Sunday, November 30, 2008

My top 5 obsessions

I've been tagged by Kelly and Hannah to list my top 5 obsessions. Hmmmm. I don't think this will be easy cause it can be as simple as my obsession for anything peppermint to finding new recipes and perfecting them. I also think my obsessions change daily so I'll go with some more meaningful obsessions.....

1. Getting the perfect shot. I love about 2% of the pictures that I take and I like about 20% of the pictures that I take. Taking the perfect shot is a little talent, is a little equipment, and a lot of luck. Whether it is getting everybody to smile and keep their eyes open at the same time, or if it is getting the picture of the squirrel sitting in your carved Halloween pumpkin ( I was about 5 seconds away from getting that photo,,,, damn rodent ran away before I could get the shot).

2. Travel. I haven't travelled as much as I want, but i am constantly looking for a new place to visit. I want to see it all and experience it all. My next trip is to Philly/Jersey and NY with my momma! My goal is to go on at least two trips per year, and I would prefer if we visit at least one new place each year.

3. My husband and my kids. Nuff said.

4. Making my mom smile. Whether it is with my work/life stories or if it is through this blog, I love to make my mom smile. I was taught by the best when it comes to ruling my world and making sure I get what I want. Okay, that sounds a little horrible, but what I mean is that she gave me the shopping bug. When I see something I want, I know I have to get it or I'll obsess about it. And she also passed along her ability to love the most expensive shoes on the sales floor. Damn, I hate that talent. Mummy is the same way :o) And how else can I thank my mom for teaching me all of the fabulous cuss words like fuck-tard, fong, balls, shit-balls, and many many more. It makes my day when I know I have made my mom smile and laugh.

5. This is a new obsession but I'm not sure I can call it an obsession quite yet. I was introduced to Triple Espresso infused Vodka a few days ago. I only had it once, but I am telling everybody how freakin wonderful it is. I love coffee and I enjoy drinking, so this one product gives me the best of both worlds. My sister in law just gave me a gift certificate to Twin Liqueurs for my birthday, and I know EXACTLY what I'll be getting with it!! :o)

Thanksgiving 2008

This was a good turkey day. We started our festivities on 6th street on Weds night. Jim and I like going out the night before because most people are friendly, lots of drink specials, and not a lot of people are out. We started at the Dizzy Roster, which was just ehh so we headed out to a bar that we seem to have good luck at, Shakespeare's. This is a little dingy bar on 6th street, but for what ever reason we always have a great time here. Wednesday night was no different. They had good specials, they weren't very busy, and the bartenders were cool. After a bit of banter (which included Jim explaining on how to spot Aggies on the street), we ended up getting a few free tastings. One of which might just be my favorite new drink.... Triple Espresso infused Vodka. Really. Seriously. Yummy. We also found out that there is such a thing called Honey flavored Jagermeister. It tasted just like honey.. which I like but not sure about an adult drink. We stayed there a couple of hours before we headed to another bar to play air hockey, which is one of my favorite games!!!

Thanksgiving day went off without a hitch. It was just Jim and I (my family is out of town, and we were meeting with his on Sunday) so we had our own dinner. Turkey with all of the fixings. I wish I had bought a larger turkey, because we didn't' have many left overs :(. Next time I'll get a larger bird. Not only did we have a great dinner (that I totally got stuffed then felt sick) but our two teams, UT and the Eagles, also won their games! Yahhhoooo!

6th street, the night before Turkey Day

Air Hockey... Jim won most games... damn it.

Me and the kids. Normally they lay here in the doorway while I cook.
Turkey... yummmmm!!!

Our fantastic Turkey day meal

Taylor and Chewie received some scrambled eggs for Thanksgiving.
It was my 21st birthday the day after Thanksgiving. We didn't do much for my b-day, just a nice dinner. Thanks to all of my friends that wished me a Happy Birthday and gave me some cool gifts like cookies shaped like adult drinks and a gift certificate from Starbucks. Sweeeeeettt!

Lunch with Jim's family
Ryan (nephew) and I... this little guy is always smiling.

Dawson reading a book that his grandmother (my MIL) gave him

Ryan is doing a little dance for us :o)

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I met up with Tiffany for lunch on Saturday at Maru (on Burnet Road near 40th st). This was one of those times that I was trying to expand my horizons. I ate raw fish. Yes I did and I didn't spit it out as soon as it hit my lips. I know I am WAY behind the times but I guess I am just a late bloomer. I have done the veggie type sushi, but I have stayed away from the raw fish. I had read some decent reviews on Maru so we thought we would try it out. The service was slow but we were chatting away so we didn't' really notice until we had to wait for the bill. I ordered the Tiger Roll with Miso soup. The tiger roll had tempura shrimp, crab (I think), cucumber, with spicy tuna on top. The tuna was.... odd. It was slightly mushy and felt (in my mouth) like it was chopped up. And maybe it was supposed to be like that, I have no idea. Tiffany ordered the Philadelphia roll, which has cream cheese, salmon and avocado. It was pretty tasty, and her fish was totally different. It was nice a firm. I'll say that this lunch was a success and I look forward to continue to grow my culinary experiences.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I hope everybody has a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family, friends, and good food! :)

Bunch of repairs

Today is my second day of sitting at home while a repair man fixed something. The first repair guy was from ATT. I ordered ATT for home Internet service and home phone but it wasn't working at all. After a call to customer service I had a repair man scheduled to come out the next day. He came out and had it fixed within 45 minutes. Something wasn't connected right... he didn't really go into details with me, which is fine with me. I will say that I called twice to ATT customer service and both times I received very pleasant and helpful representatives. Since I work for the company, I was ready to get their names and numbers in case they weren't helpful. My account doesn't indicate that I am an employee so I knew they were treating me like everybody else. Kudo's to ATT for fixing the issue and being nice to me in the process.

My second repair man is from Direct TV. Apparently they changed the type of dish that they use, so we needed a new one. However.... the new dish is a lot bigger and they said that they couldn't put it on our metal roof. Pufft. They gave us the option of putting the dish in our back yard on a pole... as in the MIDDLE of our backyard on a pole. WTF?? We are lucky and have a large backyard and the last thing I want to do it put a fuckin 4 foot poll with a dish on it in the middle of it. We sent the repair guy packing telling him that we would suffer with the smaller dish (which isn't giving us all of our channels). Then we found out that they could put the dish of a tri-pod that we could put on our patio. Which might sound just as bad, but we have a part of our patio that wraps around the house that we don't use.

Direct TV is back out today, but guess what??? They said they can now put the dish on the roof. WTF?? It is going to charge us to put it up there, but I am totally happy with paying $125 to put it a little higher on our roof (the stupid pole idea would have cost us $75). The repair guy is on the roof now putting it up there.... hopefully it doesn't slide off :o). I called and complained to Direct TV and they gave us a year free of HD (which is a total of $120). The credit makes this easier to deal with (and kind of pays for the install) but I still had to take a few hours off of work, and Jim took another few hours off of work to deal with these guys.

All in all, the repair men haven't totally annoyed me, but I am over getting stuff working at our house. Hopefully we can go another few months before we have to do more repair type stuff!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Dang ol' delicatessens

I received a couple of pictures on my phone from a friend visiting Kentucky. I haven't been to Kentucky before and can't say that I'll make it there during my lifetime. But I have to ask myself, WTF.... they keep weird and gross ass products in jars. That shiz seems like stuff that people on Survior would eat to win a competition.

According to Angie, these pickled eggs are pink.

Turd in a jar

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Breakfast on the Eastside

This morning was one of those mornings that seemed right to find a new place to eat breakfast. We probably go out to breakfast on Sundays once or twice a month. Sometimes it is simple breakfast tacos and sometimes it is a full sit down breakfast. We wanted to try a new place for breakfast, so we went to Juan in a Million. I have heard about them for years but haven't tried them out. I checked on and found quite a few good reviews. There were a decent amount of breakfast items to order, I went with the simple Migas and Jim ordered the Machacado Con Huevo. I was impressed with Jim's dish, very good! Mine were Migas, plain and simple. Next time I'll order the "Don Juan" El Taco Grande. Based on the menu I thought it was a glorified breakfast taco, but another table ordered it and it looked fantastic. Sure it seemed like a breakfast taco, but it was HUGE with lots of filling. Our waiter was attentive and made sure my coffee and our water's stayed full. He also gave Jim a mini Spanish lesson on how to correctly say what he ordered (Machacado). :o) He was nice and kept the gringo's happy.


Machacado Con Huevo

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Time for an upgrade

It is time to buy a new computer... yuck. I need somebody to tell me what to get. I know kind of what I need, but there are so many new little gadgets that I might need. My friend Nicole works for Dell and she asked around the office what would be a good laptop for our needs and gave me recommendation. I am 90% sure I am going with that model, but while I am researching I come across different types of hard drives, processors, video cards, batteries, and systems. Damn. I feel like an old lady that is soooo not up to date with her technology. I do know that I am not ready to make the jump to an Apple computer. I'm not brand loyal or anything but as I mentioned above I'm not technology savvy.

Hopefully we'll make a decision within the next few days! Wish us luck!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Simple, delish, and perfect for the cooler weather!!
I have been craving tomato soup ever since a co-worker of mine had some a few weeks ago. The weather has cooled down and I have been in a cooking mood, so I thought it was perfect time to try making tomato soup! I hate the tomato soup that comes from a Campbell's can, so I searched for a recipe that had a depth of flavor. The only change I would make for next time is to use more red pepper flakes and to try using fresh basil, and maybe a little more of it. I briefly thought about roasting my own red bell peppers, but I thought I would wait until the 2nd time I made this soup. I can't wait to make more of this soup!

Roasted tomato and red bell pepper soup.

6 or 7 tomatoes (apple sized) cored and cut in half
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
2 large yellow onions, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cans low fat low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 or more of a 12 ounce jar Roasted Red Bell Pepper
1/8 cup dried basil
couple dashes of red pepper flakes
Kosher sale and freshly cracked pepper
3 Tbsp cream
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Place tomato halves in metal 13x9 pan (I used a cookie sheet). Sprinkle shopped garlic in pan, sprinkle carrots in pan around tomatoes and garlic. Add onions in last. Pour olive oil over veggies and make sure they are coated. Arrange tomatoes so they are resting cut side down in pan.
Bake one hour.
About 10 minutes before veggies are done, add chicken broth and water to large stock pot with 1 Tbsp butter and bring to a boil. Simmer.
Remove veggies from the oven. Pull peels off of tomatoes (this was very easy, they pulled right off). Put veggies and in the stock pot with broth. Add 1/2 or more of a jar of Roasted Red Pepper. Add 1/8 cup basil. Add kosher salt, cracked pepper, red pepper flakes to taste. Simmer for 15 minutes or so. Using an immersible heat resistant blender (or a food processor) to blend soup to a desired consistency. Add a tablespoon or so of cream per batch that you blend. Since I used a food processor, I had to do it in two different batches. I made a little boo-boo and filled the container a little to high and it squirted over my walls :)

Before roasting

After roasting.... this pan was a bitch to get clean. I was afraid to use aluminium foil because I didn't want the veggies to get little pieces of foil stuck to them

I haven't used this brand before, but they seemed as good as any other brand I have used.

I won't lie... this part kind of sucked. Not that bad, but spooning the soupy mixture from the sauce pan to the food processor caused quite a few spills.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Will this replace the mimosa??

Awhile back I had a pomegranate mimosa at Moonshine and it was very tasty. I liked the tartness of the pomegranate juice as a different choice for my morning champagne. :o) Instead of champagne I bought some prosecco, which is an Italian sparkling wine and a bottle of pomegranate juice from Specs. (love that store!). Once I poured the juice into the glass I knew it probably wouldn't taste like Moonshines. Moonshines drink was a bright vibrant color, and this one was more muted. Hmmmm.... So I guess I bought a different type of juice. This drink was good but not great. My partners in crime added a little OJ to their drinks, but they said that it didn't make it any better. It wasn't bad, but it just wasn't the yummy drink I had with brunch at Moonshine.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Impress your friends with your useless knowledge...

If you are right handed, you will tend to chew your food on your right side. If you are left handed, you will tend to chew your food on your left side.

If you stop getting thirsty, you need to drink more water. For when a human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off.

Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.

Your tongue is germ free only if it is pink. If it is white there is a thin film of bacteria on it. Gross

The Mercedes-Benz motto is “Das Beste oder Nichts” meaning “the best or nothing”.

The pupil of the eye expands as much as 45 percent when a person looks at something pleasing. I'm checking out Jim's pupils the next time a busty chick walks by him :o)

Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system. Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day.

The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear.

The color blue has a calming effect. It causes the brain to release calming hormones.

Every time you sneeze some of your brain cells die. I'm screwed... I sneeze like 20 times a day

Your left lung is smaller than your right lung to make room for your heart.

When you blush, the lining of your stomach also turns red.

When hippos are upset, their sweat turns red.

The attachment of the human skin to muscles is what causes dimples.

The sound you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually the sound of nitrogen gas bubbles bursting.

Most soccer players run 7 miles in a game. I need to start playing soccer

Every day 200 million couples make love, 400,000 babies are born, and 140,000 people die.

Colgate faced big obstacle marketing toothpaste in Spanish speaking countries. Colgate translates into the command “go hang yourself.”

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair. Hmmm?? I wonder why

The average person laughs 13 times a day.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

German Shepherds bite humans more than any other breed of dog.

The human heart creates enough pressure while pumping to squirt blood 30 feet!! Gross
Fresh delicious food

I am a big sandwich fan, I can eat them all of the time. I do not discriminate, I'll eat anything from a PB and J to a cheesesteak. YUUUUMMMMM! I don't care if they are called a sandwich, hoagie, grinder or a panni. Okay, you get the idea, I like sandwiches. Last week Sarah and I ate at a cafe called Food Heads. Food Heads is a cute little home turned restaurant near UT (and more importantly near my favorite new store, Strut) with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. The counter/menu area is a little cramped so I suggest you take a look at their online menu before you go so you have a good idea of what to order. You should also pick two different menu items because I noticed that 2 or 3 sandwiches were "sold out" when we visited there.

I decided to order something that i have never had before.... a Tuna Nicoise (chunk tuna with tomato, roasted potatoes, green beans, red onions, lettuce, boiled egg and dijon on a crusty roll). I have been wanting to make this salad for a really long time, so I thought I would try the sandwich version. I really enjoyed the sandwich. It was slightly hard to eat because my green beans kept falling off and the bread had a nice crust on it which made it hard to take dainty little bites. I did not regret my selection! Sarah ordered the chicken and eggplant, which was my second choice. Sarah said her sandwich was very tasty! We both did the special which was half sandwich and soup. We both ordered the Chicken Tortilla,,, very tasty! I originally wanted the onion soup but they were out :( Both of our sandwiches came with a little side of coleslaw (about 3-4 fork full bites). I couldn't put my finger on what they put in their coleslaw to give it a unique taste, but it was very good.

You will spend a little more for this lunch (think around $7.50 - $9.50 including drink) but it makes for a delicious splurge for lunch!

Food Heads
616 W 34th StAustin, TX 78705(512) 420-8400

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In search of fall colors...

Last weekend we ventured out for a day trip to Lost Maples. We didn't really plan for the trip, we decided the night before at dinner that we would go on the day trip. We planned our route a few minutes before we headed out of the door. I thought the trip was like an hour or so away but I was wrong... try like 2.5 hours away. Huh... should have planned better. Oh well. Once we finally found our way to Lost Maples state park we found a pile of cars waiting in line to get into the park. Seriously.. at least an hour wait to get into the park. We didn't get there until around 3, so we made the decision to turn around and just find small roads to explore. We didn't want to wait for an hour at the park, then only have about an hour to walk around and check it out before the sun started to go down. I found out later from my mother-in-law that Lost Maples was recently in Highways Magazine and that this time of the year is considered "peak season" for colors... that explains the crowds. We'll have to try again next year, but we will plan the trip a little better. I would also like to have some extra time to shop around the little cities that we drove through.

We stopped at a bridge over the Media River to take pictures. I climbed down below the bridge (luckily I wore tennis shoes) to take pictures while Jim walked across the bridge.
Looking down the Medina River... most of the trees in this area were changing color. Many different shades of red, oranges and yellows.

I think this is my favorite of the bunch of pictures.

Poor Jim is waiting for me while I take pictures
Texas sunset
A good use of leftovers

I accidentally cooked my potatoes to long (originally meant for potato salad) so I had to change up our dinner a little bit. I ended up using those potatoes for mashed potatoes with chives and cheese. But it made a ton of leftovers and I needed a way to use them again. I went online and found a recipe for potato pancakes... bingo! I don't think my pancakes were as "soupy" as they were supposed to be. I noticed that the recipe called for the potatoes to be batter like and mine were like mushy potatoes. But they were still damn tasty just a little hard to flip them when I cooked them.

We also had some left over steak so we headed them up, added some cheese and a roll and made steak sandwiches

2 cups mashed potatoes (approximately)
1-2 eggs (I used one, probably should have used two)
¼ cup flour
onion (optional)
chives (optional)
cheese (optional)
oil for frying

Mix all ingredients into mashed potatoes.
Preheat skillet and add a couple of tablespoons of oil
Make sure the mix isn’t to thin
Pour ¼ batter into hot pan: brown on both sides and enjoy!!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Random Shizzzzz...

Top Chef's new season starts on Weds!!! Hell yeah!
If you like a cherry limeade from Sonic, you'll enjoy this new beverage! It is hard to find, but I found it at HEB (but then they didn't have it the next time I went back) and I found it at a CVS. Seriously good stuff.
If you are in San Marcos and you have a craving for a good hamburger, then head over to the Tap Room. It isn't that easy to find but it is off of the square and you have to enter it through the back parking lot. The hamburgers are huge and juicy and they have 42 beers on tap for decent prices (a pint of Pyramid Apricot was $3.50 and a 23 oz Stella was $4.25).

I couldn't help but notice as I bought these treats for the kids that the package claims it is Filet Mignon taste. Hmmmm... I'm a big fan of steak, but I'm not going to try this damn treat. Perfect advertising since they can say what they want and know that a human isn't going to try it to see if it really tastes like a filet mignon.

We shipped back 4 bottles of wine from Sonoma County and enjoyed one a few days ago. This was a dry but slightly fruity Syrah. You can buy Taft Street at Specks. Yummy!

This is mostly for my family that knows about Scrapple. Scrapple is kind of like spam or a hot dog. Mystery meat, but is enjoyed by quite a few people. I finally tried it last year, and i have to say not bad and seasoned like sausage. I'm glad that I tried it, but I won't be eating it again. Nobody will tell me what is in it, and I am completely okay with that.

To get the "ribs" for my Corpse Bride costume, I bought a kids skeleton costume. It was an extra large, and my ass barely fit into it. I chased the dogs around a bit before I almost passed out from lack of air. That mask had little holes to breath through.

Little Miss Taylor

Birds eye view of Chewie