Sunday, January 31, 2010

My first Princess Party

Sure, I probably attended a princess party when I was 5 but this was my first one in adulthood. Dawn and Lindsay have been friends for a year so they wanted to celebrate. First off... kudos on remembering when you guys freaking met! I am impressed, and what I find funny is that I think I was at the same event with you guys :) So Jim and I headed over to Dawn and Matt's for a little drinking and mayhem. Our night started off with Rockband. I have zero experience with Guitar Hero or Rockband. Seemed hard to me, so I started off with the drums..... not terrible. BUT then I tried the bass... and I was HORRIBLE. That shit was hard, I couldn't press the right colors on time. Oh well, I guess I need more practice.

Dawn, Lindsay, Jake and Jarrett rocking out

Jim's turn on the drums, he was pretty good

I noticed that Dawn and Matt had St. Germaine on hand, so I asked if I could check it out. Dawn said that I had to try her favorite drink... St. Germaine and Processco. Quite tasty... gonna have to pick up a bottle for our house!

Jim and I... My contribution to the princess party was my pink feather boa :) The guys were not required to participate

The night took a turn back to my college days when we decided to play the card game, Asshole. Man, it took me WAY back to my days at Arizona State. Luckily I still remember those days :)
Dawn with stars in her eyes
The President and the Asshole.
Dawn was so nice to make hats for our roles in the game. Basically, the winner of the game prior is the President and the loser is the Asshole.

Jake and his little beanie... this hat made the rounds this night.
Jake the President and Lindsay taking a picture

Dawn and Matt... thanks for having us over!! :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rachel Lynn

I had a few more pictures of little Rachel that I wanted to post. She is such a great baby and has the best facial expressions!! We took these pictures a few weeks ago during Austin's cold spell so we couldn't keep Rachel necked for to long so I had to move fast. She is one squirmy little gal, so I really had to move fast :)

Jim and I have offered to baby sit her while Courtney and Matt go out to have a little "alone" time. I'm sure that will be one great experience, but we don't have a lot of experience with little babies. Jim is on dirty diaper duty... he just doesn't know it yet :)

Courtney and I almost died when she did this.... Hello Austin Powers and Dr. Evil!! :)

Sunday in the Park

Yesterday we took advantage of the great weather (low 70's) and headed out to Lady Bird Lake to walk the dogs. I love going down there because there is great people watching and the dogs can interact with other dogs in the area. We headed over to the off leash area for the dogs but we kept our guys on a leash. Chewie is normally pretty good and won't stray to far but Taylor puts her nose to the ground and takes off. We had a few dogs come up and say hi but Taylor was more interested in getting into the water and Chewie was more interested in what his bigger sister was doing. I brought my camera to get some pictures of the kids, but I there was to much stimulus going around that I couldn't get them to focus on the camera :) I did get a few good shots, so it was worth it!

Taylor loves the camera, she is mama's little ham. She stayed there for a few minutes letting me take pictures of her.

I tried to get them to sit together for the same shot, but I couldn't get them to sit still at the same time. This was as close as I could get them together and sitting (Taylor was in the process of getting up). I love how the wind kept blowing Taylor's ears around!

Me and the kids

Another attempt to get a picture of them but they were WAY more interested in everything else around us than the camera

Taylor checking out the area

Jim and Chewie

My boo!
Taylor loves the water.... LOVES IT! I let her out on the rock, which was silly of me because I didn't think she would jump in, but she slide right on in. And of course it was in an area that was full of debris. Oh well... she was damn happy. I'm sad I didn't get a shot of it, but I needed to help her get out of the water since it was deep in this area.
Chunky Chewie Chalupa
After the dog park we headed over to Izzoz's tacos for breakfast tacos. I have hard good things about their tacos and it was close to the park, so we thought why not?!

I ordered 2 potato/egg tacos and Jim ordered a bacon/egg and a potato/egg. As you can see, there was plenty of filling in the tacos and the salsa had some heat to it which was nice. 2 item tacos were $1.75 a piece. I'd like to head back and try some of their lunch and dinner tacos! Especially on a nice day when you can lounge on their benches and soak up the sun.
Taylor LOVES human food. LOVES it and will try any way she can to get it in her belly. She sat at the end of the table watching us eat. I know this is a bad habit, but look at those eyes... how can you scold her for just trying to get to the good food.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Smores Cookies

These cookies are delicious but they are REALLY sugary. Like, I would take my time eating a cookie for fear it would put me into a diabetic coma. I made them for our Christmas with Jim's family and I made a batch for the football guys and for people at work. We didn't have many leftovers, which I take as a good sign! The dough is a little more dry but if you scoop out a 1/4 cup (which makes for a larger cookie) and roll it a little in your hands then it works out just fine! I love the marshmallow in the cookie, it stays nice and gooey in the cookie. On the first batch of cookies I used milk chocolate chips but for the 2nd batch I ran out of those chips so I used white chocolate chips, and they were just as good!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (Honestly I would probably only go with 1.5 cups next time because there are a lot of chocolate chips packed into each cookie)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
2 Hershey bars, chopped

Directions Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  • Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.
  • Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy.
  • Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips and graham cracker crumbs
  • Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  • Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  • Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, remove from oven.
  • Push 3 to 4 marshmallows and a piece of a hershey's bar into each cookie.
  • Return to oven and bake for 3 more minutes.
  • Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Cookie recipe was found at
New food trailer on S. Lamar

I stumbled on the Odd Duck Farm to Trailer when I visited the Gourdoughs trailer a few weeks ago. I saw the menu and knew that I would have to come back and try their food. Their menu changes daily because they purchase foods from local farms weekly and if they sell out of a dish then they make up another dish that might use a different part of the animal or veggie. Usually they have some type of salad, soup, quesadilla and sandwiches each day. The prices are a little higher than what I would normally spend on lunch, but you just can't beat the freshness or the unique flavors that you can get from this trailer.

I ordered the pork lion sandwich with sauerkraut and the polenta with the coffee porter braised lamb. Normally I'm not a lamb fan, but I decided to give this a try because I knew it would be fresh. I am SO glad I ordered this because it was excellent. I loved the lamb and the au jus mixed into the polenta which gave a great smoky flavor to the dish. The sandwich was good but I thought it was a bit to much meat. BUT once I took off a layer of the pork loin then I thought it was way better.

On my first visit I went with Sarah on our lunch hour at work. I ordered the Grilled Romain with Broccoli, goat ricotta and wild leek dressing. Hello YUMMY! The salad was just the right mix of salad, broccoli, cheese and dressing. Grilling the lettuce didn't make it soggy but instead make it slightly crisp on outside leaves that touches the wood fire grill. Plus the dressing was creamy but had a light flavor. I'm getting hungry just thinking about that salad.

I also ordered the egg salad with gulf shrimp sandwich. The sandwich was full of chunks of egg and shrimp... it wasn't to heavy on the mayo and had a few slices on onion on it. The only thing I would have changed was to add a little pepper to the sandwich.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Shrimp Stuffed Jalapenos

Jim and I fell in love with the Jalapeno Poppers that you can find at restaurants, but we weren't in love the all of the calories and fat that came with the fried bundles of joy. I came across a recipe blog a few years ago that had a baked version of the Jalapeno Popper that tasted pretty good and didn't make you miss the fried version. Well, I found another version that added shrimp to the mix, and it is quite tasty!

For 4 halves of poppers:

3 fresh jalapenos, cut in half and ribs/seeds removed
1/2 brick of cream cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (a smokey cheese would also be good!)
6 shrimp, cut up in to bite size pieces
dash salt, dash pepper, dash garlic powder
1 Tbsp chopped up fresh dill

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix up all ingredients except for the jalapenos. Once combined, scoop cheese/shrimp mixture into jalapenos. Place into oven for 20 minutes. Take out and eat!

If you are concerned that the jalapeno is going to be to hot, you can boil them for a few minutes before you add the cheese mixture to them. Boiling takes some of the heat out of them. Next time I think I will also add a little paprika to a ancho chili powder for a little more flavor. I tried the shrimp two different ways,,, mixing it up in the cheese mixture and then just adding it to the top of the jalapeno. Both ways worked fine, the shrimp didn't dry out when it was on top of the cheese mixture.

A seriously cute little girl

I had the pleasure of taking Rachel Lynn's photos this week. Rachel is Courtney and Matt's little girl and is just precious. Rachel came into this world on December 15th which was right on time. Courtney wanted to get a few newborn photos of her so we figured out a time and made it happen. Rachel gave us a good 30 minutes of photos without a peep! We were hoping to get some sleeping photos, but she just wanted to keep her eyes open and watch was the crazy lady was doing with the big black camera. We are going to reschedule to figure out anothertime to meet up.

Back in October I took some pictures of Courtney looking all beautiful being pregnant. Here are a couple of those photos.... Think of this as a "before" photo for Rachel :)

Courtney looked fantastic all through out her pregnancy.

Here is the beautiful little Rachel....

Courtney had a few little hats with flowers that we used. She didn't mind the hats at all just one pink headband (didn't even get a shot with it)

Look at those little feet!

She was getting a little feisty here :)

Courtney calming Rachel down