Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What a find!

A couple of months ago, my good friend and co-worker, Veronica, treated myself and our other friend and co-worker, Ty, to a wonderful lunch. She took us to Ellerbe Fine Food's for lunch. This place has been cited in Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and Texas Monthly magazines, just to name a few. Well, we wanted to see what all the hullabub (you like my word) was about. First we started with the assorted artisanal cheese and charcuterie. Amazing! I had the lamb burger. Divine! Next we had the desert sampler which had three of their most popular deserts. Slap your momma good! I recommend going for lunch. The prices are reasonable for what you are getting. Dinner is a little on the pricey side. I promise you won't leave this place disappointed! I really wish that I could remember our waiter's name. He was wonderful. We checked the before we went and they did not have the best ratings for customer service. We had the opposite experience and were extremely pleased with the service we received. So give Ellerbe Fine Food's a try!

All this to say... Our artisanal cheese plate came with the most amazing peppers! These aren't just any peppers. They are these very mildly spicy yet sweet red peppers called peppadews. We went gagga over them. FYI, they are amazingly good with goat cheese.

They are extremely hard to come by in stores (they come from South Africa). In fact, I couldn't find them in Whole Foods or Central Market. I found them for sale on-line at several websites, but couldn't bring myself to pay to ship some peppers to my house. Anyway, I was browsing the aisles at World Market on Monday and there before was a jar of peppadew's!!! That made my day! I will be serving these bad boys up on Christmas Eve stuffed with goat cheese.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lots of knitting going on...

I have completed another project to wear for the cooler days ahead. I hate to call it a sweater vest, but I guess it is along the same lines. It is so warm and soft!

I also made something for my niece for Christmas, but I will not post it until she opens it on Christmas day. Can't wait!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


It seems like forever ago that we started the adoption process. It's actually been a little over two years now, and a little over a year since we became licensed. We were selected last December as one of three sets of potential parents for a sibling group of three adorable children. Unfortunately for us, we were their second choice. But fortunately for those kids, they got a family and a forever home! It was definitely bittersweet.

Now more waiting. We were selected last week as one of three sets of potential parents for a sibling group of four beautiful girls! Their ages are 4, 8, 9, and 12. I fell in love with these girls the moment I saw their pictures. Needless to say, Kevin and I want these girls desperately. The selection hearing to determine the parents was supposed to be last Friday, but I was just told yesterday that it did not happen on Friday but should happen sometime this week. More waiting. I have wanted children for 8 years now, so I guess I can wait a little longer, right? The thing is, it's not just about me or Kevin and our desires. It's about children who are stuck in the system waiting for a place to call home... forever. Children that need parents who will love on them and provide structure in their lives. November is National Adoption Month, and this is my plug. Consider adoption. There are so many different avenues, so I will not push one over the other. There are so many parentless children all over the world who need a home. All I am asking is that you consider it. Pray about opening your home to a child/children who need one.

"But when the set time had fully come, God sent his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father.'"
Galatians 4:4-6

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dreaming of Cooler Weather

I finished this sweater just as the weather was getting warm. It is a very thickly knitted sweater, so I just couldn't bring myself to take any photos with it on. Finally, a day when it was only 90 degrees!

I love the way the color work turned out. The only complaint is that the pattern has 3/4 length sleeves. I like the way they look, but it really doesn't make sense to have a sweater this warm that isn't long sleeved. I guess I can wear a long sleeves shirt underneath and see how it looks. I still have many months to go before I can wear it anyway. Maybe I'll figure it out by then.

The Big 3-0...

I turned 30 this year. Yep... I believe I handled it very well. The day itself wasn't too eventful, but the weekend after was. My amazing girlfriends planned a wonderful birthday celebration for me (sad that Tish wasn't able to be there).

We, along with the hubbies, went to Buttons! I was told that this place had great soul food and great live jazz/R&B music every night. We were not disappointed! The food was absolutely amazing! Each one of ordered a different dish. I got their most famous dish... chicken and waffles! Yuuuummmyyy!

And I just have to brag on the awesome birthday present I received from Brigitte, Anna, Tish, and Kevin...

A Le Creuset dutch oven!!! I had dreamed of owning one of these but never thought it possible considering how expensive they are. Do my friends know me or what? Sadly, Tish and Shane were not able to make it. I love that Brigitte was able to capture the moment though. I had been trying to think of a name for my Le Creuset and this is what I came up with: Julia. I feel it only appropriate. The Le Creuset is made in France. Julia Child loved France and cooked with Le Creuset's. Anyway, I'm a dork.
It was a GREAT birthday!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Arkansas and Good Friends

This post is long overdue, but over the 4th of July weekend we went to Arkansas to see our dear friends. Erin and the two kiddos were down from Scotland visiting family. Unfortunately, Jason had to work and was coming down later, so we weren't able to see him. Erin's parents were kind enough to let us stay with them and hang out for the weekend. It was so nice to spend time with Erin. It seemed like no time had passed and we just picked right up where we left off. The last time we saw Andrew he wasn't even walking yet. Here's a picture of him and Kevin when we were in Scotland in 2008.

And here is a picture of me and Andrew from our recent visit. Such a cutie!

And we finally got to meet Kate who was born in January. She is a doll!

We had such a great time!

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Orleans Trip

Several weeks ago I took a trip with my friend Brigitte to go pick up her nieces in Louisiana and bring them back to Texas for a visit. Road trip! Let me just preface by saying that this trip wasn't ALL about the food, but pretty close. My taste buds were singing!

First off, Brigitte surprised me by stopping for lunch in Lafayette at Prejean's! In the past, she and I had cooked out of their cookbook, and it was delicious!

I had the Eggplant Pirogue Prejean. It was half an eggplant, peeled with the insides scraped out to make a boat. It was battered and deep fried and filled with crawfish, catfish, and eggplant in a dark roux. Oh my word people! I also bought their cookbook to add to my collection. Kevin has been to Prejean's in the past and was very distraught that I decided to eat eggplant at one of the best Cajun restaurants in the world.

I wish I would have photographed what her momma made for us for dinner that night... seafood gumbo, potato salad with shrimp (!!!), and a three layer yellow cake with praline filling and chocolate frosting! The BEST potato salad I have ever had in my life. I wonder if she'll give me the recipe. It was all so wonderful..... Oh, sorry. I started daydreaming about it.
We spent most of Saturday in New Orleans. We started off at Cafe Du Monde for beignets and cafe au lait.

I was just a tad bit excited.

This is Brigitte's happy face. Really, really happy!!!

We went into the Old Opera House to hear some great jazz!

Lunch at Breannan's...

By this point I was starting to look a little worse for wear. It was HOT and HUMID!
A New Orleans French Quarter classic... Bourbon Street.

All in all, I really like New Orleans. I don't think I would go to Mardi Gras... ever, but I really liked the city. Great food! Two thumbs up! Yeah for road trips with great girlfriends! Thank you Brigitte for taking me with you and showing me such a great time!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Random Goodness

I am no green thumb. Not at all. Fortunately, Kevin can grow things pretty well. This year he planted a small garden of tomatoes, green onions, jalapenos, and corn. We have enjoyed quite a few tomatoes and green onions already. Can you say SALSA?!! And last week we finally picked the first ear of corn. Here it is in all it's glory...

And just for kicks, here is a picture of my pre-baked mountain high crunchy caramel apple pie...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I am thankful to have friends who appreciate gastronomy (the art of good eating) as much as I do. In fact, they are willing to spend hours upon hours creating a wonderfully tasty dish. The end result is of course the best part, but the learning and creating are also quite enjoyable.

Tish and I made beef bourguignon several months ago when I was in town visiting. The flavor is always so incredible!

And Brigitte and I made a chocolate Pavlova with whipped cream and raspberries a few weeks ago. Divine!

Last Saturday I chose a challenging recipe out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Brigitte and I to tackle together. It was actually two different recipes. First you had to roast a chicken - French style. We trussed the chicken, which was a new experience for both of us, and roasted it in the oven for several hours while basting it every 10 minutes. Of course it produces the most gorgeous bird you ever did see. Then we carved the chicken, poured cognac over it, and lit it on fire. Sorry for the blurry pic, but it is an action shot of Brigitte shaking the fiery pan of chicken.

The chicken is then steeped in a port wine sauce with mushrooms and cream. Melt in your mouth goodness!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Anniversary Weekend

Kevin and I celebrated 10 years of marriage on May 6th! I can't believe it has really been that many years. So the Friday before our anniversary I flew into Houston where he was working, and he picked me up and we drove down to Galveston for the weekend. We stayed at the San Luis Resort, which was amazing! We had a very nice view of the Gulf and a balcony. Now, we would not normally stay at a expensive place like this, but I recently received a free 2-night stay that I won at a conference. What a blessing!

This was the view from our balcony. They were having a wedding on the lawn that Saturday afternoon.

The plaque beside Kevin's hand indicates the water line from Hurricane Ike back in 2008.

Here we are in the lobby of the resort. We had such a great time!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I headed towards East Texas a few weeks ago to visit friends and family during a long weekend. And I had the opportunity to babysit my niece for a few hours while my brother and sister-in-law went out. We had a great time!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sock Artist

I am part of a knitting group at work. Yep, I have fellow knitters at my work in my department. We are a group of four knitters and a crocheter. We knit together every Wednesday on our lunch break and have for the past 3 years. Well, our dear knitting guru is retiring this summer. She's been knitting for around 45 years or so, and she is so knowledgeable. Since she's leaving, she decided to give us going away presents. Um, I think that's supposed to be the other way around. And she's not leaving until July. Anyway, she got me this awesome t-shirt!

I am almost always working on a pair of socks, so they have labeled me the "official sock knitter" of the group. I love my new shirt!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Family Book

I have been working hard lately on our family book to give to our caseworker. A family book is a photo album/scrapbook of sorts that has pictures of us, our family, and pretty much any photo that tells more about us and what we like to do. Our caseworker will hold on to the book until we are selected for a sibling group. Then our caseworker will give it to the caseworker of the kiddos to look at and use during the selection hearing. When and if we are chosen, the kids will then get the book to have and look at before they come to our home, and then they will bring it with them. I really had a lot of fun making it. And I left some empty pages at the back so we can fill those up with photos of our kiddos when we get them. :)

On another note, summer is slowly coming upon us. The weather forecast is predicting the low 80's for next week. Yikes! I really am not fond of hot weather. I would be perfectly happy if the temperature never raised above 85 degrees. Anyway, I have been in need of a change for quite some time. My hair has been long for the past 4 years! Granted it has been several different colors in those 4 years, but it has been quite some time since I have had a drastic haircut and I am long overdue for one. So this is what I did yesterday:

That is 11 inches of hair I am holding! And actually she probably cut off another inch or two after that. I was going to donate the hair to Locks of Love because I thought I met all the requirements. Your hair has to be over 10 inches and it has to be healthy. Mine was both. The only issue is that I have had my hair highlighted. Locks of Love will accept hair that has been colored, but not bleached. It has something to do with the bleach chemicals and the process they use to make the hair into wigs. Bummer! But there is another non-profit that will accept highlighted hair... They help all children who have medically-related hair loss. It's a great cause and the minimum is only 8 inches, so anyone else in?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Podcasts and Pumpernickel

I don't know how many of you out there are podcast listeners, but I just can't get enough of them. In fact, I have quite a few in my queue. I just won't say how many. But I do have a few favorites that I never miss an "episode" of that get regular rotation on my iPod. Here are my five favorites in no random order:

Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase - Betty is a flight attendant for a major airline. She tells funny travel/airline stories and interviews airline crew members from all over to hear their funny stories. Most episodes have a theme. And you don't have to be in the travel industry to enjoy it. Funny stuff! She has around one episode a month, so it's not a big time commitment.

Desiring God Sermon Audio - I am a big John Piper fan. This is his weekly sermon broadcast from Bethlehem Baptist Church. It is great preaching every single week. And you will be blessed and challenged every single time you listen.

Amateur Traveler Podcast - If you love to travel or hear about the best places to travel, this is the podcast for you. Chris picks a different destination every week from somewhere in the world. He interviews experts from that region regarding the best places to eat and stay and the best attractions to visit. I find it entertaining and informative.

Gardenfork - This is a video blog about gardening, cooking, minor home repairs, and other stuff. Most episodes are under 10 minutes long and it a lot of fun to watch. Eric does more cooking than gardening. The cooking appeals to me more anyway, but the gardening episodes I have seen have been very interesting and helpful to me. This is definitely a keeper.

ThreadBanger - D.I.Y. Fashion and Style - This is a crafty rockin' video podcast! Some of the things are a little out there for me, but this podcast will definitely get your creative juices flowing. Lots of great ideas and amazing work from some really creative people out there. The episodes last anywhere from 3 minutes to 10. If you are crafty, this is the podcast for you.

So go to iTunes and give some of these a try.

A great book I received for Christmas was Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery that Revolutionizes Home Baking. It sounded a little too good to be true, but boy was I wrong. You can actually have a great loaf of artisan bread without kneading and making a big mess. It's amazing! So far I've made a baguette and quite a few calzones with a basic bread dough. Last weekend though I thought I would try my hand at pumpernickel. I mean, who doesn't like a good pumpernickel? And what a fun word to say! Here is my first loaf of pumpernickel.

I am not very good at taking food pictures, but I was just so darn proud of my loaf that I had to post it for all to see. And it was tasty folks. Yes indeed. My friend Veronica can vouch for that.

The great thing about these recipes is that you mix everything up in the bowl you are going to store the dough in. Yep, just throw all the ingredients in and give it a good mix, let it rise on the counter for around 2 hours (enough to rise and fall), then put it in the fridge for up to two weeks. Whenever you need some, just tear off a chunk, let it rise for a little while and bake. I'm going to sprinkle dates and walnuts into the last of my pumpernickel dough for a desert like bread. I got three loaves out of that dough. Kneadless to say, I am very happy. Kneadless... Get it? :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Winter Wonderland

I was hoping for one more good snow before winter left us. Well, we got it, and it was record breaking. Man, it was so pretty!

The snow was not good to our poor trees though. We had a ton of down limbs. Kevin knocked snow off on Thursday till his poor arms were ready to give out, but it didn't help. This is the front of our house.

On the knitting front, I have been in slouchy hat mode.

I recently finished a baby blanket and shipped it off to our good friends in Scotland who just had a baby girl. Since they did not know the babies sex until the birth, I chose a light green color.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A New Year - A New Blog

Sorry for the blog change, but I decided it was time for out with the old and in with the new. As most of you know, our lives will be changing dramatically this year. We want to keep our friends and family better updated regarding our adoption process. Also, it just can't be my blog without some cooking shenanigans and knitting accomplishments. Now I will give a short recap of the past couple of months:


We last submitted our home study in December for a sibling group of 4 kiddos - two boys, two girls, ages infant to nine. We are still waiting to hear back. There are so many factors they look at when deciding on potential parents. It's a tough wait for us, but they are looking at the best fit for everyone involved, so knowing that makes it a little easier. For instance, they may want to keep the kids in the area they are already in if they have siblings in another home that they need to stay in contact with. Or they may want to get them away from the area they are in because of their situation before they were placed in foster care.

My caseworker's email address sets off an automatic trigger of emotion in me. When her bolded email address pops up on my aol account, my heart starts racing.

I received Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Christmas and I was beyond ecstatic! I made her famous beef bourguignon a couple of weeks ago for dinner. For those who have seen the movie Julie and Julia they will remember the familiar scene where Julie falls asleep and forgets about the beef bourguignon in the oven and burns it. Well, I did not burn it, but I did spend 3 1/2 hours of my life preparing and cooking it. It was worth it though! Delicious!


In these past 6 months I have knit a ton. I don't have a lot of pictures as proof, but I have knit. I really really have! Here are a few things:
I knit this sweater for my adorable niece Macy. I don't have a very good picture of her in it, so when I get a better one I will post it.

And here she is sleeping with the turtle I made her for Christmas. Thank you Kim for getting this great shot for me! I darn near teared up when I saw it.
I'm going to take some more pictures this weekend and post next week.