Thursday, December 31, 2009

Flavor Explosion in my mouth

Sarah and I have been talking about going to Gourdoughs for months now. Gourdoughs is a trailer on South Lamar that sells gourmet doughnuts. I'm not sure gourmet is the right word but they are so much more than just doughnuts. They share the lot with 2 other trailers, Brevita (coffee) and Odd Duck- Farm to Table. I definitely want to go back to try Odd Duck, they had some good sounding food. The reason we just didn't run over as soon as we heard about them is because they are really unhealthy. Like super duper, will add more junk in your trunk than eating an entire cake bad for you. Gourdoughs makes homemade doughnuts with various toppings. They are made to order, so you know your doughnut is right out of the grease and on to the plate. I was debating between a sweet doughnut and a savory doughnut... the savory won out.

Here is my Porky's doughnut. The doughnut is topped with cream cheese, Canadian bacon and jalapeno jelly. It was wonderful... There was a good balance of sweet and savory. The jalapeno jelly didn't have much heat, but it was still tasty

Sarah ordered the Flying Pig, which is a doughnut topped with maple icing and bacon. It tasted like a yummy breakfast
The Menu:
Next time I'd like to try either the Granny Pie (caramel, pecans, bananas, and graham cracker) or the Funky Monkey (grilled bananas, cream cheese icing, and a brown sugar baste).
This is the Odd Duck trailer, and i can't wait to give it a try. Their food sounded wonderful and almost pulled me away from trying Gourdoughs... almost :)

I wanted to try the grits and the pulled pork sliders. I'll be back in the near future!

How to start your new year

When I lived in Arizona, I don't recall ever hearing about having to eat a certain food on New Years day to have good luck for the new year. once I moved to Austin, I heard about Black Eyed Peas. I made them a for a few years, but I just don't care for them. No matter how much seasoning I used, they always tasted like dirt. Not the way I wanted to spend my first day of the new year. I came across an article that listed out foods that were considered luck if eaten on New Years Day. I have no problem eating most of these foods!!!

I wish everybody a fun and safe New Years Eve!!!


In many Asian countries, long noodles are eaten on New Year's Day in order to bring a long life. One catch: You can't break the noodle before it is all in your mouth.


Due to pigs' dining habits, many countries, including Austria, Cuba, and Spain, view pork as a good-luck food. As pigs root for food, they keep their feet planted and push their snouts forward, signifying progress and future propriety.


Thought to resemble coins, lentils are eaten throughout Italy for good fortune in the new year. Plus, the legumes plump (with water) as they cook, symbolizing growing wealth.


In North America, Asia, and Europe, people eat fish to celebrate the new year. In some countries, people associate fish with moving forward into the new year since fish swim forward. Other people think fish symbolize abundance since they swim in schools.


It's no coincidence that this good-luck food is the color of money. Greens, such as kale, collards, and cabbage, are traditionally eaten on New Year's Day because of their association with wealth and economic prosperity.

Black Eyed Peas

A common good luck food in the southern United States, black-eyed peas are thought to bring prosperity, their shape and abundance representing coins. Hoppin' John is the classic Southern New Year's dish.


Long associated with abundance and fertility, pomegranates are eaten in Turkey and other Mediterranean countries for luck in the new year.


When the Chinese celebrate New Year's Day, they often set out bowls of oranges and tangerines to promote prosperity. This tradition developed from a play on words: "tangerine" and "orange" sound much like "luck" and "wealth," respectively, in the Chinese language


At midnight on New Year's Eve, revelers in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries eat 12 grapes — one for every strike of the clock and month in the year. This custom grew from a grape surplus in the Alicante region of Spain in 1909, and celebrates the coming of a sweet year.

Round Cakes and Breads

Eating round or ring-shaped cakes, pastries, and breads is a popular New Year's tradition in various countries. In Greece, families bake vassilopita, a cake containing a hidden good-luck coin. Italians eat sweet panetonne, Mexicans enjoy the ring-shaped rosca de reyes cake, and the
Dutch indulge in puffed, doughnut-like ollie bollen.

information found at:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I think the storm going to miss us :)

We have another cold front blowing through.... according to the weather guys we are expecting 90% chance of rain all day. I'd say that is a good forcast. The cold front is only for today, so I am going to enjoy it while I can :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Homemade Christmas

Last year my mother asked for a homemade ornament from my brother and I for Christmas. Plain and simple, I dropped the ball and didn't make one and my brother did. Well, I had to hear about for a year from my brother so I knew I had to bring it this Christmas. I gathered all of my supplies from Hobby Lobby and Michael's, printed pictures and sat down to make some ornaments. I really had no idea what would look good so I tried a bunch of different variations until I found what worked. Paint worked, glitter worked, stickers worked, cutting shapes out of color paper worked, ribbon didn't work (to damn hard to get to stick and stay), and large photos didn't work (looked funny once on the ornament). I would have liked to take more picture while I was making them but my hands were covered with various sticky/wet stuff and didn't want to get my camera dirty.

My supplies
I originally wanted to only use this round ornament, but it was hard to paste the photos on there without it being crumpled
My first two attempts. There were a few steps before the picture... painting the ball, pasting on the photo, and then using mod-podge to seal all together.

My finished projects. I made a total of 5 ornaments and one jar that can be used to hold candy or a candle. I had one other ornament, but I dropped it right after I put the sealer on it. It had SO MUCH dog hair on it that I ended up throwing it away. boo.

Now that I know what it takes to make these, I think some other family members will be receiving these types of gifts in the future Christmases :) I'll just make sure to give myself plenty of time to get them done and ship them off.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Quicky Dinner

We had some extra meatballs the other night and I wanted to do something different than just a meatball sandwich. I remember seeing one of the gazillion food blogs that I read talk about using the premade pizza dough to use for other dishes than pizza. A meatball calzone/sandwich sounds better than just using a hogie roll (at least for this night... I do love me hogie rolls).

I heated up the meatballs in marinara sauce before I put them into the dough. I wasn't 100% they would fully heat up while they were in the oven. I also cooked up some onions and green peppers to give a little crunch to the calzone.

I made these pretty big. We ended up splitting one for dinner, then ate one the next day for lunch. Surprisingly it headed up pretty good. I just rolled out the pizza dough, put on the meatballs, marana sauce, veggies and some mozzarella cheese. Once I put the toppings on the dough, I pulled the dough across and sealed it.

The final product.
Before I placed them into the oven I brushed them with an egg wash to give it the nice brown crust. I cooked these in 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes.

We paired the calzone with a nice salad for dinner

Bob's Roquefort salad dressing is my FAVORITE and I have only found it in Arizona. I have been to every grocery store in the Austin area and I haven't found it. It is a lot like a blue cheese dressing, but not as strong. I *heart* you roquefort dressing!! I brought back a bottle when I went to AZ but now it is gone and I can only dream about my favorite dressing :)

A Christmas Card in the Making

On the drive from Arizona to Austin we stopped on the side of the road to take a few photos. My grandfather always has great Christmas cards, and we thought of this idea for him. Stand on the side of the road like you are hitchhiking. In the past he has been a cowboy, a golfer, a biker, and a cotton picker. All are super funny, and each year they get better!

I'm not 100% sure where we are, but it is about 1.5 hours outside of Van Horn, Texas on a frontage road that was a dead end. It was pretty chilly (maybe around 40 degrees) so we had limited time taking photos. It probably only took about 10 minutes to take these pictures, but mom and I were giggling the entire time. Pop Pop wasn't exactly giggling... he just wanted to be finished and back sitting in the car.

Here is one of the first shots.... I made this sign and brought it with me to Phoenix. I wanted to make sure we had the sign for the picture.
Mother, my assistant, helped place the sign in the right place and had pop pop put his thumb up

And this was the winner (of about 20 photos) for his Christmas card. Love it!

Well, not to be outdone, mother had to show us how she would try to hitch hike. Nice glowing white legs Mother :)

Quick self portrait before we got back on the road and finished the rest of our trip to Austin

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We have a new baby in the group!!

Courtney had her little baby last night! Rachel Lynn made her appearance after Courtney went through 15 hours of labor. I went by the hospital today to say hi and to meet the little lady. I am so impressed with Courtney. She was up and walking around like nothing had happened, such a trooper. Plus after her 15 hours of labor over night and having a baby,Courtney looked fantastic!

Look at all of Rachel's hair!!!

I am so amazed at how alert she was! She kept her eye on me and the big camera :)

Here she is being burped by Courtney, look at those cheeks! I just want to squeeze them!

The happy new parents

I think Rachel is flashing some type of gang signs. Damn they start early :)

*in case you are wondering,
no, holding a baby did not get my female reproductive organs in a frenzie to have a baby. So precious
Courtney seemed like an old pro with Rachel.
I am looking forward to watching this little lady grow up!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My first night time fun run

Jim's sister, Jamie, told us about a race that they were planning on doing a few weeks ago. We decided to join them since it sounded like fun. It was the Trail of Lights race and it was about 2.6 miles (not quite a normal 5K). I figured that my ass would walk most of it because I really haven't run in about 6 weeks. Whatever, it sounded like fun and I thought I could take pictures as I went. Jim and Jamie took off running and finished quickly! Jim said they told him that he finished 50th (not sure how many people raced, but there were a lot of people there). We had a really good time, and might consider it for next year! I am only slightly sore today- my thighs are a bit tender but that is it :) Maybe I can use this as a starting point to get back into exercising.

Travis, Jamie and Jim

Jim and I

Jamie, Jim and I

The crowd behind us

The Speedo Santa's- I heard about these guys before the race, so I knew to look for them. They were running for some youth charity. It was pretty chilly last night, so I can't imagine how cold they were, but they were damn fast, so I wasn't able to even remotely keep up with them.

Jim, Jamie and Travis took off so I was on my own for the race. I knew this would happen because I haven't ran in like 6 weeks. I ran about half of the race and walked the rest. At one point I walked with these guys below and sang Christmas carols. It was pretty fun and these guys have way more energy than most did :)

Shot of the race- almost done. I really wanted to cheat and cut across the field but I was a good girl and finished the race.
The Christmas Tree- playing around with my camera

More playing with my camera- these were trees with Christmas lights on them

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Making the best out of the left overs
I wanted to do something quick and easy for some snacks while watching football last week. I had some of the puff pastry in the fridge, so I knew I could do some type of mini tart. I grabbed the turkey, cranberry jelly, and brie cheese. I cut out 3x3 squares, filled them with a little turkey, cranberry and cheese, then folded up the sides to make a little cup. I am bad at folding up the sides... all of mine looked different :) Then you brush a little egg wash on the top before baking so it comes out golden brown. Cook for about 20 minutes in 400 degree oven and you have your self some tasty snacks!!!

After folding up the sides

right out of the oven

Get in ma belly!
Happy Hour with the ladies!

Last week a bunch of us met up at Roaring Fork for a happy hour. We don't get together near enough, so when we finally do meet up, we spend the entire time talking and laughing. Our visits always go by so fast! We picked Roaring Fork for 3 reasons: it was a central location, their happy hour lasts the longest and there is a rumor of one of the waiters being a former Hugo Boss model. Yes, we chose a restaurant for the eye candy, don't judge! :) We ordered a few of the appetizers for the table to share and we all indulged in some wine! I was happy with the Sauvignon Blanc that they had and stuck with it all night. Our food was pretty good... we had the chicken flatbread, the tuna tar-tar and guacamole. The tuna was in big chunks mixed with mango... I wasn't sure I would like it, but it was a nice combination. Later Mahvash and I split a Cesar salad and the fried avocados. The Cesar was good with a strong anchovy flavor (which I like) but the fried avocado stole the show. They were delicious! Crispy on the outside and creamy in the middle and it was topped with some type of crab salad. YUM, YUM, YUM! I'll go back just for those little bites of yummyness. Our server kind of sucked... he just made some assumptions that waiters shouldn't. Like he was ready just to order us another round without asking everybody if that was okay.. if it wasn't for a couple people speaking up he would have done it (and not everybody wanted another drink or wanted something different) and he was cl earning away the food while food was still on the plates without asking. Ummm.. boy get your hands off of the food.. bunch of women here drinking and we like to graze!!

Mahvash, me, Vanessa, Nicole, Courtney, Kelly and Jennifer

Jennifer, me and Vanessa

Kelly and Mahvash

Nicole and I

Courtney and I with little baby Rachel :) (who is due to make an appearance any day now)