow instructions on the pork for cooking.... I think I cooked mine for about 25 minutes in 350 degree oven.

TO SERVE: Stir cilantro into salsa and adjust the seasoning. Cut pork across the grain and at slight angle into thin slices. Arrange slices on plates. Spoon salsa generously atop pork slices and serve immediately.
My night with my fine lady friends!!!

I had the great pleasure of having a night out with my dear friends, Lisha and Shae. We started out the night at the ceramic cellar painting ceramics. I chose a huge ass coffee cup. The store actually called it a cappuccino cup and if I were to use that thing for cappuccino then I would be high on caffeine for days. Anywho, it was mine and Lisha's first time at the pottery place and we both had a fun time! I had such a brain fart, and I couldn't think of what to paint. I went with blues because I saw a show on the ocean earlier that day. I went a little freaky on the inside of my mug. We have to wait to pick up our masterpieces, so I'll have to wait to see how mine turned out.

Hard at work

Me, Lisha and Shay

Shay's plate. She picked a speciality paint that will change colors when it is "cooked". I can't wait to see how her plate turned out.

Lisha, Shay, Me and a huge freakin bottle of wine

Enjoying my soon to be huge caffeine cup

Colors to chose from for our pottery

My abstract art piece inside of my cup

Our giant bottle of wine that I bought at Target. I love this wine :) I left the bottle at the ceramic place and they are going to melt it and turn it into a little serving dish. I can't wait to see it.

After painting the pottery we went to dinner at Freda's. I haven't been there before but it is a nice place. I ordered the Rainbow Trout with a baked potato. My fish was very flavorful and tasty. I thought it was supposed to have a Cajun sauce on it, but it ended up with a lemon caper sauce. Either way, it was tasty.

After dinner we headed to Shooters on 620. I introduced them to a game called flippy cup. We had a good time playing the game (and trying to figure out how to flip our damn cups).

Ummmm.... we were completely sober here. Yup... sober.

Lisha.... This finger is for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cute Kiddo Pictures

Friday Night Date Night

We bought tickets to see the Dark Knight at the Imax on Friday night. Instead of rushing home to make dinner, we decided to eat out. I was in a BBQ mood (thanks to your story mom :) ) so we headed over to Stubbs. Both Jim and I ordered the pork ribs with different sides (poking fun at you mummy!). We had our dishes within 10 minutes of ordering. I was really surprised at how quickly we were seated as well as how quick we received food. I suppose it helped that Stubbs didn't have a concert that night. For those of you that don't know, Stubbs is a good BBQ place downtown, but they also have an amphitheater in the back for concerts. Our pork ribs were tender and my Cesar salad had a nice flavor. My mac and cheese however was kind of blah. It tasted like flour, very bland. Jim ordered the Serrano cheese spinach, which was great but it had a very spicy kick.

The movie was very good. I may be totally spoiled now since I will now expect all of the movies that I go see to be just like our Imax experience. The screen was HUGE and there were times that you felt like you were right in the movie. My two complaints were that they did not sell popcorn and that the seats at the theater are not that comfortable. The movie was everything that I expected and more. Heath Ledger did a great job as the joker. He was edgy, had all of the right mannerisms and ticks you would expect a psycho to have. I thought all of the actors did a great job of capturing their roles. So go see the movie.... you won't be disappointed!!

Go Cubbies!!

Last weekend the hubby and I took a quick trip to Houston to see the Cubs play the Astro's. I haven't been to the new stadium in H-town, it was very nice and clean. We had awesome tickets.... it was the first row on the 3rd level down the left field line. We could see everything perfectly. The only scary thing is how low the fence was in front of us. It wasn't much higher than 3.5 feet tall and considering how far the fall would be it made you very aware of your surroundings. Luckily the Cubs won the game!!!

Our view from our seats

I don't normally eat hot dogs (they gross me out if I start to think about what goes into a hot dog) but I was hungry so I thought why not. The freakin ketchup and mustard container squirted out way more than I wanted.

I also have a HUGE complaint with the Nacho vendors at the stadium. I have never seen people move slower while doing such an easy task. With nachos, you pick up the container with chips, you walk over to the cheese, you grab a ladle of cheesy goodness, and then you dump it into the container. Seems easy, right? NO. I swear I waited over 20 minutes to get nachos. Now if the line was long 20 minutes would be acceptable, but I only had 2 people in front of me. These people had total blank looks on their faces while walking around the nacho area. It took everything I had not to jump over the counter and start making nachos for all of the hungry people in line. Ugh.

Here is the little fence that was supposed to stop us from plunging to our death.

Drunken Beans

Jim is a big fan of beans, and I am not. Not at all. But I came across this recipe and thought that it sounded good for those people that like beans. Beans take a long time to make, so make sure you leave yourself enough time while making these. My taste tester, Jim, said that the beans were very good. They have a good flavor and a mild heat (which if you are a puss like me, that means it was spicy). I did put slightly more of the chipotle peppers in the beans since I know Jim likes spicy foods. I asked about the chorizo and he said that he didn't even know that it was in there. I don't know if there are different types of chorizo but the kind that I bought was in a casing and I squeezed it out of the casing into the pan (see the picture below along with my crude comments :). So if you are a bean fan, then Jim suggests that you try these beans!! Oh, and one more note, this recipe makes a lot of beans!

8 ounces chorizo sausage, cut into chunks (my choizo wasn't really hard enough to cut into chunks, it was more mushy)
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 pound pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained ( I only soaked mine for 3 hours, I was impatient. From what I understand, soaking the beans over night will help the beans cook more evenly)
1(12 ounce) bottle of dark Mexican beer (I used a Tecate Light, so not sure what the difference would have been if I used a dark beer)
5 cups water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice

1. Cook sausage in dutch oven over medium heat until browned, about 8 minutes: transfer to paper towel lined plate. Cook onion in sausage fat until softened., about 5 minutes. stir in garlic, oregano, and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beans, beer and water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for about an hour, when the beans are soft.

2. Stir in sugar, chipotle and 1 teaspoon salt. Continue to simmer, uncovered, until beans are completely tender and sauce is slightly thickened, about 50 minutes. Return chorizo to pan and simmer until chorizo is tender. (If mixture gets to thick, add some water). Stir in cilantro and lime juice and season with salt. Serve. Beans can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 4 days.

soaking beans

Onions and garlic

Chorizo... there were a few brands to choose from, I had no clue so I just picked one

So I am going to assume that you will know what my first thought was when I looked at the chorizo in the pan.... okay, if you don't know then I'll tell you...... Doodie. It looks like a big turd sitting in my pan. However, it smelled fantastic while it was cooking. I have only had choirzo once, and it was mixed with scrambled eggs.

Monday, July 21, 2008


We went to a surprise B-day party on Saturday night. It was a friend of a friend's b-day party. We know Matt and Dawn through Sarah and Orly. We typically have a really good time every time we hang out. Sarah and Orly went, so of course we were going to go so we could hang out with the cool couple :) A totally random thing happened that night.... we found out that one of Jim's frat buddies is friends with Matt. If I remember correctly Jim's buddy and Matt knew each other in High School and their families are friends. So, not only did we get to celebrate a b-day, Jim also got to see a friend!

Here are a few pictures from that night....

Matt walking into his surprise party

Matt licking the eyeball of his woman, Dawn. I thought Jim was the only guy to do this move.

Jim with Mark (frat buddy), aka... 3 feet of trouble

So I realize that I said above that we aren't that close with Dawn and Matt, but that didn't' stop Matt from feeding my husband some dessert.

Our friends... Sarah and Orly

Me and 3 feet of trouble

Sarah, Orly, Jim and I wearing our cool "Matt is Thirty" tee-shirts that Dawn made for all party goers.