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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Homemade Sushi

I stayed in East Texas for the weekend because it was my 10 year high school reunion. I really considered not going, but I am so glad I did. I didn't go to the football game Friday night, but rode in the parade on Saturday and went to the party Saturday night. It was fun seeing old classmates I haven't seen since graduation!!!

Since I was in town all weekend, I got to hang out with Heather from Match Made In East Texas. We talk all of the time, but rarely get to actually get together. We made sushi at her house and had a blast. I had never made it before and can't wait to do it again!

The preparation was a lot of time and work, but that was part of the fun.
Sushi grade fish is not available where we were so we made California and Crawfish Rolls. They were delicious!

Heather also whipped up some amazing fried rice. We ate every last bite and I am craving more right now. I'm hoping she blogs the recipe because I don't know exactly how she did it and I need to know!!

I can't wait to experiment with more homemade sushi! So good and so much fun!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Spooktacular Dinner

Aunt Mary hosted the second annual family Halloween Dinner the other night and it was SO much fun. She got super creative and cooked all kinds of yummy and spooky food. I don't know how she did it all! Check out all of these delicious foods she created!!

Boo Berries
Skeleton Brownies
Mummy Bread = Sausage Cheese Bread
Ghostly Sammies = Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Bat Blood Shooters = Tomato Soup Shooters
Dirty South Sausage Eyeballs = Phyllo dough stuffed with seasoned sausage balls

Coffin Dip
Rats In Blood = Porcupine balls with marinara sauce.

Eyeball Pasta = Sausage, pasta, marinara and mozzarella balls
Gran Gran, Neil and Braelyn in her adorable Halloween outfit.

I went as Pioneer Woman with my chicken ready to cook.

All of the appetizers.

Already looking forward to next year!! Thanks Aunt Mary!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

To Clarify

There has been a very big misunderstanding at our house and I wanted to clear things up. In my last post I mentioned that The Sound Of Music was one of Brett's favorite movies. Well, I was VERY wrong about this! He only said he thinks it could be one of MY favorite movies, not one of his! It now is one of my favorite movies, but again it is not one of HIS! Apparently he was given a hard time about this by some of his very manly friends that just happen to read our blog.
Anyway. I needed to show some pictures of a few of the very masculine things Brett loves to do to prove to some people he doesn't enjoy watching classic movies in his spare time.
(Baking Pumpkin Cream Pies is not fun to him either.)

Rebuilds transmissions (and all kinds of other stuff I don't know what are) for his Jeep.
Feeds our family for the entire year with meat from his various hunts.
Spends time in the wilderness with his dog.
Grows outrageous facial hair.
Rescues me from giant rats.

Welds, puts faces back together, hikes through blizzards in the mountains, rock climbs in the jeep, doesn't sleep for 36 hours a time and so many other things that don't include The Sound of Music and baking.

I love my manly husband. And I love that he will watch The Sound of Music with me even if his friends make fun.
At least he doesn't sit around and read blogs. (Dr. M********y) :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Week Off

I was SO excited to get to spend the whole week + in Dallas with Brett because that never happens. But, poor Brett has had too work non stop since I have been here. 3 of the 6 nights I have been in town he has been on call and worked all night and the next day with no rest and then comes home and crashes with no dinner, tooth brushing or anything! I don't know how these guys do it. They are machines.
Anyway, I have been trying to find ways to keep myself busy. I am not used to having this spare time! Not that I'm complaining...

Ok so here is what I have done so far this week.

Organized every cabinet in the house. I ended up re-arranging the entire kitchen and I love it. This is obviously an in progress picture!

I hung another closet rod in this closet and cleaned it up a little.
Now we don't have to take cover every time we open the door!!

Of course I have been cooking up a storm.

I made Tasty Kitchen/PW's Outrageous Garlic Soup which was totally Outrageous! I mean this was so good. I got some italian sausage links, sliced them and cooked them and added them to the soup which I think made it even better. I will make this again, no doubt.

I started going to Yoga. I love it. I went for 5 days in a row, but skipped today. A yoga studio down the street has a special for $10 for 10 days and that is what I am doing. I'll probably join though. The room is about 100 degrees and the classes are an hour and a half but somehow it feels so good. I have a mini panic attack for about the first 5 minutes after I walk in because I feel like I can't breathe, but then I get used to it.

I also cooked these: Pumpkin Creme Pies

Oh my these were good too. I made them too big though. If you make them, do it smaller than what I did because this is a lot to eat.

I can't take total credit for these cute things. Brett helped out a lot. I'm sure that is just what he wanted to do on a night off, but we got to hang out that way!

I made another piece of spray paint artwork with another board from the attic.

Cooked a whole chicken which was awesome. Here is what I did:

Preheat oven to 450.
  • Stuff chicken with onion, garlic, fresh rosemary and lemon.
  • rub chicken with olive oil and cover with fresh chopped herbs ( I just used Rosemary), garlic powder, sea salt and pepper.
  • Throw in any veggies you want around the chicken. I used sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and carrots. Sprinkle a little olive oil and about 1/4 cup water around veggies.
  • Cook for 1hr 15 to 1 hr 30 and baste periodically to get this golden brown color.
So moist and yummy.

I also used some funny quotes and some wedding pics to make note cards with some blank cards I had.

(I'll bring them home so you can see them. I know some of you see a pic of yourself in there!)

We also joined Netflix. The first month is free so I figured I would take advantage of it. I have already watched a few movies and documentaries. Last night we watched "The Sound Of Music". If I have ever see it, I didn't remember, but I loved it. That is one of Brett's favorite movies and he has been trying to get me to watch it since we started dating.

Tonight I made this Risotto. I had never made Risotto before and it was maybe the best PW meal yet. Thankfully Beth was able to come over to enjoy it with me.
I made PW's Risotto and did the shrimp as it was done here and added to it.
This recipe makes enough to feed a small village so it would be great for a dinner party.
(The iPhone just doesn't show the deliciousness of these pics like I want it to. A new camera is my next investment. Any suggestions?)

I actually ended up working here today at the nursing home, which was great. Going to meet a friend and her new baby bump tomorrow for lunch in Waco :)
No plans for Friday, but I'm sure there will be laundry to do by then....!

The good news is Brett has all weekend off! The first in over a month. Not sure what we will do. Maybe Fright Fest at Six Flags? We have season tix but have only gone once....

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Must Read!

I'm SO excited! My BFF, Heather has decided to start a blog. I have mentioned her before in several posts, but here are two of my favorites: Never Too Old To Play Dress-Up, Heather's Incredible Shrimp.
She is TONS of fun, a newlywed, an AMAZING cook, a lover of her hubby, family and friends, wine and East Texas. She will keep you cooking good food and entertained. Check out her new blog at:

Our Thursday Place

Every Thursday after a long day of work for both of us and a long drive for me, we are not up for cooking dinner. We have started going to a "hole in the wall" Thai food restaurant right down the street. It is delicious, cheap, fast and it's BYOB. So for about the last 6 Thursdays we have stopped at a really cool wine store and got a bottle of red and headed across the street to Bangkok Inn for dinner.

We are now regulars. The waitress knows we want egg rolls first and how hot we want our meals. I get mine a spicy 15+ and Brett gets a spicy 5. Somehow his is always way hotter than mine. We haven't figured that out yet.

You know this place is authentic when you can get a "soft dring" with your meal!!

So while we are on the subject of Asian Food, you must make this meal. It is SO good and really easy.

and Ryan and Randi's Easy Awesome Grilled Salmon
  • 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
  • lemon pepper to taste or fresh lemon
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1.Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.
2.In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3.Preheat grill for medium heat.
4.Lightly oil grill grate. Place salmon on the preheated grill, and discard marinade. Cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Recent Recipes

My Olive Cheese Bread
So I know P-Dub has an awesome Olive Cheese Bread recipe, but this one is really good and super easy. I needed something to take to a little party and I needed it fast so I came up with this:

1 loaf of baguette bread, sliced about 1/4 an inch thick
1 jar of Boscoli Italian Olive Salad
Some sort of white cheese. I used swiss.

Here is the Olive Spread I used
Lay bread out on a cookie sheet. Spoon some of the Olive Salad on each piece. Make sure to get some of the oil b/c this will make it really crispy.

Cover with cheese.

Stick in oven or broiler until cheese is melted and bread is toasty.

Devil's On Horseback
My friend Kari brought these over and they are simple and easy. Not sure why they are named this.
Here is what you need:
  • 1 package of thinly sliced bacon.
  • Pecan halfs
  • Dates or Prunes. I think the recipe calls for dates but we used prunes because that is all she could find at the store.
  • Toothpicks
Slice the bacon in half.
Place a pecan and a date/prune on top of each other and wrap with bacon.
Use a toothpick to hold together.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 425 for about 25 minutes (I think) or until bacon is crispy.

Beth is such a good food model!
These are the perfect combo of sweet, salty and crunchy!!

My Mini Italian Meatballs
Another lazy day when I didn't want to go to the store but was supposed to take an appetizer, I came up with these with stuff I had in the fridge/freezer.

  • Italian Sausage Links
  • basil pesto
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese slices
  • Marinara Sauce
Remove the sausage from casing.
Place in a bowl and mix with about 4 T of pesto or until it smells pesto-y enough.
Roll into a 1 inch ball and place in a mini muffin cup.
Bake for about 25 minutes at 425 until sausage is brown.
Slice mozzarella and place a piece on top of each sausage ball and secure with a toothpick.
Sprinkle black pepper over cheese.
Drizzle Marinara Sauce over.

Aunt Jennifer's Cucumber Salad

This is so good and so simple.
All you do is this:

  • Slice a few English Cucumbers. (These are the long skinny ones)
  • A few tomatoes sliced
  • Feta Cheese
  • Italian Salad Dressing (Or any other. I used Balsamic Vinaigrette in this photo)
  • She puts a small can of sliced black olives, drained in hers as well.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

These are two delicious desserts I got from PW and Tasty Kitchen:

These were the perfect summer dessert. They are very fresh and light. I realize summer is over but they will still be good anytime of the year!

This cake is SO moist. I added cocoa powder to the icing because I think coffee and chocolate should be eaten together.